As my team launched my new course, ReThink Strategy, I developed this REALLY BIG plan of consulting 3000 businesses in the next calendar year. Will it be tough? Of course. Do I know how I’ll do it? Nope, but will I do it? DEFINITELY!
As Les Brown says, the how is not your business, you just put your dreams and goals out there and go to WORK!
So that’s what I did. My goal for the month of April, was to meet with 50 of you awesome women ceo’s and give you an intro consultation to acclimate you to what consulting can do for your business and show you how much clarity having your own ride or die business consultant can add to your business.
For a few of you, I saw the light come into your eyes in the matter of minutes, and for that, I am truly grateful to have played a part. As I met with many of you this past month, I picked up a couple of themes and some of them bothered me enough for me to want to discuss them with all of you. The common themes I found in doing some uber focused sessions this past month are:
A resistance to determining a specific niche and a trend toward being more of a generalist as opposed to a specialists
Determining what exactly what you want to be known for
A need to get approval from someone outside of yourself to move forward on your dreams
Not focusing on marketing, only using social media to market yourself, or using your marketing tools inconsistently
Having all of the knowledge needed, but not executing on it
I gave MANY different suggestions to these 58 women of the course of the month, but A LOT of the consultation initially focused on me asking them some very directed questions that once answered, provided all of the clarity that you needed.
I want to make the lesson BIGGER. So I’m doing a LIVE Google Hangout on Saturday Morning (May 3rd) at 10am-11am Central TZ, where I will tackle those common themes and obstacles and how to get around them.
The live session maybe a good idea for those of you who are really struggling in your business right now and who need an ounce of clarity to make MASSIVE changes. To get in on the live hangout on Saturday morning
Thanks so much for joining us for the 10 Part Strategy Series. If you could help me out and fill out this short survey, then Register Here for the LIVE Q & A Webinar on Monday, April 7th at 7pm Central. I am excited to see you and hear from you!
How awesome has the last 2 weeks been? Well, the Strategy Series is coming to an end. We only have 2 things left! I have gotten a MASSIVE amount of feedback with your questions, what you’ve learned and what you’re doing with the lessons from this series. We have 2 things coming and I give ALL the details in the short recording.
Do know this CEOs, your goals, your hurts, your fears, your setbacks, your obstacles…. I hear them all and
I Believe in You Anyway…. Do you? No sales. No strategy. No profits. No business. Just You.
Stop stepping over dollars to chase after pennies. Small ballers focus on what’s currently in front on them instead of delegating and going after the bigger picture and long-term strategy. Give the busy work to the secretary while you put on your heels and chase after the big deals.
Small ballers spend too much time in development and not enough time in doing. Why you been working on that speaker’s kit for 6 months instead of going out and getting speaking engagements? Which would serve you better? The actual petal meeting the metal experience or the perfectly spelled and worded word document. Get out of the development phase and jump into doing.
Go to the edge of your comfort zone and JUMP. Magnificence does NOT happen within your comfort zone. Small ballers aim for only what they feel they can absolutely reach or what other’s have done before them – never ever venturing out into their own creativity. Why do this? Understand that entrepreneurship is not built to keep you comfortable and if you are feeling warm and cozy, you probably need to stretch yourself more.
Stop living up and into the boxes that others set for you. People give advice and set boundaries for you based of their own fears of what they feel they could accomplish themselves. Why are you carrying other’s weight? Why are you accepting the no’s they got when they tried to start a business? That’s too much weight to carry. Focus on your own goals, your own ambitions, and by all means CEOs, get your own NO. Don’t accept anyone else’s!
Stop complaining about entrepreneurship. There is no glory in being a tired entrepreneur. It’s a life that you chose, and path that you wanted to tread. It isn’t supposed to easily make you millions. Refine those expectations about what the entrepreneurship life entails and buck up. Either you’re about this life or you’re not.
Small ballers are information junkies who NEVER take focused action. They shuffle around from lesson to lesson hunting and gathering but never conquering. Don’t do this. Put a timeframe on the learning, then make a committed, descriptive, deadline pending goal with yourself.
Take yourself and your business seriously. Stop floating deadlines, procrastinating on producing or only being a cheerleader in the women’s movement without ever executing on anything.
Small ballers wait on permission for everything. STOP! You didn’t get into business to be like everyone else or to do what everyone is doing. So why ask everyone for their permission to shine? This is your business. You are an entrepreneur. Now is the time to try out all of those unique ideas andunleash your champion!
Stop being scared to talk about money. The more you run from or shun those who focus on their profits, the more you delay making profit in your own business. Learn to speak money. Learn to pay professionals. Learn to be comfortable making and spending money in your business.
Stop asking for little money. This keeps you small. Go after the whale. Pitch the big projects. Go for the bigger money and the bigger deals. If not you then who?
Stop spending time with unqualified prospects. Make sure you give AWESOME content and send folks who are not quite ready to buy to your blog to get all that you offer for free, but don’t spend time convincing or begging someone to do business with you.
Small ballers don’t ask for what they need. They get scared by folks questioning their prices or valuing their knowledge. Usually, they cave in to deep discounts, and eating plenty of resentment. Don’t do this. Make a commitment to continuous learning and be confident in what you know, what you charge and who you were placed on this earth to serve.
Stop getting a consensus on your idea. Why ask the opinions of folks who’ve never accomplished anything of mention? Go with your gut and do your best.
Let a brand inspire you, but don’t copy them. Starting a business is YOUR time to truly explore and share your unique talents and authentic voice with the world. Copying keeps you unnoticeable. Blend in fo what?
Learn to motivate yourself and speak life back into your day and your attitude. People who always need to go outside of themselves to get motivated should rethink becoming an entrepreneur.
Stop speaking negative words. Do you know that your brain is hearing you and registering that something is wrong? STOP IT! Your mindset and how you leverage it is one of the most powerful assets you have. Make sure you are kind and patient with yourself and that you learn 2 or 3 really motivating affirmations that you can trot out whenever you need it.
Stop going at it alone. Small ballers don’t know how to ask for help, where to find help and are afraid of paying for quality help. Don’t do this. Get focused on building the best team you can around you. This is one key task that will drive you to the big leagues!
Playing small keeps you focused on being liked. Do you know that you are not meant for everyone to like you? Business is business. It’s not always pleasant and sometimes you have to ruffle a few feathers. Understand that going big means you need to have a thick skin and the ability and gumption to take care of yourself and your interests.
Small ballers spend time in negative circles and environments that are familiar but that no longer serve them. Yes, I know they are your family. Yes, I now they are your “friends”. When going big, you will have to change up your circles, clean out your sandbox and upgrade who you play with. You absolutely must remove yourself from circles that do not grow you and travel light on your way to the top.
Small ballers are proficient at letting any single solitary distraction or obstacle hold them back instead of making the obstacle a learning experience that can propel them forward. Write down every single excuse you’ve had so far in 2014…. write them all out, neatly and organized. Now, open the drawer, take out a lighter and burn that damn list completely. We’re done talking about circumstances and rather discuss creative opportunities. We’re done moaning lack and are focused on abundance. We’ve finished playing small and only speak of love, abundance, progression, success and focus, because we do NOT serve the world by playing small ball!
So what are you playing small at?
Spend a Little…
Professional photos and head shots. Time out for these headshots that you took on your cell phone. They are not professional and they make folks not take you seriously. This is an area to spend a bit and you can usually find reasonable photographers on Craigslist or with a quick Google search. Spend a little here as you will use these photos constantly in your marketing.
A virtual assistant. This is definitely an area to spend. Removing some of these administrative to do’s off your desk and onto someone else’s for $5 dollars an hour is well worth you letting go of your latte habit. Also, learning to focus on high dollar tasks is one of the BEST ways to stop surviving and start thriving in your business. Check out Elance to find a virtual assistant who fits your budget and has experience with the tasks you need done.
Building your dream team, for example, hiring an accountant, small business attorney and a proven business consultant. Building a dream team from day one is absolutely priceless. You will count of them often and gain their advice regularly. They will save you, fight for you, organize your financials and help you grow your business. Learn exactly who should be on your dream teamhere.
Business cards. You will use these business cards ALL THE TIME, especially if you are working your new business like you should. You are networking, you are having private meetings, you are headed to the airport and you are in line at the grocery store. You can meet a potential contact or client anytime and you must be prepared with a professional looking business card ALWAYS.
Training and Courses with lessons that can add directly to the bottom line. Don’t just aim for the free stuff. Those courses and webinars are strategically built to give you great info but won’t necessarily take you to the finish line. Learn to pay for quality and for lessons that are proven to grow your business IF, IF, IF you also plan to implement the advice and tools.
Pitching and Key Meetings. This is not the place to save. This is the place to be cognizant on where you do spend, for example, on a designer to layout your proposal, another eye ( editor) to spellcheck your work and make sure the layout is right or an attorney to look over your proposal to make sure your interests are protected. When pitching bigger business, which I discuss in colorful detail in the ReThink Strategy Book, you want to put your best foot forward. This is your chance of scoring prime dollars for your business and you cannot do it if you’re toting small ball thinking. Small ball thinking does just that, keeps you playing small ball.
Creating Income Sources. This is another area where you want to spend. Let’s say you have $100 in your business, you have the option to save it and use it to pay a bill, put it back into your pocket or you could use it build something that brings in say, $500 a month ( an ebook, a webinar a DVD). Which do you feel is the best way to spend that $100? Understanding how to leverage what you do have to grow your business or to create more income streams is pretty dang powerful and is a strategy you should develop as soon as possible.
Save A Lot….
Word processing or document software. Pretty much, Google runs the world and has made it uber easy for you to run your business for free using a slew of their office apps which you can learn about in detailhereandhere. Save your money on calendars, word processing and cloud backup and invest a little time into learning how to implement these tools into your business today.
Hiring employees. There is no need to take on an employee in the early days. With platforms like Fiverr and Elance, you can get the help you need for almost any task and pay per project or per hour. Right now is the time to hire out for design, for editing, ebook covers, and social media marketing. It’s quite inexpensive, yet very effective.
Your first website may actually be free. This is an item that holds a lot of folks up because they are constantly trying to make it perfect. Do you realize that you will change that website soooooo many times and that you really and truly just need to get something decent out there? Now if you are a web or graphic designer and that is your business, then yes, from day one, yours needs to be pretty dang spectacular. But think like this, your website needs to do 1 job very, very well, and that is collect email addresses ( subscribers) for you. You also want to make sure it clearly states what your business offers and has a blog feature that you regularly and consistently add useful information to for your audience. Go to wordpress, buy a template if you need to and roll with it.
Marketing your business. In the beginning and all throughout your business, this is where strategic content marketing, leveraging social media and pure hustle will come into play. It’s imperative that you learn as much as you can about marketing as it is something you will do from day one up until the day you sell your business. Also, understanding the power of marketing will help you to grow your business faster, help you to build your brand and get your services and products out there. Check out this detailed article on 52 Ways to Market Yourself by Creating.
An office. Almost no one needs an office starting out. If Steve Jobs can start in his garage, why are you stressing over getting an office? This is not a startup must. Clean out a corner of your home, set up a computer and get to work. With the overhead of an office being the #1 reason most small businesses go under…. I suggest you wait on the office until you truly need one.
Visual Conferencing or Webinar Software. Again, innovation has launched a plethora of options for you to go global, host meetings, teach webinars and hold conference calls for free all while sitting at your desk with your computer and an internet connection. Use software like UberConference,Google Hangouts,AnyMeeting or FreeConferenceCall.com to get started.
Hiring a public relations representative. Whenever I hear a new business owner say they need a PR rep, I’m floored. Really, 99% of the people who think they need a rep, don’t quite have anything newsworthy to publicly relate about. You opening a new business isn’t news. While you’re still figuring out what your business’ focus is and what your story is going to be, I suggest you rethink needing a PR rep and read Julie Griffith’s article, 9 Things You Need to Ask Your PR Firmhere.
Drop me a comment below CEOs and tell me where are you going to save?
Today’s lesson will be personal for most of us. But it’s a small exercise that MUST be done to finally release all those pesky mindset traumas that consistently hold us back.
Check out the recording here, then drop me a note below and tell me what it’s going to take for you….
What we can do as entrepreneurs, is to provide the best value that we can and deliver it in a way that reaches our client, that is immediately useful in their lives, and that is unique to our talent and passions. But are you missing a few steps? CEOs, here are 4 reasons your audience isn’t buying from you and what you can do about it today!
You aren’t providing value to your audience. When you reach out on social media or though a newsletter, is it to provide value or to ask for a sale or invite your audience to an event? If the only time you call is to ask for something, you become someone to avoid. If you take the last 10 times you reached out to your audience, if more than 2 or 3 of those times you were simply asking them to buy something, I want you to consider the opportunity you’re missing to offer your audience more value. A new entrepreneur hangs their business shingle out seems like every 2 minutes, so it can be hard to keep up with who’s the current expert on branding, marketing, the best fashion consultant or who to go to purchase your first home. The only way to get through the sea of temporary entrepreneurs, part time hustlers, and unprofessional side giggers, is to make your information different. Make it useful. Make it effective. Provide the absolute best value that you can to your audience through your content, videos, blog posts, courses, teleseminars and events. Think, what was the last thing you gave them?
You don’t have a sales and information cycle. Most of your sales cycles are the equivalent to, ” Hello, how are you? I’m Jane. What’s your name? Hello, I’m John. Want to have sex?” Sounds funny eh? But for some of you, your sales cycle doesn’t take into consideration that folks have to warm up to you. There is a saying by Michael Port, ” Your ask isn’t in proportion to the amount of equity you’ve built up.” Basically, you are asking for too much right now. How can you bring your audience through a cycle of them seeing your value? Once they meet you, what are the steps that you bring them through before there is a request for a sale? Before you ask for the sale, have they had a chance to fully understand how their life or business will change from your information? I’ve found, that the more I share and provide, the less folks ask me to negotiate my price. The less ” kicking the tire” calls I get. By the time you’ve experienced me or Women CEO Project for a few weeks, or taken ANY of our courses or events, you’ve DEFINITELY gotten value. Can your audience say that about you?
You aren’t consistent. This is a biggie. Today your brand means this, tomorrow, something else. You have like 12 jobs. You market your business on Facebook consistently for 2 months, then no one hears from you for 3 months. You send out newsletters sporadically. See the trend? It’s hard enough to grab a client working day in and day out delivering quality, now add in seeing a person who’s actions show that they are not 100% behind their brand or what they are doing. You make people feel like your brand and your business is not stable when you aren’t consistent. What projects did you quit on? Where are you slacking? Haven’t spoken to your audience since the last time you marketed your event or sale? Be honest, then make a plan to do better. Take a look at what you want to do, then be realistic with yourself and narrow that list down to the things you can do consistently. Then once you have that narrowed down list- DO IT!
You don’t match your brand. Are you spitting luxury but looking like a discount? Are you talking upscale, upscale, then hosting your events in the hood. Are you promoting the BEST xxx conference in the world but marketing materials made on Microsoft Word? Don’t laugh, I am pulling direct examples. People aren’t crazy. It’s hard enough to make a sale if EVERYTHING is on point, but if you aren’t quite living your brand….this causes more problems. If you are preaching a holistic lifestyle, don’t post massive pictures with you partying, eating burgers and drinking wine at 9am. Sounds funny, but again, I am using real examples. Stop right now and look at your brand. Then take a look at what you’ve been putting out there. Do you and your brand match? If not, no worries. It can be fixed. Take a look at what you want to offer. Then determine what’s the BEST way you can offer it, even if small, so that it matches what the quality and brand that you are trying to present.
With that said, understand this CEOs, some people will absolutely never see your value enough to buy from you. Think about people who’s information you loved. They helped you, they tireless gave you the best quality advice, tips and tools they could, and you used them, leveraged them to make yourself and your life better. If you ever bought anything from them at all, it took a LONG time. They had to build up enormous value in your mind for you to consider buying even an ebook from them.
Now take that scenario and compare it to your frustrations. It will take a while for you to start seeing your ideal client come in and while your audience is slowly going through your sales funnel and deciding whether they will go further with your or not, there will be some who will love the samples but never buy.
Don’t let that discourage you and know that they ones who value you WILL show up. Keep pushing!
So you want to expand the speaking area of your business eh? Besides doing a simple Google search for organizations, have you looked at these potential opportunities?
College Enrichment Programs. Many colleges offer enrichment programs in several different areas or niches. Have you checked out your local university to find out the ones they offer? Don’t get discouraged if the colleges in your area do not currently offer them. This is your chance to pitch a well thought out 1 pager on an enrichment program that you’d love to co-create with them.
Hiring a speaker’s agent. Offering to pay someone a percentage of your speaker’s fee is a GREAT option and offers you the space to leverage yourself. You are running a business and may not have the time to sit at the computer to search and submit, search and submit. Last year, my goal was 50 speaking engagements and I booked 41. During a good portion of the year, I paid a speaking agent ( who was formally a PR professional) to search and submit my package for a few hours a day. I got my fee’s, she got her commission. We were both happy and I could be working on other things.
Local and National Associations. Whatever the interest is, there is an association for it AND if you speak on the local level, this greatly increases your chances to be hired to speak on the national and possibly international level. I recently picked up an engagement like this, where the local association is not paying me ( but the audience is perfect for me) AND they submitted me to speak for the national association’s conference, which has hired AND is paying me! This is where a good Google search will come in. If you type in ” Houston Associations” tons and tons of organizations pop up and usually there is an email address or an event chair listed. Start there, be persistent and follow through.
I have found speaking engagements by looking at speakers on Youtube, then checking out the organization that they spoke for. Kind of like backwards research. Why the heck not? These are organizations who obviously work with speakers. By searching on Youtube, I can get a few details about the audience, then I simply look up the organization and send them my pitch.
Local Meetup groups. As organizer dues for meetup.com rises, many meetups now charge their member’s fees to attend events AND they are paying the speaker who comes in to teach. As the creator of 3 different meetup groups, I was always looking for speakers to fill all of our events. This is your opportunity to speak in an intimate setting and meet your audience. Reach out to the organizers with your speaker’s kit.
Meeting Planners International . You should be on the same website, reading the same info and finding out about events with other meeting planners. Many entrepreneurs don’t think about this resource but it’s a great place to find out what conferences are happening early on and who the top meeting planners are. We give you an entire strategy for building your relationships with meeting planners in the ReThink Strategy Course, but for now, know what they’re doing and the conferences that are coming up on the calendar.
I know that these tools will help many of you. Speaking is a strategy that just shouldn’t be ignored. Be persistent, start your search on Google and keep an open mind.
I’m sure you have some unique techniques you are using to gain speaking engagements or maybe you’re just starting out. But to help everyone who’s reading this today, drop your tip, tool or resource in the comments below CEOs!
Become clear on what you want to be known for. Build your brand around it. Then SLANG it!! Why wait? Why sit by the phone? Once you pick a pill, determine a lane, or get on a road, do it with 100% energy and momentum. Start creating with your focused brand in mind and share it on as many platforms as possible. Start writing. Start doing videos. Start sharing info on the social media channels where your client hangs out. Start looking, feeling, and acting the part of your brand. Once you create your own momentum, you’d be amazed at the channels that open up, the calls for interviews, the invitations to speak and the opportunities to partner. Find your lane, then get into the business of branding YOU!
Automate EVERYWHERE that you can. Why work hard for every single dollar that comes into your business? Where can you create passive income? At least 1 hour this week, look at that products and services that your business currently has, and determine ways in which you can automate every channel to facilitate that sale from point A to point B. Can you write your blog post with a powerful call to action that sends your reader to subscribe to your blog? Then once they subscribe, they are automatically sent emails on a regular basis with useful information that they can use in their lives immediately. Can your blog post have a call to action that sends your reader to a survey? Or to a link to register for your next teleseminar or bootcamp? Can you create a Google Hangout that sends folks to subscribe to your blog- which is already set up to start sending them emails? How can you shorten the amount of time that you physically have to touch your business on a daily basis?
Pick the BEST 1 focus that you can implement into your business now, that will effect, grow, and add to all of your business channels. For example, speaking is a powerful focus. It brands you as an expert. It’s a profit channel if you got paid. It helps to fill your database. You can sell your books, DVDs, CDs, and workshops from the stage. It puts you in a powerful position to be hired as a consultant by the audience. That’s several channels or funnels in your business that can be filled by focusing on 1 key activity – speaking. Find that key activity for your business and then GO FOR IT!
Start creating. This is my personal claim to fame, and it’s room for anyone who dares to unleash their talent. You CAN build your own platforms. Your own, never seen before conferences or a worldwide speaking tour. It’s totally up to your decision to believe in yourself and your focus on making it happen. Creation expands your business like NO OTHER tip or strategy that I can offer you and it’s the prime reason I spent an enormous amount of time last yearbuilding a courseAND afree video seriesto help you do it. It’s POWERFUL. Stop telling yourself no. Start creating. Then watch your world open up!
Offer quality. Quick question? Do you feel it’s better to post a bunch of short, diluted, copied blog posts OR spend the time to develop a highly effective, probably gonna go viral, extremely useful blog post that truly helps your readers? It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. One ofour MOST visited blog poststook me a week to research, read every article and create but it pays our website consistent dividends in visitors and subscribers. If you only focus on quantity and skimp on the quality, you make it easier for someone with a little hustle to replace you. Spend the time, research your niche, add your own flavor and offer massive value. Yes, your potential clients can tell the difference. Quality is a tremendous filter.
Be known for something. By all means, be unique. 98% of the entrepreneurs I see are basically regurgitating everyone’s stuff, changing the colors, copying text, formatting, and styles of the folks they admire. But why do that? It’s easier, lasting and more effective for the growth of your business, to create your own unique products and incorporate your own flavor. You have a distinctive talent, special way of presenting, and a powerful why that is all your own. Don’t copy other folks. It isn’t a lasting business plan to always be marketing someone’s old idea. Put in the work, brand you and be known for something powerful.
Clean your sandbox and change up your playmates. For some of you, your business would have a 100% turnaround in growth and profitability if you’d simply remove the people who don’t add to your life , and insert the folks who are going where you want to go. Cleaning up your sandbox allows you to see new possibilities and understand the mindset of people who are successful. It clears the clutter so you can be more aware of your options and positions you in the prime place to say yes to right opportunities. The effect that new, positive, progressive, and successful circles can have on your business is residual and life changing. Let’s upgrade.
CEOs, tell me. Out of all the Strategy Lessons so far, which one is your favorite and how will you use it?