Guest Post :: As an independent business owner there are so many things that you could be doing: Networking, staying in touch with clients, reaching out to potential clients, updating the website, building up your online social media communities, developing new products, creating strategic alliances, delivering on products and services, getting feedback from clients, planning for the future, handling administrative tasks, improving your processes… and on and on. I’m sure there are days you feel your to-do list is never ending. Actually never ever ending.
Because the tasks (or “opportunities,” we tell ourselves!) are limitless and there can be so many ideas that we really want to pursue sooner rather than later, we can find ourselves in a constant state of feeling “behind.” There are great, revenue-producing ideas that we’re not getting to! We can consistently feel inadequate because our service descriptions on the website aren’t as good as they could be, because we haven’t yet followed up on that phenomenal idea our business partner told us about, because we haven’t run a focus group to find out what our potential client really want, because we haven’t yet gotten back to that person, etc., etc., etc.
What’s the key to stopping the overwhelm and the feelings of inadequacy? Read more
Guest Post :: How many of us start spewing a laundry list of all we can do when asked the question, “What do you do?” Many clients I work provide a wide variety of services and too often confuse themselves as to what is right to offer in any given situation. People seek to categorize and understand. When we list a litany of services or solutions, we immediately present confusion in a prospect’s mind, and a confused mind never buys. The key is to provide clarity and focus for the prospect, and you do that by asking questions.
Guest Post :: It’s taken me a long time, it seems, but I’ve finally realized that I’m worth it. And, it wasn’t Loreal Hair Color that got me to that point. It was putting myself out there. Taking risks, screwing up, getting taken advantage of, and finding out that not all people are good. I’m worth every little bit that I charge and I don’t need to compromise myself or my offerings. Whew, that feels good to say and at the same time, it may sound completely stuck up. I’m not saying I’ve figured out how to make everything work in my business nor do I know the secret to becoming a millionaire. However, I’ve learned some pretty harsh lessons, most of them in the last 6 months, that will make any new business owner change her routines.
- Stand your Ground. In other words, don’t get greedy for that client that you’re certain is going to make you a millionaire. They probably won’t so know that going in and vet them like you would anyone else. There are many more clients after this so concentrate on this one as if it’s the first of many to come. Your service and actions in this experience will pay off with your next interaction.
Wanna hear from The Founding Moms' founder, Jill Salzman, about the ways she grew her organization and how they can apply to you growing your business? She gave a webinar yesterday on exactly how she did it! Check. This. Out.
Guest Post :: Starting a business means you’re easily clocking 14+ hour days toggling between calls, meetings and in my case, literally rolling up my sleeves to blend a DIY beauty recipe or pack boxes. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for pampering. Or beauty “gardening” as I like to call tweezing, waxing and the occasional poke or squeeze. And while hiding out at home in front of a computer screen used to be an option, today, with Facetime, Google+ and Skype, pesky peeps can catch you unawares in your PJs and frizzy hair 24/7.
The quick fix? My stash of fool-proof hacks. With these, I’m ready for any type of meeting, live or virtual: Read more
Heard about the American Small Business Championship? Hosted by Sam’s Club and SCORE, it awards small business owners for their sacrifices & dedication to their business. The Championship launched on Jan. 12 & winners were announced on Feb. 24. With 102 winners from 47 states, each winner received a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, expense-paid attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for one year and significant national publicity. Read more
Guest Post :: Ever wanted to carve out weekly hours to work out, or 20 minutes a day to meditate? I know I have. But with two small kids and a new business, starting any sort of regimen has been ‘challenging’, to put it mildly. Owning a business is a time-consuming endeavor, and it can feel near impossible to carve out regular windows of time. Good habits and stress relievers usually take the back burner to the business and home life. And sadly, once you break a habit, it can be hard to get back into it. Fortunately, research has shown that all you need to do to spark some big changes in your life is form some micro habits. We’re talking maybe five minutes out of your day - something actually attainable! In my case, I decided to start small, and tear myself away from my coworking business once a day to at least walk around the block. But once I begin, that short walk often turns into twenty minutes of brisk exercise.
Here are some ideas you can use to create micro habits that can inspire new behaviors:
1. Have big dreams, but attainable daily goals. Thinking abstractly has been proven to help motivate people. However, if you set unattainable daily goals you can quickly become discouraged from those dreams. Read more
Guest Post by Sarah McMillan :: Nutrition is key to focus. Imagine the last time you were on a business call and were distracted by an empty stomach, or even worse sluggish because your only option for lunch during your hectic day was fast food. In addition, as a mom you’re not only responsible for your nutrition, but for that of your family. That’s alot of pressure!
Recent research shows that healthy snacking throughout the day can not only increase your focus and productivity, it helps with weight loss and overall health. Avoiding extreme hunger increases the likelihood that you'll pick the healthy snack rather than raiding the cookie jar or overeating at meals. “Indeed, Megan Mullin, a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch SpaClub in Las Vegas, recommends that her clients eat small meals every three to five hours” for overall health. The key is keeping healthy snacks around to avoid the temptation of reaching for a overly sweet or fatty option.
Guest Post :: Imagine you want your kitchen painted. How you’d ask your significant other for help versus a professional would probably be pretty different.
How you describe your business, and what it can offer to others, should be similarly tailored to the audience. Successful sellers and marketers know that the best sales tactic is to demonstrate the benefits for the person to whom you're pitching. But the way you execute your pitch will vary greatly depending on who the recipient is — a potential client isn't going to be interested in the same things as a venture capitalist.
How do you start crafting your perfect pitch? There is an avalanche of information online, from The Huffington Post to Forbes. There are four major things to keep in mind when working on your pitch:
This may seem counter-intuitive to business owners but I believe that the most important skill you can develop is to take the BUSY out of BUSIness. I do this daily by taking time for reflection. The “power of the pause” is hands down the single most powerful tool in my toolkit. I create this in moments of silence, my morning meditation, time in’s throughout the day and an annual 24-hour escape. And also, by sitting in Circle. Slowing down to pause in the middle of the day to be in Circle with other women is a tremendous gift that allows both personal and group reflection. Together, we tap into group wisdom far greater than we hold individually. We mirror each other’s essence. “We help each other become who we want to be,” as one of my most frequent Circlers likes to say, with a beautiful beaming smile on her face.