Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Aladdin Factor Full Circle

In the mid 90's I came across a book with a title that I could not pass up - it was called The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. I flipped the book over and saw this: "Anything is possible... if you dare to ask!"  The only books I had ever bought were for "fun" but I HAD to know about this and bought it on the spot. I fell in love with this book as I had never considered something so simple and yet so profound - and actually with so much depth.

Months later, Richard Fenton (now my husband and business partner) would share with me the "go for no" philosophy. Although at that time it was just a message that he would share - there was no book, training or business there at all.  The entire idea of "going for no" and "daring to ask" were things that I let drift early on.  When I am honest about it, I really just cared WAY TOO MUCH about what people thought of me, that they would like me, and so the idea of asking for anything had been entirely drummed out of me because I let it.

So after embracing 'go for no' with a passion and helping Richard write the book, we eventually decided that we were on a mission to change the perception around no, failure, and rejection. The business was born. As with most things it has taken far longer than we thought it would but we have not given up even when things have been slow or tough.

In 2009, we decided to make a movie; a documentary style DVD we called "Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There". We drove 12,000 miles all over country interviewing top achievers about how they used hearing 'no' and failures and rejections to eventually reach their level of great success.

One of the people we interviewed was Jack Canfield, co-author of the book that changed my life and got me to start asking again. Jack's interview was, of course, amazing. He is clearly one of the great inspirational thought leaders of our time.  When we were about to leave, Jack grabbed a First Edition of "The Aladdin Factor" from his bookcase, one of three remaining, and signed the copy to us. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My little lesson in fear

"You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind." - Darwin P. Kingsley

One of the most disastrous moments of my life was in junior high school. Okay, actually all of junior high was disastrous but this was particularly bad.  It was "Oral Report" time and I had to chosen to speak about the dangers of smoking. I had my notes carefully written out - in pencil - on 3 by 5 note cards. Oral reports usually took days to get through. But it finally happened... "Andrea - you are up!"

My stomach lurched. I stumbled to the front of the room. My note cards were barely readable (why did I use pencil??) and seemed out of order... or were they? My voice shook as I began - steadied myself against the podium. My normal functioning shut down. It was about survival. At some point I must have finished and I do recall making my way back to my chair to the snickers of classmates. It was really, really bad. Really bad. It was also the day I decided that I would make it my life's mission to do as little public speaking as humanly possible for as long as I lived. In the years following, I would do everything within my power to avoid speaking to a group.  If you had told me then that I would make a living speaking - as in "professionally" as in - "paid" I never would have believed it. 

But time moves on and circumstances, and people, change.

I have become a speaker in part because of the passion I have for the Go for No message and the sheer thrill and joy I get from doing it now.  I am certainly not the greatest speaker you'll ever hear. (I am a lot better than I was in junior high.) I have learned that what you think you can or cannot do, what fears you think you will hold onto forever, can be changed. With a little passion, courage, and willingness to be bad for a while - life can offer amazing things when we allow it to.

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