What if you simply decided to start believing in you?

March 12, 2012

Do you know how many people tell me they are broken?  Oh I can’t do that – there’s just no way!  Then they come up with a million reasons why it’s ok to accept their mediocrity.  I am sure you have heard them all before… it was my parent’s fault, it’s because my company fired me, I had a tough life, the kid’s used to laugh at me, I made poor choices, I wet the bed, my spouse left me, the babysitter dropped me on my head!!  It really doesn’t matter because there is always an excuse to be had.

So my question this month is what if you changed all of those excuses into a burning fuel for living your life with a new brilliant purpose?  What if you simply decided to start believing in you?

Since last May I have had the honour (and I do mean honour) to meet hundreds of amazing people who through little fault of their own have faced the adversity of a job loss.  Now I would never suggest that being fired is a cakewalk but more times then not job loss is a brilliant beginning to a new world of amazing opportunity.

Honestly, what you do tomorrow is now your choice.   In fact, you can decide right now to start living your dream.  But here is something that I really can’t figure out.  How come people can place all the blame for their reality on themselves but any success they have is quickly directed to someone else.    That math simply doesn’t work out.  Wasn’t it Isaac Newton who taught us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Therefore it would only make sense that if you are capable of failure then you are just as capable of success.

Here’s another piece of trivia… Did you know that long before man ever adapted to using language our subconscious was developed as the protection mechanism to ward us from pending danger; its primary purpose was to sense danger and lead us away from it.  However, once man learned language the role of the subconscious diminished but it has never stopped gathering data and performing its duty especially in times of uncertainty.  So today when people face uncertainty the subconscious mind revs up and fills us with thoughts designed to protect us.  Stuff like… oh you can’t do that, that is too risky, they’ll never want you, maybe you are dumb.  This is all natural and part of our design.  People who achieve great success use these thoughts as feedback loop and give it some input but not total submission.  Your subconscious is a just a friend with a perspective that may just be different then yours. .

This month I want you to look in the mirror and see your real beauty.  It’s tempting to see the ugly but so powerful to find beauty in whom you are and what you have achieved.  Do yourself a favour and write down all of those wonderful successes you have achieved and celebrate them for what they are, “footprints of the indelible mark you are leaving in the lives you touch.   Here’s to fuelling your future with passion and purpose.

Curt Skene is a successful keynote speaker and sought after career coach who has helped hundreds re-invent themselves and their career.   His gift is telling you the things you need to know that will make a big difference in your success.  Check out his free career coaching community at www.mastermindset.ning.com


Are you aligning with customer expectations?

February 5, 2012

Fair or unfair everyone sets expectations of people they meet in business and or life.  Expectations are influenced by corporate title, education, industry association, family ties and many other things.  My point is before you and I ever meet there’s a pretty good chance I already have an expectation of what I expect our relationship might be like.

Working with Microsoft I saw first hand how quickly expectations were set.   I quickly became a Canadian thought leader not because I was brilliant but because people set expectations through my connection to Microsoft.  I became brilliant through association.  The challenge was I needed to live up to a very tall order!

Today because of my active coaching schedule I meet many senior executives who I have set high expectations for long before they ever meet me.  I expect marketing execs to be pretty darn brilliant at communicating their worth.  I expect CEO’s and VPs to have a clear strategy about how they are going to lead their people (and more importantly themselves) in doing great things.  I expect sales reps to be doing deals regardless of the economy because they are deal makers (not order takers) and be very clear deal makers create opportunity when little exists.

So honestly I am a little disappointed in the world today because it seems many have forgotten about the expectations they need to be living up to.  It’s almost like they feel greatness is owing to them so just bring it on.

Customer Testimonial
“Curt, our managers needed to hear your message!  It gave them a great sense that they can be competitive in this marketplace.  Almost everyone said they felt well armed to tackle their duties thanks to the rapid fire ideas you gave them.  I personally thought your mix of humour and straight shooting made this session fly by in a positive and enlightening way.” – V.P. Caressant Care

Now I am writing this because I am passionate about helping you do great things and the best way I can help you is by aligning your world with the expectations people have for you.  This month I need you to ask a really tough question and that is, are you aligned with your customer’s expectations?  Are you exceeding the great things people already expect of you, if not what needs to change immediately?

I want you to have fun with this question because investing in your future will reap you more pleasure than pain.  Ask, do you need to be investing in new intellect because the world is evolving so quickly?  Do you need to be pushing the envelope in your thinking because traditional thoughts will quickly go unnoticed?  Do you need to be upping your game because walking to opportunity is the kiss of death when you are running a race that is only going to get faster?

You may as well face it, we all set expectations for others and they set them for us.  The secret to success is exceeding those expectations well before the benchmark is ever set.  I am not exempt from this rant.  I have things I need to be doing right now to deliver greatness on the stage because clients expect me to be a great speaker.  So I am off to ponder what I need to do and put on socks because apparently, so I have been told, my clients expect that too!

Looking for a Great Keynote for your next event?
Curt Skene delivers over 75 rapid-fire insights on how to find more business and create more opportunity in his fun and informative keynote “Master  The Marketplace!” Visit www.curtskene.com

Why Not Be a Player?

January 30, 2012

This month I gave myself a tough assignment; I made a commitment to go out and have fun. I had a busy month ahead, and I made it my mandate to find time to play. Do you know what?  I had a very productive month, one of my most productive ever. I think as our world grows busier we lose focus on the importance of creating playtime and the positive benefits it creates for our work environment. We tend to think that the busier we are, the more we are getting done, but I have found that the incredibly successful people take plenty of time to play. 
One of my favourite mind laws is called “the law of reversed effect.” This law states that the harder we try to do something, the more difficult it becomes. It is the root cause behind writer’s block and an athlete’s slumping performance. It’s harder to do things when you are trying to force yourself. You have likely experienced the frustration of not being able to remember something you absolutely know you should. In fact, have you noticed that when you stop trying to remember, it comes back to you? The same thing holds true for performance: if you want to encourage and promote great performance, don’t push so hard. Stop trying to make things happen and you will often find it becomes easier to do.

Curt you had everyone riveted to their seats, the feedback has been great and I have heard from all 220 delegates that you were the message we needed to hear!  Thanks for the great work.”
Jerry Engels, President, Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada
This month, I had six public speaking engagements in ten days, and two of these talks were brand new programs. While most people would lock themselves in their office and prepare, I did the next best thing. I went for a run. I like running. It makes me think better. By the end of my forty minute run, I had a very good conceptual plan of the first speech I needed to write. I find that when I let loose, my brain takes me to places that I can’t seem to get to when I sit at my desk. In this particular case I was able to take a so-so piece of my speech and turn it into a powerful closing segment that has taken my speech to a new level. By taking time to play, I bettered my business. When was the last time you went out and played, all in the name of bettering business?
In my pursuit for fun, I sat down with Barb Elaschuck, Director of Corporate Wellness at the Sports Club of Canada (www.sportsclubs.com). Barb told me that more and more companies are coming to SCC to play. She says it strengthens morale, reinforces life balance and reduces stress. She also told me how companies are creating corporate challenges among other business partners and creating fun events that build more synergy across both organizations. While I was there, she shared an interesting study that showed how companies with active health programs have ten times better retention than those without. While the study was dated, I believe the results probably still hold true today. 
When it comes to playing, I have always been convinced that companies need a better quality of playtime. So I called on Chris Iliffe and Dave Hyde, co-owners of www.trythat.ca, to learn more about the adventures and experiences they offer corporations that want to play more. While I did not know much about their company, their adventures sounded different and fun. They said that instead of talking about their business, they wanted me to experience it first-hand. For an exciting three hour period, I put on my jumpsuit and became an F18 fighter pilot, challenging others in a dog fight high in the virtual sky. What was interesting was how my team came together even though I was a complete stranger to all of them. The game forced us to work with each other, watch each other’s back and anticipate what our partners would do. I found myself wondering who wouldn’t want to teach these skills to everyone in their organization.
Sometimes, even when we play, we can learn so much. Now I should be clear, I am not a fan of teambuilding exercises that get you to build a boat out of two pieces of cardboard, a roll of string and a four leaf clover, but I really got into this real-time game where I was working with a retired Air Force officer and the rest of my team to plan a mission to take out the enemy. It was realistic and fun. I realize that not everyone finds being a fighter pilot interesting. Dave told me that they learned the hard way that you can’t force employees to have fun; if you really want to make a difference, you need to give them the freedom to choose the adventure of their choice. I like planes, you like spas. Everyone should have a choice. That’s why Trythat created their voucher program — so that each employee can customize the best experience for them.
Whatever your challenges are this month, make sure you take time to play. You will strengthen your focus, explore new ways of thinking and improve your employee retention. If you haven’t got time for an all out adventure you may want to check out www.inmyhands.ca. Irene and her team will bring in their onsite massage chairs and give everyone a restful and relaxing massage. Not quite a margarita on the beach, but it’s coming close in these busy, stressful times.
Special thanks to The Sports Clubs of Canada (www.sportsclubs.com ), TryThat (www.trythat.ca) and In my Hands (www.inmyhands.ca).

Looking for a Great Keynote for your next event?
Curt Skene delivers over 75 rapid-fire insights on how to find more business and create more opportunity in his fun and informative keynote “Master  The Marketplace!” Visit

Second Best Also Deserves A Chance!

January 24, 2012

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to meet Canadian Olympic rower Alison Korn. I remember asking her, “What was it like to row in the Olympics?”  She said, “It’s funny, even though we practiced for years, we never found the passion and energy until we saw the finish line.  But when we knew that we were one thousand metres from the finish line and all that we had worked for would be lost, we found more passion and energy than we ever thought possible.”

I remember that race. They went from fourth to second and narrowly missed winning the Gold.  Why is it that teams who have struggled the entire game monopolize the final five minutes?  How come they couldn’t figure it out for the first fifty-five?  It’s because they didn’t see their finish line.  Professional athletes need the clarity and finality that the finish line provides them.  A finish line is that point of no return that you can shoot for.

In our world, the goal is to attract and keep great people, but I find myself wondering:  are we giving our employees a clear target to shoot for? In essence, do our employees know what it means to be great?  Do they know what the expectations are and do we give them the room to exceed them?  Maybe instead of attracting great employees we need to be focusing our attention to grooming great employees.

“Congratulations! Your keynote was a great hit.  Out of 8 speakers your reviews clearly defined you as the highlight.”
Ms. Laurie Campbell, Conference Chair, E2E Conference

Basically, I believe there are three types of employees out there.  There are those who get it, those who want to get it, and those who are there just for the ride.  For the employees who get it, their abilities are natural, their skills are instinctive and our role is to clear any obstacles and stand out of their way.  On the other end, for the employee who is just there for the ride, our role is to prompt, prod and motivate but quite frankly I seldom, if ever, have seen these people turn into our star performers.  So this leaves us the middle, the employees that want to get it but just can’t do it on their own.  I believe we need to spend most of our time working with them.  These are the employees who want to make a significant contribution, who want to overachieve but for whom it just isn’t as instinctive for whatever reason.  This is where I believe you can find real gold!

As managers, I think one of the things we do to confuse employees is have them chasing too many targets. Sure, we create goals and objectives, but over the year we let too many other “priority one” initiatives land on their plate.  Am I the only one who has had a boss that believed everything in the business was priority one?  In the end, we water down our potential performers by having them focus on way too much.  If we want peak performance we have to give them the clarity of a finish line and remove many of the other distractions.

Another challenge I find in managing this middle tier is confidence.  Quite often they have the skills but lack the confidence to go out and take self directed action.  They are often waiting or seeking approval.  One of the best things you can do is encourage them to take a risk.  Encourage them to step out on their own and take the initiative.  Encourage them to think and do what’s best for the business.  Because this group is naturally risk adverse, you will seldom see them take on too much risk.

Finally, you need to consider the team dynamics.  Are you giving as much publicity and promotion to this middle group?  I often find that, in most organizations, all of the attention goes to the “stars,” the ones at the top.  The problem is you end up alienating others along the way.  Our role in coaching peak performance is in balancing the amount of attention and promotion we give.

Think about the roles and expectations you have defined for others.  While they may appear clear to us, remember it doesn’t come as easily and naturally for everyone.  Give more guidance on what it takes to overachieve.  Also, try taking the time to segment your team and focus more attention on the employees in that valuable middle group.  In the end, their contribution will be invaluable.  Remember that every company needs a balance of performers.  While it’s important to attract and keep great employees, it’s also critical that we groom and coach new ones.

We need our stars. But we also need our second and third stringers.  In fact, if you think about it, the teams that win championships are often the ones where there is less focus and expectation on the stars and more emphasis on developing the team.

Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at www.curtskene.com

What’s the best gift you’ve ever gotten?

December 12, 2011

Undoubtedly at this time of the year I think about gifts.  Not about giving or receiving but the gifts I have been blessed with in my life.  I am fortunate to have love and able to give love each and every day.  I am blessed with the gift of humour that can instantly make strangers smile and bad days ring happy.  I have the gift of being able to feel the world quickly and deeply which makes it easy to make a difference in the lives I touch.  I have the gift of a best friend who has been in my life since I was 15 years old and even with all the things she has done for me she would be the first to tell you she hasn’t done enough.  I have all sorts of memories that life has given me from the wild “I can’t believe I survived” to tear filled moments of welcoming my kids into the world and the unbelievable gift of having these memories so clear in my mind. 

Tonight as I sit here listening to “Christmas Shoes” I am reminded I have the amazing gift of life, family and friends surrounding me everyday.  But the biggest gift and the one I want to bring to your attention is the ability to see every life experience as a gift in some way, shape or form.  Sure my sense of humour gets me in trouble and sometimes yes there are times I wished I wasn’t so emotional.  It’s true I absolutely have lost at love over the years but I am thrilled to have loved at all.  Yes both my wife and kids can drive me crazy but I look at them daily and want nothing but to be more like them.  There is nowhere in my life would I ever ask for a “do over” because life, mine in particular, has been the best gift of all.

I was inspired to write this because a dear friend of mine was talking about gifts and how difficult the whole gift giving process can be.  I know her well enough to say that any purchased gift would pale in comparison to the gift of friendship she gives those she loves every day.  I know too my wife struggles with what she should get a husband that buys himself too much as it is.  The answer my dear is nothing because just having you lie beside me every night is the only gift any guy could ever want.

So this year as you celebrate your holidays please take some time to recognize all the gifts you have and all those gifts you give just by being you.  God has given us plenty of gifts, no doubt your family has added to the pile and now with awareness, appreciation and those dear to you, you can open your heart every day to many of the spectacular gifts that lie ahead.

Thanks to all the gift givers in my life.  The generosity, spirit and passion that you have given to me have the potential of making this the best Christmas ever.   

Curt Skene is a motivational speaker and career coach who makes his living offering simple thinking that changes lives!  If you are looking for inspiration and insights in a very obtainable, hey I could do that kind of way, then hiring Curt is your answer. 


May 19, 2011

I wrote this for a special friend.  I hope they listen!

It takes but a moment, yet it gives you a lifetime.
It refreshes, cleanses and restores your perspective.
It clears your head when thoughts grow foggy.
It calms your nerves when all else caves in.
If you took but one piece of advice, it would be always to breathe.

It’s like walking on a fresh spring morning, where flowers blossom and beauty abounds.
It’s the secret in life that’s so often forgotten.
Trust me on this one and enjoy every breath you take.

Breathing is the celebration of ones mortal existence.
It’s like filling your body with a fresh new beginning.
Breathing gives you the right to take a step back and soak it all in.
It affords you the time to set your mind right.

So do me a favour and please do it for me.
Take a moment right now to enjoy all that God gave you
Just stop what you are doing and just take time to breathe.

Written by: Curt Skene (image provided by http://beckyjanedavis.com/)

Looking for a Great Keynote for your next event?
Curt Skene delivers over 75 rapid-fire insights on how to find more business and create more opportunity in his fun and informative keynote “Master  The Marketplace!” Visit

What do you regret?

July 4, 2010

Let me ask you, do you have any regrets and if you do what are you going to do about them?

While most of you won’t know this, in the last 6-8 months I started to write this blog as a form of a rant towards the different people in my life. The person I am writing about always knows the entry is about them but no one else usually does. It’s my hope that my writing helps them and it’s often a great thinking experience for me. This entry is no different other than the fact, the deserving recipient of my own timely advice is none other than myself!

To start off, I have always believed one should never live with regret. Whatever you do must always begin with the question, “Will it lead you to regret?” We all must be accountable for our actions and decisions and know that a lifetime is a long time to live with the pain of the regret we may cause ourselves. I remember when my brother was going in for cancer surgery and my father wondered if he should fly out to Calgary to be with him. All I said was, “Dad are you going to regret flying out there to find out he is ok?” Then I asked, ”Will you regret it if you stay here and he is not?” He flew out that very same day.

If you think about it, regret is a funny thing because not only can you regret something you did, you can just as easily regret something you didn’t do. So if one is truly to live without regret in their life, there is a fine balance of power between, the action and inaction you may take.

For me, it’s never easy to admit fault or error especially when you know you have others who look up to you, put trust in you and hold you so dear. But its part of the process and it opens the door to forgiving yourself for the regrets you may have.

Whenever you regret something you can always catch yourself asking why. Why did you do it? Why did you let things turn out that way? You can rack your brain for hours and days trying to trace your steps and think about how you could have done things differently. You can pray for a different outcome in hopes you can reverse history and take the pain away but in the end things happen because we are all human and it’s the human in us that makes regret so real. I will be the first to admit I am not perfect. I will go even further and say I can sometimes fall well short. In my life I have made career, money, relationship and business decisions that I will always regret. However, one thing is for certain, I will never regret being who I am as I am clear that more days than not I live with brilliance, integrity and a caring compassion for changing this world.

I wish I could say why people do things that they would later regret. I honestly don’t know the answer, sometimes I am sure its greed, sometimes it may be fear and many times you may be too plain stupid to think about the magnitude of your decision. You can also regret that you don’t regret what you have done. I know for me, many ask if I ever regretted leaving Microsoft or working on my own and the answer is never. It was a choice I clearly made. Whatever your regret might be, it’s most important that you forgive yourself and allow that regret to subside so you can carry on.

I know that as soon as you start to regret anything then that alone indicates it’s already history and you can’t take it back anymore. All you can really do is carry it forward in the context of a lesson learned. How you choose to let regret shape your future is the powerful question you need to really ask. I meet so many people who live in anger and pain because of what they regret but the past is the past and always will be. However, there is nothing saying you have to stay the same course and that you must always do what you have done. As humans we are the adaptable species so we can take our new knowledge and make better decisions.

I am sure I am not the only one who has regrets for what they have done or maybe didn’t do. As smart as I might like to think I am, everyone including me, is more than capable of shooting themselves in the foot once in a while. However, when I find I am living with regret I simply remind myself to hold my head high, look to those I love and those who I may have hurt and let them know I will be smarter and wiser because of the lesson learned in my regret. I do hope they hear me, I do hope they believe me and I do hope they know I will never regret for a moment the decision I made when I invited them in to be an important part of my life.

Final Thought:  Regret for something you did is tempered by time but regret for what you didn’t do is almost always inconsolable.

Caring shouldn’t be contrived!

November 26, 2009

The phone in my office rang. It was Frank Clegg, President of Microsoft Canada. Frank had just heard that my brother was very ill, and he wanted me to know that my place was to be with my family. His message was clear: go home. Microsoft will survive. My obligations would all be covered. In bold words, he told me that Microsoft cared. I was on a flight to see my brother that night. He passed away that same week. Now it’s ten years later and I still remember Frank’s voice — and I know he meant every word. The company cared.
Each year, we set aside a day — Valentine’s Day — to say we care. It’s kind of funny isn’t it?  Is a “caring” day really necessary, and is it effective? Do you feel more “cared” for when you receive a dozen roses at three times the price?  Do you feel any more appreciated waiting in line at your favourite restaurant all because other people are out caring too?  Stop the insanity! You can’t schedule caring, it just won’t work. You either care, or you don’t.
Now I realize I run the risk of being considered flaky when I bring up the notion of being a caring organization. After all, business is all about the profit and loss, right? It’s about creating shareholder value. Well, I don’t have to tell you that it’s the employees who are our real corporate value. I’ve read it, you’ve read it, and we all know it. So why is it that the number one reason employees leave is because they think we’ve stopped caring? They think they’re no longer valued or that their contributions are just not appreciated. Why is it you think you cared but your employees didn’t get it? What can you do about it? And do you even bother? This is the essence of my message this month.
I will be honest: caring is painful. It means making sacrifices, committing time you don’t have and putting the needs of your employees well in front of your own. Why are some companies so bent on caring? I think there are two main reasons. First, the law of reciprocity teaches us that people give back in kind what is given to them. You go the extra mile and they will be there for you. I may be an optimist, but I believe it’s true that employees want to be cared for and that they’ll give it back to you in spades. They will give many hours to your company, and they’ll go beyond their employee commitment if you go beyond yours. Caring organizations create employees who want to raise the bar.
I should warn you, though, that you can’t force reciprocity. It has to be natural, it has to be intentional, and it has to come from the heart. If people feel your caring is focused on personal gain, it won’t work. Sales professionals are notorious for calling up and inviting managers for lunch when there is a new sales opportunity on the rise. They don’t show up at any other time, but when there is an opportunity to be had, they’re right there. The best time to buy someone lunch is when they least expect it. That’s when you really show you care. Many managers are just as guilty; they give employees lots of attention when they think the employee is a flight risk or they need the employee to take on more responsibility. That’s not reciprocity, that’s manipulation and you will get caught. Caring organizations do thoughtful things without condition. They do things because it’s the right thing to do.
The second reason organizations choose to become caring organizations is because it is extremely expensive to replace great talent. The Workforce Consulting Group states that the cost of replacing an employee ranges from 42 percent to 244 percent of base salary, and this does not include the lost intellect that just left your building. 
So what can you do? First, put yourself in your employee’s shoes. If you were in their position, what might you want? A few years ago I was president of a struggling business. While cash flow was an immense struggle, we needed the undying commitment of our employees to survive. Here are some of the things we did:

  • We created a relationship with a local counsellor for any employee who needed help. 
  • We provided babysitting assistance for the spouse of any employee who was required to be out of town more than a week. 
  • When needed, we reimbursed expenses immediately to ensure that no employee was ever inconvenienced.

Being a caring organization doesn’t mean you forget about the bottom line, it just means you think about the impact your actions will have on others. Since I was president, it was my role to make tough decisions about layoffs. I made those decisions, but I did it with dignity. We extended benefits, we provided career counselling and we looked closely at each person’s situation to ensure we always did the right thing.
When Valentines comes around, I will no doubt have flowers and chocolates for my wife because I really do care, but it’s when I show up that one day in June and I hand her a single rose then she (and I) will know how much I really do care. Now, what are you going to do?

Curt Skene is a professional business speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out more at

Is it time to call your own baby ugly?

November 26, 2009

Relax… it’s just an expression! I wouldn’t really do it to my baby!!

Own baby uglyYou got to admit that calling your baby ugly would be a pretty darn tough thing to do. After all this would be the epitome of personal slander, wouldn’t it? I say this because sometimes the best thing you can do is take a good long hard look at yourself and call your own bluff.

I do a ton of executive coaching (business and career) and my favourite question is.. now that you know what you know would you hire you? You may be surprised how many people say no. If you are one of them it’s time to call that baby ugly and rapidly change.

Many things inspired this blog (including my own self reflection) but today was the last straw. I met an executive who has struggled for over 10 years and they can’t understand why. To me, as an outsider, the answer was pretty obvious – they needed to step back, swallow their pride and re-launch. While I hate suggesting this to a once successful executive I have to ask which is worse.. calling the baby ugly or letting the person drown? I bet if you think about it you can come up with many examples where companies (or people) held onto a failing proposition for too long and the results were devastating. We all have personal attachment to what is ours but lets not let that blind our judgement.

So, is it time to call your baby ugly? Is your business struggling because of your leadership? Is your career search stalled because of your lack of effort? Are your skills/product obsolete for today’s active market? These are tough questions to swallow but they could be real life savers for you! A favourite book when I was growing up was “That was then.. this is now.” It was about the pain of admitting things had changed and making the tough decisions to right it all. Remember: what was king yesterday might not cut it tomorrow. Companies fail because they don’t get it, just make sure that you don’t too.

This month, have the guts to sit down and ask the question that none of us want to hear… Is my baby ugly? I guarantee whether you like the answer or not it will put you on the path to a brighter future. You can blame me if you wish but I bet some day you just might be writing to say a big thanks!

Curt Skene is an inspiring Canadian professional business keynote speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies and associations look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out how easy and affordable it is to hire Curt Skene by going to his website at

What if certain things just don’t add up?

November 1, 2009

add-upBeing smart is a funny thing because sometimes knowing too much can get in our way.   For instance, do I really need to know how Santa gets from house to house making gifts magically appear or could I just accept the fact wonderful things happen simply because I choose to believe?  Now stay with me because this message isn’t really about the jolly ole guy, it’s about taking a chance to try things that maybe just don’t add up in your mind.

I bring this to your attention because aside from being a brilliant motivational speaker I am a certified hypnotist who focuses my energy on rapidly changing lives.  You can probably imagine how many people tell me that being hypnotized just doesn’t add up because they believe there’s no way a stranger can step into their life and tweak their brain like that.  Well, that may be true but what if it’s not?  What if the changes you needed were simply a hypnotic session away?  Isn’t it worth taking a chance to find out?  I find that for many just because things don’t add up in their mind they often dismiss them.  This means that sometimes they miss wornderful opportunities!

Let me share a recent coaching experience with you.  A senior executive was struggling to find the passion in her life.  To demonstrate something, I asked her what she saw in her husband and whether he was the vision she always set for herself and surprising (or not) she said no!  She married the guy who didn’t add up and now today she couldn’t be happier!  I then asked her to think of a time when she was happiest at work and surprisingly (or not) she was happiest in a career radically different from the path she was on.  In less than 60 minutes we redefined what was important to her and she realized that many things she thought added up really didn’t make sense at all.

My point is sometimes we can “over-think” our situation trying to rationalize things and because of that we miss precious opportunities standing right in front of us.  Do you really need to know why and how certain things happen or maybe you could just accept certain things as different and tell yourself that’s ok!      As a career coach people often say, “I just don’t understand how you can help me.”  I just smile and say, “but what if I could?”   No one really knows what the perfect answer to life is but I can almost assure you it’s never the one you thought it was.  The reality is, people who come for coaching often get jobs faster.  Is it the coach or just luck that made the difference or more importantly does that answer really even matter at all?   

Now I would never suggest you blindly give faith to the absolute unknown but I am suggesting that sometimes it’s cool to do the things that may not completely add up to you.  It’s funny but sometimes smokers will tell me that their hypnotic session didn’t work but strangely enough they try to convince me that at the exact same time they decided to quit.  I don’t really care if they believe in hypnosis but I do care that they get the result they want in their life.

So this month I want you to ask yourself, “What are the things people are telling you to do and you are resisting because it just doesn’t add up.”  Ask yourself what is the harm in giving it a try as maybe just maybe, you will gain from your exploration. 

Now if you will excuse me I am going to sit by the fireplace and imagine that moment when Santa slides down my chimney.  I don’t know how he does it and I really don’t care but I do know that on Christmas morning our house is full of love and laughter and it’s all for my belief in a jolly ole guy who at one time didn’t add up in my mind.

Curt Skene is an inspiring Canadian professional business keynote speaker, sales trainer, and certified hypnotist who specializes in helping companies and associations look at their business, their relationship with their customers and their future opportunities in a powerful and positive light. Curt offers over 75 rapid-fire insights based on over 20 years of award-winning business experience (Microsoft, ExecuTrain and BrainBuzz) and combines his experience with the kowledge he has gained as a certified hypnosis/NLP practitioner.  Find out how easy and affordable it is to hire Curt Skene by going to his website at

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