Archive for August, 2011

Get Out of Your Own Way

When you are in your niche it shows in your smile

Take Your Life from Now to WOW

“If I would just get out of my own way, there is something so much greater out there for me.” Peter J. Gomes, renowned theologian, paused in mid sermon with his deep baritone voice trembling to confess that “I am tired of my own excuses and of my own small mindedness. I know there is something so much greater for me if I would just get out of my own way.”

Where are you in your life right now? Are you living up to your potential or settling for what is currently at hand? Why settle?

Individuals come to my workshops or speeches every week lamenting the woeful state of their life. When asked “What are you passionate about doing? What is really important to you?” All too frequently, the answer is either “I don’t know” or on the rare occasion that they do know, they are not doing anything even close to their passion. A litany of excuses pours forth about why they can not or are not even toe testing their passion. (Toe testing is when you go to the beach or swimming pool and gently touch your toe to the water to test the temperature.) They do not have a success plan or even know how to create one. Let’s face it; there is virtually zero risk in toe testing. Find your passion, form a success plan and at least start toe testing it.

Have you heard the expression that time is money? Well it isn’t. Time is time and money is money. Have you ever made a mistake and lost some money? Certainly, everyone has lost money on a purchase at one time in life. Was it fatal? No, probably not. If it was a small amount, you worked a few extra hours and made the money back. When money is lost, it can be regained. Yes, even in this economy. You will always be your most productive, most profitable and most emotionally peaceful when you are doing something you love.

Time is another issue. When time is gone, it is gone. Time can not be recovered. How many people do you think have reached the end of their life and said “I wish I had spent more time at the office and away from my family?” Few if any. How many people look back on their life and regret not spending more time at their kids’ school activities or just spending time with their family? That number is undoubtedly much higher. Time is not equal to money. Time, because it is unrecoverable, becomes far more precious.  

How long do you choose to wait to finally begin at least toe testing your passion? Time is slipping away; in some cases, time is rushing away at the speed of light.

Steve Jobs, noted icon of Apple Computers, said it best. “You will spend a great deal of your life at work. The only way to be totally fulfilled is to do really great work. The only way you will do really great work is to do something you love. If you don’t love it, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

I have had more than one very successful career: teaching, Candy Mountain Culinary Creations, Mountain Castles Property Management and financial education. Even though I enjoyed each one and was very successful, it was not until the world of public speaking and coaching burst into my life that I discovered my true passion and purpose in life. Once the realization enveloped me, I immediately formed a success plan and started implementing the plan.

You will know when you fall in to your stride. Suddenly what you are doing comes easily to you and you know you are doing what you are destined to do.

Last Wednesday evening after speaking to a delightful audience, a wave of satisfaction enveloped me. There was such a beautiful feeling of gratitude and accomplishment because the ladies told me I had inspired and empowered them. When the feeling totally settles into your soul and you know you would do that again even if you were not paid, then you know you are in your element.

Reach for your dream, your passion, and your unique niche in life. Time ticks away every day. At the very least, toe test your dream. Everyone has a special talent or niche in life, find yours. Stuff the excuses in a closet. Dust off your dreams and bring them out of the closet. It is all about what you feel and do. If you don’t love what you are doing now, keep looking. Don’t settle. It is your life. Reach for what totally fulfills your soul.

Having questions finding your true passion and niche in life? Let me help. Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net. Hire Elaine Love as your coach and as the keynote speaker or workshop leader for your next event. Whether you are seeking to improve your career situation, gain more expertise as a public speaker or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you. Time is slipping away, find your niche and life the life you are destined to live.

Connect or Communicate

Are you connecting with your audience or just communicating?

The “Presentation Skills Quiz” helps clarify your individual presentation style. Are you truly connecting with your audience? Do people respond to your opening statement with a question for you or do they start telling you about their business? If they start telling you about their business, chances are you have not created the connection you desired.

How will your business, bank account and successful image change when you increase the connection with your audience? As a business development coach, many personalities and attitudes reveal themselves to me. Today’s interview with a successful businessman revealed interesting data. “Elaine, out of 652 people I presented to last year, only 25 converted.” “Ralph, that is 3.8% conversion. How did it rank with other managers on your comparable level?” “My boss thought 25 conversions was good.” “Ralph, how do you feel about being good?” “Good feels like average to me and I don’t like thinking of myself as average.”

Ralph is not only wise, but honest. In the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, he details why some make the leap and others do not. Numerous articles have expounded the attitude that good is simply not good enough. Industry icons have never settled for “just good enough to get by.” This ‘settle for the status quo’ attitude is socially polite terminology for “lazy.” Industry leaders and top producers in every field of endeavor stretch themselves to be the best possible.

Research is even beginning to show that people who remain mentally active and are constant learners have less incidents of Alzheimer’s disease. Why? The brain is one of the few organs which actually becomes stronger with use. The more connections you form by continuing to learn, the more connections which are available. If you lose one or two connections through aging, it is far less significant when you have multiple connections still available. Learning increases your quality of life in the short term and the long term.

Whether you are presenting to your board of directors, your potential clients or your kids, you want to be your most effective. This “Presentation Skills Quiz” was created as a module for use as a business development coach program. The quiz is directed more toward business presentations, but the same principles apply to all presentations. The core premise is connecting rather than just communicating.

For your free copy of the “Presentation Skills Quiz” and other helpful information, go to www.Elaine4Success.com. Anyone who completes the quiz and forwards the completed quiz with their contact information (name, email and telephone) will receive a free 30 minute coaching session. How will your business, bank account and success image improve when you increase your rate of connection rather than just communication?

Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net. Hire Elaine Love as your coach and as the keynote or workshop speaker for your next event. Whether you are seeking to grow as a speaker to improve your employment situation, gain more expertise as a public speaker or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you. Take control of your presentations.

Possibilities

Is it enough? Are you enough? Are you living the life you were destined to live?

Today I am speaking on a topic near and dear to my heart, and I hope to your heart as well. “Possibilities” otherwise known as opportunities exist for all of us. Mel Robbins, author, syndicated radio host, and executive producer reminded us in her Success magazine cd interview for September 2011 that over one third of the people in America are dissatisfied with their lives.

Jim Collins echoed this theme in his book, “Good is the Enemy of Great.” It is easier in the short term to make excuses and settle for “what is” at the present time rather than reach for “what can be” in the future.

What gives me the right to encourage you to reach for your dreams?

I’ve experienced enough Emotional Ice Water to cause the second world-wide flood. At age3, my father told me “Neither your mother or I wanted you. We wanted a boy who would be worth something. You’re nothing but a ____ girl.”

He refused to sign my college scholarship for the same reason; “You’re nothing but a ____ girl. You don’t deserve an education.”

The easy path would have been to say, “That is the end of all opportunity for me. Nothing is possible for me in this situation. I just have to accept it.” On the contrary, those incidents were just the start. Have you heard the old expression, ”If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Create your own success plan and work it. Listen for the opportunities. Expect possibilities and then find a way to create positive results. Possibilities exist for everyone. It is a matter of listening for them, sorting out the best and taking action on those opportunities.

It was decision time. Stay in that toxic atmosphere and give up on life or find a rope to climb out. My coach and mentor told me “Get to climbin’ baby.” The next few decades are history and testimony to climbing up to self respect and achievement.

My success plan included a college degree: mission accomplished at age 21 (It costs the same amount for a dorm room with an enrollment of 10 credit hours as it does with an enrollment of 18 credit hours. Food costs about the same per day regardless of enrollment. Studying for 18 credit hours certainly keeps the mind on books rather than booze; not enough time to waste any of it.)

Part two of the success plan was acquiring an excellent job. Graduating earlier meant earning a full time income sooner.

Possibilities exist for the under achiever and the over achiever. The ambitious person earns more rewards and earns them sooner; ambitious people have a success plan. You do not have to be the smartest, the fastest or even the most attractive person. Unless you inherit money or have it given to you in the lottery (or other such non-earned manner), plan on working for your income. FAME AND FORTUNE DO NOT GO TO THE LAZY.

The under achiever may get and perhaps hold a low paying job and squeak by an existence. Is that what you truly want? I don’t think so or you would not be reading this right now.

Look seriously at your life and determine if you are an under achiever or an average person who is getting by but not doing great. Opportunities exist for all of us The ambitious recognize the opportunity and take action. The average person analyzes and thinks about it and does nothing. The under achiever may not even bother to think about the opportunity.

Leadership speaking opportunities flash through our lives frequently. Are your ears tuned to hear, recognize and take action? Have you turned a deaf ear to the voice of opportunity because it is just too much trouble to take action? Do you have a success plan? Are you on track or is the plan in a closet gathering dust?

Possibilities exist for all of us. The difference between the successful and the “just getting by” individuals is who is listening and taking action. Unless you are on target and moving forward, you may not be living the life you are destined to live.

Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net. Hire Elaine Love as your coach and as the keynote or workshop speaker for your next event. Whether you are seeking to grow as a speaker to improve your employment situation, gain more expertise as a public speaker or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you. Take control of your possibilities.

Secret of Business Success

Would you like to know the secret of successful businesses? It is a commonly accepted fact that it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. The same is true of employees. It costs more to recruit, interview, hire and train a new employee than to develop and retain an existing productive employee. What would it do for your customer retention and employee retention if you knew the secret to business success?

As a business development coach, the symbiotic relationship between employees and customers is a major key to business success. Employees and customers really are not so different; they have a symbiotic relationship. I hear your brain saying, “What? I disagree. They are very different.” Are they? The role of an employee is to support the company and thus the customer; they must be an enthusiastic and productive member of the team. The employee contribution is their time, energy and expertise in exchange for their pay check.

The customer or client contributes the funds necessary to pay the employee in exchange for receiving the goods and service of the company. The customer contributes money, energy and enthusiasm about the high level of value they receive. The productivity and profitability the customer achieves as a result of the product and service they receive from the company is a major factor in whether they continue to buy from the company.

Without the employee or the customer, the company does not survive. Perhaps you are a solopreneur; in that case you are your only employee. The solopreneur must perform all of the functions of the employee or the company folds. The company can not exist without customers purchasing; customers will not purchase or continue to purchase without receiving value commensurate with the money they spend.

If the company is a quarter, the customer represents one side and the employee represents the other side; the coin does not exist without having both sides.

As a business development coach, this relationship between customer and employee retention emerges consistently. The secret to successful business is providing high value to the customers in order to attract more customers and thus more income. At the same time retaining excellent employees provides more consistency for the customers. Employees and customers become acquainted with each other and form a solid business familiarity. If there is a new employee each time a customer calls, what does that say to the customer? It says possibly growth but certainly re-explaining what they need and expect. Busy people like to work with those with whom they are familiar; people resist change. More likely the new voice on the call each time conveys the message of company instability.

Have you heard the expression “rats run from a sinking ship?” (I found the line used numerous times but can not seem to locate the original source of the quotation.) The run on banks and the plummet of the stock market are all examples of the herd mentality of people fleeing from an entity which is unstable and perhaps teetering on the precipice of plunging toward failure. Employee retention and consistency provides a source of confidence and familiarity to customers. By the same token, employees feel more confident when they continue to speak with familiar customers as well as new customers.

At Rotary this morning, the owner of a very successful law firm stated that his legal assistant, receptionist and over 90% of his staff had been with him for at least the last 15 years. It is no surprise that his law firm is a highly successful business. He is retaining high quality employees and high quality customer. His company represents one more success story expounding the value of employee and customer retention.

Join me at www.Elaine4Success.com or www.ElaineSpeaks.net. Hire Elaine Love as your business development coach, presentation coach and as the keynote or workshop speaker for your next event. Whether you are seeking to grow as a speaker to improve your employment situation, improve your business or be more effective persuading your kids, hiring a coach will assist you.

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”Elaine spoke to our top leaders from 8 states, she gave us new and positive ways to connect with people
which is EXACTLY what we wanted. Thanks Elaine”
-Tom Fajardo, State Farm