By MaryEllen Tribby
Last week while cleaning up my office I stumbled across some notes that I had used to give a speech.
This speech took place almost three years ago at the first ever Glazer/Kennedy Women's Conference.
The conference was a wonderful event, with some very smart presenters. I had given a 90-minute presentation on day one of the event that blew the audience away. My session was on the nuts and bolts of direct response marketing. I had a pretty impressive presentation and received a standing ovation.
But it was the last day of the conference when I was asked to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Trade Secrets of Highly Successful Women CEO's" that I was most proud of.
You see this panel was not a planned session. It organically evolved based on some of the feedback that took place during the conference. Therefore, there were no fancy PowerPoint presentations. Just four of us on stage, giving the best advice we could muster up.
Now almost three years later, finding these notes feels like winning the lottery because I get to share them with you. Plus as I review them I realize how valuable they are - not just for your business but also for your everyday life. Which just goes to show you how living a blended lifestyle, truly is the best lifestyle.
Seven Trade Secrets of a Highly Successful Woman CEO's
1) Put yourself first: This may sound counter intuitive to you especially as a mother. However, when you put everyone else above you, you have nothing left for you or your loved ones. It is when you put yourself first that you are truly able to take care of the important people in your life. And by putting yourself first, you are also teaching your kids, employees, friends etc. . . . how to be a leader NOT a victim.
2) "No" is a complete sentence: As women we seem to feel the need to explain ourselves. You do NOT need to do this. You can and should simply say no to requests that are unreasonable. If you would like to add a disclaimer here is a script you can use verbatim. "If anything changes I will let you know".
So now let's put that into a real life situation.
A colleague asks you to participate in a telesummit on very short notice. But you are completely booked. So instead of trying to squeeze it in and doing a sub par job on it, you merely say "I'm sorry I am completely booked this month, but if anything changes I will let you know."
You do not need to go into how you are taking the kids to Disney and hiring a new marketing manager or launching a new product. But mostly do not let someone else's problem become your problem. Perhaps if they had given you reasonable notice you could have done it, but in this situation you need to say "no"!
3) Work on your business/career everyday: Work is not and should not be a dirty four-letter word. When you love what you do, it is a pleasure to work. When you live a blended lifestyle, it is easy to work. When your activities are purposeful, work blends right into your day. And it does not need to be traditional "work". For example, reading past issues of WMO qualifies. Or attending events qualifies. Anything that moves your business forward qualifies.
4) Respect everyone: Many years ago, I was asked a question that has stayed with me. And it was my answer that I continually practice everyday.
I was in my late 20's and someone a bit older working in my department asked "How did you become so successful at such a young age?" And my answer was simple. I told him it was because I treat everyone the same, everyone with respect. At the time I was running a division of Forbes and actually used Steve Forbes as an example. I explained that it did not matter if I was meeting with Steve Forbes or playing softball in Central Park with Mike from the mailroom. Both gentlemen had my utmost respect.
5) Don't gossip: Plain and simple gossip kills. It's harmful and mean. And once you have a reputation for gossiping, you can kiss your career good-bye!
6) Understand your customer: This goes way beyond the demographics of your customer. This means you need to understand their biggest challenges. You need to know what keeps your customer up at night in order to truly service them.
7) Operate from a transformational place instead of a transactional place: If you are always doing things and associating a price tag to them, you will never be wealthy. But when you operate from a place that allows you to share your knowledge and gifts, that is when you will be wealthy.
People ask me all the time why I give WMO away complimentary. So many folks say I should charge a fee for it, that it is way too valuable not to charge a fee.
But here's the thing, it is when I started WMO and shared it with the world that I really started making money, real money. When I started this service, living my purpose, that is when folks from all over the world (and very organically) called me to consult with them. It is when I started WMO I was able to create products to sell and write best-selling books.
And here is a little bonus secret; sometimes our best work is sitting right under own noses. The important valuable knowledge that we are meant to share was there all along. In my case it was sitting right under some old journals right on my desk.