Saturday, August 30, 2014

Success Soup - H is for Horizon

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


In the course of your business life, storms will come.

This is not an "if", it is "when".  

In this photo, the storm is well off in the distance and the water is still calm, but the lightening is a stark warning of the peril of heading into the storm, particularly in a boat.

If you are a boater, one of the first things that you learn is to have a healthy fear of lightning.  Another is that when you are in a storm, always keep your eyes on the horizon, not on the waves.  That is the key to not getting seasick.

Likewise, a pilot in an airplane has an image of the horizon on their instrument panel.  The purpose of this indicator is to show where the plane is in relation to the horizon.  This is called an "attitude indicator". 

In business, the equivalent to the horizon is knowing your destination and keeping your eye on the prize.  When the waves begin to roll around you, you have to stay grounded.  Also, being successful requires that in the face of adversity, that you know the signs of peril and what to steer away from.

You also need your own "attitude indicator" when you get off kilter vis a vis your business horizon.

Where are you today in your business?  Do you know the key indicators of being on course and have you done an effective job of risk mitigation - predicting those things that could come on your horizon and take you off course?

On Monday, we will move on to the letter I, with our next ingredient to success soup being Iconoclast.

Stay tuned.  



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The numbers don't lie - stop the obsession with the air traveler

It is a Labor Day tradition for AAA to report the number of people traveling by car for the long weekend.

This weekend is no different.
Highest Labor Day Travel Numbers Since Recession

AAA Travel projects 34.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend. This makes it the highest volume for the holiday since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over 2013. Nearly 86 percent of travelers (29.7 million) will celebrate the holiday with a final road trip before summer comes to a close and children head back to school. Automobile travel will increase by 1.4% this year, with 29.7 million travelers hitting the road. Nearly 8% of travelers (2.65 million) will travel by air, up 1% from last year. Labor market improvements, cheaper gas prices and positive consumer expectations are driving the increase in holiday travelers. 
The thing is, as a travel industry, we think that it is a Memorial Day and Labor Day anomaly.  Not so.

The graphic to the right is from a paper that I wrote called Dare to Differentiate back in 2011. According to AAA's stats for this weekend, the statistics have not changed much.

Yesterday American Airlines announced that they were pulling their inventory out of Orbitz.

My response to that?

Stop the obsession with the air traveler.  The best defense to the airlines wielding power with an OTA or any retailer is to focus on the other 85%.  There is big money to be made from expanding your focus.

Oh, and drive safely this weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Success soup - G is for GIVING

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


This is my absolute favorite topic and YES, giving is a huge part of a success plan.  

It is funny.  Here in the US, when you are growing up, you are encouraged to be a go-getter to get ahead.  But I am here to tell you that if it is all about getting, you need to just pack it up.   Giving is "the bomb" (in a good way!).  

One of my favorite and most impactful books is the Go Giver.   Bob Burg and John David Mann are the authors and I count them both as good friends as well. 

This is an allegorical novel (for those who aren't familiar, it is a genre that is focused on story telling but weaving in an important set of lessons). That also means it is an easy, quick read.  

Secret tip:  One of my goals in life is to write an allegorical novel.

I could tell you all about this book, but it would be so much better if you would just go buy it or download it to your Kindle.  

Click here for my interview with Bob, one of my very first radio interviews back in 2009, just after I read the book for the first time.

Warning:  You will want to buy a case of these books to give to people.  It is that impactful!  

Giving back is core to success.  Making it a priority is a business accelerator.    Try it and let me know how it goes.  

Success soup - F is for Finance

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


Finance?   Boring.

Is that your reaction to the latest ingredient in our success soup?   Or is it fear?  Or you just turn the other way due to your lack of understanding.

Many years ago, I was in a senior staff meeting with Bob Crandall and all of his direct reports and their direct reports.

It was a very memorable day for me, because the business venture that I was responsible was abruptly closed down after 3 years of investment spending by AMR Corporation, then the parent of both American Airlines and Sabre.

In financial parlance, we were short on "P" and long on "L".
A financial statement (known as the P&L) measures a company's financial performance over a specific accounting period.
For those who know nothing about financial statements, the P stands for Profit and the L stands for Loss.  And LOSS is not an ingredient in success soup.

While there are many intricacies to finance, what is important is that at the end of the day (or the quarter or the year), you need to make more than you spend.  Pretty simple stuff actually.

Now Mr. Crandall was known for his very gruff style of management (and his love of all things finance).  In that same meeting, just a few items down on the agenda from my venture, he started hammering one of the senior executives about her numbers.  I will never forget what he said:
"If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business.  And if you don't know your business, you can't work for me.".    
The female executive left the room crying, which was NOT her normal modus operandi.   But she had failed to deliver what he expected -- a basic understanding of the numbers that were the drivers of the business.

A few blogs ago, I wrote about Key Performance Indicators when I talked about Benchmarking.

When I model a new business, one of the first things that I do before entering a single number on a spreadsheet, is to set up the Major Categories and Sub Categories down the left hand side of the spreadsheet and then copy the first two columns of the spreadsheet into a Word document.  Then, I use the second (blank) column to write down the assumptions, including the things that drive the various elements of the P&L.

On the Profit & Loss Statement, there are two major sections:  Revenues and Expenses.

Depending on your type and the complexity of your business, you may also have Cost of Sales (those expenses directly related to the sale of a product or service).  Cost of Sales follows Revenues and the net of the two numbers is your Net Revenues, also known as Gross Income.   That means the amount of money that you make before your operating (and capital) expenses.  Some companies then net out their selling expenses and come up with Operating Income.

Expenses are generally broken down into General and Administrative, Human Resources (HR) related expenses, then those expenses relating to each major discipline (e.g. Marketing, IT, Sales, Product Development, etc.).

When you take your Gross Profit and subtract your expenses, you are left with your Earnings (before taxes and depreciation).  You have also heard this called EBITDA, or earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization.   After the adjustments for tax, depreciation and amortization (usually done by your CPA or Controller in a small business) is your Net Income after tax.

It is that last number that is essential, as if you continue operating your business without a positive number in that column, then you continually have to invest more money in the business to stay afloat.

There is so much more that we could talk about here (capital and cash flow, as well as the elements of the balance sheet), but the bottom line (literally) is that if you don't know your numbers, you'd better have someone at your side that does.

There are many great resources to learn the basics of finance, including courses in finance for the non-financial executive (generally 3-4 days).  The AMA has a very good one and many universities, such as Wharton also offer these courses.  If you work for a firm that values ongoing executive education, they may even pay for the course.  

If you are an entrepreneur, check to see if there is a business incubator in your community.  Quite often there are workshops and resources available to you for encouragement and for coaching.

There is an old saying that money makes the world go around.  Don't let them fool you.  It is profit that keeps the world turning.  Make sure you have some.  Better yet, that you have a lot.

Tomorrow's success soup ingredient is GIVING BACK.

Stay tuned.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Success soup - E is for EASY

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic to make easy things difficult.”  

Warren Buffet

It doesn't have to be hard you know.

Your products and services don't have to follow the old pattern of delivery.

Sunday morning my husband and I were watching the original "Day of the Jackal" and marveling at the craft of criminal investigation back in the 60s, without computers, push button phones and cell phones.

The time span from issuing an order to search all passports issued for a given country for a given timeframe was days, not minutes.  Wiretapping was done onto reel-to-reel tapes and there was just one copy that had to be delivered to the detective in charge.   It is amazing that they ever caught anyone.

Today's word EASY is a part of the recipe for success soup, because we often make it much harder than it has to be.  We have so many tools at our disposal now to succeed.

Start by mapping out your various processes that are revenue generating (or that support the people that generate revenues).  

What hoops do you make your team (or worse your customers) go through to produce a revenue generating transaction?  Did you just automate an old procedure that was complicated because there wasn't a choice?  Are there new tools that could be utilized to help you tap a broader market than you have done in the past?

Question every step.  Is there a way to remove work that you are currently putting on the customer? What do they have to do in order to do business with you?

If it is not easy to do business with you, it is time to retool.  Make it EASY.

Tomorrow's word is FINANCE.  Some of you are cringing right now, determined to skip Tuesday's blog.  But don't.  This is not something that you can leave to your CFO or your CPA.  But trust me, I'll make it FUN and EASY.

Stay tuned.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Välkommen to my Swedish readers

One of my favorite past times is to look at where my readers are from.  Today, I had a large number of Swedish readers.  This is new, so I wanted to take the time to welcome you.

Whether you are entrepreneurs, looking at the 26 ways to succeed, or you are corporate executives trying to figure out how to improve, you'll want to read the rest of the series - the Alphabet Soup of Success.


Success Soup - D is for DARE to Differentiate

For my regular readers, I want to apologize for missing day four of the new series.  Sometimes life just gets in the way. 

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.

The next letter in our Alphabet Soup of Success is D.  As I prepared, there were a plethora of words beginning with D that vied for my attention.

I promised you that D was for DARE, but the whole topic of being successful today is not just being daring, but also differentiating. 

One of my favorite inspirations is Gaping Void and their cartoon of the day yesterday was about creating new things (click on the image to order an art print).

order this printThe purple cat in this illustration was experiencing divinity through creation of the amazing piece of art that is his thought bubble.   That is what happens.  When we create, we tap into divinity, that force within us that was instilled by our own creator.

No doubt about it.  To succeed you have to stand out from the crowd.  No one gets ahead with a commodity product.  Oh, you can for a little bit.  But it is simply not sustainable. And no one achieves divinity by taking incremental steps forward. 

Back in 2011 I did a syndicated study that looked at the mode of transportation used for travel in the US.  I published a white paper called Dare to Differentiate.

To be honest, I named it that because I was hoping that the old guard in my industry would be up for a dare.

You see the global distribution systems (Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport) and online travel agencies are totally focused on the air traveler, when here in the US, the air traveler only represents 11% of all leisure travel in this country.   Even for business travel, just 33% travel by air.

But they didn't take the dare.  They are still stuck focusing on the status quo, moving ahead incrementally, with precious little true inspiration in anything that they release.  Any innovation is happening only in small niches, the sharing economy and vacation home rental to mention a few.

What does being daring look like?  It means being audaciously bold.  Stepping away from the status quo and truly differentiating.

You must step back from existing processes and see what it is that you are requiring of the customer in order for them to use your product.  When you make things simple for the customer, that is where the divinity lies.

So today instead of getting two for the price of one D today, you are got three.   Dare, Differentiate, Divinity.

Stay tuned.  Yes, you guessed it, E is for EASY. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Click | Travel | GIVE - So much more fun than a bucket of ice

So you hate the thought of dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and over the past few weeks of the ALS craze, you have been secretly happy that no one nominated you.  

And truth be known, you really don't have a fat checkbook to write that check to charity - at least not right now.  

But you do want to give back.  Or perhaps you are that charity that wishes that you had the ice bucket idea. 

Here is a challenge that I think everyone will love.  We call it...


For whoever contacts me in the month of August that wants to challenge their network to travel for a cause (changing the world one trip at a time), I will give a free site to your organization and donate 50% of the revenues earned from travel booked on the site for the next year to your charity of choice.

Who wants to be first?

Then each trip that you or anyone in your network takes, all you have to do is shoot a short a video that talks about (or shows) where you went and the favorite things that you did.  Send it to us at and we will post the videos.

Each quarter we will report back on what has been accomplished through your travels - kids saved from human slavery, wells built, children fed. You name the cause.


Here is a site that I set up to support the Red Cross.   Picture your logo instead of theirs.  You can send your own custom link out to anyone on your network and you can book travel anytime, for any reason, from anywhere to anywhere.

All of Solutionz Technologies projects can be used as a "fund raising while you sleep" model.   

Call us at 1-813-925-0789 for more information about how to launch a Travel Partner Program.

Success Soup - C is for Change (and that is a CAPITAL C)

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


Change is one of those success elements that some of you would just love to run away from.

"Our fishbowl is quite nice and comfortable", you say.  

"Look how far we would have to jump to get to the new, bigger fishbowl!  I'm not even sure that I could make it."

"What if it is cold?"

"Maybe that isn't even water in there!"

But invariably, there are those of you who just can't wait to be the first to jump.   Like the fuchsia fish in the picture above. 

That would be me.  And perhaps it is you.

They call us early adopters.  They call us different.  We stand out in a crowd because of our unwillingness to conform for conformity's sake.

Because of that, we don't make good corporate soldiers, which is why many of us left Corporate America (or for my readers from France, Germany, China, Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine, fill in the blank with your country).

Some of us became consultants (we make good ones because we can see the new fishbowl clearly and without fear).  Others became entrepreneurs so we could jump at will from bowl to bowl.    Some of us did both.

It isn't that we don't like comfort.  It's just that change is the very air that we breathe and to remain in the status quo is so much more dangerous for us than jumping.

If it is cold, we will just swim all that much harder to warm it up.  If it isn't the water that we know and love, we will adapt.

When water does not move or have air circulated through it, it becomes stagnant.  The same is true with businesses.  Movement is healthy.  Circulation is good.  Stagnant is bad.

To build a successful, sustainable business, change is a mandatory element of your plans.  It goes by different names - differentiation and innovation to name a few.

Build them into your culture.  Reward failure, because those that do not try never fail. 

The real key here isn't just changing.  It is the ability to embrace change and to become an agent of change.

Tomorrow is D Day.  That is not a bad thing.  But I will warn you in advance, the word is DARE and I am going to borrow on the title of a white paper that I wrote several years ago called Dare to Differentiate and give you two "D's" for the price of one.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Success Soup - B is for Benchmark

Miss the first post in this new series - Alphabet Soup of Success?  Click HERE and go back to the beginning.


For the past 18 years, my "day job" has been as a strategic consultant.  Any consultant worth their salt knows that in order to measure success you must have a benchmark - a basis for comparison.

I chose the image of a building block as my "B" today, as metrics and measurement are literally foundational to success.

Every business needs to measure different things.

Service businesses, such as consulting firms, measure time invested with each client and the cost of that time.  Manufacturers measure quality, time and cost of each component as well as the finished goods.  Every business needs to be measuring their cost of sales, as well as the margin on your profit.  I also favor measuring revenue generated per employee (including those not responsible for sales) and cost per employee.

Knowing your key performance indicators (KPI) - those things that make or break your business on a daily, weekly, monthly basis is crucial.

Put them on a dashboard, preferably where your team can see them. Each department should understand their role in impacting these indicators, versus what is out of their control.

Set your rewards to align with accomplishment and exceeding of your KPIs.

What gets measured, gets accomplished.  What gets rewarded, gets repeated.

It is common to benchmark one's business processes and performance metrics to the best in your industry, but don't forget to look outside your industry.  Innovation may be happening somewhere else and by looking at the benchmarks of other types of companies, you may be able to improve your overall profitability.

Tomorrow's letter is C.  And everyone that knows me knows that we have to talk about CHANGE with a Capital C.

Stay tuned.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Series: The Alphabet Soup of Success

I love a challenge.  So, today I am launching a new blog.  A 26-day series - the Alphabet Soup of Success.

Each day a new letter and a new word.  This blog is all about CAPITAL letters, because when something is really important, even in our minds, we capitalize it.  Thanks to my new friend @mkmarsden for the inspiration as we talked today about Capital C for Change.  That will be Friday's blog this week.

They say it takes just over three weeks to break (or make) a habit.  So let's capitalize on success over the next 26 days together and make it a habit.

Stay tuned - A is for Acumen.

If you need to catch up, here are the links:

Innovation, Leadership, Growth, and Corporate Escape Artists- an interview with Gerald Sindell, Al Weatherhead, Dianne Crampton, Pamela Skillings, Sabina Ptacin on Solutionz Live!

Solutionz Live! focuses on providing solutions for real life business and personal challenges for executives and entrepreneurs. The show is hosted by author, keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur, Chicke Fitzgerald, live from sunny Tampa, Florida. This channel also includes the audio recordings from the Executive Girlfriends Group, Transition Solutionz and Word of Mouth Media.  The original live interview was on 5/12/09.

  -Innovation with Gerald Sindell, author of the Genius Machine

-Leadership with Al Weatherhead, author of the Power of Adversity

-Growth with Dianne Crampton, author of Working Together

-Corporate Escape Artists with Pamela Skillings, author of Escape from Corporate America and Sabina Ptacin

To listen to the show click HERE

Gerald Sindell's website is

 Dianne Crampton's website is

Pamela Skillings' website is

Sabina Ptacin's bio can be found at

Success Soup - A is for Acumen

This is the first in a series - Alphabet Soup of Success.

Many of us would think about the domain part of expertise when we hear the word "acumen", such as in "business acumen".

I maintain that the really important part of this definition is the combination of being able to make good judgements and quick decisions.

That is Acumen with a CAPITAL A.

This morning I met someone who I swear is actually an old friend.  She and I were introduced by a mutual friend just yesterday, but have SO much in common that I am actually surprised that we have never met.

MK and I were talking about how so many industries have missed the boat on innovation and sustainability, not because they don't have the data to make a decision, or that they are not astute, shrewd or clever, but because they can't move quickly enough.  And that comes from a fear of change.
I now have a whole new appreciation of the word ACUMEN.  And we are 1/26th of the way on our journey to success.

Stay tuned for B.  That will be tomorrow's Alphabet Soup of Success letter.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Real Life Renovations, International Medical Corps/Kids for Humanity, and Intellectual Gumbo- an interview with Phil & Amy Parham, Fordson High School, c, and Chris Bradshaw on Solutionz Live!

Solutionz Live! focuses on providing solutions for real life business and personal challenges for executives and entrepreneurs. The show is hosted by author, keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur, Chicke Fitzgerald, live from sunny Tampa, Florida. This channel also includes the audio recordings from the Executive Girlfriends Group, Transition Solutionz and Word of Mouth Media.  The original live interview was on 4/9/09.

-Real Life Renovations with Phil and Amy Parham

-Kids for Humanity Part 1 - Fordson High School raises $40k for Gaza

-Kids for Humanity Part 2 - Intl Medical Corps Country Director of Jordan, Chris Skopec on how the funds were used in Gaza

-Intellectual Gumbo with Chris Bradshaw

To listen to the show click HERE

Phil and Amy Parham's website is

Fordson High School's website is

International Medical Corpswebsite is

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Being Strategic: Plan for Success; Out-think Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change - an interview with Erika Andersen on EGG Live

This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. Chicke Fitzgerald and Erika Andersen discuss how to make your strategy F.I.T. The original live interview was 2/04/11.

Erika Andersen is the founding partner of Proteus, a coaching, consulting, and training firm that focuses on leader readiness. Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture. She and her colleagues at Proteus focus uniquely on helping leaders at all levels get ready and stay ready to meet whatever the future might bring.


How many times have you sat in a meeting and heard someone use the word “strategic?”
As in: “We’re not being very strategic about X.” or “We need a strategic plan for project Y.”  And, if your organization is like most, everyone in the meeting nods wisely, the meeting drones on, people endlessly debate how to approach the situation at hand, with – generally – no one the wiser as to what “strategic” really means. 

Next time, respond: “Being strategic means consistently making those core directional choices that will best move us toward our hoped-for future. Is this what we’re doing?”

Everybody talks about strategy, but there is a big gap between discussing strategy, defining strategy and actually being strategic -- so you can accomplish something.
This book helps you approach business—and life—strategically, explaining what strategy is, why it's important, and how to do it. Being Strategic offers you a step-by-step model and skills for strategic thought and action that are broadly applicable and thoroughly practical.

Framed around the story of 13th-century Welsh nobles building an actual castle, and weaving in dozens of real-life examples from her practice, which has helped restaurateur Danny Meyer and many others, noted consultant Erika Andersen offers a complete course in turning around a business, or a life.

To listen to the show click HERE

Erika's website is

To order the book click HERE 

For more information about the Executive Girlfriends' Group see:

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Work At Home Success Bible- an interview with Leslie Truex on EGG Live!

Executive Girlfriends Group on demand audio series. EGG Founder Chicke Fitzgerald is interviewing Leslie Truex, the author of the Work at Home Success Bible. The original live interview was on 5/14/10.

Whether you work remotely as a corporate executive, manage remote employees or you have your own business (or are trying to start one), you will want to participate in this insightful call.

Leslie Truex , also known as the Pajama Mama, truly knows how to combine comfort with making a living. For over a decade she has been working at home, often in her pajamas, and helping others do the same.

Before finding success working at home, she ran into many of the same problems other work-at-home wannabes encounter.

She has telecommuted as a school program coordinator, social worker, sales woman, and real estate agent. In recent years, she has worked as a freelance researcher and writer for several Internet companies, as well as a freelance web site manager.

In 1998, Leslie started sharing her real life experiences and tips to other work-at-home wannabes through her website Work-At-Home Success. Today the website is recognized by telework and small business associations as a quality resource for work-at-home information.

She has appeared on The Daily Buzz, and in a host of other media outlets. Her articles appear all over the Internet and many more resources quote or mention Leslie’s website in their articles. Leslie is also a guest expert in the topics of Telecommuting, Home Business, and How to Get What You Want in Life at’s AllExperts. Her book, The Work-At-Home Success Bible was published in 2009 by Adams Media.

To listen to the show click HERE

To order the book click HERE

For more information about the Executive Girlfriends Group, see

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Leadership & Change- an interview with Annette Hogan, former head of sales & marketing, Kennedy Space Center on EGG Live

This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. Chicke Fitzgerald is interviewing Annette Hogan. The original live interview was 4/30/10.

Annette was the head of sales and marketing at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and currently serves as Managing Director, ONBOARD.COM.

The topic is: "LEADERSHIP and CHANGE".

 You don't have to be a space junkie to enjoy NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the only spot in the United States from which humans have been hurled into space. The plethora of hands-on exhibits, IMAX movies, and sheer magnitude of the shuttles will surely impress the most passive fan.

One of the highlights is the Shuttle Launch Simulator, where budding astronauts are strapped into a cockpit and given a high-fidelity ride, which creates the impression of an actual lift-off. Another is the Rocket Garden, which is an awe-inspiring collection of engine replicas, full-size Titan rockets, spacecraft and scale models, and the 363 ft (110 m) Apollo Saturn 1B rocket. Shuttle tours and the Astronaut Memorial round out the attractions.

Annette is also a founding member and board member of the Executive Girlfriends’ Group.

To listen to the show click HERE

For more information about the Executive Girlfriends Group, see

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This is Not the Career I Ordered: Empowering Strategies from Women Who Recharged, Reignited, and Reinvented Their Careers- an interview with Carolyn Dowd-Higgins on EGG Live!

This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Carolyn Dowd-Higgins who introduces us to women from all walks of life and work who have mastered the art of change and reinvention. The original live interview was 2/11/11.

With over a decade of career and professional development coaching experience, Caroline Dowd-Higgins has a desire to empower and energize people to achieve their personal goals. Her training style is engaging, high energy, and positive with a focus on unlocking the self-advocate within each of us.

Part self-help manual, part inspiration, This Is Not the Career I Ordered, coming soon in its 2nd Edition is a valuable resource for those contemplating a career change. Professional career reinvention is possible and this book will show you how to play to your strengths, discover your passions, and own your humble confidence as you plan your next career move. Told through the lens of amazing women who have reignited and reinvented their careers, the journey begins with my own emotional career transition. This book is multi generational and appropriate for your daughters, sisters, mothers, friends, and colleagues. Chock full of empowering, energizing, and motivating action steps to help you find a career that you will love.

Join me on an exciting journey of self-reflection to discover your strengths, own your self-confidence, and monetize your passions. I have interviewed over 400 women across the globe in a variety of career fields. You will laugh and cry reading about their career transitions and be empowered with their advice and action steps. My goal is to provide you with practical tools to help you take a step forward and achieve your career goals.

To listen to the show click HERE

To order the book click HERE

Caroline's website is

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Is INNOVATION DOA in your company?

Have you ever had a new idea that you knew was literally "the" idea of the century, but when you take it to the powers that be, it dies a quick death?

This cartoon from Tom Fishburne of nails this topic:
"There is an inevitable friction in bringing ideas to life within a company. That friction can polish an idea and make it stronger, sand the edges of the idea and make it weaker, or kill the idea altogether."
You can fill in the blank with your own reasons why you can't focus on the amazing new opportunity, but the fact is that when innovation dies, so does sustainable growth.

How do you answer the golden goose opportunity when it comes to you?

Giving Away Work to Grow Your Business- an interview with Rodger Roeser on Uncommon Giving

The Rock the World Network is a community of uncommon givers. The Uncommon Giving show features the leaders of charities, foundations and corporations rocking our world. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Rodger Roeser. The original live interview was on 7/27/2012.

This episode is #74 of all time in the top 100 shows on Solutionz Live!

Rodger Roeser is the president, owner and founder of Cincinnati, Ohio’s premier PR firm, The Eisen Agency. Roeser believes that a strong community begins with leaders of organizations who lend their time and talent helping those in need achieve something greater.

What do agencies and non-profits need to know to be more successful.....

Every member of Eisen works with and serves a local, regional or national non-profit organization. Through their Operation Outreach program, the agency has donated more than $100,000 in marketing and brand communications services to deserving non-profits, allowing them to keep more of the dollars they bring in.

For it’s philanthropic efforts, Eisen received the 2011 Smart Business Pillar Award for Community Service. They have helped numerous organizations including: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Cincinnati Children’s Home, Pink Ribbon Girls, The SCAR Project, American Parkinson’s Disease Association, Multiple Sclerosis, and many others.

To listen to the show click HERE

The Eisen Agency’s website is

Monday, August 11, 2014

Expanding the Pie: Fostering Effective Non-Profit and Corporate Partnerships- an interview with Susan Ross on Uncommon Giving

The Rock the World Network is a community of uncommon givers. The Uncommon Giving show features the leaders of charities, foundations and corporations rocking our world. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Susan Ross. The original live interview was on 6/14/2013.

Susan Rae Ross is the founder and CEO of SR International, a private consulting company that provides corporations, nonprofits and government agencies with strategies and tools to actively manage their stakeholder engagement processes and facilitates successful partnerships across traditional sectors.

It is clear that no matter where you look United States, Greece, Africa or Spain, the current systems are not working in terms of providing jobs, access to quality services such as health and education or stable environment. The way forward requires new paradigms that harness collective solutions and maximize the strengths of different sectors – non-profits, social enterprises, corporations and governments and other entities– are required to address the complex problems faced by the world today. In EXPANDING THE PIE, Susan Rae Ross offers new approaches that can be beneficial to businesses as well as society, thus, expanding the pie for everyone.

In today’s economy, every sector of society—-businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and communities— as well as individuals, are struggling to survive. Everyday the news demonstrates that our current “modus operandi” is not sustainable; challenging us to develop new approaches.

SR International works with Corporations to design execute and evaluate; stakeholder engagement processes, community engagement strategies, philanthropy/volunteer programs; and cross-sectoral partnerships.

To listen to the show click HERE

Susan's websites are

To order the book click HERE

Sunday, August 10, 2014

#Giving Tuesday: Transforming the Way People Think About, Talk about and Participate in The Giving Season- an interview with Henry Timms on Uncommon Giving

The Rock the World Network is a community of uncommon givers. The Uncommon Giving show features the leaders of charities, foundations and corporations rocking our world. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Henry Timms. The original live interview was on 3/22/2013.             

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now we have #GivingTuesday™, the giving season’s opening day. On Tuesday December 3, 2013 charities, families, businesses and individuals came together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.

The idea for the campaign sprung from Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y, and Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation.

New York’s 92nd Street Y has been the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project, and providing #GivingTuesday a home.

Henry Timms has also been instrumental in producing the annual Social Good Summit, in partnership with Mashable and the UN Foundation, which has opened up the UN Week conversation to over 120,000 across the world. Earlier in his career, Henry oversaw corporate strategy for Arts & Business, one of HRH The Prince of Wales’ charities, and helped to launch the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.

It is never too early to plan your giving year.

 To listen to the show click HERE

#Giving Tuesday's website is

92Y's website is

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Health/Wellness/Life Balance, Personal Finance, Giving/Faith- an interview with TV celebrity, author and design expert- Kathy Petersen, entrepreneur-Marty Metro and author, columnist, and consultant- Lana Kim on Solutionz Live!

Solutionz Live! focuses on providing solutions for real life business and personal challenges for executives and entrepreneurs. The show is hosted by author, keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur, Chicke Fitzgerald, live from sunny Tampa, Florida. This channel also includes the audio recordings from the Executive Girlfriends Group, Transition Solutionz and Word of Mouth Media.  The original live interview was on 2/29/09.

This episode is #71 of all time in the top 100 shows on Solutionz Live!
- Health/Wellness/Life Balance Kathy Petersen, TV celebrity, author and design expert on  Lifetime's Balancing Act

-Personal Finance with Marty Metro, entrepreneur

-Giving/Faith with Lana Kim talking about her book White Pearl and I, a story of uncommon courage

-Show co-host Chris Bradshaw and I wrap up with our new, new bookclub

To listen to the show click HERE

Kathy Petersen's website is

Marty Metro's website is

Lana Kim's website is

Friday, August 08, 2014

From Rocket Ships to Cruise Ships- an interview with Annette Hogan on EGG Live!

This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. Chicke Fitzgerald interviews Annette Hogan. The original live interview was 2/07/14

Annette Hogan is one of the founding board members of the Executive Girlfriends Group and currently serves as Managing Director, ONBOARD.COM. The last time we interviewed Annette on EGG Live, she was the head of Marketing for Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex. Annette will share her career journey and talk about reinvention of yourself as you go.

Annette is a proven, innovative, global travel industry expert specializing in performance based sales and marketing, distribution and multi-channel business transformation. She has industry wide recognized expertise in building strategies for core businesses, start-ups, M&As, expansions, and mature organizations with a goal of capturing/maintaining competitive advantage and profitability.

She has held senior positions reporting directly to the top leadership with industry icons such as Sabre, Amadeus, Delaware North Companies, and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. She is lauded for leadership skills, and as a strategist with excellent communication and talent management practices, successful in driving aggressive growth, increased revenue and profit. Annette is trilingual and multicultural and has a passion for fitness.

 To listen to the show click HERE
Annette’s website is

For more information about the Executive Girlfriends' Group see:

Thursday, August 07, 2014

The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion through the Art of Storytelling- an interview with Annette Simmons on EGG Live!

The Story Factor - This on demand audio series is a part of the Executive Girlfriends Group Vignette Series. EGG Founder Chicke Fitzgerald is interviewing Annette Simmons. The original live interview was 1/15/10.

This episode is #69 of all time in the top 100 shows on Solutionz Live!

Annette Simmons is a vibrant keynote speaker, consultant and author of four books: The Story Factor named as one of The 100 Best Business Books of All Time, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins , A Safe Place for Dangerous Truth (AMACOM, 1998), and Territorial Games: Understanding and Ending Turf Wars at Work.
Nearly everyone responds to a good yarn, and that's precisely the point behind The Story Factor by Annette Simmons. A "collaborative behavior" consultant to public and private organizations, Simmons argues that storytelling may just be the best management tool available to modern business leaders because it exerts influence in ways that other techniques cannot. And she doesn't suggest that stories be exclusively reserved for formal presentations, either; on the contrary, Simmons shows how they can be used effectively in small group settings and even one-on-one situations.

Annette started with a business degree from Louisiana State University in 1983, spent ten years in Australia in international business, attained a M.Ed. from NC State in 1994 and started Group Process Consulting in 1996. Annette is surprisingly honest, ferrets out hidden opportunities, joyfully takes risks and tells a good story. 

Follow her lead and you'll likely never relate to any individual or group in the same way again. --Howard Rothman --

To listen to the show click HERE

To order the book click HERE

Annette's website is

For more information about the Executive Girlfriends Group, see

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Innovation, Leadership, Growth, Corporate Escape Artists- an interview with Barry Libert, Andrea Waltz, Richard Fenton, Steve Kaplan, Margot Tohn on Solutionz Live!

Solutionz Live! focuses on providing solutions for real life business and personal challenges for executives and entrepreneurs. The show is hosted by author, keynote speaker and serial entrepreneur, Chicke Fitzgerald, live from sunny Tampa, Florida. This channel also includes the audio recordings from the Executive Girlfriends Group, Transition Solutionz and Word of Mouth Media. The original live interview was on 3/3/09.

-INNOVATION with Barry Libert - The Ultimate Power of Social Media - Barack Inc.

-LEADERSHIP with Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton, authors of Go for No!

-GROWTH with Steve Kaplan - Bag the Elephant

-Corporate Escape Artists with co-host Pamela Skillings, author of Escape from Corporate America
 with guest, entrepreneur, Margot Tohn

To listen to the show click HERE

Barry Libert's website is
Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton's website is
Steve Kaplan's website is
Pamela Skillings' website is
Margot Tohn's website is

Seal Entrepreneur Series - Part 5 Improvise for Business Survival

One of the things that you learn as a survivor is that there is more than one way of accomplishing a goal.   Business survival has the same characteristics as this physical example of getting beyond a barrier.

In the Tom Hanks movie where he was stranded on a desert island we watched as he took only those things he had on the island to survive until he was eventually rescued (thanks to his trusty signal).

On Apollo 13, we watched the folks at NASA in Houston take just those things that were in the Lunar module and with only enough power to power a coffee pot and find a way to bring the astronauts back to earth. 

Improvisation is our greatest weapon for survival.

As I write this, I am on Southwest Airlines on my way to a conference in LA.  I noticed from an email that they sent yesterday that they have free entertainment via WIFI on any WIFI enabled laptop or notebook.  This is brilliant survival amongst major competitors that have done expensive retrofitting of their fleet with seatback entertainment units.  They accomplished exactly the same thing, using the equipment that their passengers carry with them anyway. 

Innovation and improvisation are close cousins, but improvisation comes from making something out of nothing (or doing something amazing with very little).

Seal entrepreneurs can do both.  We improvise and we innovate.  We don’t need richly staffed research and development (R&D) organizations and design labs that foster new ideas.  We innovate at the kitchen table or in line at the airport or at 40000 feet while we fly.  We create

work environments and cultures where we reward our teams for bringing in new ideas and exploring how others in different industries are succeeding.

If there isn’t money to move in one direction, we find a way around, over or under the obstacle.  Improvisation is life to the seal entrepreneur and it is fuel for innovation.

Invest in a seal today.  If you don’t want to have to look far, check out my latest venture. 

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