Archives for August 2013

Are you being high value or (yikes!) “high maintenance”?

August 29, 2013 18 Comments


Pop quiz.  Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 6.18.58 AM

You’ve purchased a sweater from a department store and 5 months later you see that sweater on sale.  You

a) march into the department store demanding your money back;

b) write a blog post about the unfair business practice of the store that won’t give you your money back; or

c) congratulate yourself that you were ahead of the fashion trend and wore your sweater in winter, when it’s appropriate to wear a sweater.

Somehow it’s obvious to see when we’re talking about a sweater.  Most people would choose c.  Similarly you would not expect the price of your movie ticket back if you chose not to attend at the last minute.  But somehow people hold a different standard to those of us who run training companies or large communities.

Yes, I’ve dealt with lots of demands.  A student who took my course 18 months ago who hears I offered another organization a special rate who suddenly wants their money back for the difference.  A man who wants the early bird rate even though it’s the day before the event.  The student who hears I did a favour for someone else and gave them free coaching when they were stuck, so they demand the same.  The person who is indignant because I’m not willing to spend an hour on the phone coaching free of charge.  The student who successfully completed a course with great results who now wants their money back because they found a video I did for free with some of the same info in it.  The list of places people want to renegotiate can be endless.

Here’s the thing most people don’t think about amidst these complaints.  What’s it doing to your relationship to that influencer?

Especially in my case.  I teach influence.

Gaining influence, involves getting into relationship with influencers.  And to quote Cheryl Hubert “How you do anything, is how you do everything”.  So when you make demands of me, I know you’re doing that everywhere.  The true cost of how you’re being is that it stops me from wanting to connect you with key people who could likely really help you.  I value my connections, and frankly, I don’t want to impose you on them.  Because if you’re too unaware to realize how your landing with someone who teaches influence, how will you land with others?

10 examples of places to take stock if you’re being “high maintenance” with influencers in your life

1. you ask for their support before building any relationship with them,

2. you ask for things that demand more than a few seconds of their time,

3. you call them or their assistant for help with things that are reasonably posted on the website or sent to you in email,

4. you don’t show up for meetings, or cancel at the last minute,

5. you renegotiate prices after the fact,

6. they offered you free or discounted on one thing in their business, so you expect the same treatment on everything,

7. you take for granted resources from their company they’ve offered you for free (e.g. not showing up or cancelling at the last minute for a seat at one of their events),

8. you connect them with people who just want free coaching or free resources from them,

9. you don’t provide them with the information they need to easily help you (e.g. well written copy if they’re sending out for you, a pre-written testimonial if you’re asking for one, a blurb to introduce you if you’ve asked for an introduction)

10. you don’t give energy back (resources, connections, shout outs)

Be Your Own Oprah.

August 12, 2013 Leave a Comment

Click image to watch video

Just the mention of the one word moniker brings to mind the rags to riches, self-made woman’s story.

Oprah is a household name world-wide and stands as a symbol for what happens when faith, gumption and a zest for life meet inspired action. Her long running (25 seasons) TV show remains the highest rated talk show in American history. She has used her notoriety to speak out against abuse, to encourage literacy and raise money to build schools in Africa, to name but a few.

Through her show and O Magazine and now OWN, we have the opportunity to explore spirituality, social justice, entertainment, education, body image and giving back in a whole different light.

As someone who loves being front and center, sharing similar messages, I have viewed the Divine Ms. O as a role model for the kind of determination that took her from  financially impoverished, abusive childhood, to wildly successful adulthood. She set the course and followed the trajectory to where she is now. Although it seems that she became an overnight success, when I looked back at her career path, it took several decades.

Over the years, I have sent query letters requesting the opportunity to write for her publication. The closest I have come has been a letter to the editor that was published in 2005 or 2006 in response to an article the magazine published on tantra. One of my bucket list dreams is to interview Oprah, not just be interviewed by her.

Heck, if I could “manna-fest” the interview with the Dalai Lama, this should be a piece of cake.

Being connected with Oprah lends a sense of credibility to one’s work; a stamp of approval, as it were—I call them ‘Oprah’s Darlings.’ Authors she promotes find that their books skyrocket to best seller status and they are invited to be at the ‘big kids table.’

Earlier in the year, I had the joy of meeting transformational speaker Lisa Nichols when she spoke in New Jersey. She has been on Oprah’s show. Lisa is the enthusiastically heart forward, learning-to-love-herself affirming author and teacher whose hardy “YES-YES!” echoes through her presentations.

She became known to me when I saw The Secret which is the iconic movie that highlights The Law of Attraction. In a pre-event VIP segment, she offered us the opportunity to ask her anything. I mentioned that desire I referenced in the previous paragraph.

She looked me square in the eye and said “Do you really want to know the answer?” I nodded and she said that I needed to keep serving and not worry about Oprah calling me. “Attract, don’t pursue,” she reinforced.

I have less than six degrees of separation from Oprah since I know people who know her and I still harbor this vision that I will receive a call or letter, that will be a fulfillment of that fantasy. Today, I was meeting on the porch of my ‘office away from home,’ aptly named The Zen Den, in Doylestown, PA, with a friend visiting from Chicago.

His name is Daved Beck and he is a dancer, author, facilitator and psychic medium. We were enjoying the late Spring breeze and I shared with him my desire to leap forward in my work. The words “Be your own Oprah” came up. Since we both acknowledge that the more we are hollow reeds or vessels for inspired messages, there are times when we truly don’t remember what we said; therefore, I’m not sure if he offered the sage advice, or I gave it to myself.

Regardless of who voiced it, it got me thinking that I could indeed do that.

Being my own Oprah would mean:

  • Stepping up and speaking out about what I believe in regardless of who might disagree or disapprove
  • Willingness to visible and vulnerable
  • Having faith enough in my own talents and gifts that I share them willingly
  • Overcoming challenges by making positive choices
  • Living my best life every day
  • Helping others live their dreams out loud
  • Seeing myself as a thriver
  • Being colorful and creative.
  • Acknowledging that I am an innovator
  • Connecting with people world-wide through the power of love and the marvels of modern technology
  • Being a generous giver and gracious receiver
  • Diversifying rather than type-casting myself
  • Growing myself steadily
  • Re-framing spirituality
  • Taking on increasingly more expansive challenges

Although I’ve not heard her offer this particular guidance, it resonates with something that could be considered Oprah-esque.

My father would say “They put their pants on one leg at a time just like you do,” so as not to feel intimidated by people. It has served me well as a journalist who has interviewed some potentially ego-driven folks and others who might seem inaccessible.

My mother offered “Walk in like you own the joint, with eye contact and head held high,”and I added ‘knockers up.’

So, what is my next chapter? I have no idea. I am open and willing to explore what it means as I turn page after page, as surprised as anyone with what is inscribed within.


Edie Weinstein

Via on Jun 17, 2013

The weeds of inauthenticity

August 4, 2013 Leave a Comment


Confession time.  I sometimes do business meetings in my garden while I randomly pull weeds.

It’s a grounding act that helps me stay tuned into the person I’m with and connected to who I am.

Pulling weeds is a symbolic act for me.  It’s a reflection of all those inauthentic parts of myself that don’t serve.

When am I nervous?

When am I’m worrying about my schedule?

When am I stuck on being right?

When am I coming from a place of looking good?

When do I scold myself and stay in my own shame?

All of those are weeds to pull.  They choke out the growth of  who I really am in the world.  Someone committed to being deeply of service to others.  Some who stands for others stepping into their own leadership.

Weed daily.

Anything that stops you from walking your path in life powerfully is inauthentic to who you are.  They are random weeds to pull.  And like gardening, it is an on-going commitment, an on-going noticing.  It is not a task to check off your do list.  The garden is not weeded once and you are done.  It is a daily noticing of what has arisen that might need pulling to leave room for the flowers and fruits to flourish.

To Starbucks, or not to Starbucks

August 4, 2013 Leave a Comment

Screen Shot 2013-08-04 at 10.15.25 AMPop quiz – You’re keen to get in relationship with someone influential and you want to impress.


a) offer to buy them a Starbucks so you can chat, or

b) offer to blog about them.

This is one of the most common mistakes I see people make when they decide to step into the influence game.  They want to meet someone big and they think it’s a good idea to offer to buy them a coffee or lunch.  It worked when you were just networking or doing “referral marketing” (finding clients through referrals).  So why wouldn’t it work with people of influence?

The answer of simple,  time has high value to an influencer.  So does influence.  They’re the two things an influencer values most.  (those of us who are Starbucks addicts aside – yes I am writing this from a Starbucks as we speak).

The point being, an offer of a coffee is an ask for time.  It’s a take, not a give.

An offer to blog on the other hand (or send out their content in any other way) is a give.  It’s a much better way to build relationship.

So love of coffee aside, hold off on the Starbucks until there’s a relationship established.  It will keep the gate-keepers out of your way.