Phebbie Pesquera

Phebbie Pesquera

About Phebbie Pesquera

With a personal interest in evolution, technology and uncovering profound connections in unexpected ways; it continues to be a meaningful, humorous and exhilarating journey in the field of sales and marketing.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." - Albert Einstein

3 Things Seasoned Goal-Getters Do

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” – Zig Ziglar


You have hardwired your mission into your heart and mind. You have set your goals, learned from your research on how your peers and mentors have succeeded in reaching similar heights; visualized yourself achieving it, and possibly drafted up a vision board and photoshopped yourself succeeding in each scenario. A brilliant strategy has been devised, the significant roles have been filled with people of great character, talent and skill; and you have already begun executing the actionable steps towards achieving your goal.

So how do we keep riding this momentum with the possibility that negative situations might have us scattered and imbalanced, unexpected upsets may come like a hydra invested in taking our operation down, or the temptation to give up creeps into our consciousness when we reach that half-way point?

Below are three things seasoned goal-getters do to assist them on this journey:

Create A Commitment Device

Odysseusand-thesirensbywaterhouse_PublicDomainIn The Odyssey, Oddyseus had his crew tie him to the mast of the ship so that he wouldn’t be tempted by the songs of the sirens and taken off-course on their mission. Chinese military general, Han Xin, positioned his soldiers with their backs to a river so that the better alternative was to stand their ground and fight lest they fall in the harsh river to a wet demise.

A commitment device is something that one uses to make deviating from a commitment have an additional undesirable result. It’s like a contract with yourself to work against yourself if you choose to break a commitment.

In the Freakonomics podcast, Save Me From Myself  they gave examples of people creating large obstacles to their temptations: One man who wanted to stop his excessive gambling and believing he lacked the will power, voluntarily put himself on a list that banned him from all casinos that would result in his arrest if he were to enter one. Another man wanted to live a healthier lifestyle so he created a commitment device that involved his despise of Oprah Winfrey. He would send a $750 check to Oprah if he ate fast food, drank a beer or watched TMZ.

If you would like to listen to the entire podcast, feel free to play it here:


Speaking of Oprah Winfrey, she created a commitment device in the form of a contract for a boot camp team that was comprised of herself and her staffers. They were on a strict exercise regimen and diet that had rules such as: “zero food for three hours before bed-not even a grape or a seed.” After they agreed to the terms and signed, she expressed that if they faltered, they were “out”.

To draw more inspiration on different devices, Freakonomics listeners responded with their own here.

If you are up for the challenge, get creative and make one that works for you. And I will trust that you will choose something legal, healthy and helpful.


Practice Perseverance

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson


You are a rock star in setting yourself and everyone involved up for success. And yet you have reached a point of questioning yourself and your ability to succeed. Which is especially disconcerting when you know from experience that your perception can hinder or help you on your path.

For 27 years, Nelson Mandela (R.I.P) was imprisoned for his activism towards liberating South Africa from apartheid. From prison he stayed persistent on his mission. And though it is highly likely that aggressors tried their best to challenge him, he stood firmly on his belief of peace and equality by demonstrating it.

Learn from Nelson Mandela: His Journey

Elon Musk was a child whose brilliance was met with constant bullying in his primary years in South Africa. With grit and a supportive family, he stayed focused on his vision to one day live the American Dream and be an explorer on Mars. After making his first fortune during the tech boom in the late 90’s with PayPal, he had his share of great personal losses and dealings with unscrupulous business people, but as his first wife Justine had said, “He was very much in the mode of stiff-upper-lip, the-show-must-go-on, let’s-get-it-over-with”. Recent history has shown the ups and downs of his journey with his creations but somehow he comes back thriving. He remains atop the headlines when it comes to innovations such as SpaceX and Tesla that are helping our nation and the environment.

Observe Elon Musk:  Triumph of His Will

In 2013, at age 64 Diana Nyad in her fifth attempt became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the security of a shark cage. She swam 100 miles through the uncertainty that comes with dark waters, hallucinations from fatigue while being relentlessly stung by jellyfish.

Listen to Diana Nyad’s story:

All three of these successful people practiced perseverance. They gave the impression that the only real choice they had was to succeed. The thought of going back to the way it used to be was ridiculous. Nelson, Elon and Diana remind us that, with force of will and a full heart, we can achieve our goals and live our big dreams. Hateful people do their hateful things, our creations may take years to truly come to life and nature itself can threaten our mortal existence but ambitious people have developed a taste for trying and trying and trying again. Driven people know from experience that those upsets can be the wind that pushes their sails towards some of their greatest accomplishments.

Let us also remember that the will, grit and self-respect of these self-empowered people led them to recognize kindred spirits along the way that had goals intertwine with their own. They took part in a symbiotic support system in various forms. A guru is great but there is also some merit in a drinking buddy.

 Keep Connected with Their Inner Sage

Path In The WoodsMake the time to center and recharge yourself as a weekly practice as well as when you are stressed and feel disconnected. If you are a city dweller go hiking, take a weekend trip to beautiful natural settings, visit an art museum or anything that takes your senses towards something different from your place of business. Select places that inspire, uplift and give you a more positive perspective. Places and situations that remind us that great things are built on strong foundations and take time to flourish. They help us identify the compatible components that can keep things thriving and evolving. We remember the value of developing patience. Nature demonstrates how everything is connected and gives us the platform to practice seeing from a much more expansive perspective.

One of the main functions of art is to trigger our imagination, hearts and creativity. It’s also a reminder that when the mind and heart are in sync they can produce something that can start a movement. Aside from matters of the heart, recent studies have shown the correlation between cognitive development and engaging with the arts. In the two-part documentary, Arts & the Mind, neuroscientists, psychologists and educators gather, share facts and findings on the impact on human development when interacting with the arts.

If staying right where you are feels like the appropriate course of action, take a moment to sit in a quiet place to literally take a breath or meditate. Being relaxed frees us from being constrictive in general and allows for clarity that leads to constructive thinking and productive activity. I, myself experience the benefits of meditation and there is scientific evidence that meditation can help with attention, memory and emotional control as well as lower cholesterol, heart rate and blood pressure.

Successful entrepreneur and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons has been meditating for over 12 years. He credits meditation for contributing greatly to his strength, health and wisdom. It affected him so much that he brought his passion to the David Lynch Foundation, where he could help bring meditation to people in need. 


HappyBusinessPeopleBikes_REALIMAGE_MED_CROPPEDLast, but not least, exercise. Exercise affects people on the mental, physical and spiritual levels. It is a means to release toxicity and build up strength. Activity, such as running, biking and yoga can boost our serotonin levels, which is known as the molecule of will power and associated with feelings of well-being. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and releases endorphins which is known to be the body’s natural antidepressant. And as Shawn Achor, author of  The Happiness Advantage said in his TEDx Talk “Exercise tells your brain that behavior matters”. The spirituality of martial arts was wonderfully expressed by Bruce Lee. Personally, working out and pushing past a perceived limit each time, has always been more of a moving mediation for me.

Keeping connected with the inherent and growing wisdom that helped you achieve your past goals will help you get to your next. So keep in touch and nurture that relationship in a way that stimulates your mind, body and spirit. More importantly, throw some fun in there as well as experience it with people with whom you share mutual respect and love.

Here are some apps to add to your Inner Sage kit:

Everytrail: Hiking, sightseeing, walking and mountain biking trails near you. Easy to use, has reviews and images. Cost: freemium model Navigates you to art galleries and museums near you as well as other places of interest, real-time local events, and gas stations with price comparisons. Option to easily connect and meet up with subscribing friends. Intuitive design, easy on the eyes on both the website and app version. They use open street mapping. Cost: freemium.

Google Maps | Explore Nearby feature: If you are an avid Google Maps user, take advantage of the Play option in the Explore Nearby feature that pops up when you click on the search field. This section shows options for local museums, gyms and parks. Scroll further down the cards to explore more categories. Remember that the map feature also gives you bicycling and public transits routes as well as walking navigation. There can be a lot of inspiration that can come from walking or taking public transportation. Cost: free (just tell us everything about you)

Meditation Apps: This Healthline blog  lists out some of the most highly rated meditation apps for 2014. They based it on affordability, accessibility, format, functionality and relevance to meditation and its community’s needs. Cost: free and inexpensive investments. 










Where ever you are in your life cycle as a goal-getter, I wish you luck in reinforcing your commitment to accomplishing your goal, moments of joy as you persevere through set-backs and shared success as you reach another milestone on your journey.


With much gratitude to our sources:
Wikipedia | Commitment Device | Save Me From| Meet the Boot Camp Team 
TEDTalks | Diana Nyad: Never, ever give up
Businesswoman standing on football | imagehitevo / 123RF Stock Photo
Path in the woods | j-dub1980(THANK YOU FOR 100k+ Views) via photopin cc
Businesspeople riding on bikes and running in city | melis / 123RF Stock Photo
Professional in meditation | tommasolizzul / 123RF Stock Photo

Make Your Story Worth Listening To

“I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone’s imagination.” – Hunter S. Thompson


The most influential people move us with a powerful story. The art of storytelling has been used to control, liberate, manipulate, entertain and enlighten. We all have free will and choose to listen to, watch and interact with people that capture our attention and somehow address our inner most desires. But in our modern society with technology as the prominent vehicle that delivers much of our communication; how can we make our stories more effective?

In the good old days of three martini lunches and big expense accounts, there were big marketing departments to find the compelling stories and refine presentations for the executive to deliver like a revered sage of all-things-business. But with today’s ultra lean organizations; we need to find more new & efficient ways to make our stories stand out.

Define Your Objectives 

HeartOnTarget_REALIMAGE_MEDWhat is the desired outcome? Why are you valuable?  What is the best way to deliver your message with impact? Those were some of the questions we revisited when we recently updated our website and sales presentation. Along the way to defining the objectives of our message, we were reminded of the importance of providing meaningful content that was relevant to the needs of our ideal audience and to demonstrate the quality of our work in a more experiential way.

Just as we would go through the client needs analysis process with our prospective clients, we need to sit down and be thoughtful about our motives and goals when it comes to telling our story.

Who is your ideal audience? Before trying to feel out the room or even entering a room, create a profile of your ideal audience. Start with an exercise with people you already know. Let’s say your goal is to convince a decision-maker to invest in you and/or your services, you can think about your friend Ethan, the venture capitalist or your colleague Cynthia, the chief marketing officer and ask yourself these questions:

  • How would they respond to this aspect of this story, this anecdote, etc?
  • Is this concept familiar to them or would it require some explanation?
  • What are the two or three most important objectives they have right now?

If you have any colleagues or personal friends that are in a similar role as the decision maker to whom you will be presenting, set up a meeting to do a mock presentation. You can also offer to treat them to lunch as a token of appreciation for their time and feedback.

Sometimes you may have to get creative and make them up. You might consider looking to market segmentation profiles for inspiration. Market research firms have put a lot of resources towards studying lifestyle demographics. We had some fun with Prizm Lifestyle Segmentation for some of the work that we’ve done in the past. As another exercise, discover what you can come up with using this wealthy, “Young Digerati” as your muse:



Keep developing your personal credibility. In her course: Public Speaking Fundamentals, author Laura Bergells advises us to build up credibility in a few seconds by demonstrating confidence and competence. Prepare to be dressed as the expert that you are. Keep up or develop the habit of standing up straight and making eye contact with an audience member. Get into the habit of making the first words that come out of your mouth carry the tone of boldness, clarity and strength with a focus on assertiveness rather than aggressiveness.

Continue to enrich yourself both professionally and personally. Lifelong learners stay sharp and current. We have found that subscribing to, has been a good investment towards professional development. You can also explore this useful list of 20 places to educate yourself online for free. Another useful piece of advice is to explore a few strong openings such as a compelling open-ended question, a bold statement that has their minds working immediately or by guiding your audience to imagine something. You can also see this at work on the provocative headlines on or the captivating titles on The

After being thoughtful about your direction and making sure your content is relevant, it’s time to put those ideas into action.

Involve Your Audience to a Higher Degree

“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.” – Confucius

HappyBusinessPeopleEngagedInPresentation_REALIMAGE_MEDEngagement. Connection. Interactive. The impact that social networking has made in the lives of the masses and the fact that the video game industry has recently surpassed both the movie and the music industry in revenue is proof of this. There are a few things to consider such as their business model but on a simple human level, many have demonstrated that they want to be a part of the story.

Here are a few things to consider as part of your content and delivery:

Stimulating the modern, sophisticated and tech-savvy audience. When investing time and attention, many if not all of today’s audience want to be awed or be educated and learn something useful. After all, there are many other distractions we can choose from. So tap into your natural enthusiasm and bring the energy. Be straight forward and transparent about your intentions and try to add some levity to the presentation. If you aren’t a natural comedian, try including personal references of the people you know that are going to be a part of your meeting. You can also do this verbally but it’s even more powerful when you include it in your visual presentation, such as pasting their social media profile picture within the presentation to illustrate a point. The point being, you are including them into your story. This should go without saying but be respectful and put them in a favorable light.

Does your content address how to meet their goals? Depending on the stage of your relationship, you may have to discover that on the spot by simply asking them. Try asking them about general goals that you have solutions for such as sales growth, awareness, or expansion. If you don’t have something that fits, you either need to spend more time uncovering the benefits of your offerings or be ready to accept that this relationship may not be the right fit and allow everyone to move forward with mutually-beneficial partnerships.

The wisdom in play. Find a way to have your audience experience what you are talking about such as including an audience participation segment. For example, if you have invested in give-away premiums, have a quick and simple trivia game that rewards people for remembering the most salient points of the presentation. Or have an interactive component to your visual presentation such as Poll Everywhere. This is used in classrooms to engage 21st century learners by using a real-time polling app. The audience can answer via text message. The answers can be displayed on the web or on your PowerPoint presentation.

If you have an awesome, multimedia presentation such as (brace for shameless plug) our AgileDECKS™, you can go to a site such as Educaplay and create a free crossword puzzle or other types of educational games for another Q & A method to embed into your presentation. Let’s see if you have been paying attention to this section or just a natural at crossword puzzles:

Involve Your Audience

Start Strong, End Strong

SuperHeroBusinessWoman_REALIMAGE_MEDLeave a lasting impression that demonstrates your integrity, intelligence, confidence and competence. People feel safe in the hands of someone who personifies respect, success and evolved being. So align yourself with these qualities as you leave them with one more story of how you can contribute to their business’ as well as their own well-being and growth.

Remember that you share the same core human drives as your audience, leave them feeling inspired and empowered but most of all deliver on your promises with honesty and genuine care.

So how do we make sure that our story is worth listening to? Know your goals, know yourself, keep learning, know your audience as best as you can, inspire them to get involved and end strong leaving a sense of connection. In other words: Put some love into it.




With much gratitude to our sources: | Business Story Telling with C.C. Chapman | Public Speaking Fundamentals with Laura Bergells| 20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free | Prizm Market Segmentations | Why Video Game Companies Win Where the Movie and Music Industries Fail
With great thanks to these artists (Photo Credits):
Businessman writing |  violetkaipa / 123RF Stock Photo
Businessman pulling back his shirt to reveal target |  solarseven / 123RF Stock Photo
Smiling business people looking at blue map interface | wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo
Businesswoman flying up into the sky | nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo

How Effective Leaders Inspire Themselves and Others

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Henry David Thoreau


Whether it is for business or personal reasons, inspiration is at the core of all great creations that withstand the many tests of time. A healthy balance of brains and heart gives anything engineered the breath of life and purpose. Or else it results in short lived passion and projects. Effective people share the traits of success and influence as well as a story of how a spark of inspiration set them afire; that surge of power that can move people to move mountains with you. These are some of the ways they accomplished aligning themselves with that power.

Trigger Your Epiphanies 

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There has to be a better way to do this. This is the statement that can open many great doors. It is expressed when people have admitted to themselves that they are stuck on something or exerting energy that feels inefficient and are now open for a solution. This is the moment when we let go of the thought that this solution can come solely from our own efforts. The trigger to your epiphany here is to be receptive.

  • Reach out and connect. Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur extraordinaire, wrote an insightful blog on not going it alone. Inspired by his time spent at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he shares the value of connecting with colleagues, like-minded individuals and those chance meetings that turn into your most important relationships. He quotes another innovator he admires, the late Steve Jobs, who was known to be a recluse at times yet expressed appreciation for collaboration: “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”

Someone I care about needs a solution. This moment has been the driving force of many innovations. Whether they are from our home, our social circles or office, people confide in us about their frustrations because we have demonstrated having insight in favorable directions. Or we witness someone or a community we care about suffering, and are motivated to help them find a solution. We, in turn, are gifted with an opportunity to tap into our ingenuity with meaningful purpose. The trigger to your epiphanies here is to genuinely care about other people.

A greater good. Remembering that you play a vital role in the interconnectedness of society and the world as a whole, liberates you from shortsightedness and places you in that advantageous position of having a view of the bigger picture. During what began as a leisurely safari around the time of their wedding, Bill and Melinda Gates had an eye-opening experience walking through villages in AfricaWatching women carrying sticks on their heads while carrying their babies, attached to both their front and back, in unhealthy living conditions was the beginning of their philanthropic mission focusing on education and health for the impoverished. They have inspired a movement among their esteemed colleagues who make large contributions to similar causes.

If you would like to get inspired in a way that benefits everyone involved and get access to a different perspective; roll up your sleeves and volunteer. Being in a different environment that is in need can strengthen your bond with your team and fire up your synapses for solution-based thinking. Volunteer Match can help you search for local opportunities by what you care about.


Kindling the Spark

InspirationBLOG_HappySunGroup_REAL_MEDShare it, spread it and keep it going. After feeling alive with inspiration, you are now the tinder that will ignite the spark of innovation. Sharing it with your team or rallying others up, can be the necessary kindling for it to catch on fire. That will require them believing in this cause towards which you will all be putting effort. It is a good time to remember that you both share the five core human drives that influence decisions:


  1. To Acquire: It is the desire to collect material and immaterial things, like a car, or influence.
  2. To Bond: Desire to be loved and feel valued in relationships with others.
  3. To Learn: Desire to satisfy our curiosity.
  4. To Defend: Desire to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our property.
  5. To Feel: Desire for many emotional experiences, such as pleasure or excitement.

It is helpful to keep these drives in mind and relate them to specific aspects of the project as you clearly articulate your common goal.

Simon Sinek gives a compelling TED Talk about how great leaders inspire action. He shares his philosophy on “The Golden Circle” of human motivation and how it correlates with the parts of the brain that influence different types of decision-making. Using examples such as the effectiveness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the success of Apple products to demonstrate that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Effective leaders know that nurturing trust and the well-being of all involved is key to knowing what is at the heart of their team’s motivations. You have to truly care about them for them to truly care about you.

Adding a coaching element to connecting with your team can result in an empowered group of individuals energetic with productivity that understand the importance of their role in the project and enjoy succeeding together. For a little more insight on effective coaching towards making a long-term positive impact, read here.

With the spark and the kindling in place, you have to add the wood; the sustaining fuel. The tools you supply demonstrate the level of innovation and impact you want to develop together. It is also important to continue to nurture a fun and inspirational environment. 

Check out this free, new life-coaching app: Lift. It helps make achieving personal goals a fun social experience towards self-development. Experts and users alike add goals with step-by-step plans covering categories such as health, mindfulness, productivity, communication and learning. Doing this with your team or with other like-minded people can be a bonding experience through personal growth. 

Aligning with the power of inspiration requires being the inspiration, sharing the flame of enthusiasm and collaboratively creating something driven by a sense of purpose and made with great care. More importantly, enjoy uncovering the fun together as you move towards something meaningful that pays dividends on every level.


With much gratitude to our sources: | 3 Reasons Everyone at Google is Meditating | The Big Chill-Out-How Meditation Can Help with Everything| Richard Branson on Not Going It Alone 
The | Gods with Chequebooks
5 Core Human Drives | The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business | Why the Coach Approach Beats the Manager Mentality
With great thanks to these artists (Photo Credits):
Balancing Mind and Heart | nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo
Mountains on Hong Kong, Lantau Island |  Nathan O’Nions via photopin cc
Durdle Door | FuturePresent. via photopin cc
Disguised | bambe1964 via photopin cc
Waitingpoolski via photopin cc
Volcom Taca38 | b@nfy via photopin cc
Smile| samit4me via photopin cc
Sunset over Lake Geneva| kBandara via photopin cc
Migrant Workers| USDAgov via photopin cc
His Hand| Jlhopgood via photopin cc
Happy Sunny People| yanlev / 123RF Stock Photo