To Make Your 2020 Goals a Reality, Start by Quitting

Mary Foley Be More Productive

Crafting New Year goals is easy.  Creating the new habits and behaviors to make your dreams come true is hard.  More than 21 days hard.  If you really want to make your 2020 goals a reality, start with quitting a bunch of stuff that’s not working.

Making Goals a Reality Takes Time

Fact is, the belief that it takes 21 days to create a new habit is a myth.  “The 21 day myth may well come from a book published in 1960 by a plastic surgeon” says psychologist Jeremy Dean, author of Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick.” 

That plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, noticed that amputees took, on average, 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb and he argued that people take 21 days to adjust to any major life changes.”

But, according to a study, it takes an average of 66 days to create a new habit.

And if you’re going for “mastery”, then expect it to take 10,000 hours, which turns into 5 or more years.

So, somewhere between 66 days and 10,000 hours and you’re good to go!

Bottom line:  Creating new habits to make your big goals happen takes lots of effort over time. Chances are your life is beyond full already. Where are you going to get the time and energy to do the real work of making your dreams come true?

Start By Quitting

“Quit the wrong stuff, stick with the right stuff, and have the courage to do one or the other” states Seth Godin in his short, powerful tome The Dip:  When to Quit and When to Stick.

Quit the things that no longer work or do enough in your life.  Maybe they used to, maybe at one time you were more interested and engaged.  Now, it’s just a drag. Like…

The book club that’s really a wine club and you don’t like to drink.

The networking meeting that’s mainly small business owners and now you are working in a large corporation.

The volunteer committee for a loved charitable organization, but the meetings no longer fit your schedule.

Let go. Quit. It’s not only okay, it’s good.  Very good.  For you and for everyone else touched by your involvement.

Not only do you get the time back you need to put towards your 2020 goals,  everyone else is freed up to discover new ideas, new people and create what’s best for their lives right now, too.

Quitting Takes Courage

More courage than creating big goals.  Because it feels uncomfortable to change your own behavior and awkward to say no.

I like Charlie Gilkey’s approach to quitting who “recognizes there are some obligations that we have that we really don’t want, but that it’s nonetheless important to see them through.”  So, you see through your commitments without over-doing it, and then don’t renew.

By quitting what’s no longer working and simply zapping your time, you open up space in your heart and head to focus on what you really care about, what you really have the passion to achieve, what you really love. Your big dreams are worth your best effort. Quit what’s getting in the way, but don’t quit you.

Revving up your business is serious work, but it can also be fun and you don’t have to do it alone. When you take my free “How High Is Your Red Cape Flying for Your Business?” biz quiz, I will give you give you 3 practical, personal ideas totally focused on how to fly YOUR business even higher!

The Simple Way to More Make Money More Quickly

Mary Foley Be More Strategic, REV UP Business Tips

Want to make more money and generate more revenue, more quickly?

Stop selling so much. That’s right. Stop selling so many things.

Put all your energies in just a few products or services. Concentrate rather than dissipate.

The problem with too many products and services

It’s that little word too. There are too many options for clients and prospects and buyers to choose from. It requires too much time to really market those products and services well. And it leaves you with too few clients, sales, and revenue.

As Greg McKeown, author of “Essentialism” says, it’s all about less, but better. How?

The oh-duh way to choose your top revenue producers

Make the list of all your products and services, and how much revenue you generated from each in the last 12 months. Then circle your three biggest numbers.

These are your top three revenue producers. And if you’ve got one that’s particularly high, put 80% of your energy there.

But wait, what about my other products and services?

At every stage of business growth, you will be challenged to let go of the good to grab hold of the great. Those pet projects will still be there whenever you want to come back to them.

It’s uncomfortable at first, but when you start making more money because you focused on your biggest revenue producers, you won’t feel so bad.

Revving up your business is serious work, but it can also be fun and you don’t have to do it alone. When you take my free “How High Is Your Red Cape Flying for Your Business?” biz quiz, I will give you give you 3 practical, personal ideas totally focused on how to fly YOUR business even higher!

To Get More Clients Know What Problems You Solve For Whom

Mary Foley Be More Strategic, REV UP Business Tips

Do you want more clients? Of course you do. Then here’s a key question you need to answer: What problems do I solve and for whom?

Have a little trouble answering that question? Well, here’s how.

Step 1: Make a list of your best 5 – 7 clients

First, choose 5 – 7 of your clients in the last 12 months.

For example, the ones where you produced the best results.

And they were also the easiest to work with.

Plus, they paid your full fee.

Above all, they didn’t complain.

Step 2: Do a simple trends analysis of the problems you solved

What do these people have in common?

In particular, what common problems did I solve for them?

Are other aspects that they share? For example, maybe it’s their age, their gender, or their geography. Maybe it’s the industry they’re in.

Step 3: Go find more clients with the same problem you can solve

Now you can describe your ideal client. Including clarity around what problems you solve for them.

With this clarity, you can go look for more of them, speak their language and get more clients.

Revving up your business is serious work, but it can also be fun and you don’t have to do it alone. When you take my free “How High Is Your Red Cape Flying for Your Business?” biz quiz, I will give you give you 3 practical, personal ideas totally focused on how to fly YOUR business even higher!

3 Personal Productivity Ideas that Work Like Magic

Mary Foley Be More Productive
3 personal productivity ideas that work like magic

Is your personal productivity in the tank from the daily deluge of email and requests? Want a few personal productive ideas that work like magic?

Then, you’re like savvy Amy who sent me this email question:

“My email inbox has grown beyond my comfort and I want to implement some good strategies to be organized and to go full speed ahead. Any advice, like going to my local office supply store to see if they have some type of magical notebook?”

Here are 3 ideas I shared with Amy for her to create her own magic (including a magic notebook!). Not very glam, but they work. Use them to create your own personal productivity magic, too!


3 Short Reasons Why Height Has Nothing to Do with Confidence and Respect

Mary Foley Be More Strategic

Have you ever felt your height (or lack thereof) has hindered your confidence or respect?

Like this accomplished business woman who asked at a live event I hosted:

“I’m the only female on a senior team. I’m barely 5 feet tall with heels. And I often feel that my value is being dismissed. I can’t suddenly become six inches taller! What can I do to feel more confident and be more respected?

Feel You’re Being Dismissed Because You’re Short?

I get it. Being only 5 feet, 2 inches tall myself, it’s easy to feel height-challenged (AKA down right short!). This particularly started to bother me as I was on the brink of the next big career jump. 

After 10 years and four promotions in my corporate career, I was ready for more and trying to make it happen. I was started to think being short wasn’t helping. 

Then, one day I was lamenting these  feelings to a trusted, female colleague who was dozen years older and much wiser.

“I’m afraid I’m not being taken seriously,” I told her.

I Will Never Forget Her Response

“Oh, that won’t happen once you open your mouth” she responded without a blink.

I laughed!

Instantly I knew she was right and that I was setting myself up for feeling “less than” when there was no need. I was making an assumption that others were limiting me because of my height. In reality, I was feeding my fears and limiting myself.

Making wrong assumptions and feeding your fears isn’t just for those who are short. I have a female colleague who is taller and bigger than most women. She struggles with others feeling intimidated by her when she’s one of the friendliest people you could meet. 

Regardless of your height, here are 3 behaviors every business woman can use to feel more confident and garner more respect.

#1 Remember who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what value you bring to the company or client.

That’s what the best clients and organizations really care about. So, hold your head up high, relax, and smile. That’s confidence from the inside out.

#2 Don’t buy into societal beliefs that women aren’t respected.

Make your beliefs based on your experiences, not the aggregated statistics or beliefs of others. Chances are you have been shown respect far more often than not – by co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, grocery store clerks, toll booth tellers, waiters, receptionists, and more. Act as if it will happen again and it will.

#3 Open your mouth.

My friend was right. My words, tone, and delivery – along with non-verbal body language and dress – are far more powerful and have far more influence on others than how close I am to the floor. 

And for those who are on the short side like me, here’s a bonus:

#4 Utilize the advantages of being shorter.

You’re often considered more approachable and friendly. You are also more easily underestimated. Which makes it easier to start conversations with people and over impress them! I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of over-delivering.

You Will Never Have Enough Time Until You Do These 2 Things

Mary Foley Be More Productive

Did you run out of time today? Again? Ugh, it seems you never have enough time.

You begin your work day with full intention of being productive and before you know it your boss asked you to take care of something. Then your co-worker needed information for her 11 am meeting. Oh, and a client called with an emergency. Plus, your chatty colleague just had to tell you all the details about their weekend hiking trip.

The day is over and your list is hardly done. It might even be longer!

Understandable, responsive, and entertaining. But, you are left with a lingering to-do list and a really loud sucking sound from the time vacuum cleaner.

Productivity experts offer helpful suggestions such as managing your e-mail and social media, using productivity software, and getting organized. These can be useful tactics.

They can also be useless. You will never have enough time until you consistently do these two things.


Are You Guilty of These 5 PowerLESS Behaviors?

Mary Foley Uncategorized

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:


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: