Networking a Community

For years I've learned and practiced so many different business principals. Of them all I believe one of the most important and fulfilling activities of all is networking effectively.

Much of what we do as business owners is connecting with other people and sharing information.  Now there are a lot of ways to share information and industries of all different kinds are being disrupted by the interest and the information that is shared.

However when this information is shared with someone in person who is actively listening, its priceless.  Think about how distracted we have become as business owners and how difficult it is to focus on one thing.

At networking events the purpose is to grow as a person by expanding your views via learning from others.  The best networkers are the individuals who not only meet a lot of great contacts, they are also they ones who actively engaged in other people and their hopes and dreams.

When is your next networking event? 

 

 

The Role of Technology

It's an exciting time to live in.  New technologies are being developed and unleashed on such a regular basis it is changing everything.

For instance over the weekend my wife and I used Amazon Fresh for the first time.  It's been available for sometime now however in the past the convenience of getting groceries delivered to my door was worth the extra cost involved.  That was the past and it's evolved such that the prices on everyday items are similar in cost to what I'd get at my neighborhood Ralph's (not to mention my wife just started maternity leave and doesn't want to leave the house). 

Amazon Fresh is so convenient.  The service was great and I'm pretty sure I'll be using it again sometime soon.    Convenience is great however I started to think about technology has changed my life, and in some instances not in a good way.

  • After my son has played with all his toys, run around for 30 minutes and he is still looking for something to do, I hand him his iPad and hope he falls asleep within the hour.  Too much screen time and obviously this could have adverse effects.
  • Texting is a great tool for short communication that doesn't require a nice discussion.  I find it annoying that most people don't call on birthdays or special occasions.  For that reason I make it a point to call friends and family on their birthday.
  • Social Media and cell phone distraction... are most people even present anymore?  Why go to dinner with other humans if you are just going to be on the phone?  

I once read that the purpose of the Internet was to create a system for people to connect with others.  Although the certainly does that I know in many instances how internet and technology can isolate people and give them an excuse to not even leave the house!

Don't let that be you!  Use technology as a way to communicate with others, not to isolate yourself.  It's a double edge sword so be conscious of the effect it has on you.

The Definition of Luck

Happy Friday the 13th! 

An oxymoron like jumbo shrimp indeed. 

This whole day I was thinking all about luck... about how some people are just really lucky and some people just really unlucky.   Or at least think they are.

Its all a mindset shift.  Choose one. 

Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.  Some people would say it's all a matter of timing.  Sure, but when the time comes you better be ready.  Sometimes you only have one chance to make a first impression so better have honed your craft, whatever that may be.


 

 

 

The Toastmaster Effect

What the greatest fear that people have?

Public Speaking.

Yes, enough the thought of dyng does not scare people more than publicly sharing information. 

Today is last Presidential Address that will given by the leader of the Free World, Barack Obama. 

Regardless of polictical view, there is no bias when it comes to the importance of being a great speaker.  One way to experience and grow as a speaker is to join Toastmasters.  An organization with a goal of providing its members communication and leadership skills through public speaking. 

Through Toastmasters I prepared speeches about what I know.  For most people that's my own life experience and things that I'm good at, feel strongly about or just something I spend a lot of time doing.

In order to lead people you have to be able to communicate effectively.  

Are you up for challenge?  Find out more at Toastmaster.org

Communication is Key to Creating What You Want

What is it you want to create?  A successful business? A great non profit?  A family filled with harmony?  A great marriage? A thriving community within your neighborhood?

There are a lot of key components to acheving each of these examples.  Also, feel free to fill in the blanks for yourself.  

If you look at all these examples the one thing that is a constant and always will be a constant. 

Communication. 

It's so easy to forget since we live in the day in age where most people would rather Google something then bother to ask another human being a question.  God forbid we have to talk to each other! 

 Business, family, organizations and communities of all kinds are built with people.  And the people all have to make it work.  Or else, they won't grow or prosper.

 

Do it because you love playing the game

I wasn't a college football fan until today. 

The Clemson Tigers were playing the Alabama Crimson Tide.  Alabama being the number one ranked team in the nation was favored to win... and they didn't.

Clemson won in a dramatic a finish as a New England Patriots playoff game would be. 

What's crazy is these are college football players... they are not paid to do what they do.  Yeah sure a lot of them probably want to play professionally and realistically a lot of them won't.  They doesn't matter though.  The toughness and grit that was on display was amazing.  The athleticism of the plays was amazing yet the players play because that just what they do.. they play. 

If you are a self employed person and you don't enjoy what you do to make income, it's probably best look for something else to take all your time.  There are so many different ways to make money, why not do something you enjoy instead?

One mindset flip you can do is simple just to ask a different question: 

What contribution to others can I make consistently which I can do for a full time basis over a course of a lifetime?

Whether the answer to that question is being someone who post videos on YouTube of cats and can produce revenue out of it, then so be it.  As long as your happy doing it and it provides for your lifestyle, who's to judge?

I've known too many people spend all their chasing money and many of the ones that have money don't even enjoy it.

So think about your business choices and what drives you.   Are you doing it for the money like many NFL players?  Or, do you just love playing the game like the Clemson Tigers? 

 

Control What You Can Control

Being a parent has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world.  Living a full life is busy enough, having a little human being who is entirely dependent on you for their survival is a lot to manage. 

I thought of the serenity prayer because if there is one thing you have to learn as a business owner is that there are many thing we can't control, some we can and yet it's still very difficult to know the difference.

Growing a business is about growing revenue and production yet many people who call themselves business owners are horrible at managing their time and maximize revenue producing activities. 

Raising a child is very similar.   

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Today I brought my new born daughter home from the hospital.  We've been at the hospital for thr past 3 dys as my wife recovered from a c-section birth.  The hospital stay was a challenge and we made it through just fine.  I guess the second time around is not filled with as much stress and anxiety about being new partners.

An even bigger challenge came when we got home.  It was the first time we had been away from our son for such a long time and for sure he noticed we were gone. 

The whole night has been full of tantrums.  Hurricane Julius was on a tear! 

So why was Julius so mad?  There was another person his community taking away resources and attention from him.  What I realized that it's not natural for kids or people to cooperate with each other.  

It takes work.

Julius had been so used to his environment.  Julius, Mom and I were best buddies, 3 peas in a pod... and now a 4th has come home.

When I first decided to get into business for myself, the main driving factor was that I felt I could do better on my own.  I didn't want to be around a company culture and I didn't want to make it work.

So I quit.

That experience was almost 15 years ago.  Fast forward to now I have learned that as far as my "career" is concerned, it doesn't matter where I work or how big the business.   What matters most regardless of the career or profession and they question that everyone has to ask themselves is...

Are you contributing your best to the community that you believe in?  Or are you just a 2 year old throwing tantrums because you can't get your way all the time.  

You choose.

Your Business, Your Baby

That's my baby!

I'll have to get used to saying that 2x over now that I have two kids.  When you have kids it's amazing what you'll do for them.  My 1st born son is almost 2 years old and it's amazing the kind of things they get themselves into.  I usually let him do whatever he wants unless he's being disrespectful or he's about to put himself in a position to get hurt.

That's my baby, I'll do whatever it takes to protect them.  

 If you've never been a parent, maybe you've been a business owner or are a business owner currently.  I take the same approach.  

That's my business, I'll do whatever it takes to keep it alive (unless of course, it's illegal or going to put me in a position where I'll get hurt).

Notice how some parents are in love with their baby when they are just born and when they are "terrible 2's"  they start wishing they never had kids???  It's amazing how as a business consultant I see business owners who have that "fire inside them" and passion to create a business.  Only for that enthusiasm to wane over time because they choose to work harder, not smarter and eventually get burnt out.

Don't be "that parent" business owners.  It takes patience to make a business work and most of the time most struggling business owners just need to remember why they got into business in the first place in order to stoke the fire.

If you are going to have a baby, just know that for at least 18 years they are dependent on you and if you are going to start a business, heck, if it takes 18 years to succeed just know that it'll all be worth it looking back.  

 Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria

Family First

What really matters more than family? 

Maxima Victoria Austria, 6lb, 7oz, 19in

Maxima Victoria Austria, 6lb, 7oz, 19in

My daughter and second child was born yesterday, 3 weeks premature.  Guess she was ready for the world sooner than we thought!

 Before being a parent so many things mattered.  During the pregnancy all you really want is for the baby to come out healthy.  After the baby is born the ONLY thing that matters is what matters to baby... and everything else is secondary. 

 Being a parent is the ultimate privelage.  The opportunity to raise a human being in your likeness.  A relationship like no other.   Someone to carry on your legacy. 

Thats what family means to me... and family comes first.  Relationships come first.  It's not about the money, it's not about fame.  Its all about family.  It's all about relationships. 

Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria

 

 

New Year, New Life

In about 15 minutes my family of 3 will soon be a family of 4.  Wow. 

its truly a privelage to be able to bring a new life into this world.  Although this is my 2nd child, it's no less a miracle. 

When my son Julius was born my whole world was turned upside down.  The structure and systems of life that I was used to were thrown out the window and new structures and systems were created.  I feel like I just got used to having one child, now it's time to reorganize and restructure. 

All that said though, it's so worth it.   Having kids allowed me to narrow my focus and become realigned with my priorities.  It makes every day and day with purpose because for at least 18 years my kids will be dependent on me for nearly everything.

What a privilege.  I'm looking foreword to each moment. 

Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria

New Year's Habits

I recently saw a post on Facebook, from billionaire Richard Branson and it said "You don't have to worry about what you eat from Thanksgiving to New Years if you worry about what you eat from New Years to Thanksgiving.

That post really stopped me in my tracks and made me really think about the new year.  

Today was my first day back in the gym in the New Year.  In a way I was dreading it because at this point there are usually droves of people at the gym ready to start their New Year's diet.  I'm always up for people working to better themselves and their situation.  No matter what the circumstances.  However the whole New Year's resolution thing really frustrates me to no end.

I've been there before and what I realized to create anything over time, the right mindset and habits have to be developed.  

For example the only way to endure a marathon is to put the miles in over time.  

And how do you put the miles in over time?  You have to create a lot of good habits.  You don't train for a marathon by running a 100 miles in month #1 and then a 100 miles total in month #2-6.  It just doesn't work that way.  

Consistency is key.  January 1st then isn't a beginning it's a continuation what you already know to do.  

So if I see you in the gym I hope to meet you, get to know you and encourage you to keep coming in to exercise or train for an event.  Life is short.  Anything is possible,

Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria

Zombie Apocalypse and the Future of Work

I've watched Walking Dead for years and I'm just finishing up Season 2 of Z-Nation. 

So what's the fascination with zombies shows anyway?   Is it the film making, special effects, maybe the blood and guts?  What is it?

From the standpoint of business consultant, the zombie shows take on a whole new meaning.   

The zombie virus or disease that's spreading to people today is indifference, despair and cynicism.  I see it everyday.  Rather than look for opportunities, most people are looking for "the easy way" out or something to distract themselves from their own lives.  

Most people would rather be zombies, just going about their day hoping to pass time in a comfortable, predictable manner.  

Of course the alternative is to constantly being out of your comfort zone, learning every day and growing each day.  The ones who survive the zombie apocalypse are the ones who have faith, or a mission in life serve.  If you watch Z-Nation this is clearly outlined by the crew's commitment to a common cause: Get the Murphy to California.

In the new work future, or zombie apocalypse, just "getting by" is not going to be enough.  In this future of work, you have to have purpose to survive, other wise you just a zombie no matter what.  You can be a poor zombie or a rich zombie, nobody cares.  

This post apocalyptic work environment will not have room for people who don't want to grow, contribute and enjoy their communities.  

You have to live life on purpose.  

Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria

The Year of Creation

2016 went well and 2017 is going to be even better.

The first day of 2017 feels like the first day of school.  Everything is brand spanking new.  A clean slate.  It's almost like the feeling I get after going to church.  A clean slate for the week.  

But this is 2017, this is big.  One part of what will make it big is the fact that I'm committed to writing my blog.    I've always liked writing and never really pursued actively writing just for the sake of writing.  I wrote because I had to and I never gave myself much time to write because I enjoyed it.

I have the opportunity to change that for 2017.  I understand the only way I get better at writing if if I write!  What's great is that I believe I can write about a lot of great things.  

Quality of Life Planning.  TriumphLIFE.  Life is Short.  Anything is Possible.  Make it a Great Day!

All of these are topics I can write about for days, weeks and months.    

What's worse is I wouldn't write because I was worried about how many people would read it.  Well, "looking good" isn't producing results so I might as well just write for the sake of writing.  

Here goes everything.   I'm looking forward to healthy and prosperous new year.  See you 2017!

Ruben B. Austria is an #IronmanTriathlete, #BusinessConsultant and  #QualityofLifePlanner  His purpose is to empower others into action by sharing his goals, journey and insights.  Connect with him on LinkedIN or Twitter @rubenbaustria