Is Your Brand Playing Elevator Music?

file0001095952997 224x300 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?

Success Starts Here Freeway Style Desert Landscape 300x225 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 197 225x300 What makes your knees wobble?Perfect 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 300x300 My New Least Favorite WordI 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.ZA1026378611 My New Least Favorite Word

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.

file0002062790027 2 300x200 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

iStock 000012681193Small 2 300x300 How to avoid repelling high paying clientsLast 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?

iStock 000008964366Small 2 200x300 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

iStock 000003010459Small 2 300x199 Tips for Making Better Follow Up CallsUggggg……

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...]

How to Build a Power Voice

iStock 000024873675Small 2 300x225 How to Build a  Power VoiceHave 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?

iStock 000001102285Small 2 300x225 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...]