I want to be friends with Barbara…

I think we’d get along really well, both New Yorkers, both women, moms and business owners.

I’m fascinated at her background, growing up in a family of ten children that dealt with financial struggles and how she went on to become a millionaire investor and real estate mogul.

I’d love to chat with her about the 22 jobs she had before she decided to open a real estate office at the young age of 23 and how she grew it to a $6 billion dollar business. Even more impressive is that she started that business with only a $1,000 loan.

I want to pick her brain about leading a team, creating an empire, speaking at huge events, writing successful books, investing in new ideas, being a television personality and of course, her amazing style.

So who is this friend I’d love to have?

I’m talking about Barbara Corcoran.

She is a woman I was super excited to talk about in this summer series of women leaders. You know her from Shark Tank, and I encourage you to look up more information about this dynamic woman.

If you have Twitter, follow her. Her tweets are so often motivational and powerful messages. One of my favorite quotes comes from this lady…

“Don’t you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct.” – Barbara Corcoran

This is a great message to remember whether you are a company of one or a company of thousands. Listen to your gut.

Barbara wasn’t handed success, she earned it. And a big part of that is because she listened to her own instinct time and time again. She has been quoted in articles saying that she knew she didn’t want to work for anybody else, so becoming an entrepreneur was the answer.

I think it’s safe to say she made the right career choice.

Whether you work in your home office alone or lead a large corporate team, remember why you started doing what you are doing. And listen to yourself when you need to make the next big decision. If you want someone to talk to, I’m here. Schedule a call.

I’ll leave you with another great quote from Barbara…

“Finding opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” – Barbara Corcoran

Believe it’s there and make this week count.

Their powerful words and their brave actions…

As America celebrates the fourth of July, I thought I’d focus on a few powerful women in American history for the continuation of our summer series on women leaders.

I was astounded reading the accomplishments of so many women from our past and I wish I could share them all. If you have a moment, just Google a list of women who shaped America and lose yourself in the awesomeness of these ladies.

I wanted to share about three of those women today and share some of their words.

Harriet Tubman is the definition of courage and strength. Born into slavery in 1822, she later escaped and guided many slaves to freedom using a network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. Tubman was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war. Just last year, the U.S. Treasury Department was discussing a plan for Tubman to become the new face of the $20 bill.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman

Amelia Earhart is a prime example of taking action on your dreams. She was born in 1897 and would go on to become the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She wrote best-selling books about her travels and set many aviation records.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
– Amelia Earhart

Eleanor Roosevelt is an example of standing up for what you believe in. She was born in 1884 and was the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. She spoke out about roles for women in the workforce, as well as the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans.

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Roosevelt and Earhart were actually good friends. Roosevelt even getting a student permit with aspirations of learning to fly. That didn’t happen, but the two remained close. I’d love to have been a guest at lunch with these two women, wouldn’t you? The conversations they must have had!

All of these women inspire me as a business owner and a woman in 2017.
They were the true trailblazers.

Be courageous, take action, stand up for what you believe in.
Simple advice, but not always easy to follow.

Tell me about your female idol from American history!

She is amazing and you need to watch this today…

For the summer months, I’m doing a series of newsletters focusing on women leaders of past and present that I truly admire.

Sheryl Sandberg is my focus for this week and the timing is perfect, as she’s been in the news lately as someone rumored to have been on the wish list to become the new CEO of Uber Technologies Inc. Sources say she will be staying put at Facebook, where she has been the COO for the past nine years. She’s been on many companies wish list to become their CEO because she is truly dynamic and amazing.

In a recent Bloomberg article I was reading, it was noted that at Facebook she has helped create a $445 billion company and has “become a leading voice on what companies need to do to boost diversity and improve their culture.”

Her resume is nothing short of amazing:

  • Harvard graduate
  • Former chief of staff for the United States Treasury Department under President Clinton
  • Former vice president of global online sales and operations at Google
  • Current COO of Facebook
  • Founder of Leanin.org (Lean In Foundation) which is a non-profit helping women to reach their goals
  • Founder of the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to build a more equal and resilient world
  • Named in 2012 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world
  • Ranked as one of the 50 “Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune Magazine
  • First woman on the board at Facebook
  • Author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead and co-author with Adam Grant of Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
  • Speaker, her TED Talk from 2010 (see below) has over 7 million views

And so much more.

In 2015, Sandberg’s husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly and she has speaks openly about the pain of her loss and her life after this tragic event. The couple have two children together.

She spoke about her husband’s death, as well as building resiliency, practicing gratitude, celebrating always, focusing on the moments of joy and so much more in her commencement address for the University of California Berkeley’s Class of 2016 and I encourage you to watch her speech right now.

It’s extremely powerful and an excellent reminder to be grateful for everything in our lives.

If you have been a follower of SSC and our message, you know our strong beliefs in a gratitude practice and consistently celebrating, yes, even the small things.  

She also gave a fantastic TED Talk in 2010 about why we have too few women leaders. Although this speech was given six years ago, are there still too few? I know I have my thoughts and ideas to change this, what are yours? I welcome your feedback.

Watch it here. It’s a must.

If you need inspiration in your life today, spend some time getting to know this very remarkable woman. She has vast knowledge to share and you will learn so much from her. I know I have.

 

War Paint and the amazing women that changed the world of beauty

I love the theatre. I’m sure my passion for dance and performance plays into that and I recently saw the amazing show, War Paint.

The show tells the story of two beauty industry icons and rivals, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.

Both women founded cosmetic companies in the early 1900s and found massive success on their journeys.

Women leaders today can take a look at these dynamic women and gain inspiration and confidence that they can do whatever they dream.

Rubinstein was the oldest in a family of eight girls and made her way to Australia from Poland in her early 20s. She began working on a beauty cream formula, after her own mother had given her some to take on her trip, and by 1902 she was opening her first salon. She figured out that different skin types required different products and that was a huge discovery for that era.

Next it was on to Paris, where a few of her sisters worked with her and they were supporting their family back in Poland. Make-up was developed there and soon she found herself opening a salon in New York City, where her name and brand became very well-known. Her husband even wrote advertisements for her. Her business survived through The Wall Street Crash and two World Wars. She was a pioneer, always a step ahead in the world of beauty. She wasn’t afraid of trying innovative ideas like creating hormone creams or beauty products for men. She loved the industry and she made it her life’s work.

The youngest of five children, Florence Nightingale Graham, (later Elizabeth Arden) was born in Canada to a family that struggled financially. She eventually moved to New York and worked with her brother in the pharmaceutical industry. This is where she learned about skincare.

She opened The Red Door Salon in 1910 in New York City and would ultimately open salons internationally, in places like Paris, Rome and Hong Kong. She helped women see that make-up was not for the lower class (a thought at the times) that it was beautiful and ladylike, if applied correctly. The “makeover” was a concept started in her salons. Her business survived the Great Depression and at the top of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.

I encourage you to read more about both of these women.

The takeaway is simple. They had dreams, they had ideas, they had information to share and at the time, it wasn’t always information people were ready to hear. They were so ahead of their time and many of the beauty techniques we enjoy today, came from the research and creativity of these powerhouses.

If your idea seems outlandish right now, think about these women.
If you don’t think you can do it, think about these women.
If you’re scared, think about these women.

They were able to build empires at a time when women leaders were scarce. We live in a different time. This is our time.

Embrace your power as a woman and lead. Make decisions. Try new things. Fail. Get back up. Try again. Someone might be writing a newsletter about you and your company in 50 years.

Being liked is not always the solution

I wrote it. I looked at it. I thought it sounded a little different than I normally sound. I panicked.

I was was out of practice writing completely alone. Normally my copywriter and I collaborate. We have a discussion and we talk through ideas. But I did this by myself and as soon as I sent it to my team for review, I wanted to pull it all back.

What was I doing?

I was creating the application for my upcoming Business Success Retreat (BSR) and I was writing it to serious business owners. I was targeting a very specific group of people and I used really bold wording.

It was easy to write it, but then I instantly felt like putting it out there would make people “not like me.”

Why is Ivy talking like that? I thought she was nice. She’s being really pushy.

I am nice. But I also want people to succeed. When my clients work with me, I am clear and direct, so why was I struggling with being clear and direct in the language I was putting out there?

Being liked is not always not the solution. I know this and see it more and more as my brand and my business expands and grows.

Are you writing messages and content so people like you or so you make an impact?

Are you saying what you want or what you think they want to hear?

Say what you want to say, in a clear and direct voice, be bold, stand in your message and as you are building a bigger and bigger brand, your message needs to be clearer and clearer, stronger and stronger!

Review your website, marketing materials, speaking slides, emails. Review how you are communicating with others, your customers, your employees, your team, your associates. Are you clear, saying what you truly mean, being bold in your communication in all forms?

Are you confident and are you communicating confidently?

If you want to work on this, if you want to learn to stand strong in your message, be yourself and run a business on your terms, I invite you to check out that bold BSR application I wrote right here.

It’s happening June 27-28 in NYC and it’s a two-day, intense meeting full of surprises, breakthroughs, actions and fun. I’d love to save you a seat.

Know Your P’s

I was talking to a client just the other day who had over 6 figures out in proposals, yet wasn’t clear on where everyone was in the sales pipeline. She was worried about current cash flow in the business, because so much money was tied up in her proposals.

This is a great lesson for making sure you are identifying where each potential client is in the pipeline and taking steps to close them.

Proposals are great. Closed business is better.

  1. Don’t send a proposal blind, via email. Schedule a call or an in person meeting to review the proposal. By setting up a follow-up automatically, you’ve already made a huge step in closing the sale. You can answer questions and eliminate worry on the other end by talking it through right away.
  2. Get on the phone and find out where a prospect is in their decision making. Is it a yes, a no or a not right now. They will be happy you called. We are all busy and someone not returning your call is not a sign that they aren’t interested, it’s just a sign that they have a great business and they are busy closing their own sales. Calling shows you are being of service. Emails get lost and are impersonal.

My client contacted many of her outstanding prospects and the results were fantastic. They were happy that she took the time to touch base, because they really needed to talk to her.

I know picking up the phone seems scary at times. We feel like we are bothering someone or surprising them. That is not the case at all. Filtering through dozens of back and forth emails is a lot more bothersome than spending 30 minutes on a call. Plus, tone over email can be taken in different ways, whereas a phone call is direct and clear communication.

And that communication is key in booking business. Even though email is a necessity in this day and age, using the old fashioned phone is a real differentiator. You will see a direct effect on your sales, when you start dialing, instead of typing.

Work your pipeline consistently to create a full load of clients and a consistent cash flow. Find a few moments out of every day to reach out, say help, connect, stay top of mind.

If you want to talk your P’s, reach out to me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

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.