Books

Creating Habits – The Easy Way

James Clear is my favorite author this month. He released a new book called Atomic Habits. The pre-sale sample was so great I recommended this before I even finished it! It was an easy read and I kept going back to reread sections over and over, it was extremely refreshing. He also creates a great newsletter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts.  I am always impressed with the insights to healthy living. He offers great reminders to stay fit, sparking good habits and daily tips for self-improvement.

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Beauty and Health

The Balance….Happy New Year

If you are looking for a great morning ritual you just found it!!

I found this site a few years ago and appreciate the daily emails and online courses. DailyOM features a universal approach to holistic living for the mind, body, and spirit and supports people who want to live a conscious lifestyle.

I absolutely love the concept ideas and courses available. This is an easy go-to for daily mediation, inspiration and education.

What a wonderful way to begin the New Year.

Courses are available for many topics on health, beauty and fitness. They provide guided mediation, daily yoga practices, fit over 40, finance support….too many wonderful things to list.

Visit DailyOM  All courses are offered and you pay the amount you can afford.  

 

Books

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

I just finished Dare to Lead. One of my favorite authors and local to Houston. This book takes being vulnerable to the next level. Four Minute Overview

There are so many great topics to cover. My favorite was taking a second to figure out what are your two core values. Then always assess yourself against them. People that understand their core values have an easier time dealing with adversity. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest thing but in the end, it’s always the best thing for you!

Enjoy reading. Click image to purchase.

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Business

The Selection Process….New Job, New Team, New Company

selection

It’s down to two…

What makes you stand apart? How do you tip the scale in your favor?

That’s the golden ticket, silver bullet and secret weapon.

Building a team or selecting the right solution is a skill great managers strive to achieve. With the right team you can hit goals, share ideas and level up in your industry. Your sales team drives every part of the business. From forecasting revenue to creating the marketing and product budgets, businesses look to their sales leaders for direction.

Building a sales team that can bring on 500 new clients each year, will provide the rapid growth to continue to expand into a market place.  Finding that team and continuing to challenge, train and incentivize them is a whole another topic.

Sales skills are hard to determine in an interview process.

The ability to learn about a product or service can be taught. The process for demonstrating and following up with pricing options or a contract is standard. How do you select your next team?

As I was hiring my sales team I received insight that one out of three people I hire, will not work out. Now that’s terrible odds but as I continued to observe this phenomenon throughout my career, I now believe it.

We buy from people we trust.

But you can’t teach someone to act trustworthy if it’s not innate for them. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Getting To Yes, Spin Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales and many more are all great books to get started. It’s your responsibility to continue to educate yourself. Not your companies fault for poor training. Take the initiative to keep your skills up.

I look for people who continue to grow and drive their territory or department as if it was their own business. They keep learning, keep reading and keep growing in their profession.

Even the best of the best can get better.

Due diligence and understanding a market is the key. I look for people who get involved quickly and are not afraid to pick up the phone and ask questions. At this level you are expected to make decisions and contribute. Period.

Your successful contribution to the company will help create a culture that is open to new ideas. Your confidence in the first interview may provide you with a new opportunity. How you manage that path is up to you.

Invest in yourself always.

Books Beauty and Business, Podcasts

Episode #3 Interview with Jennifer Ciulla – Top Real Estate Agent

Books, Beauty and Business presents Coffee Talks hosted by Tawnie Breaux, special guest Jennifer Ciulla.

Hear how this top performer stays ahead in a highly competitive industry. Jennifer shares her insight, motivation and tips for success. 

Jennifer Ciulla – Top Real Estate Agent – Redefining the market with branding focused on luxury lifestyles.  
You can watch this interview here

Jennifer has specialized in representing buyers and sellers of luxury properties earning her widespread respect from distinguished local and international clientele in the high-end residential and commercial fields. Ranked #1 Individual Producing Agent within RE/MAX Fine Properties (the largest brokerage in the US).

The Jennifer Ciulla Group at REMAX Fine Properties 
https://www.jenniferciulla.com/
Phone: 281-541-3395
https://www.instagram.com/jenniferciulla.realtor

Book Recommendations:

The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. By: Robin Sharma 
The Miracle Morning the 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by: Hal Elrod

Business

Interview with Jennifer Ciulla – Top Real Estate Agent

Books, Beauty and Business Coffee Talks with Tawnie Breaux, special guest Jennifer Ciulla – Top Real Estate Agent – Redefining the market with branding focused on luxury lifestyles.  Jennifer shares her insight, motivation and tips for success.  Hope you enjoy!

Jennifer has specialized in representing buyers and sellers of luxury properties earning her widespread respect from distinguished local and international clientele in the high-end residential and commercial fields. Ranked #1 Individual Producing Agent within RE/MAX Fine Properties (the largest brokerage in the US).

Jennifer Ciulla
Jennifer Ciulla – Top Real Estate Agent

 

The Jennifer Ciulla Group at REMAX Fine Properties 
https://www.jenniferciulla.com/ 
Phone: 281-541-3395 
https://www.instagram.com/jenniferciulla.realtor

 

Book Recommendations:

The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. By: Robin Sharma

The Miracle Morning the 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM by: Hal Elrod

Business

Leadership

john quincyThere are countless books and unlimited examples of inspirational individuals that have provided descriptions of good leadership. The underlying theme seems to be motivation. In my experience, the people that are best at motivating and inspiring others to follow also take time for themselves and lead by example.

I was lucky enough to have the best examples of leadership and mentors from the beginning of my career.  The most ethical and motivating people you could ever hope to work with. I worked at a small tech company in Houston, TX. We developed a technology that let public companies easily disclose their financial information to the SEC. We also provided this service for customers. Every time a stock holder sold or purchased stock they had to report this on a form called an 8-K. Every quarter companies file a quarterly report to all the shareholders called a 10-Q. Every year an annual report disclosed all company information on the 10-K. Each report has very specific deadlines, there can be no mistakes or deadlines missed. No insider information leaked, no drafts unrevised, no errors in formatting. If you follow stock reports, you know these reports can have big impacts on companies. So deadline season was stressful!

There was stress, there were mistakes, and there were late nights.

However, we had the most dedicated, loyal and motivated team I have ever worked with. The owners had the best attitudes even in times of HIGH levels of STRESS! They were the first ones there in the morning and the last ones to leave. They had an open door policy and very high expectations for the entire company.  You got to work and then got to work, every day. You did everything you could to help the company succeed. And it did. We brought on more customers and grew that business to become a leader in the industry.

From daily routines, to setting goals, leaders seems to strive for a healthy, active, and involved lifestyles They are leaders on the job and give back in the community. They are quick to provide encouragement and constructive criticism to specific areas of improvement.

During conversations they take time to address concerns and listen, then validate and suggest.

There is nothing worse than having a meeting for feedback and being told “You are doing great. Keep up the good work” That gives nothing to improve on and everyone knows, even the best person in the game needs to practice and keep improving.

Sometimes a business needs to change or restructure due to cash flow, management change or to meet a new requirement. Conversations of downsizing, compensation changes, or changes to a team structure can be very sensitive. I have seen good leadership take the time to do this right and I have seen leadership do it very wrong.  The attitudes at the top tend to set the stage for everyone in the chain of command and down. The best leaders provide direction. They plan a path to success and help everyone see the goal. There are no hidden agendas. People feel the loyalty and will ride through the storm with the right leader.

Good leaders take time to learn the business.

I have seen restructuring more than I ever care for. There was a time I had new business cards made every year due to changes in the organization. New CEO, new VP from outside the company brought in to shake things up. Investors wanting to see faster returns will appoint a new Chief Revenue Officer that knows nothing of the business, the product or the customers. A good leader learns the business first.

That great small tech company I worked for was acquired and without the right leadership was dissolved within five years.

As a business owner, communication is key. 

I have a few friends that are trend settlers in their fields. They have come in, taken over and win big. What makes them different than the other players? What degrees are they changing? What habits are they consistent with? How can we learn and improve our own game?

On my next podcast I will be interviewing a few of these amazing people.  Stay tuned…

Business

Negotiating 101

          ne·go·ti·ate:  to deal or bargain with another or others, as in the preparation of a treaty or contract or in preliminaries to a business deal.

I learned from a young age that influencing people was an art. I attended thirteen schools before high school and as we moved across the country, I learned how to make friends fast. As the forever “new girl” I created interpersonal skills and a personality somewhere between people pleasing and highly influential. Unknowingly this skill set would benefit me throughout my career.  

A good negotiator thinks about the other side and well as their own.

Always consider various options and move toward the most beneficial outcome for both parties. Tempting to force or intimidate, push or threaten, usually will end up in no deal. The goal is to land as close to win – win as you can get.

In preparation for my first job after post- grad, I received little advice on interviewing and negotiating, at that time I didn’t really grasp onto the power of negotiating. This new opportunity offered a significant increase from the educational position I moved from and in that excitement, I failed to test the waters of negotiating. The offer was solid and I was happy to start getting the experience I needed in an industry I was excited about.

This career change opened doors for me to gain the experience I needed with an extremely talented group of professionals. In my mind a win-win.

However, I will never forget my first performance review. I prepared and had my facts ready to go.  I knew how much revenue I secured and what that meant for the company in residual compounded returns. I outlined the big deals. Then described how I managed my territory, what marketing and networking events I sponsored and attended. I had a strategic plan for the next quarter laid out and presented this in a professional manner.

I had my facts and figures in hand. I practiced how I would present this message with confidence and kept the company goals in line with my request.

My supervisor listened to my track record, probably laughing inside and agreed to my request.  I walked out with a bonus and an annual increase. I was feeling good. I felt assured of my value at the company and only relied on facts to discuss a pay increase. Looking back, we were a young, savvy, tech company and didn’t have high salaried employees but the experience and success from that review gave me the confidence I needed to negotiate for myself in the future. In my mind a win-win.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to enter a negotiation with emotions and not facts.

If I had not taken the time to review my numbers, think about the outcome I wanted and asked the questions. I may have received a great review but not the compensation I wanted.    

Sadly, I overheard someone grumble about working there for years and never receiving a raise. I thought to myself “Have you ever asked?”  – the answer, guaranteed, would have been “no”.

This is where I find people slip. Men and women alike. You must understand how you contribute to the team and find the value in what you bring to the table. You have to know you are worth it. Then take that success and confidence and walk into the room with it.

Whether the room is a boardroom, office or a phone call, bring your A game.

If you are not good about talking yourself up, think about how you would do this for someone else. For instance, think about someone you have given a reference for or praised them on a great job. How would you negotiate for that person? Now do it for yourself.

We are always better speaking for someone else. Now use those words and speak for yourself.

Later in my career while I was working for Thomson Reuters, a large information technology company, I received a promotion and was asked to lead two product and sales teams covering North and South America. Not only was this more responsibility in a very tough market but these were two of the most stressful business acquisitions we had in our portfolio at the time.  I remember negotiating for my salary. I had two of my VP’s on the phone. When it was over, my direct supervisor said he wanted me to negotiate for his salary next time. I felt good about the outcome, but thinking back it was still slightly less than the men in my same role. In my mind still a win.

That experience was not lost on me. I made efforts to equal the playing field moving forward. Men talk about money. Women, following the rules, usually do not. Now that’s a tricky battle but sites like glassdoor and others like it, provide an industry standard you can research. Then you ask. What’s the average range for this position? What do top performers take home? What are the benefits of your company that others may not offer? Never assume everyone on your team or at your level is making the same amount. They’re not. Everything is negotiated. Never go backwards.

Always stay current in your job market and keep your toes in the water. Keep your résumé updated, take a call, and listen to new opportunities.

You never know when you will need to negotiate your next role.   

There are many great tactics you can learn to help become a better negotiator. In our next podcast we will outline some tangible ways to successfully tackle future negotiations both for yourself and business. 

Here are a few of my favorite books on Negotiating:

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by: Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton

Books Beauty and Business, Podcasts

Episode 2: Goals and Motivation

How to set meaningful goals and actually achieve them. We all want to shoot for the stars. With a little preparation, determination, and focus. You really can achieve anything. Learn a few new tips on how to set goals and take your career to the next level.

 

The 5 Second Rule by Mel Gibbons
Books

Rules Rules Rules – The 5 Second Rule

The 5 Second Rule is a great story, easy to read or listen to on Audible. The audible is read by Mel Robbins herself and she did a great job. Sometimes just the voice of the reader can make a good book bad. Mel tells about the science behind this advice. The 5 Second Rule opens your mind to a view voice.  I’ve talked about this rule a lot. The rule that in 5 seconds you can talk yourself out of just about anything, is very real.  In my younger life, I read about ways to overcome procrastination, you need to listen to yourself when those random thoughts come into your mind. Like call Mom, call “enter friends name”, I should really do some laundry, I need to get gas today before my meeting in the morning…. etc.. When you think that, DO it. Right then, right there. This is the same concept as the 5 second rule.  Mel Robbins takes this to the next level and explains how one 5 second decision will change your life. There are real-life stories of people overcoming the 5 second rule and having the courage to take action.

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The 5 Second Rule by Mel Gibbons