Share Your Story

Inspiration is all around us and when it comes from our youth, our future generation, it warms my heart.

As I sat at my son’s graduation from USC, I was really impacted by valedictorian Cooper Nelson’s words. She is a graduate from the School of Cinematic Arts and she talked about storytelling and the impact that hearing and telling stories has on our world.

I couldn’t agree more.

As business owners, it’s vital to know your story and understand and embrace your point of view. As you build your business or organization at the beginning and as you expand your brand moving forward, the importance of using story in all facets of marketing is so valuable.

When I write copy for an upcoming webinar or a sales page, it’s always infused with my real life. Recently, I held a webinar on relationship-based sales and I had so many experiences to share on the webinar to really bring the concept to life.

When someone hears you speak and it’s personal and specific, the message is more clear. Not to mention, they connect with you in a deeper way.

Our company culture is a lot more than the colors in our logo or the design of our website. It’s about the background, the trials and tribulations, the celebrations. It’s about our goals, our dreams and our plans.

How you see the world may be a lot different than someone else sees it. It’s your job to be authentic, open and honest in your marketing and your speaking. By doing that, you end up connecting with the right clients and pursuing the right opportunities.

You’ve heard my story many times. But as my life unfolds, new chapters are written all the time. And it always relates back to my business.

I encourage you to try something new this week. Tell a story in only the way you can, your unique point of view, in a short video and post to your social networks to promote one of your upcoming events or speaking engagements.

Please share with me on the SSC Facebook page how and where you share your story. If you ever want to chat, feel free to reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

A Goal Accomplished

I’ve always been a firm believer in goal setting and I’ve worked with all of my clients over the years on defining their goals, setting out the action plans to achieve them and then taking the steps to make that happen.

One of the keys to success in goal achievement is about the specificity of the goal, the definition of the clear and consistent actions to get there and, of course, the celebration in the achievement.

This has all been brought back to me in the last week on both the business and personal front.

On the personal side, I watched my son graduate from his dream school last weekend, not only graduate but do it surrounded by our family.

Six years ago, he defined what he wanted in his college life and knew the industry in which he wanted to work. He set out creating and following through a clear course of action with a combination of classes, internships and creating his network.

As he completed his finals and papers and got ready for his graduation, he managed to schedule three interviews for companies in his chosen field. Believe me, he is not perfect or different from any other graduating seniors who have had a clear course of action and definite goals. But without actions plans, goals can’t become realities.

When I was in San Francisco last week, I was speaking to two different groups. One evening we spent time talking about the importance of having a goal and the connection to the goal. There were many new entrepreneurs in the audience and this was and is a groundbreaking piece of advice for anyone starting out in a new business. It is also relevant any time you are expanding a business or starting a new project.

Here are the steps I teach around goal setting:

  1. Identify the goal.
  2. Review the goal and make sure you it is specific. (General goals are often overlooked and become unmeasurable)
  3. Create or identify the “specific” actions you need to take to achieve the goal.
  4. Calendar out the actions in a realistic schedule.
  5. Celebrate. When I say this, it’s not just celebrating when you’ve achieved the goal, it’s celebrating every small action step you take towards the goal. I must say our family celebrated all weekend especially when a job offer came through 12 hours before graduation.

Share with me on the SSC FB or LinkedIn page your goals and celebrations. We are all in this together and if you want to talk in more detail, please reach out to su pport@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

Maximize your time…even in the sky!

I am off! A full week on the road filled with fun, celebrations and great business opportunity.

Yesterday began a weeklong trip, starting in San Francisco and ending up in Los Angeles for my son’s graduation from USC!

I often talk about the combination of business and pleasure and this coming week is a perfect example.

I started the plans for this trip months ago when I found out the date of the graduation. I love creating business on the west coast as an opportunity to see my son and this time I knew I would be out there so it was a perfect time to reach out to friends and colleagues in San Francisco.

My connections led me to a business meeting and two speaking engagements on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Then, the universe really came through, when my daughter mentioned one night at dinner that she had days off she needed to take before the end of June. I invited her to join me in San Francisco, before we headed to LA, and she said yes!

She even put together a fun itinerary (of course she sent it to me in a Google Doc, yes she really is my daughter) and she took into consideration the times of my business meeting and my speaking engagements.

Obviously, much of my time will be spent on a plane, so here are my tips for maximizing your time, even in the sky!

  1. Buy Wi-Fi in advance for the reduced rate
  2. Catch up on quiet work (proofreading, writing) that often gets put off
  3. Filter through emails with no distractions (except maybe the clouds!)
  4. Pull out the headphones and catch up on that webinar or training you’ve been meaning to listen to
  5. Network! Yes, really. I’ve meet amazing people sitting right next to me. Heading home from Las Vegas, I met a woman, we made a great business connection, exchanged our business cards, connected on LinkedIn and Facebook and I’m seeing her again in NYC later this month.

Travel is not an inconvenience. I find it to be filled with opportunity! Do you agree? Are you finding ways to combine pleasure with work? Life is designed to be a joy, are you embracing it to the fullest?

Take a half day or an extra day when on a business trip and go sightseeing.

Use your time on the plane to work without distraction.

Read a book.

Take a nap.

Look out the window and daydream away.

Do whatever feels good and whatever makes you smile. Share with me on the SSC Facebook page what mixing business and pleasure looks like to you.

Backup is Key

I am going to be clear and consistent on this. You must have backup in running a business.

It’s fantastic if you have a support team around you. I commend you for asking for help and getting support. But what happens when a team member needs time off? Do you have people cross trained?

You need backup for your backup.

This is the difference between building a company or working for clients with limited resources, unable to grow. What is the vision for your company? Where are you going?

Are you training your team on various skills?
Or are you totally vulnerable and leaving important tasks to one person alone?

For instance, I want everyone on my team to have some knowledge of Infusionsoft. Why? Because when Liz, who normally schedules the newsletter to go out, is traveling, she shouldn’t have to worry or feel pressure to get something done when she’s not in town and I shouldn’t have to worry about it, either.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

My daughter, Alex, is seeing this firsthand. She is a new manager and is leaving for a few days to travel with me to San Francisco next week where I’m speaking. She is realizing she needs people to cover her role, in her corporate job. There’s no scrambling in her absence, just business as usual.

Everyone needs time off. Everyone needs a vacation. Everyone needs days to travel, sick days, mental health days. You name it.

You should be able to take the days off you need and your team should, too.

Train your team up and watch the support grow to new levels. This is important whether you run a small business with a handful of employees or a corporation with specific departments.

Each department is a small business and there should be members that can backup any other member. When pressure is low, productivity is high. Making someone feel like they are the only person who can handle a certain task is not fair. Not for the business owner or the support member.

Just the other morning, I was submitting an application for a speaking engagement, and everything was sent in by the due date. But they came back to me, asking for additional information and a VIDEO.

I was literally in bed, after a night of celebrating with family members, (my niece got engaged!) and had no makeup on and thought, how am I going to get this all done? I can shoot the video, but I don’t have time to submit the additional answers they need in the document.

One of my team members (on a Sunday, mind you) stepped up to help me get everything sent in before day’s end.

Backup steps in. Backup steps up.

I am so thankful for my team and I want them to feel just as supported as I do. If they need a day, they get a day!

How do you train your team so no one feels added or unnecessary pressure? Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.

If you want to talk further, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s have a conversation.

First Quarter Reflections

Three months doesn’t seem like a long time, but the first quarter of 2017 for SSC marked the start of the transition to a whole new world. I’ll be sharing a lot of that transition ongoing.

Commit to action. That was the name of the game.

I tell you this all the time and I promise, I do it myself.

In the past three months, WE, because it’s been a team effort committed to:

  1. Developing the plan moving forward for SSC.

We are going C squared.

Slater Success Coaching is turning into Slater Success, our work with Corporations is growing and evolving. Incorporating what we have always done, we are acknowledging the consulting work we do along with coaching.

  1. Revamping all the marketing material that have been out there forever.

This is in process. I posted a new bio to LinkedIn just last week. We are doing a complete overhaul of our website, capabilities brochure, talk topics. You don’t realize how much there is to update until you start the process.

  1. Putting ideas and processes in the right places, with the right people, and with the right actions so nothing gets lost.

My team and I use Slack, a great team conversation app, and we’ve added new and defined channels to keep workflow organized and up-to-date. Ivy’s Brain is a channel. Honestly, I go in there and dump ideas, so I can go back when I need it or my team can take the idea and run with it. No more Post-it notes all over my desk. Yes, this traditional Post-it addict is trying to reform and go “techie.”

If I reflect on the first quarter, it’s been all about asking ourselves a lot of questions and putting actions to the answers:

How can we do this better, faster, more efficiently?

What needs improved, updated, changed?

How are we growing, moving forward?

What is the next big move?

What do we need to learn?

Who do we need to know that we do not?

It’s been an exciting quarter and I really want to hear how YOU have committed to action. Tell me your process, your steps, your ideas. Share with me on the SSC Facebook page. Or, feel free to reach out for a deeper discussion to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Brisket and cake and storage boxes, oh my!

I almost didn’t get this blog written this week and it’s been years since that’s happened.

The last few days have been packed with action and lessons and I’m happy to share.

We celebrated the holiday, my birthday and I moved to a new office. I could have closed my business down for the entire week and taken a ‘vacation’ to get everything done. Instead, I stepped up, as I’m used to doing from my years raising young children and running a business, and I followed my secrets for simply making things happen.

I typed them out for you:

  1. Organize the things you MUST get done. My priorities were cooking brisket for 30 people; having birthday lunch with my mom and sister followed by birthday dinner with my family; cleaning out my old office space and creating storage for old files that weren’t coming with me to the new office; packing up and actually moving into the new space; and touching base with a few clients.
  2. Break it down by day and by time slot. My calendar is my life line. It’s an enormous help. Stick to your schedule.
  3. Bring in support! My support team from SSC, my husband, my family, everyone pitched in!
  4. Don’t stress. The second you start stressing out is the moment you lose momentum and stop being productive. And don’t surround yourself with people who stress you out or their stress will affect your mood.

How did it all work out for me? Great! The holiday was fantastic and the food was excellent. There were enough leftovers for the youngsters to take home and my birthday was filled with fun, love and celebration.

The move was efficient. My husband even said, “Wow, that was easy!”

Clients were warm and thoughtful and sent birthday wishes and I even got some coaching calls in!

It was a week of action, but it was also a week of family and celebration, the best kind!

A little celebration bonus was when we had the new office set for Monday morning, Danielle and I treated ourselves to fresh manicures.

I’ve spent 25 years incorporating a business into a life that also includes family and social events. I show up everyday in what I can do and by recognizing my priorities, I can have my cake and eat it, too! (little birthday humor).

What are some of your best tips in prioritizing your business career and life? Share with me on the SSC FB or LinkedIn page.

Are You Willing To Fail?

Last week I attended a great conference called NY Moves that is focused on women’s rights, social fairness and equal opportunity. The day was filled with amazing speakers, including an interview with Maggie Siff from the Showtime show Billions, on being a working mom and the decisions she has made.

The speakers were powerful and, of course, I took pages of notes. One of the comments that truly impacted me was when Elizabeth Bierman, Senior Technical Manager at Honeywell Aerospace said,“Put yourself out there and be willing to be uncomfortable.”

This came out around a conversational topic of FAILURE. Several of the ladies spoke about the importance of failing and being willing to fail. A great quote mentioned, “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown

If we think about all the inventions, advancement and growth from people who have been willing to fail, it’s pretty extraordinary.

Success takes time to achieve.

-Steve Jobs being fired from Apple before his return years later that completely transformed the brand.
-Bill Gate’s first company Traf-O-Data failing, before finding massive success with his next company, Microsoft.
– Thomas Edison trying 1,000 attempts before his successful creation of the light bulb.
-Vera Wang, who didn’t make the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team so she took a position at Vogue and ultimately went on to become an iconic fashion designer.
-J.K Rowling, who received 12 rejections to the first Harry Potter book, before creating a beloved franchise that now includes books, films and theme parks.

The stories go on and on.

One of the women at the event shared a quote I really liked by Mae West, “An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.”

Are you willing to be in action and be uncomfortable? Are you willing to fail?

I know in my 25 years as a business owner I have made plenty of mistakes or “failed” many times. I have also been willing to be in action.

When I was in printing, I had mere minutes to make a decision for a deadline.
I made the best decision in that moment.
In less than two minutes, I knew it was the wrong decision.
It resulted in a loss of $60,000.
The next step was getting into action and seeing what options I had to course correct.
It took me about a year but I did course correct and made back $85,000.

Are you willing to fail, be uncomfortable, and be in action, no matter what?

That is the definition of success.

On a walk, by the pool, even at dinner…this kept happening

My husband and I were recently in Austin, Texas for a wedding. Great city and wonderful wedding! This is the time of of our lives when we find a lot of our peers’ children are getting married and it’s fantastic to travel and reconnect with long-time friends.

Some I saw in Austin I’ve known close to 35 years. It’s these times of happiness and love, and also times of sadness and loss that bring families and friends together.

People traveled from New York, Ohio, Maryland, Florida and many other destinations to celebrate young love and new beginnings.

I share often that there is no hard line between professional life and personal life and this weekend really brought that concept to light with crystal clarity. I was catching up with old friends, we were sharing stories about our families, and what we were up to in our lives and careers.

I was surprised to find out a bunch of people follow me on social media, watch my weekly videos, look for my insights on business strategy, sales, networking and fun.

On a morning walk, I learned a friend was not asking for their value in their consulting work and consistently undercharging. A small chat started from that.

By the pool, I met a friend of a friend who is all about women empowerment and started a non-profit for young women. Another wonderful discussion there.

A woman at my table at dinner shares mutual interests with me in helping women grow in their careers and businesses. Yet another great conversation.

I love learning and did a tour of the city and the hill country, where we were escorted by a wonderful tour guide from Austin Detour named Jason. He shared how the company was growing, setting yearly goals, the expansion plans and how as a musician he is creating his success in music and sharing the love of his city with others. I loved hearing his story.

I met new people and reconnected with others in almost every situation that weekend and we ended up talking business. Relationships began and relationships grew.

I ask you today to look at your old and new relationships, those based on friendships, based on business, based on mutual friends. They really are all one.

Are you embracing every relationship? Where are you finding new ones? How are you building on the ones you are finding?

Share with me on the SSC FB and LinkedIn pages!

She said it, I said it, you should say it, too

I watched something recently that sparked a huge reaction in me. It was a TED talk with the amazing Shonda Rhimes about her year of saying yes. You can watch the talk here and I really encourage you to do so. It’s a dose of inspiration you need today.

She spoke about saying yes to everything for a year. Things that were out of her comfort zone like appearing on live television or speaking in public, and also things at home with her daughters, like playtime, even when she was too busy to think or on her way out the door.

It changed her life in so many ways and she explained that making the change and spending more time with her daughters and more time to ‘play’ in general, didn’t affect her work. She still found the time she needed to create, and as you know, she creates amazing television that we can’t wait to watch every week (Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.).

I have also been saying yes this year. I’ve attended a lot of events that I might not have before due to “not having time” or “not seeing results.” Silly excuses, honestly.

I stopped worrying so much about the outcome and instead, simply enjoyed the experience.

Because I said yes…

I spent more quality time with my husband, my kids, my family and my friends…

I met wonderful and fascinating people…

I made relationships to last a lifetime…

I learned new things and grew professionally and personally…

I signed clients I didn’t even know were out there…

I began to see a shift in my business that will change SSC forever…

I was happier, more energetic, more inspired, more creative and became a better wife, mom and business owner

I had no idea the impact that one, tiny, yet powerful word would have on my life.

If you are reading this today, I want you to start saying yes. Start small. Accept an invitation to a new networking event. Take a seat on that panel discussion. Take a day trip with your kids. Spend a romantic night on the town with your spouse. Say yes to the things that are scary AND to the things that thrill you.

We grow in many different ways in our life. We grow taller, we grow more mature, we grow in our knowledge. Learn to grow in the areas that don’t come as naturally. Grow into yourself, grow out of your fears and grow into the person you want to be.

I’m with you every step of the way. Feel free to reach out to me anytime you want to talk at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Can you answer these questions?

I have to get that marketing strategy completed.

I have to go to that networking event in the city.

I have to call that client back about their invoice.

I have to post more on social media.

I have to…

STOP AND ASK MYSELF TWO QUESTIONS!

What? & Why?

Last week, I hosted a BSR and spent two fantastic days with business owners at all levels and stages of their careers.

Everyone felt really stuck in the work and what needed to get done. So we turned off that part of our brains for a moment and we talked about what is important to them and why it’s important. Two really simple questions.

I talked about buying a timeshare. Was I really buying a timeshare or was I buying a ski holiday with my family? You know the answer.

We buy ‘things’ but we actually buy time, experiences, happiness. My adult children love to ski with us, it’s something we really enjoy as a family and a trip we always plan.

In business, we work for ‘money’ but that’s not what we want. Money is just the energy of what we really want in our lives, what is important to us and in today’s currency model it is how we achieve it or purchase it.

What do you want and why do you want it?

I encourage you to create a list to make it really top of mind.

If you want to share your list with the SSC Community, please do so on the SSC Facebook page. And let’s support one another as we share. If you want to reach out and talk because your what and your why are not clear, I’m here. Schedule a chat right now.