Cindy Novotny

On the Move!

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Sometimes it can be difficult to reflect on life’s occurrences when you are always on the move, like myself.  There are days when the constant travel and change of scenery is seamless and everything goes off without a hitch!  With that being said, there are absolutely times when I’m going so fast, a new day, new city, new state of mind, and I have to stop internally, and force myself to process the moments I experience while on the road.  Being an Entrepreneur, a Wife, a Mom, an Employer, a Daughter, Sister, and friend, keeps me busy, and I love every moment.  However, part of keeping myself grounded and on the right path for myself and my family, means I do have to reflect, process and spend some time reviewing my thoughts and emotions.  Being on the go, does not mean, you can shut out the rough days, and blaze past.  It means, I have to focus even more and make the time to deal, even when the clock and the changing of time zones may make that difficult.  You see, before I can look out for all those people in my personal as well as my business life, I have to look out for number one.  That person has to be me, because without myself being whole, I wouldn’t be able to put my heart into my family, friends, business, clients, employees, or anyone else I come in contact with.  I have never and will never do anything half-heartedly.  I’m an all or nothing gal, and I like it that way.  Remember, you do not have to be perfect, in fact there is no such thing, and to be honest, everyone loves flavor and variety.  The idea of perfection breeds boredom!  When you do something in life, give it your all, and make sure you nurture your thoughts, process your experiences and don’t deny yourself the right to get upset, feel raw emotion, yell, cry, do whatever you need to do!  But afterward, pick yourself up, keep moving, and know that the best is yet to come because you are worth all the hard work that it takes to get through all the fabulous days, and every one of the challenging ones!

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I Was Told I Could Fly!

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Growing up I was so fortunate to have parents that told me I could do anything I wanted to do, be anything I wanted to be, and go anywhere I wanted to go.  So today…I am living that life.  No wonder I have 10 Million miles under my belt and only spend a few weeks in my own bed.  I have chosen this life, and I LOVE it. 

So why do so many people wish for a life they want, but don’t do anything to live that life?  I believe it is the fear of letting go of the security, and safety, of their own comfort zone.

Then, we have those who try anything, at any time, with no purpose or goal.  So, what is right for you?  My thought is, you must believe your heart, and follow your gut.

So, as we enter the last 6 months of 2019, let’s not let 2020 take us by surprise.  Take a lesson from one of Diana Ross’s songs

Do You Know Where you're going to?
Do you like the things That life is showing you?
Where are you going to?
Do you know?

Do you get What you're hoping for?
When you look behind you There's no open doors
What are you hoping for?
Do you know?

Take a lesson from my book – you have the wings….now take flight!

Photo Credit- John Cain Photography

Photo Credit - John Cain Photography

Photo Credit - John Cain Photography

Rise and Shine!

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Welcome to the beginning of my summer (not officially) but for me, June marks summer vacation.  Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of the day school was out and we prepared for 3 months of bliss.

In my world that meant some very specific traditions.  We always got new summer PJ’s, rosebud sheets and one month at the beach in Grand Haven, Michigan.  It didn’t get much better than that.

Even when my daughter Jessica was young, I tried hard to have more free time during the summer break and we always took at least 3 weeks off to go to our farm and summer place in northern Michigan.

Fast forward today.  Older, busier but not that much wiser.  Today, June marks summer for me, but I don’t get to take off as much time anymore.  What I am trying to do is create more ‘me time,’ and that means getting up earlier, watching the sunrise, sipping my coffee on a balcony of some of my favorite hotels.

I have learned to love the first rays of sun streaking through the window as I focus on my day.  I am learning to indulge in this quiet time and spend this time counting my blessings.

I am fortunate to live this wonderful life.  I am surrounded by family and friends who love me, and I love being with.  I believe a good day begins with opportunities to build our business and find new ways to experience this wonderful world, I get to travel. 

Give it a try!

1.     Wake up earlier throughout the summer

2.     Sit outside and watch the sunrise while you focus on breathing

3.     Drink your water before coffee

4.     Think about what you need to accomplish for the day

5.     Remind yourself what you are grateful for, and now you are ready to take on the day!

 

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Developing a World Class Sales Organization

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Nothing makes me prouder than being a part of a great learning and development company.  Master Connection Associates has spent years developing, curating and creating sales leaders around the world.  We have created hundreds of customized sales academies for our clients.  We have an exclusive Evergreen Process® updating everything we do that keeps our content current with the changing times.  This provides our clients a solid foundation to support their sales culture and the sales team development process. 

Our training technology has been benchmarked by many of our competitors.  Some may consider this ‘stealing our intellectual property’, but I see it as trying to copy the original without the foundation of our incredible team or the ‘secret sauce’ that produces our measurable results.

There are so many charlatans in the world of training.  Some have a website that says ‘we’ when it’s really only ‘me’ and others that have tried to do it themselves, with no educational technology qualifications and never succeed. There are also the ones who try and re-invent the sales process to a point that it is unrecognizable. Make no mistake – there is no short cut to sales excellence. 

Our team consists of true professionals from educational technologists with global backgrounds, trainers and consultants that excelled in the field before becoming a coach and the blended learning approach of e-learning, virtual learning, classroom, and on the job training. 

Our learning experience changes behaviors and we consistently receive feedback that we have actually changed lives!

A stand-alone approach simply doesn’t work.  Having one single voice in training also doesn’t work.  You need diversity, cultural backgrounds, global knowledge and a successful track record of examples to learn from.  So, let’s look at how sales leaders and business leaders should consider improving their sales performance.

1.   Know your goals of what you want to achieve when developing your sales team. 

2.   Make sure the sales leader is engaged from the very beginning and knows what needs to happen after the sales coach leaves

3.   Don’t use training as the ‘flavor of the month’ – stay consistent with the process for repeatable and sustainable growth

4.   Don’t allow the sales organization to decide what type of training they need – sales leadership should know this and be bold in holding their team accountable to reach tough goals supported through proper training they select

5.   Don’t discount instructor-led classroom training as it is the most effective way to learn and practice sales skills in front of peers, leaders and the sales coach.  Skills improve when practiced, such as:

a.   New business development

b.   Discovery

c.    Presenting

d.   Negotiating

e.   Selling against the competition

f.     Handling problems/objections

g.   Closing

6.   Digital learning tools are fabulous for the sales colleagues ‘on the run.’  Online courses are adaptable for many styles and cultures, so use the combination of all to provide results. 

Never discount the energy and enthusiasm of the facilitators.  Young sales professionals today have shared that their boredom in a classroom is never about the content and always the professor.  Creating a robust sales team today calls for a robust and true leader and sales coach. 

Have you found yours?

At a recent training, this was the feedback received from a participant, on their anonymous evaluation.

“Thank you so much Cindy and Jos, you are both really engaging and awesome. you have made an impact on my life!”

Another participant wrote, “This kind of experience should happen more often..at least every 3 months on a new topic..very important to be a stronger sales person.”

 

Are you setting the right priorities?  

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Everyone is busy.  Everyone is spread too thin.  Everyone spends more time talking about how much they must do versus just doing it!

 

I say, ‘SNAP OUT OF IT!’  So, you are busy – get over it.  Think about the opposite.  You are not busy because you don’t have enough work, you are alone with no friends or family to juggle or you simply are running around like a crazy person never completing anything. 

 

This all comes down to setting the right type of priorities so you can accomplish everything you have ever wanted out of life.  Yes, you can have it all and don’t let anyone tell you anything different.  I get that life is messy – believe me, I know messy, but I also know that I can’t dwell on messy.  I must get up, get on with it and make sure I reach every goal I set for myself and my team. 

 

Every successful person I know has learned how to live without the ‘perfect’ balance but has learned how to ‘balance’ their personal and professional life.  Just as I talk about balance in my book, ‘Living with No Balance and Loving It,’ you need to learn how to prioritize to make things happen. 

 

Money can’t buy happiness, but happiness can’t buy a house!  Money lost or spent can be regained, but you will never be able to get back time – more valuable than money if it is lost.

 

Recently, I have talked to many women who took off 10-15 years to raise their children and now in their late 30’s and 40’s they are wanting to re-enter the workforce.  The struggle these women are having is that they did not keep up their skills.  Even with their college degrees, they lost sight of the business climate, technology and the price of re-entry.  Priorities must be carefully analyzed so that your plan includes the next 5 – 10 – 15 years. 

 

Staying home to raise children is a privilege and I admire anyone who could do that.  I was not able to stay home, therefore I made priorities to go back to work and still spend every free minute with my daughter.  I skipped going to movies and dinners with my husband, spending money on me so I could spend it on her, and I have never looked back.  I prioritized what was important for our family. 

So, don’t waste time.  PRIORITIZE YOUR LIFE NOW!  You can kill time, and kill your career with non-productive meetings, phone calls, drama, lunches with no objectives, late starts on projects and procrastination.  All these to-do’s in our calendar can push the important priorities right to the bottom. 

 

Make every minute, every hour and everyday count.  You are no busier than anyone else, you just don’t spend your time wisely.  Stop right now and think about tomorrow.  Plan your day so that at the end of the day there is a smile on your face, and you are ready for the next day. 

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Watch Your Mouth!

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Watch Your Mouth!

I learned many years ago from my parents (and my teachers) that I have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.  Pay attention and listen.  Over the years I have worked on this, but I am still a work in progress.  In fact, the one thing I really remember from my French classes is this line – ‘ferme la bouche Solonge’!  (My French name) ... In English this means – Close your Mouth!

What is so ironic is that now I speak for a living and closing my mouth doesn’t work.  But I am learning when to hold back and not speak.  Hard, yes! 

So today we will take a minute to talk about adopting a new approach to running your mouth!  I have heard over the years that the average woman speaks over 20,000 words a day – not to mention her chatter on texts and on social.  Men – not sure about??

Let’s take some time and focus on how to slow down on the quick wit and think before we speak.

·         Leave all negative chatter off social media

·         Don’t gossip with anyone – it will come back to haunt you

·         As our mothers taught us – if you don’t have something nice to say – don’t say anything

·         In meetings take notes and circle what you want to come back to so that you speak with confidence

·         Breathe and pause before belting it out

·         Choose your words carefully

·         Never put in writing what you would not say to a person’s face

·         When listening to a spouse, partner, colleague, client or family member – do not judge and remember the proverb – believe the best before you assume the worst.

Have a wonderful weekend of good conversations XO

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Be Grateful for What Life Brings Your Way!

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I am working in Napa this week and although this is wine country, I had the privilege of being invited to an exclusive whiskey dinner!  Jenny Wren, from our team, came from the infamous whiskey business as an ambassador in this fantastic world.  Her contacts in this industry, are beyond compare.

At the last minute we were invited to join a private and intimate whiskey pairing dinner. It was at Brix in Napa for Dalmore, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey!

In addition to an exquisite dining experience, we were so lucky to have the passionate Scotch Whisky Master Blender from Glasgow to educate and entertain.

So, in addition to learning about the proper way to drink scotch whiskey, I learned a lot of history about scotch whiskey.

·         1263 – Bravery is born – Saving King Alexander III’s life would prove to be a defining moment for Colin of Kintail, the Clan Mackenzie and in the history of The Dalmore

·         Kings Reward – the saying ‘fortune favors the brave’ has never been truer than for Colin of Kintail

·         As a sign of gratitude for saving his life, King Alexander III awarded him the land of Eilean Donan and the motto ‘ Luceo Non Uro’, which translates to ‘I Shine, Not Burn’!

·         More importantly Colin of Kintail and his Mackenzie clan were given the right to bear a 12-pointed Royal Stag at their crest

·         1867 – The Mackenzie Brothers take over The Dalmore

Forever standing apart at The Dalmore, they are proud to push boundaries while staying true to their courageous heritage by continuing to stand apart and defy convention. 

How do you do that? 

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Be Aware!

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AWARENESS; Awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events. More broadly, it is the state of being conscious of something.

It doesn’t matter if I am working with owners, executives, entrepreneurs or front-line employees, it is amazing how few people are able to self-reflect.  You must be completely comfortable in your own skin but understand how you come across to others.  Being arrogant, condescending, and egotistical demonstrates your lack of confidence.

Being aware of how you affect others will dramatically help you grow in your organization.  Lately I have been very aware of my team members and how they engage with others.  I challenge everyone on my team to look at how they contribute to the team, affect the team and what the overall goals should be. 

This awareness can be very humbling to some who don’t realize that a lack of positivity that comes across when you don’t smile or engage in conversation.  Taking responsibility for your job means that you are aware of where you need help, feedback and coaching so that you are not always stressed out.  Acting as a prima donna who is untouchable also shows a lack of awareness. 

Being aware is systemic.  Your belief systems, your values, and even the way you were raised can cause you to ignore patterns of behavior that may not be that positive.  If you are aware and listen to feedback you will less likely be insecure and become more confident. 

Everyone can improve their self-awareness throughout their life if they want to.  If you seek out feedback and coaching from those closest to you, you will dramatically improve your behavior.  It is liberating to know that you are growing and learning how to get better and what drives people crazy about you.

As a trainer and speaker, I always must be self-aware because I get candid feedback daily from our sessions and keynote speeches.  Did they like what I said?  Did I come across genuine?  Did they learn something new?  If we receive any negative feedback, we cannot discount that.  We must speak to our clients and ask exactly what the feedback meant and how we can improve in the future.  Most people don’t have the guts to take this head on, and yet we do it, daily. 

Focusing on self-awareness is empowering and you should never fear what the reflection tells you or how deep you need to go.  Without actions to support your self-reflection results, you might as well have not asked for the feedback in the first place.

Start working on self-improvement by first digging deep into your motivation.   Why should you even care?  What will the awareness help me improve at?  How can I empower those around me to be more aware as well?

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Changing Lives, One Lunch at a Time!

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Today, I had the distinguished honor of being a speaker at the Inaugural luncheon, for the WIPA Dallas Chapter.  It dawned on me that the enthusiasm and commitment shown by these wedding professions, absolutely challenges the average status quo for today’s entrepreneur!  I have simply not seen the equal of these people in terms of dedication and work ethic.  I was completely amazed and delighted! 

My speech was about how to compete in the business world, with dignity.  It’s shocking how unfamiliar so many professionals are with this topic.  So many individuals cut down their competition, versus highlighting and presenting their own positive attributes.  You shouldn’t need to undercut your competition to look better.  You should stand out because your company and your work speak for itself!  In my speech, I referenced one of my favorite books, “The Art of War” written by Sun Tzu.  These are some of my favorite points.

•      “Hug the ‘haters.’”

•      “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” 

•      “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” 

•      “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” 

•      “The wise warrior avoids the battle.” 

 

My personal favorite is the last piece of advice.  “The wise warrior avoids the battle.”  This phrase crosses my mind often.  It’s important to how I carry myself in the business world, and how I want my team to carry themselves.  It doesn’t mean we don’t fight for business.  It means, you never see us coming! 

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I AM FEARLESS!

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Yes, I am!  Being confident helps you be fearless, and when you are fearless, you have more confidence.  I think we need to learn from our best friends, and trusted mentors, on where we exclel, and what we need to work on.  A lack of confidence gives in to fear, and that is what starts the vicious cycle. 

When you possess courage, learn to deal with conflict, the one attribute that gets stronger than any other is becoming fearless.

I am sure there is not anyone out there that does not have some fears (including myself) but dealing with that fear is the key to success.  Being fearless enables people to do miraculous things.  It is important to think about all the fears that exist in our lives: 

·         Climbing mountains

·         Throwing your body across the finish line in sports

·         Skydiving

·         Heights

·         Health issues

·         Flying

·         Fear of rejection

·         Public speaking

And we could go on and on!  The key is to overcome your fear with confidence.  You must practice being strong and imagine yourself doing whatever it is you want to do.

The first step is to identify what you are afraid of, and where your weaknesses are.  After you are comfortable with reality, find a mentor, coach or trusted friend and ask for help.  There are so many reasons to learn how to overcome fear and the results are amazing – less stress, less anxiety, better performance at work, improved personal communication and overall better living. 

Today is the best day to take control of your destiny, and conquer your fears! You can do it!

What’s Culture Got To Do With It?

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Considering changing jobs?  Make sure you are clear about the type of culture you are looking for, in a new position.  So many HR professionals have created the new ‘human workplace’ as a tagline for their companies,making every opportunity look like you are joining a fraternity or family.  Think again.  Depending on ownership, ROI, and performance analytics, it seems that the human side of business can be pushed aside at anytime to improve the bottom line.  

 

The hottest buzzwords today are culture, spirit, employee engagement, mindfulness, and overall well-being.  Who doesn’t love those thoughts?  

 

Culture has everything to do with leadership.  The overall well-being of any organization has to do with environmentwhich is created by the leaders. It’s how they engage with other employees based on their beliefs, values and background.  Culture is implied as well as emotional and that is why some weak leaders can toss it aside, when the bottom-line needs attention.

 

I personally believe that you must stay true to your culture and that will inevitably improve productivity, and result in increased revenue.  The traits are clear in making an emotional connection within an organization.

 

• A true focus on the workplace environment

• Trust

• Emotional connection to a ‘family friendly’ business

• Non-negotiable behavioral standards that lead to success

 

Make sure you double check the culture of the companies you are looking at, whether for a career change, or a new supplier to do business with.  Do you feel an emotional connection to this organization?  Companies that have a strong culture will elicit enthusiasm, creativity energy.  Be that company and as an individual look for that company to work for.  

Welcome to the Second Quarter!

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Wow – can you believe we are in the 2nd quarter of 2019?  I can’t.  It seems that I was just starting out the year and April seemed so far away.  So, what strategies do you have in place for this quarter?  How will did you end the first quarter?

 

Now is a good time to get the team together and brainstorm was to improve performance, brainstorm innovative ideas and make sure you are ahead of pace.

 

Driving strategy takes more than just talking – you need actions that have meaning and the whole team must know what direction you are going and have bought in to the plan.

 

As I sit in Europe writing this, I am very aware of what is going on in the world of business.  It is positive, it is strong and those who disagree are living with their head in the sand.  You have a small window of opportunity right now to get into gear and ensure the rest of 2019 will be spectacular.  Before you know it, you will be giving the same excuses you gave last year on why you didn’t make your quota. 

 

Don’t make this mistake.  Make April the month to make a difference that you will feel in December.  Happy Spring!

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The Price is Right!

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There has never been a better time to re-evaluate your pricing as it relates to your overall profit.  The freelance business is tough business.  

 

Look at the definition of ‘freelance’

 

Freelance – ‘fri:la:ns/

 

Adjective – self-employed and hired to work for different companies on assignments

 

Adverb – earning one’s living as a freelancer.  ‘I work freelance from home’

 

Historical – a medieval mercenary 

 

Wow…. history see freelancers as a mercenary – one who is focused on money and opportunity.  And, what is so bad about that?  Are you in business to make money?  So, it is time to stop underpricing your work, whatever that may be.  If you are a subject matter expert and can help others, you should feel very good about what you charge.  

 

But overpricing is also very dangerous.  If you are not intentional about your pricing you could scare potential clients away, but underpricing signals low quality and will make potential clients hesitant about working with you.  

 

Never under estimate your worth and develop a network of trusted alleys who will support what you have done and what you can do.  Practice your ‘sales pitch.’  Yes, I am serious – just because you think you are a consultant you still need to sell yourself, your ideas and your solutions.  Practice saying it out loud.

 

Quoting a fee to a potential client should roll off your tongue.  Don’t be nervous about quoting your value even if you are raising your fee.  If you get push back on your fees, ask more questions to uncover what the client thinks is fair.  This is your reputation and discounting your fees means you are discounting your worth.  

 

Just make darn sure you are worth it!

Appreciate Life!

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I believe that one of the biggest motivators in my life is appreciating everything around me.  My family, friends, work colleagues and the thousands of people I meet traveling the world.  Not a day goes by that I don’t wake up thankful for what my life is all about.

Simply stated, I love life and even through the toughest moments I have learned that the ‘show must go on.’  That show is MY LIFE!

A lack of appreciation causes people to become entitled and arrogant.  In business this attitude will destroy your future.  Taking customers for granted, not thinking like an owner and jumping from job to job will never allow you to have the appreciation you need to live your best life.  There are people that feel the world owes them something.  Well I have news for you – no one owes you anything.  You earn it.

Don’t let arguments get in your way.  Don’t allow disagreements separate you from others, or differences in opinions, drive a wedge between you and the other person.  Life is not always a walk in the park.  There are issues that need to be dealt with, and when you appreciate others, you will put in the time, energy, and heart, to get to the root cause of anything that comes your way.

No appreciation means that you don’t care and therefore will not give the emotion to make things better. 

Find appreciation this week in everything you do and everyone you touch.  XO

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Say Goodbye to Winter!

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Traditionally we have celebrated the first day of spring on March 21st, but this year the spring season starts one day earlier on March 20th in all time zones in North America.  So, who says that it should be one day earlier?  I investigated it as I am a curious individual. 

Apparently, the earth’s elliptical orbit is changing its orientation, which causes the earth’s axis to constantly point in a different direction.  Since the seasons are defined as beginning at strict 90-degree intervals, these changes effect the time the earth reaches each 90-degree location in its orbit around the sun.  WOW!  Lots of information but interesting.

Since I am not the scientific type I decided to write about how I feel regarding saying goodbye to winter and hello SPRING!  Check out how many days are in each season – warm weather lovers should be happy!

So here is a checklist to make sure you are leaving winter behind with all your inspirational to-do’s taken care of.  You will also note that there are approximately 93 days in spring, so get ready to take advantage of this new season.

The last 3 months I have talked about goal setting, starting off the new year with inspiration and ideas that would put you ahead in 2019.  Here is my reminder:

1.     Are your goals and dreams written down for 2019?  How are you doing?

2.     What are the top 10 things that make you most happy?  How will you capitalize on those in the spring?

3.     What do you treasure most?  Are you making time for that?

4.     If you had a song that represented your life, what would it be?

5.     Call the people that brighten your day and thank them for being in it.

We have already sprung forward with our clocks, now let’s spring forward with our life and get ready to set the goals for the next 3 months. 

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Love Life So You Can Live Life!

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of working with a group of excited, young and enthusiastic team of sales professionals who thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the time we spent together.  We are fortunate that Master Connection Associates delivers education and enthusiasm everywhere we go, and our results show it.  But there is often at least one person in a large group that has the face that says, “I don’t like my life.”  Yesterday, not one person had that face!

At the end of the first day Brittany Malestein came up to me and gave me my new tag line.  Thank you Brittany and you get all the credit.  She said to me how excited she was to come to our session, and how she had heard so many great things about MCA, and our training.   Her zest for life, her engagement in the classroom and ability to learn and participate in role plays, with the best attitude ever, reminded me of how I have always lived my life.

EXCITED – ENGAGED – ENTHUSIASTIC – CURIOUS – PROFESSIONAL – POSITIVE – OPEN – DRIVEN!

I believe that you get out of life, what you put in to it, and I always try and give each day 150%.  Even on those days when life throws lemons at me, that can not be made into lemonade, I try to face the issues. Therefore, when I lay my head on my pillow that night, I am ready to take on tomorrow.

I know I am not the only person in my company, family, or among my friends that gives 150% - they all do, and we encourage the support of each other to push through the tough times.  We are MCA and we deliver results.  PERIOD.

There are copycats out there that have tried to imitate our content and style but fail.  There is only one original and our new tagline from Brittany says it all. 

“Personally Relaxing, Professionally Refreshing”

Thank you, Brittany, for reminding us to continue to do what we love, and live this life to the fullest!

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Keep It Simple!

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Simplicity is a big thought, yet it should be something that we just have in our DNA.  Fancy words, and near-incomprehensibility can confuse any of us daily.  Why do we make life so difficult?  Why do we try and confuse an issue with round about conversations?  Being simple does not mean you are not intelligent, it ‘simply’ means you like to get to the truth and result faster, than those that like to complicate every conversation. 

We need to be mature enough to pick up ideas and thoughts from others without disguising it more than it is.  We need to not be afraid to ask questions that get right to the truth of the matter without fear of feeling ‘stupid’ for asking the question.

We need to be sophisticated enough not to reject someone else’s truth or idea because it sounds like something we already know.  Being a ‘know-it-all’ has never been attractive, and it complicates every conversation.  You can’t possibly be a subject matter expert in all areas, so try and get real this week and keep it simple. 

There are different kinds of simplicity and each type is a gift.  Conversations come and go, jobs come and go but the memory of how you come across will last forever.  The way you express yourself can be different in every situation but try and find a way to simplify your conversation.  You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room every time!

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It Is Never About Luck, Until It IS!

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This week Lefty and I traveled around the country, making sales presentations to new potential clients.  We work hard for our money and never take one minute for granted.  We have always said that it is never about luck – it is about hard work.

Well last night that changed (for a moment in time).  Throughout the entire week we stayed in a different hotel room every night from Sunday, until Friday.  Each hotel room had the same last 2 numbers.  Floor 7 XX, floor 3 XX, and so forth.  I am not going to share the last two numbers with you as they are ‘our’ new lucky numbers.  This same 2-digit numbers showed up in restaurant bills, Uber fees, and even on the clock. 

So last night I was working in Las Vegas and shared my story with the group I was with.  At the end of the dinner we decided to try my luck with my ‘lucky numbers.’  We headed to the roulette table and I put down $100.00 on my lucky 2-digit number.  Everyone, including people we didn’t even know stood around while the dealer spun the wheel.  Without hesitation, the wheel stopped right on my number.  I picked up my $800.00 in chips, watched the dealer spin again, and my 2-digit number landed again!

Since I am not a gambler, I was blown away.  People who I didn’t even know were jumping for joy at my win.  For a moment, I thought to myself – this is so unbelievable that people in a casino are so excited for your win, when they are not winning themselves. 

This made me realize that we all need to get more excited about the wins of those around us!  We may not be winning at this time, but don’t rain on the parade of those who are winning.

Here is to a lucky weekend!

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Simple Acts of Kindness

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As you wrap up this week, consider how you might have made a difference, in someone else’s life.  Of coarse, Valentines Day was yesterday, and everyone was sending love notes. However, did you think about the person you rarely talk to, or the colleague that may march to the beat of a different drum? Maybe there is a family member you haven’t seen in a while.  Changing someone else’s day in a positive way, does not always involve a monumental adjustment on your part. Making a difference can be a simple act of kindness during repetitive day to day activities as well.  Holding the elevator for someone who is running to catch it, opening up a door for a stranger, or simply getting your co-worker a cup of coffee.  This weekend take some time to reflect on how you could improve your value on the world, and how you can better impact the lives of others around you.  Reach out and touch someone, you will feel better in the long run!

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Plan Your Life, So You Can Love Your Life!

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Many of you know that last May I was the Commencement Speaker for Frankfort High School’s graduating class in Frankfort, Michigan.  I loved every minute of the day.  At the end of my speech, I gave the graduates a challenge for setting goals.  The winner will receive 2 round trip tickets anywhere in the continental United States.

What is amazing is that out of all the graduates, only a handful reached out to me, and now as we are closing in on the deadline only 4 are in the running. 

So, what happened to the rest that decided it was too hard to plan out their goals?  The same reaction  is displayed by so many adults I work with.  Everyone wants the grand life, but few want to do the heavy lifting and preparation it takes, as well as the drive to complete the job.

Do you want a life you love?  Most of you will say YES!  Those that say no, can call me later for counseling.  If you want the life you LOVE, I will share with you, my “big picture” planning strategy. 

The first step is to dream big.  What are the top 10 goals you would like to achieve in your life – big stuff.  Examples of this are:

1.       Buy a country estate

2.       Get my master’s degree

3.       Get married

4.       Travel to Europe for one month

5.       Start my own business

6.       Own a vacation home

7.       Increase your personal financial base by X%

8.       Plan to retire by X

9.       Take off for 6 months to volunteer

10.   Improve my health by X

Once you list your top ten, rate them in order of importance in your life.  What do you want first and so on?  Once you rate your goals, now you begin your planning.

Start with breaking down the long-term goals into monthly goals and then into weekly/daily.  You need to revisit these goals every month, to make sure you are putting things in motion to live the life you want. 

Keep in mind that while planning for big picture goals, life goes on.  All day to day activities in your personal and professional life must also be planned and organized.  The key is to NOT take your eye off the goal and keep planning actions that support those goals!

Enjoy the ride my friends!

 

Facilitating a recent training workshop at the amazing Gurney’s!

Facilitating a recent training workshop at the amazing Gurney’s!