coaching


Professional development is your responsibility. Any woman serious about career advancement always has it on her mind and in her sight. The biggest misconception is that it is costly to continue professional development. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Money is the number one reason why a lot of people bypass professional development and end up stunting their career growth. But blaming cost is a cop out.

There are several low cost things you can do to invest in your professional development.

  • Get biblical with it and “tithe”. OK for those of you who attend church faithfully, you understand the concept of tithing. It’s where you give 10% of your earnings to the Lord. Well I content that you can tithe to yourself as well as the Lord. I always tithe in thirds. 10% to church, 10% to build my savings and 10% dedicated to my professional development. Set yourself up a Professional Development Fund. It can be a separate savings account at your local bank or credit union, or even using the envelope system. Each month count up your contributions and decide whether to invest in a course or certification or if you want to continue to build the account up to invest in a conference or something bigger. But no matter what, don’t touch that money for any other purpose. You’ll be surprised at how much money you accumulate.
  • Remember that Reading is Fundamental. I am a voracious reader. I have been since I was a child. Don’t over look your local library. Granted some area libraries are better than others, but take an afternoon and stroll through. My local library has a book sale the first Saturday of each month. I always find great books (it could be because I live in an area where a lot of prominent business people live). I’ve paid anywhere between 50 cents and $5 for quality books. I’ve gotten books by Jack Welch, Seth Godin and many more prominent thought & business leaders. You never know what gems you’ll find. Also, sign up for member cards at book chains like Barnes & Noble and Borders. You get special discounts and sales. I love the clearance table! And of course there are online book sites such as Amazon.com, Half.com and Alibris. Reading books keep you up to date in your industry and social trends.
  • Trade with your friends. If you hang with an intelligent crowd, which I’m sure you do, you can always trade books, CDs, and programs. My friends love coming to my house because I have an actual library in my home. Yes, a separate room that is a dedicated library with all my books, CDs, Magazines and DVDs. Rather than lending stuff out, I make trades. That way I know I will get my things back! You’ve heard of cookie swap parties and even clothing swap parties. Each month, make it a point to have a Knowledge Swap Party. Everyone invited should make a list of what they have (books, CDs, DVDs, etc) so there is no overlap. Then have everyone bring the items to the party and trade. You are educating yourself and helping your friends educate themselves at the same time. Trust me it’s fun and saves lots of money.
  • Enlist your boss in your professional development plan. I know times are tight, but some companies are still willing to invest in their top talent. If you are a valuable employee and you stay on the cutting edge of your field (and that in turns brings value to your company’s bottom line), your company may pay for you to attend conferences, training and/or certification courses. It’s up to you to write a compelling proposal and presentation that convinces them why you are the person to attend, what benefits you’ll gain, and how it fits into the company’s success. The burden of proof is on you so make it a good case. Request a meeting with your boss and explain to him or her where you’d like to see your career go. Then ask for his or her help in achieving your goals. Inquire about tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs.
  • Learn a new language. You can access tons of free and low cost websites, buy CD and DVD programs, instructional books or get a tutor. Local community colleges offer courses for continuing education credits. Visit their websites and find out what language classes they offer and what levels you can take. Being bilingual (or multilingual) can dramatically increase your earning potential. While some people still fight embracing additional languages (Spanish in particular) the smart people are immersing themselves in new languages. Learn a new language.
  • Can’t afford to return to college, look into continuing education courses. The beauty of continuing education is that you can often get credit that can be applied towards certain certifications and job promotions. There are certificate, diploma and certification programs in everything from Office Management to Project Management to Bookkeeping & Accounting. These courses prepare you to sit for certification exams.
  • Get a team of mentors. Yes, a team. No one mentor can fulfill all of your needs. Also, no one person is meant to be your mentor forever. It’s a great professional move to find multiple mentors from varying backgrounds and experience. Draw from the collective experience. Make sure you set up regular appointments with them on a rotating basis. Take plenty of notes and challenge yourself to learn more in between your meetings. Remember to give back in return. After all, your mentors are being gracious with their time. Even if they don’t ask for or require anything in return, it is still proper etiquette to establish a give and take relationship.
  • There’s always the internet! When all else fails, you can find a wealth of information on the web. There are resource websites available on every imaginable topic. Exercise your Google skills to find new and up to date information. While some would caution you to stay away from opinion blogs, I say read them, but be objective. It’s always good to get other people’s point of view on different issues. Set up Google Alerts so that you are notified every time an article, blog post or event pops up on the internet.

Don’t let lack of money keep you from advancing your career. In this economy, you must be creative and resourceful. It is your responsibility to cultivate your career. Over time, you will find that you’ll be able to afford more sophisticated professional development. Until then, try the suggestions above.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

What We Can Learn (Good or Bad) From LeBron James?

*Disclaimer* I do not hate LeBron James. I’m a Knicks fan…and proud of it!

OK so unless you’ve been living under a rock or just not that into sports, you would know by now that the flamboyant self professed King, LeBron James, has opted to leave his hometown Cleveland for sunny skies in Miami. *cue Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Miami’ song* Yes, LeBron has joined the Heat. Boy are the people in Cleveland HOT. I can’t say that I blame them for feeling betrayed. But they’ll get over it. This morning I was watching CNBC and they talked about Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s rather scathing, public open letter he wrote and released immediately after LeBron made his announcement. So much is running through my mind. From a business angle, I think this entire story has been a circus and one big ego stroking session for LeBron. My own son spent 30 some odd days counting down the momentous occasion of LeBron choosing where he wanted to go.

Where do I begin. Let’s start with Dan Gilbert and get him out of the way. As the owner of a team I think he has shown a complete lack of class and has publicly set his city and team up for failure. Mr. Gilbert blasted LeBron for making his own FREE WILL decision to move on. The Cavs have not delivered on a championship. That equates to there being no growth on the job. They didn’t make their best efforts to build a solid well oiled machine by bringing in talent (real talent) to complement LeBron. Yes, they’ve gotten as far as an Eastern Championship, but where’s the ring? So how can anyone in their right mind blame LeBron for wanting to move on to find better opportunities? Who wants to stay with a losing team? If he was in a corporate position, I’d say seven years would have been way to long to hang in there with a lackluster company. Then he goes on to GUARANTEE the Cavs will win the championship without LeBron and before he ever gets a chance to. Hah ! Way to be real mature. You have just set your city and team up for a fail of massive proportions. If they couldn’t get it done with LeBron , what makes you think they’ll get it done now? Mr. Gilbert, you are a sore loser, poor boss and even worse “project manager”. NEXT.

On to LeBron. Wow, so much I can say here. But for the sake of time I’ll narrow it to the highlights (good and bad). LeBron, or as you proclaimed yourself King James, I say brilliant move. You have shown not just the sports world, but the business world just how to leverage a strong brand. I’m quite impressed. Not impressed with your court skills, but majorly impressed with your business skills. You have got to be the smartest business man in the NBA and I hope up and coming players take a page out of LeBronomics 101. You have positioned yourself as a valuable employee, commodity if you will that had the world sweating, anticipating, and praying on where you would land. You called your own shots, set your own terms and made great use of your free agency. A lot of times players (and employees) allow themselves to be the company, be the brand and representation so that you cannot separate the business from the person. But you made sure to differentiate your brand and stand away from the team. I’ve always said I would much rather be a contractor/freelancer than a fully engaged employee. There’s a certain freedom you have. You can get in, get the job done, dazzle and impress then move on to the next project. And that’s what you did. Right or wrong, you made the best decision for your brand, your earning potential and your shot at excellence (and a ring). Bravo for you.

However, while I am impressed by the branding and marketing strategies, I’m less impressed by the grand standing, disloyalty, and disrespect. There is a thing called common courtesy and you could have told Dan Gilbert and the team privately that you would not be returning. Yeah, yeah I know it’s about the excitement and the mystery and I’m sure you had a blast. But from a business perspective, common courtesy goes a long way. The right thing to do would have been to let them know at least that you would not be returning home instead of letting them find out on TV. So I can see why Dan and the rest of Cleveland are pissed. Let’s move on to your arrogance. Yes, arrogance…not to be confused with confidence. I’ve seen it in Jordan, Kobe, Rodman, Shaq , etc. It’s not cute. You take it to another level. I can see if you had the ring to back it up, but you don’t. I don’t know if it’s because the public places so much emphasis on you or because you’ve become self important on your own. Either way, it’s not a way to be a TEAM player. It’s the perfect way to be the selfish player.

So how does all of this ranting fit into this blog? I’ll tell you. As a manager you have to respect your players. You should always be sure to give your top talent the support they need whether resources or other talent to complement their strengths. No one person is obligated to any company or team for the life of their career. While we all want to keep the best for ourselves, if we’re not creating the ideal work environment for them to thrive and produce, can we really be angry when they choose to go somewhere where they are more appreciated? No we can’t. If you lose an employee, you learn the lessons from the mistakes that were made and work on revamping what you have. You don’t throw a hissy fit and publicly deride someone for exercising their FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Look to your own blueprint for your company then make adjustments so you can begin to attract top talent and create ideal work environments that make them want to stay and be loyal. And most importantly, if you don’t have the talent don’t make statements or guarantees about delivering excellence when you know you won’t be able to deliver. Man (or woman up) and don’t be a baby about it. Learn and grow.

For the employee or “free agent”, you are absolutely supposed to have confidence in yourself. If you’ve spent your professional life building your skills, owning your craft, then hell yes, you deserve to be confident and self assured. But, you never burn bridges. I tell clients you always end things on a good note, even if you have no desire to ever return. Common courtesy and class are lost these days. If you know you’re not happy and want to leave, at least tell your boss. You don’t have to tell them where you’re going, but a heads up would help. Especially if you’re in a high profile position. Yes, the company that gets you are the lucky ones, but there will always be that thought in the back of their minds that you could bail on them too. It becomes a matter of trust. You don’t want to be known as flaky , unpredictable or worse, disloyal. You don’t want to have a relationship where they feel they need to always keep one eye on you at all times for fear of what you might do. Remember the saying “how you get them is how you lose them”? Keep that in mind. You can be and do anything you want, but always end your business relationships on good terms. No matter how your current business or job relationship is, don’t burn your bridges, ever.

As for branding yourself, I say we all should take a page from LeBron’s book. That man, love him or hate him, has done a hell of a job in branding himself. He has continuously improved his craft, aligned himself with the right people, paid attention to people smarter and richer than himself, and understands his worth. He understands the value he brings to the game, the sport, the world and he’s not afraid to continue to build it. He has done what was in his own best interest and used his business acumen to make sure he was looking out for his future. He wasn’t swayed by money or even “hometown loyalty” (or as I call it guilt). Did he overstay his welcome? Yes I think he did. Seven years is a long time in NBA years to dedicate your heart and soul to a team, a company only to not see tangible results. LeBron sought professional greatness and I am not mad at him for making the decision he did. He refused to allow anyone, any organization dictate where his career goes next. And I think we can all learn from that. He also leveraged the power of negotiation. He wanted what he wanted and was willing to take a pay cut (not that he’d notice!) to get it. If a company wants you bad enough, they’ll be willing to adhere to your terms. He went for what he wanted and didn’t let anything or anyone get in his way or in his head. You’ve got to admire that. More of us need to do that!

Good luck to you LeBron. I’m not a fan of your basketball game, but I am in awe of your business game. I hope it’s all you hope it to be. Dan Gilbert, Grow Up & Do Better!

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

OK, so everyone knows how gaga I am over social media and the act of social networking. It is a key component to my overall networking (and marketing) strategy. Being able to connect with more people in more places across the globe has allowed me to stay up on industry trends, challenge my opinions on certain issues, and educate myself (yes, you can be educated through social networking…who knew!?). I often like to tell people I’ve been social networking since before it had a name! I’ve been using social media since the primitive days (and before that too had a name). As an early adopter I’ve had the distinct advantage on many occasions to get the pure essence of many sites and tools before they became overrun by the masses. Back when people were leery yet excited about the potential of a new site and the opportunity to connect with some great people. The one thing that always sticks in my ass these days is the way people and businesses take a site or tool and “commonize” it (is that even a word?) for all purpose marketing and dare I say harassment. Social networking sites have become a way for people to tout how many “friends”  or followers they have. It has become a sport and even worse, bombarded by marketing messages.

Coming from a recruiting background, I am all about the relationship. I’ve never been big on growing numbers for the privilege of boasting how popular I am. Call me crazy, but that’s never been my thing. I’m into organic growth and real relationships. Granted, I don’t know each and every person who follows or connects with me. But I am trying to make meaningful connections and get to know those people who find me interesting enough to follow and connect with. I’ve put my own quest to connect on hiatus because people are tired of getting invitations to connect. I can’t blame them. I get tired of trying to figure out the motives of those who try to connect. Are they genuinely interested in getting to know me? Do they want to connect and learn more about my expertise and possibly learn from me? Or do they just see someone who’s numbers are growing or who’s been on panels and in articles and want to connect to get a piece of that? Who knows these days. Especially when you get email after email saying “Hi I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linked In” without so much as a hint how they found you or why they want to connect. Well I say enough.

This week I decided I had enough and launched a new social networking project- Operation Social Outreach. No, it’s not an official name or or website or anything, I just like the sound of it. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of connecting with people or accepting invitations to connect only to receive an automated response telling me to click a link, download a “gift” or check out a website. Or still getting those generic Linked In invites. People just don’t feel they need to take the time to introduce themselves. Would they come up to you at a conference and say “hey connect with me”? No, they wouldn’t. They would introduce themselves properly. So why don’t they feel the need to do it online? They wouldn’t walk up to you and say “you want to learn more about me, check out my website”. No, they would tell you a little about themselves. What the hell happened to common etiquette? A simple “thanks for connecting, tell me about yourself” or “thanks for the add, let’s connect via phone to get to know one another” goes a long way in building a relationship. So why aren’t people doing it? Well I have a couple of theories, but let me stick to three of my favorites.

Celebrities & so called Internet Celebrities have taken over.

Yes, you read me right. Every time something big gets going for the common folks, celebrities come on board. Now I’m not saying they aren’t entitled. But they take social networking to another level.  They set up accounts, gain tons of followers, then sit back and engage only with people they know personally. So they’ll have a couple of thousand (or in some cases millions) of followers and communicate with about 10. Well if you know them already, use the damn phone! A smart celebrity or public figure would tap into the power of social media to ENGAGE their public and build (or strengthen) their brand. As someone who is becoming more in the public eye, I use social networking as a means to engage in conversations, find out what my public wants to talk about, and educate by sharing my knowledge. I pay attention to what people say and want. And most importantly, I do my own communicating. Some of these celebrities hire people to communicate for them. Where’s the authenticity? And do I even need to talk about the Internet Celebrities?

Internet Marketers & “Gurus” told people it’s OK to blast their business services/products because it’s free or cheap and EVERYBODY is on it.

OK maybe it’s unfair to paint Internet Marketers with one broad stroke. But it seems like many of them are reading from the same manual when it comes to social media. There is nothing worse than being bombarded by marketing messages, especially when it’s intrusive.  I like to get to know about people, not their products or services, when I connect. Ease me into it. People buy from people they know and trust. If I just connect with you on Monday, what makes you think I’m going to buy from you on Tuesday? By immediately bombarding me with sales pitches and marketing messages, you’re showing me that I’m a lead, not someone you want to connect with. How do you expect me to take you seriously? So many of these people are so caught up on making a sale, they forget about the SOCIAL aspect of social networking. And besides, don’t you know that after a while, all of those messages all look alike. If you’re going to follow the Internet Marketing “Gurus” at least change up your style! A lot of those websites look exactly the same. Here’s a tip for you. If you even think I’m your “target market” get to know me and what my touch points are. Take the time to interact with me and learn how to work with me. I care more about relationships than I do making purchases.

People just don’t care. They’re joining because everyone else is doing it.

I’ve seen this in the recruiting world a lot. A site will pop up and a few early adopters will try it out. Then someone like clockwork will write a book or post or teach a class that positions them as the “expert” of this site. Then everyone and their momma will go running to the site because it’s the in thing to do. I find Facebook to be the latest victim of this. In the beginning, people avoided Facebook. They dismissed it as being something kids used. But somewhere along the line, business crossed over into the personal and we got what we have today. It’s talked about on television shows, mentioned in magazine articles, it’s even part of every day life in movies. So now everyone is on it. Some people don’t even know why they are on. Whatever the reason, people are using it to avoid having to network in real life or because everyone else is doing it. In my opinion, this cheapens the experience and goes against the intentions of networking.

Networking, especially online networking, is about relationship building. It’s not about selling or popularity contests or number padding. It’s about finding people who add value to your life in some way. It’s not supposed to be about egotistical, selfish motives. It’s supposed to be about engagement. If you’re not communicating or opening yourself up to connecting with people, then why are you wasting time and bandwidth? It’s not supposed to be about You. Networking is a team sport. If you’re not ready to embrace that, perhaps it’s not for you. So I’m calling out the fakes. Don’t waste people’s time. We don’t care about your self serving purposes. It’s all about making real connections.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Believe it or not, I believe we are in the midst of a fear epidemic. I have had more than a few conversations in the last two weeks with women who are passionate about what they do, articulate about their ideas, but scared to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. They have come up with a product, service or way to do business that could turn into a sustainable, highly successful business. But something is preventing them from following through on their dreams. I can’t even say it’s exclusive to women, because I know a few men who are just as gun shy. But for the purposes of this post, I’m referring to the women.

So why are we victims of failing to move forward with great ideas? There are lots of reasons. It surely isn’t due to a lack of creativity or passion. All of the women I have spoken with over the last few weeks had this certain something in their voices. You know, like that sound of pride a mom exudes when speaking of her baby being on the honor role. They want so bad to tap into their inner CEO and share their “baby” with the world. But something is holding them back.

  • Fear of Failure. This one is a biggie! Trust me I know. There were many nights in the beginning I sat up wondering what people would think of me if I failed. It’s a huge burden on women’s minds. Women are held up to a higher scrutiny than men. We are the Moms, the caretakers. So if we fail at a business, it can be perceived as something that was expected of a Mom with a “hobby”. Hey, *I* didn’t say that, but I’ve heard it. I say to hell with what people think. Many prominent people (women AND men) have failed…on more than one occasion too. Failing should not be feared. It should be used as a learning lesson to prepare you for your next steps. Don’t let fear of failure keep you on the sidelines.
  • Fear of Success. Once again, guilty as charged. Even worse than the fear of failure is fear of success. This is a bit more psychological for some people than others because it’s all about the expectations others put on you. Once it became obvious that I was on the cusp of something big, the expectations of others crept into my head. I worried so much about letting people down, which is a lot different than worrying about what people will say. I felt that pressure hard. A lot of time women panic because they feel if they grow too fast too soon, it will take away from their family obligations or that there will be such great demands on them that they won’t be able to deliver. Don’t fall victim to this. Success can be wonderful if you manage it right.
  • Lack of Support. Single Moms are hit hardest by this. They are already doing it all on their own, raising the kids, being the breadwinner. It’s hard to move forward with a business idea if you feel nobody supports or believes in you. But don’t let that stop you. There are many women’s and moms groups that are out there that would love to support you. You can look on the internet and find local groups that fit your needs.
  • Lack of Money. I learned from a great friend that it’s not always necessary to have the funding to start a business. There are ways that you can creatively finance. There are microloans, business plan competitions, small business loans, angel investors and joint ventures. You can also offer equity, commission, revenue sharing or deferred salary to key staff. Not being capital rich, doesn’t mean you can’t move forward with your idea or business.
  • Fear of Losing a Stable Paycheck & Benefits. This is without a doubt the worst excuse of them all. I know you’re saying “but the economy!!” and yes we are in a bit of a jacked up economy. But that’s no excuse to not move forward. First of all, you can probably search online for better benefits at sites like EHealthinsurance.com for insurance, and Fidelity or Sharebuilder for 401K programs. I have consistently found better coverage than what companies can offer by researching online. And if you are passionate enough about your company, willing to market like crazy, and are hungry enough to get out there and close clients, the money will come. What gets lost is that you have to potential to make MORE money. I don’t think anyone deliberately goes into business to make less money or to fail. Do you want someone determining the most money you are allowed to make? I didn’t think so.

Don’t let fear keep you from bringing your idea to market. Many of us have the capability to be business owners. True entrepreneurs are OK with taking a risk because they know the rewards greatly outweigh them. You can overcome any of the excuses listed above. It starts with changing your mindset. Believe in yourself and you will be on your way to succeeding. Fear is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real. As I always say no limits, no boundaries, no fear.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

Hello, hello! As you can probably imagine I am just giddy about my new website launch. After much blood, sweat, tears, prayer, false starts, hard work, and yes sometimes cussing, the official website for the Fearless Woman Magazine is now live! I have waited so long for this and have encountered so many obstacles along the way. I even considered quitting….yes, the “Q” word because I had a few people tell me I would not be able to get it done. But I’m here to tell you that not only am I still standing, I have a real live functional website to show for it.

Now I know a few sour heads are going to say “hey the site is up but what about the magazine itself?”. It’s a great question…and I have a great answer. As you may already know, Empower Me! is hosting the Fearless Woman Summit at the Georgia International Convention Center June 16-17 right here in Atlanta. Originally, I was planning to do a simple launch party to announce the magazine to the world. But my team has taken over and transformed this event into the must attend professional development event of the year, in addition to a kick ass launch party! So the soft launch or unofficial launch of the physical magazine will be June 16 and it will be revealed to the attendees of the Summit and Empower Me! members (they of course get their subscriptions for free with their membership). Everyone who attends the event will get an advanced copy and will be able to help us celebrate the launch. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. For the rest of the world, the official launch is July 1st.

Our first issue is focused on Diversity from Her Perspective and we have a stellar line up of articles that make you think, reflect, and take action. The magazine will motivate you to live your best professional life…fearlessly! From Dr. Ella Edmondson Bell to Barbara Corcoran to Audrey Lee, to Sarah Evans, to Aliza Sherman, we have some phenomenal ladies who share the distinction of being in our debut issue. I can’t wait for you to read it! Trust me, the website has NOTHING on the actual issue!

In the mean time, we want you to feel like the magazine’s website is your community. We have a top notch roster of Contributing Bloggers who will share their wisdom, encouragement and expertise each week. You can catch snippets of our videos, listen to Views From the Top Radio Show, join our Facebook Fan Page, and even follow us on Twitter. You will even be able to catch previews of our shows in the brand new EmpoweredWoman.tv. Soon, you will have the capability to translate the site into your chosen language!

Be sure you bookmark and share the website with all your friends, family and co-workers. If you’re a man, be sure to send your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, female colleagues over to the website. I guarantee it’ll be the best thing they can do for themselves in the name of professional development.

Please stop by and let me know what you think.
Til Next Time.

Adrienne Graham
PUBLISHER
Fearless Woman Magazine (an Empower Me! Corporation publication)

People are good at making goals, New Year’s resolutions, dream lists and plans. But there’s a fundamental problem with them. They leave room for interpretation, revision and even delay. Where’s the accountability? So I gave it some thought, and I’ve decided never to make “goals” again. OK don’t be alarmed. I know I’ve told you in the past that goal setting is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your success. But I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to do that any more.

You see, people set out to achieve their goals and genuinely have good intentions. But often life, work, circumstances, family, health, and a host of other things often get in the way. Goals are flexible in people’s minds and we’re often inclined to postpone them or disregard them altogether. We’ll say “well I couldn’t do that today, so I’ll get to it tomorrow”. Or “my money is short this week, let me put this training/course/coaching/conference off until next month, or maybe next year when I’m ready”. The intentions are there, but some times the execution and implementation are off. And we rationalize why we couldn’t meet the goal to try to excuse ourselves or make us feel better when we don’t meet them.

Here’s what I propose. Instead of making goals or resolutions, we should make promises. Yes, make a series of promises to yourself. You see when we make promises, we are held accountable. When you make a promise to your child, you move heaven and earth to make it happen so he or she isn’t disappointed in you. When you promise to get a task done on time at work, you do what needs to be done to get the job done so your boss isn’t disappointed in you. So why not make promises to yourself? Think about it. Some of the mot successful people are successful because of the promises they make to themselves. “I promise I will never be poor again”. “I promise myself I will move up within my company”. “I promise I will start my own business”. Making a promise to yourself is much more effective than setting a goal. Goals are fine, but promise yourself success. There’s something psychological about a promise. It means you WILL get something done. There is no postponing or forgetting. You will make it happen by any means necessary. Think about how you feel when others make promises to you that they don’t keep. It isn’t so nice. Well can you live with breaking a promise to yourself?

The next time you sit down to write your goals, rephrase them into a series of promises you make to yourself to guarantee your professional success. And to give them extra added incentive, assign time lines to those promises, then fulfill those promises to yourself as if you were your child, boss, spouse, parent, etc. What “promises” have you committed to make to yourself? Please share!

Til next time,

Adrienne Graham

Well, I don’t mean like that. It’s a contest! For 5 lucky folks in the Metro Atlanta area, I’m giving away five 2-hour gift cards to ROAM.

If you feel you deserve one of these cards, post your comment here letting me know why you need to “get a room”. I will choose 5 lucky winners. The gift cards are valid for 2 free hours (and they’ll even throw in coffee service!). You must present the card to redeem. Not transferable or redeemable for cash. This contest will ONLY last until Monday, April 12 at noon (or until I have the five winners, whichever comes first).

In case you haven’t heard of them, Roam is the coolest place in Atlanta to go when you’re tired of conducting business in the local coffee shop. They offer small, medium and large meeting rooms to fit any need. They even have a cafe, a common area and free Wi-Fi. It’s the ultimate shared work space community where people “work, connect and grow”. So if you need to escape the home office or are tired of coming home smelling like coffee, try Roam. They are located in Alpharetta off Windward Parkway and North Point Parkway. Locations coming soon to Buckhead and Midtown!

If you have Comcast, be on the look out for their new commercial (I’m in it!).

Don’t forget to tell them Adrienne sent you. For more information about Roam, visit their website at http://www.roamatlanta.com.

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