December 2008

Sharron Cunningham: Accentuating the Positive

Author: ann demart | Photographer: john brackett

Sharron Cunningham creates positive change. In the process, she finds success instead of excuses for why it didn’t happen. As a consultant, motivational speaker and coach for business teams and individuals, she shows people how to “accentuate the positive” and “eliminate the negative” to reach their goals.

The charming, upbeat and self-assured Cunningham talked about her work as a consultant, motivational speaker and life coach for Destiny Advisors. “We develop healthy futures by helping you attain what you want in your personal or professional life,” she said. “By being objective, honest and constructive, we help you clarify your vision, identify your passions, set goals and stick to a plan to attain them.”

Cunningham practices what she teaches. She’s also a producing mortgage sales manager for Sun Trust Mortgage. “It’s not that different from motivational work, really. In the mortgage business, you help people realize their dreams—from first homes to vacation homes,” she said. In fact it was her work in mortgages that led her to coaching.

“When I was working as a vice president at a mortgage and construction company, I went back to school to earn an MBA. I realized that many brokers did not really understand the business of lending. So, I developed ways to teach real estate agents and mortgage salespeople how to create customers for life instead of focusing on making just one transaction. I expanded the training to include car salesmen, other business teams, and individuals,” she said.

“We need to identify our passions and goals. When we lose sight of our passions, we can get bogged down with obligations and what we think we should be doing,” she continued. “So many people ask, ‘How do I know what I’m supposed to be doing?’ I tell them, ‘Look at the things that make you happy. Sometimes it’s as simple as something you enjoyed doing as a child. In many cases, we’re already who we want to be, we just need to let ourselves realize it.’”

Cunningham offers a six-step approach to creating positive change. She laughed as she said, “People always ask me, ‘Why six?’ I tell them, ‘Because there are six!’”

Step 1. Choose to be positive. “We actually choose what we are thinking and the actions that we take. If we let someone else, the media or a negative person set the tone for the day, we no longer are in control. When we are positive, we attract positive energy and people.”

Step 2. Stay in the present. “We tend to glorify yesterday and over-project the future. The present is the only time we have to actually do something. So take action today!”

Step 3. Be proactive, not reactive. “Take action before it’s required; don’t wait until you have to respond. Set a game plan for each day and follow it. When you are proactive, you create results; when you react, you create excuses.”

Step 4. Add value. “Everyone makes a difference. You get to choose the difference you make. Whether you’re aiming for sales goals or improving the quality of your own life, work to bring about positive change. Do your homework. Find out what’s important to reach your goals or those of others, and find a way to add that value.”

Step 5. Stay the course. “Seventy percent of people quit just before they’re about to achieve their goals. Once your plan is set, stick to it and be accountable to someone. At Destiny Advisors, we help people see things through. We come back after initial training and make sure people are meeting their goals.”

Step 6. Develop your team. “Successful teams are essential in our professional and personal lives. Networks, sales teams, partners and mentors are all part of our goals. Coaches help you develop a team of knowledgeable, positive and supportive people. When you are enthusiastic about the people you work with, you’ll find yourself in a happier place.”

Cunningham explained that we have the tools to make our own choices. “People who makes positive choices and changes end up passionate about what they do and how they do it. I chose to build my career before I had a family. Then I decided to have my son when I was in my mid-30s. When I did, I was ready, and I’ve enjoyed every stage of his development and life. Timing and priorities are different for each of us,” she explained.

“The best part of being a motivational speaker and coach is helping people realize that they are who they really want to be,” said Cunningham. “Business is good. People need to be lifted up right now. It’s an excellent time

for motivation,” she said. “It’s so important right now to not dwell on the past. Fear creates fear. Positive movement creates positive movement. And there is much to be positive about. We should focus on how to make changes and keep growing. We do create our own reality.”

Need a little inspiration or motivation in your life or career? Start making some positive changes to attain your goals. Take the first step and call Sharron Cunningham. Reach her at Destiny Advisors, (423)534-6508 or at Sun Trust Mortgage, (843) 815-9605

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