Monthly Archives: October 2009

Is Your Timing Keeping You From Being Successful In Your Business? Part 2

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Last week I talked about how either moving too fast or too slow can sabotage your success. (You can read part 1 here: http://www.michelepw.com/blog ) Today I’m going to talk about a place where entrepreneurs typically move too slow — creating products or programs.

Does this sound familiar? You’ve been working on your book or your program or product for several months or maybe even years. You’re close to finishing — you just have one or two more things to do. Of course, every time you finish those one or two things, one or two more things crop up. It’s never ending.

If this does sound familiar, you’re not alone. I know many, many entrepreneurs (including myself) who have taken longer than necessary to complete their products. The reasons vary but many fall into the “perfectionist” camp. You take pride in your work. You want your product to be perfect. You want your customers to love your product and get a lot out of it. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, there is when it prevents you from actually bringing your product to market. Think about it — if the conclusion isn’t quite right or there are a few missed typos, is that going to REALLY take away from the experience of your product? Or the results your customers will get?

Of course not. But we’re so fixated on it being perfect we can’t get past that.

Now the advice many successful business owners share when you’re in this situation is something along the lines of “good enough is good enough” (meaning your product doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it to a good product and then get it to market) or “taking imperfect action” (which also basically means get the darn thing out the door even if it is imperfect). I agree with both of these statements, but the problem is what happens when you know this and you STILL need to get that “one more thing done?”

I think there are a couple of deeper issues around perfectionism. (And depending on how deep the issues are depends on how quickly you can push through them.) Let me explain.

When we create a product it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the product is an extension of ourselves. So any flaws or mistakes or criticism of the product suddenly takes on way more importance than it ought to be. Because any problems with the product, anything that is lacking in the product, is actually a problem or a lack with us personally.

In addition to that (if that wasn’t hard enough to get past) there’s also a little question of value. If you don’t value yourself, your gifts, your brilliance, what you bring to the world, then how are you going to value a product you created? And if you don’t value your product, when will it ever be “good enough” to sell?

So what happens if you find yourself relating to one or both of these issues? Well, you need to take a step back and do some deeper work on yourself. Hiring a coach or taking a program that gets at the core of what you’re struggling with — whether it’s valuing yourself, valuing your brilliance or accepting yourself (warts and all) is crucial to helping you push through your blocks and getting your products finished and selling. Here are a few recommendations for business coaches to get you started:

Melanie Benson Strick http://www.successconnections.com

Deborah M. Dubree http://www.yourclearedge.com

Carolyn Ellis http://www.brilliancemastery.com

Therese Skelly http://www.acceleratingyoursuccess.com

Kendall SummerHawk http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com

If you want to do something right now, try journaling about it. See what comes up for you and what your next steps should be.

Next week we’re going to look at the next step — racing through your product launch now that you’ve finally gotten your product done.

See you next week!

Is Your Timing Keeping You From Being Successful In Your Business?

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After being in business for as long as I have, there’s one thing that never fails to amaze me — the capacity entrepreneurs have to sabotage their own success. (Not to mention how creative those ways can be.) While there’s about a million ways this manifests itself, here’s one way I see popping up over and over again.

And that’s timing.

What do I mean by timing? I mean either entrepreneurs are moving too slow, and thus miss opportunities to make money, or they move too fast and are reckless and miss out on opportunities that way.

What’s interesting about timing is it’s not as clear cut as “one person moves too slow and one person moves too fast.” What I actually see is entrepreneurs move BOTH too fast AND too slow. They just do it at the wrong times.

And where do I see this happen the most? When they’re planning to launch a new product or program.

Here’s what typically happens — people will move WAY too slowly creating the product or program and will move WAY too fast to launch it. With the end result being they miss out on opportunities on both sides — it takes them forever to actually get thing done (so they’ve missed out on money selling the product or program) and then they rush through the launch like they have a bunch of hungry vampires chasing them and they don’t make nearly the sales they could have.

What REALLY should be happening is they should move quickly creating the product then slow down while launching it. That way, they get the best of both worlds — they get the product or program to market faster and can start profiting from it sooner, and they take their time to work through ALL the launch steps so they wring as many sales as possible during the launch.

Now, there are variations of this. I have met people who are slow during the product creation AND launch, just like I’ve met people who whip through both as well. (And then there’s another group of people who either never get their product done or they finish products and never actually get around to launching them.) All of these are sabotaging techniques, which is part of the reason why this is far more complex problem then would initially appear on the surface.

So if you suspect you might struggle with one or several of the above, what can you do? How can you stop it? And how much time do you REALLY need to launch? Well, I’m going to answer all those questions over the next 2 newsletters. Next week we’ll look at why it takes some entrepreneurs so darn long to finish their product and how they can speed up the process, and the week after we’ll cover racing through the launch process.

See you next week!

Multiple Marketing Streams — How Many Are You Using?

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Everyone talks about multiple streams of income, but not too many people talk about multiple marketing streams. I’ve come to believe that having multiple marketing streams is at least as important as having multiple streams of income.

But first, let me define what I’m talking about. Multiple marketing streams is a term I’ve just coined and it means using a variety of marketing tactics simultaneously to bring fresh leads into your business.

The problem is too many people rely on one or two marketing streams. Now, when those marketing streams are bringing in leads like mad, this seems like a good idea. The problem is what if one or both of those streams dry up?

And yes, this CAN and DOES happen. Frequently. And quickly. (Like overnight.) It happens if you’re one to say “word of mouth is all I need.” Or worse, most of your business comes from one or two referral sources. Something happens to those referral sources and you’re done.

Maybe you’re thinking you’re safe because you’re paying for advertising. Unfortunately you’re not, it happens there too — I’ve known more than one business that was left scrambling when something has happened to their Google pay-per-click accounts.

Having multiple marketing streams also stabilizes your business. You’re far less likely to have “feast or famine” cycles in your business the more streams you have. Plus you’re in a much better position to grow your business.

Okay so what are some of these marketing streams? Below is a list (although it’s far from an exhaustive list). Use it to brainstorm more ideas for you business but by all means, do NOT use it to overwhelm yourself. There’s no need to implement all of these at once. (And don’t forget, you CAN hire people to help you implement these tactics — it doesn’t have to be all you.)

Online (driving traffic to your web site)

* Paid advertising (banner ads, PPC, etc)

* Submitting articles to portals

* Submitting press releases to portals

* Social networking (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, FriendFeed)

* Blogs (note — blogs can drive traffic to your site if you design it for that and update it regularly)

* Podcasts

* Videos

Affiliates/Joint Venture opportunities (i.e. finding ways to have other people promote you to their network/email list)

Speaking

* Speaking live at events

* Speaking on teleclasses (either your own or being interviewed on other people’s teleclasses)

* Being interviewed on other shows (radio, internet radio, etc.)

Media

* Getting interviewed in publications

* Getting articles placed in publications

Offline paid advertising

In person networking

Word of mouth/referral sources (yes this is important but it shouldn’t be your only source.)

Following up with leads. (What? This is about NEW marketing streams not following up with leads you already have. Well, I’m here to tell you those leads are going to disappear pretty quickly if you don’t have a few tactics in your marketing toolbox to follow up with them. Also, the more you market to your current list, the more likely it will be your current list will referral you to other people.)

* Online — with an ezine, teleclasses or some other way of providing content

* Offline — mail postcards, printed newsletters, direct mail pieces or even pick up the phone.