50 Rocks

[50 ROCKS: DEMANDING] When Life Gets too DEMANDING, FOCUS Brings You Freedom!

A friend called to check in and congratulate me on all my recent progress. But honestly, she sounded exhausted and a bit frazzled. When I asked what’s up, she had FIVE major projects happening at the same time. Half were volunteer efforts, where perhaps she is over-committed and taking too much time away from getting her revenue-generating activities in order. Life just became too darn demanding (when it doesn’t have to be for her). No wonder she sounded frustrated…being busy but broke is never fun.

Sure, sometimes we face overwhelm when life gets too demanding. People get sick, accidents happen, workplace transitions kick our butts sometimes. While we cannot control EVERYTHING, however, we tend to sadly bring much of this chaos on ourselves. I’m the first to admit that over-commitment and lack of focus was always my challenge, too. Saying YES too often, not charging enough for my services so that I was working too hard and running around like a crazy person (busy but not productive).

Looking back, my quantum leap and success shift happened once I learned to…

  • HONOR myself more and work in my zone of genius (vs trying to please everyone and do too many things)
  • START saying NO
  • DELEGATE (including taking the time to spell out exactly where I needed help and what was required for others to step in)
  • FOCUS on what mattered in all areas – family, fun, fitness, finances and my fabulous career
  • ESTABLISH a 90-day success plan with just 2 major priorities each day
  • PACKAGE my services in a sales funnel with the right price points so that much is automated (for those who want to work at their own pace and save some dollars)
  • RAISE MY VIP RATES by ensuring huge value for my 1:1 clients (who pay a premium but desire that personalized service to drive results faster).

Not only did I find time to become better and appreciate the more important facets of my life: I sleep more (7 hours) and don’t feel cranky all the time. I eat healthier. Amazing clients and collaborators are showing up because I’m ready to receive them. I can afford to hire great help so that others can lighten my load and free my time for more important facets of my life.

So I ask you this…

how effective can we be when we fail to FOCUS and set priorities?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to ROCK YOUR FOCUS & CLARITY with this free video and printed quiz. You’ll get FREE access to watch a short video and take just 3 minutes to answer 10 quick (but super important) questions so you know exactly where to focus your efforts so you enjoy greater success with less OVERWHELM.  It’ll help you identify which of the 10 areas require your urgent attention so you can get yourself back on track and working in your zone of genius! www.rockonsuccess.com/focus

What’s your focus challenge,..or best tip to overcome the overwhelm? Thanks for sharing below!


[50 ROCKS: Supportive] The Gift That Keeps Giving: Tell Clients and Your Team Why They ROCK!

Here is where this gets fun…one of my women’s leadership workshop participants (at the Professional Women in Construction recent dinner meeting) said she “borrowed” my idea and just made a box of rocks as a going away gift for a coworker. She had each write on a rock (and in the journal) what they admired about their friend.

Now they want a Rock on Success workshop as a client appreciation event in January instead of their traditional holiday party. Planners and rocks and motivation for everyone!

If you are tired of giving (and receiving) the same old fruits, candies, wine and other boring but necessary tokens of your affection, then STOP.

Why not think about fun and unique EXPERIENCES that create interaction, shared learning and warm MEMORIES?

Please share your most fun NON-traditional holiday gift-giving or experiences below. Or give me a call and I’d love to brainstorm ideas with you, too.

Rock your holidays,


[50 ROCKS: CONFIDENT] CONFIDENT Women at the Wheel Drive Business Success


Nothing inspires me more than a room full of 200+ confident women (and men) sharing their war stories and best practices for success. CitrinCooperman’s VIP event, Women at the Wheel #WATWheel NJ was no exception. I’m happy to relay tips from their honored guests: These go-givers shared from their hearts to instill confidence in the audience.

Moderator Mandeep Trivedi holds a rare position as minority female practice leader of @CitrinCooperman’s valuation services team. Trivedi embodies the company’s motto, “Focus on what counts.”

She spoke highly of using mentors and business coaches to provide valuable perspective. Even the most confident women, for some reason, often need reminders to define our self worth:

“Everyone else thinks so highly of you, why not own that yourself?”

Realogy’s EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Sunita Holzer, thanked her parents for believing in the value of education and for empowering her and her brother with self-motivation. They also reinforced confidence by “never thinking that I couldn’t achieve whatever I went after.” Holzer encouraged women to dispel the work/life balance myth. She suggested that we pick our battles, be present where we are (as best we can) and choose priorities wisely.

“It’s never really 50/50. You’ll always feel guilty. Figure out what level of guilt you’re willing to tolerate.”

Tricia Vohden, Co-owner and EVP of Vericon Construction reminded us never to act surprised when we’re the only woman in the room or the only lady at the leadership table. She’s leveraged her talent in as male-dominated construction industry. Tricia was humbled by accolades as a leader in professional organizations to further grow her tribe and influence. Her path represents the true meaning of confidence and pursuing her passion: Vohden literally quit her job many years ago to follow her first boss when he branched on out his own. She just KNEW there was something special in building a new team together (despite so many unanswered questions). Vohden said,

“Don’t worry so much about status or titles. Follow your heart, pursue your passion, do your best and the money will come.”

Confident women in the public sector shared their recipes for success

Allison Larena, President and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center was a proponent of creating positive momentum to get unstuck in your career. She followed her heart and love of music to help salvage Mayo Center from the wrecking ball, developing what she now calls “the most wonderful job in the world.” It’s no wonder she was one of the NJBIZ New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business. Her advice was

  • Leverage volunteering to hone your skills
  • Do something that inspires you beyond your primary career role
  • When you job no longer serves you, seek advice from mentors and move on.

“Get unstuck. Follow your gut. Make change NOW: don’t wait.”

Finally, as the Commissioner of NJ Department of Children and Family Services, Allison Blake encouraged women to grow through strategic partnerships.

Shared inspiration through supportive programs such as Women at the Wheel will drive confidence and success far beyond this event. Thank you to the panel, @CitrinCooperman and sponsors @RikerDanzig, @WellsFargo, @NRBP and benefactor @CGEpeg. You rocked our day (and the days to come) with your inspirational advice!

[50 ROCKS: AMBITIOUS] 15 tips for AMBITIOUS Interns


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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!



[50 ROCKS: HARD WORKING] Work Smarter, Not Harder

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.


[50 ROCKS: CALCULATING] Make it meaningful, make it memorable. And make it MEASURABLE.

Word for the week: Calculating! Welcome to my blog series, 50 ROCKS: Life Lessons for Success. The program was prompted by my unique 50th birthday gift from my friend Rose: 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.

Einstein says, “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

When my friend Rose called me calculating, she honored my persistent questions: What does success look like? How can we make things better as a TEAM? Just like a GPS, we should be clear and FOCUSED on our goals and build our roadmap to success with the desired outcomes in mind. Whether you’re looking for a trainer, keynote speaker or marketing support, be clear on your WHY and how the investment will positively impact your people, your momentum and your bottom line.

Einstein also said, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that CAN be counted, counts.”

Focus on what’s important to your brand and to your team. Can you show Return on Investment? How about Satisfaction, Retention, Employee Engagement? Sometimes, corporate culture needs a lift and programs are meant to get people talking to each other and boost morale.

Other times, we strive for improvement in hardcore numbers like “sell a million widgets” or reduce errors by X%.” But don’t throw data for the sake of impressing folks. Make sure you highlight what’s important (to your managers and up the corporate ladder) and show ACTIONABLE next steps.

I always say, “Make it meaningful, make it memorable. And make it MEASURABLE whenever possible!”

Please chime in: share some examples of successes or challenges that you face in measuring VALUE.  Or let me know how we can support your efforts. I hope this week ROCKS for you!

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS: SOCIABLE] Reunited after 30 years thanks to LinkedIn

Go ahead, be sociable: Blessings will unfold thanks to the Laws of Attraction.

Webster’s dictionary defines sociable as “likely to seek or enjoy the company of others.”  Does being sociable and meeting new people excite you, or scare you to death? Do you have a strategic plan for where, how and why you connect with others to make the best investment of your time?


True story: One year ago, I reunited with my BFF from college through LinkedIn and my life is forever blessed. We’re living proof that being sociable pays off – especially when you REALLY connect with the folks you encounter online.

As a firm believer in the Laws of Attraction, it’s important to find joy and inspiration collaborating with like-minded people.  For example, I’ve blatantly found a “home” in the CITI CONNECT Professional Women’s  Network. Thank you Linda Descano and the amazing women in that group. There’s something magical about the people, their candor and kindness. I make it a point to contribute in some way every week: offering advice, showing gratitude for other’s contributions or just to say hello.

Embrace Linkedin to CONNECT with like-minded people. 

Within this conversation hub I stumbled upon my college sidekick and “partner in crime”, Mariel Miller. In the 80’s, we were bad-asses traveling the NJ Turnpike from Bergen County to Glassboro State (now Rowan University). We drifted apart after graduation (with no drama) and hadn’t spoken in 30 years. It happens. Time flies.

Last summer, the laws of attraction brought us back together thanks to a social media post discussing telecommuting. You see, we both really value time freedom, independent income potential and spending quality time with our families. Working remotely while creating a path to success for others are built into our DNA. We both have family members with special health challenges who require extra attention. And we were both mid-life hormonal, at rock bottom and open to a better way. Something had to change!

Mary Ellen Wasek (now Mariel Miller) and I joined forces with amazing folks from across the globe. We started feeding our bodies with nutritional superfoods and healthy aging minerals. We rid ourselves of toxic habits (and some toxic people).

Now we’re both healthier, happier and setting others on a path to a strong financial future with passive income. Yes, we get paid while we travel on vacations as well as for business.  (So far this year I’ve been to London, Copenhagen, Paris, Mexico, Palm Springs, Orlando, San Diego and the Jersey Shore. Tampa and Dallas are coming soon). We coach hundreds of folks (including our own families) on how to live at a higher vibration. It’s a better way, and we are indeed blessed.

Love you Maryellen Wasek (Mariel) Miller! Thank you for all you do, including sharing your time and talents to make me a better person. A year surely has changed everything, and we’ve only just begun!

Please chime in: share some examples of amazing — or horrifying — outcomes from social networking in your personal or professional life.  

I hope this week ROCKS for you!

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS: HONEST] Be HONEST…What is your WHY?

Never in a MILLION years would I have thought I’d share a “before and after picture.” Until the day I realized I could perhaps save a life by being honest with myself, and with the world. 

I come from a HUGE family. My dad was one of 12 kids, and we have about 3 DOZEN cousins in each generation (I lost count). We’re the Italian version of the movie “my Big Fat Greek Wedding” (minus the Windex). There’s always love, laughter and lots of food. Now obesity, heart disease and some other scary health issues have surfaced across the branches of our wonderful family tree.

My dad died at age 70 of heart disease stemming from obesity. He missed seeing his four grandkids grow into accomplished young adults. My brother and cousin each had open-heart surgery in their early 50s. Again, they scared me into ACTION.

So my WHY is HUGE:  I’m dedicated to ensuring that my family and yours can enjoy longer, healthier and abundant lives. My new health colum in the CITY POST celebrates that mission.  I had to be honest with myself, admit that I had a huge problem and then set out to turn that around.

If you’re someone who values better health, or struggles with it, let’s get real and explore answers to your important questions. My column offers tips for healthy aging, weight management, stress reduction, improving athletic performance and more. We will help you find more energy, gain focus, become more productive and really ENJOY each God-given day.


Did you notice that the word diet starts with DIE? Oddly, it makes improving your nutrition sound so painful. I believe this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. We must incorporate celebrations and vacations into our wellness plan vs labeling them as guilty “cheating.” After all, you have to live.

Keeping in mind your specific goals, remember these SIX STEPS to better health:

  • REESTABLISH your relationship with food
  • ENJOY the process
  • Use SYSTEMS and SUPPORT tools
  • Embrace COACHING in a nurturing environment
  • Celebrate SUCCESS and small WINS

Better health and wellness are LIFELONG choices, with occasional bumps in the road. Take that FIRST step. Make the decision to honor your “why” and let us know what one thing you can do differently TODAY. As my mentor Charlie Tao says,

“There are seven days in the week and SOMEDAY is not one of them.”

 Please share – what is YOUR WHY??

Make it a great week!


[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:


  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.