Daring Escape from Corporate America

I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2 years ago I made a very daring escape from Corporate America. I’d be entrenched and chained to a desk since I was 22 and that’s a long time. I had always thought that I’d be like my Dad and work at the same place forever until I retired. Yet, that was not my story and that was not meant to be for me.

My career path took some long and winding and winded turns along the way. I started out in sales and then got into marketing. My tale is long and blogs are for short stories… So suffice to say- after being laid off 3 times in 6 years, I stopped banging my head against the corporate wall. I stopped for a moment to realize that maybe that wasn’t my path any longer. Thank goodness I had and still have 2 wonderful Executive Coaches in my life (Rob Berkley & Debbie Phillips www.visionday.com) who totally supported me and helped me create my wonderful marketing, coaching and consulting business that I have today. (Photo: Debbie Phillips, Me, and Rob Berkley)

I’m writing this now for a couple of reasons-

  1. I was just highlighted in a colleagues blog which I wrote about here back in April- Pamela Skillings interviewed me and I talked at length about my experiences of daring escape. If you want to see more about my quest- check out her Escape From Corporate America blog
  2. I wrote a chapter in the most incredible book authored by Debbie Phillips that will be out later this fall Called Women On Fire 20 Inspiring Women Share Their Life Secrets (and Save You Years of Struggle!) It’s all about my very intense, gut wrenching experience and struggles in corporate America and my interesting journey. I promise I will tell you more about this in the coming months.

(Photo- Pamela Skillings and yours truly)

The takeaway from today is not the outcome- that I’m now in a 2 year old incredibly successful business that I created (albeit that sure is nice!). It’s the incredible journey I had to take to get right here. There are tons of people in my support team and my success team (which I’d recommend you get some of these folks!) who were pivotal to get me here. So why not take a moment right now and write a short gratitude list thanking all those folks who supported and helped you get you where you are today. I’ve already started mine! [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Daring_Escape_from_Corporate_America]

Are you singing the recession blues?

Well I sure hope not, because as an entrepreneur and business person, you need to be focused on how to increase your business. You need to get your head out of the sand and not use the excuse that the economy is in a recession and that’s why your business isn’t doing well.

I just went and saw the most motivating and inspiring marketing mind ever. His name is Dan Kennedy. He’s so many light years ahead of businesses because of how he thinks, it’s a little bit scary. He’s the one that’s said many times, if you’re smart and you know how to market and who to market to, you can make money in any economy and you know what- I agree with him and I am doing it!

I had the pleasure of being able to see Dan Kennedy live, last week in New York- for FREE. This was a rare appearance and I have to say if you have the opportunity to see him speak, go see him, he’s so refreshing and has such a fascinating outlook on business. He was speaking at an event and promoting his new book, No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent: The No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Getting Really Rich. He focused his talk around if you’re not doing well right now, it’s not because of the recession, it’s because you’re not getting people excited enough about buying and doing business with you. He also said it could be because you’re not as agile to change your business with the times. I’ve said this numerous times before- in a recession, you need to shift who you’re selling to- focus on the people who are least affected by the recession and that would be the mass affluent. I also had the pleasure of speaking with him at the break and it was a real treat for me and inspired me to make some much needed changes in my own business.

In this crazy world of business you need to be agile and ready to able to move with the world, however it turns- tragedy vs. opportunity. He also said a number of other fascinating things that I want to share with you-

  • The number of competitors in a market place doesn’t matter. You simply need to craft a business with over laden with value and marketing services. Create a unique market place and niche- promote your key benefits to your niche.
  • Done for you is best- gone are the days of teaching people to fish- give them the fish- now!
  • Price is controlled by value of the product to the buyer. A good example is if you’re selling one of a kind jewelry pieces- ensure you’re going after the customer who values and appreciates this unique factor.
  • Business isn’t bad- it’s just that follow-up really sucks.

Lastly, before I go- I had to share these with you- Here are the 6 secrets to increasing your profits in today’s recession-

  1. Always have good, better and best categories- give your prospects 3 tiers to buy from. They will always buy according to emotion, not logic.
  2. Raise your prices now- we all are not ever charging enough for our products and services. Plus in a recession you can make up for the loss of volume by increasing your prices.
  3. Target better customers- go after the mass affluent- sell to people who rarely make their decision based on price.
  4. Never do what everyone else is doing- 99% of businesses do things a certain way and it’s always usually wrong. Be part of the 1% to break out and do things differently.
  5. Have immediate up sells when you get a customer- e.g.- sell them a tie when they buy a suite, etc.
  6. Multiply your customers with post sale follow-up – send a thank you letter, or send a thank you and up sell later. Always, always follow-up with your clients and customers.

So take these 6 things all the way to the bank. Put away the newspaper, in fact, stop reading or watching the news altogether. Focus on the positive aspects of your business and your life and work towards being incredibly successful and happy! [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Are_you_singing_the_recession_blues]

Lost in Vacationland and Other Adventures…

Wow, I had hoped to communicate while I was on vacation, but it just wasn’t mean to be…. not sure what happened- maybe it was all the people that came to visit. Or maybe it was that I just needed to unplug, revamp and revitalize myself… Have you every had those moments, where you just need to take some time and unplug? I have to say it was really nice not being tethered to a computer and email and to enjoy my time off and all the company that came to visit.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to take more than 2 weeks off. In fact, the last time I was able to do that was back in 2000 when I was laid off and was out of work for 3 months. It was incredibly stressful, but I was still able to travel and visit family and shake things up. When I hear people going through major transitions like being laid off or going through a relationship break-up- one of my favorite survival tips is to go on a vacation- get out of your house and your environment and by doing so, it will shift how you see everything.

We spent over 16 days in our summer family home in Maine on Sebago Lake. We usually only stay there for 7 days, but because we were there for much longer, we were really able to settle in, and hang out. It was one of our best vacations ever because the weather was incredible and we had some old and new friends come and stay with us. We got our boat in the water, and had some picnics, hung out on the beach, ate lots of lobster and ice cream, not necessarily in that order… (Photo Above- That’s our house- I took the photo from our boat.)

The most fun thing we did was being able to take the boat out almost every day and enjoy the water. When we’ve been there in the past, the lake is usually too cold to get in it. This time since we were there for so long, the lake really warmed up and we swam a lot more than we’ve ever had. (Photo- That’s me driving the boat- pretty serious business ensuring everyone’s fun and safety!)

Also it was so much fun to have Lily (who turned 1 yr while we were there) come with us for the first time. Being in the car for 6 1/2 hours was a first for her. Taking her for a long walk before we left and stopping twice really helped out a lot. Thank goodness she got her sea legs and settled right in on her pillow next to Harrison, (my son) who was watching movies the whole way.

We found out that Lily who’s 49% Golden Retriever, didn’t get the water gene. She did not like being in the water at all. She did love running around and the daily hikes through the woods we took every day. The smells and interesting animals were very entertaining for her and I! (Photo- That’s Lily by the water- not ever wanting to get in it!)

So I hope you’re able to get a great, relaxing vacation in this summer. You really do deserve it- we all do! There’s nothing like taking time off to refresh, revamp and revitalize you and your family and your work/business. Hope you’re having a fantastic summer! (Photo- Harrison watching his movie while Lily sleeps during the ride to Maine.)

[digg=http://digg.com/health/Lost_in_vactionland]

Discovering 4 Travel Secrets on my Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

Back at home now, I’m writing from my second floor office where the view out of my window is a bit dreary- the rain is back. Yet, as I sit and reflect about my trip to Martha’s Vineyard, it was far from dreary. In fact, I discovered 4 really cool secrets that I wanted to share with you.

Before departing on our trip there’s the usual freneticness that goes along with any kind of travel these days requiring leaving your house for more than a few days. Since the summer is upon us, I know I’m not alone in my quest for sanity amidst the travel. Key for me was trying to figure out what to do with our sweet, adorable, 11 month old Golden Collie- Lily, who’s entwined herself into our hearts forever. (Photo- Here’s Lily hanging on the porch.) When we went to Las Vegas we had put her in the kennel and found out when we got back that she was sad and depressed. So for this next trip I needed to find another option. As things always work as they’re supposed to, our dog walker found us the most incredible dog sitter that would stay with Lily. So my first travel secret was 1) Having Peace of Mind- how much would you pay for peace of mind to take care of your animals, plants and home while you’re away? Well let me tell you, I’m not sure I can put a price on my peace of mind. To me, it was priceless not to have to worry about Lily or our home while being away.

This leads me to my next discovery- 2) Trusting Your Gut- as it turned out, our dog sitter Justin was a godsend. He took great care of Lily. In fact, he walked her for 8 miles each day and then played with her all the time so she was way too tired to chew anything in the house. I’m glad I could trust my gut on this one. (Photo- Lily so tired she fell off her bed!)

Then my next discovery- 3) Taking a Chance- we drove from New Jersey to Wood’s Hole, MA and had a decent idea when we’d get there, depending of course on traffic all along the coast. As it turned out we arrived into Wood’s Hole at 8:20 pm. The ferry was leaving at 8:30pm- what to do? The next and last ferry was leaving at 9:45 pm and we didn’t want to wait. Yet, we were not planning on taking the car and we didn’t have a reservation. (In the summer you need a reservation for your car.) Plus, we didn’t have time to park in the lot, unload our stuff and be able to make the 8:30 pm ferry. So I took a chance. I had nothing to lose- all they could say was no. This was all new to me, trying to take a car on a boat. I simply drove right up to the entrance and asked if we could go standby and the next thing you know- he said there was room for the car and hurry and go buy a ticket. I ran as fast as I could in the terminal, whipped out my Amex Platinum, and had my round trip reservation to Martha’s Vineyard with my car. Wow, that was just the coolest feeling, taking a chance, and having it all work out so splendidly. So we made the 8:30 pm boat and were the lasts ones on. I couldn’t have planned this any better. (Photo- Car Ferry entrance at Wood’s Hole.)

The ferry ride was smooth and easy, and we got to see the beautiful sun disappear along the horizon. This was my son Harrison’s first ferry ride and he totally enjoyed it! (Photo- Sunset from the ferry on the way to MV)

My last discovery on our trip was- 4) Spending Time with Those You Love- this discovery has lots of meaning to me. I never seem to take enough time to be with those I love and make time to share some laughter, food and just hang out and “be with.” Spending time on Martha’s Vineyard with my Executive Coaches and friends- Debbie Phillips & Rob Berkley was doubly wonderful because I was able to bring my family. They’ve never been to MV and I was able to introduce them to all new adventures. Suffice to say we had many moments where we laughed until we cried, ate some inspiring and delicious food, met some other fabulous Islanders, saw some incredible beach and ocean views and had some wonderful adventures. (I even managed to squeeze in attending one of Debbie’s “Women on Fire Tea Party’s”– the first one on MV!) (Photo-Me and Debbie Phillips having breakfast at the MV airport.)

Don’t deprive yourself this summer of these 4 Travel Secrets-

1) Having Peace Of Mind

2) Trusting Your Gut

3) Taking A Chance

4) Spending Time With Those You Love.

I guarantee a steady diet of these 4 travel secrets and we won’t be able to wipe that smile off your face come September- promise! [digg=http://digg.com/travel_places/Discovering_4_Travel_Secrets_on_my_Trip_to_Martha_s_Vineyard]

Do You Ever Long to Feel like You Belong Somewhere?

I’m writing from the train, heading home to New Jersey. I’m on the way back from a business training meeting that was in Baltimore. (As an aside, riding in business class is the best way to ride up and down the east coast- no worries of gas or traffic!) To be honest, I wasn’t totally looking forward to working the whole weekend, yet I was so pleasantly surprised at what happened.

Going there, I honestly had no expectations. I was ready to learn and discover new ways to help promote a business I’m working on with one of my clients. The weekend of discovery and training turned out to be one of the best meetings I’ve attended in a while.

At this meeting I had the best sense of being a part of a wonderful organization. It was a small meeting- only about 70 people. I was surrounded by incredibly smart, funny, and the nicest people you could ever want to spend a weekend with. In fact I was able to have some great chats with Bill Glazer, President of Glazer Kennedy Insider’s Circle, and was inspired by Karen Schaefer, who has a fast-growing info-marketing business involving real estate investors, real estate brokers and agents, and consumers: ‘Simple Appeal’, the premier nationwide “staging company” assisting homeowners in presenting their homes to obtain top dollar from buyers http://www.simpleappeal.com/

I’m leaving my meeting with such great connections and this wonderful feeling of belonging to a group of like-minded, motivated and successful people. Most, if not all of the people in the room, were incredibly successful entrepreneurs. I discovered a lot of great ways to promote my client’s business and things I can even use in my own. Yet the biggest lesson for me was how much I so enjoyed feeling like I belonged with these people. I knew being an entrepreneur was going to have its ups and downs. And for the most part I’ve very much enjoyed my ride to date. The only things that gets in my way at times is spending too much time in my home office and not enough time with like-minded entrepreneurs.

My suggestion to you it look for ways to join some like-minded groups of people. Don’t miss out on belonging somewhere and collaborating and brainstorming with fellow like-minded business people. Seek out a Ladieswholaunch or a local Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle Chapter or Mastermind Group. This group is all around the country and you can check out this map to see one that’s closest to where you live. Don’t wait. Do this now- schedule an event, go check out a new meeting. You’re not alone. We’re all seeking out friend, colleagues and ultimately our own financial freedom. [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Do_You_Ever_Long_to_Feel_like_You_Belong_Somewhere]

Know When To Hold em, When to Fold em…

Remember this line from Kenny Rogers song The Gambler- “Know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away and know when to run…” Well with this continuous talk of gloom and doom in the economy (I don’t watch the news anymore. Yet it seems people I talk to keep bringing up “the recession.”), this song came to mind which we could gleam some interesting things…

For one, Hillary and Obama are all over the news this week. He finally declares victory and she’s chiding away from publicly announcing he’s got the nomination. Talk about “know when to fold em…” This whole thing to me seemed to drag out forever. Thank goodness it’s coming to a conclusion. Not one to dwell on politics here, but I really liked Hillary and thought having someone with her experience in the White House might be good for our country. So it will be interesting how this will all unravel.

In fact, last night I was at this really fun event- it was a book launch party for Pamela Skillings, who just published her new book called Escape from Corporate America. I met her through a networking group over a year ago. She interviewed me and I have a mention in the book. It’s a wonderful book that will help many people during this interesting economical time. (Photo- Author, Pamela Skillings and yours truly- Shannon M.) This is where Kenny Rogers song really hits home to all the people in Corporate America who feel stuck, exhausted, not sure what to do next- they have to know when to hold em, fold em or walk away. Pamela’s book will really come in handy if you find yourself in this catch-22- need to make money, yet not liking what you do, or maybe you have a friend or family member who’s in that position. I’d totally recommend picking up a copy of this book and giving it to them. If you want to know more, you can also go to her blog- http://blog.escapefromcorporate.com/

It was a really cool and fun party in New York City. The mojitos and much rum was flowing. I was hesitant about going by myself because I wouldn’t know really anyone there. Yet, I decided to keep up with my trend of being bold and daring. So off I went on the train to New York and I ended up meeting some great like-minded people. I was introduced to Marie Forleo, a fellow info marketer who has this much talked about product called Productivity Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs. She brought a friend of hers- Kendra Todd, who if you’ve ever watched Donald Trump’s The Apprentice, she was the 3rd Apprentice to be “hired” to work for him. It was a fascinating conversation. We had a lot in common and knew many of the same people in the information marketing world. It was a really great night to step outside of my home office for once and hang out with other fun entrepreneurs. (Photo- Marie Forleo, Kendra Todd and your’s truly, Shannon M.) I also met Margot Tohn, who is THE woman behind the Park It Guides for New York City. So if ever you’re in the city and need a place to park- her guides are IT – so check them out- http://www.parkitguides.com/

So I would encourage you if ever in doubt about going to an event alone, take the chance, be daring, step out of your comfort zone. I promise you won’t regret who you’ll meet and what might be in store for you in your business and in your life. Go take that chance and be bold! [digg=http://digg.com/people/Hillary_Know_when_to_hold_em_know_when_to_fold_them]

If money wasn’t an issue… what would you do for fun?

When I was going through a difficult time in 2004, after just being laid off yet again… I met the most wonderful person that really helped me during that difficult time. Her name is Tama J. Kieves and she wrote this fantastic book called- This Time I Dance! Creating The Work You Love (which was just published in a new edition.) A friend I met at an unemployment seminar mentioned Tama to me and asked if I wanted to tag along to a seminar she was giving.

It was the best thing I could have done at that time for myself. Tama is such a dynamic speaker and her story is so inspirational of how she was a Harvard Lawyer and left her corporate job to discover her creative self and develop the livelihood that stirred her soul and paid the bills. I remember sitting in my chair and taking lots of notes and really paying attention to writing down the answers to her fabulous questions like- “if money wasn’t an issue- write down all the things I’d do for fun and that inspire me.” I’ve done this exercise a few more times since then and it’s a wonderful thing to do. If you haven’t tried this yet, I’d encourage you to do it. It’s a bit different from the question- “if you had all the money in the world what would you do with it?” Her question got to a deeper meaning within because I was able to write about what brings me joy and fun and entertainment and the list for me was long! And through that I was really able to focus on what my gifts are and I what my ultimate passion was that would fuel me in my new found career outside of corporate America.

Here’s a photo of Tama and I from last month when I attended her seminar in Montclair, New Jersey.

I realized I have many, many interests and passions. So my work was trying to simply narrow them down so I could get started and do something! Hence I ended up starting my Marketing Implementer business and in turn have helped many new and current business owners and entrepreneurs not only turn their businesses around, but see how they can use their passion in their business and also focus on areas they can reinvent themselves and create more income. Then of course I’m also going down some other paths, with contributing to a book that will be published in June and writing a chapter in another book that will be coming out in the fall. And I’m also focusing more efforts on my photography business and on my coaching women in transition business. I told you I had a lot of passions!

I hope you can gleam from these musings a little inspiration to pay attention and focus on what you love to do. It’s not too late to take your hobby and transition it into a business. “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” This is another one of my favorite quotes. Take a pen out now or open up a word document and start typing the answer. If I can do it- I know you can too! Let me know what’s working for you or if you need any help- I’m here!

P.S. It’s been 23 days since my operation and I just got the ok to wear this really stylish (not!) orthopedic sandal now. So no more boot, and in another week I can wear shoes again- yeah! I feel back to myself now and promise to get back to my weekly posts. [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/If_money_wasn_t_an_issueh_what_would_you_do_for_fun]

7 Fascinating Discoveries on the Road to Recovery

As I’m laid up these past two weeks, can’t walk or drive, and trying to keep up with my frantic pace of my business I’ve noticed some fascinating discoveries:

1) I’m truly amazed at the human body and how fast it heals after the operation on my foot. (Photo- Here’s my view for the past 2 weeks of my feet 🙂 )

2) Love my clients, my family, success team and support system- they have been there for me and wonderful while I’m trying to heal. (You know who you are- please accept my eternal gratitude for being in my life.)

3) Shocked at how rude and ridiculous some people can be towards someone on crutches and not let that get in the way of my recovery.

4) With lots of time off my feel, I’m thrilled with all of the great new creative ideas that I’ve come up with that will be fruitful for me and for my clients.

5) Exhausted at all the information I’m getting by phone, mail, email and fax! (it’s been fun hobbling to the phone, fax and mailbox!)

6) Happy that I have such a wonderful, loyal, loving puppy-Lily- who’s been at my side every step of my recovery and will not leave me no matter how hard I try to get her to go with the dog walker. (Photo- Lily- very happy I’m laid up because it gives her an excuse to sleep more while she hangs out with me.)

7) Humbled by working with some incredibly talented people who are teaching me just as much as I am teaching them

There’s a ton more things I’ve noticed while I’ve been laid up, but this was my short list. I’d encourage you to take notice and be present throughout your day and start noticing the little things that add up and make your life incredibly fulfilling.

Instead of being mad, or upset and act like a victim because I had to have this operation and be laid up and not drive for 3 weeks, I looked at it as a new, wonderful discovery period for me. I took and am still taking each day as an adventure and try to simply stay present and focus on my healing and my work. I think when we face these obstacles like a foot injury, a divorce, losing your job, or an accident- if we can ask the question of ourselves- “what am I supposed to learn or discover from this experience?” – we will be in a much better place mentally and even physically. Each obstacle is simply another lesson that we need to learn in life. (Some of this was as a result from finishing reading Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now. I’d highly recommend it.)
We need to use these lessons as stepping stones to grow and to help others. So the next time something happens to you that makes you unhappy, frustrated, angry or sad- try to ask the question and look deeper at the situation as to what you can learn and take away from it and maybe you can even help others. [digg=http://digg.com/health/Fascinating_Discoveries_on_the_road_to_recovery]

Are You Drowning Trying to Get it all done yourself?

Here’s a hot button topic that is making its way back into business news this week… I have to be honest and say that I struggle with this myself. How do I figure out what I can do versus what I can hire other people to do for me?

And I can take this one step further this week, because I had to have some minor surgery on my right foot to repair an old running injury. The bottom line is I have to be off my feet for 7-12 days- no driving, no walking- just bed rest- yikes! And I won’t be walking or much less running for at least 4 weeks- double yikes! Talk about needing help. Now this is taking asking for help to the extreme. Yet, I found that I’m not the kind of person that will ask or even accept help very easily. Now that I’m laid flat out with my feet up, I need help, so it’s been a great lesson for me on finding that balance of accepting and asking for help. (Photo- Me and Lily getting some bed rest.)

When we take this into the business realm, there are a million ways to go about this exercise of delegating your work and hiring other to help you. One way that I know of that’s worked for me is to figure out how much my time is worth- what’s my hourly rate if I were to do this myself? Then go to websites like www.guru.com , www.elance.com , www.sologig.com or www.craigslist.org and see what the going rate is if you hired someone else do to the job for you. These websites are a beautiful thing. You can post the job you have and everyone bids on it and you have a wonderful range of people who will basically do the work for very reasonable amounts of money.

The real trick here is if your hourly rate that clients pay you is over $175 an hour, and you’re taking time out of your day to do simple tasks like input data into your client database, or schedule client calls, if you went on elance or guru you could probably get someone to do either of these tasks for much less than $175 an hour. The key here is to spend your time wisely on what you do best and what will bring you the most bang for your buck and your hourly rate. Hire someone to take care of things that will free up your time so you can spend it on more important things to grow your business.

When you’re in business for yourself, the best thing you can do is think smarter about how you’re running your business. You need to use your talents to your best ability. Hire out others to do the things you know you have no business doing yourself. There’s a terrific book by Tim Ferris, The Four Hour Workweek that I read a few months ago. I would highly recommend you read it, if you haven’t already and implement what he says into your business. He does an excellent job of explaining his whole philosophy about delegating, automating and simplifying your business. Plus he gives you a ton of great resources. Check out his website- www.fourhourworkweek.com

Consider this a wake-up call to be more productive in your business. Hire others to help you, so you can grow your business into the incredible money making machine that you deserve. I’ll be cheering you on from my couch in the coming weeks! [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Are_Your_Drowning_Trying_to_Get_it_all_done_yourself]

Need more money? Raise Your Prices… That Simple…

Here’s the deal, big talk out there of recession, banks closing and not willing to lend money and on and on. I have to be honest and tell you I really don’t know the half of it because I’m sticking to my word about not reading the newspaper or watching the news anymore. Yet, I have to admit that I just got back from my spring vacation where I’ll come clean and say that I did glance at a newspaper while waiting in the President’s Club at the airport to see what the news was reporting about our economy. Of course it wasn’t good, and everything was fear and horror, so I quickly put the paper down and went to the Lifestyle section where the news was fluffier and friendlier.

Back to my point, because I did have one! In times like these, with recession looming, the best thing you can do is raise your prices and look into making an upward shift of who your clients are. I just read an article in the New York Times that was all about how entrepreneurs are fearful of raising prices because they’ll lose their clients. It was a well written article but I think the point of it to me was backwards. The real truth of the matter is raising prices is good, and losing customers is also good, it means that the shift you’re making in your business is working. Before you think I’m half crazy, let me explain- If your prices are too low and you’ve made price an issue when attracting customers, guess what- all your customers are going to be price sensitive and probably nickel and dime you to death. The real key for you to realize is you’ve attracted this people somehow to your business. So what you really need to do is change your client model, get rid of those folks and upgrade your clients.

More to my point is when I was on vacation in Las Vegas last week. The biggest and most valued customer in this town is the mass affluent- people who have lots of money and are not price sensitive. These are people who want an experience and want to have fun and are not interested in how much it costs.

We really wanted to see the Grand Canyon, yet after a 5 hour flight, the last thing we wanted to do was jump in a car and drive 4 ½ hours. So we looked at some alternatives. I had heard about helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon but figured it was way out of my league. So I was a price sensitive customer, yet to be honest, I did have the money. I was just reluctant because to me it seemed like too much of an indulgence. We started calling a few places and these folks really know who their audience is. We settled on Sundance Helicopter Tours, which I highly recommend. This was THE most incredible experience I’ve ever had. It wasn’t just the fact that we saw the Grand Canyon from the air and flew over Hoover Dam and downtown Las Vegas. It was the whole encompassing experience of the tour. They come in a stretch limo to pick you up at your hotel and take you to their heliport. All the way from check in to lift off you feel like a very important person. When we got to the Grand Canyon, they serve you a picnic lunch complete with champagne! I took over 200 pictures, (Did I mention photography was much more than a hobby of mine!) and it was an experience that in my mind, I would have paid even more money to take advantage of it. That’s the key- going after a clientèle that values what you do, isn’t a price shopper and you in turn give them a lot more value for their money. (Photo- Harrison, my son in the limo.)

The real diamond in the rough here is when you have the guts to raise your prices, yes, you will lose clients, yet the diamond here is you won’t need as many clients because you’re now charging more money. The other diamond is the clients that stay with you, are mostly likely not price sensitive and are most probably staying because they VALUE you and your product/services. (Photo-Me & Harrison in the helicopter)

So what are you waiting for- raise your prices, make more money and shift your way of thinking today. When you’re in a recession- the best clientèle to have are those people who are affected by a recession last. And those people would be the mass affluent- go get them! [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/Need_More_Money_Raise_Your_Prices_that_simple]

The amazing Grand Canyon!