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Disruptive or Just Annoying?

October 25th, 2012

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with my friend @RebeccaSaltman while I was the guest teacher for a class she leads.

Disruptive. Unreasonable. These are very hot words that I see everywhere these days. We want to be the contrarian. The one who shakes things up. The one who doesn’t settle. And I am ALL about those things. I mean, heck, my blog is called Escaping Mediocrity and I teach my children to be anything but sheep.

But here’s the thing. There is a huge difference between being disruptive and just being annoying. Successful Disruptors, those who actually make things happen, are intensely aware of this fact. They know that if they tilt into the annoying category, no one will listen to them, follow them or even entertain their disruptive point of view. They’ll get tuned out and disrupt in a vacuum. Not the ideal situation.

So, what do the successful Disruptors do to keep themselves out of the annoying category? Here are a few of my thoughts:

1) They do their own research and their own homework. They don’t filter their research so that they only know the facts that support their disruptive point of view. In fact, they usually know more about the opposing point of view than those who actually hold it. This gives them immense power in any discussion.

2) They attack ideas, not people. Personal denigration has no place in disruption. Successful Distruptors know that vitriolic attacks on people are a) easy to dismiss and b) reflect poorly on the attacker not on the attackee.

3) They are diligently self-aware. The great Disruptors that I know always check their extreme emotional responses and reactions to make sure there isn’t something going on with themselves that they need to address. Public emotional temper tantrums do not advance a Disruptive movement (Steve Jobs not withstanding).

I have more ideas but, as always, I’m much more interested in what you think. What do you think separates the Successful Disruptor from the Annoying Also Ran?

And now I’m back :-)

August 6th, 2012


I didn’t mean to be gone this long. Writing a book required more of me than I thought. And now – it’s done!!!

I’ve put it int he hands of the uber-talented Lori Paquette so she can work her design magic on it just like she did on my whitepaper. Our tentative launch date is September 18 – wheeeee!!

I’ve really missed being here at Escaping Mediocrity. This is my true home. The place where I can be exactly who I am and know that I am among the most awesome people in the world. You all teach me so much about community and about Fierce Loyalty (I talk about you in the book – a lot).

While I was on sabbatical, someone asked me “Aren’t you nervous about putting your blog on hold like that? Won’t your community fall apart by the time your book comes out?”

I replied “I’m not nervous at all. I built that community to function whether I’m there or not. They gather other places, continue talking to and supporting each other. They will be just fine.”

This person then looked at me like I had twelve heads because that is NOT how a typical blog-owner thinks.

#1 – I don’t own this blog. I simply hold the space for this blog.

#2 – The Escaping Mediocrity Community is anything but typical.

So yay! I’m home. And I couldn’t be happier. Thank you for keeping my spot warm for me.

Love you!


There’s Only So Much to Go Around

March 26th, 2012

I’ve just returned from a much-needed family sojourn to the Gulf of Mexico to celebrate Spring Break. Lots of long walks and talks mixed in with some intense writing time.

All this moodling, talking and walking gave rise to a single common theme for everyone in our family: we are each trying to do too much. The Young Turk was the first to pipe up with this observation about himself. “Can I stop doing so much every day, Mom? I just want time to hang out at home without feeling rushed.”

Wise words for a nine-year old, don’t you think?

The more we talked about his desires, the more I realized I wanted the very same thing. Time to just hang out and be. It seemed like an impossible desire to fulfill considering the sudden take-off of my new thing, Fierce Loyalty. I’m writing a book, crafting guest posts, speaking at events, conducting interviews and a million other things that take up precious time.

And guess what? None of them are getting the proper time and attention. I’m moving so fast that I’m not doing anything well. And since I am the source of all this creation, I’m squandering the resource by spreading it to thin.

So, starting this week, I’m cutting back. I have to if I want to produce my very best work. What does that look like?

1. I’m paring down my coaching clients so I can give my best to a small group.

2. I’m cutting back on my blog posting. Not forever but until I get some other major writing projects out of the way.

3. My social media time is getting loped to a minimum. I still show up most days, but I don’t camp out on Twitter like I used to.

4. My newsletter will go out every other week now. Since I put it together myself, I want what I send to be rich and meaningful rather than something I dash off because it is “Newsletter Day”.

5. I’m building in “do nothing” time for every single day. The more I tap my creativity, the more I’ve got to have this time to re-fill the well.

Oh – and I’m making calls and cutting back on The Young Turk’s commitments, too. He is a creative and an empath just like me. I want him to learn to value Do Nothing time as a way to re-fuel and re-charge now before the world teaches him that it’s a waste of time. 🙂

What about you? Are you feeling spread to thin? In need of some carved out Do Nothing Time so you can bring your best self back to the task at hand?

I’d love to hear about it. 🙂



January 18th, 2012




Twelve Delicious Days of Christmas

December 5th, 2011

It's December!  Yikes!

I haven’t done this in AGES and for the life of me I can’t remember why I’ve let this tradition slip. So, I’m reviving it. 🙂

Everyday beginning on December 13, I will send out some really awesome thing ( a pdf, a book chapter, an audio) from my own personal files to the Tribe. And lest you think this is just a reprise of my own stuff, it isn’t. All through the year I download things from amazingly smart people who know WAY more than I do. I’ll be choosing some of their stuff to share with you as well.

This is my way of saying thank you to everyone who shows up here. You mean more than you know and I want to share some of the best stuff I’ve found to help you with you Escape Plan.

Now, just one thing I need you to do. Because I really don’t like it when my emails get marked as spam, I would like you to tell me that you want to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas by popping your name and email addy into the boxes below.  I won’t be posting 12 Days links here for public consumption, so if you want to participate, you’ve got to sign up. 

This is going to be really really good stuff, so I do hope you’ll join me. 🙂

Merry Christmas!!


Sign Up Here for 12 Days of Christmas



Community Management: For Online Communities Only?

November 16th, 2011

I’m paying attention to conversations about “Community Management” – boy are there a ton to pay attention to. The curious thing about these conversations is that the discussions center almost exclusively on managing ONLINE communities. If offline/IRL communities are brought into the mix, it’s mostly in a “oh by the way, don’t forget” kind of way.

There is no doubt that the web and social media in particular have opened up an incredible opportunity to build connection and relationships with customers and prospects in a virtual way. Using online strategies, community managers can reach an untold number of people and, if done well, rally them around their business, head off pr disasters, mitigate customer complaints and create a marketing army.  These are amazing things indeed.

However, limiting the focus of these efforts to online only (or to a secondary position at best) is overlooking one of the greatest loyalty building strategies available – in real life communities. People crave connecting face to face with other people who share common interests, if doing so is compelling to them. Chances are they aren’t going to organize such connections themselves (hey – we are all overworked and over-scheduled), so it is up to the company to facilitate that.


As a case and point, let’s look at Harley Davidson. I cited them in an earlier article, 4 Thriving Communities to Learn From, because they have mastered the art of the offline community. Go to their community page here and you see online connection points pushed to the margins. Front and center you see five, count them FIVE, distinct, in real life connection points, each designed for a specific kind of customer (or end user) who has very distinct community wants and needs.

Why would Harley Davidson invest resources into organizing and facilitating offline communities that are run by enthusiastic and loyal customers?

Hmmm… you think these customers ever bring non-Harley owners along for a ride?! Do you think being a part of a group of shared enthusiasts drives deeper customer loyalty? Do you think when it’s time for a new bike, community members would even think of purchasing anything other than a Harley?

And just in case you think Harley Davidson is primarily focused on these IRL communities, think again. They have nearly three MILLION wildly active fans in their Facebook community. But again, these online efforts run parallel to and in support of offline connections, not as a substitute.

So, what do you think? Should company “Community Managers” broaden their attention to include more of an offline focus? Or should there be a different person who handles offline community building? Or am I overrating the business asset of offline communities?

As always, I’m wildly curious about what you think?!

Are Your Relationships Supporting Your Meaningful Work?

October 26th, 2011

Check out Building Meaningful Online Relationships here (Hurry – the $79 price tag expires Monday, Oct. 31.)

Rumblings and Shifts

September 12th, 2011

I didn’t intend to watch so much coverage of the anniversary of 9/11. But once I started, I simply could not stop.  I was horror stricken and moved beyond measure over and over again.  When the day was over I was left in much the same place I was left ten years ago: emotionally spent yet incredibly inspired by acts of undaunted courage.

Because of all that I saw yesterday, rumblings and shifts began making themselves known inside of me. I don’t know exactly what they mean or where they are taking me. I do know they are quite large and will ask much of me.

For now, I must focus on my live event which is happening in two and half weeks and I must focus on my clients, whose work inspires me more than I can say.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that while I am focusing on where I am most needed at the moment, the place I am most needed in the future will reveal itself.

And I will keep you posted. 🙂

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. 🙂

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: