Sunday, May 29, 2016

The "One Trick" Blogger

Everyone knows what a “One Trick Pony” is. It’s the band with one hit that no one ever hears from again. Or the politician who ran for office, did something stupid, fell out of the limelight, and was never heard from again. 

When it comes to blogging, the internet is full of “one trick” blogs. They were started by people hoping that having a blog would increase their visibility and build their brand. But after a few posts, they stopped. Now the only blog posts visible on their website are all seriously out of date. 

What is a potential client or customer supposed to think when they see that? It’s not like they’re going to send an email to find out if there’s a really good reason why the blog hasn’t been updated. Fortunately, there are three easy ways to successfully manage and keep up with your blogging goals. 

1.  Don’t get overwhelmed by one-at-a-time thinking: Instead of expecting yourself to come up with a great idea two days before your self-imposed posting deadline, set yourself up for success by scheduling a couple of hours to sit down and come up with a collection of post ideas at the same time. The advantage of this approach is that you can take big ideas and break them down into a logical sequence of posts. 

2.  Let yourself be inspired by others:  Don’t give up on writing a post just because you can’t come up with an idea. Read the posts and tweets of your contemporaries, or leaders in your field. This isn’t about copying someone else’s content. Instead, read what other people are blogging about and decide if you have a different viewpoint, something to add, or can go deeper into the subject. The advantage of riffing off of someone else’s post is that you can embed a link to the original post when you mention the other author’s name or idea. Readers will appreciate your willingness to share the stage with others. So will the author of the original post.

3.  Start small and grow:  Too many people have the goal of posting on their blog at least two times a week. That’s a big goal unless you have a lot of content at your disposal. If you aren’t used to producing content on a regular basis, start with a schedule you can keep up with. Start with twice a month—that’s 26 posts per year. When you can do that without a problem, kick it up to once a week. With practice, that’s a very manageable schedule.

Having a blog can definitely increase both your credibility and your visibility online. When you decide you’re ready to start your blog, stick with these strategies, and you’ll avoid the fate of the “one trick” blogger.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

How To Take Charge of Your Accounts and Increase Your Quality of Earnings

Quick! Print out a list of all of your accounts. Do it right now.
Did you print it? Probably not. After all, you know your list. You know your clients too, and besides, how could I say or ask anything that would be relevant to your specific list?
The reality is that after all my years in sales and as a sales coach, I don’t need to see your list to know that there is untapped information and potential there. It might be that no one ever showed you how to mine your list. Or, it might be a case of having forgotten how a few simple questions can keep you inspired to reach another level. Either way, there’s a tremendous amount of value in analyzing your list.
As you know, I’m a firm believer in the application of Pareto’s 80/20 principle. That means that if you have a list of 80 clients, 16 of them are in the 20%, providing you with 80% of your revenue. The other 64 clients aren’t.
With your top accounts, what do they have in common with each other? Is it their industry, location, or the way the company is structured? Are they all within a specific aspect of the industry that you have more expertise in? Why do you think they do business with you rather than your competitors?
When it comes to mining your top 16, think about the way their business is built and how they structured themselves. Then brainstorm/research for other businesses, companies, and organizations that mirror their setup. This will provide you with a list of more potential top 20% performers.
Make sure your top accounts really are profitable. There are times when the revenue they provide looks good until you dive into how much time, effort and work it’s costing you to consider them as one of your top 20%.
Don’t forget about your other 64 clients. Take a long look at each one of them to determine their long-term prognosis as being a good match for you and your list. Are there any with the potential of moving up and into your top 20%? If there are, consider how much time it would take to get them there. Are you willing to make the effort? If you aren’t, it doesn’t mean you should get rid of them as a client. It just means you can block the time you spend on their account off your calendar well into the future.
With the lower performing clients, maybe it’s time to consider another alternative for them—like inside sales. Could you hand them over to a new sales rep in your company? Obviously you can keep them, but you will be blocking off your valuable time to work on their accounts well into the future too. On the other hand, if you come up with a way to professionally and ethically let them go, you’ll have more time to pursue new accounts.
There’s always a balance to be struck in sales. We want to believe that our client list is structured with the necessary combination of clients who will help us reach both our sales and monetary goals. But business is always on the move—always changing.

When was the last time you went through your client list to make sure everyone on it is still performing in a way that supports their goals as well as yours?

Alan Luoma: I am a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, new

product development, sales and product training. I work part time with a great national sustainable packaging company and their exceptional distributors to increase sales. My success has been and is in utilizing the Pareto 80/20 principal in business and life. I have become an expert in seeking out and eliminating behaviors that prevent business people from being successful. I am a member of The National Speakers Association and New England Speakers Association. You can view my profile on LinkedIn, or contact me at 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Secret Addiction

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I think I suffer from an addiction. It probably isn’t healthy, and it makes me question my view of reality at times, but still, I cannot stop myself from watching medical TV shows. As a healthcare consumer advocate I am drawn to the show Chicago Med. It offers a view into places where human experience, with all it’s power, uncertainty, emotion, and messiness, is portrayed in Technicolor detail along with bloody surgical procedures. That show really gets my adrenalin pumping! Sometimes the scenarios posed in the show leave me replaying scenes in my head for days. You see, television is a powerful medium that exerts a huge amount of influence. It offers a vision of the world and then leaves us to decide whether the vision is accurate or not. It makes us ask the question, “Is this really who we are, what we do, and what we believe?”

A recent episode of Chicago Med has me pondering some deep questions about the current state of medical care decision-making.

In the show an alcoholic was brought into the emergency room with a broken leg. He was a “frequent flyer;” a regular visitor to the ER, and so one of the nurses was familiar with him as a patient and knew he was an alcoholic. The man began to experience delirium tremens, a painful and potentially deadly symptom of alcohol withdrawal. The man stated clearly that he did not want to stop drinking, and he was not going to take any steps to kick his addiction. He was brought in for an injury, not for getting clean. The patient was having seizures, hallucinations, vomiting, and suffering internal bleeding because of the DTs. All he wanted was a drink, yet the doctor on his case refused to allow him to have one, because the doctor believed that getting the patient sober was what the patient needed. The nurse tried to sneak in a bottle of liquor, but the doctor stopped her and told her, “I’m the doctor. I know what’s right for the patient.”

Who gets to make the final decisions about what the patient “needs?” – the doctor or the patient? What values are wrapped up in the decision-making? This was a juicy scenario to consider for a number of reasons.

First, it raises the question of the ethics of treating a body part or treating the whole patient. Should the doctor have just stabilized the patient enough to treat the broken leg, and not concerned himself with the alcoholism? Does the patient’s assertion that he wants his leg fixed but doesn’t want to be treated for alcohol addiction carry any weight? Does stepping over the threshold of the hospital doors mean the patient must follow hospital protocol, give up his autonomy, and give up his rights to make decisions about his body and the course of his medical care? Medical ethicists and human rights advocates argue that the patient retains those rights, and that doctors are supposed to respect them, even if the patient may suffer or even die as a result of those decisions. In this light, treating only the broken leg and not the alcoholism would have been the appropriate thing to do. It’s understandable the doctor may feel that because he has the training and the resources to treat the whole patient, he should treat the whole patient, but only if the patient consents.

Second, it raises the question of which drugs are acceptable, under which circumstances, and why. The doctor treated the patient with benzodiazepines and with Haldol, which are both prescription medications. He refused to allow the patient to have a medicinal dose of alcohol, even though it’s a substance that anyone over the age of 21 can legally consume without a prescription. Why are the prescription drugs acceptable while the over-the-counter one is not?

Third, how do we judge another person’s capacity to make medical decisions when that person appears to be flawed? In this case, the perceived moral failing of being an alcoholic influenced the doctor’s belief in the patient’s ability to make good life choices. The doctor asserted that his medical authority also gave him the moral authority to override the patient’s authority to make medical decisions for himself.

Lest you be tempted to say, “Michal, it’s just a TV show,” realize that these questions play out in real life every day. As the concept of patient-centered care plays a bigger part in how healthcare is delivered, questions like these, which expose the tensions between patients’ rights and doctors’ responsibilities, cause judgment calls to be made in almost every medical interaction.

Doctors and patients may disagree about what the patient needs to stay healthy or get well. They may have different approaches to health, illness, and questions about quality of life. That’s why things like Do Not Resuscitate orders and living wills came about – so that mechanisms would be in place for patients to express their wishes about how to be treated in circumstances in which they could not speak for themselves. When we are patients, we are dependent upon medical caregivers for their expertise, but we are not required to completely submit to their medical authority. We still retain rights that must be respected. Doctors are human beings who are tasked with using their knowledge and skill to improve the lives of others. Sometimes they use their abilities wisely, and sometimes they make the wrong the choices. There will always be a dance between doctors and patients, and we all need to learn our steps so we don’t trip over each other’s feet.

As a society we make fairly arbitrary rules about things like drug use. The perception is that prescription drugs are safe because doctors prescribe them, yet the over-prescription of narcotics is one of the main causes of epidemic heroin use across the country. Patients become addicted to prescription pain medications, and then switch to using heroin because it is cheaper. And prescription drugs may not be the most appropriate remedy. An over-the-counter product or natural remedy may suffice, but those are unlikely to be used in a hospital setting. When I was in the hospital after giving birth to one of my children, I was told I was not allowed to take the ibuprofen (ADVIL) I had brought from home. There were two main reasons why. First, any medication taken by the patient needs to be noted in the patient’s chart, in case of side effects and to make sure no drug interactions will occur. This is for patient safety. Second, the hospital can charge a premium price for the medications it distributes. They often charge up to $15 for a tablet of Tylenol, which otherwise would cost around 11¢. I was scolded for being a noncompliant patient each time I told the nurse I took the ibuprofen anyway, against their medical advice, so they could mark it in my chart.

Coercive care is a common problem for anyone who is deemed “less worthy.” At a conference I attended recently I heard story after story of patients who were told by medical caregivers something was being done “for their own good,” because they were overweight, a person of color, young, female, transgender, or different from what the mainstream consider to be normal. This is what the Chicago Med episode highlighted; that mainstream medicine does not equal moral authority.

As the practice of medicine continues to change, as it has drastically over the previous few decades, we are challenged with examining the changing nature of the authority and responsibility of both patients and doctors. We need to be mindful of patients’ rights and also be clear about our expectations of doctors and medical care. We need to recognize our biases and morals, and see clearly how they intersect in medical situations.

Watching healthcare scenarios on medical shows like Chicago Med reflects choices back to us and inspires us to compare our beliefs to what we see on TV. Rather than viewing it as straight entertainment, I use the show as a catalyst to examine my own beliefs and to learn more about how these scenarios unfold in real life, for real people. Does that make my compulsion to watch the show an addiction, or a healthy desire? I guess that depends on what the people in the mainstream think.

Michal Klau-Stevens is a professional speaker and healthcare consumer advocate. She is a maternity consultant, pregnancy coach, and expert on consumer healthcare care issues, Past President of BirthNetwork National, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and mother.  Her website is TheBirthLady.INFO. Find her on LinkedIn and on Facebook at The Birth Lady page!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Small Ideas = Results!

Are you shooting for the big idea?  Do you feel the only way to for your organization to move forward is to hit a grand slam?  This is but one counter intuitive aspect of employee ideas.  Your advantage is not the big idea, but rather the small ones - the incremental improvements.  Here’s why.

Big ideas are heavily advertised and therefore, easily copied.  Harder to copy is something your competition can’t see – because it is so small it is not on their radar.  A great example of this comes from the book “Corporate Creativity” by Alan G. Robinson and Sam Stern – regarding American Airlines – a mechanic demonstrated that that the company was paying two different prices for nuts that were used in two different airplanes.  One plane was using a nut that cost $1.19 each and the other was using a nut that cost $ .79 each.  The mechanic believed that the nuts were identical and further research showed that in fact they were.  Then end result of this small idea - $300,000 in annual savings!  Generate several ideas like this one and your company is in a better position than your competitor who is ONLY focusing on the big idea.  In addition, your competitor is not focusing on the $.40 you just saved on each nut – I guarantee it.  Therefore, it isn’t easily copied.

Your company’s competitive advantage resides in the heads of your employees. They hold the key!  They see 80 percent of all opportunities that results in improvements in how they do their job – streamlining processes, reducing costs, etc… that translates to the bottom line financially for your company.

Innovation is more than generating new products – it is also about how well your employees execute the great ideas they have!  This philosophy also works for smaller companies as well – listen to the employees and involve them in your desired outcomes – and your company will execute much better.

Idea Share Tip of the Month!
Communicate the value of the idea system to your employees and how the system can make you competitive in your industry.  Everyone wants to work for a winner – a growing and competitive company!

Frame of Mind Consulting understands the unique DNA of your organization, which is necessary to turn any organization into one capable of leveraging the full idea potential of its employees.  Would you like to drive connectivity and ownership throughout your company?  Contact Page at (860) 559-7942 to set up your complimentary consultation during which you will receive some invaluable tips that you can apply to your business right away.

A Breath of Fresh Air

It is Springtime! Time to roll down your windows on the car and breath fresh air.. Oh you say you have allergies and the pollen bothers you or maybe it's the dust or the exhaust. Enough is enough. Perhaps it's time for you to understand allergies but most of all your lungs. Go ahead right NOW, stop and put both your hands on top of your lungs. I know. I know you can't put your hands on your lungs only a doctor in surgery can do that. You see your lungs are protected by your ribs and muscles, then layers of tissue and skin. And if you do not breath you die! However, seldom does anyone think about their lungs. I had a great nephew with a disease called Cystic Fibrosis. This can be life-threatening but today can be treated in many ways even lung transplants. Isn't that amazing? This is a disease that may have mucus that is too think and sweat that is too salty. If the mucus is think it clogs the lungs and it is hard to breath. It can also block the pancreas which is used in the process of digestion.

Most people become aware of their lungs after they have climbed the stairs and then stood still holding on to something because they are short of breath. Shortness of breath and allergies are part of many diseases so these symptoms are "red flags." In other words what is your body telling you when you have shortness of breath? Chances are it is saying exercise, exercise, get fresh air, learn to breath, cut down on the mucus from foods that create acid and mucus within your body, loose weight and most of all drink more water.

We as a society have never been taught the symptoms of our body that contribute to disease so I will enlighten you NOW. It has been said that allergies are inherited. Yes that is possible. As a child I couldn't stand wool clothing and my body itched like mad, I always seemed to have swollen glands which appeared to tell me I was having mumps for the tenth time. As an adult I too sneezed way too much and my eyes teared. I had allergy treatments and lived on a medication as needed. What I hadn't learned was to drink lots of water and exercise more and get fresh air. Once I did this on a regular basis I realized that the body needs to replace water always for the organs to function properly. I haven't had allergies since. The lungs need 11-12 ounces of water a day merely so they are capable of functioning. The mucus from foods also creates some allergies.......... I will address that next month so stay tuned. Meanwhile go to Nutrition Monday/Facebook for LifeStyle information. Until then keep breathing and drinking water daily. Half your weight in ounces daily to maintain to function.

Carolyn Finch
Speech Pathologist and Body Language and Communication LifeStyle Expert.
That means there will be a spark in your next meeting when Carolyn is there speaking.
Programs available are: Oops! Your Body Language is Showing, Eating Can be Fun When You Learn How and Taking Care of You by Moving-Eating-Thinking well. CALL NOW for more information.
203 405 3972 or cell 203 512 4798 or  or friend her on Facebook or go to Carolyn Finch LinkedIn  or Tweet!

Saturday, May 7, 2016


This is a re-post of last year's May blog - can't improve on this one - it's from the heart...

Mother's Day is TOMORROW: time to CELEBRATE the most special people in the world - MOMS! 

This month's blog is very simple and from the heart. I have always believed that the hardest yet most rewarding "profession" in the world is being a mother - agree? This month's message is let's make the world a happier place one kind gesture at a time...

I grew up in a large family, the oldest of 7 children. My youngest sister (on my lap) is only 10-1/2 years behind me - how's that for Baby Boomers!! 50 years later, we are fortunate that our parents are still with us and doing fine - it's been a fun ride. Personally, I've been married almost 38 years to the most wonderful woman in the world and we have two awesome sons (which is plenty for us) - I'm truly blessed.

When I was young and asked my mom what she wanted for Mother's Day, she would always say "good kids". As the years have gone by, what she appreciates most is quality time with family (individually and at get-togethers). I'm sure most moms feel the same way. Mother's Day is the perfect holiday to REACH OUT and appreciate not only moms, but families (yours and others') and friends. Why not make it a habit?  

Make a point of appreciating ALL moms this week. Surprise them by saying "Happy Mother's Day" out of the blue (yes, even to strangers with kids in the Grocery Store and other public places) - do it "just because"... Encourage others in your life to do the same thing! It will make their day and the smiles you will all get in return will be priceless. Don't stop on Monday just because Mother's Day is over - why not keep the momentum going throughout the year by wishing moms everywhere the best... Let's make EVERY day "Happy Mother's Day" - MOMS DESERVE IT!!!

Chip, the Happiness and Success GPS, is a speaker, trainer, facilitator, consultant and NETWORKING EXPERT. Everything I do is customized for the group or business I that am working with so let's brainstorm  - call me anytime at 860-673-4006 - coffee's on me!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Start with Why part 2

 Last month I introduced you to Simon Sinek, his book, Start with Why, and The Golden Circle. This month let me help you better understand The Golden Circle. Picture The Golden Circle as three circles or rings inside each other, each bigger than the next or maybe smaller than the next depending in which direction you are going. The smallest ring or circle is the bull’s eye just like on a dart board. Can you picture it? Good. Dead center, the bully’s eye, is our WHY. We can all see that the bull’s eye is the smallest circle or ring and thus it would be the hardest to hit, right? The WHY that resides in there is also the hardest for us all to hit as evidence by very few companies or people being able to clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. This area is the ultimate test, as well as the area that will bring the greatest success if we master how to hit it.
            The next biggest circle or ring after the WHY is the HOW. This one is easier to hit than the bull’s eye WHY because it’s a bigger target. More people innately better understand how they do the things they do. More people understand HOW they do what they do than people who understand WHY they do what they do.
            The final big outside ring or circle is the WHAT area. Obviously one can see this is the biggest area. We all intuitively understand that this is the easiest area to hit because it’s the biggest. In this area of WHAT usually every single company and organization on the planet knows what they do. Most of us individuals know what we do too? Some however are better at knowing HOW to do it; thus, they are a little more successful than the WHATS. And remember even fewer of us in The Golden Circle know WHY we do what we do, and thus this is the smallest and the most successful group up according to Sinek.

            Next month I will explain how biology plays a big part in The Golden Circle and our WHY.
Dan is an award-winning teen leadership author, speaker and educator. You can find out more about Dan at:

The Motivation Manifesto Part 2

             Last month we introduced the Motivation Manifesto. This month we will talk about the first 5 Declarations.  
            So, what does Brendon Burchard’s first Declaration of Meeting Life with Full Presence and Power mean? Well, it means a lot of things like a better future can be imagined in segments of time, but it is only in this time that a better future can be built. We have to ask ourselves what kind of person and what kind of experience do we want to choose to manifest right now? Those that have such presence of mind get to live a life that is connected (united), real and positive. In the end, the sunshine of enlightenment spreads to those who understand that the moments in our lives must not go unnoticed and unlived.
            How about Declaration 2 of Reclaiming Our Agenda? Sadly, many people get stuck in life because they never rise above their timid desires to please others. We must learn to artfully deal with anyone who tries to derail our mission, even if they are family. Let’s take back our day tomorrow by scribing our dreams tonight. Let’s create our own Manifesto, our own Declaration! After all, let’s not forget that human nature naturally steers us toward self-reliance and freedom… Let ring the freedom bell and Declare our own Freedom!
            In discussing Brendon Burchard’s Declaration 3, Defeating our Demons we must remember that our own thoughts defeat us more than circumstances do. We are all plagued by doubt, but the great ones somehow find faith and begin anyways. Once again, these few are not lucky; they simply are more intentional and more practiced at defeating their internal demons.
            Now let’s look at the bright side of this, Enlightenment comes to those who free themselves from self-oppression. And in contrast, if you choose to look at the dark side of all of this and want to think about what doubt does to us… think about this… because of doubt, not only do we fail to do what we could have done, but even worse; we fail to become what we could have become.
            Now onto Declaration 4, Advance with Abandon. Our destiny hinges on a mindset for bold action. Courageous people see circumstances as temporary. They know reality is bendable to their iron will.
            However, it’s important to remember though that in Declaration 4, once again, the most common sticking point is that we desire to gain permission from those we trust and love. We’re going to have to deal with this seeking permission thing if we truly want to be free and successful. In addition, we must also remember that hardships are good because only in hardships can our weaknesses be exposed and then finally expelled…
            Declaration 5 of Practicing Joy and Gratitude reminds us that life is a journey, a trying and exciting adventure whose destination matters less than the passions and freedoms felt along the way. After all, what is our life’s purpose if it’s not to live? And by living, we all need to be reminded of that miraculous life energy that brought us into existence.

            Where is that miraculous life energy today? It’s still there if we know where to look. And while we’re looking, we should not focus on the shadows in the corner of the room and be so foolish to miss the fact that the shadow only exist because the room is illuminated. Find that illumination in the dark among the shadows and we’ll find our life energy that will just so happen coincide with joy and gratitude.
           Next month we'll talk about the last 4 Declarations of the Motivation Manifesto.

Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, educator; a parenting expert and a certified life-coach!