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Compassionate Leadership: When The Dalai Lama And Brain Scientists Agree on Something, You Want To Listen

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When I was a little girl, I’ll never forget seeing a stray dog. It was running along the street in a panic, approaching a freeway onramp. It was disoriented and fearful, panicking and not knowing what to do. For me, as a small child, this was traumatic to see. I knew what would happen if that dog got up the freeway ramp; I think we can all conclude he wouldn’t have had much of a chance.

dog

I cried through the closed window of our car, tapping the glass with the hope that it could save him.  “Doggy! Doggy! The doggy needs help!” My mom was focused on driving and didn’t hear me. Meanwhile I was distraught, imagining the impending doom of someone’s loyal companion.

I envisioned a little girl much like myself crying herself to sleep, not knowing where her dog was.

Then suddenly, a car pulled over. A good Samaritan got out, approached the frightened dog, and managed to rescue it from the side of the road. At that moment, my sadness flipped to elated joy. Every fiber of my being was happy, and for a couple reasons. First of all, Doggy was going to be OK. And second of all, I felt immense gratitude for the kindness of the rescuers. I witnessed compassion, although I didn’t know that word when I was a young girl.

Witnessing compassion has an emotional, spiritual, and physiological effect on people.  And this experience shaped my beliefs about the world,  teaching me that we are inherently good and that doing good is part of our DNA.

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What Is Compassion?

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Compassion is defined as a concern for the misfortune of others and wanting to do something about it. It’s often confused with empathy, which is having the understanding of another’s feelings or experience. The main difference is that compassion sparks action.

compassion-empathy-relationship

A beautiful example of compassion in action (and technically, in a workplace) was when professional tennis player Rafael Nadal stopped a tennis match he was in because he heard a girl crying for her mother. Something inside of him was moved to take that single action. He could have ignored it, as I’m sure many people who’ve heard children in distress have blocked it from their minds. But he stopped… in the middle of a game… and made it possible for them to find each other from across the courts and to each other.

compassion-lost-little-girl

 

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When The Dalai Lama and Brain Scientists Agree on Something…

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Religious and spiritual leaders have been teaching for thousands of years that compassion is a virtue. Compassion rests as a foundational tenet of Buddhism.  The Dalai Lama says, “If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.” Biblical quotes and sacred texts from mystics and spiritual leaders speak of the gift that is practicing compassion.

dalai-lama-scientist-pic

And now Western science has chimed in on the topic.

Brain imaging studies by the National Institutes for Health show that the pleasure centers of the brain – the same ones that light up from sex, money, and chocolate- are activated by compassion.  In other words, we feel PLEASURE when we observe someone doing for another. Children, such as myself when I saw the stray dog being rescued, respond when they see good being done for others. It creates an emotional and physiological impact.

Our brains are wired to respond positively to compassion. Researchers say it’s part of our evolutionary survival strategy: when our primordial ancestors showed compassion, it helped the species survive.

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Compassionate Leadership: From “Me” to “We”

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compassionate-leadership-me-to-we

Compassion helps us in more ways than just a warm, fuzzy feeling… it helps us create healthier, happier, more productive workplaces.

Approaching leadership from a compassionate standpoint is about moving your focus from “Me” to “We”.  The “I’m only in it for myself” mindset isn’t what’s needed to create more peaceful, productive workplaces. The shift towards a more compassionate workplace are far reaching: on an emotional level it keeps people happy, and on a financial level it saves money.

compassionate-leadership-benefits

 

  • In a 2012 study by BMC Public Health, it shows employee stress levels decrease when they feel more bonded. We all know what happens to communication, productivity, and interpersonal relationships when stress is high. Imagine the reverse of that.

 

  • A compassionate leader encourages stronger relationships and communication: people are encouraged to develop friendships. These deeper levels of understanding help with attitude, focus, and commitment.

 

  • Think of hostile environments you’ve been in. Studies show that compassionate leadership promotes higher  employee retention. When people are feeling appreciated and part of something bigger than the job, it promotes a positive work environment and company culture.

 

  • A study published by the Academy of Management review shows that compassion can actually lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate.  The decrease of stress and increase of feeling part of something helps the body be more resilient, thus decreasing sick days.

 

  • Compassion replicates itself: A study published by the National Academy of Sciences shows how cooperative behavior “cascades” to others around. It’s actually contagious. When you raise the compassion bar, others follow suit. It becomes the new normal. And here’s an important sidenote: it does NOT open the door to being taken advantage of. The fears of being compassionate have been put to rest.

 

  • An Australian School of Business leadership study polled 5,600 participants from 77 different organizations. Those leaders identified as compassionate consistently showed productivity increases in employees, higher morale, and yes… higher profitability.

 

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Compassionate Leadership: Just Remember These 3 Things

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Being a compassionate leader really hinges on 3 main principles. As long as you stay focused on these, it will be much easier for you to make the inner changes you need in order to create organizational changes too.

 

  1. Seeing The Big Picture
    compassionate-leadership-seeing-the-big-picture

Be aware of what’s going on, such as situations, processes, and dilemmas in your workplace. If you tend to isolate, or veer away from finding out anything other than what’s on your personal to-do list, then you’re missing out on vital information that is impacting your entire organization. Stay informed, being observant and caring.

 

2. Understanding Feelings

compassionate-leadership-understanding-feelings

 

 

If you saw this woman with her head in her hand, sitting in front of a laptop, what would you do? What would you say to her?

Here’s a multiple choice quiz to test your response style:

a. Make a joke. “Hey what happened, did someone die? Lost the lottery again?”

b. Try to cheer her up to ease your discomfort: “Hey, wipe that frown off your face, let’s get happy!”

c. Ask a question: “Hey, looks like something’s frustrating you.”

If you answered c, then you came at this from a compassionate standpoint. Asking questions and listening are two of the greatest compassion builders around. Yes, there are loving meditations you can also work on, and I encourage you to do just that. But putting this into action requires us to do things to create a new normal for our responses.

Listening helps you get out of yourself and focus on the needs and feelings of others. When you do that, you cultivate your compassion skills. It’s an all around benefit.

Try this exercise:

Sit with a friend and have them share about a challenging situation for 2 minutes. Your job is to LISTEN. You may not interrupt or offer advice. You may not even nod your head, as that’s a way of communicating. Hold a still, silent, loving space for that person to share a challenge. Your urges to solve, fix, and move on will be immediately put to the test. Be sure to switch roles for another 2 minutes so you can experience what it feels like to be fully heard and given the space. This is a great exercise for a teambuilding event.

3. Move From “Me” to “We” Mindset

compassionate-leadership-handshake-me-wee

Knowing we’re all in this together, and feeling part of something bigger than ourselves elevates people to be their best. It strengthens the workplace relationships, keeps people on board with the company vision, and creates positive change.

Brain scientists who’ve researched human behavior note the evolutionary need for humans to stay together for survival. We have vulnerable offspring who need protecting, we rely on others for our survival as a species. Compassion is a natural human trait that can take us to our next phase of greatness in business and in the world around us.

 

6 Amazing Benefits of Curiosity

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Curiosity, that insatiable desire to know or learn something, doesn’t just make you an interesting person… it actually has far reaching benefits around happiness, achievement, relationships, and survival.

Holding the thought, “Why?”, can lead to discoveries that open you up to new adventures, discoveries, maybe even a new business or career idea.

The Greater Good Science Center from the University of California at Berkeley studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well being. Their research uncovers findings that aim to make our society more thriving, resilient, and compassionate.

What’s even better is it gives scientific evidence that something I’ve known all along is true: being incurably curious is A GOOD THING!

Here are the 6 surprising benefits of curiosity according to the Greater Good Science Center.

1. CURIOSITY HELPS US SURVIVE

Your brain rewards you for being curious, and that’s a fantastic trade off for human survival! When you encounter something new, your brain releases dopamine, the feel good chemical. That’s incentive to explore and seek novelty.

 

2. CURIOUS PEOPLE ARE HAPPIER

This goes along with #1. The more dopamine running through you, the happier you feel. The reward of curiosity is shown to create happier people with lower stress levels, higher levels of positive emotions, and a greater sense of well being.

 

3. CURIOSITY BOOSTS ACHIEVEMENT

According to the Greater Good Science Center, “Studies reveal that curiosity leads to more enjoyment and participation in school and higher academic achievement, as well as greater learning, engagement, and performance at work. It may seem like common sense, but when we are more curious about and interested in what we are doing, it’s easier to get involved, put effort in, and do well.”

4. CURIOSITY CAN EXPAND OUR EMPATHY

Curiosity can lead you to explore outside your social circles and develop deeper levels of understanding people with different lives, experiences, and worldviews than yours. This expands your empathy. Empathy helps us break down the barriers between us and others, and to move into a more peaceful existence. Findings on the positive effects of empathy have been published extensively by the Greater Good Science Center.

5. CURIOSITY HELPS STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS

According to the Greater Good Science Center, “One study asked strangers to pose and answer personal questions, a process scientists call “reciprocal self-disclosure.” They found that people were rated as warmer and more attractive if they showed real curiosity in the exchange (while other variables like the person’s social anxiety and their levels of positive and negative emotions did not affect the partner’s feelings of attraction and closeness). This implies that demonstrating curiosity towards someone is a great way to build your closeness with them.”

6. CURIOSITY IMPROVES HEALTHCARE

Studies involving doctors and patients found that the quality of healthcare improved when doctors held genuine curiosity in their patients. By asking questions and listening more deeply, there was less frustration and ultimately more effective treatment.

So go out into the world with a spirit of wonder and awe, look for the new and unexpected, try things you might never would have tried, and see each person you meet as a gift waiting to be revealed.

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Curiosity has the power to open you up to new directions for your business, career, or mission in life. To learn how my style of approaching creativity and leadership can benefit you, your organization, or event contact me HERE

3 Steps to Tap Into Your Intuition

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Intuition is your inner GPS that guides you when you most need it, helping you make decisions that come from your place of truth… not hasty reaction or fear. The great news is that EVERYONE can tap into their intuition and use it for guidance, creating, innovating, making decisions, leading, communicating, relating, taking action… the possibilities are endless.

First, let’s take a self-assessment.

On a scale of 1-10, how intuitive do you consider yourself to be? Do you follow hunches, get flashes of insight, or have a strong sense of what action to take next? Do you get feelings about situations or people that you can’t shake?

After learning these 3 steps to tapping into your intuition, you’ll discover yourself feeling more connected to your intuition and trusting it more confidently to guide you.

The best place to start is to have a daily practice of quiet time where you can directly access your intuition. The more you do this, the more you’ll trust and lean into your intuition to guide your actions.

Here’s a simple, 3-Step practice you can do every day at the start of your day, creating a space of open-mindedness, positive thinking, and confidence as you go through your day.

All you need is a quiet place, a few minutes, and something to write with.

STEP 1: SHHHHHHH…. GET QUIET

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What do you do when you first get up in the morning? Do you reach over, grab your phone and start checking messages and updates? If you’re doing that… STOP!

No-Cell-phone

Reserve the first few minutes of your day for YOU. If you find yourself greeted each morning with distractions from family, roommates, pets, etc, then challenge yourself to either get up earlier or set some firm boundaries. Find a quiet space that is all yours, and can be undisturbed for at least 10 minutes. Even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom, you deserve to create this space for your intuitive development.

Now that you’ve eliminated the distractions, sit quietly and breathe mindfully. Breathe in for 4, hold it for 4, exhale for 8. Do this 4 times. This breathing exercise will calm your body, clear your mind, and help you to focus.

Call in all your busy thoughts, all the conversations you’ve had (whether in real time or dream time), quiet things in your mind as you breathe.

You can imaging a ball of light glowing right where your heart is. Visualize it getting bigger and bigger, until your entire body is in the light.

This is called GROUNDING, and CONNECTING. It’s very good for calming your nervous system and setting your mind and body up for a great day.

 

STEP 2: GRATITUDE

Gratitude-rock

What are you grateful for? Start thinking of the things, people, places, situations that you’re grateful for. I suggest you find at least 10 things to be grateful for, and if you think of more keep going!

Having a bad day? Nothing seems good? Focus on the gratitude for things that happen without your help, such as your heart beating, blood flowing, eyes that see, feet that can walk.

No matter what your life circumstances, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

 

STEP 3: SET YOUR INTENTION FOR THE DAY

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Now that you’ve spent a few minutes relaxing your body, calming your nervous system, and lifting your spirits, you’re ready to go to the next step.

If you’ve ever heard someone use the term “High Vibration” to describe a state of being, you’re actually in that state by now. Certain emotional and spiritual states have been recorded to vibrate a higher frequency than others. (For some fascinating research on this, check out the work of Dr. David Hawkins in his book, Power Vs. Force). It’s the palpable feeling of emotion. One of the fastest, easiest ways to raise your vibration is to focus on gratitude. If you’ve done steps 1 and 2, then you’re all set for opening up to your intuition and letting it speak to you and guide your day.

Sit quietly and ask yourself, “What is my intention for today?”, or  as I asked myself in the journal entry below, “What are my soul’s instructions for me?”

discernment journal entry

Phrase it to yourself in a way that will help the question land more deeply with you.

Be still, and allow yourself to receive the response. Sometimes you might have a single word flash in your mind. Other times you might see yourself doing something. You may also get a physical sensation.

This isn’t the time to turn your logical mind on. It’s not time to insert your to-do list, job description, or all the things you have burdening you. It’s time to let your intuition speak to you.

Remember this advice: FIRST THOUGHT, BEST THOUGHT.

Trust it.

Then, grab a journal or something to write with (non-electronic preferably!) and put the word or words down that describe your intention for the day.

I do this exercise each morning. The other day the word that popped up in my mind was “REFINEMENT”.

I took out my journal and wrote it down. I wasn’t entirely clear on what that meant, so I asked myself, “What does refinement look like for me?”

The next thought that sprang up was “Conserve your energy. Discernment of where you place your energy. Be fully present. Be calm. Be serene.”

It’s interesting, because I was right about to go to a conference and it was going to be a full and busy day. I was scheduled to be there from morning until the night. I was geared up to go, go, go.

The awareness of conserving my energy was with me all day long. I checked in with myself frequently through the day to see if I was overextending myself or if I was caring for myself.

At the end of afternoon, I started to feel a slight drag on my energy level. The next day I was to deliver a 2 hour presentation to close the entire event out. It meant too much to me to drain myself on Day 1 of a conference only to putter out on Day 2 when an entire conference was relying on me to bring my all.

I was at a choice point: do I stay for the evening events, mix and mingle, connect with more people, attend a banquet… or do I set a boundary and put my self-care first and leave?

My logical brain was rooting for me to stay;  it had plenty of rationale to convince me. But I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and went back to the intention I set that morning.

“Conserve your energy”, is what my intuition told me.

Trust me, there have been PLENTY of times in my life when I’ve overridden my intuition. Before I knew how to set healthy boundaries (especially around self-care), I would do what everyone else expected of me and ignored all signs my body was trying to tell me. That approach landed me with a great case of adrenal burnout and fatigue.

I also knew how not to sabotage my decision to conserve my energy: leave quietly.

I’m not a quiet exiter by any means. When I leave a party it takes me 2 hours; I call it The Mexican Goodbye. But in this case, I didn’t have 2 hours to go around and tell everyone I was leaving. In fact, when I’ve tried in the past to slip away quietly and opt for the long goodbyes, I inevitably would end up staying (“Oh come on, stay for the dinner!”) Fast forward to me hitting the wall and regretting not listening to my intuition.

I had to trust my intuition in this case. Deeply trust it. I quietly slipped out,  and that evening I was able to relax, take a bath, and think about my presentation. I went to bed early and woke up fresh and revitalized to deliver my talk. In fact, in an early morning moment of inspiration, I changed a bit of my presentation and had the time, focus, and energy to update my slides and practice the new part. I’m so glad I did because I know it made a huge difference when I delivered the talk the next day.

Meditation and setting intentions isn’t just a fluffy practice to fill up a few minutes of your morning. It’s how you tap into your intuition and use it to guide your actions, decision-making, and boundaries each day. It keeps your stress levels down, increases confidence, and sets you up to have an intentional, empowered day.

Do this exercise each morning when you wake up and you’ll experience a deeper connection to your intuition and a heightened sense of trusting your instincts.

Curious how you can ignite your leading edge? Set up a free consultation HERE

 

 

Radical Change and Nerves of Steel

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In Spring 2014, I had a numerology reading with the very gifted Peter Vaughan.

One thing really stood out. He said “By the end of 2015, your business is going to be very different than it is now.”

I wanted to understand what that meant RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Hearing “your business is going to be very different than it is now” could mean I’m making more (or less) money, could mean I’m working with a different clientele, could mean I’m panhandling, could mean SO MANY THINGS! Not knowing what it meant drove me crazy… but I kept following each indicated step. I vowed to trust the process.

Trusting the process is wonderful when viewed through the rearview mirror. However, when in the middle of it, it freakin sucks.

It puts you face to face with all your shit: inner fears shit, core wounds shit, money shit, parenting shit, relationship shit, car breaking down shit, ex-husband shit, adrenal exhaustion shit, perimenopausal shit, family shit, colleague shit, client shit, and all forms of miscellaneous shit.

Dammit, why does it have to be so complicated!

So many things changed in this time… unplanned but following God’s plan: a complete revamp of my business, creation and destruction, birthing and ending.

But as I take inventory today, I see that a lot of good shit happened too! The rearview mirror is looking quite nice:

1. I met The One and fulfilled the prophecy of finding true love when I’m 50.  We now share a beautiful home and each day I’m filled with smiles, hugs, and love. Being happy and loved is good for my business and my creativity.

2. I attracted amazing clients: Powerful leaders, 7 figure entrepreneurs, visionary changemakers who saw their strengths in a whole new way. Together we built a plan for them to lead and grow from their genius, communicate their genius, create a legacy, and make a global impact.

3. Developed a podcast (coming soon!) with the amazing help of Doug Foresta! LESSONS FOR THE LEADING EDGE. Which brings me to my next item…

4. Owning MY GENIUS as a guide for visionary leaders and innovators. Boldly integrating LEADERSHIP as an area of expertise. it’s always been there, it’s just now spelled out. Finally!

5. GETTING MY BOOK DONE! The Genius Finder is in the works. OMG did that take only a decade to start or what????

6. Laying out the framework for an INSTITUTE for leading edge entrepreneurs and their organizations. Book and podcast to support this. (message me if you’d like to know about the next training).

Trusting the process… more doors yet to open, more discoveries yet to be made. Step by step.

Men: Go From Doing to Being

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A lot of successful men come to me for consulting and coaching. They’re at the top of their game, financially secure, and masters in their fields.

But something’s up. They feel restless. Wondering why being BUSY like they’ve always been doesn’t give them the buzz it once did. What’s their genius, they wonder? What is it they’re really meant to be doing here?

And yes, like most men they want to FIX IT! Fix that feeling, fix that restlessness, find a solution and let’s move on!

Look, guys: you’ve spent YEARS finding fast solutions to fix things. But your answers aren’t going to come to you via transactions this time around. When you reach a certain age- say 45 and up- things change. Especially if you’ve enjoyed success and have reached your goals.

More and more men are coming to me with the desire to stop DOING and start BEING.

They’ve built up this wonderful business, taken all the risks, started things, created, constructed… and now they’re ready for something else.

But what is that?

For many, it’s the journey to becoming a mentor, a leader, and a teacher.

To fill those shoes, you need to know about yourself. You need to understand what makes you tick, what your strengths are, and what you want to be remembered for.

It’s not a small feat.

You start to use words like “legacy”, that before sounded strangely grandfatherly. Or you might realize that building for you is no longer about start ups or ventures… building for you is now about something within.

Men, let me tell you something.

If you’re feeling this restless pull to go within and find out WHO you are, you are in good company. More and more men are coming to this place of realization where they want to now be honored for WHO they are, not just for WHAT they have done or can do.

When I work with clients, I take them on the inner journey by delving deeply into their Talent and Genius. I find out their life story, their innate gifts, their character. I learn about their personality, their dreams, and their biggest goals. I discover hidden talents, little known traits, and strengths that couldn’t be revealed until now.

And after that digging and learning, a leader emerges. A man ready to embark on the next phase of his life, a man ready to mentor and inspire others.

The first step, though, is to unhook from DOING… and learn how to BE. Just Be.

If you’re a man on the brink of your next chapter, a man who has built it and done it and is ready to discover WHO you are as a legacy maker, then contact me and let’s see if my work can usher in that next phase. 

Are You Successful But Unhappy?

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Yesterday I was talking to a colleague about people who are successful but not enjoying their success. For everyone out there who is hustling to make the money, believe it or not, it doesn’t always lead to happiness. Yeah, nod your head and say “Amen, sister, that’s right!”, but take a moment to feel into this.

**Successful and not enjoying the success.**

Do you know what happens when everything externally says you should have it all together, but inside you’re not?

It stinks. You feel off purpose and empty. But because the money is coming in and all looks peachy-keen on the outside, you can easily stay there and hide. You’re standing there with golden handcuffs on, not sure what to do.

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Last year, I dismantled a high level coaching program that was a 6 figure revenue stream for my business. But… it was my version of the golden handcuffs. I loved my clients, they got results, but there was something missing from it and I knew it had to end. I could have continued re-enrolling people and bringing in new clients, but until I got my head around my own purpose for what I wanted this group to be, I just couldn’t run it anymore.

Yes, it was scary to dismantle this.
Yes, when I told people what I did they looked at me like I was half-baked.

I told myself the answer would reveal itself to me when it was ready… when I WAS READY.

At times I felt a bit panicked and impatient… “Ummm, hello God? It’s been a few months now, I kinda thought we’d have resolution in a few days… I’m getting a little worried!”

The time is NOW. Things are READY.

My Golden Handcuffs are off. I have the clear vision of my intensive work with leaders and impact entrepreneurs. The habits and behaviors I had that attracted in non-ideal clients have been replaced with habits and behaviors to bring in my ideal clients- the visionaries, the change agents, the leaders feeling the need to know who they really are and what’s their unique genius…

OK let’s just let this sink in… golden handcuffs… feeling trapped… breaking free. Can you relate? What comfort is holding you prisoner?

(Originally posted on Facebook)

‪#‎TAGtip‬ ‪#‎TalentAndGenius‬ ‪#‎FeelingFree‬ ‪#‎ComfortableInYourOwnSkin‬

Want to be in on this exciting new program? If you’re a successful entrepreneur but feel like your identity has gotten lost along the road to success, contact me to set up a conversation to explore if this is for you. 

How Your Thoughts Impact Your Marketing Message

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I was so jazzed from making my last video on the Spiritual Roots of Your Marketing Message, that I decided to take you onto the next step of my process for transforming your business through your talent and genius.

The Vortex (the first step) is getting yourself spiritually aligned so you can tap into your deep genius. However, being the magnificent humans that we are, we tend to screw things up when they’re humming along. It’s that pesky mindset stuff… the negative programming, the habitual self-sabotage, the moving towards the familiar even if it’s a stinky pile of poop. In addition to staying in tune with your inner self, you also need to have tools to work on your thoughts so they don’t derail you.

In this video, I share some favorite mindset tips, take you through a quick exercise on gratitude (that, I must say, left me feeling really good and I know it’ll work for you), and have a special message for all you personal development gurus who just might think you’re **beyond** some of this stuff. Haha, that’s my favorite part of the video.

It’s 7 minutes long… a tad longer than my last one but worth it. Be sure to click the link below the video so you can get some fun free tools from me. Enjoy!

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The Spiritual Roots of Your Marketing Message

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After a long hiatus from making videos, I’ve found my mojo again and am LOVING getting some new words of wisdom out to the world.

(Apparently my cat, Orange Kitty, is also loving the fact that I’m making videos as he’s chosen to saunter past me a few times during this Genius Moment.)

What keeps me going in business and life is having a solid spiritual foundation. With each passing year, I find myself drawing out the spiritual more and more in the most unlikely places. When I look at business, and especially the way we communicate about our businesses, I see endless points where spirituality makes contact. I’ve always felt those, but now is the time when my inner thoughts about this are ready to burst forth and become stronger in my own message.

Your message isn’t just a collage of words to make you sound good. Your message is the articulation of your God-given gifts. And if you’re not in touch with the spiritual part of you, you won’t know the sacredness of those gifts.

When I work with clients on finding their talent and genius, the spiritual foundation is the first step. I call it The Vortex. It’s where all the meaning , purpose and intention of your gifts originate from.

In this video, I give some more background on The Vortex and how you can tap into yours to get to the deep roots of your message. There is a challenge for you in this video- watch it. And please leave your comments, share it, like it… I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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My most successful clients (like the ones adding an additional 6 figures to their income, speaking in front of tens of thousands of ideal clients, and standing out as thought leaders in their industries) put these practices to use.

If your business is in the 6+ figure level and you want that alignment with your genius so you can achieve the  next stage of success, contact me for a consultation. I’d love to find out how we can work together to bring your Vortex more into your message so you can change the world. 

How to Be Succinct in 3 Steps

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Back in school, I remember getting the word “succinct” on my vocabulary list.

“Why do we need to learn THIS word?”, I groaned to the nuns. (Carmelite Sisters of Charity… I think they wore army boots and brandished weapons under their habits, but we’ll save that for another post.)

They couldn’t really answer beyond “Because we say you must learn it!” … right before I was sent to Mother Superior for some lecturing on talking back in class.

Fast forward from my insolent youth and into today:  I actually get asked questions using the word SUCCINCT several times a week.

When I ask someone “What’s the biggest challenge you have right now in your marketing?”, 9 times out of 10 someone will say “I can’t say what I do succinctly.” Or “I can’t be succinct in my marketing communication and it’s driving me crazy and costing me.” Same thing, different word forms.

Ah, so the real world does use the word succinct and it seems to be a hot topic!

People I work with come to me with wordy descriptions of what they do. They’re in utter pain because without a concise way to describe how they help others, they get passed over and can’t transform the lives and businesses they can help.

They also can’t communicate the value of their work, connect it to the needs of their clients, and thus increase their revenue.

The “talk about what you do” thing is the hinge on the door that opens up to more business. If you’re having trouble with that, then you’ll have trouble generating the interest you need to get more sales.

Being succinct is the name of the game but  it takes practice and retraining. It’s about distilling large pieces of information into bite sized nuggets people can mentally latch onto and associate with.

Here are 3 tips I give my clients to retrain them to be succinct. Put these into practice and your succinct message will be much easier to get to:
[/feature_box] [feature_box style=”22″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”][step_graphics style=”5″ color=”#ee2530″ ][step  style=”5″ text=”1″ headline=”Practice%20the%20Rule%20of%203″]%3Cp%3EThis%20is%20a%20game%20you%20can%20start%20playing%20to%20be%20more%20succinct.%20Boil%20everything%20down%20to%203’s.%20For%20example%2C%20when%20I%20describe%20what%20coaching%20does%2C%20I%20say%20it%20involves%203%20key%20steps%3A%20%20%22Peel%2C%20reveal%2C%20and%20deal.%22%20When%20I%20teach%20clients%20how%20to%20create%20coaching%20packages%2C%20we%20focus%20on%20the%20Beginning%20(intake)%2C%20Middle%20(milestones%20and%20goals)%2C%20and%20End%20(evaluation%20and%20next%20steps).%203.%20Tres.%20Trois.%20San.%20Start%20boiling%20everything%20down%20to%203’s%20and%20you’ll%20start%20to%20see%20a%20shift%20in%20your%20succinctness.%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”2″ headline=”Time%20Yourself”]%3Cp%3EFor%20those%20of%20us%20blessed%20with%20the%20gift%20of%20gab%2C%20this%20is%20a%20doozy.%20It%20pains%20me%20too%2C%20but%20we%20must%20practice%20this%20one!%20Time%20yourself%20to%20say%20whatever%20you%20have%20to%20say%20in%20the%20least%20amount%20of%20time%20possible.%20Imagine%20someone%20asks%20you%20how%20your%20day%20went.%20Try%20to%20summarize%20it%20in%2030%20seconds%20or%20less.%20I%20know%2C%20you%20want%20to%20tell%20about%20the%20shopping%20cart%20that%20rolled%20in%20front%20of%20you%20in%20the%20parking%20lot%20and%20the%20leaf%20that%20blew%20across%20the%20windshield%2C%20but%20for%20this%20exercise%20really%20squeeze%20your%20day%20into%2030%20seconds.%20You%20can%20go%20into%20detail%20later%20if%20someone%20wants%20to%20hear%20the%20whole%20story%2C%20but%20try%20to%20give%20the%2030%20second%20pitch.%20Think%20of%20how%20movie%20plots%20are%20distilled%20down%20to%20one%20sentence…%20can%20you%20do%20that%20too%3F%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”3″ headline=”Get%20Hemingway’s%20Help”]%3Cp%3EErnest%20Hemingway%20was%20famous%20for%20writing%20short%20sentences.%20There’s%20a%20great%20app%20that%20analyzes%20your%20writing%20and%20gives%20you%20tips%20for%20making%20it%20more%20concise.%20http%3A%2F%2FHemingwayApp.com%3Cbr%2F%3E%0AYou%20simply%20run%20your%20writing%20through%20it%20and%20you’ll%20get%20feedback%20on%20how%20to%20be%20more%20succinct.%20%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][/step_graphics] [/feature_box] [feature_box style=”21″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” content_font_size=”16″ alignment=”center”]

Practice those 3 steps and you’ll find yourself getting to the gist of things much more quickly and easily. When you can dial in your message succinctly, people will get what you do, want what you offer, and hire you!

 

Next step? Connect with me for a consultation to learn how to apply these principles to your business.

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Happiness Explosion

By | Business Motivation, Uncategorized | No Comments
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OK, this is straight from a Gen X-er who used to be uber cool and is now shopping for Mom jeans …reporting in with a simple question: 

What’s so awful about expressing joy and happiness, people?

Case in point: commercials.

You have a couple of hipster 20 somethings acting aloof and cool. Guy usually has some scruffy beard-thing going on, girl has cute bangs with secretary glasses. One of them breaks into a happiness explosion (maybe they just bit into some candy bar or pizza or whatever the commercial is selling), disarming the aloofness of the moment. The happiness exploder laughs, exclaims something ecstatic, expresses feelings to the nth degree… and is inevitably met with an aloof, smug response from the other person.

“Ummmm, yeah?”, she says with sneering eyes of disapproval.

Happiness exploder dials it way, way  down and reverts to smug hipster conformity. Off go the smiles, down go the arms from their victory salute. Happy person stops expressing him or herself and steps into line.

This is so uncool! Why is it happening? Is it a reflection of how people really are? I’m not totally disconnected from young hipsters, I try to maintain intergenerational friendships, but still it leaves me wondering. Are advertisers capitalizing on and reinforcing the drive towards emotional conformity? Is it a trend in society? Mom Jeans lady (that would be me) stands perplexed.

I’m all for Happiness Explosions and personally have them umpteen times a day. The minute Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll) or  Guns ‘N Roses come on, I’m insane with happiness and kinesthetic gratitude tapping with each toe. Maybe for you it’s hitting every green light, seeing a beautiful sunset, or watching your cat chase a speck of light… but sometimes we just have to get out of self-consciousness and release! These are important ways to stay tapped into our creativity, our zest for life, and our genius. And I assert that if more of us had them, we’d be much more successful in business, life, and we’d be a helluva lot more fun to be around.

Look at Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks: when his team cinched the division championship, he grabbed a police bicycle and started taking victory laps around the field. Did he care if he looked like a little boy having a happiness explosion? No way! Did his actions free others to have their own happiness explosions? Absolutely!

Michael Bennett’s Happiness Explosion

I reached out to my friend and happiness junkie, Susan Liddy. She’s a Burnout Recovery Coach for business owners and executives. If anyone could back me up on this message, I knew Susan would be the one! Plus she expertly ties this into how happiness impacts your success.

Here’s what Susan has to say in support of happiness:

“Happy people think more clearly, solve problems faster, and are more likely to create successful businesses than their more pessimistic counterparts. Author and happiness researcher, Sean Achor reveals in his book, Happiness Advantage that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements.” 

“And the good news is that studies show that up to 90% of happiness is well within our control. So often people focus on external reward — validation, money, things to create happiness. Yet studies show that only 10% of our ‘circumstances’ feeds into making you happy. Your attitude, perspective on life, your choices to acknowledge yourself and practice gratitude is what makes the difference.”

So what do you do now? Go have a Happiness Explosion! Take the proverbial stick out from where it’s stuck and release. I can’t wait to hear what that looks like for you.

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