3 Things I Learned From Getting Fired on Valentine’s Day

I had gone from making six figures working in a large corporate environment as an Organizational Development professional to living in a small town where I was told I could never make the same salary.  I had always wanted to have my own consulting practice but wouldn’t have launched it by design in a town with few big businesses and little to no network. Due to my husband’s insane travel schedule, having a child with special needs and no family in the area, I had to make it work, serving small businesses in my community.

I was off to a decent start but it didn’t last.  While the initial highs were exhilarating, the lows were downright excruciating. I’ll share the story of a particular low and three valuable lessons in hopes to spare you some of the pain.

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5 Tips for Writing a Win-Win Proposal

After several years of writing many proposals with mixed success, here are the key lessons I have learned for writing a proposal that’s a win for you and the client.

  1. What’s the problem? Following a professional-looking cover page, start the body of the proposal with a summary of the client organization and their presenting problem. This shows that you were listening and reminds them about the agony of their current situation. If it is possible to describe how the issue impacts their business in terms of cost, schedule, quality or customer relations, this helps to convey the return on their investment in your offer.
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Top 3 Elevator Pitch Fails

You know the scene. You are at the coffee shop or a dinner party and someone who is trying to make small talk or is genuinely curious asks the question. (Cue the horror film music.) “What do you do?” Suddenly, you freeze because you know the importance of making a great first impression.

Blurting out your occupational title (think yoga instructor, financial planner, executive coach) is sometimes confusing and usually limiting. If you press play on the mental recording of your canned 30-second “elevator pitch,” you could blunder a potentially meaningful connection. Or worse, you could come across as salesy, desperate and inauthentic. Yuck.

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Three Reasons Why Free (or Low-Fee) Speaking Engagements Pay Off For Me

#1 Low Barrier to Entry

The nature of my work in a private engagement requires the customer to expose some vulnerability and is relatively pricey. That’s why it has proven successful to have a low barrier to entry offer, a bite-sized version of my services that doesn’t require the customer to spend a lot of time, money or expose too much. A speaking engagement is my low-barrier to entry offer. Attendees get a sense of my personality and witness my ability to pack a lot of valuable content in a short period of time and finish when promised.

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Take two AWESOME pills and call me in the morning

I’m back from a Consulting Psychology conference in sunny San Diego. In addition to geeking out with fellow coaches and consultants, swapping notes on the latest tools and research, I swallowed a double dose of “wow, my life is awesome.” I realized that all my peers in the field are travelling like maniacs and are tethered to their smart phones like oxygen masks. Yuck.

I won’t lie. There is some glamour of traveling internationally and working with giant, well-respected corporations. Much more important to me though is that I get to skinny-down my favorite highfalutin corporate tools and concepts for really great small business owners, whom I LOVE!

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Mimosas, Love Notes and Bare Feet

As 2014 winds down, it is a good time to take stock of what you loved about your business this year. To spark your thinking, here are some of my loves.


Owning my own business means I have the luxury of setting my own hours. That includes getting home in time to meet my kiddo off the school bus. In order to get all my client appointments in by 2pm, my first available time-slot starts at 7:30am.

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Don't make DUMB goals

Anytime I facilitate a goal setting retreat or give a presentation on the topic, I discuss SMART goals. Why is it that almost everyone has heard of the acronym but unfortunately most businesses goals are not SMART?  Well, it’s easier said than done.

Here’s my version of SMART:

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What's Your "Low Barrier to Entry" Offering?

If you provide a service that is perceived by your prospective customers as: costly and/or having the potential to expose vulnerability (like seeing some weakness, seeing their finances, or seeing them naked), I highly recommend creating a smaller version of your offering that gives them an opportunity to get to know you as a service provider with less risk.

My classes and workshops are my “Low Barrier to Entry” offering.

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