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Inc Magazine Articles


Trust is Everything: 5 Ways Trust Transforms Prospects Into Clients

Ultimately a prospect becomes a client when one thing happens: you’ve earned their trust.

Given that there are thousands of books on sales, one may think that sales is a complex process. On the contrary, it’s fairly simple. Sales is all about gaining people’s trust. Yes there is the need to identify qualified prospects, fine-tune your messaging, and connect with them in a way that compels them to think, “I want to learn more.” But at the end of the day, every closed sale comes down to trust.

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4 Ways to Create a Culture That Supports Work-Life Balance

Almost 25 years of building businesses and 21 years of raising kids has taught me the 4 things all businesses can do to support work-life balance.

Almost 25 years ago, I left the company where I worked for a variety of reasons. My boss capped my “worth,” telling me “You’ll never be worth more than $34,000 to my firm.” Also, he lived half-time in the DC area and half-time in Ohio, and didn’t see his kids much. From observation, I knew we were not aligned in what matters in life. Our core values conflicted. He valued work above everything else. I valued family and balance.

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How to Build a Strong Culture of Connection and Engagement with Remote Employees

Remote employees are extensions of a company’s brand and culture. Companies that don’t intentionally engage them will likely lose them.

Schedule flexibility and the ability to work somewhere other than the office remain two of the most important work benefits. Gallup’s most recent report found that 53% of employees consider work-life balance to be very important when considering a job opportunity, 51% of employees would take an identical job in a company that offered more flexible hours, and 37% would take the same job somewhere else, for the same pay, if they could work wherever they want at least some of the time.

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Are You the Newbie? 5 Ways to Quickly Blend Into Your Company Culture

A good onboarding experience is a shared responsibility. Here’s how new employees can strongly integrate on their first day.

A strong onboarding experience is essential for welcoming new employees into an organization, and helping them to successfully launch. Two thirds of companies have a formal onboarding process, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google.

A recent study found that 66 percent of companies with onboarding programs claimed a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into company culture, 62 percent had higher time-to-productivity ratios, and 54 percent reported higher employee engagement.

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Want to Grow to the Next Level? It Starts With Your Professional Bucket List.

“Bucket lists” represent our visions of our most fulfilling lives. Professional bucket lists are the path to our greatest growth. What’s on yours?

“Bucket lists” represent our visions of our most fulfilling lives. Professional bucket lists are Everyone has a proverbial bucket list of experiences or material goods that they believe will bring them ultimate life happiness. I admit I have a long list of experiences written on my phone that range from “hold a panda bear in China” and “sleep in an over-water bungalow in Bora Bora” to “hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and yell “BOBBY! CINDY!” like Jan did on the Brady Bunch.

However, I have another type of bucket list. It’s a professional bucket list that includes several personal and professional development experiences.

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4 Powerful Actions to Take, and 5 Important Questions to Ask, When Facing a Long-Term Challenge

Struggles don’t have to cast a shadow over all aspects of our lives. Here’s how to gain control, find the silver linings, and prevent future battles.

In business and in life, everyone has the rug pulled out from under them. Sometimes we see the warning signs from a mile away. Often, we’re blindsided.

In business, it takes only a single contract or proposal loss, a lawsuit, or employee resignation, to send the business into a free-fall. In our personal lives, we’re vulnerable to an array of significant upheavals and disruptions.

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Want to Double Your Employee Loyalty? Science Says Provide These 3 Things

Engaged employees can increase your revenues and profits over 200 percent. Here are the three things businesses can do to drive devotion.

According to neuroscience expert Christine Comaford, author of the New York Times Bestseller Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together, we know that 90 percent of our behaviors are driven by our emotional brain. Our intellect controls only 10 percent of our decision making.

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22 Awesome Places to Find Inspiration When You’re in an Idea Rut: Part Two

Stuck in a rut? Have writer’s block? Creative juices at a standstill? Here are the second 11 of 22 places you’ll find inspiration for your next great idea.

I recently shared 11 awesome sources of inspiration you can easily access when you are stuck in an idea rut.

Here are 11 additional sources of inspiration.

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22 Awesome Places to Find Inspiration When You’re in an Idea Rut: Part 1

Stuck in a rut? Have writer’s block? Creative juices at a standstill? Here are the first 11 of 22 places you’ll find inspiration for your next great idea.

Everyone gets into an idea rut. We can’t pull our thoughts together to creatively problem-solve, write, or even imagine what’s next for us. We are uninspired. When it happens to you, where do you go for inspiration?

My brain is constantly churning out new ideas. Here I share the first 11 of 22 sources of inspiration that keep my creative juices flowing.

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4 Things Great Leaders Do To Lead in Volatile Times

Leadership behavior is most important in times of uncertainty and volatility. Are your actions inspiring employee trust?

Let’s be honest with each other. The national and global political climate has everyone on edge, and organizations are feeling the tension from so much discord.

Social media feeds and media outlets are filled with vitriolic rhetoric about the impending election, and that energy is spilling over into the workplace.

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7 Crucial Questions to Ask Yourself Before Initiating Every Difficult Conversation

“We have to talk” triggers anxiety in all of us. Here’s your blueprint for calmly creating a win-win, even with the toughest conversations.

There are four words that, when we hear them, we stop in our tracks because we know they are going to be followed by a lot of other words we may not want to hear. This happens in both our personal and our professional lives. Those four words are…. “We have to talk.”

Did you feel a shiver run up your spine?

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5 Powerful and Simple Ways to Energize Your Life, According to Science

Our mental and physical energy drives our health, happiness, and overall success. We have 5 daily opportunities to restore and protect our energy.

Have you paid much attention to the daily rhythm of your life? We all function in accordance with a specific rhythm. Early-birds (like me) wake up with the sunrise, energized and ready to engage with the world. Night owls often are just getting started when the early-birds are starting to crash.

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5 Steps You Can Take Now to Increase Your Resilience When You’re Going Through Hell

Life throws some major curve balls. Here are 5 ways to move through your challenge and rise again stronger.

As Founder of two self-funded bootstrapped companies, a hands-on mom of two teenage sons, a leadership coach to dozens of CEOs, and a cancer survivor, I’ve personally learned that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Unless we live in a bubble, no one moves through life without pain. When the world begins to close in around us, what can we do to push through the darkness?

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4 Remarkably Powerful Ways a Mindset of Intention Will Transform Your Life

Opportunities for intentional choices are all around us. Here are 4 areas of your life where your intentional mindset will drive tremendous change.

How many texts, emails, calls, and social media notifications do you respond to every day? We’ve become a very reactive society.

We spend an average of 90 minutes a day engaging with our phone, which equals 23 days a year. We’re constantly responding to every trigger.

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9 Proven Lessons You Can Apply Now from Trump’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy

You don’t have to like Trump to learn from him. Here are 9 proven marketing strategies he is brilliantly applying to get under your skin.

Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he provides a tremendous opportunity to study proven marketing principles in action. He is flawlessly executing 9 of the 22 concepts found in “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Ries & Jack Trout. You can apply them to your business too!

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3 Ways Pokemon Go Will Brilliantly Boost Your Company Culture

Pokemon Go may be one of the best ways to infuse new energy into your corporate culture.

They say “timing is everything.” Nintendo seems to have hit the jackpot with its July 5th release of Pokemon Go, its augmented reality game.

By the time this column publishes, it will have been downloaded more than 8 million times, Nintendo will be averaging $1.6 million in daily revenue, and the Pokemon Go Facebook page will have well over 1 million subscribers.

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2 Remarkably Powerful Mindsets to Move You Through Difficulty

Your mindset determines how you feel about your life. Choose these 2 mindsets to move through any challenge with strength, grace, and courage.

Have you ever noticed your initial thoughts when you wake up, and where they may take you? These moments have the power to set the tone for your day. The good news is that once we become aware of the power of our thoughts, we can re-direct them to take us to a positive mental place.

Over the last several years, I’ve moved through great pain in my personal and professional life. As painful as my experiences have been, I believe most of my situations are not unique.

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8 Timeless Leadership Lessons From One of Our Most Respected War Heroes

General Stanley McChrystal, one of the most respected war heroes of our time, shares 8 lessons in how to “Listen, Learn, and Lead.”

I own two Washington DC-based firms (Successful Culture and Information Experts) that proudly support our war-fighters through the creation and facilitation of training programs to help our military men and women stay safe. I have the privilege of facilitating leadership training programs for our Air Force.

In my custom programs, I incorporate various TED Talks that validate various leadership philosophies I share with my students. One of the most well-received talks is General Stanley McChrystal’s 2011 TED Talk on leadership.

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12 Habits of Horrible Leaders and How to Break Them

Leadership isn’t a dictatorship. If you want your employees to go the distance for you, avoid these 12 destructive behaviors at all costs.

In leadership, everything you do counts. All eyes are on you, even when you aren’t there. Employees feel your presence throughout the day because you set the tone.

This is what it means to be a leader–to be aware of how your actions and decisions impact others even when you are physically absent.

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The 1 Thing That Will Make You a Great Communicator

Good communication isn’t rocket science. There’s 1 thing you can do to make sure your message cuts through the noise and makes an impact.

We’ve all read and listened to communication experts dole out advice on how to improve our communication skills. After all, good communication is the linchpin of every relationship.

In today’s world, good communication is increasingly elusive. We rely on technology to convey our messages more than ever before, and we are receiving more messages from multiple sources than ever before.

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How Summer Lifeguarding Helps Teenagers Prepare for Leadership

Think your lifeguards are mindlessly coasting by? Think again. They’re learning valuable leadership lessons that will serve them long after Labor Day.

This was part of a dinner conversation I had with my 18-year old son last week, who’s been lifeguarding for more than a year. This past winter, he chose to get his pool operator certification so he could earn a higher hourly wage.

As a rising college freshman who’s concurrently held three jobs since freshman year of high school, and as someone who has both a Chipotle and a Vineyard Vines addiction, he’s focused on making as much money as possible.

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10 Business Lessons You’ll Learn at the Gym

Thinking of skipping your workout? Don’t. Your good habits make you stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually.

I’ve been a hard core fitness enthusiast for 34 years, since I saw Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in The Terminator. My commitment to physical fitness has been one of the most important factors in my success as a leader and entrepreneur. It’s my single most important habit to keep me in top condition so that I have the stamina and mental fortitude to withstand the challenges of business growth.

I firmly believe my superior fitness level also helped my body knock out two cancer scares several years ago, and has been instrumental in helping me manage episodes of depression throughout my entrepreneurial journey.

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The Single Biggest Reason Why Your Startup Will Succeed or Fail

IdeaLab’s Bill Gross has launched hundreds of businesses. He shares the single greatest predictor of success or failure.

On average, 50 percent of new businesses will not survive beyond their fourth anniversary. Companies in mining, manufacturing, construction, retail, transportation, communication, and utilities have even lower survival rates. There are countless theories about why a company may go under.

IdeaLab’s Founder Bill Gross has launched and invested in more than 125 companies in his career. In his 2015 TED Talk, he shared the single most important factor that he has discovered that matter most to a start-up’s success or failure.

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7 Ways to Be Happier Everyday

Don’t delay your joy! Here are 7 ways to infuse more joy, fun, and laughter without compromising time or productivity.

Let’s face it. People are stressed out. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S, affecting 40 million adults. That’s almost 20 percent of the population.

Entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Columbia University Professor Jessica Bruder documented the brutal mental challenges that entrepreneurs face in her award-winning report, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship.”

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To view the rest of Marissa’s articles and profile on Inc Magazine click HERE.