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.

How to Take Bigger Risks This Year

Something fascinating happened to me a few years ago that was worth repeating. I had this experience that totally changed my perspective on how I would think and do things in my business and my personal life.

Here’s what happened—

I had decided to go to the DMV, yes everyone’s favorite place to make jokes about.  I had been putting it off for almost a year and I had to finally deal with getting a new title. I actually wanted to cross if off my to-do list!  (I had paid off my car loan—yeah, and needed to get the lien holder name off my car title.)

I had a phone meeting that day with a colleague and as we were wrapping up I said that I had to head out to the DMV. It was 11am on December 30 and she thought I was crazy and said good luck; it will probably take a few hours.

Well, I had positive thoughts running through my head as I was driving over there that I’d be in and out in 30 minutes.  As I got into the parking lot it was NOT looking good. I found one of the last parking spots.  And at this lot, there are no meters you have to go to a central machine to pay for your parking. Now this was a HUGE lot and there was a doubly huge line just WAITING to pay for parking.

Here’s the part of the story to take note of—something just switched on in my brain when I saw that long line.  My brain went into high gear calculating how best  leverage this situation.  And at that split second, I decided to count the number of people in line to pay the machine for parking—there were over 15 people. AND the kicker is as I waited in this line to pay for parking— I thought ALL of these people WILL be ahead of me in the DMV.  So I made a mental note of the person in front of me—a young guy with a red hat (this will be important later.)  And that’s when I made the rash, big risk decision to leave the line and make a run for the DMV.

When I got into the DMV, there were only 2 people in front of me at the desk—double yeah!  The bigger risk I took was I bet big that I would NOT get a ticket because I’d be in and out of the DMV before I would have even reached the head of the line at the parking machine to pay for parking.

Guess what—my taking a bigger risk PAID OFF! I WAS in and OUT of the DMV in 10 minutes, and it was FREE to change my title! I had two options—pay $60 and wait to get a new one issued, or for FREE, they’d make a copy of my title, cross off the lien holder and put it in my file.  So of course, I chose the FREE one. No need to get a new title until I sell my car, which won’t be for a long time!  The important thing for the DMW was that there was no lien on the title and that I owned the car.

As I walked by the parking machine line, the young guy with the red hat who was in front of me was now #4 in line to pay. So the important lesson is I would have STILL been in line if I had stayed and now I was done and was able to hop in my car and go home! The only thing it cost was gas to get there and 30 minutes of my time!  Seriously I was home by 11:30 am.  So by me taking a bigger risk, risking getting a parking ticket because I bet I could be in and out of there before I’d even get the chance to pay for parking.  AND—looking at that line thinking how would a policeman even be able to tell or bother giving a ticket with SO MANY PEOPLE still in line.

The lesson I’d love for you to take away— is —To Take Bigger Risk’s, think BIGGER for yourself, your life, your business. Don’t be stuck in your old ways. Look for ways to save time, money, and leverage yourself, your time and your people who work with you.

What I want for you is to have an amazing year every year. I keep doubling my business — And I am even more thrilled and I will take even bigger risks moving forward, and the goal is to triple it. And I know I will do it by thinking bigger and taking bigger risks.

Here’s to monetizing yourself and your business and making your business outstanding!

The Simplest Secret to Getting More Clients/Customers (AKA More conversions :-)

Top Secret Shannon McCafferyBeing in marketing for what feels like a lifetime, the ONE things all my clients struggle with is how do they get more new clients/customers? And– how do they get  more people to convert on their websites and get into their marketing funnel?  I’d like to tell you that the REAL answer is incredibly sophisticated and complicated. But, it’s really not, it really IS simple, what I’m about to reveal to you.  And you have to understand that this is not rocket science and it’s something you probably already know. ..

The SECRET to getting more Clients/Customers- is you HAVE to BUILD a RELATIONSHIP with them FIRST– BEFORE you ask them to buy from you- that’s it. And the age old example that always hits home is you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, so why are you doing that with your marketing?  When you get them into your funnel, don not immediately ask them for money.  Date them, send them emails filled with value, build their trust, give them interesting tips, strategies and information that they can use right away in their business, their lives.  And honestly after you’ve sent them 7  to 10 emails THEN ask them to buy something from you- and not anything really big either.  And often times I will tell my clients to start by putting the sale in the P.S.– not even in the body of the email.  (Actually this is a terrific strategy missed by many people- not using their P.S.- many people read that first BEFORE even reading the body of the email!)

Once you get this concept, then we can plus it up– look into your so-called “war chest” and find some cool things you can give away to them to build their trust and a relationship with them.  Next, be a REAL person to them– don’t just give them valuable information, tell them about yourself, give them an entertaining story about your kids, your partner, your dog, the trip you just took– CONNECT with them on another level– again it’s about building a relationship with them.  And also encourage them to connect with you on social media where you can then connect with them and build your relationship even further.

Some specific takeaways for building a relationship with your prospects to turn them into clients:

1) Core- Build a relationship with them

2) Entertain them with good stories, antidotes, inspiring quotes, funny pictures, etc.

3) Reveal things about yourself- really connect with them- be personal- talk to them one on one like you’re having coffee with them

4) Give them valuable content they can take and use right away

5) Don’t try to sell them anything until you’ve done the first 3 well- so after about 7 to 10 emails or so

6) Treat your prospects, clients/Customers as you would like to be treated

7) Communicate with them on a regular basis- at least ONCE a week, if not more

8) Covet thefolks on your list and keep doing the above and you will have them investing in your business AND you will have clients/customers for life

As I said, it REALLY is that simple to get new clients/customers- just focus on BUILDING a relationship with them.  Trust me, it really does work, and let me know how you do– I’m here to help! 🙂

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 Right Attitude & Mindset is a Must ~Be like the Bee~

                       Aerodynamically, the bumblebee should not be able to fly, but the bumblebee does not know it so it goes on flying anyway.      Mary Kay Ash

There is a saying that goes “You are your own worst critic”.  This simple six-word sentence is especially true when it comes to negative thoughts.  In the last two weeks, I have encouraged you to take big risks about your life, business, even your actions.  I can challenge you and motivate you to reach these amazing goals, but there is one thing I cannot do.  I cannot take away your own negative thoughts that probably consume you when something really, positive is happening.

Did you know it takes extra effort on your part to worry and think negatively?  Whereas, with positive thinking, if you make the decision to rid yourself of negativity, there is no extra effort needed.

Just to prove to you the amazing benefits of positive thinking, I am going to give you three simple but mind-altering tips today!

1.  Positive thinking is what keeps your motivation at its peak

Your attitude about life, how you see the world and respond with actions-both emotional and behavior wise-is determined by the way you think.  So instead of letting your attitude control you, make a decision to control your attitude by thinking positive.

2.  Visualize Your Positivity by Daily Affirmations 

You can also use visualization and affirmations by using tools such as a Life Vision Board or even a journal.  By creating or writing out images of what and how it would feel accomplishing a goal, you use them to replace the negative thoughts.

3.  Avoid Focusing on Set-backs and Seek out New Opportunities

If something does not work out or you are overwhelmed by a project, take a step back and think it through.  Now, I am not saying focusing on all the negative aspects or reasons why this happened.  Instead, go through the entire process and write out a positive lesson learned for every failure.  By focusing on finding a lesson learned, you are not allowing the negativity to flood your mind.

When your negativity starts to slip into your mind, do me a favor and think about a bee.  A bumblebee just the way its body is designed should not be able to fly.  Bumblebees are hard workers who do not know this about their body.  They just fly and focus on what job is ahead of them.

~Be like the Bee~

It’s a Balancing Act

Continuing with the balance theme… there are so many areas of our lives these days requiring our attention and not just when we get to it but sometimes like it needed to be done yesterday.

Work, relationships, personal time, school, emotional, physical, mental, etc are all aspects of life that require balance.  If balance is not established, you may find yourself feeling or saying something like this;

“I am drained, exhausted and overwhelmed.”

“I wake up in the morning and automatically feel tensed and stressed.”

“My life is chaotic and out of control.”

“I need to change my life but have no clue where to start.” 

                                                                                                           “I cannot focus at all!  No matter what I do, nothing is working!” 

These five statements all reveal one thing – you are lacking major balance in your life!  There is no reason for you to wake up feeling tense and stressed just from getting out of bed.  If you find yourself relating to those five statements, then please continue reading.  I am going to give you three simple and easy ways to find balance in your life once again.

1.  Personal down time is a MUST! 

When you are overwhelmed with life, most likely you have little to no personal downtime.  This is a time where you are doing an activity or even activities that you enjoy to do.  It is not something you feel like you HAVE to do.  The key word being: enjoy.

There is a reason I put this step first because it is the hardest step for anyone who has an unbalanced life to follow through with.  The best way to start to put this step into practice is by giving yourself 30 minutes every day to do something fun.  Once you are in the habit of scheduling in 30 minutes of personal time, then begin to increase it by 15 minutes at a time.  Eventually, you will have at least an hour to two hours of personal time scheduled each and every day.

2.  Remove Draining Negative Tasks/Activities

 One of the biggest reasons people feel overwhelmed and anxious is because of negative, draining tasks/activities.   These activities take our focus away from the things we need to be doing, thus putting us further behind with our daily to do lists.  They also put our frame of mind in a negative place, which can attribute to tension, stress as well as anxiety.

Examples of these tasks/activities include gossiping with co-workers, focusing on all the negative aspects of a task, constantly listening to someone who is complaining or venting, etc.  The best way to avoid these types of tasks/activities is to only participate in ones that enhance as well as add value to your life.  In addition, by avoiding these tasks/activities, you are able to save valuable time-especially at work.  By focusing on the positive aspects, you are giving yourself more time and welcoming positive energy.

3.  Prioritize Errands & Chores 

 Look at everything you are responsible for doing and make a list.  As you go through each item on your list, write beside it at least one alternate, easier way to complete this.  For example, are there groceries, stamps or other items you can purchase online that are delivered to your house?  You would be surprised of not only how much time you save but also money.  Another option is trading services or favors with neighbors and friends.  An example of this is offering to watch your neighbor’s kids a certain amount of days for mowing the lawn.  The key to this time saving tips is to trade tasks that you enjoy doing or that you were planning on doing.

These three simple and easy tips are only the start of finding and achieving balance in your life.  Do not allow those five statements at the beginning of this blog be a part of your life.  Life is too precious and short for it not to be enjoyed.

As always, please share your comments or your own ways of how you found balance in life.  Have a wonderful week! And find time to ENJOY!

It’s All In the Balance

When life is hectic, especially right now with the holidays, time seems to slip from our hands and balancing life, work, kids, and other things is hard to do.  Yes, I can tell you to take a breather but that might make you hyperventilate.  So instead, I am going to ask you to stop and take a moment to read these seven tips on how to balance everything.

1. Don’t overbook.

This may seem unusual to people who try to crowbar as much as possible into every workday. The problem is things rarely go according to a prearranged agenda. That means a lot of time falling through the cracks chasing down appointments, unreturned phone calls, and other items that simply are not going to happen. Instead, keep your to do list as simple as possible but productive.

2. Prioritize.

The secret to booking your time effectively boils down to knowing what is important and what can wait. However, it is critical to use the sharpest knife possible in trimming the essential from the secondary.

3. Learn how to say no. 

One of the biggest land mines to effective time management is recognizing you do not have to agree to everything and with everyone. Use your priority criteria to identify requests that simply are not worth your time.

4. Organize.

Bringing your time in line is not just a matter of scheduling. The mechanics of how you operate can be every bit as important. That means organizing most every element to allow as smooth a workflow as possible.

5. Use technology.

Although personal habits and practices can do wonders for time management, do not overlook technology yet another weapon to make the most effective use of your workday.

6. Nothing is Perfect .

Try as we all may; time management is not an exact science. Do not stress out—and waste time in the process—by obsessing over every second of time. Do what you can and enjoy whatever time you spend more pleasantly or productively.