Hesitation Leads to Devastation

I remember the first time I heard the expression “hesitation leads to devastation” was standing next to my  then coach, looking at what seemed at the time a rather insane rocky drop-off.  I suspect he intended his words to be soothing and encouraging, yet what I wanted to say to him was “Easy for you to say Asshole.  You’ve been doing this for years and I’m only getting started.  I’m terrified!  It hurts.  Piss off.  Grrrr.”

To put it into perspective this was after I’d already face-planted once in a very unladylike fashion.  My leg was hurt and bleeding – which paled against the sting of my ego.  I was not in the mood for his shit anymore.  If anything I was getting pretty prissy.

Then again, you should know by now that pissed at times gets me far in life.

I spat my frustration out to the side, inhaled my anger and just went for it!

Now I know you’re expecting me to say that I flowed down like a pro and rose victorious from my effort – it would have been pretty cool if that was the case.  But as this was real life and not a Hollywood story of inspiration with climaxing music, I came crushing and cursing down again.

And again.

And again.

SHIIIIIIIIIIIT.

Eventually, tail between my legs, I dragged my humbled ass back to my car and slowly drove home.

The achiever in me knew that I might have been unsuccessful today, but more than ever I was determined to nail this skill down.

It took many a bloody nose before I finally understood that it wasn’t about ‘fucking forward recklessly’ that gets you victory.  Instead there’s a journey whereby you learn the mindset and the process, practice the steps until you have succeeded often enough to start understanding the capabilities and limitations of your bike, the mechanics of the movement becomes smooth and above all else, you start trusting yourself.

Only then do you find the point where you see a drop-off ahead, make the decision to go, and fully commit to the outcome.

You stop paying attention to every little stone in the way, and relax into the flow.  Instantly your mind is freed up to take in the bigger picture, spots the best path and go from point A to point B with relative ease and yes, at some stage you even start enjoying this shit!

You learn that when you hesitate what in fact happens is your body tenses up, your brain freezes and starts frantically looking around for every little micro detail, inflating it to out of proportion which then takes you to the place you DON’T want to be.

Voila, you come crashing down.

Where your focus goes your body follows.

The other amazing benefit of this journey is that it truly does separate those who come from a place of ego and those who come from a place of desire.

Ego will bow down to pain every time.
Desire will embrace pain.

Maybe you’re not a mountain-biker and wondering what the hell any of this has to do with business.  So let me translate.

I’ve witnessed many a newcomer to business use the ‘all balls and very little brains’ approach.  They believe that if they just storm down a path they will get it right, and they might even get lucky a few times.  Eventually, unless they take the time to learn the mechanics and the process that best works for them, they will come crashing down.

Personally I believe it’s way less painful to fail in the beginning of your next level than when you’re further along.  Because the further down the path you go, the steeper the drop-offs, which means the more you bleed.

Instead, when you start on a new journey or the next level, give yourself the time to learn and fail in an atmosphere conducive to growth.  Allow yourself to learn how to fall (yes there is a trick to that as well) which causes as little damage as possible so that you can get back on and repeat the process again and again to the point where you understand and trust yourself enough to simply go for it.  Allow yourself to be supported by a coach or a mentor who will stand next to you, believing in you and who will show you the path of least resistance before saying “hesitation leads to devastation”.

Because there’s truth in this madness.

Once you’ve practiced and tasted success, your body and mind intrinsically knows what to do every time you get to a similar situation.

Don’t.  Hold.  Back.

Don’t go into a complete panic and freeze up, looking for every little thing that can go wrong.

Trust that you’ve got what it takes Darling and COMMIT TO THE FLOW.

Because if you don’t, if you hesitate, not only will you lose out on precious moments and opportunities, you will come to a crashing halt and will have to exert twice as much effort to get going again.

Let’s recap:

  1. As always, have a very clear goal and reason why you want to do this – pain will crush egocentric goals
  2. Allow yourself support during a mentally tough time
  3. Be prepared to fail until you succeed – learn and practice the steps until you’ve nailed it
  4. Once you’ve figured it out, trust yourself, commit and use momentum and muscle memory to move forward where others falter
  5. Celebrate the fact that once again you’ve proven to be a bad-ass to be reckoned with.

Honor where you are on your path and trust that you’ve got everything that it takes to succeed on your soul-driven journey.  You truly do.

It’s when you look around and see what others are doing that you tend to screw yourself over.  Never forget that most people have picked up some bloody scrapes along the way.  Some will continually stop themselves when they see potential danger ahead thereby never experiencing the exhilaration of ‘the rush’, some will go back to the top and say ‘I own you!’ and do it again.  If you’re watching the wrong crowd you’ll remain where you’re at.  In fear.

Believe.  Achieve.  Repeat.

If you’re ready for the next level and you’re allowing yourself the support you deserve, then now is the time to check out my Kick-start offer.  Thirty days of me standing next to you, keeping you on track to move forward no matter how loud the voices in your head scream to go back.  For the month of June I’m offering this package for only $450 because I want to make it as easy for you as possible to move forward to where I KNOW you deserve to play – with the leaders here to bring revolutionary change.

Don’t hesitate and let this opportunity pass you by when you know in your heart of hearts that this is your time and you’re ready for the next step.

Because ultimately death is inevitable, but thriving is a choice.

 

Writing is My VooDoo… A Brief Manifesto

By Susan Jacobs

“Writing is the only thing, that when I do it, I don’t feel like I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem

I’ve always been drawn to and felt a kindred spirit with the underdog, those whose voice is not heard because it’s coming from the fringe of society.

Growing up in a white, liberal, middle-class creative, and entrepreneurial (before that was the ‘buzz’ occupation) household in New York City during the 60s and 70s, my sister and I were not taught to see race or cultural lines — we learned that people are people.  My friends looked like a United Colors of Benetton ad – black, white, Asian, Arabic, Muslim, European, African, and then some.

At age 10, I got to experience crossing borders and international travel when we went on a family summer vacation to Europe for three months.  We drove from France to Norway, zigzagging along the way, visiting museums, chateaus, sightseeing the standard haunts, and eating cheese, bread and fruit by the side of the road.

During our drives, we found our way through the slums and I remember begging my parents to let me out, crying that I didn’t want to go to museums, they could pick me up later, because I was drawn to the energy of the slums. I wanted to know more, get up close and personal, it seemed familiar, and where I belonged.

I wasn’t comfortable even at that young age around all things white.  For whatever reason, I saw imbalance and injustice and wanted to do something, or at least just soak it in to try and understand our differences.  This was probably the birth of my insatiable curiosity and, subconsciously, my ‘brand’ of giving voice to things that matter.

My sister and I attended the United Nations International School, for me, from fifth grade through high school.  At that time, we were part of the small quota of Americans who were accepted. This exposed me even further to a global perspective, and a hunger to cross borders and experience different cultures.

Years later, life and professional circumstances took me to Ghana and Angola in Africa, and Haiti, pre-earthquake. These life-enriching and life-changing experiences continue to inform who I am today. It was impossible not to see race lines in those countries.  It was the first time I ever experienced being the minority (aside from being a woman and a Jew).  But I was welcomed, safe, and witnessed unspeakable poverty, yet a generosity of spirit and heart that I’ve never encountered anywhere else.

After sometimes not seeing another white person for weeks at a time during my travels, I returned to Brooklyn and attended a Bob Dylan (an all time favorite) concert in Prospect Park.  It took me a while to identify my discomfort, but I finally did – the concert was filled with only white people, and I was extremely uncomfortable.

I write to share stories, experiences, and expand perspectives because we are all breath the same air.  We all need to eat, drink, pee, shit, sleep, give and receive love, and feel a sense of purpose and belonging.   We all have a story that’s worth hearing and from which we can learn and potential uplift another human being.

So today, perhaps become more curiosity and open your heart and mind to learning about someone you encounter that seems insignificant for whatever reason.  The world is upside down so let’s up our human being game.  As the old AT&T phone company ad used to say, “Reach out and touch someone.”  It’s magical, amazing, and transformative when we make those human connections in unexpected ways. Don’t know about you but I welcome magical moments!

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

Susan JacobsI’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website LinkedIn | Twitter

Clock Towers of New York; You Are My North Star…

By Susan Jacobs

 

Growing up in New York City, clock tower buildings have been my navigational tools, my true north for as long as I can remember.

I was born and raised on 17th Street between Irving Place and Park Avenue South back in the day when it was not a good neighborhood.

Once upon a time, S. Klein on the Square and Mays department stores lined Union Square Park pre-Starbucks, Whole Foods, Coffee Shop, and all the other current trendy, crazy rent paying businesses. If you dared enter the park, it was at your own risk.  The legendary, or perhaps notorious, Max’s Kansas City was around the corner, and home to Andy Warhol and the hip, creative artists and musicians, movers-and-shakers, trendsetters of the day.

The W Hotel on 17th Street was a Chemical Bank. The New York Film Academy building across the street (which has since moved) was a union meeting hall.  The Michelin Guide described our neighborhood as ‘non-descript,’ a far cry from what it no doubt is called today.

The city was covered in graffiti, and was grungy, edgy, with more of a black-and-white color palette than its current technicolor.  It had personality, the creative energy was palpable, and it wasn’t so safe.

Living on the fringe of Gramercy Park, it was our small town, minus the white picket fences. While the city was a tad funky, as kids, we were pretty much free to trek around where we wanted without adult supervision.

After the Empire State building, and then the World Trade Center in the early 70s, clock tower buildings were some of the tallest in the city at that time, thus becoming an easy point-of-reference.

For me, it all started with Con Edison’s clock tower, just three blocks south of our house. From north to south, east to west, the clock was visible so I could always find my home, and see how late past curfew I was.

And then the inevitable happened to change the tale of this fateful neighborhood.  Zechendorf Towers were born.  A 29-story, 4-tower building complex became erect in 1987, casting a dark shadow over Union Square Park, and blocking my shining star. From certain angles, you could catch a glimpse of the clock, but it seemed from that point on, the clock wasn’t kept up with as much love and care, and the time, more often than not, was wrong.

Gentrification, you blocked my shining star…

After years of automatically turning to look up at the clock, to this day, decades later, the habit is still deeply ingrained and I look for it whenever I’m in that neighborhood.

The Met Life building, now some fancy hotel on Madison Square Park, also with a clock tower, was useful growing, but often confused me as it was similar in height, look, and in roughly the same neighborhood as Con Ed. But it remains beautiful and continues to remind me to look up when passing by.

I ended my love affair with Manhattan and it was traumatic break up with the city 16 years ago. I crossed the river, something I never did growing up, and moved to Brooklyn.  As fate would have it, my new digs were a few blocks from the clock tower building on Flatbush Avenue near Atlantic.

Brooklyn welcomed and comforted me with my new north star.  A new borough, yet a familiar tool for orientation.  Look up, see the time, and know where I am: a ritual since childhood.

As I’ve never been a watch wearer, and pre-cell phones and devices that keep us perpetually hooked on time, the clock tower served me well for all of these years.

But damn if this gentrification isn’t messing with me again.  What I happily left behind in Manhattan has crossed the river and at warp speed.  Just as with growing on 17th Street, when I first moved to Brooklyn, this hood was funky, buildings were no more than four stories high, bodegas, Hong Kong Pharmacy, local video stores were the norm, and the sky view was visible everywhere.  It felt like a move to a small town in the country.  No Starbucks, Duane Reade, American Apparel, or Target, in sight.

And then came the Barclays Center, a stadium, two blocks from my apartment, which was incredibly painful to watch go up, but as a neighbor said, “We ain’t ever going to see it come down, so we better make friends with it.”

Once again, my version of a small town was evaporating before my eyes.  The essence, the heart and soul of Brooklyn is crying, “I’m melting.” After 45 years, a local bodega shut its doors.  After a few decades, the video store shut its doors. And on and on and on this story goes.  Commercial rents are over $300 per square foot, 3-bedroom apartments are $7,000/month, packed with multiple roommates, and a local pizza place pays $11,000 just in rent.  Seriously? That’s a lot of slices to sell!

From my home office window I now see five cranes where new high-rise construction is underway.

Time waits for no one and eventually disappears. Gentrification is a good reminder to live now and be fully present and appreciative of this moment, because everything is always changing.

Virginia Wolfe says we all need a room with a view. ‘Tis true, but I also need clock tower views.  I wonder what will force my next move first, gentrification or the presidential elections.  Canada must have some good clock tower buildings!

So where do you look to find your way home?

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

Susan JacobsI’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website LinkedIn | Twitter

If you want to be part of my tribe of magnificent women such as Susan, come join us at Get Out Of Your Head.

Think You Want a Business Partner? Some Reasons You May Not…

By Susan Jacobs

I have co-founded and run two companies, each with a business partner.  Neither time had I planned to do so, nor explored going solo versus a partnership.  The first lasted 7-years with a female partner, and the second, with a male partner, for three years.

Company #1 was an entertainment marketing and PR agency.  My then partner and I met professionally on several occasions. When I mentioned I wanted to leave my job, she proposed working together. With nothing to lose, I agreed but said we needed at least, a first ‘date.’  We met; discussed our company vision, shared stories, and that was it.  Before making an official announcement, we were flooded with business, which lasted throughout the life of our company, with most clients being repeat or referral. Not bad for starting a company as an exit plan from a job!

We were, however, virtually strangers and had not taken the time to set up structures, procedures, or vet each other.  Despite that, we naturally fell into a rhythm allowing our complimentary skills and compatible personalities to carry us.  She was good with accounting and I was the pit-bull of accounts receivable.  I loved the hunt and conquest of closing new business while she preferred the courtship.  My then hyperthyroid propelled me to marathon pitching while her hypothyroid (total coincidence) made her modus operandi a slow process that always resulted in an impressive multi-page spread.  We had huge fights, threw books at each other, but made up quickly, ending in laughter and discussing lunch options. This worked smoothly until it no longer did.

Company #2 was an experiential marketing agency and also unplanned. I met that partner while producing an inauguration weekend extravaganza in Washington, DC when President Obama was first elected. Being thrown into the middle of a stressful production, we worked seamlessly together and turned out a wildly successful event.  When I was later hired for another project, I brought him on board. Again, we produced great results and the client re-hired us, but we needed to be a company rather than consultants. With a contract to gain and nothing to lose, we started a company.

Our skill set was complimentary, overlapping yet also with totally different areas of expertise, which allowed us to provide one-stop-shopping for clients. He saw the forest, I saw the trees.  In production, he handled ‘back-of-house,’ and I, ‘front-of-house.’ It was easy, worked smoothly, until it didn’t.

With both companies, I went in starry-eyed, enthusiastic, trusting, and filled with adrenaline, ready to conquer the world. I didn’t ask basic questions, or follow a sensible self-protective business practice of signing agreements, issuing stocks, and setting up the business properly from ‘go.’  Thankfully, both times the ‘divorce’ was relatively painless, though not without issues. If insurmountable differences arise, you want a simple, clean split. A lesson I learned the hard way.

Obviously, going solo or in a partnership have pros and cons.  If solo, prepare for feeling isolated and not being as productive with no one to hold you accountable.  If pursuing a partnership don’t let the adrenaline rush and excitement overshadow that it is a marriage.  Court, date, go steady, and start at first base!

Things to consider when making the decision:

– Why do you want a partner?

– Why this person? What do they offer? Is it redundant to your skill set or enhancing?

– Are they in a relationship? I was single with no kids; my second partner was married with kids in college. There was an imbalance in our financial needs to manage during the slow ebbs.

– Are they a day or night person? Being on opposite clocks can be beneficial but also wreak havoc.

– Are they routinely punctual or perpetually late?

– What are their financial requirements? Do they have access to investors or other financial sources?  Credit rating?  If one has money, access to money or good credit score and the other doesn’t, problems will arise.  Vet this well.

– Can you trust this person to stick it out through tough times?  As with any relationship, trust is paramount.

– Are you both committed to the time required to run a business?

– Are your short and long-term financial and business goals and vision for the company compatible?

– How do you each deal with stress?

– How big is their network? Does it overlap or compliment yours?

– What is your exit strategy?

Good luck!

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

Susan JacobsI’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible brand messaging and content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

“Hooked on Healers” – An excerpt from the book “Pain, Passion, Purpose: That Was Then, This is Now”

By Susan Jacobs

I’m excited to share a snip from my chapter as a contributing author in this book that was recently published by the Round House Press.  My first time being published in a book!

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“For decades, I have depended on alternative healers to help me get through, physically, mentally, and spiritually.  And I’ve had the best. My yoga practice, my work as a marketing consultant, and love for travel have taken me around the world, allowing me to meet an abundance of natural and holistic healers from New York to Ghana, Haiti to California, Ecuador to Paris, London, to Viet Nam, and various stops along the way.  Many of them have literally and figuratively helped save my life.1471965_10152195774074050_1621746009_n

I’ve worn acupuncture needles over every inch of my body; been burned with moxibustion; spat on in an African libation ceremony by elder tribesmen; diagnosed via pendulums, pulse, tongue, eyes, and abdomen; taken full-moon baths in flower petals; stared at a colored light through a telescope-type gadget; been steamed with herbs in an I Love Lucy type box with just my head sticking out; drank special teas that included ingredients better for me not to know, that took hours to cook and days to expel the smell from my apartment; put off making decisions until consulting my astrologer and tarot card reader; drank customized concoctions of Bach Flower remedies and potions; beat pillows while screaming and crying, followed by visualizing positive healing energy coming into my heart; and had an excruciating massage from an elder voodoo practitioner.

1472019_10152195769049050_1501821516_nThat’s a small sampling of the healing specialties… There’s only one problem with all this, and it took me hitting rock bottom to see it.  I was no longer free to enjoy these gifts. I was hooked on healers…

My first real understanding of the power of the mind / body connection was when I was nineteen. I had been taking a dress off over my head when my head literally got stuck facing my right shoulder. I was going through a stressful time and holding everything in my neck and shoulders. The muscle spasms pulled my vertebrae out of alignment. In a desperate state, I found my first chiropractor. Dr. R. spent a week taking care of me: nurturing me, helping me heal, and offering a shoulder to cry on. Within a week, he had my head facing straight and me back to normal. Well, normal except I was convinced I was in love with this godlike man who literally turned my head!…

1454901_10152195785709050_2040838303_nOver the past twenty years, there’s been a major subplot in my life that has tested all my good intentions, as I’ve been dealing with a hyperthyroid and Graves disease. At its worst, my resting heartbeat was over 100 BPM, which could have been extremely dangerous. Conventional doctors wanted me to follow the standard treatment of drinking radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid, causing me to ultimately become hypothyroid, and on medicine for the rest of my life.

So there I was, face-to-face with a harsh reality.  Could I live by my belief system to its ultimate conclusion: that I created this condition as a means to look at what was going on with my life, and ultimately heal myself?…”

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

I’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible brand messaging and content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

Coaches and Uggs: There’s at Least One on Every Block…

By Susan Jacobs

Before pissing anyone off, I love coaches and Uggs!

Virtually everyday I meet someone who is a coach be it lifestyle, business, mindset manifestation, wealth manifestation, health, achievement, leverage, badass, and who knows what else as they keep emerging. Clearly, coaching as a career has evolved tremendously over the past several years to it now being a booming industry.

Today, it’s the norm to have at least one coach.  And that’s great. I’ve had them and continue to do so at various points in time.

But let’s get serious… Read on to see how this all ties together…

I’ve been an Ugg girl since 1995 when I bought my first pair out of necessity while working as a publicist during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. There was a huge snowstorm that was too much for my east coast snow boots to handle, so there I was, face-to-face with a pair of black Uggs.  I wondered, ‘Is Ugg short for ugly?’  At that moment, I didn’t care; warm and snow proof was what mattered, and they kept me happy throughout the 10-day festival.

Twenty years later, I’m still wearing my original pair and they’ve held up remarkably well.

So what’s the point of this, you may be wondering…

Uggs are made to last.  It’s a brand that delivers beyond expectation of its promise.  They’re toastie, comfortable, efficient, yet not particularly feminine or attractive.  Countless women just don’t care. ‘Throw away those heels and uncomfortable shoes and put me in my Uggs anytime, anywhere, for any occasion, and any season,’ is what many say.

In New York City, I’ve counted more than 4 women on one block, and 10 in a single subway car all wearing Uggs. I’ve just bought my second pair.

If you offer quality goods and services that deliver on your brand promise and remain true to your core values, customers will stick around and bring their friends to the party.

We all wonder if we’re making the right choice when buying a product or professional service.  Whether you’re looking to hire any service provider be it a coach, a copywriter, or anything else, here are a few things to ponder before making the decision:

  • Be clear about what you need and what outcome you’re looking for
  • Vet them — speak to references, check them out online, read reviews
  • Do you like their website, LinkedIn profile?  Is their brand messaging clear, consistent, professional, and knowledgeable?
  • Read their blogs – do they resonate? Can they tell a story?  Are they articulate and do you relate to them?
  • Have a preliminary call, learn about their process.  Did they listen to and hear your needs accurately?
  • Get referrals from people you trust

It’s a crapshoot when hiring someone you don’t know, but by incorporating these questions, hopefully it will eliminate some of you reservations.

Be willing to pay for their services.  You do get what you pay for. Like my original pair of Uggs, the brand delivered beyond my expectations, has caused me to be an organic brand ambassador who will always defend Ugg against naysayers, and they’ve kept me warm and dry through many a blizzard.

Perhaps that’s a very high bar to hold all accountable to but I believe professional brands and individuals, service or product providers, should be delivering on that level.

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

Susan JacobsI’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible brand messaging and content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

Are you Middle-Aged and Resisting Technology?

By Susan Jacobs

This post probably isn’t for the young whippersnappers who were playing with a smartphone while nursing on mama’s tit, but rather for us middle-agers who loved carbon paper, IBM Selectric typewriters, and answering machines.  We resisted television remote controls, transitioning from LPs to CDs was traumatic, Facebook and the internet were alien, and we came late to set up email accounts. If this sounds familiar, please read on.

A neighbor once said when they started construction on the Barclays Center stadium just three blocks from my apartment in Brooklyn, “We’re watching it go up, but we’re never going to see it come down so we better make friends with it.”

Technology is the same deal. It ain’t going away and continues to morph at warp speed.

So here we are in 2016, a strange and exciting time when one of our most intimate relationships is with our phone. It’s with us all the time. We sleep with it within arms reach, in same cases it’s actually in our beds.  We take it to the bathroom. It’s the first and last thing we look at each day. It holds all of our life in its clutches.

For years, I refused to upgrade from my flip phone to a smart phone until one day a dear friend said that people knew I was older every time my flip phone was visible.  The next day I upgraded to my darling Samsung Galaxy with which I continue to have a fabulous love affair even after all these years.

But seriously, what the fuck? We no longer walk observing the world, smiling at others, appreciating beauty, but rather nose to screen, hands engaged, looking down all the time. We’re losing the ability to have meaningful conversations in real life face-to-face…..

The world is literally passing us by as we develop more and more dependence on our phone.  The desktop and laptop will soon be a thing of the past, with everything transiting to mobile..  A friend gave his 12-year-old daughter a fully loaded, almost $5K Mac computer, and she said, “No thanks, I don’t need it.  I’ve got my phone.” And she turned it down.

According to an article in Wired magazine last year, in less than two years, a smartphone or tablet could be our only computer.

I was resistant big time and resentful at the idea of giving stuff away for free, of the time needed to create original content, and then the additional time needed to spend on social media pumping it out.  A hard lesson to learn initially was that engaging in conversations so people could get to know had to come first before expecting anyone to read my blogs or hire me. Consider it digital foreplay.

But I finally drank the Kool Aid and understood.

Clearly, it’s a brave new world. So when I decided it was time to kick some middle-aged technology ass, the four mindset shifts I made in order to embrace this were:

  • Accepting that this would be an ongoing education process and that I didn’t have to know how to do everything technologically right away.
  • Remembering that knowledge is power, and the more I continue to learn about the digital ways of the world today, the more informed, better decisions I could make for my business and brand.
  • Understanding that this is, in part, generational, yet doesn’t mean that I’m old in my middle age.
  • Recognizing that I have a wealth of business and life experience that the generations after me will never have because they live life in front of a screen, and they are experiencing the world in ways that I’ll never know even as I continue to learn. It is first nature to them and about fifth nature to me.

So, my advice is:  Get over your fears, insecurities, and resistance. Deal with it, see a shrink, or hire a coach.  If you want to make it in the world of business, it’s time to jump onto the high-speed technology train. Make mistakes, have fun, take risks, maintain a sense of humor, and each time it’ll get a little better.  Just do it.

Please feel free to comment or share this post.

Susan JacobsAbout Susan

I’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, spreading ideas, and expanding perspectives is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. For-hire, I’m a copy and content writer and strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. As a coach, the strongest selling point and differentiator you have is your personal journey and transformation. As a professional wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

Are you ready to embrace all that you need to continuously move in the direction of greater success?  Then come join my tribe of kick-ass ladies who do what they do with power at Get Out Of Your Head.

Don’t Do This If You Want to Lock Potential Customers…

By Susan Jacobs

Filled with excitement to start the new year, in the first days of January, I was looking for any signs to indicate what kind of year lay ahead. Although not overly superstitious, I do dabble looking for hidden messages, coincidences, or ‘God Winks,’ as author Squire Rushnell call’s them.

So on Monday, January 4, getting a potential new business call before 11:00 a.m. was invigorating. A few minutes later I received a call from a normal seeming area code which my gut told me was a solicitation, but I answered anyway. It was offering a free 90-minute European facial. Yeah!!  Had it been any other day of the year, most likely I wouldn’t have answered, or declined and gotten off the phone quickly.

But I took this as a sign of positive new year energy, and that all things abundance would be coming my way; I bought into the sales pitch.  Of course, the sales lady said the free facial had no strings attached and they wouldn’t try to hard sell me anything.  Their only interest was spreading the love for their services as they were just launching in the States and, if I liked it, they hoped I’d make referrals.  From a career in marketing and branding, I understand that tactic, and should have definitely known they were full of shit!

With an appointment booked for a few days later, I went about my business with a little more bounce in my step.

On the day of my facial, I considered canceling the appointment but decided to indulge in the experience, take a break from the 24/7/365 life of an entrepreneur, and go for it.

The midtown spa was sparkling clean.  I was taken to a very well-lit treatment room by Sandra, a beautiful young woman with, of course, perfect skin. When I found out she was in her early 20s I didn’t feel so bad!

Sandra explained that she would take a picture of my skin with a special magnifying camera to gauge what was really going on.  Mind you, my skin is good and happily, people always think I’m about ten years younger than I am.  Some of this no doubt is genes, but I also attribute it to always drinking lots of water, doing yoga, and taking cold showers.

But, a picture speaks 1,000 words!  There it was, my under layer of skin — dehydrated, broken capillaries, clogged pores, I tuned out there.  I was a perfect candidate for spa treatments, aka, a ripe target for a full throttle sales pitch.

When I laid down, Sandra explained the product was from Israel, with crushed diamonds, plant stem cells, and all sorts of other tasty sounding ingredients.  First she would do half of my face, then take another picture to compare, and then do the other side.  Sounded good, and the treatment felt great.  Heaven, a free facial.

Our dialogue went something like this:

“A beautiful woman like you must be married,” she said.

“No, I’m happily divorced, and single.  So how much does this stuff cost?” I asked.

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything after.”

“But is it expensive?”

“No, we’ll discuss later, just relax.”

With the first half of my face done, Sandra took another photo and of course, there was a noticeable difference both when looking in the mirror, and at the photo.

And then it began.  She asked, “Can you afford $200 a month in your budget?

“No, but out of curiosity, what would that get me?”

Twelve products that will last for 18 months, delivered in what looked like a James Bond spy case. And yes, they were the very same fabulous products she used on me.

“OK, let me talk to my boss and see if there’s anything better we can do.”

Sure, no problem, I’m always up for a game of negotiation.  I was left in the room for some time, with only half my face done.  Then there was a knock on the door which I found strange given it was her treatment room.

And there it was…  A hot, sexy guy with big puppy dog eyes walked in, sat down with his piece paper and pen, and batted his twinkling eyes, which sent me into a fantasy frenzy.

He took me through some insane circular, money calculating, guilt tripping equation that made me spin.

Next thing I knew, it was $127 per month for 18 months for all the products and a monthly facial and anything else the esthetician thought I may need at no extra cost, and he’d throw in this and that which I didn’t even understand.

“This works out to less than $4 day, isn’t your skin worth it? And this offer is only good for the remainder of today.  If you call me tomorrow it will be $300/month.”

Dang, he pulled the ‘how can you not love yourself enough to do this for your middle-aged skin that’s only gonna get worse’ guilt card. The, ‘that’s less than you probably spend a day at Starbucks’ manipulation card.

Had I been married, would they have sent in the same sales person or would it have been an old lady with fabulous, youthful skin?

Hot guy kept at it, and next thing I knew he was offering a line of credit with 0% interest and no payment due for the first 40 days so I could cancel at any time.

I wanted to bolt but only half of my face was done — a great way to ensure a captive audience!  Finally after what felt like an hour but was probably only 10 minutes, I got him leave me with my head spinning.

Sandra went to town on the rest of my face while I tried to recover. I hadn’t experienced the assault and battery sales tactic for a long time.  Naively or not, I honestly thought in this day of brand authenticity, building trust with your prospective customers, the viral speed at which a bad review could travel, I believed the hard-sell was a thing of the past.

When it was over, Sandra said if I liked the treatment would I please refer friends who would want a free facial.  Seriously?  She was in the room with me and hot guy (and that’s probably a good thing!) and saw what went down.

When I walked out of the treatment room, there he was.  Waiting like a hungry animal about to kill its prey.  “It will just take 5 minutes to see if you pre-qualify for the line of credit,” he said.

“I’m late for a meeting.”

“Let’s just take the minute and then you can take the case of product and you’re set.”

Slow down bucko… I ain’t taking no case, but my will power didn’t get me to walk right out. Of course, I pre-qualified for the line of credit but then really bolted out the door, without the James Bond case.

The noise in my head was at volume 10 — ‘it’s only $127, it’s only money, once your skin goes you can’t reverse it… and on and on.’

I stopped in Sketchers to see what I looked like in a different mirror. Damn, my skin looked amazing.  ‘Go back, don’t go back – get on the train and go home. Go back, no don’t,’ said the dueling voices in my head.

My smart feet got me to the subway station and luckily a train was just pulling in. The conflict of what I should do was raging but I held strong and the doors closed with me inside.

The spa would have gotten me as a customer for 18 months at their asking price, with maybe a little more negotiating, but this experience left me exhausted, pissed off, and having lost time over nonsense in my busy schedule.  Assault and battery sales tactics are not the way to go and they’re a thing of the past.

Seduce your potential customer, leave them hungry for more, deliver on your promise, show them you understand their needs, respect their intelligence, that’s how you’ll earn their trust and business, and develop a mutually beneficial, hopefully long-term relationship.

I’d love your comments and please feel free to share if you enjoyed this post.  Thanks! I can be found at www.bluezanwrites.com

 

Do You Want to Create Unforgettable Brand Messaging?

By Susan Jacobs

For us entrepreneurs, coaches, small business owners, solopreneurs, and consultants, our business success relies heavily on how well we communicate the message of what we do, who we are, how we add value to potential clients and customers, and ‘why us over our competition.

Brand messaging is the underlying value proposition we convey, and how we get it across; the words, tone, and overall language we use in our content. It’s what helps people relate to us, helps us earn their trust, and is what inspires, persuades, and motivates them to buy from us.

STORYTELLING MATTERS

People have the attention span of a gnat and get confused easily so our messaging must be crystal clear, understandable, and get across our promise, our story, and our essence succinctly, simply, and quickly.

When you explain what you do, is the response, “Oh so you do X,” when in fact, what you were trying to convey was “Y?”  If so, back to the brand messaging drawing board.

My name is Susan. That’s how I introduce myself.  Why do some people then decide to call me Sue?  If my name were Sue, I would have said so.  It’s the same thing with your brand messaging.  It needs to convey exactly who you are, why you do what you do, and how it is of value to your clients and customers.

To stand out from your competition, create intrigue and curiosity. Tell a compelling story.

START WITH YOUR ‘WHY’

The best brand messaging earns the trust of your ideal client/customer, and establishes a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with them.  As Simon Sinek says in his book, “Start With Why,” “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

So how do you stand out when oodles of other companies or individuals do the same type of work as you?

If you’re any type of coach, and today it seems everyone is either a coach or working with a coach(!), it’s not your training that makes you stand out. Have you ever been asked by a potential client where you got certified? Most likely no. They’re buying your story, your transformation, what got you where you are, the belief that you understand what they need. Today, the more transparent, honest, and filled with stories of triumph over obstacles, the better. They buy why you do what you do, they don’t buy what you do.

Professional and life experience, your promise, credibility, testimonials, work samples, and wisdom all matter.

PEOPLE BUY WHEN THEY’RE TOUCHED EMOTIONALLY & RATIONALLY

The best success a brand can have is when it touches its ideal customer/client emotionally and rationally.  Dig deep and find a way to tap that. They want to feel, but their mind also needs to buy into it. When you can tap into this sweet spot, they’ve drank your Kool-Aid so like any relationship, do everything possible to maintain that level of trust.

Consider these tips when developing your brand messaging:

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU; IT’S ABOUT YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS

Know who they are, know their pain points and problems, and how you can solve them. What’s in it for them?  Why should they buy into you? How will your product or services enhance, simplify, or enrich, their life and/or business?  When going on about how fabulous you are and how much you’re business is needed, continually ask yourself, “So what?” “Why does that matter to them?”

Make “It’s not about me, it’s about my customer,” your mantra. You’ve climaxed when you can clearly say, “We offer…” and “You get…”

“IF YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN IT TO A SIX-YEAR-OLD, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT YOURSELF.” – Albert Einstein

Be human. Be real. Be authentic (excuse this highly overused word but it does say it so well). Be you.

Keep it simple. If people can’t remember, understand, or repeat the message, it’s not clear.  If it’s not clear, it will be out of your prospect’s mind.  And once out of their mind, it’s very hard to get them back.

Lose the buzzwords, lose the fluff, find the voice that resonates with all that your brand represents. If you are your business and the only face on your website, use the first person, not third person, not ‘we.’

What is your brand personality — spunky, formal, conservative, edgy, sassy?  Use the tone that’s most appropriate to who you’re trying to reach in your marketing materials and on your website, provided it rings true to your overall brand.

When you have a detailed picture of your ideal client/customer, then you’ll know the best way to speak in order to make a lasting connection with them.

TRUST IS BUILT WITH CONSISTENCY… 

This is so important. Be consistent across all platforms. This includes LinkedIn profiles, Facebook business pages, all marketing, public relations, communications, and digital materials.  If you’re consistent people believe you.  If you’re not, they don’t know what to think.  A confused prospect, or existing client/customer, is a lost opportunity.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

Susan JacobsBIO

I’m a world traveler, salsa dancing, yoga practicing, wanna-be Buddhist, and perpetual work-in-progress.  I believe we are co-creators of our lives and that anything is possible when we get out of our own way.  Giving voice to things that matter, sharing stories, and spreading ideas is my heart and soul.

For-hire, I’m a copywriter, content developer, and on- and off-line marketing strategist working with coaches that are looking to make the world a better place through human evolution. The strongest selling point and differentiator for your as a coach is your personal journey and transformation. As a wordsmith, I make sure that your essence is conveyed to speak directly to your idea client, that your content and marketing are in alignment with the high quality of the product of services you offer, and are consistent across the board – website, blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn, and PR and branding materials.

I specialize in cutting through the noise and clutter with authentic, engaging, easily accessible content. From a 25-year career in PR, marketing, and branding I’m able to work to look at all aspects of your business and brand and provide a ‘fresh’ perspective, as an outsider, who creates content that anyone can understand.

I’m a contributing author to the recently published book “Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This Is Now,” and my personal essays have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I’m working on her first memoir about my holistic healing journey through a hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease for The Round House Press. I’m also a guest blogger for Yogic Living and Identity Magazine. I live in Brooklyn and can be found at:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

To join my tribe of kick-ass women like Susan who is on a mission to impact the world with their own unique talents and in their unique style come over to Get Out Of Your Head.

Don’t Take A Minute For Granted

By Julia Fischer

Isn’t it sometimes weird, the fact that we think we have so much time? That we so often tend to shift everything around and postpone every other event and appointment?

I wanna tell you a story about a friendship and the moment in my life where I stopped to take every minute for granted and started to enjoy every moment with the people I am blessed with in my life even more.

We met in our early teenager years. We were best friends, almost like soulmates.  Spending almost every minute together and when we weren’t able to meet we would always talk on the phone or text each other.  There wasn’t a single thing we didn’t know about each other.

But as life goes we grew older and moved into different directions. Meeting new people, doing new things, you name it.

When I was about twenty I left home to go and spend some time in Australia.  I’ve had the most amazing time of my life, though it also was a very difficult time.  Learning for the first time of my life what it’s like living in another world, where everything is the complete opposite to the things you’re used to (more good than bad actually) you also do a lot of thinking. Thinking of what life had brought me so far, the people that have crossed my way and why everything always turns out as it does, good and bad.

Returning home after 6 month I felt a huge flash of overwhelm.

It was not long after when I suddenly saw my friend’s name on Facebook and thought: ‘Oh that is great, I really have to add him and maybe we can go get a drink and just catch up about the last few years we haven’t spoken and see what we’re up to.’

But, as you already know, we are all so busy so I didn’t manage to add him that day.

There is always a next day, right!?

A few days later (let it be 2 or 3 days) I stumbled across another friends post (I have to mention here I’m not a big feed reader so this was kind of a big coincidence, or some may call it destiny) which was actually a condolence post and as I kept reading I figured out that it was about my friend.

So here we are. We, who think have so much time left to just postpone everything to the next day, because this day will definitely come.

But what makes us so sure that tomorrow will come?

See, my friend was 22 when he died. He was an athlete and the most positive human I’ve had known at that point. Someone told me later that he even made some fun on the litter on the way to the hospital. That was just how he was, always seeing the good things and cheering everybody up.

No-one saw it coming. Because people don’t die at 22 from a broken ankle.

And yet they do, because they’re suffering from a genetic defect that no-one has yet diagnosed.

If there is one thing I can give you to take along then please never ever hesitate to call an old friend or family member you miss. If there is something you always wanted to do your entire life go do it. See a nice woman/man? Go invite her/him for dinner. Got something to say? Speak it out.

You never know what tomorrow will bring. So please whatever it is, do it now or now might never comes.

Julia FisherAbout Julia

Julia Fischer is a health coach who help women  overcome eating disorders (like binge,-emotional eating), as well as gain back their self-esteem and how they can integrate more whole food into their lives.

You can find her on facebook, twitter and instagram @blossomyoursoul and her website www.blossomyoursoul.com

 

To join my tribe of kick-ass women like Susan who is on a mission to impact the world with their own unique talents and in their unique style come over to Get Out Of Your Head.