Marilyn A. Anderson works with owners and senior executives to expand their businesses, and her goal for 2022 is to help ten of you succeed in yours.
Happy 2022, everyone! What’s your goal this year? Mine is to help at least ten of you (owners or senior executives) expand yours!
Please note that business, and particularly helping people expand theirs, was not where I began. While both my parents had businesses of their own, I chose health sciences as my first field of study, simply based on subjects I enjoyed in school and having no true understanding of the associated realities and hierarchy in that world. Big realization: as much as I loved science and biochemistry, my real ‘home’ was in social sciences and what brings people together.
Advice to my past self would be: “Just do it!” (sooner!)… Trust yourself, ask for/accept help when you need it, find something you really love! While it wasn’t an easy decision from an economic standpoint at that time in my life, eventually, I went back to the books and studied communications with a side order of marketing. That was 2005….
I am a great believer in the axiom, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood,” and one of my ‘favourite things’ to do is to get people to tell me their story. My best invitation ends “and if you start at two years old, I am good with that”.
Back in 2009, I wrote a program I called ‘Pi”, which is the constant which helps us do some interesting math in the world of geometry. It gets us from a straight line to a circle, and that 360 view can be very helpful indeed. The first phases were about my clients’ values and beliefs, which I had them list, review and evaluate in particular ways. It’s hard work, looking within, sometimes. And after those discussions, I would get them to ‘tell me their story’, using the invitation quoted above. At the end of what would be several conversations (them talking, me taking reams of notes),I would write their life story based on what they had shared. So often, they were very surprised at what had created their outcomes. One client’s mom was displeased because ‘I knew her son better than she did!’
The concept of that whole program was to get people truly connected to what mattered to them and how they showed up in that light in their world. I love working with people who get that.
One example is a program I’m working on with the people at Priceless Farms (that’s a .com), who are restoring acres of soil in Uganda and creating employment by growing organic moringa, which they are now bringing to market in Canada in VentreeLife (also .com). Check it out, talk with Kim. (In fact, tell him I sent you…he has a ‘friends and family’ program. Check it out!).
Another major focus for me is expanding the circle of business sectors associated with RAYL, which supports small and medium-sized businesses with technology platforms, communications and a robust business network.
My mom (rest her soul) dealt directly with people in her business every day. Her philosophy was clear, to make everyone she met feel bigger and better about themselves for having the experience of working with her. Her mantra serves me well to this very day: “Make someone smile today. You’ll be glad you did!”
Compliment a stranger as you stroll by. A simple comment like, “great tie!” or “love your scarf!” can be all it takes to change someone’s perspective. I may get away with it because I qualify as an ‘old broad’, and I do practise this often. I can share that it will change postures and faces in the people you encounter. Hold a door open, let someone who looks weary take that last seat on your train, comment on someone’s pet on a walk or at the park, show interest in a friend’s conversation. Like my mom said: “You’ll be glad you did!” Enjoy!