Archive for the ‘General Advice’ Category
Posted by MaryPat on December 13th, 2012
Recently I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout. I had been suffering from chronic fatigue for months, was feeling very ill every time I worked out, and was getting nauseous every time I ate.
Ironically, over the last few years, I have witnessed my girlfriends all suffering from adrenal fatigue and burnout that almost shut their businesses down and landed one in the hospital multiple times with heart attack -like symptoms. So I am very aware what pushing yourself too hard can do.
What I was NOT aware of, was where the line was for me. I kept telling myself “only a few more weeks of this” and “I just need to launch this next thing”. I even have “breathe” and “pray” and “meditate” and “lunch” scheduled into my calendar every day to help me take care of me.
Also, ironically, in the last year, I have slowed down my business–focusing only on the things that I love and that serve me–and I have been eating better and working out regularly.
So just when I started taking care of myself, it all came crashing down. How fair is that?
But you see, it wasn’t enough. I needed a reminder to eat because I wasn’t taking care of myself. Really, I wasn’t prioritizing myself.
As a business owner, YOU are the most important asset in your business.
In fact, I believe that you are the foundation. It doesn’t matter what you build, if the foundation is rock-solid, it won’t last very long. And as an entrepreneur, it will take you down with it.
I recognize that you may relate to much of what I have shared here. But if you’re like me, you are telling yourself “that’s because she has 4 kids…I don’t so that won’t happen to me” or “I get it and I will slow down before it gets the best of me”.
So here is my request to you:
Take 3 “simple pleasures” and do them every day. These can be a warm cup of tea with a friend, a bubble bath, lighting a special candle or taking yourself to the park to watch a ballgame by yourself. Whatever you love to do, big or small, and do them throughout the day. Three times a day, serve yourself.
Posted by MaryPat on November 29th, 2012
I must admit, the first time I heard a fellow marketing expert share her list of marketing “strategies” that she was proudly implementing, I was horrified. It didn’t occur to me that someone who considered herself a “strategist” didn’t know the first thing about strategy. In fact, her list of “strategies” was really a list of tactics that she used to promote and sell her business-43 to be exact.
Since then, I have realized that most people do not understand “strategy”.
According to BusinessDictionary.com, “Strategy” is defined as:
1. A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
2. The art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use.
I personally think there is more to it than just a plan, but here is the definition of “Marketing Strategy” where I think we are getting closer to the point:
An organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business. The marketing strategy is the foundation of a marketing plan.
Instead of a definition, I prefer a “description” of strategy.
I like to relate the “strategy” of your marketing and your business to a jigsaw puzzle. You have all the pieces that you need to succeed. But if you don’t put the pieces together, in the right way, you won’t ever achieve success (success = the picture you see when the pieces are assembled the right way).
Here is another analogy. Consider your marketing tactics as the needle, thread and fabric (no I am not a sewer, so hopefully this makes sense). You need the vision for what you are creating and the pattern that includes how to cut out the fabric, and the step-by-step directions to create that beautiful dress. Even if you can layout the vision and the steps in your head, it still exists.
So the strategy equates to the completed puzzle or the pattern for the dress. And the tactics are the pieces you need to create the finished product.
In wrapping up this conversation, it reminds me of watching my ex-husband assemble new furniture. He had all the pieces, but always ended up with extra pieces after he was done. While the furniture looked together when he was done (most of the time), inevitably, it would start to wobble and/or come loose after a bit of use.
It just wasn’t sustainable without all the right pieces in the right place.
And your business is not sustainable without the right strategy. And worse, it will probably wipe you out as well.
Posted by MaryPat on July 4th, 2011
Happy Independence Day!
Watching the fireworks at the baseball game
Today is a celebration of our freedom. But I have to think, are we really free?
I was speaking to my mom a while back and she shared with me that she worries about me ALL the time. With everything that I have gone through these last few years, she is concerned everyday.
A few years ago, I would have tried to calm my mom down and make her feel like she didnt need to worry.
But I found that I really didnt feel the need for her worry and prayers any more. Life is still trying to knock me down, but I explained to her that I am really happy. I mean REALLY HAPPY! and I dont feel like Im requiring quite the level of concern that, despite my comments to my mom, even I felt were deserved.
So in honor of Independence Day and our freedom that entrepreneurs strive and thrive for, I want to share that I feel like Im about there!
I mean, isnt happiness the first huge leap toward freedom and success? For me happiness IS the level of success I have achieved.
And I am going to just relish in it for a while.
What is freedom to you?
Posted by MaryPat on April 21st, 2011
I love traditions. We don’t have a lot of them in our family, but the few we have are very special to all of us.
With Easter coming up in a few days, I thought I would share our family favorite tradition.
After we color eggs and get ready for bed (yes, even my teens participate in this with excitement), we start making Easter Cookies. You can click here for the recipe.
But for the sake of this blog post, I want to talk about traditions in business. You see, I think some are great and some need to go away.
Do you find that what worked 3 years ago just isn’t working today?
Are you frustrated that making money used to be easy and now it’s like pulling teeth?
That’s because some of your traditions…or the things that used to work, just don’t anymore.
But how do you know which to keep and which to throw out?
Here’s my strategy for deciding:
The systems in your business should support you no matter the economy or amount of money that is coming in. Keep those.
The models, molds, & blueprints for business building and marketing techniques? Throw most of those out. Well, not if you are sure they are working. But if you haven’t set up proper tracking and assessment systems in place, then how do you know?
So in my own attempt to throw out the old traditions, I have created a new model for expert interviews. You probably know that I love to host interviews. But I am fed up with the prep for the sale, build up the anxiety, riddle the listeners with fear, and then shoot out a pitch model.
So that is the tradition that I am throwing out.
And in with the new Expert Connections 2011 interview model for success!
Let me know, what business traditions are you keeping and which are you tossing?
Posted by MaryPat on March 21st, 2011
NOTE: This article was written for a magazine in the fall of 2008, but it is timeless information. I will be sharing more of each of these interviews including some of the audio clips on my blog over the coming months.
What is Success?
Four Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets
I had the opportunity to connect with four successful women entrepreneurs and talk about their stories of success and some insights to how they define success, trials and tribulations they experienced along the way as moms, wives and women, and advice they have for others on their own journey to entrepreneurial success.
Here are the women that I interviewed. These interviews were candid and open, and we discussed some things they had never shared before.
Kendall Summerhawk, was the Horse-Whisperer for Business Owners and has evolved into the Million Dollar Marketing Coach where she teaches money, marketing and soul for the women entrepreneur who is ready to charge what she is worth and get it!
Sheri McConnell, Founder of Sheri McConnell Companies and owner of more than a 1/2 dozen companies. Her mission is to empower women to achieve financial independence by learning how to leverage their time, money, and expertise exponentially.She believes that when a woman is financially independent, she makes decisions from a healthier place on behalf of herself and her family. She also believes that when you teach a woman how to achieve financial independence, you empower many generations to come.
Michele DeKinder-Smith, President & Owner of Linkage Research and Founder of Jane Out of the Box, is a seasoned researcher having specialized in marketing, consumer and business research for over 20 years. She has interviewed thousands of business owners and is an entrepreneur herself, who’s taken her business over the million-dollar mark! She understands the needs of large corporations, government agencies and the female entrepreneur. Through her research, publications, consulting and training Michele helps each of these audiences achieve their goals.
Mari Smith, www.MariSmith.com, is one of the world’s foremost experts on using Facebook as a marketing channel. She is the coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day and the lead author of The Relationship Age. Dubbed “the Pied Piper of the Online World” by FastCompany.com, Mari is a popular Social Media Keynote Speaker, Trainer and Thought Leader.
If I had to capture the common thread between these women, it could be summed up in these three words: persistent, focused, and genuine. It was truly my honor to be able to connect with these women and share this information!
To start off this series, here are some highlights from my interview with Kendall SummerHawk:
Kendall SummerHawk, the Horse-Whisperer for Business (www.KendallSummerHawk.com) says the key to success is PASSION! Kendall’s story begins as a young girl with a mother who was successful in her own business. Kendall’s mom believed that entrepreneurs have more control and freedom to create happiness.
What is your definition of success?
Success is happy, loving what I do even when it is mundane; I make great/fantastic money and have a lifestyle PLUS a business!
What sacrifices did you make to achieve your success?
I let go of things I DON”T like to do-grocery shopping, wrapping presents…I don’t believe I have sacrificed much when you look at what I have!
What is life balance?
Feeling alive and excited about what I am doing because I am passionate. I outsource many tasks and only spend time on quality activities that add benefits to my life.
How has being a woman affected your success?
I count on my intuition as a vital voice in running my business! My intuition keeps me authentic. Also, the ability to connect and build relationships is more natural to women.
Advice to share:
Success is built on both marketing and business as well as stepping into who you are!
Stay tuned to this series as I share audio clips from this interview as well as advice from our other amazing experts!
Posted by MaryPat on March 17th, 2011
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
I’ll make this quick so you can get back to celebrating this great holiday!
I have a special I want to share with you, but first I thought I would share some of my favorite Irish sayings:
This quote explains my life…
“In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs.”
– Sir John Pentland Mahaff
I like this because it reminds me to appreciate what is.
“The most beautiful music of all is the music of what happens.”
– Irish Proverb
I always thought that since my Irish grandfather was 6 feet tall, that I had a chance…but alas, I just didn’t make it that far in height.
You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.” – Irish Proverb
“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
– Adrienne Cook
I LOVE this quote–there is so much possibility here!
And in honor of this holiday (which was 2nd only to Christmas in my family growing up), I am also offering you a lucky St. Paddy’s Day offer:
Register for the Jumpstart Your JV’s program before midnight tomorrow, Friday, March 18th, and get this new and improved 2 day program for only $77!
This program is for you if:
- You have tried social media and it takes up more time than it is worth.
- You network regularly but you are tired of sifting through the masses to find that gem.
- If speed dating is sounding more fun than making new, often scary connections.
- If you have connected with some people who make you think you “picked them up in the wrong side of town”.
If any of these sound familiar, then this is the program for you!
I will teach you the specifics of what you need to do to start ATTRACTING the right people into your “hood”. There are some simple and quick things that most people just don’t know about that can make the difference between ATTRACTING the “scaries” and attracting some really cool, amazing people who know you, follow you and rave about what you do to their friends!
Check out this page and make sure you get registered now to SAVE!
Let me know if you have questions!
Lastly, here is my favorite Irish blessing that hangs on a linen on my wall:
May the road rise to meet you…
May the wind be always at your back…
May the sunshine warm upon your face…
May the rains fall soft upon your fields…
And, until we meet again…
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand
To your JV & REALationship-Building success!
Queen of Connections
P.S. Don’t miss this opportunity to save! Get registered now and as my dad always says: “The Luck ‘O the Irish to ya!”
Posted by MaryPat on March 9th, 2011
Guest Post by Evelyn Kalinosky Blog Post
I held a teleseminar recently that explored the concept of redefining financial success as a spiritual journey. This redefinition is about becoming professionally and personally “fulfilled,” which involves a spiritual quest of recapturing or discovering, sometimes for the first time, your dreams, and money is the higher purpose that helps you foster this fuller, more balanced life. Money is the by-product of values-based ambition, which is all about living out your authentic values and beliefs. It’s what I refer to as “Wealth of the Self” and what moves you from success to significance.
My guest, online visibility expert Nancy Marmolejo of Viva Visibility, and I covered a lot of information in 45 minutes, but nothing in what we discussed was more important than when we talked about the one key thing that needs to happen before you can move from success to significance. This one key thing is non-negotiable. There’s no way around it. Think of it as the foundation that must be poured before you can build a house. It’s what anchors you to the life you want to live.
That one key thing is becoming empowered. It’s giving yourself permission to take the risks and make the changes you want and need to make.
I know that sounds really simple. And you’re probably thinking: “You’ve got to be kidding me? That’s it?!” But the reality is that for so many women - including women in high-level positions and women who own their own businesses - there are places in our lives where we don’t stand in our own power.
Whether it’s being afraid to speak up, doubting our capabilities or denying the things we long for, allowing ourselves to be mistreated, feeling like an imposter or fraud in our professional life, resisting the truth, or acting in ways that go against our values - disempowerment is at the root of the problem.
When we feel powerless:
- We think of ourselves as small and ineffective, more like victims of circumstance than the strong, capable women we are.
- We find it difficult to make positive, lasting change. We vacillate. We’re ambivalent.
- We spend too much time needing acceptance and validation from others rather than trusting that we know the answers that are best for us.
When we’re empowered, however:
- We’re able to access our own abilities, strengths and gifts.
- We’re able to draw upon the host of internal and external resources that are available to us, and we know how to put these resources to our best use.
- We’re able to say “Yes!” to change and welcome transition because we trust ourselves to be able to handle any challenge that comes along.
Take a moment and think about those times in your life when you felt truly empowered - what kind of decisions were you able to make? How did they impact your life and your choices?
Now compare that to those times when you felt powerless - how were the decisions you made different? How did they impact your life and your choices?
A critical part of redefining your life means going from breakdown to breakthrough in terms of discovering your authentic power. Not “perceived” power that can often feel aggressive, and is largely situational and transitory, but true power that is strong without being forceful, and that doesn’t come and go depending on the moment.
When you stand firm in your own true power in both your professional and your personal life it’s like you are a tree with its roots firmly, deeply embedded in the earth. It’s from this base of knowledge that your life branches out to embrace infinite possibilities.
Part of your journey in going from breakdown to breakthrough includes working to uncover the hidden landscape of habits, beliefs and patterns that underlie and sometimes subvert how you live your life and how you own your power.
I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about. Have you found yourself at one time or another:
- Hanging on to a job that is physically, emotionally and psychologically draining because it provided you with a substantial amount of money, good health benefits and a retirement plan?
- Holding on to a personal or business relationship because it provided you with financial security, even though it was clear to you that separation would be best for your emotional and spiritual well-being?
- Being surrounded by all kinds of information, advice and resources, and yet something stopped you from using any of it?
As a “breakthrough” woman, you must be willing to do the things you sometimes don’t want to do. There are many things that keep women in business from making changes, especially if we’re making a healthy income. The promise of money, or the threat of losing it, induces us to tolerate or make concessions. I say this without the slightest hint of judgment or reproach, because I am a woman who tolerated things at different points in my life that my more actualized self would never allow now.
Refusing to make changes when you know in your core that you’re doing yourself a disservice is a clear sign you’re not empowered. Give yourself permission. Say “Yes!” to what it is you truly want. That’s your first step on your journey to living a life of significance.
As Founder & CEO of Evelyn Kalinosky LLC, Evelyn specializes in helping women executives, professional women and women entrepreneurs who want to achieve a more sacred kind of success.
She is a consultant, speaker, published author and poet, and is currently writing a book about women navigating through midlife. Visit her at: www.evelynkalinosky.com.
Posted by MaryPat on January 25th, 2011
Have you ever felt like life was knocking you down no matter what you did? And that things that you thought were going to work in your business, suddenly didn’t? This article is a story of some big lessons I learned recently and wanted to share with you because the concepts I’ll talk about can be the very thing that could jump start you to make new and better decisions in your business and your relationships.
woman with broken hand
This all started last month when I broke my hand right before Christmas. It was a bad enough break that it required surgery. In my mind, I just wanted to get my hand back. You can probably imagine what it’s like for an online entrepreneur to lose her ability to type on the computer. I thought that surgery would be the worst of it. But I was so very wrong.
I went to my follow-up doctor’s appointment last Thursday and discovered the error of my thinking. After they cut off the cast, my fingers didn’t move. I was a little freaked out and then the doctor came in and bent my fingers for me (OUCH!). Then he told me the worst was yet to come and sent me off to the physical therapist.
I was pretty emotional driving to the physical therapist office. I kept thinking that I couldn’t handle it getting any worse before it got better. (You may have felt like that from time to time with your business.) But I didn’t have a choice. I knew that I wanted to have a right-hand that functioned like it used to. So I was going to have to suck it up so that I could get better and do what I need to do.
It occurred to me that often in our business and our lives, we get comfortable with the “dysfunctionality” of how we are operating. We unconsciously choose not to fix it. But as I was driving home I wondered if we were told as entrepreneurs that very often it’s pretty normal that things get worse before they get better…. how often would we do what it takes to make it all work right?
In the last four weeks, I got really good at typing with my left hand and pecking with my right. I was compensating pretty well. Just as in our businesses we overlook, adapt and go around the places we aren’t strong in. We even compensate in the relationships we choose.
In my life I can see places I have chosen to stay comfortable. In my business I see areas where I have defaulted to the old ways of being that kept me in my box. (Just read my blog for more examples of this.) What is it for you? Maybe you don’t pass off tasks to your team because you feel you can do it better yourself. Maybe you are tolerating clutter and noise in your workspace. Maybe it’s just distractions in your life that keep you feeling like you can never catch up. Think for a bit about where you are working hard at keeping things the same.
But here’s the funny part of the story. It turns out that when I got to the physical therapist, they didn’t hurt me at all (I was expecting some major pain). The pain did come with the exercises that I need to do 3 to 5 times a day. But what I had imagined on my drive over was way worse than the reality. And that’s exactly the business lesson. We fear making the changes so we don’t, but when we are on the other side of thing we are most afraid of is when true growth occurs.
So let me ask you a few questions to get you thinking.
What are the areas of your life, your relationships and your business that are not functioning at their best?
Would life be easier and maybe even happier if you had your (metaphorical) right hand back?
Are you compensating for something and you don’t even know it?
I’m going to encourage you to keep going, reach out and know that change sometimes happen with pain. But if you push through and learn the lessons, everyone is better off in the end.
Posted by MaryPat on August 31st, 2010
You have heard me sharing my thoughts and experiences this summer about clearing the clutter and moving to a new home. You may have guessed but it’s time to share:
The reason I moved and am focusing on “space” is because I have
removed someone from my household. Yes, I am getting divorced.
And it’s not as joyous as some other women in this industry who
have shared similar experiences. It is heart-breaking, draining,
emotional, stressful, and exhausting. It is also liberating,
motivating and exciting!
But my reality this summer is this: while many of you may have
been struggling to work with the kids at home this summer, it
was everything in me to find a few hours each day to spend on
business. And then everything in me to find the energy and
motivation to do anything for my business.
And you may have noticed that things are still moving forward
for me. I am rebranding my site, launching some new programs
that are focused on how to build REAL-ationships ™ instead
of those fake ones just for a buck, and my cash-flow has even
increased this summer!
How is this possible?
Systems and an amazing team.
The truth is that I didn’t really do much of the work this
summer–my team team.
And they were able to because of the systems that we have in
place to implement ideas and track their success.
I want to extend my heart-felt gratitude to my amazing team
and my incredible friends. They have kept me feeling positive
and believing in myself.
As we move into the future, I may or may not share some of the
heart-wrenching lessons that made me stronger and made me
realize that it was time for me to soar–bigger than I have before.
This blog post is not what I intended, but it is. So I will let it be.
I guess there is a reason that it is this and I hope someone can benefit from this truth.
Posted by MaryPat on June 23rd, 2010
“People fail forward to success.” ~ Mary Kay Ash
“Failure + Perserverance = Success” ~George Ross
These are a couple of quotes that are posted on my Facebook profile. Since I had a some friend requests this week from people who specifically mentioned their enjoyment of my posted quotes, I thought I would share a few here.
While I haven’t had any major failures recently, I have definitely had my share (if you have followed me for a while, you can probably remember a few)….and will continue to have failures as I attempt new and exciting things.
I once heard someone define success as getting up one more time than you fall. So I guess it’s all part of the journey!
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