Understanding your “Why”

Do you know what your why is?

Do you know why people are always asking you if you know what your why is?

Understanding your why helps you make sure that what you’re doing in your business and how you’re communicating with your audience is really working well; it helps you stay on track and motivated.

Understanding your “Why”.png

When you ask most people what their why is, they think along the lines of: why are they a fitness coach/graphic designer, etc. – they are answering what they are doing right now. What their job title is. They are not answering their why in the way that I like to dig in to it, the way Simon Sinek does in his book Start With Why.

Start With Why

Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why” digs in to the heart of why your why is important. It explains how your why is beyond your business – it is something that is a part of who you are. Your why has been with you since you were young – and is a thread that ties everything you have done together.

Figuring out your why can actually be quite complicated. You need to dig in far deeper than just into what you do but figure out what is at the heart of the choices you make in life. What inspires you. What makes you feel fulfilled.

For example, I am not a business coach because I want to help business owners make more money and find clarity in their goals, etc. While it is something I want to communicate, it’s not my why.

My Why

My why is: community.

If I look through my entire life I see that I was always the one on the social committee, organizing group events, creating groups to get like-minded people together, etc. I have always enjoyed having people around me who are like-minded and want to celebrate the same things as me. I have always been about bringing people together. My why is: To bring people together in communities of support so that we can all be stronger together.

 

Why you need to find your why

Once you understand your why, you know what the right goals and choices are for you – and for your business. Making decisions can come back to your why, making it easier to choose.

Remember, your why is more than what you are doing right now – it may be part of it, but it is much more than that.

Once you find out what your motivation is, you will have a compass to help you create the right goals and it will be easier to achieve those goals because they will be more meaningful to you.

Do you know your why? If you don't, I encourage you to check on Simon Sinek's book Start With Why

Money and your business

How is money impacting your business?

How is your mindset around money impacting your business?

Money is a topic that comes up a lot in my business and in my clients' businesses - that they want to make more of it. That they're finally ready to invest in a coach because they've been trying to do everything along and they aren't getting any where. That asking for it feels so uncomfortable that they simply don't ask.

Dealing with the money stuff in your business is like peeling an onion – there are so many layers. This is because money affects every aspect of your life. It is an emotionally loaded subject.

I wanted to dig down through a few more layers so I invited Core Belief Engineering Practitioner, Megan O’Neill, to once again join me on the podcast to talk about money and business. Megan is a belief and mindset specialist who works with entrepreneurs on their mindset blocks and what holds them back in their businesses. She works with clients internationally via Skype and loves to talk about how people get stuck on money. 

You can listen to the audio in the player above, read the recap in the blog post below, or scroll down to the bottom and watch the original live video!

Money and your business.png

Money is the number one mindset block that holds people back from moving forward in their business. This is because it runs through so many components of being a business owner – and believe it or not, the money issues we have as business owners are about more than just making money.

Pricing

Business owners get stuck when it comes to pricing because they are under confident about what to charge. They're not clear or confident enough to charge their worth. Instead they “price source” – they ask other people what they should be charging for their products or services.

Entrepreneurs often make up what they think they should be charging or let other people have a big influence on what they charge. Instead of doing this, recognize your value and charge your worth!

Everyone has a different perception on what they should be charging for a product or service. For example, say I have a beautiful piece of paper towel that one person may pay $20 for, but another person may only pay two cents because they don’t value it quite the same as the first person. If you ask the person who wants to pay 2 cents what to charge, you're going to be making a decision based on someone who didn't even want your paper towel in the first place, and without taking into account what it costs or is required to create that paper towel in the first place.

Pricing is a learning curve. When you first start out you may undercharge and what ends up happening is you end up giving away a lot of time for free, which can burn you out and make you resentful. This may then push you to raise your prices accordingly.

Judgment

Business owners and entrepreneurs often fear that if they charge too much they will alienate current and potential clients.  They fear people will think they charge too much and won’t want to work with them. In essence, they fear being judged.

If this sounds familiar, you need to determine what you need to charge in order to make what you need to make. For example, if you have 30 hours available to work per week then how much do you need to charge per hour, etc. in order to make what you need to make in a week?

Be strong and clear about your pricing. There will always be people who challenge you about your pricing, but be confident. Those who object may not be your ideal clients.

You should also know that you can start lower and increase your prices as you grow. If you are struggling to increase your prices then you need to dig deeper and find out what is blocking you. Do you fear being judged? Do you lack the confidence to charge your worth?

Sales

There is an old belief that often lingers with business owners that sales people are pushy.

Sales are just communicating what it is you do and what you have to offer.

Someone comes to you with a problem and you present them you with a solution – this is essentially sales.  You are offering a solution to a problem. What people feel like they're doing (or are afraid people are going to think they're doing) is yelling "Give me your money! Give me your money!" at them.

You need to remember that when you are selling to a potential client, you are offering them a solution for their problem and they can take it or they can leave it.

It’s the used car salesperson mentality that can make people fear sales. But you must remember that you are providing value, not just trying to 'get their money' and be confident in your product or service. 

If the idea of selling still frightens you, when people approach you about your service or product, ask them what they need. This empowers you to give them a realistic answer as to how you can help them.

Spending Money

It can be just as hard to let money out of your business as it is to bring it in to your business, but investing in your business is one of the best ways to start seeing growth. 

There comes a time in a business owners’ journey when they realize they can't do it alone. Whether that is building a website, or doing your own social media – you will need to outsource, but the need “bootstrap” might be holding you back.

"I can do that myself, or I can learn it."
"I don't have the money to spend on that right now."

This money mindset block holds you back from hiring for the tasks that you don’t need to be doing or from spending money on your business.

In order to overcome this block, you need to focus on the bigger picture. You need to see that in order to make money you have to spend money. You may see it as losing money as opposed to seeing the opportunities that can come from spending money on your business.

Think of it like this – if you can hire out something such as your weekly newsletter for cheaper than you charge per hour and to someone who can do it quicker than yourself, then think of how much more you can make by outsourcing this task. Not to mention, outsourcing the tasks that do not make you happy will make you happier in the end. Think of it in terms of money, time and happiness. 

Business owners and entrepreneurs need to get conscious about their money blocks. Often these money blocks are old and prevent people from earning the money they need to make. These money blocks are often mistaken for being smart i.e., if I do it all myself I am saving money – and even though it may feel like it is the right thing it is not the thing that will help you grow your business.

Money is a DEEP topic - personally and in your business. If you notice yourself struggling with making enough money, with asking for the sales, with figuring out to get comfortable with your prices or with letting yourself get help with certain things, considering booking a call with Lara or Megan. There are practical ways to figure out what to do next, and there are ways to dig down deep into your belief systems to find the root of the problem. Don't get stuck feeling like you figure this all out on your own when there are people who have already figured out the path through.

This episode was a new style, originally broadcast as a Facebook Live conversation and then brought in to the podcast. Did you like this format for the show? Would you like to see more conversational style podcast episodes? Leave a comment and let me know, and let me know what other topics or guests I should have on!

Resources & Links

Core Beliefs for Business with Megan O'Neill - Free Facebook Group

Megan's O'Neill's Mindset for Sucess Program

Join my Free Facebook Community

Book a free 40 minute call with me

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE EPISODES:

Your Relationship with Money

Entrepreneurs and Confidence

The danger behind loaded words

5 Five money mistakes I made in 10 years

I have made a lot of mistakes over the years, but I have learned a lot too – especially when it comes to money.

This is part two of what I have learned in my 10 years as an entrepreneur. A lot of the mistakes I am sharing today could have been avoided with simple planning; something I have struggled with over the years (but fortunately have a better handle on now :) . Often, a business owner's problems with money stems from their beliefs or what their history is with money. I am not immune to these mistakes and I am hoping the experiences I share here are relatable and that I can help you avoid the same mistakes by sharing what I learned over the years.

5 money mistakes I made in 10 years

Have a budget

You need a budget. You need to know what your expenses are and how much you have to spend as well as how much you need and want to spend. When I had my first business, a clothing store, we didn’t really have a budget. We just bought what we wanted – if we thought something was cute and would sell then we would buy it. But we had no idea what our budget was in terms of what we needed to earn, how much we should spend on advertising, staffing and any other business related expenses.

A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners do this same thing. The consequences of not having a budget can creep up on you slowly – before you know it you’re further into debt than you intended.

A budget does not need to be complicated. Know what you are earning, what you need to buy, know your numbers, and spend responsibly.

Don’t just “make up” your pricing

Entrepreneurs who offer a service often make up their prices based on what they think people are willing to pay versus what they are worth.

You need to know what you need to earn and what your hourly rate should be based on that number. You also need to keep in mind that you are not going be billing for every hour you are available to work; sometimes you will need to work ON your business. You need to consider the hours it takes for marketing, engaging with your Facebook Group, etc.

If you only want to work a certain number of hours per week then how much do you need to charge clients per hour in order to make the income you need to make? 

How much can you actually take home?

Don’t guess how much money you will take home at the end of the day. Most businesses are not built so that you earn $5, you get $5. Huge percentages of what you earn are going to different costs.

A good rule of thumb is the thirds rule.  1/3 goes to savings, 1/3 goes to expenses and then 1/3 goes to you. So, how much do you need to earn so that you can pay your bills and pay yourself? Think it through and plan for it!

I used to think I could pay myself 75% of what I made and only have 25% to pay my expenses – but this only increased my debt. Over time, I accepted that I needed to earn more money as well as think through how I could divide up the money I did earn to ensure my expenses, etc. were also covered.

What’s the bottom number? (Don’t start there!)

The lowest amount you’re willing to work for cannot be your price. Let’s say you figure out that you need to make $50 an hour in order to meet your income goal – don’t charge $50. Ask for more because this gives you the freedom to create packages, create discounts and deals when necessary, as well as give you some wiggle room to work for less if you need to.

Make sure you aren't accidentally earning way less than you deserve by not starting out at the right place. Earn what you need to make and charge what you need to make.

Save the HST

If you are charging sales tax then you need to save the sales tax. This sounds obvious, I know.

This is separate from your federal tax. I will admit that in the beginning, I didn’t do this, so when it came time to pay back my HST I had not put that money away and it took me a long time to pay it back. It's not that I didn't know I needed to save the HST, it's that I was falling behind by not charging properly, not budgeting properly, taking home the wrong amount of money and not having a plan - so I had to keep dipping in to the HST to pay all my expenses. I was not being smart! I now separate my HST so that it is now properly accounted for.

Consider all of these lessons pieces of a puzzle so that you have the money you need when you need it. This will save you from needless frustration and overwhelm. It will also prevent you from being underpaid.

Take the time to make a budget and create a plan so that you know what your numbers need to be and what that means in terms of how much you need to earn and how much you need to charge.

We all make mistakes in our businesses and you will likely still make some money mistakes in yours. That being said, a plan of action will do wonders to keep things on track.

It was MY coach that got me on track years ago and this is something I help my clients with regularly now. If you want to talk about how I can help you, book a free consultation and we'll talk. 

#21 - Aligning your time with your goals

What are you spending the most time on in your business? Are you spending time working on tasks that will grow your business, such as sales and marketing? Or are you busy working on mundane tasks that are preventing you from growing your business.

Kelly Roach is a coach who helps entrepreneurs all around the world make six and seven figure leaps. She also helps people build businesses around systems. Kelly joins me on the podcast to discuss why systems are so important in entrepreneurship and how focusing on the right tasks can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your goals.

Systems are important

Aligning your time with your goals

Entrepreneurs tend to push back against systems, but systems can create freedom in your business. Systems don’t have to be hard. Systems are the things that hold and bind your business together and keep businesses running like well-oiled machines.

Systems are the core-principles or the automatic things that run a certain way to keep things moving each day. They are executed a specific way to generate a specific result and that could be your marketing, people management, product or service delivery, etc. If productivity is important to you and you want a freedom-based business, then you need systems to create the fluidity that can give you freedom.

The sooner you create your systems, the sooner you will grow and achieve your goals. Many people think of advertising or outsourcing as something that happens when you reach a certain level in your business, however the sooner you put systems in place for these things, the sooner you can do these things and reach your business goals.

Entrepreneurs do not necessarily enjoy sales and marketing. Because of this they are working more hours then they need to be on many areas in their business that make them feel busy, but all the while they are not working on anything that is going to produce a specific result.

Assess your time

Track and measure how much time is going toward sales conversations (online and in person. Also measure how many webinars you are doing, etc. Measure everything you are doing to get more clients. Many entrepreneurs can free up time if they focus on systems that will get them more sales, that will make you more money – because that should be your priority.

Most entrepreneurs probably only spend an hour or less a week on prospecting, when they should be investing a lot more time interfacing with their target audience. This can be via email, webinars, and networking events. If you’re not closing sales it could have something to do with where you are spending your time. You need to be making enough offers to be able to close more offers.

If you are in the new stages of your business, then you need to spend a lot of time outward facing and getting in front of your target audience. Sales are the driver of everything in your business so it is where your attention needs be.

Figure out what you need to make hourly in order to make the income that you want to make. Then sort out the tasks that you spend your time on each day and see which of those hours are profit producing – everything else should back into those tasks. Separate your genius work from the mundane tasks and then believe in yourself! Hire someone who can do the other tasks so you can focus on what you need to do to build your business.

You cannot build a million dollar business trying to piece together $10 an hour tasks. It doesn’t work. Trust the mundane tasks to someone else so you can focus on your genius work.

Get uncomfortable

None of us get into business with the intention of stressing over their financial situation. This is why you need to get uncomfortable… so you can do more of what you want to do, such as taking more vacations, home renovations, etc.

You need to be growing your audience, and this means getting in front of them and as uncomfortable as this may be for people – it is necessary. In order to do whatever it is you love doing, you also need to become a great marketer because if no one knows about you then it doesn’t matter how great whatever you are producing is, you are never going to get to do it and make money.

Free is valuable

People have thousands of choices every week so new, fresh content on a regular basis is necessary so people can vet why they should work with you. People are buying through your teaching and the content you are sharing versus through a direct sales pitch. So if you are not strong in sales, think about where you are strong – can you use your podcast to show your audience what you have to offer and how they can take it to the next level?

If you’re an entrepreneur then you know you can make income for yourself. You should also know you can earn extra income to pay for a virtual assistant, etc. You need to invest in your business so that it can grow, you can’t wait for your business to grow before investing in it.

Be honest with yourself with how much time you are spending having conversations with prospect. This will enable you to release the work that is keeping you busy and that isn’t growing your business. 

Remember: Your time should not be diluted on 100 different things that is not growing your business – align your time with your goals.

#20 – Entrepreneurial summer post mortem

Was your summer as great as you hoped? Were you hoping for more?

My life plan, built so I can build the life I want around the business I want, is all about needing a fair amount of time off to be with my three kids over Christmas, spring break and during the summer. As an entrepreneur, taking any amount of time off requires planning.

What does it take to take time off as an entrepreneur

entrepreneurial summer post mortem

In the summer I take 4-5 weeks off and some summers have been great, but others (especially in the earlier years) have been stressful because I didn't have the right plans in place. It’s one thing to say you’re going to take a few weeks off from your business but in order to take time off successfully you need to plan so that your social media doesn’t drop off, people still know who you are, and so that you still have money coming in during that time or make more money previously so you are covered during your time off.

In the past I had missing systems, which got better this year, but this summer despite the right systems in place, I was stressed out for a whole other reason - I had a hard time stepping away from my work. I also had a hard time being present with my kids. This made me realize that I needed to do a summer post-mortem to see what worked and didn't and that I should share it with everyone else so they could do it too.

Realizing you need to make a change

Hanging out with Anne of Green Gables on PEI

Hanging out with Anne of Green Gables on PEI

It turns out, the summer model I thought I wanted is not the model I really want for my life or my business. I am okay with this – it’s okay that I changed my mind. I realized that I do not want 4-5 weeks off in a row during the summer. I realized I would be much happier with smaller blocks of time off.

I realized that the more downtime I have, the more ideas about my business I have; however if I have all this time off to spend with my kids I don’t have the time to actually implement these ideas… and these ideas are forgotten by the time I am back to work because I have other things that need to be done.

By being off for numerous weeks in a row I also miss out on many opportunities. I couldn’t take action on them because I was off and that made me nervous.

Lastly, I love my job. I love my kids, but they are busy and can be very intense, so I need my work as a break from the chaos of kids life. I don’t do well with constantly being surrounded by noise and chaos; my ADHD brain needs quiet (which is why working from home works so well for me). I also find myself resenting the fact that I can’t be working, taking advantage of new opportunities and implementing my new ideas instead of enjoying time with my kids.

Knowing you’re not alone

We love Calypso Waterpark

We love Calypso Waterpark

I have since started having client calls again and I am hearing a lot of the same things from my clients about their summers.

Summer, for entrepreneurs, isn’t always as fabulous as we think it is going to be. We make plans for fun activities and time to enjoy the warm weather, and yet it can be disappointing when you reflect back at how the summer actually went.

I want to acknowledge that you are not alone if summer is hard for you – as a parent or as an entrepreneur.

I want to challenge you to think through how your summer went - do a post mortem so you can decide what to keep the same and what to change for next year.

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What did you do this summer? How much work did you do. How much fun did you have? Then think about what you actually had planned for the summer – what was missing from your plan?
  • What was your favourite thing about your summer?
  • What was the worst thing about your summer?
  • What needs to change for you to ensure next summer isn’t as stressful for you?
  • What does your ideal summer look like?
  • What needs to happen to make your ideal summer a reality?

I have made answering these questions simple in this Summer Post Mortem Quiz. Filling out this quiz is the first step in making these plans that will help you effectively plan for next summer over the next ten months.

I hope you had a great summer and had a lot of great moments! But if you didn’t – let’s make a plan to make next summer a great one!

Resources & Links

Summer Post Mortem Quiz

Join my Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE EPISODES:

#1: Three strategies to get the life and biz you want

#9: Managing Your Social Media While On Vacation

#11: Why your personal life can’t be separated from your business life

#18: Batching to save time and energy

 

#19 - What I learned in 10 years of business - Part 1

10 years ago this month I launched my first business - it was an online children's clothing store called Apples'n'Oranges that sold exclusively Canadian brands of clothing. A year after we launched that site, we opened a bricks and mortar version of the store at a local mall. Ultimately the business wasn't the right fit, especially at that time in my life, but it was a great first step into the world of business (my business partner still sells one of the lines of clothing we discovered during that time, check out her stuff here.)

Since then I've done social media consulting, ran a social media conference, launched a blog for parents in the National Capital Region and became a business coaching launched the Biz Studio.

What I learned part 1.png

It's been a busy ten years and I've learned a LOT and I wanted to share some of what I've learned with all of you. There's so much that I've learned though that it is going to take multiple podcasts to share it all - this is part 1 and it's some things I've learned about the people you deal with and work with, and the work you do and how you do it.

1. Not all advice is good advice

People have a lot of advice for you when you're in business - whether they've ever owned a business or not!

Some of this advice is great. Some of this advice is terrible. Some of this advice is great in theory or for someone else but not for you. Learning to feel confident not taking all the advice you're given can be hard but is so important. Trust your gut, trust your mentors/coach/close confidantes and know that you don't have to feel badly in the least for ignoring some of the advice you're given.

2. Know who you want to work with (and don't feel badly that it's not everybody)

You need to know who your ideal client is and really figure out as much as you can about them. But even more than that, you need to not feel guilty that you don't want to work with everyone.

I've done this and I've seen this with a lot of my clients. We want to focus on a certain kind of client but we feel badly about all the ones we're not planning to focus on and target. We don't want them to feel like we don't want to help them too!

Just because you want to target a certain kind of client does not mean you dislike other people or that they're going to have their feelings hurt. This is one of those mindset things that can get us feeling really stuck when it comes to figuring out our niche, so it's really important to figure out.

3. Not everyone is the right fit for you

You can't help everyone. Sometimes there are people who you think are very nice that you would like to help, or who think they need you, but you can tell that you aren't the right person for the job. Sometimes they are simply not the kind of person you want to work with. It can be really hard to be OK with not wanting to work with someone or saying no to potential business.

I've had people ask for quotes in my business and I could tell from minute one that they were a bad fit for me and in the early years I would do up the quote anyways, I would want the business anyways, and I would feel sad when I didn't get the business. Why? Because we want to feel liked and wanted and helpful! Then I've gotten/taken those jobs and it's gone badly, just as I knew it would!

It's taken me a long time to get there, but WOW it's empowering to take that information in your gut at minute one and say "you know what, I don't think I'm the right fit for this job, but let me see if I can find you someone who is."

4. Be OK with not wanting to do everything

It's OK to not want to learn something you don't want to learn.

It's OK to not want to do something you're good at for money just because you can (there are a lot of things we are good at that we don't like, and a lot of things that we only like when we do them for ourselves.)

It's OK to decide you don't have the time or the staff to take on certain kinds of projects.

Again, this is a trap I fell in to for years - that I had to do what was asked of me. I had to find a way to make what people wanted happen.

Owning what you want to do and what your capacity is is such a powerful thing.

5. You can't make people do the work

This point is mostly for people in service type businesses where the client is going to have to do some of the work in order to make what you've done successful. When you run a business that requires your clients to do part of the work, the success of the job is going to depend on an outside source - the client. You don't have the ability to make them do the work.

You can guide them, you can counsel them, you can give them all the tools they need, but you can't MAKE them do the work. Sometimes they won't do the work, and it might feel crappy, and make you feel like you didn't do your job well enough. But sometimes it's just that they weren't ready to take the time, that they weren't ready to make the commitment, that they weren't ready to do the work. You need to know that will happen, and be OK with the fact that that will happen.

What you need to take responsibility for is what you have the ability to control - YOUR work, making sure you're the best at your part of the job.

That's part 1 of the things I've learned, in part two in a couple of weeks I'm going to talk about some money lessons!

Resources & Links

Join my Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE EPISODES:

#1: Three strategies to get the life and biz you want

#12: When saying no is right for your business

#14: Why goal setting and planning suck

#18 - Batching to save time and energy

Nicole Liloia is a former therapist turned accidental entrepreneur who does business strategy for other accidental entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses and have multiple income streams. An accidental entrepreneur happens when someone starts making money doing something they enjoy, either through a hobby or side-hustle. They do not intend to start a business; they just start making money doing something they love and it evolves into a business. Nicole loves the business of owning a business, but it happened by accident. She thanks her batch system for keeping her business successful.

Batching to save time and money

The Internet has given birth to many new types of business, it has also seen many new businesses fail because they do not have the systems and plans in place to make that business sustainable. Some of these businesses start off lucky, but then they end up spending more money then they are earning, but it you’re committed to running a business long term then you need to make it work.

Mindset and Strategy

Business owners need to understand that business has ups and downs, highs and lows. You need to know this and be okay with this. You need to know this is a regular business cycle and not to get upset and quit during the downs and lows. You have to have a positive mindset to deal with this.

You also need a strategy. You need to strategize for today, tomorrow, this month and the entire year. You do not want to be caught flying by the seat of your pants. If you do you will be wondering where your next income is going to come from long term, instead of working to grow your business with intention.

If you have a strategy then you can work to grow your business and make a long term plan.

Understand your numbers

The amount of time you put into your business will bring in an income, but it may not be profitable right off the bat. You need to really think about your metrics and figure out how many people you can work with in a day, week or year. How can you reach your income goals? Do you need to create passive income streams or other ways to earn money? You need to also account for the time you have available and how many people you will need to talk to make a sale. Track all numbers – how long it takes to convert a potential client, the length of your sales conversations, etc. How long are these people remaining in your pipeline? You need to take all this into account when looking at your income long term – each month contributes to your overall income goal.

Passive income is one possibility, however it is much easier to be successful with passive income once you already have a steady income flow. Passive income is generally a lower income source and needs a large audience to sell to. Many passive income sources need to be created and generally cost money to complete, i.e. due to graphic design, web design, etc. Passive income should be incorporated into your long-term business strategy.

Stay Visible

It can be hard to be and stay visible as an entrepreneur. You need to market yourself and be consistent with your visibility. You need to find a pattern of visibility that you are comfortable with. Nicole sets aside 90-days in which she does hard core marketing and then backs off the rest of the time to focus on her clients. Again, you need to measure what works for you and your business day-to-day and for your overall income goals. If you batch your marketing efforts and repeat it over a specific amount of time then you don’t have to be in selling mode all the time if you don’t want to be. You can let people know ahead of time when you will be accepting new clients (in advance of your goals), which gets us out of being an accidental entrepreneur and into an intentional, strategic entrepreneur. This will help you get and stay ahead.

Batch Activities

If you’re organized then you can take a step back and look at your goals and make sure you have enough money to run your business. This also allows you to batch your activities so nothing important is forgotten. For example, set aside a day and time a week or month where you can follow up with people. This way no one is forgotten. You will be able to build relationships this way and not forget about a potential client.

You can get a lot more done if you set aside a specific time to accomplish something rather than constantly stopping and starting again. You are also in the right frame of mind to stay focussed and be confident with the task at hand.

Nicole has a tool that helps people batch their business activities. Batch like a Boss helps business owners get ahead of stress, content, deadlines, and whatever else you need to do and start feeling accomplished and confident.

In order to be successful in business, be consistent, take action and have a clear, identifiable goal that can be measured and work every day to reach that goal and avoid panic mode.

Resources & Links

Nicole Liloia's website

Nicole's Batch Like a Boss worksheet

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE EPISODES:

#4: Where to start before starting a business

#9: Managing Your Social Media While On Vacation

#14: Why goal setting and planning suck

#17 - Stop the overwhelm - get Productive!

Do you find running a business overwhelming? Do you struggle to find the time to work ON your business as opposed to just in it?

Stop the overwhelm

Shelagh Cummins is a business coach and consultant specializing in helping women build and grow their businesses. Shelagh and I see a lot of business owners struggling with overwhelm. There is so much for business owners to do and so many wheels that need to be in alignment that it can be tricky to know where to focus without tipping the cart.

Do a brain dump

Take a piece of paper and do a brain dump of everything that is swimming around in your brain. Business owners carry so much in their brain from day-to-day that it’s important to put it down on paper. Don’t worry about organizing it – just get it out to get some clarity! Think about the one thing that will have the most amount of impact for you, your family and your business. What do you need the most of right now? This creates a priority list of what you need the most of: is it revenue, a better team, a marketing plan? What is it that you need that will have a domino affect on everything else?

Once this is out put it on a wall in front of you and start crossing off the things that are irrelevant or not that important. Then find the pieces that help you fill the immediate need. What are the milestones that you need to get done to get you the results you want the most? Do you need to hire help? Do you need to send an email to your mailing list?

Shelagh’s Productive! Planner helps you determine what you want the most and then determines the hurdles you need to get through to get there. Once you have the milestones, you then have to lay out the actions you need to take to get that end result. Once you have this figured out, just sit with it and be quiet with it, before you take any action at all.

Figure out your "one thing"

There is going to be many “gears” or things that you want to get done. But think about what needs to come first – what one gear or wheel needs to turn to make the others work? For example, if your one thing is to earn more revenue, then you need more clients and in order to get more clients you may need to ramp up your marketing strategies. It’s a matter of looking at all the conflicting pieces and figuring out which one is going to fuel the other ones. Focus on that ONE first.

Build out your plan

What is the end result of your project or goal? Why is that important to you? If you set a goal then you need to anchor it in something important. For example, if you want to earn more revenue don’t think of it in terms of a number, think of it in terms of what you will be able to do with that number. It allows you to derive from a place of purpose. For example, if you make $5000 you will be able to hire someone to help you grow your business or take a dream vacation.

Reach milestones

How do you get to that goal? What milestones do you have to reach to get there? If your goal is to reach a certain number, such as $5000 – think about how many services or products you have to sell to reach that number. Is it a matter of raising the quantity or products or services, increasing the price or decreasing the production costs? What do you have to do to sell that much of that product or service? Is it being more visible on social media or networking more? What has to happen for you to get the end result?

We don’t allow ourselves the time to plan forward. We instead focus on tasks that keep us busy, but don’t necessarily work on tasks that will move our businesses forward. It doesn’t have to be this way. By being quiet and strategic about the actions you take each and every day, you allow yourself the momentum needed to get to your end goal. Planning is key.

Make power moves

Power moves are strategic and intentional actions. For example, scrolling Facebook mindlessly is not a power move – calling a client you haven’t heard from in awhile – that’s a power move. It’s an action that can pack a lot of punch.

Plan your day with intention

Start your day in a place of quiet. Visualize your day before it starts – walk through it in your head so you are ready and prepared for your day. Then recognize that one, nonnegotiable thing that needs to be done that day in order to be successful.

Ask yourself how you’re going to be powerful today or empathetic today – figure out who you need to be that day to get whatever your one thing is, done.

Prioritize your actions every day. It allows you to focus on what is important. Give yourself permission to be human and celebrate what you did accomplish and understand that what you didn’t accomplish will still be there tomorrow.

Resources & Links

Shelagh Cummins' website

Get your own copy of Shelagh's Productive! (Use Discount Code: CLEARANCE to get the planner for $20+HST!)

Join my Free Facebook Biz Studio Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#16 The danger behind loaded words

When you hear the word success how does it make you feel? What is your definition of success? Did you know that how you define certain words can hamper or help you achieve something—especially in business? We call these words “loaded” and Megan O’Neill joins me today to discuss what they mean for you and your business.

Megan is a Core Belief Engineering Practitioner who works with entrepreneurs. She works with her clients on a deep level to help them overcome their negative mindsets, including around a person’s beliefs behind loaded words.

Loaded words carry more meaning then their dictionary definition. People need to understand that there are words that are really loaded and that how they define these words can impact their business and how they work toward their goals. 

What are loaded words?

Loaded words have a visceral response to them; sometimes this response can be negative. If there is a word that automatically gets your back up then there is a belief within you that needs to be examined and your beliefs around it need to be changed.

The question becomes, how are you operating around the beliefs of this word? Meaning is your definition of a certain word or words preventing you from doing or achieving something? Many people have mindset blocks around a number of words that can impact how they perform in their business - loaded words such as rich, ambition, success, hustle, and busyness.

Ambition

How do you feel about the word ambition?

For Megan ambition is something to strive for; it’s an attribute. It is something you want to have in order to be successful. For Lara, ambition can be a risky path and does not always mean success - it's loaded for her with fears of too much work and sacrificing the joys of life.

Success

What do you feel when you think about success in your business?

Many people don’t define success for themselves, but instead they end up using society's definition of success, or what they've witnessed and believed to be successful around them in their lives. 

It is only when you start seeing what you truly want versus how someone else sees success that you can start breaking through your beliefs around a loaded word. For example, just because someone else has the desire and ability to vacation in St-Bart’s twice a year, doesn’t mean it defines success for you if that isn’t something you really desire to do. If the idea of being successful in your business feels overwhelming at all, it may be time to write down a new definition of personal success. 

Rich

Do you want to be rich?

While one person may think being rich would be perfect, another person may hate the idea of ever being rich because of what they believe having money will mean to them. Some people think that being rich makes you cold and disconnected and therefore don't want to ever be rich. That definition has a lot more meaning than just having lots of money.

Our definitions of loaded words form when we are children. Maybe it is from movies we have seen as children where the villain was rich, or perhaps it is from our parents’ belief that people with money are evil.

You need to learn that your definition of a word can put a lot of needless pressure on yourself. You also need to understand that these beliefs can be blocking you from achieving success. You could be viewing the definition of a word through a lens that is not giving you the true picture of your situation. If your definition of a word does not match your true beliefs around something then you need to take another look at the definition.

Hustle

There are two camps on what the word hustle can mean: If you’re hustling you’re working hard to be the best at your job, you love what you’re doing versus it sounds pushy, hard work, always in someone’s face, and never taking time for yourself.

Some people load it with positives, and some load it with negatives. Which camp are you in, or do you feel neutral about the word?

Busyness

Busy has become a synonymous with success. There is a belief that being busy is positive for a lot of people because they are always taking action ad are always doing something. The other side could be that they’re not taking time for themself, their family or for the things they really want to do. Instead they are doing the things they have to do and not what they want to do. Being busy does not have to be a bad thing.

What are your loaded words? What kind of unconscious beliefs are you running around these loaded words? You can change a definition around words at any time, you just need to get a new education regarding a word to change it and move forward.

Resources & Links

Megan’s Facebook Group

Megan O'Neill's website

Megan O'Neill on Facebook

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#15 What's your business story?

When Deborah first came in to my Facebook community and introduced herself, she told a story. I've always known that stories are important - that stories are a way to connect to an audience, and that stories are important for business owners. Deborah's story clearly did all those things because the response was incredible. People wanted to know more about her, people wanted to follow her to her own group. 

She definitely sold her own product with that post and I wanted to have her on the podcast to talk more about storytelling because I think all business owners need to incorporate in more into their communications.


Who is Deborah?

Deborah Ager guides her clients through the process of finding the right words and using them in the right places to get more clients. She’s called a business muse, copywriter, marketing consultant, and business storyteller. She has 15+ years of marketing and copy experience for billion-dollar organizations, multimillion-dollar companies, and for small business owners—and with successes at each. She believes in serving those who aim to improve humanity. She lives in the Washington, DC area and is founder of Radiant Media Labs and host of a weekly free training on using words to grow your business.

What’s your story?

If you’re having a hard time finding clients, or are struggling to fill your funnel, the key to your success could be in the story of you and your business. Even if you don’t enjoy writing, or don’t believe you’ve had any interesting experiences, you have stories in you that, once shared, can help you attract your ideal customers.

Why does storytelling work?

A good story is compelling, peaks interest, and teaches people something. When you develop stories around your experiences in business that help people understand who you are and what you do, it helps your prospective customers sit up and pay attention.

What should you talk about?

Back in high school, we learned that a story had three basic parts to it: the introduction, or building of the action, the climax, and the denouement, or ending. This kind of story doesn’t translate well to the business world.

According to Deborah, a great story is a 6 part process:

1) Be clear on your audience

Who do you want to work with? This is a super important step when deciding what details to include in your story.

The more you know your target audience and what they like, want and need, the more you can create stories that speak directly to them. This means you’ll attract more of the people you want to work with, and fewer of the people that aren’t a great fit.

Pick a few of your favourite clients and make a list of the things that they have in common. What are they interested in? What could you include in a story that would really resonate with them? The more stories you tell them that really connect, the more potential clients will feel that you’re a person that understands where they’re coming from.

2) Be clear on what you do

Are you sure that your prospective client is clear on what it is that you do? How do you stand out from the pack? How are you different, better?

3) Be clear on why you do it

What are your beliefs? If you’re not sure what exactly you believe in, take a pen and paper and free write a page starting with “I believe”. If you let yourself just write continuously without stopping, you might just experience a breakthrough about yourself that can attract people with similar beliefs.

4) Include a struggle

People want to know that you’ve struggled. Don’t assume that appearing perfect will make people want to work with you. Easy might be desirable, but it sure isn’t interesting. You might write about a past business fail, a transformational process, or a problem you fixed that helped in your own business. If a prospective client sees that you’ve overcome the same struggles they’re having, they’ll know that you’re the right person to help them.

5) Add an element of surprise

People like intrigue and excitement, remember to bring in something that keeps things interesting to hold people's attention.

6) Add a satisfying ending

We want a solution to the problem and something that demonstrates that you've arrived in a place that your audience wants to be. Make sure not to leave people hanging - give them what they want in the conclusion.

Where do you want your prospective client to go next? You can include a call to action, a link to a freebie, or an invitation to the next step.

How much should you share?

You might be nervous about sharing personal info, or you might worry that sharing too many of your quirky qualities will push people away. Use words that are real and true for you and if someone doesn’t resonate with what you’re saying, that’s ok! If someone can’t accept you for who you are, you probably don’t want to work with them anyway.

Some people are totally ok with their lives being an open book, but others prefer to keep their private lives private. It comes down to deciding how much you’re comfortable with putting out there. Operate by your own rules, but err on the side of caution. Remember, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.

What if you’re overwhelmed by creating content?

Storytelling can be a lot of fun, but people think they have to spend all day and night creating content. Work on small pieces of writing and don’t let it overwhelm you. You might want to start with a “safe” story like your business origins story and go from there. You can also find ways to repurpose your content to make it easier to create later on. Take baby steps—the better you get at it, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Start connecting to your audience through storytelling:

Download Deborah's blueprint help you build your brand/business origin story. It takes you through her 6 step process to produce your very own brand story!

Resources & Links

Deborah’s StoryLab Blueprint

Deborah's Website

Deborah's Facebook Group

Join the Free Facebook Biz Studio Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

 

#14 Why goal setting and planning suck

I hate planning - I really do. I'm the kind of gal who likes to fly by the seat of her pants; who likes to let inspiration take hold and GO GO GO!

There are so many reasons I hate it - any of these sound familiar?

  • I don't have time

  • I'm not ready for planning

  • Planning stifles my creativity

  • I'm doing fine without it

  • I don't follow the plans anyways!

  • It's all in my head so I don't need to write it down

If you've thought any of these things, let's keep talking and I'll tell you why I DO plan, even though I still think and feel these things on a regular basis. 

I don't have time

This is never going to go away - you're always going to have too much to do. You need to book in the time.

If you don't COMMIT to the time, you're not going to get things done. You need to figure out how to commit - do you need a coach? Do you need an accountability partner? Do you need to book a day out of your office somewhere to work on?

If you don't stop and think about your business, you end up missing all the places you have money you can be saving or making, all the places you can be saving time, or all the places that need re-evaluating.

You might be amazed how much extra time and money you find just stopping for a day and thinking about what you're doing and why.

I'm not ready

There are so many times when I'm talking to people and they tell me they aren't ready to work with a coach or stop and work on planning because they don't know what they want to do next.

I get it, you don't want to waste time working on the wrong thing; it's easier to stick with the status quo for now.

HOWEVER, if you don't stop and try to figure it out, if you don't talk to a coach or go through a workbook on planning, you're never going to make the time to get ready and you're going to keep running on that hamster wheel indefinitely. 

Don't let 'not feeling ready' stop you from taking the next step in your business. 

It stifles my creativity / I won't do it anyways

This is a BIG one for me. I never know what I want to do next. I don't want to be told what to do. This makes wanting to sit down and decide far in advance what will be happening next extremely unappealing to me.

The important thing to remember here is that we need to set realistic expectations when it comes to the results of our planning. Not every single thing we plan is going to work out. Not every single plan is going to be the right decision for us. We need to be ready to learn, explore, and experiment. If we make plans and decide in a month that we made the wrong plan and need to change it - that's OK. It also doesn't mean that the time you took planning was a waste of time. You learned a lot from making the plan and then figuring out what about that plan isn't something you want to do in your business.

Here's the other thing - when you think about planning that doesn't work for you, maybe you're thinking about the wrong kind of planning!

Not every method of planning works for every person. If you balk at the idea of step-by-step plans with dates attached, maybe you need to be more flexible with the way you plan and come up with ideas. Be willing to experiment and play to your strengths.

It's all in my head and that's working fine!

Getting things out of your head so you can look at it from a different angle is so important. It's really hard to get a true picture of everything when it's in your head. Things get forgotten, and you can't think of every possibility. You need to see things from other perspectives. 

While a lot of the times we can easily talk ourselves out of doing the planning because we're so busy, we don't feel ready or we feel it's going to be a waste of time, the truth is that it IS worth the time and effort to stop and re-evaluate. I challenge you to commit to some planning and goal setting for your business in the next month and see what happens!

What to do next

1) Book time to work on your business

2) Bring someone else in to help support you: a coach, a friend, or take a course. Find a person you can talk things through with.

3) Don't be afraid of planning - there is a system for each style of thinking and way of working - you just need to figure out what the right system is for you.

4) Set realistic expectations - if you think that you're suddenly going to make 100% more profit once you do some planning and it doesn't work, you're going to be really frustrated. Know that a lot of this is all about just spending time thinking - not every idea of plan is THE best one, but the act of doing the planning will help you in the long run.

5) Stop keeping everything in your head - talk it out to someone and get their feedback, voice record yourself and listen back to it, or just write it down. Take the time to see what things look like when it's more than just ideas floating around in your head.

If you're looking for more support you can:
 

Join my free Facebook Community
Book a call with me to see if we're a good fit for coaching

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#13 - 3 Simple Steps for Managing Stress

How do you cope with stress?

Stress is common, but how entrepreneurs and business owners deal with it can vary; and sometimes it isn't coped with at all, until it is too late! Shulamit (Shula) Berlevtov is a social worker that works with busy women and businesswomen, offering support to help them manage and cope with stress. As Shula sees it, the problem is recognizing and dealing with stress before it gets too big.

 Businesswomen think there is something wrong with them because they feel some little thing (stress) has done them in. The first thing is to recognize that it is normal to feel this way. Secondly, realize that the effect of stress is cumulative. Think of stress like the weight limit on an elevator. The weight can build and build on an elevator, but eventually, if you surpass the weight limit, the elevator is going to break. You are the elevator and stress is the people – too much stress and you will break!

3 Simple Steps to Managing Stress

The irony is if you are in the elevator, you can’t see what is happening because everything that is happening is outside of the elevator – the cables start to fray, etc. Then when everything breaks you find yourself free falling and you don’t understand why you’re broken.

This is how stress works: it builds and builds, and unless you are paying attention it breaks you. If you don’t see stress coming you should be looking for signs, such as getting a short fuse or feeling constant exhaustion. Stress affects all bodily functions: mental health, emotional health, your respiratory system, your muscular skeletal system (body tension), digestion, heartburn, etc.  Stress affects the whole body.

Instead of living with the heartburn, etc. you should do something about it. Treat it like the “check engine” light in your car. You will be tempted to deal it later, but eventually that light could mean a larger problem.

So, what can we do in the moment?

As a businessperson, find a group or person who will put stress management on your regular agenda. Whether that is a mastermind group or a business coach – put stress management on your accountability list. Make a point of paying attention to the signals your body is giving you and then engage in stress reduction: discharge, soothe and nourish.

How to cope with stress

Discharge

To discharge is to release the built up energy in the body, which means moving. It does not necessarily mean working out, but just moving somehow. Identify your practice i.e. taking a walk, dancing to music, etc. You need to bring your awareness to this movement – don’t bring your stress with you.

Bring your attention inward and say to yourself that this is your stress reduction practice. If it’s a chore to do it will become stressful and will not be good for you. Make sure the movement is pleasurable for you.

Soothe

Soothing tells the nervous system that it doesn’t have to worry; and that it can relax. However you can’t just tell yourself to relax, your body responds to experience i.e., a hot bath or other calm, comfortable, soothing activity that will calm stress. This soothing activity is different for everyone. It is something that will make you say, “ahhhh.” And again you have to take the time to soothe yourself and find your calm. Commit to soothing your stress.

Nourish

Nourish has to do with feeding the nervous system the experiences it needs to thrive, such as joy, fun, inspiration, etc. For some people this means going to church, singing, playing with kids, reading a book or going to a good comedy show. Anything that makes you come out feeling enlivened. 

Find what works for you – you know what makes you feel good and you know what makes you feel that you’ve let steam off. If you don’t know, just bring an awareness to your feelings and you will quickly learn what your ideal stress reduction practice.

Stress is a part of being an entrepreneur (and a person!) but if you find the right techniques to release the stress the build up won't be such a problem. Leave a comment and let me know how you will discharge, soothe and nourish this week!

Resources & Links

Stress relief with breath and movement ebook and video

Shula's website

Join the Free Facebook Biz Studio Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

#12 – When Saying No is Right for your Business

Are you doing what you love? Does your business make you happy? If it isn’t then it may be time to change the way you run your business.

Today I am talking with Sam Hunter, a quilt pattern designer for the quilting industry. Quilting is a $4 billion dollar industry in the United States! Despite being associated as an activity for the elderly, quilting is a huge industry and Sam has capitalized on this with her designs. Sam joins me to discuss her experiences as a business owner and choosing the right projects for you. It’s all about doing what you want to be doing as opposed to doing what others (society) think you should be doing.

Why you should do what you love

When saying no is right for your business

Sam designs what she is passionate about because she believes the end result will be better. If a fabric company approaches her with a design and she tries to do it, i.e. table runners, she finds they don’t sell well. The fact that she isn’t committed in her heart to that work means they don’t sell well, so she only creates what turns her creativity on.

If you create a business with a lot of “poop sandwiches,” as writer Elizabeth Gilbert describes it, then it won’t sell well or do well because you are not going to give it your all; because your heart is not into it.

When you love what you do, you do it better

It’s easier to promote, sell and do the day-to-day when you love what you do! With every creative job there is the behind the scenes stuff that you also need to do, i.e. a website, social media, etc. and you need to get good at it or hire out for it, but in order to do this you must love and believe in what you do. You need to know that doing what you love means creating systems and processes that allow you to focus on this.

After reading the book Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, Sam realized that when you’re in the business of doing your work, you are working on being more productive and efficient. Are you doing the right things in your business? Sometimes there are places in your business where you think “heck no,” but there are business reasons behind having to do whatever that thing is.

What is essential to your business?

In order to run a business that makes you happy, you need to protect your income stream, your body and your family and family relationships. Your body needs to come first in order to be able to do the rest.

Body and health

According to McKeown, our first asset is your body. Don’t work so hard that your body breaks down. Look at the decision processes for your business and think if it will stress you out, and if so, can you hire it out? Is it cost-effective? Does it support your health?

If you’re doing the wrong work your body will tell you through migraines, etc. It’s not all about having the time—it’s about whether or not it will exhaust you or cause you anxiety. If you are running at a level of busy that means you can’t maintain self-care then you will run out of steam. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in yoga classes, but it could mean questioning what you are eating. Are you relying on take-out too often? Are there fruits and vegetables in your fridge?

Income stream

When it comes to your business tasks, you need to decide whether any of the things that must be done need to be done by you and if so can you hire that thing out. Outsourcing gives you back the time you need to do the things only you can do. You can outsource for graphic design, social media, bookkeeping, etc.

Family

It's simple - when was the last time you spent time with close friends and family - the people that nourish your soul?

Don’t do what you don’t want to do. Remember, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Another thing to think about is 'can you do your best work within the time allotted to you?' Doing it well doesn’t come with the hustle. Can you be proud of your work in this situation? Do work you love AND you’re proud of.

The fear of saying no

You can have a sustainable income by saying no because it gives you more room to say yes to the work you do want to do and that you’re good at. The polarization within our society that if you’re A then you’re not B… and if you’re A then you don’t like B… this isn’t true—there is room for all of us.

Just as there is room for other quilter designers there is a room for other people within your industry – only you can do what you do and everyone else can do the rest. Don’t play in the realm of scarcity. Believe there will always be people who like your work. If you play in the realm of scarcity, you will get scarcity.

Competition

When it comes to competition, be all that you can be, but swim in your own lane. Don’t look too much at others; keep them in mind, but don’t focus too much on them. Instead focus on yourself and what you do.

We will all have frustrating days, but love what you do. Sam loves the puzzle of what she does. She has her mission and system that keeps her on track, for example she doesn’t do kits because she doesn’t want to. By figuring out what she likes to do she stays on track and keeps her goals in mind. Just because you say no to something doesn’t mean it’s permanent… they can become possibilities down the road—if you want them to be. Your business is constantly evolving – just make sure it is the business you want and that everything happening in your business is for a reason.

Resources & Links

Sam Hunter's website: Hunter's Design Studio

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher


# 11 – Why your personal life can’t be separated from your business life

Trudy Chapman is a life coach that helps people with their personal development, in particular with transitions. Having moved over twenty times in her life, Trudy is very familiar with transitions and life changes, and brings this experience with her in her day-to-day work with clients.

Trudy joins me on The Biz Podcast to talk about the life part of being a business owner. She believes business owners need to keep their personal life in mind when it comes to running a business because people bring the same person to every part of their life, whether that is at an event for a child, a business meeting or coffee with a friend.

The importance of a life plan

Podcast #11 Life and business balance

When an entrepreneur comes to Trudy with a business plan, she asks them what their life plan is. She does this to make the entrepreneur question if they have enough space in their personal life for their business. Once an entrepreneur sets out their life plan, they often realize that some business goals may need to be set over a longer period of time, as time and business expands.

She asks entrepreneurs to think of their business and life plans as a pie. She asks: What does your life and business pie look like? How big is the spousal piece, parent piece, business piece, etc.?

Values

Trudy also looks at values. She asks: What do you value? How do you value it? If you value it, are you actually living it? Answering these questions brings clarity to a business owner’s life and tells them how things are at the present moment, before they set goals for the future.

Once a business owner determines their values, they can then set mindful decisions surrounding their business. Entrepreneurs need to make decisions based on the right reasons. A common struggle is figuring out what is important versus what someone else thinks you should do or based on what society thinks you should do.

Ask yourself: What do you like to do and how can you make that into something people will buy?

Each day you get up and are putting time into your business, so why shouldn’t you love it?  Think of it like a pair of shoes – if they pinch your feet take a look at those pinch points and find a more comfortable pair of shoes that don’t pinch.

Mindfulness

Trudy’s values and her life and business balance came out of providing for her children. She wanted to be there for her children as well as run her business. She committed to managing her work the best way possible so that the impact on her children was as minimal as possible. She recognized what she was good at and understood what she wanted and did not want from her business. She understood her values and was able to set mindful decisions surrounding her business.

Trudy leaves a situation better after she has been there than what it was before she got there. It’s how she lives her values and lives a mindful life.

How to get past the "shoulds"

To get beyond the “shoulds” business owners need to think with their head, heart and body. When your gut is telling you something doesn’t feel right, but your head is telling you it logically makes sense, the wrong decision can easily be made. So many times we listen to our head and then find ourselves in unhappy situations as opposed to listening to our guts. Tapping into your feelings gives you the power to get in touch with the values that are driving you. So many people don’t know how to take the time to do this and then know what to do with these feelings – this is what a coach can help you with.

Intentional Choices

Sometimes business owners make decisions that may not be what they really want, but are done because they feel they should do them. The ability to make intentional choices is completely dependent on mindfulness. Be aware of any consequences that may come from the choices you make. What are the trade offs? I.e., what won’t you be able to do if you decided to do XYZ?

It is very common for business owners to want to feel more fulfilled, and many are not sure how to do this. This is what a life coach can help people figure out. A coach can help you get comfortable with the uncomfortable. A coach can show you how things look now, how it serves you, how it doesn’t fit quite right and how to change it so it can fit right. Shifts should be regenerative through time and a coach can teach you to address any issues that may come up in the future – giving you a sense of durability and mindfulness.

Equipped with the right tools a business owner can live a fulfilling life and run a successful business.

Resources & Links

Trudy Chapman Coaching

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

 

You may also like these episodes:

#1:  Three strategies to get the life and biz you want

#10: Entrepreneurs and Confidence

#10 - Entrepreneurs and Confidence

Do you feel nervous or uncomfortable about putting yourself out there on social media or at a networking event? How does it make you feel when someone refers to you as an expert or guru? If either of these scenarios makes you want to pull back or hide then it may be time to look at your mindset to see why you are struggling with these.

When we talk about mindset in this context, we are talking about something that you may not be conscious of that is impacting how you behave in your business.  What are your beliefs around visibility, i.e. what makes you afraid to put yourself out there? How are your beliefs impacting your inability to be confident?

Lack of confidence can affect an entrepreneur’s ability to put themselves out there and be visible. Many entrepreneurs hesitate to put themselves out there in video, public speaking or at a networking event because they lack the confidence.

Podcast #10 - Entrepreneurship and confidence

My friend Megan O’Neill is a Core Belief Engineering Practitioner, who has many clients who are entrepreneurs and small business owners—some of whom struggle with confidence. Megan helps them determine why they struggle and what beliefs may be holding them back.

Lack of Confidence and Fearing Judgment

Megan recently spoke with a colleague who hesitates to do any public speaking because she feels she isn’t good enough and needs more training. In Megan’s eye, her colleague was already quite a good public speaker. Her colleague lacks the confidence to do public speaking and that is actually what is holding her back.

Similarly, Megan held back from doing videos for her business because she lacked confidence. She did not want people from her past, i.e. high school classmates to see and potentially judge these videos. Once she overcame this fear, she was able to create regular videos that allow people the opportunity to get to know her thereby helping grow her business.

People hold back because they fear judgment.

Imposter Syndrome

If you are afraid of looking like a fake or a phoney, you believe you are presenting yourself in a certain way that is not true. A lot of people who are extremely talented are, are actually some of the most likely to suffer from imposter syndrome.

You need to ask yourself how many years of experience or education do you need before you allow yourself to be qualified for what it is you do. Once you ask yourself this question you may start to realize there is no magic number, or magic certification... not really. (Though sometimes you really will want to get a piece of paper, that's ok too)

The same falls true for people who come from highly educated parents, they may feel they are not qualified enough because they are not at the same level of education, even though this is simply not true.

People will find ways to justify their fears. They don’t want to use the word expert or guru—but why? What are the beliefs behind not wanting to use these words?

There are old beliefs that you shouldn’t “toot your own horn.” Women in particular hesitate to do this because they fear they will not be liked and will look conceited, which is wrong because you are telling yourself to not be confident.

Imposter syndrome is really common - start to pinpoint where you're feeling stuck so you can start to move past the blocks in your thinking.

Measuring Up to Other People

Have you ever thought, “Who am I to believe I can do this?” This is one way we measure ourselves. We also tend to compare ourselves to other entrepreneurs who may be offering similar services or products. If you suffer from comparing yourself to other people it’s counterproductive. It does not motivate you and in fact, often causes people to pull back.

It is important to remember that the picture you hold of what someone else is doing, i.e. comparing your pricing, is done without knowing the other entrepreneur’s full picture. Maybe their prices do not reflect their reality. Maybe they are not making enough to support their lifestyle. Maybe they want to raise their prices, but are afraid to!

If you look at someone else, it is easy to fall into the trap of comparing.

Take Facebook for example, if you look at someone’s Facebook page you will think they are living the picture perfect life, and this can make you feel bad about your own life, even though it may not be that person’s true reality. People get caught up in artificial perceptions.

How Beliefs Affect Us

It comes down to how people value themselves—their self-worth. We are culturally taught to not value ourselves. Once you start to value yourself and look at what you bring to the table it can be a game-changer.

When you are a business owner or a solopreneur, you are IT! Go big or go home! Value your talents, your time and how you look and present yourself. You need to put yourself out there, so why not have the confidence to do so?

Become aware of your beliefs. Awareness is the first step to changing your negative beliefs. Notice and become aware of where your blocks are—write them down. If you are not taking action on something ask yourself why that is? What is holding you back? What part of you doesn’t want to do it?

Once you figure out these blocks ask yourself how you can change your mindset around these blocks. Can you talk it out with a friend or someone who is supportive of you and your entrepreneurial journey?

How can you change your change your mindset and be confident? And if that isn't working, book a call with Megan because she can help you dig down into the unconscious beliefs that can be hard to target on our own.

Resources & Links

Megan O'Neill's website

Megan's Facebook Community: Core Beliefs for Business

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#9 - Managing Your Social Media While On Vacation

How do you manage your social media when you’re on vacation? Blogger and content curator, Rebecca Stanisic, joins me to discuss how you can create a viable social media plan to keep you covered while you are disconnected and away from the office.

Many business owners intend to have a plan for their social media while they are away, but don’t follow through and instead let their social media channels go dark. This is not always ideal.

While vacations are important—disconnecting can be rejuvenating!—it does not have to be detrimental to your business. Think of a vacation as a chance to recharge your batteries, and when you plan ahead it can be stress-free.

So, how can you prevent your social channels from going dark while you're away?

Use a calendar

The first place to start is with a calendar. Have and use an editorial calendar of some sort—it does not have to be day-to-day, but you should still have a calendar you can refer to on a daily basis, even though it may be a calendar that breaks down your content schedule monthly.

Use this calendar to plan out what content you want to post and when you want to post it. When you use and consistently refer to this calendar you get a bigger picture and can see the blocks of time you have devoted to vacation. This will help you plan in advance and work with the goal of meeting deadlines way before your vacation as opposed to last minute. This will reduce stress and allow you to focus.

You need to plan and prepare yourself for the transitional time following a vacation as well—allow time to check email, prepare for meetings, etc. This should all be incorporated into your planning in the weeks (and months) leading up to a vacation.

What this means is that you should prepare and schedule your social media content for before, during and after your vacation to allow for some much needed buffer time.

Schedule Content

While some business owners do not schedule content and prefer to post live, if you know you are going to be unplugged while away then you need to create quality content and schedule it to publish while you are on vacation. 

This could be a timely evergreen piece that relates to the time of year, i.e. if it is over March break, do you have something that relates to this?  The same goes for Christmas and other holidays.

If you are planning on running a special event or sale sometime after you get back from vacation, then you need to think ahead about this as well; and create and schedule content that will build up to this so you are not frantically promoting last minute upon returning from vacation.

Plan your blog posts

If you have a small business blog then you might not need to publish a new blog post on your week away, however if you do need new content or if you owe someone a new post(s) then you need to plan ahead and make sure it is edited and ready to publish while you are away.

When it comes to all online content, the important thing is to be consistent—if your audience expects a blog post or newsletter while you are away then you need to stay consistent. Your content schedule depends on your business as well as your audience.

If you do not want to have your own material publish while you are away, then you can ask guest bloggers to guest post on your blog. Again you will need to plan this in advance and reach out and let them know your expectations, deadlines, etc. 

Let your clients know you will be away

If you regularly take appointments then you need to let your audience know that you will not be taking appointments the week you are away. The sooner you let our audience know, the better. You can do this via your email signature, out of office as well as Facebook messenger and on your website. You do not necessarily have to let your audience know that you are leaving town, just let them know you are unavailable, and if you will or will not be responding to emails.

Get help and set expectations

If you work with a social media manager or virtual assistant then you need to work with them and make sure they are aware of whether or not you are still responding to email or if you are completely off the grid while you are on vacation.

You should also let them know clear deadlines and have clear communication regarding expectations on them while you are away as well as leading up to your vacation.

You should always have someone available to put out your fires while you are away. For example, if you cannot get on your Facebook Page while away, then you should have someone who has the role of Page Admin to access your Page to answer queries, etc. The same applies to your website—have someone who can log in and address any malware issues or other problems.

Logging off and stepping away from your computer is healthy—allow yourself the time to enjoy it! With the proper amount of planning and preparation a week away is not only possible, it can easily become a regular part of your business planning.

How will you get ready for your next time away from your business? Leave a comment and let me know!

Resources & Links

Rebecca's website

Rebecca's blog

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher
 

Podcast Contest

CONGRATULATIONS KIM REYNOLDS WHO WON IT STARTS WITH WHY!

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

 

#8 – Your Relationship with Money

When it comes to running your business, what is your relationship with money? Are you charging your worth? Are you spending the money necessary to grow your business? If you struggle with your relationship with money—you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs and business owners don’t know their numbers or they’re afraid to talk about money.

your relationship with money

Johanna Lynn joins me on the podcast to talk about the relationship we all have with money. She works with what we inherit from our family. She believes none of us are who we are by accident; our childhood blueprint shows up in more than you may think, including in our relationships with people and with things, such as money. This is all due to our family and how we were raised.

Who taught you about money?

Even though money is so important, no one really teaches us about money and finances. As adults we make every day decisions when it comes to money and with those decisions come emotional attachments that live right below the surface.

Whether you are wealthy or struggling to get by, there are common themes in people’s relationship to money. You need to look at what is running you on the inside when it comes to money. It is more than just skills learned through financial books; we need to understand our feelings around money.

How our thoughts around money differ

Think about it: you could have two successful women entrepreneurs who own their own business, who are married and are both mothers and on the surface it may seem like we have some of the same things, however our blueprint, set out by our relationships with our parents, is different. It is our blueprint that makes people think and act differently from one another. Those two woman can make vastly different decisions with money, impacting how they spend it, how they receive it and how comfortable they feel with what they have or don't have.

When it comes to money you either think you have enough or you think of money in terms of scarcity – in turn this affects your relationship with money, right down to the little purchases you make. Money is a big part of being an entrepreneur. You need to spend money to earn money, whether that is investing in a business coach or equipment.  So, you need to be comfortable in your relationship with money.

Myth: You’re born a spender or a saver

Believing you’re born a spender or a saver is an unconscious loyalty that can come from seldom allowing ourselves to do better than our parents. If you have parents who were all about keeping up with the Joneses but did not have the money to support this habit, then as children we notice the strain of living beyond our means. In turn we grow up to repeat the same behaviours or grow up to do the opposite: save every penny we earn to avoid the strain our parents had.

Regardless of which path, our relationship with money is often not our own but is a subconscious relationship based on the relationship our parents had with money.

Your relationship should not be the same, though. You would not want your children to fall into these pitfalls and neither do your parents—they do not want you to make the same mistakes they did with money. At the same time, letting the pendulum swing too far the other way isn't necessarily a solution either.

It all comes back to clarity.

A fulfilled life is a lot more than just doing what you think you should – it’s thinking about what you really want. Does your spending match with your desires? If you’re overspending, but realize you want a different life then you need to examine what that is and match your spending to match your savings.

The grass is NOT always greener on the other side

We need to get clear on what we want. We can easily get caught up on the idea that making a certain amount will make us financially free. But what does that number mean to your ideal lifestyle? Will you keep working for it? Does your work make you happy?

Many people easily fall into a pattern of doing over being. This comes from an early memory in our body where we needed more from our mothers than she was able to give us at the time. We take this memory and turn it into our relationship with money – it’s never enough (money, affection from my spouse, etc.).

What does success look like for you?

Society’s picture of success is not your picture of success. It’s what’s behind your desire – is it paying off your mortgage, or paying off your car? Get behind your “why?” By getting clear on your money relationship you get a lot more clarity around how you are going to get to your ultimate goal.

Your relationship with money is a lot deeper than recognizing your credit card debt. It’s recognizing the feeling places in your body and how you feel when that credit card bill comes in and how it feels when you have to ask to borrow money to pay it off.

Johanna has spoken with multi-millionaires who are still not secure with their money because they are constantly afraid the rug will be pulled out from under them. This is about more than just the money, there is another underlying reason for their relationship with money that needs to be investigated and uncovered.

What to look at in your relationship with money

We need to look at how our early templates were formed and how they are affecting our current relationships. What were your parents like? What was your childhood like? We are affected up to three generations back as to how we will react with money. We need to understand our influences in order to get clear on why we make the decisions we do.

Money patterns are multi-generational and influence us until we address them by becoming conscious of our own patterns and then tracking it back to how we fit into our entire family system.

 

Resources & Links

Johanna’s virtual workshop: Your Inner Relationship with Money

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

May 4, 2017

Podcast Contest

Congratulations Marie Shinmoto and Kim Be who have won The Big Leap and You're a Badass!

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#7 - How to make sure your website is found on Google

Rachel Di Martino is owner of Geek Unicorn, a company that focuses on website optimization and brand presence for businesses. I asked Rachel to join me to talk about brand optimization and why business owners need to care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their businesses.

What is SEO?

Rachel Di Martino SEO

SEO is bringing your web page up onto the search results so if someone looks for a specific subject, a link to your website comes up. This is important because you don’t want to be paying for marketing all the time. Certainly paid marketing through Facebook ads, etc. is important, but wouldn’t it be nice to have nonpaid leads through Google and Bing searches as well?

Years ago, the typical SEO strategy was to pay someone to stuff keywords into the code of your website, but it doesn’t work that way anymore. There have been more hours devoted to developers looking into the search algorithm then anything else – search engines have gotten smart; especially Google and Bing. We need to understand a bit more about how it all works so that we can help ourselves be more findable online.

How does SEO work?

Search engines no longer just look for one specific word or phrase, i.e. cat or dog because they realized that it was too easy to manipulate and people were abusing it. So, now search engines want to be your friend. What does that mean? Search engines want you to think of search the same way you would if you were to ask a friend for a restaurant recommendation. If a friend were to ask you for your recommendation it would be based on many things: service, speed, location, menu, and price. Google wants to do the same – they want to be a trusted friend and make a recommendation based on over 200 factors.

Google also wants us to find quality information – based on more than just one word. To tell Google that you are more than just a word or phrase is to think about what your user is thinking and to think of a search engine like the restaurant in terms of service, speed, etc. So, you want to make sure all the information on your website is easy to find, i.e. is your contact information easy to find, is the information you provide in blog posts relevant, accurate, easily consumable and shareable?

How does Google know something is true?

Google looks for clues to ensure things are accurate, including how long someone has spent on your website, i.e. on blog posts, etc. If someone spends a lot of time on your website then Google will assume it is good content.

Google also looks at your bounce rate i.e., if someone clicks on a page and then leaves right away for whatever reason, they bounced. Maybe the content wasn’t relevant or the site took to long to load. Regardless, Google takes your bounce rate into account.

Google also looks for how the page has been shared on social media and whether the page has other links out there, including backlinks and referral links that link back to your website or blog post.

What are some tips for being Google friendly?

One goal is not to have irritating popups that are difficult to close because people will become frustrated and leave quickly – giving you a bad bounce rate and negatively affecting your SEO.

You also need good content so people will stay and backlinks to build your credibility. (If you can get people to link to your content that will help with your search engine rankings.)

Finally, you need to think about your traffic – how many people are visiting your website in a week or a month? This is where a newsletter is good because then everyone in your network is visiting your website based on the links in your newsletter, and this builds up your numbers and your SEO.

You should also make sure your website is mobile responsive. If it’s not mobile friendly then you are going to have a hard time ranking because it is not current with best practices. If you’re not sure, then you should use Google’s mobile responsive test website to determine if your site is mobile responsive.

Make sure to always approach new content with a little bit of SEO in mind every time – write about topics and trends that are currently popular but where there is an opportunity for better content. Or create content that will be highly liked and valued by your demographic – put your voice into a problem your audience wants an answer or that you can add value to. The more value you provide the more likely people will visit your website, spend time with it and share it.

Build your referral links –partner with other sites through guest podcasting, guest blogging or by being a trusted and strategic partner in their business i.e. a doula can partner with a lactation consultant, etc.

Building your SEO may take time, but the good news is that is something that once you get started and start seeing results, it gets easier.

Resources & Links

Geek Unicorn

Geek Unicorn on Facebook

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#6 - The dot com alternative: Choosing an alternative domain extension

Maris Callahan joins me on today’s podcast to discuss alternative domain extensions. Maris is Director of Public Relations for Donuts Inc., an Internet domain registry company that offers alternatives to the traditional dot com naming conventions. Many companies are moving away or adding to their dot com domain name, but there is a lot to think about when it comes to buying personalized and other alternative domain extensions.

What is an alternative domain extension?

Maris Callahan - alternative domain extensions

For businesses and entrepreneurs who are experts in their field, the purchase of an alternative domain name means they may be able to purchase a domain extension that better suits their area of expertise, i.e. yourname.yourfield, which allows businesses to clearly tell the world who they are and what they do. For example, if a photographer named Bob Smith has the domain name BobSmith.com, it does not tell people what Bob does, however the domain name BobSmith.photographer clearly tells people Bob is a photographer.

Why would I want an alternative domain extension?

Let’s face it—there are less dot com’s available nowadays! Dot com’s have been around for 30 years and online real estate is shrinking. Donuts Inc. has worked for three years to bring new domain extensions to market. These alternative extensions have been trickling out for three years and are finally hitting the mainstream, including with larger brands, such as Google who uses blog.Google and domains.Google. Hollywood movie studios are using alternative domain extensions, such as dot movies, take LaLaLand.movie, for example.

The alternative domain extensions are new, but they do not have to be backup domain names either. Businesses are also not being told to drop their dot com’s, but they should know they do have a choice if they are looking to personalize their domain names. There are so many alternative domain extension choices, including dot media or dot computer or more lighthearted ones such asdot cool,  dot life ordot pizza – to name just a few. You can be very creative to the left of the dot and very specific to the right of the dot, for example thebiz.studio.

Are there a lot of alternative domain extensions available?

There are over 1000 specific and generic dot coms as well as some geographic options, i.e. dot NYC or dot Vegas, as well as branded domains, which are for large brands who went out and bought their brand name as their extension, i.e. dot Marriott. Alternative domain extensions can also be used for microsites or marketing purposes, especially for brands, i.e. see what BMW has done.

How can I use an alternative domain name in addition to my dot com?

Because the dot com domain extension has been around for a long time it is definitely more recognizable. A common objection is that people won’t take a company seriously unless they have a dot com, which is why we are not suggesting people move away from that.

Another objection is if a business already has a dot com, why would they need another domain? Donuts Inc. doesn’t exist so people will drop their dot coms. If a business already has a dot com then a unique domain extension may be in addition to a long web address—a shorter one may make sense for marketing or word of mouth.

You may also want to increase your SEO with an additional alternative domain extension. For example, if you are a shoe store who also sells jewelry or clothes you may want to buy the dot shoes, dot jewelry and dot clothing to increase your brand’s SEO. Amazon does this well.

Again, creating microsites to compliment a main website is also a good use of an alternative domain extension. There are a few pet food companies who use this to market their specific pet food i.e. dot dog, etc.

Students use alternative domain extensions, such as dot land or dot world to house their online portfolios that directs people directly to what it is they do. Professionals also use them when applying for jobs i.e. dot engineering.

Where can I purchase an alternative domain extension?

To purchase an alternative domain extension visit Google Domains, GoDaddy or Name.com and type in what you are looking for to see if it is available. You can also go to Donuts.domains to find out more about how to chose a name and Name.kitchen for naming inspiration.

There are many fun and inspirational domain names to choose from. Just remember to keep it relevant and easy to remember, if you can!

If you have bought an alternate doman extension, leave me a comment and let me know what it is. You can check mine out at www.thebiz.studio!

Resources & Links

Donuts Inc. 

Google Domains

Name.Kitchen

GoDaddy

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • You are a badass by Jen Sincero
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!

#5 Moving your business beyond the startup stage

In the first couple of years, business owners often struggle with understanding how much work running a business is and how long it can take to have a profitable business.

Angela Sutcliffe is a business consultant (and Smart Old Broad) who draws on 30 years of knowledge  and experience to move her clients beyond the start up phase. Angela works with business owners to  design and implement strategies that are relevant to their business and their industry to make them consistently profitable. Over the years, she has won many awards for her business acumen, as have her clients, but the one thing she is most proud of is being selected by Kevin O'Leary's production company to work with the winner and runner up of his reality TV show, Redemption Inc. as they rolled out their new businesses.

 

I spoke with Angela about what she believes every business owner needs to know before taking his or her business to the next level.

Know your numbers

According to Angela, 90% of businesses are gone within two years. Business owners don’t understand what profitable means because they don’t pay attention to their numbers—instead they work to build a business that makes their clients happy, but does not make money. If you’re not bringing home a pay cheque then your business is not going to work.

If a business owner does not know how much money they are making or if they don’t know if they are making enough to support the lifestyle surrounding it (their bottom line) then they are working to please their customers while simultaneously going broke. If you start your business with a number in mind then you can work from there.

You can’t make up numbers based on what you think people will pay instead of what you need to earn. Money is the one thing people avoid, but once you understand that a number is just a number you can work towards earning that number.

How much it costs to run her businesses and how big her pay cheque needs to be – those are the two numbers that, added together, make up her sales target.

Freedom and comfort comes from knowing your numbers. If you know your numbers and see that you're not hitting them, then you can look and see if you are trying to sell high price items to a market that cannot afford it, etc. so you can determine what exactly is not working.

Know your sales cycles

Have you heard about the hundred percent solution? It goes like this: in your first two years of business you sell to your friends and family and their friends, and then at the end of those two years, your sales stop.  That’s because you made the easiest sales possible—you sold to the 20% of the market that will buy from you now.

In order to succeed, within 1.5 years of selling you have to learn about how the sales cycle and process works, and how to sell to the other 80% of the marketplace. If you don’t, you will fail.

So, what is a sales cycle? Well, think about how many business owners believe a customer when they say they have to 'think it over'? Most think that means they'll never buy, but believe it or not, most customers really do need to think about it. Did you know that 24-36 months after an initial interaction is when 80% of your sales will happen? When you think about the number of people who come back to you a year or so after they are first introduced to your business or product, that's a good demonstration of you sales cycle.

There are generally three steps to a sales process – meet a potential client and follow up with card, go out for coffee, and have a closing conversation. However, people may surprise you and want to meet for coffee and say they are following you online, or met you at a networking event a year or so ago and now they're ready to work with you even though you've never met them—it’s happened to Angela! But to get there you need to do the work because the sales cycle was happening behind the scenes.

It can be discouraging and you may not think anyone is listening to you, but remember the 20% and 80%! Think long term and in two years you will be closing the 80%. Sales isn’t anyone’s job, activity is the job—sales is the result. If you have good marketing activity and get yourself out there then you will make the sale. Just keep in mind that you won’t be a millionaire by midnight.

Keep in touch with past clients

Your next best sale can come from your past clients – they know you and love you and have had a great experience with you, so you should always keep in touch with them—and not in a salesy way. There are all kinds of ways to keep in touch with people, including inviting them to attend events, or just catching up on social media. Make them feel important.

While they may not work with you now, past clients may know someone who would be perfect for you, so keeping those relationships healthy is in your best interest.

Stop doing, start planning

One of the hardest things for business owners, at any level, is the drive to keep doing things. Before you exhaust yourself by doing things that may be futile, remember that the best thing anyone can do is to stop and plan.

Plan your finances – for marketing and your business.

Stop and get advice, so that you’re optimizing your products and business. Business can get expensive, so it’s important to stop running your business and plan what comes next.

 The keys to the kingdom are in planning.

All business owners stumble. Even Angela had to get help with her business; she had almost bankrupted her cleaning business and it took two hard years to turn it around. You have to swallow your pride and ask for help, plan and work. Seek help from the right people – it’s the behind the scenes that can make or break your business.

Leave a comment and tell us what your sales cycle is, or let us know if you have any questions!
 

Resources & Links

Angela's website: Smart Old Broad

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!