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Some Mindset and Foundational Reminders

June 1st, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity | 1 Comment »

Some of you guys might know that a few of my divinepreneur“* colleagues started a 21 Day Blitz last week where there are no pretenses about what we want to get done, how we want to support each other and share valuable ideas and content within our respective areas of expertise in the process.

I had this urge to type up a recap of what we talked about during week one of the blitz–or at least start with some of the mindset and foundational pieces, which actually ended up reminding a lot of that really cool book The Power of Full Engagement with a twist. I quickly lost that typing urge and talked off the cuff about some of the highlights for about 7 minutes instead.

So feel free to listen in, and I hope you can join us live tomorrow where we will talk all about the technology that helps us streamline our businesses and save oh so much time. The details, including the other topics we’ve covered and will cover, dial-in and date/times can be found by visiting this link: http://budurl.com/21DayBlitz

*Those who trust the process during their entrepreneurial journeys even when things look a little weird at times!

One Solution to Leverage and Legacy

May 27th, 2009 by | Posted in Creativity, technology, Web Technology | 1 Comment »

Cynthia’s challenge: “Going from the idea to marketing. I have two very good ideas, one is a t-shirt idea, and the other is an educational system for teenagers to receive exposure, planning, and a technique for goals.  I don’t even know where to start on either.”

This challenge excited me–particularly her idea for the educational system. Talk about leadership, leverage, and legacy!

Hi Cynthia,

I do have more insight on marketing the second idea since there is more specificity in your description there (and education is a dear-to-my-heart topic!). But I’ll share my quick insights on the t-shirt idea first: Contests are often a hit “Please help me choose a logo” or “Which slogan do you like best”–winner gets a t-shirt.

When creating an educational system for teenagers a really good idea would be to get permission from the school(s) to do a survey to gauge the dominant learning style (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic), what their biggest challenges are, etc. I did this in the 90s with a middle school before the web was on my radar, let alone tools like surveymonkey.com and the like! This way they know that’s something coming, and offering to speak at the schools for free can get your foot in the door.

Some teenagers may be willing to be interviewed with parent’s permission (I got an enthusiastic response from students at a local college!).

If you want all to be digital, and on the cheap, use the free program Audacity for audio (see video tutorials on how to get and use Audacity by looking at the productivity & tech resources on this blog, which also shares tutorials on how to create a squeeze page) and PrimoPDF http://www.primopdf.com/ to create PDF documents. A highly recommended one stop shop for hard copy CDs, DVDs, and printing is http://www.disk.com/ and they’ll even do the order fulfillment for you. They’ll work with the digital media you provide for them.

The free media to get the word out could include Facebook, Twitter, and blogging while keeping the schools in the loop about it all. Keep in mind that building relationships with your followers even on topics not related to business is key. Just pick one to start with at first so you don’t get (as) overwhelmed. Flyers in mom/pop coffee shops and bookstores seem to be well-received for t-shirts.

Having someone hold you accountable and supporting during this journey is pivotal though. Don’t let the crazy-makers and naysayers steal your joy because this educational system is a fabulous idea in my not so humble opinion!

Good luck! :)

I’m Drowning! Help!

May 21st, 2009 by | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Susi shared a number of challenges with me…

She’d written me several paragraphs about what was going on with her (internet marketing challenges, scams from a number of products she’s purchased, no sales from online ads, learning all the technology, trying to figure out what she can do generally to make money with several ideas), but I believe the meat of what was going on with her was her last couple of paragraphs:

“Maybe the summary ‘biggest challenge’ is deciding which of the ‘make-money-fast”‘programs I’ve bought is THE one (or two) to concentrate on, and ignore the others for a while.  Of course, with my luck, I’d end up picking the one that needs PhD Computer Science skills to implement!

If you’ve read this far, thanks.  Do YOU have the magic, “snap-your-fingers-and-you’ll-be-a-millionaire” magic formula/program/opportunity?  If so, I’m buyin’!”

Hi Susi,

First of all, I acknowledge your frustration. You have a number of issues going on at once, and when that happens, it’s so very hard to get focused, and so very easy to become scattered and creatively blocked.

You probably know deep down that there is no such thing as “make money fast programs.” Anyone who tells you that such a program exists, I’d be quite skeptical of. The money often comes with persistence, consistency, and relationship building with your target market.

Then there’s this threshold where people might think you’ve become an overnight success, when in reality, you planted seeds and watered/fertilized them regularly until they grew and blossomed. That has been my experience, along with other very successful entrepreneurs.

I invite you to make a list of what you’re most passionate about and combine it with what your preferred learning style is, and take inventory of the products you have that you’ve had the biggest intuitive hit with and stick with one, possibly two (if they complement each other) consistently.

Fight the urge to switch your strategy too soon–gain that momentum first, then add to it. One thing to note is that I’ve had much less success with ads and much better luck with relationship building first–particularly using the social networks.

And last, as I mentioned last week to Sheryl, be sure to take some “You” time. Clarity often comes when you can get still and listen for that guidance.

Good luck!

“With greater confidence in yourself and your abilities, you will set bigger goals, make bigger plans, and commit yourself to achieving objectives that today you only dream about.”— Brian Tracy

Addressing the Fulltime Job Transition to Entrepreneurship

May 14th, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity | 1 Comment »

In looking through the list of challenges that were submitted to me over time from my subscribers, I realize that I may have missed a number of issues in some of the telecalls that I’ve done. So I’m going to start addressing some of the challenges (chosen randomly) right here!

Take Sheryl for example. She wrote:

“I work fulltime in a day job and then part time trying to get my home based business profitable.  With the amount of training with my new business and running a household and a day job, I find myself scattered all over the place and not progressing as fast as I need to – help!”

Hi Sheryl,

I’ve been there and it is indeed an interesting balancing act. When we are stressed, it is so easy become scattered and unfocused. I haven’t met anyone who has been 100% immune to this dilemma.

Some of the strategies that have helped me and my clients when we get into that space is to remind our loved ones–especially the ones we live with–of our vision. Stating our requirements and boundaries in a loving but decisive way is another “must communicate.”

Ask them to give you the space and time you need to realize that vision daily but also include giving them your undivided attention as a gift to all of you. Open communication and supportive environments are so important.

If you can take some conscious “Sheryl” time for at least an hour a day–even if you don’t think you have time, just doing something you love, whether if it’s being out in nature, reading a good book, journaling (one of my favorites!), exercise (I get so many ideas when I’m exercising!), etc., it will make all the difference because down time is still productive time as you’re recharging your batteries.

Also, be patient with the process and yourself (I know–easier said than done!), and have faith that as you’re consistently doing something every day moving you toward you goals, the baby steps will add up, and the freedom and autonomy you seek will be the reality rather than the wish.  Celebrate the small wins daily!

And remember: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain

* * *

Next Thursday I will address another submitted challenge so stay tuned!

What Does Productivity Without Effort Look and Feel Like?

April 22nd, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Creativity, Productivity | 1 Comment »

It isn’t every day that I get to be interviewer and subject simultaneously, but that’s what happened a couple of weeks ago when Wendy Yellen took me on a powerful (and in some ways, unexpected!) journey using a human technology I’d never heard of–talk about a “best kept secret” in my mind!

If you’d like to hear the call we did, click here to get the download of the MP3. You’ll be glad you did!

Wendy’s process appeared as a special resource highly recommended and used by the author of the recent bestseller: Bank on Yourself:The Life-Changing Secret to Growing and Protecting Your Financial Future, a book about taking back control of your financial future, which is on the best seller list for Amazon, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Here’s what the author of the book had to say:

“JOY – For No Apparent Reason at ALL????

I’d like to ask you a personal question, if I may.

How often do you experience joy. for no apparent reason at all?

I’m not just talking about “contentment,” or feeling “okay” about
your life.  I’m talking about pure, unadulterated feeling-like-
you’re-three-feet-off-the-ground joy!     Perhaps you don’t even
believe it’s possible. or that you deserve it.

If so, I can relate.  Despite love and success, parts of my life
still felt like a grind.   I often procrastinated on critical
things I needed to do for my business.  I felt stressed much of
the time.  My “perfectionism” would make projects drag out much
longer than I planned or expected. I wasn’t fully enjoying all I
had achieved.

All the strategies I used to try to break through these blocks
worked – to a degree.  But, deep in my heart, I knew I could be
more, do more, and enjoy my life more.  I just couldn’t seem to
figure out how to get there.  Maybe you can relate.

But friends were raving about the nearly instant breakthroughs
they were having in their lives, using an extraordinary
technology.  And, frankly, I was jealous!  I was also skeptical,
but decided to give it a try. The shifts I experienced in so many
different areas of my business and personal life were dramatic.
and immediate.

Here are just a few: Within just one day, some things that had
seemed difficult and painful started feeling easy.  Even
effortless. Situations that would normally stress me out suddenly
simply stopped having that effect.   Physical pain I had for more
than a decade vanished. Perhaps the most unexpected benefit of
all was the feeling of pure joy I began experiencing – even doing
things I used to like least!

Are you ready to blast through obstacles that lie between you
and your full potential? If you are, I’ve arranged for you to get
access to the internationally acclaimed expert in this

I’m looking forward to my copy of the book and am appreciative of Wendy who so generously shared this very process on the call. Even though the call has taken place already, you can still click here to get the recording!

Your Top 5 Talents Will Increase Your Productivity

April 15th, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation | 1 Comment »

Back in December 2008, I’d written a post that implied that always playing to only your strengths wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and had referenced something that hit a nerve in the book, Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.

Despite my thoughts about playing to your passions no matter what, I have found great value in the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment. Truth be told, I’m a big fan of assessments because of the value they add to our self-awareness even as we are self-reporting in our responses. We can gain insights on our behaviorial styles (DiSC), personality preferences ( MBTI® ), and in the case of the Strengthsfinder, our top five themes of talent.

If you have conversations with each of the experts in those respective fields about your results and then synthesize that data, it can be a really powerful tool to enhance your productivity levels not only in business or professionally but in your daily lives.

My friend and colleague, Kim Beasley and I started talking about benefits of the Strengthsfinder again last month and we were both driven to write about how it plays a role in our lives–particularly in business. After reading about my top five talents which are the Learner, Input, Activator, Ideation, Maximizer themes, I realized consciously what could benefit me even more as well as consciously thinking about my own communication and productivity styles as I live my life and run my business. My report also showed how my talents might relate to one another.

So I encourage you to buy Tom Rath’s book, and find out about your top five and see how you can also consciously benefit in your business and in life. I could end the post here. It’s certainly long enough as blog posts go but in the spirit of transparency, I thought I’d share excerpts of my own results to show the assessment’s power.

In fact, how about I break this down into parts and use myself as a Strengthsfinder case study as described in my report. The following are brief definitions and Carol-specific Personalized Strengths Insights excerpts from each of my top five themes:

Those with the Learner theme talent are on a continuous learning and improvement path and love the journey. By nature, you have little difficulty giving intense effort to projects, problems, or opportunities that capture and keep your attention.”

People who have the Input theme love to know more and archive all kinds of information. “Driven by your talents, you can simplify the most complex, convoluted, or intricate procedure. People usually rely on you to offer clear and easy-to-comprehend explanations.”

Those with the Activator talent can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. “Your forthcoming nature might enable some people to share their thoughts and feelings with you. By nature, you are somewhat comfortable talking about yourself. You may also enjoy listening to people describe their talents, limitations, goals, worries, or successes. Perhaps these insights help you discover what someone thinks or feels. Maybe you acquire information about the individual’s style of thinking, learning, working, playing, problem solving, or studying. Because of your strengths, you periodically stir people’s emotions by motivating them to take action.”

People who have talent in the Ideation theme are able to find connections between seemingly varied phenomena. “Instinctively, you might channel some of your energy toward what you can accomplish in the coming months, years, or decades. Periodically your mind churns out new and inventive ways of reaching your desired goals… Driven by your talents, you regard yourself as logical and reasonable. You spontaneously reduce mechanisms, processes, proposals, ideas, or formulas to their basic parts. You figure out how the pieces interrelate. Your discoveries tell you why something does or does not function the way it should.”

And last but certainly not least, the Maximizer theme folks seek to transform something strong into something superb. “Instinctively, you customarily figure out what makes each person special. You talk to, observe, or study individuals who produce nothing less than excellence to identify what inspires them… You strive to honor everyone’s uniqueness and preferences. Understanding a person’s ambitions gives you insights into the type of support, training, experiences, partnerships, and nurturing he or she needs to thrive.

So there you have it! If you have read this far, picture me cheering and thanking you profusely! I recognize that this post is longer than usual. And I hope my case study will inspire you to check out the tool for yourself so you can consciously focus on what you know makes you shine!

I Can’t Catch a Break and It’s All THEIR Fault!

April 8th, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation | 5 Comments »

You know the type: “They’re just lucky!” they say. “Life dealt me a bad hand.”

Says who?

If you are perpetually stuck in inertia because the stars just don’t seem to be aligned for you in particular, you might want to check your perception. Or hey, you might know someone who continuously shows up that way even if it doesn’t apply to you.

Draining, isn’t it?

Look: I’m not unsympathetic to those who get stuck–heck, I get stuck at times; I’m certainly not unfamiliar with self-pity, self-doubt, grumpiness [Really, just insert any garden variety “low vibration” emotion and I could testify!].

And even in the midst of my internal drama, I know it will pass. I use the tools available to me so I don’t STAY there. AND, I always take responsibility for my action (or inaction as the case may be).

When I asked Twitterverse the above question (take this informal assessment to see where you stand), I got the following feedback:

We’re in the midst of an Economic Catharsis, and if you or someone you know is allowing their skills, gifts, and talents to remain a secret because of the wrong mindset, a lot is being left on the table (not just money).  Something to think about.

Since your locus of control tends to determine your outlook on life–regardless of your circumstances, you can see that it is much healthier to have an internal locus of control.  If you have an internal LOC, it will help you in other areas of your life–not just in business. Own your “stuff”, then use the tools available to you to move forward when your “stuff” feels a bit too overwhelming.

If you want to know the tools I use to move out of inertia, just ask me in the comments section!

If you want to share the tools you use, please list them in the comments section!

Local Lady Will Leverage Her Leadership and Create a Legacy

March 15th, 2009 by | Posted in Creativity, technology, Web Technology | 2 Comments »

This Sunday morning (3/15/09) I saw an opportunity to suggest to a fellow choir member (and life/biz coach) a way she could leverage her expertise, save time in the process, and create a legacy after she’s gone. The very abridged story is in the video below.

What fun serendipity! If the technology is getting in your way of creating your product and getting it out to the marketplace, take advantage of the free tutorials (no opt-in required): http://budurl.com/FreeTechResources

Leverage your expertise into audio and create a legacy in the process!

Does Time in Effort Necessarily Equal Value?

February 22nd, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Business Process, Productivity | 2 Comments »

I don’t believe that it does.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rod Alan Richardson, Business Consultant and Trainer. He supported what I believe and what so many other successful entrepreneurs have proven: That the time it takes to deliver value and the amount of money received for that value don’t necessarily have a direct relationship. Expediency and quality is a powerful combination. By the way, some of Rod’s cool deliverables include the following:

  • Escalated an equipment manufacturer from $5 Million to $12 Million in 9 months
  • Built an Ecommerce business from idea to $30 Million in 18 months creating partnerships and leading strategies that attracted 3 million visitors per month
  • Designed a marketing strategy that attracted a $20 million capitalization into an Internet Technology company

He shared some great strategies that will help you not only increase your business productivity in less time but also create more value in the process.

I was so energized and inspired by his wisdom, and I hope you will be too. Click here, and give it a listen!

Get Fit and Productive in 2009 – Interview with JoLynn Braley

January 16th, 2009 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity | 1 Comment »

I had an excellent call yesterday with JoLynn Braley, the expert on Losing Weight from the Inside Out. Not only was my interview with JoLynn great fun, I also learned many things that I didn’t know about weight loss, specifically how imperative it is that you include all parts of yourself in the process if you want to be successful at losing weight and keeping it off – namely your mind, body, and spirit.

I could relate so well to the personal stories of struggle that JoLynn shared but what really got me was how she has come to live the process of effortless weight loss. Now you might wonder what weight loss, health, and fitness has to do with productivity…well, that’s what our call was about! So if you’d like to learn how you can be more productive and leverage your greatest resources (time, money, and energy) better in 2009 then you can listen to the recording of my call with JoLynn Braley.

To get the details on how to listen in just register here and you’ll be on your way to getting fitter and more productive in 2009.

(Be sure to register now because she told me that the recording will only be available until Tuesday, Jan 20 at 6pm EST!)

Here’s an update! I had the opportunity to interview her again on my Productivity Talk show on the 21st, so you can listen to her strategies by clicking HERE! Enjoy! :)