Building A Business That Serves You – Soul Purpose Company

The SixFigureStart story is featured on Soul Purpose Company via podcast and brief transcript. Here are some excerpts:

Getting Started: It’s All About the Network

Before you market your idea to strangers, start with the people who know you – people you’ve worked other jobs with or went to school with.

“We both came from big, corporate jobs,” Caroline says, “so we [already] had a network. We tapped into people who already knew us.”

“They knew our work product and they knew our work ethic and our integrity,” she says, “so the sale at that point was easier than if we were cold calling strangers.”

Going Longterm: Be an Expert

Longterm sustainability means marketing your business to strangers outside of your original network. And that means looking like an expert.

Speaking at events is the most widely recommended way to gain trust and notoriety, but Caroline says she’s surprised at how far writing got her, too. An editor at Forbes approached her to do a regular column because she had seen Caroline’s name so many other places online.

Part of your longterm strategy should include writing and speaking for as many outlets as possible. Soon, people will recognize you without you having to put in as much effort.

Read on for Achieving Abundance and Charging What You’re Worth and listen to the podcast at Soul Purpose Company: Building A Business That Serves You.


Reading Chekhov May Help Your Job Interview Skill – Video Blog

In this job search video blog, I share a tip for getting into your peak performance zone for job interviews:

Reading Chekhov isn’t the only unconventional way to prepare for your next interview. You can read more unexpected tips at Zany Ways To Get In The Zone For An Interview.

How To Excel In A Temp Management Role – eFinancialCareers

SixFigureStart is quoted multiple times in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector. Don’t let the title fool you: these tips are relevant to sectors well outside the financial one. Here are excerpts of my advice:

5) Set small goals

Make sure the goals you’re given are actually achievable. “You have limited time to get results and develop credibility, so focus on being efficient at these two things – this isn’t the time to wonder about what the broad departmental goals are,” says Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career coach with SixFigureStart, a New York-based consultancy whose clients have included Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

6) Keep your team on track

Don’t ignore business-as-usual team objectives because you think your staff can achieve them without your help – it’s you who will be judged harshly if they can’t get the routine tasks right. “Are the team working on an ongoing goal, say a sales target, so you need to ensure they’re hitting their weekly or monthly numbers? Confirm exactly what needs to happen and how it will be measured so you can laser focus on that,” says Ceniza-Levine.

8) Avoid being a fixer

As an interim manager who was already in the team, you are not being parachuted in as a trouble-shooter, so don’t agree to any objectives involving solving deep-seated team problems. “And don’t try to change everything. You might think you know how to improve the entire company, but unless that’s your mandate, just stick to the current objectives to get some quick traction first,” says Ceniza-Levine.

13) Build trust in the team

Dedicate a chunk of every day to dealing with the concerns of your team. Your success will be measured not only by whether you achieved you goals but also by whether your staff supported you. If you can establish a reputation as an approachable, pro-active manager in the short-term, a permanent promotion may come your way in the future. “Pitfalls for temporary managers include not developing the trust of the team and therefore not being perceived as management material. If you’re going to take on a temporary assignment, make sure you can get the team behind you,” says Ceniza-Levine from SixFigureStart.

14) Highlight your achievements

Once your assignment is over make sure that whoever placed you in the role knows what you’ve accomplished. “Debrief with your team to get their feedback and document the positive comments to share with management. Even if there are no more opportunities to manage at this company, this stint gives you a great example to highlight at future job interviews,” says Ceniza-Levine.

Read more tips from other experts in Simon Mortlock’s piece for eFinancialCareers: How to excel as an interim manager in the banking sector.

Cold Calling A Potential Business Lead – A 3-Step Guide

This post originally appears as How to Cold Call Your Way To A New Job in my weekly career column for and I include my unedited version below:

In the course of your job search, business launch or other career transition, you will need to reach out to people you don’t know. Be respectful of their time, and keep your approach brief. Engage their attention by making everything you say relevant to them. Here is a 3-step guide to a concise but captivating cold call (or email):

Establish your common bond

The first thing you have to do is introduce yourself. However, don’t just default to your standard professional introduction. Pick the description of yourself that establishes what you have in common with the person you approach, even if it’s not career-related. For example, I’m a blogger but also a business owner, career coach, recruiter, Barnard graduate, wife, mom, stand-up comic….If I am approaching a Columbia alum, I may open with Barnard graduate, even though I attended years ago. If I contact a journalist, I may open with (or some other publication if we both wrote for that other one). The best choice is dictated by the person you are contacting, not what you typically use as your pitch. You have multiple ways to introduce yourself. Pick the one that establishes a common bond.

Explain why they are the ONE

In the above example, the Columbia or journalism connection impacts the first step in my hypothetical cold call, but it’s still incomplete. There are lots of Columbia alums and lots of journalists. Why am I contacting THAT one? Perhaps I read an article that cited them. Perhaps they work in a company or in an area that I am researching. Perhaps they gave a talk somewhere and I am following up on something they said. You need to explain why the person you are contacting is unique, so there is an urgency for them, not some other alum or journalist, to get back to you.

Pick a small and specific request

By now, you have established a common bond with your cold contact and explained why s/he is the only one who can help. Now, you need to explain HOW s/he can help. Don’t ask people for job leads. A job lead is too big a request this early in the relationship. Asking about jobs is also not specific enough: does a job lead mean you want to speak to HR; are you inquiring about a specific opening; are you asking this person specifically to hire you? Your ultimate goal, of course, is a job or a sale or a career change. But there are many small, specific steps in-between that people can help with. For example, if you reach out to someone because they work at your dream company, ask about the organizational structure of the specific department you are targeting. Ask about the person who runs that group. Ask about projects in the pipeline or key objectives. All of these things will enable you to better position yourself for the job, but these requests are not in themselves about getting a job. By not asking for a job, you don’t put your cold contact on the defensive. By asking about the business, you demonstrate that you care about making an impact.

Cold calls are not just for sales experts. You can use these 3 steps to take the mystery out of cold-calling, expand your network, and get the information you need to make you a better candidate.

When You Are The Interviewer, Talk Less And Listen More – Video Blog

In today’s video blog, I share an important tip for being a good interviewer. Knowing how to interview is a critical, but overlooked skill to growing your career. You will need to be able to build a team in order to move your career forward:

You can see more tips for how to interview well at The Job Interview Skill Most Overlook But Everyone, Even The Happily Employed, Needs.


3 Easy Résumé Fixes to Help You Make a Career Change – and

This job search advice piece originally appears in my career column for and

Recently, I coached an experienced healthcare executive who wanted to switch industries. She had substantive experience in business development, research and project management, but had been sending out her résumé with little response.

This is a common problem of career changers: Your résumé points employers in the wrong direction—to your past. It represents a field that you no longer want, so don’t get called in for the jobs you do.

However, with these easy adjustments, your résumé can help—rather than hinder—your career change.

1. Highlight qualifications that cut across industries and roles

When you describe your roles, take out any industry-specific jargon. You want your prospective employers in other industries to be able to see you working for them. The healthcare executive that I was working with needed to focus on general research skills, rather than make specific references to clinical research or medical research. What skills do you have that cut across industries—sales, project management, people management, marketing, analysis, financial acumen?

2. Demonstrate relevancy

Employers will be reluctant to hire someone whom they have to teach about the industry or the job. So you need to show that you have already have demonstrated some movement in that direction. Professional work experience is an obvious choice to demonstrate expertise…but then you would no longer be a career changer. Courses or certifications, professional associations and conferences, and volunteer work are more realistic ways that you can get hands-on experience with an industry, and this activity gives you something to put on your résumé . What can you use to prove that you’ve done something related to your new career area?

3. Reference emerging trends

In growth areas, demand for talented candidates exceeds supply, so employers in those fields are more open to considering outsiders. This healthcare executive had led business development for data-intensive projects, which relates nicely to the red-hot area of Big Data. By referring to her sales focus with phrases like Big Data or market analytics, she emphasizes an expertise for which multiple industries are competing, not just healthcare. What hot skills can you highlight—digital marketing, social media, customer engagement, Big Data?


Why Face-To-Face Meetings Matter Even in the Digital Age – Video Blog

In today’s career advice video blog, I cover the advantages of meeting face-to-face for networking, job seeking or business development:

Of course, the cobbler has no shoes, and I broke this rule recently, which I feel hurt my chances on landing a project I really wanted. I reveal more in The Project That Got Away.