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Archive for January, 2010

Start a Chain Reaction [Day 21 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 31st, 2010

This is Day 21 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Only 1 more week to go – woohoo! Yesterday Elizabeth Marshall taught us how to JUMP using herself as a fantastic example. One of the things I am loving about this series is watching my friends who are the guest posters really stretch themselves in what they share with you. Today is no exception. Kyle Lacy makes an EXTREME departure from his usual subject manner and invites us all to start our own chain reaction. AWESOME!

Start a Chain Reaction

by Kyle Lacy (@kyleplacy)

 

Sometimes it is nice to step away from social media marketing. I am going to do that today. Many of us are extremely busy. We get caught up in the everyday occurrences in life and ignore the things that are truly important to us. Well.. maybe I am just talking to myself (which is completely possible).

I have begun to find myself losing track of everything other than business. I am extremely focused on running a company but there is no balance.

Good Thing: We are growing and clients are satisfied. Bad Thing: You negate everything else in life. I have put it upon myself to start living a little less selfishly. How am I going to do that??? What a great question! My cousin has an organization called Krochet Kids International. The organization is built around the concept of:

To create sustainable economic development programs that support holistic growth of individuals and communities within developing nations.

 

To inspire the knowledge of a generation about their ability to bring change to a world that is in need.

I began thinking… I read business books and I get inspired… I read autobiographies, blogs, and watch shows about people who have done amazing feats…and I get inspired. The question is… have I ever sat down and thought: I am going to start something that inspires an ENTIRE GENERATION to live and believe in their ability to bring change to a world that is in need. My inspiration is more along the lines of… I am inspired to make the next sale.

I can watch the Krochet Kids video and BE Inspired. I can read a book about Mother Theresa or Ghandi and BE inspired. I am tired of constantly going up and down, hot and cold. Isn’t it time to live an inspired life instead of constantly BEING inspired?

Start the chain reaction.

Kyle Lacy is co-founder and CEO of Brandswag, a social media and marketing consulting company with offices in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City. Kyle and his team have assisted businesses in the development and implementation of social media campaigns and strategies and has worked with companies such as Ruth Chris Steak House, Interactive Intelligence and Make a Wish Foundation.

Brandswag focuses on helping companies achieve results through their web site, blogging and social media strategies, raising the value of their client’s business in the eyes of the customer. Named by Indianapolis Business Journal as 40 Under 40 and author of Twitter for Dummies, Kyle is a recognized leader in creating ideas that infect business and producing intentional campaigns and dialogue that move customers to buy.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

Lessons From a 25-Foot Telephone Pole [Day 20 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 30th, 2010

This is Day 20 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Marie Forleo made us think with here how-not-to-change-your-game checklist. Today my very good friend Elizabeth Marshall talks about how powerful it is to DECIDE!

Lessons From a 25 Foot Telephone Pole

by Elizabeth Marshall (@LizMarshall)

“It’s a DECISION, not a process, Elizabeth.”

The words of coach, Andrea J Lee, hit me squarely in the chest.  I didn’t want to hear it, but I knew that she was right.

Although I wanted to pretend like I didn’t hear her and continue talking about the details and elements I needed to launch my new workshop for aspiring authors and messengers and about the best marketing plan for my group program, I fell silent.

After a long pause, Andrea reminded me of the conversation we’d had in the previous session – about the fact that I had been approaching my business with the “I’m playing not to lose” mentality.  Even though I felt good about all the many remarkable authors I’ve come to know and help through AuthorTeleseminars.com and the private work I’ve done with messengers, she spoke the truth.  I had been holding back and playing it safe.  In my heart, I’ve known that I am capable of playing a bigger game and of being BOLDER with my personal brand and with what I stand for.

As a result of that earlier conversation, I made a decision to stop hiding.  On that call, I decided it was time for me to “play to win” and to build a bigger, more purposeful in 2010.

Well, at least I thought I had decided…

But, truth be told, I was still standing on top of the pole…waiting for the right moment to take the leap.

See, I had already learned this lesson – it was just one that I had conveniently managed to “forget.”  But, when I heard Andrea’s words, I immediately went back to that hot summer in college when I worked as a counselor for a kid’s adventure camp…and to that experience I will never again allow myself to forget.

It happened during “Work Week.”  It was during the week when all of the counselors arrived at camp several days early to prepare the cabins, get trained and to experience all the activities we had planned for our campers.

One of those activities we “tested” out that week was called the Ropes Course.  Sometimes called a Challenge Course, a Ropes Course consists of a series of challenging outdoor activities and exercises designed for the purposes of team building and personal development.  In case you haven’t experienced a course like this before, let’s just say that we’re not talking about a casual “stroll through the forest.”  Many of the elements on the course take place 25 feet in the air and require the use of utility (telephone) poles and tall trees. Although it may sound dangerous, there’s plenty of safety measures, such as belay lines, harnesses, carabiners, helmets and other tools to prevent falls and to help participants “feel safe” while they’re going through each element of the course.

Except, for most people, that feeling of safety goes out the window when you start climbing up the first 25-foot pole or incredibly tall tree.

That was my experience as I climbed to the top of the Pamper Pole.

At a first glance, it seemed simple enough.  All I had to do was to climb to the top of the 25-foot telephone pole (using the iron “steps” sticking out of the pole), stand up on the top of the pole with both feet and then jump to grab the trapeze suspended about 10 feet in front of the pole.

How bad could it really be?

After all, I completed all 10 other elements relatively quickly without fear getting the best of me…so surely, I could handle this one!

In a word, it was awful.  In fact, my palms start sweating even when I think about the fears and emotions I felt while attempting to stand up on that 8-inch surface…one that couldn’t possibly be big enough for both of my size 8.5 tennis shoes, right?

Despite a fairly quick ascent to the top of the pole, I spent what seemed like an eternity “trying” to stand up on the top of that pole in order to jump out to the trapeze.  I felt frozen by fear and unable to take control of what I was feeling and experiencing.  But, since I didn’t want to let the team down, I continued to attempt what felt beyond my reach.

With one foot on top of the pole, I used every strategy I could think of to help be do what I didn’t feel like I could do.  I “thought through” the best way to place my second foot on the top of the pole; I brainstormed and “talked it out” with my supportive team cheering me on from the ground below; I planned and processed through the remaining moves I needed to make; and, I waited for the “right” moment and ideal time to stand and jump.

That moment never came.  So, I eventually chose to climb back down the pole instead of making the jump – a decision I regret even to this day.

In retrospect, I can see it clearly.  My approach was wrong…and I allowed my fears to overshadow the truth that I already knew deep down in my gut:

It’s a decision – not a process.

Completing the “Leap of Faith” exercise that day required one thing – my decision to make it so.  Without that definitive declaration, all of my efforts to plan, process, calculate, strategize or think it through didn’t make a damn bit of difference.

I simply needed to choose…and DECIDE to make the leap.

And, that’s exactly what Andrea was trying to tell me that December day, just a few days before the holiday break.

With that one statement, she was challenging me to:

  • JUMP off that pole and to reach for the trapeze
  • DECIDE in that moment – without condition or reservation – that I would play to win, no matter the outcome
  • CHANGE MY GAME, even though I had no road map, no guarantees or no clear sense of how I would do that

So, I jumped off the pole.  And now, I’m inviting you to do the same.

Now, I don’t believe in sugar-coating the truth, so I am going to be honest about what’s happened since then.  It’s been an extremely challenging four weeks since I DECIDED to play to win and to take the leap.  I’ve felt fears, doubts and worries like you wouldn’t believe, I’ve shed a good amount of tears, and I’ve done some serious digging to find the courage and strength I need to continue living out my choice.

And, this is just the beginning…

Although it hasn’t been easy, I can tell you that it feels MUCH BETTER than choosing to stay stuck or to keep waiting for the “right moment” (the one that never comes) before you decide to act.

So, I invite you to take a look.  Step away from the computer and go to a quiet place for a few moments.  In that space, closely examine business and life to see if there are any areas, big or small, where you’re “stuck on top of the pole” or paralyzed by indecision.

What do you see in your business?

Are you telling a safe, “politically correct” version of your message?  Or, settling for a lukewarm, toned-down personal brand?  Are you putting off writing that book you KNOW you’re meant to write?  Or, playing it safe by offering the same products and services as everyone else?

And, what about your life?

Are you settling for less than you know you deserve? Are you avoiding hard conversations and decisions so you don’t have to rock the boat?  Or, are you putting others first at the expense of your own health and happiness?

Now, that you’ve taken a look, can you identify just ONE aspect of your business or life, big or small, where you can take the leap and DECIDE to move forward?

If you need some encouragement or reassurance before deciding to jump, perhaps you’ll find comfort in these words from Patrick Overton:

“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.”

But, if you’re ready…

I’ll be standing right here at the bottom of the pole to cheer you on and to hold the belay line when you take the leap of faith and JUMP!

Elizabeth Marshall is the host and founder of AuthorTeleseminars.com, where she has designed virtual book tours for many bestselling authors, such as Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi, Michael Port and many others.  Through her Spread Your Message group program and her private coaching, she’s helped hundreds of authors spread their message and sell their books and connect with thousands of new followers and fans.

A published author, Elizabeth wrote The Contrarian Effect with NY Times bestselling author, Michael Port, which won two awards: Amazon’s Best of 2008 Top Ten Business Book and 800-CEO-READs Best Sales Book for 2008.

You can learn more about Elizabeth by going to www.AuthorTeleseminars.com and www.SpreadYourMessageProgram.com.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

How Not To Change Your Game [Day 19 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 29th, 2010

This is Day 19 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Elizabeth Potts Weinstein got us splashing in puddles, and today Marie Forleo makes us laugh with her how-to-not-change-your-game checklist. Though it is VERY funny, read it closely. There are some very wise points buried in the laughter. :-)

How Not to Change Your Game

by Marie Forleo (@MarieForleo)

I’m on my couch.  I’ve been sitting here for quite a while trying to write something useful and clever and inspiring about changing your game.

Of course, trying to be useful and clever and inspiring doesn’t work.

(Does it ever?)

So I figure, why not have some fun and talk about how not  to change your game.

This way, if you ever veer into keep-your-game-exactly-as-it-is land, you can thank me for keeping you on the right side of the track.

Deal?  On we go.

1.  “Get ready” to change your game.

Getting ready to do anything is a stalling tactic; a big fat con job we run on ourselves.

Ever notice that you can spend your entire life getting ready to change, but never actually change a damn thing?   Me too.

When I say I’m getting ready to do something, that’s code for, “I have no intention to do this, but I want to sound like I do.”

And the truth is I’ve never been ready, per se, for any game changing event that’s happened in my life.  Thank God for that.  Because if I’d known what was coming, I may have freaked myself out.

For example, after leaving a lucrative career on Wall Street, I decided to pursue my passion for dance.  I was getting my feet wet in the dance world when a game changing event landed in my lap.  A producer from MTV saw me dance, and asked me to interview to choreograph/produce and perform on one of their shows.

Here’s the kicker.

At that time I had never stepped foot in a professional dance class in my life, nor had any real experience as a choreographer/producer or performer.

I was excited and completely terrified all at once.

I could either say yes, pray to the dance Gods and work my ass off . . .

Or decline so I could “get ready” and hope for another once in a lifetime opportunity to show up.

Of course, I said yes, got the job and did work my ass off.

Now take a look in your own life.

Haven’t you always stepped up to the plate when a game changing event happened?  Haven’t you found strength and courage and capabilities beyond what you thought were “ready” for?

Most of us grossly underestimate ourselves and spend waaaay too much time “getting ready” for what we’re already capable of.  While I’m all for training and education, sometimes the fastest way to get both is to stop “getting ready” and just get going.

2.  Make a detailed, game-changing plan.

Detailed plans to change your game can be another sneaky stalling tactic.

A detailed plan is especially dangerous because it masquerades around in the always seductive “I’m being responsible” dress.

Changing your game often means stepping into unchartered territory with no guide to follow.

Old rules are out the window.  You’re in the wild, wild west of your own potential.  Best bet is to shoot from the hip and skip micromanaging the details.

And let’s be honest. If you’ve ever planned anything, you know that life’s agenda rarely matches up with your own.  When it comes to changing your game, let your deepest desire direct you and be flexible as you go.

This isn’t to discourage clarity of your aim; but trust that when you’re guided by your heart, your next steps will always appear in perfect time.

Changing your game is an intuitive, instinctive process that doesn’t always match up with logic, reason or perfect planning.  In fact, logic, reason and perfect planning may prevent you from changing your game at all.

3.  Avoid fear, discomfort, anxiety, confusion, etc. and all costs.

Oooooohwee, this is a big one.  The best way to not change your game is to avoid these sensations at all costs.  Stay as comfortable as humanly possible.  Do not do anything to disrupt the status quo.

Because if you really want to change your game, you need to strap yourself in for a wild emotional ride.

Regular bouts of fear, discomfort, anxiety and confusion are proof positive that you’re on the game-changing path and finding the edges of your potential.

If you’re too comfortable, you’re likely not doing anything remotely near game-changing.   More like channel-changing.  Or channel-surfing.  (You get the idea.)

Changing your game kicks up some intense emotions.

Expect regular “Am I crazy??” thoughts and all the lovely iterations of self-doubt that follow.  You may even ruffle some feathers or outgrow some relationships along the way.

Don’t try to control these emotions, ‘get over them’ or in any way deny what you’re experiencing.   It’s OK.  You’re human.

Just like the rest of us.

When it comes to intense emotions, the trick is to fully feel them without getting dramatic or retreating back into safety.

Fear, discomfort and confusion are strong indicators you’re in the midst of massive growth.  Intense emotions only serve as a reminder that you’re alive and engaged in something that really matters to you.

And as Richard Branson says, “The brave may not live forever – but the cautious do not live at all!”

So let’s make the rubber meet the road here, shall we?

First, run a quick self-assement on the above three points.   Are you in the fast lane headed towards keep-your-game-exactly-as-it-is-land?  If yes, make any necessary adjustments to get back on your game-changing path now.

Second, once headed in the right direction, help the the rest of us out by adding to this list.  Got a good game-changing stalling tactic?  A dead-end strategy we should all look out for?   Anything you’ve seen or done not  to change your game?

Leave a comment here – we’re interested.

Marie Forleo is the founder of Rich, Happy & Hot: Global training for women entrepreneurs who want more money, influence and social impact. She’s a bestselling author, Nike Elite Athlete and recently, the first woman entrepreneur Tony Robbins interviewed for his acclaimed “New Money Masters” DVD program.  Learn more and download her popular, and controversial, training call: The 8 Biggest Mistakes Even Smart Women Make In Business…And How To Avoid Them.”  http://www.marieforleo.com/

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

Be Scary, Unfriend, and Jump in Puddles: What to Do on Day 1 [Day 18 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 28th, 2010

This is Day 18 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Jeffrey Summers gave us an amazing, straight forward, print-it-out-and-tape-it-to-your-wall checklist for making change stick.  Today Elizabeth Potts Weinstein is getting down to the nitty gritty of exactly what to do – right now – today – to get this gamechanging thing off the ground. Most you know she is my BFF. Today’s post will give you a lot of insight into WHY that is. :-) Enjoy!

Be Scary, Unfriend, and Jump in Puddles: What to Do on Day 1.

by Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW)

It’s 9:00 AM on the day when you’ve decided to finally follow your passion, create a real business that makes money and changes the world, fully embrace living your truth.

Awesometastic!!!

You got a fresh new stack of florescent post-it notes on your desk. Three of your favorite pens lined up in front of you. A new journal and fresh blank calendar. A beautiful vision board and a mission statement and set of goals for this year.

You turn on you computer.

You stare at the screen for 5 minutes.

And since you have no idea what you are supposed to do next, you check twitter. Or facebook. Or start relentlessly hitting “get new mail” in your email program.

Because you have absolutely no idea what you are supposed to be doing this morning.

Here’s the thing: it’s all nice and good for me to tell you – Live Your Truth! Find Your Tribe! Be 100% Yourself 100% of the Time! You Can Have a Business That Makes Money And That You Love! - but how the do you actually do that?

What do you do that first morning when you’ve decided to change every freaking thing in your life?

1. Take Immediate Action on Your Most Scary Idea

In June 2009 I woke up at 5:30 in the morning (for those of you who read my blog, yes, that’s a reoccurring theme) with the idea for The Live Your Truth Project. Interviewing amazing entrepreneurs on how they live their truth. Whatever that means.

It sounded so scary – asking people I admire to help me. Trying to explain what they heck this project was when I didn’t even know myself. Finally sharing with a piece of the world what was secretly going on in my head.

I so wanted to just get back into bed & let it go to another day. But I had committed, to myself, to be okay with being uncomfortable. To take big scary action. To change everything.

So I sent out three emails asking some friends to be my first three interviewees. And asked them for introductions (asking people for help! scary!) to other cool people who would also be a great fit.

Even though I didn’t have a sales page. Or know what this thing would be about. Or have any real information to give them.

That’s the secret — the moment you are inspired with an amazing, horribly scary idea, take the very first action step.

Even if you don’t know the second action step.

Especially if you don’t know the second action step.

You can decide later if you really want to do the project. You can figure out later what steps 2 through 127 are going to be.

But today, sitting here right now, just take the first step that connects this project to the outside world. Announce it to twitter. Make a phone call. Schedule the meeting. Ask for help.

Don’t think. Get in motion. Right now.

2. Say No to Something That You Allegedly Should Be Doing.

Maybe you have no idea what you want to do.

But you do know what you don’t want to do.

Back when I was doing personal financial planning I knew I was totally bored, resented my clients, and had to do something else before I threw my laptop out the window and torched all my client files.

But I had no idea what I wanted to do with my business.

So I let go of my financial planning license (RIA) and shut down my practice. Giving up almost all my income. Creating space (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) for the new ideas, opportunities, people, to flow into my life.

This January 2010 I let go of even more stuff. Dropped relaunching a program that I no longer loved. Shut down a website that still gets traffic, but no longer matches where I’m going. Took projects off my launch list for 2010 that were things other people thought I “should” do, but I knew, in my gut, were not me. Letting go of some (theoretically) immediate income & traffic to make room for my truth.

So what’s on your to do list, your goals for this year, your project calendar that no longer matches who you are?

What no longer resonates with where you are going, what you want to be when you grow up?

Dump them. Turn them off. Close the doors. Unfriend. Say no.

Create space for magic. Opportunity. Joy. Projects and people who match your truth.

The only possible way you are going to have the time, energy, and capacity to create something amazing is if you let go of everything that’s just mediocre.

3. Go Write at Starbucks. Jump in a Puddle. Take the Next Plane to Vegas.

I have those days when I’m completely incapable of doing anything. I want to eat an entire bag of double stuffed Oreos and I start fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to be a checkout person at a Safeway grocery store.

When I’m in that mode, nothing is going to happen until I break the pattern.

Change my state. Shake myself up.

So those are the days when I rearrange the furniture in my office. Sit on the floor with my laptop in my lap to write the blog post. Drop everything to go hiking in the woods with my kid. Eat really spicy food at the new Thai restaurant down the street. Drive an hour to the beach to smell the ocean.

Are you feeling totally incapable of doing anything remotely productive?

Maybe you don’t have ideas (or you have too many). You don’t know what to say no to, because everything seems to be equally okay (or equally terrible. or you think you need the money.). You’re completely frozen in murkiness or melancholy or overwhelm or freakoutification.

What do you do?

Get out. Move. Change something. Get yourself stirred up.

Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Something that takes you out of your comfort zone, your regular routine.

If you can’t write at your regular desk, take your laptop to a different coffee shop, one you’ve never been to before. And sit at table totally different than one you would normally choose. Order the opposite of your drink: instead of your double shot grande mocha, order an iced tea or a full-fat frappachino.

Or don’t “work” – get out. Put on your raincoat and go splashing through puddle with your kid. Go to the mall an hour from your house and strike up a conversation with the person sitting on the bench next to you. Take a road trip to the ocean or a mountain or to see the largest ball of string in the county. Schedule a weekend in Vegas or New York City or Hawaii or a cabin in the woods.

If you don’t know what action to take on your business, then just take action, crazy action, in this moment. In being alive. Get moving. Change your state.

And your entire perspective will shift.

Your crap will start to clear away. And the next step, whether it is an action step on your scary inspired project or where it is knowing what you need to say no to — that next step will suddenly emerge as obvious.

Your Live Your Truth & Get Unstuck Action Steps:

1. Take the first little step on the most scary idea you have on your list.
2. Say no to something or someone that you know is not a right fit for where you are going.
3. Get out of your comfort zone and do something weird today.

Elizabeth Potts Weinstein empowers solo multipassionate entrepreneurs to speak & live their truth in their businesses & lives. She’s also a mom, attorney, author, speaker, entrepreneur, video blogging addict, lover of passion, tweetup connoisseur, people loving introvert, and truth evangelist. But here what she’s really about: Elizabeth does crazy sh*t and says the things that everyone thinks and no one says, to empower others to do their crazy sh*t and speak their truth. And … get paid for it. It’s the best freaking gig ever. Find her at http://elizabethpottsweinstein.com or on twitter at http://twitter.com/elizabethpw.

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

10 Practical Steps For Making Change Stick [Day 17 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 27th, 2010

This is Day 17 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. We are in the backstretch now, so everyone hang in there! Yesterday John Haydon helped us see that our passion could intersect with a marketing niche and actually become a business – w00t! Today, my very no-nonsense and super marketing savvy friend Jeffrey Summers gives us what we need to make our change of game actually stick.

10 Practical Steps For Making Change Stick

by Jeffrey Summers (@JeffreySummers)

Change is simple. It’s just not easy. So I have listed here the most critical items you need to address to make sure your change effort will succeed.

1. Decide on the most practical and realistic change(s) that can have the greatest impact in your personal or professional life – right now. These must be personal choices, not chosen for you or influenced by others.

2. Align them with your core values for real impact. The closer you align your change goals with core values and principles the higher degree of commitment you will achieve.

3. Focus on just 2 or 3 goals – not 26. Keep it simple.

4. Map your process. How will the process look on paper and define the desired result(s). What will success look like? Feel like? What will this change accomplish? Allow you to do?

5. Break each goal down into bite sized pieces (daily tasks) and attach a time factor for each contributing action. Daily – weekly – monthly.

6. Tasks need to be prioritized to achieve each aspect of the goal.

7. Reward yourself appropriately for accomplishing each step to reinforce the behavior so that you fulfill the immediate gratification demanded for any effort. Scale the rewards so that they fit the level of accomplishment.

8. Engage a “change coach” to provide support and feedback. This MUST be someone who has successfully gone through the process.

9. Review efforts with change coach daily/weekly to refocus behaviors and tasks and to ensure accountability.

10. Celebrate your achievement. Once you accomplish your goals. Help coach someone else who needs to do what you just did, to reinforce the change in you and to pay it forward.

Key Points

Change is about improvement. You can’t begin with the idea that you are broken and need fixing.

  • Remember that real change is about core behaviors. You don’t have a personal life and a professional life – there is just life. Compartmentalizing your behaviors for the sake of validating existing excuses is not acceptable and always leads to failure.
  • Measurement is critical to understanding how well you are doing, can do and will do in the future.
  • Finding a process that fits your style and attitude that can be replecatable for other areas of your life is invaluable.
  • Surround yourself with supporters of the change effort and eliminate contact with negative influences. You literally need to take an “either you’re with me or against me” attitude.
  • Keep a diary of your efforts so that you can document your story for future inspiration and support.
  • Don’t waste time on things that have no impact or utility for your current change process.
  • Make it fun. If the process isn’t enjoyable, the likelihood for 100% engagement and success is circumspect.
  • It’s not about achieving perfection – it’s about achieving success.
  • Be ready to engage all the necessary resources to accomplish your change goals. If you are not prepared to invest whatever resources are necessary to achieve your  goals, you will not succeed.
  • Remember that you are not alone. Someone, somewhere, has gone through and is going through the same change(s) you are currently undertaking. If you can join a community for support – or even start one – this would be ideal.
  • Don’t compare yourself or your results to others. This is about you and you alone.

Jeffrey Summers is the president and founder of RestaurantWorx™, a full-service, global, Hospitality Coaching and consulting firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Besides helping clients achieve success by working with them one-on-one, Jeffrey frequently speaks at and attends numerous industry events and local, state and national small business groups in order to share his passion for the business of food and hospitality.

You can find out more about Jeffrey and his work at his company’s website: http://RestaurantWorx.com

If you don’t want to miss out on the 30 Days to Changing Your Game, please sign up here.

How Not Changing My Game Changed My Game [Day 16 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 26th, 2010

This is Day 16 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Leesa Barnes got us walking our talk, and today John Haydon will take us down the road of discovering where our passion intersects with actually earning a living – yay!

How Not Changing My Game Changed My Game

by John Haydon (@JohnHaydon)

Sometimes I get emails from people I know on Twitter asking me how I’ve built up my business to the point I have (not that I’m rolling in it). They want to know how I’ve used my blog as leverage to become known as an authority on non-profit social media marketing.

I’d love to blow them away with “the secret”. But I don’t have it.

I simply decided what I wanted to do and stuck with it.

Deciding My Niche

This part was challenging and required a lot of research, both internally and externally. I knew that, based on my past success helping with non-profits with various aspects of marketing, I had something people needed. I also knew that because this service involved social media, a blog was a perfect way to sell it. But I had no idea how many others were doing the same thing.

So I made a list of folks online that were talking about social media for non-profits. I asked myself:

  1. How are they talking about this niche?
  2. Are they speaking in broad theoretical terms or very tactical terms?
  3. What’s their personality?
  4. What needs are being unmet?
  5. Is my voice needed?

Matching Inside and Outside

Once I answered all these questions I started blogging as much as I possibly could (about 3x per week). The frequency helped me “tune” my voice so that I was in harmony with both my heart/mind and my reader’s needs. This process is on going.

The “One Of Us” Marathon

I concurrently worked on developing relationships with folks playing the game I wanted to play. Some people call these folks “the competition” – I call them “the community”.

In Trust Agents, Chris & Julien talk about an idea called “one of us”. Basically, it’s the process of being invited into a special club by establishing trust with the members of that club. In my experience, this meant doing three things:

  1. Showing Up - Commenting on their blogs, meeting them at conferences, retweeting their goods, subscribing to their newsletters and eventually inviting them to guest post.
  2. Sticking Around - Month after month. Time is the ultimate vetting machine.
  3. Being Sincere – In my book, nothing is a more powerful differentiator than sincerity. It’s rarely seen but joyfully recognized when found. I’m a bad lier anyhow and being honest means not having to worry about short-term memory issues.

Game changing? I doubt it. Did it work? Yes.

Your Daily Challenge: Write down the answer to this question: Where does a marketing niche arrive at a crossroads with your passion?


John Haydon advises non-profits and small businesses how to implement inbound marketing strategies with the social web.

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Telling Me You're Changing the Game is Mediocre at Best [Day 15 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 25th, 2010

Today is Day 15 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. We are halfway there – well done!!  Yesterday Sophfronia Scott shared her expertise on how to add writing to our change-of-game plan and today my dear friend Leesa Barnes is going to challenge us to walk our talk. Here we go!

Telling Me You’re Changing the Game is Mediocre at Best

by Leesa Barnes (@LeesaBarnes)

I’ll tell you what gets me (even though you didn’t ask).

When people have to explain why they’re “changing the game.”

I visited someone’s blog the other day and clicked on his “About Me” page. Instead of copy, there was a video. Curious, I pressed the play button and in the first 30-seconds, he explained why he was using a video to share who he is.

He said (and I quote):

“Instead of setting up the typical about me page that you see on most websites with slick marketing copy and PR slogans and stuff like that, I thought I’d record this video and tell you myself why I started this site.”

Really? You have to tell me why you’re trying to be different?

That’s not being authentic. If you have to tell me that you’re being different, it means you’re looking for permission. And if you’re looking for permission to change things around a bit, it means you’re still letting fear strangle your success.

Even I’ve been guilty of this. One of the headlines on one of my sales pages says “I work 4-hours a day and make 6 figures. Join me so I can teach you to do the same.”

Why do I need to tell someone that I can do this for them? Shouldn’t my lifestyle be enough to show that I’m doing this already?

And I recently blogged about the breakthrough I had attending a recent event. That I was going to change the world because I now know my purpose.

Yet, my declaration of change has no meaning unless I do something. As my friend Elizabeth PW says, you’ve got to live your truth. She didn’t say to “say your truth,” she said LIVE it.

So…

  • You shouldn’t have to tell me that you have free time. Just live it.
  • You shouldn’t have to tell me that you are changing the game. Just change it.
  • You shouldn’t have to tell me that you’ve made tons of money on the Internet and now you can take 90-days off per year. And spend it with your family. And go on exotic trips. And ride on a camel with an Osama lookalike on the hump with you. Just do it (and post the pictures on Twitter).

Stop telling me about the change you’re going to do and just get it done already.

Your Action: Take the one thing that you’ve been saying that you plan to do and just do it. Right now. No excuses. Share in the comments area below the action you took. Don’t share why you plan to do. Share what you have done.

Leesa Barnes is President of the Association of Virtual Events Managers, Organizers & Hosts and is a leading authority on using virtual events to become the #1 expert in your niche market.

Nominated as one of the Top 50 Most Influential & Powerful Women in Social Media, Leesa helps independent consultants, entrepreneurs and business owners leverage virtual events and other online tools to boost profits. To learn more about Leesa, visit www.virtualeventsuccess.com.

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Write Your Way to Change [Day 14 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 24th, 2010

This is Day 14 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Yesterday Andrew Weaver got out there actually trying new things (as opposed to talking about it, right?!), and today Sophfronia Scott is going to dig in deep on a subject we’ve touched on-WRITING as a game-changing tool. You’ll love it!

By Sophfronia Scott (@Sophfronia)

Yes, I’ve written books and yes, I help people to write books, but you know what? Books can give writing a bad rap. The idea of creating a book makes writing intimidating—it makes you think that unless you’re writing the equivalent of War and Peace, why write at all?

However, our goal here in this series is change, and you don’t have to write 300 pages to create change in your life. In fact, it can happen in as little as 20 lines. I say this from experience: I am a writer because every time I write something, MAGIC happens. This goes back to my childhood. I wrote a poem and made a friend. I wrote a note for a teacher and made a roomful of people cry. I wrote a story and learned to understand my father.

It’s probably been the same for you. You just never recognized it before. Think about it. What happened when you wrote…

  • a note to a friend
  • a birthday card
  • a thank you note
  • an “I love you” note in a lunch bag
  • a page in your journal?

If you can make something happen by writing these brief items, it stands to reason that you can make change happen by writing other things as well. And size doesn’t matter!

Words have power and energy. The word “yes” feels differently from the word “no”. It feels better to write the word “love” that to write the word “hate”. I think we lose touch with that power and energy when we whip words around in speedy text messages and emails. It’s difficult to honor the power of words when they’re coming at you like darts!

But I encourage you to slow down and harness the power and energy of words through writing. Once you harness it, you can focus it on what you want to change in your life and start that magical process to help the change happen. Here’s how to get started.

A Reason to Write

Start with a clear intention. What do you want to write about? What do you want to accomplish? Perhaps you want to…

  • strengthen a relationship
  • work out a problem
  • clear your mind of clutter
  • honor a memory
  • get clarity on a decision
  • figure out what you really want

What to Write

When you write, you can sit in front of your computer or use a pad of paper, whatever is most comfortable for you. Then write whatever you want. Maybe it will take the form of a story, maybe you will “talk to yourself” on paper. Just let the words come.

Listen

Here’s a little secret: they are already there. Words are going through your head all the time. They can soothe you or scare you, motivate you or frustrate you.

But if you listen to the words, you can reach out and take them and put them down on paper. Once you do so you can, to some extent, control them. You can decide what action you’ll take from there. And when you take action, you begin to make change. See how that works? Magic!

Sophfronia Scott has over twenty years of experience as a professional writer, most of it spent at Time and People magazines.

When she published her first novel, “All I Need to Get By” with St. Martin’s Press in 2004, one prominent reviewer referred to her as potentially “one of the best writers of her generation.” Sophfronia holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard. As executive editor of The Done For You Writing & Publishing Company, she helps entrepreneurs and speakers to write and publish books to market their businesses. Her latest work is the award-winning bestseller, Doing Business By the Book: How to Craft a Crowd-Pleasing Book and Attract More Clients and Speaking Engagements Than You Ever Thought Possible. Sophfronia can be reached via her website, http://www.doneforyouwriting.com

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Break Your Stalemate [Day 13 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 23rd, 2010

Today is Day 13 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. I don’t know about you but I think the air here positively crackles with energy whenever I open the blog. Awesome. Yesterday, Sandy Grason shared her brilliant B.A.L.L.S concept – what fun! Today, we are going to move into some active fun just a little bit as my friend Andrew Weaver reminds us about curiosity and trying new things. Perfect Saturday fare so read on!

Break Your Stalemate

by Andrew Weaver (@drewmaniac)

Remember when you were a kid and everything was within your reach?

When you were a kid it seemed the whole world was at your fingertips. You had larger than life dreams. You were always thinking about what you were going to be when you grew up.

When you were young you had a curiosity that was unmatched. You had an imagination that could envision yourself doing anything you wanted. You asked why, how, and where. You wanted to know and often you wanted to know now.

As you grow older you tend to lose that curiosity. Adolescence convinced you that you knew it all and a few more years under your belt convinced you that you would never know it all. So you become comfortable with what you do know. You entrench yourself in a willing stalemate. The music that is good is the music you grew up with as a child. The books that are good are the books you read when you were younger. The fast changing technology is too much for you to learn, so you remain with the old inventions you’ve always used.

Don’t believe me? How many times have you heard someone say, “Those computers are just too complicated for me?” If you have, then you’ve just met someone who has entrenched themselves into a willing stalemate in the game of life.

So what can you do? Break your stalemate and learn something new.

  • Grow a garden.
  • Learn the guitar.
  • Learn any musical instrument that interests you.
  • Listen to music you would normally not listen to.
  • Write about something you never write about.
  • Eat at a different restaurant.
  • Read a bio of someone you don’t know much about on Wikipedia (no, really).
  • Try cooking a meal you’ve never cooked before.
  • Take singing lessons.
  • Become an entrepreneur.
  • Try out a social media tool besides the typical Twitter or Facebook.
  • Read a genre of books you’ve never read before.
  • Go back to school.
  • Learn to ride a unicycle (feel free to laugh).
  • Learn a language.
  • Start a blog.
  • Visit a different country with the intention of learning their culture.
  • Learn to ice skate or roller skate.

This is a very short list of ideas. I’m sure you can come up with some of your own. The point is, there is always something new you can learn, try, or do. There is no reason you should ever find yourself at a stalemate in life.

Adulthood should not mean you lose your curiosity. It should not mean you stop asking questions. It should never mean you stop dreaming those larger than life dreams.

Does it mean you will always achieve those dreams? No. If it did, I would be a zoologist (even though I hated science in school) or a professional baseball player (even though I never had the talent to make it to college level). Those were two of my larger than life dreams. I didn’t fail at them. I just learned they weren’t for me. My curiosity moved to other things and different dreams. I learned and didn’t get caught in a stalemate.

Some very simple tips to help you begin to break your stalemate.

  • End the negative thoughts. Stop saying “I can’t” and “I will never.”
  • Start the positive thoughts. Start saying “I can” and “I will.”
  • Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, but never have. It doesn’t matter what it is or how impossible it may seem. Once you’ve finished the list, pick just two things you will do this year. Figure out a way and make it happen. Repeat this action next year and maybe even add more than two to accomplish.
  • It only takes about three weeks to establish a new habit. Challenge yourself to create new and positive habits as often as possible.
  • Keep a small notebook of some kind with you at all times. Ideas don’t always come at the best moments. When one does, write it down. Go back later and build on it.

And of what of maybe?

  • Maybe you’re wrong.
  • Maybe they’re right.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t try.
  • Maybe it’s a waste of time.
  • Maybe you will fail.
  • Maybe it’s too risky.
  • Maybe you won’t get the job anyway.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t care.
  • Maybe it is impossible.
  • Maybe it isn’t worth it.
  • Maybe it won’t work.
  • Maybe someone else will do it.
  • Maybe someone else will step up.
  • Maybe it’s not your place.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t speak up.

Maybe, but how will you know?

Remember when you were a kid and everything was within reach? It still is. This short video says it much better than me. It also has a better soundtrack. It was the inspiration for this post. It is addressing entrepreneurs specifically, but I think everyone can be a little inspired by the message. Enjoy these next couple of minutes.


Andrew Weaver
is a photographer, blogger, and self described social media geek. He has an interest in helping others improve their lives both personally and professionally. He authors the blog Leave It To Weaver and you can connect with Andrew on Twitter.

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Guess I should write about B.A.L.L.S. [Day 12 – 30 Days to Changing Your Game]

January 22nd, 2010

Today is Day 12 of 30 Days to Changing Your Game. Such great stuff is happening – I am really proud of all of you! Yesterday, Dr. Mollie Marti showed us the light on Non-Guilty Pleasures and today my kicky friend Sandy Grason is going to share her hilarious and killer change changing concept B.A.L.L.S. You’ll love it!


Guess I Should Write about B.A.L.L.S

by Sandy Grason (@SandyGrason)

When Sarah asked me to write something for her 30 Days to Change Your Game series, I had a ton of ideas that I wanted to share with you.

However, as I sit down to write this, I keep hearing these words in my head “what is the ONE thing that you really, really need to say?”

And that ONE thing has to be B.A.L.L.S.

Not just because that word makes me laugh (a key ingredient in changing any game is the FUN-factor), but because I truly believe that having B.A.L.L.S. is the missing piece for so many high achieving, faaabulous, focused individuals out there.

We can manage to acccomplish great things, accumulate all kinds of awards, status symbols, etc. yet we continue to hang onto limiting beliefs about ourselves and focus too much on what others think.

Until you’ve developed B.A.L.L.S. you will continually hold yourself back from living your greatest life.  Let me share some things about B.A.L.L.S. with you. :-)

B.A.L.L.S. stands for:

Belief- in who you are and what you are doing.  The self-doubt that creeps in is just part of being human, but how you deal with that Inner Critic is what really matters.

Authenticity- You can’t have BALLS by imitating someone else.  You’ve got to find your own “IT” factor.  You’ve got it, I promise! And it’s not hiding inside a book or a seminar or a guru, it’s inside of you. Get quiet and reconnect to your greatest vision and then take inspired action.

Live Out Loud- Inspiration from the faaabulous J. Lo’s song Let’s Get Loud. “If you want to live your life, you gotta live it all the way, and don’t you waste it.” Are you willing to throw your hands up in the air and shout “Here I am, World!” ?

Liscious-ness – This is that certain sumpin’-sumpin’ that defines YOU when you are operating at your greatest.  Say your name and then add “ness” or “lisciousness” to the end of your name.  Do you know what that is?  I couldn’t always tell you what Sandy-ness is… so I defined it.  And then when I turned 40, Sandyness became Sandylisciousness-I don’t know what happened, but it’s been fun & exciting & and I highly recommend it!

SuperHero – If your life is a movie and you are the main character, why not be the superhero?  What would the superhero do right now?  You know that moment in the theater when the plot twists and the hero is challenged and you are yelling at the screen because you know exactly what the hero should do?  Well, view your life as if it was a movie and go do it! Go be the SuperHero of your life.

B.A.L.L.S. has helped me through countless uncomfortable situations and allowed me to grow in ways that I could have never imagined.  Having B.A.L.L.S. is an ongoing process, it never ends, and that’s a good thing!

So, if I were going to give you one tip that would really support you in changing your game, it’s gotta be the B.A.L.L.S.

How do you get B.A.L.L.S.?  Here’s my first assignment for you:

Take a deep breath, call all of your energy back into your body and ask yourself, “What am I most afraid of doing right now?”

Listen to the whisper, the one that gives your butterflies in your belly…. and go do one thing that scares you just a little- this inspired action (even in the face of fear) has the power to transform your life.

=:-)

Sandy Grason is a Rock Star Author, Int’l Speaker & Hot Mogul. Get on the Guest List for Sandy’s next Virtual Cocktail Party®, gain access to private videos, articles, tips, tools and strategies.  Download the Fabulous Free Gift: 60-minute mp3 “The Manifesting Mojo Class” where you’ll learn how to rock your manifesting mojo now at www.SandyGrason.com

 

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