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DT’s Tower: A Team Without A Supporter

We don’t live in an ideal world do we?  On paper (and the Talent Dynamics square) it would seem to be a simple matter of getting a Supporter to lead your team productively, ensuring everyone was doing the things they most enjoyed, inspiring them and delegating new tasks effectively.

So what happens when there is no Supporter, not even as a secondary profile?  If the Supporter is the natural team leader, with their focus on people and relationships, its opposite profile, the Lord (with a focus on spreadsheets and structure) must be seen as the worst team leader. Right?

A Lord leading Creators

As I’ve mentioned previously… I’m a Lord (and yes, spreadsheets, flowcharts and numbers is where my mind naturally goes) and I lead a team of Creators.  Not a Supporter in sight but as a team we work well together and certainly find our flow. Structurally and creatively 🙂

This has got me thinking about how this works and what can be learned from it.  A core principle of Talent Dynamics is that the path to Flow is based on your natural talents.  What comes easily to you.  And by layering different talents together in a team you should be able to cover all potential situations.

Change What You Do, Not Who You Are

So the answer to the Lord leading a team isn’t by acting as a Supporter.  That takes me right out of Flow.  What puts me into Flow is information and structure.  So this is how I can help the team, I can effortlessly shape and relay the information so the Creators can concentrate on creating what is needed as efficiently and as accurately as possible.  Where Creators might float around a bit(!) working out what needs to be done, who needs to do it and by when I can help impose a structure (but not too much… they are Creators after all) that helps provide boundaries through organisation and project management.

Yet that is not all that the team needs.  And this is where there have been struggles.  Creators crave significance.  They don’t (always) need their ego stroking but they do need to feel that what they are doing has an impact.  As a Lord, heavy on the detail and big on the numbers I can lack the warmth of a Supporter (read: my highest praise is a nod of satisfaction with a bullet point list of feedback on what could be improved) so I needed to think hard on how to ensure the team gets what they need.

A Final Challenge

I’m still working on it! (I am a Lord after all) What I have come up with so far is to ensure that each team member has their own ‘area’,  a little fiefdom where they can take the action that they feel needs to be taken (using their initiative to best effect) and can immediately see the benefits of what they are doing (boosting their significance).

Yet Creators can often leave chaos in their wake, so I lean on my high Tempo energy to ensure that they know they can talk to me (one to one obviously) and together we can fix the problem in the long term (they’ll have already jury rigged something) and I can tweak the detail to ensure it isn’t likely to happen again.

A final thing that I am trying to do is lean on my Steel energy to tell ‘the story of the numbers’ behind their actions.  Using quirky visuals and plenty of colour they will be able to see what they are doing is having a significant impact and give them ideas of what can be done next (without boring them with black and white figures).  Thus starting the cycle again.

I just have to try hard to ignore their desks…

😀

Featured image courtesy of Glenn Pebley


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DT’s Tower: Steel Margins

“Uh oh!  A Lord is going to be talking about profit margins” *run away*

Those aren’t the kinds of margins that I’ve been thinking about this month (honestly!). What I’ve been thinking about mostly are ‘margins of error’.

Nobody’s Perfect

It is a fact that none of us are perfect (sorry to break that to you).  I have yet to find anyone who has not confessed at some point in their life that they have made a mistake or things haven’t gone as planned.  In fact most of the interesting stories and the biggest learning come from when things don’t go right. 🙂

I’d also argue that the majority of us, regardless of profile, have a degree of perfectionism about us.

Perfectionism… A Friend of Procrastination

From what I’ve been thinking there are two reasons for perfectionism.

The first is about the desire to get things right.  This is most clearly evident in the Dynamo profiles of Mechanic, Creator and Star.  Intuitively they know that something isn’t quite right and like having an itch they can’t scratch they can delay doing anything until they get it right.

From the Mechanic wanting to ensure every little detail is perfect to the Star who insists that something doesn’t look right.  The problem they often encounter is because the source of their perfectionism is intuition they can’t easily explain or identify what is wrong.  They just ‘know’.

The second reason for perfectionism is insecurity.  This is the area of the Tempos, the Deal Makers, Traders and Accumulators.  Likely they will have a (full) list of points drawn that they will work through.  Unless a time limit is imposed it is likely that they will keep finding fault and making small ‘tweaks’.

Obviously both types of perfectionism isn’t good in order to get things done.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a Lord so I can appreciate the drive for perfectionism.

The devil is in the detail after all!

Delegation and Margins of Error

So are Blaze profiles guilty of perfectionism?  Well, they can be but as their talent is people they generally know the right people to get things done (and they are the ones who are usually perfectionists).  When they give feedback they can oscillate between Dynamo ‘doesn’t look right but I can’t put my finger on it’ or Tempo ‘here is a list’.

Now we come to the Steel profiles.  And an interesting thing happens, I think.  I have been accused of perfectionism.  I have also been accused of pragmatism.  Now both can’t be right can they?  What I have realised in terms of thinking about the way I look at it is that I never expect 100% (I might desire it but I know reality gets in the way most of the time).  I do sometimes oscillate between ‘something not right’ and ‘the list’.  Yet, in order to resolve either of these quandaries there is the margin of error.

So, for me, there is an acceptable margin of error.  That can shift depending on what is being worked on but I’d give it a range between 80% – 99%.

I don’t stick my finger in the air and go I’m in a 99% mood today but rather it is based on several variables:

1. How much time is left before planned completion?

2. Is there flexibility in terms of time after completion to improve?

3. How serious is the margin of error?  A seatbelt with a 20% margin of error is a bit different from a business card with a 20% margin of error 😀

It annoys the HELL out of the Dynamos I work with and confuses the Tempos no end.

Yet ultimately, this margin of error allows for decisive decisions and getting things done.

Do you have margins of error?  Or are you a perfectionist?


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A Profiling Workshop – Sysmex Middle East’s Story

Saad Kayali, the Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East, a subsidiary of Sysmex Europe GmbH, had his Talent Dynamics profile done and liked the results so much he asked Susan Castle, Performance Coach & Flow Consultant, to do the same for the entire top level of his company!

There were six managers at this level:

  1. the Managing Director,
  2. the Marketing Director,
  3. the Logistics Director,
  4. the HR Director,
  5. the Sales Director
  6. the Operations Director.

As global leaders in vitro diagnostics and automation services, the managers seemed to have no immediate issues. All communicated well with each other and as a team were seamless.

Uncovering Issues

The issue was they tended to focus on areas they knew they were brilliant at – for example the conception of ideas, but they had blind spots in other areas, i.e. putting things into action.

On completion of their individual Talent Dynamics profiles the explanation became obvious.

Out of the six people on the team, four were Mechanics including Saad, one was a Lord and the other was a Creator profile.

This lack of Blaze and Tempo energy explained why they were good at brainstorming, but not so strong at following through. They were very tunnel focussed and tended not to go for bigger targets those with a more Blaze energy would instinctively do.

Talent Dynamics Workshop

Saad then asked Susan to run a leadership development training session to decide what changes, if any, needed to be made to their management set-up.

“I wanted the Heads of Departments to understand their own profiles, master their own talents as well as ensure that these talents are put into good use for the team and the company. Having a team that is well-honed and performing at their best can only be good for business.”

During the workshop they looked at what was stopping them from setting bolder financial targets. Was it a Dynamo, Tempo, Blaze or Steel problem? The managers ended up with about 30 or 40 different things blocking them.

After narrowing down these blocks further, the underlying core issue became apparent:

the truth was there was no one in that room with the specific kind of business power or ability to deal with Blaze or Tempo challenges.

What Kind of Energy Are You Missing From Your Team?

Each of the directors left the workshop motivated and full of clarity. They had a deeper understanding of what was stopping them from achieving higher targets and more importantly, who to go to in order to solve any issues and help achieve these new goals.

Susan says, “Sysmex found, through the test, that the management roles fitted them quite well but the workshop helped them to leverage these strengths by highlighting them and showing them how they could be leveraged to improve team communication and performance while reducing stress.”

Saad is now planning another workshop for the next level of management in the Sysmex team and we’ll keep you posted on how much of a difference this one also makes!

 “I think Talent Dynamics is a great opportunity to maximize the harmony within the team, to get the needed group mindset and perspectives of “what else we can do”; and thus develop a healthy change culture, opting always to challenge our own achievements and parameters to yield further milestones in the journey of success.”  – – Saad Kayali, Managing Director of Sysmex Middle East


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Osmaan’s Observations: Are You Admiring the Wrong People?

By Osmaan Sharif – Rapid Transformation

Do you ever look at other people and think, ‘gosh I wish I was more like them!’, as they seem to have their ‘stuff’ together and are getting amazing results?

Then you start believing, that if only you could think and act like them, then you’d also have similar successes?

So you start ‘modelling’ them but it just doesn’t feel right – (like it would if you were squeezing yourself into someone else’s underwear (yuck!).

Then you start to saying not so nice things to yourself & putting yourself down, because surely it’s down to YOU and how you’re not as good as them – so why even bother?

Sound familiar to you? 

Well, here’s the thing …. maybe it’s because you’re admiring the wrong type of person for you?

I’m a firm believer that we can learn from other people around us – whether that’s famous folks; colleagues; managers; leaders or even our close relations – but you’ve got to be super choosey when it comes to it!

Its important knowing what your talents are.  Because it means that you can do more of what you’re good at & enjoy – BINGO!  

Sounds simple doesn’t it, but really how much time do you actually spend at ‘work’ doing the things that float your boat?

Talent Dynamics Profiles

From the world of Talent Dynamics, which I share with my clients – it quickly shows how there are 8 different ‘types’ of people – who each bring different things to the party (a.k.a. your business or team).  Each with their unique ways of thinking; communicating; feeling and doing things.  The cool thing is that each of the 8 different profiles are needed to makes the world function and go around.

But here’s the thing … each of the 8 types of people ‘see’ things differently from one another!

It’s all well and good modelling those who are some steps ahead of you in your business or career – or have a particular skills that would be really useful for you …. BUT ONLY IF THEY ARE THE SAME TYPE OF PERSON AS YOU (sorry for shouting but that’s super important!)

Let me put it another way – if you were in a 8 piece band and you played the guitar … but wanted to up your game.  Then go and learn from another guitar player who’s in a band – rather than the drummer!

Follow Your Flow

“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.  Follow your flow.” – Roger James Hamilton

For example, in my case, I’m a Trader profile in Talent Dynamics – which is the complete opposite from a Creator profile.  That means that even though I think the late Steve Jobs was super cool because he came up with amazing new innovative ideas, because he’s a Creator – even if I was to put some of his best strategies in place – for me they just wouldn’t connect as well as they would for other Creators out there.

Instead though, if I focused upon some of the things other Traders do, like Sir Alan Sugar, then that would help me to grow, develop & continue to get even better results.

I’m not saying that the other 7 profiles aren’t relevant to you (or me) in our ‘work’ but there may be other people out there in your team (or associates), who you could enlist to help with those parts.

That way they’ll be getting to play the ‘instrument’ that they’re a master of and you get to play your ‘instrument’ and you can make sweet music together (… I think I’ve been listening to far too much music while typing this …)

So enjoy getting to know YOU even more & then choosing more people who are like YOU to admire & learn from – as this is key for you to both LOVE what you do & get amazing results in your working life.

I look forward to sharing even more with you next time and until then bye for now.

This blog was originally posted on Os’ own site Rapid Transformation

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Clelia Serpico


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Nicci’s Call: Trusted Sales at the Trust Conference

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

“Trust” and “selling” are not always concepts that go hand in hand in people’s minds. For that reason I was gratified that my talk “Trusted Sales: People to People Selling” at the recent Trust Conference was packed out.

Also, nearly everyone in the room gave me their contact details to get the free report I had prepared for the event. Anyone who has done a talk or an exhibition stand will know how difficult it is these days for people to give up their contact details.

For the past year I have been researching the ways the 8 Talent Dynamics profiles have success in sales, have blocks in selling and therefore how I can help them be more successful.  I’ve shared some of this in my blogs here along the way.

Based on this, here is the 3 step plan to win better business that I shared with the room on 11th September.

1. Establish the Sales Dynamics profiles of your sales team (or at least yourself)

I have looked at many sales cycles adopted by different companies and found the common activities and sales skills match the 8 Talent Dynamics profiles (See above).  As a result, the  Talent Dynamic for Sales Reports (available later this year) show the strengths and challenges of each profile as a sales person, their best role in the Sales Cycle and the value they give to the sales team and the client.

Knowing your own Sales Profile gives you confidence and insights into how you can add value to the client as a salesperson.

For example, a Trader is great at resolving problems, at giving excellent customer service so is well suited to incoming inquiries and complaints that other profiles with less patience would not handle well.

Whereas a Creator sales person is best with new clients, spotting opportunities and helping the client come up with new joint ideas for growing their business, that others hadn’t thought of before.

2. Place the sales team members in the role they are best suited to within the sales cycle

A sales team full of Stars will generate a lot of interest but may leave sales on the table through lack of follow up, for example.

Some salespeople may be pretending to be a Star as feel that is a “typical” attribute of a salesperson when in fact their true Accumulator profile is just what the team needs to do the planning, research and put together competitive tenders. So once the Sales team has completed their profiles, we can help them fulfil their potential by placing them in the right role for them in the sales team.

3. Focus on your clients

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the most important thing in trusted selling is to put the client first.   Imagine the power of Talent Dynamics for Sales in creating better relationships and better understanding between buyers and sellers, so not only do you understand your own strengths , challenges and value as a sales person but you understand what drives your buyers to buy.

I didn’t have time to cover as much as I wanted on this aspect, so I’ve put a free Sales Success report together for you that you can implement ideas from immediately. If you missed the session and would like a copy you can get it from http://trustedsalesdynamics.com/resources/e-guides/

I am  passionate about making sales a trusted profession, making people feel proud to be a salesperson and I was gratified that so many people at the Trust Conference felt the same and wanted to be part of the Trusted Sales  Movement.


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Work Ready Program Does It Again! TDYP

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

Thanks to the wonderful generosity and sponsorship from two Swindon-based companies, The Brunel Shopping Centre and Thirdline IT, we ran our second Work Ready Program in July in Swindon. The Brunel donated their board room for the event which meant that once again, our young people had to show up to a place of work. The deal for them was:

a. Show up looking like you are coming to work

b. Show up at 8.45am to start at 9am

c. Present youself politely at reception

d. Play full out for 2 days

e. Have fun 😀

What Happened

10 young people showed up before time to start on time and looking smart (yayy!! – first outcome achieved!)

To break the ice a little we had fun in teams with rope and as you can see is IS possible to tie a bow with everyone working together and NOT taking their hands off the rope at any time during the process 😀

Then to introductions…which…predictably were short and sweet as they struggled to find anything good to say about themselves.

Next….the MAGIC begins…….we get out all of the blocks to employment that they think they face and using the profiles we explore who they really are:

a. As an individual

b. As a leader

c. As a team member

d. The things that they are naturally great at

e. The things that will challenge them

f. What they bring to an employer

g. How AMAZING they are 😀

Seeing these 10 young people transform before your eyes is truly breath taking, inspiring and mind-blowing! From nothing to say about their strengths on day 1 to each doing a 5 mini presentation about themselves on day 2 – they’re like different people!

Results

A young man with a speech impediment who has been bullied because of it and hardly says a word stands up and tells the world who he is with such clarity and confidence that even he is amazed and immediately asks if he can do it again! Incredible!

Next the opportunity to put to put insight in to action as they take part in a business challenge and work together to provide a solution and present back to the group.

Finally the blocks disappear as they realise that what they thought were obstacles are no longer going to stop them and as the barriers go down the possibilities go up and mentors are chosen to continue them on their journey.

Work Ready

Work Ready also launched in Australia in July and as soon as I have the pics and the news I’ll be sharing that event with you. In August Work Ready will be run in Milton Keynes with Cassie Footman, in September in Swindon with Rachel O’Kennedy and also in September in Blackpool with myself .

If you want to know more about running programs where you are then please get in touch with me teejay@backontrackteens.com and let’s connect to see how we help make that real 😀

Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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Nicci’s Call: What is Blocking your Flow of Sales?

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

Probably you!

I work with a lot of people who are great at what they do, have fabulous products or services to offer and have had a degree of success at the start of their business but for different reasons the number of new clients are drying up, they are not growing the business or getting the level of sales or income they feel they deserve and….. they are worried about being perceived as pushy or desperate if they were to make concerted sales efforts!

But today, people to people selling is not about manipulating or pushing people into buying things they may not need or want. It’s much more about connecting with people, understanding them and finding a fit. A much more informative and enjoyable experience for both parties.

There are three basic pre-requisites to being successful at selling which are open to ALL profile types:

  1. Believing in your services, products and yourself
  2. Understanding and caring about your prospects
  3. Being able to communicate what you sell to your target audience in a value-driven way to solve their problems.

This month’s blog will focus on the first of these.

Self Belief

If you’ve been thinking that sales has become more challenging, you’re right.

The basics are pretty much the same, but today’s business environment is more dynamic than ever. The competition is bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter than ever, and your clients are more educated, as well.

They are searching for information by themselves, and looking to salespeople not to show them different marketing materials and list features and benefits, but to understand their wants, needs, and business concerns from the customers’ perspective.

It is time to use an approach tailored to this new market, and for that you need a new skill set that combines sales skills, persuasion, psychology, and a good understanding of Talent Dynamics.

The Talent Dynamics report we have for ourselves is a great source of comfort – permission to be ourselves, identifying our talents and value to others but sometimes we need reminding of that and how to use that information to make more sales.

The Creator profile is great at spotting opportunities, of creating products, services and programmes that are innovative, unique and compelling. They can make recommendations that their clients will listen to and follow as they are trusted experts and can help the clients solve their problems.

Once a Creator remembers that and puts the client first – the client that needs these programmes – and not their own ego or fear of rejection then they make valued and trusted salespeople that the clients are attracted to.

The Creator (you’ll recognise her in the video below) has a fantastic service and product that she truly believed in and is really passionate about helping young people but there was something blocking her that was stopping her getting as much success as she deserved.

The block was herself – her fear of failure, of rejection of coming across as a pushy salesperson which would damage the credibility of what she was doing.  Once she remembered her talents and skills as a Creator and that her mission to help others was more important than her fear of rejection she was back in flow.

So if you are not getting the sales you deserve, start by looking in the mirror and really understanding yourself and believing in what you have to offer.

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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SATs, Maths and Theme Parks! Talent Dynamics for Young People

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

I love this story told to me this week by one of our Talent Dynamics for Young People consultants as we were catching up together a year after she trained to use the profiles.

Fabia’s Story

After training in using Talent Dynamics for Young People, the first person Nicci profiled and debriefed was her daughter, Fabia,  who at that time was just going in to year 6 at school an important year for her as her SAT’s  (Standard Assessment Tests) would be taken at the end of year 6.

Their grades were predicted at the start of the year and Nicci was concerned that her daughter didn’t particularly like maths and therefore was not as good at it as she was in other subjects so, as any concerned and conscientious parent would, a maths teacher was employed to ensure the best results at the end of the year.

Nicci shared her daughter’s profile with the new Tutor to give her a new and additional insight in to who Fabia is and, as a Creator profile, show that she has a great imagination, loves to think in pictures and make up stories. Fabia and her Maths Tutor put this gift to work in their lessons together and instead of  concentrating on the instant ‘calculate these numbers quickly in your head’ type maths they played with applied maths.

Theme Parks!

Throughout the year they turned the maths questions in to stories of Theme Parks with numbers of people on the rides and the prices of the tickets, roller coasters and dodgems and how many hot dogs and fizzy drinks would that be and really made the numbers come to life in all kinds of creative situations. So much more fun!

But what about the grades?

Results

Well – this is really the impressive bit. At the end of the year with her tutor and their engaging sessions Fabia increased her predicted grade in maths by FOUR grades! Now that is what I call a result for Talent Dynamics for Young People and especially for Fabia!

Haha! I wished I’d had that insight when I was younger, I wonder how much more fun chemistry could have become? 🙂

Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


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Putting Talent Dynamics to Work in Small Business – Louise & Susie’s Stories

By Osmaan Sharif

I run an online Talent Dynamics Programme for small business owners and I thought I’d share a couple of their stories.

Louise runs Little House Life Therapies, and had an idea of how a business ‘should’ be run.  The thing is she seemed to spend so much time focusing on those details, that she couldn’t easily see where she wanted to take her business.

Susie, of Mildred Jones, knew what her Talent Dynamic’s profile was, but didn’t fully understand how to apply it to her business, and had even begun to question whether that was her true profile.

As they worked through the programme, Louise and Susie put Talent Dynamics to work in their businesses.

Louise, a Creator’s Story

Louise profiled as a Creator and began to understand why the business model she’d been using was getting in the way of her building a business she loved.

“I discovered that I am a lot more creative than I thought, and that I am easily distracted by ‘boring and technical’ things.  Knowing this helped me structure a business model that gets the boring stuff done while focusing on the bigger picture.”

As well as her new way of working, Louise has been able to figure out where to focus her energies in order to stay in flow and have a more successful business.

“I’ve been able to let go of ideas and resources that aren’t congruent with what I truly want to do.  My background in coaching doesn’t restrict me to 1:1 sessions and I am taking a whole new approach to my initial training.  This has been a very liberating discovery, and has enabled me to look even deeper into where I truly am in Flow. ”

Susie, a Trader’s Story

Having initially found it difficult to relate her Trader profile to her fine jewellery design business, Susie finally saw how her profile made sense.

“I am a Trader after all, albeit one with creativity, and that’s a really good mix.  While I sell a physical product, I actually provide a service, and by focusing on that I can really differentiate myself.”

The more Susie understood what got her into flow, the more she realised how much easier building her business could be; especially when it comes to marketing it.

“I get it much more now about the strengths I have in building relationships, listening to what people want, and providing it.  I’ve already been asking more insightful questions on my Facebook Page, which is generating great engagement and getting priceless information about my ideal customer.”

Louise and Susie are just two of the small business owners who benefit from using Talent Dynamics in their business, and I can’t wait to see what they use their new tools to build.


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Osmaan’s Observations: Opposites Attract

I’ve heard the saying ‘opposites attract’ when it comes to finding that special ‘one’, who you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.   But the same is also so true for me when it comes to my clients.

As I looked through my schedule for the week ahead, it struck me just how many of my current small business coaching clients are Creators and Stars!

To a Trader like me it could seem like they are from a far away planet.

The way they naturally think and act is so different from me.  But instead I truly get a buzz from working closely with them.

Dynamo Buzz

It’s because we are like ‘ying’ & ‘yang’.

They’re super innovative and always have so many ideas of what they could do.

I love seeing their reaction when ask I ask them – “when are you going to do it by?’ – it’s like I’ve sworn at them at times.

Instead of standing at the top of the ‘skyscraper’; admiring the view from there and thinking about all the potentials that are out there, Traders like to be at ground level and are very practical minded.

Typically if left to their own devices or without super self-discipline, a Creator or Star’s amazing visions can remain as an idea before the next spark of inspiration hits them (& then the next).

But you can’t really take an ‘idea’ to the bank to get cashed, can you now?

Tempo Reality

So I love helping these talented individuals to take their ideas and do some real stuff with them, so they have a greater chance of happening.

“Yes sometimes it can feel less ‘fun’ for them when they’re having to focus upon the nitty-gritty planning and execution stages. The same can be said for me, when given a blank piece of paper and attempting to come up the next new or novel idea!”

However, when you remember that we don’t have to do it all ourselves and that we use each other’s talents, then things can really start flowing more easily.  And that’s where the real magic is, as when you help other people to get into flow – they help you get into flow too!

What else could you ask for?


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