One of my favorite TV experiences is the Oscars. The magic of this evening is getting a glimpse into an elegant, coveted world that brings the best of the best in film to be recognized for their exceptional work. The often touching acceptance speeches give us a window into the real person behind the actor…and the inspiration and meaning that crafts their work gives us a window of hope for our own lives.

As this year’s winner for Best Actress, Michelle Yeoh, said, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dreams — dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”

Her words were so poignant and resonant. In my own work, I seem to be constantly hearing the voice of the inner critic in almost everyone I speak with, including my clients that question and doubt their belief in themselves and their possibilities. It’s as if their dreams have ceased and their fears have stepped in to take control.

Just this week, one client who has achieved so much, who started from scratch and has built an enviable business, said, “I feel I need to reinvent myself, but don’t know how”. The irony being she’s already reinvented herself twice, so she’s perfectly capable of doing it again. 

The message I heard behind her paralysis of self-doubt, is that her previous dream has faded or shifted and now she gets to ignite a new dream…a new dream backed with a belief in herself and an opportunity to take action in the direction she now desires…

  • It’s too late for me
  • I’m running out of time
  • I should have done it years ago
  • I’m too old
  • I’m not good enough
  • I have responsibilities and people at home to care for
  • I want a change but who am I kidding
  • I’m afraid of failing

Declaration of Deficiency by Women

My client’s declaration of deficiency by women, even successful women, is not uncommon. And it’s often masked and spoken in different ways with thoughts like:

And the list of negative thoughts, words or excuses goes on and on…

All too often women have played small, silenced their voices and held back their growth. Their goal to build a brilliant business or professional life, with the personal freedom and impact they so desire, seems too far out of reach.

They believe it’s an achievement destined only for a rare few.

In the end, the feeling of “being lost” that so many women have is a detriment to everyone and everything. If the condition persists no one and nothing will benefit from their brilliance.

Worse, it is a deeper detriment to their own souls because they’ll never get to fulfill their purpose, expressing their abundant talent and sharing it with the world.

So what tools can we use to shift gears and get back to our dreams and possibilities?


It’s important to understand that our inner critic will always be there. It’s actually a natural mechanism that’s in place to protect us from the unknown and the uncertain…protection from things that can create upheaval, pain and turmoil. 

But it’s also the same force that prevents us from achieving our true desires. Convincing us “there’s no way” and stripping us of our courage.

When we hear our inner critic we perceive it as weakness or a lack of confidence to forge the path to our dreams.

In reality, it’s not a personal weakness, but just a function of our minds that we all experience in varying degrees.

In the end, it comes down to how we cope with our inner critic that separates the “lost” or “stuck” from the “successful”.


I personally talk to my inner critic. Hear what it’s saying, recognize it for what it is, and then gently command it to step aside. I tell it, “I’m ready, I’m good enough, and I’ve got this”.

This process is powerful because you’re seeing it for what it is and putting it in its place, while you take back control of your life. It serves to diminish its power over you.


Another coping method I use to still my inner critic is to journal daily.

My journaling is a stream of consciousness that allows my inner critic to surface when it’s most vocal. I write out its questions and concerns and then respond just as if we were engaged in a conversation sitting across the table from each other.

I never perceive my inner critic as me. Yes, it’s a constant intruder in my life, but I’m very aware not to let it get in my way.

My inner critic does force me to assess my risks and determine my best next move, aware of all the possible outcomes. But I simply choose not to succumb to its drama and demands to play small. 

While its opinions do provide me some value, allowing me to check in on my desires and make more informed decisions, I never pay the high price it wants of me. Self-doubt is just too damn expensive. The cost to my happiness and success is just too much to bear.


When we’re feeling stuck, or less than or unsure, asking ourselves questions is one of the most powerful tools we can use. It’s something that is also a constant in my life. A wonderful question I ask myself is “What is a dream and goal that really feels true and current?”

In the end, we never achieve fulfillment in our business and life when we don’t honor our true purpose and desires.

Acting to attain our dreams amidst the fear, self-doubt of our inner critic is a courageous move. Being all that we are and want to become is the brilliance we earn by quelling our inner critic.

So Ladies, if you think you’re past your prime, I can guarantee you, You’re Not! You get to live your life your way and become all that is in your heart to be. 


Quote of the Week:

Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime. Never give up.

~ Michelle Yeoh

How do you make email offers that compel people to take you up on them?

Imagine that every time you send out an email this summer you’re inviting someone over to your beautiful outdoor garden for tea.

During your tea party, you invite them to cut whatever flowers they want in your garden to take home.


You’ve prearranged some garden cuttings and arranged them in beautiful bouquets for each person to take when they leave.

Now think about it. When bouquets are on offer it’s very easy for people to admire the bouquets and take one.

On the other hand, for them to take a pair of garden shears and go at your flower beds with reckless abandon is likely a less compelling proposition for various reasons…not knowing what’s off limits, not wanting to impose and feel like a taker, not wanting to emotionally deal with scavenging through your garden dreamscape.

Remember you invited them over for a tea party, not a flower cutting party.

So your emails get to consider the same dynamic. Your communications get to take the initiative and share what you’re up to, what may benefit your audience and invite people to work with you. 

And you get to make email offers in a way that compel people to take you up on your offers.

Because it’s unlikely your readers will take the initiative to determine how you can support them and how they can work with you.

In fact, the reality is people won’t usually take the initiative. They don’t want to impose or ask others to go out of their way for them.

Plus by not providing clear direction, you’re making them do all the work.

And it will go nowhere.

So if in your communications you’re priming your readers with education, value and a transformational experience and yet you’re not making irresistible offers, you’re basically setting up your audience to say “yes” to the next expert at hand that does present an offer and way forward.

In other words, you’re laying the groundwork for someone else to step in and seal the deal.

So present your goods and services and invite your audience to take it further with you.

Your offers can be direct in your communications or a postscript in your signature. The latter is very effective because it provides a prompt for them to take action, when they’re ready, and provides clear, compelling ways to engage.

With heart and brilliance,


PS: If you’re looking to activate sales and create more cash flow, our weekly Sales Salon is the place you want to be to hone your skills and meet other amazing women entrepreneurs who are building their empires.

Just reply to this email with Sales Salon in the Subject and I’ll get you all the details:)

PLUS: Whenever you’re ready…here are 3 ways I can support you in creating your extraordinary business and life:

1. FREE Resource to Curate Your Wealth at

2. Join Self-Discovery to Results.

An opportunity to do deep, personal exploration and work that aligns with life and business goals, expansive stretches, and leadership principles to build your freedom, impact and legacy…Just reply to this message and put “Self-Discovery” in the subject line.

3. Half-Day VIP

Want to tackle a strategic or marketing project, quickly? Book a Half-Day Session with me and together, we’ll execute in 4 hours…Just reply to this message and tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!


It’s heart wrenching and horrifying to watch the senseless war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine created, unprovoked, to serve the brutal ego of one tyrant.

Although these times are overshadowed by darkness, it is undeniable that the light still slips through. We have seen that light witnessing the unimaginable courage, resilience and leadership of so many people standing united in the face of atrocities and annihilation.

I’ve been personally inspired by the daily stories of individuals who risk everything, their lives included, to fight back facing the most dire circumstances. They sacrifice everything simply because it’s moral and right. They stand in stark contrast to Putin and his right wing, anti-democratic minions the world over.

They stand for hope and peace and freedom.

  • Ordinary people acting bravely like the nurses caring for and cradling in their arms ICU newborns sheltering in underground bunkers.
  • Like José Andrés and his team at World Central Kitchen who are providing meals in response to the humanitarian crisis…not only on the frontline in Ukraine but around the world.
  • Ukrainian families separating so mothers and children can flee to safety, leaving loved ones behind to fight for their independence.
  • Citizens of other countries like Poland, Moldova, and Romania who are welcoming, housing, and feeding the orphans and refugees of this outrageous war. Even connecting on an emotional level to celebrate the birthday of a Ukrainian child who just crossed over the border into Poland, providing some semblance of hope and promise for the future.
  • Even thousands of Russian citizens standing in protest and risking persecution, incarceration and even death for voicing their defiance of this brutal war.
  • Influential people like the Russian TV producer, Marina Ovsyannikova, who, without regard for her own safety, staged an on-air protest of the war.
  • World leaders who have joined together to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia and provide military and financial support to Ukraine.
  • And of course President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, actor, comedian and now hero, who through heart, soul and courage has stunned the world with his leadership…uniting a nation and holding a dictatorial monster at bay.

If we see enough of these rays of light, perhaps we will also see some light at the end of this tunnel…for an end to this war. For an end to all dark things. Perhaps if we can kindle the light within each of us, we can all become heroes, for peace and good.

With light and love this holiday weekend,


In my online dictionary Commitment means:

  1. the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. “the company’s commitment to quality”
  2. a pledge or undertaking. Plural noun: commitments “I cannot make such a commitment at the moment”
  3. an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. “business commitments”

Our ability to make any kind of meaningful difference in the lives of others requires commitment.

To live authentically, to be true to ourselves, we must be present, vulnerable, open and honest. This takes commitment because it’s not always easy.

To be connected with others we must reach out, share, give and be available. This takes commitment because it’s not always easy.

To make gains in our businesses and grow exponentially we must be focused in the right ways, take the right steps and learn as we go…failing and pivoting on the path to greatness. This takes commitment because it’s definitely not easy. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging decisions we make…to stay in the game of growing and scaling a business despite setbacks, obstacles, overwhelm and just plain life getting in the way.

But if you really want to build a business or enterprise that leaves a lasting legacy, one that you’re proud of, commitment is non-negotiable.

Every great leader, not only demonstrated courage and resilience, but had an unwavering commitment to stay in the game…no matter what.

Unfortunately, what I see happening too often with women entrepreneurs and leaders is that convenience trumps commitment.

That despite our deep desires and the rigor we put into our work, there are a thousand things we will put ahead of our dreams that stop us from staying the course. Things such as:

…the needs of others

…the need to be perfect

…putting off hard choices and decisions

…delaying the hard things that have to get done

…fears and insecurities

…stories and excuses

It’s not convenient to be committed. It’s not convenient to say “no” to other people’s agenda. It’s not convenient to harness every resource we have to take massive leaps and stake everything on what we claim we want.

It’s not convenient to be “all in”.

But our dreams and high impact goals won’t happen without commitment, without our ability to fully focus on what’s most important to us, put that first and stick with it no matter what story or excuse rears it’s inconvenient head.

If you want an assessment of whether or not you’re truly committed, there’s a great book titled The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership which says “that commitment is a statement of what is”. You know what your commitment is by the results you get. If you look at yourself right now, whatever you have is what you’ve been committed to. So if you want something different than what you have, change your commitment.

Because you’re worth it.

You deserve to live the life you want and thrive in your business.

Think of your commitment today. Are you living a committed life or a life driven by convenience?

Only you know for sure.

Quote of the Week:

I am resolved to write, write, and write. Nothing can turn me away from a path I have definitely set myself to follow.

~ Anaiis Nin

With heart and brilliance,


In my work and life I choose stretch goals that I’m really committed to. That is how I learn and not just grow, but leap. Stretch meaning daring, wildly ambitious objectives that are inherently, extremely challenging and require a new and different approach to bring them within reach.

For instance, I’m committed now to writing a book. I’ve given myself through 2022 to complete it.

If you’re wondering why that time period, in my mind I’m going from zero to stretch, which seems daunting and scary.

I’ve never written a book. I’ve written thousands of business communications, newsletters, blog posts, letters, thoughtful emails, relationship building notes, etc. 

But I’ve never written a book.

Let alone a book that I want to be proud of. A book that is important. 

A book that gives tremendous value to the reader and fully expresses my “Big Idea”.

And I’d love for that book to be a New York Times Bestseller. (That’s my ego speaking, but I do love The New York Times!)

So, the stretch for me is to declare and commit to writing a New York Times Bestseller book, that adds tremendous value to other peoples’ lives and is completed by the end of 2022.

I’ll share a secret. I’ve thought about this for years. Without commitment. And here’s what happened.


Thinking is good but thinking without action, it accomplishes nothing.

Nor does your inner critic.

What do I want to write about? Where do I start? How do I do this? Can I do this? Am I capable of doing this?

You know, that mean inner voice that seeks to keep you out of danger but puts you down in the process. Your inner critic.

And that also leads to NOWHERE.

So finally, I figured out what I must do, like every other major goal I’ve ever achieved:

Know in my heart that I really want to do it.

Make the actual decision to do it.

Get started.

Hire any help I may need to do it (like a book coach or editor).

Endeavor to make it New York Times worthy.

Do it.

And then get it done.

Okay, so my path forward is now clear, but it’s still a HUGE Stretch.

So, I want to break it down even further. What will actually put the stretch within reach.

Twyla Tharp, one of America’s most prolific choreographers, wrote in her book The Creative Habit, that she gets up at 5:30 am every morning, throws on her sweats, hops in a cab, and heads to the gym for a 2-hour workout. She’s done this every single day of her adult life.

She explains that in her lifetime of creating brilliant, original work, her habit is not the gym practice, which is what you would think because of her profession.

Her creative habit is actually hopping in the taxi. It’s this habit, this consistent practice that sets the stage for her commitment. Because she knows if she does this, she will follow-through with her gym practice AND she will be primed to create her masterpieces for the stage.

Now that’s brilliant! That makes sense. That really puts the stretch within reach!

Anne Lamott, famous American author, also wrote in her book on writing, Bird By Bird, that what’s important is the act of sitting every day, at whatever time you deem, for however long you commit, to just do it. With no expectations. To get through writer’s block or overwhelm or anything else, just sit and put words to a page. She uses a metaphor of a 2-inch frame. When we think we’re stuck and have nothing to say, just imagine you only need to come up with words to fill a 2-inch frame. It’s a start, it’s a step, it’s not a masterpiece.

That’s also brilliant!

In both cases if you think about it, what we’re talking about is the Minimum Viable Commitment. 

Now the minimum viable commitment doesn’t sound sexy or like we’re really invested in anything. But it works!

For me, I know that I will only be 100% accountable to myself, if I create a space where there are others showing up at my invitation. If someone else is counting on me, I will be there. No questions asked. No excuses, distractions or unproductive feelings will interfere. No matter what, I will be there.

So I’ve formed a daily Writing Circle and invited others who I also know are interested in writing to join me on Zoom at 6 AM EST. We just wave and write. We don’t talk. I don’t coach or consult. It’s just a space I’ve created to not only support myself but others who appreciate the benefit of the action and space.

This is my minimum viable commitment. Because I know if I do this… I will write that book.

If you think you have a book in you and would like to join us for our wake-up Writing Circle, please reply to this email and share a little about your project or intention.

I’ll get back to you with further details.

Whether you have a book in you and want to join us, or if your thing is not a book and you want to accomplish it, I invite you to find a process that will get you to the finish line.

Quote of the Week
Life is a process not an accomplishment.

With heart and brilliance,


This image of my cat Ivy reminded me of a book I recently read titled Living On The Skinny Branches by Master Transformational Leader, Michael Strasner.

The premise of the book is that to live an extraordinary and abundant life filled with personal freedom requires we live on the skinny branches…moving from the root of the tree where everything is the same, up the tree catching wind in your hair, and rising to the top where the juices and richness of life are experienced. The book provides leadership distinctions on how to create your extraordinary life.

As I watched Ivy this day, so high up, with some fear and trepidation (she’s an indoor cat), I instead chose to look at the world from her perspective. And that this adventure, though seemingly small, was a huge journey for her.

Putting myself in her paws so to speak, made me realize she was willing to risk the instability of the skinny branches to pursue her curiosity and live her life on her terms in the moment…with adventure, with joy and with the willingness to experience it fully.

Of course, she was not totally secure. She even began to fall at one point, managing to grasp the tree limb with her paws and hang there until she figured out how to shimmy herself back up.

Then when she was satisfied with her expedition and her risky endeavors she shuffled backwards to safety. 

To my surprise, after watching her almost fall from 15 feet high, it didn’t diminish her sense of adventure. Within no time and without hesitation she was off on her next adventure, up another tree.

This new experience created a craving for more discovery. A new world had emerged for Ivy.

If you’re still with me, you must either appreciate this story because you’re a cat lover and you “get it” or you think it’s utterly ridiculous I’m writing about my cat and trying to make a point about transformational living.

To me it’s really just a story with a simple message that made me reflect on my own life and the leadership lessons I work with my clients to embody.  Lessons that once taken to heart and practiced will support them in living their best lives.

The message and metaphor of Ivy’s experience can inform our own living on the skinny branches.

You see, growth and joy really do truly emanate from the risky business of pursuing a dream and going for it.

With purpose, vision, desire and curiosity we can create new worlds and discover personal universes that hold all the good things we imagine.

Without those things, we’re really just existing and not living.

Once you begin to unleash yourself and really live life on the skinny branches, you’ll never look back, and will climb up to those skinny branches over and over again.

I challenge you to go live your life on the skinny branches!

Lots of Love,


Life is a Journey. Immerse Yourself.

~ Michael Strasner

2020 was a year of adaptation. We were forced to face extraordinary challenges that completely upset our normal way of life. We had to dig deep, search for ways to strengthen ourselves and continue on, no matter what. It was shocking, it was unsettling, and it is still uncertain. The year often felt more like a fight for our survival than a pursuit of our dreams. And yet despite the challenges we made it through the year, and that is something to be grateful for. We all want 2021 to be different, but that is not likely, at least not anytime soon. The problems and challenges we faced in 2020 continue and even as those eventually disappear we will come across new challenges that will assuredly test us. If we aren’t ready to confront these challenges head-on, then 2021 will be no different than 2020. We will be left off-balance, desperately attempting to keep our footing as everything we deal with seeks to push us over. I am resolved to not let that happen to me.

How? Because I am RESOLVED not to let it happen.

And I am resolved to not let that happen to you.

Resolve is choosing to set our feet firmly. Resolve is not hoping that our problems will depart on their own accord, but instead doing the steps it takes to deal with them. Resolve is welcoming problems, preparing to face them, dealing with them, and dispatching them.

To me resolve is a steadfast decision and course of action that honors our commitments and convictions.  Resolve is the determination to bring our amazingness out in the world, to make it better, each and every day.

With resolve, we have the fuel that fosters our growth, our creativity, our prosperity. Resolve will help lead us into a bright, new future.

As a way to begin this discussion around Resolve, and to give voice to your life and your dreams, I invite you to join us for Sunday Silver Lining Conversations with Noreen.  To come together with other amazing women, and engage in conversations that meet the moment with gratitude, learning and discovery. It is our opportunity to reflect on our lives, our questions, our intentions and honor our one precious life.

This is my gift to you. I’d love to have you join us this coming Sunday, January 17 at 9:30 am eastern.

For more details and to register please click here.

I’m resolved to make 2021 one of the best years of my life, and I am not going to let anything stop it from being so. I hope you will join me in doing the same.

We witnessed a stunning sight in the sky this week. The “Christmas Star”, the attention-grabbing and rare alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, appeared as the brightest star in the sky. It was an iconic view that hasn’t been seen in nearly 800 years, and it won’t happen again for many years to come.

Gazing at the planets nestled close together brought to mind the importance of staying true to ourselves as we build a business, career and a life. That importance cannot be overestimated if we wish to create a fiercely fulfilling and free life. Nestling close to the true you IS iconic.

Only in our lives, we don’t have the luxury of 800 years to sync up and find our “spectacular”. We only get one lifetime, if we choose to use it, to create a fiercely, fulfilling life or the rest is history.

Your time is Now.

I say this with love because what I so often see in my work with feminine leaders and entrepreneurs is a playbook that is driven by “I should”, “I could”, “I would” and the expectations of others, rather than being driven by “I choose”, “I commit”, “I want” or “I get to”. Living by the parameters someone or something else establishes for your life side-steps what’s in your heart. And distancing yourself from that place is not a recipe for fulfillment or freedom.

In order to realize your dreams and the vision for your life, it’s important to move in a direction that aligns with the true you…what you believe, what you stand for, what you give voice to. Time and time again I’ve seen brilliant, skilled, talented, creative women stuck and struggling because of the influences of “should” and the destructive self-talk that holds power over them.

Just like the dazzling planetary spectacle wouldn’t be possible if the planets didn’t nestle so close to one another, your dazzling life won’t be possible the more disconnected you become from you.

Moving in the direction of your dreams and being aligned with who you are, no matter the risks or the cost, is your path to honoring your deepest desires and creating all that you want.

So if you’re ready to assess where you stand, I offer you this opportunity of self-reflection. The awareness you gain will serve you well in making any transformation you desire.

  • Identify where you’re going astray.
  • Summon the courage to let go of habits and patterns that only serve others.
  • Bring your gifts and contributions to the world with your time on this planet.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as either a starting point or a reboot as you enter a new year.

  1. What values are important to you…i.e. authenticity, connection, trust?
  2.  Are you living and breathing these values in all that you are doing?
  3. What’s one thing you’re doing that you’re ready to let go of to be more true to yourself?
  4. What’s a small or even big step you can take right now that honors you and moves you in the direction of your dreams?

And know, the world is looking for your Star to shine bright!

With heart and brilliance this holiday season,


The Oxford English Dictionary defines Influence as The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
In the context of building your business, it’s a “no-brainer” that “influence” would be important, right?

If you actually have the capacity to affect the character, development or behavior of someone or something it would certainly be worthwhile to focus on creating and building more influence.

Then why aren’t you doing it? Why aren’t you more focused on creating influence? Why aren’t you more focused on building the relationships necessary to gain influence?

Influence as a marketing focal point is too often sidelined for less impactful tasks when it should be the center of your entire marketing effort.

You understand intellectually & emotionally how important it is to create new relationships and deepen existing ones, yet it’s not a strategic or even day-to-day priority in your business or marketing operations.

Can this fatal business disconnect be explained? And if it can, is there a way to ensure you never forsake relationship building and the never-ending effort to create influence again?

Let’s break it down.

1. Influence is hard. Do the work.
The short game is easy and the long game is hard…and influence is most definitely a long game. It’s human nature to seek instant gratification. But influence requires effort and patience and then more effort and more patience. There are no immediate returns.

In business, there’s often a wariness and weariness about how long things take. So we keep putting it off hoping there are faster, easier ways to achieve results. There aren’t.

A business relationship is just like a personal relationship; they’re rarely built overnight. It takes time to get to know another person, to believe there’s a genuine exchange of value to be had and to create trust. And with that value and trust, a long enduring relationship can be firmly established.

So in considering the long game and to ensure your abiding influence, ask yourself these questions:

–      What do I truly want to create? What’s my big idea? (Someone with an overarching mission is bound to be more compelling and hence more influential than someone without one.)
–      What is the problem that my client needs solved?

–      How can I best add value to garner genuine trust?
–      What must I do to continue nurturing a relationship that endures long after the sale?

The reality is that the sooner you start genuinely fostering more relationships the easier it will be to attract your ideal audience and grow your business.

2. Influence is a giving game. Not a getting game.
Think about it. Did the people that are most endearing to you start off your relationship by asking for something from you? Most likely not.

In fact, if you recall the most effective approaches you’ve made in your work and business, did aggressive sales maneuvers ever serve you best? Most likely not.

The strongest relationships start with giving. And that goes for a selling relationship too. If you’re really relevant to a buyer or client it’s most likely because there was value in the interaction between you well before working with you or buying from you.

By going the distance…by providing valuable tools, training, information and recommended solutions…all of which demonstrate you are truly interested in helping…you are setting up the field of play for a winning relationship.

And that’s influence.

3. Technology is not a substitute for influence. Do what has always worked.
We’re all easily seduced by bright and shiny new objects and often resort to the digital glitz of computer apps and social media to create an influence edge.

Be acutely aware though, adopting new technology and trends is not a panacea for attracting new clients. While these digital tools are very important, they’re not in and of themselves going to build key relationships.

As Productivity Expert Michael Hyatt says, “Technology is a great servant but a terrible master.”

When it comes to influence modalities that work, follow these steps:

–   Find the communication method (or technology) that works best for you…the thing or things that play to your strengths. This is especially important for new businesses that have to get clients fast. Add new avenues of communication over time but don’t abandon the tried and true.

–    Put your primary communication method into action. Actually, do it.

–      When you do it, make sure you’re communicating with a clear intention, clear messaging and offering clear value.

–      Technology is never a substitute for thoughtful human-to-human interaction, so whatever method you’re using, no matter how digitally advanced, you still have to imbue your messaging with emotion, sincerity, and authenticity. Whatever technology you’re using, even in something as short as a text or tweet or simple image, your communication has to have compelling human appeal.

–      After your initial contact, implement a system for staying in touch and be consistent with it. You never know when a decision point you may benefit from is going to be reached. And remember, relationships don’t thrive when they’re neglected or treated as a matter of convenience.

4. Influence is the ask. Not the tell.
Influence is challenging when we’re not sure how to create it.
We assume that we start persuading by providing a recitation of our features and benefits. Honestly though, nobody really cares about that. They care about getting their problem solved or desire met.
And the best way to determine their needs is to ask questions. Questions help us cut clear to the heart of the issue and help to build rapport.

So start with curiosity and create a list of 3 to 5 high-quality questions that help show you care. This is an effective way to identify their needs, determine if there is a solution you can provide, or if there is a better provider that you can refer the person to. Even if it’s not your sale, but you helped provide a solution by referring them elsewhere, you are still building influence. And people will remember this and be grateful for it.

5. Influence is the way forward. But it’s a path with no guarantees.
Influence takes time to cultivate but you have to embrace that it offers no guarantees. That’s right. Embracing effort with no guarantees. But wouldn’t you rather spend your time on high-impact initiatives that have the potential to lead to something big rather than on mundane tasks that take you nowhere?

Although there are no guarantees, if you’re thoughtful about how you reach out, and how you cultivate your relationships, it’s highly unlikely there will be no rewards.

The key here is to continually make the effort and take the time to really connect with your audience. Do that with a genuine desire to serve and you’ll be engaging in game-changing influence.
6 weeks ago they were just students.

Today, they are leaders. Extraordinary leaders.

On March 24th they created a movement…observed by millions they moved into action and their leadership reverberated throughout the world.

The Parkland horror/massacre unleashed emotions, voices, passion and caused those who were “just students” to grow up fast. But most importantly these kids captivated the world with unity and heart. It was a demonstration of courageous leadership that provoked an unstoppable commitment to change for the sake of the greater good.

I don’t think there’s a greater leadership story thus far in the 21st century than this one. We are all witnesses to a historic time. A time that demands these young voices be heard and heeded to create the change we wish to see in the world.

I will not exploit this deeply horrific experience or compromise it in the interest of a teaching moment on leadership but rather write about it because their actions have truly inspired me. I hold these young leaders in great esteem and this is a story that must continue to be told and heard.

These young and remarkable people have truly and profoundly demonstrated what leadership is in all its glory and it’s a lesson for all of us…because they’re not in it for the glory but for the simple, fierce commitment to make our world a better and safer place. In their message, they have had enough…they never want to witness this unbearable tragedy again. In their pain, they have harnessed their incredible power and have chosen to wield that power positively rather than languish in understandable despair.

6 weeks ago they were “just students”. Now they have massive influence. They have thrust themselves onto the world stage as an innocent and dramatic plea for change.

They have found their voices and empowered millions towards a common goal to transform our world. In it’s simplest and most fundamental form that is what great leadership is.

At their center, they have a cause worth fighting for.

In their action they embody courage. Their courage has been put into motion because of their passion for the cause.

Along the way, they unite forces to both advocate for their cause and to conquer challenges and opposition.

From their footprints, a new path is forged. A clear message has reverberated, voices have risen up collectively, articulately and emotionally.

These unlikely yet remarkable leaders have taken this tragic, life-altering experience and turned it into a profound movement. They have illuminated how in just a short amount of time ordinary people can rise up.

Transformation is in the making.

People are changed forever.


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