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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Retirement Woes and Common Mistakes

Hey, gang!

I'm coming at you all the way from California today! I've been here since last Monday meeting with clients, catching up with colleagues like Dr. Helen (in Santa Rosa), and presenting at this year's Women and Technology Summit, hosted by WITI (Women in Technology International) at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara. I'm joining another colleague of mine, Ardice Farrow - founder and publisher of Wake Up Women - in two sessions at this conference: "Storytelling - A Powerful Leadership Tool" and "Developing the Natural Leader in YOU!" It's been so exciting and fascinating...I'll be sure to post about it when I return home to Connecticut.

In the meantime, I was doing my usual survey of today's news and was disheartened to see this headline in the Yahoo! Business section:

"Retirement Accounts Have Lost $2 Trillion"

"Ouch" doesn't even BEGIN to cover it.

By the time we reach retirement age or the point in our lives when we're ready to leave our professional careers and focus on doing all the things we never had time for, we rely on our retirement funds to finance us. We've worked hard, darn it, and we deserve to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor, to travel, to relax, to buy a boat...to follow our dreams! But so many people contemplating retirement today aren't going to be able to do that because they simply don't have the funds to leave the workforce.

While there's very little we can do to control economical circumstances, there are mistakes that we can avoid making, to help ensure that our nest egg is healthy and ready to be cracked open when we retire.

I found this fantastic article on AllBusiness.com:

"Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes"

Here are the highlights of the list:
Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes

1. "Not taking advantage of time."
2. "Not investing regularly."
3. "Not taking full advantage of tax-free retirement accounts."
4. "Poor asset allocation."
5. "Not creating a post-retirement plan."
6. "Forgetting about your 401(k)."
7. "Cashing out or borrowing heavily against your 401(k)."
8. "Failing to consider tax and inflation."
9. "Relying too heavily on Social Security."
10. "Relying too heavily on your company's stock."

I would strongly recommend that you go to the article directly and read through it carefully as well as do your own research on the dos and don'ts of planning for retirement. Your ability to retire might just depend on it!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama's DNC Speech!

Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention has people talking, and after seeing it, I can understand why. You gotta give her credit...what a fantastic speech and speaker! Michelle held that room in the palm of her hand! She knew that her role was to appeal to the women voters in the audience (both live and virtual)...the mothers, sisters and daughters and that is how she played her content and delivery. She knew she needed some female damage control...and she delivered.

The immediate connection she made with the women in the audience was, "I am someone you could chat with over coffee!"

The stories she told and the passionate and engaging way she told them really struck a chord. It was clear that although she was there to talk up her husband, she did so in a way that was personal and heartwarming - not cold and robotic, just spewing out facts about him. I admire how she embraced her roles as a wife, mother and daughter instead of shying away from them as so many professional women do. This woman clearly has a good idea of who she is and what role she would like to play as First Lady.

It was a brilliant move (and a crowd pleaser) when she...

gave props to her mother (and father), to Hillary Clinton for the "18 million cracks" she's made in the "glass ceiling", and to the generations of people who've come before us and how they paved the way, they are our role models, they've given us opportunities for success.

You know, I think Michelle would really like my book!

As a professional speaker, I examined her with a critical eye and found her to be an excellent speaker both charismatic and focused. She looked elegant, stylish and (most importantly for managing her image) approachable- great choice not to put on the corporate suit because it would've contrasted with her subtle message ("I am just like you").

The girl sure can tell a story: she clearly projected that her message was heartfelt and that she was passionate about it, but she didn't slip into being overly sentimental. Her words had just enough polish to be taken seriously, but enough tiny mistakes to make it personable as well . Her gestures and body language complemented her eloquence and grace. Although sometimes her pointing of the finger gave away a bit of her more aggressive side.

All-in-all, I give her an A for her speech and her presentation. I particularly liked her call to action: stop doubting and start dreaming; follow your hopes instead of your fears.

Call me, Michelle. We'll do lunch!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Become a Career Olympian!

My apologies for staying away from my blog for so long, but between working with clients, traveling to Salt Lake City for a conference about SendOutCards.com (you've GOT to check these guys out - their system is amazing and so much fun!), and getting my sons back off to college (the house is mine and my husband's again - woo hoo! But seriously, I love my kids and miss them, too), I've been using my few minutes of downtime to, you know, breathe.

And I've also been staying up way too late to watch the Olympics! I'm so proud of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen; they've been outstanding all around in their events. According to Yahoo! this morning, the USA has earned 101 medals so far (8 of which are the incredible gold medals won by record-breaker Michael Phelps - congratulations to him!).

While I love the thrill of the competitions, I'm truly amazed by the Olympians themselves. To paraphrase a comment made on "Project Runway" during their Olympic challenge, they are as close to real-live superheros as we can get. They are at peak performance levels, and they've trained endlessly to achieve their goals. Let's follow their example!

Today, I challenge you to commit to your career like an Olympian commits to his or her training. I want you focus on kicking your career into overdrive (especially if lately it's been chugging along like a golf cart), and I want you firing all cylinders as you work towards your career's peak performance level.

And as your coach, I'm going to give you the benefit of my knowledge with these 10 tips for advancing your career!

1. Create a "life skills" line: Record everything you know how to do - from birth until the present - and all the skills required to do them. What have you excelled at? (And they don't have to be just work-related...you'd be surprised how the skills you have in your hobbies translate into success into the workplace.)

2. Make a "life activity" line (layer it right over your "life skills" line). Identify the activies at work and at home that you enjoy doing. If your skill is problem-solving, activities you might like are troubleshooting at work or working on your car's engine. A career that is satisfying and challenging with incorporate some of those skills and activities.

3. Rate your enjoyment and aptitude of each entry on your line: 1 if you're excellent at it and love doing it; 5 if it's one of your weaker areas or if you wouldn't want to do it for more than a few hours. And with this info, you're going to then...

4. Create a clear picture in your mind of your next 5 career moves (they're not set in stone!). They could be in order and progressing up through your organization, or they could be lateral moves into other organizations or industries. Plotting out these career moves starts to set you up with a strategy for career advancement (and we all know how much I LOVE strategy!).

5. Map out opportunities within your organization. You got those 5 career moves in your head - where are they in your organization? Create a "treasure map" that you can follow, leading you to each of those 5 career moves. Who's holding those jobs now? What are your chances of earning that position? If there's a star blocking your route of advancement (think Don Draper of "Mad Men") who shows no signs of budging, then you should first do everything in your power to succeed and prove your worth in your current position (a shift all the way up line might occur) or you might want to consider moving to another company, which leads me to...

6. Map opportunities outside your organization. What organizations are the leaders in your industry? Are they looking for highly-skilled people like you, and if so, what could they offer you? Look for industries that are complementary to yours. There may be opportunities to not only bring your insights into a new industry, but also for you to be invigorated by a new set of challenges.

7. Assess people in higher levels of your organization. Give them a report card. Who does a great job? Who might be on his or her way out? Who might be open to talking to you about their position? What are their skills...and do you have them?

8. Make a list of people who would help you if they knew your career aspirations. While it's a good idea to be tentative about who you share your career plans with (especially if they include chucking your current job for another), you have people in your sphere of influence that can help you attain your career goals if you talk to them about those goals. Be selective in who you share your dreams with, but make sure you share your dreams with someone!

9. Use an interview as an excuse to go and speak to someone who has the job that you want. Does your company have a newsletter or a website that highlights employees and bosses? If so, go to the head of these departments and ask if you can do a profile on the person who has the job you want. I'm sure they'll be thrilled to have some of the burden taken off them, and I'm sure that the person you interview will be flattered that you're so interested in them and their job. Asking for an interview is a non-threatening way to do your research and gather information.

10. Join an industry organization. This is a primo networking opportunity just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Learn about other companies in your industry, other positions you may be qualified for, and loads of other inside scoop that can help you strategize your next career move.

Now go out there and earn a gold medal in career advancement!

For more great tips on how to advance your career, check out my new book: From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership. It's got all the ways you can add a little of "Mom's wisdom" to the workplace and succeed as a powerful leader.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

"Lipstick Leadership Week" May Be Over But...

...all of the fantastic entries I received will live on here at my blog!

If you missed out on last week's event, feel free to scroll down or click on the "lipstick leadership stories" tag at the bottom of this post to enjoy all of the anedotes and insights that made "Lipstick Leadership Week" a smashing success!

I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who sent in stories - they were all truly amazing and inspiring. I only wish I could get to know each of these incredible role models personally!

And it's a great feeling to know that this network of "mother's wisdom" you all helped me create is only the beginning! I can't wait to get started on the next book in the "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office" series - you've proven that there's limitless inspiration out there and plenty of moms and mom figures to draw experiences from!

In the meantime, I've got a lot of other pots full of ideas bubbling on my mental stovetop, and you'll be the first to hear about them here on my blog and through my free eZine "Lipstick Leadership" (Haven't signed up yet? You're missing out on a lot of great info! Sign up here or at LipstickLeadership.com).

Stay tuned!

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Friday, July 11, 2008

"Lipstick Leadership Week" Rescheduled!


I've gotten so many responses to my call for "Lipstick Leadership Week" submissions, that I've decided to extend the deadline and move "Lipstick Leadership Week" to July 28th through August 1st, 2008!

Mark your calendars accordingly, and don't forget to submit YOUR stories here on KitchentoCornerOffice.com!

I can't wait to share all of these amazing stories with you!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Lipstick Leadership Week" is Coming!

What did you learn at your mother's knee?

The week of July 14th through July 18th, 2008 is Lipstick Leadership Week at KitchentotheCornerOffice.com! That means we want to hear YOUR stories about how your mother changed your life and made you into a successful career woman.

What lessons did your mother teach you that turned you into a leader? Did a Sunday afternoon of baking turn into an opportunity for responsibility? Did a Thanksgiving meal become a metaphor for organizational structure? Tell your story in writing or request to send an audio or video. To contribute, just submit your story to me here. You can read your submission and others' right here on my blog during Lipstick Leadership Week!

My new book, From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership, chronicles the lessons I've learned from my own amazing mother and other female role models. I'll be sharing those stories - and the stories of women I've interviewed for this book - during Lipstick Leadership Week - and I invite you to join me in this celebration of maternal wonders!

Click here to send your submission!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Home from Colorado!

Excuse me if this entry isn't as coherent as usual, but my plane home from Colorado was delayed, and I didn't get home until 2:30 a.m.!! To say that I'm tired is an understatement!

The Mega Inner Circle conference was INCREDIBLE. It never ceases to amaze me how many interesting, intelligent and inspirational people attend these events. And the location was breathtaking - I'll try and post a few pictures next week (after I've had a chance to sleep for at least 72 hours!) and I'll fill you in on who I met and what we did, including the fantastic meditation practices I learned.

Have a great weekend!


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Monday, June 09, 2008

Off to Colorado!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Just another quick note because I'm on my way to Colorado. Mark Victor Hansen and his Mega Inner Circle group are convening in Colorado for an immersive conference, and I'm so excited to be a part of it. Mark's Immersives are always chock full of interesting people, amazing insights and inspiration, and more valuable information than I can fill a notebook with! I'll be out of town for a few days, but when I return, I'll be sure to give you the highlights.

Here's hoping the temps in Colorado are far below the near 100 degrees the East Coast is facing today!

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Monday, June 02, 2008

On the Radio and TV!

Whew! I've got a busy, busy week ahead of me. So before I get too towed under, I wanted to stop by and drop a quick line.

My new book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership" has been well-received by everyone who's read it. It's so flattering and gratifying to see the fruits of my labors! I hope everyone has a chance to read it and to visit its website to share their own stories of "Mom's wisdom." We're going to be launching a "Lipstick Leadership Stories" series soon, so feel free to drop by and tell us about the amazing women role models in your life!

Now I'm off to do one of several radio interviews I have scheduled for this week. I'm also taping two TV shows, "Mystic Matters" (a local CT show hosted by the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce) and a segment with CT State Representative Diana Urban. I'll be sure to post more details - including where and when you can watch - soon!

Until then, here's to a profitable week ahead! Remember to take time out to breathe! (Hey, that's good advice. I should remember that!)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Salary Gap Between the Sexes

I hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend and had a chance for a little rest and relaxation! There's nothing like the first cookout of the season, the smell of the grill, a warm breeze and plenty of outdoor fun to get us in the mood for summer.

But today it's back to work despite the beautiful sunshine beckoning to us outside the window. Over my morning tea, I was purusing the headlines on Yahoo! and came across an article that made me shake my head in disappointment. "Great Jobs that Profit Women: Five Flexible Careers with Man-Sized Paychecks" by Kate McIntyre. The "great jobs" and "profit women" and "flexible careers" parts were are positive...but "man-sized paychecks?" Don't tell me that in this, the 21st century, there is STILL a discrepancy between what men and women are paid for the same jobs and same qualifications?!

It's true, and no, it really wasn't a big secret to me, though every time I read about it, I still find it wholly unbelievable. When are we going to wake up, people, and realize that there is absolutely NO reason for women to be earning "approximately 25% less than men in the same occupational group with simliar qualifications" (according to the National Committe on Pay Equity and their 2006 statistics)? The Yahoo article cites two reasons for the disparity: "gender discrimination and women's choices to work less than full-time or to stay at home to care for children."

Gender discrimination? Really? You mean we as women haven't proved ourselves capable of attaing the same results and the same success as men YET? I refuse to believe that because I have personally met hundreds of women who are amazing at what they do; they run successful companies, they're at the top of their fields, and they have limitless talent and skills. I even featured many of them in my new book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership."

It's time to snap out of the Dark Ages, banish these outdated business norms, and pay women in the workforce what they're worth. And if we can't do that, let's at least pay them what we pay their male counterparts!

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Mom's Influence on the Presidential Candidates: John McCain

To finish up our series on the Presidential candidates and the influence their mothers have had on them, today let's talk about John McCain.

John McCain's mother, Roberta, very different from Obama's and Clinton's mothers. I would characterize her as a "straight-shooter." She seems to be a person who has a very positive spin on everything. She doesn't seem to tolerate any complaining; she's all about accountability and taking responsibility for your actions. A woman after my own heart! Too many of us are more than willing to point fingers, to blame others for our own misfortunes, but neither she nor I will stand for that.

I read an interesting tidbit on this subject. When John McCain wrote about his time as a P.O.W., he chose to use some rather colorful language when describing his captors. Roberta called him out on it and said that he shouldn't use language like that. She pointed out that he chose to be in the military and knew the kind of risks that were associated with it.

Roberta strikes me as being very proper, but rather than from a place of showiness, it seems to come from a place of accountability and doing what's right. She's also very outspoken, and as a Navy wife they moved a lot as well so she's very into exploring new cultures and adventures. Therein lies a bit of similiarity with Obama's mother, though Roberta's interest was from more of an academic place rather than a romantic one.

So there you have, a little perspective on each of the candidates gunning for the Presidency, in respect to the influence their mothers may have had on them. Now it's up to you to decide who gets your vote!

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

YouPublish.com Goes Live!

Exciting news, my friends! The long-awaited and highly-acclaimed new info publishing and sharing site YouPublish.com from Mark Victor Hansen (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) is now LIVE!

YouPublish.com is an amazing site where users can publish and download all kinds of files: books, music, videos, software, photos, documents - pretty much any type of file you can think of! Some are free; some have costs associated with them, and ALL are worth a look around the site.

As you know, I offer a wide array of audio CD sets on the SHOP page of my website MichelleYDrake.com. YouPublish.com gave me the chance to offer similar products - audio and article bundles, video series, and even separate chapters of my new book "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office" - all at affordable prices. I welcome you to check them out at: YouPublish.com/MichelleYozzoDrake! I've even included a few FREE products to give you a taste of what's available in my product line.

Be sure to check out this fantastic site and have fun exploring!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Oscars and Customer Service

Even though I'm currently attending an amazing seminar on corporate sponsorship in San Francisco, I still managed to catch bits and pieces of Sunday night's 80th Annual Academy Awards (the Oscars).

After the red carpet, I basically lost interest and didn't spend much time watching the rest of the show...and apparently, neither did anyone else. According to the ever-popular Nielsen Media Research group, the "preliminary ratings" for last night's 80th Annual Academy Awards are "14 percent lower than the least-watched ceremony ever." (Yahoo! News)


My theory is that The Oscar's lack of success in the ratings all boils down to one thing: poor customer service.

Think about it. If the show (the product) was what people across the country (the customers) wanted to watch, the ratings would be through the roof. Maybe it's time for the creators and producers of the show to do a little market research. Find out what the customers want to see. Mix it up a little bit! While there's something to be said for sticking with a tried-and-true formula in any business, when that formula fails to produce stellar results, it's time to tweak it.

If The Oscars - or any business for that matter - wants to survive, paying attention to the customer and their needs is the key. If people want more jokes and skits, give them to 'em. If they want less long-winded speeches and canned presentations, take them out. If they want the show to be under the three hour mark, re-think the format.

Know your customer. Know their needs. Know what you need to do to create the product/service that fulfills them. In reality, because The Oscars are such an institution, they will probably continue on for years to come - poor ratings or not.

But can the same be said for YOUR business?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Why I wrote My New Book From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership

In a radio interview a couple years ago I was asked who my mentors were...I had to stop and think. When I started out there were only a few women in the workplace in leadership roles...but the first person that popped into my mind was my Mom! Mom was a nursery school teacher, hardly the typical role model for a young cosmopolitan business woman.

After the interview I dug a little deeper to understand why she popped into my mind...and the conclusion I came to was that she had been leading my family with faith, finesse, composure, compassion, and sometimes an iron fist. Then I looked further back in time and relations and found a wealth of "mom" figures to draw from. What perfect mentors for me to follow as I tried to become the leader I was born to be...the first flicker of my book, From the Kitchen to the corner Office, had begun.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

News: New Programs Launching from Michelle Yozzo Drake

Wow, have I missed you all!

It has been a while since I have posted...between the book writing...

(It will be released in bookstores nationwide by Morgan James Publishing on May 6, 2008...Just in time for Mother's Day!)
...moving The Cove Group into our new offices...the holidays...and a couple of health scares I needed to pay attention to...I have been shamefully absent in the blogosphere.

Now...I am back and it feels good!
We are launching a new online coaching program called CEO Secret Blueprint...it goes live this month. It is a place that small business owners can go to get the same type of advice that I give my Fortune 500 executives during thier coaching sessions! Big business strategies with a small business twist. The launch will kick off with a free e-class that you won't want to miss! I'll keep you posted on the actual launch date.

More news on the way...but for now...I have work to do!

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Friday, November 02, 2007


Just wanted to check in with everyone! I'm currently on my way to Los Angeles for the "Mega Speak" conference created by Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books.

I'm really looking forward to this event - it's a chance for professional speakers from around the world to come together, hone our craft and network, network, network. Mega thanks to Mark and his incredible team for developing this opportunity!

In other excellent news, I want to share with you the latest updates on my upcoming book:


(Sorry for the caps, but I just can't contain my excitement!)

Last week, we put the finishing touches on the manuscript, including a wonderful foreword written by Mark Victor Hansen himself. I'm currently working with Morgan James Publishing to finalize the production of the book titled "From the Kitchen to the Corner Office: Mom's Wisdom on Leadership."

The long journey from concept to holding the book in my hand is nearly complete; it will be available in bookstores by Mother's Day. Check back for more details!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Shalini Kantayya Competes in FOX's ON THE LOT

I am sitting in my living room, getting ready to watch a young woman whom I have mentored for the past 2 years take the first step toward realizing her dream of directing feature films with a social message.

When Shalini Kantayya first told me that she was thinking about submitting her film to a new reality show called "On the Lot" - launched by Steven Spielberg, Mark Burnett and DreamWorks - I asked her: "What is there to think about? Just do it!"

Don't you know...SHE DID!!!

When I first met Shalini Kantayya, she was screening her film A Drop of Life at a women's leadership retreat in Texas. Utne Magazine sponsored Shalini's film screening at their Revolutionary Women Retreat in Austin, TX. Kathy LeMay (CEO of Raising Change) and I met Shalini for all of three minutes at that retreat, and we immediately knew that there was something special about Shalini and her work. We knew that we could really help Shalini get her message out there on a very large scale.

I began mentoring Shalini within a few weeks of the retreat. When Shalini asked Kathy and I to sit on the Board of Directors for 7th Empire Media - Shalini's production company - we were both happy to be a part of Shalini's dream. Over the past few years, I have become very close to this amazing young filmmaker. I am happy to share some of what I know about Shalini and her favorite causes with you through my new blog "Our Voices in Media."

Oh! "On the Lot" is about to begin! Guess I'll write while I watch!

As a social activist, Shalini had to pitch A Drop of Life to potential funders to get her message out. What a great first challenge to highlight her poise and passion! How wonderful that her pitch was about a struggling priest! Her spirituality is a strong part of who she is. She and I have had many long conversations about the role of religion and spirituality in our lives. I am not surprised that she made it over that hurdle.

24 hours to put a short film together...quite a challenge, especially among strangers and fierce competitors! I guess we'll have to wait until Thursday at 9:30 p.m. to see the outcome of that challenge!

As Shalini opened the show, my wish for Shalini is: "May The Force be with you!" I hope you feel all of the people sending positive thoughts out to you!

Want a sneak peek at who Shalini Kantayya is and what she stands for? I'll be sharing moments from my interviews with Shalini for my upcoming book and will be interviewing many of Shalini's friends to get their favorite Shalini stories on my "Our Voices in Media" blog.

Support Shalini Kantayya: the woman who represents...

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Monday, March 05, 2007

On Spielberg's Reality Show--ON THE LOT-- A Drop of Life is a MUST SEE!

I have been working with an amazing young filmmaker, Shalini Kantayya of 7th Empire Media, for the past year and a half...coaching and mentoring her. She has submitted a film to a new reality show concept--On The Lot--that is selecting contestants for a spring airing.

From Mark Burnett, Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, ON THE LOT affords aspiring filmmakers the opportunity of a lifetime: a $1-million DreamWorks development deal. Over the season, the 16 filmmakers will produce short films in every genre every week and the viewers will vote on who gets eliminated. The show will premiere with a one-hour auditions episode on Wednesday, May 16.

Shalini's work is amazing and her rating for her first submitted work is 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Check out her film and give your 2 cents at the link below...

A Drop of Life by Shalini Kantaya

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Answers to Your Work Related Questions on NPR Advice Segment--Take a Break with Michelle Yozzo Drake

I am excited to have started a workplace situation advice segment for WLIU 88.3 FM a NPR (national public radio) station today called "Take a Break with Your Career Coach Michelle Yozzo Drake". I will answer your questions on the air during the morning and evening news every Tuesday.

If you have a question just post here and listen online at wliu.org during the morning or evening news for your answer. To learn more you can also click here.

For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Michelle Yozzo Drake Identified as Global Coaching Expert on Coachamatic.com

I am so happy to be a part of a group blog focused on coaching located at coachamatic.com.

Coachamatic is a newly launched dynamic group blog authored by a global assortment of 30 lifestyle and business coaches who have turned to blogging as a way of strengthening the coaching community and exposing the profession to a wider mainstream audience.

Coaches on Coachamatic are blogging on topics such as productivity, marketing, small business development, coach training, public speaking, work/life balance, health and wellness, leadership, parenting, money, and conflict management.

Coachamatic is the only blog of its kind and promises to make a significant impact within the coaching community, as a place where all types of coaches can congregate, share ideas, voice opinions, and interact with their peers from around the world.

Coachamatic is the brainchild of Andy Wibbels, award-winning blogger and author of Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging.

When you get a minute visit me and my pals at Coachamatic.com.

For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!


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Monday, October 09, 2006

Howto: Pitch a Story to Get on TV or Radio

Last week I was a member of the media panel at the National Publicity Summit in NYC. Each member on the panel (from Radio, TV and Print) told audience members what they were looking for and gave them a tip on how to approach the media.

The audience was well coached, by Steve Harrison's team of experts, prior to the summit. Still, one thing really stood out as the 59 people who signed up to speak with me began their pitches...those that researched my show made it easier for me to invite them to be on my show.

I really enjoyed the presentations from some of the folks, but they did not have anything to do with my show topics. It takes time to research programming but if you are looking for exposure and want the media to help...you need to watch, listen or read where you are going to pitch.

When submitting a pitch electronically, it is very easy for me to hit the delete button...and quite honestly, my assistant screens many pitches that never make it to my desk.

If we are cranking out a radio or tv show or a newspaper or magazine every day,week or month...
we are busy...but we need you and your stories.

So do your research and if you need help on how to pitch creatively or confidently...Steve Harrison is a great resource for coaching or mentoring in his quantum leap program.

So if you have a message to share that will help the media's listeners, viewers or readers... it is just a matter of getting brave enough and prepared enough to pitch your idea!

What are you waiting for?

For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Dealing with Loss

Hello everyone. I need to start with an apology. I have been a bit absent the past few weeks. I have been struggling with loss in my life. In August I lost an important family member to cancer and then had to drop my first born at college 22 hours away. My focus has been on my personal life and I have not been posting. I am now back and will be posting regularly again. Thanks for hanging in with me.

- Michelle


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Monday, August 07, 2006

Michelle Yozzo Drake Hits the Radio Airwaves

I have been hosting a weekly talk-radio show in the Hartford, Connecticut market since April. It has been a very interesting and rewarding experience for me.

As a public speaker and business coach a show on business solutions seemed like a logical fit. I was really surprised at the amazing response from publisists, of internationally known authors and experts, that have contacted me about getting their clients on my show--The Time is Now! Business Solutions with Michelle Y. Drake on WXCT Talk Radio 990.

We have had guests who are marketing experts, bloggers, leadership gurus, cold calling specialists, financial lenders and a regular dose of my perspective on life in the workplace.

If you would like to check out the show but are not in the Hartford area you can listen and learn at michelleydrake.com by registering in the free members only section. We are keeping all interviews up for the next few weeks and then they will be available on disk in our shopping cart.

Jumping into a new arena has been a great energizer creatively for me. I encourage you to find new ways to tap into your talents and potential professionally and watch how you transform personally! 1,2,3 go!


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Monday, July 31, 2006

Michelle Drake on Hallmark TV New Morning Show on Listening

If you missed this morning's show...or if you don't get the Hallmark channel here is the link to see my morning ritual.

I hope that you all will listen to your own voice to find the fuel to follow your dreams!

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Art and Business with Bonnie Grice and Michelle Drake

This morning I was a guest on In the Morning with Bonnie Grice on NPR's WLIU 88.3 FM. Bonnie posed some interesting questions.

Bonnie's program focuses on art and culture on Long Island and CT and we spoke about the whole left brain/right brain division or blend. I am a bit of a blend...businesswoman who paints.

I thought that you might like to listen. Move the counter to 32:45 in the show and enjoy!


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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Image and Perceptions...

When I recently went to speak at Rutgers University at their Eagleton Institute-Center for American Women in Politics New Leadership Program, the audience was confused at first glance:

Assumptions were made about my level of education, my self confidence, my income, my profession, my intelligence, my marital status, my political position, my age, my ability to influence others, and based on what they saw, I was not a powerful or influential woman. They assumed I was tired, old, worn-out, a push-over, someone who would not make waves, insecure, dependent, out of touch with trends and in general not capable of leading anything.

Many times when I coach women, they push back about paying any attention to what they are wearing, stating that their mind is the only thing that matters. Well girls, this demonstration on the impact of your visual image begs to argue that point.

As I transformed in front of the women at Eagleton they noted a shift in the perception of who Michelle Yozzo Drake really was.

I immediately got a raise, a family, I got younger, thinner, smarter, and more power, an education and respect. The mind, heart and soul of me was the same person that was standing in front of them moments before; only the exterior had changed.

Now, exterior without substance is no good either, but I challenge you to express who you are in a way that sheds the most positive light. If you don't know how, then find a girlfriend or professional to help.


Watch clips of our presentation on style here and here!

P.S. This concept does apply to you guys, too!

For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Elevator Speech to Promote Your Business

Do you remember all the things you should have said AFTER an opportunity to promote your business has passed? Have you struggled with explaining what you do in order to get financing or fundraising? Do you want to know how to get maximum exposure through media interviews and become a repeat guest?

I will be speaking at a NEW Entrepreneurs Virtual Meeting on July 19th 2006. If you want to learn more about registering for this call click here.

Can't make the call? No problem. Click here to listen to my appearance at this meeting and many other guest expert interviews I've done!


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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Date Correction for New Morning TV Airing

Any of you who were looking for my morning meditation walk on Hallmark TV's show New Morning on July 3rd must be wondering what happened...The dates were changed...

The new air dates are July 31 at 7 am and September 15 at 7 am.


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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Leading the Way

In a program development meeting for our Leading the Way Business Mentoring Program we were brainstorming on the following question:

What is the largest challenge for small business owners?

Isolation was the answer that came to mind.

The feeling that no one understands the pressure and responsibility of keeping the business growing and successful. The amazing realization the staff looks to ME for financial stability for their families.

Scary Stuff!

It got me thinking of when I started my first business, Saxton Consulting. I had left my position teaching business courses at Bryant & Stratton College and lept into a training and coaching practice in the town we had just moved to. With no network to build off, I felt very alone...especially at all of those awful networking events I attended.

It was difficult to navigate during thoses first few years. I often wished that there was someone with the expertise, the experience and tools to take me by the hand and lead the way towards success and growth.

I muscled through growing my business but made many mistakes.

I had the advantage of my business degree but needed plain old business sense...which only time could give me. If I had a team of advisors they could have kept me from straying too far off the path. It is not impossible without mentors...but the ride is much easier with them.

I am so excited about the Leading the Way program because the first session starting in September will provide those advisors to women entrepreneurs.

It is kind of like a good 'ole boys network...for women!

If you own a business...
or your quiet voice is directing you toward becoming an entrepreneur...

You Don't Have To Go It Alone...

Let us help you by Leading the Way!

For more FREE tips on advancing your career and navigating the workplace, sign up for my FREE e-zine "Lipstick Leadership" at LipstickLeadership.com today! And check out the products I've developed to guide you toward the success you deserve!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Revealing Who I Am On TV

I recently was filmed while taking my morning meditation walk by a film crew for Hallmark TV's New Morning show.

It was an interesting exercise for me.

I live my life in front of others as a public speaker. My morning meditation has always been a personal time of reflection and revving up for the day. In some ways sharing it has been freeing...although it has not aired yet...

It will air on Monday July 3rd at 7 am on the Hallmark channel.

I feel as though a more complete picture of who I am is floating around in the universe. My role as CEO of The Cove Group, Inc. defines and validates me in so many ways but is limited to who I am in a business environment. I feel truly blessed to be working a job that has me filled with energy for the day's challenges. I know I have many layers and perspectives to who I am...business woman, wife, mother, friend, artist...the list is endless...as are my possibilites for growth.

I hope that this segment on New Morning will help you find the quiet time to reflect and fuel yourself as you seek your most passionate work! The focus of the show is on listening...my morning meditation walk is focused on listening to the universe and my heart.

As I explore developing my talents...remember that sometimes the answers lie in the quiet of the morning...when it is harder to hide from our own powerful voice!

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