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Archive for January, 2011

My Definition of an Influencer

January 26th, 2011

First let me say that I am SO over the use of the word “influencer”. It seems everyone is scrambling to a) be one b) access one or c) both.

The rise of, and firestorm of opinions around it, only adds fuel to the Influence fire. (And for the record, I’ve actually gone to the Klout site a time or two, promptly gotten confused by their metrics, and closed it.)

But since “influencer” is apparently going to be the word of 2011, I thought I would share my definition of someone who has it in my world.

Sarah’s definition of an Influencer:

Short definition: Anyone who has a positive impact on my life. (Yes, I know there are negative influencers, but that is a conversation for another day.) This can include clients, my children, friends, colleagues, people who write interesting stuff or even the garbage man.

Longer definition: I am most greatly influenced by those who give me a reason to care.

I’m not really interested in how famous they are. (In fact, I know a lot of famous people who seem to contribute amazing stuff in the social media world but IRL they are self-absorbed jack-asses.) I’m interested in how they make my life and/or my business deeper, richer, better, sweeter.

Selfishly, I’m influenced by the fact that they are interested in me. Unselfishly, I’m influenced by the fact that I am interested in them.

So there it is. My definition of an “influencer”. What’s yours?

I'm guest posting today

January 24th, 2011

at Heather Gray’s blog, A Soul-Filled Life.

We are talking about Burning Ships and Escaping Mediocrity – I hope you’ll join us!!!

Oh – and P.S. I’m announcing something to my newsletter list this week. If you haven’t subscribed to Escape Notes, you can do that quickly, here:

My Live Event – Creating Irresistible Presence

January 20th, 2011

Dana Reeves, who attended Creating Irresistible Presence 2010, made this video. I am honored and touched by it. And no, I didn’t write any of it.

If you want to know what my event was like and will be like in September, here you go! (And if you want first dibs on the 50 available seats, I’ll be giving folks on my newsletter list the link on Sunday!

Updated 1-25-11:
Registration for Creating Irresistible Presence 2011 is now open – reserve your seat today!

Check out all the details and reserve your spot at Creating Irresistible Presence 2011!

Why I Use

January 17th, 2011

The short answer: to build relationships.

The long answer:, and those who use it, takes a lot of heat sometimes. It clogs the tweetstream. It links to irrelevant content. It doesn’t drive traffic to my site. I don’t need more links to more random stuff. etc.

And maybe some, or all, of those things are true. But here is one thing it does do:  it allows me to share interesting people and their interesting content with those who follow me. And I think that makes it worthwhile.

Here’s a newsflash: everything I do on twitter doesn’t directly benefit me. Nor should it. That’s like going to a cocktail party and being “that guy” who talks about himself the whole night. Yack.

And here’s the other thing. lists some of the contributors in the tweet it sends out about my newspaper. If that is the only thing others see, that’s awesome, because they may connect with someone they didn’t know before.

It’s all about relationships.

If you’d like to dabble with, here are a couple of things I do to keep mine valuable (and as unannoying as possible):

1) I built a specific Escaping Mediocrity list for to pull my content from. At first I didn’t do this and the content was being randomly pulled from over 11,000 people. So yeah, it was pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Now I am focused on sharing the content of people I believe have something to say about the EM journey. And I change up the list all the time so there are always fresh voices.

2) I time my to go out later at night so it doesn’t clog the “biz hours” of twitter. I think I may change it to go out just a tad earlier, but I will still keep it out of prime time. may be a flash-in-the-pan kind of fad. But all for any fad that helps me share awesome people and awesome content as long as it isn’t annoying or lame.

What are your thoughts on

How to build relationships & make a gajillion dollars

January 12th, 2011

Sorry – if your purpose for building relationships is based on making lots of money, this post isn’t going to help you do that. Sadly, though, I see lots of experts, gurus, ninjas or whatever who teach that sort of thing. I’m sure if you google it you will find lots of people willing to take you down that path.

I’m not one of them.

See, every time I do a month-long guest blog series like 28 Days to Getting Your Sh*t Together, or pull off an incredible live event when everyone says “live events are dead”, people ask me how I managed to be friends with the kind of people who help me make those things happen.

Here’s the news flash: there isn’t a magic formula to it. There isn’t a system you can memorize. And relationships like the ones I am lucky enough to have don’t happen overnight.

I’m going to give you the secret to them, though, right here and right now: Help others.

Yep. That’s it.

So that you can get this super secret sauce working right now, here are some steps to get you started:

1) Identify a handful of people you would like to know better on twitter and/or Facebook.

2) Take the time to read what they are up to. Tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts will help you get to know them and what is important to them.

3) Help them spread their message. Re-tweets, Facebook likes and shares, etc. make this pretty simple. This is also a great way to engage in an actual conversation with someone.

4) Comment on their blog. These days, getting a comment on a blog post is really a challenge. By commenting, you help the author and it can also open the door to a conversation.

5) Repeat steps 1-4. Often. But not in a creepy stalker kind of way. 🙂

Do these steps enough and the people on your list will begin to engage with you. Unless they have no social skills or think they are all that and a bag of chips. In either case, I recommend dropping them like a hot potato.

One last word of advice: until you’ve built a solid relationship with someone, do NOT ask them to help you, promote you, support you or anything else. It’s like proposing too early in a dating relationship – ICK.

So there you have it: my super-secret formula to relationships. And if you make a gajillion dollars from what I just taught you, I fully expect a percentage. 🙂

What do you think are important keys to building successful online professional relationships?

What is Your Profit Equation?

January 10th, 2011

If you a) think making money is bad or b) you are in the enviable position of not needing to make money, you can skip this post.

If, however, you would like to make money from your blog, your business, your writing, or whatever it is you are up to in the world, then this post might prove helpful.

During Creating Irresistible Presence 2010 (the live event I held last September) I shared the equation (I refuse to use the word “formula”) that I use to help me actually create profit. It looks like this:

Clarity+Confidence+Courage = Profit

Now, before I go any further, this is not the ONLY profit equation. There are lots of important others. But for me, if I don’t start with this one and nail it down, all the others are pointless.

Let me bread down each piece a bit.


Definition: clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

If what I am about is indistinct, ambiguous or vague, there’s not much hope that it will yield a profit. It’s got to have laser sharp edges and I must be able to articulate it to myself and to others with precise language.


Definition: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities.

Once I am clear, my confidence goes up exponentially as a result. If there are skills or knowledge I must gain to sustain that confidence, that I need to be about acquiring them.


Definition: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc. [the definition I found added “without fear” but I actually think fear it part of courage.]

Having clarity and confidence in place makes it MUCH easier to dig down and find courage when the challenges come (because, believe me, they are inevitable). This is the place I use to falter – mainly because I didn’t understand courage. It’s also the place where I see those who achieve great things separate themselves from the pack.

Clarity + Confidence + Courage = Cashflow

So there you have it: my profit equation.

Yes, I know there are more mechanical equations based on skill sets and executables. Like I said at the beginning, the right ones are incredibly valuable. But without Clarity, Confidence and Courage in place  first, the Profit will most likely hover in the realm of the mediocre. 🙂

I am going to dig into this equation during CIP ’11 which will be held Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 in Atlanta, GA. Those of you who are who are committing to 28 Days of Getting Your Sh*t Together will get first dibs on the 50 available seats when I open registration at the end of January.

Want in on that?! Sign up here:

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts about this or any other profit equation. 🙂

How to Stop the Free-Loaders and Get Paid For Your Time

January 5th, 2011

I get a version of this email or Skype message from friends and clients at least once a week:

“OMG. X person just sent me an email asking if I could just take a peek at something he is working on and give him feedback. Gratis of course.”


“What do I do? Someone just asked if I had time for a quick call so she could get some feedback on something. I don’t want to be rude but this is what I do for a living!”

Ah yes. The free-loader.

That may sound harsh and I truly believe most people who ask for our time for free don’t really think they are free-loading. But here is the harsh reality: when someone asks you to spend time doing what you do for a living and does not offer to pay you for your expertise, that is exactly what it is.

And because we all want to be nice and have everyone like us, we usually cave and do it and then kick ourselves. But if we don’t respect our business enough to draw a boundary, why should we expect anyone else to?

(And before people jump on me about being generous, there is an absolute difference between being generous and being taken advantage of. I often offer to help people without expecting payment and I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of generosity as well. I’m talking those people who EXPECT you to give your time and expertise to them for free.)

To help me do a better job at navigating this tricky situation, I’ve devised a response to these requests that a) allows me to offer a little help and b) sets a very hard boundary. It goes something like this:

“Thanks for asking for my thoughts, xyz person’s name. Here are a couple of quick suggestions. [Note: these have to be QUICK, requiring no more than 2 minutes of your time to compose.] If you’d like to schedule a coaching/consulting/whateveryourcallyourappointments session to go deeper, I would love to connect you with my assistant so she can schedule a time that works for you. ”

Another helpful version is: “Sounds like you have an interesting project going on, xyz person’s name. Because of all the demands I’m juggling, my phone time is really limited. If you’d like to schedule a session and get on the schedule, my assistant would love to help you find a time that works for you.”

You can also direct them to the awesome free resources you have available on your site. Bonus points for directing them to a specific one you think would be especially helpful.

Warning: you may experience dry mouth or shaky fingers the first few times you respond this way. Hold firm anyway; it will get easier with practice. Promise. 🙂

In the end, we teach people how to treat us and how to treat our businesses. When we respect what we do enough to treat it like the business it is, others will, too.

Would love to hear about your experiences and your thoughts about using this approach. I’m sure you have even better solutions than I’ve thought of.

So….what are you working on?

January 3rd, 2011

It’s the first business day of 2011. Time to make tracks. And even though both my children are still home (school starts tomorrow), I’m working on several projects today between un-decorating, playing and cleaning up.

(I can either use this stuff as excuses not to do anything at all or I can take the small actions that time allows me to take. If I want an un-mediocre year, there’s really only one option.)

So here’s what I’m up to:

1) Writing this blog post. Because I post on Mondays.

2) Crafting an email to the amazing people who attended my live event last September, giving them the details of this year’s event. I’ll be announcing it to this list in about two weeks and then to the public shortly after that.

3) Finishing up the sign up page for something super fun and free that I’m putting together for you. You can look for that later this week.

If I get these three things done, I’m calling it a win.

So….what are you working on today?