The Hourly Cost of Networking

If you know me, odds are you’ve heard me say “every minute we take away from our business is an investment, so spend it wisely.” As I’ve been speaking with groups about my book, “Lunching with Lions: Strategies for the Networking-Averse” there’s one part of my presentation that creates an interesting deer-in-the-headlights look from audience members.  It’s the part of my talk where I ask them how much their time is worth. See, when we … Read more

What’s Your Networking Personality?

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This week, I presented my talk “Lunching with Lions: How to Survive and Thrive at Networking” (based on my new book) to one of my favorite women’s groups.  Before I took the stage, everyone was asked what their greatest networking challenge happened to be. Out of nearly 100 responses, two things stuck out as common conundrums: Dislike/discomfort of small talk and the desire to connect more deeply from the get-go; and The question of what … Read more

How to Nurture Your Network

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Have you ever heard of Dunbar’s Number? It’s the number of people with whom we (as humans) can maintain “stable social relationships”. Relationships in which we know who each person is and how they relate to every other person. That number is 150. How many LinkedIn contacts do you have? Facebook friends? Names on your oh-so-important email list? I’m going to bet it’s way beyond Dunbar’s 150. As business owners, we are challenged to maintain … Read more

How Celebrating Your Wins Leads to MORE Success

What are you celebrating this week? These posts show up in my social media feeds every Friday, and I usually toss out something good that happened – I signed a new client, I scheduled a trip, I finished a big project – and then continue scrolling. Like many entrepreneurs, no sooner do I achieve something I’ve worked a long time for than I check it off the list, wipe the imaginary sweat from my brow, … Read more

The Only Girl in the Room: How I Learned to Communicate with Power

When I graduated from college with my shiny new degree in Journalism and Marketing (Texas A&M class of 1990, Whoop!), I had dreams of getting a job in an advertising agency.  In these dreams, the other girls on the account team and I would spend hours in creative meetings, brainstorming and exchanging brilliant concepts; present our design to clients who were awed and humbled by our creative genius; and rise quickly up the corporate ladder … Read more

3 Things You MUST Have to Build a Solid Business

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Recently, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and small business owners about business basics.  I started off my talk by saying there are three things you DON’T need to have a successful business: A fancy website A beautiful logo A perfect service/product/program And, there were audible gasps from the audience. I work with so many new businesses who sink a ton of money and time into having a professionally designed website and logo created.  … Read more

Cashing in on Brand Equity

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The following is from a blog I wrote in 2008: “Today on NPR, I was listening to an interview with tourism analyst Ralf Garrison of the Denver-based Advisory Group, Inc.  He was discussing the downturn in the Ski Industry this year.  Now, I’m not a skier, but he said something that immediately caught my attention.  “Some resorts are characteristically better known than others.  They have more BRAND EQUITY.  They have more loyalty in the marketplace, … Read more

Five Ways Branding Saves Time and Money

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When I begin working with a new client, the first thing I do is ask them if they can define their brand for me.  Why?  Frankly, because it tells me how much work we have to do.  If a business owner can tell me in clear language exactly what they offer, and to whom they offer it, they are miles ahead and we can hit the ground running. If they can’t give me that information, … Read more

7 Steps to Turn Your Vision into Action

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I’ve spent the last month steeped in visioning.  Visioning for me.  Visioning for my clients.  Dreaming and scheming and creating bold, exciting visions for what we want to be, have, and achieve in our businesses. Now what? While vision boards and vision exercises help us unconsciously align our activities to achieve our goals, success also takes purposeful and seven (plus) things you can do to move vision from the realm of imagination to reality: Identify … Read more

Plant Your Flag

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You had a vision for yourself when you started your business.  Can you remember what it was? I only ask because I work with clients all the time who have become so subsumed the everyday tasks of running their business, that they’ve lost sight of why they started in the first place. They’re feeling overwhelmed, fragmented, and unsure of their next steps.  If you’ve every heard me talk about vision, you’ll know I compare it … Read more