Posts Tagged ‘work’


Hard work and the New Year, Happy 2013

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2013 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , ,

More than other years I have had a hard time brushing off the holiday tinsel and getting my groove back. Pretty sure today that has changed, not that the transition is easy.  Times of rest are important, and this holiday season was wonderful for that.  Now I am able to re-examine the goals both personal and professional I worked on at the end of 2012, having some space from them causes me to do the hard work of examining what I was thinking when I wrote them, and especially as it has to do with my personal goals I have plenty to write.  The deadline of New Years Day is silly to me and frankly I prefer to spend that time with family and friends.

ImageMy clearest personal goal for 2013 is to complete and Olympic Length Marathon.  I have done multiple sprint triathlons, marathons, and an ultra-race, so this race should be a ton of fun and one that I hope to be somewhat competitive in.  In December I transitioned to Vibram Shoes, that are minimal with very little issue.  Now that I am putting on more mile (this week) my calf muscles are tighter then they have ever been.  As I have read my suspicions were correct and the removal of the padding at my heal is causing my calf muscles to stretch like never before.  This and the added elevation I am running since taking to more trails, and I am in some pain…good pain.  Like I said knocking of the tinsel is not easy, also since my ultra race I have enjoyed the holiday food and drink and have probably put on fifteen pounds which will be gone shortly, but it makes these New Year workouts more challenging.

Tonight Karin and I are off to Seattle Art Museum for First Thursday, and got tickets for the Elles: Women Artists From the Centre Pompidou, Paris.  Checking out the installation will be great and perhaps an opportunity to connect over family goals or at least plan a time for that.

This year will be filled with lots of fun: really finding my stride in my still fairly new job at Moravia, bringing to life some side projects, youngest daughter entering preschool, middle daughter entering kindergarten, oldest daughter in her first professional play, and fourteen years of marriage.  Excited does not describe how I feel, there is so much hope.  Writing will be an area that I not only continue to create but also an area I seek to improve a great deal.  Had a goal of knocking out my book by February, will see how that goes:) I already have one international trip on the schedule and am pitching a talk for a second trip in London. 

Who knows what this year will have in store, but here on the third day of 2013, I’m ready for you 2013…are you ready for me?



Swimming and driving the practice of creativity

In Uncategorized on December 20, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , ,

The weather makes it nearly impossible for me to get motivated to go out and run, even with my new shoes these days.  35-40 degrees and pouring rain is not ideal running weather for me.  So this week I have taken advantage of my gym membership and been getting in hour long swims.  These are awesome work outs that I walk away from feeling very relaxed and zen, my guess is that the swishing water and not having to talk or listen to anyone for an hour really puts me in a unique headspace.

These days I have also been doing a ton of reading on some research for work, there has been a ton of silence.  One thing I find is that my creative energy flows much better as I interact with others.  Talking sets my brain on fire, whereas reading leaves me more contemplative. Knowing how I best work is important, while these days are slow and contemplative there are a number of creative projects on my plate…in order to take these by storm I think I need to be in conversation with more people.


Integrity: theme for the week and continuing The Corporate Mystic

In Books,Community,culture,devotional,Evangelist,faith,family,generosity,journal,leadership,mission,Money,Uncategorized on November 30, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , , , ,

Each month (when I am not traveling for work) I attend a great networking event here in  Seattle called Kiros, yesterday there was a striking talk on “Crossing the line” by Mark Sabo. This was Mark’s personal story of his failure in business regarding integrity and the consequences that followed.  Personally I was struck by what a small decision by Mark led to such very serious consequences.  The point that hit home for me (again) was this idea of identity.  Mark, like myself, considered himself a man of integrity and yet he was able to justify his later regretable actions.  As many say, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”  Seeing yourself as a person of integrity is not enough, often times that view leads to the least common denominator and efforts to do the bare minimum.  What is needed, what I need is something greater than myself to guide my actions daily.

In The Corporate Mystic the author states, “The first question to ask is whether you are out of integrity with yourself.  Are you genuinely at ease with the path you are on?”  Many successful people are working to heal a wound from their family, perhaps earn recognition from a loved one that never expressed it.  In my case I worked  (and often work) to overcome shame that has been present in my life and in my family story for generations.  This is a dry well to pull from, and only when you are able to step back to you realize that. “Many of us learn very early to tune out inner signals, and the long-run costs of this are enormous…Happiness flows from a clear spring: You need to have a totally honest relationship with yourself.”  This is a key reason I believe that how people answer who they have been created to be is key to all of life: personal, spiritual, professional, and family.

A friend shared on facebook today the article, Success Will Come and Go, But Integrity is Forever by Amy Rees Anderson, a very good article that inspired me.  The last few lines of the article are very powerful, “If you want to build a reputation as a person of integrity then surround yourself with people of integrity. There is a plaque on the wall of my office which reads: “Do what is right, let the consequence follow.” It serves as a daily reminder that success will indeed come and go, but integrity is forever.”  I couple that with a friend who’s dad gave him the advice in college, “Know who you are before you go into the party.” Integrity is not something that is learned on the fly, life is too hard and our minds are too easily tricked.  It is essential for all people (including business people) to take time to do the tough personal and spiritual work to find the source of integrity, and the reward is well worth it.  As Amy Rees Anderson states success will come and go, your character is what you are stuck with.

“I contend that dishonesty will create a failure force that often manifests itself in other ways-ways not apparent to the outside observer.” -Joseph Sugarman


Corporate Mystic: The person we want to be

In art,Books,business,Community,culture,devotional,faith,familiy,family,Fun,generosity,leadership,Prayer,principles,Spiritual,Sports,Theology on November 30, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , ,

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.” – Bruce Lee

Twelve characteristics make up the corporate mystic:
Absolute Honesty
Focused on contribution
Nondogmatic spirituality
Get more done by doing less
Call forth the best of themselves and others
Open to change
Special sense if humor
Keen distant vision and up-close focus
Unusual self discipline

I hope to come back to these and examine each more deeply but I’ll leave you with this story…

“Master,” said the student, “where do you get your spiritual power?”
“From being connected to the source,” said the master.
“You are connected to the source of Zen?”
“Beyond that,”said the master, “I am Zen. The connection is complete.”
“But isn’t that arrogant to claim connection with the source?” Asked the student.
“Far from it,” said the master. “It is arrogant not to claim connection with the source. Everything is connected. If you think you are not connected to the source you are thumbing your nose at the universe itself.”

Don’t forget the source.


Starbucks’ amazing marketing and happy election day

In advertising,art,blogging,Blue Monster,Community,culture,design,faith,familiy,Friends,Fun,mission,politics,principles,publicity,Theology,Uncategorized,work on November 6, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , , , , ,

Living in Seattle I am very accustom to hearing people criticize Starbucks, my thoughts on the topic of coffee are that I prefer how other companies roast their beans. Therefore it is aesthetic not cynical in my critique.

ImageOne thing I am blown away with regarding Starbucks is the sophistication with their marketing.  Today I am in Redwood Shores, CA working at a Starbucks before my appointments.  The baristia offered me a ‘free’ bracelet that clearly has $5 donation marked on it, my defenses went up and I started trying to uncover the angel.  The bracelets are for Let’s Create Jobs for USA, a campaign sponsored by Howard Schultz and others that has raised $15M and leveraged $105M, estimating 5,000 jobs created for small business in the USA.  Since it is election day they are giving the bracelets away for free.  This ‘gift’ took me from being someone who would never donate to the cause to someone not just interested in donating but blogging on it.  Brilliant.

This is a corporation taking advantage of a term I learned from Hugh MacLeod @gapingvoid, check out his article on “Social Objects are the future of marketing.” Hugh states:

The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the rea­son two peo­ple are tal­king to each other, as oppo­sed to tal­king to some­body else. Human beings are social ani­mals. We like to socia­lize. But if you think about it, there needs to be a rea­son for it to hap­pen in the first place. That rea­son, that “node” in the social net­work, is what we call the Social Object.

I’m wearing my bracelet, talking with those around me at Starbucks about it, and will wear it to my appointments this afternoon sharing my experience.  The ‘gift’ Starbucks provided me today is not only the bracelet but the opportunity to be part of a story that is larger than myself…that is impacting the world for good.  This is something that we all should inspire to provide the people around us. There is a place for companies to provide something for free, if that is all you do you are not a company rather a charity (and that is good too).  Starbucks used a social object to engage me on a cause but also it helps change a brand that I do not have the most favorable feelings toward.

So on this election day that is filled with disgusting shit on all sides, make a positive difference.  Inspire something larger than yourself to impact the world for good.  Perhaps it means not having the shitty conversation with someone who may think differently then you, or maybe it is something else.  Do your civic duty and vote, then go hug someone you love and let them know how grateful you are for them.


Encouragement to me…as a salesperson

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2011 by mstevensrev Tagged: , ,

Here is the link but I’m also including the article…just because this preaches:)

Perhaps after my day of cold calling I will have a few thoughts regarding this HBR article:
3 Traits Essential to Being a Good Salesperson
Most successful salespeople can’t tell you what it is that sets them apart. That’s because they’re likely doing what comes naturally. Here are three attributes that top salespeople share:
Modesty. Contrary to the stereotype that salespeople are pushy and arrogant, the best are actually quite modest and humble. They win sales by putting the customers first, as opposed to establishing themselves as the focal point of the sale.
Curiosity. Top salespeople have a hunger for knowledge and information. This lets them stay focused during sales calls and drives them to ask inquisitive questions.
Lack of self-consciousness. The best salespeople are comfortable fighting for their causes. They’re action-oriented and unafraid to go high up in their accounts or courageously cold call new prospects.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople” by Steve W. Martin