September 29, 2010

5 Takeaways Marketers Could Learn From Mr. Rogers

Who was a more engaging host than Mr. Rogers? I remember watching an awards show where he received an award and after he thanked everyone he could think of, the crowd burst into tears and gave him a standing ovation. Wouldn't all of us want to be that great of an influence on at least one person in our lifetime? There was nothing flashy out him, but he stayed true to who he was. Mr. Rogers addressed difficult subjects, but it was the calm style he did it with that captivated people. Even today, he would stand tall because of the relationship he created with his "customers." 

What do you remember about Mr. Rogers? Please share!

Do you Dress for Success?

Presentation can trump Content. People's first impression of you is how you dress, carry yourself, talk, etc. It's better to err on the conservative side at first, just to gain respect then as you do, tailor it back. I'd rather have someone criticize me for being overdressed, than not taken seriously because I'm underdressed.

September 27, 2010

How To Get A Raise

One of my favorite success stories happened with a client a few years ago. Initially, she was skeptical, but 5 months later she became one of my biggest advocates. Here is how she got her raise in 5 steps:
1) Shut Your Mouth
Nobody likes a complainer, especially your boss. If you feel you deserve a pay raise, you're going to have to prove it with your actions, not your mouth.
2) Work Hard
Actions speak louder than words. Your results and work ethic are your active resume. Do your work better, faster and push yourself.
3) Ask For More
More work precedes more money. Start by asking for more responsibility. Check with your current supervisor. Volunteer for another department. Use your time wisely, because you're always being watched.
4) Prove Your Worth
Stand out from the crowd. Give your boss a reason to look at you. Work for the job you want, not the job you have. Show you can handle the next level. Don't expect better compensation until you prove it.
5) Approach Your Boss
After at least a month, you now have the credibility to set up an appointment with your supervisor. Share with him/her how much you want the promotion and highlight what you have accomplished. Do research and present a proposed increase in salary and explain why you deserve it.
There's no guarantees, but this process worked before my eyes. Proving yourself before opening your mouth is always a good strategy. 
Any thoughts? Experiences? Please share!

September 23, 2010

A Demand for Career Help Sooner?

The reality is: a college degree is no guarantee for a job.

Students are starting to look for career advice earlier because of the urgency the economy has created. I've done career coaching with students in high school and college to help them determine a target (career choice) before a school of choice. Why apply to a college that doesn't have the field you want?

College should be fun, but you're not paying those big bucks to NOT prepare for the real world. 

The earlier you find a career you're passionate about & love, the better prepared you'll be to be successful in it!

Statistics say 80% of people are unhappy with their jobs. Are you part of the 20%?

September 22, 2010

Which 5 Powers is your Favorite?

Five Powers that Get Ideas off the Ground

I've had to experience #5 on a weekly, if not daily basis. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to give up, then thinking about what I really want to do, then going back to grinding away. I keep telling myself "greatness takes time." If I want to do it right, it's going to take a lot hard work. It also speaks to your resiliency. Keep fighting and be persistent and things will eventually happen...

Which Power is your Favorite? 

September 21, 2010

Why You Should Hire Me

During these challenging times, we need more help, not less. Everyone wants to save money, but how do you expect things to change if you don't invest in yourself? Results come faster when you hire a professional. See if these scenarios relate to you:
1) "I don't know what I want to do."
If you lack career direction, I can help you find it. What are you passionate about? What are your strengths? Find a career you love and are great at. You should love what you do.
2) "I'm so disorganized."
Time management is one of the best ways to organize your life. Do you spend time on what's most important to you? Do you run your schedule or does your schedule run you? Start eliminating useless tasks and spend time on what matters.
3) "I never accomplish the goals I set."
Are you setting S.M.A.R.T. goals? Are your goals aligned with your vision? Goals should be a means to an end, not an end in itself.  Setting the right goals is as important as achieving them.
Those are 3 examples of situations that I coach clients on frequently. Your situation is unique to you. Your agenda is what drives the sessions. I urge you to give coaching a try. The first session is free!
Imagine how much MORE successful you can be with the help of a coach...

September 16, 2010

Can You Spot a Liar?

Communication is broken down as follows:
7 percent verbal (words)
38 percent vocal (volume, pitch, rhythm, etc.)
55 percent body movements (mostly facial expressions) 

Listening and observing is much more than just words. Are you able to pick up on non-verbal cues? You shouldn't over-analyze people's behaviors, but when you smell fish, it usually stinks. To me the moral of the story isn't trying to sniff out a fake, but just to pay more attention to more than what someones says. The way we carry ourselves and how our body language comes off speaks louder than words!

September 15, 2010

What's Your Leadership Caffeine?

Leadership Caffeine: In Pursuit of Your Potential

Being driven is a necessity in life. No one is going to push you as hard as you push yourself. You can't expect others to motivate you, that's your responsibility.

When things don't go your way, don't make excuses, figure out what you can do differently and move on. You can't control all your circumstances, but you can control how you choose to look at and deal with them. There's so much to learn from the "down" times even though it's difficult to see that while you are going through it. 

Just continue to GROW FORWARD...

September 14, 2010

Is Your Brain Lopsided?

One side of your brain is not bigger, but most likely your left brain is more utilized than your right. How would your life be different if you developed your right brain more? 

Let's start in elementary school. Besides recess and lunch, what do you remember? Math, Science, English, etc. Those subjects process in the left side of your brain. Art, Music and Sports (all right brain activities) weren't pushed as much. What effect did that have on you? 

Did you know your right brain is responsible for vision, emotion, creativity and risk taking? Think of how your body responds to lack of movement. It becomes atrophied and weak. All those years of not using our right brain leads to be deficiency. 

Take drawing for example. When you were 4 years old, you drew freely and willingly. As you grew older your drawing skills stayed the same or got worse because of lack of practice. What was considered "great" at age 4 is "terrible" at age 18. 

What are the future implications? Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future argues that right brain skills are necessary to succeed in the new economy. Left brain functions such as logic, verbal skills, organization and analysis are necessary; but the new worker needs to be innovative, empathetic and bi g picture thinking to thrive. 

Are YOU developing Your Right Brain skills?

September 13, 2010

Are you Coachable?

I have to admit, I didn't read this entire article, but the part that intrigued me was the title...

In my experience as a coach, no one trait determines success or failure more than attitude. I'd go as far as to say attitude determines whether you should work with a coach or a therapist. Nothing frustrates me more as a coach than a client with a "victim" mentality. It's always someone else's fault, there's always an excuse or their obstacle is just too huge to overcome. I realized quick why I wanted to be a coach when I got to sit in a client "seat" with both a coach and a counselor. I found myself wanting to speed the pace up, figure out what action I could take next and move forward! I admit, I have a difficult time when I coach a client who has "cyclical" thinking.  

My ideal client is one who will take responsibility for his or her shortcomings, is hungry to learn and is willing to try different things. You can't change your circumstances, but you can change your perspective on how you view them...

September 10, 2010

Private Athletic School - Sport School

I'm glad after 11 years Farell Duclair didn't give up on his dream. Merging the best principles of business, education and sport into one campus is genius. In the days where parents will pay anything for an advantage for their kids, this concept is groundbreaking. 

School in the morning then individual sport training in the afternoon. There is a definite parallel between business and sports. Competition and self-motivation are key to success. HBR did an article called "The Corporate Athlete" a while back that argued if companies trained their employees like athletes, performance would improve. 
I hope to see more of these pop up knowing that college isn't the best preparation for the real world. 

That's my opinion, but what do you think?

September 8, 2010

Is Now a Good Time to Start a Business?

Speaking from experience, it's been much tougher than I expected to launch and sustain a successful business. I was told the difference between a business and a hobby is profit. (If that's the case, mine's looking more like a hobby as of now). Yes, I'm strong willed and hopeful, and you can't argue what some of the "experts" have stated in the article. The resounding theme I keep hearing is there are great opportunities to be seized with the lack of competition. How come no one taught marketing in college? 

I'll continue to push ahead, depending on relationship marketing and faith. If belief and vision have anything to do with it, I'll have more than I can handle and will need to call in help for the abundance in the future. 

Right now, I'll focus on today. Doing my best to stay afloat and making sure I'm rowing, not drifting in this sea of recesssion.

I'm curious to hear from other entrepreneurs...what's your journey been like?

Chief Psychologist?

When most CEO's move up the ranks, some forget they need to change their skill set. As a worker, you excel because of your technical skills. If you get promoted, now you need to refine your leadership skills because you're managing people. No one cares if you're the best at what you do if no one will listen to you...

The move from middle management leader to CEO means you have to become more strategic minded. You set the vision (direction) of the company you are leading, yet statistics show 50% of a CEO's time is spent dealing with interpersonal issues. (Time to hire an external coach!) 

I believe the higher you move up the "totem pole" the less you actually deal with customers and the more you deal with employees. It can cause real headaches, but it's the reality of the job. Know this going in and if you're not willing to play the mediator, don't take the gig!

September 6, 2010

Cheap Eats Leadership

I'm always looking for the next great local eatery that gives me good bang for my buck. Cheap eateries stay alive because of their nostalgia and raving fans. Here's 3 ways you can follow their lead:
Great Value. Getting more than what you paid for. Provide an exceptional product/service and offer it at a competitive price. When you interact with others, would they say you give them great value? 
Word of Mouth Marketing. Cheap eateries don't spend much money on advertising. They depend on customer driven publicity. Social media is flashy, but word of mouth is more effective. Get your "customers" to promote you!
Raving Fans. Fans are committed customers. They voluntarily spread the word to their friends. A raving fan is worth more than 10 customers. Make your goal to create raving fans.
Observe how local eateries create great value and inspire their customers to market for them. Word of mouth marketing may be cheap, but it keeps people hungry for more.
Are YOU creating raving fans?

September 2, 2010

10 Entreprenuer Mistakes: Which ones do you make?

I'm guilty mostly of:
#3 (spending too much time on features, not enough on benefits) 
#4 (to niche or not to niche)
#5 (needed a market/customers before I launched passionately)

Which of the 10 do you struggle with the most? Why?

September 1, 2010

Are Attending Conferences Worth Your Money?

I've gone to many conferences only walking away disappointed. I used to believe the main dish was the speakers, but you can only listen to so many people talk before being completely brain dead (and not remembering a thing).

What if you changed your approach? Instead, you planned who you wanted to talk to and what you will say when you converse with him/her. Consider a conference a place to "bump" into people intentionally and build your network. It's about quality, not quantity, so plan to continue the conversation after the conference has come and gone. 

What do you think?

Stop! Don't Cut That Training Budget

Even with profit loss, the last thing you should cut is your budget. Instead invest in your current workforce by spending money on training. Your employees will feel valued and appreciated which translates to better customer service for your customers. 

+ training = + engaged employee = + customer-employee transaction = $$$