Are You in the BUT Mode?

How often do you use the word ‘but’…?

It is a powerful word when used occasionally to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned, and, according to author Sean Dsouza, it can also become a defensive excuse for not taking responsibility for what happens in our lives!

Have you ever said “I would love to be living my dream, but I don’t have the money and opportunities others do?”  Or how about this one, “I have applied everywhere, but everyone says I am overqualified?” This one, which is specific to our industry, “I was the perfect speaker for that event, but they don’t pay speakers anymore.”

Or the classic, “I was the best candidate for the job, but I knew they wouldn’t hire me because of my age.”

What messages do these “buts” say about the person proclaiming it, and how are others supposed to react?  Words say what our mindset is feeling, and to keep in this mode is very distracting to others and can become devastation to the success we seek.

Is it possible to have a life with “no buts?”  Want to make a change? Here are some ways to begin:

  1. Recognize that you are being defensive and not taking responsibility for your actions so that the ‘buts’ win, both in your words and life.
  2. Take a look at your mindset and see if you are fixed on the failures or learning from the daily growth experiences that failure brings.
  3. Check out who you associate with. Do they allow the ‘buts’ to take over their mindset and words?
  4. Make a choice and decision to change.

Two words I am working at deleting from my own and others’ conversation and mindset are: ‘try’ instead do or do not,  and ‘but’ instead use and. Will you join me?

Sue Falcone
CEO- Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau

Is ‘Rest’ Important in Your Life?

rest-1Merry Christmas everyone, and hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  As we take time to spend with family and friends living out the true meaning of the holiday, anyone find it hard to actually take time to “REST?”

Why is that? Medical science tells us we are more creative, productive, and will live longer when we value our ‘rest’ time as much as we do the hours we spend at work.

As a CEO of a thriving company, and a person that was brought up to love to work as my identity; resting is a struggle. Anyone else in the same situation?

According to the latest figures I am not alone. We, in America, are working longer work weeks, for longer span of our lifetimes, and feel resting is a luxury we cannot afford.

During this beautiful Christmas season of 2016 and beyond I am making a choice to not be like everyone else.  Can we choose to see the value of rest, and plan how we are going to make it a priority going forward?  This is not a matter of New Years’ ‘resolutions’, it is a priority of health, business success, wellness, and security.

Some tips to consider are:
1.      Find your worth and security that is not based on your work and achievement.
2.      Prioritize better and plan time for rest.
3.      Set definite work hours and quit on time.
4.      Organize your work and work space.
5.      Exercise regularly-no longer using work as an excuse not to do so.
6.      Spend time resting with your family and friends with no guilt.
7.      Spend less time in front of the TV which suggests we need to work more.
8.      Do something every day you love doing that is not related to your work.
9.      Create an easier lifestyle that focuses on the important and not the image of
always having to be working.

Wishing for you and your family, a wonderful Christmas, where you begin making a new way of life, where rest is valued and see how your work life becomes easier and less stressful!

 “I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the Word repeats, of peace on earth goodwill to men.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 Have you heard the bells lately?

Sue Falcone-CEO
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Sponsored to Speak- by Julie Austin

sponsors2Like any industry, the speaking industry was bound to change. Anyone who has been in it for the past few years has seen it change dramatically in a short period of time. Now about half of all paid speaking jobs are free ones.

In other words, meeting planners will pay the people to sweep the floors at their events, but don’t pay the very people who are the heart and soul of the conference. Sometimes they simply don’t have the money in the budget.

After hearing this enough times, I decided to use my problem solving skills and 20 years of sponsorship experience to find another way for speakers to get paid without having to sell from the stage, which they won’t let you do anyway.

I started asking meeting planners if I could get my own sponsor. That way they get a good speaker for free, the audience isn’t “sold” to, the speaker gets paid, and the sponsor gets in front of their target audience. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Speaker sponsorship is a great way to add extra income to your paid speaking jobs, or you could create your own speaking career using sponsorship. There are two ways to make money from speaker sponsorship. One is to find sponsors for those free jobs. They are easy to find. Meeting planners always need good speakers who are willing to speak for free. Get the meeting planner to pay your expenses, and the sponsor pays your speaking fee. Then you promote the sponsor at the same time you are promoting yourself as a speaker.

The other way is to create your own speaking jobs. Put on your own events and get one or more sponsors to pay for it. This is how I got paid the very first time I spoke in public. I put on a job fair and made $2500 from sponsors. I got to deliver a 30 minute speech and made money without having to wait for a paid job. $2500 isn’t too bad for a first speaking job!

When other speakers started asking me how I got paid when they didn’t, I decided to put together a directory so that speakers and sponsors could meet each other for possible sponsorship. I then put together a 4 hour webinar to teach speakers how to get sponsorship and how to work with sponsors so they want to keep sponsoring them. It also includes dozens of ways to create unique speaking opportunities and ways to promote them. It comes with a one hour private coaching session, all templates, free crowd-funding, and a free one year listing in Speaker Sponsor.

Yes, the speaking industry has changed. But now you have more opportunities to create your own path as a speaker without having to wait for the phone to ring!

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Julie Austin is an Award-winning Speaker, Author, and Inventor/Innovator  with an International NASDAQ Winning Product.
To book Julie for your next event call us at 888-766-3155.

 

 

Go for the True Followers!

googlecanlearnSocial Media can work for any business if the right strategy, mindset, and work ethic is in place!

We have seen many people jump into Social Media thinking they do not have to interact or communicate with those that choose to follow them, and by just putting great content out there they will received increased business!

Or on the other hand, we have seen those that will not touch Social Media, stating there is no data indicating that it helps anyone at all, it is too time consuming, and a waste of time! Tell that one to the thousands that are seeing success every day!

You do not increase or grow your business by the quantity of the numbers you have following you, it is by the quality of people you have that are liking, sharing, and interacting with you that really counts.

Social Media makes it easier and faster to develop relationships with true followers, fans, and friends.

Make conscious choices of who you follow, and who you allow to follow you! Everyone is not your target audience, only those that like, trust, and want to get to know you!

Don’t write off Social Media as a fad, or that it doesn’t work for you, until you check out how you are approaching and working at it.

We believe in the value of Social Media both for those that are working or wanting to work for others, and all business owners!

Let’s choose to do it right!  Love to connect with you if you want to build a relationship where we can help you, and you see how you can help us.

Our friend, Zig Ziglar, had it right when he shared:
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want first!”

Have a Remarkable Social Media Week!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

 

 

What’s the Choice? Change or Progress?

Dean Lindsay changeHappy Fall everyone, and things are certainly changing all around us!  From our weather to our clothes, we have to make some definite daily choices to keep thriving and  going.

Is it any different in our business world?  Change is happening daily, are we joining in or ignoring the facts?  It’s easy to keep doing the same things over and over again, but does that bring about improvements and better ways to do those things?

Our company is founded on “creating simpler and more successful lives”, so where does change come in? It’s not always simple to change or even think about it, but what are the benefits?

Ever met those people that felt change was not for them, and they seemed to ignore what was happening right in front of them? They seemed to be just drifting through their days and even complained that life was hard!

Change is a need and once the choice is made, it’s time to find the right experts to help develop a plan of action to improve, progress, and move towards the future while keeping the focus on keeping it simple and yes, FUN!

We love connecting people with the right experts to help them experience change and become more successful, while we also have to go through the same processes as do each of our clients!

We are preparing to announce some majors changes in our company, and we know what we have had to: look at, feel, experience, ask about, put in writing, and even plan to announce and promote it the right way.

One of our Remarkable Speakers, Dean Lindsay, showed us this about change:
“Change is Inevitable, Progress is a Choice!”

We are glad we listened to Dean’s message and made the choice of taking the time to understand how to progress and not just attempt to change overnight!

How will you handle the inevitable changes that arrive?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

 

 

“How Passionate Business Storytelling Makes a Message Unforgettable” by Kelly Swanson

Your StoryI was speaking to a group of hotel managers in a program on how to motivate their employees to provide better customer service. In the opening, I pointed out that according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 34.1 percent of American workers are engaged in the workplace.

And then I told them a story. It was about a woman I had heard singing as she worked in a hospital, and how I had heard her voice all the way from the parking lot. “Some sweet morning, when this day is over, I’ll fly away.” They were loud, staccato, jubilant notes of a life well lived.

When the automatic glass doors to the building opened, I could see her standing there holding her mop as if it were a beloved dance partner, as if her faded cotton dress were made of the finest silk. I watched her all throughout the day as she touched the lives of many. In the cold antiseptic corners of that hospital I saw pain find healing, watched sorrow meet comfort, and saw hopelessness find hope all wrapped up in a faded cotton dress and comfortable shoes.

That day, a woman full of blessings who smelled of bleach showed me what service looks like—and it didn’t come in a list, but in an attitude. The program continued on, and at the end I asked my audience who among them could remember what I had mentioned earlier about the poll and the percentage of employees it indicated were engaged in the workplace. Two hands went up. Then I asked if anyone could remember the song the woman in my story was singing.

Almost every hand went up. Nobody could remember the fact, but everyone remembered the story. That showed me how facts aren’t tied to emotions—but a story is. It is the greatest tool we have to connect and engage. Are all stories equal? No. I’ve watched speakers tell stories that captivated the entire room, and I watched them tell stories that put everybody to sleep.

Just having a story is not good enough. Apply the following tips to your stories and watch what happens. Understand how and why story works. Once you understand the psychology behind stories and their impact, it gets easier to write the ones that are most effective for you.

It starts with an understanding that listeners don’t take action without first having a visual. Therefore, their thoughts are not stored as words, but as images. For your data to have a lasting impact, it must be wrapped in an image for the listener to truly connect with, store and access later. The story does all the work. The point drives it home. Story trumps data.

Stop looking for a good story!  So many speakers ask, “Is this a good story?” That’s the wrong question. Don’t go looking for a “good” story. Look for one that your audience will connect with. An experience they can relate to. Then work on making it a good story.

 

kellyswansonKelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, author, and trainer on the art and business of storytelling in business. She has spent fifteen years entertaining, motivating, and teaching audiences how to harness the power of their story to connect, influence, and get results.  To book Kelly for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/DFvROG

Can Social Media Replace the Personal Customer Touch?

social mediaHow many times have you heard  “we don’t have to make commitments to speak with our customers anymore, we just text, email, or send them a DM on their Twitter account!”

Really? Is that the only way a vibrant growing business, association, or non-profit communicates with their customers now? How many of our customers are still wanting to live in the “good old days” when you contacted a company you got a real person, or when you entered your favorite store someone greeted and asked to help you?  I am seeing more and more complaints and it has nothing to do with the age or stage!

People are wanting that special touch, along with being in touch on all forms of Social Media too! How can we provide both?  Here are some surprising, startling facts from the Office of Consumer Affairs and American Express that we need to know in order to plan our business strategy. Remember  “without a customer we don’t have a business!”

Did you know:

  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
  • Failing to respond to a customer either by phone or social media is perhaps the absolute worst thing you could do.

The current data supports that our customers of today want to be valued, and appreciated and will even pay higher fees to receive the best experience possible! How you do that depends on the customer.

My company loves Social Media and the valuable contacts, fans, customers, and friends we connect with; but Social Media cannot replace what we still love more which is: hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and enjoying quality time with them to be able to serve them in the best possible way that they so richly deserve!

Getting to know our customers is so important! Can Social Media do that for us?  Lots of times it can get us on their radars, but we still have to take the time to reach and contact them one on one either by phone, in person, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.  They need to know we are “real people” interested in them first-not just in what they can do for our businesses!

The main part of creating that great customer experience is to make sure we follow-up and do what we promise and commit to them, or they will go somewhere else!
We hope you have a wonderful Fall season and a great rest of the year! Finish strong and keep in mind that giving the best customer experience possible is the way to having more referrals that you didn’t even have to ask or market for!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

The DNA of a Great Speaker!

telling our storyAmong the top characteristics that make a great professional speaker is the ability to tell a good story. Think about some of the best speeches you’ve ever heard, what sets them apart? The numbers and statistics? The lesson? Probably not.

Very likely, the thing that stands out in your mind after a memorable speaker’s presentation is a great story or two. The speaker has the ability to create lasting images in your mind. Visually painting a picture by connecting the story to the message drives home the focal point and makes a terrific impression on the audience.

Telling a story invites the audience in. It makes them comfortable, both with the speaker and the message. Of all the tools in a speaker’s toolkit, it is by far one of the most powerful.

Great speakers weave life experiences throughout their message, creating a rapport with the audience, and giving life to the topic. Stories help the audience relate and creates a message that will live on long after the speech is over. That’s success through great story telling.

Our speakers here at Simply Sue Speaks! Global Booking Agency have the ability to do just that – tell a great story. It’s part of their DNA and makes for a riveting presentation with some serious #WOWfactor!

Whether you are looking for an inspiring and entertaining keynote speaker, engaging media personality, interactive conference speaker, mesmerizing seminar presenter, critical thinking corporate trainer, forward moving executive coach, entertainer that will amaze you with their talent, content driven commencement speaker, best-selling author that captivates your audience, or a challenging retreat speaker, we will match you with the perfect speaker that will tailor their presentations to your needs.

Whatever the occasion or topic, with our award-winning speakers, you can be sure that the stories will be memorable and unforgettable; and you will be seen as a “rock star” for choosing our agency to bring a #WOWfactor experience to your audiences!  Less stress guaranteed for you too!

We are honored to earn your business and look forward to serving you soon! Contact us today we are ready to meet your needs!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

Should You Fire Low-Producing Workers? Guest Blogger Alfred Poor

erase staffEmployee retention is a hot topic for employers in all industries, especially those that rely on recent college graduates for entry level positions. Employers are looking to hire the best candidates that they can, and hope that they will become productive members of the team.

Conventional wisdom states that you should focus your retention efforts on the most productive new hires. Many believe that 80% of the production comes from the top performing 20%, so it makes the most sense to do whatever it takes to keep these people. And that makes sense, to a degree.

But I encourage you to “do the math” before you swing the ax on new hires that are struggling. While Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the typical worker will stay with their current company for about five years, some studies indicate that recent college grads are staying in their first job for two years or less.

That becomes more of a concern for employers when you factor in the cost of replacing an entry level worker in many companies: an average of $20,000 per employee. When that is spread over five years, the annualized cost is a manageable $4,000 a year. Cram that cost into just two years, however, and you’re spending $10,000 a year in replacement costs for every entry level worker.

If you could get entry level workers to stay for just one more year, you’d be saving more than $3,000 a year in replacement costs. That’s money that could be better spent on more training, higher wages, or more jobs.

So why does it make sense to make an effort to work with the bottom performing 20% of your new hires? A good place to start is to look at why they leave their jobs so quickly. Fewer than one in three leave for a better offer. Instead, the majority make a parallel move to another entry level job, resetting their career clock to zero and starting all over again.

In order to understand why they make such a change, it helps to understand the background and attitudes of today’s recent college graduates. Study after study shows that they have behaviors and attitudes that are fundamentally different from those who graduated 20 or even 10 years ago. The explanations for this are complex and intertwined, but they include everything from the impact of digital communications to changes in higher education, to the influence of consumerism.

The end result, however, is that many of these young people have unrealistic expectations about life in the working world. They can have some surprising holes in their preparation, especially in the area of “soft” career skills such as communication, decision making, team skills, effective time management, and basic work ethics.

Managers would do well to reset their own expectations. Too often, I hear a manager say “The person I interviewed is not the person I got.” Rather than focus on identifying the best and worst performers among new hires, I encourage managers to take the attitude that they are there to help their employees succeed. Sure, there are some workers who simply are a bad fit or who are not going to respond to efforts to help them adjust to the world of work. But for many of these young people, it may turn out that there is one small area that they need help with, to help them feel more productive and successful. And they will be more likely to stick around.

If you can get an entry level worker to stick with their job for just one more year, you will save your company thousands of dollars. In many cases, your efforts will pay off with a more productive and happy employee who could stick around long enough to help be a part of the leadership in the future.

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Alfred Poor-America’s Success Mentor for Young Employees; Keynote Speaker on Career Skills–Students, Parents, Colleges, & Employers.
As seen in Money, U.S. News, and Fast Company. To book Alfred for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/GpK568