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.

Want Great Customer Relationships? Know Your Deal-Breakers! Six Questions to Help You

I came across an article in The Providence Journal last month, when we were in Rhode Island for a family event. The article advised readers to identify their dating “deal-breakers” before jumping into the online dating world. The idea of “deal-breakers” came up again last week during a client coaching session, but this time I was discussing them in the context of customer relationships.

Building Employee Relationship Equity: Three Steps to a Great Weekly Huddle

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with small businesses is seeing them grow. Growth usually translates into new hires. For many of my clients, we’ve created processes and strategies to lay a foundation built on transparent communication, clearly defined goals, and aligned expectations.

One of the most effective actions a company can implement is the weekly huddle. This time together ensures that all employees (and other valuable team members) are kicking off the week in complete unison. It is a time for the CEO to communicate weekly goals and expectations, and to learn from direct reports what employees have on their agenda.

This is a high-level meeting, and is a two-way dialogue so that all attendees know that their contributions matter, and that their voices are heard. These touch-points create positive energy for the week, and build relationship equity among the team members.

Double Vision Versus Tunnel Vision: Which One Do You Have?

Vision without execution is just hallucination.

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”

“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.”

“The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.”

Vision and leadership are two sides of the same coin. One can’t lead if they don’t know where they are going. I’m often asked how a leader can develop “vision.” There’s no simple answer.

How to Restore and Refresh for Greater Leadership Results

I’m writing this column from Bethany Beach, Delaware, which has been our family escape for 17 years. As we were packing, I checked quite a few times to make sure we had our chargers, my laptop, and my iPad which I loaded with several business books to read.

Fast forward six days… I didn’t read one business book, and I responded to less than 20 emails. Instead, I picked up a great beach read that chronicled how the lives of three very different women interconnected.

The Seven Simple Secrets to a Successful Company Launch

So you’re finally taking the plunge. You’ve had it with fulfilling someone else’s dream, you know you have a unique value to bring to the world, and you’re ready to get it out there. The problem is, you have no idea what to do first.

Here are the seven simple secrets to setting yourself up for success.

The Two Steps You Need to Take to Triage a Bleeding Company – and Five Things to Avoid

A very successful business owner who is going through a rough patch asked me, “Marissa, what’s the one thing you recommend I do to triage my company, and turn it around?”

As the owner of a 20-year company that has experienced multiple government shut-downs, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the implosion of several industries, major contract protests, and even a lawsuit from an unethical subcontractor, I have a lot of experience with triage.

Six Strategies For Managing Toxic People

Can we be honest with each other? As much as we love our work, we don’t always love the people we work with. What happens when you encounter someone in the course of your workday that can potentially suck the life out of you while you are trying to succeed in the workplace?

In my coaching with dozens of CEOs, this issue presents itself over and over. Potentially toxic situations manifest with customers, vendors, employees, or other industry colleagues every day, in virtually every environment.

Riding Shotgun is Completely Over-Rated: 9 Steps For Taking Control of the Driver’s Seat


I’ve always been amused when kids fight over the front passenger seat. Maybe it’s because when I was growing up, I never had a shot at the front seat, since I’m the youngest of three, and the only girl. I was always relegated to the middle seat in the back with the hump. But that’s a story for another day.

Kids are under the illusion that the “shotgun” seat holds more importance than the back seats. Actually, the only seat that really matters is the driver’s seat, because it’s the seat that controls the journey.

In business, this is often the case as well.

Say No To FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

When you’re in business growth mode, two ideas constantly rent space in your head:

1: I need to get this done yesterday.

2: I need to spend as little money as possible.

This thought process actually undermines the decision process we desperately need to follow when building a business.

In an ideal world, we would make all of our business decisions, carefully, slowly, and thoughtfully. We wouldn’t be driven by artificial deadlines or lowest price. We wouldn’t rush to quickly check important decisions off our list. We wouldn’t be attracted, like a moth to a flame, to offers that seem too good to be true. But entrepreneurs invariably are attracted to the light.

It is time to activate your most joyful life.

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