Founder ESPN Interview

You Are Never Too Old To Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
DreamsAndAge

  • Don’t let your ideas die.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Be a pioneer.
  • The best way to predict your future is to plan for it.

 

 

 

Passion:
What is it?
Do you have it?
How do you get it?

When you hear the word passion what image comes to mind – steamy romance, love, and candle lit dinners or hand holding? How do YOU define passion? When I think of passion I don’t think of the romance between two people. I think of the romance I have with my life. I wake up each day secure in knowing that I am living life on my terms; doing the things that I am passionate about – living life on my terms. Are you?

Passion for life is something that is felt internally – deep in your heart or soul. Remember when you were little? Yes, think back to when you were in pre-school or maybe kindergarten. What games did you enjoy playing? When you played doctor were you the doctor, the nurse or the patient? Did you play school? Did you get to be the teacher or the student? Maybe, you played Miss America and you paraded around the living room in your swimsuit while wearing your mother’s high heels practicing your smile and wave. Did you dream about being the Homecoming Queen while dressed in your mothers old formal gowns holding a bouquet of plastic flowers? Now, think about how great you felt while were playing dress up. Oh and don’t forget the tea parties. Did you have beautiful plastic or china dishes? Did you wear white gloves and one of grandma’s old hats?

Those memories probably just warmed your heart, brought a smile to your face and put a twinkle or spark in your eyes. Those childhood activities prepared you for the roles you would later step into as a leader, artist, caretaker, mother and wife. They helped mold you.

So now we fast forward to our life today. Do you really love what you are doing now? Is this the life you ordered? Do you ever find yourself dreading getting out of bed in the morning because you don’t want to go to work or face the music? Life is really too short.

I use to have a sign hanging on the front of my desk when I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan that said “Life’s too short to dance with ugly men.” Now, don’t get all riled up on the word ugly. Ugly can be referring to a mean or horrible personality or disposition. So, with that in mind let’s think about how we can design our life so we are only around people that have great personalities and make us want to jump up from our chair and dance. I saw you shaking your head as you read this article. My crystal ball tells me you are NOT living the life you ordered and you are NOT always living life on your terms.

So, NOW is the time to find that passion. Are you ready? There is no magic fairy dust.

You MUST:
1. Dare to Dream!
2. Be prepared to face your fears!
3. Commit to taking ACTION!

I look forward to helping you on your journey to finding your passion and turning your passion into profits! Only when we are living our dream and fulfilling our passion are we truly at peace, content and sharing our gifts with the world. When we share our gifts or talents we are truly aiding and empowering others to live their dream and follow their passion.

I am so proud of this interview from the archives. Bill’s PR person approached me – little ole me – to be on my radio show. He has so many words of wisdom that I know you will be inspired to continue doing great things.  As I approach my 10 year Anniversary and reflect on all the blessings and things I have done I am still amazed how many awesome people I have interviewed over the years. This is one interview I still have to pinch myself to see that it was real. ENJOY!

From the archives –

Guest interview with:

Bill Rasmussen, Founder of ESPN

You, Your Business & Corporate Social Responsibility

corpsocresresponCorporate Social Responsibility is defined as “the obligation of organizations to take an active part in improving society” (Muchinsky & Culbertson, 2016, p. 268). You are probably familiar with Tom shoes and that when you buy a pair of Toms they donate a brand new pair to someone in need. As their company has grown and offered other products to the consumer so has their giving program. In addition to shoes, they now donate eyewear, exams, and surgeries as well as fresh water where needed. What does your business do to help others in need? Do you donate time by volunteering in your community?

Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies run employee volunteering programs. Employers encourage volunteering and provide paid time off to employees who volunteer with nonprofits in their community. As a small business owner, you too can design a corporate social responsibility program. Your community thrives when people step up to volunteer.

Steps to Designing Your Business Social Responsibility Program

1. Review your budget – this means not just money but time. How much time can you afford to offer your employees each week or month to give back to the community through volunteering?

2. Select an organization that aligns with your values or has a mission you want to support. This is a link to get you started http://www.onslowcountync.gov/Administration/VolunteerOnslow.aspx If you do not live in Onslow County you can do an online search for volunteer opportunities in your community.

3. Decide if you will close shop and volunteer as a group or if you will honor individual commitments.

4. Create a simple form to record the employee and volunteer opportunities.

5. Let your customers know what organizations benefit from your Business Social Responsibility Program. Share this information on your website, social media platforms and in a media release. Take photos and share.

Other ways you can be socially responsible is by engaging in environmental sustainability. This means honoring and conserving our natural resources. Does your business recycle soda cans, in cartridges, and used or unwanted equipment? Do you use green products that are environmentally friendly and safe for our water systems? I challenge you to take the time to think about this and see what modifications you can make to how you do business that will not compromise the quality of services you deliver. One way my business is conserving resources is by not printing documents that I want to read. I am a paper junky. However, I am curbing the printing and saving the documents online. Printing client files requires not only the use of electricity, ink, and paper but it also requires the use of cardboard or plastic when storing the files.

I invite you to be a change agent for your industry and business. Adopt a corporate social responsibility program. Give back to your community while conserving resources.

Five Tips to Controlling Summertime Chaos

newsletterCHAOSkidsRegardless of your age, marital or socioeconomic status, at one time or another, you will experience stress and anxiety. Each changing season produces different stressors. Summertime has the pendulum swinging from how to keep children from fighting and saying they are bored to keeping them free from sunburns to an upcoming move to a new neighborhood. The body’s initial reaction to stress is fight or flight. Symptoms of excess stress include feeling mentally and physically exhausted, problems sleeping, tension headaches, bowel disturbances, a lowered immune system, and irritability.

Here are five tips to control summertime chaos:

1. Laugh. You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. Research shows that laughing produces endorphins which cause you to relax, experience joy, and ease pain. When feeling stressed picking up the telephone and speaking with a friend can often bring a smile to your face that will aid in producing the feel good endorphins. Also, turning on the television and watching your favorite sitcom can aid in reducing stress and anxiety.

2. Evaluate your diet. Limit caffeinated products because caffeine is a stimulant. Alcohol consumption should also be restricted since alcohol is a depressant. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over commercially processed items. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables are easier for your body to digest than commercially processed foods such as cookies and chips. However, there is nothing wrong with occasionally indulging your chocolate craving.

3. Exercise. Engaging in exercise is another way for your body to produce endorphins. Taking time for a walk after dinner or meeting a friend for a game of racquetball can raise your level of feel good endorphins while getting you in shape physically and mentally.

4. Have a MAP (Master Action Plan). When you stop to think about what is causing anxiety such as an upcoming move or the absence of a spouse during a deployment you can develop strategies to cope with the stress. Creating a step by step plan on how to walk through the action will allow you to empower yourself by taking charge of the situation. If you are experiencing stress on how to keep the children entertained during summer vacation you can develop a daily schedule so that the child knows what to expect throughout the day; children thrive on routine. Having a Plan A is great but having Plan B and Plan C will ensure you have covered whatever may be thrown at you with minimal disruption.

5. Increase Productivity. Productivity creates an atmosphere of positive change and is more fruitful than worrying and doing nothing.

It is impossible to ignore or reduce all stressors from our lives. However, when you are able to recognize your limits of stress and know how to use practical strategies to reduce stress you will control summertime chaos. Therefore, laugh and exercise to raise your endorphin level. Be productive and design your MAP to navigate stressful situations. Lastly, don’t forget to occasionally indulge your chocolate craving and enjoy your summer.

Finish It Up Friday: Why I Don’t Require My Team to Work on Friday

unnamedFriday – oh how that word can invoke a series of fleeting emotions ranging from dread to delight.

I have coined the phrase Finish It Up Friday as a way to make a mindset shift from dread to delight. It is the day to sleep in an extra hour. It is the day to enjoy that first cup of morning coffee knowing there are no real deadlines for the day. There is no better way to start a Friday than listening to the birds chirping, reading morning inspiration, and enjoying that first cup of coffee.

I and my team work long arduous hours Monday thru Thursday. We do not prescribe to a normal 8 hour day. My day is typically starting by 5 or 6 am and ends around 10 or 11pm. My team works diligently providing fabulous services and meeting deadlines so that I meet my deadlines so my clients meet theirs. Much of what my team does for me is often not seen by others. They are busy researching and gathering statistics for my clients or for whatever program I am currently working on. They are busy writing media releases, preparing marketing materials, proofreading and taking care of the invoicing.

Just as many of us observe Sunday as a day of rest I and my team observe Friday as a day of rest. Adopting a casual Friday allows me and my team to recharge our batteries. When we have a fresh brain we are more creative. Also, since they know that I do not expect them to be available on Friday they know they can schedule personal appointments and plan their time off accordingly without fear that there will be work that needs to be completed.

Not much quality work gets completed when you or your employees are mentally exhausted. Using Friday to follow up with clients, finish up a few tasks or projects, and plan for the following week is a great way to unwind and prepare to enjoy the weekend. I am usually only at my desk a few hours on Friday morning taking care of loose ends. Making time to review my week and self-reflect on what went surprisingly well and what was a bit off provides me growth opportunities. I learn from the lessons of the week.

Designing a plan for the upcoming week has shown to increase productivity and increase income. Taking time to plan the tasks I will delegate, prepare for client sessions, and set aside time for writing also reduces the stress that would normally be felt if I had not planned to enjoy a successful week. I have learned when planning what I will delegate I must set up my emails to my team so they do not post until Monday morning because they are so very dedicated they will work on the tasks over the weekend regardless of the due dates.

Finish It Up Friday is a great way to self-reflect on your week, finish up projects or tasks that didn’t get completed, and prepare for the new upcoming week. Know your energy level and planning for self-care is key to success. I encourage you adopt a Finish It Up Friday and allow your employees extra time off. They will reward you with continued hard work, an increase in productivity and creativity as well as loyalty.

All About Branding: Curb Appeal

Your storefront

As a business owner you know that branding is important. Branding encompasses not only your logo, marketing message, your personal appearance but your store front or home office. When was the last time you looked at your business from the eyes of the customer? My five tips for branding your business with curb appeal will walk you step by step through the eyes of your customer.

Five Tips for Branding Your Business using Curb Appeal

1. Parking Lot: When your customer drives into your parking lot what does he or she see? Is there litter and debris leftover from lawn mowing or spring or fall foliage from trees? Do you have dead or near dead plants that need replaced? Is your grass green? Is the concrete clean? Is the sidewalk full of cracks with weeds in the cracks? Do you have a trash can or cigarette butt can that is overflowing? Is there a dead bird in the parking lot? I had a client tell me she would not go to a restaurant because there was a dead bird lying in the parking lot and when she mentioned it to the restaurant owner the owner shrugged and commented “they didn’t pick that up?” It is imperative that the first view of your business is favorable and invites the customer to stop and get out of his or her vehicle.

2. Store Front & Door: Is your store front and front door clean? Are there fingerprints? Go right now and grab the glass cleaner and get that door cleaned. When was the last time you painted or pressure washed your business? If your business looks old and drab you will attract clients that expect to receive a low cost product. If you want to charge a premium price for your products and services you must have a storefront that attracts the clientele that will pay your premium price. Think about it. When we go to a mom and pop diner we expect to pay for a low cost but yummy meal. When we go to a glitzy restaurant with fancy lighting and furnishings we expect and happily pay a premium price.

3. Welcome Mat: Is your welcome mat clean? When was the last time it was replaced? Your welcome mat not only welcomes the customer but it will catch dirt from his or her shoes and aid in keeping your store clean once he or she walks inside.

4. Lighting: Is your parking lot well lit? Do you have bulbs that need replaced? When your customers arrive at night is the parking lot well lit? Is the path and entry to your business well lit to provide safety to you customers? I recommend you visit your business when it is dark outside and get a good view of what your customers see.

5. Windows: Do you employ a window cleaning service? When you hang posters or sales fliers is there leftover tape stuck to the window? When the customer approaches your business what do they see when they look in the window? Is it an inviting image? Do they see your merchandise, stacks of boxes, employees washing dishes or cobwebs? Again, now is the time for you the business owner to take a good look at your business from the outside.

Now is the time to focus on curb appeal. Many of my tips are very low cost to implement and require only a bit of elbow grease or sweat equity. Painting, pressure washing and replacing furnishings may require being added to your budget. Curb appeal is the first step in branding your business. If your business does not look inviting people will not stop. When people do not stop you do not have customers. When you do not have customers you do not have a business. Branding is a necessary step in growing your business.

Spring Into Action

stencil.default (2)Do you live a neat and orderly life? Do you function better in chaos? Some people will say they work better when surrounded by piles of papers or stacks of books. But do they really? I don’t think so. Mess breeds stress. Have you recently had to pay late fees because you forgot to pay a bill on time? Have you shown up late for an appointment because you could not find your keys or had to stop and find a belt, shoe or sock? Lack of organization and office procedures is detrimental to the small business owner, businessman and businesswoman, parent and student. My five tips below will help you design an environment that will save you time, money and needless stress.

Stop Sabotaging You and Your Success- Spring into Action – Get Organized

 1. Designate Days – when you designate days when you do your filing, book keeping, article writing, invoicing and other necessary task you will save yourself time and money. You will know when you are going to do these tasks. You will avoid paying late fees when you pay your bills on time. Business owners often forget to follow up with hot leads or late bill payers. This costs the business money. I want you to grab your day planner or calendar and right now and schedule days when you will complete the routine tasks that are necessary for running your business and life. This will eliminate stress too and put more money in your bank account.

2. Designate a Home – what happens when you return to your office from checking the mailbox? Where does the mail end up? Do you put office supplies in a designated area? Everything in your office and home should have a designated home. Your office should not look like your bedroom with books, newspapers, shoes and clothing strewn about.

3. Designate Time – do you designate a time each week to clean and organize your office? When do you turn those piles into files? If you or your designated help do not do it when will it get done?

4. Dare to be Honest – why are you sabotaging your success by being unorganized? Are you afraid of success? I dare you to self reflect and be honest with yourself. You may find you really do not like doing a particular task or you do not know how to do the task. If you do not like doing the task then delegate it to someone else. If you do not know how to complete a task either learn how to complete it or delegate it to a professional.

5. Dream – dream about your ideal life and how much easier things will be when you are organized. Dream about how you will use the extra time you will have once you are organized. Dream about how you would like your ideal office space or home to look and then design a strategy to create that space.

Lack of organization costs business owners money. Money is hard to come by these days. So, stop sabotaging you, your life and your business. Employ my five tips above and you will eliminate stress from your life and put more money in your bank account.

The Road to Success – Adopt the Three Ls – Love You, Lose the Excuses, Learn Something New

Business owners, wives, and moms often find themselves short on time and energy. They are busy juggling a myriad of tasks. Remember, it only takes someone 15 seconds to sum you up and form an opinion. Whether right or wrong that is what happens. No one likes to be around a whiney person or someone who looks a mess.

In order to reclaim YOU so you stop sabotaging your efforts- you must adopt the three L’s:

Love You – Make time each day to do something for you. You must fall in love with yourself all over again. Now is the time to purge your closet of any items that make you feel fat or ugly. Purge your refrigerator and cupboards of all foods that make you feel sluggish or guilty. If you are a business owner does your office reflect your personality? Are your surroundings or where you spend most of your waking hours conducive to good mental health? Many of us cannot function when we are surrounded by clutter. Clutter is not only present in your home or office it is also in your car. Clear the clutter so you can unplug and feel good about you. Do not forget to make time to exercise. This does not require investing in a gym membership or expensive clothing. You can put on a comfortable pair of shoes and go for a walk. When you exercise, you will improve your mental clarity and strengthen your heart. Now is the time to make time to take care of you. It is not greedy to love you.

Lose the Excuses – Now is the time to stop playing the blame game. Lose the excuses. Stop blaming the economy, the children, your spouse, or the family pet. You must accept responsibility. If you are short on cash, rework your budget. If you are short on time start budgeting your time. Learn to say no. You have a voice and it needs to be heard. If the children are making demands that strain the family budget, learn to say “no”. If you have family and friends making demands on your time say “no”. People are not mind readers. They often do not have access to your day planner to see that you are over tasked. People will not stop being your friend or associate if you say “no”. When you lose the excuses you will be organized and in control of your situation. This will result in less stress and anxiety in your daily life.

Learn something new – A fundamental part of being successful is always learning something new. You must invest in you so you can grow personally and professionally. This can be something as inexpensive as reading a library book or article online from a quality source. You may want to invest in a weekend retreat or class at your college. Online learning makes it easy to invest in you. You can often listen and learn from the comforts of your home. Do not dismiss investing in you. In order to be successful as a business owner, wife, or mother you must invest in learning something new each day.


Regardless of the role we play we all want to be successful. When you adopt the three L’s you will be on the road to reclaiming your life and being successful. You will reap many benefits when you make time to love you, lose the excuses, and invest in you.

3 Reasons to Delegate

CoachJ9Delegating

Delegating tasks are one thing many business owners just don’t do. Some people may say that business owners do not delegate because they are stubborn and want to do everything themselves. As a business coach, the excuses I have heard are “I don’t have the money.” Or “it takes longer to train someone than I can do it myself.” These are excuses. Business owners do not delegate takes because they do not realize the benefits to the business. When business owners begin to build their teams with virtual assistants, part-time employees or 1099 contractors they will see their business grow. When the business is growing typically the profits are growing too.

Here are my three reasons that business owners should delegate.

1. Your idea or vision gets completed faster. It doesn’t sit on your desk waiting for “someday”. When you delegate a task or project you give a completion deadline to the team member that is completing the task. You need to put on your business owner hat and stop wearing your worker bee bonnet. Leaders delegate, follow-up, and review the work of their employees. They are ultimately responsible for the end product. But, when you surround yourself with niche experts the work will get done faster and with more accuracy than if you attempted to do it yourself. Remember, “someday” never comes.

2. You save time and money. Often the person you are delegating too can complete the task faster than you. This saves you time and money! If you are not an expert at social media marketing, website updates, or newsletter creation then outsource these tasks to a virtual assistant who is the expert. You would not attempt to bake a three tier wedding cake if you are not a professional cake designer. Ok, you may attempt it but admit it probably wouldn’t look as good or taste as yummy. We have all seen the tattoo picture circulating on social media with the person holding a picture of an intricate design and the tattoo artist drawing a tattoo that looks like a kindergartner did it. You often get what you pay for. Do not be this person scrimping and trying to do it yourself when you should delegate the task. Another example is the person that won’t pay for website maintenance or creation and it is a hot mess or nonexistent. Put a value on your time. When you realize you could have earned thousands of dollars but instead wasted the time trying to do your own website or fix your computer when you could have paid a few hundred dollars and let an expert get it updated or fixed within an hour or two. Time is money. Respect your time and money. Focus on the return on investment (ROI) when you delegate to someone who is an expert and can do the task faster and better.

3. You get more accomplished. When you delegate to your team you will be more productive. More tasks will get completed each day. You can focus on revenue producing activities while your team is taking care of the other things. Some items to delegate to your team include writing correspondence and mailing, bookkeeping, social media management, website updating, newsletter creation and other lead attraction strategies. You may also want to delegate the office cleaning, shopping and running errands, and bill paying. I have several people on my team and they each are experts at what they do. One is fabulous at writing media releases and conducting research. Another is in charge of my client care which includes scheduling, following up at times, and sending invoices. In the past, I have had a great gal who came to my office once a month to do filing and help keep me organized.

I first started delegating after I had been in business for two years and realized I still had items on my original opening day of business to do list. Those items were still on the list because I didn’t know how to do them or didn’t want to do them. I hired a school teacher who was unemployed for the summer and within a few days, she had my to-do list completed.
I challenge you to look at your to-do list. What has been on there for a while? Why is on there? Also, look around the piles in your office or on your desk. How could you benefit by delegating some the work? Would you be less stressed? Would you find things easier? Look at your bank and credit card statements. Did you pay late fees because you forgot or couldn’t find a bill and it was paid late? Make a list of things that you would like to delegate or should delegate. Envision how you would feel if you did not have to complete the tasks that are on your list of things to delegate. I bet you feel a sense of relief that you do not have to do those tasks.

Remember, delegating is part of growing your business. Make your list of tasks or projects you would like to not have to continue working on and want to delegate. Then look forward to my next article where I will share tips on how to choose a virtual assistant or employee.