Every business owner has that next “big” goal constantly on his or her mind.

I know I do – and I’m sure you do too. Maybe it’s writing a book, hiring an employee, raising your rates, re-branding your business or expanding your service offerings.

Or maybe your big goal is a bit more personal — taking more time off, adding your personal passions or interests to your business, or facing your fear of delegation.

I want to help you reach your next big goal by combining the power of a mastermind group with my 12+ years of business experience and coaching/consulting/training.

Each time we meet as a group, we will define manageable action steps, share challenges and provide feedback.

Our time together will be laser focused – we will work together to help yo u overcome whatever issues may be holding you back so that you can achieve your next big goal.

PowerUpThe PowerUp Your Business Group Coaching & Mastermind Program will be held over a 6-month period, giving you time to make things happen and get things done.

Our group will meet twice per month via teleclass on Tuesday afternoon/evenings (4pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern), starting January 6th. All calls are recorded so you can listen in if you miss one.

The number of participants will be limited to a small select group chosen by application only.

special_offerThe price to participate is $2,295** (there’s even a 3-pay option for those of yo u that need to spread out your payments). However, if you enroll before December 30th, you will receive the Early Bird Rate of $1,995!

If you have the vision and passion to attain your next big goal, then this group is for you.

Click here for details and to fill out the application.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions.

I am looking forward to working with you next year!

So we are coming to the end of another year. And a particularly popular exercise that a lot of people do at the end of the year is to look back and reflect on their activities, goals, and achievements to determine if the year has been a successful one.

But this begs the question: How do you measure success? It seems to me that it’s important to have metrics in order to measure success. But these metrics are going to be very different from person-to-person, and from business-to-business.

Is success based on earning a certain amount of money? Maybe. But to me, not if it means working 100 hours a wee k, rarely seeing my friends and family, having no time for exercise, and never taking a vacation. I value financial wellness, but not at the expense of my life. For others, making a lot of money, even at the expense of their personal life, is a very important measurement of success. Only you know where your metrics lie when it comes to money.

Is success based on ticking off a huge to-do list? From a personal productivity standpoint, I’m all for being effective and productive, which often includes ticking items off of your to-do list. But sometimes the better option is culling down the to-do list and only focusing on what’s really important and is a priority. An overflowing to-do list can become a regimented replacement for enjoying the moment in favor of often unimportant activities.

Is success based on receiving external accolades, winning a competition, or getting some other type of attention? Again, it depends how important this is to you and what value it adds to your life or business.

I think success is highly personal and varies widely among people and organizations. What is considered a huge overarching success to one person, can be considered a colossal failure to another. Success is usually made up of activities and goals that lead to achievements that then lead to feelings of accomplishment, value, and self-worth. But for some people it’s not even the achievements that lead to success, but the activity of striving for a goal itself. In other words, it’s not the completion of an activity or goal, but the progress and effort of working towards it. As Greg Anderson so eloquently stated “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but doing it.”

success-2015Too often, we are measuring success using the wrong metrics. We need to be crystal clear as to our definition of success in order to know if we are, in fact, successful. To me, success can be defined as taking consistent action towards achieving my goals personally and professionally. I try to reward myself for progress and consistent action, not just results. Sometimes results are delayed, and sometimes for very legitimate reasons. If I only measured success when I actually achieve the results, it would certainly make the journey seem much longer and laborious.

So look back on your year, keeping your definition of success in place, and deciding on the metri cs that you will use to measure it. Make sure that your metrics are not so difficult to achieve that you set yourself up for never feeling like a success. On the other hand, try not to make your metrics so easy that you have nothing to strive for.

I hope you’ll join me in a toast. Here’s to a successful year — no matter what your success metrics are!

I’m absolutely delighted to be inviting you to join me for a very special FREE virtual event “The Power of Story Summit” PLUS… it comes with tons of free gifts!

I am incredibly excited about the special invitation that has been given to me to speak as an expert at this event! I think story is so powerful and my interview will be about how I held back and didn’t use my story in the first few years of my business. And then when I opened up and started using my story, my business exploded in amazing ways!

It is my honor to share how I use the power of story in my successful business with you and thousands of other people who have incredible stories to share that can transform their businesses right now. So if you want to learn how to go deep and tap into the power of your personal story to instantly create the know, like and trust factor that leads to more sales the sign up for The Power of Story Summit now!

We can’t promise you that an event like this will ever happen again, so make sure to take advantage of it right away!

Power-of-Story-Summit-Banner

Enter the world of story with us and learn how to:  

  • Find and use your own stories to sell and profit
  • Create a signature speech
  • Dig deep to find powerful images and metaphors you can use to tell and sell
  • Draw out and listen to your clients’ stories so you know what they want
  • Develop a metaphor story
  • Know where to post your stories
  • Pull out the essence of your transformational story
  • Tweet, video, Facebook and blog your story
  • TELL your authentic story anywhere, anytime in a way that works

and much more…

Click here to reserve your spot now!

I really hope you’ll join us – click here!

What if I told you that you could be part of an awesome group of business owners that have made the decision that the year 2015 is THEIR year to up-level their business?

new_year_new_adventuresImagine if there is a six-month mastermind program that gives you all of the tools, masterminding, accountability, and coaching that you need for your business and at an affordable rate?

What if this program was able to help you finally blast through some plateaus in your business, create multiple streams of income, improve your overall profitability, help you develop and thrive as the owner of your business, and more?

PowerUpAnd what if I told you that there’s even a 3-pay option so that you can spread out the payments if the overall investment is still slightly out of your reach to pay all at once?

Fantasy or reality? Trust me, it’s reality! It’s my new PowerUp! 6-Month Group Coaching & Mastermind Program, which starts on January 6, 2015 for business owners that are ready to step up their game in the new year.

This program is perfect for the expanding business owner who’s seeking to:

  • Become clear on your business purpose
  • Stay focused on your product(s) and service offerings, as well as learn how to take them to the next level
  • Solidify financial strategies/increase profits
  • Focus on operations so you can run your business, rather than it running you!
  • Develop multiple streams of income
  • Determine what’s not working in your business & how to make a change
  • Make your business your TRUE passion
    And so much more….

The PowerUp Program is open to all business owners, but is especially targeted to the expanding business owner so that you can craft and fine-tune your business, and also YOU as a business owner.

Click here for all of the details, and to apply.

Yes, this program is by application only. Just like you’ll need to review the program to determine if it’s right for you, I’ll be reviewing applications to see who would be a perfect fit for this program.

So if you’re ready for great things to happen in the new year, take a look at PowerUp! It’s going to be an awesome program, and if it appeals to you, apply so you can come join us

calendarA few weeks ago, I presented at the National Association of Professional Organizers San Francisco Bay Area Regional Conference. My topic was Make Time for This: Effective Time Management. As I was putting the finishes touches on my slides and handout prior to the conference, I started thinking about the many different systems, tools and strategies people use to manage their time. Specifically, I started thinking about how far we have come with regard to digital/electronic systems compared to years ago. Yet, every time I speak to an audience about time management and survey the participants, it amazes me how many people are still using paper-based systems (paper, pen, notebooks, post-it notes, folders, etc.) compared to digital (software, apps, tablets, smart phones, etc.). And yes, even in a room full of professional organizers and productivity consultants, there were more than a handful that admitted to still using a paper-based system.

So which is better? That’s not an easy question to answer, even for a productivity expert because the winner is in the eyes of the user.

checkmarkA paper-based system has a certain solidness to it. You get to touch your system and hold it in your hands. For people that are very tactile focused, this concreteness can make all the difference. Being able to write with your own hand, feel the pen move across the paper, turn the page, tab it, shuffle paper, put a post-it note on it, etc. can make all the difference. The act of being able to physically manipulate the system is what helps the paper-based user to stay in control of the system and perhaps even enjoy using it. The disadvantages to this “ol d fashioned” type system include a limited/finite amount of space/storage, inconvenient size if the system is too large to fit into a small purse or pocket for example, and the fear that your system can be easily lost or destroyed with no back up.

People that are digital focused tend to do better with an electronic system. There are many advantages, including the ability to set reminders and alarms, an amazing amount of storage (especially if your digital system is in the cloud), portability and often a small size if you use your system on a handheld device, and the ability to share and synchronize with other’s calendars in workplace. Some disadvantages are that you can’t always see the full month view (a real pet peeve for those that are strong visual learners), and it’s not satisfying for tactile individuals who love the feel of pen to paper.

I used a Filofax day planner for years when I was still practicing law. I absolutely loved it! The smell o f the leather, the feel of the paper, the way my pen filled up the pages with appointments, and the fact that it was always with me ready to serve me at a moment’s notice. I was very careful about the way I handled it, and was adamant about not losing it. Some lawyers were so fearful that they may lose their daily planner that they offered a hefty financial reward to anyone that found it and returned it to them! I knew someone that left his planner on a plane and got it back and did indeed send a large check to the finder.

I fought the digital revolution tooth and nail for a long time, as I loved my Filofax and it served me well in the sense that I used it religiously and had great time management skills. But when the Palm Pilot was created (yes, I am dating myself!), I thought I had died and gone to Heaven, which is surprising for such a tactile person (I love to write by hand… even to this day!). I think it was the fact that it looked like a Filofax (leather bound, small size with the device inside) and you could “write” with a stylus. So it was a great transition piece as it mimicked many of the attributes of a paper system, but was the beginning of the digital overthrow — at least for me!

asanaThe Palm was the first in line of many digital time management systems. I am now fully digital using Asana as my digital task/project management system (if you haven’t checked it out, go to Asana.com — it is free and pretty amazing!), and iCal as my digital calendar system on all of my Mac devices (iPhone, iPad and iMac). BUT I still often make a daily to-do list on good old fashioned paper, and sometimes I even do a Brain Dump on paper when I have a lot of mental clutter in my head and need to get it out. There is still something so satisfying to me about running th at pen across the paper and watching the words appear. And there is nothing like the feeling of physically crossing an item off your to-do list!

If you are still struggling with whether to go fully-digital or continue using your tried-and-true-but-outdated paper system, realize that you can use both. Just be careful not to duplicate your efforts (by using two systems for the exact same purpose) or create systems that conflict and compete with each other.

In the end, there is no “perfect” system. The ultimate goal of any productivity or time management system should be to capture and complete the tasks and responsibilities that make up your personal and professional life, not necessarily HOW that is accomplished. The system doesn’t have to be pretty or stylish (unless aesthetics are important to you), or the latest and greatest digital marvel (unless being a techie is fun for you and you love being an early adopter). The system just has to do its job, which is to help you manage your time and tasks better. Free yourself from the mindset that one is better than the other, and ask yourself which is better for you at this particular time in your life. And if you absolutely can’t choose one or the other, feel free to create a system that incorporates both the paper and digital worlds. Heck, you never know… it just may become the next big thing!

 Only One Month Left to Join Me in California Wine Country for my Live Retreat!

If you want to have a more successful and passionate life, and profitable and productive business or career, then ponder this:

“What got you here, won’t get you there.”

What you’ve been doing up until now has only gotten you where you are now. To reach higher goals, to get where your desires are calling you, you need something different.

You need to shake up the same-old, same-old.

You need to blow up the plan and get a new one!

wine_country_viewAnd you need to do it in an environment guaranteed to coax you out of your normal habits and patterns of thought and into fresh new ways of looking at your business, your life, and your opportunities.

Like beautiful California Wine Country this fall!

I’m taking a small group of women to Sonoma Valley next month to help them shake up things and step into a new plan for where they want to go — in their business/career and lives.

If you are serious about improving your life, personally and professionally, I’d like you to consider joining me for the Purpose, Passion, Productivity Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs & Leaders held November 6-9, 2014 in Sonoma Valley, CA. (And you still have a chance to use the 2-pay option today and spread payments out 14 days apart.)

The Good News is: We’re nearing full but still have room for a few more women! And there are still 30 days before the retreat, so ample time to plan logistics, like transportation, lodging, and time off. Yes, that’s par t of the beauty of this event… you get to unplug from your “regular” life and work and do a deep dive into your personal and professional development.

vineyard_grapesIf you are interested in joining me, give the retreat page a look and go ahead and register… or feel free to set up a chat with me if you have any questions.

We are such reflections of our environment: the people we hang out with, the four walls we work in, the food we eat, the routines, the habits, the everyday.

Get out of your everyday environment. Join me in California Wine Country and surround yourself with:

  • like-minded go-for-it women entrepreneurs and leaders
  • facilitative guidance, insights and training from me
  • the inspiring and nourishing Wine Country landscape, food, wine, and culture

The retreat will be a game changing experience! Hope to “see” you on November 6th for our Meet & Greet Wine Reception. See the details here.

Think back to when you were just a wee little boy or girl. Do you remember the question people used to ask all of the time? “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was thinking about that question today and realized that on so many levels, it is totally unfair!

child-grown_upFirst, how in the world do we expect such a young little one to have any idea what he or she may do for a living when they grow up? Heck, most people I know, regardless of age, still have things they want to do and try in their lifetime. Lots of unfinished business, dreams, hopes, and goals floating around regardless of age.

Second, at what point are we “grown up?” Is it at 18 years old when we graduate from high school and can vote, but can’t yet be trusted to legally drink alcoholic beverages? If a young man or woman is undecided on his or her major in college, most people think he or she is misguided, not focused, and indecisive. Yet again, how many adults (a/k/a “grown ups”) do you know that are using the exact major they studied in their present job/career?

Third, let’s break down the actual question: What do you want to BE when you grow up? A wise guy or girl can answer that he or she wants to be happy, healthy, wise, in love, gainfully employed, successful or any other adjective of his or her choosing. Or maybe you realize that you will be many things at the same time. One title may not define you. You may be many things like a daughter or son, spouse, friend, employee, entrepreneur, etc.

So what if here you are, a grown up, and you still aren’t sure what you want to be? Not only do I think that’s okay, I think it’s way more common than most people realize. And now it is socially acceptable too. We don’t have to make our first career our last. We do n’t have to define ourselves by one title. Change is often inevitable, regardless of how old we are and what we have done in the past. We all go through periods in our life when we ask “What’s next?” Maybe you’ve been in the same career for years and are ready for a change. Maybe you want to take a giant leap and go into business for yourself. Maybe you want to take a sort of “sabbatical” and re-think things. These periods of uncertainty when we go back to that childhood question can be scary — but hopefully also exciting!

Research shows that for many generations, people were expected to find a job/career and stick with it their whole working life. The workplace and retirement systems were set up that way and job stability was the great motivator to stay the course. This generation is made up of job-hoppers who will stay on average only 3-4 years in any one position. This generation, known as the Millennials, consider themselves “free agents” and will subject themselves to the possibility of financial insecurity in order to find happiness and fulfillment in their work lives. They feel that it is a small price to pay for freedom.

career_changeI have an insider’s and outsider’s perspective on this issue. I completed my own successful (and risky!) career transition from a lawyer to a coach/consultant/speaker/author 12 years ago on the heels of the 9-11 terrorist attacks (and thank my lucky starts every day that I get to do this for a living now!). The tragic events of that day served a catalyst for me to do a lot of soul searching on what the next path was for me and make the leap from my career as a lawyer. Of course, it was scary. The change looked like a big mountain looming before me. It’s amazing how scary those mountains look before you climb them. And now that I’m sitting on the other side of the mountain, I can look back and see how beautiful the mountain really is and how great the other side looks.

I have also had the privilege of coaching many clients through career transitions over the years. I think people go through “chapters” in their life, and their careers change — if they have the courage to follow through. It’s not always easy to turn the page when one chapter has ended and it is time to move on. But what I have seen as an outsider and experienced as an insider is true magic. Corny but true. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, that has made a career change has come out on the other side better for it. Happier, more fulfilled, and grateful that they made the leap and took the chance regardless of outcome. Let’s face it… it’s usually the things we don’t do that bring us the biggest regret.

So if you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, don’t fret. It ain’t over just yet. I hope you have the courage to scale your mountain!

I was getting dressed for a formal event recently and as I put on my outfit, which I took great pleasure in choosing, I got a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I smiled as I recalled a memory. When I was a little girl, I used to watch my older female cousins getting ready for events and getting all “dolled up” as my family called it. I was in awe of them… their beauty, their fashion sense, their maturity, their womanhood. I thought ahead to when I would be a grown woman and could carry myself like that, wear sophisticated clothes, and attend formal events. As an adult woman, wearing nice clothing when the occasion calls for it has become the norm. That got me thinking about all of the things I dreamed of when I was a little girl and imagined myself being or doing as an adult woman. There are many things I longed to do when I was “old enough” or when it became socially acceptable to do them.

graduationFor example, the younger version of myself dreamed of driving a car someday. I got my drivers license when I was 16 years old and have loved driving ever since. (I come from a family of Italians who love their cars and driving, but that also comes with a love of speed so I often set the cruise control to avoid getting speeding tickets!) I also dreamed of being able to drink when I finally turned 21. Of course, that day came and went, and now I enjoy drinking socially, especially wine (living right near California Wine Country has its advantages!) and craft/microbrew beer (I am married to an Irishman who loves his beer and instilled that love in me too over our years together).

parisI also would imagine myself falling in love and getting married, traveling to amazing far off places, and being financially stable (yes, I did think about that at a young age as my mother instilled in me the importance of being a strong independent woman that could support myself financially!). But there were some things that I just didn’t think to wish for, but now I realize are so vitally important and only come with age and maturity. Like having the wisdom of years of experience and formal education under my belt, feeling sexy, confident and secure, and accepting and appreciating my body — often feelings that a young girl doesn’t get to experience, and sadly, even many grown women too.

all_dressed_upWhat this little glimpse into my past taught me was that we probably wished for many things when we were younger that we now just consider par for the course. And that’s just the way it is. But take a moment to remember what you wished for, or hoped to do or be when you grew up into the woman you are now. It is pretty powerful! It may help you to appreciate the woman you are now rather than wish for your youth again. Yes, being able to stop the clock and not age anymore would be amazing… and superhuman. But that is not in the cards for any of us. What we can do is appreciate that where we are now is pretty darn good. Maybe you are actually living the dreams that your younger self longed for. Maybe you had some big life dreams and they came true. Or perhaps other types of more subtle dreams came true. Like being a fashionista and wearing gorgeous sophisticated clothing, having a life long love affair (what little girl doesn’t wish for that?!), being a “smart cookie” that excels in your business/career, or just having the self confidence and security that the younger version of you hadn’t grown into yet.

Take a moment to look at the woman you are through the eyes of your younger self. I hope you love what you see.

This summit has ended.

For a limited time, my friend Jean Oursler is featuring a no cost tele-summit series, featuring an amazing panel of top business experts who will share their unstoppable techniques on how to increase sales and make more money all for no cost. And I’m one of the guest speakers!! My interview will air on October 3rd.

business_building_summit

Jean and I met online via social media (you hear that more and more these days!) and realized that we are both huge fans of Alan Weiss. We chatted on the phone and learned that we are both from the East Coast (I am originally a New Yorker and she is a Jersey girl who still lives there!). Whe n she asked if I would like to be an expert for this tele-summit, I gave her a resounding yes!

I absolutely loved our interview. Jean says that it is chock full of golden nuggets, unbelievable tips and best practices.

Well, there ya go. Take her word for it, and join us for the teles-ummit and listen in to my interview and many others that are bound to help you build a better business

To join me on this extraordinary Business Building Summit. Get Your No Cost Access Here!

I want to share something with you. Starting my own business was scary — REALLY scary (but also exciting)!! When I decided to leave my legal career behind and start my first business 12 years ago, all I had was an idea (or several all at once, but was unsure where to start), and a load of self-determination to actually try being a business owner.

The hard truth is… Many new business owners experience some, or ALL, of the following entrepreneurial fears:

  • “I have an idea but don’t know where to start”, or
  • “How do I even set up a proper/legal business structure?” or
  • “I’ve started my business but I’m spinning my wheels, feel frustrated and I’m losing money… I need to get a ‘real’ job…” or
  • “You know what… this is just too much for me, I’m not cut out to be my own boss.”

dream_businessWell, I’m happy to tell you: First, you’re not alone, and second, you can absolutely be successful as an entrepreneur with the right business guidance, information, planning, support and mindset. With expert support and training, you can create the success you envision and so much more.

What has always been heartbreaking for me is to watch how many fellow entrepreneurs give up too soon because they never find the solid information, training and support they need to succeed at an affordable level.

That’s why I’ve created the Successfully Self-Employed Semester. It is a teleclass-based training program starting on September 30th for newer business owners, anyone that is serious about starting a new business, or someone that’s been in business for years but needs to go back to basics.

Topics include: business identity and branding, legal structure and issues, marketing, networking and public relations, sales, pricing and money issues, and operations. It’s a powerful program offered at a fraction of the cost of doing private business coaching with me.

Here’s an overview of the program details:

checkbox Dates: Tuesday evenings, September 30th – December 9th
checkbox Time: 4:00-5:30 pm Pacific/ 5:00-6:30 pm Mountain/ 6:00-7:30 pm Central/ 7:00-8:30 pm Eastern
checkbox Length of Program: The program extends over ten weeks allowing you time to learn, engage the materials, implement, test out your knowledge, and make your learning last far beyond the end of the semester.
checkbox Includes: Master Classes, MP3 recordings of all calls, handouts/checklists/templates, a private Facebook group for all of us to communicate, plus two bonus audio programs as soon as you register to get you started and motivated!
checkbox Topics covered: Business ownership, business identity and branding, legal issues, marketing, networking and public relations, the sales process, pricing/packages and money issues, and business operations.
checkbox Flexibility & Accessibility: The program is offered entirely via phone and the internet, so no matter where you live this program is flexible and accessible to you! Plus, if you can’t make a live class, you can always listen to the MP3 recording, which will be posted the day after every class/call.
checkbox Affordability: Many newer business owners need help in the first few years, but can’t afford to get it. I’ve kept the program affordable so that you can get access to the help you need and crave. Offering this program in a group setting, and using technology to deliver it, is what allows me to keep the price at this level.
checkbox Investment: Early Bird Special = $697 if you register by September 23rd (with a 2-pay option of $360 in two equal installments if you need to space the investment out)

This program is strategically designed to help entrepreneurs with foundational business skills to build your confidence, structure, operations and effectiveness as a business owner. Come join me for the Successfully Self Employed Semester!

Hope to welcome you to “campus” when we start on September 30th!