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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's My Birthday! Feeling Blessed & Generous!

What a beautiful summer day to turn 31 in Chicago!

So my birthday has finally arrived and I am ready to celebrate. I have decided to spend the day taking it easy, relaxing and getting in some me-time. I have already had my morning workout which was exhilirating and now it's time for lunch. I am armed with a whole stack of birthday freebie coupons so I'm ready. This evening I plan to attend my church's prayer and bible study services. I don't always get to go since Wednesday nights tend to be a popular time for networking events.

Friends will be taking me out tomorrow and Friday. Friday evening may be spent at the Improv Comedy Club in Woodfield Mall. I love comedy shows! All-in-all, I think this is promising to be a wonderful week.

In honor of my 31st birthday I have decided to extend a special offer: From now until August 22nd, my hourly coaching fee will be just $31 for new clients. You can find more details by visiting

Now I'm off to grab some lunch!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Radio Hosts on Ning

View my page on Radio Hosts

My Birthday's Coming!

Okay, so my birthday is two days away and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do for it. I would love to celebrate by actually going out for a change but since it's been so long since I've been anywhere but lunch, dinner or a networking event, I have absolutely no idea where to go. I also don't really like big parties or the club scene. Furthermore, my prospects look kind of slim in terms of a date as well. I could just wait until the weekend and celebrate then but I still would like to do something for my actual birthday. What is there to do on a Wednesday in the middle of the week?

One thing I thought of doing was signing up for a bunch of different restaurants so I can get on their birthday email list. That's a great way to save money but enjoy a special treat on my special day. I could have lunch at Noodles and Company or grab a free ice cream at Ben & Jerry's or better yet, why not just do both? Then there's other freebies that I could use for dinner. That still doesn't help with who I will spend it with though.

Most of my friends work "real" jobs and don't have the free time like I do on weekdays. I know I can count on the girls for fun on the weekend but what I really want to do is have a nice, intimate movie date. It has been ages since I've seen anything that hadn't arrived in my mailbox via Netflix. There are three movies at the top of my list: The Dark Knight (mainly because I might be in it), Iron Man (so in love with Terrance Howard), and Hancock (I just love superheroes in general). I really want to see these on the big screen rather than wait for them to come out on DVD.

Maybe what I'll do is just take myself to the movies. Afterall, this is 2008 and I am an independent woman. I have given a solo movie date as homework to some of my coaching clients so why not? So, it's settled then. Unless a better alternative comes along I am taking myself out for lunch, dinner and the movies. I'll let you know how it went.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Few Blog Posts I Enjoyed Reading

The Modern Business World: Training and Development: Employee Personality Issues
The Modern Business World: Managing Organizational Conflicts

Weird Week! But...I'm Surviving.

Things have been really helter-skelter this week. It seems almost as if everything that could go wrong did go wrong but I haven't let it get to me. There is always light at the end of my tunnel.

First, my cell phone was stolen. I tried to use Sprint Family Locator service to find it and it kept coming up as being on the beach. The satellite is only accurate within a .8 mile radius so I eventually gave up looking and let the police finish filing the report. Then when I arrived at the Sprint store to report the theft, of course the customer service rep informs me that somehow my insurance was dropped off my account when I upgraded to their new Simply Everything plan a few months ago. This added another 20 minutes to my service time while I awaited the insurance to be added back onto the account. I was then provided with a business card to call the claims department to request a new phone be shipped to me. I'm still waiting for the new phone.

As I am without a cell phone, I could only service my clients via my home phone or online using instant messenging through Skype or Yahoo. This invited further frustration as Comcast service is always being interrupted for one reason or another. Today it was due to the thunderstorms assaulting Chicago skies. Futhermore, my home phone service is provided by Vonage which means it has to travel over the cable connection. Arrggghhh!!! It took over an hour for me to connect with my 3:15PM appointment today. Thankfully, I was able to put on a happy face and, like a good life coach, set my agenda and issues aside to be fully present for my client. Needless to say, she loved me and I just increased my conversion rate from intro session to paying client.

Also, I just realized that I am completely out of printer ink. I am not sure how that happened since I am always at Sam's Club purchasing in bulk. It must have been my overzealous printing of Toastmaster's fliers a couple of weeks ago. That reminds me...I have a meeting in the morning and I haven't printed the agenda. I had better make some member calls to find out who plans to present a workbook speech tomorrow.

On another note, I am hosting the first event for Chitown Buppies. It is going to be an after-hours potluck networking social. I have already received good response from interested parties so prayerfully the event will be a great success. I have also been invited to present to a group of "upscale" women business owners at the Chicago Park Hyatt in September. I found it interesting that the event planner used the word "upscale" in the description but I guess I'll soon find out what that is supposed to mean.

So that's my week in not quite a nutshell. Maybe more of a watermelon rind.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Am I Lazy?

After much brow-beating followed by a good swift kick in the butt, I am finally back to posting to my blogs. It's really quite shameful that I, a certified life coach, could be such a great example of procrastination at its finest. Everday I talk about "the plan" and what I "should" do and yet things just haven't been getting done. At times like this, I know it is my cue to do some deep soul-searching to reassess what truly is important. What is the big picture and what am I doing to achieve it? Are there roadblocks standing in my way or am I just being lazy?

I work hard so it can't be that I am lazy. I am always involved in some activity or another. But I think herein lies the problem: too much focus on pointless activity and not a lot of movement in the intended direction. This means that it is really time to make a fundamental shift to get my butt into gear. Over half of 2008, my year to be great, is gone and I can not truly say that I am effectively working toward my goals. I haven't touched my manuscript, I haven't been updating my blogs, I haven't been consistently airing a radio show and I haven't been hosting too many events. Basically I am doing a whole lot of stopping and starting which realistically isn't getting me anywhere. So what's the solution; regroup and regain focus of the big picture.

So what is the big picture? My true goal is to be financially comfortable (notice I didn't say "stable") and to consistently support at least 10 people per month. So I know the "what" but it lacks a "why". If you know anything about me by now then you know that I am big on purpose. Purpose is crucial to direction and motivation. Your "what", or in my case, activity, doesn't matter if you have no purpose, or direction. So why is it important that I support 10 people each month? 10 is a great number that offers me great flexibility. It means that I can support 10 individuals or a group of 10 people. I can coach, mediate or consult on a one-on-one basis or put on a big event that helps many. In any case, 10 people, based on my known fees, will definitely assist in my first goal which is that of being financially comfortable. 10 will pay the bills and allow me something to work into savings. 10 also does not take up so much of my time that I become overwhelmed or forget to relax and play.

So I covered "what" and "why" leaving the next step as "how". I know that most of my clients come from the internet. People type in "chicago life coach" into Google or AOL or Yahoo and, lo and behold, there I am in the number one spot. I worked really hard to get there and now it's up to me to keep myself there so I can continue to be found by those who desire my services. That number 1 spot is all abot quality content and relative links. I didn't pay some overrated SEO specialist hundreds of thousands to put me there. I did it for free. The key is simply to find sites with related quality content and to request reciprocal links. That means that I only trade links with sites about business, coaching, management, personal and professional development or any of my other "keywords". You will never find my info on a site about dog grooming as that topic has no correlation with my own. Secondly, I have to write good quality content that includes my links. My articles and blogs play an important part in keeping my links fresh on the spiderbots' lists of sites to crawl. Those crawlers absolutely love new content so if I want to keep my number one spot, I have to give it to them.

The last step in this process is to establish the "when". Sounds simple enough but I haven't been doing it. The answer to when seems to always be tomorrow or something like it; i.e. later. That just doesn't cut it. New Rule: When is always NOW. The established time will be everyday after my workout (around 11:30 AM CST); however, if throughout the day something crosses my mind that will move me closer to my goals then I will drop everything and add it to my planner right then and there.

Now I have a plan. I will be looking to my readers to help me stay accountable to this plan. If you stop by and don't see a new post at least once per week then by all means send me an email or post a comment. I treasure your constructive feedback.

Finally, since I never like to leave a post on the negative side, I have been doing a good job of getting one thing accomplished: my workout. I have been going to the gym pretty much five times per week. I have already lost a few pounds and inches and even put on a little muscle mass. I will post pics after I feel there is a significant visible difference. Big victory for me!