Monthly Archives: March 2011

3 Secrets to Business Success I Learned From My Grandpa

My 96-year-old Grandpa recently passed away, and as a tribute to his memory I wanted to share some of the gems he passed on to me.

Grandpa was a successful entrepreneur — he started his business, a machine shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over 50 years ago.

Even though he never was able to get his head around the idea of Internet marketing, one thing he DID understand is business. Below are 3 tips he shared with me in order to help you build a solid, successful business:

1. Being lucky is contagious. Grandpa would often tell us stories about how his successful friends and associates were the ones who were lucky in Vegas — the ones who weren’t successful were also the ones who weren’t so lucky in Vegas (or other areas for that matter).

This sounds a little like law of attraction, right? Except grandpa would never call it law of attraction. I think it’s more like a core belief — if a core belief of yours is you’ll make a lot of money, then you’ll make a lot of money. If your core belief is you’ll struggle financially, you’ll struggle financially. Grandpa believed he would make a lot of money — therefore not only did he have a successful business but he also made money investing in various things (not to mention he also got lucky in Vegas quite a bit).

2. Being in a mastermind helps you grow your business. Except grandpa would never call it a mastermind. He would call it hanging out with his friends and associates, drinking, playing cards, talking about business and trying to one-up the other.

(This is also a good example of who you hang out with determines your business results.)

What’s even more interesting about all these stories is how this “mastermind” would self-select themselves in and out of the group. If you read between the lines (and after listening to the stories over the years) you start to see that his friends who hit hard-times financially and weren’t able to recover, quit hanging out with the group, but the successful ones stuck around (or new successful ones would join in).

3. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage. Again, grandpa would never say it like that but it’s what he did. For example, grandpa loves to get a deal. Especially in Laughlin and Vegas. So he would often negotiate with the hotel (to get a free meal or room or whatever) and he would use his age to his advantage. He would stand there and hem and haw and move as slowly as he possibly could until they gave him what he wanted just to get him out of their hair and help the next person. He especially liked doing this when there was a long line behind him.

There’s no question grandpa was a character. I have all sorts of stories about him, like how he used to go to Bingo games in Vegas and shout out “Bingo” only to have the Bingo caller tell him “sir, there haven’t been enough numbers called yet for you to have Bingo.” Grandpa would say “oh” then 2 numbers later yell Bingo out a second time. (I’m surprised he would make it out of those Bingo lounges intact.)

And of course, we have his girlfriend, who is 20 years younger then he is.

Ah, I will miss him.

But the point here is this — grandpa never really went in for a lot of self development or personal development stuff, but yet he still came to many of the same conclusions those disciplines teach. Mainly you need to the right mindset if you want to be successful. So take it from grandpa — if you want to be successful, start with the obstacles and blocks in your head.

3 Keys to Getting Your Message Out into the World So You Can Make a Difference

If you’re one of the thousands of heart-centered and conscious entrepreneurs, getting your message out into the world in a big way is important to you. In fact, it might even be the reason why you started your business in the first place.

The problem, of course, is how. How do you get your message out into an already crowded marketplace? How do you make sure you’re getting your message in front of the people who so desperately need to hear it?

That’s what I’m going to walk you through today — the 3 main keys to getting your message out into the world in a REALLY big way so you can make the difference you were put on this Earth to make.

1. Make sure your message is crystal clear. In fact, the clearer and more specific the better. The more general it is, the less impact you’re going to make.

Consider this — “I am a healer” versus “I provide spiritual healing to entrepreneurs as they step into their own power as an entrepreneur.” Do you see the difference? The first one could be for nearly anyone and because it could be for nearly anyone it has no meaning. The second one is far more juicy and it gets much of that juiciness from being specific.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself “I don’t want to be too specific because I may turn some people off from my message.” First off, if someone is turned off from your message, they probably aren’t open to it in the first place. And second of all, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, the more specific you are, the more you’ll stand out. (Don’t believe me? Go back and read those two statements again.)

2. Make sure you’re crystal clear about who you’re trying to reach. Again, the more specific you are, the more likely you’ll cut through all the clutter and reach the people who really need to hear your message.

You don’t have to reach everyone — just the ones who need your message. In fact, trying to reach everyone is a determent. All you’ll end up doing is NOT cutting through the clutter and not making the difference you’re meant to make.

Believe me, there’s more then enough of your ideal clients to keep you very busy for years to come, so just focus on them and don’t worry about the rest.

3. Make sure you’re consistent with your message and you repeat it frequently. You’re an entrepreneur. Which probably means you’re a little (or a lot) ADD. Which also probably means you’re going to get tired of your message long before you’ve made an impact in the marketplace.

Look, your ideal clients, the ones who need to hear your message, are not going to get tired of hearing it because:

A: They aren’t living in your business so even you’re most rabid fan is only going to hear your message a fraction as much as you are

B: Your ideal clients are busy people and won’t hear your message unless you repeat it often.

So you need to do two things — resist the urge to “tweak” your message as you get bored with it (and especially resist the urge to redefine or remake yourself every six months or so, that’s the fastest way to cause serious confusion in the marketplace). And make getting your message out there one of your top priorities. You should be marketing yourself and your message as often as you can and in as many different media as you can. That includes social networking, articles public relations, direct mail, speaking, etc.

Above all, don’t give up. It may take awhile to penetrate crowded marketplaces and make the difference you’re meant to make, but it IS possible — just as long as you follow these 3 keys and stay persistent.

3 Ways to Overcome Marketing Overwhelm

If you’re like many entrepreneurs, the thought of marketing makes you slightly sick to your stomach. And it’s more then a simple like or dislike of marketing, it’s the idea of trying to fit it into your to-do list. You already have a million things going on, how can you possibly fit marketing in?

So, instead, you end up not doing anything…until you run out of work that is. Then you desperately race around, trying to cram as much marketing as possible into as short amount of time as possible to try and ramp up your business.

Business picks up, you stop marketing again.

As I’m sure you already know, this isn’t a great way to grow a business on any level. But what do you do? You’re already overwhelmed with everything you have to do in your business, not to mention everything you have to do in your life, so how can you possibly fit marketing into that?

Never fear, that’s what the below 3 tips are designed to do, get you out of marketing overwhelm and into marketing superstar.

1. Make marketing a priority. Okay, don’t stop reading yet. This one might be tough to swallow but it has to be said. Marketing your business HAS to be a priority. If it’s not, then you will doom yourself to a “feast or famine” business model (where you oscillate between too many and too few clients, and because you’re in a constant roller coaster, you can never get enough traction to actually start growing your business).

But, I can hear you say, my priority needs to on getting the work done. That’s what my clients are paying me for, and because they’re paying, then they have to be my top priority.

My response to that is well, not exactly. You’re right, you need to get the work done, and do a good job, or you’re going to run out of income pretty quickly. But, if you trade doing the client work over marketing, then you’re never going to get ahead.

(And, to be honest, it’s not fair to your clients either to have you constantly stressed about your business because you don’t know what’s in the pipeline. You owe it to yourself AND your clients to have a successful, thriving business.)

You need to have the mindset that marketing your business is JUST as important as doing the client work. Without the marketing, you WILL always struggle.

However, with that said, there’s no need to panic because…

2. You don’t have to do it all alone. There’s no law that says just because marketing is a priority means you need to do everything yourself. You can (and should) build a team. In fact, I would go one step further and add your team can ALSO help you with client work or admin work or just about anything.

Now with marketing, as with anything, there will probably be tasks you need to do yourself. But there will be many tasks you can easily outsource. The trick is to figure out what tasks you really need to do (and make time to do them) then outsource the rest.

But, I can hear you saying, what if I don’t have the cash flow to outsource? See, that’s the beauty of outsourcing marketing. There’s a very clear ROI. So let’s say one new client is worth $500 a month. Do you think regular marketing will bring you at least one new client? Of course. So maybe you set aside $250 a month for a virtual assistant to help you with some marketing tasks, knowing one new client will more than pay for your VA and any more clients above and beyond will be gravy.

(If you need help with marketing strategy to know what to outsource, drop me an email. I create marketing strategies for my clients, as well as do the work for them.)

3. Start small. This is what I did in my own business. You’ll notice I have a lot of marketing tasks going on right now — I have my newsletter, I blog, I podcast, I’m on social networking sites, I’m doing direct mail. I didn’t wake up one morning and say “I’m going to start everything today.” No, I did things one at a time. I started with my newsletter, then I added blogging, then podcasting, then social networking, etc. After I mastered one task, I went on to add another. So my marketing wouldn’t seem so overwhelming to me.

But remember, the biggest thing is to actually DO something. Start taking some action in your marketing, and the rest of the pieces should start to fall into place.