I looked up at the clock. 11:58. Only two more minutes before the world’s most boring meeting would finally end.
As I started quietly gathering my things, I felt my spirits lift at the thought of my lunch waiting for me in my office. All was good until I heard her voice.
“Can I just say something real quick?” she said.
Oh no, I thought. Not Linda.
Linda was brilliant, kind, and a great asset to the team, but she never said anything “real quick.”
She was notorious for minute-long pauses in between thoughts as she carefully crafted her ideas.
“Uh, Tracy? Your camera is on,” I said quietly.
The rest of the group awkwardly averted their eyes as Tracy fumbled to disable her video. But it was too late. The pink bathrobe, giant bowl of Fruit Loops, and yesterday’s mascara smeared under her eyes seared an image in our brains forever.
Nobody looked at Tracy the same way again.
Hopefully, you’ve never committed this kind of video conference faux pas. But even subtle movements can change the way people see you. Your message is more than the words you use — it’s amplified or destroyed by your body language.
Seven thousand. That’s how many miles separated me and what I used to call home.
Two weeks after landing in New Zealand, I was finally able to slow down long enough to process the enormity of it all. We had just sold everything we owned. Moved across the world with two young children. Navigated our way through a new country as we found a car, home, and furnishings.
After a frantic push to get all the moving pieces into place, the relief from feeling settled was palpable.
We made it, I thought.
But the respite was short-lived. It took only…
Ever play Mad Libs with a second-grader? I’ve been recently doing them with my seven-year-old. And it seems like every fill-in-the-blank is some variation of the word “poop.”
It gets old pretty fast.
Likewise, far too many people are abusing business templates and scripts — giving off a stinky Mad Libs vibe.
Don’t get me wrong — these tools can be great for helping you clarify your mission, ideal customer, and brand story.
But instead of using these templates to help inform their copy, too many entrepreneurs use them as the message itself.
If these scripts are your communication bridge…
“Just grab everything!” I yell from across the room.
I can barely see my husband through the piles of books, clothes, and junk littered over the floor. He wipes the sweat from his forehead and continues packing. We look like a pair of drug cartels fleeing a crime scene as we shove all our possessions frantically into a black, oversized hockey bag.
Tom yells from across the room, “Time?”
“Ten minutes. Shoot. Where are the kids? We have kids, right?”
With a blink of an eye, we are stuffed inside a white passenger van — kids suddenly in tow. Mom’s…
The blank page. An empty canvas. The moment before creation. Is there anything better?
Yeah, lots of things.
While fresh new starts and endless possibilities are enticing concepts — the reality of creating something out of nothing is hard work. Ideas are plenty until you have to pick one.
It’s even more challenging if you’ve added the extra pressure of creating something (*gulp*) original.
How many times have you felt the thrill of a new idea get crushed because deep down, you know someone else has probably already done it?
Can I share a secret?
There is bliss in freeing…
“He was adorable, but then he opened his mouth.”
I still remember the look of horror on my roommate’s face as she described her blind date.
“Like, at first glance, I was so hopeful. He had a nice smile — smelled great. But as soon as he started talking… ugh. It was like he didn’t know how to be a human being.”
Nobody wants to be described like that.
And it’s not how you want your website described, either.
Technology has made it easier than ever to create beautiful, functioning websites. …
“Can I hire you to organize my life?”
I turned around from my desk to see my coworker standing in my office. I was a full-time faculty member at the same university where I received my bachelor’s degree. Because I went through graduate school quickly, returning as a colleague amongst my used-to-be-professors had its awkward moments.
This was one of them.
I smiled at the woman who had mentored me through several classes only a few years before. She was someone I admired — smart, talented, an expert in the field.
She continued, “I just need some clarity, you know…
One summer during college, I worked as a server at a local restaurant. It was one of those all-you-can-eat salad buffets, which meant my job was less about serving and more about clearing plates and wiping down tables.
One night, after an incredibly long shift, I crawled into bed and closed my eyes, hoping sleep would restore my energy for the next day.
Instead, I spent all night dreaming about wiping tables.
It was a nightmare. Over and over. Wipe, wipe, wipe. The task felt like a never-ending punishment handed down by some psychopathic mythological god. …
A woman’s voice popped my silent bubble. I looked up from my phone to see a tall redhead staring intensely in my direction. She sat down, realizing I hadn’t heard her question, and repeated herself.
“Your problem is that you aren’t organized,” she said bluntly. “You feel scared getting in front of the camera, which is so important in today’s social media world, right?”
It was 2018, and I was at a business conference in New York. …