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Archive for April, 2010

Perfect Score THINKING

Washington D.C.

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak at the Women For Hire Career Expo in Washington, D.C.  It is always humbling for me to speak to an audience of women business owners as an “expert” and I cherish those few moments afterwards in which I can speak with them personally, hear their stories of hope, struggle, and steadfast commitment to their goals.  They always inspire and challenge me to do MORE.   

What I DONT cherish is finding out how each member of my “audience” rated me as a speaker.  In fact, the truth is, I never look at such “scoring” sheets.  It’s not because I don’t care what the audience thought of me in general, it’s that more often than not, these “rate your speaker” sheets are misinterpreted by the speakers themselves and -while necessary for event planners – encourage speakers to focus on ALL THE WRONG STUFF. 

You see… I’ll let you in on a little secret:  I am not really a speaker.  I am simply a coach who speaks.  And be forewarned if you’ve hired me to speak:  I’ve not rehearsed any part of my presentation, have never given any thought to dramatic pause, hand motions, or verbal interferences…. If my nose itches, I will scratch it.  And I don’t care what your employees or business builders think of my hair or shoes.  =)

Sure… I could dedicate my time and attention to these things and maybe get better scores on “delivery”…. maybe even PERFECT scores.  But I have no intention of doing so. 

When I speak, it is about making money as a self-bosser or salesperson.  Period. It’s the only thing I am really an expert in.  It’s what I do.  So, rather than pursue a perfect score on my “delivery”,  or how funny I was, or how entertaining, or how many “UMs” I said…. I’d rather be “graded” on my content and it’s intended use.  How many were inspired to take action?  How much MONEY was made as a direct result of my super-simplistic suggestions? Who doubled their efforts and experienced major income increase as a result?

See, perfect score thinking is tempting.  We’ve been well-indoctrinated into that thinking… since grade school.  We are trained to avoid mistakes, to pursue that 100, A+.   But, here’s the thing.  The REMARKABLE, the LIFE-CHANGING, the DIFFERENCE-MAKING things in life are rarely “defect – free”…. PERFECT is meeting a standardized scoring rubric, and while I am always striving for EXCELLENCE …. to be better, to do more, to have a more profound and farther-reaching impact on people and businesses, I am unwilling to be commoditized by pursuing a perfect score. 

Instead, my focus is on something different entirely:  SERVING my clients or my audience.  MAKING A DIFFERENCE.  As a speaker and a coach, I want to ENCOURAGE you (You CAN do it!), EMPOWER you (You SHOULD do it!) and EQUIP you (This is HOW you do it!) for bottom-line success in your business.  I like to think I am a pretty darn good “speaker”, but a perfect score isn’t what I’m after.  I’m after RESULTS. 

As a side note, it always cracks me up when copy writers or advertisers or resume writers will highlight AWARD WINNING copy….. or AWARD WINNING commercials… or AWARD WINNING resumes in their marketing copy.   Why is this funny?  Because it doesn’t matter.  It’s very “perfect score” thinking and nobody cares.  I mean, forget the AWARDS. 

Did your copy or commercial win CLIENTS for the business?  Did it increase your bottom-line? Did it have a high Return on Investment?  Did your resumes win AWARDS and INTERVIEWS for your clients?  THAT is what matters!!!

So, where have you been pursuing a SCORE over RESULTS in your own business?   What are you really after?   Are you pursuing EXCELLENCE or PERFECTION? 

And before I go, I want to put a shout out to all of the fabulous women I met in DC.  I LOVED every minute of our time together…. Thank you for forgiving my movie-anticdotes, my frank and candid demeanor and the INCREDIBLE HEAT in that room!!!  =) I was honored to be among you and look very forward to hearing more about your success!!! =)  I hope to see many of you again in Atlanta!

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“Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can.” – Henry Drummond

Mission:  FAILURE Recovery.  Great title for a blog post.  How I wish I didn’t have the expertise to write it so easily.  The truth is, not too long ago I set a HUGE goal… one that (honestly) I knew was HUGE, but I felt really, really confident I could reach.  I set the goal and announced it to the people who would (also) be directly affected by the goal.  Not only did I fail to reach it, but I failed MISERABLY. 

They say reach for the moon and you’ll at least land among the stars.  Not in this case.  At least not for me.  I reached for the moon, alright,  jumped HARD, and landed with a thud not far from where I started. Not even close.  Massive Failure.

To add insult to professional injury, I’ve been reminded of my failure a couple of times.  You know, statements like,  “We can’t do that again.” or “You said this….but you didn’t even come close.”  Thanks.  =)  There was a time that if the failure itself didn’t leave me emotionally hi-jacked, those comments surely would have derailed me – at least for a time.  But, I hardly gave them a second thought.  Here’s why:

Steve Chandler of www.clubfearless.net taught me that It’s NOT what a goal IS that matters.  It’s what a goal DOES that matters.  So, the goal I set was a specific number target I failed to come anywhere near reaching.  That’s what the goal WAS.  But, here is what the goal DID:

  • It challenged me to create an aggressive plan of action, and when striving for goal one, I stumbled onto an opportunity that has proven FAR MORE profitable. (and fun!)
  • It pushed me outside of my comfort zone and demanded my actions be bold, strategic and consistent.
  • It gave me ample material for a great blog post! =)

Seriously, when we FAIL… and we all will…. it’s important to look at a few things, to make sure we recover WELL!

  1. Did the GOAL buoy our ACTIONS?  Meaning, were our actions bolder or bigger because of the goal we set for ourselves?  If not, the goal wasn’t big enough.  If so, take stock of what wins you did experience!!  If your actions “rose up” to meet your HUGE goal, I guarantee you that something incredible was created by you playing to win BIG… even if you feel you “lost”. 
  2. Did we do all we know to do?   Lisa Smith from www.hypnocoachlisa.com spoke to our mastermind the other day about the 2 MM difference.  In golf, just turning your wrist a slight 2mm can make all the difference.  So, could you re-try your goal with a slightly different position or from a new angle?
  3. Is it worth trying again?  

The biggest FAILURE Recovery plan is to never allow our losses to keep us from planning and playing BIG.  So, set BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOALS and go after them.  Let the GOAL buoy your ACTION… never, ever, ever bring your goals “down” to meet a fear of failure.

Forget what your goal IS for a minute…. let it be big enough to DO something for you… let it be big enough to challenge you, demand something NEW from you, and pressure you to play BIG!!!  =)

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STILL looking to Kirstie Alley for weight loss advice? REALLY? (Picture from IdeaGrove.com)

On April Fools Day (actually the DAY AFTER April Fools Day) Tory Johnson and Laurie Baggett pulled a prank on me… and I am carefully and diligently plotting my revenge.  But, since we are still in April Fool’s “month”, I have to rant a bit about how EASILY FOOLED far too many of us are. 

Last night, my husband and I were talking about his student intern.  She had to teach a lesson while a professor from a local university observed and critiqued her.  The professor, according to my husband, had “odd” feedback for her… ALMOST like he had never actually taught a class himself.  “Weird”, he thought.  So, we looked it up.  This celebrated professor had, in fact, NO classroom experience to speak of… Advanced degrees? Yep.  Academic awards?  Sure.  But, actual “in the trenches” experience…. Not a stitch.  Weird?  Maybe.  Uncommon?  I only wish.

I myself taught parenting classes before I was a parent.  I never even UTTERED the words, “Hey… I’ve never had a kid… I’m basically giving you little more than a book review here.  PLEASE feel free to take my advice and trash it on your way out the door.”  Of course I didn’t say that, because I didn’t even KNOW all I didn’t KNOW.  Instead, I dished out that advice with a confidence that can only be born from total ignorance.  And, you know what?  I literally taught THOUSANDS of parents… not ONE asked if I had kids of my own. 

Recently, I saw a fun event being promoted that was going to teach business owners about SUCCESS and MARKETING.  I’m thinking… GREAT!!!  Then, I looked to see who was leading this “tribe”… a marketer who has yet to land his first paying client – EVER… a person who has never BEEN in business before – EVER… and a third with a similar (lack of) track record. 

Is this FUNNY?  NO!!!  Because they will confidently dole out regurgitated advice (read:  BOOK REVIEW) without recognizing the irony and without so much as a speck of reality-based, in the trenches perspective to season it with.  And people will follow this advice… and the blind will continue to lead the blind.  Sort of exactly like my parenting classes… GULP!

NON-PARENTS teaching parenting classes….Management gurus who have never managed…..Leadership experts who have only ever led a team of one…Marketers who can’t sell….Oprah and Kirstie Alley STILL making money off of their experience with weight loss….

 Oh, the evidence of gullibility abounds… and I hate to see it.  It puts true experts on even ground with the far-too-available “expert” seemingly born every minute.  Their success depends on YOU being easily fooled by their thinly veiled lack of experience and handing over your money to learn from them.  My advice:  buy the book instead.  Don’t settle for their cliff notes. 

As Sherri Baldy (founder of www.fuzzb.com) said so succinctly last week,  “I don’t believe in EXPERTS.   We’re just a couple of gals who have figured some things out.”  Well said. 

Be careful who YOU learn from.   BTW, I no longer teach parenting classes.  I have three kids.  NOW I know intimately how little I actually know about parenting!  =)   

But, in my humble opinion, here is where you can go to learn from people who have “figured some stuff out” – all while STILL being IN THE TRENCHES with you:

Steve Chandler of www.clubfearless.net , Dan Kennedy of www.dankennedy.com, and Tory Johnson of www.toryjohnson.com, and (of course) ME of www.womenwhowow.com   =)

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Occasionally – just occasionally – I take a bit of my own advice and MEASURE WHAT MATTERS. =) This morning I took a look at Planet WOW! and how it has grown….We now span the globe and you can find “pockets” of Planet WOW! members in Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia, New Guinea, India, Indonesia, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Brazil, Mexico, Norway, and of course, all over the incredible US of A.   

Planet WOW! members are people who :

  • are defying industry norms,
  •  are forward-thinking entrepreneurs, 
  • refused to be crushed, intimidated, or bullied  by any competition, recession, or fear of any kind,
  • know that when it comes to making money, the majority is ALWAYS wrong,
  • realize that we can’t eat the EGO associated with “getting our name out there” and know that marketing is about getting our clients IN HERE, and
  • who have refused to participate in the business-as-usual SMUT that engages so many in a RACE TO THE BOTTOM…

Oh yes!! It is a special “planet” in deed… Some of you have been with me from the beginning… as I fumbled my way along as a business coach.  (You have NO idea how grateful I am for your patience, passion, and wilingness not to expose me as another “expert” in over her head!! **wink**)  Others came on board after hearing me speak, reading an article about me, or stumbling on my website.  Truthfully, I don’t care what brought you here.   I am just so honored and humbled you came.  I can’t imagine walking this entrepreneurial journey without you by my side!!   

You can join us too, by visiting me at www.womenwhowow.com!  (And, Yes!  MEN are ALWAYS welcome!!)

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“Cocaine King”, Joaquin Guzman Loera, has a lot to celebrate this month.  In addition to being featured in FORBES Magazine at the end of March, he has also joined the ranks of 38 new Billionaires this year – banking over $1 Billion in personal income… and I’m not sure he’s paying taxes on that money either.  =) Recession?  He’s unintimidated! 

I wonder how much time he spent “getting his name out there”, or networking at Chamber events, or having his image made over by some image specialist…. I have to wonder how much money he spent on branding, SEO tricks, or social media…. **wink** 

**This blog post is for anyone who found my “report based on the marketing tactics of drug dealers and prostitutes” too “offensive”… Yep – this is for YOU!  =)  **

I’ve learned from a woman who ran a successful escort business – VERY profitably (and illegally) for years.  I’ve met an ex-drug lord who now teaches business ETHICS….

So, let’s disagree with their product – Sure.  Let’s disagree with some of their methods and be intolerant of any violence associated with their industry – of course.  But to deny that they have some marketing tactics we could “swipe and deploy” in our own business??  Now, that’ s just plain foolish.  =)  Get your own copy of that “ILLEGAL” marketing report here:  www.womenwhowow.com

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