Books Beauty and Business, Business

Amanda McPherson: Life Coach Amanda

amanda headshotAmanda is a trained Life Coach and holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling. As a recovering risk-avoiding-scaredy-cat, she is passionate about empowering women to live and love boldly. Amanda shares her inspiration through personal coaching, corporate training, workshops, and international retreats. She particularly loves working with women in the areas of career growth, dating/relationships and overall self-confidence.
After over a decade of not feeling fulfilled at her corporate job, Amanda followed her heart and completed her Master’s degree in Counseling at St. Edward’s University. She works with clients all over the country and has been named one of Austin’s Best Life Coaches by Expertise.com for the last two years.


You can find more info on Amanda at www.lifecoachamanda.com

 

 

Books

Rise and Shine – The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod

This book will change your mornings/day for the better. Even if you think you have a pretty good morning routine, this book will level up your purpose for waking up every day. You will learn about your level ten life.

Your Day will become SO much more productive, inspired and goal-centered. Your mind will start to focus on your truth/goals and you be motivated to change the world. One day at a time. The trick is to stay accountable to yourself for 30 days.

It’s easy to get excited and start the first week. Then the weekend comes and you want to relax and sleep in, the next day you don’t complete your morning routine and then before you know it, it’s back to normal. You keep doing what you have done.

STOP!! Set your alarm. Use the steps and make a plan. A friend told me about this meditation app. I have not found anything this great until now. It’s wonderful for sleep, meditation, and focus. The sounds, voices, and background are soothing and create a relaxed state in minutes. The name is Insight Timer. I listen to a lot of meditation resources. THIS IS AMAZING. It’s a free download on iTunes….here’s a picture.

Enjoy your Mornings!  Click image to purchase. 

 

Business

Secrets to Successful Goal Setting

It’s so frustrating when we make promises to ourselves only to break them.  You know the ones I’m talking about…I’m going to cut back on my drinking…I’m going to get in better shape…I’m going to get out of debt…I’m going to network more..I’m going to study more…I’m going to spend more time with my kids…I’m not going to fight with my spouse…I’m going to save up for that beach house…

The list is endless and 9 out of 10 times – the results are the same.  What if there was a way to get there?  A key to successful goal setting?  A process for setting goals that incorporates scientific research to exponentially increase the odds for the next promise you make to yourself?

There is…

BE INTENTIONAL: SET MEANINGFUL GOALS
In order to drive change, you need to dive deeper into the goals you want to accomplish.  Try taking the time to further explore and understand the WHY in your goal.

A few questions you may want to ask yourself are:

“Why do I want to accomplish this?”
“What will it mean for me if I accomplish this?”
“How will it make me feel if I accomplish this?

For example, if your goal is to lose weight then you should understand why you want to lose the weight, what effect will losing the weight have on your day-to-day life, and what long-term effects will losing weight have on your life. Really take the time to understand why you want to lose the weight and draw motivation from it.

Allow yourself time to explore the goals before throwing them out there.  It’s crucial to understand your goals, why you want to achieve them and what achievement of these goals will look like for you.

EASY DOES IT
It’s scientifically proven that our brains are wired for rewards.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a key role in reward, motivation, memory, decision-making, and even some body functions.  When dopamine is released it gives us the feeling of pleasure as part of our neural reward system.  This motivates you to repeat a specific behavior.

It’s possible to manipulate your dopamine levels by setting small goals and then accomplishing them.  This is because each time you succeed, the longer your brain stores the information that allowed you to do so well in the first place. Why? Because with EACH success, your brain is releasing dopamine!  Hence success breeds more success.

SO…

What’s the best way to eat an elephant?  ONE BITE AT A TIME

We’ve heard it a thousand times.  It makes sense, right? If we try to get it down all at once, we are going to have some major indigestion and it’s just not possible.

The same concept applies to our goals.  Don’t think you have to fix everything all at once. Small changes pave the way for bigger changes. Ask yourself, “What can I do today that will help me accomplish my goal.”  Use this as a way to stay focused each day while rewarding yourself with bursts of dopamine along the way!

KEEP IT POSITIVE

When setting goals, be sure to frame them in a positive way.  Focus on what you want to accomplish instead of what you don’t want to accomplish.  This will increase the likelihood that you will actually pursue it and increase your success rate.  There are hundreds of studies and theories around the idea that positive thinking promotes positive outcomes.  Most recently I read the “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and prior to that I’ve been a long time fan of “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale.  If you want to get rudimentary, take a trip down memory lane and recall the childhood story of The Little Engine that told himself over and over again, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”

Across all lines of success, there is one thing that each of them have in common. Positive thinking contributes to positive outcomes.

If you want to get into brain chemistry for substantial evidence, consider this.  Any type of avoidance will trigger inhibition systems in your brain, where positive goals will trigger approach and rewards motivation. (Hello dopamine).  Intellectually this makes perfect sense, so give yourself time to frame your goals in this way.

VISUALIZE
Once you’ve identified, framed and established a few long-term goals with short-term goals, it’s time to kick-off.

Vision creates a picture for the subconscious mind.

The subconscious is not only responsible for 90 percent of the decisions we make in day-to-day life, but is also the part of the brain that is largely in charge when we are performing creative tasks or charting through unknown territory. The very act of giving your emotional brain a detailed portrait of your end goal also ensures that you will take the steps needed to steer yourself toward it.  Articulate your vision with words and a pictures; the more detailed the better.  Post this somewhere as a daily reminder and focal point of goals you have set for yourself.

 

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.

Business

Time To Level Up

“WHAT VALUE WILL YOU BRING TO THIS ORGANIZATION?”

This question comes up early in most interviews and is something you’ve already demonstrated in order to secure the position that you’re in today.  As a contributor to an organization it’s important that you continue to bring value to progress your career.  On a regular basis people ask me how they can translate what they do into more meaningful and valuable contributions for their organization.  While there are many great ways to add value to your current role, there a a few simple, yet effective steps that I’ve outlined below for tangible results.

KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS

If you’re not sure what your strengths are, NOW is the time to ask.  Ask your boss, your peers, and your trusted circle of friends to better understand what your good at.  If you don’t already know this, then please, please, please make sure you take the time to figure it out!  A good leader will generally start off a review by providing at least three areas that they feel your work is stellar before they move into areas of improvement.  If yours doesn’t, then don’t be afraid to ask.  I might suggest something along these lines when soliciting positive feedback during a review if it’s not initially provided.

“I appreciate your feedback and I will most definitely work on these things.  Additionally, I’d like your insight into what I’m doing really well and what you find to be my strengths.” 

“This has been extremely insightful and I’m confident I can improve in X, Y areas.  Additionally, I like to continue developing my natural talents and was hoping you could provide me some areas that you find my work to be valuable.”

Keep in mind that you don’t have to solicit feedback from superiors alone.  You should absolutely reach out to peers,  mentors and friends when trying to discover your strengths and better understand the things areas that you excel in.  Sometimes you’ll be surprised at what they say (I know I have been).  Remember, if three or more people provide similar strengths, I would say it’s something your exceptional at!

EXPLOIT YOUR STRENGTHS

Once you’ve identified your strengths, it’s time to EXPLOIT them!  The proper definition of exploit is make full use of and derive benefit from.

Each of us possess a unique set of strengths that come naturally to us.  It’s these special talents that set us apart from our peers and should be further honed and crafted.  Instead of spending all of your time, energy and focus on improving your weaknesses, I encourage you make full use of and derive benefit from your God given talents.

As people, we tend to glaze over positive feedback we receive and go straight to the recommended areas of improvement.   In doing this, we lose sight of our positive gifts and instead live in a constant battle against imperfection.  A large area of focus and energy  becomes on us trying to  improve where we, or others, feel we are falling short.

Now, don’t get me wrong I’m all about making improvements and I encourage self reflection and evaluation as well as feedback from others on how to improve.  What I am saying here is this…SPEND MORE TIME DEVELOPING YOUR STRENGTHS and spend less time trying to improve areas that you may never be EXCEPTIONAL at.

REPLICATE 

Replication is the last key to providing value and it’s probably the most challenging.  While I can continue to learn and improve, I can only get so far on my own.  Sharing my tips, tricks and secrets to success are a proven way to replicate my value exponentially.  If I can translate and teach others how to be successful, then we all succeed and that’s gold.  That’s where the true success comes.  Replicating value and success is a challenge and one that we’ll dive more into in future posts.  Until then, I’ll give you just a couple of ideas on how you can replicate success.

First,  identify a project when you were able to meet or exceed the goal that you had set out to reach.  Next, break it down and identify the key pieces that made it successful.  Once you have done this, write it out.  It’s a proven fact that the only way to obtain and replicate knowledge is by transferring thoughts from your brain to your hand through written word. Once you’ve done this, you can duplicate this process for future projects and more importantly SHARE with others.  By sharing your success stories and how you achieved them with others, you are providing a value to your organization that exceeds expectations and grows not only yourself but others and this is the TRUE way to make yourself indispensable.

 

 

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…

The Myth of the Nice Girl
Books

The Myth of the Nice Girl

I have downloaded the audible version, the Kindle version, and today I ordered a hard copy.

So many great topics ranging from effective communication and leadership skills to negotiation tactics, to networking strategies.  I really like the fact that Fran provides effective examples to apply these skills immediately. This is what has led to me purchasing the hard copy so that I can highlight and bookmark some of my favorites and start sharing them.  I think these skills can be applied to both women and men alike and I encourage anyone to take a read (or listen)!

Click image to purchase.

The Myth of the Nice Girl
Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate
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.