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Authenticity

Knowing Yourself – The Start of Your Success Journey

on April 26 in Authenticity, Clarity Through Strengths, Coaching--Our Way | 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....

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Image and Authenticity: Are Image-Conscious People Authentic?

on February 29 in Authenticity | 1 comment

It’s a controversial question. I imagine in some cases, women in particular reading this may be protesting at the very suggestion. Maybe a better question is “What’s the opposite of authentic?” Is it artifice? Superficiality? Maybe. And if that’s the case, is focusing on image a small part of that?  I admit: I am skeptical about those who seem overly concerned with their appearances. Is there a connection between image and authenticity? I get that as women we are expected to pay attention to how we look. In many cases, we’re encouraged to look for deficiencies–and to cover them up. Men struggle with this, too, but they haven’t experienced the same societal pressures as women. In either case, one reason we might be image-conscious, regardless of gender, is we’re trying to “make up” for something we think is wrong, instead of allowing ourselves to accept what’s there naturally. For me, it’s about the reasons (and thoughts!) behind the actions. Makeup, nail polish, styling products–all potential signals we might be more concerned with image than substance. Does that mean I’ll never use them? No. Does it mean it I’ll be mindful about how and WHY I use them? Yes. I think it is important that people know when they see me it’s all about how I’m feeling in the moment. When I do use makeup, it’s minimally. More importantly, I’m not looking at flaws or covering up. There’s far more important work to do than sitting in front of a mirror! (I don’t even sit down usually if I’m going to put on makeup!) What matters to me is the intent behind the grooming. Not everyone who has a French manicure or a perfectly trimmed beard is obtuse. For me, the impression that someone might be “overly concerned” with image creates a lack of trust. This may just be a personal bias, but when I sense that someone is too invested in how they look–they have signs of the perfectionist with respect to “image”–I have doubts about their ability to be authentic. To accept themselves as they are. All this said, no matter what someone’s reasons are for showing up as they do, we can’t truly know why. We can only pay attention to our...

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Who’s on Your A-List? A-Listers Are Your Big Supporters

on February 27 in Authenticity | 0 comments

As part of my authenticity journey, I’m grateful to have made so many real connections.  And since authenticity is the overarching theme of our relationships, it’s no surprise that some people are just naturally open, vulnerable, self-aware, and nonjudgmental with me.  We fall right in sync. When I find these folks, they are my A-Listers. The creme de la creme of authentic connections. I know that we can talk about anything, in confidence. We can show up without makeup and without judgement. And that we truly, deeply want to help one another. It’s no surprise that usually these folks are passionate, high-achieving, and thoughtful. These type of people make up your A-List. I hope you have an A-List, too. Not just friends but professional contacts with whom you can show up as your whole self–and allow them to as well.  People who can support you–who you value and support too. Because “Nothing is created alone.”  ...

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What’s Networking Worth to You? ROI Explored.

on January 27 in Authentic Networking, Authenticity, Small Business, Startups/Entrepreneurs | 0 comments

In talking to solopreneurs and microbusiness owners, I’ve heard many approaches to networking. Some people don’t like to spend money on it. Some think it’s a waste of time. Others understand and believe in networking as a valuable concept, but find the actual activity (or existing options) to be poor investments. Many have had mixed experiences with membership-based leads groups, but I’ve heard from a few raving fans. Some resent the pressure of “putting on a show” or projecting someone else’s (limited) idea of professionalism at networking events–and feel this is a major “expense.” What is networking really worth? Exploring Networking ROI Let’s look at the hard costs of networking first. In Phoenix, there are so many opportunities for networking events. THE place to go for event listings is NetworkingPhoenix.com. Here, you’ll find the most common event registration fees are $10-20, with the highest fee at $79. The average cost for a networking event comes to $39.50. We may also factor in gas, dry cleaning (if your idea of professionalism requires it), and, depending on the venue – food and drink. The value of your time (opportunity cost) may also be added. Now we might have an estimated cost of investment to plug into the traditional ROI formula: Gain from investment -Cost of investment Cost of investment GAIN is the hard part. Especially since traditionally this might be measured in volume–of business cards, interactions, meetings set, etc. But does that really represent GAIN? What we might measure instead is the depth of the relationships formed. But how do we put a value on the relationships we hope to create (or have initiated) at these events? This relationship value seems difficult to measure in traditional business terms for a number of reasons. Mainly, business deals or referrals don’t (always) happen automatically. So what kind of time frame do we allow for measurement? It’s not like email marketing, for example, in which you know the results quickly and there’s a window for measuring success. Specifically, in the first two days after an email is sent, 85% of open rates have occurred (Alchemy Worx). But, how do we factor time into this networking equation – particularly when someone we met long ago has now...

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What Does It Mean: Showing Up Authentically?

on November 19 in Authenticity | 0 comments

If you know me, you know that showing up authentically is something I’m passionate about. It’s at the heart of the Certified Authentic Networker program I founded. And it can be invaluable to you in making deeper connections, whatever your profession may be. Showing up authentically is owning your uniqueness and allowing yourself to fully be yourself, regardless of environment. As Wall Street executive, motivational speaker, author and gospel singer, Carla Harris says, it’s about bringing all of your selves to the table. It’s not hiding one skill or interest for the sake of another. And I believe that bringing a personal aspect to business and vice-versa allows for more collaboration, more referrals, and more happiness. Sharing your talents and experiences freely can be difficult, especially when systems and protocols set us up to be more like automatons!  But is operating within those constraints really productive, healthy, fun? Even some who might tentatively raise their hands as wanting to show up authentically might still be saying, “but there’s too much at stake to be my whole self.”  Showing up authentically is definitely easier when the folks you’re interacting with are doing it, too. That’s the whole point of building a community of Certified Authentic Networkers–everyone in the room is invested in showing and knowing all the whole selves. The take away is this: You’ll never know which of your “selves” will appeal most to the group or person you’re meeting with–so why not bring them all? Sharing your authentic self will create more opportunities for you to truly connect with others. Authentic networking can create stronger relationships with others–and yourself.  When you bring all of your selves to network, work, or play, it enriches everyone’s experience and ability to help. Plus, have you noticed how much more productive a group can be when they see each person as a well-rounded whole person? If you are in the Phoenix metro area and are: Hungry to learn about showing up authentically with ease Already showing up authentically but wanting to increase your chances of networking with those who are too Missing out on the type of deep connections and trust that a commitment to authenticity can bring Actively networking and more...

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Just in Time for Halloween: Making Networking Less Creepy

on October 27 in Authenticity | 0 comments

As an introvert and someone who values establishing real connections with people, I find most professional networking events creepy. Some people show up wearing masks. Because we can’t tell just by looking who’s showing up authentically and who’s posturing, we end up having conversations with energy vampires. This, of course, leaves me feeling depleted–and like I’ve wasted my time and money. In a worst-case scenario, I practically ran out in horror after only 20 minutes! This is the story that comes to mind when I think of why people wouldn’t want to attend traditional networking events. It was a nice evening in Scottsdale and I was at a prominent Valley networking group’s event. I had struck up a great conversation with an entrepreneur in business-to-business services who had said, “Marketing is our weak spot.” Now that’s networking nirvana right there–your ideal client type announcing they have the very problem you solve! But there was another networker (we’ll call him “Don”) who was hovering awkwardly over our conversation. I noticed he had a name tag with just “Don” written on it–no last name, no company name. It turns out he knew Ms. Ideal Client so I introduced myself, hoping to know more about this mysterious Don, but I got nothing. “Can I have your card,” he asked right off the bat. “Suuure,” I said, feeling put on the spot and not wanting to be rude, “but I’d like to know who I’m giving it to.” Handing him my card, he didn’t bother to give me a card in return. “Will you tell me what you do?,” I added. “I’m a card collector,” Don said, smiling wryly. “What do you do with the cards you collect?,” I asked. He said, “I told you, I collect them.” His short answers, this circular conversation–I could feel the energy being sucked out of me. I almost felt he was enjoying withholding information, as if it made him more powerful. Tired of this charade, I asked sarcastically, “How’s business for you? Pretty lucrative?” “Yep,” he said. That was the last straw; I was done putting up with this creep. I have no idea what he did with my card. Thank goodness he never followed up...

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