When Prospects Don’t Want Your Services

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The #1 Skill to Change the World

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Freedom to Lead Series 10 (FINALE)–The Freedom to Shine

This 10-day video series honors our Independence Day here in the States–July 4; honors the determination our forefathers had to be free by looking at the freedoms entrepreneurial thought leaders must claim in order to be successful in business and in changing the world.

This final video of the series focuses on what I believe is the most important golden nugget of all–the single act that will give you the future you want…but it may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

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Rebuilding After Hurricane Sandy

I’ve walked this boardwalk *countless* times. Well, what was a boardwalk.

Every single board of this 2-mile NJ landmark was ripped from its foundation by the force of Sandy and tossed lie a rag doll into the ocean.

Of course, this is mild compared to what has happened in other areas of my beloved NJ…and my beloved NYC. I am grateful that I get to sit, right now, in Starbucks, siphoning wi-fi so that I can experience a taste of civilization. I have been without power for 7 days and am staying–if you can believe it–with my ex, in a house currently alive because of a generator. We have no phone, internet or cable, and yesterday, I sat for 2 hours in line for gasoline–much shorter due to the new “even/odd” license plate rules. [Read more...]

Stay or Go?

Spend 6 minutes to see if you should stay (or get) subscribed to me and my work, or if you should move on. This is an important decision because if you choose to stay, it could change your future in very important ways. Watch now! [Read more...]

Determining Your Target Market: 6 Ways You’ve Probably Not Considered–Part 4

In this 6-part series, I’m offering tools to help you determine the market that is best for who you are, what you do, and that will actually buy you. I can’t possibly underestimate the importance of a niche-market or underestimate the difficulty in getting this right for most coaches, consultants, practitioners and speakers. This is Part 4 in the series. Be sure to read the previous posts for all of the tools, then blend them together for your Perfect Buyer mix.

#4. With Whom Do You Have the Most Credibility?

You must go where you are seen as valid and valuable. Many clients come to me and don’t consider this at all, let alone thoughtfully. Here are some questions to help you:

    1. Where do you have solid contacts? Do you have them from your previous career? From your PTA days? From your church? This is one of the very first questions I ask, in large part because you do not want to make business any harder than it needs to be! Go where you have contacts, but also, go there because where others know you, you have credibility.
    2. What have you experienced and conquered? Yesterday, my advice was, “be your market.” If you have gone through something that your market has gone through, as well, you have instant credibility. Downsizing; divorce; teen motherhood, etc. In determining your market, look for the experiences you’ve had because your success journey will be wanted by the market going through the same thing–and they will buy you because you are credible.
    3. Who would resonate most with your beliefs? Like-minds find each other credible. If you say something that causes others to fervently nod their head in agreement, you have credibility with them–even if you lack experience in what you do. Even if it is a market in which you have interest, but no contacts. If you believe in something they do, you are one of the tribe. I always delve deeply into my clients’ beliefs, and eventually have them include them in their marketing because inspirational marketing works for this very reason–you are powerfully credible with those who share your philosophies.

By now, you must be getting ideas. Who is a strong contender for your target market?

Unsure of Your Purpose? 8 Questions to Reveal An Answer…

I was asked by a colleague, Jill Berquist, to be on her weekly community call and speak to “those in transition” about Inspired Leadership. Now, I’m used to speaking to entrepreneurs—and visionary ones, at that—so I had to take a few moments to consider what I could say to folks who aren’t sure where their feet will land next. They want some sort of direction.

What I wanted them to understand, first and foremost, is that they have it in them to lead. They’ve been around the block a time or two and have amassed a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom. My job was to help them see that there is a natural leadership role waiting for them. I ended up taking them through a series of questions that I believe will help anyone—an established entrepreneur, or you, if you’re not sure yet of your purpose in the world.

But first, we need to define “leader”—which everyone and his mother has done for the last sixty years. But here’s my definition—and note the four distinct parts: A leader 1) has something to say 2) that is unique, 3) relevant—and has 4) direction for people, a clear sense of the destination that would be most helpful for them.

An inspired leader has something to say that inspires others to a destination that has them aspire to something greater.

If that seems daunting–and I thought perhaps it would seem so to the audience on this call–it isn’t at all and I wanted them to know that immediately. So I told them that the fact is, all of us have opinions about what is most helpful for others. We all have a “destination” we believe is most helpful for others to get to. It’s just a fact. Even those of us who believe in “live and let live” and don’t like to put forward opinions…have an opinion about that, and probably believe that philosophy is a very helpful destination for everyone!

So, I had the attendees look at the idea of leadership and purpose with the following questions. Are you ready to take yourself through them?

  1. What area of life do you feel you have an opinion about? You have knowledge and wisdom because of some experience in it? The 6 areas of life are:
    1. Romantic relationships
    2. Health and wellness
    3. Parenting/Family
    4. Finance
    5. Career
    6. Mental/Spiritual Potential
  2. Now, in just 1 sentence: What is the most amazing or critical thing you learned about that area when you were going through your experience of it?
  3. What was the pain you had PRIOR to that realization?
    What feelings did you have that hurt?
  1. How did you get out of that pain?
  1. Imagine having about twelve people with the same pain in a room with you. Answer this in one very succinct sentence: What opinion would you offer them about how to alleviate the pain? (One sentence.)
  1. If you could alleviate this pain for thousands, would this satisfy you profoundly?
    1. If not, what is missing?
  1. If “yes,”—What would you encourage them to aspire to? What “destination” (intangible, perhaps) would you inspire them to reach for?
  1. What vision comes to mind for the way that you would lead them there?

Of course, as I said, as a leader, you will have something unique to say (and relevant.) We’ve covered the “relevant” piece in these questions. Now, the final question—the BIG one—is what could you say to them that is provocative and fresh…new to the ears?

Good weekend thinking, don’t you think?

(BTW, that’s the work I do. You may always email me to find out more!)

Celebrating 10 Years In Business This Month!!

It was October 2001. After nearly nine months of rigorous study and practice, I charged out of the iPEC Coaching school in New Jersey, where I’d just earned my ICF-accredited certification, and was ready to change the world. After all, two years before, I’d left my marriage to do just that (that’s another story) and I figured it was about time I followed through.

Never mind that I had no idea how to run a business. My father had been a minister, my mother a psychotherapist and the very cornerstones of any successful business—selling and marketing—had never been skills they’d needed, and in fact, they had quite openly disparaged them. While it has become a cliché now, I was one of those who truly believed that all it took to be good in business was being good at what I did. And I was great at coaching. So, it wasn’t much of a leap, I figured, to assume I’d be great in business.

Are you laughing? I wish someone had laughed at me and set me straight back then, but I didn’t have any entrepreneurial friends or family members, so they stepped into the poppy field with me and off we marched into my fantasy.

I soon woke up. With a start.

As I’ve said, I had no idea how to sell—but it was all much worse than just that. I didn’t want to sell. Like, fiercely. I honestly would have rather starved—and if it hadn’t been for my ex-husband, I probably would have. Sales people were desperate, sleazy, manipulative. And since I wasn’t any of those, I was not going to risk my reputation and become them. Lesson 1.

I had no target market. If you’ve been a student or client of mine, you’re openly gaping right now—but I assure you, it’s true: I wanted to be a generalist coach. After all, Marianne Williamson and Wayne Dyer didn’t have narrow markets: they spoke to the whole world and so would I. Lesson 2.

Then there was the clarity thing. It was bad enough that the world didn’t really know what a “coach” was outside of sports–and while making the analogy helped, still, furrowed brows dominated the faces of those to whom I tried to describe this new profession. And since I was a generalist, I had very little compelling to say about what I did. Lesson 3.

There’s more to the story–not trying to tease, but too long for a post. Go get the rest PLUS the 75 lessons I learned the hard way: http://inspiredleadershiptraining.com/10Years/report/

Leaders of Change: The Future of Entrepreneurship

In my last post, I cracked the moral whip, taking a zero-tolerance
stance on “how-to experts” who earn a living sharing their expertise,
without ever learning the expertise of teaching. I made it clear
that I find doing so irresponsible and glaringly out of alignment with
their professed intention of wanting to help others. No one is being
helped by an expert who doesn’t know how to successfully transfer
knowledge. And I ruffled a few (not many, but a few) feathers,
clearly hitting a nerve.

So, let’s leave morality behind and get practical. Teaching power-
fully is the difference between a message sticking, and a message
evaporating into thin air. Teaching effectively is the difference between
your viewers, readers or listeners taking the action you want them
to, and slipping away into oblivion. Teaching well is the difference
between their buying on the spot, and procrastinating. Contributing,
and making excuses. Participating full-on, and sitting on the bench.
Telling others about you, and remaining silent. If you got triggered
by my wrist-slapping the other day, you can certainly agree with the
common sense fact that teaching well is good for your reputation,
your business and your intention to stimulate action.

But I believe there is a critical purpose to teaching effectively that is
greater than the moral value and the benefits to your business—and
it has to do with the historic times we find ourselves in, and what
they mean for the future of entrepreneurs.

Have you noticed the once-incomprehensible changes that are happening
on the planet right now? Upheavals of almost every kind abound, and
with them come growing fear and uncertainty. And whether you realize
it or not, your role as a business owner is changing, too. Where once,
you were in service to your individual markets—now, you’re in service to
the planet. Your role as entrepreneur is being upgraded to “leader of
change.”
I met an 85-year-old woman the other night who was terribly
excited about the GET ON YOUR FEET2011 movement I’ve launched,
and she added a new word to my lexicon: world-citizen. In these times,
we are being called to world-citizenship as businesses.

Which means we will be called forward to lead–on platforms we’ve
never stood on before.

And we must be worthy of that leadership. We must communicate
so potently and effectively, that our words of insight get through, and
move people to change with these changing times. It is essential that
we not waste a breath speaking, unless it impacts. As a leader of change,
everything we convey must count. And that is the most important
reason to teach with powerful effectiveness. Not just because it’s morally
responsible (which it is), or because it will make you more money (which
it will)—but because you are here to achieve something and become a
part of something bigger than you, and its success is imperative.

The “new world” we are so quickly inhabiting will require powerful new
leaders with new-paradigm qualifications
. Teaching with excellence
will be just one.

On Thursday, February 24 at 4pm EST, I am doing something I have
never done. (You’ve heard that one before, right?) I’m serious, though. For
years, I’ve taught a revolutionary public speaking training based on brain
research in memory and learning
. Secrets of Impact and Influence
has been an enduring and highly acclaimed signature program—that I only
give live. Outside that training, I have never so much as whispered to any-
one the secrets I teach there—and all of my attendees have been sworn to
the same code of honor.  But on Feb. 24, I am opening up the Secrets of
Impact & Influence
manual and teaching page 13: The 10 “Don’t-Bother
-Teaching-Without-These” Factors of Deep and Rapid Learning
.

And because I’ll be using all 10 factors, The Inspired Speakers teleclass is
going to be unlike ANY free call (or paid call!) you have EVER experienced.

If you’re an expert, you cannot miss this. If you’re an entrepreneur, this
is your future
: leaders of change must know this information. So go now,
read all about it and sign up!

A Rant About Today’s Experts

I just returned from a meeting with the principal of my
daughter’s high school. Great guy. Just love him because
he is student-centered, not teacher-centered. At one point,
we got to talking about the poor teaching that occurs across
the board in our district (despite its being one of the most
affluent in the state) and he asked me for any insights I had.

He didn’t know that I teach adults how to use brain-based
learning in their presentations and seminars, so he was
surprised, to say the least, when I rattled off many things
these teachers are not doing that they should. Things that
are brain-antagonistic. These are trained teachers who do
not know how to maximize learning. These are professionals
who are paid, yet do not know how to maximize learning.

And I have a problem with that. I have an extreme problem
with state-trained teachers of our children not knowing how
to teach. But I have just as big a beef about ANY professional
getting paid to ”transfer knowledge” without knowing how
to teach
. How to get clients/students to learn. At least
trained teachers go through a system that supposedly prepares
them to educate our kids. They at least get some guidance
on effective teaching practices. But what business professional
does? Virtually none.

Meanwhile, they proclaim they can teach you how to write
a book in thirty days; how to save on your taxes; how to get
media publicity; how to optimize your website; how to make
love with your husband; how to talk to your teen; how to
meditate; how to lose weight; how to write a proposal; how to
use XYZ software; how to market your business, etc. etc.

My ire really gets up here and I say, how dare you! You have
never learned how to teach, how can you POSSIBLY think
you can?? Do you know how intuitive teaching is? How much
of an art it is? How you must score extremely high on empathy
tests to teach well? It does not come naturally to most of the
population. Just because you know how to do something does
NOT MEAN YOU CAN TEACH IT. And shame on you for
taking money from vulnerable, unsuspecting customers when
you have not learned (and then practiced!) how to maximize
learning
.

For this very reason, it is appalling that that the information
industry is a trillion-dollar industry. There is no excuse for
trained teachers, who get paid, not to know how to tap the
brains of our students. Equally so, if you are getting paid to
teach anything–via the internet (especially), or in books or
information products (especially!), or in live seminars—
then learn how to teach first!

And student beware! If you are about to learn from a million-
aire, STOP! Ask them what they know about learning. I
took a course from a billionaire that was so bad, I could
barely contain myself. She made a lot of money off of that
training—but it was a deplorable effort and she did not
deliver results. But she led everyone to believe that she could
teach them “how,” just because she had been successful.

After witnessing too many of these accounts, as well as the
insane proliferation of on-line study programs, I am going
back to the basics and again centering all of my programs
around teaching best-teaching skills–which translate to
best leadership skills. If you’re leading, you MUST know how
to effectively convey your message. If you are on this planet
to make real change for the planet, you must transfer your
knowledge effectively. And it just won’t happen if you don’t
know how to teach! Specifically, to the brain.

So, if that describes you—a conveyor of information, a leader of
change, then stay close. You don’t want to miss out on the
direction I’m going and the brand new programs I’m offering.

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