Can we talk "Happy"?

Can we talk "Happy"?

“Happy New Year” is the traditional greeting at this time of year, yes? And what tends to stand out most for me when hearing that is… the “Happy”! Because whether we’re ready for it or not, those 365 days seem to fly by, and while we can’t control that part, we can control the “Happy” part.

My hope for you as we enter 2020 is that each one of you will not only commit to loving what you do but that you will LOVE THE WAY YOU DO IT! So many of my clients share that they don’t like their jobs, and after asking them the questions I do, it turns out that they don’t like THE WAY THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOBS. If I can get you to start performing every day in a way that serves you well, and at the end of each day, you feel victorious rather than defeated — then I’d say that’s a WIN/WIN for everyone. And that my friends can jump-start the “happy” factor!

So how about for January, we take the time to PURGE! That’s right…Out with the OLD, before in with the NEW! Before we can even start to get organized, we need to get rid of what no longer serves us well. That means EVERYTHING…physical stuff, electronic stuff, emotional stuff, ALL THE CLUTTER THAT’S CAUSING OVERWHELM needs to go. Get started sorting through your stuff. And if it isn’t something you NEED or LOVE (and please reach out to me if you are having trouble deciding), then out it goes.

We are finally taking LIKE out of the equation because after all, WE LIKE EVERYTHING! That’s what gets us in trouble in the first place! So be hard on yourself and really ask yourself… “Do I need it (for business, taxes, the future, whatever) or do I LOVE IT.” We all know those things in our life we LOVE vs. LIKE. Just this simple exercise will change the way we think about consuming and holding on to something. It’s a critical first step to clearing out and making way for what is to come in this new year.

I can’t wait to see what we all make room for and manifest in 2020…BRING IT ON!

Having a Reputation for Being Late

Having a Reputation for Being Late

So here we are. The Holiday Season: Hanukah and Christmas are just around the corner, and finally, we’ll slide into the New Years’ finish line. I know for me, at this time of year as party invitations start to roll in and my commitments increase for everything from work to shopping and of course the parties, there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. If you struggle with timeliness, I’m going to share one tip I use that always keeps me on time.

For me, being late is just never an option. I know, I know… how in the world can we possibly continue to show up on time when all of the things we need to get done are competing for our time?

First, let me say this… however good a reputation you have, if you are chronically late, you will always be labeled as “the person who is late”. Think about it. Take a minute and jot down the people in your life who are chronically late. Don’t you often think of them as “the people who are always late”? No matter what else is true about them, they are labeled as late.

Now, is that how you want to be perceived? Remember this: Your reputation concerning timeliness precedes you and often defines how others see you in far-reaching ways.

So here is one thing I do to ensure I always show up on time (and keep my reputation as an on-time person):

Look at your calendar going forward. Wherever there is an appointment with a designated start time (both for work and pleasure), put a “TT” – for “Travel Time” – on your calendar precisely 30 minutes before the appointment starts. Do that for every appointment and make a point to honor that, EVERY TIME. Let the last-minute things you tend to do while running out the door wait until you return. Nothing will happen if they don’t get done that minute, I promise. And I promise that the benefits you’ll derive from being on time will be well worth the effort and will go far in either maintaining or creating a reputation as an “on time” person.

Oh, and if you arrive someplace early, consider it a gift to yourself to catch your breath.

Be Thankful for the Simple Things – Like Managing the Email Clutter

Be Thankful for the Simple Things – Like Managing the Email Clutter

“‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free…” ~From the Shaker song – “Simple Gifts” – written in 1848 and sung by the Ingalls family at Thanksgiving on Little House on the Prairie.

This song makes me think about Thanksgiving because it reminds me of the simple things like gathering with family and friends and being thankful. It also reminds me that the biggest challenge many of my clients face in getting and staying organized is having a SIMPLE SYSTEM. The goal of having a simple, easy to implement system is to have a work environment that not only functions well but supports who you are in your business and your life.

Here’s the thing about implementing a simple system – it’s like a hobby – the more you practice, the better you get; the better you get, the more you like it; the more you like it, the more you do it! And it doesn’t have to be complicated; it just requires commitment, discipline, determination, and perseverance.

In my book, Enough is Enough Get Control of Your Stuff – One Woman’s Insight into an Organized Life, an entire chapter is dedicated to Taming the Technology Tiger. But here is one tip to get you started on the road to a clutter-free inbox:

First, ask yourself, “Would I go to my regular mailbox every day and only take out what I want or need and leave the rest”? Of course not. So why do you do that with your email inbox? Remember, your email inbox, like your regular mailbox IS A LOADING DOCK, not a final destination for things you don’t need or want or want to deal with.

So, start by sorting your inbox by “Sender.” Then go down the list and delete all of the emails that you know you no longer need. And be realistic. Are you REALLY going to read the e-zines that are a year or two old? (If so, create a folder called “Read File” and drag all of those into it, where they can live until you find the time to read them (or not)).

What about the email that you were tracking to make sure something got done? Was the due date May 2016? If it’s not done by now, it’s a sure sign that something needs to be done to your inbox immediately! Remember, you can highlight multiple emails and delete all at once, so if you have 52 emails from Sue Avery and you need none of them, highlight and delete them all at once. Stick with this simple process and you won’t believe how quickly you can move unnecessary emails out of your inbox, and out of your way.

Stay tuned for the next steps on what to do with the emails that are left and how to keep the backlog from coming back. If you simply can’t wait until my next post, you can head on over to Amazon to purchase my book, where I’ve devoted an entire chapter to Taming the Technology Tiger.

I love speaking on this topic. If you are in need of a speaker at your next event and you love this topic as much as I do, contact me today!

Key Points to Consider When Hiring Your Keynote Speaker

Key Points to Consider When Hiring Your Keynote Speaker

I know that hiring a professional speaker for an event is an important task and can seem overwhelming as well. However, there are a few key points to consider when making this critical selection.

Choosing the right keynote speaker for your corporate event, private function, or training seminar (or workshop) can have a huge impact on the overall success of the entire program. However, with so many expert speakers available, it can be difficult to find the best fit and determine who will best meet the needs of your audience.

Below are 5 points to consider when evaluating whether a particular speaker will be a good fit for your event.

Must Have a Commanding (but Likable) Presence
A strong speaker will have a dynamic presence on stage and off. This person needs to be able to shake up the audience to gain and hold their attention while commanding respect in a fun and memorable way. You’ll want to choose someone who can easily interact with the audience and make them feel comfortable. It’s a good idea for the speaker to attend any pre-conference networking events if it’s a larger conference. For smaller events, joining the group for lunch is also a good idea. This should be a pleasant, easy-going experience for both the speaker and the audience members. It’s up to the speaker to make it that way.

Must be Matched to the Audience
When hiring a keynote speaker, the biggest concern is finding someone who will connect with the audience. The right speaker for a group of doctors will likely be quite different from the right speaker for a group of college-aged entrepreneurs. Each audience will find motivation in different things and will listen to different kinds of people. So, it’s up to the speaker to figure out how to be unique and interesting to THAT audience.

If you are a meeting planner, you’ve likely decided on a basic theme and goals for the conference, so be sure to choose a speaker who will most meet attendees’ expectations, both in content and entertainment, often referred to as “edu-tainment.” If a speaker has several topics to choose from, it’s a good idea to ask if they can combine two or three to better customize a presentation for your event.

Must Have Video of the Speaker in Action
The best way to determine the quality of a speaker is to see him or her in action. If you can’t view a presentation live due to your geographical location, have them point you to recent video clips of them in action if they aren’t readily available on their website. Most professional speakers will have videos available for viewing online (from their website or on YouTube). Watch a few and take note of the energy level, content, audience reaction, and audience interaction.

Must Have a Big Personality
Because your corporate event, private function, or training workshop is a time investment for you and the attendees, you want to get the MOST for that time. You want the audience to learn from the event, remember the message and become transformed. A dull, boring, and “mediocre” speaker can’t deliver that kind of result. Sometimes you have to be in their face (in a subtle way), sometimes a little irreverent (in a professional way), and most of all, be impactful while having fun at the same time. To do that, your keynote speaker better have a BIG personality.

Must Have Recommendations and Experience
It’s likely that the more experience a speaker has, the better the performance will be. Be sure your keynote speaker has client testimonials and recommendations. If a speaker has worked with well-known companies and brands or presented at large events, chances are good that he or she will provide a quality keynote speech.

With so many speakers available, it can be a daunting task to find the right one. So, keep these 5 points as your “checklist” when looking for a keynote speaker for your next public or private function.

Don’t Let the Perfect Get In The Way of the Good

Don’t Let the Perfect Get In The Way of the Good

I have a theory. It’s not really MY theory, but one I subscribe to . . . “what we focus on expands.” I’m thinking of this in relation to a topic I teach, train and coach on – self-defeating behaviors! My challenge is how much do I focus on something I don’t want to expand? But it’s relevant to everyone’s efforts toward increased productivity and living our best lives, so I’m touching on it, just a tiny bit. I ask you to do the same – read this, integrate what you need to keep moving forward, and then promptly put it behind you.

There are three ways we sabotage ourselves.

Procrastination, or putting off tasks that you just can’t face. I know, I’ve been there. My work in radio sales involved creating a sales budget for the year, the thing I disliked the most. So, of course, I put it off and put it off and then crammed the night before it was due. Talk about stress!! But here are two things about procrastination:

1. The tasks we put off are usually not nearly as bad as we think.
2. The key is in the STARTING of the task that we can’t seem to get to, not the completion of the task.

My best advice for procrastination: COMMIT TO STARTING THE PROJECT FIRST. Put a date/time on your calendar and only bite off as much as you can do in that time-frame. And then again and again until, voila! Project done! One more thing, think of a great reward you will give yourself for starting the project. And okay, maybe another one for finishing!

Perfectionism, or a worthy goal, but totally unreasonable to try and live up to. Of course, we all want to do our absolute best. But really, at the end of the day, if you have strived for excellence and done your very best, then accept the strongest result you can produce, even if it’s not perfect.
Think excellent and great, both of which are attainable and are a much better use of your time than fretting over not being perfect. If you know your own work ethic to be that of always doing your best, trust me, your work won’t suffer by taking pride in a product that is GREAT!

Workaholism, or give everything you’ve got to your work at the expense of the rest of your life. I get it. It feels like we’re all being asked to do more with less, to stay longer and do more. But here’s the thing. If you are worn out, worn down, and tapped out, you risk not having anything to give to your job, your family, or yourself. If your physical and mental health is at risk from workaholism, you are left with nothing to work with. And who does that serve well? No one really. So build in personal break time to re-charge and re-group in order to give of yourself fully to all aspects of your life.

So as I like to say in shorthand, Get to It, Let Great Be Good Enough, and Too Much of Any One Thing isn’t always the answer. Be good to yourself and your self will be good to you!