Whatever success we achieve in life (whatever that means to you personally) is usually attributable to the training we have undertaken in a particular subject area and in disciplining our minds - equally. Whatever training we engage in, it always ends up being inextricably linked to us impacting others in some way. Whilst working on our goals, we are also able to support others in achieving theirs. It's a beautiful thing.
I've been in business for over 25 years – always in a home-based business in either insurance or Network Marketing. The most important thing that has stood out for me (and luckily I learned this lesson very early on in my corporate career also), was the power of working on myself. Personal development has been a constant in my life since my early 20s and I continue this journey to this day. And it is a journey – never a destination. Another lesson I learned from both business and corporate was going above and beyond – delighting people and delivering impeccable customer service. Now as a trainer, I teach this and in so doing – pay it forward.
As a Toastmaster, I am also a student of communication and leadership – it's a cornerstone of the Toastmasters experience (and I always encourage people to join their local club – what more appropriate skills to learn as a business owner). Recently in a Toastmasters magazine article, I learned of the adage that we must empty our cup to get new tea. What a wonderful way of looking at both our businesses and learning! How can we possibly learn anything new if our cup is full or worse – overflowing? It's important to always maintain an empty cup in order to continue our learning journeys. It's equally important to assume that anyone that learns from us too has an empty cup. It is not of course our responsibility to ensure our students leave us with a full cup (and definitely not overflowing), but it definitely is our responsibility to deliver value to each and every cup. And this applies equally to our daily dealings with customers, clients, team members, staff etc. In fact, it can be applied to many aspects of life.
Let's look at another example – our day to day lives. Would you describe your cup as empty, full or overflowing? I can pretty much guess that most people reading this will say "overflowing!!!!" Today's society has developed at a faster rate than any other time before in history and boy do we know it! We want everything done yesterday, we want the latest and greatest gadjet that will make our lives more efficient, more effective and NOW! You see it on our roads – patience has pretty much gone out the window. And when you throw kids' and their ever increasing demanding schedules into the mix, you are left with a cup that is constantly overflowing – we are forever rushing and chasing our tails and forget what is truly important. So how can we possibly keep our cup empty – maintain a posture of calm, of curiosity, of inquisitiveness, of making a real difference in the world without drowning ourselves!?! That's not an easy question to answer. The first thing I personally and professionally suggest to my clients is to find a good mindfulness meditation app that will keep you in the present moment as often as you can steal a few minutes' in your day. But the most important thing is to stay green. What do I mean by that? Keep learning. Stay neutral and remove all judgements, opinions, pre-conceived ideas, peer pressure etc. Keep an open mind, be willing and eager and ready to learn new things and remain engaged in the learnings. After all, you may just learn a way to get what you really want faster and with less stress. Isn't that what we all want? Our partners and children too?
Go through life (both your personal and business life) with an empty cup. You never know what your next client and/or customer, team member, staffer could teach you about saving money, or a faster way to get somewhere or how to get your kids to eat their veggies – you fill in the blank. Learn to listen meaningfully. Be present. Be curious. Be green. Hold that empty cup and collect knowledge and wisdom from those who have gone before you. Share it with those who follow you. Seize every learning moment. And they are everywhere if you just look. As current Toastmasters International President Balraj Arunasalam DTM says "continued training leads to continued success." Amen to that.
About the Author:
Fiona J Lindsay is the CEO and Founder of "The Networking Formula", Co-Founder of the Association of Ethical Direct Selling Professionals and is regarded as one of Australia's leading MLM/Network Marketing business transformation and training experts.Currently, Fiona runs her MLM/Network Marketing business – www.TotalWellness4Life.com, a Personal Development Consultancy and Life Coaching practice from home and is proprietor of a boutique retreat venue - www.MittagongHomestead.com.au