Want More Clicks & Shares From Your Video Posts? The ONE Thing You Need….

iphone-1603478_1280-1I’m going to cut to the chase, if you’re an entrepreneur serious about growing your business online, you need to be doing video.

We live in a world of Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook live-streaming, YouTube and many other platforms all moving to video. If you’re not getting your face in front of a camera, you are sooooooo going to get left behind.

I’ve been asked to critique many videos over the past few months for clients and colleagues and the number ONE thing I’ve noticed is this:

(Click to tweet)

If you have too much information, too many stories, too much movement and too many calls to action, you are going to lose people. What you need is an easy process to remember. Keep It Simple Sweetheart:)

If you want to get more engagement, clicks and shares, follows this easy 3-to-1 formula:

1. Speak to ONE person-Know who your ideal client or perfect audience member is and speak ONLY to them. Even though you may have thousands of people watching your videos, your message should go directly and only to that ONE ideal person. Period. This makes everything you say more targeted and powerful.

2. Have ONE point-Understand the main or underlying point you are trying to get across and have everything you are saying drive to that ONE point only. If you include more than one story to illustrate your point, make sure each story also supports and directs back to ONLY the point you are trying to make.

3. Have ONE call to action-Decide ahead of time what you want your video to do for you. If you want to grow your list, send them to your opt-in or landing page url. If you want to build your podcast audience, tell them to hit the subscribe button. What you DON’T want to do is ask people to do several things, “Like me on Facebook, visit my website, download my free report…etc.” Choose the ONE main course of action you’d like people to take, explain very clearly how they can do it and say it with authority.

*The ONE exception to #3 is, you always want to ask people to share your videos even if you are making another call to action. You are trying to build a following, so the more eyes on you, the better.

Remember, if you’re trying to create a strong brand presence online, you’re going to be doing a LOT of videos so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tell your stories, articulate your brilliant insights and direct people to all the various, wonderful offerings you have. Don’t try to cram it all in at once, it will only overwhelm and confuse your audience.

Just ONE things at a time, baby:)

If you’d like to know how to create a rockin’ brand presence online so you can attract ideal clients and establish your celebrity expert status, apply for a Free Strategy Session here=>Profit From Your Message

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your  high notes!

Why There Is No Need For Cruz Control

I was a little behind the eight ball this week in writing my article, but I’m glad I waited. I want to share a perspective you might find helpful in building a POWERFUL BRAND. It occurred to me watching the Republican convention last night on television.

I’m not a die-hard follower of politics, but I like to be informed and it certainly is entertaining and educational to watch the circus of a presidential election.

In case you didn’t hear, last night Ted Cruz got booed on stage during his speech because he refused to endorse Trump for president. It was a crazy, bold move. Pretty shocking to every, everyone that is except for Trump.

Apparently, Trump had read the transcript the night before and knew what Cruz was going to say. He had the option to ban Cruz from speaking, but that’s not what he did. Instead, he let Cruz take the stage and completely sabotage himself.

Now whether you like him or not, whether you think he’s an insane megalomaniac or not, there is something very important to be learned here from what Trump did. He was so secure in his brand, he allowed a hater to take the stage. It was a brilliant move.

What would have happened if he had ban him? It would have given Cruz POWER. It would have implied he was important enough Trump needed to manage him to protect his reputation. However, because Trump let Cruz take the stage, he strengthened his position as top dog.

I’m sharing this because it is an excellent example of stepping into leadership.

When you are secure in yourself, in your value and have confidence in your point of view, you position yourself ABOVE the haters.

So many times our temptation is to get caught in the fray of snarkiness, and while there ARE times it’s necessary to set the record straight, giving credence to critics only lowers your status.

You are far bettered served to keep your focus on the prize and to continually strengthen your own brand through giving value, increasing visibility, refining your message, polishing your image and showing you are a leader who comes with a heart of service.

If you need help solidifying your position as an industry leader and upleveling your brand, you can apply for a free strategy session with me by clicking here=>bit.ly/ProfitStrategy

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high notes.



P. S. This is not an meant as any kind of political endorsement, simply an example of great brand strategy:)

Are You Happy?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Do what you love and the money will follow?”

I used to think that was a sweet, albeit unrealistic saying. I mean, I was an opera singer for goodness sake. I poured my whole heart and soul into it and never made any real money.

Admittedly, I never made it to the Met and perhaps if I had had more artistic success, I would be singing a different tune right now. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one….)

However, what I’ve come to realize is, doing what you love truly IS the path to joy and abundance. The trick is, most of us are not completely dialed in to what we want and perhaps more importantly WHY we want it.

Even though I passionately love, love, love singing (I mean I really love it), when I was younger, my singing meant something very different to me.

It meant a way out.

There’s’ no way at the age for 20 I could have told you from what exactly I was trying to escape. I just knew I thought singing was going to be my ticket to happiness.

Here’s what I thought singing would do for me….

-give me validation.
-make me famous.
-provide me with lots of money (when I got famous).
-make me feel important.
-make me feel beautiful.
-bring me adoration.
-bring me praise.
-bring me recognition.
-make me popular.

If you’ve ever had the lovely opportunity to have a laryngoscope shoved down your throat, that’s a long tube with a camera attached, you would know your vocal chords are tiny. On average, they’re only about 12-24 mm’s long and 3-5 mm’s thick. That’s it.

When I think of all the pressure I was putting on those two, teeny folds, sheesh, of course, there was NO WAY they could stand up to the pressure!! How could something so small and delicate possibly carry the weight of my entire happiness? Obviously, they couldn’t.

I know there are fabulous singers who had/have just as many misguided, neurotic motivations to be performers as I did who went on to have fabulous careers. I think it’s fair to say there are a LOT of messed up, extremely “successful” artists out there. But I couldn’t do it. My body wouldn’t let me.

The more I WANTED “it,” the tighter I got. I remember very clearly trying to sing in a masterclass where my jaw got so tight, I literally could not open my mouth. How’s that for your body trying to tell you something?

Believe me when I tell you, it was extremely painful. I felt like a leopard without spots. Why would God give me this gift if I couldn’t use it?

The problem was I was asking something of my singing it could never give me. I was begging it to show me I was lovable, but there’s no way it could because deep down, I didn’t believe it. I treated singing like an insecure teenager treats her wardrobe. I was riddled with self-loathing and insecurity.

Luckily, all the pain and disappoint I felt drove me to find answers. “Why is this happening to me? How can I feel better? Is there something else I should be doing with my life?”

I began an intense journey of self-discovery and healing that continues to this day. Obviously, I stopped pursuing a professional singing career to become an entrepreneur, however, the story doesn’t stop there.

I recently had a major epiphany.

For the past several months, I’ve been waking up depressed, not in a full-on depression kind of way, but generally down. I know a lot of happiness tools, so usually by mid-morning my mood improved. However, it was starting to really bother me to start my day this way.

Again, I began asking myself, “Why is this happening to me? How can I feel better? Is there something else I should be doing with my life?”

The answer came back a big YES!

I realized I had been operating my business to some degree in the same way I used to approach my singing, looking for outside validation. I was trying to figure out just the right program, meme, photo or blog post that was going to get people to respond to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for marketing and promoting your business, but my flavor of outside-in approval was rearing it’s ugly head again and reeking havoc on my happiness.

I’ll admit, it totally sucked to come to this realization, but I am sooooo grateful because it brought me back to myself.

I know that I know that I know when you honor who you are first, you create happiness and abundance which is why I have decided to make some changes in they way I do things around here.

Don’t worry, I’m still going to give tips and concrete strategies to build your business, but I am also going to be talking a LOT more about holistic success. Because YOU are a whole person. If you are not happy and healthy, you will never create the kind of business that lights you up and makes you money at the same time.

Your business needs to be an expression of who you are at your most creative, expressive, talented, intelligent, LOVING core. When you create a business from that place, you understand why and how you are here to serve. You build a true tribe that loves you and hangs on your every word.

I have spent the past 30 years learning how to love, honor and express who I am to be happy and prosperous. I want to help you do the same.

I can tell you from personal experience, if you don’t create your business in alignment with your deepest desires, it will mess with your mojo. Believe me, I know. On the flip side, if you do, it’s sunshine and roses Baby! (Did I mention I woke up in a good mode today?:)

If you’d like to know how to create a business that makes you happy and profitable, CLICK HERE=>bit.ly/ProfitStratgy

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high notes.

What To Do If You Are Asked Not To Sell Anything When You Speak For Business?

You’ve got a great talk and you finally get a chance to try out your speaking chops, there’s only one hitch, you are told you will not be allowed to sell anything. Ugg, such a bummer.

What to do, what to do…

You always want to weigh your opportunities. Your time and resources are limited, so you want to be choosy about where you spend your energy. There are lots of fish in the speaking sea, so don’t feel like you have to jump at every chance. However, if you are just starting out or if it’s a great opportunity to get in front of ideal clients or industry players, you may still want to move forward.

Remember, any time you are speaking to a captive audience, whether live or online, YOU are positioned as the authority. You have an extended amount of time to tell your story, share your expertise, give valuable insights and talk about your business. If you do a good job with your presentation, your audience is going to want to know more. Even if you can’t make an offer, you are still selling.

However, the best way to get your audience to take action is to structure your talk to sell. You want to guide your audience through a specific process that showcases the transformation that is possible if someone takes the next step to work with you without actually making an offer. And if you do this with authenticity and authority, you will create an atmosphere where people will want to know more.

Finally, if you can, offer a free strategy call. It is a phenomenal selling tool if you know what you are you doing. Any time you get a potential client on the phone with you from a talk, you have a very warm lead which makes closing that much easier.

If you would like to know more about how you can use signature talks to sell from the stage or online, I invite you to join me for my upcoming FREE webinar: “Close Any Room: How To Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income Using Signature Talks.” CLICK HERE to register!

Is Your Business Organized For Profits?

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a neat freak. Personally, I know it makes me feel calmer and more clear headed when I walk into a space that’s clean and tidy. There is also a lot of research to back up the physical and psychological benefits of keeping things organized.

Here are just a few…

You reduce stress.
You are happier.
You eat better.
You have better relationships.
You are more productive.
You sleep better.
You even reduce your risk of heart attack!

However, there are also important financial reasons to being organized, especially in your business.

When you have systems and structures in place, you create space, ease and flow for money to come into your life.

Think about the physical space of your office. If it’s a mess, your mind is distracted every time your eyes fall on something that isn’t pertinent to your priorities. Distraction equals lost time, mental focus and creativity. How are you going to create the next amazing project if every time you walk in your office, you see piles of unfinished tasks.

If you work online to any degree and even if you don’t, you also have to think about the flow of your business model. Is it organized for profit?

If you don’t have a very clear sense of how your business model should be set up, it is a lot harder to bring in and keep money flowing through your business. Whether you call it a funnel, a pyramid, a money mountain or anything else, you need to know where and how to funnel leads and clients through your processes. If you don’t, you are leaving money on the table.

When you are just starting out, your business model will be simpler and in some ways, that’s a very good thing. Having fewer options makes it easier for you to get very skilled at selling the offerings you do have. However, as your grow, you’ll want to develop a more robust menu of products and services, not only because it will allow you to express your genius and creativity, but because it will also allow you to bring in and keep more clients.

However, more options requires more clarity. You need to know how the pieces fit together and the flow of your funnel. Doing so will make you life so much easier for you and provide more value to your clients.

Here are few things to think about to set yourself up for maximum profits:

1. How/where do the majority of leads come into my funnel?
2. Do I have enough options to sell different levels of clients into my programs?
3. Do I know how to present my offers in creative ways without lowering prices?
4. Do I have up-sells and down-sells ready for sales calls?
5. Do I have lateral options available that might be attractive to current clients?
6. Do I know the best logical order to move clients through my model?
7. Do I know how to bundle services to give juicy sales incentives?

Building business models can be very overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, things get really, really fun. Suddenly, you feel more confident and grounded in your business. You recognize who is right fit for you much more quickly and sales calls get a heck of a lot easier.

What I know for sure is no model=no money. It is so worth the time to get organized in this part of your business. I can’t promise it will prevent a heart attack, but it just might. After all, what is a better stress reliever than knowing your profit house is order?

If you’d like to know more about how you can maximize your business model for profit, apply for a free strategy session here=>Session Application

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your notes!

How to Make Your Signature Talk Stand Out

You may have heard speaking is a great way to grow your business and it’s true! Speaking positions you as the expert in front of a group of potentially ideal clients. However, a LOT of entrepreneurs have caught the speaking bug and are vying for the attention and credit cards of the same audience.

So how do you stand out and make the audience see YOU as the person to meet their needs?

First, have a clear point of view that is unique to you. This will show up as your story, your beliefs and how you communicate what you value. The more you can lean into your authenticity, the more you will separate from the crowd. No matter how many coaches, consultants, CPA’s, lawyers or dog walkers there are out there, there is only one YOU. The more you clearly you can communicate your point of view, the more memorable and impactful you will be.

Next, own your place in the market. You need to be bold and find specific ways to differentiate yourself. Highlight what makes you special. Find a way to zig when others are zagging. For example, if everyone in your industry is talking about how you have to constantly hustle to succeed, maybe your stance could be about the need for space and peace in your business. Try to find your unique pocket and make some noise about it.

Finally, be good. No, be great. There are a LOT of mediocre speakers out there, a l-o-t. Make a decision right now to become great at presenting yourself and your material. Show up looking and acting the part of a polished expert. Give great content, dress well, have killer marketing materials and command the stage. Leave no doubt in the mind of your audience that you are a rock star at what you do and they would be crazy not to hire you!

If can you claim a unique and authentic space and show up as a high-value expert, you will be ahead of 99% of the people out there and dramatically increase your chances of closing the room!

To watch my FREE webinar on how to close any room, CLICK HERE!

How to Sell Without Sounding Salesy

One of the biggest reasons entrepreneurs fail to make big profits from their speaking gigs is they don’t know how to sell in a way that feels good to them. As a result, they back away from presenting their offers or even make a clear offer at all which leaves them empty-handed and disappointed.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s absolutely possible to feel excited about selling your products and services which makes you more attractive to potential clients. The result is more money, more money, more money for you and more intense transformation for your audience.

The very best way to sell without sounding salesy is to keep the needs of your audience front and center. If you craft a talk that focuses on solving their problems and delivering high-value content, the sale becomes much, much easier. The key is maintaining a mindset of service with a clear understanding of the greater transformation you can deliver if your audience takes the next step with you.

The job of selling starts from the minute you open your mouth. You can’t ambush your audience with a big ask at the end and expect a great result. You must prepare them for the sale by laying the groundwork and expectation for a juicy offer all throughout your presentation. This demonstrates transparency and builds trust both of which are essential for closing happy clients.

The other way to compel your audience to buy is by telling powerful stories. When you share your own journey of transformation, you suddenly go from being a pushy sales dog to an empathetic character. When you show you genuinely care and want to help people change their lives, the word salesy goes right out the window. Of course, you need to know which stories to tell and how to tell them to be effective.

There is definitely an art and science to structuring your talk with the right elements at the right time, but when you understand the formula for authentic selling, you can relax and do your job which is to deliver value to your audience and make money from your expertise.

If you’d like to know more about how to create a signature talk that sells, click the link to get access to my FREE webinar “Close Any Room.” It’s full of information to help you create a profitable presentation=>bit.ly/CloseAnyRoomTraining.

How To Inspire Your Audiences To Buy From You

You may have heard that speaking is a great way to increase your profits, but you may also be wondering how the heck do you get people to actually buy from you. Whether you are just starting out speaking or you’ve been speaking for a while, but haven’t been converting from your talks the way you’d like to, I want you to know something…

There IS a way to get people to open up their wallets to work with you!

The first thing you need to do if you want your audience to buy your products and services is start with a clear objection to sell. You are in business to make money and any time you put your own time, energy and resources into something, you need to be thinking about the ROI. You are not speaking to stand there and look pretty, you are investing in this opportunity to grow your business.

However, having the mindset of sales is not about being pushy, it is about transformation. The biggest transformation your audience will get is by using your products or going through your process. They can only get so much transformation for free. If you believe in what you do and why you do it, instead of feeling gross about selling, you should see yourself as providing a valuable opportunity for your audience to get what they really want. If you can make your audience see that value, they will buy.

Next, you have to engage people on an emotional level. People buy with their hearts. They buy because of deeply rooted desire and needs. Their desire may be to alleviate emotional pain, feel sexier, attract a mate, buy a home or improve their health. Whatever their desire is, your job as a selling speaker is to wake up and intensify those emotions.

A great way to do this is with stories, your story, other people’s stories, examples or case studies. In sharing your own story, you create an emotional bond with the audience and build likeability and trust. The audience starts to see you as an ally instead of just a hard-nosed selling robot. Most importantly though, when you share a story of transformation, you start to paint a picture of what’s possible for the audience and that picture is the turning point to your profits.

So you can see, it is possible to inspire your audience to buy, but you need to be intentional about how you craft your talk to sell and by using emotional triggers to share the transformation that is possible. Once those pieces are in place, your conversion rates will soar.

If you’d like to know more about creating a signature talk that SELLS, I invite you to join me for my FREE upcoming webinar “Close Any Room: How To Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income Using Signature Talks.” CLICK HERE to register.

How Do You Choose The Right Topic For Your Talk?

“Why Add A Signature Talk To Your Business?”

If you’ve ever thought about adding speaking to your business model, the answer should be a big, fat YES, but not just any speaking. The most potent presentation you can make is a signature talk that sells.  Adding signature talks to your business model can potentially add thousands of dollars to your income every month!

Here’s why it works so well…

First of all, any time you speak you are using leverage to reach your audience. Instead of just speaking one-on-one like you might do at a networking event or even on a sales calls, you are speaking one-to-many every time you present. It may be to a small room of 20 people OR it could be to an audience of literally thousands online. That means for 30-45 minutes of effort you are exponentially impacting your audience.

Think about how much time, money and energy this saves you. Every time you go to a networking event you have to get dressed, find a sitter, make sure you have your business cards, drive to the event and hope you will connect with some really great people once you’re there. Even if you are really, really good at networking, you might connect with ten maybe 20 people max and speaker to them for a few minutes in a noisy, crowded room.

Now imagine putting the same effort into a talk where YOU are the headliner, everyone is there just to hear you and you can give the same talk over and over again. You can even sit home in your jammies and do it on the phone or on a webinar where hundreds of people have opted-in, no need for lipstick OR a sitter. That is leverage.

Another great benefit of using signature talks to sells is that whole opt-in piece. Your audience has raised their hands and shown they are interested in what you have to say. They have chosen to be there which means they are already warm and interested in the information you are going to share. This makes selling so much easier.

With a signature talk, you are also going to be in front of a captive audience in a more intimate atmosphere. Having their undivided attention gives you the chance to do some serious relationship building. You can share more of your story and expose them to more of your brilliant expertise. The audience gets to know you on a deeper level which helps establish the oh-so-important know, like and trust factor needed to turn potential clients into buyers.

The other great asset at your disposal giving signature talks is TIME. You will have more time in front of your audience which helps to build brand stickiness. And if you know what you are doing, you can use this time to not only deliver great value and information to your audience, but also guide them a structured process to prepare them for the sale. That way you feel in control and your audience doesn’t feel hit over the head at the end with your offer.

So you can see there are many fantastic reasons to incorporate signature talks into your business model. It’s leveraged, it deepens your relationship with your audience and it prepares the room to buy. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to add signature talks to their business!

If you would like to know more about creating a signature talk to increase your profits, I want to invite you to my upcoming FREE webinar “Close Any Room: How to Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income Using Signature Talks” CLICK HERE to register

How To Know What To Offer When Speaking To Sell?

One thing entrepreneurs struggle with when putting together their signature talks is knowing what to use as their offer, but having a clear offer is absolutely critical to leveraging your profits from speaking. The last thing you want to do is hem and haw at the end of your talk when you are trying to persuade your audience to buy!

Here are a few things to consider when putting together your offer.

First, please HAVE an offer. Unless you are working for a charity, you need to see your talk as a sales vehicle which means you have to have something to sell! Your time and expertise is too valuable to give away for free. There needs to be call to action at the end of your talk, even if it is requesting contact information in return for your newsletter or free report. You must be in the habit of asking.

If you are newer to business or perhaps newer to speaking and unsure of what to offer, it is totally cool to offer a free strategy call. This is still an ask, you still have to “sell” it. However, do not underestimate the value of offering a strategy call as your offer. Any time you get a potential client on the phone with you from a presentation, they are a warm lead.

Finally, if you do want to make a paid offer at the end of the talk, your decision should be based on how advanced you are in your business, what you already have in your business model and the topic of your talk. When you look at those three pieces, what to offer becomes a lot clearer.

Once you decide what to offer, keep it consistent. The last thing you want to do is change your offer for each speaking opportunity. That creates a level of complexity you don’t want on your plate. You want something that is rinse and repeat so you get more comfortable and confident making the offer each time you present it.

If you would like to know more about how to use signature talks to quantum leap your profits, I invite you to my upcoming FREE webinar: “Close Any Room: How To Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income Using Signature Talks.” CLICK HERE to register!

How To Make Money From a Signature Talk

There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there right now who are speaking for their businesses, unfortunately however, many of them are not making money from their talks. They’re great at what they do and they give valuable information when they speak, but they struggle to close the room.

Can you relate?

It can be so frustrating to get up in front of a large audience either live on stage or online in a webinar or teleseminar and pour your heart and soul into a presentation only to come home empty handed. You spend so much time and energy preparing, you give great content and still end up with really disappointing sales.

You have to remember, your job in business is to make money and when you are giving a presentation for your business, your talk should be making you money. If you are a person of integrity, of course you want to give your audience real, transformative content, but you also want them to work with you so you need to guide them through a process to take that next step forward. You don’t make sales by banging people over the head with an offer.

The problem is many entrepreneurs don’t understand there needs to be a selling structure in place to convert potential clients into paying customers.

You can have the best programs, the most heart-felt presentation and the most impressive training, but if you don’t know how to set up your talk to prepare the audience for your offer, you will be fighting an uphill battle.

Passion alone does not equal profits. You have to have a PLAN. Once you understand how to structure your talk to sell, you can layer in all your great content and create something that is truly dynamic AND profitable.

If you’d like to know more about how signature talks can dramatically increase your profits, I invite you to join me for my upcoming FREE webinar: “Close Any Room: How To Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income With Signature Talks” CLICK HERE to register

When Doves Cry…

Yesterday, the world got way less cool…

I was so saddened by the news of the death of rock legend, Prince. It was a huge loss to the music industry and artistic world. However, I also took it as a personal loss as did many others.

When I was growing up, I had two posters on my bedroom door. One was a picture of a basket of fluffy kittens and the other was of Prince splayed out on a bed covered with purple satin sheets. I can only imagine what my mother must have thought!

To say I was obsessed is a massive understatement. I saw the movie Purple Rain 20 times and could recite every line of the movie as I watched repeatedly. I bought the cassette sound track to the movie and listened to it well over 200 times. Prince was one of three rock concerts I’ve seen in my entire life and the ONLY one I ever actually bought tickets to for myself. And let me tell you, that band was TIGHT!

Why was I so obsessed?

As I teenager, I really didn’t grasp Prince’s talent or mastery. An artist manager friend recently told me how Prince played all the instruments and would often finish sound tracks overnight while the rest of the band went home. But as kid, that wasn’t my focus. No Sir!

I was focused on the man.

Strangely enough, I felt very identified with Prince, me a tall, awkward, pious white girl and this little, eccentric, gender-bending, black pop star. How could that be? How could I see myself in him? Yet I did.

Even though at the time what I felt was infatuation, I understand now what I really wanted was to be like Prince. Not for the fame or money (or cross-dressing!), but for his unapologetic, in-your-face, wildly sexy self-expression. If you could have bottled that up to sell, I would have been first in line to buy.

Prince rose to fame as I came of age. His artistry, pain, bravado and rebellion awakened the possibility in me of a richer, more sensual life. If it was possible for him, it was possible for me, especially since he was from the Midwest.

I still remember the thrill I got driving past the Chanhassen water tower outside of Minneapolis every time we would go visit my dad in Minnesota over the summer. I would be thinking, “I can’t believe it, Prince has a house here. HE lives HERE!”

Prince no longer lives THERE or anywhere on God’s green earth, however, his VOICE lives on in all those who were touched by his hot grooves and outrageous moves.

His talent is a beacon for excellence, drive and discipline. And his memory is a call to action for anyone who wants to live a free life and challenge perceptions about how one should express their authenticity.

My challenge to you is to find your voice and share the art that lives within you while you still can.

Rock on.

What Makes A Signature Talk Different Than Other Presentations?

“How To Know What Content To Include In A Signature Talk”

Whether it’s the first time or the tenth time you’re creating a signature talk, the question of what to include for content always comes up. How do you know what to include and what to leave out?

The first thing you want to remember about giving a talk to sell is your audience is there to get a taste of what it would be like to work with you. This means you want to give something delicious and enticing, but you don’t want to lay out an entire feast. Think of your talk as a sexy cocktail party where you are the charming host not a rich Thanksgiving Dinner where everyone leaves feeling bloated.

Most entrepreneurs, especially women, want to give, give, give. It usually comes from a place of wanting to prove ourselves, but what happens when you over-give is you shoot your profits in the foot. When you give too much of your juicy content, you don’t give people a reason to move forward. They’ve already gotten enough to take the next step…without YOU.

Another reason over-giving is so detrimental to your sales is it overwhelms your audience. They can’t process all the information so they are either frantically taking notes or tuning you out. In either case, they are not present or emotionally engaged in your talk where they need to be to buy.

Your content also needs to be clear and the points well-defined. Please, I beg of you, DON’T WING IT.  You want to be thoughtful about the most important pieces of information your audience needs right now and deliver that content in a step-by-step manner.

Finally, if you are smart, you will choose content that aligns with your offer. Your signature talk should be a well-oiled, pre-meditated selling machine that seamlessly guides your audience to buy. When you backwards engineer your copy from your offer, you will have a much better sense of what to include and a much better chance of closing the room!

If you’d like to know how YOU can create a killer signature talk that sells, I invite you to my upcoming FREE webinar “Close Any Room: How To Add Thousands Of Dollars To Your Monthly Income Using Signature Talks.” CLICK HERE to register


Episode 12: “How To Create A Brand Story That Sells” with the Story Stylist, Gayle Nowak.

“How To Create A Brand Story That Sells” with the Story Stylist, Gayle Nowak.

Gayle Nowak is a marketing and public relations expert who helps entrepreneurs unearth and craft their compelling brand stories so they be more authentic and sell more in their businesses. In this episode Gayle shares her own deeply powerful story and how it THRiVE Gayle Nowaktransformed business and her entire life. She shares how to use your story to get on bigger and better platforms and even how to use your story to make a big impact even if you are just getting started in your business.

Episode 11: Style Your Authentic Beauty with Catherine Storing

“Style Your Authentic Beauty” with Catherine Storing.


Catherine is a fashion stylist, speaker and best-selling author of the Book Styling Faith, The Complete Styling Guide. THRiVE Catherine StoringIn this episode Catherine explains the importance of a polished image to help you make more money in your business. She talks about how she was able to grow her business once she understood and embraced how she wanted to express her authentic self through her image. And finally, Catherine shares how she was able to carve out a unique and profitable niche by combing her love of fashion with her faith to create a truly inspirational brand.
Catherine is beautiful inside and out.

How To Make More Money 2016

When we look forward to a new year, we have hope it will be better than the last, that there will be less violence and poverty in the world, that we will weigh less and have clearer skin (ok, that one is definitely me:) and that we will make more money in our businesses than last year.

Hope is a beautiful thing when it comes to staying positive, but it is a terrible strategy for increasing your profits.

If you are serious about increasing your revenue in 2016, you need a clear PLAN.

When the path is clear, execution is successful.

Look at the New England Patriots. Love ’em or hate ’em, they have been a consistently great over the past several years with eight trips to the Superbowl since 1985. That kind of success does not happen on a wish and a prayer. Each season they show up with a detailed strategy for winning and so should you if you want to make more money in your business.

Here is your game plan for more money in 2016: [Read more…]

How To Captivate Your Audience

You can have the most powerful message and give incredible, high-value content, but the cold, hard truth is, if your performance lacks polish and authority, you are not going to have the impact you could and certainly lose out on sales you should be making from your talks.

Think about it. Would you be more inclined to buy from someone who was really engaging, dynamic and passionate about their topic than someone who was nervous and fidgety? Of course! That’s human nature.

It was amazing to see their presentations transform right before our eyes. Suddenly the room came a live with their energy and everyone sat up and paid attention. It’s not that the material had changed, it was the way the material was presented that made a huge impact.

The more you can engage your audience, the more sales you will make. The better your performance is, the more confident you come across, the most expert you seem which gives the message to the audience that you have something valuable to offer.

Here are 3 things you can do to be more captivating at your next talk:

1. Walk into the room with your introduction memorized. You should be able to say your opening lines in your sleep, forwards, backwards and upside down. You don’t necessarily have to memorize your whole talk, but you want your full and undivided attention on your audience when you walk in the room. Wow them!

2. Wait to start speaking until you’ve landed. Don’t start introducing yourself while you are walking up to speak. Take your time, ground yourself and then give your opening lines. You want to establish a powerful position and take ownership of the space.

3. Use a commanding voice. This is a performance. When you are speaking to an audience, you are not going to use the same level of energy you use chatting on the phone with your BFF. You need to pump up the volume and the energy of your voice. Imagine you are in a big hall vs. doing a close-up shot on camera. Doing this will make you sound more expert and energize your body.

There is a lot more that goes into creating a profitable presentation including having powerful content and a strategy for selling, but if you start with these three steps, you will be on the right track to captivating your audience.

If you’d like to know more about how you can create a signature talk that sells, check out my FREE webinar Close Any Room. CLICK HERE to register=>bit.ly/CloseAnyRoomTraining

Are You Doing Whatever It Takes?

Do you have a big dream? What is it? Exactly. Can you articulate it right now in great detail? How does it make you feel when you see your vision in black and white? Pretty awesome I bet, excited and raring to go.

Now let me ask you how do you feel when you think about all the work it’s going to take to bring your vision to fruition? Do you suddenly feel scared or overwhelmed wondering how the heck you are going to get from where you are now to where you want to be?

The next time someone asks you what you do, say “Whatever it takes.”- Lewis Howes.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, if you want to achieve anything great, you have to learn to love the pain. Now before you shoot darts at me, let me explain.

Entrepreneurship is a battle zone. There are challenges at every corner AND it is the most exhilarating ride of your life. If you only love the highs, you are going to come down crashing, hard, and more than likely quit before you get to paradise. You have to learn to embrace the lows for what they will DO for you in the long run.

Even though I’m not an athlete or in stellar shape, I’m big into exercising. I go at least 5 times a week to the gym. I’m up every morning at 5:00 am and on the treadmill or at the weights by 5:30 am. Do I love getting up in the middle of January when it’s 10 degrees outside and the sky is black? Well…. actually, I don’t mind it. I know I am going to feel way better about my day if I go. I know in an hour, I’m going to be on a runner’s high or feeling tight and pumped after doing double sets.

But it’s not just the “what I’ll get afterwards” that makes me feel good. It makes me feel good to know I am doing whatever it takes to get what I want. When I am sweating, out of breath and my legs are burning, I know I am doing the work that needs to be done.

If staying in shape were easy, everyone would be thin and fit, but it takes work. And if it were easy to build a successful, profitable, meaningful business, everyone would be doing that too. However, it IS possible. There can be a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, you just have have to keep at it.

You may be thinking, “I am already doing whatever it takes and I’m still not where I want to be.” Well then, I’m sorry to say,  you’re are not doing whatever it takes. I’m not implying you are not working hard, I’m sure you are, but unless you’ve achieved your goal already, what you’re doing either isn’t working or it isn’t working yet. There may be more you have to do.

Before you throw in the towel, here are some tips to keep you on track for success: [Read more…]

Want To See Your Name In Lights?

From the time I was a very young girl I wanted to be famous. My first dream was to be an Olympic gymnasts, then a concert pianist, then an Olympic volleyball player and finally a singer. (Actually, I think there was a brief stint in college of wanting to be a politician, but when I realized their clothes were kind of boring, I said NO way!:)

Now days I still want to be famous. I want to touch a LOT of people with my message and inspire them to unlock their full potential so they can live out their dreams. I am building my business every day to reach that end leveraging the internet, speaking, writing and very soon launching my podcast. I see it in my mind’s eye. I see reaching thousands, perhaps millions of people and I am on a crash-course with that vision.

And there it is…. VISION.

If you want to achieve anything great in your life, you have to have a clear vision of what you really want. I recently heard a child behavior expert speak and he said one of the things that makes the biggest impact on a child’s success is called “future predicting.” Essentially you talk to the child as if the future goal is a certainty. “Well, Honey, when you start singing at the Met, you’ll want to carry a shawl because I’ve heard back-stage gets pretty drafty…”

As soon as the future predicting is in place, the child starts to see themselves in that realty and the brain reorganizes to search out any link or opportunity to manifest that vision. Pretty cool, huh?

The same is true, of course, for adults. When you speak to yourself as if what you want is already a done deal, it completely changes the game. Suddenly your personal investment shoots through the roof and the results start to line up in your favor.

The problem is, [Read more…]

How Not To Die A Miserable Wretch

Life stinks and then you die. Sadly, that’s what a lot of people think. Even if they don’t think it, they certainly act that way.

Why are so many people miserable?

Maybe you’re thinking “That’s not me, I’m not miserable.” That’s great, but can you honestly say you have a deep sense of peace, calm and contentment? If so, give me a call and we can hang out on my deck together. Unfortunately, that’s not how most people feel on a regular basis.

What does this have to do with branding?… Everything!
[Read more…]

How To Overcome Detours In Your Business

Road Closed…Under Construction…Detour…

Every single time I get in the car these days, I hit a road block, literally. In my town alone there must be 4 different road work projects going on. I know it’s summer and in New England that’s the time you work on roads. I get it, but I hate it.

More than once this week I was late. I had to call in a mommy favor to have someone make sure my daughter wasn’t stranded at camp because I hit a detour and was stuck in gridlock. Rrrrrr…

It’s such an awful feeling to be trapped. You really feel helpless. A car to the front, one behind and it’s 90 degrees outside. Something’s going to blow!

Thank goodness for street savvy and GPS. For the most part, you don’t have to stay stuck, you can usually find a way around. It might take longer, but at least you are in motion again and more importantly, you regain a sense of control.

In building your business there are bound to be times when things get in the way of your progress. It can be a small thing, like accidentally deleting a post you’ve been working on or it can be a much bigger obstacle like a tax issue. These things are bound to happen. They WILL happen. The key is to not let it stop you.

How do you keep your forward momentum when you hit a road block?

First of all, when you accept that obstacles will come up, it is way less debilitating when it happens. Sure it’s a pain in the neck, but most often, it’s not a crisis. If you are a home-owner, you understand this very well. There is ALWAYS something needing your attention, a broken sprinkler pipe, re-tarring your driveway, fixing the window-boxes. As soon as those things get addressed, the next wave of improvements will capture your attention. It’s part of the deal owning a house and it’s part of the deal owning a business.

Second, do not get entrenched in how you thing the problem should get solved. Maybe the highway is the easiest way to get to your destination, but it’s not the only way. There are usually several options available to you at any time. Try to stay flexible in your approach to problem-solving.

I recently set up a new online shopping cart and found out it couldn’t do all the things I wanted it to do, but there were lots of work-arounds available in the form of apps and plug-ins that did the trick. What originally looked they a deal-breaker suddenly become totally doable. 

However, the doing was not done by me! I had help which is key.

Ask for help when you get stuck.

I tapped my Mommy-Mafia to help with camp pick-up and I called on my business team to help me with the technical difficulties with my shopping cart. When you have support and a network, there is no need to struggle alone. You have people who can turn your mountains into mole-hills. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Asking for help does not show weakness, it shows you are smart.

If you don’t have a team in place yet, start now. Put together a personal and a professional support team. Who do you want and need to have in your corner to keep things together when you hit a road bump? Make a list. Do you need techie support? That’s a biggie for me. Do you need AAA for your car? Or how about a mentor to call on when you have a difficult client issue?

Whatever you see as potential vulnerabilities on your path to success, identify who you could call on for help with those issues. Having a support team in place is the best way to successfully manage unexpected challenges.

Just like road-work life happens, but if you take it in stride, stay flexible and ask for help, you can get back on track much more quickly so you enjoy the ride!


Your feedback is music to my ears!

What are your strategies for bouncing back from unexpected challenges?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, image consultant, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.


The Importance Of Intentional Personal Branding

Don’t look now, but your brand is following you.

When most people hear the word brand it conjures up names like Nike, Apple or Coca-Cola, but brands are not just for corporations. They are for people too and not only for the likes of Oprah or Kim Kardashian. Each one of us has our own unique brand.

For all we hear about brands, however, a lot of people are still not totally clear on what a personal brand is or why it’s important. Don’t be fooled, your personal brand is critical if you want to create a fulfilling career. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, a corporate executive or a government employee; personal brand management is one of the most important jobs you have on your journey to success.

So what exactly is a personal brand? In short, it is your reputation. Your brand is comprised of everything about you, your expertise, personality, work ethic, the way you dress and even the way you communicate. Basically, it’s everything you put out into the world that represents who you are. However, that’s only half of the equation. The other half is the perception of you held in the minds of your audience. If that audience is your boss or a potential client you can see why it’s so important to be thoughtful about your personal brand management.

People make assumptions and judgements about each other all the time. You want to be sure the assumptions people make about you are the ones you want them to make. You want to have as much influence as possible on the perception others have of you. Cruise control works for cars, but is detrimental to careers. You want to be in the driver’s seat of your brand.

There is a misconception out there that personal brand management is about putting on a shiny, fake veneer to impress or intimidate your audience. This is a false interpretation. It is instead acting with a clear and focused intention so you can reach your potential in a way that make you feel excited and grounded in who you. It is expressing your best, most authentic self in a way that is alignment with your goals.

Of course, you want to impress people, but you want to do it from a place of integrity and personal power and there are few things more empowering than having a clear and confident sense of who you are. The problem is, most people don’t know what they want and if they do know, they don’t know why they want it so they blithely go down a career plan that often leaves them feeling dissatisfied and frustrated.

We don’t want that to happen to you, so here are some key tips to keep in mind when thinking about your personal brand:

Clarity Is Key:

The first step to a powerful personal brand is awareness. You need to take the time and space to think about yourself. It may sound a bit “new-agey,” but it’s called a personal brand for a reason. This is about you, you career, your happiness.

No one can answer the questions to the deeper motivations for your brand better than you. When you do allow others to think for you, you give away your power and create a default brand that may not be in your best interest. You must give yourself permission to ponder the more thought provoking questions.

Here are few to get you started:

What do I care about?
What do I value?
What are my passions?
What are my unique strengths?
What kind of work am I doing when I feel most alive and empowered?
What kind of impact do I want to make in my field or even on society?
What do I want my career to look like 10 years from now?
What kind of environment or people do I want to be surrounded by?

This may not be something you can or should do in one sitting. These are big life questions, so be patient with yourself if the answers don’t immediately pop to mind. If you sit with them for a while, eventually what feels most true will gurgle to the surface.

Declare Your Position:

Once you’ve answered some of these questions, it’s time to decide what path you want to pursue and declare who you are in terms of how you want to be seen in pursuit of that path. This declaration can be in the form of a personal manifesto or simply statements made about who you that are sewn into your brand communications in places like your social media channels, professional bio, website copy or even in media interviews.

It may sound lofty, but making a declaration about who you are is very useful not only for you to define yourself, but also for those around you to be able to recognize, remember and most importantly, refer you. You begin to take up a unique space in the minds of your audience and differentiate yourself from the crowd.

By committing to a specific direction and point of view, you begin to refine and strengthen your position as a leader which then opens up more prestigious and profitable opportunities.

Remember, great brands are narrow and deep, not ambiguously wide and unfocused.

Take Consistently Aligned Actions:

Once you are clear on what you desire and have clearly articulated your unique value, you need to take action, but not just any action. From this point forward, you want to be sure your actions are in alignment with and accentuate your desired brand perception.

For example, if you want to be seen as C-suite material, you need to consistently look, act and sound like someone who could take on that role. Do you dress like a leader? Do you speak with confidence? Do you make bold and valuable contributions to your company? Does your professional bio paint a vivid picture of your expertise? Are you stepping up for leadership responsibilities?

If you are an entrepreneur, does your website have a clear message? Do you have good visual branding with your logo, fonts, colors etc.? Do you know how to communicate your unique value in a way that is immediately obvious to your potential clients? How do you show up on social media? You need to be consistent across all platforms.

These pieces either build or damage your brand equity. If you want to accelerate your success, you must create a clear, cohesive and consistent brand presence with everything you do professionally. It is a noisy world and if you want to stand out, you need to find and project your own unique voice and keep it out there long enough to get noticed.

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses. You can find out more about Heather by visiting her website at www.clearvoicebranding.com or connecting with her on social media at www.facebook.com/ClearVoiceBranding.

I Thought I Was Doing Great…And Then I Learned How To Sell

When I first started my business, I wasn’t sure how to market. I had just finished my training as a certified brand strategist and I thought, “Awesome, I’m ready to roll.” The only problem was I had NO idea how to get clients, none. When I was singing, I would audition for shows and the company sold the tickets. All I had to do was show up, look pretty and nail the high notes. If I was going succeed in business, I knew I had a lot of learning to do so I began my entrepreneurial education.

Along the way, I heard about speaking to grow your audience and I thought, “Perfect, this will be a piece of cake. I know how to work a room, I’ve sung for thousands of people.” But I quickly realized, I still know what I was doing. What was I suppose to talk about? What exactly was my topic? I knew about branding, I knew about image consulting and I was very enthusiastic, but I had no clue how to structure a talk to sell a room.

Not wanting to give up, I created something I thought was informative and interesting and hit the road speaking for local networking groups. I was way more nervous that I had expected, but I pulled from my performance training and showed up like a pro. Much to my delight and relief, people responded. I got all kinds of compliments. “Heather, you are so dynamic, I loved what you said!” Wow, I was a hit!

The only problem was, I came home empty handed.

I was inspiring people, teaching them, giving them great information and touching their hearts, but I wasn’t converting. My ego was huge, but the pockets were empty. Back to the drawing board…

I knew there was more to learn. I saw other speakers and coaches give presentations and watched with envy as people lined up at the back of the room to buy their products and services. I was at one event where the offer was a $30,000 program and in less than a minute that were more than 40 people in line to sign up! Wow, I realized there is big money to be made from speaking and I wanted in, I mean really in this time. I wanted to know HOW they did that.

Over the next several months and years I was on a mission to learn as much as I could about how to turn an audience into paying clients. I worked with some of the best people in the industry and eventually started understanding what magic elements need to be in place to transform any speaking gig into selling bonanza.

Here’s some of what I learned:

1. Sales don’t just happened, they need to be engineered. You have to have a plan and backwards engineer your talk to leverage your strategy.

2. You must think of yourself as a salesperson. I know, I know, sales…. yuck, right? But get this, selling and delivering real value to your audience are not mutually exclusive activities. You can be inspirational AND profitable at the same time.

3. You must have a clear message. We’ve all heard the saying “A confused mind never buys.” Here’s a news flash, the first mind that has to be clear is your own. You have to know what you bring to the table and stand your ground.

4. Confidence is a selling aphrodisiac. If you really want to sell a room, sell them on you. You don’t have to be the next Tony Robbins, but you do need to have charisma. You do need to have your own flavor of charm and magnetism which comes from knowing your value.

5. Not all stories are created equal. You have to engage emotionally with your audience and we are often taught to do this with our story, but not all stories convert. You have to be able to connect your story to the sale or else you’ll leave the room with lots of new friends, but no new credit cards.

Once, I shifted my perspective and started being more strategic about how I structured my talks, things turned around. My conversion rate sky-rocketed, not only from the stage, but also on sales calls.

I’ll admit it takes a shift in perspective, but once you embrace your role a selling speaker, you will start to make a lot more money from the stage too.



Your feedback is music to my ears!

What confuses you most about speaking to sell?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, image consultant, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.

Magic Mike Path To Success

It’s hot out there and along with the high temps come the steamy summer box-office hits. This year Magic Mike XXL takes the cake, beef-cake that is. You have to be living under a rock not to know this sexy sequel is in theaters now. The pictures have been EVERYWHERE. (Hey, I’m not complaining!)

Now whether or not a male-stripper romp is your cup of tea, one thing you have to admit is those fellas are r-i-p-p-e-d. No one, not even Magic Mike himself gets washboard abs without extreme dedication and sacrifice.

We often overlook the hard work actors put into these roles when the final product is so campy. We only see them at press junkets and premiere parties and we think they have it sooo good.

The truth is, they do have it good. They’re living large, making a LOT of money, staying at the best hotels and rubbing shoulders with other smart, beautiful and creative people. However, success didn’t just fall into their laps, they made their own magic.

I read an interview in People Magazine recently with Channing Tatum and he talked about some of the challenges he had to overcome on his journey to Hollywood fame. In high school, he struggled with ADHD and dyslexia which made academics harder for him than most. He went to college, but ended up dropping out when he started getting modeling opportunities.

What Channing did however, that was wicked smart was he leaned into his strengths and KEPT TRYING.

“I was playing the lottery left and right, I just accidentally kept running into a winning ticket.”–People Magazine

Of course he kept running into a winning ticket! He kept putting himself in positions where he had the greatest chance of having his assets noticed and appreciated. One opportunity led to the next and eventually his momentum started snow-balling.

As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to look at industry leaders and envy their successes, but there’s no need. YOU can have massive wealth and recognition as well. It won’t be Easy-Street, but if you’re smart and persistent, you can make your own luck.

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”–Seneca

Here are few tips to help get you center stage: [Read more…]

Structured For Profits

We all love the relaxed vibe of summer. We don’t have to rush everywhere. There’s no homework to get done, no carpooling to coordinate. Our schedules are less strict and life is easy-breezy. As much as we love the laid-back feel of summer, however, we still need structure in our business.

A lot of us bristle at the idea of structure and organization because it feels rigid and constraining, but structure actually allows for massive creativity and improvisation. We often think of great artists as being spontaneous, riffing on sparks of inspiration. The truth is, talent must be cultivated first, brush strokes perfected, scales mastered before true freedom of expression is possible. You must learn the alphabet before you can write poetry.

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.–Pablo Picasso

Think of a dam, it is put in place to harness the power of the water. It captures and leverages the flow of the current. Your personal energy needs to have direction as well. As entrepreneurs we have so many ideas, ideas for products, programs, partnerships, but what we don’t have is a PROCESS. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but without execution there are no profits. You have to have a way to organize your thoughts so others can understand and implement them. This is structure.

Structure is not a cage, it is a vessel for your genius. @HeatherPoduska (tweet this)

When I work with clients on creating signature products and programs, the first thing I ask is, “What is your process?” The answer is often, “I don’t know, I just work on whatever my clients needs at the time. We play it by ear.” That answer is fine if you have a one-on-one coaching client, but if you want to create leveraged income, you need to have a repeatable system. You can’t sell a product or program to thousands of people that is customized to one person. When you do that, you are not following your process, you are following the needs of one that client.

If you don’t have repeatable systems in your business, [Read more…]

The Summer Of Desire

“The Summer of Desire” It sounds like a steamy romance novel and well, it is sort of… Or maybe I should say it could be. It could be YOUR sultry story.

As entrepreneurs we are hard-wired to be ambitious. It seems like every waking hour is dedicated to thinking about how to build our businesses. “How can I reach more clients? What products should I develop? What training course will help me get to the next level? Should I use Infusionsoft or Ontraport?” And the list goes on…

This may surprise you, but thinking too much can be detrimental to your success. Being overly analytical stymies creativity and leaves no room for the heart. Of course, you need strategy to stay on track and you need grit to get the work done, but all work and no romance leaves Jane a boring and mediocre fem-bot. What you need is a little intrigue. Oh, la, la!

Passion is the fuel for all great endeavors@HeatherPoduska (tweet this)

Passion takes your breath away. Passion gives your vision wings. Passion makes your feel alive.

Passion can also help you feel fully expressed when doing something you love. When you love what you do, your imagination can kicks in to high gear and you become wickedly innovative. That’s how great brands are birthed and fortunes made.

How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of Light against its being; otherwise we all remain too frightened. -Hafiz

For many of us, the idea of leading a more passionate life sounds great, but we get stuck in our heads. We want more joy, but we don’t know how to access the part of ourselves that will lead to greater fulfillment. I’ll admit, even for the most enlightened pleasure-seekers, navigating a path to our molten core can be challenging in a world filled with iphones and incessant alerts. Thankfully, we have summer.

I invite you to take advantage of the heat and sun to allow your desires to percolate. Use this time to massage your deepest longings and give credence to their callings. If you do, you may find answers to questions you never even thought to ask and your business will take on new life and meaning.

Here are a few suggestions to help you ignite your flame this summer: [Read more…]

Is Your Brand Image Damaging Your Credibility?

At an event I attended recently for my daughter, I was chatting with another parent who is an administrator at a prominent local hospital. Between discussing braces, soccer and upcoming summer plans, we actually got around to talking about non-kid topics. I asked how work was going and he mentioned that he was swamped because in addition to seeing patients, he also was in the process of trying to fill an open position on his staff. When I asked him how it was going, his answer verified something I know to be true… IMAGE MATTERS.

This man told me how they had searched and searched for a qualified candidate and he was excited, but also nervous about someone they found that might be great. The candidate had a really good resume and the appropriate experience, but the problem was “she looked pretty disheveled.” Even though he liked her, he was worried the rest of his staff would not go for it based on her appearance. He went on to tell me that he knew the candidate was a busy mom and as a dad he gets how hectic it can be, but this was a reflection of the candidate’s judgement about the way she presented herself for the interview.

Even though this dad was someone I knew through our kids, I am quite certain he didn’t know I am a brand strategist and image consultant. We were just having a friendly conversation while we waited for our kids. So it wasn’t a case of him trying to come up with some common ground or something I’d be interested in hearing about. It was just the first thing that popped into his mind when I asked him about work.

The point is, people notice your appearance and how you present yourself absolutely effects their impression of you. The example I just shared is a real life situation where someone might lose out on a great opportunity solely because of their personal image. Do you think she will ever know that’s why she didn’t get the job? I doubt it and that’s why I’m revisiting the importance of image with you today. I want to remind you that people are watching, your image matters and it should be a priority when thinking about your personal brand.

Before we go any further, I want to say I AM that busy mom, no I’m not applying for a job in health care, but I am the mom who goes to the gym at 5am and then stops at grocery store afterwards to pick up milk for breakfast in my yoga pants. I do not look perfect all the time as many of you know first-hand. So I want to be clear that I am not implying you try to look perfect 24/7. However, if you are showing up as the ambassador of your brand, you would be very wise to put some thought and effort into your brand image.

I will never forget the first time I [Read more…]

How To Successfully Pitch For Big Money

This week I had the chance to attend the Boston Women’s Venture Capital Summit. It was an amazing experience to see and hear both successful entrepreneurs and angel investors talk about what it takes to attract big money into your business.

During the summit, eight entrepreneurs had a chance to pitch and get feedback from 2 panels of investors. I was so impressed by the entrepreneurs, each one giving a thoroughly prepared presentation in front of two hundred people. Talk about pressure. They all did very well, but not all of them nailed it. There was a clear distinction between those who scored and those who didn’t.

What was it that made one presenter stand out over the others…?

It was CHARISMA baby!!!

Definition: compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. “she enchanted guests with her charisma” Synonyms: charm, presence, personality, force of personality, strength of character; magnetism, attractiveness, appeal, allure

It was their ability to “hook” the audience which in this case was the angel investors. Hooking them meant the difference between potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars…. or nothing.

It is absolutely crucial to create an emotional connection with your audience. You could have the most beautiful power point in the world or the most convincing business plan, but if you cannot communicate your personal value, you’re not gonna get the gig. Sorry, but just isn’t going to happen.

I asked the angels on break what they looked for most when deciding to invest in a new venture and consistently their answer was “It comes down to the person or the team. I would take an A person with a B market any day over a B person with an A market.” Whoa, that’s intense. “We have to know why YOU are the right person to solve this problem and you better make a compelling case.”

It just shows that people bet on people, not models. There has to be a connection, a STORY, your story. And that story had better highlight your strengths and unique value. And, and, and… you need to be able to tell that story in a clear, confident and compelling way. You know why….?

Because you only get one shot and there is someone right behind you waiting to give his pitch! Maybe he has his story down cold, is going to melt the audience and end up with their big fat check in his pocket.

Of course, you have to do your homework, you do have to have a killer business plan and know your numbers, but if you don’t set the stage, you will never have the chance to let your brilliance shine. Whether you are pitching to an angel investor or a potential client, you must be able to demonstrate you are the perfect person for the job.

Here are a few tips to help you become more charismatic:

1. Smile. Ok, this is a no-brainer, but it’s so important. There is all kinds of research that shows people who smile are perceived as being more attractive, more confident and more likely to get promoted. If it does not come naturally to you, especially under pressure, make a conscious effort to do it. Practice in the mirror if need be, but remind yourself to do it even if it feels uncomfortable at first. You will soon relax as you see others smiling back at you:):):)

2. Use humor. Don’t be afraid of seeming unprofessional by using appropriate humor. The more people like you, the more favorably they will view your presentation. People like people who make them feel happy!

3. Connect the dots for your audience. Know your story and how it connects with your idea. The connection may be obvious to you, but not your audience. You may have to spell it out. I have been asked many times about the connection between my operatic singing background and my branding/business consulting. The connection is obvious to me (sopranos are great at telling other people what to do;) see, made you laugh!

4. Be real. You may not be the most polished person in room. Maybe you are naturally shy or reserved. You don’t have to do a soft-shoe routine to get attention, just be yourself. One of the presenters at the summit was very pregnant and very out of breath. Instead of trying to be stoic, she pointed it out and went on with her presentation. No need to put on airs. If you really lean into who you are, it will be quite charming.

5. Practice. Come on, you knew this was coming. The more you practice, the more confident you will get. Practice if front of as many audiences as you can. You will get invaluable feedback from doing this, not just about your presentation skills, but about your whole pitch, the offer, the product, the market etc. You may hear one idea from someone that could change the whole course of your company.

Do not be fooled into thinking your performance doesn’t matter, that you can get by on your intelligence and talent. There is just too much competition out there. You have to find a way to connect and make an impact. Not doing so could cost you millions.

If you want to nail your next pitch, I can help. For a Complimentary Consultation, click here: http://bit.ly/1Oj2qmC



Your feedback is music to my ears!

What makes you most nervous about pitching to potential clients?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.


Mind the Gap

I need more clients. How am I going to make more money this year? I’m stuck. Maybe I should try calling myself a success coach instead of a brand strategist or a business coach…wait, what I really am is a healer, but what about the money part… got it, people will really like profit strategist…

Gosh, I don’t know. What I do know is everyone else seems to be doing so wwwweellll. What’s wrong with me??????

Have you ever had those feelings? Come on, fess up. If you are an entrepreneur, I’m sure your brain has been flooded with monkey chatter at different times. I know mine sure has. And I know it happens to beginners and veterans alike. “Look at Suzie Q over there, she just crossed the 7-figure line and I’m stuck here at $500K. What wrrroonnggg with me?”

Well, the good news is, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are not broken. There is no mortal defect in you make-up. You are just fine. In fact, you are right where you need to be.

“Yeah, right. I’m stuck and this sucks. Don’t tell me I’m where I need to be.”

Sorry, but it’s true. If you are stuck and feel shitty, that’s great! It means things are working as they should. Life, the universe, your higher-self whatever you call it is telling you it’s time for a change. If you felt fantastic all the time, you would never GROW.

Let me repeat that: g-r-O-W-WW-WWW!

Think back to when you were a young teenager. Things started to feel very uncomfortable. You’d get cranky. Your clothes didn’t fit the same way any more. Your face would break out and your body started erupting in all kinds of crazy ways and places. Let’s face it, it’s not the prettiest time of life. But going through puberty did not mean there was something wrong, it was exactly what was suppose to happen to prepare you for the next phase of development.

It’s so easy to immediately point the finger back at ourselves. We are less-than, not enough. Not smart enough, fast enough, connected enough, thin enough, pretty enough. We’re not with the right coach or in the right networking circles. We’re not writing the right kinds of blog articles or creating the right kinds of products.

Chill out. Just give yourself a break.

What if instead of beating yourself up for not being where you want to be yet, you decided to be kind to yourself? What if you started to honor yourself for being tuned-in enough to know you want something different? What would that look like?

Maybe you would sleep more so you have more energy or find a new mentor to get a fresh outlook. Maybe you would go to a florist to soak up the beautiful fragrances to feed your inner artist. Or just maybe you would just allow yourself to cry into your pillow, grab a bowl of ice-cream and watch Keeping up with the Kardashians. Who cares! You would be listening to your inner voice to see what needs are surfacing. 

The point is to mind the gap from where you are now to where you think you want to be with love. Self-chiding only brings constriction. What you want to do is mine more of yourself. Bring forward more of your gifts. Hone and refine your skills. Why would the genius of your inner child want to come out and play if you are screaming at her all the time?

So here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:

1. Bless the gap. Say a little invocation for feeling so crappy. It’s a sign you are ready for an up-level.

2. Look for the misalignment. What part of you feels like it’s not being expressed at the highest level to support your goals?

3. Make an invitation to play. Create a fun and safe environment to allow for your creativity to surface. Criticism squishes creativity which is where all the answers lie.

4. Get what you need. If you are stuck it’s only because there is something you don’t know or don’t know how to do yet. You can complain about it and stay a victim, or you can advocate for your dreams.

Everything you need is within your reach. You just need to open your hand and accept it.

Thus endeth the lesson:)




Your feedback is music to my ears!

How do you deal with your inner critic? Would love to hear your strategies!

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.


How to Survive A Personal Earthquake

Have you ever had one of those phases in your life when you feel like the earth is shifting under your feet? Like you are walking the same path, but somehow the ground underneath feels different? Actually, instead of walking on a clear path, if feels more like trudging through mud.

That is the kind of year I have been having…

I don’t know, maybe it’s the massive amounts of snow we’ve had in New England, or maybe it’s just the winter of my discontent, but it feels like there has something hibernating inside my heart for along time and now it is trying to wake up. It just hasn’t made its way to the surface yet. It’s like one of the dreams you have when you know you are dreaming, but you still can’t bring yourself to full consciousness.

Ah, and there it is, consciousness. Wouldn’t life be awesome if everything we wanted or needed was immediately obvious and ready at our beckon call? There are powerful manifesters out there who might argue, but for the most part life doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s like the blessed snow, you know the grass is under there, that in a few months the sun will be shining and the birds will be chirping, but right now you’re looking at 90 inches on your lawn.

(Oh beloved Boston, I love you, I really do, but enough is enough!)

No matter how much we wish for immediate clarity, we have to be patient.  Plants and trees use the winter season to break down and re-make certain proteins so they are ready to germinate in the spring. We humans use this time of dormancy for the re-ordering of our souls. We must break down old beliefs about who we are to allow the next incarnation of who we will be to take form. Trying to rush this process can have disastrous results.

It’s like sleep. Our bodies need that time to rest and repair our cells and to give our brains a chance to process the day’s events. If we don’t get enough sleep, we’re groggy and grumpy. We can’t think clearly and our performance suffers. Interrupting our sleep damages the necessary healing process our bodies need to function at their best.

Yet when it comes to our evolution, we want nothing more than to skip the recommended 8 hours of repose. To hell with dormancy, we want transformation NOW! We think by getting up at 2 o’clock in the morning the sunrise will come more quickly. It does not. If the plants and trees tried to bloom in January, their new buds would quickly die. Our nucleus needs time to crystallize.

One of the things that makes our growth so painful is we often feel we are alone, that everyone else is moving forward and we are stuck. It is a lie. Everyone is metamorphosing all the time. It’s just that we are not all going through the same stages at the same time. You may be working away in your cocoon while someone else is about to take flight. It can look like they are soaring and we are sinking, but we are each doing the work needed at that time in life to develop.

Do not compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.–Jon Acuff

Going through a transmutation can feel like an eternity, but take heart. The sun will shine again and you will come out the other side reinvigorated.

In the meantime, here are some tips for surviving your own personal earthquake.

1. Find a supportive frame. When the earth is trembling below your feet, it’s important to find stability around you so you feel safe as your internal plates shift. Lean on people who love you and care about your expansion.

2. Do not stay in a crumbling structure. You may be tempted to cling to the old paradigm. It’s natural to want to revert back to familiar ways, but doing so jeopardizes your well-being. There is no safety there, only stagnation.

3. Pay attention to the tremors. You know the saying, first God whispers, then shouts, then knocks you over the head with a 2 by 4 to get your attention. (Ok, maybe that’s not exactly how the saying goes…) Those little rumblings in your gut are trying to tell you something big is on the horizon. Those murmurs are clues to your next step.

4. Go outside & sit on the grass. I’ll be honest, a personal earthquake can feel really crummy at times, like your banging your head against the bloody wall. It’s really, really, REALLY important to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself the time and space to find a reflective refuge so you can listen to your heart.

5. Expect aftershocks. Even when you get complete clarity on your next move, you will experience contractions. The excitement of a break-through is intense and we tend to recoil several times before a permanent change takes hold. This is completely normal and doesn’t mean you have not succeeded. If you know that’s how it works, you can move forward with more ease.

Finally, the most important piece to survival is having faith. When the earth is literally undulating beneath you, taking even a tiny step can feel like trying to walk on water. You fear as the earth opens up in front of you, you will fall right into the abyss. But instead of a wild, eternal descent, your better self rises up to meet you. You are rewarded for your courage and the prize is a clearer, richer and fuller version of an authentic you.

As for me, the ground is still shaking, but I know there is something wonderful brewing. As I get more clarity, I’ll keep you posted.

Until next times, here’s to hitting all your high notes!



Your feedback is music to my ears!

Have you ever experienced a personal earthquake? What were the lessons you learned?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.




Love Yourself Rich

I’m in the mood for love…and here’s why.

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day for sweethearts and romance, but the real reason I’m in the mood for love is because it’s the best, fastest way to create a truly abundant life.

I have found over and over with both myself and my clients the biggest impediment to reaching the next level of success is always linked to some aspect of not  fully loving yourself.

It may sound mushy, but there’s just no way you can show up as a magnetic, dynamic force if you are not embracing yourself. You know why? Because human beings are feeling creatures.

Our emotions dictate our thoughts and our thoughts dictate our actions, so if we are being critical of ourselves or not honoring who we are, it shows. And where it shows the most is in our results.

On the other hand, when you are in alignment with your authenticity, you feel comfortable expressing yourself and enjoy being in your own skin, that shows too. You begin to make major strides toward your big goals.

You also experience more confidence, a greater sense of personal power and much more joy. And here’s the kicker, more people want to be a round you. It’s a no-brainer. When you love yourself, you’re more attractive on every level.

We all have our ups and downs, but it’s crucial to protect our self-worth. If we do not value ourselves, neither will anyone else.

Here are some tips to keep the fire burning in your relationship with the most important person in your life, YOU! [Read more…]

You, a Hot Tub and More Clients…

One of my dear mentors recently posted a very provocative video on YouTube. No make-up, hair undone and filled with raw emotion. It was crazy deep. In all honesty, it made me a little uncomfortable at first, but as I watched, I got completely sucked in.

I was not the only one moved. She touched the hearts of THOUSANDS of Facebook friends (read potential buyers) who responded to her post. No special lighting, no polished editing…it was her vulnerability that did it. When you are vulnerable, you allow other people to feel, share and express their own feelings more easily. What was once uncomfortable suddenly becomes tolerable or even preferable creating an ease of being that is priceless.

The result is a deeper connection and a deeper level of trust with your audience which is what happened for my mentor. Obviously, her vulnerability struck a chord with a lot of people. And here’s where it gets interesting for your business. Connection is the best, most secure way to profit.

If you feel connected to someone, it’s usually because they make you feel a certain way when you are with them. For example, when I saw my mentor’s video with all it’s deep feeling I thought, “Wow, when I am with her, I feel safe to have deep feelings too. I know I can open up to her and she won’t judge me.” That is hugely valuable to me and makes me feel more desire and loyalty towards her. The same will be true for you as well when you begin to open up. Your best, most perfect customers will LOVE you.

Don’t think have to break down and cry to be vulnerable though. Being vulnerable just means [Read more…]

Is Your Brand a One-Note-Wonder?

The other day I was watching America’s Test Kitchen where they were making the most delicious pasta dish with pork and mushrooms. My mouth was watering. What made the dish look so delectable was the steps they took to finish the sauce.

First, they ground the pork and made it into a patty. Then they cooked the patty like a hamburger to crisp up the outside, but left the middle very pink and soft. To finish cooking the meat they chopped up the patty and added cream to the pan which soaked up the drippings from the frying process. Yummm!!

You could tell it was going to taste amazing, nothing like my Wednesday night pasta of ground turkey and a jar of Ragu. No, their sauce was rich and interesting. The textures varied and the flavor deep. I’m sure if you tried it, you wouldn’t want the experience to end. 

Strangely enough, the sauce got me thinking about branding….

In order to create a clear, strong brand it is very important to narrow your focus. If you try to be too many things to too many people you can’t carve out a unique niche and therefore, waste a lot of time, money and energy on marketing and projects that don’t resonate with a loyal audience. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are starting to wake up to the importance of good branding and I see them making real strides in leveraging their strengths.

However, I’ve also noticed a very disturbing and counterproductive trend…

Entrepreneurs feel a lot pressure to brand themselves “correctly.” They want to make decisions that will help them stand out and be most profitable, but they get confused about how to bring everything together in a way that feels good. What they end up doing is choosing what they think makes the most sense and then they leap. Does this sound familiar to you?

Unfortunately, what usually happens under these circumstances is you end up cutting off very valuable pieces of yourself. What’s left is a bland, one-note brand. You cut off those crispy bits that add all the flavor!

Strong brands are narrow, but extraordinary brands are narrow and deep. They have layers. They are interesting and succulent.–HP (tweet this)

I saw a very cool masterclass recently with the great American soprano, Renee Fleming. She was coaching a young mezzo with an absolutely gorgeous voice. The critique Ms. Fleming gave was although her voice was beautiful, the young mezzo’s sound lacked interest because it was all aligned the same way. She needed to play with different kinds of resonances to add color and spice things up. Such great advice for branding!

We work so hard to figure things out, to find our lane, to zip it all up. However, once we get the main genre, life coach, money coach, event planner etc. we tend to park it. If you are an expert, and I’m sure you are, you are not a newbie. You have that first piece figured out. Now you need to go deeper, have more fun. You can and should explore all the colors of your voice. You don’t have to cross the double yellow lines, but you can certainly hug the edge once in a while.

When you do, suddenly your brand will take on more shimmer. It will carry to the back of the hall. The guy in the third row will break into tears. The usher will tweet all her friends about how they have to come and see the next show!

It takes a little courage to own all of who you are, but the results can be magnificent. With each new day and each new inch of authenticity you feel more energized and more richly YOU. You start to separate from the herd and gather a band of merry followers. You become their benevolent pied piper, leading them to higher ground, showing them the way to their own biggest transformation.

So ask yourself, do you want to be a one-note-wonder or a wonderfully, complex and integrated power-house?

If you need help releasing the full beauty of your voice, I invite you to apply for a Complimentary Consultation with me by clicking this link: Complimentary Consultation Application

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high notes!



15 Actions To Blow 2015 Out Of The Water

Every year we try to do better than the last, at least if you are a success-driven entrepreneur like me. Below are my best tips for moving towards your goals in 2015 with joy and ease.

One quick note, all these steps are based on the bedrock of having healthy, nurturing relationships so be sure you prioritize your love lines as you start the new year.

Here we go…

15 Actions to Blow 2015 Out of the Water:

1. Decide what you want and put it in writing.

2. Exercise hard and get your sleep. (and of course, eat good food to fuel your energy)

3. Find an accountability buddy.

4. Put deadlines in your calendar for the entire year NOW.

5. Schedule your down time.

6. Find good help to support your home life.

7. Join a high-level mastermind.

8. Set specific financial goals.

9. Make a list of the least money generating activities you did last year and stop doing them.

10. Make a list of the top 3 money generating things you did last year and triple your effort in those areas.

11. Find or deepen a positive creative pursuit.

12. Connect to at least 3 new people every day either in person or online.

13. Read constantly.

14. Do whatever you need to do to keep a daily positive attitude, books, movies, quotes, friends, exercise etc.

15. Put more of your authentic self on the line in everything you do.

Feel free to add to the list. You can post your thoughts on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ClearVoiceBranding

Until next year, here’s to hitting all your high notes!



You’ve got to believe…

Ah the holidays…

As much as I moan and groan about the frantic pace of this season, there always comes a wonderful moment that makes it all worth while.

It usually happens when the kids are home playing games, Christmas music is playing and I’m making cookies. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s the feeling we all long for around this time of year, something magical.

Who knows, maybe it’s an illusion. Maybe I am kidding myself into thinking life is grand when really I have just fallen into a candy-coated haze that is blinding me to harsh reality, but I don’t think so.

I know I worked hard to achieve this moment. The tinsel didn’t hang itself. I did it and now we get to enjoy it.

Sometimes it can feel frantic in our businesses too. We worry we’ll never see the light at the end of the tunnel and wonder if what we’re striving for is an unattainable fantasy. Is all the hard work even worth it?

It is worth it. The sugar-plum ending is possible, but you’ve got to believe, Virginia. You’ve got to BELIEVE!

Most of us stop short of our dreams because we lose faith. Things get difficult, we hit a rough patch and start to doubt ourselves. We don’t see results right away and start to think they will never come.

You’ve got to have faith.

Faith requires us to believe in things we cannot yet see. When you imagine what you desire, your subconscious goes to work on your behalf. Like a kid putting an order in to Santa Claus, your mind releases a minion of tiny elves to make your dreams come true.

However, your dreams are powered by consistent belief. Turn off the belief and you cut the plug to the magic. Think about farmers who plant crops in the spring. If they gave up because they didn’t see immediate results, the seeds would never grow. They have faith in the process however, so they keep watering and tending their fields and end up with a bountiful harvest.

As anyone who has dared face the mall in December will tell you, keeping a positive attitude can be difficult, but don’t give up too quickly. Your dream may not turn up exactly as you had envisioned, but it will still be wonderful. You wished for a pony, but Santa knew you’d never clean the stall. Instead, he brings you a Porsche. Don’t you just love Santa?:)

My dream was and still is to sing at the Met some day. It’s unlikely to happen at this point, but I’m not giving up hope. What has come as result of keeping this wish in my heart has been a deeply fulfilling business and new opportunities to use my voice I could have never anticipated.

What is your dream? Are you holding it fast to your heart? Or do you need a dose of inspiration?

Here is my recipe for a truly magical business:

  1. Think like a kid.
  2. Imagine your dream in vivid detail.
  3. Ask for what you want.
  4. Work your patootie off while you wait.
  5. Believe it will come to you.

*A pinch of eggnog never hurt either:)

Do those things and who knows where you’ll be this time next year!

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high notes.




Come out, come out wherever you are…

I had a very interesting experience recently. I was on the treadmill, my altar of choice, getting into my zen mode when “Shazammmm!” I had an awesome idea. I was going to create a truth-or-dare type business game, a no-lose, profitable venture for anyone who was willing to play. But I was struggling with how to word the copy. How exactly do you sound both high-end, dead-serious and playful all at the same time? Fast forward to the shower…

Kapow! Inspiration strikes again.

I will make it like a carnival game, but with a $100,000 proposition. Yes, yes, this will be fun! Hmmm, can I really do this? Am I sure this is the right tone? Better test it out… “Hey, guys, what do you think of this? Too bold?”

The feedback I got was crazy divided. One person said I was hiding behind a clown mask, another said, “Right on! This is awesome!” Ok, now what? Who else can I ask…

“Hey, Hubby, what do you think of this copy?” (Just the position in which most husbands like to be put.) “Oh, I’m wonderful you say? Phew… thanks Honey.”

I wasn’t really looking for feedback, I was looking for validation. “Is this ok? Am I ok? Will people like me?”

Have you ever had a flash of inspiration, something that totally fired you up? You couldn’t wait to get home to tell someone. But something happens on the way, doesn’t it? Doubt creeps in and you get cold feet. 

Nine times out of ten, your first impulse is the right one. It’s right because it’s your unfiltered power voice talking to you. That’s what the bolt of electricity is you feel surging through your body when a wild idea pops in your head and that is where your profits come from.

When you edit yourself, you water down your authenticity. You play nice in the sandbox in hopes other kids will come and sit next to you, or maybe even in hopes that they won’t beat you up. Either way what usually happens is you sit there alone, waiting to get noticed.

Letting your true voice out can be incredibly scary, I’ll admit it. I was really nervous about my game copy, but what I realized was, I am done keeping quiet. This bird is out of the cage and she’s gonna sing baby!

I ended up posting something that was pretty bold and very tongue in cheek. I got some takers, but honestly, I may have had more people respond if I had toned it down, but I don’t care. It was so incredibly liberating to breathe more of myself into my brand voice that it felt like a massive victory.

As you continue to express yourself more and more, you will lose favor with some people. Wish them well on their journey of self-discovery, but it’s totally cool and actually preferable. Those that stay will get more value and enjoyment from being a part of the community and you will have more fun serving them as you freely express yourself more and more.

I’ve said it before, branding is like dating. You have to find the right match. If you pretend to be something you are not to fill your funnel, you will start resenting your business. On the other hand, if you let your true voice come out, not only will you develop an awesome tribe who loves you, you will most definitely make more money. Now that’s something to sing about:)

If you are having trouble finding your power voice, I invite you at apply for a Complimentary Consultation with me, by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1G9OUNW

Until next time, here’s to hitting you high notes!



P.S. If you’d like to know more about the game, shoot me an email at heather@clearvoicebranding.com. I could be worth $100,000 to you:)


The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Money

Last weekend I went to a fabulous children’s production of the Sound of Music in my town. The costumes and sets were great and the kids sang their little hearts out.

As a mom and a community member I really enjoyed the show. However, as a singer with a critical ear, I also thought there were some really talented kids up on stage, in particular the girl who played Maria. Her voice was clear and had a pretty, youthful vibrato. And the ease with which she played her character really impressed me. I thought she could actually make a go of it on Broadway someday if she worked hard.

Of course, very few people ever make it on Broadway, and a lot of musical hearts have been broken trying, but there is so much to be gained from learning how to perform on stage, not the least of which is MONEY!  I’m not talking about getting paid to sing, although that is lovely, I’m talking about the ROI you get in your non-musical career from learning how to get comfortable in front an audience.

After all, what is marketing? It’s performing. It’s presenting yourself to the world, telling your story, trying to connect with and engage people. Unfortunately, it’s an area with which a lot entrepreneurs struggle.

When I was first thinking about transitioning from singing to business, I had real self-doubt about my value. What could I possibly offer that would be helpful to entrepreneurs? I had been a singer and performer all my life and now I wanted to help people grow their business. How on earth was I going to do that???! I was going to have to start my career all over from scratch.

What I didn’t realize then that I do now is what I know as a performer is one of the biggest assets anyone can have to create a lucrative business. So often entrepreneurs get caught up the “business” part of business they neglect the softer parts which is a huge mistake. You can create the best product out there, but if you can’t sell it, you have zero profit.

I see it all the time, smart, talented entrepreneurs who lack the poise, sophistication and CONFIDENCE to communicate their true value. They are leaving money on the table! It so frustrating to witness. I’ve met 7-figure business owner who could easily be 8 or 9 figure business owners if they were just more polished.

Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer for a moment. They want to feel like they are investing in something valuable, something special. If they are going to plop down $100,000 to work with you, they have to feel like you’re worth it! They want to feel led and secure their needs will be met. If you do not come across as a confident, skilled, savvy leader, they are not going to feel confident or excited about jumping into bed with you.

So think about how you are showing up. Do you sound confident when you are speaking? Do you know what to say and how to say it to sound compelling? Do you look confident? What does your body language say? How clear are you on your message? How skilled are you at delivering that message? Do you get nervous speaking in front of crowds? How about speaking one-on-one in high-end sales calls? How do you perform on camera?

All of those things matter. Often you only have one shot at a new client or big opportunity. Don’t think for a second people aren’t checking you out. If you want to speak on big platforms or have access to high net worth circles, you’ve got to show up as a player who can sing! Otherwise, you are just one click away from becoming irrelevant.

If you think you might be leaving big money on the table because your performance chops aren’t up to snuff, I invite you to apply for a Complimentary Consultation with me to get you stage ready in no time by CLICKING HERE: http://bit.ly/1G9OUNW

Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high-notes!





Is Your Brand Playing Elevator Music?

The other day I was at the mall with my daughter to get her first pair of Uggs. When you’re 13, it’s part of the uniform. While we were shopping around, I noticed some music playing in the background. I knew I recognized the tune, but I just couldn’t figure out the song. Finally, it hit me. It was a Katy Perry song.

The reason I didn’t recognize it at first was because it was essentially elevator music. The song was so watered down, I wasn’t able to connect it to the original.

Katy Perry may not be the edgiest artist out there, but she’s certainly no Frank Sinatra, may Blue Eyes rest in peace. Katy Perry is a young, hip, relevant and kind of kooky pop star. Every characteristic of the music I know to be hers was stripped away and shoved through some kind of musical sanitation process to create the new boring, unoffensive version. Snoresville…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs do the same thing with their brands. In an effort to appeal to the masses, they siphon off the qualities that would in fact, make them unique and stand out. As a result, their brands become background noise.

We are so afraid of loosing our audience, missing out on opportunities or being criticized, we keep our true selves hidden and protected. In doing so we create the results we are trying so hard to avoid.

My greatest opportunities have always come from standing firmly in my truth. It is a lesson I learn over and over again. The more of myself I bring to the table, the more boisterously my audiences responds. Do I offend some people? Sure I do. But here’s the real kick in the pants. The more I lean into who I am, the less I care about pleasing everyone. I get so much joy and satisfaction from running my business as myself, it far outweighs the sting of rejection or criticism.

It is soooooo much more fun to be yourself. And it is sooooooo much more lucrative! [Read more…]

Are You Satisfied?

I heard a really interesting interview recently with Oprah and the comedian, Kevin Hart, where they were talking about success. Now clearly both Oprah and Kevin Hart are already successful, to the tune of a billion dollars, thank you very much. Oprah asked Kevin if he felt successful and he said, “Yes, of course, but there’s always something more.” More? More than $25 Million? More than $1 Billion??

Actually, yes. Kevin and Oprah both agreed each one of us is always aiming for the next highest expression of ourselves. Wow, that is awesome. THAT is creativity. THAT is BRANDING!

It doesn’t matter if you are making $100,000 or $10,000,000. We are all human beings. We are all reaching for the next thing. The problem is many of us don’t know what that next thing is. And the reason we don’t know is because we are looking for external  answers.

The answer to our greatest success comes from knowing ourselves. When we understand what we value, what our passions are, what our vision for the world is, then the pieces start to fall in place. There is no guessing. Instead, there is an inner compass that guides our path, that makes our decisions seamless because they are in alignment with who we are at the core.

When you are making millions of dollars, you are past the point of worrying about whether or not you can put food on the table. You are financially successful, but does that mean you call it a day? I don’t think so. If financial success were enough for total fulfillment, we would not be hearing from the likes of Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg anymore. Beyonce and Jay-Z would just pack up their yacht and sail off into the sunset.

As human beings there is an inner drive for self-actualization, to become the highest version of ourselves. There is a need to be seen and heard and to feel relevant. And most importantly, I believe there is a need to express ourselves and to have that expression create connection.

Let’s play a game, shall we. Pretend you are the richest person in the world. You can buy anything you want, go anywhere you want, do anything you want. What would you buy? Where would you go? What would you do? This is a fun game, isn’t it? Now ask yourself “Why?” Why would you buy the Ferrari? Why would you go to Africa? Why would you create a charitable foundation?

For the way it would make you FEEL.

If you went on safari, you’d be on an adventure, you’d be learning, you’d see beautiful animals and landscape. You would experience awe and beauty. It would feed your soul. If you bought a Ferrari, you’d gain status and recognition, you’d be expressing your wild and fast nature, you’d’ FEEL sexy and powerful. If you started a charity, you’d be giving of yourself, connecting to a cause you care about deeply, you’d gain a feeling of gratitude and generosity.

Do you see a pattern here? It’s’ about feeling, connection, passion, expression. It’s not just about the money. It’s about being wildly ALIVE. Of course, the money is vital to the equation. You need the money to actualize, but understanding what the drive is behind the desire for money is critical to both success and happiness.

We tend to think the next level of financial success is going to make us fulfilled, but that is back-asswards. When we understand what fulfills us, we make better decisions about how to make our money. We are happier, more open, we connect more freely and we have more to give. Our creativity skyrockets and we become more innovative and energized. Who doesn’t want more of that?!

If you are not feeling those things in your business now, there is room for improvement. The more you can connect deeply with who you are and how you want to show up in the world, the easier it will be to know your next move.

If you are yearning for a more meaningful version of success, I invite you to apply for a Complimentary Consultation with me here by CLICKING HERE=> http://bit.ly/1pHt7FC


What makes your knees wobble?

devid_bekhem_david_beckham-futbol-lyudi-muzhchiny-197Perfect gets a bad rap. I know it’s important in many aspects of life NOT to aim for perfection. We can’t have perfect bodies, although I think David Beckham makes a pretty good case:) We rarely get perfect hair…actually I think the entire 80’s makes my point there. However…I think you can find the perfect mate.

I’m not suggesting people are perfect, we know they are not. Hmmm, again Beckham comes to mind… Wait, I’m getting off track. What I am suggesting, however, is there are perfect matches. There are just right fits. One person’s bundle of talents, gifts and neurosis may be the exact right compliment to someone else’s crazy puzzle. And the same is true about perfect clients

So many entrepreneurs struggle to find ideal clients. They get a lot of tire-kickers or people who make them feel insecure about their value. Or they get folks who are not really motivated to do the work and it leaves them feeling deflated and frustrated. It doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to attract perfect clients. It just feels hard because we tend not to do the work needed to put our high-frequency attraction signals out so the right people can find us.

Most of us settle. We look at the mess of puzzle pieces sitting in front of us and get so overwhelmed we start making rash decisions. Instead of picking up a magnifying glass and studying every curve, edge, line and color of our ourselves and our businesses, we grab from the pile and try random pieces one by one. It’s such a waste of time and energy. And God help us if there’s one that’s even a close fit. We’ll try to cram that baby in there come hell or high water. It’s got to fit, right?

There’s a better way… [Read more…]

My New Least Favorite Word

JUST (3)I have heard something a lot recently that has started to really bother me. It’s not a phrase or even a sentence. It’s one little tiny word. But this one little, tiny word has a huge impact. The word is “just.”

“Just” has become my new least favorite word. I don’t mean in the “It is just and right to have laws” kind of way. I mean in the “Oh, I’ll just do…” It seems to be in the air a lot lately.

Here are some of the ways I’ve heard it:

“My sister-in-law’s brother is a photographer, I’ll just wait until the next time he’s in town and have him take some shots for me.

“I know I need help with this, but I’m just going to see if I can do it myself first.”

“Why don’t we just find someone who will volunteer to do the work.”

“Why don’t you just hire her and see how it goes.”

Ugh, ugh and double ugh!

When we say “just” we are essentially saying we know there is something better available, but we are choosing not to try to attain it. We are letting ourselves off the hook and settling.


Why, why do we do that?

Why, unless he’s Ansel Adams, would you settle for your sister-in-law’s brother to take your picture?Why wouldn’t you determine your budget and find the best photographer you can to meet your needs? And why not put proper thought and effort into scheduling the shoot, getting enough rest, planning your wardrobe and hiring a make-up artist to boot?

Why would you try to find a volunteer to do professional work? Are you not a professional? Do you want to volunteer your time for other professionals? I think not!

Why would you try to do something on your own that you know will probably not yield the kind of results you need? Why would you spend precious time and energy struggling through something on your own when would get you a much bigger ROI with support?

One of the reasons we do these things is because we believe we cannot have what we truly want or need. There is an underlying feeling of unworthiness. Who are we to ask for and get the best quality?

When we want to barter or get volunteer help, settle for a hire that is not a good match, or resist investing in ourselves when we know we need to, these are all symptoms we do not value ourselves.

We pinch our pennies because we fear we won’t be getting more dollars in the door. However, when you recognize and embrace your own worth, you start to develop trust in your ability to generate income. And as a result, you start to make decisions and take actions that honor your needs.

When you value yourself, you do not settle. You develop and stick to higher standards and life becomes more abundant. It’s not always easier to to get what you want. It may taken more effort, in fact, it probably will, but it’s well worth it.

So next time you catch yourself saying “I’ll just…” stop and say:

“I freely ask for and receive what I want and need.”

If you are ready to stop saying “just” and start saying “yes” I invite you to apply for a complimentary Brand Consultation.

Click here to apply=>http://bit.ly/1pHt7FC


Your feedback is music to my ears!

Where in your business are you settling?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.

How to Lose a $40,000 Deal in 10 Seconds.

How awesome would it be to have a client walk in your door ready to lay out $40,000 for your product or service?Now imagine how bad it would feel to lose that same client within seconds. That’s exactly what happened to several car salesmen last weekend.

Our family is in the market for a new car. We’ve had the same mini-van for the past 9 years. Even though I’m a little nostalgic about getting rid of the car we brought our babies home in, I’m pretty psyched to be getting something that doesn’t have gummy bears lodged in the seats.

For me, part of the fun of getting a new car is doing the research. I love watching the sleek marketing videos, imaging what it would be like to zip down the road in one of those shiny new rides.  My kids are a little bit older now, so maybe we can get away with something besides a mini-van. Maybe…

Whatever we end up with, I want to be wowed. If it’s a mini-van, I want it to be decked-out so I don’t feel so much like Mommy-from-the-Block. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. I just wish there was a way to look slightly more cool driving back and forth to soccer practice.

I also want to be wowed by the actual experience of buying the car. It’s not something you do everyday, so I want it to feel special. With our short list in hand, we went off to do some test driving.

It would be an understatement to say we are motivated buyers at this point. We’ve probably waited a good 6 months longer than we should have to get this project going. The old girl has served us well, but her time has come. I am ready and excited for an upgrade.

As we head out the door, [Read more…]

How to avoid repelling high-paying clients

Last weekend my beautiful niece who just graduated from film school came up from New York to help me shoot video for a project I am creating. We had so much fun running around Boston shooting in different locations.

I had been looking forward to doing this for weeks, but in the time leading up to the shoot I had gotten very busy. I knew I needed to do a lot of prep so I wouldn’t waste time once we started, but I had just been so slammed that some things had fallen through the cracks. I found myself scrambling the night before to write the script.

Funny enough, I thought I really nailed it. Hey, maybe pressure is really the best editor! Well, not quite…

Just to be sure it was a wonderful as I imagined, I read my masterpiece to my husband for some feedback. I know, I know, asking a spouse for constructive criticism is not always the best idea, but Mr. P is usually pretty good about it. And I know he wants me to succeed, so I was anxious to hear his thoughts.

Of course, I thought he might tweak a word here or there, but otherwise say, “Wow, Honey, you knocked it out of the park!” Not so much.

What he said instead really surprised me. [Read more…]

What are you waiting for?

When I was a kid, my mom had this very cool pink pajama set. It had palazzo bottoms and a filmy top a la “I dream of Jeannie.” You can imagine,  as a girlie girl, I used to love putting that thing on and playing all kinds of make-believe. Even though it wasn’t something my mom really ever wore, I still always had to ask permission to play with it.

Because it wasn’t something I could grab on a whim, I would covet that pinkalicious guise. It would make me sad or even angry that my mom was keeping it from me. After all, if she knew how wonderful it made me feel, why wouldn’t she just give it to me? I guess maybe she imagined wearing it to some cool retro pool party in them there hills of northern Wisconsin.

Don’t you just hate it when you have to wait for what you want? Or worse yet, when you have to ask someone one else to give you something you crave? I know, I sure do. I hate it. I hate the feeling of being at the mercy of someone else’s judgment.

As kids, we need to have our parents monitor our decisions. Believe me, I have three kids and the words “You need to ask permission first.” have passed my lips many, many times. For example, “You have to ask permission before you use my Channel lipstick to paint flames on your face for action figure day at camp.”

Most of the time when I require my kids to ask permission for something it is to keep them safe. I wouldn’t want them going off where I didn’t know where they were or using a really sharp knife and risk cutting themselves. It’s all well-intentioned, but here’s the thing. Kids need that kind of supervision , adults don’t.  However, as adults most of us are are still waiting for others to give us permission to do and have what we want.

For entrepreneurs all this waiting can be deadly. [Read more…]

Tips for Making Better Follow-Up Calls


Double uggg…….

I did something really stupid.  I could kick myself. I KNOW better, but I did it anyway. Why? Because I was tired and feeling lazy, pure and simple. So what what this horrible mistake?…

I didn’t prepare properly for a follow-up sales call.

I had a follow-up call scheduled on my calendar with someone I had talked to about a while back. They were not ready to move forward then, but were really interested in working with me and had asked me to follow-up with them. We picked a time to reconnect and I diligently put the date on my schedule and then went about my day.

In the weeks that passed, I traveled a lot and was preoccupied with family and having fun on vacation. I kept up with email and took care of small business issues, but for the most part, did not have my mind entrenched in my business. When I got back, of course, I jumped back in and started getting caught up.

I love what I do, so it was fun for me to get back in the groove. I was excited to start writing again and most of all connect with clients and colleagues again. So when time the finally came, I was eager to make my follow-up call.

Here’s where things fell apart…

Although I remembered my initial conversation with my potential client, I knew where we had left things, I knew their business and why they were interested in working together, I did not take the time to review their pain points. I had an intellectual understanding of their needs, but I had not taken the time to review their struggle and how they were feeling about it.

As a result, our conversation reflected my level of preparation. It was factual. It was intellectual and it was not emotional. I failed to take my client to the place where they connected with the feeling around not having enough clarity for the right direction for their business and how that was impacting their success.

It was an awful experience. It felt like meeting someone on the street I had kissed at a party the night before except all the hot energy was missing and we both felt uncomfortable. YUCK!

The worst part of all was knowing I could have helped this client get fantastic results to create a unique and profitable brand more quickly if I had just done my homework.

So this never happens to you, here are 3 tips to help you properly prepare for your next follow-up sales call: [Read more…]

Be My Guest

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent ullamcorper suscipit mi, id convallis risus ullamcorper eget. Aenean sagittis eros nec eros euismod, quis dapibus leo semper. Mauris rutrum viverra adipiscing. [Read more…]

How to Build a Power Voice

Have you ever been to a really good concert? You know the kind where the singer makes you literally soon? I sure have, only instead of a concert, it was at the opera.

When I was singing professionally, I would often be onstage with phenomenal singers with extremely powerful voices. I remember a production when someone dared the lead tenor to hold the high note as long as he could at the end of his aria. He actually kept singing as he exited off the stage, down a flight of steps and into his dressing room still holding that same note. The conductor was furious, but we singers thought it was awesome.

Imagine the strength it takes to send your voice over an orchestra to the back of the hall. As entrepreneurs we need to have powerful voices as well if we want to be heard above the noise and reach our audiences.  But we are an impatient bunch. We want yummy clients now. We want a book deal yesterday. We want to be invited to speak on big stages and host tv shows next week, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way.

In order to project a super powerful voice out into the market place, you must build vocal equity in your brand.@HeatherPoduska Tweet This

You don’t just jump up on stage at the Met and start yodeling and you don’t just throw up a website and start generating thousands of leads in traffic. It takes time and consistent effort to develop a powerful brand voice, but you can speed up the process by following a few key steps: [Read more…]

Would you like a pool by the ocean?

Just imagine waking up to see a beautiful pink and purple sunrise glistening over the ocean as soft waves brush the shore. That was my view last week when I was in Fort Lauderdale for a business conference. I was staying at the Trump Towel and spent my mornings doing yoga in the pool. It was bliss.

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every morning and do yoga ocean side in your own pool? Believe me, it would be:) Does it sound like a pipe dream to you?

Hmmm, why is that?

Why does having your own oceanside pool equipped with a private yoga instructor sound like an impossible dream? Is it because we think of it as an expensive luxury? If that’s what you thought, I want to share a little insight that has shifted my mindset around dreaming big. [Read more…]

5 Smokin’ Hot Tips to Insanely Increase Your Creativity

Hey, whad’ya think of this blog title? Pretty slammin, huh? I hope it captured your attention!

What do you think of these little guys?

“7 Steps to Grow Your Business” Yawn…

“7 Easy Steps to Increase Your Revenue” Better…

“7  Sexy Secrets to Create an Irresistible Brand to Explode Your Profits” Cha-Ching!

The last thing you want to do is bore your audience. There is already enough boredom in the world. Taxes and treadmills pop to mind. How long do you think your audience will stick around if you come across as an entrepreneurial Eor? You have to spice things up to keep the love alive. And not just in your sales titles, but in everything from how to package your services to how to write your newsletter.

You may think being creative is nice, but not really necessary to your success. You work hard, you’re smart, so what if you’re not the next Picasso or Steve Jobs? Wait a minute, that Steve Jobs guy did pretty well.

Being creative in your business gives you superior products and can enhance your productivity. It certainly makes things more fun and interesting for you. And most importantly it allows you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. When you are creative, you bring new ideas and greater value to your audience which sets your apart from the competition. Who needs creativity now? Starting to look more important, isn’t it?

You may already buy into the importance of being creative in your business, but sometimes for all of us the well runneth dry. It seems the harder we try to come up with new and better ideas, the further genius feels. There’s a reason for that:

A creative mind lives in the realm of play(TWEET THIS)

When you are in the trenches of running a business, having fun feels like a luxury. But the truth is, if you want a more luxurious life  and wildly profitable business, you are going to have to make friends with your inner puppy.

Want to know how to pump up the volume on creativity? Here are a few tips: [Read more…]

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

What did you dream of becoming when you were little? I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. Then I wanted to be a pastor’s wife, because my pastor’s wife was beautiful and an excellent musician. In high school, my dreamed changed to wanting to be on the Olympic volleyball team. At 5’7″ I don’t think there was much hope for winning gold on the balance beam…

How did your dreams change over time?

In college, I started as a double-major in music and poli-sci and was determined to be a politician. And then in grad school my attention focused on making it to the Metropolitan Opera. Did any of these dreams come true? Well, yes and no. Did I go on to be an Olympic athlete? No, but I did play competitive volleyball for many years and I have sung for thousands of people.

Our dreams and passions are indicators of what we want out of life. Depending on where we are in the moment, our brains come up with visions of how those urges might be fulfilled. For instance, [Read more…]

Are You Wasting Your Most Valuable Resource?

The other day I was listening to an interview with a lawyer who was talking about the strategies big companies employ when doing large merges and acquisitions. He described an incredibly complicated process which included moving sizable sums of money to off-shore accounts and partnering with and sometimes buying other companies in Europe to avoid tax implications.

I was fascinated by the complexity of the maneuvering he described. As I listened, I just kept thinking, holy-moly this guy is smart. I mean to keep track of all of those moving pieces must take incredible knowledge and organization. How can one person know so much? Where did he get the time to amass so much knowledge? And then it hit me…he made the time.

In order to master anything, you must make time to perfect your craft.

We all have the capacity to be masters, but very few of us have the discipline. This lawyer had obviously worked hard to become an expert in merges and acquisition law. How many hours had he spent at the library? How many law books and case studies did he read? And here’s the biggie. What did he have to give up to in order to do so? Where did he find the TIME? [Read more…]

Are Sales Slipping Through Your Fingers?

There is one pretty clear rule in business, no sales equals no money. Ugg. Wouldn’t it be great if clients would just enroll themselves? You wouldn’t have to do those uncomfortable sales calls.

Making sales calls is something a lot of entrepreneurs dread. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs actually avoid making them which is a shame because by doing so they are leaving money on the table. I have to admit I used to be one of those people. The idea of picking up the phone to ask someone for egads, money, made my palms sweats. What was that rule again? Ah, yes, no sales=no money.

There you have it, sales calls have to be done.

But why does it seems so scary?

A lot of it is wrapped up in self-worth. Have you ever had this thought “Who am I to ask for so much money?” Maybe you’ve never had that exact thought, but there are other gems we tell ourselves. Here are some you may recognize:

-I don’t want to be seen as greedy.
-I I don’t want to seem stuck-up.
-I really am asking a lot of money for what I’m offering.
-I don’t want to bother/annoy/pester anyone.
-I don’t want to be perceived as one of those sleazy, high-pressure sales people.
-This person seems so nice, I’m just going to charge them _____ instead of my full price.
-I don’t want the other person to get mad or be offended by my prices.
-What if they don’t have the money, I don’t want to put anyone out.

We all struggle with limiting beliefs when faced with potential rejection, but we have a choice. We can either succumb and suffer the consequence, or we can learn to shift our mindset so we get get what we want. 

Here are a few tips to make your sales calls go from fearful to fruitful: [Read more…]

Your Brand is Calling… Are you listening?

Now that summer is approaching (big yeah!!) it’s time for ice-cream season. Ok, in full honesty it’s always ice-cream season in my house. But nothing is as good as going to one of those awesome ice-cream shops with tubs of the colorful cold stuff. I love watching my kids press their noses against the glass trying to decide between Moose Tracks and rainbow sherbet. I usually go with some low-fat yogurt number and then watch pining away as the kids slurp up their creaming drippings.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I pick the yogurt. I don’t really like it that much. I end up consuming empty calories without the satisfying pleasure that should accompany indulging. It’s kind of a waste. For all the bother, I’d rather have an apple. But in the moment of choice, I focus on what I should be doing so I pick a treat that really isn’t much of a treat and I go away feeling kind of gypped.

What’s worse is the whole time I’m slugging through my yogurt, I have to watch everyone else enjoying their choices. Sometimes it’s hard for the kids too. They may like what they got, but then they look over at their sisters and feel jealous. What if hers is better? What if she made a better choice?

Why all the focus cups and cones? [Read more…]

If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit Anymore

Did you ever get the feeling that something in your business doesn’t feel right? You start to get a little gnawing feeling you can’t identify. It’s not that things are dramatically wrong, but they aren’t exactly right either. Maybe you have some clients coming in, but the business still isn’t really taking off. Or you could even have a more steady stream of clients, but you just aren’t as excited to work with them as you used to be.

What’s going on?

You could be in the wrong shoes, brand shoes that is.

Remember when you were a kid. One day you’d be running around in your Hush Puppies and the next, your little piggies would be banging up against the edges. It can be like that with your brand too. You are plugging along in your business feeling like everything is fine until you realize everything is not fine. You may not be sure why, but you know you don’t feel good. Something is being pinched, and that thing is [Read more…]

How To Be Number One!

Everyone likes a winner. Have you ever noticed when a sports team wins a championship even people from other regions buy and wear the winning team’s paraphernalia? It’s as if by wearing the  team’s logo you yourself are elevated in status. (In all fairness, if you wear a Red Sox cap, you do go up a few notches.)

We like to be associated with success. When we watch the Olympics or American Idol, we route especially hard for the person who is from our city or state. They somehow represent us except…they don’t. We haven’t actually done anything, unless you count grabbing a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s and cheering from the couch.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to cheer for your favorite sports team or support your local talent. What isn’t good is when we find our identification as a business person wrapped up in the reputation of our favorite guru du jour. We do a kind of weird reverse projection. Instead of projecting our baggage onto someone else, we suck their brand onto ourselves.

I do think it’s good to emulate success and I even think it’s useful to model yourself after people you admire. However, in order to be truly successful in your own right, [Read more…]

Is Self-Doubt Killing Your Business?

Ever wonder why heart disease is called the silent killer? It’s because from all outside appearances everything looks fine, but under the hood things are all jammed up. There is a potentially deadly disease lurking under the hood of many entrepreneurs as well and it’s name is self-doubt.

Self-doubt leaves a sticky residue which builds up over time. In order to keep the cash flowing  into your business, it’s essential to find ways to clear it out. Of course, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Let’s face it, if it were easy to give up junk food, Mars Incorporated would not be a multi-billion dollar company.

Self-doubt is an insidious little bug that gnaws at your entrepreneurial health. And contrary to what you might think, it is not something that only afflicts newbies. Even seasoned entrepreneurs struggle with it. That’s because beyond every success achieved lies a new level of development and a new set of challenges. You go from feeling like a big fish in a little pond to feeling like a minnow in the ocean.

So how do we remedy self-doubt so it won’t be a buzz kill in our business? [Read more…]

Are you giving 100%?

Have you ever heard the saying “Just showing up is 80% of success?” That may well be true, but we don’t want an 80% successful life or business, do we? We want a fully successful life. So what about that other 20%?

Let’s face it, we all know people who just show up. These are the people we see at networking events or co-workers who show up to their jobs day in and day out. They may even be our own clients. They show up. They make it to work, they make it to their calls and they get out of their houses, but are they wildly successful? Most are not.

Perhaps you are one of these people. You are showing up and you can’t understand why you have not hit the big leagues yet.

You are sending out your newsletter regularly, you show up on social media.  Heck, you are even hitting the gym 5 days a week, but you’re still not where you thought you should be by now. What’s going on?

Maybe you are missing another cornerstone of success, consistency. You must be consistent in order to achieve lasting results, right? So you would think showing up and being consistent would really cover all your bases. Except it doesn’t.

I’m sure you’ve heard this one too.

Q: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
A: Practice, practice, practice.

While it’s absolutely true, being consistent in your practice is a critical to achieving your goals, practice alone is not enough either just as showing up alone is not enough. If you really want to be successful, you need to be more strategic in your activities. 

You can show up all day, every day, but if you are not engaged in the right activities, you will never be successful. You can go to work and hang out at the water cooler all day. You can go to the gym and barely break a sweat. Even if you are consistent, if you are not pushing yourself, you will stay stagnant. 

I’m going to give you some credit here. It does take extra effort to show up and it does make a difference to be consistent. I have been to and promoted many events that have been poorly attended even though it was clearly in the best interest of the audience to show up. I’ve been to events where fantastic and important information has been given that those who stayed home missed out on. I’ve been to events where I’ve made new and meaningful connections in the form of collaborators and even new clients that I would have missed out on had I skipped.

However, we’re still faced with the extra 20%. That is where the difference is between good and great.

Consistency matters too. If you go hot and heavy in your marketing for 3 months and then slack off, you will see a dip in your business. If you start missing days at the gym, your body will start to soften. Those who are consistent definitely see better results.

But still…that 20%. What’s the special sauce?

Last saying, I promise: Practice does not make perfect, perfect practiced makes perfect. Now before you get all hot and bothered, I am not suggesting you try to be perfect. That is not the point. This point, is however, that you cannot do that same thing all the time and expect different results.

We all have plateaus. You may very well be working really hard in your business, but if you are not getting the results you want, you need to change something. That last 20% matters. You need to ask yourself what else you need to do. What do you need to change? What do you need to improve? What do you need to sacrifice?

If you are making 10 sales calls a week and still not converting leads into clients, you need to change something. Maybe your pricing is off. It could be too high, it could be too low. Maybe your program or product is not relevant to your audience. Maybe your audience is not relevant to your brand! Maybe you stink at sales calls and you need some coaching.

You see, you must be willing to look at the details. You must be willing to dig and then you must be willing to do what needs to be done. If you are not sure what you need, ASK someone. Get feedback from a coach, a colleague, a friend, even your clients.

But don’t fool yourself. When you see someone else who is at the top of their game, it’s not just because they showed up. It’s because they paid attention to last 20%. If you want to join them, you need to do the same.

Your feedback is music to my ears!

What do you think the key to success is?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:

Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.



How to Choose the Right Coach

I think I was 5 years old when I had my first piano lesson. That was the day I (ok, my mom) hired my first coach and I have had a coach in some form or another every day since then.

There are lots of names for coaches. Some people call them teachers others call them gurus, consultants, managers etc., but basically a coach is anyone who helps you improve or move forward in some area of your life. It could be a tennis coach, a golf pro, a spiritual mentor, even a birthing dula! It really doesn’t matter what the title is, what matters is the relationship between mentor and mentee.

Working with a good coach is one of the very best things you can do to move forward quickly in your business. They can guide you, push you, support you, give you outside perspective, keep you accountable and provide expert  information, tools and resources. Having the right coach can dramatically speed up both your learning curve and your earning curve!

Earlier in my career my coaches were in the form of voice teachers, directors and conductors, but now [Read more…]

4 Sure Fire Ways to Attract Ideal Clients

Almost every business owner I know wants the same thing, a roster full of ideal clients. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Just imagine looking at your client list and loving every name on it because not only are they all totally awesome people, but because these awesome people recognize and value the service or products you provide and are willing to pay your fees. Now that would be pretty cool.

Well, it doesn’t have to be  just a pipe-dream. It is possible to attract ideal clients without as much difficulty as you might think. You just have to know what you are doing. There are some secrets, it’s not magic, but they sure work like magic. And the reason they work is because they tap into what is very natural for all people, emotions. (Ok, there’s the rare sociopath, but hopefully that’s not your target market anyway!)

Too often when trying to connect with ideal clients, entrepreneurs speak to their prospects’ heads instead of to their hearts. And while there certainly is a time to be logical and straightforward, it is not in the attraction phase of a client relationship. Think about it, when you are considering whether or not to date someone, are you making that decision primarily with your head or your heart? We make those decisions on how the other person makes us feel. In fact, we might even choose someone who doesn’t look perfect on paper because of the wonderful little butterflies we feel when we’re around them.

Now think about what that means for your business. You could be the smartest person in the room or have the best programs out there, but if you don’t know how to connect with your audience on an emotional level, you are going to leave the dance alone. Let’s fix that, shall we?

Here a four tips to make ideal clients swoon over you: [Read more…]

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Q-Why did the chicken cross the road?
A-To get to the other side.

Have you ever wondered the point of this inane, little joke?

As far as I’m concerned, here it is…

The chicken crossed the road. The chicken didn’t stay where he was wondering what the best option was. He didn’t stay put because he was worried about not making it across. With all the possibilities of failure and even danger he still managed to get himself to the other side.

How many times in your business or in life for that matter have you stayed right where you are because you were chicken? [Read more…]

Nulla Magna

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed non ligula augue. Integer justo arcu, tempor eu venenatis non, sagittis nec lacus. Morbi vitae dui et nunc ornare vulputate non fringilla massa. Praesent sit amet erat sapien, auctor consectetur ligula.

What to do when you don’t see results.

Here is a picture of my front yard. Today is the first day of spring in Boston. You’d never know it by the looks of things. There are still piles of 2-foot snow drifts sprinkled around my neighborhood. Gross.

Last year at this time there were 2-inch crocus buds popping up by my walk-way. Yesterday, I actually got down on my hands and knees in the mud to see if I could find even the tiniest beginnings of a sprout….nothing, absolutely nothing. What the heck is going on? Where is the warm weather?

Waiting for flowers to bloom is one thing, waiting for your business to bloom is quite another.

Whether you are just starting out or you have been in business a while, we all have periods where we wish our progress was faster. In the beginning, you are just trying to get clients in the door, but even as we move forward [Read more…]

Why You Are Not Attracting Ideal Clients.

The number one complaint I hear entrepreneurs make is about their inability to attract ideal clients. They just don’t know what to say to make potential clients pay attention. They know they are good at what they do, but they just can’t seem to pique anyone’s interest let alone convert leads.

If this sounds like you, you are probably really frustrated. You may not be sure what you are doing wrong or what to change. I’ve been to a lot of networking events lately and I’ve had the chance to hear a lot of elevator pitches, some of them good, but most I honestly can’t remember. Why is it that some people are able to immediately captivate their audience and others are totally forgettable? [Read more…]

How to know if you’re playing small?

Do you want to be a winner? Hey, so do I! I guess that means we have something in common with about a billion other people. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a winner? Do we dream as children of failing or not getting what we want out of life? Of course not.

We dream of winning Olympic gold medals or being famous ballerinas. We picture ourselves in mansions driving fancy cars and having a butler bringing us a peanut-butter jelly sandwich on a silver platter. Ok, maybe that last one was just me…

But what happens when we grow up? Do we stop dreaming? No, our dreams just get more sophisticated. We want a house in Aspen or to build a multi-million dollar company. Everybody has dreams. Why is it that some people succeed at achieving their goals while others have to settle for less? [Read more…]

How to Make An Oscar-Worthy Brand

It’s awards season and this week marks the Big Kahuna of all awards for Hollywood, the Oscars. It’s the night that marks the pinnacle of success for actors and actresses, directors, editors and all those associated with the movie-making business. Actors dream their whole lives of winning this award.

I love watching the awards show. Who doesn’t love seeing all those beautiful people dressed to the nines? It’s total eye candy. But in all honesty it’s not my favorite part of the show. I actually love the acceptance speeches. I love seeing the pure joy of the actors, their excitement and nerves. I find it fascinating how flustered they get, these pros who live their lives in front of the camera, performing, suddenly becoming all a flutter when their name is called.

For all the coolness of Hollywood, this is a moment where the humanity of the stars shine through. They seem to be truly effected by the experience. It means something to them. I believe because it is a moment of great validation. They are being recognized for their superior talent.

We tend to think of stars and starlets as being famous only because they are beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, beauty plays a huge part of getting a shot at an acting career. However, people who win the Academy Award are generally excellent artisans and have given stellar performances.

Believe it or not many of the same ingredients that go into winning an Oscar are the same needed to create a successful brand. Here are few tips from the winner’s circle: [Read more…]

Warning! R-Rated

Well, hello there Luscious. I want to welcome you to the R-rated post. It’s going to be a scorcher. I mean it’s going to get so hot up in here you’re going to need fan. Are you ready?

I am about to tell you the hottest, most effective sales technique in the universe. It is something that is a guaranteed to make your clients salivate for more.

Ok, here it is. I’m going to pull back the covers now and let you see the surprise.

Hold on there Sally, not so fast. We’re going to take this slow… real slow. Just a little bit at a time. Let’s make it last. Believe me, it will be worth the wait.

Because when you wrap your head around this technique, it’s going to literally blow your socks off. Hey, it may even blow the socks off your clients. They are going LOVE it. It’s going to make them so excited. You are going to make them feel great and you are going to feel great in return.

Have you figured it out yet? I sure hope so, because [Read more…]

Are You a Progressive Thinker?

I cannot express how much I am sick of winter. One of the things I hate about the cold weather is the slick roads. And wouldn’t you know it, I got hit last week by someone who slid in the snow into my car.

Luckily, no one was in the car at the time, but there was quite a bit of damage to the fender. I was not looking forward to dealing with the insurance companies, but alas, it had to be done.

The other driver’s insurance was Progressive, you know the one on tv with the quirky woman named Flo? Well,when I called, the insurance guy wanted me to go to their service center to get the repairs done. Only problem was the service center was about 40 minutes from my house. I had no intention of driving that far when I could just pop down to the local garage. But Joshua, the polite agent with whom I spoke, assured me if I did go to the Progressive center I would be in and out in 15 minutes with a new rental to use while waiting for the repairs.

Hmmm, now that got me thinking. [Read more…]

Why you shouldn’t listen to your emotions.

How are you feeling today? Happy? Sad? Worried? How has your week been? Did you score a big client? Did your dog get sick?

If you’re anything like me, your mood is directly effected by the events that occur in your daily life. Something good happens, you feel great. A challenge arises and suddenly you feel lousy. I know the great yogis will say we’re suppose to be able to be “ok” no matter what is happening around us. God bless the people who master their zen, but that isn’t me. Not yet anyway.

Nope, as the great Gwen Stefani would say, I’m just a girl in the world with a vat of emotions. Although it would be lovely to cultivate a more consistent sense of well-being, having ups and downs is not the end of the world. What is a buzz kill, however, is [Read more…]

Are we there yet?

This is the last week of January. Hard to believe, but the year is really off and running now. From this point forward it’s not really the beginning of the year anymore. We’re in it. So what does that mean for our goals?

I don’t know about you, but I love setting goals. For me they are really motivating and fun to plan. It makes me feel alive to imagine all the creative projects I will do for my life and business.  With all this good feeling it’s hard to imagine not accomplishing any of those lovely intentions, but unfortunately, that’s what often happens.

Life gets in the way. Something will come up to throw us off course. It’s natural. Life is not linear. There are bumps and curves in the road. Sometimes there are even giant potholes! However, life is not the problem. It is not usually outside forces that ultimately keep us from reaching our goals. It’s how we [Read more…]

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, BRAND

What would you say the number one difficulty most people have when trying to brand themselves or their businesses? Not a big enough marketing budget? Maybe struggling to find the right graphic designer? Or perhaps even finding the right niche? Nah…none of those are the biggest stumbling block getting in the way of most entrepreneurs trying to create successful brands. Want to know what is?…


As the saying goes, “When the path is clear, execution is successful.” So it goes to follow, when the path is not clear, there’s a whole lot ‘a shakin’ goin’ on, meaning the foundation is not stable. When your intention is not clear, your results fizzle. Clarity is the foundation to any strong brand. But what’s a girl to do if she’s not feeling clear?

YOU NEED TO [Read more…]

Why everyone needs a good nurse.

I love nurses. They are my absolute heroes. If you are a nurse, I worship the ground you walk on. Truly.

If you’ve ever had a baby, you know how important nurses are. When I was in the hospital to give birth to my first baby, I was understandably scared, as are most women. I knew childbirth was not going to be easy, but I had been to all the prenatal classes and had been prepped on the beauty of an epidural. Unfortunately for me, by the time I was ready for the epidural during the delivery, there were three emergency c-sections at the hospital which meant no anesthesiologists and no epidural for me. WHAT!!???

Ramp up scared to holy-mother-of-god terrified. I was going to have a baby with no meds. This was not in the birthing plan! Enter Nurse Joan… [Read more…]

Follow Your Bliss. Period. End of Story.

Follow your bliss. Turn your passions into profits. Follow your heart and the money will follow. Have you heard phrases like these? What do you think? Does it make you feel excited to think about following your passion? Or do you think it’s all a bunch of new-age hype?

I’ve heard a lot lately about how following your passion is just a bunch of hooey. Yes, I said, hooey. What these nay-sayers suggest is following your passion is not a sound business approach. It takes hard work to be successful. If you are passionate about what you do, great. If not, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is putting your nose to the grind stone and getting it done.

Again, I’ll ask you. How does that make you feel? Do you believe success is hard work? Are you  nodding your head in agreement? Or do you feel slightly pinched in the throat? Well, I’m going to tell you, [Read more…]

Did I just say that?

Jan 2014 blog.Every year during the holidays I do something stupid. It’s not the same thing every year, but it does happen every year. I may say something inane. I might accidentally blow-off an appointment. This year it was getting getting my kids dressed in their holiday outfits, loading up the car and heading to Christmas brunch with the grandparents only to realize after 20 minutes of driving that brunch was the next day.

I hate making these mistakes. It’s embarrassing, disappointing and I’m sick of it happening. So I’ve decided to figure what the heck is going on and come up with a plan to minimize my gaffs.

Five minutes later…

Ok, I’ve got it completely figured out. It didn’t take months of research to identify the problem. It was staring me right in my worn down face. [Read more…]

Do You Want Next Year to be Better?

This is the time of year when we do end-of-year reviews. We look at what went well and what we’d like to do differently moving forward. After all, we want next year to be even better than this one. What often happens, however, is January 1st comes and goes and before we know it, it’s March and things don’t look quite how we’d hoped. Why?

The answer is simple. We tend to follow the same patterns over and over again. We get comfortable with what we know, who we know and how we operate. Although repetition can be wonderful tool in business, it can also become a crutch which stymies our growth. Further, it can make our businesses and brands stale.

So how can you break the repetitive cycle to infuse your business with new life in the new year?

Here are a few tips to help.

1. Decide what you want. Do you want more money? [Read more…]

How To Get A Handle On Your To-Do List

It seems like there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs doing, not to mention things we’d actually like to do.

As entrepreneurs, there are always more tasks and challenges coming our way. This is a good thing! If we finished all our work quickly and easily, we probably wouldn’t be growing.

However, there’s a difference between pushing yourself and pushing yourself over the edge. In order to be successful, and yes sane, we need to find a way to manage our to-do list in an efficient and productive way.

Here is my Top 10 List for checking things off your to-do list: [Read more…]

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Brand Leader?

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela nelson mandela photo: nelson mandela nelson_mandela_return_to_cell.jpg

This week marks the loss of one of the world’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela. Mandela overcame unthinkable obstacles on his journey to ending apartheid and becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Many a man or woman would not have survived, let alone triumphed over the adversity he faced, but triumph he did.

How many of us face struggle and adversity in our lives or businesses today? How many of us rise to the occasion? My guess is the majority of us admit defeat more often then we’d like. What are we missing? What Nelson Mandela had and what all great leaders share is a strong sense of purpose. We cannot deny even evil dictators have conviction to a cause or mission.

We often describe great leaders as passionate, but [Read more…]

Can Your Audience See You?

When I was in 10th grade I tried out for my school musical. It was Fiddler on the Roof. Ah, how many productions of  Fiddler have been performed on high school stages… I was a sophomore and had been told many times by other students that only seniors got lead roles, but I was not deterred. I practiced my little heart out and on the day of the audition I was ready.

We all sat in the dark auditorium waiting for our names to be called. Of course, with each passing second my heart beat faster and faster, but I was also excited. I wanted to be on that stage. I wanted to show what I could do. So I sat in my seat trying to think of how I could make myself stand out from the rest of the auditioners. And then it hit me. [Read more…]

How To Be A Brand Magnet

We all want people to like us. It’s human nature. In business, however, whether or not people like our brand can make or break us. In this video I give you two simple yet effective tips on how to add more magnetism to your brand. Enjoy!

P.S. Almost forgot, please give your comments in the box below. I love feedback!

Fish Where the Fish Are Jumping

Successful branding is based on the idea of being aggressively individualistic, however, there are times when it pays to be a copy cat. Well, not exactly a copy cat, perhaps more of a voyeur or maybe even a little bit of a barnacle. I’m talking about emulating and even leveraging your competition to grow your own business .

As important as it is to be original in your branding, it is not always necessary to be a maverick in your efforts to find and attract ideal clients. We often think of competition as a negative thing, but there are many advantages to having good competitors. Competition keeps you on your toes and challenges you to continually improve and innovate. It forces you to continually define and refine your niche so you can claim a unique position in the marketplace. Competitors can also be great friends and referral partners.

However, one of the greatest benefits to having good competitors is [Read more…]

The Fastest Path To Big Success

“I want a 7-Figure business and I want it NOW!” Great, so glad to hear it. I’m right there with you Sister. Let’s make that happen. I mean it. LET US make that happen.

Today I was listening to an old episode of the Oprah show on the radio. It was a very touching story, aren’t they all, about a woman who took in an 11 year old boy relative to live with her. She was a single woman who had applied to and was preparing to go into the Peace Corps when relatives approached her about this little boy who had no where else to go.  Around the same time she saw an episode of the Oprah show about another woman who had taken on the task of caring for a sick elderly relative. It was that episode that tipped the decision for her to take the boy in.

At the end of the sound bite, Oprah chimed in and said “I love the power of television.” What she was was referring to was the power of television to connect people. Because the woman in the story saw someone else being open and brave, she was able to dig deep into herself and find her own courage and conviction which in turn not only saved the boy, but also gave her life great joy and meaning.

Your business is not an episode of the Oprah show, however, [Read more…]

Don’t Scare Away Your Audience with These Branding Blunders

Halloween is a scary holiday, but what’s even more spine-chilling is making big branding mistakes that could cost you an arm and a leg. Here are a few of the most gruesome offenses you should try to avoid. [Read more…]

Do You Have Brander’s Block?

Ah, time to write the blog again. Let me ask you something, how did you read that last statement? In your mind was it “Ah, this is going to be the time of day I get to relax and express my thoughts?” Or what it is closer to “Oh my god, I’m so brain numb I have nothing interesting to say and this is going to take me four hours to push out?”

Hey we all have those days when we are tired or maybe a little less inspired, but if you find yourself dreading the blog-writing process every time you sit in front of your computer, you may be suffering from Brander’s Block.

Brander’s Block is [Read more…]

When Size Really Matters

Let me ask you something, how big is your dream? Do you even know? Although some people aim high when contemplating their goals, most of us stop ourselves from thinking really big. Instead of reaching for the stars, we cut ourselves off before we even leave the ground.

This seems to be especially true for women. Ask a woman entrepreneur what her dream for her business is and often the response will be “Oh, I don’t need much. I just want to make enough to contribute to our family.” While it’s certainly admirable to contribute to the family, it does not exactly evoke a jump-up-and-down feeling. “Yeah, I helped buy groceries this week.” Fizzle…fizzle…

Of course, if you haven’t been able to afford groceries, that may very well be a big goal. However, [Read more…]

How Well Do You Know Your Ideal Clients?

We all want thriving businesses, and in order to do so, there is one main thing you need. Clients! However, you don’t want just any clients. You want those ideal, juicy clients. The ones with whom you feel energized every time you engage with them. The clients who love you and your services and are happy to pay your fees because they recognize the value you bring.

So who exactly is this ideal client? It’s YOU! More than likely you got into business because you felt a calling to either help people or create something that would meet a need or desire in the marketplace. And more than likely, you also chose your business based on a need or desire you have or had in the not too distant past.

Not always, but very often, [Read more…]

You Gotta Connect!

In order to grow your business, there is one simple fact. You have to connect with people. No matter what you are selling, 100 times out of 100, you are ultimately selling to another person.@HeatherPoduska (Tweet this) And in order to sell to a lot of people you have to get in front of a lot of people. Which means whether you are speaking to a group or attending a networking event, you’ve got to get your people chops in order.

It’s not always easy or comfortable to engage with strangers, but you have to learn how to do it. All business is built on relationships and the better relationship you have with your audience, the easier it will be to sell your services. This does not mean, of course, to go out with the intent of buttering up prospects for the sole person of selling to them. However, it does mean you should be trying to establish genuine connections with those you meet on the journey of entrepreneurship.

Not only does it make good business sense to establish positive relationships, [Read more…]

Why Can’t I Do This On My Own?

Why is it so hard to brand yourself? Those of you who know me know my favorite phrase “Trying to brand yourself is like trying to cut your own hair.”@Heather Poduska (Tweet this) You can do it, but you probably won’t be satisfied with the results. Why is that? Why do we need someone else to help create a brand, and a personal brand at that!

Don’t we know ourselves best? Don’t we have a pretty good clue about what are strengths are and what makes us special? Well, if you are off and running and have all the clients you want, have a crystal clear platform, know exactly how to articulate your value and have an image that authentically reflects the vibe of your business, then the answer is YES! Woohoo, my hats off to you. You did it, you’re a genius.

For most of us though, [Read more…]

Looking For More Referrals?

file0001154350520If you want to find a new doctor or a great hair stylist, how do you know where to look? Most of us ask our friends, families and colleagues for referrals. The person referred may not even be the best in their field, but because the reference came from a personal connection, we are way more likely to give them a try. Obviously, personal referrals are very powerful which is why as entrepreneurs we are always trying to figure out how to get more of them.

Here are  few tips to better your chances of getting more and better referrals from your peeps. [Read more…]

When Perfectionism Pays Off

file1261343245403The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo

I think perfectionism gets a bad rap. Every where you turn you are told to stop being so hard on yourself and light up, but I have begun to question that line of thinking. Ok, I get it, you shouldn’t allow yourself to get caught up in a shame spiral, but what if in an effort to avoid self-destruction we are actually selling ourselves short?

For most of my life I have struggled to perfect my singing technique. In fact, it’s probably the reason I’m sitting here writing this blog instead of standing on a beautiful stage somewhere singing La Traviata. It is also the reason I still sing. I never lost the desire to perfect my technique. I still think about how forward or back my sound is. How much vertical space to give a tone. How much pressure to use. I concentrate on loosening my jaw and eliminating tongue tension. And you know what?  [Read more…]

I Am Woman Hear Me Brand!

There are more women entrepreneurs now than at any other time in history. According Forbes magazine, female entrepreneurship will create over half the small business jobs in the U.S. by year 2018. However, according to the US Census Bureau, we only generate 4% of the revenue. Ouch. Why if we are so industrious are we not creating more profits?

After all, as Stuart Smalley always said, “We’re good enough, we’re smart enough. And doggone it, people like us!” We have what it takes to be successful, but that is not necessarily translating into actual profits. Here’s the rub. Being smart, talented and hard-working may not be enough to really grow your business. Of course, without those traits, you don’t have much of a chance at anything, but the marketplace is littered with struggling business owners who work hard. There is something missing in this equation. [Read more…]

Are You Ready For Your Close-Up?

We all know branding is about finding your ideal niche, understanding how to differentiate yourself and communicating your message clearly to engage your audience. However, a HUGE part of branding is the visual image you create to represent your promise of value.

We often think of the image of the brand as the logo or even the colors and fonts on your website. Those are all very, very important. However, if you are solopreneur one of the most important aspects of brand image is your own face!

Your brand may be the face of your business, but as a solopreneur, YOUR face is the face of your brand. @HeatherPoduska (Tweet this)

How you represent yourself personally both online and in the flesh is extremely important. Your audience will [Read more…]

The Problem With Thinking Outside The Box

Want to know how to turn your pretty good brand into something really special? You need to shake it up, think outside the box. At least that’s what everyone says. But what if everyone is wrong? What if everything you needed to be spectacular was right inside your very own box?

The problem with thinking outside the box is the whole going outside business. We tend to think we can cherry pick parcels of genius from the ether.  The truth is, when we reach out and away, we move away from the very things that could set us apart. In an effort to expand our brand appeal we actually dilute its  potency.

Of course, we find inspiration outside of ourselves, however, [Read more…]

Is Your Brand Stuck in Neutral?

If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have a fire in your belly to do great things. You want to impact the world in a big way and build a successful business. The only problem is, you’re not quite sure how you’re going to do it.

You probably started your business just trying to get clients in the door. You went to networking events, built relationships and eventually started getting referrals. Now, however, just as you’ve passed the stage of getting your business up and running…things have stalled. No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to generate the momentum you need to kick your brand to the next level. What’s happening? [Read more…]

Why Pretty Always Wins

“And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.”

Genesis 12:14-16

Since the dawn of time, beautiful people have had an advantage. The gods have favored them with good looks and the rest of us mere mortals shower them with gifts, love and money for simply winning big in the gene pool. This chick got Pharaoh to cough up some serious loot just because she had small pores and shiny hair. It’s just not fair!

Well, fair or not, it is so. There are definitely advantages to being beautiful and they’re not just superficial. Did you know  [Read more…]

Is Your Brand Talkin’ To Me?

I recently visited a marketing website with a welcome video on the home page. Naturally, I clicked on it and was excited to hear what this particular guru had to say. However, what happened next really disappointed me. It wasn’t that the content was uninteresting or even that the person talking wasn’t engaging, it was that the star of the video was not looking at me! Instead, the video was shot in profile and done interview-style which made it seem like some sort of documentary.

Now I’m sure it’s suppose to look more modern and maybe there’s even research to prove how effective it is to shoot video in this way. However, the effect it had on me was to make me feel left out. It was like I was eavesdropping on someone else’s conversation. You know who I want the expert to be addressing?… Me. I want to feel like they are speaking directly to me, empathizing with my pain and offering the exact solution I am desperate to find.

Whether you are using video or not, your audience should feel like [Read more…]

How to Attract Better Clients

Don’t you wish you had a practice full of wonderfully juicy clients? You know the kind of the clients who get you? The kind of clients who VALUE your services? The kind of clients who are willing to shell out the big bucks for your high-end programs?

We all love it when those ideal clients find their way to our door, but that’s not always the case. You may find yourself attracting clients that just don’t ring your bell. Maybe the services they are looking for are not your favorite ones to offer. Or they are the kind of clients that complain about your prices. Or maybe they are just fine clients, but there’s something about their energy that leaves you feeling a little drained after each session.

Do you recognize any of those scenarios? Do they happen more often than you’d care to admit? Working with so-so clients can make you feel pretty frustrated. What’s wrong with them? Why don’t they see if they just got on board, they’d start to see the results you know you can deliver? Well, here’s a news flash… [Read more…]

How To Keep Your Brand Sizzling This Summer

For many entrepreneurs, summer can be a slow time. Many of our clients and potential customers travel during the warmer months which makes it harder to generate business. It’s easy to get discouraged when the numbers aren’t coming in, but there are some things you can do to keep your brand sizzling this summer. 

Yes, it’s true, a lot of traditional networking opportunities vanish in the warmer months. Many clubs and organizations shut down completely, but that doesn’t’ mean there are no opportunities to make connections. You just have to go where other people normally go in the summer. Now I’m not about to encourage you to pull up your beach blanket and try to hard sell your neighbor, however if you are warm and authentic in your approach, you can expand your brand foot print in some unexpected ways. 

Here are a few tips to maximize your networking potential this summer: [Read more…]

Is Your Brand Having a Failing Year?

“The crops were planted, tended, and harvested – now the ground lies fallow, awaiting the new planting. Did the year fail? I think not. What may appear as the darkest night,  is merely the Winter season – the time of renewal and rebirth that precedes the new planting – the beginning of the next great cycle.”

Just because the thermometer outside reads 90 degrees doesn’t mean your business is smoking hot. As business owners we get excited when clients start coming in and our programs start filling up. The all-nighters, the tedious hours of setting up systems and the clients who failed to convert seem like a distant memory. But what about those moments when you are looking at a frozen tundra of entrepreneurship in what should be summer? How can you keep the faith something will manifest for you when all you see is dirt? [Read more…]

Is Your Brand a Firecracker or a Dud?

Happy 4th of July! I’m sure many of you are heading off tonight to watch a fireworks display. I love fireworks. It always reminds me of being home in Wisconsin with my family. We would watch from the roof of our car and try to guess what would come next, a giant plume or a quirky swirl.  We were always delighted and amazed, unless of course, it was a dud.

The dreaded dud was a huge let down. You would watch the sky waiting for the next big thrill, only to be accosted by a deafening boom. Not only was it disappointing, it also scared the bejeebees out of me as a kid. It took a while before I could watch the rest of the show because I was worried the same thing would happen again. My fireworks trust was eroded.

Not a huge deal on the 4th of July, in fact, it’s bound to happen at some point. However, being a dud with your brand is a big deal. The last thing you want to do is disappoint your audience! And you certainly don’t want to do anything to cause them to lose trust in you. Of course, no one is perfect and mistakes are a natural part of any endeavor, but your brand show better have more thrills than spills if you want to be successful.

Here are a few tips to light up the sky with your brand: [Read more…]

The Value of Backroad Branding

Summer is finally here, yeah!! Time for back yard barbecues, dips in the pool and road trips. I LOVE road trips. I love the adventure of jumping in the car to go off exploring.  Actually, one of my favorite things to do is to surprise my kids with mystery destinations. I try to take them to unique places we wouldn’t normally go to.

Our mystery trips don’t necessarily take us to famous locations. More often than not we end up exploring not too far off nooks and crannies of  our region. When you are busy living your life you don’t always have time to get to know the little gems right in your own back yard. Last year, we found a specialty German bakery, yum. (I find the mystery tours go over better if good food is involved.)

When we think about traveling, we usually imagine heading to far-off, exotic locales. Surely, there is better than here. However, I have found here has a lot to offer. You just have to look around and take the time to explore the landscape. Ironically, the same is true for our brands.

We are always looking, looking, looking for [Read more…]

The Brand Wisdom of Men

This past Father’s Day as I thought about all the most important men in my life, I couldn’t help but feel blessed. I have had the great fortune to know, love and be loved by some pretty incredible fathers. The lessons I have learned from these guys have been profound and I try to incorporate them into my personal brand and life on a regular basis.

Here is some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from my male heroes: [Read more…]