How High Are Your Standards?

I always have interesting conversations and incredible people watching episodes when I’m at the airport.  I listen and observe, I engage and I observe some more.  At one airport, I was waiting for a flight and we were delayed so many times that it was almost a game to see when the app and the actual board in front of us would match as to the newest departure time.  There was a woman standing next to me. She was well-dressed and was friendly enough.  We were sharing some travel stories and then we got to “what do you do?” I told her I was an Executive Coach, a speaker, trainer, radio show host and author. She asked who I worked with and I gave her that information. I of course turned the conversation to her and asked what she did. She worked for a large organization and had been there for many years… “After all, why should I leave? I get paid, don’t have to do too much and I get to do some traveling.” The conversation went on for a bit and she mentioned that she had never had a coach but her boss swears by them.  Of course I needed to probe a little more and she told me, without any hesitation, she had never and would NEVER hire a coach because she would be expected to work more and harder and that is not what she wants to do. It started me thinking about standards and how as entrepreneurs we need to set the bar higher than we can even imagine. People will choose to work with you if what you are offering them is the best quality or service to solve their problem.

The truth is most people don’t like high standards because they create a lot of work – especially the kind of work that nobody likes in the first place. In the real world, getting from good to great requires extraordinary efforts and high standards. It demands more time than you want, more energy than you have, and more cooperation than any normal person can be expected to contribute.

That’s IF you want high standards. If you are willing to settle for “good,” things can be much easier – and you can be much nicer. How about if we talk about standards…for instance what are they anyway?

Your standards define how you act, which, in turn, builds trust in your brand. They can be guidelines that describe your quality, your performance, your style or your systems. Standards must align with your mission, business objectives, and leadership, and be implemented consistently.

What about our own personal standards? Are they written on a wall for all to see? Not necessarily, but think about this; personal standards are what separates the highest achievers from everyone else. Personal standards are nothing more than a set of behaviors. These behaviors are built upon expectations you have of yourself in a variety of situations. Your personal standards are reflected in how you treat yourself, and also in how you treat other people. They are also reflected in how you expect to be treated by other people. When you have high standards you expect to be treated with the highest of regard. However, when your standards are low it suggests that you are lacking in the self-esteem department. Remember though, no matter who your customer is, you shouldn’t change your standards to meet theirs.

Your personal standards are also reflected in the promises you keep, the way you show up, and are reflected in the quality of your work, values and communication. In fact, everything you do and say gives others an indication of the personal standards you live by. As women, we might have to work a little harder and set the bar a little higher to be treated on an equal playing field, and that’s ok.  It’s just a little extra stretch…and we’re used to that.

Luckily, if you turn to entrepreneurship as a way to fulfil your potentials and meet your standards as well, there are so many valuable resources to learn from. No longer do we need to learn everything through trial and error! And that feeling that you’re not alone in your striving, that helps. Just recently I’ve interviewed Stefan Pretty, an interesting Scottish entrepreneur who created Subbly, a management software for subscription businesses. But what really inspired me is the way he shows a step-by-step approach (that’s what I love about it…plus it’s easy to follow) on how to start a subscription box, making that start line (which is often the most difficult one) as straightforward as possible. And once you actually start something, it becomes easier to continue evolving and also, raise the standards when you realize that goals were more achievable then you thought!

Speaking of which…Do you have goals that you would like to achieve? Have you ever considered that in order to achieve these goals that you must first raise your personal standards in certain aspects of your life? Setting low standards will only take you so far along your journey towards your goal. With low standards you will simply not put enough work, time, energy or resources into this goal. You will not be able to give this goal what it requires, and therefore you will end up not getting the results you truly want.

When you set high standards you immediately raise your expectations of what’s possible. You suddenly expect more from yourself, more from your actions, and more from others. And with a higher set of expectations you are willing to do more to get the results you’re after, and your performance level shoots straight up.

As Tony Robbins said, “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”

Don’t be like my airport buddy thinking that having a coach means others will expect more from you and that is a negative thing…after all, what is wrong with that?


Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make


Isn’t it funny that when you make the decision to be an entrepreneur your rationalization for situations is not always “smart”?

Let’s take me for instance,the first thing everyone tells you to do is to have a business plan….but, why would I need a business plan?

  1. I was in business for myself.
  2. I was never going to have anyone else in the business.
  3. I had an idea of what my business would look like.
  4. I knew how much money I wanted to make.
  5. Writing a business plan was a waste of time.

Doesn’t each one of these reasons make perfect sense to you? They did for me, and later I will share just how easy it is to get off course if you don’t have a roadmap to which you can refer. In short, take the time to put together a business plan. You may hate me now, but you’ll thank me later. If you’re not sure where to start, the Small Business Administration offers an excellent article series to guide you through the process at

Read more about Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make and Lessons Learned in my new book Famous Isn’t Enough!

Keeping Your Eye On The….Jacket!

How many times have we talked about what motivates people?  Is it money? Is it prizes?  Is it a trip? Is it recognition?

Throughout my career, I have won so many contests and I was the proud recipient of fishing poles, tackle boxes, golf clubs, tickets to The Masters, tickets to Nascar and the list goes on.

Think about it, as a woman, would those “prizes” motivate you to work harder?  Would they have any affect on you at all? In my case, being one of a handful of women in the industry, I was constantly competing against successful men.  In most instances, they thought when I won, and they knew I would, I probably wouldn’t take the prize anyway so it would be up for grabs for them.  Unfortunately for them, I didn’t work that way.  I won fair and square and did what I was supposed to do and I won and kept the prize.

Last month, we had the honor and privilege of having one of the Colonel’s AF friends, also a Colonel, stay at our home with his beautiful daughter.

She was in a major dance competition and this was not just go in dance and be done.  No this had all the makings of an entire weekend of bonding, team playing, dancing, nervousness, competition and excitement.  Now, there was a trophy to be had by the winning team but, do you know why these young girls and boys wanted to win? You do know you can’t wear a trophy right?  And you also know that none of the participants will have the trophy in their homes right?  Well, these young adults were competing for, wait for it…

an amazing jacket.

It’s like the letter jackets that HS Athletes wear or better yet, their girlfriends do.

Tensions were high.  Could they take the coveted first place?  Even though they danced early in the morning, they would need to wait until the afternoon to find out who the winners were and even then, if they didn’t perform up to their fullest potential, the jackets may not be within their reach.

But, they did win, and they did put everything they had into the routine, and they did get the jacket, and it’s pretty special.  Check out the picture.  Congratulations Victoria Pinard and the entire team for an amazing job and kudos to all the parents for making the commitment to pick up, drive, drop off, travel, hug, cry, laugh and support these young adults on their journey through life.

Here’s a tip for all of you managing a team…if you don’t know what motivates your team, ask them.  It truly might be a jacket!


Shiny Objects

Shiny Objects

How in the world does anyone expect you to get anything done when there are so many interesting distractions around?  For instance, I made a major goal for myself to complete my 2nd book and have it printed and shipped to CA for an event by March 1st.  And, that would probably not be too difficult if I just sat down and started writing. But there are so many other things that come into play like speaking engagements, radio interviews, writing programs, checking email, reading Facebook updates and the list goes downhill from there.

So what can you do? I’m thinking I should just lock myself in a hotel room with some water and some food and just… write.  But, that doesn’t sound appealing especially since there would be new distractions for me.  Maybe I should rent a cabin in the woods and write, but again, new distractions would set in.  What is going on with the ordinarily organized and get it done person?

Hmm well let’s see, in the past 3 months,I just got married, I started a radio show,  started working on a new product release and that list can keep going as well.  But those are all excuses and those are all great ones at that, but they are excuses.

So here is what I know I need to do…..walk away from the computer that has a dozen or more windows open, turn the sound off so I can’t here when an email pops in, and take my laptop into my nice cushy chair and think about how great it will feel to have some chapters behind me rather than thinking I can write the book in one sitting.

Off I go, for the next 3 hours, and I will write until my time is up.  So if you noticed, I gave myself some short term goals that I can reach and celebrate and motivate myself to do it again.

Stay tuned for the updates.


Staying Focused!

It’s the beginning of a new year and everyone is looking for answers to their challenges. You know the challenges that you had at the beginning of last year that have not been addressed and carried them forward…

Hundreds of new programs appear online and offline, that you feel have the answers you need and you are enticed to sample each one. But, before you do, consider a few things:

  1. Do you need a new program to reach your level of success?
  2. Have you done all the work you need to do with the programs you have already purchased?
  3. Do you still have unopened books and workbooks that you thought had the answers you needed?
  4. Do you have a business plan that outlines the potential if you do the work you need to do to be successful?
  5. What is your definition of success?

Here is what happened to me…don’t think I don’t get caught up in the process I described above.  I’m a  shiny object kind of girl and lots of programs catch my eye and yes I have not only purchased a number of them, they are sitting in my bookcase…still wrapped in plastic.

What I decided to do was to go back to the basics.  What actually works for me?  What do I love to do? Where can I monetize what I’m doing? So, I actually sat down with a strategist, a painful lesson I might add, and he “made” me look at everything I wanted to do and/or were already doing and decide what would get me to the level I was looking to achieve. The outcome was a strategic triangle, which I will be sharing with you below. So you are not left in the dark, my triangle is speaking, coaching and training…that’s it.  If it doesn’t fit into one of those corners, I can’t do it.

And guess what?  I love doing all three.  Speaking allows me to share my message with many.  Training helps  people increase their bottom line and coaching lets you choose me to be your accountability partner. Focus is so important but staying focus in critical.

How do you stay focused and away from those shiny objects?  I would love for you to share those ideas!

Happy Selling!

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Selling In A Skirt: A Review

Sometimes opportunities come to you in the most incredible ways.  A woman was at a meeting and was talking about me to another member.  A third woman heard the conversation and asked for my information.  That woman gave my information to yet another woman who contacted me and asked if I would speak at a conference in California.  Do you have the flow chart in your mind yet?

The conference was for Women Construction Owners & Executives and it was truly amazing.  The attendees were fabulous and the wealth of knowledge in that room….priceless.

Within that group of professionals were a few men, also amazing and eager to learn among this sea of women.  One of the men bought my book and read it, passed it along and from there I received this wonderful review.  Are you as exhausted as I am trying to keep up with this chain???

In any event, opportunities don’t always come in a bow.  I am grateful for someone taking the time to read and review my book and to share his thoughts in the Company’s magazine.  I am proud to share it here and look forward to other opportunities to unravel.

You can read his Review here (PDF download).

Happy Selling!


According to, commitment is defined as: a pledge or promise; obligation.  We all have made commitments and try our best to keep them.

The other day I was watching a form of commitment that gave new meaning to the word.  I wanted to share this with you. From my back door you can see trees, flowers, my pool and lots of birds.  I have an outdoor fan that has blades that are not flat, not perpendicular to the ground, but somewhere in between. Seems like a great place for a bird to build a nest, except that even though the blades are wide enough, they are slanted so that if anything is placed on them, it will fall off.  However, I have a momma bird that is determined to build a nest on the blade….and I watch.  She goes back and forth from the rose bush to the fan, from the crepe myrtle to the fan, from the tree branches to the fan.

Back and forth carrying one tiny piece at a time.  Placing it ever so gently on the blade.  Sometimes three or four pieces stay on the blade and then it all falls down.  But, she doesn’t give up because she  knows that she made a promise to her unborn babies that they will have a place to nest and so she continues. We all know the ending to the story….she needed to move on and find another safe place for her family.

I was quite impressed by this “I’m not giving up” attitude of this tiny bird.  It made me think about people giving up on their promises or businesses giving up on their obligations.  I too have thought of throwing my  hands up because something was too difficult or I didn’t see how it made sense to continue.  And then I think of this tiny bird dragging branches larger than she in order to fulfill her commitment.

Here are some simple principles on commitment in business:

  1. Commitment to a set of values, principles or beliefs
  2. Commitment to oneself
  3. Commitment to your customer
  4. Commitment to results
Happy Selling!

Bella Petite Radio Feature

Have you ever wondered about Social Media: The Power of Women Online?  Recently I was asked to join Ann Lauren of Bella Petite radio and Elizabeth Lions, economy expert to talk about the power women have as it relates to social media.  Of course we did bring it to face-to-face relationships as well.  A few great take aways came out of this:

The importance of Content

The importance of Relationships


The importance of Consistency.

The interview was like have 3 girlfriends having a conversation but the information shared is like having a bucket of golden nuggets.

Take a few minutes and listen by clicking Here. Or find it on the full site by clicking here. …I always love feedback!

Happy Selling!

5 Unexpected Sources of Inspiration

Have you ever had something looming over your head?  A project, a report, or even a blog post???

What inspires you to get it done?  Sometimes it’s the deadline and sometimes it’s feeling that sense of accomplishment.  I get my inspiration from many different areas.
Here are 5 unexpected sources of inspiration for me. Hopefully you can find inspiration in them as well:
1-Music-I have always been a music nut.  My taste is extremely eclectic and know words to songs that I probable shouldn’t.  Certain songs get me going and on some occasions I need to listen to Classical to calm me down.
My favorite driving song is “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones but then Andrea Boccelli takes me through the mountains of Italy….all genres inspire me.
2-Books-I love to read and I’m good whether it’s a novel or an industry related book.  Sometimes there is a line in the book that generates some great thought provoking ideas and from that I complete a project.
3-Facebook-Believe it or not, I do get inspiration from FaceBook.  I may see a picture or statement that I feel the need to share.  Sometimes it’s the opposite.  I post something and others share it.  I can generally get a feeling of the type of day people are having by their comments.  Sometimes days or weeks go by and I get a comment on an old post thanking me for helping them through the day….it’s all about timing.
4-My Social Media guru (Jason)- He inspires me to stay motivated and get things done.  Since we are in different states he doesn’t see me agonizing over a situation and calmly nudges me to get another blog post written.  Getting out of the craziness of a situation and writing is sometimes all that I need….if you get my drift-I’m writing a blog post now…
5-People-This is the greatest source of inspiration to me.  It may be people I know or total strangers.  I am a great people watcher and love to figure out their “story”. Why are certain people together?  If I’m at the airport, where are they going?  What are they buying? If I’m in a situation that I am not comfortable in, what can I do? It won’t really matter because I will make up a story that suits my mood and many times it turns into a blog post.
The moral of the story? Be careful what you say or do, what you listen to or read because you may become one of my blog posts.

So Many Decisions (and 3 tips to ensure you have your act together!)

One of the activities I love the most is to be a mentor for young women.  I believe this goes back to being the only female in many industries and having no female role model to follow. I knew I was missing something.  Over the past few years I have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring some amazing young women.  Of course my first and most special is my daughter, and I hope I have lived up to her expectations.

The other afternoon I met with my mentee Shirley, and as we were going through her choices going forward I was thrust into the old cliche-“Do what I say, not as I do”  because I found myself giving her some solid advice….that I should be following myself.  She is going to graduate and the world is right in front of her.  She is an intelligent young woman with the most amazing work ethics and integrity and is proud of who she is.  She is passionate about some things and tolerant of others but how do you make one decision when there are so many options in front of you.

The first question I asked her, that my business coach asked me some years ago, “If you could do anything you wanted and money, time and age would not be a factor and you could NOT fail, what would it be?  Most people have trouble with this but she had some definite answers.  As she was speaking I knew a phone call I needed to make to someone that she should be connected to…and we did that at that moment.  She was now starting her road map to get to her goals.  We continued peeling back the onion and with each piece we came up some ideas and strategies with agreed upon completion dates.  We then wrote the items down on her calendar and the goal setting began.

Now, how does this relate to me. Aren’t I  the one who is supposed to be the savvy entrepreneur who has her act together….well I thought I did to some extent before our meeting.  So here is what I learned and I thank my beautiful mentee for pinning me down to my own devices:

  1. Write down your goals- Understand that they might need some adjusting and rearranging.
  2. Have someone to bounce things off of.  Your ideas might sound reasonable until you say them out loud.  An objective person can add valuable insight.
  3. Never give up on your dreams. Sometimes they may seem out of reach but with some discussion and other resources they become crystal clear.

Remember- Every day is the beginning of a new dream.  Focus on what is important to you and make your dreams come true.

Happy Selling!