Archive for December, 2007

The Ultimate Packing List

December 18, 2007


Never forget another thing…

  • Do you love to travel, but dread packing?
  • Do you put off packing for as long as possible, only to feel rushed in the end?
  • Do you sometimes have that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten to pack something important?

Fret no more. Just in time for the holidays and winter getaways, I’m sharing my ultimate, foolproof packing list. In the 20 years I’ve used it, it has never let me down!


Do you know someone who could really use this list? Share it with friends!

(See any items missing? Post a comment here and I’ll share your suggestions in a future posting.)



Distraction is your ticket.

Distraction is one of the best antidotes to fear. The human brain has a hard time focusing on more than one thing at one time, so the best thing you can do is capture your attention elsewhere. By asking your brain to focus on manageable tasks in the present, you make it harder for your brain to generate fear-producing thoughts.

If you feel anxious about flying, try the following quick tricks to make your flight easier:

1) Sleep, if you can.
2) Draw the window shade so you can’t look outside. Ask your neighbors in front and behind you if they’d do the same.
3) Catch up on office work.
4) Do puzzles (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, travel games). Puzzles will hold your attention better than reading, watching movies, or listening to music, but these activities can be helpful, too.
5) Talk with the person next to you. Again, it can be a good distraction, but be respectful.
6) Do the opposite of what your fear compels you to do. If you’re the type to stay glued to your seat with hands clenched, get up and walk around a bit.
7) Do not wait for the fear to hit to begin distracting yourself. If you start to get anxious at home or in the airport terminal, start practicing your distraction techniques early.

Click here for more resources on conquering fears.

In addition to my work as a personal coach, I also work privately with clients as a certified phobia counselor. I am glad to answer questions and share more information about life-changing resources available. Please feel welcome to contact me.

To happy holidays, safe travels, and wonderful adventures!

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The Most Important Question to Ask When Making a New Connection is:

December 7, 2007

With whom might you suggest I speak with next?

Far from being your first question, this one must be saved for the very end of a conversation with a new contact, after you have thanked them for their time and consideration. Done gracefully, this question yields dividends nine times out of ten. It is an old trick from my time in TV news. My best leads always came from my last lead.

Remembering to make this question your very last one is a good habit to build, especially for informational interviewing. It is also a great recovery tool when a new contact simply can’t help you. Along with a “thank you,” it gives you a quick and useful getaway.

And consider this…When you call the next contact in the chain, you have a built-in introduction that makes you less of a “stranger”. You can begin with, “So-and-so suggested I reach out to you.”

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This Week’s ZoomLetter: “Pull a Finaggin”

December 7, 2007

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It is a pleasure to share with you the very first ZoomLetter!

I’ll kick things off with an inspiring story experienced by a recent client…

When Rob came to me for some coaching, he was looking to make a BIG career change — out of a field that felt “miserable” to him and into a “dream field” for which he had no direct experience…but lots of desire and energy. His first action plan was to make contact with someone in the new field, but the hurdle was that he didn’t know anyone who worked in this particular industry.

We were both familiar with the name of a “big player” in the field — a person we’d seen featured in the media — but it felt like a “huge reach” to Rob when I asked him if he would consider contacting this person. The industry leader went by the name Finaggin, and Rob was able to track down an e-mail address for him. It seemed like a long shot that this industry leader would open Rob’s e-mail, let alone respond, but once Rob took on the action of writing the e-mail, his desire to “take a shot” outpaced his wariness. Rob hit SEND on his computer before he could talk himself out of it. “What was the worst that could happen?” he reasoned.

Three or four uneventful days passed, and then something happened that would change Rob’s perspective on long shots.

Finaggin did one better than respond to Rob’s e-mail. He called Rob personally. Rob said he nearly fell out of his chair when he saw “Finaggin” come up on the caller-ID, but was able to compose himself enough to thank this gentleman and to get answers to some of his most burning questions from this industry leader. Finaggin spent 20-minutes that day on the phone with Rob. He shared a ton of suggestions and information with Rob. Even more than that, Finaggin gave Rob a very literal way to see that “big shots” are people just like everyone else. And just like everyone else, sometimes they make the time.

In the weeks since Finaggin’s call, Rob has let go of considering worst case scenarios, and instead has taken to considering what surprises might happen. He has upped the ante and has contacted several other well-regarded professionals in the industry. Most recently, Rob received his first offer and is making incredible headway towards pursuing his “dream field”.

Rob laughs when he thinks about how far he’s traveled past his “fear of contacting strangers”. He has even dubbed a new expression for taking a crazy shot in the dark that pays off; he calls it “pulling a Finaggin”.

One of the most rewarding parts of being a personal coach is witnessing a client take a leap that changes what seems impossible into something quite doable.

In an area in your life where reaching out to someone feels like a long shot, how might you throw caution to the wind and “pull a Finaggin”?

With cheer,

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