Presenting Bootcamp STAR Graduate – Margarita Martin, Coaching that Makes Your “YOU” Possible

As you well know, this past November, our latest Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp ended.

We’re proud to present you Margarita Martin, one of our Top 10 students in this past session—the “cum laude” of the bunch who launched her businesses with our support and who is now thriving!

Margarita works with direct sales, self-employed and professionals seeking to grow in their field – folks who are HUNGRY to grow and improve.

Remember, nothing is IMPOSSIBLE! The word itself says, “I’M POSSIBLE”!!!

I am so EXCITED!! I’ve gone from National Sales Rep of the Year at Dow Jones, twice; to stay-at-home mom of four, to entrepreneur as a Life Leadership coach. And now I’m HERE! With all of you!! My journey with Melinda and Kate has been pivotal and amazing for me and my business as a coach, trainer and speaker with The John Maxwell Team.

We’ve just rung in a new year and as I do every year I’ve reflected back on the past year – what went right, what could I have done better, what where my greatest joys and my deepest let downs. I’ve always been a student of leadership – I’ve always wanted to be the best I could be and I knew that in order to get to my personal best, I needed to read and learn from the very best – one is too small of a number for greatness.

Along with welcoming the newest little member to our family (Baby Grace is 3 months old now), one of the absolutely best things I did in 2015 was become certified as a Coach, Speaker and Trainer with The John Maxwell Team. My heart has always been for bringing others up, training on the best content, sharing what has worked for me in the past and what hasn’t worked. I am a natural motivator and cheerleader. My closest friends describe me as a bundle of positive energy!

As a Certified Coach with The John Maxwell Team I deliver a strong dose of the best content on the topic of leadership on the planet. In fact, John Maxwell has written three of the top five leadership books EVER written. And I get to share that with my clients, through virtual one-on-one coaching, mastermind groups and lunch and learns.

What I have learned, both personally and from my clients, is that SELF-leadership is the absolute hardest form of leadership. One of my favorite quotes from John is this – “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” It is so very true!! How we lead ourselves is how other perceive us, how they respond to us. If you are looking to grow your business, build your sales team or make an impact on the world around you, you must first and foremost LIVE BY EXAMPLE.

Between the killer content, being a keen listener and living it, I would love to share with you some resources available on my site, Take advantage of my free gift to you, “5 Free Infographics to help you Up Your Leadership Game.” They look great printed out and I know you’ll refer back to them time and again.


Margarita Martin is an influencer that is an experienced sales person. As a mortgage broker, she survived the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008. She transitioned from this battle zone to what turned out to be an all-out Armageddon. Her new role selling a printed publication in our digital world, to a market, of all things – early adopters. Margarita was selling the Wall Street Journal for classroom use to university deans, faculty and graduate programs. Not only did she survive, she was “Sales Representative of the Year” two years in a row. Not bad for a two year deployment. And then came four babies creating a new full-time position. Survived, again, and ready to teach straight from the front line.

Presenting Bootcamp STAR Graduate – Larry Jacobson Retirement Coach: When Golf And Grandkids Just Aren’t Enough

As you well know, this past November, our latest Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp ended.

We’re proud to present you Larry Jacobson, one of our Top 10 students in this past session—the “cum laude” of the bunch who launched his businesses with our support and who is now thriving!

Larry offers non-financial retirement planning for baby boomers because golf and grandkids are not enough.

Baby Boomers Reject and Redefine Retirement

Baby Boomers have a problem we rarely discuss and are reluctant to face. If like me, you are one of the 10,000 boomers who will retire today and every day for the next 15 years, you face two basic questions about your retirement.

Do you have enough money to retire? This is the question everybody talks about. The financial planning industry hits us with an endless barrage of advertising to generate enough fear so we’ll invest with them. Let’s say you’ve planned well, had some good luck and timing, and you do have enough money to retire. Good for you. Now you’re faced with the question nobody wants to talk about.

larry-ted-talkWhat are you going to do with your time when you retire? Most answers include some version of, “Sleep late, golf, and travel.” I hear this often from new retirees, and many are back on the phone with me before a year has passed. By then, they’ve had all the sleeping late, golfing, and travel they can take, and have discovered a new problem; they are missing the fulfillment and purpose they had with their career.

Today’s Retirement Situation—The Hard Truth

A majority of those approaching retirement have not thought about what happens after their career comes to an end because the idea of losing one’s identity is frightening. Many of life’s big transitions are scripted for us and follow an established progression from one stage to the next. In school, we progressed from kindergarten to elementary, from middle to high school and the next step for some was college. In the corporate world, you climb the ladder from supervisor to manager, director, VP, President, and then the C-suite. If you’re in the military, you rise through the ranks in proper order. But now that you are approaching an unscheduled part of your life, how do you write the script so it includes fulfillment and purpose?

Think about your days at work. Even on the worst day, you experience a variety of emotions including feeling valued, needed, and respected. At work, you are scolded and praised; you absorb, and contribute knowledge. Most likely, you thrive on that steady flow of interaction with fellow workers, the fast pace, and the feeling that you are ‘doing something.’ When this stimulus is gone, how easily do you expect to transition to tending your garden? What will you do to maintain purpose and how will you contribute to the world?

What’s Your Plan?

sailingThe answer to this important question of what you’ll do with your time is to have a non-financial retirement plan. Having a financial retirement plan is common, but only 30% of baby-boomers have a non-financial plan. Why don’t you have a plan? Don’t feel bad; it’s not your fault. We didn’t expect to live this long and thus need a plan for a whole new phase of our lives. Our parents didn’t have much of a plan—but we’re living 10-30 years longer than they did—so we need one. However, there are three hurdles to creating a plan.

  1. We didn’t know we were supposed to have a plan, and figure we’ll make it up as we go. That’s being reactive, not proactive.
  2. Even if we wanted to, we were never taught how to make a non-financial retirement plan. What would it include? What would it look like? I’ve met a lot of executives who could write a business plan in a day, but have no idea how to write their own plan for retirement.

It takes deep introspection to consider what you’ll do with the next phase of your life. This is not easy to do by yourself and resources have been thin in this area. After all, the financial firms’ profits come from your invested money remaining invested, not spent.

No financial firm wanted me to spend my money on a sailing journey around the world, but that’s what I saw as my vision, so I went anyway. What do you see in your vision? When you think about yourself in retirement, what do you picture? If you don’t have a vision and a picture of what you want, then you may want to consider these statistics.

  • In retirement you have a 40% higher chance of falling into clinical depression than when you were working.*
  • You have a 56% higher chance of having a stroke if you cannot state your life purpose in retirement.**
  • The average retiree watches 4.5 hours of television per day. That’s the equivalent of 205 8-hour days or 56% of your potential productivity time.***
  • Retirees have many concerns but their #1 concern is the lack of identity they felt in their career.

Still, 70% of retirees don’t have a non-financial retirement plan.

planDo you have a plan?

Without a planned route, it’s easy to drift aimlessly from one pleasure to another never finding fulfillment. In the words of the great motivator, Jim Rohn, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s….” It doesn’t have to be this way. Retirement doesn’t have to mean the end, but rather the beginning of renewal. Retirement should be redefined as opportunity.


Baby-Boomers are Rebelling Against Traditional Retirement

The old way of looking at retirement was to see an endless bliss where you would finally get to do nothing, with no pressure, deadlines, or work. Wrong! That was your parents’ definition of retirement. You’re of a different generation, someone who has reached a position of respect in your professional life, and want to contribute and feel appreciated.

It’s time to look at retirement in a whole new light. Not as a chance to stop, but as a chance to move forward in a direction you have always dreamed of going. It’s your chance to make your dreams come true. It’s your chance to live a life of true meaning, value, and solid purpose.

Three Elements To a Fulfilling Retirement

It may seem obvious but most new retirees have been so concerned with retiring from something, they have yet to consider what they’re retiring to, and thus the three parts to retirement.

  1. You must have something to retire from such as a job, career, or position of responsibility.
  2. You need something to retire to. This could be a new job or career, joining the board of a company, a personal passion, working for a non-profit, getting into a new relationship, or moving both physically and emotionally. Hopefully what you’re retiring to makes you feel like you’re contributing to the world’s betterment, even if it’s your neighborhood group.
  3. Creating a non-financial retirement plan means asking many questions of yourself—and answering them. Thus, the third element needed to retire is someone to nag you to get off your duff to do make a plan, and then take the first step in that plan. While I prefer my title as is, Chief Retirement Navigator, I’m also referred to as ‘the nag,’ which I don’t mind as long as the job gets one.


While sailing his boat all the way around the world, Larry Jacobson followed many a course marked by buoys. They led the way through dangerous shoals, between reefs, and provided a safe haven for mooring. The international buoy system is like a roadmap and if followed properly, will keep you in safe waters. Larry’s Buoy Coaching, provides safe and confidential guidance into a new phase of life as you redefine your retirement.

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Presenting Bootcamp STAR Graduate – Carol Williams supporting and empowering individuals and teams to reach their goals and dreams

As you well know, this past November, our latest Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp ended.

We’re proud to present you Carol Williams, one of our Top 10 students in this past session—the “cum laude” of the bunch who launched her businesses with our support and who is now thriving!

Carol is supporting and empowering individuals and teams to reach their goals and dreams and now she is offering the readers of our blog some of her best pieces of advice.

January Dreaming to July Doing: A Savvy Business Leader’s Guide

WHAT is the issue?

New Year’s resolutions don’t work. You know that. Some statistics:

Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%


But, why? We are intelligent and successful leaders. Why do we have a DISCONNECT between Intention and Action?

Answer: It’s our brains. It’s how we are wired. But, here’s the good news. We can outsmart our brains.


With everything to gain, and much to lose, it’s worth another look at the “right way” to not only plan, but to design a system that enables you and your team to (really) follow though this time. Without consistent and reliable methods for follow-through, your team will lose momentum, become disengaged, and possibly disgruntled. A disengaged team barely scratches the surface of productivity, whereas a highly engaged and motivated team knows no limits.

What if, after many tries of fording an impossible stream, someone built a bridge? Would you ford the stream again? It’s doubtful. What do you have to lose? To gain?

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 7.08.49 AM

Want this bridge? Read on.


How do we outsmart our brains, then, to go from “January dreaming” to “July doing”? It’s simple, but it’s not easy. If it were easy, we’d find different statistics.

Simply Successful Steps:

  1. Be certain. Envision your end result, with the caveat that you truly believe you can achieve your goal(s). Half-hearted beliefs are doomed to failure.
  1. Keep it super simple. A big mistake is to plan for more than three goals. One to three is ideal. “Less is more” after all.
  1. Believe through the bumps. There will be bumps, but reminding yourself of successes will breed more successes. Honor and celebrate, and expect the bumps. A deep and meaningful “why” is paramount.
  1. Really remember the reminders. What reminds you of “what you were going to do”? Some use a vision board. Some visualize daily. Create small “if/then” habits (hint: this is a “brain trick.” For example, “IF I open a new browser window THEN I will ask myself what my highest priority of the day is.”)
  1. Consistently. You must commit to a small step, at least every other day. This creates habit and momentum. It’s also known as Deliberate Practice, which is another way to re-train your brain.
  1. Get support. No “man is an island.” Humans are gregarious by nature, and in general, find greater success in personal accountability. Try, a mastermind group, or a coach. Even announcing your goal (personal or professional) on Facebook can help!

Above all, take heart:

According to a 2015 study by the Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island, we can “rebuild our willpower muscle.” Like any muscle however, it must be trained.


Carol Williams owns EpS (Efficient Productivity Systems) and is a productivity coach, trainer, and Evernote Business Certified Consultant. She specializes in helping create systems for success in business and in life. If you are leading a team who desires to function at top speed and performance, contact Carol for a complimentary, 40-minute phone consultation appointment. She also coaches individuals and helps find calm in the chaos of our work and home lives.


Presenting Bootcamp STAR Graduate – Ali Godding helping successful women achieve even more

As you well know, this past November, our latest Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp ended.

We’re proud to present you Ali Godding, one of our Top 10 students in this past session—the “cum laude” of the bunch who launched her businesses with our support and who is now thriving!

Ali is helping successful women achieve even more and now she is offering the readers of our blog some of her best pieces of advice.

What Strengths Do You Need To Thrive in Today’s World?

Have you felt it too? The feeling that the world is accelerating at an incredible pace… That the sands are shifting beneath our feet? When we look into history we can see that this is a cycle that has always been revolving. Revolutions in human development technologically, socially, politically, spiritually have been cycling on and on for millennia. But what can we do about it?

At the recent Engage For Success conference aptly titled ‘Engage or Bust’ I heard this phenomena described very eloquently by Nita Clarke the co-founder of this movement, dedicated to the idea that there is a better way to work. She said:

“We are living in a world full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity”

I couldn’t agree more! It is somewhat of a mouthful and so people have taken to reducing these meaningful words to an acronym. VUCA.

If you hear the phrase “We are living in a ‘VUCA’ world” you now know what the hell they are talking about! Personally I feel that phrase reduces this important-to-pin-down concept, it to mumbo jumbo ‘management speak’. However, the sentiment and what it is describing couldn’t be more relevant, and I doubt the term is going away anytime soon so I guess just need to get over it!

So… we are at a point in time where multiple revolutions are taking place all at once, some large, some small. Yet added together these shifts are dramatically changing how we operate as a society. These circumstances have manifested the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA World) we now find ourselves experiencing every day. I don’t think that is ‘news’ to anyone. We all feel the impacts of this ‘chaos’ don’t we?!

As wonderful as it is that we can now put our finger on, and finally articulate what is going on around us. It still leaves us the question of what to do about it. The Engage for Success movement goes on to answer this from the perspective of an organisation and for our economy, But what can I, as an individual, as a professional ambitious woman, do to improve the stress inducing environment we find ourselves in day to day. Which seems all the more urgent because this ‘VUCA world’ seems to breed the worst of the fear based behaviours; manipulation, game playing, politics and the like.

It probably won’t surprise you that my approach is to focus on what we can influence – ourselves. Developing ourselves personally, so that we can not only survive but thrive in this environment. That is the reason I wish to share with you this film by Tiffany Shlain. I believe it to be so powerful because it looks at the qualities we can focus on and develop, that will help us navigate this crazy world we all live in.

Watch it now, or if you don’t mind jumping to the punch line, I have summarised the qualities below. These are the areas that we can all work on to help us survive and thrive in today’s world. I still recommend you watch the film after you finish reading this post. 🙂

The Top 5 Strengths You Need To Thrive In Today’s World:

1) Curiosity – Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.**
2) Creativity – Thinking of novel and productive ways to conceptualize and do things; includes artistic achievement but is not limited to it.**
3) Initiative – the ability to assess and initiate things independently. The power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do.*
4) Multi-disciplinary thinking – A multidisciplinary approach involves drawing appropriately from multiple disciplines to redefine problems outside normal boundaries and reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations*
5) Empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another*
* definition from wikipedia ** definition from VIA institute on character

Do you agree that these strengths are what is needed to navigate our way through or do you think others are just as, or even more important? How do we as a society measure up on these strengths? Are they around in abundance or are they scarce? Do these qualities come naturally to you? Do you want to develop them and hone the skills that go alongside these strengths? I would love to hear your comments on those questions or any other thoughts you may have…


Ali Godding is Business Owner and Coach at MindSpa, the coaching practice dedicated to helping successful women achieve even more. If you want to get ahead and stay ahead whilst living a healthy balanced life then get in touch today.


What’s YOUR Word for 2016?

The New Year is in full swing—woohoo!

Along with our best wishes for an efficient, profitable, streamlined 2016, we want to extend what we consider a very important piece of advice … one we’re confident will transform the way you do things and create unimaginable results.

Here we go:

You know how it’s been kind of a trend over the past couple of years for people to begin the New Year by choosing a single word that will serve as kind of a compass over the course of the next 12 months?

You may be nodding your head, thinking of words like: focus, determination, perseverance, planning, organization … and all of these are great!

What if you were to consider a different word, one that may feel a bit foreign at first …


That’s right. FUN!

Yes, planning is good. Getting organized in advance is critical. Strategy and execution matter.

At the same time, FUN should be a cornerstone in your business plan. It should be a critical partner to focus.

You know we have a story to illustrate our point. 😉

During our last big promotion, there was one day when certain components of our plan weren’t working exactly as we anticipated. I (Melinda) was in a tizzy.

Yes, the Queen of Efficiency was super-frustrated, and the more I worked on the problem, the messier it got.

I called Kate to dump my charge about the situation, hoping that by clearing out the frustration, I’d be able to focus. Of course, it didn’t work.

I admit, the fun factor was nowhere in my mind in my efforts to sort the situation out, and fast.

The next thing I know, Kate was knocking on my door.

I opened the door, and there she was, smiling, from behind a huge bouquet of flowers. Immediately, a huge smile spread across my face.

Kate came in and led me in a dance break. (Not kidding … we danced around the room like kids!)

Instantly, I began to feel so much better, even though the frustrating situation hadn’t yet changed. I felt lighter and calmer. As we danced, I felt more confident in my capacity to address the non-working components of our plan.

Being on the receiving end of Kate’s kindness—and experiencing the gratitude that came with it—gave me the idea to send all of our promoting partners a bouquet of flowers too, to thank them for helping us realize our vision this year.

Kate and I received Facebook messages, texts, and emails that included pictures of our partners with the flowers. We read stories about the positive impact our special deliveries had on their day. They reported big smiles, along with feeling lighter, happier, calmer and more focused as a result of receiving the flowers.

In the moment when Kate brought me the flowers, something very scientific, physical, and biological happened. Kate’s smile triggered my smile. The dance break (even though, at first, I wasn’t in a fun frame of mind) released a chemical called nitric oxide, which resulted in increased levels of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and beta endorphins.

High levels of nitric oxide, in turn, provided me with increased blood flow to my entire body and internal organs.

Here’s the really cool thing: whereas working harder produces adrenaline that can damage and deplete your body, fun and pleasure fuel you and allow you to tap into creativity in bigger ways, see situations from a new perspective, and develop a greater number of potential solutions!

Again, focus is critical … but it works best when it’s partnered with fun.

Don’t confuse perfectionism with professionalism – you (and your business) don’t need to be “perfect.”

Pay equal attention to focus (strategy, organization, planning, and execution) as you do to fun, and see how it changes your 2016!

Maybe right now you’re wondering HOW, with everything you do in your business, can you add the fun factor?

Think about content creation, client support, creating marketing material, launching promotions, engaging in marketing activities and so on. How can you add in the FUN FACTOR?

I have one more story for you today: I was recently at a JV summit with 112 of our colleagues, and the moderator asked for one piece of wisdom that lead to the level of growth we’ve experienced year after year.

I found myself getting onstage and sharing the story about Kate and the flowers. After I finished speaking, one of the gals in the room—who is already quite successful and is planning to generate 6 figures in her business—approached me to tell me how much she appreciated hearing my story.

She had always operated on the belief that in order to create significant success, you have to simply work hard. She was so grateful to hear my “ray of sunshine” story at that moment. It gave her new hope that she could create the success of which she dreams, in a way that felt natural … in a way that would allow her to enjoy the process, along the way.

I believe you can do the same.

Which is why, as we head full swing into 2016, Kate and I would like to encourage you to focus on FUN, and on everything it can do for your business.

We have a feeling you’re going to like it!

As always, we’d love to hear about how this works out for you, so please feel free to drop us a line on our Facebook page.

Here’s to a Happy and FUN New Year!