Book Review

How Is Your Self-Esteem? It's Critical.

How Is Your Self-Esteem? It's Critical.

If one were to ask what single characteristic that makes you attractive to others, it would be self-esteem.

Play With The Big Boys & Girls.

We've got a big snowstorm here in Oxford, Connecticut. Thankfully, I work from my home office on Fridays — so I really don't have to go anywhere — I just meander down to my first-floor home office and talk to my clients. We only get better when we play tennis with better tennis players. One way is to immerse ourselves into their lives, their learnings, and their tricks of the trade.

I thought I would do a "Rich's Favorite Things Early 2017" post and let you know what resources I use to stay at the top of my game. So here goes . . .


How I Built This - I religiously listen to ever episode. It's about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world's best known companies and brands. (from NPR)

The Tim Ferriss Show - I've listened to this since his first broadcast. Tim Ferriss deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.

Smart Passive Income Online Business and Blogging - Pat Flynn reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. Discover how you can create multiple passive income streams that work for you so that you can have the time and freedom to do what you love, whether it's traveling the world, or just living comfortably at home.


The One Thing - You'll learn to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goal,  dial down the stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling, revive your energy, stay on track, and master what matters to you. The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life--work, personal, family, and spiritual.

The Pumpkin Plan - Each year Americans start one million new businesses, nearly 80 percent of which fail within the first five years. Under such pressure to stay alive—let alone grow—it’s easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of “sell it—do it, sell it—do it” that leaves them exhausted, frustrated, and unable to get ahead no matter how hard they try.  The Pumpkin Plan guides you through unconven­tional strategies to help you build a truly profitable blue-ribbon company that is the best in its field.

P.S. If you want to play with the big boys and girls,  Let’s talk. I’ve worked with people from all over the world who wanted to play a bigger game and I got them to Wimbledon — call me to schedule a complimentary session.


The Best Books I Recommend.

I'm asked all the time by clients and attendees to my keynotes/workshops/seminars to recommend my favorite books. My assistant and I took some time over the weekend and made a new page that lists my favorites. Enjoy!

Visit The Best Books.

How To Deal With Stress At Work.

Stress is a normal part of the workplace — what really counts is how you react and deal with it.

Is Life Giving You Lemons?

I ran across a powerful quote the other day from Nora Roberts, the romance novelist: “If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”

Do you know about Nora Roberts? I met her MANY years ago when I was in Marketing at Waldenbooks/Reader's Market. We hosted an autographing at one of our locations and she had a new romance novel out. She was a really nice person (most authors and celebrities at the time were obnoxious). A lot of you might say with a hint of disdain in your voice, "Oh, she's a romance novelist."

Here are some sobering facts — as of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 400 million copies of her books are in print, including 12 million copies sold in 2005 alone. She's a heavy hitter.

Nora began to write during a blizzard in February, 1979 while housebound with her two small boys. With three feet of snow, a dwindling supply of chocolate, and no morning kindergarten she had little else to do. While writing down her ideas for the first time, she fell in love with the writing process, and quickly produced six manuscripts.

She submitted her manuscripts to Harlequin, the leading publisher of romance novels, but was repeatedly rejected. Roberts says, "I got the standard rejection for the first couple of tries, then my favorite rejection of all time. I received my manuscript back with a nice little note which said that my work showed promise, and the story had been very entertaining and well done. But that they already had their American writer. That would have been Janet Dailey."

In 1980, a new publisher, Silhouette books, formed to take advantage of the pool of manuscripts from the many American writers that Harlequin had snubbed. Roberts found a home at Silhouette, where her first novel, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. She used the pseudonym Nora Roberts, a shortened form of her birth name Eleanor Marie Robertson, because she assumed that all authors had pen names. Between 1982 and 1984, Roberts wrote 23 novels for Silhouette.

Roberts believes that pursuing a career as a writer requires discipline: "You're going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder." She concentrates on one novel at a time, writing eight hours a day, every day, even while on vacation. Rather than begin with an outline or plot summary, Roberts instead envisions a key incident, character, or setting. She then writes a short first draft with the basic elements of a story.

After finishing the first draft, Roberts goes back to the beginning of the novel. The second draft usually sees the addition of details, the "texture and color" of the work, as well as a more in-depth study of the characters. She then does a final pass to polish the novel before sending it to her agent, Amy Berkower. She often writes trilogies, finishing the three books in a row so that she can remain with the same characters.

So let's look closer at her words:

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.

How many times have you known EXACTLY where you need to go and what you need to do? In fact, it's right in front of you. But for some reason, something or someone is holding you back. Here's a little secret, most of the time, that obstacle is usually YOU. You might think there are external forces out there — but you are putting those potholes in the road. You need to be very clear about what you want and go after it. Nora could have remained a stay-at-home Mom, but she had a dream of being a writer. And she went after it with gusto.

If you don't ask, the answer is always no.

As a coach, I run into this one ALL the time. People are afraid of asking for that raise, that promotion, that business. They either feel they're not worthy or that they're begging. If you want it — go get it. Nora was turned down a bunch of times by Harlequin, but she kept going back. She wrote whole manuscripts, submitted them, and was nicely declined. But she kept coming back.

If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

MOVE. You need to move somewhere and not stay in the same place. When we need to make a life change when life is giving us lemons (and it happens all the time), we tend to get caught up on where to go. Just take ANY step - very soon, you will be making your way forward and moving towards a new location with no lemons.

Listen to Nora, she knows where it's at.

Nora Roberts biographical information was partially gleaned from Wikipedia.

How The Boomers Screwed Up OR We Can All Do Better.

I've been struggling with this generational paradox for the past 5-10 years and have asked a ton of people what they think about it. This theory comes closest to what I feel happened, is happening, and probably will happen.

The Book You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW.

Every so often, a business/self-help book comes along that knocks my socks off.  Before I begin, I find most of this book genre terrible. People today write books not because they have a great idea or a better way of doing things, they write books to become famous. They might become famous and appear on TV, but their book still sucks.

The other day, I came upon a book that has changed the way I think, live, work, and interact with people. It's called The Tools. Phil Stutz and Barry Michels are both psychotherapists who honed these tools to help people like you and me.

Phil invented The Tools when he was finished with his training as a psychiatrist. After a number of failures at helping his early patients he felt that the kind of psychotherapy he was trained in didn't offer much to patients that was all that practical. He basically started from scratch and invented The Tools as a way to help his patients with day to day problems, and to his surprise and his patients' satisfaction, it worked.

Barry faced the same dilemma, but at a critical juncture in time Michels was lucky enough to attend one of Stutz's lecture. He became the prime student of Stutz and found incredible success using the tools with his patient population. Both have used these tools as the cornerstone of their psychotherapy. The two worked together to refine them and are now the go-to psychotherapists to Hollywood writers and the stars. They are presenting this book to bring their ideas to the general public and to help people help themselves.

These four fundamental problems which keep clients from living the life they want to live:

1. Pain avoidance (out of fear of rejection, failure, and negative consequences) to the extent that clients don't move forward or progress — clients are stuck in a comfort zone in which they aren't achieving their goals, life is passing them by.

2. Unrealistic belief that people will treat you fairly — when this doesn't happen, clients become enraged/hurt and replay the experience, refuse to move forward until wrong is rectified, obsess about the person or event, fantasize about revenge etc.

3. Insecurity based on intimidating situations — leads to difficulty expressing yourself, connecting to others etc.

4. Negative thinking displayed in worry, anxiety, criticism, judgment of others and self-hatred — clients feel like a dark cloud hangs over them and have difficulty enjoying life and creating positive experiences.

I'll be honest, this book won't appeal to everyone. If you believe that the universe is simply mechanistic governed by material laws, matter-based cause and effect alone, you may find this book isn't for you. However, if you believe that growth and spiritual evolution are principles operating in the universe, and that laws and powers exist to support resolving problems and forward movement, then you may be intrigued by the tools the authors have discovered and field-tested through their personal experience and clients' experience.

IMPORTANT: I bought the audiobook to listen to in the car, it is much better than the book (I have that too) - you actually hear Phil and Barry explain each tool as they would in their seminar. Powerful.



The Two Most Important Days Of Your Life.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” — Mark Twain What a powerful quote. But what does it really mean?

And more importantly, what does it really mean TO YOU?

Some people already know — they're sure about their purpose. There are also some people who have a good idea, but they aren't 100% sure about why they're on this earth.

And then there are people who don't know. Why is that?

  • They don't want to know. When they get close to learning their true purpose — they step back and shy away.
  • They go through life without a purpose. They don't realize the magic of having a purpose and the power it brings.
  • They vacillate from one purpose to another. This isn't a bad thing — but in the end it probably causes internal and external confusion of purpose.

So the big question is — How do you figure out your life's purpose? I have some strategies:

  • Sit down and think, meditate and reflect.
  • Review where you've been, what you've done, and who you've impacted/influenced so far.
  • Review what things/people/activities energize you (and what ones enervate you).
  • Start to finely focus your lens and cull down your choices to a few.
  • Then step back and look at the whole picture.
  • Finally, make a clear decision, understand what your purpose is, and move forward.

Years ago, two powerful things happened which helped me fully understand my purpose in life.

First, one of my best friends from college, Dave Taylor, recommended a book to me — Tuesdays With Morrie. I can't tell you how much this book changed my life and outlook on the world. If you haven't read it — READ IT. If you have — READ IT AGAIN.

It allowed me to briefly step off the corporate rat race mentally and better understand what are the really important things in life.

Second, I hired Karen Gregaitis, my Dale Carnegie trainer and coach to help me excel and cope with my erratic corporate leadership role. She recommended I take an assessment call Tru-Values (a tool I use with many of my clients) which allowed me to better understand the value drivers in my life.

To this day, I focus on my four values - Encourage, Energize, Enlighten & Have Fun. Wonder why I coach, write, and speak?

I'm doing what I love. ARE YOU?

P.S. If you would like to learn more about the Tru-Values assessment, let's connect.

How To Deal With Pessimists & Obstructionists.

Ever read something that so truly resonates with your soul? Something that clearly explains all the obstacles you had at work? Something clearly defining and segmenting out those people that waste your time? I did. This past weekend, I caught up with some reading that I've been putting off lately.

When The Worst Thing You Can Imagine Happens.

Yesterday, I wrote about fear. Sometimes our fear of the worst that can happen paralyzes us. We don't move. We do nothing. Here's the reality — the worst almost never happens. Maybe 1 time in 100 or 1000. But we act and react as it it's right around the corner. We act as if it's a certainty.

The Complete Guide To Getting What You Want.

I’m excited to announce that my friend Jenny Blake’s book – Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want, a portable life coach for 20-somethings and beyond — hits shelves this month!

BRAG — Toot Your Own Horn Without Blowing It.

Most people can’t sell themselves.The Best Salespeople, who obliterate their numbers every year selling products and services - have a hard time developing a personal talk-track. Accomplished Executives, who are comfortable pitching in boardrooms, convincing multi-nationals to sign on the dotted line — have a hard time in interviews for a new position.

Business Owners, day-in and day-out, have the best location, web-site, media, and business card — have a hard time coming up with a simple process to close the deal.

Run Out & Buy 'The Thank You Economy'.

Let me state something right off the bat — I love Gary Vaynerchuk. A little secret of mine — when I want to get pumped up for the day or I'm feeling down, I pop in Gary's Crush It audiobook. His enthusiasm, energy, and ideas blow me away every time.

Why You Never See It Coming — Deadly Blind Spots In Business.

There are things you know (e.g., how to run a meeting) and there are things you know you don’t know (e.g., open heart surgery techniques). Then there are things that you don’t know that you really know (how to stay focused and calm during an emergency).