Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Both Part 1 By Carmel O’ Reilly

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Constant: 

Jeff Bezos said: “I very frequently get the question: What’s going to change in the next 10 years? And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: What’s not going to change in the next 10 years? And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.” 

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument In Favour of Change:

In his talk about Finding Your Purpose, Tim Cook said:  “As you go out into the world, don’t waste time on problems that have been solved, don’t get hung up on what other people say is practical. Instead, steer your ship into the choppy seas. Look for the rough spots, the problems that seem too big, the complexities that other people are content to work around. It’s in those places that you will find your purpose.”

Change vs Constant, Constant vs Change, The Argument in Favour of Both: A Case Study

The story that lead to the:

Book Wisdom 

Of The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen

My first introduction to Steven Raichlen was as a man who is half historian and half chef. This is his story of how he earned that description, which I’ve adapted from his interview on the Big Questions podcast with Cal Fussman 

in 1975, Steven Raichlen earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Reed College. He received a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellowship to study medieval cooking in Europe, and was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to study comparative literature. He trained at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. Raichlen said the beauty of the Watson Fellowships is that they can’t be academic: so he couldn’t’ say he was going off to Oxford to study medieval literature, instead he proposed to study medieval cooking in Europe. This was because he had written his thesis on a medieval poet, and he was into all things Middle Ages. When he was researching the poet, he found a medieval cookbook and thought that it was amazing people were handwriting recipes in cookbooks six-hundred years ago.  

Each year the Watson Foundation looks for someone that burns with a passion, who has enough street smart and worldly wiseness to make it happen. He was given $7000 to eat and drink his way through Europe – in 1975 that was a lot of bucks. And so off he went to study medieval cookbooks in all the great libraries of Europe. 

The language in the books would say: “Add a bit of this and a bit of that”, but he wasn’t sure how much of this and how much of that. So he figured he needed to go to cooking school and learn the grammar and vocabulary of cooking. He enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu and La Varenne cooking schools in Paris. He said to him cooking is a language and vocabulary needed grammar, and that was how he learnt what he needed to know; and  with that he was able to go back to the medieval recipes and figure out how the stuff went together. 

On his return to the US, he went on to become a food writer and a restaurant critic. It was, he said, a continuing education. Every time he went out, he learnt about food.

During his restaurant reviewing years he developed a cholesterol problem, so he developed a style of cooking that was low in fat. He said the barbecue idea just came to him, and that grilling is one of the oldest and most universal cooking methods; but that everywhere you go, in every country it’s done differently. And so he thought: “wouldn’t it be cool to travel around the world and document those differences.”  His work eventually became the book: The Barbecue Bible.

Book Wisdom

The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen is big and it’s filled with recipes from all over the world, and that’s where the wisdom comes in. It takes you, your taste buds and your mind to different places, all the time nurturing your curiosity. 

To give you a flavour of what to expect:

“… On the end of a barely inhabited island located a few miles off the Côte d’Azur. The lle de Porquerolles is where to go to escape the crowds and traffic of the Riviera. Immortalised by the mystery writer Georges Simenon …”

“… I’d heard that Sunda Kelapa was one of the best restaurants in Jakarta, but I would never have guessed it by the neighbourhood. The ride there took me through a dilapidated stretch of the port section of Batavia, past derelict warehouses, down trash-strewn streets lined with shanties …”

“… Duckling a l’orange … the traditional preparation calls for oranges, but I also like the exotic flavour you get with tangerines…”

Words of Wisdom

He became dedicated to one subject that he became a master in, devoting his whole life to barbecue, and to spreading all of his knowledge.  He said that he writes recipes because that’s what sells the books, but that what really interests him is the history, the anthropology, the culture behind the food. 

Sage Wisdom

“Some critics say they go into a restaurant with the thinking: prove to me that you’re not a terrible restaurant. I go in cup half full, my thinking is: I’m here, I’m excited, show me what you can do.” Steven Raichlen 

Epilogue

Raichlen said he’s a big believer in lists, and so on posing the question to himself, “what else do I want to do with barbecue,” the self-feedback that came to him was: 

  • He needed a website – check out www.stevenraichlen.com for recipes and programmes; 
  • He could do a TV show – he’s done a few now, including: Barbecue University, Primal Grill and Project Smoke;
  • He could publish his work internationally – his books have been translated into 17 languages;
  • He could create products – you can check those out on his website;
  • He could speak about his work – he says he gets sent to nice places all around the world to speak;
  • He could start an international barbecue community – He’s the founder of Barbecue University, which offers courses on live fire cooking;
  • He could write more books – He’s written quite a few by now.

Eventually all of this became a business. He says: “the beauty about barbecue is that it’s a subject that is very broad and very deep and you can instantly form a bond with people over barbecue.” 

As a man who is half historian and half chef, Raichlen recognises and appreciates what is good about ‘constant’ and ‘change’. His story demonstrates the argument in favour of both.

Today’s book of the blog is: The Barbecue Bible By Steven Raichlen 

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Thinking is One of the Greatest Superpowers By Carmel O’ Reilly

Confidence in Thinking for yourself leads to confidence in Doing for yourself. Creative thinking promotes creative doing.

Thinking is One of the Greatest Superpowers is part of a series about superpowers. Thinking, learning, knowledge, experience, potential, happiness, self-awareness, observation are all superpowers. This series will consider how these superpowers can help us in our WorkLife, and how they helped people to navigate their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride.

Thinking is One of the Greatest Superpowers: A Case Study

Thinking is a Superpower

Confidence in Thinking for yourself leads to confidence in Doing for yourself. Creative thinking promotes creative doing. 

Because I help people in WorkLife transition, I sometimes get asked by people if I’m always able to tell people what job they should be doing and I have to explain that that’s not what I do. What I actually do is facilitate the process that allows people to come to this realisation themselves. In essence I help people to have clarity in their thinking.

My programmes also support job search, and I get asked if I always get people a job, to which I reply: my role is to support people in getting the job themselves. This may all sound very cliché, but when I’m performing in my role at my very best, I’m merely the facilitator in helping people do things for themselves. I meet with my clients weekly, fortnightly or whatever timeframe that allows them to carry out the objectives agreed on in our session. I always say to clients that the best work takes place away from the sessions, whether that’s research, networking or marketing themselves. These are the actions that will drive their programme in line with their needs and objectives outlined at the outset of our work together.

I sometimes use the analogy of a sports coach and the world of WorkLife, Career, Leadership and Executive and Coaching all evolved from the world of sport.  Many of my clients will have worked with a sports coach or personal trainer or will have an understanding of how these people help their clients (individuals or teams) to get the most from their performance. They don’t go out and play a game or do their fitness programme for them. They do, however, walk alongside them, supporting their motivation, determination and persistence in achieving their goals. They help them to continuously improve their performance and to be in a position to achieve things for themselves. 

Clients will want to achieve the objectives outlined at the beginning of their programme for themselves. This gives them great satisfaction and the skills they gain throughout the process remain with them and indeed help to progress their WorkLife to the next stage, because of their ability to recognise what’s unique about themselves in terms of their skills, experience, knowledge, attributes and potential. This allows them to be confident in communicating this and effectively marketing themselves, whether in writing – job application, CV, and cover letter, or in person – interviews, or in networking situations. The experience they gain in building their networks in their chosen field also remains with them and gives them the impetuous to continue to develop strong relationships, allowing them to easily navigate and progress their WorkLife when the time is right. 

I believe for every problem or question we have, we also have the ability to find the solution and the answer within us. To demonstrate this, I will tell you a story about Jack.

Book Wisdom

In my book Your WorkLife Your Way in Chapter 15 I share Jack’s story:

Some years ago, when Jack was just seven, his primary school decided they were going to form a school council with two representatives from each class. This was announced in the morning at school assembly, and the students were told that anyone who wanted to be considered would have an opportunity after lunch to speak in front of their class to be considered for nomination.

Jack relayed this to me at the end of the day when he told me he was among the candidates nominated from his class. I asked what he had done and said that resulted in his success at this initial stage. He said at lunch time he had found himself a quiet corner in the playground, and thought through what he might say. But when he stood in front of his class and saw everyone staring at him, he froze and could not remember what he was going to say. I asked what he did then, and he said: “Well I just started talking and I don’t remember what I said, but at the end everyone clapped, and I was nominated”.

He was on a high and went about developing his campaign strategy. Then one day when he came home from school, he seemed quite subdued. When I asked what was wrong, he said: “Today Owen [one of his opponents] brought cookies to school and gave one to anyone who promised to vote for him”. He asked his dad and me what he should do. We just looked at each other and wondered if we should perhaps go out and buy chocolate for Jack to give to his friends. We did not do this though, nor did we have the answer to give Jack; and so he went about working on his campaign.

At the time Jack was into both The Simpsons and The Rugrats, and he made up stickers, leaflets, posters and banners saying ‘Vote for Jack’ using these animated characters. He had the whole family involved in his campaign. Jack took himself away from the immediate problem of how to compete against Owen and his cookies by busying himself.

Then the morning of the election came, and when I dropped Jack at school I asked what he was going to say in his election speech. He said he did not know, but he was concerned that his classmates would vote for Owen because they would get another cookie. 

I waited with bated breath all day, hoping he would not be too disappointed if he was not successful. When I picked him up in the evening, I asked tentatively what happened. And Jack said: “Oh yeah, I was elected,” in a no-big-deal sort of way. “But what did you say?” I asked.

Jack answered: “Well I stood up and everyone was staring at me, and I said, Owen has promised you cookies if you vote for him, these cookies will last a couple of minutes,  I can promise to help make your dreams come true, these will last forever.” “My god Jack,” I asked, “Where did that come from?” “I don’t know,” he said. “It just came to me”.

Therein lies my belief that if we have a problem or a question, that we think we do not have the ability to cope with or the answer to, we actually do.  Quite often the solution comes to us when we take ourselves away from the immediate problem or question, and busy ourselves with something perhaps related to the issue – just as Jack did by working on his campaign. Or we may just need to distance ourselves from the problem. I find I have my most inspirational thoughts in the bath, or when I sleep on it, or when I go for a walk. The 3 B’s of creative thinking are: Bath, Bed and Bus.

Words of Wisdom

Develop a practice of continuous self-feedback to free your mind to think about what matters most, to help your creative wheels turn faster. Develop a practice of insightful self-questioning to unlock your imagination, to explore your options and to look at your possibilities. Probe your thought processes with questions that encourage creativity. Ask yourself:

If it were possible how would I do it?

If I knew the answer what would it be?

Sage Wisdom

Everything you do depends for its quality on the thinking you do first. Create time and space for thinking, time and space to look within yourself for the solution to your problem or the answer to your question.

Epilogue

I truly believe Thinking is one of the greatest superpowers, and once people are confident in their ability to think for themselves and believe they have the answers they need within them, this instils the belief they can do for themselves. The ultimate satisfaction for me in my work is when my clients are confident in thinking and doing for themselves, and creative thinking promotes creative doing.

As for Jack, well at the time he was successful in being elected to represent his class on the school council he loved Jackie Chan films and earned himself the nickname among his classmates as ‘Jackie Chan the first school council man’.

Today’s book of the blog is: Your WorkLife Your Way By Carmel O’ Reilly

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Feedback the Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly, By Carmel O’ Reilly

Feedback can build you up or knock you down. It has the power to reconstruct or destroy your WorkLife at all stages. 

Feedback the Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly is part of a series of people’s stories of how feedback impacted their WorkLife at different stages. How it enabled or disabled, how it championed, criticised or crushed. How it left them feeling encouraged, deflated or broken. 

Feedback the Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly: A Case Study

Feedback The Good Bad and Downright Ugly

Feedback can build you up or knock you down. It has the power to reconstruct or destroy your WorkLife at all stages. 

I was listening to Scott Budnick on the podcast Big Questions with Cal Fussman. He shared the story of the feedback he’d received at the end of his summer law internship. This is the point you find out whether you get an offer to come back at the end of law school. It’s a big thing because most people want to set themselves up for those jobs. 

Budnick was the last of the interns to be called in to discover his fate, which in effect was his future. The managing partner began by saying: “When we don’t give someone an offer we know how that can be damaging to someone’s career, and it puts a black mark on you. We take it very, very seriously to not give someone an offer. In your case it’s different. We’re not going to give you an offer. We didn’t stress about it, it was an easy decision. I personally don’t even think you should finish law school. I think you should drop out. I don’t think you have the interest or the aptitude, or the demeanour, I don’t think that’s what you’re meant to do with your life. I don’t think it’s for you. I actually think you should come back here. I think you should start a business and you should come back here as a client. I think you’re more salesman than lawyer.”

Budnick said at twenty-five years old it was a gut punch, and yet in that moment he knew he was right.  He went back to law school and finished, and he realised this was not going to be his life. He changed direction and ended up in the talent business, going on to have a very successful WorkLife.

This story brought me back to a story I shared in my book Your WorkLife Your Way. In Chapter 19: Rejection Recovery Resilience I shared a story about Sir Anthony Sher, who I had recently seen play the lead role in Death of a Salesman in the West End. His performance was phenomenal, and without exception the entire auditorium was on its feet for the final curtain call. His performance earned him five-star reviews. Shortly afterwards I read an interview he did with the Guardian newspaper, where in response to the question “If there was one thing you would change about your appearance, what would it be?” he answered, “Everything”. I was saddened by this because no matter how good actors are, the critique will continue. If they cannot be critiqued on their performance, they will be critiqued for their appearance. When it comes to actors, the whole world are critics. This in effect is feedback – feedback of the downright ugly category. 

In the interview when Sir Anthony was asked “What was the worst thing anyone said to you?” His reply was: “When I auditioned at RADA they urged me to seek a different career, and not to give up my day job.” Thankfully for him (and us) he followed his heart, and has since been knighted for his contribution to the Arts.

These stories highlight the disturbingly different approach the head of drama at the drama school took in contrast to the managing director at the law firm. In delivering the feedback they needed to give, both had a responsibly to their student to say what they needed to say with empathy and an understanding of the impact this would have at what was the beginning stage of both their WorkLives. One gave this feedback in a manner that was good, the other in a manner that was bad. 

Book Wisdom

In the book Choose Yourself by James Altucher, he talks about how every day, in all aspects of our lives, we are rejected. He says: “Rejection is probably the most powerful force in our lives. Think back on the times you were rejected and how your response to it changed your life completely.”

Sage Wisdom

He shares the response that many people have to being rejected, which is to ask themselves: What can I do differently? What can I learn from this rejection?

He then goes on to share these:

Words of Wisdom

IMPROVE: 

Ask yourself the following questions:

Can you improve your offering? 

Can you take a step back and improve what you’re doing?

Maybe you can, and maybe you can’t. But brainstorm first. 

What are the ten things you can do to improve what you are doing?

Take time to reflect on these questions, then through self-feedback take the actions that come to you in knowing what you need to do to be able to choose yourself in pursuing your best WorkLife. 

Epilogue

While both men have thankfully gone on to lead WorkLives that have been fulfilling to them at all stages, the memory of the words spoken at this initial stage has remained with them throughout. 

Budnick said he is thankful to the managing director for his honesty, because over a short space of time it helped him know that this was his truth – that a career in  law wasn’t for him, which made the decision to pursue a WorkLife in the talent business easier for him. 

Sher said that while he was totally crushed by the feedback the head of drama had given him, that his burning desire to become an actor that came from knowing his purpose  from an early age, gave him the drive to push beyond this in pursuit of his passion. In the interview he was also asked: “What book changed his life”, and he replied: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare because it led him to the RSC, which allowed him to fulfil a dream he held since a young boy”.

Today’s book of the blog is: Choose Yourself by James Altucher.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Body Language Speech Patterns and the 7/38/55 Principle in WorkLife Interactions By Carmel O’ Reilly

Charlie wasn’t happy with how his first meeting had gone. He had been tasked with helping to improve morale within his department, but he’d come away from the meeting feeling he’d achieved absolutely nothing.

Body Language Speech Patterns and the 7/38/55 Principle in WorkLife Interactions is part of a series of people’s stories about how the ability to read the situation and the other side in the moment is key in all WorkLife interactions: from exchanges to conversations, conflict to cooperation, differences to understanding, refusals to negotiations, and much, much more.

Body Language Speech Patterns and the 7/38/55 Principle in WorkLife Interactions: A Case Study

Body Language Speech Patterns 7/38/55 Principle

Charlie wasn’t happy with how his first meeting had gone. He had been tasked with helping to improve morale within his department, but he’d come away from the meeting feeling he’d achieved absolutely nothing.

But let’s back up a little to understand how Charlie found himself in this situation.

Morale at the auto-parts factory Charlie worked at had never been great. The general consensus among workers was that it was a job, no more, no less. People were thankful to have a job, especially within this industry which had been impacted by so many downturns in the economy, causing downsizing in many companies. Workers turned up for their shift, did what was required of them – no more, no less, that was about it really.

Oscar as new plant manager wanted to turn this around. He wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on – what people were thinking and feeling, and why they were thinking and feeling this. He felt the person to uncover this needed to come from within the organisation, rather than bringing in an outside consultant. He believed people would be more open to someone they knew and trusted as opposed to being closed and non-trusting to someone external – who would most likely have been viewed as a trouble-shooter, and people would be suspecting of the motive behind this. 

Oscar chose Charlie for this role, simply because he was an affable person, his warmth and friendliness drew people to him, and there was mutual respect between him and his co-workers. Oscar didn’t have a budget to facilitate any training Charlie would need, instead he made himself available as a coach and mentor to help him through the process. 

After his first meeting with Xavier, Charlie went to Oscar for help. He felt Xavier was holding back. When Charlie had asked him how things were going, Xavier had responded ‘OK’, but his tonality and body language didn’t match the words he was saying. Charlie didn’t know how to get beyond this to get Xavier to open up about how he was really thinking and feeling, which was the task Oscar had set him.

Oscar shared the following:

Sage Wisdom 

“What you do doesn’t depend on you – it depends on the other fellow.” Sanford Meisner

Having been involved in the drama society at college, Oscar had become interested in the principles of the Meisner technique and how they could be applied in WorkLife. He recommended a book that he believed would be helpful to Charlie, and suggested they meet in a few days to work through the first exercise from the book, by way of helping Charlie to prepare for his next meeting with Xavier. 

Book Wisdom

The book was Meisner in Practice by Nick Moseley. Moseley says: “Meisner exercises are designed to strip away the artificiality of theatre and return you to one of your most basic human abilities – to receive and respond to messages from others, and allow the actions of others to be the principle determinant of how you yourselves act.”

Charlie read through the book, but as the belief within the world of performing arts is “Acting is doing”, Charlie and Oscar met to work through the first exercise:

Mechanical Repetition

Moseley says: 

“In the first exercise, you and another actor sit on chairs facing each other, at a distance from one another that allows you to see not just the face of your partner, but their whole body. After a while, one of you makes a simple statement about something you notice about the other actor. This will be a physical, irrefutable fact, such as ‘red socks.’ The other actor repeats the phrase back to you exactly as you have said it, copying your intonation, volume and pronunciation exactly. You then do the same, repeating not what you think you said the first time, but what you hear from the other actor, and so it goes on until the teacher stops the exercise.

“With this understanding, you can embark on the first and simplest of the Meisner repetition exercises.

“The purpose of this exercise is to create a situation in which your only guiding principle in moving the encounter forward is the instruction to reproduce what you hear as exactly as possible. This forces you to listen and to process, so that what emerges is directly influenced by the stimulus the other actor has given you. This is the first step in allowing the other actor, rather than yourself, to determine your actions. 

“The beauty of the first exercise lies in its simplicity. It is a task that is well within your scope and yet requires enough of your attention to keep you interested and engaged. Each moment is different from the last, and each moment influences the next moment.”

Charlie enjoyed doing this exercise. The simplicity and slowness of it really helped him to be in the moment. He felt much more aware of what was going on in front of him. He also felt much more grounded, all of which gave him a quiet confidence ahead of his meeting with Xavier. 

Oscar shared these:

 Words of Wisdom

Your ability to read the situation and your ability to shift your focus off yourself and pay attention to the other side, how they’re reacting to you in the situation, how they’re reacting to what you say, will allow you to begin to understand and question what you’re experiencing or what you’re sensing.

He went on to talk about the 7/38/55 principle about content, tonality and body language in the context of WorkLife interactions.

This is a link to a previous post: A Myth Misquoted Misinterpreted and Misunderstood: The 7% Rule: Fact, Fiction or Fallacy which explains the 7/38/55 principle.

Oscarsaid to Charlie that in usingthe principle of the first Meisner exercise in his next meeting, Charlie could build on this by asking himself the following question throughout the meeting: “Does delivery and body language line up with the words been spoken?”; then to reflect in the moment on whatever comes to him, and to use self-feedback to know what to say next in response to what he’s received. For example, if it doesn’t line up, simply say: “I heard you say everything was OK, but I also heard something in your tone of voice that made you hesitate.”

Charlie was a little anxious that he wouldn’t pick up on these contradictions in the moment, saying that he considered himself to be a more reflective than an in-the-moment person. He went on to say that he often got a sense that things weren’t quite as they seemed, but that he struggled to call whatever that was in the moment. Oscar pointed out to him that he had in fact picked up on something in the meeting with Xavier, when immediately coming away from the meeting he had a sense that Xavier was holding back. He went on to say that being more reflective was good too, he could simply say to Xavier: “Reflecting on our last meeting, I got a sense that when you said everything was OK, that actually something wasn’t. This is because while I heard you say everything was OK, I also heard something in your tone of voice that made you hesitate.”

This is precisely how Charlie began his next meeting with Xavier.

Epilogue

Xavier was taken aback by Charlie’s words and hesitated for a few moments before responding. When he did speak, he said he didn’t see the point to all of this; morale at the plant had never been great, he was OK with that as far as it went, and that was what he had meant in his response to Charlie’s question. 

This simple truth telling on Xavier’s part actually gave Charlie a lot of information. It reaffirmed what Charlie believed many of his co-workers were thinking and feeling. He knew he needed to find a way to move beyond this and that this would take time. What was different for Charlie in this meeting was that he had a greater confidence within himself to say what he was sensing in the moment. Knowing that when he couldn’t call what he was sensing ‘in the moment’, he could simply say: “I heard you say everything was OK, but I also heard something in your tone of voice that made you hesitate”. This instilled further confidence, as did knowing that it was OK for him to reflect on the meeting, and to come back and share his thinking and feeling from that at the next meeting as he’d done today.

Today’s book of the blog is: Meisner in Practice by Nick Moseley

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

How to Answer Bizarre Interview Questions such as How Would You Count the Hairs on a Cat? By Carmel O’ Reilly

Are part of a series of stories of weird questions people were asked at interviews, how they answered them, and what the interviewer may have been looking for in asking these questions. This series also considers what makes a question, a good question from the point of view of being an insightful question. 

How to Answer Bizarre Interview Questions such as How Would You Count the Hairs on a Cat? A Case Study

Questions Bizarre or Insightful

William was asked this question when he was interviewing for a project management role at an investment bank in the City of London. He was given a pen and paper, and calculator to work it out! He was thankful for this because it gave him time to gather his thoughts, and while he didn’t calculate, he did scribble down a few thoughts.

His answer was: “I’d weigh one hair, then shave the cat and weigh all the hair I shaved off, I’d then divide the overall hair weight by the individual hair weight to get the number of hairs on the cat.” He got the job!

What the interviewers were looking for was a candidate who could demonstrate their ability to think on the spot, showing creativity and intuitiveness as well as logical and practical thinking, including how they would go about solving difficult and even unusual challenges that might arise, and also to have conviction in their answer and the confidence to communicate this. The interviewers were more interested in how candidates got to an answer, as opposed to what the answer might be.

Such challenging questions are becoming ever more commonplace in interviews it seems, as employers seek to get past the polish to hire the best candidate. With so many self-help websites, candidates can be quite polished on standard interview questions, making it difficult for people to stand out if they ask the routine questions. So doing things differently will help them get to the best candidate, or so the thinking goes.

I asked William how easy it was for him to know how to answer this type of question, and if there’s anything he does to help him prepare. He told me that he loves to think about things in different ways and to explore the hidden side of everything. He went on to share this:

Book Wisdom

The book Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner is described as a rogue economist exploring the hidden side of everything, saying it’s all about using information about the world around us to get to the heart of what’s really happening under the surface of everyday life. 

They talk about building the initial two chapters around a pair of admittedly freakish questions: “What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?” and “How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real-estate agents?”. They say: “If you ask enough questions, strange as they seem at the time, you may eventually learn something worthwhile.”

They go on to say: “The first trick of asking questions is to determine if your question is a good one. Just because a question has never been asked does not make it good. Smart people have been asking questions for quite a few centuries now, so many of the questions that haven’t been asked are bound to yield some uninteresting answers.

“But if you can question something that people really care about and find an answer that may surprise them – that is, if you can overturn the conventional wisdom – then you may have some luck.”

In researching this story, and as part of my ongoing research into considering what makes a question an insightful question, I came across these:

Words of Wisdom 

If you’re on the other side of the table (the interviewee) you’ll need an arsenal of questions, too. Because at some point you’ll be asked: Do you have any questions for me? Lori Goler, VP of People at Facebook.

Goler goes on to share the following:

Sage Wisdom

The question “What is your biggest problem and can I help solve it?” is a question she posed when she cold-called Sheryl Sandberg. She was hoping to land a job, any job at Facebook. When Sheryl responded “Recruiting, we have amazing people, and we want to continue to build the team.” Despite never having worked as a recruiter, Goler jumped at the opportunity; and after a few months working as a recruiter, when the head of HR moved to a different team, Goler moved into the role. She has been Facebook’s head of Recruiting and HR ever since. 

Epilogue

William’s interview was some years ago now. A more recent HubSpot blog post, says: “Hiring managers have heard about using these curveball questions to identify the best candidates. Fortunately, for intelligent and qualified candidates everywhere, studies have found that the brainteaser interview questions made famous by Silicon Valley and Wall Street are just as silly as they sound.” It goes on to say: “There’s a need to get creative in asking questions to understand if, for example, a candidate is a team player.”

Because of my interest in insightful questions, this is a subject I’ll come back to again.

Today I leave you with the question:

What is an important question for you to have in your arsenal of questions to get your foot in the door of a company you aspire to work at?

Use the self-feedback that comes to you through reflecting on this question, to build your arsenal of questions for all of the opportunities you want to pursue in your WorkLife.

Today’s book of the blog is: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Taking Care of Your WorkLife Wellbeing By Carmel O’ Reilly

Maureen was already feeling the pressure of her need to stay connected 24/7 to the clothing company she had started a couple of years earlier, when her husband, Robert, was diagnosed with cancer.

Taking Care of Your WorkLife Wellbeing is part of a series of people’s WorkLife health stories.  Stories of how the stresses of both work and life impacted their wellbeing. Stories of how people needed to take better care of both their physical and mental wellbeing. Stories of people needing to establish better WorkLife wellbeing practices both in and out of the workplace. Stories of people needing to take time out, or to make time to take better care of their own and their families wellbeing. 

Taking Care of Your WorkLife Wellbeing: A Case Study

WorkLife Wellbeing

Maureen was already feeling the pressure of her need to stay connected 24/7 to the clothing company she had started a couple of years earlier, when her husband, Robert, was diagnosed with cancer.

She was really worried about Robert’s health.  As Robert had chosen to be a stay-at-home dad, managing his work as a writer around taking care of their two children, Maureen knew she would now have to shoulder more of this. She would somehow need to do this alongside running her business, as this would be their only source of income for the foreseeable future.

It was all too much, and one day, a few weeks into the situation she was trying so hard manage, her mind and her ability to function simply shut down. She felt her WorkLife had spiralled out of control, and that she had lost control. She didn’t know if it was deep anxiety, or depression, or burnout, but whatever it was that had forced her to shutdown, also forced her to think about which aspects of her WorkLife she had control over, and which aspects she didn’t. 

To be able to do what she needed to get herself, her husband and their children through this, she needed to get back in control, and to do this she needed to let go of something: both the practical side of doing something and any emotional attachments she had to that. 

Maureen immediately knew she had to let go of her need to stay connected to her work 24/7.But the reality was, this was her family’s livelihood, which she somehow had to maintain for them to survive. Technology was integral to the success of her business, and through social media platforms it had allowed her to build relationships with her customers, which it had played a key part in her connecting her with. But it was her relationship with technology that was causing her immense pressure.

She asked herself: How can I have a better relationship with technology, to do what I need to do in my WorkLife now, while still maintaining my relationship with my customers?

Through self-feedback the answer that came to her was that she needed to do the following three things:

1. To let her customers know what she and her family were going through right now. She had always shared aspects of her family life, because it was part of her WorkLife, and she had always taken a holistic approach in bringing her work and life together. 

2. To set up a work schedule that fitted in around everything she needed to do for her family: taking her husband to his hospital appointments, and taking care of his needs while at home; preparing family meals, doing the school run, helping with homework; spending quality time as a family. 

3. Remove all work-related apps from her phone. During the hours she scheduled to work, she got out her laptop. This decreased the chances of a mobile notification pulling her into work.

These three actions gave Maureen back the control she needed to manage the situation. It also allowed her mind to open up again. In doing so she was reminded of the:

Sage Wisdom

“By adopting alternative approaches to your business, you and your company will survive to innovate another day.” Seth Godin.

Book Wisdom

She picked up the book Purple Cow by Seth Godin, which took her back to the principle: Ideas That Spread, Win. Godin says: “A brand is nothing more than an idea. Ideas that spread are more likely to succeed than those that don’t. I call ideas that spread, ideaviruses.”

“Sneezers are the key spreading agents of an ideavirus. These are the experts who tell all their colleagues or friends or admirers about a new product or service on which they are a perceived authority. Sneezers are the ones who launch and maintain ideaviruses.”

This is the principle that was responsible for the growth of Maureen’s company. She had told her brand story through platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram with images of her clothing range accompanied by short blog posts, telling stories of the people who wore the clothes. The sneezers shared these stories and her business took off. In sharing her current story, she reached out to ask people to share their own images of wearing her clothes and the stories that went along with them. She then asked her band of sneezers to help spread these stories wide and far. People were really happy to help out, resulting in Maureen’s business not just surviving, but thriving.

Words of Wisdom

“Your product will only survive in a crowded marketplace if you stop advertising and start innovating.” Seth Godin

Epilogue

Robert thankfully beat his cancer, and is now back to being a stay at home dad and to his writing. Maureen continues to keep her phone free from all work-related apps, pulling out her laptop only during the hours she has scheduled to work. The family are all experiencing greater WorkLife health, and spending quality time together. Maureen has rolled this practice out with her team to ensure they also experience better WorkLife health, free from the pressures of being constantly connected to work. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Purple Cow by Seth Godin

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

A Myth Misquoted Misinterpreted and Misunderstood: The 7% Rule: Fact, Fiction or Fallacy By Carmel O’ Reilly

7% of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, 55% through body language. 

A Myth Misquoted Misinterpreted and Misunderstood: The 7% Rule Fact, Fiction or Fallacy is part of a series of stories of when studies or stories were taken out of context, stories of when facts were not checked causing them to be misreported, resulting in misleading people.

A Myth Misquoted Misinterpreted and Misunderstood: The 7% Rule Fact, Fiction or Fallacy: A Case Study

Misquoted Misinterpreted Misunderstood

7% of meaning is communicated through spoken word, 38% through tone of voice, 55% through body language.I’ve lost count of how many times I heard or read these words being quoted over the years, mostly back in the days when I first became self-employed and there were various government-backed training initiatives for people setting up in business, mainly to do with giving presentations. My approach was always to go with an open mind, which allowed me to learn new ways of doing and thinking. Afterwards I would retain what I considered to be helpful to me in my WorkLife and I would disregard anything I didn’t consider to be helpful. I was quick to disregard these words. I didn’t over-question or over-think them, I just dismissed them right off the bat because they simply just didn’t ring true for me.

This misquoted, misinterpreted and misunderstood myth came back into my mind recently, because of how many studies and stories continue to be taken out of context, and how so many facts are not being checked, causing them to be misreported, resulting in misleading people.

So, I went back to investigate what Professor Albert Mehrabian had actually said, and in what context. This is what I discovered:

In 1967 the results of the two studies Professor Mehrabian had conducted into human communication patterns were published in professional journals. 

In the first study, subjects had been asked to listen to a recording of a woman’s voice saying the word “maybe” three different ways to convey liking, neutrality and disliking. They were also shown photos of the woman’s face conveying the same three emotions (These facial expressions came to represent body language). They were then asked to guess the emotions heard in the recorded voice, seen in the photos, and both together. The result? The subjects correctly identified the emotions 50 percent more often from the photos than from the voice.

In the second study, subjects were asked to listen to nine recorded words, three meant to convey liking (honey, dear, thanks), three to convey neutrality (maybe, really, oh), and three to convey disliking (don’t, brute, terrible). Each word was pronounced three different ways. When asked to guess the emotions being conveyed, it turned out that the subjects were more influenced by the tone of voice than the words themselves.

Professor Mehrabian combined the statistical results of the two studies and came up with the now misquoted, misinterpreted and misunderstood study that communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal. The non-verbal component being made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent).

The study has been widely circulated across mass media in abbreviated form. It has been suggested that because the figures were so easy to remember, that either people had forgotten what they really meant, or actually they had never known in the first place.

The fact is Professor Mehrabian’s research had nothing to do with giving presentations, because it was based on the information that could be conveyed in a single word through different tones of voice and facial expressions. In this context it’s easy to understand how the words have least importance, and how communication is more about the tone of voice and body language.

In terms of presentations how you communicate through your tone of voice and body language play an important part for sure, but in terms of communicating an idea, you absolutely need words. Words are the way you can construct an idea that matters. Language is everything. 

Imagine for a moment, if you will, you’re interviewing for your ideal role at your ideal company, or you’re pitching your product or service to your perfect client. You’re required to give a 10-minute presentation as part of your interview or pitch, as to why you, your product or service are a good fit for the role and the company, or the client, in line with their core values, but only 7% of your presentation can be words! Case in point.

Words of Wisdom

So what does this mean in the context of how many studies and stories continue to be taken out of context, and how so many facts are not being checked, causing them to be misreported, resulting in misleading people? Does it mean you need to fact check everything? Well probably not, but it is good practice not to believe everything you see and hear. You could follow my approach of having an open mind to learning new things, while also paying attention to your initial instinct or gut reaction. Then retain what you consider to be helpful to you in your WorkLife and disregard anything you don’t consider to be helpful.  

Book Wisdom

As I was pondering all of this I came across the book Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. He shares forty lessons learnt over ten years of experience as a new kind of entrepreneur. He was a successful independent musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online, then helped his friends sell their music too. Eight years later he sold his company for $22 million. The book is designed to be read in about an hour. 

A lot of what Derek wrote really resonated with me, in particular around believing and questioning things that don’t ring true or sit right for me.  For example, in establishing yourself in business, there’s an expectation you need to write a business plan, with projected income, and everything else that goes with that. The thing is it’s really hard to know all of this, and I’ve always believed it shouldn’t be hard, it should be simple, because as Derek says: “The best plans start simple”. So despite what business advisors and banks have said and requested over the years, I just didn’t buy into it, and resisted it wherever and whenever I could. So, I read with great interest how Derek approached writing his ‘business plan’.

He was already living his dream life as a full-time musician, and he didn’t want anything to distract from that. He didn’t want to think about making it big, he wanted to keep it small. So he wrote down his utopian dream-come-true distribution deal from his musician’s point of view. In a perfect world his distributor would:

  1. Pay him every week;
  2. Show him the full name and address of everyone who bought his CD (because those are his fans, not the distributor’s);
  3. Never kick him out for not selling enough (even if he only sold one CD every five years, it would be there for someone to buy);
  4. Never allow paid placement (because it’s not fair to those who can’t afford it). 

And that was it. That was his business plan. 

He went on to share these words of what I consider to be:

Sage Wisdom

“When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia. When you make it a dream come true for yourself, it’ll be a dream come true for someone else, too.”

Now that to me makes perfect business sense, and it makes perfect sense of why a lot of so-called business thinking has never rung true or sat well with me. I’ve always questioned it within myself, with friends, with business advisors and bankers; but until I read Derek’s book I could never put it into words, and certainly not in a way that would have made sense to anyone. 

The lesson for me from all of this is: it’s important for me to question my initial reaction or gut reaction to something that doesn’t ring true for me, or doesn’t sit well with me. It’s a simple lesson, but then again, as with business plans, the best WorkLife lessons are the simplest. 

I leave you today with a simple question. When you see, read, experience something that doesn’t ring true or sit well with you, ask yourself ‘Why?’ Then take time to reflect through self-feedback on what this brings back for you. The answer may come to you quickly or it may take time, but it will come, and when it does it will make perfect sense; and it will instil the importance of trusting your initial reaction or gut instinct. 

Epilogue

Trusting your intuition is the ultimate act of trusting yourself in knowing what to believe. Let this be your guidance throughout the continuing chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Anything You Want by Derek Sivers 

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife story. 

Most Significant WorkLife Transition: From Supreme Judge to Nomadic Social Media Marketer By Carmel O’ Reilly

Most Significant WorkLife Transition is part of a series of stories of people who made changes to their WorkLife to live it with a sense of passion and pride. Stories of people who actively shaped their WorkLife so that the choices they make will bring about the satisfaction they seek. Stories of how people discovered or rediscovered their Worklife purpose. 

Most Significant WorkLife Transition: From Supreme Judge to Nomadic Social Media Marketer  A Case Study:

Nomadic WorkLife

Because my work in helping clients make WorkLife transitions into often quite completely new areas, I often get asked the question “what’s the most significant WorkLife transition you’ve seen take place.” Now I happen to think that every WorkLife transition has significance to the individual going through the process, after all they’ve chosen the WorkLife they consider to be inspirational and motivating to them and they’re making it happen.

But I get what people are asking. They want to know about the successful business person who gave it all up and became a circus performer or set up their own little cottage industry that is now a thriving business. Now I haven’t had the circus performer scenario … yet. But a number of clients are doing something completely different in terms of setting themselves up as independent freelancers or consultants, setting up a business or joining a different company, and are leading a more fulfilled WorkLife as a result.

Katie’s story is one of such significance. Katie studied law and worked as a lawyer in Eastern Europe before progressing to become a judge. She was actually quite young when she achieved this, and when I met her was still in her 30s. Now she could have stayed where she was and would have had a very successful career and a very comfortable lifestyle, but she knew this wasn’t what she wanted to do forever and that there was a lot more to life for her, both in her work and personal life.

And so she came to London and we met and began working together. Now, Katie is extremely accomplished and talented, and in terms of careers the world was her oyster. I knew once we discovered what her ideal WorkLife was, she would do what it took to make it happen. The thing was to identify what that was and so our journey to discovery began; and because there were so many options available, we needed to come up with a stringent criteria to evaluate those options in line with her values, motivators, skills she enjoyed using, personable attributes along with her WorkLife vision in terms of where she wanted to be in the next five to ten years. 

We had to rule things in or out; or if they fell into the maybe category we had to find a way of understanding why this WorkLife choice may or may not work and then rule it in or out. And so the process continued.

Travel and autonomy were really important to Katie, and so her WorkLife needed to be one that was mobile, that allowed her to work from anywhere in the world. After much exploration she identified the arena of helping people develop their business (she has an MBA) through social media, by way of offering support in building websites and following this through with ongoing social media marketing campaign strategies. And so she set out to gain the expertise she needed to put this in place, and as I said earlier I knew once she discovered what it is she wanted to do, she would make it happen, and make it happen she did.

A year later and Katie has successfully established herself in business supporting individuals and organisations develop their websites and offers social media marketing campaign strategies. Her business is beginning to thrive and when I last met with her, she was passing through London on her way to live in Phuket for a few months. When I think of the book and film, Eat, Pray, Love I smile as it brings Katie to mind.

Book Wisdom

In Chapter 3 of my book Your WorkLife Your Way, Your WorkLife Vision and Core Motivation, I pose the question: Are you in the right place in your WorkLife or do many of your hopes and dreams remain unfilled? 

I encourage you to reflect upon that question. I like to suggest journaling as a way to explore what you’re thinking and feeling, which in turn will allow you to give yourself meaningful self-feedback on changes you need to make and steps you need to take.

I go on to ask: Is it possible to actively shape your life so that the choices you make will bring about the satisfaction you seek?

I happen to think it is, and share stories from three people at different stages in their WorkLife – early, middle and later stages.

This is a direct link to the chapter for you to work through:    

https://worklifeincorporated.com/?s=chapter+3+your+worklife+your+way

Words of Wisdom

We all have more than one career within us should we choose to change our WorkLife path.

Sage Wisdom

“And suddenly you just know it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” Meister Eckhart

Epilogue

Your WorkLife is a series of chapters. The joy of your imagination will allow you to explore and develop these to allow you to make the transitions that are important to you.  This is your ongoing WorkLife story. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Your WorkLife Your Way By Carmel O’ Reilly

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

Creating a WorkLife You Love That Fulfils Your Wants and Needs By Carmel O’ Reilly

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common?

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common? Is part of a series of stories about how people created a WorkLife that fulfilled their wants and needs at their different WorkLife stages. Stories about how people got creative and inventive in doing what they could with what they had – their skills, attributes and experience in creating opportunities for themselves, and making good money while doing this.

What do Westminster, A Village Hall and Knitting Classes have in common? A Creating a WorkLife That Fulfils Your Wants and Needs Case Study.

Loving The Life You Live

I was at a networking event some time age with fellow business owners and met a lovely woman called Terry whose business is about teaching people how to knit and she runs classes in Westminster. I’m not sure what Terry did before this and I do hope I meet her again as I’m intrigued to know. 

It got me thinking about how inventive people are about developing their WorkLives in line with something they love and are good at, that fulfils their wants and needs. Who’d have thought a cottage-industry business in knitting would successfully operate in the land of politicians! And while I’m not sure if any members of parliament pop into Terry’s classes, I’ll be sure to ask if I meet her again.

What Terry is doing resonated with me because many years ago my oldest sister Anne, who trained as a nurse, gave it up once she started her family to stay at home to bring up her boys. Anne had always knitted. She once told me when she was four or five our mum first taught her, and she hasn’t stopped since.

While Anne enjoyed being a stay-at-home mum she also wanted to earn her own money. But anything she did needed to fit into the lifestyle she’d carved out for herself. Anyway, she came across a company who wanted people to knit Aran jumpers (a traditional Irish jumper) for export to America. Apparently, there was a large demand for this style of jumper – among Irish ex-pats I guess. And this is what Anne took on and did for many years to come. She doesn’t remember how much she was paid for each jumper, she thinks it was £10 -£15. This was the 1960s, when my sister Lily, who worked in our local post office, was earning £1 per week! 

Many years later when she was in her 50s Anne returned to work in a more formal environment, putting into practice the skills she’d gained in her nursing, and worked with people with intellectual disabilities supporting them to live independently in group houses in their community.

She has since retired, and when I last spoke to her she was back to her knitting and selling her wares at local craft fares. She’s actually doing quite well from a financial perspective. .But probably more important to her is the network of friends she’s building and the social interaction she has.

She’s been asked to run knitting workshops in our village hall, and while the village we grew up in is many miles away from Westminster on many levels, I think the satisfaction she gets from her little cottage industry is similar to Terry’s and indeed to anyone who creates a WorkLife doing something they love which meets their wants and needs.

I love the podcast: Side Hustle with Chris Guillebeau. I never cease to be amazed by how inventive people are in doing something that fulfils their WorkLife wants and needs and earn good money doing it. For some it helps to supplement their income, for others it helps to finance something important for them – something they’re passionate about, or an experience of a lifetime. Some people are happy to keep it as a side hustle alongside their regular job, and others develop it into a full-time job or business.

Book Wisdom

In the book Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau, he’s created a step-by-step methodology for imagining, building and launching side projects that can earn real serious cash. Gretchen Rubin describes his book as: “The essential guide for anyone who wants to create more freedom, opportunity, and security by launching a profitable side hustle” On his popular podcast, Chris often says, “Inspiration is good, but inspiration combined with action is so much better,” and Side Hustle provides both. It’s packed with practical tips and strategies–illustrated by compelling stories of real-life hustles–that will inspire readers to start their side hustles now.”

I love the question that Chris poses: “What if we could quickly and easily create an additional stream of income without giving up the security of a full-time job?” That’s because I love “What if” questions. I’m often known to say: “What and If are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side by side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.” A quote I’ve taken from the book and film Letters to Juliet. 

I think it’s an important question to reflect upon to help address any obstacles or fears we may have which are holding us back, perhaps the most common being “I don’t have the time”, or “I don’t want it to take over my WorkLife”.

Reflect on this question and see what it brings up for you, then through self-feedback consider what you can do to overcome the obstacles and/or fears that may be holding you back. For example, in understanding the block or fear of not having enough time, or not wanting it to take over their WorkLife, people were able to address and alleviate this by: 

  1. Identifying what little time they did have, and for some this was as little as thirty minutes a day; but the thing is thirty minutes adds up over the course of a week, a month, and a year. What people found was the most important thing in achieving their goal was consistency, and every small piece of input, action, and step took them a step closer. 
  2. For those who were concerned their side-hustle would take over their WorkLife, they simply came up with a plan to ensure it didn’t, after all they were in the driving seat, and this was very much within their control.

Sage Wisdom

“Hobbies cost you money, legit side businesses make money. If you want to get on the road to financial freedom and enjoy more passion and choice in your life, Side Hustle can help you take the first critical steps.” Jessica Herrin

Words of Wisdom

“In a changing world, so much has shifted in the last few months, people want to invest in themselves, want to create more security for themselves, because they recognise that the world we live in is not secure, and trusting your future to a corporation, or to a government or organisation, even if it’s a good corporation, government or organisation is not wise, even if you love that job and want to keep going to it, you also want to build something for yourself.”  Chris Guillebeau

Epilogue

Creating a WorkLife you love that fulfils your wants and needs, will be ongoing throughout the chapters of your WorkLife. We all have more than one career or side-hustle within us, should we choose to change our WorkLife path at our different WorkLife stages. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Side Hustle By Chris Gullebeau

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.

My Plan B: Making My Book Available For Free By Carmel O’ Reilly

Your WorkLife Your Way Free 9 Week Programme. Managing and Navigating Your WorkLife in Times of Change and Uncertainty.

My Plan B: Making My Book Available For Free is part of a series of people’s Plan B stories. Stories of what people did when life threw them a curveball, when they had to regroup and rethink their WorkLife plan. Stories of sometimes unimaginable pain and loss. Stories of courage and strength in the face of adversity. Stories of resilience, reinvention and ultimately recovery.

My Plan B: Making My Book Available For Free A Case Study:

My Plan B

Your WorkLife Your Way Free 9 Week Programme. Managing and Navigating Your WorkLife in Times of Change and Uncertainty.

Those were the opening lines of a message I shared across all of my social media platforms. This is my full message: 

Your WorkLife Your Way Free 9 Week Programme: Managing and Navigating Your WorkLife in Times of Change and Uncertainty.

I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. During these strange times which we’re all living through together, while apart, I thought of ways I could give back. My inspiration to create WorkLifeIncorporated came from a lifelong passion for learning, which has taught me that the one thing in life that can never be taken away from you is your learning.

Since 2003 I’ve worked as a WorkLife Consultant helping people manage, develop and transition their WorkLives in both good and challenging times. My work and subsequently my book: Your WorkLife Your Way focuses on helping people live their best WorkLives by managing their learning, development and growth, through effective self-feedback, insightful questions and the ability to shape and tell their unique story. 

Now more than ever, I want to uphold what life has taught me. To do this I’m making my book available for free. I’m doing this chapter by chapter three days a week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays over the course of 9 weeks from Tuesday 14/4/20 to Saturday 13/6/20. It’s structured as a course which people can work through. It’s the same structure I’ve used to support many people in navigating their WorkLives in times of change and uncertainty. 

The ‘Look Inside’ view of the book Your WorkLife Your Way, which you can see on Amazon, and on my website will allow you to know the topics covered. If you think this will be helpful to you or to someone you know, you can subscribe to read. If you can help to share this, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you. Be Well and Stay Safe.

That’s my Plan B. This was my Plan A:

  1. Publish my book Your WorkLife Your Way by the end of 2019 – I accomplished this;
  2. Launch a weekly series of WorkLife Book Wisdom Stories in both Blog and Podcast format beginning January 2010 – I accomplished this;
  3. Publish Your WorkLife Your Way The Workbook companion in February 2020 – I accomplished this;
  4. Develop a series of in-person workshops ready to market by March 2020 – I accomplished this, but then the pandemic hit and so I had to cancel the events I had planned, and put them on hold for now;
  5. From April 2020 begin to approach bookshops, libraries, local business and community groups with a view to doing book readings and/or short workshops – that has had to go on hold for now;
  6. Have an official book launch in May – that has had to go on hold for now;
  7. Throughout the summer do a wider book tour both here in the UK and in Ireland – that has had to go on hold for now;
  8. Throughout this time work on my next book, ready to send to my publisher by December 2020 – I am working on this, and hopefully I will accomplish it. It’s a book to help people find, develop and tell their unique WorkLife Stories – Watch this space!

I’m actually OK with where I’m at with everything right now. I’m really pleased with everything I have accomplished. I’m really pleased I was in a position to have my book ready to make it available to people for free, because it’s a core value of mine to help people, to give back or to give forward. As I mentioned earlier, it’s the same structure I’ve used to support many people in navigating their WorkLives in times of change and uncertainty, while managing both the emotional and practical needs these times both inflict and demand. In time I hope to be able to pick up and complete the things I’ve had to put on hold, I have to admit I was looking forward to running the workshops, along with the book launch and the book tours, and hopefully I will get to do those in person. 

In the meantime, I’m working on virtual courses, a virtual book launch and a virtual tour behind the scenes. I’m actually taking quite a slow approach to this. I know I could have worked to launch these earlier, but I chose not to. Instead I’m making the most of my isolation by reading, researching and learning as much as I can to help my writing, and in turn to continue to help people in managing, developing and navigating their WorkLives.  I’m enjoying this so much and getting a lot of writing done as a result. I’ve got a few projects in mind: the book I mentioned earlier about helping people find, develop and tell their unique WorkLife stories, this blog/podcast which I’ll publish as a book at the end of the year, and a number of other books – the ideas of which I’ll share with you sometime in the not too distant future.

Book Wisdom

A book that has helped me throughout this time is Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant. It’s about facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy. From the inside cover: “After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again.” She said: “I was in ‘the void’, a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend and psychologist Adam Grant, told her: “There are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.”

Depending on the impact these current times will have on our WorkLives, the strength of those muscles we need to build will be different for each one of us. For some, sadly as with Sheryl the loss of a loved one will be the most devastating and painful, for others it will be a different kind of loss, perhaps the loss of a WorkLife they once knew. We all live with some form of option B. This book will help us all make the most of it. 

The book talks about a chalkboard that was put up in the middle of New York City, asking people to write their biggest regret. “Of the hundreds of answers, most had one thing in common: the majority of regrets were about failures to act, not actions that failed.” 

Take time to reflect on the question: What is my biggest regret? 

Then through self-feedback consider what you can do if: a) there’s something you can do to change the outcome to overcome this regret; or b) the time has passed to change the outcome to overcome this regret, consider what you need to do to ensure you live your WorkLife without further regret of this kind.

Sage Wisdom

“None of us can escape sadness, loss, or life’s disappointments, so the best option is to find our Option B.” Malala Yousafzai 

Words of Wisdom

“Both individually and collectively, we all need to understand the power of rehabilitation and recovery if we are to overcome adversity.” Bryan Stevenson 

Epilogue

Your loss from Covid-19 may be great, and it’s important to allow yourself time to grieve. In whatever time it takes that is right for you, accepting that the plans and expectations that you had for your WorkLife have been lost for now and perhaps forever, because of the pandemic, will enable you to find a new direction. 

Today’s book of the blog is: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associate Programme. This means if you click through and make a purchase through my referral links, I’ll be compensated. Using the links won’t cost you anything extra, and it helps to keep the blog. Thank you.

WorkLife Book Wisdom 

The intention of this blog is to inspire you through people’s stories of their WorkLife experiences. Through these stories you will learn about people’s dreams and ambitions, along with the challenges, obstacles and successes they encountered along the road of their WorkLife journey. And how they used the power of book wisdom to help them find the inspiration and guidance to navigate their path to live their WorkLife with passion, purpose and pride. 

My hope is that these book wisdom stories will help you throughout the chapters of your WorkLife Story.