Archive for the ‘Business Strategies’ category

Branding is a Metamorphosis

August 23, 2012

Raise your hand if you want to be like you were in high school.

I don’t see any hands. Not one.

We are designed for growth and change. And that applies to your brand as well.

I’ve been in business for almost 34 years and I’ve reinvented myself more than a few times along the way.

I started this blog 4 years ago as LifePoint when I started speaking, training and traveling after a hiatus. The domain name for LifePoint was not available so I bought LifePointSpeaker.com. What I learned over the next 2 years was that no one could remember that. Whether it was on radio, television or online, I was constantly correcting people.

Fast forward over the next 2 years and I gradually made the branding change to BeverlySpeaks. That’s who I am. I have a message and a call to deliver it to people for whom it will be transformational.

If you want to hear more…. Follow Me over to BeverlySpeaks.com.

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Learning How to Breathe

June 14, 2012

A breath of fresh air.

The breath of life.

A deep breath.

You’re probably thinking, “I know how to breathe”. Of course you do – you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t breathing. But there’s such a thing as strategic breathing.

Like today when my friend delivers her 9 pound baby through a 10 centimeter canal. Oxygen to the baby is critical and thus the breathing of the mother in labor is vitally important. Birthing classes teach you how to breathe so you can reduce fear, reduce pain (oxygen-starved muscles HURT) and deliver a healthy baby.

It takes concentrated, synchronized breathing to push a baby out. There’s nothing easy about it. But ask any mother, is it worth it? What a ridiculous question. There’s no measure of how much it’s worth it.

So how are you doing with giving birth to your dreams and plans? Are you surrounded by people who are encouraging you? Have you made measureable progress? Is it time to push?

I sometimes hesitate to tell others I’m a marketplace midwife. Because I don’t only work with women and it’s a pretty graphic image when you visualize childbirth. But the world is waiting for that which is inside of you to be expressed. I’m trained to help you bring it forth.

If this speaks to you, click HERE for details on the Summer Strategy.

Now, take a deep breath, it’s good for you. And say a prayer for my friend who’s in the labor room. She’s got a big job to do but the miracle is about to happen. And yours can too.

The Happiness Factor – You Win!

June 11, 2012

Set yourself up to win today.

I hang out with high performance people who set big goals. Those who dream, dare and  do. But what about the little wins? They’re important too.

Have you been to a kid’s birthday party recently? Inevitably, there’s a little kid that’s at a disadvantage in the games. So you move the line.  Make it easier to hit the target. It’s really fun to win and sometimes you might have to change the rules a little to make it happen.

You need a win today. It’s part of what I call the Happiness Factor. When you’re having fun and you’re happy, you’re going to be more effective at everything you do. You’ll attract more clients, get people smiling back at you and yes, make more money. And that’s really fun – creating more happiness – and now you’ve got a positive cycle going.

So let’s move the line up and position you for a win. Here’s how …

Right now, stop and think of one thing you can do that will be a win for you.

Here’s some examples:

1. Write a blog post.  (I wanted to get a new blog post up today – so I started my day with a win!)

2.  Call your spouse in the middle of the day and tell them you love and appreciate them. (Double score for that one.)

3. Send 1 personal email to a prospective client and let them know you’re thinking about them – don’t try to sell them anything – just connect. (You could include a link to this blog and share the happiness factor)

4. Go to someone’s Facebook page and write something nice on their wall. Just because.

5. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Now.

You get the idea. Keep it simple. Small wins add up.

Tell me in the comments (below) what you’re going to go do, right now, that will activate the Happiness Factor for you today. Or just go do it.

Success is not as far away as you think.

7 Essentials for Navigating Change With Courage & Grace

May 22, 2012

Change. You can love it or hate it but a critical element of success is learning to navigate it.

Cultivating essential skills can give you a huge advantage over those who are unprepared. This positioning has been known to create exceptional leaders that leap from history into our minds daily because they are quoted so often; Churchill, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur and countless others.  All of these led during times of extreme change. (And it doesn’t get much more stressful than war.)

All elite performers and leaders train hard. Technical knowledge in your field is essential but emotional control is just as important. Leading well in the midst of change requires skills – and the good news is they’re learnable. Just like you can exercise to acquire agility and reduce the pain of sore muscles that have been worked in new ways, you can develop the agility to navigate change with grace.

Change typically flips the body into the stress response. Especially if there’s some fear involved – which is the norm.  I like what Mike Tyson’s trainer says about fear: “Fear is like fire. It can cook for you. It can heat your house. Or it can burn you down.” 

Here are 7 ways you can position yourself to benefit from change:

1.   Get the big picture. Create a forecast for the future by considering cycles and patterns.

2.  Make a plan. But recognize when it’s time let go of the plan. Adaptation & flexibility are important.

3. Introduce changes gradually whenever possible. Incremental change is easier to accept. Think about how critical it is for divers to decompress – it’s really painful (and dangerous) for them to ascend too quickly.

4.  Be slow to react when presented with unexpected news.  (Unless someone’s yelling “the building’s on fire”! ) Normally,  you should give yourself time to formulate a response instead of reacting in the heat of the moment.

5. Cultivate an attitude that recognizes the benefits of change and look for seeds of opportunity within it.

6. Travel with a team that represents different personality types. I run full force into change with sword drawn, ready for action. One of my partners gets out the calculator, gathers information and ponders long and hard before taking action. Neither one of us have the correct approach. Different perspectives are invaluable.

7. Change the Changeable While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable. A specific exercise is to create a file on your computer or on a dedicated page in your organizer on which you make, modify, and maintain a list of those things that never change for you. Those things will be your anchor. List your core values, as an individual and in your business. (Thanks to Rabbi Daniel Lapin for this wisdom!)

The computer makes us fantastically more able to calculate, analyze and gather information, but it doesn’t make us more intuitive. We have instruments that have immeasurably extended our gift of sight, but not of insight. And it is these qualities; perception, wisdom and discernment that will serve best in navigating change effectively.

We are all born with ability to change, to adapt and to grow. So what is it about change that makes some people cringe and others grin? Is it personality? Experience? Leadership style? Comfort zones? Risk-taking ability? It’s probably elements of all of those things but our choice to prepare for it (or not) counts the most.

I find the comments of a Lockheed engineer regarding the Columbia Space Shuttle accident very interesting and directly applicable to the pioneering spirit that has been part of what has made our nation great. It’s a spirit of creativity – one that grasps the importance of change. Sometimes something’s lost to make great gains. Dan Canin wrote in his summary of the accident, “Every astronaut knows that it’s a known risk that if the soft tiles (of the module) are damaged, the shuttle burns up. But the odds against it are pretty good, especially compared to the rewards of being an astronaut, so they’re willing to take the chance. In fact, they fight for it…as would a lot of us. But the public expects every risk in their lives to be mitigatable to zero. Doing bold things isn’t about engineering risk to zero. Sh-t happens, and if we just want to restrict ourselves to things where sh-t can’t happen…we’re not going to do anything very interesting.”

Remember… security is mostly a superstition anyway.

Note: You are warmly invited to join me for the Free Tele-Class on Navigating Change liek A Champion. May 30. Register Here

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

May 16, 2012

I just finished reading Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  This is not typical reading fare for me but has a profound message that’s directly applicable to business.

The author tells true stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death–how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not). Who survives and why.

What it really boils down to is the ability to handle crisis. Which often comes upon us when we fail to anticipate the possible outcomes of decisions made in haste. Or when a series of poor choices place us in a precarious position.

My heart was in my throat as I read about the 2 college girls on  “the trip of a lifetime” who went on a day hike in Sacred Falls State Park on the island of Oahu. It was the middle of August on a mild and clear day. They parked in the parking lot and carried water bottles and snacks as they set off on a short hike. They were never seen again.

It’s thought that they miscalculated the density of the jungle (since it bordered on a well populated area) and wandered off the path. The triple-canopy jungle is vast and you can’t even see the sun through the chaotic overgrowth.  It’s not uncommon for people to hear the sound of the surf, thinking they’ve found the beach, and run off the edge of the 4,000 foot cliffs in the park.
Heartbreakingly tragic.

I am intrigued by the fact that a child under the age of 6 typically has a better survival rate when lost in the wilderness than an experienced hunter. It has a lot to do with being intuitive, paying attention to signals from your body and  not projecting a grim outcome onto the movie screen of your mind.

Since I study change and the ability of leaders and teams to navigate it successfully, I was fascinated by the lessons.

The most profound truth about survival in extreme circumstances is that it is not  really dependent on training, intellect or even attitude. It has more to do with heart. With hope, courage and resilience.

All of which are necessary attributes of effective leaders.

You are invited to explore the essentials of Navigating Change Like a Champion, a  Free Tele-Class on May 30th.  Deep survival skills can come in handy when you find yourself in unfamiliar situations. And that’s a matter of when, not if.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.  ~Helen Keller

Vision & Mission: Designing the Future

May 7, 2012

I wrote a recent post on the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement.  I am adding to that by sharing some insightful words from the President of an organization (Aglow International) that is in the midst of rebranding. It is so crystal clear, I say, “Bravo, Jane Hansen!” IN a letter to her leaders, she writes,
“In the past, we have referred to the statement that guides us as a mission statement.  We began to look at the meaning of the words “vision” and “mission.”  Perhaps the easiest way to explain the use of vision over mission today is to add “ary” to each word and look at their definitions.

A visionary is someone who is casting vision for the future – the big picture.  A missionary is one who carries out the work of that vision.

A good vision statement is inspiring.  It is a statement that is both bold and broad.  It is a statement that encompasses everything we do and leaves expansion for our future.  Vision is not about direction.  It is about the height a movement wishes to achieve.

Our Mission statement is “in house” and explains how we intend to do the things our vision statement says.  An effective mission statement is specific and descriptive of the actual work to be undertaken by a movement.  It should answer the questions, “Why do we exist?” and “What do we do?””

Take note that most organizations that are moving, changing and growing are continually re-examining and often re-defining their vision and mission. When is the last time you looked at yours?

The Big Shift: Get in Gear

April 28, 2012

Overwhelmed by the noise?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest…. and the list keeps growing.
I laughed out loud at a comment by Guy Kawasaki, “I need another social media service like I need more email or my dog to throw up on the carpet.” (Guy wrote Enchantment – great book)

Social Media has grown like wildfire.  In fact, it’s the biggest shift since we entered the Information Age. Were you on FaceBook 5 years ago? Unless you’re under 30, probably not.
Who had even heard of Pinterest 2 years ago?

Sometimes it makes you want to stick your head in the sand.

But people are definitely connecting online through social media and that’s not going to change.

If you have a message, product or service, you MUST  have a steady source of new people who want what you have. The critical thing is where to find those people.

The answer? Online. People hang out online.

Facebook usage is up 40% since last year.  65 million Facebook Users access the site through their mobile phones.
34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.  15% of bloggers spend 10 or more hours blogging each week.
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the web. And of course, the facts stream on as fast as a Twitter feed.

In spite of this,  too many authors, speakers, service professionals and business owners don’t know how to use social media effectively. So they tell themselves it’s a waste of time.

That’s defintely putting your head in the sand – and that has never proven to be an effective strategy.

If you want to do something about it, join me for Social Media Madness Made Simple & Sane
It will be the best $99 you’ve EVER spent on advertising.