connection

Episode 87: Share Stories and OWN Your Talents

Al Swanson has always been an outdoorsy guy, so much that his first plan out of high school was to study turf management. Yes, turf management. His interest began with a manager who was on the cutting edge of sustainable, ecologically healthy golf course management. That manager was way ahead of his time, and Al knew it.

Episode 85: What Feels Like Internal Conflicts Are Likely Close Connections

Caroline Mays felt conflicted, almost like she had two completely separate lives. She had her life on the road as an endurance runner, with a group of peers and friends she could share all the aches, pains, and achievements of that sport. And she had her life as a writer, with other writers and friends she could share the disappointments, obstacles, and accomplishments in her work.

Connect Beyond the Keyboard

NLV is a two day professional development opportunity designed with a full curriculum-style agenda to help you and your business thrive. It’s limited to 50 participants, so you have the opportunity to truly get to know every person in the room. Sessions range from brain-science and mindset strategies to building your brand across platforms, hosted by some of your favorite LinkedIn connections.

So why am I recording this video on a mountain in Montana? Because the overall theme of NLV is to connect beyond the keyboard, taking your online connections to the next level in an enriching environment, filled with relevant content.

We humans are designed to use all of our senses to maintain and improve our brains, and our capacity for healthy relationships with others. LinkedIn and other platforms have offered us incredible opportunities to meet, learn from, and collaborate with people all over the world, without ever meeting face-to-face. That’s pretty amazing. 

But there’s a limit to what you can accomplish from behind your keyboard. At some point, if you want to build authentic, powerful relationships, you must experience the world in first person.

You can read about climbing a mountain, look at pictures, and even feel like you’re climbing by watching someone else on a big screen, but you’re missing 90% of the experience.

As I stand here looking out over my little city, I’m breathing clean, crisp, fresh air. I’m smelling the pine needles, the damp soil that will freeze soon. I’m seeing the details of the leaves that have changed color and are barely hanging onto their trees, ready to drop for winter. I can hear the breeze coming up through the trees on the mountain, and I’m feeling the crunch of the rocks and dry grass under my feet.

I can’t experience that through a screen.

Register for No Longer Virtual today; save yourself some money by registering before November 1.

Still on the fence? Check out some of the reviews from past participants:

Join me, learn together – in the same room - with some of your favorite LinkedIn connections. Take your connections beyond the keyboard and create an even more powerful network. Visit elkinsconsulting.com to register, and for more information, and contact me directly with questions. I can’t wait to meet you at NLV!

Stories of Outdoor Adventures Color Our Lives with Gratitude

Returning From an Adventure with No Toilet Paper Makes You Grateful for the Little Things

Stories of Outdoor Adventures Color Our Lives with Gratitude.png

Kevin Strauss wasn't born into a family that was outdoorsy. He didn't grow up in a place where it was common to hike for miles, or to go camping in the wilderness over the summer. But at some point in his life, he realized he wanted to reconnect with nature, to explore his adventurous nature and stretch out of his comfort zone. He did something he never thought he'd do, and that experience set him up for a future full of extreme outdoor adventures.

Your Comfort Zone-2.png

When we think about our lives and how we live each day, we have three concentric circles of our activities and behaviors. The innermost, smallest circle is our comfort zone, and most of us stay in there in the majority of our daily activities. The next circle is about double the size of the comfort zone, and that's our stretch zone. The majority of us spend about 5 percent of our time there on a daily basis. And then there's the huge, outermost circle - our "oh shit" zone. That's the place we avoid as much as possible, totally out of our control and beyond our imagination of our own capacity and drive.

When we take a leap like Kevin did, we stretch that comfort zone out a bit, but more importantly, we stretch our stretch zone out dramatically. What we thought we'd never do, suddenly becomes an option, a possibility.

Being in nature, really out there, beyond easy access to an escape route, we realize a) how little control we really have, and b) how little, in terms of "stuff" we need to survive. Being out there with no toilet, no toilet paper, and no access to prepared food leaves us with a complete understanding of exactly what is a necessity, and what is simply luxury.

Mount Helena City Park, Helena, Montana

Mount Helena City Park, Helena, Montana

That's when we can connect deeply with ourselves and the world around us. The best part of this kind of adventure is the return to "real" life, when we get to apply the lessons we learn on our adventures. We realize that gratitude changes our lives, improves our relationship with ourselves and others, and helps push us to try new things and set our priorities.

As promised in the podcast, here are a few resources for you, just in case you are inspired to step out of your comfort zone in an outdoor adventure:

  • Local REI and MeetUps often have trips for beginners, as well as classes

  • Backpacker.com is a great magazine to get you started and thinking about trips and gear

  • Backpackinglight.com has a plethora of articles, webinars, podcasts, etc.

  • Cottage shops for gear often have great articles and resources on their websites, as well as “real life” experiences. Gossamer Gear, Six Moon Designs, ULA, Mountain Laurel Designs, Zpacks. You won’t find this gear at REI or other major sporting goods stores, but you’ll learn about real gear that works.

And here's the other promised link to Kevin's blog post about toilet paper.

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Kevin Strauss is a 17-year, injury-free Ironman Triathlete and Coach. If you have any question or need help with your endurance events, including backpacking, or if you want to get started and run your first 5K and do it right, visit his website. Learn more about Kevin and his products, Family eJournal and Corporate eJournal, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Why It Works with Joe Kwon - Storytelling

5.0 Why It Works: Sarah Elkins on Storytelling

in Podcast

Have you ever wondered why some storytellers mesmerize you and others give Ambien a run for its money? How come some stories you tell have people on the edge of their seat and others induce yawns? Did you know that there is a lot more than words that goes into telling a good story?

In today's episode of "Why It Works," Sarah Elkins, a leadership and storytelling coach, reveals some of the hidden mechanisms behind storytelling. Listen in to find out the connection between vulnerability and storytelling, how lessons from music can improve your storytelling and the one thing that drives Sarah crazy about bad storytellers.