Toothpaste Flip Top Caps: Recognizing the Solution in Front of You – RAV010

Posted on : 12-02-2015 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Choices, Featured

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Every morning and every night most of us, if we care at all about our teeth and gums, brush our teeth.  If you’re like me, I always marvel at that innocent elegant device called the  flip top cap to the  toothpaste tube.  Instead of the cap detaching from the tube and becoming forever lost like one mitten in the snow, much less experiencing the inconvenience from massive quantities of tooth paste winding its way around your sink, the counter and any other number of places that a tube could get knocked about during your morning stupor, it simply flips open for you to squeeze out just enough for your brush and then can easily be flipped shut before the tube even leaves your hand. In fact, you want to flip it shut. It feels good and right to do a one-handed flip shut with the tooth paste because it may be the only thing that you can flip shut with one hand all the days of your life and now you can do it every morning and night. But I digress.  It’s amazing that since 1886 when Dr. Lucias Sheffield invented the first tube of toothpaste all the way up until 2006 when Howard Wright filed his patent for the toothpaste flip top cap, we, the people of clean teeth, have been living with the inconvenience of tubes of paste and all that entails for well over a century.

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It took us over 100 years of using something at least 2x a day for every day of our lives to recognize a solution that was right in front of us. Thanks  be to you Howard Wright.

This reminds me of the great comedy of 1963 called, “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World” with so many of the great actors and comedians of the sixties. The premise of the story is that a dying man’s last words which are of a buried treasure under a “Big W”.  Hijinks ensue and off we go for a wild and madcap jaunt in a race to find the Big W.  For those of you who may have not seen this movie yet I will spare you from revealing the end but suffice it to say that the Big W was right in front of them.  Art mimicking life or life mimicking art you know we do either all the time and then tend to make fun of ourselves for not seeing the obvious.

Thought for the Day:  What solution elegant yet simple solution is right in front of you just waiting to be recognized?

Helpful Hint for Being Human:  When we are ready to see or hear the answer, we will.  Asking for the help to recognize the answers in front of us is a first step.

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Do You Really Know What Your Opinions Are? – RAV006

Posted on : 04-02-2015 | By : Lynn | In : Baby Boomer, Business, Communication, Featured

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Most of us probably believe we at least know what our opinions are about most things in life and also feel pretty confident about how we see things.  Yet, if you’re like me, given the right circumstances you might find out that you don’t know more than you realized you didn’t know.  How does that saying go from college philosophy classes,  something along the lines of “we know what we know” and maybe “we know what we don’t know” but only if we’re really paying attention will “we not know what we don’t know.”



You can imagine my amazement while working on a social media evaluation project to discover that I have many more definite opinions than I realized.  Perhaps this opportunity revealed itself because in this project instead of weaving through various social media only to land upon that which really sparks my interest I am required to spend time on each post and to evaluate them.  For example, because I am such a huge animal lover and nature lover you would think (I certainly did!) that I would want to watch or read every video or post that had animals involved wouldn’t you?  As it turns out, that part of me that is all about justice really has some definite opinions about what type of animal videos, memes, jpgs are out there and specifically what is okay and what is not. Like a video going around that shows a mama giraffe giving birth in the zoo with all the people on the other side of her cage watching her walk around with her baby’s hooves sticking out and even a zookeeper following her with a video camera as she goes through the birthing process.  It is true that if I happened upon the same situation whilst on an African Safari (photography of course) and I could observe a giraffe giving birth like this without being obvious (think Jane Goodall) I would watch and be fascinated but this incident struck me as being particularly garish since this normally wild beast was imprisoned and because it was surrounded by predators (yes dear people, in the wild, certainly around such a vulnerable time we would be considered predators I’m almost certain) the video was painful to even just see the still of what it was without even viewing the content.

Thought for the Day: Wonder if something like social media, which many of us may judge to be just hitting the surface of life, when looked upon more deeply can help us to learn unexpected things about ourselves and others?

Helpful Hints for Being Human: It’s a good thing for us to open up our minds and hearts for new information about ourselves and others because it’s possible that there may be a whole lot out there that we don’t know that we don’t know!

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DASH014 Surfing The Curl of Fear Instead of Giving In To It

Posted on : 28-06-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Communication

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If you’ve been living in the past couple of decades then, more than likely, just like me, you’ve experienced the over all cultural phenomena of heightened fear in many aspects of your life with a big impact hitting your job or career.

On Friday, June 29, 2012 at 12:30pm CST I’ll be interviewing a highly regarded writer, speaker and management consultant, Judith M. Bardwick, Ph.D. on BTR’ Hope42Day.  In her book and subsequent talks and info-sessions, Judy shares about the psychological recession behind the changing work force (especially in the U.S.).

Here’s an excerpt about  fear from the book, “The prolonged, sustained fear that is characteristic of a Psychological Recession assures that good news will be discounted while bad news is accepted as the stuff of reality. The tragedy is that focusing on fears only reinforces them.  In understandable but irrational ways, people who are frightened move ever forward toward panic. In this way, a Psychological Recession is self-fulfilling.”

This got me to thinking about my days in the world of recruiting technical experts for long-term contracts.  In the late 90’s as we headed toward Y2K (for those of you who live under rocks, this was when the techno world was mainly run by mainframes and the uproar was all about the dates not being programmed to be able to turn over to 20 from 19 (1999 to 2000) we were flying high.  There was so much work to be done that we could not find people fast enough. Then there was a brief respite with client-server technology (remember that?) being the latest and greatest movement since the mainframe and like a creeping tidal wave, the internet took off and the rest as we know it is history.  There was a lot of fear in those days because the work world was being turned ass over tea kettle from brick and mortar to  The psychology of how historically held institutions turned over the usual way of doing business to the new way—because of the impact of technology — from banking to real estate undergoing changes in fascinating (and frightening) ways.

I believe what allowed so much change to happen so quickly was FEAR.  Many people feared all the new technology taking place because they did not understand it. Then all that new technology coupled with the bright young minds stepping  up to leadership posts that would have taken years for previous generations to hold, had many reacting out of sheer fear.

Here we are a handful of years down the road from the great American recession and many countries undergoing their own radical changes (because, yeah, like they say, we are all connected!) and lot’s of people are scared, scared, scared.  The good news is that if you don’t want to be one of the mass who is steeping themselves in fear, anger, and dark perspectives of what life is all about….this is a most excellent time to put on that wet suit of confidence, trust and an open mind so that you can surf this huge wave of fear (maybe even have a whole lot of fun while you’re doing it) and come out on the other side to lead us to another way of doing and looking at how we do business (and live in the world).  I think that is how great leaders are created.  I think there is a whole lot of opportunity for smart people who understand humans and the psychology of business.

How will you see the world today?


NEXT049 Creative Minds And the “Rule of Three”

Posted on : 02-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff

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Had a great visit recently and caught up with VocationVacations Founder Brian Kurth who is visiting friends in Austin, Texas and elsewhere as the summer comes to a close.  Brian and I have known each other since 2004 and I so respect his creativity, entrepreneurship and the amazing energy and focus he has to take an idea all the way through to fruition.  Needless to say, when Brian throws his experience, strength and hope my way, especially when it comes to my Coaching business, I listen.

What I took away from our meeting today is one of the reasons that highly creative entrepreneurial minds have such a hard time landing on something and seeing it through is because of the need to focus.  There are so many great ideas out there to be thought about and the energy of expounding on them and getting them going can be absolutely exhilarating.  So if you have the same kind of creative mind and wandering attention span as I do it’s about learning how to follow the “rule of three”.  Corral your ideas in and focus them into three areas.  For me, that  concept is perfect since I love coaching, writing, and broadcast interviewing equally as well.  When other ideas come my way, which they always do, I will either find a way to funnel them into one of my three career areas or I will let them go for now.

And maybe, just maybe I’ll get uncomfortable enough about the parts that I haven’t touched in my three career areas…that I will actually do something about them instead of diverting my attention on to some new shiny idea that I can waste my time and energy on (shout out to mom, Kat and Vicki).  After all, I have been talking about putting together a book for years now!  See how good I am at diverting my attention?  It’s another form of procrastination too.  Again, if you are a highly creative person please know that that is such a lovely wonderful part of who you are.  Really embrace it! And, just like everyone else who has something about themselves that can get in there way of their greatness—we’re no different. We have to come up with our own strategies for success.  Be sure to grab on to people who can support you.  Shameless plug for myself, this is one reason that I am a great Coach for creatives and entrepreneurs because I so understand where you are coming from and as it goes, I can see what other people can do to help themselves because I know what I can do to help myself.

Remember: Focus and keep your top interests to the “Rule of Three” and see how you’re able to mature your creativity and channel it into constructive systems/products/situations that lead you to your greatness!

I believe in you because I believe in me—let’s discover together what is possible!

Creativity and Procrastination

NEXT048 Getting Off the Fence

Posted on : 01-09-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Heart Talks

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I’m a fence rider from way back when. You know what a fence rider is don’t you?  We’re those people who sit, walk even sometimes stand on one foot on top of a fence instead of jumping off to one side or the other and taking a stand for what we want or who we are.  Oh, yeah, sure I’m not always a fence rider. There are some things I can totally jump to one side or the other of the fence and take a stand. Like making sure I let as many people as possible who live in Texas know that there are about to be swarms of 18-20 different species of hummingbirds migrating through Texas on the way to Mexico and there is nothing for them to eat so it is up to us to make sure we fill up those feeders and keep them filled with fresh food till about the end of October (one cup sugar, four cups water stir til dissolved). Things like that or,  say, getting married….I can jump and take a stand on that for myself for sure!

But I’ve been riding fences for so long that I can sometimes not even realize that I’m riding the fence on something.  This morning my mentor Coach held my feet to the fire about a project that I was working on for a friend that had hit the wall because they wanted the position that I was flirting with to be a full time position. I had to get really honest with myself and realize that with my Coaching, writing, blog talk radio interviewing, school and volunteer work, well….I’d already made up my mind about where my priorities were somewhere inside of me awhile back it’s just that the memo hadn’t made it up to the conscious part of my brain yet.

Today in my Mass Communication class we learned a little bit more about the history of the programming industry (radio, television, film, etc.).  Did you know that Dr. Lee De Forest who called himself “the father of radio”, but actually it was Reginald Fessenden who demonstrated to the public about wireless telephony, died pretty much penniless and bankrupt?  In 1910, Dr. De Forest staged a live musical broadcast with Italian tenor Enrico Caruso.   Dr. DeForest spent most of his life working on the wireless telephone to create a vehicle for entertainment, but he just wasn’t that good with business.  The end product of Dr. De Forest’s efforts gives me nightmares.  And this was a man who jumped off the fence and made a stand but he still didn’t get to realize the rewards of his efforts.

Shoot, at least when we’re riding the fence we can imagine any number of results from our dreams without being found out  for sure that we could or couldn’t do something! Right?

Maybe when we clear away the debris of our neurotic need to hide and try to control the balance of the outcome of our lives and instead enjoy the ride from whichever side of the fence we end up jumping.

It is fun to ride the fence but eventually you do wind up getting a whole lot of splinters in the end.  Besides, just because you jump to one side of the fence doesn’t mean after experiencing what that is like and making a real effort you can’t decide to crawl through the fence to the other side to experience that side.  Whatever you do, it is okay. You are not wrong or right. What I’m figuring out though is that jumping off is about allowing yourself to fully engage in life.

What are you waiting for?

Bike riding on the fence

NEXT044 The Stories You Tell In Your Tribe

Posted on : 28-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Communication

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Over the years much ado has been made about the groups of people we share our lives with and many books have been written with one of my favorites being “Tribes” by Seth Godin. I also like what Max DePree has to say about tribes in his book, “Leadership as an Art”.In the chapter, “Tribal Storytelling”, Max talks about “the penalty for failing to listen to (the tribal storytelling of your “tribe” or company) is to lose one’s history, one’s historical context, one’s binding values” and that “without the continuity brought by custom, any group of people will begin to forget who they are”.

We are really fortunate in our family to have several really good storytellers amongst us.  There are several stories that my parents will tell again and again of their growing up years (or of  my brothers and me) that I have never grown tired of hearing. Because we all live pretty far apart (except for one brother who is residing in Texas for a short while) when we get together the first thing we do is lapse into storytelling as a way to remind ourselves where we came from and what we share with each other.  There is one story I love of my brother when he was 9 and I was 11. My parents had been divorced for just a short while and my mom, brother and I had moved to a house out in the country.  It was the late sixties and so many things were changing fast. Dad was preparing to go to Viet Nam as a fighter pilot and mom was trying her wings at being a self-realized woman for the first time in her life.  One afternoon in particular, my mom, her friend and my brother and I along with our three shepherds were returning from the park.  My brother was sitting in the way back of our Buick station wagon (avocado green of course!) with the dogs. He was one of those skinny kids who was all feet, knees and elbows and because we both have huge heads with big brown eyes, all you could see amongst the flying fur of the dogs was his knobby knees and big blonde head.  At some point the song du jour came on, “I am woman” by Helen Reddy.  I think my brother had experienced just about enough changes in my mom with her wearing blue jean jackets instead of skirts and trying to smoke cigarettes (I say trying because she’s always been a health nut and she sure didn’t seem to know how to smoke a cigarette like the other adults!).  Anyway,  all of a sudden my brother belted out in his little soprano–cracking–alto voice, “I am man” where of course Helen sings, “I am woman” and we all cracked up laughing.  It was funny and poignant and marked a certain time of change in all our lives.

When I get together with friends who I many not have seen in a while, such as boarding school mates, we also swap stories of adventures and misadventures we experienced together way back when.  Everyone has moved all around the world, have families and different lives from that time but after a short time of telling stories we are reminded about the binding history that we share.  One group of friends who I’ve known for 20+ years always tells the story of the weekend the men who had gone away for a camping trip survived a huge tornado and how one of them took the time to cook up some bacon in the middle of all hell breaking lose.  Same with another group of close friends who my husband and I have traveled with and gone on many scuba diving adventures together.  Some of my favorite images conjured when swapping stories with that group is the one of all 9 of us renting mopeds to take a ride around the island of Cozumel.  We all felt so cool wearing our helmets and riding like the wind on our mopeds around the island.  We even had magical moments like when we stopped at Bob’s Marley Bar

Storytelling in song, dance and word

(before the hurricane that shredded it to pieces so that they rebuilt it) and they had exactly 9 hammocks for all of us to lounge in as we drank beer and listened to reggae.   Our friend Tony dubbed our group, “Antonio’s Angels” even though there were two other men in our outfit!! We still laugh at how much fun we had and how slick we all thought we were even though pretty much everyone who can afford transportation on the island drives a moped!

So next time you are with your tribe or one of the groups of people you would call a tribe, listen to what stories are being told and pay attention to the ones that are familiar.  There’s more being told then just a story.


NEXT038 Persistence Will Pay Off In The End!

Posted on : 22-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business



This weekend a good friend  relayed stories to me about her days as a sales rep for a very exclusive line of shoes.  She loved that job. Had a blast at it and made great money. But it wasn’t always beer and skittles for her (as my mom likes to say).  My friend told me that the first six months rep’ing   for one particular line of shoes, she did not make ONE sale. Not one. And she busted her sweet derriere researching who the “buyers” were at various stores, getting the correct spelling and address for their names, writing them short sweet letters introducing herself and then following up with them the next week with an in-store visit.  She wooed and wooed and wooed. For one particular very high-end retailer, she even offered to work for free during their high-traffic sales weekend.  She even worked for them for free twice!  And finally, after six months all of her hard efforts paid off.  She got a call from the buyer telling her that they wanted to buy her shoes. My friend was very happy but the buyer continued on and said, “oh I don’t think you understand, they want to buy your shoes in several sizes and in every color you have available”.  My friend’s sale was the biggest sale that the company she was working for had ever made.  She found out a bit later that her company was actually considering firing her because she had not made a sale in six months.

I know my friend and I know that whatever job/career she gets into she puts every single molecule of her being into what she is doing.  She investigates, researches, takes action, takes action, takes action, learns from her mistakes, recalibrates and continues forward. She is a winner.  I trust the investment of  her time and effort because history has proven that it will pay off big dividends in the end.

She reminds me a whole lot of me (of course we are both Aries!!) because when we want something we are persistent and tenacious as hell.  We also believe in the excellence of our performance no matter what we are doing.  Have we both had to reckon with the demons of workaholism?  You betcha and we still believe it is important to always do your very best.  Because of how we are, we also recognize excellence in others and make it a point to let those people know when we can.  People in the service industry especially stand out.  I’m a Starbuck’s aholic and frequent several of the SB’s in and around where I live.  I love so many of the baristas because they are all individuals, professional, polite and kind along with a little sprinkle of their own personalities mixed in.  A culture that creates individuals who thrive working in it like that is bound for success.  No matter who you are or what you do for a living, other people are watching you and making notes in their heads, albeit unconsciously sometimes.  You can make a difference just by being you and doing the best you can.

How has persistence worked for you?


Persistence of the Snails!

NEXT032 When The Still Small Voice Inside Isn’t Either

Posted on : 16-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Communication


In coaching, religion, therapy and other self-help modalities you will often be encouraged to listen to the still small voice within you.  For many of us, to get to that still small voice is like running through the dark alleys of a very fast moving and sophisticated city (as in one of my fav sci-fi movies, “Blade Runner”).  There are other louder voices that are constantly moving us towards our fears and away from the truth that we have to navigate over and through before we can sidle up quietly to hear that still small voice within.  For many of us though, we have to simply take it on the faith of others who say they have heard (and often listen to) that still small voice—that someday we too will be able to hear it.    Loosely using the framework of the 12-steps of AA, here are some steps I’ve taken to evolve the voices to one still small voice:

  1. The first step to getting to the still small voice is to admit that there is a cacophony of noises that I’ve/you’ve/we’ve  allowed to get in the way.
  2. The second step is to believe that that is a still small voice within all of us.
  3. Reach out for help whether it be from a trusted friend, family member, clergy member, psychologist, mentor, etc. — someone who can help you navigate through the bramble.
  4. Document what you are noticing about the voice or voices in your head.  One of the Founder’s of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Richard Bandler has many books and CDs that teaches you how to work with the voices in your head that you want to transform.
  5. Find someone you trust who you can share what you’ve discovered about the voices in your head and how you want to be able to hear the still small voice within.
  6. Resolve to take consecrated action towards training your brain how to direct its attention away from the committee of unhelpful voices by focusing on the positive truths that you know.
  7. Keep asking for help in getting your thoughts in alignment with how you want your mind to be. (I don’t know about you, but I want a nice place to hang out!)

For me it has taken concentration, focus, tenacity, patience, trust, trust  and more trust to weed out the voices that no longer serve my mind.  I’m sure at some point in my life these voices probably had to be REALLY LOUD to get my attention so that I wouldn’t harm myself or others but I’ve grown up quite a lot since then and am capable and willing of taking responsibility for the thoughts that ramble through my brain.

You can do this too if you’re willing to take one small step towards trusting that it is possible for you!



NEXT028 Go for Being Unrealistic!

Posted on : 13-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Leadership

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My good friend Kat posted an awesome video about the actor Will Smith which is very inspiring to me. Among the things Will talks about is that being unrealistic is okay if not an ideal to really go for!  As I swam my mile laps this afternoon I thought about what it meant to be unrealistic and what Will was trying to communicate to us about not setting limits on ourselves about what we can accomplish.

It occurred to me as I was swimming and thinking (135 laps gives you plenty of time to mull things over!) that I had many people to be grateful for pushing past what was unrealistic.  Take the pool I swim in for example! We bought our home 15 years ago pretty much because of the pool.  It’s not a little kidney shaped pool….it’s nice and long and conducive for swimming many laps.  I would imagine that the people who built it had to have been told how unrealistic it was to even build a pool (“you’ll never make the money back on what you put into it”….) much less the kind of pool they built for swimmers. But boy am I glad they did!

During Will Smith’s video montage he talks about working and focusing hard on what you want in your life.  As he was talking to the host he used the example of each of them getting on treadmill’s  and that either the host would get off first or Will would die trying to be the last one off.  I so understand that kind of  drive and mentality.  I couldn’t say that I’ve applied that kind of desire to my coaching in a traditional way, meaning I’m not going to bowl everyone over who I think is in my path and keeping me from being the best Coach ever.  But I do have a drive to attract a specific kind of client—the kind who has already done a lot of growth work on themselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically and who wants to dive in deep to get the most out of coaching they can.  In a way, my usual hard-headed, unrealistic approach to the kind of work I enjoy doing has allowed me to carve out a pretty nice life for myself.  I’m not driving around in a fancy car or wearing designer threads all the time but I am directing all my decisions and actions towards being able to live and work in a way that is more in alignment with who I am.  Let’s face it, having my dogs curled around the edge of my chair while I type this is much more preferable to me than driving to a beautiful office up in the sky everyday.  Not that I don’t appreciate the beauty and excitement of an office like that, but having my home office, dogs and sometimes husband around me stirs my creative juices like no other place I’ve ever worked.

How will you go beyond the unrealistic today?  Have you already been going for it and if you have, tell us how?!

NEXT023 What Do You Think of When You Hear “Salesperson?”

Posted on : 07-08-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Business, Career Stuff, Communication



What comes to my mind immediately when I hear salesperson is  straight  out of a 60’s sitcom TV land where the salesperson is a cross between one of Samantha Stevens’ relatives and right  out of a Maytag storefront from Mayberry RFD. They’re someone who is wearing some form of all over checkers, snapping their fingers and popping their gum.  They have  slicked back hair in some style or fashion to give the overall feeling of a schlemiel and whose main objective  in life is to get the most out of you that they can for whatever product or service they are selling.  These characteristics have been baked in mind over many decades!

Fast forward to the end of the 90’s and the 2000’s when I found myself recruiting technical architects, developers, project managers from all across the globe.  Imagine my surprise when I learned from one of the consultants we’d hired that from their perspective  recruiters a.k.a. head hunters were as close to used car salesman as they could get.  That’s not how I saw myself at all and I spent a decade helping to create a team of recruiters who earned the reputation as someone who cared about the people who we worked for (our company, the consultants as well as the clients) and that we were looking out for their best interests—not just our own.

I left my tenure as a technical recruiter to pursue my calling as a Professional Life Coach. Along the way I’ve been writing and blogging as well as producing, writing, and hosting a web-based internet show (Hope42Day).  During these past few years I’ve heard many things from friends and family as they try to pin down what it is a do and how I do it well from “Lynn you’re a great writer, you’re a great interviewer to you’re great at inspiring people’. The one aspect/skill that has come up time and time again whether it’s by professional assessments or personal opinions is that I’m a great salesperson.

WHAT?  Me?! But I don’t even slick back my hair and I don’t own anything checkered how could this be?!

You may have heard over the course of your life that the Divine/God/Higher Power/Energy that flows all around us has a great sense of humor.  I seem to attract this into my life so naturally falling into the opportunity to sell a product for a good friend is of special hilarity I’m sure!   I so love the lighting fixtures that my friend sells and believe in the hard effort that she has put into creating this product that I naturally have found myself talking about it in an enthusiastic way to anyone who will give me the time.  It wasn’t until I told my friend about a conversation that  I had with the store owner of a very upscale furniture/design place that she offered to pay me commission for any connections that end up as sales for her product.  Being the networker that I am, I immediately set up a meeting with the decision makers of a company who I just know could use her product.  Next week I’m meeting with my friend and her team to learn even more about her product and where I can make presentations about it.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I am a Life/Executive Coach first, blogger and interviewer second and somewhere in and out of these I am informing people about my friend’s products.

Okay, I’m a salesperson.  And I’m having to get over my own bias of what a shyster that a salesperson can be to realize that is not who I am.  Slowly I’m recalling some of the true salespeople I’ve known in my life, whose career was 100% sales and I’m realizing that I’ve actually known some really good, kind, honest people who happened to sell a product or service—I just hadn’t thought of them as being a salesperson.  I thought of them as being more a relater of important information for me to make the best decision.

So if we run into each other out on the streets when you’re with a friend, you may introduce me as someone who is a Coach, Writer and Broadcaster. You can also tell them that I’m very enthusiastic about a lighting product that I can tell them more about if they’re interested but please, please, please don’t call me a salesperson!!