Welcome to another installment of my 50 ROCKS: Life lessons for success as we look at the value of showing that we’re AMBITIOUS:
NOTHING rocked my career more than doing 4 cool internships…so I’m paying it forward to help some lucky students grow FAST in their careers, too. Keep in mind I’m the queen of special permission, so never let tradition stop you from asking for what you want and need out of a program. I’ve found that showing ambition with sincere intentions, justified with the support of key influencers, allowed me to enjoy unique privileges: you simply had to prove that the real-life work was more valuable time invested in learning vs taking some elementary courses. My bosses would vouch for my work, the deans would approved the credits and my portfolio was filled with magic at a very young age. My internships included:
- A global manufacturer (doing public relations and employee relations between employees in the US, Europe and Asia)
- Sports marketing at the Meadowlands Racetrack (a government agency, where honestly I was bored out of my mind because there was not enough challenging work to keep me busy)
- A home-base PR entrepreneur (Dorothy Stack Osborne, who taught me the value of work-life balance and how to serve corporate clients while juggling life as a young mom)
- The largest advertising and public relations agency in Washington DC (where I squeaked my way into a desk next to the CEO’s office, got myself invited into new business pitches and ultimately onto account teams while my peers were filing papers and making copies. I ran global promotions and ultimately landed to my first full-time job in their Philly office after graduation.)
I’m proof that you can grow faster if you show initiative and ambition. Want to know how to gather the backup to solicit the support of key folks who have the power to say YES to your creative scheduling? Here are some smart suggestions for internship success:
- Do what you love: Whether it’s writing, working with people, baking cakes or creating solar energy solutions, there’s someone out there willing to pay for your services once you market yourself to your ideal audience. Find internships that let you explore your creative side as well as pragmatic skills like juggling finances, public speaking or closing sales.
- Explore varied workplace settings: consider nonprofits, corporations, entrepreneurs, agencies, global vs local companies, family-run businesses. They offer very different company cultures, work processes and levels of freedom or flexibility. There’s much to learn from each.
- Do multiple internships: learn what you like and don’t like about different career paths. HINT: Finding what you DON’T LIKE is a great gift: it’s better to learn now while you have little risk or downside vs once you’re more established and have a mortgage and other major responsibilities.
- Keep track of your success: Create a digital or paper log of all your major jobs, projects, business contacts, presentations. Time flies and it gets harder to back track and remember what you accomplished years ago.
- Create a multi-channel portfolio of your best work: Now is NOT the time to be shy. Create a Facebook Live or YouTube video showing your sparkling personality. Digitize your work so you can easily update and share it using a personal website, blog or online resume.
- Cleanse your social media accounts: Create a professional-looking LinkedIn profile with a posed portrait. Remove your embarrassing social posts so potential employers won’t uncover your craziest/worst moments. Don’t let them doubt your credibility or the merits of your ability to help them grow their business. Yes, they search and scan your accounts to research you, too!
- Gather testimonials: Every time an employer, teacher or mentor compliments your work product or outstanding efforts, ask them if they’d kindly post that as a LinkedIn recommendation. Once it’s public, with their permission, you’re free to re-purpose it on your digital portfolio.
- Leverage your network: Go ahead, ask for favors. Tap into your family, friends, teachers and anyone who might get one step closer to your dream career.
- Do your homework: Before you meet with a potential mentor or employer, search their names, check out their personal and business pages on Facebook. Explore their credentials on LinkedIn. Learn where they went to school, projects or charities or other tidbits so you can weave in talk about their passions and relate on a more personal level.
- Dress for success: Show your personality but dress according to the potential work environment: A corporate or sales internship would deem a business suit or tailored dress, while you could wear something a bit more sporty if heading to a country club. ASK about their preferred dress code while you’re confirming interview details.
- Carry extra copies of your collateral: Send your information in advance via email, but also bring an iPad or tablet as well as printed copies of your portfolio. You’ll thank me if they have wifi issues or your battery dies.
- Arrive early for interviews: Allow an extra 20-30 minutes for parking, traffic or unforeseen mix ups. Never keep an interviewer (or client or manager) waiting.
- Ask smart questions: the search above will set the stage for a better dialogue so you can get to know more about their “WHY”, the best or worst parts of their current position and secrets for success. Always ask what advice they’d wished someone had told THEM at your age!
- Ask for ongoing mentoring: If you feel a connection, don’t hesitate to ask if the interviewer would be willing to mentor you (yes, regardless of whether you get that particular job or not). Set meeting goals and be sure to report back on progress.
- Follow up as promised: Hand write a thank you note, send a nice email and definitely ASK for the position! Don’t wait to be handed your dream gig, you’ve got to GO FOR IT! Good LUCK!
Welcome to another installment of my 50 ROCKS: Life Lessons for Success: Today’s rock inspiration: Hard Working
After watching so many friends die young, or have their traditional retirement nest egg fall way short, we can’t afford NOT to think smarter about how we approach our careers, our livelihood. Working harder can be short-sighted unless you apply a dose of strategy and passion to the formula.
The traditional, linear corporate ladder with a cushy pension was not my path. I prefer to carve my own destiny, thank you. So at middle age I’m more about working smarter, not harder. There won’t be a huge corporate or government pension in my future and that’s ok. I’ll manifest more as I practice what I preach: It’s imperative to dig deep, get laser-focused on your definition of success and strive for SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based). But perhaps equally important is the need to find balance, healthier living and feeling our best so that we can perform our best.
Ah, I am so committed to re-energizing today’s workforce and empowering folks to take charge of their careers and get out of overwhelm. We deserve what I consider true wealth:
- Freedom to pursue your passion
- Choice to work with folks you truly enjoy and flourish together
- Flexibility to own your schedule
- Unlimited earning thanks to multiple, recurring revenue streams
- Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor now
A major part of working smarter is living with ease and grace. I don’t panic over what is not visible or fret over what is missing: the more we need something, the more likely we are to push it away. Or we are less likely to see it when it’s right in front of us.
There’s nothing attractive about the stink of desperation. Rather, release the stress behind your desires. Dream big. Breathe more. Meditate. Pray over it. Make it happen.
Start by getting crystal clear on your vision, your focus. Decide your next best move…then put one foot in front of the other until momentum sweeps you farther and faster toward your ideal outcomes.
Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!
Perhaps most importantly, live in gratitude for the moment and be more present. Abundance comes to those who let love, light and God shine in their path to clearly see what is truly possible …and to appreciate each stepping stone on that journey.
What part of this journey resonates with you? Please share YOUR tips for working smarter, not harder. Or tell us where you’re feeling stuck so we can help you get FOCUSED and back on the fast track to your own version of success.
Rock on, my friend.
If you’re a rock star coach looking to grow your tribe of ideal clients, this information can help you get to YES faster with folks who hunger for exactly what you deliver.
It’s a buyer’s market, and rightfully so. As someone who invests in my own career development, it’s important that I align myself with the very best resources and the sharpest coaches I can find. My goal is to shortcut my learning curve and drive results faster than possible on my own.
Advice for coaches
Looking for a streamlined way to on-board potential coaching clients? In the world of high-end, private coaching, it’s unlikely that prospects will come banging at your door and begging you to sign on for larger programs without a bit of hand-holding. They might buy a “do-it-yourself” class through an ad or join a low-cost (eg, low-touch) group coaching program after participating in a free webinar. But an investment of thousands of dollars requires a mutual commitment to your clients’ success. After all, people conduct business with those they know, like and trust. Coaching relationships require intimate sharing of knowledge much like your priest, rabbi, doctor or attorney. Clients depend on you to transform their business, their lives, or both.
You’ve spent time sharing your wisdom generously in the marketplace and attracting your ideal clients’ attention. They’re interested. When it comes to private coaching, however, potential clients deserve to understand exactly what’s in it for them so they can engage you with confidence:
- How might you address their pain, or potential (the reason they need coaching in the first place)?
- Do your skills and background prove that you can rock their challenges?
- Are you a good fit strategically and personally?
- Are your values and philosophies on success aligned?
- Will you support their mission and keep them accountable?
- What does success look like and how will it be measured?
- What assurances do you offer that your coaching program will deliver on its promises?
Rather, breakthrough discovery sessions are an interactive dialogue that help both parties peel back the onion and reveal if you’ve got the potential for a collaboration. They’re an important prerequisite to see if you’re both feeling the right chemistry and can succeed by working together.
Here are some simple tips for automating the discovery session process.
- Create a landing page that explains your philosophy and services. The important sections include what to expect, who you might serve and why you’re qualified to help.
- Invite folks to a free 30 minute discovery call or Skype (via your landing page) during webinars and meetings. Embed your link on blogs and web pages, social posts, news releases, etc.
- If interested, prospects should complete a brief, 2-minute survey. (I use Google forms to get prepared for the call). Here is where you ask relevant questions to understand their pain or promise, what success looks like, how important reaching those goals are to them, etc. Ask them to define their sense of urgency and timing to determine if this is truly a hot lead or a longer-term prospect. You want to have the proper time available to give them the quality coaching they desperately need and deserve.
- Click to a free calendar schedule app. Calendly’s free app links with my Google Calendar and shows the time slots I’ve allocated for new business development. It also alerts me about the appointment and saves lots of administrative scheduling time.
- Have your discovery call questions outlined so that you are efficient with your time, and theirs. Don’t forget to review their Twitter account, LinkedIn page, website and survey form before your call so you can ask meaningful questions. It’s more about eliciting emotional feelings tied to their ambitions and truly listening to their responses (not about selling your virtues).
- During the discovery session, always give value! Share at least 1 or 2 solid pieces of actionable advice so that your caller’s time was well-spent regardless of whether or not they decide to hire you today. They must leave the call feeling renewed, re-energized and excited about their next best moves (whether with or without you).
- Be clear on recommending their next best moves (eg, outline your coaching program and how they specifically can work with you…with a generous bonus incentive to sign up NOW).
- Have your registration page (or proposal) and invoicing templates ready so you can quickly share while they are in decision-making mode.
- Have your thank you/welcome automation sequence ready so they know what to expect from you.
- Over-deliver on your promises, so they retain services and refer their friends. (Don’t forget to generously reward referrals).
Use your authentic style and attract the high-end coaching clients who deserve to work with you