Midwesterners: We Like To Work Hard

I’m a Kansas girl who grew up on a farm in a small town that has yet to get stoplights. Let’s start by getting this out of the way.

No, I’m not in Kansas anymore!

Feel better?

 

People who weren’t from my home state usually said how boring it was but they weren’t able to appreciate barn parties and bonfires every weekend.

They would inevitably say how flat it was but, unfortunately, they didn’t stay long enough to watch the most amazing, colorful sunset sink into a clear, wide open view of the stars.

They think it’s funny when I say pop instead of soda.

Guys…I married a man who doesn’t like ranch.

I don't own the rights to this photo

 

Growing up in a town where my teachers taught my parents before me (and taught my siblings and cousins after me) had every challenge you imagine it would. But it also came with generations of built-in close friends and a community I loved calling home.

Like any high schooler, I was ready to leave home and get away to college but I never had dreams of living in a big city. I always appreciated and loved the simplicity of what was around me. It was familiar, it was humbling and it rooted something in me I could instantly recognize in myself and other Midwesterners no matter where I was.

Many stayed behind to start families, careers or take over their parents business. A few moved out to bigger, larger cities. A handful moved to other states or out of the country.

As one of those kids who (continues) to move around, venturing back home maybe once a year I felt the urge to share something with that high school girl who just started her senior year or that almost-college graduate wondering what the *!?#@% to do with his life. You’ve already been built up with one of the most admired work ethics in the country. You need to acknowledge everything you already are. It revolves around some basic things you probably heard in your household. The values and ethics you were raised on are something to hold close, be proud of and live by every day. Here are just a few…

You Get What You Earn, Not What You Want.

Work Hard. Stay Humble. It’ll Pay Off.

Help Someone Out. You Are No Better Than Them.

 


Big 12 Championship

Big 12 Championship Photo by Flickr. B Willard

You Get What You Earn, Not What You Want.

The biggest part of my childhood was 4-H. Every day, week, month and year was filled with leadership positions, livestock I was accountable for, kids I was a role model for, responsibilities and WORK before play.

While some friends spent summers going to the pool or movies, I was walking my sheep, selling corn or delivering eggs. While kids would come to the fair for the carnival, I was showing my animals, caring for them, working concession stands and representing 4-H at appearances.

I was rewarded with ribbons, trophies and sashes (which were fun and all) but the real prize was the money earned that would put me through school.

I was surrounded by others who would pay for their future education through baseball, football, volleyball or another sport/art. Being surrounded by people who were busy working two or more jobs, practicing constantly and choring daily instilled a work ethic that made you aware you got what you earned, not always what you wanted.

You didn’t get to harvest crops by not tilling, planting, watering or caring for them. You have to put in the work.

You didn’t get to win a state championship or competition by showing up never having practiced and wishing for the best. You lift the weights, you repeat your routine, you put your ego aside to work as a team and you go earn the title. You have to put in the work.

You don’t get the job just because you interviewed. You prepare, you might get it and then you prove yourself every day. You have to put in the work.

There’s a reason people in every industry love to recruit from the Midwest…

 


A man's glove should show what he has done not what he hasn't.

A man’s glove should show what he has done not what he hasn’t. (I do not own the rights to this photo)

Work Hard. Stay Humble. It’ll Pay Off.

This is a blessing and a curse I’ve heard about from many professionals. Because Midwesterners are raised to be humble and their work is usually done outside of the public eye, it’s difficult to ‘brag’ on yourself in a job interview when listing your accomplishments feels too showy.

I had turned down job opportunities in Kansas and Nebraska to follow the love of my life, who of course is totally worth it, around the world in pursuit of his demanding career. I felt like I had worked and won and worked and won…but I was faced with the greatest transition to date when I moved.

I need to throw in a very candid note for the military wives I have reading this…This still proves to be the hardest challenge of our marriage. Watching him get promotions while I struggle to find even a decent-paying job, only to move again is something MILSOs experience daily. It can be hard to get accustomed to a new area, make new friends, leave your family, turn down opportunities, lose control of your schedule and even your identity when you ‘always thought you’d live up to be more.’ I am beyond proud of my husband’s accomplishments but I crave to do something/be someone that he is proud of. I get it.

You will sacrifice most every privilege and ownership you’ve known. You will leave every comfort, place your belongings in the hands of strangers multiple times in your life, go months without speaking to your spouse and it might seem no one will understand.

I do. That’s the #1 reason I started Local Collaborative so I could have something I could control and provide a tele-working opportunity for other spouses and market businesses they own. If we’re not personally connected, please reach out here and connect to the socials below. You’re doing so much better than you think you are!

 

My first big-kid job was 100% commission selling insurance. Absolutely not what I ever set out to do but the drive to make a living and do something was making me stubborn. I immediately recognized the work ethic of those around me and what I was drawn to or what set me apart.

That showed with weekly stats, numbers and accounts and you don’t have to say a thing. People are attracted to doing business with someone who was transparent, ethical, honest. Be the first one in and the last one out. Your drive to figure out how to make something work far exceeded my humility from being told no 200 times a day (literally). Once you’ve learned the value of happiness then you don’t put a prize on things.

I’ve admired my friends who have also moved to new locations and picked up jobs they didn’t think they would have. I admire my friends who were brave enough to start their own venture and those who kept doing what they loved and knew to be right even if others didn’t agree. Just like at the dinner table, eat what you’re given and make the most of it. Be aware enough to walk away if a seat at the table is no longer being offered.

 


blue collar and white collar

Help Someone Out. You Are No Better Than Them.

 

“People here are so rude.” False. I believe that if you’re a good person, doing good things then good things will happen to you. Now is the time to use those church manners, bless their heart!

No matter what is said or done around you, you can never go wrong by being polite. Not because that person was a condescending A-Hole but because YOU are not the type of person to react by being a condescending A-Hole.

Throw a smile out there, be kind to an unkind person, hold a door or pull that shopping cart out of the parking spot even.if.you.didn’t.put.it.there.

A while back I heard a comment that ‘people who settled to be a bartender or waiter were just being lazy’ and ironically they also thought people in our area were rude. Being surrounded by family, friends and a REGION of blue collar workers, they’re willing to do a lot more and a lot harder work than most of us. You never, ever know what someone is going through and I would hope you would treat people as though they’re your own.

They could be a single parent, a student or someone who dreamed of owning their own bar someday so they’re loving your business!

They could be working this as a side job or something until they get back on their feet. TIP WELL!

If you don’t want to be around rude people then don’t be a rude person.

And don’t tell me you’re bored. Only boring people are bored.

 


 

In a small town when you win, you win together. When you lose, you lose together.

The compassion that farmers show to other farmers in times of a drought, fire or other disaster is astounding. That is a way of life, a paycheck and what keeps a family going. When we’ve seen one go down, there are ten more willing to help out.

farm to table

Some of my favorite memories are driving down the main street to see every sign that could possibly be covered filled with Good Luck messages. When our boys competed hard at state and just barely fell short of the win, the town still showed up late that night to cheer for them getting off the bus. When we were putting on a spring show that same team came in right after practice to watch and support us. When you lift others up you will also be lifted up. If that’s something you want then go put it out there.

baseball

One of my favorite things about going back home is the community that continues to stand for the same things we always have. Moving around will always provide you with growth and unique opportunities you wouldn’t get back home but there’s that familiarity you can always return to.

Where you likely spent 20 years of your life. Where you drove down main street with your friends, that road you learned to drive on, that field you snuck into, the playground you had your first kiss at or the swingset you had your first heartbreak at.

 

No matter where you end up, how high you climb or whatever title you receive, take your roots with you and remember where you came from.

Bring what you learned back to your town to help out. Thank someone who built you up and let them celebrate your achievements. Then go back out there and work even harder for what’s important to you. That yellow brick road will always lead you back home.

I know I just had to.

 

 

Cheers!
Marin

I do not own the rights to this photo

 

 

 

Ask Better Questions

“Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.”

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told.

Why not “Ask better questions, get better answers?” It’s got the glass-half-full ring to it and provides us the opportunity to dive deeper in our relationships, conversations and learning.

If you ask better questions to potential employees, you get better employees.

If you ask better questions during a job interview, you get a better job experience and more learning or promotional opportunities.

If you ask better questions when you’re dating, you get better partners.

 

Asking questions to ensure or communicate that you’re still listening and on the same track is imperative in live videos, webinars and communications. Don’t just say you’re listening or give a false job as a hope to keep busy…you can offer real understand and valuable help if your communication is clear and accurate.

 

Another reason to ask better questions is avoiding group think. Group think is when you’re in a group of people, maybe a team meeting, and you’re trying to solve a problem. But you can’t seem to come up with any different solutions. It’s the feeling of knowing something isn’t right but there’s a tall, wide and thick brick wall just covering up what’s on the other side.

When you stay silent you become part of the group and don’t avoid being the ‘odd one out’ by providing a different answer. When you ask the same questions, you get the same answers. Ask something different, to a different person and you’ll get a different answer.

 

What you WANT to hear and what you NEED to hear might be different. Try asking the question that provides the answer you haven’t yet, or don’t, want to hear. Be original. Don’t just repeat the same thing to every person. By tailoring your conversation and paying special attention to what the person in front of you is saying to you, you’re able to ask because you’re curious not just because you’re nosy.

Show that you’re actually paying attention by elaborating on the last thing they said and translate the fact that you were actually there with them, listening to them.

 

Try this perspective out…It’s not always YOU that has to change.

It’s the other person that needs to better understand you.

That’s your job to communicate.

If you can’t effectively speak, write or communicate yourself (or your message) in the correct order then you’re identifying a weakness. By merging your best skills and strengths you can truly influence and solve a problem.

When you speak you’re always standing up and speaking to others. People are looking for that sign and encouragement of being with you. They’ll validate you externally or in a secondary action but you can’t improve your personal development if you’re not getting personal with your topics and audience.

 

If you’re a millennial reading this you have to understand we have the most valuable thing on our side right now: TIME. Don’t waste that by asking and learning the same thing everyone else is or is telling you what you should do. Branch out, be original, think for yourself and ask everyone you meet better questions.

 

Cheers!

Marin

A phone call is always free. If you’re curious about how digital marketing and creating a brand could help you, I’d love to talk.

If you liked this, please share below!

The Credit Belongs To The Man In The Arena

I was listening to Daring Greatly by Brene Brown when she quoted a passage so powerful I stopped what I was doing and just listened.

I recognized it as Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.” I had read this before and thought it was great but then I met my husband and realized how important it was to him.

Image result for the man in the arena

When I first met Drew there were several Army posters hanging around his college bachelor apartment. One of them showcased a green beret above the statement “It says more about you than you’d ever say about yourself.” It was a sentence that instantly branded itself in my mind.

This was him. It was what he cared about and didn’t care about. It’s what he stood up for and what he stayed seated for. I had never met someone as humble, hardworking and steadfast as he was. He had always earned the best grades, performed as an outstanding athlete and was respected for his professionalism. The only time you heard the list of awards and achievements was if someone else was reading them off while he was earning another one. I was amazed, impressed and encouraged to be better.

 

In Daring Greatly, Brown shares how her daughter came home from school crying. To make a long story short, the two popular kids would pick their soccer teams a few people at a time by calling out their names. They would then ‘split the others.’ She was upset because she was never called by her name but considered an ‘other.’

Starting at a young age we are always distinguished between groups and rankings; mostly as a source of convenience but also as a progress marker. Personally I wasn’t the STAR athlete (I think coaches breathed a sigh of relief when I stepped off the court or field). I was on the JV squad and was embarrassed my parents had to come so early to the games. Surely they liked watching my sister play Varsity sports much better.

Those good at sports and then the others

I wasn’t the smartest, at home or in school, and was told so numerous times by adults. I was sent to Sylvan Learning Center in the summer, Jumpstart Math Classes during the school year and it was a miracle I never flunked math classes. But ask me to write an English paper, I would be done in 30 minutes with A+ work.

Those who ‘got it’ and then the others.

Do. NOT. even get me started with the cruel S.O.B called puberty. If you name it, I probably dealt with it: skin, bangs, glasses, crooked teeth, braces…so I know I wasn’t the best looking! But it all calmed down and soon the kids who made fun of me were experiencing their own bouts of ‘the uglies’ so it all worked out.;)

Those kids who were blessed and then the others.

 

 

You probably also felt as though it were me against the others as any dramatic teen ever did. In every situation I always felt as though it were me against the others as any dramatic teen ever did.

You don’t have to be a parent to recognize this. We were all once children.

You had days that were awful, days that were great, times you had your heartbroken, lost the game, flunked the test or had something amazing happen you committed to memory.

The thing is you kept getting through it. You have made it through 100% of your bad days and you are still going. The point is that you keep trying, keep working, keep fighting.

The credit goes to the man in the arena, not the man who is showing off his ticket to the game.

Too often there are people stealing valor, using their rank or position, bragging on their accomplishments, belittling those trying to make it…

You are going to be undervalued and overworked. You might be putting in the hours, the dirt, sweat and grime but someone else is the face of your hard work. They’re publicizing their piece when there are multiple others doing more, working harder and putting in the time.

You can be the person criticizing political choices on Facebook or you can take action to physically make something good happen. They’re the truly grateful ones not the ones who put on a facade of being one person but turn around and turn into another.

As Roosevelt said…the credit belongs to the man who keeps trying and trying; not the one who thinks he’s made it. “Not the cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” The people who know there is more success in avoiding complacency than there is in good enough.

 

In life, in love, in business…there is always something better than good enough. As long as you’re learning, working and pursuing what sets your soul on fire, you are the man in the arena. Don’t be the person saying how much you’re doing; be the person putting in the work and making a difference. There are those who will put pretentious titles in their bios, take credit for uncompleted degrees or post photos of the ‘sacrifices’ they are making.

Look behind them for the ones truly making a difference.

These are the ones worth knowing.

 


Do you still feel like you’re missing that one thing to take your business to the next level? I can help with that.

 

Talk soon. Cheers!

Marin

Four Phrases I Can’t Stand

There are a few words or phrases that seem to strike a nerve in everyday speech…c’mon we’ve all got them…

But there are a few in particular that have been standing out to me lately. I’ve heard them in my own speech, in my friend’s words or in conversations with my family members. I see them littering my Facebook page, haphazardly thrown in for a character on television or anyone else looking for a problem versus a solution.

Words like self-love, self-hatred, vulnerability, shame and guilt immediately come to mind when I hear these phrases and it not only breaks my heart but also frustrates me. These phrases are something I have tried to pay attention to in my own thoughts and instill in those around me. I am sure someone famous has said something more eloquent but here’s a little Marin-ism:

What you hear, you repeat.

What you think, you say.

Imagine everything you are saying or hearing is being said to a child. Would you correct it?

If someone were talking to a younger version of YOU, would you want someone to step in?

 

If you heard a someone being bullied or a friend was feeling down, you would of course step in. So why are you so doubtful and hateful to yourself?

In an airplane you put on your oxygen mask before you help others.

If you’re a parent or spouse, you should be taking alone time to recharge so you don’t check out when your family/spouse needs you.

If you’re offering someone comfort but have none yourself, you’re hurting two people and helping none. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

I encourage you to change the way you’re communicating with others. People will love your honesty and transparency. They understand you are a human and by being shameless and owning your message, you are choosing who you become. You are choosing what type of person people say you are; what type of person they’re respecting.

Take a look at these phrases I’m eliminating from my speech as often as possible. Let me know if they sound familiar.

 

I can’t.

…be that fit…answer that….do that…because….

I can’t drives me nuts when people use it as an excuse to get out of something. You CAN do, be, say or choose anything; it’s just up to you.

You HAVE time for what you MAKE time for.

There are how many(?) obese people who turned their lives around because they stopped drinking and eating crap and they went to the gym. Instead of fit say healthy.

I can’t be healthy.    Bullshit.

Your family needs you and there are plenty of people who WISH they had a capable body like you do. Use it. You are smarter than you think and more capable than you seem. If you must say ‘I Can’t’ then say ‘I Can’t Yet’.

BEST QUOTES ABOUT LOVE- Photo

 

I shouldn’t.

…leave early…say anything…go out…

To me, this is more internal. There are numerous times in your life when something happens and you SHOULD tell someone or say something but your mind thinks ‘I shouldn’t.’ In the U.S. this is a huge issue and can be seen as a clear difference between males and females. There are people with answers and secrets tucked away yet something inside of them is saying ‘I shouldn’t share this because…I will be called names/My friends will make fun of me/It will change how my family/friends/co-workers see me.’

How can we possibly share anything with an audience that is constantly shaming you for any decision you make? People will go after anything so do what you feel is right. If you have your work done and can go home, GO HOME. Who cares if you’re the last one in the office day-in, day-out? That’s exhausting, it’s not a badge of honor.

I shouldn’t say anything….Well are you telling or are you tattling? Are you telling a friend about a cheating partner in order to save some catastrophic relationship or are you tattling because you just don’t like the guy? Are you telling a friend the outfit is bad because it’s see-through or because it’s not what you would wear?

I shouldn’t go out….if you have some change to spare, go out. Your homework can get done in the morning. Don’t make this a daily lifestyle where you choose alcohol (or insert whatever your vice is) over responsibilities but life is meant to be enjoyed and you deserve some fun.

 

I should.

…do that…make that…organize this room…clean it out…I should, but…

I used to do this all. the. time. Mostly as a formality or a polite way to move along a conversation. It’s just easier than telling someone you’re not interested or don’t agree. Maybe four out of five times though, I didn’t follow through. By giving people a type of false hope or opening of a possibility, it drags them on. I’ve started politely being open and bluntly honest to save us all time. For door knockers, for salesmen, for whoever that one person is that nags you about that one thing; just do it and do it politely.

Change out ‘should’ with ‘won’t’.

I should clean out this room this weekend but honestly, I won’t so please don’t change your schedule.

I should look into buying this car but honestly I won’t be making a decision. I’ll call you if I’m ever interested.

In some of those interactions there is someone’s payday on the line. PLEASE, for the love of all good things, DO NOT give false hope where there is none. It will make a better surprise in the future than it would a disappointment.

Being candid from the start is better than always backtracking, creating excuses and coming off as flaky down the road.

 

It is what it is.

An excuse I heard numerous times in the world of a 100% commission Insurance Sales Agent. Not only did this just leave me frustrated, confused and let down but I had no clue what to say back or where to improve.

Now this is just a funny nuisance to hear but when people use it as an excuse to avoid change or use it as an answer, I refuse to accept it. Instead ask “Well, what do you mean by that?” Do they really mean ‘No’ or do they mean that it’s confusing so they’d rather shut it down than get answers to their questions?

Throw in some empathy but offer encouragement. Just because things are a certain way right now does not mean that they will stay that way. (THANK GOODNESS THIS IS TRUE FOR PUBERTY,  RIIIGHHTT?! 😉 

  • Take a minute to be upset. Punch a pillow, bawl your eyes out or write down how much whatever happened sucks. Because super sucky things will happen. These feelings exist because they’re important. Acknowledge them.
  • Think about it. Is there anything that you can change? Is it something you WANT to change? Is it beneficial, harmful, healthy or positive? Great. Then look at how you are going to get there.
  • And Go. Choose the next best step, do the next best thing and just start. If you decide this actually isn’t going to benefit you or isn’t worth changing then find the power in ‘It is what it is’ and move on. Something even better is about to happen.

 

Sorry.

This makes me cringe when used constantly. I understand this is a simple way to convey empathy to someone for something you truly do feel sorry for, even if it’s not something that you inflicted upon them.

But when you use it consistently, it starts losing it’s meaning. You’re apologizing for your feelings when it’s something that’s accurate? You’re apologizing for your actions but you keep repeating them? You’re apologizing for not being good enough?

Find better speech. Find more accurate things to say and describe what you mean. It will make you feel more confident and it will better share what your intention is. Put the woe-is-me away and bring out the gratitude you want to actually express.

Something about starting off with an apology always puts you in the wrong in the two steps back position when you probably don’t mean to. I would much rather hear ‘Thank You’ than ‘I’m Sorry.’ It leaves all of us feeling better.

I love this image every time I come across it and what better message to leave you with:

replace I'm sorry with thank you

 

What phrases have you changed up lately? Please share them in the comments with us.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Psssttt… Next week there’s a BONUS download…Make sure you’re following this blog to grow your business!

1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse

*Feel free to share*

I went to our local farmer’s market this weekend and while we walked around purchasing random products and speaking to the owners, I noticed how they presented themselves and their tables.

One lady was head down, sitting, playing on her phone.📲 Another was standing up, energetically talking to every customer approaching the table and explaining how and why her treats were different, with a creative, cute, unique setup. 🙋🏼‍♀️

I went online to reach out to everyone and connect them with Local Collaborative. The woman sitting down had over 35k followers on Instagram (?!) and the one standing up engaging had only 300 followers. 🙇🏼‍♀️

Are you the one with 300 (or less) followers, feeling like you’re trying everything but it’s just not working and questioning if you should even do this for a living? 🤦🏼‍♀️

Or are you the 35k who think you’ve made it and have maybe taken a backseat. Maybe you don’t know the next step. You might want to sell, start something new, collaborate or expand but just don’t have the time to manage it all.

There’s a secret.

It’s absolutely priceless when you know how to communicate your story. Don’t let the fear of “not having a story” or “not being a good writer” keep you from achieving a great impact. I’ll let you choose what to call that: 1) A false belief or 2) A BS excuse. 💁🏼‍♀️

You can be both creative and strategic. Business can be fun. 💸🎉 Let this be a wake up call and take action ➡️RIGHT NOW.⬅️ If you’re a business owner or know an entrepreneur, please don’t hesitate to share.

Let’s find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing right now. Click here.

 

Cheers!

Marin

It’s Completely Normal; Everyone Does It

I’m going to tell you something that you probably heard a lot in middle school;

it’s alright, completely normal; everybody does it.

When a friend, a co-worker or an emergency presents you with a problem there is a mini flight or fight response that drives you to find a solution. It’s alright. We all do it.

When you’re in a state of discomfort or danger you find the next best solution and put your blinders on as you charge toward that until you know you’re safe. This is completely normal.

 

What I am talking about is searching for problems or searching for solutions.

 

There’s a blessing and a curse for us all that tells us to be the caretaker or the guiding light when a situation close to us requires you to find a solution. We want to give the right answer but in the hurried attempt to do so are you really providing the best answer? The permanent one? The one that’s going to stand up best to multiple scenarios?

It is just the right answer that is solving the wrong problem?

 

If you’re not the person providing the Devil’s advocate to a situation then I highly encourage you to find someone who will. The point of gathering a group or being inclusive or priding companies on diversity is being presented with a different answer or perspective than you would be able to bring to the table.

While listening to The Originals (I mentioned this in my last Book Club post) he brought up the fact that if you’re always looking for people to say or uncover the right thing (aka what you want to hear) then you’re not looking for what-ifs or constructive feedback/criticism. If you could unearth a genius, a negative space you didn’t realize was there, would you?

opportunities are problems in search of solutions

 

When you come across an issue and begin thinking of a solution, take an extra ten minutes. Take the afternoon if you can. By getting out of the urgency, you can step away from your environment completely and while working out, taking a walk, lying in bed falling asleep…you come up with something even better. If you can just give it time.

After all of your prep and this amazing moment how could anyone turn it down, right?

ERRR WRONG

You very well may get turned down. You might get told to go ahead and try it. You might be completely dismissed or they might just want a few tweaks.

This isn’t a foul move on anyone’s parts but an opportunity to take it from another angle or go one step further. Look for the next best solution to the next most relevant problem. Don’t let a few setbacks or questioning eyes discourage your search to bring more ‘what-if problems’ to the table. If it’s all in the interest of doing what’s best, you’re well on your way to the best.

How long have you had to deal with standing in the problem area? Let me know in the comments.

 

Cheers!

Marin

OH and before I forget…

I am going to be sharing a content guide in July that I probably should be selling but YOU get it for free! I am only posting it in one of the upcoming blogs so make sure you’re subscribed (Follow link to the right.)

Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.

“Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.”

Made you stop, didn’t it?

YES. It’s powerful.

 

I heard this while I was listening to the “Originals” by Adam Grant (mentioned in my latest book club post) and I’ve been thinking of the way he phrased this ever since.

When you’re speaking to a child or trying to explain something you repeat yourself probably 12,804 times…at least.

If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results.

If you keep saying the same thing, you keep repeating the same message.

If you keep talking then you don’t learn anything knew; you’re only repeating what you already know.

 

So how do you make sure a lesson sinks in? What’s more powerful:

“Don’t touch the stove.” OR “Don’t touch the stove because it will burn you and you’ll get hurt.”

I think Grant’s point in describing “Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.” was to help clients understand the difference between what is ‘worth’ fighting for and when you’re talking, what to say.

 

 

Argue Like You’re Right

Maybe argue isn’t the best choice of words here. What if it was replaced with  Stand Up, Defend, Speak or Reason?

I don’t want to assume that because I was a female or a novice employee or young were any of the reasons that I was brushed aside when it came time to share my opinion but they’ve played factors. I have shared ideas or played devil’s advocate with my concerns only to be forgotten and dismissed…until it was time to use an idea or make a profit then the credit was transferred in the blink of an eye.

I was raised in a household where the loudest voice or biggest action ended the fight so guess how quickly and often things escalated?

What have I learned from all of this?

First, I had to find a better way to communicate. I had to list out and be prepared with my thoughts. I had to check my reasoning and decide between ‘tattling or telling’ you decipher as a child. I had to stand firm and stop interruptions when they attempted to cut me short. Then I had to…

 

 

Listen Like You’re Wrong

Ego meet Ego Check. Tongue tied, lips shut, eyes and ears open wide. Be accepting and take notes if you can. Before reacting as quickly as possible, say you’re unsure. Listen with the confidence that you presented your thoughts as best as possible but be humble enough to listen for points of view that you may have missed.

When you stand up firmly, not aggressively, for what you’re trying to communicate, people are much more likely to listen and agree with you. (If not agree, at least understand where you’re coming from.)

There is always room to mutually value the opinions of yourself and those you’re working with. What you have to say, what you think and what you are doing are valuable and you deserve to be heard.  Don’t be shot down or apologize every time someone disagrees or tries to silence you. Tell them to hold on a second and argue like you’re right….then listen like you’re wrong.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Do you want to communicate your business or personal brand more effectively? Reach out.

Why Smart People (Actually) Listen

I get why a lot of people struggle to connect to others especially in an age where it’s easier than ever to share their opinions or attack others from behind a screen. It’s scary to put ourselves out there where we’re vulnerable to things we don’t want to hear.

We want to relate, teach, celebrate or be prepared to respond but we’re nervous to hear what they really think unless it’s something good.

 

Like any skill or talent it takes time and practice to grow and develop. As we get older, we change and we are required to adapt; like it or not.

How many times have you had to hear something before you started doing it?

When you hear about accidents that could have been prevented by buckling your seatbelt or putting the damn phone down?

When you hear you should eat better and workout more to avoid complications or failures but you continue to follow your same routine?

When you’re presented with ways to help you work smarter, not harder, but choose to ignore those solutions….whyyyy?!

Where is the line between “You aren’t listening” and complete silence?

Sounds like a pretty lonely world where no one is talking anymore, huh?

Seems like a naive move to stop listening, huh?

 

It’s more beneficial to post content that provides value to your audience than it is to post for the sake of ‘frequency rules.’ The purpose of communicating is providing something of value. Are you handing out teaching opportunities or invitations to a pity party?

You can be extremely influential without being polarizing. Our goal should be to communicate our message in the most clear, concise and helpful way to those listening to us. It is our job to portray ourselves, our companies and the message we want to send out. It is our job to listen to (constructive) feedback from those we’re interacting with and take it to heart.

 

The way you communicate is how you let people know what and why something is important to you and why it should be important to them.

 

There is a difference between listening and waiting your turn to speak. One is the way of arrogance and one is the way of the successful. I’ll leave you with this…

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: If you’re wanting to improve the way you communicate with others, start with everything besides your voice. Nearly 90% of consumers purchase something based solely on how it looks. If they can’t tell what you’re about in the first five seconds of looking at your brand, they won’t move forward. Let’s talk about it.

 

If you’re not willing to be embarrassed by it, you don’t deserve it.

Spouses. Work. Dreams. Goals. Money. Publications.

If you’re not willing to be embarrassed in your pursuit of something then BYE you probably don’t deserve it.

We’ve all been through that super awkward middle school phase, right? Some more than others. My hand is raised a little higher on that one.

 

I ran track and one of the events I tried was hurdles which is basically asking for the ego of anyone to be taken down a notch. Yet the best athletes are televised and they might accidentally travel, pass to the opposing team or get tongue-tied on their interview. But they’re still playing and practicing for 6+ figure salaries.

Actors and actresses get turned down daily and have some pretty demanding scenes that require vulnerability, sometimes in front of a live audience, but they brush it off and continue to work on films that will leave a legacy years after you’re gone.

We see business women, life coaches, personal trainers or friends creating personal brands on Instagram and offering themselves up for the most terrifying form of criticism: their peers.

 

But, as one of my favorite mantras  featured at the top here reminds us…

“Well done is better than well said.” -Benjamin Franklin

It’s been called failing forward, fall down seven stand up eight, get knocked down but I get up again, risk it for the biscuit….you get the picture. There is a reason that every interview, graduation speech, mentor and leader repeats the same thing over and over.

Try something before you discredit the fact you can’t even attempt it.

Post the dang photo…who cares what people say!

If you need some tough love then GET OVER YOURSELF and realize there are literally billions of people every single day who are more popular, more intelligent and harder working than you are. That’s why the word ‘growth’ exists.

If you want to write a book, start writing. Start a blog to get noticed and published. I’ll read it.

If you want to be a chef, take a cooking class. Post your beautifully plated mac and cheese on Instagram. I’ll like it.

If you want to be the next Rent The Runway or Poo-Pourri founder (I listened to both of their interviews today. Their success and income is no joke even if the company can be funny) then get out and surround yourself by the networks online and in person. Take a class. Start doing something.

 

I face embarrassment daily and (surprise) most of it has been in my own head. Apparently it’s something others weren’t even noticing.

Embarrassment each time I write about being viewed as a ‘blogger’ or ‘oversharing’ but I have yet to actually hear that. I actually have friends and family who share what I write, it’s generated business leads and I’ve received messages of appreciation from readers. Absolutely worth it.

Embarrassment of wanting to have achieved much more than I have at this point but I am praised for areas I’ve stepped up and they don’t notice I’ve even ‘fallen short.’

Embarrassment of (currently) bringing in the lowest income I have in years but I’ve felt the most confident, ethical and passionate about what I am doing right now. I’ve got a big vision and have been extremely clear on what direction I want to go. I have saved enough, and spend wisely enough, that we can continue living our lifestyle without being dependent on me receiving more money from an outside source.

 

 

In entrepreneurship, business, parenting, just LIFE you HAVE to be willing to take a pay cut, receive publicity, gamble with risks and possibly have the odds stacked against you.

Do it. Get it done. Start somewhere and follow up with the next best choice. It’s never too early to start and it’s never too late to start. Chase your idea. Just freaking do something.

Break the thinking that everything will work out perfectly. Nope, you’re going to get embarrassed and scared. Times will get tough, people will surprise you, you’ll experience burnout. Keep on, goin’.

If you ever give up or avoid doing something ‘for fear of ENTER EXCUSE HERE’ then yeah, you’re right, you don’t deserve it. When I say it I mean the wealth, prosperity, success, publications, opportunities or any other abundant thing that moves you from where you’re out to where you want to be.

It will be way more embarrassing to never try or stay put than it will be to give it a shot.

Remember when you wished for the things you have now?

 

Lastly, let’s leave with a little sass because who doesn’t need a little fun now and then? If you ever find someone trying to belittle or diminish what you’re trying to do then cut them out, real quick. Your actions will be guided by your thoughts and if your thoughts are based in fear of embarrassment you’re screwing yourself over due to someone who has no impact in your life. Do your thing and let them watch. Let them read what you’re writing. Let them stay curious about where you’re headed and where you’re going. Be encouraged by how far you’ve already come.

I think it’s motivating to read other people’s success stories because there is so much room for everyone! Please share yours in the comments for me to read.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Welcome to June! Want to take the edge off your next big, scary, exciting, possibly embarrassing step? Let’s talk.

PPS: Still have some questions? Here’s a portfolio of some brands I’ve helped achieve their next big thing. Check it out.

You’re Nice But I Still Have To Charge You

Anyone else struggle with figuring out what your time is worth?
If you provide a service or business to people you’re probably familiar with calculating what you should charge. If it’s based on hours worked or projects completed your time and talents are valuable. How do you figure out what to charge for your most valuable asset that you will never get back?

pexels-photo-313690.jpeg

Just because something is your passion doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to profit from it. That’s how every successful person got where they are now.

Not a single person on this earth want to do something they dread day after day. We all want to be profitable, free to choose what we do and who we do it with.

 

If you provide your family or friends with a service it can be awkward to bring up the cost of their investment in you; especially if it’s something that isn’t tangible.

We tend to view people as we know them even if they’ve changed. If you grew up with someone you view them as a childhood friend and overcoming that can be difficult.

I have provided services to my family members and luckily we are able to balance expectations. There are times where I know I am doing something as a daughter, sister, niece or cousin then there are times when I am their marketing manager and we should act accordingly.

 

Seek out the benefits.

  • I love that we have the chance to work together and there is a comfort zone of working with someone close to you.
  • You’re able to call and text or communicate with more flexibility.
  • There’s an opportunity to test-run products or systems.

When I am acting as their marketing manager, I don’t abuse that relationship. I always start my business conversations with the usual small talk and check-ins because...HOW awkward if not?

When you meet, arrive early, come prepared and treat it with the same professionalism that you would a new client. I still work on deadlines, I provide the same quality and I’m going to earn what you are paying me for.

 

You set up the expectations for how people treat you.

If someone knows that you’ll always throw in something extra or that you will settle for that lower cost why in the world would they ever pay more than that? This is one reason why I am a big fan of charging for a project as a whole vs. hourly rates. Estimate what you want your hourly rate to be x how long it should take and then account for edits or additional costs. Build your ideal situation and show people why that situation is way more beneficial for them as well.

If I  say YES to working for someone for free then I am saying NO to someone who would pay me for that service. If you’re saying no to something you are saying it is not important to you.

Fill your time with things that are important to you and only those things.

 

Welcome back to that imposter syndrome we’ve talked about. There’s an equation between selfishness and money that people often combine. People want free things but there’s no value in 0. There is no accountability in 0. If you give away free, customers will get some value but will they respect your work as much? As soon as you put a price tag on something, there’s a worry they’ll think “Oh, she’s trying to make money off me.” or “She doesn’t care about being generous, she just wants to get rich.”

Hear me loud, hear me clear.

Your. Time. Is. The. Most. Valuable. Thing. You. Have.

They are paying for a product that you spent a lot of time and talent on. If they pay, they’ve got skin in the game. They’re compensating and thanking you. If you’re charging someone it does not mean that you don’t care about them or don’t have good intentions. You do.

 

What qualifies you to charge someone for the product or service you’re providing?

  • What degree or certifications have you earned to establish yourself in that space?
  • What past experience have you had that will help your working experience with this client?
  • You have 24 hours every day. What are those hours worth to you?

If you’re not confident in what you are charging, something needs a little more work. You.

selfie-portrait-picture-photo.jpg

 

If you are newer to the game you might have to do a handful of jobs for free or at a very low cost. If you’re creating something and providing it as a gift you still used your time and products that you could have put toward a profit so it only adds to the value.

If you’re not confident in requesting payments because you are newer there is endless potential here!

  • There is no stronger form of advertising than word of mouth. Work for free or a low rate in exchange for a review that will propel your business.
  • Offer a discount for referrals. This will increase your business revenue, provide a chance for you to improve your craft and increase your audience.
  • Exchanging services is also another plus. Can you build their website if they do your bookkeeping? Find something of equal value and partner up. If it’s something more than a one-time gig, write out an agreement you both agree on and have access to.

 

There is always something valuable that can be provided and it doesn’t always have to be money.

 

If you still feel bad for charging people for your time and service then you’re not confident in what you are providing. Go learn more, try more, under promise then over deliver. Completing a S.W.O.T analysis and branding strategy to portray exactly who you are, what you are offering and who you are offering it to will set you up for success with people who want to work with you.

I was recently talking to another entrepreneur (@Rachele_Does_Hair on Instagram. Check her out!) And LOVED the perspective she shared with me.
 
It’s not your job to decide what is in other people’s budgets. You tell them your prices up front and let them decide if it’s something they think is important enough to invest their money on. It’s like if you were to walk into a store and they don’t show you something because they don’t think it’s in your budget.” Insulting, right? Like Pretty Woman!

Never undersell or underestimate what you are worth. Even if one person refuses to invest in you, I promise there are 10 more out there who will. People have a lot on their plates and what you’re providing should make their lives easier, happier or better.

If you decide to give an hour of your time to someone and they can’t reciprocate the same respect for you then it’s not the worth time. You and what you have to offer are not a waste of time. If you can’t clearly communicate or act on that why would you expect anyone to buy into that.

When working with businesses this is a recurring struggle I help entrepreneurs overcome. If you have more questions for me please reach out. I love talking to ya!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Have we worked together? I would love a short and honest review on my business page if you haven’t shared already!

%d bloggers like this: