Success Is Showing Up

Good morning,

Happy Friday! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Here at Sunny I’m thankful for our new employee who just joined our awesome team. During the selection process I interviewed a number of people who didn’t make the cut. One of them stands out dramatically and reminds me of the Woody Allen quote that 80% of success is:

Showing up.

Of course it also helps to show up early and show up prepared. Unfortunately the other 20% is a minefield of ways to blow up the opportunity gained by showing up.

In this case the candidate showed up, and unbeknownst to them, was high on our list of potential hires. We’d already done some investigating and understood that the candidate had recently become unemployed. I began the interview by asking, “Please walk me through your employment history starting with your most recent position; do you currently still work there?” To my great surprise, the candidate said, “Yes I do.”

Needless to say, honesty is vital to being a Sunny employee. Had this person realized upon showing up, how close they were to getting a job, they might not have felt compelled to lie. On the other hand, I’m glad their character was quickly revealed so I didn’t waste any more time on them. I promptly moved on and we found a talented new employee with an open, honest character.

Showing up is often difficult and sometimes scary, but always worthwhile. Go for it – and have a sunny day!


P.S. Amusingly, the Wall Street Journal published a cartoon on 6/6/13 with this alternative caption: “Actually, I’ve found 90 per cent of success isn’t showing up, it’s shutting up.” There’s undoubtedly merit to this view too!

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Dedication, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, Success, sunny, Wisdom, Workplace | Leave a comment

Pause to Reevaluate

Happy Friday!

This week’s “sunny note” moment came when I was standing in one of our agency’s departments looking at the new desks I’d spent thousands to buy this year.

Back when we placed the order, it seemed like the furniture would be perfect for the space. I even hired a professional to help make sure we selected the best configuration to meet our goals. But this week after months of trying to make it work, I had to admit it just didn’t.

The dysfunctional furniture offered a little reminder that no matter how much time, money or effort we’ve put into something, sometimes it’s better to simply:

Start over.

Just because we started heading in a certain direction doesn’t mean we have to stay the course. Pause to reevaluate – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” Dale Carnegie

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Dedication, Inspiration, Motivation, Professional, quote, Start, sunny | Leave a comment

Reinvent Yourself

Good morning,

Happy Friday! Every once in awhile I notice one of those “on this day” memories that pop up on my Facebook page. Earlier this week it displayed a photo of me that was such a blast from the past, I felt like I was looking at a different person.

It reminded me that change is life’s only constant, and every so often it’s good to:

Reinvent yourself.

From improving your wardrobe to improving your career – and everything in between – little changes over time can add up to a whole new you. It just takes a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease.

Let’s let our imagination shine – and have a sunny day!


Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Career, Change, Dedication, Imagination, Inspiration, Life, Motivation, Reinvent, Shine, sunny | Leave a comment

Things May Come to Those Who Wait, But Only the Things Left By Those Who Hustle

Good morning,

Happy Friday! Sunny notes took a break in October while I spent my free time in schools helping students learn about science by bringing them my race car.

Now the hustle and bustle of the holidays are just around the corner, even though it feels like September.

Speaking of hustle – or lack thereof – this week I found myself in conversation with a business person telling me that traffic is slow. But all he wants to do about it is just wait for the economy to improve.

Perhaps waiting is a tactic that might work to some extent, but it reminds me of these words from Abraham Lincoln:

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Let’s hustle – and have a Sunny day!


Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, holiday, Inspiration, Lincoln, Motivation, quote, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Three Things Cannot Be Long Hidden: The Sun, The Moon, And The Truth

Happy Friday!

Wrapping up this busy week I’m hoping your day was a sunny as the weather! Recently I heard a saying from Buddha that roughly translates as:

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

It was part of a really interesting seminar presented by Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky, author of a business book titled Culture Trumps Everything.

He was talking about the vital role of corporate culture in a company’s success, and the importance of trust as a cornerstone of that culture. Great leaders earn the trust of other people and surround themselves by people they trust.

Dr. Gustavo challenged us – and so I’m challenging you – to make yourself a list of the four people you trust the most.

We are incredibly fortunate to have trustworthy people in our lives!

Thank you – and have a sunny weekend!


P.S. “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Challenge, Inspiration, Moon, Motivation, quote, Sun, Truth, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Self Discipline is the Foundation of Success

Good morning,

Happy Friday! I’m reminded this week of Aesop’s fable about the Tortoise and the Hare. The Hare started out fast but didn’t discipline himself to stick to the program, while the Tortoise consistently put one foot in front of the other until he crossed the finish line first. It’s a simple story to illustrate a profound point.

Self discipline is the foundation of success.

Without self discipline, we get distracted, fail to finish things we start and allow ourselves to drift away from fundamental practices that (in the back of our minds) we know would make us more successful.

The good news is that some of the most important things we must do every day aren’t physically demanding. Instead, the challenge – or opportunity – lies in exercising the necessary willpower to do what needs to be done, and done consistently.

Discipline improves with practice just like any other exercise. This morning let’s workout and have a sunny day!


P.S. “In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.” Harry S. Truman

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Dedication, Disciplinee, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, Success, sunny | Leave a comment

Evidence Is Key

Happy Friday!

This week ended on a jolly note here at Sunny as we welcomed a new employee to the team. The hiring process reminded me once again about the often wide gap between what people say and what they do. We receive mountains of resumes full of fancy words but this candidate joined the company based on the actions she took, not just the words she said.

In fact I just finished reading a super-relevant blog post by Steve Acho that I’ll pass along to you here, titled:


“Resumes are often filled with words like ‘great communication skills,’ ‘results-oriented’ and ‘top-notch sales professional,’ prompting recruiters and hiring managers’ eyes to glaze over.

Great communicators communicate well, results-oriented people accomplish things, and great sales people sell more than others. Exceptional people leave a trail of evidence, and a well-done resume lists outcomes that show, rather than tell by using adjectives.”

Thanks Steve – and have a sunny weekend!


P.S. “Don’t tell me how hard you worked, tell me what you accomplished.” Andrew G. Acho

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Communicate, Hiring, quote, Recruiters, Resume, sunny | Leave a comment

Getting Started

Good morning,

Happy Friday! We’ve probably all heard that “getting starting” is the hardest part of any task. That’s certainly been my experience.

Sometimes we have no choice – something just has to be done. However, on those occasions when we get to decide if something is worth undertaking, business coach Libby Gill offers two questions to help make the decision:

– Is it meaningful?
– Is it measurable?

In addition to helping us decide, the answers can generate motivation that helps us get started.

When you know it’s the right thing to do but you’re still having trouble getting started, focus on just one question:

– What’s the first step?

Let’s take that step – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Decision, Dedication, Inspiration, Meaningful, Measurable, Motivation, quote, sunny | Leave a comment

Think First.

Good morning,

Hopefully you get to enjoy a relaxing Friday! But if it’s not one of those days, this morning’s Sunny Note is all about staying cool under pressure.

From lost keys to business deals – hopefully we all have strategies to help ourselves perform well when the pressure hits. One of my favorites that I find indispensable in almost every situation is this:

Think first.

It doesn’t always have to be a big think. In a pressure cooker, often just a few seconds of thought can completely change our response from total panic to top performance.

Sometimes it can be as simple as telling oneself, “I can handle it,” before diving into the situation. Other times, substantial thought must be invested in identifying the solution. Either way, the key is to make sure that thinking comes first.

A basic technique I was taught years ago for handling media interviews is to repeat the question before answering it. Why? Simply to gain a few seconds to think, because once it’s out, you can’t take it back. The same applies in the presence of our family members, colleagues and customers, because although we can apologize, we can’t undo what we’ve said or done.

Happy thinking – and have a sunny day!


P.S. “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” Winston Churchill

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Biz, Business, Churchill, Friday, Inspiration, Motivation, quote, sunny, Technique | Leave a comment

Act On The Answers

Happy Friday!

Today’s sunny note contains great advice from my colleague Steve Acho who has mastered the art of cutting through clutter to get at the most important points.

Here’s Steve’s straight-to-the-point advice for improving the overall quality of your life:

Set a monthly calendar appointment to ask yourself:
1. What one thing can I START doing that will have the biggest positive impact on my happiness, sense of fulfillment, and peace of mind?
2. What one thing can I STOP doing that will have the biggest positive impact?

Act on the answers!

Thanks Steve – and have a Sunny day!

Posted in Sunny notes | Tagged Advice, Answers, Biz, Business, Goals, Inspiration, Motivation, Questions, quote, sunny, Wisdom | Leave a comment