6 business priorities for 2025 that came to me during my last 6 days in France (hint: #4 is a game-changer)

Welcome to the 7.7 Edition of “What I Did Last Week (and what I’m looking forward to), a weekly newsletter where I share what I am doing personally and professionally.

I’m living and working in Nice, France for 2 months and write to you from here.

Today at a glance:

  • What inspired me to live in Europe for 2 months a year?
  • How I planned for it?
  • Dining and site visit recommendations if you are coming to the South of France.

 

During the pandemic, I interviewed Lisa Druxman, CEO of FIT4Mom.

Each year, she spends 1 month in Europe, with her family.

There was a time when her business was growing like crazy, but life felt out of sync with her values.

She did a hard reset. Not wanting to return to hundreds of emails that only worked to reverse the relaxation, she put on her OUT OF OFFICE RESPONDER a very unapologetic reply:

“If you email me between [date of departure] and this [date of return], your email will be deleted.”

Friends asked, “How could you say that?” It was so brash.

But she was committed to living a life aligned with family and fitness at its core.

I envied every single part of it.

 

Everyday, for 1 year, I journaled “What do I want?”

Everyday, the answer came back: Four weeks in Europe, a nod back to this interview

So I took action.

A year ago, I put down on deposits on my Airbnb where I would stay.

  • 2023, I did 1 month in Paris. 1 month in Spain.
  • 2024, I am doing 2 months in Nice. 1 month in Paris.

This helped me to lock in a better rate for lodging, which is often the biggest expense. Then I started planning my retreats for business around that location.


 

After all the bustle, and group 1 and group 2 coming through, it’s just me again here in Nice.

I have five more days of alone time here and intentionally so.

6 Things I am thinking about in my business my last 6 days in France

Strategic thinking.

I’m thinking strategically about my business. I need this whitespace, away from the New York City carrousel, to take a step back and look at all of its parts.

Hiring.

A sales person as I start the interview process for the Class of 2025 for my Mastermind. I need a better filtration system for high value clients.

Planning the rest of 2024.

My Mastermind members take the stage for their TED style talks on November 14th. We are in the 6 month march to that with an 8-week storytelling workshop baked in. It includes guest judges each week who are former TED speakers and folks who nominate speakers for TEDx.

Planning next year’s retreat in Corfu.

My Mastermind members head to Corfu, Greece for the “Deep Writing and Reflection” retreat in 2025. I’m planning logistics. How do members get from the mainland to the island? What hotels will house them?

What do I want my business to look like in 2025?

Central to this is

  • Daily journaling.
  • Reading.
  • Writing.
  • Lots of mid-day walks.

I have 2 online courses

  • The Anatomy of a ‘No’ If you’re struggling to say ‘no’ gracefully at work
  • Help! I need confidence! ****Join 2500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

But what is a better course I could be building that is central to my business?

My list of 100.

Who do I want in my network in 2025. I’m creating my influential list of 100.


 

What I Did Last Week

Thursday. Renting a car in New York City is always such a nightmare.

It usually starts with the interminably long lines at the car rental place itself.

Then onto to the grouch person behind the counter, who would rather be somewhere else.

To, “Sorry, we know you made a reservation, but we have no cars for you right now.”

My stomach tightens every time we approach a Budget, Avis, Hertz, wondering what challenge will we experience today.

I was pounding away on my newsletter on my terrace, when Matt pulled up in a convertible.

He yelled from the street, “Let’s go toots!”

He not only sailed through the car rental process at Sixt, located at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in Nice, but he got upgraded to a BMW convertible. I immediately shut my laptop and started channeling my inner Monica Vitti. Where is that head scarf anyway?

Provence is an easy 2 hour drive from Nice, accessible by highway.

We stopped at Saint Paul de Vence, which the group decided, they liked much better than Eze. Eze village is a wonderful medieval village, but the tiny stone steps, steep elevation, and Instagram influencers photographing themselves every 5 cobblestoned feet, make it a stressful visit. I had just finally sat down to eat my sandwich, and a British woman made me get up because she JUST had to get a photo in that one archway.

Saint Paul de Vance is more sane. It offers wider cobblestoned streets, beautiful art galleries to saunter through. Many more shops and no Instagram influencers from what I could see. It was a little cold Friday, with overcast skies, so I picked up a long sleeved cotton shirt at Cherry to wear over top of my dress.

The highlight of the trip was seeing poet Jacques Prevert’s home, rentable on Airbnb for a spry $500 a night. His poetry has been turned into songs sung by Edith Piaf.

If you want to really test your relationship, drive the streets of a small French village. The parking garage in Aix-en-provence, was literally 150 feet away, but pylons that rise up from the streets to fend off shady folks who might have ill intentions with a truck (read terrorism), are confusing as hell. Can I go down that street or can I not?

We went down several streets the wrong way, until we finally found the mouth of Parking Garage Carnot.

Dinner was at La Maison Francaise in Aix en Provence. I had a gorgeous white wine with my mussels.

Provence was HOT. Like the “bowels of hell” hot.

Friday, While the plan was to go to the lavender fields to shoot photos, we toggled. Matt and I got up early to walk to the town and nestled into seats at La Mado, overlooking the square, for a coffee and pastry.

Summer sales are in full force in France. I picked up a black layer cake, chiffon midi-skirt from School Rag for a mere 60 bucks. The heat got to be too much, so we decided to retire to our Airbnb, owned by a New Yorker. Matt cooked up dinner with fresh produce from the town.

Dinner was at La Brocherie, where I had the spiciest three gambas of my life.

Saturday, we drove the hour to Valensole. As you drive in, its almost Wes Anderson movie comical. Tourists, by the busload, hat in hand, scuttling to get the iconic flowy dress photo in a farm fresh field of lavendar for Instagram.

We kept driving, having done our research, and settled on a farmer’s lands, who kindly let us romp around for hours. The wind was swift this day, both in the lavendar fields and the next door sunflower fields, the skies threatening to part and rain. Clouds are great for photography though.

This is the equipment I use to get this photo. After clicking many a click, we settled on his benches for ham sandwiches with butter, and some of the best home made red wine I think I ever had. I think, I actually had two glasses, while Matt and the others sipped beer.

Everyone was tuckered out from our petty exertions in the lavendar fields.

Dinner was at home in the Airbnb. Our delight is in buying the fresh fish and produce. Our food just doesn’t taste like this at home. We grabbed a few bottles of white to accompany dinner. The second delight is walking the town, as everyone is out, and getting gelato.

My favorite is coffee ice cream with real coffee beans in it.

Sunday, we hit two places on the 2 hour drive back to Nice:

La Maison du Chateau for beautiful quiet brunch on the deck, underneath the shade of old trees.

Chateau d’esclans, home of the famous Whispering Angel rose.

The sun was unforgiving and HOT in the convertible on the way back. If you choose to do this route, sunglasses, hat and sunblock are an absolute must.

I’m afraid, folks will only be able to see my gleaming white teeth by the time I return home to New York. I have a fierce tan going.

Monday. I worked during the day while Matt swam and lounged on a Castel Plage sunbed on Mysunbed.com, an online place to book a chair at any beach club on the French Riviera. Ps. Your flip flops will get MANGLED on the rocks here. Remember to bring water shoes.

I do love the balance I have been able to strike here, where I silo work into a few hours and then go experience life. I need to figure out how to recreate this balance upon my return home. All I do at home is work.

Group 2 was on their way out the next day. Back to New York.

As our farewell dinner, we had frog legs and escargot at Le Frog in Nice city center and finished the night with cigars and martini at the grand La Negresco. The hotel features so many beautiful sculptures and pieces of art, it makes your head hurt.

Wednesday was Matts last day in town. We made it a practice to wake up early each day, walk the promenade Anglais, get a coffee and pain chocolat. This time at Bozzi.

The clientele is often lawyers or “Avocats” dressed in well appointed suits as the courthouse is across the square.

Tuesday/Wednesday. Matt and I beep bopped around as it was his last days in Nice.

(I don’t leave until July 10th).

I took him back to Bar des Oiseux for dinner of calamari and their house red in a carafe. Man I love that combo. I might need to return a third time before I leave.

We hit Oliviera for lunch, where its all things olive oil. Bear in mind, it is only open for lunch 12-3pm and reservations are recommended.

Everyone lights up when they hear, “I’m from New York.”

I had a lovely chat with the owner, seated next to me. He shared stories of his time working in the old World Trade Center towers. Now, he makes his living running this little restaurant, deep in the bowels of old Nice, with his olive oil farm just on the outskirts.

Matt got the lasagna and I got delicious pork ravioli. But not before a cardio boxing class at Le Lab, to offset all the carbs I’m eating.

Our biggest discovery was an old convent, turned into a hotel. Called Hotel Du Couvent, it’s a Marriott Bonvoy property. The Puritanical and stark layout has been preserved, but there is a quiet that pervades up here on Victor Ugo. Like a birthday cake, the pool, the lunch, the garden are all stacked in the rocks as you climb the stone stairs.

Thursday, Fourth of July. I joined my friend Monica’s group on a 1/2 day sail with Captain Philippe, who takes private groups on sails of the Lerins Islands. We departed from the port in Vallauris Golfe-Juan and sailed to St. Honorat, Sainte Marguerite Islands. Afterwards, we gobbled up some amazing wine and cheese and bread on her beautiful terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.

The Cote d’Azur did not disappoint this day either, with both sun and blue water.


 

“What do you do?”

An often-asked question while I’ve been living and working here for 2 months.

The high level answer at the gym:

“I’m a TV presenter. I teach women how to do better public speaking,” I say.

If I have a more sophisticated audience, I expand further.

My ideal client is either

  • laying ground for her first public board seat
  • laying ground for a promotion
  • has switched professions
  • or is doing business development for clients

I’m helping her tell the right story for this transition.

A woman on a discovery call this week asked me, “So all your clients are content creators?”

My clients are in many different fields.

In a sea of social media noise, you are just another tech consultant or just another accountant.

  • What is the unique way you solve problems?
  • What frameworks do you use?
  • How are you letting the world know about that uniqueness?
  • What I teach is how you differentiate yourself from everyone else.
  • What story are you telling?

Look at Andrea David, based in Hamburg. She has almost 1M followers because she has a super hyper niche topic:

She documents her own travels, recreating moments famously captured in movies.

Brilliant! How can you hyperniche down like this?


 

Right now, I’m interviewing members of the 2025 Class of the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 7 other women leaders for 12 months. The Mastermind works on 3 things: your mindset, the build of your personal brand It culminates in a TED style talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end, that is recorded.

I only enroll for this program once a year.

The waitlist is open for the Class of 2025.

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Take my Art of Influence Masterclass. (Join 10,000 people in taking this) Use the code INFLUENCE to get it for free.

2. The Anatomy of a ‘No’ If you’re struggling to say ‘no’ gracefully at work, I created a free download here with scripts (15,000 downloaded)

I’ll add to it each week.

3. Help! I need confidence! ****Join 2500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy. For today only, use the code INFLUENCE to get it for free.

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