• Just Start Your Encore: Do the Work in 2015! | Happy Holidays from Jackie

    The other day I read an article called “5 New Year’s Resolutions Those Over 50 Should Never Make,” and I started to bristle when I read #4. It starts with “Resolve to reinvent yourself”–as in, those over 50 should never resolve to reinvent themselves. As a passionate advocate for the encore movement, I have staked my own encore on the idea that that Baby Boomers can and should take advantage of the longevity bonus by reinventing themselves…so needless to say I was a little put off.

    But then I kept reading.

    “Resolve to reinvent yourself,” it says, “–unless you have a real plan.”


    >>Read more…

  • A Note from Jackie: Resolve to FOCUS in 2014


    This is an exciting time of year. We transition from the holiday whirlwind into the clean slate of January, and it feels like the world is at our fingertips; the opportunities are endless. We’re finally going to go to the gym, write that novel, lay off the sweets, spend more time with our families and less money, limit the number of television shows we watch each week, market every day like Jackie says, start meditating, wake up earlier…


    The truth is, when you make 20 New Year’s resolutions, you’re probably not going to keep any of them—or at least, you won’t keep any of them very well. And you know what? The same thing goes for your business. >>Read more…

  • Shaped by the Power of “NO”


    “Saying no shapes us.”
    -Jackie B. Peterson

    A note from Jackie…

    It is so easy to get distracted from working towards our goal. There are so many possibilities out there–so many choices, so many distractions. How in the world can we stay focused and on track?

    Case Study

    One of my Better, Smarter, Richer clients told a great story a few weeks ago. She is a counselor working with parents and their children to improve parent/child relationships. Parenting skills and relationships are her specialty, her deep and narrow niche. She had carefully explained her specialty to a colleague, a therapy clinician, who she thought understood perfectly. Then a few days later, she got a call from that colleague, offering her a counseling engagement with a couple who needed and wanted some marriage counseling. The engagement would probably involve 10 sessions of on-going and actually interesting work; was she interested? >>Read more…

  • BSR Newsletter #7: Get (really) Specific When You Market

    You need to be very specific when you create your marketing materials.

    Why? Because if you try to tell everyone what you do in a general way- people will either get confused or think you don’t really know what you’re doing! If you have read Better, Smarter, Richer then you know that what I call ‘mission creep’ can creep everywhere. Especially into your marketing materials.

    This is hard work because being a creative often means you have an expansive personality and think in a “Big Picture” way. Getting specific means you have to rein in your thinking and become more of a micro processor than a macro processor. It also means you have to know why you are great at what you do.

    Choosing exactly the right words and the right description of what you do and what you have to offer is how you are going to distinguish yourself from the zillions of your competitors – who are also approaching your potential clients. You can’t ever forget that fact!

    Ask yourself the following questions:

    1. What makes me truly different in my market?

    2. What is it about my work that cannot be found anywhere else and is created by no one but me?

    If you don’t know, ask your clients! Then use their words to describe your services.

    I tell people to create marketing materials as if they were writing for someone else they admire. It can be hard to toot your own horn- but you have to in today’s business world. Be bold and get out there and show how you are the best in your field by getting specific when you market. How about this one:

    Alison Teeter is an eMedia consultant for those who want to take their business to the next level.

    (What does that mean? What next level? Doesn’t everyone want to go to the next level?!)

    A better example:

    Alison Teeter is an eMedia consultant who helps executive clients use eMedia marketing tools such as article marketing, online MP3 segments and guest blogging spots to create a higher profile on the internet in order to generate increased speaking and consulting fees.

    Now that is specific marketing. I know you can do the same.


  • BSR Newsletter #5: Know When to Change Your Focus

    Sometimes you can do everything right and yet the market simply won’t support your chosen focus. When this happens, it’s time to change focus. The following story about one of my clients, Dianne, llustrates this point well.

    Dianne is a self-employed mediator. By background and education, she is an attorney, but she has always had a passion for conflict resolution and helping people solve problems without going to court. Diane is also fluent in Spanish, and as there were very few bi-lingual mediators practicing in her area, this seemed like a natural market on which to focus her efforts. She committed herself to being a bi-lingual mediator specializing in helping clients work through conflicts when the language barrier is a major obstacle to resolution.

    She took many steps to secure her reputation and build her network. She joined several organizations that catered to Latino businesses. She spent many hours in face-to-face meetings with other professional mediators, letting them know of her background and her Spanish skills. When she came to me we spent many of our counseling sessions brainstorming on ways she could make contact with potential clients.

    She highlighted her language capabilities on her web site. She optimized her site for search engines. She volunteered with the local mediation society. She made herself available as a volunteer to the local court systems. She stayed alive financially by bidding on mediation and conflict management engagements with the local government, who was hiring and contracting with large numbers of the growing Latino community.

    She did all this to no avail. Nothing worked. For nearly a year she would come to meet with me and we would discuss the lack of results. We would analyze, do research, study other mediators’ web sites, and dissect conversations she had had with other mediators and try to figure out how to break the impasse. We had many theories, but theories are not paying consulting jobs. Finally it became time to cut losses and move on. Dianne had put a year into the effort. Now she needed to make money for her family. She needed to move on to something that would be successful. So, with regret, Dianne changed focus. She began looking around to find a field of specialization that would have the market potential she wanted and deserved. She is a very smart, capable, highly intelligent and compassionate person. The world really needs her skills in conflict resolution.

    After much market research, Dianne decided to change her focus to water rights. She found it timely, complex and full of opportunities for resolving conflicts. We could recognize at once that water is going to be a major issue of the 21st century. Dianne went back to school and gained her credentials in the field of water-rights law. She has already connected with the groups who are facilitating agreements for the future uses of water in the vast regional water basin. She has already been hired as a paid mediator to work with some of the groups arguing over distribution of water to farms vs. factories vs. power plants.

    Letting go of her dream of working with the Latino population while using her hard earned language skills as part of her daily work was wrenching for Dianne. She tried every way she could to make it work and to build a successful career in her field of choice. Yet it was simply not to be. The time was not right. The market was not there. Dianne was correct to change her focus.