The stories you believe (about you, others, and circumstances around you) always win—whether those stories are true or not.

If you believe someone can’t change, chances are you won’t see changes in them.

If you believe you are right, you’ll have a hard time seeing someone else’s perspective.

  • What “stories” about yourself are helping or hurting your influence?
  • What “stories” about someone else helping or hurting the relationship?
  • What “stories” about your circumstances are keeping you from seeing new possibilities and opportunities around you?
  • What “stories” are giving you an edge and which ones are keeping you stuck?

You can change the narratives that are guiding your business and your life.

Don’t let any story highjack your influence, your relationships, and the outcomes you want.  You can choose.


Lots of activity doesn’t equal accomplishment. Agree?

Today is day 8 of the 30 Day Business Breakthrough Challenge I’m running inside our private Facebook group, and we’re talking productivity and high performance. I thought I’d share today’s tip publicly because the top comment I hear from colleagues and coaching clients is, “I need to be more productive.”

BBUC - Day 8

If that’s you, give the 50/10 Productivity Strategy a go. It works because it removes distractions, forces you to single task, and then recharges your brain capacity.

Here’s how it works:

  1. 50 Minutes of Intense Focus: Set your timer for 50 minutes and give your full focus to your #1 task. Turn off ALL distractions: phone, Facebook, email… Tape a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside your door. Give that task your undivided attention.
  2. 10 Minutes to Recharge: When the timer goes off, set timer for 10 minutes. Get out of your chair and give your mind and body a boost. Stretch and move. Breathe. Drink some water.
  3. Repeat.

Both focus and recharging are key.

I’ve been known to sit in front of the computer for 8 hours, no food… no water… no bio breaks. Productivity suffers. Health suffers. Our best work suffers. Give 50/10 a try and see what you think.

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By the way, you can still join the challenge if you want to take your business to the next level in the next 30 days.


I rolled my eyes the first time I heard my mom say, “One day you’ll understand.” It wasn’t the first time I heard her say those words, nor the only time I rolled my eyes when I heard them.

What did she know.  I knew everything, and she knew nothing. Well, as you can imagine, I’ve been eating crow for quite some time. As it turns out, Mom always does know best. I can now admit that some of the best leadership advice I’ve learned came first from my mom.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be great to give credit where credit is due and share seven leadership lessons I learned from my momma.


IMAGINE. A powerful word. It has launched movements. It launched a husband and wife house-cleaning business that got our family through the recession of 1992, shortly after the birth of our daughter and my husband, Sam, losing his 11th job in twelve months.

“Imagine if we could just start a business!”

A cleaning service was an obvious choice. Sam loves to clean, we had a garage full of Amway cleaning products, and I had a foolproof business plan in my head.

Our well-meaning friends (the critics), weren’t so sure. They reminded us that no one hires house cleaning services in the middle of a recession.

Motivated by an eviction notice on the table and a pile of overdue bills, we had no choice but to become game changers. We pawned the only items of value we owned (the hunting rifle Sam had inherited from his dad… and my wedding ring). $180 bucks later, we were in business.

$80 went to groceries, diapers, baby formula and a tank of gas. $30 went to Kinkos for designing a bright yellow flier and printing 1000 copies. The rest was just enough for mops, broom, buckets, matching shorts, T-shirts, and old towels at the local thrift store.

Daily we canvassed the nice neighborhoods, determined to pass out 100 flyers a day. Surely someone driving a Lexus could afford a first class cleaning team.

We never had to print flyers again. For two years, that business fed us, clothed us, kept a roof over our heads—and taught us that game changers act, not grumble.

barriers or possibilites

I’m reminded of that story for two reasons. First, in Sam and I are about to celebrate 28 years of marriage, a time always reserved for looking back and thanking God for how far we’ve come.

Also, because it is a constant reminder that we, entrepreneurs, have the power to imagine an outcome and work diligently to see it come to fruition.

  • by taking action every day
  • by making bold moves
  • by ignoring the critics or the economic conditions
  • by focusing on the why, before the how

Make no mistake. There isn’t a shortage of money in the world. In less than a week, Star Wars made one billion dollars. A lot of people busying a $20 dollar ticket.

Don’t lose focus. Stay the course. Your mindset is your number one tool that gives you the unfair advantage.

Imagine the possibilities. Be a game changer. Be a bridge builder to your dreams.

How are you changing the game of your business and your future today?

If this post is helpful, help spread the word and let’s continue the conversation on the social web.


I didn’t fully understand the powerful meaning of these words. Until recently. Creativity has rarely been truly fun for me because a whisper in the back of my mind would say: What if it’s not good enough. What if others see it. What if they find out I’m not as good, as smart, as talented as they think I am. What if I’m not invited back… What if someone steals my ideas… What if… What if…What if… —the eternal enemy of creativity and creative fun.

I created a full fledged classroom out of stuffed animals when I was six—because it was fun. I came home every day and taught them what I learned in first grade—because it was fun. I was blessed enough to have a stellar five year old student in my little creative room, my sister Corina—because it was fun. She was so brilliant that she learned how to read and write from my silly and creative lessons—because it was fun. She went on to skip first grade in the process and grow to become a lover of music and art and all things wonderful, creative, and fun.

I kinda became a stick in the mud. An academic. A funless thinker and researcher and technologist and business analyst. Don’t get me wrong. All of the above could have been fun. And it’s becoming fun again. The What ifs killed the fun for me.


Yesterday I had a big breakthrough. I stepped in front of the camera for my first-ever LIVE Facebook video broadcast. No editing. No second takes to make me sound smarter and more likeable. No changing the angle to make me look thinner or more professional. A terrifying moment for a chronic perfectionist.

Why put myself through the agony? Because I wanted to connect with the amazing entrepreneurs I have the privilege to lead through a 30 Day Business Breakthrough Challenge.

I’m in San Diego. They are tuning in from around the world. I wanted them to see what was happening at the live mastermind event.

My insecurities were put to bed at the foot of service… because it wasn’t about me. It was about them. I wanted to cheer them up. I wanted them to feel the energy from San Diego, so it could fire them up.

In the next 18 months amazing things are going to happen for those who have the guts to get rid of the insecurities that have kept them smaller than they want and need to be.

I want to be one of them. I want to inspire others to do the same. So, I’m I’m stepping in front of the live camera more often.

I breathe. I tell myself: “It’s not about me.”

How about you. Why do you need to put your perfectionism to bed? If the reason is big enough. If it’s in support of serving others, you will do it.

Let’s go!


The business breakthrough challenge is here, and today is day one! “What?! Didn’t I have time to prepare something?” You ask. Nope, it all starts this moment. Let me explain. The most significant lesson I learned early in life was that ONE move can change the momentum of the game. That one move is a decision that happens the moment you say “I’m starting now!” Not overthinking it. Not over analyzing it.

I’ve imposed these 30 day challenges on myself for the last four years since I left my full time job and never looked back. I set audacious and ambitious goals and failed miserably trying to reach them. I was disappointed with many of my results. But in the process of all that failure and disappointment, these are some of the things that took place: I wrote and published my book, got dozens of high caliber endorsements, including forewords by a NYT bestselling author and the executive of a global corporation, it became an Amazon bestseller, I went from getting $125 dollars an hour for coaching to getting corporate executives and entrepreneur clients who hired me for thousands of dollars a year on retainer, to raising my fees and getting paid up to $2500 for just one hour of my time.

Please know that I’m not writing to brag, but to impress upon you that


I used to believe that having a willingness to be little meant little dreams, little aspirations, little goals, little faith, little risk, little voice. Not be seen. Not be heard.

I know better now. All of the above is just the opposite of being little because I, not others, become the center of my universe: Unwillingness to live to our God-given potential… unwillingness to pursue the passion burning in our hearts… unwillingness to serve others with our best gifts and talents—amped up to their full potential through hard work and discipline—makes us the center of the world because our focus turns inward.

My fears. My insecurities. My inadequacies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to be little. Mother Teresa was willing to be little. Men and women who’ve died for our freedom have been willing to be little. Jesus was willing to be little.

Being willing to be little is service. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Doing what scares us. Being willing to be little is being willing to be uncomfortable, do what’s unpopular, learn and work when it’s inconvenient—all of it so that we can serve others at a higher level.

Being little is not silence. It’s owning the voice we’ve been given.

Being little is not taking a back seat. It’s accepting the platform we’ve been given.

Being little is not false humility. It’s humbly leading within the circle of influence we’ve been given—despite my fears and insecurities; despite the critics and the cynics.

Now, let’s go out and be willing to be that kind of little today.


Erin Acton, a certified life and business coach in the field of burnout and life purpose, knows what burnout can do to you. While leading the communications department for a $50M company and juggling her role as a mother, she found herself at the end of her rope, battling burnout like thousands of people today. Today, as the foremost authority on moving from burnout to balance, Erin is helping successful women do life and career on their terms.

How do you know if you are experiencing burnout?

You run and run but it only makes the wheel spin faster. You have a career that leaves you no time for friends and very little time for your family. You’re disappointed in yourself because when you’re with your family, you’re on edge and you snap at them. Sometimes, you’ll look up and realize that you just had a conversation with someone but you have no idea what they said and worse, no idea what you said. Some days, it’s like a zombie has taken over your body. Your confidence has tanked. You have no energy. You know you can’t keep doing this but you don’t know where to start.  —Erin

In this episode, Erin shares how you can stop feeling overwhelmed now. She walks you through a simple but powerful strategy you can implement right away. If you are going to have a fulfilling career, relationships, or business—this is a conversation you cannot afford to miss.

Before this conversation is over, you’ll experience results!

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What Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ghandi can teach us about marketing

What comes to mind when you hear the names of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi in the same sentence with the word Marketing? That’s the topic of my recent conversation with Joseph Ranseth, best-selling author, international TEDx speaker, and thought leader who has been helping individuals and organizations start movements for over 15 years.

In this episode of Business Breakthrough University, Joseph shares inspiring and thought-provoking principles behind movement-worthy ideas. He also shares the blueprint that world class leaders have used (without even realizing it) to create movements that have spread like wildfire.

Beware: Joseph is not your typical marketer who’s putting a new spin on common business ideas. Joseph’s authentic passion for launching transformational messages and brands will challenge the way you look at your message, your business, your audience, and your influence.

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Barbara Corcoran, real estate self made millionaire and Shark Tank celebrity, is an inspiration for any entrepreneur who is willing to work hard, think outside the box, and have impeccable follow through. In the following video, she shares how a PR idea put her in front of millions of people, catapulling her business to next level.


  1. Fast action pays off.
  2. Action leads to results.
  3. Results build confidence.
  4. Leverage free publicity.
  5. Creativity trumps resources.
  6. Consistency is key to succeeding.
  7. Act as if you’ve already arrived.
  8. When you steal the limelight, you steal market share.
  9. Never lie. Gamesmanship, yes.
  10. Have chutzpah.

How can you take Corcoran’s ideas and apply them to catapult your sales and results to the next level?


I can still remember the day I totalled my car.  Apparently I went through a red light (don’t remember) and slammed into the side of a minivan that was making a left turn in front of me. It’s a miracle I came through it alive.

I couldn’t tell the police officer how it all happened. I was behind the wheel but my mind was somewhere else, distracted by what wouldn’t have mattered a bit had that day been my last one on this earth.

Mindfulness, simply put, is being fully present in any given moment. 

Mindfulness can be as simple as learning to breathe, removing distractions, focusing on a single task, putting away the phone at meetings or during conversations, taking time to get centered and focused, etc.

I hope to do more and more of all the aevery day, when I work, when I’m by myself, when I’m around others—and when I’m driving. That’s what I hope those I have the privilege to influence will want to do as well.

That’s the motivation behind this new segment. My hope is that it will help you as well.

Free Resource

My Goal Setting Masterclass can help you become more mindful. It’s online and it’s free here. It’s my gift to you to take mindfulness to the next level.

Mindfulness at Work

If you want to learn more about mindfulness training at work, both the pros and cons (according to the experts), here are three articles you may find helpful.

By the way: if you want to take February 29 off and join me in San Diego, I’d love to spend the day with you as we mindfully plan your biggest LEAP ever. You can register here now
Take a Business Leap


“Learn more to earn more,” has been the intrinsic theme of several mastermind conversations I’ve had this month. I believe it’s a true statement.

Consider the following: A single insight, idea, or piece of feedback can elevate our game to new heights. Who doesn’t need to elevate his or her game a bit more? And who couldn’t benefit from earning more: More money. More trust. More credibility. 


Scott Borchetta is a savvy businessman best known for discovering Taylor Swift and founding Big Machine Records. By looking at his tremendous success, one may be quick to assume that he got lucky, arguably during one of the lowest points of his career.

In the short INC interview clip below, Borchetta packs less than four minutes with sage business wisdom, invaluable for every entrepreneur, business owner, and entrepreneurial-minded business professional who is ready to have a BIG business leap.

Nine golden lessons stood out for me.


I’ve been talking a lot about February 29, the day when I plan to help as many people as I can take a BIG leap in their career and business this year. It will happen at the TAKE A LEAP EVENT in San Diego. It has ocurred to me that you may still be wondering about three questions:

  • Who is this event really for?
  • Am I ready to take a leap?
  • What will I walk away with?

I put the following infographic to help you decide.

Ready Now


My 7 Day Clarity Breakthrough Program, an intensive audio program normally sold for $197.  Available to you immediately, so you can get ready to take a big leap IMMEDIATELY.






Melissa updated


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