Grow Your Brand as You Grow

I used to be the "CEO's Secret Weapon" until I realized that my sweet spot ~ and favorite kind of client to work with ~ is the service-provider-business-owner. That brand was "given" to me, and I didn't think it through entirely, I just thought it sounded great and went with it. Oh, the days of (business) youth!

Fast-forward a few years, and I took careful inventory of my brand and what I wanted it to convey then and in the future. It was time for a change for me, and re-branding is a big job! As you reflect on your brand, what it stands for and what it conveys, be sure cast an eye on the future. You don't want to "brand yourself into a corner." After writing "The Successful Single Mom" I noticed many single parents who have branded themselves as single parents and wonder if that's one of the things standing in the way of them not being a single parent.

Experts say you should re-evaluate your branding every 2-5 years to ensure it is fresh and communicates clearly your offering. Your brand should also reflect what you want your company to grow into. I loved Tony Robbins naming his business Robbins Research International at the very beginning, all while he was still washing his clothes in the bathtub. All of these years later, he clearly is international.

As this year winds to a close, take some time to evaluate your brand and your branding message. Perhaps its time for an upgrade and expansion.

Release Your Inner Winner

Biggest Cupcake ever! on Twitpic

One of my best girlfriend's had a birthday this past week. I promised her I would make my "world-famous" cupcakes to add to this evening's celebration. While visiting Michael's craft store I found the mold that would make what I think is the world's largest cupcake. I did what I wouldn't have done even as recently as a year ago: I bought it and used it.

For various reasons, I have always used this mantra "I don't have the Martha Stewart gene." That meant I didn't cook, bake, sew, craft or coordinate. I created inner limitations, created a story about why they were true, and held onto them for dear life. Then one day, I woke up and realized I could probably do any of the things I wanted to do, if I just put my mind to it. I also realized my stories about why I couldn't do things weren't serving me, and decided to change them.

Since then, I have cooked hundreds of new recipes and even recently released a cookbook. I've baked breads, cakes, cupcakes and about three weeks ago, I made truffles (and they were incredibly easy, I might add). I've crocheted scarves and today I made this purse for my daughter which included my first use of fabric glue.

Mom made me a purse! on Twitpic

Your Inner Winner is just waiting for a chance to help you create new levels of success. By all means, give him (or her) a chance! Notice when you're limiting yourself and make sure you're absolutely right. If you're not sure, you have an opportunity to do something new and see what happens.

Note: My attempt to make popcorn balls failed miserably. I will try again in time for Halloween. Even if you don't brilliantly succeed at each of your new ventures, you'll learn a lot about yourself a maybe even find a few new sources of joy.

What Are You Excited About?

When was the last time you were excited about something? Vacation? A new business? A hobby? Have you heard the saying "Fortune follows the bold"? I believe that in order to create great results, you've got to get really excited. The sense of passion and purpose will get you out of bed every day and keep you on track when the going gets tough.

The best way to get excited is to get inspired. Inspire yourself by setting a huge goal.

Maybe you'd love to drive one of these:

Or hire your own personal pilot for one of these:

Or have truckloads of this for traveling, shopping and your future:

The clarity of knowing what you really want, combined with a burning to desire to have it, will create the force that pulls it to you. That force will be strengthened when you take strategic, intentional action toward your goals.

Believe you can have it. Believe you deserve it. Get excited about having it, using it, sharing it, riding in it and spending it. Just don't be shocked when you get it!

Control Your Mental Real Estate

***After you read this post, be sure to visit me at my new                                     home here.***

Without question, the most important element in determining one's success is their attitude. I've noticed its really easy to have a great attitude when things are going great. What about when you're experiencing challenges? Your potentially positive attitude comes from controlling your mental real estate: your most valuable property is that which lies between your two ears.

When you're on top of the world, it seems as though everything goes right. This can be attributed to "like attracts like." You may have heard the saying, "The best time to close a deal is when you've just closed a deal." You've reached a high vibration, or have gotten in a flow state that seemingly makes things happen. The opposite also seems to be true: you lose a client, then another, then another. What you're focusing on, you're getting ... positive or negative.

If you want to begin to, or continue to, "trend up," here are action steps to get you started:
  • Remember "be, do, have." You must be positive, then do the right things to have (get) what you want. To be enthusiastic, you must decide to be enthusiastic and fake it 'til you make it.
  • Shift and the world shifts with you. Decide today is going to be an awesome day. Expect it to be awesome. Sit in a field of positive expectation and wonder what great thing is going to happen next.
  • When something less-than-fantastic happens, you can respond or react. Choose to respond in whatever way is appropriate, then press the reset button on your attitude.
  • Dedicate yourself daily (hourly, if necessary) to expanding the scope of your positive attitude.
  • Think positive. Read positive. Listen positive. Talk positive. Affirm positive. Watch positive. Practice positive. Make yourself positive. Daily.

Events = Bottom-line Boosting ... or Not!

I recently attended a networking function last evening hosted by a service firm here. I was excited to attend because I do a lot of work with firms of this type and haven't yet done any work with this particular firm. For those of you who are planning your holiday parties and events, this post is especially for you!

The firm's idea to do an art show and get lots of people into their offices was, quite frankly, brilliant. The execution of their idea was poor at best. I'll dissect my observation and experience for your amusement and reading pleasure, and offer notes on what you can do in your future events to make them successful.

Let's start with the good stuff:
  • They invited everyone under the sun and lots of people showed up. As someone networking here for several year, I saw a few familiar faces and lots of new faces. A great sign.
  • There was a "reason" for the event: they hosted several artists and their artwork. There was a lot of artwork, it was well-placed and the prices were palatable. This made for conversation, or at least conversation starters.
  • They had a bartender serving a few drinks in the lobby and hors d'oeuvres (pupus for my friends in Hawaii) in a conference room at the other end of their offices. A great strategy to get folks moving around to see all they had to offer. Even the conference rooms were cleared out and artwork was displayed.

Right Actions = Right Results

The only way to really get what you want is to take action. These actions will ensure you get what you want, if you do enough of them and they are the right actions. If you want to increase revenue, you must get new business. In order to get new business, you must do the things that get new business.

You can break down getting new business to a few simple principles:
  • Recognize where past business has come from and mine those fields. If your main source of business is referrals from other people, who are those people? Are you rewarding them for their good behavior or taking them for granted? Are you making sure they have incentive to continue referring? Be sure to pay a referral fee and express gratitude each and every time, even if they refer someone to you every day.
  • Consistent and intentional marketing is key. Determine the number of marketing events (meals, coffees, drinks, networking events) you are committed to attending each week and calendar them. Make sure those events will yield direct or indirect new business. Action for the sake of checking a box is not what I'm talking about here: you must be intentional in pre-determining who you are going to sit in front of and be absolutely sure they are going to (in some way) get you closer to your goals.
  • Meet with the right people. Meet with your ideal potential clients and those who serve your ideal potential clients. Anything else you can classify as "social." You have plenty of time for social meetings if you have plenty of cash flow, stashed cash and future cash coming. If you don't, schedule social time for outside of work hours.
  • Make the ask. You have to a-s-k to g-e-t. If you sit in front of someone and don't at least ask if they are interested, you've lost a golden opportunity. They may say no, which is great! For every no, you're closer to a yes. (Note: Read the book Go for No! as soon as possible. It will change how you feel about "no" and help you achieve your goals even faster.)
  • Have enough hooks in the water. If you're relying on one or two potential "yes's" to make your week, month or year, your chances of failure are high. If you need two "yes's", get in front of, present to and ask as many potential target clients as you can for their business. With enough potential business on the horizon, you have a much higher chance of meeting and even exceeding your projections and goals.
  • The right actions will yield the right results, even if you experience a big of "lag time" in the process. In other words, you will not experience momentum for a bit of time after you commit to taking action and follow through on taking action. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Right actions will eventually yield right results. The worst thing that could happen is you end up with too much business. That's a problem everyone loves to have.
  • Stop doing what's not working. This includes time-wasters like surfing the internet, updating your Facebook status or whatever else is causing you to find yourself at the end of the day feeling like you haven't made progress. Notice what's not working and change your actions until you figure out what works. Then do that as often as you possibly can.
It is also important that you believe there is business to be had, you are qualified to have that business and you can have that business! You must have the conviction that its your potential client's lucky day if they say "yes!" to you. My old boss used to say, "Set yourself on fire and people will come for miles around to watch you burn!" Enthusiasm for, and commitment to, what you do is crucial. Be sure you're ready for work before you get there every day. It will yield just the right results you're looking for!

Is Your Work Your Play?

I'm on vacation. At the beach. It couldn't be more beautiful here on Harbour Island, in the Bahamas.On of my awesome clients loaned me his beach house for two full weeks ... this is the view from the porch where I'm doing most of my reading (thanks Matt!). Bliss, I say, bliss!

I've spent many hours at the beach.

... and many others by the pool. Reading, lots of reading: so far four actual books, two on my iPhone and I'm starting another one in a couple of hours when I head out to the pool again. Countless other hours I've either been eating or shopping or playing games or walking and running or napping. (I wish naps were an every day occurrence all the time!)

You clearly get the picture that I'm not lacking for a good time, yet I can't seem to stop "working." Matt Furey ( says it best when he talks about not needing time away from work because its so darn much fun. Spending lots of time jotting down ideas in my journal of things to do in the future, ideas for my clients and their futures. I don't feel like I'm working or wearing myself out. I feel invigorated, excited and energized. Is this how work allows you to feel? Do you have time "off" only to find yourself excited to keep doing what you do "for money?"

If not, perhaps its time to infuse some play into your work, or change your work altogether. If vacation is something you do so you don't "go postal" or to get away from the grind so you can relax, perhaps its time to reevaluate.

Coach's questions:
  1. Do I love what I do?
  2. How could I love what I do?
  3. How could I have fun, enjoy the process and still make an abundance of money?
That'll get you started. With all this time on my hands, you can bet there will be more to come.

Maybe You Don't Know What You Think You Know

I have a young, spunky client who is a promising sales person. Upon identifying his big goals, I knew he needed to closely manage his mental real estate. I recommended the book Think & Grow Rich, which he immediately read, loved and started putting to use.

I found out a few weeks later he gave the book to his boss, the CEO of his company, and he too loved the book. Not only that, this CEO's wife is reading the book and doing the exercises!

In an entire year of coaching, I assumed my CEO client was already too rich to have any interest in the book. How wrong I was! I've carried around my copy for more than 15 years, reading it and loving it the whole time ~ why wouldn't you? After all, its one of the reasons I believe I'm thriving in "our current economy."

So my recommendation is that you order this little gem of a book (along with some highlighters) and get to reading! I know you'll enjoy it.

To your massive success, happiness and abundance!

You want WHAT?

I got an email a few days ago from someone I haven't spoken to in over a year. A former client who had made two (post-coaching) phone appointments with me, then had failed to show up for the calls (without an apology for wasting my time, its important to note). Now he is wanting to meet any of the beneficiaries of the purchase of by Amazon (who wouldn't?) as they might be in need of his services and could I make an introduction? You know what? He's right. They are in need of his services.

But because of how he treated me, how could I possibly make that, or any, introduction? I did a post about being nice to everyone. As important as that is, another thing that's almost as important is to "Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty" (an excellent book by Harvey Mackay). When you need or want something, by all means reach out to those people you've stayed in touch with ~ those you've developed a relationship with and you've become friends. In business, we do business (and more) for people we know, like and trust ... also known as our friends. Don't reach out to people you haven't done that with. It will feel like you're wanting to use them, and they'll be right. In my opinion, its best to ask for introductions, requests and favors from those you’ve made it a point to care about before you need something.

Your action steps for application:
  1. Create a list of people you should, or want to, know better.
  2. Take them for lunch, coffee or drinks. Often. (If they don't live near you, reach out by phone and email, by mail or by sending articles or other information they might like.) These are called "touches" and they are what grow the relationship.
  3. Do whatever you can, whenever you can, for them. Be a giver.
  4. Ask for what you need, when you need it. Your friends will be more than happy to help.
Good luck & to your success!

Bless It to Get It

I had a conversation this weekend regarding home values here in Las Vegas. There are 1.2 million bank owned properties here, and those of us who still own our homes are most likely "under water" by a good 10-50%. Not an inspiring situation for sure. Here's the comment that disturbed me: "At least I still have a job and can make my payments like everybody else. It must be nice to not HAVE to work." This was in reference to someone we both know who has all of the cash they'll ever need. Sure it sounds like it would be nice, but what would you do with unlimited resources and not have anywhere you had to be? Trust me, you'd like it for about 15 minutes. (Note: The folks I know who are happiest who have plenty of cash are those who also have plenty of goals.)

What got me to thinking is that this particular person will never experience abundance, true abundance, because (a) they can't picture having anything better for themselves and (b) they resent the heck out of anyone who does. Both of these factors are going to keep them right where they are, indefinitely.

If you truly want anything: a bigger business, financial abundance or independence, a fantastic relationship, or even more free time, you have to be happy for those who do have it first. When you can be happy for someone who has what you want, then you're on the right path to having it yourself. The nex time you see someone driving "your" car, bless them and wish them well. Feel good about seeing it. Then take a few minutes and picture yourself starring in the movie where you already have what you want.

Then, watch what happens next.

"Bless those who have what you want, so that you soon can have what you want, too." ~Honoree

How is Your Follow Up?

I received this email note from one of my readers. The names have been changed to protect the identity of the company and its founder. Please note that this CEO is confirming what I've said before: you must follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Take this information to heart, and you may just prosper to greater heights sooner than you'd ever expect.


Hey Honoree!

Hope you're having a fantastic 2009! I just received your email after
getting off the phone with a person who wanted to know if I heard
about a local startup company (let's call them "XYZ Company"). I
thought you might be interested since it has to do with the power of

XYZ Company is a startup that approached me about 4 months ago. They
pitched their idea and I said, "Love it! Send me a formal proposal and
we'll go forward with it." Well, a week went by and I didn't hear back
from them. I followed up with a phone call and an e-mail. No
response. Another week went by and I attempted one last time to reach
them, no answer.

Uhhhhh, what's wrong with this picture? I'm the customer who WANTS TO
PAY and here I'm the one following up with THEM. They are wasting my
valuable time which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

I love start-ups!! But this year alone I've had three companies fail
to follow through on business that I am paying my dollars on.
THREE!!! Now, my company is growing even during a recession and I
attribute this success because we listen, follow up and deliver
outstanding quality in our work. I never expect our customers to
return calls or emails -- it's our job to follow up with them.

So next time someone asks you, "Honoree, how can I do better with my
business?" Ask them if they're following up with customers, proposals,
etc. It's amazing how many businesses fail to do this very simple
task. I'm also amazed how many come back a month or two later with
excuses. Excuses waste even more valuable time! In the words of
Nike, "Just Do It!"

LOL! OK, so enough ranting and raving. I just thought you might find this
info useful for your coaching and blog. Cheers to your success!

Your fan,

July is National Cellphone Courtesy Month

Jacqueline Whitmore wrote the following article, which she has graciously allowed me to share with you. Enjoy! ~Honoree


National Cellphone Courtesy Month is an event I founded in 2002 with the intent to encourage the increasingly unmindful corps of cellphone users to be more respectful of their surroundings by using some simple cellphone etiquette principles! Here are some tips you'll want to mention on the show:

1. Be all there. When you're in a meeting, performance, courtroom or other busy area, let calls go to voicemail to avoid a disruption. In some instances, turning your phone off may be the best solution.

2. Keep it private. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid discussing private or confidential information in public. You never know who may be in hearing range.

3. Keep your cool. Don't display anger during a public call. Conversations that are likely to be emotional should be held where they will not embarrass or intrude on others.

4. Learn to vibe. Use your wireless phone's silent or vibration settings in public places such as business meetings, religious services, schools, restaurants, theaters or sporting events so that you do not disrupt your surroundings.

5. Avoid "cell yell." Remember to use your regular conversational tone when speaking on your wireless phone. People tend to speak more loudly than normal and often don't recognize how distracting they can be to others.

6. Follow the rules. Some places, such as hospitals or airplanes, restrict or prohibit the use of mobile phones, so adhere to posted signs and instructions. Some jurisdictions may also restrict mobile phone use in public places.

7. Excuse yourself. If you are expecting a call that can't be postponed, alert your companions ahead of time and excuse yourself when the call comes in; the people you are with should take precedence over calls you want to make or receive.

8. Send a message. Use Text Messaging to send and receive messages without saying a single word.

9. Watch and listen discreetly. New multimedia applications such as streaming video and music are great ways to stay informed and access the latest entertainment. However, adjust the volume based on your surroundings in much the same way that you would adjust your ringer volume. Earphones are a great way to avoid distracting others in public areas.

10. Alert silently. When using your phone's walkie-talkie feature, send the person you're trying to reach a Call Alert before starting to speak. If you're around other people, turn off your phone's external speaker and use the vibration setting to minimize any disturbance and to respect your contact's privacy.

Jacqueline Whitmore has established herself as a prominent presence in the etiquette industry and is a frequent guest on television and radio talk shows. In addition to being the author of “Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work,” Jacqueline is the founder of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month and the founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach. You can learn more about Jacqueline by visiting her website at or following her at, or

Challenges, Schmallenges

What do you do in the face of a challenge? When you get bad news, or worse, you can "see" what's coming (or think you can).

Most people I know go into the "talk-about-it" / "worry-about-it" zone. They worry about it when they're not talking about it. Then they talk about it, which causes them to worry about it more. The Worry Zone is a potential death-trap and can not only paralyze you, it can stop progress being made on other projects or in other areas of your life.

The challenge with handling your challenges this way is that one tends to stay in that zone, versus getting "into the zone," which I define as being "on a roll." It is impossible to be a victor and at the same time a victim. You are either in charge of you challenge, or its in charge of you.

I can feel some of you saying, "Well, coach, you've never had my challenge." Betcha $50 I have, and I've had bigger. Try me. While you're having accounting cut me a check, try these:

Pay attention to what your focus rests on, what it keeps coming back to. If you have set powerful, excitement-inducing goals, and you consistently remind yourself of them, it is not possible to focus on your challenge.* These goals have got to be BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. The kind that get you out of bed in the morning and keep you working late into the evening. (Note to my Type-A folks: downtime, people, downtime!) Very often, the achievement of your BHAGs will mitigate or eliminate your challenge(s) all together.

Motion creates emotion. When you sit on the couch with a 6-pack of Krispy Kremes and watch TV, you're going to feel even worse. When you sit around a table at lunch with your colleagues and co-workers and talk about how bad it is, you're going to feel even worse. When you hear someone's tough story and you try to make them feel better by telling them how bad it is for you, you're going to feel even worse

  • Step 1: Stop talking about it. 
  • Step 2: Make a list of all the things you need to do to make your BHAGs happen and get-to-movin'! When you get into motion, you create positive emotions. We are creatures that get happy when we feel like we're making progress. 
  • Step 3: Talk to people who are up to big things themselves. These are the people who don't have time to talk about anything else (they might even be someone who can help you, too). Find someone who has 3 BHAGs and help them achieve them while they are helping you achieve yours.

*You will need to address your challenge, without a doubt. Pretending its not there will most likely cause it to get bigger (penalties & interest, anyone?). Address it, get the help you need from the right folks, and take the necessary action steps to eliminate, change or accept it. Then get back to your BHAGs as quickly as possible.

Note: Don't marinate in your bullshit. One effective way to address your challenge is to process it ~ meaning, talk about it with someone who will stay "in solution" with you. I'm always excited when my clients call me to talk through (vs. about) a challenge. We're quickly able to drill down the challenge to its basic essence, make an assessment for what needs to be done to solve or eliminate it (including action steps), and get them in a better frame of mind. Make sure you have someone in your corner that will listen objectively and help you to move forward in the right direction as quickly as possible.

If you are concerned you won't survive this particular challenge, you will. Don't believe me? Just look back over your life and make a list of all the times you had major challenges. If you're reading this, you're still here. You're capable of amazing things, so go for your BHAGs and let your challenges know who's the boss!

Single Mom Revolution: Quest to Reach 100,000 Single Moms

Tomorrow begins the Single Mom Revolution ~ and with it, the Single Mom Revolution Radio Show. My co-host and I are on a mission to change the way single moms see themselves, and the way the world sees them. You may know her as Modern Single Momma, and now she's Modern Married Momma. She's Morgan Day Cecil and she's fabulous! See what she has to say about our Revolution here.

We have lots of plans for single moms ~ we want them happy and successful and wealthy and healthy ~ right now! Tomorrow (6/23, 10 am PT/1 pm ET) we're launching The Single Mom Revolution Radio Show. We're having powerful, successful single moms (and former single moms) on the show and we're committed to change, to empowering, enlightening, inspiring, motivating and transforming you, our fellow single mom. Our first guest is Ms. Single Mama, Alaina Sheer. She's just amazing and we're going to talk to her about her single-mom-fabulousness and what's coming up for her.

There's 11 million of us, and we're a force to be reckoned with. Are you in?

(Not a single mom? Pass this on to one you know ... at your office, church or in your neighborhood. Thanks in advance!)

"Brilliant Book" Review: Tribes, Seth Godin

Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us
by Seth Godin

Mr. Godin cranks out great books in scores. I've read almost all of his work, and this is the book that inspired me to take immediate action. I'm going to (continue to) create my own tribe and pass on his book.*

He defines a tribe as, "a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, or connected to an idea." We are all meant to be part of a tribe (or several). You are in a tribe if you have a shared interest and you communicate with others who have that same interest. You might be a Dead Head or use only Apple products. This resonates for me: I run with my iPod, talk on my iPhone, and work on my MacBook Pro. If there was an Apple car, I'd drive it!

Anyone in business should develop their own tribe, according to Seth. Not only does he make a strong argument for this, he tells you exactly how to do it. I am truly inspired and have already taken the first steps in my process. If you want to expand your company, business or practice, this book is truly leading-edge and will give you the edge as you move forward. You can order it here, and here's a link to his blog. Enjoy!

*If you want to a chance to read Tribes, now's your chance! Seth's call-to-action was to pass on his book. I have my copy (courtesy of my recent trip to ready to give to an enthusiastic reader. Leave a comment on my blog here for your chance to receive my copy with my compliments.

Turn it OFF!

This holiday weekend, you might be tempted to catch up on your email, return phone calls, clean your office or do any number of a zillion things.

Why not try something new: turn it all off ~ become un-tech-tethered, just for the three-day weekend. Turn off the phones, computers, fax machines and TVs (unless you rent a really fabulous movie). Read a book, get a massage, have a BBQ, order take-out, take a hot bath ... do what nourishes your soul and makes you feel amazing.

The work will wait! YOU can't wait ... your laughter is stuffed, your joy level is low, and your stess level is off the charts. Maybe your family is feeling a little neglected (or maybe you are!).

You have two choices: arrive at Tuesday morning feeling the way you feel now or arrive at Tuesday morning feeling rested, refreshed and ready to rock the world in your own special way.

Choose well. Blessings to you! Have a great weekend. :)

Do It or Delegate It?

Regardless of someone’s position, I’ve noticed each and every person neglects to delegate the many simple and time-consuming tasks that are keeping them running from morning until night, while feeling ineffective and highly stressed.

Coach’s Insight: You won’t miss the money, you’ll always miss the time!

Here’s a simple tactic to help you get a handle on your time. It makes perfect sense to pay someone else $15 an hour to cut the grass (wash the car, clean the bathroom, make copies, run errands) if you can’t stand cutting the grass. This is especially true since you make far more than $15 per hour! I have uncovered many high-level CEOs actually making their own copies, sending faxes and going to the supply room for more paper clips!

The solution to making a long-term shift in how you execute your day (especially if, right now, you’re not in agreement with me) is to do some simple math. You make $200 per hour for your services – divided by 60 minutes, making each and every minute worth $3.33. Your assistant makes $18 per hour, or 30 cents per minute. The same five minutes you’re making copies (costing you $16.65) instead of asking your assistant to do it ($1.50) is wasting $15.15. Not a big number, right? This is, I’m sure, the amount of loose change in your car. Stay with me. Waste five minutes every hour, eight hours a day, all year and you’ve wasted …$30,300. Or just about what you’re paying your assistant.What!? You don’t have an assistant? I’ll address that in a future blog …Its your assistant’s job to … um, assist you! If you take a moment to reflect on each and every task you’re doing, I would guess a number of them include activities you could delegate to someone else. I’ve discovered the lion’s share of executives are wasting about 30-40% of their time. How about you?

Spend fifteen minutes making a list of all of the tasks you’re doing that your assistant can do (so you can focus on revenue generation) and immediately begin to delegate those tasks. The question to ask yourself is: “Do I need to do this or can someone else do it?” Trust me, in the long run, you won’t miss the money. You will be so glad you’re no longer doing those tasks -- you’ll be more effective and efficient, which means you’ll make much more money (and have the time to enjoy it!).

Fire Yourself Up!

There are lots of opportunities for those who have a stash of cash ("cash is king") or lots of operating capital. But if you're not a big corporation with tons of extra cash in your coffers, or a small-to-medium sized business with six to twelve months of reserves, what is your next best move?

Great news: you have lots of opportunities, too! The first thing to do is get your head screwed on right! Said another way, give yourself a massive positive attitude adjustment. You win the game of success between your ears first! Once done, you will notice the opportunities that surround you.It isn't always easy, however, to put on a happy face when those around you are still talking about how real estate is down 40% and lots of companies are laying people off. (Newsflash: Lots of companies are growing and hiring!)

Attitude help:
You may not feel like it now, and that's ok. Just feel the fear, frustration and procrastination and do it anyway.

To your success!

Promises, Promises

My husband and I had a discussion today about hearing, "I can do that, no problem! You want the moon, I can give it to you! You want it now, here it is." But when the dust settles, the results speak for themselves, and are they pretty? Do your clients walk away from dealing with you feeling like they've gotten far more than they've paid for, or far less?

You may feel like it gets you a shot to promise more than you might be able to deliver. You may feel like your office rent or home mortgage payment depends on you saying whatever needs to be said to get the job, the retainer or the contract. Its the big picture, the long-term vision, that should guide your day-to-day decisions when dealing with prospective clients and the current ones you want to keep.

As we all rely on word-of-mouth to keep our businesses going strong, here are some tips to keep you in the black and in your client's good graces. You never know when someone you want to work with has someone you've already worked with chirping in their ear. Those conversations can make or break you (trust me, they already have and they will continue to!).
  • Set reasonable expectations and provide regular reports or check-ins to make sure you're on track. Make any mid-course corrections to keep everyone happy.
  • Under-promise so you can over-deliver. No matter how quickly you can get that report done, give yourself an extra 24-to-48 hours so you look like a super star when you deliver it "early."
  • If you can't do something, say so. Say what you can do, and then do that (plus 10% more).
  • Take responsibility when it doesn't go as planned and do whatever has to be done to make it right with your client. Period. Your reputation depends on it.
The opportunity here is to set yourself up to win, up front. This will set you up to win for the long term. Here's to your success!

Lexi 5/10/09

I joined EO of LA at for a tour of their corporate HQ today. Wow! Their corporate culture is really cool ~ and by cool I mean it endorses the spirit of those who are employed there. It was very apparent that each person is allowed to express themselves and are encouraged to be involved in the success of the company. It was truly inspiring!

Do Well by Doing Good ... Example A

Morgan Siler, Founder, Editor and Publisher of Single Parent Magazine chose me as one of her Who’s Who of Single Parents on the Web: The Community Builders. Read about it here.

There are 11 million single moms in the U.S. … and I wrote and recently released the book, The Successful Single Mom. As I know all too well, being a single parent is the toughest job there is, and there’s a community of support on the web here at that’s just for them.

I’m an example of what happens when you do well by doing good in the world. Where is your opportunity to do that, starting today?

To all of you who have asked about the book and how its going, its going GREAT (and if you haven’t ordered your copy, now is a great time! :) )! I’m doing a national show in Atlanta next week and there will be lots more press to come. Thank you for reading and for all of your support.

What {Not} To Do in Business

I have a big project I'm working on (read: goal and/or obsession) which will require me to use the products and services of many people. These people stand to make some pretty coin from my purchases. As I move about the world, I am constantly sorting, sizing up and vetting the folks I meet because I might need them ~ or my clients or contacts might need them. As I've been interacting with a few of these people, they have either demonstrated "what not to do" in business or "exactly what to do." (To protect the innocent, I am going to be very general in this post. If you think I'm talking about you, I probably am.)

Rule #1: Be nice! (a.k.a. Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) I have a seven-figure project coming up in the next few months and I will need to hire someone to help me. I met someone who looked great on paper, came with a recommendation, and seemed perfect. When I called her to suggest we get together for lunch or coffee, she said she just didn't have the time. In fact, she insulted my ladies luncheon she was invited to participate in as a guest. What's 20% of $1 million? Just checking.

Rule #2: Be nice! (a.k.a. Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) My husband and I visited an upscale store today. We were taking pictures of the items we intended to come back and purchase. They threw us out for taking pictures. What's the general retail mark-up these days? Anyone heard anything about a recession?

Rule #3: Be nice! (a.k.a. You guessed it: Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) I have known someone for several years I thought for sure I would use when the time was right. This person, while normally congenial, was rude and dismissive of me. I won't be using them on this project, either ... as a matter of fact, the person I found as a replacement is fantastic and I'm already really enjoying our relationship. I've already made a referral that stands to make them tens of thousands of dollars in addition to what they'll make when I press the go button.

What to think about doing instead: The new person came by with chocolate covered strawberries just to introduce themselves to me and let me know they are of service. Oh my goodness! Fantastic! Not only can I not wait to close the deal, I can't wait to refer them more business!!

Or try this: We went to Bloomingdale's today. I'm studying French and the lady selling us our stuff is from Marseilles, France. So I spoke to her in my limited and broken French. She was wonderful and gracious and told me she is there every weekend if I want to come back and practice. Now I have two reasons to go back: lots of stuff to buy and French to practice.

The moral of the post is: Be nice! Even if you are in a bad mood, are having a bad day, the dog died, and the kids are failing math, be as gracious as you possibly can. You never know when being gracious is going to help you do well by doing good.

Exceptional Business Courtesy

I got a phone message last week: "Honoree, I think I have some good news for you. Please call me back." I did exactly that, about 10 minutes later (note: I'm never too busy for good news!). The caller was my merchant services rep, Dena. She had been reviewing my account and found a way for me to save between 20-25% on my monthly transaction and processing fees. This would amount to a savings anywhere between $100 and $1000 or more, depending on the month and the number and amount of charges I run through.

Its no accident I've been working with Dena for more than a decade. This is the third time in that time she has renegotiated my fees, without my having to ask. She then called me with the good news and the simple and easy 1-2-3 steps I needed to do to take advantage of the new savings.

When was the last time you reviewed your clients list and looked for ways to (a) save them money or (b) make them more money? How are you proactively serving your clients while simultaneously protecting your own livelihood?

Now is the time to set time aside to do just that. Block out an hour or two this week to identify the top 20% of your clients ~ and then do everything you can for them. You will be pleasantly surprised about what it does for you. This is a true win-win situation and those are the best kind.

Be Proactive or Pay the Price

I recently said good-bye to my mobile phone provider of a dozen years. Throughout the years I found myself an unsatisfied client more than once. During my most recent experience, the message from customer service was: "You're under contract. Nothing we can do. Sucks to be you." As soon as I could, I let the contract run out and switched to the iPhone and AT&T. (Don't write me about your bad experiences with AT&T, I'm sure they screw up, too. Having an iPhone outweighs bad customer service in my mind at this time.)

In your client's mind, once they say, "I think I'm going to change/quit working with you," they have already made up their mind. That you don't provide good value for the money they pay you. That you don't provide good (excellent) customer service. That you don't care. (Or they've run out of money. That's another issue entirely.)

If you currently have clients you like and want to keep, brainstorm more than 20 ways you can make them Raving Fans. They should be blissed out excited they have the opportunity to be working with you. They should be your marketing department telling everyone how fantastic you are and that if they aren't happy with their current provider of your type of service, they must immediately, if not sooner, switch to you. If they aren't, you've got room for improvement and theoretically a little time to get it done.

Don't Be a Turtle!

Today could be the best business day of your life! It just depends on how you're spending it. I'm observing lots of people "being turtles" (crawling into their shells and waiting for the storm to pass and the noise to stop). What does that mean for you? They aren't making cold calls, follow-up calls, setting appointments or pounding the pavement. Problem is, when the storm passes, those turtles will be poised for ... exactly nothing! What are you poised for?

On the flip side, there are those that are creating their futures right now! Are you one of them? Are you a 1%-er? Are you out there MSH (making sh*t happen), eating the low-hanging fruit, capitalizing on opportunities and setting yourself up for success when the sun comes out again?

Now is the time to downshift into 4th gear, grit your teeth and go for it! There are insurance policies being bought, homes being listed and sold, wealth being invested and estate plans being created. Business is still being transacted and if you're in the right place at the right time, in front of your potential clients and strategic partners on a regular basis, they will think of you when their time is right.

Be Ready to Pay

I got a call a few days ago from someone who is venturing out into executive coaching. We have a mutual friend who suggested she reach out to me to ask for any advice I might have to give her. Not that I don't want to help, and I am always surprised when someone wants to know my methods, insights and strategies but doesn't offer to pay for my time. We all have a finite amount of time, and it's only polite to be aware of that before you ask for something, right?

I've had this happen a few times and I'm not only surprised, but confused. I would never call a competitor and ask them to help me compete with them. Again, not without paying their standard fee.

My mom always said, "Never ask anyone to do something for free that they do for money." You can ask your friend who is an attorney for advice on their yoga practice, and a yogini for legal advice, but be prepared to pay the yogini and the attorney for advice in their respective fields. (This advice is out the window if that person is your very best friend, and only if they are your very best friend.)

Note: depending on their schedules, these pros may offer to give you a few free nuggets. Just in case this happens, have a few quick, specific questions for them to answer. If the answer turns out to be long and complicated, send them some cash or a gift card anyway.

Get it Right!

Don't you just hate it when people mangle your name? Me too -- along with just about everyone else on the planet. Why? Because nothing sounds as sweet to our ears as the sound of our own name. Even in a crowded room, we'll hear our name and turn to see who called it.

Say a person's name correctly and often, and you'll have his attention. Contort or truncate it beyond recognition and you'll lose him, maybe for life. I know someone isn't paying attention when they call me Honor-eeee instead of Honor-ay. It makes me want to not pay attention to them!

Getting someone's name right is one of the simplest ways to establish a good business relationship, yet so many people mess it up. Don't be one of them. Instead, take the time to listen and observe. It's a moment very well spent.

Here are some suggestions on how to do this:

• Take careful note of how the other person introduces herself (read: listen). If she says her name is "Elizabeth," call her "Elizabeth", not "Liz". If she says her name is "Liz", don't call her "Lizzy". Pay attention to whether someone's name is Kim or Kimberly. If you're not sure, ask!

• Repeat any unusual pronunciations you hear to make it stick in your mind. If the other person hands you a business card, make a note on the back of their particular articulation so that you can say it correctly the next time you talk to that person.

• Don't assume familiarity. Call the other person by his or her formal title until they invite you to call them by their first name. If you have difficulty doing that, if "Mrs. Skrybailo" just isn't rolling off your tongue, no matter how hard you try, for example, ask permission to use the first name. Never assume it.

One of the most important things which determine success in business is attention to detail. Make sure you've got it!

Work-Life Balance Is Truly Possible!

Balance is your natural way of being ... even when life is full of chaos!

Despite the worldwide quest for Work-Life Balance, very few have found an acceptable definition of the concept. Here's a proven definition that will positively impact your everyday value and balance starting today.

Let's first define what work-life balance is not.

Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.

Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.

There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.
However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity.

Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. Achievement and Enjoyment answer the big question "Why?" Why do you want a better income…a new house…the kids through college…to do a good job today…to come to work at all?

Most of us already have a good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. But let's explore the concept of Enjoyment a little more. As part of a relevant Work-Life Balance definition, enjoyment does not just mean "Ha-Ha" happiness. It means Pride, Satisfaction, Happiness, Celebration, Love, a Sense of Well Being … all the Joys of Living.

Achievement and Enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can't have one without the other, no more than you can have a coin with only one side. Trying to live a one sided life is why so many "Successful" people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they should be.

You cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievement and Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the “As Soon As Trap,” the life dulling habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment “as soon as….”

I'd say, "You know, I just want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day, for the rest of my life… I'm going to have a pretty good life." I think that's true for all of us. Life will deliver the value and balance we desire when we are achieving and enjoying something every single day, in all the important areas that make up our lives. As a result, a good working definition of Work-Life Balance is:

Meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment in each of my four life quadrants: Work, Family, Friends and Self.

Ask yourself now, when was the last time you Achieved AND Enjoyed something at work? What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends? And how recently have you Achieved AND Enjoyed something just for you?

Why not take 20 minutes on the way home from work and do something just for yourself? When you get home, before you walk in the door, think about whether you want to focus on achieving or enjoying at home tonight. Then act accordingly when you do walk in the door.

At work you can create your own best Work-Life Balance by making sure you not only Achieve, but also reflect the joy of the job, and the joy of life, every day. If nobody pats you on the back today, pat yourself on the back. And help others to do the same.

When you do, when you are a person that not only gets things done, but also enjoys the doing, it attracts people to you. They want you on their team and they want to be on your team.

Simple concepts. Once you focus on them as key components of your day, they are not that hard to implement. So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care about, every day for the rest of your life.

Related Articles:

How to Get Everything You Really Want {Honorée}

Tall Order! is a book that gets to the point. It helps you pinpoint what is going to get you the results you want, starting right now. Jeffrey Gitomer says, "Don't let the size fool you -- this book is compact dynamite! Buy this book!"

Honorée Enterprises, LLC. turns service providers into rainmakers, average producers into rock-stars, and dreams into reality. For more information on how we can specifically help you or your organization, click hereYou can read all about Honorée here.

Now What?

I have a couple of suggestions for those of you who are experiencing more fear than personal power these days.

First, move it! It is impossible to be stuck in fear when you are rolling from meeting to lunch to appointment to meeting. You'll be too busy creating the results you want to be focused on the results you haven't been getting, or a worst case scenario that could be.

Second, watch what's going in (to your mind) and coming out (of your mouth). Whatever you're focusing on is expanding. Turn off the news, walk away from conversations about "how bad it is" and (re)discover the things that get - and keep - you motivated, excited, and focused on the future you want. I'll post some ideas later in the week to get you going. Here's some food for thought ... Catherine Ponder, a Unity Minister I have studied for almost 20 years, says this, "Turn the great energy of your thinking upon ideas of plenty, and you will have plenty, regardless of what people about you are saying or doing." Now is a great time to put this into practice.

I had a conversation with a fellow coach today and three things stuck in my mind from the conversation: (a) those spouting "positivity and predicting good things" are spending some time under the bus {I can relate}, (b) there are lessons here for each of us, if we are open to them and (c) there are opportunities available, if we keep our eyes open and are willing to adjust our plans (just in case what's happening now wasn't something we saw in our crystal balls).

Reality check: what's happening is what's happening, that is the truth. How you respond or react is up to you, and will determine what story you'll be telling about it in the future.

My thoughts and best wishes are with you.

Your Current Economy is Up to YOU

Fortune follows the bold, not those who say, "Based on the state of the current economy, I/we can't ..." 

I have several clients who started a new 100-day Action Plan at the beginning of the year, and based on their positive results, if I didn't hear (almost twice a day) about "the economy" I wouldn't know "we" were experiencing challenging times.

This proves to me that those who (a) have a plan and (b) work that plan get good results. Period.

What I do know for sure is that those who are sitting around telling stories and making excuses are missing their opportunity to get into momentum. They are just missing opportunities, period. Momentum happens when you start taking action anyway, and just a few weeks later the popcorn starts popping.

When the evidence you see right in front of you contradicts what you really want, you must make a conscious daily decision to continue to move in the direction you want to go. You must have a burning desire and a clear outcome - and settle for nothing less!

Go for it.

New Time + Old Activities = Success

I didn't get a chance to post yesterday due to some excitement around here. I attended a meeting and heard something there I've been hearing a lot lately, "I'm here networking and upping my marketing efforts because for a long time I didn't have to. Now I do, so here I am." The days of living off the fat of the land seem to be over for the time being and folks are getting back to work. Its interesting to watch!

I have two suggestions, one for now and one for later.

For now: revisit what brought you business and got you into momentum in the first place. You probably did things like: attend networking meetings, write articles, speak to groups, meet people for lunch or coffee or even tour their offices, follow-up on every lead, make a consistent solid effort, and be extra friendly.

For later: when the economy is better and there's cash flow galore, keep doing the above.

Note: I have several clients who prospered like crazy in the past several years. I suggested they do a few things: (a) save some of the cash, (b) row their boat with both oars [oar 1: marketing, oar 2: servicing clients], (c) work smart, (d) work consistently, and (e) repeat. Now those clients are in the catbird's seat. They have reserves (which equal peace of mind), they have a steady flow of business and they are optimistic and focusing on what's going to happen in the future ... and they are expecting great things.

You can, too. Go for it!

Shift and the World Shifts With You

I started a 100-Day program with a group of professional ladies last Monday. Each Friday, they are meant to fill out a Weekly Progress Sheet. This is the sheet that helps the coach (me) coach them effectively and keeps them on track. Several of the ladies got my one-time courtesy call reminding them to do their homework. Oh, the stories they told! I didn't do my homework because ... I was in a meeting, my kids were sick, I got distracted, I'm busy doing something else, I forgot, blah blah blah.

Here's the notice: what you're experiencing in your life and business is in direction proportion to what you're making happen, allowing to happen, focusing on and creating a story about. If you have clients that aren't returning your calls, whose call haven't you returned? If you aren't getting new business, what product or service have you put off getting? Are you focusing on the possibilities or the challenges? If you're having lots of challenges, I bet $50 you're talking about those challenges, making them bigger and bigger.

The new year is one of many perfect times (along with Mondays and birthdays that end in zero) to press your reset button and decide to do something new. Get yourself organized, argue for the possibilities, take action when you'd rather update your status on Facebook, call the person you're sure is going to say no and ask for their business anyway. As you shift, the world will shift with you and rise up to meet you.

Give it a try. Watch the cool things that happen!