A Bit-O-Abundance at the Outdoor Retailer Show 2013

I recently attended the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City in support of Susan McLaughlin and Align Integration and Movement. Susan had been asked by Gaiam to teach a few exercise classes that would demonstrate a number of inventive means by which to use their products. Thusly we showed up at the Yoga Zone, which had been laid-out in a classroom format for this purpose.

What tumbled into my mind when I came into that space were these words: Abundance is not about providing everyone on this planet with a life of luxury – rather it’s about providing all with a life of possibility. – Diamandis and Kotler from their book Abundance

Possibility” was what I witnessed during Susan’s classes for Gaiam and what I discovered while talking to other vendors who produced yoga classes, fashion shows and demonstrations in the Yoga Zone.  You see, Yoga is a new arrival at OR and a cluster of related retailers had been invited to “show off”, not just tell about their offerings. The creators of the OR 2013 literally opened up valuable space to allow these “new kids on the block” a chance at snagging big chunks of business at the show.

The OR organizers had gone so far as to invite the good folks of Yoga Journal to act as the host of the classroom. Hayley Brockmier and team from the journal were there to make sure everyone had a chance to present their products and feel invited.

Consequently I witnessed vendors handing over free clothing to passer-bys so they could join a class. I even tossed in a few dollars to help pay for a pair of yoga pants from Cozy Orange so a young attendee could participate in Susan’s class.

To me, the entire Yoga section was filled with abundant thinking. First the OR deserves a hat tip for inviting future vendors to join in the possibility of making of new accounts and spreading awareness around the part they play in the Yoga world. Second a high-five to Hayley and the Yoga Journal who helped inspire all the vendors in supporting and assisting each other in making a good showing at their first OR event.

So what about you? Where can you open up a possibility for someone in your network? Go make it happen and leave your comments below. I’m interested in learning about it.

 

Authors Note:
If you’d like to hear more about this event from the lips of Hayley Brockmier of Yoga Journal she offered me a chance to interview her here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NwzeBCvOS0&feature=share&list=UUz5cmwGtsK5VuCkNaytpQjA[/youtube]

If you are curious about how Susan integrated several Gaiam props into her dynamic exercise class take a peek here:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ7BQEGbPaQ[/youtube]

 

Your Coaching Cause

If you are in the business of coaching (or any business for that matter), there are at least two marketing basics that can lead to enjoying prosperity.

First, make sure you have a great product or service.  If your offering meets a market need (something that makes your client’s lives better) AND is above average quality, you get a ticket to play in the game of business.

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With a ticket into the ballpark, you are now positioned to begin attaching marketing efforts to your offering.

Note: Marketing poor products is a waste of your time and energy and your potential client’s time and energy. Marketing sticks to and works best when your offering fits the formula above.

Once you’ve proven the quality of your product, add marketing to it. One such marketing tenet I use to grow abundance and joy within my coaching business is to create or join a cause.

When you attach to a dream, a cause, a purpose bigger than your own business model, you play a bigger game than meeting a quarterly sales goal. When you marry what you do at work with a cause you make someone’s life better while communicating the principles and values of your organization. Making your principles and values visible makes you more attractive.

Here are three guidelines to follow when picking or creating your cause:

  • You must believe in the cause like you do a personal core value (lip service looks and acts like lip service while authenticity looks and acts like authenticity)
  • The cause has to be something you can rally behind (you have as much support for your cause as you do for a child, your partner, your most cherished friend)
  • You can sustain your cause (you are willing to consistently nurture your cause and its related needs  year-after-year)

The idea of having a cause-driven business strategy cannot be underestimated no matter your product.  In the United States consumers consistently support cause-related programs.

  • 78% of adults said they’d be more likely to buy a product or service associated with a cause they care about.
  • 66% said they would switch brands to support a cause.
  • 54% said they would pay more for a product that supported a cause they care about.

So what does creating or joining a cause actually look like? Great question. One example of creating a cause is our annual selection and distribution of two to three SoulSalt Awards: awards that I literally created for my own circle of influence. This year we are awarding: The Persistence Award, The Leadership Award, and The Reinvention Award.

An example of joining a cause would be what I did on May 18th. I believe we can improve our life/work experiences when we have healthy habits for movement, sleep and nutrition. So I not only competed in The Woman of Steel Triathlon, I’m wore rally bracelets during the race for five women who need the energy of movement and female support in their lives but can’t compete this year.

Now that you’ve read what has been stated above, what are you going to do about it? I’d love for you to put your thoughts into action and share them here or email them to me at lyn@soulsalt.com.

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In Memory of
Suzan Carol Johnson
June 7, 1954 – September 7, 2013

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Sue C. Johnson
Born June 7th 1954 to George O. Skelton and Phyllis Stallings Skelton.
She graduated from Olympus High School in 1972 and attended Utah State and the University of Utah before she Married Eldred M. Johnson on August 1st 1973 in the Logan Temple. She was the Mother of Tonya Sue, Stephanie Ann, Kristin Marie, Jennifer Kay, and Mark Thomas. She also went back to school to pursue some of her interests in home assesement & later in interior design. She loved to travel, she loved to camp and hike, and especially loved her grandkids Quinn, Domminik, and Kyla. She was always enjoyable to be around before she died on the morning of September 7th, 2013. She will be greatly missed, but now is in no pain and with those that have gone ahead before her.

RIP Sue, you are always in our thoughts.

Lyn Gives Ellen DeGeneres A Run For Her Money!

spool headerI’m extending a standing ovation to Mary Miller of Spoollhardy Girl – a blogger who has documented her reinvention journey from empty nester to creator of oustanding quilted blankets.
Mary is a no nonsense Midwesterner who questioned the legitimacy of my “life coaching” when she first observed me shadowing a client last year at a sewing summit.
I don’t mind being questioned in this manner. There is merit in examining some of the practices used under the guise of “life coaching.” But, that’s the subject of a different blog.
Fast forward to today, and it is Mary’s humor and candor that has caught my eye now. I just read through two of her most recent post and I laughed out loud several times. Then I realized something about Mary: She’s a Bad Ass!

That’s what we call people who understand and then live in alignment with the following SoulSalt concepts:
A personal code of conduct – A.K.A. Be True
A personal set of strengths – A.K.A Be Strong
A personal system for managing focus – A.K.A. Be Focused.

Enjoy’s Mary’s style and honesty….Mary you’re on:

Be True. Be Strong. Be Focused. (Find Your Lula Recap Part II)

What are your core values? Do you know? Take a minute to think about it. Can you pick three words out of all the words in your language that sum up who you are? It’s not easy is it? Especially if you haven’t ever thought about it.  I hadn’t.

On day two of Lula we were introduced to Lyn Christian. Lyn was also at Sewing Summit with Amanda Herring last year. She stayed mostly in the back, videotaping Amanda’s talk. Amanda introduced her as her “life coach.” I have to be honest. I thought the term life coach was a little weird. Maybe it’s my no nonsense Midwestern upbringing. Maybe it was simply my own prejudices, but I didn’t really understand why a life would need coaching. I am pretty much a “just muddle through” kind of gal. Having somebody to coach one through one’s day seemed, well, self-indulgent.

When I woke up the morning of day two. I reminded myself of something I’d jotted down in my smash book in the midst of my near panic attack (thank you, Richard Nixon) the night before:

I knew there could be no room for my pre-conceived notions this day. I needed to stay open to everything that was given to me and assess later whether or not it was something I could use. To do anything else would mean that I was wasting everybody’s time especially my own.

The first thing we did that morning was some alignment exercises with Lyn’s partner, Susan McLaughlin. She showed us some really fantastic things that we can do on a daily basis to keep our bodies aligned. Proper alignment can help reduce inflammation in our joints and also reduces fatigue so we can work better, longer. I was stunned by the immediate results just a few short exercises produced. She also had us do a breathing exercise which felt like what I’ve imagined meditation to be like. I really liked how calm and focused this made me feel. I mean, really? Any chance to lie down on the floor and listen to my breathing, I’m in!

Now that we were all aligned and focused, we began working with Lyn. I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to describe Lyn in a way that will do her justice, and I didn’t take a single picture of her because from the moment she started talking, I was completely honed in on her message. This is no New Age, Kumbaya singing, false guru (did I mention I might have some pre-conceived notions?). This is a serious, accomplished business woman who has helped some really big hitters in the business world as well as the art world accomplish their goals in both their personal and their business lives. Chops, people. Lyn has chops. She is one of those rare people, you meet who are so comfortable in their own skin they exude a quiet confidence that makes you want to raise your game; to just be better. She also has a personal style that is so cool and so her very own and so uncontrived that, well, let’s just say Ellen Degeneres is jealous.

We began by going through stacks of cards with words on them finally narrowing them down to three words that were our top three values. Mine are Love, Gratitude, and Equilibrium.  Whenever we are faced with decisions that need to be made in our personal or our business life, we need to see if what we are being asked to do aligns with these core values. This exercise really helped me to recognize some very basic things that are so easy to lose sight of. I realized later that I had de-cluttered my inner workspace, just as I do in my sewing room before I start a new project, and I felt just as refreshed and ready to work after this inner de-cluttering as I do then.

Love: Nothing is possible without it.

Gratitude: An elixir, without which life is poisoned.

Equilibrium: Necessary for good function.

Our next session Lyn brought us through some very specific, solid things we can do to make our lives function better.  I have printed out my Today/Not Today and my “This Week/ Not This Week” sheets and have filled them in with sticky notes containing all the things I must accomplish if not today, then soon. This includes everything from the mundane (laundry) to the fun stuff (work on Illustrator) She talked to us about personal integrity; if you tell yourself you’re going to do something, you need to do it. This is something I have always struggled with. I’m pretty good at doing things I tell other people I will do, but I am always happy to give myself a pass on the things I tell myself I’m going to do. Lyn calls that “shoulding on yourself.” Hehehe get? “shoulding?” Get it?

I think the biggest realization I had after two days of listening to Lyn is that being a “just muddle through” kind of gal wasn’t really working for me. I was wasting too much time, giving myself too many free passes, and making excuses for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be creatively. Integrity is really important to me, and I was letting myself down in that area, big time.

So, I highly recommend taking a minute to contemplate what your core values are and ask yourself if you are living by them. It does a body good! And if you want to know more about the incredible Lyn Christian and her coaching company, Soul Salt (coolest name ever, don’t you think?), you can find her HERE and HERE and HERE! It’s all great information and it’s all free.

And one last word on Find Your Lula 2013, and then this will morph back into a quilting blog. I hope that I have painted an adequate picture of just how special this retreat was. People use the phrase “life changing” all the time and it annoys the heck out of me………..(wait for it)………….BUT. But Lula really has changed the game for me. Amanda told us she would help us find our wings and she did. She really, truly did. There are going to be more Lula retreats in the future and I hope if you’re reading this you will consider attending one. Amanda is a natural connector, and she has a magical way of connecting with people and then connecting them with others, strengthening everyone in the process. I am honored to call her my friend.

Weekly Action and Goal Setting Packages Now Available

Spirit works foundation

Once a year the VSIAS (Virginia Summer Institute on Addiction Studies) acknowledges an individual noted for providing significant and lasting contributions to the substance abuse treatment or prevention world. This year Jan Brown, founder and Executive Director of SpiritWorks Foundation received this distinction.

We would like to cheer Jan on as she continues to make strong, supportive waves in the arena of abuse treatment and prevention. This is one of the reasons my company SoulSalt Inc. recently partnered up with Jan and SpiritWorks to create two effective tools for her key audience.

One of these tools is geared toward assisting individuals who seek strong structure and support in making and executing weekly action plans: The Spiritworks Foundation Wellness Compass and Weekly Action Package

The other tool is focused on assisting individuals to have a proven and easy goal setting system at their finger-tips: The Spiritworks Foundation Goal Setting Package

We highly recommend both packages. They are effective, user-friendly, tried and true productivity tools. Special thanks to Jan for allowing us the opportunity to be part of this endeavor.

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Author’s Note:
In 2004 Jan asked me to be her coach, and later I became her mentor. I’ve been able to witness over time how diligent she has been in her own recovery process and how well she champions and advocates for others on a similar journey. I asked Jan to share her 10% solution for staying focused on a goal as part of Headtrip #12, The Perfect Trap. I wish Jan and SpiritWorks the best and many more years of success.

Client-Centric

When I was a child I thought that Santa Claus had one of the best jobs in the world. He had one single focus: to make children happy.

Now that I’m older, I notice when other people are focused on making people happy. In fact, I am most interested in watching how entrepreneurs delight, surprise and intrigue their clients.  One fine example is Jesse Dobbs at the Iris Piercing Studios. With the installation of two i-Pads, the Iris client experience has increased more than ten-times.

Join me on a field trip to the Salt Lake City Iris Studio to see what I’m talking about.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/J7-D7cbOvGw[/youtube]

 

 

SHINE like Cindy

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“Happy People Are More Attractive”, stated a quote once taped on Stacy Soble’s refrigerator.  The notion was to constantly remind Stacy that beauty and grace run deeper than outward appearances. And it was this very quote that played in her mind as she looked for a seat during a session of Serious Business 2013 held in New Orleans. Now, as Editor-in-Chief of Salon Today, Soble was helping host the event and very much looking forward to Shawn Achor’s presentation on The Happiness Advantage.

Equally enthused about hearing Achor speak and already in her seat was SoulSalt client Cindy Feldman of Progressions Salon, Spa, and Store in Rockville, Maryland.  Cindy was attending as one of Salon Today’s Top 200 honorees.

As fate would have it, Stacey Soble picked her seat right next to Cindy Feldman and two of this planet’s bright spots met.  They struck up a conversation, exchanged business cards and took notes as Shawn provided five easy, daily steps to experiencing more happiness:

  • Upon waking each morning, jot down three things you are grateful for and pick three new items each day.
  • For two minutes each day, open a blank word document and write one meaningful experience you had that day. Include every detail.
  • Choose to do 15 minutes of a fun activity each day.
  • For two minutes simply watch your breath go in and out.
  • Choose someone in your life and send them praise by card or e-mail.

Later that evening when the session was over Soble noted that she was “extremely touched” by a sincere e-mail received from Cindy thanking her for making the event possible.

It was no surprise to me that Cindy immediately started practicing the daily steps for experiencing happiness on the very day she learned about them. It is also no surprise that she graciously and sincerely reached out and thanked Soble for her part in creating the event.

Cindy Feldman has taught me many things during my seven-year association with her. One of the high-lights being: Live your life with a low word to action ratio. Meaning – make sure that what you say is, what you do.

Thank you Cindy for your example and thank you for making my life brighter. You are ever out there shining like a diamond.

Author’s Note

To hear this story from Stacy Soble’s vantage point, flip to page 10 of salontoday.com March 2013. Soble’s Editor’s Note tipped me off as to how Cindy touched her life.

 

 

Life and Death

A common strength running through all the SoulSalt employees is that of “relator”.

None of us exhibit this strength in quite the same manner. For example, Shannon is known for her uncanny ability to ignite conversation and good will almost immediately.

Such was the case recently when we left a voice message to purchase old barn wood for our office wall.

When the return call came in Shannon took it and started to explore our options with the owner of the barn wood. About three minutes into the call she excused herself and moved her conversation into an adjacent room away from our work area so we would not be disturbed.

Thirty minutes later Shannon returned to her desk with a huge smile and that delightful glow she emits when she’s made a new friend.

We still didn’t have any information on our ability to purchase the wood. However, Shannon had a few rich stories about the city of Herriman and an overview of this other woman’s family history there.

I thought nothing of the situation. This is business as usual for Shannon. She is fully trusted to take the time and energy she deems necessary to talk with our contacts: even those who will never book a coaching appointment.

I’m proud of Shannon for how she represents us and how she treats the people in our lives. I hope she is equally satisfied in how she conducts herself. And sometimes, in fact eventually when a person lives in alignment with their own code of conduct like Shannon does, that strand of “what’s right about us” gets mirrored back.

A few days had passed since this call and Shannon learned that the woman she’d spoken to had passed away.

The first insight Shannon shared was how glad she was that she had taken time to hear the family history.

Jessica and I agree with her insight. And I would add that Shannon’s example has reminded me to slow down a bit and take time to connect better with my heart and head to the people I come in contact with. I hope that my last conversation with those I love will be one of connection, peace and goodness.

Thanks Shannon.

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Persistence: Soul Salt Award 2013

My entire collection of “greatest accomplishments” has been accumulated through the undying power of persistence.

Look around and see if the same holds true for you.

Daniel Goleman distinguished the importance of being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of obstacles and frustrations as one of the four key characteristics of emotional intelligence.

Ibarra outlines persistence as the ability to survive the rocky period between working identities. This key component is required for successful  career reinvention.

Making the most of change and managing your way through transition, according to William Bridges, requires a continued emphasis on managing your mind. Every major shift will demand that  we carry on, and make it through our transitions by NOT aborting the process.

Perhaps you can see how come we make such a big darn deal about people who persist in the face of difficulty.

Today we are proud to announce the name of our 2013 SoulSalt Persistence Award recipient – Ashley Mwongela.  She is a deserving of this award as it gets. We wish her well and want her to know we BELIEVE in her dream too!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8z2N9J0I0Q&list=UUz5cmwGtsK5VuCkNaytpQjA&index=1[/youtube]

Want to see more SoulSalt award recipients, click here!

 

 

Supporting What’s Right and True

Recently I took a good look into a cause that spoke to my heart, sank deep into step with my personal philosophy on life and gave me a chance to do one of the things I do best – take a stand for the benefit of another.

You see, I have clients and associates who want to race in this year’s Woman of Steel Triathlon but can’t. I’m currently moving away from Sprint Triathlons toward another type of competition, so I know what they are missing. I want these ladies to somehow experience the excitement and energy involved in the Woman of Steel. Consequently, I’ve decided to swim, bike and run in their honor. Also, I believe I’ve found a way to bring the energy and stirring nature of the event into their individual and unique life voyages.

The Women of Steel Triathlon in Utah is sponsored by the Bank of American Fork. It was designed to celebrate the stories of amazing women who face life’s difficult challenges and situations with a positive approach by using physical fitness and training to help them overcome difficult circumstances.

Three of these incredible women are carving their way through recovery from breast cancer. The fourth is in recovery from having lost her best friend to this disease, and in the process, lost a huge part of herself as well.

The fifth connection has accepted that she is exiting life because of cancer and wants to finish on a positive note.

Here’s the plan:

Laurie Knaphus of Rally4Good has created a bundle of hand-made rally bracelets designed specifically to attract the benefits of healing and spiritual support.

Each woman within this small group will pick the bracelet they want to adopt from the bundle. On May 18th, I’ll wear the chosen five bracelets and take them with me through the power of this all- female event.

Once I cross the finish line, the bracelets will return home and be placed around the wrist of their respective recipient. My intention is that the lifeblood, the energy, the positivity, the joy, the movement and passion for life expressed that day will transfer from the event into the molecular structure of the jewelry and on to my friends. In effect these women will get a personal pep rally for as long as they wear the bracelet.

This is where you can come in. Join me for the Women of Steel Triathlon or sign up for any event of your picking or making. Choose a beneficiary, contact Laurie to obtain a Rally Bracelet(s) or create your own piece of jewelry and follow suit.

I believe what you and I can do is a small gesture in a strong direction that will have lasting effects in a world that needs to be nurtured over and over with what is right and true about human kind.

Celebrate Christmas like a Fish

Artist and creative genius Amanda Herring loves Christmas.
She especially loves decorating for the season and gathering friends and family around.
Take a peek into her world by viewing her latest e-mag.
See why SoulSalt believes she’s most clever of all the fish in town.