Nothing is created alone | We partner to bring ideas to life

Why We Take a Holistic Approach to Service

Posted by on 9:34 am in B-to-B, Small Business | 0 comments

Why do we take a holistic approach to service? Why does service experience design start with a broad view? David Clarke in an Adweek article says it best: Experience isn’t just one thing. It’s comprised of sales, customer service, order entry, human resources, quality assurance, shipping, billing, collections, maintenance—a hundred parts of an enterprise. Therefore, a successful initiative dedicated to experience requires a leader with enough professional standing, acumen and political weight to drive reforms across multiple departments simultaneously. It’s an executive function. But the payoff is worth it. While Clarke–and most customer experience research and advice–is focused on large manufacturing corporations, we can translate this for B2B soloists and SMBs in services organizations by honing in on a key point: As an executive function, success in serving clients is entirely up to you as the business leader and your team (whether that team is ad hoc or includes all the C-suite positions). Your outcomes will only be as good as your collective knowledge in all areas of the business plus resources AND your ability to take perspective, generate creative ideas, operate aligned with common goals, make difficult decisions, execute on only the most important initiatives, manage your time, and create forward momentum. (Essentially, “Nothing is Created Alone.”)  This is why having a creative partner is paramount. This is why we start with asking the big questions, why we cover a lot of ground in our Creative Partnering 4-Hour Working Sessions. And why a holistic approach to service is needed, even if it seems off the beaten path.  To learn more, sign up to get our emails or join a Steps to Services Excellence call.   ...

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Nothing Is Created Alone

Posted by on 12:25 pm in Soapbox | 0 comments

I’m putting a stake in the ground: Nothing is created alone. This is what came from my Root Session with the fabulous team at Root + River. I’ll write more here later. The important thing is to know that it does take other people to create. We need each other. Despite our ideas about rugged individualism, nothing is created alone. And in my mind, the best stuff is created together. Someone once told me that ideas choose people and if one chooses you but you don’t claim and act on it, that idea is released back into the Universe to find someone else. Call me superstitious. I don’t know if the same is true for beliefs and manifestos. I’m not taking any chances. I’m hitting “Publish” on a too short, too thin post. So be it. Until I can carve out time to write more in-depth on the subject, I’m posting items related to my newfound love-cry (because it’s a call to arms, although hugging ones) with #nothingiscreatedalone. (Update: This little movement is getting some traction and resonating . . . Check out Kristi Hall’s article in Green Living magazine that credits me!)...

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How Are You Responding to Uncertainty

Posted by on 4:02 pm in Strengths | 1 comment

Not Much Is for Certain. How Are You Responding to Uncertainty? Spoiler alert: I don’t have it all figured out but I do have one tool you can use related to strengths which I’ll address at the end. There seems to be a lot of buzz and advice around being comfortable with–accepting?– instead of responding to uncertainty. For example, here are 3 sources I found: Being Comfortable with Uncertainty by Tony Fahkry The Benefits Of Being Comfortable With Uncertainty  by Art Markman Why You Need To Get Comfortable With Discomfort and Uncertainty by Gary Korisko While the “problem” might be clear, as well as the case for the “solution,” I’m not sure the HOW is really addressed. To be comfortable can be a stretch if you’re nail-biting and on edge–like going from 0 to 100 mph. Can we instead strive for responding well to uncertainty? That’s my approach for this post, and for life. The Problem of Uncertainty The pull and expectation to know the way forward is strong for some of us here in America. We are, after all, an outcome-driven culture. We not only want to know what to expect in the end but we also want to be able to foresee every step of the way there. (And perhaps this is not unique to America, but is a predominately Western mindset?) The question is, “How is this obsession with KNOWING affecting our daily lives, our happiness, our experience of the present, and our relationships with ourselves and others?” And if the answer comes back that’s not where we want to be, then what changes can we make? While I agree that “being comfortable with uncertainty” is an ideal space, I’m not sure Western philosophy really tells us how to get there. Or what to do.  Maybe responding to it is perhaps the best we can do at times. It’s one thing to say “Be comfortable,” but without the steps outlined, there is no making it a reality. Also, the steps might be highly individualized. Some of the advice from the sources might be helpful, but quite general: “surrender to the natural order of events by leaning in to our fears and insecurities.” (Fahkry) “reason with your anxieties by perceiving them with a logical mind instead of becoming embroiled in them.” (Fahkry) “Remain present in your body when anxiety threatens your emotional wellbeing.” (Fahkry) “focus on the processes by which you live your life, rather than the outcomes” (Markman) “trust the process you are engaging in, rather than focusing primarily on the current outcome” (Markman) “find colleagues who seem to thrive in uncertain times. Take them out for coffee and pick their brains” (Markman) “step back and reflect on the time and opportunity you’re wasting.” (Korisko) “if you’re in this situation – you are not a slave to it. Change your mind. Start over. Reboot.” (Korisko) “instead of running away from it as fast as you can, stop and see it for what it really is: Opportunity and growth.” (Korisko) “acknowledge them [uncertainty and discomfort] as a sign that something is going right.” (Korisko) A Possible (Practical?) Response to Uncertainty: Strengths-Based Reasoning For me, using strengths is the way forward. With uncertainty, as with everything. Grounding ourselves in our unique Clifton StrengthsFinder results can give us personalized solutions.  We can create mantras as responses when uncertainty arises–and the fear that stems...

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Celebrating Activator as a Strength

Posted by on 4:11 pm in Strengths | 0 comments

Celebrating Activator Here are a few snippets and images to help you celebrate Activator as a strength and create awareness about it. If not for my #activator strength, my ideal career might be Bon-Bon Eater. #successwithstrengths Click To Tweet...

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Posted by on 3:45 pm in Clarity Through Strengths, Strengths | 0 comments

Success with Strengths I plan to generate images with #successwithstrengths for my friends, clients, and strengths enthusiasts to use to celebrate their unique strengths–in no particular order. This page will be updated as I find time but follow @tracydiziere for the latest, search via hashtag, and/or subscribe to the Strengths Enthusiast list. I also have a Pinterest board, Embracing Strengths. Connectedness...

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Creating Your Own Vocabulary – Tracyisms

Posted by on 8:18 am in Soapbox | 0 comments

As you learn new things, identify trends, or solidify your own ideas about your industry or your world, it’s often useful to create your own vocabulary. I’ve created this post as a running tab of the words I’ve created or picked up on and made my own. I call them Tracyisms. Do you have words that aren’t really words you’re using regularly? Post in the comments! Tracyisms Bounce-backiness: The measure of your ability to bounce back from a difficult or stressful situation or event. Scarecitement (or scarecited): Feeling scared and excited at the same time, which happens often. I’ve heard it said that “the difference between fear and excitement is the breath.” This term can be used to describe the specific place before you’ve harnessed the breath or decided how to feel as well as the general space of not knowing which way you will go–or being comfortable in the limbo if you choose. It’s the journey. Conflictedness: The feeling or state of holding conflicting or competing ideas in the mind, which creates indecision or procrastination. It’s not always bad; it just needs to be...

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How to Develop a Plan to Update Your Website Content

Posted by on 3:26 pm in Startups/Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

How to Develop a Plan to Update Your Website Content for Solopreneurs Looking to develop a plan to update your website content–either on your own or with some outside help? Most of us know there’s dated content on our sites. If we look at updating our content, we’ll be able to re-post, re-promote and ultimately add value to our audiences. We may even find inspiration for new content. But first, we’ve got to find the pages that need our attention and develop a plan. (1) Create an XML sitemap Traditionally used for SEO purposes, the XML sitemap will extract all the existing pages of your website. This will give you a clear picture of your website content. Since most of us have small sites, this tool is sufficient: (2) Convert the XML sitemap to CSV or Excel using Use CSV if you want to import to Google Sheets (great for collaborating) Use XLS if you just want to work in Excel (3) Add your headings and develop your plan of attack This might be as simple as an “Update” column or if you plan to outsource or collaborate, you can add Priority, Assigned to, Due Date, Changes Needed, Notes, etc. When prioritizing, it’s a good idea to look at your Google Analytics data That’s my quick process for developing a plan to update clients’ (and my own) web content. Did I miss anything? Anyone want to weigh in with detailed advice or other...

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Change Starts with You (and 3 Steps to Start)

Posted by on 9:29 am in Soapbox | 0 comments

“Stuckness” sucks. The way out? Realizing that nothing is keeping you glued in place but you. That you don’t need to wait for something to happen to loosen you from the grip of whatever’s got you. And the big realization: That change starts with you. What do you mean, “Change Starts With You?” It starts with a hope, or a thought that things can be better than they are now. Then, exploring how that might happen. Accepting that we do have the power to make change. It’s doing this versus dwelling on the negative, blaming others, shutting down new ideas, thinking it’s not worth the effort, or whatever other negative self-talk may be taking place. All those things cause us to be stuck. You control the dialogue with yourself. If your response to everything is “I can’t, I can’t,” you will stop change from happening. I admit–I’ve been guilty of this before. What I needed to do was turn that around. To really believe the “change starts with you” mantra. Blamethrowing? It’s usually a pretty strong reaction to something.  This is when change makes you, because you are confronted with something–stress, or a specific situation. I remember being in a work environment where everyday was a chore and I dreaded it. I didn’t realize then that change started with me. I felt trapped.  At the time, there was some limiting belief about myself that I didn’t make change, or if I did, didn’t do it fast enough. Or maybe the belief was that I could change others. Have you been there? Either way, change starts with you. In order to make change at any level of “stuckness,” you have to identify a small action you can take and from there gain momentum. This is, in part, what I help Creative Partnering(TM) Engagement clients to do. And I do it based on looking at what they truly want and what they naturally excel at (their strengths). Obviously, it’s highly situational to each individual, but the change has to come from having the courage to take that initial action. Action is the cornerstone of confidence–and change. Action is the cornerstone of confidence--and change. Click To Tweet 3 Steps to Getting Started Feeling stuck?  Here are 3 first steps you can take: Take a small action. Sometimes it feels like you’re in quicksand and there is nothing to do but sink. That is all in your mind. To prove it, write for 10 minutes about all the options you have for taking action. If those actions feel too big, break them down into small, specific tasks. Instead of “Look for a new job,” give yourself the task of reaching out to one former colleague about her current job and company by next week. If you have a hard time keeping promises to yourself, find a coach or accountability partner to assist you. I know there are other barriers to taking a small action; I’ll address those in a future post. (Sign up to get that straight in your inbox.) Ask, “Who can help me with this?” Too often we do not ask for help or use the resources available to us. Decide that you are important enough to receive help, that it is a gift to let someone else help you, and...

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Office Hours Phoenix: May 2016

Posted by on 10:00 pm in Local Phoenix, Small Business | 0 comments

You’re invited to Office Hours Phoenix . . . where we discuss marketing issues in a group setting. Friday, May 27, 2016 7:30-9 a.m. Arizona Time (PST) Location: Virtual video call, via Zoom – Pre-registration required To register, fill out the form and select “Office Hours” To learn more about office hours, check out the blog post on time management. As always, the agenda is open. Bring your burning questions about marketing, your professional expertise, or just a smile. I’m happy to discuss marketing strategies, including the good, bad, and the ugly. This is an opportunity to get to know each other and broaden our perspectives and networks, plus get answers to YOUR marketing questions. Especially around starting or growing a service-based business as a solopreneur.  (Note: This is an informal networking and educational discussion forum so please don’t come to peddle your wares or services.) I offer these sessions to share my knowledge (and allow others to do so too) in a way that benefits everyone. It’s my alternative to “working for free.” Can’t make it? Search #OfficeHoursPhx on Twitter and follow...

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Knowing Yourself – The Start of Your Success Journey

Posted by on 9:26 am in Authenticity, Clarity Through Strengths | 0 comments

I believe that success starts with knowing yourself–and defining your version of the word.  When we begin tapping into our authentic selves, we start to uncover what is unique to us. We begin to notice where we have deviated or fallen away from the path that is of our own design. And while perhaps different than what is expected, our idea of success–and our experience of it–is enhanced by our self-knowledge. When you step into knowing yourself, it is the beginning of the journey to owning and embracing your authentic self–and what you are capable of. This knowing is a huge key to capitalizing on positive contributions and appreciating what you can do for others. But knowing, owning, and embracing our authentic selves can be a challenge. There are barriers like competing expectations from within and externally. There are rules we have for others and ourselves about how we are supposed to show up. And some of us don’t want to do the work of self-reflection and discovery. Even for those interested in this process, life seems to have no pause button – when is there time to look inward, to ask the important questions? When we believe in the impact these efforts can have, we carve out the time to do it.  For starters, we are much better equipped to succeed when we operate from a place of knowing what’s important to us and what our natural talents are. A major turning point in life can start us on this path to knowing ourselves–and wanting more for ourselves. It may be an upheaval like a divorce, a layoff, or a health issue that propels us to reexamine what we’re doing in our lives. For me, it started with my cancer success story (which I spoke about on May 22; see video below) But major life changes are not the only reason to evaluate ourselves or “dream bigger.”  Many people simply acknowledge that they can raise the bar on their successes during the course of everyday life. And entrepreneurial-minded leaders understand the necessity of leading themselves in this way. They just need some clarity around what direction to take. This is also where looking inward and knowing yourself can provide the answers–and the necessary actions–for greater success. There are two steps that are important to this knowing – Knowing what you want. The ability to evaluate opportunities and situations using your own unique criteria is critical to living authentically and moving in the direction of your success. This is done by identifying what I call your “Top 3” criteria for making decisions–or your litmus test. I offer a way to achieve this in a 15-minute call named the Better Decision Making JumpStart. Knowing what you do well. There are many ways to uncover this. My preferred tool is StrengthsFinder because it can show you what your natural abilities are. Then, by strategically applying (and appreciating!) your talents, they become strengths. I love working with entrepreneurial-minded leaders to help them fully leverage their talents, hone and execute on their ideas, and overcome the challenges they face. I typically do this with a Creative Partnering(TM) Engagement, which can be informed by the StrengthsFinder results. The intersection of what you want and what you do well is a powerful place. And it is a good foundational start to knowing your authentic self. As mentioned, I began my...

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