Are You Freaking Out?
Turmoil in London, Afghanistan and the American economy has many of us riddled with anxiety. Lack of sleep, inertia and irritability are just a few signs of the times.
Before I started my coaching business 10 years ago I worked as a Broadcast Journalist. I learned an important lesson in that career. If you want to keep your sanity in an unstable world, you have to unplug from the news of the day and shift your attention to something positive.
Diane Powersis a businesswoman (and role model for me) from my hometown San Diego. After losing her multi-cultural shopping center that she designed, built, owned and operated for decades, she had this to say about dealing with very bad news:
“That time could have been more depressive, but instead I chose to work on projects to carry the business forward. It’s not only good therapy, but it’s a lot more productive and it creates for me a lot of excitement and enjoyment.”
Another woman who is moving forward with her busines and bringing lots of fun and excitement to her life and the lives of the many young people she touches is Maureen Haskell and her Be Groovy Be Green Job Camp. Kids spent the last two weeks making recycled art crafts which they will sell at the downtown Farmer’s Market…and in the process learning how to be friendly, eco-active, and how to create fun projects that earn money.
Learning to shift your attention to projects is a wonderful skill for children to learn because in just about all the studies done on happiness, researchers found the one common denominator in happy people was not money or love, but a positive outlook on the future and confidence in their ability to make a living.
When people know they have the ability to generate income, when they are clear about their product and how to deliver it, when they have mastered the skill of salesmanship to the best of their ability, these people know they are self-directed and can survive any economy.
In a recent trip to Houston I met a man at a club. After taking a few turns on the dance floor together, we stopped to talk. He asked me what I did and I told him. He laughed. I asked, “Why do you laugh?” He said, “I”ve never heard of that, it sounds like a made-up profession.” I agreed that coaching is a new profession with not a lot of credibility (yet!) but assured him that there is a science to it and really good training and certification programs for those who are committed to quality work (see link below).
I then told him (a bit too indignantly I’m afraid) “For the last 10 years that profession is how I have made my living! Through marriage, divorce, child-birth (multiples!), child-rearing, cross-country moves and economic recessions, I have always moved money with my craft…I’ve paid for food and clothes for my family, vacations and even donated some to charity and of course built up some savings.”
One reason I can still sleep at night is because I know I am a survivor. I have a good, solid product, happy clients and I will keep on working, no matter what the economy does. And with what I’m teaching my kids about entreprneurship and what they are learning from people like Maureen Haskell, I am confident they will be ok too.