3 BOLD Ways To Bring Your Best With Zest In Everyday Work & Life!

photo-120Have you ever thought about how the energy you bring impacts everyday situations in your Work and Life?

When it comes to success and happiness, bringing your best – with Zest – can become THE key differentiator – the One BOLD Thing – that sets you apart!

Do you ever think of the value of the energy you bring as, you know, where’s the *expertise* in that?

I used to. Not any more!

A very cool thing happened for me while speaking to inspire The BOLD! Factor®: Branding Your Best *!* With Confidence leading a client’s group to discover, develop and deliver exactly what you bring that sets you apart – so you can create more success:

I discovered the one thing that has set me apart my entire career (and it can set YOU apart, too!)  yet I’m not sure I ever realized the massive value of this ONE attribute: 

Energy.

Authentic. Real. Positive. Zestful Energy

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Here are a few ways I hold myself accountable for keeping my own brand of positive energy alive to set myself apart – and YES, these can work for you, and no doubt they already do!

3 BOLD WAYS TO BRING YOUR BEST WITH ZEST IN EVERYDAY WORK & LIFE!

1.  OWN IT. 

Success? It’s Up To You. Happiness? It’s Up To You. Bringing Your Best With Zest? It’s Up To YOU!

Want to build, maximize and sustain positive energy?

Hold yourself accountable for how you show up. Not just for the big stuff in life – and not just for the big meetings at work. Show Up in everyday work and life owning the energy you bring – taking responsibility for your impact – and you’ll never need to make another excuse when things don’t go your way.

Keeping it real: No one is on top of their game in every situation, every day. Relax. This is not about standing out in an obnoxious way. This is about bringing your best attitude, your own high expectation, and holding yourself accountable for what happens as a result. 

Not feeling your best? There are times rescheduling is smarter than dragging yourself thru it. And there will be times you’ll need to look in the mirror and remind yourself; Success? It’s Up To ME. And on that down day you pick an outfit that looks a whole lot better than you feel and get out there…

Show Up & Own It. And just like that you’re back on track, on top of your game!

2.  JETTISON WHAT YOU KNOW NO LONGER WORKS.

Ouch. I know. Jettisoning. It’s tough.

What exactly does it mean to jettison?

At The BOLD! Factor, I describe jettisoning as “eliminating what you already know no longer works”.

And yes, it’s tough.

And you know what’s tougher?

Living a life filled with commitments, situations, and/or people that no longer fit. UGH. I feel like I gained a few pounds of dead weight just thinking of carrying around all that non-essential baggage.

Keeping it real: There will always be work you must do, commitments you must keep, situations you must deal with, and people you must interact with. Get over it. That’s Life! Change what you can and the rest? That’s another discussion for another day.

It takes courage to jettison.

It take confidence to jettison with compassion.

You already know what works – it’s up to you to take action and let the rest go.

3.  BE A ROOKIE AGAIN.

Early in my career, I rose from Rookie to Executive in an industry where at first glance I didn’t seem to belong. It didn’t happen overnight – it took me 13 years to accomplish.

What kept my energy high and my success alive? Continually challenging myself in new situations. Yes, fear and all.

When it comes to Success & Happiness, experiencing a powerful jolt of Rookie-ism is good for us all!

Rookie has become one of my favorite words. And favorite roles.

Keeping it real: When it comes to sustaining positive energy, not everything we’re passionate about needs to become the work we do. In fact, I’m becoming more a *LOVE YOUR WORK* rather than *DO WORK YOU LOVE* because turning your passion into your work can render your passion, well, Poof! Evaporated! Has that ever happened to you? I digress… I get emails inviting me to pay big bucks for Rookie.com related domain names. No thank you, altho I do own a serious-hobby-level collection of domain names, TheBOLDFactor.com and AnnUlrich.com work for me ;)

Feeling accomplished?

The more accomplished we feel, the more we need to find or create a way to be a Rookie at something again – starting right where you’re at.

The Zest of being a Rookie again soon outweighs the angst of all that suddenly-unfamiliar territory.

When becoming a Rookie again is *their* choice for you (job loss, etc) and not your choice, what to do? Own it! See it as an opportunity to create success in a whole new way.

Let being a Rookie again help you be a better individual and a better leader – as you learn new, gain fresh perspective, build curiosity, embrace new situations and navigate unchartered territory in unfamiliar environments… with courage and confidence.

Being a Rookie again keeps us mindful, with empathy for others who face new, unexpected and challenging situations in everyday work and life.

Facing a Rookie challenge? Don’t get stressed out! Stress makes you old. What if being a Rookie again became YOUR secret weapon for feeling forever young

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photo-84YOUR TURN: 

How will you / How did you bring your best energy today?

And when you did…

What happened as a result?!

DO ONE BOLD THING.™  Bring Your Best With Zest & Set Yourself Apart!

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©1993-2015  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLDFACTOR®

Want more BOLD *!* inspiration like this?  Subscribe: AnnUlrich.com & Let’s Connect:  LinkedIn.com/in/AnnUlrich  Twitter.com/AnnUlrichBOLD  

PHOTO: GLASS SCULPTURE ARTIST CREDIT: Dale Chihuly. I loved taking pictures to capture scenes I come across in everyday life that in some way inspire me, and I love sharing them here with you. I came across this STUNNING floor to ceiling glass sculpture in the art museum when David and I took a weekend trip to Milwaukee. Oh my, this colorful ZEST-filled art surely inspires!

DO ONE BOLD THING™: The Non-Negotiable First Step To Owning Your CONFIDENCE.

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On a quick dash thru Neiman Marcus in downtown Minneapolis a few years ago, I stopped just long enough to snap this picture.

What caught my eye was not the cashmere sweater collection it promoted.

Instead, it flashed me back to exciting memories of my former career as professional plus-size runway model, garment fit model and agency owner – when I amassed a smile-inducing collection of mannequins and fashion fit forms.

I smiled, snapped this photo, and then it struck me:

What stopped me in my tracks was how this display portrayed SO many aspects of the business of life we each lead as professional women…

The rich, colorful tapestry we each weave in creating what becomes our life story – as we lead and live our work and life – in our own special way. Every stage. Every day.

The layers that complicate us – confine us – comfort us – challenge us – complete us?

Our many shades beyond grey.

In that complexity, I want to help bring clarity to the often-exciting, often-overwhelming realities of achieving Success. And Happiness. As you define each for yourself.

The key to Success? (and Happiness?)

Owning It… With CONFIDENCE.

Where to begin? Start here:

photo-84DO ONE BOLD THING™: THE NON-NEGOTIABLE FIRST STEP TO OWNING YOUR SUCCESS… WITH CONFIDENCE:

1.  SELECT YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS!

That’s it! THE often-overlooked first non-negotiable step: Achieving the Success & Happiness you crave begins with Selecting Yourself!

The tough thing about Success? It’s up to you.

The GREAT thing about Success? It’s Up To YOU!

SUCCESS? IT’S UP TO YOU.

Know What You Want. Laser-focus it. Name it. Courageously commit by making it non-negotiable. Grab a quick break and get in front of a mirror and self-talk-it if you need to.

Realize goals worth reaching – the goals you value – are rarely achieved in one-fell-swoop of BOLD Success. Success happens in a series of baby BOLD steps along the way – some forward, and yes, some back. Sometimes more back then forward.

Success is a choice you make. As is Happiness.

What matters is that YOU believe in YOU.

CONFIDENCE IS Believing In Yourself(!) even in that moment – especially in that moment – when it’s easier not to.

(Or why would anyone else believe in you, if you don’t believe in fabulous you? When YOU believe in you, others believe in you, too!)

Thinking this advice applies only for young professionals, early in our careers? Think again.

At every age and every stage of your work and life, to GET what you want you need to KNOW what you want.

Achieving what you want begins when you commit, when you OWN IT with CONFIDENCE … by Selecting Yourself For Success!

DO ONE BOLD THING:

Select Yourself For Success! 

OWN IT… WITH CONFIDENCE.

Achieve The Success (& Happiness) You Crave.

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© 1993-2014  Ann Ulrich, Owning It! at THE BOLD! FACTOR® Award-Winning Leader, Trusted Advisor & Women’s Empowerment Conference Speaker, Encouraging & Inspiring Women To Lead With CONFIDENCE.  AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:  I snapped this shot at Neiman Marcus, downtown Minneapolis (before NM left Mpls) as an inspiring reminder of the fit form collection I owned in my former career as professional plus-size model and agency owner – and how it applies in so many ways to the business of life for professional women… whose success & happiness I passionately champion at THE BOLD! FACTOR®.

Saying The Unsayable On Leading, Living, Loving Lasting Married Life

photo-41I’m at our cabin on my annual BOLD REV!VAL retreat. Me, myself, and I. Along with a few loons, eagles, critters, cloudy and then sunny breezes, and at least three bears, one stuffed.

Being married 34 years, I have a lot to say on this subject.

 

 

Why now? Because I am willing to say the unsayable when it helps someone get ahead – no longer giving a rat’s asterisk about playing it safe. If you’re reading my writing you are choosing to do so. You can click away. If you’re in a conference, you can step away – altho my clients will tell you in Keynoting their conferences I take great care to understand why I was hired to speak and I respect that responsibility and bring what it takes to thoughtfully inspire your new success! And to my knowledge, over many years, no one has ever walked out of my keynote.

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photo-5What I Know About Leading, Living, Loving & Lasting Marriage:

1.  In this, my 34th year being married to David, I know for a fact that the time comes again when you are/can be as passionately crazy in love as when you first met. 

2.  In order to love your life together, you have to first love yourself, your own life. No one hands this to you. You claim it. Own it. Cherish it as your own vow to yourself. Did I mention you first need to HAVE a life as you?

3.  The whole of your marriage is going to be as strong as your two pillars, each representing each of you. Marriages of one pillar, with one counting on the other to be your life, risk either tipping over or losing your grip, sinking in unexpected quicksand.

4.  You won’t find happiness in marriage if you can’t find happiness in yourself. Be aware when grass looks greener. Sure, we all make mistakes in our careers, landing work that is not really a right fit, eventually that gets straightened out. Having been fired, I’m pretty sure it’s easier to leave or be fired from not-right-fit work than it is to chase greener grass in marriage and deal with the realities of hurting someone you so deeply loved.

5.  There will be days you can’t stand each other. Just as there are days you can’t stand yourself.

6.  There will be times you are freaked out in fear of *this is my life*? Is this all there is?! Do an honest gut check: are you blaming someone else for your happiness? Owning your part in it? Hmmm. Thought so. How do I know? I’ve been there too.

7.  Keep friends of both sexes. You didn’t come into marriage with your husband/wife as your only friend – why would you stop being friends with others now? I have never enjoyed working with, and being friends with, all women as much as I enjoy working with, and being friends with, both men and women.

8.  If you choose to have kids you will no doubt wake up one day and realize your life has become *kids*. Don’t let it be a surprise when all you talk about any more is kids, their lives, their schedules, their needs, their futures, your friends’ kids… This is all part of your rich tapestry of married life you create together when you choose to have kids. At times, your kids will need to be your utmost top priority. And they deserve to be, and need you to be there for them. Our world needs parents to be there for growing kids, and to do so, our workplaces need to honor and help make work work for young and changing families(!) (We can all help by bringing new solutions, another topic for another day.) Trust this stage is not forever. Altho sometimes we all wish these cherished times could be.

9.  For Moms, remember being scared in the delivery room and then remembering your own Mom and your girlfriends who somehow made it through labor?? You too made it through. And together you’ll make it thru things that seem much tougher than this.

10.  For Dads, remember standing at that recently-assembled crib, now holding your real-life baby, scared to death if you will be able to afford college, much less day care?? You’ll have more financial concerns ahead. Talk it through. You’re not in this alone.

11.  For Couples, remember the first time you saw your husband/wife and what that felt like… and then fast forward to never expecting – never ever expecting a day when the bottom might fall out – for whatever b’gillion reasons bottoms fall out given the realities of everyday life (sheeshta, it’s amazing any of us make it thru!) when it just might suddenly hit you that you are no longer in love?

TWO WORDS OF BOLD ADVICE FOR YOU ON THIS ONE… DON’T STOP THERE. TRUST YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS BUILT ON MORE THAN THIS ONE DAY, THIS ONE FEELING, THIS ONE SITUATION, THIS ONE FRUSTRATION, THIS ONE REALITY OF LIFE… TALK IT THROUGH. IF NOT NOW THEN SOON. COMMUNICATE TOGETHER. GO FOR A WALK. BREATHE. AND BY ALL MEANS:  …KEEP GOING!

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Life changes and life keeps changing. Stages come and stages go. I believe in leading, living and loving Life, including Married Life, in Sequenced Stages.

The Sequenced Stages in Married Life look something like this: 

Engagement. / Wedding. / Dating Each Other, Married. / Careers. / Kids. Kids. Kids. / Empty Nest – which I prefer to refer to not as empty or nest – as tho life must be only about kids – rather as: / Dating Each Other Again, Married. / Grandparenting (I have not experienced this stage, and tho I know it is claimed to be magical, I am in no hurry to leave this current stage of Dating Each Other Again, Married as our two recently-married kids enjoy their current exciting stage of Dating Each Other, Married).

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THE BOLD! FACTOR®: YOUR EXCLAMATION POINT *!* MARRIED LIFE

IMG_1621Want To Lead, Live, Love YOUR Lasting Married Life?

!  Know who YOU are. 

!  Continue to grow as an INDIVIDUAL as you TOGETHER keep growing as a couple.

!  Keep something in your life you are PASSIONATE about. My Mom used to say there needs to be one thing in your life that is only yours. It does not involve your spouse or your work or your family or your friends. What could that be for you, that is only YOURS?

!  Encourage and Allow each other to TAKE TIME OFF, alone. You can’t work without breaks and vacations, why should married life be any different? Whether minutes or hours or days or weekends or – as mine has now grown to (in this 50-something stage of life) time claimed to get away and reflect, re-energize, learn something, create something, or do absolutely nothing – work or life. Claim it early on, so together you can find a way that this can work, based on realities of this stage of life, for both of you.

!  TRUST each other. Expect trust and grant trust. Trust is possibly the underlying KEY SECRET to a happy, lasting marriage. There are others, but this is huge. You’ve earned and granted trust in choosing each other. It’s up to you to keep it.

!  Allow your head to go to that at-times unthinkable place. GO AHEAD: Make your grandiose exit plan – at some time or another most of us have! And then stop and look at what you really have in each other. And then self-check whether you are blaming someone else for your own happiness?

Whether exciting, exhilarating, or inexplicably frustrating… this stage too shall pass! And if there is any one message I used all these words to inspire you with, here it is:

Get To The NEXT Stage Together.  And Then The NEXT.  It’s Definitely NOT Easy.  It IS Absolutely Worth It. 

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photo-19As in Self-Leadership, Confidence and Success… as in Business and Life… Leading and Living and Loving Your Lasting Married Life Takes Each of You… individually and together.

Do One BOLD Thing.  Own It Like You Own It.

(You & Both Of You, Together.)

Choosing To Stay Happily Married?  

It’s Up To YOU!

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© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  1) An evening glimpse of lake at our cabin… one of the places I love to come for reflection and rejuvenation. Mindful that it doesn’t take any special PLACE to do so, it simply takes an attitude and commitment to create the life we want, right where we’re at… which is up to ME. 2) This is what 34 years of marriage looks like. Some days anyway! And our red eyes? Not blaming the camera. We’re owning ’em as earned in happy tears shared on this special day of our son’s wedding ;) 3) My ever-passionate BOLD red *!* logo. 4) Minneapolis Aquatennial Fireworks exploding over the river in front of our condo.

Fear And Your Non-Negotiable Dream You Will Make Happen Even If It Takes A Lifetime

photo-35Sometimes, dreams really can take a lifetime.

After a few waves of *what the heck was that?!* of the recent past…

…one thing has become crystal clear:

No more waiting (for any of us!) before claiming and creating our next *it*. 

If you’re waiting until you’re, you know, just a bit further along… or a little more experienced… just that much more *ready*… before you go for it and make your next move… or if you’re holding off on moving forward until the time is finally just right… ask yourself:

Is FEAR holding you back from leading and living the work and/or life you crave?

Life is too precious to waste one moment by not exhaling out of fear.

Try this instead: Risk falling on your face – or stubbing your toe trying – by moving forward one step at a time directly into whatever you’re most afraid of… so you can stop that slowly-sinking-in-quicksand feeling called fear… and start breathing life into your life again… coming ALIVE again!

I hope this favorite quote inspires you as it inspires me, everyday:

“It’s no longer about asking what our world needs. Ask what makes you come Alive and go do that. Our world needs people who come ALIVE!”  Thurman/Ulrich

Put yourself out there and make something happen.

Claim your dream and make it non-negotiable.

Let us know so we can cheer you on!

What’s your non-negotiable dream you will make happen… even if it takes a lifetime?

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© 1993-2013  Ann Ulrich Inc.    THE BOLD! FACTOR®      AnnUlrich.com

Photo: I love noticing dreamy light fixtures. This lights up a favorite downtown Minneapolis restaurant, Zelo.

Before You Diss Or Dismiss Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In

IMG_1621Just so you know, I am a huge fan of Sheryl Sandberg.

Drawn in at first by her ground-breaking, high-impact TED talk, I wanted more! I was bummed when Amazon said her book would arrive a week later – what? – tho it arrived in 2 days. I devoured it the next evening and haven’t finished it just yet.

I’m purposely sharing thoughts without having finished her book. Why? While I strongly recommend that we DO read deeper than simply opining based on surface details or popular conversations… I don’t ever want to stop you, or curb your appetite (in fact I want to encourage you!) to practice sharing – start sharing – and keep sharing – your own BOLD point of view.

We learn so much from you and from each other. We need to keep hearing many voices, of various pitches and cadences, to keep growing by being open to experience many points of view. Not just the louder ones. And not just the more comfortable ones.

Regarding the hoopla, controversy and kudos surrounding Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In, I’ve immersed myself listening and learning from all sides. As owner of The BOLD! Factor and a positive force for self-leadership, confidence and re-igniting success… I’m passionate to discover and share my own BOLD POV in response to what’s being said.

Here’s what I’ve been hearing – and a few thinkabouts to share – as I’d like to challenge status quo thinking:

1) *She is out of touch. Sheryl Sandberg has no clue what my world is like.*

Ah, relatability. So, important isn’t it? In fact, Sheryl would probably relate it to her very real concern that likeability is holding us back.

So she has no clue what your world is like, right? It’s really not about that tho, is it?

She is not trying to present her point of view from an *I Am Everywoman, Everywhere* perspective. In fact, I love the way she continues to say that this is HER experience, not everyone’s, in a very welcoming, humble at times, keep-it-real way. I’ve grown to love this about her. She is not trying to pretend she knows YOUR life. She’s simply reflecting from her own place, what she sees happening in the world of work, and what she intends to do to help positively impact change she sees as needed, in women stepping up to take charge of their own success.

For those who feel she doesn’t know or relate to your life. Of course she doesn’t know your life. Again, she’s not trying to. Do you really know and can you relate to her life as COO of Facebook? I know I sure can’t. And I have no interest to.

2) *She’s successful and her life is what it is because she’s privileged.* 

Privileged?  She sure is!**

Smart? Talented? Gifted? Yes, Yes, and Yes!

Let’s be willing to keep surrounding ourselves with, and learning from, people who are different, smarter, quieter, louder, more global, more local… than us!

She’s letting us know she has a hard time accepting success kudos. She says she still struggles with her own success. And no, she didn’t give a thought to negotiating her own hiring offer Facebook first presented. It was her husband who insisted she does not say Yes to the first offer.

Oh sure, see, she IS privileged – she has a supportive husband! Yes she is and yes she does. And I know, that part about no plan to negotiate her offer surprised me, too!

She addresses what some see as adding/piling on to her Privilege: her powerful statement about choosing the right partner, making your partner your real partner, to go through life with. For me, this is among the most courageous statements she makes. At this stage of my life, looking back from here, I personally and enthusiastically applaud her in speaking that truth, out loud.

She’s NOT saying it’s easy, even in her privileged life. She IS saying it’s important.

**Let’s look at that word: Privileged. We are all, in our own special way, Privileged. When we hold that against someone else, maybe we simply aren’t willing to take a closer look to see what Privilege in our own life looks life.

I got up today. I’m not just living… I’m ALIVE. In this, I am PRIVILEGED. How about you. What does *Privilege* look like for you?

3) *She’s blaming ME for the problems of my company, my organization, my industry.*

Well, no, she’s not exactly blaming you as much as wanting to help with what she calls a need for women to Lean In and keep Leaning In.

I call it BOLD Self-Leadership: Owning It Like You Own It. These concepts are not too far apart, which may be why I love what she’s trying to do.

And let’s face it, problems inherent in work are not going to be solved overnight.

On the other hand… based on what I know to be true, get this:

When it comes to the Self-Leadership aspect of The BOLDFactor and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In… whatever YOU want to change in YOURSELF… you can most certainly change, sometimes overnight! I certainly have changed a few of my own *things* overnight and YOU CAN CHANGE YOURS TOO!

4) *Men are the reason Women are being held back from top positions, from leadership roles, from living the life we want, from being who and what we are capable of being…*

I’m calling BS on this.

I’m not turning this into a why-I-DON’T-blame-men rant, because I’ve decided I’m not joining that conversation. It’s OLD. I’d rather be BOLD. I sometimes think it’s more the women of my (boomer) generation that continue to fan these flames. Ugh. Enough already.

YES, there are plenty of men who are jerks and men who will not *let women in*. For sure. And you’re kidding yourself if you don’t believe there are also plenty of women who are jerks and who will not let women in. Boom. 

I get blasted when I say this, but I’m going to keep saying it: Guess What. Many Smart Women Do Not WANT (much less crave, which is the true BOLDometer for any real personal change) What Comes With That Corner Office.

Some Smart Women DO, and BRAVO YOU! because we need BOTH men and women at the top and every level in between. We’re all in this game of life together, and we certainly need each other to all be in this game of work, together.

BOLD! NUGGET: If you feel you are being held back by men (or women!) then dig deep, find the courage, and invite the conversation. Directly with that person.

You might learn a lot. You might come away even more disgusted, in which case, why are you still there?! And imagine this: you might come away having inspired someone else, opened their eyes, to a whole new way of seeing reality. How exciting is that?!

5) *Women are the ones who need to – and who will – fix this.* 

Not so fast.

When it comes to shifting and changing workplace realities, these issues and opportunities requires both men and women at the table, invited into and involved in, these important conversations. 

In summary re: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement and launching her great concept of Leaning In Circles:

While I love the concept and believe in the possibilities of small groups of women gathering in conversation and encouragement, taking new, inspired action…

What I hope doesn’t happen is creating an even bigger divide, by sustaining women-only gatherings to solve workplace issues that desperately require BOTH men and women at the table, with all voices participating and heard. 

I applaud Sheryl Sandberg for shedding big light on this hugely important topic… and starting these controversial conversations.

The risk is already worth it!

What’s on your mind? Whether you’re passionate or new to this whole conversation… I hope you’ll let us know.

And by the way, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you’re here!

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®1993-2013 Ann Ulrich    THE BOLD! FACTOR®     AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  There was never a doubt in my mind as to what my logo would be when I launched my own business. Having been forever marked-down by my teachers – in probably every grade – for overly-enthusiastic overuse of the !!! in my writing, reports, art… I colored one BOLD RED in 1993… and ever since use it to my heart’s content! (!!)

Celebrate Your Milestones

photo-32Celebrating milestones in your work and life keeps you moving forward, owning where you are right now, and smiling at how far you’ve come!

I hope you’ll share a recent or anticipated – personal or professional – milestone in the comments below… so we can celebrate you!

First a ripple, then a rumble, then an avalanche of momentum launch every time we celebrate each other’s success… It’s how Excellence becomes Contagious.

I’ll start the ball rolling my sharing mine: About a month ago I began writing my book. No longer talking about it… I’ve cleared the deck (not easy to do!) to stay-put (that’s the hard part!) and actually (FINALLY) get this dream accomplished.

I AM ON IT and OWNING IT. (That’s my note to self. Believe me I need it. Helps to put those notes to self in writing, doesn’t it?)

Today is truly a BOLD Exclamation Point! Day here at BOLD headquarters… I just finished crafting & drafting my book’s *52*… now the real writing begins! Wahoo!!

Haven’t had a milestone to celebrate lately? Here ya go:

The tough thing?

Some milestones are not the kind we want to celebrate. UGH those. We simply want to get through, put those behind us and hopefully keep going… right?!

The cool thing?

Your next Celebratable Milestone is up to YOU!

(We can wait to celebrate you!)

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©1993-2013 Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR®    AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  My TaDa! for accomplishing first (of many no doubt!) draft framing up my book.

What If You Really Are Amazing…

… just the way you are.

Aaaaand what about when you’re NOT?

photo-27David and I just spent a few days *Up North in God’s Country* Ely MN, where his company has a brilliant team, great community and beautiful office.

I went along for the fresh perspective a change of scenery brings in researching, thinking about, and writing my book.

(With morning temperatures of -25 and -35 degrees… Whoa! That air was pure Caffeine!)

I knew we would have a great time. What I didn’t expect in working on my book was this:

1.  I called BS on myself where I was NOT amazing.

2.  I tossed massive content where my voice has changed and am no longer about *that*.

3.  I thought about YOU – and all the Noise – and all the Should’s – and all the NOT GOOD ENOUGH’s – all the DODODO BEBEBE MOREMOREMORE – and those times when we own our greatness (BRAVO!) and yet what about those times we may need a fresh jolt, a wake-up call… yes, self-included. (see #1 above)

I came away from all that with this thought for you:

WHAT IF YOU REALLY ARE AMAZING… JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.

WHAT IF YOU CLAIMED IT AS YOURS.

AND OWNED IT.

AND WHAT IF YOU ALSO CLAIMED & OWNED THE TIMES YOU ARE WELL, LESS THAN AMAZING…

This is where the gut-check reality comes in. BEING AMAZING INCLUDES TIMES WE ARE NOT ALL THAT AMAZING…

THOSE are the times that present the opportunities head-on: to grow, change, disrupt, re-invent… to be what you know you crave.

Reality check: Nothing shifts or changes or happens with any inspired thought until you apply courageous action.

So go ahead. Jolt your BOLD.  Bring your Amazing … to one situation, conversation, opportunity, presentation, challenge, relationship, work or life. Today

IMG_1621Believe It. 

Own It.

Lead & Live It. 

Deny Substitutions!

OK, it’s Monday. Just not feeling it?

Relax… there’s someone in your life who’d cherish your word of encouragement, your nod of *keep going!* or simply your smile.

Find one way to champion THEIR Amazing today. 

See what happens.

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© 1993-2013 Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Apparently lots of hot chocolate with marshmellow drinkers at the Ely Lodge!

Seeing With New Eyes

This painting has been in our home for years…

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Today, for the first time, I noticed his smile.

I’m drawn to smiles. So how have I never seen this smile before, when it’s right in front of me. In our home. Every day.

Did I STOP and actually SEE this painting on this relaxing Sunday morning…

…as tho seeing it for the first time?

What if we STOP and SEE… as tho for the first time.

STOP and LISTEN… as tho for the first time.

STOP and SPEAK… as tho for the first time.

STOP and SMILE… as tho for the first time.

STOP and HUG… as tho for the first time.

STOP and ACCEPT… as tho for the first time.

Maybe it’s more about STOPPING.

Than it is about SEEING.

Try it this week:

STOP and SEE WITH NEW EYES.

As tho for the first time.

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©1993-2013 Ann Ulrich, THE BOLD! FACTOR®   AnnUlrich.com

Photo:   In our dining room, a favorite shabby old 1955 painting I found in a French-themed flea market in Mpls by artist Naring. It reminds me of a favorite experience I had in Taiwan in the year of the Horse, 1990.

Swing Like A Kid Again

Next time you’re starting a new project, meeting a new client, building a new dream, blossoming a new relationship, creating a new strategy, putting a fresh new spin on a tired old program, or re-imagining a confident new YOU…

Swing Like A Kid Again!

Free yourself from old expectations you know are holding you back.

Stop caring what other people think.

Toss the instruction manual … pick the beginning, middle, or end … and simply START.

Let yourself Swing Like A Kid Again! Remember the feeling?! Push me higher! Run under my swing Daddy! Let me Soar till my feet touch the clouds!

Let’s free ourselves to Swing Like Kids Again.

Why did we ever stop?!

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© 1993-2012. Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

Guilty Pleasure

photo-12On a recent flight home, I broke the golden rule of being a good seatmate:

I interrupted the reading-immersed woman sitting next to me.

Noticing she had not come up for air since firing up her ereader, I asked if she always preferred reading digital books.

I mentioned still loving to curl up with my ink-doodled piles of books vs holding my hard metal iPad.

Her comment will forever crack me up:

*If I were reading a business book like you, I’d have no problem holding that book in my lap for all the world to see…*

She continued, *I’m reading the 3rd book in the 50 Shades of Grey series… I’m traveling with my team and believe me I don’t need anyone to know what book I’m devouring… it’s my secret guilty pleasure.*

The look in her eyes told me she sure hoped I didn’t know anyone on her team! 

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© 1993-2012 Ann Ulrich  THE BOLD! FACTOR®  ANNULRICH.COM

Photo:  Ahhhh what better to signify Guilty Pleasure than one of my favorite cuddle-up blankets. This living room blanket is always nearby when I immerse in hours of reading.