Tag Archives: success

Diamonds: Real or Fake?

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Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Now there’s a piece of marketing that has stuck for a very long time!

Why do we value diamonds? What makes them so desirable?

If it was their molecular makeup then technically we should be satisfied with zirconium. After all we could get a much bigger, much clearer stone for a whole lot less money! But we don’t want zirconium. We want a diamond and we’re willing to settle for an imperfect diamond as long as it is the real thing.

Why?

Diamonds take a long time to form. They incorporate the imperfections of their raw materials into their form. They vary in colour and clarity. They are costly to mine, cut and polish. They are highly prized and considered precious despite the fact that they often contain imperfections.

Zirconium is made by human effort and takes a relatively short time. They are inexpensive to make and while they can have colour added to them they are often perfect, lacking flaws. Despite this we consider them cheap imitations and even an insult when someone tries to present them to us as the real thing. We don’t value them much despite their seeming perfection.

We understand that value does not come from perfection. Yes we are often drawn into competing with one another for the title of “best”. Women have been accused of comparing themselves to Pinterest ideals, striving to have the perfect career, home, children, marriage, making a Instragram worthy meal. Men are not off the hook either. They have been accused of competing for the most money, newest car/boat/bike, having the hottest ‘wife’.  Yet instinctively we realize that none of these outward appearances really matter.

Outward appearances are about as valuable as zirconium. They may be nice but they are not deeply satisfying.  But a marriage that has been fought for, worked for and even overcomes bumps, trouble and danger is more deeply prized than one that just appears to be perfect on the surface.  A career that took twists, turns and looked like it would never amount to much can be much richer, more meaningful and satisfying than an easy arrival in the corner office.

We value the journey. We understand the value of scars that are woven into and made part of the finished product. We prize overcoming obstacles over smooth sailing. We may not like it, but we prize it.  We know, whether we admit it or not, that things of great value are worthy of a great fight.

What are you fighting for? What scars do you bear? What parts of your life seem like glaring imperfections? Those very parts – the imperfections – are proof of authenticity. They reveal that your life is indeed a genuine diamond in the making.  The choice is yours. Will you allow that imperfection to make you a valuable diamond that is unquestionably genuine or will you allow that imperfection to be a fault, creating a breaking point, making the diamond too fragile to be used for display?

You see not all diamonds get set in beautiful pieces of jewelry. Some are used for industrial purposes because they are too weak to be cut into large enough pieces for admiration. Or their imperfections are too close to the surface to allow their beauty to ever shine through. Even so they are not discarded. They are used, they have a purpose, but they don’t ever live up to their potential.

When we don’t allow our wounds to be cleaned, they can not heal properly. When they can not heal properly they not only leave a scar they leave a weakness, a tender spot that limits our ability to use that injured part to its full potential. The hurts in our lives need to heal totally and completely to keep us from being held back in life. A scar may be visible, but a properly healed scar is a place of strength. Like a flaw in a diamond, it does not diminish your value. It reveals your authenticity.

The Master Jeweler understands the value of an authentic diamond. He knows how to cut and polish each one to reveal its true beauty and potential. He knows how to incorporate the scars so that they increase your brilliance and don’t detract from it. He also knows how to heal the wounds so that they leave strong scars. We don’t have to let Him heal the wounds in our lives but without healing the wounds will continue to hold us back.

It is far better to be a genuine diamond with flaws than a perfect and artificial zirconium. Will you allow yourself to be cut, polished and set in the perfect piece as a flawed but authentic diamond?

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Becoming

Stock Images: Reading the contract. Image: 71764
© Photographer: Dreamstime Agency | Agency: Dreamstime.com

The other day my friend Alison posted a link to a blog and I was leery about reading it – the language was a little bit harsh. Okay the language was more than a little bit harsh but I pushed past it and I have to say the message was more than a little refreshing. (Read the original post here, but I warn you the language is not for the faint of heart).

David Wong basically drove home the point that its not about how kind or nice or interesting you are, it’s about what you have to offer that makes things happen in your life. His analogy was that if you have a loved one bleeding after an accident and someone is ready to help by performing a medical procedure on the spot you don’t care if he’s a nice guy, kind to his mother, remembers his girlfriend’s birthday, does his own laundry. What you care about is whether or not he has the medical expertise and skill to perform the medical procedure. All the other stuff doesn’t count.

Hmmmm, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in our personal development that we forget to develop our skills and let’s face it, no one pays you to be nice. You get paid because you bring a skill to the situation that can fix a problem. The better your skills the bigger the problems you can help fix. The bigger the problems the more you get paid to fix them. Yes, of course if you have great inter-personal skills (you’re nice and play well with others) you have an even bigger winning combination.

In my industry (direct sales or network marketing) not long ago you could come in with a basic set of skills and be wildly successful as long as you were persistent and consistent. Today the industry is changing. It’s not only becoming more main stream (Harvard and Yale teach courses on Network Marketing I’m told) but with the novelty of direct sales/network marketing wearing off if you come with basic skills you will create a basic income. To create a great income you need great skills. To be wildly successful you need to create superior skills.

The good news is this is still one industry in which you can come in with basic skills and with a willingness to learn, grow, and develop them you can create superior professional skills and become wildly successful. There is no other industry that I know of where you can truly get your professional training on the job and succeed at such a quick pace. After all you can’t start on the job training as a doctor with just a first aid certificate.

The challenge is if you don’t have professional skills yet are you willing to learn?

It’s the Journey.

I haven’t blogged in a while (obviously). I felt I didn’t have anything to say. Well that’s not true, I’ve had lots to say I just wasn’t sure I should say it. I wasn’t sure what my voice should be. I know, it’s my blog so my voice is my voice, but what did that mean? I finally decided that I wasn’t going to wait any longer to figure it out. I was just going to figure it out in the process.

Process. Now there’s a word that seems straight forward enough and yet it holds so many challenges. In this day of instant access, instant gratification and instant everything I guess I expected that if I dream something, visualize it, believe it, start out toward it I should arrive at the destination in one or two simple and easy steps. Then I found out there is a process. “Lots of small actions over time create amazing results,” my coach told me today. I don’t know if this statement is originally yours, but it’s a good one Michelle.

Four years ago I became a word-from-home entrepreneur mom. I started because the other option was to put my kiddos in daycare and go back to a “real job” full-time. I would rather do just about anything than put my little ones in daycare so working from home seemed the reasonable choice.  My goal was simply to help make the family budget stretch a little further. No goals of conquering the world, becoming a celebrity or creating immeasurable wealth. Yet one of the gifts I discovered very quickly was that I could dream bigger, wider and a little audaciously if I was willing to work.

I was willing to work. Hard. Just because I was willing to work hard didn’t ensure success. I soon discovered that I didn’t know what I didn’t know and I needed to learn. I needed to figure out how to ride this roller-coaster of business. I needed to know how to break things down into small actions over time.

Thankfully accessing amazing minds in business, social media, sales and so much more is as simple as point and click! If ever there was an age where information was easily accessible it would be now. If ever there was amazing access to great thinkers, leaders and trailblazers it would be today. And yet, with all this access so few people choose to learn from those who know what it takes to succeed. Most choose to listen to their family, friends, coworkers and the guy at the doughnut shop who all say it can’t be done and have proven that they wholeheartedly believe that.

The first part of the process to success is to choose to listen to those who know how to succeed and have the track record to prove it.”What you believe you can achieve.” I don’t know who the quote belongs to (though I know its actual source). In order to believe you can succeed you need to start listening to the voices of those who know how. Once you listen to them you’ll need to do differently, but that’s another post…