May 31st, 2011 // Living in Your Top 1% // No Comments
“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” ~ Isaac Newton
The theme that continues to emerge in my conversations with clients is: Who is on your top 1% team and do they propel you forward?
Many of us have a team. The question to consider is if everyone on your team is a positive influence on your life? Whether you are an actor, writer, entrepreneur, corporate employee, artist, or star athlete, you need to have a top 1% team that helps you rather than holds you back. And it’s critical to continuously re-assess your “Top 1%” team to make sure you are positioned to win. As the CEO of YOU INC., you are responsible for making sure the people on your team are the best players. If they’re not, you’re not. It’s that simple. Choosing a team is your responsibility and a very important one.
Professional athletes have coaches, trainers, and nutritionists to help them operate at peak performance. Every entrepreneur, mom, and CEO needs a team as well. CEO’s have assistants, actors have managers, and moms have babysitters (hopefully to help). Your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, teachers, and friends can all be or not be a part of your team. I have several consultants that work on my team in the areas of technology, social media, marketing and PR. Sometimes the people add great value and bring my business up a notch and other times it’s not a top 1% effort and I leave some potential on the table.
I appreciate people on my team who are proactive rather than reactive, focus on solutions rather than problems and turn ideas into action. I value people who have a definite opinion and get excited by new challenges. I am grateful for people who can take a scoop of vanilla ice cream and turn it into an ice cream sundae. Since I have my own coaching business, it’s critical that the consultants that work with me add value at each step of the way. As a result, I’m always thinking about my top 1% team and how effective we are.
Key questions to decide if someone adds value to your top 1% team:
1. Do they understand your goals for the project?
2. Do they add specific expertise that you do not have?
3. Do they save you valuable time and free you up for other important projects?
4. Do they take ownership of the project?
5. Do they believe in you?
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Even though it’s your vision, clarity, and goals that matter, positive influences around you can make a difference to reach new heights. Make it a ritual to continually re-assess your team to make sure you are delivering your top 1%.
Alissa is a life coach, speaker, and author of “Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals” available on Amazon.com. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. To learn more, please visit www.AlissaFinerman.com or www.facebook.com/alissafinermantop1.
May 11th, 2011 // Interview Series: Living in Your Top 1% // 3 Comments
THE LIVING IN YOUR TOP 1% INTERVIEW SERIES
The goal of the “Top 1%er” interview series is to break down the qualities of people who excel and to show that you can be successful and achieve personal greatness from any starting point in your life. The interview series looks at people from all different careers and industries. Some names will be familiar and others may not. The purpose is to understand and borrow from the “best practices” of winners to develop a roadmap to your TOP 1%. We will share a new story every two weeks.
This week’s guest is Jennifer Pastiloff. Her story is one of inspiration, courage, and passion and shows that it is possible to change paths and do what you love. She is an ambassador for Lululemon, founder of GameYoga.org, and a master yoga teacher who leads workshops all over the world. She is one of my favorite yoga teachers and sources of inspiration. She shows that it is definitely possible to re-write your story.
* Since we did this interview, Jen has appeared on Good Morning America, been invited as a VIP guest to Oprah’s Life Class in NYC, and has interviewed some movers and shakers on her site including the best-selling author and spiritual teacher Wayne Dyer and Christy Turlington, founder of Every Mother Counts.
Alissa Finerman 1. What’s the most important strength you possess that allows you to be successful in your role?
Jennifer Pastiloff: Compassion. I have been nicknamed the ” Connector” and I believe it’s my compassion for others which has led me to this role of teacher/connector. I also have a sense of humor. I laugh at myself a lot. It is KEY in my teachings. I have a rule in my classes that I live by as well: “If you fall, you must laugh.” I also live by the question, “How may I serve?” A big thing I believe in is picking others up and helping others shine their light. “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ( Marianne Williamson)
2. What inspired you to change careers and become a yoga teacher?
JP: Honestly, I was severely depressed and yoga saved my life, so to speak. People who knew me suggested because of my personality and my love for yoga that I might enjoy teaching. I was not interested at all until I taught my first class. Then, I knew I had found my bliss.
3. What motivates you on a daily basis to keep going?
JP: Seeing the breakthroughs my students keep having, mostly off the mat! Also, seeing that I have true power in manifesting what I want in my life and wanting to share that endlessly with people, especially those that are stuck, as I was, for years and years.
4. What role do goals play in your life? Tell us a few words about your goal setting process.
JP: Goals are a fairly new idea to me. Until recently I did everything impulsively and on a whim. Now, I create vision boards and from there set goals based on 1, 5, and 10 yr increments in the areas of Health, Career, and Personal Growth. I am also very compassionate towards myself so if a goal doesn’t come to fruition, I do not beat myself up, but rather re-evaluate and relax. I spent way too many years beating myself up and, frankly, that never got me the results I wanted.
5. What’s the toughest challenge(s) you successfully overcame?
JP: I overcame a major eating disorder (anorexia) and I also have a major hearing problem (I wear a hearing aid) so that is something I still deal with on a daily basis.
6. What are some of your most meaningful accomplishments?
JP: 1) Leaving my job of 13 years as a waitress to become a successful yoga teacher in Los Angeles, leading sold out workshops all over the world, and being an ambassador for Lululemon
2) Creating GameYoga.org which gives free yoga to kids with special needs after my nephew was diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome
3) Getting picked as one of ten young poets in the Nation to get a writing fellowship at Bucknell University for the summer while I was at NYU (Stadler Center for Poetry)
4) Creating Manifestation Yoga and helping people manifest what they truly want in their lives
5) Having the charity I started, GameYoga.org, be featured in the Huffington Post
7. What do the top performers/students do differently to excel?
JP: Walk the talk. I teach certain principles and I believe that people who excel live by these principles: thinking FROM the end, not about it; letting go of what is no longer serving them; visualizing what they want and acting AS IF; following through and committing to their own word; and being specific in what they ask for! And most importantly, being honest with oneself.
To learn more about Jennifer Pastiloff, please visit www.JenniferPastiloff.com and GameYoga.org.
The “Top 1%er” interview series is presented by Alissa Finerman, a life coach, speaker, and author of the book, “Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals” which is available on Amazon.com. She has an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. To learn more please visit, www.AlissaFinerman.com or Facebook.
May 9th, 2011 // Living in Your Top 1% // No Comments
This article was originally posted on Virgin.com
Words are easy. Action requires commitment.
There are many amateurs talking about all the things they want to do or should do. They use sexy phrases such as positive thinking, redefining their potential, and the law of attraction. But these phrases become meaningless if you do not back up your thoughts and words with action.
All of these ideas can be very powerful if you put them into practice like a professional. Otherwise, it’s similar to having a gorgeous new pair of shoes but never taking them out of the box – what good are they?
Professionals understand how to close the gap between saying what you are going to do and making it happen. And most importantly, professionals understand that phrases like “living in your top 1%” or “raising your game” are about making progress rather than being perfect.
THREE RITUALS TO BEING A PROFESSIONAL:
1. EMBRACE A CAN-DO MINDSET
A mindset is a set of beliefs that defines who you are and what you can do. This set of beliefs defines what is possible or impossible.
According to the National Science Foundation, our brains can produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day. Ninety-five percent of these thoughts are repeated daily. So you decide what becomes a can or can’t. The following chain reaction illustrates the effect that your thoughts can have on your life:
Thoughts -> Beliefs -> Belief System -> Mindset -> Actions -> Results
Assess the words you use on a daily basis and determine if they align with the results you want as the CEO of your life, then put your words into action.
2. MASTER OBSTACLES
Professionals realize that obstacles and progress go together. Whichever road you choose to live in your top 1%, it is important to know that obstacles will show up. All people and great companies have encountered challenges on their path to creating something special.
For example, Thomas Edison tried over two thousand experiments before he invented the light bulb. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, was told he couldn’t build a company based on customer service and online shoe sales. He did just that with Zappos and sold the company to Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009.
Professionals use three categories to classify their obstacles:
• Speed Bumps: These are obstacles that slow you down, but ultimately you can get around them and stay on track with a clear and focused mind (e.g. being stuck in traffic or losing your phone).
• Detours: These obstacles often force you to be crafty and devise a Plan B or alternate solution. You still arrive at your destination, but it will take commitment and extra effort to prevail (e.g. a restaurant not having your dinner reservation on a packed night or not getting hired by the firm of your choice).
• Roadblocks: These obstacles can derail you unless you are focused, determined, and committed to your goal and making progress (e.g. losing a loved one or getting fired).
As you create your roadmap, consider what road sign best describes how you want to view obstacles. If you hit an unexpected detour you will not want to see a sign that says ‘Dead End’. A better sign would be ‘Plan B straight ahead’.
Visualize what your sign looks like and what the words say to keep you on the right path. Remember, you define how you view your obstacles, they do not define you.
3. LIVE IN YOUR STRETCH ZONE
Each day is an opportunity to redefine what is possible if you put your words into action. When you move outside your comfort zone you have the potential to produce extraordinary results that you may not have experienced otherwise.
Recently, I worked with a 45-year-old female client who sold financial products and was at a crossroads and fearful to move outside her comfort zone. A headhunter contacted her for a management position at another top tier finance firm and she declined at first because she was fearful to risk what she had (a good job, good clients, and financial stability) to pursue something new.
We discussed the pros and cons of the new opportunity as well as her goals and values. She decided to interview for the job and three weeks later was ready to move outside her comfort zone and into a management position. She is now one of the most senior women on Wall Street.
There are three zones of actions:
• Comfort Zone: The comfort zone holds your existing habits.
• Stretch Zone: The stretch zone is about learning and growth.
• Stress/Danger Zone: The stress/danger zone leaves you feeling overwhelmed too much of the time.
The ideal zone to function in is your stretch zone. This is the zone where you are taking on new challenges, adapting, and building confidence. The challenge is to maintain living in your stretch zone without tipping over into the stress/danger zone. This happens as you become more aware and practice being in that uncomfortable place. Professionals move outside their comfort zone repeatedly to embrace action and their results prove it. It’s never easy but neither is being a professional.
Check out a short video on moving outside your comfort zone.
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE:
Both professionals and amateurs make choices everyday as to how they will live their life. The amateurs ‘try’ to do things and the professionals get it done. The amateurs say it’s ‘impossible’ while the professionals show what is possible. The amateurs have great ideas and the professionals take their great ideas and put them into action.
The differences are sometimes small but the results are huge. Professionals enjoy success by putting their ideas into action and pursuing goals that are meaningful.
Alissa Finerman is a life coach, speaker, and author of “Living in Your Top 1%: Nine Essential Rituals to Achieve Your Ultimate Life Goals” available on Amazon.com. To learn more visit www.AlissaFinerman.com or www.facebook.com/alissafinermantop1.