While on the subject of Feedback

My sister has these words hanging on her wall:
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
If a child lives with ridicule, she learns to be shy.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with shame, she learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, she learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise, he learns appreciation.
If a child lives with fairness, she learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
If a child lives with approval, she learns to like herself.
If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find
love in the world.
—Dorothy Law Nolte
I often find myself reflecting on these words in parenting. Lately I find that I reflect on these words for more than just my kids but also in all aspects of how I live my life. I was reminded today to Thank People! What a great reminder. I am also reminded to praise people to help them live in appreciation. Who are you appreciating today?


When starting your own big thing you will encounter times you need to give feedback. When you have the opportunity to give feedback you should keep in mind Gibb’s supportive behaviors:

Description:  Make sure you focus on describing very specific behavior so the person can repeat the behavior if it is positive feedback you are providing or isolate the behavior if it is negative feedback.

Problem Orientation: Focus on the task  not on the person! Most importantly focus on behavior they can change versus labeling them.

Can't you stand up straight!

Spontaneity: Give feedback in the moment when you see the behavior. Make it relevant!

Empathy: Make sure you show concern for others. Make sure you take the perspective of the person you are giving feedback!

Equality:  Beware of little status differences, say “we,” “us,” “our” versus owning your feedback and using I and coming from a place of equality.

Provisionalism: Finally be tentative/flexible: “We could . . . One way we might do that is . .  or I think this is what is happening…Remember things are not always what they seem!

“The floor is flat”

 Go out and Live your BIG life! Give positive feedback when you can and always give feedback it is a gift!

Have you seen this math problem on Facebook? The answer provides good advice for Entrepreneurs

My son recently shared a link on Facebook to the following math problem.
40 + 40 x 0 + 1= ? Do you know the answer?

Is it 1?
or 81?

I have to admit my first guess was wrong! And last time I looked I am not alone in guessing incorrectly. There were about 300,000 people who were right there with me!

What is the correct answer? 41. Why is this the correct answer? because of an important math rule I have long since forgotten since my days in Algebra in High School. That rule is based on the order of operations. You must do the higher order functions first. Multiplication is considered higher order function than addition.  The right answer comes from first multiplying 40 times 0 than doing the addition.

I remember thinking once I completed High School I would forget the likes of Algebra, Pre Cal and the other forms of torture I endured in High School. I am a liberal arts major so I only needed what I deemed as practical math.

However I think there is  a lesson in this equation that helps me as an entrepreneur. Much like that logical world of mathematics some things come first in business too! There is an order to operations that is in place. It is definitely important to plan and replicate your idea before you add.

So my take away from this math problem? always take a step back before you tackle a problem and make sure you tackle it in the right order!

What do you say? Any other math problems teach important business lessons?


There is the old saying when it comes to a breakfast of ham and egg the hen is involved and the pig  is committed. Commitment is the key to being a success at almost anything. It is essential for the entrepreneur.  As an entrepreneur when you are sick, busy, or wanting to go on vacation there is no one else to answer the phone, sell the product or otherwise mind the shop. You can’t delegate your responsibilities. You may have other people who are a part of your business.  However the entrepreneur is where the accountability ultimately lies.

Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the “right stuff” to turn our dreams into reality.

 James Womack

What ways do you stay commited?


A Live BIG Lesson

Yesterday was a very bad day. It was one of those days where everything went wrong. I was late for a meeting. I conducted a training session that did not go well. My kids were home sick and I had to work. I am ashamed to say I took my bad day out on everyone. I snapped at several people I care about, yelled at the kids and the dog!

My worse offense came at the end of the day. I received a complimentary email from a colleague. Instead of thanking them for the nice note I sent them a negative email. I went up the ladder of inference and inferred negative meaning in their compliment! What a boneheaded mistake!
My behavior was very contrary to the “Get Your BIG On” philosophy! My personal mission is to make a positive difference every day by giving BIG.

So where is the lesson? It came today. I woke up and had what I term as a “bad mood hangover”. Like the movie Hangover I woke to a foggy recollection of all the havoc I created from the day before. I started my day apologizing to the kids and giving the dog a bone. I went on to apologize to everyone I snapped at.

Today I didn’t give BIG but I received BIG!

The last person I apologized too was the colleague who had sent the well-meaning email to compliment me on some work I had done. I explained to her in great detail what led up to my incorrect inferences and how I really did appreciate her recognition. She very graciously listened and let me leave the conversation with my self-esteem intact. She was definitely the bigger person.

This kind of BIG has nothing to do with size and everything to do with heart. She with meaning and with caring listened. She did not accuse, blame, yell, but just graciously accepted my apology. Her gracious acceptance of my apology made BIG difference.

Achieving this level of personal grace requires getting your BIG on. Grabbing big, bold, brave thinking and opening the door to not only living your best life, full of confidence and courage but also helping others live their life to the fullest.

The “Get Your BIG On” lesson? Follow my friend and colleagues example and when someone calls me admitting they are wrong and behaved badly, I hope I have the personal grace to allow them to leave feeling big.

Innovative Entrepreneur Greg Sanchez

Meet Greg Sanchez, Founder of bConcerned.com, a free dating safety tool that monitors your safe return home! I am always amazed at how the internet has created so many new business ideas. Greg’s site is both a product of how dating has changed the internet as well as being an internet-based business.

Raped, stalked, scammed and death are some unfortunate stories associated with online dating. With the increase of mobile devices and fast internet speeds, online dating has become extremely popular and convenient for busy singles, students and professionals. With the vast amount of dating websites to choose from, finding your next date is simply a click away. Unfortunately, the quick and convenience factor also means there is a risk of someone using the online dating scene to search out their next victim. Although, there are thousands of websites offering dating safety tips, finding a reliable dating safety tool is difficult. bConcerned.com, a free dating safety tool that confirms your safe return home, solves that problem.

The idea spawned from continually being asked about safety tips and precautions regarding online dating. Founder Greg Sanchez, a Police Detective, found himself emphasizing the importance of informing a trustworthy person of when you go on a date. He would then be told, “That’s the problem, I met this person on an online dating site, and I’m a little embarrassed to let a family member know that my date is from the internet.” After much thought and research, Greg and co-founder Marcello Saldana found that there are all kinds of internet dating sites, but there were almost no safe guards for the individuals who use them. As a result of their experience and the lack of a reliable safety tool, they created a notification system into a dating safety website that is now called bConcerned.com.

“After developing bConcerned.com, we realized that we had created a safety platform for the dating scene. We truly believe it is a public safety issue, and since no one’s safety should be compromised, we knew that bConcerned.com had to be a free safety tool for our members,”explains Greg. “The website is very user friendly and the registration process is quick and simple. After registering and completing your profile, the member than adds an Alert Contact, and schedules a date and return time. The member has eight hours after their scheduled return time to logon and confirm their safe return home. If the member fails to confirm their safe return, bConcerned.com will notify their Alert Contact,”states Marcello.

Co-founders Greg Sanchez and Marcello Saldana have 25 years of combined experience in the law enforcement and legal field. “Our mission is to bring safety awareness to the dating community. We believe your safety is always our priority, by providing a dating safety website, with cutting technology, unparalleled service and our exceptional insight to safety, you can rest assured knowing that your safe return is being monitored. SAFETY is our PASSION!”

People Skills

Today I received a phone call from a friend asking for my help with a difficult conversation. She credited me with good people skills. I really appreciate that complement. I thought this would be a good topic to share with other entrepreneurs and get their take on people skills.

As an entrepreneur, I frequently have to have difficult conversations. I have found the best way to take the difficulty out of the conversation is to “seek first to understand.” I am an avid reader, and one of my favorite authors is Stephen Covey. I had the great fortune of meeting him in person during my days working with Comcast. I believe it was Stephen Covey who made this phrase part of my daily speech. Just yesterday I saw a vanity license plate that read “seek2understand. ”

This was the essence of my advice to my friend.  She had a business situation where a vendor that she is using made a comment that she took as an insult.  She did not know how to approach the person or if she should. I suggested that she should approach the vendor. I suggested she approach them privately. I also asked her if she knew for sure that he meant to insult her.  She could not answer yes. I suggested that she go with the mindset of wanting to understand what he meant. Perhaps she misunderstood his comment completely.If she did if she approached the situation as wanting to understand.

So fellow entrepreneurs how do you handle difficult conversations? Share your advice here!

Tools to Help You with Your Website

Happy Fourth of July!

Many entrepreneurs ask me questions about SEO and websites. This weekend while celebrating the Fourth I gathered with some fellow entrepreneurs and we discussed our websites. While I am no expert I love to share what I know and the tools I have found helpful.

One tool I love is Hubspots’s website grader. http://websitegrader.com.  This free site gives you up to date advice in how to improve your site. It assigns a “grade” which being a type A personality I love to follow the suggestions it provides to improve my grade.

Another site I like is backlink watch http://www.backlinkwatch.com. This site is also free and provides you with details on what backlinks you have and the page ranks of these back links.

Also check out www.Alexa.com. Downloading the Alexa toolbar allows you to see your traffic rank. It is a free tool that not only lets you watch traffic ranks for your site but others as well.

For  Ipad users and owners you should check out all the great SEO apps! For less than five dollars each you can get some great stats on your site. I love SEO Ranking. It tells me my keywords and how my site is doing for those words. There is also an SEO course. It contains short videos to help educate you quickly on how to improve your position in search engines.

What tools do you like? Please share. As entrepreneurs we often have to wear many hats. I know for this entrepreneur I am loving my new role of understanding SEO.

Women and Power

I recently participated in a fantastic workshop on the topic of Women and Power. It is a topic that, as a female entrepreneur, I find myself pondering. In this workshop we reviewed the amazing statistics about how women have progressed through the years by gaining higher degrees of education and filling more management positions. However, we are still woefully behind our male counterparts in positions of clout. What is a position of clout? CEO, COO, President, etc.

Another interesting idea presented is that women often don’t aspire to a particular named position but rather to type of work. I think back to my blog on mind mapping. I know that I have always imagined the type of work I wanted rather than the name of the position.

As the field of women entrepreneurs expand,s I find myself wondering if this is also part of the archetype that drives women to entrepreneurship. We know no glass ceiling when we are creating the workplace. We also seek to create the work we love rather than to strive for position. I am curious about this.

Other women entrepreneurs…please weigh in!

Social Media and The Entrepreneur

I read a statistic from Laura Dugan of Mediabistro about Twitter that surprised me:  92 percent of people have heard of Twitter but only 8 percent are using it.

I have found that I have met and networked with more entrepreneurs from my time on Twitter than almost any other mechanism.  I find myself wondering what percentage of the 8 percent using Twitter are entrepreneurs? I imagine it is a high percentage as I believe many entrepreneurs are often early adopters.

So please weigh in Twitter users and entrepreneurs!  Do you use Twitter? If so, what motivates you? Are you an entrepreneur?