Making Time For Creativity—The Four Essentials

Making Time For Creativity—The Four Essentials 06 27 2016We are all born creative.

The urge to create—to put your stamp on something—is innate.

And even if you don’t define yourself by your creativity, your business thrives on it.

It’s the engine that produces your ideas, services and products and inspires how you market and sell. Continue reading

Focus On Your Magic Zone (And Outsource Everything Else)

Focus On Your Magic Zone (And Outsource Everything Else) 06 20 2016What if you could spend the vast majority of your day doing exactly the work you adore? The kind where you lose track of time, while tapping into your special talents and passions: your magic zone.

Chances are, this is also your highest value work—where you can charge a premium price and work with your sweet-spot clients.

We’re talking about the kind of work where sometimes you just scratch your head, wondering how you got to be so lucky. Continue reading

Face It—You May Be Running A Media Company

Face It—You May Be Actually Running A Media Company 06 13 2016If producing content—blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts—is a significant part of your marketing, you may well be running a media company.

Or at least a media division.

And that means you have to start thinking and operating more like a media maven and less like a conventional CEO. Continue reading

Stepping Into The Spotlight

Stepping Into The Spotlight 06 06 2016It’s your turn.

And it doesn’t matter if you’ve done it 100 times or this is your first rodeo—stepping into the spotlight is a courageous act.

It requires letting go, trusting that you’ve done the work and are ready to share your brand of wisdom with an audience. It can be downright terrifying. Continue reading

Becoming A Thought Leader

Becoming A Thought Leader 05 23 2016“Thought leader” is almost never a formal title.

It’s the label your peers or the media might attach to you when they deeply respect your viewpoint in your area of expertise.

You can be a thought leader in a profession—like Jill Konrath (sales) or David Maister (professional services). Continue reading

Mastering The Frequency Of Your Tribe

Mastering The Frequency Of Your Tribe 05 16 2016Every tribe has a frequency—a set of wants, needs, behaviors, standards and expectations—that you must tune into if you’re going to have real impact, influence and leadership.

The challenge? If you want to tap into existing tribes to grow your own, you may have to do some digging.

Take Susan Cain’s quiet revolution for example. Read 10-20 posts AND the reader comments and you’ll get a deep sense for what matters to this tribe. Ditto Jeff Goins and Marie Forleo. Continue reading

Are You Running A Practice Or A Business?

A practice depends—deeply—on you. Consulting, delivering services to clients, even writing books and delivering speeches.

A business on the other hand, is about much more than your presence. You can use all of the tools of a practice, but add even more options that leverage your time: digital training programs, assessment tools and live or virtual services delivered by someone OTHER THAN you. Continue reading

Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood?

Who’s In YOUR Brand Neighborhood 05 02 2016Let’s start with a quick definition: your brand neighborhood is ANY person, product or service that you’d love to “live” on your professional street. One you’d happily hang with all day long if only you could.

So if you’re an executive coach, maybe Marshall Goldsmith is your gold standard.

Or you’re a strategy consultant and you’re busily checking out Jim Collins or McKinsey, Bain and BCG. Continue reading

Naming Your Company (And Your Services And Products)

Naming Your Company (And Services And Products) 04 25 2016When I co-founded my first company, we agonized over our first big decision: our name.

After a couple of interminable sessions covering the walls of a Chicago conference room with color-coded sticky notes, we finally emerged with an idea that eventually turned into our name: Qwest Consultants.

This was in 1994—well before Philip Anschutz coined the term for the now defunct Qwest Communications. (I’ll never forget the letter from their trademark attorneys, but that’s another story). Continue reading

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready

Three Steps To Getting Yourself Book-Ready 04 18 2016At some point, pretty much every independent consultant or subject matter expert starts mulling over whether they should write a book.

They often spend the most energy on their title and theme—and it’s not unusual to spend months or even years procrastinating under the guise of seeking EXACTLY the right angle.

Meanwhile, they’re not taking the handful of steps that will smooth the way for the book that’s been simmering for years. Continue reading