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Success & Career

5 Proven Methods For Contacting Successful People



5 Proven Methods For Contacting Successful People

5 Proven Methods For Contacting Successful People

Over the last decade our ways of communication have changed more drastically than in the preceding two hundred years!

Today, the best way to contact successful people is by email. Here is why.

Networking in person has become more difficult

Whereas only twenty-five years ago, people who put in a bit of effort were able to personally meet influencers at conferences or social gatherings, today, such events are much more structured. Rarely do attendees get the opportunity to speak to a real influencer in person.

Though networking events are popular, most people who attend such events want to network for themselves. To get the undivided attention of a power player, you may have to attend a paid networking event, which might cost you upwards of five figures but still does not guarantee that you can sell your idea or product.

Also, today all phones have caller ID, which makes it pretty unlikely that a successful person will pick up the phone, if he or she doesn’t expect the call.

People want to “scan” information

While all of the above seem to indicate that people don’t want to be bothered, it’s really quite the opposite. More than ever, we want to hear from others but we want to control the way how we learn about new information. Since today “everybody” seems to be pitching something, we want scan and evaluate information and get back only to people who offer real value.

Email, which we can read at our convenience and when we have time to focus, is the perfect means to receive input, new information, and even offers.

Today, many famous influencers read their emails personally. They want to know what “the real issues” are, “how their brand is rated,” and what they could to do engage in more successful business endeavors. (Even proverbial genius Steve Jobs used to read and reply to many emails sent to Apple Inc.; his email address was listed on the web.)

Already in 2008 a survey by Pew Research Center showed that 50% of employed email users said that they checked their work-related email on the weekends. Since then we experienced a shift toward people working at all times of the day; especially Millennials enjoy working flexible hours. A 2014 poll by Workplace Options revealed that 59% of employed Americans work via mobile devices after regular business hours.

How to get others to open and read your email

The fact that people read emails at all times of the day suggests that to reach an influencer you might want to send an email “before 8” or “after 5.” If sleuthing does not help with finding a certain influencer’s email address, the social media platform Linkedin offers the option to buy and send an InMail.

The most obvious hurdle to getting your email read and replied to is to create an outstanding subject line. Having analyzed 100,000+ emails for effectiveness and personal appeal, I have found that the easiest way to write an attention-getting subject line is to incorporate a number, e.g. “Meeting at xyz-conference 1/16/2015?” or “Delivering 30% faster or 20% cheaper.”

Numbers are attention-getters because from early childhood on, humans are conditioned to pay attention to numbers, e.g. “You can play 5 more minutes” or “You can take 2 cookies.”).

There are prices, percentages, quantities, dates/times, street numbers, and even temperatures. – “We are expecting temperatures in the low 20’s – Want to meet at the xyz cafe? It has a fireplace.”

What and how to write

Naturally, if you raise expectations with a clever subject line, the content of your email needs be equally to the point.

The most common mistake in emails is that their senders write about themselves or how great their product or service is. Recipients don’t necessarily want to know this information. The International space station is awesome too, but does any of us want to buy it or live in it?

The real purpose of an email is to help the recipients, to give them information, or to make them happy.

An email which

  • addresses a recipient’s real needs,
  • volunteers valuable information the recipient did not know, or
  • thanks the recipient for a contribution while also pointing out precisely what impact the recipient’s contribution made

is almost always a homerun. Everybody from the janitor to the president wants to know what he/she can do better, cheaper, or faster; or, how something they did in the past changed others’ lives.

Even an email which asks for a six-figure donation to save an endangered habitat can be a homerun, IF the recipient wants to save natural habitats, but does not know which ones need to be protected most urgently.

Key to writing an email that appeals to the recipient is to avoid writing the words “I,” “my,” and “me.” Such emails aren’t emails, they are really me-mails. Nobody cares to read “I want to sell you this or that” or “I can do this or that for you.” In today’s worldwide economy there are literally thousands of people who can claim the same thing.

“I” vs. “You”

One trick to steer clear of using the above dreaded words is to focus on the word “you,” meaning the recipient.

  • What are the recipient’s needs?
  • How would the recipient’s work get easier or more effective if he/she became your customer?
  • How would working with you, the sender, influence his/her, the recipient’s, work?

In the event that you are seeking exposure for your work on TV or in a magazine, you should email the host or anchor what you can offer to his/her viewers or readers. If your content is important to this audience, media people will be happy to give you a slot; whereas they won’t give you a free commercial.

Of course, when trying to market any product or service, we need to keep in mind that even if our email is successful, most often success does not come immediately.

A business contact may be interested in doing business with us but his/her company may be tied down by already existing contracts. An influencer might be interested to speak at an event but may have scheduling conflicts. Anybody might delete our emails because he/she has just heard that a relative was diagnosed with cancer and therefore was not in the mood to explore even the best new endeavors. While in these situations any efforts at a face-to-face meeting would be lost, they aren’t lost when we send emails. Besides that the process of sending an email is cheaper, recipients store emails in files, which allows them to get back to the recipients when they are ready.

Here is a little known truth: When you attempt to replace all “I”s in your emails with “you”s, you will be able to define much better how your offering will help the recipient, which should be any email’s purpose.

Other success tips are: Never write more than a “screen-ful”, end on a call-to-action, and if the recipient does not reply, don’t be shy to follow up.

Lastly, enforce a strict email policy at your company! Personally, I believe that human resources departments should test prospective employees for their email writing skills. Every email needs to be considered as a marketing tool, especially emails from service-industry providers. Whether it is secretaries or virtual assistants who write emails on your behalf, each email has to radiate, “Welcome. We’ll fulfill your needs in the best possible manner.”

Emails have no limitations, except the ones you don’t write. – Gisela Hausmann

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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