So what is the “The Brand Called You”?

You are a brand. Your personal brand is a way of communicating what is inherently you. Your experience, background, education, methodology, personality, etc.

How do you figure out your personal brand?

There are many ways, but I’m going to give you one exercise.

In the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, which also was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts, every time Liz, the main character, went to a location, she tried to come up with a word to capture the brand of that location. For example, if I recall correctly, her brand word for Rome was Sex (or maybe Passion!). And at one point, someone turned the tables on her and asked her, “Liz, what’s your word?” And she was stumped. Part of the reason she couldn’t come up with her word at that point was she had lost touch with who she was, and needed to dig deeper, which she does as her journey progresses. But another part of that may have been that it is awfully hard to come up with just one word to describe your entire overall personal brand!

So I’m asking you to come up with 5.

5 words that capture what is uniquely you — your Personal Brand.

For some of you, this still may be difficult.

If you can’t come up with 5 words yourself, then pay attention to how others perceive you. Ask family, friends, colleagues and clients for 5 words that describe you. Please only ask those that will be your “believing eyes.” If you own a business, look at your client testimonials for patterns of words and phrases that repeat themselves. If you are employed in a workplace setting, look at your job evaluations and letters of reference. If you are just getting out o f college, look at your letters of recommendation. You get the picture. You are trying to find the words that others have used to describe your personal brand.

Here are my 5 words: Professional, Intelligent, Warm, Sassy, Productive.

Try to come up with a mix of words that exhibit both hard and soft skills, or tap into left and right brain characteristics. We are all made up of both, so mixing up the 5 words for your brand is a nice way to demonstrate your multi-facetted personality and help you to appear less one dimensional. For example, in my words, you will see that intelligent, professional and productive capture more of my left brain side and hard skills, while warm and sassy capture my more creative, right brain side and soft skills.

A really powerful exercise is to come up with 5 words for someone else.

I was doing this exercise for an organization at one of my speaking engagements earlier this year, and one of the participants raised her hand and said “I got nothing. I can’t think of any words for me.” So I looked around at her colleagues and asked if any of them had some words for her. Slowly, they started calling out words, and we could see that some of them overlapped and some themes started to emerge. It was very powerful to watch the effect it had on her as she learned what her peers considered to be her personal brand.

So I challenge you to list your 5 words. Make sure they truly capture your essence, personality, and what makes you uniquely you.

The next step is to start examining your life and work to make sure that your 5 words match how you showcase your brand to the world. Would someone be able to guess your 5 words? Immediately upon meeting you? Or at least after getting to know you further? If so, your external brand matches your internal brand. If not, your external brand is incongruent with who you really are. This can cause confusion, make others feel disc onnected to you, and result in your appearing inauthentic.

So think of your personal brand as an opportunity to have a deeper internal conversation that says who you are on many levels. Don’t miss that opportunity! Welcome that conversation. Start it with 5 words.

sign-languageWhen I was a little girl, my parents took me to visit our cousins. I noticed immediately that something was different in the way they communicated. They used hand gestures and had an interesting accent when they spoke orally. Their children were also using these hand gestures from the crib and play pen. I learned that my cousins were Deaf and that their two children were hearing, but were communicating with them in American Sign Language (ASL). I was completely and utterly enthralled to say the least. I loved watching them communicate and vowed to learn their beautiful expressive language. As I got older, I became interested in Helen Keller after watching The Miracle Worker, and decided that I wanted to teach Deaf children at some point in my life.

I realized that dream the year after I graduated from college. I chose to take a year off between college and law school, and obtained a position as an instructor and sometimes interpreter at the NY School for the Deaf. I wound up staying 3 years as I loved it so much! I attended law school in the evening instead of the day in order to continue teaching. Those three years were very important to me. They helped me develop my love of ASL and become an advocate for persons with disabilities. I wrote and published many pieces on disability law, taught disability law classes for a law school as an adjunct professor, and served as the co-chair of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee for the American Bar Association.

Eventually, I left my law career and that ended my official disability law pursuits. However, it did not end my love affair with sign language, or my support of Deaf rights. I carried many lessons with me that I learned from my years working within the Deaf community.

Did you ever notice that when someone is speaking to a deaf or hard of hearing person, they do the one thing that makes absolutely no sense? They start speaking a lot louder! Sometimes they even start yelling. This makes absolutely no sense because the one thing the deaf person can’t do is hear.

In fact, the Deaf community has a popular phrase: “I can do anything but hear!” It is an empowering phrase that reminds them that although deafness may be perceived by the hearing world as a disability, that is their only limitation.

What is your perceived “disability”? How would you answer the phrase “I can do anything but _______.” I am hoping that there is nothing after the word but. However, some of you may have something that came to mind. It may be a limiting belief, an outdated assumption, a block, an objection, a stereotype, a negative message that you were programmed to believe. Those things may be your version of a disability.

Here are 5 success principles I learned from teaching the Deaf that will help you develop a Can-Do Attitude and start breaking through your own limitations.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions
We all make assumptions based on our background and experience. We often have a running commentary in our head that is like a broken record playing over and over. Be careful of that recording! I learned about not making assumptions from my experience working with the Deaf. For example, sign language isn’t Universal. Not all deaf people can read lips. Not everything is as it appears in life. What “assumptions” are you holding onto that may be wrong, outdated or are not serving you in business and in life? Work on identifying them, turning them on their head and challenging them.

2. Make Eye Contact
You must look at a deaf person to communicate. In the hearing world, it is amazing how many people don’t make eye contact when speaking to each other. Making eye contact is a great habit to cultivate in general, but it is even more vital for an entrepreneur, coach, consultant and certainly for a speaker. Pay attention to people when they are speaking to you. Make eye contact and show them that you care!

3. Don’t Just Hear… Listen and Understand
Deaf people can’t hear, but they do listen. A common phrase that the Deaf often use when having a conversation is “I understand”. They are showing that they are paying attention to what you are communicating, and that they are truly listening to you. Many people are good speakers, but not good listeners. If you are not truly listening, try it. It can make a huge difference in your communication and relationships.

4. Keep Your Sense of Humor
Many deaf people have a wickedly good sense of humor, and can laugh at themselves. This is a great lesson for all us in life and business. It helps you to keep a positive attitude and draws people to you. Find the humor in everything and keep things as light as you can. I often think humor is a wonderful way of diffusing many difficult or challenging situations. Learning to laugh at life, and ourselves, is a great skill to cultivate.

sign_language-superpower5. Plan Ahead for Life’s Bumps in the Road
If you know there may be a roadblock ahead, don’t bury your head in the sand… plan for it. I had a student named Matthew that had Usher’s Syndrome. He was deaf and was slowly losing his eyesight also. Usher’s Syndrome causes loss of vision slowly over a period of time, first affecting your peripheral vision and then slowly affecting your entire eyesight like a tunnel closing up. Matthew planned ahead for this eventual vision loss by learning braille and sign language in hand so he could continue to communicate. Talk about dedication and planning ahead for a bump in the road! Tak e a page out of Matthew’s book. When you plan ahead, prepare and face life head on. It helps you to not only obtain a better result, but possibly enjoy the journey and the process.

I hope you are inspired by these brave deaf individuals and their can-do attitude. Now ask yourself, can you develop a Can-Do Attitude? What success principles do you have in your bag of tricks to help you start overcoming your perceived limitations? Start tapping into those success principles and tools.

Here’s to a Can-Do Attitude!

I relocated last year from New York to Northern California, specifically, to the college town of Davis. There are many things that make Davis a fabulous place to live: fantastic weather, an abundant farmers market, a University smack in the middle of town, a plethora of outdoor activities, proximity to the mountains and ocean (not to mention California wine country), and the amazing city of San Francisco about 60 miles away. But one of the things I love most about Davis is the bicycle culture.

bikes_in_DavisI read about Davis’ bike-friendly reputation before our relocation, and even experienced a little bit of it when we came out here to look for housing before we moved. But nothing prepared me for how truly unique and awesome it is. There are approximately 65,000 bicycles in the town of Davis — approximately one for every person. The bike lane was supposedly invented here, and there are bicycle lanes on almost every road in town. In addition, there is an intricate greenbelt system with bike paths that weave through residential neighborhoods, downtown, and campus, making it easy to bike miles without ever having to roll onto a road.

Davisites, as those that live here are called, bike for exercise, commuting to and from work and school, to do errands, and just about everything in between. It is not uncommon to see business events where professionals don’t only carry a briefcase, but also their bike helmet. Parents still get their exercise even if their little ones are too young to ride a bike by pulling their babies in a baby bike carrier. When school lets out, parents don’t line up in their cars the way they do in most other towns, but wait to accompany their kids home by bike. Some of the kids bike alongside, and others jump on the back of a tandem. The farmers market is surrounded by locked up bikes waiting for their owners to return with all of their farmers market goodies to be transported home in backpacks, clip on bike bags, or baskets affixed to the front or back of every type of bicycle.

I’d love to be able to say that every single person wears a helmet. Unfortunately that’s not the case. In California, it’s only a law that children under 18 must wear a helmet, leaving it to the discretion of an adult as to whether he or she chooses to protect his or her head. In other respects, the laws pertaining to bicycles are very strict. Cyclists must follow pretty much all of the same laws that an automobile does. Thankfully, because most people that live in Davis love the bike culture, drivers have a profound respect for cyclists.

loaded_down_bikeI already loved cycling when I lived in New York. My husband and I would ride for exercise and pleasure. A few years ago, we did a self-guided bicycle tour through the region of Provence, France. We biked about 155 miles over 5 days and loved every minute of it.  In some ways biking in New York was harder than biking here in Davis. We lived in the beautiful Hudson River Valley of New York, in a town called Warwick, which is filled with lots of hills, some of them quite large. Davis is blessedly flat from the standpoint of a cyclist, and all of the hills and mountains surround it, as opposed to being in it.  This makes for some pretty pleasant and fast cycling.

fruit_standI joined a cycling group in Davis and we bike often to the nearby town of Winters. It is a lovely ride totaling about 32 miles from my house round-trip. We bike past campus, olive trees, walnut farms, grapevines, and stop for breakfast at a great little cafe to fuel up for the ride home. When I get back from the ride, I always stop at the farmers market to load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods before heading home. I fill up my bike bags and sometimes even have to balance an extra bag hanging from my handlebars. My new-found friends have told me that I am now a true Davisite because I’m able to carry so much by bike!

Using a bicycle as a means of transportation is a bonus in many ways. It obviously helps to keep one in shape because it is such good exercise. It also is better for the environment because there are so many less cars being used around town, which means less emissions being released into the environment. It’s also good for one’s wallet, because gas is so expensive these days, so it’s a convenient way to save money.

But by far my favorite thing about using the bicycle as a means of transportation is the unique vantage point that one gets to experience from being on two wheels. Life doesn’t pass by as fast on a bicycle as it does when you’re in a car. You’re exposed to fresh air, nature, sounds, the weather, people, etc. Yes, sometimes that means you might get caught in the rain. Sometimes it means that you might be a little hot and actually break a sweat. You do have to stop for the same traffic lights and pedestrian crossings as you would in a car, which means having a lot of patience.

Davis_viewIt also takes longer to get to many of your destinations, so you need to plan out your trips more carefully.  You also may wind up riding your bike home in the dark, which means preparing yourself with lights and reflectors.  One of the most romantic nights that my husband and I experienced since we moved here to Davis was riding our bikes home in the dark after we had gone to dinner and a movie together. The moonlight was streaming down on us, the air was crisp and fresh, and it felt like it was just the two of us on the road.

Is bicycling as a means of transportation, and as such a large part of the culture of a town for everyone? No, of course not. But for Davisites, and this brand spanking new member of the community, it’s perfect.

LMG University

Welcome to

LMG University

Where Success Awaits You!


Lisa_Montanaro1

Welcome to LMG University!

If I had to encapsulate, in one tightly edited sentence, what my business mission is, it would read like this: Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises aims to empower people and organizations with the tools you need to optimize your personal and professional life.

To that end, I created LMG University, which is guaranteed to do just that by providing courses globally to help you improve your business, career and life. LMG University houses all of the group programs that I now offer. While I love coaching & consulting with my private clients and will continue to do that work, I have decided to circle back to my teaching/training background and incorporate that into my professional landscape in a way that will allow me to serve more people on a wider platform. You’ll still find individual coaching, organizational consulting, and speaking on the main LisaMontanaro.com site.

The pursuit of education in the form of personal and professional development gets me jazzed. LMG University is a place that you can come to learn, grow, be inspired, be motivated, connect, and succeed. LMGU is interdisciplinary in scope and, therefore, provides courses and programs for business, career and life through the LMGU Business School, Enrichment Center and Career Services Office. In the future, we will roll out the full expanse of LMGU offerings, which will include semester-long courses, one-day intensives, live retreats — even study abroad programs!

The common theme that runs through all of my services is success . . . YOUR success. This is demonstrated by my company tag line: “Where success takes center stage.” And the measure of MY success is if you walk away feeling better equipped to amplify every area of your already-amazing life, business and career.

Whether you are building a business from scratch, are an experienced entrepreneur, crave a more satisfying career, want to live a more passionate and success-filled life, need to boost your productivity, or become a dynamic public speaker, LMGU has something to support you in achieving your goals.

I look forward to seeing YOU on campus!

Warmly,

Lisa-signature



Catalog of LMGU Courses

LMGU Business School

Business/Entrepreneurship Programs
Public Speaking Programs

LMGU Enrichment Center

Life Coaching Programs
Live Retreats for Entrepreneurs & Leaders

LMGU2

Successfully Self-Employed Semester

Part of the LMG University “Bachelor’s Program”

LMG University is proud to offer its inaugural freshman offering for newer entrepreneurs, a 12-week virtual semester, a comprehensive business group training program – the “Successfully Self-Employed Semester with Lisa Montanaro.”IMG_0209

Covering all of the nuts and bolts from A to Z of running a business, this program is a comprehensive business training course for the newer entrepreneur. Designed with a well thought out curriculum that can take you from newbie to successfully self-employed, this program is unique in many ways. It is content rich without all of the fluff that you might often see in online business training programs, further it’s taught by an 11-year+ entrepreneur with a proven track record in running her own successful business, and who also happens to be a lawyer and long-time trainer of entrepreneurs. . . Lisa Montanaro.

This three-month semester is a teleclass-based training program is for new business owners or anyone that is serious about starting a new business. This course offers all the required skills and knowledge base for the newer entrepreneur/business owner. Topics covered will include: business identity and branding, legal structures and issues, marketing, networking and public relations, sales, pricing and money issues, and operations.

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 La Dolce Vita Group Life Coaching Program

Isn’t it time you fell in love with your life again???

You might think that it’s selfish to invest in yourself… (we will nip that in the bud with the No Negative Self Talk Rule!)iStock_000020928328XSmall

But your happiness depends on YOU…and you deserve it.

Join me for this amazing 6 week group program that will help you:

  • Evaluate what’s working and not working in your life, and identify areas for transformation.
  • Develop realistic and fun techniques to help you grow.
  • Use productivity in a proactive and positive way to set boundaries and better master your use of time and resources.
  • Overcome Cinderella’s Ugly Step Sisters: The 3 Blocks to Success (The Perfection Trap, The Comparison Trap and the Impostor Syndrome)
  • Get real about things you’ve said you really wanted to do and have in your life but never give yourself permission to implement.
  • Adopt a positive mindset and learn about cutting edge research on the power of happiness.
  • Learn effective tools for dealing with difficult, toxic or negative people (including you!).
  • Stop giving away your power to the Negative Nellies and Neds.
  • Recognize and exploit your own greatest assets.
  • Get comfortable with who you are vs. keeping up with the Joneses.
  • Learn to live within your means while still maintaining an abundant mindset.
  • Balance preparing for the future with living well today in terms of financial wellness.
  • Get your house in order – literally and figuratively!
  • Learn the power of commitment and consistency.
  • Tap into your passions, figure out what they are, and how to enjoy and manage them.

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PowerUp! Mastermind Program

Part of the LMG University “Master’s Level”

LMG University is thrilled to announce its first Master’s Level program for expanding business owners/entrepreneurs looking kick their business into high gear. The “PowerUp! Business Mastermind Program with Lisa Montanaro” is a 6-month comprehensive, intensive, and virtual group business coaching, training, and accountability program designed specifically with you in mind…

So…Are you Ready to…PowerUp

…kick your business into high gear?

…create the business model you’ve been striving for?

…stop working so hard and, instead, work smarter?

…charge what you’re worth, and reach the levels of income you’ve dreamed of?

If you answered YES, then you need to PowerUp!

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Speak Up:

Crafting & Delivering Killer Presentations
to Boost Your Business

Speak Up is a coaching and training program for aspiring speakers, as well as speakers with experience that want to “up their game” and knock it out of the park!
Join us for this amazing 8 week teleclass-based group program (with video components included) that will help you:
  • Conduct engaging, informative and interactive presentations for audiences large and small.
  • Learn how to prepare and deliver presentations of different types, lengths, and targeted to different audiences.
  • Improve your oral and nonverbal communication styles.
  • Inspire and motivate participants, exude confidence and enthusiasm, and establish credibility.
  • Overcome your fear of public speaking and use that fear to your advantage.Meeting-group
  • Increase speaking confidence.
  • Discover how to connect with the audience, use humor, and let your unique personality and style shine.
  • Learn how to effectively handle speaking snafus, such as interruptions, hecklers, and technical difficulties.
  • Get coaching and feedback from two professional speakers who make a significant portion of their income through speaking.
  • Learn how to use speaking as an income stream and a marketing funnel to build your business.

Whether conducting trainings, workshops, keynotes, or any other type of presentation, this program will help you become a more dynamic speaker!

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If you have any questions, contact us

IMG_0141“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon, or you will be taught how to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton

Let LMGU help teach you how to fly!



Rave Reviews for Lisa’s Teaching/Training/Facilitation

“Wow! Where do I begin when it comes to sharing about the bottom line impact that the Successfully Self Employed Semester offered by LMG University has had on my business, goals and perspective?! Some of the value I received in participating in this 12 week program was knowing that I’m going to save a ton of time and money implementing what I learned, versus stumbling around on my own trying to figure it out. During SSES, we thoroughly discussed the crucial topics needed to be a successful business owner. Due to Lisa’s exceptional expertise, as well as the camaraderie and team spirit of the participants, I accomplished several goals and tasks promptly and efficiently while learning how to increase my sales, legally protect, and automate my business. Belonging to a group of entrepreneurs who come with their unique backgrounds and experiences complimented by Lisa’s invaluable knowledge and business savvy, we were able to walk through personal and professional fears, and gain broader perspectives around what may be going on behind the scenes. We addressed some of the deeper issues holding us and our businesses back. What a gift to receive on-the-spot input, ideas and constructive feedback regarding my elevator speech, marketing materials, legal business status, and so much more. If you’re looking for a program that will show you how to maximize results and profits over the long haul, I highly recommend Lisa Montanaro’s Successfully Self Employed Semester.” ~ Natasha Rickert, www.EnergytoOrganize.com

Jane Caroo“You are able to be Business Coach, Attorney, Mentor, Cheerleader…and more. You wear all your hats so well! Thank You.” ~ Jane Carroo, www.cluttercoach.com

michaelsmith“Lisa lives up to and surpasses expectations by being a very good listener, organized, detailed and creative. Her law background is unusually unique and one of the reasons why Lisa works well in providing solutions when you it need it most.” ~ Michael A. Smith, President, New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce, Inc., New Paltz, NY

“I just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you for our session on Friday! For a long time I have felt that my decision to focus on a specific niche was a distinctive and sound decision for my new business. But having your input and review of my plans left me feeling both elated and reassured at the same time. With your experience and incredibly savvy business expertise, it has given me a new level of clarity and confidence that I ever could have reached on my own! I want to thank you again so much for your invaluable guidance. I am especially grateful that we met, especially at a time where I needed someone just like YOU to come into my life. I truly look forward to our continued relationship!” ~ Joanie Miller Levine, JML PROJECT GROUP LLC, Baltimore, MD

Many of you know that I recently relocated to a university town in Northern California. It is a great place to live! I am presenting 3 times in the next few months on campus, which is awesome. So I have college on my brain.

So for my upcoming complimentary Open Q&A Call, I am sticking with the collegiate theme.

I’m calling it Open Office Hours Call.

On Tuesday, March 12th, at 4pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern, I’m opening the lines for 75 minutes as a way to give you a chance to get some live coaching and your burning questions answered.

Here’s how it will work.

I’ll be doing warp speed, “laser coaching” where I’ll take question after question and hopefully you get some insight that will help you shift your results.

Some of you will send questions in advance.

Others will want to apply for a live “hot seat” coaching spot.

But ALL of you will want to listen and learn!

This is something totally unique, so make sure you sign up now for The Open Office Hours Call on Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm Pacific.

register_now-white

Also, go ahead, share and invite anyone you want!

It’s totally free and the sole focus of this call is in helping you get ahead in 2013.

Things you can ask about or get coached around? Tons! From business to career to life-work integration to productivity to living your best life! You bring the questions and I will share my insight.

Here is where you sign up, and when you do, there will be a box where you can ask your question(s).

Remember, the goal is for you to make some shifts and be more successful.

Care to join me? The call will be recorded and a link to the audio will be sent to all that register. But of course to ask a question live, you have to call in during “office hours.”

I’ll be in my “Office” waiting for you to show up!

Thank You for Signing Up

You’re Signed Up!

Open Office Hours Call

Date:
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Time:
7:00 pm EST / 6:00 pm CST / 5:00 pm MST / 4:00pm PST

Dial in number:
1-712-432-3066

Bridge Code: 919049

If you want to stay in touch more frequently become a fan of the LMOS Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LisaMontanaroBiz.

Also, go ahead, share and invite anyone you want!

It’s totally free and the sole focus of this call is in helping you get ahead in 2013.

Things you can ask about or get coached around? Tons! From business to career to life-work integration to productivity to living your best life! You bring the questions and I will share my insight.

Remember, the goal is for you to make some shifts and be more successful.

I’ll be in my “Office” waiting for you to show up!

Open Office Hours Call

Many of you know that I recently relocated to a university town in Northern California. It is a great place to live! I am presenting 3 times in the next few months on campus, which is awesome. So I have college on my brain.

So for my upcoming complimentary Open Q&A Call, I am sticking with the collegiate theme.

I’m calling it…

Open Office Hours Call

Tuesday, March 12th
4pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Question

Would you like to apply for a “hot seat” for coaching?

Input this code: captcha


I’m opening the lines for 75 minutes as a way to give you a chance to get some live coaching and your burning questions answered. Here’s how it will work.Lisa On the Air

I’ll be doing warp speed, “laser coaching” where I’ll take question after question and hopefully you get some insight that will help you shift your results.

Some of you will send questions in advance.

Others will want to apply for a live “hot seat” coaching spot.

But ALL of you will want to listen and learn!

This is something totally unqiue, so make sure you sign up now for The Open Office Hours Call on Tuesday, March 12th at 4pm Pacific.

Open Office Hours Call

Tuesday, March 12th
4pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern

Also, go ahead, share and invite anyone you want!

It’s totally free and the sole focus of this call is in helping you get ahead in 2013.

Things you can ask about or get coached around? Tons! From business to career to life-work integration to productivity to living your best life! You bring the questions and I will share my insight.

Remember, the goal is for you to make some shifts and be more successful.

Care to join me?

I’ll be in my “Office” waiting for you to show up!

PS – The call will be recorded and a link to the audio will be sent to all that register. But of course to ask a question live, you have to call in during “office hours.”

Recommended Books

Lisa Montanaro Books

The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful, and More Organized Life

Here is your very own portable personal organizer and life coach, offering easy-to-follow steps on the way to an organized, empowered life! Written by Lisa Montanaro

Get on the VIP list to be the first to know when the book is launched & to join the Ultimate Life Organizer Book Club!!

Click to Learn More

Thrive in Your Career

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur that wants to Thrive in Your Career? Then this amazing little pint-size powerful tips booklet is for you! Featuring 14 expert authors, including Lisa Montanaro, the tips cover all aspects of thriving in your business. The booklet includes tips on organizing, networking, marketing, social media, web presence, writing, and more! So grab your copy and get ready to easily digest information from a collection of experts that can serve as your virtual Board of Advisors and help you succeed in your business and career!

DECIDE® to be Organized E-Book

An Empowering Process for Change

I am thrilled to officially launch my first E-Book, DECIDE® to be Organized: An Empowering Process for Change. Yes, there are many fantastic books and resources that will help you get better organized and stay that way. But, DECIDE® differs in its approach in that it is less about the “stuff” and more about the thinking behind the “stuff.” The DECIDE® process allows you to go deep and examine the connection between decision-making and disorganization. It looks at the way you think and act with regard to organization, and offers an opportunity for an empowering change to occur.

Click to Learn More

Many of these products and services are part of official affiliate programs which pay a referral commission to LMOS based on any purchases you make through these links. However, that is not the reason I recommend them. I only recommend products and services that I believe are of high quality, value, and will benefit you in a tangible way as you improve your home, office, and life.

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Organizing Books

Organizing from the Inside Out — The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life
by Julie Morgenstern
A comprehensive organizing book offering tips and tools for organizing your home, office, and life, Organized from the Inside Out has helped hundreds of thousands of people clean up the clutter in their life. Considered by many to be THE organizing book on the market.

10 Minute Tidy: 108 Ways to Organize Your Home by Shannon McGinnis
My colleague and friend, Shannon McGinnis, a professional organizer based in California, wrote this great little organizing book. At 200 pages and cleverly broken up into categories for ease of use, the 10-Minute Tidy is a manageable resource for those of you looking for some guidance (other than a live professional organizer, of course!) as you try to get better organized at home.

It’s Hard to Make a Difference When You Can’t Find Your Keys: The Seven-Step Path to Becoming Truly Organized
by Marilyn Paul
This book delves into the underlying causes of chronic disorganization. Though it offers some concrete advice, it mainly targets the sources of disorganization, while offering meaningful paths to tackling everything from dirty dishes and filing problems to time management and inner spirituality.

Organizing Plain & Simple – A Ready Reference Guide with Hundreds of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges by Donna Smallin
Donna Smallin offers organizing advice with room-by-room, tried and true organizational techniques to ease the burden of managing your money, family, house, time – and life’s big changes.

Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui
by Karen Kingston
Drawing on the success of her first book, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston has expanded on the indispensable activity of clearing clutter. Kingston reminds us that clutter is stuck energy that keeps you stuck in undesirable life patterns. Kingston covers the reasons we keep things as well as the amazing stories of people who have cleared their clutter away. More than just junk, clutter is all those things that have negative symbology and that collect stagnant energy. In an age of accumulation, it’s good to see a book that frees up life again.


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Life Coaching Books

Take Time for Your Life
by Cheryl Richardson
Life coach Cheryl Richardson helps people create the lives they want. In Take Time for Your Life, Richardson shows you how to switch from being stressed, unfulfilled, and overworked, to “living a life you love” by using a seven-step process. Through seven progressive strategies, Richardson shows you how to live an authentic, high-quality life, embracing your spiritual, emotional, and financial well-being. Richardson recommends enlisting a friend to work through the book with you: a fine idea to help you benefit from all the guidance that this book offers. I read this book years ago and go back to it time and again.

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Career Counseling Books

Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar
No More Monday Morning Blues…

If you are dissatisfied with your career and want to break free, you’re about to be liberated! This book offers a-step-by-step guide to finding the “work” that expresses and fulfills your needs, talents, and passions. Using dozens of real-life examples, Marsha Sinetar shows you how to overcome your fears, take the little risks that make big risks possible, and become a person whose work means self-expression, growth, and love! I devoured this book as I was leaving my law career and starting down my path to professional organizing.

Finding Your North StarFinding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck
Martha Beck’s book is the ultimate guide for helping you figure out the answer to the question, “What do I want to do with my life?” Beck is a life coach with a fun, witty, and intelligent style of writing that jumped ship to do what she loves and her book is a wonderful platform for her to help others do the same. When I was struggling with leaving the practice of law and becoming an entrepreneur, I found this book to be pivotal in my decision. There are handy exercises that dig deep and help you really think about your skills, talents, and the type of life and employment that you want. I still have my book to this day with all of my notes in it and use it as a constant reminder that I made the right choice!

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Financial Planning Books

2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound by Suze Orman
The credit crunch, the stock market freefall, the staggering toll of home foreclosures and job losses: The economic crisis that struck in 2008 has left no one untouched and everybody reeling. Seemingly overnight, the financial landscape has undergone seismic changes that suddenly have you asking all kinds of questions: Are your savings safe? Should you continue to invest in your retirement account? Should you keep your home if it’s worth less than what you owe or should you sell it? How do you pay your bills if you’ve just been laid off? The nation’s go-to expert on financial matters, Suze Orman, believes that 2009 is a critical year for your money. There are safeguards to put in place, actions to take, costly mistakes to avoid, and even opportunities to be had, so that you are protected during the bad times and prepared to prosper when things take a turn for the better. No matter what situation you’re in, you will find a plan of action and the answers to your questions about credit, retirement, savings and spending, real estate, paying for college, and protecting your family.SUZE ORMAN’S 2009 ACTION PLAN delivers honest, straightforward guidance—what to do, when to do it, and how to do it—as only Suze Orman can.

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Business Books

Thrive in Your Career
Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur that wants to Thrive in Your Career? Then this amazing little pint-size powerful tips booklet is for you! Featuring 14 expert authors, including Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, the tips cover all aspects of thriving in your business. The booklet includes tips on organizing, networking, marketing, social media, web presence, writing, and more! So grab your copy and get ready to easily digest information from a collection of experts that can serve as your virtual Board of Advisors and help you succeed in your business and career! Investment: $5.00

Million Dollar Consulting: The Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice (by Alan Weiss) Million Dollar Consulting:
The Professional’s Guide to Growing a Practice by Alan Weiss
The acclaimed Million Dollar Consulting gives consultants the tools and advice they need to grow a firm that rakes in at least $1 million per year. Alan Weiss, “the consultant’s consultant,” shows step-by-step how to raise capital, reel in new clients, set fees, accelerate growth, and more. This updated and expanded edition will appeal to both Weiss’s many current fans and a whole new generation of readers looking for the best advice available for anyone who wants to build a million-dollar consulting/speaking career.

  The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber
In this first new and totally revised edition of the over two million copy bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business — from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective: the guiding light of all businesses that succeed — and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether it is a franchise or not. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. After you have read The E-Myth Revisited, you will truly be able to grow your business in a predictable and productive way.

Meet Lisa

For Formal Bio, click here. For My Journey, keep reading… 🙂

My Journey

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’
~ Erma Bombeck

Many people believe that they have one true vocational calling. That may be true. But for some of us, we have multiple areas of expertise and talents and a thirst to share them all with the world. It is this sense of adventure and drive for reinvention that ultimately led me to become an entrepreneur.

I Grew Up on Stage…

My first “calling” was as a performer. I spent my childhood singing, acting and dancing on stage, and wanted to go professional. But as I matured, I started to fall in love with the law, and switched gears as a young adult, pursuing a pre-law course of study.

I never gave up performing but, rather, turned it into a wonderful hobby that continues to this day.

Falling in Love with the Beauty of Sign Language

Another great passion of mine was to work with the deaf. My cousins are deaf — a lovely married couple that are a generation older than me. As a child, when I visited and saw them signing with each other, and with their two hearing children, I was enthralled and vowed to learn this beautiful, expressive language.

When I graduated from college and was admitted to law school, I deferred admission for one year to teach at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, NY. I was hooked! I loved teaching deaf students, and developed proficiency for American Sign Language.

A year later, I decided to continue teaching and attend law school in the evening. Sign language and deaf culture remain a great passion of mine, and I am constantly figuring out ways to incorporate them into my business and life.

A Profound Respect for the Law… but Disillusioned with the Reality of Law Practice

Upon graduation from law school, I practiced employment, labor, education and disability law for 9 ½ years. Although I had a profound respect for the law, I did not appreciate the way it was practiced in our society. It became too negative in the hands of those that wanted to use it to fight.

The more I practiced law, the more I realized that the nature of the practice did not suit my personality or my career goals. I started to become restless and knew that there were other ways I could share my talents and expertise with people and organizations to improve the world.

I did a lot of soul searching and arrived at the conclusion that I needed to leave the traditional practice of law and become an entrepreneur in order to truly make a difference.

During that time of career transition, I realized I had been organizing people’s lives on an “amateur” level my whole life, and that my organizing and coaching skills transcended my work as a lawyer, teacher, mediator, writer, speaker, and performer.

While I highly value my legal education and experience, the practice of law was simply not for me.

I made a conscious decision to use my experience as a trusted advisor and a counselor to help people in a productive and collaborative way. That’s how I found coaching, consulting, speaking, and writing, and it is exactly what I love to do and what I was meant to do.

An Entrepreneur is Born

In 2002, I launched LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, which focused primarily on organizing and productivity. I loved helping people get organized and improve their lives. I started off with residential organizing and then added on business and corporate organizing, because the core principles are the same, and let’s face it… people run businesses and corporations. Plus, I came from corporate America, and now successfully run my own business, so corporate and business organizing were a natural addition for me.

Over the years, I developed a level of mastery in organization and became an inaugural Certified Professional Organizer® in 2007, an accomplishment I am proud of as there are only a few hundred of us in the world.

I started training and coaching professional organizers across the U.S., served as the moderator of the popular Ask the Organizer Panel at the annual National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference, presented regionally and nationally to my peers, and became known as a leader in my industry.

I developed and trademarked a unique organizing methodology called DECIDE to be Organized®, which examines and attempts to overcomes the connection between indecisiveness and disorganization. I also wrote a book, The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, which was published by Peter Pauper Press in 2011. You could say I “made it” as a professional organizer.

Expanding my Brand

But here’s the thing… people started asking me for even more. They started referring to me as “not just an organizer” or “more than an organizer.” Helping people be more organized didn’t seem to speak to the specific results that my clients wanted to achieve.

What my clients wanted to achieve was success.

Organizing and productivity were a part of reaching that success, and often described the process that led to it, but was not the result itself. I decided to start giving my clients the result they wanted.

I suppose you could say that my clients added services to my business that they needed and craved in order to truly change behavior, and in turn, they expanded my business offerings, brand, and niche.

Over the years, I realized that it is never about “the stuff.”

In order to become organized, productive, happy, successful and fulfilled, you must be willing to change in multiple ways — your behavior, habits, goals, thinking and mindset.

I enjoyed and was exceptionally skilled at teaching and transferring productivity skills to my clients, and I liked empowering people to do the actual hands-on work themselves. So I slowly moved away from hands-on organizing and now have organizing associates that work with clients that need side-by-side hands-on organizing.

In the second half of my decade as an entrepreneur, I added on coaching, consulting, speaking, and writing, drawing upon my formal education and training, work experience, innate talents and skills, and life experience.

I became eligible for membership in the National Speakers Association (NSA) and had the privilege of presenting before audiences near and far on topics such as organizing and productivity, life-work balance, and business and entrepreneurship. My coaching and consulting practice grew to include individuals and entrepreneurs, as well as corporations and organizations.

I now have the opportunity to use my gift for organizing, productivity and systems in new and refreshing ways because I’m touching so many more peoples’ businesses and lives, as a result of so many more people wanting the real result I offer, which is success.

Defining Moment in Business: An Explosion of Left and Right Brain

A defining moment in my journey as an entrepreneur came in 2008 when I was voted Number 1 Speaker of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in Reno, NV, and won the talent show for doing the number “All That Jazz” from the Broadway show, Chicago.

Here I was in fishnet stockings singing and dancing on a Wednesday night at the casino, and then wearing business attire and presenting business and legal issues to entrepreneurs on Friday morning. Talk about your worlds colliding!

It made me realize that in order to love my business and life, I needed to stop compartmentalizing everything and just be my authentic self.

What a difference it has made in my business and life.

My clients respect and admire that I am able to live a life of passion and creativity, while running a thriving professional and successful business. They tease me that I am like an explosion of right brain and left brain… and I take that as a compliment. So I call 2008 the year I fully embraced my Renaissance spirit and allowed it to infiltrate my business in surprising and refreshing ways!

6Pillars-circleonlyMy Signature System:
The 6 Pillars of Powerhouse Success

Now my business is a wonderful combination of assisting clients with being more productive, successful, profitable and improving personal and professional development and effectiveness.

I take a holistic approach through my business, life and career coaching and serve as, what I call, a coach-consultant, as I believe my clients have some of the answers, but that they also sometimes look to me as the “expert” and want me to provide the answers to them so they don’t drown in frustration.

I tailor my coaching and consulting to each client’s unique situation, but have discovered themes among my clients, which led me to create my Signature System – The 6 Pillars of Powerhouse Success. The system is powerful, easy-to-follow, and captures the most common stages that a client needs to go through in order to achieve success.

My Expanded Business:
A Holistic and Multi-Faceted Approach

I am always one to live life to the fullest, so when given the opportunity to move clear across the country from New York to California in July 2012 for my husband to advance his career as a veterinarian, I said, “Let’s go for it!”

The move allowed me to relocate personally, but also to expand professionally on so many levels: geographically, yes, but much deeper than that.

It prompted me to finally “catch up” to the expanded business that I had been successfully running, even though I had not rebranded it publicly. So I formally expanded the brand to Lisa Montanaro Global Enterprises, LLC (LMGE) in the summer of 2012, and launched a whole new website, blog, and ezine in fall 2012.

This allows me to fully capture the holistic approach my work takes in improving personal and professional development. To my clients, this formal expansion did not come as any big surprise as they already worked with me on so many levels, experiencing the depth and breadth of my areas of expertise and delivery methods.

But to someone that may have only known me as a “professional organizer,” the new brand may be a shock. Hopefully, a pleasant surprise and one that warrants further inspection and reflection.

I finally feel like my business mirrors my true personality and allows me to be a multi-talented and multi-passionate entrepreneur. My business is both a profession and a passion.

I took a leap of faith and created a business that allows me to meld together many different, but related, “callings” at the same time, while helping people live better lives and enjoy more a satisfying business or career. The result has been both successful and rewarding. I have successfully created my Purpose, and very much live my Passion, and now I am making it my mission to help others do the same.

The Inside Scoop:
Ten Little Known Facts About Me

 

You can read the Formal Bio. You can even read My Journey here. But if you want the inside scoop, read these ten little known facts to get to know me better …

I grew up on stage as a “triple threat” — singer, actress and dancer.

As a young adult, I had to make the difficult decision whether I wanted to devote my career to performing (read: starving actress waiting tables in NYC…) or to make performing a hobby and pursue a different career. This was a significant choice and is the core of some of my coaching/teaching about being a “shadow artist,” choosing a path for a career, and incorporating your passions into your life.

I am a lawyer, who “defected” from the practice of law after becoming disillusioned with the negative side of how it is practiced and the constant fighting involved in the profession.

I use my legal analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, and counseling skills in a positive manner now to help people on a daily basis.

I am proficient in American Sign Language.

My cousin and his wife are deaf and I grew up obsessed with Helen Keller and the Miracle Worker. In order to fulfill my dream of teaching the deaf, I worked as an instructor and interpreter at the NY School for the Deaf for 3 years while attending law school in the evening. It was one of the best experiences of my life and helped solidify that the teacher archetype is strong within me. To this day, I feel that no matter what I am doing, it involves, at its core, some aspect of teaching.

I studied abroad in The Netherlands focusing on government, culture and art, with an emphasis on international law.

This was a significant experience and started my life-long love affair with Europe. It is one of my dreams and intentions to live in Europe at some point in the future with my husband. For now, I enjoy traveling to Europe on vacation and am hoping to book a speaking engagement there soon, and hold my first Entrepreneurs Retreat in Tuscany. To prepare, I am taking Italian language classes weekly. Fantastico!

I have been coupled with my husband, Sean, since I was a freshman in college!

We met when I was a swim team coach and instructor, and he was a lifeguard, at the town pool where Sean grew up. I still consider him my soul mate, best friend, and partner in life and love.

I am child free by choice.

I love children, am a former special education teacher, and have many nieces, nephews and God children, but chose to focus my maternal instincts on animals (I have two awesome dogs and am married to a veterinarian), other people’s children, my clients, my business, and the Earth.

I love chocolate, especially high-quality dark chocolate.

On my honeymoon in France, despite dating my husband for years, he was still surprised to learn that I needed to have a small amount of chocolate every day!

I am an avid active enthusiast, who loves to mix it up and move my body with dancing, kickboxing, running, walking, hiking, bike riding, rock climbing, and many other active pursuits.

I have completed a marathon, a half triathlon, hiked the Grand Canyon, and biked through Provence. Exercise and outdoor activities are so important to me that I make an appointment with myself on my calendar to get my exercise and outdoor activity on my schedule, and then treat those appointments with as much respect as the ones I make with others, meaning… I keep them!

I lost my beloved Mom in 2010 at the young age of 63 to pancreatic cancer.

It was the hardest thing I have ever had to bear. We were best friends in addition to being mother-daughter. This tragic loss has made me even more determined to live life to the fullest.

The view out of my office at my last law job was of the Twin Towers, and I lived in Manhattan at the time.

The terrorist attacks of 9-11 affected me personally and served as a catalyst for jumping ship from my law career and becoming an entrepreneur.

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to
decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

~ Jane Goodall

Many people believe that they have one true vocational calling. That may be true. But for some of us, we have multiple areas of expertise and talents and a thirst to share them all with the world. It is this sense of adventure and drive for reinvention that ultimately led me to create
LM Organizing Solutions, LLC (LMOS).

My first calling was as a performer. I spent my childhood singing, acting and dancing, and wanted to go professional. But as I matured, I started to fall in love with the law, and switched gears as a young adult, pursuing a pre-law course of study. I never gave up performing but, rather, turned it into a wonderful hobby that continues to this day.

Another great passion of mine was to work with the deaf. My cousins are deaf–a lovely married couple that was a generation older than me. When I visited and saw them signing with each other, and with their two hearing children, I was enthralled and vowed to learn this beautiful, expressive language. Thus, when I graduated from college and was admitted to law school, I deferred admission for one year to teach at the New York School for the Deaf in White Plains, NY.

I was hooked! I loved teaching deaf students, and developed proficiency for American Sign Language. A year later, I decided to continue teaching and attend law school in the evening.

Upon my graduation from law school, I practiced employment, labor, education and disability law for 9 ½ years. Although I had a profound respect for the law, I did not appreciate the way it was practiced in our society. It became too negative in the hands of those that wanted to use it to fight. I started to become restless and knew that there were other ways I could share my talents and expertise with people and organizations to improve the world. I did a lot of soul searching and arrived at the conclusion that I needed to leave the traditional practice of law and become an entrepreneur in order to truly make a difference.

During that time of career transition, I realized that I had been organizing people’s lives on an “amateur” level my whole life, and that my organizing and coaching skills transcended my work as a lawyer, teacher, mediator, writer, speaker, and performer.

In 2002, I launched LMOS, which serves as the umbrella for my areas of expertise, and provides a platform to offer a variety of services to clients.  Through LMOS, I am able to offer organizing, business and life coaching, and motivational speaking to individuals and organizations.  These three main focus areas allow me to combine my lifelong passion for creating order with my skills gained as a lawyer, educator, and performer.  LMOS gives me the ability to enact positive, proactive change.  My clients rely on me for leadership, guidance, support, encouragement, and coaching.

I now consider myself a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I took a leap of faith and created a business that allows me to meld together many different, but related, “callings” at the same time, while helping people live better lives and run better companies and organizations. The result has been both successful and rewarding.

Warm regards,

 

Copyright 2009 © Lisa Montanaro of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC.

Want to Use This Article in Your E-zine or Website?

You can, as long as you use this complete statement:

Copyright 2009. Lisa Montanaro is a Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Business Strategist, Speaker and Author who helps people live successful and passionate lives, and operate productive and profitable businesses. Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE® to be Organized” e-zine for success-minded individuals, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at www.LMOrganizingSolutions.com. Lisa is the author of The Ultimate Life Organizer: An Interactive Guide to a Simpler, Less Stressful & More Organized Life, published by Peter Pauper Press. Lisa also publishes the DECIDE® to be Organized blog at www.DecideToBeOrganized.com. Through her work, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how Lisa can help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at .