November 23, 2011

Does Every Job Require an Entrepreneur?

Interesting articles have been popping up left and right that focus on the traits of a self-starter. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur, Charles Schwab, yes, THAT Charles Schwab, wrote that the key to economic growth in this country is letting entrepreneurs loose! Let those self-starters go for it without all the encumbrances that weigh down innovation and creativity. 

It's a good read. Look it up.

November 2, 2011

Dr. Roberta Brinton Update

Not a day passes that I don't read something about my amazing self-starters! This past week was no exception. Dr. Roberta Brinton (Traititude: Compassion) has discovered the protein in the brain that arrests Alzheimer's. You can read her story in my book, Secrets of Self-Starters.

Her recent success involves receiving grant monies to extend her research into clinical trials so that our mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters may enjoy the full measure of life and remember it. Kudos for Dr. Brinton's recent success.

September 21, 2011

Thank You, Columbia Hospitality!

Thank you Columbia Hospitality! I so enjoyed working with your sales team. 

We focused on Creativity and Perseverance--both essential traititudes for success in the sales world. And, aren't we selling every day, whether it's our title or not?

Shelley Tomberg (Vice President of Sales), me, and Katy Willis (World Trade Center)

September 13, 2011

Trash Picker of Rio--A Self-Starter!

Run, don't walk, to the nearest movie rental outlet and get Waste Land, the documentary. It's the story of how renowned artist, Vik Muniz, created art from the trash heaps of Rio de Janiero's landfill--the largest in the world. Besides being an extraordinary film, one of the most moving parts was the sub-plot involving Tiao, a young man who works on the trash piles. He decided that it was important to have an association representing the thousands who make their livelihood there, so he started an association for trash pickers.

He cries as he shares the story of how he began, "Everyone said no. Nobody believed in me. But I believed, I believed I could do something!" Today, not only is he representing 2300 people but he has created an on-site space for education, has appeared on Brazil's talk shows, gone to London to Vik Muniz's art exhibition, and he's just getting started, "it's only the beginning for me," he says resolutely.

Send me a story of a self-starter you know!

August 26, 2011

Dan Geller

Dan Geller, President, Geller/Goldfine Productions & Storyline Productions

Traititude: Positive Thinking: "Optimism creates real fire and excitement about achieving something."

Do you consider yourself an optimist? Where is your (or someone on your team's) optimism creating excitement about achieving something?

August 2, 2011

Four Tips on Positive Thinking

I saw these four tips in a YMCA newsletter and wanted to pass them on. They deal with the traititude of Positive Thinking:
  1. Avoid negative, cynical people. If people start complaining, don't join in.
  2. Focus on good times. Thinking positive thoughts may help you to see a situation in a better light.
  3. Make your goals achievable. Don't set completely unrealistic goals for yourself. It will lead to frustration and disappointment.
  4. Don't fall into the trap of believing the world is against you. Chances are likely that there will be good times ahead even IF you are going through a rough patch right now.

July 26, 2011

Jack Canfield: Vision

Jack Canfield, (Author, Chicken Soup for the South; The Canfield Training Group) 

Traititude: Vision

"My vision sustained me."

What visions have sustained you? What steps did you take to achieve your vision? What are your future visions?

July 19, 2011

During the summer, I am going to run a series of quotes from the self-starters in my book, Secrets of Self-Starters, along with a question for you to ponder. So here goes:

Traititude: Vision: Susan Camerer (Founder of Vision House, shelter for homeless women and children)
"Seeing the vision of how you can accomplish something is what makes that something possible."

Think of a dream you have that you won't let go of. Think of a dream you've had, but had to let go. What is the difference between those dreams?

June 21, 2011

Two Things You Can Do To Self-Start

Here are two things you can do to self-start!

Begin NOW:
  1. Take the next step towards your goal. Think about 3-4 things you could do to get you closer to your end goal.
  2. Then take the flying leap. Too scary? Form an advisory board to help you move along towards your dream.

June 16, 2011

Three More Tips for Self-Starters

Last week I shared three tips for self-starters... This week, I wanted to share three more. Here are some things to think about.

  • Review where you've come from as you take on new challenges; where have you been successful? What did it look like? Feel like? Sound like?
  • Visualize your path; imagine it; see you in it; purge any negative or limiting thinking or self-talk. Make your vision as specific as possible then write it down. Your thoughts create your life. Keep thoughts and actions focused on your goals.
  • Be fearless; get over it and move forward.

June 7, 2011

Tips for Self-Starters

Don't Procrastinate

Delaying important tasks that will drive you towards your goal only delays your success. I have seen too many people not reach their potential by not following through, completing projects in a timely manner, or procrastinating to a point of no-return. On the other hand, sometimes letting events unfold as you ponder your next move is a good thing. It's a balancing act.

Change Your Mind Set

If you find yourself in a deep funk--break the negative thought pattern by doing something else: take a walk or a run; work in the garden; call a friend; go get a latte; leave the room in which negative messages were filling your head.

Come At Your Challenges In A New Way

If you find yourself stuck or discouraged, ask yourself this question: If I reach this goal, how will my life/work/career change? Can you list the ways? Can you post them in your office, bathroom, or on your monitor? What will it look like when you reach your goal? Cut out pictures, draw a picture, memorize an affirmation. Whatever works to get you to persevere--even though times may be tough.

May 31, 2011


Speaking of intra-preneurs--those self-starters within the corporate government who "go with an idea"--Michelle Gass at Starbucks is a perfect example. The Seattle Times ran an article on this superstar in Sunday's paper (May 22, 2011). Two thoughts come to mind. First, a shout-out to Howard Schultz, who recognized her talent and promoted her. She said about Schultz, "We were courageous and disruptive. I felt unleashed, with his energy and vision and willingness to be courageous . . . For me . . . this was going to be a ride."

Second, hats off to Michelle Gass for taking a product and making it shine. In this case, it was the revisioning of, at that time, the lowly frappuccino. The result? Sales from this drink account for twenty percent of Starbucks' sales. How's that for a self-starter?!

I bet you have a story. We would love to hear yours!

May 26, 2011

More Self-Starters in the Workplace?

I was completely floored when, during a recent keynote address to business leaders, the training director from a Fortune 500 company stood up and asked me: "Why would we want more self-starters in our company?! They'll just leave and start their own businesses!"

My response? Where do you think innovation comes from? Where do those new ideas/products/services/initiatives come from? Answer: From those folks who raise their hands and say, "Hey, I have an idea!" And then, take that idea and run with it.

Think about your workplace. Do you have an environment that encourages self-starters or pounds them down with inflexibility? Now, I'm not saying let the inmates run the asylum, but I am questioning how companies can lose self-starters because of workplace culture and norms.

May 20, 2011

Hit the Self-Starter Button!

Two articles came out recently that are a tad discouraging. One, by Sara Murray of the Wall Street Journal, talks about how women trail men in job recovery. This not-so-robust recovery has not been kind to women. Men seem to be faring far better from this "man-cession" (dubbed by some because of the vast number of men who lost their jobs). Cuts that occurred in state and local government are where women have taken the biggest hit.

A column in The Seattle Times by David Brooks comes at this slow recovery from a different point of view citing that one-fifth of the workforce is not working. Stunning statistics state that "in 1954 about 96 percent of men worked, today that number is around 80 percent."

I think government programs are not the only answer. Folks have to dig deeper into their inner core, pull out those traititudes, examine them, and get going. They need to take the next steps towards their goal.

May 10, 2011

VISION: A Requisite for a Self-Starter

VISION remains an essential traititude for you to acquire. Being a self-starter means forming a VISION of what you want to achieve. Here are two quotes for YOU to consider from Susan Camerer's profile on VISION.

"I won't let go of my dream."

"Seeing the vision of how you can accomplish something is what makes that something possible."

And, here are two questions to mull over as you think about your current, as well as future, VISION:
  1. What dreams did I have as a young person? Which ones did I achieve? Which ones are still on my list?
  2. Think of a dream you have that you won't let go of. Think of a dream you've had, but have let go. What is the difference between those dreams?
Then, go forth!

April 12, 2011

The Accidental Tourist becomes the Accidental Advocate for Young Girls

The Wall Street Journal ran a fabulous article on April 11 titled, "Life Imitates Art." Reporter Rebecca Blumenstein interviewed actress Geena Davis about how Geena has re-started her career, but in a different direction. Not to say she's stopped acting; but like a true self-starter, she added a whole new dimension to her life. 

Ms. Davis has founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. In her own words: "I didn't intend to turn it into a . . . whole new life for myself, but . . ." She was driven to know more about the roles for women in G-rated movies. Her organization has completed the largest research study ever done on G-rated movies and television shows for kids under 11 years old. And, she will tell you, the results were stunning. Read more here

March 11, 2011

Every Self-Starter's Dream: Making French Cheese in Nepal?

Francois Driard, a Parisian, presently lives in Nepal where he's setting his small community on fire with his gorgeous French cheeses. Crowned, "The Cheese King of Katmandu," his story is interesting. After graduating from business school in France, he found he disliked working in an office. So he chose to return to Nepal to live, a place he had visited on summer vacations since he was 18.

An idea bloomed as he observed that more and more Western products were coming to the grocery stores. He decided that he had all the requisite items needed: a farmhouse, cows, and grazing land--to make cheese. But how to do that when you have no training? Answer: Return to France and start asking questions of cheese makers! And thus began his cheese making in Nepal. To read more of Mark Magnier's article in the Los Angeles Times, click here.

His self-starter traititude is perseverance.

My purpose is to create a community of self-starters willing to share their stories. Won't you join me?

March 7, 2011

Reinventing Yourself for the New Normal

I can't believe we're into the third month of 2011. Every business professional I have spoken to, whether he/she works within an organization or owns a business, is reexamining all aspects of the business. From the technology employed, to the market sectors penetrated, to the integration of social media. Everyone is looking at his or her businesses from a different perspective. This also applies to job seekers--whose talents and skills--I call them traititudes--are being scrutinized.

I was very moved by the article written by Claudia Rowe, titled "Work in Progress" in Pacific Northwest magazine last November. She addresses how everyone's career and its value in the marketplace is changing; that reinvention is the new normal.

Like any profession, we are defined by it. To not have our talents, skill sets, and experience honored or even needed is a blow to one's confidence, purpose, psyche. I would suggest, and I'm not being flip, to go deep inside and pull out those God-given talents and combine them with a positive attitude and go for it.

Look at the list of traititudes at the top of this blog and see which ones might need to be resurfaced for review or fine-tuning.

My purpose is to create a community of self-starters willing to share their stories. Won't you join me?

How have you reinvented yourself or your business? Share your story.

March 3, 2011

Is There a Formula for a Self-Starter?

I recently gave a speech to a group of women business owners on the topic of self-starters. Someone from the audience called out, was there a formula for self-starters? Before I could answer, she did! She was certain she knew that formula. "Sure," she said, "it's first-born children who are extroverted with a high intuition score."

I beg to differ! Not only in my interviews with 100 self-starters or in my doctoral studies on leaders did I find the perfect formula. I asked the audience member to check out the back of my book, Secrets of Self-Starters, and view the grid. There she will find that orphans, only children, last borns and everything in between make self-starters. 

I will say that I do believe the nine traititudes listed at the top of this blog give you a leg up towards reaching your goals, living the life you want.

My purpose is to create a community of self-starters willing to share their stories. Won't you join me?

What do you think? What self-starters do you know? Let's continue the conversation.

Self-Starters--Nancy Aossey Wins BIG Award!

I am tickled pink. One of my self-starters, Nancy Aossey, just won a very prestigious award. Her traititude is perseverance. That traititude speaks volumes. Her personal story is amazing. Read about it in Secrets of Self-Starters.

March 1, 2011

"Why It's Smart to Be Optimistic!"

That is the title of a short article in Reader's Digest, December issue. Written by Merly Davids Landau, the article speaks about the importance of optimism. I call this "traititude" positive thinking. One of the pervasive traits profiled in my book, Secrets of Self-Starters.

Landau talks about the health benefits of being optimistic. I will tell you, that positive thinking drives business forward and toward you. Negative thinking does not get you the results you are after.

Now, I'm not talking polly-anna type thinking, I'm talking about looking at life, your situation, with a half-full glass! I'm talking about, and other have spoken about this as well, the attitude of gratitude. It works! Try it!

My purpose is to create a community of self-starters willing to share their stories. Won't you join me?

How have you turned a negative situation around? Share your story with us.

February 26, 2011

Kissing Frogs Leads to Great Success

Congratulations to Arnie Prentice, Chairman of Kibble & Prentice of Seattle, Washington! He is, I say this possessively, one of my 48 amazing self-starters. Arnie was recently recognized for the company's donation to the Moyer Foundation, which helps children in distress. You can see his picture in the Puget Sound Business Journal in  the February 25th edition.  
Arnie is known for his generosity in the community. His life story is heart-warming and inspirational. His "traititude" is self-motivation. You can read it in my book, Secrets of Self-Starters. Buy it as an e-book or a paper or hard back.

February 25, 2011

Macklemore: A Hip-Hop Self-Starter to Become a Household Name

Ben Haggerty, aka Macklemore, was raised as a self-starter, according to Andrew Matson's article in The Seattle Times.

That phrase really caught my eye, as you know I'm "into" self-starters! His traititude is creativity--a trait highly valued in his home. This young man has been on a crusade to make his music not only accessible to the public but also beautiful in its composition. He has experimented with different sounds and with different musicians. His creative drive propels him forward. I'm not a hip-hop fan but I must tell you, you need to check him out.

February 23, 2011

Self-Starters: Do You Know Any?

A friend? A community leader? A celebrity? Your neighbor? YOU?

Self-starters take the first steps toward their dreams; they go for it no matter what the cost; they risk and jump off cliffs, growing wings as they soar.

Where do you believe you fall on the continuum? Which of the self-starter "traititudes" (traits + attitudes) do you have? See the list at the top of this blog. Which traititudes do you need to develop? Fine-tune? Reconsider? Which will move you towards your goals?

Think about it. What are your thoughts about self-starter traititudes?

My purpose is to create a community of self-starters willing to share their stories. Won't you join me?