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.

Giving Thanks…

What amazes me every year is how fast the year really flies by. I’m not sure if it’s always flown by this fast or maybe because of my age I’m just more aware of it now then I ever was…hmmm…

I do know that I LOVE this time of year, it’s my favorite, the leaves changing, the evenings or cooler and crisper.  Time to dig out the turtlenecks and the winter coats and gloves.  And then there’s Thanksgiving, the holiday where we stuff ourselves until we’re feeling happy and once it’s over the year is basically done. I just kiss the year goodbye because Christmas is around the corner… [This photo is the family, Meredith, my partner and Harrison our son. This was taken at one of our most favorite places- Naples, Maine.]

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions that you do each year?  We always try to spend the holiday with my brother and his family in Connecticut.  We’ve been doing that for years with maybe once or twice we had other plans, like last year when we went to Maine, which was beautiful- I’d love to spend Thanksgiving up there again.  It’s small, just he and his wife 2 kids and their dog, plus the 3 of us and our dog Lily. We spend the afternoon before Thanksgiving in the kitchen, cooking, baking, laughing, drinking wine and just catching up.  Then on Thanksgiving day we always do our holiday walk with the dogs around his neighborhood and do some more cooking, preparing and snacking.  Then we eat in the early afternoon, stuff ourselves silly.  And after we clean up we always pick a movie and watch it all of us together.  It’s all about traditions, memories and experiences…

So here I sit in the car on the fateful trek to Connecticut. This year we’re doing something new- I’m sitting in the back with the dog and Harrison is up front with my partner Meredith.  It’s such a short trip, I didn’t want to drug the poor dog, Lily just doesn’t like to be in the car for more than 30 minutes and she basically almost stands the whole way. So my son Harrison gets frustrated, so I said I’d deal with her this year. It’s an interesting perspective being in the back seat.  I can’t see the traffic so much, which is good, because I’m usually the one who always drives, so it was nice to give that up this year.  Traffic is always hit or miss on “gridlock” alert days like this day, the afternoon before Thanksgiving- driving from NJ to Darien, CT.

One thing’s for sure about this holiday is I always love to take a minute to give thanks and make a list of all I’m grateful for. It’s interesting how some things change and others are a constant like I’m so thankful for:

–       My amazing and inspiring partner of 10 years- Meredith

–       Our amazing son Harrison who’s 14 and already in high school

–       Our sweet rescue dog Lily, who just turned 4 and still spunky, albeit still not liking car rides

–       My terrific business that I’ve had for 5 years

–       My inspiring client Alex Mandossian

–       My family- all my brothers and sisters, my Mom, and most especially my Dad who taught me so much about life, about work and being in the moment for his short 73 years on this earth

–       All the lives I’ve been able to help and touch over the years- one of my main goals in life is to give back and really make a difference in this short time I’m here

–       And so much more!

What are you thankful for in your life?  What are you grateful for each day? I’d love to hear from you. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones.

Moving Forward by Measuring Your Results Backwards

On the 4 hour drive home from D.C. after being at Yanik Silver’s Underground 7 event, I spent a lot of time mulling over the one day training we spent with Dan Sullivan of www.StrategicCoach.com He gave us SO MUCH valuable information, there’s no way I can tell you everything here in this post.  The one thing that really stuck with me is his whole process of the 21 Day Positive Focus exercise. I do something similar to this now, but this took what I do and put it on steroids. Let me explain…

The whole philosophy is that we won’t have a huge amount of forward motion, unless we’re measuring our results backwards. In other words, you need to keep track of all the things you’ve been doing yesterday and the day before, and the day before, and making note of them.  Doing this will set you up for success and enable you to move forward.

There’s a simple exercise you can do right now and it takes 21 days because, as you might know, it takes 21 days for a practice to become habit.  And as a result of doing this exercise, it totally builds your confidence level and helps you focus on the positives. A cool thing about this is you can use it with your kids too, I loved that!

Here’s all you need to do:

Before you go to bed each night, simply write down three things that you were the most proud of that you accomplished, or the three things that made you feel good, like the photo of this rabbit taking time to smell the flowers.

Here’s an example from what I wrote last night:

  1. Signed up a sponsor to Alex Mandossian’s Ultimate Internet Bootcamp 2.0 in Las Vegas
  2. Created a killer Marketing Roadmap for a top client
  3. Took a nice hike in the woods with my rescue dog, Lily

So I think you get the picture; you can mix work with family and self-care things that you do too – whatever works.  Then as you write these down, read them and have a clear vision and intention for the next day and what will make a positive impact for you and for those you come in contact with.

I would encourage you to do this for 21 days, it will help protect and increase your confidence. By focusing on what you’ve done, your accomplishments (or things that improved your outlook, your mental, emotional and physical health), however small or big, you’re setting yourself up for success and will move forward!

Don’t dwell on the mistakes and things that made you feel bad. If you must, write those down only to get rid of them and NOT to think about them again. Here’s some extra credit – if you must dwell on your mistakes and disappointments (which I wouldn’t encourage), write down the lesson you learned from it and how you will improve and make changes for much success next time.

Let me know how you do in keeping track of your positive focus, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Are you tired of second guessing what to do next in your business?

Maybe you’re stuck, or not quite sure how to move your business forward, or maybe you have too many ideas and just not sure which one is the best one that will bring you the success you so deserve.  I’ve been through all of these things and as you may know, I’m totally hooked on just creating a simple survey and sending it out to my list to let them TELL ME what they want.  I mean, why am I trying to figure all of this out in a vacuum?  When I have all those people out there on my list who want and need something, let me just ask them…

So let’s do a survey! What’s the first thing you need to do once you’ve figured out you want to do a survey?  How I work with my clients is I simply ask them what’s their goal for doing the survey, or better yet, what’s the outcome they want to achieve after doing it. These are both terrific questions and get a the heart of doing a survey.

The one thing you DO NOT want to do is start by writing questions.  If you don’t know what outcome you want, how in the world are you going to be able to  create the best questions?

You start by figuring out your goal for your survey, what’s the outcome you want to achieve?  What problem are you having, and how can you doing a survey solve it  for you and your business.  Here are some of the many goals and outcomes I want from my surveys:

–          Need more and better testimonials

–          Don’t have any testimonials, I need those now!

–          Testing out a new product or idea

–          Getting feedback on your current products or services

–          Getting a read on your customer satisfaction level

–          Figuring out what keeps your prospects awake at night

And there are so many more goals and outcomes for surveys!  Hopefully these have got your mind churning so you can start using surveys in your business as soon as possible!  The truth is, by being able to ask my list what they want and run ideas by them, I’ve been able to build an incredibly successful business, not only for me, but for my clients too.

If you want more information about surveys, check out these other posts

http://marketingimplementer.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/here%e2%80%99s-how-to-get-a-huge-jump-on-creating-an-amazing-2011-in-your-business%e2%80%a6/

http://marketingimplementer.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/how-to-quickly-and-easily-read-the-minds-of-your-prospects/

http://marketingimplementer.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/do-you-truly-connect-with-your-clients-prospects/

http://marketingimplementer.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/the-real-secret-to-being-incredibly-successful-selling-online/

And you can always go and get my free report to discover more about surveys www.CreateAmazingSurveys.com

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
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  • 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.

 

Product Launch Disasters, Delayed Planes & Flat Tires

What do you think these three things have in common?  Well besides the obvious, that we wouldn’t want any of these to happen to us, or wish them upon anyone else…

The commonality in these three things, is each of them has happened to me… Thankfully only two of them have happened in one week, the other one occurred many moons ago.  So the two I had happen to me this week are the flat tire and the delayed plane.

The ironic part about the delayed plane is not once in my 7 trips I’ve taken this year was I ever delayed or have any issues flying.  So the one time I’m not traveling for more than 30 days, but my son is, he gets this incredible delay.  He’s only 12 and flying alone. He was supposed to leave on Sunday afternoon at 4:50pm for a short flight to Portland, Maine. He’s visiting his aunt, uncle and cousins.  There was bad weather and the plane was delayed 5 times.  When it was 8:30pm and we were in the President’s Club, trying to access our situation, the plane was delayed again until 11:50 pm. That’s when I made an executive decision that he wasn’t going to be leaving tonight. It was scary enough this was his first flight alone, and then he’s leaving at such a late time.  So the agents at Continental were awesome and were able to book him on the next flight in the a.m. for no charge. (Albeit, that plane the next day was delayed 2 hours, but eventually it did take off- yeah!)

Then as my son and I were driving back from the airport (mind you he had been there since 3:30pm and it was now 9pm) I hear this funny noise and the car starts pulling to the left. Thank goodness there was traffic and I wasn’t going that fast. So I pulled over on the side of the highway. I very carefully got out of the car to check out the tire and as the cars were literally whizzing by my head going at least 80 mph,  sure enough, the tire was flat. It was bad too.  (Check out the photo- see that ragged edge all around the tire- not good.  I couldn’t take the photo while it was on the car- way too dangerous, it was on the drivers side front tire).   So I safely got back in the car and called AAA.  This had happened to me before at night like this, so I was pretty calm and I knew how important it was to stay calm.  So we hunkered down with the hazard lights and headlights on.  After a few minutes we were visited by a state trooper who wanted to make sure we were ok.  He said to keep all our lights on and to keep our seat belt fastened. That didn’t make me too comfortable, but I totally got it and said a little prayer that we wouldn’t end up as a statistic or casualty of the Route 78 west in NJ… And my son was so cool about the whole thing.  He laughed at one point and said “well we needed an excuse to spend some “quality” time together.”  He can be funny under pressure…  

It only took 2 more calls and our AA angel arrived and made us stay in the car while he jacked it up and changed our tire. Now that was kind of weird, but safety first.  So it only took 75 minutes, then we were back on the road with the spare on making our way home.

It’s these types of experiences that keep me grounded and centered. To me my life now and going forward is simply about being in THE moment, not thinking about the past or the future, just about being in the present, the here the now…

So this brings me to briefly touch upon my experience of being a part of a product launch disaster.  If you haven’t seen Jeff Walker’s video on this, you have to check it out.  I learned everything I know about making money online from Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and from being in his Platinum Product Launch Manager Coaching Group. (That photo is when I first met Jeff over 3 years ago at his first ever workshop for Product Launch Formula 1.0)  So over 3 years ago when I first started doing launches I had my own failures.  The real secret to doing a kick butt product launch is having an incredible tech person on your team. This is what hurt me on one of my earlier launches.  I have many more tips for you about launches. I’m dedicating my June newsletter to launches and product creation.  So… if you’re not on my printed newsletter list, sign up here so you can get all my behind the scenes secrets about launches.

Here’s to staying in the moment, being grateful and not letting the little stuff like flat tires and delayed planes ruin my day… I truly have so much to be grateful for.  Your thoughts?

The Real Secret to Being Incredibly Successful Selling Online

I was debating back and forth whether to write about this or not because the “real” secret to being incredibly successful selling online is that it’s really NOT a secret at all!  In fact, everyone who sells online inherently knows this so called “secret,” but the real challenge is in creating it and making it happen.  So are you ready?

Here’s the secret – The real trick to being very successful in selling online is building a relationship with your prospect and customer.  That’s it.  This is the key, to create and connect on an emotional level with your prospects and customers.  And not only connecting with them, but diving deeper into the relationship by entertaining them, relating to their issues, challenges, problems on their level, and revealing some things about you as well.  And it’s also about giving them lots of value, giving them some real concrete things that will help them with their problems or what they’re struggling with.  So, secret number two is really being able to keep in touch with the pulse of your prospects and customers on what their issues and challenges are as well as what keeps them awake at night.

Now that you know the secret to successful selling online, the beauty of it is this works offline as well.  You can have a bricks and mortar business and do this too. The way you would connect and build your relationship is through various media like email, blog, and even snail mail.

The reason why so many people don’t “get” this is because it takes work to accomplish this.  It’s much easier to sit on your hands and build your widgets and sell your products and services than it is to connect with your prospects and customers on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.

And so many people get this wrong because they have confused communicating with their prospects and customers with “selling.”  Something I discovered from being a Product Launch Manager is when you are doing a launch, selling is the secondary thing that will automatically happen. IF you do your building of the relationship really well up front and offer lots of value which in turn connects you with your audience.  Many people make the mistake of sending out emails trying to sell their products and their sales fall off and even worse their audience unsubscribes to their list.  Yikes, having someone unsubscribe to your list can be difficult. I look at it on the bright side, if they unsubscribe now, that means something didn’t click with them and you and they probably never would have bought from you anyway, so it’s good their not on your list.

On the other hand, there are things you can do to ensure they don’t unsubscribe in bucket loads to your list.  Here are the 5 things you can do:

1) Make your communications as personal as you can – write to Dear Susie and write as if you’re talking to her right across the kitchen table. No corporate speak, no big fancy words, just simple and clear communication.

2) Give them something of value in every communication – Give them an idea, an example, a tool, a resource, a tip, something that can help them with their challenges, something that might make them smile, or something that might entertain them.

3) Write at least 4 or 5 communications with NO selling in it – This is really big.  No one likes to be sold to. Maybe you could put a P.S. that links to something at some point. The key: you need to build a relationship based on connecting, relating, NOT selling.  Selling will come naturally after they connect with you and like you.

4) Don’t be afraid to just be yourself – So many people make the mistake of not getting personal and not revealing things because of fear that maybe they won’t like you.  Whatever the psychology, here’s the lesson I discovered – I didn’t want to write about my dog in my newsletter because he was sick and I knew once I did, when he eventually died, I’d then have to write about it. Well my mastermind group talked me into. And I have to say, writing about my dog who I had to let go  (he was 12 yrs old and it was his time) was hard, but once I wrote about it, the responses from my clients and prospects were amazing. If you want to read about it, you can click here to download my newsletter.

5) Communicating  more is better than less – I know many will argue with me on this one mainly because many people fear if they communicate too much their audience will tune them out.  The toughest thing we need to get over is that a lot times, we’re NOT our audience.  So if you REALLY want to know what they think, ASK them. In fact I’d recommend doing a quick survey. You can get a lot of great information from your list with a survey. For more check out my new site – NeverGuessAgain.com. Remember, it’s been proven, the  more you communicate and stay in the minds of your prospects and clients, the more likely that they will buy from you.

Start taking some of these valuable tips and use them in building your relationship with your prospects and customers.  The beauty of this is when you start doing it,  I promise you will notice a change and a shift and when you go to launch your next product you will see a noticeable difference in your response.  Let me know how this works for you!

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

IMG_4060It’s fall here in New Jersey and I know that not only because there’s a little chill in the air and the leaves are just now starting to change… I know because now when I go to South Mountain Reservation and walk 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, dive bombs the chestnut, picks one rightIMG_4036 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 are 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…IMG_4054

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.

Lily Chestnut 2Lily Chestnut 3Lily Chestnut 4 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 detailed, 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.

Your dog is so cute… what kind of dog is it?

Whenever I walk my dog-Lily, which is every day and sometimes twice a day, I get this question- “what kind of dog is that, it’s so cute.”  It never fails, day in and day out.  I used to get annoyed because I was trying to get us both some exercise and had no time for chit chat.  Now many months later, I just find it amusing and actually stop to answer their question. (Photo- This is the photo that drew me to Lily on Petfinders– she looks like snoopy- Look at that left ear!)

For those who get my printed newsletter, you already know that I’m a huge dog lover.  She’s my silent business partner, and I post photos of her whenever possible.  And some of you even know the whole story of how we got Lily from Petfinders.com last November and went through that thorough and stringent process of adoption.

She of course is a mutt- they thought she was part German Shepherd and Golden Retriever and so did we.  When we got my favorite dog catalog from Orvis and they had this special genetic test you could buy to see what your dog was- we did it!  Talk about a great product and great marketing- these guys are making a killing- it’s almost as popular as the chip you should put in your dog in case they’re ever lost.  For $75 they gave us a swab to use on the inside of her mouth and place it in the self-mailer tube and off went all her genes to the lab.

It took longer than I had thought to get her results back. Yet when we did, we were somewhat surprised.  They send you this great certificate with your dog’s name and photo, (Photo- This is the photo I gave them- this was when she still had her puppy ears- one up, one down) and results. Drum roll please….

Our Lily is 48% Golden Retriever, The rest is a mix of Collie, Border Collie and Sheltie – go figure!  So imagine my delight now when people stop me and ask me what kind of dog she is and I ramble all of the above.  I’m sure they think it’s a new kind of breed or something because I’m spouting with great certainty what kind of dog she actually really IS.  That’s when I tell them that we adopted her and I took this cool test to see what kind of dog she really was…..

So if you have a mutt and are interested, I’d check out this test.  The vet thought it was great because we know her genes and can see if she’s susceptible to any diseases.

Now let’s get back to the marketing of this test- who would have thought a company selling a gene test for dogs would get even smarter.  This week I just got an email from them thanking me for my business and telling me they’ve just upgraded their testing system.  The test I did only tested for 38 breeds.  Now for only $50 I can do another test that now has 70 more breeds.  I was rather impressed by their marketing- what a great niche- going after all the people that bought a previous test, and getting them to do it again because they added more breeds. I have to admit I was almost tempted, but I think we have enough information for now. (Photo- Here’s Lily all grown up- doing what she does best- relaxing on the couch!)

So the moral of my story because this isn’t just about dogs (sorry Lily).  So if you’ve read this far- kudos to you- this story is also about great marketing- do you have a product or service that is niched to a specific markplace that you could make a few tweaks to and upgrade it and go back to all your clients that bought it and sell them something more? This is THE BEST strategy because they’re already proven buyers and hopefully had a great experience.  Try this out in your business- now’s the time to act.  And Ms. Lily is itching to have her say, you never know she may get her chance to write a post one of these days… 🙂