Get Maximum Value From Your Expert Coach

The right information, at the right time, can make all the difference in anything you want to do. But it’s not just information you need, it’s implementation. One powerful way to get the information you need along with someone to hold you accountable for action, is by working with an expert trainer, coach or consultant.In this article you’ll learn six key elements for getting the most from your expert investment.

(1) Be coachable.

Most people aren’t very coachable. A lot of times people come to a conversation with their mind already made up. Many are simply looking for the expert to validate their preconceived notion about what to do. There’s nothing wrong with getting validation, but it’s important to come to the conversation with an open mind and a willingness to travel outside of your assumptions to see and benefit from new possibilities. To get different results, you must first be willing to see and do things differently.

(2) Pay the fee.

Obvious? This is not about money, this is about belief. Most experts help because they derive a great deal of fulfillment and satisfaction from their ability to make a difference in the lives of others. They will often give more to those who value and appreciate them and their expertise. Don’t haggle with the expert because you’re trying to save a few pennies. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating in life—you should—but when it comes to expert advice, pay the fee and pay it happily. You will typically gain greater value from the expert, and you will have a stronger motivation to put what you learn into action.

(3) Prepare in advance.

All the most effective coaches and consultants provide questions for clients to answer prior to the session. This helps them to help you, but it also helps you to focus and get better results. Beyond the questions they provide, it’s important to invest time thinking about what you actually want to accomplish. Make a list of questions to ask. Then, go deeper and refine each question to focus on the specific result you want. It’s also important to remember that you don’t know what you don’t know. Throughout the conversation, ask the coach or consultant if there are questions you should be asking that you don’t know to ask.

It’s also a good idea to read or study any materials available from the coach or consultant prior to the conversation. Does the person write a blog? Have they authored a book or published a home-study course? Buy and read what they have available. This will help you understand the person’s philosophy, methods and teachings so you can ask better questions.

(4) Focus on the 20%.

There is a ton of good-to-know information on every topic. There are also a handful of must-know secrets not commonly known or understood by the masses. This is the true value of working with an expert. Knowing the two or three things that matter most helps you to succeed faster, often saving you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. This is what you are really buying. Your goal is not to get a personal seminar over the phone; your goal is to quickly learn and implement the 20% that is 80% of the result you want.

(5) Don’t take notes.

Don’t try to write down every word the expert says like a secretary. Instead, be present, ask clarifying questions and listen for the actionables. Also, ask for permission to record the conversation. For Skype, use software like Call Recorder. For telephone calls, turn on your speaker phone, and use audio software on your computer to record the conversation. Then, listen to the audio recording at least three times, and create a list of action steps. For longer consultations, get the audio transcribed using a service like NoNotes.com.

(6) Schedule a follow-up session.

You will gain exponentially more value from any expert by having a series of conversations with them. After the initial conversation, take action. Then have another conversation about your results and what you learned. You will see and hear the expert in a completely different way. You will also make progress faster with the accountability that follow-up sessions provide.

Bottom line: Working with an expert is one of the fastest ways to get from where you are to where you want want to be. Understanding and applying these six keys can make a night-and-day difference in the benefits you receive.

Whether you’re looking to get expert coaching or take workshops to improve your work life, relationships, health or overall self-improvement, popexpert has a class for you, and amazing instructors to chose from. Explore now!

About the Author: Ramon Williamson is a renowned Life Coach. In 1986, he helped pioneer the global life coaching movement, and is widely recognized as one of most experienced and effective life coaches in the world, having worked with more than 30,000 individual and group clients. He earned early recognition as a championship public speaker and was named one of the 21 best in business motivation by a national magazine. Today, he is a top-rated keynote speaker and seminar leader hired by Fortune 500 corporations, national associations and faith-based organizations.

Focus, direction and results for self-employed professionals with the income and freedom to enjoy a unique quality of life: http://www.ramonwilliamson.com/coaching © 2014 by Ramon Williamson. All rights reserved

Work Life Balance, It’s Worth Working On

We all talk about “balance” but what does that mean? In a world where we are connected 24 hours a day, information is immediately available, and almost as quickly as it is presented it becomes obsolete. Things move fast, and so do we. Is it possible to have down time amidst this frenetic backdrop? Is it something we should strive for?

The answer is simply, yes. When we take time to care for ourselves we are happier, healthier and (here’s the important one to all those over achievers) more productive. Research shows that happier employees equal more productivity and greater profits.

Here are a few basic themes that thought leaders agree are important to balancing your career with your personal life.

4 Simple Steps to Achieving Work Life Balance

Boundaries

Set and maintain your boundaries at work. This means if you need to leave on time, leave on time. If you have a day off don’t respond to work emails. Creating good habits for yourself is like training a puppy. Consistency is key. Keep yourself accountable for maintaining good boundaries and you will find that after a while you’re able to use your down time to disconnect and recharge.

Values

What do you value most in your life? Chances are it extends beyond productivity or reaching professional goals. Surely your values also include family, friends, health or overall wellbeing. Make a list of what’s most important to you and see if your life reflects that. Be as intentional about your personal life as you are about your next meeting.

Time

Your time is important. Prioritize what you need to accomplish for the best outcomes. This will require some analysis and organization at the beginning and end of each day. Make a list, use an app, or text a friend your agenda. When you organize and hold yourself accountable to your set tasks, you will accomplish more. Seems easy right? As easy as it seems, it is as easy to forget to do when you are grinding through your daily routine. Dedicate 10-15 minutes at the beginning and end of your day to planning your next moves.

Honesty

Communicate your needs when it comes to work and life. Is it excruciating to drag yourself out of bed in order to get to the office by 9 but you have no problem staying until 8 or 9 at night? Check with your boss about adjusting your schedule. It will alleviate that “I’m late again” anxiety and will release the resentment that follows, knowing you are putting in more than 40 hours per week. Do you need to leave early on Thursdays to catch that spin class? Let the people in on what you need in order to be a more productive employee and they will respect you for it. In turn you will feel a sense of respect for yourself and higher ups.

It is also important to be honest about what you can give your loved ones. If it is difficult for you to make a 7 pm dinner, ask to push it back to a time that is more convenient for you. In an ideal world we could keep every commitment and appease every colleague, friend, and family member, but that’s not realistic. Try communicating your needs with your family or partners about work. If it’s a tough week ask for some extra support. Make plans to do something special when things lighten up and then stick to those plans. If people in your life understand what is going on for you they are far more apt to give you what you need.

Sacrifices is part of achieving greatness,  but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of your well-being.

About the Author: Jennifer Byxbee is a therapist and creative arts therapies supervisor in New York City. She has worked as an art therapist for over 10 years  in a variety of settings. Art Therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the creative process in order to promote self awareness, esteem and insight. 

Ignite Confidence and Fulfillment With a Mindful Image

You may be educated, experienced and accomplished, but if you aren’t confident about the image you project in the world, you may feel unfulfilled and fail to reach your full potential. If your image doesn’t communicate the intended message, presentations may be overlooked, great ideas may not be heard, and your genius may not be understood.

Your personal and professional image includes: 1) your visual signature, which is head-to-toe appearance; 2) your verbal communication—not only what you say, but how you say it; and 3) your body language; movement, posture, body position and gestures. All of these elements together comprise your personal image: appearance, voice and body language.

It is absolutely possible to mindfully upgrade your personal image to an authentic and confident expression of your full potential. This process doesn’t have to cost much, but it does involve thoughtfulness, intention, preparation and consistency.

For every encounter you have with a colleague, co-worker, client or customer, for every event, project, or meeting, before you even get dressed and get out the door, ask yourself three questions.

1)        What is my intention for this meeting?

2)        What do I want them to “get” about me?

3)        What do I wish to communicate visually, verbally and nonverbally to everyone with whom I am meeting?

Your answers to these questions should mindfully direct the choices you make regarding your appearance, your speech and your behavior. What you wish to communicate to whomever you will be with will determine your choice of clothing, accessories and hairstyle, as well as what you say and how you behave.

For example, if you are meeting someone for coffee at Starbucks in a rural town, you might want to give the message that you fit in, that you are part of the community, and want your companion to feel comfortable. So you dress accordingly, expressing who you are genuinely, but appropriately for the time, place, climate and situation. But if you are making a sales presentation to an important potential client in a major city, your appearance, voice and behavior will be somewhat different, of course. You’ll need to dress and speak and behave appropriately, albeit genuinely, for that situation as well. In that case, you’ll most likely wear a suit and leather shoes, your grooming should be impeccable, your speech will be more formal, and your behavior should be organic, yet more restrained than at the coffee shop meeting. Right?

But how do we know what to wear for that upgraded image? Well, it’s like deciding what to make for a wonderful meal; you may need some inspiration from a cookbook or magazine that specializes in the type of meal you’re planning. It’s the same principle for knowing what you need for the image you would like to project: look in magazines. Get a few different lifestyle magazines, appropriate for your desired style. See what you like, what kind of clothing gives the impression that you would like to express. What “looks” in the magazines express how you wish to be seen?

The next step in making that wonderful meal is having the ingredients in your cupboard. Similarly, for any meeting, event or presentation, you’ll need to have the ingredients for an updated image in your closet. If not, you need to acquire the necessary items. So make a list of needed items and shop.

What you wear should make you feel 100% genuine, confident, comfortable and attractive. Therefore, only buy what fits you, flatters you, and sends the message of how you wish to be known in a particular circumstance. Do not waste your money on anything less.

Give yourself time for preparation. You wouldn’t start defrosting the turkey an hour before your guests arrive, right? Be mindful of what needs to be done for preparing your confident image for every situation. Are clothes clean, odor-free and wrinkle-free? Do they fit properly? Ladies, how much time will you realistically need for hair and makeup? Check your posture, whether you are standing, sitting or walking. Posture communicates a lot—much more than you’d think.

Have intention, direction and consistency to how you wish to be known for every situation. For each instance, adjust your visual appearance, your clear voice and your purposeful movements to communicate your desired message.

Image matters; it’s how we communicate in the world, visually, verbally and nonverbally. Yes, it’s a lot to think about. But it’s worth it. The more you practice these principles, the more automatic they become.

Self-satisfaction and fulfillment come from within. They evolve from routine and habitual mindful choices. If you are honest with yourself about who you are, what you want and how to achieve those things, solutions can come easily to relieve stress and gain confidence.

As the year unfolds, you will be given many opportunities to share your gifts, talents and wisdom with your family, your business, and the world, that only you can give – be ready.

About the Author: Marian Rothschild is a Certified Personal Image Consultant, speaker and writer on image, style and leadership. Marian consults and coaches professional men and  women on their visual, verbal and nonverbal communication for executive presence and stellar success. Her award-winning and bestselling book, Look Good Now and Always, is available on Amazon. Get help with your head-to-toe appearance, wardrobe, voice and presentation for authentic confidence. Visit www.marianrothschild.com, then call 720-933-9247 to set up your assessment and consultation or Skype interview. Don’t wait: Look Good Now.

7 Ways to Simplify Your Business and Inbox (AKA Life)

Overwhelmed? Join the ranks. Whether you are running your own business, have a cubicle with several office mates, or happen to be in charge of the soccer carpool, you might be feeling overwhelmed.

Stress, worry, and anxiety are not exclusive to any gender, age group, nor socioeconomic status. We’ve all felt a bit burdened from time to time and sometimes it feels the most all consuming when we are the ones running the show.

Continue Reading…

Press: interview with Good Startups

Starting a company is no easy task but there are some great resources out there designed to provide support and guidance throughout the entrepreneurial journey. One of which is Good Startups, an awesome site founded by Brendan Murphy, who is also one of our Startup and Relationship Experts.

Brendan posted an interview with our founder/CEO, Ingrid Sanders, about her experience building popexpert and the importance of aligning your business with your passions.

Check it out here: http://goodstartups.me/2013/10/22/popexpert-founders-words-of-wisdom-understand-your-core-passions/

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press: popexpert featured in the daily muse

popexpert in the daily museVarci Vartanian at The Daily Muse published a nice piece about popexpert today that showcases some of our great experts:

Want to learn how to play the ukulele or become a beekeeper, or need a creative kick-in-the-pants to start your own business?

Not a problem. Say hello to PopExpert, a new web-based way to find an expert on just about anything and learn via live one-on-one video chat.

Read the full article on The Daily Muse.

 

popexpert is hiring! seeking 2 talented ruby software engineers

popexpert is currently seeking two talented ruby engineers to add to our team. It is a great opportunity to join one of the hottest education startups in San Franscisco with over $2M in funding from top investors including Jeff Skoll, Ken Howery, Learn Capital and others.

See the full job description on stackoverflow: http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs/40693/mid-senior-software-engineer-w-funded-edu-popexpert-inc

popexpert office in jackson square neighborhood of san franciscoYou could be working with us from our office in the trendy San Francisco neighborhood in Jackson Square!

company: our ceo shares the story of finding inspiration on sabbatical

Women20Our Founder and CEO Ingrid Sanders contributed a guest post to women 2.0 today that shares the story of how taking a step out into the unknown adventure of sabbatical can create space for new ideas. If you are interested in making the leap but afraid of what it means to leave security behind, she has a few good tips for you. She also shares five lessons learned through the early days of building popexpert.

Check it out here: http://www.women2.com/finding-inspiration-on-sabbatical/ 

work: social media as a stored value currency

social media as stored value currency

The year new year is in full swing, and it seems that everyone is back at work — and by work, I mean spending time on Facebook.

That’s right, adding friends…reading the newsfeed…commenting on posts, these are no longer just tasks for teenagers or a company’s social media manager. As we head into a world of big data (the hot term of the moment at conferences in addition to education), the value of social media is moving beyond simple PR and entertainment to become a stored asset translatable into real future value.

“Data is the new Oil. Data is just like crude. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used.” — Clive Humby (via IBM presentation).

So often I hear people say they don’t “do” social media because it is a waste of time or that they don’t want to post mundane life topics for everyone to see. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by a pretty accomplished group of folks, but these days, it is not peanut butter jelly sandwiches that pop up on my news feed but some of the most interesting insights and tips of the day. I get most of my most current news from the Facebook feed and keep tabs on what is happening in the industries that interest me from LinkedIn. With over 1,000 friends on Facebook and even more on LinkedIn, I am statistically more networked than most but am by no means a power user.

Still, as we prepare for the launch of popexpert, I quickly realized it would be somewhat like a tree falling in the forest were it not for the social connections we have developed as a team.  Through our facebook page we already have the potential to reach nearly 300,000 friends of our fans, and our fans are engaging with our posts to the tune of 10-20% virality on average. And we haven’t really even begun to get started. Without social media, we would be reliant on building an audience through personal calls, emails or prayer to search engines, none of which are scalable individually in the manner we need.

And the value does not stop there. As APIs become more ubiquitous, people become more comfortable with sharing data, and the social graph is opened to more and more applications, there will be tangible value to reap from developing your digital connections. Companies already recognize this as proven by the sale earlier this year of Buddy Media to Salesforce. They have been creating fan pages and mining data for years, but individuals are about to start benefiting as well.

If you are a small business owner and are not a regular contributor to the primary social networks, you are likely missing out. Even if you don’t foresee stepping out into an entrepreneurial venture, it it may still be worth your time. In the next wave of innovation, companies are likely to start using social profiles to evaluate their employees, even to the point of making hiring decisions not only in the negative but also in the positive. In other words, it is not just that those photos of you drunk at a bar could cause you to lose a job opportunity, but your industry connections visible through LinkedIn or your social connections through Facebook could cause you to gain one as well. Or consider the scenario where you are interested in moving into a new industry where you have not yet held a job but can demonstrate solid business connections in the space through your connections or followers, this might just win a spot for you over a mediocre candidate who has the requisite experience.

Companies are also starting to use this type of data to evaluate potential risks and provide benefits. It is not unheard of for insurance companies to take social media information into account when deciding on coverage (though the legality of this is likely to be questioned), and there is no question that the squeaky wheel with a lot of Twitter followers gets more grease from customer service representatives.

The hard-to-manage millennials understand this better than generations before them, and those that come after will be even more adept. They are accustomed to spending time on their digital ties and will have spent years cultivating their connections and building a track record by the time they hit their stride in the workforce. This will work in their favor because unfortunately, a social strategy is very hard to develop and execute overnight. It takes time to build a reputation.

What does this mean for you today? Spend time thinking through how you can effectively incorporate social media into your life in a way that feels comfortable for you. Don’t discount it off the bat, and don’t take the opportunity lightly. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a near retirement boomer or in the peak of your career, it is likely that you can make yourself more valuable through a little online investment. And these days with the economy presumed to be in a lull for the foreseeable future, we all need all the help we can get.

Finally, and most importantly to us, as we start to crack open the doors to popexpert through our private beta, we are requiring that everyone sign in with either LinkedIn or Facebook.  The reason for this is there is an enormous amount of value for you, as a user, in learning about the experts your friends already love, and the only way for us to help make this happen in any meaningful is through the powerful tools that are available thanks to social media.

If you are interested in learning more, see the 2012 Pew Research Study for interesting stats on Facebook usage.

~ Ingrid Sanders, co-founder & CEO, popexpert