How to Critique Your Failures and Make Them Successes

by Ali Brown
It’s often said that hindsight is 20/20, but it can turn into foresight when we start to learn from our mistakes and apply our new knowledge to future situations. So, how do you look at your failures and turn something negative into a positive? Let’s take a look…

Do a “post-mortem” examination

When something goes terribly wrong, it’s in our nature to analyze it and play the “what if” game, where we play different scenarios out in our mind about what we could have done differently to change the outcome. Some say this exercise is useless, but in a business context, doing a post-mortem can actually be a healthy and productive way to handle the situation.

The key is to go beyond what you’ve done wrong as part of your post-mortem. Also examine what you’ve done right. Make a list of the pluses and minuses so you recognize your strengths and what you should repeat—and what needs improvement, or needs to be thrown out entirely.

Avoid complacency

Oftentimes when something goes wrong, we write it off as something that was meant to be. But in business, if you’ve lost a client or some mistake has happened, you can often figure out why. Let’s say you lose a client. Why could this have happened? Maybe your pricing isn’t competitive enough. Maybe someone on your team just dropped the ball without a valid reason. To start, you could do a little investigating by asking your team and the client what went wrong.

Ask your client which company won their business. If you don’t want to lose the client, you could meet your competitor’s price, if that was the issue and you are willing to go lower. Instead of feeling dejected or threatened by your competitor, take it as an opportunity to improve your services or business and learn from the strengths of others in your field.

If it was an internal issue, you can implement new tools or training, so your team can better manage the situation next time.

If you investigate why the mistakes are happening, and are willing to make improvements, you can go after new business with the confidence that your operation is capable of taking on more volume and meeting client expectations.

Stay informed

Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, keep your ears to the ground level of your business. Survey your employees and your customers regularly to find out what they think is working and what they’d love to see improve.

You might discover a new system that could increase internal productivity or boost morale. And your customers could show you exactly what your next hot product should be!

Most successful people earn success through the lessons of their failures. Remember, serendipity typically happens after a lot of trial and error ;).


© 2011 Ali International, LLC

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at

Why Your Life Purpose Comes With Sharp Edges

by Christine Kane

Somewhere along the way, we learn to avoid things that are uncomfortable.

“Hey look at this,” we think. “If I just stay here in the middle – away from the sharp edges – then I don’t get too banged up.”

Slowly, our passions and goals stop being about what we want to create or who we dream of becoming.

Slowly, our passions and goals become more about how to avoid the edges.

When the edges sneak up on us anyway – as they tend to do – then we find ways to soften them.

Conveniently, we live in a world that will jubilantly help us soften the edges.

We distract. We eat. We smoke. We drink a glass (or three) of wine before dinner. We become anti-anxiety, anti-depression, anti-mood. We watch hours of stuff that means nothing to us. We soften the edges.

And you know what?

It kinda works.

In the moment, we seem not to get bumped as hard.

Only problem is that as we lose the edges, we also lose the wisdom that the edges are designed to bring.

We lose the intuition that comes from the experience.

We lose the discovery of our own boundaries and preferences.

And we lose the joy that is a natural result of vulnerability, awareness, and energy.

All of this results in losing our awareness of our life purpose, our passion. We lose our clarity, too.

In other words, you can try your level best to stay smack dab in the middle, not bumping into the edges. But one day, it will occur to you that you have avoided so much more in the process. Including your own life.

I am lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing people on the planet in my Uplevel Academy masterminds. These are women and men who run their own businesses. They’re creative. They’re entrepreneurial. They shine. They have big breakthroughs and major victories.

And, of course, they hit edges along the way. (So does their coach!)

In fact, I don’t know a single successful person who doesn’t bump into edges on a regular basis.  It is always tempting to think, “If I’m truly living my purpose, shouldn’t it just always be easy?”

But that’s just that old story we’ve memorized well over the years, trying to keep us safe in the middle of the road, not failing – but never winning either.

If you are reading this, and you know in your heart that you have a big WHY, then welcome and bless your edges. After all, no one succeeds without them.  They are your teachers.

In the comments below, please share an “edge” that has been a great teacher to you – and has ultimately made you more successful!

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at

4 of the Best Podcasts for Women Entrepreneurs

by Amanda Watson

Being an entrepreneur in today’s economy is no easy task. It takes belief in yourself, drive, determination and the willingness to stand up for what you do. Being a woman entrepreneur takes even greater effort. 

Any woman who is successfully running a business can tell you that being a female in power takes plenty of hard work, and that it’s important for women in business to stick together and support one another. 

If you’re in need of some guidance, or a perspective from someone dealing with issues just like you, try listening to some of the newest podcasts especially for women entrepreneurs. Here are four great ones you can listen for free now:

Provided by Knowledge Shift, this series of podcasts features powerful women speaking about entrepreneurship, family, balance and women in business. Featuring Cyndi Maxey, co-author of “Speak Up” and “How to Present Like a Pro,” listeners can take in podcasts from her and a variety of guest female speakers. Podcasts include "It’s in the Bag," "How Green is Your Office," "Powerful Women," and "All in the Family."

Hosted by Inc. 500-ranked entrepreneur Ali Brown, this podcast centers on business advice for women, such as perspectives on making more money, starting a business, and maintaining self-confidence. Titles include "Becoming a Money Magnet," "Online Marketing Secrets," and "5 Ways to Stay Organized."

This podcast features an interview with Erin Albert, the author of Single. Women. Entrepreneurs. that highlighted thirty single female entrepreneurs. The talk centers on a discussion of women entrepreneurs across the United States and their perspectives when it comes to starting a self-made business, the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman entrepreneur, and advice to fellow women entrepreneurs. 

WomenEntrepreneurs and Where We Are Headed
Stephanie Frasco is a social media marketer and offers regular podcasts on topics ranging from business sense to online marketing techniques. In this talk she covers women entrepreneurs, her own experience as a woman in business and where she sees women going in the future.

Amanda Watson is an experienced freelancer blogger who covers web-based businesses and higher education. She writes about the latest online MBA news and current trends among online entrepreneurs. You can reach Amanda at

9 Clear Strategies to Making Better Decisions

by Ali Brown

How do you usually make a decision? Do you act impulsively, or over-complicate? Knowing our personal quirks and decision drivers can help control irrationality and impulsiveness, which can then lead to better decisions in tough situations.

Let’s take a look at nine strategies for making better decisions in crucial moments.

1. Weigh the consequences

If you start at the end first, it can help simplify a decision. For instance, think about what you CAN and CANNOT live with. This can help eliminate options and keep things in an appropriate perspective.

2. Think first

This one is for the impulsive decision makers out there. When you’re caught up in the momentum of something, try to take a deep breath. Give yourself a few seconds to re-evaluate the choice.

3. Do What’s Right

As they say, “You can do what’s right or you can do what’s easy.” The whistleblowers at Enron, WorldCom, and Madoff had to choose. While their lives became tough for a while, they could look at themselves in the mirror and sleep at night knowing they’d done the right thing. We all deserve the same peace of mind. Choose right over easy.

4. Listen to your Gut

Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, "Blink" publicized what most of us already knew—sometimes that gut feeling is the right feeling, even if we don’t know why. If perfectly logical choices—to take a job, date someone, or purchase something—have our stomachs in knots, we need to examine that red flag. Many times what we can’t consciously explain can be the difference between a good choice and something we’ll regret.

5. Understand Emotions

Understanding our feelings and how they motivate our behaviors can be the key to changing personal patterns. We may be surprised by how much of what we do is based on irrational emotions. Think about that intelligent girlfriend you know who always dates the wrong men.

6. Feel the pressure

Knowing what is driving the people around us can make a big difference in the way decisions are made, and the outcomes down the road. Are things being driven by pride, desire to advance, greed or power trips? Or, is there a truly sensible reason that the pressure is on? Knowing the answer can help you move forward or stand clear of unnecessary stress and drama.

7. Know your motive

Deciding something to keep up with the Joneses, because it’s what our parents want, or to prove something to somebody, can be the right course of action, but only if we understand what we are doing. Looking at our personal motives behind a decision can help us evaluate if it is a good choice. If the answer to “Why am I doing this?” isn’t a motive we’d be proud of, it is time to re-evaluate that decision.

8. Decide not to decide

When it comes right down to A or B, sometimes the right decision is—C. Simply say, “I don’t care for either at this time” or suggest a third option to alleviate the pressure and get a better outcome.

9. Flip a coin

When you get down to A or B and flip a coin, it does more than give you a choice. It shows you how happy you are with that choice. If you get the outcome and your heart sinks, then you get an instant read on what your gut thought of the decision.

© 2011 Ali International, LLC

Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at

Lend Your Support to Help Empower Victims of Domestic Violence

by Leah Oviedo

In 2011 I realized that my career aspirations had changed along with many of the things I wanted in life. I was no longer interested in just making money so I could have a comfortable lifestyle. I wanted to make the world a safer place for all people.

Several events happened that caused this change; a major one was working at a domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) center. I saw a lot of pain and trauma walk in and out of the office very day. It really wore me down to a point where I felt so hopeless about such a big problem. It also made me realize that other than counseling for survivors, we also need to teach prevention so we can stop DV and SA from happening in the first place.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives and 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner every year. According to the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 2 minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. Numbers are one thing, but to actually see the abused women, men and children who walked through our doors was entirely different. It is hard to ignore someone standing in front of you with bruises or so beaten down emotionally they cannot even look up when they talk.

Earlier this year I found a program that trains and certifies self defense instructors. It is called, Just Yell Fire, and was started by a young woman when she was in high school. My goal to take this certification and become an instructor.

How You Can Help

To earn money for my certification, I designed a compact instruction self defense card to sell. At just 3.25 x 4.25 inches it can be carried in your wallet or hidden away in your desk. Each card is printed on glossy paper with a matte back to write down local help numbers.

The sale of each card will go towards my class fee for the self-defense instructor certification. Each card costs you just $5. That includes postage for residents of the USA.

This card is for sale on my website at OR by mail with a check to Leah Oviedo, 1106 Second St. #846, Encinitas, CA 92024. Teaching self defense is one way that I can live my life to help others and also feel good about myself. I appreciate all the support you can give to get to that point. 

Thank you!
Leah Oviedo

A Note from Deborah: Leah Oviedo is author of the book, "I Am More Than Just a Girl" which was profiled on the blog last year. Check it out here:

Jamie Fleming-Dixon of Mocha Writer on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Dreamer. Lover of life. Goal getter. These are just a few words to describe Jamie Fleming-Dixon, author, inspirational writer and blogger and fabulous female entrepreneur.

Georgia College & State University is where she discovered her passion and purpose: informing and empowering women through writing. Using her words, Jamie’s goal is to inspire and empower women to live their most fabulous lives, however they define it. This goal is realized through the vehicles of her blog, For Colored Gurls, programs and books.While she had many career aspirations growing up, being a writer was etched into her soul. But Jamie could have never imagined or planned the path God wanted her to travel in her life; she supposes Oprah’s saying is true: God really can dream a bigger dream for you than you can for yourself.

Jamie’s mission is multifaceted: to motivate women to dream big, encourage them to define success for themselves and to inspire them to live the lives they truly desire and deserve. She will continue to walk in her purpose, showing women that they can and should go after whatever they want in life and helping them recognize they can do anything!

With a belief that ALL things are possible with God, Jamie lives by the words, “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” She is happily married to Chris and resides in Anderson, South Carolina. In her non-working life, Jamie is a nail polish addict, an avid magazine collector and a huge fan of chocolate.

Date: Wednesday, July 17th, 2012
Time: 8:00 pm EDT


Stay Focused on Your Core Genius

by Jack Canfield
I believe you have inside of you a core genius... some one thing that you love to do, and do so well, that you hardly feel like doing anything else. It’s effortless for you and a whole lot of fun. And if you could make money doing it, you’d make it your lifetime’s work.

In most cases, your Core Genius is directly tied to your passions and life-purpose.

Successful people believe this, too. That's why they put their core genius first. They focus on it—and delegate everything else to other people on their team.

For me, my core genius lies in the area of teaching, training, coaching and motivating. Another core genius is writing and compiling books. Over my 35 year career, I have written, co-authored, compiled and edited more than 150 books, and I love to do it! I do it well, and people report that they get great value from it.

Compare that to the other people in the world who go through life doing everything, even those tasks they’re bad at or that could be done more cheaply, better, and faster by someone else.

They simply can’t find the time to focus on their core genius because they fail to delegate even the most menial of tasks.

When you delegate the grunt work—the things you hate doing or those tasks that are so painful, you end up putting them off—you get to concentrate on what you love to do. You free up your time so that you can be more productive. And you get to enjoy life more.

So why is delegating routine tasks and unwanted projects so difficult for most people?

Surprisingly, most people are afraid of looking wasteful or being judged as being above everyone else. They are afraid to give up control or reluctant to spend the money to pay for help. Deep down, most people simply don't want to let go.

Others (potentially you) have simply fallen into the habit of doing everything themselves. "It's too time-consuming to explain it to someone," you say. "I can do it more quickly and better myself anyway." But can you?

Delegate Completely!

If you’re a professional earning $75 per hour and you pay a neighborhood kid $10 an hour to cut the grass, you save the effort of doing it yourself on the weekend and gain one extra hour when you could profit by $65.  Of course, while one hour doesn’t seem like much, multiply that by 52 weekends a year and you discover you’ve gained 52 hours a year at $65 per hour —or an extra $3,380 in potential earnings.

Similarly, if you’re a real estate agent, you need to list houses, gather information for the multiple listings, attend open houses, do showings, put keys in lock boxes, write offers and make appointments.  And, if you’re lucky, you eventually get to close a deal.

But let’s say that you’re the best closer in the area.

Why would you want to waste your time writing listings, doing lead generation, placing lock boxes, and making videos of the property when you could have a staff of colleagues and assistants doing all that,  thus freeing you up to do more closing?  Instead of doing just one deal a week, you could be doing three deals because you had delegated what you’re less good at.

One of the strategies I use and teach is complete delegation. It simply means that you delegate a task once and completely - rather than delegating it each time it needs to be done.

When my niece came to stay with us one year while she attended the local community college, we made a complete delegation - the grocery shopping. We told her she could have unlimited use of our van if she would buy the groceries every week. We provided her with a list of staples that we always want in the house (eggs, butter, milk, ketchup, and so on), and her job was to check every week and replace anything that was running low.

In addition, my wife planned meals and let her know which items she wanted for the main courses (fish, chicken, broccoli, avocados, and so on). The task was delegated once and saved us hundreds of hours that year that could be devoted to writing, exercise, family time, and recreation.

Most entrepreneurs spend less than 30% of their time focusing on their core genius and unique abilities.

In fact, by the time they've launched a business, it often seems entrepreneurs are doing everything but the one thing they went into business for in the first place.

Many salespeople, for example, spend more time on account administration than they do on the phone or in the field making sales, when they could hire a part-time administrator (or share the cost with another salesperson) to do this time-consuming detail work. In most cases, in a fraction of the time it would take them and at a fraction of the cost.

Most female executives spend too much time running their household, when they could easily and inexpensively delegate this task to a cleaning service or part-time mother's helper, freeing them to focus on their career or spend more quality time with their family.

Don't let this be your fate!

Identify your core genius, then delegate completely to free up more time to focus on what you love to do.

I believe that you can trade, barter, pay for and find volunteer help to do almost everything you don't want to do, leaving you to do what you are best at - and which will ultimately make you the most money and bring you the most happiness.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

4 Free College Courses for Entrepreneurs

by Angelita Williams
You will discover early on that being an entrepreneur means you will have to be a jack-of-all trades, especially if funds are limited. 

This is because if you can't afford to hire employees, you might have to play every role yourself which may include boss, secretary, accountant, and marketing director just to name a few.   

Handling everything can be overwhelming, especially if you're not trained in finance or any of the other subjects you need to know to help your business flourish. While returning to school is recommended, it can be expensive. Instead, you can opt to "enroll" in free online classes that are designed to help you strengthen any areas you might be weak in. The ones hand-selected below can help you manage your expenses, raise more capital, tighten your marketing campaign and be an overall better boss. 

4 free college courses for entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial Finance
Entrepreneurial Finance, which is offered through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, helps students analyze the preliminary costs and expenses of launching a technology-based start-up venture. The course help students address key issues, including where and how capital can be raised, how much should be raised, and how to read and structure contracts so that you know what you're getting yourself into before signing any dotted line. 
Entrepreneurial Marketing
Entrepreneurial Marketing, which is also offered through MIT, helps its students understand the importance of marketing as well as how to use the resources available to them in order to make a successful campaign and reach desired target audience. After all, without successful marketing it's hard to attract a loyal customer base and actually make money.
Training and Human Resources
If you can afford to hire a few employees, you're going to have to know how to treat them. You're also going to have to know how to set some ground rules for what is deemed as "acceptable" and what isn't— there needs to be a professional atmosphere set in the workplace at all time. This course, provided by the University of California-Irvine, helps entrepreneurs prefect their human resource skills as well as learn the proper way to "train" new hires and be a good boss.
The Entrepreneurial Strategies
Last but not least, The Entrepreneurial Strategies course offered through Kutztown is designed to teach students how to craft entrepreneurial business strategies as well as how to put those strategies into action. The course is equipped with 160 animated slides and is about three hours long. 
There are other free online courses available on the web as well that can more or less help you with any other area you might be struggling in. Try doing a good Google search or look into these following resources to lead you in the right direction: MIT, Academic Earth, and the Open University.
Angelita Williams offers life long learning tips in her articles on college education, lifestyle, and business management. Though she specializes in online education, she likes to think that she can write about any topic with substance and precision. You can contact Angelita at


Dave Westwood of Sleepy Paws Pet Care on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Sleepy Paws Pet Care was founded in 2009 by Kim and Dave Westwood.  Kim was a stay-at-home mother and pet owner.  She had done pet sitting for her friends and family in the past and realized that with her love for pets, she wanted to do pet sitting professionally.  Over the next several months, her husband, Dave, built the Sleepy Paws website and began marketing the business in the Northern Chester County, Pennsylvania area.  It was not long before Sleepy Paws Pet Services had their first dog walking client.   Sleepy Paws has grown to become one of the premier pet sitting companies in the area, taking care of hundreds of four-legged friends in Downingtown, Exton and the surrounding areas.

In 2010 and 2011, Sleepy Paws was a finalist in the PHL17 Hot List contest for the Philadelphia area’s top pet sitting companies.  During this time, the business grew and with the branding and web presence Sleepy Paws Pet Care had created, the next logical step was either franchising the business or licensing.  While franchising was an option, it was not practical due to the expenses related to starting a franchise organization.  In addition, it was impractical to charge and exorbitant franchise fee and royalties for a business that can be started with a small budget.  In 2012, Sleepy Paws Pet Care began licensing regional territories throughout the United States.  It is Sleepy Paws Pet Care goal to empower others to start a low-cost, home-based business and make Sleepy Paws Pet Care THE name to call when clients need pet sitting or dog walking services.

Date: Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
Time: 8:00 pm EDT


10 Things Women Entrepreneurs Should Know about Surety Bonds

by Danielle Rodabaugh 

Countless industries across America utilize surety bonds to eliminate malpractice in the workplace, yet most business owners know little about how these insurance products work. As a woman who works in the surety industry, I've devised this list of 10 things every working woman should know about surety bonds. To make the information easier to consume, I've broken the information down into three categories.

Surety bond basics

1. A basic definition explains that surety bonds are legally binding contracts that guarantee a certain level of performance. When working professionals purchase surety bonds, they promise to follow certain laws and regulations or else face the consequences. As such, surety bond insurance discourages fraud and other forms of malpractice in the workplace.

2. Each surety bond that's issued joins three parties together into a legally binding contract. The obligee requires the bond to ensure a job is completed or a profession is held at a minimum standard. The principal purchases the bond to guarantee his or her ability to perform as expected. The surety provides a financial guarantee of the principal's ability to fulfill the bond.

3. The financial guarantees provided by surety bonds are typically used for two reasons: to reinforce industry regulations and to protect consumers and government entities from financial loss at the hands of working professionals. If a principal breaks a bond's terms, the harmed party can make a claim on the bond to recover losses.

4. Government agencies frequently require business owners, entrepreneurs and other working professionals to purchase surety bonds before they can apply for a surety bond. Since they're used as a part of the business license application process, these bonds are known as license and permit bonds. Thousands of unique surety bond types exist; they typically revolve around professionals that provide services directly to consumers who could be easily taken advantage of. Some examples include auto dealers, mortgage professionals, telemarketers and cleaning services.

Bonding regulations

5. Surety bond regulations vary greatly depending on the industry you work in and where you work. For example, the laws that require travel agents in California to get a surety bond vary from those that apply to tax collectors in Texas. The amount of bonding coverage you're required to get also varies based on your profession and location.

6. To determine whether you need a surety bond, you should check with the government agency that's in charge of licensing professionals in your industry. Most states have government websites that outline license and registration requirements on which you can find information on bonding expectations.

7. If required to purchase a surety bond, you must also maintain it according to law at all times. Surety bonds typically expire on an annual or biennial basis, so make sure you give yourself enough time to purchase a new one so you don't have a lapse in coverage. Failing to fulfill bonding regulations can result in penalty fines, license revocation and even legal action.

Benefits of surety bonds

8. Surety bonds reinforce industry integrity. Since the contractual language used in surety bonds requires working professionals to fulfill industry standards, you know that you're working in an industry that demands a certain level of work performance.

9. Surety bonds limit your competition. The surety bond application process is stringent. As such, not all applicants are able to qualify for surety bonds. When applications suggest a lack of financial credibility or professional work experience, business owners and working professionals struggle to get the surety bonds they need. When surety providers refuse to issue bonds to unqualified applicants, your competition is reduced.

10. Surety bonds reassure your clients that they're working with a credible business. You've probably seen or heard businesses that are marketed as being licensed and bonded. Consumers know that bonded companies do work that's backed with the financial guarantee of an insurance underwriter.

As a working woman, you have enough concerns on your plate when preparing to start and then manage a new business. With this basic understanding of surety bonds, you'll be better prepared to undergo the surety bond process if the need ever arises.

Danielle Rodabaugh is the chief editor of at, a nationwide surety insurance company. Through its educational outreach program, helps business professionals in an array of industries understand what surety bonds are and why government agencies require them.

What is YOUR Mission? 3 Ways to Nail it Down

by Kelly K. O'Neil

The fact that you're reading this post (or are a subscriber to my newsletter) tells me one thing: Even if you aren't actively working toward it, there's at least that (very, very important) seed in your mind, telling you that YOUR mission/vision/dream is achievable. It just might take some work to get there. And one of the first steps toward reaching toward your dreams is making sure you have a clear vision and mission. You'll use these to craft your mission statement, which will speak for your company's goals, values and beliefs for years to come (with occasional tweaking to make sure you're remaining current, of course).

Whether you've already worked with me to develop your mission and adore it or you've been putting off doing it for the last few years because it seemed overwhelming ... I don't care if you're running at full speed, chasing after your dreams or if you're plodding along hoping your dreams find you. It's critical to have a clearly defined mission ... and critical to revisit even the most seemingly flawless one once a year or so.

So, do this for me: Pencil in one hour in the coming week to work through the following three steps. If you already have a mission, cross check your work with your existing mission and make the appropriate changes. If you are currently unclear on your mission, use your responses as a springboard to creating one.

Make a list. Write down all the things that are most important to you in your business and what you want it to do -- tomorrow and in the future. Include your values, your goals, your hopes, your dreams ... don't edit yourself -- write it all down

Take that list and circle the top 5-10 words or phrases that identify your company and your service or product. Be sure that you're choosing words and phrases that both identify both what you wish to accomplish and contribute and who you want to be (the character strengths and qualities you wish your business to convey). You can even ask team members, family or friends who know your business well to do this exercise for you -- it can never hurt to have additional insight.

If you don't currently have a clear mission: Try incorporating as many of those words into an inspirational action statement -- whether it's a sentence or a paragraph it doesn't matter. This will take a few passes until you find one you love. Then, run it by friends, family, team members or trusted clients to see if they think it accurately communicates your business and its goals. Even if you never go further to create a "formal" mission statement, this exercise will help you identify your mission and ensure you're working toward the right direction. You can use it to model your current and future marketing and sales efforts, identify future products, and so much more.

If you do currently have a mission statement (or even just a very clear mission, take the statement you just created and revisit your existing mission. Does this new statement align with your existing mission, dreams and goals? If so, great job! You're still on track. If not? Then it's time to rewrite your mission statement.

Unless you are one of the lucky few who already has a perfect mission statement, it's time to write (or rewrite) your existing, formal mission statement. This will provide motivation for you and for team members and serve as a strong marketing and branding tool for your customers. Feeling overwhelmed? Surf the Web and identify mission statements you love. They don't have to be long to hit the mark immediately (but they can be longer if you need them to be). Some of my favorite short ones:

- Disney: "To make people happy."

- Boeing: "To push the leading edge of aviation, taking huge challenges doing what others cannot do."

- 3M: "To solve unsolved problems innovatively."

- Kelly O'Neil International - To help conscious entrepreneurs become extraordinary."

As you can see, these are timeless, transparent and clear. What are your favorite mission statements? Did you do this exercise? Swing by my Facebook page and share your favorite statements ... and personal experience with this exercise.

© 2012 Kelly O'Neil International.

Kelly O'Neil, Founder and CEO of Kelly O'Neil International, best-selling author and award winning brand marketing strategist, is one of the most sought-after brand marketing and results coaches for conscious entrepreneurs and aspiring women leaders. Kelly is the inspirational driving force behind a rapidly expanding business empire that includes Ignite Business Coaching™, Millionaire Prodigy Club™, The Women's Leadership Academy™ and The Excellence Society™. She is committed to helping entrepreneurs find their authentic voice, design strategies and brand platforms to share their unique message and strategically build profitable businesses. For free resources, training materials and to sign up to receive a free CD "7 Simple Success Practices of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs," as well as Kelly's Arrive Ezine, visit

Happy July 4th!

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. -Wikipedia

Anna Stevens the Emotional Intelligence Maven on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Anna Stevens, J.D., B.B.A. is known as the Emotional Intelligence and Happiness Maven and the founder of EQ for Success - an Atlanta-based Emotional Intelligence consulting, training and coaching company ( Anna has been featured on WSB TV, Atlanta Business Radio and other Radio programs, she was published in a Magazine- all these within just 10 months as a business-consultant! Anna helps corporations attract, hire and retain high-potential employees as well as provides on-going training to help employees effectively deal with stress, difficult people and change, and stay motivated and committed to achieving the desired business goals.

Anna delivers public workshops and seminars as well corporate and private training sessions, during which she guides her clients through a self-discovery process, helping them uncover their true purpose and potential for success. Anna also provides one-on-one coaching in the area of Emotional Intelligence, leadership, relationship-building and goal-achieving.

Anna graduated with high honor from a teaching college in Russia in 2002, and immediately entered a business school where she held a leadership position as the head student for 6 years. During those 6 years, Anna wrote several research papers on the importance of human capital for organizational effectiveness, and she participated in local, regional, national and international conferences speaking on this topic. During the third year at the business school, Anna entered a law school, and in 2008 she successfully graduated from both schools with high honor. In the meantime, Anna worked in sales, business development and relationship building. Now, she uses her international business background in her consulting business.

In 2008, Anna moved to the United States where she experienced domestic violence and which she escaped and had to live in a shelter for battered women. Despite the tragedy of the situation, Anna was able to restore herself and rebuild her life in the new country using her strong leadership skills. Now, Anna runs her own business, is happily married and is also obtaining her MBA degree from GA State University, Robinson College of Business.

Date: Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Time: 8:00 pm EDT

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