About Marlo Higgins, Your Chief Inspirational Officer

I'm Marlo, Your Chief Inspirational Officer. I will ignite you in action by empowering your strengths, talents and value through self-recognition that sometimes gets lost in your daily struggle for success. xo

Less Is More: When Working Less Brings Bigger Results

magazine-ad-360-blueskyHow many hours have you put into your business this week? Do you keep yourself at a strict 9-to-5? Are you working through dinner most nights? Have you quit tracking your hours once you hit 60 in a week?

Americans have developed a work ethic that equates time with dedication. In a corporate setting, the first ones in and last ones out are considered more focused and goal-oriented than those who show up for regularly scheduled shifts. Workers feel guilty cashing in vacation time. They show up sick to meet deadlines. All this supposedly equals an ideal employee.

But what about us #freedomwarriors?

What if I told you that those long hours you’ve spent managing your business aren’t paying off as much as you think? What if I told you that all that overtime is actually killing your productivity?

I worked with a business owner this week who has the feeling that she must be ‘all hands on deck’ most of the time working to ensure her business success. But while she thought her around-the-clock presence was helping her business, she was totally depleting herself. She thought those long hours and overworking herself were a necessary part of getting ahead.

Together we crafted a plan with some clear boundaries and after 2 weeks her overall production went up 30%.

What Happened?

We went back to one of my foundational business strategies: do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. We looked at what ACTIONS she was taking and drilled down on the most important ones, I call them IPA’s (Income Producing Activities).  Once we determined her IPA’s, we looked at the extra 20 hours per week she was squeezing into her business and figured out what actions were helping and which ones were hindering her success.

The increase in production came when she gave herself the space in her schedule that was necessary in order to be an effective leader for her organization and her family. She had a core understanding of what she was doing and the impact it was having on her overall success.

She reported that she used that extra time on self-care, and that had the biggest impact overall. After all, what’s the point of reaching the finish line if you arrive completely depleted with nothing left to give yourself or others.

So, what about you?

Are you logging extra hours into your business? Are there any actions that can be removed in order to buy back some time?

Those extra hours you’ve put in are probably working against you. Why not define what you really need to be doing with that time? Give it a try and see what a little bit of breathing room can do for you and your success.

I would like to invite you to get into the room with me and learn the three simple things you can do to; cut down overwhelm, focus on the right actions necessary to move ahead and gain peace all while doing it.

I’m here and would love nothing more than to see you feeling better about your success and reaching your personal finish line with greater peace and ease. You deserve that!

Marlo, Your CIO

Self-Worth. What is it? Why is it so important?

taylor-7Do you remember watching television or reading a magazine and seeing the words “because I’m worth it?” The slogan was created based on the idea that the consumer should buy the product because they “deserved” it and were worthy of indulging in a beauty product that may not be considered essential. In fact, many companies promote products under the premise that consumers should buy them because they are worthy. This marketing strategy is effective because society in general lacks self-esteem.

Self-worth matters. It matters so much that I’ve dedicated my time and my brand to promoting its importance. My coaching strategies have developed leaders, brand ambassadors, and all-around business bad-asses. The result of that mission is a multitude of empowered clients.

This process starts by finding the definition of self-worth that works for you.

Ask yourself these questions to begin your own journey to self-worth:

 

  • What is your self-worth?
  • Think about what makes you different, and what you bring to the table
  • Create the picture of your own self-esteem.
  • Visualize the “destination” version of you. What do you look like at the end of this process?
  • What is the picture of yourself when you walk into the room?
  • What energy are you bringing?
  • How do your talents, value and self-worth (a.k.a. your overall self-esteem) impact what you do and how you do it?
  • Why does it matter?
  • What’s the value for you when you develop this?
  • How are you going to use it to serve others? 

    Be honest with yourself. Figure out the difference between valuing what you have to offer and having an issue with ego. Know that you have what it takes to develop yourself and succeed. How does this idea impact your thinking?

I’m privileged to work with folks who are in varying stages of this process. So many of my clients are journeying to a better definition of self-worth because it is the fastest way to get to the next level.

Self-worth is a mental strategy. I am all about being able to test and measure success, so I wanted to be sure that my strategies were working, even in an area that can get tough to harvest quantifiable data. Here are four client examples for you. By aligning with these folks, my strategies combined with their hard work, have created these results:

  • Took a 3 year marketing company making no more than $42,000 a year and increasing sales to more than $225,000 in less than 6 months
  • Worked with a CEO of a start up to better close business. In just 72 hours he secured more than $90,000+ toward their ½ million dollar 6 month goal
  • Aligned with a CPA to develop systems for higher levels of growth and performance. Business became so healthy that she reported back that she was taking business in from a FIREHOSE! Simply meaning that business really took off.
  • “Marlo lit a fire deep inside me that I didn’t know I had. This allowed me to get the financing to start a business and make it profitable in less than 30 days.”
  • Much, much more!

If you have feelings of self-doubt and a desire to succeed, let’s work together to ratchet up your self-worth and get you there. I’ve got the simple, clear strategies for you to immediately take action on to obtain these types of results.

I look forward to working with you.

Your Chief Inspirational Officer

MarloSignatures

The Beauty of “Bless and Release”

bless-releaseHave you ever made a business decision that ended up being a mistake? It happens and it’s a necessary part of growth.  I’ve experienced it this year and have had to release a little ceremonial bad business mojo that’s climbed up inside me from time to time.  If you don’t release it, it starts to cloud our judgements, decisions and worth.

I speak mostly about success, but our failures and setbacks are really where we learn. We gain confidence and see our powers and influence in those moments that are darker than others. The most profound things can happen when we settle into that uncomfortable feeling of growing, stretching, and striving.

It’s all part of the process.

At a presentation on business growth and confidence I gave recently, I spoke the words ”bless and release.” That simple phrase is an essential part of business strategy I share with my clients and frequently use in my own business. I found myself in that space recently, the one of uncomfortable growth, and I needed to “bless and release” a decision in order regain power and belief in myself.

I share this vulnerable moment with you because it is so important to rid ourselves of the negativity that surrounds mistakes and failures. If allowed to remain in your mind, negativity will impact everything from mindset to productivity, deceiving you into thinking you don’t deserve the things that you are working toward.

Releasing those mistakes can be as simple as making a decision. It can be symbolic. It can be ceremonial. Write down your mistake(s), and then ignite the paper. Watch the smoke of candle waft and dissipate. Carve a word into a rock and plop it into pond. Do what you need to do to let those feelings go. Fully release yourself and acknowledge your growth.

I now stand taller in faith of myself, fully understanding that I do have all the answers.

I challenge you to bless and release any negativity you may be holding on to this week.

Remind yourself that you have value, purpose, power, and strength. We all experience trying times, including myself.  Don’t let them sit with you any longer than necessary.

Repeat after me:

I am worthy. I am love.  I have power.  I give strength.

I am true, pure, and powerful and have purpose.

I am love.

MarloSignatures

Do you ever get ‘tangled up’ in your freedom?

hammock

(Photo of me swinging freely in a hammock at a meditation garden)

For so many, having the freedom to work independently is a burning need we must fulfill. I call these people Freedom Warriors, and I’m happy to be one of them. While being a Freedom Warrior can mean setting your own schedule and your own earning limits, it also comes with the need for discipline. You may be a hard charging, high performer but it’s still easy to get caught in the false idea of not having “enough time.”

As I write this, I am working from a remote location as I do every July.

I’m looking at a peaceful body of water right now as I write this and there’s an internal conflict of conversation happening in my brain.

Fun Marlo: You should really get out there and take a kayak ride.

Freedom Warrior Marlo: Sit, write, do what you said you were going to do.  Ah, integrity.

Fun Marlo: …and then kayaking?

Freedom Warrior Marlo: …hells yes there’ll be kayaking!

I am here to write and expand, that’s the expectation I have for myself right now.

Argh! This is so hard!

I can tell you that the only thing that’s going to make me feel like a hundred bucks today is when I complete my writing expectations then venture off to do things that make my heart sing. My freedom is being outdoors and in motion as much as possible.  It’s almost impossible to keep me caged up inside.  I’m a free spirit and always have been. When I decided years ago to become a Freedom Warrior (independent, self-employed, lead my own companies and be my own boss) one of the expectations I set of myself was to incorporate time to be outdoors. I work more efficiently if I give myself space to breathe.

That space has required me to pave my own way in regards to my career, and my life. It’s not always the easiest, but I can tell you that I’ve learned so much along the way. It’s allowed me to build multiple companies doing it.  I’ve learned that others would like to seek the same type of freedom that I live and are willing to learn from me so they too can be their own Freedom Warriors.

This is what I know: if you set an expectation, and then dive in and operate from a zone of integrity, you will set yourself free. Simply put, do what you say you’re going to do.

So today, as the lake is calling my name and breeze is rippling the water as I tap my keyboard, I will take my own advice. I will complete the writing assignments, meeting my own expectations. Then I will shut the laptop down and revel in the freedom I have afforded myself, because that’s what it’s all about.

Go ahead, be your own #freedomwarrior. Chart your own path, but don’t get so tangled up in your freedom that you fall short of meeting your own expectations. Instead, accept your choices and act on them.  See what it does for you.

Love. Peace.  Joy.  Share if this message impacted you in some way, I’d love to hear.

Ignite Your Success! Your CIO, Marlo

How creating Healthy Boundaries can fuel you UP!

office.2 office.3 office

You know this if you’ve “Liked” my Facebook page, but I’m very good with healthy boundaries and self-management. I’m working this Saturday because I scheduled this weekend to work while my husband is away on a much needed “guys’ weekend.”

I was so excited about having this time to focus on my work that the “to-do” list grew at a rather alarming rate. Navigating all that I planned to accomplish this weekend resulted in some pretty spectacular piles of paper. While most may look at these piles and get overwhelmed, I had a revelation when I realized that my paper towers were actually a tangible example of my compartmentalized mind.

This is such an ‘ah-ha’ moment because this is an example of what the majority of my clients are seeking. They want to be able to identify what needs to get done, and then DO IT in the allotted time they have. Often, that sense of overwhelm slows down the steps between identification and checking it off the list, making Freedom Warriors feel like failures.

The process of breaking things down into piles is a technique I have used for years that turns overwhelming amounts of work into manageable bites. Once everything is piled up, it’s just a matter of executing one task at a time. That simple process has been with me since the beginning and when I meet clients who are frustrated, it’s the first play I share with them.

I know it works because I’ve done it. The authenticity that my clients rave about stems from the fact that I never ask clients do something that I haven’t done myself. Which also allows me to FEEL the same way that they are…it’s just that God gave me the gift of simplicity, clarity, discipline, forward thinking and problem solving matched with a lot of love, self-care and honor of thyself and others.

As part of that authenticity, I thought I would share with you what’s lurking in all of these piles. When people hear “Chief Inspirational Officer” it’s difficult to picture what that means.

Here are just a few of things I do when I’m not in front of clients:

  • Determining my weekly numbers and ROI of my time
    • What is valuing my worth and keeping me fueled up to do more
    • Successboarding (this will change your life. If you aren’t doing this, email me NOW)
  • Submitting my projects to my branding team for our new website and product launch coming this fall and holiday season
  • 7 core writing projects underway which will be included in our blogs, our books, our programs, other
  • Follow up of current clients
    • Being a CIO for my clients doesn’t stop when we leave a meeting. Coaching them to success involves analyzing feedback and following up with information that continues to fuel them until our next meeting. This includes emails, scheduled phone calls and worksheets that are tailored to meet their specific needs. I also spend time before each meeting reading up on the client and figuring out what I can bring to table in order to make the most of our time together.
  • Future clients and growth opportunities
    • Proposals to create future business
  • Training | Education
    • I spend 45 minutes a DAY in training keeping my brand on the cutting edge in my industry of motivation and people performance. I don’t take this lightly…it’s important to keep myself on the edge of the diving board all the time to ensure I’m highly effective
  • Other…lot’s of OTHER….books, programs, speaking gigs, product development, research, and more!
  • L-O-V-E goes into everything I touch. I burn a candle in my office each time I sit down and start to work giving my light and love to all that I do. It reminds me to keep burning bright for myself and others. It’s the torch that is necessary to keep me on point, in faith and belief.

I’m typically a very private person. This is just a glimpse into what I do in order to help others manage their time (and success) more effectively. I wanted to share this with you in part to emphasize that my brand is built on a concept that is proven to work, but it’s also built on my ability assist others.

This blog is designed to reach those who are curious about coaching but not ready to take the leap. It’s meant to speak to those who are ready, but haven’t picked up the phone. I want you to know that I’m here, on the weekend, continually preparing to be of assistance to you in some way. My life’s purpose is to be a confident wife and mom, and to run tandem with a high level brand that helps others in a humanitarian way. That desire to help others is what gets me out of bed everyday, so thank you. Thank you to my clients who have leapt into a partnership with me, and thank you to my readers who are implementing my techniques and building their own successes. I’m cheering for you. I’m grateful to you.

Gratitude.

Ignite Your Success!

M, your CIO