Written by: Frank Iacono
Neen James, Master of Business Administration and Certified Speaking Professional, is the CEO of Neen James Communications. From the board room to the meeting table, leaders, employees and entrepreneurs alike relate immediately to Neen’s candid, engaging delivery on a variety of topics like: super productivity, networking and productive presentation skills.
An international productivity thought leader and native born Australian, Neen is best known for her engaging keynotes that have educated and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life.
With a solid background in learning and development and in managing large teams at various corporations, Neen is a natural fit for organizations looking for presenters that focus on productivity strategies, tools and resources. Clients like Comcast, Cisco, Virgin, Pfizer, FBI, MTV and BMW describe Neen as “authentic” and “passionate” with subject matter that is spot on. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring on a variety of business issues and topics.
Neen is a sought-after media expert providing her views and expertise in publications around the world, including The Philadelphia Business Journal, The Singapore Times and Working Woman, to name a few. A published author of eight books, including her latest book Folding Time: How to Achieve Twice As Much in Half the Time, Secrets of Super-Productivity: How to Acheive Amazing Things in Your Work Life, Strategic Networking, Thought Leaders – Volume 3 Productive Connecting, and Network or Perish, Neen puts substance behind her sass.
In this edition of The Creative Spotlight, I had the pleasure of catching up with Neen to ask her a few questions about her company, her passion for business, her thought leadership workshops, her speaking engagements, and the Power of 15 Minutes.
CS: How long has Neen James Communications been in business and how many people work for the company?
We operated in Australia for 4 years before relocating to the United States of America in 2005. We run a virtual team both here in the United States and Australia.
CS: What does an average workday for Neen James consist of?
We don’t have “average” days. Every day is different and could involve opening a large corporate conference as the keynote speaker, working with an executive in our one-on-one mentoring program, running a training program for a corporate client or flying between locations, or maybe I am writing my next book or blog. So, there is no “average” day and that’s why we love it.
CS: Is Neen James Communications your first business venture? If not, what were the others, and what happened to them?
Yes it is. Before I set up Neen James Communications in Australia I ran a telecommunications corporation.
CS: What’s your favorite metaphor? And, how does it apply to productivity?
My favorite metaphor is “A Ripple In The Pond”. Because, when you are able to get more done at work you can go home and have more significant moments in life that matter with those you love which then has an impact across the planet – just like “A Ripple In The Pond”.
CS: What outside organizations have been most important to your business success? (e.g., bankers, accountants, investors, customers, suppliers, mentors, and etc.)?
My mentors, my partnership in Thought Leadership Global, and my accountability group who are also my cheer squad, my sanity and have helped accelerate my practice. Of course my supportive and loving husband is also a critical part of my success and my business manager Maria Novey, I could never do what I do without her.
CS: Can you describe your average customer (i.e., type of company, location, annual revenue generated)?
Large US-based billion dollar corporations with many divisions.
CS: Provide us with some insight on your thought leadership workshops and coaching?
Being an expert is one thing but being known for your expertise is totally different. We help clever people become commercially smart. I work with experts who want to make between $500K – $1.5 M working 50- 200 days per year with 1 -2 support staff. My specialty is working with women thought leaders to help them commercialize their expertise.
CS: What’s an example of work that you do when you are hired as a productivity coach?
I am often hired to consult with leadership to accelerate the performance of their leaders which could be helping them manage time, focus their attention or leverage their expertise. It could be accelerating their communication skills or personal leadership. We work with clients initially for 90 days with an option to renew for another 90 days and meet monthly by phone with accountability sessions in between.
CS: Tell us about the most exciting personal leadership productivity keynote speaker event you’ve participated in?
The most exciting opportunities to speak about personal leadership and thought leadership are the two day workshops I facilitate for women thought leaders where we help them commercialize their expertise. My other favorite keynotes are as the opening speaker at industry and association events.
CS: Are there any upcoming keynote speaker engagements we should know about?
Many of my keynotes are internal company events; however. in the summer I am excited to be serving the Credit Union National Association at several events in Punta Cana, New York and Austin. In May, I am delighted to be working with Interstate hotels in New Orleans, Gettysburg and Dallas – as you can tell – we do lots of travel for our clients 🙂
CS: Describe the principles behind the Power of 15 Minutes that you shared with Eve Tannery of WFMZ-TV’s News at Sunrise?
No one has an hour anymore, people are time starved and attention deficient so now we need to accomplish twice as much in half the time. You can conquer the world in 15 minutes when you put your mind to it (that means 15 dedicated, not multitasked, minutes).
CS: How do you market your business (i.e. conducting advertising such as direct mail, email marketing, website, and more traditional avenues like customer referrals)?
Our marketing is a combination of the work I do, the more I speak… the more I speak, we also work with a brilliant social media team and many of our clients have us back multiple times a year. We are very fortunate to have many of our clients also recommend us to others in their corporation or industry so we have been very blessed in that way.
CS: What is your website address and what can your customers and prospective see or do on your site?
On http://www.neenjames.com you can download many free resources to assist and accelerate your personal leadership and productivity, you can engage us to speak at your next conference or in-house event or you can find out about how thought leadership can increase the revenue in your practice.
CS: Have you embraced Social Media to promote your business (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Yes/No how and why)?
Yes we work with a social media company out of Colorado called SocialKNX and they help manage all the social media platforms including, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ for us. We love chatting with our clients and audience members so these platforms make it easy for us to help our meeting planners promote events, chat with people before we speak and share content of value for their lives.
CS: Tell us about some of your article topics for your Productivity Blog?
Check out the blog on neenjames.com and use the search facility to find out something you want to know more about … chances are there is a blog about it! It will help you get more done so you can get on with it!
CS: Are you a member of any local businesses or organizations?
Yes we support a number of women’s organizations, the local Chamber of Commerce, The National Speakers Association and serve on the Advisory board of the Women’s Resource Center.
CS: What is the best way to contact you or your company?
You can reach us through several options including:
- Website: www.neenjames.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/impactivity
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/neenjames
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 215.230.0835
Neen James, MBA, CSP
P.O. Box 1764
Doylestown, PA 18901 USA
CS: What do you enjoy most about what you do? And, what’s the biggest thing you struggle with?
I enjoy the opportunity to do what I love, with people I love in places I love! Sometimes being a practice owner constantly on the road speaking and traveling can be lonely – I have a great bunch of mates I can chat to while I am away but it is sometimes lonely.
CS: What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
Engaged a thought leadership process to capture, package and deliver my expertise and been part of an accountability group.
CS: What’s the best business idea you have that you’ll never use?
I use my ideas, just not all at the same time.
CS: What’s the worst business advice you’ve ever received?
Just find a market and sell to them. That is opportunistic and not authentic; I believe that your message for the world comes first. We need to know our message and then find out who would value that and determine how they would like to receive it, not the other way around.
CS: If you could offer a first-time entrepreneur only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Ignore all the opinions everyone wants to share with you and their ‘way’ of doing it. Engage with a mentor, someone who has truly achieved success (not just talked about it or created a system for it) in both their personal and professional life. Remember there are a gazillion books on the topic if you are a do-it-yourselfer and if you want guidance and a way to do it, use your thought leadership first – your unique message (don’t do what everyone else is doing or you will blend in) – use your unique experiences, your unique intelligence – that’s how you stand out in a crowded market place.
About Frank Iacono
Frank Iacono is a highly skilled results-oriented Strategic Marketing Professional with proven critical thinking, problem solving, and project management skills, developed through more than 20 years of experience concentrated in integrated marketing strategies. Frank brings a thorough, hands-on understanding of marketing strategies and technological platforms as related to applications available for web design, content development, email marketing, site and campaign analytics, search marketing and optimization, service and product marketing, lead and demand generation, social media, and customer retention.
Frank has a BA degree in English/Communications and Marketing from Cabrini College, and he received his Webmaster Certification from Penn State Great Valley.