Success requires balanced positivity

What do you think?

One business man wanted a divorce. Why? His wife asked good business questions about a new venture he wanted to try. But, she wouldn’t agree because he was unable to answer the financial questions in a way that worked for her. He accused her of being negative and unsupportive.

What do you think? Was she negative and unsupportive? Or, being realistic looking for answers?

Being positive has its value. Being a Pollyanna (believing everything is great, even when it isn’t) and not realistically addressing the details can decimate a business, an idea or partnership. It’s important to understand success requires balanced positivity.

Many business leaders have had similar challenges with their executive teams and Board of Directors.

These (overly) enthusiastic leaders were:

  • – Thinking something will work out simply because they said so — not a viable business strategy.
  • – Believing a client, business partner or investor should readily want to provide time and/or money without a viable plan, sound financial projections and the right people — not good business acumen.
  • – Visualizing only a great outcome, forgetting the success or failure is in the details – not good business management.

Many skeptics have saved companies millions of dollars by asking financial, sales, operational, and people related questions about their projects or programs. These questions include the how, what, when, where and why of releasing new technology, launching new vehicles, issuing new procedures or publishing new works of art.  While cynics are not always right, there are lessons to be learned from them.  And, if you’re unable or unwilling to address these questions realistically, you better proceed with extreme caution.

Profitable outcomes require balanced positivity:

  • – Positive vision of what you (or your team) would like the end result to look like.
  • – Declaration of the intended result, in writing (aka goal).
  • – Written focused action plan.
  • – Ensure others’ concerns are addressed and appropriate actions taken.
  • – Value other’s contributions.
  • – Stay unattached to how the process should look.

It takes a strong leader to encourage these types of inquiries and a well-rounded team of committed people to work together to answer them. These questions can make a significant difference in balancing positivity with an intended outcome, saving you innumerable dollars, time and energy.

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2015

#1 Energy Zapper

Excuses, excuses, excuses!  It takes the same amount of energy to entertain the internal and external chatter about why you shouldn’t need to do something, as it does to simply get it done. It’s amazing how much time we waste with our excuses.

Want to be more effective?

  • *Schedule Use your cell or Outlook to schedule time to get the task done, and honor it as an appointment with someone important. YOU.
  • *Do or Delegate Just because you don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean others may not welcome the opportunity. Give them the chance to shine.
  • *20 minutes If you’re still finding excuses, set a timer for 20 minutes. Focus on the task during that time and see how far you progress. It’s amazing how small steps lead to big accomplishments.

Now, get into action!

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

© Jeannette L. Seibly, 2010-2014

What do you trust: data or instincts?

Successful leaders have to grapple with this dilemma often. They believe their intuition is telling them what the true answer is. Or, they want to trust the numbers. However, intuition can be wrong and 100 percent reliance on data can send you down the wrong path too. Developing a strong business balance between statistics and your sixth sense takes experience, time, and practice. As business owners and executives know, making the wrong decisions can cost the company more than money. It can also cost their reputation, clients, and top talent.

What do you do when you don’t trust the data? Trust the process. For example: When you hire a person based upon your gut reaction, even when the facts disagree, you didn’t trust your selection system. The truth is, failure to pay attention to good objective information will negatively impact your decisions.

Better questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you know how to correctly use qualified hiring tools?
  • How well do you follow a strategic selection process? (
  • Do you have an unconscious habit of hiring and firing until you find the right person? (Hint: Honestly look at your turnover numbers.)

Asking these types of questions can help you determine the underlying (aka real) reason you may not trust the data.

Which one do you trust when your data or intuition is contrary to others’ opinions? Trust yourself and be open to being right and wrong. For example, many times when a company is experiencing difficulty achieving results, it’s because a controlling leader or dominating team member made erroneous judgments based heavily on facts or feelings. Learn to ask good business questions and listen to people’s responses. Being open to changing your mind doesn’t mean you have to. However, being adamant that you are right is usually a sign of impending disaster.

Strong leaders trust themselves and know how to develop win-win outcomes by working with and through others. They are prepared for the downside of any decision. They use their results as dashboards to develop trust in themselves and others when making balanced factual and intuitive decisions.

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013-2014

Are You a Good Entrepreneur?

Being in business for yourself can be fun and inspiring. However, without paying attention to the critical details, you will join the 90% of startups that fail within their first five years!

Review the five questions below. If you answer “Yes” to any of them, you might be like many entrepreneurs and business owners, who would rather have a root canal than take a cold hard objective look at their businesses and how they manage them. Each “yes” is a signal that it’s time to talk with a business advisor. Hire one before it’s too late!

  • Are your financials in the red – or bright pink? Sadly many self-employed business owners are afraid of numbers. Do you find it scary to take a close look at the numeric metrics of how you are doing? Or, do you wait until you are forced to do so? Hire a bookkeeper or your CPA to help you set up your books — Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) apply to all businesses. If you are not reliable to keep your numbers updated on a weekly basis, hire someone who can.
  • Are your customers leaving and there are no new ones in the pipeline? Many times business owners get caught up in the creative fun of “bright shiny objects.” Unfortunately, most of these ideas will not provide the ROI required for success, now or in the near future. When you fail to focus on your core products and services, mischief will happen. Hire a marketing coach and/or a social media professional to help you objectively look at your offerings and clarify your points. Read “It’s Time to Brag!” and use these five simple steps to clarify and simplify your messages.
  • Have you become a jerk? Many fearful entrepreneurs become defensive and know-it-alls.It makes it difficult for others to help you or work with you. It also has your clients leave in frustration. You can learn effective management and customer service skills that will work for you and them, if you are committed to setting up the right systems and shifting your attitude.
  • Are you unable to decipher between good and bad advice? Poor decision-making is a visible sign of someone who may not have the business savvy to be a good business owner. Are you able to take coaching and implement it effectively? Your improved results may be the markers that you are moving in the right direction, or simply pointing you in a better direction if you’re willing to listen.
  • Do you have high turnover? This is a reflection of poor hiring skills and systems, even if you get lucky once in a while. Hire the right person(s) and you look like a superstar. Hire the wrong person(s) and you’ll need or want to close the doors and start all over again. Work with your business coach to implement a legal and valid process. It will make all the difference in your success.

Hiring a qualified business coach now can help you succeed, beyond your imagination.

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2010-2014

Why are some people lucky?

“Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.” Mary Kay Ash

You have goals, dreams, desires and wishes. People who write these down, create action plans and execute their plans are the ones more likely to achieve the results. It’s not luck – it’s not trying; it’s creating, taking focused action and enjoying the results.

The secret for helping you achieve your goals is to write down three must-have’s. For example, if you want a new job, what must the job offer? It could be an increase in pay, certain benefits, job responsibilities, etc. If you want a new home, what must the home possess? Does it need to be located in a certain school district, have hardwood floors, or be a ranch-style home?  These must-have’s will clarify and support your goals.

Next, share your goals with others and refine them as appropriate (for example, the right home may not have hardwood floors and you can have them installed after you buy the home). Don’t be concerned if others don’t readily jump on board to support you. Watching you achieve your goals may cause them to remember their own and realize how far away they are from achieving them. Luck is creating and fulfilling your own opportunities and is available for everyone who gets in action.

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business coach for over 20 years. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one?

Are You A “Pre-Millionaire”?

By Russell Riendeau, PhD and Jeannette Seibly

If you have no interest in becoming a millionaire, you can stop reading now. Continuing to read will make you uncomfortable. This is for business owners, executives, entrepreneurs and all people that want to influence change and secure a more vibrant financial life.

Have you been thinking about money lately? Do you talk about this topic with friends or family? How old are you? When were you planning to start preparing to become a millionaire? Do you have plans in place? Is your work and other life desires in alignment with who you are?

To qualify as a millionaire, means you have a net worth of at least a million dollars. Add up all the cash on hand, 401(K), Swiss bank accounts, mattress money, value of paid off cars, boats, planes, Harleys, big toys, equity in your home, resort property, cash value life insurance—the whole enchilada. Now, minus all your mortgages, car payments, credit card debit, school loans, loans to your brother-in-law, loans from your parents, bookies, timeshares at Disney, etc. If you are in the black by a million dollars—welcome to the Millionaires Club!

Every year, there are more millionaires being created than ever before. And not from inherited, “old money” or “East Coast Money” but money from smart work, patient investing, and pursuit of work that aligns with their real skills and goals in life. “Pursuit of a worthy goal,” Earl Nightingale once said, “was the most critical part of setting life goals.” You can dream or pursue a big goal, but if it’s not a worthy goal, if it doesn’t get you excited each day, the efforts required to support this financial objective will leave you exhausted.

Research shows:

  • Pre-millionaires are the kind of professionals that are aware of how to leverage money, how to protect themselves against excess debt for too long of a period of time. They learn and practice this art at age 19 and keep learning. (Remember, it’s never too late to get started, if the time is now!)
  • Pre-millionaires work smart, then hard. Simply working hard is not going to cut it today. We all know hard workers with no money in the bank. The smart ones hire coaches for themselves and don’t rely upon their employers to get ahead.
  • Pre-millionaires study and understand “delayed gratification” and why the pursuit of a goal carries simple and complex sacrifices that some people are not courageous or confident enough to stay true to. They have guts to do the right things now.
  • Pre-millionaires are fully aware of what kind of person they can and will become by devoting themselves to a worthy goal. These goals often include helping and supporting a worthy cause that is of service to others.
  • Pre-millionaires understand the time-value of money, compound averaging and disciplined savings. They understand it takes time for money to expand and for skills and patience to be learned. It can take 10, 20, 40 years to become a millionaire. It all depends on their work ethic, honesty with themselves, ability to be coach-able and the willingness to do it now.

What does a million of dollars of net worth create for you? A freedom to pursue other life interests, build a business, launch a special project, or simply become a beach bum – along with leverage, confidence and time to consider other life options. Money in the bank gives you choices that others don’t have. It takes courage to save money in a world that seduces you to spend, spend, and spend more than you have.

As you move forward in your career, in your business, in your on-going personal and professional development, here are a few things to constantly keep in mind if you want to accelerate yourself from Pre to Post-Millionaire status:

What’s your net worth today? Be honest with yourself and your analysis of your equity and savings to give you an accurate starting point.

  1. What day will you become a millionaire? Given your current income levels and your net worth, how many years will it take? Do the math now on your phone. Don’t despair if you’re over 45, you will simply need to accelerate the effort.
  2. What is your reason to become a millionaire? Do you have specific, worthy goals and motives to work smart and hard to achieve this status? Or, is it an inner desire and dream to live the “good life?”
  3. What will the money provide you? What will you do with the money? Are these in alignment with your inner values? If not, the conflict will win.
  4. What steps are required in your life starting now? Education? Self-awareness? Better job? Better vocabulary? Do you need to associate yourself with a different crowd of professionals you can learn from?
  5. Is your close circle of friends helping or hindering your goals of achieving wealth? Do they mock or ridicule you for setting high goals? Do they support you during failures as well as successes?
  6. Is your spouse or significant other in accord with your goals? If not, there will be trouble from day one.
  7. What skills will you need to acquire to earn the money you need to become a millionaire? What are the common traits you see in other wealthy people you know that you can emulate and transform to support you? Mimicking others will not get you ahead without clarity of who you are.
  8. What will you do if you don’t achieve your millionaire status in the time frame you set for yourself?
  9. What structures have you setup for yourself? Discipline is key. So is setting goals, saving money and learning how to be resourceful to get what you need and want.

To best utilize this article, write out your answers to every question in this piece. (Studies have shown that writing engages the brain, which engages the rest of you!) Make a copy and keep it where you will see it every day. If you do this, you will be in the top 1% of people who will commit to achieving their goals. Very likely, your first million dollars! Without a written goal and a good reason, you will be tempted and your energy will become scattered chasing shiny distractions that promise value, but don’t deliver on their promise.

About the authors:

Dr. Russ Riendeau is senior partner of East Wing Group, Inc. – a search firm specializing in management, marketing and sales executives. He’s a psychologist and author of 7 books on talent management and success in business. Dr. Riendeau has also taught at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies and speaks nationally on peak performance. He can be reached at 847-381-0977 or

Jeannette Seibly has been an international business and executive coach for over 20 years, and is a published author. She has guided the creation of three millionaires. Are you the next one? She can be reached at to talk about what it will take for you to become a successful business owner, executive or entrepreneur.

Your comments:

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Are you listening to the criticism?

It always feels good to get compliments, have others think highly of your interactions with clients, or be lauded for the goals you’ve accomplished. In fact, most of us expect to hear that everything is great and wonderful—even when it’s not.  Unfortunately, unadulterated praise rarely provides you with the inside information you need to advance in your career. Every success has its learning opportunities, such as overcoming poor communication habits, correcting ineffective project management skills, adjusting biased attitudes towards others, and becoming more resourceful.

Climbing the corporate ladder requires being open to hearing what you don’t want to hear from co-workers, bosses, and clients. It’s important to learn from your mistakes and learn how to manage perceptions by seeing yourself from others’ point of view. Instead of thinking people are being super critical or are unaware of what you had to do to achieve results.  Failure to welcome the truth can stymie your upward mobility.

The truth is you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge! 

Successful leaders listen instead of defending themselves. They seek out constructive criticism and learn from others’ perspectives about what is working and what needs to be improved. In addition, they rely on the expertise of an executive coach, a trusted advisor who can help them develop their natural strengths and overcome their inherent weaknesses.

When we listen to criticism, we can hear the gold. When we respond appropriately, we improve our leadership.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014

Want to achieve your 2014 goals? It requires commitment.

Setting goals for the new year can be exciting—it’s a time for creating new opportunities. For many, it’s also the time to put aside failed results from last year’s goals. But in about thirty days, our 2014 goals will lack their initial luster too, and we will struggle to stay in focused action.  Why is it so hard to stay on track? Various internal and external business factors may be the culprit. But it’s more likely that we have simply failed to develop the muscles and mindsets to manage the design, planning, implementation, and fine-tuning required of any project.

Follow-through isn’t just a problem for individuals. Organizations struggle with it too. Although many companies create annual goals, few effectively manage the process required to achieve them. It’s a challenge that many business professionals face every year with their employers, or as business owners themselves.

Here are some suggestions that can help you stay focused and continue to chip away at your goals until they’re met:

Be Realistic. Hire a business advisor who can help you blast through your reticence when you get stuck or want to make things too hard. An advisor can also help you create realistic goals and focused action plans, offer tactics and strategies for reaching them, and help you see your progress.  An advisor will encourage you to talk with your co-workers, clients, and boss to share your goals and plans. Be open to others’ insights and recommendations.  They will help you streamline your efforts and avoid lots of effort with little payoff.

Divide Work into Small Chunks. Set up quarterly goals. The immediacy of short-term goals can make all the difference in getting and staying in focused action.  Many people plan for the entire year, but a year can be a long time, and a lot can happen in 12 months to take us off track. Shorter-term goals will also help alleviate detractors, commonly known as the “shiny objects syndrome.”

Celebrate Progress. Too often we focus on what isn’t working and fail to see what we have achieved. Take time daily to recognize your accomplishments and use those successes as motivation to achieve your larger goal.  Appreciate when you have taken responsibility for honoring your commitments to yourself and your company, no matter how small of a step it appears to be to you. It’s one step closer.   Get your copy of 5 Simply Steps to Improve Your Results:

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014

Your job may be ending soon.

Is your employer is in the red? If yes, it does mean your job may be ending soon if you don’t get in action now. As a leader, it’s important that you network to determine what can be done to change the organization’s financial situation before sending out your resume. (You’re right: This process should have started prior to now.) Are there new markets to pursue? Tweaks required to keep current customers? Additional training of staff? Get busy … urgency is the key! Waiting only encourages more procrastination.

A confidence builder for employees is to put together brag statements for the business—i.e., what you’ve achieved as a group—and share them with your network. Second, put together brag statements outlining what you’ve done for each customer and share those statements with them. Most customers stray because they don’t know what you’ve done for them lately. ( If you have been ignoring customer demands, immediate and progressive changes are required, but first you need to ask your customers what those changes should be. Be responsive and make it happen. Along the way, it may be time to network for your next position, send out resumes, and learn how to brag about your own achievements in a business-savvy manner. (

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013


Successful Leadership Is Evolutionary

Every generation of leaders likes to believe they invented the newest and most effective way to manage people, build profitable companies, and “build a better mousetrap.”  The reality? We didn’t do it ourselves. The achievements of our businesses, inventions, and other ideas were an outcome of working effectively with and through others to achieve the intended results, and at the same time acknowledging our predecessors.

True leaders are humble and take great care of their teams. They set aside their egos, hubris, and other personality impediments to pave forward the pathway and open new doors to achieve their intended results. If they’ve made a lot of money, it is shared appropriately. If they created a lot of press, they generously include others’ contributions in their brag statements. (

Why are these insights important?

1.       When you understand that your success stands on the shoulders of your mentors, business advisors, bosses, and team members, you become humble knowing you didn’t go it alone. It makes it easier for others to want to work with you and share their knowledge and experiences, since it’s not all about you and your credentials or paycheck.

2.       It’s never solely your ideas or creativity that make the system or product work. Sharing the credit works wonders for current and future undertakings. Asking the right questions, listening and building upon ideas, and making available (or creating) the required resources are key traits of leaders. They ensure others stick with you during the design, launch, and refinement processes of your projects.

3.       Documentation of your process, including charts and graphs, helps others visually understand the progress. They can then see potential glitches and possible solutions, and not rely on any overly optimistic feelings of triumph you might have. Documentation also provides a foundation for you, and them, to build on for the next venture.

Remember, leadership and business, as most things in life, are evolutionary—they build on previous successes and learn from past failures to create the next victory.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013