Category: Nudge

InspirationMotivationNudgePersonal Development

Can success wait?

I often get discouraged as I see a lot of people share some of their amazing entrepreneurial successes. Admittedly, the discouragement lasts about five minutes (and usually drives me to take an action of some sort), but it is still there.

Part of it is the desire to just have 12-15 hours a day to focus on the ideas that flow into my mind. There are a lot of other important priorities going on in life right now that really do need my focus. If I don’t take this time to focus on them, there will be failures – not just for myself, but for a lot of other people.

So, I keep asking myself the frustrating questions:

  • Why am I inspired with these ideas if I can only take a small amount of time to act on them?
  • Will I miss “my special opportunity” if I don’t fully engage it pursuing them right now?
  • What if someone else gets to it before I do?
  • Can I still make money when I finally do get to put a little more time into it?

I cannot be alone in asking these questions. Regardless of whether or not they are the right questions to ask, the mind goes there.

But, this morning I had a spiritual nudge. A nudge prompting that gave me some peace.

I’ve been through this before. I haven’t been quite ready for what was there for me, and the success was able to wait.

<

p class=”impact-text”> The Contest

When I was in grade school there was a yearly publication that came out in the school district. It was a booklet filled with short stories, poems, and pictures drawn by children all over the school district. I loved the booklet and looked forward to seeing it each year and hoped to be a part of it. But, I wasn’t a big short story or poetry writer. I was, however, ok in art class. So, I started thinking of submitting an entry. It couldn’t hurt to enter the contest, right?

I was in the fifth grade and picked up the special paper that was used to submit entries into the contest. I decided to draw a picture for the cover. Yep, I was all in! I drew the picture and my classmates and teacher loved it. They were actually excited for me to enter it into the contest. Something in me said that I would win with this entry. Do you have these moments where you just know? I knew.

But, for some reason I had filled something in wrong on the special submission paper. Perhaps I had used the wrong ink pen or had made a spelling error. Regardless, it meant that I had to start over on a new piece of submission paper.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal because I had drawn it so many times. But, something in my head switched. I got nervous and knew that I would make a mistake on the next sheet and I wouldn’t have another chance. I think there was a limit on how many sheets you were allowed. It seems crazy now, but I gave up! I figured that I wouldn’t be able to make it better than it was and I dropped out. My teacher was completely surprised by my lack of enthusiasm and so were my parents.

A year later the contest came up again. I had that feeling within me that I was the person to win the cover. The same feeling that I had in the past. So, I asked my new and old teacher if it was ok for me to submit what I had drawn the year before and they said it was completely fine. I drew it again and submitted it.

A few weeks or months later (who knows at this point in life how long it actually was) they announced who had gotten entries into the coveted booklet. My entry had won the cover!

Talk about pure sixth grade joy!

Even if you know something, it is still a shock when it actually happens.

Wright Flight

This was one of the first of many life experiences where I realized that sometimes what you are supposed to do…can wait. Yes, we feel like we “miss” some opportunities along the way. But, have we really missed them? Were they intended for us? Would they lead us in the direction we fully intend on going? In my case, would there have been a selection committee that wasn’t quite ready to value my entry?

Short term, it can hurt. Seeing others gain success in something that we’d like to pursue is hard when we are chomping at the bit to get to that point. But, this “waiting” period might be invaluable to us and our idea. It may be a time to continue to build skills, learn lessons and observe others that are on the same path. We may be able to fine tune our idea. We may realize that we should apply our idea in a different setting. We may realize that the idea will mess with our personal values in a way we weren’t expecting. The idea may lose importance over time.

Does this mean we should stop the pursuit right now? NO.

This is a time to take a long term perspective on some of our goals and aspirations. If something else is taking priority in life right now, and that priority is aligned to your personal values and those we are accountable to, we most put those things first. In fact, focusing on those priorities can become invaluable experiences that make our idea more focused, more powerful and faster to implement once the idea gets front and center priority in our lives.

So, can success wait?
Yes, it can. Just use the “wait” toward preparing yourself for a bigger and better success.

Customer NeedsLeadershipNudge

Negative Nudges – with positive results

angry man

Ok, this week I felt like I received some personal nudges that were a bit negative.

One was actually negative – a one star review on one of my online courses. I already wrote a blogpost about that one.

The other wasn’t actually negative, but it did force to get to clearer on my purpose for Nudge Village. Come to think of it, I actually wrote a blogpost about that one as well. You know, the post about “burning the ships?”
Day 39 :: my own worst enemy
Obviously, those “negative” nudges ended up being pretty powerful for me.

Why?

  • Embarrassment – They embarrassed me just a bit. After all, I’m a “Chief Nudger,” and a “Nudge Strategist.” I want to do good work and make a difference.
  • Lead by Example – Most of my day job involves leadership, management and mentoring. Yet, I couldn’t get my own website and products to clearly meet the needs of my audience? Practicing what I preach would be a first good step toward leading by example.
  • Prioritize It – I’ve been incredibly busy. Too busy. But, I have so many ideas. Why not follow them all at once? Right? Wrong. Instead of starting multiple disparate projects, it is time to get clear on 1-2 and …finish them.
  • Focus – What will the 1-2 ideas be? I’ve got to push aside what all the voices are saying (no, not in my head – all the social network voices) and decide what fits me and what fits my audience. Who is my audience anyway? Exactly. Focus.

 

Thank you shout out to the Negative Nudgers

So, I must say thank you to the negative nudgers today. They embarrassed me. I’m now back to leading by example. I’m prioritizing. I’m focusing. I re-arranged my website. I burned some ships (in the form of confusing webpages). I’ve included some new tips in my Authenticity on Twitter course. I’ve had new ideas about what to offer within my more focused website.

<

p class=”impact-text”>Don’t disregard them in the future

They may embarrass you. They may make you angry. But, emotion can be good. It can lead to self-improvement. It can lead to more insights and reflection. It can lead to more blogposts on your blog about how the negative nudge changed you. Ha.

I’d say “bring ’em on,” but I have a feeling there will be more negative nudges that will come all too naturally.

For now, I’m going to use them as turning points that keep me on a growth path.

Onward and Upward…..

InspirationNudgeStories

The Power of a Nudge

finger pressing a screenThis week I created a guest blogpost for another blog and realized that I really needed to share it here. After all, it is about the power of a nudge!

So, here it goes!

Have you ever had a family member, a friend, a co-worker or even someone you barely know make a suggestion or comment that made a huge difference in your life? It may have been a simple remark, but it had a lasting impact on choices you made going forward?

We call these “nudges.” These little ideas, comments, and suggestions have the power to increase our self-confidence, encourage us to change direction in our lives, educate us on new possibilities, and  instigate a new business, adventure or idea. Unfortunately, some nudges can have a negative impact – lead us away from generally accepted moral and ethical behavior or cause us to lose confidence in our own capabilities and gifts.

How can small, seemingly unimportant interactions hold this much power in our lives?

Over 10 years ago I decided to quit my job and go back to school. Why? A friend suggested that I should get a masters degree. I had not thought about getting a masters degree, but I had made it a goal to take a few courses in web design. The power of the suggestion made me re-think my plan. I decided to enroll in an online MBA program through the University of Maryland. I was accepted and started my first course – accounting. It wasn’t my best subject and it wasn’t very motivating. A few months into it I received an email from a former co-worker who excitedly shared that she thought I should go to graduate school and that she had found a program just for me at George Mason University. Her email contained all the right words to peak my interest – training, education, HTML, and adult learning. So, I signed up. Seriously, I went to the website, found out the requirements for applying, took the proper steps and I walked into my first class on campus less than four months later.

Why would I start a graduate program based upon a suggestion from a friend? Why would I drop out of an MBA and start a new program based upon a simple email communication?

I still don’t know why, but I acted on their suggestions. Perhaps I trusted their opinions. Perhaps I trusted that they knew my desires, talents and skills. Perhaps I felt inspiration at the moment the suggestions were given. Though I’m still not sure why I accepted those “nudges” and took action, I can look back and see the amazing change they made in my life. I did well in the program and went on to progressively more interesting and higher paying jobs. I also gained a lot of confidence in myself.

The act of accepting a nudge is important. But, what may be even more important is taking the time to become “a nudger.” Sharing small tips that might help a friend, suggesting that someone ask for that raise, and expressing confidence that a person will be able to attempt and achieve a goal. Sometimes it is just to be helpful and sometimes we will truly be inspired to say something that will help someone completely change direction in their job, their friendships, and life goals.

We all have the power to nudge and be nudged. It gets easier with practice and as we become more aware of these interactions, we also start to notice when we might be unintentionally nudging people in the wrong direction or becoming a detriment to their growth. But, those moments will be rare.

<

p class=”impact-text”>Try nudging someone today. You’ll see. It might change you too.