Sunday, August 22, 2010

OPS - Other People's Success

Yes, it's great to help others, succeed at something that you love to do, to be appreciated, to be acknowledged by others... all of the good stuff that comes with success - whatever that word means to you. One of the most uplifting things for me though, is to witness someone else gaining ground.

I love the energy that people radiate when they've tackled something daunting. The process that they follow. The journey that the had to take. The failures (I prefer the phrase "learning experiences"), the breakthroughs. Witnessing someone transform into the more confident person that they weren't sure that they could become to begin with.

flickr photo courtesy of Horia Varlan
Whether I am talking to someone who has just started their business, or a seasoned professional who is embarking on a new challenge - and they are achieving their goal, it's great. Or, it could be a simple thing like learning to knit, or something bigger like conquering a deep-rooted fear of [insert word here].

Seeing their buoyancy after crossing that threshold of uncertainty is powerful.

Paying attention to others, and being genuinely interested in what is going on in their lives, listening - is an excellent asset
to have. Simply by being in the midst of, and picking the brains of others who are experiencing everyday successes is an empowering thing. It's motivating - it really gives me a sense of urgency to shift my focus a bit, or work that much harder to get up the ladder that I'm climbing.

Lorrie Shaw is a professional pet sitter, regular pets contributor to and pet blogger in Dexter Twp, MI. She participates in Motivated Mondays along with writer, speaker, mountain bike rider and author of Backroads & Byways Of Arizona, Jackie Dishner. #MotivatedMondays is a culmination of inspirational notes, blogs and tips to help motivate and get other ready for each week after the weekend lull - or anytime.

Monday, August 16, 2010

K.I.S.S. - How this little acronym serves me well

I can't do "complicated". Anything. I'm pretty sure that this has to do with the way that my brain works. Regardless, I think that following this one simple trick in all things has served me so well, and proliferated much of my success and kept me on the right track: Keep It Simple, Silly. (K.I.S.S. - for short) It's kept me organized, level-headed, focused and most of all - motivated.

Having K.I.S.S as my mantra has been invaluable. I've put it to use at home, in training my dogs and in my business. The bare-bones nature of K.I.S.S. in the latter case, has helped me maintain what my core philosophy in my business is, and why I started it in the first place.

I love animals - dogs, cats, lizards, you name it, and I love caring for them. I'm good at it, which helps and I found a way to do it as a living. It allows me to be home with my own pets more, which is probably one of the most important aspects about it.

It's a successful business because I keep in mind why I'm doing it, and why I started. It's thriving, busy with appointments, but not so much that I cannot be mindful of each pet that I care for. The way that I've mindfully structured the business has been with K.I.S.S. in mind, too. In doing that, there is no need to hire others, no extra paperwork or worrying about the quality of service that's being given. K.I.S.S. has allowed me to have great communiation with my clients when I'm "on" or "off" the clock. The philosophy is one that works for my clients, too. They like the simplistic, personal way that their pets are cared for - and I can tend to those little emergencies that occur, like last night: there was a bat that had gotten into the house, and I managed to get things under control quickly. Things like this happen all of the time in my business, so keeping things simple is key.

This mindset is such that I can be home more to tend to things there. Simplify, simplify, simplify. I can get things done. Life is enjoyable. Of course, things still get a little hectic at times, but overall, everything is still managable; fun. And, I stay motivated and can look ahead when I need to.

Lorrie Shaw is a regular pets contributor on, pet blogger on More Than Four Walls and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. She frequently writes about the fascinating bond between animals and humans as well as other social issues connected to animals. She welcomes your contact by e-mail.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time away = staying motivated

For the next few days, I'm away on a much needed camping trip. I'm like everyone else; I'm busy, and get over-involved in things that sometimes shouldn't be a priority anyway.

I tend to get a little punchy and difficult when it's time to get away. A while back, my partner and I decided that it should be a priority to get away from everything at least every 6 months. That seems manageable, we'd like more vacations... but it's just not possible to do so a lot of times. But trying to schedule regular get away's keeps me happy; healthy. And, if I'm not healthy, I'm no good to others; my family, the pets that I care for, human clients. It's integral.

In my case, getting away is a great readjustment period, a decompression and a healthy way to stay connected to myself and most of all, motivated. Anyway, that's the place that I am at right now. How about you? Where are you?

When I return back to my schedule, I can think. I'm focused on the right things. I've got perspective. I can stay motivated.

What are you doing to recharge this week, to stay motivated?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Delegation: a useful tool in maintaining motivation?

Sometimes staying motivated means delegating things to other people. I know that it's true, but sometimes it's hard for me to put into action. I'm a Type-A, gotta-do-it-all-myself kind of gal. That sort of thinking gets me into trouble. But, the occassion arises once in awhile when I realize that delegating things to others is a must.

Case in point: The past 3 or 4 months, I've been all too aware that I've needed a new car. A new-to-me car. I prefer to drive a good quality used car - nothing too expensive or snazzy, just reliable, low cost to maintain, yet professional looking. I hate doing research on that stuff. (Heck, who am I kidding - I dispise having to do anything related to buying a car, getting tires and the ever popular getting repairs done.) So, I put it off. And off. Then I realized that I was so unhappy, simply because I was putting it off. Ooh, procrastination comes into play - another obstacle to get over when trying to stay motivated.

So, I decided to ask Chris, my partner in life if he would do it for me. He actually likes doing it, and is good at it. Within 2 days, he found a great car, we went to look at it and sealed the deal. It was that easy. From there, I was able to focus on other things that I needed to tend to, which enhanced my ability to stay motivated. 

flickr photo courtesy of David Joyce
Now, in my professional life, it's a bit more tricky to delegate, as I am CEO, secretary, pet sitter, dog walker, poop clean up crew, social media rep... you name it.

Understanding that there are things that are in my strengths list, and some in my weaknesses list is important. It's great to build overall skills, but equally effective if you don't fight the idea that it's ok to delegate things that you're not fond of (for the right reasons), or not good at to someone else. In a work setting, it can be a great way to get to know a co-worker or colleague better by dialoguing about what you need help with, and in the big picture of the process - perhaps increase productivity and propel motivation for everyone.

We cannot do everything alone in life. It's ok to ask for help. There ought not be any shame or guilt in that.

Where is an area where you might be able to use the skill of delegation to enhance your ability to stay motivated?