Are You in Your “Zone?”

You hear business people say they are “in the zone”. Most people mean they are being extremely productive. When you are in the zone, you cannot be stopped. The zone is the place to be. That all sounds really great, but doesn’t that mean you are also in your comfort zone? Is the comfort zone really a great place to be?

mouse Trap

Image by Surachai at

The problem with zones is there is no room for improvement. If you are in your zone or comfort zone, how do you improve? The old expression there is always a better way to build a mouse trap never happened from someone in the zone. In order to build that better mouse trap we have to think outside the zone.

Zones are warm and fuzzy places, hence the name comfort zone. That means outside of our comfort zone is where our fears live. 

You must overcome your fears by stepping out of your comfort zone. But have no fear…you are not alone! Everyone has fears to overcome.

Here are the top 4 fears experienced by business people:

Is Leadership a Title?



Do you have to have a title to be a leader? 

Some people think so. They believe the title of president, vice president or manager must come before acting as a leader. The leadership role is not a title. Anyone can be a leader at any position within a company, group or organization. To be a leader, you need to have the attributes of leadership not the title of leadership. How do you lead without the title of leader? Let’s explore the concept a bit further.

Want More Profitable Networking Connections?

If you’re looking to generate more referrals and clients from networking, spend time refining your message.

  1. Pile of WordsFocus on one product or service in each conversation.  Networking events are busy places with lots of names and faces to remember.  That’s why it’s critical for you to highlight one piece of what you do…so it’s easy to remember.  The more you share, the more likely your message is to get lost in the information overload.
  2. Tell us why you enjoy providing that.  We all sell something valuable…but sharing why you enjoy providing your clients with your one product or service allows them to easily make a real connection with you and your brand.
  3. Share a story. When you share a story, something magical happens…It gives everything context and makes your message “sticky.”  As a result, you AND the rest of your message about your product or service are more likely to be remembered.

REMEMBER: People are more likely to do business with you AND refer others to you once they understand they make a real connection with you. Your ability to share these 3 elements naturally in a casual conversation or in a formal presentation will make the difference between you being remembered as ‘a nice person I met at that networking meeting’ and ‘someone I need to get to know.’It may take some time until weaving in these 3 elements becomes second nature…but you can’t afford to be forgotten!

Invest 10 minutes right now refining your message and approach for your next networking.

The results are worth the preparation!

Meet Our Newest BNI Area Director, Jim L-D!

Jim L-D 2014

We are thrilled to announce Jim Littlefield-Dalmares as our newest BNI Area Director!  

  • In the Greater Louisville market… Jim will provide leadership and support for all 15 chapters beginning June 1st.
  • Across our Middle Tennessee, Southern Indiana, and Kentucky markets. Jim will serve as Coordinator of Events and Coordinator of Chapter Growth Initiatives. More details in the months to come.

As we continue to focus on enhancing our members’ experiences, we’re excited for the energy and experience Jim brings to the table.

A little about Jim…

The best leader is the one who has the sense to surround himself with winning people.



‘Pit Stops’ for Peak Performance

You have to stay on track to accomplish your goals.

Sounds simple, right?  Reality check: it’s not. You’re moving through more tasks, quicker, while managing more distractions than ever before. As a result, staying focused on your goals and the keys to achieving them is increasingly difficult.

In Formula 1 Racing, the goal has always stayed the same: win the race.  What has changed drastically in a relatively short amount of time is what it takes to win the race.  Just watch this short video comparing a Formula 1 pit stop in 1950 compared to today.

Did you notice a few differences?  The number of crew members, the increased capability of the tools and of course, the amount of time it took to get the car back in the race.  Today, race cars spend more time in the fast lane because of record times in pit row.

The same is true of our professional ‘pit stops’ in today’s business environment. We have less down time for maintenance than ever before.  Often, vacation time doesn’t even allow us to totally recharge as we’re checking in on things by smartphone or tablet.  It’s natural to want to avoid falling behind but recharging to stay fresh and focused is critical to performing at your best.

If you’re so busy that you’re unable to enjoy the race and the fruits of your work, you’re bound to be less productive, and potentially, burn out.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a grand vacation or mid-week mindset shift.  You have to be intentional about finding ways to recharge.  

Here’s 3 Ways to Get a Quick Recharge Without Falling Behind:

1. Exercise. Whether it’s a weight training circuit,  a 15 minute walk or training for a marathon, physical activity will go a long way towards helping you feel better and be more productive.  In addition to the health benefits, the feeling of accomplishment will increase your productivity and stamina.  Make an appointment on your calendar so you don’t get too busy/avoid doing it.

2. Read. As Dave Ramsey says, “Readers are leaders.” Select one professional development book and commit to a date that you’ll finish it.  Then, get reading! First thing in the morning, during lunch break or at night just before bed (my favorite)…set a time that will work for you to read each day. Right now, I’m re-reading Good to Great. It’s been a few years since I first read this book.  But at a training I recently attended, I was given a copy.   I was reminded of the many lessons this book provides and the need to revisit this business classic.

3. Go to lunch with a client or colleague who has specific characteristics or is generating results you’d like to emulate. You need to eat, but this is more than a way to mix-up your lunchtime routine. At least once a monthmake it a point to schedule lunch with someone you can learn from and be inspired by. Come to the table prepared to find ways to help them as well. You might just end up with a long-term support and accountability partner.


“A successful entrepreneur looks ahead, around corners, and as far into the future as possible. #business”
November 5, 2013

“You Need ID??? But I’m 43!!!”

Every time I drop in the grocery store with my Dad, the cashier asks to see his Driver’s License when he unloads a 12 pack of beer (usually Beck’s) onto the checkout counter.
MED-_ID Required
Of course, we all know the law requires individuals to be 21 years old in order to purchase alcohol and asking to see ID is reasonable. But come on…my Dad is 70 years old!