Why Some Anniversaries are Worth Celebrating

I've always poo-pooed birthdays. The years roll by. Numbers grow year by year. So what! In truth, you've done little (or nothing) to earn your good fortune of having lived through another year. So in my family, most birthdays' pass by with little notice. But some anniversaries are worth celebrating. Why? Because you've worked to get there. You've mustered the discipline and stamina to do something again and again. And occasionally, it's worth taking … [Read more...]

The Meaning of Life: Are You Just Clocking Time?

You could count the days, if you only knew how many there were. And as you get older, though you still don't know exactly how many there will be, the days of your life seem all the more countable. That's what I was thinking about when I finished reading a detective novel last week. Though I enjoyed reading it, after I put it down, I couldn't shake the sense that while I was reading, I was just clocking time... Letting the minutes go by. What Makes Life … [Read more...]

What’s Your Impact in the World?

Every once in a while, a few words can change the way you think.  Here are the words that recently rocked my brain. My work is more impact." That's how Seth Godin responded in an interview when asked to describe his work. He didn't say his work was writing books, or selling books, or starting internet companies, or creating internship programs for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, he does all of those things. Instead he said, "My work is more impact." And that caught my … [Read more...]

Get a Response with Curiosity, Persistence and Humor

Have you ever submitted a proposal or applied for a job and then waited... and waited... and waited to hear if you were selected? If that's ever happened to you, I'll bet dollars to donuts that the longer you waited without a response, the more sure you were that you didn't make the cut. Right? You probably figured that if you got the job, someone would let you know as soon as the decision was made. It's fun to deliver good news. But if you didn't get it, they'd delay … [Read more...]

Little Suggestions Can Make a Big Difference

My friend, Linda Cunningham, runs an art gallery. Last year, she asked me if I would sit at the desk at the gallery for an hour while she ran some errands. I was happy to help. While I was tending the gallery, a young man walked in and was looking at the exhibition. I went over to say hello and talk with him about the art. He told me that he was an artist and that he would love to exhibit his work in the gallery. How, he asked, could he get a show there. Now, it’s … [Read more...]

What it Takes to Create Something Truly Remarkable

Remarkable is not a synonym for perfect. Far from it. In fact, some of the most remarkable things in life are remarkable because of their imperfections, not in spite of them. (Think of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.) For the kind of remarkable I'm talking about, it's your commitment and effort and energy that makes it special... and truly remarkable. What do Remarkable Things have in Common? Here's a personal list of some remarkable things I've seen. A drummer on the … [Read more...]

Communicate Effectively with Email to Get the Results You Want

I was talking with my friend J. recently and she was super discouraged. Three of the people she had been trying to connect with for her organization  --  people she had been in close contact with  --  had not responded to several of her emails. She was getting ready to ask them for gifts and they were disappearing! “Is it me?” she moaned. “Did I do something wrong? Have they all decided that they don’t want to help me with this project?” “I feel like I’m on an … [Read more...]

Asking for What You Want by Sarah Kathleen Peck

You probably know that I believe in the power of asking not just as a way of raising money, but as a way of living a full, generous, connected life. I've spent much of my long career writing about asking and teaching about asking. I've even written an entire book on Asking Styles and I cofounded Asking Matters. But today, after I read Sarah Kathleen Peck's post The Art of Asking: or how to ask and get what you want, I was in awe. Here, in a beautifully written piece by … [Read more...]

Getting What You Want With Super-Persistence and Friendly Stalking

The word “stalking” has gotten a bad rap. In recent years, we’ve become more aware of sexual predators and have used that word to describe their behavior. But when my friend and colleague Alison Kear says she’s going to stalk someone, she says it with a wry grin and good humor. And you know she’s up to good rather than no-good. Over the Top "Super" Persistence What Alison means by “stalking” is extreme persistence. She’s going to put herself right under someone's … [Read more...]

Is Getting What You Want Being Manipulative or Finding Common Ground?

When my husband, Tyko, read my post on how to get your partner to take you out for dinner, he said to me “So that’s how you manipulate me...” He said it with a chuckle. But it got me thinking... Manipulating or Collaborating? What, if anything, is the difference between being manipulative and being a great partner? In the getting your husband to take you out to dinner model (hereafter dubbed the "Steak Dinner" approach), you come into the conversation with a … [Read more...]