Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Goals 101

GOALS 101.001It’s been said that the number one reason people don’t achieve their goals is because they have too many. I think it’s more likely that people confuse a list of wishes with goals. Goals should give you vision and direction so you can create an actionable plan toward achieving them.

I seriously doubt people have too many goals, rather they have too many competing priorities clamoring for the A1 slot.

Here’s an exercise that will help you identify the one motivating goal that is burning inside of you.  Think of it as your Great Goal. Everyone should have a Great Goal, the one that take precedence over all others. After you achieve it you can find another one, but not before because if you work on multiple Great Goals you risk diluting your efforts and weakening your chance at success. Follow these five steps to help focus your thinking.

1. Answer these questions:

  • If I won one million dollars tomorrow, what would I do?

  • If I could change one thing about my body, what would it be?

  • Who do I wish to be and why?

  • What skill do I wish I had learned as a child?

  • Where do I see my career in five years?

2. Pick One
Choose the one answer from above that provokes the greatest reaction in you.  That’s your goal; reflect on it and determine what part of it you believe you can accomplish in less than a year.

3. Pick a Time Frame
Determine, how long will it realistically take to accomplish this goal; one week, one month, six months, one year?

4. Determine the cost
What will it cost you to achieve this goal in either time, talent (effort) or treasure (money)?

5. Fill in the blanks
I resolve to (answer from step 2) in (answer from step 3) by (answer from step 4).

Now, refine your statement in a way they speaks more clearly to you.  Write it on a note card, fold it up and bring it with you everywhere you go. Read it as often as you can; certainly at least twice a day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Congratulations, you’re on your way, and already have done more work on your personal development than ninety percent of the people you interact with each day.  I’d love to hear about your success.  Send me an email once you’ve achieved your goal and tell me how long it took.  You can also contact me if you want an accountability partner to help you stay on track and achieve your goal.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Three Paths. One Clear Way.

A PathPeople who want to be, do or have something generally follow one of three paths.

There are those who make no plans and do not set goals. It's not that they don't have a list of wants in their life but they tend to be dependent on outside resources out of their control; like winning the lottery. 85% of the people you meet fall into this category. They have no specific goals that they're focused on achieving. They work day by day, maybe weekend to weekend with little thought of cause and effect or the role their own action, or inaction plays in their life.

The next group of people are different. They have goals. The level of specificity may vary from person to person but ask them what their goal is and they can tell you. It might sound more like a wish to some, but these people know what they want. They're capable of achieving their goal but they get bouts of insecurity and feelings of doubt. 10% of the people you meet are in this group.

The final group also have goals. You'll notice they are far more specific when they describe them. Even if they sound far-fetched, there's something about their confidence and self-assuredness that convinces you it's not an idle dream of theirs. It's a worthwhile great goal and there's probably no stopping them. They have a secret weapon. Not only do they physically write down their goals, (something 95% of the people you know don't do) they also make plans toward accomplishing their goals. A plan needn't be more elaborate than a series of tasks and a deadline to meet each of those tasks. People with great goals achieve the important things they set out to achieve because they do the work it takes.

Before you decide which path you want to take next equip yourself with a clear goal and a plan.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

gratitudesIn this special Reflections on Leadership, Your Thanksgiving Survival Guide and "Happy Yet?" A new online coaching program

The Gratitude Issue

The week of Thanksgiving should be filled with gratitude. Sometimes, after long flights (or long fights) once we are with family and friends, we take the things we hold most dear for granted. Think of this as a quick survival guide. Below are links to five blog posts that will provide you with an a-ha.

Give Thanks Freely: Includes a link to "132 Ways to say, Well Done." CLICK HERE

Find What's Right Day: Use your R.A.S to have a better day. CLICK HERE

Toasts, Blessings and Proverbs to Help Celebrate: Free eBook

40 Things I'm Grateful For: A template you can use to lift your spirits CLICK HERE

Make It A Perfect Day
: How to get three 10s CLICK HERE

Happy Yet? - Online Coaching
In addition to the five articles above I'm pleased to share a new program for people who want to engage in life coaching but have been unsure of the time commitments or expense.

"Your Introduction to Online Coaching with Karl Bimshas Consulting"

The perfect way to get a head start on your New Year goals. CLICK HERE

And remember the online store, Write Advice. It's got the perfect garb for leaders and artists.

I appreciate your continual support and I'm thankful that you continue to find value in the words I share.

Keep smiling,


Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Yet? - New Online Coaching Program

Online Coaching.001If you’re active and get regular exercise, eat healthy food, are extremely satisfied with your personal relationships, are optimistic and enthusiastic about what’s next ...

have done a lot of the things you’ve wanted to do in life, feel like you manage yourself well and are in control of your future, are well organized ...

feel you have the amount of money you should; and are paid what you think you’re worth, good for you!

Your with the top 2% of people who are happy and feel successful. Hopefully you’re sharing your gifts of achievement with others.

However, you might be feeling like your floundering in the pool with the other 98% of people. Maybe you want to improve some of the stuff from above or maybe there’s something else you’ve wanted to accomplish.

All you know for sure is that something’s not quite right. You’ve been feeling disillusioned and discouraged, confused and frustrated, maybe overwhelmed because you’ve been deferring your important goals.

  • What would it feel like to know you’re actively working on fulfilling your dreams?

  • Imagine being able to wake up in the morning and feel sure of yourself, your decisions and your direction.

  • What would it feel like to no longer defer your dreams?

  • How long have you been promising yourself you will work on your personal goals, yet continue to have trouble getting started?

  • How different would your life be if you suddenly had a great goal you were committed to working on each day?

  • What kind of new experiences would come into your life if you could use the power of vision, passion and action to achieve the things you want and need?

The right accountability partner can help you do that and more.

Some people spend thousands of dollars on personal development programs that are heavy on storytelling but light on tangible actions you can do right away.

Don’t get me wrong, I gladly accept thousands of dollars from people in return for helping them to live the life they want, but that’s not what this is about. This is about introducing you to my method of Life Coaching Services through extremely affordable online coaching.

Many people consider working with a coach but are unsure of commitment requirements or the investment of time and money. Here’s a low risk solution. A new online program egotistically called “Your Introduction to Online Coaching with Karl Bimshas Consulting.” (Register Here)

I’m the founder of Karl Bimshas Consulting, a results driven personal and professional consulting firm for talented Leaders and Artists who want to achieve more. I’ve authored several personal development books and programs including:

  • "Pushing Back the Ocean: Tide Turning Leadership Lessons"

  • "How to Stay When You Want to Quit: Re-scripting your life from whiner to winner"

  • "Write Advice; Inspirations, tips and thoughts for Leaders and Artists”

  • “The Disposable Journal; Write it out and let it go”

  • “The Write Goal” and "The Reflections on Leadership Memo"

With an M.S. in Executive Leadership from the University of San Diego and a B.A. in Mass Communication from Emerson College in Boston, I’ve previously held several operational and sales leadership positions in public and private corporations.

I’m driven to lead and inspire leaders and artists to maximize their unique strengths and continuously improve themselves, their organization and society, by bringing the powers of vision, passion and action to each endeavor.

Does this sound familiar to you?

“I had been feeling rather lost with regards too my life and what I wanted the future to look like. I didn't have a plan nor did I know were to start. Karl listened to my thoughts, aspirations and helped me direct t hat into real action.”

- Donnie Staples (Read more testimonials here)

Too many people live life without a plan, or even the knowledge of where to start. That’s why I’m excited about this online coaching program.

Online Coaching is for people who want to improve their focus, make the best use of their time and grow their personal and professional development.

With online coaching you can expect a regular response from me, enabling you to clarify where you are now, where you want to get to, and practical actions you need to take to get you there. I’ll prompt you with additional questions, tools and customized suggestions which will give you insight and further impetus to succeed in your goals. You simply complete each session as guided by me as your “coach”.

Why is online coaching valuable?

  • You have time to think before you answer questions, getting far better insight than when giving your gut response in a face to face exchange.

  • The act of writing (or typing) your answers and committed actions helps you to clarify what you are really doing and thinking. You’re far more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.

  • You can complete your online coaching at a time that suits you. So if you get busy with family or work commitments, you can complete your coaching sessions when it’s convenient for you from the comfort of your own home or office.

  • Online coaching is considerably more affordable than appointment driven telephone or face-to-face coaching.

  • Your coaching notes are all kept on one secure website so you can return to previous sessions for reflection and review.

Here’s your chance to save 50%

I wasn’t joking about the savings available through this introductory program. Invest only $250 and still work directly with Karl Bimshas Consulting as your online accountability partner for six sessions set at your own pace.

  • Gather and understand your initial goals.

  • Dig deeper into your multidimensional life.

  • Learn how to handle concerns as you make the time to work on your goals.

  • Create SMART GOALS to keep you focused.

  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses.

  • Review your pace of accomplishment and decide your next step.

At half the price of regular face to face consulting

you should get started on your New Year’s goals before everyone else.

There are 20 slots available before December 31, 2010, so if you’re ready to take action, do so soon.

A-ha Guarantee

Act today and here’s my guarantee. Upon the completion of the six online sessions you will have greater clarity on your initial goal, a better understanding of your multidimensional life and a specific goal to work on. If none of these cause you to have an a-ha realization, I’ll refund your money.

Here’s how you get started.

  • You can “Register Now” on this page.

  • Once you click the link above you’ll be sent to a registration page where you create your Username, Password, Email, First and Last Name.

  • Click the Sign Up button. This will open the PayPal webpage where you key in your information so you can easily buy, “Your Introduction to Online Coaching.”

  • Once you complete the purchase you’ll see the Welcome Page to the online coaching program and you can then begin your online coaching.

Haven’t you deferred your dreams long enough?

Why wait until another New Year to start on your goals?

Think of it this way. If you invest in this six session program and use the tools to discover your real wants and needs, anticipate change and assess your strengths, you’ll have more clarity around your goals so you can plan for the future with confidence. Or, if you choose to do nothing but keep the status quo, you could still be in the same place you are today three, six, even twelve months from now. Why delay working on your great goal?

Take action now -- because the chances are too great that with the holiday hustle and bustle you’ll forget about all the immense potential this introductory offer can bring you. Greater success is waiting for you. Go get it!

Register Here

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Calendar, a Clock and Your Head

calendarIn college I spent a fair amount of time directing shows in the television studio. I loved nearly every aspect of it and took particular pride in ending my programs exactly on time which was an important skill.

In my professional life I manage business meetings tightly. Critics have accused me of being a slave to the agenda and sacrificing spontaneous communication and dialogue in favor of efficiency. On the other hand, participants frequently praise me for staying on topic and thank me for valuing them by starting and stopping on time.

Having lived in California for over 18 years, I'm far from a stickler on this stuff. I don't even wear a wristwatch any more. I’ve been repeatedly schooled that, “time is simply a man-made construct” and “mañana” doesn't mean tomorrow, it means, not today.

I've seen these behaviors devour less tolerant people from the Northeast who resent the suggestions to “just chill.” It drives the anal-retentive nuts when others are “fashionably late” or casual about missing deadlines.

Although it can still irritate me, when you are surrounded by a culture that doesn't like the rigidity of deadlines and feels too much pressure from the ticking clock, you have no choice but to adjust.

I won't argue the value of a zen-like peace that can occur when you have a life with no time constraints. However, I will argue in favor of leadership and living a productive life because eventually you are going to die. So no matter what your philosophy, that’s a looming time constraint. To me, it’s better to embrace the beauty of time.

There are three things you should begin to use in at least a cursory fashion; a calendar, a clock and your head.

A calendar gives you a better perspective on what's coming up. You know that Christmas is on December 25th, that taxes are due on April 15th and you know the date of important appointments. It might be a day in advance, or a month, a year, ten years, it doesn't matter. The point is you know what's coming.

(Full disclosure, I’m addressing a belated birthday card to my brother. For the 42 years that I've known him his birth date has never changed. Yes, I called him and did the Facebook and Skype thing, but why couldn't I get a simple card out to him in time for his birthday? Because I'm a dork. Just like everyone else who misses a fixed date on the calendar. You can try to celebrate your failure to plan by labeling it procrastination or some other sexy sounding affliction, but all it does is broadcast the fact that you are a dork.)

A clock serves the same function as the calendar but with greater immediacy. It’s a realtime planning tool. Just like you know things are coming at a particular date, you know some things are coming at a specific time. Airplane departures, Hotel check-outs, last call at the bar or what time Macy’s opens on Black Friday are a few examples. You can also use your clock to make note of the duration of things for future planning. Perpetually late? That’s a clue that you need to spend more time on your planning.

This brings us to your head. Each of us are blessed with a thinking mechanism. Maybe some people need to take it out of hibernation and exercise it a little bit. With it, you have the ability to deduce and decide. Things come up out of the blue ruining well laid plans. Don't become a victim of life’s whims. Incorporate them into your plans. Think a little, don't simply react. Instead, process information for a second longer and respond to situations, based on your values and purpose (discussed here) rather than something fickle like your current mood.

I know if you consider yourself a free-spirit this all sounds like a horrible constrictive burden. It's not, so, get over it. At least becoming aware of what's on the calendar, what time it is and your capacity to solve a problem can change your life. Want to change it dramatically? Invest more time into you're planning and what you'll do in the event your plans fall through.

Need help acting on any of these concepts? Karl Bimshas Consulting’s Life Coaching Services (link) can help you find the a-ha within.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Part 3 - Stop Whining Start Winning

Stop Whining Start Winning.001In part three of the Reflections on Leadership Memo three part series “ways to combat mediocrity” you’ll learn how to stop whining and start winning again.

In Part One of this series we started with the importance of knowing your values and you  gained access to a powerful workbook, "Your Values Finder".

In Part Two you learned how to move "From Mission to Mantra".

In Part Three, let’s talk about whiners. Have you noticed that whiners tend not to be wealthier, healthier or more popular than non-whiners? Their complaining makes them less good looking and their poor attitude doesn’t provide them with much security, nor inner peace. Whiners never seem to have enough free time to pursue their passions, and let’s face it, they aren’t all that fun to be around.

Isn’t annoying to hear a whiner complain about their day, their boss, their job or even their life and not do anything about it except maybe complain some more? What’s more annoying than that? When you wake up one morning and realize that lately the biggest whiner in your life might be you.

How did THAT happen?

You used to be a winner, but something changed.  You started accepting mediocrity. It didn’t happen all at once and it won’t get fixed overnight, but you can dramatically improve your outlook in 21 days or less when you read the workbook, “Stop Whining Start Winning in 21 Days or Less” Available HERE.

Leaders and artists sometimes get themselves into a funk. They can gradually loose focus and passion for their projects and grow frustrated, demotivated and disillusioned.  We’ve all been there. I’ve lived through it. It sucks. The FREE workbook is designed to help you rescript part of your life.

The 50 page workbook also contains five popular and effective action oriented worksheets. If you make the time to go through the materials offered in this three part series I’m confident you’ll become proactive in managing your life, get into a happier frame of mind, understand why the victim mentality is so addictive, take responsibility for your emotions and behaviors, uncover what motivates you and how to positively deal with change. You’ll learn what simple question can help make a positive difference in the world and you’ll ask for help when you need it.

If you’re ready to ask for help you now know at least one person to reach out to.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Part 2 - From Mission to Mantra

TreeIn part two of this three part series the Reflections on Leadership Memo continues to help you find ways to combat mediocrity.

What Are You Doing?
In the last Reflections on Leadership you learned where you find your values. I hope you've downloaded the FREE
workbook, (link) titled, "Your Values Finder" and have begun prioritizing your core values. Now it's time to figure out what you're doing, or at least begin to discover what you should be doing.

Many organizations invest significant time and energy in creating their mission statements. As well meaning as they are, most screw it up for a variety of reasons like internal and external pressure to say the "right" thing, the earnest determination to get it perfect but instead convolute it, and for many it's just another going through the motions exercise. Can you imagine a team of military covert ops guys taking that approach to their mission? A laissez-faire approach to accomplishing a mission doesn't inspire much confidence. Don't you want to be confident about your purpose?

In part two of this series designed to minimize mediocrity you'll learn how to draft a mission statement for your family, organization or personal use. Then you'll reduce it to a repeatable, credible mantra that will inspire confidence.

Get your FREE starters guide, "From Mission to Mantra" and learn to focus your vision, passion and action on purpose.

Not for? That's okay, you can still help reduce mediocrity by getting this starters guide it into the hands of others.

Learn more about Karl Bimshas Consulting by visiting and begin to discover the a-ha within.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Part 1 - Your Values Finder

The acceptance of mediocrity has become epidemic. This three part series will help you find ways to combat it's debilitating impact on your life.


Your Values Finder
We'll start the series with your values. When you don't know what your values are your decision-making is haphazard. Instead of leading you closer to your great goals, random decisions take you off track. If you want to know what you currently value the most simply check where you spend your time and money.

Here is a link to a workbook titled, "Your Values Finder" which is designed to help you confirm or select your important values.

You may be thinking you don't need this for yourself. That's okay, you can still help by getting this workbook into the hands of others. Perhaps a young family, college students or someone who may appear to be floundering a bit. Please share with me how the workbook has helped you and who you think it could benefit.

Knowing your core values is the first step in beating back mediocrity. The next is defining your purpose and making it addictive, which will be the topic of the next Reflections on Leadership post.

Learn more about Karl Bimshas Consulting by visiting and begin to discover the a-ha within.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spare the Reader, Not the Writer

Three Blinks.001Call me crazy, but I believe a good story gets better when retold by others.

How often have you read a fictional book and thought, “Well that was stupid,” when in your judgment the author took a wrong turn. Here’s your chance to stop and fix problems before you plop down hard earned money for a piece of pulp.

Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) You begin writing November 1 and the goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight, November 30. I achieved that goal with a story I titled "Three Blinks and a Sigh". As is so often the case with people, I did nothing else with the output of that effort. For someone who makes his living helping others achieve their goals, this is tragic.

To remedy that I’m going public with my early draft fiction writing, one chapter at a time and with your help it will be a strong, satisfying story that you and hundreds of thousands of others would gladly buy for themselves and three or four of their closest friends.

Here’s your chance to spare the reader, not the writer. VISIT the new READER FEEDBACKpage on my website and CLICK the orange JOIN button. ADD your email and click SUBMIT, this will bring you to a registration page for a variety of interests. At the bottom you’ll see  a check box for my novella, Three Blinks and a Sigh - Feedback, CHECK THAT (and any others you’re interested in) and you’ll receive notice when a new chapter is posted.

Under all the chapters is a Feedback Survey form you can easily fill out right on the site. Use it for each chapter you read, or save it for your thoughts on the entire book! It’s up to you.

Writing is serious business, but this is meant to be fun for you and me. If you’re a writer, you know sharing early drafts can be gut wrenching. If you’re a reader, you always find something you’d like to improve. There’s no guarantee I’ll use all your suggestions, but you can bet I want to hear all of them.

If you’re a writer or a reader, or even both, I hope you’ll join in on the fun. The first chapter will be posted soon so JOIN NOW!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Make It A Perfect Day


This seems as good a day as any to discuss your perfect day. What does your perfect day look like?

Perfection can be hard to achieve, particularly if the judges are harsh critics. If you consider yourself a high achiever there’s probably nobody harsher than you. Luckily you’re the one who gets to determine if your day is going to be a great one and you are the one who does the assessing at the end of the day.

For me, the days that are memorable and satisfying are the days that I’ve productively worked on things that were important to me or my loved ones; that I showed gratitude throughout the day and I came up with potentially viable ideas to solve a problem or improve something in my world.

Accomplishing items on a to-do list are personal. For the Type A personality resting on a hammock for one full hour could be just as difficult as it is for the weekend slacker to spend only one hour there. To-do’s shouldn’t be mammoth projects. They should be small satisfying tasks that move you closer to your goal. Reading or writing one chapter of a book is a good example.

Showing gratitude gets you out of yourself. Other people and concrete items make many things possible for you. Have you ever appreciated the elegant simplicity and crucial role of a stop sign? I can moan about how much I’m paying in taxes, but instead I choose to be grateful for the array of humane and unique services I’m helping fund. When was the last time you sincerely thanked a person for making your day run smoother, either because of their contagious laugh and beaming smile, or their attention to detail on an important project, or even getting your drink just right. Do it, you’ll improve the day of at least two people.

Regardless of what people say, we are all conditioned to solve problems. Now, there may be times that it’s inappropriate to be rushing toward a solution. Sometimes people just want to be heard, not rescued. Regardless, our brains are incredible problem solving machines. Calling things “challenges” just because it sounds better is silly. If you want to be truthful, you’re probably witnessing dysfunction, but no one wants to hear that, so just call things what they are, problems. Problems shouldn’t have a negative connotation, but they do. Begin to change that conception. They are a puzzle that needs to be solved and we’ve each been blessed with they key deep within the recesses of our brain. It just takes time to access it, some longer than others. When you spend time brainstorming all the potential solutions to a problem that would improve the current condition you get closer to that key. Eventually and unexpectedly you will one day trip over it.

So here’s my template for a perfect day.

  1. List ten things you need to accomplish during the day.

  2. Brainstorm ten ideas to solve a pressing problem or make something better in your life.

  3. Show gratitude ten time throughout the day. (Preferably to people, but being immensely grateful to things like your car brakes working properly after a near miss is perfectly acceptable.)

At the end of the day see how you did. Did you get three tens? Congratulations!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bring Your Artist to Work

palette-paint-colours-mdEvery child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. -Pablo Picasso

The problem many people have with their work-life is that it’s serving more as a marker of time between weekends, holidays, vacations and milestones like a new car, home or college tuition than as a place of productivity and enrichment. As a result some are not bringing their best selves to the endeavor.

Careers and industries have been built around the focus of solving this problem. Sadly, many of the solutions are often short-lived if adopted at all. So here’s an alternative you may want to consider. Bring your artist to work.

Many businesses are built on facts and figures, empirical data and market research. Important decisions are based on favorable ratios and return on investments. These are crucial and it’s shocking how many organizations large and small do not employe them. However, they are only part of the equation. They represent the head. What your organization needs is more heart and that’s what you need to use everyday.

When you bring your artist to work, you are bringing the best of your talents and abilities. You are focused on your strengths and using them to accomplish the task at hand. There’s not a right or wrong approach there is only an inspired approach. If you want to get joy from your work you need to bring joy to your work.

Successful enterprises do not shy away from people with stimulating thoughts that provoke emotions in others. Passion for what you do can lead to mastery. That’s not to say that what you’re currently doing is great and that with ten more years you’ll be a master. You could be screwing up royally and no one is telling you. As a result in ten years you’ll think you’re a master but you’re likely to become obstinate, or worse obsolete. So don’t fool yourself with complacency.

You already know what you’re good at and finding a place that gives you the ability to do it is probably what drew you to your job in the first place. Maybe things have changed and now there’s new things you’re expected to do that you’re not very good at. Pay attention to your current state. Energy drains and energy uplifts are immediate clues to your satisfaction.

If bringing out your artist sounds like too much work for you; you’re probably right. Keep on slogging away at what you’re doing. Count your blessings that you’re still employed in this economy and that no one has noticed you yet. Save your money and sock a lot away for your retirement because you’re gonna need it - probably sooner than you think.

On the other hand, if you’re nodding your head in agreement because you’re already doing something you love right now or this sounds remotely interesting to you because you remember how you once did, congratulations, you have many achievements ahead of you.

When you bring your artist to work you challenge the current thinking. You don’t go searching for problems, but you do offer solutions, lots of them. Artists are creative. Creativity scares too many people. It needn’t. Creativity is what moves people, institutions and nations forward. Forward movement is never a bad thing though it’s not always painless.

Our best thinking, innovation and ideas are in front of us, not behind us. Sure, we can refer to the past to act as prologue, but today we have additional knowledge and hindsight we didn’t have yesterday. This is as true on the world stage as it is in your daily life. You have prior knowledge, you have opinions, you know what works and what doesn’t. You have intellectual curiosity. You like to tinker, question, invent and innovate. Bringing that to your work is bringing the artist to work. If you can’t do that because your work environment won’t allow it, challenge the work environment to change. If it can’t, prepare to leave it for a better environment. It’s okay, with it’s ridged thinking that organization is not likely to last much longer. Sooner or later you’ll need something new anyway.

Every inspirational writer since the dawn of man has said we are living in the best of times and they’ve all been right. We keep getting better. At this juncture we have tremendous challenges. The world is the smallest it’s ever been and it’s causing people to become more factious than we’ve ever been. There are epic struggles between change and preservation. The extremes of both sides lack the imagination and tools to explore the possibilities of each. It’s the artist who sees multiple perspectives and brings people together. Successful leaders know this. So if your working with widgets, or children, spreadsheets or coffee beans, miracle drugs or motor vehicles, now is not the time to do it the same way.

How will you bring your artist to work?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Start with a Hug

American_FlagI recall a brief period when American’s loved each other, held respect for those who unselfishly and bravely served others, mourned in the arms of strangers and recommitted ourselves to the flag and the freedoms it represents.

When the skies went quiet across the nation nine years ago our joint solemnity allowed common courtesies to flourish. There was respect. We seem to have lost our way. What better day to renew our spirit. Start with a hug.

Click for FREE HUGS Video watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The "Write Advice" Online Store

The quote book, "Write Advice; Inspirations, tips and thoughts for leaders and artists" has inspired a new online store.  The name might fool you, but it's not only for writers. You will find gifts that are perfect for any writer, leader or artist in your life who's ready to make a difference!

Today is opening day for the store (which you can find here) and I'm excited to see some of the top requested quotes and thoughts come to life on the amazing Tee-Shirts and other products.

Below are a few items you'll find.

[caption id="attachment_640" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="A Confident writer is a sexy writer"]A Confident writer is a sexy writer[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_641" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Never Be Without a Great Goal"]Never Be Without a Great Goal[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_642" align="alignleft" width="180" caption="Forgiveness Journal"]Forgiveness Journal[/caption]


Come by and browse around, I know you'll find something for yourself or someone you care about!

The Write Advice Online Store

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Go Ahead, Keep Up With The Joneses

beach-shackThe Joneses are getting a bad rap. They’re just doing their thing.  Little by little they are accomplishing their great goals. A little everyday; a lot over time. Meanwhile, you’re sitting out on the stoop taking your last drag of an expensively taxed cigarette that you know you shouldn’t be smoking because you can’t afford them now and you probably won’t be able to afford the medical costs later.

Or maybe it’s the end of a long day and you’re pulling into the driveway in your jalopy that you curse every morning and bless every night because it got you where you wanted to go without breaking down.

No matter, some people manage to always blame the Joneses.  It’s not their fault.  They’re working hard on the things that are important to them. All you’re seeing is the results of their efforts.

Look closer. Get to know them. It’s been said we’re the average of the five people we spend the majority of our time with.  Maybe you need to up the average. Spend a little less time with the people who are agreeing with you that yes the economy is bad, and government is bad, and the weather is bad and things aren’t like they used to be.  Maybe you should spend some time with the people who may or may not agree with the current conditions but are working within the constraints of them; and instead are focused on the possibilities of life.

When you play a game, be it sports, or chess or hot dog eating with someone who isn’t as good as you it’s great for your ego because you win and you get to brag and rub their face in it. But honestly that gets old, and if you aren’t challenging yourself you’re getting old too, and faster than you think. Conversely, if you play against people who are better than you, you’ll probably lose. If you reflect and “study the films” you’ll learn something. And if you keep playing against those type of people you will continually learn and progressively improve. Eventually you will beat them and that will be better, because that win is based on effort, growth and skill, not by picking on the little guy. Not by bullying.

Back to the Joneses. We all have them, that person, family, or group we equally admire and despise. It’s not fair that we despise them. We just do because their success reminds us of our failure. There’s a cure for that. Stop acting like a failure. Get off your rump and start working on your great goals. As you start achieving them you’ll notice people coming to you for advice on how you did it and can you help them. You can and you will, because that thrill is a helluva lot more satisfying then repeatedly beating some pimp squeak.

Soon, you and the Joneses will be helping each other get better. Some people look at it as friendly competition. If that helps you for now, go for it. Unfortunately that’s still a win-lose mentality. Real success comes when you realize you’re bettering not only each other, but those around you. That’s acting with a sense of responsibility and stewardship. Learning not only for the benefit of your own goals but also, eventually even more so, for the benefit of others.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If You’re “Just the Messenger” You’re also Not the Leader

hermesHave you ever noticed that the people who come to you with bad news often say, “Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger” or “don’t shoot the messenger”? Creating an environment where people feel safe to share opinions, ideas or air disagreements is crucial for any leader. It’s seldom we ever move forward without some debate on important issues. That’s partly how we know they’re important in the first place.

When someone immediately slips into defensive mode of “don’t blame me” one of two things are happening.

One, you may have a reputation of ruling with an iron fist and that receiving bad news is not welcome. This is not a long term winning strategy by they way.

Or more often, the person sharing the “news” is being a busy body or worse, completely abdicating their responsibility.

Don’t let them get away with it.  No one is assigning blame.  Be professional.  This isn’t a whoever smelt it dealt it scenario. It can be enormously frustrating to work with these non-leaders, but as a leader yourself this becomes a teachable moment.

Don’t let them slink away without asking them for their ideas, suggestions or feelings on the matter. In the event they just are a busy body this with trap them in the realization that they are guilty of having no original thought which will cause them to fluster and quickly and leave.  Good riddance.

If they are merely shy or lack confidence, your prompts will provide a safe environment for them to potentially reveal some useful information that you didn’t previously have
access too.  Thank them for their contributions and move on.

When you have the chance to lead, lead.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Please Practice Acts of Random Kindness Today

PARK.001Today is a somber day for me and my family, but with your help I’d like to change that.

A year ago on this date I unexpectedly and shockingly lost my sister to a heart attack. It’s inevitable that the day will be seared in my memory, however I believe a positive remembrance revolved around the way Kathi endeavored to live her life would be more appropriate. She would routinely practice acts of random kindness. I’d like your help honoring her memory by practicing acts of random kindness today.  Here’s some ideas:

Smile today. Offer your seat or place in line to another. Feed a parking meter that isn’t yours. Buy a meal or an ice cream for someone. Call or write to a relative and tell them you’ve just been thinking about them.

Spend time outside and appreciate the grand and the sublime. Smell a flower, hold a rock in your hand. Feel the waves wash over you or the sand between your toes.

Get into a new adventure you can tell stories about. Laugh often and embarrassingly loud. Confront a fear or help someone else to do the same.  Celebrate life and all the wonder around it. Frolic with a dog or challenge a cat to a staring contest. Listen, really listen to the song of a nearby bird.

A life well lived is filled with triumph and tragedy; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.  Today, randomly and often, publicly or privately help bring triumph and joy to others.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is it Half Over or Half Started?

hourglassIs it half over or half started? Either way it's July 1, 2010 and half of this year is in the history books and the next half has yet to be played out. How is your year going? Have you revisited the New Year's resolutions you wrote with such enthusiasm 181 days ago? Are you halfway to your goals for the year?

This is the time to take stock of your progress and make half time adjustments. If you're in great shape, this is not the time to get cocky or sloppy. If you're at your plan or behind, it's time to step it up. All is not yet lost. Most games are won or lost in the second half of play. It’s that time that most athletes train hardest on. If you’re on track, or behind but determined, you’ll soon bring an intensity of focus. You’ll need that if you plan to achieve all that you wish to achieve.

I'm a firm believer that many things (actually, most things) are possible. Which is why perseverance is an important characteristic to pursue. Half time is a good place to take a timeout, and assess your performance. Take a pragmatic look at your success and decide if you still want the things that you wanted six months ago. It could be that you don’t.  Give yourself permission to make a mid course correction. If what you want has changed, change your goals. It doesn't make sense to continue pursuing what you don't want. The calendar doesn’t care. Six months from today, you’ll be celebrating New Year’s.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Introducing The Write Goal

Write Goal PackageHow to Finally Get Your Writing Project Written

I wanted to make sure readers of the Reflections on Leadership blog were among the first to know about a new offering I'm adding to my consultancy.

The program is titled; The Write Goal; How to Finally Get Your Writing Project Written.

I've come across so many people filled with desire to start their writing project. Nearly everyone I come across has a book in them but few can get it out.

With The Write Goal you'll explore the why of your project. You'll be able to discern what's keeping you from your writing goal and what will pull you closer to it.

Using similar goal getting principles that have helped executive leaders get things done and high performing teams stay focused on their goal, The Write Goal replaces the disappointment you've been enduring with productive insights you can put to work immediately.

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry or Prose, nearly everyone has a book in them, but very few can get it out.  This self study course helps you get it done at your own pace. Click here to learn More about The Write Goal.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Solve the Damn Problem

light_bulbI admit it, I can be as politically correct in my language as the some of the most ardent liberals. To me it can show sensitivity or at least tolerance if not compassion in an increasingly intolerant country.  As a writer, words matter. That’s why I believe we shouldn’t sugarcoat the things that we face as a nation and by extension as individuals.  Let’s not waste time calling things “formidable challenges” when they’re “big problems.  America used to be able to solve big problems.  As a nation we routinely lived our values.

It’s easy to be a bit romantic and forget about how horrible this nation used to be for women before suffrage or African Americans before civil rights.  How poorly we treated our elderly, the mentally ill, and non-land owners. History’s canvas is sometimes painted with a lighter touch. Recall that hangings were common in my beloved city of Boston, the carcasses of criminals left out to publicly rot.  The Son’s of Liberty tarred and feathered other human beings. A blind eye was cast in the slave trade.

We forget we were founded as a violent nation.  We picked off British Regulars while hiding in the woods.  At the time we were thought of as savages. We took pride in it as patriotic and character building. Yet when used against us in quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan we consider it barbaric.

The American spirit will always be divided between those who look at us being here as a matter of Divine Providence and those who consider it the melting pot.  That our greatest strength is taking the best ideas from everyone.

Winston Churchill once said, “Americans will always do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the alternatives.” It’s in that vein of faith I remain hopeful for America, but today a large portion of our population is apathetic.  They might be angry, but they’re also lazy.  Or they’re active without a sense of purpose.  I’m not so sure Americans are trying everything with the spirit we are expected to.  It can be taxing, but civil debate and disagreement coupled with pragmatism and searching for common ground is what has served this nation well in the past.  The problem today is, our tries seem to be halfhearted, or we save the passion for the detestability of our opponents; political or imagined.

We are not trying hard enough.  We are thinking less, worrying more and outsourcing our leadership to other nations, or corporations. As individuals we are all responsible for the eroding spirt and grit because we are complacently letting it happen.  We celebrate the First Amendment by giving the microphones to crackpots then undermine the gesture by reporting the fear and hate they spout as fact rather than opinion. We are focused on symptoms and finding ways to coat, soothe, and relieve them rather than solving the problems that are making us ill.  We moan and complain.  We spend a lot of energy doing very little and here’s some of our results so far:

  • 30% of Americans are obese

  • 1 Million American High School students drop out each year

  • We carry a $13.5 Trillion Debt

  • We are #1 in Oil Consumption, #2 in Coal Consumption and #1 in Cocaine Consumption

  • 2.3 Million of our citizens are incarcerated, giving us the largest prison population on the planet

We can do better. We must do better.  We can begin by teaching our children and each other how to dream big, think profoundly, decide pragmatically and lead courageously.

There are no shortages of serious problems yearning to be solved. Pick one.

Below is a system designed to help you begin solving the problems that are in your purview to solve.  If it looks like too much work, have someone help you.  Being defeated from within helps no one. Find a problem that’s within your power to solve and begin solving it.  Here’s how.

  1. Write down the problem or challenge that you need to solve.

  2. Describe the Desired State that could exist without the problem.

  3. Describe WHY it’s desired.

  4. Create a S.M.A.R.T. Goal to make your intention specific and real.

  5. Set the Criteria on how to find solutions to the problem.

  6. Generate a brainstorm list of alternative solutions.

  7. Narrow the list and pick the “best few” options.

  8. Assess each option’s feasibility and potential risks versus gains.

  9. Reach a tentative agreement with stakeholders of the problem.

  10. Put some resources on a “fall back” plan.

  11. Firm up the final decision and announce it to those affected.

  12. Develop an Action Plan to go forward.

  13. Implement the Action Plan with confidence and passion.

  14. Review, assess and celebrate progress.

Problems are often very complex. Their solutions seldom have to be.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Toasts, Blessings and Proverbs to Help Celebrate

Toast Cover.001The One Year Anniversary continues with another FREE eBook for you.

Toasts should be offered during times of celebration. The words spoken can be solemn, sentimental, humorous, bawdy or insulting.  Blessings and proverbs help show gratitude for the guest of honor, and the company, companions or country you keep. They also give others insight your personality. A few simple words sincerely offered can hold great wisdom, humor or both. Most importantly, making a toast illustrates the respect you have for another.

This short compendium will ensure you’re not left speechless.

Click here to receive your FREE "Toasts, Blessings and Proverbs to Help Celebrate" eBook

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stop Whining Start Winning in 21 Days or Less

Here's a FREE ebook for people who have been caught whining lately.  Read it and you can stop whining and start winning (in 21 days or less if you're an overachiever).

Click Here to Stop Whining and Start Winning

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Month of Gratitude

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

My friends, one year ago I cited the words above from Henry David Thoreau to proudly announce the founding of my independent consultancy, Karl Bimshas Consulting.  Can you think of a better time to start a new firm than in the midst of one of the most difficult economies since the great depression?  Recessions are easier to weather when you consciously choose not to participate in them.  One year later, 25% of the businesses that started at the same time have failed.  Not this one!  Karl Bimshas Consulting is celebrating the inspiring results my inaugural clients achieved in year one.  A sample of what they’ve accomplished:


  • Set and maintained internal and external email marketing campaigns.

  • Engaged latent clients through relevant communication campaigns.

  • Developed simplified Performance Dashboards.

  • Improved Sales process, correspondence and simplified proposal writing.

  • Received Executive Level Overviews of Social Media Trends, Project Management, Time Management, and Change Management.

  • Improved internal and external corporate communication with employee and client satisfaction surveys and Response Management Improvements.


  • Started new businesses.

  • Received sought after job promotions.

  • Gained clarity on career direction.

  • Earned sought after degrees and certifications.

  • Improved relationships with supervisors and direct reports.

  • Achieved targeted work/life balance.

  • Pursued meaningful charitable contributions.

As long as people have the capacity to think beyond the status quo, there will be problems aching to be solved.  By providing accountability, a fresh perspective and confidence, Karl Bimshas Consulting’s clients are guaranteed to find the a-ha within.

I’m grateful to be among the elite group of first year survivors and I’m going to share my gratitude with you throughout the month of May.  Be on the lookout for free gifts of appreciation, opportunities to save on consulting services, and the announcement of new programs designed to help leaders and artists find, set and get their goals.

On a personal note, if you would like to keep abreast of my creative pursuits, checkout Twitter and Facebook, where I often share my goals and progress on my first novel, poetry and other creative writings as well as opinionated political commentary that may pique your interest or ire, depending on your point of view.

It’s going to be a great month, brimming with celebrations made possible by your ongoing support, thoughtful feedback and continual referrals to other leaders and artists who want to achieve more.

Thank you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are You Lost?

Let’s pretend you’re running late and suddenly realize you’re lost in a strange city and the street signs don’t make sense to you.  You’ve got your mobile devices and your Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare friends are only a few keystrokes away, but your satellite connection is spotty.  You approach a passerby and ask them how to get where you’re going.  There are a multitude of possible responses:

  1. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand you.”

  2. They ignore you and keep walking.

  3. They give you colorful but convoluted directions.

  4. They offer to sell you a map.

  5. They walk with you and safely get you to where you want to go.

Which would you prefer?  Which do you provide to your coworkers, customers or family? Change and uncertainty can be exhilarating or scary or both.   The answer you prefer is not all that important.  Depending on the stakes, you might be willing to shell out some money for information.  You might not feel secure walking with a stranger.  Depending on the circumstances, that might be exactly what you want.

The point is, people you care about are thrust into situations similar to this metaphor everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.   As a leader and an artist, take note of the people around you.  Some of them are lost and could use your help.  If they ask you for it, don’t ignore them.  If you don’t understand them, try harder because they’re at a bigger disadvantage than you.  Be on the lookout for those who are lost and be the friendly face that helps them reach their goal.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pick Me! Pick Me!

[caption id="attachment_498" align="alignleft" width="186" caption="A Line of Suitors"]A Line of Suitors[/caption]

The NAME ME Qualifying Checklist

“Pick me, Pick me” is a common refrain you might recall from your school days when team captains were tasked with choosing sides for a game of flag football or baseball, or bombardment, a terrifyingly thrilling game played on rainy days in elementary schools across New England.  Some kids in the line shifted uncomfortably with heads down and hands in their pockets, dreading being the last one called.  There were those who verbally pressured the captains, shouting, “Pick, me!  You wanna win don’t you?”  Others just waited their turn, ambivalent about their fate.

It’s not all that different in today’s world of business proposals.  I’ve been on all sides of sales proposals.  I’ve put them together alone and with teams of experts, sometimes “guessing” what the prospect wanted to hear. (Not a good strategy.)  I’ve been shoulder to shoulder with clients, acting as their consultant helping to choose a vendor.  That’s a great perspective to see how pathetic some sales tactics come across.  I’ve seen desperation, trickery, disinterest and unwelcome pressure.  All the kid stuff that gives professional sales a bad name.

When it’s your business, or you care as if it were, your time becomes increasingly more valuable.  You separate the good versus troublesome suppliers and customers fairly quickly.  When you’re a customer looking at a new business relationship, you undoubtedly have a set of criteria that’s important to you.  When you are trying to sell someone on your idea, you want to do the same.  Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many desperate organizations skip this step.  They never took the time to qualify the serious from the lookyloos.  A fatal flaw when pursuing any relationship.

Inspired by the “Pick Me” cries of yesteryear, I’ve developed the NAME ME Qualifying Checklist you should run all of your prospects and customers through.

N is for Need. Is there a need you can meet?  Hint, if you sell potatoes and your customer is looking for red crayons they have a need you probably cannot meet.

A is for Ability.  Do they have the ability to make a decision?  You may be having a great conversation with someone and they may tell you wonderful things, but unless they have the ability and authority to make a decision on purchasing your goods or services, all you can really count on is a great conversation.  Always talk with the decision maker to get a decision.

M is for Money.  Do they have money to pay for your solution?  People like to shop; nothing wrong with that.  You need to be able to define when someone is browsing and when someone is ready to buy.  If they can’t pay for your solution to their problem or need, continue to be pleasant to them, but move on, regardless of how nice they are to you.  Nice prospects have a way of spending your money by consuming your time.

E is for Enthusiasm.  Do they want a solution to their need?  Lots of people have lots of problems.  Just because you’ve discovered a need doesn’t mean they want to solve it.  It may be an issue of priorities, political pressures, or apathy.  It doesn’t really matter.  If they’re not excited about solving one of their problems, how excited are you going to be working with them?

M is for Match.  Is there a match between you and them?  This is the je ne sais quoi, that certain something.  The rapport or chemistry that signals you both get along and can work together to get your solution or service implemented to solve their problem.

E is for Essential.  Is it essential to get started?  This introduces the element of urgency.  You want to get to work on solving a problem or providing a solution right away.  It’s good for you and them.  Closely related to enthusiasm, if it’s not essential for them, it means delays for you.  Delays for you means delays in growing your business.

Use the NAME ME Qualifying Checklist to honestly assess all the prospects in your pipeline.  (All the people you know who may be interested in doing business with you.)  Making excuses will not help you in the long run.  For example, a prospect may have a need you can solve perfectly; they could be the final decision maker; they could show you a pile of cash, be enthusiastic about all that you offer and have great rapport with you.  So what.  If what you have isn’t essential for them, you lose.  Maybe it’s a temporary delay, but temporary delays have a way of becoming permanent indecisions.  No amount of honorable sales effort changes a buyer’s essential criteria.

Always go five for five.  You can stack rank your four for fives so you remember to pay attention to them.  Keep your three for fives only if there is some compelling reason and you’re able to nurture them along.  Everyone else, send a nice card once in awhile so you stay top of mind - but don’t invest any significant resources on them until they show more interest in you.  Use the NAME ME Qualifying Checklist to ensure your spending your time wisely.

Enjoy a companion video: VIDEO: The NAME ME Qualifying Checklist

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ten Ways Modern Leaders and Artists Become Findable

easter_egg_hunt The Pony Express would be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, were it still in existence, but it’s not.  It lasted for 18 months before being replaced by the telegraph.  Now, when did you last send a telegraph?

Successful leaders and artists know that the world has changed and more change is inevitable.  Hopefully you’re doing things differently today than you were five years ago.  It’s certain you will be doing things dramatically different three years from now.  We live in a tumultuous time.  Many choose to be excited by it, while for others, particularly those who hold on to their old ways, fear is the predominate emotion.

We’ve seen it before from those who were in the horse and buggy business, or the American railroads, and recently, the music, newspaper and publishing industries.  Technology has again given way to innovation, opening new worlds, helping level the playing field and leaving those unable or unwilling to adjust to fade and fail.  We are living through a high level of change today.  Compounding that are the generational, philosophical and ideological shifts taking place.  I completely understand and empathize with the fear many feel.  Not confronting that fear or simply denying the reality of the changes is what pisses me off.

Today, as always, leaders and artists like you need to be findable to provide whatever it is you offer to others who are looking for you.  If you’re not findable you won’t be found; there’s just too much competing noise.  If you’re still of the mindset that you are in control of the message your customers hear, get some fresh batteries for your pager in case last century tries to get in touch with you. If you know that the basics of forming a relationship haven’t changed, but the expectations and findability needs have, then there’s hope for you.  There are a few things you can do to catch up while there’s still time.  Your primary role in communications as a leader and artist is to educate people about what you have available so they can tell others.

Here are a few things that leaders and artists ought to have to help become findable.

  1. A clear and concise one sentence explanation of who you are, what you do and why you do it.

  2. An easily repeatable mission, vision or mantra.

  3. A persuasive reason why someone should invest their time, treasure or talent with you.

  4. A list of the primary keywords other people use to find you and people like you.

  5. An ability to use analytic tools to look at the effectiveness of your web presence.

  6. A well-managed email mailing list with an easy way for people to sign-up.

  7. An ability to use search engine optimization audit tools to fix potential problems.

  8. An ability to easily accept online transactions.

  9. An array of action-oriented letters and marketing materials that describe what you do.

  10. Active accounts on the major and relevant social networks with a username reflecting the name of your organization or a meaningful domain name with links back to your website.

Get rid of the barriers between you and prospective clients who want to find you.  Contact Karl Bimshas Consulting to help you build an action plan, organize your web marketing efforts and make  you and your company more findable.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What's so FAB about you?

YRUFAB.001Everything in life has features, advantages and benefits.

Features are sometimes called technical specs.  These are the things the product or service has.  A washing machine with five speeds.  The nightclub that provides only A-list performers, the airline that offers warm towels to passengers on red eye flights.

Advantages are the things that the product or service has that others don’t or they provide exceptionally better than anyone else.  The washing machine that’s available in four jewel toned colors, the nightclub that has a frequent guest VIP program, the airline that doesn’t charge you for the niceties.

Benefits are the things that people consider valuable.  It may not be unique to you, but it’s very personal and it’s how people make their decisions.  What’s the benefit?  You’re a designer and need a stylish red washing machine, or you collect autographs of top musicians for your ailing mother or you like to go straight to work after an overnight flight and want to feel refreshed and ready to go.  It’s easier to make a decision when you know the benefits.

That’s how it works in business everyday.  Now, what about you personally?  You have to “sell” yourself everyday to prospective employers, customers, maître d's, loan officers.  The list goes on.   So, what’s FAB about you?  Give it some thought.

What are your Features?
What do you know?  What are your core values and beliefs?  What do you stand for?

What are your Advantages?
What do you offer your world that others can’t do nearly as well as you can?  What skills make others think of you first?

What Benefits do you bring?
What value will the people who are looking for you gain?  This takes self confidence.  You need to know yourself well, and you’ll need to discover what your audience needs.

Lead with your benefits, this is what people base their decisions on.  Then shore up your advantages and features, because if people feel the need to justify their decision about you, that’s where they will look.  If you don’t have anything there, they will quickly change their mind.  They will look there for validation, so keep them happy.  Do the work and you’ll feel FAB.