The Little Things DO Matter – What REALLY Sets You Apart

This week I experienced a personal heartbreak.  It was during that time that I was once again reminded what truly sets someone (and their business) apart.  It has nothing to do with flashy stuff, extra letters after your name, or a snappy elevator pitch.  It is all about having heart, caring about the little things, and showing up to serve as a real, authentic, and caring human being.

CopperOur beloved cat Copper who was 16 had been experiencing old age kidney decline for the last 18 months, the last 3 of them being a high-maintenance, roller-coaster ride of giving her subcutaneous fluids and medication at home.  Any cat lover knows just how much fun giving a cat an IV and pills is, so you can imagine the stress of this time. She was a total trooper and such a good, sweet kitty the whole way for which we were grateful.

That is why it was so heartbreaking to have to put her down this week.  As I reflect on this experience, I was reminded how blessed I am to have so many of the service providers in my life be such top notch.

There are probably at least 5 veterinarians within a 4 mile radius of my house. Yet the one I have used through my years in this town far surpasses what it means to be of service.  It’s like a lesson in customer service and differentiating yourself from the competition every time I meet with them (and this includes not just the doctors but the extended staff). And, it has nothing to do with a sales pitch.

In just this 3 month period the good people at Telford Veterinary Hospital have:

  • Guided us wisely through the almost constant ups and downs of kidney failure and bladder infections.
  • Saved us untold upset by recommending one of their vet technicians to care for our cat and her medical needs when we had to travel for personal or business. (She went above and beyond and then some for us… I love this woman!)
  • Treated our cat and equally important us (the humans/owners part of the equation) with nothing but the most personal and compassionate care and communication.
  • Regularly followed up with us via phone and accommodated last minute appointment needs as the situation warranted.

You might think – well that’s just part of running a business, right?

Perhaps…But… [Read more…]

Discover Your Real Priorities – It’s Where You Spend Your Money

If you really want to know what is important to you take a peek at where you spend your money.  Here’s the thing, by itself money has no use and no power. It is only a tool to create the life you want to live.  How you spend it is a reflection of who you are and your relationship with money is a mirror of your relationship to yourself.

When you look into this mirror, do you like what you see?

Or, is it a fractured image of who you truly want to be?

Your Money and Your PrioritiesDuring this wayward economy I see more and more people coming up with the socially acceptable excuse of “I don’t have the money” or “I can’t afford it” to avoid looking deeply and making changes that would bring them the personal and professional lives they truly desire.  To make the changes that would bring long-term and lasting results to their businesses, their lives, and their families. It sounds cliché to say that life is not a dress rehearsal, but it is true.  There is no “someday” and if you’re waiting for it, now is the time to stop.

This way of thinking is not about spending with reckless abandon.  It is not about being irresponsible, but rather being fully conscious about the fact that money is a conduit for commitment and you are in charge. 

Are you ready to be in the driver’s seat of your experience and stop the cycle of having money hold you hostage?  If so… let’s get started.

Here’s an exercise that will catapult you forward.  I first did a similar exercise myself decades ago when I read the book Your Money or Your Life that was very enlightening to me, especially as a twenty something at the time.  I has fueled my choices ever since.

Take a look at every dollar you have spent over the last month.  If you don’t have great records (meaning you know you had money but you don’t know where it went), don’t fret you can start this exercise today by writing down every dollar you spend over the next 30 days.  (Hint: even if you have great records looking backwards, I still recommend writing down your spending for the next 30 days.  This exercise is one easy and proven way to raise your consciousness around money fast.)

Now, take a look at your spending. I want you to do this with a loving, nonjudgmental heart.  There is no right, wrong, or judgment with this sort of assessment; because ultimately there is no inherently right or wrong way to spend your money.

Ask yourself:

  • How do I feel about what I see before me?
  • Does my spending reflect my true and deep values? (If you’ve never done a values exercise, it is an invaluable step in creating the life and work you want.)
  • Has every dollar I spent either: Satisfied a basic need? Benefited another? Brought me great joy?
  • Does how I spend my money reflect an equitable balance between living fully today and investing in my future?

What did you discover about your priorities? Are you fully investing in the person you want to be and the life you want to create or are you letting your precious energy slip away?

Regardless of how much money you have, today is the day to stop being held hostage by it and choose to be the conscious steward of it.  There is no better investment out there than the one you make in your own growth and well-being.

Ready to take a deeper look at your life and work so that you can create the purpose, prosperity, and playfulness you deserve? Contact me.

Photo Credit: 401K via Flickr

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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