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!

In my opinion, happiness is not a state of being, it is a way of life. Happiness is built on the choices you make every day moment by moment. And BRANDING is nothing more and nothing less than a set of choices. How you choose to express yourself, how you choose to do business, how you choose to use your talents are all elements of what makes up your personal brand. Your brand is made up of your choices and your happiness, or lack there of, is also made from your choices.

One reason many people are not as happy as they could be is because they never choose. They get stuck in a perpetual state of thinking and projecting. “What will happen if I do this option? What if it doesn’t work? What if it’s the wrong choice and I lose money, time or a relationship?” Indecision creates a constant state of mental struggle and tension.

Another reason happiness evades a lot of us is we don’t really know what we want. We have a vague idea of what we think we want, but the vision is not totally in focus. If we were really clear on our desires, the decisions would be much easier to make. For example, if you knew you wanted to build a massive audience, you might decide to pursue media outlets for exposure. On the other hand, if what you really wanted was a deeper connection to your clients, you might try targeted Facebook ads to create an exclusive, high-end roster.

Once you know what you want, you can backwards engineer the steps to getting there.

Often the most painful reason people are not happy is because they do not truly believe they can have what they want. Maybe they were denied something in the past. Maybe they failed or were short-changed by a loved one. For whatever reason, it feels like what they want is not meant for them. Have you ever had that feeling? It often sounds like this in your head, “Oh,that could never happen for me. I could never do that. That’s just for other people.” I know I have had those thoughts at different times in my life and they are total dream crushers.

The goal is not to be blissed-out 24/7, nor it is possible. The good news is however, it is possible to be happy. Unless you suffer from a debilitating medical condition, there is no reason you can’t create a life of joy and fulfillment and even then it may be possible.

You deserve to have what you want, make the money you want, have the relationships you want and BE who you really want to be! You deserve to create the exact life that will make your heart sing, but here’s the catch…

Only YOU can make yourself happy.

You alone have the power to know what lies in your mind’s eye. Only you know what makes your heart skip a beat in joy. Only you know the exact color of blue the ocean needs to be to make your summer feel complete. And only YOU can make the decisions and take the actions needed to make your dreams a reality.

However, if you’d like a little boost, here are a few tips to help you get your brand-happy on more quickly:

1. Keep a journal and write down every time you feel a positive emotion. Whether it’s happiness, joy, excitement, hopeful anticipation etc. write down what was happening at the time that made you feel good. You will start to notice patterns. What emerges may confirm what you already suspect about your preferences or it may surprise you or give you new insight into a clear direction.

2. Make a choice. Few choices in life are permanently damaging which is what we all fear. (Unless, of course, you give a 4 year old a sharpie, but who would do that!:) Usually, if a
decision doesn’t yield a result we like, we can course-correct. Making the decision puts you in action and action builds your happy muscle! Every decision you make, commit to and take
action on gives you information about the next step you’d like to take.

3. Read biographies of people whose life you’d think you’d like to have. This is such a great exercise. Not only do you get wonderful ideas and inspiration for creating something amazing
for yourself, you will also get a glimpse of the journey they took to get where they are. You see that ordinary people, just like you, have done exdraordinary things and you begin to
realize success isn’t just for other people, it’s for brave people who work hard…people like YOU.

Happiness is for you, but you have to claim it and consistently work towards your vision. When you do, you’ll find the goal is a bonus, the journey is what brings the joy:)

If would like help hearing your voice and knowing what decisions will make you happier and more profitable, click here to schedule a one-on-one=>FREE Brand Clarity Call.

Your feedback is music to my ears!

What strategies do you use to expand your happiness?

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.


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 or connecting with her on social media at

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:



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.