Well, hello there, 2017

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Happy 2017! I don’t know about you, but I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I’ve not had a lot of luck sticking with them over the years.

Instead what I’ve done for about the last 5 years is pick a word, or words around a broad theme that describes, at least in part, what I want for that year. Sort of an intention, if you will.

In the past it’s been things like “Focus, Engage & Connect”, “Moving Forward”, “Radical Abundance” and more. You can probably tell that some years are more woo-woo than others.

I also usually talk about my words with my dear friend, Susan, who does the same thing. She’s super creative and crafty and we’ve even made little boards with our words on them to have in our offices. One year she made one for me, and I was so touched.

I had trouble finding words for this year, and for a while I wasn’t sure why. Reflecting further I realized that while I’m trying to stay very positive about what 2017 holds for me, my family and my business, I am also acutely aware of some very real challenges we will be facing. It’s hard, for me anyway, to drum up positivity and purpose when I’m worried or fearful. So what I did what click on this silly Facebook gizmo that scrolled through a bunch of random words and when you clicked on it, it would give you your word for 2017. (A friend got “Taco”.) I played 4 times and got these words:

  • Love
  • Creativity
  • Abundance
  • Midas Touch

I actually like all 4, very much. Finding a theme to weave them together was more of a challenge. In thinking about the upcoming year one concept that I came back to again and again is that quote “perfection is the enemy of done”. But you don’t really want to position intentions like this in the negative, so I decided to go with the quote “Done is Better Than Perfect.”

"Done is Better Than Perfect."

“Done is Better Than Perfect.”

I like to correctly provide attribution to quotes in my writing, but it turns out that both versions of those 2 phrases have been said in somewhat similar ways, by a lot of people, including Voltaire, Confucius, Shakespeare and (if you believe the interwebs) Mark Zuckerberg. Whoever said it, I really like this quote from Brene Brown on perfection: “When perfectionism is driving us, shame is riding shotgun and fear is that annoying backseat driver.”

Brené Brown Quote on Perfectionism

Brené Brown Quote on Perfectionism

So back to my words/themes for 2017. I played around with those words and the perfection quote for a bit and came up with this:

“I am filled with love and creativity and will take in the abundance of life and share that abundance freely. Using my Midas Touch I will more forward, ever mindful that done is better than perfect.”

Yeah. That. I like it. And it sums up what I hope 2017 is all about. While I know there will be challenges ahead, I’m also hopeful and trust that this coming year will also bring lots of good things.

What about you? Any 2017 resolutions, words or themes you’d like to share?

Tips for Unplugging

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In yesterday’s blog post, I told you that I was on a beach in Hawaii, and why I was taking an unplugged vacation – my first in 9 years. This post is all about how I’m pulling it off.

  1. I told everyone I was going to do it. This is critical – I let all my current clients and any prospects I was talking with know that I was going to be on vacation and that it was going to be an unplugged vacation. You know what surprised me? The support I got when I told people that. 100% of the people I’ve told were on board and happy to plan around my time off.
  2. I delegated tasks. For the things I normally do that are critical to my business, I parsed those things out to others. Including checking my email! I also lined up resources to handle things for me just in case something comes up. I do a lot of technology consulting, so sometimes my client’s need things handled that can’t wait. Luckily, I’ve developed relationships with awesome smart and talented peers in my field that are happy to step in and handle things for me.
  3. I’m planning regular check-ins with my folks. I’m going to touch base with the people handling things for me a total of 3 times over the 9 days that I’ll be gone. It helps that only 5 of those days are normal work days. Checking in will make me feel better, and allow me to totally unplug the rest of the time.
  4. I did work ahead of time. Like my tweets and blog posts. I wrote them, created a schedule and used tools to post them while I’m gone. One of the tools? Zoho Social. With Zoho Social I can create & schedule tweets, LinkedIn and Facebook posts.

That’s it. If I can do it, so can you.

Aloha!

ER2CIGJANF

Take an Unplugged Vacation – I Am

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As you read this, I’m on a beach in Hawaii. Or at least I hope I am. Self-care is important for everyone. But it’s especially important for entrepreneurs. In 16 years of owning my own consulting business, I think I’ve taken less than 5 totally unplugged breaks. Normal people call these “vacations”.

As a business owner, vacations are a luxury. Stepping away and completely unplugging from your business is:
a. scary
b. impossible
c. risky
d. all of the above

Yet the benefits of unplugging are so enticing:
a. reconnect with people in your life
b. increased focus & creativity when you get back to work
c. improvements in your health – lowered blood pressure, better sleep and less depression
d. a fresh mindset

How am I accomplishing this? Read my next blog post.

H2H, or What My First Biz Mentor Taught Me

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I just saw a tweet from a colleague that I hold in high regard, and he referenced Bryan Kramer’s #H2H tweet – “There is no more B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human, #H2H.” This was apparently back in 2014, – I somehow missed this “new” trend.

My reaction? Um, duh.

Yeah, sometimes I’m like a 7th grader. OK, I’m a LOT like a 7th grader a great deal of the time, but aren’t we all?

Kramer’s point is that the B2B and B2C designations led to ridiculous marketing speak and silly marketing jargon. I agree that the lexicon of marketing content is a little ridiculous (sometimes a lot ridiculous) but I disagree that it’s because of the segmentation of B2C vs B2C. That’s probably a good thing. Because businesses do make buying decisions differently than consumers.

Kramer’s right about one thing – both groups are made up of people. That reminded me of what my first business mentor, Edward Solomon, taught me. “It’s people buying people from people.” I worked for Ed at a technology consulting company and the firm placed consultants on large software development projects at Fortune 100 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His advice has stuck with me.

It meant that I really listened to my customers, sought to understand what they needed on the project, but more than that, what their goals were, what they cared about, their families  and personal lives. And in return, I was honest, authentic and transparent. Ed taught me that those things mattered and that customers know when it’s missing.

To this day, it’s how I move through the world, both business and personal. So H2H is true, but it’s all about being a real person and treating your client’s like they are real people Because they are.

 

I’m Back; Or, On Business & Shame & Starting Again Anyway

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I’ve been following Brené Brown for several years now, her Ted Talks on vulnerability and shame spoke to me and I can still watch them and be so moved and informed and inspired, all at once. If you haven’t seen them, I recommend watching, they are about 20 minutes each but so worth the investment. I’ve also read a few of her books, and “Daring Greatly” is currently on my stack of BIP – Books in Process.

In one of her talks, she says “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” I get that. Intellectually. But putting it into practice, not so much. But that changes with this blog post.

brene brown vulnerability

Two and a half years ago, my fiance committed suicide. It was unexpected and to say it was a tragedy is beyond insufficient. It was a bomb tossed into my life with far-flung shrapnel. Why am I telling you this? To elicit sympathy? No, but you’d have to be a pretty cold hearted human not to feel bad for me. No, I’m telling you this because the crushing grief, sadness and depression had an impact on me, my family, my loved ones and my clients.

I’m in a place now where I’ve shifted my business, and I’m really excited about the shift. But to step before you, my readers and my clients and my partners, and talk about the new direction and stuff I’m excited about now, without addressing the last two plus years feels disingenuous and false.

I couldn’t stand here (I actually do write standing) and tell you to check out my newest ventures without talking about why I’ve been largely absent for the last couple of years. I’ve literally done zero marketing and writing for business. I’ve had plans to tell you about the cool, new stuff in my consulting practice for a while, but shame and the unwillingness to be vulnerable have stopped me.

I want to share all about what I’m doing now, what great new tools I have to help my clients and how re-energized and excited I am about my own business. But to get to a place where I can do that, and feel like I’m being authentic and in integrity, I first have to apologize.

After Steve, my fiance, killed himself, I struggled. As a solo-preneur, my business is all on me. If I don’t perform, or deliver, then it doesn’t get done. I like that. But after Steve’s death, I struggled. And I dropped some balls. Not all of them. Some clients might even be surprised to read about this. But others will be knowingly nodding their heads and saying, “Ah, that makes sense.”

If you are a client for which I dropped a ball, I’m sorry. And I’d love the opportunity to address that with you. I don’t know what that will look like, but I’m willing to have an honest and direct conversation and mutually determine what that would be and how we get there. If you think you fall into this category, then please, reach out to me directly via email here-stacy@po3inc.com or via phone at 866.362.4263. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t also say that I am blessed with an amazing tribe of friends and family that have helped me through this tough time. Those amazing peeps, and a small fortune in therapy, have been my saving grace and I have much to be grateful for in my life.

Watch for new blog posts regularly, my next post will be about some cool new things I’m really excited to share with you.

I’ll leave you with one more Brené Brown quote, which is mostly to give me the courage to press “Publish”.

brene brown vulnerability courage

Thanks for reading –

Stacy Roach

Sales Coach // Technology Strategist
Zoho CRM Authorized Partner
Zoho Creator Certified Solution Provider – The “make magic happen” platform!

Power of 3 Consulting, Inc. 
(866) 362-4263

To book an appointment with me directly, online, go here: http://po3inc.setmore.com

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