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Archive for September, 2010

Delivering Wow – Lesson #2 From My Live Event

September 29th, 2010

As I pulled up to the Georgian Terrace the afternoon before my live event got underway, my heart was in my throat.  “OMG – you are doing this!” “Who are you to do this?” “Is it gonna be awesome or is it gonna suck?” And all those other charming voices who’ve made quite a home for themselves in my head.

The valet took on look one look at the amount of crap in my car and immediately called over a bellman with a cart. Only it wasn’t just any bellman. It was Anthony. And though I didn’t know it in that moment, my life was about to get radically different.

“Sorry about all the stuff,” I say. “I’m here for a three day event.”

“Well in that case,” replies Anthony, “I’m going to ask to do one thing while you are here. Let me spoil you.”

And he wasn’t kidding.

He schlepped ALL of my stuff (two carts worth) up to my room and then said “As soon as you are ready to come down in the morning, call the front desk, ask for me and I will be right up. ”

But before I could call him the next morning, he was already in my meeting room, asking my staff if I was up yet because he was ready to help.

I could just write a story about Anthony – which I may still do – but I want to share with you what he taught me about delivering Wow.

1. It’s all about attitude. Anthony greets the day with style and attitude. Sure, he has bosses who are older than he is. And I caught a few of them gloating over being able to tell him what to do. He doesn’t care. (and I am certain he out earns them in tips 5 to 1.) He carries himself like he owns the place. And in many ways, I think he does.

2. There is nothing that isn’t my job. Anthony took ownership of the success of my event. More so than the sales staff. More so than the catering staff. He checked on the room about 15 times a day and looked for the chance to ask me directly “Is everything satisfactory?”

I walked in one morning to find maintenance taping down electrical cords. I thought someone on my team asked them to do it. Later in the morning, Anthony walks in with a roll of gaffers tape in his hand. ” I told maintenance to tape those chords down and I saw that loose one over there and thought they hadn’t done their job. I’ll just take a quick minute to fix that one. ”

3. When you excel, others won’t like you. On a couple of occasions, Anthony said “If management has an issue, tell them you asked for me specifically. Some of these other guys don’t like it when I’m the one doing all this stuff.” Yep, I can see that. But here’s the thing. the few times Anthony wasn’t around and some of “the other guys” helped me, they did the minimum. They were polite and helpful, of course, but there was no relationship. Eventually, if Anthony wasn’t around, I’d just wait until he was. Because I liked him that much.

4. It’s the little things. On the morning of Day 2, Anthony stopped me in the lobby and said “You told me you were holding a three day conference. You aren’t holding a conference. You are holding some kind of beauty pageant. I’ve never seen such a gorgeous group.” I asked him if he would come tell the group that. And he did. And they ate it up.

5. Anticipate the wow. Event is over. I’m about to drop. Anthony is helping load my stuff out of the meeting room. In fact he is way over by the door – way away from me. I turn to Liz Marshall and say “I’d love to sit down with you and Andrea and just have a Coke.” About 2 minutes later, Anthony walks up to me and says, “Would you like me to set up some cold Cokes and glasses of ice for you out on the Veranda?” I truly could have kissed him for having such a keen sense of hearing.

When he brought said Cokes and ice out onto the veranda and I asked for the check, he looked insulted. “These are compliments of the Georgian Hotel. Enjoy.”

Obviously I could go on and on about Anthony. But I will stop here. He taught me so much in three days. And as he closed my door after loading up my car (I wasn’t allowed to touch anything), he said, “I meet a lot of people Miss Sarah, but your something special. ”

As are you Anthony. As are you.

Wow.

With Love & Gratitude – Lesson #1 from My Live Event

September 27th, 2010

So I’ve cried about 15 times since Creating Irresistible Presence ended Saturday afternoon.  So many emotions. So much “whirly brain” as my friend EPW calls it.

There are so many lessons I learned over those three days and as they settle in, I plan to write and share them all with you.

But here is the biggest one – the one that is spilling over, the one I can’t not say right now this minute.

The love and gratitude I feel for those who surrounded and supported me as I moved through my biggest ship burning yet (and I did it standing there in front of God and everybody) fills my heart to bursting.

Put quite simply, none of it would have happened without them.

First – my family:

My husband, David, who put up with my singular focus for months as I planned CIP, who put all his skill and talents on the line as he negotiated and re-negotiated with the hotel venue and who loved me right through the entire thing, even though he is still very fuzzy about what it is exactly that I do.

My children who put up with a very distracted Mommy (and, yes, at times very crabby) while I pulled CIP together and who beautifully took care of their Daddy while I was in Atlanta.

My amazing attendees-

You had enough faith and belief in me to re-arrange your lives for three days to show up, be present, and trust in the work I asked you to do. You inspired me every single moment – inside and outside of that room – with your courage, your willingness and your beauty. I was so privileged and so honored to be among you and watch you take flight.

My amazing support team (otherwise known as My Three Right Hands):

-The one and only Chelsea Moser who took care of details I will never even know about, made the room look amazing each and every day and who has the chutzpah to get what the event needs, even after she’s been told she can’t have it. :-)

Monica Waugh-Benton who stepped into her role of making things happen with such ease and grace. She made things so stinkin easy-peasy and effortless – it was a wonder to behold.

Brandon Sutton who, no matter what my crazy request was, said “We can make it work.” From vases to extraordinary A/V to well-timed laughter, he knew what I needed before I  did. Thank god.

My two dear friends who made a way to shine so brilliantly for my peeps, even though they couldn’t be physically present in Atlanta.

Chris Guillebeau – who, even with his cr-AZY book tour schedule, took the time to create an amazing video presentation. Except it really wasn’t a presentation. It was more like a conversation. Such warmth, such generosity, such love. Oh and it had really smart business-y stuff in it too. :-)

Reese Spykerman – who, in spite of all her reservations, stepped up to the plate and created a teaching video that was so beautiful, fun, spunky and smart – just like she is. And she also flexed with persistent tech challenges and over delivered in her live Q & A. My peeps ate her up.

For my coach and mentor and friend:

-Andrea Lee - who believed in me way before I believed in myself, who held the vision as I was buffeted by the storms of self-doubt, distraction and fear.  She also showed up in such a beautiful, joyful way at my event as she talked about money in the most loving and generous terms. So many take aways. Oh – and I think my peeps got some too. :-)

And for my anchors, my rocks, my loves. My BFFs:

Allison Nazarian, who leaped tall buildings in a single bound to be in Atlanta with me and who, when I was certain the material I was teaching had no common thread or glue of any kind, turned to me and said, “Everything that you taught this morning is the perfect lead up to what I am about to teach.” And then she knocked it out of the park.

ElizabethPW who made me feel like my material was big and important ( I know, I know. I shouldn’t need that. But I do. The end.), because she wrote about how much it resonated with her,  who put her amazing video skills to work in front of the group with her amazing preso and behind the scenes because I needed her, and who told me EXACTLY what I needed to hear at the end of Day 1.

Elizabeth Marshall who refused to let me go over the Crazy Cliff no matter how determined I was to go there. Again and again she threw me a lifeline until I lifted up my hands on my own behalf and caught it. Oh, and the wisdom and brilliance she shared with the group totally rocked.

There is so much more to say about all of these people who lent me their strength, their brilliance and their love. Never faltering, never holding back, never not standing there lifting me up in unimaginable ways.

Without you, I would have never had the clarity, the confidence or the courage to put myself out there in such a heart-stoppingly big way.

I love you. I am so grateful for you. And I am forever in your debt.

Thank you for believing in me.

Living In The Solution

September 16th, 2010

I admit it.

When I get scared or overwhelmed, I like to get all mired down in the problem. Really. It feels good to roll around in the muck – like a pig in slop. Plus I get to complain a lot. And when I put energy into complaining, I don’t have any to put into solving the problem.

Who me? Take responsibility? Uh-uh. No way.

And it all works out great until days, weeks or months later, I’m still hearing myself complain about the same stuff. If I’m worn out hearing about it, I can only imagine what it must be like for the people who’ve had to listen to me.

So, I move into the solution.

I should move there way faster than I actually do because I KNOW that is where the action is.  I’m just not that highly evolved yet. (But hey – at least I get sick of hearing myself whine faster – that is HUGE progress!)

Moving into the solution or “Living in the Solution” (a phrase I did not make up but love) is actually quite a relief. After all the time and energy spent whining and complaining – and getting nowhere – it actually feels good to think about how I actually might solve the thing that’s got my panties in a knot.

Very often I start small. I just THINK about solutions. “Hmmmm…..what is one way I might solve that.” No big action or anything – I’m still recovering from all that whining. Then, I might take a small step in the direction of that solution. And then another. And then another.

Or, if I’m in really deep kimchi, I move into full-tilt solution mode. Laser-focused on finding a way – any way – to solve my dilemma.

Either way, I suddenly fin myself  UNfocused on how miserable I am. Rather I am in action, making a solution happen.

Funny how that works.

And funny how soon I will forget that it is just easier to live in the solution in the first place.

#slowlearner

(If you are new here and wondering what prompted this post, it’s the fact that I am getting ready for this:
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com)

A Missive from Cliff's Edge

September 14th, 2010

I’m scared. And nervous. And excited.

The blood is starting rush to my head and my stomach is queasy.

And I’m starting to dance around a lot because I’ve got the jitters.

But mostly, I just can’t wait.

I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, ready to make the biggest leap of my life.  I’ve prepared for it. I’ve worked for it. I’m ready for it. (Well, some moments I feel ready for it. Other moments I think ” What WERE you thinking?!?!?!”)

For me, this is where raising my stakes has led me; the culmination of burning my ships.

My job between now and leaping is to go through the steps in my mind. Envisioning each step along the way. Each move. Each twist. This is how Olympians prepare. It’s also how Tony-award winning actors prepare.

It makes the difference between breath-taking and also-ran.

I’m all in.

Creating Irresistible Presence begins in Atlanta on 9.23.  You still have time to join us.
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

Chris Guillebeau's Book & Why It Matters to You

September 10th, 2010

The Rest in Between

September 7th, 2010

I did something extremely unusual this weekend. I took practically all three days off and spent time outdoors with friends and family.

With my live event just a couple of days away, it was tough to pull myself away. At first.

Then I got used to not being glued to my laptop and I discovered I LIKED being disconnecting and resting. And now that it is time get back to it, I find that my mind is fresh and I am far more creative. And I appreciate what I do for a living all the more.

It’s like music. The rests – or quiet parts – between measures or phrases are just as important as the measures and phrases filled with notes.  It takes BOTH to make music.

So if I have any sway at all over you and the choices you make, I HIGHLY encourage you to find the rest in between. then you and the rest of the world will be able to hear the music only you can compose. :-)

Fancypants Videos Are Doing It Wrong

September 2nd, 2010

(Lucky us! EPW is one of the guest speakers at Creating Irresistible Presence!)

Fancypants Videos Are Doing It Wrong.
By Elizabeth Potts Weinstein (@ElizabethPW
)

You know the excuse most people give me for not adding video to their website?

No, it’s not “the technology is hard/complicated” (that’s the #2 excuse. And yes, it is an excuse, because the technology doesn’t have to be hard).

The #1 excuse is they are afraid of not being perfect.

They may say it differently:

  • “I’m just not good on camera.”
  • “I’m too old/young/fat/skinny/casual/stuffy/pale/dark to be on camera.”
  • “I tried to make a video and my hair looked weird / I had wrinkles / my shirt looked strange / the cat walked in / the sound was off, so I didn’t post it.”
  • “My house/desk/office/car/backyard is too messy and I don’t have anywhere else to film it.”
  • “I talk too fast/slow/accented/whiny/low/high and people aren’t going to like it.”
  • “I had to shoot tons of video and spent all kind of time editing it, and I still couldn’t make it right.”

Here’s the big secret.

Your video doesn’t need to be perfect.

Your video just needs to be you.

Your imperfections, your weird, your uniqueness – that’s the point of doing video.

Video is the most direct way (besides meeting with each person, one-on-one) to have an intimate conversation with each person who comes to your website.

They get to connect with the real you.

In all your weirdness, or wrinkles, or wild hair. In all of your passion.

Your realness. All of the humanness that makes you, you.

Being perfect on video is the wrong way to do it.

You’ve seen those “perfect” professionally produced, fancypants videos – they are flat. Boring. Passionless. There’s no intimacy. No connection. No truth.

The biggest difference between you and a big corporation, the only real difference between you and any of your competitors – is you.

You are the unique selling proposition of your business.

Your weirdness, your personality, your message, your imperfections, your truth.

So don’t let the “my video won’t be perfect” excuse hold you back.

Your awesomeness is found in your imperfections.

Make (and post!) that first video on your website today.

Let your truth, let your passion, speak through that video, and sell the amazingness that is you.

Elizabeth Potts Weinstein empowers solo-entrepreneurs to make a greater difference in the world and become more successful & fulfilled, by doing what is a natural extension of who they really are. She’s also a mom, attorney, author, speaker, coach, radio show host, twitter chat host, video blogging addict, tweetup connoisseur, people loving introvert, and truth evangelist. If you want to follow her on her adventures, learn how to create online videos, or find how to live your truth, find her at http://twitter.com/ElizabethPW or at http://ElizabethPW.com.

If you want more help with creating your first video, or need additional strategies and tools to take your videos to the next level, Elizabeth has multiple resources available for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced online video creator at http://LiveYourTruthOnVideo.com. And if you join any of her programs by THIS THURSDAY September 2nd at 9:00 PM EST, you can join on a live private Q&A call where she will answer our video questions & you can get immediate implementation troubleshooting as you creating your videos!

Get more info & join at: http://LiveYourTruthonVideo.com

On Writer's Block & Restistance

September 1st, 2010

Yippy. I am experiencing writer’s block for the first time in a long time.  And I hate it. I sit and stare at the screen trying to think of something interesting to write and pffft – nothing.

Here’s the thing I know though – that I haven’t always known:

For me, writer’s block is usually about resistance. I don’t want to accept where I am – this un-brilliant place. And the more I fight it, the more mired in it I become. Kind of like quick sand.

So, here I am. Showing up on the page, admitting the truth about about where I find myself.

This actually works around all kinds of resistance I put up about a billion different thing. Once I stop arguing with myself about my reality (I am NOT resisting! I am WAY too advanced for that.”), I start testing the edges of what’s going on. Feeling the size and shape of it, getting my bearings, pointing to the map and saying “I am here.”

After I get a rough idea of where I am, I try to observe it as kind of an un-invested outsider. “Huh. Look at that. I’m having writer’s block. Isn’t that interesting?”

By shining the  light on my reality like that (and screwing up the courage to say it out loud), the resistance starts to slowly erode. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but move it does.

So there you go. Today, I am not brilliant or even remotely witty and I have writer’s block.

What truth might you be resisting today?

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