Business Advice for Optimists

bert-jacobs Before The Life Is Good Company was a going concern, let alone a $100 million business selling positive messaging on apparel and accessories, it was two brothers—Bert and John Jacobs—peddling their artwork on T-shirts at a trade show. They had decided to wear suits to look more mature, but toward the end of that day, a customer asked what was with the suits—they didn’t seem like the kind of guys who wore them. Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Small Business, Goals & Priorities, Success & Leadership Tagged , |

Conquer Your Worst Work Habits

Rubin, Gretchen Even if you’ve been doing your writing at the 11th hour since college or you can’t stop checking your email to save your life, your bad habits are breakable. The key is not focusing on one fix and giving up when it doesn’t stick (for the proverbial 30 days). “We think there’s a one-size-fits-all solution, but different things work for different people,” says Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project. In researching her latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Rubin found 21 strategies that are effective—or not, depending on your personality type. Here, her suggestions for shaking five seemingly ingrained habits. Read More

Posted in Blog, Speaker Articles, Health & Wellness, Goals & Priorities, Job Advancement Tagged , |

Yes, You Can Go on Vacation—and Actually Not Work!

Wendy-Wallbridge-220x300Vacation is great in theory. In practice, many of us find ourselves doing work, thinking about work or answering emails. That’s if we even manage to take time off. Last year, 41% of Americans didn’t even take a day for themselves, according to travel site Skift.

But vacations are an essential break from the daily grind. “When you never unplug, you lose touch with yourself and what’s important to you, and your broader, wiser perspective—and that’s when burnout starts to set in,” says Wendy Wallbridge, an executive coach and author of Spiraling Upward: The 5 Co-Creative Powers for Women on the Rise. Here’s how to go on vacation, and enjoy it, too.

Pen—Don’t Pencil—It In

Scheduling a vacation can seem unthinkable when you’re too busy to check the weather, let alone plane and hotel fares. But once you take the time to look at your calendar, figure out when your work cycle is on the ebb, coordinate the dates with your coworkers and get your boss’s approval—buy your tickets right away and tell your boss that you did so. “If you put money down, you and your boss are less likely to turn back or forget those dates are blocked out for you to be out of the office,” Wallbridge says.

Pay It Forward

To get out ahead enough to be away for several days, you may have to put in some long nights or working weekends. It may seem a daunting price to pay, but you won’t regret it once you’re over the hump. If you’re worried about work piling up while you’re gone—or if you simply have too much to do before you leave—consider delegating some of it. “Find colleagues you have helped or for whom you can return the favor when they go on vacation,” Wallbridge suggests. “Or you could make this an opportunity for someone junior who reports to you and give her first crack at something you would normally handle.”

Last-Day Checklist

So you can go with an unencumbered conscience, Wallbridge recommends making sure you do these three things before you leave:

  1. Send a status update to your boss and any people who’ll be covering for you, so they know where everything stands.
  2. Create a backup plan for anything that might suck you back into work if it goes wrong, and share it with everyone who is affected by it.
  3. Tell your team how accessible you’ll be by phone while you’re away and when you’ll be checking email (see below), and inform everyone outside the company of this via your outgoing voicemail message and automatic vacation email reply.

The Email Exception

Ideally, you won’t open your email at all when on vacation, but Blackberries aren’t called “crackberries” for nothing. “People also check email for peace of mind,” Wallbridge notes. So she recommends what a client of hers does: “If you have to check your email, do it only twice a day, at a set time in the morning and in the afternoon, and never respond unless it’s a true emergency.”

Reboot with Mini-Breaks Every Day

You need several consecutive days to unwind and replenish your energy and creativity, but that’s on top of “a daily practice of silence or me-time, when you disconnect from technology and connect with your inner wisdom,” Wallbridge says. “Women tend to discover their path as they go along, rather than follow a prescribed one, and they can only know what the next right thing for them is if they take the time to hear themselves think and breathe.”

Posted in Speaker Articles, Goals & Priorities

Get Ready, Get Set, Go for It! An Easy Game Plan for Big Goals

Schawbel, DanA promotion? Going into business for yourself? No New Year’s resolution is too out there if you’re serious about it. “The key is making it actionable and measurable,” says Dan Schawbel, founder and managing partner of Millenial Branding and author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success. Turn your resolution into reality this year with this simple 5-step plan! Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Goals & Priorities Tagged |

Lupita Nyong’o’s 7 Tools for Fearlessly Following Your Dreams

Lupita Nyong'o at the 2014 Conference for Women

Photo by Diane McCormick

In June of 2014, the Massachusetts Conference for Women announced a highly anticipated keynote speaker for the upcoming December conference: Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, best known for her breakout role in the 2013 movie 12 Years a Slave. Six months later, I can tell you that her inspiring and insightful message was well worth the wait.

During her keynote, Nyong’o explored the opposing sides of her success: fear of failure as she reached for her dreams and new challenges that came with her amazing success. After sharing her own story of fear, confusion and self-discovery, Nyong’o offered her more than 10,000 listeners a list of seven “tools” derived from her own experience and learning: Read More

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Is Working at a Nonprofit for You?

Ritu Sharma sqAs 2014 winds down and we all marvel at how quickly the year passed, thoughts about our contributions to the world and humanity inevitably come up. For some of us, these thoughts are passing wishes, but for some they’re deep career regrets.

Whether you are just daydreaming about greener pastures or seriously contemplating a leap over the proverbial fence, here’s what you need to know about the nonprofit sector, from Ritu Sharma, founding president of Women Thrive Worldwide and author of Teach a Woman to Fish: Overcoming Poverty Around the World. Read More

Posted in Blog, Speaker Articles, Career Choices, Transitions, Goals & Priorities Tagged |

Inspired By: Emily Bennington

Bennington, Emily

“…jobs come and go, but a calling is for life.”

Emily Bennington is the mind behind the 2013 Conference for Women teleclass “Mindfulness as a Career Strategy.” Here she shares a bit about how she holds it together in the corporate world: Read More

Posted in Life Balance, inspired, Goals & Priorities Tagged |

Swing for the Fences — Podcast with Tara Sophia Mohr

Tara Sophia Mohr headshotIn this recording of our July teleclass, “Swing for the Fences,” author Tara Sophia Mohr illuminates the psychology of “playing small” and provides some great ideas for learning how to play big instead.

Listen to the fascinating 30-minute session below, and then visit taramohr.com to download her free “Ten Rules for Brilliant Women” workbook.
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Posted in Blog, Conference Sessions, Podcasts, Life on Your Terms, Goals & Priorities Tagged |
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