I Need Your Help!

There’s exciting changes going on in my world, dear readers!

I’ve been diligent and curious and have immersed myself in deep business education, community engagement, and rigorous self-examination …and heck if I’m not gaining momentum! Very soon I’ll be launching a new website and business – an evolution of who I’ve become through my commitment to a daily writing practice, which was hugely facilitated by a 14 month-long Maine sabbatical.

Note to anyone on the verge: while I recognize each of us has our own path to walk, I cannot recommend Maine highly enough as a place to connect with your own rhythm, the natural world, and a fiercely supportive community. My time there has been essential to the blossoming you are witnessing. The world is too much with us, and we must find our place back within her larger cradle in order to take root authentically. I look forward to giving back to Maine as a creative collaborator, entrepreneur, and advocate…for all she’s given me.

What you’re privy to now is the unfolding of a venture I’m bootstrapping, girded by an unassailable desire to be in service to the world, the gathering of tools with which I’ll operate, and the security of knowing…

…We have everything we need.

Rumi is leading the way. ~ “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

I’m gaining mastery in obstacle removal, having discovered his golden key to transformation and action.

Exchange anything you truly want in place of the word ‘love,’ and you’ll see my inspiration: wealth, happiness, a beautiful home, fulfilling work, healing… the answers to your deep longings are waiting to be discovered, uncovered, recovered, because they’ve been there, covered, the whole time. Like when you’re looking for your glasses, and then look in the mirror and see them perched atop your head. Yeah, just like that.

One thing I’ve long sought is freedom, and along my path I’ve learned that – oh wonder of wonders, silly girl – I already am free. A revelation! Obvious, yet not really to so many of us. Another thing I’ve sought is a feeling of power – not over others, but within myself, and that, too, I’m unlocking. The more I honor the ME that I really, truly am and drop the masks, the fears of being rejected or misunderstood, the more I emerge as an authentic, powerful woman. Who knew that what the world craved was me? (and you, too, by the way).

Yet, I haven’t done it alone. It feels like a massive conspiracy – or convergence of all I’ve ever been and everyone I’ve ever known ~including every one of you, because you’ve given me your valuable attention, and I thank you for that. It hasn’t happened overnight, either, although once I launch my new site and blog and business, I know it’ll feel like a birthday – that one big world debut! (Better go shoe shopping now…gotta step out in style!)

For those who’ve gone before me, you know all the incremental steps that result in one big leap. And for those who are still gathering courage and clarity, know it’s ALL part of the unfolding. I spent a lot of time swirling around in eddies, and it does teach you something… (mostly how the view from the hamster wheel could use a new scenery designer.)

For now, I’ll leave you with a glimpse of the future unveiling…

I’m developing a consulting business as a hiring specialist. I will help businesses who struggle with finding great staff attract, interview, and hire trusted, hospitality-driven employees who drive sales, ensure customer loyalty, and build brand trust. I’m writing a book about my methods and techniques, and am developing a curriculum as well. I’m propelled by the desire for people to have meaningful work lives, living the life they’ve imagined (thank you, Thoreau), alongside others who are also meaningfully employed. Win/win for everyone!

To do this I need your help.

If you are in a position of hiring, such as a business owner, recruiter, or hiring manager, I would so appreciate you helping me by completing this survey.

If you are not in a hiring capacity, but know someone who is, please pass this along – to three people if possible. The more information I have, the more customized and effective will be my offerings.

I’m thrilled to share this news of what’s unfolding for me, and look forward to having you along…

With much love and gratitude,

Kellie

To Resume Or Not To Resume? Bullet Points, Job Descriptions and Little White Lies

Resume writing is an exercise in concise and intentional language. My less traditional route through employment hasn’t much required this black and white, two-dimensional snapshot, so when I recently was asked to submit one, I actually laughed out loud.

People still use resumes!? How very 20th century of them.

Conventional job searches rely on outdated methods – sweat out a resume (fudging facts here and there), scan the want ads, pound the pavement (a metaphor that conjures up painful Siberian exile), and sit across from a manager who doesn’t know who his ideal hire looks like, but expects you to grovel for the gig anyway.

No wonder why so many of us are unfulfilled in our work. Does this sound like the road to job satisfaction? Not so much. Since I parachuted out of the proverbial airplane of my first career in 2010, I’ve been fascinated with how we can feel both free and deeply committed to making a living that uplifts, and not depletes.

Knowing what you want to do next and where you want to do it are much more effective in opening the door to right income. (Thanks Gandhi.) Meet with people. Have conversations about what you do and why you do it. Let them see you in action – show, don’t just tell. Of course, certain professions require licensing, certification, and such, and you can supply that information, but don’t be solely represented by bullet points and fonts. Would you rather read about a new gallery exhibit, or let the vibrancy and emotion of an artist’s painting captivate and enchant you?

Given the choice between reading someone’s biography or having dinner with them, which would you choose?

Please, right this way to your table, Ms. Steinem…

However, for the sheer experience, I complied and penned the Cliff Notes version of my history, skills, and education. In 15 minutes. It was actually fun, and damn, if I didn’t want to not only hire me, I wanted to pay me more than I was asking!

Turns out that writing a resume is an end in itself, because whether you get the position, you’ll learn how to recognize, streamline and highlight your strengths with confidence. If you’re going to be judged by mere words on a piece of paper, shouldn’t you be your first and best cheerleader? This is not the time to be humble. Shine like the North Star. Brag like a gold medalist.

Distill your talents and sell your assets.

  • Keep it simple. One font, one page. Leave lots of white space so the eye may rest.
  • Name and contact information. No need for address or SS# or anything more personal yet.
  • Stay relevant. Include only necessary dates (no months, just years) and pertinent information.
  • Include experience not compensated monetarily. How have you created value for another? Charity work or volunteer position? Ran a social organization or club? Recipe writer or master of DIY? Your talents lie in more realms than financial – ever hear of social profit?
  • Tech skills. Indispensible and all too rare. (You know more than you think.)
  • Don’t list out minutiae – no one reads the admin. It’s clutter on the page.
  • Tell the truth. Own your accomplishments with integrity.
  • Focus on your excellence and strengths. How are you consistently educating yourself? A leading edge gives you the edge.
  • Give them no choice but to meet with you – right now.

If you’re even slightly discontent with your work, take a few moments, go to Google Docs, grab a resume template, and practice being concise and intentional. Shine! Reframe life experience into lessons learned ~ what used to ‘look bad’ are pluses nowadays:

  • Gaps because of travel or parenting translate into highly prized traits: communication skills, prioritization abilities, time management, adaptability, risk-taking, etc…
  • No degree? Enter self-direction and innovative thinking. See: Steve Jobs.
  • Change jobs often? You have a larger network, demonstrate flexibility, and adjust to new situations with dexterity and humor.

Ultimately, though, wouldn’t you want to be hired because someone thought ~ Hey! I know who would be just perfect for this project? Wouldn’t it be great if people gauged us more on direct experience and our full selves? But try it anyway – sketch one out on your lunch break. You’ll see yourself in a whole new light. I sure did.

I’d really like to hear about YOUR job-seeking. Tell me in the comments below how you opened up your last revenue stream and how, if at all, a resume was at play. (at play!) And if YOU’RE the one doing the hiring, how do you use a resume, if at all, in determining the outcome?

Thanks! Looking forward to hearing your stories…

{Addendum on Feb 3, 2012: From Seth Godin’s blog today:
Can I see your body of work?
Are you leaving behind an easily found trail of accomplishment?
Few people are interested in your resume any more. Plenty are interested in what you’ve done.
The second thing you’ll need to do is regularly note what you produce in a log or find some other way to keep track.
The first thing is more difficult: If the work you do isn’t worth collating and highlighting, you probably need to be doing better work.}

 

Entrepreneurial Everest ~ Base Camp Mastermind

Numerous are metaphors instructing us to unite for outcomes both lofty and anchored ~

Many hands make light work.

Two heads are better than one.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Reaching oceanic depths and Himalayan heights only happens with linked arms, minds, and legs. Consider the top headlines from 2011 – Arab Spring, the Wisconsin public employee protests, Occupy Wall Street…collective uprisings that reveal discontent and not so dormant frustrations at the state of our present realities.

While I’m not carrying a placard or camping in Zuccotti Park, I am participating as an agent of change. I believe many of us are transforming the world as we contribute our talents, skills, and passions more fully along the spectrum of our potential. For some, that means consciously raising children to be kind, loving, and curious. For others, it’s sharing expertise as teachers, public safety officers, business owners, or blue collar workers.

For me, it’s writing…developing my voice…discovering what’s meaningful and essential and building that into lifelong, sustainable revenue streams. I’ve plunged head first into the creative class.

I believe that the more of us who come alive and come together collaboratively will allow a just society to bloom and prosper. The smaller the better, for now, so that we can truly see and hear each other…in order to understand what’s meaningful and essential to us, our families, and our communities – and what’s not acceptable anymore.

After decades of conveying what was not wholly mine (not necessarily a bad thing if the environment is wisely chosen) or either reflexively reacting to other perspectives or swallowing my own point of view, I’m learning to listen more deeply instead. What’s tricky is I’m formulating ideas of my own and giving voice to them – maybe my most courageous act so far. Yet, sometimes these two dynamics are at odds: curiosity for what lies within another versus what lies within me. I’m not always successful with navigational balance. Ah, the joys of toddling…

Yes, it’s all about listening…and gathering. Co-creating community. Organizing a like-minded alliance to support our individual efforts.

I had the good fortune recently to attend a few gatherings of changemakers: one, a Marianne Williamson-inspired spiritual powwow, another, a combination TED talk / dance party / professional women’s conference.  The most intimate happened around a Brooklyn dining room table, over a lovingly prepared meal. Four of us shared our growing ventures and their inherent challenges, and we gained valuable insight ~ in the spirit of those opening metaphors.

1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = Mini Mastermind.

What do you get when you mix a kick-ass red-carpet photographer, a heart-centered personal trainer, a radically optimistic writer, and a hands-on healer steeped in both spiritual and academic methodologies? A base camp of golden insight with a view of grand peaks. Care for a crampon? Here’s a few takeaways to grab an entrepreneurial foothold of your own:

1. Invest with your competitors occasionally. See how they’re doing what they’re doing. You’ll learn something new, keep an eye towards new ideas and trends, and most especially, you’ll feel better about YOUR work – because no one ROCKS it like you do!

2. When your guiding force is to help others, becoming a financially healthy business or organization allows you to continue providing value for your clients and customers. Charge what you’re worth. This may be the most responsible action we can take for the work we believe in. “Sustainability” is not just an overused mainstream ploy – it’s LIFE.

3. When we’re in tune with our deepest passions, we are a tidal wave of power, enthusiasm, and magnetism. This makes us irresistible to people, and our future prospects. This is soul-centered marketing, when we’re just being our fabulous selves!

4. Social media is your friend. It’s permission marketing at it’s most widespread, it can be fun, and…it’s free. Use it to promote your good work in the world, and to support those who are, too. Reciprocity rules!

5. Set daily, weekly, and longer term intentions. Do it out loud, preferably within a support network. Follow up with actionable steps and a timeline. Be very specific.

However you’re engaged with making the world a better place, know that millions are doing just the same, in diverse and convergent directions. In gratitude for the collective energy & wisdom, I’d love if you shared one of your mindful masteries below. I KNOW you’ve a gem or three in your pack.

See you at base camp!

How Seth Godin Got Me Into Bed

“Is that your husband?” the man standing outside the kayak store asks.

“No.” I reply, eyebrow raised.

“Boyfriend?” he probes.

“Third date.” Hmmm. Is this guy serious?

“Really? You two look so comfortable together. How’d ya meet?”

“He said hello to me in the park.”

“That’s it?! Hello? Just like that? Why can’t I meet anyone that easily?” he says, half-joking, sticking out his hand. “Well, then, hi there!”

At this point, Mr. Third Date’s animal instincts perk up and he immediately sidles up to Mr. Clueless and introduces himself. A bit of kayaking and surfing banter ensues, and territory thus marked, Mr. Third roams back into the life vest racks.

“Sooo… ya got a sister? I just can’t seem to find the right woman – she’s gotta be pretty, a hard core sailor and camper, be independent, have her own money…I don’t have much, y’know, it all goes into the boat…she needs a sense of humor, knows how to cook…blah, blah, blah…” He rattles on, listing all the things he wants, like I’m interviewing him for eHarmony, never once considering what he could do to prepare himself for when she shows up. Suddenly, my inner entrepreneur taps me on the shoulder. I should start a dating service! Write a how-to book! Help a poor guy out…

This is not the first time I’ve encountered the desperate and lonely up here in the Pine Tree State, or even this specific line of questioning. (What’s with men asking lately, in earshot of that evening’s companion, if I’m interested in them?) I think I’ll go home tonight and pen a man-ifesto: The Mainer’s Manual to Meeting Your Mate, and hang my matchmaker sign on the door. I’ll make a mill, I’m tellin’ ya. This is one lonely place – everyone here wants to connect, and no one seems to know how.

Then I realize there already IS a book – and I have it out on loan from my library: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin. (wondering how I was going to work him in here, weren’t you?) I’m immersing myself in wisdom from those living the life of which I dream, and since that method has worked for me before, I’m voraciously soaking up marketing pearls from Godin, Marie Forleo and other b-school geniuses with the intention of joining their ranks. Permission Marketing, while not his latest venture, nevertheless, is full of effective, 21st century steps to turn strangers into friends, and friends into customers.

See, Seth is my guru. And not just in the boardroom. As a budding creative, I am not content in just one arena, and neither is he. A bestselling author, marketer, consultant, entrepreneur, and overall finger-on-the-pulse idea man, he blazes a path for the firestarter in me: as a writer, collaborator, artist, entrepreneur, engaged citizen, and yes – lover. I cannot remain tightly furled in one area, while trying to blossom in another. Uncorking that bottle of Champagne means releasing all the bubbles…and my cup, dear readers, wants to runneth over. I am expanding into a realm near you.

Which means not only am I getting ready to launch new work projects, but yes, I’m also dating again, after a healthy hiatus. I took my demons & damsels-in-distress down to the river and banged stones on them until the waters ran clean and clear and now it’s sheet day, folks! See the bright whiteness hanging on the line, breeze fluttering, just waiting for someone to come along and make up the bed? Well, grab that bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé, a couple of glasses, and follow us as we turn strangers into friends and friends into lovers.

THE JOY OF SETH

(or How to Cross-Pollinate the Principles of Business & Pleasure)

1. Get Permission First.

Widen your lens. Just because we’re out together, doesn’t mean you’re in. My first passion is people – the whole spectrum. Strangers, acquaintances, friends, confidants, colleagues, associates, partners, even ex-boyfriends. I enjoy the company of them all. It’s only with another that we truly know ourselves – it’s a subjective world, after all. I’ll hold up my mirror, if you hold up yours. So, get permission from me first to pass from platonic to romantic. It’s not assumed nor automatic. Don’t move on to step 2 unless the coast is clear on step 1.

2. Create Anticipation.

Why, oh why, are we so obsessed with instant gratification? You know as well as I do that anticipation is the most powerful aphrodisiac – when you crave something so bad it’s all your mind can focus on. Rush through it? Nah – this is the fun part! Don’t pounce. Don’t whiz past the scenery. Don’t go in for the kiss, just to ‘get it out of the way’ (as someone once did – how unromantic is that?) Build up excitement. Generate every marketer’s dream: have the desire there before you even launch. Seduce me. Give me no option but to incessantly fantasize about getting my hands on you. Make me unable to think about work or sleep or food until I do.

3. Make It Personal

Red roses? Yawn. Chocolate? I know better than you where to get the really good stuff. Teddy bears? What am I? Twelve? (You’d be surprised what a 35 year old man will show up with.) Then there was the guy whose philosophy was to cast a wide net to increase his odds – he’d ask out every woman in the bar. I don’t want to be a stat in your probability experiment. Take time getting to know who I am, because I am the exception to your rules and expectations. Set yourself apart. Be original. Customize the experience, to us. Pinpoint a shared passion – so we may revel together. One size doesn’t fit all. And really, do you want the one that fits all, or who fits you – perfectly?

4. Be Relevant

Grab my attention. Give me yours. I don’t want to watch your football team on TV, I want to run on the field with you. I don’t want to hear about glory days, rather, let’s strap on the climbing gear and trek the Himalayas. Skip the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s; instead, taste, feel, and mold those dreams into sparkling reality. I want possibility & revelation. So go ahead and reveal…I won’t ask for what I’m not prepared to give, and neither should you.

Know what I’m really interested in?  YouYour imagination.  Your spark.  Your essence.

Know what else I’m interested in?  Showing you mine

So, where do we go from here? According to our digital-age mastermind, once permission has been granted, and these steps have been climbed, three outcomes are likely: trust, loyalty, and frequency. What marketer, er…person, could ask for more? Try ’em & let me know how it works out… I’ll be waiting for you.

***********************

I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman. ~ Anais Nin

All she wants to do is dance. ~ Don Henley

Just Another One Of The 13.9 Million Unemployed

Unemployed. Out on a limb. Yep, that’s me.

I cashed my last paycheck 15 months ago, back in the middle of the recession. On purpose. With purpose.

I had a good job, a great one, even – with a prescription plan, dental checkups, three-day weekends, and a 401K. It was rollicking, good fun and I knocked off by 4pm, at the latest. The company’s prestige was stellar, my colleagues were exceptional, and there was opportunity for growth. The wine flowed. Have I mentioned the magnum of ’82 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, uncorked just for me?

People thought I was out of my mind, people who had lost their home, steady income, health insurance, a chunk of their retirement account, their sense of security and self-worth. Why the hell would I willingly walk away when worlds were crumbling?

Because great was not good enough.

Because when the market is down, I’m like Warren Buffett.

Because there’s no place like the right time. And it was my time.

Once, a few years earlier, the CEO, this restaurateur who built his empire from the dining room floor of a neglected neighborhood all the way up to the skyscrapers of Dubai, poked his head into my office and greeted me with a rhetorical, “Hey, Kellie! Workin’ hard?” before he turned and continued walking down the hallway.

“No,” I replied. “Not really.”

Mid-stride, he hesitated. Uh-oh. I had caught him off guard.

Now here’s the guy who signed my paychecks, and probably didn’t appreciate my cheekiness, but truly, I wasn’t working hard. Work hard is what my dad did – a veterinarian by day, a farmer at night. It’s what the lobstermen do here in Maine, hauling traps in dangerous weather. It’s what moms do everyday. It’s what he did, twenty years prior, when he opened his first place, when he took a risk on real estate next to a methadone clinic and earned the trust of each customer, one by one.

That’s what I really wanted to do, take a risk. Not support someone else’s vision, but manifest my own. And for that, I’ll bloody my knuckles, scrub the basement with a two-bristled brush, and sell my soul. For it was my soul that was banging on the bars, begging to be filled. I left those spreadsheets and time cards to be filled by someone else.

Now, pour a jigger of my former boss’s entrepreneurial sensibility over ice, add a dash or three of my tendency to disregard the financial and cultural climate, garnish the rim with a dusting of dreams… and voilà! Here I am, taking an emotional gamble and it’s the hardest damn work I’ve ever done. But did I have to launch my rocket during the recession? Couldn’t I have waited for the terra to be a bit more firma?

Nah. What better time to cliff dive than when the economy is weak and I’m feeling strong. Better odds that way. I’ll grow despite, with less resistance, as everyone’s running for cover. The vine must struggle? I’ll leave that to the viticulturists…

Not to say it hasn’t been scary.

Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of feeling vulnerable, looking stupid, being rejected.

Overcoming these? Not so easy.

How about getting Lyme disease without insurance in these Tea Party times? Or paring down, living on $12,000 a year? Then figuring out how to build a website, a platform, a freelance income, a brand new life?

THAT’S sweat equity.

Then comes the real effort. Maintaining health, cultivating creativity, releasing stubborn obstacles, and breaking habits with gripping roots of steel. It takes commitment, fortitude, perseverance… and a plan. You have to know what you want to get what you want.

First, know thyself. And that is the hardest work of all.

I give thanks every day for all I do have, especially my solid support system, for without loving friends and family (and those random kindnesses of strangers), these challenges would feel a lot more like struggles.

At the end of it all, being one of almost 14 million was NOT on my wish list, but it will undoubtedly lead me to become that one IN a million.

Just like the ’82 Bordeaux. I’m sure of it.

Besides, with markets continuing to crash and real estate still iffy, you’ve got to invest in something worthwhile, right? Might as well be yourself.

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