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Archive for June, 2011

The Escaping Mediocrity Manifesto

June 29th, 2011

The Escaping Mediocrity Manifesto

I believe we are all called to something bold and amazing.

~ I believe we each hold within us a vast reservoir of courage.

~ I believe in doing something every day that scares the shit out of me.

I believe in burning my ships and declaring myself all in.

I believe that the place of effortlessness is where all my power lies waiting for me.

~ I believe that effortlessness doesn’t mean I stop working my butt off.

I believe that it’s all about relationships.

I believe that it’s all about choices.

I believe in getting paid well for what I do.

I believe I have no greater duty to myself and to others than telling the truth.

~ I believe that once I’ve lost the will and desire to keep my word, I’ve lost everything.

I believe that, however necessary it may be, failing still sucks.

~ I believe in making a ruckus.

I believe there are those who are waiting to hear what only my unique voice can say.

~ I believe true kindness is grossly underrated and undervalued.

I believe generosity and gratitude will always trump arrogance, fear and scarcity as marketing strategies.

~ I believe the words “I’m sorry” are the most healing words in the English language.

~ I believe living is meant to be a daily adventure, full of unexpected twists and turns and moments that take my breathe away.

~ I believe my greatest market advantage is cultivating a beginner’s mind.

~ I believe in supporting those who support me. They are, after all, the reason I get to do what I do for a living.

~ I believe we are all awash in creative energy.

~ I believe we all yearn to be seen and heard and acknowledged by others.

I believe we all long for meaningful human connection.

I believe in questioning everything.

I believe levity will save us all.

I believe in naps.

I believe in raising my children to be something other than sheep.

I believe making a cake can soothe my troubled soul.

I believe in sinking into deep, heart-felt contentment.

I believe that trusting my instincts will never lead me astray.

I believe in living in the solution.

~ I believe the big “thing” I know I am meant to do in this world is worthy of execution.

~ I believe I must declare, out loud, which side I’m on.

~ I believe I am enough.

What do you believe?

I’ve made a very cool poster of the Escaping Mediocrity Manifesto that fits on one piece of regualr, letter-sized paper and doesn’t use a ton of ink to print. Here’s a snapshot of it.

If you would like a copy of the poster to print out and keep where you can see it, just pop your name and email addy in the boxes below and one will whiz it’s way to your inbox!

Are Challenges Part of Your Game Plan?

June 27th, 2011

“Looks like you’re having some business challenges.” she said with a note of concern that bordered on pity.

“Of course I’m having challenges,” I replied. “If I weren’t having challenges, I wouldn’t be trying, daring, risking and growing.”

She then looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

I totally get it. There was a time when I thought there was a destination I could reach in my business when all challenges would stop. Suddenly everything would just work successfully all the time. Being plagued with challenges would become a thing of the past.

Here’s what I now know: that destination doesn’t exist.

If the challenges stop, one of two things has happened. 1) I’ve gotten really lazy and think I don’t need to keep trying fresh approaches, learn new stuff, and pushing to be better or 2) I’m dead.

Those are the only routes that lead to no challenges. Quite frankly, I’m not interested in either one.

So instead of being surprised by challenges and bemoaning the fact that they exist, I now just build them into my game plan. I expect them to come. I expect to dedicate resources to dealing with them. I expect them to be as much a part of my business as clients and cash flow.

And because I expect them and don’t get caught off guard when they show up, my energy isn’t sapped getting flustered and frustrated (or as they say in the tiny town where I grew up “flustrated”.) Rather, I can calmly access the challenge and quickly choose the best solution. All in a matter of minutes most of the time.

So, what would it be like to make challenges part of YOUR game plan?

P.S. Do you subscribe Escape Notes, the weekly newsletter for the Escaping Mediocrity Tribe? If not, fix that here: http://bit.ly/EscapeNotes

How to Develop Laser Sharp Clarity Like the Big Dogs (Day Three of Big Dog Series)

June 22nd, 2011

Today, I am guest blogger for Judi Knight’s Big Dogs blog series. In my post I share the best strategy I know for getting laser sharp clarity about your blog, your brand, your business or even your life.

You can read all about it here:

http://www.newtricks.me/how-to-develop-laser-sharp-clarity-like-the-big-dogs-day-three-of-big-dog-series/

Money Models and the Spirituality of Business Structure by Mark Silver

June 15th, 2011

I am thrilled to announce ANOTHER amazing speaker for my live event, Creating Irresistible Presence!  Mark Silver is one of my very favorite people on the planet and he will bringing his expertise on Revenue Models to the table for all CIP attendees. W00t!  His blog post below will give you just a glimpse of what a treat you are in for!

Money Models and the Spirituality of Business Structure

One of my students in the Heart of Money Transformational Journey asked about how to handle a lack of confidence in her pricing when she wanted to serve the nonprofit community. “I don’t believe they can afford it,” she asked. She was struggling to trust her pricing, even though she used our resonant pricing exercise to get guidance.

As a designated master teacher in my Sufi spiritual lineage, I’m always supporting our students to have the clarity of love in their heart when taking business actions, so the confidence they feel isn’t forced.

However, sometimes the issue isn’t spiritual. At least not in that internal, belief sense. Sometimes the problem is external.

So let’s talk about the spirituality of structures and how it relates to how you bring revenue into your business.

The Spirituality of Structures

Maybe you’ve had the same experience I’ve had in a yoga class. I’ll be attempting a pose, I’m such a noob with it, and since we have 2 1/2 year-old twin toddlers it’s been about 2 1/2 years since I’ve been in a yoga class, but anyway, where was I? Oh yeah…

So you’re in class attempting a pose, and the teacher comes over behind you and adjusts you slightly. It’s the same pose, it’s not a major shift. Yet suddenly everything clicks. Your body relaxes, you feel energy flowing through. The position comes alive.

That’s an example of an external structure supporting internal, spiritual Divine connection.

It’s the same in your business. There are structures your business can take on that support your connection to both Source and to your clients. If those structures are out of alignment with your clients or Source then there’s static in the system, and things don’t flow easily.

Sometimes you need major adjustments, and sometimes you just need to shift a little bit.

An Example

A client was wanting to support moms. She had, as part of what she learned, a standard life-coaching model of hour-long sessions two to three times a month.

She wasn’t getting a lot of takers. While it’s true that she had some internal beliefs to clean up, and she could also have done better reaching a larger audience, there was also a reality of the money model, the offer she was making.

When the twins came along, in our family we made the decision that Holly would be the full-time mom, and I would be a very-involved dad, but still full-time in the business. Or what passes for full-time, what with taking time off to read a book or play with a puzzle every time I go upstairs to go to the bathroom.

My wife doesn’t have time for two or three hour-long coaching sessions a month. If she has that much time, she’s taking a nap. Or sitting in a cafe staring at a wall. We have twin toddler boys. And by “twin toddler boys” I mean “two 3-foot tornadoes in constant motion throughout the house.” We’re treading water here, folks. :)

Any mom can relate. What does she really need?

Our client changed her approach. Dropped the price, created a group experience/course, and made the time commitment shorter, focusing on quick, implementable strategies for moms with young kids, and creating a community of support for the participants.

She changed the money model. She ended up making a similar amount per hour, but the delivery was different. And yes, she did end up with some individual clients as well.

What’s So Spiritual About That?

It’s about surrendering what you think you know to being in alignment with what is being asked of you. There’s a Sufi teaching that attributes this quote to the Divine: “I love those of My servants best who are of most use to My creation.”

What this means is that when we are in service to the world around us, there is a flow of love available that is hard to access if you are only focused on yourself and what you need. While the standard thinking about money models has to do with questions like, “What’s most profitable?” or “What leverages your time the most?” those aren’t the first questions we’re asking.

The first question is, for the people you want to serve, how can you be most useful to them?

There’s a four-step process I teach which I call “Crafting Your Offer” which is about creating a Divinely-inspired structure for your work in the world. And the question of how much to charge is the last step, not the first consideration as many would have you think.

The Essence of the Four Steps

Although I dial the process in with more detail and nuance, here are two questions you can ask to get started with this process.

1. Where are your clients trying to get to?
2. Given who they are and the situation they are in, what do they need to get to that destination?

Then craft your offer, your Divinely-inspired money model, around those two questions, from an intention of wanting to be useful and supportive to your people.

One Last Bonus

In my spiritual lineage of Sufism, we talk about the essential qualities of the Divine, things like Love, Compassion, Friendship, Strength, Wisdom, etc.

One of the qualities is The Divine Designer, in Arabic “Al Musawwir.” This quality carries the message that everything that exists has received the Divine word “Be!” and with that existence, each thing has also received a unique form for its expression.

I recommend meditating/praying/Remembering using the Divine quality Al Musawwir The Designer, to help receive inspiration around the unique Divine form that supports your business in expressing itself and being most useful to both you (in terms of profit) and to the people you are meant to serve.

I’m curious, what do you notice about the design and structure of your money model if you take even a few moments to look at it from a Divine perspective?

bio:
Mark Silver (@markheartofbiz)  is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and a designated Master Teacher in his Sufi Spiritual lineage, which has earned him the title of “Business Tenderizer.” As the founder of Heart of Business, he heads up a team of practitioners that support heart-centered business owners who want to make a difference and need to make a profit. His approach of integrating a Sufi perspective on universal spiritual teachings with nitty-gritty business practices means that your every act of business can be an act of love. You can find free resources at http://www.heartofbusiness.com

The “I’m Sick So You’ll Have to Do the Writing” Post

June 13th, 2011

running-while-sick

So….I’m sick. Not just kindof sick. But really bad cold/cough/feellikemyheadisgoingtoexplode sick.

Which means my brain is not firing well enough to remember what day it is, much less put together a riveting blog post.

I could just skip a post for today, but that wouldn’t be much fun. So instead, I’ve come up with a few questions for you to get your brain churning. It would be best if you wrote out the answers (pen to paper is where the magic happens) and you don’t have to share them in the comments unless you want to.

BUT, I would love it if you shared any a-ha’s you got from writing out the answers.

Don’t be a passive intaker on this. Get out a piece of paper and a pen and dedicate the 10 – 15 minutes it will take for you to do this. The result I promise is clarity. :-)

Questions:

1. The thing I want to do/be more than anything is:

2. The skills, knowledge and expertise I’ve acquired to help me do that are:

3. The gaps in my skills, knowledge and expertise are:

4. Here’s how I’m going to fill that gap (ie, where/who I’m gonna learn it from):

5. And this is my time frame for doing that:

These are pretty specific questions requiring pretty specific answers. So the more you can raise the grain when you are writing, the more useful this information will be to you.

So off you go! I’ll be thinking of you from here under the covers slugging gatorade. :-)

Showing Up: Merging the Inside and Outside of Creative Work

June 8th, 2011

(I am THRILLED to announce that the one and only Janet Goldstein is joining the speaker lineup for Creating Irresistible Presence in Atlanta. Janet’s brilliance lies in shepherding ideas and messages into books that make a powerful inpact – and that land on the bestseller list. To give you a taste of the treat you’re in for when you come to CIP, I coaxed this fantastic blog post from her. Enjoy!)

Showing Up–Mergin​g the Inside and Outside of Creative Work
A guest post by Janet Goldstein

SamuraiGirl

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time with the more writerly side of my work–the clients and workshop participants who aren’t setting out to build an empire with their work (though those dreams are often under the surface), but rather those who are connected to the craft of writing first, and sharing their work second.  These are the authors who feel their story not only cuts close to the bone, but whose identity in telling that story cuts close to the bone too. (NOTE: Business and self-help authors can easily fall into this camp, too; it’s a heart thing, not a career or title thing.)

It struck me that there’s truth in the idea that writers are introverted, shy, private, clearly not the sales-y marketing types we seem to expect writers to be in today’s world of everyone-for-her/himself. But I wonder…. Is this really “how it is,” or is it partially true but also partially a myth? Is the introvert a personality trait as well as a persona? An explanation that one can fall back on.

When I teach, I often define “publishing” as “writing for an audience.” Writing in a journal or keeping notes and dream journals by the side of our bed seems natural and part of being human. Many of us write.

But writing for others–for a readership–takes guts. It takes chutzpah. It takes cajones.
 
The act of writing is aggressive, assertive, bold, fierce.
 
Who am I to have something to say that deserves–that commands–the attention of readers?
 
There’s power in words (they’re mightier than swords), and we feel that power internally as we put our fingers to the keys. The more urgent and important our work feels to us, the more strength, the more assertiveness, it can take to get the words out.

So, I wonder if there’s another construct for thinking about sharing our work. Can we own that assertiveness with our work–and perhaps attack our work the way a ballet dancer attacks a fouette or a musician attacks a note or a new piece? Then maybe we can take that powerful “inside” stance and carry it into the “outside” world.

If we have that strength “inside” ourselves then we can take it “outside” ourselves. We CAN go public with our work and not be afraid we’ll be too exposed or defeated.

When I go to writers’ conferences and lead workshops there is often a huge light bulb effect. The inside and the outside come together. People are hugely interested in each others’ work, processes, stories, relationships, successes, and disappointments. Did you ever think: No one seems “stuck” at a writer’s conference, or any other conference, workshop, or live event for that matter. We might be shy, but we’re there, we’re thinking, we’re absorbing, we’re sharing.

If I look at my collective “showing up” experiences over the past two years, all of it has been good–even when I wasn’t 100% aligned with the content or philosophy. The individual connections, the experiences, the exchanges, the testing of my ideas and beliefs, all have had a lasting impact.

My “default” is to disappear under stress or confusion. Yet I teach people the power of going public and Showing Up. I think I’ve proved something important to myself and hope you feel encourage to test this Inside/Outside equation with your own work, schedule, and goals.

Not only does “showing up” bring our “inside” and “outside” perspectives together,  the experience itself makes us dig deeper into the work we’re doing, clarify and push it forward, and experience sharing it.

    – Where can you safely show up and go “outside” of yourself?

    – How can you push your writing to be as powerful, strong, aggressive as possible? What shifts when you do?

    – What would it feel like to go to a writing class, retreat, conference with your powerful “inside” writer self brought to the “outside” context? Of course, the idea isn’t to act like your baddest character, but to see how you can tap into your strength as well as your vulnerability in order to experiment and discover opportunities.

——————————————-


Janet Goldstein
( @janetgoldstein) has a passion for developing ideas and stories that matter, last, and make an impact in the world.  A leading publishing and strategy consultant and “concept doctor,” she’s a former executive at three of the largest U.S. publishers and has helped launch the careers of such icons as David Allen of GTD fame¸ novelist Barbara Kingsolver,  psychologist Harriet Lerner, and  many others. She’s also the lucky coauthor of It’s Not About the Coffee with Howard Behar (former Starbucks president) and co-founder of www.BookBreakthrough.com.

Leaping to the Other Side

June 6th, 2011

 

If you ready to stop hesitating and make the leap to the other side, I invite you to apply for my Creating Irresistible Presence Internship Program. I’m looking for TWO interns who will work directly with me and gaine exposure and connections with my network. It’s a fantastic opportunity for those who are ready to create their own Big Break. :-)

You can check out the details and apply here: http://bit.ly/CIPInterns

Announcing Two Irresistible Internship Opportunities

June 1st, 2011

The Creating Irresistible Presence Talent Search is ON!

Applications Due by 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday June 8

(I’m looking for TWO amazing performers.)

I’m scouring the country (and even the world) for two heretofore unknowns to cast as my Corporate Sponsorship Coordinator and my Affiliate/Strategic Partners Coordinator for my upcoming blockbuster event, Creating Irresistible Presence.

Are you:

An incredibly talented and innovative copywriter, communicator, marketer and relationship-builder, accustomed to stepping boldly into a challenge?

Building your own business but really want to work with high-quality, high-profile clients because you know that’s what you’re meant for?

Ready, willing and able to grab an opportunity by the horns and turn it into your Big Break?

If you answered yes, Yes, YES! to the above, then I’d like to invite you to apply for the Creating Irresistible Presence Internship Program. Applications are due by 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday, June 8.

What’s In It For You:

1. Experience behind the scenes of a successful live event, involving high-profile thought leaders and New York Times best-selling authors.

2. The opportunity to work with and receive coaching from me, Sarah Robinson. (You can read what that’s like below.)

3. A complimentary ticket to Creating Irresistible Presence (a $1597 value).

4. Written testimonials about the quality of your work that you can post on your website and use in your marketing materials.

5. Connections to people in my network.

6. Referrals to potential clients.

What It’s Like to Work With Me:

Elizabeth Marshall“With razor-sharp accuracy, Sarah knows how to find the ONE THING that’s holding you back from growing your business or brand in a bigger way.

Which is significant…because until you uncover that ONE THING, you’ll spend enormous amounts of time, energy and money on strategies or tools that won’t produce the results you want. Don’t do that.

Instead, hire Sarah to help you SHIFT your business in atangible, results-driven way and light the path to more followers, more clients and more impact.

With Sarah’s help, I experienced a major breakthrough for my business and I’m confident she can help you do the same.” ~Elizabeth Marshall, Author Teleseminars

When it comes to social media – Sarah is by far the best in teaching people how to truly build meaningful (and profitable!) relationships online. I was so impressed with her work that I actually hired her to privately train my entire team. They’ve been rocking it online and focusing on creating key connections ever since. ~Chelsea Moser – chelseamoser.com

Sarah is not only a great role model, she has talked me through the process of building solid online relationships that have helped me to grow my business. I’ve learned to use Twitter to get on the radar of A -List bloggers in a non sketchy way, and then to develop my relationships with them to the point where I had the nerve to ask them to do a project with me. I even had one of them ask me to do a big event for him – which I rocked. ~Judi Knight -www.newtricks.me

So……what am I looking for?

A commitment of 5 – 10 hours per week during the run of the internship – June 15 – Oct. 15.
Creative and bold initiative.
Incredible written communication skills
A relaxed comfort interacting with high-level executives, decision makers, authors and thought leaders.
A cooperative, team-focused spirit.
Outstanding problem-solving skills.
The drive and determination to turn in nothing short of top level work.

Specific Job Descriptions:

Internship #1 – Corporate Sponsorship Coordinator:
Responsible for seeking out(with Sarah’s help) and securing sponsors/corporate partners for Creating Irresistible Presence (both cash and in-kind).
Set and meet sponsorship revenue goals.
Coordinate all aspects of Sponsorship Program including serving as on-site liason during the CIP event.
Experience in the field of corporate sponsorship – either for-profit or non-profit – a plus but not required.

Internship #2 – Affiliate/Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
Work with a small, select group (pre-identified by Sarah) of CIP Affiliates.
Coordinate all aspects of Affiliate Program, including mapping out and implementing the affiliate promotional calendar.
Craft fun, innovative and compelling email, tweet and facebook update copy that is easy for affiliates to use.
Coordinate blog posts, interviews and other additional promotional collateral from Sarah as requested by affiliates.
Set and meet affiliate revenue goals.

As you can see, these aren’t your “phone it in” kind of internships. But then again, neither is experience you will gain. :-)

H0w to apply:

Simply click on this link and answer the questions. Remember, applications are due by 11:59 pm EST, Wednesday June 8 – no exceptions.
http://bit.ly/CIPInternship

If these internship opportunities call to you, please apply. Resist the temptation to talk yourself out of it. This is your chance to gain the experience and the connections you know you want.

Break a leg!
Sarah

P.S. If you want to go back to the event home page, simply click here.

P.P.S. I would love it if you would help me spread the word about these internship opportunities. You can share this page with your twitter community by clicking here.

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