Tuesday, 30 August 2011

In For A Penny, In For A Pound

Yesterday I spent the day in the audience at Millionaire Hot Seat. A friend of mine had applied to be on it and was successful. It took a little while but he got the phone call and it was his chance to win A MILLION DOLLARS!!!! (Sorry, I went a bit Eddie there for a second). As part of the deal, my friend could invite people to be in the audience - how could I resist.

Now I have signed my life away so I can't tell you any detail, except to say that my friend won some money but that is all you will get from me! I can talk in general terms about the process as I have been in the audience of other shows. Now anyone who has been to a taping of a game show can tell you that they record several episodes in a row. You probably expect this. It gives them economies of scale. The get a set put together, get the celebrities in, get all the crew together - so it makes sense to shoot several episodes all at once. Some even shoot a couple of days in a row.

There is a person who is the Audience Fire-Upper. I am not sure of the technical term (I think it's Warm Up Guy), but it is their job to let us know what is expected of the audience, what is going on during the recording, when to clap, when to cheer, when to cheer louder and to entertain us at other times.  Michael Pope is who we saw yesterday and he has been a Channel stalwart for many years. Another is Brian Nankervis (of RocKwiz fame).

It's the warm up persons job to get us enthusiastic and keep us enthusiastic for the entirety of the show. In fact the entirety of the five shows that they are recording on any given day.  As you would imagine, everyone is excited for the first show so its all good. The second show, people start to lag a little. When it gets to the third show, people have the "I'm an expert and I know this stuff. Why am I reacting like a monkey to a trainer?"

Now naturally energies lag but my question is this, if you are not willing to perform your part of the role, why are you there? As the old saying goes, in for a penny, in for a pound. This is not just of TV audiences, this is for work, relationships, community groups, professional associations, school, and even your hobbies.  As Yoda said, "Do or Do Not, there is no try."

So what in your life are you merely involved in? Where do you need to shift from being involved to being committed? Applauding and cheering loudly halfway through the fifth episode of a taping is one thing, but what about the areas of life that are of far more significance to you?

Do or Do Not, there is not Try!

Monday, 29 August 2011

What A Success!

As you may know, yesterday I ran 5km (well most of them) up and down the hills of "The Boulevard" in Kew, Melbourne.  It was a crisp start to the day that ultimately gave way to a burning sunshine. The question that some asked me is "What was your time?" and my answer is, "I don't know". The time of the run was not important to me. It was the time I had on the run that WAS important.

A huge thank you to those of you who supported me financially. I have raised just under $1,000 for mental health research. I was blown away by your generosity - thank you. My commitment to my sponsors was to "Put the Fun into Fun Run."  I am pleased to announce it was a huge success!!  
To start with, our team of five was called the Frankenfurters named after Frankenfurter on the Rocky Horror Show. For fun I had T-shirts made up with Frankenfurter on the back.


But my team mates felt we should take it one more step. When I arrived they presented me with fishnet stockings and then whipped out the makeup. So I ran 5km in fishnets, lipstick and eyeshadow. I must say, that is a first, and it added to the Fun!

During the course of the run I had one of my team mates with me so she can verify what I did. As we ran I sang (quite loud), gave a running commentary on the running, yelled support to random strangers and friends, told jokes and basically had a laugh. I knew I was successful in my mission to bring Fun to the Fun Run when at the very end a girl who I had not noticed said to me, "I have been listening to you the entire run and laughing all the way. I even kept one of my earphones out just to listen to you." Compliments don't come much bigger.

As important as the end goal it, the time you have along the way is often more important. Are enjoying success as you go?

By the way, here is a picture of me at the end of the run in makeup and fishnets. 


PS Donations are open until the end of September. If you still want to donate visit my donation page

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Putting the FUN into Fun Run

OK - It's only 3 days away and I am already working on the mental side of the fun run.

Essentially that means telling people I must be mental to be doing it!!  But most people know I am joking, it is another facet of the FUN.  To make the run fun, I am doing it with a team of 5 people from my Step Into Life class. We agreed that our team name should be Frankenfurters, named after the character in Rocky Horror Picture Show.

A few of them think I should be running the 5km in fishnet stockings, high heels, makeup and pearls. I don't mind a little cross dressing, but not during a run!  So this is what I am wearing instead

This gives the essence of Frankenfurter and the practicality of running in a T-Shirt!!

The great news is that without even leaving the house, my fun run has been a HUGE success.  Due to the generousity of my friends, family, choir, Farcebook crew and readers of my blog and newsletter, I have raised  $670 for Mental Health Research.  I am so thrilled and grateful to everyone who donated.  If you haven't donated yet and still want to, visit my donation page.

So as you sleep in, play with your kids, have a cafe breakfast, watch Sunday morning TV or do what you do on a Sunday morning, I will be out running 5km with a stack of other people. My commitment is to add some fun to the fun run so I will be telling jokes (no guarantee on them being funny), chatting with anyone near me, and maybe even singing some Rocky Horror Show tunes.  Oh yes, I will be running too!!

Thanks again for your support.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Is It OK to give compliments?

I love looking at ladies shoes - particularly Nine West.
Not in a fetish kind of way, just in a "I appreciate them" kind of way. Guys shoes always seem so boring but ladies shoes have so many fabulous styles.

Over the years I have commented to ladies when I like their shoes. Most often they are complete strangers to me. I figure they have put a lot of effort and money into looking good and if I like their shoes, they would want to know.

A couple of weeks ago I was informed that giving compliments was "not nice"!!!

Wifey and I were having lunch at a winery on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.  As we were chatting a couple walked past on the outside of the cafe. Wifey pointed out to me the ladies boots that were really cool. We then continued with our lunch.

As we were leaving, I pushed my chair back and bumped into the diner behind me. It happened to be that lady with the boots. I apologised for bumping in to her and then said, "By the way, they are really nice shoes you are wearing. Are they uncomfortable?"

"No they really aren't even though you think they would be", she replied.
I then went to pay the bill.

As I was waiting for the credit card to process, someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was the shoe lady's boyfriend. He got my attention and then said, "You have just paid my girlfriend a beautiful compliment. Don't do it again, it is not very nice."

I said "OK" and he went on his way.

I must confess, it span me out a little. Why would someone not want to receive a compliment? Why should some one care that a random stranger said something nice about a piece of clothing their partner was wearing? Was it wrong of me to compliment the Shoe Lady?

I will continue to give strangers compliments. I think that one guy was a bit possessive. If I was shoe lady, I would be considering whether I wanted to spend a lot of time with someone who goes out of his way to discourage compliments!

Compliments are free and they are also priceless. They go straight to the warm and squidgy bit inside you that jumps with delight when you receive one. For some reason, compliments from strangers make that jump even bigger. It is more than OK to give compliments, it is one of the best things you can do.

So thanks for reading this, and by the way... I like your shoes!

Image: www.ninewest.com.au 

Monday, 22 August 2011

What About Me?

It happens to all of us. We have days when our energy is down, our emotions are down and even our mood is down. Everything seems too hard and you just want to get back into bed and tell the world to go away.
When clients ask me what is the best thing to do when you get in these spots or have periods of depression, I tell them to do this.
  • Get up
  • Have a shower
  • Put on some nice clothes
  • Leave the house
  • Go to a friend's place
  • Ask what is happening in their life and DO NOT talk about yourself
Thinking about ourselves and asking What About Me does nothing to lift a depressed state - frequently it makes it worse. So put yourself to one side and focus on somebody else and what is happening for them.  Once you get out of your own way and stop asking What About Me, you will be amazed how your mood, energy and emotions shift.
Have a great week

PS I have decided to do something significant about Mental Health. This Sunday I am running 5km in the de Castella Fun Run (I am not counting on lots of fun though!). Money raised by this fun run goes to Mental Health Research.  I would love your support and sponsorship. You can see a picture of my crazy family and donate to the cause here.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Is It Really You?

Who Are You
Who are you? No I mean REALLY?

Too often we have masks we wear at work and then a different one for friends and then another for family and then another for our charity groups. After putting so many different masks on we often lose who we really are.

On top of that we have the expectations from society, our parents, our partners, our colleagues, our superiors, our inferiors and even ourselves.

So who are you really? What do you stand for? What do you like? What don't you like? There are so many things that go into making up who you really are. Once you know, BE the authentic you.
You don't need to be a certain way because others expect it or want it or need it. Be the authentic YOU that way no-one will ever need to ask Is It Really You?

PS Ladies if you are still developing the real you, a friend of mine is running a one-day workshop in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane called Raunchify. It's worth looking at!

Image: Paul Downey  

Monday, 8 August 2011

Have You Got Spirit?

Have You Got Spirit?
There is a trend sneaking up on us. Business is getting spiritual. It is not just the fringe business either. 
  • ANZ Bank has been teaching Meditation as part of their Perform, Grow and Breakout sessions.
  • World Vision frequently has prayers before meetings (granted it is a Christian Organisation but not all who work there are Christian).
  • Aetna International (a large multinational insurance company) and HP also encourage staff to grow spiritually.
I am not saying put on a robe, shave your head and sit in the corner chanting. I would have you consider the following:
  • Why do you do what you do? Money, provide for others, build a business and then what? What is next? What gives it meaning?
  • What do you want from your life? What is your purpose? What keeps you getting out of bed day after day?
  • How do you give to the world rather than receive from it?
My experience is that those that bring a sense of spirit to the workplace are focussed on what really counts to them and better prepared to ride the ups and downs of life.

So Have You Got Spirit?

Monday, 1 August 2011

Can You Do It Again?

Cust SvceAccording to a recent American Express Global Customer Service Barometer Survey 25% of Australians think businesses take their custom for granted while 10% think businesses don't care about them at all! Is your business like that? Is the service you give like that?

Speaking to the Master of Million Dollar Relationships, Danielle Storey, the secret to continuous excellence in customer service is consistency. While it is important to have some kind of process to provide excellent customer service, once is not enough. Whether you are giving great service to your customers, your internal customers or even your suppliers, you need to be able to do it time and time and time again.

From simply answering the phone in a professional manner, welcoming people who come into your business, thanking customers for paying their invoices or having an ongoing loyalty program, it is consistency that really counts. Make sure your systems and process are simple and straight forward enough so you can do it again and again and again.