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Archive for August, 2011

Leading with Curiosity

August 31st, 2011

As part of the lead up to my live event at the end of September, I’m hosting a series of Livestream chats (you can see them here.) Last night’s chat was on Profitability – something many entrepreneurs need to beef up on.

As the conversation progressed, we naturally started talking about sales and attracting the right prospects, etc. So often I see entrepreneurs – online and off – open a conversation with someone they don’t know by talking about themselves. Ew. We all know that guy at the cocktail party who does that right? Don’t be that guy or gal in a business setting.

What to do instead?

Lead with curiosity. Be truly, intensely interested in what’s going on with the other person. Ask questions. Maintain eye contact (rather than glancing around for someone more interesting to talk to). Be generous with your network if someone you know can help.

Need specific things to say? How about:

-What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?

– What do you need help with?

– What’s the biggest stressor in your business?

Listen to the answer. Then ask more questions. “Tell me more about that.” is a great response.

Are you getting the idea? Take the focus off of you. Stop waiting for your opportunity to talk about yourself. Everyone does that and you aren’t like everyone.

The magic is that at some point the right, easy, natural opportunity to share what you’re up to IN A MEANINGFUL WAY will present itself.  And if it doesn’t, you will still stand out in someone’s memory.

We’re going to talk a whole lot more about curiosity at Creating Irresistible Presence in Atlanta September 29, 30 and October 1. I hope you will join us. :-) http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

Getting to Know Mark Silver

August 29th, 2011

This video post is part of my video guest post series that introduces you to the guest speakers who will be teaching their magic at my live event, Creating Irresistible Presence.

You’ve already met Les McKeown, Elizabeth Marshall and Janet Goldstein. Today I want you to meet one of my very favorite people in the world, Mark Silver.

Mark has two-year old twins so he won’t be joining us in person BUT he is putting together an exclusive video presi that focuses on teaching you all about money models. Because let’s face it, if you’re business doesn’t have a revenue plan, it really isn’t a business is it?

You’re just going to love Mark. Here’s why:

If you’d like to get the details on my live event (it’s in Atlanta at the end of September) and grab your seat, here’s the link for that: http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

For Judi Knight; For Dana Reeves; For Brandon Sutton

August 26th, 2011

Last night, I had an experience that I would have never dreamed possible one year ago.

Three members of this Escaping Mediocrity Tribe created something amazing for me in Atlanta.

Several months ago, Judi Knight conceived of hosting an event at her super-cool B & B and I would be the featured guest speaker. Then she enlisted Dana Reeves and Brandon Sutton as co-conspirators for her mission.

Together, they organized, cooked, invited friends – and basically threw their hearts and souls into ensuring that the event ROCKED. And it did.

Sixty people showed up, listened to killer music, ate fab food, mixed, mingled, laughed and talked. Oh – and they got to listen to me speak for a little while too. :-)

During my two and a half hour drive home (I drove back to Birmingham when the event) last night, I got a little teary as I started thinking about everything they did:

1) They spent their VERY valuable time planning and executing the event.

2) They put other priorities aside and cooked a TON of food.

3) They went out on a limb and invited friends to come hear me speak. To me that is the ultimate compliment and I can only hope that I did them proud.

I am touched beyond measure at the belief and support they gave me last night – and give me every single day.

So today, I say “Thank You.” Thank you for being the reasons I do what I do. Thank you for making me better and smarter. Thank you for opening your hearts and sharing your friends with me. Thank you for all the time, energy and love you put into making last night a success. Thank you for being a part of my tribe. I am an incredibly lucky woman.

Creatures of Habit

August 24th, 2011

I like being comfortable. Which means I like my habits. Even when they don’t serve me.

See, changing up a routine, doing things differently, trying something new and bold – that stuff requires a certain level of discomfort and a certain level of extra effort.

Because I am human, I want to take the easy path. That desire is programmed into my DNA.

Fortunately I am not an amoeba and am not at the mercy of my pre-programmed DNA (well - most of the time anyway.).

I can think and feel and make (drumroll for the frontal lobe’s’ evolution!) CHOICES.

I can step outside myself and say “Hey look – there you are doing the same old same old again. Isn’t that interesting.”

Or “Are you done with the same old same old yet? Cuz I sure am!”

Or “Hey why don’t we shake things up and try cooking Asian tonight?”

You get the idea.

The only way I’m going to move ahead on this escaping mediocrity path I chosen is to make different choices and create new habits.

Scary?

Sure it’s scary as h-e-double-toothpicks.

But the idea of staying where I am, doing the same old same old – THAT is really scary to me.

So, I screw up my courage and do new things. Go new places. Ask different people for help.

And soon – being daring and bold becomes a habit. And it’s a habit I think I’ll keep. :-)

If you want to break out of your same-old, same-old habits that are holding you and your business back, I HIGHLY encourage you to check out my live event Creating Irresistible Presence. You’ll come away with a whole pack of awesome new habits that will propel you forward into the kind of success you are after.

Social Media Overload

August 22nd, 2011

It makes my head hurt.

Twitter. Facebook. Google Plus. Klout Plus. Empire Avenue. Posterous. And the list goes on and on and on.

We’re told we need to be all these places. But my questions are 1) How do I do all that and RUN my business? and 2) WHY do I have to be all those places?

I’ve tried. Really. I’m a Twitter junkie. Everyone knows that. And I’m dabbling around on Facebook, which I’m starting to get the hang of (I know, late-bloomer.). And I started on Google Plus when it first came out. And a ton of the cool kids say it is THE place to be. But I just don’t get it.

And it seems I’m not the only one feeling pulled in too many directions. Last week, Hugh McLeod (@gapingvoid) announced that he’s giving up social media all together so he can focus on his blog. I’m betting we’re going to see more of this and the overwhelm of social media begins to take its toll.

As entrepreneurs, we only have so much bandwidth and much of what’s available MUST go into the actual running of our businesses. Otherwise, we lose ourselves in tweeting, liking, plusing, etc. – which is awesome – don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t pay the bills.

So how do we make good choices about where to put our time in the world of social media?

For me, I pay attention to where my audience hangs out. And by audience, I mean the people who read and comment on my blog and the people who are my clients. Not my peers, not my friends (though playing with them on social media is WAY fun). But the people I want to do business with.

This isn’t fool-proof and I’m still working out what this is actually going to look like in my daily online interactions. But at least it’s a start. :-)

Because social media overwhelm and burnout is a mounting problem, I’m super excited to be part of a proposed SXSWi panel to talk more about it.You can take a look at what we’ll be discussing and vote for our panel here: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/11382

What about you? Do you feel burned out on social media? What are your biggest challenges around managing it? What are your best solutions for managing it?

As always, I’m intensely curious about you and your thoughts. :-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting To Know Janet Goldstein

August 18th, 2011

Continuing with my series this week that introduces you to some really awesome friends and experts who will be joining me for Creating Irresistible Presence (CIP) in Atlanta at the end of September.

Yesterday, you met CIP alum, Brandon Sutton. Today, you get to meet CIP newbie AND awesome expert speaker, Janet Goldstein.

Janet is bringing her incredible smarts in the world of publishing and her passion for developing ideas and stories into messages that matter to the Hooligan Tribe.

Her video will give you taste of ALL the reasons I love her. :-)

 

Learn more about my Creating Irresistible Presence event here:
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

Getting to Know Brandon Sutton

August 17th, 2011

This is blog series where I introduce you to the movers and shakers that make my live event, Creating Irresistible Presence, so awesome. ;-)

Yesterday, you my dear friend and colleague, Elizabeth Marshall. And today, I want you to meet Brandon Sutton.

Wait, Brandon Sutton? Who’s he?!

Last year Brandon had the charming experience of being the ONLY GUY IN THE ROOM at CIP. He rose to the challenge beautifully (and surprisingly – he was extremely willing to be THAT guy!).

He also has a wonderful perspective on what the event looks like from the inside. I can tell you what it’s like all day but it’s way more fun to hear it from someone who was sitting in the audience, don’t you think?!

So, without further adieu……Brandon Sutton.

Creating Irresistible Presence 

Brandon Sutton

Last Summer, Sarah announced her first live event – Creating Irresistible Presence.  It wasn’t a matter of whether this was something worth attending, but more of a knowing this would be a great experience for me.

I had been following Sarah’s blog for several months, and I had always respected the relationship she had with her tribe.  A live version of this was sure to be something I needed to invest in, so I went for it.  Leading up to the event, I had a chance to work directly with Sarah to provide some of the behind the scenes tech support for the event itself, which was really fun I must say.

She even threw me a curve ball and asked me to create an impromptu playlist of appropriate music to play at the end of the first day. My DJ background kicked in and I knocked it out of the park, if I do say so myself.  The leadoff song was Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I dare you to find a better song for this audience.  :)

On the first day of the event as everyone took their seats, I became the pink elephant in the room.  Every attendee, presenter, and support resource that was present was female. This actually made for a very fun experience for me, and I think for the women as well.  We went through a series of fun exercises that got us to open up and discover what was lurking just under the surface of our carefully crafted public personas.  We got past the facade and into the good stuff I suppose you could say.

One particular moment stands out to me quite vividly.  Sarah went through a series of questions that had us each write down the things that we most enjoyed doing in various stages in our lives, starting with when we were young kids. I didn’t see where it was leading until I got to the thing that I most enjoy doing now. When I looked at what I had written down, every single life stage had included some form of connection to nature.

This was a big breakthrough for me.  Huge actually.  Over the past 15 years, my connection with nature had been waning, although it was starting to come back around during the Spring and Summer of 2010. I realized that the nature connection element was the aspect of life that I was absolutely unwilling to live without, period. This was huge.  And I mean, like really huge! I got up in front of the crowd at the end of the day, and fighting back tears, I made this a public proclamation. I haven’t felt that relieved in years.

I decided that day that no matter what happened, nature was going to play a big role in my life moving forward. That meant that certain sacrifices were going to need to be made in order to make it happen.  I can happily report today that I’ve taken significant intentional steps in that direction, and have spent a lot more time in nature over the past few months than at any time since I was in college.

CIP fell just 2 weeks before the public exhibition of Spirit of the Gulf Coast (http://spiritofthegulfcoast.com), which is a documentary initiative that I founded in 2010 in response to the BP oil spill.  I almost canceled on CIP because I was ‘too busy’ prepping for this event I was producing. If I hadn’t told Sarah I would provide tech support at the event, I might have bowed out.

Thankfully, I didn’t.  The experience led to some of the biggest ‘A-Ha’ moments I’ve had in my life. In addition, the relationships that formed that weekend have been instrumental in my personal and professional development over the past year. I consider my ‘CIP Sisters’ some of my best friends, and stay in touch with many of them regularly.

I can’t say thank you enough for the opportunity to attend this incredible event, and I’m eagerly anticipating CIP 2011 coming up in September. Anyone who has thought for a second about the direction life is taking or if he or she is on the right path can benefit from attending CIP. It helped put me on the path to truly realizing what I want to get out of my life and how I can take tangible steps each day toward making it happen.

Thank you Sarah and all the CIP alumni! See you in September. :)

Getting to Know Elizabeth Marshall

August 16th, 2011

This is my guest video series introducing you to some of the amazing experts who are presenting at my upcoming live event, Creating Irresistible Presence.

Yesterday, I introduced you to Guest Expert Les McKeown who is awesome. :-)

Today, I’d like you to get to know my friend and incredible breakthrough message expert, Elizabeth Marshall.  She REALLY knows her stuff (she’s worked with tons of best-selling authors including Seth Godin), so take a few minutes and soak up her knowledge. :-)

Learn more about my Creating Irresistible Presence event here:
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

Getting to Know Les McKeown

August 15th, 2011

This week on Escaping Mediocrity, I am hosting a Guest Video series featuring the guest speakers who are presenting at my live event in September.

These videos aren’t sales pitches (I really hope you know me better than that by now) but more of an opportunity to get to know the people I’ve personally invited to be a part of my event.

The first person I’d like you to meet is Les McKeown. Aside from being wickedly funny, Les is the USAToday and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of Predictable Success. His in-depth knowledge on what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur is highly sought after by top-rated companies all over the world.

I’m excited for you to get to know him. His killer accent alone makes this worth watching. :-)

 

Learn more about my Creating Irresistible Presence event here:
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

Launching In The Time of Cholera

August 10th, 2011

If you are waiting for conditions to be perfect, you will be waiting a very long time.

You can see my launch here: http://bit.ly/BlogPlaybook

 

Launching in the Time of Cholera Pt. 2