In my blog entry posted on Jan 22, I wrote “publish a book” as one of my goals. When I wrote it, I had no idea how I was going to make it happen. In the same blog post, I also wrote that “What” always comes before “How”. The first thing I did was to put it on my vision board.
I then started talking to people and asking those who have published how they did it. I went back to Japan for 2.5 weeks in March with my family, where I met lots of people. Most of them were my friends I’ve known for years, but I also met new people, two of them I discovered through social media. I continued discussing my book ideas with them. One person gave me advice on how to write a book proposal, another person shared effective presentation techniques to book editors, yet another suggested how to identify potential publishing companies for my book ideas by going to bookstores. Two days before I left Japan, I got a call inviting me to meet up with an editor of a publishing company. I met her the next day, and I presented my proposals, and I came back to San Diego. Then, just a few days ago, I learned that they liked my proposal and that they thought it was worth publishing!
I am just amazed at how quickly this whole thing is unfolding. Some might call it luck, and I certainly feel very fortunate, but I believe that this series of events came about because I put my focus on it. Now I am very excited that I get to actually write this book. I intend to enjoy the every step of this journey.
I have heard that you should measure your work in terms of your output, and not your input. In other words, you should measure your work not by how many hours you’ve put in, but by how much you’ve produced as a result of it. I’d even go further and say that you should measure your work by the impact you make with your output. Obviously, your personal satisfaction is really important, but what is also perhaps more important is what kind of value you are creating for other people.
Last year when I was about to be ready to announce that I’ll be officially leaving the Japanese school I had worked for 4 years, a colleague of mine told me that she was feeling somewhat resentful that I had created my business while still working at the school. She said, “While I am giving my 100% into this job, it seems like this job at the school is something ‘on the side’ for you”, implying that I was giving less than 100% into it. I didn’t know how to respond to her comment at that time, so I just replied to her with “Thank you for telling me how you feel” and left it at that.
After pondering about what she said for a while, I came to the conclusion that true value of your work should be measured by the impact your work has instead of how much hours you put in. This is why there is certain security for working for someone, but in most cases, there is also a limitation for the impact you can make as well as how much you get for that. From now on, I’ll be always measured by how many people benefit from the services I offer, which is the ultimate indicator of the value I am creating for other people – not how many hours I put in, or how many courses or products I’ve created. In a sense it is very scary, but I am also excited to know how far I can go. How about you? How would you like to be measured?
The talk on Redirecting Children’s Behavior techniques for the Gemini Crickets of Multiples Club of Silicon Valley was very successful – we had over 70 parents participating! When Mari, one of the club officers, a mother of a 4 year old & 20 month old twins and my close friend told me the day before that 64 people had registered to attend, I was thrilled but also thought that not everyone would show up. So I was really surprised when 70 copies of handout we had prepared were all gone and there were a few who didn’t get it (I even gave my original). Continue reading
A friend of mine who lives in Japan once wrote in her blog about her friend who had been stuck in a dead-end job. My friend described how her friend had been “made” to do mundane, non-exciting work for many years, such as making coffee for her bosses, making copies of the documents, filing etc. and not given more challenging tasks at her job. Her friend thinks about leaving that job from time to time, but finds herself trapped because she doesn’t have any transferable skills. The blog post continued with, “Of course, the reason why she doesn’t have many transferable skills is because her company does not give her tasks through which she can learn those skills”. I had a very strong reaction to that sentence. I didn’t comment to that post – I did not agree with her at all, but I didn’t know how to offer a different point of view without sounding like I am attacking her or belittling her friends’ trouble. I kept thinking about that statement and wondered if the majority of people who consider themselves stuck at a dead-end job feel the same – in that they can’t get more skills because their employers do not give them more interesting, challenging tasks. Continue reading
If someone had said to me when I was in my college that I will marry a foreigner, move to San Diego and will have two sons, and I will have my own business around coaching parents (especially mothers) and teaching others about how to create a peaceful family….I would not have believed it. After completing my graduate degree in 1998, I started working for one of the United Nations organizations, which was my dream job since high school.