Monthly Archives: August 2010

3 Tips to Breaking Through Your Business Plateau

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There are few things more frustrating than being stuck at a plateau — whether it’s a losing-weight plateau, a business-growth plateau or any other plateaus.

So what do when you ARE stuck at a plateau, more specifically a business-growth one? Well the below 3 keys should put you on the right track to busting through.

1. Are you ready to grow? The first thing you need to look at is your mindset. A lot of times the reason why you’re stuck is because you’re just not ready to grow. It could be any number of things. You’re hiding out. You don’t want to be more successful than your spouse and/or parents. You’re afraid people won’t like you if you’re too successful. Only evil capitalist pigs are successful. You get the idea.

If you have a block like that standing in your way, it really doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do you’re not going to bust through your plateau.

So how do you know if you have a block? Well if you haven’t done any self growth work, I suspect you probably have a block or 2 lurking around. It’s nothing to feel ashamed about — it’s very common. In fact, I would venture to say every entrepreneur, even the most successful ones, encountered a block or 2 in their business growth. It’s just the successful ones had a way to get around it.

One place to start is by doing a little journaling. Take a piece a paper and draw a line down the middle so you have 2 columns. In one column, write down all the reasons why you want to break through this plateau and reach your goal. Then in the second column, write down all the reasons why you DON’T want to reach your goal. Yes, something will bubble to the surface if you don’t brush this off as being silly. And whatever bubbles to the surface will give you the next clue as to what you have to do to get rid of the obstacle.

The other thing you can do (which is my fave) is to hire a coach. Coaches are great for helping you get past your blocks. Therese Skelly (who is also my next guest on Ka-Ching Community Call) has a business breakthrough package that might be perfect for you — check it out here at http://www.happyinbusiness.com

2. Do you know what you need to do to grow? You can get past all the blocks you have, but if you have no idea what you need to be doing to be successful, then you’re not going to get very far.

Some of my most successful partnerships are with clients who have their mindset in order and they’re looking for copywriting and marketing expertise. When that happens, look out! Their businesses end up taking off in a really big way.

So how can you tell if you’re in this camp or if your mindset is blocking you? Well, I agree, it can be a little tough to do on your own — there are clues (which I can spot when I’m talking to people but it’s more difficult to explain). One clue is you’re ready to do what it takes to make your investment back. You might be really worried or scared about making this investment in yourself, but you feel confident you’re going to follow through and do what needs to be done. If you feel like you won’t do it, or it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re only going to get X people buying because that’s all you ever get, then you have a mindset block.

Another way to know is if you feel like you’re ready to step out in a big way and this is the next step.

3. You’re in that “uncomfortable” space right before you’re going to breakthrough your plateau and you just need to go a little further. What happens to water at 212 degrees F? It’s turning to steam. What happens at 211 degrees? It’s still liquid.

If you know you’re doing what you need to do to be successful and you haven’t broken through your business plateau yet, it could be you’re about to and you just have to keep doing what you’re doing. You’re at 211 degrees and you just need a little more umph to make it to 212.  (This one is probably the most frustrating of all. I was here so I know what you’re going through. It’s like you’re at Mile 23 of a marathon — which is 26.2 miles — you’ve done all this work to get to mile 23, you just need to walk 3.2 more miles and it’s some of the hardest miles you’ll ever walk. But keep going, you really are almost there.)

What Airplane Stewardess Can Teach You About Business Success

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If you’ve been on an airplane, you’ve probably heard the airline stewardess give you the little safety spiel. How you buckle your seatbelt. What to do in case of a water landing. And what happens if those little oxygen masks drop down.

What you’re supposed to do is put your mask on first then put the masks on your children. That order. You, then your kids.

Why? Because if you pass out while trying to help your kids, you’ll help no one, least of all yourself and your kids.

Which is the point of my article today. Are you putting your clients’ needs above your own?

Now good customer care does require us to go above and beyond the call of duty. And sometimes we do have to work late or on weekends to help a good client out. That’s not what this is about. What this is about is if you’re consistently doing everything for your clients and nothing for yourself.

Let me give you some examples —

1. You’re never not available. Clients or prospects can call you anytime of the day or night and you’ll answer.

2. You don’t take a vacation (a real vacation) again because you want your clients to be able to get in touch with whenever they want.

3. You don’t spend anytime growing your business — the only time you do any sort of marketing is when your business is down. Otherwise you put your client work first. (Note — this can extend to other business tasks as well, such as getting your invoices out or doing your filing.)

This last one probably doesn’t seem so bad. “But I’m working on my clients’ projects, I can’t possibly spend time on my business when they’re paying me to work on stuff for them.” While on one hand that sounds good, it really isn’t.

Think about it. If your business is a mess because you never spend anytime on it — you’re late collecting on your invoices because you don’t send out billing, you’re stressed about cash flow and where your next client is coming from, etc. how can you possibly be taking care of your clients at the highest level possible? Only when you have your own house in order can you fully take care of your clients’ needs. (In other words, you have your oxygen mask on instead of being on the brink of passing out.)

And it’s the same with the first two as well. You need to take care of yourself first, and the only way to take care of yourself it to give yourself a breather every now and then. You need some time off to take care of you — else what good will you be? Do you think your clients really want to be working with an exhausted, stressed out version of yourself or do they want to work with someone who is excited and passionate about what they’re doing, even if it means they can’t reach them 24/7 and have to give them some unplugged time every now and again?

Look if this is you, don’t feel bad. I made all these mistakes myself when I was first starting out as a freelance copywriter. But over the years I realized the better I took care of myself and my business, the better I took care of my clients. That sounds counterintuitive but it’s true. Because I take time off, I’m healthier and have more energy. Because I treat my business like I would my one of my clients, I feel like I’m in integrity with the marketing principles I teach, plus I can share with my students and my clients what is working RIGHT NOW. I teach real-world tactics because I’m right there in the trenches with them.

I invite all of you to take a look at your relationship with your clients. Is there something you’re doing for them you’re not doing for yourself? Do you think it may be time to change that?

What’s the #1 Secret to Growing a Coaching Biz?

Growing a coaching biz isn’t easy. Especially in this “new” economy. But there is something you can do to make it a lot easier on yourself.

You can get yourself a coaching niche.

But not just any coaching niche. A coaching niche filled with your ideal clients who can’t wait to work with you and invest with you. And I know the perfect person to teach this to you — my good friend Rhonda Hess of Prosperous Coach. She has an Ideal Coaching Market workshop that will teach you how to:

  1. Finally land a niche that will work for you now and later.
  2. Discover what those people really want from you.
  3. Creating a powerful message and core offers that they will buy.

You won’t have to try to convince clients to hire you anymore. They will seek you out. Here’s the link to read more and check it out: http://bit.ly/cGj0sk

Hurry, it starts TOMORROW!