On this very special episode of Make It Happen with Michelle McCullough the tables are turned. Join special guest host Tiffany Peterson as we learn about Michelle’s new book “The Make It Happen Blueprint” and three principles you need to know NOW to take your life to the next level.
This video, The Plastic Bag Principle, has been 10+ years in the making. When I started speaking on motivation and leadership I shared this story. 4 years ago I wanted to make it into a narrative video and I stalled. Last year I committed to my Marketing Blueprint Workshop attendees that I would have it done in a year.
As I often teach my own clients, accountability is an incredible driving force. it may not be “perfect” but it’s done! And quite frankly, I’m proud of it and excited to share it with you!
Is GROWING Your Paycheck On Your 2020 Goal List?
In the twelve years that I have been working with marketing teams small business owners all over the world, I’ve seen a tragic statistic unfold right before my eyes: 50% of businesses fail in the first five years. Sad and true all at the same time.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that the businesses that are committed to a marketing plan and willing to change with the trends often succeed a lot faster than those who try to apply old school marketing tactics year over year. Don’t get me wrong, traditional advertising still works when done strategically, but you can’t ignore online and social media any longer. Here’s a list of three more of the biggest mistakes small businesses make in marketing.
Mistake #1 They don’t have a plan. As I say to my clients, “P-L-A-N is the four letter word for success!” Take time to write out your strategy for 2020, even if it’s just sticky notes on your wall. However, if you can give it a little more time, you might see greater results. Schedule some time in the next couple of weeks to create a strategy for next year, so that after the holidays are over, you’re ready to hit the ground running. I have a resource for this: learn more.
Mistake #2 They wait for everything to be perfect. I hate to see businesses who aren’t marketing because they’re waiting for the perfect logo, or the website to be updated for the 900th time, or they need to get more feedback from friends before they feel like they can more forward. I’m not suggesting you put out half baked ideas on a regular basis, but identify where perfectionism is paralyzing your business. Get some feedback, make some changes and then LAUNCH, don’t wait. It will never be perfect. ALL businesses and ALL marketing is a work in progress.
Mistake #3 They aren’t consistent. Do you want regular paychecks? Then WHY do you do sporadic marketing? I see too many small businesses who run campaigns when they need the money, but then they don’t have money so they don’t market effectively. Marketing is fuel for your business. It’s like food for the body. You wouldn’t survive on sporadic meals- a month here and a month there, your body needs regular nutrition. Your business needs regular marketing. When you’re creating your 2020 plan, make sure you include regular marketing efforts for regular results.
Mistake #4 Their target market is too broad. It sounds like generic marketing advice, but this year, more than ever we’ve been helping our clients create narrow focused niches and their sales are skyrocketing. If you want better results narrow your marketing and start sharing better messages that meet their needs.
If you’d like help creating your 2020 marketing plan, I have an event coming up November 21 & 22. You can join via LIVESTREAM from anywhere in the world. If you can give me two days, you’ll have a greater understanding of the latest marketing trends AND you’ll have a marketing plan for 2020. This is the seventh year I’ve done this event and each year it gets better, and each year we cover trends that can’t be missed. I’ve created this event to be VERY hands on. The activities we complete in those two days walk you through everything from niching your target market, to choosing your marketing outlets to creating a marketing budget, to connecting your audience on social media AND I show you how to track and measure your results. I only host this event once a year, so don’t miss it!
47 Tips To Be A Better Boss
As you all know I speak frequently on leadership. As I was preparing to speak a few months ago I reached out on social media to ask people what tips they had for being a better boss. All of the responses I received were great and I thought that I would pass them along to you.
Michele Vercimak Set clear expectations with established timelines.
Kenna Vallejos Listen and acknowledge “good ideas”. This doesn’t mean all are implemented it does however build productivity and connection.
Breaelle Eddington I like a direct boss. Some one that can gives me constructive criticism on how to be better at my job.
Kami Orange Find out how people like to be acknowledged. Some people really love to be applauded in front of the whole office. Some people really love an email saying they did a great job that they can print off and keep forever. Some people like more time off and perks.
Just because you like a particular type of acknowledgment does not mean the people that work for you also like that type of acknowledgment. They might actually dislike the exact same kind of acknowledgment that you personally prefer.
If you really want to acknowledge people for doing a great job, find out what is meaningful for them and do that as much as possible.
Jeri Mae Rowley I want my boss to take good care of themselves–take a lunch break, exercise, go home to their family, laugh, ask for help, gather a good support group. Bosses burn out and singe the whole organization.
Ashlee Houghton Listen to the employees!!!
Jocelyn Harris Listen to your employees and not just think you have all the answers.
Heather Heslington Snyder Lead by example. Be the type of professional your subordinates will want to model themselves after.
Linda Joy Slagowski Not threatening emails with consequences if things don’t get done. Owning their limitations & mistakes. No favorites
Hollie Case Baxter Know how to do the job of the people you are in charge of.
Julie Phillips Shepherd Listen to employees and take appropriate action when necessary.
Kirsten Klug Trust. Don’t stand over my shoulder to watch me work
April Saunders Anderton Learn about different personality or energy types and recognize specific traits in your employees. Use that knowledge to assign tasks and to manage and motivate your employees.
Amberly Moon Kariuki Don’t ask for ideas or suggestions if you already know what you’re going to do and are not really open to ideas.
Jennifer Bottema Hinton I have always worked for small business owners. Do not complain about how tight money is or the lack of it (therefore eliminating employee raises an bonuses) and then spend excessively on personal life style. It destroys employee morale. If you want to spend on you, you earned it, but do not minimize your employee’s contributions by saying you are financially strapped/struggling.
Debra E Andrew Reward for great ideas, don’t just steal them as your own and keep the profits for yourself. Give room for growth, advancement, and pay increases. Don’t expect 5 times work for the same pay. If you add to responsibilities increase pay.
Whitney Lee Geertsen My advice is provide at least some training, listen to employees especially when they have particular skill sets, hire and accommodate disabled workers, and provide safety equipment and protocols for work hazards.
My first job in a seasonal grounds maintenance crew, I was dropped off alone at the cemetery and told to make it look pretty. All I had were hand tools and it wasn’t until halfway through was I shown were more efficient tools were. The third year same city different boss I had no tools (they would disappear over winter) and broke my own shovel. In horticulture, I knew more than my boss, but he was there because of his knowledge of sprinkling and lawn maintenance. During my three years, I had little help and was placed in charge of 40+ flower beds. I was inadequately trained and equipped for herbicide application.
(Note: I am autistic and struggle getting work. After my time with the city I developed a barrage of health problems. )
KyAnn Betz As an executive level leader with hundreds of employees here are mine:
1. No favorites, love them all and treat them all the same
2. Have a clear escalation plan, my employees know when and how to ask for my help, they are all amazing but even Superman needs the Justice League occasionally
3. Have a written employee handbook that covers roles, responsibilities, code of conduct, and expectations, make sure it’s on everyone’s desk
4. When there is praise it’s them, when there is punishment it’s me, I am ultimately accountable for everything and everyone
5. Don’t hire a watchdog and then do the barking yourself, this makes me NUTS when leaders do this
6. Have a suggestion box and actually answer the suggestions or implement them. I message my employees in the bathrooms through a Restroom Reader that I write every 10 work days, I answer their suggestions and tell them what’s coming up. They LOVE the Restroom Reader, I’m hilarious and I give it to them straight.
7. Calm down, your demeanor and energy becomes infectious, I work in nuclear weapons so this might be more important in my job, calm down as a leader, think it through, my employees know it’s not the 9th inning unless I say it’s the 9th inning, if everything is a crisis, nothing is
8. Rewards don’t have to be big, each of my hundreds of employees gets a hand written birthday card from me, I give a ton of high fives, and I paint “You Rock!” on regular rocks and give them out
9. Don’t be afraid of crucial conversations, if someone needs to be disciplined or dealt with do it fast, sometimes with shock and awe, but don’t delay it, there’s a reason they call me The Kraken behind my back, I deal with it head on and while I’m not always nice, I’m fair and morale is high because I prune the non performers.
10. Leaders take care of yourselves, sleep, eat, use your vacation days, unplug on weekends
Cindee Leavitt Jessop Listen. Don’t just talk. Listen.
Janet Thaeler My pet peeve is when bosses call you into a meeting and it’s not normal timing so you feel like you’re in trouble. Also I had a boss give me a glowing performance review in person but turned in a different version that wasn’t as stellar. Didn’t love that. I always appreciate honest feedback, well delivered, even if it’s to improve something. It’s hurtful when you find out about negative feedback from another source. The thing I love is when a boss has my back and I know there’s mutual trust.
Patti Merrill Cook Always appreciate, people who are appreciated work harder. Be clear in directions and expectations. Offer flexible schedules when possible so people can work at their best pace.
Suzanne Mulet The kind that drive to make you feel so inadequate that you fall apart. They get the smug look, like, “Finally broke her. I win.” And then cry all the way home. #TrueStory
Tammy Joy Lane Don’t have it so the only time you talk to your people is when they are in trouble. Don’t micromanage, Do appreciate, Don’t be shady
Stacy Bernal Don’t send a text on Friday that reads: “We need to talk on Monday.” Thus ruining my entire weekend. (Actually, that’s not true– I was in Nashville with friends to run a half marathon so I didn’t LET it ruin my weekend. But still. Pretty D-bag move.)
Jolene Griffin Durrant Don’t ask your employees to do anything you wouldn’t do
Shauna Light Talking to others about me when I can hear them. Such passive aggressive communication. Blaming everything in the office on a fall guy.
Cindy DeHart Check in with your team individually regularly, listen, provide feedback, learn from each other. Team members that feel acknowledged and input is valued are better individual members of a team, and produce stronger workloads. Don’t use examples of anyone we know. Ha! That part is a joke!
Adrienne Thomas Acknowledgement is key.
Laura Jeffs Be able to communicate with your employees and handle conflict between them professionally. Know how to delegate!!
Tori Christensen Nathan has pretty awful bosses: don’t hover, don’t put off payday until you feel like saying, don’t schedule meetings Friday at 5pm because that way it isn’t taking up “work time.” Pay people fairly, not just according to what their degree is, but to how they serve the company. Don’t make salaried people punch in and out. And did I mention not hovering?
Laura Jeffs Don’t micromanage!
Tambra Puro West Don’t be a boss, be a leader. Get engaged with your employees and get to know them (echoing comments above about praise, rewards, work and personality types). Not everyone works the same and everyone has a life outside of work. Don’t over-react and jump to conclusions from hearsay. Try to get the full story before making changes or taking action.
Madeline Faiella Treat people as a team, with respect. Not as underlings. Life can change in an instant.💖💖💖
Becky Ruths Dont ask your employees to do something you are unwilling to do.
Julie C. Hatch Quit micro-managing.
Jentrey Potter See people as people. I’ve never worked in the corporate world but I’ve seen enough of what my husband has gone through and it’s sad how often they forget that they’re dealing with real humans.
Kim Kauffman Everybody wants to be somebody… Imagine that everyone has an invisible sign on their chest that says.. MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL!! Recognition is important. The best bosses are the ones that love to give recognition.. no matter how big or small! People work hard when they feel appreciated!!
I was thrilled to be interviewed by Cindy Stagg on her podcast Lead Together.
I was asked about my experience as an attendee of the Girls State program and my involvement through the years. There’s no question that this program was life changing for me and no question that it certainly serves as a foundational part of my leadership opportunities over the years.
You can listen on iTunes or on her site here: https://www.
Thanks for having me Cindy!
This video interview was done a while back but there are still a few good gems in here.
We’re all contagious. If we’re sick, someone else could it. What are you spreading? In this video I share the story of the pimples and zits (don’t worry it’s not a gross story!) and I also share the whys and hows of spreading joy wherever you go!
According to the Association of Psychological Science, “Feelings of success in the workplace occur to the extent that people see they are able to grow, meet job challenges and by pursuing and attaining goals that are important and meaningful.” Studies also show that simply pursuing goals and interests bring greater levels of happiness and satisfaction – personally and professionally.
Question: Goal setting seems simple, but it’s not always easy, what’s your first tip you would give someone who wants better results?
Michelle: Get out of your head, and tie your goals to physical activities. Goal setting IS a mental game, but it’s the physical things we do that help us break bad habits and replace them with activities that bring results.. Don’t think about your goals, or type them in your phone WRITE them down. Physically connecting with your goals is powerful. Also, it’s not the things we think, it’s the things we DO that make a difference. Don’t just create a goal, write down what daily, weekly and monthly actions you’ll take to get there.
Question: Do you think it’s better to go it alone or to enlist help?
Michelle: Find someone who will keep you accountable. Studies show that if you have a good accountability partner you’re 65% more likely to succeed, but don’t just tell someone what you’re up to! Take it one step further, if you have regular accountability meetings you’re 95% more likely to succeed. Also, not all friends or spouses are good accountability partners. Someone needs to be supportive with out judgment and also needs to push without judgement as well.
Question: What do you think holds people back from getting the results they want?
Michelle: It’s not that people can’t accomplish a goal, it’s that they don’t make time for it. But the truth is that it’s not just making time, it’s making room, which means you often have to let something go. Your days are currently full, so what are you going to eliminate from your life in order to let something new in? Do you need to decrease time spent on social media or digital distractions? if so, set times on your phone to kick you out of social media apps or make a habit that you won’t open digital devices until you’ve worked on your goal for the day. Is there a task you need to outsource to help you be successful? Do you need to get better sleep so you have more energy? As part of your planning, consider what needs to removed from your life so your goals aren’t held hostage by your busy schedule. SCHEDULE time in your day for the actions that will bring you to success.
Question: What is your final thought or tip to up level your goal setting and goal achieving results?
Michelle: Block out time each week to evaluate your progress. Whether it’s Friday afternoon before the weekend, or Monday morning before you start your routines look at your goal AND your efforts and ask yourself, what worked this week? What didn’t work this week and what needs to change? Don’t be afraid to change your habits as you move forward. Your destination will stay the same but the way you get there may need some creativity. Success is not the destination, it’s the practice. And practicing evaluation will help the goal stay fresh.
Sheryl Sandberg, author of the book Lean In, writes that we should stop telling little girls they’re bossy, and start telling little girls that they have leadership skills. As these women enter the workplace, communicating, speaking up and feeling part of the conversation can be a challenge, without being labeled as “bossy”.
I did a Q&A to answer some of these questions about empowering women
Question: What’s your first recommendation for women to find their voice in an organization?
Michelle: Contribute in meetings. Speak up when you agree. Provide additional ideas when you disagree. Don’t just leave the comments for the vocal few. Even introverts need to find their voice and contribute on their teams, and in their organizations. Stand up for people, champion projects and share your voice.
Question: When there are problems on their organization or team, how can they speak up and contribute without sounding bossy?
Michelle: Find and share solutions more than complaints. One of the ways you can add the most value to your team and organization is to provide solutions without complaining. This is great tip for men and women. Sometimes in an effort to encourage change we share all the things that aren’t working, but it’s hard for management to respond because it can be perceived as having a bad attitude. Instead, provide and offer solutions and be creative when it comes different ways to address issues. Managers the trait they wish every employee had was the ability to problem solve without complaining.
Question: What if a “problem” escalates into a disagreement, or if you feel like you’re not quite sure how to respond?
Michelle: One of the best ways to find your voice is to know what to say AND when to say it. When things get heated, give yourself permission to table the conversation and revisit it when emotions cool down. Also, practice the phrase “It seems like you’ve had time to think about this, could you give me a day to think through my thoughts and I can come back to you with some ways we can resolve this issue” or “I may need a day or two to think through this situation, could we revisit this conversation on Friday after I’ve given it some careful thought?” Sometimes you need time to consider the right response so you don’t say things you don’t mean.
Question: What if someone takes your idea after you have already shared it?
Michelle: This is the MOST COMMON complaint we hear at our events. Women will share an idea in a meeting and then later in the meeting or another day someone will share the SAME idea and claim it as theirs. That can be discouraging, and if you’re gutsy, be willing to stand up for your idea. However, “Thank you for validating my suggestion” sounds better than “Hey, that was my idea!” In the moment, that can be tricky to pull off without attitude. If this seems to be happening to you frequently, practice a validation statement before you go into your next meeting. Also, remember that passion is okay. If your emotion feels competitive or combative you may be criticized for your emotions. Lead with passion and a commitment for the best interest in the team and organization, and you may find that this positive approach inspires people to lead with passionate positivity.
We love men and aren’t men bashers, but there is something powerful about a group of women getting together to learn and support each other. For more information about our annual Power Women event for female professionals, check out: