Our Big Announcement Is HERE!

We are starting a PODCAST! I’m thrilled to type that sentence. It’s been a behind the scenes secret for many months and a dream for many years.

The final ‘P’ in our series is not only for podcast, but also procrastination.

I let so many factors stop me from bringing this podcast to light and I’m calling myself out.

Two years ago, I took a class and they discussed the power of podcasts. I was so excited and so eager to see if this might work for SSC and then…I never took action.

It sat on our weekly team agenda, it was pushed to the back burner, would come to the front burner, get pushed back again. It was never the right time. UNTIL NOW.

Procrastination no more!

I stopped worrying about how much work it would be, or what equipment I would need or who the guests would be, and I thought, what CAN we do?

And we started taking little steps here and there and we didn’t rush the process. We were consistent in our actions, smart in our decisions and confident in our end result.

With the help and support of my team and some of my introductory guests, The Her Success Story Podcast officially launches this quarter. I’m interviewing gutsy business women about their success journey. Their stories are powerful, their messages are inspiring and their businesses are booming.

Celebrating women has always been a huge part of SSC. The tenacity and spirit of women amazes me. My guests come from all different backgrounds and each of their paths to success have been filled with challenges and defining moments.
I’m so happy to share this news and I can’t wait for you to listen in!

We Made It Ten Years!

SSC is celebrating 10 years this month. It’s almost surreal to think about that. 10 years flew by and at the same time, seemed like a lifetime. Success is definitely not a destination, it’s a journey, and the journey to TEN brings me to this week’s ‘P,’ Perseverance.

This word sums up everything for me. I kept going. I kept taking action and persevered despite ALL obstacles. That I, become we, and together, my team and I are looking forward to the next TEN.

I have to reflect on the beginning and my personal obstacles. We were 7 figures in debt, had two teenage children and were about to lose our home. I looked at my family and said, “We have our health and that is success.”

I knew finding a way to get out of that hole and reach a very different level was very possible and perseverance brought us to the other side.

The heart of perseverance is in the belief and vision to where you are going, not where you are, especially when you are in a stuck place.

You must SEE a vision and BELIEVE it is possible.

Let go of the “how on Earth am I going to get there” destructive thoughts. The “how” will come. Action and perseverance are the tools to get you there.

The past TEN years have been filled with lessons. I wouldn’t change one single thing, because everything we’ve learned has brought my team and I to the place we are today. And next week, we are making a MAJOR announcement that we cannot wait to share.

If you’ve been a part of our TEN, thank you. We can’t wait to make new memories with you as we begin a new chapter at SSC.

Passion + Power and why you need both (The ‘P’ Series)

Welcome to 2018!

This week, we’re talking about passion and power. As we begin this new year, it’s a time to reflect on the past one and the goals and dreams you have for the future.

Your what and your why are still questions you need to ask yourself.

Why do I do what I do?

What do I want out of my life?

Passion and power are intertwined when it comes to answering.

Your passion was design, so you became an interior designer. You have the power to share your talents and the power to build a flexible schedule so you can live the lifestyle you desire, while performing the work that you desire.

Businesses are successful when passion and power play equal parts. Passion alone won’t bring in clients or money. The power to create plans. The power to make decisions. The power to set boundaries. These are what helps your business grow and thrive.

For me, my passions include helping women leaders reach new levels in businesses, this includes financial growth, communication and strategy, that helps us continue to grow ourselves, as well as the business we are committed to.

I have the power to make a difference. I have the power to share innovative ideas. I have the power to hold people accountable. I have the power to charge what I am worth. I have the power to take vacations with my family. I have the power to go to dance or yoga in the middle of the day on a Thursday if I want to.

Being passionate about something is wonderful. Feeling powerful around that passion is even better.

I will share honestly, in 2017, my focus of what I wanted out of my business and the connection to my personal life completely shifted. I have spent over 25 years with the focus on my business success to result in the ability to raise my kids. Well, those kids are both in the workforce, with jobs and apartments of their own. So, I did get lost in the journey of the “What” & “Why.” In rediscovering me in this process, 2018 is an exciting year of new adventures, programs and possibility for SSC.

It’s time to Party! Have you celebrated YOU? (The ‘P’ Series)

This week’s ‘P’ is PARTY. Holidays have been going strong all month. And the New Year is right around the corner. As women, we tend to find ourselves running around taking care of everything at this time of the year.

We are decorating and wrapping and cooking and making travel plans. Yes, all fun activities, but we also should be celebrating and having a little party.

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You have done so much this year. I know you have. Both professionally and personally. Sit down right now and just make a list. Then read it over, put on some music and dance or sing or run around the room and just relish in your success.

My list this year:

1) Entered a new realm with SSC to work with women leaders in corporate, along with entrepreneurs.

2) Did speaking engagements all around the U.S. and made many new connections.

3) Started the process of rebranding and building a new website to launch in 2018.

4) Began work with my team on a secret project that I’ll be unveiling in a few short weeks.

5) Spent family time with my mom, husband and kids and made lasting memories. I am still smiling.

6) Took trips and vacations and ate at amazing restaurants. I love good food and travel.

7) Exercised, did yoga, danced whenever possible and started a new exercise routine that includes boxing 3 times per week. It helps me keep up with the good food.

8) Learned SO MUCH! From my coach, mentors and support network.

What does your list look like?

I challenge you to post it on the SSC Facebook page so we can party together.

The year is ending, which means before you start working on 2018, party. Enjoy these times with family and friends. Indulge. Eat well. Be merry. Laugh. Forget about responsibility and simply BE.

Have so much fun! I know I will.

I wish you an amazing New Year’s Eve and start to 2018.

-Ivy

Your Pipeline Equals Your Profits (The ‘P’ Series)

Another double ‘P’ here, Pipeline + Profits. Let’s get into it.

A sales pipeline is simple. It’s a list or chart or different color Post-it’s if you like, of your prospective clients and where they are in the sales process.

A sample entry might look like this:

Jane Doe – met at networking mixer – hot lead – sent email about strategy call – follow up on Monday.

Entering, analyzing and using this information with every single lead you have is how you make a profit. Staying on top of your prospects and making sure your pipeline is not only filled, but flowing, is the answer.

A sales pipeline allows you to accurately forecast your next month, quarter or even year.

Using a CRM system, along with automation, is the best way to keep your pipeline flowing. This is a luxury you should appreciate, back in my early years in sales and running a business I would use index cards and sort them by month so I knew when to be working my pipeline.
If every time you meet someone you have to craft a new introductory email, you are wasting time and energy. Have an email ready to go in your CRM system for initial meetings. You can always pop in to add a little personalization, but automating the process will help you actually follow through.

Also make sure your system is setup to remind you when and how to follow-up. Day 1 an email, Day 3 a phone call, Day 5 another phone call, etc.

I’ve grown my businesses to 6 figures + by consistently filling and working my pipeline. I always know who I need to contact and what I need to say. A closed deal happens because a relationship was formed, a connection was made and follow-up was done properly.

If you don’t have a CRM system in place, research what is out there and what works for you or your organization.

There are systems for a solo entrepreneur to use, all the way up to extremely robust applications for a huge corporation. Some systems even allow you to connect social media correspondence, along with email and phone records, so every point of contact you have with a prospect is entered and catalogued.

If you want to talk about how to start filling your pipeline and how to work it to get to the profit, let’s have a conversation. Email me at support@slatersuccesscoaching.com and let me know a good time to chat.

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!

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.