I published the first issue of my e-newsletter, Financial Profundities, in 2003. In eight years, I’ve never, ever, added someone to the distribution list without their permission; they either signed up after a workshop, gave me verbal permission, or were added as a result of a purchase of a product or service. And, I never added someone simply because they gave me their business card at an event. I unwittingly followed the rules of permission marketing (opt-in) before it became industry standard for email marketing.
Which is why it always stings just a little bit when someone opts-out or, worse, opts-out with a complaint. Thankfully, neither happens frequently but even just a 0.29% opt-out rate unnerves me. Someone has just logged a vote that they don’t want what I’m offering…they don’t want me! Gasp!!
Whether personally (e.g., dating) or professionally (e.g., job interview, client development), we all have done our share of rejecting, and we’ve all experienced being rejected. At some point we have heard or said a variation of the phrase: “It’s not you, it’s me.” For some odd (and misguided, in my opinion) reason, those words are uttered as a way of bringing comfort in hopes of lessening the blow that comes from hearing, in effect: “I’ve changed my mind; I am not choosing you.” Continue Reading »
Earlier this month, Alexia, the brainchild behind Awaken Your Careerpreneur, wrote a thought-provoking post – “I’m Sorry, and Here’s Why.” In it, she talked about our cultural tendency to say, “I’m sorry,” as if on autopilot – without much regard for explaining what exactly it is for which we are sorry. She then offered a few tips as she encouraged us to either come up with alternatives to ‘I’m sorry’ or to be explicit when we say it.
I know that as a result of reading her piece, I have been more aware of the times when I automatically say, “I’m sorry,” and I’ve been practicing being clearer about what it is I am asking forgiveness for when I say those three words to people close to me. A side benefit: It is helping to raise my consciousness, which is helping me be more present and aware. Continue Reading »
I am an avid runner, logging approximately 12-15 miles most weeks. Yet, I’ve never run a marathon, let alone THE marathon – as in the New York City/ING Marathon. But each year, you can find me on the sidelines in Brooklyn cheering on the runners. I get so excited for them, inspired by the discipline and dedication I know it takes (took) for them to reach this point, and am awestruck by those running with a physical impairment.
By the time the runners reach me, they are about one-third through the 26.2 mile race. Some people are running with ease, while others show visible signs of needing a little boost. And the Brooklyn onlookers certainly don’t fail them there! -;o)
As I reflect on this year’s race, I can’t help but think about the role of cheerleaders in our lives – personally and professionally. They are absolutely invaluable and indispensable! Continue Reading »
Have you recently had an experience that seems to continually reveal itself as being powerful, instructive, and profound for reasons you never would have guessed? Well, that is precisely what the Financial Intimacy Conference is turning out to be for me. The more I reflect on what went into planning the recent launch in New York City – especially as I prepare for the next city on the tour (Los Angeles) – the more I realize just how much I have/am learned/learning via this process.
As I was working on the last minute details leading up to the September event, a good friend of mine who calls me by my last name kept saying, “Timmons keep it simple.” A good example of where his words of wisdom came in handy: my catering selection. I was initially planning to hire a private chef and while it would have added a nice touch, truthfully, it would have significantly increased my food and beverage budget. Costs aside, it also would have required much more effort and coordination than the route I ultimately took…ordering salad and sandwiches from a gourmet shop and wine from a local wine store. I kept it simple.
On the surface this example may not appear to be a big deal, but if we move beyond the “it” of the example to its “message,” it is HUGE! Why? Because keeping it simple requires discipline and it is not always such an easy thing to do. So with this as a backdrop, here is why keeping it simple is important; simplicity: Continue Reading »
Every careerpreneur is fundamentally in the numbers business. (And I mean that in the legal sense of the word!) We’re constantly counting something, be it: calls and pitches (how many were made vs. how many are needed to close a sale), sales (how many sales were made plus what was the size of each sale); clients (how many clients do you have vs. how many do you want/need for a thriving business); time (how much time is needed to complete a task or project vs. how much time do you have available to do said), and money (money earned, lost, saved, spent, and invested). Numbers are extremely valuable barometers because numbers never lie! The numbers are what they are.
Ultimately, numbers tell the most objective story of success or failure. But as I recently discovered, it really depends upon how you define “success” and “failure.” From what I learned from planning the Financial Intimacy Conference, the relationship between numbers, success and failure are dependent on what you are measuring when you count, what you determine the measurement to mean, and how you tie that measurement to your identity. Let me explain. Continue Reading »
After more than a year of planning, it happened…the Financial Intimacy Conference launched this past week in New York City! It was a tremendous success and more satisfying than I could have imagined. Three days later, I remain delirious with excitement — and from exhaustion! In forthcoming posts, I’ll share some of the surprising lessons I learned from producing and curating a project of this scale, such as the “vision within the vision” and related to that “the difference between impact and vision.”
But there’s one lesson I am just itching to share right now: My deepening awareness that what contributes most to one’s success and satisfaction is invisible to others.
Manisha Thakor, one of the speakers on the 2011-2012 Financial Intimacy Conference tour, reminded me of this via an analogy she shared regarding a tree. She described the role of the tree’s trunk, leaves, and roots as it relates to our relationship with money and how we are undergoing a shift from focusing on the trunks and leaves (what you can see) to the roots (what you cannot). Her story further reminded me of a book I’ve re-read several times by Joel Goldsmith, “Invisible Supply.” Continue Reading »
The current political climate and economic environment are perfect examples of an on-going tension with which we all must deal. In both our personal and professional lives, we are constantly juggling conflicting factors and demands. It really is as the photo illustrates: A tightrope where where you are standing represents an amalgamation of your prior choices, while simultaneously serving as a bearing for moving in the direction of your future.
Outstretched arms, forward gaze…this visual is really apropo for balancing the big picture vs. the day-to-day; expectations vs. realities; forecasts vs. actuals. It highlights the importance of staying focused and in the moment; of learning not to concentrate too much on one factor over another; and the necessity of avoiding the temptation to look back. If you do, you are likely to loose balance…and fall! Continue Reading »
On the surface, the title of this post may seem peculiar. After all, how can you sell yourself out of an opportunity? Actually, you may have done it recently and just didn’t know it! So before you read further, take a minute to reflect on the last time you were selling/pitching an idea, product or service.
If you’ve ever worked with a business coach, taken a sales training class, or read any literature on how to sell/pitch, you’ve gotten some variation of the elements that constitute the sales process, such as know your target client; know their problem; understand how your solution solves their problem; and deliver on your promises. Most salespeople (newsflash: we are all salespeople!) progress through their sale cycle believing the various stages are about selling to the client. Considering that is how many of us have been conditioned, that posture isn’t too surprising. Yet, what I continue to re-discover is that the sales process is really more for helping the seller allow the buyer to buyer. Let me explain. Continue Reading »
If you have ever invested in an individual stock and performed a stock analysis in advance of your purchase, you are familiar with one of the steps in the evaluation process – “Evaluating Management.” Not to oversimplify the process and techniques used, but evaluating management really boils down to the answer to the question: “How successful has the management team been at maximizing sales while controlling costs?” After all, effective cost management is how a firm turns sales into profits.
On the surface, evaluating management may appear to be all about the numbers. However, it is not. Numbers don’t just materialize on their own – they are a by-product of human intervention. And this leads me to the events of the last few weeks and days, in particular.
By now, even if you are on holiday and trying your best to be unplugged, you probably know the United States’ credit rating was downgraded from AAA to AA-plus by Standard & Poor’s (S&P); and that the Dow Jones Industrial Average – the common measurement of the health of the stock market and economy – fell more than 600 points on Monday only to rebound, closing up over 400 points just one day later. Crazy! If you include the debt ceiling debacle (I mean debate), no one was left untouched by the events of the last few weeks – financially or psychologically. Continue Reading »
I think the Universe is trying to get my attention, and perhaps through me, it’s trying to get yours as well.
Last week, I attended an event sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. It was part of the firm’s “Open Talk” series and featured Harold Ford, Jr. interviewing Russell Simmons. As I described to a friend soon after, it was a no-hold bars conversation; Russell’s transparency and candor were refreshing, funny, and for some in the audience of approximately 400, I would suspect, shocking.
I am on Marie Forleo’s “Rich, Hot, and Happy” mailing list. This week’s video message about one of her non-negotiables ironically (?) contained the same message as is in Russell’s book, “Super Rich” – which I’ve been reading since the event.
What do Russell Simmons and Marie Forleo have in common? Continue Reading »