Friday, December 28, 2007

Give The Gift of Acknowledgment This Holiday Season

What greater gift could you give to someone than to express your gratitude to them?

Do it this holiday season!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." ~ William Arthur Ward

One item on my list of tasks today was to call my health insurance office. What a pleasant surprise when my favorite person in that office answered the phone!

After asking her a question and receiving a succinct answer, I felt as though I wanted to share the gratitude I was feeling for all she has done for me in challenging times over the years. I acknowledged her for not only being efficient and helpful in every situation, but being extremely compassionate in helping me resolve some issues.

When I shared my feelings, she expressed that what I said brought tears to her eyes. She said it was a perfect time for her to hear these positive words as this could be a challenging and emotional work day.

I let her know that I would not only fax the form I needed to send her, but would also write down my thoughts and fax them to her as well. Knowing that I made her day more joyful with acknowledgment of her as an empathetic and efficient person brought so much positive energy into my heart.

Are there wonderful thoughts you are having that you haven't yet shared with someone? What a perfect month to express the gratitude you are feeling.

Go beyond wrapping that present of gratitude. Give the present and feel the warmth in your heart. Priceless!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Million-Dollar Businesses Can Benefit from Yoga Principles

Practicing yoga is very much like running your Million-Dollar Business. There are principles that are necessary for either the business or the yoga to be outstanding.

Yoga is not just for relaxation.

Believe me. I know. Hatha Yoga is a vigorous and demanding practice!

During one of the classes this week, I started thinking about how practicing yoga is very much like running your Million-Dollar Business. There are principles that are necessary for either the business or the yoga to be outstanding. Let's look at four of these principles.

1. Focus is everything.

Yoga: It is virtually impossible to keep your balance in poses if you are not totally focused on what you are doing. When you find yourself having difficulty in holding a posture, notice what is going on in your mind. You've probably started thinking about something you need to do later in the day.

Your Million-Dollar Business: You are focused on the actions that will bring about the most significant results. Your intentions are clear as you begin each day. You keep your attention on the important items and are not pulled off course by not so important urgent matters.

2. Letting go is essential for clear thinking.

Yoga: In order to achieve postures that require a great deal of flexibility, it's essential to let go and let the muscles and tendons relax and stretch. To do a forward bend with the hands on the floor, you cannot be tight in your leg muscles.

Your Million-Dollar Business: For a clear mind and connection to your creative genius you let go of matters that really aren't your concern. You move forward in the way you know is best, not from what others are doing or saying.

3. Consistency is the key to effectiveness.

Yoga: With consistent practice of yoga positions, your body gets stronger and more flexible and your cardio strength improves. Step by step, you are able to move toward a level of strength and flexibility that you never imagined you would have.

Your Million-Dollar Business: In order to have the greatest effect on your target market, you are consistent with your marketing efforts. You also consistently communicate with clients to ensure their satisfaction.

4. It looks easy when you are masterful.

Yoga: Until someone actually participates in a yoga class, there is no way to understand the amount of strength and agility that is required. Looking at a yoga class, it appears that there is not a whole lot of action going on. Actually, in that still pose, there is a tremendous amount of power. The body is centered and solid, using multiple muscles to keep itself in place.

Your Million-Dollar Business: It looks as though your work is effortless. To others, it looks as though it is easy for you to have a million dollar business. And when there is a great system in place and good leadership, it can be a smooth process. The power is within.

It's that solid foundation, consistent focus, and the flow of creative ideas that will take you to that Million-Dollar Business and keep you moving forward!

Monday, December 10, 2007

International Giving

Last month I talked about the wonderful project I am supporting for
some third and fourth grade children. Their classroom receives a lot of donated books, but the books are not organized enough for easy access. Not only will this classroom have a library system for the books, but they will also have comfortable furniture to encourage their love of reading. Here is the name of the organization:

Another joy I've had for a couple of years now is supporting a teenage girl in an orphanage in Romania. She writes to me often in her native language and I receive a translation. She is just one person among millions in the world who need support. Oh, to be able to help MANY! That is one of the reasons I am working diligently to grow my business more and more so that I can make a bigger impact on the world. You can check out this organization here:

I invite you to be open to opportunities to give of your time and/or your money to support organizations that are working to make a difference in the lives of many.

In exchange for your donation to a charity that speaks to your heart, I am entering your name into a drawing. I made this offer for the first 10 people to respond and beyond those 10 I will put your names in a hat and draw out 5 more names! Call me crazy, but I love connecting with other conscious business people!You will have the opportunity to win a month of coaching that will get you started on creating some systems for sustainability in your business and in your life. Yes, you read that right! One month of coaching!
This coaching package includes three scheduled 45-minute sessions and unlimited email communication.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

7 Keys For Moving Exuberantly Into A Successful 2008!

As we move into December, it's time to start thinking about closing out 2007 and getting ready to move into 2008. Here are seven suggestions for you to consider as you move through this month:

7 Keys For Moving Exuberantly Into A Successful 2008!


1. What are your top 5 achievements of 2007?

Lessons learned from them?

2. What are the 5 greatest disappointments you have from 2007?

Lessons learned from them?


3. What are you tolerating in your life?

In other words, what are the little annoyances in all areas of your life that you haven't resolved?

It might be something as simple as a cluttered car or as major as a roof on your home needing replacement.

It could be a relationship with a friend or family member that is draining your energy.

Perhaps you have a lot of files that need to be organized.

Are there events or meetings that you would like to eliminate from your life?

List tolerations from all areas of your life just to assess where you are right now.

4. Develop a Pleasure Menu!

1. Think of activities that you enjoy. Some might be ones you haven't done in a long time. Perhaps some you do occasionally and would really like to do more often.

2. Create categories for your menu: "Mindless", "Creative", "Physical", etc.
List all activities you can think of that would be pleasurable for you to do in free moments.

When you find you have a little free time, look at your menu and choose an activity that fits into the time span you have available. Don't let that time be wasted by some activity you don't even enjoy. (like bad TV!)

Actually set aside small or larger chunks of time in your calendar and choose from your desired activities to have some restorative time

You'll go back to your work and responsibilities with renewed energy and exuberance.


5. Set intentions in different areas of your life: friends, family, business, self care, etc. When we set an intention, it means we're moving toward something. Goals, on the other hand, seem more static and set in stone. Having intentions leaves us open for an even greater outcome than we could imagine!

Visualize yourself meeting those intentions. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and touch of the experience you want to have. Feel your body moving in the way you would imagine in that situation.

6. Find support rather than working in a vacuum. You could get a success buddy, hire a coach, join an inspiring book study group, join a Master Mind group or look for an advocate who can introduce you to others who would be of service to you and your intentions.

7. Acknowledge your progress during the new year on a daily basis. Notice what you are doing well. Avoid focusing on what is not complete or not done as well as you would have liked. And plan a CELEBRATION for the end of 2008 for an acknowledgement to all of your successes for the year!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gratitude and Gifts

Recently I heard a woman share that she celebrated her birthday for as many days as she was old. Since my birthday is early December, actually on Pearl Harbor Day, I decided to start my birthday "party" this month and continue celebrating until the end of the year!

I am overflowing with gratitude this year. I've been blessed in so many ways. You may have seen the family photos in previous issues. Family is at the top of my gratitude list along with my spiritual connection.

I am also so grateful to have found the profession of coaching. I feel as though my entire life has been preparation for my work. Not only have I had the experience of teaching and training for well over 25 years, but I also have had life events that have resulted in my developing amazing wisdom and empathy for others and their own life challenges.

I invite you to make November be a month of gratitude for you as we move toward the USA holiday of Thanksgiving. With all the hustle and bustle of preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes this element of thanks is actually lost in the process.

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to give a gift to some third and fourth grade children. Their classroom receives a lot of donated books, but the books are not organized enough for easy access. Not only will this classroom have a library system for the books, but they will also have comfortable furniture to encourage their love of reading. These students are from low-income homes that do not have the resources at home that we are used to having for our children. Many of them have learning challenges.

How much more productive these children will be when they can find an appropriate book right in their classroom! Learning the love of reading is one of the systems to becoming a successful student. One of my biggest joys is going to the library or the bookstore to peruse and choose great books. I envision these children developing this same passion!

Where can you make a difference? I invite you to be open to opportunities to give where your heart is.

Drum roll please!

In exchange for your donation to a charity that speaks to your heart, I am entering your name into a drawing. You will have the opportunity to win a month of coaching that will get you started on creating some systems for sustainability in your business and in your life. Yes, you read that right! One month of coaching!
This coaching package includes three scheduled 45-minute sessions and unlimited email communication.

I made this offer for the first 10 people to respond and beyond those 10 I will put your names in a hat and draw out 5 more names! Call me crazy, but I love connecting with other conscious business people! 602.375.0617 877.808.5058 toll free

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Appreciate Your Strengths

"My strengths?
Hmmmm. Let me think for a minute."

If you hesitate when asked what your strengths are, you are not alone. What happens for us is that we are so used to being with ourselves that we don't even notice an outstanding trait we have. It takes someone else observing us and actually telling us for us to realize our gifts.

Take a little time this holiday season to give others feedback as to what you see in them. It could be a great activity at a holiday meal for everyone to share thoughts on what strengths everyone has. What can be difficult is listening carefully and really accepting what you hear from others. It's all too easy to just say and feel that it's nothing. Receive the gift of acknowledgment you are being given.

Another hazard to appreciating our strengths is that we judge ourselves harshly if we don't have the strengths that someone else has. We are all very different. Assessments that measure our behavioral styles show that over and over again. There are many highly regarded tools available including those that have others answer questions about you that will give you another perspective other than just your own. Platinum Rule Assessment is one of these "360 assessments". This term, "360", is used to describe that you are receiving input from the full circle of your business and personal associates.

Recently my older sister and I took an informal assessment measuring our behavioral styles. We found out that we were exact opposites. We each acknowledged that we would like to have characteristics of the other. From sharing that experience of looking at our strengths, we walked away with a greater appreciation for each other and for ourselves.

For years I've been critical of myself for not being more "left-brained" like the rest of my family. These characteristics are also the ones applauded most in school where we are expected to "stay inside the lines" and be very neat and organized.

It's not that I'm terribly unorganized, but I have the judgment that I should do things one certain way. My creativity has me doing things in very different ways from how others might do them.

This can work the opposite way for someone who has trouble being creative. It could be very simple for that person to take care of details effortlessly. Everything is under control and routine is followed flawlessly. But coming up with innovative ideas can be a real challenge.

Some people have the strength of leadership and find it enjoyable to forge the path for others to follow. For these people, following someone else's plan is extremely difficult and confining. Others find this a very uncomfortable place to be. Their forte is implementing what the leader has started.

We need all behavioral styles in our businesses in order to be successful. All of our strengths work together for a stronger whole than we can have when working alone. If you work by yourself in your business, you may need to hire a part-time assistant to perform tasks that are not your unique strength. You can even do this with a virtual assistant who can work for the number of hours you need from his/her own office. Your success will be greater and your satisfaction sweeter when you focus on your best skills.

Take time to reflect on what your greatest strengths are. Be aware of any judgment you may be having against yourself for not being good at something. If there is an activity that is not your strength, it definitely needs to be delegated to someone else so you can concentrate on maximizing your strengths.

Appreciate your strengths. Take time this holiday season to recognize them and be grateful.

As your Exuberant Productivity coach and consultant, I'm here to support you in clearing the path to YOUR goals. Working with a coach can really help you to identify your greatest strengths and strategies to use them most effectively. You can reach me at or 877-808-5058; 602-375-0617.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Virtual Networking To Keep You Connected When You Are Not Able To Meet In Person Because Of Family Challenges

Yikes! There's no way I can make it to that networking meeting that I usually attend!
There are just too many tasks and people needing my attention.

Does that sound like you, facing the dilemma of how to stay connected when your usual routine is interrupted by family challenges?

When family challenges make it necessary to alter your schedule drastically, it's important for you to have an alternative plan to keep your business growing and thriving. You may even be working at a location away from your usual office while handling family responsibilities in another city.

With the vast amount of opportunities on the internet, you are able to find alternative ways of staying connected and finding new customers. In this article you'll learn three effective and efficient ways of keeping in touch.

Joining Virtual Networking Groups

There are a number of networking groups online. A few examples are RYZE, Linked-In, Virtual Womens Chamber of Commerce, and E-Women Network.
YouTube and MySpace are two sites that are becoming more and more credible in the business world. These sites have had the reputation of being a bit wild and unprofessional. This has certainly changed!

YouTube is actually being used by speakers to promote their programs. In many cases this has replaced the typical demonstration video formerly distributed as a way of giving a taste of what they will experience from the speaker. Videos on UTube are also being used as part of a resume for applying for jobs. When you are not able to meet with prospective clients in person during a crisis period, YouTube is a way that they can experience you and how you work with clients.

Writing and Distributing Articles

My guess is that you have talks that you have given that would lend themselves to great articles. Just get these down on paper. You could even have a transcriptionist do this for you so that you could read it over and do any editing necessary. Or have an editor or ghost writer do that instead!

You can then distribute these to article submission sites on the web that will then send them to various online publications. Or submit them to individual publications either online or in hard copy that are relevant to your business. Naturally, at the end of every article, you will have your contact information and an enticing offer for them to either call you or visit your website.

Sending Out An Online Newsletter

An online newsletter is a cost-effective way to keep in contact with current clients, prospective clients, and networking partners. If you have clients or prospects who have not signed up for your online newsletter, it is necessary to send them either a sample issue or an email inviting them to be part of your reading audience. Otherwise you will be violating SPAM laws.

Make good use of the article you wrote and sent to submission sites. Use it in your newsletter to give your readers some quality content every time they hear from you.

To make it a simple process for sending out the newsletter to your database, sign up for a service such as Constant Contact. This service has attractive templates, statistics as to how many emails were opened or blocked, and an easy way for web visitors to sign up or opt out of the newsletter.

For strategizing ways to make your business more resilient even in the tough times, talk to me, your Exuberant Productivity coach and consultant. or 877-808-5058; 602-375-0617.
Copyright (c) 2007 Suzanne Holman

Express Any Gratitude You Feel For People In Your Life!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like
wrapping a present and not giving it."

William Arthur Ward

One item on my list of tasks today was to call my health insurance office. What a pleasant surprise when my favorite person in that office answered the phone!

After asking her a question and receiving a succinct answer, I felt as though I wanted to share the gratitude I was feeling for all she has done for me in challenging times over the years. I acknowledged her for not only being efficient and helpful in every situation, but being extremely compassionate in helping me resolve some issues.

When I shared my feelings, she expressed that what I said brought tears to her eyes. She said it was a perfect time for her to hear these positive thoughts as this could be a challenging and emotional day for her in the office.

I let her know that I would not only fax the form I needed to send her, but would also write down my thoughts and fax them to her as well. Knowing that I made her day more joyful with acknowledgement of her as an empathetic and efficient person brought so much positive energy into my heart.

Are there wonderful thoughts you are having that you haven't yet shared with someone?

What a perfect month to express the gratitude you are feeling.

Go beyond wrapping that present of gratitude.

Give the present and feel the warmth in your heart. Priceless!

Copyright (c) 2007 Suzanne Holman

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stay On A Positive Path In Your Productivity

Suzanne at Clifton Gorge in Ohio

"And though I ebb in worth,
I'll flow in thanks."
~John Taylor

How could I not feel tremendous gratitude when surrounded by the beauty of the Clifton Gorge during my recent visit to Ohio!

It's easy enough to be grateful when everything is going well in life. But what about those times when you are going through a challenging time with your business?

With a solid foundation in place, you can cope with unexpected changes so much more effectively and also be able to remain in a state of gratitude.

What is important to me in working with you is that you can create the business strategies necessary so that no matter what happens, you will be able to move energetically through the critical period. Gratitude during these difficult times can keep your energy more vibrant and positive.

With that energy, you stay on a positive path in your productivity. (That would be Exuberant Productivity!) You feel more focused in determining what actions will be effective in handling all the various challenges you are facing.

If you'd like to learn more and be part of a telephone learning experience, read on!

Wednesday, November 14, at 8 pm Eastern Time is your next opportunity to attend my new teleforum, "Are Family Challenges Threatening To Derail Your Business?"

Join us for some good discussion and great information. It's as simple as calling a typical long distance number and you'll be joined by others who are ready for some good discussion on unexpected life challenges.

Register below by going to the form provided by clicking on the link

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Aren't you just a little curious?

If you're at all like me, I'm sure that there's been a time when you've wondered how you appear to others.

You may have thought:

"What would my friends share about me if they were asked?"

"How do family members view me?"

"What do my coworkers notice about how I do things?"

"What do all of them see as my strengths?"

We very often hear what others see as special about us and to us it doesn't seem special.... That makes sense because we are always with that part of us and it is just who we are. It's great to find out what we offer that is outstanding so we can contribute even more of that to what we do.

Here's your golden opportunity to find out what others think about you! ....or should I say your Platinum opportunity??

You can ask an unlimited number of your friends, family, coworkers, clients, vendors, (anyone!) to complete an assessment about you. Their responses are anonymous so that they can be truly honest in their responses.

This is the highly acclaimed Platinum Rule 360 Assessment.

You will receive the entire assessment package for only $99!

This assessment and debrief usually sells for a minimum of $250.

Here is what you will receive in this package:

  • Self Assessment you will fill out online
  • Unlimited invitations for you to ask your personal and business acquaintances to give you anonymous feedback
  • 41-page personalized Debrief Report and Graph
  • 45-minute personal consultation with me, a licensed facilitator

If you want to improve your communication skills, build solid teams with your co-workers, enhance your communications, leverage the relationships you have with others, or accomplish a myriad of other goals, The Platinum Rule will help you do that...and more.

Just $99 for this complete 360 degree Platinum Rule Assessment and a follow-up

45 Minute Consultation! This total package is usually priced at $250.

This is an excellent assessment tool for ALL of your workgroup to take so you can see how to make the most of your working relationships.

This package includes:

1. Self assessment that allows you to see what your behavior style is so that you can understand what strengths you need to concentrate on to improve your productivity

2. Unlimited invitations for 30 days for your co-workers and personal acquaintances and family to complete a survey on you.

Their feedback will show up anonymously on your results.

3. 41-page Self-Assessment Report

4. 45 minute consultation with me, a licensed facilitator for the Platinum Rule Assessment, to discuss your results and strategize how to best use the information for your success

Value: $250


Email me at or

call me today at 602.375.0617 or 877.808.5058 (Toll free in the U.S.)

and we'll get the process started!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Life Challenges Can Create Havoc With Your Business: Accessing And Protecting Data During A Crisis

How prepared are you for a crisis?

Unexpected life challenges occur in many categories:

  1. Fires
  2. Floods
  3. Earthquakes
  4. Burglary
  5. Accidents
  6. Illness
  7. Technology Failure
With the recent California fires and previous disasters throughout the world, it reminds me of just how vulnerable we are to environmental crises . These emergency circumstances not only affect our personal safety and our homes, but can also have devastating effects on our businesses.

One particular area of concern is loss of data for our business. Think of how it would be if you lost everything on your hard drive. Some of you may have already had this experience if your computer hard drive failed. If you did not have backup, you had a lot of pieces together to do of not only documents, but also contact information and perhaps an online calendar.

A few years ago I had the experience of my Outlook crashing due to too much data saved on the program. Something I didn't know about Outlook 2000 is that it has a limit of how much data it can hold. I had all my contacts, email, and calendar on Outlook without any backup. I felt paralyzed to do anything with my business. I was able to view current incoming mail on the web email available with my server, but could not view any past emails.

Fortunately, I was able to access the data with the help of their technical support team. I immediately went out to purchase a PDA so that I would be able to sync all my information from the computer to the handheld scheduling device. I also signed up with an online backup system so that all of my files would be backed up on a daily basis.

What about documents that you may have in hard copy or on your computer hard drive? Essential documents that you have only in hard copy should be scanned and saved. Having them only on your hard drive is not secure enough. You can have these available to you even if your computer crashes, is stolen, burned, flooded, etc. without even using a portable flash storage device that could also not be available.

Using Google Photo or one of the many photo storage sites, you can upload the digital files of your scanned documents for no cost. These can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.

You can upload web pages, word, excel, power point, and text documents to Google Documents. You can set these so anyone can access and edit or keep them private. As a precautionary measure I've uploaded all of my web pages to the documents. There is also a feature that will update your document anytime you change something on your website. Pretty cool!
Photos are not shown on the pages, however. You'll need to save these separately to Google Photo.

I like using Google mail for most of my correspondence so that I have access to all my current and past email. There is no limit to their storage size and they have an easy search tool to find any mail you need for reference. Service has no charge and if seeing Google ads next to your email doesn't bother you, it is a good choice. I often forward mail from my Outlook email account to Gmail so I have it available for reference no matter what.

Finally, for financial records, Quick Books' online option is a great way to have access to all of this information no matter where you are. There is a charge for this after your initial trial period. It also makes it possible for a virtual assistant or bookkeeper to have access to do work for you.

Putting some thought into all the aspects of your business that would be affected in a crisis situation can save you lots of frustration and money. Time and money for some of these services put into these preparations is a great investment toward your Healthy Bottom Line.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Maintaining Professional Credibility While Balancing Family Responsibilities

"How in the world can I keep all these ever-increasing plates in the air?"
Have you ever asked yourself that question?

Running a business efficiently and giving your clients excellent service can be very demanding. Letting one of the plates fall can tarnish your reputation and it is difficult to restore your credibility.

Women in any profession, more than their male counterparts, have to prove themselves constantly to be successful. This is particularly true in the male-dominated financial services industry. Establishing credibility and keeping it strong is especially important for a woman's prosperous financial services practice.

Add to that the reality that women often have more life responsibilities than men. Not only are they focused on their business and clients, but women are also the ones who typically have the major responsibility for nurturing their household, the children, her parents and even her spouse's parents. And when the man in the house does take over a lot of the family needs, woman often feel stress about not being able to do more. Our society has instilled in all of us that women are the ones who are supposed to be nurturing the family.

Nevertheless, women are doing very well in the financial services industry, particularly with the growing number of women investors. Women want and deserve the same respect as men in this industry.

The financial power of women is considerable and is growing rapidly. In the United States, women control 51% of the private wealth. These women are looking for advisors they can trust and often turn to women.

But what happens when an unexpected life challenge comes along for you and there are even more demanding circumstances? Is it possible for you to maintain credibility as being reliably productive? How do you show your clients and business associates that you are still performing well?

  • It is important to be proactive in communicating often with clients to reassure them that you are attending to their investments. Don't wait until questions arise as to whether you are keeping up.
  • Also maintain dialogue with co-workers and management so that they know how you are doing. This will reassure them that even though you may have adjusted your office work hours, you are still handling your responsibilities as always. And, if you need their support, having that close connection will make it easier to ask them for what you need.
  • For your own focus, keep your business goals in mind. Be clear with yourself in establishing your short and long-term objectives.
  • Commit to following a daily plan, even with all the distractions going on, so that you know you are moving forward toward meeting those goals. Feeling that sense of accomplishment will help you maintain confidence and enthusiasm for your work even when other parts of your life may be discouraging.
  • Do what you can to keep yourself physically strong and emotionally sound. Take time to eat nourishing meals and exercise regularly. Get as much sleep as you can. Give yourself breaks so that you can catch your breath. Even a few minutes at a time throughout the day can help.
  • Connect with others who may be experiencing similar challenges. Just talking over the situation can be supportive. Somehow, knowing that you are not the only one who is walking this rocky path can help you get through the rough spots to smoother ground.

Yes, women, you do often get the bulk of the family caretaking on your shoulders. With some strong strategies for efficiency in your business and attention to your self-care, you can maintain that exuberant productivity and achieve that healthy bottom line - in all aspects of your life!

For a mini-break from the stress of your day, listening to a 4-minute beach getaway audio can bring you back into focus. Come visit me, your Exuberant Productivity Coach, on my website for this FRE*E audio, Exuberance Assessment and weekly articles. If you are already a subscriber to my newsletter, send me an email at and I'll send you a link to the audio and Exuberance Assessment.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Unexpected Life Challenges? Productive Virtual Operation Of Your Business

Have you thought about what you would do if you had unexpected life challenges that pulled you away from your office? Thinking about this ahead of time and developing a contingency plan can prevent the panic of needing to take quick action to relocate.

Possible problems:

* Aging parents needing your support
* A medical condition that prevents you from getting to your usual office space
* Adult children needing support with their children
* A spouse or child hospitalized at a distance from your home

Let's look at what is required to have an efficient virtual office.

Internet Connection

When you get to your remote location, you'll need to investigate possibilities for connection. What I found when I was in the Seattle Children's Hospital environment was a room for parents that had several connected computers and hookups for laptops. There was also a computer in their family resources room.

Many libraries now have both computers and laptop wireless connections. Internet cafes may also be available somewhere nearby.

For phone connection, it's great to have an inexpensive phone card set to go. I purchased one at a popular warehouse store and can then recharge it by phone as it runs out of minutes. With that information available, you are never without a long distance connection. Cell service is not always available.

Quiet environment

If you need to have phone calls with clients, you'll need to figure out a way to create a quiet environment. This can be a challenge because what seems like a quiet spot can get noisy. I did find conference rooms in both the hospital and in Ronald McDonald house where I was able to do client calls.

You may also be able to use someone else's office or rent an office space temporarily.

Portable filing system

Get a small accordion file folder that can fit into your briefcase where you can keep paper files that are essential for you to have to run your business. You can also store office files in the Google mail program. These can also be made available for colleagues for editing and sharing.

Online accounting program

Quickbooks has an online version that you can easily access from any computer enabling you to keep up on your accounting no matter where you are.

Online calendar and contacts

Having an online calendar and contacts makes it easy to keep up with all need information. Printing out the schedule is a good idea since you could be caught without internet connection at some point. I also use an online mail program so that I have all its functionality no matter where I connect to the internet.

Along with these supports for working remotely, having an assistant or coworker who can take care of tasks locally will be a great help for you to keep things running smoothly. This requires some proactive preparation so that systems are in place ready to be activated.

Just as with disaster preparedness, taking steps to be ready for an unexpected life challenge will help you feel empowered to deal with all the various aspects of your life even when they are difficult.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Teleforum: Are Unexpected Life Challenges Choking the Life Out Of Your Business?

Has your business progress been derailed by unexpected life challenges needing your attention?

Are you the "go-to" person not only in your business but also in your family? Where do you go when YOU need some support?

Suzanne Holman has designed a program to meet the specialized needs of boomer women in the financial services who have been successful in their businesses.

What is happening for many of these women is the reality of changes in family circumstances that are pulling their energies away from their business.

Has your business progress been derailed by family challenges needing your attention? Are you the “go-to” person not only in your business but also in your family?
Where do you go when YOU need some support?

What you’ll learn in this free class:

· Effects these changes in routine can have on you
· Strategies for restoring your energy and focus
· Methods to optimize your productivity to free up more time in your schedule
· Innovative marketing techniques that can be effective and less time consuming

Join us in a frank discussion of this topic in the convenience of your own home.

We'll meet on a telephone bridge line with your only expense being your normal long distance charge.

Choices for attending the teleforum are:

October 29, 2007 2 pm Eastern Time
October 29, 2007 8 pm Eastern Time

November 7, 2007 2 pm Eastern Time
November 7, 2007 8 pm Eastern Time

November 14, 2007 2 pm Eastern Time
November 14, 2007 8 pm Eastern Time

Register here:

My Blog In The News Again! - Updated GTD/Productivity Links List

I was totally blown away when I saw my blog listed so close to David Allen, the guru of all productivity!!

Here's the post:

04th Oct 2007

Organize IT

Advice On Organized and Productive Living Through Lifehacks and GTD

It’s been a while since I updated my list of GTD & productivity sites/blogs so today I will add some new sites for you to check out, update old URLs and move inactive sites so the list is up to date (this update brings the list to over 100 links). If you feel you have a site that primarily focuses on GTD and/or personal productivity and I haven’t included it on the list then please leave a comment and I will check it out.

Seeing as Priscilla Palmer’s personal development list was so popular and really boosted the community (especially for the smaller, less well known sites), if any of you want to post my GTD/productivity list on your sites that would be a good boost for our little productivity cult

The following are new sites and blogs on the list:

· 7P Productions
· Aim For Awesome
· David Allen @ Huffington Post
· Dumb Little Man

· Exuberant Productivity

· Goals Success
· Hack the Day
· Hacking Life
· John Place Online
· Life Coaches Blog
· Life Learning Today
· Life Reboot
· Monk At Work
· Open Loops
· Personal Development Blog
· Practical Personal Development
· Self Pursuit
· Shouting Match
· Simple Productivity Blog
· Productivity Zen
· The Executive Assistant’s Toolbox
· Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week Blog
· Web Worker Daily
· Wise Bread

Updated GTD/Productivity Links List

Earlier I posted about being in's Personal Productivity Required Reading List: 100 Kick-butt Lifehacking Blogs

Lifehacking is all about finding ways to streamline and improve your life. These bloggers can help you do just that, offering clever tricks and tips for making your everyday life more effective. Here is some of the best ingenuity the Internet has to offer.

Check out my description, #84

Suzanne Holman writes about getting quality time, minimizing stress and avoiding perfectionism in order to achieve productivity.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Alzheimer's - Keeping Your Business On Track While Supporting Your Parent

by Suzanne Holman, MAEd

Do you or any of your friends have a parent with Alzheimer's? What I'm sharing in this article would have been helpful for me to read prior to experiencing the drastic shift in my mother's lifestyle last year. I never expected to have such an emotional roller coaster. It took some innovative strategies to keep my business on track.

Mom lives in a life care facility that has various levels of care. She was living in a garden home, completely independent other than interior and exterior maintenance and one meal a day at the communal dining room.

Keeping a schedule becomes impossible.

One of the first things I noticed was her confusion about what she had planned. I had a couple of her friends comment that she was not showing up at arranged times they had planned for dinner. Mom has kept a calendar for years where she writes anything that is planned and notes about what has happened. She's always been on time for any appointment, even early. For her to miss appointments was not a good sign.

When I was going to pick her up for one of her medical appointments, she would get confused as to what day we would be going and leave me numerous messages asking why I hadn't arrived. This would also occur on the actual day of the appointment. She would be confused as to what time of day it was so would call me wondering when I would be there.

Anxiety builds with the confusion.

I tried to solve this problem by calling with just enough time for her to get ready for an appointment. We didn't talk about what day the appointment would be. This would make her anxious also because she wanted to know in advance when she would be going somewhere.

For a long time she knew she was confused and was upset by that. She liked to be in control of what she was doing. This definitely felt like lack of control and loss of her independence. By her own decision, she had already given up driving. We never found out why, but suspect she had a close call that scared her and didn't want to be in an accident.

Self-care deteriorates.

When I started seeing a sink full of dirty dishes and clothing stacking up on her clothes rack, I could see that her habits had certainly changed. She has always kept an immaculate kitchen and took good care of her clothing.

She stopped going to the dining room and chose to eat snacks at home instead. Her choices for meals were not nutritious. When we shopped, she wanted to buy various carbohydrates. Generally she would have had nutritious meals at the dining room. We didn't realize for a while that she was not going because she said she was going. When I checked with the dining room, I found out she hadn't been there for weeks. The only time she had gone was when I was there for a visit.

No longer could we rely on her taking her prescribed medicines. In discussion with her physician, she decided to start her on Aricept, an Alzheimer's med. We knew with this additional med to take that she would definitely need to have someone see that she took her appropriate medications regularly. The service of having someone deliver meds was available where she lived and it helped her to stay on her own for a longer time. Mom resented the interruption to her sleep when the person arrived. I felt reassured that someone was also checking in on her on a regular basis.

As time went on, Mom would not even be dressed when I arrived for a visit. I would need to help her shower and pick out her clothing. And sometimes it was even a struggle to convince her that she needed a shower. In the past, Mom was always fresh out of the shower, dressed to a T, and waiting for me when I would arrive for a visit or to take her to an appointment.

Those months of watching Mom's decline and working to give her the care that was appropriate at each stage were extremely stressful. I found it difficult to keep focused on my business and to feel passion in any part of my life. With skillful counseling and coaching, I developed strategies for rekindling my passion and getting the focus back in my business. I knew that I had to take care of myself in order to be there to support all the aspects of my life and business.

After six months of various strategies to support her to stay independent, my siblings, Mom's physician, and I made the decision that Mom really needed to be in the Care Center division of the life care facility. This was a difficult move because Mom was very attached to all the collection of family furniture and endless mementos of her full life.

We have surrounded her with family photos, recognition plaques she was awarded over the years, and hand work done by various members of the family including her mother. It was important to Mom that the family would appreciate the cherished belongings. My sister and brother and I sorted through her home, making sure that nothing was discarded that was part of our family heritage. We worked with all the family to find out what each person would like to have from the home. I took countless photos and posted them on the web so that family from Alaska to Washington, DC could view and choose items that had meaning and memories for them.

Mom is well cared for and still very much appreciates our visits. She is still pretty clear about all of the family, including many great grandchildren. Days and times and location are foggy for her, but with a very structured schedule, she is peaceful knowing what will happen next and that her needs will be met.

I'm able to be there for her with an open heart because of the steps I took to restore my resilient spirit.

If you'd like to learn some of the business and personal strategies I developed during time for me to keep focused and passionate about all parts of my life, join me in one of the FR*E teleforums I am offering in late October and November. "Are Family Challenges Choking the Life Out Of Your Business?"

Go here to register:

If you're dealing with Alzheimer's in your family and need some support in creating strategies for coping with all aspects of your life, check with Suzanne Holman, your Exuberant Productivity Coach and take the free Exuberance Assessment!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Lush Landscapes In Tucson at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort

Waterfall pool peaceful and beautiful!

Another view of the waterfall pool

A beautiful prickly pear cactus

View from the veranda outside our room

Article Included In Mom With Twin Girls Blog!

With my Google alerts, I could see that one of my articles was included on the blog of a young businesswomen with twin daughters. How fun is that? I also have twin daughters who are grown and have children of their own. Here is the link to her blog and my article.

Mommy Inc Blog

Friday, September 28, 2007

* Success Secrets: 7 Tips For A Fully Engaged, Exuberant Day

7 Tips For A Fully Engaged, Exuberant Day
by Suzanne Holman

We cannot do anything to increase the hours in a day.

Time management? Who can accomplish that? Time just keeps on keeping on throughout each day. We have control only of what we do during our 24/7 each week.

Being fully engaged is essential when we are working to make wise choices in using our mental, emotional and physical energy for optimal productivity. Making the most of our brainpower keeps us thinking clearly and creatively. That is what makes the difference in how productive we can really be.

"Companies with higher than average employee engagement scores enjoy 15 percent lower costs due to higher productivity" PeopleMetrics . Here are seven tips that can move you in the direction of being fully engaged.

1. Start your day with premium fuel and continue throughout the day.

Eating a healthy breakfast gets your metabolism going and sends needed fuel to the brain. And choosing some protein as part of your breakfast can give you a kickstart even better than caffeine. Protein boosts your dopamine level that stimulates brain function.

2. Create your intentions for the day.

Getting a clear picture in your mind of how you'd like to see the day transpire is a powerful tool. It's more than just having a to-do list of items to be accomplished. It's actually stating how you would like to see things happen during the day.

3. Observe your own and others' emotional states for greatest effectiveness.

With that awareness you are more likely to have a rational response rather than a reaction coming out of your own emotional reaction to what someone has said or done. Taking that moment for observation can save hours of effort trying to mend a working relationship.

4. Be fully focused on each task rather than multitasking.

Multitasking can negatively affect your emotional state and your immune system. Studies have shown that our brain actually shuts down one function to do something else. We are fooling ourselves to think that we can effectively perform two tasks at once.

5. Incorporate some physical activity throughout your day.

Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly keep their brain functioning at a higher level due to the increased blood flow to the brain. Take short breaks throughout the day just to stretch and move around. Also plan more extensive exercise a few times a week.

6. Debrief your day and really acknowledge your accomplishments.

How often have you been down on yourself at the end of a day, thinking about all that things that you did not accomplish instead of focusing on what did get completed? You can do this in your head or for an even more powerful effect, take a moment to list your acknowledgments to yourself. When we ramp up the attention to those positive things in our life, it keeps us going in
that productive direction.

7. Prepare for sleep and make sure you get enough.

Our brains are not ready to fall asleep immediately after leaving the stimulation of the computer screen. And although we sometimes fall asleep in front of the television, watching television is not a good way to move into restful sleep. If you have problems falling asleep and staying asleep, you might try an exercise that works for some people. Name the states, working your way up and down the coastlines and across the United States. This is challenging enough to keep your mind from worries of the day, but boring enough to allow you to fall asleep.

Are you ready to be fully engaged for your optimum productivity? Get a free strategy session, assessment, and weekly journal to get you started! Suzanne Holman, MAEd is your Productivity Coach at

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Five Fantastic Facts That Can Help You To Have A Good Night's Sleep

Have you ever been lying in bed, unable to sleep as you anticipate the following day?

September brings memories back to me of experiences throughout many years of school.

Were you at all like me, lying awake the night before the first day of school, wondering who would be in my class, who would be my teacher, and whether my outfit was the right one? These are big issues to a child about to start a new year of school.

What issues keep you awake at night now? Do you have problems that you find yourself trying to solve during the night? Many people struggle with sleep most of all on Sunday nights as they think about starting the new week. If you have things on your mind at bedtime, take a little time to write down your thoughts before sleeping. Even keep a notepad near your bed so that you can write a few notes if something occurs to you while lying in bed. Moving your thoughts from your brain to paper can help to put your mind at ease.

If you are having problems having peaceful sleep for any reason, it can have negative effects on many parts of your life and your physical and mental health.

Taking some precautions can make all the difference.


Yes, S & S. That stands for sleep and sex. Experts tell us that when we do anything else in the bedroom, it can lead to sleep problems. Forget about working in the bedroom. Use your computer and watch TV in other parts of the house.


Having a consistent sleeping and waking schedule can help your body develop a regular sleep cycle. When we sleep in on the weekends, it can disrupt this cycle and cause insomnia. Getting up early on Monday morning can also be more difficult because you have reset your sleep cycle for a later wake up time.


Our sleep patterns of feeling sleepy at night and awake during the day are regulated by light and darkness. Strong light, like bright outdoor light is the most powerful regulator of our biological clock. Even on a cloudy day, outside light is brighter than indoor light.

This sunlight helps our internal biological clock to reset each day. Sleep experts for anyone having problems falling asleep recommend an hour of morning sunlight.


Sleep researchers disagree on what the optimal temperatures are for best sleep. What is most important is that the temperature is comfortable for you. Generally, a slightly cool room is best. This mimics what happens inside the body as our internal temperature drops during the night to its lowest level. This is usually about four hours after sleep begins. A hot sleeping environment can lead to more wake time and lighter sleep.


Exercising 20 to 30 minutes a day often can help people sleep better. Working out too close to bedtime may interfere with sleep. Try to get your exercise about 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.

These are all pretty simple actions to take to insure a good night's sleep. If you are still having problems sleeping, you may need to consult a sleep expert to see if you have a sleep disorder that may be keeping you awake.

If there are concerns on your mind that are hindering your productivity, it may help to get some support. Suzanne Holman is your productivity coach, located at Visit the site for free resources including a strategy session to get you started!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Create A Positive AND Productive Visit In A Home With Small Children

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the deck with tall pines all around
A cool breeze blowing through the house
Distant water views
Hikes through mountain-covered areas
Kayaking in still waters
Sounds like a stay at a wonderful resort, doesn't it?

Yes, my stay in the Northwest for ten weeks away from the hot Phoenix sun was delightful. I had the opportunity to get to know three of my grandsons very well. It was great sharing in family outings. I continued to work in my business as an exuberant productivity coach.

Anticipating the visit, I had concerns as to how I would be able to keep up with my business. Although I wanted to help with the children, I know I needed some structure to know when I was responsible and when I would not be. Giving thought to how to make the time enjoyable for everyone made all the difference!

Whether you are visiting with your children and grandchildren or with other friends or family who have small children, here are seven tips for making the shared time a wonderful experience:


Take the time to discuss expectations for the visit with the parents of the children.
How can you be a support to the family while you are visiting?
Would it be helpful to watch the children so that they can have time to do things they don't usually do?
What work obligations will you have during your stay?
What kind of working conditions do you need to arrange?
What are the options available for an office environment in the home or somewhere in the area?


Take earplugs with you and let the family know you will be using them at night or when you would like quiet time in your room. This not only gives you a break from the constant activity that goes along with small children, but eases their concern of the children being excessively noisy at inconvenient times.


If you'll be staying for a while, you may want to buy your own phone so that you won't be carrying their cordless phone into your room for a call. It's easy to forget to return it to its usual location and family members may be frustrated trying to find it when a call comes in. Also, if you'll be making long distance calls, buy a phone card and use it so that your long distance charges don't show up on their account. Using a cell phone is even better. That way you are not tying up the family phone line.


Decide with the family which meals will be eaten together and when there will be a night where the children eat early and everyone else just pulls together whatever is interesting to eat.

Offer to prepare some of the meals and find out what foods are most appealing to all members of the family. Be certain to clean up after any food preparation.


Learn what the rules of the house are for the children and what routines they are used to. This is important so that you can keep with what they are used to. Being respectful of their rules will not only be appreciated by the parents, but will also help the children feel more comfortable with having a guest if expectations are consistent.


Be respectful of your own time as well as the hosts. It is important that you do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your business obligations. It is easy to feel that you need to put aside your needs for the benefit of the household. This creates uneasiness for everyone if you are not being responsible for yourself.


Retiring to your room for a period of time before actually going to sleep is a great way to unwind for everyone in the house. It gives the parents time to themselves and gives you time just to be with yourself. You might want to put in your earplugs or IPOD and read or watch a DVD on your laptop with headphones so as not to disturb anyone else.

If you are having challenges in connecting with your adult children and grandchildren, it may be helpful to create some strategies with a coach. Suzanne Holman is your productivity coach, located at Visit the site for free resources including a strategy session to get you started!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What’s The Big Deal About Sleep? Some Solid Facts

We've been hearing all our lives that we need to get to bed to get our sleep. So what's the big deal? Are there really any big consequences to cheating ourselves out of adequate sleep? Let's look at some solid facts about the subject of sleep.


  • Infants: 16 hours
  • Teenagers: 9 hours
  • Adults: usually 7-8 hours or as few as 5 hours to as much as 10 hours
  • Pregnant women: early in pregnancy need several more hours a night
  • Elderly: need as much as younger adults, but sleep less soundly so need more


REM sleep was discovered in the study of infants around 1953. This is the type of sleep when dreaming takes place, usually about two hours a night. There is an increased production of proteins during this time.

REM sleep stimulates the brain regions that are used in learning of certain mental skills.


Without adequate sleep our nervous systems do not work properly. Our memory is impaired and our ability to do math calculations is reduced. Sleep-deprived people tested by using a driving simulator performed as badly as or worse than those who were intoxicated.

Sleep rests the portion of the brain used in our emotional and social functioning, allowing us to be at our best after the night.


Animal studies have shown that sleep is necessary for survival. Rates died by the age of 3 - 5 weeks instead of their usual life span of 2-3 years when they were deprived of sleep. They also developed low body temperatures and body sores indicating a compromised immune system.

Human hand-eye coordination has been shown to be very poor in a sleep-deprived person.

Getting adequate sleep encourages the production of the human growth hormone that helps to build muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones. Sleep is one of the simplest things people can do to avoid accelerated aging.


Driver fatigue has been blamed for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1500 deaths each year. Sleep deprivation magnifies alcohol's effects on the body, causing great impairment. The National Sleep Foundation gives some guidelines for determining if you are too drowsy to drive:

  • You have trouble keeping your eyes focused.
  • You can't stop yawning.
  • You can't remember driving the last few miles.


Are you making your sleep a priority in your life?

If you have been skimping on your sleep, how has it been affecting you, your work, and your family?

What self-care steps can you take to optimize your body and brain?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Is Your Work Causing Sleep Deprivation? - 7 Possible Ways

Do you feel drowsy during the day or evening?
Is tiredness affecting your daily activities on a regular basis?
Do you fall asleep often when you sit down to relax?
Are you irritable with others around you?

If you answer yes to a couple of these, most likely you are sleep deprived.


Staying at work way beyond the normal eight hours is the biggest determinant of how much sleep Americans get in a typical day. Overtime is a common occurrence in many industries. In the culture of many organizations, to work just eight hours could actually be considered skipping out early. Mathias Basner, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studied 47,731 Americans. He found that those who worked longer hours found time for other activities by shortening their sleep hours.


When you have concerns on your mind about work, it can be difficult to sleep at night. In order to combat this sleeplessness, many people have an alcoholic drink or take sleeping medicines to fall asleep. The problem with these is that you have lighter sleep and don't have the REM phase of sleep that is so restorative to the brain.


When you are working at times when you normally would be sleeping, you disrupt your circadian rhythm. This rhythm is the cycle your body repeats day after day. Shift work sleep disorder has effects very similar to jet lag. Shift work affects people in various industries: medicine, production lines, technology, telephone service reps, transportation. We also need light in our days to produce the melatonin needed for quality sleep. Having to sleep in the daytime when you are on a night shift deprives you of sunlight.


Travel time, including time sitting in traffic, can take up a large portion of your day. It could be considered one of the hidden costs to living out in the suburbs. To make up for the loss of those hours, it's tempting to shorten sleep time. Fatigue caused by the lack of sleep can make the commute dangerous as well as stressful. Sleep-deprived drivers cause more than 100,000 automobile crashes a year (National Sleep Foundation).


What a wonderful technological advancement to be able to log into your work computer from home! Or is it? When does work stop and leisure begin? Working on your sofa with your laptop while trying to participate in family time is not effective for either activity. And how tempting it is to continue work in the quiet of the night to catch up on what you didn't feel complete from your day! To transition from working at the computer to falling asleep can be difficult also, resulting in an even later start to sleep.


Working long hours and not taking breaks during the day can lead to too much time between food intake and poor food choices. Late business dinners or dinners with clients can mean a very full stomach when heading to bed. This can have an adverse effect on the quality of your sleep.


Exercise is often forgotten with not enough time or energy left over after work demands are met. And exercising too late in the evening can also make it difficult to get to sleep. Getting up early enough in the morning to exercise can be a real challenge when you do not have enough sleep during the night.

If some of these factors are influencing your sleep, you may want to look for solutions that can help you move toward taking better care of yourself. Over a period of time, the effects on you from sleep deprivation build up and can cause a multitude of physical, mental, and emotional problems.

If you have employees, be aware that these challenges to their sleep and other self-care can be very detrimental to their productivity and attendance on the job.

If you are ready to take some steps toward improving your own or employee self-care, a business coach can offer the support you need. You can find a free assessment, a complimentary self-care starter session, and a weekly Exuberant Productivity journal at Suzanne Holman, MAEd can be your own personal productivity coach!