What If….

It’s hard to believe that just a little over 2 years ago, to ‘walk’ into the grocery store from the parking lot would take me about 45 minutes, and when I entered inside the store doors, I was panting so hard you would think I just ran a marathon.

The reality was, it felt like a marathon and to make that kind of a ‘trek’ took all my effort, my focus, determination and grit to place one foot in front of the other and motor my way in.What If...

See, I have been living with a severe traumatic brain injury for 3o years, only we didn’t know it.

A few years ago, I lost my mobility, speech, many memories, many day to day motor skills and finer functions of my internal organs.  Taking that trek into the grocery store, where the lights, sounds, smells, movements and ever changing positions of placement of things on the shelves, would overwhelm my brain.   To ‘handle’ the sensory input, things didn’t work right.

With the internet, this time around (it was my 3rd time with lack of mobility and motor functions)- I was able to figure out that I had a brain injury. A very bad one.  (How it went so long without knowing it is a different story. In fact, I’m writing a full book about it).

Finally understanding what the cause of my mobility issues was, I then found the right kind of doctors to reprogram my brain. Literally.

Two years ago,  I was slowly regaining use of my ‘parts’ again, but every day took courage. Focus. Determination.

Today, I just walked a 7 mile hike.

The skilled hikers I trekked with this time did not even know I had a brain injury.  There’s still many things I have to prepare for when taking on new adventures, and those things help my brain handle better the things that still can overload my senses.

What really hit me out on the trails was the drastic change of my abilities in these past few years.  To do this kind of a hike was pretty powerful and a testimony to the importance of ‘going for it no matter what.’

I have always loved to walk. When I was young I would always go hike in the hills and forest.  I’ve never actually ‘hiked’ with a group of people though. Last week I decided to just go do it.

These past 30+ years have been filled with opportunities to give up.  But I didn’t.  It really started with a choice.

Even during the first two ‘season’s of my loss of mobility, without a correct diagnosis as to ‘why’ this stuff was happening… My choice was this: either succumb to what the doctors say (they said I had MS  over and over… even though every test came back negative).. or overcome my circumstances by finding a different option.

My options of choice was between:  give up- or do what ever it takes to be ‘normal’.  Or in my case, my choice was to be better than normal.

I wanted to be 100% completely recovered, healthy, vibrant, strong, powerful and able to do what ever I put my mind to. This past year, I’m living that decision and it’s really cool.

Trust me. There were dark days. Many.

Many hours of prayer. Crying, frustration.  Hurt, pain, discomfort.

I am so thankful to God that He put a vision in my head, and in my heart. He kept that vision alive. He revealed to me an image of myself that was at a healthy weight (I was 80 lbs overweight the 2nd time I lost my mobility).  He showed me doing things I had never been able to do.  He lit a flame in my heart that let me know THAT was what life could be. It was my  WHAT IF.

What if you had the life YOU always wanted?

What would it look like?

What would it feel like?

What would you do if money and time we no object?

What is keeping you from living that life NOW?

You DESERVE to live an amazing life.  You can HAVE IT.  BUT…it takes a choice.  YOUR CHOICE.   Making a change to live the life you want can be scary. But, what if… there was someone there who has walked in your shoes to guide you?  What if you had an advocate to cheer for you, champion you, kick you in the butt and hold you accountable to YOUR dreams when you need it.

If you knew that person existed.. and was willing to support you along your journey to a life filled with passion, achieving goals (no matter how big or small). Would you take action and reach out to connect with that person?

I hope so.  For many, I’ve become that person.  The door is open to you too.

What goals do you want to achieve?

What obstacles do you need to triumph over?

Are you ready to take action?

Connect with me. Let’s talk.

You CAN live your What if Dream.  But it starts with you to make a choice to do so.

Here’s to talking with you soon!
Debbra

 

Business Growth Speaker Debbra Sweet Delivers Keynote Speech At San Diego BNI Networking Event

Debbra Sweet, an expert on the subject of Business Growth for entrepreneurs, spoke a at BNI San Diego business networking event yesterday concerning growing business through effective referrals.

SAN DIEGOMay 12, 2016PRLog — Debbra Sweet, an expert on the subject of BusinessDebbraSweet-entrepreneur speaker Growth for entrepreneurs, spoke a at BNI San Diego business networking event on May 11th, 2016 concerning growing business through effective referrals.

The Handlery Hotel, located in Mission Valley in San Diego, CA was bustling with business professionals in the early morning hours of  Thursday May 11th, 2016 as proactive entrepreneurs gathered to learn about the benefits and insights of building a structured referral system into their business growth plans.

Debbra Sweet, a business growth expert, specializes in change management in the areas of body, mind and business, was invited to be the keynote speaker at this event. She delivered a keynote presentation designed to introduce attendees to a system to effectively grow their networking team, contact sphere and client base through a strategic approach that leverages time and delivers results.

Those who have been attendees at any of Sweet’s events say: “There are people who talk about doing things. Then are people who actually do those things they talk about. Debbra is a doer. What she says she’ll do, she delivers150%”. Others declare: “She has the ability to engage you from the beginning with confidence and comfort. You know standing before you is someone who will lead and who truly cares about you, your success and your results”.

Sweet has developed a reputation as a motivational speaker and entrepreneurial leader who not only teaches, trains, coaches and consults on the subjects of: leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness- but she is one whose peers confidently share “She lives it.”

Sweet is a Director Consultant for the local BNI region in San Diego CA. since 2005 and has been involved with this organization starting in 1997. She is a Certified Trainer in Word of Mouth Marketing.

A multipreneur herself Sweet has a rich, dynamic, substantive and practical approach to all she does. Very results focused, she specializes in working with business owners and executives to help them increase their profitability through planned, targeted, effective sales, marketing and revenue generation.

Debbra Sweet is based in San Diego County however frequently travels to other states to speak on various business subjects. She is also a best selling co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Masters of Sales” and the lead author in the “Power of Leadership” book series.

For more information on Debbra Sweet business growth speaker visit: http://www.debbrasweet.com/networking.

 

Motivational Speaker Debbra Sweet featured keynote at Business Growth by Networking Event

Debbra Sweet was one of the featured speakers at BNI San Diego Event that brought North County Professionals together to learn about growing business through effective referrals.

SAN DIEGOMay 7, 2016PRLog — The Lakehouse Resort in San Marcos, CA was bustling with business in the wee hours of the morning Wed May 5th, 2016 as proactive business DebbraSweet-v2-entrepreneurprofessionals gathered to learn about the benefits and insights of building a structured referral system into their business growth plans.

Debbra Sweet, an entrepreneurship expert, specializes in change management in the areas of body, mind and business, was invited to be the keynote speaker at this event.

Sweet has developed a reputation as a motivational speaker and entrepreneurial leader who not only teaches, trains, coaches and consults on the subjects of: leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness- but she is one whose peers confidently share “She lives it.”

Those who have been clients, students or attendees at any of Sweet’s events say: “There are people talk about doing things. Then are people who do. Debbra is a doer.  What she says she’ll do, she delivers150%”.

Others declare: “She has the ability to engage you from the beginning with confidence and comfort. You know standing before you is someone who will lead and who truly cares about you, your success and your results”.

Sweet is has been a Director Consultant for the local BNI region for 11 years, and has been involved with this organization for close to 19. She is a Certified Trainer in Word of Mouth Marketing.

She delivered a keynote presentation designed to introduce attendees to a system to effectively grow their networking team, contact sphere and client base through a strategic approach that leverages time and delivers results.

A multipreneur herself, Sweet has a rich, dynamic, substantive and practical approach to all she does. Very results focused, she specializes in working with business owners and executives to help them increase their profitability through planned, targeted, effective sales, marketing and revenue generation.

Debbra Sweet is located in San Diego County. She is also a best selling co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Masters of Sales” and the lead author in the “Power of Leadership” book series.

For more information on Debbra Sweet go to:http://www.DebbraSweet.com

3 Reasons Why Leading Yourself First Matters

V.C.P.

Three little letters.

One powerful concept.

Once you understand this concept, you can start to experience the transformational benefits it can bring into your life and leading-yourselfbusiness.

What does VCP® mean?

  1. Visibility
  2. Credibility
  3. Profitability

Where you are at on the VCP curve impacts your effectiveness as a leader, your networking time, your results. (VCP applies in all facets of life. Not just business and networking.)

The VCP curve is the process of moving from invisibility, to becoming visible. Once you establish visibility then you need to reach a state of credibility, then finally achieving a level of trust that brings profitability from your time, efforts and energy.

Start seeing where you are visible

When you network as a way to grow your business or support personal causes, you are visible. When you take on a leadership position, you have immediately positioned yourself to be visible.

Whether you like it or not, visibility comes with the role and responsibility of leadership.

Being visible is easy. You can be physically present and visible by attending networking functions, meetings, showing up for work, taking care of clients, vendors and even doing things with colleagues.

Belong to any online networking groups? You have a digital life. You have a level of visibility even if you do not participate in the online activities of the groups.

Are you a member of any service club, trade organization, church, community groups? Do they have a roster of members? Do you attend their meetings? You have  a level of visibility here.

Ever stand in line at the grocery store, at the bank or even wait to get into a local sporting event? You are visible here too!

Why does awareness of your visibility matter?

Being visible is easy.  Just because you are visible does not mean you are credible.

Being credible when being being visible is a goal effective leaders strive for.

How does learning to lead yourself first, and have a goal to move up the VCP ladder matter?

People will follow those who they trust. It takes a long time to build trust, takes a few seconds to break it.

If you are visible, but not credible, people will not trust you.  Think you will get abundant, quality referrals without strong credibility?  Think again.

Think you will be a great leader when what you say and what you do are not in alignment? Think again.

What is needed to lead yourself and move from invisibility, to visibility onward to credibility?

Take action to lead yourself by:

  • being attentive to what you do
  • why you do it
  • how you do things
  • when you do things
  • where you do things and
  • with whom

The most effective leaders live and work with transparency and personal  integrity. They are highly aware that everything they do while at work or play, is a direct reflection of who they really are.

Ever seen a doctor who is clearly overweight and out of shape? They stand before you huffing and puffing. Sweat dripping down their neck, forehead and face because all they did is walk to see you?  Yet, this very doctor tells you that you need to ‘loose weight and start exercising’ to cure your ailment.

Ever call a business with a concern, or problem you need help with and the customer service person says in a rote way “I’m sorry for your problem”… but what you feel on the phone is that they really don’t care? You can tell it’s simply just a statement they are trained to say.  How does that moment make you feel? Does it add to the problem, or do their words (without feeling) provide comfort, peace and a lead to a resolve?

Those are two simple examples of people living, working, talking and yes, even ‘leading the moment’ without integrity. Both stories show a type of  visibility, but both lack credibility with their words and actions.

What you say, what you do, when you do it, how you do it and with whom…matters.

Great leaders need to be consistent in all they do.

It’s easy to fake words.  Faking behavior is not so easy – especially over the long term.

Some people will say anything to anyone to get what they want. This is not leadership.It’s manipulation. This type of person does not live with integrity. The words they say may sound sincere, but sincerity is no guarantee for truth.  It’s easy to sound sincere if the first person you lie to is yourself.

This is where the real opportunity to lead yourself really presents itself.

Are your words, thoughts, actions in alignment all the time? Everywhere and with everyone? Or, do you think,speak and act one way with some people, then change how you speak, act and think with others?

Do you put on your ‘best behavior’ hat when you network, or work with clients face to face- and turn around criticize, judge, demean or speak ill of them behind their back?

Have you boasted about how important people and relationships are only to blow off meetings, show up late all the time, come in half prepared?

What about those days where little challenges that frustrate us all have you reach a point where to complete strangers you are rude, obnoxious, belligerent simply because you feel entitled to do so since you are having a bad day?

What if this ‘bad day behavior’ happens often- and unbeknownst to you, one of your best clients, who you’ve told how much you value people – sees you from afar treating others this way? Do you think he will be your best client very long? Do you think he will refer his trusted friends to you?

Take the lead with yourself

You need to be able to lead yourself first with integrity, authenticity, transparency and willingness to ‘do what it takes’ to be your best.

Not there yet? That’s o.k. You have a place to start.

Are  you already there? Congratulations!

The best leaders will never ask anything of others that they themselves will not be willing to do. Ask yourself to be your very best self.   Be aware that your VCP is in play at all times.  You can move up the VCP curve. You can also move down it. You can move down it so far and fast that you might not be able to easily recover.  Be attentive at all times.

When you lead yourself first, you set the example. You learn through experience what it takes to have the commitment, discipline, dedication, and learning curve of how to humble your heart, set aside your ego.  Start to live with honesty to your own self, in all areas, at all times.

I am not talking about being a perfectionist – nor being perfect. No one is perfect.

I am talking about having an awareness of your strengths, your good qualities, your great qualities.  What are areas in your life and skill sets are at a place of excellence right now? What are areas in your life and skill sets that could use improvement? Where do you need support? Who can you reach out to mentor, train or support you?

Live each day, one day at a time.  Great leaders are life long learners. Learning to lead yourself takes time.

Just remember this: the concept of “Do as I say, not as I do”… doesn’t work for effective leadership.

Your actions DO speak louder than words.

People today have access to more info, more ways to spread info about you. When you lead yourself first, get your house in order.  Then you will have more insight, wisdom, an authentic voice when it’s time to network and  time to lead others.  Lead yourself with excellence so that when people talk about you, it builds your reputation.

This is vitally important when you are eventually in a place to lead the leaders.

Be the change you want to see.

You are reading this to increase your skill sets and understanding about how to be a leader when networking.

The people I work with most often want results.

To get results your networking time, you need to ‘walk the walk.

Effective Networking is about building deep, quality relationships.

Relationships take time to develop.

During that time, you are really building and increasing the trust factor between you and those you network with?

Depending upon your reason for networking, it may not be the relationship between you and your networking circle that matters.  It does, (very much)- but often, when business professionals are networking, their goal is to have access to the people your ‘people’ know.

When you lead yourself with excellence in all areas, the bond, trust between you and your first level contacts will be strong.That’s important when they go to vouch for you to their contacts. Those contacts might be their friends, family, peers, customers, vendors, acquaintances.

When you are networking, your reputation (built upon your words, actions, deeds, attitude, ethics and ability to deliver that which you say you will) has a direct impact on the reputation and quality of relationships the person who refers you has with their contact sphere.

The risk is high when we work by referrals.

If you are looking to network for many years to support your businesses, your personal life, your passions or even your social responsibility causes… your ability to lead yourself first…matters.

Your reputation matters.

Your time matters.

You matter.

Question:  What is one action you can take that will increase your credibility? Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Here’s to you taking action to lead yourself!

Debbra Sweet

VCP® was developed by Dr.Ivan Misner.
Dr. Ivan Misner lives a full life. An entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, and bestselling author, he has achieved enormous success in each field. He is the Founder of BNI, the world’s largest business networking and referral organization. In addition, he is the Senior Partner for The Referral Institute, the world’s leading training company on referral marketing.

Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead the Leaders: Little Known Factors That Could Affect Your Leadership Results

This is a saying I’ve vocalized for many years.

This is more than just a focused statement for me.  It’s a value based approach I’ve lived for many years now.  “Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead the Leaders.”Lead Yourself Debbra Sweet 1

I first introduced this statement in the first version of  “The Power of Leadership in Business Networking”.

Initially, this theme was just a chapter in the book. I was talking about how to really be a leader when you are networking. In that approach to building your business, there really is a flow to how a person builds credibility in order to get referrals.

Over the last few years however, I have really come to understand the depth of this statement. In all aspects of our life, if we are truly going to be our best, walk with integrity of body, mind and self; if we are to live a balanced, fulfilled life, understanding the importance of this ‘flow of leadership’ is important.

I personally believe that the majority of people in our country are living a life that is not in true harmony between their inner self and their outer self. Too many people are living under a shield of ‘survival’ without knowing it.  Their inner self yearns for one type of life, yet their outer self resides in a world, a way of living, based on other people’s beliefs and values.

How do I know this? I lived that way for years too.  I have also learned how to let go of other people’s beliefs for me – and learn to embrace what are really my core beliefs, value systems and vision for my businesses, my life. Now I love to help others make that same transformation.

Mind you, I recognize that not every single person experiences this disconnect. I have met people who are blessed from a very young age to know who they are, know what they were born to do, and have had a support system around them to help make that happen. I love meeting people like this because it gives me a different perspective about life.

However, in my world, the majority of the people I coach, teach, consult with, are not in alignment. They struggle with things like: lack of health, (too much weight, too many meds, and increasing health issues due to their body being out of balance.).  I work with people who had a vision for themselves, but gave it up to the dreams and input of others around them.  Then there are others who are visionary, and always on the go- but are not sure how to create a team around them to make their vision a reality. They are great at doing, but not clear on how to inspire others to do the same.

In all these situations, the mindset (mantra? value system? concept?) of Lead yourself, Lead Others, Lead Leaders comes into play.

Whether your life is out of balance with your physicals (your body), your way of thinking or perceiving things (mind), and in your day to day profession (business)- the way to make a change that is lasting is to first slow down and make the commitment to: Lead Yourself.

What area(s) in your life need to get into a state of balance and vitality first? 

Do you lack health? You know you do if you are overweight, have many health symptoms and are unable to operate at peak performance. All these ‘symptoms’ are  ‘tells’ from your body that it needs attention from you.  To be your best for others, you must be your best for yourself first.

How you think affects all you do. This is a deep subject (One I’ve written about before), and will write about again. Your thinking encompasses more than just your day to day conscious thoughts. It gets into the deep, stored thoughts, beliefs and ideas you may not even recognize are the filters of your thinking.  Your thoughts dictate your actions, words and choices.

To lead yourself, not only might you need to change habits that relate to your physicals, but you might need to change your habits of your thinking.

Yes, this is not always easy or comfortable- but the outcome, the benefit of taking the time to learn to lead yourself so you live a life that is full of vitality, optimal health, resonate with an inner peace that shows in all your actions, words and outcomes- is worth every step of growth and temporary discomfort you may feel when letting go of old habits and beliefs.

To lead yourself takes time. The good news is: for lasting results, if you have the right kind of support in your life, you can experience a transformation wherein the journey is just as rewarding as arriving at the end destination.

When you understand and experience how to make changes in how you live, you then can inspire others. You begin to lead others – often as simple as them watching you.  When your thoughts, words and actions are in alignment; and when your inner and outer you are aligned- the power of you choices and way you present yourself each day- is remarkably motivating for others to do the same.

Finally, you can reach a point of leading leaders if you so choose.

I do my best to live in a state of integrity of the inner and outer me, aligned with my vision and values. I do not claim to be the expert that knows everything, but I do coach, teach and train from a place of experiential compassion, understanding and patience.  Along my journey I’ve discovered tools, systems and resources that can help you thrive in Body, Mind and Business.

What area in your life or profession would benefit by improving your thoughts, actions, words?

  • Do you seek optimal health (without drugs, deprivation, ‘dieting’?) If so, let’s talk. 
  • Do you seek to be a better leader in your life or business? If so, let’s talk.
  • Are you already leading and you want to improve results with your time and efforts in your business so that you are more profitable and have more money? If so, let’s talk.

As we delve into how to be a leader when networking, the real depth of understanding of “Lead Yourself, Lead Others, Lead Leaders” will be revealed.

 

What’s Your Priority Focused On?

Two days ago my youngest son and I were driving in my vehicle and the radio was on. We had been chatting aboutOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA things (sports, the weekend, etc.) There was a break in our conversation and suddenly over the airwaves was a voice on the radio that asked: “Are you putting God First or as a last resort?”

After the announcer finished the sentence, my son spoke up and said: “That’s a good question!”

So I asked him “ How about you? Do you put God first, or do you go to him as a last resort?”

He pondered this question and then answered, “ As a last resort. I like to try things on my own first.”

Then he asked me: “How about you Mom?”

My reply: “I do my best to keep God First, and not just for the big things. But the little, everyday, mundane things too. It’s about honoring the commitment I made to God years ago- to live and work for Him in all I do.”

I then went on to share that when I pray, I even pray for things like our laundry. He was really surprised to hear that. (My son, who is 13, has heard this before from me, but it was obvious he didn’t really get the significance of that as he was growing up.) I went on to explain that yes, I pray for God to bless our laundry, to keep the clothing from wearing out prematurely. (I have things I’ve worn for 20 years now that are classic, timeless styles and still are in great shape)

There are some days when I am praying 5 or 8 hours a day through out the day-and yes, sometimes my prayers are only 5-8 minutes day.

Putting God first is not just about prayer though. That is a part of it. The other part is about our actions, attitudes & beliefs. It involves how we steward things (the physicals, emotionally, spiritually, relationship wise, etc.)

There’s a flow to how spiritual alignment is supposed to be for us to have a full, abundant, blessed and protected life. This is very counterintuitive of how we as Westerners live. However, when you reprioritize your life to live in the following way, the blessings of God are clearly seen, felt, experienced- both big and small.

We should strive to live with stewardship in this manner:

1. God First
2. Self
3. Family
4. Business
5. Friends/Community/Country

Prayer isn’t just about asking for things either. A great spiritual relationship is based on a healthy conversation- one filled with acknowledgement, gratitude, thankfulness, and yes, communication for God to intercede for the lives and wellbeing of others.

Learning how to pray, what to pray for (not all things we pray for are available for God to fufill)- and then knowing what to do with the answers once prayers have been answered- are all keys to living a life with God first, so that He can help us prosper above all things, even as our soul prospers.

Where are you at today in your spiritual life? Just like all things; to be in spiritual health requires balance. Our God centered walk is the catalyst behind all other things. It’s the wind in our sails, the ‘gas’ that gives us the ‘go.

If you yearn to learn more, here are a couple other articles and teachings to help you understand why to put God First, How to do it –and the benefit to you when you do.

https://debbrasweet.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/why-god-first/

http://www.gods-word-first.org/video-bible-lessons/gauge-to-godliness-video.html

May you have a blessed and magnificent day!

Debbra Sweet

Leadership Skills Training Expert Debbra Sweet Speaks on Growing Business by Referrals

This Thursday, February 5th, Debbra Sweet will be one of the featured speakers at the upcoming BNI San Diego Event in recognition of International Networking Week 2015.

Yesterday kicked off the 2015 International Networking Week, filled with events taking place globally to recognize the impact that word of mouth networking (referrals) has had in the businessbusiness-card-exchange community.

Part of that global celebration includes a local event taking place Thursday, February 5th from 11:30 am until 5 pm at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley, hosted by BNI San Diego.

Debbra Sweet, a leadership expert, who specializes in change management in the areas of body, mind and business, was invited to speak on the topic of the ‘Growing Your Team” as part of the event.

Sweet has developed a reputation as a leader who not only teaches, trains, coaches and consults on the subjects of leadership, business, marketing, sales and wellness- but she is one whose peers confidently share “She lives it.”

Those who have been clients, students or attendees at any of Sweet’s events say: “There are people talk about doing things. Then are people who do. Debbra is a doer. What she says she’ll do, she delivers150%”.

Others declare: “She has the ability to engage you from the beginning with confidence and comfort. You know standing before you is someone who will lead and who truly cares about you, your success and your results”.

Sweet is has been a Director Consultant for the local BNI region for 10 years, and has been involved with this organization for close to 18. She is a Certified Trainer in Word of Mouth Marketing and will be delivering a workshop designed to teach attendees on how to effectively grow their networking team, contact sphere and client base through a strategic approach that leverages time and delivers results.

This is a day of interactive attendee participation workshops featuring the topics of:

• Embrace Quality
• Grow Your Team
• Seek Engagement

Dr. Ivan Misner, founder & BNI Chairman of Board will open the session via webcam. He will address “3+1 = Member Success”, and will be taking personal questions from the attendees.

A successful business owner of a few different companies, Debbra Sweet is located in San Diego County. She is also a best selling co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Masters of Sales” and the lead author in the “Power of Leadership” book series

Sweet specializes in working with business owners and executives. At Sweet Marketing Solutions she helps them increase their profitability through planned, targeted, effective marketing. At Thrive Right Consulting, she works with individuals, companies and organizations to help them create a solid foundation to Thrive in body, mind and business.

If you have a simple or complex problem that requires high-level thinking, Debbra has the insights, skills, attention to details and resources to provide solid solutions.
She’s ready to dig deeply into a problem or situation, sorting through the variables and nuances. Then she takes the time needed to figure out a solution. When she presents solutions and options, it will be carefully considered and presented in a rich, dynamic way with substantial content.

For more information on Debbra Sweet go to: www.DebbraSweet.com