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Tag Archives: professional development

Prepare for 2017: Goal Setting for Winners

Goal setting

Welcome to the unofficial start of autumn! This is my favorite time of year – the beautiful colors in nature, cool crisp weather, and pumpkin bread! Although I’d rather be switching out my wardrobe to comfy sweaters and boots this week (except it’s near 90F in Chicago), I decided it was time to look ahead to 2017 and start with some business goal setting.

Being the logical and structured person I am, I opened up an Excel spreadsheet and started to put together some numbers. I took a realistic swipe at my intentions and was quite pleased with the results. The numbers worked out to support my business and personal goals. But the numbers alone didn’t feel right.

The standard wisdom for achieving any goals that they should be SMART: Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Driven. This framework is helpful in curing the common pitfalls of goal setting – irrelevance and ambiguity. However, this structure does nothing to capture motivation and vision.

Quite frankly, it feels clunky and as if something critical is missing.

When I work with clients, and on my own business, I utilize a slightly different approach to goal setting and execution. Vision and desire are equally important in growth and business building....

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Mastermind for Business Success


One of the secrets of my entrepreneurial success has been the fact I sought out a mentor and joined a business mastermind community. Just last week I spent 3 days in San Diego with my peeps to assess, adjust, and create new goals for my business.

Within the mastermind, I have developed business partnerships, life-long friendships, and accountability partners. They have helped me to see where I’m getting in my own way and supported me to push through obstacles.

In fact, that’s me discussing new ideas with my fellow mastermind entrepreneurs Amy Andrews of Feel Good Again HealthTeena Evert of Ignite Love Now, and Anne Dickenson of Eye On Your Business. If you are looking to improve your health, find true love, or make more money in your business you must check out their work.

Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is chock full of wisdom for entrepreneurs and results-driven individuals. One of his critical points is that successful people are not going it alone. Using the collective mind of other success-minded individuals pushes you toward greatness. He calls it the “Master Mind.”

“Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definitive purpose.”  – Napoleon Hill

The concept of a mastermind is not new....

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Building Rapport for Successful Leadership

Business woman at the office ready to work

Know any personalities at your workplace that rub you the wrong way? Chances are you do. Friction, by definition, is the resistance of motion when object rubs against another. There are plenty of high friction personalities in the business world. Some are successful, but their leadership methods are often shortsighted and fear inducing to their teams.

Successful leaders understand that building rapport is the grease that reduces friction in the machine of business. Whether you are in sales, marketing, engineering, finance, or human resources, reducing friction allows people to collaborate in a way that is forward moving and productive.

Rapport is an emotional bond or friendly relationship between people based on a mutual liking, trust, and an understanding that they share each other’s concerns. The best leaders create rapport with everyone – their team members, colleagues, managers, shareholders, stakeholders, customers, and clients. These leaders often generate win-win solutions that build upon that trust that was developed over time.

Fortunately, building rapport and the level of trust and understanding that great leaders embody is a skill that has been studied for years. Here are five proven ways to build rapport with everyone you meet.

1.  Pay attention to how you show up – physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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Push Beyond Your Fears

We all experience fear at some point in our lives – it’s part of being human. No matter how paralyzing or overwhelming your fear makes you feel, there is a way past it. While you will never completely eliminate fear from your world, you can definitely get to the point where your fear does not stop you from daring to dream, think new thoughts, and create your future.

Pushing past your fears, especially your inner obstacles, is one of the focal points I work on with clients. There is a reason that “F” in F.A.S.T. Women in Business stands for “Fearless.” It is only when you can push past the self-created boundaries in your mind that you can stand in your strength and possess the courage to move forward.

What does it mean to be Fearless? Webster’s Dictionary defines “Fearless” as brave; free from fear. Related words include bold, courageous, gutsy, daring and valiant. In my world, it means you get back up when someone knocks you down. You take calculated risks, fail some times, and then try again and again. The more comfortable you are falling down, the less worried and judgmental you are of yourself. This repeated action of dusting yourself off and trying again helps you to break through the walls surrounding your comfort zone....

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Hayley Wickenheiser

Hayley & Nadine

Hayley & NadineEarlier this spring, I had the opportunity to meet and hear Hayley Wickenheiser speak in Toronto. Hayley is a Four-time Women’s Hockey Olympic Gold Medalist and the 2014 Olympic Flag Bearer for Canada. As you can see, she even brought the hardware to “show and tell.”

Her inspirational story spoke of the hard work and passion to achieve greatness. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment of competition (and for those of you who don’t recall…..Canada pulled out the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal victory from the United States, yet again, in spectacular overtime fashion) Harder to comprehend the massive amount of preparation, determination, and toughness required to savor it.

“The Olympics,” Hayley said, “was all about performance on demand.” The preparation of the team leading up to those final games was the difference. Energy management – physical, mental and emotional – was the name of the game. How do you get through the grueling competition, injury setbacks, and continue to push forward? “You are never out of the game. It’s important not to listen to the critical opinions of others.”

As she spoke on leadership, she spoke about how to “blossom where you are planted.” There were times when the circumstances were perfect – right teammates, perfect coach....

Vacation Planning versus Career Planning

Negril, Jamaica


Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica

Now that summer is in full swing, most of us have our minds on vacation. Whether it’s a long-weekend getaway with friends, a family reunion, or an exotic overseas adventure, we all can relate to planning and preparing for well-deserved rest and relaxation. For a big vacation, we may start planning the year before – where and when to go, the budget, researching tours, airfare, hotel, and local attractions. You can easily spend several days or weeks planning the whole event. And we do it because it’s FUN. It’s fun to look at glossy brochures, surf the Internet, and devour tour books.

The reality is that most people spend more time planning their vacations every year than they do planning their career over their lifetime. Why? When you reach mid-career, most people are on cruise control. Life takes over. Spending time strategizing on your next career move can feel like……well, work. Maybe you lost your passion. Perhaps you feel you’ve hit a plateau. A wrong turn took you down a dark alley and you feel cornered. Or you are afraid of change. It doesn’t have to be this way.

What would happen if you tapped into that inner spark of passion for your work?...

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