Tag: Take Risk

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!

Getting What You Need From Networking

If you think networking is one-size-fits-all you would be wrong. All networking can be successful but not for the same reasons and not for all people. When evaluating networking I look for three key things: Family, Focus, & Fit.


Family is what I feel is the most important. The key is, do you feel comfortable in the presence of these people? Are you welcomed, do you like them, will you be happy to be in this location with these people several times a month for years? Does the location feel like a place you would feel comfortable bringing your clients? It’s like choosing a home. You are going to spend a lot of time and money to work this networking group so you had better be sure these are the people you want to spend your time with.


Is this group focused on generating business to the same level you are? What is the focus of the group and what do you expect to get out of being with the group. In my first networking group I was focused on becoming a more confident, credible business owner. I surrounded myself with long-time, successful business owners and I got exactly what I was focused on. When I changed my focus to reaching a global market I had to change my networking group.


Does you networking group fit your needs? I have a great tool that I use to evaluate a lot of different types of decisions. When I was young and looking for a job I went to the HRSDC for resume training. The counselor took me through an evaluation and I have used it for every large decision I make, like going into business for myself. Let me share it with you for networking.

1. Start by listing your values

Make a list of the values that are so important to your life and your business that they must be the things that are not adversely affected by a bad choice. For networking I have these six values listed.

  • It cannot significantly affect my time with my children
  • Low travel time
  • Must be able to connect with my target market
  • Must be filled with business focused people
  • They must have access to a global community
  • I must have opportunities to speak to my target market through the network

2. List Your Networking Choices

Create a list of all the options you have available to you. Reduce the list to the three or four you really like. For my example I have Choice A, B, & C. I have put some of the details of these three choices for you to understand the outcome.

3. Create an Evaluation Matrix

I know it sounds ominous but it is really easy. Put your values across the top and your top 3 choices down the side. Now evaluate your selection based on how it affects your values. I used a scale of 0-4 where 0 is the worst choice of the three and 3 is the best choice of the three. A value of 4 was beyond my expectations.

Evaluation of Networking Matrix

Note that Choice B, even though it requires much more travel time, rates almost twice as high as Choice A and almost 3 times as high as Choice C. I now have a scale that tells me how aligned with my target values a networking group choice will be. This is really important if you don’t want to spend years trying to work a group that is just not in line with your needs.

If you want networking to help create business for you through successful marketing then you have to choose wisely. Find the family, know theirs and your focus, and make sure it is the right fit for your values. This way you will be more engaged to create the income you need in your business and you will enjoy doing it.


When I have No Money How Do I…

It is a challenge to run a business and grow a business when there is not a lot of profit to go around. It makes it easy to have excuses for the things that have to be done in your business but don’t feel like a priority. If you find yourself saying things like:

  • I can’t go to that training
  • I cannot afford to get coaching or mentoring support
  • I don’t have the money to put pay for an ad
  • That networking is too expensive

Then I want you to just take note of what the value and priority is for you and your business and put it through this test.

1. Does it Make You Money Right Now?

Not everything that you throw money at will make you money. When times are tough then you have to look at everything for if it will make you money right now.

When I started networking 9 years ago I did it to build credibility and to increase my business prowess. I knew in the long run it was going to create value and clients for my business but I also knew that this focus was not going to make me money right now.

The challenge with this is that you still “MUST” market your business in some way. Just because it costs you money, and you don’t have it, does not mean you cannot continue to connect with your potential clients.

2. Do You Have A Plan?

If you decide that paying for training or a magazine ad will have a return for your business then don’t just jump in and pay, make a plan.

Call to Action

  • Decide how long it will take for you to make money back on your investment. Keep it short term.
  • Decide what else you will need to ensure that you can manage the project (people support, time, additional resources, or more contacts, etc.).).
  • Do the research to see the past success of what you are investing in. If you are an optometrist and having a direct connection to the oral surgeons will immediately get you more clients because 2-3 clients a month need this support, then start networking with the surgeons and advertise your connection for additional client attraction.
  • What is your call-to-action? Be very clear in your plan as to what you expect to create with this investment and ensure you have a call-to-action for your potential clients to take advantage. You cannot make more money if you don’t invite more people to purchase from you.

3. Do You Have Time to Implement and Make the Changes?

Whether you are taking an industry upgrade course to stay certified, working with a business coach, investing in social media, or attending a new association monthly meeting, YOU and your time will be the payment. Are you going to have the time needed to really invest at a level that will create strong relationships and encourage people to purchase from you now?

Sometimes it’s not the money that stops business owners from doing what has to be done, it is often the time. Remember, if you are working on your client projects and you have no time to do the marketing required to grow your business, when you are finished with your client you will have no money. This is not the mindset of an entrepreneur. Step bravely into your entrepreneurship and look for the solutions that will continually help your business grow.


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.

Why Reviewing and Acting = Dollar$

People often think that there is no real value in spending time to review the past. We have been told over and over to review our business plan, our project outcomes, our past year, but what is the dollar value or does it even have one? Let’s look at one example of how we get investment for our business and how reviewing your past performance can affect your current and future income.

Of course it is not all about the review, it is what you do with the knowledge you gain from the review that really increases your chances of being successful.


Money coming into your business is how you can continue to grow and invest in new ideas, markets, clients, etc. Without money coming in you cannot continue to increase your business income. As an example I want to talk about a company run by two ladies that does not do a review after each event they put on and with the happenstance information they get from the outcome of their events they do not act. What does it mean for their bottom line?

I do not want to elaborate on who they are to protect their current business but I will give you some insight into what they have lost in business and in credibility. These two people are well liked in their community. So much so that when they have gone to well-known, local business owners to get support for their business they have been greeted with support. Once they were loaned the money they needed to put the deposit down on their event. As the money came in from the customers of that event they would put that money into their business, but not onto the loan. They were living dollar-to-dollar in their business. Each dollar received was already spoken for somewhere else in their business.

Many people just starting their business have this issue, but how do you grow your business if you cannot invest in the growth, if you are always in debt for the past ideas?

They have come to realize that to grow their business they have to do more marketing for the event and investing in the content of the event. Again, they went to their trusted sources and raised money through sponsorships – a great idea, but forgot to market the sponsors. Raising money again this way will be much more difficult in the future without a plan to provide significant marketing for their event and the sponsors.

So, if you want investment in your business what do you have to do and how do you provide it?


If you have been in business only a short time you are going to likely require collateral and for large sums of money you will need a business plan showing the research, review, and actions you plan on taking to increase your business significantly, so that you not only can repay the bank but you can also put money into your business and pay yourself.

If you have been in business for a few years you may be able to get a small line of credit on your business account. But you will have to show past income to get this.

The bank wants to be sure they are going to get their money back with interest.

Outside Investment Money

Outside investors have different motives for investing in your company. For large investments you will definitely require a business plan with the information on how you will make your money and how you will pay them back. Angel investors are looking for their money back while Venture Capitalist may be looking at how they can own part or all the business.

You have to know what you have done and what you will do to be able to come up with this plan.

Your Investment

You have been investing in your business since day 1. You must look at your accomplishments to see what you have done to get you this far. If you were an outsider, what qualities and skills would you point to as those things you brought to the business? What have you done to create a significant business value? Remember, you will be putting a lot of time into your business, plus your own money and not to mention the cost of what you have had to give up to make your business work. Would you invest in you?

By reviewing your past achievements you can more easily show people how you have made money and how you can pay back their investment in you.

View details

Review Outcomes and Actions

Back to the example company: Here are a few things they can do to see their event make more money every time they run it. You can use these ideas for your own business growth as well.

  1. Review the numbers from the event.
    • Pull out the most valuable pieces of the event to the customers. (e.g. 50% of people were satisfied with the event location, 80% loved the content, 30% were happy with the schedule, etc.)
    • Evaluate the costs and income of the event and ask yourself, “am I making money?” Remember to take into account the amount of time you have to put into preparing.
  2. Create more interest.
    • Look for the things that generated interest and excitement and create your new marketing material around this information.
  3. Create a plan
    • Start with the end – the event date and work backwards
    • What do you have to do to start generating interest?
    • What new markets are you going to reach out to and how?
    • What do you have to create (marketing collateral, new branding images, copy content, etc.) and who will do it?
    • What are your regular marketing touchpoints and when will they be implemented?
    • How much money are you going to need to do this marketing successfully?

    Related Link – “How to Plan the Marketing for Your Upcoming Event

  4. Decide to do it.
  • Sometimes the challenge is that the things we need to do to grow our business, we cannot do successfully because it is not our core competency or it is not our passion. Can you do this work and will you do it?
  • If you find you do not want to invest in this required business component of your event then find someone to partner with that will do the work. Create an alliance so you can make money, your clients will have the best experience possible, and your investors will get paid (whether through sponsorship marketing, loan payment, or business value).

Gain Some Speaking Momentum

Are you thinking about adding speaking to your marketing mix to help increase the visibility of your business and the credibility of your expertise? It is truly a great way to do both. Here are some tips on gaining some momentum and increasing the demand for you and your topics.

Learn How to Speak

Here are four things you can do to increase your speaking skills.

  1. If you have never spoken in front of a crowd before, don’t let that stop you. Get some practice and start NOW! Ask colleagues, your networking group, family, peers, etc. if they would attend one of your talks or allow you to practice in front of them.
  2. Set up a teleconference call and simply start with an audio event. Even if no one attends you can record the call and evaluate what you liked and disliked about your own performance.
  3. Watch your favourite speaker and analyze what they are doing. You can even invest in events with great speakers. Pay to see them speak and take lots of notes.
  4. Learn from the best. Attend training programs on speaking. Join a speaking association like CAPS or Toastmasters, or mentor under an expert like Lisa Sasevich. There are many different styles of speaking and many different types of experts so find the one that can teach you to be your best.

Get Speaking

Let everyone know you are a speaker and ask them to connect you with people that are looking for people to speak for free. It is a great way to gain confidence and to get your name known as someone that is a valuable asset to their venue. Often the easiest venues to start on are audio or radio shows. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there on the Internet creating content, holding interviews, and highlighting people and they need content.

Other physical locations are on other people’s stages, at their events, or for your own event.

I started by asking people if I could offer some additional help to their clients by speaking for them. I have had colleagues create events for their clients and they bring me in as a bonus gift.

Have a Topic

When you are asking to be on people’s stages or shows you will be asked, “what do you talk about?” You need to have a great topic with an engaging title. This will make it easier for them to market the event and you. I recommend having a speaker’s bio or speaker’s sheet. Even better would be a speaker’s website. These are all low-cost investments for your speaking future and they will all add to your marketing effectiveness.

Speaking is a very valuable way to increase your marketing reach, engage new clients, start a relationship with your followers, and create an image of you and your business that goes beyond anything traditional advertising can do. Since speaking is an ability that the average person is unable to do because of fear, a good speaker is seen as courageous and a leader. Be a leader in your marketing and start gaining some speaking momentum.

Don’t Be ‘Ho Hum’

It is true that it is unlikely that you are the only person in the world doing what you do. If fact, there are likely hundreds of people if not tens-of-thousands of people, depending on the industry you are in. So when I tell that you need to work towards being ‘the best’ at what you do how does that make you feel?

Crowd Of sheered sheep

Here are a few different responses I have had:

  • I am very good at what I do
  • I am an expert at my _____ (craft or skill)
  • I’ve been doing this for years

All of these are great, but when I say, ‘be the best’ I mean at your business and what you do very well, and that is more difficult. As Michael E. Gerber has pointed out in his E-Myth books, we often start a business because we are really good at something, we have a skill, and we become the technician of the business, but not the best business owner.

Here are three things you can do be become the best business owner you can become:

1. Learn the Business Side of Your Business

Read books, take classes, coach with an expert, look for amazing entrepreneurs that you can mentor with or spend time with, and don’t ever stop. Business is a lifelong learning experience.

2. Focus on What You Do Best

If it is early in your business you will be the person that does most of the jobs in your business, but you have to be focused on what that is going to be as your business grows. Do you want to be the person that buys the office supplies, does the work for the client, or oversees the day-to-day work?

Where will you fit into your company when it is bigger? Ask yourself this question now so you can always be focused on which piece of the pie is yours so you can be the best at it. You do not want to be ho-hum at a hundred things, you want to be the best at 1 or 2. Focus on your goal to be the best at whichever part of the business you see yourself doing in the future.

3. Hire the Best People

Whether you are hiring full time employees or a contractor for a short project, hire people that will be focused on the same quality results you want to give your customers. Take a look at McDonald’s if you want a great example of consistent customer experience and then recognize that it took thousands of people, all trained with the same values and goals to meet that consistency everywhere around the globe.

Be The Best

Don’t think that being the best technician is enough. We don’t buy ‘ho hum’ and your clients want the full experience. The best business is not just a great electrician, it is a great quote experience, friendly billing, customer service when something is not quite right and follow up. Getting that all right means you have systems within your business that runs the day-to-day and people that are as committed to your customers great experience the same way you are.


What to Do When Technology Fails

Does your business rely on technology? Mine does. When technology fails so can your business. Here are three tips to try and sidestep technology issues and if you cannot then how to deal with the outcome.

Redundancy is The Key

I do this in three ways…


If you have information that your business cannot run without then you must have a backup. Get a specialist to install backup software or a full backup system for your business. Some businesses core value is in the information they develop. Don’t lose your business because you did not have an extra Tara-bite of storage or a backup.


If you are performing a service that uses a technology, like a laptop, phone, or car, you have to have an alternative to use if your initial technology breaks down. When I call into a teleconference I have two business lines that I make the call with when my VA cannot be on the call. This way I ensure that if one lines loses connection (and it happens) I will not lose the call.

Two Versions

Have you ever had a power failure and found that you could not do your business? If you know how to get your work done manually then having a power failure does not stop you. When I am giving online training I keep a printed copy of the ideas I want to share and the key point I want to cover. Having a handwritten list of my to-do list ensure I can get through much of what I have to do if my internet is down.

There are obviously some things that you cannot do if there is no electricity or other technology is down, but there are some things that can get complete if you are prepared. Don’t let technological issues stop you from creating an amazing experience for your clients.

Change is NOT a Dirty Word – How To Start Something New

Often times when we feel stuck in our business we know something has to change but making that change can be really challenging. Sometimes it is difficult just to know where to start. Sometimes we feel the change is taking way to long and we give up, and sometimes it never feels right. I live for change and those of you who know me know how much I am constantly stretching and changing in my life and in my business to find the right fit.

Here are two pieces of my ‘change puzzle’ I want to share with you to help you get started on change.

Get More Information

When I am stuck and know I need to do something different I start by talking to others that have had the same challenge and start gathering more information. I don’t necessarily ask people, “Hey, what should I do next?” Instead the questions are around what they did when…

When I wanted to start my first business I talked to several people I knew that had a business, including someone that became my mentor and best referral partner for 6 years. He had already built several very successful businesses and his insight and feedback was so valuable.

When I wanted to start coaching I talked to everyone that was a coach. How did they get into it, how do they market what they do, what do they charge, what credentials did they need and what would I need.

When I wanted to do more speaking I spent more time professional speakers. I found the speaking model that I liked best then paid to mentor under one of the best, most successful speakers using that sales model.

I always look for the best, engage my most successful contacts, and pay for the best person I can afford to learn from. If you want to make change that will work for you it has to be something that you know will work because someone else has done it before. It will be easier to get started when you know it is possible.

Visualize The Change

Sunrise over my tree-lined private yard

If you can picture what you are trying to implement you can more easily create it. This is where the law of attraction comes from, but the reality is that if you know what you want it is easier to recognize the parts of it as they come into your focus.

My first home was just a house. It was a clean, good home, but it was not anything I had wished for as a property I would buy. It was what we could afford and it was a good investment.

While in that home I had drawn the layout of my ideal home. I know it had to be a bungalow. I knew it had to have tile from the front door to the kitchen, three beds, 2.5 baths, a 2 car garage and a covered front porch where my husband and I could share a tea on a rainy day in the summer. As a bonus I added a skylight, and a private yard.

We had our home up for sale and while trying to sell it we looked for the ideal home. I could have had it built but that would have put it outside our budget. We did not find our home and we did not sell so I accepted that it was not time to change.

Three years later when I was browsing the real estate paper I saw an image that showed a home in silhouette. Somehow I just knew it was the one. I dug out the number from our realtor three years earlier and asked her to take me through. Guess what, it had everything on my drawing. Now every summer morning we start our day on the front porch before work.

This is not magic, this is an acute awareness to be alert and vigilant to what I want to see happen. This is the same for your business. If you need to make a change, draw it out, make a list, put in as many details as possible so that you can visualize exactly what you expect the change to look like when it is complete. My friend MarBeth Dunn says, “See it and feel it. Make it a sensual image.”

It is OK to be afraid, as long as the fear does not stop you from accepting that things will change, whether you want them to or not. Don’t just accept what might happen to you, create your own change. The only person that does not have to worry about change is no longer alive. To be alive is to be in constant change, therefore…

Change = Life

If you love life you also have to accept change as one of the conditions. Make it yours and make it count.