Author Archives: DivaFish Business Coaching

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Site crash – o my!

The theme my site was using had a security hole – which ended up getting the site taken down. So, please hang in there while I get things back up and running. If you have any questions about current programs or coaching, email or call me directly and I’d be happy to chat with you.

anne


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10 week online program

What is your Marketing Plan?

Marketing your business is multi-faceted and can be overwhelming to stay on top of. This 10 week program will walk you through different areas of marketing your business and help you focus on the areas that matter most: ones that create sales opportunities. This is geared for DIY marketing with tips on how to implement low cost strategies into your business.


Starts Thursday, October 2nd, 2014, 8 pm – 10 sessions

Program fee: $149 + GST

Register today and save $50! (ends at Friday, Sept 19th at midnight)

Register now online.

 

Anne Whitmore, Certified Coach & Business Trainer

http://www.divafish.com


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Reflections on Marriage: From my parents’ 45th anniversary

For my parents’ 45th anniversary in 2012, I

threw them a surprise party. I interviewed them ahead of time and told them that it was for a blog post I was working on about tips for a lasting marriage. My secret intention was to read their answers at the party, which everyone enjoyed. However, so that I uphold my word, here is a long overdue but timely post from my amazing parents’ experience, wisdom and humor. I interviewed them separately so the first time they heard the other person’s reply was at the party.

For those of you who know my theory about trees and clouds, you will clearly see that my dad is a cloud of clouds and my mom is more of a tree. More on that another time.

My parents, Glen & Lillian Whitmore

My parents, Glen & Lillian Whitmore

Me: What was the best advice you have received or been given on marriage?

Dad: I don’t know if it was best, but what comes to mind was a casual casual mini-moment in a sermon. It was the only time I was at this church as a student before we were married in Evansville. Just north of Chicago. I wrote it down. It caught my attention and it stayed. And it’s validity has been confirmed ever since in whatever area, money, decision making, relationships.. because it is a foundation point and that’s the key. Marriage is by faith. A person has no idea what it will look like. What twists and turns it will take, what flexibility it will require. And adaptability. And steadfastness that marriage the relationship will require. So you agree to it as a concept with no idea what it looks like but you agree to it by faith. You can’t go back. It’s very forward-looking in a positive directional sense. Colossians 3:15 says something that would be helpful. 

Mom: I never remember these things. I don’t remember if someone told me but choose the right person. Be smart about who you choose.

 

Me: What do you remember about your wedding day?

Dad: There will be several things – 3 with no particular order.

1. As we were walking up the aisle, Lil noticed “You’re trembling. Are you ok?” Yes. But probably embarking on a whole new thing. Life in 10 minutes looked totally different. 

2. We had discussed ahead of time, everyone attending was surprised, our vows were memorized (I had never said them perfectly until the right moment – to the relief and amazement of the bride). We had decided we would pray. I prayed the prayer of blessing over the microphone on the floor. 

3.  We had planned our escape from the several imagined people who would give pursuit. It worked flawlessly (even though no one chased). Footnote to that: talk to each other and plan well together.

Mom: It was fun. It was simple. Lot of our friends were there. And the bird got killed by the cat. Grandma Whitmore was looking after Mor-Mor’s bird [Anne’s great-grandmother]. And dad had a kitten the summer he was home. After the afternoon wedding and reception (cake, nuts and punch and tea and coffee), we went back to Willlowcrest [Anne’s Grandma’s home] to visit with family from out of town. And Grandma Whitmore was so upset. I had never seen her so upset. Everyone showed up. No glitches.  I had no doubts. I didn’t have any second thoughts. Sure was simpler than weddings now. 

 

Me: What is a fond memory of the last 45 years of marriage?

Dad: There are too many. (We came back to this one). People. 

1.  Outside our family: Qualified by significant relationships of mutual respect. Because wherever we lived, there was always at least one couple that was a cut above everyone else in every way and the close friendship. 

2. Our kids 

Mom: My goodness. I think probably the surprise trip to Glacier with Keebaughs before we left Idaho. I think just the experience of being in Idaho was really special. I don’t have unfond memories so it is hard to say the fondest one. Our trip to Vietnam. There have been lots of good ones. 

 

Me: What is your secret for making your marriage last?

Dad: Goes back to flexible, adaptable and talking together. A LOT. A lot is not good enough. Talking together about all of life including working through processing discoveries, working through surprises. Related to those, to read a lot and pray a lot and maintain a forward perspective.  

Mom: (chuckles) I don’t think I ever entertained the thought that it wouldn’t last. It was never on my radar that it wouldn’t last. So when I went into it, I went into it for the long haul. Seeing the positive side of things and not taking anything (I do take life seriously) but pessimistically seriously. Always believing that we would get through it and things would get better. Just life in general. Our common faith definitively contributed. Being willing to change. Holding in balance being dependable so we can count on each other (I never had a shadow of a doubt that he wouldn’t be there when I needed him)  and being adaptable. Not being stuck in a rut. 

 

Me: What is your favorite thing about the other person?

Dad: Three parts. 

First one is my enjoyment, admiration and respect of how she has developed her talents and gifts. Because this is a long story and it did not come easily and it has only been in the last 22 years and to me it has been very very fascinating to behold. 

2. Summary word would be her continual support. What was the question again? (that wasn’t one of the 3)

3. Her ability to succinctly communicate wisdom. Because I am an introvert and I look at someone who can express things well and I say, that’s really cool. I have to work at it – in contrast. Again, lots of illustration on that. 

4. Probably has to do with flexible.

Mom: I think as groaner-ish as his sense of humor is, his sense of humor. 

What was the question now?

His willingness to change.

His dependability. 

His kindness.

O yes, we’re so different. But that’s what makes it interesting. 

 

Ain’t that the truth.

 

I’m grateful to my parents for sharing and modelling real life love.

In Joy,

anne

 

By Anne Whitmore

 


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Perseverance… Steven Bradbury’s Olympic inspiration

When we see Olympic athletes on the podium, we know they worked really hard to get there. But http://www.theessaymag.com/canada/ Steven Bradbury’s story struck me with a sense of awe about his incredible determination and persistence.

In 1991, Steven was part of

Australia’s first team to win a championship in a winter sport. They won the 5,000m relay at the World Championships. In 1992, his team crashed during the semi-finals in the Winter Olympics. In the 1994 Winter Olympics, he was part of the short track team that won bronze. On an individual level, he was knocked over by a rival in a semi-final and limped across the finish line for fourth place and was eliminated. In another race, he was pushed by a competitor (who was disqualified) and fell.

More dramatically, at the 1994 World Cup, his right leg was cut by a competitor’s skate and he lost 4 litres of blood. It took 111 stitches and 18 months before he was back up to full strength. He was considered a strong contender for the Winter Olympics but didn’t place in team and had crashes in his individual events.

Then, in what could have been a career-ender, he fractured 2 vertebrae during a training accident. A month and a half in a halo brace, 4 pins in his skull and screws and plates bolted into his chest. He was told he would never compete again.

And then, in the men’s short track at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, a series of unlikely events created the opportunity for him to be in the finals. Because he had 4 races back to back and he was up against stronger and faster contenders, his strategy was to stay on his feet and stay in the race.

Ironically, in the end, it was an ill-timed accident that opened the path for him to… well, see for yourself.

His perseverance is inspirational. Against all odds, he showed up and was ready for opportunity. And then he did a “Bradbury” – an Australian expression named after him for doing an unusual or unexpected success.

Where will persistence take you? And how will you show up – both at the race and in the unseen training in-between?

To your success,

anne

 

By: Anne Whitmore


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How should I structure my speech?

9 Structures for Business Presentations

See that cursor blinking in the corner of your screen… staring at you as you sit down to craft your speech? And I say craft because giving a great speech is more than slapping a few buy levitra online thoughts together. The same content can be presented in different structures and may have completely different impacts on your audience.

Here are a 9 ideas on how to structure your speech:

1. The Sandwich: Opening, body and conclusion

This is the simplest structure (after not having one at all). More complex structures are a variation on this one. The opening thought needs to engage your audience and also introduce your topic. The middle section expands on the ideas or presents a solution and then the conclusion wraps everything up.

2. Story/Parable

Tell an engaging story that illustrates the topic and wrap up with the moral or objective.

3. Stepping Stones:

Make a point, give an example, build your next point, give another example, make another point, give another example. The beauty of this structure is that you are building one idea on another using narrative, which is a powerful memory hook.

4. Acronym:

Use an acronym to mark the points in your speech. “The secret weapon to giving a great speech is using PIE: Passion, Interesting Visuals and Entertaining stories.”

5. Problem – Solution:

Identify and analyze a problem and then propose a solution. Describe the problem as the introduction in a way that engages your audience with the pain points of the situation. Then use the solution as the body of the speech, expanding on why your position solves the problem. This is a highly effective sales structure for a persuasive speech.

6. Problem – Cause – Solution:

Similar to the above, adding an understanding of what caused the problem in the first place.

7. Pros & Cons:

Organize points by arguments for and against something. This is a more balanced approach and good for educating, not necessarily persuading.

8. 2 options:

Similar to the Pros & Cons approach, this structure describes 2 options available and compares them. This can be an effective tool to educate as well as persuade about a proposed option.

9. Metaphor

This is one of the most powerful structures for speechcraft. A well chosen metaphor will engage your audience and allow them to see aspects of the topic in a new way. Expand on aspects of the metaphor in the body of your speech, building to a conclusion that connects the metaphor back to the topic. “Getting over my fear of public speaking was as tough as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. In order to do this, I had to have the right tools, an expert guide and the determination to keep climbing, no matter how low my oxygen got. The tools for climbing are… the tools for getting over my fear of public speaking are… A sherpa is an expert of the mountain who knows what the pitfalls are, how to get there faster and in one piece. My public speaking trainer….”

As you listen to other speeches, notice what kind of structure they use. What has the biggest impact on you? What has an impact on the audience?

Have some fun trying out these different speech structures and let me know how it goes.

By: Anne Whitmore


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How to Use Features vs. Benefits in Your Business Marketing

 

What kind of language do you use to talk about your business? Do you know what is the difference between features and benefits in your communication?

What are features?

Many business owners try to promote their business by talking about features. Features describe the function of what a product or service does. For example, if you were selling a car, a feature approach is that it has 222 horsepower, all wheel drive, power steering and side impact beams. The thing about features is that they don’t connect the dots between what you do and what it does for your customer. And most potential customers don’t make the connection on their own.

What are benefits?

Benefits, on the other hand, speak about what is in it for the customer. Going back to the car analogy, it would be talking about feeling because your children are protected by the safety features or being confident driving in bad weather because of the differential steering.

Test your own marketing materials

I find myself falling into the pattern of talking about features or the “here is what I do” so I make a point of taking a step back and analyze the way I describe my business. Here is a quick exercise that will show you in a visual way whether you used feature based communication or benefits based communication.

Take a look at your website, brochures, business card and other marketing material either as you create them or when they are done. In fact, I encourage you to take one copy of each communication piece and 2 colored pens. Circle with one color all the times that you use features to talk about your business and then use the other color for when you use benefits language in your marketing communications.

Writing for business marketing using Benefits vs. features

Marketing exercise using DivaFish Communication brochure

Studies have shown that people tend to make decisions based on emotion (the connection with what’s in it for them – or benefits) and then justify their decisions with facts (the features).

 

I’d love to hear what you discover as you work on and review how you talk about your business in networking and marketing communications.

 

By: Anne Whitmore

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Want to be a better public speaker?

Would you like to give business presentations with more confidence? Or just work up the nerve to talk about your business with other people? This course is designed just for you!

Over 8 weeks, you will give 6 prepared presentations, impromptu talks and work on your 60 second introduction. You will get immediate feedback from your co-speakers in training as well as 2 facilitators.

John Nieuwenburg and I want you to be successful in giving business presentations. Find out more info here: http://divafish.com/workshops/

The course starts Friday, September 27th in Vancouver.

By: Anne Whitmore


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What does “Wishing you the best for 2013” mean from your life coach?

Thoughts from your life coach for the new year As I signed my holiday greeting cards, I usually sign off with “Wishing you all the best for 2013!” It sparked my thoughts about what I really meant by that phrase “all the best”. What am I hoping for my friends and family?

In many ways, as a life coach, they are the same hopes and wishes that I hold for myself and my clients, reflecting the elements in life that I value. Here is the fuller version of what that means to me:

I wish for you a life of fulfillment, living aligned moment by moment with your values.

I wish for you a created life of conscious choices picked from a wide field of options.

I wish for you a community to surround you with love, support and accountability.

I wish for you challenges to grow, stretch and transform you into the person you are becoming.

I wish for you connection to your deepest feelings and moments – the highs and lows and everything in between.

I wish for you a year beyond what you could imagine.

Peace and Joy,
anne

 

By: Anne Whitmore


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Enter our First Twitter Contest!

Enter our first Twitter and FB contest to win a box of Lindt chocolates signed by Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and two time World Champion Kurt Browning.

 

How to enter:

1. Follow @divafish on twitter.

2. Retweet “To connect with others you must first know yourself” via @divafish #Networking”

3. Each twitter follower of @divafish can submit one (1) entry per day.

4. Like our FB page for one (1) additional entry.

5. Draw will be made Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 12:00 pm PST.

6. Winner will be announced on twitter @divafish and on our Facebook page.


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Difference Between Life and Business Coaching

As a certified Life Coach for Entrepreneurs, I am often asked, “What is the difference between a life coach and business coach?” There is some confusion within my profession about this so it is no wonder other people aren’t really sure. Here is how I describe the differences.

At a very basic level, a life coach is working with an individual on their whole life. A business coach is working with an individual, group or organization on the business. Some of the coaching skill sets like listening, intuition, accountability, challenging and active listening might be the same. I see a major difference in tools. Business coaches will often be more focused on strategic planning, expenses, work flow, operations management, financials and performance.

A great way to understand this is to ask, “Who will be the client? Is it the individual or the business?” Often, in a business coaching relationship, it is a B2B relationship between the business and the coach – and the coach may be brought in to work with a business leader, manager, team or multiple parties. There will be an agreement around the level of transparency and confidentiality of the work and with who and what will be shared.

Life coaches are present for whatever aspect of life the client wishes to work on. The client is the individual (a B2C relationship). I always tell my clients that there are no taboo or off limit topics for me. It is up to them where they would like to spend their coaching time focused on. As many of my clients are business owners, often current challenges or situations in their work environments come up. Rather than problem solving and planning our way out of it, our coaching work looks at what values are being crossed, what do they want from the situation, where do they see themselves on the other side of this challenge and who they have to be in order to get there.