Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Your Life is Your Message. What’s Your Impact?

When I mentor and encourage my clients to transform their “About Page” from generic content of what they do to an inspiring story of courage, vulnerability and breakthrough – they come to realize the storytelling strategy is not so much about them; but how their “struggle to victory” story can impact a life.

Branding is who you are; not what you do.

In a call last week with a client, I was glowing in gratitude when she figured out on her own the power of compelling branding as she shared with me her experience while writing her story from this “impact” angle.

It never occurred to her that her own story would be the magic to her branding. She was a bit hesitant to be so vulnerable. Very common. I asked how the experience went and she said, “Well, I needed some reassurance before our session so I had a close friend read my first draft to give me feedback to be sure I was on the right track. I was so surprised when she said she was so moved to change her own life because she was inspired by my story. Now I see what an impact I can have on lives just by living my message.”

Well, you can imagine how I was smiling on the other end of the phone. I said, “Congratulations. Without my having to explain the real purpose behind this strategy, you intuitively did it on your own and received exactly what I had hoped for you – a life changed because of your vulnerability.”

This is the how you “Embrace Your Spotlight.”

Do you see your story is not so much about you – but how you can inspire and impact a life by surrendering to tell your struggle to victory story (highlighting one of several segments of your life) which is not always comfortable. I know you have seen others do this on a speaking stage or watching a video. But you? Not.

I usually get a level of uncertainty from my clients when initially discussing this. That’s normal. We are not accustomed to being so vulnerable. But I agree vulnerability is the new leadership today.

Thanks to Brene Brown, renowned “Daring Greatly” author and international speaker, with her platform of vulnerability helping shift the collective consciousness to remove the facades and live more congruently.

She has made it more acceptable to be real.

As a writer, brander, former publicist, and trained journalist, one of my leading passions is storytelling. It brings us closer to each other and breaks the barriers. Storytelling creates instant rapport and the know, like and trust factor. This creates a much more natural, organic path to creating leads and clients. This is why filmmaking is such a core element to our pop culture. It brings people together.

Here are three simple steps to begin Embracing Your Spotlight and living your message:

1. Choose one of your many struggle to victory experiences that you intuitively know can inspire others to triumph just like you did. 

2. Surrender. Then take your focus off of you and write from a place of giving and inspiration. Think – how can I use my life as a message of courage, humor, vulnerability?

3. Don’t edit or judge as you write in first person conversational. Write from your heart; not your head. Commit to writing at least 4-5 paragraphs that spin a story of where you were to where you ended up.

And watch how you and others evolve because you were courageous enough to live your message.

Happy Holidays and Abundant New Year! 

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Chief Inspiration Officer 
Embrace Your Spotlight 

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

7 Creative Insights from Walt Disney's Life: How to Apply Them to Business Now

“A creative mind is an open mind – a mind that questions assumptions and seeks new ideas and new approaches. Sometimes creative thinking demands we put aside the rules of logic and make an intuitive leap to completely new range of ideas,” writes Pat Williams about Walt Disney.

As business owners, we are required to be innovative, resourceful and creative with solutions in our daily stewardship of running our companies. Being creative is not just the ability to pick up a paintbrush or guitar and weave your artistry. Creativity involves being a master at problem solving and seeing beyond all limitations. Walt Disney changed the world with his brilliant creativity and imagination.

As a passionate fan of Walt Disney and his fascinating life, I’m currently reading a remarkably inspiring book by Orlando Magic’s Sr. V.P. Pat Williams called “How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life.” Walt’s life represents one huge inspiration where imagination is as important as the air we breathe and passion is the food you feed your heart and soul. From the book I’m sharing 7 creative insights Pat summarized from Walt’s life that you can apply to your business immediately. 

I’d love to know how this ignites your creativity and imagination – it has been raising my standards to new heights with every word I embrace. Here you go! 

1. Draw on all your life experiences. In my branding strategy, I coach you how to use the power of your story – your life – to create an emotionally compelling brand that speaks to your core values and authenticity. Similarly, Walt’s imagination was packed with nostalgia and memories of his life in Marceline, Missouri which was the foundation of many of his cartoons, films, and theme park attractions. He shared his life in creative ways that turned into gifts of inspiration and entertainment for the world. What can you do to draw from your own life to inspire others?

2. Remove the limits from your imagination. You’ve heard this many times that our limitations are self-imposed. The moment we place limits on our imagination – our creativity shuts down. Solutions can’t be created. Free your imagination. Release the negative voices that were not yours in the 1st place! Don’t be afraid to go to extreme limits of your creativity. Push the envelope on what you think you can do and then push even more. You can always find a way to your goal. Walt never held back his imagination. He always required himself and others to go beyond their box. He inspired and influenced more people than any other man to be more than they can and live their dream. You can do that for your people, too. 

3. Consider all possible solutions to every challenge. Creative people look at all possible solutions from every angle. They don’t want one – they want hundreds. Get in the habit of coming up with plenty of options as a solution. Walt always required his artists to bring him dozens of renderings so he could choose. He pushed the envelope with his team so they would expand their imagination and grow. You can, too. 

4. Silence your inner critic. Oh that annoying little voice that tells us how unworthy or not capable we are to have the success we desire or achieve that long awaited goal. Stop. It inhibits your creativity. No progress can be made when we listen to that voice. “Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination,” said Walt. Do whatever you must to rid yourself of the habit of listening to the wrong voice. Your life depends on it.

5. To be creative, be courageous.  Be fearless and go for your dreams. Pull out all the stops and when the gremlins show up – tell ‘em to take a hike! Walt risked everything often to see his dreams come true – and thank goodness – I can’t imagine how our lives and culture would have been without him. Can you? Approach life creatively and courageously. Blaze a new trail!       
(Photo copyright The Walt Disney Company)

6. Work hard. “Some people are dreamers and others are builders says Tom Connellan author of Inside the Magic Kingdom. Walt didn’t just dream – he executed his dreams and made them real. How about you? Dream big and take consistent action all the time.

7. Ask yourself “What if?” Walt had an incredible way of drawing out the creativity in his artists. He’d question everything and require his team to come up with possibilities beyond their limited scope. By asking yourself and others”what if” you are igniting their imagination and resourcefulness. Make your great idea into an extraordinary idea and take action on it!

There you have it! When you come up against a creative challenge use Walt’s life lessons to steer you in the right direction and never, ever, give up on your dreams no matter how long it takes.

I’d love to know how this helps – post a comment below which one of these hit home for you! 

Happy New Year with Tons of Blessings!

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Chief Inspiration Officer 
Embrace Your Spotlight

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

{2014 Plans} I just read the news, did you?

I just read the news.

Nelson Mandela passed away at 95. This email is in honor of a man who stood for deep justice in humanity.

The quote here speaks volumes for what he believed and acted upon.

This time of year we look back on the months in how productive we were and how well we served our clients, families, and community. I encourage you to look back and account for how much you inspired others to make a change, small or large, in their lives.

What impact did you have on a life or two?

Today, I'm reminding you of the gift I offered that keeps on giving and inspires. Before you dive into Christmas festivities where much of your attention will be focused on shopping, parties, cooking, gift wrapping and more, give yourself 60 min to
watch and listen to my webinar that will certainly change the way you present
yourself to the world and how you "in" relationship with money.   

I had such positive feedback from this FREE webinar, "Turn Your Personality into Marketing Power" that I am offering an "Encore Performance" good till Dec 9th.  I bring you into more consciousness about your relationship with money and how it feeds the power of your branding. I aspire for you play bigger, bolder, sexier and embrace your spotlight (brand) in 2014 with savvy, dignity, and grace even if you don't have all your "ducks-in-a-row!"
The question is how are you investing your time each day to move your dreams and goals forward? Are your current choices getting you results? If not, it is worthy of your time to watch and listen to this 60 min FREE webinar.
I go through my secrets and strategies to begin mastering personality branding that converts to revenues; but you must have your "money clutter" cleaned up on some level before that brand takes off.  This stuff is fascinating. This is designed as a dynamic preview FREE training for my 2014 "Six Sensory Abundant Life & Brand Experience" 6-month program beginning in January.

I've got 2 spots remaining for the private mastermind program. The women in the program so far are brilliantly driven and a blessing to work with! I'd love to consider you for a spot on the team. Listen to the webinar and see if it inspires you to explore more with me and how I can help you build a more inspired life that rewards you far and wide.

Sign up here to get the link and listen in or download the audio! 

Abundant Blessing!

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Chief Inspiration Officer 
Embrace Your Spotlight

soon to be www.marladiann.com

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Customer Loyalty: Are they here to stay or ready to jump ship?

2013 is almost over, wow. As we look back on the year and prepare for a new year of possibilities and transforming lives, let’s take an inventory on our customer loyalty. Ok?
I know you have heard this before, but do you practice it often? Directly from Inc. magazine, "True customer loyalty means making the relationship more important than making the sale."      
Inc. mag article continues..."Customer loyalty comes from having a strong relationship with your customers. When they see you as a friend and ally, they're reluctant to jump ship, even if it means they can get something a little cheaper.  

Let that last sentence sink in. It's a beautiful thing. I had to read it twice the first time to let it sink in. 

So I ask you, how well does your audience and clients really know you? Do you hide your personal side in your fan page postings? Your website? Does it feel real, emotional, and approachable? This is the age of vulnerability and transparency (revealing just enough to make you real and approachable). Today's branding requires us to be open, real, personable and transparent. The days of focusing only on products and services are long gone. Branding is who you are; not what you do. This is the magic. Every client that comes into my world is ready to INNOVATE their branding to align with this personal touch in all channels of their marketing even if they have some fear of being in the spotlight and being more vulnerable in a business setting.

Your market is so much more sophisticated today when it comes to choosing experts to hire. They know the drill...build the know, like, and trust factor. Are you set up with strategies and skills to do that?
Let’s look at 3 simple tips (maybe reminders?) to get you started or re-started:
1. Pick-up-the-phone: I know – you might be smiling and rolling your eyes, but it’s a beautiful reminder! I’ve been guilty of having to remind myself to do this!  We get so wrapped up in our day online that this skill is one of the most overlooked relationship-building practices as of late because of our social media, texting, and emailing habits. Instead of emailing a client or texting – arrange a quick call in to say hello and see how they are or better yet offer to go over something they need help with instead of emailing. The personal touch will never be outdated and always appreciated and remembered.
2. Communicate from the heart - real conversations.  To build a humanized brand, we need to emotionalize our content. A sexy brand inspires others to feel their emotions. Write compelling content for your blogs, videos, and emails that speak well to your custom market.  And, always spend more time listening to the customer rather than talking to the customer. Same goes for online. In your posts be sure you are talking with them not at them.
3. Send gifts. This may seem like a no-brainer and I thought so, too. But when one of my clients was so impressed with the gift I sent her after she registered for her program, I realized it was not so common place. Find a gift that speaks to them. If it’s a group program (for the coaches out there) – find a fun gift they will emotionally bond with. They will definitely remember you and how they felt. BTW, it’s always wonderful etiquette to send a thank you card and/or gift to people who refer business to you! I am amazed at how many don’t. That will build long lasting relationships always.
This is just the tip of the iceberg to building customer loyalty. Would love your comments below how you have experienced these tips in your own business! Thanks!
Gratitude and Success,

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Chief Inspiration Officer 
Embrace Your Spotlight

soon to be www.marladiann.com

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