Address the Stress!

When I read this article in Brandon Gaille’s blog last week, I had a classic “a-ha!” moment. As we pursue our professional goals, stress is, well…going to happen, let’s be real. It comes in all forms, from an unhappy client to an unpaid bill. And it doesn’t stop there, because real life keeps knocking on our door (sometimes literally) as you keep your business afloat, like your teen who needs a sudden ride home. But as Jeff Bezos reminds us in this quote? The way we handle stress can make the difference between it consuming us or potentially, moving us forward. So here are two techniques to remember when you’re embroiled in the stress of the day: Define it. When you identify clearly what is causing you stress, you’ve already come one step closer to moving past it. Stress has an insidious way of making us feel as if everything is out of control when upon closer examination, it tends to be one or two particular areas of our life that are the real “hot spots.” Take a moment to write out very specifically what is stressing you out…then move toward acting on it. Address it. As business owners, we tend to put a lot on the back-burner in order to move our business forward. This often leads to delaying the areas that are causing us stress. As Bezos points out in the quote above, move toward addressing the stressful issues immediately. You’ll find yourself freed from the emotional energy that problem is causing you. When you begin your work day, ask yourself, “What is causing me the most... read more

How to Treat Social Media like a Staged Play

So you’ve started your own business or project and now you’re ready to show it to the world. Maybe you set up a Facebook business page or a Twitter account or even a Pinterest board or a YouTube channel. Whatever your platform, it’s simply the stage. Now it’s time to put on the play! First, introduce the players. People like to know who is giving them helpful information so make sure you set up a thoroughly completed profile for any of your accounts. That means a clean, clear picture of yourself (or your logo) as well as detailed information about your business (including your website, of course). Profiles give you a great opportunity to share the equivalent of an elevator pitch with your audience, meaning you don’t have a lot of time (or space) to describe your services…so do it well and succinctly! Second, let the play begin! Now it’s time to share content with your audience. But before you begin posts and pictures, write out a list of all the possible content you could share. And think outside of the box. If you’ve started a hair dressing salon, don’t simply share images of haircuts but the latest in fashion news or the importance of considering face shape when determining a perfect haircut or fun information about a particular hairdresser. Even local (uplifting) news is appropriate (since it shows civic pride, which resonates with the people in your area). Post that list prominently above your workspace then start sharing relevant content. Make sure you include an introduction to your post instead of simply sharing it, which helps personalize the... read more

The Importance of Structure and Ritual in your Work Day

We all have them but don’t really notice them. They’re so ingrained in our daily lives, we probably don’t think they’re really “rituals” but simply tasks we perform in order to optimize our day. Rituals could include everything from making the bed in the morning to drinking a cup of coffee while reviewing the news to going to the gym for a one-hour workout. Bottom line: rituals are predictable…and so are their outcomes. Experts believe that rituals can help our productivity. Take the example of Jack LaLanne, world famous fitness guru. According to an article entitled An 18-Minute Plan for Managing your Day in the Harvard Business Review: At the age of 94, he still spends the first two hours of his day exercising. Ninety minutes lifting weights and 30 minutes swimming or walking. Every morning. He needs to do so to achieve his goals: on his 95th birthday he plans to swim from the coast of California to Santa Catalina Island, a distance of 20 miles. Also, as he is fond of saying, “I cannot afford to die. It will ruin my image.” Okay, so maybe you’re not as self-disciplined as Jack LaLanne. But that doesn’t mean daily rituals can’t help you. Tomorrow morning before you do anything, jot down what you need to do that day to make your day feel successful. Don’t overdo. Keep it simple. (If your list is too long or comprehensive, you risk not accomplishing your tasks and feeling a sense of failure.) Then start your day, with the list in a prominent location. As I’ve written about before, tackle the difficult tasks... read more

What Perfectionism is Costing You

Many of us know that perfectionism isn’t a good thing yet we often still secretly applaud it. We can’t help but believe that a high level of perfectionism equals success. Afterall, how could all of the winners of the world succeed without some degree of it, right? Wrong. Perfectionism causes more harm than good and can get in the way of you and the next phase of your career. Here’s why: Perfectionism actually lowers productivity. How long does it take to create the perfect outcome? About the same time it takes to find a perfect lover, friend of family member…a long time! The endless pursuit of a perfect end result can drag on forever. Simple tasks take longer than they should. And productivity ultimately lags as you keep striving for the impossible. Perfectionism alienates you from others. Take a moment to think of a perfectionist in your life. Are they enjoyable to be around? Do they laugh easily and embrace mistakes? Of course not. They’re often rigid and unyielding. Almost every business pursuit requires interactions with others and as we know, we naturally enjoy those who are relaxed and easy-going. Perfectionism lowers creativity. Out of the box thinkers are natural risk-takers. They realize you need to break some eggs in order to make an omelet. On the flip side, perfectionists tend to stick to one “tried and true” method of doing things. It sounds good in theory but pursuing a professional dream requires a more expanded way of looking at the world. What’s the takeaway? Allow yourself to take chances and make a copious amount of mistakes. Take note... read more

How to Embrace Failure…and Keep Going Anyway

What? Embrace failure? That’s like embracing an angry grizzly bear, right? It may seem like it, but that’s only because we perceive failure as powerful, overwhelming and just plain frightening. But what if we re-frame failure completely? What if we decide that failure is just what we need in order to move forward? Here are a few steps to remind yourself that failure is not your enemy but part of an intricate process of learning and growing: Don’t personalize. (This is number one for a reason. We tend to think that when we fail, it means that we’re failures. And nothing could be further from the truth. Failures don’t define you. You are not your failure. As a matter of fact, the more you go after your professional goals in life, the more you can be sure that you’ll have a list of failures under you belt. Failing is part of the process.   Don’t dwell on your failure. Another critical mistake I commonly see with my clients is rumination. They’re constantly looking backward and wondering what they could have done to avoid a particular failure. Learn from your failure and move on. Those old, dusty visions of what you did wrong do nothing to prepare you for a bright, shiny future.   Don’t worry about the “other.” Another common trap is the need for approval from others. Guess what? You could be waiting a long time. It’s imperative to detach from the viewpoints of others and proceed anyway. Sure, feedback is helpful but then you need to ask yourself: does that feedback serve me on my path? If it... read more

How to Turn Insults into Inspiration

We all know the routine: you accomplish something and get tons of positive feedback…but what sticks out? That stinging criticism that one person leveled at you. Suddenly your win feels tainted, overshadowed. Or maybe the critic is inside your head so no matter what you do, it’s never quite enough. You never truly experience a sense of accomplishment because you’re too busy picking yourself apart! It’s a challenge to put those failures aside and think forward. But put them aside you must. Because after all, success is built upon failures, not getting it right every time. (Besides, we all know perfection is kind of boring.) Here are some famous failures that will inspire you on your professional journey:   So the next time you’re going down that tired road of focusing only on your failures, remember what successful people have heard in the past. Did those criticisms hurt them? Undoubtedly. We’re human and it’s alright to be affected by the words or actions of another. But did it stop them? No, of course not. The more we attempt in life, the more likely we are to fail. But what truly separates the “men from the boys” is the ability to build upon that failure…or better yet, not give it much credit at all. So turn those critical words–whether from within or without–and build them into a challenge instead. A personal challenge to a. not beat yourself up and b. use the experience as a stepping stone for a change you’d like to make, gently and with self-acceptance guiding you. So fail away…and always remember: we’re supposed to make mistakes!... read more

My Biggest Marketing Mistake (and How I Learned to Move Past it)

Marketing is about testing not perfection. Those 6 words took a long time to sink into my head. You see, I’m a recovering perfectionist. I couldn’t stand to do anything that wasn’t going to turn out just right. So I’d mull over things, deliberate some more, finally create…then tear it down and start over until I got it just right. The only problem? It never was “just right” and my productivity took a nosedive. Marketing helped me turn my perfection around. Why? Because marketing requires frequent maintenance. No longer could I twist and turn over every decision; I had to just make a quick choice—put myself out there—and move on. And guess what? Finally, my perfectionism (luckily) took a nosedive. One the best parts of online marketing is that it’s constantly turning over and re-inventing itself. Not sure if that blog post of yours is ready to go? Get it out there. You can improve upon it and re-post it later with a new title. Not sure if an article you posted on your Facebook business page is relevant? Post it. If it doesn’t “click” with your audience, then move on. (Analytics will also point you in the right direction.) Allow your marketing mistakes to be road signs, not reasons to beat yourself up. Marketing is all about trial and error. It’s only by embracing this process, you’ll uncover more accurate methods to reach your audience. So dare to put yourself out there. Don’t worry about getting everything perfect. The hardest part is getting started. That’s when those old voices of perfectionism are at their loudest. Let them yell…and... read more

Integrating Humor into your Business

Did you hear the one about the business owner who used humor as a way to disarm and engage clients? It worked. Okay, that’s not really a joke but the important takeaway? Integrating humor into your business practices has positive effects on you as well as those in your work environment. Why? Humor is humanizing. When we dare to connect with another with humor, we’re reaching out to them on a personal level. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be funny. It’s merely the attempt at being funny that’s often enough to allow a client or colleague to see a softer, gentler and human side of you. Humor breaks down barriers. Business is often rife with difficult decisions. Let’s say you’re negotiating an agreement with a client but you don’t see eye to eye (usually meaning the client doesn’t want to pay you as much as you’d like!): humor is a great way to soften the edges so a more difficult decision can be made. Humor makes for a better work environment. When you’re able to laugh with the people who enter your work world on a daily basis, it has a positive ripple effect. A happy workplace means a healthier workplace (which means a more profitable workplace). And of course, we know that laughter has all sorts of positive physical and mental effects which, in turn, help you run your business better. So dare to crack a joke or make a colleague or client smile with a funny anecdote before you get down to business. Ultimately, funny can be more serious than you’d think!  ... read more

With Small Business, We’re all Salespeople

  It ‘s easy to overly identify with our roles in small business. “I’m a life coach.” “I’m a website designer.” “I’m a jewelry maker.” But one thing common to almost all small business? We’re all salespeople underneath our roles. Now many of you may cringe when you read that, especially the introverts out there. But the truth of it? Being “in sales” is something to be embraced not eschewed. First of all, it may be time to reconfigure what you consider a salesperson. Maybe you envision a bossy car salesman who just radiates “huxter.” Or that intrusive saleswoman in a department store who won’t leave you alone even though you clearly said, “just browsing.” (You know who you are, lady at the perfume counter.) But today’s salesperson is much more polite (they need to be) and unobtrusive. Here are three pointers to pump up the salesperson within. 1. Focus on them, not you. It’s a common occurrence: we’re so pumped to speak to a prospective client that all we talk about is what we do. We want to show off our skills…and that’s normal. Unfortunately, its not that helpful when it comes to sales. Potential clients wants to know what you can offer them and how you can make their life easier. So before you jump into your elevator speech, take a few minutes to check in with your potential client. Ask questions, ascertain their needs. In short, listen. 2. Dare to be excited. Enthusiasm is contagious. If you’re proud about your business, then share that pride. Get excited about the ways in which you can help a... read more

Warren Buffet’s Painfully Simple Business Advice

After reading this article in Inc., I couldn’t help but be surprised. Here I thought I’d find some complicated business philosophy offered up by one of the most powerful men in the world, Warren Buffet. But instead, I read this: “Never do anything in life if you would be ashamed of seeing it printed on the front page of your hometown newspaper for your friends and family to see.” He also attributes his immensely loving and supportive family as a core factor in his vast success. But when its all said and done, his lesson is one of self-responsibility, honesty and goodness. But his words of wisdom also speak of another key component: transparency. A study from Harvard Business School explored the concept of transparency in a restaurant setting, where both the cooks and customers could see each other throughout the dining process. The results showed a striking improvement of 17 percent in customer satisfaction and 13 percent faster service when customers and cooks can see each other. This is a fascinating look at the power of transparency, and it indicates that customers are happier when they feel they’ve been made part of the process. Source: Entrepreneur The takeaway? We tend to perform better when we know others are watching. Now, that isn’t meant to instill a sense of paranoia or self-consciousness. Just an awareness of how we’d like to appear in front of others professionally, even when they’re not watching you “cook in the kitchen.” So make your work week a little more “transparent.” Imagine what it would be like if there was a team of well-respected others... read more

The “Act as if” Theory in your Business

What business advice have you gotten in the past that has stuck with you over the years? Maybe it was a pearl of wisdom from a mentor or a teacher. Or a passage you read in an inspirational book that’s still your “go to” guidance on a difficult day at work. While I have a repertoire of guidance I return to repeatedly, this recent piece in Business Adviser made me realize its time to make room for another piece of advice: Harvard graduate and former Goldman Sachs employee, Becca Brown founded Solemates, a line of women’s shoe-care products with former Goldman colleague Monica Ferguson. Their products are carried in over 3,000 stores and in 2014, the company sold several hundred thousand pairs of heel guards, their signature product. She attributes much of her success to a very important piece of advice she received in college: “Act as if.” “It’s a mentality, a state of mind, a perspective,” Brown explains. “Things are not always going to go your way in business, in your career, and in life. There will be setbacks and disappointments, and you may be tempted to get down on yourself, but you have to act as if — as if it didn’t happen. As if it didn’t faze you. As if things had gone your way.” Wow…what a simple but powerful adage. It’s true; many of us fold when business setbacks come our way. We personalize: what did we do wrong? Why do we keep making them same mistakes? Why aren’t we as far along as we’d like? That downward spiral has a powerful effect on our... read more

Social Media – Think Outreach, not Magnet

Many clients expect too much from tsocial media, as if a Facebook business page will magnetically draw thousands to you and a Twitter account will accrue followers simply because it exists. Unfortunately that whole “build it and they will come” theory does not apply to social media even remotely, unless you’re Victoria’s Secret or Justin Bieber (and guess what? Even those heavyweight entities need to do a lot of work to maintain their presence). It’s better to think of social media as an outreach program. You’re offering authentic and helpful advice for people who choose to take it. You’re also creating a sense of trust and relevancy online, meaning that it means something simply because your business and name are “out there” in the ether, taking up space in the minds of others. Before you say to yourself, “Well what the heck does that matter?” remember: name recognition means a lot. If you’re a pizza shop with a popular social media page, your name pops up in the heads of customers who are driving by your parlor. You mean something more to them than the pizza shop with no Facebook page. You have a virtual history and connection with those customers. So how can you reach out to others that works and doesn’t eat up all your time? 1. Be consistent. You don’t have to post to several social media accounts a day to maintain your relevancy. More important? Consistency. So if you can only post a few times a week, consistently post a few times a week. Sometimes with social media, less is more. Think of how many... read more

Mondays – Setting the Stage for your Work Week

No, it’s not an easy day. Not always a fun day. But if we dial our Mondays in right, it sets the stage for the rest of our week. First, why are Mondays so hard in the first place? Because you’re shifting gears. We just spent two days (hopefully) resting and relaxing. Even in that short period, our body and mind becomes accustomed to a different pace. So how can we shift back into productivity mode in a way that doesn’t seem so…annoying? Don’t crawl back under the covers. Here are some gentle tips that are bound to soften the hard edges of the beginning of the week. Start with gentle exercise and a healthy breakfast. Most of us have an exercise regimen in place (and if you don’t, consider one–exercise is critical in keeping our minds sharp and our bodies healthy). But on Mondays, its a good idea to ease into our exercise routine. For example, if you run, Monday might be a good time to take a brisk walk instead. If you have access to a pool or another body of water, a swim is a gentle, way to warm the body up without overdoing it. Whatever you choose, choose something. Exercise jumpstarts you into a more positive attitude on Mondays. And don’t forget breakfast: another key component in feeding the body and mind. Clear your space and make room for the week. Instead of jumping headfirst into bigger projects, make sure you have the room to do so. A messy desk can often equate to a fuzzy mind, especially first thing on a Monday morning. Spend... read more

The Power of Being a Woman Book

If you’re a woman messenger looking for a way to get more exposure and expand your message, we have a fantastic opportunity for you to highly your work and gain exposure and media attention. Please visit – http://vanessahalloum.com/book-application/ for complete... read more

Calling All Female Coaches, Speakers, Trainers, Healers!!!

Hi there, I’m looking for female coaches, speakers, healers who want to share their message with the world. After the success of my ground-breaking tele-summit “The Power of Being a Woman”, I’ve decided to take it to the next level by bringing the wisdom and experience of experts to millions of people around the world through a book. If you’re a woman coach, healer, speaker, teacher, messenger, then I’m currently looking for you. It would be my pleasure, if you would like to be a part of “The Power of Being a Woman” book which will highlight your story of finding your power as a woman as well as your message of empowerment. This is indeed a great opportunity for you to gain media exposure and publicity for your services & business. I’m also considering giving most of the profits of the sales of the book to a non-profit cause, which is also one more to reason for you to join hands with me. If you feel like this is a right fit for you, and being a woman, you’re willing to share your challenges and how you overcame them, please feel free to visit and apply to be a featured author on the book by going to: http://vanessahalloum.com/book-application/ If you’ve any questions, or would you like to know more about this, you’re welcome to email me directly at info@vanessahalloum.com. I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂 Thanks for reading this blog post. Blessings, Vanessa... read more

Looking for a Powerful and Easy Way to Get More Exposure?

Finally, the wait is over… 🙂 If you’re a woman looking for a way to get more exposure and expand your message, then read this blog post from start to finish. It has some exciting news for you that I’ve never done before! 🙂 First of all, let me ask you one thing… Have you always wanted to write a book but never got around to it? It’s no doubt that becoming a published author is such an important step in gaining the credibility you need to position yourself as an expert in your niche. But, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea…not to mention thousands of dollars that you need to invest beforehand. What if there was an easier way to become a published author without all the hard work and huge expenses? We’re currently looking for women coaches, speakers, teachers, healers, messengers who would like to be a part of The Power of Being a Woman book which will highlight their story of finding their power as a woman as well as their message of empowerment. This is a great way to showcase your talent and gain exposure and media attention for your expertise/services. To know more, please visit here – http://vanessahalloum.com/book-application Feel free to fill up the application form if you feel this project is a fit for you. I’d love to connect with you to discuss further details. I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks for reading and have a nice weekend! 🙂 Blessings, Vanessa... read more

Get Ready for Big NEWS from Vanessa Halloum

Hi there, Vanessa here and first of all, I’d like to say a big thanks to all my fans and readers without whom my recent teleseries “The Power of Being a Woman” would not be a big success. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your overwhelming support and response. 🙂 In fact, I’ve got lots of inquiries as to how those people would be a part of my mission…and then an idea came to my mind that what if all my fans & followers would be part of my journey. What if I could provide a medium where more empowering and inspiring women would share their stories and messages with the world? So, stay tuned and keep visiting my blog and without further ado, I’ll share this big news with you all later this week. Thanks for reading and have a great day! 🙂 Blessings, Vanessa... read more

Celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with ‘The Power of Being a Woman’ Teleseries

A big hello from Vanessa! 🙂 I’m so excited to host a special speaker series http://powerofbeingawoman.com in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History month. The Teleseries begins on February 25, 2013; it includes interviews with 20+ luminary women. These highly successful and powerful women will teach and guide the participants how to create the inner power and outer success that they deserve. Through this teleseries, our main intention is to encourage listeners to not only plan and take desired action on their goals but to also realize that they already have everything within themselves to be, have and create anything their heart desires. It is designed exclusively for those women, who are tired of playing small and are ready to step into their full power, but could use some support in finding the right direction. It’s a must-attend course for you as a women if you want to: Identify what is holding you back Discover the true meaning of power and how it impacts you as a woman Overcome life challenges without compromising your integrity and sanity Conquer any limiting belief you might have about being a woman Reaffirm your self-worth and self-esteem Learn how to connect with your inner guidance system Connect with your feminine power and create a life you love Find your real internal power and carve it Feel confident and empowered about your future Achieve SELF LOVE and SUCCESS in every walk of life Most of us don’t realize that within us we hold a seed of power which is capable to give the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength we need. It... read more

How To Develop Peace ~The Dalai Lama Speaks

In 2007 his holiness the Dalai Lama gave a talk at the Radio City Hall in New York City on how we can find peace and prosperity in today’s world. I remember living in the Big Apple at the time and wanting to go see him but unfortunately that was just not possible. So I was very glad to come across the DVD that the National Geographic recorded of the event. It was an incredible talk and I was very inspired to write a post about it.

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