Re-ignite Your Passion!

A topic has been brewing in my mind over the past couple of weeks that I wanted to touch on today; and that is the power of enthusiasm, energy and vitality. I think what sparked it was going to a couple of concerts during the past couple of weeks — Rick Springfield and Earth, Wind & Fire — both of whom have been performing for over 45 years each (and the lead members all in their mid-to-late sixties). Same thing when I saw Herb Alpert and Lani Hall play a show last Fall (he was 80 at the time).

None of these guys has to work or tour any more. But all of them exuded passion, vibrancy, energy and vitality. They love what they’re doing, they get high on the interaction with their audiences, and clearly they’re still having a great time performing and entertaining. It’s inspiring and infectious to watch…

But you don’t have to be an artist to experience the same level of energy and enthusiasm; you can cultivate it for yourself. And when you do, it creates an upward spiral that fuels you, makes you feel alive and is contagious; others want to be around you and engage/collaborate with you in whatever ways make sense. It comes down to your attitude about yourself and about your life. If you want to feel this energy boost (and experience all of these benefits), here are some things you can do to encourage it: (more…)

Sherry Cagan, Equestrian, Artist, Founder of Stand4Lyme

Sherry Cagan, Equestrian, Artist, Founder of Stand4Lyme


Sherry Cagan has had great success in her past both as an award-winning equestrian & a talented bronze sculptor. These days Sherry is a patient advocate and facilitator, a leading voice and a driving force for the millions debilitated with Lyme disease. Her near-death experience from Lyme disease, and her daughters and mother being infected with it, catalyzed her passion for Lyme research – initiating the Stanford Lyme Working Group at the Stanford School of Medicine. (more…)

Life Gets Easier When You Operate in the Zone

Many of us run our lives off “To Do” lists — and have issues managing time, priorities, and eliminating distractions. We’re all over the place and our attention and mood is scattered, stressed and we’re inefficient. It doesn’t have to be that way! We can increase our productivity and save our sanity when we operate ‘in the zone’ more of the time. When you are in the zone, you are focused, firing on all cylinders, getting things done, accomplishing your goals, meeting expectations of yourself and others, all while staying in a calm, neutral place emotionally. You feel good because you’re taking care of what you need to and are honoring your commitments to yourself and others; you’re doing what you said you were going to do. There’s no greater sense of satisfaction than that! I know that’s been my experience.

Here are a few tips for getting in the zone: (more…)

Becoming the Person You Want to Be is Simple but It’s Not Easy

triggersI had the rare privilege of spending time with Marshall Goldsmith a couple of months ago courtesy of my mentor Alan Weiss at an event that Alan hosts annually called the Million Dollar Consulting Convention. Marshall was the Keynote speaker at Alan’s event this year, and is in high demand as one of the most successful executive coaches on the planet. He’s the author of many terrific and insightful books like What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, and he was delightful and very generous in his time with us. Marshall was kind enough to provide us all with copies of his latest book Triggers: Creating Behavior that Lasts & Becoming the Person You Want to Be”.

I read a lot of books on self-improvement and personal growth, and Triggers offers fresh insights that I haven’t come across elsewhere to this point. (more…)

May the Force Be With You

You know that old saying by Woody Allen that “Showing Up is 80% of Life”. Well I’d argue that the other 20% (maybe more!) is HOW you show up that really determines whether you’re going to be a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ in terms of the impact you have on others. Leadership is more than about showing up, and it’s more than just a mindset — it’s your presence, your intention, and the energy you bring to your interactions. (more…)

How to Pay Attention to the Whispers When Vetting a Connection?

You know that feeling deep in your gut; the one that tells you not to trust the person you’re talking to? Trust it–it almost always has critical information to share with you if you listen.

I’ve had several occasions in my career where my gut told me not to work with someone. But, because I was in need of the work at the time, I ignored it to my peril. It was always a mistake.

 

I once worked with a startup that had just secured investors–a startup’s dream, of course. Without warning, the CEO completely disappeared; he left the country. He never responded to anyone, and he didn’t pay the consultants or principals what he owed them. He just left and cut off all communication without explanation to anyone involved. (more…)

Dr. Judith Orloff, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Dr. Judith Orloff, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff MD asserts that we are keepers of an innate intuitive intelligence so perceptive that it can tell us how to heal — and prevent — illness.Yet intuition and spirituality are the very aspects of our wisdom usually disenfranchised from traditional health care.

Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine — she is proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can’t be ignored. Dr. Orloff is a New York Times bestselling author and is on the UCLA psychiatric clinical faculty. She specializes in treating empaths and sensitive people in her Los Angeles based private practice. She has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, the American Psychiatric Association, Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums — venues where she presents practical intuitive tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. In response to her work, The Los Angeles Times calls Dr. Orloff “a prominent energy-based healer.”

Dr. Orloff’s latest book “The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People” (Sounds True, 2017) is an invaluable resource to help sensitive people of all kinds develop healthy coping mechanisms in our high-stimulus world without experiencing compassion fatigue or burnout. Then empaths can fully embody their gifts of intuition, creativity, and compassion.

How to Harness Power Like a Celebrity

In the mid-1990s, Apple ran a series of insightful ads entitled “Power Is,” featuring several celebrities describing what power meant to them.

Spike Lee said power is succeeding when the odds are against you and you have a constant desire to learn. George Clinton, on the other hand, shared that power is the ability to motivate, communicate, and reinvent yourself. Marlee Matlin described power as having confidence, no limits, and the freedom of expression.

#911 KELLI 2Simply by their celebrity status, all these people have a certain amount of power–a power to live how they want, influence others’ perspectives, and motivate people to take action. Of course, this power has its downside. How would you like your every move publicly dissected? But if celebrities treat that reality with respect and use it to uplift, inspire, and encourage others, then they can make a real difference–as well as a profit from their brand and their reach.

The question is: How do everyday people–specifically entrepreneurs–obtain this power?

While there is such a thing as “overnight success,” most celebrities work hard over a long period of time to reach their powerful status. Here are three strategies of the stars that business professionals can use to make a difference in the world and do things that truly matter to them:

1. Build Your Tribe

Who you align yourself with affects your values, reputation, success, and often your financial well-being. Most success stories involve individuals surrounded by people they trust who share their values and genuinely have their best interests at heart.

Take Oprah Winfrey, for example. She has had consistent support from incredibly loyal staff, close friends, and colleagues who have stood by her for decades. Personally, she’s benefitted tremendously from the mentor relationship she enjoyed with the late Dr. Maya Angelou, as well as from her long-time partner, Stedman Graham, and her best friend, Gayle King.

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s business partnership with Beats is another great example of a professional relationship that was mutually beneficial. Beats proved to be highly profitable for both of them in its recent sale to Apple–something that may have been more challenging to do if not for the power of their partnership.

2. Pursue New Ventures

If you’ve had success as an entrepreneur once, you already know how to make something from nothing. Now, you have the ability to take your experience, resources, and prominence to create new businesses that fulfill a lifelong dream or generate revenue streams for a cause–or both.

Actor Paul Newman founded Newman’s Own in 1982 with pal A.E. Hotchner after his homemade salad dressing became a hit with friends. The company’s offerings have expanded, but always with the purpose of donating all proceeds to charities. To date, the amount contributed has surpassed $300 million.

Among other entrepreneurial endeavors, Sandra Bullock opened the eco-friendly Austin, Tex.-based Bess Bistro. She must love this pursuit because she was involved in every detail of making it come together.

3. Explore Other Interests

If you look at most celebrities’ rsums, you’ll notice a large number of multihyphenates–people with multiple job titles. It’s rare to truly excel in a number of areas, but many talented people who work hard can do it. Don’t feel like you have to stay in one industry or skill set. Branching out can often create multiple sources of income and fulfillment.

Take Beyonce Knowles, for example. She doesn’t stop with music–she’s built a business empire endorsing companies like H&M, creating a line of fragrances, and heading up a successful clothing company. It’s no wonder she topped the Forbes Celebrity 100 list.

You should also use a variety of tactics to engage with your audience via social networking. It’s what Hillary Clinton calls “smart power” (i.e., finding ways to connect with people so they can then influence their governments). While Clinton’s celebrity status often distracts from her work, she’s excellent at using her power to engage and empower youth, women, and entrepreneurs as she works toward change.

You may not be a “celebrity” to the general public, but if you’re successful in your field, there are likely a number of people who know who you are. As your recognition grows, the number of people you influence will increase. In all of these cases, the celebs referenced have used their power and influence to make a difference in a way that allows them to invest their heart, soul, energy, passion, time, and even money into something they love. That’s real power.

What will you do with your power?

This article was previously published in Inc.com

To your best success,

Kelli Richards, CEO of the All Access Group, LLC

PS: Subscribe to my FREE All Access Group Newsletter http://bit.ly/AAGNewletter

PSS: Listen to an entire library of intimate discussions with industry visionaries http://bit.ly/AllAccessPodcastSeries (Priceless)

 

 

 

COPING WITH FAILURE The Ultimate Entrepreneur Pep Talk: 4 Important Affirmations for Any Innovator

You were prepared for the uncertainty that comes with entrepreneurship. You braced yourself for the long workdays–and for your first business failure. You were ready for just about everything–except the inner strength it takes to be your own biggest motivator.

Sure, it would be great to have your own personal coach wake you up every morning with breakfast in bed and a hearty “Go get ’em, tiger!” But that’s not likely to happen.

ID-100251505

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos

Nobody is waiting at the finish line to give you a medal for getting your business off the ground. Nobody is as invested in your idea as you are. You need to learn how to be your own coach, and it starts with giving yourself a killer pep talk (daily if necessary, then rinse and repeat).

If you’ve seen “Jessica’s Daily Affirmation,” you know how infectious personal motivation can be. Boosting your self-esteem won’t just add power to your day; it’s also likely to give your whole team a boost.

You don’t need to climb into your sink like Jessica to psych yourself up (though it obviously does help), but you do need a mantra. Here are four of my personal favorites:

1. “The journey is the reward.” As an entrepreneur, the work you love doing is often overshadowed by revenue goals and other targets you put in place to gauge success. But as one of my most trusted mentors, Alan Cohen, says, “Do not be fooled by waiting for the ending. Sometimes the middle is more important.” Rather than looking ahead and feeling dissatisfied because you aren’t where you thought you’d be (or “should” be) yet, stay present to take in the experiences around you and appreciate where you are now.

2. “Plan A is overrated.” If Plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet. Perfectionism can motivate you, but it can also be limiting–especially in the startup world, where markets, trends, and resources are always in flux. Often, the very best idea is the second, third, or eighteenth one that you try.

3. “No naysayers allowed.” If you are passionate about your project and your intuition tells you that it could be successful, don’t pay too much attention to doubters. Instead, find the people who share your vision and will root for you and stand beside you when things get tough. These are the people who can help you by offering fresh ideas and perspectives–and a hearty dose of motivation. Good things happen when you work with people who believe in you and complement your strengths.

4. “Every failure is a step closer to success.” In business, you can often learn a lot more from your failures than your successes. You learn how to adapt, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and gain new insights into your industry.

More importantly, you learn what you’re made of. You failed, yet the sun still came up in the morning. You’re still standing. And you’re probably a little wiser for the wear. When you dust yourself off and try the next idea, you’ll be better prepared and much more likely to succeed.

Having a list of mantras that you can pull out of your toolkit in any situation will prepare you to turn challenges into successes. If all else fails, a simple “You can do it!” can give you that boost you need to keep going. Remind yourself that you’ve done it before and will do it again.

Until next time, 

Kelli Richards

CEO of The All Access Group, LLC

This article was originally posted on the Inc.

PS: Always remember that your goals are possible to achieve. Believe in yourself and your ideas. Your intuition got you this far, so trust it. Don’t ignore your own excitement. Keep the passion burning and your vision front and center at all times. It’s the perfect fuel for your dreams. Visit: http://www.allaccessgroup.com

 

5 Reasons Developing Confidence Is Critical to Your Success

“This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post.”

Confidence is essential to your success and that of your business — in fact, it’s vital to everything you do in life. In my own career, confidence has been a pivotal skill and strength I’ve needed every step of the way, especially in the male-dominated tech and music industries.

ID-100259936Operating from a confident stance is absolutely essential for women serving — or aspiring to serve — in any kind of leadership capacity. It’s a personal and professional trait that will serve you well, and it’s certainly not selfish to aim to become more confident. When you work with confidence, you’ll find that you’re more effective and efficient — and so is everyone you work with.

Yet confidence is a result, not a prerequisite or a requirement. In other words, you probably won’t have it until you’ve done something to develop it — and it builds on itself over time. This is good news: You can learn to be confident with each success.

Channel the Confidence Your Business Needs

There are plenty of benefits to being a strong, confident woman business leader. Not only are confident people listened to more deliberately and taken more seriously, but they also tend to handle business dealings more effortlessly, with greater ease and better outcomes.

Beyond that, your confidence will make both employees and clients more comfortable. It’s reassuring to deal with someone who can take a stand and make decisions. Because confidence is a psychological motivator, it keeps you going during challenging times, enabling you to take risks and try new things without second-guessing yourself.

When you’re confident, you’re more relaxed and focused; therefore, you’re able to make better decisions and act on them promptly. Speed matters in business. And second-guessing yourself often leads to hesitation, mistakes, and lost opportunities.

A confident physical presence comes across in the way you carry yourself, and it spurs improved outcomes more consistently. It’s like a visible sign of success that says, “I’m going places and I’m clear on what I want to achieve, so follow me.”

So You Weren’t Born With It

However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s natural for confidence to ebb and flow at times. When you’re frustrated, disappointed, or coming off a failure, it’s easy to allow anxiety, fears, and negativity to creep in. They can be temporary distractions, or they can create a vicious cycle that takes you out of your game for a longer time. The goal is to avoid the doom loop entirely.

We all have the capacity to develop confidence. Just like a muscle that’s flexed and strengthened over time, it grows with each success. As you learn to believe in yourself, your confidence increases; before you know it, “confident” is your new normal. Follow these suggestions to move in the right direction and restore your confidence level when it wanes:

  1. Start with an ounce of prevention. Find a mentor who can determine where your negative thinking stems from and identify distracting fears and anxieties as they crop up in your life. Often, a little insight and a shift in perspective from someone you trust can be the catalyst you need to alter your perception and move on.
  2. Think before you speak — to yourself. Experts in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the field of psychology that studies self-talk, agree: What you think of and say to yourself is extremely important. If you’re being negative in your self-talk, deliberatively flip the switch to more positive language to shift into a more confident and optimistic mode.
  3. Channel past successes. Let memories of past successes fuel your next achievement. Think of a time when you were confident and had a successful outcome. Recall the steps that led to positive results then, and apply a similar technique now to get back on track.
  4. Be ready for anything. Things will go wrong; that’s life. Prepare for potentially adverse circumstances by thinking ahead to what scenarios could occur in any given situation, and envision how you’ll use the strategies at your disposal to navigate them so your confidence remains intact, no matter what happens.
  5. Keep your ego in check. Overconfidence is rare, especially among women. But it can happen, and it’s just as detrimental as a lack of confidence. When you aren’t willing to listen to other people’s input or perspectives, you’ve crossed the line from confident to arrogant. And arrogance doesn’t work in business (or personal) situations, where cooperation and support are absolutely vital.

Every step of my career path has been possible because I channeled the confidence that I needed — from navigating corporate America to starting my own business. That’s not to say that confidence was all I needed.

Certainly, without essential qualifications and experience, confidence can be misplaced. However, in addition to having the skills and experience you need, confidence is a critical — even vital — component to your success, and it can benefit you personally and professionally. Don’t leave home without it!

To your continued, highest success, 

Kelli Richards, 
CEO of the All Access Group, LLC

 

How to Harness Power Like a Celebrity.

Three strategies of the stars that business professionals can use to make a difference in the world and do things that truly matter to them.

In the mid-1990s, Apple ran a series of insightful ads entitled “Power Is,” featuring several celebrities describing what power meant to them.

Spike Lee said power is succeeding when the odds are against you and you have a constant desire to learn. George Clinton, on the other hand, shared that power is the ability to motivate, communicate, and reinvent you. Marlee Matlin described power as having confidence, no limits, and the freedom of expression.

Simply by their celebrity status, all these people have a certain amount of power–a power to live how they want, influence others’ perspectives, and motivate people to take action. Of course, this power has its downside. How would you like your every move publicly dissected? But if celebrities treat that reality with respect and use it to uplift, inspire, and encourage others, then they can make a real difference–as well as a profit from their brand and their reach.

The question is: How do everyday people–specifically entrepreneurs–obtain this power?

While there is such a thing as “overnight success,” most celebrities work hard over a long period of time to reach their powerful status. Here are three strategies of the stars that business professionals can use to make a difference in the world and do things that truly matter to them:

1. Build Your Tribe

Who you align yourself with affects your values, reputation, success, and often your financial well-being. Most success stories involve individuals surrounded by people they trust who share their values and genuinely have their best interests at heart.

Take Oprah Winfrey, for example. She has had consistent support from incredibly loyal staff, close friends, and colleagues who have stood by her for decades. Personally, she’s benefitted tremendously from the mentor relationship she enjoyed with the late Dr. Maya Angelou, as well as from her long-time partner, Stedman Graham, and her best friend, Gayle King.

Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s business partnership with Beats is another great example of a professional relationship that was mutually beneficial. Beats proved to be highly profitable for both of them in its recent sale to Apple–something that may have been more challenging to do if not for the power of their partnership.

2. Pursue New Ventures 

If you’ve had success as an entrepreneur once, you already know how to make something from nothing. Now, you have the ability to take your experience, resources, and prominence to create new businesses that fulfill a lifelong dream or generate revenue streams for a cause–or both.

Actor Paul Newman founded Newman’s Own in 1982 with pal A.E. Hotchner after his homemade salad dressing became a hit with friends. The company’s offerings have expanded, but always with the purpose of donating all proceeds to charities. To date, the amount contributed has surpassed $300 million.

Among other entrepreneurial endeavors, Sandra Bullock opened the eco-friendly Austin, Tex.-based Bess Bistro. She must love this pursuit because she was involved in every detail of making it come together. 

3. Explore Other Interests

If you look at most celebrities’ resumes, you’ll notice a large number of multihyphenates–people with multiple job titles. It’s rare to truly excel in a number of areas, but many talented people who work hard can do it. Don’t feel like you have to stay in one industry or skill set. Branching out can often create multiple sources of income and fulfillment.

Take Beyoncé Knowles, for example. She doesn’t stop with music–she’s built a business empire endorsing companies like H&M, creating a line of fragrances, and heading up a successful clothing company. It’s no wonder she topped the Forbes Celebrity 100 list.

You should also use a variety of tactics to engage with your audience via social networking. It’s what Hillary Clinton calls “smart power” (i.e., finding ways to connect with people so they can then influence their governments). While Clinton’s celebrity status often distracts from her work, she’s excellent at using her power to engage and empower youth, women, and entrepreneurs as she works toward change.

You may not be a “celebrity” to the general public, but if you’re successful in your field, there are likely a number of people who know who you are. As your recognition grows, the number of people you influence will increase. In all of these cases, the celebs referenced have used their power and influence to make a difference in a way that allows them to invest their heart, soul, energy, passion, time, and even money into something they love. That’s real power.

What will you do with your power?

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group.

PS: Subscribe to my FREE All Access Group Newsletter http://bit.ly/AAGNewletter

 

The right mentor will also have the right CONNECTIONS to move any effort forward.  Be sure to ask who they think they can bring to the table around advisorship, possible collaboration and even funding.

 

 

Step Away from the Smartphone

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 10.57.12 AMOf the 93% of Americans that use cell phones or wireless devices, one-third of them are using “smartphones,” with which you can browse the Web and check e-mail. In other words, most of us are spending our days walking around with our eyes glued to our phone screens, as chillingly demonstrated in this telling YouTube short.

Some experts say it’s time to take a step back and reassess. They worry that kids won’t know what it’s like to have a conversation or actually look someone in the eyes when they tell a story.

In her powerful TED talk, Sherry Turkle claims that the little devices in our pockets are so psychologically powerful that they not only change what we do – they’re also changing who we are in our minds and our hearts, by allowing us three gratifying fantasies: that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; that we will always be heard; and that we will never have to be alone.

But that’s just what they are – fantasies. And while we’re indulging in them, we’re tuning out the people who are physically present in the room with us. Some of the familiar things we now do with our devices – taking calls while out to dinner, checking Facebook during board meetings, texting while on a date – are things that only a few years ago we would have found odd or disturbing. Now it’s simply how we do things. Instead of never being alone, it seems we are getting accustomed to “a new way of being alone, together.”

“Parents text and do email at breakfast and at dinner. Their children complain about not having their parents’ full attention, but then these same children deny each other their full attention. We even text at funerals. I study this. We remove ourselves from our grief, or from our reverie, and we go into our smartphones.” If it’s true that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity, then one could argue that smartphones are making us less generous human beings, unable to give each other the attention we crave.

Real conversations are unpredictable – and un-erase-able – and real relationships are engrossing and messy, but technology renders both neat and clean – keeping others at just the right distance: not too close to see the real you, and not too far that they can’t “hear” what you’re saying.

But having real conversations with each other is how we learn to have conversations with ourselves. Hiding from real, unscripted, unpredictable conversations with each other can compromise our capacity for self-reflection. And as smartphones burrow ever deeper into our lives, and Google Glass threatens to erode our personal space even further, finding ways to unplug is becoming more appealing – perhaps even more vital – than ever.

If you or someone you love is struggling with smart phone addiction, download Fast Company’s printable guide to unplugging and check out their collection of thought-provoking articles on the subject here.

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, President, CEO of the All Access Group, LLC

PS: Subscribe to my FREE All Access Group Newsletter http://bit.ly/AAGNewletter

PSS: Listen to an entire library of intimate discussions with industry visionaries http://bit.ly/AllAccessPodcastSeries (Priceless)

Stop Wishing Your Life Away- THRIVE

Fearless people not only live amazing lives and achieve great heights — fearless people take on projects from which the rest of us would run. Thrive! Stop Wishing Your Life Away…

Until next time,

Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group, LLC