Overworked? Overwhelmed?? Sound Familiar???

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I walk into my office and there it is, staring me in the face, almost laughing at me…piles everywhere, otherwise known as:  My Massive TO DO List.  So many times I feel so overwhelmed that I just turn around and walk out the door.  I don’t know where to start, so I do nothing.

We all have them, there’s no denying it.  Maybe your piles are like mine scattered all throughout your office, maybe you have color-coded them and filed them in your computer, or maybe you’ve downloaded one of the many apps on your iPhone.  But no matter where you keep them, they always seem to be lurking in the background, reminding us that we don’t have enough hours in the day.

So what can you do to gain control?  Well, I’ve come up with three easy techniques that have helped me master my piles – at least, most of the time:

Learn to say “no.”:  Stop adding to your never ending list of things to do.  There is always another book to read, another webinar to watch or another podcast to listen to.  But the real problem is that you already have so much great information from the past books and webinars and podcasts you’ve invested time and money in.  Take that hour and apply it to all that valuable information you already have sitting in those pretty color-coded files.

Make a file folder for each day of the week:  Label them Monday through Sunday.  Then, as something comes up that you need to accomplish on a specific day, put it in the appropriate folder.  This has helped me immensely.  I check my day folder each morning and it helps to keep me on track for the day.  There, right in front of me, is my “to do” list for the next 24 hours.  I can stay focused and it keeps me from chasing the next shiny object.  Pick a file holder that is fun and inspires you.  Check out the office supply stores -I’ve seen some lovely ones there.

Celebrate your small successes:  Many times we are so focused on the big projects and what we didn’t get done that we get frustrated and overwhelmed.  But what if we celebrated our small successes along the way, like making it to your appointment totally prepared, or serving a dinner that was actually pretty good.  By celebrating our small accomplishments, it gives us the courage and belief to tackle the bigger ones.

I can’t lie – I still have piles, but by using these three “tricks,” I find them more manageable and I’m not driving myself crazy.  Give these a try and let me know which one works best for you.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , , , ,

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

You can see it in the distance.  Sometimes the road looks foggy, even a little scary, but you know you have to follow it if you want to reach your destination, your goal, your dreams.

Just like Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz, keep putting one foot in front of the other, keep moving forward in spite of your fears, your self-doubt and your self-imposed excuses.

In my last three blogs I’ve shared some unique and out-of-the-box tips on networking, but none of that will help you if you don’t follow-up with the people who can lead you to your destination.  So here they are, five specific actions to take after meeting that person you believe can help you:

 1.   Don’t ask the expert to do the meeting scheduling. When you ask someone to meet with you, send them specific dates to consider.  If those dates are not available to them, they will send you options.  The most important thing is that you’ve started a conversation. 

2.       Make the meeting convenient and maybe even active. If you are asking for an hour coffee or lunch, choose a location that is convenient to the person you have asked to meet with you.  Even better, if you think they are open to it, ask to go for a walk.  They say that some of the best deals are made on the golf course, so why not the trail path?

3.       Go with a prepared list of questions.  Before you even meet, think carefully about  what you want to learn from this contact.  Make a list of questions so no one feels like their time is being wasted. 

4.       Find out what you can do for them.  Always end the meeting by asking what you can do to help them.  It could be business related, like introducing them to a valuable contact.  Or it can be personal, like telling them about the best restaurant in town.

5.       Always thank them more than once. In this day of instant everything, send a thank-you email or text immediately.  You know what else is amazing? A handwritten thank you note. Because very few people do this anymore, it will really make you stand out.

Give these follow-up tips a try and let me know how it goes.  You’ll be amazed at how one thing leads to another.   And one day when you find yourself in front of Oz, you will realize that even though the path was scary at times, it was also loads of fun.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , ,

Tips Tricks & Techniques to Make Networking Fun

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Since we’re on a roll here, let’s continue this series on networking.

I’ve heard from so many people that they really dislike face-to-face networking.  It makes them feel intimidated and uncomfortable and they just don’t want to do it.  This made me wonder:  how can we turn the tables, flip the switch, and think differently about networking. 

I came up with five simple steps to make a game out of it – to actually make it fun.  So here are some tips, tricks and techniques to try.  Now remember, the key word here is “try.”  Pick and choose the techniques that are right for you and your personality.  I’m going to challenge you, though, to step out of your comfort zone – that is the only way you will grow.

So here we go…

1.       Get to the networking event early.  This may sound really simple, but many people show up in time for the speaker, then leave immediately after.  That is NOT networking.  By getting to the event early, you will feel less intimidated because there are fewer people there.   Then you can really focus on who you want to meet and start a conversation with.

2.       Don’t tell yourself “no”.  Many times my inner voice starts screaming: “no one wants to meet you, you have nothing of value to offer, no one will listen to you…” If this ever happens to you, STOP and hit the delete button!!!  There are enough people out there already telling you “no” so don’t become one of them.  Instead choose your three greatest attributes and repeat them to yourself over and over again.

3.       If it feels comfortable to you, wear something that stands out.  I often wear my red boots because people will compliment me on my boots.  It’s a great conversation starter.  Anyone can wear something that’s a little different – maybe a different colored shirt or tie or blouse.  It will make you stand out from the crowd.  Try it and see if it works for you.

4.       Smile.  It’s a powerful show of confidence which people respect and are drawn to.  Smiles are contagious and the simple act of smiling makes people feel better.  No matter who you’re approaching,  there is no stronger opener.

5.       Remember the #1 rule – LISTEN.  Meeting people is about making their lives better.  Whether you give them a smile, a new job or anything in between, there is a way to help everyone.  Listen and learn about what matters to them.  People want to tell their stories.  Be the person who is excited to hear them.

I encourage you to try all five techniques.  After all, how do you know which ones will work best if you don’t test them?  Let me know if you have a favorite. 

Now go out there an have some fun networking!

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

5 Networking Questions that Actually Work!

Professioal Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

In my blog last week, I shared a unique way to look at face-to-face networking, especially if you are a bit introverted or on the shy side.  The key is to think of networking as simply starting a conversation, that’s all.  You’re not trying to make a sale, interest people in your idea, or land your dream job.  Your only goal is to start a conversation. 

But how can you reach out to people and engage them in a conversation that will help you determine if they are a good fit for you?

Well, here are five specific questions to help you get started.  Five questions that can help you in any networking situation:

  1. Start a conversation with “Where are you from?”  This can trigger a number of different responses.  They could talk about the company they represent, where they grew up or where they currently live.  It is a great start to a conversation because it can be answered in a number of different ways.
  2. When they tell you what they do, ask: “Describe your typical day to me.”  So many times people use industry jargon and you have no idea what they are talking about.  This is a simple way to understand what they do on a day-to-day basis.
  3. Instead of asking “What do you do?” ask “Where do you work?”  It’s a simplier question to ask because people may be more comfortable talking about their company instead of themselves. 
  4. “How did you come up with that idea?”  This is especially good for people who are self-employed.  There is usually a good story behind starting your own business.
  5. Find something in common that you can share with them in your opening conversation.  For instance, “I see that you belong to the chamber.  So do I.

These are just a few examples for getting a conversation started.  Pick and choose the ones that work for you.  Once you ask the question, your next goal is to LISTEN.  Only in listening can you determine if this person is a good match for your service or product.  Only by listening can you decide if you want to follow up with a second meeting.

I’m curious which question works best for you.  Please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , ,

Nifty Networking Tips: Let’s Make This Easy AND Fun

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

There are so many different reasons for networking.  What’s yours?  I challenge you to think out-of-the-box.

Are you networking to:

                Get more business

                Sell a product or service

                Raise money

                Raise awareness

                Find a job

                Find a date

Whatever your reason is, write it down – then go after it with a vengeance. Be clear about your goal.  It will help you avoid unfocused networking and will save you a LOT of time.

Next, find the group that is best for you.  One where you can meet people who will help you reach your goal. I know that going to the first meeting – the one where you don’t know anyone – can be quite intimidating.  And if you’re anything like me, it can be extremely nerve wracking.  You face a sea of strangers stretched out before you – and all you want to do is turn and run out the door.  You’re uncomfortable and unnerved and uncertain.

If you have ever felt like this, here’s a little tip:

Think of networking a little differently.  Know that networking is not talking to strangers but rather starting a conversation.  That’s all you’re trying to do at this point – start a conversation.  You are not looking to close the sale, land the job or get the check for your project.  Although that would be nice, chances are it will take more than one meeting to reach that goal.  So for now, you’re only objective is to talk to this person long enough and decide if you want to schedule a second meeting.  Is this someone who can help you?

So, instead of seeing strangers, think of this networking event as an opportunity to meet potential clients or potential friends.  Personally, I love using the word curious.  It changes your mindset.  Think:  I’m curious who I’m going to meet today.  I’m curious how they can help my business.  I’m curious how I can help them.  This one word will help you look at the opportunities that lay before you.  It can make all the difference in the world.

Remember that the people at the networking event are the same as you.  We all have insecurities; we all have doubts.  But most of us want to help each other. If you are at the same event, chances are that you already have a lot in common.

So whether you’re at a corporate event or in a coffee shop, you never know who can help you.  You never know who you can extend a helping hand to in return.  So start that conversation.  If you find this difficult, tune in next week and I’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to do exactly that.  In the meantime, start with a smile and simply say “hi.”

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , ,

Here’s a Toast to You

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

Today is Valentine’s Day.

Some may love it – and some may hate it.  But it is here to stay.  It will return again next year and the year after that.  It’s very persistent!!!

This year I’d like to think of it a little differently and see it as a day to celebrate love. ALL love.

Over many years I have celebrated Valentine’s Day in so many different ways.  Sometimes I’ve enjoyed it with a boyfriend, sometimes with a spouse, sometimes with my parents and sometimes with my friends, but I never once took the time to celebrate with myself.  That’s right – myself!!!

I didn’t always see the good in myself.  There were times when I was scared and disappointed and felt crummy about my life.  Loving myself did not come naturally.  But now I realize that life is a circle.  There were times when my heart was singing, other times when it was broken, sometimes even shattered, but it always found a way repair itself.  This cycle will be repeated again, and now I know that my heart will survive.

No matter what was happening in my life, I always found a way to get out of bed in the morning and put one foot in front of the other.  As hard as it was some days, I did not give up on myself.  And for that I celebrate!

So today join me in raising a glass of wine to celebrate love – past, present and yet to come.   Here’s to believing in yourself and always finding your way.  Here’s to loving yourself unconditionally.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Thinking Professional Speaker
Tags: , , , ,

What a Non-Sports Fan Learned From the Superbowl

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

Because I grew up with three older brothers you’d think I’d be very interested in sports…but I’m not.  I know some of the basic rules for football and basketball and baseball, but for some reason I never became an avid fan. 

That’s why I was a little surprised when last Sunday’s Super Bowl game had such an impact on me. 

As I thought about it, what really captured my attention was not the final score or even the action on the field – but the sheer determination to win.  A focus that became so intense it was unexplainable and unbeatable.

Here’s what I observed – and since I’m not a sports aficionado, I will probably get some of the details and terminology wrong.  But what I saw has far greater impact than any numbers on a scoreboard.    

All I know is that one team was winning by a whole lot with only a few minutes left in the game.  It seemed obvious to everyone who the winner would be.  There was a HUGE point difference and it seemed insurmountable.

Then something changed.  Somehow, some way, the losing team dug deep inside themselves and found a strength that kept them moving forward – one yard at a time, one play at a time, one touchdown at a time. 

They refused to give up!!!

Even when most people around them did give up – even some of their fans – they refused to throw in the towel.  The losing team found courage, confidence and belief in themselves and their teammates.  They found a way to chip away at that score, and in just a few minutes they crossed that finish line – champions. 

Impressive —Very Impressive!

The power of not giving up, of believing in yourself, of giving it one more try.  I can’t even begin to imagine what we can accomplish with that type of determination.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

Oh Look – Another Shiny Object

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

The first month of 2017 is behind us, and if I could share one thing that has made my last 31 days successful, it would be this:

I’ve stopped looking for the next shiny object.

Sometimes it seems like I’m always looking for what’s next:

                                                The next workshop that I just can’t miss

                                                The next webinar that will have all the answers

                                                The next article that will solve all my problems

So now instead of looking for what’s next, I’m focusing on what I already have right in front of me.  And the first place I looked was at all those piles sitting on my desk.  Those same piles that contain all the information I collected at the last workshop I attended or the last webinar I watched or the last article I read.  There on my desk sits notes I took, phrases I highlighted and pages I dog-eared – all waiting for me to finish what I started.

I’m taking time to look at all those unfinished projects and making decisions rather than excuses.  Decisions to concentrate and apply what I’ve already learned.

Someone once told me that if you don’t use something within the first six months, you might as well throw it out because you’ll never look at it again.  I strongly disagree.  As I’m going through those mounds of paper and notebooks, I’m finding some really good stuff.  And now I’m ready to use it.  So in my next blog, or my next speech, you just may hear something that I resurrected .  Something that really resonated with me and hopefully will do the same for you.   

So the next time a bright shiny object is calling to you, stop and take a look at what you already have right in front of you.  After all, it was important enough at one time for you to keep. Dust it off and take another look before you bury it beneath that new handout you just brought home.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , ,

A Peaceful Roar

Professional Speaker-Positive Attitude-Personal Development

This is NOT a political statement, nor am I taking anyone’s side.  I’m simply sharing my thoughts on something that touched me deeply.

A few days ago, we all witnessed the 2017 Women’s March.  It’s estimated that approximately four million Americans gathered to support one another, to speak out for a cause, and to say “I’ve got your back.”  The people who gathered on this day, all over the world, were of different ages with different backgrounds – all with their own story.  They got on buses, hopped on  trains, crowded into airports so they could walk for something they believed in. 

And it was all done peacefully.

That’s the part that really got to me emotionally.  Instead of fighting and yelling and screaming obscenities, you saw people holding hands, hugging each other and smiling.  Lots and lots of smiles.

They promoted awareness in a peaceful manner.

It made me realize that if you really believe in something, and you want to get it done, it’s up to you to lace up those shoes, stand up straight, and take that first step.  Sometimes it’s hard to brush off all those “no’s” that people throw at you, but who would have guessed that a movement like the 2017 Women’s March would resonate around the world with millions participating.  You never know where that first step will take you.

Watching the massive crowds gather in the different towns and cities really sent a chill up my spine. Just think of all we can accomplish – all YOU can accomplish – when we don’t give up on our beliefs.

Those words of Katy Perry keep rolling around in my head: “You’re going to hear me roar.”

 

 

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , , ,

I Just Need Possible

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I just heard some fascinating news on the radio – YES, I still listen to the radio!

The announcer said that today, half way through January, 75% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned.  What?  75%?  It’s only two weeks into the New Year and the New You.  What would make someone give up so quickly?

Then, as I was pointing my finger towards others, I noticed that four of my fingers were pointing back at me.  How many times have I made the same resolutions year after year after year?  I began to wonder why they seemed so hard to keep, and I came up with these five ideas:

1.        Sometimes we get so excited and so ambitious and we make a LIST of resolutions.  No wonder we become overwhelmed and discouraged.  Try focusing on just ONE change.  I know a year seems like a long time to work on only one thing, but just think how amazing it would be if you actually got that one thing accomplished, finished, done with, and never again to be seen on another New Year’s resolution list – ever again.

2.       Be kind to yourself.  If you falter today, start again tomorrow.  Don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel.  This change will take time, and as my mother always said: “You have more time than money.”

3.       Celebrate your success along the way.  That doesn’t mean a hot fudge sundae if your goal is to lose weight, but maybe it could be something like taking time for a bubble bath or sharing a glass of wine with a friend.

4.        Remember that you have a choice.  My weakness is chocolate so I’m always struggling with losing those extra pounds.  When I reach for that chocolate, I tell myself that I have a choice – I can eat that chocolate now or I can have a healthier body.  Which is more important?  If I’m honest, the chocolate does win out more often than I’d like to admit, but I’m working on that.  Knowing that I have a choice helps me to put things in perspective.

5.       Make your resolution a year long process, not just a one night statement.  Work at it every day until it becomes a habit.  I once heard someone say (and I paraphrase): I don’t need easy, I just need possible.  Make your resolution a promise to yourself that is possible.

Well, let me know how it goes.  Right now I’m going to make myself part of the 25% that have not given up on their resolutions.  I’m working on making mine possible.

Categories: Personal Development Positive Attitude Professional Development Professional Speaker
Tags: , , , ,

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives