Time Management Tips for a More Productive 2018

Whether we are 10 years old or 100, I think that as humans one of our greatest challenges is our time management , so finding your way to some new time management tips is a great way to start off the new year!

Over the holidays, I had a wonderful discussion with my niece who is in high school, about it. Even though we move in different worlds, we both have to juggle appointments, assignments and meetings while simultaneously pursuing new opportunities. For her, this may mean submitting a new activity or application for an exciting opportunity by a deadline; for or me it may mean devoting time to identify new business opportunities and meeting with potential clients.

After commiserating about our busy schedules, we put our heads together and started to exchange our favorite time management tips. While we had many in common, we learned from each other too! Here are some of our greatest hits that we hope will help you become more productive in 2018.

  1. Use a timer. Challenge yourself to complete projects, or a phase of a project within a certain period of time.
  2. Plan ahead. Planning can save you 10 minutes for every one minute of planning you do.
  3. Get in the zone. Hunker down with whatever you need to concentrate and get a job done. For some, that means a cup of coffee, favorite pen, or headphones with music.
  4. Turn your cell phone down. You can’t be distracted by what you don’t hear!
  5. Do the big projects when you’re at your best. That may mean 6 am if you’re a morning person, or 11 pm if you’re a night owl!
  6. Do the big projects in phases. You’ll produce better, more thorough work than trying to get it all done in one sitting.
  7. Approach problems creatively. Try thinking visually and use blank sheets to let your imagination flow. Use colors and draw your solutions, without constraints.
  8. Celebrate every accomplishment. You deserve it!
  9. Recalculate every strategy that doesn’t work. Make adjustments and move on.
  10. Share with others. They will appreciate you and make important contributions that can improve your work.
  11. Apply new lessons or techniques you can learn yourself or from others. Sharpen the saw!
  12. Color code calendar items. Color can make it easier to identify and prioritize work and important items.

When it comes to time management, I believe most tips fall into one of five major areas: controlling your time, controlling your environment, working strategically, letting creativity flow and motivating yourself. If you think of your time management within these categories, you’ll get your work done as quickly and productively as possible.

Here’s a little infographic that can help you remember the best ways to manage your time in 2018. Could your team use some new ideas on time management for the coming year? Contact me for a custom presentation!

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.

If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.

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Living Full Circle

Imagine a tiny little girl in Mexico, about five years old, (but already a voracious reader), looking over her mother’s bookshelf of personal development books. When her mother is busy, this is her babysitter—the bookshelf where she can always find something to read. She spies an inviting, goldenrod spine and her little fingers grasp it and slide it out and away from its neighbors on the shelf. A kindly older man smiles at her from the cover as she reads the title, Como Disfrutar de la Vida y del Trabajo or in English, How to Enjoy Life and Work. The man is Dale Carnegie and the book is actually a collection of excerpts from his most famous books, How to Win Friends and Influence People and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Wide-eyed and intrigued, she opens the cover and begins reading, with no knowledge that this book will ultimately change her life.

Fast forward twenty years to the waiting room of Dale Carnegie’s headquarters in Chicago, one of the largest and most successful Dale Carnegie franchises in the country. The little girl, now grown and the founder of a burgeoning marketing agency, clutches the tattered, dog-eared copy of her mother’s book—the same book that has inspired her life philosophy since she was five years old.

How did she get here? After sharing wonderful stories about the importance of the Dale Carnegie philosophies in her work and personal life, a generous client had insisted that she meet Mr. Greg Cox, Director of the Dale Carnegie franchise. That was two years ago. Mr. Cox had been reluctant to meet with a “marketer” who was probably just trying to sell him something. However, thanks to her persistence and positive energy, she was granted half an hour with him this day.

The beginning of a great friendship…

So began my very personal relationship between me, Jackie Camacho-Ruiz, and the Dale Carnegie organization. That day I made a good friend and strategic partner as I told Greg about my love for the Dale Carnegie principles and showed him the important book that my mother had purchased for 26 pesos in Mexico so long ago. I told him how even then, I wondered how I could apply these principles to my life as an adult, then set out to do exactly that and how the magic of the principles helped me in my daily life, with incredible success. We ended up conversing for nearly two hours, sharing our stories. He was amazed by my words and we ended up taking a picture of me with the book to share with others in the organization.

As I thanked him for his time and the opportunity to share my story, I turned to leave and he stopped me. “Jackie,” he said, “I don’t know exactly what you do for your clients, but I want it. Put together a proposal with some recommendations for me.”

The rest, I guess you can say, is history. Our proposal for a six-month contract for media relations and other marketing efforts was approved immediately and from there, our relationship has continued to this day. I have been blessed to have experienced most of the Dale Carnegie courses available, including the flagship Dale Carnegie Course, High Impact Presentations and Leadership Training for Managers. Best of all, I have been able to provide my team with courses and Dale Carnegie training as well.

The Full Circle Moment

There are precious few times in life when you experience a “full circle moment.” That is the moment at which you realize that a journey is complete. It’s the time you recognize how far you have come from a dream or inspiration, to the place you are right now. You may or may not have planned the events that led you to that moment, but nevertheless, there you are! And it’s amazing!

One of life’s special “full circle” moments came for me during a Dale Carnegie leadership course. At the end of the eight weeks of the session, the participants, which included about 35 CEOs, including many entrepreneurs, voted on the leader who has inspired them the most. The award is regarded as one of the highest honors given by the organization for excellence in human relations.

I remember hearing my name but I was in shock as I made my way to the front of the room to accept the petite crystal cube with the “Dale Carnegie’s Golden Book” nestled inside. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am never at a loss for words but at that moment, I was truly humbled and speechless. I couldn’t believe that I had come full circle from a little girl taking a book off the shelf to standing before a Dale Carnegie leadership cohort and accepting an award. It was truly surreal!

I have been honored and blessed to receive even more awards from other groups honoring my entrepreneurship and business excellence, but the award I covet most is the tiniest on my shelf. It’s that little cube I received during my “full circle moment,” that I will forever treasure in my heart.

I wanted to share this with you because I think we all experience these full circle moments and when they happen, it’s important to recognize the beauty and magic of them and reflect on their significance in your life. They usually start with a dream, or a spark of inspiration, an engine that sets you moving forth with passion. Eventually, you will have the opportunity to act, like I did in persisting in meeting Greg. From every action, achievement is possible, which is what happened when I secured my first contract working with them. Finally, if we are truly blessed, we will be validated for our efforts, as I was with my physically tiny, yet emotionally gigantic award.

Have you experienced a full circle moment? I wish you many in your lifetime because they are some of the most breathtaking and rewarding experiences you can possibly have. Truly, living full circle is living life to the fullest! May you do it with passion!

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.

If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.

Words in Business: The Best Tools for Building Relationships

Words in business are extremely important, and just as important as the words we use in life and our personal relationships. Certain words elevate while others divide. We often see this in arenas we cannot control such as politics and dysfunctional relationships, but in business, we can take care to always use words to amplify our goodwill towards others. After all, there is a direct correlation between your attitude, the things that manifest in your life, and the words you use.

Ask yourself: what are the three words that you find yourself using most in your business?

For me, those three words are amazing, beautiful, and make-it-happen.

I use these words in business and embrace them every day with a correlating attitude as I meet people, make calls and write emails. I try to infuse thoughtfulness in my daily communication in not only my actions but the words I choose as well. When you listen to your client, the words you use can affirm their thoughts and feelings. How you use your words in business can be powerful and make your clients feel validated, brilliant, and creative! They can lead to wonderful things…

Understanding instead of friction.

If a client cancels on you several times, you can use words that elevate instead of diminish the relationship as you respond to them. Often it’s not just the words, but the tone that you put with your communication that can soothe or chafe the reader. For example, which of these followup emails would show understanding?

“Once again, I’m disappointed we did not meet t today. I hope we will be able to move forward on the project in a timely manner.”

“I’m sorry we were unable to connect. I’m so looking forward to speaking with you again when your schedule allows. Till then, don’t work too hard!”

A sweet end note.

How do you end your emails and texts? What is your phrase? If you want to make it an amazing day and leave a positive impression, pay attention to how you close out your written conversations. Consider the difference:

“Looking forward to making it happen!” –Jackie

Thanks. –Jackie

Demonstrated Sensitivity.

If you need to discuss sensitive information, never do so over text or email. If there are emotional stakes in the conversation, it should take place personally, preferably face to face. If the outcome of the conversation would bring a change or potential change in status of a relationship (ex. a discontinuation of a relationship, be it business or personal; a confession or explanation of a mistake; a cancellation of major plans, etc.) it is best to talk to the party personally. Which is more sensitive:

(By phone): Hi Hal, how are you? (Hal answers) Good. Well, I wish I was calling with better news. We were recently reviewing our performance over the last quarter and our profit margins since we signed with your company are not quite what we had hoped.

(By email): Dear Hal, due to budget cuts we will no longer be using your service.

Obviously, using the right words in business, through the right medium, can help you express genuine, pure interest in another person and possibly retain a relationship even in the midst of conflict.

However, it is true that regardless of your words and how sensitively you deliver them, there will still be some relationships that may be difficult to salvage. Some people are simply not bridgeable. They may be difficult to build a relationship with in the first place, or have an all or nothing approach and be expert bridge burners.

The challenge in these cases is to set aside your ego, let your guard down, and focus on bringing your best words to every conversation. Do that with your words in business and you will triumph– and so will those around you!

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.

If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.

How to Engage an Audience and Move Them to Action!

Whether you look into the audience’s eyes from behind a podium or send your content into the world through print or the internet, we all want to know how to engage our audience and activate them in some way. Our hope is that the passion we embed in our spoken or written words will penetrate and move them on some level.

As a speaker, I’m always thinking about how to engage my audience and it’s my personal goal for every presentation. As an author, my goal is the same. But what’s really behind making this happen? As communicators, do we know how to engage an audience to make our message as powerfully activating as possible? I believe there are three basic needs that we can tap into to have our audience and/or readers up on their feet in no time.

Make them feel important. From the time we are born we cry for attention and want to know that we matter in the world. It’s a basic human need for us to feel important, and it’s a need we can tap into as communicators. By acknowledging our audience for who they are, praising their achievements and addressing their greatest challenges, we show our audience that they are indeed, important to us. We can display empathy for their pain points and rejoice with them over their victories. By sharing our knowledge in word or print, we show our appreciation for them. By offering a material token of this same information, such as a handy guide, infographic or small token gift, we make them feel even more important!

Give them an experience. Telling someone about something is never as effective as letting them experience it themselves. When we experience things, we learn two ways—mentally as well as kinetically, with our bodies, muscles and senses. In a presentation, you can achieve this by getting the audience up on their feet or using audience participation to help drive home your main points. Retreats utilize awareness exercises to engulf participants in their consciousness to reveal, discover and learn new things. In a book or piece of content, you can give readers an experience by framing a narrative in an original way or using images to connect them visually to the information they need to have. A speech or book may leave our memory, but an experience deliciously lingers in our soul!

Let Them Be Part of Something Bigger. Right up there with the human need to feel important is the human need to feel useful. Everyone likes to know they are making a difference. For many, this means being part of a bigger picture, or cause. At JJR Marketing, we call the branch of marketing that embraces this area, “cause marketing,” and it is a powerful way for companies to reach out to the community. By partnering with a non-profit organization and providing services, admissions, support or even volunteers for a cause, everyone wins. When speaking, appeal to the bigger picture or cause. When writing, entertain scenarios of what could be if everyone worked together. We all have the need to do good. Show and tell your audience how it’s done!

While figuring out how to engage an audience may seem complicated, keeping these three basic motivators in mind as you put together your presentation or article. And if you are ever in need of a dynamic keynote speaker who is experienced in activating an audience, please don’t hesitate to call me!

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.

If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.

How to Increase Your Value to Others

Every morning, I wake up hoping that I will help at least one person that day; that I may be of value to others. I head to work and spend most of my time interacting with people—family, new and current clients, team members, strategic partners and members of the media. Everybody is trying to get something done, and everyone believes that what they are doing is important.

But how do we bring the very best of ourselves into ever interaction, every task, every challenge we face?

To increase your value to others, you must use your skills and talents to add value to the group, the project, the conversation. By improving your skills and talents, not only do you help yourself, but also every person you come in contact with.

Do you ever wonder how you can contribute more to your family, workplace, and society? Do you want to do more for your community, and use your own knowledge and experience to raise up others as well? At the end of the day, no one can increase your ability to bring value to others except you. Learning how to elevate your value and “hit the mark” for others is a step by step process.

It all begins with…

COURAGE

Before you can increase your value you need to have courage. Sometimes this means having the courage to change. Benjamin Mee, the acclaimed author of the book turned movie, “We Bought a Zoo”, says that sometimes, you just need “20 seconds of insane courage” to take that first step…whether it be asking for something, taking a leap (actually or figuratively!), signing up for something, etc. Take initiative and don’t be afraid to try new things that may improve your skills, or help you make connections with others. It is the first step to increasing your self-value.

EXPERIENCE

Once you have the courage to try something new, you will encounter a new experience. Your courageous turn of events may lead to learning something new, traveling somewhere, attending an event, doing something you’ve never done before, creating an important relationship or joining a new organization, etc.

KNOWLEDGE

From your experience, whatever it is, you will gain knowledge. Now you have something new that you can share with people or use in service to others. Knowledge is powerful and can lead you to even greater things, mainly…

SELF-VALUE

This is at the heart of what makes you unique and is at the center of what you can offer others. Be of value to others by regarding your feelings and thoughts as a barometer. Allow positive thoughts to propel you to help others. Dispel negative thoughts and feelings that may have the opposite effect. Depending on your actions, you have the power to elevate or disappoint others. Choose to empower, choose to share, choose to use your value to make a difference for others!

As someone who reflects on this every day, creating this formula has helped me elevate my value to others and help more people, which is my daily goal. I begin with courageous actions that lead to valuable experiences which bring knowledge and ultimately improve my self-value, which I then use to add value to everything that I do for others. Now, you can see the connection as well.

If I can ever be of service to you or your organization to help educate and explain how to elevate your value to help others, feel free to contact me for a presentation.

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.

If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.

Asking the Right Questions

You would never imagine that a simple sleepover for my children and their cousins would result in a study on asking the right questions. There they were in my home, seven kids in total, all between ages seven and eleven. You can imagine as the host, things were a little crazy. We did a lot of fun activities that night, but in the morning I decided to do something kind of different.

I asked them to really think carefully, and then ask me one single question. The question could be whatever they wanted to know about the things that I do: flying, writing books, the foundation, etc. What came out of that activity was very impressive! I was so amazed at the quality of the questions that children could come up with. They are children in our eyes, but they are deep thinkers too. They asked questions like, “What is the thing you are most proud of?” and “Why are you inspired to help people every day?” I began to realize the depth of these questions, and how they can be a window to the soul.

We don’t always think about questions as being the most important part of a conversation but they frequently are. When I am engaging with a new client, I try to ask questions that lead me to their vision. I ask, “What is it you want to see in six months?” and “How do we know that project was a complete success?” Asking these questions gives me clarity and it also gives me focus so that I can do an amazing job for the client, and produce the results they want to see.

Without deep questions, you can only get so far. That’s why they are so important.

  1. Asking the right questions gives the conversation more depth. Not only will you know others in more depths, but it also gives the person you are asking the ability to see that there is more depth inside you.
  2. Asking the right questions allows people to tell their story. People love to tell their story, and it always benefits you to hear it. When you share stories with people and vice versa, you can better understand them and help them reach their goals.
  3. Asking the right questions can lead to opportunities. This is true, particularly in a business setting. Going in-depth and making connections can reveal opportunities that you never thought possible.
  4. Asking the right questions makes your encounter deeper. Opening up to deeper conversation can make you closer and more memorable to others. By sharing stories and exploring opportunities, you will make an impression that they will remember.

I have been analyzing many areas of my life and many interactions with different people. And one thing that I have noticed is that having the ability to ask the right questions in any circumstance is one of the most powerful tools that you can have. Think deeply about the questions you ask, and you will find that your relationships deepen too.

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), Founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), Author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker and pilot. acqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion and achieving success in business. She has been hired by the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, Farmers among other corporations to share her inspiration.

What Makes a Servant Leader?

As the head of a company or organization, I think that being a servant leader is one of the most important ways you can approach your role.

A servant leader is a person who thinks about being a servant first, and a leader second. They prioritize the growth and prosperity of those around them, and help with other’s needs, rather than feeding their own personal ambitions. Being a servant leader is about community building and lifting up your fellow workers. Servant leaders make a conscious choice to promote the growth and well-being of the people they lead. It’s not about being “at the top of the pyramid”, it’s about helping the others climb up to the top by developing their skills and passions.

I always strive to be a servant leader because I believe that a strong community is greater than the sum of its parts. Caring for other people is the greatest strength of a servant leader. It’s easy to become a servant leader if you just look around. Ask yourself, what can I do to help those around you, and make them more productive? Here are some steps to help you picture how servant leadership can fit into your business philosophy.

  1. Identify your passion. I discovered my passion for business at the age of five, living in Mexico with a fig tree in our backyard. I picked the figs and sold them to people walking by on their way to work. This is the event that set my entire future in motion! When you discover your passion, you unlock your potential to serve others.
  2. Align with the cause that makes your heart “beep”. I give credit to my six year old for the twist on the typical saying, but I think making your heart “beep” is more dynamic than a simple heart beat. For me, my heart “beeps” when I mentor young Latinas. This is why I established the nonprofit organization known as the Fig Factor Foundation. This endeavor allows me to combine my passion for entrepreneurship with my passion for empowering young women to become all they can be. In this way, I lead by example to serve others in my community. When you find the cause that makes your heart “beep”, you can use that passion to develop ideas to help others and care for them.
  3. Take action and set goals. The hardest part of any idea is following through. Every day, I set goals that I plan to complete. You can set goals, big or small, to help others and improve your workplace and your communities. Don’t forget to write them down! It has been proven that you are much more likely to reach them if you do!
  4. Connect with others. If you want to serve the people around you, communication is key. Ask, “how can I make your day better?” Determine who is at the biggest disadvantage in your community and use your passion to support them. Make connections and alliances that will create a support system for you as well as the people you lead.
  5. Reconnect as needed. Always stay in touch with people after an event or encounter. Follow-up to make sure their needs are being met, and that they feel supported. For those who have been generous with you, remember to give back and help them as you can by sharing their social media posts, introducing them to an important connection or supporting their special efforts. Keep listening to others, and looking for opportunities to help them grow.

The idea behind a servant leadership philosophy is that employees and community members are human beings, not cogs in a machine. The more empathy a leader has, the more they will succeed at motivating and supporting the people they lead.

 

Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), Founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), Author of 9 books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker and sport pilot.  Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion and achieving success in business. She has been hired by the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, Farmers among other corporations to share her inspiration.