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.

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.

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.

First Quarter Reflections

Three months doesn’t seem like a long time, but the first quarter of 2017 for SSC marked the start of the transition to a whole new world. I’ll be sharing a lot of that transition ongoing.

Commit to action. That was the name of the game.

I tell you this all the time and I promise, I do it myself.

In the past three months, WE, because it’s been a team effort committed to:

  1. Developing the plan moving forward for SSC.

We are going C squared.

Slater Success Coaching is turning into Slater Success, our work with Corporations is growing and evolving. Incorporating what we have always done, we are acknowledging the consulting work we do along with coaching.

  1. Revamping all the marketing material that have been out there forever.

This is in process. I posted a new bio to LinkedIn just last week. We are doing a complete overhaul of our website, capabilities brochure, talk topics. You don’t realize how much there is to update until you start the process.

  1. Putting ideas and processes in the right places, with the right people, and with the right actions so nothing gets lost.

My team and I use Slack, a great team conversation app, and we’ve added new and defined channels to keep workflow organized and up-to-date. Ivy’s Brain is a channel. Honestly, I go in there and dump ideas, so I can go back when I need it or my team can take the idea and run with it. No more Post-it notes all over my desk. Yes, this traditional Post-it addict is trying to reform and go “techie.”

If I reflect on the first quarter, it’s been all about asking ourselves a lot of questions and putting actions to the answers:

How can we do this better, faster, more efficiently?

What needs improved, updated, changed?

How are we growing, moving forward?

What is the next big move?

What do we need to learn?

Who do we need to know that we do not?

It’s been an exciting quarter and I really want to hear how YOU have committed to action. Tell me your process, your steps, your ideas. Share with me on the SSC Facebook page. Or, feel free to reach out for a deeper discussion to support@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!

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 Nor’easter story today

It’s a snowy day in New York City as we deal with the latest winter storm, Stella, which got me thinking about storms in business and storms in life.

How do you react when a big storm, either professional or personal, comes into your life?

The saying that it’s not about the problem or the crisis, but how you respond to it that matters, is so very true in both scenarios.

It’s happened to me a lot in my life, an easy example is when I travel. I’ve left early, stayed an extra day, changed the original plan and didn’t let it affect my mood. Sure, I might have felt inconvenienced or even a little angry at first, but responding with a negative attitude and letting it take over, is just about as useless as it gets.

This week I’m hosting a BSR and normally I’d be spending extra time in the office to get everything ready. But I planned ahead and knew I’d be working from home, so I spent time yesterday gathering everything I needed and talking with my team to make sure we were all on the same page.

If you make things into a big deal, then they become a big deal. If you go with the flow and continuously show up 100%, you are on the right path.

Today, we were prepared for this storm. We knew it was coming. We planned on working from home, we rearranged travel plans, or maybe we got on Netflix and planned an entire snow day of watching movies!

Other storms, we don’t see coming. We can’t see coming. How do you respond to those?

A client isn’t happy, a technical problem ruins a webinar, someone in your family becomes ill, you need to repair a major issue in your home.

Do you get upset and begin to stress? Or do you break down your options and take action?

You know I always say, TODAY I CAN. Figure out what you can do to navigate through the storm.

And ask for help if you need it. We shouldn’t weather any storm alone. We are all on this journey together.

What are you doing today? How did the storm affect your plans?

Share with me on the SSC Facebook page.