It’s that time of year. I wondered what’s worked well for you in 2015. What you intend to do differently in the New Year. And who’s had a big influence on your business.


Kirsten Zoub, DASEIN, Bringing about business and personal transformation

Kirsten ZoubOne thing that really worked in 2015: “taking higher risks in customizing my approach for each company. Trusting my gut and suggesting and implementing changes that were super unique and out of the box. I am happy to say that all of them have been quite successful so far. As a team we have made incredible progress in each company.”

As for next year: “I’m going to expand my business and hire people to do more of the admin work, freeing me up to bring culture change and higher quality of life to more companies.”

A big business influence: “Tracy Raimer, owner of Your Private Limousine, is constantly encouraging me to push my own envelope and be on the leading edge of my coaching model.”


Kate Capek, Technical Services Specialist at Avatar Corporation

“The thing that worked for me this year has been being ‘Miss Responsive’. If a customer or team mate needs information I get it to the person within the hour, preferably within 15 minutes. If it has to come from another team member, I keep nudging so it does not get forgotten or allowed to fall through the cracks.”

“I found out (after the fact) that several of our Sales staff raved to our owner that I was the get the info to the folks to need it person – that was a major ego boost that I did not see coming.”

“Probably the person who is influencing my professional life the most is my boss. He has been tremendously generous with continuing education, advice, support with other team mates. And he’s willing to be a sounding board.”


Marianne Griebler, Marianne Griebler Consulting

Marianne GrieblerLinkedIn was one prong of my promotional efforts for my new business and it paid off in ways I could not have anticipated. I met lots of new colleagues, brought on new clients and was delighted to be named one of their Top Voices for marketing and social media (#3, to be exact). It was one year ago, almost exactly, that I decided to launch my business, and I would not have expected to get this far so quickly. Very validating because you just don’t know if your business will get the traction it needs to be successful.”

“Next year I’m lining up more speaking engagements, which is something I haven’t done yet. I’m a decent speaker and I’m curious to see what the payoff will be. Few of my clients are local and I’d like to build that piece of my work. It’s great to connect with people IRL.”

A person of influence: Catherine Johns. “No joke. I felt as if the universe planted you in my life to help me take important steps forward with my messaging. Pretty sure the universe wants us to have lunch in 2016, BTW.”


Tami Palmer, greyzone

Tami PalmerOne thing that really worked in 2015: “Focusing on an end of year revenue goal (and I beat it!)”

One thing in the plan for next year: “Raise the revenue goal – up my rates, continue to streamline what I offer.”

One professional influence: ‘My business advisor, Tara Powers


Vahé Mekhitarian, Menu for You, Inc. 

Chef Vahe Mekhitarian“The thing that worked most was adding to the list of what doesn’t work and with whom I spend my time. Highlights of the year: releasing my business video, public speaking, attending Words that Wow: How to Talk about Your Business and changing my elevator speech, focusing on those people that are my cheerleaders and that I cheerlead.”

In the coming year, Vahé is starting a Chicagoland Chapter of Personal Chefs.

Influential people: “Catherine Johns, Amy Landolt, Julie Yusim and Sharan Tash – I cannot just choose one.”

And Vahé says, “There is something about writing down these accomplishments, and recognizing those that are in your corner; it defines and makes it so. Hard to explain.”


Terri Lawson, United Capital Lending

Terri LawsonWhat worked in 2015: “Networking.”

Plans for 2016: “Leverage my sphere of influence better.”

Attention Business Coaches. Who influenced Terri this year? “No one, I need someone!”

But Terri intends to have some influence on someone else. “My daughter is graduating this spring and will be headed to college on a golf scholarship. Because of their schedule, she is not allowed to work.”

“So I thought a way to help her earn some income is to do a joint effort of selling Silpada jewelry. I’ll work the business part time from home and she will get the word out in the Nashville area to everyone she comes in contact with.”

“My hope is to teach her what it is like to be an entrepreneur and still get her education.”


Gale Cohen, Sport Clips – Skokie

Something that worked in 2015: “I am much more aware of how I project since meeting Catherine and reading her book Show up and Shine… She truly has been a positive influence on my business and personal life.”

“For 2016 I plan to share more practical how to’s from that book with my staff and management team to help improve their messaging with our clients.”


Sara Coatney, Total Highspeed Internet Solutions

Sara Coatney“We are a local internet service provider. One thing that really worked for us in 2015 was adding more technical support and field technician staff in order to better serve our customers.”

“Next year we plan to offer more competitive packages with new technology to up our game.”

“One person who has influenced my life personally is my father. He is my hero and role model. I don’t know how he keeps up with everything that everyone expects of him, but he somehow does and has a very calm and pleasant demeanor through it all. :)”


Oh, and what about me?

I’m proud to say that this is my 52nd newsletter for 2015. And even more proud that you’re reading it! I committed last year to getting serious about doing a weekly newsletter and building a community. It’s good for me to see that I can follow through on something like this; I’m happy to have made it happen.

There were certainly weeks when my fingers hovered above the keyboard and my mind was a total blank and I wondered if I had anything to write that was worth being written.

And, something always shows up on the screen if I sit there long enough.

The feedback has been fabulous. I’m so grateful when you respond to something I wrote that touched you – or irked you. This weekly note to you is a labor of love … and it turns out to be a good business-building tool as well. I encourage my clients to start being in touch with their peeps on a regular basis.

My friend Kelly Epperson tells me I already have the makings of my next book in some of the articles I’ve shared with you. That was welcome news! So I’m saying right now 2016 will see book number two from me.

Otherwise, I coached some fabulous new clients in 2015. Held three day-long workshops. Two Signature Speech teleclasses. And spoke at I-don’t-know-how-many meetings and conferences.

Intentions for 2016 include more workshops. At least a couple of them with partners. I’ll likely reprise Words that Wow too. Because so many business owners and professionals desperately need help articulating the value they offer so they can have more impact and make more money.

I plan to do much more speaking in the coming year. I love it, I’m good at it, and it’s silly not to have a fully booked calendar. That will mean some serious sales efforts on my part. I’m committing now to make it happen. Feel free to hold me to it. (And oh, by the way, if you belong to a group that needs a good speaker, call me!)

And who influenced me this year? My business coach, Andrea Bullard. She calls it “Play to Win Coaching.” I haven’t won yet, but I’m definitely still in the game. And my business has grown significantly every year.

My speaker mastermind group has also been a huge help. So this is a chance to thank Jill Morgenthaler, Dale Spencer, Lynne Franklin, Ellen Schnur and Jim Mecir for my learning and the inspiration they’ve provided.

And thank you to you for reading, responding and using what we talk about here to increase your impact, grow your business and boost your career. It’s my pleasure to be in touch with you.