Winners of the Unstuck Contest:
It came down to the wire between Maria Gonzalez and Jonathan Hamilton. Maria won by just 31 votes. James Cook made a strong showing, too, with 126 votes for third place. Many contest entrants described how, in an effort to get unstuck, they developed new skills or discovered ones they weren’t aware existed. They took risks, listened to coaches or mentors or their own inner voices, and found the motivation they needed to succeed. Others realized it was time to move on or move away.
The entries below are inspirational. They are stories of adversity, resourcefulness, reinvention, and triumph. Please feel free to comment on what your thoughts are regarding these submissions!
First Place: New life, new job
by Maria Gonzalez | Submitted Jun 09, 2012
764 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: When I left my first husband, I had no job skills nor anything more than a high school degree. I decided to go to school to become a medical assistant. Not only did that give me a career, it gave me the confidence after a violent marriage.
Second Place: Economy had me down …
by Jonathan Hamilton | Submitted Jun 09, 2012
733 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: When the economy took a turn for the worst, I was only two years into owning my own painting business that was passed down to me from my father in law. I was really stuck when our word of mouth business plan wasn’t working anymore. I really had to work to get my business through marketing and advertising. I had to get creative. I used social media to market my business along with local coupon companies that offered online coupons for short periods of time. I consulted someone who analyzed my business and helped me in areas where I needed it. Thanks to the changes I made, my business is running better than ever in this time of recession.
Third Place: Unprepared for life after the army.
by James Cook | Submitted Jun 28, 2012
126 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: Retiring from the Army can really get you stuck in a rut. When you retire, you’re used to getting up every day at 5AM, but getting a job outside of the military, you get to “sleep in”. But that’s not the only difference, you have to learn a whole new way of life. So, when I retired, I was not fully prepared for my new life as a civilian. I took a job at a mechanics shop and because of my military work ethic, I worked myself out of a job. So, after being unemployed, I got a job at a factory, I do the work that’s required, and mostly stay to myself. The supervisors were happy with my production, and there’s always work to do.
Fourth Place: Subliminal motivation tapes
by Diana Thompson | Submitted Jun 29, 2012
38 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: As a real estate sales person, poverty and divorce was not enough to motivate me to go out and sell houses. I was making very few sales per year. My money was running out. I got so depressed I could not get out of bed. I went to a psychiatrist who sold me a subliminal motivational tape to listen to morning and evening. In the next thirty days, I listened daily. I was able to sell three houses in a weekend, and worked like a person shot out of a cannon to close the deals.
Fifth Place: TONE TO DISAGREE
by Ellen Weber | Submitted Jun 10, 2012
17 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: Outrageous disagreements are settled by shifting tone, I learned. Gary, a manufacturing manager, complained that staff don’t give an inch. Staff disagreed and it became clear that offensive tone drove workplace discontent. Research shows tone problems as rampant, and Gary as part of 75% disengaged workers across the US. Do my tone tips always fly? No. My own inner voice must prepare ahead to foster solutions that flourish. Strategies we used relate to people’s ability to cultivate tone that inspires progress:
- Run from anxious reactions, since stress literally shrinks the human brain.
- Tame your amygdala (the brain’s seat of emotions) by stepping back from knee jerk reactions so that calm fuels your next response.
- Laugh at little things. Humor adds enzymes for wellbeing with respect and laughing at self at its center.
- Use people’s names as research shows chemicals for wellbeing built through simply using people’s handles more.
- Discourage cynical encounters, by modeling tone that expects gifted responses in return.
When Gary’s tone solved problems at work, I saw possibilities linked to sharpening my own tone tools.
Sixth Place: Teacher
by Roger Rankin | Submitted Jun 05, 2012
1 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: I left an unfulfilling place and reinvented myself in another part of the country.
Sixth Place: Flexibility with rules
by | Submitted Jun 10, 2012
1 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: I work from home and also have two small children. When my business wasn’t giving me the results that I wanted, I created a strict work schedule and promised myself that I would do one thing a week differently. Sometimes, this was just calling a client personally instead of sending an email or writing a handwritten note of thanks instead of a standard thank you card. It worked because my business improved in a matter of a few months.
Sixth Place: Hire a coach
by Calvin Guyer | Submitted Jun 18, 2012
1 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: Not satisfied with my former employer. Hired a coach to get unstuck. Discovered some hidden talents.
Sixth Place: Leap of FAITH !
by Steven Taylor | Submitted Jun 28, 2012
1 # Votes
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: I am a single father. It has its challenges at times. One thing I have wanted most was a good education for my son Austin. I was working for a company called A/Z . The pay was reasonable but wasn’t enough to send my son to a good school. For several months I debated with myself how I was going to break free from my job without suffering a huge financial loss. Then I realized everything in life is a risk. If I don’t step out and change my life noting will ever be different. So I started my own business Coustline Property. I don’t make a lot but enough to pay the bills. Best thing is I get to spend more time with my son and he gets a better education.
Sixth Place: The Beise Story -…
by Steve Beise | Submitted Jun 28, 2012
1 # View Details Delete
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: A couple if years ago I was feeling like I hit a plateau in my business career and was looking for new, different, challenging ways to grow. After some time and talking about with my boss and others, several challenges “appeared”! Each one of those has “stretched” (thanks Prouty for a few of those!) me and has helped me grow tremendously in my professional and person life.
Sixth Place: Oops
by | Submitted Jun 29, 2012
When were you really stuck in business, and how did you get unstuck?: I forgot to submit the direct deposits and I didn’t realize until I was at home and ready to go to bed. At midnight I had to go to work in my pj’s and cut checks for everyone!