Shut Off Your Engine and Set Your Sails!

One of the greatest challenges of being an entrepreneur is taking time to reflect and adjust while working on your business. Often times we’re so busy learning, researching, marketing, blogging, selling, promoting, etc., etc., etc., that we completely ignore one of the most valuable strategies of all. The strategy of “shutting off the engine and setting the sails”.

When my husband and I used to sail, I always looked forward to shutting off the engine. Here’s what I mean. We would use the engine to motor the sailboat out onto the ocean, and when we found the right spot we would shut off the engine and raise the sails.

It was my favorite thing to do.

First came the silence – with no more engine clamoring away – and next we’d watch the sails begin to fill with wind.  There would be a few moments of nothing, as if the boat was deciding what to do, and then she’d begin to move. At that point, we’d grab the wheel to adjust the rudder, and we’d then keep the boat on a steady course to wherever we were going that day. Beautiful.

I love the engine and sail analogy when it comes to entrepreneurship.

You might be working so hard in your business that you fail to see you’re not moving forward! Or maybe you’re moving in a direction that’s not right for you – it’s not an authentic fit – because you haven’t stopped to shut off the engine and let your sails fill with wind.

Try stepping back from things – get truly unplugged. You know what I mean. Away from the phone, email, Facebook, etc. and just let yourself drift for a bit. See where the wind wants to take you. Your inner navigation system knows what’s right, but overriding it with a noisy, clamoring engine will never do.

Maybe you’ll adjust the course of your business enveavors a little – or maybe a lot – but here’s what I know for sure. When you’re on the right course – when you’re on your course – steering becomes almost effortless.

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Your Inspiration Sandwich Part 2

How exactly do you go about inspiring people? Is there a formula for inspiration? A recipe, perhaps? Well, sort of.

In part one of this two-part strategy, I shared a recipe (of sorts) for what I call an inspiration sandwich. It’s a formula for framing your events – both online and offline – so that attendees’ minds are open to inspiration.

The inspiration sandwich is specifically an approach for opening and closing events so that attendees are ready and willing to take in your information in a way that inspires them to absorb it and take action on it. In this article (and video) I’m sharing the second part of the inspiration sandwich – the event closing. If you missed part one, you can click here to get caught up.

There are 3 important elements of an event closing (teleseminar, webinar, workshop, seminar, retreat) that help attendees to become inspired to take action:

  1. Something they can implement immediately. One of the most empowering ways to close an event (whether it’s a one-hour teleseminar or a five-day retreat) is to give participants something they can do right away that will bring them closer to their desired result. The key is to keep things simple. Challenging people to act on too much information at once is counter-productive. I often focus on 1-3 strategies, tips or techniques that I’ve taught during the event. I’ll review these points during my closing and emphasize how these strategies or tips can be put to use right away. In this way, participants leave the event with these ready-to-implement strategies freshly planted in their minds.
  2. Be a champion for your peeps. When people have a sense that you are looking out for them – that you have their back – they’re much more motivated to take action. Be available and accessible, and let them know that if they have questions or concerns they may contact you. Remember, people can’t read your mind, so be sure to verbalize that you sincerely want to see their positive results!
  3. Point out their value. Many of your followers are bombarded with negative messages from outside sources and from inside their own heads. It’s important to let your audience know much you value them, and that you believe in their ability. Most speakers end their seminars by focusing on the content they’ve covered, but that’s just a small part of the big picture. If people don’t feel worthy – if they don’t feel competent – it doesn’t matter how much great content you’ve shared. It all goes to waste if your followers don’t believe in their ability to make things happen.

Frame your next event closing with this 3-part strategy and you’ll feel an amazing difference in the energy of the room, plus your participants will be reporting their successes! That’s what it’s all about, right?

If you’d like these FREE video strategies delivered right to your inbox each week, click to sign up – plus you’ll get my FREE ebook: Aim to Inspire: 15 Ways to Take Your Brand and Offers From Good to Extraordinary.

Your Inspiration Sandwich: Part 1

Honing your ability to lead and inspire others in a bigger way, is more important today than ever before. Because people need leaders – mentors and teachers they can look up and respect, and who have their best interest at heart.

But how exactly to you do that – inspire people? Is there a formula for inspiration? A recipe, perhaps? Well, sort of. There’s a recipe (of sorts) for what I call an inspiration sandwich. It’s a formula for framing your events – both online and offline – so that attendees’ minds are open to inspiration.

Of course, it all starts with knowing exactly what inspiration is.

My favorite definition for the word inspire is: “To fill someone with the urge or ability to do something creative.” Love that! In fact, the word inspire comes from the Latin word inspirare – to breathe. Beautiful, when you reflect on that, isn’t it?

The inspiration sandwich is an approach for opening and closing events (thus the sandwich visual) so that attendees are ready and willing to take in your information in a way that inspires them to absorb it and take action on it. In this article (and video) I’m sharing the first part of the inspiration sandwich – the event opening. In a second article and video I’ll share part 2.

There are 3 important elements of an event opening (teleseminar, webinar, workshop, seminar, retreat) that help attendees to become open to inspiration:

  1. Acknowledge where they are. Many people today feel distrustful, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc., therefore their minds are closed to possibilities. One of the best ways to help people relax, and open their minds, is to acknowledge that you understand how they feel and to validate their feelings. Once you’ve done that,  the walls of resistance usually tumble right down, and they’re willing to hear what you have to say.
  2. Be transparent and be yourself. Too many people begin talks, workshops and events by focusing on themselves. That’s an inspiration turn-off! It’s one thing to include a relevant story that helps you to connect to your audience, it’s another thing entirely to share your resume and your oh-so-perfect successes – ugh! If your goal is to open people’s minds to be inspired by your message, just be yourself – and be a little transparent. Admit mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve overcome them. That’s what makes people trust and identify with you – and opens their minds even more.
  3. Paint a picture of results. People come to you and attend your events so that they can get better at something, solve a problem and/or improve their lives in some way. Be sure to paint a picture of their results when your begin your event. The more you can help people dream about and imagine their possibilities, the more excited they become about their future. That means that they’re not only open-minded about your message, but they eagerly hang on your every word. Now, that’s what inspiration is all about!

Keep in mind that this is just one half of the inspiration sandwich – the beginning or event opening. In part 2 I’ll be sharing the other half of the sandwich – how to close an event that makes your audience want to jump with inspirational joy! Stay tuned …

READY TO LEAD AND INSPIRE IN BIGGER WAYS? Join us on the Aim to Inspire Virtual Summit: How to Become a Leader in Your Niche. It’s FREE – register here!

If you’d like these FREE video strategies delivered right to your inbox each week, sign up here – plus you’ll get my FREE ebook: Aim to Inspire: 15 Ways to Take Your Brand and Offers From Good to Extraordinary.

3 Areas in Your Business That Might Need More BEAUTY


Don’t forget about aesthetic value! Making things beautiful (inside and out) in your brand and your offers is getting more and more important all the time. Here’s the truth. People are attracted to beautiful things – and not only superficial beauty. What’s happening beneath the surface in your business is as important – or more important – than the visible pieces.

So here’s the challenge. Take a deep breath (really) and keep an open mind about your brand and your offers as you read this article and watch the video. I’m sharing here 3 areas for you to ponder, in terms of how you might add beauty to enhance the experience that clients – and potential clients – have with you. Why? Because enhanced experiences help you resonate more deeply with your audience and attract more ideal clients.

  1. Area Number One – Think Beautiful in Branding: Want to easily shift from good to extraordinary? Make your products, programs, marketing materials and websites look better. Most of what’s out there is drab, boring and (in some cases) downright ugly. So when you come along with beautiful – on your website, your marketing materials and your products – people take notice. Plus, beautiful things make people feel better, right? A clean, pretty website, a well-designed cover on your materials and/or a newsletter with photos and lots of color is refreshing and a memorable departure from the norm. Beauty is absolutely one of the best ways to hold your clients’ attention today – and to keep them interested.
  2. Area Number Two – Think Beautiful in Your Messages: An often overlooked avenue for adding more beauty – particularly in your marketing – has to do with words. Words carry an enormous amount of weight in the minds of recipients, and you hold the power to make someone’s day (or break it!) in the way that you craft your message. Too many people today write email messages without thinking about the impact of their words! Think “beauty” when you write your messages, and your words will lift and inspire your audience in greater ways.
  3. Area Number Three – Think Beauty in Your Events: Live events are an ideal area to add beauty to your business! When you host seminars, workshops – or even simple networking meetings – beautiful elements will make people feel more positive about your talk and your content. Believe me! I’ve hosted plenty of events in crummy, drab, settings and the negative effect on the audience can be profound. Simple things like candles, flowers or cards can be great ways to add beauty to an event. Another high-impact way is to host your workshop in a beautiful setting. For example, I host a retreat for women entrepreneurs in Tuscany – now, that’s a beautiful setting! But even a workshop in a hotel banquet room can be made more beautiful with a few, strategic beauty-touches.

The Challenge: Take a fresh look at your branding, messages and live events, and brainstorm ways that you might make things more beautiful – inside and out – so that you inspire and lift your clients and potential clients in big, positive ways. After all, that’s what it’s all about, right?

Looking for more ways to inspire your audience?

Grab my NEW, FREE ebook …

Aim to Inspire: 15 Ways to Take Your Brand and Offers From Good to Extraordinary!