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Bravery in Small Bits

I’m not a very brave person.

I remember when my friend Diana and I were on the island of Molokai, the former leper colony, and we were hiking in a deep ravine. We came to a place where we couldn’t go any further without leaping over a vast expanse with rushing water beneath. I was terrified.

Diana, a former ballerina, is fearless. She leapt like a proverbial gazelle over the gulf and there I was shaking and sweating on the other side. “Come on!” she called impatiently.

But all I could think about is what would happen if I didn’t make it in the one big leap. Lacerated calves. Crushed ribs. A shattered skull.

I couldn’t quite get my head around the IDEA of getting to the other side. I had to shake off my old notions of can’t, impossible, no. And put on the cape of possibility.

Then I leapt.

In that moment I had a whole new notion of myself.

Brave leap

Leap into the unknown

Bravery comes in many forms. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love just publicly announced her romantic love with her best friend.

Yes, sexuality is fluid and wild and unpredictable. She fell in love with a man. She fell in love with a woman. She leapt into love both times, full heartedly. I admire her commitment to creativity, curiosity, and love in whatever shape it comes in, no matter how unexpected.

There are all kinds of bravery.

My friend Andrea Scher marks her brave acts in her blog. And she’s giving a course in how you, too can be brave in blogging about your declarations, your descriptions, your destiny.

There’s also bravery in allowing ourselves to earn what we’re worth. My friend Tommi Wolfe (with her lilting South African accent) has some advice about that.

Then there’s bravery in how we think, what we say and what we do.

What if you can do one brave act a day, no matter how small to build your bravery?

I may not do it every day, but I’m looking for ways that I can inch my way toward a braver life. I was invited to submit a proposal for the Aiki Extension conference, about Aikido in action in our everyday lives off the mat — and then was paralyzed when they accepted it. The other presenters are third, fourth, fifth, sixth dans (degree of black belt) and I’m the only one who is just a first degree black belt (Shodan). 

Aikido Japanese Martial Arts

Aikido high fall

My topic: How to use verbal Aikido in business and media interviews. I’ve never created such a workshop before and since I’m terrified I’m over preparing. Which is how I cope. I challenge myself to think of everything that can go wrong and then I map out what I would do in such a circumstance. 

Does this bolster my bravery? No. But the actual doing of it it will. It’s only the doing of it, the getting it into your bones that inches you toward a braver life. 

So I’ll continue in my little inchworm ways in challenging myself to do brave things so eventually I’ll become a more courageous person.

Want to snoop on me? [Read or listen]

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Want more intimate conversations with fascinating folk? Here you go.


The “Right” Way to Steal Other People’s Brilliant Business Ideas

Is it ever OK to “steal” someone else’s ideas – in business? Surprisingly: Yes. 

Not long ago, a friend of mine found herself in the kind of situation that would make anyone’s stomach twist into knots.

My friend (an entrepreneur with a modestly popular website and blog) discovered that a woman in another country had stolen an e-course that she had created. Not just the title, or the general concept, or a few sentences here and there. The entire thing. Every lesson. Every piece. Word for word. The thief was passing the course off as her own, accepting payments for enrollment, and was claiming that all of the money was going to “charity.”

My friend was horrified. Eventually, she was able to shut down this shady operation, but it was a stressful and time-consuming process. Ultimately, she had to go directly to the customer service department of the e-commerce website that the thief was using and implore them to suspend the thief’s account, because she wasn’t responding to any of my friend’s emails.

hands tattoos skull rings

How to steal ideas the right way

This may seem like a “shocking” or “unusual” situation, but I’m sorry to say: it’s not.

Theft is rampant in the business world — especially in these techie times, where lifting someone else’s work (and passing it off as your own) can be as simple as clicking “copy” and “paste.”

This is the part of the blog post where you might expect me to stomp my foot down and say “Stealing is always wrong! Don’t do it, people!”

It might surprise you to know that…

I don’t necessarily believe that stealing is always “wrong.”

In fact — whether you’re studying photography, practicing Aikido at a dojo, or growing your business — “stealing” people’s ideas and “copying” other people’s masterful work is actually one of the best ways to learn, refine your skills, and ultimately, develop your own unique style.

Point being: there are many different types of “stealing.” Some types of stealing are illegal and immoral. Some are perfectly appropriate.

There is a big difference between “plagiarism” and “artful imitation,” but many business owners struggle to tell the difference.

Allow me to de-mystify things with a few Do’s and Don’ts.

When it comes to “stealing” and your business…here’s how to steal ideas the right way

1. DO steal ideas from other industries — not just your own.

If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you know that most jets are dull, cramped, beige and gray clunkers. Not much “style” or attention to “ambience,” unless you’re fortunate enough to be flying First Class.

But the minds behind Virgin Airlines decided to break away from industry conventions. Inspired by chic hotels and groovy nightclubs, they decided to add soft pink “mood lighting” and mellow electronic music to their planes. When you board a Virgin jet, it feels like stepping into a sultry, celebrity-studded nightclub!

hotel modern room

Virgin Airlines marketing tips

Even the Virgin website feels like a “departure” (pardon the pun!) from ordinary airline booking sites. As Luanne Calvert, Virgin’s head of Marketing, explains in this piece: “When creating the new site, we wanted to break out of the mold of typical airline booking sites, so we looked to popular e-commerce sites like Apple.com or Amazon.com, not other airline sites, for inspiration.”

Both of these Virgin anecdotes are perfect examples of how you can “steal” an idea from a business that’s outside of your industry and then “weave” that idea into your own branding, product development, or daily operations. This type of stealing is totally fine. It’s not “theft.” It’s re-mixing!

You try it: What’s something that inspires and excites you, outside of your industry? Do you love rock concerts? Spa trips? Ogling beautiful product packaging at your local boutique? How could you take an element of something you love and then “blend” it into your own business?

2. DO steal ideas from your mentors and teachers — and credit them as the source.

In the yoga world, it’s common to name and honor your teachers: explaining the “lineage” of your training, where you studied, who you studied under, who their teachers were, and so on.

Musicians, too, will often name their role models and publicly thank them in interviews, in CD liner notes, even onstage while delivering an acceptance speech for a glitzy award.

But in the business world, for whatever reason, people often seem hesitant to name their teachers and influencers outright, or explain where their ideas came from. That’s something we ought to change — and it’s quite simple to do.

If you’re writing a blog post that was directly inspired by someone you know, say so. (“This piece was inspired by a conversation with my mentor, so-and-so.” Then link to their website.)

If you’re creating a program that includes concepts, materials, even worksheets that you’ve sourced from other teachers, get permission first, then cite the source. (“This worksheet was adapted from a worksheet that was originally created by so-and-so, who graciously gave me permission to use some of her concepts here.”)

Another great move: build a “gratitude” page somewhere on your website (like this one) where you publicly acknowledge some of the teachers, mentors, coaches, and influencers who have shaped your approach to doing business.

Securing permission to use someone else’s material — and then crediting them — is always a smart move. It’s one that ensures you’ll never look like a lazy “thief” —but rather, a thoughtful student and a total class act!

You try it: Who are some of your top influencers and teachers? Do you thank them in writing, acknowledge them on your website, mention them during interviews, or otherwise make their presence (in your life) known? If not, how could you start doing that?

3. DO steal ideas from multiple sources — not just one.

The American playwright and entrepreneur Wilson Mizner once wrote, “If you steal from one author, it’s plagiarism; if you steal from many, it’s research.” 

Let’s say, for the sake of example, that you are closely focused on one specific business owner — say, an elite life coach who’s doing phenomenal work, making tons of money, helping thousands of customers. You follow everything she does. You enroll in all her programs. She puts out a new product and you quickly follow suit, creating something similar. You imitate her business model, her voice, tone, style, everything she does. You just LOVE her!

don't hero steal

steal ideas ethically

Your intentions may be pure, but sooner or later, this kind of “hero-stealing” is going to get you into trouble. Why? Because you’re stealing from just one source.

Rather than developing your own unique business style, you’re copycatting just one person who seems to be doing it “right.” It’s time to broaden your field of inspiration!

You try it: Start filling your inspiration-tank from lots of diverse sources, not just one!

Go to an art gallery. Watch a silly movie. Listen to music that you don’t normally listen to. Read glossy magazines. Take a vacation. Have conversations with strangers. Read blogs and books written by people who work inside your industry, if you wish, but read LOTS of them — written by lots of different people, not just one author.

As you develop your own products, services, and online content, think: mixed-media collage, not Xerox photocopy.

And now, a few Don’ts.

These are pretty straightforward and will be obvious to most people, yet they’re worth repeating!

4. DON’T steal exact wording. 

Grabbing someone else’s brilliantly written product description, blog post, e-course materials, and so on, and pretending that you’re the wordsmith who wrote it? NOT cool.

5. DON’T steal visuals that you find online (including “stock photos”) without permission.

Nope, crediting the artist with a link back to their website is not “enough.”

Seek permission to use images, illustrations, infographics and photos on your website, blog, and in your marketing materials. A quick email to the artist usually does the trick.

One exception: if the artist has explicitly stated that the image is “OK to use” — through a Creative Commons attribution license, for example, or by posting a note on their website that says “go for it!” — then feel free to use the image.

But if there’s no expressed permission, it’s not a wise move. (Getty Images has been cracking down lately, tracking bloggers and business owners who have used photos without permission and dinging them with hefty fines! It pays to be cautious.)

6. DON’T steal if your gut says, “This just doesn’t feel right.”

If you’re feeling hesitant or uncertain about whether something you intend to do is “OK” or not, listen to that gut instinct. Then take action to prevent heartache (or a lawsuit) later down the line.

Do your due diligence. Check the US trademark website to make sure that a business or product name you want to use isn’t already in use by a similar service provider. Reach out to your mentors and ask for their blessing to re-print their work or re-purpose their concepts and formulas. If you hire a graphic designer and you feel “funny” about a particular logo or infographic that they deliver to you (“Hmm… haven’t I seen this somewhere before?”) do some investigating. Remember: if the people you hire choose to steal inappropriately, it reflects poorly on your brand, too!

Last but not least:

When you’re creating content (of any kind) for your business…

7. DON’T forget to include true stories from your own life.

Nobody in the entire world has the exact same life experiences that YOU have.

Nobody in the entire world can tell the story about that one time you chatted with an elderly Vietnam vet while waiting in line at the DMV and learned a valuable lesson about grit and determination. (For example).

If you weave a “true story” into your next blog post, newsletter, webinar, a talk that you deliver onstage, e-course materials, and so on, then your materials will INSTANTLY become more “unique” and “identifiable” as belonging to YOU. (Remember how I started off this blog post with a true story from my own life about someone I know? Yup. Just like that.)

Even if you go on to discuss a “universal truth” or a “timeless reminder” or “no-brainer tips” that thousands of people have talked about before, adding a true story will elevate your material from “stale and forgettable” to “intimate and original.”

storytelling for business

business storytelling

To sum it up:

Stealing isn’t always “wrong.”

It’s a matter of how you do it, why you do it, and how you credit (or don’t credit) your sources and influencers.

The “right” way to steal other people’s brilliant business ideas

There’s “plagiarism” (ripping off one person, or one source, verbatim, word for word)… and then there’s “artful imitation” (getting inspired by multiple sources and then copying and re-mixing diverse ideas together… combined with true stories from your own life!).

Hopefully, now, you’re seeing and feeling the difference.

Your ideas may spring from other people’s teachings, and your insights might be “timeless” and “classic” rather than “revolutionary,” but as long as you’re stealing the “right” way, re-mixing rather than Xeroxing…

You’ll always be one-of-a-kind.

NOTE: This piece was inspired by a number of people and sources, including Austin Kleon (his book Steal Like An Artist is an excellent read for all business owners), the work of Julie Cottineau, former VP of Brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and CEO of BrandTwist, and dozens of friends and clients (including several folks enrolled in my monthly publicity and business training club) who have reached out to me with plagiarism “horror stories” over the years. Thank you: everyone!


10 Best Resources to Find a Literary Agent – And Sell Your Book to a Top Publisher

Your book. In the hands of a literary agent who loves you. Next year.

Yes!

I have been cleaning house. Literally. My office. My computer. Assessing. Evaluating.

Clearing out the old to bring in the new for next year.

And….I found this extensive list of literary agents in many different genres that I had created a while back for you: 10 Best Resources to Find a Literary Agent: And Sell Your Book to a Top Publisher

Download it here.

Find a literary agent - Write a book proposal

Find a literary agent – Write a book proposal

Here is another resource.

Authors who are seeking to be traditionally published want to find a literary agent who has contacts at all the top publishing houses.

And who absolutely adores you and is willing to work with you on crafting your book proposal – which is essential to securing a top notch publisher. To write a book proposal you want to make sure you’re doing two things:

  1. Follow the instructions on how to write a book proposal that includes all the essential elements a literary agent and book publisher need to see that proves your idea is viable and that you’re the right person to write this book.One of the most important elements in any non-fiction book proposal is your platform. Which means your reach. Your online and offline presence and ability to sell books. It includes your email lists size, your speaking engagements, your blogging and website statistics and more.

    Want to know why our Gluten Free cookbook didn’t pass muster with my agent? No platform. My friend Karen Leland and I wanted to recreate our favorite childhood recipes – gluten free. However…. we don’t have a following and are not famous — in the realm of cooking. Nor have we been on a competitive cooking show (unlike my two clients who have been on The Next Iron Chef). Our book proposal failed because we didn’t have a platform.

    Here’s the video we put in our proposal to show that we could handle ourselves on camera.

2. Pay attention to the literary agent’s guidelines for how they want the book proposal formatted.
For example, my agent wants the proposal to be in a sans serif font like Arial or Verdana for easy online reading. By the way, even though he’s my agent I reviewed his website on how to format my manuscript and to make sure I was giving him my book proposal in the way he wanted it. I wasn’t aware of some of his requests like.. he doesn’t want paragraphs separated by line spaces. He wants them indented. These may seem like trivial requests, but since agents like mine review over 1000 unsolicited manuscripts every month these kind of details make for easy reading — and could make a critical difference if a literary agent is on the fence about your work. You want your chosen literary agent to feel excited about working with you — not frustrated.

Here is a paragraph from his website about making your book proposal interactive:

Accessibility. In most cases, editors and publishers (the publisher is the business person who runs the publishing house – s/he’s the editor’s boss) are often very young, often in their 20’s or 30’s. So you need to try to make the proposal as accessible as possible. This means that you should consider using charts, side bars, graphics, tests, and so forth to make the proposal as interactive as possible, as well as to make it look interesting on the page: remember that you’re giving this to somebody who was raised on TV, so s/he may have a very short attention span. Of course, the extent of the “look” of your proposal really depends on the subject matter – so if you’re dealing with very serious subject matter, and we’ll be targeting an academic or very serious house, you need less of the “look”; but a more commercial house may require more bells and whistles.

Want help with your book proposal? Ping me here.

Want to do it yourself? I’ve got you covered.

I hope you find the literary agent who is right for you!


The life-Changing Magic of Speaking Up. (This is my story. What’s yours?)

As a high school student in Palo Alto, California, I was irrepressibly curious and constantly looking for strange and exciting new experiences to try out. And if those “strange and exciting” adventures meant that I could make a little extra money on the side? Even better!

That’s how I wound up sitting in a laboratory with a guy in a white lab coat who explained that he was conducting an important scientific experiment. I was going to be compensated for my time and, so it seemed, helping to further a scientific discovery. This was great!

“There’s a man sitting in another room, on the other side of this wall,” Mr. White Coat explained to me. “This man is taking a test and if he answers a question incorrectly, you must give him an electric shock.”

Mr. White Coat shocks me the 15 volts to show me how it feels. Ow! I jerk in my seat. Tolerable, but definitely painful.

“Remember,” Mr. White Coat reminds me. “If the test subject gets the wrong answer, you shock him.”

The test begins. The man taking the test gets a string of wrong answers. I shock him. Wrong answer. I shock him again.

With each progressive shock, the man on the other side of the wall — the man I am shocking — begins to yelp, then cry out, then scream. It sounds like the pain is becoming unbearable. I glance up at Mr. White Coat and he urges me to keep going. After the third shock, the man on the other side of the wall SCREAMS out, “Stop! Please! STOP! Let me out!” and starts pounding frantically on the wall. I yank back my hands and stand up.

“This experiment is over. I won’t shock him any more. He’s screaming. It obviously hurts.”

Sternly, he urges me to sit down and continue. “You agreed to this experiment so you have to finish it.”

“No, forget it, I won’t do it,” I tell him. I gather my things and prepare to leave. Mr. White Coat puts his hand on my shoulder to stop me and says,

“Wait.”

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

Photo Credit: Death to stock photo Experimenter The Movie

“The man on the other side of the wall is also participating in the experiment. He wasn’t really being shocked. You weren’t hurting him. He was just pretending. He wasn’t the test subject. YOU are.”

You can imagine, my teenage jaw fell right down to the floor. I was stunned and also relieved.

He went on to explain that he and his colleagues were conducting an experiment to see how people obey orders and respond to “authority figures.”

The results were pretty troubling.

Many of the people controlling the “shock” button kept shocking, and shocking, and shocking, and shocking…up to 450 volts (“Danger: severe shock”) despite horrible screams and pleas coming from beyond the wall.

According to The Atlantic Magazine, in one variation of the experiment, 65% of the people shocked the other person to “death.” (Not really, of course, because the actor was just pretending. But they didn’t know that.)

When asked, “Why did you do that? Why did you keep administering the shock?” most people would respond with some variation of, “The guy in the white coat told me to do it!”

Pretty staggering, right? As this experiment, first conducted by Stanley Milgram — which went on to become a famous, historic experiment, and is now a Hollywood movie called Experimenter — demonstrates, most people do not question authority. If someone who appears to wearing some kind of “uniform” doles out an instruction, most people simply obey.

I was one of the few people who wouldn’t obey. Why? Because I won’t be bullied into hurting somebody, even if I’m told that I “must.” (“Must” is not a word that I like and I do not like being told what to do.) But I do know that it comes from my family, who has always taught me to stand up for what I believe no matter what. And to be kind and to help others who are in distress.

So this non-conformist attitude came from the example of my upbringing. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been wired that way — and it definitely carries through to my work today.

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

Photo Credit: Death to Stock Photo Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ The Dalai Lama

When a client said to me, “My publisher wants to put out a press release that doesn’t accurately represent my work and the content of my book and I don’t feel right about it, but don’t feel like I can say anything. After all, they know best.” I told my client, “Don’t go against your own moral compass. Let’s come up with a new strategy and present it to them.” That’s what we did and it was readily accepted.

Or when another client said to me, “A sales expert told me I had to use his coaching model to get clients, but those aren’t the people I really want to work with,” I told my client, “Then stop that. We can find another way that reaches the people you resonate with.” I helped her get her first $10,000 client for a new program we devised. She was elated and said, “You turned my world upside down. What you have really opened my eyes to is another level of living. One to which I have aspired, but my only model was ‘become a guru.’  (shudder) Not only are you helping me, you are modeling a way of thinking that uplifts my spirit.”

When I see someone doing something that’s painful, unethical, ineffective, or that just “doesn’t feel right” for whatever reason, I urge them to speak up. I urge them to stop. I urge them to trust their instincts, rather than blindly trusting “The Man in the White Coat.”

Your “speaking up” story can be anything you want. Stopping a person from beating their dog. Telling a teacher that you DO in fact have singing skills. A time when you spoke up in a meeting and suggested something totally opposite to the common group think.

Speak up for what is right

Speak up for what is right

By speaking up and choosing to behave differently than your peers, you could transform your industry, change your customer’s lives, or (who knows?) even save someone’s life.

When you feel the urge to speak up or defy the “orders” you’ve been given, do it.

With very, very few exceptions, you will not regret it.

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life or someone else’s life? I want to hear your story.

Here’s how to share:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).

  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.

  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow

  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!

  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!

  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and then tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give memy publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.

 

In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.

 

I cannot wait to see your story. Whether it’s a story about a gigantic act of courage — or a small, everyday act of bravery — it all counts and it’s all amazing.

This blog post was inspired by a lovely & very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s delightful. You should read it. 

Speak your mind. Stand your ground. Sing your song™.


The Life Changing Magic of Speaking Up – A Story Contest

Share your story & get a prize!

Can you think of a time when you spoke up and it changed your life — or someone else’s life — for the better?

Maybe you saw a classmate bullying someone on the schoolyard and you spoke up and said, “Back off!”

Maybe you witnessed harm being done to a child or animal and intervened.

Maybe a colleague made a bigoted or sexist comment and you objected or said, “You need to apologize. That’s not OK.”

Maybe you had a “funny gut feeling” to call, visit or email a friend, parent, sibling, or client at a particular moment and your message changed the course of their day — or life.

Maybe you asked for a pay raise, a promotion, a new project, or an opportunity that you wanted—and you got it.

Maybe you bravely got onstage—or published a blog post—to share a true story from your own life and it led to a beautiful opportunity, inspired your audience to take action, or shifted your whole year in an unexpected way.

When you speak up—honestly, courageously, straight from the heart—your words can unlock incredible opportunities, open people’s eyes, help to correct wrongdoings, biases, and misconceptions, and make the world a better place.

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

The life-changing magic of speaking up contest

Speaking up is magical.

I love hearing stories about people who have chosen to speak up—what they did, what they said, and what happened next—and I want to hear your story. 

To reward you for sharing your story, I’m turning this into a CONTEST with a delicious prize for EVERYONE who participates! (Hooray!)

Here’s how it works:

  • Head over to Instagram (download the app here to sign up if you don’t already have an account).
  • Once you’re logged into Instagram, follow me and then post a photo plus some text on your feed. For the text, briefly tell a story about a time in your life when you chose to speak up—where you were, what you said, and what happened next.
  • Include this hashtag somewhere in your text: #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and tag me @susanharrow
  • Guidelines: please keep your story brief. 250 words or less. Think: “sound bite sized.” Also, please keep your story G-rated and appropriate for kids and teens to read. Extra credit for concise stories!
  • Please do your Instagram post by November 24 and encourage friends to participate, too!
  • Not on Instagram? No problem. Do the same thing on Facebook. Please “like” my page and remember to use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp and to tag me @susanharrow.

Prizes!

Prizes for everyone

Every single person who shares a story on Instagram or Facebook receives my E-book Girl On Fire—which shows you how to speak up in 10 of life’s trickiest scenarios—just for participating!

Here’s how to get that prize (and be entered in the contest for the grand prize):

Go to Instagram or Facebook.

  1. On Instagram follow me and tag EITHER the photo OR the text using @susanharrow.
  2. Post your story and image. NOTE: Make sure that you own the rights to the image or have creative commons commercial use rights. All submissions must have an image as well as text. Need some photo inspiration? Go here.
  3. Use the hashtag #TheMagicOfSpeakingUp.
  4. Tag me: @susanharrow.
  5. Go here to download your prize!
  6. I’ll announce the grand prize winner on December 9! (I hope it’s you!)

(Note: this is purely an “honor system” situation. No big hoops to jump through. If you posted a story, then go ahead and get your prize! It’s yours for the taking. Enjoy.)

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Grand prize for one person 

I will also select one story—the one that I feel is the most poignant or had the most impact—and that storyteller will receive the grand prize: My 6 month mentorship program to get prepared for publicity for or to launch your publicity program (Worth $11,500). I’ll announce the grand prize winner on my Instagram account and my Facebook Page on December 9. (Follow me on Instagram at @susanharrow and on Facebook to stay in the loop!)

This will be so fun and inspiring!

Whether you have a story about a huge, life-altering moment—or a small, quiet, everyday act of bravery—I want to see how you decided to speak up.

I can’t wait to see your story!

This contest was inspired by a lovely and very popular book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. You can buy the book here. 

Small print: 

In submitting a photo and story (The Work) you give me, my publisher, and its licensees and assigns permission to use any and/or all of the material from your post including the photo in all editions and derivations of The Work throughout the World, in all languages and all media, whether now known or hereinafter devised, and in the advertising, publicity, and promotion thereof. Proper credit will be attributed to you in The Work.
In submitting a story with an image/photograph you grant the permission requested above and warrant that the material indicated below does not infringe upon the copyright or other rights of anyone. If you do not control the rights requested by this post in their entirety, please provide me with the name and address of any other party from whom permission is required.

The Email Pitch Letter That Got Me Publicity – That You Can Copy

This is the email that got me featured in a local paper called The Marin Independent Journal (Marin IJ). The journalist, PJ had written about our garden (Which has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens) before from a different angle—saving the disappearing bees.

You can copy it in a snap.

So you can get free publicity too – either local publicity or national publicity. This email is universal.

Harrow Garden view

Business Coaching Photo credit: Will Csaklos

EMAIL #1 ME TO PJ:

Subject line: Group coaching salons in the garden

Hi PJ!

Loved your piece on going directly to jail to get garden bargains. We’ve been considering getting an owl box so this is great to know!

While we do have native plants and make sure the birdbaths are full for all the birds, bees and insects, we’re also using the garden for something new so other people can enjoy it’s beauty:

Coaching Salons.

Think party, literary salon and laser coaching all wrapped up in an enlivening day.

Kind of like blooming your business.

It’s a new alternative to meeting in stuffy hotel rooms and following a stiff agenda. Instead you…

Come with your business longings, dilemmas, and stuck points.

Leave with a clear mind, a full heart — and a plan.

And though I love virtual trainings (and run a few) people are craving more intimate experiences.

http://prsecrets.com/consult/coaching-salons/

Love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers,

Susan

Here is how our correspondence continued.

EMAIL #2 PJ RESPONSE

Love it!  When does it start?

ME: It’s 1 day on Saturday Sept 19 from 1-5.

Email #3 PJ RESPONSE

Got it.  Does it have a strong garden connection other than just being in a garden. Events need to have a strong connection to the garden : )>

ME: Well, everyone says that this feels like a sanctuary and when they see the trellis they say it’s the perfect place to get married so I see the garden as a way to better connect with yourself and what you want vs. sitting in front of a computer.

We are not just going to sit at the table, but were going to walk and talk down the pathways and use movement and the flowers as a way to loosen our thought process and brainstorm.

We will also deadhead – prune away what no longer serves us, by pruning our roses, echinaceas, or boxwoods.

Everyone will also plant a seed in a tiny pot of dirt as a metaphor to grow their business. (Gloves optional!) When I planted tiny maples that had self-seeded from our giant Japanese Maple, hands deep in dirt with my next door neighbor’s kids, they said, “I wish we could do this more often!”

Everyone will leave with a bundle of beautiful lavender to smell to remind them of the day to stay inspired and to take action on what they say they want.

Is that enough?

How does that sound?

Inspiring Creativity! Entrepreneurs grow their business with business coaching in the garden Photo Credit: Will Csaklos

Inspiring Creativity! Entrepreneurs grow their business with business coaching in the garden Photo Credit: Will Csaklos

RESULT: We set up a time to talk two days later. She interviewed me and the article posted. This short format works for either local or national publicity. It’s short, to the point and doesn’t give away all the nitty gritty details until the reporter / producer is interested and asks.

As soon as the piece posted people called or just purchased their place online the same day the article came out.

There are just 2 spots left. Want to come? (San Francisco Bay Area).

I rarely do in-person events and this is the only one I’ll be doing this year. I’d love to meet you and work with you in person!  I hope one will be for you. ?

Here is PJ’s piece about the garden coaching salon.

For the FREE 100 Word Email That Can Get Media To Call You special report, template + examples that goes into more detail and the psychology behind this strategy go here. You can copy it exactly to pitch YOUR local and national media contacts so you can get publicity. (It’s free!)

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Follow us on Instagram here for more PR tips, insights, gorgeous images, beauty and fun (See me do a knife takeaway for my Aikido test – but don’t expect to be impressed…).


7 Harmful Attitudes That Are Blocking You From Getting Featured in the Media

Not getting featured in the media?

Feeling tons of “resistance” whenever you sit down to work on your press kit, pitch or press release?

Can’t seem to “crack the code” on how to get top bloggers, journalists, editors and producers to pay attention to your work?

Frustrated that your replies to HARO, PRLeads and other PR services and don’t get any response?

Feel like, deep down, you “know” what you ought to be doing to take your visibility to the next level… except for some reason, you’re not doing it?

Over the past 25 years of my career, I’ve spent over 130,000 hours (that’s a very conservative estimate) training authors, speakers, coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to help them get booked in the media and then use that exposure to double or triple their income.

Initially, when I ask, “Why are you having trouble getting press for your business?” One client said she had done literally hundreds of radio shows with little result, but had no idea what she was doing wrong. Many other clients have similar stories. Those are the ones that say that, “publicity doesn’t work.”

Just as typically my clients tend to point towards something “external” (like: “My press release really represent what we do” or: “My website looks dated.”)

Fair enough. I agree: having all of your materials looking sharp is very important. Your presence and what you say when you’re in the spotlight is too.

Presence is equally important as your message Photo Credit: Tim Caynes

Presence is equally important as your message Photo Credit: Tim Caynes

But in my experience? If you’re consistently struggling to get your business, book, product, service, cause or mission in the media, or your appearances just don’t have much of an effect, the source of your “blockage” usually boils down to one thing:

Your attitude.

In other words: What you BELIEVE about yourself and your ability to serve.

This may sound harsh, but it’s actually a very empowering thing to realize. Because once you’ve identified the harmful attitude that is holding you back, you can take steps to resolve it. Hopefully: once and for all.

Think your attitude is just fine, thank you very much? That may be true.

But it never hurts to do a little self-exploration.

Read on and see if any of the following 7 attitudes sound a bit like… you.

Harmful attitude #1:

Im too fat to be on TV. Maybe if I lose 20 pounds first…”

Why you need to change your tude:

It’s been reported that 97% of women have at least one I hate my body moment, per day.

Imagine if every woman who thought to herself, Ugh, I dont like how I look allowed those thoughts to STOP her from seeking media opportunities. We would literally have almost ZERO women appearing in the media. What a dismal world that would be!

Harmful weight-related attitudes aren’t just for women, of course. Men can — and do — think these kinds of thoughts, too, but generally, they don’t let that hold them back.

If you feel that you need to drop some weight, for your overall health, go for it. But in the meantime, don’t let “size shame” halt your progress. Not everyone who appears in the media needs to be a rail-thin supermodel. There’s room for all kinds of ideas, personalities and sizes.

Your media role model:

Oprah, of course.

She has publicly battled with her weight for decades. Even at her absolute lowest weight, she wore a size 10! Yet she’s perfectly comfortable talking about health, happiness, wellbeing, and “living your best life” — in front of international audiences. People respect her opinions, completely. If she can do it, why not you?

Harmful attitude #2:

“I’m so boring! My life has been relatively comfortable and easy. I havent overcome an extreme adversity, dont have a rags to riches story, or anything gritty to share.”

Why you need to change your tude:

Not everything in the media needs to be “gritty,” “caustic,” “violent” or “dramatic.” And we’ve certainly had our fill of rags to riches stories, haven’t we? You don’t need to have become homeless and lived under a bridge, eaten from garbage cans or swindled out of a fortune by your business partner to get media coverage.

In fact, I would argue that today’s audiences are so bombarded with “drama” that they are delighted for an escape from the madness. (There’s a reason why websites like TheDailyPuppy.com are so popular.)

You don’t need to be rude, crude or rough around the edges in order to get booked in the media. You just need to be yourself.

If the “real you” is a positive person who was blessed with wonderful parents and a joyful childhood, so be it. You still have ideas, tips, strategies and stories to share. You can still be entertaining. You can still be insightful. You can still help people to lead better lives. Suffering is not a pre-requisite for service.

As my friend Alex puts it, you don’t necessarily have to “overcome adversity in order to know stuff.”

Your media role model:

Ellen DeGeneres.

Ellen has built a huge media platform anchored on “traditional values” like kindness and compassion. She consciously steers away from gritty or violent topics.

She’s known for delivering audiences a daily dose of positivity — complete with goofy dancing. That’s who she is and what she does best.

If you are the “Ellen” of your industry, embrace it! Don’t try to change yourself for the spotlight. You will feel awkward, uncomfortable, and struggle to successfully make the “point” that you’re there to make — and audiences will be feeling uncomfortable, right along with you.

Just be you. “You” is what works.

Harmful attitude #3:

“All of this media preparation stuff like setting up my website is too hard! I’m terrible with technology.”

Why you need to change your tude:

To quote the folks at this design firm: If Google cant find it, it doesnt exist.

That’s the reality of our world today.

If you are unwilling to set up a website, participate in social media, and create materials that are quickly searchable (and findable) online — like a backlog of recent press releases stored on your site — you are going to have a tough time getting the kind of media coverage you want.

Your media role model:

Betty White.

At age 93, this actress, activist and product spokeswoman has a vibrant Twitter presence and shows no signs of slowing down with her career, despite her age.

Her manager jokes, “Betty and I have an understanding. I have told her that I have already booked her when she turns 100 and there is no out clause. Betty never backs out of a date.”

Another role model for you:

Theresa Reed.

As a professional Tarot card reader who has been reading cards — full time — for over 25 years, Theresa has a steady stream of “regulars” and could certainly opt to “rest on her laurels.” But that’s not her style.

She is constantly learning new tools, upgrading her website, and experimenting with new ways to connect with audiences around the world (including starting her own podcast). She firmly believes that all business owners need to be tech-savvy, and she even mentors “tech-phobic” entrepreneurs to help them grasp the basics.

Theresa is regularly a go-to expert on Tarot, astrology and spirituality blogs, podcasts and magazines. The secret to her success? Well, as she put it — while talking to a friend of mine — “I ain’t no stale hippie.”

Harmful attitude #4:

Im not the worlds most credible expert on this topic. Other people are much more experienced and authoritative than me.

Why you need to change your tude:

There will always be people who are more highly credentialed than you are. That’s a fact.

“Comparing and despairing” when you size yourself up to your competitors is very counter-productive.

Yes, of course, there are people who might have more degrees, certifications or years of experience than you. But that doesn’t detract from your ability to serve your audience in your way, right now.

The real question is this: Do you have something to share right now, today that could help a fellow human solve a problem, get inspired, or lead a better life?

If so, then you’ve got the most important “credential” of all: something of VALUE to share.

Your media role model:

Gabby Bernstein.

Gabby is one of the world’s most sought-after media commentators in the realm of personal growth and spirituality.

Does she have a PhD in psychology? Nope. (She actually studied “theater” at college). Is she a Nobel Peace Prize winner like The Dalai Lama? Nope. Has she published formal, academic research papers? Nope. Has any of that ever stopped her from pursuing opportunities to write, appear, and get interviewed in the media? NOPE.

She has personal stories to share and insights that she knows will help people.

And share she does. With videos, audios, Ted talks, lectures, meditations, courses, books, products, a spirit junkie app, and stuff she loves. And if that’s not enough you can enroll in the “Get More Gabby” subscription service. Phew!

Harmful attitude #5:

I just dont have time for all this stuff! Between running my business, taking care of my clients, and dealing with my family I dont have a minute to write press releases, build relationships with journalists, maintain my website, and ugh!

Why you need to change your tude:

Life is unquestionably busy. As a business owner, there will always be “something” pulling at your attention.

But if you want to grow to the next level, serve wider audiences, and sell more of your books, products, courses and services (without spending money on advertising), then getting featured in the media needs to be part of your plan.

As Stephen R. Covey, author of the bestselling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

If getting media coverage is a priority for you (and it should be!) then it must be treated as just that: a priority.

This may mean shutting down lower-priority projects for the time being or learning how to delegate more effectively. (If you’re struggling to stay focused on the action steps that really count, this training program can help you stay on track.)

Your media role model:

President Obama.

He is arguably THE busiest man on planet earth — with an unthinkable level of stress resting upon his shoulders.

Yet he still creates the time to write guest articles for The Huffington Post, contribute exclusive interviews to People magazine, occasionally, even tweet personal notes to his followers, and appear on TV talk shows to discuss his latest thoughts on basketball or a new bill in Congress.

Does he have a team supporting him? Of course. The point, here, is that Obama recognizes the importance of making media coverage a top priority. It’s not something to ignore or neglect. It’s vital to his success as a thought leader.

Harmful attitude #6:

Ive never been good at public speaking. Its just not my thing. Im going to freeze, blush, giggle, burp, sweat, snort, forget my lines and mess this up somehow. I just know it.

Why you need to change your tude:

No one wants to watch a “perfect robot” on the air or listen to a “slick and polished” presentation. If you go “off script” during a media appearance, it can often work in your favor. Little flubs can be endearing and humanizing.

This is something I talk about a lot in one of my media training programs, Your Signature Sound Bites. If you’ve got your sound bites down pat — meaning: you’ve chosen a couple of key messages that you really, really want your media audience to remember and “take home” — then it’s pretty tough to mess anything up. Just stick to your sound bites and allow yourself to relax. If you’re too slick? We want to topple you off that perfect pedestal. Be yourself. Quirks, nerves, sweats, burbs and all.

Your media role model:

Anne Hathaway.

While appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote her latest film — which she produced and starred in — Anne lost her composure and began laughing hysterically. Why? Because the plot of the movie (which deals with a coma victim) is so dreadfully, horrendously sad, it was actually… kind of funny.

Rather than sitting back in horror, fans LOVED it. Multiple media platforms (Vanity Fair, E! Online, US Magazine) shared the now-legendary giggle-clip, using words like “charming” and “adorable” and “utterly endearing” to describe it!

As one journalist put it: “This feels real candid. I don’t know if Anne Hathaway has ever been so likable. This is how you sell a movie, even when it’s a coma movie.”

Harmful attitude #7:

I dont deserve to be featured in the media. Im ordinary. Im not special.

Why you need to change your tude:

Let me ask you this:

Has an “ordinary” person ever given you a piece of advice that made your entire week better?

Has an “ordinary” person ever shared a resource with you that saved you tons of time or brought you hours of delight?

Has an “ordinary” friend, colleague or family member ever said something that motivated you to change an unhealthy habit and improve your life?

“Ordinary” people have the power to serve, educate, inform and inspire, just as much as rich, famous “celebrities” or “authorities” do.

If you have something of value to share — whether it’s a product, service, book, mission, cause, or day-changing tip, tool or idea — then you deserve to be in the media.

The brilliant Marianne Williamson had it right when said, We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

Your media role model:

This “ordinary” mom from Sumter, South Carolina.

She recorded a video of herself singing her baby to sleep and spontaneously posted it online. When she woke up the next morning, her video had gone viral. After a radio station shared it on Facebook, it got 4 million views. TV stations started calling. She was featured on Good Morning America and the host said that this could be the big break she’s been waiting for to become a singer. This mom became — literally! — an overnight sensation.

Her voice is very pretty, yes, but the real reason that her video touched the hearts of millions of people is that… she is ordinary and heartfelt. There was no artifice in her singing. Just a mom, home, in a dimly lit room, rocking her baby to sleep, singing as if no one was watching.

Moral of the story?

Your “ordinary-ness” can be THE quality that makes you appealing to the media and to audiences, worldwide.

“Ordinary” is not the same as “boring.” You can be totally un-flashy and still wow audiences with your ideas, stories and talents.

Musician Sam Smith who won four Grammy awards last night, said, “I just want to say that before I made this record I was doing everything to try to get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and the people started to listen.”

Allow yourself to be exactly who you are. We want to see your blemished self. Not a prettified version of someone you think you should be.

How do I get on TV Photo Credit: goMainstream

How do I get on TV Photo Credit: goMainstream

That’s the approach that will resonate most strongly with audiences — and get the media calling you back.

Final words:

Getting booked in the media is one thing.

Translating media attention into sales is another.

Simply getting “interviewed,” “featured,” “quoted” or “mentioned” in the media does NOT guarantee that people are going to actually buy your program, products and services or hire you for speeches or consulting.

To accomplish that, you’ve got to have specific systems and processes in place that turn curious callers or new website visitors into paying customers.

Those systems and processes are exactly what I teach inside my $25 / month training program: The Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul Membership Club.

If you want to learn how to get booked in the media and use publicity to double or triple your income ― while keeping your integrity intact ― this monthly membership club was created for you.

The program is ongoing and you can begin your training any month, any time, and get access to all the goodies immediately. Join us here.


3 Ways To Look Hot and Profesh In Your Next Media or Website Photo Shoot (Plus a checklist)

Professional models get a lot of criticism and flack.

“Oh, gosh, lying around in expensive furs all day long while people drizzle champagne into your mouth and snap your photo! Gimme a break! How is THAT a job?”

But… you know what? YOU try it.

Holding a difficult pose for long, muscle-aching minutes… keeping your eyes wide open when the sun is beaming down… remembering not to scowl or blink… hitting all the right angles to flatter your figure… looking “sexy” and “inviting” without going overboard and looking like a street-walker…

It’s NOT easy.

And if YOU have ever attempted to do a professional photo shoot for your website, your blog, your book jacket cover, or for a media appearance, you know EXACTLY how difficult it can be!

While getting ultra-comfortable in front of the camera DOES take practice, you can ensure that you’ll wind up with dramatically better photos just by keeping a few pointers in mind:

1. Gaze like you mean it.

Karen Kingston, a Feng Shui and style expert, has the following advice:

Visualize someone in your audience. One client. One customer. One reader or fan. Imagine that you’re looking directly into their eyes. Imagine gazing at them. Decide how you want them to feel when they meet you. Gaze at the camera… like that.

THIS WORKS! I used this gazing technique when I got a set of headshots several years ago.

I had multiple people say to me, “I honestly didn’t even think I needed to work with a media trainer. But there was just something about your eyes, your face… after seeing your photo, I knew I could trust you. I needed to meet you.”

how to look professional in a photo shoot

how to look professional in a photo shoot

Practice your gaze before your photo shoot, so that it’s easier to shift into that mode when it’s time to get in front of the camera.

During the shoot, look directly into the lens of the camera, as if you’re gazing into the eyes of your dream customer. Be inviting. Be encouraging. Show the love.

Draw them in.

  1. Decide how your photos will be used — in advance.

Do you need a vertical, full-body shot for the homepage of your website?

A set of headshots for your media kit?

Lifestyle photos and vignettes of you in your workspace, with your products?

Photos that will appeal to TV producers? (Think: you, onstage, with a sharp blazer and a tailored appearance).

Or photos that will appeal to yoga studio owners? (Think: you, seated in a lotus position, with crystals and an organic cotton tunic top).

All / some / none of the above?

Think carefully about where your photos are going to be used — your website, your blog, your social media profiles, other people’s websites, books, magazines — and plan out your photos accordingly.

Communicate with your photographer so that they understand exactly where and how the finished photos are going to be used.

This will ensure that both of you are walking into the photo shoot with a clear plan — not just snapping willy-nilly and then “seeing what you get.”

  1. Get glam — but keep it real.

You want to look gorgeous (or handsome) in your photos, of course.

You want to present the best possible image of yourself.

But don’t use your photo shoot as an opportunity to get dolled up in a way that’s completely unrealistic.

If you’re a down to earth, granola-baking mama who wears yoga pants six days out of seven — and you want to promote your organic skincare line — don’t get trussed up in a skimpy black mini dress with six-inch stiletto heels.

You might look smoking hot… but you won’t look like “you.”

photo shoot for media

photo shoot for media

Be a gorgeous version of you, not a gorgeous version of somebody else.

If a client or customer meets you in “real life,” you want them to say… “WOW. You look EXACTLY like your photo, online… except, you’re even more stunning in real life!”

Last but not least?

Reduce pre-photo shoot stress with this handy checklist:

For Women:

Make sure to get / pack / have…

[   ] A good bra. (Don’t skip it! It will dramatically alter your silhouette)

[   ] At least three outfits that make you feel like the most beautiful version of you. Avoid busy patterns and small prints, unless that’s your signature “look.”

[   ] A small bag of different jewelry pieces and accessories to play with. Unless you’re a zero-accessory kinda gal. Stay true to you.

[   ] A bag full of your products / books / any other items that convey what your work is all about.

[   ] Professional hair. Hint: to save some money at the salon — and still get totally pampered — head to a blow-out bar where the stylists don’t do cuts and coloring. Just styling.

[   ] Professional makeup. Tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot, and I want to look like me — not somebody else.” Make sure they use matte, zero-shine products that are especially designed for photography. This is not the time for glimmery, shimmery products. They can make your skin look unpleasantly shiny on camera!

[   ] A make-up bag for touch ups, mid-shoot.

[   ] Water and snacks. Most photo shoots last two to four hours. Pack healthy snacks so you don’t start to droop!

[   ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before it starts for a BIG burst of encouragement.

how to look hot in a photo shoot

how to look hot in a photo shoot

For guys:

[   ] At least three outfits that make you feel totally handsome.

[   ] A small bag of different accessories to play with. Think: ties in different colors, watches, eye glasses.

[   ] Rice paper tissues. These little squares of paper can be used to blot your face if you have a tendency to get sweaty and shiny.

[   ] A professional shave and hair styling. Go to the barbershop and indulge yourself. Why not?

[   ] Professional makeup. Wait. Breathe. Don’t freak out. You can tell your stylist: “I’m doing a photo shoot and I want to keep the make up EXTREMELY minimal and masculine.” But don’t automatically exclude mascara….

Your stylist can apply a tiny bit of concealer under your eyes to diminish dark circles. That might be all you need! Or, possibly a BB cream — which is basically a moisturizer with SPF and a tiny hint of coloration. It won’t look like “make up.” It will just even out your skin tone.

Every professional male model, TV personality and film actor wears a bit of makeup. It’s doesn’t have to be “feminine,” if that’s not your thing.

Just think of it as adding a healthy “tint” to your skin so that you don’t look pale, washed out or blotchy in your photos.

And if you’re really dubious about make up… just do it. Have your photographer snap a few photos. Then wash it off. Take a few more. See which ones you wind up liking better! It can’t hurt to give it a try.

[   ] Water and snacks. Definitely. Photo shoot often drag on for longer than you’d expect! Some of my favs are NuGO Slim bars, Manuka honey and lemon water, Elyte (electrolytes) and coconut water so you can keep your energy even throughout the day.

[   ] A pre-photo shoot pep talk. Get a good friend to call you a few minutes before your shoot. Have them remind you, “You’re drop-dead handsome, smart and awesome. Have fun!”

Here’s to looking fantastic… attracting the best possible clients… and doing great work in the world.

Enjoy the FREE training: Speak in Sound Bites: 5 Surefire Strategies to Get More Clients, Customers, and Sales, and Become a Media Darling


Too introverted to Appear on TV? Why the Media Craves People Like YOU

If you’re in America, all you have to do is turn-on the TV or turn-up the radio to discover that loud and extroverted personalities usually take the cake—stars like the women of Real Housewives, the brazen comedians on Fashion Police and even CNN talk show host, Piers Morgan are personalities writ large—no matter what kind of audience they may be targeting.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts Photo Credit: zilverbat

Quiet: The Power of Introverts Photo Credit: zilverbat

In a world where outgoing and outlandish often seems to win people over, it’s important for the more serious and contemplative crowd to understand that they are needed, they are wanted, I’ll even go as far as to say they’re yearned for by the media.

So please, my introverted media darlings, take heart and don’t give a second-thought to changing who you are—the right interviewers and news opportunities are out there and aching for the likes of you.

Have an inkling of doubt?

The following 5 people are examples of how the soft, shy, gentle and reserved have found just as bright a spotlight in their field—and in the media:

JK Rowling. She’s a self-proclaimed introvert and one of the most beloved authors to date as writer of the addictive Harry Potter novels. But the media wasn’t always kind to Rowling. In the beginning of her fame The Telegraph reports that Rowling deliberately ‘tidied herself up a bit’ as a result of the insults [from the media]. She was accused of being “unkempt.”

Introverts and extroverts alike are subject to the sometimes cruel and critical eye of the media who holds them to celebrity standards of glamour.

Introverts who share their feelings of fear often endear us. Rowling began her Harvard commencement address titled, ‘The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination’ with “The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.”

We don’t think bestselling authors are fearful or get sick at the thought of public speaking. Nonetheless Rowling is listed as a speaker with Celebrity Speaker’s Bureau, and continues to makes media appearances and go on book tours, even though she might prefer to cozy up in a café and scribble another bestseller.

How You Can Appear on TV Photo Credit: DG Jones

How You Can Appear on TV Photo Credit: DG Jones

Emma Watson. To stay on this book theme for a moment, the adored Harry Potter alum tries to stay out of the media spotlight but only succeeds in the public wanting to know more about the secluded insider. She chose getting her degree at Brown instead of an over-booked media appearance schedule. Watson frequently notes how she prefers quiet nights at home over red carpet events and was also named the highest grossing paid actress of the decade at just 19. From the looks of it, staying true to herself paid off (literally).

Guy Kawasaki. The “Godfather of Silicon Valley” and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Guy Kawasaki is an excellent example of a mellow-minded business man who frequents the media spotlight despite his more reclusive nature. I once chatted with him in a bookstore aisle where he was snuggled in a chair happily reading. He was charming, easy-going and didn’t have a braggy bone in him. With 1.45 million Twitter followers and counting, he’s anything but a nobody—the media and people across the world, love him.

Steve Martin. One of America’s most cherished comedians and movie stars to date admits to introversion with absolutely no qualms. And why should he have any? With an abundant tour schedule, embracing Twitter and the regular interaction with his 43.6 thousand Twitter followers, his new music stylings and several of the world’s most esteemed awards under his belt, he’s a man with more media credits than most of us could ever dream of.

Lady Gaga. Yes, one of the world’s most fascinating and bold musicians is indeed a quiet-minded soul who prefers to keep her private life out of the media glare. That doesn’t change the fact that she has taken home five Grammy’s, makes regular talk show appearances and was hailed in Time as the second most influential person of the decade, ranking above President Barack Obama.

Still not certain that the media wants the reserved?

The truth is, you may not be until you get booked yourself. Make your own proof.

Introverts unite! Join me and learn how to get the media’s attention and tap into your ideal audience with my new Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ Membership Club. Take a peek here and pull up a chair in our inner circle.

Publicity for Introverts Photo Credit: Brett Jordan

Publicity for Introverts Photo Credit: Brett Jordan

Extroverted, introverted, modest or assertive…

There’s a need for you—your audience and the media is out there, searching for you—but you have to take the first-step and put yourself out there.

Go out into the world as you are, unadorned, letting the truth of you be what it is—and people will love you for it.

You’re invited you to take the FREE training (with some terrific tips for introverts): 5 Ways to Double Your Business With Media Appearances in 90 Days.

 


Love Beads and Bergamot

My sweetie and I were sitting in a booth at Chevy’s in Richmond, right after visiting Annie’s Annuals to get some of her incredible plants (cappuccino sunflowers, dahlias, violas, hollyhocks). As we sloppily ate the fire-roasted salsa (my fav) I noticed the guy across from me with his amazing array of super colorful bracelets and necklace — kinda like you’d wear when you were a kid. I wanted to take a photo of him, and Will encouraged me as I felt a bit shy about asking. But I did it. We asked if he made the jewelry and he said some. Others had been given to him. And explained that he went to parties where they exchanged the jewelry with each other.

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Brand you

As he left he came to our table and asked me if I wanted a bracelet. He put it on my wrist and said, “But first, I’ll teach you what we do when we give it.” He held up his hand in a peace sign and I did the same and we held our fingers together. Next was love, our hand in a C. Then was respect, palm to palm. Last was… unity and we laced our fingers together. Peace. Love. Respect. Unity. I did a short video re-enactment so I could remember it.

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branding management

I’m wearing the bracelet now as I write this about to continue to work on my new website and realized that one of my hopes is that… my website conveys these things.

For a long time, my website hasn’t felt like me, and that pained me deeply. I’d outgrown the design and feel. So it has felt out of alignment. I had to wait 9 months to get Paul Jarvis the web designer I wanted (it was SO worth it!). We started in February. Completed the design in March. And a team of us have been working madly transferring and editing the content as we populate it.

It’s been both a purifying and maddening process. Maddening for so many little details and decisions. Purifying, for letting go of what no longer represents who I am or what I do. Since I like to see things happen fast so this has been a huge exercise in patience and endurance. There have been many moments of little temper tantrums and crying in the kitchen.

To help calm myself I read The Art of Stillness: Adventures in going nowhere by Pico Iyer. I’ve put Ed Sheeran (who I’m kinda in love with) on the CD player and lit a Sydney Hale Co bergamot and black tea candle. I’ve gone to Aikido even when exhausted and crabby. I’ve immersed myself in the garden too. I figure pleasuring the senses will help neutralize frustration and fatigue.

To give you a little tour of my new website I’ve highlighted a number of new gifts and guides that I made for you can enjoy.

I’m particularly proud of this. As it’s been 15 years in the making.

To purification,

Susan

P.S. Want to be my podcast guest?

I’ll be starting a Podcast soon and I’m looking to interview you if you got featured in the media. Jet me a quick email and tell me a bit about your experience (and be sure to include your website). If I think your story is a good match I’ll ping you right back to set up a time to talk. If you’re chosen you’ll get in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands and, of course, we will so our best promote you and your expertise gracefully integrated into the Podcast interview using the same principles we teach in the Your Signature Sound Bites course.

P.P.S. If you find any glitches or irritations in the new website please let us know!

P.P.P.S. I’m moving away from Facebook onto Instagram to share my “behind the scenes” life. So follow me (and maybe “like” some pics that appeal) over there where you’ll find a photo that won me a Sydney Hale Co. candle! So thrilled.

P.P.P.P.S. Live in the San Francisco Bay Area? Come to a coaching salon in the garden! I’d love to meet you in person.

For You

Looking to go far fast? Ultra Super Saver Bundle (All my creations – minus the ones I’m no longer proud of) for a hefty 75%+ off.

Curious about the Sound bite and Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul E-course combo? Try it for $1. (30 day guarantee).

Want to work together. Here are the many wonderful ways. (Choose your delight).

Haven’t found your JoySpot, the place where joy and profit meet? (Book a session now.)

Think you can’t afford me? You can! Get group coaching every month in the Q&A in the Membership Club (+ fab lessons).

Want eye and heart candy? Quote-Poems to inspire you. (Perfect for social media engagement + happy-making).

Need a media list? 50 Top Media Contacts. (Right on the home page).

Yearning to learn? Masterclass trainings here. (Fun and fast).

Seeking the latest blueprints, PR and tech tools? Look no further. (What I use).

Aaaaaand, more free reports

Aching for a reading binge? Hop on over to the blog. (See the ENTIRE list of posts + get more PDF downloads).

That’s it for the lalapalooza!