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Archive for August, 2008

A while back, I asked someone how her business was going. She responded, “UP and DOWN”. BUT, she said, she was doing what her coaches told her to do. I asked who she was coaching with… (because this very up and down, feast or famine, hit or miss “phenomenon” is what coaching “cures”.)

She responded by saying that her coach was a VERY WELL KNOWN small business coach… a very EXPENSIVE coach whom I know. I know, because years ago, I saved the money to coach with her and she would not take me on as a client. (REJECTED! OUCH!)

Anyway, instantly I knew that this person was not ACTUALLY being coached. Rather, she had purchased one of those “Success-in a Box” courses or one of those “Inner Circle” programs. You know the ones.. the kind that promise they are the ONLY Resource, Tool, etc. you will ever need to make more money than you EVER have before.

I know these “boxes” well… I have previously invested in MANY of these courses…. as well as many of those “Inner Circles” where you get ONE group call per month and an online “MasterMInd” group (i.e. forum) where you can network with other people paying for this service.

And these groups, experts, and boxes were great. They gave me LOTS of great information, ideas, etc. EACH of them placed a high value on “preparation” and used a LOT of buzzwords and business jargon that we erroneously accept as “expert advice”. NONE of them prompted me to income-producing action or held me accountable to growing my practice. That is what I needed more than anything else.

You see, there is nothing that rivals the power of having a coach invested in growing your practice with you. Nothing. Your coach is your biggest fan, your accountability partner, your sounding board, your MIRROR, your reality check, your navigation system, and your cheerleader. THIS is something that these “forums” and boxes can not offer. In fact, if you invest in too many of these (as I did) it can actually HINDER your willingness to take ACTION and start making money.

Last week I read a GREAT quote from Jim Manton, author of The Secret of Transitions. “To transition we must enter a state in which we are no longer who we once were, and yet we are not who we must become. We have to be willing to stand in the open gap and momentarily risk being nothing.”

There is NO substitute for having a coach, a leader, a mentor, a MasterMind group who will stand in that gap with you as you make breakthrough leaps in INCOME, in CONFIDENCE, in SELF!! No substitute!! No acceptable replacement!! Nothing as effective! Nothing!

With that said, I have to say THANK YOU to all who have stood and are currently standing in that gap with me. You are the wind beneath my wings. I deeply appreciate each of you, and can not imagine my life without you in it!

Thank you to STEVE CHANDLER, speaker, coach and author EXTRAORDINAIRE. You always amaze me and have pushed me beyond my story of myself! Thank you to LAURIE BAGGET who challenges me, inspires me, and keeps me on my toes. Thank you to JESSICA RIEHL who continues to amaze me with all that you accomplish. Thank you to J.B. and Beth Barnes for always taking ACTION (and for allowing my son to be your biggest fan)! Thank you to Rachael Judy who always exceeds my expectations and is a true partner to me!! Thank you to my husband and best friend, for always believing in me… and for being my own dream come true! Thank you to my parents who gave me the foundation of an unshakeable confidence in my potential!

Thank you to EACH MEMBER of the FABULOUS PHOENIX NINE (PLUS BRIAN): Justin Rohner, Stephen McGhee, Ruth Thompson, Brian Whetton, Jim Camp, Michael Schantz, Pam Neckar, Raja Hireker, and Scott Young. You all inspire me and keep me focused on all that is possible. I love cheering you on each week. Thank you for doing the same for me. Let’s not allow November to define the “end of the road”. Let’s keep creating miracles!

I am not sure I could find a “failed” business with a truly committed coach on their “books”. But I am sure we wouldn’t have to search very long to find a “failed” business with receipts for these boxes and courses on their books! Something to think about… Are they really “SUCCESS” in a box or do they keep you STUCK in a box? Hmmm….

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Michael Phelps

I have to admit that I am not a big “OLYMPICS” fan.. but I was so glad my husband is a sports fanatic a couple of nights ago, because I was able to catch the most exciting swimming competition, with of course Michael Phelps winning the Gold. If you were watching, I am sure you will remember it… It was when he won the Gold Medal by only 1/100 of a second.

When you watch the last second of this race replayed over and over, it is obvious how he “stole” the lead at the last second – literally. You see the man who won the Silver Medal finished his last stroke, and being so close to the wall, coasted towards the touchpad with his arms outstretched. In that last second, however, Michael took one more bold stroke and almost “landed” on the touchpad… and WON.

How exciting!!! Of course, Michael Phelps is a miraculous athlete. Humble. Dedicated. Laser-Focused. But this victory (of course) got me thinking about business… and life in general. I mean, it shows us so many things:

** “Coasting” will sometimes cost us the Gold. To dominate any field, we must stay in action.
** ACTION always wins.
** The difference between first and second place is sometimes almost negligible.

I also love the way Michael talks about his coach. Of course, the most successful in ANY field have coaches… the top swimmers, the top in golf, the top in business, the top executives. BUT, the way Michael talks about his coach answers a lot of questions about this “miracle athlete”. You see, Michael’s coach doesn’t “coddle” him… hoping he won’t be “fired”. He pushes him. He challenges him. He pushes him past his own limits… I would love to meet this man.

When I saw that ONE one-hundredth of a second was all that seperated the Gold and Silver medalists, it reminded me of a short inspirational movie I saw once about the difference one degree makes At 211 degrees, you simply have hot water. At 212 degrees, water will boil… producing steam. STEAM can power a train. The difference of just one degree….

Check out that movie HERE.

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You may have heard me mention that my husband recently had a vasectomy. Yep, the dreaded V word for men… and he actually set the entire thing up himself. One day, literally, he simply decided that now was the time to get this done. He didn’t want me to have to take birth control pills (listening to the wise advice of my FABULOUS acupuncturist..Licensed Acupuncturist, Bryon Jones

who also serves as our primary care physican and all-around health GURU: 

www.virginiabeachacupuncture.com) and his words were, “Look, Michelle. We aren’t 23 anymore. We know we don’t want any more babies. It is just time to get this done.” And so it was.

But it was the power of his decision that had me “awed”. Once he decided it was time, he set it up, went through with it, and after a rather “touchy” recovery period, he is so glad that it is done. I wrote to my MasterMind group about his decision and wrote, “Ah… the power of NO(more)”, making a joke since we were all reading Jim Camp’s, “The Power of NO”.

But seriously, DECISION in and of itself is such a powerful thing. DECISION (true decision… commitment) propels us to action. Here are three of the most powerful “decisions” I have made in my life:

** The day I decided I would marry Chris… well before he even knew we were dating… =) The BEST decision of my life.
** The day I decided that I would not return to work after the birth of my baby. This prompted my entrepreneurial journey and allowed me to be the Mom I set out to be.
** The day I decided that “making ends meet” would no longer be enough… that I would be wealthy working my own way….This required me to step up my game and REinvent my business.

The truth is that we don’t have to know HOW to do something to do it. We simply have to DECIDE to do it. I didn’t know HOW I was going to make money from home when I quit my job. I didn’t know anyone that was doing it. I just knew that I had to do it because I had DECIDED to stay home with my baby. I didn’t know HOW women got through childbirth UNmedicated. I didnt know anyone that had done it- except for my Mom. I simply DECIDED that I would not get pain medication in child birth – at all. I didn’t know HOW I would become wealthy working from home. With the exception of a handful of very well-marketed internet marketers (whom I didnt want to emulate) I didnt know anyone who was actually doing it. I simply DECIDED not to settle for less than I knew I could create.

As I am writing this, I am reminded that in each of these “decisions”… I was “scolded” and “warned” and maybe even laughed at by people that I knew, trusted, and loved. I was told that “women didn’t STAY HOME with their children these days”…. that “it takes two incomes to make it”… I was told that “lots of women SAY they will birth naturally, but no one actually does it.. it is just too hard” and that “I shouldn’t be too hard on myself if I gave in and got the epidural.. everyone does it.”… I was told that I should “read the writing on the wall and get a real job” and that I shouldnt have dreams “so big”… AND THESE ARE COMMENTS BY MY FAMILY AND CLOSE FRIENDS.

BOTTOM LINE: DECISION is powerful. Once I have set my mind to something… and fully committed… nothing but the grave can rob me of seeing it come to fruition… Because there is POWER in decision. Stay DECIDED…. Stay FOCUSED… Stay STRATEGIC! To YOU!

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Two weeks ago, I visited a MAX MUSCLE store with my husband who wants to “bulk up” a bit. 

While I am struggling to lose weight, he struggles to put it on.  (We are quite opposite like this in almost every way.)  Anyway, the owner of this store was obviously quite knowledgeable and I waited patiently for his conversation with Chris to end, so that I could ask the question that was MOST important: “So, what do you have to help me LOSE weight?” 

You see, directly behind this man was a section of his store called, “FAT LOSS”.  Sounded good to me.  I was thinking, “Just point me in the direction of your FASTEST FAT LOSS product, sir and I will buy it from you today in bulk. ”  Not only would I become a customer, but if this stuff worked, I was already making a mental list of everyone else that I would send to him!

   Imagine my surprise when he redirected my hopeful gaze from the “FAT LOSS” section to the PROTEIN section of the store.  He explained that the FAT LOSS supplements were more for those LAST couple of pounds, but that I would need to mainly focus on DIET:  eating 6 small high-protein meals a day. 

 This “exchange” reminded me of something I heard my cousin say years ago.  A bunch of women were laughing about how they were buying every gizmo, every pill… how they would do ANYTHING to lose weight.  My cousin then spoke up to say, “Yeah, anything EXCEPT diet and exercise!”.  How true…. Anything except exactly what it takes! 

Anyway, back to Max Muscle… So, yeah… back to the old faithful:  calories in, calories out.  The owner then suggested a great-tasting chocolate protein drink, gave me a free sample as well as a free shaker.   I took the protein drink and left… a bit “dejected”. 

I couldn’t believe what I was feeling.  I KNEW what I needed to do to lose weight, and he had just confirmed that for me, AND encouraged me that I would see results… so why was I feeling…. dejected?  Perhaps it was because deep down, I was hoping for another hyped up sales pitch that would convince me that I could lose the weight easily… with no direct effort of my own…  INSTEAD, he gave me the truth… along with resources and encouragement to get started.  Did I REALLY want to lose this weight?   If so, I should be thrilled that he didn’t waste my time and money getting me excited about a product that wouldn’t really serve me.

Aside from “HIGHLIGHTING” this business owner, whose focus on education and service was impeccable, I do have another point.  I think that my first feeling of being “dejected” was what many people feel after speaking with me for the first time.  If someone is looking for the “magic pill” to grow their business… and are NOT willing to invest THEMSELVES in the process, they will likely be disappointed after speaking with me.  I don’t “sell” empty promises or hollow opportunity.   I don’t do “HYPE” about the “magical secret” to unearned success.  My business is FUN, REWARDING, and PROFITABLE beyond my original expectations… but there is no such thing as an over-night success, and while I don’t work “hard”, I do work deliberately… with focus, discipline, and DAILY action.  

So, Scott Wright of Max Muscle did (in a way) give me my magic pill.  It is the same magic pill that Dan the Man Lok gave me in Canada.  The same pill that my mentor gives me on a regular basis.  The same “magic” pill that I give my clients and MasterMind members each week:  It is the magic pill called, “do what you know to do.” 

In business, in weight loss, and in life… we often know what we need to do.  We just need to do it.   The only magic pill is our own decision to succeed at any worthy pursuit followed by our own ACTION.  Period. 

AND, If you are interested in talking with Scott Wright of Max Muscle… you can email him directly at scott@maxmuscle-chesapeake.com.  He is OFFICIALLY now a “Women Who WOW”-endorsed resource!  Congratulations Scott… and Thank you!

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