I’ve been in somewhat of a fog since returning home from Ali Brown’s amazing SHINE event in Las Vegas. Sure, part of me achieved brilliant clarity, but another part of me was thrown for a loop emotionally, spiritually and physically. (What can I say? I’m a Gemini.) Being tossed around is a good thing though … means I’m alive … and kicking.
People keep asking me when I’ll blog about my trip. This post has been percolating in my head for days. I’ve just been waiting for the right time to sit down and write. As a work-at-home mom balancing business, motherhood, marriage and me, finding time to THINK and WRITE is often my biggest challenge … and most amazing self-discovery process. I LOVE writing. My heart sparkles when I write. Know what I mean?
In addition to adjusting to jet-lag, I’ve been reading the beautiful, poignant, provocative summaries from my fellow SHINY women (like Alexis Martin Neely, Elizabeth Potts Weinstein and Leesa Barnes) and trying to learn from their experiences while keeping my experience, well, mine. I have to admit, sometimes I’m intimidated by more senior, successful women … and think they must have more answers than I do. So I check in with myself regularly and remember that my biggest teacher is myself. Then I remind myself that “success” can be interpreted LOTS of different ways.
So … how do I summarize 3 days of mind-blowing connections, content and growth? My top 10 a-ha’s from SHINE:
1. Clarity attracts $$
Want to make more money? Get clear about what you do and who you serve. If it takes you more than 10 seconds to explain your business to a stranger, you’re muddy. Be crystal clear about your mission. Don’t assume ANYTHING. People have very short attention spans. It’s your job to make “getting” your business and knowing how to work with you EASY.
2. Want bigger results? Get a flip chart
Okay, this may seem funny, but it’s not a joke. How can you think big and map out your grand plan on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper (or on your computer screen)? Our minds want to explore and play and draw. Invite your creative muse for a flip chart adventure. I’ve never had a flip chart in my biz (used them in the corporate world all the time) … until now. Genius!
3. Listen for clues
If you want to hone in on your niche or create new offerings, become a detective. Listen for clues. People are telling you what they want and what would make their lives better all the time. You’ve got a focus group brewing right under your nose. Listen, learn, take action.
4. My purpose + my business’ purpose are not the same
Prior to SHINE, I seriously thought my purpose and my business’ purpose were one and the same. Not so. My purpose is to inspire and empower women (through coaching, support groups, and the written word). My business’ purpose is to make money. It’s really that simple. My business is the vehicle for allowing me to live my purpose. My goal for 2010: allow my business to fulfill its potential … while inspiring an amazing group of passionate women and moms.
5. Sometimes you have to go fetal
Inc. 500 CEO Ali Brown shared some fascinating news: she cries every day. I would have thought a successful woman like her is too strong to cry that often. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to hear her share her vulnerability with us. Her tip: sometimes you have to go fetal. Sometimes you’ve gotta curl up in a ball and feel the fear. Thanks for giving me permission to be soft, feminine and real. The next time I’m scared, I’ll allow the fear to flow through me instead of resisting the feeling.
Growth is often uncomfortable and inconvenient. Write that down. It’s huge.
6. If you want to go up, you gotta show up
Want to move to the next level in business and life? Don’t shrink. Show up … consistently. Share your truth, walk your walk, just do it. I’ll take it a step further and say that it’s more than just showing up. It’s then following up and following through.
7. ADD is good
Increase your impact and efficiency (and stop driving yourself crazy):
A = automate
D = delegate
D = delete
Automate tasks that can be. Delegate tasks that don’t allow you to create and drive growth (think about hiring a Virtual Assistant NOW. My pal Donna Toothaker’s company is a great resource). Delete tasks that don’t support your vision and mission. There are things you are doing now that can be eliminated immediately … freeing you up for more valuable pursuits.
8. Don’t go for correctness, go for connection
If you’re waiting for perfection before you launch your business, introduce a new offering, approach someone about a joint venture, you’ll be waiting forever. Don’t overthink. All you have to do is connect. Speak to your customers, clients, potential partners as if they are real people (they are!). That is all.
9. Fake it ‘til you make it
A lot has been said in other SHINE wrap-ups about some of the uber-successful keynote speakers “lying” to get ahead. Some people had an issue about these lies. I did not. And I’m a woman who values honesty. So why didn’t I get upset about these “lies”? I saw them as white lies (i.e. no one was hurt in the process). Some of the most successful people (men and women) in the world “acted as if” to achieve their vision. They saw opportunity and jumped on it. No harm, no foul.
10. Mentors make the difference
I’ve been looking for a mentor for a long time … and now I know WHY. Mentors, coaches, guides are the KEY to your success. You can be a woman with TONS of moxie and know-how, but nothing will fast-track your growth (personal and business) like someone who believes in you, gets you, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and helps hold you accountable.
11. Get in the hot seat
(I got so excited while writing … and couldn’t keep my a-ha’s to just 10.)
I had the pleasure of getting selected by Ali and James Roche for the HOT SEAT at SHINE (pictured in this post). Lucky me. I had a LIVE BUSINESS MAKEOVER on-stage in front of the entire audience. I never would have been picked if I hadn’t applied for the opportunity … and I wrote my application FULLY believing I would be picked. I wanted it that bad. What an experience … a full recap is another blog post in the making. (I got so many ideas, connections and good energy after my hot seat experience. It was SO worth taking that leap.)
The point here is you’ve gotta strap yourself in to your own hot seat on a daily basis. Put yourself out there. Get feedback. Synthesize and get moving.
Special thanks to Ali for sharing her energy and vision with the world. She’s playing big and it shows. She exemplifies her brand and reminds us all to be our brand, be ourselves, be our best. Ali’s ability to attract such amazingly talented women (and some cool guys, too!) is a gift to entrepreneurs.
My deepest gratitude to everyone at SHINE. There was a reason I was compelled to attend this event (I even sold my wedding dress to help fund my trip). YOU are the reason why I was pulled.
Let’s keep doing this. Let’s keep rockin’. Why? You know why. And if you ever get frustrated and scared and think about quitting … just remember this one reason:
So we don’t have to get a J-O-B (as raw food coach Karen Knowler so eloquently says in her fab British accent).