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I’ve recently had an a-ha moment in my business.

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself: I’m in the business of helping businesses and organizations get visible.

👊🎤 Mic drop moment for me.

I was listening to a branding call with my business coach recently. She asked the question to our group: What business are you really in?

Truth be told, Peter Drucker was the one who first coined that phrase. But, for whatever reason, that question hit me like a Mack truck.

I’ve been struggling with how I can best message myself and what I do. Yeah…I’ve got a truckload of experience when it comes to marketing, communications, strategic planning and public relations. 

But, visibility…that’s the ultimate outcome I give my clients. That could mean a variety of things:

➡️ I’ve coached a professional on how to interview with confidence for a big career move.

➡️ I’ve helped a professional business owner dramatically increase their presence online.

➡️ I’ve helped a school district, municipality and chamber of commerce develop a plan for moving forward in their community.

I want to work with ANYONE who needs help getting visible, whether you’re an executive at a non-profit (non-profit organizations definitely need help getting visible post-pandemic) or a professional business owner or entrepreneur.

Here’s the thing. It is highly likely that whatever business you are in – you likely have lots of competition, right? If you’re a restauranteur, how many restaurants are competing for the same business? If you’re a service provider, how many other providers are offering the same service?

No matter how competitive the environment…there’s only ONE of you. You are what makes your business special and unique.

The only way to ensure you can stand out and rise above your competition is to make yourself visible…and you’ve GOT to have a strong presence online too.

The fact of the matter is this: You are leaving money on the table…missing out on deals…missing out on opportunities in general if you’re not being intentional with messaging and stepping outside your comfort zone to get visible.

So think about these two things when it comes to getting visible.

  1. Articulate who you are and what you do in one sentence. This requires a lot of thought work, ya’ll…and it’s a work in progress too. What is the one thing you offer your clients? 
  2. Think about who is your ideal client. Not everyone buys from you – they don’t. So, do some digging and think about the type of person you want to attract to your business. Your messaging and how you make yourself visible to the PERFECT clients is key to growing your business.

…and if you want to bounce around some ideas and need a partner to talk with about how you need to get visible, I’m your girl. Reply to this email or click HERE to schedule some time to chat. 

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

I’ve been a planner my entire life. When I was a little girl, I’d want to know the plan for the week ahead. Was I going to pack my lunch because I didn’t like what was being served at the school cafeteria? What should I wear? What days were my activities? 

As a kid, I wanted to know the plan so I could be prepared. 

As an adult…a mom of three super busy kids…a wife of a highly successful and busy husband…a business owner myself…a human who must have regular connection with other humans (other than zoom)…I STILL want to know the plan so I can be prepared.

In my past, I had an important figure in my life who hated to plan ahead. This person lived in a world where flying by the seat of your pants was they operated. This person would regularly tell me that my planning inhibited their ability to be spontaneous.

For the longest time, I believed that line of BS. But, now, I firmly believe it’s BS.

When you have a clear plan for where you’re headed, you give yourself the FREEDOM to pivot and adjust based on new information you acquire.

Let me give you an example…..

When I plan a vacation, I’ll book an Air B&B or hotel…book a few day trips and secure reservations at restaurants that look intriguing. However, when I arrive at my destination and find out from the concierge or one of the locals that I REALLY need to spend some time at a particular place or dine at a certain restaurant, I’ll change the reservation to do something different. The point is – when I arrived, I had a basic framework for my trip…and then I made adjustments based on new information I learned once I got there.

When I started my business, I was thinking I would be a project management consultant. I made a business plan based on that. Then, I started working projects…and got a few calls to help C-suite level individuals with some coaching. It totally aligns with the work I’ve done in the past…made sense, and so I added coaching to my suite of my services.

I made a plan. I had goals, and then I made adjustments.

If you have no plan, then how in the world are you going to know if you’re successful? If you don’t set goals you can measure, how will you know if you need to pivot and do things differently?

Planning doesn’t have to be a big process or take a ton of time to do. In fact, I have a 3-step approach that works every, single time.

  1. Think about your one big goal and the one result you want to achieve. 
  2. Align your workload and develop strategies to achieve that result.
  3. Once a week (or you determine what is best based on your schedule), review your work and determine if you’re making progress towards that one result. If not, what’s preventing progress?

Cheers to planning to be spontaneous!

I can’t believe we are halfway through October of this crazy year. I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say this year has kicked my butt in so many ways. Let me give you the top 4 butt kickers of 2020….

  1. I learned that I suck as a stay-at-home working-teacher mom. I’m terrible at it. My littlest guy set me straight (again) in August when we were at home with virtual school. He said, “Mom, I love you but you’re a terrible teacher. I want to go back to school and learn from a REAL teacher.” My response, “I agree with you 1,000,000%”
  2. I learned that I perform at my best when I’m with my people…my friends…my clients. I’m an extrovert, and I need that interaction and emotional cup-filling, so to speak. I still enjoy my quiet time, but dang…if I don’t have human interaction with someone other than my husband and kids, I become frustrated. 
  3. I learned that all of the projects I had on my plate earlier this year were temporary (isn’t everything temporary???), and little did I know just a few months ago that I’d have to completely pivot my business model.
  4. I had an awakening that people are only in this world for so long and you’ve got to find joy in every, single day…albeit incredibly hard to do on days when you’re struggling to find a silver lining.

Although I got my butt kicked MANY times, I kicked butt MANY times too.

  1. Instead of waiting for projects that would never come, I developed a different business. I can work with clients online from anywhere in the world…and it’s AWESOME.
  2. I am my own copywriter, tech expert (thank you YouTube, my new bestie), marketing chief, content curator, and sales person. I do it all, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I’ll hire contract help here and there. But, I KNOW my business inside and out. 
  3. I use my time wisely. I make sure to maximize time with my kids, my husband, myself and friends. Covid helped me re-evaluate my schedule…and let me tell you, I’ve made changes for the better. Instead of furiously working to schedule my family around meetings…I schedule meetings around my family.
  4. I have developed a new sense of self. I used to be concerned about what others might think of me starting my own business. Would they think I’m an imposter and not have the expertise to do what I do? Would they laugh at my material (truth – some of it is really funny, but I’m talking about the mean-girl laugh)? Would they think I’m stupid for trying to do something that frankly, not too many people are doing? When I do a Facebook Live, do they scoff and think it’s ridiculous? All of these thoughts ran through my mind A LOT. But, here’s the deal. I’m still here and kickin. I’m still writing weekly blog posts and emailing you every, single week. I’m doing Facebook lives…and I’m LOVING IT. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else really thinks.

If there’s one thing this past year has taught me – it’s this: in order to achieve something that no one else has really achieved, you’ve got to DO the things no one else really wants to do. 

Was it scary sending my first email blast. HECK YES.

Was it intimidating doing my first Facebook Live? OMG…YES, YES, YES. For the record, it was 26 seconds long. I was petrified, and it took me 6 weeks to do another one. But, I DID it anyway…and the second time – it wasn’t so bad.

Do I think I can do anything I put my mind to do? Abso-freakinglutely. 

I’m no expert at business (although I’m learning so much and have a lot to share!), but I’ll continue to put myself out there…and do the things that are hard…and maybe people laugh at me or make fun of what I do…but, you know what – who cares? This is my life. I’m the one in the ring, and everyone else has a cheap seat.

You can expect a lot from me, and I can’t wait to bring you more!

My 4 tips to keep you ready for anything…. 

I made the decision to put my kids back into face to face school this year despite Covid. Why? They needed friends. They needed interaction. They needed a schedule again…and to be with teachers who can actually teach. I mean, let’s face it – I’m no teacher, and I can honestly say that is something I NEVER wanted to do. 

My kids were MORE than happy to go back to school and wear their masks all day. My daughter is “that” kid who lets people know if their mask is properly affixed to their face (your nose must not be showing…hah). They want to stay in school and be with their friends FOR SURE.

One thing I’ve noticed with the kids being back in school is that the school has implemented “brain breaks.” My littlest was telling me that several times a day, the kids take 5-7 minutes just to take a break…talk to their friends…or put their head down on their desk.

Brain break…I LOVE this concept.

I don’t know about you, but over the past several months with quarantine and now trying to stay safe, I feel like I’m working ALL. THE. TIME. It’s constant. I wake up…work, work, work, and then before you know it – it’s time for bed. 

The days are EXHAUSTING. 

When my little guy told me about brain breaks, I thought to myself, “that’s genius.” We all need to have brain breaks, right?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading everything I can about burnout and how it can physically manifest itself in a variety of ways…and one of the most common symptoms is exhaustion.

I can soooo relate. Can you?

I’ve started implementing a few things to help keep me sharp during the day. Below are my top 4 tips.

  1. I take a morning walk. I typically listen to my favorite podcasts…but, the fresh air and exercise is great for my spirit.
  2. I drink a TON of water during the day. I know there’s a formula for how much water you need to drink depending on your weight. However, I drink 3-4 bottles of 32 ounces of water every, single day. 
  3. When I need a break, I take it. In fact, I told my husband last night that I really don’t work a ton on the weekends because I NEED that break. I work my butt off during the week, and I need time recharge. Taking a break allows your brain time to rest, recalibrate and it’s much easier to focus when you get back into your work again too.
  4. I make sure I get 7 hours of sleep each night. Holy moly – I look forward to it too. I have a Fitbit I wear, and it really helps me stay on track with my sleep and exercise. I LOVE it.

I’m starting a new business. My brain is FULL of ideas and tweaks and things I need to do differently. I truly believe the reason why I’m ready to work hard each day is because I’m rested and ready to do it all.

I still have my days when I certainly feel foggy…and an extra cup of coffee can help! 

Every morning before my husband and kids leave the house, I always ask them “Is there anything else you need from me in order for you to have a successful day?” 

Staying focused is a mindset shift. You must be aware of what YOU need in order to be successful.

If you haven’t read Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, “Boundaries,” you should…it’s a fantastic read and was a game changer in my life. 

I’ll break down the gist of the book for you: You’ve got to set limitations with yourself, those around you and those you serve.

Several years ago, I was trying to balance babies, a mother-in-law who lived with us for health reasons (and needed a lot of care), my job, my side hustle, I helped build my husband’s practice…I’m sure I’m missing something, but you get the point. 

It was a LOT of things. I never said no to anyone…I prided myself on “doing it all.” 

The problem with that was I never made time for me. After years of the chaos, I was burned out big time.

Have you ever felt this way?

Setting boundaries is hard work and can sometimes require courageous conversations.

After I learned more about boundaries, I took Dr. Cloud’s recommendations and started setting some of my own. I remember having a conversation with my boss at the time and told her that I wasn’t available between the hours of 6-8pm to answer texts and emails. Why? My children needed my attention, and I needed to be a mom during those times. 

Years ago, I told family that we were going to limit trips to their home because they didn’t have enough beds and I ended up sleeping on the floor…my back hurt and I was always in a bad mood because of the lack of sleep. 

When I’m working with clients, I let THEM know of my availability and we schedule around it. I’m not available 24-7. I have kids. I have a life, and I now have control of my schedule. 

I also have learned to “train” my clients. For example, on my Google calendar, I block out the time chunks that are for me or the kids. Since my calendar is connected to my website on calendly, clients who want to book time can see my availability. If I don’t schedule MY time chunks, then I no longer own my calendar – it owns me. 

I abide by my 2-minute rule when it comes to email. If I can answer an email under 2 minutes, I’ll do so immediately. Those emails that require a lot more time and attention, I’ll let a client know when to expect my response. 

If I receive an email at 3pm on a Friday afternoon, I will NOT spend the rest of my afternoon answering client issues (unless it’s an emergency, of course)…I’ll let them know when to expect an appropriate response. 

Think about how you can set boundaries in your life…and it’ll absolutely, 100% change your life for the better.

I was working with a client recently and she was a high-performer, competitive and incredibly sharp…and had massive management responsibilities.

One of her biggest challenges, however, was “finding time” to regroup after meetings or just have time to do her own work.

Meetings were scheduled, booked and on the calendar quickly…and before she knew it, she didn’t have the time she needed to digest new information and decompress before the next meeting came around. The calendar was PACKED.

Does this describe your life too?

Yep…work and life can be distracting. You know it, and I know it. 

So, let’s nip this in the bud right now. I’ve worked with countless leaders who have completely let their work calendar RULE THEIR LIFE. 

You guys, this is NOT healthy. 

It is NOT sustainable. 

It WILL make you a miserable person. I PROMISE. 

I used to be the girl who never took a day off. It was a pride thing for me. Let me tell you, the only thing that NOT taking a day off will do is burn you out big time. This is especially true during Covid. 

I’ve read countless articles about how people are working more than they ever have in the past because working from home means you’re not taking time off.

You’ve got to block time for you, whether that means blocking time to digest information after a meeting or blocking time to take a break.

Don’t let your calendar own every minute of your day. 

I challenge you to get out calendar right now. Take a look at your week and determine when you can block some time for you.

I have found one of the biggest distractions in any organization I’ve ever worked with is chasing new ideas that don’t align with your purpose. 

I tell groups I’m working with that it’s super important to thoroughly vet new ideas. Frankly, there’s no better way to spark innovation by doing this…as well as validating your current strategic direction. 

So, STOP and TALK before chasing all the shiny things that come your way.

Sometimes new ideas may not match up with your organization’s purpose. Invest the time to make sure ideas align to your goals or you can get off track fast. 

For example, I worked for a non-profit whose board chairman was an awesome guy, but he was easily distracted by what our staff called “the shiny things.” Our organization had the potential to tap into new money from an existing donor, but the donor required us to develop a new program. 

The truth of the matter was that we already had a capacity issue – both workflow and human capital. We’d need to hire another person and pour additional money into a new program that really didn’t align to our mission at that time. 

Was it a cool idea? Absolutely. 

Was it the right time? Not at all. 

We decided to put the idea in the “parking lot” until we were able to move it to a place where the idea aligned to our mission, could fully develop AND we had the capacity to make it happen. 

We were clear on our mission and purpose.

We ALL have a million dings, bells, whistles, alarms, notifications…you name it, we’re getting buzzed regularly throughout our day. 

Technology is great, but truth…effective use of technology requires setting boundaries. As much as we all want to know the latest Twitter post from our favorite person out there in the social space, the fact of the matter is – it’s not productive, efficient or healthy to be constantly distracted. 

Tip #1: Check social media feeds and email first thing in the morning. 

PRO TIP: Social media was created to keep us on their platforms…it’s addictive by design. Be mindful of this when you find yourself checking social media often.

Tip #2: Adjust the notifications on your phone, tablet, laptop and computer. 

You’ll be amazed how many notifications are turned on for your social media channels, email, news and so much more. 

Go to your settings on your device. Find the notifications setting and open it. When it’s open, you’ll see all the various apps that are set up to notify you when someone posts or there’s new news or a new email. 

Choose which notifications you want to receive and turn off everything else. Trust me – this is a game changer.

Tip #3: Delete those apps that don’t serve you. 

If you find photos posted on a specific Instagram feed constantly make you feel bad about yourself…someone’s hair is too perfect or their body is faultless…or whatever your “thing” is, then GET RID OF IT. 

It’s disrupting how you feel about you…and that ultimately impacts your productivity and self-worth. Totally not worth it.

We ALL have a million dings, bells, whistles, alarms, notifications…you name it, we’re getting buzzed regularly throughout our day. 

Technology is great, but truth…effective use of technology requires setting boundaries. As much as we all want to know the latest Twitter post from our favorite person out there in the social space, the fact of the matter is – it’s not productive, efficient or healthy to be constantly distracted. 

Tip #1: Check social media feeds and email first thing in the morning. 

PRO TIP: Social media was created to keep us on their platforms…it’s addictive by design. Be mindful of this when you find yourself checking social media often.

Tip #2: Adjust the notifications on your phone, tablet, laptop and computer. 

You’ll be amazed how many notifications are turned on for your social media channels, email, news and so much more. 

Go to your settings on your device. Find the notifications setting and open it. When it’s open, you’ll see all the various apps that are set up to notify you when someone posts or there’s new news or a new email. 

Choose which notifications you want to receive and turn off everything else. Trust me – this is a game changer.

Tip #3: Delete those apps that don’t serve you. 

If you find photos posted on a specific Instagram feed constantly make you feel bad about yourself…someone’s hair is too perfect or their body is faultless…or whatever your “thing” is, then GET RID OF IT. 

It’s disrupting how you feel about you…and that ultimately impacts your productivity and self-worth. Totally not worth it.

Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” 

This principle is said to be how he organized his work and priorities. Let that sink in for a few minutes…you KNOW this concept is soooo true.
When it comes to prioritizing your workflow, it’s best to identify urgent work versus important work. There IS a difference. 

Let me break this down for you. 

Important activities have an outcome that leads to achieving goals. Urgent activities demand immediate attention and are usually associated with achieving someone else’s goals. 

Urgent work is often what we concentrate on and it demands attention because the consequences of not dealing with it are immediate. 

When you’re prioritizing, get clear on what is urgent versus important. I’ve found myself in a former life focusing on items that seemed to be “urgent,” but really was more of an on-going fire drill with no clear-cut plan or decision making taking place…and ultimately a huge time waster. I’m certain you have been there done that too.

I tend to think about it like this: 

What is the highest and best use of your time? 

If you’re the leader, you don’t need to spend time picking up t-shirts for a company event. Delegate this to an administrative staff person. You should be spending your time working on marketing or the strategies required to get clients TO your event. 

Reflect on your priorities and workload  Think about the work you do and how it aligns with your overall vision of what you ultimately want to accomplish. Are you doing the things that align to your vision or not?