Super goal winners

While the rest of the country is snacking on Doritos and watching the Super Bowl, I’m propped up in my bed with furry Wilber stretched alongside me.  I’d much rather talk to you than watch football.

Honestly, I do not even know how the game is played.  And that is probably shameful given that I attended The Ohio State University during the years of football’s famous coach Woody Hayes and two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin.

I am much more excited that my colleague Daren Stinson, who loves the Ravens, is over-the-moon they’re in the Super Bowl. And I’m thrilled there are several Women on Fire in the stands in New Orleans, including Women on Fire Book 2 co-author Kim Davis.

Woman on Fire Kim Davis is in the house … at the Super Bowl!

But, for me, the only way I can relate to the excitement people have for sports is to equate it with how crazy happy I feel when Women on Fire set their goals for the dreams they so want — and it all comes true!

So, congratulations to the Super Bowl winner and all their fans, and here are a few Women on Fire members who are my personal Super Goal winners:

Kira Karmazin and I celebrating her big success in going for her dream

Kira Karmazin of Atlanta and I enjoyed a long and luxurious lunch in Naples, Florida this weekend.  I could have talked forever to this inspiring apparel-industry executive, who while working a full-time job and raising daughter Grace, created and launched her dream-come-true clothing line.

Her fashion-forward, exquisite yoga wear company KiraGrace was recently featured by Hoda and Kathie Lee on NBC’s Today Show!

Emily Neal of Nashville set a big goal to spend a semester abroad during her sophomore year at Vanderbilt University — and voila, she’s is now in Copenhagen! Check out her exciting adventures — attending Denmark’s Fashion Week —  in her new blog.

Nothing will stop this powerful threesome– Laurel Hodory, Amy Marzluff and Carrie Saba

Carrie Saba, Amy Marzluff and Laurel Hodory, from Columbus, Ohio — all three amazing coaches and teachers — took a weekend getaway and winter hike to create their own Vision Day experience and set their dreams.  I can only imagine what we’ll see from each of them this year. Carrie and Laurel are  co-authors in Women on Fire Book 2 and you’ll be able to read their empowering stories later this year.

As a little girl, Nellie Partow of New York City sketched designs in her notebook and dreamed of being a fashion designer.   Today, with a dozen collections to her credit, she was recently nominated for the fashion industry’s Rising Star Award.  And now Vogue Magazine is recognizing her supreme talent. Way to go for your dreams, Nellie!

Carmencita Whonder of Washington, DC is set to announce her years-in-the-making business — Of Whonder — a line of plus-size yoga wear. Stay tuned when details are revealed in New York City on February 13!

Congratulations to Ellen Wingard of Chilmark, Massachusetts, who this week becomes the chair of the board of World Pulse.  An author and transformational leader, Ellen has nearly 30 years of experience in leadership coaching.

Those of you who met her at the recent Women on Fire Retreat in Chicago will remember her powerful presence and goal to advance and promote the social and economic empowerment of women in the world.  She is well on her way!

Congratulations to each of you.  It is a joy to watch you set your goals and dreams and go for it!

If you have milestones in your dreams to share, please keep me posted on how your goals are transforming your life.


Wise Woman: Eileen Fisher

To my best friend Jan Allen, Eileen Fisher is a heroine because she creates chic and comfy clothing that works for a woman’s body.

To me, silver-haired fashion designer Eileen Fisher is an inspiring reminder that I can successfully do business my way, a distinctly feminine way.

What a joy to reconnect with Eileen Fisher and see her success doing business her way!

Since launching her business in 1984, Eileen is living proof that success can be yours – while remaining kind, caring, connective, warm, gracious – and even fearful of public speaking!

I just returned from a most amazing week in New York City where I met with or heard from many dynamic women including Victoria Colligan, founder of Ladies Who Launch; Martha Beck, coach and columnist for Oprah Magazine; Joan Lunden, former Good Morning America host and now an entrepreneur extraordinaire; and Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute and author of the best-selling book Broken Open.

The highlight of my week was a trip to Eileen’s elegant store at 395 W. Broadway for a private party.  No sooner had I walked through the door, when I entered a joy-filled environment with Eileen, standing in the center, easily and graciously available to her guests.

It had been several years since I first met Eileen at the Omega Institute’s Women+Power Conference.  I remembered her as approachable, yet shy to the point of being timid.  She was fiercely supportive in promoting her associates she’d brought with her to shine, and she made no bones about being deathly afraid to speak in public.

Then and now, her associates sang her praises as a leader and Eileen Fisher as a model company and socially responsible force in the world.  Even before she became the mega-success she is today, Eileen believed an employee “who feels good will do good and bring their best self to work.”

Transforming that belief into action, she gives each associate a $1,000 “wellness” credit every year to use for self-care such as yoga, pedicures, facials, horseback riding and Pilates.

Employees also receive a $1,000 credit for education to be used for classes such as painting, wine tasting, foreign languages or for formal classes at New York University.

Personally and professionally, Eileen Fisher remains true to her feminine principles

When I told her last week that I have always been so impressed with her company’s attention to employees’ self-care and personal growth, she laughed and said, “of course!” (as though every company would do that!)

The company’s mission has held strong: “to inspire women to celebrate who they are.”

Eileen sold her company in 2005 for $300 million to her 875 employees through an employee stock ownership plans, or ESOP.  She is now the chief creative officer.  This is just one example of the company’s unique leadership practices that have made the brand successful.

Given all that, still not much seems to have changed with Eileen Fisher, the woman.

She continues to stand in the center of the room proudly giving her associates the floor.  She is still shy and warm and approachable (and looking adorable and chic in her own latest fashions.)

Yet, I detected something different about her.

At the end of the night, as the program came to a close announcing Eileen Fisher’s collaboration and support of Jensine Larsen‘s World Pulse organization, she delicately picked up a microphone and walked onto her store’s makeshift stage.

Eileen Fisher, right, takes the stage. At left, Jensine Larsen, founder of World Pulse

Quietly and confidently she praised and thanked everyone for being there.  Eileen Fisher was having no trouble speaking in public.

When you think about the qualities you wish to express and stand for as a leader of your life, your work, your world, what are they?

I’d love to hear what you are thinking. Please stop by the comments section below.

Have an amazing week and we’ll talk again soon.

If you’d like to know more about Eileen Fisher, I highly recommend Eileen’s Letter To My Younger Self® in the book by Ellyn Spragins What I Know Now.



Downsized 4 X

It’s Sunday.  And, I have a confession.

I haven’t gotten out of my jammies yet today. (Wearing my favorite ones that Woman on Fire Rosemary Nickel sent me from PajamaGram!)  Oh, does this feel good – and ever-so-slightly naughty;-)

Rob left before dawn today for Mara Glazer’s Social Media seminar in Baltimore.  Wilber and I are home alone.  And, because he lies around himself and naps all day, I think he loved having a pal to do nothing with.

I ate when I wanted; skipped making the bed and unloading the dishwasher; yakked on the phone to Shannon McCaffery and to my mom; read Rolling Stone and World Pulse magazines; brewed a pot of hazelnut coffee (which Rob doesn’t like because it makes our house all smelly); and even drank a diet Coke, which I rarely, rarely do anymore.

In short, a Heavenly day of nothingness and everything-I-love-ness.

Hope you get the same chance every once in a while. I’d love to hear on our blog what you do when you have time to do absolutely nothing!

Today’s SPARK! is a strategy for what to do when you are faced with a major transition.   I am borrowing from the wisdom of Women on Fire book co-author Shannon McCaffery.

You see Shannon was laid off from jobs in the corporate world FOUR times in nine years before she found her true passion and became an entrepreneur.

She is uniquely well-qualified to talk about what an upheaval it is to unexpectedly lose your job!  

(Although you may have a hint your job is on the line, it’s still a shock when it happens.  You need a strategy to work through the loss and regain your balance.  This holds true even if you didn’t like your job.)

The results from the recent Women on Fire survey revealed that a large number of you are going through a major transition and that many of you have experienced job loss, whether of your own choice or not.

When I was compiling the Women on Fire book, I invited Shannon to share her experience of repeated job loss. I was inspired to see how she coped through some very tough times and how well it all turned out for her.  She wrote an excellent, strategy-filled chapter called “Breaking Loose From Corporate America” – 7 Secrets To Being Let Go From Your Job.

In Shannon’s words, here are her seven secrets to surviving a major transition:

1)   Surround yourself with support – “This was a lifesaver for me: having a coach, therapist, friends, family and my dogs. It was incredibly helpful to know I wasn’t alone.”

2)   Tame your mind – “My mind was my worst enemy. I took up the practice of meditation and learned how to calm and quiet my mind.”

3)   Take yourself on vacation – “Taking myself to Peru and experiencing Machu Picchu with a group of spiritually inclined people was just what my workaholic soul needed to open up to my life.”

4)   Feel your fear; it’s OK – “I was so scared about not knowing how I was going to pull through. I faced my fear and created a mantra that I repeated 40-50 times a day: ‘I will find the perfect home and perfect job for me and my dogs by Nov. 1.’” (And, she did!)

5)   Reach out to experts – “I can’t say enough about having a coach, a therapist and any other specialist you need to see your way through a transition. Yet, it’s not enough just to have them in your life, but it’s about picking up the phone and asking them for help.”

6)   Indulge in self-soothing – “There are many things you can do to make yourself smile, laugh and feel good inside. From aromatherapy (candles, incense, soaps) to baths, body lotions, flowers and ice cream.”

7)   Comfort your body – “Your body keeps a lot (bound up) during major transitions and change. You need to take extra good care of it with rest, exercise and a massage…or two or three.”

Today Shannon is happy, healthy and successful in her life and work in her own business.  She’s gone from being down-sized to “right sized!”

As The Marketing Implementer, she helps other entrepreneurs successfully launch their products and services into the world.

For more details about Shannon’s experience, you can read her entire chapter in the Women on Fire book.  She also has an excellent, free monthly newsletter of marketing tips that I highly recommend.

Do you have your own experiences of going through a transition? Please share by going to the blog.

Well, that’s it for today.  I love having you here.

And, by the time you read this, I might…I’m just saying I might…have taken a shower.  On the other hand, Wilber hasn’t meowed a complaint.  So maybe I won’t:-)