QUESTIONS WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES

Good morning! 

There are some questions we just need to ask ourselves in between! Whether it is because we feel lost, or are our happy selves. There is always room for improvement and looking over our situation. Let’s check them out together. 

If We Knew it to 100% Would Lead to Success, What Would We Take on And Do Right Now? 

Would we start a business? Write that book? Ask our friend out for a date? Try to pursue a specific goal? Quit our jobs and sail across the world? Only our own imagination limits us and it is true, following Jordan Belford’s quote “The only thing between ourselves and our goal is the bullshit story we keep telling ourselves as to why we cannot achieve it.”. In a way I love that quote. It brings us in charge of our own destinies and to either do something about it or decide not to. But in the end it makes us responsible for either way and leaves no room to blame anything but ourselves. 

Many times, this has caused me to stand up from browsing Netflix on the couch and instead go for my goals. Like a bit of obvious realization hits me in the face like a ton of bricks. Do you agree? 

So, back to the question: What would we do if we knew we could not fail? What would we go for? If we think like this, life becomes clearer and we can see what we truly desire but lets our fear prevent. If we get to be aware that it is this fear of failure that stops us and nothing else, we may dare to try. When we are like a hundred years old, would we not wish we tried – right here and right now? 

If we would never ever have to worry about money ever in our lives, what would we do right now? 

Also another question that brings us to find our true and inner passion. What do we love to do? Truly love to do? What would we truly love to accomplish in life? 

Often people focus on money. Anything we do and any decision made can often be a consequence of a money-focused mind. How we grow and so on. Which not may be wrong, of course, as our world of today is dependent of money – but by asking ourselves what we would do if we never had to think of money, and still live the life we would like – how would we spend this time? 

Working with our hobbies?

We think of hobbies and other passions, and in a way, those who cannot answer that they would continue at the work they are at right now, should actually in my opinion quit and work with their hobbies instead. I believe that if everyone worked with what they are best at, and love doing more than anything, humanity would achieve such a huge progress and achievement itself. 

Some love doctoring, some love painting, some love building and some just love to be in the spotlight. There are as many professions as there are hobbies, and yet we tend to make only money-based decision, go for “second best” and spend the little time we may have left on what we truly love to do. The best would obviously be to always do things we love. 

If this was our last moment in life, would we be pleased with that? 

Would we feel like we got the best out of life? Do we feel like we have accomplished everything we wanted? That we tried everything we wished to try and went for everything we wanted? 

If not, we get a clear view of things that truly matters in us. Whenever I tend to ask this question to myself, I realize I inwardly in fact have different dreams than I tend to think of on a daily basis. When it comes down to it, I definitely want more “loving” things in life, rather than materialistic items, like I set up as a monthly goal if not. 

Be pleased that very last day

It is a chance we may not exactly regret not buying a Chanel when it comes down to it, while we may instead in fact rather regret not telling a loved one we love them, or showing it. Things like that. And it also brings us to a realization that we actually, hopefully, do have a chance to change this until we reach this day. What are the things we would think if we were at that moment right now? And what can we do now to change that outcome? What can we do to actually feel pleased that day? To be happy with our decisions and actions, with no true regrets. 

If we fast forward 20 years ahead of us, is that a place we want to be at? 

This is such a great question. If we look on our path right now, where is it leading us? I know every path, any step ahead on it, is made by us uniquely. Every path is unique but we tend to have a bit of a routine among us regardless. And if we would fast forward twenty years in our direction, is it a place we would like to be at? More so, is it a place we would LOVE to be at? Is it THE place we want to be at? 

This question can be asked when it comes to relationships, career, personal development. With the understanding that time does pass, perhaps slowly at points, and fast other times – it will regardless pass. By small steps forward, we do head in a direction and will eventually pass destinations on our way. What are those destinations and are those destinations we want to pass? Is there another interesting path we want to promenade along? Are there more interesting destinations there? Does the journey seem more interesting there? Would we love to try it? 

Then it is time to look over our situation and see how we can change to leave our path for another one. Or combine them. Who knows? 

Only we know which path is true to us and only we can change that path. 

Love, Emelena

How To Stop Comparing To Others?

I had a wonderful moment looking out to an invisible horizon in the pitchdark night – somewhere out on the Caribbean Sea.

Good morning Sunday. 

Let’s together dive into the topic of today: How to stop comparing. I think it is very appropriate to think of right now, specifically when social media is everywhere and we seem to have some difficulties in general, to turn this off. 

I will have quite a busy spring as far as I can see. I listed things I need to do before fully developing this website, so I wanted to set a little bit of notice here. I will return in late June with more articles and continue writing posts about personal development, how to become a better person and how we can grow. It is a topic I have fallen in love with and I wish to continue this road. So, after this post – we will see more of each other in late June! 

Here comes however a moment where we can sit down and learn more of how to avoid comparing ourselves to other!  

How To Stop Comparing To Others? 

  • Realize that we are the ones responsible for ourselves. Another one’s success or failure does not affect us. 

I Get Perfection Spammed in My Face All the Time 

Yes, there is a lot of discussions about how we now today do not just simply compare ourselves to the hoard of people in our little fairy tale village. No, we get a “glimpse” of a “perfect” life across the world. Which means that if we had one so-called competitor in our village, we are nowadays competing against a hoard all over the world. There are some serious scientific articles about how this biologically works us within, and most debate with the fact that we are put in a more stressful mode. The importance is to learn how to head our focus to the right things, also known as to what brings us a positive day. 

Let’s together share a few advice on how we can change our focus from comparing ourselves. Important to note is that trying to push down another life with negativity in some way of lifting ourselves up is a way of comparing too. And certainly not a healthy one. Example of this is to like – saying that the instagram perfect woman probably is miserable behind the scenes. Because even if that might be so (as we have learned) that is not the point at all. The point is to learn that she can be happy or not happy – and still shrug our arms as we focus on our own life instead.

  • Creating a new Instagram. 

If we are addicted to this, or Pinterest, Youtube etc. we may be both following other accounts but an algorithm causes us to get similar images in our flow. This can of course change after a bit of effort and time given, liking and simply searching for something else. But if we like to start fresh and clean, which is the one I recommend with the slightest chance of a percentage failure in our discipline – it would be that we create a new account. A secret one. An account where we only embrace positiveness. We choose the accounts we follow thoughtfully. We carefully pick the images or pictures we deliver, and we are simply more aware of what we do, always with positiveness in the back of our minds. This will lead to a little golden chamber for us, where we always can pick up a bit of energy and motivate us, truly inspire us from within. 

I did this. As they very often say “We are a combination of the five closest people around us.” Of course we must think of whom we have around us, hopefully one that brings us up. But, choosing the five people we have around us on internet or social media is equally important. So that would be our first thing. To choose the ones we surround ourselves with is crucial. 

We can think of that perfect image we find somewhere on social media. And it will stick with us in the back of our heads. But really, why? We can of course think of this person probably taking 1000 pictures and simply uploading the single one that appears perfect, after editing it several times and putting hours of work behind. The thing is – it truly does not matter. In the end of the day, we have our lives no matter what. We are who are and we can “only” achieve being the best version of ourselves. There really is to no use comparing ourselves to others, if not making the difference of…

I Cannot Have That!/How Can I Have That? 

Do we see the difference here? One is inspired and truly believes within, that he or she can achieve something, grow and learn. While the other one with a fixed mindset has more of a victimized position. Everything lies within the power of the mind. Choose the second one in the title. It is such a more beautiful way of viewing the world. The images we face on social media and if they happen to trigger an emotion in us; make it be one that urges us to motivation. A sensation of growing and becoming a better version of ourselves. 

How Can We Become the Best Version of Ourselves? 

The paragraph above is a great advice. In general, we need to see how we constantly grow. Children blossoming into grown-ups are not just the ones growing as person. We do throughout life itself. Which means that tomorrow can always bring a better person that we are today. Think of this saying, which I for that matter probably have mentioned before: “What can I do today to make tomorrow a little better?” 

When it comes to comparing to others, a lot is maybe set in our self-love. That we need to start loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves. It goes hand in hand. The responsibility of ourselves needs to lay in our hands and we must realize that we are responsible of our lives. No one else. Even if we perhaps like to put it that way. Which is not hard to understand why. It lightens up the pressure on our shoulders. However it is not the way to go if we wish to improve. 

So, we need to take action, visualize how we are in our ideal self and carefully take baby steps into that direction. It may be hard to notice at first, but it will build up and at the end of the day – we certainly have made it a bit further. Also, when we are this focused on ourselves, we barely have time to sit down and compare ourselves to others. In that case, chances may  be better of us finally viewing with a mind like “How can we do that?” instead of crossing our arms and thinking we are a lost case. It all lays in improving inwardly as a person. 

Truly, when we are heading towards the best version of ourselves, is there really anything that can top that? We cannot possibly be anything less or more than ourselves, and being the best version – well, that is all we can do? Right?

To sum up this post about how to stop comparing ourselves to others, we have learned some smaller things on how we can think when facing challenges, but also how we can direct our instant life by removing, unfollowing and decide who can be in our outer circle. Most importantly, what we have learned is that we need to focus on our ourselves first and beforehand. To grow and become the best version of ourselves. This will lead to a much happier life, a life without a negative comparison. A free life true to ourselves. We do deserve it.

Love, Emelena  – see you guys in June! 🙂

5 WAYS TO CONSTANTLY IMPROVE

Me viewing history. Rome is such a pearl.

How to Constantly ImproveM

  • How can I grow as a person doing this? What do I wish tomorrow that I did today? 

That last question causes at least me to realize that performing ten minutes is way better than doing nothing at all. It makes me slightly excited to wrap up for the following day, leaving me with a feeling that I already started checking tomorrow’s to-dos. Even better is that when looking back and thinking that all effort I have done is basically nothing/just ten minutes – to figure out that those ten minutes add up to a whole task being finished. Start small and expand. Make it a habit! 

Fontana Di Trevi. 

Reading 

There are literally books about everything. My favorite books are if not novels, those about personal development. I have read a few and love learning more. It is crazy how much we can grow as persons by reading books. Not only is it nice for the mind and brain to have this sort of activity, but it is both calming as it is exciting. Wrapping up a long day or starting the day with a book is an advice from me. In the morning it tends to make me excited to go out there and do something. While in the evening I get peaceful yet with a bit of yearning for tomorrow’s adventures. 

A little pocket book is not only light but very easy to bring along on every journey. Most of the time I do have one in my bag. Right now I read “Think and Grow Rich,”. I try to at least read a few pages every single day, even if I have very hectic days. (In a moving process with my partner). But in the end of the day, a book generates energy to me and that is something very helpful even in these hectic days. 

So what book to choose? 

First I think that we need to focus on what our goals are and see if we can find a book inspiring a pattern towards it. If not, I like the idea that a book just about something completely different may make us think outside the box and make us rethink. One thing I have noticed when digging into the world of books, is that there are so many about topics I never knew about. Therefore leading me to learn things I did not even know there was anything to learn about. Those things I have learned have also ended up being very useful to me. 

There is so much inspiration, motivation and positiveness to pick up from a good properly written book. 

Podcasts 

There are tons of podcasts. I started out listening to darker ones, about pretty negative stuff (paranormal things, pessimistic economics and such) during the long rides with my love. After a while we run out of these and instead tried out a cheerful one about health, mindset and positive thinking. Believe me when I saw this caused a major impact this had on the both of us. When I compare us to a year back, we are two totally different persons. Fortunately we have grown together, and are equally excited for things to happen. Now we majorly listen to these types of podcasts and audiobooks. Always about self improvement, health and career. How can we improve every single day? There are so many different ones and I cannot specify a favorite one. There are so many good ones.

Although, one I would like to try out is about meditation! It is something I need to do a bit more, I think. To learn this new habit will be a goal for me. A loop of twenty minutes should be proper to squeeze in the daily schedule. Following a podcast can perhaps push me even further to really follow up. 

So, when can we listen to podcasts? 

On the bus? When we walk? In the cab? When we drive the car? When cleaning our house? My personal favorite is when I am at the gym. It keeps me pumped with motivation and it is almost as if I can feel myself grow when I listen to an exciting podcast while hitting the gym. Therefore I like to recommend that idea. To push even further, I recommend doing this in the morning. Think of the rush of energy when finishing a post workout meal, where we have listened to an exciting podcast and are filled with energy from building muscles at the gym? I love that idea. And I am addicted to have that in my daily routine. The rush of happiness and energy in excitement to start off the day… I almost bounce to work.

Courses 

By this digitized world, we no longer need to be stuck on one place while learning. We are not dependent of a certain place or location. This thanks to all online courses there are today. Pretty much also about everything and anything. Of course we need to be more focused and have an eye of critique with the knowledge that pretty much anybody can make an online course today. On the other hand we can be happy and grateful that is the case. Because it also means more words and sayings reach out there. I mean, if we now have 1000 writers doing courses about the economy, we get so many more options and different opinions to make our own path rather than “just” taking the advice of ten writers. Our view broadens up a bit. The more we learn the better! 

A sidenote I really like though is the fact that it is true that knowledge is power. But ONLY when it is used! 

Worth to mention is also that we may meet people like us when attending a course. Online or face to face. Getting into a community will help us feel understood and it can be a relief to finally share our passion with people alike. A course hopefully leaves us way more inspired, motivated and with greater knowledge. 

It is worth it to try different ones and see what we like. The voice, the theme and the topic, the length and the pace. What do we wish to learn? Instead of listening to music when sitting on the bus, why not decide to listen to a podcast and learn something new? Think, 20 minutes every day is 1h and 40 minutes every week (times five saying we listen on our way to work). That is a lot of information we potentially could gain, is it not? 

The Dome! The Vatican State. 

Reflect – Mindset Moment 

The moment where I reflect during the day is in the morning. It is quiet, peaceful and nothing really happens. I have made a post about the benefits of waking up at 5 am and before. The so called 5 am club. This can also be a perfect moment for meditation. 

Some recommend having a conversation with ourselves. To get to know ourselves properly (how crazy this may sound). Asking questions like – “Am I happy? Do I love what I do every single day? Am I happy with whom I have around me? Do I like the food I am having? What can I do better in my life? Etc.” 

I like to think and reflect about my life. That is often how I come to decisions and get new ideas. 

A coach once gave me the instructions to each day write three things I am good at and three things I look forward to with tomorrow. This helped me get a great perspective of positiveness me within but also that even the hardest days deliver something positive. For now, I must say that the early mornings are my absolute favorite moments. When I wake up early and grab a cup of tea (yes, changed from coffee) I absolute adore that moment. Just our thoughts and reflecting over our life. A quiet moment is worth gold. Or in other words – a peaceful moment. This is also a great moment when we think of what we want to do, and take action. Not just being responding to others’ actions. 

During this moment we can learn to appreciate things as well. The smallest of things. These things can be (if correctly): having shelter, food on the table and good health. That we have our loved ones around. That we enjoy our job. That we manage to bring in money, that we have learned something new. That we are lucky. There is always something to be grateful for.

Get Feedback From Others Around Us

It is important to learn not to die just because someone criticize us. However I believe people should learn to speak constructively when giving their so called advice. When a person gives us their advice, it is also important to know that they are one human and there are other billions of people that may like our idea. If a person just says that something sucks, we need to dig deeper and find out why and how this thing sucks – if we like to improve/please this person. Or how it comes that this person believes this sucks. If we are several billion people on the planet, we have equally many visions of worldview.

There is a great balance between listening and not listening. Like – when a person says something bad, we need to know the moments when we must listen and act on it, and (when things are to be faced with the ear-to-ear. Even in those moments, I believe the healthiest thing is to first of all listen to our gut. What does it say? We need to be strong within and believe in ourselves first. Never ever letting critic letting us down but instead see what positive things we can take from that.

We were up on this building and strolled. I felt like I was in like a Gladiator/Julius Caesar kind of movie. 

That was what I had to offer this Thursday. It is after all Valentine’s Day. I am packing my bag for the evening as my partner and I are switching off all electronics. We are going to a spa, refresh our minds and “pump our souls” as I like to express it. Tomorrow we are traveling abroad to my family and will probably head for a housewarming party Saturday night. With a bit of furniture shopping and squeezing in a moment at my grandpa’s grave I hope to enjoy every bit of this weekend.

Love, Emelena

WHO ELSE WANTS A LIFESTYLE RATHER THAN A JOB?

Happy Friday! Going against the trend of claiming one is not one’s job, we cannot deny how much time our day to day job preoccupies. For some less and for some more. However for the majority much energy and effort go to the job. Coming from Rome, strolling the streets and trying out the Italian culture, I thought about differences between how a day to day life could look like there. And how it looks like where I for the moment lives.

Siesta is for example not a part of the country’s schedule which it often is in southern Europe. While I like that idea, I cannot neglect the fun “rule” of having home office, every Friday. Even if I perhaps do not perform on this, it is very common here. Probably that little norm is not formed everywhere either. Of course, everything does not only go with what country we live in. But also what type of work and company we have chosen to work for. Or maybe we even have chosen an entrepreneur lifestyle? – “Choosing” our days as we like them to be.

A great thinking I like to remind people of, is that we choose every day. We choose to go to this job every day. We choose everything around us, who we have around us and what we occupy our time with. Drawing a harsh line perhaps, but I like this to be more motivating than discouraging. So, if we choose our job, which is a lifestyle, what shall we choose? And when do we know we have chosen correctly?

When we were in Rome, Italy over New Year’s Eve we stayed at the loveliest hotel. We had a wonderful room with a terrace towards the inner backyard in where we on January 1st would order pizza straight to the group of couches. Staying at this most hostile villa was an Italian fairytale itself. 

What Kind of Job Fits Me?

Before applying for jobs 2018 I decided to sit down an analyze my situation. Who am I and what do I want? I thought for a long time of what makes me happy. What kind of job fits me? So, let’s share this piece of mind together. 

Are we athletes, prefers being physical at work? Are we very keen on having a nice environment? Do we want to stroll to work, or take the bus? Do we want to be among nice coworkers or are we more for locking ourselves into an office room? Do we want to dress up for work, or do we prefer change into an overall inside the dressing room? Do we like typing on the computer all day or would we instead fancy spending time outside? 

What do we do in our spare time? What do we think of when our eyes are closed? What is fun for us? What do we picture ourselves doing? 

Eventually an image will form in our heads. If it is not clear enough, perhaps we need more thinking and analyzing. It is a lovely feeling to figure out what we want and wish for. I recommend a moment every day for a good reflection. A thoughtful moment.

How Do I Want to Spend My Days?

Going back to how a job is our lifestyle… when we choose a job we choose how we spend about (probably) eight hours Monday to Friday. The greatest question is how we like to spend them. Some may answer at home? Maybe because we have a certain hobby going on. Alright. How and what can we do to improve this hobby and make it a business? Do we want to become an entrepreneur? What do we need to do then? 

Do we want to spend our days with less pressure? Then perhaps we need to look for a position and company requiring less hectic days? Do we love mingling and talking, selling in concepts and going on business meetings? Then perhaps some kind of selling/negotiating position is for us. If we love spending time with animals and helping them out, there are jobs for that too. 

First of all before going out there and applying for jobs we may think we want, also known as what others’ want for us, we need to wrap our heads around this idea. A comment thrown from a parent, relative or close friend can make us rethink and believe we are looking for a specific type of job. Maybe because it works so well for this person. Here it is crucial to take a moment for ourselves and reflect deeply. We are all different after all and just because a sort of job works well for someone, it does not mean it is how WE want to spend our time. Right? 

Also a great thing to think about is the hours we choose. What time of the day do we want to work during? What benefits do we wish for? The more questions and the more answers we have, the better.

What Are My Strengths vs Weaknesses? 

Recon our strengths vs weaknesses is a thing I believe everyone should do. This helped me a lot. Firmly noting down what we are good at doing. Not only do we in many cases (but not all!) find out that things we are good at are also things we like doing. Let’s bring me as an example. 

I imagined myself as a mingling person. Laid back as I sit in my chair, pen spinning between my fingers as I lean on the backrest with my laptop on the desk, eyes going from the name of the company on the screen to examining the surroundings of a perfect and modern office. Kind of like a movie set from one of those Wall Street movies. I imagined myself as that successful businesswoman, pulling in six figures and dressing up like a queen. I am hyper as I close every single deal by phone and is the absolute best.

Did this happen? 

Not as I wanted it do. 

I knew from the beginning that my voice was not my strength. However, my eye for details are. I am way better off solving math problems, meeting people in real life and organize stuff – but behind a phone to pursue someone? Just no. Not for me. 

So when I instead chose to look for a social yet analytical role, I found success. (My definition). Doing what I do ‘best’ is according to me the definition of success, happiness and a fun life. 

How Does This Help Me for My Future Goals? 

Another thing we can look for is a path on our way for this dream job. When we see progress and growth at work, slowly moving ourselves towards this dream goal – we may feel a bit happier. A bit more excited and filled of life in general. Bring this together with things we are good at, hours we like to spend at work and a sensation of moving forward. What can be a more winning concept? 

Well, to sum up this matter I have now left Roma, Italia. For next time. What do we say? – Arrivederci! I do feel grateful, immensely thankful, for being able to have trips like that. Choosing my job in early 2018 with a cautious eye caused me to say no to many other offers. I was very firm on picking one I would be more than happy to spend time at. After all. Time is all we have, is it not? So, if I would spend a third of my life somewhere, it is definitely a part of my lifestyle. And this, should be chosen wisely with a loving heart. It is worth an extra thought. 

Have a nice weekend! We will hear more from me next week on Thursday. Until then I will be busy moving with my boyfriend. 

Love, Emelena 

6 REASONS TO CONSIDER HEALTH AS A WRITER

6 Reasons to Consider Health as a Writer

Good morning, folks! Last Thursday of January. I am in the middle of moving chaos as my boyfriend and I have a new apartment to move into. 

There are always a bit of fuzz about health, everywhere. The topic seems to be around in the background and after a while, I thought of it becoming today’s topic here on emelena.com. Health is a great part of our lives, whether we like it or not. By directing an extra thought to this matter, I believe we together can go through what benefits we can get from this. As writers, as business people or just people in general. This is a post for everyone. 

1.Exercising Takes Time

And generates. As much as it will be a busy hour or two in our calendar, that time will most likely generate energy. With a packed yet structured schedule, chances are also high that we do priority the little time we have for writing. As for example; if we have the whole day or week to write something, we may postpone it. This is of course a question of discipline, but I believe this way can assist us in developing our discipline. Because, when we suddenly know we only have that hour and that hour only, there is a high chance procrastinating lessens. Time for social media, checking the fridge for the hundredth time, etc, become less interesting as we know we must be productive to achieve something in this little margin of time. Therefore, I believe in effective work and tighter schedules. If we have an hour to write, are we going to lose it to doing crap or are we actually going to focus for ”only” an hour?

Then we need to mention that it is scientifically proven that exercising makes us more energized. That we get a boost afterwards. 

2. Morning or Evening Writers

Following last words, we can take a moment to analyze when we write best. How many hours beforehand must we exercise and have a hearty meal to achieve fullest focus and energy to write? This also makes it easier to know when to plan our workout. When is the best time to schedule the gym? When can we give 100% at the gym, to later give 100% to our writing? 

3. From Snacks and Late Nights to Early Mornings and the Gym

In my late teens and early 20s, I would prefer half laying down in the couch with a bowl of potato chips and my laptop on my stomach. Only a light in the corner of the room would be lit and so the street lamp outside. It was almost at the point of hearing the mailman delivering the daily newspaper before heading to bed. One day after a handful of youtube videos, books and information about personal development, I was firm to try to change this. 

Earlier nights and earlier mornings. As mentioned in a previous post, it changed my life. And I have heard it has changed many, many, many other people’s lives too. For example, I use those early moments in the morning to get some writing done. It is lovely. Lovely to feel that I have accomplished some writing already before the day has started. A bit of gym, breakfast, silence and coffee plus reading are a success for me. 

Some may always prefer writing late in the evenings, but if it is due a result of postponing – changing our whole schedule may be much to help. Therefore I really want to recommend this. And also, I dare to guess that we all do love to write – and what can we look more forward to than to wake up in the morning to get our hands on our writing project? 

4. Enough Sleep

Naturally, if we want to be able to bounce up from bed in the morning, it is a great idea to go to bed early. Rest our mind a bit. To boost our writing further, we can read a book in the evening. And even in the morning. Starting the morning with a bit of reading can start a creative process work in our mind, an urge to begin writing ourselves. I think it is a great idea to feed our mind with inspirational things in the morning. Not only does this pump on a positive setting, but it may make us a bit more productive with great new and fresh ideas. 

Side note: Once I was so tired I kind of lost my sight. I could barely see but my mind was so creative. It was 4.30 AM and my fingertips just moved. After a while I decided to go to sleep and get a full night’s sleep. When I woke up I was ready to properly finish my deal. 

5. Eat Food That Energizes Us

Food is not food. Food is different. If we really take a moment to stop tracks and analyze this statement, do we find a pattern between energy and food? What meals have caused us to falter in energy and what food has made us prepped to jump Mount Everest and back? This can take a lot of time and many people make a food journal to find a proper pattern, but I think it is worth it. That way we will know what choices to make in our daily life when it comes to choosing what to eat. We can easier choose what outcome we want. Specially efficient if we are heading straight into a business meeting or want to have a good hour of writing. 

Adding question: what food causes our energy to last? (I think vegetables? And other foods of course). Many kinds of groceries make us speeded on energy. BUT, not as many of them gives us a longterm energy. Rather a short term that dips just as quickly as we topped. Typically these are foods rich with fiber, low on sugar and in calories. And, lots of good vitamins for our body. 

6. Mindfullness 

I like to start the morning with a hot cup of coffee and just enjoy drinking it in peace. In silence. During that moment I reflect and imagine. I think of many things and now I dare to point out that it is probably the most important moment in my daily life. If I for some reason miss that moment, I am not happy about it. 

We can try yoga, other mindset programs through youtube or podcasts. There are many sources of information but many agree that we need a bit of a break in our daily life. The beauty of doing nothing. To wake up from our dream and really live in the moment. 

Also, during that moment, when we think and let ourselves be creative in our thinking – we exercise our brain. Inspiration may flow to our mind, concepts and ideas for stories. We ”get” (create) motivation for ourselves. 

Bonus: Focus

Most of all, I think all of these elements sum up a special word; focus. 

Being able to focus better is a momentum that needs exercise. We learn the more we try it. Different ways to achieve this state.  

Well, that is what we get from me right now. I am actually sitting in the darkness on the second floor of a bus. I always book the premium tickets to be able to sit a bit more comfortably. I travel very often nowadays and prioritize a bit of extra comfort. As much as I can afford, that is to say. 

Have a lovely weekend. I look forward to this week.

Love, Emelena 

A BOSS VS A LEADER

A Boss Vs a Leader

What does people really mean with this hanging question? Which one is the best, promising deserved title? Which one should we aim for and what are the characteristics as to let us define which one of those we are ourselves. Well, talking from both personal experience but also when talking among managers and other supervisors, this is what I came across. This is a post of differences and – let’s go for the leader role. It is definitely the win here. And let’s argument why.

It is quite simple to pin point if our boss, manager or supervisor is a boss or a leader. It usually takes barely a few seconds before I have discovered what kind of person I am handling and here we can be enlightened into a guidance of what we possibly are, or what managers we possible have. 

Hands down and I need to admit that my partner is an amazing branch manager. It does not seem as to how great amount of work and territory among employees he seems to become responsible for: he just nails it every single time. And greatly. One day years ago I asked about this phenomenon. How does this come? He would let me know that it may have to do with being a leader rather than a boss. That he does not only talk the talk, but he can also walk the walk. 

When we mention the word ”boss,” right away a mental picture of a person sitting behind its’ desk pops up in my mind. While when we talk of a ”leader,” immediately this picture transforms into a person engaging with the group. I suppose this is to shorten up what we are about to bring up here. Everybody gets to decide what kind of person we wants to be, but I think it is good to look over these statements. And again, I think I will always prefer a leader. Which kind do you prefer?

  • A boss drives people while a leader coaches them. 
  • A boss says ”I” while a leader says ”We”. 
  • A boss inspires fear while a leader inspires enthusiasm. 

When I was a Store Manager

Being the control freak I am, I found it hard eyeing in the corner of my eyes how an employee would let a costumer slip by bad sales technique. Very hard, actually. Many times I would join my employee’s side and help her out to close the sale. When she would hand me the box of shoes, silently thinking of me to steal the provision from her, I would hand them back and shake my head. Because, at least as to how I preferred to see myself; I wanted to be a leader rather than a boss. And I remember her genuine smile when she had her sale and got to write her own sales ID into the checkout register. 

Never ever did I sit there and command employees to do stuff. I tried to guide them, let us work as a team and me leading them into achieving the budget I had as a deal with the owners of the store. It was important for me that the employees knew that if something troubled them, we were in this together and that they always could lighten their heart to me regardless of what it was all about. That way, we could solve problems faster than if they would remain quiet about it. Also, they dared telling me if they did not agree to something. This could be a very good thing as if I happened to work with a fever, even they would save my butt from making a mistake. Now, of course a manager should be able to have the respect of an employee not thinking of her or him as a friend but an actual manager. I am not going to head against that direction. But I want to make a point out of the importance of being the leader in a team against passing the employees on my way to my office room with a latte, throwing a command over my shoulder while not really knowing of what this all is about.

Points

  • While a boss demands respect, a leader earns it. 
  • While a boss measures success on titles, a leader does it by the impact of people he or she influences. 

Another interesting phrase I have discussed many times with my partner was how a boss often wants to create followers, while a leader wants to create more leaders. This is also very a very typical habit I have witnessed many times at working locations. My partner has lift an awful amount of people into managing positions, while I know another guy who just wanted everybody to shut their mouths in his presence due to respect of him. He desperately wanted to create a team for himself, but it only resulted in people dropping off one by one. While on the other hand, people were almost fighting to be on my partner’s team. 

There was a moment when I asked my partner why he gave all his sales away. Right then and there, he showed me the way to go. While bosses would sit behind their phone, my team leader and now partner (yes, haha, that is another story), would come by and help me close the sale. So in other words; while other bosses would simply call their sellers and help them out through phone on a few lines – if my team leader realized it would not work out – he would physically drive over to where I, or another team member, would be and help us out right on the spot. 

These experiences were something I learnt from and brought it with me. Specifically to the store I eventually landed a managing role in, but also in general to know what kind of supervisor I chose to sign an employment contract with. I can say that it takes to overcome a cringing feeling to work for a boss when I prefer working for a leader (if working for anyone). A leader will help me out in more ways than a boss. 

  • A few more points to mention are: 
  • A boss knows how its done and a leader shows how its done. 
  • A boss uses people and a leader develops people. 
  • A boss says ”Go,” and a leader says ”Let’s go.” 

Which one are you? I think it is highly important to know what kind of person we are. What can we do better and is it working at the location I work at? If one fails in a managing position, perhaps we can look over these statements and find out if the group of people may need the other type of managing director. Even if I personally prefer a leader, there are a group of people out there totally favoring the bossy type. So even if I may like the leader, some would vote for the boss. 

Can a Person be Respected Who Cannot Execute the Task Her/Himself? 

A managing position should have respect. Actually, any employee at a workplace should have respect, regardless of position. What I mean to direct is that when a person pushes us hard to execute something and can do it him or herself, we may get eager to perform well and give the results. Although, if the person really cannot do this and yet pushes us far across the line of what would turn out to be humanly possible, how can consequences show here? Is it not a very interesting question? I find this topic very thrilling. But, if we are failing in our role as a manager, perhaps this can be a good thing to look over. 

I see everywhere this phenomenon. Many people apply for a managing position without really being able to walk the walk. They can just talk the talk. At least, if we decide to jump the ladder others usually find necessary to climb, the least we can do is to give a lot of effort into learning the company’s struggles and more specifically – the sellers’. I can tell that the greatest CEOs that I have seen, are the ones who have straight away asked to follow a seller during a whole day to simply and silently examine how a day looks like. To observe and analytically make a strategic move to make the company grow.

To share a bit of experience, after this trip I decided to really choose my manager. I wanted a clear leader. And I did get one.

Wrapping this up, I wish for a calm and peaceful evening. I am heading abroad in any moments to bake cookies with my family and some relatives. Big hug.

Love, Emelena

7 GOALS AND HOW TO ACHIEVE THEM

Last winter we stayed at a friend’s house in the Norwegian mountains up in the north. It was truly like a fairytale cottage.

Goals and How to Achieve Them

Happy New Year! A new year and new challenges! This is often a moment of time when many people sit down to reflect over the past year, the future and try to set new goals. Personally I tend to do this at the end of every summer, however this year I wanted to try setting a few goals from the start of the year, which will last until the end of it. 

As I like to start the posts – let’s grab a cup of cocoa (or coffee/tea) and hopefully view a wonderful winter wonderland, as we go through this article together. I will share some ideas and thoughts on how to achieve the goals that we now are setting for the year to come. 

1.Long-Term

In general, these are less stressful than short-term goals. Obviously because we know if we miss doing this or that a particular day, we will probably get another opportunity along the day. In short-term it may be it. No more chance. And that knowledge can be stressful, also resulting in us performing less than we otherwise would have. 

A mindset to develop, and also a suggestion of mine, is to think ”A little each day”. Having a bit of discipline in performing perhaps 10 minutes each day, rather than finishing the whole task in a week. I think achieving those 10 minutes will boost our confidence kind of as much as if we wrapped up the to-do in a short time. Reaching our goals, growing towards them step by step boosts our confidence. It makes us more confident in taking on a new goal afterwards as we will have more confidence in achieving that goal too. 

A mindset I go by and recommend all of us to have, is – ”What do I wish tomorrow that I did today?”. This can help in situations where we stand between choosing going to the gym or not. What do we wish for tomorrow’s outcome? Will we be happy to have dodged the gym and saved up some energy for tomorrow? Or do we need to pump ourselves with energy for the gym? Do we need to get into a peaceful mood or a prepped one? 

Another example can also be when it comes to those 10 minutes. When we look back to today, tomorrow – do we wish we did something to work on our goals during 10 minutes or not? Suddenly 10 minutes may not seem like such a big deal and we are able to sit down to write that assignment, walk that powerwalk or take that phonemail after all. And again, afterwards we may feel pride and successful in achieving our goals. Even if we are far from crossing the line of our long-term goal, we know that we are on our way to do it. That is why I recommend us doing 10 minutes each day, rather than 0 to 20 every second day. Doing 10 minutes each day reminds us daily of how we grow towards what we want to succeed at. 

2. Motivate Us

Some people point out the fact that we cannot be motivated 100% of the time. I suppose I agree. Some may be able to, but I dare to guess the majority may not. So, what do we do? – We realize the difference when we instead swift the word to discipline. Having discipline, is to do something when we do not want to. Some days when we just really do not want to do something and yet do it, that is when we grow on our discipline mind. 

To make it slightly easier, we can ask ourselves questions like: ”How does this help us? How do we grow to a better person by doing this/achieving this goal?”. Find positive reasons. If we find the reasons as to why the goal and process are two important things for us, it will be somewhat easier to energize us and see the reason why we do this. It is important though to have a true positive reason. This way we will continuously remind ourselves as to why this goal is important and we will want to achieve the sensation of success. 

Took this photo during a walk up in the mountains. It looks lovely, does it not?

3. The Beauty of Habits

I wanted to emphasize us making an action plan. How do we achieve these goals? What is required and what shall we put an extra effort with? A notable famous quote, is the saying of ”If we want a different outcome, we must change something. Only a fool will do the same thing twice and expect a different result.” Is this not highly relatable to aim for completing goals correctly? If we do not naturally in our daily life (for example) manage to save a certain amount of money which we aim to do this particular year. Obviously something must change for us to do this? Right? 

We start with our habits to begin with. If we have three goals for 2019, it can be a handful for us to start off trying to manage all three of them. I suggest us to begin with one of them and completing one each. Also, just reading the letters of our goals may stress us somewhat. We may not even know where to start, and that can be overwhelming. Instead we can see the routines/habits we must create to let some space into our lives for these causes. It is said to take about 21 days for each habit to be. 

For example, if we want to feel more focused, read more and save X amount of money, we must divide these goals into habits. Perhaps that extra grocery shopping can be cut into a more planned one? We can look for coupons or something else that can lessen the price and amount of money we spend on food? Maybe have a stricter budget when it comes to shopping? Cutting the credit card and only go by debit? Instead of saving at the end of every month, let’s start every month with saving X amount of money. 

And if we want to be more focused… what can we do? What is required? A different type of intake of food, better sleep and better activities? Alright, what does this mean? Gym, comfier bed, stricter when going to bed, eating last meal by 7 pm and prepare a meal for the after without? Then we must look at out schedule and try to map it out. How can we make a day go by and do all of this? And if we want to read more, maybe we can fit this into the last moments of every day, as a result calming us down and making us fall asleep. Further result in increasing our sleep quality? And we will feel energized to exercise in the morning? Start with one habit and master it fully before taking on another one. Achieving goals most of the time do mean a change in our daily life. Otherwise we would have piled those goals on a growing shelf already. 

4. Why? 

Ask the why question. ”I want to earn tons of money!” – ”Why?” ”Because I want to buy X and Y,” – ”Why?”. ”Because I want to..,” and so on. Eventually with every goal, and with every why-question, we tend to end up at a certain feeling. This do not only help us point out a true goal, it may even change our goals when we realize that all we want is a sensation of happiness. Regardless, it develops a road to our goal and we see and feel a sensation towards our goal instead of just a written line that is supposed to make us magically be motivated. Instead, these feelings can help us to remain being motivated, or rather using my favorite word; ”Disciplined,” when we are not in the right mood. 

Because there may be a moment we cross, when we think ”Nah, I do not need ten grand, and I might as well just cross that line to go on for the next one.” But suddenly, we do remember that we wrote that goal because we wanted to prepare our parent’s home, because they need it. And we will feel genuine happiness when being able to help them out. Suddenly that goal will stay important and we will put an extra effort, again, to reach it. 

5. Be Specific

There is a great difference between having an unspecific goal versus a specific one. Example can be: being more active versus always taking the stairs. One is concrete and the other one is a bit loose. This will dissolve when we come to those situations where we can choose either the elevator or the stairs. If we specifically have said to always choose the stairs, we will choose the stairs and as result be more active. If we had not defined it, chances are that we may never have thought about taking the stairs during that moment. Just to clarify a simple daily thing that can be chosen in different ways. 

6. Unrealistic Goals

I have noticed many people urging others to never aim for ”unrealistic goals”. Hmm… is there really any unrealistic goals? I firmly believe the impossible is possible, yes – quoting Selena. But really, with the mindset that there would be unrealistic goals, it would mean that we are overly limited. If we budge those so-called limitations, there is a whole new world to explore. I suggest us to remove that mindset and instead believe everything is possible. Because everything IS possible!

How I cope with ”greater” goals (yes, that is a much better word), is that I tend to give them a bit of more time. Claiming that I shall be the president next year would of course be a possibility, but I rather lessen the pressure on me so I would rather set in within a 20 year old span of time. Instead focus on attractive attributes for that role within perhaps a shorter amount of time. Like picking a piece of that long term goal and set that one for year 2019. 

This is also the reason why I have chosen not to bring up the S M A R T model here. It talks a lot of realistic goals and I just want to remove that mindset completely. 

This cottage… Reminded me of one that goes in my family in Finland. Here I brewed coffee in the early mornings to enjoy by myself. I would use the time wisely for reflection, some imagining and of course – writing. 

7. Visualize

Law of attraction, which I personally believe in. At least it has worked with me when I really have put an effort into it. Visualizing what we dream of as if we already have it. We will behave like we have accomplished this and there are many informations about how this thing works. Like a mindset being ”Magical” and we attract what we focus on. Which I also think scientifically can be a truth. 

At least, this puts me in a very happy mood and as result, usually helps me achieve whatever I have put my mind to. I believe in the saying that ”I will.” Not ”I would like to,” or ”I might,” but ”I WILL!”

I have tried to bring out different tips and tricks in how we can grow as persons when it comes to goal setting. To sum it up, my personal opinion is that twisting goals into habits is what is required to have a working plan. 2019 has begun and I believe that we together can go through this. 

Love, Emelena 

Merry Christmas

Captioned a snap in Norway’s Christmas Land during an early morning.

Merry Christmas! 

It is precisely a year ago since I crossed that hospital corridor with my father, for a last time meet my grandfather. Talk about Christmas forming into a forever special day in my heart. I cherish this day. Some families are lucky enough to afford giving each other gifts, some are not. One thing I wish though is for each family to be able to spend this holiday with each other. A person is missing in mine, but the rest of us are together. In the Christmas holidays I wanted to share some inspiration of what we can do for personal self development! As writers.

At the Royal Castle. 

1.Welcoming a New Person

This can be a new partner to one of our relatives. Maybe it is the person’s first Christmas. Belonging to the main family, I am always very open and extra welcoming to this person. It takes a lot of courage to meet the partner’s family for the first, second and perhaps third time. Usually we want to make a good impression and do feel a bit of pressure. Therefore I try to show the person he or she is very welcome in our home. 

One thing to really remember is the name. Imagine something more awkward than for example mixing the person with another person, or actually not just remembering it at all. When someone knows the name and actually pronounces it correctly, we do tend to feel flattered and, maybe not ”special” but at least very welcome, and approved. Christmas for me represents a beautiful love that we share among each other. It is a perfect moment to pull one tight to our side for a warm hug, give lovable words and show each other that we care for one another.

2. Get Inspiration as a Writer

Some countries and families have a tradition of giving each other a book, which every person reads before going to bed on Christmas Eve. The holidays often mean (but not for everyone!) a lot of free time. This is a great time to have that alone walk and just stroll in silence, check out the new sceneries surrounding the neighborhood and perhaps picture a story going on. 

There is a lot of time for watching movies. A time where all family members can bunker up in the living room and together share an experience – watching a classic Christmas movie. According to me, this is the hight of Christmas coziness. A bowl of popcorn and chocolate pralines that often is from a Christmas gift from under the tree. Lovely. I tend to get loads of ideas flowing in my mind after watching an old movie.

3. The Spirit

In general, people may appear more stressed. But also friendlier. It is after all Christmas, a period of time where we tend to smile a bit more and welcome each other. Although even if we so take that stressful person, we can get an opportunity in finding characters for our stories. People bring out their strong personalities. If it is behind the Christmas gift game and the competitive side appears, the overly happy one, the one who feels blessed by all lovable relatives, the one who hates Christmas and everything that has to do with it. There are a lot of things to notice in a short span of time, which can help a writer who quickly needs a character. Just pick one during Christmas time. 

So, this was a shorter portion of what I tend to offer in my posts. However it is enough for what I will deliver during Christmas. I am wrapping up with a lovely dinner in company of my family and relatives. Tomorrow my boyfriend is coming over because we are traveling to both the Alps and to Rome, Italy for New Year’s Eve. 

Merry Christmas

Love, Emelena

EMAIL PITCHING OR COLD CALLING?

Sharing a few photos from a late summer evening out with me in the old city of Genova, Italy. 

Email Pitching or Cold Calling?

Which alternative of these two is the ultimate one? Not so uncommonly, this is a question many sellers face when realizing they need to reach out to potential clients and set up either a meeting or sell right away. After my fair experience in different areas as a saleswoman, I think I am ready to share my opinions on this matter. 

Obviously there are cons and pros with both, with the ability to switch one of the cons into the other’s pros. So, here it goes. 

Email Pitching Pros

    • Timesaving. Reaching out to more in less time.
    • Better choice when scared of calling by phone.
    • Afraid of conflict.
    • We are better in written format than by speech.
    • Socially scared.
    • We can take our time in figuring out a decent reply to whatever they answer.
    • The prospect may read this when it suits the person.
    • We can get a positive respond a long time ahead when the potential client feels ready to meet us.
  • Chances are higher they snap up every little detail in our written format rather than hearing a salesperson’s voice through phone.

Email Pitching Cons

    • A no is harder to change.
    • When receiving a dismissing response, we may not know the reason why and how we can improve when reaching out to the next one on our list.
    • If sent out to a great mass and there is the slightest grammar mistake or typo of any kind, every single email may contain it. Also, requires much attention to write correct spelling in names and such matters we regard.
    • The email account can get marked as spam if used incorrectly. (Which is rather easy when sending out a massive amount of emails to different people. Annoy a few and it is marked).
    • Email pitching requires a certain mysterious yet informative talent when writing the pitch. (Perhaps we can get into that in another post?).
    • There is a risk that we will not get any kind of response back at all.
    • If our company has a bad reputation, it will be greatly shown when the curious prospect googles the company.
  • The prospect may forget about responding as it is busy and suddenly the email gets deleted by mistake.

Cold Calling Pros

    • We speak directly to the prospect and get an image of the person by its voice.
    • A chance to manage convincing the person when he or she tries to dismiss us.
    • In cases of dismissal, finding out when or how we can contact them again.
    • Letting us know who the person we shall contact is, if he or she is not the correct person. Perhaps even if someone is on vacation and when we can expect to be able to reach the person at work.
    • Sharing a friendly conversation and grow a ”personal” relationship – also known as, getting a like.
    • This is personal for me, but I get energy from speaking with people.
  • We are amazing speakers with a pleasant tone and voice, gaining attention. This is our call.

Cold Calling Cons

    • It is time consuming.
    • Every time we pick up the phone we inwardly cringe and literally hate it.
    • Simply we are not a good enough speaker.
    • Not quick enough to come up with spot on replies.
    • Not comfortable or have skills enough to turn the prospect’s nos into yeses.
    • The prospect might be totally busy and therefore do not listen to what great words we really tell them. They may have been interested on another day but are totally in a bad mood this particular moment when we called.
    • They forget who we are five seconds after hanging up and will not remember our services two days after when realizing it is precisely what they need for their company.
    • They mark us as a seller at once and do not want to continue hearing because of the bad reputation many sellers has dragged down into the mud. Therefore believing we only want to fool them.
    • They get no chance to regret their response by checking up what we really are about before agreeing to meeting us/buying from us.
  • Gatekeepers that refuse letting us pass.

Just a few mentioned in each category. Surely there are tons of positive views and negative views on each. Some people urge that cold calling is timeless. It always works and always will work. That it will remain the best way to reach out to new potential clients.

On another hand. Some bosses believe email pitching is the new revolutionary thing in technology and that cold calling is as good as dead. They think this is the kinder version to costumers and that every seller manages to get the word out to more costumers.

So really – what is my personal opinion?

Many buildings appear like coming straight out of a movie. 

My Story

I have worked as a door to door salesman. It was fun, I learned to become quick-witted and rather ballsy. Utterly daring and outgoing, totally crushing my reputation as a shy girl and I loved every moment spent on work. Interacting with clients was fun and every car ride out to a neighborhood left me with a rushing wave of happiness.

Back in my home country I figured out one thing. I quickly knew working within telemarketing would not be something for me. Sitting beside a phone in front of a computer or notebook, dialing calls every hour awake to talk, talk and talk. Because my voice has never been my greatest strength. I do not want to sit here and say my tone sucks, but rather that my writing skills and interacting face to face are two of my attributes I know give higher results. Thereof the analyzed decision to actually become a door to door salesman.

As I later chose my work at this commercial real estate firm, working for their database – my responsibility was to be ”head” responsible for expanding the department regarding all suppliers getting involved when a company moves. I never want to speak bad of an employment, so this was just a mere misunderstanding during our interviews. Probably because my boss was an amazing talker in the phone and that it never crossed his mind that everybody clearly is not. Me included. So when I brought up the question if I would work as a ”booker”, or had to pitch on phone, I got the reply no. Feeling relieved after the clear words ”You will simply head from meeting to meeting holding a business presentation,” I thought, ”This sounds too good to be true. How easy!”. Well, it was kind of too good to be true. – Also a note to why I will ask straight for what responses and expectations employers will have for me before signing contracts in the future.

Rather quickly it came out that those meetings would be appointments I would book for myself. Alright. With a twitched nose I examined the front-page of Google and realized I would have to find every single client myself. And contact them. My boss wanted me to call them. As I tried so, clearly outside my comfort zone, I was taken as a salesman the prospect absolutely did not want anything to do with. I tried, I tried and I tried. I got an appointment here and there but it was simply not working. I tried to find some coaching and eventually turned to my boyfriend for advice (as he literally is the best motivating coach with good inputs when it comes to sales as a person possibly can be).

Doing these calls over and over again, fearing dismissals (as I struggle with fearing failure…) I was yet determined I would make this, that I would succeed. That is how I work. Whatever mission I take under my arms is something I am determined to finish, following the saying “Don’t start what you can’t finish.” However this was not a working strategy from my part and I decided to send out a few emails. Just a few. I googled around for good information in how to shape the pitch email and eventually I got my first respond.

I remember the shock on my face as I returned from the office room surrounded by glass, completely silent to shut out any noise and any other chatting seller. This time my heart raced as I saw the notification and surely, a prospect wanted to set an appointment with me! Instead of jumping around the office yelling ”I told you so!” I was quick to analyze what I did right here. Why did this particular client answer and how can I repeat receiving yeses? Soon I found my perfect email pitch and sent it out, turning my rate of getting a yes by every 7th phone call to get a yes from 75-90% of all emails I sent out.

Soon I had gotten courage enough to even dial the rest 10-25% and wonder why they had not answered or why they said no, sometimes leading to another appointment anyhow. My confidence was on top and suddenly I began filling my calendar with meetings. Talk about feeling proud as I did right then and there.

The funniest part was a particular one. I had called him probably around five times by this time in late spring. I had tried so many times to tell him that I wanted to set up a business meeting with him. Rather rudely, he neglected me each time and rarely let me finish. When coming out from an appointment I see not only the response from him to my email, but that he had called me three times! He wanted an appointment with me that badly! The person who was rude to me, that I had begged to meet five times now suddenly almost took a cab straight to my office just to see me?!

One time later at the day we had planned on having a meeting, he showed me around the company. Which in fact most of the clients do when I am welcomed to their office, building or factory. The grand tour, so to speak, when they show everything and I get a few samples of coffee, furniture advice or office items to bring home with me. Not only was the appointment a true success, me totally clicking with the owners, the CEO and the head of marketing in this conference room. One of them even drove me back to my office in his private car. Right then when jumping out of it, I thought of how ironical the scenario turned from being unpleasant to a complete positive and happy success. Just because I actually tried a different way. The email pitch.

My Conclusion

My opinion is that every salesperson should take a few moments to think about which parts of us that are the strongest. Ask ourselves: What am I good at, and what am I less good at? The reason is not to never do what we are bad at, but simply knowing where to focus for ultimate result – if that is the goal. Another thing can be to try out both ways to see which fits the seller the best. It may not always be the one he or she thinks. Additionally I would like to say that an excellent coach may be to good help and make a seller confident in one of the areas if he or she feels unsure about emails/calling. A good coach is also crucial for success.

For me, it ended up with emails when reaching out to absolute new clients and phone calls when re-connecting with them. If I really needed a meeting quickly and I had no time to wait for a response, then I would just pick up the phone and dial until the hour I had free was set. Simple as that. My actual strong thinking is that we should not be conservative here and say that one way is the right way. Really, try both in each situation as to what fits us. Also, looking over what type of costumer we are contacting can be a good idea. An IT company may spend more time in front of a computer (making them look over emails more AND even prefer getting an email rather than a pushing seller on the phone) than a marketing boss of an event bureau who just loves to talk to people straight away. Do we see the point?

I hope this helped you out if you were this confused salesman or saleswoman wondering what your call was. Analyze your skills and try out both ways until you know what works for you!

Love, Emelena

4 THINGS TO DO WHEN FACING A CONFERENCE ALONE

Took this beautiful picture yesterday when we had a “break”. A shuttle picked us up at the hotel for a tour at this villa, where the Norwegian constitution was written, 17th of May 1814. It was special to see the old interior and secret corridors inside the walls. When we came to this spot I had to snap a shot. Would it not be nice to sit in that chair beside that window, with a view and write a story? 

Good morning, people! I packed my bag Monday evening after a weekend spent at my in-laws’, and now I am off on a job trip. Conferences seem to have become a part of my professional life. At least every now and then. Before heading for a hearty breakfast to a wonderful view of this grand lake – I decided to share a bit of tips and tricks of what we can do when being at conferences by ourselves. I have brought my own coffee brewer with me and at the moment I have bunkered up in my bed with a cup of coffee. A winter wonderland is forming right outside the window and the level of coziness is high! So let’s dig into the topic of today.

4 Things to Do When Facing a Conference Alone

Or in fact, whenever you are a newbie to a social place. It can be literally awful, stomach flipping and we may loathe it, while others enjoy it – to have to start from scratch, in an environment where we know absolutely nobody. It feels just like first day of school, or when we moved to that new neighborhood all over again. After facing this situation quite a few times last lately, I decided to share what I went through and how to overcome the ugly feeling. Perhaps how this can benefit us as writers.

A year ago going to conferences were a routine every single month. Usually I kept my eyes shut before opening them to browse the file of papers my boss just had slid across the table in my office room. I would quickly throw a glance over the long lists of names, the people invited and those who had accepted to the invitation of the conference. Fairly seldom was a name written which I was familiar with. And I did dislike it as I knew everybody tended to be over their forties/fifties with a long experience within the business area, meaning they already have their mingling groups and friends among each other.

I would be the newcomer.

After once finding myself completely on my own as every coworker was either busy or not attending, I locked myself into a restroom. Here I brought up my phone to desperately google ”What to do when being at a conference alone.” Do I need to mention that even I found the scenario pathetic? Yes, indeed I did. But what could I do in my desperation? I tried to take my time, sitting on the top of the closed seat to just fold my legs and hope there was no line outside waiting for me to come out of there. Because I feared standing there outside all alone, appearing like the black swan nobody wants to be around. It was a desperate moment, really. And awful.

Now, I will tell you how I coped with this and how the evening turned out great.

1. Get Out There

After a while, I figured that I am an adult now and just have got to pull myself together. After all, I do have a company to represent and how bad would it sound if I dared confessing that I had locked myself in the ladies to avoid social awkwardness? Now, I never did say anything but I am sure my boss would not be too happy about it. Not to mention letting myself down. In the end of the day, I do believe in the motto of growing a little bit each day. Those days when I know I have stepped out of my comfort zone are the ones I cherish the most and can be proud of myself. I happened to want that outcome out of this event as well.

One thing to realize is that even if it seems as if everybody knows someone – truth is that they do not. Perhaps they all have just been able to join a group faster than us. Honestly, there are many people attending who also do not know a single soul. Even if they happen to be elder than us, many people in their forties and fifties also change career path. And what better opportunity to befriend new people within the industry than sending them straight to a social conference? Well, that is how many bosses think.

Typically there are name tags on each person, informing both the name and what company they come from. Here we can just go straight to a group and join, listen and present ourselves. Normally there will be a discussion regarding the companies we come from, our positions and what we do. We need to be sure to have a whole package with business cards with us, as chances are high we will have to exchange some. It does appear more pro to in fact be ready with a card. If absolute not; we can ask for their card and assure them we will contact them right away when situation lets us. Another case can be to find each other on LinkedIn and add one another. That way we can make sure to remain connected.

2. Champagne and Sweets

What drinks and pastries set on tables will differ from conferences to conferences. But, many times they will serve champagne and sweets. If we still stand somewhere alone, or the group of people somehow has dissolved into each way and we are left standing there alone – we can still find a new group. Maybe we can take a deep breath and walk straight towards a group, or we go to the table serving food.

Typically people will surround it, throw a joke about the food or help each other out with grabbing napkins for the cookie crumbles. Another opportunity laid out for us to be able to more smoothly and ”spontaneously” slip in to recommend that a certain cookie there is really good (yes, we have never tasted it), and suddenly a conversation is set. Out of nowhere, the person we are talking to is missing to its’ group. Either way, one from its’ group will look for him/her and join the two of us. Or the best, we follow the person to its’ group and are automatically introduced. ”Hey folks, I just met *blabla* from *blabla*. The person does this and that and this is unique,” and immediately they are all interested in us and what we have to say.

I know it can be hard to ”just go over there” to these randoms. I really do. But we have to if we want to socialize. If our intention simply is getting out information from the lectures, then feel no need but to plop down on a nearby coach to enjoy a drink. However, many of us are specifically sent to mingle and learn knew people, new business strategies and get inside information from other companies. By opening our mouths and get into a conversation with a person, well, it does help.

When standing there alone, we can ask ourselves some questions. Like, what is the worst thing that can happen? Chances that we will be dismissed and totally ignored are small. Yet if they so happen, we will not die. Unless we die, is there really anything to fear? – Appear like a fool, being all alone? Well, we will not end up talking to anybody unless we make an effort, will we? But to emphasize the truth. People are too busy with themselves, many of them panicking just like us – that causes them to not even get a moment to examine us with an analysis.

I think the best approach (yes, no surprise) is to not think, just do. Just walk up to a group and introduce ourselves. Even if they are in an eager chat, be cocky enough and speak up as we promptly take that step between two persons, reach out our hand decisively to one of them and present ourselves. If we happen to know of the topic we may even just join in, even show off our fake laughter to charm our rather ballsy motion. There are tons of ways to enter a conversation, but mine is typically to pick one person and slowly expand to more. When I enter a group just right away, I do find it somewhat more difficult to really engage in a chat as I know nothing of how people are related among each other. While when hanging out with a single or two persons, they tend to always introduce someone when passing by someone. So, an advice – pick a person and go for it!

3. Do NOT Do This!

I know the temptation of picking up the phone. Letting our finger browse and browse, we pretend being totally busy and occupied as the popular soul we are. What we do not think of is how this creates a barrier surrounding us. Like a glassy cloud nobody can enter. A bubble. When we are this imbibed into whatever goes on in social media, we can take a step back and wonder how we look like from an objective eye. If someone were to check us out, probably we look like someone busy and occupied – just as we want.

If we ourselves would stand there and two persons in the room are standing with three metres away from each other. One of them sipping a glass of champagne (or water for that matter. I will not market alcohol) and views over the room with scanning eyes, and then we have the one totally into its’ phone. Which one would we pick to approach? I can tell by my own words, that if I would approach the one with a phone, it may be if he or she wore a watch and I happened to wonder what time it was – or, if she or he would turn out to be Sophia Loren. Otherwise, I am 100% we all would go to this alone observing person and try with an opening phrase. Simply because that person appears more approachable.

Another great DON’T! Is the alcohol part. Conferences tend to serve not only champagne, but an awful amount of wine to dinner and then I shall not mention the tables filled with Baileys, Whiskey and Grappa when leaving the dining restaurant to head for the bar/club on another floor. So, have in mind to take it easy with the drinks. Nothing can be worse than waking up the following morning with a great headache, joined by anxiety over what happened yesterday. Perhaps even what we vaguely can remember. So, remember that this is a situation where we in some way present ourselves and the company we work for.

Another thing can be to simply not just hang out only with the people we do know. We never expand our network unless we dare interacting with new people. So another no-no can be to not be open and invite new people inside our group. Remember that one day we might be or we may have been that sole person. Would it not be nice to be approached and invited to join a group of people? I personally think it is one of the nicest things a person can do. That person will remember us for doing this, and who knows when this person can be there for our aid?

4. Where To Sit At Dinner

We all know the easy choice. We find a familiar face and slip down on the empty chair next to it to surely set that we will have a person to talk to. As much as this can help us secure a pleasant evening, making sure to get to know new people means sitting at a random table. Not fully random, but if we have been stalky beforehand (mening that when we received the guest lists – we googled the faces of the names behind), we know which one to ”spontaneously” end up beside. Quite manipulative but it works. How we accidentally end up with a new friend or future business college while it was completely a strategic move from our side.

Sitting down beside strangers at a table is according to my opinion even easier than joining a group of people/reaching out to strangers. Mostly because everybody MUST sit down and there are limited chairs at each table. Also, it is unlikely that a company around a table would take their stuff and stand up to swift table. It simply rarely happens. In a way, we appear by the table in the rush as everybody frantically looks for seats, and we sit down at the one we please. Also, being alone or a couple, it helps being a smaller number as it is easier to get seats at the ”best” tables, referring to those in the centre towards the front. Another reason to straight away head for the ones in the centre is because those tables ALWAYS fill. Everybody wants to sit there, thereof if we so happen to be the first one arriving there – people will join eventually.

It is typically during dinner that I befriend most people. Maybe it has to do with most of the guests’ intake of wine, but really, people opens up and suddenly it feels as if we all have known each other for ages. Some hold speeches and in between it seems to be a common topic to discuss what the person has stated. Also to comment on the cuisine served and discuss wine. Of course, conferences are various, but to have a little knowledge of wine, the business in general and the speech holders, can be an advice as well. At least for me, as a youngster to be able to come with a good reply when the fifty year olds debate on wether the Italian Amarone is heavier in taste than a sweet Portuguese Porto. Sí, I do have my fair experience – haha, I try.

My Previous Experience

During that time in the restroom I went out. I had called my partner and revealed that I despised standing there alone while having nobody to talk to. Whenever I did meet up with someone, the person seemed incompetent of social skills and maintaining a conversation. I would over and over again be left alone and have to start over, feeling like I screamed desperately. So at the end I headed towards the wardrobe, upper body hanging over the counter in my eager to hide from people maybe being able to recognize my escape from this real estate conference. As I had my card pressed at the wooden counter, my fingertips pushing it hard enough to pale and my searching gaze for a staff member who could hand me my jacket – I was approached by a guy.

He came with a glass of champagnen to me (yes, never accept a drink from a person without having eyes on it from start, ladies. And yes it is awful that I in soon 2019 need to say that). I accepted it but never drank from it, pretended sipping. It turned out that he was also there alone and suddenly I ended up having quite a laughter with this young man. Folks wondering what the two of us found hilarious would come from around to join us, and suddenly ”I” had built up a little gang of new friends. So this was fun. When the staff member finally passed me and held his hand out to take my jacket card, I snatched it back to me and shook my head to say that I had changed my mind. He smiled, I did too and off I was to join the conference at dinner.

I did have fun. It was actually the best conference when I look back. I did not share table with this gang, as I was too excited to get to know more people now when I was in the mood. This led me to end up at an ambitious table, filled with the elite from Norway’s real estate life (if I can claim this without sounding too poshy). We laughed so much throughout the night and at the end of it when my boyfriend picked me up, I sighed and told him all about how strange I found it. It had all begun with me, desperately locked inside a bathroom and me ending up mingling and having fun with tons of new people. What a day, and night.

To Sum Up

Summering my advice coming from me, I will divide this:

  • Do not pick up your phone to ”escape” the scenario.
  • Do not drink too much. Getting wasted is a big No-No. Depending on culture, at least do not get wasted too early.
  • Do not underestimate the fact that there are more people there not knowing a bloody soul.
  • Smile! I did not mention this but really, a smiling person is more approachable.
  • Speak up and present yourself.
  • Join a group.
  • Read one’s nametag and ask questions.
  • Mingle at the food table!
  • Do research beforehand and know what faces to look for.

Now, off we go! I will see if I find someone to talk to at the breakfast buffet and tomorrow my boyfriend picks me up for a trip abroad, to the capital of Sweden. What a lovely weekend it will be.

Love, Emelena

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