The Oscars, women and dreams

Living in LA for the past few weeks, coupled with the Oscars happening here on March 4th, I gotta tell you, the movie bug has really bit me! I’m trying to see as many nominated films as I can before the big night.

The amazing and powerful women in this industry inspired my newsletter this week.

If you don’t know the name, Greta Gerwig, you will. She is the 34-year-old director of Lady Bird, and not only is the movie nominated for Best Picture, Greta is nominated for Original Screenplay AND for Directing, the only woman in a category dominated by men. And it’s her debut film to boot.

Since 1929 when the Academy Awards began, ONE woman, yes only ONE has won for directing. That was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010. In fact, only 5 women TOTAL have been nominated for directing.

We also see the first woman EVER nominated for Cinematography and that’s Rachel Morrison for Mudbound. Oscar history being made!

Greta was on The Ellen Show recently and she talked about not getting into any acting programs as an undergrad and not getting accepted into any graduate schools, either. What a difference the years have made and now she is sitting in a much different role than she probably could have ever imagined.

And Rachel was quoted in Newsweek saying, “This dream seemed impossible to me as recently as seven or eight years ago. To be in this boat really, to me, says anything’s possible.”

The lesson is very simple. We are all meant to do big things. We are all meant to make a mark in the world. Others will tell us we aren’t good enough, or we aren’t ready or we’re too young or too old or we won’t succeed, but they aren’t right.

If you know you are meant to change the world, I believe you will. Maybe it won’t be an Oscar sitting on your shelf, but instead, thank you notes from clients telling you how you changed their life. And those will be just as cherished.

If 2018 is your year, let’s get on the phone and discuss exactly what you want and how to get it. Email me at and let me know when you want to chat.

Is she a superhero, or a skier?

Lindsey Vonn made her first Olympic appearance in 2002 at only 17 years old. By 2010, she was on top of the world – literally. One of the most popular and well-known women skiers of our time, winning a gold and a bronze in those games. Her path was never easy though. The world didn’t know at the time she was dealing with depression (had been for many years) and was going through a divorce.

She also suffered many injuries along the way, but none as heartbreaking as in 2013 when she tore her ACL, rendering her unable to compete in the 2014 Olympic Games.

But Vonn, ever the fighter, is back! It’s 2018 and Vonn is ready to show the world what she can still do at age 33.

What did this remind me of? It’s important to remember in business that even when things seems picture perfect for everyone else on the outside, it doesn’t mean that’s the case. We all have doubts of confidence, things we question, parts of business we excel at and other parts we do not. I loved a quote where Lindsey said, “When I’m on the hill, no one can touch me. I’m tough and determined and I believe in myself. But off the hill, I have a very difficult time feeling confident. I just never really feel good enough off the slope. Maybe that’s why I love skiing so much.”

Every single successful person deals with their own struggles. Whether those are internal or external factors, nobody walks a path without stumbling blocks.

What separates people is how they react to situations, good and bad, and how they move on and continue to follow their dream.

Maybe that dream is skiing down a mountain for another gold, like Lindsey, or that dream is building a profitable business that supports their family in the style of their dreams, finishing college, moving to another country to start a new life. You name it.

The Olympics always inspire me. Team USA has 242 athletes and 45% are women! Go girls! Ages on the entire team range from 17-39. What a span! It just goes to show that age is only a number and you are never too young or too old to go for it.

I encourage you to watch coverage of the games any chance you get. Every single athlete there, from every single country, has a story. I could write a newsletter an hour based on all the inspirational stories I have seen so far.

We talk all the time about doing the work and taking the actions. And that is definitely important. But it’s also important to never stop dreaming and reaching for ‘your’ gold medal. The best moments in our lives are those shared with family and friends in celebration.

If you’re ready to set a new plan in motion and you need a coach on your side, email me at and let’s talk.

Eagles WIN!

Super Bowl 52 was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever watched! Since my husband and I are spending the month of February living in California, we had the opportunity to host a party with our son and a small group of his friends (15 in all), and we had a fantastic time.

This game reminded me of so many great lessons in business and I just had to share!

Resilience. This Eagles team is so impressive. They lost many of their top athletes to injury and eventually their star QB, Carson Wentz, in Week 14 of the season. He had taken them on an amazing journey and they were all set to get to the Super Bowl. When backup QB Nick Foles took over, this team rallied together and not only continued to win, they won it all! We all have choices, to look at business and life as the glass is ½ full or ½ empty. Do not allow yourself to feel down about your situation. You can overcome any challenge. You can work with the new normal. Never stop. Watch Nick Foles’ end of game interview as he is embracing his small daughter, the essence of his WHY and the connection to playing full out.

Surprise Everyone. The Eagles pulled off one hell of a trick play, which we now know is called The Philly Special, when Foles found himself in the endzone catching the touchdown, instead of throwing it. In fact, Trey Burton (tight end) said the team had been practicing that play twice a week in practice and Foles never dropped the pass. This should remind you to always be a step ahead and a step above. Have tricks up your sleeve in your business and don’t be afraid to use them when you need them. If you have an idea that seems a little wacky, it might just be your ticket to your own personal championship. Be fearless.

Confidence. The Eagles were the ultimate underdog in this game. We all know the Patriots and Tom Brady are a dominating force. When the Eagles took the field, they had no doubts that they were just as strong of a team as the Patriots and they deserved to be there. Never doubt yourself because others are “better, more experienced, make more money.” You are just as wonderful and it’s your time to own it and shine. Get out there.

Embrace opportunity. This one comes from half time and the now famous “selfie kid” that got a chance of a lifetime when Justin Timberlake sang right beside him in the stands. He took that selfie, posted it, and was already on numerous morning talk shows yesterday. He could never have expected that to happen, but now he has a platform and a voice and I’m excited to see what he does with this new found fame. Your opportunities are out there waiting for you. Be ready. Get to the edge of the crowd and embrace the surprising things that can come your way. Opportunity is everywhere, are you open and ready to connect to it?

Look to the future. The game was close until the very end. Brady made a strong comeback and the Patriots took the lead in the 4th quarter. We all know the ending, but the lesson is, don’t relax too much. Even when you are at the top of your game and relishing in your success, never stop planning and looking toward your next goal. Show up 100% of the time, all the time, just like both of these teams did. Your next play, your next move could be the biggest one of your career. Enjoy the moments, stay in forward motion and just keep going!
If you want to talk about your business goals for 2018, get on my calendar and let’s chat. Email me at

Do you have a conversation with everyone?

I’ll admit right now that even though I always tell my clients to follow-up, it’s not always easy to do. Life gets in the way. It happened to me over the summer.

I met a woman at an event and we had a really great conversation. I remembered her telling me she was a grief coach and we decided we’d get together for a chat in the near future. To be real, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to help her.

You see, SSC was already transitioning to more corporate work as well as working with entrepreneurs, and I was not sure if I would have the right program for her at the time since shifting things around. I figured it would be a great networking chat and that I might be able to connect her with someone. But…

Soon after this meeting, lots of personal stuff happened in my life. I needed to be there for a few family situations and when she emailed me, I was blatantly honest with her.

I told her it was terrible timing and could we possibly meet the next month. And she was perfectly accommodating.

We did end up reconnecting and when she started talking, I started to feel really awkward. She wasn’t talking about being a grief coach at all. She was talking about leadership work within corporate organizations and I thought to myself, “Ivy, do you even know who you are sitting with right now? Did you let the family stuff clog your memory and usually organized notes?”

I thought through all the mess in my life, I might have switched up a name, or written down something wrong. I felt really embarrassed and confused, so I just asked her.

Turns out, I wasn’t losing it. She was the grief coach and this was her OTHER business. One, that she’d been doing work in for 20 + years. Wow! I didn’t even know she had another business and this part of her business was exactly something that I was building at SSC. We had tons to talk about!

One of her clients recently expanded to the west coast and she really is not interested in doing that much travel while she is building out her other business. I became even more interested and curious. My son lives in California and I go there often to visit him. Adding in some business when I’m there would be icing on the cake.

This woman was a vital connection and I almost missed this conversation and potential opportunity due to my lack of follow-up.

Have a conversation and MORE conversations with everyone. Have an open heart and an open mind. You have no idea what a person does or who they are connected to until you have a real, detailed talk.

I’m excited to see where this new relationship takes SSC and I can’t stress enough the importance of meeting people and being there for whatever they might need: a resource, a sounding board, a referral or even the answer to their problems.

If you want to talk about relationships and how to better network, let’s chat. Email me at

Speak. Someone is listening.

If you’re planning your 2018 marketing, let me ask you something. Is speaking part of it? If it’s not, why?

I can probably answer that question for you.

  1. Lack of opportunity
  2. Fear of public speaking
  3. Nothing to say
  4. Unsure of the benefits

I assure you that every single one of these will be a moot point by the end of this newsletter.

Lack of opportunity. This is a myth. There are opportunities everywhere, including ones you can create yourself. From chambers, to women organizations, to conferences, trade shows and everything in between, speakers are always in high demand. Use your resources to research what is out there and would work for you. Hey, I’ve even traveled to other states in order to speak, mixing a business trip with a personal trip. Don’t just look locally. Branch out and get out there!

Fear of public speaking. How do you get over fears? You conquer them. So every time you get up on a stage, your confidence grows. I used to be terrified to speak. Sweaty palms, stumbling on words, forgetting to smile. It took practice, but now when I get on a stage, I’m a lot more excited to share my message than worried about a word I might slip up on. Start in a small room and work your way up to the big stage. Think of all the fears you had when you started your business and how you overcame. This is just another one to cross off the list.

Nothing to say. I KNOW you have something to say. And I know you have people that need to hear your message. Start writing down your story, your background, your experiences, your successes, your failures. I guarantee you have some great advice to share. If you’re funny, make it funny. If you’re serious, make it professional. It’s up to you! Just start writing and you’ll be amazed at what comes out.

Unsure of the benefits. Speaking is NEVER a bad thing. You gain confidence, exposure, network, meet new people, etc. I’ve spoken to a room of hundreds and if I impacted just one, that was all that mattered. That one might have became a client, or referred me to another client, or introduced me to someone that changed my whole business. The benefits far outweigh the risks. Trust me.

Speaking is a KEY marketing tool and I want you to start using it if you haven’t before. If you need help getting started, feel free to reach out to

Our Big Announcement Is HERE!

We are starting a PODCAST! I’m thrilled to type that sentence. It’s been a behind the scenes secret for many months and a dream for many years.

The final ‘P’ in our series is not only for podcast, but also procrastination.

I let so many factors stop me from bringing this podcast to light and I’m calling myself out.

Two years ago, I took a class and they discussed the power of podcasts. I was so excited and so eager to see if this might work for SSC and then…I never took action.

It sat on our weekly team agenda, it was pushed to the back burner, would come to the front burner, get pushed back again. It was never the right time. UNTIL NOW.

Procrastination no more!

I stopped worrying about how much work it would be, or what equipment I would need or who the guests would be, and I thought, what CAN we do?

And we started taking little steps here and there and we didn’t rush the process. We were consistent in our actions, smart in our decisions and confident in our end result.

With the help and support of my team and some of my introductory guests, The Her Success Story Podcast officially launches this quarter. I’m interviewing gutsy business women about their success journey. Their stories are powerful, their messages are inspiring and their businesses are booming.

Celebrating women has always been a huge part of SSC. The tenacity and spirit of women amazes me. My guests come from all different backgrounds and each of their paths to success have been filled with challenges and defining moments.
I’m so happy to share this news and I can’t wait for you to listen in!

We Made It Ten Years!

SSC is celebrating 10 years this month. It’s almost surreal to think about that. 10 years flew by and at the same time, seemed like a lifetime. Success is definitely not a destination, it’s a journey, and the journey to TEN brings me to this week’s ‘P,’ Perseverance.

This word sums up everything for me. I kept going. I kept taking action and persevered despite ALL obstacles. That I, become we, and together, my team and I are looking forward to the next TEN.

I have to reflect on the beginning and my personal obstacles. We were 7 figures in debt, had two teenage children and were about to lose our home. I looked at my family and said, “We have our health and that is success.”

I knew finding a way to get out of that hole and reach a very different level was very possible and perseverance brought us to the other side.

The heart of perseverance is in the belief and vision to where you are going, not where you are, especially when you are in a stuck place.

You must SEE a vision and BELIEVE it is possible.

Let go of the “how on Earth am I going to get there” destructive thoughts. The “how” will come. Action and perseverance are the tools to get you there.

The past TEN years have been filled with lessons. I wouldn’t change one single thing, because everything we’ve learned has brought my team and I to the place we are today. And next week, we are making a MAJOR announcement that we cannot wait to share.

If you’ve been a part of our TEN, thank you. We can’t wait to make new memories with you as we begin a new chapter at SSC.

Passion + Power and why you need both (The ‘P’ Series)

Welcome to 2018!

This week, we’re talking about passion and power. As we begin this new year, it’s a time to reflect on the past one and the goals and dreams you have for the future.

Your what and your why are still questions you need to ask yourself.

Why do I do what I do?

What do I want out of my life?

Passion and power are intertwined when it comes to answering.

Your passion was design, so you became an interior designer. You have the power to share your talents and the power to build a flexible schedule so you can live the lifestyle you desire, while performing the work that you desire.

Businesses are successful when passion and power play equal parts. Passion alone won’t bring in clients or money. The power to create plans. The power to make decisions. The power to set boundaries. These are what helps your business grow and thrive.

For me, my passions include helping women leaders reach new levels in businesses, this includes financial growth, communication and strategy, that helps us continue to grow ourselves, as well as the business we are committed to.

I have the power to make a difference. I have the power to share innovative ideas. I have the power to hold people accountable. I have the power to charge what I am worth. I have the power to take vacations with my family. I have the power to go to dance or yoga in the middle of the day on a Thursday if I want to.

Being passionate about something is wonderful. Feeling powerful around that passion is even better.

I will share honestly, in 2017, my focus of what I wanted out of my business and the connection to my personal life completely shifted. I have spent over 25 years with the focus on my business success to result in the ability to raise my kids. Well, those kids are both in the workforce, with jobs and apartments of their own. So, I did get lost in the journey of the “What” & “Why.” In rediscovering me in this process, 2018 is an exciting year of new adventures, programs and possibility for SSC.

It’s time to Party! Have you celebrated YOU? (The ‘P’ Series)

This week’s ‘P’ is PARTY. Holidays have been going strong all month. And the New Year is right around the corner. As women, we tend to find ourselves running around taking care of everything at this time of the year.

We are decorating and wrapping and cooking and making travel plans. Yes, all fun activities, but we also should be celebrating and having a little party.

You have done so much this year. I know you have. Both professionally and personally. Sit down right now and just make a list. Then read it over, put on some music and dance or sing or run around the room and just relish in your success.

My list this year:

1) Entered a new realm with SSC to work with women leaders in corporate, along with entrepreneurs.

2) Did speaking engagements all around the U.S. and made many new connections.

3) Started the process of rebranding and building a new website to launch in 2018.

4) Began work with my team on a secret project that I’ll be unveiling in a few short weeks.

5) Spent family time with my mom, husband and kids and made lasting memories. I am still smiling.

6) Took trips and vacations and ate at amazing restaurants. I love good food and travel.

7) Exercised, did yoga, danced whenever possible and started a new exercise routine that includes boxing 3 times per week. It helps me keep up with the good food.

8) Learned SO MUCH! From my coach, mentors and support network.

What does your list look like?

I challenge you to post it on the SSC Facebook page so we can party together.

The year is ending, which means before you start working on 2018, party. Enjoy these times with family and friends. Indulge. Eat well. Be merry. Laugh. Forget about responsibility and simply BE.

Have so much fun! I know I will.

I wish you an amazing New Year’s Eve and start to 2018.


Your Pipeline Equals Your Profits (The ‘P’ Series)

Another double ‘P’ here, Pipeline + Profits. Let’s get into it.

A sales pipeline is simple. It’s a list or chart or different color Post-it’s if you like, of your prospective clients and where they are in the sales process.

A sample entry might look like this:

Jane Doe – met at networking mixer – hot lead – sent email about strategy call – follow up on Monday.

Entering, analyzing and using this information with every single lead you have is how you make a profit. Staying on top of your prospects and making sure your pipeline is not only filled, but flowing, is the answer.

A sales pipeline allows you to accurately forecast your next month, quarter or even year.

Using a CRM system, along with automation, is the best way to keep your pipeline flowing. This is a luxury you should appreciate, back in my early years in sales and running a business I would use index cards and sort them by month so I knew when to be working my pipeline.
If every time you meet someone you have to craft a new introductory email, you are wasting time and energy. Have an email ready to go in your CRM system for initial meetings. You can always pop in to add a little personalization, but automating the process will help you actually follow through.

Also make sure your system is setup to remind you when and how to follow-up. Day 1 an email, Day 3 a phone call, Day 5 another phone call, etc.

I’ve grown my businesses to 6 figures + by consistently filling and working my pipeline. I always know who I need to contact and what I need to say. A closed deal happens because a relationship was formed, a connection was made and follow-up was done properly.

If you don’t have a CRM system in place, research what is out there and what works for you or your organization.

There are systems for a solo entrepreneur to use, all the way up to extremely robust applications for a huge corporation. Some systems even allow you to connect social media correspondence, along with email and phone records, so every point of contact you have with a prospect is entered and catalogued.

If you want to talk about how to start filling your pipeline and how to work it to get to the profit, let’s have a conversation. Email me at and let me know a good time to chat.