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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How to Find Your One Percenters Online

The One Percenters have enormous influence in helping your business grow and they recruit new customers – these are your business’ most engaged and loyal customers.

Here’s how Social Media Coordinator Jessica Draper determines what SoulSalt’s One Percenters are and explains some additional ways you can do the same.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/P6deGF1JSEE[/youtube]

Finding Your Core Values System: A Starter Exercise

This simple yet important exercise will give you a taste of how to find your way to Be True.
You’ll have the beginning of the list of the most enlivened and enlarged parts of your work – and this is the beginning of the discovery of your core values system. Print the worksheet below and follow along with the audio!

Here is the worksheet you can click and print: Core Values Worksheet

 

Creating Customer Evangelism Tenet #1: Customer + Delta

You have to believe that when a customer tells you
what’s not working, that’s as much of a customer
evangelist as one who tells you what is working.
Because if they care enough to tell you what to fix,
they’re evangelists – evangelists are people who take
their own time to help you make your business better.

In this audio clip, Jackie Huba and her former business
partner Ben McConnell explain to Lyn Christian the value
of listening to your complaining customers and tell
what “passionate persuasion” is.

 

 

 

 

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.

Writer or Painter

When we write, many words and phrases intended to vividly make a point are often sacrificed as the blog, article or book take form and meld into a published piece.

A writer is aware that the beginning of a work is often erased.

A painter can cover their earliest sketch points until the latest brush strokes obliterate the first from view

And thus is shared a valuable reminder  from Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life.

I read the book on a plane as an exercise to improve my own writing. Which netted me many affirming moments as the master shared her experiences through the thorny parts of her own process.

If you write, you may enjoy this fist full of Dillard’s thoughts I perceived worth sharing:

“Out of a human population on earth of four and half billion, perhaps twenty people can write a serious book a year.” 

“Sometimes part of a book simply gets up and walks away. The writer cannot force it back in place. It wanders off to die.”

“The written word is weak. Many people prefer life to it. Life gets your blood going, and it smells good.”

“Novels written with film contract in mind have a faint but unmistakable, and ruinous, odor.”

“There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.” 

“Nothing on earth is more gladdening than knowing we must roll up our sleeves and move back the boundaries of the humanly possible once more.”

There were numerous other treasures begging to be shared. And yet, if some part of what you just read has engaged your interest, get a copy of the 111 pages and read them for yourself.