Givers Gain - Why don't you HARO (help a reporter out?)

I subscribe to HARO - Help a Reporter Out - a list created by Peter Shankman to help writers, authors and publishers find sources and material for their articles, books and publications. I received this this morning:
So we broke 11,000 members last night. I sit here writing this with a cup of coffee in shock and amazement. So before I head out for my morning run, I want to share some good news. It never occurred to me that HARO might be worth something to anyone. I kinda thought I'd do it for fun, keep it up as long as I can, have a good time with it. But every day, more and more people sign up, and it shows no signs of slowing down. And with growth comes people noticing, I guess. I got a phone call last week from a friend of mine who works at an ad agency. It went something like this.

Friend: "Peter, do you know American Apparel?"
Me: "Yeah, they're that company in LA that makes clothing that I'm not hot enough to wear."
Friend: "Um... Right. Anyway, they want to advertise in HARO."
Me: "I mean, seriously, I'd have to lose another 20 or so pounds before I... Wait, what?"

And that's how it started. Remember how I've been putting those little " - better than Cats" lines at the top of the emails? Well, as of the lunchtime HARO, they're going to occasionally include special links to specific advertisers. Like American Apparel: - So if you were all like, "You know, I need some new tops" or whatever, why not order them by clicking above? It'll make lots of people happy. Like, you know, me.
Peter personifies what happens when you are a giver first - without necessarily the expectation of receiving something in return. Kudos, Peter - and thanks for hooking me up with all of the great ladies I'm interviewing for my upcoming book, Success & the Single Mom!

Coach's Challenge: Is it possible for you to identify a need and fill it in this way? Spend some time today looking for a way to be a giver ... the good news for you is you will receive unexpected goodies in return (that's the way of the Universe). Of course, if you know a writer, publisher, author or anyone a list like this might be helpful for, point them here.

The transformations have begun

Ten brave and fabulous women - all single moms - met last night at the gorgeous MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas ... the initial meeting of the Success & the Single Mom Program. Over the next 14 weeks (100 days) we'll be focusing on goals (setting and achieving), raising self-esteem, creating a support system, working smarter (so they have more time with their children) and much, much more.

Special Permission to Say NO ... Granted!

The majority of my clients have "nice person's disease" ... the desire to please others by saying "yes" ... "sure" ... "absolutely" no matter who is asking or when they're asking or what they're asking. Much of the time, its to their own detriment, and the detriment of their practices and businesses.

In case you need it, let me give you special permission to say "no" (or one of its cousins "not yet" or "how about the 12th of never?").

You are already busy using all 24 hours in your day, so taking on new projects and tasks is a matter of sorting, prioritizing and perhaps discarding. Sorting is the picking and choosing - you have a finite amount of time to execute tasks - you must look with a critical eye at each task prior to committing. Prioritizing is taking the chosen tasks and putting them in order of importance.

You must do these three things when a "new opportunity" for extra work comes your way: (1) separate false urgency from real urgency using your education and experience, (2) set expectations for beginning and completing the work based upon what you already have on your plate and the true urgency of the item, and (3) let go of your need to please the person(s) asking and do what is best for you, your practice/business and your life.

Its okay to delay other's desires for instant gratification and continue to stay focused on the task at hand.

Coach's Note: This is your life. Make it the way you want it. Keep in mind that you are the King or Queen of your domain - you are far from being at the mercy of your boss, partners and/or clients.

Progress vs. Perfection

A common theme among my clients these days (the type A, hair-on-fire types that I love) is their internal pressure to make whatever they are doing perfect, including the marketing and business development activities that we identify are necessary for future success. I heard this recently: "If you tell me to call 15 people a week, my competitive juices make me want to call 20. If I can't call 20, then I don't call any."

My answer is two-fold ... (a) put away the hammer. You don't serve anyone, least of all yourself, when you beat yourself up about something (anything), and (b) you're after progress, not perfection. If you have intention to call 15 people and yet the daily goings-on get in the way and you "only" call 5, those 5 count!

Remember: all of the actions you are taking are getting you closer to your goals. True, the more actions you take the faster you'll get there. And yet there is one other really important thing to keep in mind: its a great idea to remember to enjoy the journey!


We traveled down to Sedona for Father's Day weekend. So beautiful!

Do you have an Economy-Proof Business?

I'm hearing lots of sentences that include the words, "based on the current economy ..." followed a lot by "I'm not able to ... (find business, do business development, buy gas)."

Here are some ideas for creating a business that takes note of, but is not particularly negatively affected by the ups and downs of the market ...
  • Do the business creating activities that are proven to work. These will include marketing (ezines, phone calls, pitch meetings, follow-up, lunch & drink meetings, etc.), taking great care of your current clients, making the "ask." Determine your top 3 activities and do them every day.
  • Do them consistently, not perfectly. If you aim to be in touch with 5-15-25 warm prospective clients and strategic partners a week. Even if you only reach out to 1, that's more than you would have done before. (Note: 25 will get you where you want to go faster.)
  • Focus on the positive. I've turned off the news and started reading more. If you get what you focus on, focus on what you want to get! And, you already know gas is expensive so you can do without being reminded of that fact twice a day.
  • Look for your top 3 opportunities - the ones you were missing when you were really busy. Start taking advantage of those opportunities.
  • Remember, there is still business being transacted - you might as well be the one doing it!
Start there - soon you will be back in the swing of a busy business or practice.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

When was the last time you had a vacation?

When you took this vacation, was it an uninterrupted, relaxing, and recharging visit to a location of your choosing? With your family? While your office left you alone?

I didn't think so. Would you like to?

I have my clients do "the vacation exercise." At your earliest opportunity, get your spouse and family together - and grab your calendars. You'll want to do this pre-vacation scheduling for the next 12 months - so you'll need to know when your kids have time off from school.

Step 1 - Get Excited: Make a wish list of possible vacation (or staycation) destinations. Identify three (3) 7-10 days periods per year that are available for you to travel, as well as three or more 3-day weekends you can use to get away or stay in your own city to rest and recharge. I'm dying to visit Austin, TX, Vancouver and Chicago over long weekends ... my trips to Costa Rica and DisneyWorld will be week-long sojourns of delightfulness.

Step 2 - Get Organized: Decide "when" you want to go "where" and mark it on your calendar(s).

Step 3 - Commit: Purchase your plane tickets and make your hotel reservations. You can visit your intended destinations online and when appropriate, order a visitor's guide.

Step 4 - Set Expectations: Before going on each trip, notify our fellow partners, clients, colleagues and anyone else who needs to know: You will be gone. You will be unavailable. If they need to speak to someone regarding an emergency, tell them who is handling their case/account/order. Let them know when you'll be returning (so they can give you a ride home from the airport). By setting these expectations in advance, you'll be able to get away with the feeling of having a low-level of stress and a high level of enjoyment.

You will be better at your job if you take the time to rest and recharge. This will avoid burnout and give your gray matter much-needed time-off. While you're gone, be sure to send me a postcard (and have an adult beverage).

Congratulations, Lexi!

Star Student of the Week!
Way to go!
We are so proud of you.
Love always, Mom & Byron & Maggie & Liza