Alignment and balancing.

For cars, the alignment and balancing maintenance is necessary when the car starts to pull down towards one direction, when at a certain speed it starts vibrating or when you notice an uneven wear out of the wheels.

I think something similar happens to people. You know its time to take corrective actions in your life when you feel your path is going on a different direction than where you want to go; or when, because of the speed at which you are living, you stop vibrating or when your body and mind start to wear you down.

I’m sure all of us, at some point in our lives, maybe even repeatedly, have felt at least one of these three symptoms. What I am not sure though is how fast are we to correct or better yet prevent these problems.

We are always so busy managing our overloaded calendar, trying to be in everybody’s good grace, looking forward to our next promotion, our next salary increase, the annual bonus, the closing of a deal, achieving the quarterly quota, getting public recognition as a great professional; or even in our personal lives, trying to be father of the year, the world’s greatest partner, the splendid host, the great advisor and most reached out friend, etc.

So much in fact, that we completely forget about making time for ourselves, and so our body screams out loud! We become aware of our wear out and we get sick: back spasms, colds for no apparent reason, gastritis and lack of sleep. The projects that once filled us with pride and excitement suddenly feel like a prison and we stop vibrating. We realize that at some point down the road, we took a downturn.

And then we face the awkward and uncomfortable moment of “choosing”. That is, we come up to the point where we have to stop and reconsider the direction our life has taken. We have to evaluate whether we are on the right track and at the pace that feels right or if we are just following the noise that leads masses into indecision.

So its time to have our alignment and balancing and ask us:

  • Is what I am doing today aligned with the principles and interests I value the most?
  • Which of all the things I do, really makes me vibrate?
  • Am I clear about where I want to go and how I want to live my life? And not in a few years, but now.
  • Will the path I am currently in, even if it’s another stepping stone; will take me in the right direction?

It’s time to turn the wheels around, realign our direction and balance our life.

Picture credit: MILINTOC


Interview with Joseph Jaffe part 1

Well, a promise is a promise, so here it is, the interview I did last week to Joseph Jaffe last week.

Truth be told, the ilumination in the video is not the best, but the content of it, the conversation we had, is really worth it!

And I promise to improve the videos for the next interviews I'll be doing in the up coming weeks.

By the way, I want to thank everybody who participated by sending me the questions they would like to ask Joseph, specially Hebert Hernandez who helped me record the interview.

Now, enjoy the interview! And remember, you can watch the rest of the it in my YouTube Channel.

And don't forgtet to follow Joe in Twitter, visit his YouTube channel JaffeJuice TV or read his blog.



What are you feeding yourself with?

Twitts, status updates in FaceBook, MySpace or Orkut, videos posted in YouTube and comments around those; among others, key factors that have changed the way we consume the information around us.

It has never been so easy to connect with so many sources of information at the same time and find out even that a “friend” is doing in Paris.

Incredible! Genious! Or not?

It’s just that at the same time we have turned into professional vouyerists capable of absorbing everything our “followers” and “friends” are doing, we’ve allowed all that disinformation to occupy the important space that we previously allocated to learning.
I know dozens of people, including myself, who have been substituting books and blogs with microblogging and status updates, saturating ourselves with not always useful information.

With this of course, I do not mean that we should give up on Twitter or FaceBook and whatever social network you are in to. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am and avid user of these platforms and I don’t intend to stop.

That said, what my intention is though, is start to nurture my mind with useful information once again. Spend less time reading empty twits and dedicate more time to those persons who really bring something to the conversation. I mean, unless we have a previous, personal or professional relationship, the possibilities of me caring about you “having a giant hot dog” are pretty thin, none really. However if you have an experience, a lesson, an advice, an opinion or any type of information that offers real value, it won’t matter if I haven’t met you in all my life, I will surely be interested in what you have to say.

But this “information diet” is not only about limiting the time I spend participating in social networks; rather it is about increasing my consumption of blogs, forums and books (e-books too).

It’s about getting back to my old practice of filtering the information I let into my mind; it's about being selective and looking for ways to learn and grow.

A couple of years ago I decided I would not watch anymore news shows on TV nor would I listen to any on the radio or read any papers; that helped improve my mood and even helped me sleep better at night. Back then I chose to get my information from other sources like books, blogs and podcasts from real thought leaders, people who really want to collaborate with others. And so I started working on my blog roll and RSS Feeds from great personalities like Robin Sharma, Seth Godin, Joseph Jaffe or Mitch Joel.

Today I realized I’ve abandoned my blog roll for too long and it is time to start visiting it again!

Picture credit: Solstizio


5 tips to start building your social network

It’s a pretty common thing, we do it practically every day; we receive, accept and send invitations to connect with a lot of people (that we know in most cases) over various social networks like FaceBook, Twitter and Linkedin. But it is also common that we reject the invites from people we’ve never even heard of before, or worse that people we know but don’t really know us, reject our invitation to connect.

This is something that, because of the line of work I’m in I get to see frequently. Whenever I go to an event or conference, be it as a speaker, as part of the audience or backstage, I get to see the situation from the two perspectives the invitee and the person sending the invitation.

You see, when you go to these type of events its easy to meet very interesting people and exchange points of view if even for just a few minutes. When this happens, in the best case, you made an impact on the  person you wanted to meet and were able to get their contact information; and if you are good at following up, you’ll make sure to send a note to your new contact, the very next day, thanking her for the conversation and inviting her to connect at any given social network to continue your dialog.
But, If you are like most of us, you will most likely forget to do this and months later, when you stumble upon that person in a social network, you will try to add her to your network and expect that she remembers you as if you had been best friends in high school and open her door to you automatically.

Now, let’s be honest. Would you let any stranger that comes knocking down your door into your home? Then why do you expect people that doesn't know you to accept your invitation to be friends with you in FaceBook or recommend you in Linkedin?

You have to work hard at building your network.

Let’s face it, creating a network can be quite a challenge, even for the most popular people.
We were not borned knowing how to do it and the full use of social networks is still misunderstood.

That said, there are a few basic hints that can be very helpful when starting to build your social network:

  1. Participating in social networks, even though its very tempting, is not just about being popular. Rather it is about establishing valuable (both for you and your contacts) connections; and it isdefinitely easier to do add value to people with who you have something in common with. Look for people who share similar interests and values, don’t just try to connect for the sake of having a “larger network”.
  2. Don’t do “cold invites” this is the equivalent to the famous sales cold calls, and really, when have those really worked?
  3. Find your Dr Love. And I don’t mean the typical friend who is always looking to set you up with a blind date, but rather to find out which of your contacts already is friends with the person you want to connect with and ask them to introduce you. I’m sure they will be glad to do it. There is a reason why the six degrees of separation theory exists, do your research, find your cupid and ask them to share some love.
  4. Create your door opener and be part of the conversation. Business, especially those who  work on a B2B scheme have been doing direct mailings that gets their prospects to open the door to their sales folks for a long time and very successfully might I add.
    Twitter, trackbacks, comments sections in blogs and forums are great tools to do precisely this. Most of us who are sharing our content in the form of a blog, a tweet, a video in YouTube, etc. are not only open to feedback but we are actively looking forward to it.
    So, you want to connect with someone you don’t know? Search for their blog or podcast or their profile in Twitter, etc. Listen to what they say, digest it, form an opinion and share it with them. Add value to them, get yourself noticed by them and once you’ve established such a dialog, ask them to add you to their network.
  5. Become connectazible. Transform yourself into someone others want to connect with. Start your own conversation. We all have something to say, experiences to share and anecdotes to tell. Loose the fear and the excuse that no one is going to be interested in what you have to say. Actually, you’d be amazed at how many people share your interests. In a virtual world where there are over 1,300 billion people, I’m sure you can easily find a group of people who are as passionate as you about your subject of interest.

And just like my friend and blogger Phil Gerbyshak says: “Give first, before you ask”.

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.