Interviewee Name: Diane Craig, President
Company Name: Corporate Class Inc.
To get the most from The Invisible Mentor Interview with Diane Craig, while you are reading it, answer the following questions:
- Are their similarities between Diane Craig and yourself?
- In what ways can you use the information?
- In what ways would you respond differently from the interviewee?
- What are your five takeaways from the interview?
- After reading the interview, what is one concrete action you can take?
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Diane Craig: I’m an entrepreneur. I’ve had my business for many years now. I love my work and I love life, I love my family and I enjoy people.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Diane Craig: I live what I preach. Whenever I can involve my family in what I do professionally, in a way that is good, in terms of whether it is travel, opportunity to speak, I make sure that I can integrate both.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Diane Craig: I love to cook and I find it very relaxing. I also read and workout.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- Not to assume.
- Not be as impatient as I’ve been over the years.
- Make time to do things for myself, whether it’s a workout, going to the spa, getting a manicure, visit friends. I’m getting pretty good at that.
- I’ve learned to support and encourage my son without telling him what to do. I let him learn by his own errors and mistakes. If he is passionate about something and I’m not too crazy about it, I may voice my concerns, but I will support him knowing that when you fall you get your biggest lessons.
- Don’t wish for miracles, just expect them.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Diane Craig: I love to get up before dawn even if I know that I don’t have to go into the office early or if I have a day off. I have a special chair and I sit there. I meditate and just let things come to me. I have very strong faith, and I hear the messages in those times, and my best ideas, and solutions have come from those moments.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success? And in your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Diane Craig: For me, success is being able to go to bed at night with a clear conscience. I think that’s a successful day. And on a more practical level, I’m not a big goal setter, except that every year on January 1st, this is a ritual that I’ve had for many years, I write a life script. If everything was perfect in my life, what would it look life, what would I be doing, at all levels – personal, professional, health and family. I go through that and I record it and listen to it for the first month. And I do set some goals along with that. I only look at them the following year, and I look back on the other years and I see how I made most of them happen. And I think it’s just the subconscious for me to put it there, and not dwell on them, but plant the seed and it gives me a focus. I guess that I’ve done that for so many years now that I don’t even think about it.
Of course you have some goals businesswise, deadlines to meet, minimum revenues to generate, but beyond that, I think that when I can plant the seed and look back later then I see where I’ve had some success and making those things happen. It’s making your dreams a reality.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Diane Craig: I was diligent in making sure that I was technically sound in my knowledge. I didn’t diversify into 20 different areas. Sometimes I look at the websites of some of my competitors and they do all sorts of different things and I don’t know how they can be an expert at all those things. I focus on all the areas of image and etiquette and building an executive presence and everything that’s related to that. So I stick with what I know and instead of working on things that I’m not very good at, I keep working on the things that I’m very good at so I can become even better at that then it makes competition a little more difficult. I focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Diane Craig: Focus on the area that you are strong in and become known as an expert in that area. Otherwise you’re going to be good at something, very good at something else, but will you be excellent, extraordinary, unique in one thing?
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
- I would love to meet Eleanor Roosevelt (Profile of Eleanor Roosevelt). She was a great conversationalist and it’s a skill that so many people lack. I’ve studied it so much and I would love to meet her.
- I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Albert Mehrabian, the doctor who did the research in body language, but I would love to meet with him, and find out what drove him to do this study, that so many years later still stands.
- I’d love to meet Michelle Obama.
- I would have loved to meet Princess Diana.
- If I could get some time with Laureen Harper, I would love that. I would ask her if she understands the power she has in the position she has in being Canada’s First Lady, and how does she thinks she contributes to our country?
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Diane Craig: It’s If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg. I wanted to walk on water in many ways, I wanted something to happen, but unless I got out of the boat that I was in, nothing was going to happen. The title of the book says it all.
Avil Beckford: You are one of the 10 finalists on the reality show, So, How Would You Spend Your Time? Each finalist is placed on separate deserted islands for two years. You have a basic hut on the island and all the tools for survival; you just have to be imaginative and inventive when using them. You are allowed to take five books, one movie and one music CD, and whatever else you take has to fit in one suitcase and a travel on case. What would you take with you and how would you spend the two years? T he prize is worth your while and at this stage in the game there really aren’t any losers among the 10 finalists, since each are guaranteed at least $2 million?
I would exercise a lot and find a way to cook new things, discover on the island what I could cook that’s new and interesting. I would also meditate a lot since I would have the time. I would make up some imaginary friends since I’m alone on the island.
The Bible: You can reread it and reread it.
One Movie, One Music CD
For my music CD I quite like Chris Botti (Chris Botti in Boston (CD/DVD)). I really like the old movies, for example, The Sound of Music (The Sound of Music (Three-Disc 45th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)).
Chris Botti – When I Fall in Love
The sound of music – Do Re Mi Fa
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Diane Craig: I’m very excited about getting up every morning and thinking about what I have to do during the day because I love what I do. I love it when I am able to get a new client – I find that very exciting. Every time I speak to my son he energizes me – I’m so proud of him.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Diane Craig: I meditate and I like to read spiritual books. Another book I really like is Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri J. M. Nouwen.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Diane Craig: I’m not afraid of dying, but I’m afraid of how I’m going to die. I’ve seen so many good people suffer so much on their death bed and I hope I’ll be spared that, and that it will be peaceful.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Diane Craig: I’m happy when I’m with my family. I’m happy when I know that I was able to help someone, able to make a difference – that really excites me too.
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