Manufacture Your Day by EXPLORING WHAT’S TRULY IMPORTANT FOR YOU RIGHT NOW

At the beginning of a new year most of us are more willing than usual to turn over a new leaf or in other words, start acting or behaving in a better or more responsible way. Am I right or is it just me? 

Of course your alphabet of life could look entirely different but I think it would be a great idea if you had one. 

If you are interested to hear what I chose from this image, I am happy to share. I want to stretch myself more – physically (I will go back to Hot Yoga), emotionally (practise to stay super calm even when people annoy me – YES, some people do) and mentally (dream bigger, challenge more people to become better and of course become the very best at what I do). This is what I want to try as a little experiment this year. How far do you think I can I go if I am open to it? 

Years ago I attended a Dale Carnegie course and there was one saying that I still remember to this very day. 

“Most people are in a rut and they stay in a rut because they don’t use their ability to get things done.”

At the time I felt that this saying was totally directed towards me. I was in a rut and I didn’t see a way out until I realized that I was just feeling terribly sorry for myself. Bummer. I was in true victim mode. It was everybody else’s fault but mine. I allowed my outside circumstances to control me and my life. Can you relate? 

Today I would like you to be totally honest with yourself and reflect: 

What is the number 1 thing on this image (or maybe you have something else in mind) that you should say YES to? 

I would be thrilled to hear your choice. 

Manufacture Your Day by GETTING THE PEOPLE PROCESS RIGHT

Happy 2019!!!

A New Year! A New Beginning! Another chance to get it right. 

Are you ready to evolve into the person you’re meant to be? Did you make sure to set your personal and professional goals? 

If you want to get better results, you have to get better. If you want your team to get better, you have to get better. 

It actually is a lot of fun to use yourself as a self-improvement project. I know what I am talking about because I never get tired of improving myself. Seriously, I think nobody has made more mistakes in the past 12 years than I have and I am super proud of my mistakes because they gave me the opportunity to learn and to grow.

I work with a leadership coach and I make sure to take at least one course a year to become a better person, a better coach and a better workshop facilitator. 

If I can do it, so can you. I am here to support you and I am committed to do my very best to inspire you to move beyond fear and try new things. 

It is so much better to look for the light in our life than to live in darkness. 

I would like to remind you that all of us are in the “people business”. 

The better you understand yourself, the way you think and your emotional response, the easier it will be to understand the people around you. 

YOU are interested in becoming better and that’s why I would like to applaud you for reading my daily messages. 

I encourage you to take ACTion today: 

Make the time and walk around the office and the plant and look in people’s faces. This will help to shift your perspective. What do you see? Do you see Positivity, Joy, Kindness, Respect, Drive, Curiosity or do you see Resignation, Frustration, Anger, Stress, Hopelessness, Helplessness?

Why is this important? People’s emotions and their attitude make all the difference in their interactions with others. Engaged employees are productive employees. 

What would you like to see in people’s faces? 

  • If you would like to see kindness, be kind and encourage kindness.
  • If you would like to see respect, be respectful and encourage respect.
  • If you would like to see positivity, be positive and encourage positivity. 
  • If you would like to see creativity, be curious and encourage curiosity. 

Hard to believe but CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU. 

You better get working on that self-improvment project in 2019! 🙂

This will help you to feel more motivated and “alive”.

Manufacture Your Day by CONSIDERING THIS IMPORTANT YEAR-END THOUGHT

Thank you so much for reading my daily messages. They are written from the heart and they are meant to help you improve. This is my final message of the year but no worries, I’ll be back. 

Since most of my clients are in shut-down mode, I have decided to “shut-down” for a week as well. 

It’s a creativity and planning break to return fully present and with renewed energy on January 3rd for you and your team(s). 

My family and I celebrate Christmas but because I have a multicultural audience with many different religions, I would like to wish you whatever makes you happy and fills your heart with joy. Just don’t hope you will get this from material things. Spend time with the people you love and tell them that you love them. 

Having said this, the holidays can also be a very sad time for many. If you spend the holidays alone like I did on Christmas Eve in 2008, simply see it as a challenge to overcome and make a plan. 

This was my action plan: I went for a run in the morning, I cooked myself a nice dinner, I opened a good bottle of wine, I watched the Christmas movie “Holiday”, I was grateful that I was healthy, I was happy that I didn’t have to buy any gifts, and I went to church at 10 pm. 

That’s it. I survived and it made me mentally stronger. If I could do THAT, what else was possible? 

It’s the end of 2018 and I want you to acknowledge all the good things that happened in 2018. This will help you to be positive and excited about the new year to come. Remember, you will get what you expect. 

We are going to smash 2019 in the best possible way, right? 

Some questions for you to consider: 

  • What are the things you are most grateful for in 2018?
  • What are you most proud of (personally and professionally)? 
  • What do you want to improve upon in 2019? 
  • What person do you have to become in order to meet your goals? 

Finally, please take the time to read my all-time favourite poem. I love it and it helps me to keep myself and my goals in check. Read it or watch the video link below, and it will be time well spent. 

The Dash

by Linda Ellis

“I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars… the house… the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?”

If you prefer, here is the youtube video to watch instead: The Dash

I wish you a Relaxed Holiday Season and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous 2019!

Karin & Team Karico 

Manufacture Your Day by BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

I think I am a poster child for this one. 

When I started my little training business I was 38 years old. Thanks to Magna I discovered my passion for the people in the manufacturing industry and thanks to myself, I took a huge leap of faith by taking action. 

I knew next to nothing about business but I was very convinced that I could learn. 

My very first workshop – designed for machine operators – was 2 hours long. The people loved it and I knew I was on to something. I delivered this workshop 3 times a day over the course of 8 days and I covered all shifts. 

Over the years I have facilitated training at 8 pm in the evening, at 11 pm at night, at 1 am in the morning, at 4 am in the morning, during the day and on weekends. Right there I eliminated quite a bit of my competitors. Just like that. 

Who wants to facilitate training at night? Well, I do because I love it so much that I actually need less sleep. 

If you want to stand out of the crowd, you have to be different. I think that I am gritty and witty, which are pretty useful attributes to have.

All the tears, all the sweat, all the hard work, all the cold calls, all the fears, all the frustrations, all the long nights, all the “NOs”, and…..  I wouldn’t want to miss a thing because all of them eventually led to many “YESes”.

That’s how life is. If it would be easy, everyone would do it. 

I was fortunate enough to have great friends and supporters along the way and I wouldn’t have been able to do all of it without them. 

If you read my messages, you are here for a reason. Please don’t waste another minute and go for what you want. We need more people in our work environments who feel “alive”. 

Soon we will write 2019. Let’s make it count and let’s go all in. 

  • Let’s make new mistakes (=learning experiences).
  • Let’s do something new that is scary (=the magic happens outside the comfort zone).
  • Let’s take new risks (=no risk, no fun). 
  • Let’s meet new people (=enhance your social and communication skills).
  • Let’s travel to new places (=broaden your horizons).
  • Let’s learn new skills (=never stand still).
  • Let’s read new books (=explore new ideas).
  • Let’s learn and grow to new levels (=mentally, spiritually and emotionally). 
  • Let’s explore new workouts (=physical health is wealth).
  • Let’s get used to new nutritional habits (=you are what you eat). 
  • Let’s get started on new adventures (life experiences are everything). 

Are you ready to develop a badass (=fearless and authentic) attitude? 

In 2019, that’s the place to be. Who is with me? 

Manufacture Your Day by WATCHING YOUR THOUGHTS

Everything starts with our thoughts and that’s why we should become more aware and consciously choose our thoughts.

It should be noted but this quote has started me on a life-long self-improvement journey. This quote has really resonated with me and I used it when I facilitated my very first workshop at Magna (while is still was a Magna employee).

It is true, whatever we believe with conviction will become our reality. Our mind is very powerful and that’s why it is important to become more mindful in our daily interactions.

How we think and feel and what we do will determine the results in our life. Over the years I have worked really hard on becoming a better person because I think this is what life is all about. 

I want to become a better person by learning from the people around me and from my mistakes. 

I often wonder why people in organizations don’t put more emphasis on the character of a person. I think having outstanding skills and knowledge is good but if you combine them with good character, people will receive better personal and professional results. 

Now that I made you curious, what really are the character traits that make for a good character in a person but especially in a leadership role?

  • Honesty – be honest with yourself and with others
  • Integrity – do the right thing even when nobody is watching you
  • Self-Control – have a mental strategy in place to control your emotional response
  • Respect – treat others the way you want to be treated
  • Loyalty – have a “stick to it” attitude in your personal and in your professional life
  • Accountability – take responsibility for your decisions and for your mistakes 

As always, I encourage you to work harder on yourself than the people around you.

This is how you will get further faster. Just saying!

Manufacture Your Day by KEEPING THE EYE ON THE BALL

Full disclosure: I am not a billiard player. I can’t play well but I think I could if I would put my mind to it. It is like with anything, practice will help to get better. 

I played a game with my husband and even though he sunk one billiard ball after the next, I stayed calm and kept playing to the best of my ability. There were times when I didn’t aim well and the ball went off into a completely different direction. Bummer. 

Isn’t this how life can be as well? 

We want to do something or we want to have something but we don’t really pay attention if our actions help us to get where we want to be. 

I am a very goal-oriented person but unfortunately I have to work really hard on staying focused. 

I think our fast paced work environments don’t help. Our cell phones make us easily available  and everyone seems to expect an answer right away. That’s why people often run around like chicken with their head cut off. What are we doing to ourselves? 

Did you know that, according to a 2015 study from Microsoft, the average person has an eight second attention span (less than a goldfish)? 

If you have a similar challenge to stay focused, here is what works for me: 

  • I choose 1 thing that I would like to complete today and prepare my mind  with positive self-talk – I tell myself that I have successfully completed projects like this in the past and I visualize and get excited about the end result.
  • I make sure my work environment feels right – right room temperature (if you cannot regulate the temperature have different layers of clothes) and I use essential oils to increase my focus. The best ones for focus are peppermint, lavender, rosemary and lemon.
  • I have stopped multitasking – for me it’s better to give one thing my undivided attention and get it done – than do 10 things at the same time and get nothing done (I have been there before). 
  • I set short timelines throughout the day and allow myself short breaks – I am not a smoker but also non-smokers deserve a mental break. This is actually super important. 
  • If I feel stuck, I go for a short walk to reflect and refocus.

It is definitely a challenge to stay focused in an over-stimulated world but we have to find a way that works for us or it will affect our mental and physical health in the long run. 

Are you up for the challenge? 

Manufacture Your Day by TELLING PEOPLE YOU APPRECIATE THEM

Happy Monday!

I always like to give reminders in the corporate world how important it is to show appreciation. It is such a simple thing, yet seems so difficult to do. 

Last week I was on the receiving end. It was an unexpected but so sincere message that I would like to share it. Of course I asked for the approval of the sender.  

“Karin, I worked with you when you were a featured speaker at the 2015 Wisconsin Manufacturing Show, and I was greatly influenced by your endearing personality, and your outlook on the way people treat people!

Our mutual friend, Paul, has included me in your manufacturing newsletters. This has been several years now and I received invaluable wisdom. Many times I would forward your messages to my sister, who was supervising people at her job, and to one of my best friends, who has been working for very ungrateful & demanding bosses, and, of course, ME……..
Paul’s Mon-Fri early morning text bling, with your forward, sets the horizon for my day!!! You raise the bar very high, with the sharing of your personal challenges, your perseverance, and YOUR FAITH.
Sending warmth & respect & wishes for Blessed Holidays.
Jill Smart”
Thank you Jill! You really made my day.
It’s a shame but most times we will never know if and how we made a difference in other people’s life. 
If YOU are a regular reader of my daily messages, I challenge you today to take the time to tell someone if he/she has made a difference in your life. Someone who helped you during challenging times. Someone who has always an ear for you to listen. Someone who believed in you when nobody else did. Someone who has lifted you up rather than dragged you down. 
So rarely we speak about the good things that are on our mind but imagine the impact on our world if more people would show sincere appreciation. 
Be awesome and tell someone else how you feel about him / her.
Bless them. Embrace them. Show your appreciation and watch the magic unfold. 

Manufacture Your Day by BEING COMMITTED TO EXECUTION

If people would be more focused on improving their own shortcomings, they wouldn’t have so much time to criticize others. Do you agree?  

I always like to share personal stories because I don’t want people to think I have it all figured out. Unfortunately I haven’t but I am working on it every day. 

As a matter of fact, these daily messages are as much education for me when I am writing them as they are for you when you’re reading them. 

I am not a structured person. In fact, I find structure quite boring. Having said this, I may not be structured but I am super committed and dedicated to be at my best. Of course, in certain areas of our life structure is necessary in order to get things done.

For example, I get up at 5 am EVERY day during the week and I start working out between 5.45 am and 6 am. Usually it is about 1 hour. The only reasons when I don’t work out early in the morning are when I travel, facilitate a workshop or when I have a super early coaching call. 

There are many times when I don’t feel like working out but I still manage to convince myself to get out of bed. How? I remind myself of the feeling how incredible I feel after the workout. I have anchored (NLP Anchoring Technique) that feeling and it helps me to get out of my bed, especially in the winter.

Now while this is considered personal time, I transfer my level of commitment and dedication to business. The mind is very complex and I practice everything I want to be as a person in my personal life in order to bring it to my professional life. It is all about authenticity. 

How can help my clients to achieve organizational fitness if I am not mentally and physically fit myself? 

I honestly don’t like excuses and if I don’t get something done, I own it. I either didn’t prioritize properly, had poor time-management, procrastinated or I simply had a non-productive phase. It happens. 

We are all humans. We are far from perfection and that’s o.k. Excuses are not. They start with good intentions and end with blaming people and outside circumstances. 

Did you know that the cure from excuses is execution? 

I love that thought. Happy Friday!

Manufacture Your Day by GIVING MORE THAN YOU GET

Today I would like to share one of Aesop’s Fables because they are so wonderful to make us think. 

The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

“A struggling farmer finds an egg made of pure gold in the nest of his goose. He thinks it is some kind of joke, then gets it appraised and discovers that the golden egg is for real. The goose lays one of those golden eggs every day, which should be enough for the farmer to live a great life. He indeed becomes rich because of those golden eggs.

But even though he is now rich, it is not enough for the farmer. He wants more, and getting that once-a-day egg is not enough. So, convinced that there must be a literal goldmine inside the goose, he kills it and slices it up to get all the golden eggs at once time. Only thing is, he finds out that there is no golden eggs inside the goose, and now that he has killed the goose, he will not be getting anymore. So thanks to greed, he killed the thing that made him rich.”

Moral of this Story: “Too much greed results in nothing.”

How can this story be related to you and/or business? 

  1. Stephen Covey (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”) had a great analogy. He used this fable to illustrate the P/PC (production/production capability) effectiveness equation. People think that “the more you produce, the more you do, the more effective you are,” Covey writes. But he notes that “true effectiveness” truly comes from two things – what is actually produced (the golden eggs), and the thing that produces it (the goose). It is critical to have a P/PC balance. 
  2. My observation in my work with the people in manufacturing companies has been that production is 10% process and 90% people. Why? A great process is critical but you need the people to buy into that process, follow the process and hopefully continuously look for better ways to improve the process. If people are overworked, stressed and frustrated, you will slowly kill the energy, drive, motivation and creativity of the goose (workforce) and the golden eggs will be on the decline (production). Your quarterly KPIs (key performance indicators) clearly tell a story. That’s why I encourage you to take care of your goose and the golden eggs will follow. 
  3. It’s human nature to ask for more, more, more but before you do, check in with yourself to make sure that you don’t kill your goose: 
    • What’s the risk and what’s the benefit? 
    • Will this do more harm or more good?
    • Is this for common good or for personal gain? 

We all have geese in our lives (internal and external clients, suppliers, employees) and it’s good to nurture them for our personal and/or organizational health and well-being. 

You get what you give. Always!

Manufacture Your Day by BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF

In coaching there is a tool called the “Wheel of Life”. The “Wheel of Life” is simply a circle evenly divided in different sections, which represent different areas of our life such as Significant Other/Romance, Health, Finances, Career/Business, Family and Friends, Environment, Fun and Recreation, Personal Development.

If you give each one of these areas a number between 1 (worst) and 10 (best), you will be able to determine how bumpy your “Wheel of Life” is. 

This exercise is very helpful when people would like to make improvements in their life but are not sure where to get started.

On the flip side there are also people who don’t even dare to take a close look at their life but I know that’s not you, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my messages. 

If you would like to create a better life experience, you have to be honest with yourself first in order to get the ball rolling. 

About 12 years ago 4 of these life segments in my life were ranked at 3 or below. The awesome thing is that when you hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go. 

I was desperate and frustrated but eventually I learned to be honest with myself. I started to take responsibility for my life in order to create a better life experience. 

In other words, I moved away from “Excucity” and this was the biggest step. 

When we are unhappy with our life we tend to point fingers because it is so much easier to blame others than to take responsibility yourself. 

Honesty is a critical part of self-improvement and in its own weird way it is tremendously rewarding as soon as you are able to take control over your life. 

Here is how I got started:

  • Honesty takes practice – a lot of practice to become more self-aware
  • Acknowledge the good, bad and ugly in your life – you can only change what you acknowledge
  • Admit when you make a mistake – this can be painful at times but it also provides the best opportunity to improve
  • Reflect, acknowledge your feelings and make a plan for the better

You know that I believe in you and now you just have to learn to believe in yourself and your abilities.