3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence Inspires Contagious Excellence

photo-24Your quiet confidence and quiet leadership can be BOLDest of all. 

I was blown away the first time a smart professional told me she didn’t think of herself as a leader because she was not charismatic and not extroverted. She felt those were pre-requisites for being a great leader. Or in fact, for leading at all.

Ah, I smiled. Our conversation ended with a smile on her face too, as she saw for the first time how her inner strength, her quiet confidence *can be BOLDest of all*.  

Since that conversation years ago, when speaking or leading inspired team retreats I often include a segment I created on Valuing Others’ Expressions Of BOLDness.

In reflecting inward, and ultimately broadening our peripheral view to others, we begin to see the beauty in how we each bring BOLD differently… positively impacting our own success, as we create more success (and have more fun!)… individually and together.

3 Ways Your Quiet Confidence & Leadership Can Be BOLDest Of All, Inspiring Contagious Excellence! 

1.  When you step back to shine the spotlight on others, you inspire others forward. 

Be sure you don’t step so far back as to slip under the radar or become invisible. We need to see you. In shifting the spotlight, you’re offering others the opportunity to get known for – and remember by – their positive impact. Inspired by You. You’ve just magnified the impact of your positive leadership by inspiring another to lead, and in turn, inspiring the leader in others they lead…

2.  When you listen closely as you typically and beautifully do, people know you care.

When people know you care about them, they begin to trust that you also care about what matters to them. Imagine the possibilities! Your quiet confidence in listening to others – with genuine interest – can shift the frustration, malaise or disengagement in your team by inspiring them to start tuning in to each other, creating contagious excellence – and new success – as you build a team of people who actually care. About each other as team, customers, clients, community… translating beyond work to home, families, friends…

3.  When you speak, people want to hear what you have to say.

Your quiet confidence is shared in less words. Your select messages inspire what’s needed in this situation, meeting or conversation. The example you set can inspire and build a team of people willing to share their point of view, encouraging others to share theirs, too. Allowing people the opportunity to courageously build new confidence as they practice, develop and share their own points of view… whether quiet or not so quiet… is a gift that lasts a lifetime, contagiously rippling waves of excellence as new success. 

Do you consider yourself a Quiet leader?

Do you bring your BOLD by leading Quietly?

Here’s an important last (or first?!) step for you:

Do One BOLD Thing.


It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

PHOTO:   While keynote speaking in Taiwan, after my sincere effort yet seriously-lackluster results learning to speak Mandarin Chinese, I was rendered helpless on stage if not for the calm confidence of kind Taiwanese Translators. This is when and where I envisioned creating my speaking business, back in 1990, in their year of the Horse. If you’ve been to our condo, you may think I love horses… what I really love is the vision that was born in me in that one experience of a lifetime, in the year of the Horse. And maybe being a Taurus gave me the guts to actually make it happen.

Inspired By The U.S. Open: When Under Stress, We Forget The Simple Things

photo-72Did you watch the U.S. Open on Father’s Day?

David and I enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon date on our deck cheering Phil Mickelson on to his would-be so-deserved first U.S. Open win.

Alas, Phil retains his spot as THE classiest U.S. Open second-place winner. Again. Darn.

While focused on Phil, it was actually a quick comment made on Saturday by Golf Channel host and Hall of Fame golfer, Colin Montgomerie that caught my attention and stuck:

“When under stress, we forget the simple things.”

The simple things – getting back to basics – can be a smart way to do business – an inspired way to live!

Next time you want to earn trust, get remembered, make the sale, win the win, be selected, land your next Success… or maybe just have things come a little easier when it all starts feeling more like a setback than soaring…

Get back to basics.

One Of My Favorite Ways To *Get Your BOLD On… By Getting Your BOLD Back!*™ Creating Success By Getting Back To Basics:


You got where you are with the help of others who know you, learned about you or experienced you in action, and now trust you.

In the race to success, have you stopped letting others get to know the real you?

Let others in so they can discover too, just how great you are.

Next time you’re in a conversation, posting a social media update, positioning your business, or delivering a critical message… listen carefully to the conversation underway, understand what’s happening around you, and add to it by letting others know something that lets them in, to get to know you in a keep-it-real genuine way.

I’ve seen huge shifts when leaders I’ve worked with toss their piles of slides and statistics and share a personal story instead. Now what you say matters. Because you matter. You just became real. And relatable. Someone worth listening to. Tell us more.

Now we know you’re not selling us… or telling us… or repelling us.

You’re inviting us in.

When it comes to creating or re-igniting success… building your brand – building business – and building a life you love…

Let others in so they can discover too, just how great you are.

It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2017   Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Ah well, rather than simply sitting idle again this Summer, apparently my golf clubs (golf cubs?) struck up a new friendship at the lake!

Any Moment You Choose: Shift From Old To BOLD!

photo-1Damn these Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Clusters. 

It’s 2:00am on Monday, June 10th. I’m in the kitchen eating a handful. OK, three handfuls.

Aha! You never know what might show up in your work or life as an opportunity waiting for you to claim it and own it – the catalyst for positive change – leading to your next success! (BRAVO YOU!)

Apparently these Clusters showed up as mine.

Two years ago, I committed to lose and be forever done with the *plus size* me. It was a body shape I needed to maintain during one of my most exciting adventures as a professional runway model and national fit model, a decade-plus career which became my inspiration for launching the first exclusive fit model agency in the country. What a ride!

Fascinating and frustrating is how I’d describe the fact that, when I decided to leave modeling to focus solely on building my agency business and BOLD, my body didn’t cooperate in leaving that size behind. My vision was lb’s falling off when no longer needed… um, no, it didn’t happen that way. As that great saying goes: there are no shortcuts to anything worth achieving!

It took a focused commitment: eating right (imagine that!) and 5am workouts. I posted my 5-day/week workouts on facebook and Twitter, set my goal, made my commitment and never looked back. I shed the size and feel strong and fabulous! One of my favorite headshots is my current website photo – in my yellow sweater – at my current size.

Thank You, Costco’s Dark Chocolate Almond Cherry Clusters (anyone else hearing Jimmy Fallon’s piano in that? ;) for being the catalyst I needed to take this next step in accomplishing the final leg of my goal. When I hit *Publish* on this blog post, I’m on my way to being back at my fighting weight/size at Christmas. (Join me?!)

My workouts are pretty much still in tact. I change-up/ease-up and get out of the gym to head outside in Summer. They’ve become who I am and how I roll, so I won’t be posting those. I’ll focus on clean eating instead.

The most exciting thing about change? Any moment you choose, you can change what’s no longer working. In your work and in your life.

Where to begin? Shift your thoughts, actions and outcomes… from Old To BOLD!

I’m jazzed to finish this Cluster and be done (amazing how this last one tastes like plastic). When I wake up tomorrow I am a girl with a plan. Back on top of my game. Walking My Talk. Owning It Like I Own It!

Do you have a change in your life you’re ready to pull the trigger on?

Get excited! Shift & GO BOLDly in any direction you choose! If you need a champion along the way – let me know so I can cheer you through!

Smiling that Yes, it really is true:

Your Next Success?  

It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  A healthier choice: dark chocolate, cranberries, ginger and walnuts – a recipe David picked up on his recent tour of Hormel’s Spam plant – I know, seriously!

THANK YOU DEAR SUBSCRIBERS! There’s a special place in heaven for people who support and champion the work of others. Thanks so much for being here. And for commenting as you wish. Know someone who might enjoy these Jolts of BOLD Inspiration? Thank you for sharing it forward and inviting them in!

The Risk In Bringing Uncalibrated Passion

IMG_1621To live the life you want… to commit to your dreams… takes Passion.

BRAVO those who bring Passion in a positive-impact way:

Lighting up new smile-inducing possibility! inspiring Passion in others! creating new success together! while passing it on…

As one who admits in her Bio: *I wear my Passion on my sleeve and when I have no sleeve I wear my Passion on my arm* ..

In my speaking and writing, I’m sharing this lesson I’ve learned the hard way:

Your Passion Must Be Calibrated.

Uncalibrated Passion puts you and others at risk of experiencing and contagiously spreading a sudden and unexpected, potentially-devastating downward spiral, spelled:


To lead and love life, don’t risk success and happiness by playing it safe. Don’t stop being Passionate – your Passion makes you come Alive!

Besides, watered-down Passion risks flatlining……..

To bring your Passion effectively: Calibrate accordingly.

So how can you keep Passion alive while Calibrating accordingly?

GO BOLDly! with your eyes, heart and mind – and your peripheral view – wide open.

Mindful of people and aware of situations… caring about what’s happening around you… seeing and feeling… helps keep you calibrating beautifully.

Bring your Passion. Light us up. Make things happen!

How will you bring your Passion?

It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich  AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  Ah, The BOLD Exclamation Point! All those school years, I was marked down on papers for incessantly over-using it. Years later, when I launched my own business, l claimed it as my Logo, happily over-using it ever since, as my reminder and commitment to keep leading & living passionately *!*

Saying The Unsayable On Leading, Living, Loving Lasting Married Life

photo-41I’m at our cabin on my annual BOLD REV!VAL retreat. Me, myself, and I. Along with a few loons, eagles, critters, cloudy and then sunny breezes, and at least three bears, one stuffed.

Being married 34 years, I have a lot to say on this subject.



Why now? Because I am willing to say the unsayable when it helps someone get ahead – no longer giving a rat’s asterisk about playing it safe. If you’re reading my writing you are choosing to do so. You can click away. If you’re in a conference, you can step away – altho my clients will tell you in Keynoting their conferences I take great care to understand why I was hired to speak and I respect that responsibility and bring what it takes to thoughtfully inspire your new success! And to my knowledge, over many years, no one has ever walked out of my keynote.


photo-5What I Know About Leading, Living, Loving & Lasting Marriage:

1.  In this, my 34th year being married to David, I know for a fact that the time comes again when you are/can be as passionately crazy in love as when you first met. 

2.  In order to love your life together, you have to first love yourself, your own life. No one hands this to you. You claim it. Own it. Cherish it as your own vow to yourself. Did I mention you first need to HAVE a life as you?

3.  The whole of your marriage is going to be as strong as your two pillars, each representing each of you. Marriages of one pillar, with one counting on the other to be your life, risk either tipping over or losing your grip, sinking in unexpected quicksand.

4.  You won’t find happiness in marriage if you can’t find happiness in yourself. Be aware when grass looks greener. Sure, we all make mistakes in our careers, landing work that is not really a right fit, eventually that gets straightened out. Having been fired, I’m pretty sure it’s easier to leave or be fired from not-right-fit work than it is to chase greener grass in marriage and deal with the realities of hurting someone you so deeply loved.

5.  There will be days you can’t stand each other. Just as there are days you can’t stand yourself.

6.  There will be times you are freaked out in fear of *this is my life*? Is this all there is?! Do an honest gut check: are you blaming someone else for your happiness? Owning your part in it? Hmmm. Thought so. How do I know? I’ve been there too.

7.  Keep friends of both sexes. You didn’t come into marriage with your husband/wife as your only friend – why would you stop being friends with others now? I have never enjoyed working with, and being friends with, all women as much as I enjoy working with, and being friends with, both men and women.

8.  If you choose to have kids you will no doubt wake up one day and realize your life has become *kids*. Don’t let it be a surprise when all you talk about any more is kids, their lives, their schedules, their needs, their futures, your friends’ kids… This is all part of your rich tapestry of married life you create together when you choose to have kids. At times, your kids will need to be your utmost top priority. And they deserve to be, and need you to be there for them. Our world needs parents to be there for growing kids, and to do so, our workplaces need to honor and help make work work for young and changing families(!) (We can all help by bringing new solutions, another topic for another day.) Trust this stage is not forever. Altho sometimes we all wish these cherished times could be.

9.  For Moms, remember being scared in the delivery room and then remembering your own Mom and your girlfriends who somehow made it through labor?? You too made it through. And together you’ll make it thru things that seem much tougher than this.

10.  For Dads, remember standing at that recently-assembled crib, now holding your real-life baby, scared to death if you will be able to afford college, much less day care?? You’ll have more financial concerns ahead. Talk it through. You’re not in this alone.

11.  For Couples, remember the first time you saw your husband/wife and what that felt like… and then fast forward to never expecting – never ever expecting a day when the bottom might fall out – for whatever b’gillion reasons bottoms fall out given the realities of everyday life (sheeshta, it’s amazing any of us make it thru!) when it just might suddenly hit you that you are no longer in love?



Life changes and life keeps changing. Stages come and stages go. I believe in leading, living and loving Life, including Married Life, in Sequenced Stages.

The Sequenced Stages in Married Life look something like this: 

Engagement. / Wedding. / Dating Each Other, Married. / Careers. / Kids. Kids. Kids. / Empty Nest – which I prefer to refer to not as empty or nest – as tho life must be only about kids – rather as: / Dating Each Other Again, Married. / Grandparenting (I have not experienced this stage, and tho I know it is claimed to be magical, I am in no hurry to leave this current stage of Dating Each Other Again, Married as our two recently-married kids enjoy their current exciting stage of Dating Each Other, Married).



IMG_1621Want To Lead, Live, Love YOUR Lasting Married Life?

!  Know who YOU are. 

!  Continue to grow as an INDIVIDUAL as you TOGETHER keep growing as a couple.

!  Keep something in your life you are PASSIONATE about. My Mom used to say there needs to be one thing in your life that is only yours. It does not involve your spouse or your work or your family or your friends. What could that be for you, that is only YOURS?

!  Encourage and Allow each other to TAKE TIME OFF, alone. You can’t work without breaks and vacations, why should married life be any different? Whether minutes or hours or days or weekends or – as mine has now grown to (in this 50-something stage of life) time claimed to get away and reflect, re-energize, learn something, create something, or do absolutely nothing – work or life. Claim it early on, so together you can find a way that this can work, based on realities of this stage of life, for both of you.

!  TRUST each other. Expect trust and grant trust. Trust is possibly the underlying KEY SECRET to a happy, lasting marriage. There are others, but this is huge. You’ve earned and granted trust in choosing each other. It’s up to you to keep it.

!  Allow your head to go to that at-times unthinkable place. GO AHEAD: Make your grandiose exit plan – at some time or another most of us have! And then stop and look at what you really have in each other. And then self-check whether you are blaming someone else for your own happiness?

Whether exciting, exhilarating, or inexplicably frustrating… this stage too shall pass! And if there is any one message I used all these words to inspire you with, here it is:

Get To The NEXT Stage Together.  And Then The NEXT.  It’s Definitely NOT Easy.  It IS Absolutely Worth It. 


photo-19As in Self-Leadership, Confidence and Success… as in Business and Life… Leading and Living and Loving Your Lasting Married Life Takes Each of You… individually and together.

Do One BOLD Thing.  Own It Like You Own It.

(You & Both Of You, Together.)

Choosing To Stay Happily Married?  

It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2017  Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®  AnnUlrich.com

Photos:  1) An evening glimpse of lake at our cabin… one of the places I love to come for reflection and rejuvenation. Mindful that it doesn’t take any special PLACE to do so, it simply takes an attitude and commitment to create the life we want, right where we’re at… which is up to ME. 2) This is what 34 years of marriage looks like. Some days anyway! And our red eyes? Not blaming the camera. We’re owning ’em as earned in happy tears shared on this special day of our son’s wedding ;) 3) My ever-passionate BOLD red *!* logo. 4) Minneapolis Aquatennial Fireworks exploding over the river in front of our condo.

Your Courageous Confidence

IMG_1605On this gorgeous May morning, I’m thinking about a question I’ve been asked over the years:

“When it comes to being BOLD, what comes first: Courage or Confidence?”

A thought-provoking *chicken or egg*, isn’t it?

After researching, reflecting, and my favorite way to learn: experience and observation, I had concluded: It Depends. (Yes, the ULTIMATE NOT-SATISFYING RESPONSE TO ANYTHING!) Or, Both:

It takes Courage to be Confident.

It takes Confidence to be Courageous.

Which begs two questions: “How do I become Courageous in a situation if I’m not feeling Confident?” (and) “How do I become Confident if I’m not feeling Courageous?!”

Dr. Maya Angelou recently shed light on this in her wise and wonderful way. She says:

COURAGE is the most important of all virtues. Because without COURAGE you cannot practice the others consistently. 

So there it is.

And here is my 2-step BOLD interpretation for you:

Let your Courage (your ability to do something that frightens you) support, guide and champion your Confidence.

First: Let Courage be your WILLINGNESS to step in… the engine deep inside you that says not necessarily *I can* do this (that will come)… start with *I WILL* do this, fear and all. When you WILL do, feeling the fear and doing it anyway… that’s bravery, that’s Courage. This is where you start.

Next: Your Courage shows up and suddenly you’re ready for your Confidence to kick in… moving you into ACTION… even tiny-step action… to achieve whatever is right in front of you. Confidence is your *can do*, I DID IT! feeling. You’ll build new Confidence by taking Courageous, inspired action on whatever is stopping you.

When it comes to being BOLD… Confidence is the gift in being Courageous.

I hope you find comfort in this next time you have an unsurmountable situation of any size roadblocking you from achieving that next thing. Big or Small. Work or Life.

Trust COURAGE as your stepping stone to fire-up your CONFIDENCE… as you move forward, creating your next Success

It’s Up To YOU!


©1993-2013   Ann Ulrich     THE BOLD! FACTOR®     AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  I love colored glass. This vase makes us smile year-round. I move it to a spot where it catches the sun and dances little spots of sunlight across our living room. I’m smiling thinking about it. Note to self: Fill life with simple smile-inducing-ness!

PS. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. I hope writings here inspire you to take new action, to Do One BOLD Thing to create new success, as you Lead Live and Love your right-fit-for-you BOLD Exclamation Point *!* Life! Because even tho it may be dressed as Business or Work, it’s all Life.

3 Simple Ways To Put Your Own Skip Back In Your SkippidyDoDa!

photo-67Next time you crave jumpstarting your work or waking up your life…

to get back on top of your game…

flying high again…

feeling that fabulous feeling of owning it like you own it…

Put Your Own Skip Back In Your SkippidyDoDa

(it’s easier than you think)

1.  Be Your Own Caffeine! 

The great news? You don’t need that extra cup of coffee, or that next stream of someone else’s inspiration flashing by, it’s not even about, you know, *willpower*. Simply decide any moment you choose to yes, be your own caffeine. Get going! See what happens!

2. Practice Social Generosity.

Social Generosity is The BOLD! Factor way of spreading contagious excellence. When you need to feel alive again, try taking the focus off yourself: find a simple way to help someone else get ahead!  Quick start: rather than deleting that next great article, post or email that comes your way, share it with a quick thought from you, hoping it helps make their day!

3. Dance Through The Commercials!

Watching TV can make you feel like life is happening around you, and before you know it, you’re glad they’re doing all the heavy lifting so you can just sink. in. further… Enjoy the show and then Get Up and Dance! through every commercial. Trust me. This works. It will change the way you feel! How many minutes of commercials in an hour of TV? Do the Math! SMILE: You just fit in a great little workout! And don’t you feel terrific?!


I’m on a mission… to inspire you to create your own Success with Self-Leadership & Confidence… championing you to: 

Take one inspired thought, apply courageous action and move your own mountains! 


Go ahead. Put the Skip back in YOUR SkippidyDoDa:

Do One BOLD Thing. 

Own It Like You Own It. 

It’s Up To YOU!


© 1993-2013    Ann Ulrich   THE BOLD! FACTOR®   AnnUlrich.com

Photo: Fresh new box of BOLD! bookmarks. Thanks to two of my favorite business partners:  Ian Ulrich and Sergio Castro at OnlineproZ.com and Cindy and Tim Trainor at Printing Enterprises Inc. I’d love to introduce you!

Fear And Your Non-Negotiable Dream You Will Make Happen Even If It Takes A Lifetime

photo-35Sometimes, dreams really can take a lifetime.

After a few waves of *what the heck was that?!* of the recent past…

…one thing has become crystal clear:

No more waiting (for any of us!) before claiming and creating our next *it*. 

If you’re waiting until you’re, you know, just a bit further along… or a little more experienced… just that much more *ready*… before you go for it and make your next move… or if you’re holding off on moving forward until the time is finally just right… ask yourself:

Is FEAR holding you back from leading and living the work and/or life you crave?

Life is too precious to waste one moment by not exhaling out of fear.

Try this instead: Risk falling on your face – or stubbing your toe trying – by moving forward one step at a time directly into whatever you’re most afraid of… so you can stop that slowly-sinking-in-quicksand feeling called fear… and start breathing life into your life again… coming ALIVE again!

I hope this favorite quote inspires you as it inspires me, everyday:

“It’s no longer about asking what our world needs. Ask what makes you come Alive and go do that. Our world needs people who come ALIVE!”  Thurman/Ulrich

Put yourself out there and make something happen.

Claim your dream and make it non-negotiable.

Let us know so we can cheer you on!

What’s your non-negotiable dream you will make happen… even if it takes a lifetime?


© 1993-2013  Ann Ulrich Inc.    THE BOLD! FACTOR®      AnnUlrich.com

Photo: I love noticing dreamy light fixtures. This lights up a favorite downtown Minneapolis restaurant, Zelo.

The Grown-Up Truth No One Tells You About Success

photo-11Think about your last Success – your everyday Success or a STELLAR Success.

And then what happened? It was up to YOU to keep creating your next Success, right? And then your next… and so on…

That’s tough to do! You need an endless surge and never-ending supply of fuel for that fire! Whew. No wonder you’re exhausted! 

And that’s exactly what keeps me passionate, fuels my fire, challenges me to keep walking my own talk, to keep creating BOLD: championing inspired people like you as you create your next Success.

Get Inspired. Get BOLD. Keep Going!



*No matter your stage of life – or your title at work – or your role at home… no matter how you define Success… to be Successful, to keep achieving Success you’ll need to keep re-igniting your own Success! Success requires (and rewards!) your focused energy, your calibrated passion, your can-do and will-do drive to keep taking inspired action… as you bring Self-Leadership with Ownership, claiming your Confidence with Calm and Class, Owning It like you own it. Get ready to fire up, fuel up, and keep re-igniting The BOLD! Factor In You. After all, when it comes to creating and sustaining your next Success: It’s Up To YOU!*  -Ann Ulrich, The BOLD! Factor®


So, about that Success you just landed last week…

Or yesterday…

Or tomorrow morning…

If you’re like me you could find 100 reasons to celebrate every step along the way to and after that Success… BRAVO YOU

Reality is, when the celebration dies down, you’re going to need to figure out how to replicate that Success. Or duplicate that Success. Or create your next new Success. To continue to achieve Success. And to continue to be a Success…

…and so on and so on and so on…

After all, you’re only as Successful as your last Success topping your previous Success, right? (If you don’t agree, think about the last time you made budget. What happened next? Or the last deal you landed. Or class you taught or program you improved. Or life you positively impacted. You kept going, bigger, better, right? No wonder we’re all exhausted!)

When it comes to creating your next success, it doesn’t take a setback to get moving forward with new motivation, or to get moving in a fresh new direction. Or to see new possibilities in opportunities that already lie right in front of you, today.

To BOLDly Re-Imagine, Re-Ignite and Re-Invent sometimes is about simple Re-Calibration – which doesn’t always require crafting a whole new life – or dumping the essence of what matters to you, or who you matter to.


Sometimes your own BOLD REV!VAL is as simple as putting a fresh perspective on a tired belief, opening fresh eyes to a blurred vision, bringing a fresh voice to a stale point of view. Or taking one courageous new action to move that mountain you’ve been trying to get around… and Smile! you have your next success.

Everyday Success Requires Your Everyday BOLD REV!VAL.

Get Inspired. Get BOLD. Keep Going!


If you don’t like or no longer believe in – or buy into – your own definition of Success… 

Why not start putting fresh wheels in new motion to change it?

It’s not easy but there is a way. It’s all about courageous Self-Leadership. Committed and willing to take inspired action, do one BOLD thing.

Own It Like You Own It.

Or Change It.

It’s Up To YOU!

((Trust Yourself. You can do this.))


©1993-2013  Ann Ulrich     THE BOLD! FACTOR®     AnnUlrich.com

Photo:  I love this contemporary design on a tall white vase in our living room. Simple, clean white circles inspiring thoughts of BOLD REV!VAL. Oh, the (endless) possibilities!