Your Message Affects Your Money!

First impressions should make people want to get to know you better.

A TV show I have enjoyed in the past is “What Not To Wear” on TLC. It was a show that had people nominated for a makeover. These people were hoping to do some great things in their life, like be a lawyer, run a global charity, have a successful business, or simply be accepted in the circles they were trying to be a part of. One thing that was common about these people was that they almost all would say, “I don’t want to change, people should like me no matter what I wear.” This is true, except as humans we are programmed to make judgements about situations, events and people to ensure we are safe, comfortable, and connected.

If your business language creates a first impression that screams ‘SHAM’, you say things that make others uncomfortable, or your vocabulary does not attract or appeal to your clients and others you wish to be connected to then it’s time to take a look at what you are saying/writing and make it create the right image for those whom you want to receive your message.

First Impressions

First impressions help us determine if we are going to be safe, comfortable, and feel connected. In the history of our evolution our brains have become wired for the ‘Freeze, Flight, or Fight’ reaction. We see or hear something and we have to evaluate immediately if we were going to be safe. We still have this unconscious reaction to new environments and new people, hence the reason why we still tend to make judgements about people we meet, when we first meet them. Although I would not recommend to anyone to make decisions on a first impression it is still important for you to create an image that makes people willing to connect with you again so a decision or a sale can take place. After all, we don’t purchase from people we don’t trust, so having a language that builds trust, especially on your first contact, is imperative.

First-impression Touchpoints

Where are your first-impression touchpoints? These are the places prospects are likely to experience you for the first time. Is it your website, your Facebook page, at a networking event, a video on YouTube, or an ad in a magazine? What does it say about who you are and what you do? Your first impression about you and your business has to say two things:

  • I am trustworthy, likable, and worth knowing
  • I have something of value that you might want

If you want to know if this is true of your message, have someone from outside your inner circle, preferably a client or prospect, evaluate the language they experience.

  • Do they feel like they would want to connect with you or your business? If so they should be excited to have met you or experienced your message.
  • Is your message clear or is there something missing they expected to find or understand about your or your business? For it to be clear they not only have to understand what you are saying, but must be attracted to your message. If they are not, your language is not targeted to the people you want to attract as clients.
  • Do they know what to do next? If you meet them at a networking event do they know what their next step is to stay connected with you. If they see your message in a magazine is there a clear call to action that they will actually act on? Do they want you to connect with them or do they want to simply have a way to stay connected. You need to know what the best way to continue this new relationship will be and have that message ready too.
  • What can you do for them right now that will also build on the trust? If you give first you will create a comfort level that will open the door for future conversations. Remember to give without expectation of reciprocation. This true gift is a language of its own that speaks directly to our unconscious mind.

Your first impression is not a time for sales, it is a time to start a lasting, positive relationship .You might think, like the nominees of the TV program I mentioned earlier, that people should love you for what you do, but until they know you they need to like you for what they see and hear. Since they really don’t have a lot to go on yet your first contact should be a rich, warm experience full of value. The next time they experience you, like in the email, they will be thankful for knowing you instead of fearful of what you make be asking of them. With trust comes the opportunity to have your conversation around money.

 

Why You Can’t Do It Alone

Since I started my business over 10 years ago I have said “you can start a business on your own but no one can succeed in business alone.” I have always believed this to be true but it has felt obvious. Can it really be that simple? Is the secret to success in the people we spend our time with?

Running your own business can be a lonely job. All the responsibilities are ultimately yours – so point at yourself and say, “The buck stops here.” Sharing your challenges with people that don’t know the ‘ins and outs’ of your business are difficult enough, but try sharing a true win. It is surprising how few people will understand the significance of giving up your second, part-time job to put more hours into your business or applaud you when you turn down work so you can stay true to your value. The people you share you successes, issues, and failures with must be able to understand the nuance of the situation and give you valid feedback and support that will help you recover and progress. That is not every person in our lives. In fact it is not most people in our lives. Even those that love us cannot always give unbiased strategy when their fear of loss is much higher than yours. They will want the best for you and may suggest something more stable in their minds, like that ad for a good paying job they just saw in the paper.

Don’t worry, you are not alone with this worry, but you are alone if you don’t do something about it. Here are three insights into the value of surrounding yourself with great people that will help you continue to grow your business with confidence.

Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich

Mr. Hill spent 25 years researching and studying the 500 wealthiest people in North America and from his findings he teaches that the most successful people use something called “Accumulated experience” to increase their individual knowledge and experience level. No one man has the ability to know everything. He cannot learn everything and experience everything to be an expert at everything. “No individual may have great power without availing himself of the “Master Mind.” To be great you must have access to the knowledge and  experience level of an expert. To do this he found that every successful, wealthy business owner had a mastermind group, whether they consciously participated or not, where the members had access to each other’s expertise.

He writes, “The ‘Master Mind’ May be defined as: “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of definite purpose.” No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” Meaning, two heads together are better than two on their own.

If you want to achieve something quickly, go gather your mastermind to work through your strategies and develop your plan.

McClelland- Research

There is a statement I’m sure you have heard before. “You are the combination of the 5 people you spend the most amount of time with?” I often wondered if this was just an ‘old wives tale’ and so did a researcher in The States. Thanks to a social psychologist, Dr. McClelland of Harvard we now have some real data to prove the significance of this statement. Dr. McClelland reports, “Your ‘reference group’ determines 95% of your success or failure in life.

They determine the

  • Types of conversations you have
  • Places you visit and hang out
  • Your ability to see opportunity
  • The knowledge you take away from your experiences and learning

Think about it. There are people that talk all day and say very little and there are those that add a single sentence to an idea to solidify the entire concept. If the people you admire and want to spend time with are not the same as the people you are actually spending time with then this may be a limitation for the growth of your business.

Darren Hardy – Mentors

Darren Hardy is one of my favourite successful people that I like to mentor under. I admit that all my mentoring has been from afar as I’ve followed his programs and read his book for years now. That said, one thing I’ve learned and admired about Darren is that he attributes his success in business to the mentors he has had over his life and the people he constantly surrounds himself with.  His learning is accelerated by the depth of experience he has access to. He does not have to re-invent the wheel every time he comes up with a new idea, he simply reaches out to the great people around him.

If you know of Darren then you might be thinking, “well Barb, that’s all good for him, he has had Jim Rohn and John C. Maxwell as mentors and access to Seth Godin, Sir Richard Branson, and likely half of the most successful people in the world. If I had contact with that level of business owner I’d be successful too.” The problem with that way of thinking is that you assume that he had that access first and then he became successful, but that is not the case. He had desire and persistence first and then he found his successes. On his way up the success ladder he continually picked up new connections with people that were farther up the ladder than he.

One of Darren’s quotes says, “Broke people talk about people and problems, Rich people talk about IDEAS & GOALS – Your conversation chooses your destiny.” Surround yourself with the people that will light your ‘wealthy conversation’ language so you can climb the ladder of success, supported by people that will understand your goals and your journey and lend you their expertise to get you there. If you truly want to be successful you cannot do it alone.

More Products from What You Are Doing Right Now!

If you know your pricing is correct then making more money in your business can be achieved two specific ways: sell more or charge more. Charging more is a discussion for another day. Selling more product can seem daunting. What else can I sell? Do I have time to create something new? Do I have the skills needed to do something different? A way to make money in your business is to focus on what you have done or are doing right now. If you have been in business for a few years you likely have previous products and content you may be able to use to create value for your clients on top of, or within, your current offerings. Here are three ideas you can start with.

Past Content

We often create a large amount of content for our clients; like video, audio, and written content, as well as content we have created for our own use inside our company. Here is one example that may give you some ideas of what you could add to your own products.

When I started hosting the Power of Leadership 5 years ago (back when it was called the EClub), I wasn’t thinking about how I would accumulate the recordings of experts and their teachings over the years. Time often gives us a great deal of options that we only see as the single focus. In this case, I saw a monthly 1 hour expert call. When I realized I had over 50 hours of recordings from some of the most successful small business owners in North American I started thinking, “what else can I do with this?” I had recordings stored away and inaccessible to those that really needed it. I had hours of prep work and interviews invested and was still investing and no way to ensure the experts’ brilliance was available in an ongoing way. This made me think about creating something that would be easy to use and valuable to my clients. So I created a product that gave unlimited access to all past and future recordings for $47. It is digital access so I don’t have to monitor it (except to upload new calls) and people can download and listen to any call at any time.

Bundle & Packages

If you have ever given a webinar or online training, you can use some or all of the content created for a new product. In fact, it would be best to create products with the intent of reusing the content for a digital product.

For instance, I gave a 5 week online program call “Profit and Play”. It was a detailed program on business development which included group calls and group coaching. I put the group calls and exercise work into a digital product and offered live group coaching calls to go along with it. I only needed to deliver the content once for the program and then it was delivered via weekly download. I reduced the amount of time I had to put into delivering the program and was still giving people the insight and support they needed to grow their business.

Add Value

Use any past product, part of a product, or content to add value to a new product and entice more sales. You have seen this done very successfully by many experts. When you purchase their new product they add in access to something else.

e.g. Register for my 3-day program by ‘specific-date’ and get immediate access to my ‘X-program’.

You can even use your past content to add to your marketing reach by offering it to someone else’s product launch.

e.g. Purchase my new book today and get $1000 in free gifts. (which includes a gift from you)

If you have physical product sitting on a shelf because it is not selling as it once did, make it a ‘value add’ for your newer products. This helps with current sales and also helps you clear your inventory and balance your accounting. It is much better than having to count the product every year when you do your end-of-year inventory

e.g. Buy two and we’ll through in one of our best selling products at no extra charge.

Now that you have some ideas, get your mastermind group together and brainstorm what else you can be offering to create more money in your business sales right now!

If You Are Not Sure – Try it On!

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can’t do that”? Some people are afraid to try new things because we don’t know what the outcome will look like when we have never tried it before. Especially when we know it will not be easy. We want people to see us as competent so we don’t want to make a mistake doing it wrong. The challenge with this is sometimes it makes it hard to change. Trying something new means we have to do something we have not done before and that means we are not competent. This is when comfort can over-ride our need to change and we stay stuck.

I remember in the first year of business, when I met Rose Adams, who is now a good friend of mine. Rose had (and still has) the presence of a leader. She is warm and welcoming and always well dressed. I had chosen to be a part of her networking group because of her and a few other strong business women that were in the group.

Rose was kind to me and interested in seeing me do well, so she offered some advice which I accepted gratefully. She offered to go shopping with me to get new clothes. You see, I was still in ‘mommy mode’. My clothes were appropriate for outdoor at the park, walking kids to school, going camping, but not for business. I was very ‘shlumpy’. Rose and I were just acquaintances at that time so her offer was very surprising. I was honoured that this stylish, professional lawyer would take her time to shop with me. There were a couple of conditions for our shopping trip: I was not allowed to buy anything black and I had to try on everything.

Fashionable clothes that fit and look appropriate

Think about these conditions – they were very important because they were to open my eyes to ‘the new’ and what else was available to me. I had worn a lot of black and everything was comfy, jeans & T-shirt – super casual. If all I tried on was the same as what I wore, I would look the same as I had always looked. I had to get out of my comfort zone and try on things I thought looked disgusting, weird, or not me. Of course it didn’t look like me, I never wore it – but it could be me if I changed, and I did. What I found was sometimes the things I thought looked disgusting on me and sometimes they looked amazing, and everything in between. I really had no reference points to make judgements or discussions from. I didn’t know good from bad, stylish from dumpy, my style from someone else’s style. I had to start by trying it on.

The same is for learning what you are best at in your business. What do you love to do? Who do you love to spend your time with? When are you most powerful and where? Can you speak in public, are you a leader, can you create new programs, work one-on-one with your clients, do group events, host a conference, support a NFP, work with a partner.

Sometimes we just have to try something on to see if it fits. Don’t say, “No I can’t do that”, ask, “How could I do that” and then figure out how you can try it on. After all, if it doesn’t fit, you can always find someone else to wear it for you. What you will get is a sense of your limitations and what you can do well. I have used this model to find out I can actually tell great stories from the stage when I thought I was not a story teller, and that I am not the “Richard Branson” charisma leader. We all have our core strengths, and they are all valuable. Using your best strengths (wearing what fits) and learning what ‘look’ is yours will bring you authority in your authenticity because you will feel powerful and comfortable in everything you do.

The Value of Your Reference Group

Last week I was at a luncheon with two friends of mine that I consider very accomplished and focused on the changes they wish to help make happen in the world. We were also joined by 5 other women that turned out to be very similar. How blessed I am to be so often surrounded by such incredibly forward-focused, game-changers with a spiritual/holistic/philanthropic approach to life.

Friends toasting and celebrating together

When I had mentioned this to my friend she said, “it is a mirror reflecting of what you bring to the world.” Interesting as I know 10 years ago this was not me. I know I have grown intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, but we don’t see ourselves the way others do. What I had not seen was that surrounding myself with this level of business genius had raised me up to that level as well.

As the saying goes, we are the combination of the 5 people we spend the most amount of time with. “How true”, I started thinking after my conversation above. I was doing what my 5 closes friends were doing 10 years ago and now I’m doing what my 5 closest friends are doing now. I wanted to be able to affect more change and help more people so I started spending time with people that affect more change and help more people.

Here are two things I have done to get to a place where I get to have lunch with world-changers because I am one of them.

Act ‘as if’

I don’t like the saying, “fake it ‘til you make it”. One of my core values is honesty, so faking it always seemed like a lie to me. I don’t want to lie to my friends, my peers, my clients, nor to myself simply to get what I want. It felt selfish and wrong. But when I read ‘Act as if’ from Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles” and then started seeing the same teaching from others, like Darren Hardy, I realized that there was a significant difference in the semantics of these two statements.

Fake it

Act as if

Pretend you are Believe you are
Wear the right costume Dress the part
Use their language Use ‘the’ language
Pretend you know Learn it and ask
Spend to take part (even if you cannot afford it) Find other ways to take part (to be a part of it)
Do it first Get a mentor – do it after them

Activate your brain muscle to start visualizing what it is you want to be and where. The more your subconscious believes it to be true, the more true it will be. Here is an easy example we should all be able to relate to, as we have all been a teenager at one time in our lives.

Picture two teen girls, both pretty and both academically competent, but one believes she is pretty and smart and the other believes she is average in every way. These two girls will present very differently to the outsider. The one girl may be a leader, doing and belonging to groups that the other girl may not even dream of being accepted to. One will be invited, the other will be overlooked. This does not mean one will have a better life, but it will give the one girl more options and more support to attain whichever goal she chooses.

Know you are and you will be.

Give Generously From What You Have

I’m not talking about digging deep into your pockets and handing out your last few dollars. I’m talking about something more precious – your gifts of wisdom, influence, and skill. What can you do to help others around you?

It is easiest to give money, but that will not get you connected to those that will be key to opening doors for future opportunities. If you want to give, then give with your time to something that aligns with your passion and goals. I love business, I love being creative, and I am a visionary, so my easiest give is to be a part of a board or steering committee that has to help with big-picture decisions. When I am at these meetings I am engaged and energized. My energy is contagious and it makes me fun and interesting to be around, so people want to be with me. It is valuable use of my time and I can add value to the group I volunteer for.

I once volunteered where I was not passionate and the work was mundane, repetitive, and combative. I was drained and angry about the time I had to give. I felt used and wasteful with my time. I did not produce great results for the group, nor did I enjoy being there. I can imagine I was not fun to be around and that certainly did not gain me any new friends for my reference group.

If you want to be surrounded by great people, be a great person. Believe you are worth knowing and give generously to the places you feel most connected. Your people are there waiting for you.

Growth Through Osmosis

Osmosis is a scientific term referring to a process where atoms or compounds pass through a membrane from one body to another usually caused by a differentiation in concentration.

REALLY! What the F… does this have to do with Business?

We do what we do what we do… day in and day out. We will often look at our business and life and think, “I have to find a way to make a difference.” Every once in a while we go to an event or a networking meeting and we get motivated or inspired to move, but then we get back to our office and go back to our routine and we do what we do what we do…

The reason why we are so motivated or inspired after an event is the energy we get to experience from others in the room. This energy is in the form of conversation, knowledge, learning, value systems, opportunity, and likely several others things that we experience while exposed to the group.

We have an invisible membrane that allows us to function efficiently and stay safe. It keeps our routines and our path on track. As an employee we can safely stay in our membrane and do our work and collect our pay. In business what we quickly find is performing the routine of what we do best is not enough to continue to grow our business.

When we move into a group of people we can sometimes feel drained. If we are the highest concentration of knowledge and energy in the room with the desire to move while others look for safety in the day-to-day, then we are the one giving the energy and doing the lifting.

When we are in a room of like-mined people, all with different skills and abilities, with diverse experience and knowledge, with goals and desires, we are uplifted by them and share energy back and forth, depending on who needs what. When we go back to our routine we look for ways to hold onto it, but quickly go back to our known levels and find the inspiration leaks out of us again.

So what happens to a cell in science that is next to something with a concentration so high that the compounds rush in uncontrolled? The cell bursts because it cannot stretch quick enough to contain the new volume. It is the same for us in business.

When we are in the presents of greatness, like maybe having lunch with Sir Richard Branson, we are overwhelmed by the opportunities that could be ours. The concentration is too high and we cannot take on all the available energy in the form of knowledge as we cannot implement from our current level of knowledge and ability. We can either brush by the greatness, admire and see something smaller that we can do, or we can step in and buckle down for an incredible download and an overwhelming ride of growth, which may make or break us. Not impossible, but not easily sustainable.

So what is the key to retaining the momentum?

If we are surrounded by others that always have something we want, something we need to learn, something of value, we are always in the position to feel the differentiation, to increase our concentration of ability and knowledge, to be a receiver for the new and the wanted. Be with people that are willing to continually seek out the ‘new’ and develop their own abilities and bring it back to share with you. We can grow through the osmosis of learning from a room full of people that are willing to learn and share.

Surround yourself with like-minded people so that you can take sometimes and give others. You will continually grow each other, hold each other accountable, and keep each other in the momentum.

 

 

Managing Stress – 3 Tips to Help You Stay Grounded and Feeling in Control

Stress in a business where you are the only one putting in the money and doing most of the work can be overwhelming. It can eat at you while you sleep, waking you to revisit challenges and run through them over-and-over. It can make it hard for you to participate in other life events. Stress can even stop you from being a great partner, spouse, or parent. You need to know how to manage stress so you don’t stop working toward greatness.

I would guess that it is the stress of managing a business’s growth, the finances and all the work that has led to the failure of so many small business. I guess this because I’ve come to that point many times in the growth of my two businesses, where I’m thinking, what would my life be like if I had a job!

I want to share three things I do when I’m feeling the stress of growth that helps me stay focused and feeling good about the choices I have made.

Key

Know your stress triggers. What is causing your stress: a deadline, an RFP, an employee interaction, a large project you’ve undertaken, a financial commitment, etc. If you are just stressed and you don’t know why it will be very hard to do anything about it. In fact there may be an underlying health issue. See my NOTE and comment below if this is the case.

1. Put It In Perspective

What are the most important things in your life? Why are you doing what you are doing? For me, my family is my most important thing. Initially, when my kids were small, I did what I do so I would have more time with my kids, be around them and available for them. Now that they are a little older, I do it so I can create more for my family and because I truly love what I do.

So, when I’m stressed and I know the root cause – often money – I ask myself these questions:

  • Is my mortgage paid? – will my kids have a home to come back to after school?
  • Are my utilities paid? – can we live comfortably?
  • Are my other financial commitments met?

I usually can answer yes and if the answer is no to any of them I ask

  • Do I have a way to meet my financial commitment – and I work out a plan

What I find is by putting my stress into perspective I usually get great relief. When I can answer, ‘yes my kids have a home and food on the table’ and knowing this meets my biggest goals and focus for what I do and why I do it, I know I am OK and I can take a big breath.

2. Share it with Others (not just one)

Can’t get it into perspective? Then share it with someone else, preferably someone in your peer group, that can easily understand your predicament and be able to give you real advice, not just console you. Here are some ways to ensure you have these people in your life before you need them:

  • join a mastermind group
  • regularly connect on a personal level with someone in your networking group
  • get socially connected with other business owners
  • belong to an association of people doing what you do
  • engage a coach, adviser, or mentor you can reach out to for support
  • be an adviser/mentor to someone else

Do not expect great support from your parents or siblings if they have never owned their own business. They want to help and see the best for you because they care, but they won’t see what you see and you may end up feeling worse off then you were before you talked to them.

3. Have a Plan (and work it)

When you get through the work your stress levels should be back to normal. Having an end point to the stress is how you will work through it. For me, getting from payment to payment for a short period of time was how I coped. Knowing I had the money in my account to cover my leases made the stress go away so I could fully focus my energy on being the best I could be for my clients and my family.

Another big stress time for me is during my events. At each stage of implementation there is a critical point in which I have to get something completed. I needed to create sponsorship packages, but to have that I had to have my speakers lined up. I had one speaker back out last minute and that created a bit of a panic. It was short lived because that person, helped me find the new speaker and that was the end-point for that stress trigger.

Knowing why you do what you do, having a team to help you through it, and a plan to manage it are my three keys to managing the stress in my business. Knowing that, as your business grows so do your challenges. The changes your experience will create new stress and you’ll need new plans to manage them.

As Carrie Fisher once said, “There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

NOTE – This information is provided as a coping tool. Not all stress is manageable and may be an indicator of something more serious. If you are feeling yucky all the time you may want to seek professional medical help to ensure you are not trying to work through something worse. I’m not a doctor so please know that if you cannot relieve your pain, you should at least ask your doctor about your situation. I have had friends end up in a break down, and it can be devastating to you, your family, and your business. Visit the Canadian Mental Health Association or other resources to get more information online.

How to be Sure You Accomplish Your Goal

Why does committing to something you want make you more likely to accomplish it? I would say there are two main reasons:

  1. We can envision our goal so clearly we do anything we can to make it happen
  2. We have a need to belong and be accepted

Children often have to be bribed to complete the things we ask them to do: clean their room, take out the trash, feed the dog. If they have a goal that they see as valuable, then their own drive to complete it is more persuasive. My kids will spend a lot more time trying to reach an almost unattainable level in Paper Mario or Mario Cart then they will doing homework (sad but true).

So what is it that really helps us accomplish our goals when we cannot envision the big picture outcome and we already belong? Here are three things you can do right now to really be sure you get to the finish line with whatever endevour you take on.

Know the Outcome

Maybe you don’t have a clear vision as to what your idea will actually bring to your business or your life. You need to start by defining exactly what that is. Look for these types of results:

  • Who are you helping (who will be affected)?
  • What will it look like (if it is a physical item, draw it – if it is a virtual item, describe the details of its existence)?
  • What can you charge for it (if it is a product or service)
  • What will it cost you in time and dollars?
  • Who will buy it?
  • When will it be ready?
  • What will be your reward from doing this?
  • How will your life (and that of your partner/family) be affected by it?

Answer your own questions to create a big, compelling vision of this amazing goal.

Declare your Intentions

Businessman Speaking Through Megaphone

Once you know what you want to do you need to tell people. We are often too afraid to tell someone about a big goal because if we don’t accomplish it we feel like failures. It is important to know that it is rare that, as humans, we create our lives, one goal at a time, by implementing an idea and getting the exact result we anticipate. Failure is the way we measure success. The key here is that when you tell enough people that you are going to do ‘X’, there will be an anticipation of you being successful. Guess what happens? As you implement your plan and notice that things are not going to work the way you anticipate you will be more likely to take action early to re-adjust your coarse and get it right.

Have an Accountability Partner

Telling a lot of people makes it real for you, but having someone that will check in with you and ask you regularly how your goal is proceeding is even more powerful. Find someone that will understand the goal and its impact, someone that can ask the right questions.

I have found over and over again that when I offer something that has no follow up, my clients are less likely to do the work. When they have to check in with me, report on their progress, and continue to identify next steps and actions they are more likely to finish what they envisioned or they create something that will work better and do that instead. It gets done.

If you are thinking of writing a book, starting a business, building a new product or service into your existing business, or looking at doubling or tripling your business size (or more), then envision a real outcome, declare your intentions, and invite or hire someone to hold you accountable and you too will get it done too.

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.

 

 

Growth Tool – 3 Pieces to Make Intentional Growth a Part of Your Business

Today I wanted to share one of my Growth Tools called “Know It – Go It – Grow It”. I teach this over a weekend so I thought I would cover a little of each to get you started.

The important thing to know about business growth is that it must be intentional. You cannot hope to get what you want, and if by chance you do and you get it, it will not be sustainable. So, with intention to grow spend a little time doing these exercises.

Know It

The key to this piece is to know exactly what your ultimate role within your company will be when it is running the way you want it to run. By knowing which role is yours, you can create a plan to eventually offload the roles you should not be doing to someone else.

Org Chart example

  1. Create an organizational chart for your business.
  2. Put the name of the person that performs the role in each position. You will likely find your name is in most roles.
  3. Define what your ideal day in your business is, when it is running the way you want, making the money you envision, doing the thing you love to do, and helping the clients you want to help. What is your role in this company? This is your ultimate role.
  4. List three (3) things in your business that you should not be doing. It may be because you hate it and you procrastinate finishing this work, you are not good at it, and it is not the best use of your time.
  5. Go back to your Org chart and circle three (3) roles that best fit your ultimate role in your business.
  6. In your Org chart put an X through the three roles you should not be doing.

Now you know what you are working towards (your ultimate role) and which three roles you will give away first.

Go It

This piece of the process helps you determine how you can let go of those 3 roles you should not be doing in your business. The key here is to realize that to keep the quality of your product or service the same and reduce time or cost you will have to put in more work or money. To grow your business and increase your businesses value you will need more. The best way to do this is to start by making your business as efficient and effective as possible. Reduce costs now before you start to build.

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Time + Cost = Quality

Here are some tips on how you can do this with minimal or no cost to your business to start.

    1. Charge for your uniqueness. I bet you are an expert at what you do and now that you are becoming more in demand you can charge more for your time. This way you can hire someone else at less cost to do the work you should not be doing.

Reduce the amount of time you do something by defining the process and repeating the clients’ best experience over and over.Create procedures for what you do so that you can more easily offload the work and maintain a consistent client experience.

Grow It

This is about stepping up and getting uncomfortable. You must intentionally choose to grow your business, take on the new challenges, and invite the new opportunities. Growth does not come without struggle, so be ready to do what it takes to make the difference in your business.

This is the piece I use to help people to brainstorm where the opportunities are in their business already. Where can they charge more, free up time or create new products. Start with this simple exercise to evaluate your value in your business and the gap between what you do and what you could be doing.

  1. Write down what you charge per hour/day for your expertise? ($ME)
  2. List your three items that you should NOT be doing any longer in your business.
  3. What can you pay per hour for someone else to work on those three items? ($HELP)

Savings =  $ME – $HELP

I found that I could save about $280 / hour by paying my niece to file my receipts once a week, not to mention the side benefits that I got:

  1. The work got done
  2. I was not stressed doing it.

If you want to go through more of this work with me check out this recorded webinar.

http://www.anymeeting.com/BLITZSuccess/EE51D787884A