Have you lost confidence in your ability to do your job?

Perhaps your employer’s expectations are too high or maybe you are your own worst critic.

Maybe your work environment changed and you have a new team, new boss or a new role.

Or you may have been asked to “step-up” or take on more responsibility with fewer resources.

These, and other factors, can impact our self-confidence and often leave us feeling unprepared, unqualified or unable to do our jobs. Unfortunately, most of us feel like this at some point in our career.

While we can’t control every aspect of our work environment, we can work to increase our self-confidence for a more positive work experience. Incorporating the following five steps will help you face workplace challenges feeling prepared, qualified and capable.

Reduce negative thoughts or “self-talk”

You know that little voice that keeps saying, “Are you sure about that decision?” or “You can’t do that,” or “You’re not smart enough for this”? Surprise! We all have that voice in our heads. The important thing is what we choose to do with it. We run into trouble when we let that negative, self-depreciating voice start driving our decision making and choices. What can you do when negative thoughts emerge?

  • First, just notice. What is your little voice saying and what’s behind the message?
  • Second, make a choice about the self-talk you will allow to continue and explore your options.
  • Third, replace the negative thoughts with more positive ones. When the negative thoughts come back, notice for a bit, make a choice and then move forward with self-talk that best serves you.

No situation has meaning until you add your interpretation of the situation with your thoughts. By adding more positive thoughts, your interpretation of the situation becomes more optimistic and eventually, you will become more confident.

Enhance self-awareness

Know yourself and what you are capable of accomplishing. An easy and fun tool for discovering strengths is Tom Rath’s book Strengthsfinder 2.0. It includes a survey that identifies your top five strengths as well as strategies for growing those strengths. It can also be helpful to take a few minutes and think about what self-confidence means to you.

  • Finish these three sentences: “To me, self-confidence means…”“I feel confident when…”, and “I celebrate my self-confidence by…”.
  • Then create and write down your intention about confidence. For example, an intention about confidence might be: “I have all the skills and tools I need to thrive in whatever circumstances are thrown at me.” Use your intention statement as a filter for making choices about how you respond to stresses, problems, and difficult people in the workplace. Use it also to filter your choices about opportunity, abundance and inspiring colleagues! Self-confidence puts you in the driver’s seat to make decisions about how you will respond to situations or circumstances.

Remember that everyone’s self-confidence is tested and put under pressure at some point. It is possible to feel anxiety, stress, and fear AND make a choice about your thoughts and behavior that supports your intention about confidence.

Protect your energy 

Let go of fixing every problem and helping every person. What happens if you view your associates, clients/customers, employees as capable and resourceful people who can fix their own problems? You are able to direct your energy toward the areas in which you will have the greatest impact.

Set realistic goals and celebrate wins

Set measurable goals to monitor your progress. Write them down. Be specific, be realistic, identify a date for completion and include the benefit to you of completing the goal.

When you meet your goals (or meet milestones on the way), celebrate! Acknowledging progress and success is a great confidence booster. Keep a journal of your successes and look back at it when your confidence takes a hit. Remind yourself of all you are capable of and look back at your intentions and your goals to move forward.


Breathing is a great tool to relax the body and to push the pause button.

Webster’s dictionary defines confidence as: 1) FAITH, TRUST; 2) a feeling or consciousness of one’s power or of reliance on one’s circumstances; 3) the quality or state of being certain. Often the most observable difference between someone with high confidence and someone with low confidence is how they respond to a situation.

Often all you need to get out of reaction mode and into choice mode is to pause: take a breath, check in with your intentions and make a choice about your next step confidently. You will find when you behave from a place of choice rather than a quick reaction, your self-confidence is higher.


I encourage you to see how positive thinking, increasing self-awareness, protecting your energy, achieving goals, celebrating wins and remembering to breathe can transform negatives into career opportunities. I am confident that incorporating these five steps will increase your self-confidence in current situations and throughout your career.



May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment




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5 Ways to Speak More Powerfully

5 Ways to Speak More Powerfully

“It’s been impossible for me to get a job,” the woman tells me, having just been introduced by a mutual acquaintance at breakfast. “There’s just nothing out there. Absolutely nothing.”

Although I have no way to validate her situation, my strong sense is that it is not impossibleand that there is something out there. She just hasn’t found it. As I encourage her to stay proactive, I can’t help but think how easily her words could create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The words you speak hold power. Power to create new possibilities or to close them down, to build relationships or to damage them, to lift people up or to pull them down.

Too often we don’t realize just how impactful our words are—both on ourselves and others. If we did, we’d do far less complaining and far more encouraging. You would also hear a lot less of “It’s impossible to…,” “I’m totally hopeless at…” or “I had no choice…”—all phrases which undermine our power and limit our future.

Psychologists have found that our subconscious mind interprets what it hears very literally. The words that come out of our mouth create the reality we inhabit. Unfortunately, it’s often a negative reality because we unconsciously sabotage our success simply by using language that undermines our opinions, amplifies our problems and chips away at our confidence to handle them.

Whatever direction your words lead, your mind, body and environment will inevitably follow.

If you use positive language about yourself and your ability to learn new skills, achieve your goals and handle pressure, then that’s what tends to show up externally. Conversely, if you’re continually saying things that affirm incompetence, echo hopelessness, nurture anxiety or fuel pessimism, then that will also shape your reality. Over time your world will morph to mirror your words.

Therefore, it’s extremely important to be thoughtful about the words you use and deliberate about speaking in ways that empower and expand rather than devalue and deflate.

The truth is that most people grossly underestimate the power they possess to effect positive change. This is echoed in the words they use to describe themselves and their circumstances. By painting themselves as helpless victims of forces beyond their control, devoid of the power and influence to improve their lot, they render themselves just that. It’s a vicious cycle as they gather more and more evidence to confirm their powerlessness.

Tapping into your personal power starts with building self-awareness of where you are, using what psychologists call “out of power” language. To that end, below are five ways you can change how you speak in order to build your confidence, grow your influence and improve your ability to get more of what you want and change what you don’t.

1. Speak possibilities into life.

Orville and Wilbur Wright didn’t get an aircraft off the ground by focusing on what they couldn’t do, but by continually extending the boundaries of what they could. It’s the same for you. Focus on the things you want and you’ll spot opportunities you might have otherwise missed. Focus on the negative aspects of your situation, what you can’t or don’t want to do, and it will only amplify pessimism, triggering more negative emotions and channeling time and energy that might otherwise have been used more constructively.

For example :  If you want more

  • time, talk about the important things you will schedule into your day, week and year (not about how crazy busy you are).
  • success, talk about your aspirations and what you can do to make them a reality (not about how big your problems are).
  • power and influence, talk about what you’ll do with the influence you already have (not about how no one takes you seriously).

2. Don’t “try” to do something.

If President Kennedy had said, “Let’s try to get a man on the moon,” we’d probably still be trying. There is real power in making a committed declaration about what you want to change, achieve or become. Saying “I’ll try” resonates with hesitation and ambivalence. Saying “I will” declares to yourself and anyone listening that you’re serious about changing the game and what you most want is already a done deal. It’s just waiting to be completed.

Committing with a confident can-do spirit shifts the energy you bring to a challenge and rallies people around you in ways that trying, wishing and “hoping for the best” never will. Try it!

3. Never say never.

Up until Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes in 1954, it was collectively believed to be a physical impossibility. So few people bothered to try. But within six weeks of Bannister doing the “impossible,” John Landy broke the record by nearly a second.

Most of us have no idea about what is actually possible. Likewise, when we use absolute terms as descriptors, we fall into what’s known as a “linguistic trap”—confining ourselves to the walls our words create. Hence, words like always, never and impossible can be very self-limiting and should be used cautiously.

4. Never apologize for having an opinion.

Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin coined the term “double voice discourse” to explain the phenomena where people prefaced their statements to minimize the chance of a negative reaction. For instance, “I know I might have this all wrong, but…” or “I apologize if anyone disagrees, but I was thinking, maybe,… ”

It’s little surprise (to this woman at least) that women, who excel at forming relationships but are loathe to disrupt them, are four times more likely to do this than men. But regardless of your gender, devaluing your opinion serves no one and deprives everyone of the value your perspective brings.

5. Beware of labels. They limit.

When used on pantry containers, labels can be very helpful. But they can also hem you in because you subconsciously comply with them. For example, just because you are sometimes lazy doesn’t mean you can’t choose not to be lazy. Just because you failed at something, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. And just because you’ve had a lousy fashion sense doesn’t mean you can’t improve it.

Although changing habitual ways of speaking isn’t done overnight, neuroscientists have found that with repeated practice, you can rewire your brain. That is, your innate neural plasticity enables you to replace negative patterns of thought and behavior with positive ones. How you speak included. Of course, when you slip back into default habits, as you inevitably will, don’t beat yourself up or label yourself as a lost cause. Rather, accept your fallibility and refocus on the positive changes you want to make.

You can kick-start your efforts by asking your favorite three people to call you out each time they hear you use “out of power” language. It could be the most powerful thing you do all year!



May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment




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Use The 4 Levels Of Customer Satisfaction To Build Customer Loyalty

Use The 4 Levels Of Customer Satisfaction To Build Customer Loyalty

The ability to satisfy your customers to gain customer loyalty is the critical determinant of your success in driving sales and growing your business.

There are four levels of customer satisfaction, all based on the degree to which you meet customer expectations. The higher the level you achieve, the more you will build customer loyalty and the greater your success.

Level One: Meet Customer Expectations

The minimum requirement to simply stay in business—to survive—is to meet the expectations of your customers.

At this level, your customers have no complaints. They are satisfied for the moment, but at this point, customer loyalty doesn’t exist.

If a competitor demonstrates that it can and will do more than merely meet their expectations, your customer will very quickly become an ex-customer.

Moreover, if you fail to meet their expectations, they will leave and give their customer loyalty to someone who can.

It can be helpful to observe your local merchants, the true entrepreneurs.

Level Two: Exceed Customer Expectations

This higher level of customer satisfaction is reached by surprising your customers. You must go beyond what they expect.

Fast, friendly, and good customer service, followed up by a phone call to ensure customer satisfaction, might put you into this category.

The second level of customer satisfaction moves you beyond mere survival. Exceeding expectations builds a measure of customer loyalty and gives you an edge over your competitors.

It can also increase your profitability.

Customers who experience the kind of service that exceeds their expectations are often willing to pay for it. This enables the supplier to raise prices and thus improve profit margins.

Level Three: Delight Your Customer

Have you ever experienced a level of good customer service that not only exceeded your expectations but actually brought a smile to your face?

A customer served at this level is truly delighted. Not only have the customer’s basic needs been met or exceeded, but they have been touched emotionally.

Once customers have enjoyed this experience, you will gain customer loyalty. It will be very difficult for a competitor to pry them away.

When you delight your customers, you are on the way to creating an exceptional and highly profitable business.

There are countless cost-effective ways to delight your customers and build your customer loyalty. It can be as simple as a follow-up phone call.

To delight your customer is to show that you care about them. No wonder it brings a smile to their face!

The greater your success in delighting your customers and providing good customer service, the greater success you will enjoy in your business.

Level Four: Amaze Your Customer

This fourth level of customer satisfaction is what will propel your business above and beyond.

It requires you to not only to meet and exceed your customer’s expectations but delight and amaze them.

When you are able to amaze your customers regularly, you will be in a position to dominate the marketplace.

You will achieve remarkable rates of revenue growth and profitability.

Examine Your Own Business

Examine your own business. How might you amaze your customers? What things could you improve?


​May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment

sandra bravo amasssing



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Kids teach us great lessons

Kids teach us great lessons

Kids teach us great lessons

A little girl visited a farm one day and wanted to buy a large watermelon.

The farmer said, “That will be $3.”

“But I’ve only got 30 cents,” said the young girl.

The farmer pointed to a very small watermelon in the field and said, “How about that one?”

“Okay, I’ll take it,” said the little girl.  “But leave it on the vine.  I’ll be back for it in a month.”

Now there’s a young girl who is destined to succeed.

Children teach us many lessons.  For example, kids are more creative and are more imaginative.  Children don’t know what is and isn’t possible.  To them everything is doable.  They don’t have the mental blocks that many adults have and haven’t been curtailed by rules and regulations.

Similarly, kids also dream more and dream bigger.  If they can dream it, children believe they can do it.  They are more ambitious and enthusiastic.  

When I speak to business audiences, one of my messages is to believe in yourself, even when no one else does.  No one does this better than children.  They believe they can do anything and everything.  

Children are fearless.  They don’t fear rejection or what people think of them.  They don’t think about the future.  They are carefree.  Tomorrow is simply another day.

Children start every day anew.  They are not afraid to try new things.  They don’t worry and, possibly most importantly, are happy.  And they strive to do what makes them happy.  Shouldn’t we do the same as adults?  You can be as happy as you decide to be.  It also helps that kids laugh a lot.

Children forgive and forget.  If they get upset they are typically on to something else soon and they forget what was troubling them.  They don’t hold grudges.  It is far better to forgive and forget than to resent and remember.

Children make friends easily.  They understand that the best vitamin for developing friends is B1.

Long gone are the days of “children should be seen and not heard.”  Children of today are not just tech savvy; they are creating apps that will pay their college tuition.  

That’s pretty amazing for a whole sector of society with no control over most areas of their lives.  Someone else is telling them when to eat, sleep and go to school.  They can’t choose their living arrangements, make their own vacation plans, or set their own rules.  They are essentially powerless.  And yet, they manage to survive and thrive.  What are we adults doing wrong?

Perhaps we have set aside the childlike qualities that keep us excited about getting up every morning.  Remedy that problem pronto.  If enthusiasm and creativity are lacking, it might be time to reread some Dr. Seuss. 

Children are incredibly perceptive.  They can spot a phony with dizzying speed, and while tact isn’t always among their strongest attributes, their blunt honesty is hard to argue with.  

Let me tell you the story about the father of a very wealthy family who took his son on a trip to the country with the purpose of showing his son how poor people live.  They stayed with a very poor family.  When they returned, the father asked the son what he thought of their trip.

“It was great, Dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah,” said the son.  

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered:  “I saw that we have one dog and they had four.  We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end.  We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.  Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.  We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.  We have servants who serve us, but they serve others.  We buy our food, but they grow theirs.  We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them.”  

The boy’s father was speechless.  

Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing?  Through the eyes of a child, the father learned wisdom beyond the ages.  



​May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment




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Appreciation increases your Value

Appreciation increases your Value

A man attending a seminar on interpersonal relationships became convinced of the need for him to begin showing appreciation to people.  His family seemed like an appropriate place to start.  So on his way home, he picked up a dozen long-stem roses and a box of chocolates.  This was going to be a real surprise, and he was excited to begin showing his wife how much he appreciated her.

Arriving home, he walked up to the front door with his hands full, rang the doorbell and waited for his wife to answer.  Immediately upon seeing him, she began to cry.

“What’s the matter honey?” asked the confused husband. 

“Oh, it’s been a terrible day,” she responded.  “First, Tommy tried to flush a stuffed animal down the toilet, then the dishwasher quit working, Sally came home from school sick, and now … now you come home drunk.” Oops.

Maybe this husband had bad timing or he should have shown more appreciation in the past.  Or maybe he was suffering from the taking-things-for-granted syndrome.  Many of us are comfortable with our lives and we often fail to appreciate our loved ones, friends, people we work with, our health, and on and on.

Whether spoken by you or to you, two words are among the most meaningful in our language.  We teach them to tots learning to talk, to get them in the habit of showing gratitude.  We write them when we receive a gift or a special favor.  We say them when we remember to, which is often not enough.  

“There are two words that, when spoken, have the most unfathomable power to completely change your life,” wrote Rhonda Byrne, author of “The Secret.”  “Two words which, when they pass your lips, will be the cause of bringing absolute joy and happiness to you.  Two words that will create miracles in your life.  Two words that will wipe out negativity.  Two words that will bring you abundance in all things.  Two words which, when uttered and sincerely felt, will summon all the forces and vibrations in the Universe to move all things for you.  The only thing standing between you, happiness, and the life of your dreams is two words … THANK YOU!”  

William James, psychologist and philosopher, said, “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”

Studies by other psychologists reflect this as well.  Psychologists Michael E. McCullough and Robert A. Emmons performed several studies in which participants were asked to practice exercises of “counting their blessings” either on a weekly basis for 10 weeks or on a daily basis for a couple weeks.  Participants were asked to record their moods, coping behaviors, health behaviors, physical symptoms and overall life appraisals.  Their research is one reason many people believe appreciation is the most essential and powerful constituent of well-being.

The cost of praising someone is nil – but a recent study has found that the payoff can be huge.  Employees want to be seen as competent, hardworking members of the team.  Good managers want satisfied, motivated, and productive staff members.  What better motivation than thanking employees for their contributions to the company’s success? 

Showing appreciation also generates respect and builds relationships.  The keys are to be sincere and specific.  Whether it’s in person or in writing, it’s always good to praise others in public, which raises morale.  Just keep it genuine – going overboard can have the reverse effect.

Fortunately there are many simple ways to show appreciation to people at work:

Take note of a talent or skill they have and compliment them.Ask co-workers about their lives outside of work.  Show a genuine interest.  Everything doesn’t have to be about business.Give recognition for a job well done.Offer to help if you know a co-worker is in a bind.Buy lunch.  Tell their boss what a good job they did on a project.

Little things mean a lot … not true.  Little things mean everything.

Just remember:  You get what you give.  When you give appreciation and acknowledgement, you are showing that you value the people around you. You might be just one person, but hearing a simple “thank you” may be all it takes to turn someone’s day around.  I guarantee that you will get something in return – the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference for someone.  And that’s all the thanks you need. 


​May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment




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Do you know Gary Vaynerchuk?



sandra bravo amasssing leadership

sandra bravo amasssing leadership

3 Money Habits That Separate the Rich From the Poor

3 Money Habits That Separate the Rich From the Poor

It all starts with the same amount of money—just a different philosophy

Here is an exciting thought! Why not work full time on your job and part time on your fortune? And what a feeling you’ll have when you can honestly say, “I’m working to become wealthy. I’m not just working to pay my bills.” When you have a wealth plan, you’ll be so motivated that you’ll have a hard time going to bed at night.

So if you will indulge me, I would like to share a simple formula for creating wealth. Here’s my thought on how money should be allocated.

The 70/30 Rule

After you pay your fair share of taxes, learn to live on 70 percent of your after-tax income. These are the necessities and luxuries you spend money on. Then, it’s important to look at how you allocate your remaining 30 percent. Let’s allocate it in the following ways:


Of the 30 percent not spent, one-third should go to charity. Charity is the act of giving back to the community and helping those who need assistance. I believe that contributing 10 percent of your after-tax income is a good amount to strive for.

The act of giving should be taught early, when the amounts are small. It’s pretty easy to take a dime out of a dollar. But it’s considerably harder to give away a $100,000 out of $1 million. You say, “Oh, if I had $1 million, I’d have no trouble giving $100,000.” I’m not so sure. $100,000 is a lot of money. Start early so you’ll develop the habit before the big money comes your way.

Capital Investment

With the next 10 percent of your after-tax income, you’re going to create wealth. This is money you’ll use to buy, fix, manufacture or sell. The key is to engage in commerce, even if only on a part-time basis.

So how do you go about creating wealth? There are lots of ways. Let your imagination roam. Take a close look at those skills you developed at work or through your hobbies; you may be able to convert these into a profitable enterprise.

In addition, you can also learn to buy a product at wholesale and sell it for retail. Or you can purchase a piece of property and improve it. Use this 10 percent to purchase your equipment, products or equity—and get started. There is no telling what genius is inside you waiting to be awakened by the spark of opportunity.


The last 10 percent should be put in savings. I consider this to be one of the most exciting parts of your wealth plan because it can offer you peace of mind by preparing you for the “winters” of life. Let me give you the definition of “rich” and “poor”: Poor people spend their money and save what’s left. Rich people save their money and spend what’s left.

Twenty years ago, two people each earned a $1,000 a month and they each earned the same increases over the years. One had the philosophy of spending money and saving what’s left; the other had the philosophy of saving first and spending what’s left. Today, if you knew both, you’d call one poor and the other wealthy.

So, remember that giving, investing and saving, like any form of discipline, has a subtle effect. At the end of the day, the week, the month, the results are hardly noticeable. But let five years lapse and the differences become pronounced. At the end of 10 years, the differences are dramatic.

And it all starts with the same amount of money—just a different philosophy.


May Your Wisdom Guide You on Your Way to Success & Freedom


#1 Best Selling Author ☆ Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ Women Empowerment




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4 Ways to Create Financial Security Without Salary Certaint

4 Ways to Create Financial Security Without Salary Certaint

One week last November, I had issued over $40,000 in invoices but had only $2,000 in my business bank account.

Despite careful budgeting, cash cushion building and prompt invoicing, my due diligence was not enough to avoid the squeeze of solopreneurship. For members of the YouEconomy, the ebb and flow of getting paid can be a burden.

Everything from past-due payments to seasonal slowdowns can result in unexpected cash flow interruptions. Cycles of feast or famine can perpetuate the stress of paycheck-to-paycheck living.

To survive and thrive in the midst of this volatility, the adage “expect the unexpected” is a mandate. After all, the rent is still due. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of dollars are on the way if none of them are in your bank account when it comes time to pay your quarterly tax bill.

Here are four ways solopreneurs can begin creating a framework for financial security, even without salary certainty.


4 Ways to Combat Financial Uncertainty in the YouEconomy1. Calculate your make-or-break number.

What is the bare minimum, no frills cost of running your business and your life? Add to that a buffer of 10 percent and a retirement savings contribution to get your make-or-break number: a benchmark for the viability of your venture.

When you have a clear metric for covering your basic operational costs, it offers a threshold for how much you need to earn as well as a gauge for other spending, savings and reinvestment goals.

Subtract your make-or-break number from your previous month’s income to calculate how much you can afford to spend on discretionary expenses.

4 Ways to Combat Financial Uncertainty in the YouEconomy

2. Don’t mix business and personal accounts.

For the novice freelance writer or part-time TaskRabbit, making a couple of hundred bucks on the side might not feel like much of a business. But it should still be treated as such. Set up separate business accounts to keep self-employment or side-hustle income and expenses separate from personal ones.

In addition to simplifying accounting come tax time, this separation can help cultivate a critical solopreneur mindset: Revenue does not equal income!

4 Ways to Combat Financial Uncertainty in the YouEconomy3. Build a buffer.

Expecting the unexpected requires a healthy cash cushion for managing cash flow interruptions—separate from personal emergency savings.

While building this business savings buffer, solopreneurs should also look ahead for potential business slowdowns and put backup plans in place. Instead of scrambling after a few weeks without work, proactively seeking new opportunities prior to a breaking point can help avoid overreliance on the emergency business buffer.

4 Ways to Combat Financial Uncertainty in the YouEconomy4. Be your own human resources department.

Switching over to self-employment also means becoming self-reliant. With no HR department to set up your health care or employer to match your 401(k) contributions, solopreneurs have to take the reins of their own long-term well-being, and treat it as seriously as any other aspect of their business.

I include retirement contributions in my make-or-break number to ensure they become as nonnegotiable as any other essential living cost. After all, the only way to thrive in the YouEconomy is to take the long view and plan accordingly.

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There are many things in life that you can do multiple times.  Making a first impression isn’t one of them.

First impressions are lasting.  Once a first impression is made, if it’s less than great, unfortunately it takes a long time to change it. 

Experts say it takes between five and 15 seconds for someone to form a first impression about a person.  According to William Thourlby in his book “You Are What You Wear:  The Key to Business Success,” the first time we meet someone, we’re trying to size them up.  People look at socio-economic status, level of education, social position, level of sophistication, economic background, social background, moral character and level of success.

First impressions are influenced by our backgrounds, including our families, friends, education, religion, jobs and other factors.  These include body language, dress and appearance, and voice.  Your body language and appearance speak much louder than words.  Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance.  Stand tall, make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake.

Quite possibly, one of the most important and terrifying times to make a spectacular first impression is when you are interviewing for or starting a new job. 

The first day of a new job can be exciting and nerve-racking at the same time.  Even if you never plan to leave your current job, you’ll probably be promoted or switch to a new position at some point, and the experience will be much the same.  There are some guidelines for relieving some of that stress on day one that you should keep in mind.

  • Don’t be late.  In fact, it’s best to be a little early.  Double-check where you’re supposed to be and what time you’re expected to start.  If it’s a new workplace, test your route and give yourself extra time for a prompt arrival.
  • Learn the lay of the land.  Your manager will probably show you around, but make an extra effort to remember what you see so you don’t have to repeat the same questions.  Yes, you can always ask for directions later, but you’ll impress people more by being a quick study.
  • Master people’s names.  Again, you’ll gain a reputation for attention and thoughtfulness by memorizing the names of everyone you meet.  There are a variety of memory strategies that will help you match names and faces.  There is no bigger compliment than using someone’s name when you speak to them.
  • Bring your lunch.  Maybe the boss or co-workers will take you out to lunch on your first day, but don’t count on it.  Stay in the workplace and eat in the lunchroom so you get a chance to meet more people.  Just don’t waste too much time chowing down on your first day – demonstrate your eagerness to get back to work.
  • Smile.  Put a pleasant expression on your face.  Be friendly.  Show that you’re glad to be there.  People respond to smiles and sincerity.  Ask questions and be interested in your new co-workers.  They’ll remember and appreciate your effort.
  • Restrain your instincts.  Your first day is a time to learn, not to show off what you think you know.  So show you are glad to be there, but don’t let your enthusiasm get the best of you lest you come off as insincere.  Concentrate instead on what you can contribute and how you can fit in to the culture. 

On the other side of the equation, when I hire people, I am acutely aware of the first impression they leave on me.  Will a customer have the same reaction?

We’ve all had cringe-worthy moments hoping we came across as positive as we could.  Remember the movie, “Pretty Woman”?   Julia Roberts’ character goes into a swanky Beverly Hills shop looking for a wardrobe upgrade, wearing a very casual and somewhat provocative outfit.  The saleswomen ignore her, thinking she can’t afford their clothing.  She gets the message and walks out of the store as quickly as she came in.

But a couple days later, she returns, dressed to the nines.  The sales staff is most attentive, anticipating a huge sale from this elegant woman.   They obviously don’t recognize her.  So she reminds them that they had snubbed her and so she took her business elsewhere.  Nothing could make up for their pathetic first impression.


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 Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ #1 Best Selling Author ☆ Women Empowerment

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The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

Recently on The School of Greatness podcast, I had the opportunity to interview Steve Weatherford, the former NFL Super Bowl champion who was one of the best punters in the world, about his secrets to success.

One of the most powerful things that entrepreneurs and success-seekers can take away from the world of sports and athletic achievement is the effectiveness of visualization and positive thinking. Study after study points to the power of this simple yet life-changing practice.

What most people don’t realize is that the people who are on the top of their success game already are constantly learning, feeding their souls and minds to continue to grow. One of my favorite things about Steve is that he is so successful, in the top 1 percent of the 1 percent in his niche, one of the best in the world at what he does, yet he is transitioning to the next thing in his life (entrepreneurship) and is still learning and growing.

“Visualize your day going perfect in detail. Commit to the habit for 30 days and your life will change.”

Steve’s key life hack is positive self-talk. He recommends that you “talk yourself through every day. In the morning say, ‘Today is going to be a great day and this is why’.… Visualize your day going perfect in detail. Commit to the habit for 30 days and your life will change.”

He doesn’t believe in realistic. He visualizes every single thing going perfectly. Does it? No. But having the vision that it will makes a big difference.

“You have to see things happen in your life before you can do it. It is visualization. I learned that as an athlete; don’t ever go out onto the field of competition thinking about what you don’t want to have happen, because once you let those negative thoughts into your mind, they can more easily manifest.

“If you are in a place of positivity, your percentage chance of hitting the perfect punt is higher, much higher, because you are thinking about what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do, or what you don’t want to happen.

“Your brain is the most powerful muscle you have.”

Monday Momentum

Steve says his approach to life is to envision, plan and take advantage of Monday’s momentum.

“I have been able to accomplish some amazing things because every Sunday I write down the goals that I want to accomplish in every aspect of my life. I map out my vision and accomplishments for the week and I break it into days. Monday is the day I attack the most. I get up early on Monday because it sets the tone for the rest of the week—my mindset, my productivity, my efficiency. Monday is the day I create momentum.”



Steve talks about the importance of “self-scouting,” or reflecting on your day to review just like athletes watching videos after a game. Identify what you did well and identify the things you did poorly to try to lock and load for the next day.

Formula for Prosperity

Steve says his formula for prosperity is identifying what your vision is, maintaining your focus, trusting your plan, working every day and being diligent, consistent and positive because you have your vision of where you want to be. Consistent work is the biggest piece of making your vision happen.

“Prosperity to me is a combination of health, wealth, gratitude and love, and I gravitate toward people like that because I want to create that in my life and I want to share that with other people as well.”

Daily Investment

Steve says there are dreamers everywhere, but how many dreamers are consistently making the daily investment, that daily sacrifice? It is going to require those daily decisions, that compound interest over time, to get just that much closer to your goal. People have a real problem choosing what they want 10 years from now over what they want today.

Make it a priority to surround yourself with positive people who encourage and also teach you.


Steve says he is most interested now in making an impact on people. “You are gonna die. But what are you going to do with your life? You can’t take it with you. What are you going to do between now and when you die that is going to impact people?”

Win or Learn

Every mistake that you make, every failure that you have, Steve’s mindset is this: “I am going to win or I am going to learn. I don’t think about failing, I just think about opportunities to grow. You are never going to lose… you are going to win or you are going to learn. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from your greatness.

Get a copy of my #1 BestSeller Book here >>



Entrepreneur ☆ International Speaker ☆ #1 Best Selling Author ☆ Women Empowerment

amasssing sandra bravo








The Role Your Subconscious Mind Plays In Your Everyday Life

The Role Your Subconscious Mind Plays In Your Everyday Life

The subconscious mind – something that has a huge effect on every action, but is constantly overlooked.

Instead, the focus is often on our conscious mind, which contains the critical thought function of our brains. The subconscious is the powerful layer underneath. It encompasses the awareness of all things the conscious mind cannot recognize.

Once the subconscious is tapped into, this remarkable part of the brain plays many different roles in your everyday life.

The Memory Bank

Your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited. It permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.

By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

Under hypnosis, older people can often remember, with perfect clarity, events from fifty years before. Your unconscious memory is virtually perfect. It is your conscious recall that is suspect.

The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data.

Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept. This is your “Master Program.”

The Unquestioning Servant

Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently. It merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind.

Your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds. Your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.

Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.

Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant. It works day and night to make your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires.

Your subconscious mind grows either flowers or weeds in the garden of your life. Whichever you plant is based on the mental equivalents you create.

The Preserver Of Balance

Your subconscious mind has what is called a homeostatic impulse. It keeps your body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It keeps you breathing regularly and keeps your heart beating at a certain rate.

Through your autonomic nervous system, it maintains a balance among the hundreds of chemicals in your billions of cells. Your entire physical machine functions in complete harmony most of the time.

Your subconscious mind also practices homeostasis in your mental realm. It keeps you thinking and acting in a manner consistent with what you have done and said in the past.

The Comfort Zone

All your habits of thinking and acting are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorized all your comfort zones and it works to keep you in them.

Your subconscious mind causes you to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable whenever you attempt to do anything new or different. It goes against changing any of your established patterns of behavior.

You can feel your subconscious pulling you back toward your comfort zone each time you try something new. Even thinking about doing something different from what you’re accustomed to will make you feel tense and uneasy.

One of the biggest habits of successful men and women is always stretching themselves or pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. They are very aware how quickly the comfort zone, in any area, becomes a rut. They know that complacency is the great enemy of creativity and future possibilities.

Tap Into Your Subconscious

Remember, for you to grow and get out of your comfort zone, you have to be willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable doing new things. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly until you get a feel for it. Keep trying until you develop a new comfort zone at a new, higher level of competence.









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