So, I'm still reading Atomic Habits and learning even more about my own inclinations. As I reach the end of the book, the focus is shifting to routine and mastery. To master something requires practice and repetition. The more we practice something, the better we get at it, and then the novelty wears off. Over time, monotony makes the things we love less satisfying, so our interest fades.
"The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us."
This statement made me stop in my tracks because it eloquently explained the never-ending cycle that many of us have of jumping from one thing to another before we master it. We look at what we once thought was extraordinary as ordinary and then derail our progress because we need to explore something new. We get an idea, but don't research it. We start writing a book but don't finish it. We create a fitness and nutrition plan and stop following it because we don't see results quick enough. In short, we self-sabotage without knowing it.
Clear used a slot machine example to describe the concept of habits and variable rewards. To summarize, he says, a gambler hits the jackpot every now and then, but not in a predictable way. He wins just enough to keep the desire to gamble going. It's a sweet spot, and the gambler has a 50-50 success-failure split.
"Half of the time you get what you want. Half of the time you don't. You need just enough 'winning' to experience satisfaction and just enough 'wanting' to experience desire."
In short, no matter what we do in our self-improvement journey, it won't stay interesting forever, so we have to "fall in love with boredom" and learn to treasure it the same way we do change. We all have days when we don't want to show up because we're mentally tired and physically exhausted. That's just a reality of life. We must learn to override our desire for excitement and replace it with routine and consistency to get the results we want.
"... Stepping up when it's annoying or painful or draining to do so, that's what makes the difference between a professional and an amateur. Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work toward it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life. Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It's the ability to keep going when work isn't exciting that makes the difference."
Tech for Black Founders (T4BF)
"While the largest tech companies Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have given upwards of $552 million in the name of combating racial injustice, smaller tech companies are approaching the issue differently" by joining the Tech for Black Founders (T4BF) initiative.
T4BF is a coalition of tech companies providing free technology and services to startups run by Black founders. Peep Connect, founded by Valentine Osakwe and Zerryn Gines, is one of the companies taking advantage of T4BF.
Osakwe said, "Black founders are over-mentored but underfunded, and the underfunding isn't just in terms of money but in terms of network and connection. If you don't have a connection in the VC world, the doors will be closed. Meeting with a Black founder is just checking off the list for some VCs. Being Black and underestimated is the bigger issue—it's hard to get people to listen to us. Big companies can fill that space of credibility by saying, 'We trust you.' It's also social capital that can make a difference."
To learn more, read this article by Monica Melton, Forbes Staff, Innovation:
You can also follow Peep Connect on LinkedIn.
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Branding with a Niche
Many people want a thriving coaching business, but they're not exactly excited to build a brand based on one niche. They often think that having a more general coaching practice affords them more opportunities because they're not locked into one area. But the opposite is true. Having a brand is what "helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace" because you become known as the expert in a specific field.
Stacey Hagen, the founder of Create Coaching & Consulting, offers three suggestions to build your brand as a coach:
1. Values. Values communicate what you stand for and help you attract like-minded clients.
2. Strategic Differentiators. To separate yourself from other coaches, focus on what you're good at and what makes you different based on your background, experience, and expertise.
3. Client Experience. Coaching is all about partnering with your clients to create the best experience based on their goals and needs.
And for the record, building your brand based on a niche extends to every business type because it helps the right clients find you.
To read the full article:
Voyage ATL: Inspiring Stories
Last week, VoyageATL featured me in their Inspiring Stories series based on a recommendation from Alicia Butler Pierre. The Voyage Group of Magazines started in Los Angeles, with its flagship publication VoyageLA. It's since grown to Atlanta and a few other cities.
The Voyage Group's "mission is to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions, and those that make our city interesting." They want customers to support local businesses where people know each other instead of big companies.
Their stories are purposefully not "as polished as you'll find elsewhere in the media" because they believe the media filters, edits, and polishes away their interviewees' authentic personalities so that each story sounds the same. VoyageATL truly lets you tell your story in your own words.
In the article, I talk about:
Until next time...
Latarsha Horne is an ICF Credentialed Coach who helps new and emerging leaders feel more confident, decisive and empowered to take charge and do their jobs. Her coaching style is energy-action based, open-minded, and straight-forward. If you want to be challenged and grow, she's the coach for you.