2014 hustle

Time out for simple empowerment. What the heck is that if it isn’t making your business money? Having a no bullsh*t focus, a solid plan, and working daily, incrementally, and consistently on the right things is taking that simple empowerment and channeling it into something useful….. Money for your business.

What’s the point of feeling good, warm and fuzzy if your pockets are still empty? Learning how to flex what you DO have, the technology you have access to, your lips to say a well placed “no”, and unapologetically moving low dollar, unclear, unaligned tasks clean off your plate, should be the core of your 2014 plan.

Sound ruthless? Nope, it’s being strategic.

Having Strategy doesn’t equal needing a Harvard degree. Most times, adding simple systems, having a laser focused goal, learning where to focus your time, who/what not to give your time and exposing yourself to the right audience are all that is needed in the beginning of your strategy plan. These 7 simple strategies will bring your business clarity, help you understand where you need to allocate energy and resources and help you to meet and build relationships with key decision makers who can say yes. 

 

  1. Goals Strategy. An intimate understanding of your goal is more than a New Year’s Resolution. What is your goal for the year? To be successful? What does this mean? What is success to you? What would a successful year look like with numbers? With clients? With books bought? With attendees at your events? What does the picture of a successful 2014 look like? Is it to make a lot of money? What is a lot of money to you, meaning, let’s quantify it. Is it $200,000? What does $200,000 mean to you and to your family? What is the ultimate reason for your goal? Understanding what you truly want to accomplish then what that accomplishment means to your life will provide a much needed jolt of energy when you are tired, down, frustrated, or discouraged. Knowing, understanding and LOUDLY stating clearly, that you want to reach 200k this year to make your family’s life stable, to finally quit your job, and to slowly start creeping out of debt is MUCH more powerful than a simple resolution. You are now quite intimate with the what and the how of why you are working so hard. Once you finish breaking down the answers those questions truthfully, you have set up the BEST platform to jump into strategy 2….

  2. Systems Strategy. Adding systems is one of the first strategic items that you can implement in your business. Your focus for this strategy is to document items that you use often, or automate everywhere that you can in your business. If you can put all the codes and how to’s of a task on a document ready for your new assistant, how much time do you think you are saving from training? If you can build up a training program that once it’s done, it requires not one single thing from you again and your participants can watch videos, download documents and get automated emails every 4 days to assist them…. why not? Think like this, “ What can I implement in my business to make things easier, more streamlined, and automated?” You can document things like:

    1. What colors do I use often and what are the codes?

    2. What are the passwords for all of my platforms?

    3. Is my logo files in a folder?

    4. What are the steps I like to take to upload a post to my blog? What are the follow up steps? What checklist do I follow?

    5. What are the steps I take when I am planning an event? What event checklist do I follow?

    6. How to I figure out if I will take an opportunity? Can I create an opportunity checklist to make sure that I am aware of the pros and cons?

Basically, you are taking tasks that you do on a regular basis and creating documents that you can follow or that you can hand to your assistant to follow to make sure what you want done is done. Also, documenting your steps helps to make sure that tasks can get completed whether you are there or not, have a new assistant, or want to check off if something was done. How organized would it feel to have an assistant start on Monday and be able to hand her an operations manual that documents where to find your logo files, what font you want in your newsletters, what time to send your newsletter out, what template to use, what color code to use, what links to make sure to add, etc. etc as opposed to trying to search and find these things and send them to her one at a time? Creating the simplest of systems in your business saves you time so that you AND your help, can be working on the bigger picture.

  1. Your 2014 Creation Strategy must be a priority in the new year. Why keep those ideas, those skills or those must have events to yourself? Why wait another year to start smartly packaging up that knowledge into easy to follow, step-by-step, sellable products? Now is the year, however, it won’t happen by simply wishing. You must have a plan in place, then take that plan and work backwards so that your daily, weekly and monthly tasks help you to reach your ultimate goal…..to have that beautiful product in your hands or neatly in a digital file on your computer, ready to sell. Your creation strategy needs a goal ( product you want to create) a tasklist ( your goal to do’s), a dream team to help you build it ( designer or writer) and a marketing plan to launch it ( multi-channel, multi-platform strategy). Sounds like a lot? No worries, we’ve broken all of your needs down in a FREE videos series here and an online course here. Get that creation strategy done NOW! It’s mandatory for your next strategy…

  2. If you want to be known by more than your mother and your immediate circle you must create a Branding Strategy that you consistently work, tweak, and refine, and it must be solid. You want that global status, but how do you get it? What platforms do you need to be on? How often do you need to get on them? How types of information should you share? Are the people you want to reach interested in that type of information? While building your branding strategy you have a multitude of options. Your major first step, is to determine who you want to know about you? Basically, who is your audience? Who do you want to work with? Who would want to work with you? Who do you service? What do they need? What are their hurts? What are their obstacles? How will you reach them how often will you touch them, and how do you get your information and messages to them? To get laser focused on who that person is so that you can start to find them, I suggest reading “Book Yourself Solid  by Michael Port. Then, once you have a solid branding strategy in place and know where and how to reach them, you need to focus on leveraging…

  3. A Powerful Leverage Strategy is using your time, your resources and your energy to maximum capacity. Sometimes, saying no when saying yes is to the detriment of your goals or vetting a potential partner thoroughly before jumping into bed with them or getting a set in stone agenda before hopping in your car to a meeting or understanding all of the benefits perceived or stated before plopping your money down for an event. Technology leverage is making sure that you use the digital tools available to you to build your brand, to reach your audience, to create a powerful system, to grow your database and your profits. Time leverage focuses on using your “business time” to building key relationships, partnerships, and having focused strategic meetings that have a profit strategy angle…

  4. But my money tho? Having a Profit Strategy is the most important strategy to keep your business afloat. A simple, “ How will this project make my business money”, is enough to save you the time and energy of a failed project. How does joining this organization help me make money? Does it focus more on camaraderie or empowerment or does it focus on making money? Does this free speaking engagement lead to money for my business? How? Am I clear on the profit streams? Are the profit streams in writing? Then why am I moving forward? Does the sponsorship of this event or organization lead to profit for my business? Are the attendees ready and open to spending money on my product or service? Are they looking for my product or service? What type of projects will my profit come from this year? Do I need to search for the opportunity and apply or do I need to create the opportunity myself. What are my costs for this year? Have I determined all of the events, conferences or trainings that I will attend? How will these trainings add to my profits? What am I expecting these trainings to add to my profits? How much money do I expect to make each month? From what?  How much money do I want to make this year? These are super important questions that many of us don’t ask ourselves before we open our wallets or to determine and claim the type of year that we really want to have.  A profit strategy is essential for today and to be in business tomorrow. Take some time, take the weekend, and answer those questions before you do anything else.

  5. None of these strategies mean squat if your package is a jacked up, done at home, not professional word document. Time out for that. Your packaging has got to be TIGHT. Understand that putting in the work to having the BEST package that you can currently afford, is one of the things that might get your foot in the door. I can think of 2 times, that my pink yet polished packaged got me in the door within the last 2 months. I’m sure a “no” was sitting on the edge of their lips, but they had to open it, and once they did….. meetings were set. Give yourself a fighting chance and raise up your Polished Packaging Strategy as best as you can. Some of my packages have gotten me speaking engagements, business partnerships, hired for consulting, and basically grew my business. What has your package gotten you lately? Let’s fix it.

Winning is not working 24/7, even though you will have many clusters of non-stop project producing weeks. Winning is finding out how to get the BEST results, working your best angle, where your best clients are hanging out and building the best business you can. 

Get a strategy plan, get intimate with those goals, polish up your package and get clear on your profit sources. In 2014, we’re not just spending our time, we’re not just spending our money playing at business. We are making sure every nickel we toss out today comes back tomorrow dressed as a dime…. Don’t waste it. 

 

Ready to start putting your Strategy plan together? Join us for a Virtual group session on Feb 22nd by clicking here or a private session with me here…. Let’s do it!

 

 

 

placeit

Many times our business stress comes from lack of strategy, using leverage and our energy wisely, thinking things through or getting help where needed.

For our 2014 to be successful, it requires us to focus more on what’s important, what brings us closer to our goals, makes us more profitable and, if possible, hits more than one stone at the same time.

Here are 8 very basic ways to reduce your stress, use what you’ve got and be more strategic in 2014!
1. Use your time wisely and get help where you need it. Today I want you to put out a job on Elance.com for a virtual assistant for 2 hours a week at $10 an hour ($80 a month) and start delegating.  Yep, you can afford that. And give them things to do that shouldn’t be on your plate anyway while you slowly learn to focus on the larger projects and meetings that bring in your business more money. This assistant will do things like

  • editing and uploading blog posts

  • creating and editing documents

  • sending out emails ( I wrote this email but my assistant sent it to you while I’m in Austin wine tasting and doing a lot of nothing…)

  • and this is just the beginning. Go to Chris Ducker’s website to learn more about how to hire your virtual assistant in the new year. 

Part 2 of using your time wisely. Guard your time like a hawk. I’m sure I get “blessed” by someone at least once per week because of a meeting I refuse to have. CEOs, it is absolutely your job to sniff out those agenda-less meetings, brain picking sessions, or complete wastes of time. Get comfortable with no. Make friends with no. Understand that no isn’t mean, it just means, no.  

 

2. Get off all of those social media platforms and only use the ones that help your business and the ones where your client hangs out. Many of us waste time on platforms where our client is not hanging nor where they go to get information on your particular product or service. Make sure to schedule your posts, and spend no more than 10 minutes a day “live posting” or checking your pages. Social Media, especially if your using it has no angle or reason, is a huge time waster and you can’t be strategic if you’re wasting the little time you have. A few quick tips:

  • – if your product is visual (retail, clothes, a widget) think Facebook, Instagram, possibly Pinterest

  • – if your product is professional, like consulting/coaching, think : Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube

3. Pick a ledge and jump.  MANY of us are juggling way toooooooo many job descriptions, titles and services. It truly does not make you look good to have this on your website: Financial Coaching Services, Image Consulting, Empowerment Speaking, Modeling, Model Coaching, can be hired as a spoken word Poet…. Yep. That all came from one blog and I didn’t list all of her services.

But not only the way it looks, dividing your time, energy and talents into too many areas dilutes your power and makes you and your business less effective.

CEOs, I want you to stop doing this in the new year. Being a Jane of All Trades is what gets us unpaid. How can the blogger mentioned above come to me or anyone else and say, I’m really proficient in this area, very knowledgable and should be paid 1k? We can’t take her seriously and we all want our business talents, skills and time invested taken as seriously as possible. 

One of our biggest problems is picking a platform or niche, then going at it with 100% focus. Without giving our focus, we can’t see opportunities, we don’t have time to go for the bigger deals and we end up not doing all of our projects or completing our goals. And most importantly, without focusing on a niche, you CANNOT get the larger paychecks. 

4. Ask.

That’s the tip. Ask for what you want. I learned this lesson years ago but more thoroughly in the last few years. Instead of wondering what people will pay for your product or service, ask them.

Instead of wondering if one of the top celebrities, business people, or influencers will work with you or your company or will agree to simply try your body products for free….ask.

Instead of shuffling around the no’s that your sister got, or the no’s that your friends say you’ll get, just ask and find out. Get your own no.

Novel idea eh? Tip 4….ASK

5. Do the work. Put in the work where you need to, market the hell out of it strategically of course, then do the work some more. Many times when I speak to a lovely CEO, no “strategic” work has been done. Let me explain what I mean.

Yes, you’re writing, you’re doing regular blog posts BUT, they are random at best. Today you’re talking about celebrities, tomorrow, business tools, then next week, you’re talking about consulting or your event. Don’t you know your audience is thoroughly confused? Most can tell when your idea or post has not been researched, was typed on the fly and was just the information off the top of your head.

You’re writing so that people will find your site, think you’re knowledgable, and find you so resourceful that they keep coming back. What do you think will get me more hits to our site….My random thoughts on marketing or creating a post called the Holy Grail List of Marketing and PR tools with more than 250 resources…. Which do you think will continue to get us traffic to our site and introduce people to our knowledge? That post took me a week by the way( I read every single resource and one just one resource has 75 marketing articles) and it is one of the posts that gets us the most traffic…. Point is, do the work. A well written 1 post will do much more for you then a whole bunch of empty, random, “I’m blogging just because they say to do it” posts…..

Your blog posts should be

– informative

– useful

– have tips and tools your audience can use immediately

6. Five words.

What 5 words do you want to be known for? This could also be phrases or 2 words like , “business attorney”. So that you are not all over the place for 2014, think like this, what 5 words do I want to be known for? If someone didn’t have my name or my company name, how would they find me on Google?

I did a training with Google this year and that was one of the first questions they asked, and if we don’t know the answer to it, we’ll be  working like crazy all the time without this strategy in mind. Because, many people who find us and like our information, will not know our business name or our name. So, here’s where that niche comes in again.  What do you want to be known for? Take the next couple of days and work on this. Pick some words, Google them and see who’s coming up for those keywords. Then determine, is that a search term you want to show up for? Then, once you get your 5 words, incorporate them into your writing, into the products that you create, the speaking engagements you go after and the type of meetings you set up. Knowing your 5 words can really change the direction of your business and streamline all of your activities and energies into a specific area. This, my friends is being less random, willy nilly and more strategic.

7. Make educating yourself a priority. I do want you to ask questions-as that’s the best way to find out answers, but before you do that, have you tried? Have you gone to the library? Have you Googled it? Have you put in the work? Have you used the tools available at your fingertips already? I put out A LOT of info yearly, and sometimes, when someone asks for help, I’ll ask if they researched the info I’ve already given, or if they’ve tried to help themselves….. CEOs, this is a tough one, because we’ve all done it. We’re entrepreneurs now. We have to be the first on deck to do the work and waiting around for someone to give us the answer takes too much time.

I used to ask my brother in law, any single technical question that popped into my head. Sometimes he’d answer me, but soon, he got tired and said, “you know I’m just Googling it right, and you could be doing the same thing?” Stung, but he was right. 

I learned the lesson. Ask for help where you need it, but put in your own work, so that you are not wasting time waiting around for an answer.

8. Get rid of dreams and start setting goals. Yep, gonna beat this alive just to beat it back dead again. CEOs, we are not setting goals. And, I know many of you think you are, but you are actually building dreams. Goals have tangible parts, deadlines, steps broken down, energy, and sustainability.

I’m not telling you to get out paper and start writing the New Year’s Resolution list. I’m telling you to write out your MUST list. What must happen? Who must be involved for this to happen? What tools must I have to get it done? What date must it be done by? What must I do right now to make these damn dreams a reality? If I’m not doing them, what MUST leave my space right now so that I can?

I hope these tips help you to save time, use what you have, and leverage ALL that you do have in the new year. Check out our trainings and events below, and drop us a note in the comments to let us know what you will do to be more strategic in 2014. 

 

Women CEO Project January Events & Trainings

    1. Global Mastermind Circles Closes on or before January 6, 2014. To find out all of the details, click here.
    2. Private Business Strategy Clinic at my House 🙂 Jan 16th! For details, email info@womenceoproject.com
    3. Business Breakfast in Houston, Tx Jan 17th 7:30am-9am @ Canopy Restaurant . RSVP here!
Women CEO Project Podcast

 

While working with many women ceo’s I’ve noticed that we’re always tired, seem unfocused, getting nowhere, stagnant and unsatisfied. We always working working working, always hustling, with absolutely no hustle plan. This gets us nowhere. This lack of focus mixed with fear feelings is the reason we created our upcoming Unleash Your Champion Virtual Summit event on Oct 30th with 3 powerful women who will speak to our fears and obstacles. More on that later, but today, I want to kick off a 4 part “ Focus Your Hustle” Podcast and blog series leading up to Unleash Your Champion.

Part 1: How to Value the Room

While it’s important to know how to work a room, it’s first imperative to understand how to value a room to determine if you should be there in the first place.

Starting a new business is totally filled with the type of excitement and adrenaline rush that feels unstoppable, that moves mountains, and that counters every obstacle.

That adrenaline is needed to plow through rooms of naysayers, to shake hands with millionaires, to request mentorship from seasoned professionals. But when networking, power connecting and making the best use of your time, you must first, understand your goal, and second, make sure your business development is done with those who help you to reach your goals.

It’s imperative that you zone in on

  • who you need in your circle

  • who you are currently connected with

  • who you want to connect with

  • who you can benefit

  • and who has your audience

 

I used to run my car and my tired ragged following behind every piece of supposed real estate business before truly understanding that if I focused on my goals, then determined what activities and events could get me to my goals, my networking and business development strategy totally changed, reduced in amount of time, yet increased in yielded sales. So, before stepping out to your next event, simply going to places that you’ve been invited, run through the simple checklist to determine if there is benefit in you spending your time, your money there.

Understand these key things:

  • We cannot fill our day simply going to things we’ve been invited

  • We must know who we’re looking for

  • We must be willing to take risks and expand

  • We must learn how to make true connections

  • We must understand, know, and identify the value we bring to scenarios before we pitch them

How to Determine the Value of a Room:

  • Does it cost money to attend this event? If not, understand that although you may meet a few quality people there, then chances are greater that you will meet people who may not be ready to invest in themselves or your products and services. Understand this simple fact, if your product or service costs money, and the event was free, you may not be sitting in an environment with people who want to spend money.

  • Is this an industry event? It’s a common sense mistake that I see businesses making everyday…. they are an attorney, so they fill their week with attorney networking events, and wonder why they are not getting clients… Does this make sense? If you fill your day with industry events, you will meet people in your industry who are also looking for clients- you probably won’t run into too many clients. You should instead fill your day with events where you can meet they type of client you want to buy from you. If you don’t find an event that specifically caters to your ideal client, you should create it. Think like this, if you’re say for example, a small business attorney try hosting

    • Meetups, events and networking functions for small businesses, startups or entrepreneurs

    • Hangouts for small businesses where they can “ Ask the Attorney”. I know a many small business owners who would LOVE to ask an attorney one question without having to drop a retainer.

    • A livestream panel of tips, tools, resources, and legalities to avoid for small businesses.

    • See the trend. The goal is to go where your client is or host something that your client would want to attend. Don’t fill your day with other attorneys looking for clients ( I know many realtors who fill their week with realtor association functions)
  • Did this event cost money to attend? BINGO. You have increased your chances of meeting people who spend money and who invest in themselves. That simple.

  • Are the people in the room a step above you? Some people want to only be in rooms where they are the star, but how can you learn from this room, how can you grow UP? Every now and then, go where everybody knows your name, but sprinkle in those events, functions and conferences, that will allow you to grow mentally, in thought and that give you access to meet the stars. It’s imperative to be around and learn what the stars do to become a star and also, keeping people around who are even slightly ahead of you keeps you on your toes and they usually love to reach back and pull you up.

  • Are there people there whose advice, connections, or doing business with could totally change the course of your life, career or business? Then break your neck to be there, to be of benefit to them and to connect. If there is no one there

  • Know who is going to be at an event. This is pretty easy, it just requires an ounce of effort. Check out the event website or the invite. Who are the speakers, is it someone you want to connect with? Is it someone you’ve been wanting to meet or interview? Find out before hand, connect with them pre-event, get the conversation started, and read here, where I give some strategic connection tips.

  • If you made a list of the top 5 attributes of your ideal client, is this particular type of person going to be at this event? Again, if you have for example a florist shop, would it be better for you to go to a whole bunch of florists events, to happy hour networking events, or C. to bridal shows, meeting planner association meeting, office manager association meeting…… Who would buy your flowers? Brides, office managers, meeting planners for events… Think strategy, and no, random, is not a strategy.

This checklist is simple isn’t it? In business, and especially starting out, one of the most precious things we have is our time, and our resources. We can’t give it away or waste it. If something is for fun, let’s call it fun, but if it’s supposed to be for business, let’s handle it professionally, analyze our options, and get the most out of our time spent and potential connections we can make

So now, before get busy stuffing your week full of meaningless (to your business) or unfocused events, I want to to truly understand and know the value of the room before you give your time and definitely your hard earned money.


I hoped you’ve enjoyed part 1 of the Focus Your Hustle Series, “ How to Value the Room” get ready for Part 2 where we dive into “How to Break Down Your Goal into Baby Bites”

 

Show Notes:

social media

Not only in 2013, do we have so many tools at our fingertips, but the majority of these tools- that are more than likely free or budget friendly, also come with analytics features that tell you EXACTLY what’s working and what’s not. You can then use these numbers to develop strategic marketing plans that share more of what your audience wants and in the channels and platforms that they find you or your business more often.

These numbers cannot and should not be ignored. Why not stop shooting in the dark and instead use the information available to you to have more specific aim and better results?

Using analytics, software and sites that let me know what’s working has truly improved:

  • how I market

  • how much time I spend marketing

  • helped me hone in on my niche

  • what people are saying about me and my company

  • what channels and platforms seem to bring in the most eyes to my blog and products

  • what social media platforms I should focus my time on

So here are some of the most useful analytics tools to keep your marketing, your business projections and strategy on track:

Google-Analytics-2013

  1. Google Analytics ( of course, and here is an entire post on how to use it)

    1. Here’s the NEW Google Analytics Academy to really teach you every single thing you need to know to use this tool

  2. CrazyEgg: The site that’s giving Google Analytics a run for it’s money. Try both and determine which one fits your analytics needs best.

  3. Hootsuite: You can use this tool to not only schedule your social media and blog posts but to really understand and analyze who shared your posts and who’s mentioning you and your business.

  4. Social Mention: I check this site out at least once per week to see who’s been talking about me and Women CEO Project, if the information has been negative, positive, or neutral. This is one of my favorite tools because it combs Google and Bing and other large search platforms and gives you a really comprehensive output.

  5. DashThis: Pretty detailed and can be used as an all in one tool.

  6. Mention: Similar to Google Alerts. Create alerts on your company name, your projects, your events, and your products.

  7. VirtalHeat: Another all in one tool to measure your social media campaigns and marketing.

  8. Google Alerts: Put in keywords you want to monitor, then learn what words your audience is typing in to find out information on your particular subject or niche. Then make sure to use these keywords in your own blog posts, videos, podcasts, and social media posts.

  9. MentionMap: Love tools that are visual. Know exactly who’s checking for you- in a pretty way.

Pinterest

Pinterest for Business by Women CEO Project

  1. PinLeague: This really let’s you know if what you’re doing on Pinterest is working, your average new followers a week, what boards are working best for you, and maybe where you could improve. Good info to have.

  2. Pinterest Web Analytics : I love this one. It really shows you why posting photos on Pinterest is not only smart marketing, it can be a strategic biz move.

Facebook         facebook logo

  1. Zumm: Use this to compare your Facebook pages and that of your competitors. Good tool.

  2. Facebook Search: Why not? Zuckerburg made something very useful for businesses to find out what folks are talking about on Facebook.

Twitter    twitter

  1. Backtweets: Know who’s sharing your links on Twitter.

  2. Tweetdeck: Schedule and analyze your tweets using this tool.

  3. Twitter Reach: Measure the success of any Twitter campaign.

  4. Tweetbeep: Know who’s using the keywords you’re interested in or your company/project/product name in their tweets.

  5. TweetCounter: Know your numbers on Twitter really quickly. How fast you’re growing, who your influencers are and who you influence.

  6. Tweet Alarm: Get email alerts when someone tweets your company name.

  7. ReTweet Rank: Not that pretty eh? But shows you how that Twitter campaign did and how influential you are on that platform.

  8. Plugg.io: Schedule, then analyze. Schedule, then analyze.

  9. Twitonomy: Want to lose 2 hours? Use this tools to get a pretty and comprehensive visual of everything that’s happening on your Twitter profile.

  10. Unfollow Me: Hey, sometimes we want to know who unfollowed us. Why not?

Youtube

24. Youtube Keyword Tool : Youtube is one of the daily most visited websites in the world. Once you get your videos up there, find out what words to use to optimize them for success.

 

New Additions:

Tagboard

 

 

 

Nothing’s better than knowing exactly what you’re aiming for when you reach into your social media arsenal. Use these tools to add some focus and strategy while you’re creating, marketing, and increasing your expert status. Two more tools to totally rock your world… if you feel you want to take it a step further, check this out here and here to see if my skills are a good fit for your needs, and if you want something to read on your ipad that will jumpstart any strategy, creation, innovation and business planning session, download this here.

Women CEO Project Podcast

In this Episode, we talk about how to give your current and future audience a lil taste of your skills, talents and maneuver through and stand out from the minutia of ALL the other media, marketing and advertising messages they get daily. 

In this episode you will learn:

  • some options of what to create for your audience
  • what to do with the DIYers or the people who don’t want to buy from you
  • how to wrap your “free” with strategy and leverage
  • how to combine different platforms to reach your audience

Websites and Tools Mentioned: