Friday, December 19, 2008

It's all about bouncing

I couldn't a better message to end this year's wealth drop. It's all about bouncing back... as per Rob McBride's interview. The world's economices rose and fell in 2008: China as a screaming giant showing off a magnificent Olympic Games, India no longer in back office, the US refusing to admit trouble, Latin America and Africa tired and half asleep, Europe as a mature adult worried about the long term future, and Asia showing off Chindia.

Something happened in the last couple of months and now, we just want to get over the holiday period and start a new year.

I think it's time to slow down, reconsider what is important. Take the opportunity to spend TIME doing what we LOVE and being with those who make us feel FANTASTIC... Robt thinks it is a great time to bounce back. I was puzzled and here is what we talked about. If you like more interviews, add a comment or send us a line.

Rob is an entrepreneur who lives in Venezuela and works in 3 languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Rob, what is your business about?
We provide tools for people to manage challenging situations to achieve personal and professional excellence.

How did you come up with the idea of the company?
After a sharp downturn in my last "work." It was December 13, 2001. I was in Rio de Janeiro. I realized that life is like a ball. Sometimes we are up and sometimes down. The most important thing is not where we are at a particular time but our ability to bounce at least once more ...

What has been your greatest success?
Seeing the birth of my two daughters. I realized how amazing life is!

What has been your greatest failure?
The first "great" event as a speaker. It was with more than 100 people in a half-day workshop in the Naiguatá Hall at Hotel Tamanaco -one of the top Venezuelan Hotels- with financial advisors. It was just what I dreamed about, with a group of people who did what I did, and the topic that fascinated me most: Change. I underpreformed, and did not achieve my goals, it was clear that I had not reached their expectations. Fortunately, it was also one of the best lessons I have learned and the reason why I am so good at what I do today.

What message would you give to someone who wants to be an entrepreneur?
Follow a burning desire, your idea, developed the first step of what you feel you have to do and then throw yourself into it, with the confidence that you can make adjustments in the process if necessary ...

Thanks Rob... definitely thinking about bouncing gives a different perspective to failing.


As you can see the future is built on the road, acting, not only thinking ... If you are affected by the financial crisis, thinking that successes and failures are part of life helps. I love Rob's message, because it gives a very refreshing vision of how to handle the possibility of a failure. He says that you can use the same energy when you are going down to bounce right back up.

you can check his site at

On behalf of the team Ventures Latinas and Alicia Castillo Wealthing Group, we send them our best wishes for the holiday season... Peace, joy, warmth... and get ready because one thing is for sure: 2009 will not be a boring year!

All the best,

Alicia Castillo Holley

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Global Crisis, Local Solutions

I hope we are getting OFF the conversations on global crisis. Media fails to give us news to take action. We can feel sad, but can’t connect our actions to a solution. We are ‘informed’ on those things where we feel we have no control. Sit, shut, listen, fear. Wow!

This wealth drop is precisely about shifting from the seats onto the stage. Sharing negative news distracts us from our real worries, and keeps us on our chairs, watching the global crisis. Watching. I want to be ‘informed’ but please let’s talk about solutions. No, the financial crisis has not “affected” me. I’ve been there before. Most of us have. The crisis is outside of me, not inside. When we approach it that way, we can take actions that lead to success. We are all part of the solution. Think about that.

I’m old enough to have lived through several crisis. It is NOT true that this is the largest financial crisis ever; of course it makes a great heading, but put it into perspective. World’s population is largest than ever… Same is true an hour, a day or a week later. Duh!

Crisis keeps us agile. It is like the old joke of the millionaire that offers all his wealth to the person who dares to swim in his crocodile infested pool. Suddenly there is a turmoil and a bruised and blodied man emerges on the other side. Congratulated by everyone he claims: I don’t want the money, just to find who pushed me in!

Without that push it would be much harder to think outside of the box. And always after a crisis there is a time of stability so we can get the energy to reinvent our businesses and our lives. The crisis is NOT the problem, we are the problem.

So, here are my tips for de-crisising:

1.Simplify. Check your life plan and your business plan. Define what is critical and important, get rid of the rest. Crisis are great for trimming!
Clean: In times of scarcity others might need what you don’t. Don’t throw, donate what you don’t need. Find a way to recycle.
Rest: There is no use in stressing. Adapt to the smaller cash available. The world is not going to end if you have fewer revenues. Do consider your cash flow if you have a business, so you can stay afloat, yet don’t welcome the crisis inside. Take time off, give people time off.

2.Rationalize. Focus on what is MOST important: your best clients, your best employees, your best friends, your best products or services.
Become more efficient: Don’t cut costs at random. Evaluate the return on your resources: time and money. For example, don’t lay off people or write off products, without thinking about the impact in the clients.
Keep relationships: Support others. We are all interconnected. Many people are stressed or scared. Exploring ways to support others shifts your mindset from victim to heroe, and it is always easier to help other people first. Helping others puts your own worries into context and strengthens your leadership skills.

3. Grow. Take the time to explore new things, learn, be curious. Prepare for the next wave of stability and growth. Think strategically. Learn to do the same with less. It is crazy to expect that doing more you will achieve more. The world is going into hibernation, why waste your energy?
Develop new skills: Take a class, form a group with friends, employees, or peers. Use your spare time to learn something just because.
Create: Enjoy the process of self-expression. Create for the pure pleasure to do it.
Explore: Foster your capacity to think differently by facing uncertain territories. Exploring distracts your mind from the problem, and forces you to find solutions.
Plan: Discuss how the measures you take today will impact your future.

And finally, celebrate life. At the end, everything is fine, if it is not fine, it’s not the end.

The global crisis needs local solutions. You are part of either side…. Or both… You chose.