The last 18 months have been a real slog, and we’re not out of the woods yet. So, as we keep moving forward, what can you do to shift your pandemic perspective from “did to me” to “did for me”? … Continue reading
Time to get back on the horse? 3 ways to make it easier
What horse have you dismounted (or perhaps fallen from) this past year? What with one thing and another – U.S. political insanity, a pandemic, becoming best friends with Zoom – “normal” became a distant memory for most of us. We … Continue reading
Who’s pushing your buttons?
We all have them: those people, words, and actions that push our buttons and hijack our peace of mind. When you allow that button pushing, the very best you can hope for is just a few hours of crankiness. Too … Continue reading
But they’re WRONG!!
So….. I was locked in combat with the beast known as Facebook advertising. When I tried to re-run an ad – previously approved by FB in every detail – my account was instantly shut down for “non-compliance with our policies.” … Continue reading
Do you argue for your limitations?
Once again, one of my puppers has stepped in to remind me what’s possible with creativity, determination, and a big enough “why.” How? Maddy showed me the error of assuming that one needs opposable thumbs in order to open jars. … Continue reading
How to kick butt when it’s your butt that needs kicking
Butt kicking. Done for the right reason – to get someone unstuck and back on track toward their important goal – it’s a valuable and compassionate tool. But what do you do when the butt that needs kicking is your … Continue reading
Just jump off the damn ‘frig!
Quick back-story: My sister decided to sand and paint her kitchen cabinets. Screwing the newly painted doors back into their frames was definitely a two-person job, so I spent a couple of fun-filled afternoons helping with that. The very last … Continue reading
Are you moving at the speed of sloth?
Every day brings dozens of choices, both personal and professional. Many of them are made unconsciously; sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not. When you’re trying to create something special in your life, you’re going to get much … Continue reading
Can you see it? Can you NOT?
When you look at that garbanzo bean, ask yourself: Does it or does it not resemble a tiny human butt? Many people would honestly say they’ve thought that for years. Many others would honestly say they’d never noticed the similarity … Continue reading
If it works for a bird-brain…
Warning! Warning!! If you’re 100% committed to using only tangible, nuts-and-bolts tools to build your business, you’d best bail out now. However, if you’re 100% committed to using the best tangible tools and the best mindset tools available, you’ll love … Continue reading
Do you sell or do you entice?
Slimy-feeling marketers push a prospect’s “fear” buttons in attempt to “sell” her. Effective, admirable marketers persuade, educate, and demonstrate their problem-solving skills as a way to facilitate her purchase. There’s a big honkin’ difference. There’s no question that a purchaser … Continue reading
“WHY?” It’s a double-edged sword. There are situations in which asking this is a powerful tool for growth. When your results were even better than you’d hoped for, analyzing why will enable you to make those success-enhancing activities and decisions … Continue reading
High fives and high vibes
A recent misunderstanding expanded my horizons. My friend, Marinda, and I were talking about how it can be challenging these days to focus on what’s working instead of what’s screwed up, and to be courageous instead of fearful. We went … Continue reading
Is that your final answer?
There is often more than a single answer to a question. Put another way, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. (Apologies to the cat lovers out there; I just couldn’t come up with another metaphor that would … Continue reading
Don’t assume the quick answer is the right answer. Don’t assume it’s not.
A friend of mine shared this image on Facebook with directions to “find the one that is different.” I took a quick look at it and felt rather smug that I came up with the answer immediately: Dog #1 does … Continue reading
The very best kind of name calling
How would you feel if someone called you “unapologetically courageous”? If you have a hard time imagining that, I’m right there with you. Or at least I was there right with you until this past Monday. That’s when I had … Continue reading
Be careful what you ask for.
I recently received another cosmic whap upside the head. I’d been struggling to set up a new freestanding microphone I bought. I was so creative in coming up with different ways to put this task on my To Do list: … Continue reading
How you are anywhere is how you are everywhere.
This phrase stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it. On the surface it sounds almost trite or simplistic, when in reality it’s profound. The way I read it, this observation makes it clear that our … Continue reading
How many eggs are you trying to stuff in one basket?
Pivotal moment. Critical mass. Tipping point. Whatever you call it, you can probably look back and identify any number of occasions when you were able to say, “That’s when things started to gel.” All too often, people tend to assume … Continue reading
Turning the pandemic on its head.
I almost never address current affairs in these posts. However, I realized that – if we so choose – we can actually create something useful out of the present experience…and that’s totally in alignment with my goal of sharing useful … Continue reading
And your point is?
When was the last time you emerged from a deep well of intense online research – you know, where you click one link, which leads to another, which leads to another, ad infinitum – only to wonder, “What the hell … Continue reading
Monkey bread. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
If you’ve ever fallen victim to the lure of monkey bread, you know how dangerous it is. Not only is the flavor delicious (think sugar, cinnamon, and/or honey), but it’s made of small, snarfable pieces of individual fabulousness, expressly designed … Continue reading
How trimming belly fat can promote business growth
Of course there’s no physical connection between a smaller stomach and a heftier bottom line. There is, however, a powerful mental connection you can take advantage of whenever you choose. And that connection is simply using your success in one … Continue reading
The popcorn model of business development
For many people, popcorn counts as an essential food group. For smart entrepreneurs, the process of popping corn offers several lessons for successful business development. Turn the heat up. Back in the good ol’ days, you’d put oil in the … Continue reading
To succeed, you’ve gotta keep movin’ on.
Last week I shared a few basic principles used by all successful improvisational comics. And there’s more where that came from. Here are three more comedy rules you can apply in the serious world of business. Make “actional” choices. In … Continue reading
Business success IS a laughing matter.
If you’re serious about your business, you can learn a lot from improvisational comedy. Several years ago I took improv classes at Stevie Ray’s School of Improv in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I went in to my first one feeling very confident. … Continue reading
What to do when you’re thrown out of whack
I love food. Anyone who says food is not a reward for a job well done is obviously delusional. A potential down side to loving food, of course, is not loving the way too much of it leads to you … Continue reading
It’s a good time to chill.
When have you let fear override clear thinking? Do you get so busy doing that you stop seeing what’s there? When have you assumed yourself into a corner and gotten stuck? These are all situations when it behooves you to … Continue reading
They’re just not that into you…
What matters is what your client or prospect SAYS matters. How well do you listen to them? Continue reading
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful” – or can it?
Actress Mae West is credited with this sly observation. While it’s worth a good laugh, I have to ask myself: Is it true? I recently spoke to an acquaintance, Rodney, about email marketing. I mentioned how I’ve chosen to get … Continue reading
Mistakes are our friends! (Gag.)
Last week I mentioned a YouTuber who did an entire video on the value of making mistakes. As I said then, I’m pretty sure he intended this message for me. All of us, if we’re honest, acknowledge that we’ve learned … Continue reading
Where is it, where is it…?
I’ve come to completely believe that you generally find what you look for and, as a result, you generally get what you expect to get. This perspective is incredibly powerful, because it puts control of your experiences in your hands … Continue reading
Comment ça va?
Recently, I started exploring how having dusted off my degrees in French and biology led to some very interesting reminders about being smart in business. If you remember, I’m getting my “ear” back in shape by listening to a native … Continue reading
Who needs a BFF when you’ve got FBB?
Back in the good ol’ days, I took a very logical approach to choosing a college major. The decision process went like this: I like French. I like biology. Therefore, I’ll double-major in French and Biology. Wha….??? (In my defense, … Continue reading
Think About It! But Not Too Much.
I recently purchased a dog door for my screened porch. Theoretically, this enables Barkley and Maddy to nose open the flexible flap and let themselves into the yard; I can stay inside as I open the sliding door from the … Continue reading
Now you see it; now you don’t.
Q: How many lessons can one person learn from a big project? A: About one for every month she worked on said project. We’ve arrived at the last three lessons from the year-long process of my birthing 11 Kindle e-books. … Continue reading
And a-one, and a-two…
If you read my recent posts about the lessons I learned in the process of becoming a published Amazon author, you might think I’d come to the end of sharing what I’d gleaned. You’d be wrong…but at least we’re in … Continue reading
It’s time for a leap of faith.
Sometimes you just get to take a deep breath and make the leap. Even – or especially – when you don’t really know what you’re doing. Continue reading
What’s your point?
Having put many, many, many hours into creating and publishing my series of e-books for Amazon Kindle, I’ve experienced my share of ups, downs, triumphs, and screw-ups. I realize that this particular journey is just beginning, and I’m trusting that, … Continue reading
Could be worse. You could be a baby elephant.
If you think learning something brand new to build your business is tough, just remember: It’s nothing compared to what a baby elephant goes through trying to figure out how to use that two-foot-long thing hanging off her face. You … Continue reading
Are your standards unreasonable?
What do you suppose ultimately does your business more good: kick-ass, intermittent marketing, or good marketing done regularly and strategically? (Hint: The answer is behind Door Number Two.) Yet I suspect many entrepreneurs shoot themselves in the marketing foot by … Continue reading
How trash talk can trash your bottom line
“What a jerk!” That was my thought early this morning when I opened my blinds to see my across-the-street neighbor had, once again, parked his pick-up truck – complete with attached fishing boat – in front of my house. Since … Continue reading
If you settle for what you can get, you’ll probably never get what you could.
I was recently speaking with a friend who made a powerful observation: “Every time you settle for less than you really want, it’s like burying yourself alive.” Ouch. This really got me thinking, and I realized that settling – … Continue reading
Are you the “ass” in “assume”?
Yes, I realize the old saying is “to assume makes an ass of U and me,” but, frankly, I tend to be more concerned about my own role in that type of situation. That’s because I know from painful … Continue reading
Decide. Then do. Here’s how.
I love when lessons from the personal side of life can be so profitably applied to the business side. As President of the Board at Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, I’m kept in the loop of all sorts of discussions. … Continue reading
How to kick marketing butt even if you “hate marketing”
“How did I get here?” This plaintive and bemused question came from a woman I met at a networking event. She was reflecting on the fact that she claims to hate marketing, yet now she’s in the throes of … Continue reading
Do ACTIVITIES or OUTCOMES drive your goals?
A few days ago I excitedly shared with one of my accountability partners that, as part of the process of creating a series of e-books, I’m going through all the content I’ve created over the years to see what could … Continue reading
9 simple things you can do TODAY to be less stressed
You know what I’m talking about: the kind of day where it feels like your head (or your chest; possibly your entire body) is about to explode. We live in a fast-paced, always-plugged-in, changing-at-the-speed-of-tech kind of world, so explosive days … Continue reading
What are you doing to take care of your most important client?
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “my number-one client”? a specific name? how much revenue they bring in? the number of referrals they send your way? the amount of resources you’re willing to devote to them? … Continue reading
The power of acting as if.
Uncomfortable situations are a fact of life. Whether in the professional or personal arena, events will occur which require a response from you, and many times the most effective and appropriate response will not be comfortable. So what do … Continue reading
Are you consistently inconsistent?
A friend of mine recently called to tell me he hadn’t been getting my weekly blog posts, and he wanted to check and make sure he was still on my mailing list. He said he was bummed to miss out … Continue reading
Failure is habit forming. So is success. Which habit are you in?
Did you leave the womb brushing your teeth every day? I didn’t think so. Were you very young when helpful adults got you launched on this healthy habit? Yup. At this point in your life, tooth brushing is an activity … Continue reading
Power habits. What are yours?
Last week I explored some ways to replace bad habits with new, more productive ones. Since habits can make or break your success, let’s delve a bit deeper into ways to make good habits your default setting. ******************************************* Strategically manage … Continue reading
Do your habits chain you to failure or slingshot you to success?
“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.” Hmmm…… This Spanish proverb highlights a key attribute of habits: They’re a very sharp, double-edged sword. Good habits make life run smoothly, easily, and effectively. Bad ones effortlessly screw you up. So … Continue reading
What are you choosing in this moment?
I’ve been feeling a bit blah for a few days. Nothing’s been going particularly badly; it just feels like nothing’s been going particularly great, either. In response to people’s greetings of “How are you today?”, I’ve been coming back … Continue reading
Do you make success impossible for yourself?
Have you ever had the experience of bopping along, taking care of your clients and living your life, when suddenly you decide this is not what you signed up for? Welcome to the club. I believe many entrepreneurs deal with … Continue reading
Why NOW is the right time to take action
It doesn’t matter whether you’re considering a change in your professional or personal life; now is the right time to act on your idea. Does “act on” mean “implement immediately”? Maybe. Maybe not. What it does mean is “stop … Continue reading
4 EEEEasy Steps to Creating a Powerful USP
You’ve probably been subjected to more than one incredibly lame 60-second commercial at live networking events. The purpose of this so-called “elevator pitch” is to position oneself as someone worth learning more about because of the huge value you … Continue reading
Say it like you mean it.
For as much time as the typical entrepreneur spends on refining the words of her marketing messages, I wonder if she puts the same care into how she says those words when she’s interacting with people face to face. … Continue reading
Communicating or talking at – what’s your default?
I imagine every one of us has, at some point, been on the receiving end of a monologue disguised as a conversation. You know how it goes: The other person appears to have overcome the need for oxygen … Continue reading
How to take back your power
There are a lot of ways to surrender your power. Adopt a victim mentality by falling prey to what Dr. Martin Seligman calls learned helplessness… Use power-robbing language (for example, I can’t, If only, Why me?, I wish)… Allow others … Continue reading
Do the stories you tell help or hinder?
Stories can celebrate or denigrate; fuel progress or impede it; make you feel on top of the world or at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The good news is two-fold. One, you can always, always, choose which stories … Continue reading
How to get more done on important projects in 6 hours than you usually do in 6 days
I have a client who frets about being “not as productive” as an entrepreneur as she was in her days as an employee. I think she’s often too hard on herself, since she forgets those common attributes of paycheck … Continue reading
Are you still using positive thinking as a tool for growth? Then think again.
When The Secret came out about 10 years ago, it was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it introduced a lot of people to the concept that you’re truly more powerful than perhaps you ever gave yourself credit … Continue reading
When what you see is not what’s there
This is one of my favorite snarky T-shirts. Unfortunately, most of us have probably declared this at some point (mentally, anyway), and I’ll bet the results were not pretty. Any smart entrepreneur knows: You don’t create a new product or … Continue reading
How to detox your business from 3 deadly P’s
Last week I addressed the danger in falling prey to three toxic business behaviors: perfectionism, (over)planning, and procrastination. But it’s not enough to be aware of them; you have to take action against them if you want your business … Continue reading
Are you strangling your business in the name of quality?
While Mae West once declared, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful,” it’s probably more accurate to say that “Too much of anything is toxic.” It’s true. Whether we’re talking about a physical activity, a food, a … Continue reading
Is your business going to the dogs? I hope so.
Last week, I explored lessons from my canine mentors. This week, I realized that I hadn’t covered all of them. Here are more tips from these entrepreneurial-minded beasts. Create conditions that make it easier for you to succeed. … Continue reading
Dogs as business instructors. Who knew?
I recently puppy-sat for my sister’s dogs. Two of them. For a week. Added to my own dog, this means I was outnumbered three to one. Emma (the little blond) had to be watched every moment she’s outside, … Continue reading
When life interferes with business: 3 lessons learned
Have you ever felt like you’ve been staggering along under a huge burden? You know, the kind of weight that leaves you feeling bereft of energy, creativity, and joy? Been there, done that, got a whole bunch of … Continue reading
What would it be worth to stop making bad decisions?
How many times have you hesitated to make a decision because you were so concerned about making the “right” one? How many times has your hesitation led to missed opportunities? If you’re like many entrepreneurs, the answers are “lots” and … Continue reading
Courage, change, and choice: the power of possibilities
Whether you’re one of the Americans sharing congratulatory fist bumps with other Trump supporters, one of the ones walking around in a shell-shocked daze of disbelief and fear, or one of the other billions in the world, you know changes … Continue reading
You have the right to remain silent. Use it – but wisely.
A young friend of mine recently demonstrated that actions truly can speak louder than words. She and some girlfriends were at a nightclub, enjoying themselves on the dance floor, when a young man decided that Elizabeth and her friends … Continue reading
The “things you don’t know about me” blog format: ego or engagement?
I recently came across the suggestion to write a blog post titled “20 things you didn’t know about me”, and I had a very mixed reaction. I love bulleted or numbered lists, so that’s attractive I know the subject matter … Continue reading
Are you doing things for the first time EVERY time?
All of us have experienced hundreds of “firsts” in our lives: first day of school, first kiss, first car, first job…Many of these firsts are powerful rites of passage, and so worth celebrating. But, if you’re like a lot of … Continue reading
How to start, conduct, and end a prospecting call with grace and ease
If you connect with prospects face to face (or ear to ear, in the case of phone meetings), you know it’s exciting to personally interact with a potential new client. If you’re smart, you also know that not every … Continue reading
Can’t keep up? Three simple questions to streamline your decision-making
A client came to me with a marketing problem: She had two completely separate mailing lists aimed at different target markets, and she couldn’t decide which of the two should be the focus of her future marketing efforts. A … Continue reading
Three ways to make your strengths part of your USP
Several years ago I attended a speed-networking event where I met a would-be entrepreneur who had some very obvious problems with figuring out what she actually had to offer. When it was our turn to talk, she pulled out … Continue reading
“Hope” is not a success strategy, but this is.
Last year, I applied to be a speaker and behind-the-scenes crew member at an international conference. Since I’d already spoken at another conference held by the same organization, I was feeling confident – maybe even a bit smug – about … Continue reading
You STILL don’t want to mess with the Mouse: more success lessons
Last week, I explored some success lessons to be learned from Walt Disney’s use of a cartoon mouse to build one of the world’s great entertainment empires. The creator of our trusty rodent friend Mickey has more wisdom to share … Continue reading
Don’t mess with the Mouse: What Mickey can tell you about playing your way to wealth
As I look forward to attending a conference in central Florida, I realize that the host city’s name is practically synonymous with one of the most recognizable faces in the world: Orlando = Walt Disney World = Mickey Mouse. … Continue reading
And don’t do THESE things when speaking to a group, either!
You might think that the eight speaking screw-ups I addressed last week are more than enough to ruin any presentation, and they are. However, there’s more where that came from. Here are five more things never to inflict on a … Continue reading
Don’t do these eight things when speaking to a group
You, like many entrepreneurs, may have found that one of your most effective marketing tools is a speaking engagement in front of your ideal prospects. Speaking gigs provide the prospects a chance to see you in action, sample your expertise, … Continue reading
7 first-aid treatments for a sick close ratio
A few weeks ago I wrote about 7 easy-to-overlook factors that will trash your close ratio. Looking back, I realize that, as helpful as that heads-up may have been, it would have been even better to follow up with suggestions … Continue reading
5 ways to get out of a creativity slump
You know the feeling. You have a blog post to write, a webinar to create, a talk to develop and present…and you feel about as creative as a dried-up old crust of bread. When this happens, there are two results … Continue reading
3 ways to dig yourself out of that embarrassing hole
Many moons ago, back before Big Pharma became truly evil, I sold pharmaceuticals for a top-tier company. Every month, those of us in the field waited with trepidation to see what sort of product-related give-aways the marketing department would provide … Continue reading
7 easy-to-overlook factors that will trash your close ratio
I recently shared a true-confessions type of story in which I shared my incredible efficiency at packing multiple mistakes into a single prospect call. While no doubt you got a good sense from those posts of what NOT to do … Continue reading
And don’t do THESE 3 things to prospects, either. Just. Don’t.
Last week I addressed five things you should never do to a prospect. Here’s a quick recap of how I packed a single prospect call with a bunch of lessons on what not to do. took a call from … Continue reading
Never do these 5 things to a prospect.
I’m still embarrassed by this old mistake. I’d met a woman at a class I was teaching, and a few weeks after the class finished, she called me out of the blue. She said she thought she might want … Continue reading
3 ways to take advantage of those annoying people
You know who they are: the walking human ivy all around you whose sole purpose in life seems to be irritating you. Prospects, clients, vendors, collaborators, friends, neighbors, family members…any and all may fall into this category. Since you … Continue reading
5 ways you’re choking the life out of your business
A few weeks ago I was the lay leader of the service at my Unitarian Universalist church. This meant I was responsible for choosing the theme, finding readings and stories to illustrate the theme, selecting congregational hymns, and … Continue reading
5 signs you may be majoring in the minors and minoring in the majors
You’ve identified THE major conference in your field – you know, the one where all the heavy hitters show up. You know it will be packed with your ideal prospects. You’ve downloaded the submission guidelines for prospective speakers. You know … Continue reading
What’s the worst that can happen?
The other day, Joseph (my hubby) went in to purchase an amp for his electric guitar. While he was willing to spend the money on it, he naturally wanted to get as good a deal as possible. So when … Continue reading
It’s a jungle out there. Which animal are you?
The entrepreneurs I work with most successfully typically represent one of three members of the animal kingdom: the mynah birds are continually seduced by shiny objects, AKA anything that’s touted as new, exciting, sure-fire, or what “all successful ____________ … Continue reading
Are you effective or efficient? And what makes you think you have to choose?
Sometimes it’s easy to confuse efficiency for effectiveness, and that confusion can really trash your business results. Why? Because efficiency is the ability to accomplish something with the least waste of time and effort, while effectiveness is the ability … Continue reading
Save your sanity in 5 minutes a day
Creativity is one of the hallmarks of entrepreneurs. Usually this is a very good thing; after all, many successful businesses have been built by those who had the vision to see an unmet need and the creativity to develop … Continue reading
Could you be the star of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”?
If you’ve spent any time in a book store recently, you’ve probably passed by a whole slew of books by Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. This series explores the trials and tribulations of a middle-school … Continue reading
What’s your default: dither or do?
You’ve probably known a champion ditherer. He makes up his mind, then changes it, then changes it again, then reconsiders, then goes off in a different direction…until you want to just give him a good shake, and say, “Decide, … Continue reading
Can you see where you’re sabotaging yourself?
Sabot is a French word meaning “wooden shoe”, and it’s the root of the word sabotage. There’s a story about the early days of manufacturing in France. It’s said that, when workers wanted to protest something (low wages, poor working … Continue reading
Killing the killers
Last week I spoke about productivity killers. In my opinion, all of them are subtle, insidious, and a general pain in the ass. The good news is that there are specific action steps you can take to do away … Continue reading