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During our recent Mastermind Intensive, Christina Frei presented to our group as an expert demonstrating how to create videos that capture your message.
She told us, with nods all around when she said this, that the reason so many people are afraid to do video is that it is so powerful. How often do you click on youtube these days? What impression do you get from a video vs. a written bio? Video is vital to your website, image and marketing strategy. I’ve dabbled, but now I’ve committed.
It helped that she gave us a very special rate* which I immediately took her up on. Somehow, when I think of video, I think in the thou$and$. Do you?
Christina came to my place on Monday, and Monday evening I got my clip.
I’ve never felt so comfortable in front of the camera nor as pleased with the results.
Please, let me know if you think she got me.
It didn’t take Lisa Corrado long to decide that being in business for 10 years was worthy of celebration. Her Mastermind Group urged her to nail down a date and get the invitation out to her happy clients and supporters.
Selfishly, we all wanted to party with Lisa. And we did. Lisa threw a festive, energetic and well-attended soiree. We ate, drank and met the other stimulating, successful, fun attendees all there to support and celebrate our colleague and friend.
Katie Settel of Katie Settel Photography captured the evening with her always-beautiful photographs and Louise Albin of Cafe Louise catered the party. There wasn’t even one crumb of food left afterwards. One of our members said she thought she may have seen ‘lick’ marks on the serving platters!
New businesses notoriously fail within the first five years. Making it beyond that mark as an entrepreneur is remarkable. And doubling that significant milestone is not only extraordinary–especially when it encompassed 2008 and beyond, it’s also deeply satisfying. The smile on Lisa’s face never left that night.
You can read more about Lisa’s offerings on her site, but they won’t tell you what makes her so successful. Words can’t capture the spirit, humor and passion that Lisa exudes when she talks about nutrition.
To give you an example, she handed us each an apple–a green one, just like her logo–the first day of our program a year ago.
She traveled to Italy for two weeks (an assigned goal) to see if she’d like to incorporate international travel into her practice.
Not only is she fearless, this woman is unstoppable, and it’s contagious if you are around her for even five minutes.
You can see her friends and supporters clear affection and happiness in this group shot the beautiful night of her party. This was on her back patio, just outside her office door. Talk about a lifestyle entrepreneur! Lisa’s hard-earned anniversary celebration was a testament to the rewards of working hard, keeping up with her community and contributing her knowledge and expertise to so many.
Have you got an occasion to celebrate? My advice is to grab the opportunity, invite your friends and party, party, party!
I’ve never invested in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), but when I heard about the newest version of CSA – Community Support Art, I’ve reconsidered. Begun in Minnesota and now spreading throughout the country, these organizations are bringing art to local areas in an affordable and sustainable way.
The New York Times did a feature article on the movement yesterday which I wanted to share with you. But the bigger thought here is that THERE IS A WAY! Similar to Kickstarter, I’m thrilled to see other creative forces at work providing oportunitites galore. As the old guard ways of doing business are collapsing around us (I mean, really, Jeff Bezoz buying the Washington Post?! ) it’s vital to realize we’re not in Kansas or anywhere near it anymore.
I believe that there is a way to produce and market whatever you’ve got to offer. That inspiration is all around us and that tapping into your deep creativity, artist or bookkeeper, will provide a solution and a market for you.
My one piece of advice : give yourself time to tap into that inner wisdom via meditation, journaling, or simply connecting with your source.
I stopped by my new AAA office to pick up a map and guidebook for a friend only to discover that my membership had expired. I was assigned a Travel Counselor and went through the renewal process with him.
On inquiring about what happened to my status, I mentioned that I’d lived in Connecticut until 9 months ago. John, my counselor, let me know that he used to go to a comedy club in my hometown. Not only did he go there, he performed stand-up.
Interesting. How does one go from stand-up comedy to working at AAA? I had to ask.
Turns out, AAA gives him a lot of flexibility to audition for parts. He’s been making a supplementary income from commercials, modeling (he was an M & M, not a runway type) and voice-overs all while pursuing the day job for the past 18 years. I didn’t get a hint of irony or resentment from this 40-something. He seemed fulfilled and energized by his life choices.
I asked him if he had any advice for someone wanting to make it in the entertainment industry.
“Don’t hide!” he said. “Everyone out there at the performing level is really good. No one is going to come and find you no matter how talented you are. This isn’t Cinderella. You have to be out there and visible all the time.”
That sound advice is beneficial for every independent artist, performer and business owner I know. Which is why I’m sharing it.
I saw a phenomenal movie last weekend and have been thinking about its stars and message a lot since then. The film is about the women who have sung back-up for major recording stars and groups from Ike and Tina Turner to the Rolling Stones. It’s not a diatribe on the unfairness of it all; they were paid professionals enriching the work of the artists they performed for. Rather, it points out the chasm represented in the 20 feet between the stars and the underlings.
These women are vastly talented, courageous and hard-working. As Bruce Springsteen puts it, “The walk to the front [of the stage] is complicated.” Even though a few of the featured performers had solo albums, not one received the recognition or popularity of those they sang for.
One of the back-up women is Judith Hill whose huge opportunity evaporated when her singing partner–Michael Jackson–died unexpectedly. She was poised to be on the world tour he’d been preparing for prior to his untimely and tragic death. She said, “I thought if I gave my heart to what I was doing, I’d automatically be a star.”
Darlene Love, who got her due recognition in 2010 when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, quit the business for years out of frustration and disappointment. Only when she was cleaning houses (the woman sitting next to me let out an audible “NO!” when this was revealed) and heard her own songs playing on the radio as she mopped, did she determine to get back to her calling.
The line between success and the 20 feet behind it is wafer thin. Luck and circumstance are factors along with ambition, prejudice and sacrifice. If you’ve ever struggled in your own business trying to get seen and heard by a larger population, this movie will inspire and console you.
[BTW - for those who read my earlier post this week, the quote was from Condoleezza Rice.]
For as long as I can remember I have had set goals: to go to college, to graduate, to get a job, to get married, to have and raise children, to write a book, to become a coach, to speak publicly, to succeed in my own business, to work on my relationship(s), to achieve peace and serenity, blah, blah, blah.
I did all that.
I’m at a point now that feels like a mid-life crisis, but it’s a tad late. I feel goal-less.
The career stuff has lost its appeal. I go onto LinkedIn to look at discussion threads and go right back out. I’ve heard it all before. It feels competitive and repetitive.
Let me be clear that I adore my clients, my groups and the community I’ve created. I look forward to those calls and meetings immensely. It’s the marketing for new opportunities and filling the pipeline that has lost its appeal for me.
For the first time ever, I am waiting for a goal to define me.
While I know that I am in a lull and looking for some form of manifestation to come knocking at my door, I constantly remind anyone who works with me, or for that matter knows me and listens to my opinions (!), that in order to get what you want, you have to be very specific and offer it up in excruciating detail.
So here’s my want ad (versus my goal) to the Universe in the hopes that putting it out there in this form will be useful:
My vision is to coach men (new, I know) and women to become their best and highest selves; to integrate their insides with their outsides, and to be joyful and present in the process.The companies that hire me (I am free lance, not employed) recognize the importance and value of coaching, and that the act of sharing the truth in a safe, confidential and receptive place will add to their bottom line measured by employee productivity, satisfaction and retention.
I visit three different places of business three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays are for MY private groups and communities) in New York City where I am the resident coach. These are small (up to 100 employees), conscious (this description is touching their hearts and souls), green (environmentally aware) companies who care as much about their employees as they do their products and services.
My role is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who work there and who feel the need:
- to be visible
- to hear themselves speak about what’s real
- to share a current struggle
They appreciate that my path as business owner, wife, mother, divorcee, woman in recovery and world traveler equips me to hold space for any and all issues that may arise. The outcome of these coaching relationships is more productive, happy and courageous employees.
The salary for this position is commensurate with the value I bring to each company and is abundant, prosperous and satisfying to all parties.
I was such a novice when I first walked into the doors of the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Network (EWN) 20 years ago. I didn’t even knew what the word networking meant back then. A colleague had mentioned that there were other women business owners in the Fairfield County area, and would I care to join her for one of their meetings.
In my youthful arrogance, having been in my own business for about 10 years at that time, I thought, “Sure, maybe I can teach them a thing or two.”
It’s only when we enter new arenas that we get to see what we really know. For one, I had no idea how to go up to a group of women and introduce myself. I was incredibly shy, but fortunately had a business name that attracted attention. “What exactly is An Egg by Jane?” I got asked over and over.
I learned that each time I replied and took note of the listener’s expression, my description (i.e. 30-second commercial which I’d also never heard called that) changed and improved. I got to define what I did and for whom.
The thing I most valued about EWN then and now is meeting women who could help me in business. From our membership I created my own Mastermind Group that is still going strong today, found graphic designers, computer instructors, marketing consultants and communications experts who have continuously helped me grow my business. I’ve also attracted clients from our midst, many of whom have become lifelong friends.
It’s always an honor to be asked to speak at any organization, but it’s particularly rewarding to be invited by the network that fostered my growth. Some of my earliest public speaking opportunities came through EWN when I spoke on panels and at morning roundtables. To have the honored spot for an evening event is truly a cherished dream.
I hope to see a lot of familiar faces on Tuesday night and would love it if you would join me then. I’ll be sharing the lessons I’ve learned in my 30+ years in business, plus answering questions from the group that they’re dealing with on a daily basis in today’s marketplace.
One lesson I included in the first edition of my book Soul Proprietor was how important image is. I remember looking up EWN in the phone book (that’s how long ago that was) and seeing an address on the Post Road. “Wow!” I thought. “Real estate on the main drag of Westport, CT. This must be a sizable organization.”
Turned out the address was a Mailboxes, USA postal box (before these were ubiquitous), but it got me to the next step of the relationship, and that’s what creating a big appearance can do for you. Once we met, a fancy address was less important that the quality of its membership, which I’ve enjoyed for all these years.