Author, Coach, Educator, & Realtor

Who Is Great In Your Life

We all need to look at those around us and decide who is good for you and who is not.

People you need in your life:

Positive Reinforcers

Those that give you guidance and direction and you trust their honesty

Those that know you and still love you

Those that will come to the hospital to be your advocate

Those that tell others your talents

Those that keep in touch because they value the relationship even when you’re not good at communicating

Those that don’t tell your secrets because you needed an ear to talk to

Those that believe you can accomplish your passions and help you recognize what they are

Those that are cheerleaders for you in every way

Those who would stand up for you in a discussion because they trust you and want others to know your talents and character

Top 10 “Bad” people for you:

Those that put their own needs above anyone else’s

Those that need to have the credit for whatever accomplishment there is

Those that talk behind your back but not to your face

Those that have no ability to consider others feelings

Those that make excuses

Those that put money above all else

Those that use misinformation or any information as a stepping stone to power over others

Those that don’t know the meanings of “trust” or “loyalty”

Those that use negative comments and innuendo to gain alliance and influence

Those that have ulterior motives


Recently I heard (or read) the same statement made by three different reliable sources but I was still surprised.

It seems that for every negative thing that is said or done to you it takes five positive things to balance it out! Not one, not two — but five!

That’s a lot to ask.

Apparently it has to do with our brains and how they work. The book “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer was one of the sources of my revelation. It says, “Loss aversion is an innate flaw. It’s part of a larger psychological phenomenon known as negativity bias, which means that for the human mind, bad is stronger than good. This is why in marital interaction it generally takes at least five kind comments to compensate for one critical comment. ………The only way to avoid loss aversion is to know about the concept.”

So what are we do to? This will definitely take a group effort. Since we can’t give ourselves the positive comments in this particular situation we will have to form teams.

I need to form team “Joy“. Just like in kickball we get to pick our players; so I’ll choose my true friends, the family members who like me, the associates who respect me, the acquaintances who don’t know any better, my nailtech, my hairdresser and maybe anyone else I pay because they “should” be nice to me.

Team “Joy” gets points by saying five nice things to me each time I interact with them  in person, in writing or on the phone.  Then I must do the same. The game is won when we are all blissfully walking around and performing to our highest potential in all that we undertake; and no negative comment can undermine our day or our feeling of well-being. (Did I mention they have to be sincere compliments?).

This game however is never-ending. It is a constant give and take (give praise – take praise).

Team Joy also needs to recruit constantly and there is no limit to the number or value of the players we can amass for our team. (Unlike some professional football teams.)

We recruit by complimenting others and one by one we pick up players who are dedicated to winning. Daily they are being a positive force for Joy and recruiting others to join us. They can even be members of as many teams as they choose as long as they are active in all of them and following our basic goal of complimenting as many people as we can in a day, month, year — all while warding off our natural “negativity bias”.

Mission accomplished. We have enough good to outweigh the bad!

Have fun playing — you are welcome on Team Joy anytime!

Santa only chose the Jolly Reindeer to dance with - which ones are they ?

 If you ask enough people this time of year 2 out of 3 will answer the question, “How’s it going?” with, “I have so much to do.”

It’s pretty evident to most women in particular what they are talking about – preparations.

No matter what your family does or doesn’t do to celebrate the season there is some date that you are looking at right now that is a deadline for all your preparations. You have things you want to accomplish before that date to help make it an experience for all to enjoy. And – you may even feel it is your responsibility to ensure everyone’s good time.

Tough to be Jolly with so little time and so much to do.

But without Jolly the main person you are responsible for will probably miss out on the good time — YOU.

Take a deep breath (I learned this from Yoga for Dummies). Look at the face of a child on the street or in your family and see their innate joy. Now practice Joyful. Jump up and down. Do the jitterbug. Dance to “twist and shout”. Say a prayer of thanks. Sing while you bake. Make a mess while cooking with the kids or your friend. Talk on the phone to someone you haven’t seen while you’re wrapping presents. Meet someone for lunch while you’re out shopping. (You get the picture.)

Be Optimistic. It truly is the thought that counts. The people who love and appreciate you will love whatever preparations you have made (no matter what you think you haven’t gotten to). Planning can be endless but deadlines aren’t. What gets done gets done and what doesn’t goes on for the next planning. This is great because there can always be new things to look forward to in life. Give yourself a deadline to stop and appreciate all you have done and all that you have to look forward to. Know that tomorrow will always bring new experiences and new goals to look forward to as well.

Be Loving to those around you, the ones you know and the ones you don’t. Hold hands with a family member or partner while you shop. When you see someone struggling lend a hand. When you perceive tension from someone else, smile in their direction. When you see sorrow realize we all have burdens and be grateful for the ones you have as opposed to what others might be suffering through. Do what you can for others and know it is appreciated.

Laugh a lot! Find the humor in the situation. Help others to find humor and use it to release tension and stress. Make playing games part of your planning. Bring people together in fun and you will have succeeded in bringing  them joy, providing lasting memories, and creating  great relationships for those around you.

Never forget Yourself. In making all your preparations be kind and loving to yourself. You are an amazing person who needs to be recognized as your own best friend. A really smart person once told me when you have a decision to make ask yourself what advise you would give to your best friend in the same situation. Then take that advise and use it. Appreciate yourself and listen to what your mind and heart tell you that you need. Then follow through.

Now that you have the tools to be Jolly, start right away and have a joyous, optimistic, lovinglaughing holiday for yourself.

Ho Ho Ho Happy Holidays, Kate


How many times over the years have you heard a politician use this statement with regards to Federal Income Tax debates?

I have my own political opinions on all the “issues” but I’m not discussing what I think should or should not happen. What I AM concerned about is using misrepresentations to give an impression to the American public that: a) something is not currently happening and b) it is said to incite people who take the statement at face value.

Our tax structure has been the same for at least as long as I have been around. Taxes are based on your total income individually or married. You must count not only wages but interest earned, dividends, etc. etc. etc. Meaning all forms of “making money” count.

We pay a percentage of those earnings. As the income rises so does the percentage. The current percentages range from 0 to 10% for the lowest paying taxpayer to 35% for the highest earning tax payer just for the Federal Government.

Doesn’t this already mean that the more you make the more you pay? AND doesn’t this mean that not only is 10% of a higher income mean you pay more dollars (10% of $10 is $1 — 10% of $100 is $10) but on top of that you don’t just pay 10% you can get as high as 35% (35% of $100 is $35) if you reach the top levels of income?

The meaning of the word “fair” which has been used since before the 12th Century is “equitable, impartial”. Aren’t we already asking those who make more to pay more which isn’t “fair” but “accepted” in order to assist those who are less able to pay.

The increased revenue to the government is and has been needed to support our Federal  Programs and National Safety. We should be grateful higher paid Americans do pay proportionately more in taxes, not accuse them of taking advantage of the system or tax dodging.

Why don’t we hear; ” We are asking those who make more in our Country to pay more for the benefit of all, and we appreciate their sacrifices in doing so”.

Wouldn’t that be a “fair” statement?

We are also used to hearing about “loopholes” the wealthy can take advantage of in preparing and paying their taxes. These loopholes per se were put in place when there were specific needs our society had, and we encouraged those with money to spend it in the endeavors we needed. These deductions are continually in flux. They come and go. And not being a tax attorney I would venture to say they are almost extinct at the current time since you don’t see a run on Hummers right now.

Let’s be “fair” and appreciate our fellow Americans for what they do contribute – not what we think they don’t.

Let’s solve our financial problems with integrity not alienation.

I for one am thankful for the citizens who are able to support our country with their tax dollars in this economic climate to whatever extent they can.

Best Regards,


Where does your dream lead you?

Some people have a lot to say all of the time. This is a good thing especially when they are your favorite author, writer, speaker or any number of talents that attract your attention.

Some people are great listeners and after thoughtfully listening to your story provide encouragement, strength, enlightenment, comfort, hope or any emotion that may help us to move forward toward our goals.

Some people can do both well and provide the world with wisdom and winners.

I admit my dream is to become both a great listener and communicator. The listening can help me understand what people want; and the communicating can help me express to people what tools may be important to them to attain their dreams.

I also admit I have not reached my dream and often fall short of the intended mark. However I realize it is a constant education on my part to listen better and keep up with new tools available in our ever-changing world.

From every experience I have I gain new information to bring me closer to my dream. I learn to listen and communicate in a more beneficial way to my audience whether it’s one person, several or many.

I continually want to be better at helping others and in return helping myself. I want to encourage others as well as provide information that may help them. I want to give praise while helping them identify their unique talents. I want to give support while they are on their way to victory. I want to give them hope so they can hold onto it for their own.

But to accomplish this I must keep practicing.

I have to practice being present and asking questions. I have to ask them to describe their dream. I have to help them discover their unique talents if they have not done so on their own. I have to actively think of what I can personally do to assist them in attaining their dreams and using their talents.

I have to listen, learn and do something.

That something could be as simple as a heart-felt note to express my appreciation and belief in them; or as complex as setting up a difficult introduction to someone who could help them with their dream.

I want to be of help to others (my dream – it also includes writing meaningful articles that encourage people).

Just like those I want to help I must hold onto hope. The hope that I can become an outstanding mentor to others in attaining the strength and happiness they deserve in this life.

What is your dream ?

Success is not a mountain to climb; it is a path to follow all the days of our life.

Our gifts and our values lead us down the path. They are our road map (our GPS) to the destination of fulfillment. We can never get lost or give up hope that we will fulfill our dreams.

Have you thought about how to accomplish your dream?

Do you have advocates to support and encourage your dreams?

Have you done something about moving toward your dream today?

Have you assisted others in accomplishing their dreams?

Have you kept hope alive even through tough learning experiences and difficult economic times?

Rekindle your dream and never lose hope in its’ inevitability.

It has been said:

A person can live forty days without food; four days without water; four minutes without air but only four seconds without hope.

Be the hope you need and give hope to those around you and as they say ” may all your dreams come true”.

Whether it’s your home or your office there are always spaces that seem to get overwhelming. Places you avoid after a while because the idea of trying to “organize it” brings images of days of hard labor – and you have no idea what you’d do with it if you did begin to “organize”.

Where is the spot you throw things when you’re in a hurry? Where do you always hide things when someone is coming?

Most of us have our favorite hiding spot no matter how organized the rest of the space may appear. It boils down to thinking we don’t have time to put stuff away, we may not even know where “away” is.

Once we find ourselves in a situation of chaos it becomes harder to do anything about it. You don’t even know where to start. So the cycle continues.

I have discovered ( well  maybe just stumbled upon ) one great way to get started! Instead of thinking you are going to “organize” a space, think you are going to “sort”. No hard decisions need to be made. You don’t need to think about keeping or tossing. Just think SORT!

Sorting is so much easier a concept. It’s like playing a game. All you need to do is put things in piles that are alike. All the reading material goes here. All the pens go in that pile. All the bank statement go in this pile. Etc. Etc.

Sort everything. Make piles everywhere. Then when you are done take a look at your piles. Maybe you’ll see you have way too many of something, and that you could afford to give some away. Maybe you’ll see how easy it would be to put one pile in a folder or a box to either store or add to as new papers or things come into your space. Maybe you’ll decide you only need two weeks worth of reading material and recycle the ones you won’t be able to read.

It’s amazing how when you put “like” thinks together you gain power and control. You can see which ones you really want and which ones are outdated or too worn for use. You can see that you don’t need to purchase yet one more of an item you already have 20 of in your pile.

Of course the next step is continuing to keep your piles separated in a manner they stay together (boxes, drawers, containers, cups, whatever contains them from escaping their assigned pile).

It truly is liberating to keep things contained and to know where their “place” is from now on. As well as showing them who has the power over their future!

Let me know how my “discovery” works for you.

Best Regards,

Kate Rakoci,, 623-326-2910  Jack of All Trades; Making YOU the Master of Yours

Have you ever looked around your work environment and seen a lot of  “different environments”?

Some desks are clean surfaces with workable tops. No stacks, no clutter and no paper in sight at the end of the day.

Others are filled with stacks of papers.

And yet others are not only filled with uneven stacks but strewn with clutter on floors, cabinets and any available surface with no apparent place to perform a task.

In this age of  “paperless” communication  there seems to be even less reason for this workspace’s seemingly chaotic environment. However it still exists as it always has perhaps to a lesser degree. (This same philosophy applies to computer files, emails, social media, etc.)

Our professional workspace is a microcosm of how we interact with and manage the “things” in our life and how we “think”.

Consistency and order are reflected in the spotless workspace. There is a sense of having and needing control. Control over our work, its output and how much we accomplish. Structure brings this person gratification. The quality of the output is consistent. Daily processes and procedures are met rigorously. Interruptions to routine are met with resistance. Piles are not required because when work is put in its proper place it will be taken care of in its ordered time.

Spaces where piles reside do not indicate any less desire for control but perhaps a sense of “urgency for all tasks”. All work is considered equal. Everything must be done at once. Decisions about order are not made easily. Things become sorted by: 1) Must do 2) I might be able to do and 3) It might be something extra I will be able to get to later. The daily work is done with skill and pride but there might be more I can do and by having it in sight I’ll remember to “get to it”.

Chronic chaos is just that. Work is done as the need arises. The more urgent work comes to the surface through deadlines (both internal and external). When the work is done it posses exceptional concentration and thoroughness. The person devotes their whole being and brain when performing any task. The work is detailed and insightful but not done in any consistent order or any predetermined schedule. The chaos does lead to things being “forgotten” or not attended to without assistance, but the work is so valuable when done that the aid of an assistant to set priorities can be worthwhile as a tool for this individual.

In all three cases it is always imperative that the person’s work is exceptional and they are the best person to perform certain jobs for the company.

Given that prerequisite, how does a leader (or parent, or teacher, or companion) relate to and embrace these differing styles of work and behavior?

You have the responsibility of bringing the BEST work out of each person and the group as a whole.

Each of these individuals brings different values that combined should bring excellence.

Your goal is to know how to assign jobs, roles, projects and responsibilities. Your job is to put the pieces together in such a way that the outcome  is beyond what any one person could accomplish.

The “organized” worker or “deleter” in computer terms, is excellent at knowing  and meeting their deadlines and the deadlines of others. Use this strength. Work that is repetitious and needed weekly, monthly, etc should become their responsibility. In addition they can be in charge of prompting others for deadlines they need to meet and usually cannot on their own. Their work is communicated well so everyone understands what their part is in order for the deadline to be met.

The “piler” or “file folder winner” in computer terms, is invaluable at seeing a bigger picture, formulating process and procedure, looking for new or better ways to do things or how change can occur. They can see to the end of the puzzle and work backwards to the steps that need to be taken along the way. They are not rigid but more flexible in reorganizing priorities as the need arises. They do adhere to and understand deadlines and are usually willing to help others achieve the results required in the time allotted. Their talent at problem solving can be used throughout the company.

The “chaotic” or “ram user” can bring genius. Innovation is usually more important than following tradition. They can be more “thinkers” than “doers”. They can be invaluable in getting others to see new possibilities. They can help sales by looking at new products or services. They can streamline production. They can use methodology to simplify process. They can assist the company in keeping up with technology.

Of course not all people exhibit their strengths through the state of their workspace or the way they manage their computer files, but when you get to know their work product and their abilities it is always up to you – the leader – to provide them with the opportunities to use their talents to their fullest potential.

Pay attention to your team as a group and as individuals and you will never be disappointed in the outcome.

What does your workplace normally say?

How can you look around and better redistribute duties to strengthen the team? ( Who should really be responsible for that monthly report? Who should be in charge of monthly sales quotas? Who should be responsible for social media? Who should be editing my blog? Just checking you got to the end.)

Love to hear from you!

I am so grateful to have a dear friend who among other gifts and talents does relationship coaching/consulting. ( Understanding relationships is vital to both your professional and personal growth. )

Years ago I heard her give advice to a group of women as Mother’s Day approached.

Her message was heartfelt and impactful. Mother’s Day is a reminder to thank not only your Mother but your Mentors as well. The people in your life who have served as surrogate “mothers” throughout your life.

Writing a note to someone ( female or male ) who may or may not know how important they are to you, or how they have helped you along the way, is a great way to say thank you.


Some things you may want to say:

Thank You for being in my life.

Thank you for your guidance, your caring and your support.

 Thank you for the unconditional love you have given me. ( Sounds like Mom doesn’t it ? )

Thank you for your shoulder to lean on, your words that soothe, your insights and your unwavering belief in me.

Thank you for your example of strength and courage, your ability to see the true me and your trust in my success at whatever I choose to do.

I’d like to thank you today as I do every day when I remember the things I am grateful for in my life.

Through your example I have learned to “mother” and mentor those who I have had the privilege to know and love.

Every word I speak, sentence I write and action I take has been positively influenced by knowing you.


There is no better way to live life than to be an inspiration and advocate for others.

Don’t wait — write your notes today. You will be giving the gifts of recognition, praise and gratitude.


Relationship Coaching/Consulting:

Cottor Consulting Ltd., Sharon Cottor —


A few encounters recently lead me to reflect on how I react when others are negative about an idea or plan I have developed.

A friend of mine Jackie Dishner first pointed out the word “Nay-sayer” in a presentation she gave to a group of business women. (I would highly recommend her as a motivational speaker.) It was the way she said it with so much disdain combined with laughter that first caught my attention.

A Nay-sayer is anyone who does not believe. They don’t believe in you, your ideas, your abilities and most likely don’t believe in change or creativity.

When I encounter a Nay-sayer my first reaction is usually doubt in myself. It takes a lot of work and self-esteem to just let it roll off your back and proceed straight ahead.

I have worked very hard at letting this occur and I have found that each time I regroup, revisit, clarify my goal and plow ahead I come out even more determined to reach my desired outcome.  

Then I share my plan or aspiration with more people and dismiss the Nay-sayers until eventually I find someone willing to give encouragement. The moment I have been waiting for – someone who believes.

Right after the first believer my enthusiasm and determination begin to ascend. I add to my plan. I can envision the outcome. I can get more people to believe and they in turn share their belief – and so the ball starts to roll.

Eventually the ball becomes so big that it takes everyone involved to carry it up the hill to the top of the mountain – where we can all see clearly the final outcome or result. And as a group who have supported and encouraged each other we are very proud of our accomplishment and the result we’ve attained.

This pride both individually and collectively ironically was part of the original plan. Pride in our contributions. Pride in our determination. Pride in our ability to change, to grow and to help each other along the way.

And so the journey begins again. We develop a sustainability plan. We develop the next growth plan. We look around for what we can improve or what gives us more joy and satisfaction.

Then we dismiss the Nay-sayers and find our new group that will help us on our next journey just as we will help them.

I’ll see you along the way in the valley and meet you at the top of the next mountain.


Kate Rakoci

Reference:  Jackie Dishner

Recommended reading: “Our Iceberg Is Melting” by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber


The Wearing of the Green

I know why every year I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It has to do with a mother whose maiden name was O’Connor and was born on the Emerald Island.

I started to wonder why others who may not have the same heritage are always happy to enter into the celebration. Then I came up with my own theory.

In life as in business it takes all different types of personalities, strengths and skill sets to get the best possible results on any task. We more often than not work with others and discuss our differences; different styles, different opinions, different methods. In doing so we have an opportunity to learn and grow from those around us. We can also create the best possible teams getting the best possible results (as illustrated in “Our Iceberg Is Melting” by John Kotter — a good read).

However commonality makes us feel like we belong. When we have something in common with others we create a bond. We feel liked, welcome and safe (a shared vision or goal is the result of working as a diverse team and creating common goals).

Ultimately we need both differsity and commonality to move forward for the desired outcome.

I choose to think of St. Patrick’s day as a display of both. For one day we can all be different and the same. We can wear green and shamrocks, drink green beer, look for leprechauns with pots of gold and have fun regardless of differences and nationalities.  We all have a mutual goal —- to have fun and be with others who want to have fun.

If you have the opportunity to create fun at work even better — we could all use laughter and humor to keep things in perspective. It’s also a great day to show your appreciation for a job well done.

So pass out the shamrocks, dust off the Irish jokes, wear green and tell everyone you meet “May the luck of the Irish be with you!” today and always.