Friday, January 31, 2014

Cool Things My Friends Do: The Jovin Family - Tropiceel Products, Inc.

Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.

The Jovin family of Oregon are my new friends whom I met this week.  Merrilyn and her three sons (Patrick, Bert and Sean) were some of the most engaging people I have run across in a long time. I was the opening speaker and "the Conference Catalyst" at an industry trade show where they were exhibiting their all natural pain relief products. Tropiceel Products, Inc. manufactures and distributes non-analgesic pain creams that restore, rebuild and rebalance... while being 100% chemical free.

In addition to their products (I tried a sample on my feet,... and if you have ever been to a trade show you know that your feet ache at the end of the day.... but their product took away that fatigue!), the Jovin's had infectious personalities.  I enjoyed the way their family works together in this and other family owned businesses.  Merrilyn and her husband (He was not there - but sounds like quite an interesting guy) have included their kids in their entrepreneurial ventures since the boys (now in their 20s) were young.  Working together in business with clear success goals seems to have cultivated a very close family unit.

Merrilyn used to be a speaker and trainer for Mary Kay, and had a delightful personality.  She also understood my world as a professional speaker, and we had a great conversation about the industry and what makes for memorable presentations.

Patrick, Bert and Sean were proof that the younger generations in the workforce will properly take over the world and work hard to make it a better place.  There is much written about young professionals acting "entitled", but these guys understood hard work, teamwork, responsibility, and moving toward future goals. 

I enjoyed seeing how their family worked together, and with mom at the helm I called them "the Partridge Family of Entrepreneurship".  I am not sure the boys (ages 22, 24, and 26) had any clue who the Partridge Family were, but it made Merrilyn smile!  With all the news about dysfunction in families, it was cool to see a family that was having fun together along their business journey.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Saying "Thank You"

Gratitude matters.  How you say "thank you" is expressed by your effort.

A gift certificate for dinner for my family at The Salt Lick (one of our favorite local restaurants) arrived from a friend who lives on the east coast to whom I referred a piece of business.  He could have said "thanks" in many ways, but he made it local and personal.  This took extra effort to orchestrate, but is showed class and real gratitude.

A text saying "THX" is better than nothing.... but a little effort makes the other person feel good, and gets you remembered.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Make Referrals

When you know of someone who is seeking a product or service, take the time to think about who you know in your network that might be the right person to be of assistance.

Too many times we overlook being the person to make a connection.  It only takes a few minutes and when you bring people together everyone wins, including YOU.

Even if it is just the good feeling of helping another person, you still succeed more by making introductions.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Monday, January 27, 2014

Can A Speaker Be Too Interactive?

There is a welcome movement in the meetings industry toward "Interactive Presentations".  A speaker should no longer be a "Sage from the Stage", but instead someone who engages the audience and contributes to the conference attendee experience.  However, sometimes it is being overdone.  Too many speakers who are calling themselves "interactive" are not doing much - other than telling the audience members to talk to their neighbors.

Being interactive for the sake of being interactive defeats the purpose.  Audiences at conferences want to participate and share their ideas, but not all speakers have developed the skills necessary to make their interaction a useful experience.  

It is also important to remember that a keynote presentation is not a workshop. While I am in favor of interactive keynotes, some are going too far and undermining the power of a great keynote address to set the tone for an event.  

Sometimes less is more.  Many are in favor of the changes in what is being expected from conference speakers (me too), and most of these changes are for the greater good.  

When an idea gains traction too many try to cram it into all situations. No two conferences are the same, and thus what is needed from speakers cannot be treated in cookie-cutter format.  

Speakers should not "data dump" fact and figures, nor should they mistakenly position themselves as the sole expert in the room (the audience is full of experts, too).  But audiences cannot spend the whole time being asked to talk to their neighbor, as the people who are seated next to those with nothing of value to discuss will be left out of the learning.  

I recently witnessed a speaker who was "too interactive".  He did not give much to the audience, but instead facilitated a social coffee klatch during his keynote.  Most people did not find value in the experience, but the organizer kept bragging on the session later in the day as an example of the "modern keynote".  I am still not sure if the organizer was in the same room as the rest of the audience!  Good in concept only goes so far.... there still needs to be a positive mix of content and style delivered or it is a waste of time.

A keynote still needs a "Key Note".  The tone is set by the speaker no matter what style is used to lead a session.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cool Things My Friends Do: Courtney Clark Releases Her New Book "The Giving Prescription"

Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.

My friend, Courtney Clark, has released her first book: "The Giving Prescription: A Personal Plan for Healing Through Helping". I am excited to see her book become a reality.  She completed her master’s degree in philanthropy from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and transformed her graduate research into the basis for this book. Courtney is a volunteer, inspriational speaker, and author, and currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and son.  

The book is a guide to healing from trauma through the power of giving back. Those dealing with intense, draining emotions often wonder if they can ever fully rebound. Courtney Clark has been there, and in The Giving Prescription she shares a fresh approach to the healing journey: one focused on the fact that helping behaviors—like volunteering, donating, and advocating—can help survivors find their footing after a major loss. Starting with an acknowledgment that everyone’s healing journey is different, Clark shares eight questions designed to help you reflect on what type of giving works best for you, and when you’ll be ready to try it. And as she draws from her own experiences with cancer and brain surgery as well as other real-life stories, she shows how understanding the power of helping others can transform your journey of recovery.

We have come to know Courtney and her husband, Jamie, over the last few months.  They are delightful people with an amazing attitude about life, love and giving back.  I am excited to see the success of her book and her speaking career.... and am happy that she is this week's "Cool Things My Friends Do" blog post.

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The ABC's of Legal Marketing - Q is for Questions

Many business professionals are taught craft and memorize a unique "Elevator Pitch" so that when they meet someone new they can clearly and concisely tell the person the highlights of their career.   While being able to communicate to others what makes you great at your job is important, the amount of attention placed on the elevator pitch mistakenly causes people to lead with their own story when they meet new people.

The problem is that people do not care much about you and what you do before they know you care about them.  Get people to talk about their life rather than hearing about yours in the moments after you meet them for the first time.  When you immediately begin a rehearsed commercial about yourself, it does not necessarily advance the relationship.

Asking questions is important to successful business development.  Your goal is not to pepper clients and prospects with facts and figures about your practice.  Instead you want to discover as much information as you can about their unique situations.  Do this by posing open-ended question and then listening closely to their answers.

Eventually you will get your chance to talk about yourself, but the most successful lawyers know how to gain information before simply reciting a practiced pitch.

Some examples of the types of questions are:

  • What is your biggest challenge this year?

  • How are you unique from your competition?

  • What could happen this month that would positively or negatively impact your business?

  • Describe your goals for this year?

  • Where do you see you business/career in five years?

  • In what ways could the right attorney impact your business?

  • Who in our community would you most like to meet?

The answers to these questions can give you the type of information you need to customize your own dialogue about your business services when the time is right.  When you understand what others want and need, and then can find ways to give it to them, you will win more business.  Zig Ziglar famously said "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

Have A Great Day

thom singer

 Thom Singer is experienced in legal marketing and business development.  He regularly speaks at law firm retreats inspiring attorneys to embrace their brand and increase their sales.  He also teaches lawyers ways to improve their presentation skills as the firm's secret weapon for business development success.  More information at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Collaboration in Associations

When an association partners with other groups who serve the same communities, everyone wins.  While we all want our groups to be successful, always viewing other industry membership organizations as competition can undermine the greater good.  Working together can spur innovation and ideas.  More people are served when the team approach is embraced.

One example of groups working together will happen this April in Atlanta with a gathering of those who work in and around the Meetings Industry for Eventeract 2014.  I learned about this event when I was in Georgia to speak for the Georgia Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International).  There is a lot of working going on to ensure that Eventeract will have a huge impact.  The local chapters of several organizations that support events and meetings (MPI, PCMA, NSA, ISES, GSAE, and many others) are combining their efforts to create this first time event.  

Another example is how the National Tour Association and the United Motorcoach Association co-mingled their annual conferences to form Travel Exchange.  The two groups share space, meals, speakers and social activities, while still having some exclusive content for their members.  This is brilliant.  I spoke at this event in 2013 and was blown away by what a great idea it is for associations to co-locate conferences.

The key is collaboration, and this can work for companies and government agencies as well as associations.  When a single organization tries to do everything, they limit their success .  But by combining smart people and clearing the way for them to work together on a cause that matters, the sky is the limit.  

Have A Great Day

thom singer

PS - If you are in the meetings or association world and live in or around Atlanta.... save the date for Eventeract 2014 (April 23-24, 2014).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Send Your Notes

I dubbed 2014 as the "Year of the Handwritten Note".

Sending notes shows you care.  In a world of easy digital communication the effort of putting pen to paper will allow you to stand out from the crowd.  Physical notes make people feel good. Share that feeling!

The US Postal Service is raising rates on January 26, 2014 (up to 49 cents for a first class letter).  My advice is to stock up on the "Forever Stamps" now (at 46 cents) and then start using them (each letter will feel like a bargain).

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cool Things My Friends Do - Laurie Loew of Give Realty Reaches $300,000 Milestone!!!

Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.

I saw the news on Facebook -  My friend Laurie Loew of Give Realty, Inc. has now crossed the $300,000 level in donations to local charities through her unique way of combining her business to philanthropy.  WOW.

Laurie is the founder of Give Realty, a boutique Real Estate company in Austin, Texas.  She and her team believe in giving back to the community - and they do it with every sale.  They donate 25 % of their commissions to a 501(c)3 nonprofit of the buyer’s or seller’s choice (in their name, not the name of the company!).

Their mission is to make the world a better place by fostering philanthropy through home ownership. At Give Realty they inspire their clients to engage in the nonprofit community and encourage long term involvement. They help clients realize that in achieving their dream, they can help those facing adversity achieve their own.

Supporting the community is important to Laurie. I originally met her when we both served on the board of a local children's charity, Heart House Austin (now The BeHive Austin).  She was a dedicated board member and I was always impress with her ability to follow through on all she said she would do (I have written before about "Follow Through DNA" - Laurie Loew has that trait!!!).

Congratulations to Laurie and the team at Give Realty for making a real impact on our community!!!

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back Up Plan for Speakers (In Case of Emergency)

I recently received a call from a fellow professional speaker whose mother is battling cancer.  While her mom's prognosis is up in the air, the future is unknown.  She reached out to me to ask questions about how I handled the recent death of my father in regards to my business.  Unlike people who work in "normal" jobs, a speaker cannot simply take a "Personal Day" at the last minute should something come up.

Speakers have a unique role in the meetings they serve.  To not show up at the last minute could impact the conference experience for hundreds or thousands of people (not to mention the stress it would cause the meeting organizer).  But life happens to everyone, including speakers.  Being prepared for the unknown is paramount to successfully serving your clients.

My father was 99-years-old when he died.  While he had lived a very happy, healthy and independent life for most of years, there was still the reality throughout most of my speaking career that something could happen without warning because of old age. After he turned 98, and it was clear that he as in the later stages of life, I had to face up to what was going to happen one day.

I was prepared for many possible scenarios.  In the end he died in December, which is a slow time of year for my business.  I did not miss any events or have to take the stage for more than a week after he passed away.  But had this happened in October (when I have an intense travel schedule), there were plans in place that ensured the best possible outcome for me, my extended family, and my clients.

A Speaker's Back-Up Plan for Emergencies

A professional speaker is still a human-being.  When agreeing to deliver a keynote or breakout session at a conference it is rare that anyone (the speaker or the planner) thinks about the speaker having a family emergency, health concern, or an act-of-God that keeps then from showing up at the event.  Yet in the real world things do happen.  Meanwhile, the audience is still expecting someone deliver an amazing talk, no matter what "stuff" is happening in the life of the person scheduled to speak. 

While meeting organizers should always have a "Plan B" in the rare occurrence when a speaker does not show up (see my post: "Four Things To Do If Your Speaker Cancels"), the speaker should also be prepared for an unforeseen snafu.  Thinking ahead and being honest about your situation can make any problem easier to handle.

My own speaking career grew as my father aged into his late 90s.  While he was in great shape physically and mentally, the reality was that there is no cure for old age.  I had to be realistic about my plan for how a major health concern or his passing could impact my clients.  This was not a "what if" situation, but a "when" situation.... and something that all of us could encounter at anytime (regardless of the age of our loved ones).

Below are 5 tips for planning for a family emergency that can give speakers peace of mind if they are dealing with an terminal illness of someone they love.  Additionally many of these tips also translate to being able to handle other situations that might arise in this crazy business that involves constant travel, etc....

1.  Have honest conversations with your family.  Being a professional speaker is different that working a traditional job. Most speakers do not have co-workers who can cover a shift or clients that can be flexible with meeting dates and times.  I had the hard conversations with my brothers, who lived near my dad and were his primary care-givers, about how my career works and what is expected of me by my clients.  They came to understand that I could not drop everything with little notice to rush to California (I live in Texas, but work all over the country and beyond). 

Before major conferences I would touch base with my brothers and let them know where I would be on any given week, and what times of day I was speaking.  The thought of getting a phone call minutes before going on stage was not pleasant, thus they had to understand that any bad news could wait.  By making sure they were aware of my travel schedule and speaking times we could work together to make ensure that I was not blindsided moments before delivering a presentation.

2.  Visualize the worst case and other situations.  Having to speak after receiving the news that a parent passed away could paralyze even an experienced professional speaker.  But the show must go on.  Think about your presentation and be aware if you have any parts that may be emotional triggers.  I begin one of my keynotes with a story about my dad that includes a photograph of he and I together.  Once he passed I knew it would be important to remove this slide from my next speech and kick off with a different story. 

I also decided that if I had a talk that was scheduled within days of his passing that I would need to be honest with the audience.  I pictured several situations and reviewed my options on how to best handle this with my own style and comfort level for sharing the personal side of my life.  Since I am a storyteller, and one who shares a lot with audiences, I had created a story that supported my content that could be worked into a presentation under certain circumstances.  

Thinking about all of my options in advance would allow me to make the right decisions in the moment.  Be at peace (as best you can) with your own situation and it will not overwhelm you (as much) when the reality hits home.

3.  Have a list of back up speakers.  One of the biggest benefits of being an active member of the National Speakers Association is having a large circle of friends who are also experienced speakers.  Take the time to review which speakers you know who have similar topics and styles to your own.  Also know the geographies where you will be speaking and what speakers live in those regions.  While having to bow out of an event is not ideal, if you have several choices of high quality speakers who could step in will give peace of mind to your meeting organizer and still serve your audience.

Talk to the other speakers who are on your "back up list" in advance.  Be sure they understand your life situation, and be sure that they would be willing to help if needed.  Clearly their availability would be the first thing, but also you need to understand their fee structure and travel situation (and it they will cover your gig for what you were being paid).  This is why long-term friendships are important, as I had several speaker friends who would have gladly helped me out regardless of the fee I was being paid.  Not all speakers will be so generous, so establishing relationships early will make a difference.  

This list of speakers you know and trust is not just for facing a family crisis, but could be important with any number of issues that could pop up (think massive storms that close airports!).  I have a friends who was stuck in Nashville when tornadoes came through the area.  He had no way to get to his next presentation in Omaha.  He made one call to the National Speakers Association and got a list of speakers in Nebraska, and upon realizing someone he knew lived close to the event, he only had to make one call the solve the problem.

4.  Turn off your phone and don't check Social Media.  If you know that a loved one could pass away at any time, turn off your phone for a few hours before your speech.  Do not check Facebook or email either, as even if your family has decided to hold back the information until you are done speaking, someone else in your extended circle of friends could discover the news and send you a message of condolences. 

If you and your family have talked about not contacting you right away, make sure they tell others that you have not yet been reached.  It only takes a few words up front to head off most accidental routing of information.  They should add "do not post anything or send email messages until we reach everyone in the family", to their delivery of the information about the death.

5.  Go visit your loved ones every chance you get.  The speaking business means that you will travel often.  Take the time to route though the hometowns of those you care about and visit relatives when you can.  Adding a day to a trip here and there will provide peace of mind when the end is near.  You may not be able to rush to be with family at the time of death, but if you have been present often you will be able to deal with missing the final days.  Every time I had a trip to the West Coast of the United States I would route through the Bay Area to visit my dad.  I averaged three or four visits each year for the final four years of his life.  Some of these were a few days, others just a few hours, but when he died I felt I had done the best I could (since I live in Texas), and I have no regrets. 

It is not easy for anyone to lose a loved one, but speakers face some unique challenges around their speaking and travel schedules.  Be proactive and honest with yourself (and your family) and you will find it easier to make the tough decisions. 

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cool Things My Friends Do - Carol Thompson Chairs First Annual IMPACT TEXAS Conference

Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.

This week was the first annual IMPACT TEXAS Conference.  The event was organized by an amazing committee of people and chaired by my friend Carol Thompson. This statewide summit focused on innovative approaches to investing in organizations and entrepreneurs tackling enduring social and environmental problems. 

There is a lot of attention being paid to "Impact Investing", as the next frontier involves investments that combines innovation, economic growth and social impact. The vision of the ongoing effort of Impact Texas is to harness leadership across sectors to build a strong, diverse, well-capitalized and sustainable impact investment market in the great state. Together the organizers hope to ensure entrepreneurs and organizations addressing important social challenges can access appropriate financial products and support to extend their impact in Texas and beyond. 

In addition to Carol, the steering committee was made up of brilliant minds and caring hearts:

  • Lisa Davis – Ford Foundation
  • Carol Thompson (Chair) – The Thompson Group
  • Roy Alston – Strategic Development Partners
  • Nick Ashburn – The Wharton School of Business, Social Impact Initiative
  • Melanie Audette – Mission Investors Exchange
  • Jordana Barton – Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Peter Berliner – Mission Investors Exchange
  • Claire England – RISE, SXSW, Startup America, TechRanch
  • Rebecca Gonzales – EDCO Ventures
  • Michael Kellerman – KUT Public Radio
  • Chelsea McCullough – Texans for Economic Progress
  • Terri Preston – Baker Tilly
  • Tracey Reichanadter - CohnReznick
  • Teo Tijerina – EDCO Ventures
  • Margo Weisz – City Lights Group
This inaugural event was about much more than the content discussed in the keynote and breakout sessions.  The power of the event was in the people.  Over 300 people participated in the gathering.  They shared best practices, contributed in forward looking conversations, and made contacts that have the opportunity to change to world.  The "Networking Lounge" (sponsored by the Capital Factory and the Entrepreneurs Foundation) was always buzzing.... as people convened to for deep-dive discussions on sculpting the future.

Congratulations to Carol and the rest of the IMPACT TEXAS team on a job well done!

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The ABC's of Legal Marketing - P is for Positioning

Hard work and experience alone will not translate into new business.  To make the short list that prospective clients create when seeking counsel you need to be positioned as one of the top experts in your business community.  If you are the best kept secret in your area of expertise you will never reach your income potential.

Positioning yourself as an expert is important because there are many choices that clients have for representation, and they can ever only talk to a small number of lawyers when they are looking to make a decision.  Most professionals tell me their clients will interview approximately three options before making a decision, and thus is you are not showing up on these "Short Lists" then you are not even being considered.

A lawyer who is viewed as the "Go To" provider in their practice area is always top of mind with both clients and referral sources.  This positioning rarely happens by accident, and is not always because they have the highest level of experience.  Becoming the "Go To Lawyer" means you intentionally engage with people and put in an effort to establish your reputation.

Being good at what you do is important (do not think I am saying the opposite), but most of your competitors are also smart, well educated, and have the right expertise to serve the same clients you want to represent.  Many lawyers discredit their competitors only to see clients select the "lesser choice" as counsel.  They then rationalize that the clients are at fault for making the "wrong" decision.  When you view your competitors as worthy adversaries you will work harder to set yourself up as the "right" choice by consistently building a strong brand.

To be positioned you must get involved in your community.  Doing work for current clients is important, but if that is all you do you will see gaps in your practice as once the matter at hand is concluded there will be no other work coming in the door. 

If you are worried about the amount of effort it takes to be positioned as one of the top experts in your area, you should be worried.  This is work that is paramount to the long-term success of your practice.  When you are not positioned near the top, then someone else is.... and this means you are handing them your future clients (and I doubt they will send you a handwritten thank you note for your complacency).

All law firms should make positioning a regular topic in their partner meetings and section meetings.  Each lawyer should be asked to realistically report who is viewed as their biggest competitor and dissect what factors play into the reputation and status of other lawyers.   If  this is not a priority then it is left to chance. If you do not know who is realistically positioned as the expert, then you are not going to win business.

Have A Great Day.

thom singer

 Thom Singer is experienced in legal marketing and business development.  He regularly speaks at law firm retreats inspiring attorneys to embrace their brand and increase their sales.  He also teaches lawyers ways to improve their presentation skills as the firm's secret weapon for business development success.  More information at

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Speaking at #SXSW? Do Not "Michael Bay" Your Next Presentation

Hollywood director Michael Bay infamously failed in his presentation for Samsung at CES.  The teleprompter failed and he could not express what inspires his own ideas, and he froze.  He walked off stage.  The Samsung executive who shared the stage with him was at a loss.  The presentation (a product launch) flopped.  The video has gone viral.

Professional speaker Scott McKain did a great job on his blog of explaining how and why this event failed with his post "This is why you hire a professional" (and much of that responsibility fell to the event organizer, Samsung, who selected Bay).  While not all speakers need to be professional presenters, we should not assume everyone is comfortable on stage.

Soon the tech and marketing worlds will come to Austin, Texas for the SXSW Interactive 2014 and there will be thousands of presentations.  Nobody wants to flop, but my experience in attending SXSW for nearly a decade (I missed last year) is that more of the talks are "bad" than are "good".  Most are okay, as they are smart people with interesting information.... but just because someone is smart, or has done something cool, it does not mean they are engaging speakers.

If you going to speak at South by Southwest (SXSW) in March 2014 there is plenty of time to make sure you are prepared to deliver a good presentation. 

However, too many of those who will take the stage at this event (and other events all over the world) will suck.  Yep, they will range from average to awful in their presentation skills.  There will be little preparation and most will not be audience focused.  Too many will attempt to "wing-it".  The actionable information and inspiration the attendees desire will be missing, while speakers try to prove they uber-intelligent on their topic.  

Speaking at a major event brings opportunity to present yourself as an expert, but if you are awful at how you communicate with the audience you will not only miss this opportunity, but you can crater your reputation (and your video will join Mr Bay's in infamy).  A great topic and business experience are not enough.  Successful and smart professionals regularly bore audiences.  

We live in a polite society, so most will never hear the feedback of what the audience really thought of their session. They will be told "great speech" or "nice job", and leave feeling they rocked the house.  

If you are going to speak at SXSW you need to start thinking NOW about how to ensure you are not one of the many presenters who will SUCK. This conference has a tradition of people walking out of sessions that do not meet their needs, and nobody wants to see their audience pouring out of their breakout session ten minutes after they being.

Hire a coach, and/or practice at least a dozen times in front of a live audience and video camera.  If you have been selected to present, this is a commitment you owe to your audience.  It is selfish to "wing it", and it is a crime to be horrible when you could have taken steps to improve in the two months before arriving in Austin, Texas for SXSW.

The best TED speakers are said to invest 45-60 hours in preparation for their talk.  My guess is that the majority of speakers at SXSW (and most other events) do not invest much time in practicing. 
If you do not care about the audience, drop out NOW!!!

If you are going to be a speaker and you stumble across this post.... PLEASE care about your audience and do not suck on stage!!!

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Go Do More

We all have fears and doubts.  Many wear masks and pretend they are masters of their universe, but being human involves juggling the whole spectrum of emotions.  Sometimes our internal dialogue can make us question our abilities and we get side tracked.  

There is nothing wrong with a little fear, doubt, jealousy, envy, etc....  as long as you do not let it derail your future.  It all comes back to making choices and taking actions.  Goals, hopes and dreams are important, but they can only take you so far.  "Doing More" begins with "doing".

Have A Great Day

thom singer

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Make The NEW YEAR About Other People

The last week of the year usually finds me busy in planning and setting goals, however this year I had a last minute trip with my family to attend a funeral.  Because of the expense and distance of this last minute travel, I decided to check out from my regular routine and create an experience for with my wife and kids.  In addition to the family gathering for the memorial service, we also took the time to explore many cool attractions in my childhood neighborhood of Los Angeles County and visit with friends and extended family.

But now I am home and the new year has arrived (the calendar waits for no man).  This week I will invest time setting up my 2014 targets and then I will begin the blocking and tackling for another great year.

Those I admire who achieve cool milestones do not wait for "luck" to happen, they take action.  2013 was a great year for me personally and professionally, but January 1st resets the clock each year.  My business offerings grew over the past 12 months, and I had the honor speak to over 70 audiences.  However, like many I struggle in creating sustainability in my work.  

The clients I have had the pleasure to serve continue to inspire me to improve my skills and discover new ways to have an impact.  New topics and alternative delivery options have made my speaking career about more than keynotes, breakouts and workshops.  It is an exciting journey to work in the Meetings Industry and be part of the teams that create unique and exciting "conference attendee experiences" and corporate training classes.

Leading by the examples that I teach is paramount to continued success.  My own career has grew last year because of the people in my network.  I continue to find that the majority of my speaking, training and consulting income is generated from the referrals.  Thus it is more important than ever that I live a life of visible gratitude. It would be easy to pretend that my books or my seminars are the root cause of success.... but the reality is others are responsible for the good stuff (It is not about me).

As you launch into 2014 be intently focused on identifying the people who are the catalysts that bring you to success.  Some of them give referrals (and that is GREAT), but others give moral support or inspire you from afar.  Be sure to let everyone who has an impact know that you recognize their contribution.

I have declared 2014 the "Year of the Handwritten Note".  An email or text is easy, but a handwritten note is clearly a sign that you put in the extra effort to make your communication about the other person. While I am a one man band on promoting this rally for notes (feel free to join me), I predict those that embrace this habit of showing their appreciation on paper will find more success. 

Have A Great Year

thom singer