With A Birds Eye View


Do you believe you have the power within yourself to achieve everything you want? 

Everyone – everyone – has the power within themselves to achieve what they want. Yes, that sounds like the overleaf on the latest self motivational book.  However, it is true. It’s just a matter of uncovering and utilizing our own inner energy and talents and that’s where a Coach can help.

You know you are smart enough to have what you want, right?  And you know you have talents and skills that outshine others.  If you took everything you bring to the table and had a plan to align it all to go for what you want, do you think you would be anything other than unstoppable?

This is what I do as a Coach.  I start with YOUYour vision, your goals, your talents and your knowledge.  We look at your strengths and those areas you want to improve and I help you put together a plan that gets you what you want.

So stay tuned, visit often and feel free to reach out with questions and I will do whatever I can to help!

Sale-A-Bration Is Over – Now What??

For those of you who are Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators you know that a lot of buzz going around in your circles is Sale-A-Bration is over – now what?

Despite the allure that free stamps brings customers is now over, there are plenty of ways to continue the momentum of the sales you (hopefully) had during Sale-A-Bration. In order to help you plan now for a robust and profitable next couple of months, I have put together some ideas that can help you both keep up your sales AND bring you revenue.  If you have clicked through to my site, it’s likely that you are the kind of demonstrator who knows that you can have both great sales – be a superstar demo! – AND have a profitable business.  At With A Bird’s Eye View, we (my team and I) recognize that success means different things to different people but know that if you aren’t profitable you aren’t going to be able to sustain your demonstratorship.

So to that end, I present to you – free of charge – a mini class designed to help you create events and product offerings to keep your customers stamping and excited and keep you growing and thriving.  You can download the file below; we ask that you not share your copy but instead refer people to this site to obtain their own.

Enjoy and should you have any questions, just email me, Brenda, at Brenda@withabirdseyeview.com.

Stay Profitable After Sale-A-Bration










Lessons Learned From Having a Broken Ankle

For any of you who have televisions and have caught even a snippet of the news, you know that we New Englanders have had our snowpants handed to us on a platter this winter.  I think we are up to 103 feet inches of snow so far with another batch coming in tonight.

On February 2nd, while pretending to be a nice person and helping someone out with their snow issues, I slipped and my left leg folded under me like a Jacob’s Ladder.  After some moments staring in horror at my auto-origami project I tentatively got up and realized that I could still actually walk.  I went about my day, planning to tend to it the next day.

Well, the next day had other plans for us.  On the way home from dropping off our son at school, someone who thought that doing ANYTHING other than paying attention to the road was a good idea and hit and totaled our car.  (The husband, when calling to report said accident, immediately rattled off the list of injuries to the CAR, making me interrupt him to ask him if he was OK.  Boys and their machines!)

Anyway, looooooong story short (I know, too late), I finally saw an orthopedist on Friday, all the while gingerly walking on an ankle that resembled a combination of a baby beach ball and an eggplant and was told it was broken.  BROKEN?  Fortunately, because I had not sought treatment immediately (Hah, husband!  My procrastinating DOES sometimes pay off!) I was put into an air cast and sent home.

So what did I learn?  Plenty!  In no particular order, here goes:

1. Even the worst coffee on earth, if made for you, is worth it.

2. Change your cast sock as frequently as you can stand the discomfort.  Your nasal discomfort will become equally as annoying if you don’t.

3. Leftover deodorizing dog shampoo can assist when you first learn of #2.

4. Your cast doesn’t really get tighter when you ignore the doctor’s orders of having your foot UP for the majority of the day – it’s your ankle swelling (dummy).

5. Food from a bag with instructions written for a 10 year old reading level CAN confound a brilliant engineer and the brilliant offspring.

6. Having gooey, cheesy, hot, crusty pizza gets old……………..fast.

7. I know many of YOU know this but I didn’t – use your upper body strength with crutches, NOT your armpits.  Given that I have the upper body strength of Sponge Bob Squarepants, this was an issue.

8. Duct tape does NOT tear off skin easily and quickly like it does in the movies.  ‘Tis better to remove the REMOVEABLE cast to shower rather than try to DIY the waterproofing.  The one upside is I am unlikely to EVER grow leg hair there again.  Or skin.

9. Toenails grow faster than you think.

10. Not everyone looks charmingly tough in a cast; some of us look like bloated drunken pirates on land for the first time in 30 years.

11. Sitting down to cook is a nightmare.  I have a whole new understanding for people in wheelchairs and how perilous it is to cook when hot stuff is near face level.

12.  Snuggles from people you love really can help the pain and suffering.  And it makes you feel better, too!

Please, folks, be careful out there!

Mothers’ Time Matters!

How many of you are “stay at home” mothers?  (I put stay at home in quotes because those of us who are or have been SAHMs know that we are rarely home and when we are we are flat out.)  And how many of you, because of your choice to be home with your kids, feel that your work at home is not recognized when you are asked to do additional carpool duty, free babysitting, errand running, etc.?  It’s happened to all of us, I am sure, with varying degrees of success.

Here’s the thing…….you should never feel guilty about saying no (more on that in a minute) because all Mothers’ Time Matters.  That’s the theme of this year’s first ever Mothers and More Online Expo.  I have been a member of Mothers and More for 18 years and even now with my son becoming an adult, I get more wisdom and support and feedback from my chapter that I think I am likely to stick around until we start our Grandma’s Subgroup!

I have been chatting about this Expo and you can learn more about the Keynote Speakers, Demonstrations and Giveaways here.  The Expo promises to show you ways in which you can make your time matter more for the things you want to invest in and how to take time for yourself to refresh and replenish your own resources.  You will learn about finding your path, raising thoughtful communicators in this digital world, all about blogging for fun or profit, mastering money, finding flexible paid work and much more.

As moms – and anyone who gives anything their all – we need to remember that it is imperative that we put out own oxygen masks on first because if we aren’t capable of taking care of ourselves, we won’t be capable of taking care of anything or anyone else.  So, yes, our time matters and we need to be sure that we set boundaries and goals around how we spend our time and be sure that as much as we care for others we make sure our own needs and interests are high on the list.

So about feeling guilty about saying no – here’s a great way for you to put a request to the test.  When someone asks you to do something that falls outside of what you deem to be reasonable or fair or respectful of YOUR time, reframe the request as if the person has asked you to do it TODAY.  If their request would pass the “gotta do it now” test then it’s likely that you find it the sort of favor that would be acceptable in any circumstance.  So if someone approaches you and says that they are short on cookies for the bake sale Thursday and “since you are home” they are wondering if they can can count on you for a few extra dozen, ask yourself if that request is important enough to you that you would find a way to do it today.  If they answer is yes then you can add it without question. If not, then you can politely decline and say that your schedule is already accounted for and perhaps someone else can fill the bill.  Putting some immediacy in the equation allows you to make a fast assessment of the validity and value of the request.  And when you cut right through the “ifs” then you can move on without guilt for saying no OR yes.

See you at the Expo!

To Err is Human, To Forgive…….Can Be Superhuman

I recently had a conversation with a client where we discussed the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is hard – both to understand and to practice, especially if you are reeling from a painful encounter or a lifelong paradigm that was put upon you that are working to cast aside.

There are a few important things to know about forgiveness that can help you to forgive not just those who have hurt you but to forgive yourself, a concept that can be particularly difficult for people.

The first thing to know about forgiving is that it is not a wiping clean of the slate. To forgive is not to excuse or annul the offense but to acknowledge it without reliving the negative emotions associated with the experience. You can forgive the person without condoning the act. You never have to be at peace with what happened, but with practice you can be at peace with the person.

The second thing to understand is that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not the offender. When you forgive you are telling the person that you are no longer going to carry the burden of the pain. After all, railing against them after the fact likely never reaches their ears – they are happily going about their business with nary a thought of you – while you are suffering the consequences of reliving your unhappiness.

And lastly, forgiveness is not an act but a practice. Rare is the person who can wake up one morning and experience full forgiveness. It is something that is gradually built up starting with allowing yourself to remember the facts without feeling the anguish all the way to perhaps eventually wishing the offender well.

And of course the hardest person to forgive can often be ourselves. Most of us can be harder on ourselves than any other person but that serves absolutely no good purpose. We all err. We all do things we wish we’d done differently. And some people allow themselves to be defined by those things. Imagine how much gentler, kinder and more joyful life would be if we could tell ourselves that yes, we erred but it is what we do now, in the moment, that is truly defining.

I challenge all of you to recall a time when you felt injured by another, try your best to examine the situation with your head and not your heart and imagine what it might be like to be able to rid those memories of any of the negative emotions associated with them. Now imagine that you are able to tell that person, in your head, “What you did was wrong and you should be ashamed and disappointed in yourself. But I am no longer willing to carry the burden of the feelings you caused in me. I leave them at your feet and you can do with them what you wish.”

The first few times you do this it will feel as foreign as wearing a prosthetic nose! But with repetition and mindful consideration of the points above, you will gradually find yourself feeling freer and freer until such a time as you realize that you have experienced forgiveness.

Go be awesome!

Resolutions Shmesolutions! Choose your Words To Live By and Watch Your Life Change!

Every year people make resolutions on New Year’s Day. I get it – there’s nothing like a first of a first to make you feel like you’ve got a chance at a fresh start. But how many people actually STICK to those resolutions? How many times have you said “THIS year I will exercise EVERY DAY!” or “THIS year I will give up my addiction to coffee!”? And then within the first couple of weeks you’ve forgotten all about your resolve. Don’t despair! You aren’t alone…….

Resolutions fail for many reasons and a majority of those are not technically your fault. Our subconscious and unconscious decision centers are powerful influencers and it’s rare the person who can will themselves control over them through a resolution. It’s like stating a goal and then assuming that you are going to achieve it in that moment. You have to WORK toward these things!

So instead of a “resolution” I like to choose my Annual Words To Live By. I came up with this idea a few years ago when I was really trying to challenge myself to, well, challenge myself. See, I wanted to come up with a phrase that would challenge me when I was trying to avoid doing that which I knew I should be doing. Challenge me to not just focus on WHY I wanted to work on my goals but also to make sure that whatever I was trying to do INSTEAD of working on those goals was put in its place. For instance, one year I chose “Why not now?”. This forced me to challenge how I was prioritizing things and, if necessary, allowed me the option to defend my decision. I can tell you that I accomplished a lot more than I ever thought I would using this phrase.

Fast forward to this year. After more thinking and reflecting on areas I need to improve I have chosen………..(drum roll please)………. “What am I doing instead?” I realize that an area where I can improve is my time management in terms of juggling things I feel require equal prioritization. It’s not that I want to put off doing something, it’s more that often I want to do many things all at the same time and, hey, I am good, but no one is THAT good!

So now, when I am questioning my choice of prioritization or allowing myself to get immersed in something, I can ask myself “What am I doing instead” of ______________. If it’s legit, I will keep on keeping on. If not I can adjust my priorities with confidence.

Think about this for a minute. What areas do you wish to improve? What word or words would challenge you in a constructive way? What phrase can you say to yourself that will not just be a legitimate question but will be a trigger for you to mindfully consider your choices? Be creative, be authentic, be constructive and choose something that will work for you.

Then the only resolution you have to make is to ask yourself your question or state your words to live by. I guarantee that at the end of the year you will look back and see tangible evidence of how this small shift in your thinking will positively affect your outcomes.

Now go be awesome!

Gifts From the Heart

I am sure many of you are, like me, in the throes of that annual fun/stressful/joyful/chaotic/excited/not sure exercise of finding the “perfect” gifts for the people on your list.  I used all those descriptors because for many people all of the above apply all at once.  Because we gift everyone in our lives at one time, it can be overwhelming in terms of options, procurement and budget.  Of course, the endless ads in the media don’t help, right?


Do you remember when I asked you to think about what people should be thankful for in YOU?  Did you note or do you recall those things? If those are truly the things for which people are thankful, why not give them MORE of what they value the most?  I know that the one thing I want from my family members is more time with each and every one of them.  Yes, I love the thought and care they put into choosing things for me that they know I will love and use and honor, but if those things disappeared and “all” I got was time to share with them, I would be as thrilled.


So this year, instead of making yourself bananas searching for a parking spot at the mall, slogging through the crowds, waiting in line behind the one person who wants to pay with a check, reflect on the things that the people around you cherish about you and gift THAT.  For instance, if a group of your friends all say they love your sense of humor, gift them with a casual dinner party at your house followed by a few rounds of a game that makes everyone howl.  If you Aunt is so grateful to you for the times that you have to take her out and about, give her a booklet of 12 coupons for lunch and a stroll at her favorite places, one for each month.


Yes, this has been said many times before.  No, this is not an original concept.  But it has been shown over and over that giving of yourself is most appreciated by the recipients.  It demonstrates that you value that person’s feelings enough that you are willing to invest the one thing that is all you; your time.  It shows them that you recognize what they value and you are honoring that by giving them more of it.  And by giving people more of what they truly want – you – you exponentially increase the good in the relationship.


Make your list of people whom you would like to gift this year and before you plop down with a pile of catalogs, look at the list and determine who on that list deserves the absolute BEST gift this year – YOU!

Being Thankful

This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US.  If you were an alien from another planet and this was your first experience here in our country you might assume that we sacrifice turkeys to the gods of holiday shopping.  But as we learned at a very early age, this is a day to express our thanks and gratitude for all our blessings.

Some people list those things for which they are grateful; good health, a satisfying career, loved ones, etc.  Some people express their feelings of gratitude to one another around the table, in cards, on Facebook.  Some people list those things in a specific person – a spouse, a parent, a child – for which they are grateful.

I would like to suggest you add something to your annual inventory of blessings.

I would like you to consider what it is about YOU for which people are grateful.  When people consider you during this season of thanks giving, what things do you do or represent for which they are appreciative?  What things do you want to do more of?  What things do you want to be known for?  (See previous post about branding!)  What do you appreciate in others that you want to model?

Reflect on the ways in which you bring joy, comfort, peace, companionship, humor, support.  As you do this, you will start to see in yourself AND in others many more things for which you can be grateful.  And it is in being grateful that we experience the wealth the world has to offer.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is a Personal Brand and Why Do You Need One?

When you think of a brand what comes to mind?  A logo?  A slogan?  A name of a company?  None of those are actually “brands”, they are representations of brands.

A brand is a promise you make to your customers, the impression you want your public to have about you.  So why is branding important to a person (as opposed to a company)?  A personal brand can provide you with an instant connection to potential employers, clients, peer groups, even to make friends.  It can help you express your passions and values and can help create a lasting impression on those you meet.

So in this first post in a series on Personal Branding, I am going to give you some thinking points for which you will make some notes and take the first steps to identifying YOUR personal brand.  This requires a lot of self analysis but when completed not only helps you create your personal brand but can also be very enlightening in helping you identify potential goals for things you want and need to have in your life that will be fulfilling.

So first, think about what you really need and want.  You need shelter; perhaps you want an open space with little clutter.  You need food; perhaps you want to start eating more fruits and vegetables. Start making notes about what you need and any related wants.

Now list your interests and passions.  What do you love to do?  What do you wish you could do?  What is the one thing you just can’t pass up?

Now list your strengths and values.  What are you particularly good at doing, even if you don’t love doing it? What are your core values? What values do you want to be known for?

Next, what is your background?  What are your educational experiences?  What are your work experiences?  What do you bring to the table that is unique?  What skills do you have that make you stand out?

And last, and this can be a challenge for some people to ask for, what are the first words people think of when they think about you?  Do they find you always helpful?  Do they love your sense of humor?  Are you known for your laid back vibe even when chaos swirls?  Ask people around you.  And don’t worry if what you hear back isn’t all positive; no one person is always “on” and as human beings, we have the luxury of being able to modify how we present ourselves.

Now, look for patterns and connections in all these notes you have.  As you start to see the same things popping up, note them separately.  These are the core of your brand.

Hopefully, the things you see emerge will be positive and reflective of what you wish to portray.  If not, don’t panic!  Knowledge is power and the more you know about how you are perceived the more you have the power to reiterate or CHANGE that.  And we will talk about that more in the next installment in this series.

You don’t have to do this all at once.  In fact, sometimes allowing questions to bounce around in your head over a couple of days will yield information you weren’t even aware was floating around in there.  Spend some time on this project – this is your opportunity to craft your brand and allow it to establish your presence for years to come.

Feel free to ask any questions here or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WithABirdsEyeViewCoaching.

Go be awesome!