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A friend is selling some of her collections on Ebay, so when I discovered Barcode Booty: How I Found and Sold $2 Million of ‘Junk’ on Ebay and Amazon and You Can, Too, Using Your Phone by Steve Weber,  I immediately sent her a Kindle copy describing barcode reader apps available on smart phones.




She reported that the apps did indeed work. In reading the book myself, I discovered a possible solution for organizing the ~200 linear feet of books in my home by using barcode reading apps on my upcoming smart phone purchase.


The first step is to list and categorize all the books. I will make this go faster by  investing in someone nearby to keep me company and hold me accountable.

The next step is the keep, gift, donate, or sell decisions (thank you Chip & Dan Heath for your latest book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work which has given me lots of strategies for being strong when faced with choosing what to keep and how to share with others).

The final step is giving, donating, and selling the books and then implementing a one in, one out policy.

This is a CONTINUING SAGA, so stay tuned for updates to this blog at the end of each quarter.

QUESTION:  What resolution(s) do you have for bringing order in your world AND how are you going about it?

As I watched Brené Brown describe her own vulnerabilities about her research on shame and vulnerability on TED and read recent blogs from Nicole Antoinette on how she had pulled her life together from the bottom of several dark holes, including speaking out on mental illness (in #4), I decided to explore my own vulnerabilities around pride and aging.


I stepped over a grey tabby ‘fat cat’ and slid down the stairs – I was vulnerable TO pride in being ‘strong,’ by carrying laundry down the stairs without turning on the light and holding on – it is the ‘life happens’ vulnerability that led me to changing my behavior on stairs, feeling grateful to have only bumps and bruises, and being annoyed at my carelessness.

As I set up my camera to photograph the bruises from my tumble, I looked at the face my front camera was showing me up close. It had wrinkles, lots of them. When had they emerged with such clarity? Feeling vulnerable ABOUT aging, I asked myself the shame question of “am I too old?”

MCB Class Shoot

As a corporate employee, where I felt female youthfulness was valued, when asked my age, I would reply “I am a grandmother.” Since grandmothers often range in age from 36 up, that worked for me for a long time. (NOTE: the DMV does not accept silver-frosted for hair color on driver’s license applications).

I now look like my grandmother, who had said to me when I was a young mom, “When I get up I feel as if I am 16 and then look in the mirror and wonder WHO is this old lady?” I understand that in a whole new way now.

Where is the line for being TOO OLD? – For me at 76, is it BEFORE or AFTER:

  • Finishing Nicole’s Obsession Laboratory where my obsession is to join forces with women in their 40’s to 90’s in reaching long held “impossible” goals and dreams?
  • Building a business around my obsession using coaching strategies and various other techniques for going around, over, under, or through obstacles?
  • Attending Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit 2014 in Portland, OR, next July?
  • ‘Show & telling’ about books and ideas important to me in this blog space?
  • Communicating about differences through using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® with career coaching clients and volunteering with the APTi Chapter Development Council (CDC) in supporting MBTI® practitioners?

What is the difference between being vulnerable TO and vulnerable ABOUT something? To me, vulnerable ABOUT includes the shame factor, which inserts an extra level of searching before one changes their behavior or perspective.

When you wake up from sleep, do you look in the mirror and rejoice in the:

  • Fresh start?
  • Ways in which your mind and body support you?
  • Person you see there, who is just your age?

Want to make it a habit? Please join me every day through December . . .


QUESTION:  What does being TOO OLD look like, feel like, sound like to you? What would make it just right for you?  Please comment below.

It all started at a women’s conference in California. Pamela Ryckman was curious as she met a female senior executive, who introduced her to another, then another, each one speaking of working hard and loving it. They would gather in groups and support each other. As she reflected on her own life, it had always been a woman who had gotten her through the door.

She ended up collecting many stories of the collaboration of senior successful women with each other and younger successful women in: Stiletto Network: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business.

Tangled up in a business conversation

Ryckman states. “But it’s also about what happens when women leave the table, when the talking stops and the action starts. It’s about how they mine their collective intelligence to realize their dreams or champion causes…It’s about women banding together to achieve their destinies and change the world.”

The women gather in each others’ homes, at resorts in other countries, offices, places where they can talk, share about their lives, and support each other in their personal and professional lives. Talk is of clothes, shoes (hence the title), families, successes, failures, asking and giving information, introductions, help.

Stiletto BLOG 2013-10 iStock_000007138152Small

A woman I admire deeply once told me that women who were too successful were excluded by their peers and punished. This did not fit my experience as a computer programmer in IBM or later as a career coach there. Stiletto Network gave an explanation that made sense to me. In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s there were token women in leadership roles. If you were very ambitious, it was you or another women for the ‘token’ slot.

Today there are many powerful women in the C-Suite, middle management, extremely successful entrepreneurs, and leaders of incredible non-profits, and their collaboration is changing the face of business and the world. Men are finding these groups valuable as well, for they are gaining introductions and clients from those they know in the groups.

Research is finding that all-female groups, led by inspiring, influential women, are in the vanguard of an increasingly dominant force in American business. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, 8 million U.S. businesses are majority-owned by women, and these firms have an economic impact of $ 3 trillion annually. They’ve created and maintained 23 million jobs, or 16 percent of total jobs in the United States. The number of women-owned businesses is growing twice as fast as the number of total businesses.

The book is full of stories of different Stiletto Networks all across the US and increasingly around the globe.

One is about the revamping of the image of the Girls Scouts in honor of its 100th anniversary. The makeover was spearheaded by Davia Temin, first vice chair and chair of fund development, number two in an organization of 3.2 million volunteers and 49 million living alumnae. As a child in Cleveland, she had sold more cookies than anyone in her state (and later found a correlation between lifelong accomplishment and volume of cookies sold – a Girl Scout Cookie Indicator of Success).

For three years, Temin met weekly with the Girl Scouts board to set an audacious goal that would inspire their nonprofit to evolve. They knew that $1 billion would command attention. Temin says. “At the end of it, when someone asks, ‘How much is a girl worth?’ you can say it starts at $1 billion and goes up from there.”

Another story — In 2004 Bonnie McElveen-Hunter became the first woman in history to chair the American Red Cross. She believed the Red Cross should be prepared to mobilize immediately when crises occurred instead of soliciting in the wake of natural disasters. She involved the Board in raising funds. She and Bonnie Sabelhaus had raised close to $1 billion through the Baltimore United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative over a decade. Using those skills, they raised $44 million from women in Tiffany Circles, named for Northern and Southern women who united after the Civil War to commission the Tiffany stained-glass windows at Red Cross headquarters.

Rykman suggests starting your own Stiletto Network and includes Six Startup Tips on her website
1  –  Start now:  You don’t need to be famous or well established. Starting early in your career allows you to steer each other to promotions, become powerful — together
2  –  Think diversity:  The most effective groups draw women with diverse skills from a variety of industries
3  –  Filter for relevance and shared experience:  Diverse women need to have some shared traits and experience, such as age or level of expertise
4  –  Believe in the magic:  Groups need only to bring together women of shared values and ethics, who are open to aiding others
5 –  Strike a balance between personal and professional:  Address the career-building needs of members, yet still retain the fun
6 –  Have courage, give courage: Members help each other script difficult conversations, encourage each other to take risks, and shouldn’t be afraid to disagree

Enjoy reading these stories of the collaboration of many powerful, charismatic, and generous women and consider how your own power might be magnified by developing or finding a Stiletto Network.

QUESTION:  Where in your life are there women you could collaborate with to advance your career and theirs or help each other in a joint endeavor?

While working with a poster child of leadership job search AND wanting to up the odds of her getting the job and starting successfully during those critical first 90 days, I looked for a kickstarter.

The tool I chose was Pam Fox Rollins’ 42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role: The Manual They Didn’t Hand You When You Made VP, Director, or Manager.


Leadership and Success

I met Pam in Toronto at a corporate coaching conference in 2002 where we were both passionate about coaching and psychological type (MBTI®).  Afterwards she initiated a Type and Coaching leadership teleconference series which she led for five years and which still continues today. Each year she introduces new type and coaching ideas at conferences, in her writing, and at her company, IdeaShape Coaching and Consulting.

Her two decades of experience coaching senior leaders, helping executive teams craft strategy, and guiding Stanford MBA’s led her to write this set of 42 Rules for those who didn’t get a manual when they made VP, director, or manager.

In each Rule’s two pages, Pam has distilled the essence of what to do. The Rules are embedded in one of seven parts of coming onboard successfully in your new position:
1  –  Set Yourself Up for Success
2 –  Map the Terrain
3 –  Show Up Wisely
4 –  Start Your Wins
5 –  Create Your Management System
6 –  Stay Smart
7 –  Set You and Your Team to Thrive

What I found especially helpful was her linking within the Rules to other relevant Rules. At the end she provides appendices, each including selected helpful Rules:
A –  For Job Seekers
B –  Hiring? How to Use this Book
C –  For Executive Coaches
D –  Myers-Briggs® and More [helpful assessments]
E –  Online Resources [at her website]

What has helped you be successful when taking on a new leadership role, either in a new or your current company? What were some of the strategies and tools you used?

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