Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Leadership Summit Balances Head and Heart for Success

Attending the 2-day Leadership Success Summit in Ontario, CA at the end of January left me and everyone I met energized and exhilarated; ready to implement everything we learned immediately! To ensure our success, we were given the tools we needed to implement all we had learned. Lisa Marie Platske, CEO of Upside Thinking, created this business conference with that intention in mind. Not only did she actively balance head and heart, she appealed to different personality learning styles while teaching us all how to incorporate and implement important basic business tools immediately.

Lisa Marie and I spoke at length about how important it is to find a personal balance between head and heart in growing a successful business. We are not just heads running around creating deals and building business, we are flesh and bone and feelings. If we are to include our personal happiness in our definition of success we have to tap into our passion - our heart. Lisa Marie "wanted to offer a business event, help businesses get the help they need, but not have them burn out with too much information".

The structure of the conference was based on Lisa Marie's Seven Pillars of Success: planning, personality, partnerships, priorities, presence, progress and personal and professional development. Each pillar was explained in detail by one of the speakers or by a panel and then the audience could ask questions and get immediate coaching. In addition, Lisa Marie took time to ensure audience members left with the proper tools they needed to implement these pillars immediately.

People learn differently.

There are four primary learning styles: visual, auditory, read-write, and kinesthetic (more touch and feel centered). People learn using a variety of these methods, but one is usually predominant. Lisa Marie addressed all learning types in her conference. She even had a basket of small toys and balls to choose from for kinesthetic learners.

Each of the speakers were chosen with this in mind. She invited Faith Rivera, an Emmy award-winning singer/songwriter to sit on a planning and strategy panel and share her songs with the audience. Faith was able to offer her unique perspective on strategic planning. Later she lead us in song; she energized and inspired us all as we found ourselves up on our feet, singing and dancing. The tag line on Faith's website is "change your music, change your life". Her music added heart to Lisa Marie's conference.


In between learning segments, Lisa Malik got us all on our feet again, moving and smiling while she shared more great tools from her Maxitize Method. Not only did we learn, we learned how to retain what we learned! "Lisa Malik has a wonderful way of engaging and energizing audiences with her Maxitize Warm-Up method....She received rave reviews from the attendees and presenters alike!" , says Lisa Marie.

And for those who like Ice Cream, (who doesn't?) Smita Vasant, founder of Neemo's Exotic Ice Creams and Saffron Spot, provided us all with her signature flavor of exotic ice cream, Saffron Silk. Smita was also a presenter on the strategy and planning panel. She is a true 'foodie' and she inspired us by sharing how she turned her passion for food and spices into profits.

Each of these successful women business owners is passionate about her business. In fact, these women based their businesses on their passion. Each implemented the best business strategies that were in alignment with their personal beliefs. Although they each run very different companies, what they have in common is passion and a balance between head and heart. This particular combination has brought them to their current levels of success (and they are all growing). They are passionate about their businesses and have made the conscious decision to stay in alignment with their core missions.

Many of the attendees were 2nd and 3rd time participants at this conference and have already marked their calendars for next year's conference. In 2010, Jenee Dana of Focus Planning "Mapped out a detailed plan for the year that has created a powerful and profitable foundation for years to come!" This year she participated as a vendor and paid close attention so she could continue to build on the strong foundation she has already created.

This conference stands out among others I have been to because of its balanced approach to business, learning and action. The journey to success is personal one. Finding a strategy to build on your passions while incorporating proper structures and foundation is a clear path to create a thriving business that will add to your personal happiness.

The good news: you don't have to do it alone. It is possible to lead with your heart and build a successful business and find the support you need to succeed!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WHAT To Implement or Not to Implement---THAT is the Question!

I have always known that implementation is a huge factor in business success.
Whether it is implementing a new tool that I have learned at a conference, or buying software that supports my accounting process, I have to actually take action and implement that new tool for it to work. This could make or break a business. Not the software per say, but the implementation process! This is where I see many of my clients get stuck: at implementation. Rather than move forward they hit a wall and don’t implement anything at all!

Unfortunately, finding particular tools, processes, procedures and actions to move your business forward is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. I came to this thought today while I was in the gym working out. My workout was a dynamic mix of kicking the hanging boxing bag, walking lunges, various weightlifting exercises, balance, squats, and jumping rope. I added in a few other exercises, some I had learned many years ago, old favorites and others, were brand new that I have recently seen or been taught.

I designed my workout to suit me and my body! I created a plan consisting of different exercises and then implemented them! I did each exercise in a particular order to get the results I wanted. My goals were to create a work out that would get my heart rate up, build strength and endurance and move me toward my larger goal of overall health. I combined the new exercises I learned from my trainer Megan Butacan and exercises that are tried and true favorites to get the results I wanted. I did it my way!

The same goes for business; implementation is key! However, you have to implement what works for you and your business model. Some people run marathons, some people do yoga and some people do both. Running a successful business means discovering the strategies and models that work well for you. Not only do we have to find what we enjoy doing and combine that with the proper tools that will move us forward; I believe we should enjoy the journey as well!

Running a thriving business is about trying different strategies, tools, processes, procedures, marketing and sales strategies (I could go on forever) and then putting into practice what works for you. Are you asking yourself this question: “How long does it take to know what works?” Here is an answer that you may or may not like, but it is the truth: “It depends.”

Here are some things to think about that will help you to determine your own personal business strategies:

What product or service you offer? You have to know your client and your marketplace in order to really understand what strategies you need to implement. This takes research and part of your research will be in the form of research and trial and error. This also determines your sales cycle and that will affect the amount of time you need to see which tools work best.

What is your business model? Are you a coach? Do you manufacture a product? Do you have a restaurant? Each of these businesses will need a different approach. You will need to narrow down your choices and try things out to see what works for you.

What are your goals? How intricate or expansive are your goals. This will make a huge impact on the tools and strategies you choose to implement.

My point is that building a business is a process and a journey to be enjoyed. It is a combination of strategies, actions and energy that you pull from different sources and you put them together to create your own design for success. HAVE FUN on your journey. If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point? Don’t you want to love what you do every day? Isn’t that one of the reasons you chose the path you chose?

Define your idea of success and don’t forget to include happiness and joy in your definition. Implement the tools that work for you. You can easily accomplish this with the proper support, structure, and balanced energy! Keep implementing and moving forward and you will ‘arrive’ at your personal definition of success.

For more information on how I can support you visit www.essentialselling.com