Five Things To Do Before You Start Your Day

Every day, life is going to throw you curve balls. It’s highly unlikely that you will ever have a day in which every minute, or every event goes according to plan. This is why it’s so important to spend a small amount of your morning setting yourself up for the ability to rebound and manage the unexpected. Here are the five things I strive to do every morning to begin my day in a place of strength.

Selecting your networking communities; Top DC 7, best learning community, favorite online spots, best events

As a follow-up to my March 10th Washington Business Report segment on strategic networking (, I’ve compiled strategies on selecting the networking communities that are right for you. I’ve also listed the top 10 networking communities, along with information on the best learning community, the best events, and my favorite online spots.

First, let’s look at five ways that will help you decide where and with whom your should spend your valuable time.

Accountability and Goal-Setting (Follow-up to WBR Segment 1/13/2013)

My January small business segment on ABC’s Washington Business Report with Rebecca Cooper-Dupin focused on accountability and goal-setting strategies to start 2013 strong. Accompanying me was my accountability partner and personal financial advisor, Anne McCabe Triana, owner of CAM Private Wealth ( I’ve expanded on those strategies here, incorporating many great ideas from other small business owners.

Feeding Your 4 Food Groups in 2013: Mind, Body, Heart/Soul, Spirit

Forget the USDA Food Pyramid (at least for the next few minutes). The four food groups that truly nourish us are our Mind, Body, Heart/Soul, and Spirit. When we feed these every day, the rest of life takes care of itself.

Here are specific ways you can feed these four food groups in 2013.

Five Ways To Make The Most of Your Holiday Downtime

How we can make the most of our holiday downtime – you know those pockets of time when office productivity is low, laziness is high, and we’re all pressing the reset button to move into the new year? I came across an article by Kevin Daum (, a best-selling author, Inc columnist, Inc 500 entrepreneur, and fellow Entrepreneurs Organization ( member that answered this question.

I’ve taken 2 of his suggestions and mixed them with 3 of mine. Whether you’re the reflective, spiritual, meditative type, the hyper-focused Type-A type, or somewhere in between, there should be something for everyone on this list.

Are You a Colossal Entrepreneur?

At last week’s Cadre event (, I had the opportunity to hear best selling author Mike Michalowicz ( speak about his theory of Colossal Entrepreneurship, which is the basis of his book, “The Pumpkin Plan.” Just when I think I have finally mastered the whole entrepreneurship mindset, a new perspective comes along that makes me re-think my whole approach.

This is what happened with Mike. His idea of “The Pumpkin Plan” came from observing pumpkin farmers that grow colossal pumpkins over the course of a year. Those pumpkins don’t magically appear because of a healthy crop season and good luck. These farmers follow a systematic approach to pumpkin growth that differs from the strategies traditional farmers use to grow the maximum quantity of pumpkins possible.

Two Most Common Entrepreneurial Attributes – Not What You Think!

Entrepreneurs know that they require tremendous resilience and energy to recover from setbacks, move through challenges, and inspire others when situations are difficult. I’m often asked how I do have so much energy – especially since I live a caffeine-free/sugar-free life (no coffee, soda – or even chocolate as of October 1st).

I never have an answer because I don’t really understand what people are talking about. I only operate at this energy level. Anything else seems to be in slow motion.

Most entrepreneurs have two common attributes:

A high BS level (always well-intentioned of course.) This could also be known as eternal optimism or eternal positivity

Where Has Marissa Been?

Information Experts ( has gone through A LOT of changes these last few months. These changes have been QUITE an educational journey for me. Honestly, there were times when I wanted to write a column, and I was paralyzed. The words just wouldn’t flow. I felt as if I had nothing valuable to share because my own leadership circumstances were so perplexing to me. I lost my footing, and questioned whether I had any right to share my insights and lessons.

Now that I have emerged in a better place, I look forward to sharing my experiences with you as I continue to process how they have shaped my company, and shaped me as a person, mentor, and leader.

On a positive note, these past two months have provided me with many opportunities to help others through my speaking.

It is time to activate your most joyful life.

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