Sunday, February 16, 2014

How to be a “Person to Watch” …

Capital Region Living Magazine ( , in it’s upcoming issue, will recognize three local individuals with the distinction – People to Watch. This is an honor to be recognized as a rising and influential star in the community and I congratulate the three that have been honored:

  • ·        Aliki Serras, Owner, Reel Seafood Company
  • ·      Kathy Sheehan, Mayor of Albany
  • ·      Annemarie Mitchell,  President, Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association, CEO of Legacy Timber Frames

What is common among those destined to grow and prosper – to be a person to watch?

I was asked that question the other day. The easy answers would be money, luck or other on-the-surface assessment.

But that is not the case. From my experience, high-achievers have discovered the secrets in how they drive themselves and relate to others. The common characteristics:

They define their own destiny
They do not wait for others to define their destiny; they do it on their own. They have a plan – a plan for life – and they work it each and everyday. As they grow and morph, they change the plan  - they are open to change.

They are resilient
When they fall down, they jump right back up, dust off their boots, and off they go, learning from the experience. They don’t wallow in the “oh gosh look what happened to me” – they move forward. They don’t live in past history – they can’t change history so why let it hold them back (and we know that happens to many people!).

They are focused
Focused each and every day. Focused on the positives and the opportunities. Proactive in solving challenges. Focus brings clarity and with clarity one can truly pursue their dreams and goals. Lack of clarity is like jogging in a cloud – you moving but you don’t know where. 

They are giving to others
They give back – to people or the community in one way or another. They see how they can help, and rather than say they are going to do something to help, they do it. Giving back defines one’s brand of caring and contributing, and this is very valuable.

They strive to achieve
Achievement can be defined in many ways. It may be in business, with family, in the community or in an area of interest. Whatever, achievement is paramount in a winners mind – they strive for it always.  Their achievements can be big; they can be small. In their mind, when they achieve, they move forward.

They connect
Connections are powerful.  Winners connect whenever possible; they value their connections and protect them in a manner.  Networking yields connections and winners network always building meaningful relationships that are mutually beneficial.

They have passion – in my opinion the most defining characteristic.
Achievers have passion for what they do or they would not do it. Their passion fuels their success. One must have passion for the work they do in order to be happy and fulfilled. Devoid of passion work becomes a money chase – and that becomes wearing over time.

It is so alarming to hear of the number of people engaged in work in some way who do not have passion for what they do. They become disengaged, discontented and disenfranchised. And – they are not happy and that affects all parts of their life.  I see many of these people in my practice. But what is encouraging? They know it – and they are committed to doing something to change their situation and discover their ideal path in career.

Unsure if you are really passionate about something you do or want to do? 10-questions to help you.

Determining if what you think you are passionate about is really so is very important. One can have a false lead without validating their passion.  From Richard Chang’s book Passion Plan  ( comes ten questions that can help determine this for you. Simply answer each question with a simple Yes or No. The more questions you answer with a yes – the stronger the passion is to you. But you must be truthful and honest with yourself! Have fun:

1. Do you lose track of time when engaged in the activity?
2. Do you perform beyond your normal capabilities when engaged in it?
3. Is your energy level higher when engaged in it?
4. Do you get excited in anticipation of engaging in it?
5. Do you dream about the activity?
6. Is your enthusiasm for it consistent over time?
7. Do you feel more confident or empowered while engaged in it?
8. Do others notice you based on your involvement/performance in it?
9. Do others rally around you or want to be involved with you in the activity?
10. Do you feel energized after engaging in it?

Be the person to watch. Define your future – discover your passion. And thank you for reading this. - Dan

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