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,
Your challenges are not uniquely your own: many entrepreneurs struggle with doubt or lack clear direction. Collaborate problem-solving among the group offers a terrific way to learn from each other.
We’re finding a common challenge that’s bubbled up: business leaders want to grow but they aren’t clear on how to tell their story to their ideal clients so they can “sell more.” When peeling back the onion, we found confusion around the culprit:
- Failing to focus on one key service or product (get one sales funnel going well and then replicate that success vs scattering energy across lots of inefficient efforts)
- Ineffectively communicating that you have exactly what customers desire
- Unclear packages and pricing (so customers have an easy way to say YES to you)
One great way to gain traction is to literally ASK folks about their biggest pain points using open-ended questions. Reach out to your warm market in your email lists, Facebook and LinkedIn connections or groups to better understand their greatest pain or opportunity (the low-hanging fruit).
This is NOT sales pitch time, but rather a chance to humbly engage and build relationships. Sure, some folks may raise their hand and ask for help right away. It’s important to understand in your prospects’ own words what is working, or not, in their business. What problem do you solve for them…and how do they FEEL when you provide your support?
Next, get clear on how others perceive you and why you ROCK! Examine your thank you notes, LinkedIn recommendations and testimonials. I’m betting you’ll find they use similar words or phrases to describe how you’ve transformed them or made their life/career better. Their language and those exact phrases will become the backbone of your marketing content as you seek to clone and attract more of your ideal clients.
You will now know how to lead them down the sales funnel and speak directly to their greatest need.
Once you’ve identified patterns on your ideal clients’ “wish list” it’s time to get more quantitative with your research. An easy way to see what’s resonating most is by asking them to select favorites from among your top options. Closed-ended questions (via Survey Monkey, FB polls, etc) can help you test the wording and decide which program content or offers would best entice your target market.
Remember, you’re not married to just one program forever. But you can only win the race to financial freedom if you stop “getting ready to get ready” and start treating your business like a career vs a hobby. Do the research, take your best shot, learn from the journey and do even better next time.
Again, FOCUS is key as you “pick a horse and ride it!”
Are you drowning in overwhelm and sort of dreading the holidays? Not sure how you’re ever gonna get it all done? Fear no more, we’re about to get you back on track! Get ready to FOCUS on priorities and actually start having more FUN.
I created the Rock On Success 90-Day Fast Action Planner to help folks just like YOU find focus and freedom to live your best life WITHOUT selling your soul or losing your mind. My success system helps you stay productive so you can shine in your zone of genius (no more ripping the hair out of your head). Together, we will laser-focus your efforts so you enjoy greater success with less OVERWHELM.
My 90 day fast action planner is for you if you are:
- Hungry to grow faster but need help with FOCUS
- Sick of procrastinating and need more accountability
- Dying for an easy way to juggle family, work & holiday insanity
- Done feeling guilty and ready to feel FABULOUS again…it’s time!
Hurry! Download your copy here!
We’re gonna rock this together,
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!
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
If you’re an entrepreneur or executive ready to engage a coach to get you to the next level, you deserve a discovery session interview to ensure you’re trusting the right partner who can rock your goals.
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. The goal is to shortcut my learning curve and drive results faster than possible on my own. I balance the cost of not engaging the right mentors to accelerate my growth.
You both deserve to make the best choice.
In the world of private or group coaching, both parties deserve to enter into the relationship with confidence. Folks might buy a “do-it-yourself” class or e-book through an ad; they may join a low-cost (eg, low-touch) group coaching program after participating in a free webinar. That makes perfect sense for those who will follow directions and prefer truly independent learning.
However, when folks demand more attention and accountability, an investment of thousands of dollars requires mutual commitment to your success. After all, people conduct business with those they know, like and trust. Coaching relationships require the intimate sharing of knowledge much like your priest, rabbi, doctor or attorney. Clients depend on coaches like me to transform their business, their lives or both.
How do you find the right coach?
A great coach gives from the heart (what I call a go-giver). S/he will have spent time sharing wisdom generously in the marketplace and attracting the 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.
Ask these 7 killer questions to see if you’re a good coaching fit:
- How does your coaching program or service address my pain, or potential (the reason you seek coaching in the first place)?
- How will you support my mission and keep me accountable?
- What accolades do others say in testimonials and reviews?
- What does success look like and how will we measure?
- Do your skills and background prove that you can rock my challenges?
- Are you a good fit strategically and personally (eg, are our values and philosophies on success aligned)?
- What assurances do you offer that your coaching program will deliver on its promises?
These important questions can be addressed on what I call a breakthrough discovery session. Note, these are NOT pitchy sales calls or free consultations with no outcomes. You will definitely walk away with 1 or 2 awesome nuggets of advice regardless of whether we decide to work together moving forward.
Rather, discovery sessions are interactive dialogues that help both parties peel back the onion and reveal if you’ve got synergy. They’re an important prerequisite to see if you’re both feeling the right chemistry and can succeed by working together.
Following up from a busy day of networking just became a whole lot easier!
The secret to success is in the follow up. My networking goal is never to tackle an entire room and grab as many cards as possible. Rather, I strive to make 2-3 meaningful connections so that I can spend time getting to know folks better without losing touch after the event ends. Prompt, efficient and friendly reconnection makes all the difference.
Yet after a busy week of seemingly endless great events, my desk was in chaos–until now. I’ve searched for months to find a simple way to capture the cards and keep the dialogue moving ahead with my new friends and potential colleagues or clients. Evernote Premium (EN) has come to my rescue!
Exporting Evernote Business Card Contacts into Get Response
On my Android phone (and iOS, too) you simply need to download the Evernote app. After creating a default CONTACTS notebook, go to the camera option and select that default business card setting. Here you can also sync the app with LinkedIn and enjoy the option to invite new friends to connect there as well.
Use the EN app to shoot a photo of your business card. then select to connect on LinkedIn and/or add to your phone contacts. Be sure to confirm it properly captured the card data, as some faint or reverse printing makes it harder for the digital reader. In Evernote, go into your CONTACTS notebook and then tag everyone as needed. It’s super easy to create the tags, and you’ll see a drop down once the letters match or it’ll ask you to save as a new tag.
To export, you’ll need to download the FREE Tusk Tools Contact Exporter. After just a moment, I was able to easily follow the instructions on the contact exporter wizard to retrieve entries from EN:
- Go to EN and select the Contacts file, hit Next.
- Browse to ID the target location and name your new export file (CSV destination).
- Hit EXPORT and in a minute the files were exported and downloaded. Easy peasy!
The email/CRM dilemma solved, finally!
The second half of my data dilemma was finding an easy contact manager/email/CRM tool. GetResponse seems to have all I need, including a built-in webinar and some nice landing pages. Most importantly, it makes tagging and sorting and follow up quite simple. This replaces the need for wonky Google Hangouts/WebinarJam and paying for a host of other programs I’ve tested lately. To upload the new data file into GetResponse, simply open the campaign. match up the columns and import. It took another few minutes to create a pretty newsletter from one of their templates. I’m not super techy, yet It worked like a charm!
When you speak from the heart, amazing things happen. You light a fire inside the belly of your ideal audience and the laws of attraction start to work their magic.
If you want to deliver a talk that inspires folks to reach beyond themselves and to trust you as the source who can help them exceed expectations. Invest an important 18 minutes to learn from Simon Sinek’s famous 2014 Ted Talk. The bestselling author and keynote speaker explains why it’s so important to “Start With Why.”
A Lesson from Apple: How to Spark Inspired Action with your “Why”
According to Simon Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.” He suggests that we stop focusing on HOW things get done, but rather the value of how our client will FEEL when they experience our products or services.
“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
For example, rather than focus on the features of its machines, Apple prides itself on challenging the status quo, of thinking differently. Hence why Apple evolved as the go-to brand for tech innovation in phones, tablets, and so many other devices.
Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” philosophy isn’t just about monster corporations. Smart entrepreneurs and executives can apply his wisdom to crafting compelling messaging that moves clients to next best steps. As I prepare to teach yet another group of aspiring public speakers, it’s important to step back and reflect on this fundamental motivation. It’s the secret sauce.
3 Key Takeaways for Presenters:
1. Use “Why” to Think About Your Own Business
There’s a room full of people waiting to know not just the core of your business, but also how it aligns with your “why.” As Sinek noted, nurturing loyal customers is all about attracting folks who share your fundamental beliefs.
Remember: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
2. Incorporate “Why” into Your Keynote Speech and Marketing Copy
Leading with your “why” best explains the underlying value of what you’re promoting. It sparks the audience’s intrigue so you simply have to close the deal with the details (how and what).
3. Revisit Your Ideal Client Avatar
Remember, people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it. So let’s build our storytelling around our audience in terms of what makes them tick, of who they are. Are your core values aligned? Why should they trust your recommended next best steps? What will you share with them personally and professionally over a lifetime? Get beyond the stodgy demographics and find some common ground so you will have fun while you tackle challenges together.
If you’re in the personal service industry and relate 1:1 with individuals, think about them in the context of their world, their families, hobbies, fears, and values. Why do they buy from you versus competitors? Are you the reachable, customer-friendly partner in an industry full of bureaucratic large companies? Do you share a love of golf, of certain charities? Do you empower women to gain financial independence and a solid backbone so they are not left in shock one day when the world shifts beyond their expectations? Are you making the world a better place, and your customers love you because they share strong believe in your cause?
Whatever the reasons, fine-tune your buyer personas or avatars to align with your “why” and build a team of loyal advocates. Go ahead, ask them to join you on your mission.
When folks believe in your “why,” they’ll blossom from simply prospects or customers into your best evangelists.
I challenge you to spend some time this week thinking clearly about your WHY and how it inspires all that you do.
Tell us below…what is your number one area where you’d like to FOCUS and make huge progress in the next 90 days?