Can This Improve Productivity?

There’s something extra delicious and relaxing about taking a vacation day. Slipping off (like playing hooky) to the beach or the lake or the mountains one day when all the rest of the world is working. It’s like you get extra relaxation and rejuvenation that somehow isn’t possible on a weekend, even if you were to do the exact same thing.

I think there’s power or energy in the idea that you’re “supposed to be working” but you’re not. I don’t know about you, but it’s nearly impossible for me to ever turn off the cell phone – which is also my business line – and not turn on the computer for a whole 24 hours. God forbid the world could need something from me.

Yesterday I conducted an experiment and did just that. I found a fairly uninhabited section of beach, parked myself under my umbrella wearing factor 50 sun screen, and basically did nothing for several hours. More than once I had to stop myself from turning the phone on, just to see who may have called. And yes, I should have left the phone at home, but I brought it with, you know,  just in case of an emergency.

I’ve just finished reading Esther and Jerry Hicks’ book “Ask and It Is Given.” In it, they contend that if you’re not getting all that you desire in life, it’s because you are vibrationally not matching what it is you are asking for. And the only way to increase your vibration is to bring more joy and happiness into your experience. To not try so hard to make things happen. So I decided to see what happens when I stop pushing so hard. (note, this is not to say stop taking action; it is about being more relaxed, less stressed about it.)

I did feel a lot better and had more energy at the end of the day. I’m thinking of making this a monthly exercise. Let me know if you’d like to join me.

PS: I still got burned, so bring extra sun screen.

Leading a Tribe

Seth Godin's book TribesSeth Godin is looking for leaders. In his latest book, “Tribes,” Seth claims there’s a “vast shortage of leaders” at a time when it’s never been easier for people who want to make a difference to do so. To become a tribe leader, “all you need to do is motivate people who choose to follow you.”

Cool. So I’m seeing massive opportunity in front of me and for you too. What are you passionate about? Find others who are passionate about the same thing and lead them in creating change, in making a difference in the world. It’s human nature to want to belong, to fit in. And right now, with the Internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to find others who will join you in whatever quest you’re on.

Personally, I’m building a tribe to change how people relate to each other in business and personal life. I’m building a tribe that understands the importance of sharing gratitude, of appreciation marketing, of recognizing the contributions of others to their success. Not everyone will want to be in my tribe, nor is everyone is even qualified to join. But for those who do and who are, we will impact the lives of millions by creating stronger relationships and helping others feel valued.

What tribe are you leading?

Grateful for Twitter Connections

Last week I had a great phone conversation with Deanna Collins, creator of The Gratitude Collection. We found each other on Twitter and thought that with The Gratitude Cookie™ and The Gratitude Collection, we must connect.

Deanna’s Gratitude Collection is a collection of bracelets, necklaces and earrings that were created to “help the wearers make a conscious effort to recognize the gifts in their lives.”

She told me that she made the very first Gratitude Bracelet, the one that has now become the essential element of the Signature Collection, for a friend as a gift to comfort her through a difficult time. (see that whole story here.)

Word got around and more and more people began asking her to make the bracelets for them. Next thing you know, she had a business and expanded the jewelry line into necklaces and earrings as well.

Today the solitary bead in her Signature Collection is an authentic hand-sculpted bead from the Mount Kenya region of Africa, hand-crafted by local Kenyan women. Very cool.

Also on the Gratitude Collections web site are some wonderful quotes on gratitude. Check them out here.

With our common connections and philosophies, Deanna and I are discussing how to combine our efforts to share the important message of Gratitude. I’ll keep you posted on the new developments. Or follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/ZenRabbit and twitter.com/GratitudeCircle) to get the continuing updates.

The Dessert Experience

The Great American Dessert Experience and my first “big girl” trade show is over. While it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting in terms of overall size and number and quality of attendees, I did meet several other exhibitors with great companies that I would recommend you check out.

Jodi Braun started For Goodness Cakes and mmm, mmm, mmm, they are good! Kind of a cross between a cheesecake and a coffee cake. She gave me a cinnamon one to bring home at the end of the show and we are quickly eating our way through it. Read more about them at www.forgoodnesscakes.com.

My “next door neighbor” at the show was Spice Rack Chocolates, created by Mary and Paul Schellhammer. These are solid chocolates enhanced with a variety of herbs, spices and flavorings. Think lemon with basil, grapefruit with lavender or, from the en fuego collection, crushed Thai chilies (yes, it is HOT!). Check out all the flavors at www.SpiceRackChocolates.com.

Winners in the “Small Bite, Big Taste” competition, 3 Sisters Creative Specialty Foods makes confectionary covered popcorn. We’re talking mini popcorn balls drenched in strawberry or key lime or chocolate coating. Sweet and crunchy. See what I’m talking about at www.popon-line.com.

Other cool products include Wine Cellar Sorbet (www.winecellarsorbet.com) which is exactly what you think – sorbet made from wine and PhotoFrost which is a system for printing pictures on cakes, cookies, cupcakes or anything else edible using a regular inkjet printer (!) (www.photofrost.com)

If you need bakery equipment, I now recommend calling my new friend John Stricker at www.bakery.com. And in case you want to certify your kitchen and products as kosher, contact Steve Sichel at Star-K Kosher (www.starkosher.com).

Next trade show is World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, May 30-June 1, 2008.