From Insecure To Impactful

“Your mission and message are more important than any fear you may have sharing them with the world”
– Alexandra Figueredo

 

MEGAPHONEIf you’re anything like me (human!), you’ve been scared to death of speaking in public at some point in your life…and I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics that speaking in public is feared more than death (at least, in surveys).

My fear of public speaking spiraled out of control to the point that I would sweat just thinking about asking a question in class or even discussing my work with my boss. With that level of anxiety, you can imagine the terror–and sometimes stage fright–presenting in front of a group, which I had to do several times a week. Yet I never really understood why because I could act and perform in front of thousands, but was a nervous, sweaty wreck when it was MY voice.

The week after I resigned from my corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur, I began hypnosis sessions with a therapist to combat this issue. I knew I was going to start pitching my own business, and didn’t want fear to stop me. Little did I know I’d eventually become a speaker and trainer 🙂

Although the fear never fully goes away–and discussing with other professional speakers has confirmed this is totally normal–I learned to be proactive, finding opportunities to grow and improve myself, and of course share my mission and message with as many people as possible.

Because my Mission and Message are more important than any fear I have sharing them with the world!

When it comes to pitching your business, I’ve heard many entrepreneurs and startups get stuck on the What they do, which may be some really amazing, innovative, disruptive technology—that no one understands. They get fixated on technical details and jargon, but can’t connect with their audience on their Why. Simon Sinek from Start With Whysays: “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” You can have all the facts and figures and technically the best product or service in your industry, but your client, investor or audience will only resonate with it if you can properly connect with them at a more emotional level.

My friend Bruce Turkel from Building Brand Value: Seven Simple Steps to Profitable Communications says when attracting your audience, you must connect first with “Hearts. Then Minds.” That’s why I developed MISSION-Based Branding.

So how do you speak with confidence, connect with your audience and share your message to make the most impact?

It’s taken me years to learn, and I’m going to share some powerful strategies with you at “Pitch With Impact” this Thursday…

Pitch With Impact

Do you feel like hiding every time you need to get in front of an audience? Do you want to share your message but find it difficult to make a lasting impact? Are you seeking funding, pitching your business or sharing your message before an audience? Then Pitch With Impact is perfect for you!

You’re going to learn strategies to effectively pitch your business, share your message more confidently and effectively, and make the biggest impact! Along with practical steps to ensure the perfect pitch for your audience, we’ll use fun and interactive speaking techniques to get you out of your comfort zone and feeling more confident, prepared and quick on your feet. Who can’t use more of that?

After taking this workshop you’ll walk away with:

  1. Key steps to emotionally connect with your audience and pitch with impact
  2. Fun and interactive exercises that will get you more comfortable speaking in public
  3. Other professional strategies specifically for pitching your business or services/products
Learn more and register here:
https://impactpitchvc.eventbrite.com
Looking forward to see you there!

~Alex 

Focus Impacts IMPACT

FocusOn my quest to be the best “Missionpreneur Mentor” I can be, I am constantly searching for what I refer to as the “hypotenuse solution” in all areas of business for myself and others. If you remember anything from high school geometry, the hypotenuse is the shortest distance in a right triangle–well I do that with business as in life.

As a Missionpreneur, my bright idea for a hypotenuse solution was to apply to a couple of startup accelerator programs for a startup I have been “starting up” for several years and now trying to revive. The thing is, I’m also running my own agency and involved in a few other ventures and charitable projects. You could say my attention is divided, and the startup is possibly the last on the priority list. Plus the startup itself is in the process of reinvention, so there is no clearly defined business model.  Not surprisingly, my startup didn’t get chosen for any of the programs I applied to.

At the same time, a close friend applied to a few accelerators and got chosen for one and is interviewing for another. These accelerators are extremely competitive, with over one thousand applicants for each. The fact his business got chosen as one of five teams out of over a thousand is a real accomplishment in and of itself. Not to mention the proverbial door-opening to resources, education, collaboration and of course, potential investor funding.

When I assess the difference between our two scenarios with respect to our startups, it comes down to FOCUS. Firstly, as the CEO of his startup, my friend focuses most of his time and attention on building that business, even though he is also a consultant who earns additional income outside of the startup. Secondly, that business itself has a very focused, clear and specific brand and mission; it’s not trying to do or be everything to everyone, although there is potential for future expansion. Thirdly, he made the accelerator application process a priority because he knew that this opportunity was the best way to accelerate and potentially skyrocket his business, revenue and investment potential quickly. He just knew he was going to get accepted to one of the programs, and although it was still a highly stressful process wrought with frustration and doubts, he never gave up until he made it. This inspires me as an entrepreneur.

It got me thinking about the founding of other startups that are now billion dollar businesses–Facebook, Airbnb, Apple, Lyft–and how their focused attention on one key product or service has helped them grow and scale and make a bigger impact on close to a billion people (or nearly two billion as of today in the case of Facebook). Or look at iconic brands with one key product such as Kleenex, Nike and Jacuzzi that still exist today and still lead the market and industry in brand recognition.

At the same time, there are some so-called impact aggregators with a huge mission to impact billions of people; their mission is inspiring and they are trying to find global solutions in many different areas. But instead they are so unfocused, scattered in their attention, chasing after several bright, shiny objects in multiple categories, that they are not quite making the big impact in any one area that they desire. In fact, I have a friend who is an industry expert and thought leader who works at one of these impact businesses and flat out told me in her professional opinion I would make a greater impact working at Facebook. Sure, none of the aforementioned businesses are perfect and their paths have certainly never been “easy”, but in terms of impact, FOCUS was a stronger strategy than trying to be everything to everyone.

How can you apply this to your career/business? Follow these three steps:

  1. What is your one big business goal or dream? Define that and make sure you are devoting most of your time and attention on this. If you can’t do that for any reason, then it shouldn’t be a surprise if you’re not progressing as well as you’d like in that venture.
  2. Does your career/business have a clear, focused mission, brand, business model and key service/product? If not, do an analysis of what is working and what isn’t working. Be as specific as possible, and focus your business and messaging on what works and transition out of what doesn’t.
  3. Prioritize opportunities to accelerate your impact.  Now that you’re focused on a venture that has a clear and specific brand and business model, you will more clearly see the opportunities that will skyrocket your business. Seek those opportunities and believe they are possible. You may even have clients and investors seeking you out! [As it turns out, one of the principals of the accelerator that accepted my friend actually found his startup on AngelList, a site focused on resources for startups!]

How has Focus or lack of focus helped or hurt your business? Is there a step I’m missing? Feel free to add your comments below. And remember, when in doubt:

Focus on Focus!

~Alexandra 😉

 

P.S. – Also if you need help focusing and clarifying your mission, brand and business, we can help! We offer full day or half day Mission M.A.P. sessions or Strategy Programs to get you to clear and stand out in your industry and attract your ideal clients. 

 

Do you have a book in you + my birthday gift to you

Happy Birthday To ME!

(Well, technically it was Monday, but I’m celebrating the whole month!)

Another year has passed and I ask myself, where has the time gone by? We often feel like we have not accomplished anything. Yet when I sat back and reflected on the last year, I saw that I’ve done quite a bit, including some things I’ve forgotten about! In the last year, I’ve:

  • Released the 5-year anniversary of Sculpt Your Life From Sketch To Masterpiece
  • Launched a Missionpreneur Mastermind Program
  • Danced at several Full Moon Drum Circle nights
  • Launched Mission Muses community
  • Launched book writing online programs and coaching (see below!)
  • Spent several months living and traveling in Spain (Ole!)
  • Finished my first draft of Burn Plan B (coming soon!)

And there are other wonderful projects and organizations I’m leaving out or forgotten about!

Why do we do all of this? In my reflection, I’m reminded that furthering our Mission, taking risks, feeling the fear and doing it anyway–it’s all out of contribution to ourselves and others. In fact I asked in my morning meditation for a special message to share with the world, and I was told:“Love More. Fear Less.” It’s really that simple.

To that end, I’m offering a special gift to help you step up in Love, including a free link to download my book Sculpt Your Life. Scroll to the bottom of the email to learn more. Love!

MISSION: 90 Days To Write Your Book, Leave Your Legacy – Master Course

authormemebackgroundjpg

Are you a leader or changemaker with a message that can serve thousands?

Have you ever dreamed of writing your own book and being an author?

Is there a book in you that’s bursting to come out?

I’ve opened up my popular writing course once again! As a branding strategist, writer, speaker and publicist, I know how important it is to get your voice out to the world! I’ve been part of bestseller campaigns, gotten free press from my books, landed speaking engagements and many more opportunities from being an author. After several requests over the last few months from aspiring authors, we have opened up our Writer’s Mastery Course once again to help you get it done!
If you are a Mission-Driven Entrepreneur, NOW is especially the time to step up, BE THE MISSION and share your Authentic Voice & Message with the world! It may feel daunting to write a book, but you have a message and you must get it out! I’ll provide a Step-By-Step guideline of exactly how I wrote my first book in just 3 weeks, and give you a blueprint for how I took my book from idea-to-launch in 3 months!
Over this 90-day online Mastery Course, we will cover the following major categories:
  1. Foundation: Choose The Topic & Type of Book Right For You & Create A Strategic Writing Plan
  2. Content: Brainstorm Content, Write Table Of Contents & Start Writing
  3. Publishing: Editing & Publication Options/Resources
  4. Launch: Marketing, Promotional Opportunities & Business Resources
SPECIAL BONUS GIFT: I’m offering a special Early Bird BONUS for anyone committed to writing their book who registers to the course by March 17th the opportunity to have a complimentary branding and writing strategy session with me, valued at more than the program itself. The number is capped due to the interactive group coaching, so if you’re ready to step up, make sure you register ASAP to claim your bonus personalized session!

I hope you can join me to step up and BE THE MISSION! If you have any questions or conflict with the dates, please email me and we’ll set up a time to chat. Or if you need a more customized, one-to-one Coaching Strategy, I can help with that as well no matter where you’re at in the book writing and launch process.

Sculpt Your Life CoverSPECIAL BOOK GIFT: In honor of International Women’s Day, which is TODAY (March 8th), I’m offering my book Sculpt Your Life for free. Please download it and share the link with all the women, Missionpreneurs, creatives and artists you know who want to step up and BE THE MISSION! All proceeds of the kindle book during the rest of the month of March will go toward Mission For The Arts (charities I support that empower girls through the arts).

Here’s the link:
Thank you in advance!!!!
Helping transform the world, one mission-driven author at a time! 😉 Warm regards,
AlexandraP.s. One last thing if you’re still here…

SURVEY REQUEST: As a special favor to ME, would you please take this quick Survey on Entrepreneurship? It should take 5-10 minutes and will be used for my upcoming books and articles on Entrepreneurship. Thank you!

Be Perfectly Imperfect

Photo of me at templar castle, Peñiscola, Spain
Photo of me at templar castle, Peñiscola, Spain
Perfection doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion. Just do and be your best.
 
How has trying to be perfect impeded your growth or held you back?
 
I’ve struggled through this need to be perfect throughout my life, feeling that I had to change myself or be something else because I sought approval from other people. It’s affected everything from my career choices (I used to be a former banker), to relationships, to my body image.
Trying to be “perfect”, essentially something I’m not and can never live up to, has been a huge form of pain. Fitting a mold others’ put on me has caused me to go into professions and industries that were not mission-driven. Living up to others’ expectations, and also expecting those expectations on others has hurt countless relationships, personally and professionally. Even the need to be perfect caused a delusional tug-of-war in my mind that created guilt in the form of a distorted negative body image and even led to an eating disorder when I was a teenager. 
Perfectionism–AND lack of being perfect–has been a convenient form of self-sabotage. Apart from everything else I’ve mentioned, it’s kept me small, blocking the creative flow and preventing me from stepping up into the highest and fullest expression of myself. 
 
Again, perfection is an illusion. I choose now to be perfectly imperfect and rather strive to do and be my best, which I do every day. 
How about you? How have you tried to be perfect and how has it affected your creativity and authenticity? What helps you move past this?
Please share in the comments below.
 

The Answers Are Simple If You Listen

Answers are simple

As you all know, I have been in self-induced, self-reflection mode as I’ve been traveling the last few months. I wanted to share a simple strategy I’ve been using when I’ve been stuck and need answers.

One such message I channeled: “The answers are simple. WE are the ones that complicate things!”

Step 1: Sage or try another energy clearing on yourself and your area (If you don’t clear the energy, your signals may get crossed!)

Step 2: Be still in the present moment, and set the intention to speak to your higher self/God/Holy Spirit

Step 3: Ask specific, empowering questions (see more below)

Step 4: Listen and write down your messages in your journal.

What do I mean by Empowering (vs disempowering) questions. For example, a general question such as “What should I do with my life?” implies you’re stuck or lost, and may lead you on a perpetual cycle of feeling stuck or lost.

Instead, a tip I learned from Oprah, ask something as simple as “What is my next right move in _______?” This can be applied to your life’s path or your business, or even a conversation or a game. A specific question like this not only gets your mind thinking strategically, but also connects to your soul, intuition and higher self.

Remember: The answers are simple. We are the ones that complicate things

What works for you to still your mind? Let me know in the comments!

~Alexandra

Wait Til Next Year To Change?

Photo Credit: Alexandra Figueredo, Montserrat, Spain
Photo Credit: Alexandra Figueredo, Pano shot at Montserrat, Spain

Time and Space are illusions.

When you understand this concept of time and space, you realize that almost nothing is impossible. It might not appear possible in this moment in time, but with a decision and inspired action, the wheels of motion can be set that will bring it into reality. If it is real to you, it is real.

About 6 months ago, I was on one path in my life, my Plan A, as I call it–a path that was heavily inspired and guided by my own intuition and crafting. I was getting new clients, creating new brands and programs, and gaining more success in both my personal and professional life.

Then suddenly, in a moment, I received an intuitive hit in just one meditation: “I need to move to Spain.” I didn’t know why or for how long. The timing was most definitely not perfect; in fact I’d call it bad timing because I’d have to leave everything I had spent that year working on. I was excited yet skeptical. As a Missionpreneur, I knew I needed to follow this inspiration, so I answered the call. I was entering the Gap of Faith.

Perhaps as a form of self protection, I verbalized all the practical excuses that I was uprooting suddenly to Spain: to dance in Sevilla, write my book, and work on a travel-related project. Still, some of my family members called me crazy, impulsive and irresponsible. Staying firm to my decision, and checking in with God along the way, before I knew it I rented out my condo, packed my personal belongings, moved out and begin this new journey.

Not surprisingly I fell in love with Southern Spain and more importantly fell in love with myself! I believed I needed to stay at least 6 more months and I was excited thinking about new opportunities and possibilities for my life.

A couple of months later, while I was meditating on why I came to Spain and my course in life, I received a series of messages: “I am a blank slate. I can create whatever I want for my life. It’s time to step up and focus on making a greater impact in the world.” I was inspired to dream and act bigger. Nearly overnight, the original “practical” reasons I went to Spain no longer mattered to me. At that moment, it was no longer in my best interest to stay in Spain. Damn it! I was fearful that once again my family wouldn’t understand and would think I was being irresponsible or flaky. Yet once again, I listened.

When I returned to Miami, the following morning I went to church with my mom. The priest’s homily was about a Florida bishop who had already started his career in finance when he got the call to become a priest and enter seminary. Even though he had started on one lucrative path, he got the spiritual call and answered the call, even when it seemed out of place, inconvenient and hard to believe. I thought to myself “Wow, what a timely blessing this is, and it parallels my life! Now my mom will understand what I’m going through.” But I came to find out, that sermon was really more for me. It was confirmation that I was exactly where I needed to be and that God’s loving call is far more important than any fears or insecurities or worries from my family, friends, society or even my own.

We are constantly receiving messages from God and it’s our job to listen. Every day, I check in to make sure I’m on the right path. I listen and ask, and I act even when I have no idea why I’m doing it. The Gap of Faith can be terrifying, but also shows one’s resilience and perseverance. Since that intuitive hit back in Spain, I have been inspired to create new projects and start new businesses that have the potential to serve millions.

Your life at any moment is a BLANK SLATE

You have the ability to create anything you want right now. You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year, or the summer, or next year or “when the time is right” to do what your soul desires. You can even start working toward your “Plan A” today and decide tomorrow to course correct or change that path. The timing is perfect. What’s important is that you listen and be inspired to act at this moment.

Try this. Right now close your eyes and be still.

  1. What is your soul urging you to do right now? What have you been ignoring or putting off?
  2. What is one fear or limiting belief that is holding you back from acting on this dream?
  3. What is one inspired action you can take at this moment to get your dream closer to becoming a reality?

No time like the present, as they say.

Feel free to leave your messages in the comments or ask the community for support! Connect with others on their own journey at Mission Muses group on Facebook.

 

If you feel inspired to follow your Mission and LIVE THE MISSION through your best mission-driven life, I would love to help. Click here or email me at Alexandra@MissionbasedBranding.com