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.

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!

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.

Recharge YOU, Recharge your BUSINESS: Summer Is Coming!

sea-sky-beach-holidayI tell you all the time, you have to take care of yourself if you’re going to take care of your business. If you’re stressed, overworked and have nothing to look forward to except a stack of bills and an inbox full of client requests, you’re going to lose it!

Summer days sitting in an office seem endless. The sun is shining, the beach is calling, and you are NOT into working. It happens. Sunshine does something to the soul, but unfortunately also, to the brain. You’re focused on getting outside and not missing out on anything and you struggle to get your work done.

There is a cure for this summer ailment: Taking time off – going on vacation – leaving early on Fridays, etc.

Summer is coming. School will be out soon, the kids will be running around the neighborhood and it’s time for YOU to take a break, too.

Make sure vacation time is included and taken. Don’t just write “potential week in Mexico,” GO TO MEXICO. Go and have the time of your life. Your business will still be there when you get back. I promise.

Recharge YOU, recharge your BUSINESS. It goes hand in hand.

I’m going to France with my hubby, taking some time for long weekends with my family, and I am excited to attend a retreat where I will be starting my next book.

Back at the beginning of 2016, I told you about my giant, wall calendar and how I go through and put in Fun and Family FIRST for the entire year, before I add in any business stuff. It really does work, if you stick to it.

Vacation is time off, but it’s also a time to be inspired. You’re used to sitting at the same desk and screen every day, looking at the same paint, wallpaper or decor, and it gets stagnant.

Use vacation to your advantage:

  • Get ideas for new blog posts
  • Take awesome photos to print and put up in your office
  • Write your business name in the sand, take a pic, post as a cover photo on social media
  • Try a new food or drink and step out of your comfort zone
  • Wear that dress or bathing suit you still have tags on and work on your confidence
  • Talk to a stranger you meet at your resort or at dinner and get comfortable just talking and sharing your story

The list could go on forever!

Tell me about your summer plans. Share with me on the SSC Facebook Page and/or LinkedIn page.

Wow, I did all of that?!

 

It’s that time of year when we find ourselves reflecting back on the year we’ve

had. If you remember last week, I told you about my big, wall calendar that I bring out to plan the year ahead. Well, I pulled out the calendar from 2015 and started to go over each month, each day, and look at the amazing and fantastic year I celebrated.

I held numerous webinars; hosted live events; spoke at a variety of networking events; traveled for work events, while adding in some family visits at the same time (combining personal and business in the best way possible);

hired new team members; worked with existing and new clients that make me love what I do every day; celebrated a milestone anniversary with my husband; took many glorious vacations; spent quality time with family during holidays and reunions; spent time with my mom cooking and shopping and just being girls; watched my kids grow into the super adults they are becoming; and SO MUCH MORE.

Even just this past weekend, the whole family was together to celebrate my husband’s birthday and we got these great photos.

Not one of my memories were bad ones. And I’m sure some things happened that weren’t that great, like technical glitches or travel fiascos or team issues. But I focused on the positive, the beautiful, the life changing memories, and the negative ones just melted away.

Celebrate what has gone right for you in 2015, both personally and professionally. I bet you’ll find that each month brought something to the table.

I suggest sitting down and going through your year, taking a moment to remember and rejoice in the successes. You’ll be in such a positive frame of mind, that it will be the perfect time to start your 2016 planning. If you need help with that, don’t hesitate to reach out! Email us at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com.

Years tend to fly the older we get, and it’s tough to remember all the little details that made that year so grand. I know your business went through some changes, some good, some maybe not so good. Look at the good and see the difference in where you are now, to where you were last December. I guarantee you’ve made strides and accomplished goals you never dreamed.

I’m proud that I was part of your 2015 and I look forward to getting to know more and more about you as the years go on. Thank you for reading, responding and giving me feedback and suggestions. Your voices and your words bring me so much joy.


Please tell me your biggest accomplishments of 2015 on the  SSC Facebook Page and LinkedIn pages and let’s celebrate them together!

Cheers to your Success.

Ivy

I’m Back…But I’m Still Dreaming Of The Beach

 

You’ve probably heard the saying from Elbert Hubbard, “No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.”

As someone who has just returned from a glorious week in Nicaragua with my husband celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, I could not agree more.

As I sit here sifting through emails instead of sifting sand, adjusting my eyes to the glare of the computer screen instead of the glare of the sun, and sipping cold coffee from my mug instead of a cold margarita with an umbrella garnish, it’s hard to get back to the grind.

Before I left, I was super productive, because when you have something awesome to look forward to, it’s simple to work hard. You know you have to get it done so you can enjoy the reward, so I was on top of everything. I didn’t waste a moment. I wanted every “to do” to be done and done right, so I could truly relax and spend a week away from it all.

And this is not just in advance of a major vacation. Getting productive so you can take time off can mean a lot of things. Working ahead on some projects so you can shop with the girls on a Friday, or delegating some work to your team so you can spend an extra day with your family or friends around the holidays.

While I was gone, my “to do” obviously did not decrease, if anything, more things that my team were accomplishing got added to my list. And looking at it right now, I can definitely feel overwhelmed. Of course I am tempted to spend way too much time looking for a vacation picture to accompany this newsletter because I can get lost in the memories.

But I’m back and already planning our next vacation, and I’m already focusing on getting down to work!

If you’re in the same boat as me, here a few tips to get you focused, productive and able to enjoy your upcoming vacation/time off:

  1. Do one thing at a time. As business owners, we all have a lot on our “to do” lists. So focus on one task and complete it before you move on to the next. There really is no such thing as multitasking. Our brain focuses on one thing at a time. Complete tasks one at a time and you will get through your list much faster.

  1. Use your recent relaxation to bring peace into your day. If you find your mind wandering to your days on the beach, or your coffee date with friends, let it happen. Close your eyes and take a few minutes to think about how you felt at that time and then use that positive energy to propel you into your workload.

  1. Take experiences from your play time and insert them into your everyday. If a certain smell or food reminds me of your time away, bring them into the office. Surround yourself with the rewards of hard work and it will remind you that with every click of the keys, every email sent, every sales call made, every newsletter written, you are one step closer to your next adventure.


I’m happy to be back and I want to know what everyone was up to while I was away. How was your week? What were your struggles? Your triumphs? Fill me in on the SSC Facebook Page and LinkedIn pages.

Cheers to your Success.

Ivy

Take A Break, You Deserve It

I’m on vacation this week. Let me type that again…I’M ON VACATION THIS WEEK!! Can’t tell I’m excited, right?

I love what I do and I will miss talking to my clients while I’m away, but this is a week to cleanse my soul, spend time with family, take in sights and sounds, be a tourist, learn something and most importantly, relax.

I always talk to you about consistent action. But one of those very important actions, is taking a break, getting away, reenergizing, getting in touch with nature or adventure, whatever suits you. You deserve it.

If you are consistent in your business, you should have the flexibility to be consistent in your life.

~ Vacations every summer should be not be a pipe dream, they should be a constant. ~

~ Weekend trips with the girls or the guys shouldn’t be something you talk about at dinner, it should be planned and you should already be discussing next year. ~

~ Taking your kids on their dream vacation shouldn’t be something you wish you could do, it should be something that’s already been done. ~

Too often, we don’t take vacations, especially as entrepreneurs, because we feel a sense of guilt. We can’t leave “our” business. No one else can handle what “we” do. We’d have to clone ourselves. Come on! We became entrepreneurs so we could live life on our terms!

I will be worry-free this week because the SSC team and I planned for this trip in advance and took the steps we needed to take to ensure the business, and our clients, wouldn’t miss a beat in my absence. 

I’m going to completely disconnect for a few days. I’m not going to check emails or take calls. Just because our phones are basically an extension of our arms these days, it doesn’t mean they have any power over us. We give them that power.

If you can’t take a trip right now, take a break in another way. The next few months will be filled with holiday fun. No matter which ones you observe, one thing is certain. Time with family and friends during this special time of the year is needed. It’s good for your soul.

Make memories, lots of them. Get away from the computer, the phone and the tablet…Cook a new dish you’ve never made before, even better if you can do it with the relative that created it. Bake cookies with the kids, grandkids, friends, or your spouse! Go to events in your local community. Volunteer. Cherish special moments with the people you love.

 Live in the moment.

Your business will still be there, and still in one piece when you get back. Believe me. Tell me about the best vacation you ever had or one you’re looking forward to on the SSC Facebook Page and LinkedIn pages.

Cheers to your Success.

Ivy

Does Change Scare You?

CHANGE is coming. Pumpkin items are being replaced with holiday decorations. The leaves are starting to turn from their beautiful shades of yellows, oranges and reds to crispy and crunchy faded piles on the ground. And scary Halloween promos on TV have turned into holiday commercials. Fall is such a fleeting season and before we know it, winter will come in with her icy blast and we will be pulling out our snow boots and shoveling our driveways.

Many people, including entrepreneurs, are stifled by the word CHANGE. Does it scare you? I choose to see the beauty in change. I loved watching the leaves turn from lush greens to glorious yellows and I’ll enjoy when the trees are bare and full of icicles, too. Every change brings its own beauty to the world and it’s the same for your business.

Change in your business is a great connection to business growth. I just returned from a Mastermind Retreat with my coach, Suzanne Evans. In this retreat, I was pushed out of my comfort zone, truly uncomfortable. I know SSC will benefit from this experience and we as a company will grow in change.

If you stop working, if you stop changing, you also stop growing. A process you used a year ago may be completely obsolete this time around. Constantly and consistently look at your business model and figure out where change can be a beautiful thing. 

Use the seasons as your guide. In the Fall, look at where you need to add vibrancy and newness into your business, just like the changing leaves. In the Winter, look at what is holding you back and causing you to feel like you’re moving, but not getting anywhere, just like walking in the snow. In the Spring, look at your support team and see how you can improve communication. Like flowers being cared for and nurtured in order for the garden to grow. And in the Summer, think about why you started your business and how much you love your flexible, entrepreneur lifestyle. Just like childhood summers of freedom, fun and dreams, let your business fill your heart with that joy and wonderment and take a vacation or visit family and friends.

How often are you out of your comfort zone?

How often are you encouraged and pushed a bit further?

How often do you let the idea of change in? 

What have you seen from these experiences?

Have you seen growth in your business?

You gained an extra hour this weekend, what did you do with it? Seize every opportunity and use change to your advantage. How will you embrace change and use it as a catalyst to grow your business? Share with me on the SSC Facebook Page and LinkedIn pages.

Cheers to your Success.

Ivy

Are You Consistent?

This past week has been busy with fabulous travel. I have spoken to various groups inFlorida and California, giving workshops along the way. What I did was build in business, family and fun all mixed together. I am fortunate to have built out communities in areas where I have family.

One of the highlights of the trip was parent’s weekend at USC in Southern California to visit my son, Bryce. We did all the activities we could squeeze in: tailgates, football games, family brunches and a lot of great conversation! Our family loves football and the USC team this year had some fabulous lessons to be learned.

This year they came back to a new team with a new coach. They had great plans and high expectations. Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. The coach was not a great leader, made various personal and team errors and was let go a couple of weeks ago.

Now they are being led by one of the lower level coaches and the team has been struggling. Though, at this past weekends game, the stands were filled, everyone came out to cheer, support and believe we could win the game.

It started with a quick touchdown that reinforced the intention to win. Then things got abit dicey. Utah was playing hard and playing to win, but USC stepped up their game ultimately winning by a score of 42-24.

Do you see any comparisons in your business? How often do you feel like the underdog, feeling a bit defeated or unsure about the flow of sales and money? How often do you lack the belief that you will succeed and wish you were in a stadium of fans that believed in you. Maybe even more than you believe in yourself at that moment.

Every business needs a great leader.There may be days we do not feel our best, but I encourage you to show up and play your game, be the CEO of your company at 100%.

When you have a bad play or two in the game, how do you rally? How do you come back to win your game and lead your business to the success you have committed to?

Football, and all sports for that matter, is about consistent practice and training. Are you being consistent in your business? Are you being consistent in your actions? 

Here a few tips on consistency for success:

  • Work off a consistent to-do list and have it scheduled out in a calendar

  • Be consistent in your networking and follow-up

  • Be consistent in creating relationships and getting to know people

  • Be consistent in sales calls and sales follow-up

  • Be consistent in knowing your numbers and your money in your business

  • Be consistent in communication with your team.

As you see, consistency is the game winning approach to your business. Let me know on the SSC Facebook Page or LinkedIn pages where consistency has helped you the most and where you can use some help.
Cheers to your Success.

Ivy