Category: Wisdom Sharing

30
Aug

3 Things I Learned from My Recent Failure

Every failure feels like a crushing defeat that makes me question my self-worth and purpose. While I desired to wear multiple hats, meet every request, and bring a success, my toolset is incomplete and my skill across all disciplines is far from mastery. I can be chef and sous chef and wait tables, but that dilutes my genius. Attempting to focus on my strengths, I was asked to “stretch” and I agreed. In this effort, I could not reach far enough fast enough—though I gave my all in every attempt.

The course-corrections taken did not lead to smooth sailing. Resources were slim to none and new demands came on so strong, it was like drinking from a fire hose. I kept trying … and I will continue to seek the most productive outcome in every endeavor… still, I have not met with the delight of complete satisfaction.

Sometimes when you try to be and do everything, you become nothing, or a lot less than all.

However, when asked to step up to the plate, you gotta give it all ya got! Especially with a startup gig. The rush to get on base often requires concurrent planning and execution. Stutter steps happen along the way as the path becomes clarified and players come in and out of the game.

My “lane” is the strategic development. I create the brand plan—and the client team implements it. Areas for possible trip-ups include that there isn’t complete buy-in and there aren’t resources for implementation. Both of these bumps were present on this path, along with other challenges.

Still, when working for the vision, it is tough to realize disappointment. The victories drive action while defeat deflates momentum. I can only own my role — the few ways I could make a stronger player.

There were moments of victory. The joy of accomplishment fed my spirit till the next shoe fell behind in the race to forge ahead. When the brand plan was embraced and approved, things looked promising. And then there were the “squirrels” and distractions. Clients often desire to refresh the look before it takes hold. They want variety for the sake of amusement—not for the efficacy of impression. And, in the end, the client is always right. I can only create the plan, get approval, and remind them to stay on plan. When it is insisted to veer, I can only attempt to redirect traffic. And, often, I did.

I dared and I fell short of desired results. It would be tempting to come up with a single reason that things didn’t work out. But it isn’t that simple. And I must wrestle with, scrutinize, and learn from every misstep—as well as the few successes along the way. Perhaps I shall awaken to a new calling—all I know is that I’m trying to find my way. Here are the key takeaways from this unanswered prayer.

FIRST, make sure there is a PLAN.

If there is no plan, then there are only two choices. One is to create a plan and two is to walk away. I accepted an invitation to assist with marketing and branding projects for a startup in transition. There was a website, there was a business structure that was being revised for multiple entities — The Icon, The NonProfit Organization, The ForProfit Organization.

There was no plan. No vision. No mission. No strategy. At least, nothing in writing. Nothing shared. Here I offered to craft a short-term solution but the priority was set otherwise. I should have insisted on that being created or established in writing before proceeding. Instead, I took the carrot and ran with the project and its evolving particulars.

Thus, when I agreed to create a brand strategy for The Icon, it was an effort that stood alone and actually would be expected to lead all other actions. However, I was not in a position to be a leader in the developing organization structure, and there was no staff on board in the organization(s) to lead.

This leads to, SECOND, make sure there is staff or PERSONNEL to assist with execution. 

After attempting to bring in colleagues to flesh out the talent pool, and realizing personality conflicts with the client, I made the mistake of attempting to fly solo and find resources along the way. I was in charge of developing the overall strategy for The Icon brand, however, it became clear that there was no implementation team. While there was an intention to assemble and hire a team, there was not a network in place.  

Wanting to bring my “superpowers” and to realize success for the project, I took on the tasks of implementation across platforms that, strategically, required being revised, updated, or created. I spread myself too thin and I employed my adequate but not masterful skills of design, webmaster, leader, and etc to attempt translating the brand strategy across marketing efforts. I called for help and called out the gaps. Some were filled. Others remained gaping.

It was a disaster at best. The issues were many-fold. Time ticked away at its unforgiving pace and I was losing efficiency bouncing from one last-minute priority to another as deadlines flew in my face like pixels in a video game. People came in the fold for a while — for instance, a woman stepped up to take charge of social media — and the relief of assistance was further taxed by the need to train and align them. 

For this, I created a plan — the Social Media Strategy was developed to assist brand presentation across Facebook and YouTube. From distinguishing a Profile from a Page and then concurrently creating a Celebrity Page on top of the existing NonProfit Organization Page plus planning for an eCommerce Page for exquisite items in the warehouse, this effort quickly scaled beyond reach. And, then the social media manager left the building.

With my hands full, I failed to pick up the threads and weave them into place, and I realized there was no clear path for reconciling all the loose ends. There was nowhere to turn.

So my last major key lesson is, THIRD, make sure there is a PROCESS—or that there are many processes—in place to support success. 

Key processes include Defining, Supporting, and Reporting. The reporting structure needs clear definition so that attention can be brought to the weaknesses and shortfalls in order to thwart disaster. In the changing business structures, the Board of Directors members revolved in and out of the organization, and then disappeared. The one consistent Director traveled for work and was not a businessman so had little efficacy in leading the pack, though he took responsibility for funding all.

Expectations were often unclear and the scope of work changed during each project. I created and executed a series of Social Media posts that were determined to be off-brand after the fact — so I deleted all of them. Getting aligned was difficult and getting approvals was even more difficult. All input and feedback came from The Icon, who really should not have been bothered with such detail, and yet there was nowhere else to turn.

A process for defining the details including deadlines and every duty would assist progress to the plan. And a system of support is critical. Weekly meetings would veer off agenda so effective review didn’t happen and next steps were not certainly determined. I failed to create a place to give shared visibility to all so that changing dates and demands would be communicated undeniably and in a timely fashion. 

I failed to uphold “no” when demands grew beyond my ability to stretch. I failed to “stop” and regroup to ensure alignment and support. I failed to find a way to voice requirements for success in a way that would capture attention and yield success that was better than haphazard. “Step up!” it was commanded. Get ‘er done! Then, even the victories got lost in the fog of let down.

I couldn’t dissuade the escalation of activity so disappointment was the way. This won’t be my experience next time, not at the next opportunity.

And a bonus key comes to mind; FOURTH, make sure you are a fit, PERSONALLY.

Camaraderie and cohesion aid accomplishment. While I met weekly with The Icon, I rarely felt heard. While I respect and revere the position of The Icon, I worked to remain objective. I did not find a way to drink the kool-aid and still serve in my hired role. Keeping out of the grey area meant keeping out of the cultural current. I attended a couple events to get to know the energy of The Icon’s work, as direct experience assists understanding and the ability to message it. Still, I felt it important to serve in my role rather than be served by The Icon. I stayed on the sidelines, in my lane of hired hand.

So again, perhaps I am not a fit in this as I see the newly hired full-time staff immerse themselves in the flow while taking on challenges full force. Or perhaps this is the plight of a contractor vs an employee — always on the outside looking in.

While I am drawn to The Icon and the work, I have a perspective of an observer and I keep my personal boundaries with great care. It is, perhaps, not the best alignment for this particular client. With full-time staff on board, there is a new direction emerging. So be it. I will hang on to the glimpses of achievement in the sea of simultaneous engineering this startup went through. Growing pains. Awkward like adolescence. Now taking off to experience the next stage of expansion.

My goal is to learn from this adventure in failure. To hone my strengths and shore up my weaknesses. And, one day, the people who doubt me will be the ones who talk about the one day when they met me. I might even be one of them.

I should have declined projects when we discussed that I was the wrong person for the detail work. It was out of alignment with my skill set. When asked to step up, I did. I should have said no. Still, some things went well. Overall it was disappointing. In trying to be everything, I was reduced to nothing.

9
Apr

10 Points You Must Cover in Your Initial VC Pitch

You are a startup looking for a VC and a VC is looking for a startup. So how do you convince a VC to take your call or meet with you? You send them a deck — make sure it is stacked in your favor.

Start by developing and refining the reasons why the VC should meet with you. Organize your presentation with most persuasive and logical order of reasons. Make sure to punctuate with visuals — simply add headlines or bold leads to your paragraph or include illustrations. And, definitely, cover the ten critical points.

  1. THE DETAILS. Announce the name of your company, where it is located, the round, how much capital you wish to raise.
  2. THE PLAYERS. Introduce your team. Include the expertise each person brings.
  3. THE USP. Capture attention with your Unique Startup Proposition — what are you solving? Is this a necessity or a luxury? What is most impressive about where you are with it right now? It could be the team, the technology, the growth, etc. Get the VC excited about the possibilities.
  4. THE POTENTIAL. Show the VC the size of the opportunity. The projected market must be large enough to provide ample return on investment. Do your homework here and make it relevant to your specific vision or solution. Complete this picture with how you stack up to beat competition. Explain how you plan to scale.
  5. THE THING. Present your product. Whether it is a prototype or a blueprint, an app or a service, include as much detail as you have defined. Use all media that is available to portray the product with optimal clarity.
  6. THE PLAN. Outline your go-to-market strategy. How will you approach and capture your market? What will help you build your tribe? Do you have a website?
  7. THE WAY. Explain your business model. How will you generate and capture revenue? Online, salesforce, multi-tiered marketing? There are many options.
  8. THE KIPs. Show the numbers. Not just a spreadsheet, include charts or graphs that quickly communicate your Key Indicators of Performance or success.
  9. THE ASK. Yes. Ask for it. Let the VC know your needs — the money, the time, the support, the connections — and request to meet in person or via Skype to proceed with next steps.
  10. THE CATCHPHRASE. End with a battle cry. Make it unforgettable so that whatever the decision regarding your request, your startup will be remembered.

Make sure your presentation is clear, concise, and complete with compelling information and arguments. Brand the pages in a way to give repetitive attention to your startup name, logo or other identifying feature. Prepare the narrative for your presentation, ensure that it translates with or without you. May the VC be with you.

Also published via Medium and originally created for Invest Southwest, here.

8
Mar

Pearls of Wisdom

It was an honor, a privilege, and a joy to step out on stage and present “Script Your Shift” to the Pearls of Wisdom tribe. What a perfect place to cut a groove in this new chapter of my life. In case you missed it, here is the video. For a Pitch Perfect session, eMail me at Tamara@TamaraParisio.com. Let me assist you to create the script for your starring role in your success!

SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT. Write down your goals. Business Plan, Personal Manifesto, or Strategic Map, put pen to paper to improve performance. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants (it only takes 30 to be statistically significant). She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. A modality employed to make the process entertaining rather than daunting is to approach your plan as a script for your success. And, you are cast in the starring role as the lead character. Here are three examples of clients who stepped into the celebrity of their success.

Anita Miranda the Official Lipstick Reader

CHARACTER

From psychic fairs to celebrity parties and luxury events, Anita Miranda stepped up into high heels to expand in stardom as The Official Lipstick Reader.  

CAST

After establishing her starring character, Sherry Anshara attracted the supporting cast, including influencer Vishen Lakiani of mindvalley.

SCENE

To set the scene, Donna Sparaco shows up in full character, Daily Dose A Donna, to motivate and inspire with her proprietary program, Set Your Dial to Joy.

Download a pdf of the Script Your Shift handout.

22
Jan

Six Keys To Learning From Failure in Your Startup Endeavor

Most startups fail. Much like the game of baseball, failure is part of the process. How you deal with failure will determine your success.

“Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs

Understand what caused the failure. Identify the error and find the solution for it. Then, every mistake becomes a lesson. Study it — grow from it. Forge ahead to success.

STUDY FAILURE

In every startup failure, there are many details in the process. Looking at each step, every decision, and finding which play worked and which didn’t will reveal the cause of the failure. It might be one choice, or a series of choices that didn’t work together. Assess and learn from the mistake.

“There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger.” ― Eric Bates

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

Take full and complete responsibility for your own actions, decisions, and intentions. Own it. Say it out loud — I was wrong. I struggled. I made a mistake. Understand your justification and the rational for decisions you made; and realize where your thinking was wrong (even though they seemed right at the time). This will give you the power to adjust. And, it will build confidence for going forward.

“The harder you fall, the stronger you rise.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo

HAVE CLARITY

Struggle is often perception and projection more than reality. When confronted with a hurdle, ask yourself “If I were to let this be easy, how would I approach it differently?” Get your subconscious aligned and in gear to see the solution.

“Life always gives us another change: It’s called ‘To Move On’.” ― Ana Claudia Antunes

BOOST CONFIDENCE

Your brain registers every goal achieved — small goals and large ones. Every accomplishment motivates you to achieve more success. You just have to deliberately be conscious of them. To do this, keep a list of your accomplishments. At the end of the day, every day, write down achievements — large and small — and take a few minutes to savor them. Let this boost confidence and self esteem as you forge ahead. Look for the possibilities. Seize the opportunities.

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ― George Bernard Shaw

MANAGE WORRIES

When you start to imagine pitfalls, visualize what will go right instead of what will go wrong. Don’t repeat or dwell on stories of past mistakes. Move on as fast as possible.Focus your mind on the positive, like that fresh idea, the easy commute to the office, and the latest accomplishment, rather than focusing on what bad thing could or did happen. Stay in the present moment.

“Never feel intimidated by defeat nor death, but rather intimidate life with your dreams.” ― Auliq-Ice

CARRY ON

Push through your resistance to failure and liberate yourself from fear. Relax and remain focused on the task at hand. Trust your intuition. Rather than worry about what could go wrong, generate solutions to any imaginable problem. This will give you confidence to proceed.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Cohelo, The Alchemist

Treat failure as a lesson. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” rather than beating yourself up for making a mistake. Don’t bring the negative energy from yesterday into today. Today is a new day.

13
Aug

How to Realize your Vision in 3 Key Steps: Think it up. Feel it in. Act it out.

Think it up. Feel it in. Act it out. These three steps are crucial on the path of realizing your vision for your life—personally or professionally. Every entrepreneur starts with an idea. For successful dreamers, this vision drives action aligned with achieving the end result. Oftentimes the process is automatic. And, to amplify the probability of success, you can make this a mindful method.

Let’s look at each one a little more closely.

Step 1 — think about it. Be conscious of your thoughts and manage them. Intentionally think about your dream in productive ways. Create your thoughts. Then let your thoughts create  your plan. Ponder openly and confidently about your vision. Consider the highest good that will come from your goal.

In your daily life, think of ways to step into what you aspire to create. Write down these ideas and the milestones on your path to realizing your vision. Make a map of the journey. Think through each facet of  your adventure. Your thoughts are very powerful, because they affect how you feel.

Step 2 — feel inside it. Allow yourself to feel what it is like to experience your dream. What does it feel like to be on the path to achieving your dream? How do you feel doing the work you long to bring forth in the world? Touch the textures. Smell the aromas. Taste the flavors. Listen to the sounds. See the results. Take your thoughts and feelings very seriously.

Meditation is a great tool to assist you. Meditation is a game-changing practice. For just a few minutes each day, take the time to cultivate the feeling of what it is you desire, and experience it. Allow yourself to dwell in the feeling, the excitement, the joy of realizing your life’s vision. The feelings that come forth in meditation manifest in your life—whether only in the meditation or echoing it in your experiences when you take action.

Step 3 — act on it. Take action from a place of alignment with your vision. Many who pursue big dreams take action from a place of ego. They push with the force of “I’ve got to make this happen!” Or they fall prey to beliefs such as “I’ve gotta hustle and work hard.” Or they come from lack and think “I need to do this.” Or they shut down and play small wondering “Who am I to do this?” So they never do anything. Align with your vision and recognize limiting beliefs to thwart them along the way.

Acting in alignment with your thoughts and your feelings, engage others. Support from friends will boost your confidence beyond the limits of your logical mind. Connect with your dream personally and this equips you to notice when you are out of sync so you can quickly realign with your vision.

Take a pen and paper and jot down the three steps. Note your thoughts. Write out your feelings. And list the actions you take every day toward living that vision, personally or professionally! This is a plan for your business and a plan for your life!

 

21
Jun

6 Tips to Hone Your Investor Pitch

There’s the windup, and then there’s the pitch.

The pitch is critical to every startup. It’s your story; your identity; your compelling reason for being. And you have to get it in the strike zone in order to keep your company alive and to ensure that it thrives. Pitching your startup to investors—or to potential customers—can be overwhelming.

You have to know your stuff—your budget, your offerings, your advertising, your brand story, and more. This is your lifeline to resources. And, your future rests on the success of your delivery. To assist you to perfect your pitch, here are a few tips to get your story straight.

Know your why.

Storytelling is all the rage in advertising, and now in business branding. Sharing your story in the most compelling, powerful manner builds connection and credibility among potential customers and with investors.

Once you have your why—the reason you do what you do—it is much easier to find those interested in that passion. And, it is often said that when you are focused on your why, the how shows up and the what doesn’t matter.

Have a plan—a booming business plan.

The greatest idea in the world will not have a chance in surviving execution without proper planning. A solid business plan that clearly expresses your strategy and tactics, including how capital will be used, plans to scale the business, and reasonable anticipated growth will give an investor confidence that there will be a return on their money.

A solid plan shows the investor that you are knowledgeable about your product, the competitors, the market opportunity, the industry, and the future of your business. Reinforce your business plan with the critical details. Determine your break-even point, then customize the plan to demonstrate monthly cashflow. When the business is your baby, your pitch is especially essential to build a community of credibility and support.

Show sustainability.

Sustainability is continuous viability and longevity. It is key to obtaining funding from VCs and angel investors. It is also critcal in earning respect from industry professionals and gaining credibility among potential customers. There’s a difference between a flash-in-the-pan and an idea that inspires early adoption.

Customers and investors are savvy enough to know when a product has the potential for longevity. Everyone who will invest, purchase or support your company needs to know that you will be around for the long haul and you have a plan for how to do that successfully.

Know thy audience.

Tailor your pitch to your audience, whether it’s potential investors, a sea of customers, or a panel of judges. When speaking to investors, focus on the numbers, viability, and sustainability of the company. Let them know what’s in it for them—in the short term and in the long run.

If you are competing in a startup battle, presenting to a panel of judges, focus on your business as a whole. This will be the broadest pitch you give. Don’t leave out important details when you cast a wide net. If your investors are new to the industry, be sure that you speak in clear terms—don’t lose them in jargon and acronyms. Regardless of how well a panel understands your business, remember that you are in charge of the effectiveness of your pitch. No excuses.

Rehearse, a lot.

It may seem obvious, yet people often neglect proper practice. They may feel too much practice could make them seem stiff. While actually, the more you practice, the more relaxed, comfortable, knowledgeable, and “natural” you’ll be. This gives the impression of expertise. And, the better you know your stuff, the less likely you’ll be thrown off course by questions or derailed by nervousness.

The mere thought of public speaking makes many people nervous. The good news is that presentation skills can be honed, making the experience less worrisome. Practice is the secret to elevating your skills. Create and rehearse a variety of pitches so you can readily respond in different situations. From a one-minute elevator pitch to a thirty-minute talk, preparation and practice are the keys to communicating your message powerfully.

Show your stuff.

Give your audience a reason to remember you. Create a memorable phrase or give your audience hands-on time with your product (if possible) are a couple ways to be remembered. Consider what distinguishes you and what differentiates your product. Communicate that clearly and powerfully to ensure that, at the end of the pitch, your audience won’t stop thinking about your business.

Pitching your business starts with the proper wind up. It’s about the mechanics. It is like casting a fishing line with the appropriate bait into the hungry crowd and then waiting patiently for the bobber to dip with a fish on the hook.

Take all of the advice you have studied, ask for feedback, perfect your pitch, practice, and learn from every experience to improve with each and every presentation. Hone it and own it. And know that when you simply deliver your well crafted, well rehearsed elevator pitch, you have got the room interested in what you have to say.

15
Feb

Set Up Social Media Success in 6 Simple Steps

Social media doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be your best sales associate and your favorite marketing tactic. The key is to focus so you don’t get overwhelmed. It all begins with your message. Here are five steps to go from strategy to scheduled for social media success.

#1 Create Your Social Media Strategy.

For your Brand, you have a strategy. Now, align that with Social Media. Determine your niche—your target audience. Consider pain points and interests; and your solution for them. People seek solutions and benefits!

Brand strategy is a long-term plan for development to achieve specific goals. It is your playbook. Goals, strategies and tactics are outlined to give you a game plan.

Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. It is much more than that. It is tangible and intagible, purpose driven, mission focused attributes that are your reason for being. It’s a feeling that separates powerful versus mediocre brands.

Your brand strategy considers:

1. Your industry & design trends
2. Your ideal client’s desires
3. Your brand personality

Distinguish your brand — how do you differentiate yourself and speak to your audience in a way that attracts them? There are many ways to give your brand a personality. From your logo and colors to tone of voice, messaging must align with your audience while remaining consistent in delivery style. Imagine your brand talking with one customer. And then, replicate that conversation consistently in the marketplace. This is where the social media strategy comes in.

Now, create a plan for social media that addresses your target audience where they are. Design a communication and messaging strategy to deliver information that is helpful to them and of interest. Relate to other topics that they are engaging with across platforms.

Check out this article of interest — Perfecting the four P’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Know what makes you different from your competition.
  2. Define your target audience and the solution you provide.
  3. Translate this to your Social Media strategy.

#2 Choose Your Social Media Platform(s).

You aren’t required to be on every Social Media platform to be successful. Pick one, possibly two to start. Avoid overwhelm!

In the beginning, fewer and BETTER is the focus. Facebook is the logical first choice for most brands. Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube are strong second choices, depending on your niche.

With Facebook, create your personal Profile then set up your Business Page. From quotes to images to video, you can dominate presence in your niche. Facebook Live amplifies the possibilites. You can benefit from low cost, highly targeted Facebook Ads to generate leads and build your list.

Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest along with LinkedIn and YouTube are great online real estate for your message. Your strategy will assit you in selecting the one or two places to start so that you speak to your tribe and align with your message.

To get a feel for the social media channels, check out this article of interest — Social Media at a Glance.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Set your goals — what you aim to accomplish.
  2. Select the Platforms you will use to START.
  3. Set up your social media sites.

#3 Curate and Create Your Content.

Develop an Editorial Plan to guide your content with purpose. And then you can repurpose the information across your social media channels. This reinforces your presence.

Create a calendar — three, six, nine, or 12 months out. For each month, brainstorm themes and then topics within that theme that would be of interest to your audience. Look at information that will establish you as the “Go To” person in your arena.

Choose themes and topics so you can weave information from one post to another. Look at the map of content so you know what you are sharing each and every day. Content can easily be “re-purposed” and used in a variety of ways, and across multiple platforms.

For more insights, check out this article — Repurpose Key Twitter Posts.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Brainstorm content theme ideas.
  2. Outline topics of interest to your niche.
  3. Create a 30 day content editorial calendar.

#4 Create a Series of Messages.

Now comes all the write stuff. Tailor the words to fit the channel. A blog post can be pulled apart for fodder you can upload to Twitter or Facebook. Specific messages can be developed for each channel and your audience there. If you desire assistance with this, let me know.

Now, get going. Check out this article of interest — Pretty Perfect.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Write your message(s).
  2. Develop content tailored to each channel.
  3. Consider quotes that align with your message.

#5 Select Message Visuals.

There are a number of ways to deliver information—your brand strategy will assist you in selecting the style(s) best suited to your message.

Photos; Infographics; Videos (Live and Native); Blog Posts and Original Articles by you; White Papers; Blogs and Useful Articles by other thought leaders in your niche who do not compete. Make Video a priority as it gets the MOST engagement!

Once you determine the style of information delivery, create your content. Outline it. Find photos and images to add impact. Consider using Piktochart or Canva to create images and infographs. Look at Notegraphy for creating impact with your words. And, find free photos and images at Pixabay.

Check out this article of interest — A Picture Worth 1000 Words.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Consider your brand image and align visuals with that.
  2. Create your message visuals.
  3. Develop content across visual media.

#6 Schedule It.

Effective Social Media Marketing can be done in 30 minutes a day when you have a plan and you WORK that plan.

You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance. This puts your social media presence on autopilot.

Check out this article of interest — Storytelling and the 3 T’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Schedule posts for 30 days—consider Hootsuite or Buffer.
  2. Check in every day for 30 minutes to boost activity and interact with your tribe.
  3. Share posts from others who attract your niche.

Define your brand strategy and your message. Choose which delivery method will be best for your message. Make a list of themes and topics of interest. Create your content. And schedule it.

Congratulations! You now have the steps required to command Social Media and dominate your niche for business awareness, lead generation, client contact, and nutured relationships that lead to SALES! For assistance in creating your content, get in touch with me.

13
Sep

Pretty Perfect …

Perfectionists are procrastinators. The path to perfections is riddled with every pitfall.

Ultimately, a perfect plan poorly executed will not perform as well as a poor plan perfectly executed. Especially realizing that it’s all about timing. Your plan must be perfectly prompt or you miss the opportunities completely.

Rather promptly press forward with a pretty perfect plan than struggle to have everything aligned while missing the bus. Pretty perfect is pretty good — and that beats having nothing at all.

One imperfectly finished project is better than 100 left undone. If you don’t learn to complete your projects, even if imperfectly, you’ll never live your highest potential. Set your sights to finish lines. If you don’t cross out an important task, you erode your self-esteem and self-trust. Not completing a goal or task increases stress and this is a major cause of overwhelm.

 

There are just four choices you need to make to accomplish a goal and finish something.

These are valuable, strategic choices that will powerfully move you forward. So make them. Take them to heart. Realize the awesomeness that follows. Turn the tables on procrastination.

1. Determine your ideal outcome (clearly and in present tense).

2. Commit to taking courageous, imperfect action until you achieve that ideal outcome. And, NOW is the best time to start!

3. Pay attention to the feedback you are getting without taking it personally.

4. Analyze the feedback you are getting, adjust your approach and be flexible until you produce your ideal outcome (or something better).

Committing to these choices will change the game. Make four moves? Simple. Living them? Wow. Commit to it now. Link positive outcome and curiosity with these choices to bring about rapid change.

You are a finisher. There is so much for you to bring into the world. Tt’s time to bring it. Don’t allow perfectionism and/or procrastination to block your dreams. You can change everything… Right now.

Just do it, today not tomorrow—TNT. This attitude will get you out the door and on your way. You can get a read and adjust as required. Life is work in progress. Let it flow.

21
Aug

Stuck in a rut? Five ways to get out of your head and into a new groove.

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? You can’t move forward, you can’t get that break, and sometimes, you just can’t let go of the past?

You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. And many of us have moved on by taking some simple steps to get un-stuck. Get out of your head and find yourself a new groove.

“If I consider my life honestly, I see that it is governed by a certain very small number of patterns of events which I take part in over and over again…when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t.” — Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building

When you feel stuck it’s usually because of one of three things—and all of them are in your head. Either you are focusing on all that is wrong with your situation which tends to attract more of what is wrong. Or, you don’t have a clear vision for what you desire, so it is hard to know if you are stepping into your dream. Finally, it could be that you’re holding on to something from the past resulting in doubts and fears that are holding back your progress. This last one is the biggest reason you’re not moving toward achieving what you desire — subconscious programs that keep you in a rut. But you can escape this groove!

Step 1: Change Your Mind

You are in charge of the thoughts that you think! Take the reins and guide your brain.

When you think about your current situation, do so with gratitude. See how far you’ve come. Appreciate where you are now. Get excited about the journey. Open yourself to all adventure that comes your way.

“To refuse what life offers is to chance not recognizing happiness if it comes your way.” — Maurice Goudeket, Close to Colette: An Intimate Portrait of a Woman of Genius

If you’re not happy, change your thoughts. Think about something else, something that feels happy! Think about something positive to stop negative thoughts from spreading.

“Anxiety and Ennui are the Scylla and Charybdis on which the bark of human happiness is most often wrecked.” —William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life

Step 2: Create A Vision

Consider what you would like to achieve and how you desire to feel. This is your life, aim high. People tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in a year while they tend to underestimate what they can do in three years. Look ahead and double the distance! With clear direction, you can create a map or a plan for getting there!

“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.” — Bertrand Russell

Then, set intentions every day. It is important to determine actions you are able to carry out during the week. Create intentions, and list the follow through steps you’ll take for each one. This is your map for the day. Mapping gives you a clear sense of direction.

Expand your list to include intentions about anything you desire to see advanced or changed. You might have several areas in your life that require tune ups. The overwhelm can leave anyone feeling stuck. Select one or two things to begin. Consider categorizing intentions: friendships, adventures, environment, health, intellect, skills, spirituality, career, family, community, creativity.

Look at areas for personal growth, contribution, and connection. Map out your intentions. Without direction, you’ll just fall into a rut.

Step 3: Believe In You

You have to believe in you — believe you can and will achieve your goals. Once you believe, you’ll attract the people, places, and potentials to assist you.

“Public opinion is always more tyrannical towards those who obviously fear it than towards those who feel indifferent to it.” — Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness

When you believe in you, you will surround yourself with people who support you, those who will assist you in achieving your goals.

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882).

Step 4: Enlist Your Subconscious

Eliminate subconscious thoughts and beliefs that aren’t serving you. Replace them with empowering thoughts and beliefs.

Your subconscious does what it thinks you desire it to do — it simply follows your thoughts and beliefs. So make sure you have thoughts and beliefs that allow you to expand, experience, and excel in the life you desire.

Focus on what you desire, require, and deserve. Don’t dwell on all that is wrong, what you don’t want, what you don’t like. See every problem as an opportunity to design a solution.

“Such as are your habitual thoughts; such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”– Marcus Aurelius

Employ encouraging self-talk. Be positive. Stop beating up yourself for things that didn’t work — instead, ask yourself “what have I learned from this that will move me forward?” Turn a mistake into a valuable lesson.

Step 5: Own Your Power

You are a powerful person. Step into it. If you’re not living the life you desire, you’re not directing and working with your power—your subconscious mind. Give it the correct instructions so that it assists you in creating the life of your dreams. Take charge of your self, all of your self!

“If you make it a habit not to blame others, you will feel the growth of the ability to love in your soul, and you will see the growth of goodness in your life.” —Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

Let go of the past and create the life you feel you desire. Move forward, get out of that rut, achieve more, and have more. Enjoy life. Be happy. Share laughter. And focus on living the life of your dreams.

25
Sep

3 Pillars for Boosting Memory

It is important to remember names, recall your grocery list, give your elevator pitch, or to be able to recite your speech.

Learning is remembering. —Socrates

From a seminar by Jim Kwik of Kwik Learning, here are three pillars of memory to help you boost your ability to remember.

M. Motivation.

Ask yourself: “What do I need to do to incentivize or reward myself and increase my motivation.” Why? Reasons reap results. You remember more when you are interested, enthusiastic and energetic. Put your heart into remembering.

O. Observation.

Pay attention. You build retention from attention. Memory is not something you have, it’s something you do. In this time of digital dementia—where we are outsourcing recall to a smartphone—it is critical to sharpen the saw of memory and own this superpower. Be present when taking in new information. Build your memory and your ability to remember.

M. Mechanics

Use tools for remembering. From associating a list with items in a room or with parts of your body, to creating a mnemonic clue, there are infinite  creative ways to prompt recall.

31
Mar

MindSet: A 5-Step Workout for Mental Toughness

When you need a mental edge, toughen up your mind. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start with a centering breath. Breathe in for six seconds. Hold for two seconds, then breathe out for seven seconds. Controlling your breathing this way is a stress reliever, and it reduces your state of arousal.
  2. Recite a personalized identity statement to yourself in five seconds. A good identity statement emphasizes one of your positive qualities and pinpoints something you want to become, like “I am confident and passionate. I’m consistently excellent every day as a leader, executive, and mother,” or “I care more about my clients and I will outwork the competition. I am a million-dollar salesman.
  3. Visualize your own personal highlight reel for 60 seconds—seeing in your mind three things you’ve done well in the past 24 hours and mentally rehearsing three important things you need to do today.
  4. Repeat your identity statement to yourself for five seconds (see #2).
  5. Finish with another centering breath cycle—breathing in for six seconds, holding for two and then exhaling for seven.

Your mind is now ready to focus and perform.

This excerpt from The Two-Minute Secret to Mental Toughness by Jason Selk in INC magazine.

2
Nov

GRAMMAR: ME vs I

It is important to use language correctly so not to diminish credibility of your content. Here is a tool to help guide the use of I (noun) versus ME (pronoun). Keep it handy till it becomes a habit.

Guide for the proper use of I vs ME.

Guide for the proper use of I vs ME.

“I” is the noun—refers to oneself as speaker or writer.  “ME” is the pronoun—refers to self as object of a verb or preposition.

RULE: If you can’t replace the “YOU and I” with “WE,” you’ve got it wrong. If you can’t replace “YOU and ME” with “US,” you’ve got it wrong. Tweet: RULE: If you can't replace YOU & I with WE—you've got it wrong. If you can't replace YOU & ME with US—you've got it wrong. @tamaraparisio

Thanks for meeting with HIM AND ME. (Thanks for meeting with ME. Thanks for meeting with HIM. Thanks for meeting with US.) vs HE AND I appreciate your time. (I appreciate your time. HE appreciates your time. WE appreciate your time.)

It is bigger than YOU AND ME combined. (It is bigger than ME. It is bigger than YOU.) vs YOU AND I are smaller than this idea. (I am smaller than this idea. YOU are smaller than this idea. WE are smaller than this idea.)

To YOU AND ME, this idea is big. (To ME, this idea is big. To YOU, this idea is big. To US this idea is big.) vs When YOU AND I succeed (When I succeed … When YOU succeed… When WE succeed…)

They will praise YOU AND ME for this. (They will praise ME for this. They will praise YOU for this. They will praise US for this.) vs The praise YOU AND I receive will be stellar (The praise I receive will be stellar. The praise YOU receive will be stellar. The praise WE receive will be stellar.)

Between HIM AND ME there is chemistry. (Between US there is chemistry. Between HIM & ME. Between ME & YOU. Between ME & HIM.) vs HE AND I share an office. (HE shares an office with me. I share an office with him. She shares and office with HIM AND ME. WE share an office.)

He took a photo of HIMself AND ME. (He took a photo of US. He took a photo of HIMSELF. He took a photo of ME. He took a photo of US.) vs HE AND I posed for a photo. (HE posed for a photo. I posed for a photo. WE posed for a photo.)