My Secrets of Success: Tips on Entrepreneurship, Relationships, Motherhood and Living Adventurously. Part 1

I am often asked, “how do you do it, Allison? How do you create success in your life?” I had to really meditate on these questions when I began life and business coaching. Honestly, I had created a success system in my life through running 9 businesses, creating joy in my life, finding my soulmate and staying healthy and fit without much awareness of the steps or practices I was taking. They had become second nature, like an evolved rhythm that had caught its stride through time and experience. It’s kind of like driving a car. Once you master the basics and get some driving experience, you do not question where the gas pedal is, or how to find park on your stick shift. You just do it. (Parallel parking is another story!) But when I began teaching and mentoring, I couldn’t say, “I don’t know. I just do it.”  So I spent a great deal of time dissecting my unconscious thoughts, behaviors, actions, wins, and losses, (yes, losses are a valuable part of the journey) to create my signature step-by-step strategies which are now a big part of my one-on-one coaching practice, my new book, Blast Off! and my online success software program, Blastation.

To offer further support, I have decided (5 minutes ago) to write a series of articles and posts on The Secrets of My Success, Ali’s Tips on Entrepreneurship, Relationships, Motherhood and Living Adventurously! Oh, yes. It has been an adventure, and I would not have it any other way.

Ali’s Success Tip #1: Say Yes. Then, always, always ask for support.

We often learn through example. I was blessed in that my father was (and still is at 80 years of age) a great businessman. He owned the largest privately run women’s clothing chain in the Midwest. And as a young woman who loved fashion, this was a very cool thing. He opened businesses like you and I open jars of peanut butter. (The smooth kind, not nutty at all).

One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me in business was this. Say “yes” first, then figure out how to make it happen. So I did. In my early 20’s, I opened my 2nd business, a full-service advertising, and public relations firm. One thing I should mention, I had no experience in advertising or public relations. I’m talking, “zero.”

My first real client was MCI. I met a young woman at a party in Atlanta. She mentioned she was assigned to order some thank you cards for her department at MCI and I impulsively said, “ I can do that for you.” (I honestly had no clue.) I took the $5000 order, walked into some small printing shop and said, “ I just got this job to produce thank you cards for MCI. I have no idea how to make them. Would you help me?” The southern gentleman behind the counter’s jaw dropped as he said, “How did you get this job, Ma’am? I spent the next 3 weeks hanging out at the printer. They walked me through all the steps of typography, paper, inks, proofs, (this is pre-internet) and I even learned some printing lingo. The skills I learned there have served me and my clients a thousand times over. All because I asked for support.

When my client, the president of Charlotte Russe clothing chain asked me if I knew how to buy radio and eventually television advertising, what do you think I said? After saying ABSOLUTELY, I walked out of his office feeling out of my mind excited. And then when reality hit, and I realized I had no idea what to do next, I spent the next several weeks spending time at the radio and television stations, receiving media buying 101. All because I asked for guidance. Was I nervous? Sure I was. Yet once I learned, my fear dissolved.

Asking for support has been a huge secret of my success. I continued this practice over my 25 years in business. (Yes, I started at age 12.) When I began practicing homeopathy, even after I completed my education, I hired mentors. These were people that paved the trail before me. I did not want to practice good homeopathy. I wanted to practice great homeopathy. You see, mentors and coaches save you headaches, heartaches, lots of money and time. When I decided to sell the homeopathic college I had built to have more time for my clients,  I hired a mentor to support me through the process. When I began to write my book, I hired a writing coach. When I began doing motivational speeches, I hired a speaking coach. When I wanted to invent my Blastation software, I hired a software expert. When I wanted to launch my book, I asked a best selling author to teach me her successful strategy.

Do you see a pattern here? I am not afraid to admit that I don’t know something, and I see the million dollar value in asking for support from someone who does. The knowledge I have gained from these amazing people launched me on a much more direct and fruitful path toward the attainment of my goals. And I always made my investment back hundreds of times over. Had I tried to figure it out on my own, I may have eventually reached my goals, but there would have been much more struggle and frustration. And I would not be living the wonderful life I am today.  In my coaching practice, people often confide in me that they feel it is a weakness to ask for help. They have it all wrong. The truth is, it takes courage.

I would love to hear from you. Your comments, questions and experiences are encouraged.