Category

General Biz

Why I’m not doing a plan for 2018 (gasp!)

By | General Biz, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos | 12 Comments

I’m a planning junkie and have been teaching it for years… but I’m not going to do a plan for 2018. Here’s why.

We all fail more than we succeed

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | No Comments

We all fail way more than we succeed – we just don’t talk about it.

And we are paying the price for it.

We look around and see everyone else succeed and wonder where we went wrong. And after repeated failures, we wonder what is wrong with us.

We suffer in silence – afraid that if we share our failures people would think less of us. Clients would be turned off and not want to work with us.

We stall – wanting to succeed but equally as afraid of making another mistake. So we do nothing and stay stuck where we are.

And yet – it is our failures that lead us to our greatest success. It’s a necessary part of the journey.

I can’t help but wonder…

What if we shone a light on our failures? Looked them in the eye and asked what lesson they have to give?

What if we shared our failures? Even celebrated them?

What if we explored our failures? Knowing that each failure leaves clues as to what will work – if only we are willing to do the work to find it.

This is the heart of the new ROI Lab that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month.

It’s a safe place to try new things, and to dig deeper when they don’t work, knowing that the answer to “what went wrong and what to do about it” can be found within the failure.

A place to tweak existing things, finding ways to make them simpler and easier – so that you can enjoy a greater return on all that you put into your business (ROI baby!!)

A place to receive the insight of others – including direct feedback from both Andrea and I – to see what you can’t see. To help ‘diagnose’ what went wrong and what to try next.

A place to show up and be real – in a judgement free zone where failure is the norm, and we have your back when you do.

Our failures can be our greatest teachers, but it is up to us to be open to the lessons they contain.

We have space for only 30 people to join us in the ROI Lab that starts next month – if you are interested in learning more comment below or send me an email.

Business advice from Stephen King?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | No Comments

Love this! I (perma) borrowed* a copy of the book On Writing by Stephen King from my friend Mike this weekend… such a great read! Even if you aren’t a writer or a fan of his books, what he shares can be applied to so many areas of business.

One of my favs is the fact that he doesn’t actually know what his books will be about before he writes them. Say what?! 

He comes up with an idea or a scenario and then starts writing to see what will happen. He is just as surprised and intrigued writing the story as we are reading it. <— wow!

I’ve heard George RR Martin (Game of Thrones author) say the same thing – if he knew the full story before he started writing it then he wouldn’t bother writing it because he would be bored.

Can’t help but wonder how this applies to the way we run a business?

Where is the sweet spot between laying out the plan in advance – vs laying it out as we go?

The extreme on either side can be problematic.

If we plan out too much or too far in advance we leave no room for being able to respond to what comes up on the journey. There is no room for creativity.

If don’t plan at all and just make it up as we go – we can end up wasting a lot of time and energy, and may never land where we want to go.

There is a middle ground that I’ve been playing in this past year. One part planning – one part flow – and it has served me well. Plus it’s been SO much more fun than just ‘laying out a plan and following it’… which I will admit feels boring at times.

This is something we will be teaching – and experimenting with – in a new program that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month. If you are interested in learning more about what we have cooking up let me know – comment below or send me an email.

*(Perma) borrowed – when one borrows a book with no intent of giving it back.  But don’t worry – Mike already knows I’m sending him a new copy.

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Self Sufficiency Syndrome

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

If there is one thing I know to be true about high-achieving women it’s this.

We CAN do it on our own.

We have already. We’ve proven we can make stuff happen. We are problem solvers. Fighters. Bring it on baby!

But at a certain point the very thing that we are best at – making it happen – can become our biggest burden.

I had an amazing conversation a couple of years back at a mastermind with two of my fav people – Samantha Bennett and Penelope Jane Smith. One of those ‘on a break in the hallway’ conversations, just off the cuff.

We got to talking about what Samantha called Self-Sufficiency Syndrome – where we are SO good at taking care of things on our own, that we don’t think we need help and nor do the people around us!

At the time I was about 2 years post divorce, and had been sharing how the hardest thing about that journey was when people would say to me:

“Tina, I’m so sorry to hear about everything… how are the girls? How is Dan? (my ex)… I know you will be fine.”

And every time they said that a tiny part of me inside would cry out “What about me? Why don’t they ask how I’m doing?”

They didn’t ask because they assumed I would be fine – they were simply responding to the way I had always shown up! That I had it all together and didn’t need help from anyone.

There I was, a newly single mom of 2 young girls with a business to run that is the sole provider of our income. And I was SOOO used to being the one to take care of things on my own that it didn’t even occur to me to ASK for more help. I didn’t know how to RECEIVE help when it was offered. My default response at that time was:

“I’m fine”

Fine – the other 4 letter word.

My divorce showed me that yes – I COULD handle it all on my own. I was. I did. And I’m beyond proud of that.

I did have amazing support in my business during that time. My team helped to keep the engine running and I’m not sure it would have otherwise.

And yet, I still felt like I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. That I had to figure it all out on my own. That it was up to me to keep pushing, or it might just fall apart. I felt the weight of responsibility to both my business and my team, and it became a pretty lonely place.

I remember asking myself one day – what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if I didn’t have to carry the ‘weight of the world’ on my own?

How different would my life be then? And is it even possible? Hmmm

I’ve spent the past couple of years fumbling around in this space.

Learning how to ask for help when I need it – especially in those moments when I’m feeling confused and stuck. Sometimes it’s help I pay for (great coaching has been my lifeline this past year) and sometimes it’s just me reaching out to a friend for a conversation.

Learning how to say yes when help is offered. And feeling bloody uncomfortable every step of the way! Also realizing that yes, I’m great at receiving paid help (ie: via my team) but horrible at receiving help without payment (there’s a whole other conversation for another time…)

I have by no means mastered this – my default is always self-sufficiency mode and I need a loving smack upside the head at times to shift this… but I have to tell you, something started to shift this past year.

I started having REAL conversations. I started facing the things I had been avoiding. I started to get real with myself – and others – about stuff I had been tolerating. I made changes in my business and life as a result of this.

It was also through these conversations that I started to see more clearly the work that I’m meant to do. And that there is no way in hell I can do it alone. Nor do I want to.

The truth is – great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve already proven that I can do this on my own – now it’s time to prove what we can do together.

THIS is my growth edge – I’m curious if this is something that you can relate to?

A Lesson in Doing What I’m Told (even when I don’t like it)

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Systems & How-Tos | 6 Comments

rulesI was in a workshop this past weekend learning a new business model (retail commerce) and my experience got me to thinking about something.

There is a lot of talk lately about NOT following someone else’s “7 steps to success formula” and to just do it your way. It’s almost become a rallying cry these days and I think it’s a potentially dangerous one (and yes – I am one of those who has been rallying that cry at times!)

I get it. We have all bought into programs with big expectations that didn’t work for us. Or that didn’t work the way we expected. And that sucks… especially when it feels like it keeps happening.

So it is tempting to say “screw the blueprint! – I’m going to just do it my way.” Especially if you have a bit of a rebellious streak like I do. (I know I’m not alone here… 😉

Ultimately you have a choice in how you want to build your business. You can blaze your own trail and work from trial and error. Or you can follow a formula that someone else has already proven works. Either one can get you there – it’s just a matter of choosing the type of journey you want to have.

BUT following an existing formula will only work if you are purposeful upfront in a few key areas… there is actually a simple formula to being able to successfully follow a formula (ha!)

1) Figure out first what you REALLY want to create. If you don’t know what type of business you want and are really suited for – then don’t buy into any formula to build a business yet! You need to first do some deeper work (i.e with a coach) to figure this out. I’ve seen many people waste time, money and energy trying to build something that they were never meant to do…

2) Find someone who has PROVEN the business model that you want to build. This is a surprisingly hard step as it requires some digging and potentially some patience. I’m always looking for the person who lives what they teach. Who has been doing it for years. And often these are NOT the people with the flashiest marketing because they are more focused on running their business! Great marketers are not always great business owners…

3) DO THE WORK. For the love of all things holy – do what they tell you to do! This is the hard part because yes – there is work to be done and yes – you won’t want to do all of it. But you need to do the work if you want to create success. Don’t complain that it didn’t work if you stopped after step 2. Or if you skipped steps 4 & 5 and went to step 6 because it was more fun.

Does this mean success is guaranteed? Hell no – this is business baby and unfortunately success is never guaranteed even with the best ‘formula’. But you will be more likely to succeed if you do the work. Start there. And if it doesn’t work dig deeper (again – a coach can be helpful here.)

As for me? I followed EVERY step I was told to do in my workshop this past weekend. And I will admit – there were times where I thought “I don’t want to do it that way” or “maybe I’ll try this instead”. There were even moments of “I’ve been in business for a long time already so I can do what I want”… But I gave myself a mental slap on the wrist and just did what I was told. I followed the steps that they had already PROVEN to work. And I left that workshop after 3 days with a live, running store. (Which I’ll share more about in the future… for now I’m keeping it under wraps as I play.)

If I had gone rogue and tried to do it my way I wouldn’t have a live store right now.

The bottom line is this:

If someone is building the same type of business you want to build then the easier path is to. Follow. Their. Steps. Until you have proven the business model for yourself (aka – made consistent money) THEN go ahead and start doing it your way.

You may still get there if you skip the first part and jump right into doing it your way – but usually at the cost of spending WAY more time in trial and error. Which can erode your confidence and passion over time, not to mention empty your wallet!

Know yourself. Know what you need. And choose accordingly.

Ostrich or Control Freak

Are you an Ostrich or a Control Freak?

By | General Biz | No Comments

Originally posted on Jan 31st 2014

When it comes to running their business, Entrepreneurs will fall into one of 2 categories – Ostrich or Control Freak. This is especially important to understand when it comes to dealing with stress in the business (and growing a business is certainly stressful at times).

If you are an Ostrich, you default into avoidance mode, putting your head in the sand and crossing your fingers, hoping that someone else will swoop in and save the day. Ostriches generally don’t like, or understand, the “behind the scenes” stuff in business.

In fact, some of them may hate it. So they tend to rely too much on other people for the answers and to do the work that needs to be done. They will hire and blindly trust people on a whim, assuming that whoever they hired is doing it right, which isn’t always the case and can lead to big issues. This can lead to a lot of wasted time and money spent on hiring the wrong people, implementing the wrong systems and trying to fix mistakes down the road.

If you are a Control Freak you default into do-it-all-myself mode, where you keep everything on your plate, rarely delegate and end up working yourself to exhaustion. A Control Freak comes from a place of believing that they do it best and that no one else could possibly do the work as well as they could. Although this might be true to a degree, it’s a dangerous place to be in as a Control Freak will get caught in a trap of doing the wrong work. They will spend so much time and energy on all the “behind the scenes” stuff, that they don’t have time to actually grow their business and deliver their services. This leads to a lot of frustration, long working hours and ultimately, burnout.

What we are aiming for is to be in the middle – what I call being an Empowered Entrepreneur. When you come from an empowered place as a business owner, it means that you are:

  1. aware of what it takes to run and grow your business (vs. putting your head in the sand) AND
  2. you also have a team/systems in place that you trust to get the job done (vs. trying to do it all yourself.)

You own your responsibility in what it takes to run your business, and you won’t settle for less than the best for everyone concerned (including yourself!)

Now that you know your default mode for running a business, it’s important to know what kind of business you are building… we’ll talk about that next week. 😉

The BEST article on pricing that I’ve ever read

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | 12 Comments

It seems like everyone and their dog these days is touting the wonders of charging ‘premium rates’ for ‘high-end packages’.

Ugh. I’m tired of it… and here’s why.

First of all – it implies that if we aren’t charging ‘as much as we can!!’ then we are missing out. That the only goal of business is to squeeze every last dime out of the work we do.

Second – I’ve seen this set people up for failure. Either they struggle to sell at their new ‘premium’ rate (because deep down they don’t believe it’s worth it) or they sell at this premium rate but fail to deliver what the client was expecting (and find themselves in a bit of a pickle).

If the goal isn’t to charge as much as we can – then what do we aim for?

How do we know what the ‘right’ price is?

My friend Carolyn Herfurth shared this article with me recently and I daresay it’s the best article on pricing that I’ve ever read – including a really simple strategy to find your right price without going overboard.

Click here to read the article –> Your ‘Happy Price’ vs. Your ‘Sad Price’: How To Charge An Amount That Motivates You

And share below to let me know what you think? I’m curious to see if – and how – this might change the way you set your prices.

It certainly got my wheels turning…

The Safety of Confusion

By | General Biz, Success Mindset | 2 Comments

It always surprises me how often we get in our own way – how resistance shows up in sneaky ways to try and stop us from creating the success we desire. (Those pesky Upper Limit Problems, if you are familiar with the work of Gay Hendricks.)

I found myself getting stuck in a rather interesting ‘trap’ lately and am curious if you can relate?

I’ve recorded a brand spankin’ new video quickie to share more…

A surprising reason that you may not be closing sales

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

It’s hard to make sales when you (secretly) don’t want to fulfill on what you are selling.

When you are selling out of habit even when you are bored out of your skull. (“I’ve always done this so I may as well keep doing it”)

When you are selling what you ‘should’ be selling even though you don’t enjoy the work (“people want it from me so I may as well offer it”)

It’s comfortable to do what we’ve always done. To offer what people keep asking us for.

But at a certain point you won’t be able to keep fooling yourself – trying to convince yourself it’s OK.

Nor will you be able to fool anyone else – they will (subconsciously) pick up on your ‘ick’ and you won’t get the sale.

This is one of the surprising – and often hidden – reasons why what used to work is no longer working. Why your business is stalling.

If you suspect this may be going on for you and would like some support click here to learn more about how I may be able to support you.

How to Write in a Way That Transforms Lives

By | General Biz, Leadership | 2 Comments

Guest article by Graham White of Effective Ethical Marketing

inspirepeople

In a recent interview with Tina Forsyth (on Facebook), she asked about the “New Rules” of having successful transformational business.

Writing one’s story of overcoming adversity or achieving a unique result is a great way to make a connection, but today the standards for how we share this have risen to an incredibly high standard of authenticity. Here’s a few tips of how to hit that level of candor and connection:

1. “Write drunk – edit sober.” Hemingway

WRITE DRUNK

What this means is writing without any kind of filter about what people might think about what you’re sharing, but don’t publish it until your editor has gone through it.

Write as though you’re writing just to yourself in your journal and no one is ever going to see it, so you don’t have to filter your thoughts. Let it flow through spirit or let it pour out through emotion. Don’t let your head in to filter and edit.

If the idea of people reading and reacting to what you’ve just let out doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you probably left some form of filter on.

Many of the most viral pieces come from a place like this where the author was simply writing something for them self, and then for whatever reason they posted it and went to sleep.

EDIT SOBER

If you’re an experienced writer, you can do much of the editing process yourself. I have written thousands of articles over the past 5 years, but only posted a few hundred of them.

Even with all this experience I still use another editor that I trust to go through pieces before they’re posted. I choose someone knows me, knows my audience and has written hundreds of articles and had pieces that have gone viral and can feel what the intended audience feels.

A good editor will make sure that both you the writer and your audience are safe, while pushing you to dig into the deepest kind of connection you’re capable of.

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TRANSFORMATION vs. EMOTIONAL

2. “Write from the scar, not the wound.” Unknown

There is a fine line between authenticity and over sharing. The difference in those two energies is the key to being able to affect a difference.

It’s when we’re still actually living in that part of our story that the emotion is too raw – the difference between an ‘Honest cry’ and the ‘Ugly cry’ is a good example. One is irresistible, the other makes us feel like we’re being assaulted by emotion.

Authenticity is critical to social media platform as the past 7 odd years we have literally been trained to spot the difference between people who want something FROM us vs those who want something FOR us.

There’s a third category as well, and that’s people who are using the process of sharing to heal their own wound. While they are being authentic in the sharing of the story, the energy felt by the reader is uncomfortable because their is still unresolved pain or bitterness in how they write.

To change someone’s life, there must be a wisdom or result we have gained that others are looking for. That is accomplished by having a unique ability that gives us an advantage, or having gone through something challenging and made it through the fire to the other side.

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THE MOST POWERFUL WRITING IS CHANNELED

My most viral writing pours out of me without me feeling like *I* am writing it. I often come across these pieces on other pages and don’t recognize it as my writing until I see my name at the end because it was my gift that wrote it, not me.

That gift is something that I feel is separate from me, but resides in me. I feel that Graham the person is responsible for living my life in a way that the gift has the greatest opportunity to be triggered and flow through. (This piece, for example is part gift, part Graham. I’m feeling it, but it’s still running out through my head.)

The download is generally triggered either by a personal experience, or something that I read. In the case of this piece, it was inspired by speaking with Tina in our interview and realizing there are things I do intuitively in my writing and with my clients that create virality that I haven’t put into words before.

There are likely many other pieces that I do at an intuitive level that haven’t come out of my head yet. If you’re a writer who’s looking for that viral piece to click and wants some support, send me your question and maybe you’ll be trigger another piece to download.

Graham White is the former Head Coach for Harv Eker and works as a branding and marketing strategist for transformational catalysts. His natural ability to understand people’s innate gifts have been instrumental in connecting six, seven and eight figure authors, speakers and trainers to audiences who can’t wait to consume their brand. His passion is supporting people with a gift that they choose to change lives with and leave the world a better place than when they arrived.

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