Empowered But Not Equipped

seminar believer
Caught up in the hype of the moment

Seminars – Workshops – Training Events – Gatherings – Summits…they go by different names but they all feel relatively the same.  My experience is that they do a great job of pumping us up, blowing tons of sunshine, convincing us that we CAN do ‘it’, and bringing us right to the edge of the cliff.  We join in the group chant, “I am a success” and we take one giant leap of faith – but just before we step off – the gurus walk away.  They have our money, they have our faith, they taught us ‘stuff’ and their job is done.  Now we get to fly solo.  We are successfully empowered but not adequately equipped.

As a business leader within my company I try real hard to make sure my team not only has the TOOLS to do their jobs, but they have been properly TRAINED and they know how to USE them.  You don’t give people tools, show them how YOU succeeded with them, and then walk away.  They will only hurt themselves.  To be an effective leader, a motivating coach, a trusted mentor – you MUST be willing to jump back down into the trenches with those who follow you.  You need to not only empower your students but it is your job, your role, your calling…to make sure they are equipped to do the work.  If they are failing, the role of a good coach will be to help them determine WHY they are failing and to instruct them as to the uses of the tools they have been given.  A coach doesn’t walk out at half-time and leave the results up to the players.

pexels-photo-207665EQUIP can be defined as “to supply with necessities such as tools or provisions”.  The definition of EMPOWER is “to invest with power; to supply with an ability; to delegate power and to authorize; to enable or permit”.   A mentor’s role is to equip and empower BUT here’s the catch:

  • You can’t teach talent
  • You can’t teach insight
  • You can’t teach common sense
  • You can’t teach devotion and dedication

If you have experienced a high from a motivational seminar (and likely lost a lot of money buying in to their processes) you are not alone.  Here are the top 4 things you should ALWAYS keep in mind when attending a seminar – or a workshop – or a summit – or whatever they try to name their marketing event.

  1.  They are selling something. They aren’t doing this for the fun of it, although they believe in what they are selling, the bottom line is that they are selling something. Do not be sold!
  2. Take the good and take the bad.  Use your brain and listen carefully, look around you, be a sponge – soak it all in – ignore what you feel is garbage, and take away what you feel will help YOU in your success.
  3. Add people to your sphere of influence
  4. Put your wallet in a secure location

I’ll leave you with this advice from my father.  He told me to never sign and pay until you’ve read the contract.  If anyone pushes you to pay and sign before you have had time to consider all your options and the ramifications of your choices – they are simply trying to sell you something.  Money spent should be an investment so lock up your wallet, don’t whip out a credit card.  If the offer sounds too good to be true – it probably is.

You Never Call Anymore

coffee-cup-working-happyToday is Monday – we make all kinds of jokes about Monday being the worse day of the week, the day after the ‘vacation’ of the weekend.  But today is the first day of the rest of your life.  What are you going to do TODAY to move towards success in your business?

Chances are pretty great that you reached out to someone in the not-so-distant past that you need to follow up with.  A potential business contact, a friend, a family member, an industry influencer, a lead, a potential source of income – you reached out to someone and today is the perfect day to reach out to them again because maybe, just maybe, they are waiting to hear from you.


There are a few key reasons people are not calling you back. They include:
  1. They know you’re selling something.  I say this all the time to the clients I coach – avoid coming across like a used salesman.  Stop with all the hype-ads, the scripts, the cutesy little quotes and bumper stickers. Get to the heart of those listening by being real – being relevant – being genuine – and being transparent.  Talk TO them not AT them. Shoot straight and honest and there is a good chance they will want to learn more. Come across as a used car salesman and your phone is going to be oddly quiet.
  2. Ypexels-photo-100528ou offer nothing of value to them.  If you are selling virtual assistance organizations to me, chances are great that I’m not going to be returning your call because, well, ORCVirtual IS virtual assistance.  You need to be offering me something of value – something of worth – something to tempt me!
  3. You lack relevance.  Virtual assistance IS relevant to me and I want to know about the latest and greatest technologies.  But if you haven’t cued in on MY needs to make it relevant for ME, then I’m not calling you back.
  4. Scheduling nightmares.  If you feel that what you have to offer has value to them, then keep in mind the simple fact that life happens.  I recently had a minor heart procedure and I was out of commission for about a week.  Fortunately, I have an AMAZING team that kept things moving forward and none of our clients felt the slightest impact of my being away for a week.  I received somewhat of a rude voicemail from a sales lady who had called earlier and was put off that I never returned her call.  Well, I did not call her but I did email and gently yet firmly put her in her place.  The point is this:  if you are reaching out to the decision-maker whether a company or a household – remember that you have no idea what is happening in their personal life that may be preventing them from calling you back.  Patience and understanding that you do not have all the facts can pay off.

According to the National Sales Executive Association

48% of sales people never follow-up with a prospect

25% of sales people make a second contact and then stop

80% of sales are made on the fifth to 12th contact!!!!!!

Only 2% of sales are made on the first contact

3% of sales are made on the second contact

5% of sales are made on the third


You’re Either In or You’re Out

Gino Barbaro* has a compelling list of reasons real estate investors fail.  When I discovered there was an actual list, I was ready to spend time reading through them and tearing them apart.  How pleasantly surprised I was to find that it was a simple list.  It’s a list that hits home for many real estate investors.

According to Barbaro, the reasons include

  1. Not enough reasons to invest in real estate

  2. No focus

  3. No plan

  4. Lack of Education

  5. Quitting too soon

  6. Not enough capital

  7. Careless due diligence

These reasons don’t have to apply just to real estate investors. Change #1 to “not enough reasons to be in this business” and the rest are universal.

man-jumping-over-impossible-or-possible-over-cliff-on-sunset-background-business-concept-idea_1323-266I am not a real estate investor.  I have the honor of providing executive administrative virtual assistance to many real estate investors around the country.  These 7 points rang so loudly to me and I know it will hit home for many investors.

I have often said if you don’t have time to plan your work and then work that plan then you need to reconsider your career choice. Don’t make your dreams mere hobbies – spending time only when you feel like it or just a few hours every now and then.

Lori Greiner has said, “entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”.  She’s right on point!

You have a choice.  Get out or get in.  You are either fully in and committed to your success or you’re out.


Pie, Anyone? Anyone?

a1b9ba8fd415ac4fe2770b759ef83889I remember very well the Thanksgiving at my Great Aunt Barbara’s house in New England. It was a lavish affair with every detail well-attended to.  All the kids were banished to the kids area, away from the adults and where our eating manners would not destroy furnishings and carpets!  That was the day my brother and I made a scene.  It wasn’t a big scene, but we tried to make it one.

My brother took the last piece of pumpkin pie and I was so upset I started to cry. Even to this day, pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats.  He didn’t want to share and my mother asked him, point-blank, “Why won’t you share with your little brother” and he replied, “cause then my piece won’t be as big!”  My mother suddenly felt sympathy for my older brthe-best-vegan-gluten-free-pumpkin-pie-10-ingredients-fool-proof-methods-so-delicious-fool-all-your-guests-this-thanksgivingother and of course THAT infuriated me!  How could she possibly think it was ok to take his side? Then my mother leaned closer to my brother and said, loud enough for me to hear, “would you prefer to have a small piece of this pie, or none at all?” My brother knew his pie was on borrowed time because if he didn’t come up with the RIGHT answer, and quickly, Mom was the one who was going to be enjoying that piece of pie!  So he quickly changed his mind and shared the pie with me.


We all want as much as we can get, right?  Pile the buffet plate higher.  Fill the glass to the tip-top.  Less ice, more drink, please.  No thanks, I’ll hold out for a better deal somewhere else.

In real estate there are a LOT of important steps. We call that due diligence.  It’s doing the work before making a deal and then making sure that the process continues right up until the closing.  However, once you submit your offer, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do except wait.  It makes no sense to rise every morning to check on your deal.  What are you going to do and how will you feel if THAT deal falls through? Now what?  You just waited HOW LONG holding out for the right deal!

I had a long talk with a young lady in the real estate business who continually “ran the numbers” on hundreds of leads and in 12 months she never had one contract. She said she’ll know the deal when it comes along. I eventually learned she had no interested if she couldn’t make it work so that she earned at least $2,500 on the deal.  Any less just wasn’t worth her time.

So I ask you – do you want a small piece of pie or no pie at all?  Are you holding out in hopes that you’ll get a bigger piece because while you are, a lot of little pieces walked right past you and those little ones all add up to a heck of a lot more than the one deal for which you are holding out.

Mmmmm…pie…gotta get me some pumpkin pie (and pecan pie, that’s my second favorite)!

Start Polishing Your Resume Because I’m Not Running a DayCare

Submitted By Kurt Danskin, CEO, ORCVirtual, Inc.

Any time that I was fortunate enough to be in a position of leadership, I always made my primary objective the same:  empower the team. If someone was failing on the job, I believed the first line of accountability fell to me.  It was my job to train the team, support the team, and empower them to succeed.  After evaluation and training, if they continued to fail, the responsibility fell on them.  It comes down to my style of management – if, in the beginning, you need micro-managing to help get you over some hurdles because management failed in their training and in clearly outlining their expectations, then I was happy to do so – for a short period of time.  If, after training and coaching and encouraging and supporting and you continued to fail – start polishing that resume because I’m not running a daycare.

closerlookMany of us have experienced being micro-managed and many of us are guilty of doing it.  Usually it comes down to how we appear, or believe we appear, to upper management.  If we are afraid that upper management does not like something from my team, then I’m likely to take it out on my team whether or not it is a real problem – I perceive it as one therefore the only way to fix it, is to put my foot down.  Many times, if the department manager is hovering over everyone going through their work with a fine-toothed comb,  someone above them is doing the same thing.  The only way to overcome this is to have an honest, open, corporate discussion.  You need to always be asking the following questions:

  1. Am I providing them the right tools to do the job?
  2. Did I teach them how to use and care for those tools?
  3. Do I know what it is like to sit in their chair for a day?
  4. Am I listening to what they have to say?
  5. Am I afraid that if they fail, I’m going to fail?

If dialogue is the answer – well, here’s why I do NOT like honest, open, corporate discussion…

It turns in to a whine-fest.  Someone chimes in about a certain time when so-and-so did such-and-such and they go off on a tangent.  They pick one or two times someone was mean to them and dwell on it and focus on that and constantly hammer it home.  The current political scene is a CLASSIC example of jungle-gym bullying.  You honestly don’t have that many bad things to say about others but the reality is, you don’t have anything great to say about yourself so you spend time throwing the spotlight (blame) on to others hoping beyond all hope that upper management will actually do something about it that will make you look like you are the one that is right.

business man  on a meeting in offce with colleagues in backgroun
Even though everyone comes to the mandatory company meeting – not everyone ‘shows up’

I have seen it so many times in the corporate world – “Let’s have a dialogue” actually means, let’s try to listen to everyone and get them to say it like we want it said.  Have you ever had to have a brutal, this-is-going-to-hurt talk with someone?  It’s not a fun place to be, is it?  But did it RESULT in something GOOD?

Micro-managing should not be “do-this-do-that, and then I”ll check your homework”.  It should be a time to get in that trench with that team member, listen to what they have to say and get a real feel for the rhythm of their surroundings.  Look closely and pick up the tools they were given and see if they actually work.  A little empathy goes a long way. 

Managers absolutely do not want to be surrounded by people who are better than they – it makes them look bad and they fear for their job.  Leaders thrive to educate and coach people into success and thereby surround themselves with people who are much better than they are in that field.

The next time you feel the need to micro-manage someone, ask yourself, “why am I having to do this? What went wrong and where did I fail that this person needs a babysitter?”  But when given the tools, and shown how to use those tools, and supported and empowered and they continue to fail? That’s when I say, “You may want to polish up your resume cause I am not running a daycare”.

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