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Tales from Box Mountain Part 3: Broken Promises, Cut Locks, and No Texting While Driving (Not what you think!)

Note: This post is the third in a series about what I learned about life and business from moving my family from the suburbs of Chicago to Knoxville, Tennessee. You can read the first post here and second here.

Not our container... ours was obnoxiously overstuffed!

Not our container… ours was obnoxiously overstuffed!

Whenever you move, one of the biggest issues to contend with is how to get all your stuff from your current home to your new home, expediently, efficiently, and safely – and as cost-effectively as possible, unless you are being moved by your company and they are footing the (potentially massive) bill. That was not us.

During our recent move, we looked into the options, which as far as we could tell included:

  • Hiring a big cross-country moving company (far too expensive).
  • Renting a truck and hiring a driver (not sure we wanted to trust some random driver with all our earthly possessions).
  • Renting a truck and driving it ourselves (no one in our family has a truck license, plus … just no.).
  • Having a service bring a container to our driveway, we load it up/ hire movers to load it up, and have it picked up again, shipped to our new home, dropped off, and unloaded.

We went with that last option because we had done it before, twice, and while those moves were local, it worked out well enough both times we felt confident it would be the best choice for us this time. So I did my research and made a choice on the company to use.

First, I have to say, ultimately we were happy with the service. However, there were A LOT of missteps by the company we choose, ABF Freight, otherwise known for it’s consumer service called UPack.

We chose them on the recommendation of my father-in-law, who had used them in the past and remembered their prices being far and away less expensive than PODS, Pack Rat, or any of the other consumer container storage and shipping companies. He was right… the price was almost half of what everyone else was going to charge. That was explained in their marketing. Because the company is a commercial freight service, they may place a few boxes of their own on the back of our truck, to be delivered to another of their commercial customers en route to our new home.  Makes sense to me.

The first misstep came with their scheduling online. I wanted to set up my moving date for the last few days in June. But their online scheduler automatically chose a random date two weeks into the future, which was still early June, and wouldn’t allow me to change it online; so I had to call.

Lesson #1: If you have an online scheduler or order process, make sure everything can be done online without forcing your customers to make a phone call or jump through other hoops.

After I *thought* we had the date squared away (more coming later), the phone rep told me part of the deal was that the driver would be texting my container’s location to me along the route to my new location so I would have an idea where my stuff was. That wasn’t anywhere on their website, but the site had already proven to be less-than-reliable, and it sounded like a cool value-add. Plus, with my knowledge of technology and what’s possible, it was perfectly feasible that a driver could check into an automated system, that would then send me an auto update like “Driver 7245 has now entered Kentucky with your container.” It makes sense right? Well, the person I was on the phone with was making that up apparently, because in subsequent conversations (to fix the wrong drop off date AGAIN), this customer service agent said there was no such offer of texting while driving, so to speak.

The only thing I can think of now, as I reflect, is perhaps that is an offering for their freight customers but not for their individual consumer customers and the customer service agent I spoke with was confused. I don’t know, but I felt like I missed out on a great service.

Lesson #2: Deliver on your promises.
Lesson #3: Make sure your entire staff can effectively explain your offerings correctly.

Interestingly, I soon learned this company DOES use texting to confirm that your container will be dropped off to be loaded on a certain date. That was good because I received a text with the wrong date, so I had to call AGAIN. In fact, I planned an out of town in Minnesota for a business retreat on that date, which had been scheduled for months, so I would have never set that date up as a drop off or pick up date. The good news for this company is they had the text confirmation set up so I could see the error and immediately call to avoid having a driver show up at my home while I was out of town and pick up an empty container 2 days later because I was still out of town. Their system worked in this case to catch the customer service agent’s mistake.

Lesson 4: Have systems in place to catch any errors before they turn into bigger problems down the line.

After we received our container, on time and set up exactly how we wanted it, we set to the hard work of packing it. In another post, I’ll share about the fabulous service our movers provided, because they deserve their own post with more lessons learned.

Another promise was after we packed up our belongings, we should LOCK the wall they provided to completely secure our things in the container. A regular pad lock wasn’t going to fit, so my Dad went out and bought a $25 heavy duty industrial lock for the job. We secured our belongings as stated in the contract and on the phone and were on our way.

Not long after our container was picked up, however, I received a phone call from the local dispatch office. At this point, we were on the road somewhere between Illinois and Tennessee. The dispatcher on the phone asked me to come in to remove my lock so they could get their ramp, which was inside the truck when they delivered it to us, and we put it back inside. There was no mention that specific ramp, which we would need in Tennessee to get our stuff OUT of the truck, had to stay in Illinois. Apparently the Tennessee dispatch office would have their own ramp. Unfortunately, I had the only keys and we were on the Interstate somewhere. So they cut off a brand new $25 lock and now our personal items weren’t secure.

Lesson 5: If you want something to be a certain way (in this case, the ramp to be accessible to the local dispatch office), spell it out in your instructions and make sure it’s well-communicated.

As I said, overall we were happy with the end result: our container was safely delivered, when we wanted it, where we wanted it, and at an affordable and fair price. After we arrived in Knoxville, everything went very well and the Knoxville dispatchers were great with accommodating the times I needed for our container to be dropped off and then later the same day removed.

Could I recommend this company? I would, with the caveat that people I refer read this blog post so they know what to expect. What it comes down to is this:

FINAL LESSON: If you teach your customers what to expect from you and then deliver that exact promise through the customer experience, you will have raving fans every time.


Tales From Box Mountain Pt. 2: It’s Not About The Box

We never did find the box, but we DID find what we needed to get the job done!

We never did find the box, but we DID find what we needed to get the job done!

After my husband and I made the decision to move from the suburbs of Chicago to Knoxville, Tennessee, we thought renting for a year would be a better choice because we looked at more than 20 homes to buy yet never came up with quite what we wanted. Plus, we don’t know the area AT ALL, and we didn’t want to rush into buying just any old house in any old place.

In another post, I’ll talk more about the decision to downsize from our 3000 square foot home to an 1121 square foot apartment, but for this story here’s what you need to know: in that process, we realized our daughters, ages 10 and 13, would have to share a bedroom in our new 2-bedroom apartment.

I suggested the girls might enjoy bunk beds, and they were both elated to have that experience. So I set to work on finding some gently used bunk beds for sale at sites like Craigslist, Bookoo, and OfferUp. I soon negotiated a good deal on a set for sale near our former home that I really liked because the lower bunk is a full-sized bed, which allowed a few more options.

When we picked up the black metal frame of the bed, it was in parts. That’s when my Dad took over. You should know my Dad is the handiest of handy men, the most intense assembler you’ll ever meet, and a complete perfectionist when it comes to doing any project he undertakes, no matter how long it takes to get it done right. If you’ve ever seen the HGTV cable network star contractor, Mike Holmes, who makes EVERY thing perfect about a project, you have an idea of how my Dad tackles a project. Plus, he’s retired now and has FULL TIME to devote to any pursuit he wants. And in this instance it was all about the bunk beds.

Once he was involved, Dad went online and printed not one, but two full sets of directions to assemble the set. Then he took the whole bed completely apart so it would fit on the moving truck. He labelled all the little screws, nuts, bolts, and pieces that were part of the assembly of the bed, organized them by what part of the bed they came from into little plastic bags, and then put those into a bigger plastic bag. Finally he packed the whole lot into a well-marked cardboard box and sealed it up.

When we arrived at our new home, for the first couple of weeks one girl slept on the twin-sized sofabed and the other slept on her mattress on the floor because my Dad wanted to be the one to put the beds together the RIGHT way and had planned to come down the second week we were in Tennessee. He’s great at assembling anything and loves it, plus we had plenty of other tasks to do before my parents arrived (have you seen the photo of Box Mountain in my dining area?!), so we came across the well-marked box, and put it into a very safe place.

When the day came for Dad to put the bunk beds together, we started looking for the well-marked box with all the nuts and bolts and pieces neatly organized inside. The well-marked box was about the size of a shirt box at Christmas, but double the thickness, so it wasn’t a massive moving box, but plenty substantial that it could easily be noticed.

But nobody could find the well-marked box ANYWHERE.

We looked all over the apartment, which was easy enough because there are only two bedrooms with walk-in closets, the main living space, and the kitchen/dining area. No well-marked box.

I recalled having the box in my hands and placing it into the girls’ bedroom in the stack of other boxes in there, but as we organized their room and closest, emptying moving box after moving box, the one well-marked box we needed to find to make their beds was not among them.

My husband saw the well-marked box a handful of times, too. He ran back and forth to the storage area (I couldn’t part with my dining room table, our Christmas decorations, and some much-loved bigger furniture pieces!), and he could never find the well-marked box.

My mother-in-law and father-in-law, who live near us here in Tennessee had been helping us unload and unpack. My mother-in-law remembered seeing the well-marked box, but wasn’t sure where it was, either.

After several DAYS of searching off and on for that well-marked box, my Dad and my husband finally decided that we needed a Plan B. We called the manufacturer and explained our situation, hoping they would sell us just the parts, but that wasn’t going to work. So we ended on Plan C: Buy a new set of identical bunk beds to the set we already had and start fresh.

Now, being a thrifty sort who isn’t quite a conservationist, but hates throwing things away that can be used, that really upset me. We had all the BIG pieces for the bed, it was just those screws, nuts and bolts.  I knew we would someday come across that well-marked box, so I thought at the very least I could re-sell the whole original set so it could go to a home that would use it.

While my Dad and husband were at the store, buying the new bunk beds, I said a prayer to St. Anthony (the saint of lost things), and suddenly I had a revelation.

It wasn’t the well-marked box we needed AT ALL. It was the stuff INSIDE that mattered.

Suddenly, with a new determination — and NOT looking for a BOX, but instead looking for the actual thing we needed — I FOUND IT within 2 minutes.

Where was it? In the girls’ room, right next to the parts of the bed. What we needed had been removed from the well-marked box, which had apparently long been discarded, so instead it was a plastic bag filled with other plastic bags in which all the pieces were!

All along we had been looking for a BOX, when what we wanted was what was inside the box, and ignored everything else. We probably each looked right past the set of plastic bags a half dozen times each.

What a relief to finally find what we needed!

The Life and Business Lesson Learned:

Sometimes we THINK we want the box because the magic, we’ve been told, is right inside that particular box. All we have to do is open it. But instead of seeking the magic itself, we seek the box.

Put into concrete terms related to business, we want what goes with a successful business: the credibility, the clients, the cash, the freedom… but instead of working for those things, we spend a ton of time worrying far too much about the box we THINK those things are inside such as a perfect website, a finished information product, a book fully written and published, and so on. You CAN achieve what you want, without worrying about the box.

In life, too many people wait to go after their dream job or search for the person they want to enjoy the rest of their lives with because they are stuck looking for the perfect box of making their body perfect, or their resume perfect, or their wardrobe perfect. You can reach those personal goals, without worrying about the box.

My friends, keep your eye on the prize. It’s not about the box at all, no matter how well-marked and how certain you are you will find it one day. Seek what is inside. Go for what you REALLY want.

See Part 1 in the series here.

Tales from Box Mountain: Part 1 – Life and Business Lessons Learned by Moving Across Country

box mountain

Box Mountain: AKA All the stuff we needed to unpack and find a home for inside our new 1121 sq. foot home.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. As you can likely guess from the title, because you’re smart like that, I’ve been preoccupied with relocating my family from the suburbs of Chicago to the 3rd biggest city in the state of Tennessee, Knoxville. Yes, I’ve been working, but doing the bare minimum to get by.

You know how “they” say moving is one of the top 5 or 10 or whatever most stressful life experiences up there with getting married, having babies, changing jobs, and driving in traffic (that last one has to be true, doesn’t it?)? Well… I am here to say, yep, that’s about right. Whew.

During our move, over and over again I kept seeing so many business and life lessons I decided to share them in at least a series of blog posts, if not, someday soon, a short book. So I’m starting here and we’ll see where this takes me.

As a preview for what’s coming:

  • We about pulled our hair out over looking for a certain box, when I realized it wasn’t about the box at all. That’s when I found what I was looking for.
  • My wedding and engagement rings were in a super safe place… so safe I thought I’d lost them forever.
  • Two reactions to getting lost during travel; he wanted to be upset, so I let him be.
  • Broken promises, cut locks, and no texting while driving. (Not at all what you think!)
  • Going from 3000 square feet (plus garage and shed) to 1121 square feet with a family of 4, plus a dog.

These and other stories will follow this week. Some may appear as written posts and others as video posts. We’ll see what comes up!

What lessons from moving have you learned that can be related to life and/or business? I’d love to learn from your experiences – post in the comments below!

Move on to Part 2 here: Tales from Box Mountain: It’s Not About The Box.

Becoming a More Awesome YOU!

awesomizationToday’s guest blog post comes from my friend, Nicole Dean, who at a recent keynote “double dog dared” everyone in the room to be more awesome and launched what she calls her “Awesomization Nation.” I call it 30 days of awesome you! You can call it whatever you want, but I urge you to consider joining us. We officially start tomorrow but many of us have been warming up and being awesome since last week!

I Double Dog Dare You to Be Awesome!
By: Nicole Dean

Question: What is Awesomization Nation?

Answer: The Awesomization Nation is a group of awesome entrepreneurs who want to be their awesomest selves. We’ve got hundreds of members already, and each person in the group is posting at least 3 small awesome things they’re doing each day. We encourage members to do a minimum of one thing in their business, one in their lives, and one thing to impact their world or THE world.

Question: Why NOW?

Answer: I was scheduled to give a Keynote at NAMS in March 2015 and  the topic was “I Freaking Double-Dog Dare You to Be Awesome” and so the idea for the Awesomization Nation just happened. I wanted to create a movement and the amazing thing is that it’s already taking on a life of its own and we haven’t even officially STARTED yet.

The Awesomization Nation was supposed to start on April 1st, but the members are so eager that they’re already doing awesome every day and posting about it. I’m amazed watching the group and participating in it, too. Joint Ventures are forming, connections are being made, and inspiration is flying everywhere. I honestly am blessed beyond measure that I get to be in this group of positive people.

People are hungry for an invitation to be better versions of themselves, me included. I’m just shocked at how it’s taking off – and thrilled and excited, too!

Question: Will being part of Awesomization Nation help me grow my business or is this just another distraction?

Answer: Being part of the Awesomization Nation will awaken you to potential in your business and your life that you may have stopped seeing. Yes, you’ll receive all kinds of valuable information and inspiration for moving your business forward. But the other important thing is that I want you to have grace to take small steps forward – as long as you ARE moving forward.

For instance, one item you do for the day may be to take 5 minutes to map out the outline of the book that you want to write. Instead of letting 6 more months go by being overwhelmed by the task, break it down and let Awesome You do one part to move that project ahead. Or perhaps an awesome task you might do one day is to schedule a coaching time to talk with Felicia about your Signature Speech™. Instead of putting it off and letting yourself be overwhelmed, take the 5 minutes to book the call, invest in yourself, and walk away ready to rock the stage. That’s definitely what “Awesome You” would do. So do it!

And, to answer your question, YES, it will help you to move your business ahead. Any time you invest in taking action, you’re moving in the right direction. And, these people are definitely taking action. I can’t wait to see where this leads and the RESULTS that our members will get by the end.

Join us at The Awesomization Nation and become more awesome today!

Communicating Your Guiding Principles

Hugh Ballou and Felicia Slattery

Hugh Ballou, showing his name tag torn to reveal “Hug!”

Yesterday I was at an event where I had the honor of sharing lunch with and learning from Hugh Ballou, leadership expert and CEO Space faculty member. Ballou has been written up in Forbes magazine, and is the author of several books where he shares leadership lessons from his more than 40 years as a conductor and leader of music ministry at one of the biggest mega-churches in the country.

My biggest action item take-away from his presentation is to be successful, we should run our business on our own personal guiding principles and to communicate those guiding principles clearly with everyone we work with.

Different from your mission statement, vision statement, business plan, marketing plan, or strategic plan, your guiding principles are your values, clearly defined, that drive your work. Note the short definition from

“Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.” (my emphasis added)

Interestingly, this definition fits perfectly for small and solo business owners, experts, speakers, and consultants because we often change our goals, strategies and even sometimes the type of work we do by adding or subtracting products and services. Even if you don’t have all those other business-y pieces, Hugh Ballou asserted, when you have your guiding principles in place, and those you work with from clients and customers to joint venture partners and even vendors know what you’re about, it’s easy for them to interact with you at all levels. Ballou shares his own guiding principles for his personal life, and for his business on his website.

“The bottom line: leading without guiding principles is like trying to sail a boat without a rudder.” ~ Hugh Ballou

So keeping that in mind, here are my own guiding principles for my business as a speaker, author, and consultant:

Be Myself: In all communication, including on social media, on stage, on video, on TV, in emails, and in person, I will be who I truly am, not a stylized version of me, or some pseudo-representation of who I think people want to see. When people meet me after seeing me online or in the media, I always want their reaction to be, “You’re just like how I thought you’d be!”

Be Creative: I will look for creative and unique solutions to challenges for myself and my clients, and enjoy the creative process as it unfolds. This includes being open to the possibilities I have not yet considered.

Be Grateful: Realizing that all I have is a gift from God, I will show my gratitude and thanks for the good that comes into my business and my life.

Be Compassionate: Remembering that I have felt confused, scared, frustrated, and angry at times, I will respond with compassion when others are feeling the same as they interact with my business and online processes that sometimes, as all technologies and systems do, will fail to provide the best possible experience. I will also remind others to please be compassionate with me, as I would never intend for something to not work or go as it should and want people to enjoy their experience of working with me and purchasing from me.

Have Fun: If I’m not enjoying myself and having a good time, it’s likely others I’m interacting with are not either. I will look for the joy and fun in most situations and whenever there is a choice, I will choose to laugh.

Be Collaborative: I will find ways to work together with clients and competitors, realizing that serving the world from our own gifts and genius honors not only the people we work with, but gives glory to God for each using our gifts.

Create Win-Win-Win Situations: Unless every party in a professional relationship will benefit, I will not be involved. That means the person I’m working with has to benefit, I have to benefit, and the people we serve have to benefit. If there’s any “lose” involved, I’m out.

Connect and Create Connections: Regardless of how it may or may not benefit me, I will connect people I know to each other and to opportunities so they can serve each other and create win-win-win situations in their own businesses and lives.

Be a Lifelong Learner: Never be too smart to learn more, to improve my craft, or to discover something wonderful about my business or myself that will help me grow, expand, and move forward. Look for learning opportunities and teachable moments everywhere.

Be Inspiring and Inspired: (This one is a challenge for me, but so many have used this word to describe me, I am learning to embrace it!) – I will inspire others to do their best, be their best, and serve the most people possible using their gifts and their genius. And I will actively seek to be inspired by the brilliance and genius of others to do my best, be my best, and serve the most people possible.

That exercise took some time and in-depth thought about how I will run my business, regardless of my goals, or even the work I choose to do. I may amend these as time goes on and as I realize there is more I want to commit to, but even the Constitution of the United States gets amended every now and then. :-)

Have you done something like this before? If not, consider doing so and then share the link to your own guiding principles in the comments below.

To Be a Successful Speaker: Do Something First

21 Ways to Make Money Speaking by Felicia Slattery“How can I make money as a speaker?”

As the #1 best-selling author of 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking, this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. And of course, there are at least 21 answers. 😉

But before you can make any money as a speaker you have to do something first. Multiple choice question — What’s your pick for what to do FIRST:

  • A: Good marketing? (Yes, but that’s not it.)
  • B: Get training in good delivery skills? (Yes, but that’s not it either.)
  • C: Develop a fabulous speech? (Getting warmer, but you don’t start there…)

You have to start with doing SOMETHING in your life or professional career that people want to know more about.

Look at the most highly paid speakers in the world today. Here is a partial list with their speaker fees:

  • Rush Limbaugh: In 2013, the National Conference of American Proctologists paid Limbaugh $3.8 million for one speech.
  • Donald Trump: Reportedly Trump received $1.5 million for The Learning Annex where he delivered 17 one-hour speeches in a 2-year period at real estate conferences and was paid that full amount FOR EACH SPEECH.
  • Bill Clinton: Averages $195,000 per speech; with a high of $700,000 received twice for a local newspaper publishing company in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Tony Blair: Highest earning was $616,000 for 2 30-minute speeches in 2009 in the Philippines.
  • Nicole Kidman: Was paid $435,ooo for a 25-minute speech to a group of Forbes Global CEO comference in Sydney, Australia.
  • Alan Greenspan: Earned $250,000 speaking at a Lehman Brothers meeting after he retired as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • Peyton Manning, Richard Branson, Sarah Palin, Lance Armstrong, Al Gore, and more all make $100,000 for a speech.

So what do all those folks have in common? Clearly it’s not their politics. And it’s not what they do for a living. What they have in common is that they have become well-known for what they do in the world. They are athletes, politicians, entertainers, and business professionals who have accomplished something in their careers and people want to know more about that.

Of course, those people are also celebrities in their own right, which is another thing they have in common. If you’re not a celebrity does that mean you can’t be a well-paid speaker? Absolutely not! In fact, many working speakers make a living with their speaking (or use it as a major source of income).  To be successful in speaking, you must have done something, studied something, accomplished something in your life that others want to know more about. It’s that simple. And it’s that challenging at the same time.

If you’ve long thought that you are born to be a speaker; that you have a message that’s inside you that you know will serve the world, start by taking a good look as your life and your accomplishments from the standpoint of a meeting planner. Why would someone put you in front of their audience? What do you have to share or offer that could impact people for the better? It’s your unique stories, knowledge, and experiences which will make you stand out, get booked, and be successful in the world of talented speakers.

Start by sharing those stories, knowledge and experiences in any way you can so meeting planners can get a feel for who you are and what you’re about. Here are a few ways to begin:

  • Start a blog and on it tell your stories along with a lesson that anyone could learn from reading your story.
  • Record a series of how-to videos or FAQ videos that showcase your knowledge using screen capture technology like Camtasia or simply PowerPoint (learn all about that in this free webinar).
  • Turn the camera on and look right into the lens and tell one of your stories. Similarly to what you’d do in a blog post, this will share what happened, what you learned, and what others can take away from your story. Think of it as practice before getting on stage. Post the video on your speaker website, on your YouTube channel and on social media so people see it and share it themselves.

If you feel like you haven’t yet accomplished anything or have something of value to share with an audience, don’t be so sure. If God put the feeling on your heart that you have a message to share, then you do. It might take some serious reflection and journaling time, a little digging to get there, a bit of refinement of the story and the message, but you likely have SOMETHING inside you that needs help getting out. If you’re not sure what your unique genius is yet, it’s time to find out (and I have a free webinar which talks all about your genius factor that you can watch starting right this minute!).

What’s your story? What’s your message? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


7 Reasons You Have Permission – And a Responsibility – To Prosper

I escaped the frigid Chicago winter and snow to Atlanta recently to attend an event called the Novice to Advance Marketing System, or NAMS.

Ironically, as I sat in the last row of the conference room, in my new long-sleeved turquoise cowl-neck sweater, I began to shiver. It was so COLD in that alarm clock in shadowroom. But that didn’t make it any less warm in spirit. :-)

The keynote speakers at the event varied in their content and value they provided, as well as their skill on stage. One evening’s speaker, Ray Edwards, shared a message of hope. One of the things I most appreciated about Ray Edwards’ speech is that he stood in front of a room full of business people and professed his strong religious beliefs because that’s where the content of his speech was inspired.

It’s amazing to see when speakers present from a place of who they really are and what they truly believe because suddenly the room lights up. Not everyone in the room shared Ray’s strong Christian beliefs, but that didn’t matter. It was his message that mattered. Ray was speaking from his own God-given genius and I’d like to share what I learned based on his main points.

  1. You Are a Creator: Regardless of what you do, you are a creator. In our world of speaking, writing, and providing our expertise to others, it’s important to remember that you are constantly creating: content, an experience, a legacy for people to learn from.
  2. Wealth is an Act of Creation: Wealth is the result of creating massive value. Money isn’t something that we covet, but to look at as certificates of appreciation. The more value you can create, the more wealth you can accumulate. Isn’t that an awesome way to look at the money you receive for a job well-done? The cash in your hand represents certificates of appreciation for the value you provided. The greater the value you provide, the more certificates you receive. Woo-hoo! This reminds me of Bob Burg’s book The Go-Giver where he talks about the Law of Value stated as, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”
  3. Change the World: An entrepreneur’s position is to create value where there was nothing before. When you create value where there was none before, you literally change the world. And you get to change it for the better!
  4. To Break Bondage: There is a greed mindset, which says a person has to horde everything to himself because he fears there is only so much to go around. A poverty mindset says there isn’t enough and never will be enough. When you create value and change the world for the better, and in turn receive wealth from that, you can begin to break free of either of these mindsets, and see the world for what it is: an abundant universe of possibilities where we ALL can have success.
  5. Blessed & Blessing: It’s okay to be blessed so you can be a blessing in return. Be willing to receive the fruits of your labor and be blessed by them. Business in and of itself is good because doing business well allows you to receive and when you receive, you can in turn give. In the Bible it says, “To whom much is given, much will be expected.” When you are blessed you get to bless others.
  6. The Alarm Clock: Bad things happen; that is not up to us. How we deal with bad things, however IS up to us. We each have our own alarm clock and will each leave the earth someday. We should focus on what we are here to do without delay, distraction, or fear. I’ve personally been reminded of this fact having survived a childbirth experience that nearly ended in death for me and my child and then most recently cancer; I think I am on my third and final chance to get it right!
  7. What the World Needs Now: Love what you do, love the people you do it for, love the gift of being able to do it as well as you do, and love being able to do it tomorrow and the day after. Take joy in the work. When you work in a place of love, only good can come from it.



Today I’m Throwing It Down: Passive Income Challenge

I love *real* roller coasters like the Tennessee Tornado at Dollywood, but not the entrepreneurial kind. Yuck.

I love *real* roller coasters like the Tennessee Tornado at Dollywood, but not the entrepreneurial kind. Yuck.

I’m tired of it!

You know that crazy roller coaster of entrepreneurial income? The one where you feel like a millionaire rock star one month and a pauper the next? The one when you work like a wild person and make a ton of cash (hopefully) but then when you don’t (or can’t) work you have to start scraping for coins in the couch cushions, at the bottom of your purse, and in the seats of the car? Roller coasters I LOVE, but THAT one, well it’s long time to get off.

The thing is it doesn’t matter how long or short of a time you’ve been in business. It doesn’t matter at what point of income you feel like a prince(ss) or a pauper. We all know the feeling. And if we’re being honest, it happens far too often.

So OK, for a minute, let’s say you’re a smarty pants and you’re thinking, “I make more than enough money speaking/coaching/consulting/serving clients. I have no idea what you’re talking about Felicia.” Good for you. And here’s the thing — ask yourself:

What happens in your business on the days you don’t work?

Or if you’re in a day job, and you take off? Maybe the kids are sick, or you’re feeling under the weather yourself (you knew you shouldn’t have gone to that hole-in-the-wall restaurant!), or maybe you get diagnosed with something serious and have to take off for more than just a couple days. What happens with your business then?

You likely don’t make money, that’s what.

If you’ve ever struggled through that, you’ll certainly agree that feeling like you *have* to work with clients, be on stage, or show up “or else” is not a fun way to live.

I learned that hard lesson last year when I had to take almost 6 months off work throughout the year because of serious health challenges. And I found out the hard way I still had  some work to do.

Well, I’ve found the answer.

Actually, I’ve found 21 powerful yet simple ways to create passive income streams so on those days when you can’t (or don’t want to!) show up to work, you can still bring in cash! AND the great thing is because of my relationship I’ve built with David Perdew, the founder of NAMS where he’s had me keynote speak twice and teach on his faculty time and again, he’s given me a “super secret I’m the only one doing this right now” coupon code so you can get access to it all – valued at almost $200 – for FREE!  Just use coupon code: FSPassive.

I’ve worked hard this year to develop more passive income streams, but after diving deep into the content David Perdew and my friend Nicole Dean, another faculty member at NAMS, have created and that you can get for FREE but only through tomorrow, is that I still have a long way to go and much more passive income to gain!

**Challenge Alert**

Today, right now: I’m throwing it down. Let’s build our passive income streams together!

Yes I know it’s the holidays. Yes I know it’s a busy time. And that’s exactly WHY you should seriously consider joining me in this challenge. When you’re busy and want to be doing fun things away from your business or want to put your head down and write your next book or create your next speech, you still want (and need) money coming in. That’s what passive income will do for you.

So together – let’s get it going. I’ll be posting my progress here on my blog and I’ve even made a dedicated Facebook group to support anyone who wants to join in the challenge with me.

Be sure to pick up the Found Money passive income workshop to get some ideas and get started. The original price of $197 is a great investment into your business but as I said, I managed to clinch a great deal for you as my valued customer.

For a limited time, you can have it at zero cost but hurry.

Go to this link then download and devour everything!

This offer goes away for good on December 8th.

If you miss this one, you are likely to find yourself in exactly the same position as you are now. Let’s change that and make money while we don’t work!

Add your comment below to let me know you’re in and join me on the Passive Income Challenge for Speakers, Authors, Consultants & Entrepreneurs Facebook group to keep accountable and bring in more passive income!

3 Ways to Refresh Your Speaking

StartIf you’ve ever done any speaking or taken a course on using speaking to market your business, do you remember how excited you were? Many of my clients have taken classes in creating and using a Signature Speech(TM) to share their messages with the world.
Many of us, myself included, often learn a skill and jump in with both feet at the beginning. But then life and work momentum kicks back in and pulls you in the usual other directions and suddenly, you have less time than you’d hoped for that thing you were so excited about.
It’s ok. It happens. And here’s what you can do about it.
If you need to refresh on your Signature Speech(TM) or any speaking, here are 3 tips to get you moving again:
  1. Recommit.  You know speaking is powerful and you’re ready to make that happen and get on more stages. Recommitting to speaking means taking specific actions like setting some time aside to reach out to meeting planners, update your materials, start telling people you’re a speaker, and plan your marketing after your speech.
  2. Practice. If it’s been a while since you’ve done your speech, pull it out and practice it a few times beginning to end. Make any necessary changes based on new services you offer or current events in your industry.
  3. Start Fresh. You may be in a different situation than you were when you originally took my Signature Speech(TM) training or discovered speaking. Or you might have something totally new or unique you’ve come up with in your business that people LOVE that has nothing to do with your old speech. Maybe it’s time to write a new one. If it is, pull out your Signature Speech(TM) course content and put together a new speech.
If you’re thinking of refreshing your speech, this week I’m doing something I’ve never done: holding an intimate event where I’ll be writing speeches live, on the spot, for the attendees. You may not be able to get there or by the time you read this post, that event could be long over, but whatever you do, if you know for a fact that speaking is a powerful way to spread your mission and your message, find a way to get it rolling for you. Of course I’d love to help you. But in the meantime, I’d love to hear in the comments below about your powerful message and how you help people.

What I Learned From My TV Appearances in Knoxville

Felicia Slattery Russell Biven Last week my family and I visited my wonderful in-laws in East Tennessee, just south of Knoxville. While I was there I was lucky enough to be a featured in-studio expert.

But luck had nothing to do with it.

For years it had been my dream to get on TV as a featured guest expert. I’d read articles, talked to PR folks, and thought a lot about what I wanted to do and how I might do it.

Whenever I’d see featured guest experts on TV segments, I’d think to myself, “That guy is on there doing it. Why can’t I?”

Here’s why… I wasn’t actually trying to get on TV.

Sure I wanted to get on TV.

I thought about it.

And I did all those things that felt like taking action to get on TV.

But it wasn’t until I took the *real,* meaningful, right actions that included actually writing a segment proposal, planning with my PR coach, Shannon Cherry, figuring out the name of the right person to send the proposal to at each station (no simple task, I tell you!), and picking up the phone to talk to a human being- several of them per station – to get myself scheduled, that things started to really happen for me.

The most interesting part of it all – with all that advance training and preparation, when it came down to rolling up my sleeves and getting booked, it was easy because I knew what to expect, what to say, and what to do once I arrived at the stations. It was easy. Once I took the right actions.

I got booked not just by one station – but by two and appeared two days in a row! That was also pretty cool. I was on tFelicia Slattery Spillyardshe NBC/FOX affiliate and the CBS affiliate. They were both different experiences, too, which I’ll save for another post, but the main lesson I learned was even with all the preparation and ideas, if you don’t take the right actions you never achieve your goals or reach your dreams.

So many people tell me they wish they could be on stage more. It’s their dream to share their message with the world. They take courses and read books, learn on webinars and really think about being on stage. But now, ask yourself, what have you *really* done toward that end?

Do you have your speech ready?

Do you have the description of your speech together, along with the bullets of what your audience will discover?

Have you picked up the phone and spoken to or sent an email to someone who actually plans events and books speakers?

What’s your challenge to getting that together and making it happen for you? Please share in the comments below. I want to help, because I am SO excited to be able to share my TWO videos of the in-station TV interviews from my days on TV and I want YOU to feel just as excited to share your photos and video from your time on stage. Here are my videos now!

And this one:





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