Tammy shares tools that empower you to design your own fresh perspective, an action plan for today that will change your tomorrow.  "It's all in how you look at it."

Tough Questions...Clear Answers

Thursday, December 31, 2009

6 Steps to Mind Mapping Success

For years I have heard about the power of Mind Mapping. It is a process that is used when exploring or brainstorming topics, ideas, plans and strategies. It can even be used to make plans for your vacation! And just as I have heard about it for some time, I avoided using it in my own life. Until December 9, 2009.

On that obscure Wednesday I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop hosted by a business connection and friend Julian Michael. He brought in a speaker and masterful Mind Mapper, Pete DiSantis to demonstrate how to use this tool in everyday work. We made a mind map of our holiday schedule as an exercise in the workshop, and it opened my eyes to this tool in a brand new way.

With a new tool in my toolbox, a flip chart hanging on my office wall and colorful markers and crayons in hand, my adventures began! I now have a tool that is supporting my success by bringing clarity to projects for the New Year. I have mapped out a new website, new product offering, a TeleSummit to “Increase Your Power Today,” and the 100 titles for articles I will write in the first hundred days of 2010. If you have been looking for a new strategy to map out your success, I invite you to try these easy steps and create a mind map for your next project?

Step 1. Get out the Flip Chart! When we work small, we think small - or maybe it’s the other way around. At any rate, expand your mind and your creativity for the new idea to the wall. It helps to step back and watch the progress, open up your perspective to a whole new level. As I like to say, Go Big or Go to Bed!

Step 2. Go with Color. The colors are not only fun to play with, they create a visually stimulating map of your brilliant idea. And you can use the colors to code the steps, priorities, items to further develop and link like items together. Additionally, using different colors adds dimension to your map, opening up your mind.

Step 3. Start with One. This one idea is the parent idea or main concept for the mind map. That goes in the center of the page. Draw a circle around it and then step back and allow your imagination to go.

Step 4. Free Flow the off-spring of the one idea. As you step back from the page to ponder your new big idea. Start talking out the ideas that are flowing to you, aloud. This step is perhaps one of the most helpful. As you speak and hear the idea, it lands with you as a Yes or it doesn’t. Those that are Yes get put on the map as a Sub Title (or off spring) of the main idea. Write these in an outer circle around the main idea, allow good space for filling in more thoughts and ideas. The platform of your map is now complete.

Step 5. Expand your Imagination. After you have your platform outlined with the main point in the center and the off-spring written down, it’s time go to the next level. Take your pens and begin to link together the like topics, write down details to each point to bring them to life. Example: if you are planning a trip, your details are all the things to prepare, do, buy, and even explore to be ready for an amazing trip.

Step 6. Put it to Action. Now that you have your idea and all the glorious details that make it a plan in place, it’s time to put the action to it to bring it to life. I have found writing a Map Legend with my dates and priorities in the top right of the map helps kick it into action. Whatever you do, keep your map up on your wall as you activate your new idea. Having it before you, will be that added inspiration for follow-through.

So that is mind mapping in it’s simplest form. Please share your strategy here as well as your success with this fun and creative method for gaining clarity on your great ideas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

19 DIY Publicity Lessons Inspired by the Wizard of Oz

DIY Publicity Lessons from the Wizard of Oz
Can Lend Magic Fuel to New Year’s Success

By Nancy Juetten

The just released 70th Anniversary Edition of the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” is as memorable and evergreen as the Emerald City. And, the story brings into clear focus some powerful do-it-yourself publicity lessons that are equally evergreen for business and success planning for the New Year.

  1. You don’t have to fly over the rainbow to get much of what you want. Most of the media coverage you seek to make a difference in your business can be found in your own backyard.
  2. Don’t let “blue bird envy” stand in your way. Wishing and hoping doesn’t get the job done. Get into action today to earn the attention you seek for your message.
  3. Big news always rings loud and clear – Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to get what you need. Good witches and mentors are everywhere -- if you just ask the local munchkins for quality recommendations.
  5. Along your yellow brick road to success, don’t settle for Munchkin Land when the Land of Oz is what you really want. Think big about what you want to accomplish and the perfect media outlets where you most want your message to be heard.
  6. Celebrate new media. If the crystal ball isn’t delivering the solutions and information you need, find alternative ways learn what you need to know to carry your message forward.
  7. There will be forks in the road and different paths to take along your journey to DIY publicity success. Make a choice, put some spring in your step, and have some fun along the way.
  8. It takes brains, courage, and heart to make your message stand out.
  9. Frame your story as a horse of a different color so it stands apart.
  10. Choose local color to invite memorable and remarkable photo opportunities.
  11. You have to be willing to put up with things that get in your way, like angry apples, flying monkeys, wicked witches, and sleep-inducing poppies.
  12. Put your best dress on and your best face forward before you make your pitch.
  13. Collaborate with a quality team when making your approach.
  14. Never underestimate the power of a sassy pair of shoes to boost your confidence when pitching a story or doing anything that really matters in your life.
  15. Don’t easily surrender Dorothy. Be willing to fight for the coverage you want.
  16. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” You have more power to make things happen in your business than you ever thought possible. You just have to look in your bag of tricks to find the right tools and resources to the get the mission accomplished. And you have to use them.
  17. There is no place like home. Start your media efforts close to home.
  18. Earn loyal friends, fans and followers with every step you take. That will go a long way to lend strength and momentum to your buzz-building effort here and beyond, today and forever.
  19. As you make your own storytelling plans for the New Year, commit to learning new skills to make sure your message is heard, or add the right members to your winning team to bring an element of magic dust to your success equation.

Set your course, make your plans, and journey forward with quality effort and the conviction to achieve the media recognition you seek.
Just as Dorothy discovered, you can make a lot of magic happen if you just click your heels together and get to work.

Nancy S. Juetten is a newspaper columnist, speaker, Publici-Tea™ trainer, and the author of the Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide. If you are a rock star, but your website bio is all washed up, this guide shows you how to write a rockin' bio, one step-by-easy-step. Get an excerpt from this popular guide when you opt-in to receive the Media-Savvy-to-Go ezine at www.byebyeboringbio.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

3 Reasons I Missed Blogging

Recently I had a lot of fun with a 30 day blogging challenge. Well, as life would have it sometimes, I got distracted and delayed by other pressing projects. Ultimately this means while I had 30 posts in 30 days, I didn't get 30 days of blogging in.

Now while I could be feeling down and blue about missing the target. I am actually quite pleased. What I discovered was that I really, really love blogging! What I also noticed were 3 very prominent reasons that I miss the daily joy of writing and musing with my thoughts.

Reason #1 why I miss blogging: I shared a sense of connectedness with my friends, colleagues, mentors and proteges while blogging. The act of writing daily in my posts kept my attention and focus on what I had to contribute to others. Ultimately this brought me closer to the extraordinary things those same folks had going on.

For instance, my good friend Nancy Juetten of Main Street Media Savvy and I had a few interactions during my blog challenge that proved to be profitable and rewarding for both. Her DIY Publici-Tea express is a great workshop, one that I have attended multiple times and got to share with others through my blog. I enjoyed contributing to the event through blogging, tweeting, facebooking and my coaching circles and receiving updates from her on the status of her growing event. I learned a lot on how to market and promote events for optimum return on investment thanks to this connectedness.

Reason #2 why I miss blogging: I enjoy musing about my daily thoughts and experiences, without blogging, it just stays in my head. While I am a verbal person and one who is very social, having the chance to relate to people in under 500 words a day is a kick! It gets me to bottom line my thoughts, and inquiries which for me can at times be a stretch.

Reason #3 why I miss blogging: My intention with both my blogs and as a coach is to work at shifting perspective with my clients. Whether it is working with Teams, Business Leaders, or Soloprenures, my heart is to proactively work toward shifting perceptive and opening up possibility. With blogging, I have that opportunity every day and I embrace it wholeheartedly.

So whatever state of blogging you may be in, I encourage you to look at what schedule may work best for you. Something that is more than just once a week for maximum benefit personally and professionally. Hey, why not try a 30 day blog challenge on for size. You never know what you might get in return. For me, I got two blogs, a huge number of followers and some great dialogue for future posts! The experience was simply put, priceless.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Got Job Satisfaction? Some questions from the Coach may help you know.

Today I heard from three friends whom I have not heard from in a very long time. One, is a franchisee of a struggling company I used to coach for, and the two others are employees of an Organization I left for coaching, who live in different parts of the state.

Interestingly, they each had very similar things to say about the current status of affairs. They are feeling drained, broke, busted and disgusted with the current events in their jobs.

What I found to be intriguing, was two fold, 1) I heard from all three on the same day, and 2) their stories, while brief, are very much the same. Even though the come from very different job environments, two work for the 'man' and the other works for 'self,' and they are all wanting to seek something else. The stories were parallel on all levels. Without respect of gender.

Now at first glance it might seem like the 'grass is always greener' scenario, but not this time. Each individual is feeling devalued, mistreated, manipulated and simply disrespected for the effort and work they put in. Something unfortunately, not uncommon amongst our employees/teams when leaders and organizations lack good communication.

My three conversations today got me thinking. First, it was confirmation that I am coach! I love being a resource for people. Second, I know these three people are not alone, the only thing they have in common is that they know me. That's it. And then last, how do we allow ourselves to get to this point of feeling like it's the point of no return?

To answer that is actually quite simple. We need to have a flag pole in our life that we use to run our dreams, goals and happiness meter up against. It is beneficial for our well-being when we can identify the flags or potholes that may derail us and impact our job and life satisfaction.

Do you know and clearly see the warning signs for unhappiness? More importantly, do you know what to do to change in order to get to satisfaction? Consider this.

On a scale of 1-10 are you satisfied with your job? If you ranked that on the low side of below 4, you may want to consider getting some support around the conversation of what will it take to be an 8 or even a 10. Mastermind groups are a great way to help get clarity and build a trusted board of adviser's around you for support and breakthrough.

If you scored 5-7 on the scale, ask what will it take to make it a 9 or 10? You are on that teeter-totter of life at that middle of the ground marker. It could go either way and depending on what your goal is, will depend on where to focus your energy. You might consider getting clarity around vision and purpose, when you know that you know that you know what you were created for, every choice you make wants to align with that hope in knowing. You won't settle for middle ground.

Now if you are in the smaller percentage and scored an 8 or higher - Way To Go! My encouragement for you is to consider what will keep you stimulated? What's next for you? Challenge yourself to figure out what would hit the home run for you in your career right now.

Coming next week-just for women! 52 Exquisite Self-Care Tips Booklet for the Professional Woman. Buy it today!

Monday, September 28, 2009

7 Lessons Learned from a Chick Flick

Spending the day reading, surfing and watching movies proved to be a little frustrating, and enlightening, with a good deal of laughter.

Most women love their chick-flicks, we get lost in the romance and the drama, they allow for our minds to wander for a few hours. What we don't usually talk about though are the lessons to be learned from those very movies.

While many aren't much better than a weekday Soap, when we look we can find some nuggets to last a lifetime, grow a business, and improve relationships. There are always great shopping Do's and Don't too!! I have gathered my "lesson's learned list" just to prove my point.

7 Lessons Learned from Chic Flicks can even be applied to business relationships.

Don't take yourself too seriously. You will notice there is always the woman who takes herself far too seriously. Like the sister in Jerry McGuire, she was so wounded and hurt that she couldn't allow anyone else to enjoy a moment of bliss. I mean, who wouldn't want to go on a date with Tom Cruise right? It wasn't until the sister had been proven wrong that she could accept "she" might be bitter and that "might" be getting in her way. In business when we take ourselves too seriously, chaos and resentment can manifest in various ways. It is important to have someone around you that keeps you firmly grounded in vision and purpose, as well as someone who will name the pink elephant in the corner of your world.

Crying is actually good for the soul. There are too many movies to reference where tears are a plenty. But the ones that really stick out are the ones that use the tears as a refreshing cleanse. Sleepless in Seattle is a good one for that. Remember when Annie and Becky were sitting on the couch watching An Affair to Remember and they just started crying over the ending of the movie? The same movie they had watched a bazillion times! Then what did they do, they brushed it off, felt better for it and that was that. At times we just need to allow the tears to give us that refreshing cleanse, for clarity and for rejuvenation.

Laughter is always required. Think Steel Magnolia's for a moment. That scene at the cemetery when Charisse made fun of Ouiser and told M'Lynn to 'hit her' just to feel better? It is a perfect example that even in our most painful moments, an infusion of a good laugh can set us right side up. We can get far to down and frustrated in our business with all the changes that are coming at us, it is important to keep people near you that make you laugh. It can set you on the right side.

When it feels like you are pushing a boulder, stop pushing. There are times in life and business when we try to push forward on a project or relationship and it feels like we are pushing a boulder. We press forward to make things happen in our life and yet we can't quite cover enough ground. Just like Frances in Under the Tuscan Sun, she left her life in the states to pursue something else in Italy only to find that her pushing and pressing was pushing back, or following her, depending on your perspective. It wasn't until she stopped pushing that she found what mattered most. In business and life when we push and push to get to what we think we want, sometimes the greatest reward comes in simply stopping, and allowing what will be, to be.

It takes truth, integrity and authenticity to move ahead. Sometimes in business we can start to feel that everyone around us is moving steadily ahead of the curve. That our connections, intentions, strategy and marketing are just always lagging behind the others. But there are always three key ingredients to moving ahead in the world and we learned them from Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. Johnny was authentic with all people, what you see is what you get, he always operated with integrity, even when people were making assumptions and he told the truth, even when it was easy not to. What he ended up with was his self respect fully intact. The one thing no one can take away from you unless you give it to them. Who have you given sanction to in your life and as a result, lost what's important to you?

Running away solves nothing (but always have an exit strategy). Have you ever felt that you just wanted to bolt from a room? When have you been left standing holding the bag only to find out that it was filled with really stinky stuff? Hurts right? In the movie The Wedding Date we watch as Kat runs from a betrayal of her past only to ultimately run head on into the root of the betrayal. Interestingly, in that moment of deepest pain, she finds her strength and personal power. Kat moves from victim, into woman with grace and confidence as she gets clear that all the running was not taking her anywhere. Running wasn't the answer, and it never is. While it is beneficial to have an exit strategy, you never can run very far without running into that which most haunts you. In business if we have a strategy of running when the going gets tough, we are resigning to failure. Face your fears and hurts head on, you will be better for it on the other side.

People always catch a fibber. There really is nothing worse than a tangled web of lies and untruths. I believe people have a root-level desire to trust others. And when people who tell even little white lies breach the trust factor of relationships, it makes it hard to want to do any kind of business or relationship. Unfortunately, just like in the movie Catch and Release we can find ourselves in the midst of someone elses lie, a story for the benefit of someone else. But the truth always come out and can have devastating affects on those we love. While we can talk ourselves into believing that the little untruth is justified, it is key to remember for business and life in general, even little white lies can have a catastrophic outcome. And, the fiber always gets caught in the end. How do you want to be remembered?

The next time you watch a great tear jerker, or sentimental chick flick, consider the lessons you can take away to better yourself, grow your business and share a good laugh with a friend.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

3 of 3 Mistakes Managers Make - Lack of Communication

Third common mistake (or pitfall) managers make: lack of communication and acknowledgment.

People don't need to be praised all the time to do good work, but they do need to know that they are appreciated for the work they are doing. That comes in the form of good communication at all levels and setting precedence for acknowledgment for the small and big stuff. As the old saying goes - Words are powerful, use them wisely. They can build up a team and tear down a team, all in the same breath.

This is perhaps the most common mistake I have seen as an Executive Team Coach. It is most typically seen in environments where there are a lot of changes happening. Most commonly this appears when there is a large change initiative. People (leaders) get moving so fast, and expecting the same from their teams, that they are not clearly or frequently communicating.

One Director of a large government run agency continually ran into opposition and resistance from staff – people were downright obstinate and unwilling to get along or move toward the needed change. Post taking the cross departmental temperature, we discovered that staff were feeling coerced and in the dark about what was expected.

We worked together with the director and small group of staff on opening the lines of conversation, from the director’s office. After a few short weeks of concentrated communication strategy involving emails, state of the union blog posts and audio recorded messages to all staff, we saw a shift in attitude.

More over, we saw a 43% increase in performance on average across the state and exponential willingness to take action toward the change initiative that was coming from the director’s office.

It was key for this director to learn that taking time to talk – good, bad or ugly, was more important than trying to push people to do what he wanted or to protect them from the truth. The truth may be hard to tell sometimes and our employees would rather hear it, than fallacies.
Our employees want the acknowledgment that they can handle the hard stuff (good, bad and ugly) and by being open with communication, we tell them we trust them.

A good manager is one who knows their place on the team is equal to the sum of the whole, holds their team as capable, powerful, resourceful and creative while communicating openly and acknowledging the small stuff along the way. A good manager builds a sense of trust and collaboration as they also acknowledge their own fault line (because, we all have one.)

Coaching Questions:
How do you react to having to share the good news?
What about the bad news?
What methods of open communication do you currently employ?
When have you taken the communication ‘temperature’ of your staff?
What is the action step you are prepared to take to open up communication?

2 of 3 Mistakes Most Managers Make - Micro Managing

The second post of three on the mistakes managers make from an excerpt written for CEO Russia magazine last winter.(note: you will need a translator for article) While these mistakes may seem basic, they may seem like a novice mistake, they are actually quite devastating to an organization. And, even novice to veteran managers committing them.

When these mistakes are not caught early, they can derail the best of intentions and actually send someone who has natural ability to lead, just needs some tender, mentoring care, back to the file ranks of time-clock punchers. It can be catastrophic to the human potential of our leaders.

Second mistake: micro-managing and holding things so close to the cuff that they squelch creativity and self-motivation toward desired outcome. Constant hovering, checking in, nagging, questioning and reworking the work of your team creates a real sense of apathy in all. Folks don't want to work hard if they are just going to be corrected, redone or rejected for not doing it 'right.'

One executive in an institution for higher learning was having difficulty with the direct reports being accountable to what they had committed to doing. This executive was so on edge with his key leaders within the organization because their lack of follow-through was putting him on the hook with the board of directors. When we dug into the challenges through coaching and got past the finger pointing, the core of the problem became evident. This leader realized that they were not lifting up their team to execute efficiently and effectively; in fact, they had placed such restrictions on them that they were paralyzed as a whole.

The cause, this executive was not letting go of the ‘how things get done’ and was not allowing their people to creatively solve problems together.

When this executive noticed how their own insecurities were leading to the failure of the team, it was merely putting action steps in place for course correction. We pulled the leadership team together for a retreat to clear the air, set new ground rules and working guidelines.

Several months post retreat, the team is working more cohesively, they are their own (collective) accountability force that is producing great results.

It became an environment where people no longer wait to be told exactly what to do; they are free to take lead on executing the deliverables. The team collectively looked at what refinements could be made for the overall accountability model within the organizational structure, which resulted in streamlining services, ultimately saving jobs and increasing enrollment.

Coaching Questions:

  1. What has your experience been with 'micro managing?'
  2. How did you course correct?
  3. What environment are you creating as leader?
  4. Who have you asked for support from to gain clarity on the reality of your managing style?
  5. What is your call to action from this post today?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1 of 3 Mistakes Most Managers Make

In this series of three blog posts, we will cover the 3 mistakes mangers make. Whether a new manager or seasoned, each of these mistakes can have devastating effects to the team as a whole and to the future of the manager. Each mistake has simple actions steps for ease in correcting however, may require the support of a skilled coach or mentor.

Mistake Number One: Managers forgetting that they are part of the team. There is more power in a 'We' environment than a 'Me, My or I' hierarchy. Good managers forget about self and focus on the good of the whole to empower and lift others up for success.

This is a common mistake among young or newer managers.

While coaching a new manager that had only managed workload and not people, this was a very real scenario. With no training or mentoring, they were thrust into managing a team of 8 people for a mid-sized company, the highest producing team. Continually this manager referred to the work the team had done as ‘the work I have done’ and that reference to ‘me vs. we’ tore at the psyche of the team and each individual who was a part of it.

Ultimately, the team began to sabotage the manager just to get proper acknowledgment. This is common when the members of the team have been in the trenches or with the company longer than the manger.

When mangers go to that selfish focus, it is often a direct assault on each individual member of the team. And, when not corrected quickly, they can retaliate strongly. The members of this team began to stall on completing projects, no-showed for meetings, and started taking their offense to the president of the company (and anyone else who would listen) with a complaint against the manager.

The solution agreed by all levels of leadership and team was to provide the manger with an executive coach to identify areas for improvement and expansion of capacity. The leadership presence that was needed by this young manager would in theory be gained by providing coaching, training and mentoring.

Over a series of weeks, this manager learned their own qualities and areas for improvement, ultimately discovering that managing people was not one of them. Just because they knew the work, did not make them a manager of people, they were not the right person for the job.

Fortunately, this manager self-selected out of that position with the company and made way for someone with the management quotient necessary for the teams success to lead. It was a win-win for all, the team went on to increasing productivity and performance in operations by 67% within two-months after the shift in managers.

Coaching Questions:

  1. What is your company's procedure for promoting managers? How has it worked in the past?
  2. When you consider the I, Me vs. We factor in managing, what side of the pendulum do you reside?
  3. How is performance measured in your organization on the Human Side of the equation?

Monday, September 21, 2009

2 more reasons to bake cookies for the team

In the last post we shared two of the four reasons that executives, leaders, and business owners would benefit from baking cookies for the team. Not only is it encouraging to others and acknowledges effort, we know it supports connectivity and even shared vision.

When leaders work to collaborate, share and connect with their teams, they build a sense of common vision and unity among the tribe. While leaders may have great demands placed on them, that their teams don't know about, sharing time to give back can co-create a sharing of the proverbial burden. It gives the image that we are all in this together and 'I' (as leader) appreciate your efforts toward 'our' (as team) success.

The remaining 2 reasons for leaders to bake cookies and share them with the team, really speak to the soul of the team. Now while you may not don the tie and apron for the effort, the gesture alone speaks volumes.

Consider these two reasons as a plug to step outside what may be your comfort zones and try these on for size. Just like baking, it takes a clear recipe for success and the following may be just what your team needs to go to the next level.

Reason #3 - Nourishes the soul. While there may be no true nutritional value in your cookie recipe, the value to the soul factor is priceless. Showing the team that supports your vision that you care so much, to take the time to actually bake cookies, provides nourishment that does not have a rating scale per say. It elevates the soul level of the team to a place that can only be measured by output and communication levels. The team will pick up and move and you will likely be surprised how much you learn from sitting down with them, sharing cookies.

Reason #4 - Calibrates the team. Our teams can get out of sync pretty quickly if we aren't careful. The folks that work with you to create those extraordinary results, can get out of alignment just like the wheels on your car. Far too many leaders take the approach of a heavy hand to put things back in order. Unfortunately, that is a short lived and detrimental approach to the long-term success pattern of your team. Finding something that creates an openness for sharing and infuses a bit of fun into the day, brings the team together into alignment. Now, you still want to have a strategy in place for maintaining/sustaining that alignment and that may best come from an outside source to put it in place. The bottom-line is that to have a well aligned team, you will need to calibrate on a regular basis. Bringing everyone to the table to share some cookies can be just the infusion of fun, a simple antidote with great rewards.

To learn more tips and strategies for building a successful team, you may want to sign-up for our Ezine or to receive recipes for crowd pleasing cookies, click here.

Whatever route you take in an effort to build a stronger team, do what you can to find the support to remain consistent and thoughtful with your approach. Leaders have people around them to be the boots on the ground and get the work done, our teams need leaders that encourage, support and calibrate to sustain success.

4 Executive Reasons to make Cookies for the Team.

When was the last time you enjoyed a fresh baked cookie? Not one you bought at the local Starbucks (although, their Oatmeal Cookies are great!), one that you made with your own hands?
Better yet, when was the last time you made cookies to share with your team?

Looking back to days of childhood past, do you recall how good it felt to come home from school to fresh baked cookies and a glass of milk? If your mom wasn't the June Clever type, worry not. Take a stroll down memory lane to a time when you enjoyed sharing a scrumptious, ooey, gooey delightful treat warm from the oven. Now catch a hold of that feeling it stirred inside. Got the picture?

As leaders, you demand a lot from those around you. Your expectations for top performance are set high and while that is necessary for the business demands, what are you doing to encourage the heart of your team? What have you done lately to stir a feeling of delight in the team around you?

When you are looking to boost productivity or roll out a new project, it is key to have mind and hearts prepared to receive and move. The next time, try baking the team some homemade cookies, you might just be surprised what you get on the other side. Today we'll share just 2 of the 4 reasons to make cookies for your team. We want to set you up for success, consider these tips as two keys to your teams success.

Reason #1 - Acknowledges you notice. Just like when you were a kid and mom made you your favorite cookie, those we lead on a day to day basis want to feel that they matter. They want to feel that we appreciate the little and the big things. Nothing says 'I see you' better than a homemade cookie on a whim.

Reason #2 - Encourages the heart. Accomplishing extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes. (Kouzes/Posner)

Later we will go over the remaining two reasons to make cookies for your team. If you don't have a recipe to dive into in the kitchen, just sign up here to receive two of my favorite cookie recipes, they always work for me when I am in the mood to bake.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Well-Kept Secret - This Coach wants YOU to Know About!

As a business coach, I often work with clients around the topic of getting seen and celebrated in the marketplace. As we work with developing marketing strategies or communication plans, one of the tools that I often refer people to use is DIY Publicity Maven, Nancy S. Juetten.

One of the single best investments that you can make in your business right now, is to engage with Nancy at one of her Publici-Tea Events. You will walk away with tips and strategies that you can implement immediately into your marketing strategy and start producing results.

"Folks continue to rave about the value and the impact these events have on their growing businesses, and I can't wait to share the information with even more publicity-seeking business owners who are finally ready to get known for their winning ways through the power of free publicity!" Nancy Juetten, founder of DIY Publici-Tea and author of the Media-Savvy-to-Go toolkit.

My friend Nancy's next event is scheduled for Friday, October 16, 9:30am and she is hosting it at the lovely Seattle Design Center!

To learn more about Nancy's products and event, or to sign up, please follow this link. Take a tip from the Business Coach and take the time and make the investment to get Seen, Heard and Celebrated in your marketplace!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

4 Coaching Tips to Help When It's Time to Let Go and Move On!

Ideas are for a season - businesses are too.

Recently I heard a story of a business owner with a really great idea. Their idea was so good, they just knew that it was going to revolutionize their SOI - Sphere of Influence. As they nurtured their idea to reality, they were met with severe opposition, at every juncture. Yet the opposition or resistance was not something they viewed as reason to stop moving on their idea.

How many of you know that there are times when being met with an opposing force can actually be good for your idea. It can help you gain clarity around what you are doing and what the outcome may look like. But the question is, do you know when it is time to let go of an idea because ideas can actually be for a season?

Depending on how you answered that question will tell you how to proceed through this post. Knowing with all clarity when an idea may be for a season is key for knowing when to let go and move on. It is in the times when we keep pressing in and forward on an idea, without calibrating our steps, that can cause serious wheel spinning. What is significant is increasing one's ability to identify when letting go is actually more beneficial than hanging on. Even if it is more than an idea, it's a business, or partnership, or employee.

Once you have identified that letting go and creating a plan for moving on from your idea or whatever it is you are hanging on to is your next best step, here are 4 coaching tips to help you.

Tip #1 - Make your list. Write out the pros and con's to moving and/or sticking with it. Attach your feelings and emotions to the list - how do each on make you feel? When we clearly know the "why factor" and the feelings it evokes, the letting go can be smoother.

Tip #2 - Write an Affirmation. We know that affirmations are powerful as we move toward the changes we want to make in our lives and businesses. Much research has been done that supports using affirmations daily increases our self efficacy. Well using affirmations can be powerful for the things we 'don't want' just as they are for the things we 'do.' So, write an affirmation the supports your transition and say it two times a day.

Tip #3 - Acknowledge the work you have done. Often times when we make a decision to let go of an idea and move away from it, we leave out acknowledging the many hours and work that went into it to this point. When we set aside self-promotion and advocacy for a dismissive attitude or simply just by ignoring our efforts, we aren't gifting our mindset with the opportunity to celebrate, even failures. There are learning opportunities everywhere, even in our failures or course corrections. Don't deny yourself that gift by neglecting to honor your work.

Tip #4 - Make a To-Do list. Now that you have your Pros and Con's, Affirmation and Acknowledgment, it's time to make your list for next steps. It's the "what will I do differently" list. The one that will help move you to the next level in your journey. Remaining open to possibility in this transition is so key to the success on the other side of it. Most successful people fail many times before they hit their stride. By letting go of an idea, partnership or even business is not the end,it is only the beginning. And as we do at new cross-roads, we gain clarity around what to do next. It starts with a list which turns into an agreement and an action plan for the future.

By applying these four tips to your transition, you will navigate well through the ever changing waters. Sometimes it takes going back and reassessing multiple times, writing new affirmations and keeping up to date on your list. And when you are faithful to the process, you will feel more in control of the change happening around you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

#1 Tip with 7 Coaching Questions to Identifying the Root of Your Fear

Recently I have heard many conversations still happening around Fear and Business. As a business coach, I am continually faced with inquiring with clients around the root of their fear. While the word fear we all know is False Evidence Appearing Real, the feelings it causes are very real.

Fear in our day. Fear in our business. Fear in our family can be very scary. It can give a sensation that feels paralyzing to some and creates a sense of powerlessness for others.

So, what do we do about that? Well, it starts with understanding what the root cause for your fear truly is. Not what you think it is. Not using it to point fingers or blame someone else. Not what others have attached to you. Get to the root cause for you. That can be done in a number of ways, and not until we identify it, can we remove it.
Let's get started.

#1 Tip to identify the root of your fear using powerful coaching questions. Print these questions off and partner with a trusted colleague or friend, someone who challenges you to go bigger in life. This person is your mentor or even a champion for your success, the key is, they don't let you get away with stories. Sit with them and ask them to ask you this series of questions.
Q: What does the fear look like, right now - name it, detail it. (Ask What Else until you run out of things to say on this question.)
Q: How does it make you feel, in your head, heart, shoulders and even chest?
Q: What do you when the fear arises? (Ask What Else until you run out of things to say on this question.)
Q: Think of a time in the past, before this fear, how were you different? How was the situation different?
Q: What has changed? (Ask What Else until you run out of things to say on this question.)
Q: How would your life/business be different if this (fear) wasn't in your way?

At this juncture, journal and reflect on your answers. Notice what you have given sanction to in your life, thoughts, words and actions that may be limiting you and your ability to grow. Then have your partner ask this final question.

Q: What are you willing to do to begin to create/design/live the life and business that you want, without that fear? Pick one thing today and agree to check back in at a set time to celebrate the wins and set more intentions for change.

This process can take an hour or a day. It takes whatever time it needs to take. I invite you to try it out as you commit to uncovering what the root to the fear is and get it out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Power to the Peaceful

Two words that don't seem to blend well together are Power and Peaceful. In business and leadership we don't often see those two in harmony or stride. In fact, one tends to dominate the other, any guesses which one?

But in the world of ease and self care, we do hear a lot about the power of peace. There are festivals that celebrate living in the power of peaceful. There are books and retreats and a host of other indulgences to support finding balance. So what happened in business to create such an adversarial element between the two essential life qualities?

Why do we have to choose one over the other in leadership? What has created this adversarial positioning in politics and business? How can we make achieving power and peaceful a 'both and' versus a 'one over the other?'

In my tips booklet 52 Exquisite Self-Care Tips for the Professional Woman, tip number 21 is one of my favorite and I think it blends power and peaceful nicely. Tip # 21: Give Yourself a Time Out! With a cup of tea in hand, find your favorite place to cop a squat and be intentional about breathing in and letting go. Do this just 5 minutes a day.

When we take time each day to breathe in what is good and exhale the strain of what is pressing us down, we find balance within to walk in full strength. Ultimately submitting up under power and giving in to our inner peace. This is true in our business world too. Taking in the fullness of peace and letting go of need for control, or anxiety, balances us out. Ultimately giving power to the peaceful in our world.

Coaching Question: How might you be curious with Power and Peace in your world?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cross Polinating for Success- Bees Do it, How About You?

Have you found it is easier to promote other business people's services over your own? Do you find that you bumble for the words to explain fluidly what you do when you can talk for hours about the success rate of your colleagues? How do you feel about selling your services to potential clients?

Well if you answered yes to either of those questions, relax, you are not alone. Recently I watched as I talked to Coaches, Consultants, Professionals and Entrepreneurs and asked questions about how they promote their business - 4 out of every 5 people were stumbling for words. They were self conscious and nervous about "doing it right."

When asked to give a win or celebration for what they were up to in business, most couldn't find an answer. And, when asked how they felt about selling their services, nearly 100% said they didn't enjoy it - "it was the necessary evil part of doing business."

On the reverse, when the same group was asked about a colleague's services, hands down each person could celebrate and acknowledge and sell the services of their colleague with grace and ease. Astonishingly when asked the inevitable "why" the answers were just as clear. "It's easy to talk about what 'they' do, it's not me talking about me." Are you in the same boat? Can you talk about others successes better than your own?

So what to do. Well, I have come up with a solution to get beyond the centuries old challenge of selling our goods and services with confidence while earning a sustainable income. Easy, just Surround Yourself with others who can sell you and you can sell them! It's called cross pollinating and it's really simple and a lot of fun.

The strategy is simple and sweet like honey.

Imagine the power in having a group of colleagues who are evangelists for you and your business out promoting and selling on your behalf! Imagine if you had 10 evangelists and each enrolled one client contact and that 10 turned into new clients. Imagine what you could do as an evangelist for another person's business? What might that contribution look like for their business? The cycle goes on and on. They share about you, you share about them and what we have are success stories all around us.

Remember, we have the power within us to grow and prosper other people's business and they have that same power working on your side! Take the time today to identify your team of evangelists and start spreading the good news and allowing them to do the same for you.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 simple steps to Master the Mindset

Mastering our mindset is perhaps on of the greatest success strategies I know in working with executives and business leaders. It is also one of the most challenging things to do. Why is that?

Well, working with clients at all levels of management and business success I have noticed a parallel. It is the same parallel that our mastermind group members experience and even my friends.

Our mindset motivates and activates us toward success or failure.

The very thing that gets in the way for so many people is the thing that often is ignored or put on the shelf for later. Mindset. It is also (I believe) one of the most powerful tools we posses. When we take off the blinders, lift up the headphones and move away from the screen, we begin to engage in a new way. It is at that moment a person really begins to channel the power of their mindset into defining their success. It requires commitment to the process and a bold willingness to try on something and even uncomfortable to move toward mastery.

So, how do we engage with our mindset for our advantage? Here are 3 simple steps to get you moving in that direction.

Step 1: Get the Picture. When we have a clear picture of what we want, where we are moving toward or the end result of our goal, we have a greater chance of achieving it. Identifying that image and getting a tangible reminder to go with it helps to keep it very present and top of mind. The awareness the picture creates supports the action.

Step 2: Affirmation - Affirm where you are going, not where you have been. Once you have identified your vision, gotten the picture and created that tangible piece to hold onto, use your words to affirm the outcome. Focusing on where you are moving to and what it will feel like to be there will draw you closer to your success. Speak your affirmation as if you have already received it, that is the key to successful affirmations.

Step 3: Dispute Negative Nellie - You may live with these people or work with them on a daily basis. You may have a committee in your own head at any given time. We know that we become most like those we spend the most time with, so if you are hanging with negativity, it's no wonder your mindset is set toward the opposite of what you want to achieve! Try this instead. When the negative word or even thought comes up around your situation or goal, take back the power and shout it down! Then follow it up with your affirmation. Remember, words are powerful, use them wisely.

It is important to take the temperature how you view your world and the fears or successes that drive you. When you do, you will get a clear picture of what might be getting in your way to success. That very picture in turn can be used to shout down the negativity and fear. By stomping it out and speaking what you want instead, you will begin to move closer to what you want.

For more on the Power of Mindset, you can email me to receive your free copy of the audio file on the subject.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's your perspective on change?

At all levels, making career transitions can be among the most challenging to navigate. I know this personally because about 5 years ago now I embarked upon a major career change of my one. Leaving what many perceived to be a "secure" job with government for the Private Sector and Entrepreneurship. It left many people wondering and doing a bit of head scratching, truth be told.

People could not get their head around why I would leave a job like I had for something so unpredictable and solely reliant upon, me.

Looking back now, I see that the transition that I made was not only for me, it was for who would be come my future clients. Interesting perspective right? Most change really is easier to handle and balance out when we look at multiple different perspectives. It is how we handle the decision process, in general, that makes up how we navigate change. Let me explain.

The perspective that I held closely on change was and is a very positive one. I believe that change, when planned and thought out can be very good. I also believe that those changes that catch us off guard can be equally as (if not more) gratifying. It is the frame of mind we look at the situation with that counts. Getting locked on to the way it "was" or "should" be can derail us real quick and in a hurry.

What works well, whether change is handed to us or we seek it out on our own, is to know the strategy necessary for the smooth transition. That comes from knowing and understanding your heart motive during the transition. While it may be handed to you without choice you can transition through very easily when you know what is important to you. Seeking ways to find the opportunity in the midst of transition will give you a greater sense of efficacy in the midst of sometimes challenging circumstances.

Coaching Question: How do you handle change? What has derailed you in the past with transition? What commitment are you willing to make to yourself in support of smooth transitions?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Part 2 - 4 steps to Avoid Communication Breakdown

How are you doing today with your Communication Strategy? What progress have you made with the two tips provided to support you in avoiding a communication breakdown?

Yesterday we covered some good points on things that get us into communication breakdown. We also addressed 2 of the 4 strategies to help in avoiding a breakdown all together. So today, not only will we finish the conversation around the 4 tips, we will dig deeper on ways that two-sided communication works best.

Much has been written about how people communicate. There are books, courses, online seminars and teleseminars on the subject for personal and business communication. So, with all the information available to help us, why do so many people struggle and complain that communication is the #1 issue at work and home?

A bottom-line answer might be - People Don't Listen.

In our effort to be more clear, to have more engaging conversations, many people have stopped listening to each other. They are busy spewing words of discontent, frustration or blame all the time ignoring what the other person on the end is saying. Both people throw their hands up and walk away feeling broke, busted and disgusted with the encounter.

The next time, try engaging in a listening exercise. Start with saying 'Here is what I heard you say,' and wait to see if you are on point or missed the mark. Remove the emotion from the equation and just allow the words to tell the story. You will be surprised at what the words tell you.

Try applying these next 2 steps (3 and 4) in the communication process. They will not only help you in saying what you need, but support you in hearing what needs to be heard.

3) Ask for what you Want - We have all heard the expression Assume nothing, it only makes an A_ _ out of U and Me. Well, with communication that is typically spot on. When we make assumptions that the other person understands, knows what we need or gets what we are saying, 9 times out of 10 we get in trouble. That is because we are leaving a lot to chance or often filling in the blanks instead of stating what we want or need. In your next communication challenge, try stating clearly your intention, right upfront. Bottom-line your need and be open to listening to the other person. If you don't ask for what you want/need, no one else will either.

4) Be willing to say 'I am Sorry' - Perhaps the most powerful word in the dictionary (in my opinion) 'Sorry.' And perhaps the most misused word in the world, sorry. That powerful word can be used to build up and to tear down if not used carefully. It is amazing that so many people don't know how to use it or use it with care. It is not a word to hold us in a victim mode, nor is it to be used freely in every other sentence. It is a word that when reserved for those moments in time when we truly have missed the mark, erred in judgment or mistreated another person. It also has the power to heal and restore quicker than anything else. If only people really knew how to use it and use it well our teams, families and world would be a better place.

With communication it is quite simple, always remain open to the possibility that you may have made a mistake and be willing to say so. Then ask for what you want, use your I words that support your refined motive as you listen with a heart to know more.

And remember, communication is a two-way street. There is the sender and receiver and they have shared responsibility and access to the collective success.

Coaching Question: What one step will you begin to apply today to support your communication success tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

4 Steps to Avoid a Communication Breakdown-Part 1

We have all been there. In the middle of what we believe to be a good conversation, expressing our side, giving our input and right before our eyes something explodes. It leaves us wondering, 'how did this happen?'

The scenario is not uncommon. It happens in our relationships, it happens in our offices, with our friends and family. It happens on the phone, it happens at the grocery store and even driving our car. Whether we are communicating verbally or in writing, a communication breakdown can happen at any moment.

In a work setting, many people just think that by ignoring the breakdown, the problem will miraculously go away. Others feel hopeless that no matter what they try, nothing will work and they are left to feeling defeated with no control. Some may take on the challenge of addressing the breakdown upfront only to retreat to their corner when met with opposition.

In a family or personal relationship, often times our communication strategy is to simply get what we want with least impact as possible. But what happens overtime is that we stop talking all together because the path of least resistance only creates avoidant behaviors.

While communication is an art form in and of itself, it is not as difficult as some believe it to be. The key to good and clear communication is to always be willing to speak on the side of truth. Often times the age old adage that Less is More rings true with how we communicate. Our emotions can drive the tone and flavor of the simplest of messages leading to total upheaval in our work and family.

To assist you in developing a new strategy that supports good communication, we have outlined 4 easy to implement steps that you can start using today. Today we will detail the first two of the steps to support you in transforming the way you communicate.

1) Identify your Motive - Just as you do when you get in your car to drive, you have a motive and a plan of where you are going, and how you want to get there. The motive is key to the success of your trip, it impacts the choices you make and the outcome of the effort. Communicating is no different. You have a motive, whether clearly identified or not, and you will have an outcome. The success of the trip is also impacted by the choices you make. Good and bad, right and wrong. The key is understanding your motive in such a way that the plan or course you choose toward your outcome is the most efficient and effective. While you can't always avoid the speed bumps or pot holes, you can make course corrections and adjust your speed to ensure a safe arrival.

2) Speak from a Place of I not U - With your motive clear, and your plan mapped out, it is always best practice to speak from that place of I - not YOU. That means we choose our words, just as we do our course of action, carefully. We focus on explaining what 'I understand,' or 'I need,' or why 'I am confused.' The party on the other end of the communication will most always receive what you are saying more openly when you aren't pointing a finger at them. When we use words that focus on fault finding and blame, asserting that 'you did this' or 'you don't understand,' we put people on the defensive. Recovering from a defensive stand is one of the most difficult communication barriers to overcome. By keeping the focus on what you need, want, understand and desire - the you is on you, not them.

Tomorrow we will cover the final 2 of the 4 steps to avoiding communication breakdown. With these simple to implement steps in your toolkit for success, you will most assuredly see marked improvements in your relationships at work and home.

Coaching Q's: What is your communication strategy? On a scale of 1-10, how successful do you feel with your communication skills? What (if anything) do you want to change about that?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The 4 reasons that got me to Yes!

Today a message caught my attention on Facebook that I couldn't walk away from. It was a simple call to action, the very type that I use with clients all the time. A clear invitation that when put to action will produce extraordinary results.

So, what was the invitation? "New Post: 30 day Blogging Challenge - Are you in?" That was it. One bottom-line question for a bottom-line girl. I clicked on the link provided by the author Sandra Martini and read with excitement. Before I got to the end of the post, I knew my answer was a clear YES. It was just the thing I wanted for inspiration and motivation for change.

So this, the first post of 30 in 30, is simple and to the point. And in the momentum the invitation has created, it leaves me wondering one thing. When something moves you to action, how quickly do you actually take action?

Today my quick, inspired action was because of 4 little things.

1) Three words - One big question: "Are You In" caught my eye and caused me to click on the link provided to find out more. That simple question made me want to say yes, even before I read the entire invitation.

2) A Blogging Challenge has always been something I wanted to do and trying to blog for 30 days in a row sound like a fun place to start.

3) Reminiscent Inspiration from my favorite movie of the year, Julie & Julia. I left that theatre with tears glistening on my cheeks at the realization of a dream dismissed. My heart is to shift perspective and challenge assumptions while inspiring bold conversation - the best way to do that in the age of technology, be a voracious blogger. Time to pick up the dream and play.

4) Right Place, Right Time. "30 Day Blogging Challenges are a great way to get in the habit of doing one ordinary thing each and every day which moves your business forward." This was the sentence from Sandra's blog that had the greatest impact on getting to my YES. I am always seeking ways to 'move forward' in life and business, here is my newest opportunity.

I invite you to join me on this journey for 30 days. What will it take to get you to YES?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Going with the Flow or Walking the other Way?

Changing our mindset and standard operating procedures is not an easy task. However as leaders, it is your responsibility to not just be up for the challenge, but to model the way. Your organizations have thought enough of your skills and qualities to provide you with some extraordinary tools, share them. Now you may be wondering how to more effectively use them. Not uncommon at all.

Some of the things you might have noticed is how negative the world is. You've noticed it in the newspaper. You've noticed it on television and you have noticed it in the office. If you are like me, you may be amazed at how negative people really are! People often talk a lot about what's wrong with the world, not what's right in the world. While we know it's always been there, the Reticular Activating System (RAS) is what is picking up on it now. Remember that when your awareness has been activated to what is going on around you, you have one of two choices to make. A) go with the flow or B) walk the other way.

Unfortunately, what we often do is join in the negativity instead of standing against it. Remember, the more we affirm the behavior we don't want (in self and others,) the more we or they become like it. So the more we continue to go along with the negativity, the more we become...negative. And worse of all, it keeps us in a box versus allowing us to stretch and grow.

Imagine for a moment if we put up a moratorium on All negative self talk and negative hitch hiking. All means All folks. What might that be like? Share your comment here, we would love to hear your tips and struggles with "abolishing the negativity."

Coaching Q's

Where have you noticed negativity in your workplace?

What limiting beliefs might you have around canceling out negativity?

How has your negative self talk gotten in your way to leading effectively?

What action will you take today, to change the way negativity shows up around you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Business Networking and Dolphin Leather - how do they relate?

Interesting start right? Dolphin Leather and Business Networking, how do they relate. Well Seth Godin has done it again with a thought provoking blog post that I just had to insert some comments in the middle of.

His compelling description of an old story from the bible, Noah and the Ark, had a piece that somewhere along the line I never caught. Part of the instructions for building the ark was to use Tanned Dolphin Leather. Yes, you heard it right. And what I loved that Seth did (and does) so well, he tied this journey, the quandary and the inquiry around the notion of dolphin leather - to business. Go Seth Godin!

The concept is really simple. Sometimes we get stuck on the how to get something done, the object or the obstacles themselves and lock out the truth in the middle of the experience. The Mission! Seth refers to it as a community-based quest right in the middle of the mission. I love that! It's in the mission itself that is the quest.

You see, when we can get away from the exact way of doing something, (because we've always done it that way) and look at the objective through different lenses, we can create something really cool. Teams can often lose sight of, if they in fact possess it, the mission because they get caught up in the implementation. Families disengage from one another because they lose sight of the common vision and mission for the collective whole. What's important to remember about the Dolphin Leather is that community working toward a collection of goals, with a clear mission is more powerful than working toward one goal and achieving it alone. The lessons we learn from others form a bond and community that is priceless.

Coaching Q:

What is my experience with going after the goal or task?

What do I notice about my business mission and action plan that may have me excluding community?

How will I engage in the collective whole toward establishing and/or honoring the mission?

What significance (if any,) do I see for me with Dolphin Leather and Business Networking?

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Business Networking for Cool People - 4 simple steps

Ok, maybe the title really wants to be Networking for Dummies. Why? Because if I can do it successfully, anybody can do it successfully!

Let's try a little experiment, when you envision what Networking looks like for you, what do you feel in your gut about that? Anyone? Well, I used to get a stomach ache when people would talk to me about networking for my business growth. Not because I didn't like to talk to people, oh tout à fait contraire my friend, I really enjoy people and talking with people. And I didn't like feeling that I was just going to people for leads. That was my uncomfortableness with networking. Well, I came up with a plan for networking that feeds my soul and business at the same time. How?

By contributing to others first.

It is really simple, networking with other really cool people that I like, Nancy Juetten comes to mind as she is the coolest DIY Publicity chic I know! She is a wealth of information for the average joe or sally to become their own publicity guru. And, she shares the wealth of generosity by talking about you in her very well read blog. By connecting with Nancy I have learned how to get the word out through multiple venues about the work that I do or the places that I am speaking. She is a true champion for others success and you can read more about how she does that by going to her blog, she has posted an event that we are both speaking at together in March there for all to see. If I wasn't out networking, I wouldn't have met Nancy Juetten and that would have been a real bummer.

When I was looking at creative ways to network by first contributing, I of course went to Biznik.com to take a look at their upcoming events and to see where I could plug in. Well, what I discovered there was a rich and flourishing network of other people who really want to give into the success of others. There are many people I met through Biznik that have really contributed to my networking success. And, I encourage all of you to get to know the Team at Cat's Eye Marketing, Bob and Judy Dunn. They are a wonderful husband and wife team that are gifted in marketing with ease and comfort. They have worked with me on projects with copy writing (Judy is a Master) and a model for successful blogging (Bob's niche) but mostly they have been a resource of just good people.

I have met great people and built excellent contacts as a result to focusing on successful and creative networking. There are powerful people you can meet in networking with cool people, with just few steps required.

Step 1: Shift your Perspective - networking isn't about how many cards you can collect, it is about the quality relationships you can build. Put yourself in places to meet people that are interested in your success as much as their own. Biznik is a great place to start, events are free and you will meet some really cool people, join today it doesn't cost anything.

Step 2: Change Your Approach - networking is about paying it forward. It's not longer about giving leads at every turn or be penalized. Statistics show that the best leads come from the 2nd and 3rd tier of relationship. It's not me, it's who I know and who they know that counts. So that means - approach it as you would building a friendship. Give and then receive

Step 3: Be Consistent - networking is best done on a continuum not in batches and spurts. Set a schedule of events and groups to participate in, make your self seen consistently and people begin to know you are there for the long run, not the short term. That builds trust and people want to refer others they trust.

Step 4: Let Your Light Shine - networking is often nerve racking for some people, if you show up nervous then that shows on your face and may put people off. When we come forward with generosity on our hearts and allow our truest personality shine through, we build those valuable relationships quickly. So relax and be part of the group, step away from the wall.

So there you have it. 4 simple steps to expanding your community and networking with really cool people. For more on networking, join me as I host a table at the NW Women's Show Total Networking Party. You will learn to network from leading experts in Sales, Marketing and Networking Techniques. You will be in the company of women eager to learn, mingle, and connect.

What will you do today for tomorrow's success?

Monday, February 9, 2009

4-Steps to Cultviate a Single Idea that May Change the World

Last week brought to a close a project that had been on my books for many months. That was the Puget Sound Coaches Association, coaching conference. Coaching: Creating Conscious Choice and Change. It was an exceptional event with extraordinary outcomes.

While in the midst of preparing for the event in Seattle, Washington, I learned of a fascinating story from one of our corporate sponsors, IRC Print and Design. The owner of the company, Trisha Ferguson and her team have a history in the world of flight that has forever changed the lives people around the world. IRC prints the seat pocket safety cards that are on most major Airlines, including the US Airways Airbus A320 that ditched in the Hudson River on January 17, 2009.

These little cards, (that most of us likely would 'reluctantly' admit that we don't read them on every flight,) are being attributed as one of the key indicators of success for the US Airways crew getting all passengers off that plane. These cards, a little annoyance to many in the pre-flight getty-up, were a single idea by one man who saw a need and filled it. A single thought that turned into not just a thriving business but a life saving tool used around the world.

What I noticed as I watched the faces around the room as that story was shared at the coaches conference was a bit of a pause and then the light bulb effect. You know the one, the type that when we allow it to land in our heart or center of being it takes root and the potential from that point in is limitless. It's when eyes and minds begin to wander, "what single idea do I have that when detonated, can change the world."

The conference on February 5, 2009 in Seattle was much of that type of effect for people. There were nuggets of information and idea sharing that were seeds planted and some took root in the minds and action plans of coaches from around the world. There was an extraordinary energy in the air with all the ideas a flutter, with people prophesying what could be that next world changing thought.

Many of you may have had a similar experience recently. One where you heard an idea and your creativity and heart just took over and from it something marvelous was birthed. Well, if that new ‘thing’ were to detonate, what might the outcome be? Consider these 4-steps to nurturing that new idea into something world changing.

Step 1: Write it down and make it plain. Often we have great ideas that are wrapped in our heads and we never make them plain on paper. When we do that, we open up our creativity with our visual effects of seeing it in black and white.

Step 2: Identify the pieces to the puzzle. What are the components of this new idea that when they come together you will have your Monet on paper. Create your vision with pictures and words to create a feeling that is palpable.

Step 3: Gather your panel of experts. Often we work in silo’s of isolation that can hinder our creativity. Bring together your own executive panel or panel of experts to support you, encourage you, brainstorm and create with you what you want to manifest with your new idea.

Step 4: Affirm that you have what it takes to turn this single idea into something extraordinary. Dr. Albert Bandura study behavior and found that ‘our mind will not let us see what we do not believe we can achieve.’ When we affirm what we are moving toward, we become acition-oriented with our approach. Affirm what you see and be ready to make it so!

What one idea do you have that may change the world?

I invite you to share your success and thoughts with us. A robust conversation always benefits the exploration.

Monday, January 5, 2009

How to create your own Personal Brand?

As the economy twists and turns with more layoffs mounting – having a strong personal brand is becoming ever more important from a career perspective.

But what does that mean? Do you launch a blog? Do you start a Twitter account? Do you launch your own Vlog? Or maybe some combination of all of the above.

To get some more clarity on this I interviewed Dan Schawbel the author of the Personal Branding blog. He will also be releasing a new book called Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (due out with Kaplan in April 09). In my opinion, Dan is also the hardest working guy in Social Media posting 10 times a week on his blog, publishing his own magazine and book as well as having a full time job as the social media expert for EMC!

About Dan

Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y. He is the author of “Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 2009)."

Presently, Dan is a Social Media Specialist at EMC Corporation, which is one of the leading technology companies in the world. He has helped revolutionize the way EMC communicates and collaborates with all stakeholders. He has spearheaded the company’s Twitter, Facebook, social media press release/newsroom, social bookmarking and blogging strategy in the past year.

Dan has introduced a whole new generation to personal branding, as he opens up new opportunities and strives to elevate the practice. His Personal Branding Blog is consistently ranked in the top 70 marketing blogs in the world by AdAge, and has achieved syndication from Forbes, Reuters and Hoovers. Dan publishes Personal Branding Magazine, is the head judge for the Personal Brand Awards and directs Personal Branding TV.

He has written articles in major magazines and online resources such as BrandWeek Magazine, PRWeek, About.com, Web Worker Daily, T & D Magazine, Small Business Opportunities Magazine, MarketingProfs, Advertising Age, TheLadders.com and The American Marketing Association. He is a frequent media commentator, cited in such outlets as Fast Company, ABC News, Boston Globe, Monster.com, Young Money Magazine, BNET, ReadWriteWeb, Providence Business News, Marketing News, Brand Strategy Magazine (UK) and Yahoo! Finance.

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