This probably does the practice a disservice, but mindfulness is all the craze right now! Americans find themselves living a frenetic pace, and are all the worse for it. Personally, I still find the “gotta do it all and do it yesterday” mantra exhausting, yet I still find myself trying to live it. I attended the annual Legal Marketing Association’s New England chapter annual conference this year and was thrilled to listen to a TED-Style talk about mindfulness. At first, I thought there was no way a successful business person could work mindfulness into their days. Boy, was I wrong! Turns out, mindfulness is a fantastic asset for today’s business world, not just legal marketers.
A recent study conducted by researchers at INSEAD and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found that 15 minutes of mindful meditation could help a person make better decisions. That same study shows that mindfulness “can reduce confirmation bias and overconfidence, allowing decision makers to better differentiate between relevant and irrelevant information.” Wow… that is powerful stuff!
We all find ourselves making a ton of decisions daily. Some of it important (think: setting annual budgets) to less than important (think: what’s for lunch). Regardless of the decision, this constant flow creates stress (both perceived and unperceived), making each decision slightly harder than the next some days. What if we could slow down for a brief period of time and walk away feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next question? Well, why can’t we? I know it can be challenging to find a quiet spot to deep breath and meditate for 10 or 15 minutes in our busy office environments, so why not try a ‘walking mediation’? Here is how it works: Schedule time in your calendar to go for a 15 minute walk a few days a week (if not daily). One catch– you must go it alone. No chatting allowed. Just you, the fresh air and your thoughts. Take this time to move your body while letting your mind randomly flow thoughts. Acknowledge these thoughts and let them go. This time is not for problem solving or making ‘to do’ lists. It is for recognizing emotions, letting your mind relax and recharging your energy.
Making healthy habits takes work. In fact, I have heard it takes 21 times of doing a particular action before you see a routine change in behavior. I encourage you to try walking mediation. It could make a huge difference in how you treat people, care for yourself and find success.
Before we usher in the holidays and the new year, I want to take a moment to thank everyone for reading my blog. Life tends to blur past us at times, and the holiday season is a perfect time to pause for just a minute and reflect. What do I see? How incredibly lucky I am. I am grateful to my family, friends and clients. You make my life so full.
I want to be sure my clients understand how grateful I am for the opportunity to work with them this year on really interesting initiatives. It has been an honor to work with each of you! I hope you enjoy your success as much as I do!
In recognition of our time together, I have made donations to Dana Farber, Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the Worcester County Food Bank. These organizations are always poised to be helpful at the most critical times.
I wish all of you an abundance of happiness, success and peace in the new year.
This year’s Presidential election was quite an experience for many people regardless of their preferred candidate. As election night unfolded, anxieties rose about what many people thought was a ‘done deal’ for Hillary Clinton. There were many reasons Americans voted the way they did, which I won’t get into here. But what I think surprised Hillary Clinton supporters along the coastal states of this country, was that something they thought was so sure, well… wasn’t. What does this have to do with marketing and business development? A lot. Here are just a few take-aways:
- Nothing is a sure thing. There are times where you feel confident that you have connected every dot and secured back-up plans to your back-up plans to earn a piece of work. However, the outcome is very different than you expected. You scratch your brow, muttering, ‘how can that be?’ The reality is, if you are prepared from every angle, anticipate the possible hurdles and put your best foot forward, most times, things go your way. You hope for the best that all of the other pieces will fall into place. However, hope is not a strategy. It is a very singular experience. Business development is definitely not only about you.
- There is always an other opinion. Part of a good sales process includes doing your homework and trusting your instincts. What is overlooked in the sales process, is an open conversation with people to get perspective along the way. Ask someone you trust (but who may not see things the same way you do) to provide honest feedback on your sales strategies. Perhaps most importantly… take their input seriously and be willing to adjust if you need to.
- Keep on going. We all have moments when we need to stop and tend to our wounds, and we should honor those moments. In your reflection, remind yourself that you will lose sometimes and that is ok. But, most importantly, keep trying. If you lose a piece of business to a competitor, review your sales effort with a critical eye and look for ways to improve or adjust your approach.
As President Obama stated, “no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning, and America will still be the greatest nation on earth.” Likewise, if you keep striving to build the strongest relationships and genuinely help solve problems, you will be successful over the long haul and be the best version of yourself possible.