Friday, October 3, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 is International BRA Day, which stands for Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. Appropriately falling within Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this day promotes education, awareness and access to post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. In South Florida, the Physician’s Institute of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Memorial Cancer Institute are helping to support and raise awareness for breast cancer and breast reconstruction with BRA Day 2014, a cocktail fundraising event at the Historic Needham Estate in Fort Lauderdale.

Prior BRA Day events hosted by Physician’s Institute have featured celebrity guests, and this year’s event is no different. Dan Marino, who is highly involved in serving the local South Florida community, is the guest of honor and will be speaking. In addition to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, guests can purchase raffle tickets to win sports memorabilia, luxury items from Chanel Boutique in Bal Harbour, and other items.

Funds raised at the event will benefit The Roslyn L. Weiser Memorial Foundation, a breast reconstruction awareness foundation. The foundation provides emotional and financial support to women who have endured and survived breast cancer treatment. It raises funds for the Memorial Cancer Institute, Pink Angels of Memorial Foundation and the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund of the Plastic Surgery Foundation.

BRADay 2013 with Dr. Jonathan Weiser, Brooke Baker, Alexia Acheverria and Dr. Craig Uecker (Photo Credit:
BRA Day 2013 with Dr. Jonathan Weiser, Brooke Baker, Alexia Acheverria and Dr. Craig Uecker (Photo Credit:

Roslyn L. Weiser, late mother of Physician’s Institute founder Dr. Jonathan Weiser, was a two-time breast cancer survivor. Roslyn underwent her first mastectomy at age 45 and a second at age 57, leaving her with deformities she tried to hide the rest of her life. Breast reconstruction had not yet evolved and no adequate procedures were available. Victims of breast cancer not only had to endure a mastectomy, but also its debilitating cosmetic effects. Dr. Weiser remembers his mother’s discomfort and sense of shame.

Now a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Weiser experiences the miracles of plastic surgery first-hand. “I get to live that feeling every day, knowing that I can help women like my mother feel whole again,” said Dr. Weiser.

The Roslyn L. Weiser Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization. that provides financial support to women in need of breast reconstruction. All proceeds donated to the
Foundation benefit patients who are eligible for breast reconstruction, but are unable to secure financial support and patients who need chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy, lymphedema therapy, physical therapy, prosthetic bras, wigs, and other forms of treatment or recovery services. The Foundation also assists in financing emotional support for those affected by breast-related issues. Online donations are accepted here.

(Photo Credit: Historic Needham Estate)
(Photo Credit: Historic Needham Estate)

WHEN: October, 15, 2014 from  6:30 – 9 p.m.

Historic Needham Estate
828 SE 4th St.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Ph. 800-689-2359

TICKETS: $125 per person for general admission to the cocktail reception. Sponsorship packages are also available. Click here to purchase tickets and sponsorship packages

Friday, August 15, 2014

Age is all relative when it comes to fulfilling your dreams

Age is really all relative.

This week alone, I happened to be asked my age numerous times in both business and outside of business. Do I look that young? Certainly it’s a compliment, and yes, genes do play a part, and yes I also take care of herself physically and use products that I feel are keeping me younger in the long run. And I guess that I happen to have a lot of energy when dealing with people and so appear “young,” or at least younger.

Yet, I recently had an interesting experience with a gentleman who I'm doing mission coaching with. He's 20 years my senior, and this gentleman was feeling unfulfilled in his life and work. He was lost and couldn’t find his purpose and had no dreams. Although 20 years his junior, I had exactly experienced most of the same issues and challenges this gentleman had AND more importantly, had already learned how to overcome them and turn them into opportunities.

Have you ever said any of the following: 

I’m too young to …..
I’m too old to……
I’m not educated enough for…..
I’m not smart enough to……

Those are just excuses your mind makes up as a form of self sabotage. They are just that—excuses. When you realize that you are the only one in your own way of your dreams and goals, and you are able to help others in your business no matter what, the shift will happen in your life and business.

When you have a burning desire to do something, NOTHING can get in your way. There are kids from middle class families creating million dollar companies that combat human trafficking, and there are people fired from their jobs at middle age that create companies they're passionate about.

Remember this the next time you make up an excuse for why you can’t serve others. 

Interested in discovering your mission or taking it to the next level? Sign up for one of Alexandra’s coaching programs or join her next “PlayShop“. Find out more by contacting Alexandra at Alexandra@MissionBasedBranding.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Lemongrass Spa is #OnAMission to Spread Awareness of All Natural Skincare Products

Alexandra with Lemongrass Spa founder Heidi Leist(Alexandra having fun interviewing Lemongrass Spa founder Heidi Leist
Alexandra having fun interviewing Lemongrass Spa founder Heidi Leist
Last weekend I had the honor of attending convention of a company very special to me: Lemongrass Spa, a mission-driven company whose mission is to spread awareness of all natural and organic handmade products and provide the very highest quality products possible (Disclaimer: I am a consultant for Lemongrass Spa, which is a direct sales company. To learn more about the company and products, click here). 

Apart from meeting the founders Heidi and Bryan Leist, a heart-centered couple that is highly accessible, networking and bonding with other Lemongrass Spa consultants, I learned quite a bit about sales and business that is relevant to everyone.

Featured keynote speaker Belinda Ellsworth has decades worth of experience in direct sales companies. Here are the key takeaways from Belinda as well as other speakers from the weekend:

Priorities of a Successful Leader by Belinda Ellsworth
  • Goal Setting/Vision: Only 13% of people set goals and 3% have any big picture vision for their life. Furthermore, only 1% of individuals have the natural ability to be born leaders and build vision in others. Leaders must set goals for themselves and others, have a big picture vision, and learn/emulate from other leaders. If you do this, you will be in the top percentile of leaders in your industry.
  • Schedule Your Day/Week: Try this exercise: for a week write down EVERYTHING you do in your day. Chances are you will find you waste a ton of time on things that are not furthering your business or personal growth. Instead, try scheduling your day and week in advance. And most importantly, stick to it. At the end of the day, check your progress and see where you've been spending most of your time. Discipline is a muscle, you need to practice it.
  • Create the Spark: Everywhere you go, create passion around your mission and business.
5 D's of Success by Belinda Ellsworth:
  • Decision: decide what you want
  • Desire: continues to build/grow
  • Details: Daily to do lists builds your discipline, make sure to set reasonable expectations of what you can do
  • Destination: make sure to reach it
  • Determination: decide what you want, follow through, never lose sight of the end result and keep going
5 Gifts of Direct Selling by Belinda Ellsworth:
  • Financial Freedom
  • Flexibility of Time
  • Friendships
  • Recognition
  • Personal Growth & Self Esteem
Other Keys to Success:
  • Set your day into 15-minute increments of income producing activities
  • Focus on your business 4 days a week
  • People will mirror what you put out
  • Commitment: Keep your commitments
  • Consistent: follow through on the mundane tasks even if you don't want to do them.
  • Organization: Keep all your sales leads in one folder.
  • Make booking calls when you're on fire, not when you're desperate for leads! Your confidence will shine through!
  • Follow up: follow up, follow up!
  • Focus on why people love your product/service and focus on that.
  • Never pre-judge your clients or prospects. You never know what someone is going through that could lead them to want to work with you. Always do the sales talk no matter what. Invite them to be your client, they may be waiting for you.
  • Ideal Client: envision your ideal client
  • Share: Love for your product/service, integrity of the company, friendships/comraderie
  • Goal setting: create a sense of urgency
  • Customer Care: follow up, follow up.
  • Pushy people aren't afraid to be pushy. OFFER, don't push.
  • Take the time to pray before a call or meeting to be of service to your clients and to prepare their hearts to be open to your product/service.
  • Remember to have fun!
Check out a short interview with founder and CEO Heidi Leist on her mission and advice she provides for Missionpreneurs:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Form 1023-EZ Makes It Easier to File Non-Profit Tax Exemption

1023 EZ copy
Stop the nonprofit presses! There is now a new, simpler process for new and small charities to apply for tax-exempt status. On July 1, the IRS introduced Form 1023-EZ, which is a shorter, streamlined application form helping charities apply for 501(c)(3) status.

In light of the change, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “This is a common-sense approach that will help reduce lengthy processing delays for small tax-exempt groups and ultimately larger organizations as well. The change cuts paperwork for these charitable groups and speeds application processing so they can focus on their important work." [quoted in article on CPA Practice Advisor]

Rather than the standard 26-page original Form 1023, the new Form 1023-EZ, is just so easy and only 3 pages long. Most small and new organizations, including as many as 70 percent of all applicants, qualify to use this new streamlined form. Following feedback this spring from the tax community and those working with charitable groups, the IRS refined the 1023-EZ proposal, including revising the $50,000 gross receipts threshold down from an earlier figure of $200,000. There are some other specific requirements to be eligible, apart from gross receipts and assets, for example your organization cannot be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).

This change will hopefully allow the IRS to speed the approval process for smaller groups and free up resources to review applications from larger, more complex organizations thereby reducing the application backlog. Currently, the IRS has more than 60,000 501(c)(3) applications in its backlog, with many of them pending for nine or more months. Previously, all of these groups went through the same lengthy application process--regardless of size, Koskinen said. "It didn't matter if you were a small soccer or gardening club or a major research organization. This process created needlessly long delays for groups, which didn’t help the groups, the taxpaying public or the IRS,” he said.

The new EZ form must be filed online. The instructions include an eligibility checklist that organizations must complete before filing the form. The Form 1023-EZ must be filed using, and a $400 user fee is due at the time the form is submitted. For more information, check out the Revenue Procedures which were just posted here.

Okay, may just be the time to support or create the cause you've always been passionate about!

Do you plan to use the Form 1023-EZ? We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Follow-Up Game: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

We've all heard the term, "the fortune is in the follow-up." Especially in the services industry, it's important to keep a consistent dialog with your prospects and customers. 

So I was following up with several people I had met in the last week to schedule follow-up calls and I had two similar experiences with contrasting responses. Both people I spoke with were client-facing professionals that were currently meeting with clients when they answered my phone call. These were the scenarios/responses:

Scenario 1  

Me: “Hi [Health Practitioner], how are you? I’m Alexandra I met you last week at XYZ event.”
Her: “Oh hi, how are you?” (in a near whisper)
Me: “Great, thank you. I wanted to follow up to schedule a time for us to chat, but I noticed you are whispering. Is this an okay time to speak?”
Her: “Actually, I’m standing in front of a patient. It would be better if you called me after 3pm”
Me: “Okay no problem, have a great day and I’ll speak to you then”
Her: “Okay thank you, bye”

My Observations: As a healthcare practitioner, this lady wants to make sure that people feel well. She also wanted to acknowledge whoever was calling her (me). She politely told me she was standing in front of a patient and implied that it was not the best time to speak; however, at no point was she rude about that. Notice that I was very intuitive in picking up that she may not be available because she was whispering, so I was also mindful of the other person's environment and respectful of their time--a good strategy when you are calling people you have not yet established a relationship with.

Scenario 2:

Me: “Hi [Concierge Professional], how are you? I’m Alexandra, I met you last week at XYZ event.”
Her: “Uh hi. I’m with a client right now. I’ll call you back at another time.”(speaking quickly and rushing off the phone)
Me: “Oh, okay b…..”
Her: (hangs up phone)

My Observations: Interestingly this person is a concierge business owner that also focuses on making people feel good. Yet, she did not acknowledge who I was, rushed me off the phone, and did not try to set up a specific follow-up time to speak. If the client was so important that this lady couldn't take 30 seconds to have a normal conversation with me, then she should never have answered the phone at all. Frankly, she was rude. Plus we had been emailing back and forth about scheduling a call, so it’s not as if I was a cold-caller or a pushy marketer. She made me feel completely unimportant, and in the services industry this is a big NO-NO! How does she know that I wasn’t referring her business or that I was interested in becoming a client myself? Well, she definitely lost my business AND lost any potential referrals because the way she spoke to me was not acceptable. I’d be mortified if she ever spoke like that to someone I referred to her—so needless to say I won’t be taking any chances.

The ultimate lesson here is that client-facing professionals should always treat the person they meet or speak to like a potential client or a referrer of potential business, even if there is an unsolicited call or if you’re in the middle of a client meeting or an “important” call. Even better, treat them like a $100,000 client or $100,000 referrer of business, because you just don’t know. 

Your customer is KING...or QUEEN! Imagine how many more clients you'd get if you treated everyone you spoke to like royalty?!