Monthly Archives: May 2012

Lions and Otters and Beavers, Oh My!

Do the DISC dance

I’m going to be 100 percent honest with all of you: I’m one of the nerdy, dorky people that LOVES learning more about themselves through personality assessments and deep dives. I know, cue the groaning. But I think it’s extremely fascinating. Not only can this type of insight give you a better understanding of how you operate at home, but how you behave at work and what jobs are best for you.

Last year, my company sponsored a half-day seminar on what’s called the DISC assessment. It’s an extremely thorough personality test that drops you into one of four categories for both your natural state (who you were born as) and your adaptive state (how you’ve learned to behave based on your surroundings.) After taking the test, I thought, “Oh my goodness– this explains me to a T!” And looking around at the other tables, I could totally understand why each person was grouped the way they were.

The first group was noted as being “dominant,” depicted by a lion. These people can be harsh and outspoken, but they are there to get a job done. They don’t necessarily care about nit-picky details, but they just want to cross things off their to-do list– and fast!

The second group was the grouped labeled “influence.” A picture of an otter (and Oprah for that matter) were shown on the Power Point slide. Why? Because this group always has to be surrounded by people. They aren’t worried about an agenda, and do not have any sense of urgency. They are only worried about two things: who can I talk to and how long will they listen (or at least pretend to.) This is how my adaptive state tested out.

Next comes the steady group. These people do not like conflict. They are even-keeled and just want everyone to be happy, just like a golden retriever. They do not like change, and feel as though if everything was done in a slow and methodical manner, it would be done right the first time. This, unsurprisingly to me, is my natural state. This is why I used to write down what I wore every single day and had a numbering system for my outfits (I know, ridiculous.)

The last to be grouped were the compliers. They are extremely analytical and love numbers. They see everything in black and white and always need processes in order to get things done. Just like an otter, these people plan where every single stick is strategically placed in order to build the most durable and practical house possible.

Although it may be difficult to categorize yourself by these four simplistic descriptions, if you really think long and hard about it, you will figure out exactly where you belong. If you’re interested in learning more about these tests and possibly going through the entire process, the Affinity HR Group is a great place to start, and I honestly think it’s worth every penny.

Why? Because it’s important to figure out where you truly belong. If you love writing and creativity, you probably shouldn’t strive to be an accountant. Or if you love formulas and strategies, you probably shouldn’t set your sites on marketing. But so many people fall into these…well, for lack of a better term, ruts. They start in one direction and don’t feel as though they can do an about face because they’ve dug “too deep.”

I truly believe it’s never too late. Think about your job right now: could you do it every single day for the rest of your life? Maybe so. And if that’s the case, you’ve found one of the many best-kept secrets in life. But for many of us, we’re not doing what we were put on this planet to do. The trouble is, that’s hard to pinpoint. So take some time and a small investment to learn ALOT about yourself and your career. I mean come on, who can resist an adorable otter?

**Read on to find out about the six motivators that kick you into high gear**

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So really, how ambitious are they?

When trying to find an available domain name for my blog, I found that many renditions of ‘ambitious soul’ were already taken. So of course my thought was, “Who are these people anyway? Are the thoughts that took us to the name “Ambitious Soul” the same? Some were close, some were not. But they all lead to one thing: your future.

Amongst all the ‘ambitious’ graphic designers and photographers and sports enthusiasts, I came across a website that wasn’t like all the others.

I was met  with a peaceful lakefront photo, looking out at a sunset from a wooden dock. The headline read, “Live the Life you Want…Without a Paycheck!” Intriguing, right? Of course the first thing I think of is network marketing, especially when I see the words “home-based business” that follow. But my brain is taken down a side road when the site begins to loosely outline how to a) buy into a franchise or b) buy a traditional brick and mortar business. And then just as I suspected, it launches into how to start your own home-based business (and of course all the details on this are not disclosed on the site.)

It weighs the pros and cons for all three options and then of course solicits you to ‘click here’ to contact the company for additional information. I’m sure you can imagine me sitting in my swivel chair, twirling around and fist pumping for network marketing, having the “ah-ha” moment I’ve been waiting for. Wait, no. That’s me twirling around in chaos, shaking my fist for the madness to stop.

It’s not that I’m mad at network marketing or that I don’t like it; I actually used to be part of an extremely successful network marketing company. The thing that drives me absolutely insane is when people start in network marketing to get rich quick. I don’t care if you’re selling jewelry or designer handbags or makeup– they are all built the same. If you truly have an affinity for one of those things or the other bajillion things that have direct selling blueprints, I say go for it! But if not, hold out for something truly amazing.

3M’s Post-It notes: a billionaire’s “ah-ha” moment.

9 times out of 10 people fall into what makes them tick. Do you really think Mark Zuckerburg went to Harvard aspiring to create his own social network? Just think about 3M’s Art Fry; he invented Post-It notes on accident!

So sorry Ambitious Soul #1, but I believe ambition is born through passion. Whether it’s a passion for writing or photography, entrepreneurship or apprenticeship, close your eyes and imagine the world as if money were no object. Now shut your mind off to all practicality and realism. Lastly, ask yourself this: what would you do?

If Pauly D. can do it, why can’t I?!

CAB’S HEAA! And so is your ultimate career potential!

Pauly D. is the epitome of the career path I hope and pray for. I know, I know. Pauly D? For real? It has nothing to do with his insane blowout or the way he shouts “Cab’s hea!” It’s more about how his life has taken shape simply by him being, well, him. 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Pauly (yes, we’re on a first name basis,) his fame began on the show “Jersey Shore,” which originally aired on MTV a few years ago. The show is the Real World of the decade, based on a group of stereotypical guidos and guidettes who visit the shore every summer. In this world of reality TV, the show took off. The group of roomies has now become irreplaceable and unmistakeable.

Although Pauly is a key element to the show, his true passion is DJing. He now has a spin off show that features him traveling all over the world showcasing his DJing talents– and MTV is paying for it. Now that’s the life!

So how does one get there? How do you take what you absolutely love to do and make it into something that’s prosperous and fulfilling? I suppose that’s the million dollar question.

I keep listening to Dave Ramsey’s audio CD on careers and how you can end up just like Pauly D. Is some of it luck? Sure it is. But it’s more about strategically positioning yourself to companies that you have a true affinity for and making yourself known. He talks about how job opportunities stem from networking (we all know this,) not ads on Craigslist or Monster.com. He advises to “spy” on the companies you’re interested in working for, and getting yourself highly acquainted with its most powerful people.

In listening to Dave talk, I keep looking for an answer amidst his words. I can listen all I want, but the real change will happen when I take action. All in all, I want a job where I can do some event planning, maybe even some financial advising, and above all, writing.

So Dave, bring it on…


A Curtsey to Blogging

So why a blog? I always thought blogs were just for stay-at-home moms with not alot to do during the day or nomads traveling the world trying to “find the meaning of life” (no offense to all you bloggers out there– I’m one of you now!) 

Some people may “hobby blog,” but I stumbled upon an article yesterday, and it changed my entire point of view on why people may blog, and how it can potentially affect their careers.

To blog or not to blog…

The girl in the article was JUST LIKE ME! She enjoyed her job (sort of,) but knew it wasn’t what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Writing was her true passion, and that’s all she wanted to do– but she needed a solid outlet to do it in! Umm hello?! I felt like I was reading about myself… until I got to the part where she now has a job where all she does is write, and it’s been the most awesome, rewarding experience ever.

I don’t quite have a “vision” as to what this blog is going to become, but I have to start somewhere! Some days may be simply my stream of consciousness. Others may be dedicated to my new role as a mom, cleaning tips, recipes, etc… the exciting thing is that each day I’ll start with a blank piece of paper, and go wherever I feel my keyboard and verbose mind will take me. And that doesn’t scare me at all.