June 10, 2020

Don't let the words distract you from the work



Equating racism with hate is a red herring for white people. (Or maybe just liberal "enlightened" white people.)

Making hatred the defining characteristic of a racist person allows white people to disengage from the exploration of white privilege and implicit bias.

I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that the majority of the people I know and love don’t actually hate anyone based solely on their race, ethnicity, religion, weight, sexual orientation, physical abilities, or socioeconomic status. 

(Maybe some of you do hate people based on these attributes. Then I guess this post isn't for you. And we shouldn't be friends.)

It’s easy to think that, because you don’t “hate” anyone or you’re not “mean” to anyone, you can’t possibly be contributing to racism.

You may not hate anyone, but if you’re white, you still benefit from a system of institutionalized racism that discriminates against people of color. 

You may not hate anyone, but you are part of a society that, from textbooks to news media to movies tells – at best – an incomplete and stereotyped story of the lives and contributions of POC and – at worst – a completely false and dangerous story.

Study up on white privilege, read about implicit bias, acknowledge your defensiveness when you hear the words "hate" and "privilege," listen to the experiences of POC, and find ways to take tangible action to break down the systems and policies that put nonwhites at a lifelong disadvantage.

If you want to put the focus on love and kindness, please also remember to focus on personal responsibility for self-awareness and action.

And if you don't feel that the words "hate" or "privilege" apply to you, keep listening, reading, and studying anyway. Don't let the words distract you from the work.


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

May 12, 2020

I have a secret...



There are so many great online programs out there, and I have several coaches whose programs I'm pretty much always going to join.

But most programs have a Facebook group component, and this is where I find myself holding back from signing up for a program, especially if I know that this program has 50 or 100 people in it. 

When I'm about to join a group with 50+ people all doing the same homework every day, I get super anxious.

Am I supposed to comment on and like all 50+ people's posts every single day in a 31-day challenge or an 8-week program? How am I going to have time to watch all 50+ introduction videos and other videos? How am I going to support others while also getting my own work done? 

I'm highly apprehensive about groups. In fact, I really don't like 90% of the groups I'm in.

I don't like being in groups that don't have active participants, obviously, and I feel sad and lonely if no one likes my posts, so I want to be active for the other people in the group. 

But I also don't have all day to spend in a group making sure other people get likes and comments. I have anxiety and guilt pretty much every time I'm in a program or challenge group.

This past weekend, I started leaving Facebook groups. I'm still in a LOT. Too many, in fact. 

The ones I'm paying for, I keep, and I do my best to balance my own needs with being supportive of others.

Ones I'm not paying for, especially ones I've never been active in, that seemed like a good idea at the time, those are gone.

Groups that are community-based, like local buy/sell/trade groups, I keep for their usefulness when and if I need them.

And then there's that "other" category: groups I joined to help or support a friend or colleague, but that I never really pay attention to. Arrrgh. What do I do about THESE groups?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on (large) groups. I'm in some smaller groups that are perfectly manageable. 

But when you're in a large group, do you feel compelled to support everyone else? 

Do you feel guilty if you comment on some posts and not others? 

Do you do "drive-by likes" where you just like every new post so people don't feel ignored?

Share your thoughts, guilt, anxiety, or love of groups!


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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

April 30, 2020

Embrace imperfect action



"It's always easier to just say no. It's always easier to say 'We can't do it.' 
Because when you say 'We will try to do it,' now you're changing things, and whenever you change, there's opposition. Every time. 
So it's always easier just to stay status quo. It's always easier not to risk, not to try to raise the bar. Because maybe you can't do it, maybe there will be problems. So it's easier just to say no, it's easier to say 'This is all we can do. It's impossible.' 
That's not what the mayor is doing here. The mayor is stepping up and he's stepping up in a big way."
~ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
California's governor, Gavin Newsom, was the first to issue stay at home orders when the numbers of positive COVID-19 tests began to rise. Newsom also has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to launch a one-of-a-kind program that will use local restaurants to prepare and deliver free food for eligible seniors.

Not everyone is happy with Newsom's decisions, like today's decision to shut down state and local beaches in Orange County because of large crowds over the past weekend and high numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

But Newsom is not trying to please everyone. He's taking actions, backed by research, that he believes to be the best actions for Californians. Regarding the beaches, he said, "I hope it’s just a very short-term adjustment."

California and other states are modeling—on a daily basis—what imperfect action looks like, in the face of a challenge none of our leaders has experienced before.

As Governor Cuomo said in his address on April 30 (quoted above), "It's always easier not to risk, not to try to raise the bar." He points out that there will be opposition, and that it's easier to do nothing than to possibly create more problems.

What would you rather see in your leaders?

Would you rather have a leader that sits back out of fear of criticism, fear of making mistakes, or fear of not getting reelected?

Or would you rather have a leader who tests solutions to the best of their ability, gathering as much data as possible in order to make informed decisions, and then fixes mistakes as they go along?

Our leaders are under tremendous strain and pressure right now, and I would not want to be in any of their shoes.

The best leaders are striving to serve. They're not focusing on fears of failure, they're focusing on getting the needs of their people met, however they can.

Every leader has a choice right now: Take no action, or take imperfect action. That's it.

Which leader are you? Striving for perfection, focusing on your own potential failures, or striving to serve your people?




I'd love to help you take imperfect action on your next presentation! If you struggle with inaction due to perfectionist tendencies, always waiting to get ready... to get ready... take a look at my 8 Steps to Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection workshop, coming up on May 7!



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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

April 28, 2020

Your audience needs you - now



🔸What are you holding back on releasing to the world because you're still getting ready... to get ready... to get ready?

🔸Are you delaying the release of a new program, a new product, a new virtual training?

🔸What could you accomplish - right now - if you could just get over your need to be a "perfect" presenter?

Ditch🧹it! Dump🗑️it! Kick🦶🏽 it to the curb! Perfection, that is. 

My workshop "8 Steps to Ditching Perfection and Creating Connection" will set you up for speaking success with 8 actionable tools that you can put into practice immediately.

Your audience needs your message and your solutions!

Reserve your spot now.

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

April 22, 2020

8 steps to ditching perfection and creating connection



Even if we've mastered our perfectionist tendencies, these new challenges of presenting virtually seem to be bringing them all back up again. (At least for me... 😬)

So I'm launching a new workshop on ditching perfection and creating connection, based on the concepts in my book.

Ready to 🎶"let it go?"🎶 This will be a deeper dive into my core teachings, with 8 clear action steps to ditching perfection and creating connection.

Best of all, this is not an 8-week program, or a 4-week program, or a 5-day challenge.

It's a 90-minute workshop that will be packed with practical tools you can use right away (even - and especially - in the virtual training environment)!

Also: Like my other current programs, I'm offering COVID-friendly pricing!

Registration is now open! Reserve your spot here: https://bit.ly/8Steps-DitchPerfection.

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

April 11, 2020

Adjust your expectations of virtual presenting



One of the things that presenters love so much about being in front of a live audience is the instant gratification of your audience's responses.

We're in direct contact with the emotional impact of our words and delivery. The audience smiles, they laugh, their body language changes and shifts. They murmur to their neighbors. They raise their hands. They frown and grimace. We can immediately see and hear their reactions; their reactions feed into what we do next. We respond to their responses. We give them energy, and they give it back.

Virtual presenting lacks immediacy. It lacks instant gratification. And a lot of speakers are freaking out right now because they can't get immediate gratification from their audiences.

As speakers, we have to shift our expectations of what we can receive from the audience. But that doesn't mean that the audience isn't receiving anything from us. Just because we don't see them laugh or smile, clap or gasp at something shocking, or turn to their neighbor with a comment, it doesn't mean they're not receiving our energy, our humor, or our message.

When we present virtually, everything is delayed. The time it takes for people to respond, whether they're on webcams and smiling, laughing, and clapping, or muted, off-camera and typing into the chat, is slower.

If you're using the chat box to take questions, comments, or responses to your own questions (like yes and no), you have to sit and wait. When you ask a question and your participants are self-muted, they have to unmute. Sometimes they begin speaking without unmuting themselves, and you have to wait for them to figure it out. And then unmute!

It's uncomfortable. I get it. For those of us who've been presenting online for a long time, this is not new. We don't love it, but we understand it, and we expect it.

If online presenting is new to you, you're learning a completely new skill. You're learning patience and delayed gratification.

I'm seeing a lot of comments and concerns from presenters that they fear their audiences aren't receiving value, because the speakers aren't seeing/hearing responses to their words. I also see a lot of concern that humor isn't landing, because speakers can't see or hear the audience's laughter or smiles.

So I want to ask you two questions.

1. Are you truly concerned that the audience isn't receiving value?

2. Or are you uncomfortable with a lack of instant gratification?

These are two very different things.

It's difficult to present when we're not getting audience feedback in the form of verbal or nonverbal communication, but that doesn't mean that the audience isn't receiving value.

The more you incorporate interaction into your virtual presentations, whether it's polling, asking for comments in the chat, asking them to click the buttons for yes and no, or asking them to unmute themselves and make a comment, the more you'll see that your audience is indeed finding value in your presentation.

And by the way, there is no way that they will ever give you 100% of their attention during an online presentation. They don't even give you 100% of their attention in a live presentation. So you need to get past that unrealistic expectation and continue to give value and provide opportunities for interaction. You just have to continue bringing their attention back into the session.

If the problem is that you're craving instant gratification, then I invite you to think about what that means.

The desire for instant gratification, from the audience giving you feedback and attention through immediate emotional response, is more about you than it is about them and their needs.

As I said above, patience is a new skill to be learned. You have to be patient and trust the process. You have to trust that your humor is landing, that your audience is responding, and that your content is sticking.

Sure, the laugh track on a comedy show, or the live audience on a late night talk show make the comedy land better. There's a reason comedians like to pack their rooms full—shared laughter is contagious. But it's still funny, even without the live response. Have you watched any of your favorite talk show hosts lately? Aren't they still funny? Aren't you still reacting?

Near the end of a training last week, I commented that I wanted to end on time because we had been together for almost four hours. One of the participants typed, "This has only been almost 4 hours?" I laughed and thanked him for letting me know that the time had passed quickly. And another participant typed "Thank you, the fast pace is helping!"

After another recent online training, I received this email from one of the participants: "Just when I was beginning to give up after seeing one horrible online presentation after another, you showed it could be done and done well. Plus interactive, which is the hardest thing for an inexperienced speaker to figure out."

I'm not sharing these quotes to brag, but rather to demonstrate that you often won't know how your audience has received your presentation until it's over! But if you're getting notes and comments like these, then you know that you're hitting all the right spots, even if you can't see and hear your audience's reactions in real time.

Let go of your previous expectations of live presenting. Virtual presenting is a whole different world. A lot of what you know from live presenting does transfer over. But some things just don't. And it's okay.

Move forward with a new awareness and a new intention to serve your audience, whether or not you can see and hear them!

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

April 9, 2020

Is busyness a competition?



People are busy. People are overwhelmed. People have too much on their plates. And yet, the complaint is often laced with pride.

We can't wait to tell everyone how busy we are. "How are you?" "SO busy!"

Perhaps busyness triggers our competitive nature. At least, I think it triggered mine.

Back in the late 90s, after having started and run my nonprofit organization for several years while also working a full-time job, I started noticing a tendency to brag about my busyness. The busier I appeared and the more meetings and events I organized and attended, the more important I felt.

Perhaps it made me feel needed and wanted in the world. If I was busy, it was because I was indispensable. Right?

But I got tired of the constant pressure. I was exhausted. Sure, being busy made me feel successful, but why did I require this particular definition of success? And why did I care so much if other people perceived me as busy?

So I made a conscious effort to stop this endless competition.

When I started to let things go and allowed myself to say no to being overwhelmed and taking on too much, I felt so much healthier and happier. I could tackle the things that were most important to me, and let the rest go.

The first time I read about busyness as a "badge of honor" in 2006, I was so relieved to discover I wasn't the only one who felt this way. The blog post was written by Adultitis-fighter Jason Kotecki, probably very close to the beginning of Kim and Jason's Escape Adulthood journey!

I now find it a relief not to be competing with everyone else for "who's the busiest." And I can really get down to the business of my business and my life. (Okay, I confess. Sometimes I compete at the other end of the spectrum: who sleeps the latest?)

I also sometimes still find it hard not to answer "Busy" when people ask "How are you?" Because isn't that what everyone says?

The latest busyness competition on social media is around how many Zoom meetings we're having in a day, thanks to COVID-19. (However, this pride in busyness pre-dates COVID-19 and will continue after it's gone.)

I've been doing my work virtually for over a decade. It's normal for me to have several virtual meetings in a day with clients and colleagues. But do I want to have eight meetings, just because I can, just because I don't have to drive somewhere? Nope.

We all know this is going on, and we're all exhausted by it. We do have a choice (at least my fellow entrepreneurs who are in charge of our own calendars). So why don't we stop?

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Are you an entrepreneur or professional who's looking for better results from your speaking? Are you hoping to build credibility and visibility for your business or cause? Tired of just "getting by" and ready to deliver truly engaging and powerful presentations? Click here to fill out my consultation questionnaire and we'll schedule a time to talk!

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