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Michele was able to guide me when I was at a crossroads in my business. Her advise was invaluable in helping me launch my first product with a bang, bringing in 3 times my projected outcome. She was easy to speak to and really gave me the confidence to move forward in my business.

- Kristen Tammaro, Holistic Practice Marketing Mentor

Bad Habits May Be Impairing Your Business

Habits

Today I want to write about something that I don’t think gets addressed often enough – how bad habits may be impairing your business (and life).

Often times when we’re struggling in our business it’s usually because of some untold truth or because we’ve taken on some “bad” habits. Quite often we are not even aware of these unproductive habits.

It can be as simple as not keeping on top of our numbers (Been there, done that!) or being inconsistent with our social media marketing (*cough*).

You know it’s very interesting. A lot people complain about social media …  ‘they are not seeing the results they expected.’ I often get the all-too-often asked question, “How do I measure the ROI of social media?”

When asked,  “How long have you’ve been consistent with the process of social media marketing?,” not surprisingly 80% of the time they respond with “A few weeks.”

Hmm…

Or they tell me that they post a few times a week but there’s really no rhyme or reason with their process and they are not consistent with it.

Just like with anything in life, it’s the long-term actions that create results … But you have to be consistent! You have to post regularly if you want to start seeing results. You also need to be strategic.

And if you’re not seeing results, then maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy or tactics. Each business is unique. Therefore what may work for one business, may not work for another.

The only way to get consistent with a process is by creating a habit out of it. Just like brushing your teeth, it becomes automatic. You do it without putting much thought into it.  In the beginning it’s going to take some effort for sure, but as you do it long enough it becomes almost effortless.

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Are you going to allow others to determine your value?

self-value

This past week I’ve kept stalling about joining the Public Speakers Association. I had many “excuses” of course.

  • How would I be able to keep up the monthly payments if income stopped coming in?
  • What if I pay for the service and never use it? Been there, done that!
  • What if I can’t take the time off to go to the meetings?
  • What if I had nothing to say? (YES! This did enter my mind!)

But as I began to evaluate all the excuses (Valid for sure!) I had for not joining, I noticed something very profound – and at the same time alarming. They were all questions based on FEAR. None of it was true. It was all a projection of what I think  might happen in the future.

In the moment, all there is is possibility. Therefore I was living into a future that did not exist and did not create the space for me to grow – as a person and as an entrepreneur.

The potential impact of being run by my fears were way worse than the fears themselves. The impact of not taking action were:

  • I would be left behind
  • I would remain stagnant
  • I would never feel completely fulfilled and happy because I had made choices based on limiting beliefs and limited thinking
  • My financial situation will be based on some else’ view of how they valued me and not how I valued myself
  • That I would continue to struggle
  • That I may have to rely on others when I grew old to take care of me because I never really “grew up”

Breathe …

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3 Powerful Lessons Training for The @IronmanTri Is Teaching Me

Ironman

photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

 

A month ago I began reading a book called ‘How to Completely Change Your Life in 30 Seconds’ based on the works of Earl Nightingale. Great book by the way! I highly suggest it.

At a certain point in the book, Earl Nightingale suggested you write down a few important, yet specific goals. Nothing new right? I have a stack of cards spread throughout my home with goal cards. I’ve taught on the concept of SMART goals for goodness’ sake. This was going to be an easy exercise.

Or so I thought …

So I dusted off my journal (Which I haven’t written in over a month!), opened up to a clean page and thought hard about the top three goals I wanted to achieve. I knew getting a hold of my finances and achieving financial freedom was on the top of the list of goals I’d like to achieve, so I wrote down two goals – one centered around being debt-free and the other centered around my desired yearly net income by the year 2020.

However, health also has been an increasing priority in my life and therefore I decided to create a goal around that area as well. But here’s the deal. In the past, I’ve created health goals and if I achieved them they were short lived. Ultimately I’d end up back where I started … Very frustrating!

How would this health goal be different from every other one I created? I knew I needed to do some radical, out-of-the-box, thinking this time around. Out of nowhere – as if by divine intervention – Ironman popped into my head … NO, not the movie! The Ironman races – one of the most physically and mentally grueling triathlons you can participate in.

Yup! That one!!

I had no idea of what the Ironman entailed in terms of physical, monetary, and time commitment. But needless to say, I wrote down in my notebook,

Participate in the Ironman 2016

Fair enough. I had two years to train for this “Ironman thingy.” I immediately (and impulsively) got onto Facebook and shouted out loud for the whole world to hear, that I was going to do Ironman 2016 … “Who’s with me?”

The response was not completely what I expected, LOL. I had a couple, “YES. I’m in.” But mostly got, “I’m not that crazy?!” An hour later, my dear friend proceeded to text me:

2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2mile run inspired?!

After the initial shock and horror, I proceeded to crack up uncontrollably. Talk about making a decision without knowing all the facts. But nonetheless, I made a decision and had every intention on sticking with it.

Well, let me just say that it’s been nearly a month since that day and to my own surprise, I’m still forging ahead with this crazy idea. It’s been a challenge since day one, mentally and physically, but I haven’t given up on my new-found dream of becoming a Iron(wo)man.

But in the past month, as I struggle to push my body just a little harder than the day before and fight with my internal conversations of “Just give up and go back to bed. Nobody would blame you for it,” I remind myself of what this would mean for me and the promise that I’ve made to myself.

I’m also reminded of how many times I had thrown in the towel and how those choices have impacted my life. But mostly in a very short time, I’ve learned three very powerful lessons that I’m taking into my training, my business and my life in general.

And so here they are:

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Marketing 101 for the Novice

marketing quote

What is marketing? Marketing, much like sales, for a long time has been given a bad rap. Mostly I think because people either don’t understand it or they fear it. As a result they don’t market their business or don’t do enough of it.

Let’s define marketing:

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, marketing is “the activities that are involved in making people aware of a company’s products, making sure that the products are available to be bought, etc.

Simply put, marketing is the process by which you show people how your product, service, or cause can make a difference in their lives! Like sales, it is not something you do to someone, but rather, something you do for them.

I’ve used this example before. Let’s say you went to the doctor for a checkup. Afterwards she gave you a diagnosis that required you to take certain medications. Wouldn’t the natural next step be for her to write a prescription and/or give you direction on what you needed to do next? How would you feel if none were given?

In essence that is what you are doing when you have a product or service that can help someone be happier, healthier, and/or wealthier and you don’t give them the solution by marketing your product or service. If they don’t know what it is you offer, they’ll never get the opportunity to make a decision to choose yes or no to that offer.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, marketing books available that can teach you the basic principles to marketing. At the end of the day, here’s how it works:

Person has a BIG problem/need/desire –> You have the solution

Your job is to hone in on your prospective customers’ problems, frustrations, desires, etc., and how your product or service will either alleviate or accentuate each.

  • How can your coaching alleviate their frustrations with not getting enough clients?
  • How can your interior design services make someone happier?
  • How does your body wrap help someone lose weight and as a result make them feel more confident and happier?

Marketing Channels

Here a but a few ways to market your business:

  • Virtual trainings (teleseminars, telesummits, webinars)
  • Direct marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Video marketing
  • Advertising
  • Creating marketing materials (business cards, brochures, etc.)
  • Email marketing
  • Workshops / Lunch & Learns / Events
  • Speaking
  • Networking
  • Joining associations/BNI’s
  • Press releases
  • TV/radio/bill boards
  • Media coverage (news, editorials, local publications)

As you can see, there many methods you can use to market your business. Should you do them all? I wouldn’t suggest it!  Your job is to try different marketing initiatives, test them along the way, and see which ones work best for your business. Unfortunately not all marketing is created equal. If it were, we’d all be doing the same thing!

Where to Begin with Marketing

Where I’ve had most success when it comes to marketing was not by doing it all, but rather by selecting a few strategies and doing them over and over and over. And when you’re sick of it, do it some more!

You may also find that you may get results using many different methods. This does not mean you should use them all! I wouldn’t recommend spreading yourself thin this way. This is definitely a recipe for disaster – and overwhelm. Take it from someone who’s been there. ;)

I’ve always (and still do) followed the Rule of 3. That is, I do everything in three’s – 3 strategies, 3 tactics, 3 daily priorities, etc. Therefore, I would suggest you take your pick of strategies listed above and start with those. Don’t worry, you’re not married to them. You can change them later on if you like.

However, the key here is to immerse yourself in those three strategies over a period of time and evaluate their effectiveness. Keep doing those strategies that are producing great results and switch out the ones that are producing little to no results.

Here’s an example I’ve shared before on Facebook:

 

Sure marketing is a process. There’s no quick fix … And if someone tells you differently, I’d suggest you take your checkbook and run the other way – fast!

They key to marketing is:

  • consistency
  • persistence
  • dedication

Pick your process, stick with it for some time and evaluate your results along the way. Be sure to include both offline and online marketing strategies. I’m yet to come across a business/industry that can’t benefit from both types of marketing.

And listen if you’re really getting stuck with marketing, check out my Marketing Deconstruction Session; or at the very least attend a marketing seminar of sorts to gain some more clarity around how to do it effectively. Google ‘Marketing Seminars + [your city]‘ and see what comes up or visit Eventbrite and see what’s listed in your local area.

Study marketing! I heard T. Harv Eker say once that once your business is set up, you should be spending 80% of your time on marketing, sales, and promotion – and only 20% of your time on other stuff such as operations. If you’re hearing this for the first time, I know it can be overwhelming. There might even be a part of you that doesn’t agree.

For me it’s simple. T. Harv Eker is a multi-millionaire many times over and has run many successful businesses. My rule of thumb is this: If I’m going to take advice from anyone, I’m going to take it from someone who is generating a lot more income than me and producing great results in his or her business … And here’s what’s cool. The more I take on advice and strategies from those more successful than me, the more I continue to grow as an individual and professional.

Just saying … ;)

The Naked Truth About Coaching

Truth about business coaching

A couple of years ago I decided to make a transition in my business. I decided to add “coaching” to my list of business services.  It seemed like the right move. In essence I was already coaching my clients. Many came to me for web or social media services, and ultimately I found myself coaching them through various business and life challenges.

I’ve always loved to troubleshoot and be the catalyst to other’s having a complete shift in how they were thinking and approaching things in their business.  I dare say I had talent for seeing things others couldn’t – and was able to hone in on the root cause of what was keeping them stuck.

Sometimes they were stuck due to technical issues or simply bad habits. But often times it was a mindset issue. Being able to guide someone through the process of looking at things from a different perspective that they hadn’t thought of before, and hearing in their voice the shift from feeling helpless and defeated to optimistic and relieved – as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders – is truly a gift to witness.

So you can see why I decided to add coaching to my repertoire of services. It truly was the natural step for me in my business. But taking that natural step and being able to create a sustainable business doing something you love are two very different things.

I don’t have any regrets about my decision – and I’m still coaching (part-time). But in hindsight, I would of done a LOT of things differently before taking the plunge. You just don’t know what you don’t know and often times by the time you know it, you’ve dug such a deep ditch that you wonder how you’ll ever climb your way back out again.

Let me explain …

I guess when I decided to begin promoting my coaching services that much like my consulting service, clients would simply show up and ready pay to work with me! I mean why wouldn’t they?! I had a skill-set for goodness sake!  I was one of the most tech-savvy coaches I knew, so you where getting the best of both worlds – a coach that could not only tell you what to do, hold you accountable, but show you HOW to do it.

Seemed like a no-brainer to me …

Not the case!

I was so completely “sold” on the idea of coaching that I promoted my consulting services less and less. As a result, my client base decreased over a course of time … and my income along with it. Eventually I decided to take a position as Marketing Director for a local company – which don’t get me wrong, I LOVE. But it didn’t fit in with my long-term vision.

This is not to say that I’ve given up on my business. NEVER!! I’ve always have and always will be an entrepreneur at heart and my desire to be a financially free and a successful business owner still resides in my heart. It’s just going to take a bit longer than expected. ;)

So what went wrong?? And why am I sharing this with you?

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How to optimize your virtual trainings

One of the things I wanted to share today is how do you optimize your virtual trainings? I’ve hosted many webinars, teleseminars, and other online training’s over the course of the years.  In hindsight, I realized that I had some that had had great turnouts and others not so good.

And I wondered what was the disconnect? Why was I getting good results on some and not others; given the fact that I was using the same strategies to promote those virtual trainings?

When I went back to analyze where the holes were, I realized that in those trainings that I had better results with, I was very specific with what I was going to be teaching; in comparison to the other trainings where I was a bit more general and vague.

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What you focus on grows, but …

This week’s Marketing & Mindset Video Tip – and definitely a HOT TOPIC in it’s own right – is FOCUS!

You may have heard the term before, what you focus on grows. That’s all well and good. But how do you determine what to focus on, when you have problems focusing in the first place?!

I so often hear people say I can’t focus … And it’s no wonder. We are dealing with computers, iPads, iPhones, Androids, texting, Facebook – so much technology and chatter going on around us – it’s really quite insane when you think about it.

However, the reality is, if you don’t practice how to focus (and it is a muscle you can build) you are going to fall short with your goals in your business. You are just not going to complete things.

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Is it an opportunity or distraction?? Here’s how I make decisions …


In today’s Marketing & Mindset Video Tip I discuss how to make a decision … How do you decide whether or not to move forward with an opportunity? How do we determine if something is an opportunity or a distraction?

We get soooo many marketing messages on any given day – I know I do! I can get up to 100 emails a day. Many of those emails are people and business promoting their products and services to me.

So how do determine which are the ones I act on or not for me … or not for me at this time?

Simple. Ask question!

Let me just say first. There is something to say to being decisive, don’t you agree? But there’s also something to be said about getting all facts first and educating yourself before making a decision. You really have to decide for yourself which is the best course of action.

Yes I get it! Catch 22! You have to decide how to decide!!

Questions:

1) Is it aligned with your bigger vision in your business?

First if you don’t have a vision, get one stat! Next, is this opportunity going to help you move closer to your vision and goals? If so, great! If not, then it’s probably not a good opportunity for you.

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Empowering Questions to Ask When You Feel You’ve Failed

This week’s Marketing & Mindset Video Tip is about what are some of the questions you can ask yourself when you feel you’ve failed something.

We’ve all gone through this at some point in time – when we went through a process and didn’t get the desired result that we wanted or expected.

Something went wrong …

And I think it’s a disservice to ourselves when we don’t take the time to reflect back on what went right and what went wrong – so that we can do things differently the next time around. That is what growth is all about, is it not?

Over the course of time, I’ve come to create a habit of asking myself specific questions after every new process, venture, program, client interaction, etc., I take on, to see how I can continue to improve my desired results.

Here are the questions I’ve used:

  1. Why did this happen? Why did I get this particular result? For example, did I not promote enough?
  2. What could I have done differently?
  3. How can I do it better next time? This is about determining what did go right - and improving upon on it.
  4. What changes (if any) should I make in my strategies?
  5. What can I do to improve my planning and preparation?

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Building Your Confidence in Business

Today’s Marketing & Mindset Tip is all about building confidence! Specifically I want to talk about the things you can do to build more confidence in yourself when it comes to your business.

When I first started years ago and made the transition from owning an online retail shop to online marketing consulting, in hindsight I lacked a lot of confidence. The reason why I think this, was because it was a challenge for me to share with others what I did and how I could serve them.

The result? Lack of confidence.

Over the course of the years as I’ve continued to grow, I learned a few things along the way that have helped me to build my confidence in my business and stand in integrity with what I do. I know I can provide results for others; and there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Here’s what I did:

  1. I niched myself.
  2. Stayed in my lane.
  3. Continued to practice my craft.

Check out the video below  as I go more in-depth with these action steps.

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