Better ways to handle worry

If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll know I think worry is something none of us should do at any time….but we all do it to some degree.

Here is something from TWO posts by Noah St. John about better ways to handle Worry

From Noah’s two posts (both below):

#1 -How to Crowd Worry Out of Your Mind (Video)

#2 – How to Break The Worry Habit (Video)


How to Crowd Worry Out of Your Mind (Video)

“I shall never forget one night when Marion J. Douglas was a student in one of my classes.

He told us how tragedy had struck his home, not once, but twice.

The first time he had lost his five-year-old daughter, a child he adored.

He and his wife thought they couldn’t endure that first loss; but, as he said, “Ten months later God gave us another little girl – and she died in five days.”

This double bereavement was almost too much to bear.

“I couldn’t take it,” this father told us. “I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t rest or relax. My nerves were utterly shaken and my confidence gone.”

“But thank God, I had one child left – a four-year-old son. He gave me the solution to my problem.”

What did this four-year-old do to relieve this anguished father’s grief and worry?


How to Break The Worry Habit (Video)

“The great Nobel prize winner in medicine, Dr. Alexis Carrel, said…

‘Those who do not know how to fight worry die young.’

As Thoreau said in his immortal book, Walden:

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor…

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

In today’s episode of The #AskNoahStJohn Show, I share how to break the worry habit…

Frey Freyday – Magic

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

mag·ic-  (măj′ĭk)Possessing distinctive qualities that produce unaccountable or baffling effects.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell

Our time here is magic! It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It’s the only space. Ben Okri

Big dreams create the magic that stir our souls to greatness. Bill McCartney

There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment. Norman Vincent Peale

Believe in yourself and believe in magic. Theophilus London

– something we each have at our fingertips each and every day (also see Miracles)

There is magic available to all of us.

I’ve seen magic happen in my own life when….

I’ve simply asked better, more powerful questions – I see new things each day, new opportunities come to me, people act differently, and my level of happiness can change. Almost magically things change overnight.

I put some enthusiasm and good emotions into whatever I’m doing – when I focus on the good, get excited, get myself into a good state of mind, put my physiology in a good position, I see things happen magically.

Faith – when we have faith in others, in ourselves, in society we see great things happen. We can go into a situation and know little about it or about the people but if there is faith, good questions, enthusiasm and focus, we can come out of the meeting with great things, friendships and a new future.

Decisions – one simple decision can magically change our future. In an instant we can change what happened in the past and actually create a new destiny. It doesn’t mean that the path will be without challenges but the magic is that we’re now on a new, different path.

Love – the love between spouses, mates, parent and child, mentor and protégé, good friends – this is magic – we do things for each other, we can help each other through bad times, we can help lighten spirits, simply being together we lift each other up, create and activate good endorphins and smiles.

Intention/Focus/Desire – These all magically help us create. We move ahead towards a goal, we put energy to action and we get a result.

Visualization/Thinking from the End/Goals – perhaps one of the most magical things that we humans can do; we visualize, plan something or we think from the end – as if we already have it, or we set some goals with emotion, – so we have some sort of picture or plan in our heads – and out of the ether, it seems, we can get or create something concrete. We can create a story, a book, a building, a business, a cure, a piece of art, a theory, a solution, or something to comfort someone – so many wonderful creations that didn’t exist until we thought of it and moved forward.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….



The magic of truth and lies (and iPods) – Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.



I think too many of us worry, and too often.

I’ve heard that ‘worry is like praying for bad things’

Here is one person’s thoughts on helping us overcome worry:

From Noah St. John


How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Today on the Success Clinic blog >>

How are you doing ?…

Do you ever find yourself worrying…

About money, health, relationships,
your future?…

Well on today’s #AskNoahStJohn Episode,
I show you how to stop worrying and start living…

NOAH ST. JOHN orrying-and-start-living
Noah St. John
Making Success Automatic

5 Ways to Reach Your (Financial) Goals Faster

sharing a good article…

Everyone has different financial goals. Some are extreme; they want the plane and the private island. Others are modest, but they are what really matter to them most, like never having to worry about money again, or being able to take their family on a European vacation each summer without having to work to pay for it. Maybe it’s simply having their home paid off and having enough income to live without any fears, concerns, or worries. No matter what your goals are, it’s safe to say that most of us would like to get there sooner!

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve created a solid financial plan that you’re taking actionable steps towards achieving, knowing how to make the game winnable and speed up your progress will take years off of the time it takes to achieve your goals.

The most important lesson we all know, but few people really activate, is that you must become an owner of businesses, not just a consumer. You have to become an investor – no matter how small the amount – so you can tap into the power of compounding. Just look at how small changes add up. Instead of going out to dinner with friends – at a cost of, say, $50 – why not order a couple of pizzas and beers and split the cost amongst the group? If you do this once a week, at a savings of about $40 each time, this one small shift can save you approximately $2,000 a year. Investing the difference at an 8% compounded return over 40 years, that $40 weekly savings will net you $581,944! That’s a small sacrifice now that will reap huge returns later!

Here are five core strategies that you can begin to implement immediately that can accelerate your progress. Any one of them can significantly speed up the tempo with which you achieve your dreams. Put a couple of them together, and you’ll be unstoppable.


Do what people think is impossible. Save more and invest the difference. I know it sounds crazy, but the first way to speed up your plan is to save more and invest those savings for compounded growth. For those of you who may be saying, “I can’t even make ends meet, there’s no way I can save more,” let me give you one of my most fundamental strategies: The best way to get around your belief system is to develop a new belief.

As of July 2015, the average home in America was $361,000. Even at 6% interest and 20% down, your overall interest payments will end up costing you over $334,000 –  doubling the cost of the home over the life of the loan. This means that a $400,000 home actually costs you a whopping $800,000. A $500,000 is a million dollar home.

We think of interest as a small percentage, but we don’t see the compound impact of interest. How would you like to put $400,000 – or a million dollars – aside for your retirement without making any other investments? It’s easy; make small principal-only payments each month in addition to your usual mortgage payment and watch your mortgage get cut in half. For example, if your average home month payment is $1,731, then you’d write an additional check of $173 to go toward the principal amount. That means you never pay interest on that principal, which will save you hundreds of thousands over the (now much shorter) life of your loan.

There are so many ways to save more, from eliminating one of the single largest expenses of your life by paying off your mortgage to cutting back on your latte addiction. Brainstorm the recurring expenditures that you could eliminate or reduce to cut your expenses. It’s not about depriving yourself, it’s about timing. By taking advantage of the unparalleled power of compounding now, you can ensure you have more than enough when you need it most.


The second – and even faster – way to speed up your plan is to earn more and invest the difference. Your earning potential literally has no limits – if you unleash your creativity and focus, and become obsessed with finding a way to do more for others than anyone else. There is a biblical tenet that if you wish to become great, learn to become the servant of many. If you can find a way to serve many people, you can earn more. It’s the law of added value.

And if the gospel of Warren Buffett is more your thing, the Oracle of Omaha famously said that the most powerful investment he ever made in his life, and that anyone can make, is an investment in himself.

I was a teenager working part-time as a janitor while going to high school when I first attended a Jim Rohn seminar. There I learned the secret to economic success: “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job….All you have to do to earn more money in the same amount of time is simply become more valuable.”

What Jim Rohn did was put me back in control of my own future. He made me stop focusing on what was outside of my control – my past, the poverty, other people’s expectations, the state of the economy – and taught me to focus instead on what I could control. I could improve myself: I could find a way to serve, a way to do more, a way to become better, a way to add value to the marketplace. I became obsessed with finding ways to do more for others than anyone else was doing, in less time. That began a never-ending process that continues to this day! So what about you? What are you going to do to add more value to the marketplace?


By now you probably know that it’s not what you earn that matters, it’s what you keep. And what takes the single largest bite out of your nest egg? Taxes. Americans pay more than half of their incomes to an assortment of taxes of the course of their lives.

In fact, if you’re a high-income earner, living in a high-income tax state like California, your total bill (including income, investment, payroll, Obamacare, and Social Security) clocks in at 51.9%. Which means that you get to keep only 48 cents out of every dollar you earn.

Tax efficiency is one of the most direct pathways to shorten the time it takes to get from where you are now to where you want to be financially. Look for legal, ethical ways to lower your tax bill, and do your best to make use of government initiatives that allow you to build your nest egg in a tax-free environment. Be sure to sit down with your fiduciary and/or a tax expert to learn how to be most tax efficient with your investments.

One of the organizations that I’ve partnered with to help people understand what they’re paying in fees, and what they can save, is Portfolio Checkup. There you can get a free assessment of your portfolio, and it only takes three minutes.


How do you get a greater return while still reducing risk? Asymmetric risk/reward. It’s a fancy term for a pretty simple concept. Most people think you have to take huge risks to get huge rewards. But the greatest investors in history that I’ve interviewed – whether it’s Warren Buffett, Carl Ichan, Ray Dalio, or one of the greatest investors in history that I’ve coached for 22 years, Paul Tudor Jones – they all believe they want to risk as little as possible to make as much as possible. One of the ways Paul Tudor Jones explains this is that he knows he can be wrong and still be successful, because he uses asymmetrical risk/reward to guide his investment decisions. He’s always looking for what he calls a 5:1 investment – where if he risks $1, he believes he can make $5. Using this formula, Paul could be wrong four out of five times, and still break even.

The second way for getting better returns while reducing risk is diversification. Effective diversification not only reduces our risk but also offers you the opportunity to maximize your returns. Asset allocation is the one thing that every investment professional I’ve talked to, the best in the world, has said is the key factor in where you end up financially.

A great fiduciary advisory can also help you to find investment opportunities with that magical asymmetric risk/reward that all successful investors seek.


What would happen if, for just a moment, you considered making a change? A big change, like picking up and moving to another city? You could be living large in Boulder, Colorado, for what you’re paying just in rent in New York City or San Francisco. The cost of homes, food, taxes and so on differ wildly depending on where you live. It’s one thing to be tax-efficient in your investments; it’s another to be tax-efficient in your life.

What if you saved 10% to 30% in everything you do by moving to a less expensive city or tax-friendly state? Or get out your globe and give it spin; you could cut your cost of living in half if you expanded your horizons.

This change in your savings rate will put some rocket fuel in your money machine that will massively improve the pace at which you achieve financial freedom. If you saw that you could save ten years of your investing life – reach your Financial Freedom goals a decade sooner – could the big change be worth it?

How to Retire Rich

A worthwhile article for many of us

Tony Robbins: How to Retire Rich
When it comes to the financial world, you’re either playing chess or have become a chess piece in someone else’s game. Tony Robbins shares the 4 steps you need to take in order to retire rich and create a peace of mind in a world of volatility.
Last week I was honored to have the incredible opportunity to interview Tony Robbins for his new book, Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook. You can watch the full interview on YouTube, which, at the time of publishing this article, already had more than 50,000 views.

Since Tony Robbins is already a #1 New York Times Bestselling author from his first book, Money: Master the Game (which I covered in my previous article “7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom“), my first question was why did he publish a second book on the topic of financial and money mastery.

“That’s a great question, because I wrote 670 pages for Money: Master the Game and I think you know that I don’t like writing,” Tony Robbins said. “But I was so obsessed because after 2008 seeing everybody losing homes and half of their net worth and seeing nothing be done about it.” He wanted to give people a step-by-step guide to money mastery. And deliver, he did.

Tony Robbins is the master of identifying patterns. In Money: Master the Game, he interviewed 50 of the brightest minds in finance and did a deep dive on all the tools and techniques that some of the richest men in the world took to establish and grow their wealth. Now, in Unshakeable, Tony Robbins goes one step further by simplifying what you need to know in what he calls the Core Four.

“What I’ve found over almost four decades of studying success,” says Tony Robbins, “is that the most successful people in any field aren’t just lucky. They have a different set of beliefs. They have a different strategy.” And in studying the masters, Tony Robbins discovered there are four principles that “nearly all great investors use to guide them in making investment decisions.” He calls these principles the Core Four. “In short, the Core Four should be at the very heart of your investment playbook.”

Core Principle 1: Don’t Lose

When it comes to investing, most of us make the mistake of focusing on the wrong things. We ask “How can I make money?” instead of protecting ourselves against losingmoney. In his book, Tony Robbins points out that if you lose 50% of your investment, you actually need to make 100% in order to get back to where you started before the loss.

Tony Robbins cites many incredible examples of this core principle including Warren Buffet’s famous first two rules of investing: “Rule number one: never lose money. Rule number two: never forget rule number one.” He also talks about Ray Dalio, who has produced $45 billion in profits for his investors, who told Tony Robbins, “What I realized is nobody knows and nobody ever will. So I have to design an asset allocation that, even if I’m wrong, I’ll still be okay.” So when the billionaires are obsessed with not losing, then we need to, as Tony Robbins puts it, “design an asset allocation that ensures we’ll ‘still be okay’ even when we’re wrong.”

Core Principle 2: Asymmetric Risk / Reward

This is where so many of us get tripped up. Because we tend to focus on how we can make money (instead of not lose money) when investing, we fall into the trap of risking $1 to earn 8 cents. Think about your current investments. If you’re like most people, you’re invested in mutual funds that charge high fees, try to beat the market and risk every dollar you invest to make a target 8% return.

“But the best investors don’t fall for the high-risk, high-return myth,” says Tony Robbins. “Instead, they hunt for investment opportunities that offer what they call asymmetric risk/reward: a fancy way of saying that the rewards should vastly outweigh the risks. In other words, these winning investors always seek to risk as little as possible to make as much as possible. That’s the investor’s equivalent of nirvana.”

In this core principle, Tony Robbins talks about Sir Richard Branson who, before he launched Virgin Airlines, worked with the airline manufacturers to agree to let him give back the planes should his airline fail. That way, he gets maximum upside should his new airline succeed, while minimizing his risk if he venture fails. You see, Richard Branson may take all kinds of risks in his personal life, but when it comes to his business, he is a genius at asymmetric risk / reward.

Core Principle 3: Tax Efficiency

When it comes to the most successful investors, they are really smart about taxes. “They know that it’s not what they earn that counts,” says Tony Robbins. “It’s what they keep. That’s real money, which they can spend, reinvest, or give away to improve the lives of others.”

If you’re considered a “high earner” by the IRS, you could be paying an ordinary income tax rate that is as much as 50% when you combine both federal and state taxes. It’s really hard to keep your investments when you’re paying as much as half to the government. That’s why it’s critical to focus on your after-tax returns and to take advantage of both tax-efficient investment strategies (outlined in both of Tony Robbins books Money: Master the Game and Unshakeable). You also need to maximize your tax-advantaged investment vehicles such as your company’s 401(k), IRAs, and other tax-advantaged retirement and college-savings programs.

Core Principle 4: Diversification

Most everyone knows the importance of diversification when it comes to investing, but Tony Robbins breaks diversification down even further into four sub-groups:

  1. Diversify Across Different Asset Classes. Don’t put all your money in any single investment class such as real estate, stocks, bonds, or alternative investments.
  2. Diversify Within Asset Classes. No good diversifying asset classes only to have all your money in your favorite stock or investment property. You need to spread the risk among multiple stocks, bonds and properties (for example).
  3. Diversify Across Markets, Countries, and Currencies Around the World. Most of us make the mistake of only investing in our own country. Today’s investing is global in nature and so should be your investments.
  4. Diversify Across Time. While you’ll never perfectly time the market (getting in or out), you can use the magic of dollar cost averaging to reduce your risk and maximize your returns over time.

And that’s the Core Four. I’d love to say that this is all you need to know, but that’s not the case. Tony Robbins goes to great lengths to simply everything you need to know and do in order to follow your own financial freedom playbook. So I urge you to pick up your copy of Unshakeable. And, I was told in my interview with Tony Robbins, that when you pre-order now, you also get a free gift. Just like in Money: Master the Game, all of the proceeds of Unshakeable go to Feeding America, so you can join Tony Robbins on his mission to deliver 1 billion meals in the next 8 years.

Frey Freyday – Vocabulary

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Vocabulary – [voh-kab-yuh-ler-ee] – noun, the stock of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons:

 Live today. Remove all blame from your vocabulary. Catch yourself when you find yourself using your past history as a reason for your failure to act today, and instead say, “I am free now to detach myself from what used to be.” – Wayne Dyer

‘Pressure’ is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure. Tommy Lasorda

We live in a time when the words impossible and unsolvable are no longer part of the scientific community’s vocabulary – or even our own vocabulary. Each day we move closer to trials that will not just minimize the symptoms of disease and injury but eliminate them. Christopher Reeve

Language shapes our behavior and each word we use is imbued with multitudes of personal meaning. The right words spoken in the right way can bring us love, money and respect, while the wrong words—or even the right words spoken in the wrong way—can lead to a country to war. We must carefully orchestrate our speech if we want to achieve our goals and bring our dreams to fruition.—Dr. Andrew Newberg, Words Can Change Your Brain

-the words you consistently use to describe your emotions and sensations—immediately change how you think, feel and live. (if you want to change your life, Adjust your habitual vocabulary)

It may seem ironic or redundant to site ‘vocabulary’ as a Word to Live By but it is important to cover it.

We all know words allow us to express and share our experiences with others. But not everyone realizes that the words we habitually choose also affects how we communicate with ourselves and therefore what we experience.

Simply by changing our habitual vocabulary—the words we consistently use to describe emotions—we can instantaneously change how we think, how we feel, and how we live.-Tony Robbins

We can improve or change ourselves by consciously using your words to improve the quality of our life today and for the rest of our lives.

According to Compton’s Encyclopedia, the English language contains some 500,000 words. Yet the average person’s working vocabulary consists of 2,000—0.5% of the entire language. And the number of words we use most frequently—the words that make up our habitual vocabulary? For most people, it averages 200-300 words. Isn’t that unbelievable? (By contrast, John Milton’s writings used about 17,000 words and William Shakespeare used 24,000 words, 5,000 of which he only used one time.)

Of those 500,000 words total, as much as 3,000 are used to describe emotions—2/3 of which are used to describe negative emotions.

With such amazing resources (in our language/vocabulary) with which to express our feelings and ideas, why should people accept such an impoverished vocabulary? Most people are not challenged by the size of the vocabulary they understand, but rather by the words they chose to use. We tend to use the same words over and over again.  Many times we use short cuts, but these short cuts often shortchange us emotionally.

Earlier last year, about 12-14 months ago, I noticed that I was focusing on, and generally talking to myself (self-talk) in a less than empowering way. I was asking poor questions – “what’s wrong with me?” “Why can’t I do that?” etc. Or I would say “He makes me mad” “that bothers me” , “that’s just a bad situation”.

Similarly, when I got upset, I’d used certain language that invoked certain feelings. So my ‘bad’ language often intensified my feeling. Example: “That was horrific!” Instead, I tried using ‘lighter’ language. Example: “That was interesting/funny/different/amusing/loco” – this new language helped stop me from getting more upset and actually would lighten the mood in some cases. Instead of saying “Holy @#$#@!” I would say something silly like, “Golly”. It broke my pattern.


Think about our language – even when someone else has a bad situation, our language can sometimes transfer the ‘bad feeling’ to us.

Here’s what I mean….my late mother, my sisters and I still say “I feel bad for”…. people and animals. In other words, when we see an animal struggling, we might say; “I feel bad for that puppy”, or if there is a child struggling or a friend facing a challenge, we’ll say, ” I feel bad for him.”

I am looking at all words, however seemingly small. When we say “I feel bad” we are essentially programming or telling ourselves to ‘feel bad’. Sure, it is nice that we have compassion and care for another person or animal, that’s all good, but when we say “I feel bad for…” we’re not helping that person/animal and we’re encouraging ourself to ‘feel bad. So I asked my friend Dave about it.

Maybe you don’t say “I feel bad for….” like we do. But I bet that you say or ask something else that is not empowering to yourself? Think about it. What things do you say or ask yourself that could be improved or changed?

Here are my friend, Dave Blomsterberg’s thoughts, paraphrased….

I suggest taking words like bad, good, negative, positive out of your self talk by simply stating what it is without labeling it. For example: you may feel emotional inside where your energy is low in a situation, ask yourself if that feeling is serving you and if it is, ok…if not, choose to change to another feeling state .

In your example when you say “I feel bad”, you can change it to “I have empathy/compassion for that person/animal” and if you want to do something for the person/animal then do, maybe sending them love or supporting them in some way, (or say a prayer?).

When you simply feel “bad” for something is that really doing anything for you or them? Yet If you have empathy/compassion and want to do something (even if it’s sending love or compassion from your heart) that offers something for that person/animal to help Empower them to move forward…use your feelings to help in some way instead of simply feeling “bad” which usually ties to guilt and is a mind and time waster.

You may not realize it, but your self-talk may be sabotaging your stress levels!  Self-talk–the way your inner voice makes sense of the world around you and the way you communicate with your inner self–can greatly affect your stress levels in multiple ways. If your self-talk is generally negative, you may be perceiving events if your life as more stressful than they need to be and creating unnecessary anxiety and stress for yourself.

You may be attributing negative motivations to people who are well-meaning, you may be perceiving yourself as less equipped to handle challenges you face, and you may be seeing only more negatives than positives in what you are facing in life, when there may be a much less stressful “bright side” you’re not perceiving because of habitual negative self-talk.  You may also succumb to rumination, a pattern of negative thinking that can consume your idle time and bring stress from the past into the present unnecessarily without leading to any resolution.

Consider what you say to yourself after you’ve done something embarrassing or similar.  Does your inner voice say  “that was sure stupid”? How about if you haven’t even done anything wrong or stupid at all, but your self-talk is just as critical? This type of self-talk causes you to question yourself  and soon become paralyzed with doubt and uncertainty, etc.

Notice Your Patterns:   become more aware of your language. You probably don’t realize how often you say negative things in your head, or how much it affects your experience.

Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….



Dads: 5 Things to Teach Your Daughters to Prep for Business Success

A good article found on LinkedIn...

  •  – By Stephanie Leffler , CEO at OneSpace

Dads are good teachers. My dad was a great teacher. He showed me I was loved. He reminded me that I was special and that I could do anything in the world as long as I worked hard to get it. He instilled in me omnipresent self-confidence.

Fortunately he also taught me things that would help me succeed in the business world. I’m not sure if that was his intention or if he thought of those lessons as standard life skills. As I reflect on the bits of advice that have shaped my professional foundation, his early lessons remain at the top of the list.
Here are five invaluable business lessons I learned from my dad. While some might seem unusual, trust me: they make a huge difference.

  1. How to Speak the Language of Power
    According to Susan Colantuono, roughly half of all middle management positions are held by women, but the percentage of women at the top of organizations represent less than one-third of that number. So why are there so few women in top leadership positions? Why do so many women get, as Susan calls it, “Mired in the middle?”

Most businesswomen are good communicators, are team players, seek mentorship and develop others … but they often lack critical financial background and strategic business acumen. As Susan says, women need to “be able to speak the language of power… not just talk about how great you are with your team but about the contribution you (and your team) can and will make to the business.”
Help your daughter understand that a command of finance and strategy are critical regardless of career path. Susan points out that this is career advice most women never receive.

  1. How to Do a “Real Pushup”
    Do you remember doing pushups in elementary school gym class? I remember my teacher showing our class when I was in second grade. My teacher got in the pushup position (hands on floor, toes on floor, body in a plank.) He bent his elbows, touched his nose to the floor and pushed back up. “Now it’s your turn,” he said. “Give it a try.”

Then he seemed to remember something. “Oh,” he said. “Girls, if you can’t do a real pushup, just put your knees on the floor so it will be easier.”

Really? What do you mean? I can do a real pushup!

My dad taught my sister and I do to pushups and never mentioned that knees were an option! Most little girls can do a pushup… unless they’re told they probably won’t be able to do it. Then when it seems hard – because it is – they are told it is ok to do “girl pushups.”

Your little girl should be raised to be strong. She should know how to throw a baseball and to be proud of the fact that she can. The term “throw like a girl” shouldn’t be part of her vocabulary!

Encourage her – try not to push or lecture but encourage her to believe she can do hard things, challenging things, unusual things … to believe that hard work and effort and perseverance, not gender, make the difference between success and failure.

Set that example, and tell her you are proud when you see her exhibiting those traits. Little girls can do anything … even real pushups. All they have to do is try.

  1. Asking Questions is Much More Important Than Having All the Answers
    When people stepping into their first leadership role ask me for advice, I tell them to remember one thing: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care about them.” (That’s not mine. It was my dad’s … until I found out it was Teddy Roosevelt’s.)

When people know that you genuinely care about their success, about what motivates them and what they personally are trying to achieve, then they can truly care about you and about your success as their leader. When people know you care, they will listen to you … and they will do almost anything for you.

Great leaders listen way more than they talk. They ask questions. They maintain eye contact. They smile and frown and nod. They respond, not so much verbally but with non-verbal affirmation that they are engaged with you.

Little girls are notorious for being talkative … at least more talkative than their male counterparts. Teach your daughter to ask great questions and to listen to the answers that follow. Practice at family dinners … Take turns asking questions and listening to everyone’s answers.

  1. How to Shake Hands
    Most dads teach their sons to shake hands when they meet people. Most moms do not; they teach their daughters to make eye contact, to smile, to speak politely… but shake hands? Not so much. Why? That is a good question! (Dads just seem to be the keepers of the handshake knowledge in the world.)

When your daughter grows up to be a businesswoman, she must know how to properly shake hands. Regardless of gender, someone who offers a tentative, weak or awkward handshake demonstrates a lack of self-confidence and doesn’t convey qualities of a leader. Teach your daughter how to shake hands. Don’t let her get away with anything less than a monster handshake! Help her practice holding eye contact while giving your hand a solid shake.

  1. How to Change a Tire and Use a Table Saw
    The more we know – the more we can do – the more independent we can become. While it’s great to rely on others (otherwise we wouldn’t get nearly as much done) a feeling of genuine independence comes from knowing that, if necessary, you can always rely on yourself.

My dad taught me how to hammer nails, how to use a table saw and a power sander. He taught me how to change a tire and timed me as I tried it myself (like Darren McGavin in the Christmas Story).

He didn’t want me to be stuck on the side of the road if I got a flat … more importantly, he didn’t want me to worry about what I would do if I did get a flat tire. He wanted me to know that I could take care of it on my own – because he wanted me to feel confident and independent.

Show your daughter that the only real difference in people lies in their skills, knowledge, attitude, and drive – and because of that, she can do – and be – whatever she wants.

Stephanie Leffler is the CEO and Co-founder of OneSpace. Follow us on Twitter@OneSpace_com


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