When Was the Last Time You “Unplugged?”

unpluggedNever thought I would be asking such a question! Not sure I even knew how to spell it, let alone be among the 89% of Americans, according to a new study by Bank of America, that check their devices at least 3-4 times a day- 24/7!

I am not in the 54% of Americans who are continually checking their devices, even when they are supposed to be asleep, however looking at my patterns I could be!

Isn’t our technology supposed to serve us and not the other way around?  I have been told to succeed as a business owner I have to be connected at all times or my business will fail! Have you heard that too?

Just like most Americans are sleep deprived, don’t take vacations, we are becoming addicted to being constantly “plugged in!”

When I looked recently at taking a “Road Trip” and not being continually “plugged in” I admit it was a little scary!

I have a social media person on my company team, and it still concerned me that I could take off and not blog, enjoy the scenery without taking a picture of it to share, read a book without feeling guilty, look at a magazine with no reason in mind, think without having a deadline to meet, enjoy conversation with my family without videoing it, and not answer all my emails on a regular schedule!

I realized I was tired and needed a break from my everyday routine, and how could I get it if I felt I needed to be tied to my devices!

I set about deciding how this could work! Like everything it is a choice and action that we can make happen!

In this adventure I realized 3 valuable things:
●    I had not clearly checked out all the mechanization that I should have in place to prevent me from thinking I had to be “plugged in all the time!”
●    Not trusting my business and its’ operation to those I had in place, thinking I had to do it all!
●    Making decisions on what I needed to be “plugged into” and what I could just let go and not join in.

I returned with a new look on life! Did I go completely off-line and disappear? No, it takes practice to close and have regular business hours and be a part of helping others without being “plugged in!”

Am I perfect at it? NO!  I have learned I don’t have to be perfect at everything, only striving for excellence and helping others do the same!

Ready to take the plunge and be “unplugged” even if only for a little while?

-Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

Do You Need a Bow and Arrow Moment?

Bow and ArrowDo You Need a Bow and Arrow Moment?
This week-end something happened that has been a dream for many years! Something wanted and talked about for years!  Began my journey to being an Archer!  Where did that come from? Watching too many Robin Hood shows growing up? What good can it do? There is no desire to hunt, fish, or compete, which is what you normally do with a bow and arrow. The goal solely is to experience the thrill of one day being good enough to hit the target dead center! And be able to keep doing it!

Isn’t that what our lives and businesses are all about?
-Having a desire and passion
-Letting yourself and others know about it
-Planning how it can happen
-Getting the right tools to work with
-Making the choice and time to do it
-Keep on going and not quitting

Today is it time for your “bow and arrow” moment?  The challenge is: will you do it?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO of Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

Time to Renew, Refresh, and Review Your Business Goals?

topsailbeachAt least once a year I am happy to head to our favorite beach, Topsail Beach, in North   Carolina.  As the owner and CEO of a growing business, I find it hard to completely detach myself completely, but I know it is necessary to catch up with “me” and renew, refresh, and review my business goals and plans in the backdrop of the ocean.

This is where I can take the time to see what is really going on, and revive my energy and plans for a lifetime of joy, peace, and contentment. That is key to my company that I continue to have the passion and joy to love what I do, be at peace in making decisions and building relationships, and be content to live in the moment! Quite a tall order in todays’ frantic pace, isn’t it?

In my business it seems to all happen at once, and I have to be prepared to allow myself to get away but still keep in touch for the immediate needs that may need my attention.  I have found some great automated ways of doing that, and also have wonderful people in place that keep me running smoothly.

But the one major thing I face when choosing to get away for a few days is the feeling of guilt that I should be working and doing something.  I have had to face it all my life, but as a recovering “workaholic:” I have come to see that it is not the number of hours that you work that creates your value and worth, but rather what you produce in the normal hours that matters.  Quite different from the way of thinking we have in place today isn’t it?

I am grateful for a wonderful family that lets me continue to do what I love with no boundaries, and have even joined me, so that we can both work and get away together!

My work style and choice of how I make it happen, may not be what you would choose in life, but I am thankful and grateful to represent awesome speakers, and to do the best to find and book them at the events that they need and want, and keep it all going even when I chose to get away.

Is it time for you to face your guilt and take time to get away?  You will be glad you did!

Have fun!

SimplySue_Logo_iPad Sue Falcone

 

 

 

3 Secrets to Creating an Awesome Storefront-Your Website!

webdevelopmentWhether you have a physical storefront or an online one, your website is the key to your success.  It deserves  the time and effort to make sure you choose the right company to create the website your business needs.

Did you know that there are now over 1 Billion websites worldwide, and that  68% of our clients are viewing them on mobile devices?

Since it is a growing part of our businesses, why is it such a problem to create one that is simple, functional, works for us and our clients, with the ability to keep it updated and fresh looking?

We are not all born to be our own webmasters are we? Many of us have been told we can, should, and that it is the  only way to be a successful entrepreneur; but for most of us we need the right experts!

For those of you who can create a successful website for your business, I applaud you! You won’t need this information, but perhaps you know others that do!

With all the world companies and those doing website design work part-time, and the 300,000 that are officially listed in the United States, there are many vying daily for our business! How do you know which one is right for you?

After experiencing many disappointments in web design, customer service, and making an investment of both monetary and time;  I began to think there must be something wrong with me!  This wasn’t fun and I was frustrated. Ever been there?  What can overcome being in this state?

I realized frustration is not always a bad thing, because in this case it drove me to take control, do my homework, and come up with a game plan to begin again to find someone that would listen and help me develop a website that would meet the purpose I needed for my growing business!

“Choosing a website company is a critical decision. You’re not just putting a project in their hands, you’re entrusting your business to them.”
Blue Fountain Media

In putting my plan together I discovered these three secrets that are key to finding the right company you want and being the client they need.

#1-  Know what you want, and what you don’t want. I found out there is a difference in companies that do website design and those that are website developers. Do your research on this, it is important.

Then pick out some websites in your industry you like, and decide why you like them. Determine whether you want a more modern design, or does a more traditional style fit your style and brand.

Ask yourself, how do you want to maintain it? Make sure you know and understand what a responsive site is, and is not!  Also check out whether a Word Press site or a custom designed one is better for your company. Don’t overlook finding out what SEO means for the results of your website. Having these ideas in mind is important to making sure those companies you are interviewing understand completely what you are looking for.

#2-   When interviewing a company make sure you request a quote that covers the entire scope of the project.  I suggest you take another person with you as you interview companies.  It could be someone in your company or one that already has a great website. This helps to make sure you don’t misunderstand anything in the process.

Ask for references and check them out while waiting for your quote.  Once you receive your quote make sure it is covered page by page allowing you to ask questions.  See how they answer you, as you are looking for a company that has the “heart of a teacher” so that they will make sure that your communication is clear and geared toward your understanding of the project. That is the key difference between just designing a website and developing one and building a relationship with you!

Make sure there are time lines and deadlines included in your quote. Also clarify that you own the website design and the content. Review the hosting and maintenance fees and what is included.

I suggest you do not sign the agreement at the time you receive the quote. Take time to have your attorney and others review the quote just in case there is anything you might need to ask for further clarification before you make your decision.  This is an extra expense and time, but it can save you so much in the long run.

#3-  In website development like anything else, it is true “you get what you pay for!”  Don’t make your decision based strictly on the lowest price,  but take into consideration the quality of the website and the ease and function design that your clients will be looking to experience.

After developing my plan I am thrilled to share that I found the perfect website company for the re-design of my business website: Atlantic Webworks, headquartered in Greensboro, NC. The CEO and President, Adrienne Jandler and her team are true professionals, and deliver exactly what they promise. They give “exceptional” customer service, and are a full service company offering other marketing and training services as well. I highly recommend them for all your website and marketing needs. http://atlanticwebworks.com/

I found my “dream” website company, and hope you do too!

SimplySue_Logo_iPad

 

 

Sue Falcone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Ask! by guest: Kelly Swanson

askI don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of women who hate to ask for help. We’d rather stand proudly in the pool of martyrdom, even if we are drowning – but at least we did it on our own, with good hair, fine china, and a purse that matched our shoes. Asking translated to weakness. Asking meant you weren’t polite. Asking was rude. What we didn’t realize, was that sometimes (and maybe most times) in order to get what we want, we have to ASK for it. Yet many of us, me included, are disappointed at all the things we didn’t get that we never asked for.

Today was a good example for me. I want likes on my Facebook page – not to feel needed, but because it gives me more exposure to clients looking for motivational speakers. And yet every time I open my Facebook page and see that place where it gives me the option to ask my friends to like me – I ignore it. It just feels too needy. What if they say no? What if that makes me promiscuous?

But today I said, “What the heck. I’m always happy to like their pages. And they can always say no. I’ll never know unless I ask.”  So I asked.  And not even an hour later I got 80 likes – make that 81, I just got another while typing this. And I would bet by end of the day that number will be higher.

Lesson to me: ASK.

Lesson to you: ASK.

They can always say no. But your chances are always better than if you said nothing at all.

So now that I’ve climbed out of the pool of martyrdom and into the pool of asking for what I want – does anybody have any diamonds they want to give me?

(P.S.  In case you now want to go find me on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/funnymotivationalspeaker.  I’ll be the one with all the likes.)

kellyswansonAbout 

Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson – called one of North Carolina’s funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow – Kelly’s make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience’s imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market. To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson: see her Speaker page at http://www.simplysuespeaks.com/speaker/17/Kelly_Swanson

Are You a Sheep?

sheepSheep are not the smartest animals ever created! They have no sense of direction, poor eyesight, and can easily wander away. It is very hard work for sheep owners to keep their flocks focused through the season of growing the wool they will eventually take to market and sell.

One of the greatest dangers for a sheep is when they reach their greatest potential of producing all that fluffy wool on their bodies, if they do not carefully obey the owner they risk toppling over onto their backs and they will not be able to get up and eventually can lose their life.  Once this happens the owner has to quickly sheer the wool off of the sheep and set them back upright.

Then since the sheep was so stubborn the owner has to physically break one of their legs; and as they are healing carry the sheep around to let it know he will take care of it.  Once the leg is healed the sheep has a limp, but understands that the owner will take care of him and he follows the owners’ direction, knowing if he doesn’t he will die. Sounds like being a sheep owner can be extremely hard work, doesn’t it?

Do you ever act like a sheep in your business? Do you have a plan that keeps you focused and going in the right direction?  Do you limit how far you see into the future of your business? Are you easily distracted and end up wasting time, and then have to work extra hard to catch up? Do you need to remove something in your life so you can live up to your full potential and not give up and lose your dreams? 

The good news is we can change a little easier than a sheep. We can develop a business plan that works and will keep us on track. We can learn new skills that will keep us looking into the long term aspects of our businesses. We can learn to recognize and handle the distractions that want to keep us from achieving our goals and living our dreams. We do not have to chase after the wrong things but choose to live an honest and ethical lifestyle both in our personal and professional lives; no matter what. We can choose to remove anything that will prevent us from living life to it’s full potential!

Today I ask you- are you a sheep, or on track to be the most successful business owner you can be?  Glad I represent some of the best speakers and trainers that keep me on top of my game and living in my zone! They are helping so many others too! 

SimplySue_Logo_iPad Sue Falcone

How to Master Public Speaking- Infographic by Lydia Bailey- Mastersprogramsguide.com

Thanks to Lydia Bailey- Content Creator with  Mastersprogramsguide.com  for finding me as she was doing her research for this great Infographic, and then reaching out to me to share it here with each of you!  Let us know what you think! Just drop us a comment!

You can do this!
“Simply” Sue Falcone

How to Master Public Speaking
Source: MastersProgramsGuide.com     by Lydia Bailey – Content Creator

10 Business Networking Tips for Delivering Solid First Impressions

networkingBuilding a priceless business relationship entails creating a series of progress-based impressions.  None is more important than the first.  We need to make sure our first connection with someone is progress-based and powerful.

Remember, people meet people all the time.  We need to stand out as someone they want future contact with.

Here are 10 quick business networking tips for delivering solid first impressions.

Tip 1.  Do not try to do major business deals (save that for later).
Do not rush new relationships; think LONG TERM.  Do not SELL!  It is a mind-set.  Be subtle.  The worst thing we can do is try to start selling someone something as soon as you meet them.

Tip 2.  Be an Early Bird and a Late Bloomer.
Never be late.  At a networking event the ten minutes before things get under way and the ten minutes after are the real golden moments.  So arrive 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes late.

Tip 3.  Always stand when meeting someone new.
It shows respect.  What else can I say about it?

Tip 4.  Hand in hand.
In the business arena, handshakes are the accepted greeting.  As a rule, I would advise against initiating kisses or hugs in a business setting.  Take the handshake seriously; we will be judged by the quality (limp/firm, moist/dry, lengthy/brief) of our handshake.   Above all, a handshake should be firm, but not bone-crushing.

Note to men about shaking hands with women:
Don’t wimp out on the handshake.  I often hear from female professionals I am working with how some men will offer them a lame “I don’t want to hurt you  you delicate flower, you” handshake.  Be a man.  Shake the hand.

We can avoid delivering a cold, wet handshake by keeping your drink in the left hand.  If your hands tend to be clammy, try spraying them with antiperspirant at least once a day.  Also, try carrying Kleenex in your pocket and drying your hands discreetly from time to time.  To really put yourself over the top, shake hands good-bye as well as hello.

Tip 5.  Travel light.
In most cases, there is no need to take our briefcase or even a purse.  We do not want to have to put down all that stuff (brochures, briefcases, or handbags) and dig out a business card.  It’s also tougher to move around or look comfortable and easygoing with our arms filled with your company’s propaganda.  Remember, we are there to connect, not sell.

Tip 6.  Meet.  Talk.  Get card.  Go.
At a networking event, talk to one person for about four to five minutes – eight minutes maximum.  Get their card, take some notes, and work toward a comfortable conclusion to this initial conversation.  Hogging someone’s time is an inexcusable no-no.  If we cannot find a natural way to end the conversation, introduce the person to someone else.  It’s a win-win.  We help them connect with someone new and we get to move on without appearing rude.

Tip 7.  Do not act desperate for business.
People want to talk to upbeat, confident people. We will not create any priceless business relationships if we act like we don’t have lunch money.  Treat people as worthy of our respect and courtesy, not as targets.

Tip 8.  Carry /use breath mints or those dissolving strip things (not gum).
Halitosis is bad for business.  Good breath is a must.  And as for gum, smacking anything at a networking function is discouraged.

Tip 9.  Communicate that your network rocks.
Talk enthusiastically about the cool, neat, highly productive and witty people who are already in your network.  This will encourage others to want to be in our network too, because we will speak of them in the same positive way.

Tip 10.  Who wants a drink –e-poo?
At conferences, conventions, trade shows, and business-after-hours functions (often organized by the local Chamber of Commerce and held at a local business establishment), it is common for there to be alcohol.  I encourage you to consider not drinking at these events, or at least know your alcohol limit and not get anywhere close to it.  Sure we want to be remembered, but not as the loud jerk who couldn’t hold his spirits and spilled red wine on Judge Jacob’s new power suit.

Dean Lindsay newby Dean Lindsay – International Business Speaker and Author of Cracking the Networking CODE – 4 Steps to Priceless Business Relationships

To learn more about Dean or book him for your next event contact http://goo.gl/lrxdGI 

 

Meet Pat B. Freeman

Pat_B_Freeman_StandingPat B. Freeman delivers passionate, impactful, and enthusiastic coaching and training events that empower women, executives, and the workforce towards success.

She is very innovative and enjoys working with projects that create amazing solutions. With her energy and enthusiasm, she energizes people, inspires action, and promotes success for your and your organization.

As an executive coach, Pat provides breakthrough results for her clients as an experienced mentor.  They learn to lead with passion, purpose, and profits.

She is eager to share her expertise with you and your workforce in the following areas:
– Workforce Development & Training
– Professional Leadership Development
– Inspirational & Keynote Speaking

Discover how Pat can help you accelerate your goals and success.

Look for her Upcoming Launches-Coming Soon!      
New Book:
Passion to Profits- The 4 Ps to All-Star Entrepreneurship
Online Course:
3 Steps to Becoming a Confident & Engaging  Speaker
Online Academy:
Passion to Profits Entrepreneurship Dream-Building Academy™

Pat is passionate about helping others attain success. “I have a passion for giving people hope, helping people grow, and showing people how to build their dreams.”

Are you ready to accelerate your goals for yourself or your organization? If so, Pat is ready to help you. Working together, she can help build and achieve your dreams.

To have Pat at your next event, contact Sue Falcone at 888-766-3155 or sue@simplysuespeaks.com, and Let’s Get Started to customize a solution to meet your needs today!

“Get What You Pay For?”

yougetwhatyoupayfor

How many times have you heard: “you get what you pay for?”  I can remember my Grandmother saying that over and over again.

We are not sure where the quote actually came from, but I am finding more and more people want value, a positive experience, and service. Isn’t that what everyone in business promises to provide and deliver in a cost effective, excellent and timely manner?

I encounter this at times: “Sue, I love your company and the speakers you represent, but we can’t afford you!”  Ever heard that, or said it to a someone else, maybe even me? When I hear it, I have to first think, “what are they really saying” before I respond. I have found in my many years of sales and marketing that usually it is not about the money at all!

People and companies can always find the money when their deepest desires are met! However, when hearing that statement how many of us will take the time to ask, “tell me more about why you feel that way?” to see if we have even uncovered their deepest desire, or addressed it clearly enough? Or do we just smile, feel rejected or even say: “you get what you pay for” and walk away?

Building a business is all about relationships, knowing your target markets, and being willing and confident enough to do the best you can, overcome objections, and handle rejections well so you can move on no matter the choice of others!

Challenge for you: how do you handle objections and the feeling of rejection? It’s key to your success!

SimplySue_Logo_iPad

Sue Falcone
Owner: Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency