Archives for July 2014

What’s your apple pie?

July 29, 2014 7 Comments



The doorbell rings.  Unusual.

It’s 3:40 and my youngest daughter Fiona has just got home from school. We usually don’t have anyone calling at this time.

Fiona answers to a courier. The box is easily 18″ a side.  She signs and brings the box inside. Her face is lit up as she reads “fragile. This side up.  I wonder what it is?”

“Open it” I give her permission. The courier script say it’s from Pete Winiarski.

I remember a few days before spending a half hour on the phone with Pete and one of his key staff. They’re doing a bestseller campaign so I’m giving them some advice on growing the campaign. Pete’s been an amazing support to my business, in introducing me to amazing people.  So I’m happy to support him back.

“It’s like when you want to meet the new neighbour,” I say to Pete, “You’d bring them a lasagna or an apple pie.” I laugh and add “if it’s my family, definitely apple pie.  We’re all pie addicts.” I go onto explain.

“When you’re meeting new influencers you want to offer them something before you ever ask for support. That’s why it’s important for you to have some form of following yourself – a newsletter, a social media following, a radio show.  You don’t promote yourself to your following. They’re your apple pie. When you’re meeting other influencers, giving them attention in front of your following is like bringing the neighbours an apple pie.”

Pete gets the concept and we spend the rest of the call brainstorming how he’ll reach out to the folks he really wants in his corner.

Fast forward a few days Fiona is standing in the front hallway opening the lid of Pete’s parcel.

It’s an apple pie.  Fiona screams with joy.  My older daughter Rae comes over to check out the commotion.  We’re all  laughing.

I now have an amazing memory and a great story to tell from stage.

The way you build relationship with other influencers is important.  Three key tips

1. Be their first raving fan – send their work praise and attention whenever and wherever you can;

2. Connect them with other influencers. Influencers LOVE influential connections. and

3. Apple pie. Keep it fun and memorable and you will be forever in their heart.


What are you worried about?

July 22, 2014 17 Comments

MomI have a tendency to worry.  I inherited it from my Mother.  If you follow my posts, you’ll know Mom and I are close. I got my love of learning and connecting with people from her.

She’s been struggling lately with health and and bit of memory loss.  So I called her this morning.

She takes a full minute to respond on the phone. I wait. She answers depleted.

I say “Hi little Mother, how are you?”

“Not good,” she says. “I’ve done something bad, I can’t remember what it is.”

“Awe,” I say. “Do you need some help worrying?”

“Yes,” she says quietly, sounding deflated.

So we worry. We start with worrying about the world (it’s in a terrible state, you know!). Then we worry about her children. Something is surely wrong with at least one of the nine. Then we worry about her grand kids and great grand kids (They have lots going on, so surely there are problems happening everywhere).

Then we worry that it’s breakfast time and her porridge might get cold. She laughs. Then she starts to giggle uncontrollably. I giggle along with her. And suddenly all my worry is gone too. My worry about my business, or my kids or most importantly my worry about my Mom.

I learned this technique from my brother Ed. Worry is a huge time and energy consumer. And the more you resist it the worse it gets.

So your mission today, should you choose to accept it, is to phone someone you love and worry your little heart out about anything you can think about, until the worry is gone.  Then get in action on your dreams.

It’s really that simple.



Playing with the big kids

July 15, 2014 16 Comments

BabyPhotoTeresaBabyPhotoTeresaThe biggest challenge most people have that stops them from becoming influential, is the unspoken cultural norms and inner dialogue that gets in their way. We have belief systems that influence and arrogance go hand in hand, or that we’re not capable of playing a big game or tackling big initiatives. I still remember the day I created one of my most challenging inner dialogues. I was not quite 5 years old. I’m standing in our small kitchen, surrounded by siblings and cousins. There is great excitement in the air because my Grandmother is taking everyone to the movies.

As a family of nine, we just don’t go to the movies.  Dad simply can’t afford that many tickets! But today is different.  Our cousins are here.  Everyone is excited because we’re going to go see the Love Bug. Suddenly there’s a conversation of whether or not I can go. The movie might be scary. I look across the room with dread as I hear my mother say “Teresa can’t go. She’s too little” I’m devastated. I start bawling inconsolably. My 4 year-old mind decides in deep frustration that “I’m too small to play with the big kids”. And that inner dialogue sticks.

Working in the corporate world, I realized pretty early on in my career that I had to get past that dialogue if I ever wanted to move into leadership.  It has almost become a barometer for me in my life. If there isn’t some level of that dialogue there for me to get past, I know I’m not pushing myself and playing a big enough game. Anytime I take on a bigger game, that dialogue comes back and I have to work through it all over again.  The good news is, I do it more rapidly each time. One thing I have consistently seen in my students who learn the Influence Game is that none of them ever feel big enough for their own dreams.

Which makes sense.  Our dreams are huge to us!  What normal person could ever be big enough for something so huge?  Yet the great irony is that each of them was as tailor-made as could be to be the perfect person to live their specific dream, to create the change they sought in the world. So how do we learn, despite our self-limiting beliefs, to feel confident enough to chase our dreams and create the change we want to bring to the world?

Exercise – 1. Create a list of what your inner dialogue is (what you tell yourself) that may keep you from stepping into a bigger role of serving others and influencing change. Choose from the following list as a start, and then create your own

  • It would be arrogant of me to ….
  • Who am I to…
  • I’m not _______ enough (smart / rich / experienced – fill in your own word)
  • I’m too _______ (young / old / shy – fill in your own word)
  • They might find me out
  • I might look _____(stupid / arrogant / self-centered – fill in your own word)
  • I don’t know how
  • I don’t know _______  (fill in your own word)
  • I don’t have enough credentials

 2. For the next week, notice where this dialogue is gets in your way  3. Practice mentally laughing with your inner child, until your inner conversation holds no significance