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Archive for October, 2010

I have a great deal of respect for Ali Brown.  I’ve followed her since I was introduced to her via Dan Kennedy’s Inner Circle membership.  I’ve watched her grow in business and in life – even if from afar.  I was THRILLED when she invited my partner, Tory Johnson, to speak to her own Inner Circle a couple of months back.  Yet, today… in an email to her own list, she crossed the line.  =)

I know she’s a “blond”, but I wonder if she realized that in her promotion of her SHINE event in Las Vegas, that she GAVE AWAY her best kept “secret”. The secret behind all of her success… and Tory’s… and mine… It’s THE  secret behind the  success of anyone  – from the “nobodies” like me =)  to the household names we all know.

Regardless of whether you attend SHINE or not, what she shared in today’s email blast is worth reading… again and again and again. Here’s what she said:

“Every one of them [those registered to attend Shine] made an important DECISION.

They said, “no matter what it takes, I’m going to join Ali November 2-4 in Las Vegas, Nevada. I know this is exactly what I need right now for my business, and me.”

They may have moved appointments… arranged childcare… put the dog with the neighbors… did a balance transfer on a credit card… hitched a ride… found a roommate. But all this followed the decision. They made it happen.

When you study ALL successful entrepreneurs, from the ones Napoleon Hill studied in the classic Think and Grow Rich to modern day legends like Richard Branson and Oprah, they all have this in common: They learned to make smart decisions quickly.

And you’ll often find these decisions, especially ones that are leaps of faith, are the ones that create MASSIVE changes in your life.

SHINE was built around this concept, because I know that initiating a change — even a change for the better — is scary. It’s hard to ever feel READY….

And the truth is, you don’t have to feel ready, you just have to show up.”

What a difference this one “sales email” would make if we all implemented it right away!  The truth is I know that it wasn’t a mistake… I know that Ali meant to not only get you out of your own way so you’ll register for the conference, but also to give you the foundation for success – even before you show up!  I applaud her for that!

P.S.  If you ARE attending SHINE – and I know many of you are – be sure to check out my friend Jennifer Abernethy, who’ll be sharing her Social Media Know How with you while you’re there!

 

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Snuggie - The BAIT used to lure me into this Sales Presentation

PLEASE take the time to read this… if only to make me feel better having had to endure it!! =)  You may not learn anything…. except what NOT to do… but at least we can laugh together.  This story is too good to keep to myself, and every word is true.  Here goes….

So, last night, as I was putting dinner on the table, I heard a very cheerful knock on the door.  A friendly looking woman – holding a “SNUGGIE” that she wants to give me for free – is waiting for me when I answer it.  She asks if she can give us the Snuggie as a free gift.  My husband, the eternal pessimist, says, “So, this Snuggie is for FREE?” She says, YES.  But in return, can we give her our opinion about an Allergy Store she is opening in our area?  It will only take a few minutes.  I invite her to come back after dinner… in about 30 minutes.

When she arrives, Snuggie still in hand, my husband is deliberately out of the main living area of the house… enthralled with his latest trade proposal for his Fantasy Football team.  She asks if now is a good time and I invite her in.  She quickly excuses herself to bring in the product she wants my opinion on.  She re-appears with a male partner and I quickly send my son to tell his Dad that there is a strange man in the house… that he doesn’t have to come out, but just for him to be aware.

She proceeds to show me this hideous looking air purifier.  It is huge… looks like a window unit air conditioner… and she shows me the filters, the UV light, whatever.  She asks if she can plug it in a smaller room so I can see the difference it makes.  I oblige.  THEN, she explains that the young man she is with is in training and invites me to listen to his sales presentation on the unit.  I agree.  Immediately, two things happen.

FIRST, she gets a “call” -without ever having the phone ring once – and quickly excuses herself to help “another rookie” at someone else’s house…. leaving this strange man in my living room with NO WAY to leave as they were in the same car.  Nothing like being a captive audience in your own home.  NOW, if I was a single woman or my husband were not home at the time, this would have left me in a VERY bad situation… having invited a woman into my home – only to have her invite in a male partner and LEAVE him there with me alone… First bait and switch. Not good.

NEXT, he proceeds to do a sales presentation on the actual product… NOT the hideous, old fashioned air purifier they originally showed me, but a sleek bullet-looking Tri-Star vacuum cleaner… Oops, I’m sorry… It is not a vacuum cleaner, it is a comprehensive cleaning and purifying system.  Right.  Vacuum cleaner.  Let’s call it like it is.  Second bait and switch.

In his defense, he was good.  He was engaging, funny, and was pretty convincing… STILL, he:

  • Made dramatic and disgusting noises every time he looked at what his vacuum picked up off of my floor… ALWAYS referring to it as “filth”.
  • Used the exact same “vacuum” demonstrations used by a Kirby dealer we bought from 10 years ago without so much as a “tweak” in order or anything else.
  • Continued to encourage me to either repeat after him or answer corny questions, regardless of my obvious intention not to be child-ized in that way.

TWO and a HALF HOURS later, my husband has re-joined us and the presentation – focused dramatically and intensely on the FILTH in my home –  continues.  The kids like it…. they’re entertained and were getting out of doing their homework.  It was entertaining for me as well, from a sales / marketing perspective… but my husband was getting furious.  It was now past our kids’ bed time and we were still doing homework… no teeth had been brushed… no baths had been taken.  AND, no word from this guy’s ride / partner in crime.  When he sees we’re becoming a bit agitated, he calls his “partner” as she is “probably lost”.

She arrives within minutes…. and begins to give the “final” presentation… She starts off:  Based on his demonstration, what would we PAY for a cleaning system like that?  $8000?  $10,000?  Um, no lady… those numbers never crossed our minds.. It is a vacuum cleaner after all – albeit a decent one.  Well, good news. THIS vacuum cleaner could be purchased tonight ONLY for $3194… PLUS, they’ll give us $700 for the Kirby we bought years ago.  THEN, without skipping a beat she informed us that people fit  into two categories… either they were BUYERS or LIARS…

If you said you had to think about this $2500 purchase, you were lying. I mean, what is there to think about?  You either “wanted to live in THIS FILTH” – dramatically looking around my home –  or you didn’t….  If you said you wanted to “sleep on it” and not make a rash decision, you were lying.. because you know that NO GOOD decisions are ever made while sleeping… (I happen to disagree, but there was no time for dialogue with this woman.) And if you said you were going to take her card and call her later, you were also lying.  (I forget why.)

So, her only question was, “Do we want to continue to live in the FILTH we had grown accustomed to – all at the fault of our previous vacuum?” We said we enjoyed the presentation and would have to decline the offer.  She looked dramatically shocked… looked at our kids and shook her head, as if she hated to see children living in such squalor.

Please understand, my husband takes great pride in our home.  As do I, but he most especially… all this talk about filth was a direct insult to him.  STEAM is coming from his ears, and I secretly looked forward to his reaction when they pushed him too far… he is normally soooooo calm, rational and controlled.  =)

We again politely decline and my husband says, “There is no way I would pay $2500 for a vacuum cleaner – even a good one.” So, she asked to borrow my phone to call her boss. I tell her to use her own phone.  She says she MUST use mine in order to prove to her boss that she was here.  I give in and she calls him from my phone…. This is what I hear on the our end of this conversation.

“HUGE, HUGE amounts… Most we’ve ever seen”  (referring to the piles of “filth” the vacuum cleaner picked up, I presume)

“YES, of course.  We assured them that it’s not THEIR fault.  They know it is the fault of their vacuum cleaner.”

“REALLY?  Are you sure?”

BREAK from phone conversation:  Michelle, can I have a scrap sheet of paper? I can’t believe what he is willing to do.

“Oh, WOW!  Okay, I’ll tell them”.

With her “supervisor” on hold, she gives us another deal to consider:  paying in payments.  We’re not interested, we assure her.  If we wanted it, we would pay outright… we don’t even make payments on CARS we drive, let alone paying crazy interest for a vacuum cleaner.

She begins to challenge my husband – my phone in her hand so her supervisor hears her –  about not wanting the vacuum cleaner.  He stands his ground.  Soon enough I start to realize, I was going to have to be rude, offensive, or perhaps even PHYSICAL to get these intruders out of my home.   By this time, I was ready for whatever the situation required.

We persist… and they FINALLY leave – even taking the white cloths filled with FILTH from my home with them… =) And leaving my Snuggie behind – which I am wearing right now as I type to YOU!

Here’s the truth… we may in fact buy a Tri-Star system… The product was great.  BUT, not from these guys. They were liars, and were such sleazy sales people.  I would never reward them with a sale.  PLUS, online you can get these systems MUCH cheaper without all of the sleaze… =)

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Image by TXmortgagePro

Habits, Mindsets, and Games shared by UNProfitable Business Owners:

  • PROCRASTINATION:   I’ve long said that the  ONLY two things you need to succeed in business are a finely tuned, passionate commitment to sales and…. an ALARM CLOCK.  An alarm clock (for me) represents waking up early AND a sense of urgency.  Why wait?  What are you putting off that should be done today?   Successful entrepreneurs have a sense of urgency that can be summed up in one word:  NOW.
  • A MINDSET, LIFESTYLE, and LANGUAGE OF FEAR and LACK:  Far short of the boldness, audacity and confidence required for success, UNprofitable business owners use their mental faculties to imagine worst case scenarios and dwindling resources.  Successful entrepreneurs are bold, confident and think in terms of abundance!
  • THE WAITING GAME… or  ACTION STEPS THAT BEGIN WITH THE WORDS, “WAITING FOR”.. I’ll never forget the first time I ran into this type of small business owner.  Coaching her felt like pulling teeth… because she was always WAITING for something to happen.  (It didn’t help that her industry was one I was unfamiliar with… and have NEVER TOUCHED again… in over 3 years since meeting her! ) I would say, “What does WAITING for x to happen look like?  What is that action step?”  The MOST successful entrepreneurs have many, many things in common. WAITING is not one of them.

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Still waiting for ideal conditions?

So, today, I went for a jog…. preparing to FINALLY run that 1/2 marathon I’ve been talking about for way too long….

But as I ran –  my favorite motivational music pounding in my ear  –  I stumbled across something FAR more motivational just under my feet:  A little piece of grass – piercing through asphalt that was just laid about 3 weeks ago.

Immediately, I thought about the most common questions I hear  from would -be entrepreneurs as I travel across the country… the questions I’m sure to hear again this month as I visit four more cities – speaking on whether or not starting your own business is still “RISKY” in this economy… and how to start making money on your own terms.

I’ll list the questions here… but the answers I’ll leave to this little blade of grass in this picture… because sometimes the answers we are looking for are far too simple to complicate with too many words.

COMMON QUESTION NUMBER ONE: When is the BEST time to start my business?

Grass:  There is no BEST time.  The only time you have is NOW.  I did not know that as a seedling, I would be covered with inches of solid asphalt, but I was.  So, I just started to PUSH.  Right away.  There is no BEST time.

COMMON QUESTION NUMBER TWO:   I’ve got so many ideas… Where is the best place to start?

Grass:  There is only ONE place to start  EVER.  That place is right where you are right now.  Where else could you start?  I sometimes wish I had been planted just four inches to the left of where I am now.  My growth would have been far easier.  The only place you CAN start, though, is right where you are right NOW.

COMMON QUESTION NUMBER THREE:  What do you think every business owner needs to have in order to “really make it”?

Grass:  The desire to break through and a willingness to keep pushing until you do.  That’s it.

Thanks, Mr. Grass that Could.  Your growth inspired me today!  Science says that you need sunlight to grow.  Water.  Space.  Yet, you somehow pushed through the inches of asphalt holding you down.  To everyone reading this post:  I want to quote Rihanna – =) – in one of my favorite songs:

Victory’s within the mile… Almost there, don’t give up now.

Keep on pushing.  I’m cheering for you… rooting for your success!

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