Begin With the End in Mind

Begin With the End in Mind

Stephen Covey touched on something really significant when he wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People back in 1989. Habit # 2, Begin With the End in Mind is the most meaningful one for me and it’s the one I spend the most time thinking about.

The message is a powerful lesson in personal growth and change.

No matter who you are or where you are in this moment, the Universe just threw us a massive curve ball and knocked us straight off the status-quo podium.
And while we all are figuring out new ways of getting back up and finding some assemblance of normalcy, by no means should we abandon our run towards the finish line. In fact, we now have an immense opportunity to learn more about ourselves, each other and the world we live in.
Research has found that highly resilient people pay attention to how they can learn and grow from difficult and life-changing situations.

How do we move forward with the end in mind?

Focus time and energy on things you can control. Your mindset is everything right now – in fact, it’s your North Star. Understanding that you have the power to create your experience is essential. Your thoughts lead to your actions which then lead to your results.

If your goal is to find a new job, change careers, start a new business or scale your existing business, there’s no better time than now to stay on track. The biggest opportunities often become available during times of adversity.

Focus your mind on seeking out those opportunities and you will find them.

Playwright, George Bernard Shaw reminds us that,

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” 

Don’t abandon your goals, instead manage your mind so that you can be more, do more and accomplish more.

Habit #2, is based on the vision that you create for yourself that you may not be able to see in the present moment. Begin With the End in Mind means to begin each day, task or project with clarity on your desired direction and destination and then keep moving forward by flexing your proactive muscles so you can keep going and make things happen.

If you want support to help you stay on track and keep moving forward toward your end goal, schedule a call and let’s talk. Working with someone who can help you challenge your thoughts, keep you accountable and help you gain peace of mind can make a huge difference.

In support of your success,


In times of uncertainty, your habits can ground you. Whenever there is a big change in your environment, there will be a big change in your behavior. James Clear has published hundreds of free articles on building new habits and breaking bad ones. You can go here to check out links to those articles.

Anything is Possible If You Believe

Anything is Possible If You Believe

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
-Henry Ford

Our belief systems define “what’s possible”

Recently I listened to a podcast where the host was discussing a compelling concept or idea around belief ceilings, which are sets of beliefs we have, that very much sound like facts but hold us back from achieving our true potential.

These belief ceilings are incredibly difficult to recognize because they are so ingrained in our hearts and minds, that we don’t think to challenge them and most of us are unwilling to challenge them because it may mean that we would have to change our thinking or even admit that what we may have been thinking isn’t true.

For example, a belief ceiling for me is that achieving a high level of success means hard work and no fun. I associate success with sacrifice and struggle, and my belief ceiling is that the fun part comes after (and not during) the hard work. I’ve subconsciously made this my reality until I began to challenge my way of thinking. I realized that if I shifted my attitude and opened myself up to a new perspective, I could enjoy my work and create more fun on my journey to success.

You may have a belief ceiling around how much weight you can lose, or how much money you can earn, or maybe you’re belief ceiling is keeping you back from starting your own business because you don’t have enough money or experience, or you believe you’re not smart enough, or too old to do the thing you want to do.

We don’t recognize these belief ceilings as optional. We recognize them as reality and therefore they go unchallenged.

These beliefs systems that lead to belief ceilings can grow from sneaky thoughts led by our inner critic that creep into our heads and keep us stuck in place and hold us back from possibility.

The best antidote to belief ceilings is to recognize them, write them down and challenge them. Our brains love certainty, so when we start messing around with assumptions that we’ve held for long periods of time and gaining new perspectives it will feel uncomfortable and confrontational.

Sometimes it’s best to understand what you have a belief ceiling around and just sit with it and figure out how it’s affected you. When you look at your life and think about your future and what you could be capable of your belief ceilings will inevitably come into play. And you will recognize it because they will seem like very valid and legitimate reasons for why you haven’t created the success you want.

But keep in mind, 80% of our success is mindset and 20% is strategy.

What belief ceilings may be present in your life that may be keeping you from reaching or exceeding your potential?

If you want to explore this topic and go a bit deeper for yourself you can schedule a call with me or you can attend my upcoming workshop “Women In Motion 2019” click here for more details.

Either way, let’s talk!


Connect with Denise on Linkedin

Want to Level Up Professionally? Start by Knowing Your Strengths

Want to Level Up Professionally? Start by Knowing Your Strengths

“There’s no greater gift than to honor your lifes calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” – Oprah

It’s one thing to know you’re doing a good job, but you won’t succeed if you’re not clear on the value you bring to your organization.

Knowing your strengths will put you over the top.

Can you name 5 of your top talents off the top of your head? Do you know the 3 most valuable traits you bring to your company?

Let me let you in on a secret.

Most people don’t know what they’re good at or they may have an idea but have a difficult time articulating it.
It’s much easier to focus on what we’re not good at and try to fix it.

Being unclear on what our strengths are, is part of the reason, why so many smart professional women find it challenging to advocate for themselves, ask for higher compensation or pursue top level opportunities.

When we are intentional about knowing our values and strengths, we create an awareness of who we are which helps us to become more confident in ourselves and appreciate what we bring to the table.

Last year, a client of mine, who is a high achiever and an effective leader for a multinational corporation, told me about how she had taken the Strengthfinder assessment, during a particularly volatile time in her organization.

When we began our coaching work together, her goals included creating an inspiring & bold agenda for the work she wanted to do and being deliberate about moving outside her comfort zone.
What followed for her was a sequence of epiphanies that led to motivation, action and momentum in her life.

Knowing her strengths and leveraging what she was good at, opened her up to consider key possibilities and think about a different approach to her leadership opportunities. Since then, the organization has created a new role, positioning her as a sought after global leader.

Despite the major changes that were going on in her organization, she remained steadfast in her belief that if she continued doing more of the things she excelled at, she would stay engaged, be passionate about her work, and continue to reinvent her career.

So what about you?

Whether you’re an executive looking to advance your career, own your own business or are reinventing what you do professionally, I invite you to learn more about what you do RIGHT. Taking the assessment will help you identify your own natural strengths and talents.

Here are 3 reasons why knowing your strengths will help you level up professionally.

1. You will know how you stand out competitively.

2. Your confidence will increase with the clarity that comes from a greater appreciation of the value you bring to your organization.

3. You’ll have the language to communicate with others about what you do well, your projects, goals and the impact you’re making, which will make it less difficult for you to advocate for yourself.

If you want to take the Strengthfinders assessment, and learn how to leverage your strengths to advance professionally, schedule a call with me today, at yourcorporateally 

Three Ways to Build Influence

Three Ways to Build Influence

Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.
-John C. Maxwell

Good leaders can get people to achieve, but influential leaders get people to want to achieve.

Last week, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop with a super group of talented women who traveled from all over the country to learn more about influencing strategies, so they could effectively develop their program, communicate more confidently with their clients and establish themselves as experts in their space.

These women are high achievers and are part of a learning community. They openly shared with me their challenges with getting their messages across when clients showed up with a blend of attitudes and views.

Here are 3 influence strategies that I shared with this leadership team, and that I think you will find to be very effective.

#1. Empowerment – Making others feel valued by involving them in decision making and giving them recognition.
When we respect someone, we are more inclined to cooperate and more willing to be influenced by them.
Look for solutions that will benefit everyone involved.

#2. Having a common vision – Presenting ideas by linking them to an aspiring vision of what is possible and show people how their work is important to the broader goals of the organization.
Use meetings and other gatherings to build a sense of pride and ownership in the team.

#3. Relationship building – Taking the time to connect with others and getting to know them personally. You want to cultivate relationships so that others will be inclined to support your ideas in the future.
And that starts with you being present and being able to build rapport.

Additionally, a growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with warmth.

Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and the communication and absorption of ideas.

We can all think back to someone who had a big influence on us in our lives, and for me, it was my father. As far back as I can remember, he enforced the idea that I should think for myself and never do something just because others were doing it.

Every organization has unique dynamics and having the ability to know how to influence others is a golden key.

We all need to know how to use influence, when we’re in an interview and we want to nail the opportunity, or when we want to shift someone’s perspective or we’re looking to win others over.

Which one of these 3 strategies have you found to be most effective for you?

Best Kept Secret You Can’t Afford to not know about

Best Kept Secret You Can’t Afford to not know about

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
-Anais Nin

It’s possible that you’ve thought about coaching before.

Perhaps you haven’t found the right coach; or you just aren’t sure what to expect. What steps do you take?  What will it feel like? Will coaching really make a difference in your life? How do you find the right coach? If those thoughts resonate with you then keep reading. I wrote this with you in mind.

I would love to work with you to help you find the personal or professional success that may be eluding you right now.

Sometimes we can all use a little help in making important decisions and taking the next steps.

There are several ways that we can work together. Take a look at what I offer and schedule a 20-minute complimentary call so we can connect and you can learn more about how coaching can have an impact in your life.

Insight Strategy Planning Sessions:

This service is designed for professionals who need a full day or (half day) of accelerated coaching. It’s a laser focused strategic planning session to help you create your vision, establish goals and produce a sustainable plan that will help you be successful. An Insight Strategy Planning session is the perfect choice for the professional dealing with an immediate challenge or wanting to get in front of a major project quickly. Learn more

Executive Coaching One-on-One:

Working with you one-on-one provides the ability to meet your specific goals and address your particular circumstances. We build trust and honesty together. As a professional, you face complex situations both in the workplace and in your private life. Delving into these challenges and working together, you will find dynamic solutions to help you unravel the complexities and find the clarity and momentum you need to move forward.

My clients include professionals who are experiencing various challenges such as:

  • Working at companies that are going through considerable change.
  • Dealing with conflict and dysfunction at work.
  • Going through a personal or family crisis.
  • Considering or navigating through a career change.
  • Planning a specific goal.
  • Making a bold move & figuring out next steps

It does not matter if your goal is personal or professional, working together we will create manageable steps in the right order to accomplish your intentions and get you where you want to be.

Consider working with me if you:

  • Feel ready to make a decision & accomplish something that will change your life.
  • Need to prepare and create a career strategy that will help you land your next opportunity fast.
  • You are sure there is more to life than your present experience and you are ready to move forward and explore the possibilities.

Schedule a complimentary 20 minute call with me here

Give the gift of coaching. Know someone who’s stuck and could use support? I can help

The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back & How You Can Turn Them Around

The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back & How You Can Turn Them Around

Have you ever set goals that felt right when you created them, but somewhere along the way you lost track and couldn’t sustain enough momentum to get you across the finish line?

It’s extremely frustrating right?

Everything worth having in life, whether it’s mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually starts with having a goal.

Here are The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back From Reaching Your Goals, and How You Can Turn Them Around:

  • It only takes one change in my life to reach my goals. Goals allow you to see a brighter vision for yourself. Reaching new goals requires you to grow. You may have to get uncomfortable with what you’re doing, and that’s okay. You have to be willing to stretch beyond any self-imposed limitations and consider different perspectives. Doing the same things over and over, won’t get you the results you want. You may have to develop new habits to achieve your goal or learn a new skill or take a few risks. Either way, make a commitment and stick to it.

        “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to     massive alterations of your end result.” ―                     Kevin Michel

  • You don’t need any support to reach your goals. Very rarely do we go far alone. Recognize that having people who support you on the journey can make the difference from you getting stuck out there and abandoning your goals vs crossing the finish line. Having a supportive community around you can help to keep you motivated. Finding common ground with others and sharing both positive and challenging experiences will help you to develop the mental toughness needed to stay in the race.
  1. Lack of action toward your goals will move you closer to the finish line. Often you can see the finish line, but because it’s so far off, it’s difficult to figure out how to get there. Self-doubt has a way of creeping in and before you know it, you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused and wondering why you created this goal in the first place. When that happens, you must stay in action. Keep moving. Small steps lead to bigger steps. Figure out what the one next move is and then do it. With clarity comes momentum.

        “Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.” ―Janice Trachtman

  1. You don’t need an action plan to measure your progress. I love the proverb “What gets measured gets managed.” This is a principle that is often used in business. Essentially it means that by examining an activity, it changes the activity by raising your awareness of where you stand. This is why charting your goals and establishing milestones is an essential factor in accomplishing your goals. By measuring your progress and knowing where to improve or make changes in your plan, you are more likely to achieve your milestones and put yourself right in front of obtaining your goal.
  2. You have to be able to see what doesn’t exist. The path to success isn’t always clear. There are twists and turns in places where you may have not anticipated them to be. Believing in yourself may sound like corny advice, but it works. There’s strength to be gained by believing what you put on the end of “I am.” Henry Ford said it best “Whether You Think You Can or think you can’t, You are Right.”

There are no guarantees when it comes to taking risks. But, you can feel proud knowing that you made a move outside of your           comfort zone. Reinvention is a slow process, but it will be worth it in the end.” -Germany Kent

  1. I should listen to my inner-critic and quit so I’m not at risk of failing. Being afraid to fail keeps you playing small and standing in place. When it comes to accomplishing your goals, If you’re not failing then you’re likely not learning anything new. If you’re not taking risks then you’re stuck on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Judgement and failure both come from a place of fear. The message here is clear and simple “Learn to dance with your fear.” It will encourage you to be afraid and do it anyway.

7.   You don’t have to be prepared to succeed. You create your own reality, no one else does. The great thought leader, Jim Rohn said “Your                level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”                      Focus on how to grow and get better every day. Prioritize self-development and leverage your strengths. Each goal that you accomplish                            positions you for the next level of success.

How to Outsmart Fear

How to Outsmart Fear

Breaking News:

Feeling afraid to step outside your comfort zone is normal. The trick is to be afraid and do it anyway.

Whenever we start something new, and push ourselves outside our comfort zone, something called imposter syndrome takes over. We start feeling like a fraud which leads to questioning ourselves, and we open the door for fear and self-doubt to creep in.

So, what do you do when self-doubt takes over and throws you into the grip?

You get moving and you stay in consistent action! Even if you’re afraid, you keep taking small steps towards your goals every day.

The inner voice in your head that’s telling you that you’re not good enough or that you don’t know what you’re doing loses its megaphone voice when you start taking action and doing the things you’re meant to do.

Here’s the tea: Whenever you start a new job, a side-hustle, a new business or anything unfamiliar, it’s normal to get butterflies in your stomach, and feel like your nerves are getting the best of you. But truth be told, these are actually good feelings and often show up when you’re in growth mode.

Learn to drill into your fear and understand where it’s coming from.

Our bodies are designed to protect us and keep us comfortable. So just know when you’re doing something that is outside of the normal routine and completely different, your body is going to push the alarm and expect you to get back in formation.

By taking consistent action, trusting yourself and having faith in what you cannot see, you are building your muscle of resiliency and your confidence will expand.

Connect with the part of you that is open to growing and daring to do things differently.

Dancing with fear and self-doubt is an art and takes practice. Keep doing it and before long you won’t even know they are there.

What is Mission North Star?

What is Mission North Star?

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be.”
-Maya Angelou

I hope you are thinking about joining Mission North Star!
But, maybe you don’t know enough about it, and you’re not quite sure what the experience will actually be like, what it will give you and how you’ll feel about it.

So, I asked Ruth, a current participant in Mission North Star to share her experience with you. Here, Ruth gives you a window into her personal experience; how she found her passion, determined the best strategy for herself, defined meaningful goals and discovered possibility.

How did you decide to sign up for Mission North Star?

I first met Denise while attending a two day career transition program that she was facilitating in Washington DC.
I realized what really energized me was when I talked about my desire to write a book, but I had no idea how or where to begin.
I was particularly struck with how Denise shared her own story of career transition and I carefully watched as she interacted with fellow participants. I really appreciated her direct nature, how in-tune she was with each person’s story, and how present she was during the entire class. She made time for everyone, even in a large group.

What convinced you that Mission North Star was right for you?

Denise shared her program with me and we scheduled time to connect for an informational session.  During that first session, Denise dove deep and helped me explore further what I was thinking and what stage in my goal setting I was in; she gave me direct feedback and offered different perspectives to consider. She also helped me assess if I was really ready to set goals and achieve them, and she helped me determine if I was ready to dig deep and work hard on finding my true self and figuring out what I really wanted to pursue.  Denise is about whether the timing is right for you to personally make a commitment to yourself, not a hard sell of her services.

What does Mission North Star mean to you?

Being ready to explore who you are and create goals
Being honest with yourself and stop making excuses
Being accountable to yourself
Wanting to find your authentic self
Creating a space for you to accomplish your goals
Being focused and creating achievable action plans

How has your life changed since you started the program?

Denise is very straightforward and goal-oriented. She is direct and not afraid to help you take risks and explore areas that are uncomfortable or deeply buried.  She is not a therapist, nor does she claim to be one, but her coaching helps to unblock areas where you may feel stuck, which then frees you up to continue moving forward on your path.
With Denise’s coaching, I was able to take my big goal of writing a book and break it into smaller action steps. Denise helped me prioritize and set milestones.  With her coaching and support, I wrote a magazine article to pitch and I submitted a TED talk application video.  She was with me, by my side the whole time—keeping me accountable, engaged, and focused.  By participating in Mission North Star I have opened my eyes to so many new opportunities. I am energized and jazzed by life and it’s unknown path. And, I am so much more open to new possibilities. ❤️

Ruth’s experience may resonate with you. Maybe, you have went through something very similar within your own life. You may be at your tipping point and ready for a big change in life. Mission North Star is an accelerated coaching program designed to help you create your own customized blueprint to move you forward. Sometimes we all need help in figuring out our next steps or the next big move to make. Executive coaching can be the game changer you’ve been searching for. 

Sometimes you just need to give yourself some attention and look at what’s possible.

Enroll today! Register here

Inspiration Is Everywhere

Inspiration Is Everywhere

From time to time, we all need inspiration. And truthfully, we never know where we might find it, because it could be anywhere. The magic is in being present enough to see it, no matter where you might be.

I found my inspiration somewhere in the middle of “The Everything Store” aka HomeGoods.

Full disclosure, it is the most wonderful place to aimlessly wander about while taking in random furniture displays and deciding between the pink Himalayan salt, the honey vanilla chai tea and yet another Rae Dunn coffee mug.

And as I continued walking down an isle lined with picture frames on one side, and random journals, planners and greeting cards on the other, I saw this magnificent book nestled within the clutter. Have you ever experienced a moment of pure glee, like finding a $20 bill in an old coat pocket? That’s what this particular moment felt like for me.

The title immediately caught my eye “In The Company of Women” Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney.

Funny how the universe sends you exactly what you need at the exact moment you need it. And so, for an undetermined amount of time I stood there flipping through the pages, reading incredible stories of diverse women who shared their uncompromising and unapologetic struggles and adventures of becoming entrepreneurs and business owners. Amazingly, talented women who took their ideas and their passion and created something phenomenal for themselves and for those who they serve. These success stories celebrated women and while their experiences are unique, their inspiring messages are universal. Here are a just a few of those messages that hopefully will inspire you today, as much as they have inspired me:

Success is contextual and fleeting, so when things are harmonious even for a moment, I try to savor it” – Ping Zhu, Illustrator, Artist. Brooklyn New York

Joy eclipses pain” – Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams. Writers, Food Activists. Morgantown, WV

Grow organically, don’t get ahead of yourself” – Eileen Fisher, Entrepreneur. Irvington, NY.

Nobody knows better what you’re capable of than you. Trust yourself. Trust your ideas.” – Tina Roth Eisenberg, Graphic Designer. Brooklyn NY

I admire women who are open and vulnerable about self-doubt that happens in the creative process and yet go forward and do it anyway” – Arti Sequiera. Chef, Television Host. Los Angeles, CA

I’ve learned that the word ‘no’ has many meanings and is not necessarily a negative thing” – Miko Branch. Beauty Entrepreneur. New York, NY

As long as my work continues to foster joy, celebration, community, generosity and simplicity, I’m on the road to success.” – Dana Tanamachi. Artist, Graphic Designer. Seattle, WA

If I want something, I don’t let busy stand in the way. I make the time to do it”  -Debbie Millman. Writer, Artist, Educator, Radio Host. New York, NY

In a world where so many are trying to be like the majority, it’s refreshing to see women courageously, own who they are.” – Carla Hall. Chef, Television Host. Washington DC

Wondering What’s Next?

Wondering What’s Next?

“The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention”

-Anthony J. D’Angelo


When you’re at a tipping point…

When the rug has been pulled from underneath you…

When you can’t seem to get rid of your inner critic…

When you’re overcome with self-doubt…

When you are in a self-sabotage cycle…


 Call Me

“I can take you to a deeper place than you can take yourself”

“I can provide the support you need to make your experiences, goals and thoughts actionable in a way that will help you move forward, feel better and become the person you want to be”

“I am well known for supporting clients in regaining resiliency, increasing self-awareness and reimagining the vision they have for themselves.”

Don’t stay stuck, unfulfilled and unsuccessful.

Schedule a 3o minute complimentary call with me. Let’s talk!


“The world rewards those who take responsibility for their own success” -Curt Gerrish


Denise Harris is a certified Executive and Leadership coach, who specializes in helping her clients get to the next level in their careers and personal lives.  Denise’s strategic knowledge, professional insight, approachability and candor allow her to equip + empower her clients with the tools to not only “successfully walk through the fire” but emerge on the other side as the best and highest version of themselves.