The main idea of this post was originally shared in on Memorial Day in 2014. I wanted to share it again in the time of COVID. While it is true that we find ourselves in challenging and uncertain times, we can get through it. I am also sharing this post because the ideals Ewing Marion Kauffman shared with the world were very helpful to me when deciding whether or not to leave my twenty-five year career. His words ran through my head a million times, and I ultimately decided not to be content with what someone thought I was worth – especially when it was $158,000 less than the man who held the position before me.
I don’t believe the demise of the United States is an inevitable outcome. I believe there are many futures, and we have to decide which one we are going to choose. The politics of this whole COVID situation are very real, so make your own decisions about how you want to live your life. The one thing I have learned? Always question those who tell you to be satisfied with what you have or where you are in life – they usually think they are more entitled and valuable than you – and, that you should be there to serve them in some lower-level capacity.
You have the freedom to choose, and people died for that freedom. Now is the time to use it.
To the Brave & the Fallen: Thank You for Freedom!
We have much to be grateful for this Memorial Weekend. Thank you to all who have lost their lives bravely fighting for the United States. And, thank you to those who have served and passed, the families who have sacrificed more than most can imagine and all who defend this great nation. While I realize today is for the fallen, I also want to thank our living Veterans, Military personnel and their families. You need to be recognized and remembered whenever possible for your dedication and service to this country. I also want to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.
Thanks to our great military heroes, one of the unique gifts we have in the United States is the gift is FREEDOM! The Declaration of Independence guarantees all of us “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This means we are free to pursue our lives and our vocations in any way that makes sense to us. Freedom and opportunity are already available, now we need the confidence to pursue our dreams!
Freedom is what makes America so great. What we do with our freedom is up to us. It is our choice. Freedom is our grandest opportunity and should be protected, especially in challenging times. The importance of the freedom to choose is demonstrated by the story of Ewing Marion Kauffman.
After serving in World War II, Ewing Marion Kauffman started working as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company and was extremely successful. When he started making more money than his boss, he found that his sales territory was suddenly limited. Mr. Kauffman’s boss limited the sales territory on purpose. After all, an employee couldn’t make more money than the boss!
Mr. Kauffman made a decision after his boss limited his sales territory and income. He quit his job and vowed never to work for anyone else again. He started his business in 1950 in the basement of his home. He generated $36,000 in sales and $1,000 of net profit in his first year. By 1989, Mr. Kauffman’s business made over $1 billion in sales and employed over 3,400 people.
Mr. Kauffman wanted to give back to the world and used his knowledge and wealth to form the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a foundation designed to support entrepreneurship and innovation.
Dr. Carl Schramm, the former President of the Kauffman Foundation, wrote The Entrepreneurial Imperative. In this book (one of my absolute favorites), he notes three things all Americans should remember in the face of gloomy times (p. 81):
1. Never bet against the American system.
2. Know that being an American is your very best asset…
3. Finally, never count on anyone but you to create your own destiny.
The American system is designed so that we can pursue our passions and dreams, especially in challenging times. Our ability to pursue our dreams and create our own destiny is what makes our country so great. We all have the freedom to choose what to do with our lives, and we have the freedom to help one another. We have the freedom to pursue our ideas, our dreams and our passions. We have the freedom to create our own destiny.
People like my Great Uncle Jack realized this and helped protect the freedoms we have in the United States. Uncle Jack was a fascinating man. When I was young, all I knew about him was that he was great at hunting night crawlers. In fact, he taught me how to hunt them. We lived in the apartment above my parents’ TV and appliance store. It was located on the main street of a rural community and did not have much of a yard. Luckily, Uncle Jack lived only a few blocks away and had the perfect yard for gathering night crawlers. When it rained at night, we would walk down to his house with our flashlights and buckets. Dad and Uncle Jack would help us kids hunt night crawlers so we could use them as bait when we went fishing.
There is actually a trick to getting your night crawler. You have to shine the light on night crawlers to find them while they are above the wet ground. And, you have to be quick! Too much light scares them back into the ground. You have to remember where they are and grab them quickly yet gently. Then you have to slowly coax them out of the hole a little bit at a time. If you try to force them out, they break.
Night crawlers and people are similar in this regard. If you force individuals down a path they do not truly want to pursue, they eventually break. Humans must find their own paths and pursue their own destinies with passion and purpose in order to live their best lives.
I did not understand much about Uncle Jack until I was a young adult. He was a World War II Veteran and served under General George S. Patton during the Battle of the Bulge. Absolutely amazing! He was a World War II hero and I thought he was awesome because of his ability to catch night crawlers!
Uncle Jack and his family sacrificed when he served our country. As Americans, we must remember that our freedom is not free. Many men and women have died, been injured and sacrificed a great deal to provide us with the ability to live our lives with freedom and choice. Taking our freedom for granted dishonors our troops and veterans. It also dishonors their families, who have sacrificed more than many of us can imagine. These people have truly sacrificed for all of us and our great nation. We should honor and salute them everyday because they have given us the gift of freedom and choice. We get to choose how we spend our time and our lives.
The bottom line: Cherish your freedom, protect it and use it to create your destiny!
Freedom is foundational to entrepreneurship, business development and the future. We must protect freedom for our future generations. My daughter’s birthday is this time of year. Happy Birthday Raquel! As a your Mom, I will do whatever I can to preserve your freedom so you can pursue any dream you choose!
Coaching Challenge: Participate in a Memorial Day Activity and show your gratitude for our Veterans and Military families!
It is mid-January, and time is already flying by in 2020! Have you made progress on your New Year’s resolutions and goals? I know it is easier for me to DREAM BIG and be accountable when other people are taking the trip with me. If you need some motivation, accountability and bold thinking, join our 30 Day Bucket List Challenge!
Sign up by clicking on the “Join the 30 Day Bucket Challenge List” button below. We are kicking off on February 1, 2020. Sign up now to receive the 30 Day Bucket Challenge workbook. Then, start filling your bucket with whatever you want to accomplish, experience and achieve in 30 days!
Get ready to Go Wild and Have Fun!
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We are ushering a new decade, which means it is a great time to reflect on the past while preparing for the future! It is easy to move on to the next goal, intention or resolution; however, I encourage all of you to take the time to remember, honor and celebrate what you have already achieved – in the last 10 years. Yes, you read that correctly – the last 10 years!
What 100 Things Have You Accomplished in the Last 10 Years?
Why 10 years? This decade stretching coaching exercise is designed to tap into your memory banks while providing a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Investing time and effort into this process will also strengthen your motivation and confidence. This can be especially important for high-achieving individuals who feel like they are getting older and are interested in or working towards a life transition or transformation. Achievers tend to move quickly and overlook what they have accomplished. This exercise was intentionally designed as a slow, yet insightful, process that helps us see how much we have grown and changed over the course of a decade.
The first few may or may not come easily to you. Expect the process to get a little more challenging as you add more accomplishments. Ten years goes by quickly, and we tend to forget all we have experienced and achieved. If you get stuck, refer to your planner, calendar and pictures for ideas. Use your social media accounts, colleagues and friends to trigger your memories. Think back to fun times and feelings of joy. And, think broadly! This is not an exercise focused only on work or career. Think about the whole of your life as you go through this exercise. Below are a few thinking prompts:
How did you invest in yourself?
Where were you, and what were you doing, 10 years ago?
Where are you, and what are you doing, now?
What experiences did you enjoy?
Did you have a child(ren) or grandchild(ren)?
Did you try a new hair color?
What type of physical exercise did you try or grow?
Did you write your first blog post or record a podcast?
What romantic encounters did you experience?
What vacations did you experience?
What classes did you take?
What hobbies did you develop?
How did you volunteer or freely contribute your talents?
What did you do for exercise or self-care?
Stretch your thinking and have some fun with this exercise. You may just surprise yourself! Download the 100 Things I Have Accomplished in the Last 10 Years Coaching Tool below by clicking on either the text or the 100 graphic. Make the time to complete the list, and then let us know all about the 100 accomplishments you have achieved in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you!
Now, there is even more proof that fun is valuable! Media titan, Shonda Rhimes, recently gave a compelling TED Talk, “My Year of Saying Yes.” She discusses the value of saying yes, but also provides valuable insights on why we should play and have fun-especially with our children.
Ms. Rhimes is a leader and role model for women in the modern age. She is bold enough to call herself a titan (AWESOME!) but also cool enough to admit that she enjoys working and playing with her kids. Shonda is a single mom who knows the importance of building a leading a team to make this all work. She gets help from others (i.e.: her nanny) and admits that even she needs to recharge her batteries with fun to get her “hum” back so she can continue to create and grow. Titan Rhimes is using her talents and power to build not only her personal brand but an entertainment dynasty that is empowering women in an number of different ways.
Let the AskDrConnie.com team know what you learned from her TED2016 talk in the comment section below.
Time named Angela Merkel, Germany’s first female chancellor, their 2015 Person of the Year. A woman has not been selected for this honor in almost 30 years. In 1986, Time named Corazon Aquino, the first female President of the Philippines, as their Person of the Year. Time gives many reasons for this gap in lifting up female leaders and difference makers like Chancellor Merkel. One reason is that Time’s Person of the Year “tends” to be selected based on their “institutional power.” This seems a bit strange considering the fact that Forbes ranks Chancellor Merkel as the most powerful woman on the planet. Forbes claims that she has held this rank for over 10 years. Hmm…
Dr. Connie’s Prediction: Companies such as Time will be more open to lifting up female leaders and difference makers now that institutionally powerful women, like Hillary Clinton, can retweet and support other successful females on globally connected platforms!
Congratulations Chancellor Merkel! Thanks for your voice, courage, ideas and leadership.
All Women Reading This: Go Wild with Your Leadership, Influence and Power!
I received the press release for the InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge in Lincoln, NE on March 26 and had to share it with all of you.
Go Wild with Your Creativity and Ideas, Support Women and Go For It!
Be You & Do Something Cool!
OMAHA–The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Nebraska District Office invites entrepreneurs with an idea or product to improve the lives of women and families to compete in Lincoln at the InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge.
The challenge is scheduled for March 26 starting at 11 a.m. at the Southeast Community College Entrepreneurship Center, 285 South 68th Street, Suite 214, Lincoln.
During the competition in Lincoln, contestants will offer a business plan pitch explaining their product or idea. The winner will be eligible to contend for one of the final ten national slots and a chance to win a cash prize in Washington, D.C. during National Small Business Week May 4-8.
The SBA wants to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s women and men by providing needed resources and technical assistance to business owners and innovators.
InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge is an engaging women business challenge in which the SBA will facilitate unearthing and empowering entrepreneurs.
The competition in Lincoln is open to entrepreneurs throughout Nebraska, both women and men, who are developing products or services that have a measurable positive impact on the lives of women and families, has the potential for commercialization, and fills a need in the marketplace. As demands on women and families grow in our society, the need for products, services, and technology addressing those needs increases.
For more information and for a complete list of rules and a formal application, please call Elizabeth Yearwood, Economic Development Specialist at the SBA, at (402) 221-7200 or email Elizabeth.email@example.com. Applications must be completed and submitted no later than 4 p.m. March 16 to be eligible for the challenge in Lincoln March 26.
We have all heard about the importance of body language, but have you ever used a Power Pose to boost your self-concept? I recently used this amazing TED Talk, by Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy, with a group of hospital leaders. Dr. Cuddy talks about the power of body language as it relates to interacting with others but also as it influences your internal beliefs and behaviors:
“Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves.”
Amy explains the science of nonverbals (body language) but also offers practical solutions you can use immediately to boost your self-concept and leadership presence. Get ready to flex your Inner Leader. Strike a pose like Wonder Woman and enjoy the instant change to your body and mind.
Go Wild with Power Posing!
PS: Let me know how Power Posing works for you!. Talk about your experiences below!!
Status Update: I will be on from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM today, and Clint will be taking callers!
In addition to the topics I listed in the original blog post below, we will be discussing the 3 Mega-Trends I recently wrote about and presented on: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and the 3) Decentralized Global Marketplace.
Plan on calling in with your questions!
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
I am counting down the hours to my interview with Clint Bellows this afternoon on 1110 KFAB (www.kfab.com). I will be in the studio at 2:30 PM.
Our conversation will focus on creating your desired future in the current economy. We will touch on the power of your beliefs and talk about how your brain impacts finances, the future and of course fun!
Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer on the air. Clint talked about taking live calls. I would love to hear from you if he opens the phone lines!