A Question of Priorities, not Character

question of prioritiesSadly, of late, I’ve been barraged by some family members who don’t understand what I do, what I am going through & the major changes I am trying to make. It upsets their natural order of things – they very much don’t like unpredictability.

That’s ok, I am working on a big, evil plans (not affiliate), mohwahhahaha. Not very many people understand, or appreciate.


In the process, I’ve uncovered a huge communication gap, one that I see with many people (myself included).

At the core: Not asking – just assuming. Just assuming people think like you do, and they are at fault when they don’t read your mind and do what you think you would do.

Here’s a story:  I sat with a friend and listened to him discuss all his frustrations with people & why can’t they just do the right thing. He’s clearly going through a lot but some of it is manageable by modifying / managing the thinking process. I struggled with finding an example for him – but the perfect  example came loud & clear today. Remember the ‘barrage’ I mentioned above? Well this morning, as I went to bring in the trash cans, a certain someone started talking about the wilted peony plant, & how could we have had a yard waste can out for trash pickup when the wilted peony is still there.  A whole world war broke out over said peony between said ‘certain someone’, and another family member about my ‘lack of care & attention’ in removing the peony. 

To be honest, I never even noticed the wilted peony. Ever.  It was never in my line of sight.

It was at that moment when it struck me that this was the perfect example for my friend!

I didn’t see that peony because of my filters and priorities, not because I was being negligent, lazy, incompetence, or possessing a lack of character. I am in the middle of implementing some of those evil plans, and have lots of balls up in the air. BUT – had someone asked me to remove the wilted peony, I gladly would have made the time to do it.

Apparently though, the general consensus was that I should not have to be asked. I should not have to be told. I should know the ‘right thing to do’.  Because  I ‘slacked’, means that my character is flawed.

Everyone has their own sets of priorities, and therefore, their own agendas, focus, and filters. Because of those individual priorities, different things are attended to at different times.  They cause people to see and filter out different things. It doesn’t mean they don’t know how to do the right thing. It’s question of priorities, not character.

You cannot assume the other person thinks like you, even about something important, or even surrounding a question about work ethic. When priorities and agendas, and therefore focus, are different, then by default what gets tended to when, and how, are different. An individual’s actions are not necessarily indicative of character, but of priorities, agendas, and focus. Therefore, you cannot assume the other person thinks like you or holds the same things as important.

Had someone simply said to me:  “hey, when you have a minute (or by the end of the day or some other time period), can you cut down the peony?”,  then this would all have been handled, and graciously handled. It would have been a non issue, and this post wouldn’t exist.

When we expect people to think like us, be like us, and read our minds, then communication issues and tensions arise.

This same situation exists when we don’t let people know when they’ve crossed a line in some way with us.  Most people don’t they’ve done something to upset us. They can also be so wrapped up in their world, that they don’t even notice our reaction (so they can read our mind).

A major portion of my upcoming book is on communications, being proactive and emotionally intelligent to specify, to set expectations, and to clarify / follow up. (I know, I know, I can just hear some of you saying “But people are adults. I shouldn’t have to tell them ‘this or that’.” To that I say, if you want better results, you need to be the proactive communicator, setting boundaries and expectations, and being clear.)

Most people will do what you ask, if it’s reasonable, clear, and specific. And, it’s up to you to followup to ensure they understand, agree, and deliver.  Even then you may still encounter issues, because let’s face it, people are an unpredictable lot, and they have their own opinions.

When you take the steps and measures to be clear and concise, and act accordingly, you will have assumed all the responsibility you can to ensure results.  They may not be the results you are expecting, but you have done your fair share, and cannot beat yourself up for it.

The next time someone doesn’t do what you want, ask yourself: did you drive the communication or did you expect someone to think and act like you?

What other communication tips do you have? Leave them below in the comments.

To your success,


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Support System: You don’t get a vote

No VoteWhen we are at certain points in our lives, or endeavoring to make big strides and changes, there will be people who cross our path who don’t approve of what we  are doing, who don’t understand, or who plain old don’t like how you upset their natural order of things.

Did you ever notice that? Even with something like quitting smoking, or losing weight? Well meaning friends and family try to lure you with ‘just a little bite, it won’t ruin anything’ or ‘just a puff, for old time’s sake’. There’s usually a reason for that, deep down.

And I guarantee you, the more positive changes you try to make, or the more you endeavor to bring your dream alive, the more you will make some people (and perhaps some very close people) VERY uncomfortable. Why? Because now you have become an unknown factor, something that’s unpredictable. You are upsetting their comfort zone, their natural order of things. Unfortunately, there are very few of these people you can talk to intelligently, and sway them back to your camp; both which are the best case scenario.

If you cannot sway people into your camp, to them I say: “you do not get a vote in my life“. Or,  “I release you from having control over me“.

Since we become what we are around, the more we surround ourselves with the people we aspire to, or the people who will support us in our efforts, the faster we will achieve our desired results.  But this will make things more uncomfortable for some others in our circles.  And the more you stay around the negative people who do not accept or understand what you are trying the create, the worse that will become for you.

I’ve seen this time and again as a success coach at Working Wardrobes, as many of those transitioning their lives from one of bad choices to one of decisions for a better life and better family. Those who did not surround themselves with supportive people or like minded people, then relinquished control over their new lives back to those who couldn’t handle the change.

Wouldn’t you rather take control of the things you can, and keep pressing forward, widening the gap between you and poisonous relationships? Those that love you, that have a healthy relationship with you, who want to see you happy, will come to understand and support you.

To the others, simply say: you don’t get a vote in my life.

It’s a tough thing to accept and do, but you need to do what is right, and healthy, for you if you want the positive changes you are making to stick.  Set up the best support system for your success.

Set yourself up for success!



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Personal Branding Lessons: Are you a Dog in the Pound?

This evening I saw an America Strong segment on ABC News Tonite, which featured photographer Shannon Johnstone and her quest to save abandoned dogs at the pound.

There are 2 important Personal Branding lessons here,

  1. the power of your body language and expression (environment) on ‘being picked’;
  2. the power of volunteering.


sad dogExpression and Body Language:

Easily increase your odds of being picked!

If you’ve been unemployed for awhile, or passed over for promotion, or have difficulty finding that special someone, take a tip from the dogs in the pound…..

Shannon took dogs who had been in the kennel the longest,  took them out to a landfill, and photographed them.  Shannon and her husband played with them, and snapped pictures of them in moments of joy, moments of play, enjoying their freedom. Those photos were posted on Facebook, in hopes they would be adopted. Her ‘adoption conversion rate’ is still very high, in attracting adoptive parents for these dogs.

These are dogs that have been in the pound the longest, overlooked, and who – like humans, showed their frustration and sadness in their expression and body language.

Believe it or not, I see the same thing in people who have come across hard times. Whether recently let go or long term unemployed, lost a love or divorced, etc., many people carry that ‘scarlet letter’ on their face and in the way they carry themselves around. If you’re looking for a job, promotion, new love, that ‘scarlet letter’ stands out and repels people from you. And may even attract the wrong people.

Go to any networking event, and see if you can find the ‘unemployed’. It’s easy. Go to a one stop center or welfare office, and watch the mannerisms and body language. Most times you can see and hear desperation,  sadness, despair. And that environment is a draining one. It’s very tough work bringing yourself out of that ‘place’.

Take a tip from these dogs who let their real personalities shine, even for just a few minutes! Don’t wait for someone to rescue you. Go get a makeover, put on your ‘happy’ Happy Dog Happy Brandface, carry yourself confidently and proudly, and watch your conversion rates soar. Treat yourself to something good, and ‘feel’ that something great is coming, coming soon from right around the corner. Go out and do something fun. Hang around people who are where you want to be. Internalize that energy and hope and freedom, and keep doing that.  A turnaround is sure to come much sooner than the sad puppy face.

When involved with Working Wardrobes Days of Self Esteem, the change in stature, facial expressions, and body language in all the participants was simply astounding. Particularly in the men! Women at least can get makeup and a new hairdo, but the men simply got trimmed or a new style and a new suit.  They went from ‘just an unemployed man’ to a ‘man with potential’.

Do yourself a favor this holiday season. Treat yourself to a makeover from the inside, and watch it come out on the outside. Then accentuate it with an outside makeover. Snap a new Linkedin picture, and update your profile to represent that new you!

Get out of the pound – then send me the results. Good luck!! You’re worth it!

Bonus Branding Lesson: Power of Volunteering:

Easily increase the value of your network and increase your odds for having your 15 minutes!

The simple act of volunteering to help abandoned dogs get adopted, just using her skill & passion through her craft of photography, she was highlighted by ABC News Tonite in their America Strong segment – skyrocketing her brand and her 15 minutes. (You’ll never know when those 15 minutes will strike, are you ready?).  I talked about the power of volunteering here, in The #1 Way to Improve the Value of Your Networking. Volunteering is good for your community, and good for you.  Making 1+1=3.  Look into it.  Now let’s hope Shannon is ready to capitalize on all the instant exposure!

To your Success – now, go Raevolutionize!



State of Being

Thanksgiving. Thanks. Giving.

A good friend of mine from the OC Speakers Bureau (Founder’s District for all you Toastmasters), Larry Gassin, did a great article about Gratitude vs Thankfulness, called ‘Some Thoughts on G.R.A.T.I.T.U.D.E‘.  and brought up ‘state of being‘. Gratitude is actually the state of being thankful.

State of being. That base mental foundation that drives everything else.  Many of us expect a result that we can create to – to be happy, to be successful, etc. When in reality, we are the driver of all of it. A state of being ‘ready’ and open for something.

In one of our Manifesting Monday sessions, the Power Pose, we discussed how our own body language actually has more impact to our mental state than it does to other individuals.  Fascinating.  If you have a chance to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, you should. Very thought provoking and powerful.

As we come upon the close of a tough year (for me anyways), I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, the really important things I’ve learned about myself, and the power of the people I’ve started surrounding myself with everyday.  (I can see the difference on my mental state, from the energy of the others I am around. I can also see the impact of my energy (positive and negative) on others, and I am way more aware of that impact now.

Bottom line – build your state of being, work on it. Even if your life or business is not where you want it at the moment, you have the power, right now, to impact your future and propel it towards the successes you desire.

You have power. Right here. Right now.

So how will you use your power? For good or for evil?  (lol – thanks Chandler Bing).

To your Speaking Success,


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Are You a Rembrandt, Picasso, or a Stick Figure?

what kind of work of art are youThe other day, while wallowing about looking for a non-typical Mother of the Bride dress and not being in the desired shape for said dress and corresponding event, I talked badly about every aspect of myself. Yes, I sadly wallowed when I know better. After tolerating my rant,  a very dear & close ‘friend’ said,

“…that’s not how I see you.  I see a Rembrandt. An image with all the parts in the right places, with the perfect colors, and the perfect lighting, everything done the way it was supposed to be. You can’t change a color, a perspective, a position or anything about that painting without changing the intent, purpose, or meaning of the picture.”

I sat there speechless. How can you really argue that. It was a perfectly timed, much appreciated, and a deeply profound statement.

How we see ourselves sometimes is not necessarily how others see us, yes that’s true. And how we see ourselves, and what we believe about ourselves will most times drive what people see and believe about us.

But, we are what we are, a work of art created by a higher being who orchestrated the timing, the genes, the colors, the perspectives. A true artist who designed the intent and the purpose and the meaning. There will be people who see it and get it, and there will be people who don’t.

I had been hit with a wall of sadness because of all that had been going on, but that statement alone was like a whack on the side of the head. I am honored to know a man that would say that, and who had the sincerity and wherewithal to know how desperately it needed to be heard, and more importantly, understood.

Words have power in them, and you never know what will be heard, when, and how….and how those words could impact the person who hears them.  This applies to adults as well as children.

This reminds me of a quote by Miguel Angel Ruiz which I just included in my 80 Career & Income Boosting quotes and tips:

Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

You will never know when someone will be deeply impacted by what you say.

More importantly – when you find yourself asking ‘who am I’, start by understanding you are a piece of fine artwork, then work to understand what kind of work of art you are. What did your artist intend with the creation of you? ‘Avoid using the word to speak against yourself‘, or to fill your mind with negative thought. Instead, start believing that you are indeed a piece of fine art, and the right people will appreciate the style of you, and what the artist intended. So  whether you are a Rembrandt, Picasso, Pollock, a Da Vinci or an Angelo, or you don’t yet really know….. know that you are here for a reason….to fulfill a mission.  Believe it. Live it. Own it.

Thank you my friend, for saying what you did, when you did.

What kind of work of art are you?  Share in the comments below.


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Lost at the Intersection of Reality & Misperception

how to deal with curveballsWhat do you do when life constantly throws curve balls, and you end up not at all where you intended? When you are so off course you have no idea where how to get back to where you started, or let alone remember that starting place?

Are you being targeted, or are you actually an architect?

I can tell you from personal experience, the more you accept / tolerate those curves, the more life will deliver them.  The more you intently you operate without having an overriding goal, strategy, vision, the more you will fall prey to what life throws at you.  I am reminded of a quote I uncovered last month:  “For a ship without a destination, there is no favorable wind.” ~ Unknown and of one by Zig Ziglar “Are you a wandering generality or a meaningful specific?”

I’ve seen this countless time with my clients, with relatives and friends, with some of those ‘celebs’ who are a train wreck waiting to happen.  And, I am living it right now. Caught in the vicious cycle of trudging on, contemplating and processing it, feeling sad about it, moving further away from the important things that make me happy, letting people make me feel guilty when I chose to pursue those things, and finally getting caught up in more ‘stuff’ as a result.

My mother’s illness and its corresponding complications have taken priority level, followed by supporting my father and coordinating care. My relationships & I have fallen to dead last place, with my incorrect assumption that me & they will understand my withdrawal or unpredictability of emotions. Everything else has fallen in the middle. I believe I have incorrectly turned my priority pyramid upside down; and you know what an upside triangle is, right?  Highly unstable.  That pyramid used to be grounded in the right direction, when all things were in flow, when I was in the zone. But unfortunately, not now. The hazard of all caregivers.

I am lost at the intersection of reality and misperception of what life is and could be. I am at present, a wandering generality. I wasn’t always that way. Has that ever happened to you? Driver of the bus, niw seemingly being run over by it? Once I moved from being  a meaningful specific, a black hole opened.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for SO MANY THINGS right now, because “there by the grace of God go I’, but I’ve lost my way and am sitting here in the family waiting area, working to map my way back.  Just like regaining weight – it’s a tough ride to get back to where you were.  I’m telling you it can be done.  I’ve done it before, and it can be done again.

Let’s do it together. Beginning today. Even this simple act of rebuilding perspective can change an attitude in an instant. Curveballs in life then become more manageable.

Even if you don’t know exactly what you want,  or where you want to function, commit to the simple decision of doing whatever it will take aiming to ‘that place’. Define it as best you can, right now. Don’t aim for perfection, aim for direction.  Just as with sailing you have to tack with the wind, and zig zag to catch the power and momentum of the wind, you are still aiming towards a finish line.  What’s that finish line for you?


  1. Launching some of my information products which will help my clients and prospects create a more successful future. I find when I am helping people succeed, and helping them see what positive momentum that creates for them, I become stronger and create stronger information channels for them. The impact to the world becomes exponential.

Some outcomes you will see over the next few months:  consistent delivery of a tips, speedier website, the launch of my kindle mini-books, some free telesummits for career and freelancing growth, Speaking opportunities, behind the scenes tools which make things easier for everyone. My small business crowdfunding page will be launched to help me finance some of the things I am doing for you and my clients.

2.    Driving my coworking virtual space – with tools, tips, local coworking locations, for business success. Along with this is getting things rolling for an actual space in South Jersey, and looking for investors.  I have another crowdfunding  site here.

3.   Launch of my mobile coaching program, Linkedin up & prospecting program, Guru.com .

Yes, it may sound like a lot, especially given all that I have going on right now, but I have started ‘small’ with the direction. Tomorrow is identifying what success in each of those areas looks like and why I want to achieve it.

If (our) reality is based on the filters and societal programming from an early age, therefore creating what we see and attract, and misperception is the improper processing of another’s intent, I have the immediate power to make immediate shifts so that I am no longer lost.

If I pull out my Progressive Mindset model, where my day is split into 3 major sections: 17% Energy (food and exercise), 30% Productivity (task and goal efforts), and 45% Sustainability (sleep, planning, relationships, spirituality and financial activities), supported by daily goals, then every curve, option, opportunity or decision is bounced up against the major goals and becomes either a bubble or a seed. Seeds become planted to yield results, and bubbles are popped and let go. More on this model later, but being proactive rather than reactive is the goal (this is a post I wrote for the OCSpeakers Bureau).

My merely taking time to craft this post, while sitting in the family waiting area of the hospital, my attitude has shifted, and several motions were set into play. Just in 1 hour of stepping away from the stress and becoming proactive instead of reactive.

What will you do to make things better? Where will you seek support? How will you invest in yourself? Start somewhere or start with these tipsheets.

The key is to start aiming in the general direction of what success and happiness looks like to you, and modify your destination as you gain more info along the way. But starting here and now is crucial. Change your mindset, change your results. Comment below to let me know how you are doing and some of the results you are achieving.  I will report out the same.

To your Success,



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