Why Compliments Are Scary

26 11 2013

Scared senior womanLet’s face it, fellow entrepreneurs… as much as we love a good compliment, there’s a little something scary about each pat on the back.

Why? Because, for motivated people, a compliment is as good as an expectation. And expectations bring out some of the more… interesting… facets of our success-driven personalities.

Let’s have a look at a few of these, and see how we can kick the “scare factor” to the curb:

“Entrepreneur” and “perfectionist” could almost be used interchangeably for as often as one is associated with the other. When a perfectionist receives a compliment, we turn the internal pressure on HIGH to recreate that optimal scenario over and over again. It’s a guaranteed recipe for self-condemnation when top performance is not repeatedly met without fail, and also a quick way to give yourself the compliment creeps!

Resolution: Make a paradigm shift! The next time a compliment brightens your doorstep, respond with “thank you!” and MOVE ON. The longer we linger over feedback – good OR bad – the more likely we are to be distracted from our main purpose. It’s like having your head turned by an appreciative whistle… and then walking into a light pole. Stay focused on your fundamental goals – compliment-based goals are pure distraction.

We wouldn’t have gotten where we are today without having the wherewithal to raise a few (hundred) bars. But this also takes perfectionist tendencies to a new level – where entrepreneurs feel an obligation to not only meet, but EXCEED compliment-born expectations. When we’ve just achieved something awesome, that next step up can feel mighty daunting.

Resolution: Outstanding performance is bound to happen. The trick for not allowing it to prematurely inflate your business expectations is to already HAVE business expectations. If you know where you’re going and how you intend to get there, bars can be raised at a pace that’s healthy for your business, rather than with every wayward compliment.

Entrepreneurs are classic over-analyzers – highly skilled at mental games. Comes in handy when we’re thinking ahead to our next move or anticipating the needs of our clients. But fright sets in when the analysis morphs into paranoia: “If I was complimented on THIS, then was THAT not worthy of a compliment?” or “Was that compliment on the level?” or “Does this person want something from me?”

Resolution: Take compliments at face value. Whether or not a comment carries hidden undertones, trying to guess what’s taking place in another person’s mind is a massive waste of our precious time. Most compliments are just what they appear to be – a well-earned kudos. And if they’re not? Trust me, the compliment-er will eventually make their point in a less obtuse manner.

And what if we’re awash in compliments… about something we don’t really want to do? You might, for example, be renowned for your culinary skills, when you’d far rather be SELLING cookware. This is one of the very scariest compliment scenarios. If everyone thinks you’re so good at cooking, the pressure to do just that can be CRUSHING. You can even begin to doubt your own desires.

Resolution: This is where an internal heart-to-heart becomes your guiding beacon. You can become compliment-worthy at ANYTHING, if you’re willing to give it enough effort. Skills can be learned. Passion cannot. Appreciate the positive feedback, but don’t let it shake you from your true life’s work.

You’ve been excellent readers, and I congratulate you for your savvy choice in reading material. Happy Thanksgiving, my cyberspace friends!

“I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel they have not said enough.”  ~ Mark Twain

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Twinkies on the Brain: A Mind-Nourishing Experiment

4 11 2013

TwinkiesAfter years of reading fluff and watching Netflix with breakfast, I came to the realization that my morning brain fodder had achieved the enrichment equivalent of a pack of Twinkies.

Common belief dictates that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What you put in your body post-snooze has a mighty impact on how you feel and operate the remainder of your waking hours. Those who know me well also know that my diet would impress the sporty socks off of Jillian Michaels. But my mental nourishment? Pathetic.

And I got to thinking about this intake imbalance – why would I make the effort to eat for energy, all the while prepping my brain to operate at the level of a remedial kindergartener? At best, I’d expect to be hyper and extremely unproductive.

So, to test a personal hypothesis, I decided to start my days off  with good eats AND good thinks. Instead of filler fiction and The Office reruns, I am launching every morning with smarty-pants stimuli, like philosophical readings, memory research, and TED Talks. I hypothesized that this would make me more effective, more efficient, and more creative throughout the day.

Not being all that scientific about it, I’ve failed to create control groups, track measurable results, and do other proof-providing activities. But with a couple months under my belt, I note here – unapologetically – that I FEEL more productive.

Power of the mind, baby. Sometimes that’s all it takes to create a new reality! (To the science-minded among you: please reserve scoffing until after you try it for yourself.)

What do you think? Would you be willing to run a 1-week trial of trading in morning Facebook, news, or popular T.V. for something that challenges your brain to stretch and strengthen? What would you use to bolster A.M. brain growth? If you try it, let me know what happens! We can be brain buddies and swap lists of our favorite brain breakfasts!

Want some ideas to start you off? Here are a few of my recent morning mind munchies:


“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”  ~ Plutarch

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Dawn Gets Selfish… But Not Greedy

21 10 2013

greedy little boy with appleToday, I need to be selfish.

Not the kind of selfish that involves stealing toddlers’ toys or hogging the pie. I’m talking about a “selfish” that is founded on asking for what I’ve legitimately earned, and rationally expecting to receive it.

As a business owner, when you complete a service, you ask for and receive payment. Entirely reasonable, right?

But for some reason, in our personal lives, it can feel mighty uncomfortable – selfish even – to expect “payment” for a good deed done. For example, you took over dinner duties so that a tired spouse could rest. You didn’t do it for gratitude or leverage. You did it as a quietly meaningful show of support for a person you love.


It would be “socially inappropriate” to request a ‘thanks!’ every time you acted generously. But… how many domestic arguments start from failure to express gratitude? Tell me if this sounds familiar…

“You don’t appreciate me!”

Uh-huh. What that partner is actually saying is “I feel like I’m doing all of these generous things for you, and you’re not acknowledging the thought, time, and effort I’ve invested to make those things happen.”

And they’re typically right. ALL of us take certain things for granted – some more often than others. We don’t fail to show appreciation out of malice; rather, out of habit.

(For any concerned parties, this is not a reflection of my own marital relationship. My husband’s a keeper!)


So, who’s actually at fault? Spouse B for not thinking to express gratitude? Or Spouse A for not setting an expectation of when and what sort of gratitude they would like expressed?

‘Fault’ is probably the wrong word. ‘Responsible’ would be more appropriate here. Because Spouse B was most likely acting out of habit, and legitimately didn’t realize they were taking Spouse A’s actions for granted. And Spouse A was operating under the very real societal pressures that tell us that asking for appreciation is wrong (which moral stance, incidentally, is a titanic bunch of baloney.) Like anything repressed, that kind of hurt is bound to erupt sooner or later, and in direct proportion to the length of time it has been bottled up.


So, in the scenario above, I’d say there’s a relatively equal balance of responsibility.

There will be times when you don’t WANT gratitude – when the pleasure of doing something generous was its own reward. And that is okay.

BUT, there will also be times when your genuine kindness needs to come at the price of genuine appreciation. THAT IS OKAY, TOO. Do NOT be afraid to ask for something you have earned.

Understand, though, that there are two parties to consider. If your ‘kindness’ is unasked for, unwanted, and unwarranted, you’ve just lost your right to request payment.

On the other side of the table, the recipient has a responsibility to remove the blindfold and SEE the kindnesses for what they are. If gratitude is warranted, then share the love.


So, let’s see if I can put my money where my mouth is…

Once upon a time, this blog was a marketing tool. With the shifting of my career goals, that purpose has long been defunct, and it is now simply a hobby and my gift to you – the fruits of my ponderings.

In reading my posts, you’ve already acknowledged that they have some value to you. That, in and of itself, is a small note of thanks.

But today… today I am asking you for a more substantive show of appreciation – specifically, a comment on this post (click the link next to “Comments:” at the bottom of this post), an email, or a phone call with anything from a quick “thanks!” to a note on how something I’ve written has impacted you.

If you’ve benefited from this blog, than I hope that you will see this as a reasonable and fun way to ‘remit payment’!

To those who’ve supported me with gratitude all along the way, you have been my muses. Thank YOU!

“’Gratitude’: A lively sense of future benefit.”  ~ A French Definition

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Leadership-Jacket Connection

16 10 2013

Unsure man in coatCritical Leadership Skill Numero Uno: The ability to translate thought into action.

In entrepreneurship, you cannot park in neutral and brain your way to success. Action is an inevitable necessity.

For years now, I’ve been trying to pinpoint the source of all that action. What makes a leader step up, when everyone else is stepping down?

Is it courage born of big decisions and masterful business moves? Life altering determinations? News worthy choices? Popular media would have us believe so.

However, my observation-based conclusion comes to: “Not really.”

In fact, I would argue that the essence of leadership is born of HABIT. Yes, habit. And that habit is formed largely from the small, seemingly irrelevant decisions that literally make up our day-to-day lives.


The other day, I couldn’t decide whether a jacket was warranted. For the three minutes I would actually be outside, the decision was truly insignificant. But in the millisecond of thought I actually devoted to the cause, I could imagine two, potential consequences to a faulty choice:

1)  I wore the jacket, was too hot, and had to lug it around the rest of the day. Inconvenient.

2)  I didn’t wear the jacket, was too cold, and suffered a few minutes of discomfort. Also inconvenient.

This is grossly simplifying the alternatives, but you catch my drift. It’s the level of decision-making that we are faced with every minute – even every second. Should I pick up groceries now or after lunch? Should I run the yellow traffic light or wait for the next green? Should I take the stairs or the elevator? Should I approach that person or this one?

In my scenario, I couldn’t decide, asked my husband for his input, and wore a jacket on his recommendation.

Now, can anyone tell me why the above sentence is an outright lie?


Because, in actuality, I most certainly COULD decide. I can ALWAYS decide. So, to turn the above into a truth:

I was unwilling to accept responsibility for the results of my decision, asked my husband for his input, and wore a jacket on his recommendation.


Fear. Habit. Laziness. Low self-esteem. It’s infinitely easier to choose a scapegoat than a course of action. When we pass the baton, a wrong decision becomes “not my fault”. But what do we lose in the process? Control. Self-esteem. Learning and growth opportunities. Freedom.


How many times do you catch yourself defaulting to the decision of another person, group, or (heaven forbid) “fate”? I’d wager that you haven’t given it much thought. Why should you? Those trivial decisions are vastly unimportant in the grand scheme of your life.

BUT, I believe that THESE DECISIONS ARE WHERE LEADERSHIP IS FORMED. From a habit of answering your own questions. From a comfort with shouldering your own responsibilities. From an understanding that being wrong WON’T END YOU.

Take more knowledgeable peoples’ input into account, by all means. But let the final decision be yours.


1 )  Observe the actions and interactions of those in your life who are leaders and those who are not. See what happens when a minor decision has to be made. It’s downright enlightening.

2)  Evaluate the little, daily decisions that you’ve been giving away. If you can’t find a darn good reason for doing so, take back the reins! Leadership is waiting for you on the other side.

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you. Not much.”  ~ Jim Rohn

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

What You Can Learn From What You Can’t Stand

19 09 2013

dislikeLet me tell you what I don’t like…

I am not a fan of pompous posturing.

I heartily dislike drama queens.

I can’t stand entrepreneurial “all talk and no action”.

I loathe complacency.

I deeply despise the “entitlement” mentality.

And I downright HATE the fact – sigh – that I’ve been personally guilty of all of the above.

Anyone who knows anything about human nature knows that passing judgement is as easy as cow-tipping a one-legged heifer.

But let me throw in a hypothesis that I alluded to in my previous post: The qualities, characteristics, and behaviors that we like least in others is often a reflection of the qualities, characteristics, and behaviors we like least about ourselves.

This isn’t necessarily a tit-for-tat conversion. If you’re disgusted by simpering social leaches, that doesn’t mean you ARE one. But when you accidentally let slip some teachers-pet-ish talk, do you give yourself the mental equivalent of a stiff right hook?

And if, like me, you sneer at unnecessary dramatics, check to see whether you bring out the thumb screws when you catch YOURSELF “whining”.

This is typically a gut-level reaction, but just think of the value in raising it to the level of awareness. Subconscious self punishment gets you a cozy seat in the psychologist’s office. Conscious recognition offers you an opportunity to become a better person. I know which one I’d prefer.

The next time you find yourself feeling particularly annoyed by a fellow human, do a mental check-in. What about his or her behavior do you particularly dislike? More to the point, does this mirror a personal quality with which you are less than pleased?

If, upon reflection, the answer is “yes”… bingo. You’ve just merged onto the road to self betterment.

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”  ~ Ernest Hemingway

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The World’s Best Storyteller

2 09 2013

1948 Anna Karenina movie posterI recently had the ridiculously great misfortune of watching 1948’s video classic, “Anna Karenina”, based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel of the same name. By that experience alone, I wouldn’t touch the book with a 10-foot pole.

Sorry, Leo.

I sense hackles rising from Tolstoy fans and Vivien Leigh admirers. Steady on, there… I’m willing to concede that the book may outstrip the movie, and that Vivien Leigh is an unparalleled beauty.

But otherwise, I feel compelled to note that the characters are, without fail, self-consumed drama queens. And if you don’t want the ending spoiled before you have a chance to see for yourself, don’t read any further…


For an impartial summary of the storyline, have a gander at Wikipedia. For the purposes of this blog, suffice it to say that Anna talks herself into believing that nobody loves her and, as a result, becomes unlovable. In the final scenes, Anna gasps out a daft, self-pitying soliloquy regarding something that, short of freaky telepathic powers, she could neither know nor control – other people’s thoughts. Then she throws herself in front of a train.

Yeah. Drama queen.

If you ascertained that I have zero patience for this kind of self-destructive nincompoopery, you’d be right. BUT, keep in mind that the traits we tolerate least in others are often a direct reflection of the traits we subconsciously like least about ourselves. More on that in an upcoming blog.


By now, you’ve probably figured out what I’m angling at. The World’s Best Storyteller… is YOU.

The stories we tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves hold infinitely greater power than any novel, tale, chronicle, anecdote, yarn, or headliner. These are our internal stories about who we are, how we act, what we value, which habits stick, what are futures will be, how we expect to be perceived, and all those other life altering things that make us who we are today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

Change your inner story – change who you are.


I used to be shy… or was I? Doesn’t really matter, because that was the story I spent 20 years drilling into the fiber of my being. It may have been perpetuated by external judgement, but it was cultivated, ripened, harvested, and replanted by me.

About 10 years ago, out of necessity, I decided that I was NOT actually shy, but simply valued peace and solitude more than your average human being. That being said, I was perfectly capable of “working a room” and “being a social butterfly”.

Did I really flip-flop personalities overnight, or did I actually flip-flop MY PERCEPTION of my personality? I believe we both know the answer to that.

I’ll say it again: Change your inner story – change who you are.


First and foremost, your stories are YOURS. If someone wants to tell you that you are a shrimpy burger-flipper, and that is not your aspiration, then buck up and write out a different outcome. No one has the right to scribble over your story – NO ONE.

Secondly, check in on what you consider “eternal truths” about yourself. Where did they originate? Are they YOURS? Are they holding you back, or moving you forward? Let go of what makes you want to play on busy railroad tracks.

Finally, take a cue from Anna’s ludicrous behavior, and ditch the dramatics. Your story can be amazing without being the stuff of Star Magazine scandal-mongering. No writing skills needed – just self-confidence and self-respect.

I see a greater fate for you and me than becoming railroad pancakes. Let’s create some stories!!

Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it.”  ~ Count Vronsky to Anna Karenina in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

How to Not Become a 1-Dimensional Crankpot Entrepreneur

20 08 2013

Crabby entrepreneurSeveral years into my business’s growth, I had become a finely-tuned design machine:

I ate breakfast with my computer; spent the day networking, quoting, brainstorming, and designing; devoted free hours to program upgrades; analyzed sign layouts and logos during drives; talked business with my husband at dinner; laid out tomorrow’s schedule before bed; worked the wee hours on time-sensitive projects; and dreamed up design ideas overnight.

I was single-minded. I was driven. I was everything society had told me an entrepreneur should be. But I was…

BORING. And drained. And cranky.

In my push to become the ultimate business owner, I’d committed a cardinal entrepreneurial sin:

Forgetting that I am human. And I paid the price.

Galloping toward a goal with blinders on creates tunnel vision and narrow-mindedness. Spoiler Alert: There won’t be caviar and yacht club memberships at THAT finish line. Just complete and utter burn out.

A well-rounded leader creates a well-rounded business. Hobbies, volunteering, and other extracurriculars are more than “for funsies” – they’re also a rock solid way to bolster creativity, learn skills that your expanding mind will find use for in the workplace, connect you with a broader audience, expose you to unexpectedly awesome opportunities, and eliminate your inner ogre.

So, with all my heart, I advise you to drop the “24/7 entrepreneur” act like a hot potato, and become the human collage you were born to be. There’s no heroism in becoming a 1-dimensional, crankpot entrepreneur. Give yourself permission to occasionally “lose” the responsibility sheet that exists in every leader’s head. Explore. Enjoy. Engage…

Mortals must do what they are here to do creatively or they will become cranky.”  ~ Jill Badonsky. Yes, Jill. Yes they will.

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

Self Sabotage: What you didn’t realize you were doing

30 07 2013

Self SabotageI assert that 99% of failed businesses are destroyed by the one person you’d least expect to wield the axe…

The creator.

But ask those business slayers, and the majority will have no idea what a starring role they played in their company’s demise.

Entrepreneurs are among the most self-aware group of individuals out there. The ability to recognize our own potential and maintain forward momentum in the face of criticism and doubt is what makes us visionaries.

So why would we kneecap our businesses without even realizing that we’re doing it?

It all goes back to self sabotage.

As discussed in previous posts, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of commitment, and just plain fear all play a role in WHY we commit self sabotage.

In today’s blog, let’s talk about HOW we self sabotage, and what we can do to reverse the damage.


Entrepreneurs have a reputation for leap-now-look-later. It’s one of the things that makes us movers and shakers in a world of inaction and low expectation. But there is a line where visionary crosses over into carelessness. THAT is self sabotage.

When we start with no plan – no goals, no mission, no measurable benchmarks – then we’ve eliminated our source of motivation. And motivation is the fuel that powers our success.

If flying by the seat of your pants is how you operate best, go ahead and flap those fanny wings. But first give yourself a solid foundation from which to launch your trajectory.


Over-planning is the polar opposite of under-planning. It involves spending so much time creating the perfect business on paper or in our heads, that we never actually get around to making it happen!

This is the entrepreneurial equivalent of “all talk and no action.” Making a habit of it will ground our business for life.

So, when you catch yourself building castles in the sky, and twiddling your thumbs in reality, take a step – any step – to move you forward. The momentum you generate may be just what you need to succeed.


A compliment to over-planning, getting lost in the details means spending ludicrous amounts of time sweating the small stuff, at the expense of accomplishing anything meaningful. Creating lists, blowing a day on little projects, and filing paperwork are a few of my favorite ways to avoid productive activity.

Getting lost in the details is the perfect self-sabotage – we justify it to ourselves and others by arguing that “it all needs to get done.” And sometimes it does, but RARELY do the little things need to be done that instant or even by us.

Prioritize, delegate, and give yourself the freedom and support to tackle the tasks that will legitimately move your business forward.


Those of you who have followed my blog are extremely well aware of how I feel about fatalism, superstition, and other scapegoating techniques – I loathe them. Fatalism entails placing responsibility for the success or failure of our business squarely in the hands of other people, events, and circumstances. This includes business advisers, family, economy, competitors, and current events.

Of all self sabotages, I consider this one the most dangerous. The moment we relinquish control of our business is the moment we relinquish control over our own future.

There is a very large difference between WEIGHING advice and circumstances in your decision making process, and BASING your decisions on them. If you find yourself stagnating because of something beyond your control, step back and reassess whether it truly is a roadblock, or an opportunity that – with a little elbow grease – can take you new and exciting directions.

Be honest with yourself. If your business is going nowhere fast, check to see where you may be getting in your own way. Find it, repair it, forgive yourself, and move on.

Otherwise, standing over the lifeless body of an up-and-coming business will be you, in the office, with self sabotage. Don’t be that criminal.

Be on your own side.”  ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

Making the Hard Cuts

8 07 2013

Work-Life BalanceLoyal readers and DMT newbies alike, it feels good to connect with you again.

To the former, vanity leads me to assume that you’ve missed my bloggy insights, and so I would like to apologize right now for my disappearing act. I’m sorry. Your loyalty deserves better.

To the latter, you’ve happened upon this post at a very interesting stage in my blogging career. Glad to have your readership!


So, here’s what’s been going on…

Like many Type-A-ers, I’ve devoted a lifetime to burning my candle at both ends. Warning signs, red flags, and caution tape were buried under whirlwind pseudo-efficiency. Over the past several months, my health was flagging, my energy was flagging, and my Superwoman cape had definitely begun to fray.

That I couldn’t maintain both my existing modus operandi and my wellbeing at the same time was ridiculously evident. What to change was not.


I like feng shui. No, check that… I REALLY like feng shui. The concept of “space clearing” brings me peace. But now, instead of simply feng shui-ing my desk clutter, I needed to feng shui ME.

Simplification was in order – a process of consolidation and removal. I had a long look at what has been generating stress in my life. These were things that needed to be modified or discarded.

It was not easy, and it still is not easy. Asking an entrepreneur to “let go” is like asking an acrobat to sit still; it’s tremendously uncomfortable.

For those of you struggling with your own stress-induced battles, I’d like to share some insights on a few of my life-altering eliminations that may also help bring you sanity:

Guilt:  There’s guilt, and then there’s GUILT. Guilt is missing a deadline, forgetting to pick up your kids, and eating the extra slice of cake. GUILT is feeling that you are somehow inadequate, universally wrong, a mistake, or a burden on society. A combination of the two is more effective than a mosquito attack in a swamp – it will eat you alive.

In my entrepreneurial quest for perfection, I forgot something truly relevant and essential… I am human. I will make errors. I won’t always be everyone’s first, best, favorite, or most important, but that does not make me any less deserving of respect – self respect included.

Guilt is appropriate only when you stray from your own moral code – not someone else’s, your own. Otherwise, it’s a waste of brain space.

Guilt is easier to drop than GUILT, but when you start letting these go, I wager we’ll find you traipsing the hillsides, laughing over your lightened load.

Unfair Expectations:  As a general rule, I believe people mean well. When they ask for something without offering fair compensation (whatever you deem that to be: payment, gratitude, bartered service, recognition, etc.), it is rare that they understand the actual toll it will take on your time, family, or health. But their ignorance is not unkind.

However, their expectations are peanuts compared to the expectations we place on ourselves. Goals should have some basis in reality. No amount of plastic surgery will make me look like Shakira, and no cooking of the figures will turn me into an instant Donald Trump. These are silly examples, but some entrepreneurs ask themselves to accomplish eyebrow-raising feats on a daily basis… and berate themselves severely when they fall short. I was one of those.

Don’t misunderstand me – reach for the stars. But back your goals with sound research, reasonable expectations, and a flexible mind. Remember, failure and opportunity are often close allies.

Excuses:  Guilt and unfair expectations are easy highways to scapegoating. Rest assured that every action – or inaction – we take is of our own volition. Even with a proverbial “gun to the head,” we have a choice – take the bullet, sing the national anthem, duck and weave, freeze, follow orders…

Our choices generate repercussions and, particularly when we don’t like those repercussions, it is exquisitely tempting to lay blame on the circumstances or people most closely associated with them. The danger here is that, in doing this, we hand over – on a silver platter – control of ourselves and our business to someone or something else.

And if we don’t retain control over ourselves, we have nothing.

I’ve found myself using poor health, lack of time, conflicting priorities and similar excuses for DMT’s sluggish re-branding. And we’ve all met business owners that blame the economy, low quality clientele, big box store competitors, and so forth for their business’s “failure to thrive.” Look hard at these excuses. There isn’t one among them that can’t be circumnavigated in new and creative ways.

You’d be surprised by how empowering this realization can be. Accept responsibility… and run with it.


Although I’ve feng shui-ed many  parts of my life right out the door, blogging will not be one of them. I love to write, and will be continuing to post insights and commentary on entrepreneurial self betterment as the mood strikes me (i.e. at least once a month).

In the meantime, know that your acknowledgements and feedback add fuel to my creativity. I am always glad to hear from you.

What “hard cuts” have you made that have changed your life?

I have come back again to where I belong; not an enchanted place, but the walls are strong.”  ~Dorothy H. Rath

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

Rewind | BREATHE | Fast Forward

29 03 2013

Time outI’m about to impart a bit of Zen wisdom here. Buddha pose is optional.

Some of us live in the past; we usually call that “baggage.” (Sorry, past dwellers.)

Some of us live in the future; we often label that “forward thinking.” (Don’t toot your horn just yet, “to-be”ers.)

But in between rewinding to memories of what’s already been, and racing into events that have yet to be, there’s where we exist now: the present.

Now, there’s a time and a place for all three branches of living – past, present, and future. And I’m not going to go all “A Christmas Carol” on you in this blog. But entrepreneurs are a notoriously driven bunch – mulling intensely over past actions before surging ahead into future plans.

So today, on the brink of a holiday weekend, I feel compelled to share a little bit of well-worn wisdom that we all lose track of at some point or another:


So simple. So essential.

A pause can be a vacation, a rare luxury for an entrepreneur, but it can also be as simple as sitting quietly for a few moments – mind parked in neutral – between activities. During those moments, you’re neither fretting over the previous activity, nor puzzling out the next.

You are simply existing.

If emptying your mind feels like a goliath undertaking, try focusing your attention on something instead – your thumb, an elbow, your breath… something completely innocuous.

You don’t need to be a yogi to work this technique. You just have to be human.

What’s the point? Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if it doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath, stop frantic thoughts, stimulate mental clarity, and/or help you keep things in perspective.

A few moments. Really. Please try it, and let me know how it works for you.

“Don’t just do something — Sit there!”  ~Anon.

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

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