I am moving

Am excited to announce that after years of dawdling, I have finally launched my site. It is at rowenamorais.com.

What’s new

This new site has just been launched in August 2016. The focus is clear  : I am helping my readers to write, to get published and to strengthen their personal brand.

It’s been difficult to figure out what I’d like to do. I look back at my history and I see myself writing about all kinds of things, it’s a bit of a mish-mash. But I also know it’s a journey and you have to begin to get somewhere. It’s just daunting to be so exposed, to have your digital footprint so clearly visible.

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them – Aristotle

Yet, for the very reasons I have been less than satisfied with my efforts so far, it has helped to distill what I am good at, what I care about and what I’d like to focus on.

Why you should care

If you’re an existing follower of mine (via email), I have migrated you onto my newsletter. If you’re a WordPress  blog follower, I am not sure how to migrate you over so please take this as an invitation to check out my new site. Hopefully, if you like what you see, and if it makes sense for your journey, then you will sign up for my newsletter. No pressure intended, no commitment required and you can always opt-out anytime you like.

If you’re interested in writing and building your brand name through the written word, you’re probably looking at creating or bettering your website or blog. You probably already do some form of content marketing, whether through ad-hoc pieces like eBooks or regular pieces like long-form content.

This is what I can help with.

What’s next?

I intend to blog at my new site, from now on. I will still keep this site up but don’t intend to post anything new here. So, I hope you will check rowenamorais.com out. I’d love to hear from you, whether it’s suggestions for improvements, other things I could work on or just to say hello.

Hopefully, we meet again.

Is it your fault?

What would you say if I told you it’s your fault?

What would you say if a project you were involved in failed, and I told you, you had some part to blame for it?

How would you react when the person you just had a huge argument with and who was also hugely reactionary, said they were merely reacting to you?

What sort of response would you give if your co-workers believed you could brush up on your communication skills?

And what would you say, if I turned to you and said, “It’s your fault anyway”.

How would you feel?
How would you react?

What if, when the temper that rose then settled down and you considered, quietly, in your own time, that  the turn of events took place in response to your behaviour, your words and your action?

What if, you brought on, what you feel was caused by someone else?

Would you like to know a universal truth?
Everyone wants to be loved.

Everyone wants to be cherished, to be valued and to be heard. And if they are not, then they may react in a number of ways, which to some extent, is dependent on their life experiences and how they have been treated.

Some react by enveloping themselves in sadness. They may accept their situation or they may not but they feel they are victims – they cannot surpass or overcome it. They cave in to it. They are in despair and in grief.

Others react in anger and desperation. They don’t accept their situation but they need to make their case. They lash out at those around them. They cause hurt before hurt is caused. They view everything through the lens of their hurt; consequently, everything is viewed as happening to them, for them or in relation to them, regardless of whether it is so.

Whether they react, wallow or lash out, consciously or not,  they want to protect themselves, to insulate themselves from more pain and anguish.

If you are mindful of this as you see every word, thought or deed that ensues, you can potentially change things for yourself and for the hurt person. Otherwise, you merely react to what you see in front of you and the cycle continues.

Someone must be the bigger person. Someone must be willing to pause. Someone must see what is really at stake.

Why you need to be ok with venturing out, venturing alone

Striving for balance you can live with

One of the hardest things to figure out when you begin something new – whether it’s a project or a business – is whether it’s going to succeed or fail. Oftentimes, when success comes, it’s easy to look back and see the signs you had not noticed initially. We tend to come to the conclusions we want to make and find the supporting evidence or points where we choose to look.

And when failure hits us, perhaps it is easier to just move on. Who wants to dwell on  the negative?

Anything new…
Anything you have no experience in …
Anything that makes you worried or scared …
is fraught with anxiety.
We are unsure of outcomes, processes and perhaps, even the milestones that may  guide us.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

So when a new venture beckons, you’re really striving for a perfect balance as you move ahead.

You don’t want to be over eager and launch before you’ve set your path and laid the foundations for success.
And yet, you also don’t want to think too much and over analyse every move or result in line with the vision you’ve set.

The amount of thinking done needs to be weighed against the amount of action taking place. You’ve got to know when to push it out there – to ship it – and when to hold back for another revision. When what you’re doing is brand new to you and brand new in the space/industry you’re in, then there is no one you can really go to, to get guidance or a helping hand. You’re in this alone and that is typically the case when you’re making your own dreams happen.

Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength –  Napoleon

And you’ve got to be comfortable with that. You’ve got to be internally driven, guided by your expectations and a vision only you truly understand.

It’s scary.
But it’s also helluva exciting.

When pushing through with something new, something different, you’re in it alone but it’s ok.
Others may not get the vision or dream but it’s ok.
You can see the vision but you can’t quite articulate it as well as you’d like to but it’s ok.

Remember that there needs to be as much action as there is thought.
You’re content in the knowledge that you may just need to fumble your way forward.
But it’s ok.

#vision #courage #failure #success

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. 
I run Vertical Distinct, a media and learning organisation supporting both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog here on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR and am also Associate Editor at the HR Gazette. Feel free to connect to talk or let me know how I can support you.

How do you want your first interaction to go?

The price of short-term gains

An increasingly  common trick I’ve noticed is people sending you an email  with the subject heading starting with Re : XYZ. It makes it look like a conversation was already initiated except I have no idea who this person is and this is the first email I am getting from them.

The conversation starts with a lie.
It confuses the receiver.
It may be confusing especially if the person writes skillfully and well, referencing a place they’ve met or a conversation they’ve had.  In effect, they carry through the lie from the subject header and into the body of the email. This may not be too hard to do if you can be generic enough about some of the details and if you do enough research into the person online  – I guess practice makes perfect.
The conversation starts with a lie.
The point being that if you decide to spend a minute pondering and then you slowly realise that hey, the conversation never took place, which do you think is more likely :
1) that I respond to her email; or
2) that I block her or just bin any other email I get from her?
Yes,  she got the email through to me and I spent the time reading it. So it was successful on one level. But on another, she has lost out because of the disrepute she has come into – the manner in which she communicated.
Bottom line, we are all looking for results. But it makes more sense to go for results that matter, that are done in the right way and that will give you long-term gains. The time and effort involved is just as much – is it not?
#communication #branding #integrity
So my question is : how much will you sacrifice for short term gain, knowing there is a price to be paid in the long term?  
I run Vertical Distinct, supporting both Human Resource and Technology professionals through online resources and educational programmes and I blog here on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR and am also Associate Editor at the HR Gazette. Feel free to connect to talk or let me know how I can support you.

What can you teach me today?

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.
– Alexandra K Trenfor

Wouldn’t it be great if every day, in every conversation, you viewed the interaction or experience, as a true learning opportunity for yourself? What if everything was viewed with the lens of “What can I learn from this today?”

The reality is you can’t – it’s too tiring and frankly unappealing for every episode or occurrence to be seen in that way. People just don’t do that.

But if you could – suspend judgement for a moment – could you see how much better your world would be for it?

Teachers are a rare breed in today’s world.

In doing their life’s work, teachers battle so much including an educational system that is in dire need of a complete overhaul. With the advent of so much technological advancement around us, you wonder why so much of formal education has not kept pace.

You teach the most the things you need to learn.

Teachers teach, question, inspire, implore, challenge and support you every step of the way. Though the years may fly, their dedication is visible in the daily grind and in the joy they bring in the lives they touch.

Teachers carry on, diligently and proudly, a rather thankless role, the appreciation of which comes to pass significantly later in life.

I, for one, have only come to a deeper realisation of the role and impact teachers have, much later in life. More precisely, after I had kids.

What can I teach you today?

That…

… you learn best by teaching another;
… you realise you teach the most, the things you need to learn;
… you don’t always need to know all the answers in order to teach;
… you set out to teach and realise you’re the one getting the important lessons.
.. you, the teacher, and she, the student, live in a symbiotic world, where teacher is also learner and vice versa.

Happy teacher’s day!
#teachersday

What can you teach me today? What do you think we need to spend more time learning? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR , am Associate Editor at the HR Gazette and post on LinkedIn.  Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Are you staring at a blank page again?

When faced with a blank page, it’s so easy to walk away, find something to distract yourself with or find something urgent you need to tick off your list.

I deal with this daily and typically, I am reminded of this poster I see at my gym of some sweaty ex national athlete  (because a normal person wouldn’t be as convincing?) working out with furrowed brow and looking very serious with the caption – “It doesn’t get easier, you just get better at it.”

So true.

Go through the pain of this process, there’s no avoiding it.

I am dealing with content development at least 6 days of the week, in some form or other, whether for work or my own blog. Planning distribution, editing articles, SEO, figuring out how to socialise articles seems easier compared to coming up with new, original content.

What’s the best way to fix this?

Go through the pain of this process, there’s no avoiding it.
You come out stronger, trust me. I have been there.

It’s what you need to develop your voice.

But write. Write daily.

I know it sounds cliche. I never really understood what it meant until I went through this process. Of course, you know your voice. But speaking is very different from writing. There’s the element of permanence and certainty in what is written that can be made lighter in a conversation. You will write and be disgusted and what comes out – how boring and unoriginal it may sound after you’ve spent hours on it. But do it anyway. Journal if you need to, save it as a draft even.But write. Write daily.

Like getting the smoky eye look down pat or cooking up an awesome paella, you need to get it wrong many times before you finally get it right. You need time and space to figure out what you will say, how you will do it and the core messages you will keep coming back to without even realising.

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
#makeithappen

How do you face the blank page? Pls give me some tips! Share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Thank you

Sometimes it seems presumptious.
As in “thank you for your consideration” when you see it at the bottom of a letter asking you to get stuff done that you don’t want to do.

Sometimes it seems insincere.
As in when an HR personnel thanks you for the time you’ve taken to put in an application to their company. And then proceeds to reject you.

I don’t miss those thank yous.

Sometimes it seems that it may be easier to recall the fake thank you.
I don’t miss those thank yous.

But the thank yous I miss?
When the feedback I had given was not appreciated or wanted.
When my good but small deed went unrecognised.
When the door I held open didn’t even get a passing nod.
When I made the move before it was even requested.
When it was anticipated and attended to. Quietly.

I wouldn’t change the things I did because I would do them anyway.
But I sure miss those thank yous.

#thankyou #gratitude

Doesn’t a fake thank you bother you? What do you do about it? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

 

Kill fear. Do it anyway.

Blank page.
Many things to say.
None seem worthwhile though.
And so you keep quiet, moving on to the next tab on your browser, something to distract you, something else to do that you will call ‘work’.

The last event attracted 200 people.
This year’s is potentially going to double that number.
The stage had a ‘wow’ factor and yet, it was incredibly daunting.
You got the invite this year, one more time. Again, you hummed and hawed.
Made excuses, told them you would not be able to speak.
And so you just keep walking by these opportunities you call problems or a waste of time.

Do you have an idea you know will work? Yes.
Have you done anything to explore it? No.
Are you actually making excuses? Yes.
Does it keep popping into your head when you find a spare moment or when the busyness of the day begins to settle down? Yes.
And so you keep carrying on, filling your time with lots of stuff to do, while quietly stilling that inner voice that is both bold and scared at the same time.

You have important things to say. But you don’t say them.
You have things that you know you should do. But you don’t do them.
You have ideas you so badly want to explore. But again, you hold back, waiting for the perfect moment to present itself to you. It’s as if you are waiting for something or someone to shout out that it is safe to go try, that this indeed is that moment to jump.

It’s not going to happen.

No one is going to make you do it.
No one is in your head, living your life, thinking your thoughts or dreaming your dreams.
Not everyone is going to understand if you do go explore your path.
Not everyone is going to support your journey.

So, here’s the question?

Will you do it?
Will you do it now?
If not now, then when?
If not at all, why?

#makeithappen

Fear gets to all of us, even those who are successful. But we can’t let it beat us, we need great hacks to beat fear down and get us to a place where we are living the life we want to live. What do you do to beat fear? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I write for Women of HR, post on LinkedIn and am an Associate Editor at the HR Gazette. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

 

Two choices : accept it or get to work

YouDoTheMath

“At some point, everything’s gonna go south on you and you’re going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home.”
from the movie, The Martian (2015), starring Matt Damon.

I am pretty selective of the movies I watch (except the mandatory ones the kids drag me to) but when someone shared this scene from the movie, I decided I had to give this show a shot.

These lines resonated because it is the life I live. I won’t use this space to talk about all the other things I might not have liked about the movie because I simply want to hone in on just this part.

Things go wrong and you have a choice. It’s simple and yet, we complicate and worsen things by analysing, procrastinating and just plain refusing to deal with it. If you accept that hardship and failure are regular companions on this journey as are the emotions that are consequent to it, then you can move on to the real work. The work of making things happen.

What I like about solving one problem and then solving the next is  :-

  • it’s all about getting things done. Sitting and discussing all the what-ifs just don’t move the needle until you actually move;
  • it’s focused on one problem at a time. We try too hard and take on too much when we try to fix all our problems at the same time. We can’t.
  • by keeping track of all the problems you’ve now solved, you begin to feel a sense of accomplishment and you’ve got history to guide you, support you, strengthen you and learn from; and
  • it oozes positive, vibrant energy and that is what you need to move ahead.

#entrepreneurdreams #makeithappen

Did you catch the movie? What do you think of this scene? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Run the day

Either you run the day or the day runs you.
– Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and speaker

No doubt you’ve heard time and again how the life of an entrepreneur is filled with many ups and downs. Days can be an endless rollercoaster of emotions but this is part of the journey.

It’s easy when things are going well… to run with things, to think that whatever you’ve got going is holding up well and that you are generally on the right track. But sometimes, even when things are going well, it could already be on the downhill slide. It takes guts and being open to see what’s coming before it’s here.

Conversely, it is as easy to get all bleak and disheartened when everything around you seems to be crumbling, when the deals don’t happen, when things fall through the cracks and when you don’t get the kind of feedback or response that you were hoping or even gunning for.

They say the light is at the end of the tunnel. Right.

But here’s something particularly useful which I go back to, when things get a bit hairy. When driving, you don’t need your entire journey lit. You only need to see as far as your headlights, enough for you to take the next couple of steps.

And that’s useful and hopeful because you can’t always see the entire journey in your mind’s eye. You can’t always be expected to know all the answers.

As far as your headlights is enough.

Don’t let every niggling doubt crowd your mind. Take charge. Decide. Get it done. Stay positive.

#entrepreneurdreams #makeithappen

It works for me, what works for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments, as I too want to learn from you.

I run the VerticalDistinct platform to support both Human Resource and Technology professionals. I blog on the entrepreneurial journey. I also write for Women of HR and post on LinkedIn. Let’s connect, let’s learn from each other. Let me know how I can support you.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,254 other followers

Facebook

Social

Blog Stats

  • 6,422 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,254 other followers

%d bloggers like this: