BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

Fell On…..KnEe…..The Only Steps That Matter…. May 13, 2010

….are the ones you take all by yourself.

The Weepies said it and I concur.

I hired a felon today. A sad young man caught up in the spider web of government gone awry. We checked him out, thoroughly I might add. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time….too sad and unfortunate a saga to go into here. 10 years in prison for being in the wrong car at the wrong time.

And on Oprah I heard that a woman adopted 4 children and starved them to death. She got 4 years. This kid got 10….cause he had a shitty attorney and a government that is uneven and reckless.

I’m not in love with our government at this present moment and I have some work to do.

A momentary and related digression. I met a terrific fellow yesterday, a Tom Schulte who is out to change the world through the work he is doing and the work he is promoting in leadership. Tom has a network of over 14,000 in his Linked In group. An affable, smart, sharp man, easy to laughter, the two of us cutting up in the Frassrand Room at Carl House.

I shared that I had made many errors as leader in my organization but that I was on a stalwart path to become not just a good leader, but that I want to evolve into a GREAT one, to make a positive and demonstrable difference, turning lights on all over the planet, universe really. I admitted though that I was more a vision sort and not particularly good at managing people.

And then came the ‘aha’ statement from my new friend Tom:

‘You can’t manage people BB, you can manage systems and processes, but you LEAD people.’

How had that not hit me before. Wow. Double wow. I got it. I really GOT it. Lessons, coaching, past experiences all became clear, why I’ve had conflict with people and on and on.

But back to this young man. He was released from prison in November and no one as yet has hired him, the ‘felony’ they say. He deserves a chance. We all do. I spent a good bit of time with him, talking about what is important to him, where he wants to go, what he wants to do, what he learned. He’s humble, quiet and yes, deserves an opportunity. With his upcoming scullery job, I’ll guess that the dishes in my venue will experience a cleaning like they’ve never had. A hunch.

So, he will make his own steps, I’ve only created a fertile playground and apparently his loving parents converted their basement into a private apartment for him. That’s love. And I hope he does well. His dream, to be a Park Ranger. He won’t be allowed to as he’s stamped much like in the Scarlet Letter, a big ‘F’ on his forehead.

I’d prefer to see a ‘P’…..for possibilities. I shared how I felt he had an advantage over others having had that mind bending experience. His sense of gratitude is sky high. His appreciation of freedom, off the charts. His path is that much clearer having been where he never wants to return. No kidding!

I hope he’ll move into wearing a smile in time. 10 years in prison because you sat in the wrong car while your pals did bad things. Rough. Truly. The fall-on-my-knees kind of rough.

The only steps that matter are the ones we make all by ourselves.

You can do it buddy, and I’ll be the eager onlooker cheering you on.

And oh, should you hire a person charged with a ‘Fell-On-KnEe’ in YOUR business, you get a tax credit of $2400. Well, there’s the government making a tad of sense.

I’m still out to change the world, me and Tom Schute……one heartbeat at a time….I think I’ll start with mine.

Courage my friend.

BB Webb

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Entrepreneurialism….IS THIS TRUE????????? May 2, 2010

I believe in entreprenurialism. I believe in creating and manifesting whatever you can! I believe in hard work and passion.

I’d like to believe that this is all possible to do in America, with a good measure of support.

And I soooooooooo wonder. At times I soooooooooo wonder.

Did you know that entrepreneurs make up 75% of the businesses in American. We are America.

Somewhat Recent Statistics about Self-Employment
Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
According to the most recent Non-Employer Statistics published the U.S. Census Bureau, on average 2,356 people go into business for themselves every day. Their firms account for 78 percent of U.S. businesses and $951 billion in receipts.

“Among the fastest-growing industries are Web search portals (41.2 percent), Internet service providers (16.6 percent), nail salons (18 percent), electronic shopping and mail-order houses (12 percent), recreational vehicle dealers (12.1 percent) and landscaping services (11.1 percent).” The top five states in terms of growth in small businesses between 2004 and 2005 were the District of Columbia (9.6 percent), Nevada (7.7 percent), Florida (7.6 percent), Georgia (7.6 percent) and Utah (7.2 percent).

If the video below is true….I’m dumbfounded. Though I have had my own brushes with government this past year which have left me MOST underwhelmed and poised to take action. And I am.

And then, I ran across an interesting school and site called Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship. Though an all male staff, (with the high stats on female entrepreneurs, that surprised me) but found a great interview with a most savvy woman named Judy Estrin who I INTEND to interview some day soon.

I like her thoughts below on entrepreneurialship and her full interview, all the more compelling:

Kaizen: Your experience and successes also led to your joining the boards of directors of FedEx, along with CEO Fred Smith, and Disney, along with CEO Bob Iger and Steve Jobs. Everyone on those boards is extremely accomplished—what complementary expertise do you bring to those boards?

Estrin: I’ve been on the board of FedEx for 20 years and Disney now for a little over ten. I like to think that I contribute in a variety of says, but three main areas are my entrepreneurial experience, my different perspective as a woman, and my understanding of technology and the Internet.

Kaizen: Looking back on your extensive entrepreneurial experience, what was the most exciting aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Estrin: I don’t know that I can pick just one. One of the most exciting aspects of entrepreneurship is identifying an unmet need and developing a new approach to address that need and then actually seeing it happen. Creating a new market and seeing people use the products and figuring out how you need to adapt it to bring that to market.

The second part is the part I miss the most — teambuilding; when you build a company, you get to create the culture bottom-up, which is very special. People used to joke that I used to talk about my companies as kids. I actually give a presentation where I compare great leadership to great parenting. Ethics and values, whether you’re raising kids or building cultures and companies, are not dictated by little notes on a card — they’re set by example. There are behaviors that you reward, what you tolerate, how you treat different things. It’s built into the fabric. There’s something to me just really wonderful about bringing teams of people together and watching them grow. Individuals that I remember starting working for us right out of school — now I see them off starting companies of their own. So the people part of it is probably the most special aspect that I think back on.

Kaizen: What has been the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur? Anything that caused sleepless nights?

Estrin: First of all, being an entrepreneur is really, really, really, really, really hard work. It’s all-consuming. The great entrepreneurs are consumed by passion. It takes a lot of time. It’s a really big commitment. And so you have to realize there are compromises that you give up by throwing yourself into something.

And then — not true in the early years — but one of the reasons why I’m no longer running a company is that, today, the venture-entrepreneurial ecosystem is broken. And so raising money and having to deal with venture capitalists today is an unbelievable frustrating experience. Not across the board, but for the most part. They’ve become very risk-averse. It’s become more adversarial. Now I also think entrepreneurs today are feeling too entitled. They don’t realize that there’s risk involved and how much work is required and often expect returns too quickly. So I would say the venture-entrepreneurial dynamic to me is the most frustrating part.

It’s time to take action, to intend some varied results. Embrace your power….make a positive difference. You can!

BB Webb

 

Awake From A Dream And Back Again April 19, 2010

I awoke, recently….with this paragraph steaming through my head.

‘And so you should…..seek ever greater authenticity.

….and always a connection to heart, which to me, is imagining the walk in another’s shoes while standing solidly in your own. Listening for what you don’t yet realize. Being open to the breath and wisdom between thoughts.

Compassion is strength, mind is the servant to the heart.

Anything less is nearing fraud, certainly misery.

Our nature IS to be loving, but we’ve somehow mucked it up and confused it with the herd mentality of our times.

There are other ways to live.’

And then I fell back asleep. For a long, long, looooong time.

I can feel the ‘coconut’ cracking.

That’s a good thing!

BB Webb

 

Making things what they are… February 5, 2010

…before you can change them.

I was presented this notion many years ago and am considering it as I ponder with eyes wide open this evening.

I am considering how we delude ourselves and often decide to ‘not face the music,’ (a quite interesting expression). Why would someone NOT want to face the music? Because they don’t want to hear? Ahhh, maybe that’s it….thinking out loud….

I digress…

If I were a lazy person, and decided I wanted to not be so lazy, I would have to first admit and realize the truth about myself….that I was indeed lazy.

Well, I’m not lazy, so I can face THAT music.

Another favorite thought of mine relates here as well, ‘how you do anything, is how you do everything.’ If I’m a lazy sycophant at work, chances are, I’m a lazy sycophant at home. Maybe.

Well, laziness isn’t my issue, but I have others!…and come on, we all do, or why are we on planet earth for heaven’s sake. (Curious expression, ‘for heaven’s sake’, I can’t BEGIN to fathom where THAT one came from….enlighten me please if you know. Maybe because heaven is so cool, we should do things, for heaven’s sake…because it is HEAVEN).

I’m all over the board tonight.

(The ‘board’….imagine being from another country coming here….how would you know what things mean??)

Back to my premise….making things what they are…my inestimable mother had a practice which she shared with me. I remember her conversation with me most clearly. In her loving and sincere, caring tone she told me,

‘Honey, we all have issues, things we are working through. That’s life and that’s good. But imagine you have a filing cabinet and it is FILLED with the many ‘issues’ you contemplate. Imagine just taking one of the issue files out of your filing cabinet a day. And one by one, you will solve your mysteries, conquer your fears, learn to master who you are and why you were brought here.’

She was wise in so many ways. (Funny too, hysterical in moments….roll off the sofa laughing sort of mom. Gooolly where is Kitty Vogel now? That lovely Romanesque nose, those pretty hazel eyes. Playing cards in ‘heaven’ I was told, for heaven’s sake, well, and her own, she loved playing cards!

Allow me to dream a moment here. To have just an hour with her again, sharing her wisdom and her love for me, playing cards to watch her laugh and smile. (She ALWAYS beat me at both scrabble and rummy). If not physically, in spirit, (truly) she was in each audience where I performed, her face appeared in each scary new endeavor I had, giving me courage. SHE was a champion of rare cut.

I do however sense her always in the ether, but in the flesh was sooooo much better. I am a spiritual being, of course, having this often peevish human experience and I like to touch things, to hug my friends, to feel the fur on my kitty Lester’s back, the warmth of hot tea going down my throat and how my flannel sheets feel when I crawl inside them each night, better yet next to someone I find scrumptious. I like all my senses. I relish parts of being human.

Other parts honestly suck, but I understand the need for it all.

But….making things what they are. It’s empowering to ‘face the music,’ to OWN in a sense where you are. With no shame, no embarrassment, (as that’s just other people’s judgements which we shame ourselves with). But, to admit you are out of shape and want to be fit, is a first step toward change. If you are messy and want to be a tidy fellow, well, knowing the truth about yourself is a great first step. It’s good, it’s real, it’s bold.

I like bold!

To know that you only tell half the truth and want to be more transparent, ahhh, good to know.

Or sitting with your grief, your discontent, your anxiousness. One must move ‘through’ where we are to get to another place, as there is NO other way. There are no short cuts to getting rich, becoming fit, healthy or moving through ‘things’ until you simply make them what they are, feel it all, (no numbing out now) and tra laaaa, you will find yourself somewhere new. And truly, each step for me is ultimately ALWAYS better. I like better!

I like that….growth, a new day, a new, better perhaps, way of being, or living, a new hairstyle, (always fun), new food, new travel, new adventure, new comrades to share your journey, new ways to be loving, of course.

If you are unhappy and want to find happiness, you need first admit where you are and then look within yourself, not outside yourself, for solutions. Where might I change things in my life. Do I need new friends, a new job, a new mate, a better me?

Oh good heavens, I’m preaching to the choir, honestly, (Curious expression as well, I guess the choir has heard it ALL!)

Carolyn Myss wrote a book I’ve mentioned before and which I found quite revealing, amazing really. It’s called, ‘Anatomy of the Spirit’. In this book, Ms. Myss discusses how physical ailments arrive in our lives when we are not living in tandem with where our spirits, our souls need to be. She chronicles the lives of many people who once they made significant life changes, how their ailment disappeared as they moved into the right life for them.

They admitted, ‘fessed up’ to where they were, and in making that real and conscious, they could change things.

I am undergoing GREAT shifts in my life…and I feel it has been long in coming, (though I always feel that…I’m a little impatient….ooooh…..okay, I hear guffaws of laughter from all reaches of the Universe…, I’m probably VERY impatient). I am willing to ‘face the music’ and I hope that this music in time will be something uproariously grand and that a large ballroom or field is involved with partners in every corner to dance with as I am over-ready, over-done, perhaps undone and ready to go. I’m ready to go.

Evening thoughts by a Georgia fire in the woods.

BB Webb

 

Our greatest gift… January 31, 2010

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
– James Baldwin, Author and Activist

Our greatest gift to ourselves and certainly to another person, is to see them spiritually….to see the person inside the humanity. This thought just lit a lightbulb in my head after sitting in meditation with a group of folks this evening (great vibe, truly) and after having a conversation with a dear friend as we discussed the evening she learned her husband was terminally ill.

I’m finding that when I view people that way, there is no anger, disappointment, expectation. I can discern who they are more carefully, graciously and generously. Life becomes soooo less personal when viewing instead people as (what I’ll call), ‘light bodies’.

When you spy upon the ‘higher self’, there is only love and forgiveness, you see your true self and the true self behind the masks and egos, fears and upholding of image which we all do. This perspective can’t help but soften even the bulliest of bullies, the undeniable deniers!

And when I remember to go there, when discerning myself or when considering another, I pray only for their ‘arriving’ into who they really are. I’m able to see those parts in people I care about deeply. Behind their ‘shades’, their rhetoric, oh I’m thinking of one dear friend’s cynicism. I laugh at it as it’s all her protective shield; we’ve all got them!
Don’t kid yourself thinking you don’t. Just be kind to yourself as you recognize them and be gentle. Humanity can be rough. Just begin to choose differently, as you are able. And ooh, be patient with yourself.

And yes, I am speaking to myself, and to whomever feels they might benefit from such a thought!

We are all but reflections of one another. Think about that….truly, do! Thank those mirrors which reflect parts of you. What a gift. And when you blame others, what part of you is in that blame…or when you admire, what part of that is just your reflection.

Look who you have attracted into your life and consider why, why? And, what do they have to teach you.

When all is said and done, at the end of our time here, with all our ups, downs, victories, defeats, when the illusion of who we think we are is again shattered, like the glass table on my outside porch which was shattered last evening, perhaps we might work toward what we really need, move into who we really ARE, with no judgement regarding the masquarade we might have lived. We’re always, always in the process of becoming.

And, the energy of living outside that truth, (a lie, if you will), will ALWAYS affect you and those around you. Look around you, your health, the foundations you’re working to build, work, home, with friends, the well being of those who surround you, or not. Are they robust, solid, grounded, truly thriving?? There’s truly no hiding though we might with good intention try, sometimes thinking we are helping others. It doesn’t work.

Living within our authenticity is the gift we give to the world, to others and the manifestation of that truth might look different from how we envisioned our life. But, try it, you’ll be surprised how peace and fulfillment will envelope you. Caroline Myss wrote about this in her beautiful book, Anatomy of the Spirit.

As threatening as that may sound, (and it does often as I move beyond my preconceived ideas of myself and my world), just sit awhile with that idea.

Perhaps it was the full moon ‘wolf’ meditation I just came from, perhaps it’s just that I’ve been praying for a larger perspective, an enlightened ‘aha’ which goes beyond my illusions, my limitations, but which hits a core of something I can really embrace and which helps me love others just as they are….that being enough. Really!

I’ll say it again, ultimately, it’s only the love that remains, should we seek that view. We need sit a moment and step beside perhaps the ‘story’ we’ve created for ourselves, the one we show the world, and trust a deeper inner vision. It’s there to see!

All our desires are worthy, who you are is splendid beyond words, and as far as being lovable, good God…yes!
Yes, yes, yes! And you should have your hearts desire….ALL of it!!

Go to sleep tonight reminding yourself of just that. Please. I will too.

And then go howl at the moon!! I promise, you’ll feel better!!

I do!

BB Webb

 

Do Not Go Gently…. November 14, 2009

I have not birthed children however I have birthed and mothered many other things. I certainly mother my animals, step children at one time, friends when they need that sort of care and of course my businesses and creative endeavors. I’ve made mistakes with these ‘children’, enjoyed a few triumphs and certainly felt heartache earning my stripes as a mother. I’ve been overbearing, sometimes distant, negligent at times, but this week, this week I protected a child of mine, my business, like a Lioness might protect her brood. I’ve come to know this child in a very new way and I feel proud of the good work I’ve done. Work well done is always satisfying.

Yes, I am a proud parent today. I stood my ground as it is in my DNA to mother and I know I’ve done well. I shall sleep very, very well tonight indeed.

dylan_thomas

Dylan Thomas

And this reminds me of a poem by a favorite writer, a majestic poet and story teller. Dylan Thomas wrote a play I love, ‘Under Milk Wood’, which I had the good fortune to perform in during my freshman year in college. I later witnessed a brilliantly staged and meticulously performed production of it in London which I will never, NEVER forget. Good work, well done!

His prose still lilt about within my head like a summer breeze in Maine. I adore the way this poet sings his words. To me he is magic….pure magic.

But today, I am reminded of his, ‘Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night’, for I know, it is in my heart and in my soul to rage until satisfied, a similar passion I felt this week mothering what is mine.

DO NOT GO GENTLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

BB Webb

 

We Americans…. October 31, 2009

What is happening?

I watched, just this morning, Michael Moore’s film, ‘Sicko’ (from 2007), while just earlier reading Brian Patrick Cork’s Saturday blog about the recent credit card travesty and diabolical ‘adjustment’ meant to further cripple and keep Americans hostage.

flag6_5th_st_nw-300x202Having just reviewed the increase in healthcare costs for me and my employees and having in the same week received this year’s land taxes and increased costs from a variety of service providers, (while balancing internal work having part of my team out sick), all the while working tirelessly to build and grow my company, to make good decisions, spend my money well to increase revenue, quality and service, I am supremely and outrageously, disappointed. I work daily to balance my growing employer costs and to make good decisions which serve my business, my employees, my clients, my community and myself.

For the folks without a ‘fight’ gene, or an ability to strategize their own positive growth around this miasm of self serving change and dour conditions in America, (I’m talking culture and perspective), it all looks sadly hopeless, this coming from a Polly Anna of positivity. I’m pissed.

And wait til I soon share some incredulous happenings within my own community.

flag8_l_ave_nw-300x199

My risks are a part of who I am, my personality. I’m an artist and I’m an entrepreneur. Though, as I visit with all sorts of folks throughout my busy weeks, people wanting a quality of life, simple, reasonable, I am most saddened. They fall back into fear which is paralysing. How to take care of a sick child, pay their mortgage, afford a few days away from work. I find myself quietly fuming in my safe home, considering what action the government or my bank might pull as I diligently pay my monthly mortgage.

No matter what our differences, we ultimately rise or fall together. How do we take care of one another, despite our differences? Why can’t we learn from other cultures, France, England, Mexico, models of healthcare which actually CARE for people, promote wellness. How might we blend the ideals of democracy in a framework that allows us achievers and risk takers to rally while creating a system which supports those weaker to do their best, to guide, educate and enable others to thrive within what is possible for them. How do we enable others to do better for themselves. I want to be part of that trolley car initiative.

s2Why the greed, intolerance, judgment? What IS THE PROBLEM? How did our culture in particular become so self centered, greedy? Insurance companies, drug companies, how is it that daycare, banks and school systems have become so entirely ‘schewed’….I can’t find the right word. I feel on the periphery of many of these issues as I focus my energies elsewhere, my ability to keep up with all the change limited as I endeavor to work toward my own passions. How much time do we have as Americans to multitask and seek out answers to all the issues impacting us as we raise families, build our businesses, contribute to causes which matter to us?

Just as our greatest wars are fought within ourselves, so too are the greatest wars for our country within our very own borders.

I am working on an initiative within my very own Carl House business to champion the cause of other service providers in my industry, including facilities like mine. There is enough business for us all. Their success is my success. I am not lessened by their good work or ideas but rather encouraged, inspired to do better.

How might we all become part of fearless solutions instead of limited reasoning on how things can’t or won’t work. I work on the same thinking with my team at Carl House. ‘Bring me a better idea. Share how we might help one another do better, serve our customers better.’ It’s a mindset and a choice.

I’m embarrassed by areas within our government, not just nationally, limited thinkers, greedy marauders within my own community, leading people by selfish means.

This diatribe issued forth on Halloween, a scarier day than I ever imagined. We need a new day in America.

BB Webb