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=>


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...]

5 Smokin’ Hot Tips to Insanely Increase Your Creativity

file8861243625956 2 300x165 5 Smokin Hot Tips to Insanely Increase Your CreativityHey, 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?

file000215210722 2 199x300 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?

file201283034007 2 300x200 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...]