Tag: Opportunity

What Money is Not

Recently I have spent a lot of time considering success and significance, not only in my life but also in others. What makes someone successful and what makes them significant and is there a difference? If you get Success Magazine, go back to the CD in the October 2011 issue and listen to the interview with John C. Maxwell. Maxwell describes significance as the ability to “make a difference with people that want to make a difference doing something that makes a difference at a time when it makes a difference.” I would add to that “while empowering others to become significant so they can also make a difference.”

So, on my journey I have found myself continually surrounded by people that are significant to those in their lives, bringing success and significance to others. One of those people is Rev. Karen Russo.

The Money Keys

I am so grateful to have been introduced to Rev. K, the author of “The Money Keys“. When she was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago she made time to come and speak at my event. Her message was so powerful even I had to purchase her book and CD’s to further my own money mindset and the traps I have around money that stop me from becoming more successful.

In chapter two she has an exercise that had me write two columns: one titled “Money is” and the other titled “Money is not”. Under each title I wrote what I felt money is and what I knew money was not. The interesting thing was that success fell under money and significance fell under what money is not. Here are my two columns.

Money is – Food , House, clothes, shoes, Success, vacation, Cottage, bike, car, membership, people that you know

John C. Maxwell describes success as money, position, expertise, and that it is all about me – Selfish

Money is not – Happiness, time, learning, ability, relaxation, significance, creativeness, love, fun, people that know you

John C. Maxwell describes significance as “something more than success”, what I can do for others – unselfish

Work towards having money, because the challenges of having to deal with life on a minimal or limited budget can be  more stressful and a lot less fun than if you do have money. But once you have money start working towards significance.  What can you do for your community, your city, your country, others without success or significance in their lives, locally and around the world. What are you passionate enough about that you will make a significant difference to someone else? This is what money is not.

What I Learned from My Year on TV

With 30+ shows I am hardly an experienced TV host, but it is truly a life changing experience. I learned a lot about the TV industry and this media. I learned about the people that work in the media and the different types of programing that we have in Canada and Ontario. I’ve learn how to create money for a volunteer position, how to manage my time, and how to accept the role that not everyone would do.

It pays to be organized

The first most important thing for me was to create a position that gave me some income and did not take up any more time than was necessary to do the job well. I created invitation email templates and tweaked them with answers to questions I would get when I sent them out to people. This would eventually create a templated-invitation that would result in this outcome with little or no week-to-week variance

Invite – Accept – Inform – Perform

I used this same process to create an invitation to sponsors for the show. With 4 sponsors I got some payment for my time to manage and arrange the show weekly. It was a lot of time, over the year, and since the show was live every week for an hour with two guests there was room for challenges. With travel, prep, guest invitation and date/topic confirmation I would spend about 3 hours per week. I spent more at first, but I really got it down to an art where I could spend about 40 minutes a month inviting guests and 2 hours a week specifically at the station shooting the show.

The benefit was:

  • My guests brought all the content for the topic, I just had to ask the right questions and keep the conversation going.
  • My producer, who gets 30 hours a week to manage 7 shows, had more time to do other things and she totally appreciated having that ability to get more work done.
  • My director knew exactly where I was, what was going to happen and could rely on me and my guests to be on time and prepared.
  • The volunteers could focus on learning about TV.

It comes with credibility

Even without seeing me on TV people instantly change their impression of me when they find out I’m a TV host. I could be the worst host ever, with a show not worth watching, but that does not matter. People that are on TV have stepped up and put their reputation and their public image on the line. For better or worse, it is out there for everyone to judge.

Your Business with Barb - Guests Mayor Jeff Lehman and John Cameron
Your Business with Barb
Guests Mayor Jeff Lehman and John Cameron
On Rogers TV

The benefit was:

Because of this credibility I have been asked on more radio and TV interviews as well as asked to speak at other events. This was one of my goals for my business and doing this show. If you are looking for this in your business then try pitching a show to your local cable station.

Not everyone wants to be on TV

I thought for sure that all business owners would want the opportunity to get this type of incredible credibility for themselves, but I was wrong. I did not realize how hard it is for so many people to be in the spotlight and that was a really important learning point for me. We are not all the same. Being the “spotlight” is not always the number one goal and it is possible to create a successful business without it.

Over the season I had about 3 really nervous people on the show. Only once did I have a guest that found it difficult to respond easily. Luckily my second guest was more than willing and able to hold most of the conversation with me for the hour.

The benefit was:

What I did learn was to recognize those people that may have a more difficult time and how to make people comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I was told over and over, “thank you; you really made it easy for me. I thought it was going to be hard to talk for an hour, but it went by so quickly and it was so much fun.”

It was an amazing opportunity to raise my business profile while helping others bring their business excellence to the community and raise their image and expertise as well. I loved giving people this opportunity. The most benefit was felt by me, my guests, the TV station that needed good community producers (and our show was well received and viewed) and the community (getting local content).

Win – Win – Win – Win


What Do You Do When You Need Money Now?

Have you ever been at a place in your business when every bill and invoice you were expecting all came in at the same time, your car breaks down, your kids need braces, and you are not expecting any significant income in your business for a month? I know I have. So what can you do to get on track?


For a short period of time it may be possible to leverage your credit. If you have a longtime standing relationship with your bank you may be able to arrange for a line of credit or a credit card to help you bridge these times.

There are two things you need to know about this.

  1. Banks are not usually willing to loan money to you when you are completely leveraged already so if you foresee that you will need this you are going to have to apply for this credit when you don’t need it.
  2. This should be a short term resolution for your business growth. Plan to continue to build your business so that you can see a sustainable income that is consistent. If you are building a business that is just trading your hours for time, have a consistent income may be a very difficult objective for you.


Consistent sales are the goal, but until then, what are you going to do? Bills need to be paid now so money needs to come in now! Start with these three lists.

  1. Create a list of all products you can sell. When I did this I found I had a product I only look at once a year (it is a seasonal sponsorship) that I could focus on right away. With a potential of 6 spots available at $2500 each, my income could change dramatically in the immediate future.
  2. Create a list of potential clients you know are interested in a product of yours.
  3. Create a list of past clients that may be ready to purchase from you again.

Look at each product from your first list and write down at least one name for each product. Now start contacting people. The number one (No. 1) way to make a sale from these lists is to call people and talk to them personally. Yes, you do have to make sales calls. For past clients you might send them a personal card first inviting them to purchase from you (e.g. a sale or event). I would still follow up with a call.


Money Roller Coaster
Money Roller Coaster

If you want consistent business sales you have to be building a business that does not run on the roller-coaster model – Lots of money when you are in a project and little or no money in between projects. This is caused by the fact that when you are in a project you do not have time to do your marketing or sales. For a consistent business cash flow you must always have marketing and sales, whether you feel you have time for it or not.

  1. Create a marketing plan that includes marketing channels you can manage while you are working on a client project.
  2. Create a sales plan that allows you to sell your services even when you are focused on another client’s project.
  3. Make sure you are doing both of these every day. That’s Every Day! If you want a truly successful business you must have intentional growth. That means you cannot hope that someone will stumble upon your product or services and purchase from you, you must be creating relationships that you can call upon to make the sale.

Credibility and Recognition Should Make You Smile

A year ago I sat in my room, crying so hard I could hardly breathe. I felt like such a failure. I had gone to a local event where I was nominated for an award looking forward to the opportunity to win. I had worked so hard on my business development and I know I had done things that most business owners have never tired, created opportunities that most people would overlook, and step up my game to an uncomfortable level that made me stretch.

About 35 minutes into the program I realized I was not even one of the finalists. How could this be? Now this might seem petty, that I took this so hard, but that is where the learning opportunity came. Why would someone that always has it together, is strong and pulls people up to their greatness be falling apart because of a local award?

Why it Hurts

As Entrepreneurs we are often alone to do our work. When you are the CEO of your company you are responsible for all the outcomes, good and bad. We struggle to make everything work and often to have it perfect for the world, and our families, to judge us. Success is in how we are judged, or so it feels. But what I’ve learned is not about ignoring the judgement but instead ignoring the self-judgment. Someone recently said, “criticism only about two things – it is a reflection on the circumstance or a reflection of the person giving the criticism.”

I am the type of person that needs to feel ‘in control’ of my life. I need to be seen as competent and reliable. This is my personality type. These are great attributes, except when I am alone and struggling – when I don’t feel in control or competent. When I am not meeting my sales and I feel I have not been reliably doing my work.

The criticism was mine. It did not accurately reflect my skills or my circumstances; it was insight into my feeling of ‘lack’ and ‘failure’. I needed to view this event with different eyes, make a plan as to what needed to change and then implement so that I would not only be more successful but I would see myself differently. I needed less tears and more SMILES in my business and that is what I did.

Sandra Yancey and Barb Stuhlemmer

S – M – I – L – E – S

S – Sales

My number one failing was that I was not meeting my sales numbers. Why was I not meeting this value? Because, I had only set a year-end goal and no real plan or milestones to meet throughout the year. I would make one sale and be so proud I would take the next week off of my sales job. This was easy because I would busy myself with the hundred other things that had to get done, including networking, which I love.

You cannot do this. Doing the sales is one of the keys to building a strong, growing business. Every day there must be some work on sales.

M – My commitment to change

I have three steps to making change:

  • First you have to be aware that you need change. I was now keenly and painfully aware that I needed change. I could not go on in that state. No one wants to hire a Business Success Mentor that did not feel successful.
  • Secondly, you need to identify what needs to be changed. I had to spend time evaluating what made me so unhappy first, and then I had to identify what part of my business was the cause of that failing.
  • Third you have to make a plan to create the change. Just knowing what has to be changed and hoping it will change is not enough. You need to create the goal, tasks, and steps that will transition your current situation and habits into a more profitable process for your company. I had to hire someone to help me with this process and hold me accountable to implement the habit-changing actions. I need to always be thinking, ‘what am I doing today that will increase my bottom line’ and put that into my plans. Then I have to ask, ‘what am I doing next?’

I – Internal belief (you don’t need others to say so, you need to say so)

Many entrepreneurs are eager to jump in head-first and get started, even when they don’t have all the tools, resources, or time. Confidence that it can be done is rarely an issue. Confidence in one’s own value is. Like many entrepreneurs I needed to quiet my internal voice that said things like, “you don’t belong”, “who do you think you are”, and “you’re not good enough”. We all have this on some level, and my voice had become too loud. I had to stop listening.

I also sought help from someone that could see me for my greatness and still hold me for my frailties. They were able to identify what was holding me back and set me on a course that is likely unstoppable now. The confidence to be around amazing people and talk to them was never an issue, but now I have the confidence to feel like I belong there too.

L – Learn

I know first-hand what life is like when you decide you have learned enough and you refuse to do anything new. My father is a highly intelligent man, but when he was forced to retire, he never really took up anything new. Now, more than a decade later, he shrinks at the idea of doing anything new. His life has stopped moving forward and his vision for the future is very short term and shallow. It saddens me to see this amazing man act so scared and small.

As Sandra Yancey says, “it is harder to act small”. When we act small we run on fear, we can never afford that next step, we have a vision that is stunted by ‘lack’.

If you want to continue to grow you must continue to know: Know more about yourself, your business, your competitors, your market, and the changing economy. Never stop learning!

E – Engage

With our heads down and our shoulder to the wheel, we forge forward to create more growth and profit in our business. The challenge with this is, somehow we forget to engage in our lives as we go. Life is not for the time when we finally “make it”, it is not when we hit the $100,000 mark, it is not for when our kids are old enough, our website is perfect, or we finally have our 60-second infomercial perfected. Life is a one-time showing of the best movie you will ever watch and if you miss it – there is not another showing for you! The great thing is you can jump in at any time and you will still enjoy the rest of the movie.

Life is a movie

So I found that I had forgotten about what I used to call fun: My hobbies, my laughter, my jokes, my friends. I was still seeing them, but I was not fully engaged in my life. Don’t forget to LIVE while you build – jump into your movie.

S – Support

Don’t do it alone. I could not have grown as much as I did over this past year if it were not for the incredible people I spend most of my time with. Find a mastermind group, network with positive, forward thinking people, hire a great coach, and keep your family updated so they can be your cheerleaders.

This year I was nominated again. I attended the event and I was one of the finalists. When the name of the winner was announced I could not have been happier, for the winner was one of my past clients and she is such an incredible business catalyst I was honoured to have been put in the same category as her. I have come a long way in one year and my sales are a good indicator of that change.




The Power of Foresight

Something that I learned about myself is that I am really good at foreseeing the details in a path I want to take. Over the next few weeks I will be rolling out 3 new programs, including The Power of Leadership 20-week business growth program. For many people, creating and implementing one program would be overwhelming. I’m not saying there is not a lot of work to do, but there is a process that works really well for me that I want to share with you.

There are three things that are really important in creating a new service for your clients:

  1. You must see the path and the final outcome clearly.
  2. You must be able to foresee the details it will take to get you there.
  3. You must be committed to doing what it takes at the right time to get it done.

Plan, prepare, execute, and repeat are the steps I take over and over to ensure that each new program runs as smoothly for its maiden launch as it will when it is several weeks, months, or years old.

1. Know the Outcome

You must see the path and the final outcome clearly. To create my Power of Leadership program I first had to know how long I wanted the program to be and what I expected the outcome or benefit to be for the client that goes through the program.

Now write it down

For me it is:

  • 20 weeks,
  • be able to see where they are,
  • what they really want from their business,
  • what has to change and how to start making the necessary changes

Now start thinking about what has to happen to ensure this outcome is met.

For my program:

  • I have to teach
  • I have to listen
  • I have to respond

So I had to create something that gave the required time to teach content, listen to my clients’ needs and respond with my insight.

2. Foresee the Details

Now you know what you have to build and what you need to do to make it have the outcome you desire for your clients. Next, fill in the details of how you will deliver your product. To do this you must first understand exactly where you are on your map to your goal.

Credit for image given to http://www.flickr.com/photos/joelogon/

What do you need?

  • Are you right at the beginning?
  • Do you need skills training?
  • Do you need resources?
  • Do you need infrastructure?

Start brainstorming a list of things you think you might need to create and deliver your product.

I needed:

  • website
  • contact management system
  • conference line
  • a way to deliver recordings
  • a calendar

Once you have all the resources and infrastructure in place you are now good to start with the steps.

Plan the steps

With a clear image of what I have, where I am, and what I want to create I start creating the path that will get me there. This is not easy for everyone to do, so if you cannot see the steps you need to take, ask someone with experience to brainstorm with you or hire a business strategist to walk through it with you.

I like to start at the beginning and picture myself as a client. I start asking questions. If you know your clients you will know what types of questions they will ask. Answering these questions will give you some of your required details.

Here are some of my questions:

  1. What do I have to do to get to my program?
  2. What are the dates and times for my training?
  3. How do I get my coaching calls?
  4. Where do I find the other 20 hours of expert calls?
  5. Do I need to bring anything?
  6. When is the 2-day event?

These are the answers generated by some of the questions and the systems it created in my business.

  • The autoresponder for the program needed to include information on the program dates and the dial-in information.
    • This was created for the sales page.
  • I needed a procedure to ensure people in the program were emailed with reminders for their event dates
    • This started with me booking all the dates for the program in my personal calendar
    • Then I created a written procedure for my VA to manage the email contacts for those specific dates
  • I needed a procedure to keep track of people’s individual call usage
    • This created a checklist and a filing program
  • I needed content for the training that would take people through the desired transformation
    • This helped me create a 10-step program
    • It also lead me to invite some specific experts for certain topics

Knowing how to answer the questions your clients will have will give you insight into the details of your product.

3. Do whatever it takes!

If you are a person that works well under pressure then you have to make some changes to your working habits to ensure you are not doing all the work in the last few days or ‘on-the-fly’. This type of creation takes time and planning so plan on doing some of it over a longer period of time. As you may have noted, I have other people that must also help with the implementation. My web person looks after the autoresponders and the sales page links, my VA does the client communications, and I have experts I have to book for specific dates.

Working with other people on your team cannot be done only on your time and never in a rush. If you are saying, “I don’t have anyone on my team right now” then my advice to you is build your business as if you have a team of people you work with, so when you get to that time when you do have someone else to help you grow your business you will already have the best work habits to help you grow your team as well.

Now you know my secret to the Power of Foresight. Go and create something amazing!

3 Reasons Why Great Business Owners Can Run More Than One Business

Look at Richard Branson. He has more than 300 businesses and even if he only put in 30 minutes a day on each business he would have to work 150 hours a week – IMPOSSIBLE! So why is it so hard for the average business owner to find the time to run one business, grow that business, and still have time for their family? Here is my insight into the things I see successful business owners doing that the average business owner do not.

1. Ask Why Not

When someone tells them, it cannot be done they ask “Why Not”.  If there is a challenge or obstacle in the way of their goal they are more likely to start asking the questions that will give them solutions instead of stating reasons why they cannot do it.

One of the biggest challenges for the small business owner is not having enough time to do something new. I hear the excuse, “I just don’t have time” so often it is discouraging for me to listen. I’m not suggesting that people are lying and they do have time, but instead of stating their obstacle I would love to hear the question, “how could I make that work?” or “what would that look like with everything I am doing right now?”. Getting into the habit of looking for solutions before you discard the idea is how you find opportunities you would not have otherwise found.

2. Great Teams

Even when great business owners were starting out the most successful did not do everything themselves. It does not mean that you have to hire 7 people to work in your business, but it also doesn’t mean that you build a business that does not have a way to hire the people you need. You have to create a business plan that envisions the growth you expect to see and build your systems for that size of business. You also need to know exactly which role in the business will be yours to hold on to.

When it comes time to grow and you find yourself saying things like, “It is just easier if I do it myself” then you are sabotaging your chance to move forward. It is easier to do it yourself at first, but, like raising children, if you don’t teach them what is important and the fundamentals of what needs to get done then you will never have a team that will function for your business. Take the time to bring them up to speed and then take the time off when they are.

3. Grounded Lifestyle

The people I know that run successful businesses are like everyone else. They have family and obligations, they have happy times and sad times, and they work hard to make sure they can give the most of themselves to their families. The difference is that they are doing the things they want with their free time right now, not as a wish for the future, after their business has grown.

If you find yourself saying things like, “I’m going to take my kids to Disney World when my business is more stable” then you may be wishing away your ‘today’. Get grounded in your lifestyle and do what you can right now to live the life you are building for your family in the future. If you are always looking to the future for your next, best event or opportunity then you will likely walk right past all the amazing things that are happening around you right now.

So replace these three statements:

  1. I just don’t have time…
  2. It is just easier if I do it myself.
  3. I’m going to take my kids to Disney World when my business is more stable.

With these three statements:

  1. What would that look like with everything I am doing right now?
  2. I am going to take the time to bring them up to speed and then take the time off.
  3. I’m spending the weekend with my husband and kids so contact me on Monday.

And see if you start having more opportunities to create more in your business.

Why You Don’t Have Any Time

Have you ever said, “I can’t do that I just don’t have time?” That may be true sometimes but if you find yourself saying this to every opportunity that comes your way then you, like many business owners, have fallen victim to your business. We start a business so we can become more prosperous, not so our business can take over our lives. If you have lost your lifestyle and your free time to your business then you need to start implementing some systems and strategies to make your business work harder for you.

I want to share with you three reasons I hear my clients talk about when they say they don’t have any time.

1. Stuck in a Rut

Ruts in the slush on the road create driving hazardsWhen we build a business we start by implementing what we know. When it works we keep it. The challenge is that as the economy, industry, world market, your client’s buying habits, and you change over time so should your business. Many business owners are still doing business the way they set it up in the beginning.

If you have not made any changes since you started your business you should start now. I’m not talking 10 years down the road, I’m talking about constantly evaluating change in your market and making small tweaks to your business. The business owner that is on top of change is more likely to be ahead of their competition and ready for the things their clients will want or need.

2. Dream Big without a Clear Plan

My clients are high-achievers with big ideas. Unfortunately a dream is only realistic when there is a plan, the research is done, and there is a clear understanding of market and the client.

I have a client that wants an eCommerce site. They have been dreaming of this for over a year and it always seems like something that is about to happen, but it never gets started. Why? Because when they look at all the parts without having a plan it feels absolutely overwhelming and too expensive.

Take a look as some of these components that they want to put in place for their business:

  • Need a website that can manage a shopping cart
  • Need a VA (Virtual Assistant)
  • Need a merchant account
  • Need a finished product to sell
  • Need to know What to order / What the client needs / What market to advertise to
  • Need marketing copy for all aspects of this

Each piece on its own is time-consuming and can be very costly, but if they had started a year ago implementing individual pieces, using free components until they were making more money, and only hiring people when it could save them time and money, then they would have their ecommerce site finished and generating money for their business.

Knowing what is required now and what can wait is the key. Having a plan you can follow will make it happen quicker. You can use affirmations all day if you want, but I recommend you follow up with a business plan and take action now to make it happen.

3. Undervalued Time and Products

This is a chronic issue with passionate business owners, especially those in the wellness industries, where their hearts are so big and ‘giving’ is a key personality trait. It is sometimes hard to just ask for the money. But I want to tell you that if you are not charging what you are worth then you are not doing anyone a favour. Let me explain why.

When you undercharge you cause two things to happen. People that do not value your skills jump in to take advantage of the low rates. You will be working with people that will likely not be your ideal client. The second thing that will happen as a result is you will eventually feel undervalued and you may become jaded. Working hard at your calling without pay is working on a hobby. You must get paid enough that you can not only cover your costs but you can make a profit. The next step is to increase your price as you become an expert.

My hair dressers start off as junior stylist and charge about $30-$35 / hour. Over the years their price increase as their skill increases, and I’m OK with that. They have worked hard and deserve to be seen and paid as the expert they are. You should too.


  1. If you lose your passion for your calling you will go out of business.
  2. If you go out of business you cannot help the people that really need your services.

If you believe in your skill and your product, charge what it is worth so you can be around when your clients really need you.

The 1-2-3 to Adding a New Product

  • My client expect me to provide X
  • I only have one product to sell
  • I’m only a service company

These are some of the excuses I hear when talking to people about growing their market by increasing the product line. Adding to the number of products you have to sell does not mean you have to invent an entirely new product. There will be some work, but it is not like building your company around your first product. Here are three steps to finding the next product in your company.

NOTE – when I say product I mean either a physical product or a service your company offers.

1. Look for Repetition

If there is something you do over and over for your clients then create a product out of that process. Knowing how to get something done in a certain way is valuable. You are the expert at this process so cash in on that.

Example – A recruiting company I have worked with helps employees to create resumes as a service for their clients (the companies that are hiring). There is a lot of repetition and a lot of free support that is not seen as valuable by the employee.

Product – Offer basic resume writing and one free update and then charge for executive resume packages or additional updates.

This will cut back on the number of people that will take advantage of your free work that has no perceived dollar value to them and it will attract people that see the value of what you do as a credible expert.

2. Add Value

This is like the “supersize” mindset of the food industry or up-selling at the cash register. You can add on extras to your current product creating packages, and charge a little less than if the pieces were purchased separately.

Product – If you have a training program you can add free workbooks, an additional day of training later in the year, online support, etc.

The savings to you is more inventory turnover and less time required in the sales process.  The best items to add are those items with a higher perceived value by your clients and a lower cost to you.

Caution – If you are going to add some of your time, which is your highest cost item (because it is a fixed commodity and you cannot get more) give it out sparingly and leverage it any way you can. It is worth everything to you.

3. Change the Delivery

Sometimes the delivery of your product is in person. If you change how your clients interact with you then you can more easily leverage your time.

Example – A client of mine delivers training and facilitation to municipalities. He is challenged to be at all his clients’ sites for all their projects.

Product – Create an intake video and workbook that starts off every type of training so that his clients all get some training from him or add a video conferencing Q&A session at the end of training so they can actually interact with him. He does not have to be onsite but he is adding his expertise to the product delivery.

Don’t let your idea of what your product should look like stop you from trying new ideas, increasing your value, and selling more. There are endless ways to create new offerings in your business. Start looking at what your competitors and what other companies are doing to get some great ideas, and then tweak it to fit your business model.

Ways to Increase Your Marketing Effectiveness

Many people I work with say to me, “I need to make more money and I know I have to do more marketing”. What I find after we talk for a bit is that it is not their current campaigns that are not hitting the mark, it is the language around who they are trying to reach. Often they are doing a lot of marketing, just not effectively.

To have effective reach with your marketing you need three things to start a great sales conversation.

1. A Focused Target Market

If you niche your market it does not mean you can never sell to anyone outside this market. What it means is that you are building a marketing campaign to speak to a specific group of people. You want to really connect with them. You want to know they are listening when you speak. You want them to say, ‘that’s for me!”

If your marketing language is generalized to speak to everyone then it will not attract the people you actually want as customers.

  • Darren Hardy speaks a language that attracts entrepreneurs that are growing and achieving big things (or hoping to).
  • Dr. Oz attracts boomers and Gen X that are interested in a healthy, successful lifestyle.
  • Apple focuses on technology dependent, youthful, and creative Gen Y

These brands all sell to many other markets outside their target, mainly because those people resonate with the language used to connect with the chosen target.

Know your target market well before you start creating the language around your marketing.

2. Know to Whom You Are Talking

Make an avatar of your best client. This avatar may represent the best things you love about all your best clients. You should know everything about this made-up person, like their demographics (age, sex, married status, children, home size, income, etc.). Other things you should know: where they hang out, what they read, where they go on vacation, what they do for hobbies, and what they do with their kids, etc.

Use this avatar as a model of whom you are talking to when you create copy for your marketing. It becomes a conversation with that person, the one you would like to attract into your business most.

3. Something to Sell

Unless your business has a catalog to sell multiple products, it is best to go into a sales conversation with a focus on one thing to sell. I’m not referring to a single item, but a focus of sales for your business. If you are a coach, it may be your coaching program. If you are a recruiter, it may be HR support. If you are in catering it may be weddings. Even if you do have a catalog business it will still have a focus of kitchenware, jewelry, or skin products, etc.

You need to have a focus for your conversation for when your potential clients are ready. If you start by rhyming off all the things and industries and areas you focus on you will make it hard for people to stay interested and stay in the conversation.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your marketing you need to start with your language. Know exactly whom you are talking to and know why you want them to listen. It will change your sales game.

Growing in a Partnership

This topic came to me as a result of a question I got for my BLITZ Entrepreneur Club Q&A call this month and I thought I would share it with you too.

The Question

My client asked, “I have a partner in my business. I am really excited to do new things and have more products to sell but my partner doesn’t want to change or invest. What should I do?

The Answer

A partnership is like a marriage. You started out madly in-love with your business idea, excited to create something new together, and happy to have found the person that will share this adventure with you. As you, your partner, and your business grows and changes there is always the chance that you will not grow in the same direction. Here are three steps you should start with to help evaluate where you started, what you have, and where you are going, before you make a decision as to your partnership.



Start by looking back at your initial partnership agreement. By revisiting where you initially thought you were going with your business you may discover the spark that lead your partner into the business in the first place.

  • Did you state roles and responsibilities? What were your roles and responsibilities when you started? Are you still in charge of those responsibilities?

If your partner never had a clear idea of where they fit in the business or they are still doing the same mundane things then boredom or frustration may have replaced excitement for your partner, who now may not see her role as important or valuable.

Business Successes

Look at your original business plan, particularly the cash flow section and compare it to your current business plan. You want to get an idea of what you have built and where it is going.

  • Identify the successes you have had in your business. What is in your near future – Growth or Decline? What are you forecasting for the next year?

You want a clear picture of what you expect your business future to look like if nothing changes. This way you will have better insight into what your partner is holding on to or hoping for.

Know Your Goals

Write out what it is that you hope to see happen in the business. Identify what is different from your initial partnership agreement and what is different from your business plan.

  • You need to know what it is that you want.

If it is significantly different than what you agreed on creating with your partner, knowing this will give you insight into why your partner is not ‘on-board’ with your direction.

Talk and Decide

You need to start a dialogue of change. Go over the information you have gathered. Get your partner to voice their concerns and their goals. Find out what would make them really happy and excited again in the business.

Maybe the forecast of the business shows that at your current rate you will not survive another 6 months. Maybe you are not happy with your initial partnership and you need a change from it. Maybe you need to rewrite your agreement or your business plan. OR Maybe you need to be doing something completely different and separate from your partner.

You will need to use this conversation to identify all the opportunities and options available to you and your partner and then you have to make a decision on what action you will take.

One thing I know for sure is that if you are not both moving in the same direction, with purpose, your business will suffer, so take the time to get re-aligned. You may need to hire a mediator to help you review the information together and come to an understanding for the future of your business.