Archive for June, 2012

“Wherever you are, be there.” -Jim Rohn

Posted in Inspiration, Leadership, Professional Development, Quotes, Work-Life Balance with tags , , on June 28, 2012 by amandaaanthony

RT @affirm_lounge: Wherever you are, be there. #JimRohn #Leadership #Leader

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I Graduated & Found a Great Job….Why am I not Happy?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Inspiration, Leadership, Professional Development with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by amandaaanthony

Life’s Roadmap to Happiness…or just a Guidebook?

One thing was never explained to me growing up: that the “roadmap” to happiness so many of us follow (graduate high school then university, get a job, get married, have kids, etc) isn’t so much of a map as a travel guide written by the people before & around us. When you arrive at some of these destinations, they aren’t always what you expected. Many of us (ex. friends of mine, colleagues & me at some point in our 30’s)  look around & think,

“Is this it?!”

How I Landed on What to be When I Grew Up

I never knew what I wanted to “do with my life” in college, so I chose Business & fell into a Latin American Studies program (which turned out awesome). I figured at least I would be able to get a job and hopefully one day travel for work….that is how I started my career selling power tools as my first job out of college. I am a quick study, very passionate & highly competitive so sales has been a great match for me throughout my career. I am also creative, innovative & love psychology, so marketing became a close second to sales.

I was fortunate enough to work for 2 fantastic companies (Black & Decker, Procter & Gamble) in my professional career before recently starting on my own. Although both were “Corporate America”, the culture was completely different. I really value my time at both not only for the skills & expertise I picked up along the way, but for really seeing first hand the dynamics of working with people in different settings, under different circumstances, with diverse backgrounds and influenced by personal style + corporate mindsets. Understanding people is a lifelong journey, a skill that can really develop-especially in a successful sales & marketing person-by default…if that person is paying attention.

What’s the Point?

As you know by now, I am developing a company that will be focusing on helping people to figure out a plan for their own personal & professional development. In my travels, I find many people feel lost….the “roadmap” laid out for us from when we are young, is not specific enough to help us figure out where we are going. The real kicker, of course, is that only the individual can figure out where he/she is meant to go & what he/she is meant to do to be successful & happy. This is why I am a huge advocate of reading as well as seeking out mentors/coaches who will help you to see things in new light along the way.

Recently I spoke to a recent grad in her first job out of college & she expressed the following frustrations:

  • Difficulty finding a face-to-face mentor and to build a network outside her immediate environment
  • Dissatisfaction about her pay (& the concerns to pay off her student loans)
  • Frustration about her career path & current workplace

Haven’t we all been there? Where is that on the roadmap?!

Learning Something Every Day is a Great Start

I spent the better part of my 20’s with similar frustrations to this young woman, throughout various assignments, companies & industries.  It was only until after years of working that I realized the true value of many of the choices I made were not related to the $ amount I was compensated during each time but the depth & breadth of experience I gained.  A wise manager of mine once explained to me that value is not absolute; The value or worth of and object (or an experience) is only worth what you are willing to pay for it (or sacrifice)….and it may vary between individuals.

So, as a leader, when I am faced with challenges and stuck in situations I don’t particularly enjoy, I try to ask myself, “What am I learning here? Why is this important & what will I take away?”  This is particularly useful to anyone taking or giving feedback.  And it makes any tough life moment-work or otherwise-a little easier to manage.  The only person who can will you to grow is yourself.

The rest will come with a little hard work & patience;)

Please share your thoughts on my blog!

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/amandaanthony

Twitter: @amandaaanthony

amandaaanthony: Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Business, Inspiration, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by amandaaanthony

amandaaanthony: Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?: http://wp.me/p2tIb7-t

Success: What does it Take? And Where Does Work-Life Balance Fit In?

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized, Work-Life Balance with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by amandaaanthony

 

I went to lunch with a friend and mentor of mine recently who has owned his own successful company for many years, and he said to me:

“Amanda, I don’t work. I love every minute of what I am doing and it is mine, so this is not work-it is play. I play all day.”

A powerful statement & an aspirational goal to any newly starting entrepreneur…but really isn’t this what we all seek for true happiness, success and personal fulfillment? And maybe this has something to do with more than just passion & luck to find the “right career”? Maybe this is beyond capability and experience.  Maybe this ties back to the ever elusive balance I have been seeking for most of my professional career…

Passion & Drive to Win

I have been passionate in just about everything I have done professionally…even the assignments I didn’t particularly enjoy. The reason? Frankly, I like to win. I always have; my family, friends & husband will all tell you I am a relentlessly competitive game/card player. I love facing new challenges & designing strategies to overcome them which is something that translates both personally & professionally.

Luck

I cannot say that I have never been tempted by superstition…but with that said, in recent years I have far less patience for others who cast luck as the responsible party for good (usually in others’ lives) & bad (usually in their own lives) decisions. We make our own luck.  As a famous entrepreneur said in a recent interview:

“The harder you work the luckier you get.  We are each presented 20 doors-you can call it luck; you create your own opportunities.”-@robertherjavec

Opportunities Won, Opportunities Lost

This is called experience in my book…and it eventually translates into capability, depending on our ability to learn along the way. The key is to take the personal emotion out when things don’t go the way we plan (which can be difficult), try to reach & learn from the situation, then move forward without baggage.  Learn from the past. Be Present. Dream of the Future.

Success = Happiness = Achieving Balance?

I am not the best (yet) at maintaining work-life balance…in fact I am just starting to get a grip on what this must mean/feel like once you achieve it. I have had the tendency to go “full speed ahead” in one or two areas at a time, slowly letting other areas slip, then readjusting the sails as needed.  Examples: A) Working outrageous hours, taking on more & more professionally, but letting my social life and/or health slip. B) Full engagement on my health & fitness along with work, but letting personal time suffer…You get the idea.

Now that I work for myself, it is not any easier to achieve balance. The difference is that now when I work too much, it’s for me, so in some ways it doesn’t feel like work. I have been on vacation for a week but when I check emails or work a little in between, I enjoy it & don’t have difficulty disconnecting afterward.  I recognize that it is early in my independence and I am not yet generating income, answering to stakeholders or facing crucial deadlines…but I wonder, is this a little closer to balance? When your work is enjoyable enough that the lines are blurry with fun time?

The tides are always shifting, the sands moving, the trees growing, the earth turning & changing…as are we. So the challenge remains how to keep everything moving at the right pace to keep balance. I will let you know what I think about this one a little later in my new career;)

If you haven’t read “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz, it is an excellent and practical guide to happiness that is a perfect accompaniment to my thoughts above.

Please share your thoughts on my blog!

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/amandaanthony

Twitter: @amandaaanthony

 

Why I Decided to Leave a Fantastic Job/Company to Go on My Own in an Uncertain Economy

Posted in Amanda A. Anthony, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Professional Development, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by amandaaanthony

I wasn’t happy.

It was causing me stress and distress to my body.

I finally woke up and figured out both my priorities and established a purpose along with a set of goals.

This is my first post on my first blog which will eventually feed content into the social media business I am building. Since many of my followers don’t know me well, I thought I would take a few minutes to catch you up on how & why I landed HERE. For those of you that DO know me well, I will do my best to keep it concise;) Like many visionaries, I sometimes dream in too much detail. My husband can attest to that!

The Backstory

I recently departed from Procter & Gamble (P&G) after nearly 10 years of service with outstanding results. I was heavy with this decision that I didn’t plan to make although all the signs in my path kept pointing to that choice. I finally spoke to an old friend who knows me better than most and she made me realize the last 10% remaining of what I had already been seeing, feeling and sensing: the time had come. She simply said to me, “Amanda, you have always been successful. You have always delivered above average. You have your idea which you are passionate about…what is stopping you? If this isn’t making you happy anymore, then it isn’t worth it.” She said many other things but there it finally was…the lightbulb in my head finally hit the brightest setting.

I typically take major life decisions rather slowly. I am indecisive in my personal life and like to weigh everything out. I am a Libra; I am not much of a horoscope follower but I always found it appropriate for that reason. The thing is, I never really noticed that as a Libra I should also be constantly reminded to keep balance in my life. Balance had been missing for me for a while (we can address this in a later post). But this decision I knew within the hour of that discussion and a follow-up with my husband and a couple of close friends & mentors. It was time to close the door and open the one on the other side.

The New Door

I am building a startup company related to Personal & Professional Development. At first I planned to launch this blog and tell you all about it…then I realized that I might give away the farm & never see you again on my page. For this first post, I would like to share some thoughts on leadership, the state of the economy, the challenges for current generations & hopefully land on a more detailed answer to the question in the subject line;) If you keep tuning in, you will also hear some perspective on the challenges of transitioning to be an entrepreneur and share my launch with me eventually.

Leadership

We are all leaders. This will be a theme on this blog during the launch of my exciting and mysterious new product. The thing is, sometimes life gets in the way and we lose track of working to become better leaders. More agile and diverse leaders. Empowering and inspiring leaders. Some of us don’t recognize that we are leaders at all, and may need a little reminding, a push or even just a bit of kindness. So, I will bring you tools, resources, networking and my humble perspective on leadership in exchange for your readership, discussion, following, liking (or disliking) and feedback.

O Economy, Our Economy…it’s Everyone’s Economy

We sure have come a long way. We are living in a global economy and learning how to navigate in waters so complex, no ship has ever had to traverse them in such weather and conditions. Globalization has really made so many conveniences, such progress, (Better boats & navigation systems) and yet we are faced with challenges so much more complex at the macroeconomic level when we look at the interdependence among various nations. This is of course not new, but each year that passes makes a tougher storm to weather. The thing is, as ship captains of all different size vessels in all ends of the earth, we can only do one thing: figure out the best option and take the next step on the microeconomic level to get us closer to our port, weathering the storm.

For those of you on Linked In or Twitter, you may have heard me referencing a speech given by the President of the Fed from Atlanta here in South Florida this week. His comments on the state of the local, state, national and global economies were consistent with the reports we are hearing on the news here. Recession potential for 2013; housing prices stabilizing nationally; unemployment rates have improved overall in last 18 months in the U.S. but numbers for the 18-29 year old demographic are startling. Education at the higher levels is not fielding the jobs it once was, and we are seeing more entrepreneurship, although government support for small business remains a challenge. On the bright side, at the microeconomic level, we need entrepreneurs (like me, and many others out there-whew! thankfully some good news here) to help with job creation. I aim not only to create jobs through my company but to enable people to seek the “right fit” which will also hopefully improve employment challenges.

Why did I leave P&G, the 26th Largest Company in the World to Go Alone?

I believe I can do more. Maybe not more than P&G (It’s a pretty enormous company), but more for myself and therefore more for others. To borrow language from my former employer, I believe that I will go (and grow) “bigger, better, faster” if I go it alone. I am not ready for a big reveal; I have both sales and marketing blood coursing through my veins, so the reveal will have to be a little bigger than this first post on my shiny new blog. What I will share with you today, and I hope you will help me network as much as possible to find interested followers is this:

  • I will bring a new platform to market to help navigate these rough waters.
  • I will challenge you to change and focus on continuous growth. It starts with ownership of your personal & professional development.
  • I will challenge the current resources out there to become better and more efficient.
  • I will bring solutions, a map, perspective and guidance to facilitate your growth, if you are interested in jumping onboard with me;)

At the end of the day, I may or may not be the one to help place you into your next job, but I hope to be someone that helps you find out what you want to do in your life and how you are going to navigate getting there. And I hope to share some inspiration; I never have enough!

Please follow me on Linked In & Twitter.

http://www.linkedin.com/in/amandaanthony

@amandaaanthony

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