Previous month:
July 2008
Next month:
September 2008


"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live."   Lin Yutang

Yep, I have been overscheduled lately with work, fun, fitness, and good causes such as politics. Yet in unscheduled times, great ideas emerge. Managing this polarity well — being scheduled and being unscheduled — may hold the secret to attaining balance in life and having the energy to perform at your peak. What are polarities? Read Chapter 7 of Pursuit of Passionate Purpose or check out my new presentation called "Go With The Flow."

I dream of hanging out in the hammock in my secret garden, looking up at the blue sky while watching the Aspen leaves shimmer in the breeze. How many times have I actually made it there this summer? A grant total of ONE! Well the summer is not over yet, so perhaps there is hope. Actually there have been other unscheduled moments for me this summer such as daydreaming in a field of wildflowers at Rocky Mountain National Park and hanging out on the grass by the Statue of Liberty looking out across the water to the New York City skyscrapers.

I remember summers as a kid in the suburbs of Chicago. They were hot, long, and lazy. Without money for fancy vacation trips, summertime meant simple fun close to home. Our creativity went wild. We would roller skate, take turns being the statue maker while spinning our playmates into statues, play badminton, sew doll clothes under the shade of the maple tree, hit the softball in the alley, try to improve our canasta game, walk to the neighborhood swimming pool, camp with the Girl Scout troop, spit watermelon seeds as far as possible, and chase the fire flies as they darted across the yard. Yes, summer also included household chores such as hanging the wash out on the clothes line and canning homegrown vegetables, babysitting, and finding other ways to make a little money. What did your childhood summers hold? How can you recreate some of those unscheduled and simple pleasures?

What is your summer dream and how are you manifesting it? How can you and your firm benefit from being less scheduled? Schedule some unscheduled time into your calendar right now. You might be surprised at the great ideas that surface.

Theresa M. Szczurek (


The 9th Annual IQ Awards on 8/14/08 by the Boulder County Business Report were way cool and  so...innovative.  After all in Boulder, one of the entrepreneurial hot beds of the world, IQ standsfor Innovation Quotient.

This program reconfirmed the innovative spirit of humans and brings forth hope that together we have the potential to solve the challenges our world is facing.  As discussed in my 07/30/08 blog entry, here is a noble purpose for entrepreneurs and technologists to embrace.

Innovations from 10 industries were nominated, judged to be finalists, and winners selected.  A relatively new category this year is "Sustainable" businesses which included growing firms such as Boundless Corporation ( with their lithium-ion battery systems and Hybrids Plus ( with their battery systems and bi-directional chargers for transportation, and larger service firms such as Ecocycle for their Zero Waste Services program (  Even in other categories, the sustainability theme was apparent:  Optibike's ( electric bicycle won in the Sports category and Tendril Networks' ( residential energy ecosystem which controls household devices that use energy won in the Communications category.

Even though I have been a judge for these awards since the beginning, it never gets old. I love learning about the newest technology and the people who bring it to market.  Evaluation criteria include geography (firm must be in Boulder and Broomfield county or the Highway 36 corridor), level of innovation, assurance the product is in the market (even at an alpha stage), and sustainability as measured by revenues or other market reaction. 

This year with a theme of "Innovation Party," we even learned about how innovation has impacted politics over the years.  Check out all the finalists and winners at

See the photos and some of the action as reported at

Okay, so what are you doing to keep your firm, employees, and self innovative?  If you need a pep up on the IQ meter, ask me about my program "Turning Ideas into Innovation into Income."

Theresa M. Szczurek (


If you keep doing the same things, you get bored, start losing your passion, and get the same old results.  If you are bored, you are boring and an energy zapper.  Performance suffers. So what are YOU doing to shake things up in your work and life? 

During the National Speakers Association conference in New York City earlier this month, Bill Stainton shared some lessons learned from the Beatles on 'shaking it up.'  I wish I could remember them all.  I do remember this quote from Katherine Hepburn, "If you obey all the rules, you'll miss all the fun!"

So here are three small suggestions for shaking it up:
Say YES to something you would typically say NO to.  GO into it with an open mind and try to learn as much as you can. Shake up your commitments.
Wear an outfit which you have not worn for a long time that has been taking up space in your closet.  After you wear it, determine if you should pass it on to someone else or perhaps put it back on your 'to be worn again' list.  Shake up your image.
Do something outrageous.  Did you know that I could put my fist into my mouth?  It was not a pretty picture and probably is why I now have TMJ, but it sure was original in college.  Yep, you could say, literally, I have a big mouth; Mick Jagger and I have a lot in common.  Shake up your actions and draw attention.

Why is this in a business performance blog? Try shaking things up -- you will see changes in performance and you may have more fun along the way.  What suggestions do you have to shake it up?

Theresa M. Szczurek (


Has your work pursuit become a grind? Are you playing enough? Having just returned recharged from a few days backpacking and camping with my family in the Colorado mountains, I can speak to the benefits of simple, playful moments.

As I pause now and close my eyes, I feel the gentle breeze on my face as it moves the colorful wildflowers in the peaceful meadow, hear the busy birds chirping, smell the pine needles, sense the increased confidence in my 12-year-old daughter after she learned outdoor survival skills, taste the refreshing stream water after a long, uphill hike, and see the brilliant starry night. These moments and their memory reignite my energy to continue to pursue my passions. What about you?

"All work and no play makes..." We've all heard it before, perhaps from your spouse and children and perhaps from your work associates. Yet with the demands of your business in these increasingly challenging times, it can be hard to justify being playful. Here are some suggestions from p. 108 in Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.

More creativity, since play allows for experimentation
Less stress, since play reduces psychic tension
More confidence, since play develops competency
More connection to others, since play develops cooperation along with competition
Make your pursuit fun and playful
Smile more
Maintain a sense of humor and especially, laugh at yourself
Schedule and take a break. You deserve a 5-minute power meditation, a few days in nature, or a longer vacation. Book your next get-away now, even if it's just to the hammock in your backyard

SUMMARY: Play brings greater business performance, productivity, and passion. It makes business sense and allows you to successfully pursue noble purpose. How can YOU build more play into your work and life?

Theresa M. Szczurek (