5 Goals to Achieve This Year

If y0u’re up for it — I am going to push the envelope a little today and actually give you five goals to try to achieve by the end of the year.

Remember you are never going to know if you are capable of something if you don’t take that first step.

1. Go small

This may be a big one to start with but here goes-Downsize.  Look at all aspects of your business whether that includes employees, vendors or service providers.  If you find that there is a way for ONE provider to handle multiple jobs than cut back.  This may sound strange but sometimes less is more when it comes to project management as well as financial costs.

2. Take Time to Invest Fully

Make this the year that you completely focus on not only getting to know your customers but also their specific needs.  Once you make this commitment, find the best way to communicate.  Whether that is through a blog, social media, QR codes, or even a weekly newsletter; find out which option works for them.  There is no use in spending quality time and content on an area your customers do not even use.

3. Refresh your website

Take the time and really go through your website.  Analyze and make notes as you look over what you have currently.  Then, go on the Internet and find your biggest competitor.  Look at their website and make notes on what things stand out the most.  Once you do that, write a plan on what to change and a timeline to get it done.

4. Real Life Social Networking

Put some effort into networking by signing up for an industry conference or seeking out a local meet-up group. These are invaluable ways to develop relationships and share advice with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners.

5. Put time for you on the calendar

It’s up to you to keep yourself motivated and inspired.  Be sure to reward yourself for specific milestones like a big client win, meeting a tough deadline, or working “overtime” for multiple nights on end.

Sticking to all of these 5 goals is a lofty for anyone. Follow the tips that ring true for your situation, and adjust as needed. Do you have other goals for your business this year?

 

The Productivity Secret That Will Change Your Life

One of the things I’m constantly struggling with: my plate is incredibly full. I just have way TOO many things on that proverbial plate and it’s constantly weighing me down.

I’m a Marketing Implementer, I help people get things done, and here I am, revealing to you my own challenges with getting things done.  Well, I’ve actually invested good money with experts to help me “organize” my office, my computer, and my life, as well as I got a new desk, bookshelves, and on an on. The interesting thing is after that expert gave me this “system” it wasn’t mine. So I had great difficulty in trying to use it and came across all sorts of obstacles that just reared their ugly heads a few weeks ago.

Before I tell you what happened, I actually would liken it to someone who’s trying to lose weight and just puts the weight back on—it’s because they’re not aligned somewhere with the process, or something just isn’t right.

Well that’s what I felt like, something with my new system just wasn’t jelling with me, it just wasn’t right. And unfortunately I didn’t really see that until the crap hit the fan last week and a few balls I was juggling just crashed—yikes—how did that happen?!

The cool thing is that I did ultimately find a solution, albeit painful to have to do so much learning—As Alex Mandossian has taught me—“You’re either winning or you’re learning!” No such thing as losing or making mistakes—my new lingo is “I’m learning.”

After the balls crashed last week, my wonderful client and mentor Alex Mandossian, pulled me aside and saw that I was obviously having some trouble.  He got to the root of it very quickly and explained to me about the benefits of “The Ivy Lee 6.”

In the early 1900’s consultant Ivy Lee approached Charles Schwab, President of Bethlehem Steel (not the investment company) and asked what it’d be worth to him if he could raise the productivity of his managers by at least 20%. Schwab didn’t have an answer but was definitely interested. This is where the “Ivy Lee 6” comes into play.  Ivy Lee taught him and his managers this proven technique.

Here’s THE productivity secret that will change your life:

Before you leave your office for the night, write down the 6 most important things to be done the next day and number them in order of importance. Prioritize.

Do the tasks from the most important to least important. I write these on index cards with the date at the top.  So have the card on your desk for the next day, and once you’ve finished one, take a highlighter (I like green) and highlight through it so that’s your sign it’s complete. Any unfinished tasks are rolled over to the next day.

It may sound incredibly simple, yet for me it was amazingly effective.  After my first week was done—oh my gosh, I had a stack of cards on my desks with lots of green on them. Just being able to visibly “see” what I’d done that week was psychologically empowering. I left my office Friday on a huge high.

The key is picking the 6 things that will give you the most results for the day, and write them down very clearly. For example— Don’t say— “Call several people to connect with them about our product launch.”  This is better— “Call Susie to tell her about our product launch” or “Call 3 key people who will promote our product launch…”

Using the “Ivy Lee 6” also utilizes the power of prioritization and requires you to number your tasks in order of importance with your most important tasks done first.

Don’t wait, try this now— I know you will be amazed at how this works and leave me a comment and let me know how I can support you to be more productive.

And if you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here and check out how I can help you and schedule a free 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

What My Chestnut Chasing Dog Taught Me About Implementation & Getting More Done!

It’s fall here in Virginia and I know that not only because there’s a little chill in the air, and … I know because now when I got to hiking with my rescue dog Lily, she chases after all the chestnuts falling from the trees.  The whole scene is actually quite comical, albeit sometimes a little frustrating.  We get a pretty good pace going, then all of sudden we come across this huge patch of several hundred chestnuts on the ground and more falling. (In fact, I have to be careful and often dodge those falling from the trees or they get me right on the old noggin.) As soon as Lily sees them, she chases after them and dive bombs the chestnut, picks one right up and starts to eat it.  Ok, she doesn’t swallow them anymore because let’s just say she and chestnuts don’t get along. Yet, she still loves to chase and pick them up and there are a lot of them now, and chew them and then lets them drop. 

For those who aIMG_4037re visual, like me, I actually took my camera with me to take some snap shots of her. The only bummer was she was too quick to get this on video,  maybe tomorrow!  So I only have some choice shots of my chestnut chasing dog…

So what does her chestnut chasing antics have to do with teaching me how to be a better implementer and get more done.  Simply put, watching Lily chase after EVERY chestnut on the ground, reminded me of myself over a year ago, where I would basically chase after that next “shiny” object. Some of you entrepreneurs out there who work at home, know EXACTLY what I mean.  Being at home, there’s always something that will get my attention and it usually isn’t the something that will bring me in lots of money or help improve my business.IMG_4054

So I got down to brass tacks when I started noticing how my days were not as productive as I’d like.  The real crux was reading a few good books on time management (there are many!), getting Eben Pagan’s course on Wake-Up Productive, and having a mastermind group, belonging to two of them really helps keep me on track.  The real trick to not going after EVERY “shiny” object that comes across my path is having a big detailed plan of what I want to accomplish.  I mean really details, like what I will outsource, what skills I need for certain tasks, date it will be completed, etc.  The  more detailed the merrier. Plus at the start of each day and as I go through my day I’m always asking myself “Is this task going to get me closer to reaching my goal?” “Is this task going to help me create more income?” If the answer is no, then guess what, I’m not doing that task.

One more tip I can leave you with is the object isn’t to “do more.” The object is to be more productive with “what” you are doing and ensure you’re doing the tasks that will create greater income and help you reach the goals you so deserve!

So when you get the urge to go after that next “shiny” object, as yourself the telling questions, will this help me get and reach my goals? Then have the courage to change your course, if need be and stick to the things that will help you reach and accomplish your goals.

5 Steps to Daring Greatly and Living Authentically

I was totally shocked when I realized I hadn’t written in my blog since July—yikes! I thought for sure I had written something in August— nope!  So I thought this post would be PERFECT to get me back on track.  It’s interesting how life throws these curve balls at you and even more interesting how you respond.  One thing I know for sure is that life is ALL about CHANGE—you have to simply just expect it and realize you absolutely have NO CONTROL What we need to do is simply prepare ourselves well with riding the waves… And that’s how this post came to be… the 5 Steps to Daring Greatly and Living Authentically…

It’s funny how things happen—because I certainly don’t believe in coincidences…  The whole month of July I was away traveling— only home for 5 days, and they weren’t even consecutive days!  And on my last trip working a very stressful 8 day event a friend showed me a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) video by Brene Brown—  it was so PERFECT—I laughed out loud and even dare I say—cried too…  And that’s where this title of  my article came from—Brene Brown who just wrote another book called Daring Greatly, How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I was lucky enough to be in the audience to see Brene on the new Katie Couric Show which is premiering this week.  Her focus is on how we can be vulnerable and how this will transform us.  Her background is a researcher and she’s a professor at the University of Houston Graduate College for  Social Work School.  She’s spent years studying, shame, and vulnerability.  She tells her story in the TED video, so check it out I won’t bore you with it here… She also did a follow-up TED talk which was equally inspiring and funny too. Her video is in the top 10 most watched video on TED.

What was even cooler is I was there because a good friend works on the show and surprised me by bringing me backstage to meet her. She was so gracious and as wonderful in person as on the show. They gave us all a copy of her new book, which I had her sign for me and I took a photo with her as well…  This was an inspiring experience for me, one that I will always treasure. I connected with her because she’s so left brained like me- we just want strategies and tools, we don’t want to have to deal with emotions, feelings and being vulnerable- yikes… As an aside—If you catch the episode of Brene, you will see yours truly for my 15 seconds of fame in the show- They did a man on the street and asked me a question—I had to answer the question- I feel vulnerable when…. So check out the show to see more…

Well guess what, this is the key to living a full and joyful life, not numbing or stuffing my feelings, but giving them space.  In fact I started rereading some terrific books by Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are, The Places that Scare You and When Things Fall Apart. All of her books are about being present, meditating and feeling and being with your emotions, but not letting them run your life…

So here in lies the real core message— these are the 5 things I learned from Brene on Daring Greatly and these are the things I’m striving for in my life so I can live it more fully, not matter what challenges I’m facing or going through…

1)    Overcoming Self-doubt

2)    Being more Authentic

3)    Practicing Self-Compassion

4)    Finding More Gratitude and Joy everyday

5)    Nurturing creativity, play and rest

If you can work on mastering one or two of these, you will live a much more joyful and full life. Of course mastering more than one, would be ideal. But you don’t have to be that ambitious, just take one step forward and tackle one of these today and let me know how you do!

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….
  • problem or issue isn’t listed here… I know I can help….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here. I want to give you a  FREE 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

It’s All About the Questions

There is a quote by Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough.”

This quote says it all when it comes to the topic of this week’s blog.

It’s ALL About the Questions!

This is actually STEP 2 – AFTER you figure out your goals and outcomes of what you want from doing your survey. Creating questions for your survey products is incredibly important because it will shape the answers you will receive and ULTIMATELY what you will be able to do with that information.  Through this questioning process you will step closer to finding success in your business.

Step # 2 –It’s ALL About the Questions!

When you are coming up with questions, there are SO MANY types of questions to choose from. So let’s start with this— phrase:

“Short, Sweet & to the Point”

One way to keep questions “Short, Sweet & to the Point” is to use open-ended ones. These are the questions that will bare the most fruit for you in your surveys.  A lot of researchers and statisticians don’t particularly like open ended questions because they are the most difficult to measure because each answer is unique, so when sifting through 10k open ended answers, it can be overwhelming in going through all of them. So I highly recommend using open ended questions when you:

1.  Want detailed information in the respondent’s voice

2.  Don’t have good solid answers to create a multiple-choice—because a lot of times you can miss an answer because you didn’t give them one they would have chose. (When you create multiple-choice you’re forcing them to answer your answers that you’ve created.)

The real key to using open ended questions is they can really help not only shape your business, products, etc.; they can also shape YOUR MARKETING.  They write the answers in their voice and will give you key words and key phrases that you can use when you market to them.

Here are some guidelines for you to keep in mind as you create your questions.

1.  Are you questions short or wordy?

  • Simple and concise words are the best to use

2.  5th Grade is your target when it comes to the understanding level.

  • Do not make assumptions
  • Everyone needs to understand them

3.  Stay Away From Complicated.

  • Complication will lead to people not wanting to participate in your survey

4.  Keep your goal and the main thing you want to achieve in mind.

Next week, I am going to take you deeper into how to create those easy and inviting questions that will give you the answers to help shape your business.

PLUS– FREE 60 Minute One On One Call with ME!

If you’ve made it all the way down here to the bottom, thanks for reading, and here’s a gift for you. I want to give you 60 minutes of my time for free, with my compliments.   Maybe you’re:

  • Stuck in your business and not being able to increase your profits fast enough
  • Frustrated your launch didn’t go as well as you planned
  • In need of some help and guidance with your launch
  • Finally ready to create your online marketing funnel and don’t know where to turn
  • Searching simply for some strategic online marketing help, and hand-holding from an expert who’s got proven experience and helped thousands already….
  • problem or issue isn’t listed here… I know I can help….

Well, here’s the deal, you’re in the right place. I can help you!  Just click here. I want to give you a  FREE 60 minute call with me. I’d love to see how I can help you create the business you so deserve and helping you help thousands more people.

Are You Hard Wired To Fail?

Do you ever set important goals and then find yourself really struggling and not being able to meet them?

I used to have MANY sleepless nights when I first started my business. I would freak out about where my next dollar was going to come from or how I’d finish a project or what to do about x, y and z, it was endless. Worry was taking over my life.  Until I was able to read some terrific books on worry and learn about ways that really helped stop me in my tracks and enabled me to push past my worry and fears to create more success for myself.  The thing is there was definitely something stopping me and a lot of times I had NO clue what it was.

Have you ever felt like something was stopping you? You may be right: your subconscious mind can influence in you subtle ways to keep you from achieving your goals!

Here’s how it works: when you experienced a challenging event as a child – even something as seemingly small as your third-grade teacher yelling at you for asking a question in class – your subconscious downloads the details of that moment and marks the memory with a trigger. It’s like there’s a trigger in your mind saying, “There’s trouble here!”

If a new event activates that trigger, the creative problem solving part of your brain shuts down – stripping you of all the resources and capabilities you should have. So you stop moving forward. And you may not even understand why you stopped because it isn’t a conscious decision. Your subconscious is the one that decided to shut you down.

Want more information about how past events affect current performance, even without you being aware of it? Join my friends and colleagues Jack Canfield (America’s Number One Success Coach and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” author) and Pamela Bruner (Business Success Coach and EFT tapping expert) for a free video, “Are you Hard-Wired You To Fail: What’s Stopping You From Succeeding.” Details here: http://tinyurl.com/6o3d3u3

How to Give Your Customers Exactly What They Want

Technique #1:  Start With Your Outcome, Not Questions 

This week I want to challenge you with this thought: “Think Outside of the Box.”  The topic of this blog is a little different and will require you to think outside of the box.

Diving right into it, I do not want you to think about all the questions to put into your survey.  I want you think about the outcome first!  So many people fail before they hit the ground running with their survey because they think “Questions First.”

Think about it…before creating and writing questions, you need to know what you want from them first.  Therefore, in hindsight, your first question to ask is: “What is your Outcome.”  and “What’s your goal, what information do you need, or what kind of problems in your business will a survey help you with?”

Once you figure out your outcome, the next step is coming up with some objectives.  It is very important to limit your objectives to two for the outcome.  By limiting your objectives to two, it will help you in the end with coming up with specific questions.   Another reason for keeping it to two objectives is to follow my number one rule with surveys:

Less questions is more! No more than 15 Questions!

To help you out, I am going to give you some examples of good outcomes and objectives to get your creative juices flowing.

  • I want to get new testimonials – at least 10.
  • I want to find out what keeps my clients awake at night.
  • I want to know what my client’s biggest challenge is.
  • I want to know what my customers like and don’t like about my newsletter.
  • I want to know what kind of topics my customers want to read about in my blogs.

So your homework this week is to take the time and come up with some serious outcomes that you’d like to get for doing a survey to your prospects and customers.

Solving the Mystery of What Your Clients Want

Whether you are an entrepreneur or working directly with clients starting from scratch with a new idea is hard, especially when it comes to creating new products. Knowing exactly what your clients need and are looking for is pretty much like a guessing game.

Unless… you know the secret of predicting exactly what your clients want and are looking for.  Today, I am going to share that secret with you.

In fact, it is extremely simple…all you have to do is ASK THEM. The key to this “Secret” is realizing the core of what your clients or prospects want lies in doing a survey—asking a series of questions:

  1. What do they want?
  2. What are their biggest challenges?
  3. What keeps them awake at night?
  4. Based on the above information, what new tools should we create for them?
  5. What is the best format for these products/tools? Online? Printed? Audio/Video?

By doing a survey, it is more than a client asking random questions.   It is about the whole survey process, which includes:

  • Figuring out the goals of your survey and what you want to accomplish with it
  • Implementing the whole survey process
  • Getting a Big Response
  • Using your Results in your business

Over the next few weeks, I will share my secret with you as well as the entire process that goes with it.

THE Way To Turn Your Annual Income Into Your Monthly Income!

Being addicted to learning is sometimes a hard road, especially when you’re an entrepreneur like me who LOVES to go after those shiny objects.  I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of travel over the past year, attending a ton of events and feeding my learning machine addiction.

Yet the one thing that’s eluding me after 6 years of being in my own business is “HOW” do I push my business past the 6 figure mark?  I’ve been incredibly successful over the past 6 years, yet I still want more for my business. I want to reach that 7 figure mark and I want to do within the next 3 years—is that even humanely possible?

Well I’ve had the incredible pleasure and delight of working with Alex Mandossian over the past year and I’m here to tell you with a resounding— YES, it’s totally possible. In fact, my work with him has really been focusing on growing his different businesses the past year and its been an incredibly fun ride. Now after a year, we’ve had several conversations about growing his business even bigger and he in turn is helping me grow mine!

Alex recently spent a bunch of time with me explaining the EXACT steps of how he was able to take his annual income and turn it into his MONTHLY income in less than 3 years.  This is a totally true story and it’s what he calls—THE MANIFESTATION BLUEPRINT.  And he gave me the green light to be able to share this with you—so here goes…

Here’s all you need to do this—

–  Flip chart Paper (or you could use 6 ½ x 11 paper— you will need at least 6 sheets

–  Markers for the flip cart paper (or a Sharpie for your smaller paper size)

–  What your annual income was last year

–  Open mind

–  Sheer determination

–  Consistency

Take your flip chart paper and write out the months of the year for 2012—turning it on it’s side—horizontal Landscape— works best. I was able to fit Jan/Feb/March/April/May/June on one flip chart and July/Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec on the other flip chart.   Then do the same for 2013, and for 2014, hence you need 6 pieces of flip chart paper.  If you do this on smaller paper, it will still work. Just know when Alex did this exercise; he did it on bigger paper so he then put it on the wall in his office.

After you get the months on there, then you will need to draw lines which will enable you to create 3 rows below each month.  Then on the first row you will put all the way across on EVERY sheet of paper for 2012-2013-2014; you will write down your annual income in each box under each month.  Then the next row you will write down what you made for that particular month.  Then the 3rd and final row you will write down the difference between row 1 and 2. In the beginning this will be a negative number, and in fact it may go up and down.  This is ok—keep doing it.

Here’s and example that I just created using made up figures on what the first page of 6 months should look like.

So the key is to put this up on your wall. I’ve done it and have the first 6 months on my wall, that’s because that’s all I can fit. Then I have the other sheets of paper waiting in the wings. Ideally, having all of it on your wall is best.  When Alex did this, it enabled him to make his annual income his monthly income into a total reality and he did it before 3 years had passed.

I would love you to do this along with me and let me know how you’re doing.  I can already totally see how having this on my wall is really motivating me, along with my sign saying “Take Action! Nothing happens until something moves! Is this going to make me money?”  So every time I’m doing a task—I think is it busy work or is it genuinely going to help me make money.

If you like this PROVEN concept, then you’re sure to like so much more on this new site that Alex, myself and the team are creating—    Check out this site and sign up for the early bird— it will so be worth it.

As always, would love your comments!

Seek Out New Opportunities

Last week, I explained how overcoming setbacks is as an easy as A.B.C.
A-Ambiguity       B- Build      C-Commit
This week I am going to show you how easy seeking out opportunities is. It is as easy as N.O.W.

stands for “Never-as in “Never Giving Up!”  By making, a daily mantra of “I will never give up” means there is not a minute, an hour, or a month that you are not seeking out new opportunities.  New opportunities are the only way to completely come out of a setback.  The only way to find new opportunities is give it all you have every day!

stands for “Opportunistic”.  Before you see that word and think “I have to chase down every opportunity that comes my way”,-wait.  Have the spirit of being opportunistic but make sure it’s the right fit for you.  By going out of the box and chasing after something “just because” is not the smart way to do it.  Instead, figure out your niche and be opportunistic within that realm.  By being patient and not settling, you will find out it pays off in the long road.

stands for “Weigh-as in Weigh it all out”  When you do find those opportunities that fit your niche, do not jump in right away.  If time permits, make a list of pros and cons and see if this opportunity is truly right for you.  Sometimes people are so excited about that first job opportunity that they do not weigh out the pros and cons.  Six months later after the “Newlywed” feeling wears off, they find they are regretting their decision.

So that’s it…last week I gave the A.B.C’s of how to deal with setbacks and this week I showed you how N.O.W. will help you seek out new opportunities.