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The Secret to Leveling Up and Loving Your Career

The Secret to Leveling Up & Loving Your Career

2017 is the year I take the leap!

The year I stop talking about my vision and make it happen!

I am transitioning, evolving, and loving my new role as a High Performance Coach for IT and Finance Professionals.

My job as a coach is to guide people to Level Up, to progress to the next level in their career and personal life.

I am excited to share my experience with the secret to leveling up & loving your career.

You see, for the last few years I have felt like a fish out of water.

I work with IT and Finance professionals and despite my years of education and experience, I am not exactly like them.

The big difference is I LOVE MY JOB.

I wake up full of energy, inspired to make a difference.

Seriously, how many finance and IT professionals do you know that live every day with joy?

Here’s the secret, I wasn’t always like this.

Actually, years ago I used to drink Jolt – “all the sugar and twice the caffeine” just to get through the day.

I dreaded the calls from end users griping about their systems.

You know, those people that you wonder how they function in the world because you feel they don’t have any common sense.

I was unhappy.

I was depressed.

I kept wondering there must be something more…

In my time of despair, I started reading books on happiness, the meaning of life, and almost every self-help book out there.

That’s what analytically minded people do, we gather data, analyze it, and we use it to solve problems.

I read books by the Dalai Lama, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Napoleon Hill, and after each book, I made slight changes to how I worked, how I responded to people, how I saw myself.

20+ years later, what started out as research has resulted in a lifelong obsession to understand what drives humans to success and happiness.

I’ve studied various psychologists such as Cialdini who analyze the power of influence.

I read books on neuroscience, positive psychology, physiology, motivation and peak performance.

Here are some of the books I  devoured:

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,  by Anders Ericsson

Have you ever wanted to learn a language or pick up an instrument, only to become too daunted by the task at hand? Expert performance guru Anders Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses three decades of original research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill.

Ericsson’s findings have been lauded and debated, but never properly explained. So the idea of expertise still intimidates us — we believe we need innate talent to excel, or think excelling seems prohibitively difficult.

Click here to buy Peak  on Amazon

Grit the Power of Passion and Perseverance,  by Angela Duckworth

In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.”

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

Click here to buy Grit on Amazon

Mindset The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck

After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.

Click here to buy Mindset on Amazon

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

After decades of making slight adjustments with every book, I have come to the point in my life where I now live an extraordinary life!

Friends and business associates started asking me why I have so much energy, why I laugh a lot and love my work.

Every time I shared my knowledge and energy level, I was “Leveled Up”.

I finally realized it’s my mission to share the secrets I have learned with you.

I want every IT and Finance person to benefit from my decades of study, experimentation, and results.

I don’t want you to have to wait 20 years. I want you to live with joy and be inspired in your career, now!

In 2017, my mission is to share with everyone the secret to “Leveling Up & Loving Your Career”!

To effectively deliver, I became a Certified High Performance Coach by Brendon Burchard.

Brendon’s program is an amazing 12 session program where participants learn how to increase their clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence.

His scientifically proven methods are perfect for analytically minded people in IT and Finance.


Let’s be honest, the brilliant analytical minds are not exactly into self-help.

We need data to prove to us something works and we like processes.

As a highly analytically minded person I get it, I understand how you are wired.

I believe by receiving coaching from someone that gets you, you can learn to level up, receive job satisfaction, recognition, and financial rewards you deserve.

Are you where you want to be in your career?

Do you make the money you deserve?

Are you a respected team member in your organization?

If you answered no to any of these questions, coaching can help you!

If you don’t think you’re worth the investment, don’t make it.

Are You Interested in Leveling Up?

In addition to my High Performance Coaching Sessions that can be one on one or in groups, I am creating amazing new online programs.

The first program I am developing is for IT and Finance Professionals on how to Level Up so they get out of their rut, add more value, and make more money.

To introduce people to this program, I will host a 1 hour webinar on Level Up: Get Out of Your Rut and Increase Your Income.

The webinar is free. You will discover:

Don't miss this webinar where you'll discover:

Accelerate Your Growth

Introduction to my proven methodology I used to Level Up

Accelerate Your Skills

How to acquire the soft skills of the top paid IT and Finance professionals

Level up Your Value

What is your value and how to add more to your clients and firm

Get More Recognition 

How to get more recognition and responsibility in your current position


Complimentary LIVE webinar will be offered on
Tuesday, May 16th  at 12pm ET & 7pm ET.

If you can’t attend the March 14th event, no worries, just register now to receive access to the recording of the live webinar.

Principle of Influence – The Law of Reciprocity

This blog is going to discuss one of the principles for influence, the Law of Reciprocity which I like to call ‘the boomerang effect.’

This is part 2 of a 7 part blog series. You can view the previous blog here

Reciprocity is when you do something for someone expecting nothing in return. This is usually something that helped another person but what happens is later on, they will help you. They feel obligated to reciprocate and assist you.

A number of research studies have been done on this phenomenon and some psychologists called this the reciprocity law. One study that was conducted by a psychologist at Chicago’s O’Hare airport where they sat and observed everyone’s behavior. At the time, members of Hare Krishna would come up to you and present you with a handmade flower. They would hand you the flower despite your many protests as you were hurried and were trying to balance your bags while making it to your next gate in time or go to baggage claim. But this group was so insistent and direct that you would ultimately grab it and shove it in your pocket or stuff it somewhere. Then they would ask you for a donation. While you had no intention of giving them money, psychologists found that people felt obligated. Everyone reached in their pockets to pull out a dollar and hand it to them but a few steps later, they would throw the flower away. This study highlighted the fact that people were feeling a high percentage of obligation because they got something for free and they fell obligated to return that favor.

This study can be used to influence people which I affectionately refer to as “life credits.” I will go and do something good for my neighbors so when I’m in a jam they’ll help me out! Look at how you can help others around you, whether it’s your coworkers, your partner, your clients and see if you can make their lives batter and do something small for them. Step back and watch what happens when you’re in need they’ll help you.

This is one of the first laws of influence which you can use now. Try this law of reciprocity or boomerang effect on your friends, neighbors, coworkers and let me know how it goes by posting a comment.

If you want to read more about this phenomenon, take a look at this link which references Dr. Robert Cialdini’s study on the Hare Krishna at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

    Heather Cole Presents at FEI Tampa Chapter Event

    Heather L ColeHow prepared are you to lead your organization to capitalize on the analytics age?

    Heather Cole, a thought leader and expert in Business Analytics spoke at the January 2015 meeting of FEI (Financial Executives International) Tampa Chapter.  She gave an engaging and illuminating presentation to attendees on “How to Lead Innovative Organizations with Data and Analytics”.
    The age of analytics is here and Heather Cole from Heatherized is here to help guide you to be successful.  Digital Disruption is creating new industries faster than ever.  Companies that learn to embrace and leverage the vast amounts of data being collected daily can change the course of their industries.  Only 26% of large companies surveyed believe their teams have the skills needed.  Only 27% thought their companies will put the right resources (people, budget and time) to leveraging data for innovation.
    Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation by James McQuivey

    For more information on how Heather Cole can help you and your company, contact her at

    7 keys to building dashboards for the C-Suite

    Summary: Heather Cole was recently interviewed for her thoughts on dashboards & C-Level executives.
    Businesses have access to more data than ever before. But, is this data actually helping business leaders make more informed decisions? In many cases, the answer is “No.” Why? Far too few businesses actually capitalize on their data. In this article, you’ll learn how effective dashboards will help your executives capitalize on your data, as well as tips for building dashboards that work.

    You can read the full text of the article here:7 keys to building dashboards for the C-Suite

    How to Look Good on Web Meetings

    How to Look Great on Web Meetings

    Over 90% of communication is non-verbal. By leveraging video camera in your web meetings, you can significantly increase the communication and build rapport. But before you turn on your camera, you need to follow the below steps to look fabulous.
    1. Get a High Definition Camera, one may already be in your laptop.
    2. Position the camera above you by stacking books to eliminate wrinkles and chins.
    3. Make sure you have good lighting that is behind the camera.
    4. What’s in the background, people will snoop.
    5. Look good:
    a. No Gum
    b. What’s Your Mug Say?
    c. Don’t Look Disheveled
    6. No multitasking – be 100% present
    7. Position your image on the screen to be under your camera to not look shifty eyed.
    8. Invest in a Quality USB Microphone. Look good and sound good.
    9. Photo ready make-up up makes you look great.
    Homework –
    * Get a good HD Camera.
    * Record yourself to self-evaluate.
    * Go on camera for your next web meeting.

    Backpacking and Business Analytics

    Backpacking and Business Analytics – they have much in common

    Three things you need to implement to be successful with Business Analytics:

    1. Use the resources available to you. You can’t go it alone. You need to build your relationship throughout the organization. When you ask for assistance or help, make sure you consider what’s in it for the person you are asking. You need to clearly communicate why it’s beneficial for them to help you. Remember, you are not scalable. You have to build a team, teach others, and trust that sometimes good, is good enough.

    2. Be resourceful and be prepared – Projects always have curveballs. You may think you have perfect data, only to realize it’s maybe not so perfect. When this happens, get creative. Creative minds are resourceful. If your life depended on accomplishing the goal, how could you do it? Allow crazy ideas. Sometimes crazy works!

    3. Learn to find your inner MacGyver to solve problems – Remember the 80’s TV show where MacGyver could get out of dicey situation with duct tape a shoe string and a match. Most of us don’t have unlimited time, money, and resources. So you have to learn to work with what you have to deliver some results while creating a plan for the future. This may mean building a data mart in TM1 instead of waiting for your financial data to get into the warehouse. But when you implement workarounds, make sure everyone knows it’s temporary and create a plan to do it the right way.

    Ditch the cheap headset. You need to sound good on web meetings!

    Ditch the cheap headset. You need to sound good on web meetings!

    Does your life consist of numerous virtual meetings? Don’t you hate when someone joins the meeting and they are hard to hear or understand because they are either eating their headset, sounding like Darth Vader, or they sound a million miles away. The whole time you struggle to decode what they are saying.


    In every meeting, you need to make a good impression. You don’t leave the house to meet your boss in clothes that make you look disheveled, do you? Why would you use a headset that makes you sound disheveled? Ok, sometimes you have to take a call while on the road and you have a bad cell signal, but let’s focus on when you are sitting at your desk. You log on to the WebEx or GoToMeeting. You typically have an option: mic/speakers or telephone. Clicking mic/speaker to leverage the VoIP is so much easier than dialing all the conference call digits, so you hit “mic”. Please don’t tell me you are using the mic in your laptop. For the most part, they all suck! Don’t do it! You don’t believe me? Record yourself. Most computers have a sound recorder under Programs/Accessories. So, use it and record a meeting. You should get permission from other attendees first. Listen to your voice quality. I know it’s painful to hear your own voice, but it’s even more painful to hear it down a tunnel or sounding Darth-like. If you were on the other end of the meeting, would you be impressed?

    SOLUTION: It’s time to invest in a good USB Mic. The sound quality will make you sound amazing. When you buy a mic, you want to look for a couple things:

    1. USB port is a must. You want plug and play. It’s easy to connect, and typically, there are no drivers to download or funky adapters. The USB mics typically have an onboard preamp and an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. The preamp makes it unnecessary for the USB mic to be connected to a mixer or external mic preamp. The A/D converter changes the mic’s output from analog (voltage) to digital (data), so it can be plugged directly into a computer and read by recording software. That makes digital recording as easy as plugging in the mic.

    2. Get a Cardioid Condenser mic, preferably with an omnidirectional setting. Mics start out as omnidirectional, capturing sounds from all sides equally. But you want to make sure yours has a Cardioid Condenser. This allows the mic to capture mainly what happens in front of it, while rejecting sound from the sides and rear. I like a mic with both setting, so if I have someone else in my office, I can change the setting to Omnidirectional and we both can be heard without moving the mic around.

    3. Make sure it comes with a stand (not all of them do). I learned the hard way when I bought my Shure PG27-USB Multi-Purpose Microphone. (Come on, Shure, just increase the price, add the stand, and make life easier for your customers!)

    4. The manufacturer should stand behind their mic. I recently had my Blue snowball mic fall over, (okay maybe it was my fault) but they took it back with proof of purchase and replaced it. (Thank you BLUE!)

    5. Consider a Pop Filter. Pop filters are a light, nearly transparent mesh placed over a wire or plastic frame, and held in place over a microphone diaphragm with a special clamp. This is useful in reducing “plosives”, or exaggerated P and S noises.

    Once you get your new mic, play with it. Record yourself with the new mic. Pay attention to mic placement, temperature and humidity, and work to keep them consistent.
    A good mic will also allow you to record training sessions and webinars and sound awesome!
    Some mics I have tried at liked. As you can see by the price ranges, you should shop around!
    • Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone $50-$100
    This is a great deal for the money (usually around $50) on Amazon. Don’t you think it’s worth $50 to sound professional when you’re virtual?
    • Shure PG27-USB Multi-Purpose Microphone $200
    This has great sound quality, but the PG27 includes a Stand Adapter and Zippered Pouch. NOT THE STAND!
    • Audio-Technica AT2020USBPLUS Deluxe USB Cardioid Condenser $250- $150 – Top quality sound
    • Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Usually around $150. This has been getting great reviews but I haven’t tried it yet, and I love the name Yeti (Russian Big Foot).

    If you can’t wait to get one, try Radio Shack. They carry Blue and Audio-Technica products.

    1 Leveraging Videos for Your End User Training

    Leveraging Videos for Your End User Training

    Are you looking to deploy software to a lot of geographically dispersed users and wondering how you are going to do it? Have you considered using videos?

    Videos will save you time and money. Videos will make you highly scalable, because when new people join your organization, you don’t have to train them. They can watch your video, saving you hours of time! I coach clients to leverage videos, so here are some tips to make you successful.

    1. Outline your video and script out the various sections.
    2. Give your session live via webinar or in person two or three times. This will allow people to ask questions, which you will want to incorporate into the video.
    3. Invest in an easy to use editing software like Camtasia Studio. Make sure the software will allow you to index your video so people can jump to the sections they need.
    4. Make it personal by recording the introduction of you or someone on your team with an iPhone. Camtasia allows you to drag and drop videos from your iPhone 5 into your project. If you are going to use an iPhone to record, I recommend you invest in a lavaliere microphone and an iPhone adapter. You also might want to use an LED light, teleprompter and tripod. You can get a teleprompter app for you iPad on iTunes.
    5. When you record your PowerPoint deck and actual software demonstration, you will want to make sure you are in a place with limited background noise and get yourself a good desk microphone. I use a Snowball.
    6. When you record, make sure you are silent during slide transitions. This will make editing a lot easier.
    7. When you screw up (and you will), leave a long silence and start that section over. That way, you can find the screw up easily during editing. It’s also easier to edit if you leave silent pauses periodically.
    8. Make sure when you edit the video, that you click Audio and enable volume leveling and enable noise removal, for a clear consistent sound.


    1. Camtasia Studio ($300) More than a simple screen recorder, Camtasia Studio helps you create professional videos easily. Use Camtasia Studio to record on-screen activity, customize and edit content, add interactive elements or import media, and share your videos with anyone, on nearly any device.

    2. Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone ($65) This is a USB microphone that gives you great sound when recording with a laptop. I even use it for VOIP calls.

    3. Audio-Technica Pro 70 Cardioid Lavalier Microphone by Audio-Technica ($120) This lapel microphone gives you good sound quality for shooting videos with your iPhone.

    4. iPhone MIC Adapter: XLR Jack to iPhone, iPad2, iPod Touch and Other Compatible Devices ($30) If you are going to record with an iPhone, I strongly recommend using a lapel microphone. You will need an adapter to plug the microphone into the iPhone jack. The adapter is for XLR microphones to be plugged In to the iPhone for professional recording, with a 3.5mm mini jack for headphones.

    5. Bower VLSMLED The iSpotlite Smartphone LED Light ($25) Brighten your shots with this powerful LED light that gives you crisp and vivid videos. Its iPhone 4/4S/5/5S snap-on adaptor fits on top or on its side and its standard headphone jack adaptor allows secure mounting to any smartphone on the market.

    6. Teleprompt+ for iPad ($15) This is a great little App that allow your iPad to be your teleprompter by Bombing Brain Interactive.

    7. Targus 7″ Tripod with Smartphone Mount ($13) Tripod- You might want a full size and a desktop tripod. But you will need the smartphone mount to hold your phone. I went through a couple iPhone holders that connect to a tripod and still haven’t found a great one. But so far, my favorite one is a Targus 7″ Tripod with smartphone mount that I picked up at Radio Shack. If you buy this model, you can remove the smartphone mount and put it on your full size tripod.

    I hope this information helps you look like a rock star. Time to get Heatherized!

    © 2104 Lodestar Business Institute

    Brendon Burchard: How Incredibly Successful People THINK

    Quotable from this video: “Successful people take their current limitation and put it on their agenda as a job to do, as a thing to figure out and make happen.” – @BrendonBurchard

    This is Brendon filmed unscripted, in a single take, without a prompter or notes.

    Brendon Burchard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE MILLIONAIRE MESSENGER, THE CHARGE, and LIFE’S GOLDEN TICKET. Larry King named him “one of the top motivation and marketing trainers in the world.”

    “The Charged Life” is now a weekly YouTube show full of #motivation and #inspiration with Brendon Burchard. It’s also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes.

    *This free book offer details: $26 book is free with our compliments, but you have to pay shipping and handling to receive it.

    Tony Robbins: Why We Do What We Do

    Tony Robbins, in this TEDTalks video, discusses the “invisible forces” that make us do what we do — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

    TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at



    Great music discovery is effortless and free with Pandora. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs, genres or composers and we will do the rest. It’s easy to create personalized stations that play only music you’ll love.

    1 Co-Active Coaching Changing Business, Transforming Lives

    ‘Co-Active Coaching Changing Business, Transforming Lives’ by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahi, Laura Whitworth

    Heather’s Recommended Audience:
    Everyone who consults, advises manages and/or mentors others to accomplish goals.

    Heather’s Review

    This was a fabulous book for anyone that works with consultants externally or internally. The ideas presented are the Co-Active Coaching model which is an experience of personal and professional development unlike other kinds of coaching. It begins by holding the coachee as naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face. The job of a Co-Active Coach® is to ask powerful questions, listen and empower to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, rather than instruct or advise.

    The book provides great examples. It focuses more on life coaching but the concepts are easily applicable to Business Analytics Consulting internally and externally.

    Leaders Eat Last – By Simon Sinek

    ‘Leaders Eat Last’ By Simon Sinek
    Publisher :Portfolio Hardcover (January 7, 2014)

    Heather’s Recommended Audience:
    MUST READ for everyone that leads, manages, mentors, consults and wants to inspire others.

    Heather’s Review

    Simon Sinek is one of my favorite authors and with this new book he does not disappoint. He weaves a tale for insightful stories with science to make us realize how we are wired as humans.
    Sinek begins with biology, outlining the roles of chemicals – specifically endorphins, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. He describes how evolution has dictated why we generate them and how we respond to them.
    1. Endorphins mask pain and help give you a `runner’s high’ or the intense satisfaction after a tough work out.
    2. Dopamine generates good feelings’ upon accomplishing a goal whether that is bringing home dinner while evading sabre-toothed tigers or doing a bang-up job on a major presentation. Think of endorphins and dopamine as the `individual achievement’ chemicals. We need them to excel at what we do.
    3. Serotonin is what gives you a feeling of gratitude and affection for the persons who supported you in your endeavors and the good feeling as they applaud you.
    4. Oxytocin is the`love’ chemical. It gives you the warm fuzzies you get when you hug someone or have a deep meaningful conversation. Think of serotonin and oxytocin as the `social’ chemicals.

    Humans need both the individual achievement and social chemicals to progress. Society now focuses on achievement chemicals more than social chemicals losing the sense of community within the organization.
    If we create a trusting environment, we can focus on doing the best we can and this greatly benefits both the company and individuals. This feeling of `belonging’ is what has disappeared from the corporate workplace to a large extent. It has been replaced by an ethos of `everyone for himself and the Devil take the hindmost’
    “Leaders Eat Last” conveys that to be effective as a leader, you must earn the trust of your followers. You can be given responsibilities or duties, but you must earn authority. In this book, Mr. Sinek provides specific action items you should take to create a Circle of Safety within your organization.
    As I reflect on his messaging, it becomes clear that his principles must be applied to all major project teams deploying solutions.

    Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

    In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.”
    For more on this topic, check out Sinek’s latest book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t now available for pre-order.

    About Simon Sinek

    A trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek has held a life-long curiosity for why people and organizations do the things they do. Studying the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and achieve a more lasting success than others, he discovered the formula that explains how they do it.
    Sinek’s amazingly simple idea, The Golden Circle, is grounded in the biology of human decision-making and is changing how leaders and companies think and act.
    His innovative views on business and leadership have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including Microsoft, Dell, SAP, Intel, Chanel, Members of the United States Congress, and the Ambassadors of Bahrain and Iraq.
    Sinek recently became an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He also works with the non-profit Education for Employment Foundation to help create opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East region. He lives in New York, where he teaches graduate level strategic communications at Columbia University.