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What People Are Saying
“As a small business, bringing values, your values, into your professional life is automatic, after all, wasn't that why you took the plunge? But, how often does that work get in the way? Ellen helps you find the place back to balance: your work and your values can peacefully co-exist, even better, your values can help you focus your business. Focus on your abilities so that you can grow and succeed.”
- Danielle Hender, Esq. Shapiro & Hender

One Step Closer

Business Owners, Crisis and KnowingIn my previous post, Back At TweakYourBiz , I mentioned I had taken time to assess what I wanted to do next. Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that I shy away from getting too personal.  But during a recent coaching session, I noticed that the questions I was asking my client were the questions I had to answer last year.

One Step Closer

A good friend of mine gave me a copy of U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb about 9 months ago. I have a copy already and some of the songs have resonated with me for a long time. Strangely,  it was like hearing the album for the first time. Circumstances had created a perfect storm that nearly ended my business. At one point, I actually thought it was over and I should just get a job. I truly felt as if everything in my life had just upended but this U2 song, One Step Closer kept echoing in my head. Click here to read more »


How Procrastination Hurts Your Small Business

Procrastinating hurting your small business?

 Did you know that procrastination costs the U.S. economy $50 billion in lost productivity?

 According to Piers Steel of the University of Calgary, procrastination is more pervasive and costly now. Since it is more prevalent, he believes it has to do with the level of overwhelm and distractibility of our plugged-in lives.

 So it’s not my fear of success or failure that’s making me procrastinate? Well, sort of…according to Steel’s  meta-analysis of other research and the history of procrastination, your level of task aversiveness, waiting to do tasks, belief in your ability to perform, and impulsiveness has more to do with the degree that you procrastinate. Other things that affect how much you procrastinate is your level of conscientiousness, distractibility, organization, and desire to achieve.

So, why should I care about this research and what does it have to do with my small business? For starters, it isn’t about there being something wrong with you. You are wired a certain way. Part of what makes managing procrastination effective is knowing your limitations. One of my clients has attention-deficit disorder and this interferes with his performance. Part of our coaching focused on building in strategies to manage his high-level of distractibility which created disorganization. For example, he is not the type to put things in order  in a file cabinet where he can access the information when he wants it. Talk about task aversiveness! So, I asked him why he was trying to use a system that didn’t work. His solution was to use one of those shoe organizers you can hang on a wall. Each pocket has a label of his projects and he puts everything that relates into this pocket. He discovered he was more productive because the system fit his natural style. The other part of our coaching centers on his belief about whether or not he can build a viable small business.

Remember I said that your fear of success or failure sort of  makes you procrastinate? Your assessment of your skills and passion to develop a prosperous business can trigger these fears which may reinforce your opinion of your performance. Doubt certainly affects how you do things!  To effectively manage your procrastination, discover what is going on in your head. Our thoughts tend to follow certain patterns no matter where we are or what we are doing. If you put off your ironing because it takes a certain level of attention, are you just as likely to put off your bookkeeping for the same reason?

If the cost to the U.S. economy can measured in billions, what is procrastination costing your small business? *Upcoming teleseminar where you can learn more about procrastination and how to manage it better.

Later Isn’t Coming: 5 Strategies to Stop Procrastination Tired of last minute rushes to get things done? Wonder why you seem to lose things or forget where you put important files or contact information when you need them most? Stop the out of control to-do lists, the interruptions, and the feeling that something is wrong with you. Attend this teleseminar and learn 5 strategies to stop putting things off and accomplish what you are meant to do.

When:  Monday, November 2, 2009

Time:  7:00pm-8:30pm

Cost:  $39.00  For more information and to register, go to or call (781) 258-9952








Playing the Drums Can Help Your Business

DrummerI started learning to play the drums recently for fun. I have a long love affair with music since I sing and play a couple of instruments and come from a musical family but I never really picked up the drums before. It is an interesting experience going back to square one and learning the basics of keeping a beat, counting, and coordination! I am faced with the challenge of seeing what I could be doing and I just cannot produce that sound…yet.

Drums and business? I was coaching a client yesterday about how he is transitioning his business to a different model than he has followed for over 10 years. He is an amazing conceptual thinker! One thing that I marvel at is his ability to project out 20+ years to how he wants his company to look and act! Talk about being a visionary!

The catch for him is that his talent at conceptual thinking is getting in the way of implementing the plan that will lead his business to become a profitable and human-centered organization. Like many of us, he plays it safe by focusing on his well-honed skill set. When you have a stable business and a rocky economy, playing it safe could be a smart move. Except one thing…he is an entrepreneur by nature and he knows his business could be more interesting.

It is time for him to learn to play the drums! No, not literally. He is learning how to shift from being a part of the team that produces the products and services to becoming the leader of his organization. It can be a humbling experience to go from seasoned, competent professional to novice, uncertain but talented professional, even in your own business and by choice.

But this is the daring part! By taking on the open mind of a learner, using your curiosity, you open yourself for self-discovery and untapped abilities. You willingly take on the frustration and slow pace of not knowing the right answers. Mistakes will be made. Every time I sit at the drums, I miss beats or my feet and arms just will not move gracefully around the drum kit. My client is noticing some anxiety as he considers which products are worth taking to market and he searches for people who will potentially be on his leadership team. There is a lot of not knowing.  There is a great need for patience. There is also room for faith because you have tried new things before.

How are you daring to learn something new?

What impact will it have on your business?


On Business, Life, and Networking (Podcast)

Tom Gray, The Evolving Internet Marketer, hosted this interview with Elli and had a great discussion on the process she uses to engage her clients in a dynamic partnership that creates business growth while restoring life balance. Elli also shared how she employs the power of networking, both online and off, to develop effective and rewarding business and personal relationships.

Listen in if you’d like insight into how to have it all; a great business that doesn’t require you to sacrifice family, friends, self, and community to the bottom line. And if you are considering whether a business coach makes sense for you this will give you a hype free view of the coaching process from a very passionate practitioner. 


I want to sincerely thank Tom Gray for making this interview fun and easy. This is someone worth checking out! ~Elli


Market research

Some of the readers of this blog know that I am growing and developing my business to be sustainable and profitable on its own.  One of the catches to running a coaching business is the determination that I am either running a practice or a business.  I recently heard Michael Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited) speak about this in an interview about his new book, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within, and he described a practice (any practice-medical, law, or other) as being a partial business.  I believe he used the word, broken.  He explained that running a practice is a fragment of what a business could be.  That got me thinking and re-thinking about my role in the business, what I know about my market, and if my business goals make sense.  And there is the recession.  Unless you prefer some other term.  Coaching get lumped in with “fluff” when there are econnomic downturns.  Now this gets me on my soapbox about how useful and practical coaching can be, its high value in creating strategies to maximize the skills you bring to your business, and that business continues regardless of the financial environment.  Since coaching is not fluff, how can I deliver something useful to you if you are not in a position to hire a coach?  Market research.  To keep my business dynamic and relevant, I am conducting The Coaching Products and Services Survey.  Every participant who completes the survey is eligible for one free full coaching session with no strings or obligations.  We can review your current business plan or focus on one particular area that is challenging you.  Since the survey itself is completed anonymously, participants have to contact me for their free session.  Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and other business people you know.  Thank you for your input. Here is the link: