Tag: Ambitious Growth Vision

Conference ROI

So you are going to a 2, 3 or 4 day conference and you are excited. Great connections, great information, a chance to grow, be inspired and envision something different for your business, but what are you really going to get out of it besides a few days away from the routine of your business?

What to expect?

Before going to any event you should know exactly what you are there for. When I first started going to conferences I was there specifically to learn new tools and strengthen my entrepreneurial business mind. I chose conferences that had the specific learning outcomes I was looking for.

For example, when I was looking at investing in my marketing to increase my business I went to a conference that had experts that were focused on marketing to increase client attraction.

When I had a lot of the tools and techniques I needed as fundamentals in my business knowledge I started going to conferences to find the people that were on the same path I was so I could be surrounded by like-minded people with similar needs. I created my inner circle of people that could understand my needs and we could really connect. I also found the coach that attracted this level of people so I would be totally engaged and immersed in the culture that I could truly grow.

Now when I go to a conference I need to be able to know if there is a return on investment (ROI) for my time and dollars spent. There  is always a learning experience so knowing  how to get and measure an ROI for my time was important. It is possible to learn and get prospects if you are focused.

Do This

Know what you want to get out of the conference. Are you there to learn or to earn? E.g. new clients, people to come to your event, Joint Venture (JV) partners, a total learning experience. Be clear about your intention so you can come with the right attitude and ask.

Red rope barrier on red carpetWhat to do?

When you are at a conference to ‘earn’ and get more clients, you need to have a ‘call to action’ you can take with you. Do you have something to give away, an invitation, something to sell, a JV opportunity you want to share, etc. The key to knowing what to do at a conference when you are trying to create income is to know what you are looking for.

At an event I went to in June I was a speaker that was an addition to the program being offered, so I was unable to sell anything from the stage. What I was able to do was give something away. I created a date to give a free call with additional information on what I was talking about that day. I got nearly 100% conversion from the people in the room that opted-in for the free call.

At the last event I spoke at the conversion was only 10 % because I offered a PDF book written by someone else. Definitely a learning curve to find the offer that is more needed.

With a smaller conversion happening and 2 days left in the conference I was able to set a date for an another free talk and I started offering people the opportunity to come hear additional information on my core topic, which appealed to more people. The great thing about this is I could continue to offer this at any event I went to after the conference (e.g. Chamber trade show, breakfast meeting, etc.) and filled the call with people that might need the business growth support.

Do This

Are your clients at this conference? If not then go with an invitation to JV or partner with someone to create a relationship to build your list. If your clients are in the room know what you are going to ask them to do (know your ‘call to action’). For Example:

  • If you have a product online, bring free samples or a coupon to try it.
  • If you have a service, offer a 1-to-1  consultation with you
  • Create a free event where they can ask you questions and get answers
  • Give them something of value so they will remember you and want to reach out

KEY – get their information and ask permission to put them on your list (like a newsletter or special mailing list). There is no return on investment if they leave with your card and you don’t leave with their permission and contact information.

What could you get?

Since selling one product could turn into a $15,000 client for my company, starting with a trusting relationship and building on that is my key strategy. For my business it is the first steps of the invitation that brings people into my programs for free and invites them to continue to work with me in different programs.

My expected ROI is measured in new clients that sign up for a free program. I get about 100% of people on my list say they want to work with me, but the sale can take many months and most sales start as a small purchase to an event using an early bird pricing special. No one comes into my big programs without first going through this step (not yet anyway), so it is the stepping stone to my year-long coaching/mentoring and mastermind program.

If you have a long sales cycle that work hard to get those people that you know will need your services down the road and get them into your list so you can continue the relationship with them.

Do This

The key to final ROI is to do what you promise and then follow up. Every person that signed up for your event, coupon, or free give away needs to be contacted after they have received your promised item. There will be no tangible ROI if you don’t follow up. You might get them as a client sometime in the future, but you don’t want them to forget you and the amazing things you have to offer them.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Generate More Income

There is a “catch 22” in business around generating income and investing in activities that generate income. I often hear, “Yes I really need to do that [to make more money]” and then in the next breath, “but I cannot afford it until I get more clients”. If you cannot afford to invest in your growth until you have more growth you will always be stuck. So, I thought I would give you 5 ways you can make more money right now. With this money you can invest in more marketing, a business coach, a business development consultant, a VA or whatever it is you need to generate more income down the road.

1. Look at Past Clients Businesswoman standing on a ladder looking through binoculars

Clients that already know, like, and trust you, customers that have purchased your products before and are still raving about their experience, and people that tell others how much they loved your service – these are the easiest people to sell to again. I want you to go back through your past clients list and contact them with an offer to purchase from you again. Create something for them that will excite them to come and do more business with you. Loyal customers deserve loyalty so give them a deal, throw in something of value that says “I love working with you”.

Related Topic: Are You Relevant? Prove it!

Big Sale sign in red over white background2. Have a Sale

Put one of your products on sale and then market it. Let all your referral partners know. Post it to your LinkedIn groups. Share it with your Facebook Groups. Do some networking over the next two weeks and invite people to get the deal or share it. Put it on your website, blog about it, Tweet and post. Let everyone know you have a sale.

Here’s my sale if you want to see what you can do. I took a physical business growth training product and put the same product on sale, except it is for download only. Same great results for my clients but no extra cost to me except the time it took to set up the shopping cart and update the sales page. You can do this too!

3. Look Through Your LHF List

Your Low Hanging Fruit (LHF) list is a list of all the people that have connected with you in the past but have not yet purchased from you. Reach out to everyone on your newsletter list or anyone that has come to a free call, or an event hosted by you. Invite them to work with you and give them an incentive to take action.

4. Host a Live Event

It doesn’t have to be big and it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to happen. Invite people to a live event either in person, on a webinar, or teleconference call. Give them great value and offer them something to purchase. You can do this with as little as two weeks’ notice and then market it using some or all the suggestions from point #2.

5. Get On The PhoneChild handing over the telephone

This is the most hated way to get more money but it is still the most effective and it is sales after all. You need to reach out to all the people that have said maybe or yes before and get them signed up. Once you get the direct sales aspect of closing a sale down all other marketing language will more easily lead into this sales invitation. Learn how to do calls and do them every day.

Ask yourself this question every morning – “What am I doing today to generate more income in my business?” If you answered “nothing” then you need to make some changes on your ‘to do’ list, then you can invest in making bigger changes. Start by investing some of your time every day in sales and getting more clients. That’s EVERYDAY!

Ignored in the Strategic Plan

Getting long-term employee buy-in and support is a topic I hear discussed a lot these days. There are concrete benefits to having happy employees that want to see your company grow and expect to stay with you, support you, and grow with you over the years.

Like any long-term relationship there has to be a common foundation, a goal, and a plan that you both can follow so that when you get there you are both happy and your business is doing well. The more people you have in your business the more relationships have to hold these three cores in place (Foundation, Goal, & Plan). Having a strong value statement for the business is a great start. Working that into your strategic growth plan is optimal for the type of business your people will want to stay with year after year.

What I have found is that the value statement can be strong, but it may not be consulted when the strategic growth plan is developed and announced. Recently I reviewed a strategic business plan for a local institution that employs hundreds of people. I was shocked to see (or in this instance ‘Not See’) their focus for the next 2 years of growth. Let me give you some insight into what I saw and didn’t see with respect to their employees.


  • Excellence
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Public accountability
  • Fiscal and environmental sustainability
  • Respect for all
  • Community connections

On the surface this list looks amazing. I would say that points 1 and 5 both have the ability to encompass great value for their employees.


  • Pathways
  • Extraordinary experiences
  • Community connections
  • Operational excellence

Their priorities are more limiting for employee engagement and support, but #4 (operational excellence) may encompass greatness in growth and buy-in for their staff.


  • To inspire innovation, transform lives and connect communities through the power of education
So it is looking like there may be some great possibilities for incredible work environments, happy staff, engaged and committed instructors and professors, hope for growth (both personal and professional) for their employees.


Before I go into the details that I feel are missing let me say that this plan is very extensive in its support of the students, the institution, and the community. There has been a lot of thought and hard work that has gone into this and I truly believe that this plan will make a difference to both the institution and all that it touches, including its employees. So as an offshoot of their focus there will be a positive result that will be felt.

That said, since there is some focus missing, and there are already issues that are being felt, I expect it will not be enough to make the mark for total fulfillment to encourage their best people to achieve more and stay on board.

So what is missing?

Elephant in your company


Here is a list of many of items addressed in the plan that will be directly affected as result of focus:

  • learning model
  • co-curricular records
  • common, specialized, and social entrepreneurship
  • new college degrees and expand university partnerships
  • accelerated pathways
  • student access, engagement, and outreach
  • College and Career Preparation services
  • delivery options
  • increase access through technology
  • apprentice-, diploma-, and degree-bound students
  • development of our faculty and staff to deliver
  • employers, industry, and other community partners for future needs of programs
  • new pathways and programs focused on skills shortages
  • etc…. including The City, Community Partners, Advisers, Stake holders, and employment services to name a few.

There is a lot of focus on training, skills, etc. to match industry requirements. There is a single point at the end of the 20 page list that mentions, “Build organizational capacity through employee engagement, diversity and accessibility, human resource, and talent management strategies”.

Notice that the employee is only named in the development of their skills to better support the clients/students/programs/operations and not for their own needs. Everyone else’s needs have been addressed (the building, the community, local business, recruitment, training, etc.). This is a big elephant to miss in a strategic plan aimed for 2015 and a lot of years to ignore your best resource.


Don’t miss the elephant in your company. If your business relies on competent and committed individuals that have skills you want to keep and bring huge value to your product or service, make sure they are part of your Vision, Mission, Value statement, and Strategic Plan.


Don’t Ignore Your Trends

Do you know what trends are driving your industry? Understanding the trends means that you can watch for trend changes and be on top of it in your business if you have to make a course adjustment to your business growth and sustainability.

Trendy_purseFirst – What is the trend your business is built on?

Selling water filters may be based on the trend for healthy living, selling MRI machines for hospitals may be the trend of increased disease awareness and the drive for healthier living, and electric bikes may be driven by environmental concerns and the need to also continue with a healthy lifestyle.

In my business of coaching, speaking, and training I see a couple of trends that affect this market and increase the number of people doing what I do tremendously: the economy collapse and the need for education for people later in life.

In 2008 the collapse of Wall Street brought a lot of unrest and worry to the average person, not only in the USA but also in the global market. People were losing their jobs and their homes at an alarming rate. Getting support to carry on, build something new, apply to another industry, or go back to ‘the market’ is difficult and scary. Getting support from someone that can help find the path and keep you on it was one of the reasons coaching became more popular. A second outcome was that the people in that transition could also become a coach.

When people realized that to make a change and apply for a job they had never done before would require education, the education industry exploded. My understanding is that this is true in unstable markets were job loss and unemployment are high. Being a business expert and a coach meant that I could hit a market of people in transition, starting something new by creating a business for themselves, and needing education to make it last. This is the trend I watch.

Second – What are you going to be watching for?

Knowing the metrics, factors, purchasing habits, etc. are great, but knowing exactly what you will be watching and at what time you need to start looking for a new path is even more important. Businesses that are successful stay on top of the trends in their market. Google broke into an already crowded cell phone market a few years back by knowing that there was still room in the technology for growth and innovation. There was still a lot of people that did not own a cell phone and although the younger buyer may be set with their Apple purchase, the older consumer using Blackberry was now looking for something different. If Blackberry had been on top of this trend they would have released their own button-free, touchscreen phone years earlier and it would have likely helped their sales tremendously.

As the baby boomers continue to retire, many without the funds to live comfortably without work, there will continue to be a need for what I do. After that bubble passes my expertise may be in less demand and changing my marketing strategies as well as my services will be the first places I start.

Find out what the trend is that you are following, and look for new trends in your market so you can be prepared.

Grow Yourself to Grow Your Business – 10 Ways to Grow

It is impossible to grow a business without change and it is impossible to change if you are not growing and stretching yourself to become something bigger and better. To keep reaching, implementing, and finding new things to create you need to be actively growing. Here are 10 ways to stretch yourself and ultimately create a bigger business.

1. Join a Mastermind Group

Weather it is a paid group or a free gathering, surrounding yourself with people that will force you to think differently and come up with new solutions to your issues will help you look at your business differently.

2. Apply for an Award

There are likely several awards in your community, like “Business of the Year” through your local Chamber of Commerce. Don’t worry if you don’t get the award or even become a finalist, applying for the award will challenge you to look at your business differently and start taking inventory of what is expected from a great business that could win.

3. Commit to Creating Something New

If you were to release a new product or plan an event you will have to do some new work that will accelerate your growth. The key is to announce the launch or dates of the event so you will be force to stay committed to seeing it through.

4. Hire a Coach

Nothing gets me more motivated and in action than working with another person that is totally committed to seeing me succeed and able to give their time to help me get there. I have done more for myself and my business in the last year because of this high-end relationship than did the 2 years previous. Don’t just invest time in your growth, put your money where you can best be supported by a mentor that can see the things for you that you cannot see for yourself.

5. Commit to Starting on Your Biggest Long-term Goal

Perhaps you have wanted to purchase property for your business, or lease your location. Maybe you want to have an international team or write a book. Whatever your long-term goal is, make a starting commitment to creating it in your life. Remember to use SMARTAR goal setting to create this goal and also know that this does not have to be the start of a huge commitment of time right now, just commit to starting.

6. Host a Presentation

Get in front of your potential clients, your customers, your peers, and your community. It’s time to be seen or heard. Host a teleseminar, set up a “Meetup.com” meeting, deliver a webinar, or offer to present a talk for your clients or your clients’ customers. The best way to get started is to book a venue and pay for it. You will be motivated to make it happen.

7. Create a 1-day Event

Offering your clients or prospects the opportunity to spend an entire day with you is ambitious and it will really stretch you. You don’t have to do all the content delivery; invite other experts to share the room with you.

8. Invest in a New Marketing Stream

I often teach about the 12+ Marketing Channels and recommend my clients identify several channels for their business and start by working on 2 or 3. Now that you have them down pat, it is time to add to your marketing locations. Maybe add a brochure, attend a conference, create a speaking series, host a radio show, create a cable TV show… Do something new to reach your customers.

9. Connect with Someone You Admire

Have you always wanted to meet The Mayor, connect with the Dean of the local University, have lunch with the Chair for your local Board of Trade? Don’t wait. If these are the circles of people that will help you reach up and do bigger things then find a way to be a part of what they do and introduce yourself. Look for events that they will be attending and arrange to go or if you know someone that knows them, take them both out to lunch. If you want to be remembered then offer to do something for them long before you ask for something from them.

10. Get a Speaking Date Set

Even if you feel you are not ready to speak in public I want you to know that speaking is a very effective way to build credibility with your prospects. Contact local groups, like the Rotarians, schools, associations, or businesses that do ‘lunch and learns’. Get on their calendar to bring your expertise to their room.

Leap into growth, the way a child runs forward into life. You will grow and you will likely do better than you expect.



Why Knowing Your Position Can Increase Your Profits

I bet you have answered this question at least once in the last week if you have done any networking, “What do you do?” Our answers vary depending on what we feel we do. I’ve heard responses like:

  • I own a business
  • I’m a massage therapist
  • I work with speakers and coaches
  • I do marketing
  • I’m a WordPress expert

And so on… There is a better way to answer this to ensure you get interest from your target client, but that is not what we are talking about today. What I want you to notice is that we often mention what our specialty is. What we do as the ‘technician’ of our business, as Michael E. Gerber would put it. This is our mindset as to our role in our business and it is the reason we can fail to grow our business.

When you want to grow your business there is one question you need to ask yourself to start the process.

Q.  What is my role in this bigger business?

To answer this question you have to think big. Think about the business you want to have. How big is it? How many employees? What income and profit does it make? How big is your location? How much inventory do you carry?

Once you have this number (pick one to focus on) multiply it by 10. If you were going to be a $100,000 ($100k) a year life coach, then your new number for this exercise will be $1,000,000 ($1M). Why do I want to you look at this huge number? Because this is where you will find your ultimate role and it will allow you to more easily manage a business of $100k or surpass it if you choose to.

So now ask yourself these questions about your $1M business.

  • If I had a $1M business how many clients would I need to have (or how many products would I need to sell)?
    • Can I manage all these clients myself?
    • If the answer is ‘no’ then how many people would you need to hire to manage that many clients?
  • Would I be able to create that much business by myself to get all those clients?
    • If the answer is ‘no’ then what marketing or sales strategies would you need to have in place?
  • Will I enjoy running the business and never seeing the clients?
    • If the answer is ‘no’ then whom will you hire to be your CEO or President to manage the ‘big picture’ of your business?
  • Can I continue to oversee the administration, reception, and financials of my business?
  • If ‘no’ then identify how many people would be required to manage those functions in your large business.

As you go down these questions (and you may think of many others) you help eliminate those roles that you are currently doing but would not be able to handle when your company is really big. What you are left with is the one or two roles that you really want to do and should be doing in your business.

How does this increase your profits? As you attempt to grow your business the #1 issue people run in to is that they cannot handle all the work. They are overwhelmed. This will stop a business dead in its ‘growth’ tracks. When you know what roles in your company you will need to offload as the business gets bigger you can start by outsourcing small pieces of those responsibilities. Start with offloaded an hour and continue to offload responsibilities that you cannot manage until you can hire someone into your company. No one gets hired until their role is making you money – meaning you save more time to make the money or they actually are bringing in dollars.

You cannot run a business and do all the work in a large company, so don’t expect to grow your business and continue to manage everything. Know your ultimate role and grow your business until you get to play in that role exclusively and others are looking after the rest.

Want more help with this, watch for my next CEO Hat event coming in November.

Continual Growth Helps Avoid Ruin

I am a business growth mentor so it is my job to ensure my clients know how to find their ambitious growth vision and implement it. Sometimes people think they do not want to grow. There are reasons for this and it is around the fear of being overwhelmed and being unable to deliver a bigger service or product offering. I offer you this thought; without continual growth your business will not be sustainable. This is true for your life as well. Looking forward to what you can do, what you want to change, what excites you, and how you might create something new is a great way to keep your mind active, your soul filled, and your business solvent.

Creating growth has three stages. Let me walk through these with you.

1. Want

You have to want it! Growth requires change and that is really difficult for all of us on some level and at some times. Wanting to change is easier if you have a desire around the outcome. If you want the outcome more than you do not want the discomfort of the change then you can accomplish the growth.

Let’s say you want to double your business income. The desire to double your income will not be enough emotional pull to really motivate you during times when you really need to push through uncomfortable tasks, but your desire will. What if your reason for doubling your income is that if you do not you will have to close your business. Yikes! Now you have a real desire – the continued existence of your business because you love what you do. That will do it – now you have your own ‘Big Why’ for motivation.

So, for instance, if the growth of your business required you to call all your past clients, something you had never done before, you may be thinking of other ways to get around that work. If you think to yourself, “If I get 10 more clients I will be able to meet my goals to double my business” you will be focusing on your desire. You will be more likely to make the calls and get through them so that you will reach that new level in your business.

Vision Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

2. Vision

You must have a clear vision as to what you will need to implement and sustain your ‘want’. This is a little like creating a goal statement and adding colour, smells, location, people, and dates, etc. The clearer your vision is the easier it will be to create a plan to make it real.

If in our example above you want to double your income then start by thinking about what a business that makes 10x (Ten Times) as much as you do would look like.

You read that right – to double your income you need to look at a much bigger business.

How many people would they need? How many clients would you have to serve? How many products would you have to sell? Where would you be located? Who would oversee operations, marketing, sales, finances, etc? What is your part in the business? How much money will you actually make (do the math)? How much money will you be spending (again, do that math)?

When you envision something much larger it is easier to pick out the smaller pieces and make it happen. If you try to stretch a small business into something bigger than it can sustain you will struggle and stress.

3. Plan

Create the plan to build the bigger business and then stop at double your current size if you want. Knowing what it will take to coordinate and develop a larger business is so valuable to your business growth mindset. You will be able to handle more challenges and see more opportunities. You don’t ever have to run that 10x business but you do have to know that path to get there so that the beginning of the path is crystal clear all the way to the 2x business.

Start at the end and work backwards. What did you need to do to have a 10x business? Look at these key areas and their details…

  • Operations
    • Management
    • Job descriptions
    • Training
    • Policies and procedures
    • Laws and regulations
    • Positions
    • Responsibility
    • Location
    • Client contact
    • Customer support
    • Partners
    • Suppliers
  • Marketing
    • Management
    • Campaigns
    • Printing
    • Online contact software applications
    • Target Market and sales location
    • Product / service positioning
  • Sales
    • Management
    • Team
    • Quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals
  • Finance
      • Management
      • Funding
      • Credit


  • Tools, inventory, and other capital expenses required
    • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
    • Financial software
    • Real estate
    • Product / service pricing
    • Office equipment and furniture

Thinking big lets you take in all the possibilities and then narrow it down to the things that have to get done right now.

Next step is to look are your endpoint for the 2x growth.

  • What is the # of clients you have to serve or the amount of product you have to sell to make that growth number? How many hours would it take you? Is it more than you have in a day? If so, you will need to hire.
  • Is it more money than you have to put out? If so then you have to get financing.
  • Does it require a new website, video, a mailing list? If so then you have some things to learn, buy, or manage.

Remember if you are not growing your business you are going out of business. Just ask Blockbuster.


How Do You Answer This Question – “Am I Worthy?”

Believe it or not even a person as confident as I appear to be asks this question of myself on occasions. I am human and I sometimes get to a point when I start that negative self-talk that does nothing to help me move forward in my business or my life. So how do you answer this question or better yet, what questions are you asking yourself? Let’s take a look at some of the questions and answers and then I will share some tools.

Do you ask…

  • Am I worthy?
  • Who do you think you are?
  • Will anyone accept me?
  • Will anyone pay for this service?
  • Do I have enough education?

And do you have some of these answers…

  • I’m not ready.
  • I need more training.
  • I cannot charge that.
  • I’ll never be that good.
  • I’m not doing enough.

Negative self-talk is very dangerous to growth. It is good to know your limitation and what you are willing to do but it is not good to put boundaries around a shallow belief system. So how do you know if it is a realistic boundary or a limiting belief?

Ask these additional questions and check-in with your spirit:

1. When I ask myself these questions am I comparing myself to someone else’s accomplishments?

  • If you answer ‘Yes’ to this then you are not on a level playing-field with yourself. You must be honest with yourself and look at what you can do. I know for a lot of years not having a degree made me feel like I was not capable of building something beyond a certain size. Even though I spent a lot of my time leading and directing PhD’s, Doctors, Biomeds, technicians, and nurses on clinical operations using high-tech equipment because I literally wrote the book there was something that made me feel inferior and it is not real.
  • Write out your accomplishments if you have not done that already and read them often. Remember it is a living document so continue to add new accomplishments all the time.

2. What I am I feeling when I ask myself these questions?

Walk Signal

  • If the feelings are excited and directed to your future success that is good. If they are grey and are re-living your past failures it is not going to support your growth. Your failures are the stepping stones to making you that person you are now – be grateful for the opportunity to learn and to continue to grow.

3. Do I feel empowered after I ask these questions or deflated?

  • Asking questions should help give you answers to challenges you need to overcome, they should not be used to continue a negative conversation. Answer the question and move on. If you do not have the answer, then start asking your peers, mentors, or clients for their opinion. If you are too uncomfortable to ask the question of them, then likely your questions are really self-loathing.
  • You need to ask better questions that you can use to move yourself forward.

To be able to move past this you need to see yourself in a different light. Find that one person that will always hold you accountable and shine a light on your accomplishments as well as your faults and ask them. Get an honest answer and then make a decision as to how to move forward. Remember the goal is grow, because if you are not doing something different then you are not changing and business without change cannot grow.