Twisting Road Blog
This blog started out years ago as a record of my explorations as I pursued a new career direction. With that purpose, the original name, Chasing Wisdom, fit pretty well. As my explorations became a long-term journey of discovery, the new name Twisting Road seemed to fit even better.
But I’ve figured a lot of things out. I’m still ‘chasing wisdom,’ and I still have a life that takes me to the scenic route, so it’s often a ‘twisting road,’ where I don’t have all the details figured out at the beginning and have to discover them along the way.
But this blog’s purpose changed as I settled into my new career as a professional coach. I guide people who want to develop themselves, especially those who want to become strong as leaders so they can take their vision and make it happen.
I work with people on personal leadership, which is taking charge of the direction and purpose of your life, and on business leadership. I especially enjoy working with people at the intersection, which is self-employment.
So which leaders and aspiring leaders would want to get ideas and inspiration from a blog called Twisting Road?
I don’t know, either!
It was a great name to capture my personal journey of self-discovery. It doesn’t work as a name for a blog for people taking charge and learning to make their own way. Heck, sometimes leaders leave the road, even a twisting road, and forge a new path!
The contents of this blog and a couple others I have written have been combined into a new blog, Blazing Core. The defining theme of the new blog is developing your core self into a thriving force that guides you and fuels you.
Join me there. And spread the word!
Barbara Winter may not have invented the idea of multiple profit centers solely, completely on her own. But she helped make the idea clear and accessible to many people by pulling together many of the details and considerations. She first talked about multiple profit centers DECADES ago, long before she wrote Making A Living Without A Job, which was nearly twenty years ago.
In a recent blog post she provides a fantastically concise, cogent overview of the power of incorporating multiple profit centers. It’s a quick read so check it out by clicking here. If you’re intrigued, pull out your copy of Making A Living Without A Job and review that section.
Don’t have a copy? Not yet? No problem! Click here and order one today!
You hear it from business development and marketing coaches and consultants everywhere, again and again.
When you go to a networking event, a presentation, a group event, or any place you can talk about your business, take plenty of business cards with you.
I think they’re wrong. (Are you really surprised?) Don’t misunderstand. If someone asks for your card it’s great to have one to give. But taking plenty puts you in the mindset of trying to pass them out. That’s how they wind up in the recycle bin later that night as people clean out their pockets.
Instead, go with the mindset of collecting business cards. Not every business card from every person, but a business card from each person you want to contact later. That gives you a specific mission at the event.
What’s the point of passing out business cards? It’s to give people a way to remember your name and have your contact information so they can follow up with you. As they stand in front of the recycle bin shuffling through the cards they collected, they’re looking and thinking, “Am I really going to e-mail this person?”
Or they put your card in the “keep” pile, a sticky, crumpled collection held together with a rubber band and thrown in a drawer, easily forgotten.
Since the point is to have people remember your name and continue the conversation, it’s better to take charge and not leave it up to them. Instead of approaching each person with the thought, “Is this person likely to hire me?” or, “Does this person maybe know someone who will hire me?” think, “Can I help this person in some way?”
If you approach each conversation listening for an opportunity to be helpful, you have a reason to follow up afterwards. When you hear a way you can be helpful, ask for the person’s card. Jot a note on the back about the kind of information you can send, like the name of a reliable plumber or directions to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or an article you just read with some unique investment advice. It doesn’t need to be about your business or your expertise. Just be willing to help.
When you send the e-mail or make the phone call you get another chance to connect. Because you care you come across as more likeable. That makes the other person more interested in learning about you. You can offer to meet for coffee or lunch to learn more about the other person. Notice I didn’t say pitch your services to that person. Include your business information in your e-mail signature and be ready to talk about your business – when the other person asks.
Be a person worth knowing. Be interested in other people. Let people get to know you. Then they’ll be comfortable working with you or sending their friends and family to you. Walk into any event planning to be that person.
This is the place to leave your comments and questions about my e-workbook called
If you haven’t gotten your complimentary copy yet, just click the image above to get more information. If you arrived here already knowing about the e-workbook and want to sign up to receive it, just put your name and e-mail in the form below.
This workshop in an e-book is designed to help people who want to take their ideas and make them real. It’s not an easy process. In fact, sometimes it’s really hard. But it’s definitely possible.
These 10 power sources will help you generate the energy you need to move forward and keep going. When you get stuck – and you will! – they are your resources to overcome obstacles, pull yourself out of the mud, climb out of the rut, or break free of the box.
What thoughts do you have as you read through and do the exercises? How has it helped you so far?
What questions do you have? I want to help you apply these ideas to yourself and your circumstances so you can take charge of your life, accomplish your big goals, and bring your ideas to life.
This surprised me at first. I coach and train people with themes like “don’t follow the herd” and “free yourself from the hive mind.” I mainly work with people who are leaders or are becoming leaders, stepping up to take charge so they can bring their ideas to life. Adaptable, flexible, and creative are abilities I want to keep improving in myself and help other people develop and improve.
So when I first realized I was a worker bee, and I liked it, I was surprised.
This year is my third year on the board of directors of a non-profit agency in my area, and my fifth volunteering as a committee member. As this commitment started winding down (I’m letting it wind down because it’s far enough away that meeting for an hour and a half takes up to four hours of my time with travel) I looked for a different volunteer opportunity.
My younger son started middle school this year so I decided to look for an opportunity there. It’s also his first year in public school, after spending his elementary years in a wonderful Montessori school. It’s a huge adjustment for him. The public school structure and format are completely new to him, the school is enormous compared to his two-room elementary, and, well, it’s middle school.
It’s a big adjustment for me, because I knew the administrator and the business manager and my son’s teacher very well. The Montessori cycle keeps a child in the same class for three years, and with some changes as the school downsized my son had additional years with one teacher.
I also knew two of the teachers in the youngest classroom because they had worked for us at the preschool my family owned. The Spanish teacher, who was also the art teacher, became a good friend, as well. They are like extended family. No, forget that! They are like the extended family I wish I had. They are special people who have been a huge part of my son’s early life and left an impact on both our lives. Heck, a lot of them are even friends with my mother since she volunteered and substituted at the Montessori school.
At the Montessori school I volunteered with “student store,” as I recount in Demystifying Marketing. I went on field trips. I even helped teach creative writing for a few months one year.
So when my son left his second home, the wonderful Montessori school, and headed off to the gargantuan new school in the brand new building with six hundred other students, we both lost an important part of our lives. I wanted to have some kind of connection to his new school, even though it couldn’t possibly be the same. And I was looking for a volunteer opportunity with little driving involved.
When the volunteer opportunities were listed “library” seemed like a manageable commitment so I checked it. At the orientation I signed up for a couple of shifts to give it a go.
I found out I like it. I can choose to volunteer once a week to once a month. I can even take a month off if I need to. I go in for two hours and fifteen minutes, and the total drive time round trip is twenty minutes or less. It’s a new library in a new building so sometimes I help organize shelves. Sometimes I help label shelves. Sometimes I put returned books back on the shelves, and sometimes I put the books back in the correct order.
I also laminate and cut out laminated pieces. Yes, they trust me with the machine with the heating coil and the heavy rollers!
Sometimes I check out books when students come to the library, and sometimes I check books in.
None of this is very difficult. Most of it takes little thought. I do a simple organizing task or laminate and cut out a stack of printed pieces. I don’t have to figure out much. I don’t have to solve challenging problems.
And I like it!
For the two hours and fifteen minutes, I have a list of things to do. By the time I leave, either I have finished a project or two, or completed one section of a larger project. The work is mainly about putting things in order. Books go in order on the shelves, labels are printed to direct people to the right shelf, cards for math class are covered in hot plastic and trimmed to be useful materials. I don’t have to figure out what to do or how to do it. I just follow a list.
I definitely wouldn’t want to do that every day. I would go nuts if most of my work were this way. But for a couple of hours two or three times a month, it’s a peaceful respite. I think it might be similar to walking a meditative labyrinth.
At the end of my time a task is done, order is restored in one corner of the universe, and entropy is resisted once again.
And I leave refreshed and ready to tackle some prickly challenges with my adaptability, flexibility, and creativity, in true Trailblazer style.