Are You Guilty of These 5 PowerLESS Behaviors?

Mary Foley Uncategorized
Are You Guilty of These 6 PowerLESS Behaviors?
Image by Fotolia

Wondering why you don’t have more influence, respect and credit that you deserve? You may be guilty of powerLESS behaviors.

Every day in business and in life, women do simple verbal and no-verbal behaviors that erode their personal power without realizing it.

Here are 5 big offenders:

You don’t look directly when speaking or listening.  

You may have the tendency to glance at people’s eyes and quickly look away. But your eyes speak volumes.  

Instead, when talking look directly in people’s eyes and hold that pose.  When listening, do the same.  The person speaking will notice and be positively influenced by your interest.

You end sentences with a question mark?

Many women bring their voice up at the end of a sentence, making it feel like a question and that they are unsure of themselves.

Don’t make others wonder if you’re competent.  Focus on ending sentences with a drop in your voice. This communicates you’re making a statement with confidence. Don’t you think?

You play with your hair.

You may not even notice that you’re playing with your hair, but such gestures often signal that you’re uncertain, feeling intimidated or nervous. Playing with your hair also connotes being flirtatious and a sign of sexual attraction, which is a major distraction if you want to be taken seriously

You over-explain.

Follow Katharine Hepburn’s advice to gain respect in male-dominated Hollywood – “Don’t over-explain, don’t over-complain.”  Time and again a competent, intelligent woman explains to the nth degree about a situation including who said what, who did what, then what happened, and on and on.  As a result, her stature and power seep out of the room.  

It’s far more powerful to state the situation simply, focusing on key factors and results. Let others ask follow-up questions for any details they need

You believe appearance doesn’t matter.

Given today’s more casual workplace, it’s easy to think that your appearance doesn’t matter.  It does. Ill-fitting, outdated clothes can communicate you have less energy and are less effective. And be costing you more than you think.

In her book Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers, author Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., says that “about 55% of your credibility comes from how you look.”

Plus, according to a study in the American Economic Review, “Women who wear makeup earn up to 30 percent more than those who ‘can’t be bothered.” So, hiring an image consultant could easily pay for itself!

So, whether you choose a more casual or more formal appearance when working, start to be more deliberate about what truly makes you look your best. Just a few more minutes each day dedicated to your appearance sets you up for a better day – and an improved bank account!

Feeling Guilty, Busted or Surprised?

If so, you’re far from alone. Good news is that now you know and can behave a bit differently. Simply choose one powerless behavior that made you go “ouch” and replace it with a new, more powerful one.

5 Keys to Influence Others in the Workplace or Marketplace

Mary Foley Uncategorized

What if you realized that, as a woman, you have the perfect setup to be very good at influencing others – for all the right reasons?

If you are already…

  • Asking questions for understanding
  • Listening more than talking
  • Thinking about how you can help others
  • Sharing useful resources
  • Deciding to stay positive and upbeat

…then you are doing what it takes to be good at influencing others.

Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human, determined from research that on average we spend 40% or more of our time getting someone to say “Yes!” Want to get better at it?

Here are five keys to influencing others in the workplace or market place you can use right away.


9 Simple Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and Make them Fun Again

Mary Foley Uncategorized

9 Simple Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress and Make Them Fun Again

Tis the season to be stressed – or is that jolly – sometimes it’s hard to tell during your holiday.  This used to be the time of year of Santa, magic and joy.  Now as an adult, anticipating Santa has been replaced with parties to look good for, a long list of gifts to buy, and holiday pageants. And don’t forget selecting, writing, and mailing cards.  Then there’s interacting with in-laws, out-laws, and every family relationship in between.

Oh, yeah, there’s still your full-time business that doesn’t slow down just because it’s the holidays.  In fact, for many it’s the time of year to finalize budgets, meet project deadlines, and make end of the year sale numbers.

Are you exhausted yet?

No matter all the external expectations this time of year, the person who can really make this holiday enjoyable is you!

With a few simple shifts in perspective and a few practical tips you can not only make this holiday positive and fun, you can make it bodacious!


How a Little Testosterone Goes a Long Way for Every Woman in Business

Mary Foley Uncategorized

A Little Testosterone Goes a Long Way for Professional Women

As a woman in business a little testosterone can go a long way. Seriously.

First, ask yourself:  Do I tend to take negative comments by co-workers or clients personally? Do I feel overwhelmed by my work load? So I find myself doubting my abilities on a new project or position?

If so, you’re far from alone.  Me, too, until I started to notice that my male colleagues weren’t feeling the same.  Watching their behavior I realized that a little testosterone can go a long way to negate these feelings.

Here are four ways a little testosterone can seriously make your day more productive and fulfilling:


10 Practical, Productive, Fun Tips to Help You Thrive on Change

Mary Foley Uncategorized

10 Practical, Productive, Fun Tips to Help You Thrive on Change

Anything shifting in your career, your business or your life? Any new change you have initiated or are adjusting to right now? Right, got a pulse?!

As the world turns faster and faster, as events come at us like a bad movie marathon, and as we start down new paths in our lives, the ability to stay sane amidst the swirl isn’t just nice, it’s a critical, strategic skill.

Here are 10 tips to thrive on change that are practical, productive and fun!

#1  See change for what it is. Change is uncomfortable, so we avoid it. But, to have any chance of thriving on change, you have to accept that it’s happening. See it for what it is – and what it isn’t. Face it, get the facts, and understand what it really means.

#2  Get mad, cry and whine. Change is emotional. If you bottle up your feelings, they will only work against you. So allow yourself to get mad, cry and whine. But only for a short time and not at others. During a 20 minute shower is a good option. You’re wet anyway.


Turn Same-O-Lame-O Holiday Cards into Personal, Powerful Client Thank Yous

Mary Foley Uncategorized

It’s the last quarter of 2018! I know, I can’t believe it either. How about your revenue goals for the year?

Want a simple, powerful way to create high-value, revenue rich conversations as you go into the holiday season? Send out thank you cards, but not in a same-o-lame-o way. Otherwise, the whole thing could back fire. Here’s what I mean.

First, a reminder from marketing 101: It’s Easier to Increase Revenue with Existing Clients than Find New Ones

It’s easy, cheaper and, frankly far more satisfying, to repeat business with existing clients than to get a new one. Problem is, most entrepreneurs and business owners forget that and spend most of their marketing dollars and mindset on newbies. Hey, we all love new clients, but let’s not forget about the existing ones. Remember, YOU are an existing client to someone. Doesn’t feel to be ignored or easy tossed aside, does it?

What every client wants (and you do, too) is to be thanked and recognized. Most people are so under appreciated that even a small, authentic gesture of gratefulness goes a long, LONG way. So much so that they think about doing business with you again or referring you to someone who would be “perfect for you.”

Now enter holiday season and marketing 201: Leverage Your Thankfulness – Just Don’t be Same-O-Lame-O

Send all of your 2018 clients (more if you want), a card thanking them for trusting you to help them this year solve a problem, take care of something important, or simply being of service. Just don’t do it the same-o-lame-o way.

Ever received a generic looking holiday card from some you’ve done business that has a pre-printed message, pre-printed names and pre-addressed mailing label? Touching, isn’t it?

These cards live for about 15 seconds in my life, just about enough time for me to open them up and walk over to the trash can as I throw it away in disappoint and disgust. Rather than feeling appreciated, I’m pissed off for not truly being recognized. I spent money with you and that’s all you got? Makes me wonder if I should go back to them again. And they paid money for me to feel that good! Would have been better if they didn’t bother.

Let others do it the same-o-lame-o way so you can stand out by being personal and having some pizzazz. Here’s how:

  1. Make a list of your 2018 clients. The ones who love you and you would like to clone. If you don’t have their postal address, look it up online or send them an email, text or online message asking for it. For example, “Quick question! What’s a good postal address for you? I have something special I want to send.”
  2. Search online for a card with a graphic design (like Vistaprint, Shutterfly, Zazzle, even Staples) that truly matches your vibe and brand AND you can personalize with your photo. Make sure you’re smiling as if to say “Hey there!” Having your photo on the front or inside is a way of connecting person to person. If you have a team, do a group photo.
  3. Include a heartfelt message about being thankful for THEM. “Thanks for being my client” is still all about you. Try something like “As I think about 2018, I just wanted to thank YOU for trusting me to help you this year!” Yes, this is pre-printed, but it’s not all you will say so make sure your wording fits for everyone.
  4. Add your business contact info on the BACK side (or insert your business card when sending), but leave the rest blank!
  5. Once printed, take less than a minute to add an additional sentence about working with THEM this past year. Then add “I’m here for you when you need!”, sign and hand write the postal address on the envelope. This last part ensures your card will be opened with interest and anticipation!
  6. Mail your cards BEFORE Thanksgiving for maximum visibility and time for convos by year’s end.

Let’s say you have 80 clients on your list. This process will take you about 2 – 3 hours total and about $200. You could easily get 8 – 16 (10- 20%) response thanking you in return, which is an opportunity to reconnect and have a conversation about their current needs. And there’s revenue in them convos! That’s a small investment with a high potential reward.



5 Questions to Up Your Brand Power

Mary Foley Uncategorized

As an entrepreneur, do you want a powerful brand and think it’s mainly about amazing images on your website, social, and print materials? Think again. One thing I definitely learned being part of a small, unknown computer called Quantum Computer Services transform itself into arguably the first company to bring the online experience to the masses – AOL – is that brand is way more than a a recognize logo.

Proof is in results. During my 10 year career there, Quantum Computer Services became the brand AOL, a $7 billon dollar company with 23 million members and a wide lead in the top spot.

When I jumped the Corporate America ship and became an entrepreneur, I took everything I learned about branding and applied it to my new business. Here are five key lessons and questions about creating a powerful brand for your own business:

1. Every company has a brand. The question is, “Is it working for you?”

Creating a brand isn’t just for the big companies; it’s for companies of all sizes. We’re all fighting for attention from our target customers. If you don’t create a brand, then you risk not being remembered and not being emotionally attractive. Both are a prerequisite for sales.

Ask Yourself: What is my brand? Is it working for me? Am I willing to make changes if needed?

2. Your brand must evoke a strong emotion.

Neurologist Donald Calne said, “The essential difference between emotions and reason is that EMOTION leads to ACTION while reason leads to conclusions.” Customers buy from emotion and back it up with their head.

Ask Yourself: What emotion does my brand evokes? Do I know how others experience my brand? (Psst! Ask at least 10 people.) Is that the emotion I want my brand to evoke?

3. Your brand isn’t a logo. It’s everything you offer, say, and do.

A brand is an experience with many facets. There are a ton of ways a person can interact with you and your company, for example, marketing materials, business card, website, personal appearance, quality of your product or service, how someone answers the phone, voice mail message, e-mail, and customer support.

Ask Yourself: What are all the ways a person can interact with my company or brand? (Psst! Make a list.) Is each interaction supporting or derailing the emotional experience I want my brand to create?

4. As a one woman show, YOU are your brand!

87% of all women owned businesses have one employee – the woman herself. Who you are and what you do affects everything about your business.

Ask Yourself: What about my brand is “just like me”? Do I support my brand experience in how I dress, speak, and interact with others?

5. Your brand needs constant tweaking.

You have to start somewhere. So, you launch your company and brand, see what works, and you keep adjusting. What ultimately matters is what the customer thinks and feels.

Ask Yourself: Have I given much thought lately about the brand experience I’m creating for my customers? What’s one thing I’ve heard again and again from customers that I need to change about my business?


What’s Missing in Male Business Advice that Women Entrepreneurs Need to Know

Mary Foley Uncategorized

Much of the business advice from male business experts doesn’t fully cut it for women entrepreneurs. These experts haven’t quite figured out how their advice is different for women. Plus, they’ve left out some parts all together!

Don’t get me wrong. The male perspective has some merit, but, it’s not the whole picture. So, I’ve created a list of 7 critical things that’s missing in advice from male business experts that women entrepreneurs needs to know.

1. Most business guru’s miss how women experience life differently than men.

Because of our brain wiring, women experience life in a much more intuitive, emotional, and integrated way. Men, on the other hand, pretty much think about one thing at a time and usually do little to relate one thing to another.

2. Most women define success differently than men.

Success for most women is heavily tied to emotional and intrinsic fulfillment that comes from multiple areas of life. Women aren’t satisfied with sacrificing family or loved ones to have business success. We want it all and they want experts to help us get it all. Most men define success in terms of money, status, and power.

3. Most business gurus don’t address the stress women experience.

Because of all the roles most women play, being able to manage stress effectively is key to having a successful business and life. Men typically juggle fewer roles and don’t stress over someone’s needs not being met.

4. Most business gurus don’t address the impact of significant relationships in a woman’s life.

A woman’s significant relationships directly affect her business success and how to keep them in good health.

Because women experience life in a more integrated way, when a significant relationship is out of kilter, everything else is affected, including her business.

5. Most business gurus don’t say that taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of a client.

Most women struggle with doing good things for themselves and their business suffers as a result.

6. Most business gurus don’t delve into a woman’s natural strengths.

For example, like relationship skills – as a huge competitive advantage for growing their business.

7. Most business gurus don’t address the “good girl” tendencies most women have.

A great example of this is how women hold themselves back from proactively selling themselves or their product or service.

[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 18] Millennial Social Media Smarts

Mary Foley Uncategorized

EVB POWER Plug: Millennial Social Media SmartsWhen it comes to upping your social media smarts, wouldn’t you love to talk with a millennial who grew up on it?

And since they are so familiar with communicating this way, how can you be smart about setting expectations with millennial and all employees regarding social media during work hours and beyond?

In this episode, I spoke with Lauren Portlock, Marketing Coordinator for EVB, who breaks the common stereotype of a slacker millennial. For the last 2 plus years she’s been the right hand gal for EVB’s Chief Marketing Officer Michelle Hastings Simon. In addition to offering her millennial perspective on the company’s social media strategy, she makes sure this podcast is up and that you know it’s available.

Click to listen and learn:

  • Whether Millennial or Boomer, professional or business owner, how important is it to have a digital footprint?
  • Are millennials so used to social media that they don’t think it applies to them?
  • If you find a less than flattering image of yourself on social media or a website, how can you get rid of it?
  • What should you do if a friend posts a photo you don’t want to become public?
  • Is it okay to have a social media account where you can say whatever you want?
  • Are there any topics or subjects you recommend to avoid on social media?
  • As a business owner with employees, what do I need to consider for creating a social media policy?

Plus, get even more social media smart tips by downloading specific how-to PDFs provided by Lauren!



[P.O.W.E.R. Plug Podcast – episode 17] Capturing Your Authenticity for a Powerful Personal Brand

Mary Foley Uncategorized

Host Mary Foley talks with Kim Brundage on capturing your authenticity for a powerful personal brand
Photo by Kim Brundage Photography

Authenticity is critical for creating a powerful personal brand. But, how can you truly capture and communicate your authenticity, especially online? What’s the real impact of one-of-a-kind images on your business – as well as your confidence? Get ready for some answers!

In this episode, I spoke with Kim Brundage, a photographer in Richmond, VA who specializes in personal branding sessions for women entrepreneurs and professionals. Her unique approach is designed to remove the awkwardness of a photo session so you can capture what your best customers and clients really want – the real, authentic you.

Click to listen and learn:

  • Why creating a powerful personal brand is critical for every business owner and professional
  • Why authenticity is a big deal in today’s market place
  • How to have personal branding consistency without being boring
  • Kim’s unique personal branding process for capturing your essence and authenticity
  • The impact of unique personal branding images on your business and your confidence