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This year has been spectacular thanks to all of YOU and a few of my favorite things. I wanted to share a few of those things that have made my year so incredible. Some are big, some are small, and some are just plain silly  – all have improved my life. So here are just a few of my favorite things and how to get them.

Really fabulous clients

Really great clients contribute to the quality of your business and the quality of your life. I have had exceptionally smart, engaged, and appreciative clients and you can too! How do you get really fabulous clients? Qualify your prospects carefully. The wrong clients are expensive. They devour resources and deplete your energy. Really fabulous clients increase your energy and boost your business.

Old school desk calendar

That’s right, we’re talking about your first grade teacher’s desk blotter calendar. I am very pro technology, but I’ve found that having a huge calendar on my desk helps me to see my month with greater clarity and schedule more intelligently. If you’re a visual person this will change your life. How do you get one? You can go to Target or any office supply store. My calendar was well under $10 and it’s one of my favorite office purchases.

Pre-recorded webinars

As someone who travels extensively I love doing pre-recorded webinars and building a library of them for my subscribers. They are a great way to deliver high quality content to your clients and prospective clients with greater scheduling flexibility and less stress. How you get the technology?  Ask Linh Tang my go to guy – he does all my marketing, or e-mail me and I’ll find out for you.

WILD by Cheryl Strayed

I am deeply inspired by the extraordinary journeys of others. Wild is the story of a young woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone as an inexperienced hiker and transforms her painful life into one of triumph and possibility. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you’ll appreciate this extraordinary accomplishment. How do you get it? Amazon of course!

Pink Martini on Pandora

Okay so Pandora is not new, but it’s awesome. Music is an incredible motivator so why not find your own soundtrack? Get yourself a little Pandora and try out Pink Martini and if they aren’t really your cup of tea, find your own tunes to live and work by. Working to music is free and increases my productivity.

Skin It

Having my MacBook branded with my logo has started more conversations in airports and cafes than I can count. My laptop skin has launched lots of conversations, and yes even gotten me business and they’re incredibly reasonably priced. How do you get one? Go to

Extraordinary Experiences

This year has been filled with extraordinary experiences. I’ve been able to tour my one-woman show, I finished writing my book, and I got to speak at TEDx San Diego. How do you have your own extraordinary experiences in 2013? Plan them, take risks even if you’re afraid, and don’t wait for the right time, because right now is right enough.

Handwritten notes

As someone who loves writing, I can tell you that I deeply appreciate receiving handwritten notes. I have been the recipient and the sender of many this year and I cannot tell you how valued people feel when you take the time to express your gratitude in your own hand. How do you start? Indulge in some great stationary or hand select cards that delight you and send them to people just because.

Hera Hub

This year I joined a cooperative workspace. While I’ve not been able to spend as much time there as I like, the space gives me an alternative to working from home and gives me a place to work between meetings. These are great inexpensive alternatives for those of us who don’t really need an office. Check out or search for a cooperative workspace in your area and start enjoying the benefits of a change of environment and a change of pace.

Op-Ed Project

For anyone trying to rise as a thought leader or build a platform I highly recommend the Op-Ed Project which conducts one day workshops that teach you how to write and submit Op-Eds and also connects you to a mentor for up to a year to help you get published. See when the next one will be coming to your city at


43 happens to be my age and a delicious liqueur named for its forty-three ingredients. The warm golden liquid is scrumptious over ice and makes a great gift. How do you procure this yummy elixir? BevMo is the only place I’ve been able to get it, but of course you can purchase it online as well.


Much to my older son’s chagrin I Ann marie Houghtailing purchased a P-touch and have labeled everything in sight. This is not the sort of gadget anyone who knows me would think I would own, but I’ve found a thousand uses for it and it has contributed to a more organized visually appealing office. You can purchase the P-touch practically anywhere from Costco to Target or any office supply store. Don’t knock it until you try it!

I hope you try one or two of my favorite things. Enjoy the remainder of the year. Celebrate, laugh, love and devour every precious moment. I look forward to seeing you in the 2013!


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