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Archive for September, 2008

“School is NEVER out for the pro.”
– Cavett Robert

Yesterday, I heard a man state with PRIDE that he NEVER reads. NEVER reads? He is a business owner. How can he NOT read and still “make it”? I used to work for a man who spent LITERALLY $18,000 per month on coaching and mentoring programs. He never read the newsletters. He never attended the coaching sessions. He simply paid for them. His excuse? He didn’t have TIME for that stuff. He wanted his people to learn FOR HIM and implement what they learned FOR HIM. In reality, he paid dearly for his staff to be encouraged, empowered and equipped by these programs and they have since all left him and become quite successful in their own right. (Myself included.)

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom” – George Washington Carver
“The only sustainable competitive advantage is the ability to learn faster than your competitors.”
– Arie de Geus

So, back to my original point… are you BACK to school? I hope not… because my hope for you is that you never left. As an entrepreneur or an executive, we can not afford to take time off from learning… not a day – let alone a summer!

Before I could “afford” a coach (which I now know is a myth… the truth was ALWAYS that I could never afford NOT to have a coach) I would surround myself with the most daring, the boldest and the most successful entrepreneurs in the world. I would immerse myself in the way they think… The way they do business… HOW? I would read everything these people wrote. But not just that, I would actively look for ways I could apply their wisdom to my business and life.

Who were these earliest MEGAmentors of mine? Donald Trump, Dan Kennedy, Steve Chandler, Sam Beckford, and Lee Milteer. I recommend you read everything they write as well. If you want a great list of books to get started, sign up for my ezine at www.womenwhowow.com and you will get my list of GREAT books to start with!

To YOU!!

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This past week, I received an email from a prospective client… another woman who helps women in business… a woman whom I have the upmost respect for…. This is part of what she said,

“I’m open to trying new ways, but not a real “aggressive” person. I feel that you are much more that way, so not sure how that would work out.”

At first I was surprised. She said she “hoped she didn’t offend me”. I was not offended in the LEAST, it was just that I’ve never really considered myself “aggressive” before. I mean Michael Vick’s dogs are “aggressive”. The MEAN AS HECK pony I had as a child was “aggressive”. Oma Rosa is aggressive. But me? Anyway, here was my response:

Aggressive? That is one I haven’t heard before! I’ll have to ponder that one! =) Hmmm…. As I am re-reading this email, I think I am “getting” the aggressive comment. =) Although I have never thought of myself as aggressive, As a coach, I am PURELY results-oriented. My mantra: NO excuses JUST results!

My clients see results and growth that would be considered very aggressive by many standards… tripling their income in 8 weeks, going from $0 to $16K in two months, replacing a full time income in three months. To do this, their actions are strategic, consistent, and, well… you said it… AGGRESSIVE! =) What do you want to create in your business? What are you willing to do to make it happen? BTW, my life verse is Hebrews 10:35. “So don’t throw away your confidence for in the end it will be richly rewarded!” I have known that is my life verse for years now… Then when I was doing some “diggin” I found out that the original word for confident in this verse meant “boldness of speech”… =)

So, am I bold when I speak? You betcha! Am I confident in what I can help my clients create? Yep. Am I AGGRESSIVE? You be the judge!! To the awesome lady who thought me aggressive: You have NOT offended me… You have inspired me. NOW, how aggressive will YOU be when it comes to making your goals become your reality? =) To YOU!!

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In my e-zine last week, I promised to roll out some great and FREE products for coaches. (Sign up HERE.) Right now, I am putting the finishing touches on a “white paper” entitled, “The Proper Care and Feeding of a Prosperous Coaching Practice”. I know the coaching industry will love what I have put together, but it got me thinking….

A mentor once told me that “Business is a LOGICAL process. The only problem with it is that it has to be carried out by EMOTIONAL beings”. How True. Isn’t it logical that if we “properly care for” our businesses, they will grow? If we “PROPERLY care” for anything, it will grow and flourish. So, why does “business” seem so hard?

Well, for one… we listen to the wrong people who give us FAULTY information about HOW to care for a business in the first place. If our paid mentors (or free “mentors” who are way too easily accessible on the internet and overly anxious to dole out advice) convinced us that our cars ran on WATER, we would not get very far. Soon, we would be complaining about how our car wouldn’t work, wouldn’t start, was a bad idea, a lemon. All that time, all we needed was the TRUTH about our car. It runs on gas. Oh, okay… well now we can get moving.

The same scenario is true for our businesses. Business is logical… There are hard and fast rules that will allow you to put some fuel on your business goals. When you know what it TRULY takes to care for and nourish your business, you can get moving in the right direction.

If I could drown out all other “business gurus” in favor of ONLY THREE… here is who I would choose for YOU:

DAN KENNEDY, because he is brilliant, bold, harsh and always tells it like it is. He is PERSONALLY responsible for helping more people go from $0 to Millionaire status than anyone in the world.

STEVE CHANDLER, because he knows PEOPLE, and business. He is brilliant at the process of marketing one conversation at a time and will transform your business and your life if you let him. He eliminates fears, and his courage is contagious.

ME… because I listen to, learn from, implement and offer the best of EACH of these men… BUT, with a fresh perspective for a fabulously feminine audience!

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And why are they saying what they are saying?

I was speaking yesterday to a brilliant woman who was great at what she did. In this new economy, this woman could be VERY profitable, yet… she was stuck. She was stuck in her own story. Her story was that she was not good at “this marketing thing”. Supposedly a common “problem” among entreprenuers, but I had to disagree. You see, when you are knowledgeable and passionate about what you do (and she was) marketing should be easy. Marketing is simply communication…. conversation… meeting a need… offering a service that truly serves someone… Where did she get stuck?

I am guessing where most of us get stuck. We think of marketing and we think of all of the rules. There are rules for good “copy”, rules for great search engine optimization, rules for “niche” marketing, rules for internet marketing, direct mail, networking, face-to-face selling, AHHHHH!!! It seems so difficult, so complicated… I mean, every where you look you can find “DEADLY MISTAKES” that could kill your marketing attempts, right? No wonder we get stuck here. We just don’t know enough. We may screw it up. We are simply not good at marketing. Right?

Nope… it is all B.S.!! I wonder why everyone wants to SCARE you about marketing? What would people have to gain by having us think this “M” word is so scary… so difficult to pull off successfully? The same reason the vacuum salesman wants to scare us about “dust mites” in our carpet. The same reason the ad salesman wants to scare us about not paying for advertising in “this economy”. (I have never paid for advertising, by the way… ever.) The same reason these “breakfast networking groups” want to scare us about not “getting out there”. (Out WHERE, exactly?) The same reason the car salesman wants to scare us about the dangers lurking under the hood of our old (and paid for) car. WHY? Because they want to SELL us their solution.

Yesterday, I could have used this conversation with this woman to try to make myself look really smart, brilliant, etc. I could have taken her through the “Seven Sensational Secrets of Great Marketing”, and “WOW”ed her with my “expertise”. I could have agreed with her about how HARD marketing is and tried to “sell” her on hiring me to help her “get this thing rolling”! But, that would have been a disservice, and a waste of time – hers and mine.

Truly, I am a marketing expert and I don’t mind saying it. But rather than try to look smart, I simply want to share with you how you can be a marketing expert as well. Because it is simple. So simple, in fact, that most entrepreneurs DISMISS it… to the detriment of their bank accounts. The ONE “Sensational Secret of Great Marketing” is free. It is effective. It is “no-fail”. The secret is: SERVICE! Yep, service! Serve enough people and your INCOME will quickly catch up to your value.

Look for ways to truly serve your market… not sell them. EVERYONE hates to be “sold”, but we all loved to be truly served. Meet their needs. Ease their pain. Create solutions. Marketing can be boiled down to great conversations. One conversation at a time. Get to know your market. What are they asking for? Service.

Don’t forget, though that “billing” your client is also a form of service. We often don’t appreciate what is given to us for FREE… unfortunately, we often “devalue” it! So, if you can add to someone’s life, relieve pain, increase joy, provide better balance, create solutions, don’t be afraid to charge them for it. If you are TRULY serving them, they will happily pay to keep that service going.

Okay.. back to WHO are you listening to? This morning I was reading a book with my daughter. It was called, “A Bargain for Francis”. Francis’ and her friend Thelma wanted to buy a tea set. The REAL china kind, with the blue pictures on it… Francis had been saving her money to buy this tea set. Thelma started talking about how expensive the tea sets were, and how they weren’t sold anywhere anymore, and how easily they break. WHY was she saying all of this? BEcause she was convincing Francis to buy HER plastic tea set. When Francis was convinced that she could not afford or find her dream tea set, she bought Thelma’s. Thelma then made Francis promise “NO BACKSIES”, and promptly went down to the local store and bought the exact ceramic tea set that Francis was wanting. Francis could have bought it all along. Unfortunately she wasn’t careful who she was listening to!! She didn’t consider her motive… I have been guilty of that many times in my life. Now, I pay attention: WHO am I listening to? (That list is SMALL by the way, in every area of my life.) And WHY are they saying what they are saying? What is their motive?

I won’t ruin the book for you, but on page 24, Francis uses the same technique to get her money back… 🙂 🙂

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