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August 2019

[50 ROCKS: FUNNY] Channeling my Inner “Rocky Balboa”

I’ve got to admit, delivering keynote speeches is an absolute blast. Nothing is more fun than connecting with a room full of strangers and turning them into fans and friends.  But how?

Inspiration comes on its own timeline, it seems. I was challenged to present my “maximizing your membership” talk to about 75 members of my Women’s Golf Association on NJ. But honestly, we needed something fun to spark their energy after filling their bellies with the delicious brunch buffet. 

When in doubt, use a fun theme to drive home your motivational message.

Our season is 15 weeks long, and it reminded me of my younger days when boxing matches were 15 rounds.  And my all-time favorite movie was ROCKY.  My dad’s name is Rocky. My son’s middle name is, too. So why not channel my inner Rocky Balboa to teach these ladies how to plan to “go the distance” and get “knockout results” with their participation in our golf season?

So yes, I came out to the ROCKY THEME “Gonna Fly Now” — wearing pink boxing gloves.

 Silly? Perhaps. But I had them laughing and smiling and engaging in my program…hanging with me as I had fun storytelling to motivate them to action. 

In case you’re curious, here is my action plan:

15 WEEKS to KNOCKOUT RESULTS

  1. Know your “WHY”: We’re all busy, so WHY are YOU excited to participate? Don’t just show up without appreciating what else you’ve given up to be here. 
  2. Set Lofty Goals: Regardless of your playing ability, it’s important to set goals and strive to improve. For example, my goals are to average 18 putts per 9 holes and to break 100 this year. One might wish to break a new scoring barrier, drive the ball 200 yards, etc. But if you don’t have a target then how do you know where to aim??
  3. Make a Plan:  Scheduling makes things real. Commit your intentions to your calendar so that you carve out time just like any other business appointment.  
  4. Practice Makes Perfect: Robb Gibb, my ace putting coach, says I should practice my tempo, swing path and aim every day. Even 10-15 minutes of rehearsing the swing motion in my family room will help develop muscle memory. It’ll also ensure that I don’t waste time standing over the ball during real play.
  5. “Meet up” w/ New Friends:  This season will be about expanding my circle and NOT playing with my same foursome all the time. I love them to death but mixing things up will allow for making new friendships and should actually improve my game. 
  6. Play New Courses: Our league offers a wide variety of places to play. I’m trying a new, hillier course at Darlington. Fingers crossed.
  7.  Pace Of Play/Relaxed Rules:  Unless you compete and keep a GHIN handicap, it’s more important to have fun and keep the game moving swiftly along. Hence, I love the relaxed rules for our general, beginner leagues.
  8. Walk on or Sub:  Enjoy the luxury of trying new courses as available.
  9. Be Social: Comment, Like & Share: We’ve grown social engagement over 200%
  10. Attend a Board Meeting
  11. Join a Road Trip
  12. Enter WGANJ Cup
  13. Get Golf Healthy
  14. Reward Yourself
  15. Enjoy the Journey

[50 ROCKS: CARING] Thanks, MOM!

My mom is a retired nurse, a techno-grandma who shares joy and monitors my kids’ social media accounts, the retired nurse, Eucharistic minister and bereavement counselor at our church. As I told her today, she sets the bar high and gave me some huge shoes to fill. I hope I can be half as unselfish, caring and dependable as she’s been throughout my life. 

But the celebration made me think about the MANY kinds of “moms” who bless my life. My kids’ godparents, the leaders of my favorite golf league, friends who proudly served as my children’s “other mother” whether they needed an emotional cheerleader, a ride home when I was unavailable, or a kick in the ___.

Indeed, it takes a village to nurture our families – the one we were born into and those we’ve chosen to bless our lives.

I still value the wisdom of my early mentors: strong ladies (and men) who took a vested interest in showing me how to be successful and juggle a family at the same time. I’m blessed today with the love and support of a team who support my career, my personal and and spiritual journey: I’ve become a more successful, generous and abundant leader by learning how to accept support and embrace the ebb and flow of my efforts with grace and ease. 

Birth doesn’t make you a MOM: Caring about others with a vested interest in their success does.

It’s much more than a gender label: MOMS are those special people in our lives who:

1) LEAD by example (do the RIGHT thing regardless of who’s watching)

2) CARE about others (make decisions that benefit the group over time, not just a yes to appease you now with dire consequences later)

3) NURTURE (lend a hand, a shoulder or serve as a sounding board)

4) NOURISH (use the best fuel your body needs to act and think at peak performance)

5) MENTOR (gives great advice and then set tracks for you to run on)

WHO are the special “MOM” figures that positively influence your personal and business decisions? What life lessons have they passed along that you still implement with pride today? PLEASE TAG them and tell them why they ROCK below…

Tell me about YOUR favorite MOM story, and how you’ve been inspired to pass along a legacy.

Pat

50 ROCKS: Put the AUDIENCE at the HEART of your promotions

Want to calculate sweet success in your sponsorship marketing? Treat your prospects like Valentine’s: put their needs FIRST, give them what they desire and make it memorable.

My travels to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando let to global collaboration, including a guest blog in today’s Valentine’s Day edition of Golf Business Monitor. My new friend (thanks to Linked Golfers group), Hungarian Blogger Miklos Breitner of Golf Business Monitor, shared my expertise with his audience of golf club and association owners, managers and marketers. Our goal: share best practices on how to acquire new sponsors and retain existing ones

All ships rise with the tide: ollaborate with like-minded partners to grow reach, share success? #boomertips #sponsorship

Sports continue to dominate sponsorship spending. Yet IEG’s 2015 Sponsorship Spending Report1 suggests that sponsorship marketers have “reason to be optimistic but must be prepared to fight harder to maintain and grow revenue and return from partnerships.”

Winners in the sponsorship game must indeed put the audience at the heart of all efforts, and use digital tools to maximize impact.

So how do you bring unique experiences, quantify the opportunity and ensure measurable, repeatable success?

1) Understand THEIR “WHY” (the decision maker AND company’s pain or promise)

2) Identify what success looks like (awareness? trial? sales? retention?)

3) Offer innovative, turnkey solutions (easy implementation and reporting)

4) QUANITIFY the VALUE of the investment as it relates to THEIR NEEDS. For example, reverse engineer a sponsor’s investment to reflect MANY facets of their exposure to your coveted members.

  • Leverage member data to specify how your demographics align with their sweet spot
  • How many “touch points” will you deliver over the year via online and offline efforts, eg
    • Digital (PR, paid ads, social media, CRM/email)
    • Events, contests, educational opportunities
    • Newsletters, signage, print
    • Contests, cross-promotions

5) REPORT MEASURABLE, REPEATABLE SUCCESS in a format they can easily share with upper management or their board of directors

Case in point: the Women’s Golf Association of NJ used this “audience-focused” approach across online and offline to grow from 375 to 463 members last year while doubling engagement and participation rates. We attracted new relationships and substantial support from prominent organizations including the Barclays/PGA Tour, LPGA ShopRite Classic, USGA, PGA Tour Superstore and more.

Remember, every deal should demonstrate VALUE: Return on awareness, engagement, participation and satisfaction. Let this be the first step in your five-year renewal strategy. Think about “what’s in it for ALL” and have fun along the way.

50 ROCKS: Life is too short NOT to LAUGH OUT LOUD

My father was a funny, funny man who had more than 600 people at his funeral. Yes, Rocky was indeed bigger than life (literally, at nearly 400 pounds). While he was dying a slow, 6-year death, he made sure to remind us of the importance of laughter. And not to take yourself too seriously. If that included break-dancing in his underwear on the kitchen floor, so be it.

He passed 15+ years ago, yet all my cousins talk about was how funny my father was. He is STILL a legend, and rightly so. I miss his antics and his advice but I try to carry on with his sarcastic humor. Life has not been easy lately and the laughter has become even more necessary.

Apparently, as my dad used to say, “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. And apple trees don’t grow pears.” I’m one of those people who prefers hugs over handshakes, and I tell my family and friends that I love them often. Hopefully, they’d agree that I SHOW them often, too.

Once you penetrate my inner circle of friends, you’re stuck with me for life. You’ve been warned!

My friends stem back to kindergarten and high school and college. My mentors include supervisors from my internships back in the 80s. Every one of those people will likely tell you that I work hard, play hard and laugh a LOT through it all. My friends know that they are stuck with me forever. Yes, literally. And I’m the one they call when they need a good laugh or a snarky chuckle to get through a bad day.

In the workplace, I’ve found it’s important to add a little humor and silliness to make the most of a team’s morale. There’s nothing better than nailing deadlines (kicking some strategic and creative booty) while you’re actually having FUN.

Sure, humor has its place and timing to stay positive vs disruptive. But we spend more hours working than with our families – so why the heck NOT enjoy the journey?

Humor is my armor, my defense mechanism. Sarcasm and laughter are how I cope with stress. Rather than run and hide, I tend to laugh in the face of fear (laughing at myself mostly, but I laugh out loud nonetheless.)

RIP Robin Williams and Joan Rivers Click to Tweet.


2015 was a brutal year of loss in the world of comedy: Robin Williams. Joan Rivers. But rather than dwell on what we’ve lost, I’m choosing to take their passing as a reminder to keep things in perspective.

7 life lessons I’ve learned from Robin Williams and Joan Rivers: (Click to tweet)

  • LAUGH OUT LOUD, it’s good for the spirit
  • Don’t take yourself too SERIOUSLY: you’ll have better days and worse days
  • NEVER SUFFER ALONE: share the misery and the smiles. Both are cleansing
  • Enjoy your moments in the SPOTLIGHT and soak up the cheers; they don’t last forever either
  • Laugh WITH others, not AT them
  • FAMILY is EVERYTHING: whether they are blood or the family you’ve chosen
  • APPRECIATE every day: Carpe Diem!

Thank you, Joan and Robin. RIP.

Pat

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50 Rocks: 5 HOT ways TRENDSETTERS help your business BOOM (and why it’s OK to FASCINATE the world by just being YOU)

A cornerstone of my 50 ROCKS journey is about embracing the MANY facets of ourselves that help us shine (and why we should recognize the danger zones in our personalities to live our truest passion). It is dialing up those positives, accepting the gifts we are given and carefully learning to downplay the areas that can get us into trouble. (I admit, I am known for sometimes laughing TOO loud and burning the candle at both ends).

Being YOU is perfectly OK: do not believe that you have to be PERFECT. 

To this end, my latest inspiration comes from Sally Hogshead Hall of Fame Speaker, Author, and Creator of the Fascination Advantage® personality assessment at HowToFascinate.com.

Sally kindly shared her gift for empowering others through the LinkedIn Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi group recently. (This group is FULL of inspiration, every single day, BTW). She allowed members a thoughtful (and scarily accurate) view of our professional personas. Like Sally, my mission is to help folks appreciate their highest values and embrace how the world sees you.

I was touched by advice that Sally Hogshead shared with one of our group members, named Eden: “Your team appreciates how you lead with both warmth and detail. Don’t tone that down. Don’t feel that you should fit into the same communication as others. Instead, make sure others understand that the way you are most likely to contribute is through constructive, organized and practical results.

The greatest value you can add is to become more of YOURSELF.” 

So I invested 5 minutes to explore her theory, and take Sally’s 28 question test. Here are some interesting learnings that may help you in business, family and other teams within your circles.

Not surprisingly, her assessment identified me primarily as an INNOVATOR: Folks like me prefer to blaze a path than get stuck in mundane, repetitive tasks. We find joy in creating a better way to improve efficiency, expedite processes, creatively problem-solve and fast track our measurable, repeatable success.

The test revealed that my secondary advantage is PRESTIGE; I set the bar HIGH and demand nothing less than the best of others and myself (no shock there, either). In Sally’s world, 49 archetypes set a tone for how we contribute value to others. So what does INNOVATION + PRESTIGE yield?

Folks like me are considered TRENDSETTERS who have a special place on growth-oriented teams.

“The Trendsetter is a trailblazer who guides others in often unchartered territories.” 

What 5 HOT ways can trendsetters help YOU grow your business?

  • CUTTING EDGE: Trendsetters sense what the NEXT BIG THING will be!
  • IMAGINATIVE: Our bold, creative ideas make others take notice. Expect the unexpected.
  • ELITE: We pride ourselves in breaking new ground and NOT resting on the status quo.
  • PROGRESSIVE: We help teams look ahead and inspire our partners as we drive change to outsmart competitors.
  • LIFELONG LEARNERS: We constantly read up on industry trends, case studies and help YOU apply best practices – often with a new and exciting twist.

Remember, trendsetters help you stay nimble and creative obstacles where others see only threats. We influence company direction with a FRESH interpretation of marketing opportunities and a systematic approach to SURPASSING your goals.

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As Sally puts it, here’s a lesson that everyone can learn from trendsetters: “Standing still often means moving backward.”

Hope you have fun with this and learn something new. Keep on Rockin!

Pat

[50 ROCKS: GOOD CHEESECAKE] Recipe for sweet, lasting relationships

In my circle, nothing says LOVE like my homemade cheesecake. What can be better than the perfect, velvety sweetness of cheesecake filling contrasted by the buttery graham cracker crust? I’ve even heard it called “the Sandra Bullock of Desserts”…hmmm.

It’s the glue that reunites me with hard-to-see clients. It ties my family and friends together at the end of most holiday meals. Folks fight for the leftovers, although rarely do we leave any! I literally make a dozen or more cheesecakes every year for friends, family, and clients. My Aunt Kay, an AMAZING baker, got me hooked on baking and shared the original recipe that has evolved over time. (Thank you, Aunt Kay!) CLICK HERE to get my recipe! Once you taste it, you’ll want to be included on my annual list for sure.

Cheesecake is the recipe for building sweet, lasting relationships.”

Whether it’s the holiday season or any other time of year, the purpose of giving gifts to clients, business partners or customers is always the same. In short, gifts serve as both a thank-you (showing recipients that you truly appreciate and value them) and a brand-building tool. But with changing regulations about gift-giving in pharma and other industries, I wanted a great alternative to the promotional items that people once received from businesses. So how do you cut through the tchotchke clutter and choose a memorable gift that shows folks that you care and reinforces your relationship?

That’s right, cheesecake!

Here’s 5 reasons why homemade CHEESECAKE makes the perfect client treat

  • PERSONAL – Folks appreciate the time and effort put into it
  • GROUP or INDIVIDUAL – You can bake various cakes sizes, but it’s an equalizer when you interact with many team members
  • FACE TIME – Personal delivery yields coveted discussions – or you can ship a frozen cheesecake to a long-distance client (and they ALWAYS take your call when you check to make sure that it arrived!)
  • NON-THREATENING – Because it is NOT a high dollar value item, teams are able to enjoy the treat without repercussion from compliance
  • BRANDING – Serve the cake with imprinted napkins, ribbons, paper plates, cake cutter and/or cake dishes (a convenience for them and some branding for you). Or, I’ve gotten called back in for follow up appointments with an excuse to pick up the bottom dish!

BTW, I prefer to use low-fat ingredients and folks can take just a TINY sliver if they are calorie-conscious. I also LOVE to customize my cheesecakes to the recipient’s taste: Oreo or chocolate chip cookies, strawberries, heathbar/chocolate chunk and more.

What’s YOUR sweetest tip for showing your clients that you care? Favorite cheesecake recipe? Be safe, and have a SWEET week.

Pat Roque

Pat@rockonsuccess.com

50 Rocks: How BIG is your BRAVE?

Brave: Welcome to my blog series, 50 ROCKS: Life Lessons for Success. It was inspired by my unique 50th birthday gift: a box filled with 50 gold-painted rocks, each depicting a special nugget about me and just how much “50 ROCKS.” It’s my inspiration to share life lessons for personal and business success through a weekly blog. 

God Bless America: Home of the Brave

More than 200 years ago, 56 brave men put their lives and property at risk by signing a historic document declaring America as a free country. It is this act of bravery that led to the freedom of America, and it is the anniversary of this event that we celebrate every 4th of July.

brav·ery:the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Writing this blog is an act of bravery: it has taken me years to find the courage to believe in myself enough to think that others would want to follow along. Sharing my personal thoughts and feelings in the days of virtual perpetuity is frightening. Every word can come back to haunt you.

Funny, it took my finding an old folder full of testimonial letters to realize that I’m not so bad after all. A year of un/underemployment really kicks the living daylights out of you. Yes, even a tough Garfield girl like me! For a while, it felt brave just to get out of bed in the morning. After so many failed attempts at finding the RIGHT job, and so many steps in the long process to rebuilding my keynote speaking and consulting career, I admit that the comforts of my room were about all I thought I could handle.

Instead I committed to a schedule: rise before 7AM, meditate to set my intentions for the day, check the weather and read the newspaper. (Yes, the real paper kind). Then hit the gym or hike in my neighborhood or hit golf balls after my son leaves for school. When you’re feeling down, it’s important to set a schedule and FOCUS on priorities aligned with a calendar.I now start my workday by 8:30 like the rest of the adult working world I left behind. Now i put the best nutrition into my body, I focus on success as I celebrate my TIME FREEDOM.

The BRAVERY of relaunching my consulting and keynote speaking in this horrendous economy is my badge of courage.. Like those soldiers, I have to step up and protect my property and livelihood. I’m applying the skills I learned from my mentor and social media trainer, @phylliskhare. Her TimeBliss.ME program inspired me to really commit my brave new goals to a calendar so that I properly allocate time to achieve them. This organized approach to bravery led to the freedom of financial worries that once plagued me (and many thousands more like me who have fallen from blazing careers into the fiery pits of under-employment and rebuilding hell).

@phylliskhare‘s TimeBliss.ME inspired me to commit my brave new goals to a calendar so I can achieve them. #50Rocksbit.ly/50RocksBeBrave

There are so many heroes who deserve our prayers and respect for their bravery: firefighters and police officers and the soldiers who protect us. Patients fighting cancer or other serious afflictions. Heck, the FAMILIES and caregivers of those suffering. Single moms trying to make ends meet to feed their kids. workers learning new skills, new languages or new roles to hang onto their jobs for dear life. I could go on. But the truth is, these folks are ALL braver than me. I bow to them all, God Bless them.

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” 
― Veronica RothAllegiant

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS: SUPPORTIVE] Life Lesson: Be Supportive

Word for the week: Supportive! Welcome to my blog series, prompted by my unique 50th birthday gift: a box filled with 50 gold-painted rocks, each depicting a special nugget about me and just how much “50 ROCKS.” It’s my inspiration to share life lessons for personal and business success. 

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Last week was the worst: we buried a dear friend who had just turned 50. Nancy was a loving mom, a sister, best friend, wife, community leader: she did all of those “right things” to help others. Yet she still died, way too young. Crap. Crap. Crap.

50 Rocks, when you are here to enjoy it.

Lisa (my dear friend of 18 years) said she was OK after her sister’s untimely passing; she did not “need” anything. However, REAL support stems from anticipating the needs of others and sharing proactively, as well as responding to their requests.

We’ll be there for Lisa when the crowds go away and folks return to their normal routine – minus her sister. We may kidnap her for a walk, drink some wine or to watch an obnoxious movie. Sometimes support involves long talks and other times, silence. Either way, we’re within reach 24/7/365.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year, I’ll be there for you…”Friends’ theme song by the Rembrandts

How can we help when those in need are too overwhelmed to know how to ask? Strong friends and supportive colleagues put others FIRST with a few simple steps:

  • Listen more, talk less
  • Anticipate wants and needs
  • Don’t over-insert yourself into the situation
  • Take a risk and don’t worry about rejection
  • Just BE THERE!

Living the @Nordstrom customer support model

What makes business partners, like friends, stand out and earn loyalty in this cutthroat market? Results and GREAT SUPPORT!

Nordstrom‘s customer support legacy includes the legendary tale of refunding for a used tire. Just this month, they generously issued an exchange for (unused) sandals that I purchased a year ago. Nordstom earns loyalty by putting the customer first! Their smart business strategy helps drive repurchase rates and positive recommendations.

Professionally, my Business Boomers’s team strives to offer intuitive, proactive support for clients. Whether we are coaching, leading a workshop or serving as a freelance “rent a CMO,” it is gratifying to empower folks by ANTICIPATING their social media and marketing needs. My talent lies in steering folks down a path to prosperity by asking smart questions to identify the underlying causes of their marketing pain or opportunities.

Great support includes helping solutions unfold: folks don’t always know how to ask for what they really need, and don’t know what they are missing. @rockonsuccess

 

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I hope this week ROCKS for you!

Pat Roque