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Life Mastery Tools to Jumpstart the New Year

January 5th, 2009 by | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I recently made an addendum to a motivational quote I posted to Twitter & Facebook: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” -Eleanor Roosevelt (I added: …and implementing the realization of them!).

I know so many creative people–especially entrepreneurs who sometimes get stuck in inertia at the prospect of kicking things up a notch. I certainly haven’t been immune. But there are a number of tools on my belt that I’ve accumulated over the years to help me become unstuck fairly quickly. Some days are easier than others, but without the tools, I know I’d back to square one! So let’s all amp it up a notch!

Amp it up! :)

Amp it up! :)

Are you overwhelmed or possibly in the throes of procrastination…? Or maybe you’re an “over-achiever” accomplishing plenty by others’ standards, but it’s never enough to you. If any of that rang true for you, listen in for 45 minutes and find out how to change your relationship with time and your environment. The majority of people don’t get to live their dreams, because they don’t make things happen in a timely fashion.

Tune in now:

Playing to Your Strengths Is Not Always What It is Cracked Up to Be

December 27th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity | 5 Comments »


Okay, let me explain what I mean by that and you are welcome to disagree! Many who know me have heard me say that you should outsource those tasks that you hate to do and don’t do well (or even those tasks you do well but hate to do).

But what if something you’re really passionate about doesn’t turn into a strength until you give it the discipline, effort, and devotion to turn it into something you’re eventually great at? After all, many people like this quote:

People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most people succeed because they are determined to.”

–George E. Allen

While I applaud the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment–the first one that was outlined in Now Discover Your Strengths was great, but this one is much better!–I read something in the accompanying book by Tom Rath that actually hit a nerve.

Do you remember the story of Rudy Ruettiger, the young, groundskeeper at Notre Dame’s stadium? His physique wasn’t quite the football flavor, and he certainly didn’t have a natural talent for football. He spent most of his days overcoming a weakness by practicing and practicing and practicing and eventually triumphed.

Rath implies that those days could’ve been better spent focusing on strengthening a strength rather than overcoming a weakness. His maxim is: “You cannot be anything you want to be–but you can be a lot more of who you already are” versus the familiar, “You can be anything you want to be if you just try hard enough.”

But what about the psychological benefits during the journey–especially if you’re passionate about the end result?

Here’s why what Rath said hit a nerve with me: The entrepreneurial bug hit me at 10 years old and I had a ball and made some cash doing all sorts of fun activities using my “kid charm” to get it done, and then took a hiatus in terms of true implementation until 2003.  I didn’t make a ton of money as a 10 year old, but I was having the time of my life!

Truth be told, when I got back into the entrepreneurial fold in 2003, I made more mistakes than money and didn’t really get into a groove until after I hired a coach in 2004 to show me where I was blocked (one big culprit was the “M” word…no, not ‘marriage,’ silly, ‘marketing’! ;) ).

I was always awesome at academics, technology, teaching, and creating.

Marketing? Not so much. 

But marketing is such a pivotal part of being an entrepreneur. And I’m still not a master at marketing compared to some, but I do know it’s something I have to have my fingers in even if I would prefer to outsource that task.

There were other things my coach and I discovered together back then that was making my road to entrepreneurial success a real challenge–despite entrepreneurialism being a huge passion of mine–and those things are worthy of another blog post some other time.

But let me ask these two questions for now: Should you detach completely from something that is not a natural strength in the overall scheme of things even if you’re really passionate about it (my lack of entrepreneurial mojo in 2003 as an example) or go for it anyway because you’re so determined to succeed at your passion?

And if you decide to go for it (i.e., being an entrepreneur) and find out that the weakness you have is something many experts say you should be a part of anyway–marketing in this case–do you farm it out completely, or do you have a role in it?

What say you?

Products, Promotion, Passive Income …oh my!

December 25th, 2008 by | Posted in Creativity, technology | No Comments »

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

The following segment was a semi-spontaneous idea based on some questions I’d been receiving about product creation (especially audio) and then the technical aspects of creating and then selling your product. There are also other people’s products you can sell and follow the same technical process you would with your own product. I spent a lot of time on content creation and getting through the creative blocks too.

I also shared a link to a page that has a number of step-by-step quick-start video tutorials as a handy reference (free and no opt-in required for either site).

Check out the show:

Are you a (*ahem*) Toilet Paper Entrepreneur?

December 17th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Business Process | 1 Comment »

I truly wasn’t in the mood to read another “Business How To” book, but when Scott Bradley sent me a review copy of Mike Michalowicz’s The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, I was honored. When people take the time and money to send out a complimentary book, I will not let it sit on the shelf. I will most definitely read it. I figure a guy younger than me who’d already founded three multi-million dollar companies could probably teach me a thing or two.

Mike’s Target audience is actually young (age 18-26ish) entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs (with a sense of humor!) who are at the beginning stages of getting their businesses off the ground, but even as a Gen-Xer who has been in business for five years as a productivity and small business coach, I was engaged from start to finish.

Mike’s tell-it-like-it is approach cuts out the fat and gets right to the meat regarding your passions, belief systems, vision, mission, purpose, funding (and how to hang on to your equity!), accountability, and team without having to shell out a lot of upfront cash or create an elaborate business plan. His calls-to-action at the end of each chapter are quite appealing as well.

He discusses in depth the only “Three Sheets” you’ll ever need to succeed in business if and ONLY IF you implement and be consistent in your efforts (and he even shares the templates in Word format for these three documents on his site http://www.toiletpaperentrepreneur.com/ in the resource section).

Have an open mind if you’re not one for bathroom humor and metaphors because you will completely miss the point if you don’t, I promise you. Even if you’re not a beer drinker or a party animal, there is an immense amount of wisdom joined with all sorts of practical strategies and tactics to go with the suggested tech tools (many of them free) to get you off and running or improving on your existing business.

And if you’d like to listen to him share some of his strategies today (12/17) at 3pm ET, please feel free to listen live and participate in the chat at http://blogtalkradio.com/Productivity-Talk. If you can’t be there live, it’s okay. Just grab the MP3 from the archive whenever you get a chance.

Hope to see you there, and I hope you buy the book!

Carol Dickson-Carr
The Productivity 3.0 Professor

Interview with Mari Smith on How She Hired her Team through Social Networks

November 29th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity, Web Technology | 1 Comment »

I was honored to have Mari Smith, who was deemed the Pied Piper of Facebook by Fastcompany.com on Productivity Talk Radio. Listen in as shares strategies on how she grew her team using social networks as her business went to yet another fantastic level of growth.

Tacit Knowledge, Twitter, and Twitter Tech Tools

November 11th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Business Process, Web Technology | 1 Comment »

I’m thinking back to a conversation I had with Bea Fields over a year ago about tacit knowledge–you know the knowledge we take for granted that because we know it so well, we figure all people naturally know it too (even if the reality is different!).

The first time I realized I was taking knowledge for granted was in high school when I discovered that not everyone in band could play by ear (I played clarinet, flute, and sax, by the way–a woodwinds girl). I recall asking fellow band members to join me by accompanying what was playing on a random boom box at the time (probably some really overplayed Duran Duran song), and they looked at me like I had three heads because I didn’t have sheet music on the fly.

Even 20+ years later, I’ll sometimes forget what people know and don’t know even on things I’m not naturally gifted at but had immersed myself in the learning of the skill so much that it had migrated into the “unconscious competence” category. I am grateful to the clients and students who remind me when it happens.

Like today: And let me put forth a disclaimer first-I’m still in the continuous learning process myself about Twitter but at the same time consider myself quite a bit beyond the one-eyed woman leading the blind. ;) I co-led a call today with Bea Fields on demystifying the use of Twitter for business. I intended to take one approach, but spontaneously decided to take into consideration the knowledge base of the participants starting from scratch.

We still discussed strategies, tactics, useful time-saving Twitter tools, and etiquette once the relevant people were set up and making their debut on Twitter… and a good time was ultimately had by all! If you’re still ambivalent about how Twitter can be worth your while in your business, then download the call we did today (below).

Also, read Bea’s Top 7 Strategies for Building Out Your Business Using Twitter and her cool list of Twitter tools to get you started. Enjoy!

The Playing Bigger Implementation Experiment

October 15th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Productivity | No Comments »

Often when we’re stepping up our game and playing bigger, we (and that definitely includes yours truly!) sometimes feel a little overwhelmed–even when we KNOW what we need to do to take us to that next level.

So on this special edition of Productivity Talk, I was what one of my mentors, Tim Paulson, calls the “Guide from the Side” rather than the “Sage from the Stage” and facilitated a discussion around some of the common challenges we face around our relationships with:

  • Fear
  • Our support system
  • Our energy system
  • Our belief system
  • Resiliency

This lead us into the discussion of inspired implementation and the steps to get you there if you or someone you know is feeling blocked on the issue.

Interview with NLP Expert Ron Hudson on Influential Elegance in Leadership

October 8th, 2008 by | Posted in Creativity, Productivity | 1 Comment »

Inspired action is what it’s all about. If you are a team leader, you definitely want to download and listen to this show! Ron shares some great nuggets. :)

Ron Hudson Interviews Your Truly

September 30th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Foundation, Creativity, Productivity | 1 Comment »

I was honored to be asked to be a guest on Ron Hudson’s Immediate Influence Blog Talk Radio Show where he asked me to speak on the subject of productivity and profitability. We had a ball even as my Diva child decided that it didn’t matter that her mommy was in the middle of an interview at some point in our discussion. ;)

Interview with Business & Membership Website Consultant, Kim Beasley

August 27th, 2008 by | Posted in Business Process, Productivity | 1 Comment »

Kim Beasley is known in some circles as the WordPress and Membership Site Queen! We discussed her upcoming book due to be be released in September/October 2008 entitled, “Business Makeover System: 21 Days to Good Habits.” This book will help business owners take an internal and external view of their business and refine it to function better in the virtual world.