Technology is not the boss of you

If you’ve known me for any stretch of time you’ve inevitably heard me rant that technology is not the boss of you.

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that further strengthened my less-than-positive feelings about our over-reliance and fixation on technology being the end-all, be-all answer to what ails us.

It happened as I was listening to a book on tape during my commute from the city back home to the mountains. I was listening to a book about spirituality when the narrator shared the following wisdom:

“The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

I’d heard this quote by Lao Tzu many times before. For some reason, on this day it struck me in a new way. I reworded it like this:

“Technology is wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” Angie Mattson Stegall

Think about it: using technology can be wonderful. There are real gains to be had in ease, efficiency, and effectiveness if we’re in control of it.

The downsides of becoming a servant to technology, though, are tremendous.

  • Kids who can’t focus, play, read, or engage with their own imaginations because they are so used to the “rewards” of playing and interacting with devices.
  • Adults who don’t communicate with another over dinner, driveways, or desks because their eyeballs (and minds) are glued to their devices.
  • Folks who are completely addicted to online porn, gaming, or gambling. This includes people who are far more invested in social media drama or their “Second Life” than their real lives.
  • Anyone who texts and drives. And a lot of people who talk on the phone and drive. A potentially deadly multi-tasking sh*t storm.
  • People who, as soon as their alarms go off, grab their smartphones or tablets to check email and social media instead of embracing their partner, spouse, kids, pets, or themselves.
  • Everyone who grabs for their devices when they hear anyone else’s devices beep, bing, ring, or vibrate. That hit of dopamine in our brains feels goooooooood, doesn’t it? What a reward!

Truthfully, all this makes me desperately sad.

It’s why I harp on it. And why I’ve chosen NOT to focus on technology solutions in my business.

I think who we are and how we are being is far more important.

In fact, Nelson and I are exploring creating an off-the-grid retreat where people (YOU) can visit and disconnect from your devices. A place to make some room to rest, relax, write, and dream. Come sit around a campfire with us and talk about your big ideas. Go hiking or fishing or horseback riding with us. Walk a labyrinth as a moving meditation. Purposefully take time to unwind, unplug, and recharge. It’s a big vision for sure, but one that is becoming clearer (and we hope) closer to reality each day. We’ll hope you’ll come stay for a night, a weekend or longer.

In the meantime, I’m interested in how you manage technology use in your world. Are you a servant to your technology or have you mastered the art of controlling it in your life?

Share your examples and stories with me, please!

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. Playwright Max Frisch said, “Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it.” Think about that deeply for a couple of minutes. How is technology keeping you from really experiencing life and genuinely interacting with the people right in front of you?

Trails, snails, and other hard stuff

This past weekend, Nelson and I packed the dogs into the Subaru and hiked some hard stuff near our new house. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a hearty hike and we all needed it!

After picking out a loop hike that we hoped wouldn’t be overly crowded, we strapped on our hiking boots, grabbed the dogs, and headed out.

I’ll admit it: the 3.7 mile loop kicked my ass. More than half of it was uphill, some of it pretty steep. Nelson and the dogs went ahead while I persevered step-by-step, supported by my trusty hiking poles.

At one point, I was head down, huffing and puffing and wondering why I was doing this. “If I turn around now,” I thought tiredly, “it’s all downhill from here back to the car.” I felt tired. Alone. And a bit vulnerable.

And that’s when I almost stepped on it.

A little snail was on the trail in front of me – heading UPHILL.

I smiled, carefully maneuvered around him on the narrow trail and saw the lesson: if he (or she) can do it, carrying everything he has on his back, surely I can continue uphill, too.

Awhile later I passed a black snake on the side of the trail. She (or he) didn’t really react as I jumped back with a small squeal. We watched each other awhile before I continued my upward climb and arrived to find Nelson and the dogs resting at the trail junction.

We had a great day. I’m happy I kept going up that mountain. I’m happy I didn’t quit.

My “Pay What You Can” day was a big success, too. Nearly a dozen people signed up for an hour-long session with me.

Asking for help can be uncomfortable. Vulnerable.

And I’m grateful that each of these people felt comfortable enough with me to reach out and say, “Hey, I have something I’d like to work on with you.”

The reasons for these sessions varied:

  • Feeling stagnant in business growth
  • Overwhelm
  • So many ideas and opportunities!
  • Working too much IN the business
  • Perfectionism, succeeding, failing
  • Getting (and staying) organized
  • More!

This list contains common, universal struggles. And it excites me that each person felt some measure of vulnerability and still raised a hand to say, “I’m ready to find answers!”

I’m loving being able to ask penetrating questions that help you discern where you’re stuck and for us to create an actionable plan to get you into clarity and action. Out of fear, overwhelm and confusion.

After all, in life, the hard things are worth persevering through. The folks who signed up for a “Pay What You Can” session know this is true.

Will you join us?

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. If you know someone who is hungry/desperate/eager/ready for something like this, my best client engagements come through referrals. Don’t be shy about forwarding my notes to folks you know who are suffering from overwhelm or feeling stuck.

Changes!

This is one of the longer posts I’ve ever written mostly because there a BIG changes happening  for me and my business and it’s important to me to share the full stories.

I’m not sure where to start, so I’m just going to lay it out there.

I know where you’re stuck. I know where you are struggling.

And frankly, it’s time you took some action on it.

Wait, what? YOU don’t know where you’re stuck? You’re not sure how to take action?

Well, then today your luck is about to change.

See, it’s time I shared something that’s happening in my life and with my business. It’s something that has radically helped my clients and it can help you, too…

For the last two or three years, something remarkable has been happening with my clients. It goes like this:

During a mastermind meeting three years ago I introduced myself as someone who turns chaos into order and creates business systems. One of the business owners in the room slid me a sticky note that said, “How much will it cost me for you to fix me?” He was joking – and at the same time he was perfectly serious. (And I still have that sticky note, by the way.)

His business was growing and he was making money, yet he was completely exhausted from working all the time. He was beginning to miss important details (like invoicing, scheduling, etc.) and he wasn’t feeling joy “doing the work” anymore.

After serious consideration, he hired me. Let’s fast-forward through one year: he busted through some big-time limitations, embraced what it would take to create the business of his dreams, and he began taking steps to make that happen.

Fast forward another year to today…his business has nearly tripled, he employs three full-time and one part-time staff members. With that support, he is serving lucrative corporate clients, goes home at a decent time each night to share dinner with his beautiful family, and remarked how relaxing his holidays were this past year because he could actually rest knowing work was getting done and he wasn’t the one who had to do it.

Another of my clients has moved through all my evolutions in business with me – I started as her Mobile Administrative Assistant. When I began focusing on consulting with business owners, she had me help with systems and processes. The she jumped into quarterly sessions with me and magic continued to happen. With my guidance, she’s completely reworked her schedule, is only taking work that lights her up, has delegated away much of the rest of the work, and has added time to for owning a horse and showing him competitively.

And just recently, one of my newest clients participated in a two-hour Make Some Room Rendezvous with me. Towards the end of the session, I asked her two questions that pierced her heart. In her words, “Angie quickly diagnosed the underlying issues and helped me find the courage (and the time!) to make some meaningful changes and hold me accountable so I could start doing the work that truly feeds my soul.”

These are just a few examples of business owners (who are still my clients to this day) who made the powerful decision to make some room to think differently about their businesses and their lives. Together, we crafted a vision for them that has ultimately made them happier, healthier, and even more financially successful.

Now, I am called to share these stories in order to help you.

The work I’m moving into today isn’t as simple and clear-cut as getting organized or creating systems and processes. It’s way, way more.

This new business focus is truly about helping people (YOU) connect with what’s inside. This work strikes to the heart (YOUR HEART) of what it means to be of service to the world while living a satisfying life.

This blossoming gift of mine centers on helping you make some room to:

  • Ponder questions that help you dive deeper into YOUR truth
  • Clear out what isn’t serving you anymore so you have space for what does
  • Connect with where you are STUCK and find support getting unstuck
  • Embody who you are and why you are on this planet right now
  • Create a business/schedule/life you LOVE
  • Gratefully (gracefully?) accept support and accountability to move into inspired action

How am I qualified to do this work?

It’s the very same work I’ve invested considerable time and money on with my own coaches for the last six years.

Because I KNEW there was more to my work than sorting papers (there’s nothing wrong with that and if it lights you up, do it. I just knew there was more for me to uncover).

And now, because my clients are seeing powerful changes when they invest their time, energy, and money in working with me, I decided I can’t keep not talking about this anymore.

So, the time is now. And I want to give you, gentle reader, the experience of working with me in new, richer, deep capacity.

I’ve never offered this before, but now’s the time time to try some new stuff!

This Thursday, May 29th (the day after tomorrow), I’m doing a first ever “Pay What You Can” day!

Here’s the deal:

  1. Decide what you feel you can pay (I’ll share the PayPal link on Thursday)
  2. Pick a time for a one-hour phone conversation (I’ll share the scheduling link with you after I receive payment)
  3. Get ready for a deeeeep dive into whatever area of your business or life that needs a shakedown. Think snow globes. Through this conversation, I want to help you get unstuck, get major clarity, and even help you create a mini action plan so you can move forward with confidence.

What these calls aren’t:

  • Therapy. My work is centered on successful individuals who are ready to blast to the next level in business and in life. If you need therapy, please find a great therapist.
  • Sales pitches. I won’t spend the hour trying to convince you you should work with me. At the end of the call, if I think we’re a good fit to work together, I’ll say so. If you’re feeling the same, we’ll talk further. If you feel complete at the end of our call, then I’ve done my job.
  • Bitch/Blame/Victim sessions. If you want to gossip, groan, or otherwise lament the horribleness of people or life, go back and read the first bullet.

Questions before Thursday? Bring it! I’m all ears and I’ll respond personally to your questions.

Time to Make Some Room,

Angie Mattson Stegall

P.S. If you’re a past or current client and you want an hour of my time, reach out and I’ll hook you up. This “Pay What You Can Day” isn’t only for new clients, but will serve them best.

P.P.S. Space is limited. I’ll offer somewhere between 10-15 of these one-hour “Pay What You Can” sessions. You must make payment and choose your date/time this Thursday, May 29, 2014. And once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Page 4 of 81« First...23456...102030...Last »