Reflections on New Beginnings & Callings

Crevice

Written by Maitri Meyer September 14, 2017

Summer Sabbatical: New Beginning

Few of us are gifted the opportunity to rest, reflect and reset. That is exactly what I did this summer in preparation for a new chapter in life. Recently, over only a 90-day period, I endured several of those major life stressors we read about on stress scale lists. I can’t even count how many times I listened to and sang along with Daniel Namod’s Everything New song, “Bring it on! Everything new; everything different; everything true. I am ready, for my next thing to do. Ohhh I know, it’s gonna be everything new.”

As part of the process I was forced to slow down enough to read more than the back of the Advil bottle to determine how many I can take without endangering my kidneys!

Two excellent books helped me examine how I could serve this planet in my second half of life. In case this is useful for others, I will share some of the key insights that were most helpful and the reflections that resulted in Actually DONE’s mission, vision and core values being formalized.

Discovering my Calling

Callings by Gregg Levoy
Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life by Gregg Levoy

My dear friend, Gregg Levoy, describes the traditional calls – typically sounds – to worship or rituals in his book Callings, “The purpose of calls is to summon adherents away from their daily grinds to a new level of awareness, into a sacred frame of mind, into communion with that which is bigger than themselves.” Like the temple chimes, shamanic rattles and church bells our life events can awaken us to our inner callings. For me, becoming an empty nester, selling the family home, quitting a stable job and moving 1,500 miles from “home” provided the earth quaking gap between my former life and the need to create anew. It became deafeningly apparent I was to slow down, nurture my exhausted mind and body and reflect gently before any major decisions were made. It wasn’t long before the over-achiever’s guilt of not “doing enough” and the fear of realizing I’m formally unemployed set in. I became restless and almost panicked, thinking maybe I should just get another J-O-B.

Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson
Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson

Thankfully, I was listening to Marianne Williamson’s The Law of Divine Compensation on CD’s in my car.  She clearly differentiated a calling from a job, “A job is an exchange of energy in which you do a material task and someone provides money in exchange. A calling, however, is an organic field of energy that emerges from the deepest aspects of who you are.” “…a true calling puts you in a career zone that cannot be taken away.” “Your calling is what you would do whether you were paid to do it or not. Your calling is what you have to do in order to be happy. Your calling is what connects you to your deepest self, and to the rest of life around you.” Every time I got in the car, the stereo was speaking directly to me as it reminded me that jobs end, but callings cannot. What a relief to realize unemployment is impossible, there is always more service to provide the world.

Inspired even more to continue reading Callings, I really resonated when Gregg described the intellectual debate we experience while contemplating that which we feel destined to do, “Saying yes to the calls tends to place you on a path that half of yourself thinks doesn’t make a bit of sense, but the other half knows your life won’t make sense without.” He concludes, “Generally, people won’t pursue their callings until the fear of doing so is finally exceeded by the pain of not doing so, but it’s appalling how high a threshold people have for this quality of pain.”

Examples of the physical and emotional pain I had been feeling for over 25 years flooded my consciousness and I knew it was time to make a radical and intentional change. I reflected silently for days on my favorite quote from the entire book, “When we give off nothing but busy signals, calls simply don’t get through. Get off the line once in a while.” Boy had I been guilty of hogging the line for years, perhaps stemming from being one of 3 teenage girls back in the single land line era.

Once the exhaustion brain fog dissipated, I was more determined than ever to leverage my talents to improve the planet.  My personal motto became, “Improve the planet, one action at a time!” Matthew Fox theologian says, “If you get cut off from your passion, then where’s your compassion going to come from?” I have always been very clear my top passion areas include: Sustainability, holistic health and personal growth. I also knew I wanted to help positive impact organizations working in these three areas to accomplish their missions. The best way I could do that is to be a resource any time they have a gap in expertise or bandwidth and jump in on a project by project basis.

Actually DONE Business Formation

With my calling and passion areas solidified, I was fully equipped to develop my new business’ vision, mission and core values:

  • Actually DONE’s vision is to proudly serve over 100 environmental, health and spiritual organizations worldwide to complete their mission-critical projects.
  • Actually DONE’s mission is to leverage our professionals’ skills to propel positive impact organizations forward to improve the planet, one project at a time!
  • Actually DONE’s core values in priority order are: Honesty, reliability and integrity.

As how to how to get that actually done, I referred to Marianne’s Divine Compensation book once again where she lists the four rules for miraculous work creation: 1. Be positive. 2. Send love. 3. Have fun. 4. Kick ass.

With that, I leave you with a reflective prayer from my beloved Course in Miracles, “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say, and to whom?”

…and what is YOURS to do?  Please, let us know!

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Easily Solve Gaps in Expertise & Bandwidth

gap

Written by Maitri Meyer, September 1, 2017

Talent Shortage Facts

  • Globally, 40% of employers report having difficulty filling positions states ManpowerGroup’s 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey.
  • There were 76 million people born between the years 1946 and 1964. Numerous sources have confirmed 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every single day, and this is expected to continue into the 2030’s. The Boomers filled (or still fill) the highest levels of leadership.
  • There are 30 million less Gen X’ers (the generation after the Boomers), which creates a major gap in leadership and experienced talent.
  • Succession planning is still not common place, especially in smaller companies.  Various sources over the past 5 years reported between 30-60% of companies have not done any succession planning.  Likewise, few companies invest in identifying and developing their high potential employees.
  • Many employers are still cautious about increasing their W2 employee count after the 2007 recession forced layoffs and terminations of those they considered family.

3 Talent Shortage Solutions

  1. Recruit New Talent: Given the talent shortage and skills mismatch, recruiting new employees is not as easy as it used to be. Significant strategy and investment is often required to be even moderately successful.  Creating a new position is weighed very carefully and is often denied.
  2. Retain and Train Current Talent: Lifetime career employees are no longer the norm. We have all heard facts such as: Average tenure in a job is less than 5 years; average workers will work 12-15 jobs in their career; and only 30% of employees are engaged at work, 50% are not engaged and 17% are actively disengaged. In addition, personnel costs typically account for 15-30% of a financially stable company’s budget. The cost of turnover is obviously staggering. Clearly, the best investment is to train and develop current employees. If the skills being learned will be required on a regular basis or to move up in the company, the investment is even more critical.
  3. Outsource Talent: Hiring independent contractors is a low-risk strategy that many organizations are embracing. In fact, this trend expanded significantly after the recession. Given healthcare and additional benefits add 30% to every employee investment, avoiding those costs results in a low investment per manhour. For short term, skill-specific or project work it becomes a no-brainer, outsourcing is by far the most economical tactic to fill talent gaps.

As the demand for off-site contracted services skyrockets, the supply of remote workers, advisors, consultants, virtual professionals, freelancers, overseas call centers and virtual assistants has kept pace.

What Exactly is a Virtual Professional? How is it different from a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual professional completes his/her work remotely as an independent contractor. Areas and levels of expertise can vary greatly including highly specialized consultants, project managers, individual contributors or administrative support. Oftentimes, virtual professionals are hired on a project or other short-term basis. Side note: Some fun labels for virtual professionals include Digital Nomad, Freedom-preneur, and Suitcase Entrepreneur.

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a sub-set of the broader category of Virtual Professional (VP). Most VA’s provide administrative support to take routine tasks off the plates of busy executives.  They can be hired via numerous online service providers, typically for $6-$40/hour.

In addition to carrying out the tasks, VP’s can also help determine what is needed and recommend the best resource (oftentimes a VA!)  At Actually DONE, our VPs are highly accomplished (20+ years of experience), reliable professionals that recommend strategy, define scope, and complete your on-demand projects when you have a skill or bandwidth gap in your organization.

We specialize in bringing business skills to positive impact organizations to fulfill their mission-critical projects on time and on budget. Contact us to discuss how we can cut your To Do list in half.