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I think of myself as a very rational person- a mathematician. Grounded in facts and numbers, but sadly I question myself daily. Most humans, no matter how sure they are, may be irrational.

Researchers and economists, two of the most famous Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, have believed that humans have made logical, well-considered decisions for many years. However, researchers have uncovered some brain blocks that sabotage our thinking. Sometimes we make rational decisions, but many more times when we do not!

Psychologists and behavioral researchers define different mental mistakes. Let’s look at five frequent errors that repeatedly sway us from making good decisions.

Brain Block #1 Survivorship Bias

Survivorship bias refers to our tendency to focus on the winners in a particular area and try to learn from them while completely forgetting about the losers who are employing the same strategy.

We only hear from the people who survive. We mistakenly overvalue one survivor’s strategies, tactics, and advice while ignoring that the same strategies, tactics, and advice didn’t work for most people.

When the winners are remembered, and the losers are forgotten, it becomes challenging to say if a particular strategy leads to success. 

Brain Block #2 Loss Aversion.

Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. Research has shown that if someone gives you $10, you will experience a slight boost in satisfaction, but if you lose $10, you will experience a dramatically higher loss in pleasure. 

Our tendency to avoid losses causes us to make silly decisions and change our behavior simply to keep the things we already own. We are wired to feel protective of the things we own, which can lead us to overvalue these items compared to the options.

Similarly, you might feel a tiny bit of joy when you breeze through green lights on your way to work, but you will get downright angry when the car in front of you sits at a green light, and you miss the opportunity to make it through the intersection. Losing out on the chance to make the light is far more painful than the pleasure of hitting the green light from the beginning.

Brain Block #3 The Availability Heuristic.

The Availability Heuristic refers to a common mistake our brains make by assuming that the examples that come to mind quickly are the most important or prevalent things.

Research from Harvard University has shown that we live in the least violent time in history. More people are living in peace now than ever, and violent crime is falling. 

Most people are shocked when they hear these statistics. If this is the most peaceful time in history, why are so many wars going on right now? Why do I hear about violent crimes crime every day? Why is everyone talking about so many acts of terrorism and destruction?

The answer is that we are living in the most peaceful time in history and the best-reported time in history. Information on any disaster or crime is more widely available than ever before. A quick search on the Internet will pull up more information about the most recent terrorist attack than any newspaper could have ever delivered 100 years ago.

The percentage of dangerous events is decreasing, but the likelihood that you hear about one of them (or many) is increasing. And because these events are readily available in our minds, our brains assume that they happen more frequently than they do.

We overvalue and overestimate the impact of things we can remember, and we undervalue and underestimate the prevalence of the events we hear nothing about. 

Brain Block #4 Anchoring.

This effect has been replicated in various research studies and commercial environments. For example, business owners have found that if you say, “Limit 12 per customer, ” people will buy twice as much product compared to saying, “No limit.”

Perhaps the most prevalent place you hear about anchoring is with pricing. If the price tag on a new watch is $500, you might consider it too high for your budget. However, if you walk into a store and first see a watch for $5,000 at the front of the display, the $500 watch around the corner suddenly seems pretty reasonable.

Many of the premium products that businesses sell are never expected to sell many units themselves. But they serve the critical role of anchoring your mindset and making mid-range products appear much cheaper than they would on their own.

Brain Block # 5. Confirmation Bias.

The Grandaddy of Them All. Confirmation bias refers to our tendency to search for and favor information confirming our beliefs while ignoring or devaluing information that contradicts our beliefs.

Changing your mind is more complex than it looks. The more you believe you know something, the more you filter and ignore all information to the contrary.

You can extend this thought pattern to nearly any topic. If you bought a Honda Accord and believe it is the best car on the market, you’ll naturally read any article you come across that praises the car. Meanwhile, suppose another magazine lists a different car as the best pick of the year. In that case, you dismiss it and assume that the editors of that particular magazine got it wrong or were looking for something different than what you were looking for in a car. 

Formulating a hypothesis and testing various ways to prove it false is not natural. Instead, it is far more likely that we will form one idea, assume it is accurate, and only seek out and believe information that supports it. Sadly most people do not want new information; they want to validate the information.

Where to Go From Here

Once you understand some of these common mental errors, your response might be:

  • I want to stop this from happening! 
  • How can I prevent my brain from doing these things?

It’s a fair question, but it’s not quite that simple. Rather than considering these miscalculations as a signal of a brain block, it’s better to consider them as evidence that the shortcuts your brain uses aren’t helpful in all cases. The mental processes mentioned sometimes are beneficial in many areas of everyday life, and you don’t want to eliminate these thinking mechanisms.

The problem is that our brains are so good at performing these functions — they slip into these patterns so quickly and effortlessly — that we end up using them in situations where they don’t serve us.

One method I use is to listen to different viewpoints and try to narrow down points to a simple, easy-to-understand model. Look for similar pieces and then look for opposing views. See if the opposing points are talking about the same issues. If they are, then research those points until you find a consensus. If it is not solvable by using math, then you have to make an educated guess with as much supporting documentation as possible. Don’t forget there is always prayer! 


Elon Musk has been in the news almost daily. So how does the wealthiest man in the world solve his most complex problems? By using a Three-Step Process.


  1. Use science in your thinking when you confront questions:
  2. Break it down into its simplest fundamental parts.
  3. Examine and validate your assumptions, so they are 100% true

Build your solutions and then apply steps 1&2


Thinking is challenging; that’s why many prefer not to do it to any great extent. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions, and conclusions are not always pleasant. It is vital to understand that the way you approach something that should be economic is often more psychological. 


Science is laid to rest, and assumptions are plugged in.

Many times, to fill in the blanks or to complete a story, financial entertainers today sadly use assumptions about human behavior in almost all economic models. These assumptions are probably among the most controversial and unrealistic ever devised and promoted as truths.

An economist and his student are stuck on a deserted island with nothing but a can of beans. The student is hungry and asks the economist how they can open the can to eat these beans. The economist replies, “That’s easy. We assume we have a can opener; then we use it to open the can.”

This joke is a great swipe at my economist colleagues’ use of assumptions. Many of which sometimes come out of nowhere or have some bizarre historical reference

Economists and financial advisors make many assumptions about the world that are unrealistic. These assumptions often attempt to simplify a complex phenomenon; sometimes, they lead to bizarre conclusions.

Science wins out every time if you follow the three steps Elon uses!  

For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”

Meet with Kris Miller – Financial Fitness Strategy Sessions



(951) 926-4158

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Most Company’s Health Wellness Programs – fail to save any money

In an attempt to reduce the skyrocketing costs of health care, many companies have employee wellness programs. On average, employees spend about 6 K while companies spend about $16,000 per employee on health care. The attempt at cost-saving has not shown any success in saving money and has not proven effective in better health.

Over 80%  of large employers have a wellness program that may include free screenings of BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, and other health indicators. There are various incentives to stay healthy, from subsidized health classes to insurance discounts to cash payouts for meeting specific goals, such as quitting smoking. 

Research has shown that preventing cardiovascular disease or other chronic diseases is the best way to save costs. Therefore companies thought that taking the preventive role some of these programs offer could help them pocket some of those savings.

Sadly, companies aren’t getting much bang for their buck with these wellness programs. This has become a $50 billion industry, and the marketing for these programs is prolific. The market is so good that 66% of those companies want to expand their wellness programs, even though very few firms have not seen any savings over the past decades.

Wellness programs do not work for various reasons, but behavioral economics is the main reason. People are more likely to stay the course when they receive an immediate reward for staying the course when the goals are abstract and distant, such as lowering cholesterol. 

Despite some minor evidence that wellness programs work in some cases, randomized trials found no difference in:

  • Health outcomes 
  • Cost savings 
  • Reduced absenteeism

Even though wellness programs sound like they should work – if we give you a little nudge, maybe you’ll take better care of yourself – the data does not support it.

The employees who benefit the most from wellness programs are already those in good health. No evidence suggests that healthy people are more likely to increase their healthy behaviors when participating in a wellness program. They exercise regularly and see their doctor, so getting a gym voucher just rewards what they are already doing. To receive the program’s benefits, they register.

It is when we talk to people who aren’t engaged with their health that they see these incentives and they want to act, but their lives are so complicated  many lower-income workers have some comorbidities; this is such an enormous cognitive burden that adding more routines is difficult.”

The goal of living longer without pain or disease is valuable to most people. Although wellness programs are well intended, they aren’t working.

The idea that these side benefits would alter the calculations for these people is just completely illogical. There is a fundamental point here: these programs redistribute incentives from the unhealthy to the healthy, but neither group changes its behavior.

Do wellness programs help you save money?

For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”

Meet with Kris Miller – Financial Fitness Strategy Sessions



(951) 926-4158

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Low productivity is a focus problem.

If you keep feeding your distractions, you can’t make real progress. If you are trapped in a wealth of online distractions, you must start thinking about a different approach to work.

Focus, a valuable commodity for getting real work done, is increasingly becoming a lost art.

If you’re trying to be more productive, don’t analyze how you spend your time. Pay attention to what consumes your attention.

If how you work is not working, design a different system that makes progress possible every day, increasing efficiency and output.

Your present life and career total everything you’ve focused on. If you are unhappy with your productive life, change the system that drives it.

New tools and technology are meant to help us work better, faster, and more intelligently, but they often distract us.

Many productivity apps are meant to improve our lives, but they get in the way of deep and accurate work.

You can’t stop responding to those notifications. The zero-email mindset is a productivity trap that keeps you constantly responding to emails.

How can you get real work done when you can’t stop reacting to almost every notification?

“Feed a cold and starve a fever.

To gain productivity, feed your focus and starve your distractions.”

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein once said.

Many people have a real plan to get important stuff done — they are not necessarily lazy and don’t know how to stop feeding their distractions.

Attention distraction is one of the biggest obstacles to getting real done. “Focus is the art of knowing what to ignore.

People who cultivate their ability to concentrate without distraction will thrive:

To feed your focus, start separating your urgent work from essential tasks. And most importantly, identify your distractions and how they starve your focus. Knowing your distractions can help you understand how you spend your attention.

For every focused work you want to do, identify the potential distractions, and stop them before you get in the focus zone.

Deep workers often find that notifications, no matter how important the message, takes their deep focus away from the task, and it takes twice as long to get back to focus mode again.

To produce at your peak level, you need to work for extended periods with total concentration on a single task free from distraction. 

To feed your focus, create healthy work boundaries that allow you to concentrate on essential tasks fully. Build a system that starves distractions. Create intentional constraints that will enable you to assume focus mode.

When you’re ‘on,’ be entirely on — use headphones, and when possible, hide your phone, turn it upside down, or block notifications. Block internal and external distractions.

The ability to focus for about 30/40/60 minutes is the only difference between truly productive people and those who struggle to get things done.

Measure your work and find the most suitable focused time that works for you. Your degree of focus determines how fast you make progress.

Structure your day in chunks of focused work to make in-depth work sessions work. Start your day with intention. What is the one thing you have to accomplish today? Start your focused sessions with that task.

Set up your environment to support your focus mode. And plan purposeful breaks in-between deep work sessions. (Pomodoro method)

One final insight about prioritizing involves getting disciplined about what you don’t put on the stage. This means not thinking when you don’t have to, becoming disciplined about not paying attention to non-urgent tasks unless, or until, it’s genuinely essential that you do,

Deep work is a habit and working for long stretches at a time takes time to develop. You can start today. Do more focused work daily, and it will become a habit that helps you get real work done weekly. Better routines are the personal habits of highly efficient people.

What do you do to become more productive?


For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”

Meet with Kris Miller – Financial Fitness Strategy Sessions



(951) 926-4158

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Gratitude, Fear, and Optimism: A Simple Way to Overcome Life’s Challenges

If I could show you a way to be much happier, incur no out-of-pocket cost, and you can start to receive benefits much faster than an Amazon Prime delivery, would you be interested?

Just practice Gratitude and The Love of Learning.

Gratitude. Being grateful takes up space in the brain that might otherwise be occupied by fear. Being fearful happens to be one of the root causes of many mistakes. Once that space is filled with gratitude, certain things begin to happen

Gratitude also leads to feelings of optimism. Optimists outperform pessimists by 31 percent. 

Gratitude leads to better thinking. 

Gratitude reduces stress. When you’re under stress, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that decreases your creativity, problem-solving capacity, and life span.

Many studies have shown people receiving pensions are much more grateful and outlive people who live off the ups and downs of their market portfolios.

Staying grateful is the best way to overcome life’s challenges.

What can you be grateful for right now? Even simple things like your cup of tea or coffee this morning will work. Having a family member or friend or just waking up today. The list is endless, so make yourself a checklist!

Love of learning is the other key factor in personal happiness.

We’re dealing with continuous change and overwhelming information, which is not slowing down. So, when confronted with a problem, we may need to learn something new. This new situation forces some of our brain’s warning lights to go on for many of us, alerting us that we are in new territory and trying to get us back to the comfort zone that worked before.

Once you realize that your current level of knowledge is not insufficient for a solution and your mind is working against you, the Love of Learning will allow you to learn these new things by overriding the brain’s comfort zone. Instead of stressing, you can calmly approach the concern and not be deterred by the brain’s warning lights. Now it’s full steam ahead as you confidently approach the problem because you love to learn.


For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”

Meet with Kris Miller – Financial Fitness Strategy Sessions



(951) 926-4158


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It’s My Prerogative – [Cloned #194597]

I’m working with a new client who reminded me our emotions could quickly and easily derail our goals. Mix your emotions together and you come up with a lethal cocktail.

“There are four emotions sure to undermine our goals:

fear, uncertainty, doubt, and shame.”

~Michael Hyatt

Seasons of life change often. Each season of life brings new events. Such as job change, divorce, sickness, or something else. Our emotions are then subjected to fear of the unknown, shame, uncertainty of our abilities, self-doubt, and acceptance.

Before respectively earning the title of Unstoppable DIVA, I did not speak. I would avoid social interaction. My colleagues just assumed I was anti-social. If I did attend a social event, I would have a glass of wine to relax my nerves.

An event that derailed my behavior, its called divorce. Initially it was embarrassing and the shame consumed me. My self doubt and fear of the unknown was too much to bear at times. Everyone was looking at me, they knew about me. Or so I thought.


As I’ve come to learn, it’s human nature to have these feelings – these emotions. It doesn’t matter if I’m coaching corporate executives, entrepreneurs or speaking. These emotions are a common affliction.

There’s no manual or playbook telling us how to feel or behave. It’s our prerogative to make it up as we go along. The nerves of acceptance by clients when launching new products still creep up on me. When I speak I still get those butterflies in my belly. The truth is if you don’t feel that way, you’re clearly egocentric.

We will always endure these emotions it’s human nature. It keeps us real. Just don’t allow the emotions to derail your goals.


I came to realize when developing my programs I must focus on my audience. They want to know how I can help them, they’re not thinking about me. Everybody is infected by emotions at every season of life. When I realized I wasn’t alone in the divorcee club, I got out of my way, got out of my comfort zone and I felt better about me. The wart on my nose went away.

Socializing became enjoyable. Asking for dollars became enjoyable. Owning the title of UNSTOPPABLE DIVA became natural. I was stepping out and using my emotions to keep me on track to reach my goals.

Emotions could derail your goals. It’s up to you to keep your goals in perspective and overcome the negative influence around you. It’s your prerogative. Let’s Be Unstoppable Together.

Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at connie@pheiffgroup.com or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call. I will be happy to discuss with you personally.


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E=mc2 – The Formula for Detecting Exceptional Servant Leadership – Copy

In my chosen profession, I meet, interview, screen or coach more than 1200 executives and business leaders, annually. With a continuously expanding sample size that would be the envy of any statistical research project, I’ve observed some patterns that have been shared in prior posts.

One pattern has emerged that can be summarized in the most elegant of equations, authored by Albert Einstein but for this illustration adapted with a deliberate replacement value for the variables: E=mc2

(E)xceptional leadership points to the presence of (M)indfulness and (C)haracter, squared, to the second power. That second power, in practice, is Consistency.

Mindfulness, unquestionable Character and Consistency are the core attributes held sacred and deliberately practiced by servant leaders. They are devoted to these maxims of self-discipline to sharpen their skills for the purposeful intention of driving consistent outcomes for themselves and the organizations they lead. The presence of these consistent outcomes allows us to measure the value of their practice.

I recently met with a newly appointed CEO who was quick to throw the prior regime under the bus, suggesting, “they took that servant leadership thing too far.” Further discussion revealed his bias towards an autocratic leadership dogma. With a bit of research and reflection and a touch of mindfulness for good measure, this CEO may have recognized the consistency of positive results that generally flows from the stewardship of servant leaders. The origin of this pattern of positive results and the exceptional potential generated under such leaders can be traced back to the formula: E=mc2

The practice of Mindfulness offers a leader the clarity required to consume, assess and prioritize enormous levels of input – data, feedback, reports, trends and more – necessary to distill that which is most relevant for a team’s mission. When teams witness depth of Character that is authentic, never compromised by situation or context, they are more likely to put their trust and their full commitment into the collective cause towards organizational achievement. The leader that demonstrates Consistency of behavior and action, through both highs and lows, is the one that earns unwavering confidence and loyalty from their subordinates and constituents. Consistency, in a special way, is the purest measurement of trust. When we trust how, what and why a leader will act in any given situation, we are more likely to follow with conviction and give our very best towards the pursuit of achieving the vision set forth by that leader. Quite simply, a calm conviction develops in the presence of Consistency and this conviction often converts latent potential into measurable performance.

Whether you’re meeting a candidate for the first time, developing a new business partnership or considering an investment in a promising entrepreneur, consider the formula for detecting exceptional servant leadership and seek to understand deeply the value the other party assigns to each variable:

    • Do they value Mindfulness? Ask them to describe their practice of Mindfulness.
    • Ask them to provide an example of a time when their Character was put to the test and how they responded.
    • Prompt them to explain their routines and provide examples that allow you to assess for Consistency in their personal and professional cadence.

You will find these questions are equally effective when performing reference checks. Solicit from references their impressions of Mindfulness, Character and Consistency in candidates, entrepreneurs or leaders they may be sponsoring.

You can discard the clever questions you’ve learned or heard and effectively evaluate exceptional leadership potential with E=mc2. If you confirm these variables to your personal satisfaction, the foundation is present for exceptional leadership and the pursuit of exceptional results.

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Many people may lack the basic math skills and financial know-how to make decisions. One of my favorite books, which I reread from time to time, is the 1988 book Innumeracy by John Paulos; he coined the book’s title from people being slow in math as compared to illiterate. Math and money are very different, and learning the differences is crucial to building wealth securely.

Even though many adults across generations were functioning with medium levels of financial literacy, too many workers today possess low levels of Personal Financial Proficiency (PFP) and have difficulty applying financial decision-making skills to real-life situations.   

Here are a few general questions about everyday financial situations that stumped so many:

  • Determining wages and take-home pay, 
  • Questions about investment types, risk, and return, 
  • Understanding specific risk economic outcomes risk
  • Understanding that 401(k) are not pensions

This is where Americans exhibit the lowest scores, with less than one-third answering correctly.

Lack of financial understanding affects all ages and socioeconomic levels. The result is those who fall into the limited PFP category, even though financially literate, may not manage their financial resources effectively and may feel intimidated by retirement, budgeting, tax planning, and Social Security topics.

One way to help everyone become more confident about their personal finances is by building a solid foundation with Financial Proficiency. 

Financial literacy dark secret

People with higher levels of financial literacy “fluency bias.” are more likely to build weak foundations to support their financial houses. Sadly, in this case, a little knowledge is dangerous and prevents many from developing a strategy that works and won’t leave you in a pickle as you get to retirement age.

For more Healthy Money Tips Listen to our PodCast “Money 911”

Sign up for a Financial Fitness Strategy Session:  Meet with Kris Miller – Financial Fitness Strategy Sessions

You can reach me at Kris@HealthyMoneyHappyLIfe.com, (951) 926-4158


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Women Supporting Women

Did you know it’s National Women’s History Month? As a female business owner and entrepreneur, I’d like to say THANK YOU to all those who came before me and paved the way. Sometimes, being a strong powerful woman can feel very isolating. We all know the irreplaceable value of a strong, inclusive, loving support group. From childhood to parenthood, small networks of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and classmates give us a sense of belonging, protection, and camaraderie.

Support feeds the soul.

Getting the right support is crucial. Whether your kid won’t stop yelling your name or your coworker is clicking their pen incessantly, there are times when you’re frustrated and stressed out. All you want is the sympathetic voice of a friend who knows what you’re going through (and maybe a glass of wine).

You may have been disconnected from your usual support systems in recent seasons of life. I’ve discovered that a great podcast can help rebuild a sense of community. Listening to a wonderful podcast host feels a bit like a conversation with a wise and empathetic friend.

I’ve had the honor of collaborating with several incredible podcasts within the Conscious Parenting Revolution platform. If you’d like a little female camaraderie and support, I encourage you to listen (and subscribe!) to these fantastic shows.


Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill are certified occupational therapy assistants whose mission is to help families practice health and wellness in their daily lives. They’re light-hearted, funny, intelligent women with a fresh perspective on healthy family dynamics. Listen to my episode with Rachel and Jessica here.


Melissa Brown addresses the challenges of having an extended and blended home life with personal stories based on her own family. She tackles difficult topics like having a healthy divorce, managing relationships between non-biological siblings, and “time sharing” with an ex. Her episodes aim to help blended families not only co-exist, but thrive. Listen to my episode with Melissa here.


In our world full of bright, shiny objects, we all need some advice on managing distractions. Dr. Ned Hallowell, a New York Times best-selling author and ADHD expert, lends his expertise on minimizing distractions in your daily life. His bright, enthusiastic show offers practical advice and shows how issues like ADHD can transform into strengths. Listen to my episode with Dr. Ned here.


Jess Gaertner and Laura Bruner embody modern motherhood: Laura is a certified nutrition consultant, Jess is a licensed athletic trainer with a master’s degree in kinesthesiology, both are CrossFit trainers, and mamas to their babies—whew! They interview guests about fertility, pregnancy, parenting, fitness, and holistic health and spirituality. This duo is a blast to listen to! Listen to my episode with Jess and Laura here.


A direct connection into the world of “Trailblazers” who openly share their journeys to success. From step-by-step tips on building their businesses to how they overcame insurmountable odds and turned their dreams into realities. Tune in to our International Women’s Day LIVE Event March 8th!


Bringing you the latest wisdom and neuroscience on how to manifest your goals in life and create abundance in wealth, love, health, relationships. She is the creator of the world renowned meditational behavioral synchronicity (MBS) method. By listening to this podcast, you will learn how to refocus your mindset and thought processes with practical and mindful exercises that you can begin right here, right now, simply by pressing play. Listen to my podcast episode here.


Which episode was your favorite? Hit reply and let me know!

Love and blessings,


P.S. I am thrilled to be part of the 3rd Annual International Women’s Day Marathon!! An event featuring over 25 live interviews hosted by my good friend, TGo, showcasing successful women from small business entrepreneurs to trailblazers from around the world. On March 8, 2023, from 9-5pm PT, you can watch this event for FREE, streamed live from the comfort of your own home. You will have the opportunity to hear from remarkable women who have made a significant impact in their respective fields, inspiring and empowering you to achieve your own goals. This inspiring event is made possible by NOW – the Network Of Outstanding Women, and is sponsored in part by PodNation TV and JD3TV networks. I can’t wait to share with you! iwdm.live


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Crack The Code and Glide!

Susan K Younger Personal Brand Origin Story:

“Susan, you are shy, smart, and tall which means people are going to mistake you for being conceited, stuck up, and arrogant. You will need to reach out to people, don’t assume they’ll come looking for you.” This was mom’s sage advice for as long as I can remember.

I was also a klutz.

Constantly tripping over my size 11 feet with an awkward gait. Yet on cold winter nights, when cars circled around our neighborhood baseball diamond to illuminate a sheet of ice, I became calm and graceful. Gliding effortlessly through a crowd of peers, skating backwards, and doing twirls in a blue and white parka. My skates had baby blue pom poms with bells, and I wore earmuffs to match. It was the only time my younger brother Fred – who thrived in all sports and in all social settings – did not mock me for being uncoordinated. Now in scholastics I had the upper hand, every grade Fred entered he got compared to his older sister, the smart, straight A-student.

“If I hadn’t been there for your birth, I wouldn’t know you were mine. You have a mole on your arm in the exact same spot as I do, and you look like your dad and act like him too.”

Mom called me her little Harold. It didn’t matter. Both of my parents loved us the same and encouraged us to become whoever we wanted to be. For me, from a young age that was an architect. Whenever we moved to a different house, which we did rather frequently, I’d sketch plans to solve problems my parents described in each home we considered. I was enthralled at the idea of being able to design a room.

Emboldened with this desire, in my junior year of college I walked into a local architectural firm, introduced myself, and asked if I could work as their summer apprentice. The position didn’t even exist but because I took the initiative and made a good impression, they created the job for me.

Taking this one bold step launched my career.

After that I managed teams of architects and drew plans for retail stores throughout the country, often finding myself as the only gal in the room. Quickly, I learned I needed to face my own ignorance and ask clarifying questions, even at the risk of sounding silly. Additionally, I had to understand what motivated people and how they made decisions. For a long time, I did this intuitively feeling the energies of a room or conversation, and then naturally was able to process what was needed to succeed. However, I had no way to communicate my process with others.

Once I got certified in BANK personality profiling – a simple, scientific methodology that takes less than 90 seconds to complete and reveals the primary way a person interacts with the world – I became empowered with a language to discuss the various energy dynamics happening at work and at home.

There are four personality types – Blueprint, Action, Nurturing, Knowledge – and each one is listed on a card with several values.

A person reads through and organizes the cards in the order of what is most important to them. I am a NAKB. Nurturing is my primary orientation backed by Action and then followed by Knowledge and Blueprint.

When I know people’s codes, I have key insights on how to communicate with them in their preferred style which is motivating to them, increases trust, and reduces a lot of friction and frustration. For example, when I managed two colleagues – one a Blueprint who thrives on structure and checklists, and the other an Active who enjoys freedom and creative control – I passed projects off to them differently to set them up for success.

For the Blueprint she wanted clear directives, so I’d encourage her to make a workflow that we could review together before she began. For the Active, this same approach would have stifled his creativity, so his projects were given with broad instructions and ample opportunity for him to make it his own. It’s also applicable in our personal lives. Looking back, it’s now easy for me to know that both Fred and my mom were Actives. They were vivacious, go-getters full of stories and always having fun. Often people will associate ‘architect’ with Blueprint but what fulfills me is designing a space that nurtures the people who are occupying it. How form can foster community.

Learning these codes enables me to dance among various personalities and feels akin to being back on that ice, gracefully gliding through the crowd.

If you are interested in ‘cracking your code’ you can do so for free here. Afterwards, feel free to reach out and have a conversation with me. We’ll discuss how this information can be immediately utilized to increase workflow and strengthen interpersonal communications either in the workplace or at home.

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Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ For Business Or Career?

“You’re trying hard not to show it.
But baby, baby I know it. You lost that lovin’ feelin’.
Whoa that lovin’ feelin’. You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’,
Now it’s gone, gone, gone whoao- hoh.”

You know the song, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” performed by the Righteous Brothers and immortalized in the movie “Top Gun” where Tom Cruise sings it to woo Kelly McGillis. You’re probably humming the tune right now.

Lately, have you been finding it difficult to feel the love about your coaching or consulting business or career? “Love,” you say? “Well, I love my spouse, my kids, my favorite sports teams, French vanilla ice cream, but love my business? I am way too busy to love my business. I’ve got emails to answer!”

Loving your business and the work you do is the most important strategic advantage in business today. When people love their work, they are inspired, passionate and committed to excellence. In spite of a turbulent economy, employee and employer dissatisfaction is commonplace. We have all read the studies that less than half of the global workforce feels valued by their employer and a large percentage of employees intend to look for a new job within a year. These people at all levels of an organization dread going to work, are resigned that nothing will change and are livin’ for the weekend. If this describes you or a client of yours, it is possible to start feelin’ the love again and recapture the excitement in your business and career.

Your “Love Your Business Challenge” to feel the love is a three-step process:

Step 1: Take a trip down memory lane and remember when you first loved your work. You felt motivated and excited about going to work. Somewhere along the way, you started pressing the snooze button. Think back to the times when you were bright-eyed and enthusiastic about the massive learning curve that consumed you. Recall when you spent hours immersed in creating a new process or product and not even realized it; when you were energetic, passionate and having fun using your natural strengths and talents.
Remember the first days at your business and how much you enjoyed your clients or coworkers before you had them all “figured out.” You were naturally engaged in conversations about the limitless possibilities of your work, the team’s creative capacities and the company’s future. As corny as it sounds, love was present and palpable.
Write down your loving recollections, feelings and experiences. Remember the old saying, “A short pencil is better than a long memory!”

Step 2: Admit it. Like the song says, “You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling.”
Acknowledge what you’re feeling and do an analysis of where or when this happened. Were you ever tempted to chuck it all and start over in a new business or another company? Take a long, hard and honest look at the decisions you made then about your business, career, clients, co-workers and partners and your future career path. Who was wrong or right in the process (yourself included)? Are you holding on to old beliefs or behaviors that are no longer serving you?

Step 3: Change yourself and your circumstances will change. Begin to think and act as though you actually LOVE your business and career. Behave like a person deep in the throes of passion, follow the love in your business. Give up any resentments, disappointments, hopes or promises about how it was “supposed” to be?
Short pencil in hand; list what you are willing to start/stop/continue doing in order to get the love back again. Make the tough decisions; fire the clients that you are tolerating and don’t love. Leave the job you aren’t lovin’ or courageously reinvent the career that you have written off.
When love is present, there is compassion, forgiveness, appreciation and action. Finding renewed purpose and commitment will widen your view about your work and make a positive impact on your company, community, nation and the world. Yes, the world.

Create an environment that will support you in bringing the excitement back. Engage your mind, body, soul and feet; get moving and take action. Actively seek out com­ munities of other business lovers. Watch out for the naysayers, cynics, doomsayers and the people that are “just getting by” in their professional lives. Study the most successful organizations and people in and out of your industry and see how they love the work they are doing. Construct a new Business Love Manifesto to declare your love to your employees, partners, clients and prospects. Remember that new eyes, ears and moving feet will guide you to new opportunities.

Declare your Business Love Woman or Manifesto and share your experiences of renewed love, passion, admiration, puppy love about your business and career.
The positive effects of loving your business will transform the way you approach your daily living and the results you enjoy. My clients report that when they are more loving at work, they naturally have a more loving and rewarding family life.

Loving the work you do and being proud about the contributions you make will transform your life and your business. By engaging in the Love Your Business Challenge, you will create new and rewarding opportunities and have more fun along the way!

Kathleen Caldwell is CEO of Caldwell Consulting Group, founder of the Women’s Success Accelerator ™ and C-Suite Network’s Women’s Coaching & Consulting Council. Kathleen is the author of the soon to be released book, “Success Mindpower: Use Your Powerful Mind To Play And Win YOUR Game Of Success.”

Ms. Caldwell is a philanthropist, credentialed success coach, professional speaker and author who has mentored and advised thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, leaders and business teams around the world to greater success and profitability.

Kathleen has received numerous awards and honors including the designation of “Woman of Distinction” and “Influential Woman in Business” and was recently honored as a GEM – Generous, Enthusiastic and Motivated leader in her community.

Awards, aside, Ms. Caldwell is known best as a connector and is excited to share her alliances and new business strategies to support leaders and organizations in their business and career success.
In her spare time, Kathleen is a certified Zumba instructor, health coach, and success hypnotherapist and has a passion for international travel and ballroom dancing with her sweetheart and husband, Michael.