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Voices of Your Choices – Part 1

Two of the most powerful privileges we have been given are our ability to speak (our voices) and our ability to choose (our choices). We have been given by God a free will; the ability to make choices for our life.

Just pause for a minute and think about this freeing state that each of us has if we take advantage of it.
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Leading Sales Keys

We may not realize it, but we are all sales representatives in our own way.

We all represent things, people, and situations in our life where we “sell” our perspective or desire to someone.

My career has always intersected with the sales profession; and I found some sales people hard to handle to say the least. I found them opinionated, self absorbed, pushy, and sometimes – down right rude!

As I was coming up on 10 years in procurement, the Sales Manager asked me if I would be willing to help prepare his sales team on how to sell to someone in my position.

I laughed and said, “They could never sell to me; I would not even accept an appointment from them!”

Service Crossword Concept

Why? Because they do not give me any reason to see them let alone buy from them! That dialogue began a three year season of me training our sales team on selling vs. service.

“Selling” addresses a company’s product; “serving” addresses what the customer will be missing without their product.

Here are 3 keys that were developed during this training course:

Selling is a privilege. Selling is the privilege we get to do after we prove our company’s product to be irreplaceable by any other company with similar products. If you look for opportunities to be of service, you will get opportunities to sell. What are you doing for the current and potential customer that they would not want to do without; that is what they pay you for!

Service is the leader. Certain services are priceless and serve as a “lead ins” to help get your foot in the door and develop customer relationships to better sell your product. When I worked for a supply distributor, a free service we offered was to organize their stock rooms and setup an inventory control system.  They loved the system, and that is what gave us the open door to talk about products we sold to improve their organization.

Standards are your support system. The business standards that you build are the walls that hold up the relationship between your customer and you. Example: You have a standard that says you offer 100% guarantee 24 hour delivery. If not delivered in 24 hours it is free. When you honor these standards, the customer base will respect your integrity. That trust builds up walls of commitment to your company that is needed when the competition tries to take the business from you. If they want it, they have a lot of work to do in order to break down that wall.

It is my desire to inspire you to serve before you sell. Service is the key to unlocking the doors of buildings, businesses, and opportunities!

Always remember the three S’s: Selling, Service, and Standards!


Soft Places Near Me

“Soft places” are needed because life has so many hard places.  I first heard these two words tucked together in “Savor” a devotional by Shauna Niequist and I have never forgotten them.

I invite you think about the “soft places” in your life.

relaxed-theta-brain-waves-readingYour “soft place” may be a dinner around the table, a cup of coffee in a quiet cafe, or a funny story while waiting for a meeting to begin.

 I am blessed to have some “soft places” in my life. In difficult times, I sense my internal GPS searching for the address of  these “soft places” near me.

Here are two examples of my nearest and dearest “soft places”:

My comfy chair in my devotional area. When I am troubled or not feeling well, my comfy chair calls to me and I ease my hurting body down into it and it surrounds me like a cloud. This chair carries years of reading the word, listing to music, tears of joy and sadness, and of course, laughter! It has always given me the softness I need to hear or heal.

Panera Bread is one of my “soft places” because sometimes I am not seeking quiet or peace; I am yearning for sounds of life, busyness and activity. It’s a place where I can feel like I am part of something without feeling burdened by any obligation. I get my food, sit in my booth, open my laptop, and blend totally in to the surroundings. And when I am done, I leave as unnoticed as I entered. Having those times of being where no one knows me; lets me release burdens of the demands of life and leave them, where no one will care.

Oh, but the greater joy is when we provide a “soft place” for another!

Here are 3 ways I have learned to be that “soft place” to others in their hard times:


Listen:  In hard times, listening is difficult to find with those that are in the hard time with you.  If we can offer the pillow of a listening ear with a heart of no condemnation; it can create a soft place for a heavy, weary heart.  A secret to listening is to not to let it enter through your brain, but through your heart. Our brain will try and give resolution, and that is not always what they are looking for. When a heart listens, it releases love and love is the softest place to rest in.


generosity-climbingBe Selfless: It is important to remember that when you truly want to help others… it is not about you! I have to tell myself that when I am with someone that is going through a hard place in life. My initial reaction is to compare it to something I went through; but it is not about me. A “soft place” offering is not about how I came through, it is giving them a place to obtain soul softness. Be selfless enough to let them talk or not talk, and just hover to cover while they take a pause in life.


13113325165_8f08b3568a_bBe Patient: As a soft place known by others, it means that people will sometimes come looking for that soft place time and time and time again. And maybe nothing has changed for them since the last pause in your presence; but let them know it is okay. A true “soft place” has no visitation limit. Stop for coffee as often as you want. Sit on my porch in the evening with my family as often as you need. Share a Sunday meal at my home as many times as food is provided. Soft places = open spaces; be it a natural space or a heart space.


It is my desire to inspire you to value and know the soft places within your life, and to be a soft place for one that you see pressing through a hard place.


Be Delirious

Words, words, and more words! I love words and the power they have in our daily lives. Obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing this blog! Right? :)

job offer excitementOne of my all time favorite words is: “delirious” – Now, there are technically two definitions of the word “delirious” – but I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal so I prefer to focus on the second definition which is: “A wild excitement!”

If that’s what “delirious” means… who would not want to be that?! So, let’s decide together that we are going to life our daily life being absolutely D E L I R I O U S ! :)

D:aring – Live everyday (D)aring yourself to be nothing more than YOU! Yikes, that makes me *wildly excited*!

E:ngaging – Live everyday (E)ngaged in who and what matters most and you will be wildly excited!

L:istening – Live your life (L)istening to your heart first, last, and always; for it will lead you to the wild excitement you strive for!

I:nvesting – Live your life (I)nvesting in yourself and the lives of others so that you can create AWCL (A well crafted life) that births wild excitement.

R:especting – When we (R)espect ourselves enough to give others (R)espect we open the door to the wild excitement of unexpected blessings!

I:nitiating – Start the day by (I)nitiating joy and kindness and being the blessing in someone else’s life and you will find wild excitement in doing so.

O:ptimizing – Make the most of one of your fixed assets; your time. Take the time daily to do you, be you, and (O)ptimize your time. There is no wild excitement like really being in touch with yourself!

U:tilizing – You have talents, gifts, and skills. (U)tilize them to craft your wildly exciting life that will fulfill you and offer some soft places in hard times.

S:tanding – Do not back down when resistance comes; because trust me, it will! When we (S)tand for what we know we want and are created to do, wild excitement flows up out of our heart and gives us the press to keep going.

ExcitedYou may be called delirious, but that is alright, because having *wild excitement* is like our daily dose of the vitamins we need to keep going!

It is my desire to inspire you to go for the delirious life, full of those things that make you wildly excited, overjoyed, and a gift to others.

Be you, do you and remember that only you can do your purpose, exactly like you do!

Talking vs. Conversing

I think it’s a safe to say that most people enjoy talking. You love to talk, don’t you? Of course you do! However, do you enjoy speaking? How often do you “speak” instead of just “talk”?

What about conversation? Are you the type of person who genuinely likes to converse?

You see, there is a difference between “talking”, “speaking”, and “conversing”. Here is a little insight to help you differentiate between the three and help you determine which you do the most!


Talking is the verbal releasing of emotion by oneself or with others.  Talking is reactive and utilizes either your mind or your heart; but rarely bothSo when you ask the clerk at the drug store where she purchased that beautiful ring, you are reacting to something you see as beautiful; and very rarely does it go any further than that. 99% the time you won’t go buy one, you probably won’t even remember what store she mentioned once you got home… it was just reactive talking. Read More→

Own it!

Have you ever heard the term, “buzz word”? A “buzz word” is defined as a word, term, or phrase that is trendy or popular in a particular context or place in time.

More often than not, these “buzz words” are not just made up into existence. Usually, these terms already exist; but a sudden re-purposing of them causes a rise in popularity – often to the point where the original use is no longer used or even known to others!

GroovyFor example, think of the term “groovy”; you might hear this word and think of the 1960’s or 70’s when people used it to mean something is “cool” (yet another buzz word) or fashionable. Because that’s when it really caught on and became a popular term, or
became a “buzz word”!


You may be surprised to knoneedle-on-record-playerw that the term “groovy” actually originated in the 1920’s!

It was used by jazz musicians to refer to music that was played with a certain “finesse“. The term was based from the phrase “in the groove,” which was used to describe the way a needle on a record player followed the grooves of a record to produc e sound.

Neat, huh? And probably pretty different from what you originally thought about the word “groovy”. That’s how powerful “buzz words” can be! Their surge in popularity can completely change the connotation of a pre-existing term!

Every generation or season has different buzz words. Some come and go; and others have lasted through the ages. I don’t remember the last time I actually heard the term “groovy” used like it was in the 70’s; but people still use the term “cool” (and I don’t mean temperature), despite it’s origin dating all the way back to the 40’s!

If you haven’t been inspired by any buzz words or phrases in the past, consider this one: OWN IT!

nikeNike started the “Just do it!” campaign back in 1988, and it is still part of their campaign 25 years later. Why? Because it held us accountable and made us responsible for making us “OWN” our decision to exercise and lay aside all excuses. Wow!

The same principal needs to be true in all that we do as leaders.  We need to “OWN IT!”

But what exactly does it mean to “own it”?

Taking ownership of something is when we take full undisputed responsibility of it from beginning to end; no exception, no excuses. Just like Nike’s renowned 2-word campaign!

The phrase Own It in magazine letters on a cork notice board

Your life, your choices, your legacy; OWN IT!

Your responsibilities, your titles, your career; OWN IT!

“Own it” leaves no room for being a victim to your own choices or failures. Even if  you reach part of your journey where something happens that is beyond your control; you must still “own” that situation and figure out the next step and move on.

The only true failure is in giving up.

You need to OWN your choices in order to create your OWN legacy.

Every choice has it’s own voice. What do your choices say?

It is my desire to inspire you to “own” everything you do on your journey to create AWCL. Consider the voices of the choices you make, what they say about you and your legacy, and always remember to OWN IT!


3 Powerful Lessons on Leadership I Learned from Rocky

I must confess, I am a big Rocky fan!

Not as in rocky road ice cream but Rocky Balboa, the boxer played in the ‘Rocky’ movies by Sylvester Stallone.

rockyThe writers of this champion-birthing series crafted Rocky’s journey to make us love him and deeply relate to the personal ups and downs of an undeniable leader in his boxing world.

I was caught up and inspired again by “Creed”, the 7th movie in the ‘Rocky’ series where Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) finds himself training his former rival and friend, Apollo Creed’s son as a young boxer.

In the movie, Rocky is old and out of shape. He is looked on fondly by many as once a great fighter and leader but not anymore.

What he doesn’t realize, at the time, is that though a leader’s body may age, their heart does not. Read More→

How to Avoid Burnout Whether You Are A “Yes” Person or “No” Person

We all have our internal defaults. What are yours?

Is your glass half full or half empty? In your mind, are people innocent until proven guilty or guilty until proven innocent?

Think about it.

What about when it comes to the words “yes” and “no”? What is your default?

Will you automatically say yes to almost any situation until you feel like you are physically unable? Do you still try to avoid saying no even if that is a case? Are you a yes person? Read More→

The Right Time to “Bow Out” as Leaders

Leadership comes in many forms, but regardless of who you are leading, relationships play a substantial role.


As leaders in management: the objective is to train others to be the best employees possible for the company. This cannot be accomplished without the employees having healthy relationships with the people they work with, the work they are given, and their lives outside of work. Read More→

How Do You Define Collaboration?

Collaboration can be defined as working jointly with someone that we do not currently know well to achieve a desired endeavor of importance or impact.

Collaboration can also be defined as willingly assisting the enemy of a country or purpose to prevent them from succeeding.

So Sweet

Interesting that this word can be defined as both a great help and a great hinderance, right?

Let’s break it down.

Co – working together

Lab – effort or experience

Or – or

Action – movement with purpose

When we collaborate with others, we are actually doing both sides of the definition.  We are collaborating to achieve a desired outcome, while also collaborating to not have a different outcome.

Collaboration is a powerful business concept.  Yet, it seems like, with the corporate environment, it is hard to get people to truly collaborate.  They will work with you but not really collaborate.

When we collaborate we have a shared and/or equal effort and/or investment focused on the same outcome.

Here are 4 keys to building a collaborative team: Read More→