Focus on Your Beliefs, Not Your Behavior

Have you ever gone to a conference, read a book, or listened to a CD, and learned something you “knew” would help you, maybe even change your life … and then did nothing?! Would you say you’ve done this more than once?

Why do we do this? Because in the desire to implement what we’ve learned, we prematurely turn our attention to altering our “behavior” which is our automatic response instead of allowing our new-found lessons to transform our “beliefs” or our underlying foundation. Our beliefs drive and determine our behavior; the two cannot remain out of alignment. So, when we attempt to behave in contrast to our beliefs, we’re left with two options: continue to beat ourselves up for failing, or return to our original behavior.

So where do our beliefs come from? Each day we process an inordinate amount of information. To help make sense of this daily bombardment, we are forced to begin making generalizations to help speed up our processing time, and these generalizations ultimately become the foundation for our belief system. Once we “believe” something, our brains begin to operate on automatic pilot, filtering any input from the environment and searching for support systems to validate that belief. Our mind wants to collect information or evidence to support our beliefs. Often the evidence we collect is not supportive or empowering.  In fact it can often be detrimental to our well-being. However, without this hardwired process, we would not be able to function or survive.

The subconscious mind is where the majority of our behavior is controlled. Once a new behavior has been consciously learned it is delegated to subconscious, such as, riding a bicycle, and driving a car. The same is true of the way we “process” information about the world around us – having acquired a set of beliefs and concepts we delegate them to subconscious control and then we automatically engage in thoughts, feelings and behaviors subconsciously – in other words not under our conscious control. Therefore, whatever you believe becomes your reality.

The downside to this is that regardless of where our beliefs come from, we begin to blindly accept them and no longer question their origin or truth. Once adopted, these beliefs become our foundational view of reality and become entrenched in our unconscious. Before we know it, we have limited ourselves solely to the past as a source for our beliefs.

Check out your foundational beliefs by filling in these blanks:

  • I am _______ (intelligent, athletic, a failure, a success, hard- working, lazy, etc.)
  • People are _______ (friendly, caring, selfish, power-hungry, mean, kind, etc.)
  • Life is ________ (a joy, short, thrilling, boring, hard, a struggle, etc.)

You might ask yourself:

  • “What negative impact has this belief had on my life?”
  • “What will it ultimately cost me in my future emotionally (as well as in my relationships, physically, financially, etc.) if I continue to hold this belief?”

Beliefs, both conscious and unconscious can arise out of direct and indirect experiences. Beliefs that arise out of direct experiences are those developed from what we see and experience in person. Beliefs can also be based on indirect information, for example information conveyed to us by another person. We make decisions everyday based on information  gleamed from many sources such as broadcast news, articles, teachers and professors, the internet and the list goes on.  We take this information in in the form of beliefs which are often based on this subjective evaluation of facts. In addition, each of us brings our past experiences, filters, perceptions and beliefs with us into every new situation.

To determine what you really do believe, you might ask yourself:

  • “Is it true?”
  • “Is this belief ridiculous or absurd?”
  • “Was the person I learned this belief from worth modeling in this area?”
  • “Is this belief based on accurate interpretations?”

Basically conscious beliefs and less conscious beliefs direct our lives, providing the framework for emotional responses, initiating our actions and conversations. Most of us know that if we could change the way we think we could change our lives. So how do I do that?

There are different methods for changing beliefs the one I recommend is Change Your Beliefs – Change your Life!  It is the process I use to assist my clients in identifying the conscious and subconscious beliefs that no longer support you. Using various techniques, I’ll guide you in resetting your beliefs and creating new beliefs that support your life today.

You deserve to have the life you want!

Diana Rinkoff ? ? 713-503-9104.


Holiday Networking Tips

 If you are thinking about putting your networking on hold now that we are in the holiday season, think again.

For many years I have looked for ways to leverage the holidays to continue to build my networking relationships.  I would like to share with you a few ideas that might change your approach to Holiday Networking.

Holiday Parties

Attending holiday parties can be a great way to reconnect with people and stay visible, which is an important part of effective networking.

Know your limit

This is especially important during the holiday season because spirits are found at most holiday events.  Even though it is a holiday party remember to maintain professionalism and avoid drinking heavily.

Holiday greetings

Take advantage of this opportunity to reach out to clients or prospects by sending a holiday greeting.  It doesn’t matter if you use snail mail or e-mail, a greeting is a great way to stay connected during the holidays.

Stop by

The holidays can open a door for you to followup with a “Happy Holiday” visit without it being preserved as another cold call.  You will also find that a nice tray of cookies and no mention of business will help build relationships with even the toughest prospect.

Helping Others

There are many opportunities to return to the less fortunate during the holidays.  Whether it is organizing a food drive or collecting new or used toys to be donated, your networking circle can help make a difference in someone else’s live.  Volunteer to be the “go to person” and you will see how giving back will generate conversations, meetings and connections during a time when networking is slow.

Set up after the holidays coffee meetings

People have the holidays on the brain and tend to focus less on business, however, this can work in your favor.  Suggest a few dates and times for a brief coffee meeting early in January and get something on the calendar. This will jump start your new year and will more likely to achieve your desired outcome by having their full attention.

I hope you find these tips helpful and will continue to networking during the holidays this year and for years to come.

Have a wonderful holiday with family, friends and good cheer!!


Do you work from home?

Do you struggle with finding outlets where you can meet others who office out of their home?

Working from home isn’t for everyone.  It is perfect for many people with disabilities or those with transportation barriers.

The benefits of working at home are undeniable, but the downside is that it can be very isolating.

Feelings of isolation are common for homebased business owners.  The same logistical concerns that make working from home an appealing arrangement also make it easy for solo preneurs and entrepreneurs become hermits.

Networking is a great way to make sure you get out and have face to face interaction with others.  Sure, you can always spend time on the social networking sites but many need the personal connection that attending a networking event can offer.

Here are a few networking ideas you may want to consider:

Get involved in the community by volunteering with a local organization or a non-profit.  You will meet others with the same passion and could even lead to business.

Join a professional organization, Chamber of Commerce, or business. Networking works best when you show up, get involved and focus on building relationships by getting to know the other members.

Put the word out that you are interested in public speaking opportunities at meetings, expos, conferences and other events. Doing so will set you apart from your competition and make you the expert in your industry.

Attending conferences and expos will give you the opportunity to meet people with similar interest outside of your zipcode.  These events will not only allow you to meet new people but also expose you to the most up to date technology in your industry.

Seek out groups that cater to other home-based business owners. Most social media sites will have groups for the like minded.  The Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Development Center may have special interest groups they can refer you to. You will also find Meetup ( is another great source of groups meeting for coffee on a regular basis for conversation. If there isn’t already a group, start your own. Set a meeting date, time, and location and publicize it through the Chamber and by posting flyers at the local coffee shop or copy center.

This is how I got my first start in networking.  I created a business women’s networking group in Meetup and had 30 women at the first event.  30 women I did not know.  The group grew to over 300 members in the first year.

It proves the point Ray Kinsella made when he said in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

Give it a try and stop being a Homebased Business Hermit!



Resources, co-workers, teammates and partners…

Really, the above title should be Resources (or co-workers) vs. teammates (or partners), but I didn’t want to give the impression I was being confrontational.

OK; so what am I trying to say?

I make many points and references in my book; C.A.R.E. – Courage to Take Action Relevant to Everyone; building a better workplace starts with you! about people and our roles at all levels in the workplace.  After all, that’s what we are; people.  That’s at least one thing we all have in common; we’re all people.  I will cut to the chase and summarize the various “labels” we the people are forced to own inside the workplace other than what we all are; people; more specifically a person with a heart, a soul and a brain!

In 2009 I was giving a seminar in Pasadena Ca, the topic was teamwork, the audience; small business owners.  It seemed that everyone was an expert when it came to teamwork.  In fact one outspoken SBO stated there’s not much for him to learn about teamwork; he gets it.  He said TEAM is the acronym for together, everyone achieves more.  We’ve all heard this before; right?

Anyway he went on to say that he knows how to play this game and how to get what he needs from his resources.  When he said that, it really “resonated” with me; this is a huge miss in people managers (or people collaborators).

Work is not play, people are not resources and this is not a game.  This SBO is imposing his personal agenda and re-naming it teamwork; this is terrible!

Somewhere along the way, we (the workplace) stopped referring to people as people and changed the label to “resource”.

We need to change this back; people are people.  I feel so strongly about this, I’ll say it again; we need to change this back; people are people.  If all we are in our present job is a resource then how can we be relevant to the company?

Execute tasks that are assigned to us by someone else; just say yes to everything and we’re a resource. I don’t care what your level is in the company.  Share in the success of your company; question everything, voice opinion, input and concerns specific to the actual work and you’re a teammate.

While I’ll say resources are at least co-workers, teammates on the other hand are considered partners.

When the going gets tough at your company (and it will if not tough already), and your company is faced with some gut wrenching consolidation decisions; who will be the first to go, the resources or the partners?

What do you think?



What is Niche Marketing?

If you are a in business or thinking about starting a business then THIS is where it all begins…Your Niche.

The word ‘niche’ is defined as: “A special area of demand for a product or service”. ‘Marketing’ is defined as: “The opportunity to buy or sell”. If you put the two works together, niche marketing means buying or selling a product or service in a special area of demand. All that really means is that a product or service is being sold to the people who are most interested in that particular product or service and not to the world in general.

Oftentimes big businesses use niche marketing. For example, a company that makes computers and computer accessories might advertise all-in-one copy/printer/scanners to the home computer user while at the same time advertising single function machines to large businesses.

One of the things that make niche marketing so attractive to sellers is that their advertising budgets go further. It costs less to advertise to a specialized market than it does to advertise to a broader market.

Niche marketing must be designed to meet the unique needs of the targeted audience. Niche marketers must tailor their product to meet those unique needs. If, for example, you have designed a product to make poodle grooming easy enough for the untrained professional to do it, those who own poodles will be most interested in your product. Those who own Blood Hounds or cats couldn’t care less. If you have written an e-book that will explain how to start and succeed at an online business, those who are looking for that information are your niche market. Those who are happy doing what they are doing are not interested at all.

Niche marketing is a very effective and cost efficient way to advertise and sell specific products or services to a specific audience or, hopefully, buyers of that product or service.

So before you get started do a little research on you niche.


The riches are in the niches!

Take Control of Your Emotions – In a Few Easy Steps

Knowing what to do rarely changes your life.  Taking action often does.  Transforming the way you experience your life—eliminating beliefs, getting rid of conditioning’s, and dissolving your attachment to your emotions—almost always results in profound positive change.

As human beings we are made up of emotions.  Emotions of all types flow through us on a daily basis, feelings such as of joy, love, excitement, sadness, fear, anger, a whole array of emotions.  At any point in any day, if asked we could report what we are feeling.  Our earliest training taught us to label our emotions. Certain emotions in our body may be experiences as good such as love, happiness and joy.  Other emotions are said to be bad or undesirable such as sadness, anger or fear.

If you were to remove the label of the emotion from the experience, you would just feel energy passing through the physical body.  Let’s take the example of sadness.  You have an experience you immediately have feelings of sadness, but if you were to remove the label of sadness, which carries a definition, such as bad or I should not feel this way, the emotion is just energy.  The problem arises when we label the emotion.  Once labeled the emotion, which is just energy, takes on meaning.  Each of us has our own filters as to what that specific means for us.  We have thoughts, feeling and emotions tied to this feeling.  By labeling the emotion we immediately create an air of resistance, as opposed to just seeing the emotion as energy.

I am suggesting a process of de-labeling, which will help you takes the label of the emotion and just feel the emotional energy in its purest form, the most basic substance energy in motion.  As we become experienced observer, and are able to watch the energy in a detached, unlabeling manner, we observe it is only energy.  Our attention moves away from the object of the emotions, the story of our emotions, and we are able to concentrate on the feeling in the body as energy.

An experience with out a label is just energy.  For example, anger without a label is energy in a different form than sadness.  When an emotion is experienced without the labels, the judgment of I should not feel angry, the evaluation of anger is bad, and the significant of what does feeling angry mean about me, is removed and all that is left is energy.  Without the labels all emotion is just energy, there is not resistance, it is just energy.  This is an effortless process; simply by observing the emotion as energy, the transformation can occur.

Another way to view this is if emotions, such as anger, fear, or sadness did not have energy in them, would they be a problem?  Would the problem exist, if it had no energy?  So what are the steps to transform our thoughts, feelings, emotions and our many sensations, in which we the conditioned individual puts labels on?

Let’s examine how this works, a situation happens which makes you very angry; you experience the anger as it moves through your body.  Observe the feelings of anger; where is it in your body?  Notice the level of intensity of the emotion. Take your attention off the story and move your attention to the anger, or the emotion itself.  Now unlabel the emotion and see the emotion as pure energy.  Every time your mind wants to go to the story about why you’re angry, gently move your attention back to the unlabeled energy.  There is nothing to do, nothing to change, just observe the energy.

When you are angry or in fear the mind gives many reasons why you’re afraid.  Normally people focus their attention on the story about why they are afraid or why they are angry, moving externally or outside of oneself.  By allowing the natural, motion of energy to occur, the energy passes right through you.  As children we learn to label our emotions as good or bad, as acceptable or unacceptable, as adults we just continue the process.  If the labeled emotion has unpleasant associations, the energy has a tendency to get stronger and stronger because it has been more repressed.   If you have ever attempted to suppress an emotion you soon realize that repression does not work it only aggravated the situation.  It is like being asked not to think of something, of course that is all you can think of.

When we are able to take an observers presence to a life situation, we are able to transform our habitual awareness from focusing on the story of why, and allowing ourselves to refocus on the emotional energy itself.  Whether the emotion is pleasant or unpleasant we are beginning to shift our awareness to un-labeling the emotion and just experiencing the energy.  The practice is to watch the emotional energy, with no labels, no judgment, just with interest and curiosity.

Emotions as Energy – Try it out for Yourself!

Once you become familiar with the energy of your emotions, you are able to change our habitual response.  Begin by choosing an emotion such as fear, anger, sadness, or jealousy.  As you sit quietly; begin to breath, watching the rising and the falling of the breath.  Bring into awareness to a recent situation, a past experience or something you are anticipating in the future.

  • Notice the people, the situation, and any sensations.
  • Allow the emotions to become stronger and stronger.
  • Notice the labels you give to the emotions.
  • Notice the mind as it jumps in with justification, rationalizations, soothing and comfort, or are there thoughts of punishment and criticism?
  • Notice where in the body you are holding the emotion, notice the size, the color, and the intensity.

Move your attention of the story, remove the labels and begin to see the emotion as energy.  If any thoughts, impressions or additional stories come up just see them as energy.  See the pure unlabeled energy as you merge with it.  Become the energy.

If you do this exercise for seven days you will notice that both your sense of victimization and your negative feelings will be significantly reduced.  By de-labeling and reclaiming your energy you will create more space for what you desire in your life, you will restore your sense of wellbeing, and experience more balance and joy in your life.

Diana Rinkoff ? 713-503-9104


7th Annual Flexible Workplace Luncheon / Sloan Awards


In this special featured episode you will a panel discussion with local business executives and experts discussing relevant issues regarding Workplace Flexibility.  This year’s theme is “Managing Performance for the flexible workplace.”

To find out more about Flexible Workplace go to

About the Sloan Award

Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility

In 2011, hundreds of organizations applied for the Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility, resulting in 450 winning worksites! Since 2005, the Sloan Awards have been recognizing model employers of all types and sizes across the U.S. for their innovative and effective workplace practices. We hope you will join this dynamic and prestigious group of organizations!

The Sloan Awards are part of When Work Works, a research-based initiative to highlight how effective and flexible workplaces can yield positive business results and help employees succeed at work and at home.

Using a rigorous scoring methodology that emphasizes the real life experiences of employees and incorporates national benchmarks for employer practices, the Sloan Awards honor organizations that are using workplace flexibility as a strategy to make work “work” better—for both the employer and the employee

Employers of all sizes, in the public and private sectors, for-profit and not-for-profit are eligible for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility

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Four Drastic Steps to Turn Your Business Around

When you look at your business, are you happy with your results? Are you stuck and not growing? Perhaps you are just getting started and don’t have any idea what to do next, you may need to consider taking a drastic step!

According to, drastic is defined as, “extremely severe or extensive.” The word drastic often times has a negative connotation but it can also mean to do something that you have never done before or weren’t willing to do in the past. When I speak of the word drastic, I am referring to doing something different, out-of-the-box and what other people may be afraid to do.  This was true for me when I decided to reenter the entrepreneurial world. Now, don’t get me wrong, I took a lot of baby steps along the way to prepare for the big drastic step of one day saying goodbye to corporate America. Researching the business, saving money for an emergency and establishing the business was all baby steps that led to the final drastic step of leaving a six-figure income to pursue my passion.  Of course, I had all of the fears and reservations that any normal person would have but sometimes, we have to bite the bullet and get to steppin’!

Here are a few steps you could take to turn your business around:

  1. Ask for help. As entrepreneurs, we often work alone and hesitate to ask for help. However, most people want to help and all we have to do is ask. The problem is, we don’t ask. Take a drastic step today, ask for help and be ready to receive more than you asked for.
  2. Network Bigger. Many entrepreneurs are great networkers, but they forget there is a whole world out there. If your business lends itself to global (national and international) marketing then you need to network bigger. Join international networking groups that have national conferences and attend. This one tip has helped me to build a network in Canada, Belgium, Paris, and in most of the 50 states.
  3. Network effectively. When attending a networking meeting, be selective about your connections. Don’t try to work the entire room dealing out your business cards like playing cards. The key to effective networking is to find 3-5 people that you want to have a one-on-one meeting. When you figure out there is a mutual “attraction” go ahead and schedule the one-on-one appointment on the spot. This will prevent you from having to follow up later which may or may not happen. Picture this, you can leave a networking event with five new appointments. Now that’s effective networking!
  4.  Use Technology Tools to get the job done. When gas prices went up to almost $4.00 a gallon I thought, there has to be a better way to meet people without running all over town. I needed a way to connect but save time, gas, money and calories! In came Skype. It was like the Hallelujah Chorus was playing in the background. It was revealed to me that I could take a drastic step and use Skype in my business instead of running all over town! Now I have Skype calls inside of Houston and across the world. Isn’t technology great?

I have a client we will call Robin, who was very reluctant to network. Robin really did not want to step outside of her comfort zone to do one-on-one networking. Together we role played and she gained the confidence to not only network but to schedule one-on-ones on the spot. As a result, she converted a one-on-one appointment to a $4,000 sale! It pays to get coached and nudged outside your comfort zone to take the steps to make a difference in your business. So the next time you want to network deeper and effectively, take a drastic step ask for help and use Skype to get connected.


Toni Harris, also known as the Turnaround Queen®, is a motivational speaker, Radio show host, Certified Dream Coach® and author. Listen to Toni’s radio show every Friday from 9-10 CST at or email her at



Walking a Spiritual Path can be Tricky

Walking the spiritual path can be a tricky and the adventure always has many twists and turns.  Sometimes we make progress and sometimes we find ourselves treading water or even going backwards.  The great Tibetan meditation teacher, Chogyam Trunpa, wrote that we are often “deceiving ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques.”  He called this kind of self-deception spiritual materialism.  Following are some common misconceptions each seeker may encounter on their spiritual journey.

Too often seekers are looking for instant transformation.  Just as some people get seduced by the never ending process of self-examination, some are disappointed when they don’t achieve inner peace after reading a book, or in a week-long workshop, or even after two years of weekly therapy or meditation.  Spiritual awakening takes patience, hard work, and the grace of God.

In learning any new spiritual skill, time and patience’s are required.  We do not always catch on the first time.  Often we struggle in the learning process or the new skill is difficult to incorporate into our lives.  We may use the new skill effectively for a short time and then get what I call a “pop quiz” to test our commitment to change.  The “pop quiz” makes us doubt what we have learned, and it is the test to see if we convert back to old habits.  Just like in school passing the “pop quiz” takes us to the next level.  Learning is a gradual process, where we apply what has been learned and continue to learn, eventually turning this learning into wisdom.  Spiritual growth is a lifetime process.

In learning new spiritual skills we often feel so exhilarated with our new knowledge that we want to share it with others.  This is good until we try to fix our friends and family. Not everyone learns at the same speed and what you think is an “aha!” may not be true for the next person.  Thus, learning spiritual skills helps us to become more aware of the reflection of our self in others and in the many situations we face.

Our reality is based on our perceptions of the world, which is colored and shaped by our beliefs, prejudices, expectations, preconceptions and our experiences.  Each of us experience or see the world through our own filters.  Therefore, if you want your reality to change, then work on changing your filters and ultimately you’re beliefs.

Common Pitfalls and Mistakes of the Spiritual Seeker:

  • Where we place our attention becomes our focus.  Where is your attention?
  • The courage to face our self-deception leads us to our greater growth.  Illusions are painful; facing reality gives us new options.
  • Don’t look outside of yourself for answers; all of the answers are inside of you.  Note the wise old saying – “the further you get from yourself the further you get from the truth.”
  • The journey is simple.  The mind wants to make it complicated.  The mind will always give you permission to fail, or make excuses.  Who is driving?  The spiritual mind or the cranial mind?
  • Procrastination is one of the biggest reasons for failure.  It stops us from exploring and taking action.  Whether you are running a race or seeking new wisdom – Your motto should be – “Just do it!”
  • A spiritual path is never ending, there is always something new to learn.

713 503-9104


The Art of Learning to Say “No!”

I recently had a conversation with a dear friend who was bewailing the dire predicament she had gotten herself into. Because of her inability to stand up for herself and say “No” she had allowed a former friend to move into her home, rent free and indefinitely! This unwelcome guest had begun to drain the very life blood from her and she had begun to feel uncomfortable and ill-at-ease in her own home. When I questioned her, she was unable to clearly articulate why she had allowed this person to move in, albeit against her better judgment, and why she lacked the guts to ask the interloper to leave.

There is no doubt that this house-guest was in dire need. It is also true that the individual’s own family had refused to help due to this person’s past negative history with them. Yet my friend jumped in, as it were, to save the day yet lacked the ability to clearly articulate why.

As I listened to my dear friend berate herself for what she referred to as her ‘stupidity’ and ‘weakness’, I was tempted to pass quick judgment on her.  However a series of past events quickly jogged my memory as to my own ‘stupidity’ and ‘weakness’ in years gone by.  A terrified flashback soon reminded me of the many years, anguished days and sleepless nights it took me, before I learned the art of saying “no”.

Whether the difficulties arise in your personal or professional life, it is important to develop the skill of knowing when to agree to take on the load of an added job project or a needy friend.

Here are 13 crucial points to ponder when faced with the fear of saying “No!”

  1. Acknowledging someone else’s load is not a cue for you to pick it up.
  2. Resist the urge to volunteer to be the martyr.
  3. If asked and you’re unsure of your ability to, or responsibility for, carrying out the task, request time to think about it.
  4. Take your time and do not feel rushed into making a decision.
  5. Ponder all the ramifications and get all the information you can before agreeing to be involved.
  6. Study whether you have the time, expertise or obligation to take on the assignment.
  7. Become aware of triggering events that cause you to say “yes:” for example, does this person know how to push the right buttons to get you to capitulate?
  8. Consider whether you’re plagued with fear of not being liked if you refused a request.
  9. Acknowledge any guilt you may currently feel due to your previous relationship with the individual
  10. Reflect on any tendency to be a ‘busy-body’ who wants to be involved in other people’s affairs.
  11. There is nothing wrong in putting yourself and your own welfare first.
  12. If your gut is screaming “no” then it’s a clue that “no” ought to be the answer.
  13. Even if you initially said yes, that is not a good enough reason to stay the course.



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