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!

Making Decisions

The first thing I want to say is that I am sending prayers and well wishes to everyone affected by the scary weather situations happening in our world.

The decision. Do I stay or do I go? The ultimate question on the minds of so many in the past few days and weeks, as Hurricane Irma was set to begin her destructive path.

My aunt left to go back to Florida after spending Labor Day here in New York City for a family reunion. Even though the family wanted her to stay, her decision was that it was important for her to be home. She lives in the Palm Beach County area and got to a safe place for the storm.

Other family members in the area include a young couple, expecting their first child. They packed the car and headed to Orlando, also making backup reservations in Atlanta.

When they made this decision, no one expected Irma to head in this direction. They made their decision and took action.

Many people stayed. Many people left. It was their decision.

Of course, all decisions come with multiple factors. There is often no right and no wrong, there is only the best decision in that given moment. We can then make the next decision and the next decision.

The smart way to approach any decision, whether it’s about a storm, a family situation, a business opportunity – is not to make a panicked one. Look around the strategy around the decision, the opportunity and best case scenarios.

It’s easy to be taken over with fear, and frankly feeling the OMG that is often around decisions and the pressure of making a great, smart, perfect one. The best thing to do is remain focused and look at all the options available.

Talk to others, find support, ask questions, in the questions the various or best potential answers arise.

You don’t have to make the decision alone and always trust your gut.

Don’t stay in indecision. You must come to a resolution.

Every day you are faced with decisions. Some are small and some are major. It’s something we have to learn to do as business owners, parents, leaders, etc.

Be informed and never hesitate to ask for help.

Not what I expected

August looked really different for me than usual. For many of you, August meant your kids were going back to school, you were going back to school, your friends or family had kids going back to school. And for me, well, this is the first time in 20 years that I didn’t have a child headed to school.

I already miss it.

I miss the excitement. I miss the getting ready, the shopping for supplies, the gearing up for committees I was going to be on, the camaraderie of the other mothers.

As I sit here on the other side, I’m enjoying the experience through some of the moms on my team. Tara’s oldest just started first grade and Sonaya just moved to a new country and is researching day care with potential preschool options and support systems for working mothers.

Another reason August looked really different for me was because of the amount of time I took off.

My mom fell on August 1st and this completely shifted my plans for the month.

I have always prioritized my life as family first and created the businesses and careers that supported this priority.

I’m grateful that I’ve prioritized things this way.

Sure, I’ve been absent on social media, haven’t posted family photos, or even take any recently.

I’m backed up with work for SSC that was planned for August. A new website, new content for downloads on the website, writing, videos…nothing got done.

I have a large belief from where I teach that says, everyday I start with, “Today I Can.”

And that philosophy has been really important the entire month of August.

I worked from home, instead of my office, to be closer to my Mom.

I let go of judgment that I was not accomplishing what I expected to even though it was difficult and definitely a journey.

What I learned from the experience?

I am still in business.

I closed two new clients.

I had a great month financially.

I believe these things happened because I stayed true to my beliefs, even when it was a challenge and I was nervous and worried about my Mom.

She is doing well and getting back on her feet and we enjoyed some fun together last week that was really needed.

I’m also getting back on my “business feet” and revisiting my August tasks that are simply now September ones.

If circumstances change in your life, it’s going to be alright. Navigate and adapt.

Have you experienced a month or a year like my August? Tell me about it and share how you got through and what you learned on the SSC Facebook page.

If you ever want to chat in more detail about your business, don’t hesitate to email me at 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.

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 Key Piece not to miss at year-end

IMG_6682There’s something you don’t do enough. You should do it. You think about doing it. But it isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind. Why is this important and why do I encourage you to join me in this?

You need to celebrate!

Seriously.

Every single time I make a sale, I celebrate.

If I sell a copy of my book, that’s $20. That’s a manicure. That’s a cause for celebration. It doesn’t always have to be the big sales that get our attention. Those little sales make a much bigger impact than you think.

Celebrating your success is a way to reflect and appreciate the fact that you are living your dream. You are running a business, bringing in an income and working every day to accomplish new goals.

Celebrations can mean many things. Maybe it’s a purchase, but sometimes it’s just a simple pleasure like spending an evening with your friend, or for me this past weekend, celebrating my husband Michael’s birthday and filling an entire weekend with fun. Or it’s taking the team to lunch or writing an email to your mentor.

We work hard! And we need to allow ourselves to enjoy it. No sale is too small to raise a glass in celebration. Whether it’s mulled wine, champagne or apple cider – whatever your fancy.

And celebrations don’t have to be major, either.

My team and I use various forms of communication and one of our channels is an app called Slack. It’s a great place to keep projects in check, but it’s also a fantastic place to share the good news of what’s happening in the business and send over congratulations and thanks.

Just tagging one another in the app and sending over a “super job” or “way to go,” boosts morale and keeps us motivated and moving toward the next chapter.

Celebrate! That’s my advice for this week and especially as you enter the new year. Share your celebrations with me on the SSC Facebook or LinkedIn page! I want to hear from you!

Traveling? Still time for sales!

I’m back from LA where my family and I attended parent’s weekend at USC. We had so much fun! Great meals, tailgates, football games and quality time spent together.

I love time with my family, especially now that my kids are adults and we have fun in an entirely new way.

People always ask me,”Ivy, you’re on the road so much and you always make time for family, but how do you keep moving your business forward and have time for sales while you’re away?”

I talk and teach about sales all the time. A businesses success and growth potential is based on strong and consistent sales. It’s the backbone of any business. The result of sales is what pays our bills, gives us money to invest in marketing and growth and allows us to live the lifestyle we desire.

Here’s how to continue making sales even when you’re on the road or spending time with family.

Here are some of my personal tips I use at SSC:

  1. Always have a short list of follow-ups with you. It could be in your phone or printed out, but most importantly have it handy. Keep yourself on people’s minds.
  2. Don’t rely on Wi-Fi.
  3. Delays and downtime will happen. Be ready to take action, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.

I use the three I’s as a resource to stay connected:

Information. Send a great article of something that you believe from getting to know someone that they would find interesting and would add value for them.

Introduction. I love to introduce people who would be good connections. It’s thoughtful and will be remembered in great light.

Invitation. Invite someone to an event, or anything you might be doing that you think they would find of interest. This can be a networking function or even a movie or cultural event if you have this in common.

When I travel, I always have downtime to think and spend time catching up on airplanes. I make great use of this time and I recommend it highly. In fact, I’m writing this newsletter from the sky right now!

There is always time for a quick call or email. Make it work.

Let me know how you use your travel time to sell or if you have any other thoughts on staying on top of sales.

Let me know on the SSC Facebook and LinkedIn pages. If you are struggling with sales, don’t wait, reach out to support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

How do you do? I’m Ivy.

If you’ve been a long-time follower of my newsletters and work, you’re wondering why I’m introducing myself.

We know who you are, Ivy.
What is this about?

As you read this, I’m hosting my annual event, SSC Live. Yep, it’s happening today, right now. And I’m sharing my story with a room full of hopeful and eager entrepreneurs. A room full of people who have made the very important choice to work on their personal and professional development with me. I’m honored.

So, like I said, I’m Ivy.

I’m a mom to two really wonderful kids. Sometimes I wonder how they got to be so darn grown up and in charge of their own lives. I’m proud of their every accomplishment and every moment we spend together I cherish and hold dear.

I’m a wife to a hard-working, romantic and amazing man. After 30 years, I can honestly say I still get butterflies when he walks into the room after a long trip and I can’t think of a better travel partner, best friend and husband.

I’m a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend. Time with my family and friends is more valuable than anything money can buy. Cooking with my mom, hosting holidays, attending weddings and graduations, it’s having these moments together that mean so much.

I’m the proud owner of Slater Success Coaching and I adore what I do. My clients are like part of my family and my team is the most supportive and encouraging group of people I have ever known. I feel like I get to live every day in a dream. I am doing work that I know is changing lives and there’s no better feeling.

I’m a lover of dance, yoga, fitness and travel. I love New York City, a great pair of shoes and dinner with my best friends. I love meeting people, learning, and above all, I love living. Every experience I encounter has made an impact on my life. I wouldn’t erase a single one.

Who are you?

I really want to know. Not just about your business, but about YOU. Your personal story, your background. What are the people, places and things in your life that cultivated you into the person you are today?

I want you to think about YOU today. Think about your story and share it with your audience. Whether it’s in a blog post, a social media status, at your next event or over the phone…share who you are, because you are truly wonderful.

I’m Ivy.

Who are you?

Share with me on the SSC Facebook Page and/or LinkedIn page.