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And I have to say it's been quite a ride the past few days. I was at a Coaching intensive all weekend long training other coaches. I left my home around 6:30am and got back after 9pm on both Sat and Sun. Can't say I really got a ton of rest. Anybody relate to that? Having their well being off? Totally, right?

And it gets better, because an even bigger impact has been that after three years of my wonderful kids being with our nanny, we had to make a somewhat abrupt change on Friday. And it wasn't so wonderfully orchestrated. Monday we started with a new nanny, and there's been training and someone new to get used to - for all of us. It's a big change, and it's uprooting our household. She's great, but to be honest it's been kind of a struggle. Who can relate to that? Discomfort from change? And an experience of powerlessness, because sometimes you have to do the uncomfortable thing?

Now, you know that I care about all of you, and I like that you're getting to know me. But there's another reason why I'm sharing these things. It's to make a point.

Vulnerability is access to connection.

Often we feel the need to hide our truth, our feelings, our struggles, our HUMANITY. But in fact, it's our humanity that connects us.

We all have our stuff. And, we want to be polished and professional, smooth and clever, and strong. We want to look good, and be appealing. We can be those things too. But be mindful of photo-shopping the truth so far that it cleanses you of your most precious asset - your authentic self.

So while I'm certainly not advocating that we all tell everything to everyone, keep in mind that people don't just buy what you have or do. They buy you!

The next time you want to create connection, share some of your humanity and watch it clear the space for the other person to share theirs.

That's the good stuff, the stuff relationships are made of. And business deals too!

3.8.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Jeff Simon, Architect & Matias Letelier, Corporate Magician, with Judge Rachel Levin, Personal Stylist!

Sometimes you may feel like people you reach out to with enthusiasm, refer business to, or connect with are not responding or not responding fast enough.

Chances are, you may not be aware of what is happening to them at the time you make contact.

Myriad things may be happening in their lives that you are not aware of and that they are not letting you or maybe anyone know. It could be anything from an ill parent to a family crisis to a medical diagnosis or something else.

The truth is: you just don't know what might be going on in their world that is delaying their response.

In recent months and weeks, I silently dealt with a Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis I received right before Thanksgiving. After surgery in January to prepare, I quietly started chemotherapy treatments at the end of January and kept coming to BNI. Few knew. Most of you did not.

Then early morning on Valentine's Day at 3am, my boyfriend's computer monitor burst into flames, causing a fire in our apartment that has now displaced us from our home ever since while our home is being remediated and rebuilt.

Add to all this a third layer: my business bank made a huge error, blocking my business account on the first of March when payments go out just like yours do. My account has been frozen for the last week for no viable reason, wreaking havoc on all the payments that usually get taken care of automatically. The block was just removed yesterday and now I have to clean up the mess this made.

Look left. Look right. You just don't know what is happening to the people around you.

So if someone does not respond in a timely fashion, ask them if everything is okay and offer support instead of feeling like they don't care or are not interested.

You just may find that they have more going on that is precluding them from paying attention to the contact you made.

Good morning! First of all, is anybody else in awe that it's March already? I mean, wow.

So often we find ourselves reactive to people, and circumstances, beyond our control.

"When's the deal going to close?"

"We'll see what the client says."

"How many items are they going to order?"

"It depends on what John needs."

"What are we going to generate this quarter?"

"Let's cross our fingers."

"Do you think we'll get the account?"

"I hope so."

We'll see, it depends, if only, maybe, hopefully, it would be great if, etc.

We have these questions, and yet our experience is that the answers seem to rely on forces outside of our control.

Michael Jordan said, "I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Now, there's a lesson in there about how to relate to failure. But today I want to look at another aspect of Jordan's quote. Something behind his words, beyond his natural talent, and even his hard work. Underneath all of it is something fundamental that all of us must have to accomplish anything.

And that's INTENTION.

When we want something, and I mean really want it - not just claim we do - we overcome our circumstances and take obstacles out of our way. And when we don't really want something, we find excuses, relate to our circumstances as "really real," put obstacles in our way, and let ourselves off the hook.

So what's YOUR intention? What are you really committed to creating in your life and business?

Let's go back to the month of March. Global Warming aside, historically, March is known to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.

How do you want March to go? I invite you to get clear on what you want to create and then go create it. Declare it out loud or on paper and then take whatever action is required to go fulfill on that declaration.

Maybe it's going to take more time or more effort to close that deal? Fine.

Maybe John doesn't want to order as many units as last year? So go talk to Steve.

You want to go create a milestone number this quarter? Go create it. You totally can.

Consider that we're always convincing ourselves - and others - of something. Instead of convincing yourself why it's hard, or you have to wait and see, or that you can't, convince yourself that you can.

Look, it's true that we can't always alter the circumstances themselves. But we can sure choose how we relate to them. How are you going to relate to your circumstances this month? You going to let them stop you? Or you going to get it done?

With a group like this, I think we all know the answer.

Get clear about that intention and go for it.

2.22.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Steve Conyers, IT Services with Judge, Ryan Smith, Acupuncturist!

Picture this... you get a referral for some potential business. You reach out to the prospective client in a timely manner by phone or email. And, no response.

Or perhaps you get a response and you're asked for more information, or there's some other indicator of interest. But at some point in the back and forth, the other party seems to drop the ball.

Or what about this, you're at an event and find yourself talking about business with someone and they tell you they know the perfect person to introduce you to. And you do everything you can to foster the connection, but a week goes by and it isn't made.

Hopefully these kinds of scenarios don't happen that often, and certainly not within our very responsive and conscientious chapter. But out there anything is possible.

So what do you do?

Well, if you're like a lot of people, what's predictable are the feelings that come. Disappointment, rejection, maybe frustration, and in its extreme maybe even some anger. We wacky human beings know how to do two things very well, especially when engaging with others. We make things significant and we take them personally.

And though here we spend a lot of time talking about business, I invite you to map this onto your personal relationships as well. Think of those times when plans were supposed to get made and they weren't. Or a friend or family member didn't deliver on something they had committed to. Or maybe you've said the same thing multiple times and the other person just never seems to remember or pay attention. So our needs or expectations go unmet.

Not fun.

But here's the thing. There are two very distinct parts of all of these scenarios. There are the facts of the situation, and then there are our interpretations of those facts. We love to make things mean something. Something about the other person, or something about us.

The next time you feel a disconnect in a relationship - business or otherwise - and it creates within you an experience of discomfort, do yourself a favor. Hit the pause button and look strictly at the facts. The way a news reporter might write them into an article. Try to be objective.

Not only will you notice how basic what happened (or didn't happen) is, it will separate out the interpretation and significance, and there's a good chance the charge you feel will come down. And remember, fear and negative feelings tend to play a particular role in our lives. They stop us in our tracks, and they separate us from each other.

And in both business and personal relationships, we're clearly better served by continuing to move forward and to stay connected. And though there will definitely be times to let it go - the prospective client or even the longer standing relationship if it proves to be chronically flawed - in those moments we can stay grounded and connected to ourselves.

So maybe they've had a particularly busy or tough week (or maybe you have). Maybe they've been distracted or overwhelmed. Maybe the intention is there, and the business too. We don't know, we can't know.

Stay the course, and reach out again. Or cut some slack - for them and for yourself. Take a breath, and choose the next normal action to move forward.

Here's to peace and productivity. To choosing from commitment rather than circumstance.

And to not only doing the do, but also enjoying the ride.

2.22.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Matias Letelier, Magician with Judge Sammi Kuern, Caterer!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I hope you got to spend some time with someone you love and feel passionate about. And thanks to Amy - our fearless leader - we're going to get to talk about Love & Passion in our commercials today.

In this segment, there are two ways in particular that I'd like to look at Love & Passion, as it relates to our businesses. Now we all know that love comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be romantic, familial, friendly, and can exist in many ways in a variety of relationships. But passion has a narrower range. It's hot. Passion burns. Right Simone?

Now take a second and think about what you're passionate about in your life, and in your business. What gets you up in the morning? What are you passionately committed to about your business directly? Or how does doing well in your business allow you to engage in your other passions? Such as, say... sand sculpting, right Matt?

Is it fun? Does it impact people? Does it generate a lot of money? Or joy? Maybe it makes people feel good in their space, right Shelly? Or in their clothes, right Rachel? Or maybe even in their own skin, right Billy Joe?

When we tap into our passion we tap into our purpose, our WHY. And it motivates us.

Speaking of motivation, the other element I want to bring in here is a little bit racy. Think back to those times when you were young and carefree, when love was brand new and you were able to chase passion on a whim. I for one will neither confirm nor deny whether I might have taken a taxi all the way to Brooklyn at 2am one night just because of a particular someone I met at a bar.

New love, and passion, is generous and patient, and even blind in a good way. It doesn't over analyze. It doesn't judge. It's not conditional. That kind of passion doesn't put obstacles or excuses in its way. Quite the opposite, it takes excuses out of its way. We become in fervent pursuit of what we believe is something extraordinary, even if it's short lived.

Now think of the way you show up in your business. Imagine looking at what you do with fresh eyes. Picture your work as a hot new love interest. Remember the beginning, and why you got involved in the first place. If we choose from that exciting, passionate place, it can get us revved up and in tremendous action.

We can show up focused, to make an impression, and to court success. And if we're lucky, we might just close the deal, right Clem?

Here's to love, and passion, and all of our success.

2.15.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Dani Nodelman, Trusts & Estates Attorney with Judge, Sharon Becker, Beauty Boker!

2.8.17 - Most Effective Commercial - Eric Lorenzo, Immigration Attorney and Clem Turner, EB5 Transactional Attorney with Judge, Simone Assboeck, Ballroom Dance Instructor!