Brené Brown is one of my favorite speakers/authors..

I am in the process of reading another book Brené Brown has written.

This book is titled Daring Greatly.  She has quoted Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena quote:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

When you are going where no one else has gone before you in your group or family – becoming an entrepreneur, creating art or music, or taking risk on an investment, look for feedback and encouragement from someone that is in that arena.

Loved ones, friends and family, might not be the best people to seek council or advise — as much as they might have your best interest at heart – but being in the arena requires taking risks, being courageous, following your heart and most people do not do this.  They live a safe life from the bleachers.

If you are going to live YOUR life, do so from inside the arena and pay no attention to those that might judge you from the sidelines.

Creating a buzz……¯`•.¸¸.ஐ

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Confrontation…

Confrontation.  Who likes it?  Most of my female entrepreneurial friends try to avoid it unless absolutely necessary.  However, confrontation, done right, can lead to better team work and problem solving.  What? How can confrontation make for a more cohesive team?

teamwork and problem solvingLike you, I was doubtful too.  However, I had come to a point where I realized I had been avoiding confrontation and it was like poison to my team.  We had resentment among fellow team members, office politics to get people to take sides and distrust.  All this was going on and as long as we produced, I could avoid the problem.

Finally, while I was on vacation, it came to a head at the office.  The day I came back to the office, a team member finally broke down and told me what was going on.  Back against the wall, I could no longer avoid what was coming.

I know that my actions created a buzz in the office among my team.  Days later, I invited them into a meeting and used the questionnaire from “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” to determine the strength of the team members I had left.  We had some work to do.  I shared the results with them.  I asked what we could do to improve the health of our team.  I was shocked and pleased by the results of this meeting. The team agreed that difficult discussions would need to be had in order to gain everyone’s trust and create a spirit of cooperation.

There have been times when team members have felt strongly about an issue and have voiced these opinions.  But the rules we follow make sure this is never personal but for the good of the company.

Rules:

100% honest/100% respectful

Is it for the good of the company?

Is it for the good of the client?

I will not make this a personal attack!

I will be open to the insights of others

I will accept the final outcome and do what is needed to improve the situation

Creating a buzz…….

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What is old is new again

What is old is new again.  I have found in business that the pendulum often swings back and forth.  If you have been in business for any length of time you have experienced this.

what is old is new againIn my business, it is personal.  It is relationships and connections.  It is about families and their future.  In the past, we would meet people, tell them what we do and how we can help them.  They would then agree or not and we would go to the next person.

Today, our first contact with people is usually via the internet or the phone.  The entry into our office is something that can be purchased from 100’s of different providers. So how do I differentiate myself during the buying period?

We let our clients know that we truly care about them and about their family.  We are not interested in selling them the hot product of the month, or one size fits everyone.  We ask questions to find out what is important.  We want to let them know why purchasing the product here is different.  If we have something that might help them, we offer.

We treat each person as unique and with different needs.    Whether their first purchase was through the internet or with one of my team, we thank them, welcome them and call them to see how the process went.

It is what happens after the sell is made that will create a lasting relationship.

Creating a buzz…..

 

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How to build rapport…

It really isn’t that hard.  Even if you are not the warm and fuzzy type of extrovert that I am, you can still make this happen between you and your client.

First of all, you must use all of your good manners and authentic body language.  Make appropriate eye contact, lean in, listen and ask questions to find out where the person is emotionally during your conversation.  As I have said before, smile. ツ

Kim Brust, Kimberly Brust, Building RapportWhenever someone is coming into meet me, I review their client information regarding anything personal that I might have noted, to be sure that I bring that up again in conversation.  This could be asking about the vacation they just took or a family member that was ill. It lets the client know that I remembered and that our last conversation was important to me.  Anything new that would come up during our current conversation will be updated in my notes as well for the next time I visit with them.

Additionally, if there is something I want to remember, I will put a note in my calendar for follow up.  Many times this would be something along this line:  Client tells me he is running his first marathon in 6 months.  At about 5 months I will send a card saying something like: “I know you have been working hard to prepare for this marathon.  Your goal is insight! Keep pushing to the finish line.  You got this! Can’t wait to hear about it.”

People are always shocked that I remembered this type of thing.  They are additionally surprised to receive a handwritten card with words of encouragement.  Not on the big day but just before to remind them why that are doing it.  So many times I will get a call thanking me and telling me how much that meant to them.  I do it with no purpose in mind but just to reinforce the rapport that I have built and will continue to build with my clients.

I have been doing this kind of thing for the last 25 years.  During the ups and downs of business, I have had many of my clients since my first few years of business.  Additionally, I have found that these clients are my best source of new business.  Literally, there have been times where a current client has walked a new prospect in to talk to me.  The new client buys – as he wants the same kind of rapport with me that his friend has.

Start today thinking about how you build rapport in your business and what you can do to build on this to insulate and grow your business.

¸¸.•*¨*•*´¨Creating a buzz

 

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Have you lost the beauty of building rapport?

In this day and time, relationships can feel so disconnected, especially in the business world.  With email, text, messenger and many other electronic forms of communication, we have lost the beauty in building rapport.

What is rapport?  “A close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”  Many times the ability to create rapport is weakened by social media as we can no longer look into someone’s eye, nod as we understand and smile when we agree.

Entrepreneurship, Kim Brust, Kimberly BrustDon’t get me wrong, social media has a place. It can open doors, create brand identity and display your core values. However, it cannot create rapport.  This has to be done face to face.  With so many ways to do business, it has become imperative we go back to the old school of building rapport with those we do business with.

I know, it is faster and more efficient to send email, leave a voice message or text, but to build loyalty and a bond with that client you need to be able to meet face to face, talk about what is important to them and ask questions that might require more than a yes or no answer.  This takes time and effort.  The rewards, however, can be explosive.

Loyalty, repeat purchases, referrals and yes, even the invitation to weddings, births and graduations….rapport brings a natural good feeling for each other that even when things are negative, the good things that have occurred are remembered.

How do you build rapport with your clients?

Creating a buzz……..

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Balance

Balance.  A word that reminds me of a flamingo standing on one leg.  That flamingo can stand there all day like that.  So still and yet so controlled.  How does one achieve that kind of balance?

First, you must know where you are out of balance: Spiritually, Socially, Financially, BalancePhysically, Family and Career.  On a 1-10 satisfaction scale, rate your satisfaction in each of these categories.  Is there one you are really satisfied with?  Is there one that is you are really unsatisfied with?  What can you do to make your satisfaction level in all areas?

Should you pay down some debt? Volunteer for a local charity? Get on a schedule to exercise regularly?  Whatever that thing is – Do it!  Get yourself in balance!

In 30 days re-evaluate your satisfaction. Write down you next action plan and repeat every 30 days to achieve your balance.

Creating a buzz.

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Ok Sheriff, we need to round up a posse

As women, we always have a group of friends in our personal life.  They support us emotionally, provide us with a different perspective and listen when we voice our concerns.  However, in business, women just don’t have such a group.

Women In Business Kimberly BrustMen typically have a group of men in business that they talk to –  whether on the golf course, at lunch or happy hour. They have a coach/mentor relationship that assists them in moving their career upward. This group of men also often times will point out the good qualities to other people in a position of power.  Many times women in business feel isolated by cultural biases. Specifically, they need to prove more, work harder, be smarter and never make a mistake in order to compete in today’s workplace.

Women – you need a posse!

I would include men in your posse – feedback, coaching and public acknowledgment of achievement could go a long way to moving your career upward. However, don’t make this a one-sided relationship.  You should provide the same – this will show you to be on the team!

Who can you put on your posse?

Creating a buzz…..

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Shhhh….I am in the zone

What zone?  My quiet, creative space that only I can ‘bee’ in.

I have always been a very busy person;  children, my own business, charitable work, social events, friends, vacations, etc.  If I sat down for a minute when there were things to do, I felt guilty. Many times I was anxious, harried and basically stressed.  I never engaged in refreshing myself.

Over the last 2 years, I have had a very smart man tell me to take quiet time to be with myself.  Listen. Begrudgingly, I did it at first.  Funny thing…. I enjoyed it and found that during this time I was able to think things through, create inspiration for myself and bring a sense of calmness to the rest of my week. Now, don’t get me wrong…I was still skeptical.

me timeThen from November to February I was moving my office.  Many things went smoothly due to attention to the details, but during this time we had the holidays and physically moving 13 years of stuff. I just had not been able to take my quiet ‘me’ time.  By the end of February, I was so overwhelmed and tired, both mentally and physically.  Pretty quickly my self analysis reminded me that it had been weeks since I had ‘me’ time….

Starting back in March, I got my life back on a schedule and made sure that ‘me’ time was on my schedule. After just the first week, I felt my invincible self to be re-emerging.  My happiness factor is on an all-time high.

You can’t ‘bee’ good to others if you are not good to yourself.  It is not selfish to allow yourself the time you need to refresh.  Find your zone.  #metime

Creating a buzz…….

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“It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.”

Do you feel like you know it all regarding your job?  Do people look to you as an expert?

Many of us hit middle age and feel like we are at our peak in terms of profession.  So we get up everyday and go to work and do what we have always done.  But, in this day and time, things are changing so rapidly that if you are still able to do this, it won’t last.

Kimberly BrustWhat are some areas that you could improve?  What is a skill you could learn more about? How could you take your current strengths and use them in a different/more creative way to solve problems?

Why should I do this?  Learning something new creates a level of excitement for all aspects of your life. It will help you in your future and may lead you down a path of continued learning. If you are in your 50s, you may absolutely live well into you 80s-90s.  Are you prepared to stop learning now?

When you stop learning, you are dying.

Creating a buzz……..

 

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Why do certain words get a bad rap?

Recently, I asked why certain words get a bad wrap.  Another word I can think of is “WORK.”

One meaning of work is “the result of exertion, labor, or activity; a deed or performance.”  Sounds hard?!  Exertion. Labor.  But much of how we face the work we do is with our attitude.  Let’s be clear…nothing good happens without a great attitude. If you cannot change the work you do, change your attitude about it.

I have done the same job for 25 years and worked for the same company for 29. As the economy was crashing so was the revenue in my office.  Being in the people business was very difficult at that time.  All I could think of was that I needed a new job or needed to run away.  Option number 2 was not an option.  Option 1 did really seem like a good idea either.   That year, it was suggested that I read the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.   It helped me realize that I needed to change.  I could not change the economy, corporate’s decisions and my clients attitude.  BUT, I could change mine.

Kimberly BrustI started by asking myself, “what could I do”?

*Look for the positive.

  • Learn some new skills that will help me grow my business.
  • Ask for help.

Did not happen over night. Everyday I had to tell myself the good stuff and sometimes many times a day. I also started a process of learning that I do every week.  Finally, I surround myself with people that are doing better than I am and ask them how they do it.

Have you had an epiphany that changed your attitude?

Creating a buzz…….

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