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?

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!”


Service Delivery as Delivering on the Brand Promise
According to Webster’s a brand is defined as having a reputation and a loyal following. If you are an entrepreneur brand is something to which you must pay attention! If you are just starting out you need to decide your brand your image. If you are established you must constantly monitor your brand. Often times we are tempted to think of brand only when we are thinking of our advertisement or public relations messages. However brand is the alignment between your product, service delivery as well as your messages. If you fail to deliver on the promise of your brand your brand is quickly diminished.

How do you deliver on the brand promise? It is everything your organization engages in from delivery of the actual product, to how you answer emails! Today you must think of all the messages you put out to the world. What is being said on Twitter and how does that relate to when your client reaches you via phone?

According to Kenneth Bator Author of  the Pocket Guide to  Strategic Planning 

Successful companies understand the critical nature of aligning their brand, culture, and strategy.

Does your business offer a consistent experience? Are your organization’s brand, culture and strategy in complete alignment?

Jack and The Magic Beanstalk

The Beanstalk

Recently I was one of a “select group” to be invited to attend a webinar on starting your own business. I received a barrage of emails about the magic steps to success. I was intrigued and stayed tuned in until it came time to buy. The cost of the webinar? $1495.00.

Why did I not enroll? Not because of the price but because of the promises! The webinar stated if I followed the steps I would get rich quick! This was a giant red flag for me. I know from starting my own business that there is not one magic bean that will grow the giant beanstalk or one magic step to entrepreneurial success. It takes work!

You will notice I did not say hard work. The one thing I learned from my dad and had drilled into my head from early on is.. “What will make you successful is doing what you love with those who you love.”  I say almost the same thing to my three kids, but I say it a bit differently. I say, “Success is doing what you love with those that you love.” I work long hours but I love it! I am always thinking about my business because it is my passion.

I am blessed to be in a business that helps other people. Get Your BIG On helps connect those who have expertise to share with those seeking that expertise. I receive emails, Facebook messages, calls, and twitter messages almost daily from people who want or need help. Sometimes it is someone looking for information other times it is someone wanting to share information. What a great business to be in! What a great life to live!

Next week at www.getyourbigon.com we are featuring a class offered by Tara Alemany and Rick Swartz from Building your Biz called Getting a Rush from Your Follow-up. In this class they talk about the joy of building your business. They use an analogy to working out. In building your business you get up, work out and repeat day after day to see results. Those of us who love our workout routine know that the only way to do this is and keep it up is to do what you love.

So when you get those ads promising you the magic bean that will grow the magic beanstalk be wary! They may have information that helps but unless you find your true passion.. work will be hard work! My steps for success are do what you love and learn all you can to be the best you can!

Building the Buzz

You have decided to start a business, you are excited about the prospect. You are passionate about your business idea. But there is so much to do. How do you make time to execute your business idea and market your idea at the same time. You may have limited financial resources or the resources you have you want to devote to your brick and mortar business.

The reality is you need to make time for building awareness. The good news is you can raise your profile for free! You can do so organically through interviews with news organizations, speaking engagements and building a reputation in social media. There are ways to do it as you are building your business.

Some ways to consider are starting a blogging about your business places like blogspot and wordpress are a great place to begin blogging. This is a free way to start to get the word out. It can work with your development of your business because you can use it capture and shape thoughts about your business idea best of all its only cost is your time. 

Another idea is twitter. You can begin to tweet about your business right away. You may also want to consider writing articles about your business concept, location, expertise, etc.

According to Hubspot “It is exciting to see inbound marketing growing as an industry. As this trends picks up, business owners, marketers and marketing agencies have the tough task of hiring the right people to help with inbound marketing for their business. This process is often further complicated by the fact that the recruiters are still in the process of learning about inbound marketing themselves.”

If time is in short supply check out tools such as Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to update several social media outlets at once. Some networking sites such as LinkedIn allow you to update both your LinkedIn network and Twitter friends at the same time.

So jump in and begin sharing your story!

Love and Business

Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough. ~Mark Zuckerberg

This quote leapt off the page for me because last night I broke my website…well, at least the homepage. I found Mark’s quote reassuring as I wait for my webmaster to contact me with the fix for my missing home page.

After reading and fixating on this quote on Valentine’s Day of all days, I realize I might be in love with my business! Read more and see what you think?

According to “love experts” you know you are in love when:

1. When, at the beginning of the day, you are already filled with thoughts of the other person: what he/she is doing, how he/she looks. I woke up this morning with the very first thought on my mind did the webmaster fix my website? will I see my beloved home page again?

2. You become selfless. And you start thinking more about what would be good for the other person, than what would be good for you. I have a ski trip scheduled for the holiday weekend. I had to give up a speaking engagement to go on the trip. I found myself wanting to cancel my trip to stay home and be with my budding new elearning site.

3. You start to think of how it would be to be with this person forever… and you relish that dream or feeling. The thought of spending the rest of your lives together is not seen as being stuck with another person, but is considered to be a very wonderful idea. Recently on a daily walk with a friend she expressed she is having trouble deciding what to do in her fifties. I told her she needed to find her passion and her calling…like I had.

4. Even if there are other people who are more beautiful or attractive, you still choose to be with this person. This means your commitment to this person is absolute. You have fully and undeniably decided to be with only him/her no matter what. It is not only love, but also devotion. I was approached recently about taking a six plus figure job at a well known corporation. I did not even entertain the idea.

5. There is passion and fireworks, even after the infatuation period of six months. If you have been together for such a long time now, but aren’t bored out of your minds yet and can still feel the fire burning – simply because you keep it burning (and this requires dedication and effort), is a clear indication that love is still shared between two people. I have had my own business since 1999. Sure it has grown and evolved. Building the new e-learning website has added a new passion and a new sense of purpose. I can not imagine doing anything else.

6. There is a desire to understand each other, even at the biggest of arguments. You continue to communicate openly and do not harshly judge each other. You accept each other’s faults and shortcomings. Last night I was ready to throw my computer against the wall but instead I stayed up late trying to understand Joomla.. the software that supports my website.

So I don’t know:  is it love or just business?

Are any of you out there in love with your business?

Happiness and the Entrepreneur

In June 2010 I was unhappy. I was not sure why. I have a wonderful husband, fantastic family, and my consulting business was doing well. I reached out to a former boss who had become a former client. Someone who regardless of their status in my life I view as a mentor, Jane Perdue. Jane and I talked for a while. She shared her vision for her company. She shared some of the amazing work she was doing. At the end of the conversation she suggested we start a joint venture. In August 2010 I joined Braithwaite Innovation Group. By January of 2011 I am working harder than I have in a long time and I am deliriously happy.

Why am I so happy?

I attribute my understanding of my happiness to a quirky book I read many years ago, Flow: the Psychology of the Optimal Experience. In this book the author shares research that happiness exists when we find the sweet spot where our capability is equal to the challenges we face. The research shows that this is true in our work lives, our personal lives and even in our sex lives. It says if our capabilities our beyond our challenges we become bored dissatisfied unhappy. If our challenges exceed our capabilities we become stressed.

I have a theory of my own. I believe that entrepreneurs thrive when our challenges are just beyond our capabilities. I am deliriously happy because undertaking this new venture every day I face a new challenge. Sometimes it seems that every minute of every day I need to learn a new skill. I work all day and research and learn all evening.

Mind Mapping

I had lunch with an old friend today. She is changing jobs and is excited by the prospect. We discussed how to sort out what she wants to do. While career transitions are not directly related to starting your own business…they are important to starting big!

My advice- Mind Mapping. Mind mapping is a great way to get clarity about what you want. Here is how I use it for visioning and my career. I put my name in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. I then surround my name with lines. Imagine a sun with rays. Each ray I label with an aspect of what I want in a job. For example one ray might be compensation. Another ray might be work environment.


I remember attending a class given by Lou Tice, “Investment in Excellence.” In this class he explained that our mind can handle only so much incoming stimulation. If you focus on something your brain will begin looking for stimuli that match that item.

He gave us the homework of looking for red cars. He told us you will be amazed at how many red cars you will see when you are looking.

I did the assignment and he was right! Red cars were everywhere.

Try it!

The mind map of what you want for your job or for your life works much the same way. As you become clear on what you are looking for it your mind will search for opportunities that match what you are seeking!

So here is your challenge try looking for red cars.. If you see them everywhere. .then create your mind map!

Invention and Innovation

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” ~Steve Jobs

Innovation comes from the Latin word innovātus which means to renew. Innovation can therefore be seen as the process which renews something that exists. It does not mean, as is commonly assumed, the introduction of something new.

Innovation requires people to change the way they think, they must choose to do things differently, make choices outside of their norm. So innovation must be seen as something that does not something that is

On a lower level, innovation can be seen as a change in the thought process for doing something, or the useful application of new inventions or discoveries. It may refer to incremental, emergent, or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations.

My dad has always been my inspiration as he is both inventive and innovative! Today my father sold my family home. He is preparing to journey to the next stage of his life. Even as he prepares to move to a “retirement” community, he still pursues life long learning. He is now on Facebook!  So whether you are an innovator or an inventor, I challenge you to continue life long learning.  In watching “The Talk” yesterday I heard Debbie Reynolds speak of her daughter, Carrie Fisher. She explained Carrie is brilliant and reads a book a day!

Today I vow to pick my next great book to read.  What will yours be?