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.

A Nor’easter story today

It’s a snowy day in New York City as we deal with the latest winter storm, Stella, which got me thinking about storms in business and storms in life.

How do you react when a big storm, either professional or personal, comes into your life?

The saying that it’s not about the problem or the crisis, but how you respond to it that matters, is so very true in both scenarios.

It’s happened to me a lot in my life, an easy example is when I travel. I’ve left early, stayed an extra day, changed the original plan and didn’t let it affect my mood. Sure, I might have felt inconvenienced or even a little angry at first, but responding with a negative attitude and letting it take over, is just about as useless as it gets.

This week I’m hosting a BSR and normally I’d be spending extra time in the office to get everything ready. But I planned ahead and knew I’d be working from home, so I spent time yesterday gathering everything I needed and talking with my team to make sure we were all on the same page.

If you make things into a big deal, then they become a big deal. If you go with the flow and continuously show up 100%, you are on the right path.

Today, we were prepared for this storm. We knew it was coming. We planned on working from home, we rearranged travel plans, or maybe we got on Netflix and planned an entire snow day of watching movies!

Other storms, we don’t see coming. We can’t see coming. How do you respond to those?

A client isn’t happy, a technical problem ruins a webinar, someone in your family becomes ill, you need to repair a major issue in your home.

Do you get upset and begin to stress? Or do you break down your options and take action?

You know I always say, TODAY I CAN. Figure out what you can do to navigate through the storm.

And ask for help if you need it. We shouldn’t weather any storm alone. We are all on this journey together.

What are you doing today? How did the storm affect your plans?

Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.

Relationships & Abundance, a Win, Win

“What is called Genius is the Abundance of Life & Health”

– Henry David Thoreau

A fitting quote for how I’m feeling today. I was recently asked to join a girlfriend at a workshop with Rick Jarow, author of Creating the Work You Love, and I thought it would be a wonderful girl’s day out, which it was! It was also one of those experiences that made a huge impact on me personally.

What I found to be incredible was the talk about relationships.

Yes! Relationships was one of Rick’s core foundations in Abundance.

How relevant that is to SSC right now!

If you’ve been reading my emails, my newsletters, following me on social media, you’ve seen I’ve been writing about and sharing a lot of videos, even presenting an entire webinar, on Relationships! By the way, if you missed that webinar, you can still access the recording until midnight Wednesday, March 8th.

He talked about the alignment of relationship and community, a core value of mine, and a founding principle in Slater Success. He went on to say “I am nothing without relationships” and I couldn’t agree more.

We spend so much of our time on various devices, computers, phones, iPads, and we must not lose the value of relationships, actually talking to someone on the phone, or meeting for lunch.

Right before I sat down to write this newsletter, I had a fabulous phone call with someone I was connected to recently.

He came on the phone and said “Thanks for connecting. We have already hired marketing consultants, company culture consultants, etc., and we have more sales than we know what to do with and I need to go put out some fires.”

I told him I did not want to sell him anything and we continued to chat about the fires and problems in his organization.

We really got to know one another and started developing a relationship that I believe will last a long time. Will we eventually do business together? I would venture a guess and say yes.

Do you enjoy the process of building relationships?
Are you patient with the business development that will sustain a long-standing business?

I want to share Rick’s other points of Abundance:

Gratitude, Relationships, Compassion, Pure Awareness, Heroic Action and Peace.

I find joy in the inner work I do and I always see the results in my business by working the outer actions I take to grow, with the inner work I do to grow.

As always, if you want to reach out, I’m here. Just email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Networking isn’t about the sale, but it is about this…

You are a part of my community, so you know how I feel about relationships and people. I am a firm believer in the power of a strong network. I hear from clients and friends too often that networking doesn’t work. They don’t get any sales from attending events or mixers.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs…

NETWORKING IS NOT ABOUT SALES!

It never was.

I don’t know when that fact crept into our minds, but networking is simply about building relationships.

You might have seen some promotions lately for my upcoming, free webinar on relationship-based sales. I really want you to listen in. It’s information that needs spread to all business owners that want a massive increase in their revenue.

You can sign up for that right here. It’s happening Wednesday, March 1st at 12 pm EST. It’s LIVE and I am taking your questions at the end, so nothing is left up in the air.

I want every person reading this to earn millions.

I really do.

You deserve to live a dream lifestyle, whatever that may look like for you. If it’s traveling overseas, more quality time with your family, updated renovations to your home, a college savings account for the kids.

You have goals and I want to help you reach them so you can set even bigger ones.

Just sign up for the webinar here.

As always, if you want to reach out, I’m here. Just email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com