Opportunity Doesn't Always Knock (Sometimes it Lurks)
Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.
podcast version (8:43 min.) in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Opportunity Doesn't Always Knock
(Sometimes it Lurks)
(click for podcast version)
The Three Little Pigs, part II
Tough times call for adaptation and evolution, not desperate measures. Ramping up our creativity is how we’ll survive and thrive over difficult stretches of time (and rising to challenges is our strongest suit.) The Big Bad Wolf of Reality will always huff and puff, so we have to build a solid house.
The first little piggy built his Dot Com house out of straw. Who needs income when you can have market share? March, 2000 huffed and puffed, and blew that house down. The second little piggy built his Financial Instruments house out of sticks. If I can sell I.O.U.s to you, and you can sell them again before anyone notices, maybe reality won’t catch up? 2008 huffed and puffed and blew that house down too. Now it’s time for us to build a Solid Economy house out of bricks, and that will take creativity, ingenuity, and heavy lifting.
Unfortunately for some, a portion of the business world has gotten accustomed to an artificial environment over the last few years, where old-fashioned business savvy and creativity were less necessary, as “play” money flowed into the economy, creating a game mentality, which tends to invite cheaters. If I can borrow money from the future to pay for the present, I’ll be less likely to save money from the present to pay for the future. Credit replaces profit when numbers on paper look just as good as actual money, and it’s so easy to get. As long as we don’t convince ourselves that this is the only way to be successful, we have options.
Now we are back to square one, where ingenuity will give birth to actual products and services to be sold. This is opportunity lurking. Some of us will react to the re-set button being hit by using the “turtle strategy:” pull everything in, hold tight, and wait it out. Some of us will react by using the “headless chicken strategy:” run around panicked, without direction. Some of us will react by looking at needs and resources, finding matches, and seizing opportunities.
Making Lemonade: Hidden Resource, Flying Dragon
The old “when you’ve got lemons, make lemonade” adage is a good start, but we can go further. The Chukchi people of the Siberian Arctic have reindeer, snow, and each other for resources. That’s it. They’re inland, and don’t even have fish. They use every bit of the reindeer you can imagine, plenty you wouldn’t, and are a happy, fulfilled people.
We have so much that gets discarded or used for just one purpose, without pushing our creativity to see what else we could develop. We have resources we haven’t begun to tap, and those resources can be developed into profitable products. I’ve seen buildings made from shipping crates, glass bottles, and airplane hangers, so obviously the Green Building and Construction Industry has made profitable inroads.
Walnut shells, once discarded as refuse by nut companies, are now used as a soft abrasive, after being ground to a fine powder. It’s used to blast-clean and polish all kinds of materials, molding and casting, and even tumbling and polishing gems and jewelry. Another creative use for powdered walnut shells is as a replacement for sand in the movies; especially for storms. The hard, roughness of actual sand or silica is painful, dangerous, and destroys lighting and camera equipment. Hollywood buys this safer sand, as it saves them money in the long run. Creativity made profits out of discarded shells.
Car tires are pretty nasty things to get rid of, and yet can be re-used for a plethora of manufacturing needs. Smart car manufacturers are using re-cycled CDs and tires in composite materials that make bumpers and door panels. Used tires can also be used to create “mats” as an underlayment for roadways built over unstable ground surfaces, and even in the roadway itself, adding grip and flexibility to the surface.
Action is Born in Your Mind
We are only limited by our imaginations and our commitment to ingenuity. As with all actions, everything starts with internal dialogue. That internal dialogue directs us in setting our course. If our focus is on our plight, we sit in our plight. If our focus is on our path out of the woods, we move out of the woods.
We’ve addressed this concept in Conscious Communication before, because it’s such a fundamental piece. Our interpretation of events directs us, not the events. We make the decision between victim and problem-solver from the start, and our actions merely follow through with that decision. As we’ve learned, we can shift from victim to problem-solver by shifting our internal dialogue. The next step is taking that problem-solver to a new level of creativity.
By looking at what we already have in the way of resources, we can optimize them for maximum profitability, and pull opportunity out of a seemingly dire situation. The most valuable resources we have (woefully ignored) are human resources. Human resources are going to develop those fantastic new revenue streams and cost cutting strategies. Tossing our human resources is like tossing out our walnut shells; we miss out on a potential gold mine of new revenue.
This is not going to be easy. Building out of bricks is more work than straw or sticks. It means we need to be much more conscious about our internal dialogue and our dialogue with each other; all aspects of our communication. We’ll have to listen to each other, and be open to innovations and thinking well outside of the box. By starting every puzzle we face with the mind-set that we can solve it with creativity and innovation, we set ourselves up to use that creativity and innovation. Opportunity may not be knocking as loudly as it once did, but that doesn’t mean we can’t seize it where it’s lurking.
The Little Engine that Can
When it comes to interpersonal communication, one of the worst things you can do is make assumptions. They start you down a path that is more often inaccurate than accurate, and inevitably lead to conflict. There are exceptions to this “no assumptions about anything” rule when we are dealing with non-interpersonal communication: that dialogue in your head.
Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward? Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
Conscious Communication - the podcast series
Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Interview for Entrepreneur Magazine Radio w/ R. Wolter
Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain
Ever want to create
characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were
Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours. Enjoy!
also available at:
Cover to Cover
And of course
the 800 lb.
Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life. Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now. It is a collection of insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work. The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.
Kind words for “Kind Ambition”
"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."
-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media
“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”
-Romanus Wolter -
Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The good news is: they can be overcome. The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."
-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's
Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters
Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine
“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life. Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in this straightforward and inspirational book.”
-Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past
President of SF Coaches
" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways. His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."
-Roy King, III, Director Pacific Development Partners
© 2001- 2011 Optimized Results. All Rights Reserved 205 Chattanooga St. San Francisco, CA 94114 415.826.0478