CEO & Cash Flow Coach Karen Collacutt on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Karen Collacutt, Cash Flow Coach and CEO, Make Friends with Your Money

Karen is a Money Strategist helping entrepreneurs build the bridge between their business and their personal finances, creating more revenue and more choices.  Certified Financial Planner, Certified Money Coach, and Certified NLP Practitioner, Karen blends pragmatic money management strategies with tools to change what you tell yourself about the green stuff.

Karen has been a featured personal finance expert in the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, Money Sense Magazine, Chatelaine, Toronto Star,, Rogers TV and numerous online radio and blogs.  With her straightforward strategies and tell-it-like-it-is approach, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on your money life.

For more about Karen Collacutt, visit

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Wednesday August 27th 2014 8pm EDT


Author Q&A: Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices by Sourena Vasseghi

Sourena Vasseghi is an award-winning author of, "Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices,"  and an inspirational speaker whose stirring effect on people has attracted a rapidly growing national audience.

Because Sourena suffers from severe cerebral palsy, he has limited motor skills and a significant speech impediment. These limitations, however, don’t preclude him from living a fully successful life from his wheelchair—and being an inspiration to all!

His work has been featured on NBC, ESPN, nationally syndicated talk shows, and in print, including Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Business Journal.

In addition to appearing in corporate and university venues, Sourena has been honored to be a TEDx speaker. He resides in Agoura Hills, California, with his wife Leslie and their son Andrew.

Sourena is joining us today for an interview about his new book.

Deborah: So glad to have you stop by the Secrets of Success blog! So tell me, what prompted you to write this book?

Sourena: Thanks! Glad to be here. A while back, I don’t know when, I came up with the slogan, “big dreams takes big sacrifices” and it was so good, I had to write a book. I ended up tweaking the slogan because as I was writing the book, I noticed that everything I was talking about was actually about taking little steps.

Deborah: Wow, that's interesting how you were inspired by the slogan. Could you give us a a description of what your book is about?

I watch people everyday and wonder what makes them successful and I spent many years wondering how my disability affects my own success. This book is about creating and sustaining a regimen of activities in order to become successful.

Deborah: Did you have a specific type of person in mind when you wrote it? Who would get the most out of reading your book?

My book is for anybody that is willing to commit to a strategy and pay for their dream. There are so many people that don’t want to make the sacrifices that are needed in order for their dream to come true. They think that dreams automatically come true. If destiny exists, it needs you as a partner.

Deborah: Please share some suggestions for conquering fear.

Andy Grove famously said that only the paranoid survive. I’m always scared of something in my life, mostly that the challenges of having a handicap that can be too much to deal with. I don’t think fear goes away. It’s about having your desire to succeed be greater than your fear of failing.

Deborah: I totally agree. Do you have steps that people can follow to move towards achieving their dreams?

Yes! First, it takes commitment. Second, it takes a regimen of activities. Third, it takes execution everyday of that regimen.

Deborah: What inspires you to do the work you do?

I want to be an example for my boys. I also want to have a lot of fun! Lastly, I love spending time with interesting people such as Dean Jim Ellis from the Marshall School of Business at USC and other motivational speakers.

Deborah: Please let everyone know where they can find your book.

Here is the link to the shop on my website:

Deborah: Thanks for sharing your book with us! Where can we find you on social media?

You're welcome. I enjoyed it! Here are the URLs:

How to Get Higher Conversions from Your Emails and Marketing

by Christine Kane

In business, the number “one” is considered a bad number.

One is bad number in your business when you only have one person on your team. It’s a bad number when your only product fails on its latest launch.  Or when your ONE client gets hit with a disaster and has to stop being your client.

So yeah, there are plenty of ways that one is not a great number in your business. However, the number one is the ONLY number when it comes to marketing with email.  Especially if your emails aren’t getting great responses or click-throughs.

How so?

Well, nine times out of ten, when I review client emails that are not getting great responses, the problem is that the email is confusing. There are too many calls to action, and there’s too much going on.

In other words, when you’re sending out an email, think about that ONE thing you want them to get, or want your reader to do with this email.


When they come to your Facebook page, what is the one thing you want them to do?

When they come to your blog (you’ve been working so hard to keep up on those killer posts), do you just want them to read your post and leave on their merry way? Or do you want them to leave you a comment, so that you can have a conversation with them?

Sounds great, right?

Well, hold on a minute.  Focusing on just one thing is not always so easy.

This is where the SOFT part of business success comes into play.  I call this the “SOUL TRACK” of your business.  It’s where you unknowingly get in your own way. We’re going to go there now.

Many entrepreneurs operate from a place of lack, and they don’t even realize it. What happens in that place of lack is that they grab.  They fear.  They can’t be clear because [gasp] “Oh, my God, when they come to my website they should know I do this and they should know I do this and they should see all my free offers… and I have to just tell them EVERYTHING!”

What ends up happening when lack fractures your ability to be clear?

Well, your customer gets confused. And a confused customer doesn’t take action. A confused customer doesn’t click. A confused customer doesn’t do anything.

They go away.

And everyone else and every distraction is just a click away.

So, ask yourself, “Am I operating from a place of lack? Am I fearful?  Am I scared because people are going to come to my site and not know all of the brilliant things that I can do?’ ”

Turn that around.

Ask yourself instead:  “What is the one thing I want them to do when they read this email?” “What is the one thing I want my customer or client or prospect to do when they visit my website?” “What is the one next step?”

Instead of fire-hosing them, think of one as the MOST powerful number in your business.

Typically, if you have a lot to say when you’re sending an email, it means is that you’re not communicating enough. Yes, that’s right! You’re not sending out enough communications. If you’re only sending an email out once a month and you have 18 things you need to let somebody know about, news items, dates, whatever you’re doing, then you’re not communicating with your list often enough.

What you really need to do is take it down into bite-sized portions. Once a week. Without fail, your ideal clients are going to consume your content a lot easier, and they’ll be happy, and they’ll love you so much more for honoring your business and serving them at a higher level.

So now here’s one thing I want you to do right now. (Aw, come on! You KNEW I had to do that!)…

Leave me a comment below and tell me your ‘yeah but’… or if you’re already doing this have you noticed that it’s really working for your clients?

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 32,000 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

3 Easy Ways to Connect with Your Ideal Clients

by Sydni Craig-Hart

What we think our clients want and what they actually want can be vastly different. The only way to create offerings that are easy for them to say yes to and solve their problems is to find out for sure. And the easiest way to do that is to ask them!

When you ask your audience what they need, it paints a clear picture of how you should position your business and your solutions in a way that appeals to them.

So how do you come to understand what your clients really want?

Survey them – I did this recently and the results were outstanding! There are a few key ways to make sure your survey is successful. Make the survey offer simple and compelling. Keep the survey focused on just a few key questions. It should take less than five minutes for your participants to fill out the survey. Send out an invite to your email marketing list and promote the survey on your blog and through social media.

Get out and meet with them – Using online and offline networking can help you get in tune with what your target market needs and wants. Be strategic with networking. Don’t participate in social media or attend local networking events just for the sake of it. Select groups, events and websites that will attract your ideal clients. Make it a point to interact with your ideal prospects on a regular basis and pay attention to their biggest problems and concerns.

Speak to them
– Public speaking is a great way to get in front of your ideal clients and learn about their needs. Focus on groups, organizations and associations that cater to your ideal client. Find out what they want by asking the education director and present a talk on a compelling topic. Collect feedback about your presentation at the end to get to know your ideal clients better.

By listening to your clients and spending more time around them, you can understand how your solutions will appeal to them. Don’t guess when it comes to growing your business! Use a survey, meet with clients in networking groups and present at a local group and you’ll be able to create offerings that will appeal to the people you want to work with.

Did you have a breakthrough moment when you realized who your idea client was and what they wanted help with? Share your story in a comment on my blog!


Create a 5 to 7 question survey to understand what your ideal clients need most. Use a tool like to create your survey and then promote it through your email list and social media.

Find a local event and an online group that attracts your ideal client. Schedule time in the next month to attend the event and connect with the online group to understand your ideal clients better.

Look for speaking opportunities. In the next month, connect with an education director of a group that attracts your ideal clients. Offer to speak on a topic that you have expertise in. Be sure to collect feedback at the end of your presentation.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of Known for her simple, tech-savvy, integrated approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client’s businesses so they can create money NOW. Visit for your FREE training course, “5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom” and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!


Clearing the Way

by Christine Kloser

“How did you do it?”  

“How do you do what you do?”  

These are questions I hear often when people hear my story about losing everything less than 3 years ago and then quickly building a new, purposeful, impactful and profitable debt-free business.   I love hearing these questions from my community!    (Actually, its questions like these that inspired me to create my new Soulful Messenger program.)

The simple answer is I cleared the way for what wanted to be brought to life through me.   Uh, let me be more honest about that.   I didn’t pay attention to the nudges along the way, and the Universe took a two-by-four to my life and cleared the way for me.

What it looked like externally was complete and total failure.  Bankruptcy, foreclosure, difficult business partnership dissolution, a troubled marriage… and nearly paralyzing fear.

What it truly was from a Soul perspective, was a massive realignment.  It was a clearing of everything I thought I was, everything I though mattered, and every way I measured my “worth” in the world.  

Finally, I got it!  

I woke up to who I truly am as a Divine being and someone who was born to bring more light and love into the world, and catalyze people into seeing THEIR greatness and liberating that for others to see/experience.

The path was cleared alright!   But, I really don’t want anyone to go through the challenges I did to “wake up.”  You can voluntarily clear the way for your own greatest gifts to shine through!  The two-by-four (while painful and effective) is not a necessity to move forward powerfully and purposefully in the direction of your dreams – your soul’s true calling.

So, here are a few tips to help you clear the way for your next evolution!

1) Accept What Is

As long as you resist what’s happening in your life, the path ahead can never be cleared.  

Resistance keeps you stuck in what’s happening now rather than creating an opening for what CAN happen.   Acceptance of what’s happening, and looking for the gift in the middle of the challenge is one sure way to break you free of paralysis and procrastination so you can move forward.  

The next time you want to “fight” what’s happening, remind yourself to accept, surrender and seek the gift as quickly as you can.  You’ll see the path forward emerge!

2) Do Less, Not More

When you’re frustrated, stuck, procrastinating, etc. it's easy to think the solution is to DO more - to take more action. 

One more class, one more strategy, one more thing on the never-ending “to do” list.   Because, you hope that maybe that one more thing will be THE thing that busts possibility open for you.  In my experience, nothing is further from the truth.  

Doing things solely for the sake of being in action is a waste of energy.  It’s essential to first do less, so you can stop the frenzied cycle of activity that gets you nowhere.  Then, you’re in a better position to consciously choose the best next action to take - to lead you down the right path.  

Clearing the way does not mean you’re out there busting your behind to make the path appear.  It means you allow yourself to see the path that’s already cleared for you.

3) Trust

Trust.   This has been (and continues to be) one of my greatest areas of growth… deepening my trust in myself, in those around me, and in God.  

It’s also one of the most powerful gifts my clients receive from me… reminding them to trust the process of transformation, and trust themselves on their journey.  One of the keys to developing trust on every level is to understand that everything occurring in your life is happening for your highest and best good.  (You may want to write that down and post it somewhere in your home/office.)  When you truly “get” that everything is happening FOR you (not “to” you), it allows you to be at peace with the unfolding of your incredible life.  

There’s so much more I could write on the topic of “clearing the way.”  Because it’s time for us – as a species - to release thinking we have to do it all ourselves and figure it out in our head.  We’re living in times where the HEART is what’s needed; the clearing of everything between you and your hearts truest expression is the order of the day.   And I’m here to help guide you on that journey.  

Christine Kloser, “The Transformational Catalyst” is an Award-Winning Author, and Transformational Book Coach whose spot-on guidance transforms the lives of visionary entrepreneurs and authors around the world.  Her passion is fueled by her own transformation when she let go of the last shred of stability and security in her life – and discovered her truth.  From that place, she fearlessly (and faithfully) went on to quickly create the most abundant, impactful and joyous success of her life.  She now blends her passion for personal and global transformation with her gifts as a transformational book coach – and as a result she's impacting tens of thousands of messengers across the globe.  Get her free transformational author training at

3 Keys to a Solid Brand for Your Business

by Alicia Forest, MBA
The Business Shifter™

Are you like many online business owners who are confused or stuck when it comes to creating a unique, memorable, and authentic brand? If so, you're not alone. I've been there myself, so I understand the frustration of feeling stuck on this whole branding thing.

But once I discovered that if I looked at it from a completely different perspective, that my brand wasn't just about my business, but about ME, everything shifted.Creating your brand from the inside out allows you to fully step into your business identity in a truly authentic way. It's also the easiest way to stand out in the sea of others who do what you do.

So, if you're stuck, let me give you three things you must be clear on in order to create a truly compelling and unique business brand.

Strategy 1: What results do your clients experience from your service?

One of the exercises I do with my private clients is have them generate a long list of the results their clients get from working with them.You can easily do this right now. Just complete this sentence 30 times:"The results my clients get from working with me are ___________________________."

If you get stuck, here's my secret: Send this question to your clients so they can tell you the kind of results you're helping them create!

For example, when I asked my own clients this question, here's some of what they shared:"The results I get from working with Alicia are...

- clear, easy to follow instructions on strategic Internet marketing techniques
- insightful advice from a trusted mentor who understands my business
- generous knowledge and expertise, honest feedback and support, focus and direction
- more clarity on which steps to take to experience more alignment with my business/life purpose
- I now see the bigger picture and base my decisions on the 'whole' of my business, rather than just the next thing.
- stretching me in ways and areas that I could/would not do on my own.
- more clients, more money and more fun in working with my business.
- getting me out of my comfort zone so that I discover what is possible when I play a bigger game.
- more clarity and awareness around time sucking activities that I am engaging in so that I can STOP doing them.

Strategy 2: What are you an expert at?

Once you have a solid and in-depth grasp of the value you bring to you clients and the results you help create with them, you should easily be able to define what it is you're an expert at.Complete this sentence: "I'm an expert at________________________."

Strategy 3: What does your brand promise?

Let's take it one step further...Your brand promise is a statement that is pretty specific. It's true regardless of the program, product or service you may offer. No matter what the program, product or service, it always fulfills your brand promise.

And just to be clear, I'm not talking about your marketing tagline. What I'm talking about goes much deeper than that, to the very core of what it is that you are so passionate about providing to others.

My brand promise is, "I passionately inspire women entrepreneurs to breakthroughs in their business so they create the life they ache for."So, my Mastery of Business Academy mentoring programs, 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System and companion coaching groups, and the rest of my offerings all fulfill this brand promise.

Here's one from one of my Online Business Breakthrough clients, Dale Carter at "I provide trusted information and personal insight to inspire adult children to passionately pursue, for their aging parents, the quality of life their parents hunger for." So everything that Dale offers to her specific market fulfills this overarching promise. Dale knows what she is an expert at and that shows up in her brand promise very clearly.

So, what does your brand promise? What is it that your clients can count on you for?

The formula for an effective, compelling, memorable, authentic, fun and fabulous brand is really very simple:"I get X results for my clients, which makes me an expert at Y, which means they can count on me to provide Z."


Nailing your unique message (and market and mission) is just part of what we'll do in your pre-work as well as during my Online Business Breakthrough Workshop this fall. If this is a place where you're stuck, let me help you get unstuck, with a process that's actually easy and fun.

Reserve your seat today here

© 2014 Alicia Forest International | All rights reserved.

Alicia Forest, MBA mentors women entrepreneurs on how to build a priority-based, highly profitable business, in less than part-time hours. Get her FREE series on how you can do this too at

"What Makes You Feel Beautiful" Art Exhibit & Artist Talk


*Proceeds will be donated to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer *

Date: Friday, September 12, 2014 

Time: 7:00 pm 

Location: The West Windsor Arts Center 952 Alexander Road West Windsor, New Jersey 08550

Registration: $35.00 

For more information & to buy tickets, visit

Sponsored by: 

Essential Arts Studio

Discover a New Future, LLC


Are You Playing to Win...or Not to Lose?

by Jack Canfield

If you have a habit of not finishing what you start, you may have attributed your lack of results to disorganization or a lack of focus. For some individuals, however, this habit is signs of an underlying psychological pattern of playing not to lose.

Stuart Emery, author of Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal and Success Built to Last, noted that where most people tackle situations with a goal of winning, others approach life with a goal of avoiding losing. Somewhere in life, they decided that they were incapable of winning and have lowered their expectations to merely not coming in last.

The groundwork for this pattern is often laid in childhood. For example, if a father raves over his young daughter’s drawing, she may have next colored on the wall, not recognizing that the wall is not an appropriate place to express artwork. After repeated incidents of getting in trouble in such a way, she may have drawn the conclusion that she couldn’t win. She didn’t like the pain of not winning, so she unconsciously adopted the strategy of trying not to lose in the future.

Not finishing what you start is one of many habits you fall back on when playing to not lose. The reason this has worked for you in the past is that if something is incomplete, it cannot be judged as not good enough. You can just say that it’s not “finished.”

Other ways we ‘play not to lose” include:

  •     Playing the Judge.  By being the judge, you never have to be the participant. By pointing out how imperfectly others are dancing, for instance, you get to avoid dancing yourself, which could open the door to you failing at the task.
  •     Being perfect. With this approach, you attempt to not lose by doing everything as perfectly as you can… or at least by presenting a front that you are “perfect.” You never really relax or let your guard down. Instead, you overdo everything instead.
  •     Becoming a “problem.” If you take on the role of the identified problem, others will need to stop and take care of you. This is a form of sabotage. Because others are directing their time and energy into helping you and are less likely to win themselves.

If you recognize that you’ve been playing not to lose, it’s time to shift the behavior.

Embrace Feedback

Your decision to stop playing to win was most likely unconscious. You received feedback that you interpreted as being a condemnation of your abilities and who you are.

An important step in shifting this pattern will be recognizing feedback for what it is: Information that tells you whether you are on course or off course.

When you get negative feedback – such as lack of results, little or no money, criticism, poor evaluation, inner conflict, and unhappiness – it’s a sign that you are moving away from your intended goal.  Evaluate what you’re doing and make a course correction.

When you receive positive feedback, such as praise, happiness, money and results, you’ll know that you are back on course.

Sharpen Your Focus

Another thing you can do, particularly if you’ve developed a habit of not completing what you start, is to train yourself to sharpen your focus.

In the Achievers Focusing System, Les Hewitt, author of The Power of Focus, teaches his clients to focus their attention only on what they want to accomplish in the next three months. They select one goal in each area of their lives during that period.

Then, each week, they identify the three most important things that must be accomplished during that 7-day period to move them closer to their goals. A weekly check-in with your accountability partner helps to keep you accountable for achieving these tasks.

To download a free copy of the Achievers Focusing System 3-month planner, click here. (For your convenience, we’ve also posted a filled-in version of the form so that you can see what type of information should be entered in each field.)

Chunk It Down

The final word of advice: As you begin to build a new habit of completing what you start, you may feel overwhelmed and lost about what to do next when you look at your list of goals. The best approach is to chunk down your goals into small, manageable steps.

Interview people who have already accomplished what you want to do and ask them to share all of the steps they took. If you can find a book or manual that guides you through the process, even better. Another approach is to imagine that it’s the future and you’ve already accomplished your goal. Start at the end and look backward. Notice what you had to do to get to where you are.

Capture all of these steps in a list or mind map. Then convert all of your to-do items into daily action items that can be plugged into your calendar. Start with the first item on your list, and when it’s finished, cross it off and tackle the next item. Before you know it, you’ll be completing projects and well on your way to playing to win.

Playing not to lose may protect you from the potential pain of negative feedback. But the cost is steep. Every time you fail to live up to the commitments you make to yourself and others, you undermine your self-confidence. Use the steps outlined in this article to identify why you’ve settled for simply not losing and to take the corrective action you need to complete what you start.

 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: .

"How to Transform a Hobby into a Business" with CEO Tamara Starks on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Despite facing several personal obstacles, Tamara Starks has always had a determination to continue and complete what she started. Her passion and dedication for moving forward has allowed her to succeed professionally.

As a child, Tamara enjoyed moderate living conditions while living with her maternal grandmother in Fort Worth, TX. She was continuously inspired by teachers, church members, friends and family, to work hard and create opportunities for others to succeed.

After completing high school, in just three years in 1999, Tamara enrolled at the University of Texas Arlington, UTA, with a scholarship to study Communication Technology. Though she was eager to learn more about computers and start a career in the technology field, fate had other plans.

In 2005, Tamara opened Treasure Chest by Tamara, a boutique style company that specializes in celebrity trend style accessories, handbags and jewelry pieces, as a full-time college student and as a full-time employee with the Fort Worth Independent School District as a lead AVID tutor and trainer. There she developed her computer literacy and also taught and mentored high school students who were underprivileged.

Once Tamara completed her degree, she began working in her career field in several entry level positions for Compuware and Verizon. Unhappy that she was performing mundane tasks and still working a full-service boutique, Tamara realized that something had to give. In 2008, she walked away from corporate America to pursue being an entrepreneur full-time. And she hasn't looked back.

She was able to use her educational background in technology to consult other small businesses and entrepreneurs on effective ways to establish a strong web presence for business growth. Just a year later, Tamara invested in the Instant Tax Service franchise and started a full service tax services and consulting company in the Fort Worth/Arlington area. She endured many successes from being a franchise owner including earning $900,000 in revenue in two years. Eventually the demands of a successful boutique coupled with two additional businesses and consulting for several businesses caused Tamara to become stretched too thin. She dissolved PTizics Fashion, a women clothing company she started in 2007 while working fulltime in corporate America in 2009 and ended her franchise agreement with Instant Tax Service in 2010. She started 1st Choice Tax service in 2010, a seasonally operated tax services company and netted more than $600,000 in revenue for 2010.

Through Tamara's many business endeavors, she has continuously gained traction in the business community as being a maverick for entrepreneurial endeavors. Start-up businesses and entrepreneurial hopefuls follow Tamara on her social media sites to learn new and innovative business solutions. Tamara has become a referral and development source and she has helped several businesses become more proficient in connecting with other businesses. These individuals trust her insight, professionalism and her ability to develop businesses. Her business development consulting has allowed her to assist several businesses including, Lavish Models, Just Pearlz, Beauty for Ashes Ministry, Ambassador for Christ, Denim-Junky, Studio 6 salon, M&E Tax Service and 1st Choice Tax, just to name a few.

Multiple business opportunities would not stay too far from Tamara's business development mindset and in 2010 she became the co-owner of 2nd Choice Resale Market, a resale and indoor flea market that sells in gently used and some new consumer items for home, entertainment and personal needs. With the help of her business partner, Tamara has successfully kept the company out of the red with sales of more than $300,000 in its first year of operations. Tamara is continuously looking for new business opportunities to grow and expand her portfolio.

Wednesday August 6th 2014 8pm EDT


Do You Know Your Weak Spots? Here’s How to Identify Them, and What You Should Know

by Ali Brown

As entrepreneurs, we pride ourselves on our individualistic natures and the strength it takes for us to show up every day and run our businesses. But once we step into a big role, even we can’t escape those humbling moments where we come face to face with our inherent weaknesses.

Some of us are brilliant at motivating our team, but we get a little sloppy when tending to little details. Others shine at ironing out inefficiencies, but aren’t so good at big-picture innovating.

These inconsistencies are what make us human. And while it might be hard to fess up to our weaknesses, bringing them to light is exactly what we need to do in order to make sure our businesses succeed.

The quiz below will help you identify your weak spots as a business owner. Pick the best answer, and get ready to learn what lies beneath your personal and professional quirks:

1. You’re most motivated when you are:
a. Following your bliss
b. Feeling aligned with your short and long-term goals
c. Following a regimen that you know will get you specific results

2. You’re deciding a new color palette to represent your brand:
a. You pick out your favorite colors—the ones that make you feel happy
b. You rely on your designer’s advice. After all, she’s the best in town
c. You stick to the same color family that best represents your brand

3. You are about to make a speech and you realize you’ve misplaced your notes. You:
a. Breathe deeply and wing it
b. Ask for a short postponement and have your office fax your notes over to you
c. Apologize and switch to another well-remembered speech

4. What’s your ideal way to brainstorm with your team?
a. You come up with all the ideas, and your team executes
b. Your team brainstorms, and you pick the winning idea
c. You brainstorm with your team, and the best idea wins

5. Your loyal clients would best describe you as:
a. Creative, eccentric, and free-spirited
b. Warm, personable, and adaptable
c. Reliable, punctual, and professional

6. It’s Wednesday morning, and you get an emergency call that requires you to leave town the same night, to be gone through the weekend. You:
a. Leave everything right where it is. You’ll deal with work when you get back
b. Call your team immediately and delegate as many tasks out as you can
c. Try to crank out as much as you can, and then take the work with you on the plane

7. Out of the 10 great ideas you jotted down in 2013, how many were actually realized:
a. One to two (You had 20 ideas and couldn’t decide)
b. All 10 (but you have to check with your team to see the status)
c. Three to five (You were too busy to do all ten)

8. Your employees would describe you as:
a. Fun and unpredictable, but a little moody
b. Nurturing and trusting, but a little indecisive
c. Hard working and reliable, but a little rigid

Mostly As:

Your strength is: you trust your instincts. This confidence allows you to think on your feet, and it carries you through the inevitable uncertainty that comes with running a business.

Your weak spot is: you let your emotions drive your decision-making, which might feel good in the moment, but could alienate you from your team and your clients. Work on staying focused enough to communicate your ideas properly, and try to engage a bit more to make sure that your projects are on track and things are running as smoothly as they could be.

Keep in check: Your ego, which clouds your judgment often.

Mostly Bs:

Your strength is: you are a natural team player. You probably have a tight-knit team that feels like family, and your sincere nature forges solid client relationships. Your people skills allow you to shine at business development.

Your weak spot is: You second-guess yourself quite often and place important decisions in other people’s hands.  Work on trusting your instincts a bit more, and don’t be afraid to take the reins in situations where you must lead your team.

Keep in check: Your people-pleasing tendencies, which can undermine your leadership position.

Mostly Cs:

Your strength is: you are highly organized and your business appears flawless. You run a tight ship and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and dig in whenever and wherever necessary.

Your weak spot is: you can’t let go, and it’s likely that you’re tearing your hair out behind the scenes to make sure everything’s running perfectly. Work on delegating a few tasks to someone else, and be patient as you train them to become the right hand you need.

Keep in check: Your inability to handle uncertainty, which is very likely preventing you from moving your business to the next level.

Question: After you take the test, sound off in the comment section below. What can you do TODAY to improve upon your weak spots?

© 2014 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 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at

Staying Focused in the Face of Negativity

by Jack Canfield

The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus on is what you will attract into your life. This is why it’s essential to stay focused on your goals. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to maintain focus in today’s world, where we’re bombarded by negative messages from the media, co-workers, friends, relatives and even clients.

The good news is that you can take action to shield yourself from motivation-sapping, fear-instilling negativity. This article shares 5 easy ways to get started.

Tip #1: Accept 100% Responsibility

The most critical principle to master if you want to create greater success is to accept 100 percent responsibility for your life – including the type and amount of negativity to which you allow yourself to be exposed.

Your job is to take care of yourself. This includes creating environments that are conducive to success. Take note of how negativity manifests in your life, and then consider ways that you can reduce your exposure.

For instance, do you watch or read the news every day? Try abstaining, and trust that if anything major happens, such as a natural disaster, someone will tell you. At that point, you can choose to read an article or two to bring yourself up to date.

Do you have well-meaning relatives who urge you not to follow your dreams because they fear the consequences of the risks you’ll take to achieve your goals? You may want to limit the time you spend with these individuals.

Alternatively, recognize their advice for what it is: an expression of their love and concern for you. The simple truth is that many people are blind to their limiting beliefs and how it colors their view of the world. Simply thank these well-meaning individuals for caring enough about you to share their thoughts, then turn your attention back to your goals.

Tip #2: Release Negative Feelings

To attract what you want in life, you must live in a state of love, joy and gratitude. Negative environments stir up feelings of fear, anxiety and doubt, which must be released so that you can return to a higher state of feeling and vibration.

The Sedona Method, created by Hale Dwoskin, offers a fast and effective solution to the need to release negative feelings.

Start by tuning in to the feeling that is disturbing you. Really feel the emotion – welcome it and let it flood your body.

Then ask yourself, “Could I let it [the feeling] go?” Both “yes” and “no” are acceptable answers.

Next, ask, “Would I let it go?” If your answer is “no,” ask whether you would rather have this feeling or would you rather be free.

Finally, ask, “When?” This is an invitation to let the feeling go now. You can make the decision to release a feeling anytime you want. Repeat the entire process as often as needed until you feel free of that particular feeling.

Most people either wallow in their negative emotions or they try to resist experiencing negative feelings. Neither approach works. Use the Sedona Method to allow your emotions to flow through you, so that you can return to a positive state.

Tip #3: The Evening Review

Whatever you read, see, listen to, talk about and experience during the last 45 minutes of your evening has a huge influence on your sleep and your next day. During the night, your unconscious mind replays and processes this late-night input up to six times more often than anything else you experienced during the day. Use the following process to focus your unconscious mind.

Sit with your eyes closed, breathing deeply. Ask your mind to show you where you could have been more effective, more conscious, more loving, more assertive, or more of any other characteristic you want to focus on. (Note: review only one characteristic at a time).

You’ll see that a number of events from the day will come to mind. Observe them without any self-criticism. Then take each incident and replay in it in your mind the way you would have preferred to have done it. This will help you form the desired behavior the next time you face the same situation.

Tip #4: The Daily Success Focus Journal

Another way to stay focused on your goals and on the positive is to create a Daily Success Focus Journal.

Each evening, identify 5 accomplishments you made throughout the day. Next, identify why each accomplishment is important to you. Then, identify how you can make further progress in the same area. Finally, write down a specific action step that will lead to this progress and enter the to-do item into your schedule.

Tip #5: Create Your Ideal Day

Before you leave work or go to bed, take a few minutes to plan your schedule for the following day. Doing so sets you up for success, as you’ll be able to get right to work as soon as you begin your day.

After planning your schedule, take a few additional minutes to visualize your day going exactly as you want it. See yourself performing at your best in every situation you will encounter. This gives your subconscious all night to work on creating ways to make it all happen just as you visualized it.

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what else is happening. They choose to concentrate on their success, rather than their failures, and on the next action steps they need to take. Use the tips outlined in this article to stay positive and proactive as you create your ideal life.

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:
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