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The 50 Most Influential Women in Business with Blogs You’ll Love

Of all the lists we could make right now, this one feels the most exciting. Maybe because it’s a sign of what’s to come in the business world. Women aren’t just getting promoted to the top of big businesses, but they’re creating their own - and faster than ever before. While only 30% of all businesses around the world are led by women, female-run businesses are growing 1.5 times faster than any other new businesses, with some estimates suggesting that they are single-handedly providing over five million jobs.

That’s big news.

This list is a celebration of women who are not only succeeding in business, but who are inspiring and helping others to do the same. While they come from diverse industries and backgrounds, all of them have been chosen for one simple reason: They should be on your radar.

Whether you check into their blogs daily or weekly, keeping your finger on the pulse of what these success female business bloggers are up to is a sure way to keep going, and a fabulous reminder that progress in the business world is being made because women are making it happen - and making sure they help others on their rise to the top.

1. Marie Forleo

Yes, she rubs shoulders with Oprah - and Richard Branson. But Marie Forleo is so much more than just a big name. Her videos, published under the name Marie TV, cover everything from how to be creative in business to how to write better copy. With interviews that you want to watch again and again (like her talk with Elizabeth Gilbert or Anthony Robbins), Marie Forleo is committed to helping women succeed in business. Her tagline “The world needs that special gift that only you have,” encapsulates her passion for ensuring that the women she works with aren’t just successful, but that they’re happy and fulfilled, too. https://www.marieforleo.com/blog/

2. Franchesca Ramsey

An actor, vlogger, and writer, Franchesca Ramsey has discovered the secrets for how to create a life that is fun and successful - and all while doing exactly what you love. The author of the new book Well That Escalated Quickly, Franchesca is quick-witted and hysterical, which makes her business blog one that you actually look forward to reading. And, the best part, is that you’ll learn something to! If you are working on growing or starting your business online, Franchesca is your girl. http://www.franchesca.net/blog/

3. Ali Brown

Often referred to as the “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women”, not having Ali on this list would be a big deal. A savvy business coach that is followed regularly by nearly a quarter of a million followers, Ali’s latest blogs share an overview of her Glambition podcast episodes (which you should definitely subscribe to). A big enough name to interview some of the most successful and fascinating women in business, Ali’s blog is one you should check in at regularly. https://alibrown.com/blog/

4. Natalie MacNeil

Not only is Natalie MacNeil one of the top coaches for female entrepreneurs, but she’s an Emmy Award winner, too. The brains behind She Takes on the World, Natalie has had a hand in helping over a million different businesses around the world succeed. Known for her ability to break everything down to actionable, easy-to-follow steps, her blog goes beyond just “typical” success tips, covering everything from “superhuman health” to “how to live in alignment.” Her blog also features posts by guests, too! https://shetakesontheworld.com/blog/

5. Elizabeth Gilbert

One of the best-known and beloved authors of the 21st century, Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of perennially popular (and life-changing) books, like Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic. Her work in the world of creativity is inspirational for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to find their footing and their fulfillment. In addition to her podcast, Big Magic, Elizabeth keeps up her blog fairly regularly, which is packed with “hashtaggable” takeaways. https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/news/

6. Nathalie Doremieux

Nathalie Doremieux’s work is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs translate their vision to their online platform. A pro at building websites that are engaging and super successful, Nathalie is the co-founder of New Software Marketing, which covers everything from website design to creating online courses and membership sites. New Software Marketing’s blog is practical and helpful, especially for women looking to take their online business to the next level. https://newsoftwaremarketing.com/blog/

7. Nikki Elledge Brown

The “Communication Stylist”, Nikki Elledge Brown is well known for her work as the host of the popular podcast “Naptime Empires”. A former park ranger, Nikki is a professional writer, speaker, and the creator of the copywriting eCourse, A Course About Copy. Dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find “their real voice” behind their business, her blog is full of personality and, as you might expect, really great writing. Not only will you get to know her (she’s a military wife and mom of two) but you’ll learn a lot about great business along the way. http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/blog/

8. Ash Ambridge

The founder of The Middle Finger Project, Ash Ambridge is a savvy business woman, writer, and self proclaimed smart ass. Her project is unconventional in the business world, and that’s exactly why so many women love it. Teaching women how to be strong, independent, and unapologetically unique, The Middle Finger Project’s blog is your new best friend and guide for creating an online career you totally love. https://www.themiddlefingerproject.org/blog/

9. Otegha Uwagba

A writer and brand consultant, Otegha Uwabga is also the founder of Women Who. With an impressive resume that includes time at Vice and AMV BBDO, Otegha’s Women Who is so much more than a blog, although it’s that, too. Offering a Toolkit for women in business, Women Who also delivers awesome advice and inspiration from Otegha straight to your inbox. The podcast, In Good Company, is like a blog you can listen to, which is perfect for those of us who need a shot of inspiration directly into our ears. https://www.womenwho.co/

10. Sue B. Zimmerman

Also known as the “Instagram Expert,” Sue B. Zimmerman is a genius when it comes to helping business owners find their footing on Instagram through social media strategy. Working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, Sue B.’s blog is empowering and specific, offering a great balance of inspiration and actionable tips for learning how to master Instagram. https://suebzimmerman.com/blog/

11. Emma Drew

Making money online is what Emma Drew is all about. But the best part is that, unlike some mentors that find themselves a little too far in left field, Emma offers practical advice that actually applies to real people. Offering tips on her blog for people looking to create a successful online business, as well as those just wanting to make a little extra money on the side, Emma’s blog also gives you access to a free 6-week money making course and other helpful worksheets and tips. https://emmadrew.info/

12. Brene Brown

One of the most influential speakers and authors today, Brene Brown’s voice helps people around the world feel braver and better. For business owners and entrepreneurs, Brene Brown has founded Brave Leaders Inc, which is helping businesses of all sizes create change through courage. Her blog, as you can imagine, is juicy, helpful, and filled with “Ah-ha!” moments. https://brenebrown.com/blog/

13. Courtney Johnston

A professional copywriter and business expert, Courtney Johnston started The Rule Breaker’s Club in 2011 while living in Paris. A rebel at heart, Courtney offers advice on her blog about what it takes to really make it in business, no matter what type of business you’re in. She focuses on things like how to increase sales and conversions through awesome copy and step-by-step systems that break down exactly what you need for success. http://www.rulebreakersclub.com/blog/

14. Crissy Herron

Want to work from home but are afraid you won’t have the motivation to be successful and stay consistent? Crissy Herron’s Indie Biz Chicks blog is where you need to know. An entrepreneur since 2007, Crissy is a Michigan native who uses her Indie Biz Chicks platform to offer advice and inspiration to women in business for themselves, whether they are just starting out or already up and running. http://indiebizchicks.com/blog/

15. Marney Reid

The founder of Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling (SOTGC), Marney Reid is passionate about helping women learn what they need in order to advance their business or professional career. The information posted on SOTGC is created by a community of women who are collaborating and supporting each other on their way to the top. Want to feel inspired as a modern business woman? Getting to know Marney and the women at SOTGC is a great place to start. https://stilettosontheglassceiling.com/

16. Alex Beadon

Focusing on topics like social media, selling, marketing, and mindset, Elex Beadon understands what it takes to create and follow a successful online business model. Her expertise lies in online information business models, although her blog offers plenty of information about how to leverage all online businesses in order to live a meaningful life that you really love. http://www.alexbeadon.com/blog/

17. Cathrin Frisemo

A guide helping women navigate life as it becomes more and more digitized, Cathrin Frisemo teaches you how to trust your instincts to not only survive, but to also thrive while leading others on the way. An entrepreneur herself, Cathrin’s blog is personal and helpful, giving you great advice while also letting you in on her life adventures, like her new book I’m a Cebra. https://cathrinfrisemo.com/blog/

18. Tiffany Angeles

Want to learn how to stop chasing money? Tiffany Angeles is the money expert you’ve been looking for. Not only does Tiffany help people achieve their full potential, but she offers “practical wisdom” that shifts your current thoughts and beliefs, opening yourself up to more money and success. Tiffany believes that money and dreams often go hand-in-hand. Her blog is filled with great advice about money, our beliefs, and the thought patterns that hold us back. https://tiffanyangeles.com/blog/

19. Beate Chelette

Also known as the “Growth Architect”, Beate Chelette sold her business in a multi-million deal made with one of Bill Gates’ media companies. Since her own business success, Beate has turned her attention to other women in business, creating online courses and training programs that are geared to helping women “succeed alongside the big boys.” The creator of The Women’s Code, Beate’s blog is a vast resource of business-minded information for women wanting to succeed. https://beatechelette.com/blog/

20. Carrie-Anne Moss

The well-known actress from the Matrix series, Carrie-Anne Moss has created an incredibly inspiring collective for women, integrating her passion for parenting, yoga, and mindful living, with her brand Annapurna Living.  A “portal for growth and nourishment”, Annapurna Living offers inspiration for women looking to create a life they “crave” and who want to use their voice to gracefully lead others. http://annapurnaliving.com/explore/

21. Denise Lee Yohn

Offering “bites” of knowledge about branding success on her blog, Denise Lee Yohn is someone every business owner should be familiar with. A brand leadership expert, business keynote speaker, and best-selling author, Denise has worked internationally with some of the biggest brands in the world, speaking at corporate events for behemoths like Facebook and Lexus. http://deniseleeyohn.com/bites-brand-your-business-briefs/

22. Colleen Cassel

A career consultant who specializes in leadership, Colleen Cassel is the founder of Upstream Solutions. Her work, including her blog, focuses on mindfulness and how it’s the key to becoming more successful, happier, and productive in business and in your personal life, too. http://www.colleencassel.com/blog-business-career.html

23. Diana Alvear

A Peabody award winning journalist, Diana Alvear is using her experience to help women learn how to amplify their authenticity in order to use their voice to generate trust and value. Guiding women away from perfection and towards realness, Diana’s audio blog, which is a new podcast she is calling Out Loud, is debuting soon. https://www.dianaoutloud.com/blog-example/

24. Rita Barry

The antithesis to the “trendy” website, Rita Barry designs and develops websites for female entrepreneurs that are based in measuring and marketing. Rita’s proven success as a website designer makes her an authority in many areas online businesses are looking to create or optimize. Rita’s expertise allows her to offer women advice for creating a customer journey that works, as well as a funnel that actually converts. https://ritabarry.co/blog/

25. Sheryl Sandberg

Since 2008 Sheryl Sandberg has functioned as Facebook’s COO. Before Facebook, Sheryl was the VP at Google. At both companies, Sheryl’s business smarts helped generate the already giants boost revenues through lucrative advertising strategies. As one of the country’s most recognized and influential female executives, Sheryl’s passion project, Lean In, offers in-depth resources for women in business around the world. https://leanin.org/

26. Alex Head

Although she’s an up-and-comer in the food industry, Alex Head’s blog features must-read interviews she calls “From one girl boss to another…” An entrepreneur as well, Alex owns Social Pantry, which is a London-based catering company that has five different locations. One of Alex’s unique business perspectives is that she employs ex-offenders in England with her business. https://alexhead.co.uk/blog/

27. Serena Guen

Serena Guen has taken blogging to the next level, turning her inspiration into a quarterly magazine known as SUITCASE. Serena, now the founder and CEO of the multimedia company, covers travel and fashion, as well as highlighting inspiring girl bosses and trailblazers, especially in the world of style. https://suitcasemag.com/

28. Emma Isaacs

The founder of Business Chicks, Emma Isaacs is the type of rule-breaking mentor women love to follow. Emma created Business Chicks as a community for women setting out to achieve brilliant things. Offering connection and support, and tons of awesome advice, the stories shared on the Business Chicks blog is only the very tip of the iceberg. https://businesschicks.com/stories/

29. Katrina Ruth Loterzo

An Australian writer with over fifty best-selling eBooks, Katrina has build seven-figure online businesses by “following zero” of the rules. Now an online business coach and success mentor to rebel women, Katrina’s blog is updated (almost) every single day. https://thekatrinaruthshow.com/blog/

30. Renae Bluitt

The creator and editor-in-chief of In Her Shoes, Renae Bluitt is also the founder of Crush Media. Check in at In Her Shoes blog regularly for inspiration from some of the “flyest” female entrepreneurs in the world. Get to know them, and what they wear, for a healthy dose of fun and business. http://inhershoesblog.com/

31. Kimra Luna

As a personal branding and online business strategist, Kimra Luna’s blog on her website, Freedom Hackers, is exactly what you would expect it to be: fun, exciting, and super memorable (oh, and cool, too). Teaching entrepreneurs how to find real freedom through their work, Kimra is an expert in online monetization and building brands that stick. http://freedomhackers.com/blog

32. Jenn Scalia

On a mission to help make sure “the world knows your name,” Jenn Scalia knows what it feels like to have a business that is invisible online. While learning how to make her own business (super) successful, Jenn picked up a lot of great tips and strategies (like showing up consistently even when you start to doubt what you are doing), which she shares through her coaching, speaking, and her blog. https://jennscalia.com

33. Cyndi Ramirez

Founder of Chillhouse and editor-in-chief of The Chill Times, Cyndi Ramirez is focused on one thing, making sure you are taking care of yourself. Starting a business, running a business, and being in business isn’t easy for women, which is why checking in with The Chill Times should be part of your regular self-care routine, something that goes beyond “bubble baths and spa retreats.” Self-care via self-discovery is what you’ll find at The Chill Times. http://thechilltimes.com/

34. Sophia Amoruso

The founder of the incredibly successful Nasty Gal and the author of her book #GIRLBOSS, which is a New York Times Bestseller, Sophia Amoruso even has a Netflix series all about her rise to success. A creative genius and an embodiment of the word “hustle,” Sophia’s blog “Girlboss” teaches aspiring entrepreneurs and go-getters critical lessons on the way to success. https://www.girlboss.com/

35. Pamela Slim

A successful business coach, Pamela Slim has made a name for herself by advising large companies how to connect with small businesses, bridging the gap between two naturally competitive (and often exclusive) interest groups. Working with entrepreneurs on a daily basis, Pamela is passionate about solving business problems with innovative and effective new ways of thinking. https://pamelaslim.com/blog/

36. Tara Gentile

A super successful podcast host and entrepreneur, Tara Gentile spends much of her time educating small businesses on how to creatively solve problems with the help of a community and support network. Honest about what works and what doesn’t, Tara is often named one of the most influential podcast hosts for business owners. Her articles are insightful, thought provoking, and educational. http://taragentile.com/articles/

37. Melissa Galt

A guide for entrepreneurs wanting to increase their success and their income, Melissa Galt does everything from coaching to consulting, as well as teaching simple systems that change everything. Having left her successful career in hospitality purchasing, Melissa has learned the rope to business the old-fashioned way - doing it herself and putting in the hard work. http://melissagalt.com/blog/

38. Yasmine Khater

An award-winning business specialist and marketing expert, Yasmine Khater is also a psychologist. A well-known TEDx speaker, Yasmine doesn’t just want to help entrepreneurs build businesses - she wants to help build empires. Led by the belief that “business changes the world,” she sees her work as a way to contribute to the greater good. Motivational and smart, Yasmine is somebody you definitely want in your corner. http://yasminekhater.com/blog/

39. Mayi Carles

An artist by trade, Mayi Carles has learned how to succeed online by following a recipe that includes always being herself and allowing people into her “messy middle.” Mayi offers online courses, including her signature Life is Messy Bootcamp, for women looking to not only cross things off their bucket lists, but who also want to make money doing it. http://heartmadeblog.com/

40. Ilean Harris

An online sales expert and marketer with many accolades, Ilean Harris is also a business trainer and speaker. Her energy and passion to help women succeed will motivate you to follow your dreams. A big believer that you can have it all - faith, family, and your own business - Ilean’s blog gives you step-by-step advice and insight into her personal journey. http://ileanharris.com/

41. Amy Landino

A speaker, author, and YouTuber, Amy Landino knows her way around new media success. Having left her “safe path” in the corporate world, Amy is now the host of the popular AmyTV, which inspires people to go after what they want in life. A big believer in being proactive about your dreams, Amy’s blog/vlog is so good that you can (and should) binge on it. http://amylandino.com/blog

42. Vanessa Van Edwards

A professional “people watcher”, Vanessa Van Edwards is known for her work as a behavioral investigator. Her research lab, the Science of People, is dedicated to learning about the human code in order to, among other things, “teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people.” Get ready to take notes. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/blog/

43. Christy Primmer

A “high-vibe, high-five kinda gal”, Christy Primmer has an energy that is contagious, amassing her thousands of followers and an impressive resume of success stories. A coach for women wanting to create a life and business they truly love, her work revolves around creating real, measurable results. Also a best-selling author, Christy’s blog is filled with great advice for women at any stage of their entrepreneurial journey. https://primetimecs.com/blog/

44. Allison Braun

Want to work less, have more freedom and make more money? Allison Braun is a business coach that teaches women how to experience and get more (of everything) out of life. A former sexual expression coach, Allison now is a full-time business and lifestyle mentor helping people around the world “upgrade their quality of life.” http://allisonbraun.ca/blog/

45. Rebecca Dickson

Known for her real-deal life hacks, Rebecca Dickson calls herself the “bullshit slayer” and “biz profit-maker.” Having collected a major following of women thanks to her “all-in” personality, Rebecca helps women in business generate more profit by analyzing your business’s current systems and strategies and then “promptly fixing it.” https://rebeccatdickson.com/blog/

46. Stephanie Nickolich

Dedicated to teaching female entrepreneurs build “seamless systems” so they can do more while working less, Stephanie Nickolich helps women change their perspectives so they can experience real success in their business and personal lives. Learning from Stephanie is learning how to crush your doubts, master your mindset, and develop business strategies that change everything. https://stephanienickolich.com/blog/

47. Julie Parker

The founder and CEO of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Julie Parker speaks and presents regularly about leadership, the power of feminine energy, and entrepreneurship. Also the editor-in-chief of COACH magazine, Julie has worked with thousands of people around the world, inspiring them through her wisdom, intuition, and nurturing energy. http://www.beautifulyoucoachingacademy.com/blog/

48. Melissa Pharr

Fueled by the belief that “every woman has a remarkable gift to share,” Melissa Pharr has created a multi million dollar business helping women move step-by-step into their own power so that they can achieve ultimate success. Her work helps women “create the mindset of a High Earner” while also turning them into a “money magnet.” http://melissapharr.com/category/blog/

49. Kasia Gospos

The founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos is working hard to create a community of female entrepreneurs that feel inspired, empowered, and nurtured. A wealth of information for women in business, Kasia’s Leaders in Heels has resources that range from helpful to eye-opening, as well as practical tips, guides, and lessons for #girlbosses and #mompreneurs that are designed to be shared. https://leadersinheels.com/

50. Lisa Christine

One of those “connectors” every entrepreneur can use, Lisa Christine is an entrepreneur at heart, although she has spent much of her life in the corporate world working for major brands like American Airlines and IBM. Lisa loves to solve problems and connect people from all over the world. Her business intelligence and charisma has landed her impressive projects, including working on the STEX, a startup exchange for entrepreneurs created by MIT. https://28carrots.com/blog-2/

The fact that this impressive list is barely scratching the surface of powerful women who are leading the way in business is exciting to say the least. With new voices being added to the #girlboss movement around the world, it’s a powerful reminder that the world of business is evolving - and that women are leading the way.

Apple Business Strategy Illustrates Customer Friction

You know the power of the Apple brand. You’ve seen innovation that transformed how we work, live and communicate. What if the Apple business strategy requires an update? What if the current business strategy leads to a smaller yet still highly-profitable fan base? What if Apple’s closed strategy starts to get holes and customers start to test other approaches.
The article by Emily Ferron is bang on. See here: http://newatlas.com/apple-alienating-fans-disappointing-products-2017/47644/#_=_ And the challenges go deeper than these device issues. As a long-time Apple advocate who converted many, I’m now doubting the customer strategy of Apple.
Take music - I cannot share my own music in my house through Apple TV without buying Apple Music. Then when I buy Apple Music, I don’t have access to all my music on my devices without wifi. Yet the Amazon Fire allows me to plug into the back because it is more open and allows the user to add their music, movies and photos. Closed stifles customer innovation in my case. And I worked really hard to make it work. I can’t use my Apple Airport Extreme… my computer must be on… lots of customer unfriendly experience to protect the closed system.
Take Personal Assistants - Siri really struggles to understand me. Even simple and somewhat obvious requests because she is closed. I expect her to be able to do more and expect her to develop and get better. Yet Alexa has learned 2000+ new commands in 7 months because she is artificial intelligence and she integrates with the other aspects in my house. Alexa is open and learning. The users are shaping her and she is evolving.
Take TV - Apple TV is simple and elegant. Yet when I get an Amazon Fire I get literally 100x more options for search, apps, movies, music, expansion… open again wins. Plus Fire supports 4K. And Apple doesn’t - why - because Apple doesn’t. When you tell people that their netflix on AppleTV won’t play 4K on their new TV they don’t believe me… until they do. I was the same - shocked.
Take Virtual Reality - Apple’s not there. At all. Yes there are plans. And now worth buying a Samsung phone or HTC just to experience the past/current state of VR. I’m sure Apple’s solution will be great yet their strategy of nothing to everything may mean a lot of customers start leaving the closed solution. When you experience greener grass you wonder why Apple has not gone forward. Amazon is emerging as a real competitor in some ways.
Take notebooks. I drool with envy when others touch their screens. Its faster, better user interface is blocked from notebooks and computers. And Apple created that technology yet refuses to provide it to the world. Microsoft is gaining steam as many professionals no longer want to have to work on a tablet and a computer when they can have both. I’m seeing more and more MS Surfaces in our consultant and practitioner pools. I had to buy an MSI computer to run VR since Apple is now behind in graphic processing.
The strategy of closed worked for years for Apple. And now it is coming into question. I trust the Board and Executive Leadership Team are examining this closed strategy closely. Leakage of customers is happening. And brand advocate customers like me are experiencing the benefits of leaving the Apple universe. What happens if Apple continues to lock-down functionality desired by its customers to drive its strategy? What happens when Apple pushes even diehard fans to test and experiment with other providers.
I sucked it up on VR so I got an iPhone7S. I almost stepped out. Yet the camera really, really is amazing. The Apple TV vs Fire at 3x the price with 1/100th the capability opened the door. The shine is now off the Apple. I perhaps have been blinded by the light. The contrast makes me rethink what I’m buying. Yet I don’t like to pay and want more freedom so maybe I am not a target Apple customer.
Business strategy matters. Customer experience matters. Apple gets that. If we were working with the executive team or board, we’d want to perform an analysis of the friction points for customers. How many are because of Apple’s closed strategy? How could they be resolved? How much friction is there? When you search you find a lot of frustrated Apple lovers like me.
We’d want the leadership to understand that drag is a co-efficient. To say this simply, friction increases exponentially. And it may no longer be squared, it may be cubed or even greater when you add up the friction across all products.
What do you think about Apple’s closed strategy? What are your friction points? What are the benefits like virus/harm reduction? As a strategist, I LOVE to support others creating strategy and engaging leaders and their teams to implement strategy. Come on Apple - reduce friction! The heat hurts!

Get a Jump Start on the Year Ahead: 5 Principles for Brilliant Planning

Hoping that the Law of Attraction will kick in and manifest what you dream of having or doing just because you put it on a vision board doesn’t work.

Writing out a 5 page list of New Year’s resolutions often doesn’t cut it either.

Studies that show that only about 8% of people who actually create those resolutions ever accomplish them. Apparently, the majority of people actually never do much planning at all.

Many people find the world so fast-moving and unpredictable that it hardly seems to make any sense to have much of a plan, because life always seems to be throwing unexpected curve balls at you any way. Some people who consider themselves more creative or intuitive also chafe with the structure of having a “Plan”, preferring instead to be spontaneous and “in the moment” when opportunities or challenges present themselves in this journey called life.

Our attention and energy is pulled into so many different directions 24/7 in this crazy-busy world we live in now. It’s more important than ever before for each of us to identify what’s truly important in terms of our priorities and values. We need to bold and stick a stake in the ground to say what you stand for otherwise you risk feeling stretched to the breaking point and not able to live a life that of meaning on your own terms.

With these 5 principles to guide you, you’ll be able to do some brilliant planning of your own in a way that feels authentic and empowering to you!

  1. Make it Visual

Our brains are very wired to think in images. In fact, about 65% of the population are visual learners. Working with images and other visual cues is a great and easy way to tap into the power of both your left and right brain and access innovation and creativity in your thinking process. Working from a plan that relies primarily on text to convey how to get you where you want to go isn’t taking advantage of that natural affinity of the brain to connect to images.

When you’re doing planning for your business or your life, do what you can to bring some kind of visual component to it. Break out the colored sticky notes and markers. Doodle some images to represent your goals. Finding pictures from the internet or magazines helps to activate a deeper level of connection, energy and commitment to your vision and goals. I’ve created a visual template kit you can use to help you make your plans which you can download here. (HYPERLINK TO https://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit)

  1. Zoom Out to Dream

It’s important to give yourself permission to dream. We spend most of our time and focus being very practical and functional. But when you’re planning, you need to be able to zoom out, get the highest perspective on your life and dream of what you would be most inspired and joyful to create for yourself. Create a picture of what your life or business would look like if you were living as your most expanded, brilliant and confident self.

When I am drawing out a visual map for a client as part of a strategic planning session, I often need to remind people that it is OK to dream. If you’re not willing to dream, you’re only ever going to be able to make incremental change.

If you immediately jump to “Well, how am I going to do that?” you break your creative flow. The dreaming process and the execution process are two different skills sets and two different kinds of energy. Just ask any writer who has tried to write and edit at the same time and they will confirm that experience!

  1. Zoom In to Plan

Once you have dreamed and articulated a vision or possibility that excites, inspires or even scares you just a bit, you’re then ready to zoom in to plan. Put on your strategic planner hat and give yourself full permission to ask the tactical and practical questions like “How can I do that?” or “When can this happen?” and “What experiences and skills have I learned that from my past that I can apply towards my future goals?” The need to harvest the wisdom of your past is central to the design of the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template that you can download here.

Your internal project manager can start to chunk down your vision into meaningful projects and time frames. Create some yardsticks for yourself so you can tell if you’re making progress or spinning your wheels and need to make some course correction.

  1. Be Willing to Test

It’s natural when you face a number of choices to want to have some kind of guarantee that things will work the way you hope. I need to remind my clients (and myself too!) that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. You’ll never know what results you can create until you commit to taking action.

What can help break free of any kind of analysis paralysis when you’re setting your priorities in your plan is to be willing to test. Want to create a new program? Test it out on some beta clients so you can get some feedback and experience before you offer it out to your entire list. Want to develop more friends in the community? Test out having a weekly “connection time” blocked off in your calendar and see what results from that after a few months.

  1. Rinse, Repeat, Re-calibrate

A plan is always just a starting point. It’s meant to be a dynamic compass that you can use to help you keep on course.

Rinse and repeat what is working for you. Be willing to course correct and recalibrate your plan when you aren’t getting the results you want. Celebrate the fact that you’re getting feedback that tells you that your actions aren’t lining you up in the direction you want to be headed in order to reach your goals.

In the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template kit, you’ll be able to do all your planning on one single plan that you can use at New Year’s on any time you need to do some planning. You can complete it in less than 10 minutes, plus it comes with an instruction guide and video tutorial. To access your free copy, just click here: http://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit.

How You Can Benefit from the Practice of Gratitude

Tired of Fixating on Bad News, Global Warming, or Wild Politics?

It’s a wild world out there, and with the bad news headlines front and center, it’s pretty easy to dwell on the negative. There’s good reason to be fearful, negative and stressed…and yet, there is overwhelming evidence that one simple practice can help us to deal with these issues on a personal level, and more importantly to increase happiness - the practice of gratitude.

I know…you’re too busy. But think again.  The benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude are very real and can be enjoyed with some simple choices to build it into your life in simple ways.  In its simplest form, gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging all that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything in it were a miracle, and being consciously aware of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the richness that is already present.

I have read about 40 studies on gratefulness, and the results are pretty impressive. By practicing gratefulness, here are just some of the benefits you can expect:

  • Better and more sleep, feeling more refreshed when you do wake
  • Less depressed
  • Feel more connected to others
  • Expressing gratitude increases goodwill toward others
  • Greater overall life satisfaction
  • Higher levels of optimism
  • More feelings of control in your life
  • Expressing your gratitude increases happiness by 4 – 19%. The impact is even greater if you are in a particularly rough place in your life – expect increases in happiness of up to 25%
  • Profound and positive effects on our health - People who kept a weekly log of things they were grateful had fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more
  • Overall better mood
  • Increase in cognitive functions like memory and problem solving
  • Higher marriage survival rates (Try the 5:1 Ratio – 5 positives for every negative in a relationship)
  • Schools report lower incidences of violence and misconduct and stronger academic performance

David Steindl-Rast shared this…“If you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity and are willing to share.”

Grateful is not a “once in a while” thing, but rather a choice to live your life in a certain way. It’s about graceful living every day.

So enough about why…HOW do you fit it into your life? Try these three simple practices for 7 days – then check in. Pay attention to how you feel, and how others are responding to you. Observe how you handle people and situations. My guess is that you will see a difference…so then build on that. If you don’t notice anything then go back to being grumpy and wishing for more…see the difference then.

Here’s the gratitude makeover…

  1. Observe – When we rush through life, we don’t appreciate the incredible things that are around us – the sights, the smells, the laughter, the miracles. Stop and look around for 30-seconds at a time during the day. Instead of just rushing to the meeting a few minutes late – build in some white space so that you can walk to the meeting and notice the incredible architecture in the buildings, or look at the people on the way, say hello to someone who holds the door for you. Notice the little things that make your world a better place. Just deliberately observe for 30 seconds at a time, at least five times a day.
  2. Accept / Ask – Rather than getting upset about the money you don’t have, the resources that are stretched, or the house that is too small, flip it around. Accept that it is what it is. Ask what can you do with the money or resources that you do have. Embrace what is, rather than fixate on what isn’t.
  3. Act – Share with at least one person every day something that you appreciate about them. Make it genuine and meaningful to them and to you. Adopt the 5:1 Ratio – Say / Do five positive things for every one. And then keep a journal – I find that starting my day with 3 positive things helps me to stay focused on being grateful – starting with what I think when I look in the mirror in the morning. Choose gratitude.

Here’s a great video to get you started - An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness. Just watching this video will give you a kick start.

Gratitude and thankfulness just feels good. It’s good for you and it’s a blessing for the people around you, so what are you waiting for? Share your results with us…we would love to share the good stuff as you are leading your grateful life.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Build Gratitude into Your Business in 10 Simple Ways

Want Stronger Results? 

We have heard over and over that practicing gratitude is good for our health, our happiness and our overall life satisfaction…but there’s more. It’s even good for business. There are three things that cost leaders and business owners MORE time, stress, frustration and money than anything else – regardless of the type of business you have.

  1. Acquiring and keeping good people on your team
  2. Acquiring and keeping your best customers
  3. Reaching potential new customers

If we can find ways to help with these three things, then much of the rest takes care of itself. And with our schedules more packed than ever, and the eternal connectedness to all things technical, we seem to make less time to connect with people than ever before.  So these important things suffer.

Connecting with the people that matter for your business and sharing a moment of gratitude can make the critical difference in their support and loyalty. So lets’ start there. Here are 10 things you can do today to express gratitude to those that have stood by you through thick and thin, when business was good and bad, the ones you rely on to get the job done time and time again.

  1. Tell at least one employee or team member at work each day that you are grateful for what they do, and most importantly the impact they have. Making the time to do this personally and genuinely says almost more than the words.
  2. Let your employees know that you value their insights or contributions by asking them to share their story, tips, methods, ideas etc. with others. This can be done informally at a team huddle or scrum, or formally at a team or employee meeting. You are basically letting them know that you value what they offer.
  3. Book a one-on-one lunch or coffee time with EACH employee on your team at a different time – not when something is wrong, but just because. Time is an incredible gift, and time together lets them know that you value them. This is gratitude in action.
  4. Send a birthday card with a personal note in it to ALL of your employees. Our president did this in one organization, and I made sure that she had personal information about each employee to include in the card. It was a simple act that had tremendous impact.
  5. Call a small group of customers personally and tell them how much you appreciate that they have chosen you. I know you are busy, and this is a time commitment…that’s precisely why they will appreciate it. Even if you get voice mail – leave the short voice mail. How surprised will they be when they hear that you are NOT asking for more business, promoting an event or a product launch but simply saying thank you. You will stand out.
  6. Reach out to your most difficult customers who have offered feedback or suggestions about how to grow or improve your business. Thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts and suggestions, and share with them the changes you have made as a result. Most customers don’t voice their suggestions – they simply walk away. These customers have given you a gift. Appreciate it.
  7. Send a personal thank you note to customers who have referred your services to others. This is golden and you want to cherish their advocacy and championing.
  8. Include an unexpected surprise with every order like a book, an article, an offer for something more, or even just a thank you letter with a picture of your team.
  9. Give something to potential new customers to express your gratitude – an article, an idea, an opportunity to experience your services, or a meet and greet – with NO expectations in mind. No hard sell, no soft sell – just focus on doing what you do best and GIVE. Be grateful that they are sharing their time and attention with you.
  10. Connect your prospects to others in your network that can help them. Be inspired by what they are working on and help them further their cause.

Bonus…

I know I said 10 things…here is one bonus with a direct line to helping your business. Be thankful to friends and family who have stood by you working long hours, through good days and bad…have listened, encouraged, and shaped along the way. Surprise them by taking some time off work to do something just with and for them – something that is important to them. And let them know that they are important to you. Without them – none of the rest matters, so take care of those closest to you.

Have a grateful day!

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Lead the Endurance

You’re looking for a way to engage your leaders. You want them to explore how they lead, not talk about leadership. You want an experience where they identify new leadership behaviors for themselves. You want them to explore practices to ensure their teams and results thrive. You want them to lead differently.

What if you could immerse your leaders in an epic experience they would never forget? What if your leaders could relive the most challenging leadership situation on earth and live to tell the tale? What if your leaders discovered the answers to their challenges?

Lead the Endurance puts your leaders in the shoes of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance as they attempt to cross Antarctica. Follow step-by-step through the greatest story ever told. Discover how leading differently kept everyone alive while stranded in Antarctica for several years.

This immersive experience is for leaders or teams who are out to achieve BIG results. Choose this experience to challenge your leaders to communicate differently, collaborate meaningfully and overcome any situation. Lead the Endurance gives you the ability to target essential practices such as sharing the big picture, creating morale before it becomes necessary, and finding the action to overcome any obstacle.

How Does This Immersive Leader Experience Work?

Your leaders enter a chilled room. Videos, images and sound effects create the environment. The story gets told through high quality video. Your team face and learn from 7 challenges experienced by Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Challenges get identified based on your business goals and your desired outcomes. The resulting experience is uniquely-designed for your leaders.

Leadership Insight #1 – Choose your team wisely.

Sir Ernest Shackleton posted this ad for crew to join his quest. The ad received over 5000 replies. From those who applied he selected 28 who became the crew of the Endurance. Those 28 were able to achieve the impossible.

Your leaders explore how he selected the crew. Your leaders explore the skills and attributes necessary to cross Antarctica. Then your leaders consider their selection process. Your leaders determine what skills and attributes are necessary to achieve their results.

Leadership Insight #3 – Connect everyone to the Big Picture then communicate

The Endurance gets crushed. Imagine being trapped in Antarctica without enough food and no way home. How would that change your Big Picture? Find out how Shackleton responded. Then watch your leaders consider their Big Picture. Imagine them connecting their leaders and teams together in one simple and clear big picture.

This is a favourite Insight for many participants. Often the insights get applied to onboarding, team communications and strategic planning… This is why the length of the experience depends on you and your team. You get a unique design. Leaders often want to invest longer because their insights profoundly affect how they lead the business.

About the Lead the Endurance Leadership Experience

In Lead the Endurance your leaders create new leadership practices. Your business goals and learning outcomes get used to tailor the experience to your leaders, culture and goals. Flexible from 3 hours to 2-3 days - regardless of time, your leaders experience unprecedented development. The leadership insights focus on leading regardless of goals, challenges and obstacles. Results become the focus - not reasons. Your leaders create personal insights and practices to lead differently. Solutions they never forget.

The 7 modules ignite your leaders’ passion for results. If Shackleton failed to lead, they would not have survived. Your leaders become ready for situations in the workplace.

Lead the Endurance allows your leaders to explore:

     1) Team Selection - Choose the right team members to produce results

     2) Acknowledge and Continue - Develop a system to help others thrive inside challenges

     3) Big Picture – Practice connecting everyone to the big picture and communicating your big picture

     4) Morale – Create confidence and enthusiasm in your teams before it is required

     5) Action - Positively influencing your team to take action

     6) Commitment Regardless of Challenges - Inspire others to commit to big results

     7) Recognize Success - Establish confidence and capabilities from your successful commitments

  • Or design something unique for your leaders. We value clients who know what they want so feel free to get specific and clear.

By following Sir Ernest Shackleton, your leaders can transform their capabilities. Their experience deepens leader proficiency and communication skills. Your leaders improve results  to better your relationship with your immediate team and the larger organizational team no matter what situation you’re in. The Endurance is configured to you and your team, so it’s up to the leaders and their crew to create the right decisions in order to succeed in creating their big picture.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your expedition now.

Stress Test For Your Leadership Team

Stress. Leaders experience more stress than ever before. Your leaders waste time because they delay confronting stressful situations head on and instead focus on the stress they feel. Where does that get them? No further ahead…

You rarely get to see how your leaders handle situations that are stressful because you are not likely in the room when “it” hits the fan. You just see the outcome.

So instead, invest in a practical way to see how they perform in a situation that mimics real life in a time-pressured, team based challenge. Participants in Learn2 Save the Titanic™ experience real leadership in a high-pressure situation — the ultimate stress test for your leadership team. Participants determine how they will achieve results, and each team has complete freedom of choice in each action they take. So they get to see the impact of their choices in real time.

We structure the environment so participants deal with stress and continue to create a number of innovative solutions in a short period of time - even with the stress. The result is that they quickly figure it out. Their communication, their openness to ideas and their willingness to take risks are called to task as participants face their own performance head on. And because it is a simulation with a “role” they are playing, they are free to come up with the solutions without constraints of their regular way of working. This gives them, and you, the freedom to challenge, practice and discover alternative ways of communicating, leading and creating team - to cross over that line and get different results.

During the experience, your leaders will go from being cautious, polite and organized into experiencing everything required to create a high-performance team. So we can talk about leading under stress, or we can just do it and learn from it. Stop investing in training that doesn’t test their leadership skills…improve the ROI from your development dollars by investing in the ultimate stress test for your leaders. Join us on the Titanic and maybe this time it won’t sink!

When you are ready to talk about keeping your team afloat, we are here for you, with enough lifeboats in hand.

Get our downloadable version here

5 Great Questions Great Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Download the questions here

Top 10 Leadership Development Activities for Managers

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder requires personal and professional growth.  Growth happens quickly with targeted leadership development activities. Leader growth may not simply happen magically over time. Dedication, commitment and ongoing leader skill development are the cornerstones of any leadership position.

Of course, it does help to get a little boost from a team of professionals who really know their stuff. Learn2 is a company that focuses on growing leaders. Leadership training is simply what they do best.

Leadership Development Activities

1. Workshops on Dealing With Resistance

Unfortunately, any management team will report that one of their biggest challenges in the workplace is dealing with resistance from all angles. Co-workers and clients can offer a serious blockade when they disagree with any calls that management has had to make. It is important to learn how to deal with these challenging conversations in a constructive manner.

2. Simulations on Making or Implementing Important Changes

Change is an inevitability in any company. Change facilitates professional growth; which is why managers need to know how to implement changes effectively without making unnecessary waves.

3. Immersive Team Experiences

Team building exercises are an incredibly useful tool for managers. Immersive team experiences are the perfect platform for managers to learn when to work in a team and when to step up to the plate as the ultimate leader.

4. Application of Different Thought Processes

While many of us are pre-wired to think in a certain way and to handle challenges with our own “old-faithful” method, it is sometimes necessary to move away from these habits. Managers need to be able to think outside of the box and to learn to adapt their ways of thinking with specific leadership development activities.

5. Meeting and Conference Simulations

Knowing how to conduct oneself in a meeting is an invaluable skill. Training courses which simulate this particular environment are a fantastic management training device.

6. Keeping Work Flowing

Efficient workflow is something many businesses struggle to attain. This is largely due to a lack of adequate staff training. Management and leadership courses focusing on workflow can be a fun and dynamic way to get results rolling and keep it that way.

7. Personal Leadership Fulfillment

In the quest for adequate managerial training, personnel often find themselves pushing their own dreams to the wayside. A “dream big” leadership program enables managers to think about their futures within the company and personally as well. A well-balanced lifestyle is what transforms every manager into a great leader.

8. Employee Rewards

Often, the key to being a successful manager lies in acknowledging the strengths of co-workers and employees and knowing when to reward them. This can be difficult, which is why a course on finding the strengths in others so you can reward and recognize effectively is a good move.

9. Be Creative

Creativity is often lost in the corporate world. Good managers are able to think creatively and imaginatively. Specific skills have been detailed here. Workshops focusing on expanding this particular skill are a wonderful leadership development activity for the entire team and open the door to new approaches to old challenges.

10. One-On-One with a Pro

While team coaching programs have a lot of merit, one-on-one leadership coaching can be a very fulfilling process. Having some insight into the life of someone who has walked a similar path can often be encouraging. Your coach can give you specific leadership development activities where you learn to lead by leading.

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The 50 Most Influential Women in Business with Blogs You’ll Love

The 50 Most Influential Women in Business with Blogs You’ll Love

Of all the lists we could make right now, this one feels the most exciting. Maybe because it’s a sign of what’s to come in the business world. Women aren’t just getting promoted to the top of big businesses, but they’re creating their own - and faster than ever before. While only 30% of all businesses around the world are led by women, female-run businesses are growing 1.5 times faster than any other new businesses, with some estimates suggesting that they are single-handedly providing over five million jobs.

That’s big news.

This list is a celebration of women who are not only succeeding in business, but who are inspiring and helping others to do the same. While they come from diverse industries and backgrounds, all of them have been chosen for one simple reason: They should be on your radar.

Whether you check into their blogs daily or weekly, keeping your finger on the pulse of what these success female business bloggers are up to is a sure way to keep going, and a fabulous reminder that progress in the business world is being made because women are making it happen - and making sure they help others on their rise to the top.

1. Marie Forleo

Yes, she rubs shoulders with Oprah - and Richard Branson. But Marie Forleo is so much more than just a big name. Her videos, published under the name Marie TV, cover everything from how to be creative in business to how to write better copy. With interviews that you want to watch again and again (like her talk with Elizabeth Gilbert or Anthony Robbins), Marie Forleo is committed to helping women succeed in business. Her tagline “The world needs that special gift that only you have,” encapsulates her passion for ensuring that the women she works with aren’t just successful, but that they’re happy and fulfilled, too. https://www.marieforleo.com/blog/

2. Franchesca Ramsey

An actor, vlogger, and writer, Franchesca Ramsey has discovered the secrets for how to create a life that is fun and successful - and all while doing exactly what you love. The author of the new book Well That Escalated Quickly, Franchesca is quick-witted and hysterical, which makes her business blog one that you actually look forward to reading. And, the best part, is that you’ll learn something to! If you are working on growing or starting your business online, Franchesca is your girl. http://www.franchesca.net/blog/

3. Ali Brown

Often referred to as the “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women”, not having Ali on this list would be a big deal. A savvy business coach that is followed regularly by nearly a quarter of a million followers, Ali’s latest blogs share an overview of her Glambition podcast episodes (which you should definitely subscribe to). A big enough name to interview some of the most successful and fascinating women in business, Ali’s blog is one you should check in at regularly. https://alibrown.com/blog/

4. Natalie MacNeil

Not only is Natalie MacNeil one of the top coaches for female entrepreneurs, but she’s an Emmy Award winner, too. The brains behind She Takes on the World, Natalie has had a hand in helping over a million different businesses around the world succeed. Known for her ability to break everything down to actionable, easy-to-follow steps, her blog goes beyond just “typical” success tips, covering everything from “superhuman health” to “how to live in alignment.” Her blog also features posts by guests, too! https://shetakesontheworld.com/blog/

5. Elizabeth Gilbert

One of the best-known and beloved authors of the 21st century, Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of perennially popular (and life-changing) books, like Eat, Pray, Love and Big Magic. Her work in the world of creativity is inspirational for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to find their footing and their fulfillment. In addition to her podcast, Big Magic, Elizabeth keeps up her blog fairly regularly, which is packed with “hashtaggable” takeaways. https://www.elizabethgilbert.com/news/

6. Nathalie Doremieux

Nathalie Doremieux’s work is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs translate their vision to their online platform. A pro at building websites that are engaging and super successful, Nathalie is the co-founder of New Software Marketing, which covers everything from website design to creating online courses and membership sites. New Software Marketing’s blog is practical and helpful, especially for women looking to take their online business to the next level. https://newsoftwaremarketing.com/blog/

7. Nikki Elledge Brown

The “Communication Stylist”, Nikki Elledge Brown is well known for her work as the host of the popular podcast “Naptime Empires”. A former park ranger, Nikki is a professional writer, speaker, and the creator of the copywriting eCourse, A Course About Copy. Dedicated to helping entrepreneurs find “their real voice” behind their business, her blog is full of personality and, as you might expect, really great writing. Not only will you get to know her (she’s a military wife and mom of two) but you’ll learn a lot about great business along the way. http://www.nikkielledgebrown.com/blog/

8. Ash Ambridge

The founder of The Middle Finger Project, Ash Ambridge is a savvy business woman, writer, and self proclaimed smart ass. Her project is unconventional in the business world, and that’s exactly why so many women love it. Teaching women how to be strong, independent, and unapologetically unique, The Middle Finger Project’s blog is your new best friend and guide for creating an online career you totally love. https://www.themiddlefingerproject.org/blog/

9. Otegha Uwagba

A writer and brand consultant, Otegha Uwabga is also the founder of Women Who. With an impressive resume that includes time at Vice and AMV BBDO, Otegha’s Women Who is so much more than a blog, although it’s that, too. Offering a Toolkit for women in business, Women Who also delivers awesome advice and inspiration from Otegha straight to your inbox. The podcast, In Good Company, is like a blog you can listen to, which is perfect for those of us who need a shot of inspiration directly into our ears. https://www.womenwho.co/

10. Sue B. Zimmerman

Also known as the “Instagram Expert,” Sue B. Zimmerman is a genius when it comes to helping business owners find their footing on Instagram through social media strategy. Working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, Sue B.’s blog is empowering and specific, offering a great balance of inspiration and actionable tips for learning how to master Instagram. https://suebzimmerman.com/blog/

11. Emma Drew

Making money online is what Emma Drew is all about. But the best part is that, unlike some mentors that find themselves a little too far in left field, Emma offers practical advice that actually applies to real people. Offering tips on her blog for people looking to create a successful online business, as well as those just wanting to make a little extra money on the side, Emma’s blog also gives you access to a free 6-week money making course and other helpful worksheets and tips. https://emmadrew.info/

12. Brene Brown

One of the most influential speakers and authors today, Brene Brown’s voice helps people around the world feel braver and better. For business owners and entrepreneurs, Brene Brown has founded Brave Leaders Inc, which is helping businesses of all sizes create change through courage. Her blog, as you can imagine, is juicy, helpful, and filled with “Ah-ha!” moments. https://brenebrown.com/blog/

13. Courtney Johnston

A professional copywriter and business expert, Courtney Johnston started The Rule Breaker’s Club in 2011 while living in Paris. A rebel at heart, Courtney offers advice on her blog about what it takes to really make it in business, no matter what type of business you’re in. She focuses on things like how to increase sales and conversions through awesome copy and step-by-step systems that break down exactly what you need for success. http://www.rulebreakersclub.com/blog/

14. Crissy Herron

Want to work from home but are afraid you won’t have the motivation to be successful and stay consistent? Crissy Herron’s Indie Biz Chicks blog is where you need to know. An entrepreneur since 2007, Crissy is a Michigan native who uses her Indie Biz Chicks platform to offer advice and inspiration to women in business for themselves, whether they are just starting out or already up and running. http://indiebizchicks.com/blog/

15. Marney Reid

The founder of Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling (SOTGC), Marney Reid is passionate about helping women learn what they need in order to advance their business or professional career. The information posted on SOTGC is created by a community of women who are collaborating and supporting each other on their way to the top. Want to feel inspired as a modern business woman? Getting to know Marney and the women at SOTGC is a great place to start. https://stilettosontheglassceiling.com/

16. Alex Beadon

Focusing on topics like social media, selling, marketing, and mindset, Elex Beadon understands what it takes to create and follow a successful online business model. Her expertise lies in online information business models, although her blog offers plenty of information about how to leverage all online businesses in order to live a meaningful life that you really love. http://www.alexbeadon.com/blog/

17. Cathrin Frisemo

A guide helping women navigate life as it becomes more and more digitized, Cathrin Frisemo teaches you how to trust your instincts to not only survive, but to also thrive while leading others on the way. An entrepreneur herself, Cathrin’s blog is personal and helpful, giving you great advice while also letting you in on her life adventures, like her new book I’m a Cebra. https://cathrinfrisemo.com/blog/

18. Tiffany Angeles

Want to learn how to stop chasing money? Tiffany Angeles is the money expert you’ve been looking for. Not only does Tiffany help people achieve their full potential, but she offers “practical wisdom” that shifts your current thoughts and beliefs, opening yourself up to more money and success. Tiffany believes that money and dreams often go hand-in-hand. Her blog is filled with great advice about money, our beliefs, and the thought patterns that hold us back. https://tiffanyangeles.com/blog/

19. Beate Chelette

Also known as the “Growth Architect”, Beate Chelette sold her business in a multi-million deal made with one of Bill Gates’ media companies. Since her own business success, Beate has turned her attention to other women in business, creating online courses and training programs that are geared to helping women “succeed alongside the big boys.” The creator of The Women’s Code, Beate’s blog is a vast resource of business-minded information for women wanting to succeed. https://beatechelette.com/blog/

20. Carrie-Anne Moss

The well-known actress from the Matrix series, Carrie-Anne Moss has created an incredibly inspiring collective for women, integrating her passion for parenting, yoga, and mindful living, with her brand Annapurna Living.  A “portal for growth and nourishment”, Annapurna Living offers inspiration for women looking to create a life they “crave” and who want to use their voice to gracefully lead others. http://annapurnaliving.com/explore/

21. Denise Lee Yohn

Offering “bites” of knowledge about branding success on her blog, Denise Lee Yohn is someone every business owner should be familiar with. A brand leadership expert, business keynote speaker, and best-selling author, Denise has worked internationally with some of the biggest brands in the world, speaking at corporate events for behemoths like Facebook and Lexus. http://deniseleeyohn.com/bites-brand-your-business-briefs/

22. Colleen Cassel

A career consultant who specializes in leadership, Colleen Cassel is the founder of Upstream Solutions. Her work, including her blog, focuses on mindfulness and how it’s the key to becoming more successful, happier, and productive in business and in your personal life, too. http://www.colleencassel.com/blog-business-career.html

23. Diana Alvear

A Peabody award winning journalist, Diana Alvear is using her experience to help women learn how to amplify their authenticity in order to use their voice to generate trust and value. Guiding women away from perfection and towards realness, Diana’s audio blog, which is a new podcast she is calling Out Loud, is debuting soon. https://www.dianaoutloud.com/blog-example/

24. Rita Barry

The antithesis to the “trendy” website, Rita Barry designs and develops websites for female entrepreneurs that are based in measuring and marketing. Rita’s proven success as a website designer makes her an authority in many areas online businesses are looking to create or optimize. Rita’s expertise allows her to offer women advice for creating a customer journey that works, as well as a funnel that actually converts. https://ritabarry.co/blog/

25. Sheryl Sandberg

Since 2008 Sheryl Sandberg has functioned as Facebook’s COO. Before Facebook, Sheryl was the VP at Google. At both companies, Sheryl’s business smarts helped generate the already giants boost revenues through lucrative advertising strategies. As one of the country’s most recognized and influential female executives, Sheryl’s passion project, Lean In, offers in-depth resources for women in business around the world. https://leanin.org/

26. Alex Head

Although she’s an up-and-comer in the food industry, Alex Head’s blog features must-read interviews she calls “From one girl boss to another…” An entrepreneur as well, Alex owns Social Pantry, which is a London-based catering company that has five different locations. One of Alex’s unique business perspectives is that she employs ex-offenders in England with her business. https://alexhead.co.uk/blog/

27. Serena Guen

Serena Guen has taken blogging to the next level, turning her inspiration into a quarterly magazine known as SUITCASE. Serena, now the founder and CEO of the multimedia company, covers travel and fashion, as well as highlighting inspiring girl bosses and trailblazers, especially in the world of style. https://suitcasemag.com/

28. Emma Isaacs

The founder of Business Chicks, Emma Isaacs is the type of rule-breaking mentor women love to follow. Emma created Business Chicks as a community for women setting out to achieve brilliant things. Offering connection and support, and tons of awesome advice, the stories shared on the Business Chicks blog is only the very tip of the iceberg. https://businesschicks.com/stories/

29. Katrina Ruth Loterzo

An Australian writer with over fifty best-selling eBooks, Katrina has build seven-figure online businesses by “following zero” of the rules. Now an online business coach and success mentor to rebel women, Katrina’s blog is updated (almost) every single day. https://thekatrinaruthshow.com/blog/

30. Renae Bluitt

The creator and editor-in-chief of In Her Shoes, Renae Bluitt is also the founder of Crush Media. Check in at In Her Shoes blog regularly for inspiration from some of the “flyest” female entrepreneurs in the world. Get to know them, and what they wear, for a healthy dose of fun and business. http://inhershoesblog.com/

31. Kimra Luna

As a personal branding and online business strategist, Kimra Luna’s blog on her website, Freedom Hackers, is exactly what you would expect it to be: fun, exciting, and super memorable (oh, and cool, too). Teaching entrepreneurs how to find real freedom through their work, Kimra is an expert in online monetization and building brands that stick. http://freedomhackers.com/blog

32. Jenn Scalia

On a mission to help make sure “the world knows your name,” Jenn Scalia knows what it feels like to have a business that is invisible online. While learning how to make her own business (super) successful, Jenn picked up a lot of great tips and strategies (like showing up consistently even when you start to doubt what you are doing), which she shares through her coaching, speaking, and her blog. https://jennscalia.com

33. Cyndi Ramirez

Founder of Chillhouse and editor-in-chief of The Chill Times, Cyndi Ramirez is focused on one thing, making sure you are taking care of yourself. Starting a business, running a business, and being in business isn’t easy for women, which is why checking in with The Chill Times should be part of your regular self-care routine, something that goes beyond “bubble baths and spa retreats.” Self-care via self-discovery is what you’ll find at The Chill Times. http://thechilltimes.com/

34. Sophia Amoruso

The founder of the incredibly successful Nasty Gal and the author of her book #GIRLBOSS, which is a New York Times Bestseller, Sophia Amoruso even has a Netflix series all about her rise to success. A creative genius and an embodiment of the word “hustle,” Sophia’s blog “Girlboss” teaches aspiring entrepreneurs and go-getters critical lessons on the way to success. https://www.girlboss.com/

35. Pamela Slim

A successful business coach, Pamela Slim has made a name for herself by advising large companies how to connect with small businesses, bridging the gap between two naturally competitive (and often exclusive) interest groups. Working with entrepreneurs on a daily basis, Pamela is passionate about solving business problems with innovative and effective new ways of thinking. https://pamelaslim.com/blog/

36. Tara Gentile

A super successful podcast host and entrepreneur, Tara Gentile spends much of her time educating small businesses on how to creatively solve problems with the help of a community and support network. Honest about what works and what doesn’t, Tara is often named one of the most influential podcast hosts for business owners. Her articles are insightful, thought provoking, and educational. http://taragentile.com/articles/

37. Melissa Galt

A guide for entrepreneurs wanting to increase their success and their income, Melissa Galt does everything from coaching to consulting, as well as teaching simple systems that change everything. Having left her successful career in hospitality purchasing, Melissa has learned the rope to business the old-fashioned way - doing it herself and putting in the hard work. http://melissagalt.com/blog/

38. Yasmine Khater

An award-winning business specialist and marketing expert, Yasmine Khater is also a psychologist. A well-known TEDx speaker, Yasmine doesn’t just want to help entrepreneurs build businesses - she wants to help build empires. Led by the belief that “business changes the world,” she sees her work as a way to contribute to the greater good. Motivational and smart, Yasmine is somebody you definitely want in your corner. http://yasminekhater.com/blog/

39. Mayi Carles

An artist by trade, Mayi Carles has learned how to succeed online by following a recipe that includes always being herself and allowing people into her “messy middle.” Mayi offers online courses, including her signature Life is Messy Bootcamp, for women looking to not only cross things off their bucket lists, but who also want to make money doing it. http://heartmadeblog.com/

40. Ilean Harris

An online sales expert and marketer with many accolades, Ilean Harris is also a business trainer and speaker. Her energy and passion to help women succeed will motivate you to follow your dreams. A big believer that you can have it all - faith, family, and your own business - Ilean’s blog gives you step-by-step advice and insight into her personal journey. http://ileanharris.com/

41. Amy Landino

A speaker, author, and YouTuber, Amy Landino knows her way around new media success. Having left her “safe path” in the corporate world, Amy is now the host of the popular AmyTV, which inspires people to go after what they want in life. A big believer in being proactive about your dreams, Amy’s blog/vlog is so good that you can (and should) binge on it. http://amylandino.com/blog

42. Vanessa Van Edwards

A professional “people watcher”, Vanessa Van Edwards is known for her work as a behavioral investigator. Her research lab, the Science of People, is dedicated to learning about the human code in order to, among other things, “teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people.” Get ready to take notes. https://www.scienceofpeople.com/blog/

43. Christy Primmer

A “high-vibe, high-five kinda gal”, Christy Primmer has an energy that is contagious, amassing her thousands of followers and an impressive resume of success stories. A coach for women wanting to create a life and business they truly love, her work revolves around creating real, measurable results. Also a best-selling author, Christy’s blog is filled with great advice for women at any stage of their entrepreneurial journey. https://primetimecs.com/blog/

44. Allison Braun

Want to work less, have more freedom and make more money? Allison Braun is a business coach that teaches women how to experience and get more (of everything) out of life. A former sexual expression coach, Allison now is a full-time business and lifestyle mentor helping people around the world “upgrade their quality of life.” http://allisonbraun.ca/blog/

45. Rebecca Dickson

Known for her real-deal life hacks, Rebecca Dickson calls herself the “bullshit slayer” and “biz profit-maker.” Having collected a major following of women thanks to her “all-in” personality, Rebecca helps women in business generate more profit by analyzing your business’s current systems and strategies and then “promptly fixing it.” https://rebeccatdickson.com/blog/

46. Stephanie Nickolich

Dedicated to teaching female entrepreneurs build “seamless systems” so they can do more while working less, Stephanie Nickolich helps women change their perspectives so they can experience real success in their business and personal lives. Learning from Stephanie is learning how to crush your doubts, master your mindset, and develop business strategies that change everything. https://stephanienickolich.com/blog/

47. Julie Parker

The founder and CEO of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Julie Parker speaks and presents regularly about leadership, the power of feminine energy, and entrepreneurship. Also the editor-in-chief of COACH magazine, Julie has worked with thousands of people around the world, inspiring them through her wisdom, intuition, and nurturing energy. http://www.beautifulyoucoachingacademy.com/blog/

48. Melissa Pharr

Fueled by the belief that “every woman has a remarkable gift to share,” Melissa Pharr has created a multi million dollar business helping women move step-by-step into their own power so that they can achieve ultimate success. Her work helps women “create the mindset of a High Earner” while also turning them into a “money magnet.” http://melissapharr.com/category/blog/

49. Kasia Gospos

The founder of Leaders in Heels, Kasia Gospos is working hard to create a community of female entrepreneurs that feel inspired, empowered, and nurtured. A wealth of information for women in business, Kasia’s Leaders in Heels has resources that range from helpful to eye-opening, as well as practical tips, guides, and lessons for #girlbosses and #mompreneurs that are designed to be shared. https://leadersinheels.com/

50. Lisa Christine

One of those “connectors” every entrepreneur can use, Lisa Christine is an entrepreneur at heart, although she has spent much of her life in the corporate world working for major brands like American Airlines and IBM. Lisa loves to solve problems and connect people from all over the world. Her business intelligence and charisma has landed her impressive projects, including working on the STEX, a startup exchange for entrepreneurs created by MIT. https://28carrots.com/blog-2/

The fact that this impressive list is barely scratching the surface of powerful women who are leading the way in business is exciting to say the least. With new voices being added to the #girlboss movement around the world, it’s a powerful reminder that the world of business is evolving - and that women are leading the way.

Apple Business Strategy Illustrates Customer Friction

You know the power of the Apple brand. You’ve seen innovation that transformed how we work, live and communicate. What if the Apple business strategy requires an update? What if the current business strategy leads to a smaller yet still highly-profitable fan base? What if Apple’s closed strategy starts to get holes and customers start to test other approaches.
The article by Emily Ferron is bang on. See here: http://newatlas.com/apple-alienating-fans-disappointing-products-2017/47644/#_=_ And the challenges go deeper than these device issues. As a long-time Apple advocate who converted many, I’m now doubting the customer strategy of Apple.
Take music - I cannot share my own music in my house through Apple TV without buying Apple Music. Then when I buy Apple Music, I don’t have access to all my music on my devices without wifi. Yet the Amazon Fire allows me to plug into the back because it is more open and allows the user to add their music, movies and photos. Closed stifles customer innovation in my case. And I worked really hard to make it work. I can’t use my Apple Airport Extreme… my computer must be on… lots of customer unfriendly experience to protect the closed system.
Take Personal Assistants - Siri really struggles to understand me. Even simple and somewhat obvious requests because she is closed. I expect her to be able to do more and expect her to develop and get better. Yet Alexa has learned 2000+ new commands in 7 months because she is artificial intelligence and she integrates with the other aspects in my house. Alexa is open and learning. The users are shaping her and she is evolving.
Take TV - Apple TV is simple and elegant. Yet when I get an Amazon Fire I get literally 100x more options for search, apps, movies, music, expansion… open again wins. Plus Fire supports 4K. And Apple doesn’t - why - because Apple doesn’t. When you tell people that their netflix on AppleTV won’t play 4K on their new TV they don’t believe me… until they do. I was the same - shocked.
Take Virtual Reality - Apple’s not there. At all. Yes there are plans. And now worth buying a Samsung phone or HTC just to experience the past/current state of VR. I’m sure Apple’s solution will be great yet their strategy of nothing to everything may mean a lot of customers start leaving the closed solution. When you experience greener grass you wonder why Apple has not gone forward. Amazon is emerging as a real competitor in some ways.
Take notebooks. I drool with envy when others touch their screens. Its faster, better user interface is blocked from notebooks and computers. And Apple created that technology yet refuses to provide it to the world. Microsoft is gaining steam as many professionals no longer want to have to work on a tablet and a computer when they can have both. I’m seeing more and more MS Surfaces in our consultant and practitioner pools. I had to buy an MSI computer to run VR since Apple is now behind in graphic processing.
The strategy of closed worked for years for Apple. And now it is coming into question. I trust the Board and Executive Leadership Team are examining this closed strategy closely. Leakage of customers is happening. And brand advocate customers like me are experiencing the benefits of leaving the Apple universe. What happens if Apple continues to lock-down functionality desired by its customers to drive its strategy? What happens when Apple pushes even diehard fans to test and experiment with other providers.
I sucked it up on VR so I got an iPhone7S. I almost stepped out. Yet the camera really, really is amazing. The Apple TV vs Fire at 3x the price with 1/100th the capability opened the door. The shine is now off the Apple. I perhaps have been blinded by the light. The contrast makes me rethink what I’m buying. Yet I don’t like to pay and want more freedom so maybe I am not a target Apple customer.
Business strategy matters. Customer experience matters. Apple gets that. If we were working with the executive team or board, we’d want to perform an analysis of the friction points for customers. How many are because of Apple’s closed strategy? How could they be resolved? How much friction is there? When you search you find a lot of frustrated Apple lovers like me.
We’d want the leadership to understand that drag is a co-efficient. To say this simply, friction increases exponentially. And it may no longer be squared, it may be cubed or even greater when you add up the friction across all products.
What do you think about Apple’s closed strategy? What are your friction points? What are the benefits like virus/harm reduction? As a strategist, I LOVE to support others creating strategy and engaging leaders and their teams to implement strategy. Come on Apple - reduce friction! The heat hurts!

Get a Jump Start on the Year Ahead: 5 Principles for Brilliant Planning

Get a Jump Start on the Year Ahead: 5 Principles for Brilliant Planning

Hoping that the Law of Attraction will kick in and manifest what you dream of having or doing just because you put it on a vision board doesn’t work.

Writing out a 5 page list of New Year’s resolutions often doesn’t cut it either.

Studies that show that only about 8% of people who actually create those resolutions ever accomplish them. Apparently, the majority of people actually never do much planning at all.

Many people find the world so fast-moving and unpredictable that it hardly seems to make any sense to have much of a plan, because life always seems to be throwing unexpected curve balls at you any way. Some people who consider themselves more creative or intuitive also chafe with the structure of having a “Plan”, preferring instead to be spontaneous and “in the moment” when opportunities or challenges present themselves in this journey called life.

Our attention and energy is pulled into so many different directions 24/7 in this crazy-busy world we live in now. It’s more important than ever before for each of us to identify what’s truly important in terms of our priorities and values. We need to bold and stick a stake in the ground to say what you stand for otherwise you risk feeling stretched to the breaking point and not able to live a life that of meaning on your own terms.

With these 5 principles to guide you, you’ll be able to do some brilliant planning of your own in a way that feels authentic and empowering to you!

  1. Make it Visual

Our brains are very wired to think in images. In fact, about 65% of the population are visual learners. Working with images and other visual cues is a great and easy way to tap into the power of both your left and right brain and access innovation and creativity in your thinking process. Working from a plan that relies primarily on text to convey how to get you where you want to go isn’t taking advantage of that natural affinity of the brain to connect to images.

When you’re doing planning for your business or your life, do what you can to bring some kind of visual component to it. Break out the colored sticky notes and markers. Doodle some images to represent your goals. Finding pictures from the internet or magazines helps to activate a deeper level of connection, energy and commitment to your vision and goals. I’ve created a visual template kit you can use to help you make your plans which you can download here. (HYPERLINK TO https://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit)

  1. Zoom Out to Dream

It’s important to give yourself permission to dream. We spend most of our time and focus being very practical and functional. But when you’re planning, you need to be able to zoom out, get the highest perspective on your life and dream of what you would be most inspired and joyful to create for yourself. Create a picture of what your life or business would look like if you were living as your most expanded, brilliant and confident self.

When I am drawing out a visual map for a client as part of a strategic planning session, I often need to remind people that it is OK to dream. If you’re not willing to dream, you’re only ever going to be able to make incremental change.

If you immediately jump to “Well, how am I going to do that?” you break your creative flow. The dreaming process and the execution process are two different skills sets and two different kinds of energy. Just ask any writer who has tried to write and edit at the same time and they will confirm that experience!

  1. Zoom In to Plan

Once you have dreamed and articulated a vision or possibility that excites, inspires or even scares you just a bit, you’re then ready to zoom in to plan. Put on your strategic planner hat and give yourself full permission to ask the tactical and practical questions like “How can I do that?” or “When can this happen?” and “What experiences and skills have I learned that from my past that I can apply towards my future goals?” The need to harvest the wisdom of your past is central to the design of the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template that you can download here.

Your internal project manager can start to chunk down your vision into meaningful projects and time frames. Create some yardsticks for yourself so you can tell if you’re making progress or spinning your wheels and need to make some course correction.

  1. Be Willing to Test

It’s natural when you face a number of choices to want to have some kind of guarantee that things will work the way you hope. I need to remind my clients (and myself too!) that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. You’ll never know what results you can create until you commit to taking action.

What can help break free of any kind of analysis paralysis when you’re setting your priorities in your plan is to be willing to test. Want to create a new program? Test it out on some beta clients so you can get some feedback and experience before you offer it out to your entire list. Want to develop more friends in the community? Test out having a weekly “connection time” blocked off in your calendar and see what results from that after a few months.

  1. Rinse, Repeat, Re-calibrate

A plan is always just a starting point. It’s meant to be a dynamic compass that you can use to help you keep on course.

Rinse and repeat what is working for you. Be willing to course correct and recalibrate your plan when you aren’t getting the results you want. Celebrate the fact that you’re getting feedback that tells you that your actions aren’t lining you up in the direction you want to be headed in order to reach your goals.

In the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template kit, you’ll be able to do all your planning on one single plan that you can use at New Year’s on any time you need to do some planning. You can complete it in less than 10 minutes, plus it comes with an instruction guide and video tutorial. To access your free copy, just click here: http://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit.

How You Can Benefit from the Practice of Gratitude

How You Can Benefit from the Practice of Gratitude

Tired of Fixating on Bad News, Global Warming, or Wild Politics?

It’s a wild world out there, and with the bad news headlines front and center, it’s pretty easy to dwell on the negative. There’s good reason to be fearful, negative and stressed…and yet, there is overwhelming evidence that one simple practice can help us to deal with these issues on a personal level, and more importantly to increase happiness - the practice of gratitude.

I know…you’re too busy. But think again.  The benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude are very real and can be enjoyed with some simple choices to build it into your life in simple ways.  In its simplest form, gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging all that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything in it were a miracle, and being consciously aware of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the richness that is already present.

I have read about 40 studies on gratefulness, and the results are pretty impressive. By practicing gratefulness, here are just some of the benefits you can expect:

  • Better and more sleep, feeling more refreshed when you do wake
  • Less depressed
  • Feel more connected to others
  • Expressing gratitude increases goodwill toward others
  • Greater overall life satisfaction
  • Higher levels of optimism
  • More feelings of control in your life
  • Expressing your gratitude increases happiness by 4 – 19%. The impact is even greater if you are in a particularly rough place in your life – expect increases in happiness of up to 25%
  • Profound and positive effects on our health - People who kept a weekly log of things they were grateful had fewer health complaints, and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more
  • Overall better mood
  • Increase in cognitive functions like memory and problem solving
  • Higher marriage survival rates (Try the 5:1 Ratio – 5 positives for every negative in a relationship)
  • Schools report lower incidences of violence and misconduct and stronger academic performance

David Steindl-Rast shared this…“If you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity and are willing to share.”

Grateful is not a “once in a while” thing, but rather a choice to live your life in a certain way. It’s about graceful living every day.

So enough about why…HOW do you fit it into your life? Try these three simple practices for 7 days – then check in. Pay attention to how you feel, and how others are responding to you. Observe how you handle people and situations. My guess is that you will see a difference…so then build on that. If you don’t notice anything then go back to being grumpy and wishing for more…see the difference then.

Here’s the gratitude makeover…

  1. Observe – When we rush through life, we don’t appreciate the incredible things that are around us – the sights, the smells, the laughter, the miracles. Stop and look around for 30-seconds at a time during the day. Instead of just rushing to the meeting a few minutes late – build in some white space so that you can walk to the meeting and notice the incredible architecture in the buildings, or look at the people on the way, say hello to someone who holds the door for you. Notice the little things that make your world a better place. Just deliberately observe for 30 seconds at a time, at least five times a day.
  2. Accept / Ask – Rather than getting upset about the money you don’t have, the resources that are stretched, or the house that is too small, flip it around. Accept that it is what it is. Ask what can you do with the money or resources that you do have. Embrace what is, rather than fixate on what isn’t.
  3. Act – Share with at least one person every day something that you appreciate about them. Make it genuine and meaningful to them and to you. Adopt the 5:1 Ratio – Say / Do five positive things for every one. And then keep a journal – I find that starting my day with 3 positive things helps me to stay focused on being grateful – starting with what I think when I look in the mirror in the morning. Choose gratitude.

Here’s a great video to get you started - An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness. Just watching this video will give you a kick start.

Gratitude and thankfulness just feels good. It’s good for you and it’s a blessing for the people around you, so what are you waiting for? Share your results with us…we would love to share the good stuff as you are leading your grateful life.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Build Gratitude into Your Business in 10 Simple Ways

Build Gratitude into Your Business in 10 Simple Ways

Want Stronger Results? 

We have heard over and over that practicing gratitude is good for our health, our happiness and our overall life satisfaction…but there’s more. It’s even good for business. There are three things that cost leaders and business owners MORE time, stress, frustration and money than anything else – regardless of the type of business you have.

  1. Acquiring and keeping good people on your team
  2. Acquiring and keeping your best customers
  3. Reaching potential new customers

If we can find ways to help with these three things, then much of the rest takes care of itself. And with our schedules more packed than ever, and the eternal connectedness to all things technical, we seem to make less time to connect with people than ever before.  So these important things suffer.

Connecting with the people that matter for your business and sharing a moment of gratitude can make the critical difference in their support and loyalty. So lets’ start there. Here are 10 things you can do today to express gratitude to those that have stood by you through thick and thin, when business was good and bad, the ones you rely on to get the job done time and time again.

  1. Tell at least one employee or team member at work each day that you are grateful for what they do, and most importantly the impact they have. Making the time to do this personally and genuinely says almost more than the words.
  2. Let your employees know that you value their insights or contributions by asking them to share their story, tips, methods, ideas etc. with others. This can be done informally at a team huddle or scrum, or formally at a team or employee meeting. You are basically letting them know that you value what they offer.
  3. Book a one-on-one lunch or coffee time with EACH employee on your team at a different time – not when something is wrong, but just because. Time is an incredible gift, and time together lets them know that you value them. This is gratitude in action.
  4. Send a birthday card with a personal note in it to ALL of your employees. Our president did this in one organization, and I made sure that she had personal information about each employee to include in the card. It was a simple act that had tremendous impact.
  5. Call a small group of customers personally and tell them how much you appreciate that they have chosen you. I know you are busy, and this is a time commitment…that’s precisely why they will appreciate it. Even if you get voice mail – leave the short voice mail. How surprised will they be when they hear that you are NOT asking for more business, promoting an event or a product launch but simply saying thank you. You will stand out.
  6. Reach out to your most difficult customers who have offered feedback or suggestions about how to grow or improve your business. Thank them for taking the time to share their thoughts and suggestions, and share with them the changes you have made as a result. Most customers don’t voice their suggestions – they simply walk away. These customers have given you a gift. Appreciate it.
  7. Send a personal thank you note to customers who have referred your services to others. This is golden and you want to cherish their advocacy and championing.
  8. Include an unexpected surprise with every order like a book, an article, an offer for something more, or even just a thank you letter with a picture of your team.
  9. Give something to potential new customers to express your gratitude – an article, an idea, an opportunity to experience your services, or a meet and greet – with NO expectations in mind. No hard sell, no soft sell – just focus on doing what you do best and GIVE. Be grateful that they are sharing their time and attention with you.
  10. Connect your prospects to others in your network that can help them. Be inspired by what they are working on and help them further their cause.

Bonus…

I know I said 10 things…here is one bonus with a direct line to helping your business. Be thankful to friends and family who have stood by you working long hours, through good days and bad…have listened, encouraged, and shaped along the way. Surprise them by taking some time off work to do something just with and for them – something that is important to them. And let them know that they are important to you. Without them – none of the rest matters, so take care of those closest to you.

Have a grateful day!

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Lead the Endurance

Lead the Endurance

You’re looking for a way to engage your leaders. You want them to explore how they lead, not talk about leadership. You want an experience where they identify new leadership behaviors for themselves. You want them to explore practices to ensure their teams and results thrive. You want them to lead differently.

What if you could immerse your leaders in an epic experience they would never forget? What if your leaders could relive the most challenging leadership situation on earth and live to tell the tale? What if your leaders discovered the answers to their challenges?

Lead the Endurance puts your leaders in the shoes of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance as they attempt to cross Antarctica. Follow step-by-step through the greatest story ever told. Discover how leading differently kept everyone alive while stranded in Antarctica for several years.

This immersive experience is for leaders or teams who are out to achieve BIG results. Choose this experience to challenge your leaders to communicate differently, collaborate meaningfully and overcome any situation. Lead the Endurance gives you the ability to target essential practices such as sharing the big picture, creating morale before it becomes necessary, and finding the action to overcome any obstacle.

How Does This Immersive Leader Experience Work?

Your leaders enter a chilled room. Videos, images and sound effects create the environment. The story gets told through high quality video. Your team face and learn from 7 challenges experienced by Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance. Challenges get identified based on your business goals and your desired outcomes. The resulting experience is uniquely-designed for your leaders.

Leadership Insight #1 – Choose your team wisely.

Sir Ernest Shackleton posted this ad for crew to join his quest. The ad received over 5000 replies. From those who applied he selected 28 who became the crew of the Endurance. Those 28 were able to achieve the impossible.

Your leaders explore how he selected the crew. Your leaders explore the skills and attributes necessary to cross Antarctica. Then your leaders consider their selection process. Your leaders determine what skills and attributes are necessary to achieve their results.

Leadership Insight #3 – Connect everyone to the Big Picture then communicate

The Endurance gets crushed. Imagine being trapped in Antarctica without enough food and no way home. How would that change your Big Picture? Find out how Shackleton responded. Then watch your leaders consider their Big Picture. Imagine them connecting their leaders and teams together in one simple and clear big picture.

This is a favourite Insight for many participants. Often the insights get applied to onboarding, team communications and strategic planning… This is why the length of the experience depends on you and your team. You get a unique design. Leaders often want to invest longer because their insights profoundly affect how they lead the business.

About the Lead the Endurance Leadership Experience

In Lead the Endurance your leaders create new leadership practices. Your business goals and learning outcomes get used to tailor the experience to your leaders, culture and goals. Flexible from 3 hours to 2-3 days - regardless of time, your leaders experience unprecedented development. The leadership insights focus on leading regardless of goals, challenges and obstacles. Results become the focus - not reasons. Your leaders create personal insights and practices to lead differently. Solutions they never forget.

The 7 modules ignite your leaders’ passion for results. If Shackleton failed to lead, they would not have survived. Your leaders become ready for situations in the workplace.

Lead the Endurance allows your leaders to explore:

     1) Team Selection - Choose the right team members to produce results

     2) Acknowledge and Continue - Develop a system to help others thrive inside challenges

     3) Big Picture – Practice connecting everyone to the big picture and communicating your big picture

     4) Morale – Create confidence and enthusiasm in your teams before it is required

     5) Action - Positively influencing your team to take action

     6) Commitment Regardless of Challenges - Inspire others to commit to big results

     7) Recognize Success - Establish confidence and capabilities from your successful commitments

  • Or design something unique for your leaders. We value clients who know what they want so feel free to get specific and clear.

By following Sir Ernest Shackleton, your leaders can transform their capabilities. Their experience deepens leader proficiency and communication skills. Your leaders improve results  to better your relationship with your immediate team and the larger organizational team no matter what situation you’re in. The Endurance is configured to you and your team, so it’s up to the leaders and their crew to create the right decisions in order to succeed in creating their big picture.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your expedition now.

Stress Test For Your Leadership Team

Stress. Leaders experience more stress than ever before. Your leaders waste time because they delay confronting stressful situations head on and instead focus on the stress they feel. Where does that get them? No further ahead…

You rarely get to see how your leaders handle situations that are stressful because you are not likely in the room when “it” hits the fan. You just see the outcome.

So instead, invest in a practical way to see how they perform in a situation that mimics real life in a time-pressured, team based challenge. Participants in Learn2 Save the Titanic™ experience real leadership in a high-pressure situation — the ultimate stress test for your leadership team. Participants determine how they will achieve results, and each team has complete freedom of choice in each action they take. So they get to see the impact of their choices in real time.

We structure the environment so participants deal with stress and continue to create a number of innovative solutions in a short period of time - even with the stress. The result is that they quickly figure it out. Their communication, their openness to ideas and their willingness to take risks are called to task as participants face their own performance head on. And because it is a simulation with a “role” they are playing, they are free to come up with the solutions without constraints of their regular way of working. This gives them, and you, the freedom to challenge, practice and discover alternative ways of communicating, leading and creating team - to cross over that line and get different results.

During the experience, your leaders will go from being cautious, polite and organized into experiencing everything required to create a high-performance team. So we can talk about leading under stress, or we can just do it and learn from it. Stop investing in training that doesn’t test their leadership skills…improve the ROI from your development dollars by investing in the ultimate stress test for your leaders. Join us on the Titanic and maybe this time it won’t sink!

When you are ready to talk about keeping your team afloat, we are here for you, with enough lifeboats in hand.

Get our downloadable version here

5 Great Questions Great Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Download the questions here

Top 10 Leadership Development Activities for Managers

Getting to the top of the corporate ladder requires personal and professional growth.  Growth happens quickly with targeted leadership development activities. Leader growth may not simply happen magically over time. Dedication, commitment and ongoing leader skill development are the cornerstones of any leadership position.

Of course, it does help to get a little boost from a team of professionals who really know their stuff. Learn2 is a company that focuses on growing leaders. Leadership training is simply what they do best.

Leadership Development Activities

1. Workshops on Dealing With Resistance

Unfortunately, any management team will report that one of their biggest challenges in the workplace is dealing with resistance from all angles. Co-workers and clients can offer a serious blockade when they disagree with any calls that management has had to make. It is important to learn how to deal with these challenging conversations in a constructive manner.

2. Simulations on Making or Implementing Important Changes

Change is an inevitability in any company. Change facilitates professional growth; which is why managers need to know how to implement changes effectively without making unnecessary waves.

3. Immersive Team Experiences

Team building exercises are an incredibly useful tool for managers. Immersive team experiences are the perfect platform for managers to learn when to work in a team and when to step up to the plate as the ultimate leader.

4. Application of Different Thought Processes

While many of us are pre-wired to think in a certain way and to handle challenges with our own “old-faithful” method, it is sometimes necessary to move away from these habits. Managers need to be able to think outside of the box and to learn to adapt their ways of thinking with specific leadership development activities.

5. Meeting and Conference Simulations

Knowing how to conduct oneself in a meeting is an invaluable skill. Training courses which simulate this particular environment are a fantastic management training device.

6. Keeping Work Flowing

Efficient workflow is something many businesses struggle to attain. This is largely due to a lack of adequate staff training. Management and leadership courses focusing on workflow can be a fun and dynamic way to get results rolling and keep it that way.

7. Personal Leadership Fulfillment

In the quest for adequate managerial training, personnel often find themselves pushing their own dreams to the wayside. A “dream big” leadership program enables managers to think about their futures within the company and personally as well. A well-balanced lifestyle is what transforms every manager into a great leader.

8. Employee Rewards

Often, the key to being a successful manager lies in acknowledging the strengths of co-workers and employees and knowing when to reward them. This can be difficult, which is why a course on finding the strengths in others so you can reward and recognize effectively is a good move.

9. Be Creative

Creativity is often lost in the corporate world. Good managers are able to think creatively and imaginatively. Specific skills have been detailed here. Workshops focusing on expanding this particular skill are a wonderful leadership development activity for the entire team and open the door to new approaches to old challenges.

10. One-On-One with a Pro

While team coaching programs have a lot of merit, one-on-one leadership coaching can be a very fulfilling process. Having some insight into the life of someone who has walked a similar path can often be encouraging. Your coach can give you specific leadership development activities where you learn to lead by leading.

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