Vote for Executive Leadership Consultant Sara Harvey Yao by Midnight, Mon. March 3

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092_sara_yao_lowres_b (3)My friend of 10 years — Sara Harvey Yao — is #2 on this leader board , and if she makes it GetPresent-cover (3)to #1 by tomorrow at midnight, she gets to lead a podcast about Executive Presence and Ego for  Alicia Dunams, the “Write a Best-Selling in a Weekend” expert. Sara is really gifted. Since she is so close, would you consider casting your vote for her? She wrote a book called “Get Present: Simple Strategies to Get Out of Your Head and Lead More Powerfully” and it is really good. Among her best clients are big wigs at high tech companies in  Seattle and beyond so she is really making big impact as an executive leadership consultant. I’d sure appreciate it. It’s great when friends get what they want, don’t you agree?


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Personal Finance Lessons from Downton Abbey and CFP Steve Juetten — a Reprise Before the Ball Drops to Welcome 2014

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If you’ve got resolutions that relate to money matters, the Smart Money Rules from my husband Steve Juetten are just the ticket to get you where you want to go.  Access this powerful Little Green Book now via this link:

And, for Downton Abbey fans, this press release from a year ago might bring a grin and reinforce the learning in a way that makes you grin.


Success Tip: Issuing press releases to showcase your unique perspective can be a very credible and influential way to showcase your expertise before a wide audience of perfect potential clients who can benefit. If you are an author, consultant, or subject matter expert who is pondering getting the word out about your expertise in 2014, delivering Press Release Pizzazz is absolutely in our zone of genius. Budget for two or four releases to be DONE FOR YOU throughout the calendar year to keep your name and expertise front and center in a “Google” search. The results we bring about through our work give scores and scores of happy clients reason to celebrate. Most welcome between 100 and 300 online media placements within 24 hours of their news crossing the PR Newswire, along with top rankings for their expertise in a “Google” search. This makes it easy for their clients to find them and hire them. In our work with leading joint venture partners in the coaching world — including Christian Mickelsen, Justin Livingston, and Callan Rush — we have found that issuing a press release at the start of the big launch and once again on the “cart close” day can be very effective for reaching people beyond those the partner is already doing business with, while also driving clicks, opt ins, and sales.

We’d be honored to do business with you and those you know who can benefit.

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Getting Known Versus Spam and Inviting Your Straight Talk

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There is a huge joint venture in progress that has 70 big internet entrepreneurs involved. 

We are all beating the drum for Callan Rush for good reason.  She is a master trainer who guides workshop, retreat, and seminar leaders to successfully and profitably deliver their messages to change the world. That is a drum I’ll gladly beat because I believe in the mission, have studied her work, and know that she can make a huge difference for the people I serve.

And that means that everyone on the partner lists is getting pretty much the same email copy to share with their tribes to invite interest and engagement.

Yesterday, I received several comments from people from my own tribe.  They said that the perceived those emails as “spam” and wouldn’t open them. I think that is pretty strong, but that’s what they said. And, they wrote to me to say they opened my email in a sea of sameness  because it offered a distinct and authentic message. One reader said it was a courageous message. Their comments were heart-felt. And that did my heart good.

I am a huge fan of getting known. And these joint venture campaigns certainly bring the name of the featured expert center stage in a big way. That gets a whole lot of people talking.

It also sets the stage for that expert to offer real value in the short term and ultimately get paid when the time comes.  This is provided that the expert makes a winning invitation to provide a quality solution to a serious problem that is giving a great many frustrated workshop, retreat, and seminar leaders serious grief.

The results are where the rubber meets the road, which is why joint venture partnerships continue to hold favor among so many internet entrepreneurs — including me.

Let me be clear. I am in the mix, right there with them, because reaching more people with my own message is important and influential, and the math does work out. But, at what expense?

Math has never been my strong suit. Words are my favorite currency.  I may not have the answers, but I can ask the questions and invite your replies at a time when so many of us are thinking about this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these questions:

  • How do you react when you receive the same email in your inbox from multiple sources?
  • Does this powerful influx compel you to pay more attention or less?
  • Does this improve or take away from the way you feel about the expert?
  • Does this influence the actions you intend to take?
  • If you had a wish about how this could be done differently or better, what would it be?
  • And if the message travels across a news wire to reach hundreds of media outlets as news with the potential to reach people beyond the lists to which so many of us subscribe, is that better? Or do you consider that spam, too?

I think this could be a very juicy conversation.  Won’t you join in and comment?  Can’t wait to read what you have to say.


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Record, Rapport, Results — Three Big R’s for Leading Successful Teleseminars

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I’ve given and hosted scores and scores of teleseminars over the last few years.  And, since using words well is my gift and the technology — not so much — I confess that taking on teleseminars and the technology around them was brand new territory for me.

It’s a little unsettling to know that dozens or hundreds or maybe even thousands of people are making an appointment to listen to content you are sharing. There are a lot of things that go through your mind.  And sometimes, you get so lost in what you are intending to say that you might forget to hit “record” on the teleseminar dashboard.

Or, you might put the entire call “on hold” so no one can hear what you are saying. Mistakes happen, and I’ve made plenty of them. That is why, every time I lead or host a teleseminar, I put a sticky note on my computer with three words written on it:  Record, Rapport, Results.  I know, this is decidedly low tech in approach, but it works for me.  And it should give you hope that if I can do this, you can, too.

1) If I have gone to the time and effort to create a content rich teleclass or webinar, remember to RECORD it so everyone who has opted in can have the benefit to hear it live or via replay.

2) Create RAPPORT with the audience and the host.  That means fighting against reading from the PowerPoint slides during content delivery.  (Boy oh boy, I have struggled with that!)  That means connecting with those who are listening by showing up at your best, most authentic YOU.  That means delivering the content with the intention to deliver real value and plant the seeds for real relationships to take root to grow. As for connecting with the host, that all begins with the first call to suggest a collaboration.  It continues as you demonstrate how truly READY you are to make promoting your call or theirs easy, effective, and rewarding.  And the experience continues as both parties practice the fine art of follow up in the days leading to the deadline to take the desired action.

3) Begin with the end RESULT in mind, and see it through all the way through.   If you want people to request a discovery session, make that clear.  If you want people to make a time sensitive purchase decision to support their success, say so.   Give the audience JUST ONE ACTION to take so the content you have carefully crafted can actually lead to a desired outcome for your ideal client and for you.  And if you want to earn a reputation as a “rock star” joint venture partner, start with that end result in mind, too.  Be a pleasure to work with.  Do what you promised to do to promote the call.  Show up on time and ready to be your very best in service to everyone who expressed interest in the subject of your call.

kimclausen (3)If you would like to learn even more about how to make teleseminars pay off for your growing business, join me and Kim Clausen today at noon Pacific.   All the details are noted within the link right here.   I know as much as I have learned so far about leading teleseminars, I can always get better, and Kim Clausen is among the leading experts to show us all the way.  Join us!

==     Leading Your Own Teleseminars Can Be Easy… And Profitable

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Sometimes, Everything that CAN Go Wrong Does — What Then?

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Mid-June was the date on the calendar when I set out to debut a new product to the world. Well in advance, I assembled the perfect team of technology wizards and administrative talent to support me. Step by step I planned my approach. And I even took time to specify with an extraordinary level of detail all the ways that everything would go my way in service to a much greater good.

And, despite my best intentions and preparation, lots of things went wrong.

* Link snafu with first major partner eblast #1 – despite having been tested reliably several times before launch.
* Scramble for redirects to make everything work and try to save and claim all available opt ins.
* Shopping Cart goes down for maintenance, creating unanticipated delays for emails to go out to respective opt in lists.
* Web host drops account and site goes down without notice in the middle of the launch, creating frustration for everyone. No one will get on the phone.
* Fulfillment house gets duplicate orders sent to them electronically, creating major fulfillment issues. Dozens of emails back and forth to solve the problem. No one will get on the phone.
* New work-around solution with link redirects created to try to salvage things.
* Redirect creates more issues with links not working to other pages at the site.
* Redirects are set in motion to try to address non-working links created by first work-around solution
* Follow up emails that went out today had to be redirected in midflight because of an unanticipated shopping cart glitch.
* VA team gives notice.
* Still scrambling to get agreement on which link belongs to which partner so sales can track reliably one day before 3rd partner call.
* Email account gets tangled up so two of everything deliver, and not necessarily on time.

After checking into Pity Party Hotel for what Oprah Winfrey describes as “the ugly cry,” I kept asking myself this question. What am I supposed to be learning from all of this? What is the lesson for me? I am still reasoning through all of this, but I have some thoughts.

1) Even the worst set of circumstances can deliver a wonderful outcome. One of my partners asked me to make a super simple offer to her tribe, and that super simple offer was the most effective of all.
2) I’ve been pretty transparent about the fact that technology is not my favorite thing.That is more true today than ever before.The answer for me may be to keep things super simple going forward. I can still run a very successful business without going “tech crazy.” And for me, chances are,I am going to love my work more if I do that and also stay in my own particular zone of brilliance for having done so.
3) I will be making some vendor changes shortly so that I can be assured of the option to have real, live telephone support when the rubber meets the road.I am sick and tired of vendors telling me that email support is my only option, and I am going to shift focus toward those that ALSO offer phone support whenever possible.

In the darkest moments of frustration over the days of this launch, I thought about why I do this work in the first place. I remembered the big vision I created for my service to the world that came to me on a much brighter day. And I remembered the words of Sean Stephenson that he shared during a recent interview with Christine Kloser. He said, “When I prove my vision is more powerful than my doubt, that makes for a very great day.”

Those were the words that encouraged this somewhat introverted spotlight seeker to once again, “Fall down seven, Get up eight.” So off I go, waving the flag for others in the world who are also on missions for good and doing it in the ways that are the best fit for my own skills, gifts, and sensibilities.

We can make our voices heard and make our best impact. We just have to stay the course, stay true to our own best approach, and believe that the journey is just as important as the destination.

Authentic Visibility Question of the Day:

Just curious, have you ever checked into Pity Party Hotel when everything that could go wrong did? And what called you forward to check out and rise again? I’d love to hear from you.

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How to Spice Up an Online Profile and Finally Get Noticed, Plus Media Relations Tip

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In mid-February, I received a semi-urgent request from Dawn Klingensmith — a feature writer for a magazine called Job Week.  I had served as an expert resource to her in the past, and she was tossing a “hail Mary” pass at the 11th hour to get my take on some of the blunders folks make with their online profiles. 

I dropped everything to respond to her email and request to speak by phone because I just knew her story could reach far and wide and help a lot of people.

On March 31, the story ran in a wide range of media outlets, including The Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News, and online.  I’ve been receiving cards and letters in the mail from folks who were happy to read the article and congratulate me on the good press.  Dawn, if you are reading this blog post, thank you so much for reaching out to me, and let me know how I can help you going forward.

The bigger idea for you is how quickly can you respond in a very compelling manner to urgent reporter requests and be of service so YOU are the resource reporters come to again and again to benefit from YOUR commentary.   Being ready for opportunity is an important ingredient, especially if sharing your message with a much wider audience of perfect people to benefit from your message in high priority.

If you’d like to read Dawn’s article, here it is:

How to spice up an online profile and finally get noticed

By Dawn Klingensmith

A challenge to writing your bio is to determine what you have done with your skills and experience that sets you apart. Imagine if Batman had a LinkedIn profile. It would be impossible for him to have a boring bio. He has established a brilliant personal brand as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight and theWorld’s Greatest Detective, and a formidable list of accomplishments despite lacking a superpower.

ONCE YOU START considering your accomplishments, you may be able to distill them down to something akin to a superpower — or, at any rate, a special ability that sets you apart — and you can lead with that. While no one in business is as awesome as Batman, there’s no shortage of superstars whose boring bios diminish their marketability.

They may have saved six companies from bankruptcy, raised $ 10 million for a nonprofit agency or developed the product that a decade from now will drive Apple out of business, yet their bio won’t stand out from all the rest. That’s because professional bios tend to follow the same dull format: title and employer, expertise and experience, previous employment, education and training and maybe some personal tidbits.

Instead of taking that predictable route, “Wow readers from the start by highlighting something really fantastic and then work your way down, inverted- pyramid style,” suggests Endrea Kosven, founder and CEO of the Los Angeles- based marketing firm EDK & Company. Picture an upside- down pyramid, with the widest part at the top representing the most substantial information— something that makes people take notice— and the tapering lower part representing other relevant material in order of diminishing importance.

One way to approach bio writing is to list your skills and experience, as you would for a résumé, and then acknowledge that it’s possible that someone else, or several people, possess the same skills and background. So the challenge, Kosven says, is to determine what you have done with your skills and experience that sets you apart. In other words, what have you accomplished? Once you start considering your accomplishments, you may be able to distill them down to something akin to a superpower— or, at any rate, a special ability that sets you apart— and you can lead with that. Maybe it’s a sharp eye for how businesses get bogged down in inefficiencies, and how you consistently reduce their operating costs by 30 to 50 percent.

*** “Start with stunning results in specific terms,” says Nancy Juetten, whose “Get Known to Get Paid” mentoring program addresses the importance of business bios. As a whole, in succinct story form, an effective bio tells others “who we are and who we serve and what we do,” she says. To that end, “One of the most important elements is a headline,” which, on LinkedIn, comes up right alongside your name, Juetten says. “The headline helps busy people understand more quickly what you’re about.” 

A simple descriptor or job title is sufficient, such as “customer service specialist” or “Boston- based certified financial planner.” “Content over cute is better, because you have to consider SEO,” or search engine optimization— how easily people can find you when searching the web, she says.

Clever, unconventional job titles are common in certain industries and “fun for personal branding,” says Juetten, “but it makes you hard to find.” People are likelier to type in “social media strategist” vs. “social media rock star.”

Keeping a goal in mind when writing the bio will help keep it focused and concise. What do you want to be known for? Make sure everything in the bio supports that goal, Juetten advises. Interview yourself. How did you get where you are? What are you known for professionally? What do coworkers or clients say about you? What are you praised for in performance reviews? What problems do others come to you for solutions? What have you done for past employers? What aspect of your work is most satisfying?

“Be crystal clear about results,” Juetten says. “No one’s looking for a bundle of credentials. They’re looking for someone who makes things happen.”

You can include some personal information to spice things up and set yourself apart. On her website’s “about” page, Juetten quotes the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella; mentions her cockapoo, Champ; and reveals she’s just under 6 feet tall in her bare feet. ( That’s almost as tall as Batman, who’s pegged at 6 feet 2 in the DC Comics Encyclopedia.)

Avoid words like world- renowned ( if you truly were, you wouldn’t need to say so) and award- winning ( just list any awards that are sure to impress), and don’t start every sentence with “I.” Don’t just write your bio and forget it. Update it as necessary to reflect current accomplishments, Juetten says.

When a bio is accompanied by a photo, the image should be appropriate for the platform and audience. For LinkedIn, use a professional headshot and dress as you would for an interview, Kosven says. Twitter photos can be more casual and reflective of your personality.

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Growing Pains and Big Lessons

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I’ve been stepping into what it is to be authentic and visible, in spite of and because of my foibles and missing pieces.  That is what authentic visibility is all about.   And if I can’t live that brand, then I am an imposter.   Being an imposter is not an option for me.  So,  with that said, here is some very candid sharing.  

  • Math and technology are really hard for me.
  • Doing time zone conversions is a level of logic that is completely lost on me.
  • I take this whole “get ready” piece so seriously that sometimes, I feel like I pull muscles I don’t even have!
  • I worry what people think about me far more than I should.
  • There is a very narrow and specific zone of brilliance where I do my best work, and there is a very wide zone of mediocrity around other skills that are clearly not my best events.
  • “Going with the flow” has not prior been my preferred operating style.

Over the last few months, things have heated up quite a bit in my life and business, and these foibles and missing pieces have been in plain view.  Everything I don’t do especially well seems to be showing up in an exaggerated way.   And,  I have been giving myself a super hard time about all of it.   I have exhausted myself in the process.

So, today, I am declaring some new mantras to pull me forward, and I would love for you all to be my accountability partners to hold me to them.  Maybe some of these mantras will help you, too, especially if you are reaching higher to make real impact on the world through your work.

  • Isn’t it great that I speak about a topic that attracts thousands of people around the world to listen in and enjoy?
  • How wonderful it is that I need old fashioned clocks displayed on my desk to show me what time it really is Pacific, Central, Mountain and Eastern.
  • I can download the World Time Clock to my cell phone for free and always have confidence that I am getting the details right.
  • I attract perfect partners to extend the reach of my message far and wide, and they are happy to promote me — no matter the outcome.
  • Even though I have specific intentions to invite results, I am open to other and even better outcomes, one and all.
  • I have the courage to just SHOW UP because I know my content inside and out and have a deep desire to be of service to those I am here to help.
  • The story I used to tell about being “Avis” in a world of “Hertz” is not a story I tell about myself anymore.  The heck with trying harder!  It’s time to work smarter.
  • I can roll with things and still connect and contribute to those perfect people who absolutely need my particular brand of magic.
  • “Going with the flow” is my new mantra because that is the best way for more success and joy to show up in my life and work.
  • This journey I am traveling gets to be fun, no matter what happens next.
  • I get to create my own table of dining companions who love what I am serving up and can’t wait for seconds.

Sometimes, you just have to breakdown before you can breakthrough.   I learned this from one of my good friends and mastermind partners Olalah Njenga, and life just keeps on giving me this lesson until I get it right.  And now I am moving forward, full steam ahead, with these ideas to pave the path still ahead.

There are gifts waiting everywhere if we can just have the willingness to see them.   Sometimes they aren’t the gifts you were expecting or reaching toward, and it’s all good if you find the pearl and keep moving forward.  

Today, there is a beautiful necklace of pearls around my neck — a gift from my good friend Tammy Redmon — to remind me that impossible things are happening everyday.  From grains of sand beautiful things emerge.   And the sandbox of life and business gives each and every one of us plenty of opportunity to create castles that are joys to behold and rewarding in priceless ways.

Amen.  Hurray.  And Whew!

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Got a New Book That Needs a Place in the Spotlight? Try This!

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Got a new book that needs a place in the spotlight?   Share your "author spotlight" information on Anita Smithson’s site, and you just might get what you crave.  I did, and here is the result..  I am among the 33 contributing authors to the new NSA book — Speak More! Marketing Strategies to Get More Speaking Business.   The NSA National Convention starts today in Indianapolis, and this book is making its debut there.

Anita first heard me speak during Christine Kloser’s Transformational Author Experience on May 25, 2012 and reached out to invite me to make a submission to her "author spotlight."  So, I did..  One good thing leads to another, and voila!

I double dare you to put your hat in the ring to see what happen for you when you take action.   Who is going to take me up on this challenge?

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The Truth About Ezine Open Rates — Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig Weighs In

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by 6-Figure Newsletter and Email Marketing Expert Linda Claire Puig

How many of your subscribers open the emails you send?

Many coaches and service professionals new to email marketing get discouraged when they look at the measurement called "open rate." Those who’ve been at it for a while do, too.

Why is only a third of my contact list opening my emails? There must be something wrong. Is it worth all this effort if only a few people are reading what I send?

Before you throw in the towel, I want to let you in on a secret that a lot of folks don’t know:

Your open rate isn’t really your open rate.

As a measurement, the open rate is highly unreliable, imprecise and inadequate.

To show you why that is, I have to explain a little about how open rates are calculated and tracked.

The open rate is actually a ratio calculated as the number of people who opened your email divided by the total number of emails that were successfully delivered to your list.

Email marketing software automatically adds a tiny, invisible image to each email delivered. When this invisible image is called to show up (invisibly) from the server where it lives, that tracks the email as being opened.

But this number is skewed — perhaps significantly — by what are known as "image blockers." More and more people use web mail providers (such as Gmail or Yahoo) or applications (such as Outlook) that allow users to decide whether to view their emails with the images turned on or off.

When you see things showing up in your email with all the images turned off, that’s what’s happening: you have a setting somewhere that is saying "Ask me first if I want to see images." Your images are "disabled" until you click to "enable" them. So…

If a person elects not to view images when reading an email, it will NOT count as an open.

Likewise, the people that elect to receive text-only emails from you (if you give them the option of text or HTML), also will not register as an "open." Some mobile devices only allow emails to be viewed in text form.

Your open rate reporting could actually be off anywhere from 11% to 35%, according to generally accepted metrics in the email marketing world. That’s quite a bit!

So while it may look like nobody is opening them, your emails may actually be doing quite well.

So should you just ignore open rates then?  

No. Despite their shortcomings, open rates can still provide valuable marketing information. Tracking your open rates can help you:

1. Spot trends. For example, if you notice a significant downward trend in your open rates over time (not just occasional dips, say during summer when folks are out of town more), it may be a signal that you need to do something to re-engage your subscribers.

2. Learn your audience’s preferences. You may be able to notice what days and times of day are better for sending by comparing your open rates.

3. Test subject lines. Split your list into two or three groups, and send the same email with different subject lines to see which one generates more opens (which may indicate more interest).

Is there anything you can do to improve your open rates?

Yes, absolutely! It may not be the most accurate measurement in the world, but there are proven ways to improve your open rates.  And improvement is always good.

Of course, your list should be an opt-in (permission-based) list. If not, that’s the first place to start improving. Otherwise, look to some of these areas to improve your rates:

1. Make sure your content is relevant and valuable. Know what your audience wants, and provide it. Relevant content is read content.

2. Examine your frequency of emailing. Too much emailing can cause "list fatigue" and too little can cause the "who’s that?" syndrome.

3. Write HOT subject lines. These short phrases are often the golden key to unlocking your open rates. Make people hungry to open your emails and see what’s inside!


A NOTE FROM Nancy: Linda is offering a free training on how to create HOT subject lines on Tuesday, July 10, and I highly suggest that you join her! Among other things, she’ll be showing you how to double the profits from your list with powerful subject lines, the 7 biggest subject line mistakes sabotaging your email results, how improving your subject lines can double your business and the #1 secret to avoid getting your emails reported as spam!  Please join her here:

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Leaning in to Experience what “Icky” Feels Like So I Can Expand and Take Flight in a New Way

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I’ve been reading a wonderful book.  The title is  "The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection" by Raphael Cushnir.   I stumbled upon this book while turning in some books for credit at the local Half Price Book Store in my hometown. The cover showcases the image of a hot air balloon that isn’t able to take full flight because a heavy anchor is holding it back.   That image is very powerful on many levels.

This book  strikes all kinds of nerves and notes with me.   The book asks us to allow the current emotion we are feeling to be truly experienced, as opposed to pushed to the side or stuffed below the surface.   When you allow yourself to FEEL the emotion and ride the waves associated with it, you can get to a place of expansion as opposed to contraction.  And expansion is a good thing.  I bring this up because it has been on my bucket list to take a hot air balloon ride for years.    There is an image of a hot air balloon on the dream board I look at every day.   A few years ago, my husband and I booked an appointment for our ticket to ride.  Mother Nature had other plans.  The wind kicked up, and it wasn’t safe for us to take flight.  It was a dream deferred, and off about our lives we went.

Just last week, we tried again.   We booked our appointment for our ticket to ride.  We got up at 4 a.m. to drive to the airport.   We were met there by a van that would leave the premises only when every seat in the van was taken.   By 8:30 a.m., we arrived at the venue where the hot air balloons were supposed to take off.   And, guess what?  At that precise time, Mother Nature expressed herself once again with wind.   The ride was cancelled for safety reasons.

Was I disappointed?   Yes.  Did I feel the emotion of that disappointment?   Absolutely.   My husband, son, and I all did our part to express our disappointment because, let’s face it, none of us like to wake up at 4 a.m. to be disappointed with a journey not taken.  We headed back to our hotel to take naps and figure out a Plan B for the day.

But why is this dream of taking flight with a hot air balloon so important to me?   I think I’ve been stuck in the weeds of my business and life for a while, and I crave a broader view from a higher place.   I’ve been reaching for the moon to land on a star for quite some time.  I make progress, and then I settle into a holding pattern before I grow again.   The waves of emotion that I feel as I journey forward are real and varied, and sometimes, I don’t allow myself to express them fully. 

In the spirit of authentic visibility, today I’ll share that one of my colleagues is doing a very similar bio writing workshop to the one I’ve been teaching since 2009, and I feel really icky about it. She’s got a pretty good sized ezine list of folks to whom she is promoting it.  It’s out there is a pretty big way from where I sit.

I’ve been allowing myself to truly FEEL what icky feels like.  I thought this person was a friend.   The last thing I expected is that she would start teaching workshops so similar to mine.  I am angry about it.  I feel betrayed.  I was so upset about this yesterday that I accidentally slammed my finger in my car door.   At that moment, I was feeling some serious pain, which led to tears falling.  That wasn’t so pretty either.

And as I feel into this "icky" emotion, I am starting to breathe in and out a bit more easily.   I realize that I have to run my own best race and serve my community the best I know how.   She has to do the same. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so some people say.   I am not so sure I agree. But that person who is doing something so similar to what I do reveals a lot by proceeding in this way.  From my view, that isn’t pretty.  

When others reveal themselves, pay attention — so said Maya Angelou.   I am listening.  

And maybe my own balloon of life and business can expand just a bit more because I have leaned in to experience this icky emotion to set it free.  Maybe that is the lesson for me today.  I’ve got plenty of good work to do to serve people in my own community, and I had better get on with it.   Set this incident aside as a distraction and move on.   I am ready to take flight now.




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