All posts by joannemasterkey

Becoming better than my best

Week 6 Would I Go See My Movie?

This week we are working on our movie poster and focusing on the shapes in our smart goals.  I’ve done many workshops where participants are asked to create a dream board.  It was always an entertaining experience however, I rarely saw anyone achieve the life depicted in those wonderful pictures pasted onto colorful boards with artsy borders.  So when we were given the task I thought ‘Oh no, here we go again’; but then something in the back of my mind kicked in. This might be something different.  This might actually be something worthwhile to try.

I did my board for the last MKMMA; making this exercise a touch up; or so I thought.  I looked at the board and the dates projected on it and to my amazement some of them had already been done.  This is good, I thought, this means it is not a useless exercise I’m moving forward. It only needs a little tweaking and then it’s a done deal.  But then, that thought made me think that I was making this into another item checked off my list and not looking at the project with my whole self in mind.

follow-your-blissI stepped back looking at the poster in a new light.  I looked at it thinking Would I go see this movie or wait for the video?  Here are the things I know:  A year has passed and there have been changes in my company’s compensation plan, additions to the family, income changes, health changes; so many things in the 365 days since I last created this poster.  The things I don’t know are the things missing from this poster.  The things I don’t know is what is going to bring me absolute JOY.  What is it that I would gladly do for free.  Looking at it objectively and with the knowledge from the last MKMMA also allows me to think creatively this time.  What can I put on there that will feed my soul instead of it being simply a to-do list?  What is it that I want to do that will feed my bliss?  This requires thought and will probably take a couple of ‘sits’ to bring it forward but I know it’s there waiting for me to discover and that is why I’m looking at this in a completely new perspective.


MasterKey Week One

I’ve begun the journey once more.  It has taken much reflection and acceptance of responsibility to return to MasterKey.  I faced the fact that there is work still to be done.  The subby is strong and willing to revert to old destructive ways because it is easier to just do what we’ve always done; rather than step out on that Hero’s Journey and live out loud.  I’ve made the decision to push forward in this and in my business because it is necessary, expected and life affirming.

I got the Show

In my last post I outline my audition for a new Conference Call show in our business. It was nerve wracking but with careful preparation and a bit of sweat; it worked.

I got the show!

The name of the the show is “Talk to Me” We will be interviewing industry leaders and skill masters. We’re going to give a voice to the average Networker who wouldn’t ordinarily have a platform. In other words, we’ll be awesome.

I’ll post our call in details here. You’re invited to listen in when we get started.

Week 22 Fear Averted  

I’ve been taking a class called ” Inside the Studio.” It’s  a class designed to teach us how to make our team conference calls more professional. Today was our audition program. It’s something like a commencement, where we produce and present a live “show.”

The topic I picked to present was .”First things first, What to say.” I chose that topic because it is one of the thing I don’t do very well. I figured that by picking it I would be forced to research it and practice it in order to make my presentation more credible.

I set about investigating skill builders, and ice breakers, and closing sentences and, and, and.  Eventually I was researched out and had to set about doing the work. So I picked up the phone.

For my first call I tried the “Two minute story” and it worked! The person on the other end of the phone did not curse me out, she did not come through the phone and devour my head; she answered exactly as the script said she would!  I thought to myself, “Huh, that wasn’t too bad. Let me do this again.” Second call, same result. Ok, so maybe there is something to this word thing after all.

Next I tried the “Would it be ok?” approach . Worked like a charm. The science behind it is sound.  Those of us with children know this is magic for them and our kryptonite.  To put the words into action was enlightening. Oh, I’m a big, would it be ok, fan now. I use it for everything. Would it be ok if I asked you to keep reading?

With my research done, the next thing I needed was my script. First I winged it while recording myself to see what my tempo was.  Then I wrote out the script, based on my recording, taking out the umm, ahhs and so’s.   Then I played with it some more until I liked the content.  Finally, I recruited my husband to act as an audience for me.  He critiqued my delivery and content; we felt we had a good product.

Needless to say, I barely slept the night before the audition rising early, to make it to work an hour earlier, to make sure I was somewhere quiet at the start of the call. We dialed into the pre-call to get our tips and marching orders; then we were Live.

Four of us auditioned.  We called our show “Getting Your New Independent Associate Off to a Fast Start”   Julie did a fantastic job with her energetic opening, then she introduced Melena.  Melena came in with the topic of Dreams and Goals, then she introduced me. Whelp. I inhaled and did my First Things First segment then I introduced AJ.  AJ who covered Four Tips for Prospecting then he threw it back to Julie who closed the show with a strong motivating call to action.

I have to say, it was a Great show!

It was nerve wracking and challenging but all in a good way. It made me face several fears and forced me to overcome them because I was working on a deadline. I didn’t have the option to procrastinate; the only choice was to get it done.

This experience was something I otherwise would have missed. This time, I took that leap of faith and the results were wonderful. I learned that many times I hold myself back. I think the more I push through my self imposed boundaries, I’m chipping away more of the cement. I’m seeing little flecks of gold.

It is this personal devil which makes men fear the past, the present and the
future; fear themselves, their friends and their enemies; fear everything and everybody. When fear is effectually and completely destroyed, your light will shine,
the clouds will disperse and you will have found the source of power, energy and
Charles F. Haanel



Week 21 Silence 

It was raining in Philadelphia today so as I took my spot for my usual after work Sit; I was treated to the wonderful sound of rain. I made a mental note to myself to try to completely empty my brain and let the patter calm me.  You see, I have a serious case of “monkey brains” I just can’t shut up in my head. So I sat today with a purpose; determined that I would go for silence, complete total and utter silence.

Guess what? It worked! Ok it only worked in little vignettes but it worked. The problem was as soon as I realized the silence I started thinking about the fact that I was silent. Of course the big problem there is, if I’m thinking about being silent then I’m not.  I reset and tried again.  All in all it was a pretty good sit and I actually felt refreshed when it was done.

From the start, I’ve had repeated challenges with these daily sits. From not making time to make sure that I do it consistently, to doing it but not have it going in the direction I’d like it to go.  I know Philip Moffitt hosts retreats where people learn to quiet the mind and spend most of their time in silence for days on end. I should take solace that by taking a small slice of time each day the little baby steps are leading me toward that ultimate goal.  It is somewhat frustrating to experience such sporadic success; however, I do feel baby step progress is still progress so there’s that.

With all the hiccups I’ve had with MKMMA, I have to look at it like just another stepping stone to where I need to go.

Week 20 Progression

Today I had a truely fabulous day in my business. I did not close a bunch of deals but I took steps that I have not before. I set a goal and stuck to it. Mainly due to our 10 Day accountability challenge. Today’s challenge was to establish our goals then make a list of at least five people to contact. My goals were already done and established since I’ve been reading them 3xs a day for weeks now. My list was another thing altogether. So, I pulled out my old contact sheet, picked out the five scariest and they became my target 5 for today.

I set my plan that after work today I would relax for a short time at home then start calling. At first, I called too early; either it went to machine or they were busy. So I reset my time to call at 7pm and I did it. I only missed one person and she is now at the top of my list for tomorrow’s challenge.

Today’s challenge was not anything that I didn’t already know that I had to do. After all, it is the mantra of our business. Set appointments, show the plan. But today, I actually did it. I still had the anxiety I’ve always had but this time I pushed through. There were several times I held the phone in my hand then closed it. This time I was on the clock. I knew I had to get it done by our check in call at 9pm. I made sure to contact each person well before that time and even got a returned call before the deadline. It was as if my contacts sensed the deadline and reacted accordingly.

For some people, phone work is easy as breathing. Not so for me. It’s something I’ve struggled with and today’s exercise forced me to push through and get it done. Accountability partners definitely provide that extra motivation to accomplish things and a mastermind alliance keeps you in contact with people going in the same direction you’d like to. I’m no longer swimming upstream. Can’t wait for our next challenge.

Week 17 Persistence a gift from the squirrels to me

I struggled with this virtue and I’m sure it’s because I struggle with it in my life. I began to write this weeks’ post but stopped because I refused to have a negative outcome. So, I put this down for a day to put persistence to test. Here’s what happened.

As you may have read in my tweets, my mother was admitted to the hospital last week and remained hospitalized for six days. This created a new challenge for me because she lives in NY and I’m in NJ. The day she was admitted, my husband and I were on our way to Charlotte and had to return to the city.

We got to the city and confirmed she was recovering and had no serious damage. With that feeling of relief we began to provide the care required when a loved one is in the hospital. We spent our days preparing, or ordering, food for her. Getting things she requested and visiting and keeping her company. It was a series of long and stressful days.

So one day, as I was leaving my mothers building to run errands, I paid attention to the squirrels in her courtyard. These are not ordinary squirrels, these are well fed and very spoiled squirrels. They are accustomed to the residents feeding them on a daily basis. They also don’t take no for an answer. As I walked down the walkway one beautiful black squirrel was sitting on the picnic table looking at me.
I always stop to look at the black squirrels because I’ve only ever seen them in her complex and they have beautiful curled fuzzy tails with fur that moves in the wind. My squirrel took the time to look me over too. It sat there first regarding me with a glance, then it sat full upright and looked right at me. After a moment it moved forward, perhaps thinking that I must be a little slow. I was making clicking noises as you would with cats and it simply looked at me and tilted the head.

Now I was thinking that this squirrel can’t be mimicking me but it did look like it might have been. We kept this up for a few moments until we were interrupted by someone coming out if the building. I knew the woman so we exchanged pleasantries and information and she promised to visit Mom. With that over, she reached into her pockets and took out some peanuts and bread. The squirrel stayed put. She walked over and placed the bread on the table near our friend, then placed the nuts at the corner of the table closest to where we stood.

The squirrel went toward the bread then had the nerve to look back at me as if to say “see that’s how you do it.” I chuckled and said smart aren’t they. The neighbor said that they have gotten to the point that whenever they hear the door open or see a human they expect to be fed. They are accustomed to it and if you have nothing, they stand expectantly until you ignore them or go get them something.

There I had it. I walked to the car with a huge grin on my face. Persistence! Then I got another smack upside the head; you’ve been living persistence since the phone call that day. Every thing we did, every decision made was a demonstration of persistence. Getting the attention my mother needed in a NY hospital definitely takes persistence. Once again, I had been discouraged that I did not have many dots on my Franklin sheet; only to realize that I’d witnessed and demonstrated persistence each and every day.

As it always turns out on this journey we are often surrounded by the virtues we seek but they have become so invisible we don’t see them anymore. Our minds and souls are beginning to open to the miracles around us, and we appreciate them more when finally uncovered because we have come to the awakening on our own. Oh you sneaky #mkmma.

Week 16 Kindness is what we do

My husband and I were working on the kindness posts for the alliance and he reminded me that we do these things every day and never really stop to think about each action as an act of kindness.

The exercise this week let us realize how many little kindnesses we witness every day.

It was refreshing to actually acknowledge it.

Week 14 Patience and Persistence

This week I picked the movie Door to Door, the Bill Porter story. While this was a story of overcoming physical limitations and public perceptions; it also showcased the human connection. Patience and persistence will get us to where we need to be but it is that connection we all have that makes us human and powerful.

The Law of Dual Thought says that we can draw duality from any experience. It is uniquely human to assign pain and pleasure to things and we all have the ability to decide which trigger to use at any given time. Bill came from the generation of doing it all on your own; however, his career taught him that helping people and allowing them to help you enriches life.

Many of us in MKMMA are in sales and have had to come to the same realization in order to move our careers forward. The exercises we’ve done makes it crystal clear that sales is not simply a matter of pushing products and services; it’s a finely choreographed dance of encounters and relationships. It’s providing a need and fulfilling happiness. We learn to use our skills to make things better for our customers and ultimately for ourselves.