Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Learn from Your Clients

Sometimes the student becomes the teacher.  This is also true about clients.

In the last few months I have mentioned Unique Abilities and have also spent time learning about what my clients and friends think of my unique abilities.  Not only that - I have spent time thinking through the best part of my day - always with clients, always interacting, always framing and creating a shift. 

By doing this I have found where I love to be on a daily basis.  What better way to drive my sales and bottom line than to spend my time doing what I do best, according to my clients and my unique abilities.  So off goes the lightbulb - what if I structured all of 2012 around that.  Simply doing what I love and know that I can get results with clients to help them be successful.  Great idea.

Here is what you can look for this year:
  • more Mastermind Teams in-person and online/teleseminar format - including a quarterly women's only group launching late Spring
  • 3 new programs only - Client Attraction, The Soft Side of Starting a Business & Get to the Heart of Your Business
  • new newsletter format (Notes to Self! - you may as well learn what I learn so that you can take best practices or avoid my mistakes!)
  • VIP Program called The Solstice VIP Group
  • product line of downloads for all existing webinar programs
Sounds like an ambitious 2012....and when you write it down, or type it out, it has a certain flavour of reality about it.

Good leaders know they need to take time to ensure that everything aligns  - whatever goals you have by department, they need to align with the overall corporate goals, align with the culture and values of the company and include the ability to stretch the team..develop people while reaching those goals.

What have you done to set up 2012 for a successful conclusion?  You know you need to begin with the end in mind.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Year in Review

I spent some time looking at last year...2011.  What was good?  What was great?  What did I like or not like?  How did it really go.

By now, you have already completed your business plan (if not, click here and let's get started) so looking at the rest of the picture, now that you have your numbers should be a pretty interesting exercise.

Here is what I learned:
  • I love my clients...they push me, they drive me, they inspire me
  • I love the coaching work that I do - in private sessions and in Mastermind Teams - my passion is seeing others get that ah-ha moment and make that shift to a new space or frame or mind.
  • I love the relationships that I get to build, expanding my network and simply meeting very cool, interesting people that eventually may become clients - no worries if they do not.
  • I love marketing and business planning - this is where I can work out new strategies and tactics as well as share my secrets with others.
So as well as the love part of my business, there is a need for the opposite to exist; in other words, it's not all roses....
  • I do not like the tracking, paperwork and tedious stuff that goes along with running your own business.
  • I do not like the lack of value that gets placed on my time - by myself and by others.  I can easily get distracted, especially online....others can distract me by engaging me into enterprises that may or may not need my expertise...just sound interesting.
  • I do not like my tough road ahead to help entrepreneurs and executives understand their need for a coach....and for a business plan....and for a marketing eliminate the tendency for others to fly-by-the-seat of their pants.
Taking all of this into consideration, I have been able to enhance my own 2012 business plan to include some of these items...more of the stuff I love, less of the stuff I don't except for the last one----this will be my focus - to get business leaders to understand the need to plan to get results, not just believe they will happen.

What about you?  What did you find in your own evaluation of the 2011 stuff that was not strictly the dollars and cents?  Share please - we can all use the insights.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Pace of Success

This is a guest post from my friend Chris Valentino... he took some time to evaluate what he has learned in the past and thought it would be interesting to share it with me.  I thought it was very interesting and wanted to share with you.  Thanks Chris!
What is the Pace of Success? How do you define it? Some may define success as making a certain amount of money. To other people, success may be helping children learn to read or even losing weight on an exercise program. However you define it for yourself, there is a certain path that must be taken. You must
follow the Pace to Success...

Step 1


To reach success, you must begin with “Passion”. This is the starting  point on your journey. You must have an unwavering love for the goal you are striving to accomplish. Passion is what will keep you focused on the end result when traveling the bumpy road you are sure to encounter. When these road blocks undoubtedly creep up, you must be willing to stay on track, and be willing to follow the course you have mapped out.

A road block can be a family member or friend who does not share your vision. A vendor who says no to your product, or idea. A publisher who rejects your book and won’t publish it. Did you know Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen heard “no” from over one hundred publishers, before one said “yes” to the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book?  Their shared passion to see their book printed kept them on course until they found a publisher that shared their vision.

When you are laser focused on your passion, it leads to…

Step 2


This step comes from the determination to push forward with your goal. The best ideas are useless, unless action is behind it to make it a reality.

It may a step as simple as making a call to an acquaintance for information, or reading a book to find out another step you have to take in your process.  You must be doing something to bring you closer to your end result. No action is too big or too small when it comes to seeing your idea become a reality. Do not overlook any action, you may have to take.

Be careful not to only look at the goal as your only focus. When you do that, it can seem overwhelming sometimes. This will only lead to frustration and may cause you to give up or lose hope on what it will take to
accomplish the goal.

A fantastic system to determine what actions will be needed is to work backwards from your end goal you are after. Purchase a spiral notebook and at the top of the page, write your goal. From there, map out every step you think you will have to take and work in reverse to where you are the current moment. Now your action plan is more manageable and will seem less daunting to you. By following your map, you will be less likely to get frustrated or overwhelmed. Be sure to allow room for other steps that will creep into your

As you follow the steps and take action, this will bring you too…

Step 3


One of the most important traits of a successful person is confidence. Just like passion, confidence is very important to see your vision come to life.

When people or events seem to be against you, there must be an unbending belief in your ability and skills to follow your path.  All successful people have a strong sense of confidence in them.  When they are told “no” or that it is not possible, they don’t settle for less.  The double edge sword, is some people may perceive someone’s confidence as arrogance or conceit but this is not always the case.

As we grow up, we were taught only certain people can accomplish certain goals. Society is taught to strive for mediocrity and live the life others think we should lead.  Many people believe that it is better to be safe than sorry and that we are risking getting hurt when we should play is “safe” and just go with the flow.  All of these teachings lower our self confidence and only those who break free from this mental trap will reach their goals and full potential. Society has become complacent with living their lives in a sedentary fashion because many lack the confidence to push their limits. It is easier to sit and watch television, rather than push your mental limits. The fear of rejection from friends and family sets in. Suddenly people worry about not getting approval from others to build a false sense of confidence.

What we must learn is that self confidence comes from within and not from others. As you conquer this mental programming we are taught from an early age, your confidence grows and leads you too…

Step 4


When all the proceeding steps fall into place, you will find a special form of energy flowing through you to keep you pushing forward.  You may find yourself working late into the night and not feeling tired because you have lost all track of time. The clock seems to stand still as you are in “the zone” and don’t dare
stop. You may miss meals and not even notice.  This inspired energy, the kind that comes from within is only
available when you in harmony with your true calling or destiny at that moment.  By tapping into this energy, your goal is sure to be reached. The Law of Attraction will come into play and attract what you need into your life and what the next step you to take will be. It could be finding an internet link, remembering an article you read before, or bumping into a colleague that can help you out.

You must pay attention to all the little happenings as they could be a large step towards your goal. This will also keep your energy flowing through you, as energy flows where your attention goes. Your imagination will come alive with child-like enthusiasm and will light your path with brilliance, showing you the steps on your path to your goal. Each of those steps will lead to more energy and enthusiasm, bringing you to your vision.

When you start with passion for an idea, than take action, and believe in yourself, and the energy builds, you are sure to find the Pace of Success.

~ where are you on your Pace of Success?  How will you use Chris's words to help you on your journey?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Foster Culture

Let's get started on the right track for 2012.  Every leader is responsible for fostering the culture of the company.  Key to this is communication - clear communication in words and in action.

As a leader, your role is to model the behaviour you would like to see as well as reinforce good examples you have recognized in daily performance.  Is this something that you do everyday?  Do you realize you are actually the catalyst in driving the development and legacy of your company culture?

Think about this for 2012:
  • what is the culture of my company?
  • is this a culture I would like to enhance, change or improve?
  • how do I get the right people on board this year to match my company culture (and help carry it forward)?
As leaders, few of us realize the impact we have on our company in terms of the culture.  While you have a mission statement and values to work by, the culture can change with the entrance or exit of leadership.  You may say that your company has an open-door policy, while one of your executives is always sharing this open-door information with their assistant... this immediately erodes the culture and it's effectiveness.  Does this type of opportunity happen in your company?

Time to take is January 3rd....what does it feel like to walk through your company - offices, plant, call center - and is this what you intended it to be?  If not, why not and what are you going to do about it?

Visit with me by phone (519-735-6820) or email and we can talk through your are not out there alone!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Is Waiting for You

Happy New Year!
May 2012 be your best year yet!

Look for more ways to connect with me:
Twitter:  @linxcoach
LinkedIn:  Lora Crestan
Facebook: Solstice Group