A Personal Mission Statement: 5 Steps to Making Your Own

Why a mission statement?  It’s simple: it helps keep you in your lane.

Have you been to a bowling alley lately?  Have you seen the bumpers they put on the lanes to stop your ball from landing in the gutter when you’re way off center?  A mission statement is like putting bumpers on the bowling lane of your life — it keeps you on course and in your lane, especially when you begin to veer off.

gutter bumpersHere’s a practical example:  assume you know your mission statement and you’re happy in your job; you enjoy what you do, and you’re doing valuable work that is aligned with your mission. Then a recruiter reaches out with a very enticing offer. Now what? If your mission is clear, you’ll know right away if the new offer is worth pursuing or not.  Maybe that company is offering free lunches and better health benefits, but maybe those perks aren’t so important to you because you don’t like the company’s values.  Or maybe that company has been on your “top ten” list for a long time, and you should definitely follow up, even though the timing isn’t right. Your mission statement provides a vision of the bowling pins AND the bumpers, so two things happen: 1. you know where you’re aiming, and 2. you don’t waste time in the gutter. Continue reading “A Personal Mission Statement: 5 Steps to Making Your Own”

My Vegan Food Journey

I follow a vegan diet…almost all the time. I’ve been asked about my food journey many times, usually in the form of “how do you do that?” and “what DO you eat?” So, I am sharing my food journey.  For my followers who have no interest in this — or anyone else’s food journey, I get it.  So, with my apologies, you can stop reading right now. But don’t give up on my writing. This is a rare personal food post. Continue reading “My Vegan Food Journey”

New Belgium Brewery–An Exemplary Certified B Corp

I recently wrote about B Lab and its certified B Corps, which are businesses that focus on more than just the bottom line.  New Belgium Brewery is one of those corporations; its deserving of your support — its the kind of company that the world needs more of.

In 2016 New Belgium opened its second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. Based in Colorado since its founding in 1991, the move to the east coast was largely spurred by a goal of reducing the environmental impact of cross-country shipping.  In 2009 the company started its east coast search, specifically looking for a “brownfield,”  a property where development is “complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.”   A friend who visited the finished Asheville site said the company rescued a vacant lot and created a cool vibrant space that’s now  a social hub in town.  According to county employee Clark Duncan, the county “saw working with New Belgium as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to remediate and transform that site and help revitalize a key part of our community

Continue reading “New Belgium Brewery–An Exemplary Certified B Corp”

Four steps to year-round gratitude

At Thanksgiving this year, we went around the table and each of us shared what we are thankful for.  While it’s cliché, it felt good to publicly acknowledge how much I have to be thankful for. And I loved hearing the different and sometimes surprising answers around the table.

thanksgivingBut I want to tap into that feeling more often — not just on Thanksgiving.  So, in order to tap into that gratitude, I’ve come up with four easy steps:

  1. discover why you’re saying thank you
  2. connect and show appreciation for the gift
  3. acknowledge that you have more than enough (money, time, possessions)
  4. share your surplus in a meaningful way.

Continue reading “Four steps to year-round gratitude”

B-lab: Using Business as a Force for Good

doinggoodConscious capitalism? Impact investing? Shared Value?  This movement towards business doing good has been increasing — and B Corp has created a certification for a companies that stringently strive to do “good” for more than just the shareholders.

This idea of doing good for others as well as yourself  applies equally to individuals as it does to companies.  For me, I have a long history of trying to do good and help people. In the early 90s I was disillusioned with businesses solely driven by profit so I started working for nonprofits.  I’m certainly not the first to want to “do some good” or find “meaning in my work,”  and the number of people sharing my perspective is growing exponentially.  According to Karl Moore’s article in Forbes,  a “search for meaning and purpose is on the agendas of most Millennials in the Western World and increasingly in the developing economies.”

Continue reading “B-lab: Using Business as a Force for Good”

Leveling Up with One Big Step: the altMBA

How do you level up?

Set your goals? Identify the gaps? Get some training? Find a support group?

All of the above?

up stairs

I just completed Seth Godin’s altMBA course. It’s a month long program for people wanting to “level up.”

What does that mean? Good question — it’s a tough program to describe. Let’s look at it from a few different angles.

Continue reading “Leveling Up with One Big Step: the altMBA”

The Three Seasons of a Start Up

Mother Nature is wise and has given us seasons.  Not just outdoors, but there are also seasons in life, work, and business:

  1. WINTER is a time to REGENERATE:  sleep, think, contemplate, rest, re-charge, dream, get ready.
  2. SPRING is a time to CHANGE: act, create chaos, pivot, switch, adapt, move.
  3. SUMMER is a time to GROW:  stretch, extend, strain, go far, push, drive.


It’s a simple concept:  a winter of regenerating, a spring of changing, and a summer of growing … then falling back through autumn (the fourth season), to regenerate again.


It’s important not to skip any season.  But why?

Continue reading “The Three Seasons of a Start Up”

Angry at Strangers? Amy’s Story Might Help

This story, that I read many years ago, has stayed with me — so much that it is now woven into the fabric of who I am. Good stories are like that. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know if it’s true. But it might be.
subway car interior
Late one evening, Amy is on a subway, coming home from work. It’s been a long day and she’s tired. The subway car is pretty empty with just a smattering of passengers here and there. At the far end is a father, sitting with his head leaning against the window, his eyes staring straight ahead. He is oblivious to his two boys running rampant through the car. They look to be about eight and ten years old. They are having races down one length of the car, then running back, swinging around the poles, whooping it up. Their jackets are unzipped and sway behind them as they run.
Continue reading “Angry at Strangers? Amy’s Story Might Help”

Single-tasking is the New Black … I Hope

distraction image

Imagine going out for dinner with friends, and no one pulls out their phone; or trying to remember that name of Robert Downey Jr.’s most recent film without checking Google (Captain America: Civil War); or sitting on a bus and not having your neighbor talking loudly to his mother. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for using cellphones, google-ing, and calling your mother. But research shows that there is a significant cost of both multi-tasking and being distracted by the phone — cost to brain development, creativity, and happiness.

“Wait, what?” you say. “My brain? My creativity? My happiness? But I can’t get my job done unless I multitask!” It’s time to re-think this.

Read more…

Choosing Your Next Career

windyroadCareer advice is easy to get — maybe too easy because there is too much information and too many people who think they know what’s best for you.  So, how do you wade through it all? My straight-forward advice is to pace yourself and complete a thorough process such as these five steps:

  1. Understand yourself
  2. Be practical (and budget minded)
  3. Explore your options
  4. Be inspired
  5. Be brave and take a leap

Read more…