Ritualizing The Tough Stuff.

A lot of performance “gurus” talk about habits of the highly successful. I have often wondered how many people try and fail at these impossible standards.  It’s not that these habitual strategies don’t work.  It’s that they aren’t natural to you.

The problem, I’ve found, is that no one can tell you how to get the best out of you with a formula.  This is why diets fail and healthy choices win.

Rituals are habits with a purpose.  Trying on someone else’s shoes just might not fit.  Let me tell you a story about how one of my most important rituals came to be:

I love ideation.  The creation of possibilities for my clients is work that comes natural and easy.  Got a problem?  By the end of the day, I have 13 strategies to offer.  That’s because it’s my natural state.  Paperwork, on the other hand, is the bane of my existence.  I would kick, scream, cuss and procrastinate on any and all “business paperwork”.  This would undermine my natural creative abilities, because I’m also a worrier.  A contract is necessary to a thriving business.  And, paramount if you want o make money.  It wasn’t that I’m not good at writing contracts, I actually have a pretty good head for detail and business operations.  It’s just that I didn’t wanna.  But, I had to.  So, I created a ritual about writing contracts and other business paperwork that took care of my internal, stubborn child.

I became grateful.  I would concentrate on how incredibly lucky I was to be in business, and how much of a gift it was to “do the thing” (run a business and all of the benign tasks it involves).

Turning this pain in the ass to a gratitude ritual was the best thing I ever did for me and my business.

Now, I take myself away from my ‘office’,  to the beautiful patio with a glass of wine and focus on the grateful feelings I get with all the beauty that my business provides.  With each keystroke in writing a contract, filling out necessary paperwork, I say a little “thank you”.  I don’t rush, every letter means my success.

The benefit of rituals, custom made for you, is the ability to get shit done in a pleasing manner.  Borrowing rituals can feel forced and have spotty results.  Diets fail because they are forced rules against your natural state.  Rules don’t typically work very well for the creative mindset.  You little rebel, you.

Make the habits you need to adopt for your business success a ritual in celebration.

Here’s a little secret you haven’t been told.  Nothing works if it is not in it’s natural state.  Not communication, not marketing, not financial health, not physical health.

TL; DR:  You do you, boo.  And the goals you have will manifest like magic.

Sh*t to Quit in 2017

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I’m helping clients launch some very exciting businesses and working on a new program to help women step into their executive power.  Good stuff to come!  Now, here’s what’s on my mind today…

While everyone is making 2017 resolutions, let me remind you of something.  Time and the calendar is a human construct.

Every day is an opportunity for resolution and growth.

I probably know more about growth than I publicly want to admit.  I’ve been as low as possible and I’ve been a millionaire using only $40 to get started.  I  know a little about facing the broken version of yourself in the mirror and still doing what needs to be done to feed the children.  What I know most is that quitting bullshit that does not serve you is as important, if not paramount, to reaching your goals, personal and professional.  Stop reading that crappy book, walk away from the relationship that makes you feel less than, quit the job that goes nowhere.

 Make space for the inspired, the divine, the fated.

If you must plan for the magical New Year, plan on quitting the bullshit.  Here, let me help.

  1.  Stop calling yourself a Mompreneur.

It classifies you as less than an entrepreneur.  Either you are a boss or you’re not.  Playing the woman card means you can’t hack it in the “regular Olympics”.  You are enough.  Your vision is enough.  Own it.

2.  Quit putting unrealistic time constraints on things.

No, none of us know how much time we have.  And, it’s usually shorter than we want or deserve.  But, do you want to linger around years after you made your unrealistic goals – only to reflect on the relationships you neglected to make those goals?  Or, do you want to die with purpose on your breath?  Just start.  Do the thing, it will take on a life of it’s own.  Maybe that’s a year, maybe that’s a decade.  Enjoy every fu*&ing minute of this life and quit putting ungodly restraints on yourself.  Have some goals, abso-freaking-lutely.  But, let them do their thing as you make beast moves to realize them.

3.  Quit settling.

If you *do* want to reach your goals quickly, may I suggest you quit settling for less than you deserve?  Want a better car? Get disgusted by the one you have.  Want a better lifestyle?  Don’t tighten your belt, raise your damn standards.  Raising your standards and refusing to be anything but the vision of yourself you want is a real quick way to get what you want on a fast track.  Would that ideal version of you do what you are doing?  No?   Then cut that shit out.

4.  Stop seeing the best in people.

I try to live a positive life and appreciate everyone for their unique gifts.  I love each and every person I know.  That does not mean I give them credit for qualities they do not have.  I’m THANKFUL when people are not as capable, nice, trustworthy, etc as I would expect.  It GROWS ME, it causes me to find fulfillment in what I give myself, not what someone else can provide

5.  Quit buying “get rich quick” books and program schemes.

You know how those authors got rich quick?  They sold you on their system.  Garbage.  Yeah, the guy at the top is rich, you sucker.  If getting rich is your goal: find a problem, fix it. (^^,)  There, I saved you $299.99


Just my own meandering advice.  Love and light to you all!  Love yourselves enough to quit the crap and embrace self-development.

Are you waiting to live?

I was thinking a little about those people, you know the ones, that are waiting to talk?  Why is that so annoying to us as humans?

It’s the lack of being present.

We know they are working their own agenda, and being present with us is not a priority.  They are waiting to talk.

I also think this is human nature, the need to be significant.  I would’t go so far as to say they are selfish.  They are just waiting.  We are all are, in some way.  When I’m coaching executives, it’s all about the goal digging.  “What do you want to be when you ‘grow up'” has become the standard icebreaker into the professional psyche.  The future holds more interest for some of us than the precious minutes that we are in.

So, are you waiting to live?  Have you avoided that decision in life that means “TODAY is the day”?  Are you waiting for a better tomorrow, more resources, more connections, more anything before you claim it and LIVE it today?  I don’t know what your “it” is, but I bet there’s one you have been waiting to do.

I implore you, dear reader, to evaluate (quickly! life is short) what you want out of this fragile, beautiful thing called life and make THE decision to do it.

Gather experiences.  



Start over.

The power of now beats the promise of tomorrow.

Claim your spot on this marble and be present in each and every piece of what you want.  As my good friend, Les Brown, says, “Don’t let other people’s opinion of you become your reality!”  You can be, today.  In your “future self”, does your new business have all the demand as an iPhone release?  Live that today.  Feel that RIGHT NOW.  Wish you had more budget to create a marketing campaign like Nike?  Do that now.  With a smartphone, with ingenuity, with the decision that the resources are not the problem.  Your mind is the problem.  Change it!

And, I could fill up this post with bumper sticker philosophy, it would not persuade you unless you are in the zone.  I got the news today that another one of my classmates passed away.  You do not have time to bargain with yourself.  If he had just one more day, how do you think he would spend it?  Waiting for the right conditions or with all the vigor and hubris of a teenager taking on the world?

I know that I have been guilty of suppressing joy, seeing friends, attacking that special, “locked away” dream for fear of making a wrong move.  Once I made the decision, albeit in my 40s, to live and not wait, my life became magic.

My wish for you is that you give yourself the gift of bravery.  Love and light to you all,


The biggest mistake when seeking business advice.

Business advice comes cheap.  And, it’s usually wrong.  Ya know why?

We ask the wrong people because we are subconsciously seeking approval instead of advice.

You want to pursue your business dream:

This entails quitting that 9-5 job and taking a big ol’ leap of faith. “I’m FINALLY going after my dreams!” you exclaim to your loved ones, expecting approval, that you rightfully should get.  But, your father who worked 20 years at a job he hated to put you through school can’t see past the fear.  Your friend who has chosen the comfort of a paycheck doesn’t get why you’d give up girl’s night to struggle in uncertainty.  You ask your colleague, who just might be jealous.

Here, have some truth:   You are “approved” as a person.

Every choice you make in life does not have to be made with the filter of other’s opinions.  In fact, you should experience the life learnings of choosing “unapproved” routes.

As humans, we get advice and approval frequently mixed up.  If you want business advice, seek someone who has done what you want to do.  If you want approval, look in the mirror. (^^,)  Really, approve your own decisions and get on about the business of true counsel in the areas that will help you succeed.

So, this is short and sweet and a little “in your face”:

But, if you haven’t learned self-love, you’re not ready for business advice. Make sure you have lined up the coaches who can really help you in critical areas.  You’ll thank me when you’ve actually achieved your goals in lieu of seeking approval.



Radical Strategy

In the world of strategy, there are two camps.  One who play it safe and look for incremental improvement.  And the other who rebukes status quo, and is not afraid to “break the system”.

It’s no secret that I’m part of the radical strategy crew.  If the same effort can be applied and the results are drastically different…why even bother with lukewarm benefits?

Radical Strategy employs these rules:

  1. It breaks the system.  
    • Breaking has a negative connotation, in some views.  But breaking a system ignores fear of competition.  If Zuckerburg were afraid of MySpace…well, you know.  Competition is an advantage in breaking the system.  You can be first, or you can be best.  Let the first guy bear the problems, perfect the issues and provide something better.
  2. Hyper-Responsive becomes the new snooze.
    • Responding to trends is the ol’ standard.  I see it, now I’ll apply it.  In radical strategy, predictions become as germane as reading the daily news.  If someone else is doing it, you are too late my friend.  Predicting the problems of your customers is the super highway to radical strategy.
  3. Failure is it’s fuel.
    • Most strategy is designed to mitigate risk, no failure roadmaps.  That’s a pretty childish approach, IMO.  Failing fast is invaluable knowledge.  If moving fast (see above rule), failure becomes market intelligence, allows for strategic predictions and reevaluates the customers needs by ruling out those tactics.
  4. Collaborate or Die.
    • The mad-scientist/genius approach is a thing of the past.  The brain trust in this modern world means ideas and perspective of a collaborative environment far surpass the “hero” needs of yesterday.  Radical strategy re-imagines competition as collaborators, finds value in the ideas of every team position and looks to unrelated industries for unique partnerships.
  5. Kill the cow.
    • Radical strategy isn’t afraid to compete against itself.  The standard sales in a company becomes competition.  The next generation of greatness does not come from the last decade of sales. (See prediction point #2).  Killing the cow calls for solving customer problems in other categories.  And solving problems is the lifeblood of radical growth.

I challenge you to investigate radical strategy.  Hey, you can plot it and not even take action if fear is your motivator.  That’s your safety net. (^^,)


It’s the 4th quarter..I invite you to kick ass. Let me know what your radical is jennifer@jenniferbarbee.com.  Or drop me a line if, you know, you need a radical strategists opinion.


You missed the exit.

Dear friends, the shift has hit the fan.

And, your proverbial ass is on the proverbial line.

While you were attending board meetings, tending to operations and only buying media that pitched to you….well, this happened.  We have officially gone past the tipping point in omnichannel communications.  Search has been revolutionized, some even say it’s dead.  Swipe has replaced clicks, as once again the romance industry tells us what’s up.  Banking on your smart phone has increased a bazillion percent (OK, actually 560%, but who’s counting).  Big data has mystified the most seasoned marketers.  Ad agencies are closing doors faster than you can say, “But, the client said…”

So, you didn’t see this coming so fast, you still rely on your cousin/friend/dog sitter because they are “techy”.  Pull up your big girl panties, because I’m about to tell you how to pull this s*** show back on the rails in three (not so easy) steps.

  1. Ruthless Accountability.  You know why it’s easier to sell painkillers than vitamins?  We are quick to go to the doctor when it hurts, but we are (mostly) negligent in preventative care.  You buy into new concepts IF a sales person calls on you, and you make large commitments to the “it” thing.  That doesn’t make you hip.  That makes you lazy.  But, it’s OK.  A little marketing exercise will get you back to Olympian status.  Here’s the straight dope:  You need data-driven decisions. Google Analytics is anecdotal.  Your site traffic is anecdotal. Social listening is anecdotal.  Know what’s not?  Live studies (dare I say Big Data again) that cultivate possibilities instead of history reports.  Stop doing what doesn’t interest anyone.  Start doing what scares you. Kill that crappy site; use Facebook, Pinterest  even SnapChat as brand/store fronts.  The Internet is addicting because it’s fun.  Sales suck because we know you want our money.  Get the data right, give yourself a break then do the thing that scares you the most….breakup with your questionable vendors. Every. Single. One.
  2. Take back control.  Marketing was so much easier when the channels were finite.  Those damn kids have ensured that new marketing channels are infinite.  Television, movies, radio and print have forever changed.  So, how do you control media when the outlets grow an exponential percentage daily.  Yes, yes I said daily.  And, even that is slow as hell in communication that never sleeps.  Hire the smartest people you can find.  Hire them, make them happy, challenged and keep them!  Bring it all in house. Tap into SMEs (subject matter experts) to guide your team, go through them like tissue paper to stay fresh.  The secret to control is marketing that’s not marketing.  Put the trends first, sales second.  When you commit to this strategy, the magic happens.  Taking major risk leaps in media has a payoff either way.  Either you succeed or you learn.  Executing a tactic once or twice and scrapping it because it didn’t impress your boss, isn’t prudent…it’s a lack of faith.  My mentor used to say, either it’s a competency or commitment problem. 
  3. Hyper-responsive is the new snooze.  It’s not enough to “answer” your customers or follow your competition.  Being responsive in marketing is no longer doing your job.  All the while you are building database driven websites, you’re waiting for that brand audit and tweaking your PPC, someone is revolutionizing your industry.

You see, responding to trends isn’t good enough.  Creating trends is your only chance for survival.

OK, so if you have a large enough budget, you’ve probably fooled yourself into thinking you are doing omnichannel media.  Betcha’ a nickel, I can find 10 holes in 15 seconds flat.  Because it’s never “done”, it can’t be done because innovation will never be done.

This may turn some of you off, you might think it’s “preachy”, I prefer to call it persuasive.  I’m that good friend that tells you that you do, indeed, look fat in those jeans.  But, I’ll also shop all day with you and a bottle of good cab stashed in my bag to help you find the ultimate look.


Motivation reality check.


Should is the antithesis of motivation.   How many times have you tried to get motivated by telling yourself you “should” do something?  I should rebuild my sales strategy.  I should develop an exit plan.  I should adopt new strategies to compete in a crowded marketplace.

Should is intrinsically linked to failure.  No one is motivated by what they “should” do.  It’s akin to eating vegetables.

No life, no motivation…just a big pile of shame.

You know what you need to do, what the next step needs to be.  How do you turn this around before the “should” hits the fan??

You change your dialogue from should to must.  You re-identify your standards to include this “thing” in your self-identification. Some examples:

“I am the kind of person who takes the risk for the bigger payoff”

“I always have a leg up on the competition.”

“I am the first to market on every value-add available to my clients”

“I don’t settle for status quo”

These self-identifying mantras shift from should to must, because it defines how you see yourself.  If we raise our standards, things stop being “optional”.  It’s who we are, it becomes part of our DNA.

To get unstuck in whatever your business challenges are, you have to eliminate the excuses and self-imposed limitations.  “I don’t  have the resources.” is an excuse.  Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource.

If you think self-talk has nothing to do with business success, then you are gullible, lazy and prone to losing.  Real talk.

Make a list of the things you have been saying “should” be done.  Go through the list and identify what impact there would be if these came to fruition.  I bet the results of this exercise help redefine your leadership style.  Try this:  just own the first three.  Those three “shoulds” become the story that defines you, your company and your sales strategy.  When you identify your own standards, turning “shoulds” into musts; you no longer accept excuses.

“Should never could and can’t never can.”

If you find that your “should” list isn’t imperative to success, then congratulations on mastering business improvement.  But, I bet you dollars to donuts, there’s growth opportunity.  Your 20% ROI could be 70%.  Your 70% occupancy could be 90%.  Your company could be the market leader.  You could have more leisure time.  You could sell your company for 10x valuation.

How you self-identify dictates your business success.  You know it, I know it.  I am just the little “goal digger” on your shoulder reminding  you that you want more, and you are making excuses.

Have a wonderful and prosperous week!!