Sunday, June 29, 2014

UpLevel Vortex: Getting Clients

Not Hope!

So back to the 3-day conference held by Christine Kane for clients in her UpLevel Your Business, Gold Mastermind, and Platinum Coaching programs ---

The last element of the first day of coaching covered "How to Get Clients."  ASL graduates and other lawyers:  Pay Attention!

So, what are the mistakes we make?

  • Your only strategy is HOPE.
  • You drank the social media Kool-Aid.  
  • You think on-line marketing means never having to deal with actual people.
  • "Hey, if I'm good, clients will just find me.
  • The one-and-done approach.
So, what shifts can you make to improve your ability to attract ideal clients?

  • Think clearly and develop a marketing strategy.
  • Then, implement the marketing strategy authentically and consistently.
  • Build your business or practice by working one-on-one with clients, serve them very well, and then use them as referral sources.
  • Use social media as one vehicle while you set up an easier and more complete strategy. 
  • Clear your mindset blocks around being seen and about relationship marketing.  
  • Own your value. UpLevel your pricing. 
  • Work on your worthiness issues.  
  • Learn and apply follow-through strategies.

Here are the books on referral and relationship marketing we've read over the last year in the coaching program:
Christine Kane reminds us that finding ideal clients requires three important things:
  • You need to know whom you serve.
  • You need a source of clients.
  • You need something valuable to offer. 
In a prior post, I discussed identifying your ideal client -- whom you serve.

In my next post, I'll talk about the sources of clients.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mediation of Hurricane Sandy Claims Filed in NY Federal Court

100 Mediators 
to Help 
Those Still Suffering

I don't often republish an article in its entirety, but for this one, I have made an exception.  The Third Branch News released the story.

Eastern District of New York Looks to Mediators to Expedite Sandy Cases(June 26, 2014)
Related Links:
Eastern District of New York, Hurricane Sandy Cases 
In 2012, Super Storm Sandy destroyed an estimated 650,000 homes and affected over 300,000 businesses along the Atlantic seaboard. Affected homeowners and businesses have filed over 1,000 Super Storm Sandy-related insurance coverage actions in the Eastern District of New York. That number is expected to double or even triple in the coming months.

The district has developed a special program to expedite those cases.

“Most of our cases involve property damage or business interruption claims filed against insurance companies by homeowners and businesses hit by Sandy. For cases brought under the National Flood Insurance Program, there have been all kinds of issues involving FEMA rules and filing deadlines,” explains Magistrate Judge Robert Levy, the district’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) judge.

Another complication arises from the way claims are administered differently depending on the cause of the damage.

“For example, damage caused by wind is typically covered by private carriers, whereas claims for flood damage are generally reimbursed by the federal government but administered by private carriers under federal regulations. Some claims involve both wind and water. Handling these claims can be tricky because they involve so many moving parts,” Levy said.

Magistrate Judges Cheryl Pollak, Ramon Reyes, and Gary Brown were tasked as a committee by Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon to develop a rational case management plan. The committee decided that unless there’s a legal issue that has to be resolved, ADR was the way to quickly resolve the cases. According to Levy, ADR gives a little more leverage to the parties to resolve cases on their own. It also may be less expensive than, for example, a trial.

“The case management order allows for some preliminary discovery and threshold legal issues to be decided, where necessary,” Levy said, “but most cases will be sent to early ADR through mandatory mediation or, in some instance, arbitration.”

The Eastern District of New York’s mediation program was one of the first in the country, and maintains a panel of screened, trained, and certified private mediators—but too few to handle the expected influx of cases.

“We knew we had to recruit more mediators,” said Levy. “We went to the Nassau County Bar Association, and the New York City and Long Island ADR community. We went to the Federal Bar Council. We went to law schools. And we ended up with close to 100 mediators. These are people from big private practices, small firms, and sole practitioners.”

Last month the court invited all the mediators to a full day of training. Plaintiffs’ and defendants’ liaisons, along with claims adjusters and expert investigators explained the factual disputes likely to arise over wind and water damage claims. An associate general counsel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency detailed the intricacies of the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA’s role in administering it. The meteorologist –in-charge for the National Weather Service in New York explained how the storm surge plus extremely high tides made Sandy more devastating than previous storms.

In the next few weeks, the court expects to refer the first wave of cases to mediators.

“We don’t know how many cases we’ll have in the next few weeks to mediate,” said Levy. “If it’s 200 cases, and we have 100 mediators, we’ll try to figure out the most efficient way. We’ll try to let lawyers choose the mediators where reasonable, but we want to distribute the cases around so none of the mediators burn out.”

Meanwhile, several of the district’s magistrate judges working to settle a sampling of the cases are trying to gauge how complex the cases will be and how much time it may take to mediate each one.
“My colleagues have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort into developing a court-wide process to resolve these claims quickly, fairly and efficiently,” Levy said. “Sandy was a huge blow to so many people in our district. We are hopeful that by addressing these claims expeditiously, the court will be able to provide some relief for those who are still suffering.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The UpLevel Vortex: My Ideal Client

Identifying and Successfully Communicating with Your ideal Client

A lot of ink has been used to print books helping business owners identify, communicate with, and successfully serve their ideal clients.  

In a post some time ago, I discussed the “long tail” even entrepreneurs can identify and serve.   The U.S. is no longer one big market.  It’s a multitude of micro-markets finding support, service, and products through the web. If you deeply understand the micro-market you want to serve, you can then have a conversation with those ideal clients in a way that attracts them to your services and products. 

Christine Kane, my business coach, suggests our ideal clients are looking to resolve or avoid these frequent sources of pain:
  • Lack of harmony.
  • Stress on relationships.
  • Damaged relationships.
  • Stressed communities.

As a conflict resolution professional, I find this list compelling.  As human beings we yearn for connection, peace of mind, and healthy relationships filled with love, recognition, acceptance, and approval.

Within this broad discussion of the pain that motivates people to seek help from others, each entrepreneur’s ideal client will have a very specific set of:

  • Dreams and desires.
  • Doubts and fears.
  • Usual solutions they have tried without success.
  • Obstacles, and
  • Mistakes.

So, who are my ideal clients for my new mediation 40-hour training program -- Mediation with Heart: Web-Based Training for Change Agents?
  • They are more heart-centered than most folks.
  • Strong.
  • Willing to go into the heart of conflict.  Fearless in many ways.
  • Purpose-driven.
  • Other-oriented.
  • Working for something larger than themselves.
  • Wanting a more peaceful world at all levels of interaction.
  • Wanting to be different in the world than most people who try to deal with conflict.
  • Busy.
  • Self-directed, adult learners.
  • Tired of not having the knowledge and skills they desire to respond to conflict arising at home, at work, or in other contexts.
  • They seek empowerment, understanding, and ways to respond with empathy and love to people in crisis.
  • They want to be the change they wish to see in the world. (yes, I know . . . overused, but nonetheless, true.)
I am curious what you think they fear.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The UpLevel Vortex: Seeing Where Your Clients are Meant to Go

Holding the 
Promise for my Students

During one part of the three day UpLevel Your Business conference presentation in Atlanta, one of Christine Kane’s statements really struck a chord with me.  She said: “You must see your students as more successful than they can see themselves.  You can see where they are meant to go.”

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I launched my new business – Mediation with Heart: Web-Based Training for Change Agents the same week as the conference in Atlanta.  It offers the first web-based training for mediators in the U.S. and perhaps in the world. 

With respect to all my students, I know where they will be at the end of the 40-hours of training.  They will be empowered, reflective, highly-motivated, and anxious to begin using the skills they have learned to change the world. 

Two of the students are Presbyterian ministers who plan to use the skills to intervene in intra-congregational conflict -- primarily in disputes involving gay clergy.  I have already suggested to them that they will also want to learn group facilitation skills, which I teach.  Then, they may want to organize a group of mediators who could be first responders on the East Coast when these disputes threaten the unity of a congregation.  They could start the difficult conversation and help churches assess the values they want to dominate in their decision-making on the controversial issues they face now and in the future.

Do I see “where they are meant to go”?  I certainly see one path these new peacemakers can choose.    

And, to hold that promise for them is thrilling.  To hold the space that they will grow into reflects my own growth as a dispute resolution expert, and my vision, patience, and expectation.   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The UpLevel Vortex: Core Truths About Your Business

that Create Space 
for Growth

This week, I've been describing the conference I attended the first week of June as a member of Christine Kane's Gold Mastermind program.  The three-day conference offered about 300 heart-centered entrepreneurs many ways to think about the businesses were creating.   

On the first morning, Christine, our coach, suggested a shift in mindset.  As part of the shift in mindset, Christine encourages her clients/students to abandon limiting beliefs, actions based in fear, inertia, or waiting to act when  . . . .   

Instead, she encourages her clients to substitute a belief system that encourages growth and business development.  

The core truths she advocates are:
  • I have unlimited income in my business.
  • I am at CAUSE in my business.
  • My challenges contain the raw material for my highest-level solutions.
  • Marketing creates value and energy.  Marketing is the only way to spread my message and grow my business. It is nothing more than effective communication.
  • I am creating a NEW ECONOMY with my business.
  • Selling is service.  When I sell, I am giving someone an opportunity to invest in their results through my service or product. 
  • I am not “the norm.” It’s up to me to honor my business by creating a support system that helps me lead from this space. 

Powerful, action-creating beliefs.

The heart-centered businesswoman attracted to this program deeply believe that they are improving themselves in order to improve the lives of other people through service and products, and more importantly, to have a positive impact on the world.  They seek to be extraordinary and to offer extraordinary service to others.

While these core values might be aspirational in many contexts, I have seen friends in the program apply them consistently and get results they deserved because of their commitment and action.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

More About the UpLevel Your Business Incantation of "I'm In"

More About "I'M IN"

So yesterday, I began describing the specific programming for the 3-day conference of UpLevel Your Business 2014. 

Christine Kane has developed this group coaching program that has helped so many people, especially entrepreneurial women who own heart-centered businesses. 

I described the components of the incantation: "I'M IN."

It contains several components:
  • I'm fully engaged.
  • I'm here.
  • I'm willing to exit my comfort zone.
  • I take imperfect action.
  • I'm worth investing in!
  • This is monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, minute-ly work.  
I talked yesterday about the first three components and, today, I'll talk about the remaining ones. 

I take imperfect action!   

I loved this part of the declaration.  First, I teach the enneagram, and I suspected that many "Ones" in the conference room are paralyzed by doing anything imperfectly. This declaration gave them permission to launch a bio, webpage, signature talk, get acquainted call, or program that was still a good draft.  It need not be perfect to be effective. And, time would allow later tweaks. Especially those that responded to the needs of effectively communicating with potential clients rather than those required by that internal voice seeking perfection.

Second, for me, it simply gave me the space to develop my on-line training program without feeling the need to re-record each class when a small mishap occurred.  "Be authentic" replaced "be perfect."

And, throughout the program, Christine has modeled this imperfection in her podcasts, Q&A sessions, video recordings, printed materials (the conference binders showed up several hours late), or blooper reel.  

I'm worth investing in!

As I noted in an earlier post, I have paid over $10,000 for the three years of training I've had with Christine. That seems like a very big number, and as a 60-year old woman (as of yesterday), it seemed like a big investment at this stage of my life.  Even my LL.M. in Dispute Resolution was cheaper.

But, then, I reminded myself of the extraordinary investment my law students make in their own futures.   After that, it was a no-brainer.

And looking back, I am so happy I made the investment.  Had I not, I'd be in the same place I was three years ago. Wouldn't that be sad?  Moreover, when I ask my on-line students to invest in Mediation with Heart, I can talk sincerely about why they should invest in themselves so they can resolve conflict with wisdom, skill, and heart. 

This is monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, minute-ly work.  

Like any long-term change, it requires you to not only invest the money in learning new skills and strategies, but change also requires you to invest the time it takes to create new habits, build helpful relationships, design materials related to your heart-centered business so you can deliver very high-quality services, read about the latest trends in your industry, develop mindset shifts, manage your emotions, and take care of your body.  The commitment is on-going and requires measurable, daily progress towards your goals. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

UpLevel Vortex: Day 1 in Atlanta -- The First Morning Session


As I mentioned in earlier blogs this month, I attended -- for the second time -- the UpLevel Your Business (ULYB) Live 2014 conference in Atlanta. Approximately 300 other women and men joined me for this training in mindset and strategy for entrepreneurs in heart-centered businesses. #UYB2014

The First Session of Day 1

The conference opened with what I would call buy-in and some basic mindset training.  Last year, as we walked into the conference, we all got large buttons reading: "I'M IN!"  I still have mine from a year ago. 

Over the next three days, we would say "I'M IN" in unison when Christine Kane invited us to make the declaration, almost (as she reminded us) as an incantation.  This incantation or mantra started the buy-in. 

It contains several components:

  • I'm fully engaged.
  • I'm here.
  • I'm willing to exit my comfort zone.
  • I take imperfect action.
  • I'm worth investing in!
  • This is monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, minute-ly work.  
I'll talk about the first three components today and the remaining ones tomorrow. 

I'm fully engaged.

Being engaged connotes deep interest in something or involvement in an activity at a deeper level. For those of us in the ULYB process, it touches on several levels of engagement.  

For me, it has involved greater self-awareness, learning more about barriers to growth, managing my fear, focusing on the future, developing skills in technology and web-based marketing, committing to learning the lessons delivered regularly by Christine and her staff, doing the homework, scheduling my coaching sessions, and belonging to a community of entrepreneurs who openly discussed their own challenges, set-backs, progress, and triumphs.

Many times over the last two years, my own engagement reminded me of my law students who make a similar commitment to be "in."

I'm here.  

Factually, this part of the incantation simply recognized that we had come to Atlanta to be part of a very special event. People came from France and other countries and from many parts of the U.S.  I drove from Grundy, about a 7 hour drive, mostly so I had an excuse to drive what I call the "Appalachian Autobahn" yet again to join my Gold friends and colleagues. 

On another level, this part of the declaration recognizes the commitment to seek something new. Seek growth.  Seek opportunity.  

It could also take on a Buddhist connotation.  No matter where I am, I am still with myself, struggling with all my emotions, limitations of mind, and constraints on my perceptions and ability to dream big.  

I'm willing to exit my comfort zone!

This part of the incantation may have resonated more loudly for other members of our group.  Their fears are different from mine. Their personalities may cause them to cling to things that have little stickiness for me.  

I am accustomed to jumping off the edge and expecting not a net, but wings to appear.  Again, I am reminded of our brave students graduating into a still depressed market for law grads.  Surely, I can find as much courage to build the future I envision.  

Some of my colleagues struggled with being seen.  Some feared public speaking. Or, writing for an audience. Or, expressing their opinions in a public forum.  Others feared being so self-reliant.  Some feared asking for what they wanted or for what their services were worth.  Or, having a conversation with their husbands about investing in this program.  Or, taking time away from family to work on their own priorities.   They struggled with feeling strong, worthy, competent, and loved.  

For all of us, these shared fears built empathy and support. And then, courage and strength.  

So, more tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

UpLevel Vortex: How I've Changed Since the Last Conference

Clarity, Wealth, and Community:  #UYB2014

In my last post, I described my experience as a student of Christine Kane's coaching programs

Since that post, I joined her affiliate program, and I will earn a referral fee for anyone signing up for her programs who mentions me as a reference.  I am making that clear, just so you know that I have some mixed motives at this point for creating these particular posts. At the same time, I have not joined any other affiliate program, and I wouldn't become an affiliate unless I thought I was promoting a high-quality program.

Ok, so where did I leave off?  I was telling you how I knew I had had some very big changes since the June 2013 Uplevel conference in Atlanta.  Here are some of the signs.


In December 2013, I picked three words to remind me of my goals for 2014. One was "launch."  On Monday, before I left for Atlanta, I launched my own online teaching program -- Mediation with Heart: Web-Based Training for Change Agents.  Through it, I hope to teach an approach to mediation that marries more feminine energy with the more masculine energy of traditional negotiation. 

Later, I'll launch a second program -- Nice Bitches Negotiate: Getting What You Want While Preserving Relationships.   Through it, I hope to teach "other-oriented" women how to tap into and use more masculine energies to get what they want and need to satisfy themselves, protect their loved ones, and help their businesses grow.

Even thinking about these programs in terms of the "energy" I am eliciting in students is a big reflection of my own growth and change through the Gold Mastermind program.  

As Christine constantly says, I needed clarity about what I was offering.  And, when I finally found it this week, it also provided balance to my offerings that had not existed before. I truly felt and needed the yin and yang of the two programs and the yin and yang within them.  

I thank all the members of Gold Mastermind who gave me plenty of support and encouragement to tap into this aspect of my own person. 


In December, I also chose the word "wealth" to remind me of the shift I wanted to make in my attitudes about money and abundance. Last year, I remember sitting in the lobby wondering whether I would have enough cash to pay the hotel bill.  I ate in the food court to save money, and then I worried whether I would have enough money to get out of the parking lot, much less pay for the gas I needed to get home.  

This year, I had none of those worries. I had more money to spend. I booked a more expensive room (and only later shared it with a roommate).  I ate wonderful food in the nearby Atlanta restaurants, including upscale Thai food five times in four days.  And, I had a stress free drive home through the North Carolina mountains. 


I also have a community of inspiring, determined, smart, ambitious, loving women (and a few men) who also shared the Gold Mastermind experience.  They will be life-long friends.  

Several of them appeared on the stage near the end of the second day giving testimonials about their own path of growth, clarity, and success. It brought tears to my eyes to see them there.  

Fett Nashville, one of the "Goldies" featured on stage along with his partner, Nancy, had this to say:
So many ["ah-ha" moments this past year], but the biggest one is that we (both us as individuals, and this group collectively) are TOTALLY different people than we were a year ago at UYB2013. And it's impossible to go backwards from here. Once you know, you know, and what you've learned cannot be unlearned.   
Nancy and I were so excited watching the newbies experience the same excitement, fears, overwhelm, joy, etc. that we all experienced a year ago, knowing that, for those who declare "I'm in!" life will never be the same again. 
That, Folks, is POWER!
I remember, last year, coming to the Atlanta conference and not knowing a soul. This time, I was surrounded by warm hugs of welcome (and goodbye) and the humor of my hotel roommate, Hilary Cummings.

The "UpLevel Vortex" has given me connections to trusted experts offering services I will use to support my budding business, my health, and my well-being. 

And, it has given me such an easy way to support other women entrepreneurs. I have already used many of the services they offer, including EFT from Frauke Mobius.  I plan to take advantage, in the coming year, of other expertise they have in web-design, copy-writing, logo design, and branding.

I have not signed up for Gold Elite, but I will continue to see the public Facebook postings of my year-long friends. Thanks to everyone who created the "UpLevel Vortex."  You are some very special folks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

UpLevel Vortex: Spending Almost a Week with Amazing Entrepreneurial Women (and Men)

Inspired Coaching for Heart-Centered Business Owners

Go, #UYB2014. I just got back from nearly a week in Atlanta, basking in the energy of Christine Kane, her coaching team, and of the truly fabulous women who are using her as a business coach.  

Three summers ago, I started in her web-based personal coaching program -- UpLevel You.  On a daily basis, by email and a link to a podcast, I got my lesson and a downloadable pdf worksheet, inventory, or assessment.  This program offered self-directed learning and assessment at its affordable best.

Using a Coach Every Decade or So

I chose the program because it was time for some personal coaching, and I am too far from any in-person coaching opportunities.  I like to work with a personal coach about every ten years.  I highly recommend the process, and if you are interested in Christine's program, here is a link to the opt in page for more information.

UpLevel Your Business

Last spring, I started her on-line program focused on business development -- UpLevel Your Business.  At that time, I had decided to apply the web-based teaching techniques Christine was using with me to develop my own web-based teaching program.  I wanted to teach negotiation and mediation skills to people who live in more rural locations or lead busy lives and want the convenience of lessons they can view at any time via web-based platforms.  The UpLevel Your Business program provided great value for the money but, (intentionally) did not provide all the detail I wanted in strategies, mindsets, marketing, positioning, and the delivery of high-quality content.

Gold Mastermind

So, a year ago this week, I joined her Gold Mastermind program at a significant jump in price.  Out of a room of several hundred people who attended the Atlanta conference last year, about 100 opted in for that mastermind program at $8,000 each.  And, that journey of growth has changed me deeply forever.  How do I know that?  My experience at the 2014 Atlanta conference, held at the same hotel and delivered with largely the same content, was so very different from my experience a year ago.

In my next post, I'll explain why.