Monthly Archives: July 2012

3 Reasons Why EVERY Entrepreneur Should Learn a Few Coaching Skills

As an entrepreneur who specializes in a done-for-you service (it doesn’t get any more done-for-you then handing clients a piece of copy plus the exact strategy for how to use it to get the best results in their business) you would think I would be the last person who would need to coach someone around mindset shifts or through their blocks.

Alas that is not the case.

You would be surprised at how many times I’ve been hired (and fully paid) for copy the clients have loved but never used.

Why? Well, there are as many reasons as entrepreneurs out there but a good chunk of the time it has to do with some sort of block.

So how do I respond? As much as I can, I try and step in and work them through whatever has got them stuck (although I really am not a coach). Which means having a few coaching skills in my back pocket has proven to be amazingly helpful.

This is why I firmly believe all entrepreneurs could use a little training in the coaching skills department, even if they never call themselves a coach or sell coaching services or packages.

Here are 3 reasons why every entrepreneur could benefit from some coaching skills:

1. You’re more likely to have your clients actually use (and get results from) your products, programs or services. Even if you offer a pure done-for-you service, if your clients aren’t ready to embrace the next level of their business, they won’t get the results you know you can deliver.

Have you ever watched those reality television shows like “Restaurant Impossible” or “Hotel Impossible?” The host walks into a failing restaurant or hotel and along with giving them some practical, basic business advice, they also end up doing a heck of a lot of coaching around whatever it is that got the business owner to this place of near bankruptcy. And because the hosts do that coaching (along with it making good television because who doesn’t like to watch people crying and hugging on camera) the business owners are much more likely to follow through with their changes when they aren’t there.

That’s why coaching skills can be invaluable.

2. You reduce your refunds/unhappiness rate. Again, because your clients actually implement your suggestions/consulting/done-for-you services, they’re more likely to see results, which makes them happier and better clients.

You’re also more likely to end up with some killer testimonials from them not to mention lots of good word of mouth advertising.

3. You’re more likely to actually make a difference in the world. Look, if part of why you’re passionate about your business is because you want to get your message out there and see some change, that’s only going to happen if your clients actually implement what you’re teaching or offering. There’s no better to way to increase the odds of that happening then to be able to coach them when things come up.

Remember, your clients hired you or invested in your products because they had a problem they wanted solved. And the best thing you can do for them is to help make sure they actually get their money’s worth. And that’s where coaching skills can be worth their weight in gold.

Is Your Business Built on a Solid Foundation or Are You on Shaky Ground? 3 Ways to Tell

January 2005 was a turning point in my business. It was the month I incorporated my business.

Before then, I had operated as a sole proprietor. I started my business in 1998 as a freelance copywriter.

However, in 2003 I started getting that restless feeling. I knew I was destined for bigger and better things. I started researching how to take my freelance copywriting business to the next level. And part of that research included me looking into how my business was structured.

Even though my local CPA thought it was a waste of time and money for me to incorporate, the rest of my research and told me otherwise, so I went ahead with it.

That was the year I finally broke 6 figures. Once I did that I never looked back.

Now, I’m not going to say that was the sole reason why I broke 6 figures nor am I going to claim all you need to do is incorporate and it will happen to you. But what I WILL tell you is when I incorporated, it caused a huge mental shift around how I viewed my business. Suddenly I was a serious business owner, not just a freelancer. And as such I started making decisions from a different place, a place that would ultimately cause my income to significantly jump.

(Also, there is a school of thought that your business will only grow as far as your foundation will take it. In other words, if your business only has the legal, financial, tax and insurance structure for a $50,000 year business, that’s all you’ll end up with. If your business can handle 7-figures and beyond, that’s what you’ll end up with.)

So what about you? If you’re anything like me, you started your business because you were “good” at something and/or you had a big message or dream to change the world. You didn’t start a business because you were in love with owning your own business. You may have been drawn to certain aspects of owning your own business, like being your own boss, calling the shots, working when and where you wanted, etc. But you weren’t driven by the “business” part of it.

The problem with that is it only takes you so far. You may be making money but you probably aren’t doing it very smartly. You don’t know how to plan or map out your finances so you tend to live in a very stressed out money place. You may be paying WAY too much in taxes with how you’re structured (I certainly was). And you may not have protected yourself or your business adequately so there’s always the chance you could lose everything you worked so hard for.

So what do you do? Well, it’s time to take a good hard look at your business and make a decision once and for all how serious you want to be about it. Here are 3 questions to get you started:

1. What are your goals for your business? Both long- and short-term?

2. Is your business currently set up to support your goals? And when I mean set up, I mean more than just your business structure. What about insurance, finances, taxes? Also are you taken care of legally (i.e. you have contracts where you need them)?

3. If the answer is no or you’re not sure, then take a deep breath and see this as an opportunity. Look, unless you ARE a lawyer or CPA, you probably find this as enjoyable as marketing your business. (Hey, I get it. Not everyone is a marketing geek like me.) But you have a chance here to put a solid foundation under your business so it can be supported as you build it.

Take this opportunity to do your own research on what you need. Interview business advisors to see if the ones you’re currently relying on are still the right ones for you or if you need new ones. Put together a plan and then execute that plan. You may be pleasantly surprised on how your business responds.

3 Ways To Get Your Inner Critic Off Your Biz’s Board of Directors

So you know about your Inner Critic (or your Inner Mean Girl or Inner Mean Bully according to my friends Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo) and you think he or she is residing on your biz’s board of directors, which is impacting your business.

So the REAL question is how do you do you get him or her OFF your board of directors?

Well, here are 3 keys to get you started:

1. Turn the voice down of your Inner Mean Girl or Bully. Sounds easier said then done, eh? Well, the way to get started is to identify their voice (which is NOT your voice) so you can stop listening to them.

At first you’ll probably find the voice getting louder, but that’s okay. It means you’re on the right track. Eventually you’ll be able to start turning the volume down.

2. Give your Inner Mean Girl or Bully another job. Although it usually doesn’t feel like it, your Inner Mean Girl or Bully came into existence to protect you. Yes it’s a misguided protection and yes at this point she or he is hurting you more than helping you, but nonetheless his or her original job was to help.

So now that the job has got completely twisted up, it’s time to give her or him a new job. A job that really WILL help and not hurt.

For instance, does your Inner Mean Girl like to compare you to others? Well maybe her new job should be as a talent scout — to find other talented people to hire or partner up with — rather than compare you to them.

See how this can work?

3. Start listening to your intuition or Inner Wisdom. Probably the biggest problem with your Inner Mean Girl or Bully is their voice is so darn loud it drowns out the voice of your intuition (or, what Christine and Amy call your Inner Wisdom). How can you possibly figure out what your next step is supposed to be in your business if your Inner Wisdom is engaged in a shouting match with your Inner Mean Girl? (And unfortunately Inner Wisdom really isn’t all that talented at shouting — unlike your Inner Mean Girl who excels at throwing fits.)

So how can you hear your Inner Wisdom? A good place to start is to get quiet. Inner Wisdom can’t hear herself or himself think when there’s all this noise around. (Hence why your Inner Mean Girl or Bully have gotten so darn good at being noisy.) Give yourself room to just sit and breathe and keep telling your Inner Mean Girl or Bully to hush. Eventually you’ll start to “hear” your Inner Wisdom.

(And you’ll know it’s your Inner Wisdom because your Inner Wisdom will NEVER lie to you, where your Inner Mean Girl or Bully often lie and are in fact very good liars.)

Now this might not be easy at first but don’t give up. The more you do it the easier it will be. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to stop having that darn Inner Mean Girl or Bully yapping in your ear and instead be able to truly follow your Inner Wisdom?

Profitable Content Creation – Content Is Cash and How to Get Your Fair Share (About Time, Right?)

Guest blog post by Jeff Herring

Content is the basis of EVERYTHING online. Creating your content and then marketing it well is how you profit from your content online.

Create It – The key to successful content creation is to be prolific. What most people do is wind up staring at a blank screen. I don’t want you to do what most people do because most people are broke.

Instead of staring at a blank screen I want you to use templates. Create a 7 tips article or a 3 mistakes article. Then all you have to do is fill in the blanks with your information.

Another great way to become prolific is to just write on regular basis. Make it a habit, and you’ll find yourself the flow.

Market it – So many people create their content and then do nothing with it. Again, don’t be most people.

There are so many ways to market your content that you really can’t run out of ideas. Start with your blog. Then post your article on EzineArticles and other top Article Directories. Next is Social Media. Use your article content or parts of your content on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also turn your content into teleseminars and webinars.

Convert it into products & services and sell it – What most people do not realize is that while you are creating your content you are also creating your information products.

For example, a simple 7 tips article expanded on easily becomes a great eBook. In a similar way, a collection of several articles on a specific topic gathered into one document becomes an ebook or mini-guide.

And that’s really just getting started. There is so much more you can do. One of the best ways to offer an info product is in multimedia, and you can easily create print, audio and video training from your content.

Want to learn more? Michele PW is hosting me on a special FREE webinar called “Jeff Herring’s Content Creation Workshop – The Trick to Profitable Content That Practically  Creates Itself!” Here’s the link to reserve your spot:
http://jeffherring.com/ccw-michele