ruminationsof

As I get ready for a big meeting ( call) this morning, I’m thinking about some of the advice, information and the lessons that have been shared with me in the last few months through my private mastermind group, my mentor, my coach, reading, and learning…

more focused circles, 

strategic up-leveling,

streamlining, systematizing & automating

more working angles & partnerships

only working with ideal clients,

weeding off the people you love but will never pay you, for the ones who are dying to work with you,

What I do know is this, that you should quit doubting yourself, you should be highly focused yet you should not beat yourself up. 

You MUST learn how to motivate yourself- it must be internal, you have to take setback lightly and instead, learn how to channel your loss or your lessons into new ideas, new focuses, new platforms. 

And you must do this all with enthusiasm, with nerve, with a thick skin, sometimes alone, with a lot of life going on, with funds running short and negative people around you. 

What I do know is that, if you keep pushing, you WILL see progress. You will get some of those calls that will blow your mind. You will get some opportunities that seem to come from no where. 

You will see progress. Your goal today, this week, the remaining of this year, is to take every single lesson or setback and turn it into an opportunity to learn and a chance to do it better…..again.

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So I’m a week back home from my visit to Google headquarters in Mountainview California for a 2 day “Think Tank” and needless to say, I’m overwhelmed. The campus and business is everything we think it is and more. The campus was absolutely beautiful with unique designs and sentimental artifacts and statues in the main building and throughout campus. I hope I didn’t leave anything out, but here’s what I learned. 

Interesting Google Campus finds:

  • Our tour guide informed us that no matter where you were on campus, you were never more than 150 feet away from food. Don’t know if this was a joke or not, but I can tell you that there was food everywhere. No, I don’t mean like a vending machine. I mean fresh fruit and yogurt stations, cafes, and restaurants. 

  • The campus has more than 23 cafes, restaurants and places to eat.

  • Employees can bring their dogs to work as long as they are calm and don’t bite. ( I took a photo of one guy’s dog)

  • They have a TEDx room for TED talks and the room is complete with microphones built into the ceiling, so no matter if you’re in the audience or wherever you are in the room, you can hear ( I included a pic of the room, it’s black with white chairs)

  • Some of the restaurants are named after the first dogs who used to come to the office with founders.

  • There is a true to size replica of a dinosaur ( I included this pic)

  • There is an employee grown garden. Some of the employees tend to this- this is their relaxation and super cool to me.

How they love their employees:

  • One “Googler” joked that their dress code was “ Come wearing clothes”.  How cool is that?  No one was focusing on what you were wearing, more on what you could produce and your thought processes. I noticed that most Googlers wore Google t-shirts and jeans to work.

  • They FEED their employees. They never have to worry about food. Remember the 150 foot rule and employees eat free in all of the campus restaurants, cafes, and shops. I immediately thought, if I were working there, I’d be fat. But amazing, most employees were absolutely not overweight. They were used to it and that brings me to the next thing…

  • They totally have everything at the employee’s fingertips to keep them sane and healthy. There was a lovely gym on campus where Googlers could take classes like kickboxing and Pilate’s, and they had I think 3 pools for a quick dip/workout. Also, the campus is so big, they offer their employees Google bikes that they can ride around the campus or you could just call “G-Ride” to come pick you up wherever you are and drop you off at another building.

  • If you need your oil changed or your hair cut, there is somewhere on campus to do it, so you can focus on work. When we asked our tour guide what she had to pay for, she thought long and hard about it and said, my dry cleaning I guess… that’s the only thing I can think of. Most days, I don’t even bring my wallet to work.

  • Googlers don’t have to work from their desks. Actually, collaboration is encouraged with MANY spots throughout campus where teams can meet up, have a snack and hash out their work in comfy couches or cafes.

  • Errr ufffff of course, the internet was SUPER duper fast ( I was able to participate and still stream our live conference from anywhere on campus) So again, wherever the Googler’s were, inside or out, they could get their work done.

Random Statue Heads photo 3

 

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Amazingly, with all of this access to distractions, the employees we saw were uber focused. It was absolutely inspiring that they worked as hard as they do with so many other things that they could be doing. But I guess there are some pretty intelligent people of there at Google that understand, giving the employee absolutely nothing else to worry about except the project that they are working on at their job, is pretty dang smart. This makes for a pretty engaged, focused and productive worker. They don’t have to jet off to do “life” activities like the rest of us, because most of them can be taken care of while they work. I mean, if we didn’t have to run off and run errands, get our oil changed, go to the gym, etc. wouldn’t we get more done?

The program that I was participating in was strictly for engineers/entrepreneurs/developers. I know, most of you didn’t know I got my bachelors in Computer Engineering, minor business. Then once I learned that I wanted to really jump into this entrepreneurial life, I got a Masters in Business ( MBA) focused on Marketing and International Biz. But this programs was actually wonderful. It was organized and was an encouraging environment to learn more about Google Tools, Android, and new developments. The team was also open to questions. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and got a fresh boost to my business. I can’t lie, it’s very hard to look at Google today, and imagine that they were a small startup in the past. Because now, they just look like a HUGE cool azz company to work for and be affiliated with.

Each night after we learned more and more info, networked and toured, Google treated us to a catered reception that was nothing short of fabulous. I mean, like WOW, they really know how to make you feel welcomed and special. Those lamb chops you see in the photos, yep, little waiters with fresh white shirts and shined black shoes, delivered us catered food, chops and scallops, with wine and imported beer. The next day we ate with all of the other Googlers…… hymmm, can you imagine, I my whole breakfast was organic and I finished my pancakes with lavender butter ( can’t make that up) that some lovely company makes fresh in Cali. Hymmmm, did I mention that they fed us well?

I have included pics of the campus, the gardens that the employees grew themselves, our catered receptions, and some of our swag. I don’t know how to share the knowledge, I will figure it out over time. For now, check out this post on the AWESOME Google for Biz Apps that I so love and how to implement them into your business now.

I am trying to be more affiliated with Google and will let you know of any developments, but for now, just know, the company is everything we think it is and they treat their employees and visitors like royalty.

 

You ready?

After #wpower13 We have 4 AWESOME things coming up! 

1. A 3 week Create Mastermind Group- soooo many of you were interested in this, so we’ve upped our group # just a bit. But we’re testing something- so it WILL be very limited to the serious minded, ready to ACT few  

2. That 3 week Create Mastermind Group will lead to a launch of a NEW Product YAYAYAY!!!

3. Our Podcast and some CONTENT Packed interviews will be released on iTunes and Stitcher! 

4.. THEN we should be seeing some of you ALL of the US and hopefully Abroad……….

The next 4 months we will be touching you as much as possible. 

If you want in on the 3 Week Create Mastermind, drop your email below in the comments. We will be sending a short questionnaire to ALL of the interested parties so that we can nail down our Ambitious few!

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From www.powerculturemag.com Issue 3 ” The Power Writer’s Manual” 

by: Kristi L. Jackson, Founder

We have such sterilized, neutered, basic conversations that we easily blend into the crowd. But who wants to blend? It’s 2012. Blending is for suckers or at least companies who don’t want to stay in business long. Authenticity, though sometimes ugly, truth wrapped in sandpaper information, if filled with an educated, thoughtful opinion, it’s the most accepted way to communicate through your writing, speaking and business. 

In the day of Twitter, Facebook, and several other forms of social media, your bad mouth or unpopular words can go viral in seconds and you can’t take them back. But there’s a way to genuinely connect with your target audience. There’s a way to find your tribe-those people in the world who can only be motivated by YOU. Haven’t met your authentic voice? Below are 5 strategies to discover her. 

5 Strategies to Discover Your Authentic Voice

  1. Let it burn.  Make a list of ALL of the people you’re worried about judging you if they knew your true thoughts. Next to their name, write how they directly benefit you, your business or your life……..coming up short? Exactly. After making this long list of nobodies…… BURN IT! Next step….
  2. Trot out the journal. Yep, that collection of your most intimate, personal thoughts. There was a time I wondered why my journal was so interesting but my writing was less than exciting. Reason was, I was writing the article minus me. I would write, then censor, then re-read, then judge, then try to sound important, then regurgitate other people’s stuff I’d read. I found that when I felt no one could judge me, I would produce the most beautiful thoughts, opinions and perspectives on life and my passions. The same way you write when you think no one’s looking-that’s your voice. That’s authentic. Find a way to write and speak in your journal voice without fear of judgement. Wouldn’t you rather be judged for who you are than loved for who you’re not? 

3. Don’t perpetrate. Know something-say it. Don’t know something-don’t hide it. Simple. Don’t hide behind fancy facts. Learn how to ask questions. People respond better to a genuine request for information rather than an opinionated wrong know it all.

4. Speak from your heart. Speak from your own experiences, not what you’ve read. Relate it to your audience;

  • How you did it
  • What it took for you to accomplish a goal
  • How you got your first client
  • How you execute your successful social media plan
  • How your self-evaluation qualifies you to consult someone else

Tell your story. Let your OWN life be your guide.  

5. Find your true perspective. Don’t try to write and speak in someone else’s voice or style. I am by no means saying not to get educated on writing copy or speaking professionally. I am telling you to find your style in both areas. Have a sense of humor- then tell a joke or two. Really opinionated about a sensitive subject-state it intelligently. Because nothing is really new, everything has already been said. So what becomes important is how you say what you say. Learn what your perspective is, then speak on it. Many people do not care for Elisabeth Hasselbeck of The View, but she’s intelligent, her job is solid and guess what…..she’s not boring. 

Trying to be a carbon copy of someone else brands them not you. Do you want to be a follower in their tribe or find your own? There’s a group of people out there who want to learn, follow and work with you. Find your authentic voice, then your tribe will appear. 

Sincerely,

Kristi 

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CEOs, I’m telling you, you could start and grow your #biz and basically run the world just off the tools that Google gives you for FREE. 

Google, “Google Trends”. Then, Type in your keywords. See if real time how many people are searching for YOUR industry specific information daily and where they are getting this information from.

Then make your content plan so you know 

  • what to write about
  • What to make videos about
  • what people need

etc. etc. 

I did a live screenshot above, just to show you what it looks like. 

Use it NOW!

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Soup Line

I don’t know of any other business where one day you can feel like Warren Buffet and the next week, you feel like you need to be in the soup line…. Real Estate is not like HGTV. It can definitely kick your butt, but if you stay in it longer than a year, you learn some valuable lessons that can carry you throughout life and other successful business ventures. 

I definitely learned how to budget ladies. And I can tell you that if you keep spending without a limit or making your money or “Investments” in your business carry it’s own weight, or bring in revenue, you are setting yourself up for the soup line. I’ve been in that line, I’ve been reminded of that line. Not going back….

I used to know it like the back of my hand. If I finished a box of business cards, that meant a certain amount of business must have come in.

If I held a certain amount of home-buying seminars, I should sell xx amount of homes from that. 

I played red light, green light with my spending- not because I wanted to but because I had to, if I wanted to continue my entrepreneurial lifestyle. I knew that I really could not have a successful real estate business and be trying to sell houses part-time.  I needed to be available in the middle of the day for closings, showings, and negotiating contracts.  

I learned that you can’t have this GREAT business, work from home and still have EVERYTHING that you normally enjoy in your life stay exactly the same. 

I asked you if you were truly open to the inconvenience of success, because GREAT things don’t just happen when you’re ready, have free time, on the weekends, or when you’re bored. Opportunities sneaks up on you when you are running a gazillion things already, when you’re tired, you’re broke, and you don’t have the skills yet.  Those small windows of success are sneaky buggers and I’m sure our divine designs it that way. 

But are you ready?  Are you really ready to sacrifice?

$175, $175, $175. Yep that number is etched in my brain. That is exactly how much my 3 favorite bracelets get at the local pawn shop. How do I know this you ask?  Success has asked a lot of me many times and I learned that I was ready to sacrifice.  I didn’t know I was until I was packing up my 234 business books and selling them to Half Price books.  My paltry $31 dollar check nearly broke my heart, but my pride wouldn’t let me pack all those books back up… That was 2005. I found out that you can come back from failure, or simply not having found your groove yet. Hell, it can take a while to find out exactly where you are supposed to be in life and what you are supposed to contribute to the world. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for not knowing your exact path now. 

But if you know your path, and haven’t moved on it…… that’s another story. 

This journey is so long, and I’m only at the beginning, but I can share a few things with you. 

You CANNOT have the exact same life, lifestyle, accoutrements, disposable time or income, especially in the beginning of building your business, if you are REALLY doing something great. There will be sacrifice. 

Most of us are doing much better than others and can really figure out how to budget a start, maybe not complete 5 years in business, but a start. But once you put that money out there, once you declare to the world that you are going to start this business, you have to become a guardian of your money and profits, and revenue.  It’s abso-freaken-lutely mandatory ladies.

I mean, is that what you are really expecting? To still be able to spend all that you want and develop some earth moving sh*t that totally changes the game.  Let me be real with you….. not possible. 

The soup line has taught me many lessons, but why don’t you just take my word for it.  Make your money work for you. Make a budget. Follow the budget. Follow these steps:

#1 Spend some,

#2 see if it works, 

#3 see if the project can pay for itself

#4 set a limit on the spending

#5 make adjustments where needed

#6 if it still isn’t working after you’ve given the project/biz it’s due diligence

#7 then damn stop.

Excuse me, red light. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oh-snap-content-king

by Kristi L. Jackson 

What is good content?  I know that content rules, and it’s the thing that brings people back to your digital home, gets you found on search engines, etc. etc. But what is good content? To me the term, although very hot right now, it’s pretty darn relative to who’s asking and who’s answering. 

I am basically devouring podcasts and blogs right now and some of my favorite resources are Think Traffic and Smart Passive Income, and I can see the trend on what they consider to be good content. Basically, when you read one of their posts, you need a nap first, then your thinking cap, a notebook, your computer, and you will leave with a plan of action. These guys really give you uber blog posts with tons of links  ( or loops as I like to call them, and talk about them in here) to other great posts, and food for thought in addition to many tips and tools. So yeah, that is what I would call good content. 

But because the term is so dang relative, I think it’s confusing to many people. And you know what happens when we get confused, we quit or don’t start at all. Everyone is looking for the magic pill on how to get people to stay on their blog for longer than a few minutes and trust me, that’s a goal of everyone. In my opinion, considering these things constitutes good content: 

  1. An opinion. Yep. To me, this is first. There are no new ideas, we’re all kind of tossing about the same info BUTTTTT, what’s unique is your take on that information. We don’t all have the same perspective, nor the same experiences with the information, so starting with your opinion, is number 1.
  2. A platform that reaches your audience. It matters not if I’m talking about the best, most useful stuff in the world, if I’m sharing it on Instagram and the audience on this platform is more interested in looking at the newest video vixens or clothes to buy. Find the platform that covers 2 basic rules:
    1. Do you like it enough to be active on this platform consistently?
    2. Is your audience hanging out and getting some of their information there? If yes, then proceed.
  3. What are the keywords you want to be found for? As I worked with Google and Hubspot in a training program earlier this year, they really drilled this into my head. Hey, Kristi, if I didn’t know your business name, what would I type in to find you on Google? Total blank. You hear me! Total. But since then, I developed a way to make sure I am building a trail of information that can be found on Google without having to type in Women CEO Project. Here’s what I suggest:
    1. Make a list of the 8-10 words you’d like to be found for, known as an expert in, be an industry leader in, etc. 
    2. After you make this list, put them into Google Keywords tool and find out how those words are ranking. Are people actively searching for those words monthly? Yes! Ok great. 
    3. Next, come up with say 20-25 potential blog posts or articles that include these keywords. Don’t worry if you can’t make a list of all 25 now. I come up with the BEST blog topics, titles and notes when I’m not trying, when I’m jogging or listening to music. Just jot them down in a notebook or your phone and when you are searching for a topic to write on, you will have a running list of ideas. 
  4. While you are writing this article or blog post, keep this in mind…. people are smarter than we think. They have the internets 🙂 and can smell bull miles away. We can no longer get away with light on the info, piece of crap articles. Aim for useful. In Louisiana, when someone cooks something really, really, good, we say, ” Wow, mom. You really put your foot in that…” yep country, but you get the point. Make sure you put your foot into every post, research some additional resources to add, some data to throw in, something special. The two paragraph, halfway salesy, buy my crap, pay attention to me articles are getting lost in the shuffle and the really packed with content articles are rising to the top. Think like this, you want your post to be so good, so useful that people want to save it to their iPad or print it a keep it with them to refer back to. What’s the last article that you read that was so good, you HAD to keep it? What did they do? What made it special? Start right there. 
    1. What would be useful information to know for your potential client? 
    2. What do they need to know before working with a professional ( you)?
    3. What tips or tools would help them?
    4. What FAQ ( frequently asked questions) can you write about?
    5. What SAQs ( should ask questions) can you write about?  
  5. Consider resource lists. What types of list could you make in your industry that would basically put a lot of resources in one place and if found by your reader, would totally make their day and forever make your blog useful in their minds……… Here’s an example of such a list.
  6. Run through your emails for the last 6 months. What types of questions are you getting asked constantly? Could these questions be the basis of an awesome post, so that when totally and completely answered, you could send people to it and again, be seen as a useful and resourceful industry expert? Think about what you are already known for.
  7. Don’t make it an extended sales page about you. Honestly, people don’t really want to know about you. It isn’t until people find you really useful, helpful, knowledgeable, and your advice benefits them, that they may take a glance at who you are. Your goal is to be THE source for your client. Your writing, your thoughts, your advice will do just that. You will be bringing in people on the strength of your knowledge and that can lead to your reader becoming an evangelist of your brand, a customer, and a referral source. You chance losing out of all of that by bringing them to your page only to talk about yourself.

When creating your content all of these things combined make for an interesting and useful read that would brand a person in my mind as expert, thought leader, or someone I would send my money to, to further learn what they know about their subject. Don’t worry, you can never give too much information. You don’t need to hold anything back when creating your content plan. When you share, you give, and you do your best, you will draw out an audience dying to give you money to solve their problem.  

 

 

 

 

me and mommy

From www.powerculturemag.com Issue 4 ” The Marketing, Social Media & PR Holy Grail” 

by: Kristi L. Jackson 

 

I used to think my limitations could only be unlocked when I became worthy. That there was some status, some position that I’d one day attain, when I had developed enough skills, the right contacts, the proper look, confidence, and had gotten permission. 

 

I put many of my ideas, my thoughts, my dreams on hold, but articulated them nicely in a journal of things I wrote but never thought I’d actually attempt and tucked them neatly in my drawer. I made sure to never add dates or names, and wrote in cryptic code because even in my private moments, my most intimate thoughts, in my being, I didn’t want to be exposed as a failure or reminded of what I didn’t achieve. 

 I didn’t cry for years, like 10. I thought this made me strong. I hid behind a proper, perfect mask. I hid everything I actually wanted.  

Coloring well within the lines, I keep my dreams, my goals quiet, attainable, non-ambitious, comfortable to my friends, my family, to myself. I never expanded, walked on the edge or even looked at the edge. 

 Fear. 

 My world changed in April 2008. It’s almost an anniversary. I can’t say what, but I can say how, my life, my desire, my ambition changed metaphorically. 

 

My family has always been the center of my world, and at a moment, I was faced with the reality of possibly losing my most loved, most trusted, consistent, cherished, confident, friend, my deepest love. 

 

My “Right now”, my future was staring me directly in the face. Life was as fragile as a feather and could be blown away in seconds. Why exactly had I been holding back? Why wasn’t I living my future now? Who exactly was I awaiting permission from? Whose approval did I need? 

 

I had all of the tools, the resources, the knowledge needed. What I was waiting on was “a go”. I thought I needed someone to say it was ok. What I really needed was to be presented with the lack of time to realize that it was imperative to make important use of my valuable present. 

I didn’t need to be given an opportunity, a committee, applause, permission or to be given a platform. 

I needed to create my own platform. My opportunities rested in the palm of my hand. All that was required was giving myself permission to say yes to the passions and the purpose that had been burning and residing deep within my belly. 

I needed to make my family, my mother proud of me now, not later. 

My 2008 was difficult. I have never experienced such a tragedy and a blessing within the same lesson. I am so appreciative of the clearance of trees, the sense of clarity, the recognition of urgency, and finding the why to my purpose. 

I have to remind myself as I write this, that it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to admit that in the past, you gave more credit to your excuses than credence to your opportunities. It’s ok to recognize your lack of effort especially if it’s a precursor to your abundance of tenacity, your feelings of limitless possibilities and your uncontainable happiness and appreciation of life, of family and in discovery and acceptance of your talents. 

For the last 3 years, I have been living my journal, entry by entry, not without fear, but with an absence of excuses. With my mother looking on, hoping that she understands my deepest desire is to make her proud of me, but knowing that even if she is not, hoping that she respects and somehow admires that even though I’m not using my degrees, not doing the job she expected or giving her beautiful grandchildren, that I’ve finally found my passion and want to help, educate, and encourage women in the world, for the rest of my life. 

My only hope is that in opening up to you ladies, that in sharing one of my deepest most intimate lessons, my urgency, my “why”, that I encourage and inspire you to pause, to unlock your own chains, to deeply reflect and start living your passions now. 

Ladies, if you were waiting for the right time, waiting for a sign, if you needed someone to tell you this……I finally found my “go” , now I give it to you. 

 

With Great Expectations, 

Kristi 

 

 

 

 

 

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Women CEO Project is consistently sharing information, and one of our favorite platforms is using an eGuide. ALL of them are PACKED with information , tools, tips, steps, and action items. 

Some of the eGuides are Free and some are paid AND we currently have a #100BizBundle that is specially priced NOW!  Here are all of the guides we currently offer- you can click each title to download immediately!

 

  1. Present, Promote and Sell Yourself as an Expert: Using Digital Leverage
  2. StartUP Manifesto: 48 Key to Do’s to Get Started NOW!
  3. Think BIG. StartUP Small: The #1 Webtools List for Startups
  4. Power Connect: 46 Power Moves to Connect You to Key Influencers
  5. Bootstrap Your Biz to Startup
  6. Pre-Sale on ” Creating Your Own Digital Publications” here 

We’d love your feedback on how you used the eguides and THANKS so much for stopping by!

 

 

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