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General Biz

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.

3 signs you are entering your zone of genuis

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | 7 Comments

One of my favorite books in the world is The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks – especially the part where he talks about the distinction between Zone of Excellence and Zone of Genius.
But the part that has always confused me is – how do I know what my zone of genius is? I’ve finally got that part figured out (yay!) and wanted to share with you the 3 signs that you are bumping up into your zone of genius in today’s new video.

 

3 Steps Ahead (a mini-article)

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

I was thinking recently about something I learned from Thomas Leonard (founder of the coaching industry) at a coaching conference in 2002.

We do our best work when we are 3 steps ahead of those we are meant to serve.

If we are 10 steps ahead of someone then we may not be able to connect as deeply with who they are and what they need (and I dare say we may no longer desire to support them in the way they need – I know boredom kicks in for me here.)

If we are only 1 step ahead we may not yet have integrated our learning enough to be able to provide a deeper level of support. (Folks who learn something and teach it before they’ve actually lived it fall into this category – and we all know how annoying that is!)

3 steps ahead is the sweet spot – not too close, not too far.

If we embrace this concept then the truth is – we aren’t necessarily meant to do the same thing forever. If you are working to grow and evolve yourself this means you will be called to grow and evolve your business at some point as well (different clients, different offerings, etc)

It also means that we have to be willing to let go of the things that we have outgrown – the spaces where we are more than 3 steps ahead. I find something especially beautiful here – every time I am willing to let go it frees up space for someone else to step in to the place they are meant to serve.

For me this happens about every 3 years – I find myself in an up leveling cycle that requires me to make some changes. Sometimes the changes are big – sometimes they are subtle, but they always lead me to a greater expression of what I am meant to do.

I’m just coming out of my most recent up-leveling cycle and although it’s been tough – I am blessed to be on the other side and embracing my next 3 steps ahead mission. I know some of you are traveling this path right now – I am sending love and courage your way!

The Dark Night of the BUSINESS Soul

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

I’ve been going through an interesting journey the past couple of years and I’m curious if you can relate…

It starts with a hint of dissatisfaction.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way”

“Why aren’t I happy?”

“If this isn’t ‘IT’ then what is?”

That quiet voice in the night – saying things that you would rather not hear.

After all, you’ve been working your butt off to get this far. You’ve achieved what you set out to achieve. And it’s working.

You’ve created a business doing what you are good at.

You are making a comfortable amount of money.

You do great work and your clients love you.

Put simply, you are where you wanted to be and you still don’t feel like you’ve arrived.

After all this work, you still aren’t satisfied. It doesn’t feel like enough.

Another little voice kicks in now:

Read More

Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Team & Outsourcing | 6 Comments

Originally posted on Feb. 25th 2016.

When I used to do corporate recruiting back in the day, one of the questions we always asked people was:

“Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?”

I love this question and have continued to use it in my business – with team & clients. It’s important to understand this distinction for ourselves, as well as for the people we work with.

A starter likes to get the ball rolling – you are a visionary. You see the world through a lens of opportunity and how things can be changed for the better. You are passionate and driven by your ideas – nothing gives you more pleasure than a great (new) idea and the possibility it creates.

A finisher likes to get stuff done – you love to plug into someone else’s ideas and help bring them to life. You naturally see what it will take to accomplish a goal – the steps, resources and timeline – and don’t feel satisfied until measurable progress is being made.

A maintainer likes to keep the engine running – you are driven by stability – chaos, messes and surprises drive you crazy! You have an eye for detail and a heart of service, knowing that a strong foundation is what keeps the vision (ideas) alive. You are satisfied when everything is running as it should, on a daily basis, with excellence.

Which one do you identify with the most?

Could be more than one – I’m both a starter & a finisher, but I am NOT a maintainer.

I am great at coming up with big ideas – solving big problems – and I love to bring them to life. (My business is built on programs we’ve created to solve big problems – Certified Online Business Manager and CEO Business School to name our biggies)

Once the programs are created and serving where they are meant to serve, then I start to disengage. Once the creation is live my natural inclination is to move onto the next thing.

This is who I am but I fought this for YEARS! I thought that I should want to keep focused on the same thing – I created it, this is my baby, how could I possibly be ready to move on? (Or dare I say, bored!) I beat myself up because I thought something was wrong with me.

It’s only in recent years I’ve come to accept that I’m not a maintainer, and because of this I need strong maintainers on my team. Because of this I have structured my business to allow my starter/finisher nature to play while building on the success of past creations <– this took me a LONG time to figure out.

How can your team compliment your nature? If you are a starter you need strong finishers around you (our OBMs are GREAT at this). If you are a finisher you need to connect with powerful starters. If you are a maintainer you are needed to keep the success engine running!

Know yourself. Honor yourself. Let go of what isn’t true for you. That is where real success is found.

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