Celebrating 20 Years In Business

And other August Milestones

Before this month comes to a close, I want to acknowledge how awesome August is in the life of Michelle. I’m celebrating  FOUR major anniversaries.

FIVE years ago, my first book hit number 1 on the Amazon Bestseller list.

TEN years ago, a number of things happened.  I quit my corporate sales training job, built out my speaking business and expanded my marketing consultancy.  AND I started working with Kelly Anderson at Startup Princess (and got my first social media account). I ran my own agency and promotional products company not the side for years, but this year, with a baby in tow, I went on my own and built partnerships that changed my business and life forever.

FIFTEEN years ago, I married my husband. Good Stuff.

TWENTY years ago, I started my first business, Doodads Promotional Products.  It was 20 years ago this month when I started my entrepreneurial story.  This business isn’t my life’s mission, but it’s run “in the black” every year since it’s inception and it has funded EVERY other of my business ventures.  When I needed to produce and record my first speaking event, I sold more pens, mugs and t-shirts to pay for the production company.  When I needed a new website for a new venture, I sold some folders and CD cases to a long time client.

I don’t promote this business anymore, but I do try to keep existing customers happy and 100% of my business comes from repeat customers or referral each year.  I’m still grateful for this company that practically raised me.  I was 19 when I started it.  Doodads taught me about business to business marketing.  It taught me about tangible marketing and campaigns.  It taught me about systems and hiring help so that I could focus on revenue generating activities.  It taught me about competition and differentiation and that people weren’t just buying a pen, they were buying me.  It taught me about customer service and it taught me about myself. I have said many times, owning a business is the best personal development tool EVER.

So, in these final hours before it’s September, I acknowledge the Augusts of my life.  Without which I would be monumentally different.  Too bad I didn’t do anything incredibly awesome this year so that I could add to this list in five more years for the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.  LOL

Here’s to August!

4 Ways to Be an Indispensable Employee

KSL Browser 5.0 Segment

I’m being asked by corporations to come and encourage the basics: positivity, productivity and all aspects of peak performance.
Employers are recognizing the need to make some things that seem common sense more common practice.
I wish I had 10 minutes to dive into each of these a little deeper! It was great to be back in the studio for my 4 favorite things employees can do to set themselves up to succeed AND to be indispensable!

Increasing Your Productivity- Three Tips to Help You Get More Done!

KSL Browser 5.0 Segment

It seems like to do lists grow, but time does not. In this segment I share three productivity tips, though we could have talked about distractions the whole time! That’s tip number one: eliminate distractions. Watch this short clip for the other two!

As always, we had fun in the studio! Thanks for having me KSL!

Investing in Women Employees

KSL Browser 5.0 Segment

Today marked my 12th segment on KSLs Browser 5.0 show. I’ve been a regular contributor for a year! 🎉🎉
Lori Pritchard, Andrew Whittenberg and I celebrated with this picture!
Now, about today’s segment. Corporate culture is a hot subject right now and how you address the needs of women to keep them engaged and long term employees is important, too.
In this segment I share four ways you can invest in the women in your organization to improve productivity and also employee engagement.

The Tech You Need to Launch Your Podcast: Software and Hardware

KSL Browser 5.0 Segment

Last month on KSL Browser 5.0 I shared WHY and HOW your business can use a podcast as part of your marketing plan.
This month we talked about the technology you need to bring that podcast to life!  Whether you have a big budget or a small budget, podcasting equipment and software is available at your fingertips.
Check out this month’s segment:

Dreams and Despair – My TEDxRiverton VIDEO is LIVE

How I Got Into Speaking and Why THIS Video Matters

For a decade I’ve been speaking to groups and audiences on two different tracks: Marketing and Motivation.
My educational and corporate experience background is in marketing.  I studied marketing, advertising and public relations in college.  I worked at three advertising agencies, a television station, a radio station and I started a newspaper at the college I attended. I initially was asked to speak about marketing planning and execution, and I started to create products and programs to support this side of my business.  Social media came along and I was an early adopter and I created speeches and programs to help businesses through what I called The Social Media Blueprint.  I loved being part of this conversation and this industry that is every growing and ever innovating.
I was speaking while running 3 different businesses with two young kids at home.  People started asking me, “Michelle, HOW do you do it all?”
Enter the second kind of speaking I do on a regular basis: motivation and peak performance.  I’ve always loved conversations around productivity and goals.  I was speaking at women’s groups and on panels about life balance and success.  Companies invited me to talk to their teams about getting more done, being more effective and how to truly love what they do. That’s when my book, “The Make It Happen Blueprint” was born.
This TEDx is the answer to “What’s next for you, Michelle?”
Peak performance, success and productivity will always be a part of my business…but Happiness, and The HappyIST are my focus moving forward.  Businesses, non-profits AND individuals are effected by the levels of happiness of their employees.  In fact, the culture of your organization is not just shaped by your mission, but the people who embody that mission.
Life can be challenging and everyone has their own unique challenges to face, in addition to providing for themselves and their families.  That’s why this conversation is so important to businesses as well as individuals.
I wish I had a 60 minutes to share more thoughts, and in the coming days and weeks, I will.
For now, I hope you’ll watch this 10 minute video.  I was honored to be selected for TEDxRiverton.  Enjoy!

How Your Business Can Leverage Podcasts as Part Of Your Marketing

KSL Browser 5.0 TV segment

It was great to be back in the studio yesterday talking about podcasts!
If you want to see how I leverage podcasts for my business go to:
Make It Happen
The Living Room
Other great business podcasts:
Marketing Trust with Adam Buchanan
Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do with Thom Singer
Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas
Here’s yesterday’s segment

Here’s a behind the scenes pick with Lori Pritchard and Andrew Whitenburg.

Are Questions Part of Your Content Marketing?

Questions are a great part of business. Questions help you tailor the sales conversation for better understanding of your client and conversions. Questions help lead the conversation in the right direction.
Questions are also a valuable part of your marketing.
Use your most frequently asked questions for blog posts, videos and content for your social media.
Use questions to “give your audience the microphone” and create a sense of community on your social media channels. (Interaction is also good for the algorithms.) It creates a great sense of connection between your business and your audience.
Use questions when you speak. Asking questions can increase audience interaction and connection to you as a speaker.
How do you use questions in your business?