Work+Life Fit: Enable Engagement, Profit and Sustainable Growth

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I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Moe Abdou, the founder and visionary behind 33Voices.com.

The mission of 33Voices.com is to “bring together the most influential thinking and thinkers on the planet to help entrepreneurs and business creators build great businesses and live great lives.”

With an intention like that, you can’t help but be a fan.

Not only is Moe Abdou a terrific interviewer, but he truly understands that work+life fit and flexibility are strategic business imperatives that can lead to engagement, profit and sustainable growth. That’s not always the case for business leaders, like Moe, with backgrounds in finance and entrepreneurship.

Because he “gets it,” we covered a lot of fascinating territory in our interview, including:

Ambition.  Why we need to expand the definition of ambition beyond just “work.”  How some of the most interesting and successful people are ambitious in work AND life. These are the highly engaged, creative, innovative thinkers influencing companies and communities.

Work+life fit, engagement, and profit: Why there is a direct link.

The challenge posed by work and life integration.  Clocks and walls disappeared and no longer tell us where work ends and other parts of life begin. Because nothing replaced those traditional boundaries, we are still reeling from the radical change.

Work+life fit and sustainable growth.  There are times when work may be a greater priority, but then there will be periods where personal demands require more attention.  In order to sustain work effort for the long haul, we cannot continually neglect our health, loved ones, professional development.

Why we need to manage the fit between work and life:  I talk about how my work with these issues over the last two decades caused me to reject the mythology that someone else could tell us when to shut down and find an overall sense of well-being.  Why knowing how to manage our unique work+life fit is a modern skill set that requires training and support.  And why I wrote my new book, TWEAK IT, to offer a simple weekly work+life fit “how to” practice.

How to harness the power of small deliberate actions. We can’t be reactive bystanders frantically responding to what comes at us every day. We need to reflect and make small, intentional choices in our work, personal life and careers each week, otherwise it’s too overwhelming and what matters to us won’t happen.

I hope you will take a few minutes to listen to the interview. Then please share your thoughts about work+life fit as a modern path to the engagement, profit and sustainable growth.

Again, many thanks to Moe Abdou and 33Voices!

Audio:

Highlights Deck:

Yes, Small Biz Owners CAN Work and Have a Life Too! Tips and Challenges

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If I am completely honest, one of the primary motivations for writing TWEAK IT, was to learn how to make what mattered to me happen every day, on and off the job.

I am an entrepreneur/small business owner.  While there are many wonderful benefits to my chosen professional path, there are a few downsides.

For me, and for many small business owners I meet, one of the biggest challenges IS managing our work+life fit. 

Perhaps we have a greater degree of flexibility and control, but we often have more limited resources–time, people and money.  Therefore, it is very easy to fall into the traps like:

“I’ll just send one more email, and then have dinner with my family.” But then dinner’s over, or

“I can go to the gym tomorrow because I need to finish this proposal.”  Then you realize you haven’t moved your body in three weeks.

After researching and writing TWEAK IT and then following the simple weekly work+life fit practice myself for that last few years, I believe small business owners can work AND have a life.

We just have to be a bit more intentional about it. 

So I was thrilled when VISA Small Business approached me to be the featured expert on their Facebook page last month!

I offered entrepreneurs/small business owners seven of my best work+life fit tips and challenges.

VISA transformed them into such beautiful graphics, I had to share.

What other tips and challenges would you offer?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #4:

 

The Joyful Honor of Being One of the “40 Over 40 to Watch”

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Recognition for doing work you love is always a thrill.  But when I was named to the inaugural “40 Women Over 40 to Watch” list, I experienced a special mix of honor, excitement, humility and joy.

Here’s why:

The “40 Over 40” creators and judges.  Please take a minute to review the names of the remarkable team who created this list honoring the accomplishments of women over 40 years old–Whitney Johnson, Christina Vuleta, Jocelyn Bonneau and Molly Ford.  Then, take another moment to look at the list of judges.  To have my work recognized at any age by this impressive mix of women and men from tech, corporate, social impact, vc, media, etc…Thank you all.

The mission of the list:  As list co-creator, Whitney Johnson, noted in a recent Harvard Business Review post, the research shows that “entrepreneurs get better with age.”  All I know is that, at age 48, I feel even better than I did at 28, which was pretty good!  The list is public acknowledgement of the power that comes from growth, wisdom and experience.

The other 39 women:  WOW! Seriously.

Each winner’s “Push Page”:  This may be one of my favorite new discoveries thanks to the “40 Over 40.”  Each one of the winners was asked to create a “Push Page,” which is a social media platform on which you answer questions about yourself.  Everyone’s answers offer a fascinating, in depth, glimpse into who they are.  Check out my page…you will discover, among other things: the name of my greatest mentor; what activity I love to do but wish I was better at; what I disrupted; my first job and the favorite place I have ever traveled.

Future winners:  As soon as I read this year’s list, I couldn’t help but think of next year, and the next year.  The founders of “40 Over 40” hope to inspire younger women with role models.  If I can offer inspiration and celebrate their future success, count me in!

 

 

Why “The Third Metric” Success Conversation Has Just Started

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Last month, on June 6th, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking at Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski’s inaugural “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power” conference.  

The panel on which I spoke (above) was “Re-Working Work.”  It’s an important topic because, if we want to rethink the traditional definition of success, then the way we work and spend much of our day has to adapt and become more flexible.

I shared my thoughts about “How Success Flexibility Creates Opportunity, On and Off the Job” in a pre-conference blog post on The Huffington Post:

“I’m often asked, ‘If you had to give one piece of advice, what would it be?’ After I say, ‘See the countless possible ways work can flexibly fit into your life,’ I add, ‘But be sure that you redefine success related to money, prestige, advancement and caregiving to match the unique fit you have chosen. If you don’t, you will feel bad about the choice and give up.’

We covered a lot of territory in one day at The Third Metric conference.  And bonus: one of my quotes from the panel was included in the highlights of quotes from the day (check out slide #10)!

Speakers and attendees made headway identifying the changes that would help make physical, mental, and spiritual well-being a larger part of the way we collectively define “success.”  But the conversation is far from over.  It has just started.  Why?

Everyone gathered that day in Arianna Huffington’s beautiful apartment–from the CEO’s of large corporation (Aetna), leading doctors, entreprenuers, journalists, to the television personalities–agreed that the path we are all on is unsustainable because:

  • It’s hurting us personally.  We are stressed, sick, eating poorly, not exercising, not sleeping and not performing our best in all of the areas of our lives.
  • It’s hurting our families and friends.  We aren’t maintaining and nurturing the personal relationships that matter and renew us.
  • It’s hurting our businesses.  Health care costs are soaring and workplace engagement is at historically low levels which hurts profit.

Any criticism I read of The Third Metric conference related to a feeling that it didn’t adequately acknowledge the realities of lower income workers, especially women, who don’t have the luxury to think about these issues while trying to hold down three jobs.

I was encouraged by how many conference speakers did reinforce the often difficult day-to-day work and life realities that many, many people face.  Certainly these concerns need to remain a primary focus.  However, change and dialogue have to start somewhere, and the conversation at The Third Metric was a smart and sincere beginning.  But can’t stop at one meeting or at one group.

I am very hopeful that the passion and commitment both Huffington and Brzezinski brought to their first conference will continue to move the needle.  I look forward to seeing what they decide to do next as they encourage us all to expand our definition of success beyond simply money and power to find the modern, “third metric.”

How do you think we need to expand our definition of success beyond money and power?

 

 

 

Celebrate Success! (Quick Tip #6)–Join Me: “TWEAK IT” Webinar TODAY

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Welcome to Day #6 of TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series! 

 

For six days, I have shared  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating TODAY, Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #6: Don’t Expect Perfection.  Celebrate Success! 

Today, I explain:

  • Why you need to make 70% you bar of success
  • Why it’s important to celebrate what you DO get done, because it’s often more than you give yourself credit for, and
  • Why one of the biggest mistakes we make is to expect perfection.

 

TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series Recap:

To make what matters to you happen every day…just “tweak it!”

Choose Specific Weekly “Tweaks” to Be Your Best, On and Off the Job (Quick Tip #5)

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Welcome to Day #5 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series! 

For six days, I will share  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #5: Choose Specific Weekly “Tweaks” To Be Your Best, On and Off the Job

Today, I explain:

  • How choosing specific “tweaks” related to work, your career and your personal life build a foundation of well-being and order
  • Why that foundation helps you be your best, on and off the job, and
  • Why those “tweaks” will be a combination of ongoing, “standard” actions and priorities that happen week after week, and “unique” tweaks that will always change.

Tomorrow’s Tip:  Don’t Expect Perfection, and Celebrate Success.

Harness the Power of Small Everyday Actions (Quick Tip #4)

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Welcome to Day #4 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” Video Series!

For six days, I will share  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #4: Recognize and Harness the Power of Small Everyday Actions

Today, I explain:

  • How we tend to overlook the way the smallest actions contribute our sense of well-being, order and performance
  • Why these meaningful, small actions are barely noticeable to anyone but us, and
  • Why we need to harness them all into a weekly practice that allows us to celebrate their collective power.

Tomorrow’s Tip:  Choose to specific “tweaks” each week to build a foundation of well-being, order and performance.

Regularly Answer the Question “What Do I Want?” (Quick Tip #3)

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Welcome to Day #3 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” video series!

For six days, I will share short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE webinar, “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony”, I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Please join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have registered so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #3: Regularly Answer the Question “What Do I Want?”

Today, I explain why:

  • You can’t operate on autopilot when it comes to what you want at work and in your life
  • You need clarity about what you want to accomplish, on and off the job
  • A simple question can help you figure it out.

Tomorrow’s Tip: Recognize, Value and Harness the Power of Small Every Day Actions

Make Your Everyday Choices Intentional (Quick Tip #2)

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Welcome to Day #2 of  the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” video series!

For six days, I will share  short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE Webinar: “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony” webinar I am facilitating Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have signed-up so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #2: Make Your Everyday Choices Intentional

Today, I explain:

  • Why it’s important to have a complete picture of where you want to put your time and energy each day,
  • Why one work and personal calendar and “to do” list helps, and
  • Why, without it, you tend to make decisions by default, not with intention.

Tomorrow’s Tip:  Regularly Answer the Question “What Do I Want?”

 

Face the Modern Facts About Work and Life (Quick Tip #1)

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Welcome to Day #1 of the TWEAK IT “Quick Tips” video series!

For six days, I will share short, get-started nuggets of wisdom to help you fit work and life together every day in a way that let’s you be your best, on and off the job.

My friends at Citrix produced the videos to preview the FREE webinar, “TWEAK IT: Harness the Power of Small Changes for Work-Life Harmony”, I am facilitating on Tuesday, June 18th at 1:00 pm est.

Join us for the webinar (more than 1,000 people have registered so far) and enjoy the tips!

TWEAK IT Tip #1: Face the Modern Facts About Work and Life

Today, I explain:

  • How the way we live and work has transformed radically
  • Why this change affects all of us, not just women and mothers
  • Why we can’t wait for our manager or employer to “give” us work+life flexibility

Tomorrow’s Tip: Make your everyday choices intentional.