Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's NOT Just Work! It's Self Morale

Benjamin Morrell, 1795-1839
2017 Self-Morale
Goals are within reach if they have a purpose. And, when it comes to our careers, that purpose is always personal. My passion is learning. I truly will apply learning to both mental and physical activities. As I coach others through their business conundrums,  I often explain the importance of my existence through learning. The takeaway is your skills can be applied to meet your meaning.
For years I studied dance. But I was horrible at gymnastics.  I never advanced to the big girl lines even when I was teaching tumbling to the under 8 year olds.  Then I went to college. In my dance classes I learned the physics, how it worked, and all of a sudden, I could do backflips- aerials, layouts, pikes and tuck and aerial cartwheels. In the 90's I opened a dance studio in Washington, DC. Oxford Academy of the Arts on Capitol Hill. I coached tumbling and basic gymnastics.  My passion was not to be a professional dancer, but to be a student of dance. (True Confession Kathleen Brandt)
Believe me, I know this is not the norm. But, for me,the passion to learn is my number one motivator. It's in all that I do - telecommunications, foreign languages, research, etc. me a nerd.

But, we've all heard that in a career there are five dimensions of meaning:
  1. money
  2. status
  3. making a difference
  4. passions (for me this is #1)
  5. talent
Is talent more important to you than status? Does making a difference pale in importance to money? If you had to give each a percentage to add up to 100% how would you prioritize these dimensions of meaning.  The good news is it's personal. If you work toward your goal of aligning meaning to your needs it's perfect! For you, that is.

On the other other hand, Fyodor Dostoevky is noted as having stated the reality of not applying your dimension of meaning to your career:

Fyodor Dostoevky, 1821 - 1881
So as you list your 2017 Resolutions put your priorities in place. It will keep you reaching toward your goal. 

Ask for the Self-Morale Workshop. 

Kathleen Brandt

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Building Your Business - Tips, Tricks and Talent

Repeat Customers are Profitable!
Q. How Can I Get and Retain Clients? 
A: Establish yourself as an expert

1.  Are you the expert?  Prove it.  Write blog posts, articles for trade organizations, journals, and linkedin articles.  This is "meat," not 140 characters of a tweet, but a real look into what you know and how you approach your client's problems. This is when you can write about your new proven solution, your epiphany on training methods, etc.  Yes, this is where you shine in 600 - 2000 words. Prove you have the research to back your work. Need more about blogging and word length? Read 4 Statistics Every Blogger Should Know About Content Word Count.

2.  Are you up-to-date? Brag (if just a little). can never stop proving that you are the expert and up-to-date on trending patterns or that you are a trend-setter in your field. But, the key is to let others know what you have been doing.  This is great for tweets and facebook posts.  What conference/training did you attend?  Where did you do extensive research recently? What fascinating topic was covered?  And with enthusiasm, let your readers know why you love the topic.  Just remember that you are a life long learner, that has earned your "Expert" Title. 

3.  Are you marketing to retain clients? Build relationships. 

Trick: Have a conversation with a real estate agent. Newsflash: do you know how much time they spend on retaining clients and building relationships?  Well, talk to a successful real estate agent and they will quickly tell you the key to being successful and getting repeat business from former clients is building a relationship
  • Newsletters - find that sweet spot between being a pest and making it easy for your client to remember you name for that next referral or next purchase. Newsletters should be focused on solving clients' problems - give them what they need. 
  • Surveys - get the feedback you need, Encourage written answers from your clients.  Even if there was something less desirable, turn that to better your service, and to prove your expertise.  Here's a great way to come up with blog topics that reminds all that you truly are the expert and in constant learning mode.  
  • Cards - if you have a relationship with your clients, you know something about them - the pet's name, anniversaries, favorite sports team.  Drop them a card. I even drop post-cards if appropriate.  But remember, they are YOUR clients.  
  • Social Media - encourage your clients to connect with you via a Business Facebook Page, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.  Make it fun, religious, political and controversial free - unless that's part of your business. 
Time to review your marketing plan.  Add your strategy to retaining clients to your marketing plan.
(Yes, your marketing plan should be a stand-alone document that supports your business plan).  

Kathleen Brandt

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices

The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Recently I attended an overview at Longview Community College last week presented by guest Stephanie Briggs on the implementation of mindfulness and contemplative practices in higher education.  Briggs is an active member of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE).  Be sure to visit the site for more information.

Of course since last week, I've seen mindfulness practices in the news, practiced within law enforcement, in sports for athletes, and in every day living.  It is a proven technique to reaching one's goals and objectives, staying focus and reflective in so many daily jobs.  What is Mindfulness? can be explained here, but I like the term "mental training." And, I've learned in the last week, that many prefer the term "situational awareness" removing any uncomfortable Buddhist reference.  But either way, the goal is the same.

The Huffington Post, offered 13 Things Mindful People Do Differently Every Day. Interestingly, I practice many of these. Guess, I'll be more mindful of these daily practices and the effects in the future.

Be sure to visit The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Kathleen Brandt