Michelle Neujahr http://www.michelleneujahr.com Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:47:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 49 Ways to GROW Your Career http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/49-ways-to-grow-your-career/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=49-ways-to-grow-your-career http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/49-ways-to-grow-your-career/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:48:19 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1618 0e61b7d1. Choose not to be complacent.
2. Schedule regular time to keep learning your craft.
3. Get involved in your industry.
4. Get a mentor outside of work.
5. Exercise at least three days a week.
6. Track your goals.
7. Get more connected on LinkedIn.
8. Use your commute time to GROW your mind.
9. Disconnect  from work at night and on the weekends.
10. Ask for professional feedback from people you trust.
11. Attend live networking events.
12. Add some healthy competition into your life.
13. Mentor someone beginning their career.
14. Get involved in something that will stretch you.
15. Make friends at work.
16. Get to know the mission of the organization.
17. Be the one to smile, say hello and say thank you.
18. Ask for more responsibility.
19. Practice listening more than you speak.
20. Learn how to self promote without being obnoxious.
21. Stay on the lookout for new and innovative ways of doing things.
22. Offer to help.
23. Volunteer.
24. Surround yourself with people who are growing.
25. Maintain a good database of contacts. LinkedIn is a great tool for this.
26. Stop wasting time at work – work when you are there.
27. Put on a happy face.
28. Write down a weekly and/or daily plan.
29. Be careful about the number of times you switch jobs.
30. Be honest with yourself and others.
31. Listen to your gut.
32. Accept career growth is a lifelong process – do not expect instant success.
33. Step back and look at the big picture form time to time.
34. Know your personality style and learn to manage and adapt it to other people.
35. Read.
36. PAUSE before reacting.
37. Be willing to take some steps backward at times.
38. Pursue a specialty. Become an expert in one area.
39. Create opportunities for others to shine.
40. Stop accepting obstacles – push through them.
41. Build confidence – not your ego.
42. Do things for other people without expectation.
43. Do your research before pushing an idea.
44. Share your vision with others.
45. Be human.
46. Listen to what clients are talking about.
47. Get outside the office.
48. Update your professional wardrobe.
49. Have fun.

 

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Dealing with Change http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/dealing-with-change/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dealing-with-change http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/dealing-with-change/#comments Wed, 12 Nov 2014 13:17:20 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1423 10498521_571964202921030_1682473752767407812_o“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” Jim Rohn

We know this. We know there’re things we can’t change and we know we can only change ourselves. Yet why is change so hard? Why do we do the things we don’t want to do? And why do we resist taking full responsibility for our own lives?

I don’t know why we hate change so much. I don’t know why some things I set out to change seem easy and I LOVE the process. And other times I really want to change something but I keep doing the thing I don’t want to do or avoiding the things I need to do. What is it that inspires us to change? Why one day am I rolling and pushing forward and then the next week I’m stuck and pushing back change. I don’t know if I’ll ever entirely figure it out.

What I do know is there are seasons in life. Seasons of high energy and seasons of low energy. Their are seasons full of joy and others just plain suck. And through it all we flow into and out of love with change. It’s a process not a constant. I don’t believe I will ever master change – be an expert or know how to magically make change happen in my life. But I do know I’m growing and learning. I know I manage change differently in this season of life than I did in the previous season. And I’m sure when I have lots more grey hair – I’ll manage differently than I do today. And that’s life :).

Tips for Dealing With Change: 

1. Accept our willingness to change will ebb and flow. Be gentle with yourself.

2. Acknowledge the season of life you are in. Be aware that some changes must wait until others run their course.

3. Avoid taking on too much at once. Focus on first things first. One change at a time.

4. Be honest with yourself and others. Change isn’t easy – we all struggle with it at some point.

5. Include others in the process. You don’t have to do change alone unless you choose too.

6. Pay attention to when you’re making excuses and avoiding things vs. when you truly need to let go and move on.

7. Find some  joy and peace in the journey.

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My Favorite Quotes http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/my-favorite-quotes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-favorite-quotes http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/my-favorite-quotes/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 19:16:13 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1535 I LOVE QUOTES – I always have. Here are some of my favorites…

gretzky-quote

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams – live the life you’ve  imagined.”   Thoreau

“We are what we repeatedly do.”  Aristotle

“It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are.”  E.E. Cummings

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”   Aristotle

bewhoyouaredrseuss

 

“Stay hungry, stay foolish.”  Steve Jobs

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Zig Ziglar


What are some of your favorite quotes? 

 

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49 Ways to GROW Your Business http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/49-ways-to-grow-your-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=49-ways-to-grow-your-business http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/11/49-ways-to-grow-your-business/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:11:26 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1531 growth1. Decide you want to GROW it.
2. Ask for help.
3. Write down your growth plan. 
4. Reach out to your past client.
5. Engage your employees.
6. Involve your clients – ask them what they want.
7. Clarify your mission and let it drive growth.
8. Get excited about your business.
9. Revive your marketing materials.
10. Cut back on unnecessary spending – tighten financials.
11. Access the credit and/or cash you will need for growth.
12. Pay attention to the details.
13. Observe your business without judgement and with objectivity.
14. Look for the low hanging fruit.
15. GO OUT AND ASK FOR THE SALE.
16. Let people know you want to grow.
17. Ask others if there are people they know who they think you should know.
18. Thank all your current customers.
19. Write out your company story.
20. Solidify your commitment to growth.
21. Get a mentor – someone who has grown a similar business.
22. Identify your sweet spot and work it.
23. Gather customer testimonials.
24. Connect with EVERY new contact on LinkedIn.
25. Give customers a ‘shout out’ on social media.
26. Monitor the numbers. Pay attention to profit.
27. Write a blog.
28. Create a fun video and post to YouTube.
29. Open a new location, create a new product or add a service.
30. Ask yourself if there is a better way to do what you are doing.
31. Surround yourself with successful people.
32. Write out your financial goals.
33. Teach a class or speak at an industry conference.
34. Be a guest on a podcast or blog.
35. Identify any global opportunities.
36. Live your brand.
37. Carry business cards.
38. Follow up EVERY time.
39. Hire people smarter than you.
40. Be different, stand out, try something new.
41. TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU DO. 
42. Practice being grateful for what you have.
43. Work harder for the next 90 days.
44. Eliminate wasted time during the day – cut out social media, limit email time and avoid other distractions.
45. Get others to join you in growing their businesses – support one another.
46. Revisit why you went into business.
47. Focus on revenue generating activities every day.
48. Close your door and work.
49. Make growth FUN!

How do you GROW your business?

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FIRE UP Your Business http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/10/fire-up-your-business/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fire-up-your-business http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/10/fire-up-your-business/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:43:30 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1428 fire-up-metabolismTo FIRE UP means to arouse or excite feelings and passions.

As an entrepreneur I go through seasons. There are ups and downs. Some seasons I’m FIRED UP and other seasons I just seem to go through the motions.

Right now I’m grateful to be in a season of excitement. I feel FIRED up about all the things going on in my business and in the businesses I work with. Being fired up is fun – I do my best work when I’m engaged and LOVING what I do.

When I’m engaged I show up differently. I’m more fully present. I do better work. I’m more creative. And it’s more fun. Doing good work comes naturally when I’m in a good place.

When I’m in a low season work is much harder, it’s not as fun and I’m less creative. Sometimes I get even down right cranky. I don’t like being in a negative or un-engaged space. But they come and when they do I’ve found the tools below can help me through the low times with less fall out.

Here are the things I do when I’m not feeling engaged with my work.

1. TAKE TIME OFF. Feeling burned out or off is a sign I need a break. Low times often come after I’ve worked too hard for too long.

2. GET FEEDBACK. Ask people you trust what they are seeing. Sometimes others can hold up a mirror to show us the things we’re missing in our own lives and/or our businesses.

3. DO THE LITTLE STUFF. Low seasons are a great time to catch up on all the no-brainer work you have – file, input data, update social media sites, etc.

4. SCHEDULE LESS. Say ‘NO”. Don’t take on anything you don’t have to say yes to.

5. PRACTICE SELF CARE. Take a walk, a bath, get a massage or go out with friends. Do something that feeds your soul and leaves you feeling more full.

6. VOLUNTEER. Get out and do something for someone else. Getting the focus off of ourselves can change our course quickly.

7. REMEMBER WHY. Write down why you fell in love with your business and/or career. Revisit your purpose and your passions.

And finally BE GRATEFUL there are seasons in life. And a new one is right around the corner.

 

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Can We Change Workplace Culture? http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/10/culture-change/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=culture-change http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/10/culture-change/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 18:59:07 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1433 Quotation-Donald-Lynn-Frost-culture-change-inspiration-Meetville-Quotes-165624Can we really change the culture of our workplace? Do we even care enough to want to? Is it our job?

Changing the culture of an organization is an enormous task.  It’s hard work and will take time. But the rewards are worth the effort.

In order to make changes in an organization we must first change ourselves. Culture change comes when we put ourselves in the mix. We have to get our hands dirty. We must do things that are not ‘our job’. We have to care and risk.

Once we’ve taken a look at the part we play in the dysfunction, we can then begin making a difference in our departments, our communities or entire organizations.

In my work with organizations I watch people continually resist being part of workplace culture change initiatives. People want culture to change but they don’t want to take responsibility for it. They tell me it’s not their job or they admit they’ve tried to make a difference in the past but it didn’t work so they gave up. Or they engaged and management didn’t. No matter how they got to that place – they’ve given up. They’ve lost hope. And when we lose hope our organizations can get ugly.

I’m often hired to bring hope back to an organization – to help fix the ugly and give morale an uplift. Clients want me to get their people excited and re-engaged. They want me to encourage their people to do things differently as the result of my having been there. But often that’s where it ends.

I can’t work miracles. I can engage an audience, get them to think and challenge them to take action. Yet if the audience and the management team does nothing when I leave – nothing will change. Organizational change is a job for the entire company, community or organization. All hands on deck are required when culture is  shifted. And when it works – it’s magical. I’ve watched companies take on the challenge and work hard to make things different. I’ve watched organizations go from a pit of negativity to a place that vibrates with positivity. And while I’d love to take the credit – they did the work. I was just blessed to be part of the process.

Are you ready to be part of the solution, to make a difference is your organization, start small. Here are some simple things you can do to make your workplace a little more positive place.

Simple Ways to Change Culture:

1. SMILE. Smile at every one you meet, every day. It is free and has a huge impact.

2. FOCUS. Focus on what’s right, on what’s working. Set a timer on your watch or phone to remind you to focus on the positives multiple times a day.

3. BE WILLING. It’s okay , actually it is good, to get involved. You might be the only one at first but change begins when someone steps up and says, ‘I AM WILLING’.

4. GIVE. Give without expectation. Give freely and without needing something in return. Give of yourself, your time and your resources.

5. BREATHE. Stop before reacting or making up a story. If you don’t know the answer – ASK. If you’re immediately negative – STOP. Practicing the pause is vital to choosing how we think and act.

6. STOP GOSSIP. Refuse to gossip. Make a commitment and let others know that you will no longer be part of gossip. Setting this limit and holding yourself to it opens the door to seeing things as they are – not as the gossip trail has said they are.

7. LEAVE. If you’re truly unhappy at your job – LEAVE. Life is to short to be miserable. There are lots of ways to make money – find one that feeds your soul and has a culture you want to be part of.

What will you do to make a positive difference in your workplace or community today?

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UNPLUG the Technology – Even Just for 24 Hours http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/09/unplug-the-technology-even-just-for-24-hours/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=unplug-the-technology-even-just-for-24-hours http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/09/unplug-the-technology-even-just-for-24-hours/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:10:50 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1476 0001-18818403I challenge my students to do a 24 hour media fast every semester. The fast includes TV, radio, music of any kind, computers, phones, video games and any other electronic devices. The goal is for them to UNPLUG completely for 24 hours. To experience life without technology for just one day.

This is a tough assignment. Many of them don’t make it. And many try several times over the course of the semester before actually being able to do it.

My daughter was the inspiration for this assignment. When she was in college, her professor challenged her class to a five week media fast. She took the challenge and survived five weeks. As the result of her fast she lost a few pounds, went to the gym daily, made new friends, increased her GPA and found new ways to entertain herself.

I knew I couldn’t do five weeks but I’ve challenged myself to do days with no media and weeks when on vacation. It’s hard. Every time I unplug I realize how dependent I am on being connected. But it doesn’t take long once I’m unplugged to remember why I force myself to do it. It works. When I unplug – I’m more creative, more energetic and more inspired to do things. My brain gets clear, my business grows and I deepen my relationships. It works. And I need to do it more often.

Technology is awesome – it allows me to do the work I love and to stay connected with people who are important to me. And it’s a distraction – it gets in the way of my productivity and can kill my creativity. Below are some ways to make it a bit easier to unplug.

Ways to Make Getting Unplugged Easier: 

1. Choose one day per month and take a media fast.

2. Turn your phone off during meal times.

3. Shut off the radio on your drive to work one day a week.

4. Declare technology free zones – certain days or times where no media is allowed.

5. Ask others to do a fast with you.

6. Plan time in the woods or in places where there is no cell service.

7. Start small. Try doing 12 hours to start.

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All I Needed to Know I Learned from My Students http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/09/all-i-needed-to-know-i-learned-from-my-students/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=all-i-needed-to-know-i-learned-from-my-students http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/09/all-i-needed-to-know-i-learned-from-my-students/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:49:03 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1435 10361107_10152426945319551_1126660876_nI LOVE teaching. I’ve been teaching college courses for the last 8 years. I love it as much today as I did when I first started. I love being in the classroom, listening to students, watching them grow. I love the whole process. Yet when I really think about it I think they teach me way more than I ever teach them. Some of the things my students have taught me are:

Dig Deep. Students don’t want fluff  – they want the real deal. I’m constantly challenged to dig deeper, to learn more and to keep growing as the result of teaching. My students ask great questions, challenge me and call me on the stuff I gloss over. I’m a better person as the result of my students comments and questions.

Laugh at myself. There are many times I catch my students laughing at how I say something or  at something I did that was a bit weird. They remind me to laugh at myself and all my little quirks.

Have Compassion. I have all types of students, from all walks of life. Some have it all together and others don’t. I was a train wreck when I was in college so I know what its like to not have it all together – in fact do we ever really have it all together? I have a strict grading system and expect a great deal from my students but I’ve learned the most important thing I can give is compassion. Compassion is having concern for others, it’s caring about students and their lives. Life doesn’t always happen in a straight line and if I have concern and am gentle with others they may be more likely to succeed.

Don’t Judge. It would be easy to make quick judgements in the classroom. I’ve learned over the years that any time I make a judgement – a student proves me wrong. I’ve learned to step back and be in the moment allowing students to  surprise me with their brilliance. It’s so fun when it happens. I learn over and over again that no matter what – each student is unique and on their own path to success.

Stay Young at Heart. Not all my students are young but most are young at heart. My students keep me young. They teach me all the cool things, introduce me to new technologies and force me to stay young at heart. Their energy is contagious and I’m grateful to be a part of college life.

Have fun. Learning should be fun. I can tell how much fun they’re having and how engaged they are just by looking at them. I learn each semester to listen to what they’re telling me through words and actions. And then I have to make learning fun. And to do that I have to have fun teaching. When I’m exited and giving it my all – students are more engaged and have more fun.

Who teaches you the most about life? What are you learning from them?

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Renovate Your Focus http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/08/renovate-your-focus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=renovate-your-focus http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/08/renovate-your-focus/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 01:05:52 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1446 Ruby-throated Hummingbird

We’ve all heard it said – ‘what you focus on is what happens in your life.’ And yet how many of us REALLY pay attention to what we’re focused on? How many times do we let ourselves dwell on the negative things, the ‘what ifs’ and the drama of life?

I can get into the muck of negativity very quickly if I’m not diligent in paying attention to my thought life. For me success in life starts with what I focus on. If I focus on all the things that are RIGHT in my life, I move forward. If I focus on what’s not working, I get stuck. And often when I’m stuck it isn’t reality I’m focusing on – it’s the story I tell myself about what’s happening that gets me in trouble.

Think about it. If someone gives you the cold shoulder, you can choose to make up a story about what’s going on with them, you can let it go or you can ask them if there’s something wrong. Too often in life I make up a story – I’m good at it. I THINK I know what other people are thinking.

Years ago my husband and I were on vacation. We were sitting on the deck and these little creatures were flying around. There was a bigger one and a few little ones. They looked like hummingbirds from where we were sitting. We imagined the bigger one was the mother hummingbird and she was teaching the little ones to fly. That was the story we told ourselves. And yet hours later we got a close up view of these creatures – they were dragonflies.

Over the next few days we talked about the story we’d made up. We’d been convinced our story was true and yet it turned out to be fiction. We do this in life. We tell ourselves a story, one we believe is true and then we find evidence to support it.

We still use this example. When one of us is making up a story and creating drama about something – we gently remind the other person of the ‘hummingbirds’. We hold each other accountable for telling ourselves the truth.

What do you do to stop the stories you tell yourself?
How do you focus on what is RIGHT and what is TRUE?

Below are some ways to help us stay focused on these things….

1. Verify. Ask others for the truth before you spend time inventing it.
2. Be grateful. Keep a gratitude journal. Focus each day on what is good.
3. Be diligent. Pay attention to your thought life. Monitor your self talk and your stories.
4. Get help. Find people who can support you in changing what you focus on.
5. Admit the struggle. In order to change we must first admit there’s something to fix.
6. Stay the course. Growth is a life long process. We don’t change our thoughts overnight.
7. Accept. You’re a human being – accept it. You’re not perfect.
8. Laugh at yourself. The stories we tell ourselves are humorous – laugh at their absurdity.
9. Be gentle with yourself. We will not change by beating ourselves up.

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Renovate Your Comfort Zone http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/08/1440/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=1440 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/2014/08/1440/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:00:43 +0000 http://www.michelleneujahr.com/?p=1440 IMG_1388This month my two best friends and I went camping. We’d been talking about it for years and yet never actually planned it – until last month. We decided we were done talking about it and it was time to do it. This trip was outside all of our comfort zones – which is why we kept putting it off. We wanted to go but at the same time didn’t really want to go. We were excited and a bit scared. Every time I’d been camping my husband did all the lifting and the stuff I didn’t want to do. I love camping. I love to pack, plan and set up camp. And I loved that my husband chopped wood, lit the camp stove and fended off wild animals.

Making a decision to go camping with the girls meant I had to move out of my comfort zone and do the things I was a bit afraid of. I had to let go of the fear and just go.

As with all great plans – crap happens. Two days before we were set to leave I pinched a nerve in my neck. I was in severe pain. This would have been a good reason to stay home. Yet I didn’t want to stay home. I called my chiropractor and by the night before we left – I was feeling good. We packed and headed out early the next day.

We had this wild idea that we would camp at a primitive site – the kind you don’t find unless you know they are there.This was the way my husband and I liked to camp – I couldn’t wait to share this outdoor experience with the girls. We had researched and found the perfect spots. Our only fear is that they would be occupied – we never dreamed we would’t be able to find them. After having been on the road for many hours, having the car die out in the middle of no-where and almost running out of gas – we headed to the local State Park. We felt defeated – we hadn’t found the perfect spot and now we were camping next to families with loud kids. Yet we would soon realize this little spot was perfect.

We unpacked the car, set up the tent and got a fire going. We did it! We were so excited. The only thing I couldn’t get started was our 20 year old camp stove. I tried everything. It would not start. So we resorted to making all our food and coffee over the open fire. It was fun and yet it bothered me that I couldn’t get the stove working.

We froze the first night. We had planned on it being warm – not freezing. So after spending the next day hiking we drove into the local town and visited Walmart. We bought more warm blankets and I bought myself a new camping stove. I felt like a little kid – I couldn’t wait to get back to camp to try it out.

It worked beautifully. I felt so proud [I know that sounds cheesy]. But I was proud. It felt good to know that three middle age women could go camping alone for the first time and not only did we survive we thrived. And we learned a few things about renovating our comfort zones throughout the process.

TIPS FOR RENOVATING YOUR COMFORT ZONE:
1. Be willing to try anything once.
2. Push through set backs.
3. Be flexible.
5. Get dirty.
6. Bring others along for the ride.
7. LAUGH at yourself.

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