Climbing to New Heights, By Resting First

Life lessons from the rock gym

rock arch 1 shutterstock_83067163 20%Last Saturday I went to the rock-climbing gym with Jeff and the kids. It was only my second time at the climbing gym. I still had a blast because I got out of my routine in a safe and fun way.

Looking back, I am happy I made the effort to do two things differently. The first is that with the help of my coaches (Jeff and the kids) I learned that it’s much more effective, and easier, to use my legs to push up the wall, than my arms to pull up the wall. This is more challenging than it sounds–you have to use your legs when just a couple of square inches of foot is resting on a small knob, plus the leg is turned out so the large quad muscles are not very useful.

Brand, Brand, Who’s Got the Brand?

Great examples of companies that are more than their logo

google logo valentineOver the last few weeks I’ve talked about branding – the value of a strong brand.

As stated before, for companies like Apple and McDonalds the brand is more valuable than all the buildings and machinery.  For most companies it’s worth about one-third of their market valuation.

Tired of Winter Weather?

A thought to hibernate with...

PAburdene snowOver the Hump is hibernating this week, so we leave you with this thought for the upcoming winter days:

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Continued Success!

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Does Your Brand Contribute to Customer Loyalty?

Trader Joe's logo flowerYour brand is the most valuable asset your company owns**.

The Economist states that for companies like Apple and McDonalds, the brand is possibly worth more than all the machinery and property.  A strong brand mostly serves to differentiate your offerings.  Cola with a red and blue circle is Pepsi.  It’s a very different taste and experience than the cola with red and white swoosh.

Is That a “1” or an “I”? Does It Matter?

The Importance of All Parts of Our Brand

Collins JerseyI finally succumbed.  I became a Patriots fan after living in Massachusetts and trying not to for more than a decade.

It happened as family members started watching and I joined them.  At first it was just to be on the same page.  Then I became a fan, enjoying the  great athleticism of pro-football.

This fall I got a marketing lesson from an unlikely direction.  There was a new guy on the team.  He’s gone now and I have forgotten his name.  What I do remember is that it has an “I” in it. But the “I” looked funny, more like a “1.” I thought that the Patriot’s jersey-makers ran out of “I’s” and put in a “1” because it was late in the season.

Make Up Your Mind

Find Small Things To Be Happy About

Photo courtesy of Women’s Wilderness Retreats www.danjacdesign.com/WWR/

“You’re about as happy as you make up your mind to be.”  This is what I heard from my dad when I asked for words of wisdom at his birthday celebration a while ago.

Dad did not remember who said it, but had found it useful in his life. Turns out they are from Abraham Lincoln, and more powerful because Lincoln suffered from clinical depression and said this before Positive Psychology was “discovered.”

As the weather here in New England gets COLD and icy, I get frustrated with the amount of effort needed to be outside, even to get the mail.  Layers of clothing, boots, crampons for the boots so I don’t slip on the ice. ARGH! Then I remember my folks growing up in Michigan before fleece, down jackets, and wool socks that do not itch, and realize how easy things are for me.

The Most Fruitful Resolution EVER!

iStock_000017647274_SmallWe are all aware that New Year’s Resolutions are not very helpful, at least for the long run.

Instead, for the last few years I have been choosing one word as a focal point for my personal growth for the year. Then I realized that setting a time frame is a bit restrictive as well, so have actually changed my word as the year went along.

I still like to choose a word to start the new year. Though the timeline is artificial, I find benefit in taking stock of the past year(s) and pondering my goals for growth for the upcoming year-ish.

Last Monday I was reminded of a method for personal growth that I love.

Do one thing that scares you, every day.

My Love–Hate Relationship with Christmas

And how to lean toward love

I love Christmas and the holidays.

I get to guiltlessly sing along with John Denver and the Muppets at full volume (when no one is around), just sit and stare at the Christmas tree decorated with treasures gathered from near and far over many years, bake a lot, gather with family and friends, and drink milk loaded with fat and sugar (eggnog).

So why do I have bouts of feeling miserable during these lovely days?  When I do allow myself to pause for a few minutes, I realize it’s because I load my plate too full–then take that list seriously.  How crazy is that?

The Precious Gift That Love Brings

Kermit the Frog Reminds Us of the True Spirit Of the Holidays (and Life)

Kermit Christmas“I don’t know if you believe in Christmas

Or if you have presents underneath the Christmas tree

But if you believe Love

That will be more than enough

For you to come and celebrate with me

For I have held the precious gift that Love brings

Even though I never saw a Christmas star

I know there is a light

I have felt it burn inside

And I have seen it shining from afar…”

Hear the whole song with Kermit and the gang, plus John Denver, on YouTube

Please share your favorite holiday music in the comments below!

My best wishes for a peaceful, loving holiday season.

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Can Joyful Work Help You to Stand Out?

Expert Dorie Clark Shares on How, and Why It Matters Anyway

Dec. 3, 2014. Boston, MA. Portraits of Dorie Clark. © 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Dorie Clark photo courtesy of © 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Autonomy and Creativity.

According to personal branding expert Dorie Clark when we humans feel like these qualities are maximized in our work we are more engaged, productive, and fulfilled–personally and professionally.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie recently.  The sentence above is how she answered my initial question on how the concepts of Creating Joyful Work tie in with her work on personal branding and marketing strategy.  From that start I knew it was going to be a great conversation!

Next we discussed how each of us can ensure these qualities are a part of our daily work. Dorie shared that most of us don’t know how to keep it going.  We want a fast process, a magic bullet or silver lining.  That does not usually happen so most people give up. The good news is that when we do persevere there’s not much competition!  Success increases.