Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator

Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker &
Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach - America's Marketing Motivator
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Kathy McAfee, Professional Speaker & Executive Presentation Coach
Let's Talk. 860-371-8801 or Email me
What’s your WORD for the year?

For the past two years, I have had great success in getting big things done by focusing on a single word for the year. I got this idea while attending an annual professional conference hosted by Anne Garland held in January in beautiful Essex, Connecticut. She led us through an exercise to select one key word and then challenged us to create a mini vision board around that key word. I found this exercise infinitely more powerful than making New Years Resolutions or a long list of goals for the year. Choosing ONE WORD is a real discipline for me, but it worked like gang-busters on my often-distracted, over-achieving personality.

Looking Back

In 2016, my word for the year was PUBLISH. I was so tired of all the delays and postponements of getting my signature book, Stop Global Boring, released. I also wanted to blog more, share more ideas, and create more content. But of course, I had to overcome the procrastination demons and the multitude of distractions that pop up daily. It’s amazing how the “urgent but not important” things can take us away from what matters most in our lives.

I created a small vision board to support my key word “publish”. I also hired a fabulous virtual marketing assistant, Holly Koziol, to work with me on the book project. She created most all of the images in the book, including digitizing my 12 presentation tools known as The Control Center. I hired and paid a publisher, Indie Books International, to help me take my book from finished manuscript to published book in distribution. Without these and other remarkable people, my goal of publishing this next book would still be just a dream.

I’ll never forget the thrill of receiving the first full printed proof copy in the mail. It was a warm summer Saturday in Connecticut and I had just returned from taking a yoga class. UPS had just dropped off a package and I didn’t know what it was. I must have let out the biggest shout of joy for all my neighbors to hear.  My book had arrived. I had realized my dream. The word of the year paid off!

In 2017 my word for the year was MOVE. Having experienced success with a singular focus for the year 2016, I was motivated to choose another power word for 2017.  My husband and I had been dreaming and planning for several years to relocate to a new state with warmer weather. Finally we were ready to put our dream into action. The word “move” was the most obvious choice for us. This set us into a series of important decisions and actions that accelerated our momentum.

I wrote a blog about our experience, hoping to motivate others to put their dreams into action. Check it out: Taking the Leap .

At midnight on August 31, 2017, after an 18-hour drive with 3 cats, 1 dog, a truck and a trailer loaded with our worldly possessions, we pulled into our new home in South Carolina. Looking back on all that we had to do to get to this point,  it felt like we had lived through a miracle. While we were blessed with much good fortune in our relocation efforts, there was a great deal of discipline and stick-to-it-ness that made it happen. The word of the year paid off for us once again. We moved!

Looking Ahead

With two years of success with my word of the year focus, the pressure was on to come up with a new word for 2018. I reflected for two months on what I wanted in my life in the coming year.  With so much turbulence in the world, I considered a focus on peace, rather than personal or professional success (although they are probably connected at a deep, fundamental level). After being inspired by an Uber driver in Canada, I wrote a blog on increasing your personal investment in peace.

This past November, I attended a conference hosted by the business development coach and author, Mark LeBlanc. This is the third time that I’ve attended his annual conference in beautiful La Jolla, California. I always come away from this conference with more focus and momentum. At the end of this three-day conference, I created a plan and a path for how I wanted to develop my business and life in 2018. I created a “soul collage” – a visual image for how I wanted my life and business to be in 2018. My collage is shown on the right.

Now Mark LeBlanc is a stickler for “filling in the blanks.” So many people (myself included) have the tools they need to succeed, but fail to use them on a daily basis. Mark also encouraged us to “surrender to what you are capable of.”  I realized at this conference that I didn’t need to take over the world or to set mind-blowing new goals for myself. I didn’t’ need to chase new shiny objects, or buy new technology, or create something brand new, or join another new group. Rather I could simply leverage what I had built over the past 13 years and continue the momentum of my growth and development.

With that insight, I selected LEVERAGE as my word for 2018.

A dictionary definition of the word leverage is “to use (something) to maximum advantage.” I also like the mechanical principles of using a lever to gain leverage, reducing the amount of force necessary to achieve to move or lift a heavy object. Leverage could help me make hard things easier to do, and complex things simpler. I’m already liking this new word of the year.

I envision applying my key word for 2018 in these ways:

  • I will leverage my network and connect with new people to expand my business locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • I will leverage my knowledge, experience, and curiosity to advance my signature work in the field of presentation coaching and training.
  • I will leverage my intellectual property and content (blog, books, videos, etc.) to create opportunities with and for more people and organizations.
  • I will leverage my financial assets to invest, save, and grow my retirement funds and fulfill my philanthropic goals.
  • I will leverage my talent, energy, and influence to create more positive changes in the world.

Now I just need to figure exactly HOW to do all of these things. I’m excited for the challenge, and grateful for the focus and inspiration.

What’s your focus for 2018?

With the new year just beginning, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on what you want to create in your life, career, and business in the next 12 months. What focus do you need to make the right things happen for you in 2018? Don’t leave it to chance. Find the keyword that gives you the FOCUS, motivation, and momentum to move forward.

Increase your investment in Peace

This blog was inspired by an Uber driver whom I had the good fortune of riding with in Toronto Canada while on business recently. Despite the many warnings that others gave me about the dangers of riding with strangers, I actually prefer Uber to a regular taxi service for four reasons: 1) it’s less expensive; [read more]

Presentations do NOT have to be boring

Imagine attending a business meeting where one of your colleagues is about to give a PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps it’s one of many slide shows that you’ll have to endure that day. You prepare yourself for a long, tiring, boring data dump, one after the other after the other. You know, the usual corporate stuff. Then to your [read more]

Taking the leap…

I love action. Action films. Action heroes (and heroines). Action plans. Taking action. If it entails action, I’m in. I love doing stuff. It energizes me. It gives me the feeling of moving forward with my life. But when it comes to activating big changes, things start to slow down. That makes sense because the [read more]

The cost of multitasking

In today’s modern society of high-tech gadgets and high-pressure demands from work, we have trained ourselves to be multitasking machines. Many of us consider our ability to multitask to be a skill worthy of listing on our resume. We like to brag to others about our superior ability to do many things at once. Awkward Situation [read more]

Please don’t clear your throat

Twice this week, I have experienced the very unpleasant sound of people clearing their throats while presenting information and ideas. I don’t just mean a one time clearing of the throat, but repeatedly. One person was giving a presentation in front of a live audience. The other person was on the phone with me for thirty [read more]

Bring more love and passion to your work every day

Have you lost that loving feeling? It’s so easy to complain about our workplaces ….. demanding bosses, low pay, lack of appreciation, limited opportunity, high stress levels….. Or if you are in transition, looking for a job, you might find yourself complaining about not having work, no boss, no pay, no return phone calls, and [read more]

What it feels like to be banned from entry

Protesters outside Terminal 5 of O’Hare International Airport demand that travelers detained  inside due to President Trump’s order to ban people from seven predominantly Muslim countries are released on January 28, 2017. (Photo credit by Max Herman/NurPhoto) The recent executive order banning travel on seven Muslim-majority nations has triggered massive responses around the globe. Protests were [read more]

It all starts with a dream…

I had the good fortune of running into Rob Toller the other week at the Human Resource Leadership Forum. It was their annual holiday party and everyone was in a festive mood, due in large part to the special venue: the event was held at the New Britain Museum of American Art. By day, Rob [read more]

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