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!

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone- Taking Risks…

Most of my life I think I played it pretty safe. Yet, when I look back, there were times when I threw caution to the wind, went for a job as Director of International Marketing that I thought was out of my reach and ended up getting it and literally saw the world. Then again, I also was laid off several times in a 6 year period and totally took a leap of faith and started my own business. ( I just finished writing about this experience. I have a chapter in an upcoming book that will be out this summer- more to come!) But to me, these things don’t seem like that big of a risk because I had support. I had a wonderful success team to help me. I had plenty of referrals from colleagues, friends and family to fuel my marketing business and now I’m off to the races…

The real key I find in business is that you really have to take risks to be more successful and you often times have to step out of that comfort zone. The more I’ve done that, that’s when I’ve reaped wonderful successes.

I wanted to spotlight someone I met a few months ago who’s recently inspired me to rethink my comfort zone and maybe even taking a few more risks. Her name is Gina Otto.

[ A quick sidebar- That’s me and Gina in the photo, taken at these wonderful Women On Fire Tea Parties in New York City that are created by my incredible Executive Coach, Debbie Phillips. In fact, she’s holding her first Tea party in Los Angeles and she’s almost sold out- interested- check out Debbie’s website- http://www.woflosangeles.com ]

If you don’t know Gina, you will indeed in the coming months. She wrote this inspiring book for girls called Cassandra’s Angel. “It’s an amazing book that will move and delight children from four to ninety-four. Its heart-melting story and its timely and empowering message will enable children and parents alike to recognize, own, and nurture the special creative gifts each person has brought to share with the world.” Gina worked in film production, advertising, and the fashion industry for fifteen years. She then began speaking to groups of teenage girls about the importance of self-perception and how it is affected by popular culture and this book was born. She’s someone who I so admire because she had the guts to take a risk to leave a high paying industry to go after her dream. Since her book she’s written a musical which expands the realm of the book and puts her wonderful words into memorable songs.

I had the pleasure of being invited last night to the first reading of the musical. I’ve never attended one of these before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was amazing to watch the actors sit around the table with their scripts, a piano, director and musical director and how they brought it to life. It was so incredibly moving and awe-inspiring.  Seeing Gina’s dream come to life.

Gina is the epitome of someone who had the courage, gumption and support to take a huge risk and go after her dream of seeing her inspiring booked turned into a musical. So I hope what you can take away from here today is that it’s never too late to step out of your comfort zone, take that risk, jump off that proverbial cliff and just hang on because I bet you it will be the best most incredible ride you’ve ever had! [digg=http://digg.com/business_finance/What_are_you_waiting_for_Step_out_of_your_comfort_zone_now]

Now for something a little different…

Have you ever gotten a new technology “toy” to play with and find yourself using it a lot because it’s so easy and fun? And yes I did use the words toy, easy and fun all in reference to technology. This certainly could be an anomaly because most technology certainly isn’t easy, or fun, especially when it comes to computers.

Yet, there is a very cool shining star in stores right now that’s my favorite new, fun and easy technology toy. It’s called a Flip. Some of you may have already heard about it. In fact my favorite tech editor David Pogue from the New York Times just did an article and video about it. You can check out his article to discover more or just read on…

A flip is this sleek new and simple to use video camera. So with my new flip in hand, I’ve been videoing everything. (It takes 2 double AA batteries, holds 30 minutes of video and about $114 on Amazon.) Mainly I’ve been videoing our new 8 month old puppy Lily. (She’s a Golden Shepherd that we rescued.) OfThe Flip course everyone thinks their dogs are cute and funny, and of course she is! The best part of the Flip is its SO EASY to upload the file from my camera to my computer. It has a simple USB port and downloads in a snap.

In fact I was so excited and motivated (I also found I had Moviemaker on my computer.) that I created a Youtube account for the Lily and uploaded my latest creation. Warning, if you’re not an animal lover, don’t check out this video. Now here’s the best part- you can actually use this for your business! Yes, you can get one of these little cameras and start using it to tape your video testimonials or interview people for your website. Second warning- I’m no Spielberg, so don’t expect an award winning creation. Yet, I do promise you’ll smile. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYd_A5Ocd8c]

The kicker, is you can go on Youtube right now and register a channel for yourself and start uploading videos . There’s so many things you can do with this to drive traffic to your website. I know many information marketers who have their own channel and have tons of videos up there that give lots of value for their clients for free. So go check out Youtube, have some fun with it and think of the new possibilities. In fact, after posting my video of Lily, it inspired me to get my own channel for my business. My next step is to upload some value added marketing videos, so be on the look out. In the mean time, go get this new technology toy, have some fun and maybe you’ll even think up some great new ideas to help you in your business! P.S. More Lily videos to come 🙂 [digg=http://digg.com/gadgets/New_Technology_Toy_That_Makes_Video_Taping_a_Snap]

The Little Engine That Could…

Little Engine that couldDo you remember this childhood story? I remember it well. Maybe because I’ve read it to my nieces, nephews and my own son many, many times. This story about the little engine, huffing and puffing his way up the mountain was always a favorite of theirs. I think it struck a cord because it was a classic tale of the little guy saying yes and going beyond his comfort level to persevere. This story was originally written by Watty Piper (a pseudonym used by publishing house Platt & Munk) and published in 1954.

A quote from the book that is most famous today (which you may remember well) is one that I think all of us ought to look into adapting as our own- “I think I can, I think I can…” The thing I found most interesting was that this book was written to teach children the value of optimism. This is something we all need a great dose of now and often! I used to be so pessimistic and negative about my life, my work, etc. It’s been only recently in the past 4 years that I’ve really worked on this aspect of myself and think I’ve come a long way.

Hence, I’m writing today to inspire that little engine inside all of us, to wake up, and to get back on that track and know that you can do it. You can do anything you set your mind to. I mean look at Oprah and her online book club course with Eckhart Tolle. It only took her and her engine of experts 1 week to fix the internet problem of having a half a million people watch 90 minutes of streaming video all around the world, and take Skype video/phone calls and email questions. I was on the class last night and was so thrilled to be able to see the whole thing. It was an amazing experience for me.

You might be thinking, well yeah, that’s Oprah, she can do anything. But that’s a whole other discussion I’ll save for my newsletter. The point is- we all have the inner makings of being our own Oprah (so to speak:-)), of persevering, knowing that we can overcome that next obstacle. The thing is, we just have to take some action, even if it’s only one small step, to get up that mountain. So what’s one small step you can take in your business to propel yourself forward? What do you need to help get you there? Because I know you can and I know you will. I’d love to hear about it. [digg=http://digg.com/educational/Looking_for_that_great_pick_me_up_or_some_weekly_inspiration]

Lessons from Oprah

eckhart-tolle.gifLast night was a pretty big internet event- Oprah held her first ever online, live streaming video class. It was the first class of ten where she interviews and talks to Eckhart Tolle, author of A New World, Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose.

It was a fascinating event. I signed on early and got my “seat,” wondering how they would pull this internet feet off without a hitch. I mean trying to stream video to over half a million people around the world is pretty gutsy and courageous, yet this IS Oprah.

The first 20 minutes were amazing. Hearing him talk about why he wrote the book, how important is was for him to make space to write and honor the time to do it daily. He said, “I find spaces of stillness to find my answers.” Wow, this was pretty fascinating and something I’ve been trying to do for years with my meditation. In fact, I meditate every day for an hour with a program called Holosync by Centerpointe It truly has helped me in all aspects of my work and my life. So picking up Eckhart’s book and listening into this class was really moving me to shift and change.

The only downside was after 20 minutes the internet connection basically collapsed and I lost the feed. Of course I tried everything to get it back, to no avail. I was hugely disappointed that I couldn’t participate and see the rest. Yet, it got me thinking that there was a reason I only saw part of it. This must be my lesson from Oprah. I only needed small chunks of information last night.

The other lesson from Oprah was she really knows how to think big. She’s not afraid to try something, like do video stream for half a million people, knowing there would certainly be problems. Which later I found out today, there were many. I was not alone when I was knocked off. The big question was who got to see the whole thing live? No worries though, Oprah’s put the video on her website and you can download it to watch on your ipod or your computer at your leisure.

So let’s take these lessons from Oprah, let’s think big in our businesses in our lives. What step can we take right now to do something different, to get out of our comfort zone. Let’s not just sit there anymore and be happy with complacency. Let’s all do one thing to shift, to grow and to make a difference in our businesses and our lives- do it today! [digg=http://digg.com/educational/The_Many_Lessons_from_Oprah]

Too many overwhelming Marketing Ideas and Too Little Time…

Welcome to my first MarketingImplementer.com blog post! You might be one of those entrepreneurs, information marketers or business owners who has way too many marketing ideas and just never enough time in the day to implement or take action on them. Or maybe you have the opposite problem. You’re able to implement your ideas but they’re not working to bring you the new clients that you’re seeking.

These are both stressful and frustrating places to be in, especially when all you really want is for your business to be successful, to make some real money so you can have the financial freedom you deserve.

I’m with you on all fronts. I started my direct response marketing consulting and coaching company a year and a half ago. When I first got it off the ground all I can say is whoa…. was I in for a roller coaster ride. The key for me was being a voracious learner and reading, talking and meeting everyone I could to get my business moving. I also got a wonderful boost from my Executive Coach, Rob Berkley . He introduced me to Dan Kennedy style marketing and after I signed up for Dan’s newsletter I was off to the races. In a year I increased my client base by 90% and couldn’t take on anymore clients. All because I used the principals of direct response marketing to grow my business.

My business is focused on working with entrepreneurs, information marketers, and business owners. A big hole I find is you have all the ideas, and in fact an overwhelming mountain of them. You also know what to do. You just don’t know how to get started or you don’t have the time to actually “do it.” That’s where I come in. We can do an assessment of all your marketing ideas that you want to implement. We can work together and figure out which ones will make the most immediate impact to your bottom line. Then we can simply get started right away and I can implement these ideas for you.

But enough about my business- you can find out more by going to my website

I wanted to dedicate my first blog to helping you take that first step of taking your idea and implementing it. Keys to remember are- You need to pick one (or several!) Maybe it’s the idea that is the easiest and less stressful for you to do right now, or maybe it’s the one that will bring you the most money right now. Whatever it is, pick one, and start doing some research, write down the steps you need to take and make some time for you to do these steps each day until it’s done. It’s all a process, once you get the process down, then you can do it. Don’t let the time vampires or those negative thoughts get in your way- just get off your tail, plan your steps and take one- RIGHT NOW!

Let me know how you did, I want to know. I want to help you as best I can. I know just writing about this is helping me take more action on my own ideas. Like this blog for example, it has been on my list FOREVER. All I can say is YEAH, I finally did it and it feels good. So get some courage, shut out the world, hole yourself up in your office and take some action NOW!

Here’s to Your Incredible Success!
Shannon