People whose company we keep determine the outcomes of our lives. These days, there are successful people who create huge impact through their writing in their blogs or the training they impart. Getting access to blogs that inspire me is easy, nowadays. All that I need to do is subscribe to them and messages from them keep coming into my mail inbox.
The downside is, it takes a while to recognize those who match my aspirations and inclinations. Till then, I have to keep sifting. There are thousands of them out in the blogosphere telling their story. With time, new teachers emerge when I am ready for them. For want of time, I listen to the old inspirations once in a while, my respect for them intact.
Messages from inspiring books leave impressions for me, but they seem a little distant, as if from another age. I immediately connect with people whose blogs I read. There is a personal element in what they write, they reveal themselves as persons, just like me. Almost all of them have gone through the hard grind of life and discovered their unique paths in their own ways to excel and succeed in life. They seem more relevant because their messages are from the immediate present, from contexts I understand. I glimpse some kinship developing with them.
Here are some great people whose visions and outlooks on life have provided me with greater meanings and strength.
Neale Donald Walsch, the author of Conversations with God is someone whose daily messages I look forward to 5 days of the week. I have read a few of his books. He comes across as a very human, even vulnerable type of person. Yet, so much of wisdom and understanding reside in him. He has the uncanny knack of sending messages – which are usually about 10 short lines – that seem to answer certain searching questions or pressing issues troubling me on a particular day. And, at the end of the message, he even audaciously lands a short sentence once in a while – “You know exactly why you received this message today”. People might say this type of connection is crazy in this age and time, but I am happily helpless in feeling the connection.
Neale’s main message is that we are co-creators with God in creating our world. So, there is as much of God in us, as there is in God. Here is a typical Neale message – which I received the day before yesterday.
On this day of your life,
Babu, I believe God wants you to know…
…that love tolerates human foibles, faults, and failings.
When someone does something you don’t like, try
toleration. Tell them in your nicest way that you do
not feel good about what occurred or what was said,
but try hard not to cold-shoulder them, and block
them out of any warm connection with you.
All you teach them by that is to be afraid of you — by
making them afraid of losing you…or at least the warmth
of their connection with you. This is, of course, what
some people say God does to us…
Give people the same break you would like God (and
other people, for that matter) to give you.
Leo Babauta has a very popular blog called Zen Habits. He writes mostly about forming good habits. He is someone who climbed out of his unhappy, overweight, debt-filled life by cultivating small habits, one thing at a time, in very small, measured steps. He does not speak as if he has all the answers. Instead, he writes about overcoming failings with a relaxed, very human, open and aware disposition. Awareness symbolized by ‘breathing’ is what helps him stay grounded. If anyone chances by this post and is curious, here is a typical article of Leo on Letting Go of Judging People, which I received in my inbox just about a week back.
I also enjoyed reading his very recent post, ‘Don’t Scratch the Itch’ despite feeling, as I kept reading it, that I was being personally and unfairly targeted. By not scratching an itch, we can overcome procrastination, give up unhelpful habits and embrace healthy ones. M Scott Peck deals with the same issue in his book, The Road Less Traveled, referring to it as ‘delaying instant gratification’.
Jason Leister is the quintessential copy writer who has carved out a niche for himself on marketing and selling to customers. I admire him for his tenacity in writing 5 articles a week in his The Client Letter, on matters relating to selling the right way. He does not believe in pampering every whim of clients. Neither does he advocate operating with low margins and living in constant dread of losing them. For him, selling and marketing is all about offering value – much in excess of what the client pays for.
Living from the highest version of ourselves, celebrating our unique differences is how Jason suggests, we as entrepreneurs should approach our clients. He is a votary of creating a platform as a means of attracting customers in droves. A platform is a way of demonstrating our value to clients consistently. He defines it as, “A fancy name for a newsletter, a podcast, a blog, a video series or some other publication you put out into the world on a consistent basis that demonstrates the value you offer to the world”. For him, The Clients Letter is the platform he uses very persuasively to attract clients to him. He keeps repeating – what we are is a lot more important than what we do.
Every passing day convinces me that Service Square can gain immensely if I practice what Jason Leister preaches about the Platform concept. After all, we started Services in Chennai about 2 years back – much before I read about Jason – precisely with this intention. But as he says rather rudely in his letter, the platform is not for everyone.
To build The platform I should show up every day without excuses. Ouch……that hurts!