Friday, October 29, 2010

NEW Podcast: Meditation-Your Secret to Success in the New Normal

Can meditation change your brain? That's a question that neuroscientists have been seeking to answer for decades - and there appears to be some evidence that it can, in a positive way. In today's New Normal, the pressure to perform can be overwhelming. The good news is that you CAN find tools to relax and release your tension and anxiety. Meditation is one of those stress-releasing tools. And one, I'd suggest, that could become your [peaceful] "secret weapon" to overcome personal or professional hurdles and challenges you may be facing.

This summer, I completed a 21-day meditation "challenge" led by the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. I've been meditating nearly every day since then (even while I was out of the country). I've found that it helps me because I'm more easily able to access a mantra or positive phrase to flip my script when things get stressful.

With my newly-regained interest in meditation, I thought it would be great to create a podcast that would help others learn more about the benefits of regular meditation. And, so my latest podcast is my conversation with Stacey Shipman, creator of the audio CD Let it Flow: Short Guided Meditations and author of Experience Less Stress, More Success: Networking for Business. It was great to chat with Stacey again because she really makes it easy for people to learn how to relieve their stress and boost their personal confidence.

In the podcast, Stacey and I talk about the different types of meditation, and how easy it can be to begin meditating using the type you most enjoy. We share tips to remove distractions (internal thoughts and external things) that can get in your way, and discuss how you can build meditation into your daily schedule to help you focus on your true priorities.

So, you know I'm a curious coach! After you've listened to the podcast, let me know what you think; and share your successes (or challenges) with meditation. Where is the best place, and when is best time for you to meditate? Feel free to share your comments here, or tweet me on Twitter. Until we next connect, Namaste!

Monday, October 18, 2010

NEW Podcast: Find a Business Partner Who Won't BLEEP You

So, you've probably figured out that in today's New Normal you can't do it all alone. Whether you're seeking to advance your professional career, expand your business, or launch your new "side hustle," building relationships is crucial to your future success and sustainability. Your ability to develop strategic alliances and identify new partners will determine how well you're able to enter new markets and industries, find new opportunities, and really stay afloat.

In business (as in life), relationship building can be a tricky process. We know when it works, you can't wait for the next project or opportunity to work together! And, when it doesn't work, you can't wait for the project to end - hoping never to work with that person again! We've all been there - it all sounded great in the beginning ... but somehow, things changed and what you THOUGHT was going to happen, didn't. And, now you're left wondering how you got there in the first [*!#] place.

The trick with business relationships: How can you find a partner who won't [BLEEP] you?! 

In this podcast, you'll hear my discussion with Nina Kaufman, owner of Ask the Business Lawyer, and author of The Entrepreneur's Prenup: How to Choose a Business Partner Who Won't [BLEEP] You. Nina is an award-winning business attorney, sought-after professional speaker and online columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine.

From our conversation, you'll learn how to select the right alliance partners, and when you should have written agreements. You'll also gain some tips on how to avoid the emotional and financial pitfalls of doing business with a friend or family member. In the end, ideally, you each want to be able to benefit from the other's skills, talents, resources and connections. In life, there are no guarantees; but we hope this podcast may help you save some time and aggravation.

Take a listen, and let me know what you think. Have YOU ever been [BLEEPED] by a business/alliance partner? Share your comments and BLEEP experiences here -- or tweet me on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When You Assume, You May End Up in Leuven

In some ways, being in Brussels and Paris a few weeks ago was not altogether different than being home in New York City – partly because of the urban environment. I say this not at all to minimize the beauty of the historical landmarks and overall savoir faire of the residents of both cities. While walking around, I felt comfortable and became accustomed to the pace. I almost forgot that I was in another country … almost!

What did I learn? When traveling, don’t assume that things you just “know” how to do will be done in the same way elsewhere. OK, that seems like a no brainer [yes, I know the quote!]; but how often do we do that in our everyday lives – assume that our way of doing things is the only [ahem, best] way? Here are two lessons I learned from my rail travel in Europe – mostly practical tips, but perhaps you may be able to extrapolate some life lessons as well.

ASSUMPTION: How can I, a veteran NYC subway rider, possibly go wrong on the Paris Metro? Try arriving in Paris Gare du Nord on a Friday evening during rush hour with only euro bills, American credit cards, and a long queue of people waiting behind me to buy tickets! Even though I had my hotel destination clearly mapped out by a friend – with all of the transfers – still I ended up waiting in the taxi line for 45 minutes after my third attempt to use the vending machine didn’t work. That’s right; my American credit cards didn’t have the embedded “chip.” [And, I’d already declined the offer for a reserved taxi from the attendant on the Thalys train down from Brussels.] I did manage to make my way around Paris via Metro after that night. On my last day in Paris, I even was able to help another visitor navigate the machine to purchase a carnet (group) of tickets … it was an even trade for their euro coins to change my 5 euro bill.
LESSON 1: When traveling by Metro in Paris, keep a stash of euro coins handy (or travel with someone with a French credit card) so that you can purchase tickets.

ASSUMPTION: If I’m riding on Brussels Rail – it has to be like Amtrak, right? Not, so much! While riding the Metro in Paris, I’d noticed the door button – may have even seen someone use it; but didn’t pay it much attention. I learned this lesson while on a Brussels Rail train returning from a day trip to Bruges. Long story short, I stood in the train vestibule waiting for the doors to open, and watched as the train pulled away from the Brussels-Noord and soon gained speed (I quickly figured out it wasn’t just inching forward to be in line with the train platform). This led to a late-night impromptu stop in Leuven (luckily only about 20 minutes further) before re-boarding a train heading back to Brussels. The funniest part was the reaction of the rail conductor when my friend explained to him what had happened. Although you could see the “silly Americans” expression on his face, he was quite considerate and didn’t charge us an additional fare.

LESSON 2: When on a train in Europe, be prepared to push the button in order for the doors to open. It’s not always automatic!

Of course, now I'll have to plan a trip to visit Leuven on purpose! And, I'm going to be more sympathetic to visitors who approach me for directions or guidance on New York City subways.

What assumptions have led YOU in the wrong direction? How did you get back on track? Share your comments here or tweet me your thoughts on Twitter.

Friday, October 08, 2010

NEW Podcast: Need to Save Time? There's an App for That

In today’s New Normal, time is tight – we’re all always “on,” trying to perform at 100%, on a 24/7 basis. And, technology has changed everything we do – the  constant stream of texts, tweets, and emails we receive actually affects the way we think and work. The good news is that we CAN take advantage of technology to save time and be more productive.

Tune into my latest podcast: Need to Save Time? There's an App for That!  It's my conversation with Tai Goodwin, founder of The Brilliant Network, a mastermind group for women entrepreneurs. A passionate coach and writer, Tai is committed to helping ambitious women grow from bright to brilliant by walking in their purpose and passion. Her articles have been published online at, Careerrealism, and EmpowerMe Magazine.

In this podcast, Tai and I discuss five of the top technology tools that can help you manage your time and achieve your goals more efficiently. Many of these tools will be helpful whether you're working within an organization, aiming to launch your "side hustle," or are a full-fledged entrepreneur. As always, if you have feedback on my podcasts -- or if you use other technology tools to help you get things done -- share them here or tweet me on Twitter! [PS - I'm still using TweetDeck ... when you listen to the podcast you'll know why I'm sharing this! :-) ]