April 30th, 2012 // Motivational Thoughts // No Comments
Editor’s Note: This post also appeared on Positively Positive
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”–Mary Oliver
I am going to train for my first triathlon (but you never made it a priority).
I am going to find a new job (but you were overwhelmed with fear of moving outside your comfort zone).
I am going to start my own business (but you never fine-tuned your business idea and followed through).
I want to have exceptional relationships (but you still let yourself be involved with people who drain your energy).
Are we creating a society in which people think it’s acceptable to say one thing and do another?
Why is this OK?
What happened to having a little consistency and following through with our thoughts?
Are you TALKING or are you DOING?
Some of us are dreamers and some of us are dream-makers. It’s a subtle difference. That difference is taking the steps to make it happen; in moving our thoughts into action with a purpose. Not a simple task but it needs to be done if you want to reach your greatest potential and share your best self with the world.
Many people will dream of starting a movement that inspires people to live their best life. Only a few people will actually do the work.
Doing what you say you are going to do is a very attractive quality.
It’s easy to just talk about starting your own blog, running your first 5k, or changing jobs, but it’s much more empowering and fulfilling when you DO what you say. It’s an immediate boost to your confidence and expands your view of what’s possible. You will feel amazing when you write your first blog (maybe it turns into a book), cross the finish line (maybe it turns into a marathon), or find a job that you truly enjoy (maybe you start your own business).
The simple truth is that—just as we choose to condition ourselves to say we are going to do something and then NOT do it—we can choose to condition ourselves to DO what we say.
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: You have to decide what level of Talking vs. Doing is acceptable in your life to share your best self and Live in YOUR Top 1%! I am Positively Positive that as you close the gap between TALKING and DOING, you will experience significant shifts in your life.
So, what’s it going to be—more talking or more doing? Let the world know what you’re going to do in the comments below.
Alissa is a Professional Business/Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of Living in Your Top 1%. 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. She has appeared on national radio stations such as CBS and Clear Channel Radio and has worked with the Milken Institute, LA Business Journal, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and NBC Universal. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and Facebook page.
April 26th, 2012 // Interview Series: Living in Your Top 1% // No Comments
The goal of the “Living in Your Top 1%” 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 each month.
This month’s guest is Jenni Luke, CEO of Step Up Women’s Network, a nonprofit, professional membership organization based in Los Angeles. In this role, she leads one of the most sought-after women’s groups in the country in its second decade of service. Overseeing Step Up’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, Jenni directs the organization’s objective of helping women and girls reach their potential.
Jenni and Step Up have been featured in numerous media outlets, including Inc., Real Simple, W, CBS Moneywatch, Yahoo! and The Huffington Post. She is also a regular workplace contributor to MariaShriver.com. She was selected as one of 2012′s 100 Remarkable Women by ClaudiaChan.com. I met Jenni at a breakfast in LA at the Viceroy Hotel and was impressed with her focus, passion, and authenticity. This is a woman and organization that is truly making a difference.
Alissa Finerman: What’s the most important strength you possess that allows you to excel in your role?
Jenni Luke: Building consensus through open and honest communication. I may not get a unanimous endorsement of a direction I want to lead us in, but I always try to include all of the voices that want to be heard. I want to understand the full picture before making decisions.
AF: What does success mean to you?
JL: When I align everything in my life around my core values it makes everything I do have meaning, which makes me feel very successful!
AF: What motivates you on a daily basis to keep going?
JL: Back in college my sister sent me one of those ‘you must fill this out and send it to 10 friends immediately or you will have bad luck for life’ emails. The one question that struck me was ‘What is the worst thing that could happen to you?’ The answer that came immediately to me was ‘Not living up to my potential.’ I’m motivated to live up to my own potential and help others recognize theirs.
AF: Step Up is a unique organization in that it has a very clear and passionate vision and implements these powerful ideas into action. You make change happen. What role do goals play for the organization and can you share a few sentences about the goal setting process?
JL: Whenever you are trying to create impact – whether getting underserved teen girls to graduate high school and go on to college or by growing the number of women taking advantage of our member programs – you have to measure your efforts to determine if you’re reaching your goals. As an organization that is moving from start-up to growth, we tend to set aggressive goals and are very focused on reporting progress against them. Our goal-setting process includes input from our board of directors on down to every staff member. It is always a balance between what we need to achieve and what we hope to achieve. Given that our mission is so motivating, we set high goals and stretch to do all we can to meet them. If we don’t meet a goal, we assess why and apply it back to our work. If we do meet a goal, we assess why and try to duplicate it. We always share practices across our organization to make sure we’re supporting all efforts. Goals, progress and impact are a constant conversation.
AF: What are some of the challenges you have overcome in building Step Up Women’s Network?
JL: I think what makes Step Up’s story so remarkable is that we were a volunteer- run organization from 1998-2006. Our volunteer board members devoted hours and hours of their time to keep the mission moving forward. Since 2006, we’ve grown tremendously and inevitably, that evolution has meant change. With professional staff and programs for women and girls running in three cities, maintaining a grassroots feel is sometimes a challenge. We strive to maintain the core values of Step Up while continuing to grow to serve more women and girls.
AF: Step Up truly makes a difference in the lives of so many underserved girls (not women). How do you do this?
JL: Step Up is dedicated to igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential. Step Up creates and implements impactful after-school and weekend programs that empower teen girls from under-resourced communities to be confident, college-bound, and career-ready; propels professional women through connections, collaborations, and continuous development; and inspires its network to invest in the future success of girls through mentorship and financial support. It is this combination of the women and girls that differentiates us from other organizations and is having tremendous impact.
AF: What are some of the most meaningful accomplishments for Step Up?
JL: We are incredibly proud that in 2010 and 2011, 100% of Step Up seniors graduated high school and were accepted to college. The vast majority of these girls were the first in their family to go to college and often were the first in their family to graduate high school. The key to achieving this is by first giving the girls a foundation of confidence and then turning that motivation into action around college and career exploration. You can’t be what you can’t see. Introducing our Step Up teens to our Step Up women is like watching magic happen.
AF: You meet so many women during the year from women who hold senior level positions to teenagers in need, what are some of the themes you see for people who excel?
JL: We did a study of our teen programs with pro bono support from Deloitte. After interviewing educators and our alumnae alike, the number one common trait they highlighted as necessary to success was resilience. This is specific to our group of girls from underserved communities who have a lot to overcome. But I think it applies to everyone. Resilience is built from confidence. You can’t be effective at anything without belief in yourself.
To learn more about Jenni Luke and Step Up Women’s Network, please visit their website.
The “Living in Your Top 1%” interview series is presented by Alissa Finerman, a Business/Life Coach, motivational 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 and Barnes & Noble. 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, AlissaFinerman.com and Facebook.com/AlissaFinermantop1.com.
April 11th, 2012 // Motivational Thoughts // No Comments
Does your story EMPOWER you or DIS-EMPOWER you? – Tony Robbins
We all have a story. Sometimes it explains why we can’t do something and other times our story propels us forward. I’ve heard cases where people have the same story such as lack of money, resources, or knowledge and one person eventually starts a successful business while the other is out of work and depressed. One story with completely opposite outcomes.
When you tell your story, you MUST…
Be honest about your story and stick to the facts.
Nothing more nor less!
Create the story that empowers you forward.
Never lower your standards!
Live your truth.
We all have stories in different areas of our life. The facts are always available. The only thing that changes is how we interpret them and how much we embellish them.
Facts: You have kids, time is in limited supply, you want to spend time with your kids
Your Story: You can’t get in shape because you have kids and don’t have time.
Truth: You must prioritize exercising because you want to stay healthy and be around to enjoy your children for many years.
Facts: Your career is unfulfilling, you would like to be happy in your job
Your Story: You can’t leave your job which is unfulfilling because you will never find another job and you have no other skills.
Truth: You need to move outside your comfort zone to learn new skills and find a job that makes your happy and allows you to share your strengths.
Facts: You grew up in a dysfunctional home
Your Story: You can’t have a good relationship because you grew up in a dysfunctional home.
Truth: Surrounding yourself with stable people and creating a positive environment are very important elements because you did not have either when you were growing up.
Often, clients have different stories for different areas of their lives. For example, one amazing and successful client has a can-do mindset in business and athletics. In his career, he believes he can close any deal and handle the most difficult clients. In the area of healthy living/athletics, he has the courage to go after his goals and compete in various triathlon competitions with no limit. However, in his relationships, he has the story that he’s had really bad luck and therefore, he’s not cut out for intimate relationships. Although relationships are challenging for all of us, I challenge his story line.
The one thing I know for sure, as Oprah likes to say, is that sticking to the facts leads to a more powerful story. If you have had relationships or jobs that weren’t fulfilling, then say that. Your story is not permanent. Focus on what you want to bring into your life and why it’s important. Create the story that empowers you forward.
TOP 1% BOTTOM LINE: Often you have to challenge your conclusions and ask yourself if they are true. Does it really make sense that you can make anything in your career and fitness happen, yet relationships elude you? How much time do you spend on the areas you are successful in versus the ones you would like to have different results in? Your story must be the truth. This is the only way to create a top 1% path.
Alissa Finerman, is a Business/Life Coach, motivational 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 and Barnes & Noble. 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, AlissaFinerman.com and Facebook.com/AlissaFinermantop1.com. She is doing a live workshop in Santa Monica, April 21st. To learn more and sign-up, please visit her website.