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

The Power of letting Nature Guide Us

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I’m one of those people who finds clarity in nature.

I’m also one of those people who believes in signs. I believe in things “showing up” in life, and it being up to us to interpret and act upon them. In the last month I started seeing this image above recurring, I decided to put some study, intuition and meditation on it.

As early as the 15th century, a practice called dowsing or divining was taking place. Individuals used a Y-shaped twig or rod in order to locate things hidden in the earth like water, metals, ores and gemstones. The act was considered pseudoscience.  Simply put, no one could prove how an inanimate object could see things a person could not.

One of my strengths has always been to see the potential in others. One of my strongest validations as a coach is having clients come away from our meetings with a renewed sense of possibility. I see these recurring images of sticks and leaves as being symbolic of the clarity I bring to my clients. It’s not magic or even a slick business technique. My intuition stems from my ability to listen and my compassion for others. Being able to help my clients gain clarity is one of the main reasons why I do what I do.

In business, there are many times when the question “now what?” arises. I see this recurring Y-shape as a physical representation of that dilemma. The leaves in the images above are representative of the problems that can muddle up an individual’s vision of success. Sometimes the answers to “now what” are buried under procrastination, disorganization, or hazy goals. As a Chief Inspirational Officer, I act as a divining rod and assist in unearthing those answers. While divining may be pseudoscience, my approach is based on proven business strategies that ensure measurable growth.

I challenge you this week to pay attention to what is “showing up” in your life. Take the time to notice recurring shapes, words, or even colors. Be open to what the world is showing you and be open to receiving it. Make this process easier by writing a note or snapping a picture. Share your observations in the comments below; I would love to hear from you.

Peace, Love and Growth.

Marlo, Your CIO

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How to Turn Creative Clutter into Business Success in Three Easy Steps

2016-07-23 09.25.48Albert Einstein said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Trust me, I get it. I understand all of the great things about creativity-inducing clutter. I am a huge proponent of being able to see and touch all of the projects you’re working on. During my hardcore workdays, my floor is littered with papers, binders, and books. Without my “mess” I wouldn’t be able to dig into my ideas. It’s a necessary part of my thinking process.

However, my desk isn’t just creative chaos. There is mindfulness to my mess.

There’s a fine line between being fueled by your environment and being overwhelmed. If you find your stacks of papers and random sticky notes more distracting than illuminating, try this method, it will give you space to regroup and start creating again.

Block It Out

  • Take your entire work week and break ALL of your projects and actions down into the following piles:
    • A – high priority
    • B – mid-level priority
    • C – not so hot, but needs to get done
  • Next, place the high priority projects in order by deadline/priority. This will create a specific list of actions to take to complete the projects in that category. Do this for categories B and C. When you’re finished, instead of a regular “to-do list,’ you will have a tangible outline of all of your work. This allows you to plan in both short-term and long-term timeframes while still being able to be hands-on with each project.

In and Out

  • Now, simply put these tasks/actions that are ‘incoming’ (in progress) to the right of you. Now you have a visual of the work you’ll be doing today or this week.
  • Start with category A and work your way to category C, completing each project in order of importance.
  • Once the task is complete, put it down to your left for final actions. Note that some projects cannot be completed in a single work session. This is where the specificity of your categories will be essential. Breaking down each project into tasks that are both productive and manageable will increase your success with this method.

For example, let’s say this week you are meeting with a prospective client. You print off the email correspondence that confirms the meeting, then place it to your RIGHT (on the desk/floor/etc.) After your meeting with the individual, put that piece of paper to the LEFT of you. At the end of the day it will return to the pile to be re-categorized for following up with the client, drawing up a contract, etc.

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RIGHT = intake                   LEFT = in process

Test and Measure

Keep this all documented. Why?  Because every 90 days, 12 weeks, 3 months you have the opportunity to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Take a moment and figure out what part of this process is making your more productive, or if there are ways you can personalize and improve this method.

At the end of the business quarter all of that documentation will create a visual map of the steps you have taken to further your business and your success. This is a gift that I recommend all of my clients give themselves. It is tangible proof that you are moving forward, even when your mind (or your numbers) may say otherwise.

 In on the RIGHT


Take the ACTION


Out on the LEFT

This week I challenge you to create a #mindfulmess and see what it does for your creativity and your business. Take a picture of your desk and tag it with #mindfulmess to share your results with others!

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I Don’t Care About the Competition

DSC_5763I have many people who inspire me. I follow blogs, reach out to people who are doing what I want to do, and am in a constant state of learning. I have spent years connecting with top leaders and business people in order to learn more about my field and how I can best serve others. In all that time, I have found a definitive line between learning from others and comparing myself to them.

The difference between being inspired and comparing is most evident in how it makes you feel. An inspiration leaves you feeling hopeful and excited about what you do. Comparing leaves you feeling inadequate and overwhelmed, not knowing how you’ll ever accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

How much time are you spending comparing yourself to others? When we do this it drains our confidence.  As your Chief Inspirational Officer, I invite you quit NOW!

Focusing on finding inspiration within yourself and your own environment will allow room for more positive energy and ultimately room for personal growth. When you’re feeling the need to compare yourself to others, here are a few suggestions to find inspiration instead:

Get Out

Spend time on yourself. Instead of scrolling through your Facebook or LinkedIn page and wishing you had more views or followers, take a walk and reflect on your personal wins and outcomes. You’ll find yourself in a larger headspace that makes room for personal growth and strategy, rather than a feeling of being inadequate.

Get a Slogan

Wake up and tell yourself “I am my own competition.” Put this phrase into action by making a conscious effort to push yourself to that next level. By competing with yourself, you are essentially giving yourself an advantage. In this race, you already know how to beat your challenger. Embrace the feeling of empowerment that comes with knowing you can win. When we take the time to improve the things we need to change within ourselves it opens up a completely new space for power and energy to flow through us.

Get Visual

Inspire yourself with a new game plan by using my High Performance formula, creating a personal formula for success. Having a plan in writing helps alleviate that feeling of overwhelm that happens when we see others who have achieved goals we’re striving toward.

I was with a client a few weeks ago and after sharing this simple strategy with him he was astonished how differently he started approaching everything. People were drawn to his business and services because he was consistently inspired by his own successes.

Start today by simply being aware of how much time you focus on comparing rather than being inspired. Buy back some of that energy you’re giving away and step into your own.

You’ve got this. I believe in you, now start believing in yourself just a little bit more.

Ignite Your Success!  Your Chief Inspirational Officer, Marlo

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Mapping It Out: Business Plans, Index Cards, and Keeping It Simple

DSC_5722Success starts with an internal burn. If you’re operating with any kind of goal in mind, it’s most likely because you are passionate about what you do. It’s that hazy area where inherent talent and passion need to be guided that I am able to sit down with clients and strategize. The goal of that strategy is to capitalize on performance, or in other words, see the results of your investment in yourself.

I operate a nationwide coaching practice, and a portion of my clients have the advantage of meeting me face-to-face, which allows us to connect and create a more personalized approach to their success formula. However, the process that each of my clients go through is similar. I always emphasize a systematic and formulaic approach in order to ensure success. Actions must be tested and measured in order to identify what works and what doesn’t. The only way to identify what actions are happening is to create a visual representation of your business plan.

That’s where this strategy comes in:

Creating A Personal Business Map

Take a deck of index cards and as you navigate your week, write down your actions. This includes any tasks, projects, or interactions related to your business. When you’re done, set them aside. Give yourself a week or two. Then take those index cards and prioritize them.

Let’s use your client intake approach/system for example. Maybe you have a total of nine index cards that visually walks you through how you onboard your clients. Does this 9-step system seem laborious to you? If so, take those nine index cards and eliminate steps until your intake system is a 4 or 6-step process instead.

Next, go deeper. When you start to prioritize the index cards, write any specific details or actions that go with that step. For example let’s say you’re approaching ‘step one’ your initial introduction of your products/services to others.

Ask Yourself:  What are the three marketing materials you include with your first client interaction?  Put those details down on the back of that step one index card.

Finally, Evaluate: Do those three initial marketing pieces give your prospect a good flavor of your offerings? When you go to refresh/reinvent your product offerings/services you have clarity on what you do and what can be refreshed for part two of your initiatives. This process saves time by eliminating the need to constantly re-evaluate things. By having a clear record of your actions you are able to streamline your processes and invest more energy in moving forward.

This is one of my more universal strategies that works with just about anything you need to enhance or create for your business approach. If your performance isn’t where you’d like it to be, try implementing this simple strategy and holler back if you’d like more support from Your CIO.

Ignite Your Success!  Your CIO, Marlo

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Ditch the Pitch: I Told My Client To Stop Selling and Here’s What Happened

DSC_5692Last week, a client told me that his business was growing, but the process of selling didn’t feel right. He was passionate about the product, but still didn’t feel good when sealing the deal.

It’s true, “the ask” is the hardest part of any sale. When you sit down with a potential client, they know that eventually they will be asked to buy something. There is a lot of pressure to persuade and not a lot of time to do it. Most people already have preconceptions before sitting down about a product, which makes that final push even more difficult. My advice to my client, like most of my strategies, was simple.

Educate properly and the sale will happen.

When I say educate, I mean more than mentioning how a product works and what it can do. I mean educating a potential client on how the product has impacted you. Instead focusing the discussion on how it can help someone else, share the results of your own success and why you are so excited to share the product with others. This excitement is contagious, and will shift that final question from “will you?” to “why WOULDN’T you?”

It’s easy to fall back into a pitch when you’re nervous about a potential sale, so here are my top three tips to help shift your thinking:

Make a List

Start by listing five things that you LOVE about what you do or what you offer, then refer to those when meeting with a client.

Stop and Listen

Ask a friend or co-worker to pretend to be a potential client and record the conversation using your smartphone or other recording device. Listen to the recording and ask yourself, would you buy from you?

Recalibrate and Reach Out!

If you have identified issues that would make you not want to buy from you, change it! Reach out to others on your team or successful professionals in your field that are doing things the way you want to do them and ask for help. Work with a coach or mentor to identify what you can enhance or share that will get you a YES every time.

A week later, my client shared how excited he was with this new approach. It was much easier and less stressful during his prospect meetings. He happily reported that adjusting his approach allowed him to successfully close business in a way that “just felt right.” To me, when business feels right, that’s a success.  And isn’t that what this is all about?

I encourage you this week to shift your focus from selling to educating and sharing, then reflecting on what it has done for your business goals. Make a list of five things that you love getting out of bed and offering to others that you know makes a difference, then get out there and speak it! “The ask” is inevitable. However, when we transform a sale from a transaction to a conversation, we allow room for more authenticity and an opportunity for business to feel right.

Holler back and share your results with me. I love hearing how this approach has helped others.

Ignite Your Success!

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