5 Keys To Success

5 Keys To Success

A friend of mine, celebrity fitness trainer and entrepreneur Felicia Romero had an idea for 2016.  Why not put together a series of events where successful business leaders speak to those on the rise.  I love the idea because there is no better way to learn and grow than to share knowledge. She asked me to speak along with Cynthia Sassi, founder of FabulousArizona.com I sat down to think about my talk.  I wanted people to be inspired to go after their dreams but also think in practical terms — how do I get there?  What is the roadmap? It is different for all of us, to be sure.  But I put together what I feel are the 5 keys that helped me succeed above and beyond everything else. (1) Preparation.  Will you be ready when opportunity comes your way?  I am often amazed at how ill prepared people are for big moments.  For me, being over prepared has not only saved me, but has propelled me to where I am today.  For interviews, I study and read and prepare to the point where guests often comment that they aren’t used to being asked questions that go so far beyond the surface.  For business meetings, I want to know absolutely everything about who I am meeting with, why, and what the goals are moving forward.  It is crucial to success that we not just show up, but that we are ready to win. (2) Work.  I have never been afraid of hard work.  In fact, I thrive on it.  At the business event I told a story about how,...
Former Cardinals Cheerleader Fights For Life With Spirit and Selfies

Former Cardinals Cheerleader Fights For Life With Spirit and Selfies

Recently I did a speaking gig and someone asked if I have always wanted to be a journalist.  The answer is yes — at least since I was 16 years old.  I had this fascination with finding out more.  Learning what makes people tick. The most incredible stories I have had the good fortune to tell over the years revolve around the strength of the human spirit. A few weeks ago, I met a group of former NFL cheerleaders at a party.  In conversation, they told me about their friend, Teri Bode, a fellow former cheerleader who is fighting Stage 4 Breast Cancer.  It has spread to her bones and she has to undergo chemo every other week to keep it from spreading to her organs.  They told me how amazing she is — an inspiration.  Of course, I just had to find out for myself. My photographer and I went to shoot a story with Teri about her will to live. As is the case with so many people I meet who are faced with adversity, her faith is strong.  Not only that, her spirit is infectious. Teri, a single mother to a 19 year old daughter, used to be a second grade teacher.  Now staying alive is a full time job. She has cancer, but cancer doesn’t have her. Last month Teri found the strength to do something remarkable.  She joined her fellow former cheerleaders on Monday Night Football for the Cardinal Cheerleaders’ 25th reunion celebration. Despite the ongoing chemo, aching bones, and a bulky back brace, this 49 year old marched right onto the field with sass and strength, and...
Podcasting Rocks

Podcasting Rocks

I’m obsessed with Podcasting. I love everything about it: The freedom, the creativity, the content creation. It is crucial for Podcasters to connect and be social (as is the case for anyone looking for an effective content marketing strategy). Being well connected opens up a new world of potential interviewees for podcasters.  And people love to be guests on Podcasts. They get to express themselves in more than just a sound bite. I just received this alert about a new group for Podcasters featured on iTunes New and Noteworthy. It reads: “Congratulations on reaching iTunes New & Noteworthy! Not an easy feat in the increasingly crowded space of new podcasts. You are cordially invited to join a community of elite podcasters (just like you!). These podcasters have also cracked the coveted iTunes New & Noteworthy list and are actively working to grow their shows, brands and bottom lines. As I’m sure you’ve realized, podcasting isn’t complicated, but it also isn’t easy, and there are countless hurdles to overcome to keep your show on top. Not to mention the ever-changing list of best practices to improve the quality of your podcast; cut down on production time; scheduling and time management solutions; and acquiring high quality guests to increase your exposure and expertise – to name a few. That’s why we created The New & Noteworthy Group. It’s a place for you to ask questions, share resources, schedule interviews, and explore new growth models with your fellow podcasters.” Again, it’s about connecting, creating, sharing, and being open to constant growth.  That is the way to...
From Fired To Hired Author Shares Success Story

From Fired To Hired Author Shares Success Story

“I didn’t fail as a person.  I maybe failed to meet somebody else’s expectation, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t bring value to a company, to other people, to my family, and to myself.” That is what Kathi Miller-Miller realized after she was fired.  It is a shocking experience for anyone who goes through it.  You question your own values and self worth. I interviewed Miller for my Podcast, Carey Pena Reports.  Her success story is an inspiration to others looking to pave a better path for themselves. Miller was a business professional, a manager for 25 years, who helped other people with their careers.  For her, getting fired was the best thing that could have happened.  Although she didn’t realize it at the time. “I was looking for some new up to date information about how to search for jobs,” Miller says,  “But the book I was looking for wasn’t out there — so I wrote it.” Miller moved ahead with her writing, which morphed into a booming website where she offers career tips and advice. She challenges readers to take their power back by stopping to consider if they are getting equal loyalty from their employer that they are offering.  “Loyalty,” she says, “is a two way street.  Far too many times employees stay on that corporate train even if it is heading for a brick wall.” Finding your passion and making it part of your everyday life is a big part of what Miller writes about.  “It really comes down to finding the intersection of your passion and your values.” That intersection has proven very successful...
Lead By Example

Lead By Example

It is a powerful thing to lead by example.  You never know who might be looking up to you. I have always felt strongly about lifting others up rather than tearing them down. Years ago I met this sharp ASU grad, Melissa Rein Lively.  I was a News Reporter in Phoenix and she was coming up the ranks in PR.  It didn’t occur to me that our early interaction meant so much to her.  Until the other day, when she wrote this post: “Many moons ago when I decided to try my luck in the PR world I met one of the most talented journalists I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  Not only was she incredibly kind to a terrified fresh out of J-school new kid, she has continued to inspire and amaze me for well over a decade.  Very lucky to have you as a treasured friend and mentor.” I share this post not to draw attention to myself, rather to illustrate two points: (1) You never know who might consider you a mentor. (2) When you are in a position to lead, it is powerful. What you do with that power is a choice. Words of encouragement matter.  Respect matters.  Kindness...