Vail Daily column: Turn summertime into opportunity time |

Vail Daily column: Turn summertime into opportunity time

The summer brings with it the natural tendency for many of us to slow down a little, take vacations, and take in all of the magnificence that living in Colorado and the mountains has to offer. It’s awesome, right?

Summertime could also be a fantastic time to reflect on our lives, our businesses, our goals and our dreams, inspiring us to try new things and explore new ideas.

Sometimes we find ourselves running on autopilot. Just doing what we do in the same way we have always done it, only because that is the way we have always done it. We all seem to know what to do, but sometimes we get a little too “routine” for our own good. We may have even forgotten what we did that brought us tremendous success when we first started out. And most times as we reflect on it, we remember that it was hard work mixed with creativity. And I will be the first to share with you that it has been true for me personally as the harder I have worked, the luckier I became.

When was the last time you looked at your life or your business, your sales territory or even your relationships with new eyes? One of the best practices I have learned over the years is to take some of my quiet times, or down times and sit with a pad of paper, a bar napkin or coffee napkin and list of all the ideas that pop into my head such as all of the business ideas, crazy thoughts, goals, dreams, tasks, action items, and random feelings that allow my mind to explore the wonderful opportunities that await me.

If you really want to generate some buzz and excitement, schedule a couple of hours with your team, associates, or family and call it a great ideas session. Use white boards or flip charts and let everyone contribute ideas, concepts, and feelings. The results will take you to new heights.

Having practiced this often, one of the secrets I have learned that is really helpful is this: Never question your list. Let it form freely, writing down everything as it comes into your mind. Imagine all of the “what ifs” and the “what could bes” and capture them as they come. Then, after you have exhausted your mind and it’s time to get back to life, revisit your list, prioritize your list, clean out your list, and commit to at least one or two items on your list that you will take ownership for seeing through.

Do this with an open mind, and watch as a few things happen. Your creativity will motivate you, your spirit will feel renewed, and your lists will grow and take on a life of their own.

You don’t need to be sitting in a training session to be reminded of all the wonderful things you used to do or to spark that creative genius that launched your career, business or relationship. You don’t even need technology – all you need is a sheet of paper, a napkin, and a pen. Try it, you will be amazed at what you uncover about your ability to think and grow.

Keep those emails coming. I love them and look forward to hearing all about your new lists and ideas at Maybe the first thing on your list should be ideas around how to make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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