When Was the Last Time You Said Something Nice to Yourself?

Feeling Bad about Not Doing Enough

So many times we put so much pressure on ourselves. We say critical things to ourselves both consciously and subconsciously. Some statistics even say that over 70% of what we say to ourselves is negative. Today I want to share with you a system I call, “Ways to Praise” that you can implement in any relationship and specifically with yourself to feel empowered, confident, and successful!

It has certainly helped me to more successfully fight the battle with feeling like I was not doing enough, being enough, or just plain “not enough” as a person.

Below are some powerful Ways to Praise yourself and others!! As you take actions that matter towards the transforming of your mind and the words you speak, you will notice positive shifts in all areas of your life! I can’t wait to hear how you will show support for YOURSELF and those you love through SPEAKING Powerful Praise! 😉 

• Wow!
• Way to go.
• Super.
• You’re special
• Outstanding.
• Excellent.
• Great.
• Good.
• Neat.
• Well done.
• Remarkable.
• I knew you could do it.
• I’m proud of you.
• Fantastic.
• Superstar.
• Nice work.
• Looking good.
• You’re on top of it.
• Beautiful.
• Now you’re flying.
• You’re catching on.
• Now you’ve got it.
• You’re incredible.
• Bravo!
• You’re fantastic.
• Hurrah for you.
• You’re on target.
• You’re on your way.
• How nice.
• How smart.
• Good job.
• That’s incredible.
• Hot dog!
• Dynamic.
• You’re beautiful.
• You’re unique.
• Nothing can stop you now.
• Good for you.
• You’re a winner.
• Remarkable job.
• Beautiful work.
• Spectacular.
• You’re spectacular.
• Great discovery!
• You’ve discovered the secret.
• You figured it out.
• Fantastic job.
• Hip, hip, hurrah!
• Bingo!
• Magnificent.
• Marvelous.
• Terrific.
• You’re important.
• Phenomenal.
• You’re sensational.
• Super work.
• Super job.
• Fantastic job.
• Exceptional performance.
• You’re a real trooper.
• You are responsible.
• That’s exciting.
• What a good listener.
• You tried hard.
• You care.
• Beautiful sharing.
• Outstanding performance.
• I trust you.
• You mean a lot to me.
• You belong.
• You make me smile.
• You brighten my day.
• I respect you.
• You mean the world to me.
• That’s correct.
• You made my day.
• That’s the best.

Taking the Scary Out of Social – Part 1 in a Series

I remember when I first started using social media. I was terrified! I was NEW to technology in the fact that I had always gotten someone else to do it for me and with social media I was trying to learn it and do it myself.

I had SO MANY questions and I had no idea where to begin to get the answers!

  • Do I use my real name online?
  • How do I keep all the passwords & user names straight?
  • Should I be on ALL the possible platforms or just the BIG FOUR?
  • What do I share and not share?
  • How do you keep up with all of the platforms with only 24 hours in the day?
  • How do you make all the custom backgrounds and pictures?
  • What’s the difference between a Like page and a personal page on Facebook and do I need both?
  • AND SO MANY MORE…!

In this series, I am going to share with you my social media story as well as some of the Systems, Secrets and Tools I implemented and used to grow my social media platform from ZERO to over 20,000 on Twitter, growing Like pages for both Raising CEO Kids and Sarah L Cook, as well as a strong Youtube channel with over 100 videos.

Today I want to share with you what my social media platform has done for me in the last two years and why I feel qualified to share this series with you even though I’m not a Social Guru! 😉

SUPER BRIEF History of  me on Twitter:  I originally started out using @MissVibrant (which has now been taken over by someone else) on Twitter which I eventually changed to @RaisingCEOKids and now I use both @RaisingCEOKids and @SarahLCook. 😉

Six of My Social Media Outcomes

  1. Overcame my fear of being on video, produced over 100 videos, and landed speaking positions on radio, telesummits, conferences (including TEDx) and TV!
  2. Got FULL sponsorship to Blissdom 2011 by AboutOne.
  3. Have been listed over 500 times on Twitter on @SarahLCook and over 100 times on @RaisingCEOkids.
  4. Get emails constantly to review products, sit on company boards, and to “pick my brain” (which by the way, I now charge for as a consultant ;-)).
  5. Helped my husband get an offer to publish his book about marriage…. (more on that later).
  6. I or my family has been featured on Yahoo Finance, Reuters, Forbes, News10, Fox, and many more!

Those are just a sampling of the many things that have come from building a growing social media platform in a very specific niche and connecting with leaders in that niche. It’s exciting, fun, rewarding and yes, sometimes overwhelming. That’s why I am doing this series, to take the overwhelming part out of it and give you Systems & Tools that Simplify Social!

Are you excited? 😉 See you next week for Part 2!

P.S. I love you! 18 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong or Make It Stronger

This month Jerry and I celebrate 18 years of marriage and we are more committed than ever before to make our marriage STRONG and are passionate about encouraging others to do the same. Today I want to share with you some of the things that have really helped us cherish the good times and weather the hard times! Over the next 18 weeks I will be sharing each of the secrets in detail. I will also be sharing additional resources that have helped us grown in our marriage and love for each other.

I truly believe that you can’t have full success in life or in business if your relationships are struggling! You may make it to the TOP of the ladder, but you won’t enjoy being there!

I would love to hear your ideas for keeping your marriage strong so be sure to leave a comment below! 😉

18 Secrets to a Strong Marriage

  1. Play on the SAME Team
  2. Take Care of Yourself
  3. Worship Together
  4. Share Secrets
  5. Pray Together
  6. Play Together
  7. Maintain Boundaries in Social Media
  8. Maintain Boundaries with Others
  9. Know and Speak the Love Language of Choice
  10. Kiss in FRONT of the Kids
  11. Go on Dates
  12. Surround Yourself with Strong Couples
  13. Set Goals Together & Work Towards Them
  14. Use All Five Points of Connection
  15. Be Each Others’ BIGGEST Fan
  16. It’s Not a Competition
  17. Don’t Assume They KNOW
  18. PDA Makes Them Feel Secure

Play on the SAME Team!

As your children get older, they will realize that Mom and Dad feel a certain way about certain things. Kids will be very effective in using it to their advantage if as a couple you aren’t PLAYING on the SAME TEAM. Jerry and I have gotten into many frustrating conversations with each other as well as with the kids when the children have used the tactic of divide and conquer.

Here’s a scenario:

Me: You may have friends over after the soccer game as long as you have picked up everything you have left out around the house, gotten your church clothes ready for tomorrow, and unloaded the dishwasher.

Son: That’s a lot of stuff! Can I just have a break after the game?

Me: Sure you can have a break. You can’t go on electronics (as he had gotten grounded from those), but you can certainly take a break as long as you like. Just remember, you can have friends over after you have you have picked up everything you have left out around the house, gotten your church clothes ready for tomorrow, and unloaded the dishwasher. Does that make sense?

Son: Yes. That makes sense.

…..AFTER THE GAME when I am not home and had not talked to Jerry about the “deal”…

Son: Dad, can I watch a show and take a break before I do my chores. I really played hard at the game today and I need a rest.

Jerry: Sure. How about 30 minutes?

Son: OK.

When I came home, you can only imagine my frustration to see our son’s stuff all over the house, the dishes still in the dishwasher, the church clothes not even washed, and my son in front of the TV! It was partially my fault for not talking to Jerry about the deal that was made with our son. It was also our son’s fault for not being honest about what he was supposed to do and the privileges he had and did not have.

If our children know they can get away with doing things like this when they are young, this behavior will only escalate when they are teens and I guarantee it will drive a wedge between you and your spouse!

The good news is that as you communicate with each other your kids will start saying, “I want x,y, or z and can you talk to Mom or Dad about it?” They will understand that decisions get made together and that division tactics will only backfire on them.

We have learned from our mistakes and TALK to each other about the arrangements we have made with the children independently of each other and as often as possible, discuss in advance the arrangements we will make with the children so that we are in agreement ahead of time.

When you are Playing on the SAME TEAM, your marriage will be stronger and your children will feel more safe and secure in your family.

See you next Tuesday for another Secret to a Strong Marriage! 😉

Cool Tax Breaks for Parent Entrepreneurs!

I have owned an image consulting and business coaching business for nearly eighteen years. Along the way, I have given birth to three children. I never wanted them to be in day care full time while I worked. I wanted to have them right there with me – OK, not always. 😉

Once they turned six or seven I would “hire” them to work in my business and would write off their wages as a tax deduction against my business income! This has saved us thousands of dollars in taxes over the years and has allowed me to teach my children life and people skills as well as give them a leg up on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. My oldest two children have each created businesses based on the tasks they once did for me in my business! Their desire to be entrepreneurs was the inspiration for Raising CEO Kids and our book, The Parents’  Guide to Raising CEO Kids.

Below I have detailed the EASY version and EASIEST version for hiring your kids:

** Be sure you consultant with your CPA before implementing these concepts. I am not a CPA, book keeper, lawyer, enrolled agent, or IRS auditor, but my CPA recommends that I hire my kids!

EASIEST

  1. You pay each child (between the ages of 6 and 18) up to $600 each year for the work that they do in your business. I have three kids which would give me about an $1800 business tax deduction!
  2. You must pay them by check from the business account and deposit the check into the child’s custodial savings or high school checking account. This creates the “paper trail” that the IRS always wants to see!
  3. You have to be able to show that the kids did the work you say they did, so either you write it down or have them track their jobs/tasks they do for you.

EASY (This is the way I do it)

  1. You pay each child on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis up to over $4,000 for the work that they do in your business. The same “paper trail” rules apply that are listed above.
  2. You acquire an EIN from the IRS.
  3. You may need to send quarterly payroll reports.
  4. You will need to give each child a W2 at the end of the year and send in a W3 report to the IRS.

Whether you hire your kids the EASY WAY or the EASIEST way, you will bless not only your life but their lives as well! 😉  Why not start today?

Do you need more help with delegating and outsourcing in your business? Take a look at my course, Outsourcing 101!

 

Sticky Notes and Spiral Notebooks – Organization that Rocks!

Each month I use a spiral notebook to stay organized.  I love the system so much I’ve created a home-study course to teach others how to implement the tools that have worked so effectively for me over the last 21 years in business and as an author, speaker, and mom of three.

To give you a brief intro, I use two pages per day, which gives me plenty of room to track information about appointments and all my communication – emails, phone calls, texts, etc. It also gives me a place to put all of my sticky notes from my brain dump the night before.

I have the following sections in my notebook along with a few others:

  1. Daily (two page spread)
  2. Monthly Projects
  3. Goals
  4. Notes

If the sticky note has something pertaining to what I have to do today, it  goes on the page for today. The cool thing about stickies is that you can move them! If I didn’t get something done today, I simply move it to another day. If an idea for a video or article doesn’t get done this month, I simply move it to my spiral notebook for next month. Sometimes, I decide not to use an idea at all, and then it goes in the recycle bin! :-)

I would love to share with you so many more tips and tricks for increasing your productivity and have made a free 30 minute webinar so you can take a look. In the webinar,  I share lots of actionable ideas that you can implement right away. To get immediate access, click the grey button below and simply add your name to the contact form. The webinar replay will be delivered right to your email box!! :-)

***If you are using Gmail be sure to check your “Promotions” folder as it will automatically be sent to there. :-)

If you are ready to register for the “Stickies and Spirals for Super Achievers” Home Study Course click the button below!

Clickheretoregister_pink

Have a flat out amazing day!

DUMP Your Brain!

One of the hardest parts about being a mom of three, active community member, and successful entrepreneur, is that there is SO MUCH TO DO and my brain sometimes has a hard time shutting off. Can you relate? 😉

To allow myself to sleep at night, I have a system I lovingly call, “Brain Dumping”. I don’t remember where I learned it, but it is a powerful way to let go of all the thoughts running through your head. This allows you to relax your mind and get the rest you need.

Here’s what you will need to implement my Brain Dump System:

1. A Pencil
2. Sticky Notes

With your pencil and sticky notes right next to you (or in a pocket), start getting ready for bed. Brush your teeth, take your makeup off, pick up items around the house, prep your outfit and so forth for the next day. As you are doing all of those things, your mind will begin to release ideas galore – tasks to do, people to call, articles to write, book titles, tweets, the grocery list, etc. As the ideas come to your mind, simply jot them down on a sticky note. This will release them from your mind!

I used to write a bunch of ideas on one note, but I find that it is better to simply write one idea on each piece of paper, and I will tell you why soon (as in tomorrow ;-))

Once you are completely ready for bed, allow yourself some time to stretch your muscles, take some deep breaths, and give your mind just a little bit longer to release any other ideas.

I can’t wait to hear how you sleep tonight! Be sure to share you ideas for a restful night sleep in the comment area below!

Have you liked my FB page? I would be honored if you did! 😉

What I Read and Why!

You have probably heard the phrase, “you are a reflection of the books you read, the people you spend the most time with, and the things you listen to”.  I have seen this to be true in my life and in the lives of hundreds of people I work with.

Aside from scripture, which I strive to read daily, the list below shows some of the books I love reading. The three that have made the biggest impact on my life in the last two years, are all written by Carol Tuttle! Having experienced emotional abuse and bulimia in my teens as well as depression for a good part of my life, I love the healing and confidence that has come from implementing some of the things Carol talks about in her book, Remembering Wholeness. Carol has since written several other books and created courses, which I also love! Her Dressing Your Truth book/course really helped me to discover my personal style and learn to love myself (inside and outside) in a way that I never thought possible!

I am not longer an insecure, weight conscious, depressed woman! I am a confident mom and entrepreneur with a strong marriage and wonderful friends. The path hasn’t been easy, but the books I have read and the action I have taken have allowed me to to truly love me and the life that I live!

You deserve to love YOU and to LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE too! Which book will you start reading today?

** The links contained in this article are affiliate links.

What’s In the Picture from The FOX40 News Story?

Yesterday, we had a talented videographer, Sharon Stahl come to our home to shoot promo video for our book, The Parent’s Guide to Raising CEO Kids. Then just a few hours later, FOX40 news came to do a story about our son, Jacob, and about the book! It was a packed day! I NEVER would have made it through it, had I not put some systems I had put in place. That’s what this picture is all about, some of the systems and setup that helped make both sessions fabulous!

Starting at the TOP LEFT and moving clockwise to the CENTER:

  1. In the entry way of our home, is a lush potted plant on a round table. This is where I placed several copies of Clarissa’s book, Cooking With CC. She wasn’t part of the main story, but they did film her doing some things in the kitchen as well as took shots of her book, which gave her some media exposure. Clarissa may even have a story done about her in the near future.
  2. On our dining room table, I set out some Fall decorations. This provided the perfect location for us to quickly get out our UNO deck so that the film crew could take some shots of our family having fun together.
  3. Jacob paid his sister to clean his room while he was at school in case FOX40 wanted to take shots of him where he actually works, on his bed. Thank goodness she cleaned the room so well, because nearly all of his interview was done while he sat on his bed.
  4. At 6:30 in the morning I started two pots of chili; one pot was the traditional with red beans and  the other a meatless black bean recipe. It made the house smell fabulous and I didn’t have the stress of figuring out what to do for dinner after a long day of prepping and being in front of the camera.
  5. In my kitchen window, I have not only a gorgeous tile which serves as a prominent reminder of how blessed I am, but I also put a basket of Cliff bars in case the camera crew was hungry. I had waters and soda in the fridge in case they were thirsty too. They didn’t end up eating or drinking anything, but at least I felt good about being prepared.
  6. I completely cleared off the coffee table in our living room except for three candlesticks so that there would be space to put different things they wanted to film such as a stack of books, Jacob’s trumpet, or his collection of BSA merit badges.
  7. Inside Jacob’s bedroom he has a Wall of Tech. These are many of the products that companies have sent him to review over the last year. This provided another great visual for the news crew to capture. Again, thank goodness, Clarissa got the boys’ room cleaned!
  8. & 9. FOX40 and the focal point of the story  – Jacob of Jake’s Tutorials and Tech Support. He is my son, a young entrepreneur, a tech wizard, the inspiration for Raising CEO Kids, and yes, a regular teenager!

What will be in your picture when the film crew comes to your house?

Better yet, what can you set up in your house RIGHT now to start making news with your own video camera or web cam?

You don’t have to wait for the news to come to you, make your own!;-)

Share your ideas for making your own NEWS below or on my FB page! I can’t wait to hear from you?

PS – Would you like help with getting more media exposure for your growing business? Take a look at my popular webinar called Press Forward!

FOX40 News Came To Our House Today!

You might be wondering what all these pictures are about. I promise, I will tell you…tomorrow! 😉

After 4 hours of taping (not just with the FOX40 crew) and many hours of prepping, it’s time for this girl to head to bed!  See you tomorrow!

Seven Things You Can Do to Ace Your First TV Appearance


In July, I had the opportunity to be on Sacramento and Company for the first time. It was actually my first time being on a live TV show and at first, I was really nervous about it. I was so nervous in fact, I had a nightmare the night before the show.

I ended up having a blast being on the show and it was because I had really prepared before the show. After it was all over, I realized that there were several things I did right (thanks to a few suggestions from veterans) that helped ace my first appearance. There were also a few things I wish I had done differently and today, I’m sharing all of them with you!

Sarah’s Seven – The System for Acing Your First TV Appearance:

1. Go Solid – After watching a lot of TV appearances, I realized that the people who made the strongest impact had solid colors on. Creative strategist, Sweetie Berry confirmed that prints are distracting to the eye so solid is best. If your personality supports it, wearing bold colors helps you look stunning on camera.

2. Bring Cards – I had plenty of cards with me and was able to introduce myself to all the crew as well as the other guests on the show. I was also able to introduce myself to people in a couple other departments. These introductions led to several speaking engagement for myself as well as some opportunities for my young entrepreneur kids.

3. Send Good Questions – The show producer asked me to send a list of ten questions that the host could ask me on air. Having never been on the show, I wasn’t sure if these would be the actual questions asked. I took the chance that they would be and asked leading questions that would not only help me deliver great content, but that would help me do some soft marketing as well.

4. Write Answers In Advance – The best thing that I did to prepare for the show was to write out answers to the questions that I emailed to the producer and PRACTICE what I was going to say before I even went on the show. Luckily for me, the host read my questions as if they were a script. Having practiced the answers I felt totally comfortable answering them. I was so confident, I was even able to throw in an off-the-cuff joke that really caught the  host’s attention and allowed me to get my point across. Be sure to watch the clip above and see if you can tell what I am referring to.  Implementing this tip will really help you relax and be yourself!

5. Bring Props – This tip was a bit nerve racking for me. The producer asked me to bring a copy or two of my new book so that they could share it on air. That was GREAT! The only problem was, I didn’t have my  book. It was still in production and not even the proof had arrived. So what did I do? I mocked up a couple of books. I had our designer, Chaz DeSimone, send the cover to a local printer and I simply glued the cover onto a couple of books in our family library. Then I printed excerpts from the book and glued them into the interior and put business cards in as bookmarks on the pages that I had inserted. That way, if the host wanted to read an excerpt she would be able to read what was in our actual book. I made sure to tell the host in advance that it was a mocked up copy. She was great with it and on camera you can’t tell that it’s not the REAL DEAL.  I used those same mocked up copies at two other events that I spoke before our book shipment arrived.

6. Makeup Matters – The day of the show is not a time to try out a brand new look or hair style. Make sure you do that ahead of time. Having been an image consultant for nearly 18 years, I do have a few things to quickly say that are musts. You MUST use lip liner to line your lips and a lipstick that is flattering. It looks extremely professional and your face shows up much better on camera with your lips lined. After applying lipstick, use gloss in the center of your bottom lip and right under peaks on your top lip line. I put this on right before I went on the show so that the shine was fresh. You MUST wear a foundation shade that matches your skin tone and is the appropriate coverage for you. Foundation evens out the pigment in your skin and gives you a flawless rested appearance. That’s how you want to look when you are on camera, right? There are so many other makeup tips I could share with you, but I’ll save those for another day.

7. Hair Dos & Don’ts – I have had lots of hair styles in my life and right now I love the one I have more than any of the others. The only problem is, I didn’t realize that my hair was all that would be seen on camera due to the current style. Next time I am on TV, I will be sure that my hair is away from my face so that you can see ME talking and not a side profile of my hair! Before the show, experiment with sitting in front of the mirror at different angles to see how you will look in each direction. I know it sounds vain to do this, but the truth is, having your hair over your eyes or covering your face is non-verbal communication that you can’t be trusted. This is definitely not the signal I want to send to viewers and potential clients, do you?

There’s a lot more I could share with you, but I said it would be seven, and a promise is a promise. I would love to hear your comments below on what you thought of the show as well as what your favorite take away from today’s SEVEN is. 😉