Winning Deal

I’m committed to establishing a sense of balance in my life. I looked at my mobile phone and noticed there were a lot of business apps.

My friends play with Fruits, Candy and Zombies in their downtime, so I figured Solitaire couldn’t hurt. I added it to my phone and started it up.

This was the first thing I saw:

Choose wisely. Photo credit Me.

Choose wisely. Photo credit Me.

How interesting. I get to choose what kind of deal I get. Of course, I chose “Winning Deal” and went all in.

I have never played with such abandon. I tried out new things, made interesting patterns with my cards, and when I missed a chance to finish out a pile, I didn’t care because I knew it didn’t matter to the outcome.

What if you played your life like that?

You have already been given a winning deal. You are the source of your success.

So what if you played all out, had fun making mistakes, and knew– in your heart of hearts– that it didn’t matter to the outcome?

You can always win, if you start from the right frame of mind. Photo credit Me.

You can always win, if you start from the right frame of mind. Photo credit Me.

It doesn’t.

It never has.

What happens is that we believe in other kinds of “deals”, like the ones above. And what you believe will show up in your life. I’m going for the winning deal, and I’m going to play full out.

Play your life all out because it doesn’t matter to the outcome. In fact, it makes the outcome better.

What would you do if you knew you had a winning deal?

Be A Spider (4 Wise Moves for Entrepreneurs)

This blog post sponsored in part by the yummy food, great service and free Wifi at Gilbert’s on 17th Street Grill

Even though I’m a writer and creative consultant, I’m a scientist at heart. Most of my work comes from the revelations I have while studying nature and physics.

By David Maiolo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By David Maiolo [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On a walk the other day, I saw a huge banana spider suspended between a tree and a building. There was evidence in its web that it had already eaten a few creatures, and it was busy rebuilding the holes that were left.

On another tree close by sat an iguana.

Well, I thought, the iguana will have a healthy dinner.

But then I looked at the spider in the web again and realized I was wrong. There were four things that the spider had going for it that every risk-averse entrepreneur could learn.

1. Make your way by your strength.

Most spiders eat what they catch in their web. Others build traps and eat what gets caught there. Here’s the key: What they build sustains them. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t selling someone else’s products. Build on the things that sustain you.

2. Know what is your bread and butter.

Spiders eat insects. So they build their webs where insects are: flying between trees, or in dusty corners of your house. Spiders test their success by what they catch—so even if a spider mistakenly builds a web across your doorway, once you walk through it, you’ll never see that spider web there again. If you’re not catching anything where you are, move.

3. Take a calculated risk.

Contrary to Spiderman’s web-slinging in the comics, spiders don’t shoot silk out to build webs across a space. They fling themselves out there, spinning silk behind themselves during flight. Even baby spiders build tiny little parachutes in a process called ballooning (aww) after they hatch and fling themselves into the wind to find new homes. They do that so that they can test the viability of the places they attach their web to. You can’t judge your market or your products with theory. You’ve got to get out there. One of the first things I tell my clients to do is look at what’s already working— but to use that to push themselves deeper into their market. I talk about that on my TEDxTalk here.

4. Stay on the Web.

The spider’s best strength is on the web. Its food gets caught there. It has a great vantage point on its environment. And the spider’s legs are so sensitive to it that any movement on the web alerts the spider immediately. That iguana would have to leap off of the tree in order to catch the spider… unless the spider comes off the web. Once you’ve found the work you are good at, get better at it. Use the gifts and strengths you’ve been given to protect yourself.

And here’s a bonus tip!

5. Have faith in the world around you.

Spiders that are ballooning were at first thought to plan their trajectory. After many years of research, scientists concluded that they don’t really have a plan. They just know they need to move, and move farther than they can jump. When you understand who you are, and what your strengths are, don’t be afraid to jump into the world. Wherever you land, you’ll bring all of that with you.

Be a spider. Just don’t get caught in my hair.

Faith in the Real World

If you’re familiar with any spiritual teaching at all, you’ve heard of faith. It’s the substance of religion and spirituality.

fingers crossed

Have a little faith (and cross your fingers)!

Why do people who live in the midst of a material and physical world spend time, energy and money in the pursuit of the intangible, and many times, transitory? They have faith.

What is faith? It’s defined as belief in something without evidence or proof. Its word origin is more closely linked to the word “trust”.

Is that really true for you?

Do you really trust whatever god it is that you serve?

Many Christian songs talk about God’s deliverance, saying it’s been there before. But that’s based on past evidence. Who’s to say a new time, with different conditions, will produce the same results?

If your faith is only based on past experience, then at your core, you will have this question too. Past experience is not a true indication of present performance. Even in your own life, you know that the things you’ve done in the past may change now. Scientists don’t consider anything they’ve done a discovery until they can replicate it several times.

Faith based on past experience will be shaky. You know that’s the kind of faith you have if, throughout your entire journey, you have a roller coaster ride of emotions.

If you pray (or vision or plan) and while acting towards your goal, you are worried and fretting and frustrated, that’s not faith.

That’s force.

Faith is easy. It’s connected to an inner position of confidence. Faith in the real world isn’t just based on the intangible. It’s based on inner knowing.

It’s not just trust in God. It’s trust in yourself. If you’re not there yet, keep up the spiritual practice, and get to know yourself better.