I don’t know about you, but I am stressed out! My life is constantly about sorting out the details. Where is my client; where are they going; what’s the purpose of this call; breaking it down to tangible and easily consumed pieces of information. Even when I feel overwhelmed, I think that my clients have it worse. They have millions of pieces of information flowing towards them and all that they can do is absorb it and hope to filter out extraneous information to make clear decisions. We are closing in on weeks before the Election and all I can do is do the best that I can to make it to the end (in one piece). Hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
I work in short term gratification with my donors. This kind of psychology can only lead to disappointment if you’re looking for immediate results or success so learning to be more patient and to roll with something that doesn’t guarantee a positive outcome is something I need to work on. It’s also considered one of the most important qualities of someone who has achieved great success. Learn more about what else are common practices who are deemed “superachievers”.
If you’re looking for inspiration to recharge your career, learn how you can reinvent yourself without quitting your job. It sounds hard to do because let’s face it, there are times when the environment is toxic and it’s working against you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t change the rules. If you’ve been in an industry long enough, you know the players and people’s expectations but you can turn it on its head. I’ve been looking for ways how I can reinvent my own career and these ideas have given seed to a few creative outlets.
Along that mindset, I know that I have a few readers out there who are in the same boat with thinking about how to thrive as we approach midlife. You crazy youngins’ aren’t the only ones trying to navigate your way through personal and professional crises 🙂 Once you think that you have something mastered, something else becomes an obstacle. For the longest time, I was the youngest person in the room and now, I’m one of the more “seasoned” operatives :/ Along with mastering a skill, comes the potential of boredom and what I’m learning is that there are always new ways to do the same thing. I continue to carve time out for things for me to learn that have nothing to do with my professional life. So if you see me with my headphones on, I’m likely to be listening to a French lesson and I’m fortunate to be associated with WIN, where the young women who comprise this organization keep me in awe of their audaciousness and espirit de corp of their sisterhood. So to all of my millennial sisters, I welcome you to the next generation who will inspire you as much as you have encouraged me. You’ll probably have a similar situation when you reach your “seasoned” years so keep striving for your goals even after you achieve them.
When I’m this stressed out, I tend to go inward. I was on the phone earlier today with a colleague of mine who mentioned that we have inadequately kept in touch (we equally share responsibility). It can be challenging when there aren’t enough days/hours in the week to do all that needs to be done. I recognize that when we get into this crazy mode, we’re channeling as much energy to stay focused. Adrenaline kicks in and we’re wafting through the motions just to get through. I honestly have serious brain drain. As in I can barely think straight. I am so overextended that it takes every ounce of strength to manage my day, get enough rest and to do it again the next day and the next day, until finally we reach the end. So it’s a good reminder that there are 20 different things that I can do to improve my current situation. Do I do all of them – hell no but getting to a couple are making me a more sane person 🙂
Looking for inspiration on how entrepreneurs got their start? There’s a great podcast that addresses that particular topic – How I Built This. Learn about their stories and what they went through to get to where they are today.
This is an oldie but goodie article from 2007 and it still resonates today. Becoming the boss isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be because the “control” that you think you have is really an illusion. Managing up and down is exhausting and if anything, it makes me sometimes wonder if I can go back to the days when I didn’t have any responsibility and was a junior staffer. What is extremely fulfilling is knowing that I can engage in teamwork and my team acknowledges that the office is a team. I will stand by them when things don’t go as planned and I will applaud them and give them credit for outstanding work. It’s only together that we can provide the kind of attention to detail and work product that exemplifies the brand that we’ve created.
Alright – that’s it for this week – let me know what you think! Thanks for reading/sharing and see you next Tuesday!
It’s terrific knowing that there’s a woman whose in the corner of every woman who is an entrepreneur. Learn more about Frédérique “Fred” Irwin and what she’s doing to help women business owners thrive.
Being a woman of color raised by a Vietnamese mother and a German American father, I have a lot of memories of being surrounded by all kinds of people. To be perfectly honest, I have to look in the mirror to remind myself that I’m AAPI. My internal compass tells me that I’m AAPI but yet not completely. So the mirror reminds me and sometimes there are people who want to remind me that I don’t belong. My stories are different from those who are a different ethnic background and to read it from Solange Knowles makes me feel that we can only support one another whenever any of us are confronted with “not belonging”.
Also as a woman, we should be there for one another when it’s time to take credit for an idea or work that we’ve produced. The women of the White House had proximity to power but still had to work to be in the room, to have a seat at the table, or to be included in senior level meetings.
I loved this article so much because it really spoke to me to just do it. You can fail and you will learn so much from just the act of doing. 2009 was a great year for me in that I grew so much by doing – I took up surfing, learned to ride a motorcycle, took jazz singing lessons and sang in public – all things that didn’t necessarily directly help me professionally, but it helped me to stop talking about things and doing things instead. That also translated in me taking more risks in my work and reminded me to be invested in my work.
September is always an exciting month and as we count down to Election Day, it just keeps getting better! I’m on the road later this week so looking forward to making new friends and visiting longtime supporters. Hope you’re making the most of the week!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
There are days when I absolutely love the work that I do. I’m excited to face the day and I’m fulfilling a goal, but honestly, who doesn’t have moments when you just can’t. even. My go-to on those days is to step back and think about the big picture. Oftentimes, you get into the weeds to get a job done and that means you loose sight of the goals of your work and the higher purpose. It’s my “Why” and it’s the reason I use to keep my team motivated. They need to know their “Why” as well. What do you do to stay motivated in your job?
So what happens when you resolve to step out of your current career to make a significant change? How do you know if you’re in a career funk? Before making the leap, there are ways to gauge your level of anxiety. Maybe it means that you need to do some new things to give yourself a different outlet from your professional life. Or maybe it’s a change in mental attitude. Breathing energy into a boring work scene can make a difference in your wellness.
I got a chance to catch up with my friend, Andrew Fullerton who heads up GAIN, the Government Affairs Industry Network and it’s a great organization where you can network within the government affairs/lobbing industry for free. There are educational webinars to learn about new tools as well as trends that affect the legislative process. They also have partnership events that allow for broader networking. Have a look see and meet people who work in advocacy!
Are you looking for conversation starters when you go to an interview? If you’re looking for starters for networking events, these would work too! For those of us who need to practice to be less rote, it’s good to have some ideas in advance to not get caught with the same dry questions. Now go out there and network!
I’m always trying to think of ways to give thanks to contributors and since some clients aren’t necessarily development driven, it can be hard to be creative but we find ways without spending a lot of money to express our appreciation. If you’re a non-profit who does do development, here are some ways that you can thank your donors and make them feel the love!
Alright folks, let me know how you’re doing – I feel a survey coming along so get ready to give me your feedback on what you want to read more of and how I can help you through this crazy life! Thanks for reading/sharing and I’ll catch you next week!!
Oh lawdy! We are IN IT! Are you wondering what I’m talking about?? It’s the day after Labor Day, which is the official start of GOTV and campaign crazy! Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but if you’ve been reading along with me then you know that this is what we’re all about in politics! I spent the last few days on a work trip that just reinforces the crazy that we go through in fundraising. I was in an area that was affected by Tropical Storm Hermine and I had donors coming to a retreat. There is definitely a moment when you wonder if you’re insane or even slightly out of your mind to recommend to your client that they move forward with flying through a tropical storm to make the event. It all worked out and that’s all that really matters!
Here’s Tuesday Truths!
When I think about what’s ahead of me for the next 60 some days, I think about treading water and making sure that I’m doing what I need to do so that I can maintain a certain level of intensity. I know that I can’t sustain it beyond that because I’ve mentally prepared myself for this kind of insanity. Once the deadline is reached, I’m all about giving myself a reboot. Read Tanya Tarr‘s day in the life when she needs a hard restart (which I will be ready for post election!).
I’ve always believed that community makes you grow as an individual. You can find your place in it and you can also help to build the community into a stronger place for others. It allows you to diversify your thoughts and as much effort you put into it, people will welcome you into a support system. I think of it as building an ecosystem where everyone plays a part. Be unafraid to embrace the parts of you that people may not always necessarily understand. You are being authentic to yourself and to others for that matter. There will be times when you’ll need to conform to get along and in small doses it doesn’t have to contradict who you really are as a person. These are just a couple of tips that can provide you with the ability to empower yourself to do more.
I’m such a big proponent to knowing your why. In a big sense of the question, “Why am I here?”, it flows to why each task is moving towards progress of an even bigger accomplishment. I often explain to my team why I’m asking them to do something because it helps to show them that even though going through a call list is a big pain in the arse, it means we’re calling through to make sure people have received an invite and have an event on their radar screen. Small tasks = bigger results. Since the premise for all of us is to achieve bigger results, it helps to focus everyone with the task at hand. If you need ways to focus yourself, here are ideas that you can use to reach your goals and vanquish “monkey mind”.
Hey introverts! Looking for a guide to help you grow into your leadership roles? Extroverts aren’t better than introverts and vice versa. We need a mix to make a dynamic organization successful. Being the loudest doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the best idea, just like not allowing yourself the time to gather your energy as an introvert is not the wisest technique when you prepare to network. A little bit of one another’s best traits can build solid leaders.
Do you ever have to write fundraising solicitation letters? I do it quite often and writing in the voice of the principal, whether it’s the candidate or elected official or senior leadership of an organization, requires that you know their voice and tone when writing these “stories”. One of the more technical things you need to know is that an active voice does much better in getting donors/prospects to move towards action. Here’s a great test you can take if you’re checking to see if you’re writing in an active voice. It’s also quite clever!
Along the same lines of communicating what your organization does, it’s important to also understand your audience. You’re creating a narrative of accomplishments and goals as well as outlining how donors can contribute towards a shared objective. For non-profits, there are words that really resonate with donors and have been helped to move them to contribute. What are the 2 words after “please” that mean a great deal? If you said, “thank you” then you’re on the right track to understanding a typical donor’s psychology. Thank you is great, but it’s even more important to make sure you spell that donor’s name correctly. You don’t want to ruin all of the good work you put into securing the contribution to leave a bad taste with a misspelled name!
THANK YOU for reading/sharing and let me know what tips have helped you!