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May 26, 2014

Are You Wasting Your Most Valuable Resource?

The other day I was listening to an interview with a lawyer who was talking about the strategies big companies employ when doing large merges and acquisitions. He described an incredibly complicated process which included moving sizable sums of money to off-shore accounts and partnering with and sometimes buying other companies in Europe to avoid tax implications. I was fascinated by the complexity of the maneuvering he described. As I listened, I just kept thinking, holy-moly this guy is smart. I mean to keep track of all of those moving pieces must take incredible knowledge and organization. How can one person know so much? Where did he get the time to amass so much knowledge? And then it hit me…he made the time. In order to master anything, you must make time to perfect your craft. We all have the capacity to be masters, but very few of us have the discipline. This lawyer had obviously worked hard to become an expert in merges and acquisition law. How many hours had he spent at the library? How many law books and case studies did he read? And here’s the biggie. What did he have to give up to in order to do […]
May 25, 2014

Are Sales Slipping Through Your Fingers?

There is one pretty clear rule in business, no sales equals no money. Ugg. Wouldn’t it be great if clients would just enroll themselves? You wouldn’t have to do those uncomfortable sales calls. Making sales calls is something a lot of entrepreneurs dread. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs actually avoid making them which is a shame because by doing so they are leaving money on the table. I have to admit I used to be one of those people. The idea of picking up the phone to ask someone for egads, money, made my palms sweats. What was that rule again? Ah, yes, no sales=no money. There you have it, sales calls have to be done. But why does it seems so scary? A lot of it is wrapped up in self-worth. Have you ever had this thought “Who am I to ask for so much money?” Maybe you’ve never had that exact thought, but there are other gems we tell ourselves. Here are some you may recognize: -I don’t want to be seen as greedy. -I I don’t want to seem stuck-up. -I really am asking a lot of money for what I’m offering. -I don’t want to […]
May 21, 2014

Your Brand is Calling… Are you listening?

Now that summer is approaching (big yeah!!) it’s time for ice-cream season. Ok, in full honesty it’s always ice-cream season in my house. But nothing is as good as going to one of those awesome ice-cream shops with tubs of the colorful cold stuff. I love watching my kids press their noses against the glass trying to decide between Moose Tracks and rainbow sherbet. I usually go with some low-fat yogurt number and then watch pining away as the kids slurp up their creaming drippings. Honestly, I don’t even know why I pick the yogurt. I don’t really like it that much. I end up consuming empty calories without the satisfying pleasure that should accompany indulging. It’s kind of a waste. For all the bother, I’d rather have an apple. But in the moment of choice, I focus on what I should be doing so I pick a treat that really isn’t much of a treat and I go away feeling kind of gypped. What’s worse is the whole time I’m slugging through my yogurt, I have to watch everyone else enjoying their choices. Sometimes it’s hard for the kids too. They may like what they got, but then they […]
May 14, 2014

If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit Anymore

Did you ever get the feeling that something in your business doesn’t feel right? You start to get a little gnawing feeling you can’t identify. It’s not that things are dramatically wrong, but they aren’t exactly right either. Maybe you have some clients coming in, but the business still isn’t really taking off. Or you could even have a more steady stream of clients, but you just aren’t as excited to work with them as you used to be. What’s going on? You could be in the wrong shoes, brand shoes that is. Remember when you were a kid. One day you’d be running around in your Hush Puppies and the next, your little piggies would be banging up against the edges. It can be like that with your brand too. You are plugging along in your business feeling like everything is fine until you realize everything is not fine. You may not be sure why, but you know you don’t feel good. Something is being pinched, and that thing is
May 6, 2014

How To Be Number One!

Everyone likes a winner. Have you ever noticed when a sports team wins a championship even people from other regions buy and wear the winning team’s paraphernalia? It’s as if by wearing the  team’s logo you yourself are elevated in status. (In all fairness, if you wear a Red Sox cap, you do go up a few notches.) We like to be associated with success. When we watch the Olympics or American Idol, we route especially hard for the person who is from our city or state. They somehow represent us except…they don’t. We haven’t actually done anything, unless you count grabbing a bowl of Ben and Jerry’s and cheering from the couch. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to cheer for your favorite sports team or support your local talent. What isn’t good is when we find our identification as a business person wrapped up in the reputation of our favorite guru du jour. We do a kind of weird reverse projection. Instead of projecting our baggage onto someone else, we suck their brand onto ourselves. I do think it’s good to emulate success and I even think it’s useful to model yourself after people you […]
April 30, 2014

Is Self-Doubt Killing Your Business?

Ever wonder why heart disease is called the silent killer? It’s because from all outside appearances everything looks fine, but under the hood things are all jammed up. There is a potentially deadly disease lurking under the hood of many entrepreneurs as well and it’s name is self-doubt. Self-doubt leaves a sticky residue which builds up over time. In order to keep the cash flowing  into your business, it’s essential to find ways to clear it out. Of course, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Let’s face it, if it were easy to give up junk food, Mars Incorporated would not be a multi-billion dollar company. Self-doubt is an insidious little bug that gnaws at your entrepreneurial health. And contrary to what you might think, it is not something that only afflicts newbies. Even seasoned entrepreneurs struggle with it. That’s because beyond every success achieved lies a new level of development and a new set of challenges. You go from feeling like a big fish in a little pond to feeling like a minnow in the ocean. So how do we remedy self-doubt so it won’t be a buzz kill in our business?
April 16, 2014

Are you giving 100%?

Have you ever heard the saying “Just showing up is 80% of success?” That may well be true, but we don’t want an 80% successful life or business, do we? We want a fully successful life. So what about that other 20%? Let’s face it, we all know people who just show up. These are the people we see at networking events or co-workers who show up to their jobs day in and day out. They may even be our own clients. They show up. They make it to work, they make it to their calls and they get out of their houses, but are they wildly successful? Most are not. Perhaps you are one of these people. You are showing up and you can’t understand why you have not hit the big leagues yet. You are sending out your newsletter regularly, you show up on social media.  Heck, you are even hitting the gym 5 days a week, but you’re still not where you thought you should be by now. What’s going on? Maybe you are missing another cornerstone of success, consistency. You must be consistent in order to achieve lasting results, right? So you would think showing up and […]
April 9, 2014

How to Choose the Right Coach

I think I was 5 years old when I had my first piano lesson. That was the day I (ok, my mom) hired my first coach and I have had a coach in some form or another every day since then. There are lots of names for coaches. Some people call them teachers others call them gurus, consultants, managers etc., but basically a coach is anyone who helps you improve or move forward in some area of your life. It could be a tennis coach, a golf pro, a spiritual mentor, even a birthing dula! It really doesn’t matter what the title is, what matters is the relationship between mentor and mentee. Working with a good coach is one of the very best things you can do to move forward quickly in your business. They can guide you, push you, support you, give you outside perspective, keep you accountable and provide expert  information, tools and resources. Having the right coach can dramatically speed up both your learning curve and your earning curve! Earlier in my career my coaches were in the form of voice teachers, directors and conductors, but now
April 3, 2014

4 Sure Fire Ways to Attract Ideal Clients

Almost every business owner I know wants the same thing, a roster full of ideal clients. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Just imagine looking at your client list and loving every name on it because not only are they all totally awesome people, but because these awesome people recognize and value the service or products you provide and are willing to pay your fees. Now that would be pretty cool. Well, it doesn’t have to be  just a pipe-dream. It is possible to attract ideal clients without as much difficulty as you might think. You just have to know what you are doing. There are some secrets, it’s not magic, but they sure work like magic. And the reason they work is because they tap into what is very natural for all people, emotions. (Ok, there’s the rare sociopath, but hopefully that’s not your target market anyway!) Too often when trying to connect with ideal clients, entrepreneurs speak to their prospects’ heads instead of to their hearts. And while there certainly is a time to be logical and straightforward, it is not in the attraction phase of a client relationship. Think about it, when you are considering whether or not to […]
March 26, 2014

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Q-Why did the chicken cross the road? A-To get to the other side. Have you ever wondered the point of this inane, little joke? As far as I’m concerned, here it is… The chicken crossed the road. The chicken didn’t stay where he was wondering what the best option was. He didn’t stay put because he was worried about not making it across. With all the possibilities of failure and even danger he still managed to get himself to the other side. How many times in your business or in life for that matter have you stayed right where you are because you were chicken?