I want to help you reach your business goals…

Published on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

I have so many exciting new plans for helping you reach all of your business goals in the coming year that I can barely contain myself - one of which is going to be the most incredible LIVE event I have ever done. I will be sharing proven strategies that I’ve been using for years to build a million dollar business and integrating them with information that will literally blow your mind and make you look at your business in a whole new way. (More to come on that!)

But, in an effort to make sure that this LIVE event meets YOUR needs, I put together quick survey http://www.successconnections.com/survey/ so that you can let me know what you want. And, to show you how much I value your time, in exchange for completing this survey I am going to give you 2 audio interviews where some outrageously successful entrepreneurs like Tim Ferris, David Allen and yours truly discuss how to accomplish more in your business by increasing your productivity and
leveraging your resources. There are some serious gems in these interviews you won’t want to miss. 

All you have to do is hop on over to http://www.successconnections.com/survey/and complete the quick survey. You’ll be given the link to the audios immediately. 

Then, once I receive all of your valuable feedback, I can get busy creating the best Lifestyle Business building event of the year. 

Thank you!



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Is hitting the bottom essential to big success?

Published on Friday, September 19th, 2008

I received an interesting question from one of my Fast-Track to 6 & 7 Figure Lifestyle Business Mastermind members the other day. I thought I’d share it as I’m sure many of you have an opinion or personal experience to share here.

I just listened to the interview you had with Murray [Marder]. Great call.

Actually while listening to your story I thought about the following and I would love to hear your point of view:

You mentioned that you weren’t doing so well in the beginning, you were making less than 1000/month but this got you the kick to create something that is bigger than you ever thought it would be. And you know a lot of these successful entrepreneurs that have started from below zero and created a very successful business.

What do you think, is it necessary to been “down” there to be able to create something SO successful? Do you have to have been there to really know what it means to be an entrepreneur and have the energy to come out of the crisis and rise higher and higher?

I’d be really interested to know what you think about that. When I listen to all these entrepreneurs, then I hear that most of them started from no where or they were quite successful and then lost everything.

What if you haven’t been there and you don’t really know what it means not to know how to pay the bills etc? Do you think they don’t have it in them to succeed the same way?

looking forward to hearing from you.

Actually, I don’t believe that it is essential to fall apart, hit the bottom and go bankrupt to be a huge success. There are many people who have huge successes by simply applying a proven process and surrounding themselves with the right people, team, resources, etc.

The reason why I think we hear so much about the “breakdown-breakthrough to success” process is because typically humans are motivated more by moving away from pain than they are by pursuing pleasure. I think that is partly why those of us that hit bottom go so much higher — we can’t wait to get away from that feeling of falling apart.

What I ‘ve noticed in my eight years of coaching is that many entrepreneurs, service professionals and small business owners are not WILLING to make themselves uncomfortable to grow quickly. And playing in a comfortable place usually means limited growth. So if you haven’t gotten into a bad place, you may not have that same level of motivation.

By being at the bottom, you only have one direction to go — up!  Life in general is made up of a myriad of challenges to move through. People who are in the personal development world typically find themselves addressing their own stuff then later finding a passion to give it back to the world. So, hence, we have been to the “bottom” before we can be successful and teach/mentor/guide others.

I guess I don’t believe that you have to fall apart before you can be successful. By learning, studying and following the tools & resources from people like me you can save yourself a ton of time, money and energy by learning what works (aka I did all the heavy lifting for you.) However you may find that tough times give you more momentum — there is something bigger at stake!

I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts?


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What Successful Entrepreneur’s Have on their IPOD

Published on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I keep seeing these funny articles in different magazines like “What does Carrie Underwood listen to?” or “What’s on Matt Lauer’s IPOD?” It struck me as kind of funny until the other day when someone asked me, “Melanie, what do you listen to that helps you have a success mindset?

For me, it happens in multiple ways. I’m a big proponent of creating a success environment that pulls you towards your goals. I can’t always be with my mastermind so I find ways to create that energy with or without them. Listening to audio programs helps!

Two of my favorite audio programs right now are:

  • David Neagle’s Art of Success CDs. David is a very powerful wealth accelerator and has a way to teaching the Law of Attraction so it actually works!
  • Zig Ziglar’s Closing Secrets. I love how he tells stories to help build rapport and connect with your prospect.
  • ULTIMATE Wealth & Success Circle CDs. I actually do listen to my own CD series…I hear things from my monthly wealth experts that I often miss the first time.

I’m also a BIG music person and I have over 10,000 songs on my IPOD. I’ve got the monster big 80 G video IPOD and even though it’s a bit large I love it. I take it everywhere…in the car driving errands, to the gym or when I walking on my treadmill at home and even on planes or any time that I’m just chilling out.

Because music is so important to me, a cool song can get me hyped up and back on track too. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

  • My new favorite song by Natasha Beddingfeld, “Pocketful of Sunshine”. I’ve been listening to this on french fry days. The days when things are getting a bit frustrating and you are wondering if it would be easier to just go tend the counter at McDonald’s.
  • “New Soul” by Yael Naim. I love this cool little song that explores what it must be like to figure out how to be human and deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies.
  • “Clumsy” by Fergie. I don’t know what it is but I just love her…maybe because she has such a smokin hot body and she has over come a lot of bad influences from her past. She has a real spiritual side to her which I like.
  • Anything disco…I know, I know…but for some reason it just makes me want to dance and that lightens my mind immediately.

I also have all of my meditation CDs and the Goal-Setting and Procrastination Release tools from my ULTIMATE Success Generator loaded up. I listen to a track from these every morning to set my day in the right direction.

So what’s on YOUR IPOD that gets your head in the right place? What gets you motivated and ready for action? Feel free to share by posting your comments here.


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Small World, Big Networking Payoff

Published on Sunday, June 29th, 2008
A long-time ULTIMATE Wealth & Success Circle member, Lani Voivod of Epiphanies Inc. recently posted this story in our forum. It is such an amazing “small world” story that had huge payoff for her. It really shows how being a part of a successful community of like-minded entrepreneurs can have a long term payoff.
So I recently joined a local networking group that’s just celebrated its one-year anniversary called “Women Inspiring Women.” Leslie Sturgeon, the President and Founder, has already demonstrated an authentic bent toward being truly supportive for our biz in many ways, including asking Allen and I if we’d be open to putting on workshops on blogging, branding, social networking, etc. in the future. (Heck yes!)

Soon after I joined, Leslie asked if I was available for an evening phone call. Of course, I said yes. We ended up chatting about everything under the sun for 2+ hours, which was fab, but the thing that drove her to want to connect to me in such a powerful, intentional way is this:

She had recently heard about this amazing lady named Melanie Benson Strick. She’d been reading Melanie’s ezine and checking out some of her blog posts, etc. One day she decided to take Melanie up on an offer to check out a CD on “How to Get Out of Overwhelm.” You know, get the CD and only pay for the shipping. As she was listening to Melanie in her element, she heard a familiar voice talk about a breakthrough. This familiar voice was laughing, and mentioning her husband Allen, and sharing a story about how she went from five calendars all over the house and office to one main calendaring system after just 20 minutes with Melanie.

Turns out the voice this woman heard was mine.

Moral of the story?

It’s a very good thing for a community leader and networking maven to hear you rubbing elbows at a boot camp with the visionary behind Success Connections.

Leslie now knows I’m on the “bleeding edge” of success-minded lifestyle entrepreneurs, that I’m spending my time and energy pursuing the things she’s trying to infuse in her own life and networking group.

I just love this kind of serendipity, don’t you?

-Lani Voivod
*A-Ha Yourself!”


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Your Thoughts on Live Events

Published on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I’m just back from speaking at another live event.

And I’m noticing a significant trend…

Conference producers who have all the right intentions but not the right turnout (aka not enough people show up.)

So what’s going on with that? Live events are probably one of the most significant ways to get access to the right education to turn your business around. But over and over again I find that it’s hard to get people to show up? Its not that we have a decline in entrepreneurs starting businesses as that is actually growing. And I watch the people in the room having these huge breakthroughs so I know being there works.

Here are some of the things I saw happen for people at that event:

  • Learned about a strategy, tool or new way of thinking to get better results
  • Made new contacts with people who can really help make things happen
  • Eliminated feelings of isolation and replaced with new friendships and mentors
  • Transcended the “online networking” with tools like Facebook and Twitter to having real connections with real people who actually get you and want to do business with you
  • Discovered how other people are making their business successful and short cut your own path
  • Tapped into the synergy and “mastermind energy” of a group and get a million dollar idea (this happened to me this weekend)
  • Socialized outside of the event so that the “getting to know” part could be more real (hence, connections that survive beyond the biz card exchange.)

I can probably make a list a mile long of the benefits of live events. So what keeps people from accessing this kind of resource? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

  • Is it too many choices for what to invest your time and money in?
  • Not clear from the event materials why you should come?
  • Afraid to spend the money to travel?

What could possibly keep you from attending an event in person with all these possibilities? Anyway, I’m on a bit of a rant but I am curious and would love to hear your input. No matter how hard we all try to make online learning and networking a valuable tool, there just is no way to replace what can happen  in person.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts by commenting on the blog…I’ll post mine after I hear from you…


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Lifestyle Choices That Can Make or Break You

Published on Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we make a serious of choices every day that can make or break our success. As a business coach for many years now, I’ve learned that it’s often not even the big things that have the greatest impact… 

It’s the small, almost unconscious decisions we make that can influence the shape our life takes. 

The other day one of the Success Connections team coaches, Therese Skelly, said, “I was just talking to one of the Gold Plus members about how you take time off for self-care.” 

She was talking about how I always prepare for (or recover from) my trips with a massage. This last week I was feeling just a bit on the stressed side so I booked a facial/massage Monday afternoon. Even though I probably could have made the case to squeeze in some work since I’ll be traveling  this week, I knew that taking care of myself first would make for better stamina. 

I’ve also found that choosing to upgrade to my Platinum Business AmExp card allows me access to the airport lounges. I could have convinced myself to choose a less expensive credit card, but when I evaluate what I gain by feeling relaxed in the lounge vs. what I lose in the frenzied chaos at the gate, it’s obviously another great choice to take care of myself and my most precious commodity – my energy. 

A new decision I made for this trip is the “car service.” 

Because I have to facilitate the Virtual Team Building Telebootcamp on Weds morning before I leave for my event, I have to take a later flight than I’d like. Which puts me in to

Nashville around 10:40 pm (assuming all goes well and there are no flight delays.) 

In my head I’m thinking this through and I was getting overwhelmed with getting my bags, schlepping through a new airport to find the shuttle area, finding the shuttle, etc, etc. So I thought, “What does a billionaire do? Get a car service.” 

Interesting enough, the car service is actually LESS than the shuttle is. Works out great for me! And in the process, I’ve made some better choices to support my lifestyle of peacefulness and optimum energy. 

What lifestyle choices are you making today to support having the bandwidth for what’s important? Would love to hear your ideas. Post them here!


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What Can a TV Billionaire Teach Us About Leverage

Published on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

I was watching a show called Lipstick Jungle (yes, I occasionally indulge in a guilty pleasure) when a character said something that really struck me.  


In the show a billionaire, played by Andrew McCarthy, is courting a famous

New York City clothing designer. He has his assistant call up the woman to ask for a date. He then has his assistant arrange the car service to pick up his date then pick him up on the way to the restaurant. As he leaves his home office, his assistant goes out to the car with a bottle of champagne and two glasses.


The date, who is a bit miffed at this seemingly impersonal way to date a woman, says to the billionaire, “Why would you have your assistant call me to arrange our date?”


The billionaire says, “I’m worth over $5,000/minute. I don’t do anything I don’t have to do myself. If you had turned me down it could have cost me $25,000.”


Now granted this is a television show but the point is crucial. Billionaires just think drastically different about leverage than most people.


Whether your goal is to break 6 figures or to become a billionaire, the a-ha moment is the same. Why would we do anything that would cause us to lose money?


Entrepreneurs do it every day. From managing thousands of emails, surfing the internet researching, to tweaking their websites and managing their own projects, anything we do that is not “high payoff” is something we should delegate!


What are you doing that you could hand off to someone who could do it better, faster or cheaper? I’d love to hear at least one thing you’d be willing to hand off.


Not sure? Download a free copy of my “101 Ways to Triple Your Income by Outsourcing Your High Payoff Activities” at http://www.successconnections.com/101ways. You’ll get some GREAT ideas!

 Good luck all you billionaires in training! =-)


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How Does an Entrepreneur “Recharge” with Bob Proctor

Published on Monday, January 28th, 2008

This last weekend I attended an event called Miracle Mastery.

Now you may be asking yourself how on earth does that help me recharge? Hotels, lots of people, having to be away from home…

It’s simple. It’s called infusing my body, mind and soul with new learning.

I attended this event for a very special reason though…three people who inspire me were going to be in one room.

  • Dr. Michael Beckwith, Agape Community Leader who was featured in The Secret
  • Mary Manin Morrisey, author of Building Your Field of Dreams (and someone my family has known since I was 5 years old.)
  • Bob Proctor, featured in The Secret and coach to many people who I consider a huge success.

 Bob Proctor and me

Bob Proctor and me.

What I left the weekend with was a notepad full of notes, a spirit that has been rejuvinated, and new connections with people who filled my heart with inspiriation and joy. I decided to attend the event from a different place this time…just to be one of the participants. I paid the $75 to upgrade to their special lunch (I almost always get comp’ed to these.) I said hi to the speakers and got my picture taken with Bob Proctor. I listened with a new mind without saying to myself, “I know that!”

I talked with people I didn’t know who were discovering their new passion and purpose in life. I listened to them share their newly revealed goals with tons of excitement. And I uncovered my goal for 2008: It’s time for me to write my book!

In listening to Bob Proctor, one thing I feel has been affirmed again is that successful people continuously infuse new learning. I have a million things to do with my weekend but it was important for me to invest my money in learning from these powerful teachers. I also got to learn from new teachers — Mat Boggs (my friend and author of Project Everlasting), Shore Slocum and Kathy Buckley.

I’ve even committed more money to participate in a  program they were offering for coaching. Now I don’t have to do that…but I knew that I needed to be influenced by people who have created something I want in my life — more lifestyle, more power and more spiritual grounded decisions.

So how are you recharging? What kind of new information are you taking in? What will you do this year to take on a new challenge to grow your income, your results and your lifestyle? If you don’t know, I encourage you to check out our Fast-Track to a 6 & 7 Figure Lifestyle Business Mastermind program at www.fasttracktolifestylebusiness.com.


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Follow My Success Teleseminar Series

Published on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

I will be speaking as part of a free teleseminar series for entrepreneurs interested in constant business growth called Follow My Success. The series starts mid-January and is held once a week. Plan on joining me on February 19th and many others over the next couple of months.

The details can be found at http://www.followmysuccess.com/melanie


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My Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused (Part One)

Published on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

My Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused (Part One)

In today’s world we are bombarded with offers to learn how
to grow our business, tele-seminars and live events that
teach you how to make more money and a brain that is
constantly generating new ideas on how to get our message
out there.

The problem is that most of us don’t have the time to do it
all. So how do we stay focused in a world of
overwhelming distractions?

It all starts with having a plan.

This isn’t just any ol’ plan though. This is a Return on
Investment Plan. It’s something that most people keep in
their head or never make time to create. Running around like
a chicken, we spend all our waking hours in our business
just getting by. This is not a plan, this is suffering!

Here are my Top 5 Recommendations on Staying Focused
in 2008.

Have a Compelling Why

Have you ever wanted something so bad you would do anything
to get it? I’m remembering how my partner finally convinced
me to get a dog. After pining for a dog for 1 ½ years, I
finally gave in – with a list of conditions. Now these
conditions had been requests I had been making for over 2
years but my partner never had time. In a matter of one week
, these “projects” were completed. Hmmm…funny how
that works!

When you want something big, something that is so important
to you, you will do anything. The problem for most
entrepreneurs is we lose the connection to the bigger why
and just focus on the day-to-day minutia. Which isn’t
usually all that fun. Stay connected to your compelling why
by having a vision board or reading your vision statements.
When you remember why you started this in the first place
things usually fall into perspective and you will make
better choices for your time.

Know Your Priorities

This may seem oversimplified but I guarantee you that if you
are not staying focused then you are losing sight of your
priorities. Every day I review my month and week plan and
get crystal-clear about what has to get done to achieve my
goals. I use my “Top 3 High Payoff Activity” post-it notes
(you get these when you invest in one of our self-study
programs) to get clear about what must get done that day.

If I get off course, which I might, then I review my
priorities and ask myself, “Is doing this right now going to
help me accomplish my priorities today?”

Now some people don’t even know what should be a priority.
This was a big deal for a client of mine named Jason. Jason
would often find himself pursuing tasks for the non-profit
role, leaving his income producing business alone for weeks
at a time. I helped Jason create a plan to achieve his
revenue goals and highlighted his high-payoff priorities.
Then we created a weekly calendar where he would focus on
those activities.

I’ll be going more in-depth into the obstacles that get in
your way of success on the next Success Mastery Teleseminar
on January 17th at DATE. I’ll be unveiling my new program
designed to keep you focused on that call as well as coach
you LIVE on where you are getting stuck. Save your spot now
at http://www.successconnections.com/teleclass/.


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