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15 01, 2018

TAKE A LEAP, SOMEONE WILL CATCH YOU!

By | 2018-01-15T18:04:45+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Blog, Motivation, Sales, Sales strategies, Your Brain|0 Comments

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“Want to Take a Leap?” Elle Gibson

It’s great knowing everything isn’t it? Sure it is, you’ve spent your whole life becoming the expert.

YES, I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU AND ME. THIS WEEK I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW! LET ME EXPLAIN MY THOUGHTS.

Once you feel you’ve mastered something, like being the expert on your job or in a sport, it gives you a good feeling. People call you for advice and want your ‘opinion.’ Did you ever think that being an expert isn’t all it’s cut out to be? Are you getting  tired of the phone calls?

Did you ever think that being an expert has a downside?  I’ve spent most of my adult life trying to become an expert on certain things. In my mind, if I’m not an expert, why would you hire me?

(The NLRB delivers a big kick in the pants to employers)

THIS WEEK I FOUND OUT I’M WRONG. SOMEONE SAID I GAVE THEM A ‘GOOD KICK IN THE PANTS,’ AND THEY LEARNED SOMETHING NEW. WOW. I GUESS THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE AFTER.

When we become experts, we develop patterns of behaviors that make life easier. Patterns we can replay whenever we need to. We rely on them to guide us so that we always get the same results.

I suggested to my friend that we drove a different way to the mall. Not only did she get upset, she got damn angry with me.

“I like everything the same she said, I’m trying to simplify my life and not have any surprises that will throw me off track.”

In my mind, that meant the track to boredom; I didn’t say anything, I kept driving. Just to give you some more insight, she takes a lot of antidepressant medications; I don’t have to tell you why do I?

What would happen if you practiced trying to be a non-expert? Suppose I told you it would make you more creative, less ‘stuck’ and possibly happier—what would you think?

I was listening to an interesting podcast on Masters of Scale, hosted by LinkedIn C0-Founder and Greylock Partner, Reid Hoffman. Those of you that have spoken to me know I’m ‘enamored’ to “Masters of Scale” and it’s how motivate myself. The podcasts are all centered on people that have taken major leaps to try something new. Their leaps are based on ‘hunches,’ or ‘where the world is going,’ and then getting on a new bandwagon. Most of the people are experts in something but are bored being experts and knowing everything. They are looking for a new bandwagon.

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING; IF I HAD ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD I WOULD LOOK FOR A NEW BANDWAGON TOO. OH REALLY?

WHY? BECAUSE THEY ARE CURIOUS AND LIKE LEARNING NEW THINGS.

I’m no different than you; I’ve spent 20 years becoming the expert. I’m finding it isn’t what it’s cut out to be.

I’M A LITTLE BORED! WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Being the expert is a great skill; it means we don’t need to re-learn every time we encounter something or someone we don’t know. We have developed patterns of behavior which we can re-play whenever we need to. We rely on our previous patterns of behavior to guide us, which often means we experience the same results.

We spend our whole lives trying to become experts on what we do and what we know. We see ourselves and strive at being the ‘best’ in their profession.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT IS THERE? ACTUALLY, THERE IS.

When you continually hone your skills, you shut out everything else that threatens them. Consider the salesperson who thinks if he knows everything about (let’s say carpet) he doesn’t want to hear about any other products or what’s happening in the ‘tile’ side of things. He’s also not interested in learning new sales tips or anything about ‘customer touch points.’ All he knows is everything that happens in the store with customers, he has it ‘down pat.’

THIS WEEK I’VE DECIDED I WILL READ BEFORE I GO TO BED—NO MORE TV.

I WILL LISTEN TO PODCASTS WHEN I’M ON THE TREADMILL—NO MORE TV. SURE TV IS EASY; I GET TO LIVE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S WORLD, TAKE ON THEIR PERSONALITIES AND SHARE THEIR EMOTIONS. I’M FIVE DAYS INTO MY NEW WORLD, AND IT’S INTERESTING. I HAVE TO THINK ABOUT ME.

I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING; IF YOU HAD GIZZILION DOLLARS YOU WOULD DO SOMETHING ELSE TOO. REALLY?

You really don’t need all the money in the world; you just need to test ‘not being the expert.’ Try a sport you’re not good at, listen to a different podcast, learn a new language. Put yourself in an uncomfortable place—not to worry, you can always go back to the safe “expert” place.

“Don’t just sit idle, learn something new everyday”

Visit MastersofScale.com to get a copy of the transcript of this broadcast.

#gettingmotivated #learningsomethingnew #takingaleap #learningnewthings #learning #Mastersofscale #beingtheexpert #founderofLinkedIn #Greylockpartner #TakealeapElleGibson #womenoflife

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20 11, 2017

Friendsgiving: An Opportunity to Build Connections–Brought to you by the Millenniums

By | 2017-11-20T22:01:05+00:00 November 20th, 2017|Blog, Building your business, Change, Customer Experience, Customer Retention Strategies|0 Comments

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Friendsgiving has been lurking around since 2007; it’s now becoming well-known name and likely a new holiday. It reclaims a holiday for people who, during the Thanksgiving season, can’t get to family; don’t want to be with family and those that don’t have family. In my neighborhood, we’ve called them, for lack of a better word, Thanksgiving orphans. It doesn’t take away from the traditional holiday; it adds a new dimension to it. It underscores the value of friends.

I must admit I was getting tired of going to my relatives. They served the same-old foods, nothing for the vegetarian except vegetables with no imagination or too much cheese.  My other aunt used to make a complete vegetarian dinner along with the turkey, for the vegetarians next door.  I didn’t realize you could eat anything but turkey on Thanksgiving Day. There were the relatives who drank far too much and told the same-old stories over and over. There were also the ones I just didn’t like.

We are happy to have a new description of something very cool and started by the Millenniums. In 2007, the term ‘Friendsgiving’ made the Urban dictionary. This is a great way to connect with this customer. In my book, “50 Ways to Bring Customers into Your Store,” I talk about holding events and raising money for charities.

WHY NOT HOLD A FRIENDSGIVING PARTY IN YOUR STORE AND RAISE SOME MONEY FOR YOUR CUSTOMER’S FAVORITE CHARITY!

The other day I asked my neighbors where they were going; they said a Friendsgiving party and would be back for Thanksgiving. I gave them a big smile; I was in the know!

In order to connect with your customers, you’ve got to know where they are and what they’re doing. If you’re not part of something, how will you know? Friendsgiving is not a way to forget Thanksgiving; it’s a way to add something new. Friendsgiving legitimizes something we’ve known all along—friends matter. It’s also a new way to celebrate and create a tradition.

Friends are important, no matter what your age. They make you feel better, can improve yourself-esteem and have an overall positive effect on your life. I have one friend whom I speak with almost every night; sometimes we just discuss what movies are playing.  As you age, you can expect to lose friends. My dad told me to start hanging around with younger people, this way I wouldn’t be losing friends every year!

The Millenniums are breaking the rules, how they shop, what they buy and what matters to them. They are very connected to their friends and are willing to put effort into building these relationships. According to statistics, this group is also the most connected to real ‘giving.’

I’ve been holding Friendsgiving for years; I’m glad it has a name! Enjoy  your holiday whatever its name!

Lisbeth has been helping businesses build customer relationships for over 20 years. To consult with her, call 518.495.5380 or email Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

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11 11, 2017

What’s the New Luxury? I Might Not be a New Car

By | 2017-11-11T20:30:15+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Blog|0 Comments

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Monkey bars for fun and agility.

It used to be we knew you were rich because you got a new car. Forget the car, everyone is wearing some type of Fitbit that measures heart rate, steps walked and hours slept. It doesn’t look like anyone is wearing a ‘real’ watch. I would like to but it seems silly to have two devices that tell time.

I was so excited to get my Fitbit I looked at it every hour. I don’t sleep very well so gauging my sleep is important to me and my doctor. I’m sure eventually your Fitbit or whatever you’re wearing will measure your blood pressure too. Men and women go to spas and get messages.

When my Yoga class is finished, people don’t run out, they stay and talk about their workout and fitness program.  The people share something that we all have in common, that’s good health. One of the triathlon runners was talking about how his left heel was bothering him, another former runner was suggesting he use marijuana oil on it, and I’m talking about how stiff I was in Yoga after lifting weights yesterday. Our ages range from 40-70; a combination of men and women.  All of us are involved with our health and how we need to push ourselves. The harder you work, the more you’re respected. No one has time for those that don’t push themselves. It’s the new ‘good old boys club’ with plenty of women.

What about the Men’s Health Urbanathlon? “Men Only”,  racing and monkey bars. All this is designed to test your strength

Men’s Health Urbanathlon

and agility.

Jack Ma, Chairman and Founder of Alibaba, spoke at Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 summit in Detroit; his summation, we want to be healthy and happy no matter who we are or how old. It’s obvious at the YMCA; it looks like people are getting older. This provides an opportunity for businesses of any kind to cash in. This is a new way to get new customers and doesn’t cost anything. This is also a marketing tool.

Yesterday I spoke with an 85 year old woman who runs 5 miles every day. She seriously told me the cold weather bothers fanny and she doesn’t know why. It doesn’t interfere with her running but she has concerns. My grandmother at 85 barely got up from in front of the television. She wasn’t doing any running unless it was after a cow that had jumped the fence! Wow how things have changed.

Trends come and go but the health trend looks like it will have a long life and become more complicated. We not only want to live longer but we want to be in good health while we’re doing it. A hundred years ago, being rich meant you were fat and being poor meant you were painfully thin. Now being fat means you’re unhealthy and thin is in.

What does this all mean to your business? Staying up with the trends makes you attractive to a certain type of customer. It’s often time the more affluent ones who can take advantage of lifestyle developments. Who isn’t looking for the consumer with more money?

Why not tie into these movements with healthy cooking classes, don’t forget the ‘farm to table’ movement and fresh produce. Why not have a farmer’s market outside your business that will entice loyal consumers who enjoy weekly shopping at their favorite outdoor markets. A yoga, Tai Chi or Zumba class would be fun for you to hold at your business. It will not only excite your customers but also your staff. It will help them stay healthy as well as connect with possible new customers.

You can connect on-line with Meetup groups that are willing to come into your business, conduct your classes, cook or lecture on health. Working less might not be an option but becoming healthier while working may be.

From Lisbeth’s new upcoming revised book, “Red Hot Customer Service,” due out in January 2018. For ideas on how  your business can attract “the new consumer, ” call 518.495.5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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29 10, 2017

Magnetically Attract the Best Customers by Becoming a Community Hub

By | 2017-10-29T21:18:29+00:00 October 29th, 2017|Blog, Building a Brand, Building relationships, Building your business, webinar|0 Comments

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Attract customers by becoming a community hub

“Is Amazon coming for you?”

On November 9th I will be the guest expert on FCNews Marketing Mastery Webinar.

Amazon has created huge disruption in retail by making it easy to buy virtually anything on line, and they are now expanding into brick-and-mortar.

 

Box stores have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising to create brand awareness. It may seem hopeless but it isn’t.

As a small retailer, you have advantages the big boys don’t. By using the right strategies you can out maneuver the big players and run circles around them. I will be revealing a powerful strategy to outmaneuver the big companies, and attract a LOT more customers during the upcoming fCNews webinar called:

“HOW TO TRANSFORM YOUR BUSINESS INTO A COMMUNITY HUB”

For more info and to sign up: http://marketingmasterywebinar.com/Lisbeth

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27 09, 2017

You Have 10 Seconds to Make a First Impression

By | 2017-09-27T19:04:16+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Sales strategies|0 Comments

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According to a new study from Visible Measures, 20% of the audience for a video clip of fewer than five minutes will abandon viewing in the first ten seconds. With 40 million unique clips that adds up to over 7 billion video views. That’s a big sample.  According to company CMO Matt Cutler, “If you’re online video campaign has 10 million viewers, 2 million of them saw less than 10 seconds of it. “

ComScore also surveys the video viewing habits of people around the world. Their last November survey, the average duration watching on video sites, (i.e. YouTube) 4 minutes.

Okay, so the average viewer has the attention span of a nat. That means if you’re making video they had better be short and sweet. Most of the YouTube video material is fun, stupid, entertaining or  just plain crazy. For this stuff, 10-20 seconds will do it.

If you’re trying to explain something, like how to grout a floor, preparing a video of two minutes will be challenging. If you’re trying to provide sales training, two minutes is probably out of the question.

Tips for on line video:

Think about the first 10 seconds, make it short, hot and sweet. Don’t warm up, go for it from the beginning. Don’t do an introduction if you don’t need it.. Check out this video,  “How to tie your shoes.

Plan your time and practice. I use a timer and set it for five minutes. This way I know if I need to cut it down.

If you have a long subject, break it into short, interesting bites.

Do a run through. Record yourself, listen and watch. What do you need to change?

Get peppy. If you’ve only got 10 seconds, smile and put some oomph into it. Ask for some feedback on the video; should I rerecord it?

The data also shows that you will have lost a third of your audience in the firsts 30 seconds and then 44% by the end of the first minute. Lesson one, don’t let it drag on. It doesn’t look good in the beginning they’re done.

A couple of blogs ago I wrote “does funny sell?” I think the following should be noted

In the longer brief on the research, available for download from it site, Visible Measures analyzes a popular clip from an Anheuser Busch Web-only ad for Bud Light. The “Beer and Porn” spot, which was Web-only for obvious reasons, was viewed by 950,000 on YouTube. But those viewers were only the ones that got past the first ten seconds. The ad had twice the usual 10-second abandonment rate.

At least 40% bailed before the joke was apparent at the 12-second mark.

Even the pros have their challenges.

Forget the elevator speech; it’s more like an escalator speech!

Lisbeth Calandrino has been conducting sales training classes for over twenty years. She was voted in 2017 as one of the “Ten People Making a Difference,” by Floor Covering News. (The category was sales.)

To have her make a difference in your business, connect with her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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17 09, 2017

Lost Your Brand? The Customer Owns it!

By | 2017-09-27T15:52:10+00:00 September 17th, 2017|Customer Retention Strategies|0 Comments

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This is how Coke built a relationship with the consumer.

Customers own the brands by supporting or hating them. Either way they’ve taken the place of  the branding power your brand held.

Up until the late 199o’s, we were in the  the industrial age, and brands had a prominent place in society. Since then the customer has taken over the power of branding.

In the industrial age, there were certain unwritten laws that everyone obeyed. For instance:

  • You couldn’t start a business without capital.
  • You needed a certain level of personal qualification and social status to be successful.
  • Gatekeepers monitored broadcast channels like radio and TV.
  • Success was a result of offering better products than your competitors at a better price.

Things have changed considerable: 

CUSTOMERS DON’T WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH BRANDS, THEY WANT RELATIONSHIPS WITH EACH OTHER. IN ORDER FOR  YOUR BUSINESS TO WORK, YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET IN THEIR CLUB!

Brands have to be careful; being intrusive, buying likes, paying for placement will not work. In fact, it will turn the customers off and send them fleeing to the competitor.

In order to get placement in the world, brands will have to find a new way to be part of club. They have to become a part of the world instead of leading the world. The world is being led by consumer conversations; conversations about you and I. What they say about us is what the new customer reports.

Your brand must find a way to communicate with the customer.

Nike brought jogging into our culture. With that began the expansion of their brand.

Nike’s greatest achievement wasn’t the Nike Swoosh. Nike’s greatest achievement was creating America’s jogging culture. Nike has moved from sneakers to fitness. Everything fitness is Nike!

Success in branding hinges on understanding business needs, empathizing with consumers’ needs and providing a creative solution that addresses both. 

We must all try to become part of the customer relationship. In order to do this we must build a customer relationship. The extension of customer service has become the customer relationship. We are no long in charge of anything; the best we can hope for is the ability to engage the customer in things they will love–parties, information, ways to enjoy life, planning trips for them–yes this is you.

Taken from Timothy Ingram, the Medium, “How Branding Has Changed.” This is probably the best article I have ever read on the new branding. If you plan on staying around, I suggest you familiarize yourself with this concept. He’s right and it’s brilliantly put.

Lisbeth had been a thought leader for over twenty years. She is a risk taker, cat lover and forever young. Call Lisbeth if you need a jolt of optimism and fun. 

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11 09, 2017

Are you all Reaction and no Action?

By | 2017-09-27T18:45:41+00:00 September 11th, 2017|Sales strategies|0 Comments

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     Any action always has a reaction. Are you always reacting and never  acting?

 Do you get what I mean? I have a friend who is always going off the deep end. A trip to the doctor means she is at death’s door and even when he tells her there is nothing wrong, she finds a problem! By the way she is 76 and has no problems other than the one she creates! You know people like that; or maybe it’s you?

We live in a world where we are expected to make a decision but not every action requires  a reaction. If someone does something to you you’re expected to respond. When we react to every situation it’s likely whatever we say will have a lasting effect. The impact of your statement maybe worse than what you would have said if you waited instead of reacting. Just because you have feelings doesn’t mean you have to act on them; sometimes you need to wait them out. Instead try and notice the feelings and let them sit awhile.

The problem with acting immediately is that we often act without empathy for the other person. The action is all about us. Think about the last time someone cut in front of you as you were turning. This morning I pulled out of my driveway and turned left. I thought I had looked to the right but obviously I didn’t. Well some woman is as big SUV started screaming at me and shaking her fist. “What do you think you’re doing B…?” At first I was frightened and then reminded myself that she probably misunderstood my actions and was scared also. That’s better than thinking she was looking for a physical fight, but I was ready for that too! Luckily she took off and I didn’t have to try any of my defense skills.

Customer service always matters.

CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS GO ALONG WAY, EVEN ON THE HIGHWAY

Before you take up the fight, ask yourself, will this affect me a year from today? Will it really matter? Think back to the things you worried about 5 years ago how are they affecting you today? This is a good customer service skill to teach your employees. How many times have they argued with a customer and then regretted it later?

Worrying wastes time.

WORRYING JUST WASTES TIME AND PREVENTS YOU FROM LIVING IN REALITY

Worrying doesn’t fix anything, if it did none of us would have any problems.

Teaching your employees to take action instead of reacting will go a long way.

To learn more about how to ‘act instead of react,’ give me a call and let’s see how I can help you or your employees. By the way, a little coaching goes a long way.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH! You will be able to make a better decision.

 

Lisbeth has been helping businesses with planning strategies. For ideas for your business, give her a call, 518-495-5380 or an email, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

 

 

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11 08, 2017

4 Reasons Bosses Should Encourage Meditation At Work

By | 2017-09-27T18:46:40+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Sales strategies|0 Comments

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Meditation at work

I came across this article in my inbox and I believe it’s really important. Meditation can help us relax and be more productive. The results are not always evident immediately, but as time goes on you will undoubtedly notice a change in your mind and body. 

Barbara Cox, Ph.D. (www.drcoxconsulting.com), is a consultant and coach for innovative leaders and organizations. To learn more about meditation, try one of the free guided recordings at drcoxconsulting.com.

The co-worker two cubicles down who appears to be nodding off may not be indulging an afternoon nap after all.

Instead, he or she could be in a state of meditation, and the bosses likely are happy about that – or at least they should be.

“It’s not uncommon now for big corporations to encourage meditation during breaks and even hold meditation events during working hours,” says Dr. Barbara Cox (www.drcoxconsulting.com), a consulting psychologist and coach who specializes in working with innovative leaders and organizations.

“Research shows there are significant effects on physical and mental health for people who practice meditation, self-hypnosis and other stress-management tools.”

Among the benefits:

  • Improved ability to manage stress. Life is filled with stress and the average work day can provide a host of new triggers that add to stress, whether it’s a demanding supervisor, a difficult client or uncooperative co-workers, just to name a few. “Stressful situations are going to happen,” Cox says. “So the question becomes how well you can handle the stress. Meditation can assist in that.”
  • Increased quality of sleep. Meditation can help people with their sleep issues, according to research by Harvard University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital. That doesn’t mean meditating only before bedtime. It also helps to practice meditation during the day, so you can more easily get into that relaxed state at night. “And if you get a good night’s sleep,” Cox says, “you’re more likely to perform well at work the next day.”
  • More mental energy. People can often feel tired during the work day, even if they don’t have a physically demanding job. One reason is mental exertion, some of which goes back to all that stress, Cox says. Meditation can help restore both your physical and mental energy.
  • Greater ability to concentrate. For many people, it doesn’t take much to let their minds wander – especially these days when distractions such as smartphones and internet connections are close at hand to give them an extra reason to lose focus. Those who meditate are better able to focus on ideas and remember facts without getting easily distracted, and there’s research by the University of California, Santa Barbara, to back that up.

“Supervisors need to take note of all that research if they haven’t already,” Cox says. “Companies are always looking for ways to improve productivity and meditation can help lead to a happier workforce and a more efficient one.”

Bringing the benefits of meditation into a company doesn’t have to be a major undertaking.

“You can start small,” Cox says. “You could have a meditation week where everyone meditates at the same time every day for one week. You could have a meditation challenge between departments or send out weekly meditations in the company newsletter. You could even begin your meetings with a two-minute meditation.

“The key is to just get started because the sooner you do, the sooner your company will experience the results.”

About Barbara Cox, Ph.D.

Her advice has been featured in local and national publications, including MSN.com and Cosmopolitan and other holistic health and wellness publications. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego, and started her career as an environmental scientist, most notably organizing environmental projects for the Department of Defense. She has master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology from Alliant International University – San Diego.

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30 07, 2017

Will You Have Enough Guts to be Your Own Hero?

By | 2017-09-27T18:47:34+00:00 July 30th, 2017|Customer Retention Strategies|0 Comments

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Sam Elliot in “The Hero”

I recently saw the movie entitled “The Hero,” with Sam Elliott. Sam Elliot is an aging actor, Lee Hayden, who is forced to look at life squarely in the face.  He recently found out that he has a very serious cancer. We become immersed in his pot world as he wrestles with whom he should call and what he should say. Of course, he is estranged from his family and feels particularly bad about his relationship with his daughter. He decides to call her and convinces her to see him. Of course, he doesn’t show up—too many pills and pot.  Okay that’s all I’m going to tell you, but I think it’s worth seeing. “The Hero” refers to his old movie roles where he usually plays the hero. To see the trailer, http://bit.ly/2rNWf7a.

His situation is something we are all likely to encounter; getting old, not being seen as that vibrant person in our 30’s and more time behind than in front of us. It was easy to put myself in his place.  He continues to look for his last opportunity to be “The Hero.”

Lee is creepy and selfish. All he can think about is what’s happening to him and how bad he feels. The longer he wallows in his misery the more we begin to dislike him. It’s when he realizes he has to move forward that his world begins to change. He decides that he will take a chance and engage with the new people in his life.

What will you do when life confronts you, when you find ‘you’re not who you used to be?’ The new person has yet to be defined. Will you continue to look backwards to revive your ‘old’ self?  Will you spend your remaining time trying to be the old self or will you be able to move forward?

In order to move forward we must take risks into a new life, one that we’re not familiar with.  We can move into a life that may feel dangerous, like being on a swing for the first time. We know we’re safe in the swing, but as we swing out we wonder what would happen if we let go. If you’re like me, you let go of the ropes and took a chance. Do you remember how wonderful it felt to fly through the air? Will you be able to do this as you get older? Will you look forward to new experiences and upcoming changes?

In order to make this happen you will have to begin to seek fresh things, new people and ideas. Look for different types of people, seek something creative that you’ve never thought about. If you want to go bungee jumping this might be the time.

 

It’s likely our older life will be filled with challenges, now’s the time to set up some parameters so you can experience your new life with excitement.

Do you need someone to bring excitement to your business? Lisbeth has been motivating audiences for over 20 years. To connect with Lisbeth,  reach out to her, Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. 

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29 05, 2017

Why Captain Jerry Yellin’s Story Matters to all of us

By | 2017-09-27T18:48:48+00:00 May 29th, 2017|Motivation and change|0 Comments

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One year ago, I met Jerry Yellin In Fairfield, Iowa at the home of Ginger and Jim Belilove. Jim is an associate of mine from the floorcovering industry; he is also a very dear friend of Capt. Yellin. Six months before my meeting, Jim asked if I might help raise money for a film he was producing, “Last Man Standing,” a documentary about Captain Yellin.
 
“It would be great if you spent time with Jerry and got to know him, said Jim, you will understand how important the story is to Jerry and its impact on the world.”
 
I didn’t realize this would include a trip to the 45th National Stearman Fly-In, at Galesburg, IL where I would watch Captain Yellin as he flew a Stearman, and I would experience a ride in one of the open-cockpit biplanes. The culmination of the day would be Captain Yellin speaking about how he learned to fly. This is something I will never forget.
 
Prior to meeting Captain Yellin, I had no real experience with war.
 
With television just coming of age in the late 40’s, there were no cameras on the battle field, literally there was nothing to know. Contrast that with today when we are actually on the battlefield.
 
None of my relatives had served so war was nothing we discussed. It wasn’t until I was 9 years old; I had my first awakening of war horrors. I lived in a small town where all the mail was brought to the same mailbox. I used to deliver the mail to the neighbors, and one day a very official letter came from the Department of Defense. I ran to deliver this important-looking letter and stood there while Cissy Sharp started screaming and crying. The letter informed her that her brother had been killed in the Korean War. This is when I began to understand the pain of war. When my friends started returning from Viet Nam, I learned about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, another side effect of war.
 
I didn’t know what meeting Jerry would mean. Jerry would be a real ‘in person’ awakening for me. This would be when I would understand that war produces living casualties; those returning soldiers with PTSD. I spent a week walking and talking with Jerry. That meant trips to the gym, the golf course and watching Jerry engage with many of his friends. Jerry also talk me about the David Lynch Foundation and the Operation Worrier Wellness.
 
Saying that Jerry is charismatic is an understatement. Jerry is also very humble; he understands people, and time spent with him is transforming. It made me question my thoughts about war and those heroes that are fighting for my liberty. Never again will a pass a veteran without thanking the soldier for fighting for my freedom.
 
As you could tell from the May 28, New York Post article, “WWII’s ‘last fighter pilot’ relives the fateful flight—and the PTSD that followed.” Capt. Yellin is a dynamic man, with a very sharp memory and definite opinions about war.
 
I remember Captain Yellin telling me if you thought you were shooting at real people; you would never have been able to do it. You were fighting so we would all be free. Until 9/11, I never thought about my freedom, did you?
 
As Captain Yellin stated in this interview with The NY Post, “If you want wanna stop war, everybody would go to war naked. Then nobody would know who to shoot.” Television has shown us that war is very real and we are fighting with real people; who are very much like us.
 
If you are interested in helping Captain Yellin complete his documentary, please go to Fundabilities.com, “Last Man Standing.” All donations are tax deductible.
 
Lisbeth Calandrino is a speaker and trainer. To have her speak at your event, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
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