Cindy Koebele Named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Upper Midwest

IMG_20150611_105707594Roshini Performance Group client Cindy Koebele, President and owner of TitleSmart, Inc., has been named a 2015 winner for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Upper Midwest Region. Ms. Koebele was named the Insurance Services award winner in the prestigious program. 2015 award winners were announced at a black-tie gala in Minneapolis in mid-June.

TitleSmart  is a full service title insurance company dedicated to providing exceptional title, escrow and real estate closing solutions. The company has seven locations in the Twin Cities area.

“Cindy is one of those people who wants to bring the WOW! to every situation,” said Roshini Rajkumar, communication coach and founder of Roshini Performance Group. “Coaching her on her journey toward this well-deserved recognition has been inspirational. I was not surprised when Cindy was named to this honor. She is a rock star in her field. We really wanted to showcase Cindy’s unique story, which includes 160% year-over-year revenue growth for the last few years.”

A group of eight entrepreneurs, including Ms. Koebele were announced as regional award winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the Upper Midwest. Regional award winners are now contenders for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Overall National Award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala in Palm Springs, California on November 14, 2015.

Cindy on why a secret weapon is a good idea for business owners: “Roshini was great! She connected me with a  first-class photographer for new headshots, gave me incredible wardrobe ideas, and feedback for my recent process.”

Watch Cindy’s EY profile, in which she discusses how she runs TitleSmart so successfully:

Tame Your Inbox Before it Bites Your Brand

mobile-phone-579543_1280In a time when business is conducted increasingly digitally, our communication is shifting from real-time, face-to-face meetings or even phone calls to rapid-fire e-mails or posts in project management tools. Businesspeople are commonly faced with dozens, if not hundreds of e-mails a day, many of which require thoughtful replies. With only 24 hours in a day, few of us have the luxury of spending hours on e-mails alone every day.

Taking the ostrich route – burying your head in the sand and ignoring your cluttered inbox – is simply not an option. You’re extremely likely to miss vital communication. But beyond the detrimental effects on how your business operates, how you approach e-mail can actually impact your personal brand.

Because e-mail is being rapidly embraced as a primary form of communication for businesses (including how customers and clients interact with businesses) slow replies, or no replies at all, make a bad impression. Nobody likes to feel as if they’re being ignored. That feeling you get when someone won’t return your phone calls also applies when someone won’t reply to your e-mails. But if you’re overwhelmed with the volume of your e-mail, getting to all necessary replies is bound to be a slow task. Your first step in taking charge of your inbox is organization. Read the rest of this entry »

Mind Your Phone Manners

mobile-phone-791644_1280Is your phone behavior hurting your brand? Are you leaving curt voicemails with little to no helpful details because you’re in a rush? Is your outgoing message on your voicemail vague or worst of all, are you using a robotic default message? Are you slow to return phone calls? When you leave a voicemail, are you paying attention to how your voice sounds?

Most of us commit cardinal sins against proper voicemail and phone etiquette from time to time, but in my June Twin Cities Business column, I discuss how to be more mindful with your phone communication to avoid harming your brand. Get helpful tips for outgoing voicemail messages that work, timing your phone communication, how to make the right impression when leaving a message, and more. Read the full article on Twin Cities Business online.

Bold and Bluetiful

5975_FRBLUWant to feel like you’ve just won the Tour de France? Buy yourself a French blue shirt – a bright shade of blue that makes a big statement. I know I’m always raving about wearing the color red. It remains a strong power color option,but try this other option for those who like a different shade of intensity. For your audience as well as yourself, French blue gives the subtextual message of champion.

While the depth of French blue varies from garment to garment, you know you’ve got the right color when you take periwinkle and dial it up. It’s not quite royal blue, nor is it sky blue – it sits somewhere in between. I like to visualize the Mediterranean. You’ve probably seen it utilized everywhere from nautical design to toile wallpaper, but it’s actually not an uncommon color in dress shirts for both men and women. It’s possible you’ve seen it on the racks before, but passed it up because it seemed too colorful.

Color communicates. That’s why I’m such a strong proponent of color in business wardrobe. Black and white aren’t colors, they are the absence of color. They say nothing about your character. But red or blue, for example, speak volumes. With its deep saturation and vibrant hue, French blue tells the world you’ve taken on challenges and won. You’re confident and in control. Ultimately, isn’t this the right kind of message to send to people when you’re asking them to trust you as a consultant, C-level leader or competent team member? Read the rest of this entry »

Say No to Networking

0515_PersonalBrand_400Networking can sometimes feel like a chore, but establishing ties is essential – no man, and no business, is an island. The key to networking well is to stop thinking of it as networking, and start thinking of it as relationship building, or prospecting. Don’t just collect business cards, but seize opportunities to nurture authentic contacts that can turn to leads or professional assets.

I talk about this in my May Twin Cities Business column. If you hate networking, or if you’re not an active networker, this one is full of wisdom for you! Even if you’re a seasoned networker, you can avoid burnout with my advice. Read the full article at Twin Cities Business online.