Friday, July 31, 2015

Expanding and Growing the Dream

A key point I consistently make in my presentations as a speaker is that we have an infinite amount of dreams within us, every one of them calling to be acknowledged.

As I have seen for myself and so many clients over the years, some dreams are there simply to remind us to dream. They kick us out of survival mode, or bring us back to living far out of the box, to living rather than surviving. Consequently, some will never be actualized but they call us to become more and in the process of achieving them we realize that dream was only the precursor to something far more authentically us or far more expansive than we ever could have imagined.

Regardless of your dream, regardless of the area you are being called to, does it bring you alive? Does it call you to develop skills you haven’t yet developed? To expand your self-image far beyond where you are today? If so, jump in!  Do not let fear get in the way trying to remind you of all your limitations, or your failings in the past. Look to your strengths and the realization that so called failures are life-lessons waiting to be learned in a way we will never forget. They are preparation for the future.

I have gone from speaking to church groups for free in 1985 so that I could develop a psychotherapy practice, terrified of making a mistake or of looking inept and God forbid, like a beginner to now being seen in 9 countries. The reality is I was a beginner and certainly looked that way. How amazing then, that after 3 months I nonetheless had developed a private practice seeing 42 patients a week and with a 6 month waiting list that lasted 17 years until I moved out of the country.

No matter what your level of expertise, if you are a professional it grows, develops, and calls you to keep on reaching for greater and greater skills while also calling you to service.I am now president of the National Speakers Association – CT chapter. Who could have known that terrified women behind the podium would now be supporting others in growing to a level she never imagined.

What’s your dream? What’s your level of sought after expertise? How are you going to achieve it?  We are never done. There is always so much more to learn and so much personal growth to achieve. From sunrise to sunset the dreams, the skills, and the personal growth bring such joy and such peace if they truly are calling you to become everything you were meant to be.

Never stop growing and evolving, life is far too short to get it all in. Relax, breathe, and jump in. The water’s fine!  

Dorothy A. Martin-Neville, PhD - From Dreams to Transformation                                                                          860-543-5629

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Doubt… Therefore I Don’t

I had a rousing debate with a friend the other day over the idea of doubt. It all started with me saying that everything can be broken down to either love or fear. Everything.

My friend disagreed and said that a person could doubt something without being afraid of it. When he gave me a couple of examples though, I started asking questions and within a few questions was able to reduce every example of doubt to a (usually unconscious) fear.

It may be a little hard to digest the idea that our complicated lives can be broken down to something as elemental as either love or fear, but there’s a lot of freedom that comes along with embracing this reality too.

For example, when we have to make a decision, we often make a list to try and determine what the best solution is. Then we narrow down our list of choices and options simply by eliminating anything that doesn’t fit our immediate definition of “best”. But what if the reason we’re eliminating possibilities isn’t because they won’t work? What if they’re being eliminated simply because there’s an element of fear buried in there somewhere?

What would happen if instead of just choosing between solutions we were comfortable with, we took a few minutes to sit with the ones that make us squirm? For one thing, most of the time our fears aren’t founded by actual, primal, “I’m about to die” realities. It’s much more likely to be a fear of the unknown, or a fear that was generated by an outdated conclusion our brain made when we were younger. Sometimes fear is a result of the way we were taught to think, the result of someone else making sure we know our limitations, or because we can't guarantee our actions will produce the desired result. But most dangerous of all, is the fear that helps us unconsciously whittle down our potential simply by eliminating any choice, possibility, or option that will move us out of our comfort zone and into uncharted territory.  

The solution? Increase your list of possible courses of action to as many as you can think of. Identify the ones that make you squirm and sit with each one for a minute or two. Think about everything that could go wrong. Then think about everything you would have to do to follow this course. If you’re like most people, you’re going to realize that sometimes it’s easier to leave possible courses of action off the list than it is to acknowledge the fear of failing should you chose a more challenging course of action.

But think about what you might discover with your expanded list too. You might realize that the best solution is actually the one you were ready to eliminate because it was also the scariest. Make the distinction between the primal fears that kept cavemen alive and fears that have no actual foundation. Stop doubting yourself. Stop doubting your future. As some of the greatest human beings around keep reminding us, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is This Your First Sales Rodeo?

You finally have a meeting set up with the principles of a company you’ve been trying to get in front of for a long time. This isn’t your first rodeo, so you’ve prepared well. You’ve done your homework and have every expectation of a flawless presentation that goes off without a hitch.

It all sounds so easy except for the fact that when you’re potential clients or customers walk into your meeting, they’ll be working off their agenda—not yours. Because you’ve done your homework, you’ll be prepared to answer most of their questions and concerns, but don’t be surprised if they identify issues and ask questions that will make another meeting necessary. They might provide you with a new piece of information that makes the numbers you slaved over impossible to rework on the spot. Or, you might find out that there aren’t any decision makers sitting in on this meeting.

However the situation arises, it’s the way you handle the need for a follow-up meeting that can make the difference between the deal continuing to move forward, or dropping dead right at your feet. The rooky mistake is a response something like this, “Okay… I understated you need this information before we can move forward, but I don’t have it right now. I’ll work on it, and give you a call sometime next week so we can set up another meeting.”

Sometime next week?! Really?

It’s normal to be uncomfortable—maybe even annoyed—when a meeting doesn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped and planned for, but what’s your potential client supposed do between now and when you decide you’re over it and ready to talk with them again? Sit by the phone with bated breath waiting for you to call? It doesn’t matter why you need a follow-up meeting. If it’s due to something you did or didn’t do, take responsibility for it. If it’s the result of something the client did or didn’t do, be mindful and respectful of the fact that everybody is under a lot of business pressure these days.

Step up and take the initiative to schedule the date and time for another meeting before you leave this meeting. If you don’t, you’re counting on a lot of things not to happen between now and then—things like your competition reaching out to your potential client and securing a meeting while you’re still trying to decide if you’re ready to make the call.

Alan luoma is a Sales Coach and Speaker with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, marketing and product training. He holds key accounts with a national sustainable packaging company, is an expert that speaks and provides sales coaching to individuals and groups. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network and The National Speakers Association. You can view his profile on  LinkedInor contact him at

Monday, July 27, 2015

Put a Model Week in Place to Maximize Efficiency and Effectiveness

There are only 24 hours in a day and as business owners having a model week can help make the most of your time. There are three kinds of days in a model week, Focus days, Buffer days and Personal days.

Each type of day is made up of 80% of your waking hours.

Focus days
These are the days that actually provide income to your business.
·       Presenting/speaking that you were hired for
·       Meetings with potential and existing clients, phone or in person

Buffer days
These are prep days and time to work on your business.
·       Paper work
·       Education, Research
·       Attend meetings to learn your craft
·       Business planning
·       Marketing – planning
·       Develop presentations
·       Take/return phone calls

Personal days
There is no work related activities of any kind on a personal day.
·       Time with family and/or friends
·       Alone time
·       Vacation
·       Personal appointments

When your business is new you will need more Buffer days and will have less Focus days in your week. Your goal should be to evolve in the shortest time possible to more Focus days in a week than there are Buffer days. The more focus days you have the better the bottom line to your business will be.

About Nancy D. Butler
Nancy, a national motivational speaker, business coach and award-winning author, has been quoted in many local and national publications including USA Today, Money Magazine, Playboy magazine, The Chicago Tribune, AARP and The Day and has been a speaker for major corporations such as Pfizer, General Dynamics and Dow Chemical. Nancy has also been a guest on several television and radio shows.

Contact Nancy for a free consultation at 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Magic Carpet Ride.

Thirty seven years ago I was sitting at the supper table with my family when there was a knock on the door. It was our next-door neighbor that stopped by quickly to invite my father to a business meeting on becoming successful.He said a very sharp businessman is traveling in from North Carolina to discuss ways to build personal success and increase your income.  He told my father the meeting would be at 7 PM and asked my dad if he would attend. My Father accepted the invitation. 

At this point in my life I was seeking change and trying to find a better direction in my life. I had attended College for business management and my big goal in life was to be a store manager. After going through a couple years of preparation and being mentored by other managers, I realized in my heart it wasn't for me. I went to college for it, I told everyone I was going to be a store manager,but down deep, it wasn't my passion. If I continued to accept this fate, I would end up living in average common life today for just a paycheck and waking up each day with regret. 
I believe most Americans live this way, they are selling their daytime hours for dollars and giving up control of their freedom for that period of time. I made a commitment to myself, that was not going to be me. 
I was really frustrated that my neighbor didn't invite me to the meeting. Instead of stewing the whole night and pouting because I wasn't invited, I decided that I was going to crash the business meeting and see what this guy from North Carolina had to say.
I arrived at my neighbor's door and was greeted by his wife. I told her I wasn't invited to the meeting, but I want to come anyway. She told me there were no seats left, but I could  sit on the stairs on the way down to the meeting room and look through the banister. That is exactly what I did.

As I peered through the banister and listen to the speaker I was impressed. I recognized that  he was well spoken, dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and a red tie. His black shoes shined like a mirror, his Rolex watch sparkled like diamonds, and there was an impeccable red and white Cadillac in the driveway that looked like it just left the showroom. As a young man I was seriously IMPRESSED. He spoke of success and financial increase..
He told everyone sitting in that room that you can change your position, your status and your wealth at any moment in your life by making a decision. He spoke about creating a vision that would keep you awake at night.

He laid out a pattern for success. It was undeniable. As an 18 year old I understood it completely. I never heard words or intellect like that in my life. He discussed the cycle of income in particular businesses. I learned that America's residual purchasing habits relate to residual income. He mentioned about gaining a piece of America's distribution network of various products and companies that will pay you continual royalties after each and every purchase. He mapped out how this could play over a five year period of time. He showed how wealth could be created.

I began to fully understand what he was discussing. He shared an 8-step process to fully build and increase my income. He continued on with power statements:

     -  Don't let getting a college degree deter you away from the true passion .
     -  If you have an opinion that will help others give it and stand by it.
     -  Financial debt is death to success and a great attitude.
     -  You are who you associate with.
     -  You make a living from 9 am to 5 pm and create a great life from 5 pm to 9 pm.
     -  Pay cash for everything you can. If you cannot afford it, wait until you can.
     -  People will judge you in the first 7 seconds of a meeting you. Always smile, dress for
        success, and shine your shoes.
     -  Always leave a great impression behind when you leave a conversation.
     -  Find a strong proven company that will pay you residual income that you resonate with
        and work the daylights out of it until you reach financial security.
     -  Self confidence is one of the top key factors to success.

Every person in that room walked out except me! Some thought he was full of it, others thought that because he drove a Cadillac he was a shyster. Most of them did not resonate with his vision. I personally thought that they were either afraid of change or were simply negative thinkers. I caught the vision he put forth...I made it my life's mission to make his philosphy work. That night became my magic carpet ride !!!!!!!

I look forward to sharing my August 25, 2015 blog with you.

   “The Insurance Coach”

       John P. Slosek, Jr 
   "The Insurance Coach ™"
Insurance Coach Radio Show 

Airs Every Saturday Morning 8am          413-246-5037


Friday, July 24, 2015

Invest in Yourself

How many of us are presented with potential investment or business

opportunities on almost a daily basis? For those of us that are interested

in a potential investment or business opportunity, we perform our due

diligence in looking to see whether or not this would be a potentially good

investment of our resources. In performing this investigative work, many

questions should come to mind. How well do I know the business or industry

that is the subject of this investment? How well do I know the individuals

involved in this particular investment? What is my level of trust and

comfort in the potential investment? What if I were to tell you about an

investment that could provide you with great returns and one in which you

would be extremely comfortable with the individual involved? Would you be

more willing to make an investment in this particular venture?


What better use of your resources and what greater comfort level could you

then obtain by investing in yourself? Regardless of what point you are in

your business cycle, there are always more things you could learn. What

specialized knowledge or training could you obtain that could increase your

income? What systems or processes could you implement in your business that

could provide you with greater cash flow? What seminars or workshops are

being offered that you could take to gain a competitive advantage? What

programs, that are being run by industry leaders, could you attend that

could educate you to make you a better provider of your goods and/or

services to the consuming public?


Two major objections will come to mind for most people. The first is that

you don't have the money. I like to think that gaining specialized knowledge

or training is not a cost but rather an investment because I know that the

money I expend for any such seminars and trainng programs will come back to

me multiple times thereafter.  Think about the knowledge you will gain and

the people you will meet and how these contacts can help to improve your

business and ultimately your cash flow? How can you share the specialized

knowledge and training with the consuming public through social media, press

releases and by posting on your website that will enable you to gain more

clients or customers?


The second objection is that you don't have the time. What better investment

of your time could there be for you than to be learning, improving and

growing in your business?


There is a huge spectrum of investments that you can make in yourself that

range from minimal uses of your resources to devoting significant time and

money into personal development. Have you thought about how becoming a

better communicator might make you more marketable and provide you with a

greater source of income? Look into joining your local Toastmasters Club

which requires minimum use of your time and money. The benefits of this

investment are huge in what you will learn and the people you will meet.

Looking for other options? What programs, seminars or classes are there on

CDs that you can buy and then listen to in your car while driving to and

from work, to business appointments or on weekends? This investment is also

minimal but can provide you with great returns. Are there seminars or

workshops that are being conducted in your area that you could attend? Are

there larger events that might require you to travel and stay at a hotel to

attend that could provide you with a worthwhile return on your investment?


Rather than looking to invest your time and money into business ventures or

business opportunities that present a great deal of risk, you should always

consider investing in yourself. Become more disciplined. Set time aside each

day to better learn your craft. Listen to CDs while driving. Read books and

listen to audio programs. Attend seminars, webinars and workshops. Make sure

you get to know the people attending these events and give your elevator

speech to develop potential sources of business. By investing in yourself

you have greater control over your expected rate of return. This return

would include becoming more knowledgeable about your area of expertise and

generating more income for you and your business.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Understanding the Energy in the Room; Part 1

"I'm only happy when I'm on stage. I just feed off the energy of the audience. That's what I'm all   about- people and laughter." Larry David

Among the many hats a speaker wears is one that reads “Energy Manager.” We know, as do the planners who hire us, that the attendees at a program experience one of two energy flow states. At just about any moment, they're either being energized or they are being drained of their liveliness.

Whether or not the participants remain alert and interested depends on many things, not the least of which is how we understand and direct the flow of their energy, particularly that energy which flows between the audience and ourselves up on the platform. When we say we “connect” with our audience, we are referring to the energy stream flowing between them and us. The quality of this connection with the speaker determines the level of our own success, because the state these attendees find themselves in often determines the level of success the meeting achieves. When the audience is charged by our presence and the attention is directed toward us, we are where we want to be and they are where we want them! This is what is meant by “holding the audience’s attention.”

Understanding the Energy in a Room
The energy level of the audience defines the emotional state of the group in the same way lighting sets the tone in a theater production, where changing lights indicate a shift in mood. In the theater, the illumination fills in the holes and occupies the spaces between characters, events and sets. During a speech in front of an audience, which consists of sets of human relationships (between us and the audience, among the audience members themselves, and between the audience members and the people that are on their minds), the energy illuminates the dynamics of the group. Energy is what fills in the psychic space linking the people who are present in the room.
So it stands to reason that the way we orchestrate the energy in a room essentially has the effect of working like a thermostat, controlling the emotional climate among the attendees. We wouldn’t let the room get too hot or too cold because we need to keep the participants alert and interested in order to make the meeting successful from the point of view of the meeting organizer. Our platform poise serves a purpose similar to that of a thermostat. We are managing many different relationships and people to make a program successful. In essence, we are directing the audience without them knowing it.

The Value of “Authenticity”                                                                                                   The proficiency in developing the ability to “hold the audience” comes from developing that ubiquitous presenters’   buzzword: authenticity. Common wisdom at workshops, conventions and business meetings holds that if you are authentic, the audience will be interested in you. Indeed, authenticity is like a dose of caffeine for the attention span. Being authentic on the platform has the effect of holding the audience’s attention as surely as a magician’s hands do as he weaves the set-up story before the trick. With a magician as with a speaker, we use laser-like intensity to try and find something we know we won’t see. We don’t see how it’s done; yet we enjoy it anyway.

The 3 Components of  Platform Authenticity                                                               Therefore, it makes sense that many a hard-earned speaker dollar is spent on becoming authentic. But what exactly are we buying? After all, being “authentic” means being true to one's own personality, spirit or character. Is that something we need to purchase? Isn’t our source of genuineness always within us? Developing authenticity is a matter of understanding what makes us real on the platform. We can break authenticity down into three elements. We can then nurture the three elements that help make us real, the three fundamental aspects of authenticity that make us attractive to the audience: vulnerability, presence and spontaneity.                                                                                                         

“Understanding the Energy of Attraction, Part 2: The 3 Essentials of Attraction” will be our next months post.

Izzy Gesell (Izzy's website) is an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations transform their thinking from commonplace to extraordinary. Through his keynotes, trainings, coaching and facilitated sessions, Izzy offers imaginative, intuitive and immediately useful insights and programs. He is skilled at delivering meaningful material in a way that makes participants enjoy their time with him.

Izzy was one of the first to use Improv Theater concepts as tools for personal and organizational learning. He is the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Cancer & the Healing Power of Play, a co-author of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter, and a contributor of a chapter on Improvisation as a facilitation tool in the IAF Group Facilitators Handbook. "His video course  on Applied Improv for Leadership" for was their first  course shot before a live audience. A second course, "Humor in the Workplace" was recently rele

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This Week I "Unplug"

This week I am relaxing on vacation. The beach and ocean are doubling as my front yard. My wife, kids, parents, sisters, nieces and nephews are all my family for the week. The count in the house is 20. Yes, 20! We all get along, because we all want to have a great time. The rules are easy. Be safe. Have fun. Each day brings a mix of us reading, watching movies, swimming in the pool, kayaking in the ocean, relaxing on the beach and on the deck, playing cornhole, ping pong or frisbee. We all do our own thing throughout the day, yet we all converge together for game night. Every night. Tonight we are playing “Warewolf”. At 9pm, my sister yells “Warewolf!” and we all run downstairs to the large formica table that has enough chairs for all twenty of us. Last night we played “Family Fued” and tomorrow we have planned a “Treasure Hunt”. The bottom line is, we enjoy each others company. Game night is a time when we all twenty of us leave our electronic devices far away from the table. We listen, laugh, and talk with each other.

Most of us keep our phones and other electronic devices in our rooms, checking them once or twice a day. Others, like our teenage kids, use them a little more frequently. But we all unplug for a good majority of the day. It’s our vacation from the everyday distractions of the world we live in today.

This week, I have also made it a point to leave my phone in my room. Even though I am only checking my emails once a day, it feels like I’m “unplugged”. I can still respond to any urgent messages, but I have the “choice” to respond to the rest of them. In today’s world, it’s easy to say everything is urgent and important. We are all fighting for attention on social media, in emails, and on the phone. This week I scale it waaaaaay back, and relax. That’s what vacation is all about. Try “unplugging” a little on your vacation this summer and watch the magic unfold.

As a Professional Organizer, Speaker, Author, Podcast Producer & Host, Rick Woods helps residents and businesses make room for clarity, by getting rid of the clutter that gets in their way.
Listen to Rick's free weekly podcast "Make Room For Clarity", which focuses on interviewing business & health experts by visiting
Inquire about Rick's professional organizing business, "The Functional Organizer, LLC.", which focuses on decluttering, organizing, paper filing and time management by visiting