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.

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

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.

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.

Avoid Focusing on Set-backs and Seek out New Opportunities

Avoid Focusing on Setbacks

There comes a time in one’s personal and business life, where a setback comes in and rears its ugly head.  When it does come, because we know at some point it will, a person has two choices. They can either sit there or focus on all the negativity that comes with it.  Or they can come to terms with the reality of the set back  and push forward.

It is as easy as A.B.C.

 stands for Ambiguity.   A trait that is tied to most entrepreneurs which holds the meaning: The possibility of interpreting an expression in two or more distinct ways. When facing a setback, especially one that leaves a person in a negative situation, the best thing to do is look at in an ambiguous way.  Instead of focusing on how negative this setback is, look at it in a positive way.  And turn a problem into an opportunity. Real Life Application:  Make a list of 10 to 20 positives you can gleam from this particular setback.   “I am not sure where I’m going but I still prepare myself diligently for the journey every day” ~Peter Baskerville

stands for Build.   A setback requires a person to start over or build from the bottom up.  Take the list that you made of 10 to 20 positives and use them to make a game plan.  Part of making this game plan will help you build confidence not only in yourself but also in keeping a positive outlook on this setback.  “Whatever good things we build end up building us.”
~Jim Rohn

stands for Commitment.   In this time where your environment as well as situation is unstable, you have to be committed.  More importantly, you have to be committed to yourself foremost.  Now that you have made a list, a game plan, write up a commitment contract where you outline what you are committing to.  “There’s a difference between interest and commitment.  When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit.  When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results. ”  ~Tom Robbins

 

How to Really Get Things Done, Check Things Off Your List part 1

Stress, Guilt, Anxiety…three things that occur when you look at your to-do list at the end of day and hardly anything is checked off.  Immediately you think “What happened?!” In the back of your mind though, the answer lies in a 15 letter word:

PROCRASTINATION

Just saying that 15 letter word, makes me cringe because we all experience a time where PROCRASTINATION slips into your life.  Are you at that point in your life?  Have you been stuck in a rut of procrastinating?  If so, continue reading because I have the solution to get you unstuck.  And, if by chance you are one of those super-human people who never procrastinate, then keep reading as a motivation to keep focused.

Tip#1: Make a daily to do list

Before you say “What?!? Make a list?  Isn’t that setting me up to fail before I start?”

The answer is NO and here is WHY:

1.  Instant Reward: You accomplish something by sitting down every day to make a list.

2.  Constant Insurance:  By not taking the time to write everything out, you run the risk of forgetting something.  Also, by forgetting things, you end up spending more time than you would if you had taken the time to make a list in the first place.

3. Prioritize: Nothing motivates someone more than making a plan and knowing exactly what to do.  Make the top three things on your list, things you have to do IMMEDIATELY.

Tip#2: Motivate Yourself

The best way to motivate involves visualizing what it would feel like to cross off the top three items of your list.  If you continue to focus on what it looks
like, then it will motivate you to keep on going.

Tip#3: Set a Timer

This may sound like a waste of time but it really does work.  While I am not advocating multi-tasking, this is a way to get you going.  Start with setting the timer for three minutes.  Pick an item on your to do list and do as much as you can in three minutes.  After three minutes is up take a break, a 2 minute break, and then go right back to it. This time set the timer for 5 minutes and pick up from where you left off.  Continue the process by increasing the time until you get to the point where you are constantly working at finishing your task.  Eventually you won’t need to set the timer because your motivation to get things done will be a habit.

I am going to stop there with three tips today.  One of the main things I want to pass on to you is to STOP PROCRASTINATING and get working. Those three worrisome words:  STRESS, GUILT, ANXIETY cause more problems than they are worth.

Check back next week for the last three tips on working towards crossing things off your to do list and stopping the horrible cycle of PROCRASTINATING!

You are Who You Hang Out With…

Have you ever heard this before?  I didn’t start hearing this until after I hired my Executive Coach, 12 years ago. The concept of hanging out with people and becoming more like them was a total foreign idea to me. I had really paid no attention until my coach and I started talking about it.  And it’s funny, once I started paying attention to it I got it and knew I had to make some changes in my life…

There were some very negative people in my life who were totally zapping my energy, (My coach called them “Negative Norberts.”) not too mention the ones who were more like time sucking vampires.  And I started noticing how I felt when I hung out with those people and realized after I was with them I didn’t feel good and felt mostly drained.  That’s when I started making the difficult change of moving those folks out of my life. It wasn’t easy to do it, and it took some time. For the most part I was simply honest and said I was making some positive changes in my life and they were welcome to come along or not.

Before I met my coach I was an incredibly negative person, I know hard to believe those of you who know… Yet it’s true.  I was surrounded by it 24/7 and I grew up in it. And it wasn’t until my amazing coach pointed this out oh so gently to me on more than a few occasions that I started to make some “positive” changes in my life.  It certainly wasn’t easy to change my attitude and my way of looking at things over night. Yet I have to say, the more I surrounded myself with amazingly wonderful and positive people, the easier it was for me.  Plus I also read a ton of books on the subject and that helped too.  Reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich was huge, along with all of Esther and Jerry Hick’s Abraham books.

Well that was a while back and thank goodness there have been many wonderful changes in my life since then.  And it wasn’t until after I started my own business 5 years ago and had to go out and find new clients, that this concept reared it’s ugly head again and again… “You are who you hang out with” kept
coming up.  So I focused on attracting clients who my same positive, successful attitude and it worked like a charm.

One of my favorite quotes that I was told many times and that truly helped me was—“If you hang out with 9 broke people, guess who will be the 10th? — You!” And certainly I didn’t want that to me. So this totally helped me find and hang out with much more successful people. In fact, it’s always good to hang out with people who have a bigger vision and play bigger in their work and their life, this way it gets me to do the same as well.

The lesson in all of this is simply to pay attention and be aware of who you’re hanging out with. And know that that one or more people out there could have a huge impact on you and your life. So take a chance, make a change, and hang out with those folks who make you feel good and encourage you to be the best person you can be in this world.

The positive side to negative testimonials

When it comes to customer testimonials, there will come a time when you receive a negative testimonial.  Now if you are new in business or even a veteran, the way you respond will determine whether it can turn positive.  The worst thing for a business to do is to post only customer testimonials that are positive.  Nothing in this world is perfect, so portraying perfection will turn potential customers away.

There are three simple steps to remember when dealing with negative customer testimonials.  Remember, how you handle these negative customer testimonials will speak volumes about your business character and integrity.

1.  Never Over-React

By you posting this negative customer testimonial, it gives the opportunity to build a loyal customer base.  By responding rationally as well as offering some kind of “peace offering,” this shows your business cares and takes care of all customers.

2.  Timing is Everything

Before responding to any type of customer testimonial, you want to think it through first.  If there is a problem, investigate all angles of the complaint.  The worst thing to do is assume the customer is over-reacting or claiming something false.  Like I mentioned before, no business is perfect and by investigating, you are identifying fault or no fault.  By taking the time and thinking through the response, it could turn a negative into a positive.

3.  Respond With Care

Prior to this step, you have investigated as well as thought through the appropriate response.  Now, choose your words carefully and make sure your tone is portrayed as positive not negative, hostile, angry, or even defensive.  If there was a mistake made, admit to it and have a solution ready to implement.  And ALWAYS make it right!  If they want to return your product and are really unhappy, give them their money back, it’s not worth it having that negative energy around.  If you were wrong or someone from your business  did something that upset them— Always do what’s right—apologize, tell them you made a mistake, and even overdo it with the apologies and they will be incredibly grateful to you.

Overall, remember that there will be times where a customer is displeased or angry with your product or business.  The key is turning a negative customer
testimonial into a positive experience, which will in turn bring more potential customers your way.

Creativity + Testimonials = Results

In a fast pace world of marketing, one of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition revolves around one word: CREATIVITY.  So today I am going to show you how combining a little bit of creativity with your testimonials yields great results.

No matter where you are using your customer testimonials, you want to present them in a way that pops out to the reader.  Be honest – how many of you have visited a website selling a product and you find at the bottom of the page a BUNCH of writing and small pictures?  Now be honest again – because it is in a format that seems like “a lot to read”, you skip over it, right?

You do not want your potential customers to skip over a wealth of information that sings your praises.  To help you out, I have created a list of creative ways to use your testimonials:

1. Put a Name with a Face
• By putting a picture beside a testimonial, it allows the potential customer to be able to relate especially if they are the same gender, race, age, etc.

2. Hearing is Believing
• Adding an audio clip or video gives the testimonial an additional level of believability.  It allows the potential client to hear or see the exact emotion from the testimonial.  Think about it – when you read something, it is hard to see how excited or disappointed a person is.  This takes out all the guesswork and delivers a message with real emotion.

3. Visually Creative
• The best way to set up testimonials on a page is by putting them in a gray or yellow box.   By taking the time to create a page that is visually appealing will bring in more clients and ultimately better results.

The most important thing to remember is to put your testimonials in a positive and appealing position on the website.  You want to make sure the potential client is not just scrolling past them.  Instead, they pop out and draw the potential client in to wanting to read what others have to say about you.
Tune in next week to discover how potential clients respond to testimonials.