Posts tagged ‘Time management’

February 11, 2010

Alicia Marie will be Coaching Women at the American Express OPEN Women’s Business Summit featuring Make Mine a Million $ Business in Conjunction with Count Me In Organization

The American Express OPEN Women’s Business Summit will attract upwards of 500 women business owners at all level of business development to this day and a half event. The content is structured so that the emerging, established and growth-oriented entrepreneur will all have access to relevant and timely content and resources. 

Alicia Marie will be coaching these women at this event as they pitch their business in a chance to win the coveted Make Mine a Million $ Business award.

The American Express OPEN Women’s Business Summit will convene on February 17-18, 2010 at the JW Marriott in Houston, TX. The theme of the Summit will be The New Rules for Doing Business for Women Entrepreneurs and will include a multi-tracked conference that offers the following:

  • The Make Mine a Million $ Business competition
  • Critical advice for growth in today’s changing economy
  • Tips on leveraging social media to grow your bottom line
  • Thoughtful leadership, rich discussions and opportunities to connect with fellow women business owners, via the New Rules content track
  • Identification of new markets, with a focus on government contracting market rich with opportunity
  • Contact with an inspiring community of successful women business owners
  • Speakers and resources from our partnering women’s organizations

Due to an overwhelming response, this event has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Please visit the Count Me In website for updates on upcoming Make Mine a Million $ Business events.

October 14, 2009

Dr. Maria Nemeth will be our next guest in the Ask an Expert series!

Join Alicia Marie as she interviews Dr. Maria Nemeth on “The Energy of Money”

Maria Nemeth, Ph.D., MCC, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Master Certified Coach, is an internationally recognized speaker, author and seminar leader. She is the founder and Creative Director of the Academy for Coaching Excellence. For more than 20 years, Dr. Nemeth has trained professional coaches, ministers, clinicians, executives, teachers, and private individuals using the coaching methods and skills that she has designed. Her courses and workshops have been taken by thousands of people who report significant, even miraculous, changes in their lives as a result of her teachings.

Maria is the author of The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment, which is available in five languages. Her nine-hour audio cassette series, The Energy of Money, won the 1999 Audie Award for Best Personal Development Series.

In addition to her overseeing the Academy, Dr. Nemeth presents at conferences and organizations worldwide. Her work emphasizes clear communication and empowers people to take authentic action to produce extraordinary outcomes.

Check out Maria’s interview on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 27th @ 3-4pm CST
No cost to attend. Reserve your space today!

Call (512)989-2230 or email
To join the session, dial (724)444-7444
Call ID: 64981 / Pin: 1#

September 10, 2009

What You Pay Attention To Grows

We have all taken a beaten from the media this last year. All the negative news about the economy and the recession can be overwhelming. I even had one anxious client say, “It feels like the world is coming to an end.”

Take a moment to think of something that happened in your past that seemed very bad at the time, but now in retrospect you see what a blessing it was.

I absolutely know that the challenges we are facing economically now will look like a blessing in retrospect. Businesses will get stronger and leaner. Families will come together. Governments will change. People will remember what faith is. Programs and non-profits will emerge as well as all the positive change we cannot yet see.

I invite all of you to step into hope and give up the worry and concern. How effective can you be when you are worried? How productive are you when you are anxious? How creative are you when you are upset?

Of course, I believe that positive thinking is important for many reasons. If only for your peace of mind, I invite you to stay focused on what is right, what is working and what is good in your business and in your life. What you pay attention to grows and thrives!

August 27, 2009

Leadership Institute


WHAT: M3 Race Leadership Institute
Nurture and Enhance the power of community to successfully grow your business and yourself.

WHEN: Thursday, September 24th thru Saturday, September 26th, 2009

WHERE: Office Depot headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

We at Count Me In believe that entrepreneurship equals leadership, and so do our partners at Office Depot. Leadership takes vision and discipline, creativity and tenacity, risk-taking, earth-shaking, courage, confidence and commitment. It also takes a strong community– this one. Our Leadership Institute will help you successfully grow your business and yourself.

Featured Workshop: Select, Hire & Retain Top Talent – Alicia Marie Fruin

Want To Create Your Dream Team? Now you can! In this workshop you will:
• Craft a strategic plan to build your team
• Learn how to profile roles and write accurate job descriptions
• Design targeted job ads that attract the right people
• Develop the skills to recognize and retain top talent
• Get great interviewing tips and a FREE CD of materials you can use in your business.

Here’s what you’ll experience:

* Two tracks of powerful workshops taught by experts in their fields
* Elevator Business Pitch Updates
* Vendor Matching by WBENC connecting your product or service with corporations, universities, hospitals or government agencies interested in doing business with you. (Separate registration required– Click here to register)
* Panels, speakers and some creative surprises
* Plus lots of time to share with and learn from each other, one of the hallmarks of the Count Me In community
* Shuttle service between hotel and Office Depot available
* Valet Parking at Office Depot

Click here to register!

May 5, 2009

May Coaching Tip

Powerful Questioning is at the core of effective coaching. With one caveat– understand that asking a question that is appropriate to the emotional state, learning style, timing and situation is as important as the actual question. This takes effective listening, skill and practice.

Elements of a great question:

  • They are clear and direct.
  • They are non-judgmental.
  • They are transparent– no motive.
  • They are real and have the best interest of the employee in mind.
  • They are inquisitive and keep the employee thinking and in curiosity.
  • They are based in the present and keep the employee in the ‘here and now’ versus the ‘why’.

Why ask questions instead of give directions?

  • Your answers are old answers and they work for you, not the person you are coaching.
  • If you ask questions, people will self-discover and take responsibility for their results. People really do like their own ideas better!
March 12, 2009

Leading Change Program: How to cope with our own fear and lead others through change

The natural cycle of life’s ups and downs creates growth or personal fears and blockages. Which of these dominates depends a lot on how we view change. Is it exciting or is it frightening?


Who is watching? Your employees, your family, your community? If you are a leader then you are modeling how to navigate our current economic crisis. Will you step up and face your fear so we can all grow and thrive? We call fear by a lot of names: overwhelm, anxiety, frustration, pride, anger. We rarely say, “I am afraid.” The leading change program is for leaders who are grappling with their own fears while also leading others.


I wrote this intro below so you would understand that this program is confronting, rigorous and deeply powerful. It requires courage and self awareness. I believe it has the power to completely alter who you are as a leader and a human being.

We will work on:


  • Understanding fear and how to be facile with it
  • Real power
  • Integrity
  • Language
  • Communication
  • Being a visionary
  • Understanding your core values and honoring the values of others


We know change is part of life yet we go to great lengths to make our world predictable, safe, comfortable, controllable and definable. In general, we don’t understand our fear and how we as human beings operate with it. When we have a lot of fear, we go about setting up a world that does not stimulate our particular fear(s). We use our mind to devise ways to avoid having our fear stimulated. Fear is afraid of itself and does not want to be felt. You can do one of two things with fear. You can recognize it for what it is and stop acting on it. Or you can try to keep the world from stimulating your fear.


We all do it. Yet we don’t talk about it. You know, try to figure out how things are supposed to be and then go about trying to make it that way. How did we come up with the idea that life is not okay as it is? If change is natural maybe life is too.


As a coach, I have noticed that our attempts to protect ourselves from our problems create more problems. If you keep attempting to arrange people, places, and events so that they do not disturb your fear, life will feel heavy because you are controlling and fighting with everything. Most of us try to get to peace this way. Most of us try to get to joy this way. What if there is another way?


This program starts in April, is 5 months – 15 sessions and is a “Pay what you can program”.  Please respond to if you are interested and I will send an application. Only 8 leaders will be accepted and I will accept applications through March 27.

February 25, 2009

Coaching Tips for Managers: Coaching is a Repeating Relationship Cycle

Step 1: Valuing

Valuing the employee assigns worth and importance to that person and must be present to begin the relating process.


Step 2: Hearing
Hearing the employee goes beyond the obvious auditory hearing and even beyond the use of listening skills. It is translating what is said into what is meant. It is hearing with compassion.


Step 3: Understanding
Understanding the employee is a choice made by you to place importance on and know the significance of what has been heard by you and ultimately meant by the coach-ee.


Step 4: Reacting
Reacting is an inevitable, natural and unfiltered internal response to what is understood by you about the client. Your reactions must however, into appropriate and accepting responses. As Stephen Covey would say, “There is a gap between reacting and responding.”  That gap is accepting.


Step 5: Accepting
Accepting is the choice to receive a person gladly, without disapproval, blinding judgment or compromise of our own personal integrity. It does not mean to endorse, buy into or agree with whatever is being received.


Step 6: Responding
Responding is the external relating step. All the others are internal, but filter the actual responses made to the client. 


Step 7: Honoring
Honoring the employee by showing that person respect through every step of the relating cycle and the entire coaching process is the filter through which all relating activities and phases must be screened. Honoring confers distinction on a client, and shows your desire to give credit to them.

Relationship Building is a continuous cycle.

February 12, 2009

“Being Positively Practical in Your Business”

With the current economy and market changes I certainly feel it is important to keep a positive attitude, be positive and focus on what’s working versus what isn’t working. I know without a doubt that this helps me stay productive, peaceful and creative which makes me better at what I do daily. I have started exercising more, praying more, meditating and reading more uplifting books just to stay in a happy centered place.


As a business coach I am recently seeing a trend with several of my small business clients who always, always maintain an admirably positive attitude. Uncharacteristically, I am seeing avoidance, procrastination and a kind of refusal to look at their business situation; however I must remark that they are maintaining a positive attitude.


One client voiced, “If I just don’t look at it, I am not afraid.” Who wants to be afraid?  I understand this all too well. After Christmas vacation I took a hard look at revenue projections and realized I had to cut employee hours. Honestly, I should have looked three weeks earlier but instead of looking at my numbers I looked at my vision board and hoped for more business instead of looking at my financials or my new strategies for earning revenue.


It reminds me of the three monkeys; see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil. A positive attitude may be easier when we are not looking, listening or talking about the economy or loss of revenue but is it practical and is it empowering? Is it really the healthiest way to deal with the business challenges we face and what about our own well being?


Its human nature I guess to avoid looking at what’s changing, an understandable phase for any and all of us to move through but not a good place to hangout and get stuck. As business owners, if we don’t look at the reality of what is happening we can’t powerfully make our next move. We can’t anticipate and head off potential crisis and we can’t make the adjustments needed to stay in business and even potentially thrive.


Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:


What are your financials telling you? How will we strategically cut operating costs? Will we reduce your ability to compete effectively if we do?

Will we reduce the quality of our product with these cuts?

Will we reduce the clients’ experience with our company?

Will we reduce the goodwill we have worked so hard to build?

How are our employees feeling? What layoffs are coming, if any? How will we prepare them? How can we all pull together? How will we have to change our business development plan? Has our market dried up? Do we need new markets, services or products? What habits will I have to change or adjust? What business practices will change? How will our marketing messages change?


Of course, none of us want to be in “fear,” maybe that’s a phase as well, just another emotion to move through? I find I have much more energy, peace and power when I am practically looking at what is happening in the world and in my business. After all when you are awake and paying attention you don’t miss any of the miracles either!

February 9, 2009

Does your staff cooperate or collaborate with you?

As small business owners we move fast, change course and shift gears daily. Operating a small business demands that we have the ability to be flexible and change as needed. What about our employees? How flexible do they need to be? How informed? How engaged in the success of the business? How do we know they are aligned with us and the business vision?

Sometimes we overlook informing, including, asking or collaborating with our employees. We are often satisfied with cooperation from our employees, unaware of what is possible if we instead were in collaboration with our employees.

“A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term.” –Robert Reich

Here are some great ways to start collaborating with your staff:

Know the vision for the business, share the vision often.
Include them often in the planning for the business referencing the vision
Work on not just in the business with them.
Tie in daily tasks or monthly projects with the overall business vision.
Create and measure goals against the vision with your staff.
Report in on goals with your staff and/or have them report in on their goals.
Start asking great questions of staff instead of telling staff what to do.
Start asking your staff for solutions that you are really trying to solve, take their advice sometimes. Let them know you did.
Let them set the agenda and run the meeting.
Create and post a visual organization chart that shows future roles (do not include names).
Have very clear roles and responsibilities for each staff member.
Change your language to “we”. Speak about business in terms of we, not I or my. For example instead of saying “I need this on my desk by tonight” say “ We need this one and have a deadline of 5pm today can you get it done?”
Do evaluations of job performance in a timely way.
Have raises, bonuses and incentives based on company performance as well as the individual.
Become a great manager. Read books and go to seminars as well as get feedback from your employees on how you could do better.

What are the potential costs of no collaboration?

If the employee is not in tune with the business goals they will have difficulty prioritizing and focusing on what is important.
If the employee does not know what is going on, they will make up stories, causing unnecessary miscommunication and hard feelings.
If they only have half the information they may feel insecure thinking that the company is failing or their job is in jeopardy.
When we don’t allow and ask for their opinions and suggestions, we miss the perspective our staff may be able to contribute. We also inadvertently send the message that what they think doesn’t matter. Poor performance is directly linked to employees feeling powerless to affect change in the business or in their current role.
Employees will not stay in step with the vision for the business, they will be “I” focused instead of “we” focused .They will not be able to see where their job role fits into the business vision.
We will likely lose touch with what is important to our employees, will not know how to incentivize and morale will deteriorate.

December 5, 2008

Are You Learning Based?

Does the economic climate have you feeling threatened? With all of the changes brought on by the arrival of the information age, do you feel left behind? Most of us do feel uneasy and a little behind the eight ball. Sometimes it seems we have to run as hard as we can just to stay in one place! Everything is changing so fast that what we learned yesterday could very well be outdated tomorrow.

So how do we keep our competitive edge in our business?


The fundamental strategy of a high achiever is their focus on being learning-based. Being a learning-based person means that you have education, training, and self-development as the foundational piece of your plan to achieve your goals.


Maybe learning is key?  


No matter what we do, no matter where we go, owner or employee, now more than ever before, we must stay sharp…continue to study, learn and remain curious. Everyone in our business, everyone, every day will stay engaged when we emphasize and encourage learning. Learning is the key to innovative, creative, out of the box solutions. It is not enough for us as leaders to stay abreast of our industry, attend training programs or read books. We need all of our employees playing at their very best to stay in the game of business.


The irony is that the issues that are creating so much potential for anxiety like the economy, global business, changing cultures and technology are the learning opportunities that can likely propel you forward.


Consider the unprecedented wealth of information available on the Internet, in seminars, webinars and books. When I feel threatened by the economic uncertainty and by all of the new knowledge and capability that’s emerging, I just make a point to learn something new: e-commerce, business principles, or how my industry is adapting to the marketplace. Learning anything that will keep me thinking ahead and tweaking my existing business is so very gratifying.  


How do you maximize what you are learning? Focus on the top 5 areas:


People – training, coaching, developing, and managing effectively.

Money – how to project, manage, budget and leverage.

Business Development – web 2.0, promotions, retaining and recapturing customers etc.

Operations – process, systems, functionality of the business.

Personal growth – learning about yourself will make you better at all of the above.


When I have that insight or acquire that new understanding or capability I feel stronger, I feel resourceful, like I gained a little ground in the marketplace. Maybe today I put the heat on somebody else? My competitive advantage…me.


Give it a go, and then share what you learned with your employees. The only thing better than knowing that you just got a little smarter is knowing that your business did too. Learning is everything.


Alicia Fruin

As owner of Profit Consulting Co., Alicia has become a leader in the field of coaching, consulting and training for small business. She has designed more than 100 custom training programs for hundreds of business owners in a

variety of industries across the country. In addition, Alicia has coached managers, presidents and sales professionals on how to build a business truly worth having!