Tag Archives: Business and Life with an Intuitive Twist

Shojai Mentoring Award

by Barbara Florio-Graham, www.SimonTeakettle.com

I was honored to receive the Shojai Mentoring Award in November, from the international Cat Writers’ Association. The award consists of a wooden plaque with am engraved metal plate, and $500. The full citation is on Bobbi’s website, at www.SimonTeakettle.com/bfgmentoraward.htm. The nomination letter mentioned that Bobbi helped innumerable CWAers tackle the complexities of contracts and self-publishing, and has dispensed invaluable advice. She also designed CWA’s formal Mentoring Program, to enable any member who needed help on a specific writing topic or technique to get personalized attention from another experienced member. “As architect of our organization’s mentorship system, Bobbi once again showed her commitment to voluntarily giving her time and sharing her knowledge. Her willingness to help guide others is never in question.”

CBC radio will air an interview with me in January, and a review of my third book, Mewsings/Musings, will be published in the January/February 2011 issue of Women on Top Magazine (www.wotmag.ca). That issue also contains an interview with me about how I created the persona of my co-author, Simon Teakettle (Canada’s celebrity cat).

After being given his own page in the award-winning book, A Cat’s Book of Days, by Peg Silloway, Simon Teakettle III now has his very own 2011 calendar. Published by www.ottawaphoto.com, it features 12 photos of Simon III, plus one on the cover. Plans are underway for a 2012 version.

I’m also one of three editors of an anthology of short prose by members of a group of professional journalists I formed four years ago. Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List, will be published by Bridgeross Publishing (www.bridgeross.com) in the spring.

I continue to work with two mentoring clients who hired me last year, and to contribute articles to various publications, including a monthly column for The West Quebec Post, a quarterly column for SCRIBE, and regularly for SOURCES Hotlink and for Freelance Writer’s Report.

You can listen to the audio from when Barbara was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WW4RS1pX

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Image & Identity

Freebie Friday – Gift from Meredith K. Bromfield

Meredith K. Bromfield, M.A. Ed, our guest blogger this week has kindly agreed to provide the following gifts:

Visit https://www.CrossingYourBridge.com to sign up for free copy of “How to Declutter Your Important Papers” (bottom).  Simply enter your name and email and a copy will be mailed to your email shortly.  Or, sign-up for our mailing list (upper right corner) and have your choice of a free copy of Bridging Change in 5 Steps audio or Tax Tips for Caregivers article as well as our free WEEKLY WOWS (Words of Wisdom) and monthly newsletter.

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If it Matters, Write it Down


by Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

We know from a study from Yale in 1953 that the 3% of Yale graduates who had written goals had more wealth years later than the other 97% of the class combined. Also, in 1964, Harvard Business School did a similar study on the financial status of its students 10 years after graduation and found that:

  • 27% of them needed financial assistance
  • 60% of them were living paycheck to paycheck
  • 10% of them were living comfortably
  • 3% of them were financially independent.

The study also looked at goal setting and found these interesting correlations.

  • The 27% that needed financial assistance had absolutely no goal setting process in their lives
  • The 60% that were living paycheck to paycheck had basic survival goals;such as managing to live paycheck to paycheck
  • The 10% that were living comfortably had general goals. They thought they knew where they were going to be in the next five years
  • The 3% that were financially independent had written out their goals and the steps required to reach them.

What’s your goal setting process, and how does it work for you?  Leave your reply and let us know.

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Filed under Coaching, Personal Transitions

Bare Branches

by Gail Z. Martin

We don’t get a lot of snow here in the Carolinas, but we can get ice.  I love it when I can see every bare twig and branch glittering with ice or dusted with snow.  All of a sudden, the dry, bare, leafless branches don’t look dead or sad.  They’re alive with light, glittering like diamonds.  Until the temperature rises, all those bare trees that wouldn’t have gotten my attention are suddenly miraculous.  I’m suddenly aware of the stark beauty, the symmetry, the complexity.  Something ordinary and unremarkable is breathtaking because the ice makes me see it as if for the first time.

There are some things in my work and life that I need to re-imagine this year.  Right now, those areas seem as bare and fruitless as the branches of the winter trees.  It’s easy to look right past them.  But the ice reminds me that there is hope and beauty in waiting, and that even things that haven’t blossomed yet are worthy of appreciation for their complexity and promise.  So I will try to take a lesson from the ice and apply it to the “bare branches” in my life.

What “bare branches” do you need to re-imagine this year?

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration, Intentions, Motivation

On becoming an advocate!

by Meredith K. Bromfield, M.A. Ed

Wow as life seems to hand many women life-changing challenges my job has changed. I am an author, an investment advisor, a counselor and now an advocate. I have taken all these skills and put them together to be that person in a women’s life to help her navigate the challenges she will face when an event occurs that rocks her world. The event may be a divorce, a death of a spouse, a retirement or becoming a caregiver. These events in of themselves are very overwhelming but then to have to navigate through the fields of paperwork and dealing with attorneys, CPA’s, life insurance companies, and human resource departments and all that they are requiring can be overwhelming to say the least. My company, Crossing Your Bridge, is here to help. With a network of resources and personal one-on-one treatment, unlimited phone and email contact you never need to face this situation alone.

You can listen to the audio from when Meredith was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WyXy41HX

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Filed under Business Planning, Image & Identity, Inspiration

Freebie Friday – Gifts from Sandy Dumont

Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect, our guest blogger from this week is kind enough to share the following gifts:



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Determination and Creativity

by Gail Z. Martin

I happen to love the squirrels in our backyard.  I wish I could bend like that in my Yoga class!  We have several bird feeders right outside the kitchen window, and I love to take a break with a cup of tea and watch the squirrels perform acrobatics to get to the suet cakes and bird seed.

I hope I can have the determination and creativity of the average gray squirrel this year.  Mr. Squirrel lets nothing get in his way!  If he has to hang upside-down by one toe to get a bite of corn, he does it.  Perch on a thin, wobbly garden stake?  Fearlessly.  Leap from the bird feeder to the window screen?  Without a second thought.  Wow, I need some of that moxie.  I want to be just as quick on my feet as the squirrel is (especially when he knows the dog is heading out the screen door).  I want the confidence to navigate business tightropes as gracefully as the squirrels run along the back of the fence.  I want to make leaps of intuition and take leaps of faith with the perfect balance that the average squirrel uses to jump from one flimsy branch to another.  And I want to store up enough of a cushion with my investments so I can hibernate during retirement if it’s cold outside.  Add that to my New Year’s resolutions—I want to be a squirrel!

Have you ever gotten a business or personal insight from something in nature?  Please share!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Inspiration

Why First Impressions Matter

by Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect

The way you look and dress announces the outcome other people can expect from you. It also announces how you feel about yourself, and you’ll be treated accordingly.

Numerous university studies, including one at Harvard, have concluded that we make an in-depth and long-lasting “first impression” in a mere two seconds. We  think we make decisions based on serious considerations, and after much thought and time. Wrong. We choose the professionals who serve us and even job candidates the same way we choose our significant other. It is “love at first sight.”

Job seekers would be advised to dress to impress, because the one who is hired is qualified, of course; but he or she is the one who makes the right impression in the first few seconds.

The way you look and dress determines many things, including the tone of your day. The way you look defines who you are to the person in the mirror when you leave the house each morning. Self esteem soars when you see a mover and shaker, but there’s not much motivation when the person in the mirror seems to say, “Aw, what does it matter how I look.”

You sell yourself short when you don’t look extraordinary every day. If you only “dress up” when the occasion arises, that person in the mirror may look like an imposter to you. If you feel good about who you are and what you do, you want to shout it to the world by looking like a million dollars.

Image doesn’t cost, it pays. When you look dynamic, you get deferential treatment and are accorded more respect. Just ask social psychologist Kevin Hogan, PhD.  In his book, “The Science of Influence,” he asserts that when you meet people you put them in one of three categories:  Yes, No or Maybe. Hogan says the vast majority are in the No category and they are dismissed entirely. He says it’s difficult to get out of the Maybe category, and that only a few are in the Yes category. He contends that those in the Yes category basically have a high-status look and are well-dressed and accessorized. You’ll find wonderful tips about how to dress in a professional manner in the white papers that are attached.

Color is the cornerstone of image, and color preferences are embedded in our DNA. Early cave men and women noticed that if they dressed to blend into their environment, the wild animals wouldn’t notice them. This “instinct” still lingers. In fact, it’s the secret to the success of the early books on color analysis. They were popular because they confirmed our “instincts” that dressing to match our superficial appearance was a good idea. All the blondes beamed when they read that baby pink and other pastels were for them; while the redheads nodded in enthusiastic agreement when they saw that redheads were shown in rust and burnt orange. It was so “logical” and so easy! Alas, it didn’t work. It kept the wolves away, but it also made everyone look invisible. Invisible people pass by unnoticed. They are dismissed. They are in the No category.

If you want to stand out in the crowd and turn heads when you enter a room, you don’t want to blend into your garments. Think contrast. Take the time to discover whether you look better in cool colors like royal blue and cherry red; or in warm colors like teal blue and tomato red. It will make the difference between looking ordinary or looking extraordinary.

Make certain that person in the mirror is dressed to impress!

You can listen to the audio from when Sandy was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/Wsd8KlZx

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Image & Identity

Freebie Friday – Melissa Wadsworth

Melissa Wadsworth is a creative personal growth visionary, intuitive dream board expert, author and inspirational speaker. She has helped thousands go from blocked to brilliant through her books, personal guidance and workshops. She is offering you her “What You Notice Matters! Special Report as a f*ree gift. It details the top six challenges to daily success and the six awareness-based solutions to living more empowered. https://www.melissawadsworth.com/get-your-free-special-report.

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Perfectionism Sucks

(the life right out of you)

Why is that? What’s wrong with doing everything RIGHT? How can that hurt me? Bottom line – it isn’t sustainable. It actually isn’t possible. You may be perfect in the way you dress, sort of, for one day according to a magazine you read. You may be perfect in the way you work, according to your last boss some days.

The tricky part about perfectionism is that the “perfect” bar is never static. You envision exactly how you think you “should” be, and the second – the nano-second you reach that place, you reset the bar and continue to be just a little less than adequate.

Here’s some tips for getting PERFECTIONISM out of your way before it sabotages your best intentions for your life, your health and for your business.

1) Separate YOU from your PERFECTIONIST. That is NOT you. Maybe it feels that way, especially if you are ALL OR NOTHING. Spend some time stepping back and observing your behavior. You are not your mind, and that mind of yours, which created the perfect list, just made it up out of the ethers. There isn’t a place where the perfect whatever is engraved in stone. There just isn’t.

2) Give that part of you a new name – something that gets your attention and helps you switch gears. Maybe you want to call your perfectionist self something like “it’s Anal Annie or Perfect Paula!” Remind yourself that you are not your perfectionism. Perfectionism is just a way of thinking and you can change that…IF you recognize it when it comes. For me, it comes when I’m updating my web site, or even putting this article together. I can easily spend 80% of the time I have to put up a web page on details that NO ONE but Anal Annie ever notices, like perfect margins, a font color exactly matching a border, a tilt on an illustration, yaddah, yaddah, yada. When 45 minutes has passed and the font color isn’t just right yet, and my shoulders hurt, and I have to pee, but won’t until it’s perfect, I finally notice who has the keys to my life, and change drivers. (I’m trying to get that lapse in judgment down, but 45 minutes it is what it is at the moment.)

 3) Don’t expect to be perfect in getting rid of perfection. Sometimes these strategies will work and sometimes they won’t. It is a process – a process that is well worth practicing. Actually, thoughts cannot be eliminated from the mind machine.  It’s the same with muscles.  Did you know that you literally cannot make a muscle stretch, you can only relax it and use a different muscle to straighten that flexed arm, for example. Similarly, you cannot eliminate those thoughts of “You blew it” “You’ll never be accepted if anyone sees that off color font”. However, you can say, “Oh, there’s Anal Annie talking again and I’m a good enough ___fill in the blank___________”.   

5) I like remembering that a Persian rug is always made with one flaw, since only God is perfect. Today I can try to be a perfect God (Goddess, actually) or I can be fully human, running my business the best I can, pee-ing when needed, and moving through my life with grace.

To your just right day, with its little flaws, its charming quirks and all the fun you can bring to the day.    Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

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Filed under Motivation, Sheryl Eldene