Seeing Possibility (The ‘P’ Series)

This week our ‘P’ is Possibility. And it’s one of my favorite words.

When I begin working with an entrepreneur or a sales team or a corporate group, I always ask them about the goals they want to achieve.

For an entrepreneur, it’s a lot about the lifestyle they want. The possibility of living life on their own terms. The possibility of doing something they believe in, something that makes a difference in the world. The possibility of doing what they love full time and making the money they deserve while doing it.

For a sales team or a corporate group, it’s the possibility of better communication. The possibility of more sales. The possibility of understanding and utilizing the power of relationships. The possibility of enjoying their work, their career and being excited again to show up on Monday mornings.

During this upcoming holiday season, possibility is all around us on a personal level, as well. The possibility to be nicer and kinder to all around us. The possibility to be more generous and giving to those in need. The possibility to take time to appreciate the moments we spend with family and friends that we might not get to see all year.

Possibility is a word that means ‘a thing that may happen.’ You have the strength to turn all of those possibilities into realities.

An Audrey Hepburn quote came to mind as I was writing this…

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible.”

Let that sink in and live that today!

If the possibility of seeing out of the box and building a business is on your mind. If the possibility of reaching a bit higher and further than is comfortable is something you want to do. If the possibility of changing your life or your organization for a new and brighter future is what you want, get on my calendar and let’s chat.

Introducing The ‘P’ Series (this is going to be pretty fun)

Remember all those ‘P’ words I talked about a few weeks ago? I realized that many of them deserve their own newsletter. So for the rest of the year, that is exactly what we are going to do.

First up…PROCESS + PLAN.

I wanted to start here because these are really the foundation for everything in your solo business or your organization.

Without a process and a plan, nothing is achieved.

Think about a project right now that you or your organization want to accomplish in 2018.

Ask yourself these questions.

  1. Have I clearly defined the project and why I’m doing it?
  2. Do I know who else on my team needs to be involved?
  3. What are the main obstacles I might encounter?
  4. When does this project need to be completed?
  5. What software or outside sources will I need to use?
  6. What is the budget?
  7. What are the action items around each step of the project?

Lucky #7 is the key question.

It was most likely easy to answer the first six. But when it comes to action – when it comes to the process and the plan – it’s easy to get stuck. The way around this is to break down the project into manageable tasks and set deadlines and action steps around each.

Looking to the very end of the project will only cause stress, overwhelm and confusion. Celebrating each mark on the giant line of success is the best way to stay motivated, clear and on track.

One of our major projects here at SSC for 2018 (you’ll hear about it soon) has already been in the process and planning stages for months. It’s been a team effort and we have been looking at every stride we make and taking the time to recognize the achievements. We are simply enjoying the ride!

If it’s time for that one project you just haven’t been able to make happen to finally come to life, let’s chat.

With a process and a plan – that project will soon become a new reality!

Is Your Mountain High Enough?

Diana Ross. Singer. Songwriter. Actress. Producer. Icon.

I stayed up way too late watching the American Music Awards Sunday night, but I am so glad I did! I have been a fan of Diana Ross since I was a kid. I saw her in concert several times, watched the Wiz tons of times, and yes, I was singing along last night.

Diana Ross was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. She walked down a sparkling silver staircase to the stage in a fabulous dress, performed a medley of some of her biggest hits, and reminded everyone what it’s really all about…love.

She invited her grandkids on stage with her to dance and sing, and laughed when one of them handed her her iconic fanny pack.

When the applause died down after her amazing performance and she began her speech, she invited her children on stage, along with some of the most important people in her life, like longtime friend Smokey Robinson and Motown founder Berry Gordy.

She was gracious and bursting with joy as she simply said,

“This is all about love, This is my family and I’m sending love out there to each and everyone one of you—our global family. I’m so humbled. I love you so very much and I think you know that. I really, really love you so very much and I will hold onto this beautiful honor. Thank you.”

In the times I saw her in concert and the many times I watched her in other forms, she always spoke the words “I love you.” You feel how much she truly loves her audience, fans and supporters. When we give that much love out to the universe we receive love back in abundance.

I was going to write about gratitude this week. But no words that I could come up with, would give the same impact as hearing Diana Ross on stage give us those words.

It really is all about love and family. Especially this week, as many of us come together with family and friends to celebrate and have a meal together.

I’m grateful for so much in my life.

My son is flying home, my daughter and husband are here, my mom is here and healthy and we are going to be 20 strong for Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a family weekend with a lot more food, a lot more laughs and memories to make.

Mom is on baking duty, lemon bars, cheesecake, chip cake, just to name a few of the desserts that she will make. And my homemade applesauce is already made, while sweet-n-sour meatballs are next up on the list.

I hope for you this week, you can take a step back from your workload, that time will slow down, that stress will lessen and you can sit at a table with those that you love and be present in that very precious moment.

If you want to watch Diana Ross perform and give her speech, you can check it out right here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m calling you out

You said you were going to grow your revenue by 40%…

You said your company was going to expand to a new location…

You said you’d hire three new members to the sales team…

Did you do it?

I’m calling you out, in a good way. Holding people accountable to their words, gets them to their dreams.

We hear the word ‘strategic plan’ all the time. But what about ‘actionable steps?’ This is where we tend to get stopped, tripped up and the steps end up on the to do list, and not getting done.

Planning is great. Now, how do you break it down to executable actions? The answer might lie in working with a coach or a mentor.

In my business, I coach around the plan and through the strategy. I help my clients create a plan, but I also help them adapt, take action and achieve one. I was talking with a CEO during my time away this past week, and she was so busy working on the vision, the plan was being delayed and the action was stagnant.
Day-to-day business is ever-changing. Deadlines, schedules, finances, emails, client relations, team members. It’s tough enough to handle the everyday than think about the someday.

But that someday could be right around the corner. The greatest thing about building a business is the creative ideas that disrupt the regular schedule. YES, I am saying I welcome disruption. If you are scratching your head, understand disruption is where creativity sits. In the creativity is where you break through the common things of day to day business and own uniqueness, that sets you apart in the market place.
If creative ideas are floating around in your organization, now is the time to embrace them. We’re coming up on a new year, possibilities are endless.

Think about the planning process and where it needs a push. Then do it!

If you need to hire a consultant, do it.

If you need to hire more team members, do it.

I had a plan many years ago to start a coaching business. With no experience in the field and no clue where to start, the first thing I did was create a strategic plan. And I broke that plan down into steps, which I took, day by day, month by month, year by year to create a multi-six figure business. We are about to approach our 10th year in business in January, and I am living the life I created for myself filled with clients I adore, travel that brings me to the west coast where my son lives and a ton of JOY!

I’ve lived it and I now I teach it.

If your organization is ready to talk about growth and plans for 2018, get on my calendar.

P is for…

My recent Fall retreat was all about the P’s in business.

Possibility.
Problems.
Position.
Pipeline.
Profitability.

The women at this retreat are POWERFUL examples of why PREPARING to take a day away from your business and being PRESENT and getting out of PANIC and into PATIENCE makes for one POSITIVE experience. They realized the missing pieces in their PUZZLE and the PRIZE was PROFOUND!

Amy Andersson, Founder and Owner of Price Turner CFO’s, embraced Possibility.

She is coming up on six years in business and she is growing! She realized she’d been stuck in the weeds and working too hard in day-to-day operations, instead of going out and providing consulting in financial strategy, which is what she does best. She is going to PIVOT and she is going to PROVIDE services that will change her business in 2018.

Leah Lakins, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Fresh Eyes Editorial Services, embraced Position.

She is now going from PASSENGER to captain. She will strive to be a leader in her field and take charge in her business. She won’t be in the boat with her customers anymore, she’ll be on shore, PAINTING a vision for them.

Kathy D’Agostino, Owner of Win at Business Coaching, embraced her own word: Power.

She will step into her power with PROCESS. She will streamline her approach and create new revenue generators. She’ll no longer be in her own blind spot. She’s PULLING ahead and driving into a new year with expanded PIPELINE and the PROCESS to implement.

This retreat was one for the books. I’m honored to work alongside amazing women and can’t wait to see what the future holds. For fun, in “Harvesting our P’s”, we celebrated our accomplishments with PIE.

There’s only more ‘P’ left and that is how PROUD I am to do what I do.

If you want to attend an upcoming retreat or schedule a VIP Day, contact me anytime at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

I only had 20 minutes…

I had 20 minutes to prepare a 1 minute business pitch. I was at the She Leads conference in NYC just last week and was chosen for one of these coveted spots.

I’m walking you through those 20 minutes and how it felt when opportunity knocked in an urgent time frame.

Minute 1-5 was complete confidence. Here we go, let’s do this!

I started to jot down what I knew I needed to include: My company name, the problem we solve, why to choose us and a solid call to action.

At minute 5 I felt a little more pressure and even began doubting some of the things I’d written down. I need a story in here, this sounds generic.

Keep in mind that this opportunity was only offered to a few of us at the event. We had to write the pitch during our lunch break (so you know I missed the awesome buffet) and was too afraid to run to the restroom, so I was uncomfortable all around.

But, exposure like this is big. By minute 6…Hey, suck it up and keep going.

I spent another 10 minutes writing, trying to be as succinct and powerful as I could, and the last 4 or so practicing, so I’d come off prepared and not staring at my notes.

The time came. I was sitting next to a woman who has going after me and she said, “Is your heart pounding as strong as mine.”

I said, “It sure is and it should be. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be committed.”

I pitched.

120 people in the room.

5 media representatives.

I did a lot of things well and I made a few mistakes.

Feedback was mixed.

You really know your stuff.
Not a strong call to action.
You needed a story.

The opportunity was fantastic. It gave me the chance to get advice from people that listen to pitches all day. It opened up new doors for me, as the next time I get offered a chance like this, I’ll be that much stronger.

Practicing. Learning. Improving.
Working ON your business. It never ends.

Every one these days is running a mastermind. At SSC, we are in our 9th year of masterminds and every time my amazing group of clients comes together, the results are eye-opening.

In fact, this week is our fall retreat for some of my existing clients. Don’t worry if you missed out on this one, just email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and I’ll let you know about other opportunities to come together with dynamic business women.

We pull leaders together, we collaborate, we grow, we change.

We show up and we continue to make a difference.

If you had to write your business pitch in 20 minutes and present it in front of over 100 people with 5 media experts, could you do it? If the thought gets you sweaty and nervous, let’s chat.

You can do this. Don’t miss out because you aren’t focused in.

Software doesn’t solve the problem…but this does

My team and I were discussing a software we might utilize in advance of a new project we’re working on (details on that exciting announcement very soon) and one of my team members said, “You know, software doesn’t really solve the problem.”

The problem in this case was that I needed to perform a step BEFORE the software could do its job.

And then of course my copywriter said, “I think this is a blog topic.”

And here we are…

You have probably used some sort of software or app in your business. There are various ones out there, either paid or free, for things like contact management, scheduling, budgeting, team tasks, etc.

They really can be useful and lead to bigger business growth. BUT, they only work when you and your team put the information into it.

Software doesn’t solve the problem.
People do.

It’s not about finding the software or the app, it’s about the team and the process behind it.

My team and I spent a few minutes talking about who would do what and when, if we did get a software like the one we were looking at and everything started to sound a lot more sensible and doable.

If you’re in a corporate environment, you may be working with dozens of other people on a team. One of the main reasons teams fail is lack of communication.

Always speak up if you aren’t sure how a process will work OR if you have a better idea on how it could work.

My team and I love Slack. It’s a free app and it’s instant messages sorted by channel discussions. We have found this to be very effective in keeping project deadlines and following up.

There have been other applications that did NOT work for us and we moved on.

Find software or an app that works, but don’t forget to connect the people and the process with that software.

If you are feeling a disconnect about anything in your business or on your team, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com

Create The Process, Solve The Problem

Decision-making was the topic of one of my recent blog posts and then just the other day, I came across this fantastic quote:

“Most business activity is slowing down, not accelerating. In benchmarking the speed of key processes across the corporate sector, we find again and again that decision-making at even the most basic level has slowed materially over the past five to ten years.”

– Tom Monahan, CEO of CEB

Monahan wrote an entire article with supporting data around this topic and I wanted to weigh in, as well, because one of the key factors in growth is finding rhythm in decision- making.

Making decisions in business is an everyday activity. Whether you are a one-person show or on a team of dozens, finding a way to come to a decision (right or wrong) should be broken down into a standard process.

Don’t have one? Create one.

Depending on your industry, your team (or no team) and the decisions at hand, the process you create will look different, but having one gets the ball rolling and stops you from getting stuck.

For example, your office is in need of new accounting software. Everyone is complaining about it being outdated and they’re just sending emails back and forth without actually working on a plan to change the situation.

Maybe it’s simply because they don’t know what to do? Who do they tell? What do they tell them? When do they tell them?

For this scenario, you would create a decision-making team. If you don’t have a team, find friends or colleagues to support you.

You need a researcher, someone to compile all the research, someone to present the research, a meeting to discuss the findings, a decision by vote at the end of the meeting, someone to order the software and someone to learn the software and train the rest of the office.

Delegate people to each task and set realistic deadlines and expectations. Often it’s the lack of scheduling and firm timeframes that delay decisions.

Now, anytime the office comes across an IT or software related decision need, a process and a team is in place.

Problem: Outdated software

Step 1: Research team starts looking for options.

Step 2: Interns compile all the research into Excel…

And so on and so forth.

If you want to work on creating a process for decision-making in your business, let’s chat. Reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

Do this one thing first and everything changes

I recently read an article about the late Joe Ades, the man who became a millionaire selling $5 potato peelers on the streets of New York City. Yes, you read that right. An absolutely amazing story.
This story and video really stuck with me and I wanted to share it with you.

It’s very easy to have days where you are feeling down, unsure or negative.

Your sales team is looking to you for motivation as they work their way up in the company.

You have a presentation to give and you can’t find the words.

You are responsible for planning a company retreat and you’re stuck for ideas.

No matter the situation, there is one thing you can do, first, that will always make a difference.

Get excited!

Watching Mr. Ades, dressed in his lovely suit, enthusiastically demonstrating those peelers to huge crowds, is the reason he sold so many.

His enthusiasm and love for what he was out there doing was infectious. People wanted to be around him, wanted to buy from him. You can watch him in action right here and find out even more fascinating details about his life.

If you look at each project that comes your way with enthusiasm and excitement, you are already on the right track. All the small details will fall into place.

Another reminder. Be yourself. Use the talents and skills you were meant to use. Mr. Ades really knew how to put on a show. He used that to his advantage and made so many people smile because of it. Not to mention, it made him a lot of money!

If you are great at holding webinars, do more of them.

If you enjoy training new staff members, ask to be involved.

If you have ideas to make your company more money, speak up.

If you need support in any way, always feel free to reach out for a conversation. Email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s talk about your next big success.

Commit to the journey

“Dream big. Accomplish bigger.”

– Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress of Success

I had the honor of listening to Joi speak this past week at the 11th annual Women in Business: Making Change power breakfast to support Dress for Success.

If you know me, you know I’m not a breakfast person. I don’t eat eggs. Gasp, I know. So paying for a ticket to a breakfast event turns into one really expensive cup of coffee or tea BUT also turns into a morning full of inspiration and motivation.

Every time I get away from my desk, my screen, my phone and sit down in a room full of powerful and tenacious women, I can’t help but leave with a smile.

The overall message from the event centered around committing to the journey. Whatever journey you may be on. If you are an entrepreneur, if you are working your way up the corporate ladder, if you are in a career transition, it’s all the same. Stay the course.

Amanda K. Johnson, a woman who had participated in the Dress for Success program, spoke at the event about how a “no often turns into a yes”. She relayed the story of how she worked with Habitat for Humanity and when year two came around, she applied and was denied. This “no” turned into other opportunities.

She is smart, tenacious and currently working on her MBA in her industry. She works in the construction industry, typically a male-dominated field and she wants to see women feel empowered to step into positions in contracting.

The 20/20 movement was brought up several times, which is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20% or greater by the year 2020. A fantastic movement and if you aren’t familiar with it, you can read all about it here.  Amanda wants to see 50% participation from women in 2020 in the construction field.  

Last week I talked about business “competition” and how we are really just partners for one another as we all go through obstacles and triumphs.

This event again reminded me what we can do together, as women, when we work together to put our talents into the world and believe in ourselves.

If you want a support system in place as you commit to your entrepreneurial journey, as you commit to leading your sales team, as you commit to creating a new life, please reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let’s start today.