Online Marketing Lessons from Brendon Burchard

Why I Own 4 Copies of His Book

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Is the book that good?

I was introduced to Brendon Burchard when The Millionaire Messenger first came out – before it was a New York Times Best Seller. I bought his book through his site during his launch period.

A little bit later, he offered the book on Kindle, and I bought it electronically because he offered an AMAZING bonus I couldn’t say no to. I HAD ALREADY READ THE BOOK!

THEN, a little bit later, he sent another email telling people to buy his book on Audio CD and if you did, you’d get ANOTHER four part video series from him. So I bought the Audio CD. I’ve actually listened to it many times in my car, even though I had already read the printed version.

Then I got the physical paperback book one more time when I was part of a mastermind with Brendon Burchard himself. There’s a great marketing lesson in here.

Yep, I’m a sucker. In my defense, his offers were GOOD – worth it. I share this example when I speak on marketing as a great example about bonus offers and I often joke that Brendon should just put the subject line on all of his emails: “Get out your credit cards, suckers!” because I’ve been to 4 of his live events, purchased many of his digital programs, bought ALL of his books (MULTIPLE TIMES), and attended a small group high ticket mastermind with him in Portland.

 Smart guy.

Truth be told I enlisted the help of a friend (the smart and awesome Tiffany Peterson) to keep me from buying any more Brendon Burchard. I told her I needed a sponsor – I was an addict. I asked if I could call her before I made any more BB purchases and she agreed to do me this service and hide my credit cards. When I called to tell her about the small group mastermind, she didn’t talk me out of it she said, “Sign me up – and you sign up, too!” Ha! She did NOT save me any money, but we DID have an awesome experience. No regrets.

I’ve learned a lot from Brendon over the years, and I’ve had the opportunity to implement many of his teachings. This month during my book launch I implemented many of his tips. They were successful, too because I was on the Hot New Releases list for 4 weeks! (During launch week I was #4 only beat by 3 different versions of Tony Robbin’s recent release “Unstoppable”. He truly was unstoppable. Ha!)

Like Brendon I launched my book with some bonuses, and many took advantage of the offer. Like Brendon, I offered different bonuses at different times to get people to purchase the book.

Why?

I wrote my book so people will read it. I want to get it into as many hands as I possibly can. I want people to enjoy it and find something in the book that will help them achieve the goals and dreams they have in their heads.

I also know people are busy and they already have a stack of books on their nightstand (please tell me I’m not the only one) competing for their precious reading time. So I needed to overcome that objection.

It worked.

The bonus periods made my book an Amazon Best Seller even before launch day. 🎉

And “Make It Happen Blueprint” stayed on the Amazon Hot New Releases for the entire 30 days possible.

I’ll take that as a win.

I know this is just the beginning.  I want my book to exist long past the launch period.

What other lessons can you learn from this?

#1 You don’t always have to discount to get people to buy. Figure out how to add value to the equation.

#2 Brendon is a machine but he’s built a loyal following by adding value above and beyond his bonuses. I knew his courses were going to be good because he did a good job of advertising exactly how he could help me. I also enjoyed his videos, emails and blog posts and wanted more because they were good.

#3 It’s good to know what will hold people back from saying yes. Think through all the possible objections and overcome them before the customer even has a chance to voice them.

#4 If you have something good, don’t be afraid to share it with the world. Nothing has ever felt more vulnerable than writing down my thoughts and publishing thousands of copies so people could read them. While I’m thrilled with the success my book has had to this point it wasn’t without hours of doubt.  Good things push you past your comfort zone.

If you want to see how I structured my latest book bonus you can see it here: get my book.

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Want more tips and advice on marketing or high performance?

Check out my FREE video series on YouTube – there are no strings attached.

If you have read my book, I’d love for you to join our growing virtual book club on Facebook.

P.S. If you’re a business owner, you may like the two day virtual event I’m hosting with 8 other amazing business owners. There’s no charge to attend (and you can watch from anywhere), check it out and register here.

Dust off the Super Hero Cape, Ladies! It’s your time!

You are living in a revolution. Women business owners are taking OVER!

According to the 2016 State of Women Owned Businesses Report (link) http://www.womenable.com/content/userfiles/2016_State_of_Women-Owned_Businesses_Executive_Report.pdf

“As of 2016, it is estimated that there are now 11.3 million (11,313,900) women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people (8,976,100) and generating over $1.6 trillion ($1,622,763,800,000) in revenues. “

  • The number of women owned firms is up by 45%
  • Our revenues have increased by 35% (higher than the national average)
  • AND the number of firms owned by women of color is up by 45%

It’s official ladies!  We are amazing!  So dust off that super hero cape and join the League of Extraordinary Women

This virtual business growth symposium is all about building the community, resources, and education for our sisters in business.

Join us on Friday April 28- Saturday April 29th

10 am- 6 pm Eastern

Stream live from your home or office computer

You’ll learn:

Business skills and resources

How to build stronger networks. It’s time to replace the “good old boys club” with powerhouse women’s networks

How to increase your vision for what is possible in your business

AND wealth creation strategies

Don’t miss this event!  We want you on board!

P.S. You know how you tell everyone when you discover an amazing new restaurant?  Or a great deal on shoes?  This symposium will be just as great!  Tell your friends before registration closes.

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It’s a Bumpy Ride… Staying Motivated In Business (And Life!)

its-a-bumpy-ride-staying-motivated-in-business-and-lifeI am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visithttp://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

It’s February, which means many of us have given up on our personal New Year’s Resolutions.  Quite frankly, that’s okay with me.  New Year’s Resolutions don’t always work.  What does work is good goal planning and creating success rituals that will keep you on track to achieve your goals.

Starting a business and STAYING in business are two very different things.  The ebbs and flows of monthly sales and profit charts can often determine our happiness level.  I’ve seen entrepreneurs who are so committed to their business (which is a good thing) that they start to burn the candle at both ends.  They sacrifice self-care, sleep, relationships and interests (which is a bad thing).  It ultimately ends in burnout and a business that is running into the ground -because you are.

To avoid this roller coaster ride, here are four tips that I use in my business to stay motivated, even when things are rough.  (Though I’m writing this with a business slant, these tips work for your personal goals, too!)

  1. Start with your why – Why did you go into business in the first place?  What about your business are you passionate about?  What does your business provide for you (and your family)?  Take a few minutes to go deep and get real about what your business means to you.  Once you land at the place that feels right and you get that motivation back, write your ‘why’ on a 3 x 5 card and post it in a place where you’ll see it on a regular basis.  When I was in the middle of a transition with my businesses, this is just what my coach ordered.  Getting clear and then writing it down so that I could remember it in dark times has been valuable.  I hope it’s valuable for you, too.

There’s a chance that through this process, you’ll find out that the passion you once had for your business is not there anymore.  Try as you might, it may be difficult to get re-motivated.  Make sure you’re not making a quick decision and that you’ve thought through every possible avenue.  If after doing that you feel like it’s time to let the business go, honestly, that’s okay.  Brainstorm or get help with your exit strategy.  Can your business be sold in one piece or in parts? Are there debts or loose ends that need to be tied up? Do you just need to walk away?  Again, getting some consulting advice in this department can help you finish up without leaving you vulnerable.

  1. Write down your goals – Once your ‘why’ is in place, write down your goals for your business.  Do you have a sales goal?  Do you have a growth goal?  Do you have goals to hire employees in a specific department?  I encourage my clients to create three-month goals, twelve-month goals and five-year goals.  Three-month goals help you think short term results and the fastest path to cash.  Twelve-month goals help you think realistically about the year ahead and that some things will take growth and time.  Five-year goals help you with futuristic thinking and help you think through the big picture of business growth.  The key is to write them down; don’t just think about them.  If you have a staff, share your goals with them, and assign projects and tasks that will get them involved in the success of the business.  Create milestones and even a rewards program for those who embrace the goals of the business and contribute.
  2. Break down your goals into daily, weekly & monthly action items – Once you’ve determined the big picture on your goals, the key is to create regular and routine practices that bring your goals to fruition on a regular basis.  For example, marketing is not a project that gets checked off of a to-do list.  Marketing is a series of regular actions that keep your pipeline flowing week after week.  What daily, weekly and monthly activities will help you keep marketing at the forefront of your mind and bring you the results you deserve in your business?   This is where planning and productivity intersect.  It’s one of my favorite subjects and the basis for my book, “Make It Happen.”  Remember that Success = Vision + Action.  If you want your goals to come to fruition, you’ve got to make it happen!
  3. Stay Positive – It sounds woo-woo, but positivity really is powerful in goal achievement and motivation.  If you need help in this department, take a minute at the end of each day and celebrate the wins of the day either by yourself or with your team.  Start with what’s working, instead of dwelling on what’s not.  Put motivational and success quotes around your office to keep you on track.  Get support from an accountability partner or coach that can help you keep your eye on the prize.  Keep negative comments and self-talk in check. If you catch yourself being negative, replace those comments with statements that are more positive.  Simple efforts in happiness and motivation bring great results.  Give it a try.

I’d love to hear your tips: What are your favorite tips for staying motivated when you hit a dip in your business?

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on February 20, 2014

Evaluate FIRST, Plan Second – Success Tips For Annual Business Planning

evaluate-first-plan-second-success-tips-for-annual-business-planningI am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visithttp://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

Did you have a successful and profitable year? I hope you’re celebrating!

Did you miss the mark on some of your business and financial goals?  I hope you’re NOT in a depressive state and that instead you’re using this time to evaluate what didn’t work so you can make the necessary course corrections.

 

Whether you’ve reached your goals and are having a well-deserved celebration, or if you feel you came up short, the beauty of life is that tomorrow comes again, and so will the coming year.

Whether you’re celebrating, or learning from a rocky year, new plans for 2014 are needed.

NOW is the best time to evaluate.  I know it can be a busy time, but waiting until “after the holidays” will put you behind.

EVALUATE FIRST

Take some time to review both your personal life and your business.  For this conversation today, we’re going to talk about the five hats that you wear as an entrepreneur:

Creating

Marketing

Fulfilling

Managing/Admin

Learning

For each of the five categories, ask yourself three powerful questions:

What worked in 2013?

What didn’t work in 2013?

What needs to change for 2014?

The beauty of a new year is an opportunity to re-evaluate.  Once we know what we want to duplicate and do again, AND what doesn’t work that you can let go of – THAT is something to celebrate.  Entrepreneurship is one of the best stages for learning.

PLAN SECOND

Once you’ve done your evaluating, it’s time for a new plan.  If you hate the word ‘plan,’ like some of my clients do, create a MAP – a simple guide that will help you chart a new course in your business.

I use the same 5 Time Categories that we evaluated above.  Sit down with your laptop or a good old fashioned pen and paper and answer the following questions:

What do you need to CREATE in the new year?  Do you need to add new products or services to your portfolio?  If so, how many and when will you launch them?

What does your MARKETING strategy look like in 2014?  Review different mediums and make a plan for the whole year.  I know that some things will change or be added over the course of the coming months, but commit to being proactive in your promotion goals.  What mediums will you use?  Do your headlines and messages need to change?

Is there anything that needs to change in your FULFILLING process?  Do you need to change shipping suppliers or systems?  If you’re in a service-based business, do you need to change the way you meet or interact with your clients to fulfill contracts?

If you have employees, what needs to change in terms of how you MANAGE them? Do they need 1-on-1 meetings with you once a week to keep up with goals and to-do lists?  What new positions do you need to have in your business?

Even if you’re a solo-entrepreneur, I recommend that you use part-time virtual assistants on a temporary or permanent basis.  There are plenty of tasks that need to be delegated our outsourced so that you can be focusing on revenue-generating activities.  What plan can you put in place to hire your first employee or contractor?

Finally, what do you need to LEARN in the next 12 months?  What aspects of your business or your industry are you a little rusty on?  Are there association events you need to plan to attend and get on the calendar?   Keeping fresh is such a critical part of business longevity.

Remember, my equation for success is Success = VISION + ACTION.  First you need to visualize what you want for 2014, then you need to take the steps to make it happen!  A good plan includes GOALS and the ACTIONS you’ll take to reach them.

I carved out four hours this week to do this for my business.  I’ll spend about an hour on evaluation (I love to geek out with some white boards and post-it note easel pads) and then I’ll sit and strategize on how to create a banner year.   (If you want to see some of the images and another easy planning process from my planning meeting go here.)

Join me?

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on December 18, 2013

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Four Biggest Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make

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Marketing is a hot topic right now. For small businesses, it always is.

This time of year, I get more and more questions from friends, clients and listeners than any other time.  We’re evaluating our successes for the year, fretting about our failures and getting ready to plan for 2014.

I had a teleconference this week on this very subject.  If it interests you, you can download the teleconference here.

I go into greater detail on the call, but thought I’d share the fast version here.

The first biggest mistake is what I call reverse marketing.  Companies will look at the medium first and then define the message or objectives.  Like the name implies this is a backwards approach.  ALWAYS start with marketing objectives. THEN decide the mediums that will help you reach your goals.  Don’t look at Facebook and ask yourself, “How can I get exposure here?”  Look at your objectives and decide if Facebook is the right fit or not.

The second biggest mistake is only using FREE marketing outlets like social media.  Though I love social media and advocate it’s use as long as it supports your marketing objectives, you should also pay for exposure where appropriate.  You should be spending about 4-10% of annual sales on your marketing budget.

The third biggest mistake is failure to PLAN.  Most entrepreneurs are doing what I call “Pin The Tail On The Donkey” marketing.  They are blindly making marketing decisions without having objectives and without creating a solid plan.  I know, I know, you don’t like the word plan, but honestly, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times, “PLAN is the four letter word for success.”  Don’t shortchange your business or your future by not having a plan.  A days work in putting together clear objectives could mean doubling or tripling your sales.

I know it can be hard.  That’s why I created a tool called The Marketing Playbook.  A digital tool that helps you define your goals, write key marketing messages, schedule mediums, plan your online strategy, create a social media model that works for your business and MORE!  There is also a tab that helps you calculate your return on investment so that you know what mediums and campaigns were the most lucrative.  Until this fall, this tool has only been available to my private clients.  And for a limited time, you’re getting it for $50 off PLUS I’ve loaded it with bonuses.  Learn more and get your copy here.  Now, it’s easy and fun to plan your marketing!

The fourth biggest mistake is misusing social media.  I’ve talked about this a lot, but I’m surprised how frequently I see companies abuse the outlet.  Social media is NOT for sales.  It’s for seeding and service.  Sure, you can announce promotions and talk about products, but actually asking for the sale should happen less than 10% of the time.  There are four types of social media updates (I call them the four S’s!):

  1. Service – Provide value.  Share tips and information.  Don’t just talk about your product, own the industry you’re in.  BE the media.   Share newsworthy and valuable information.
  2. Socialize – Build a community of raving fans online.  Connect like minded individuals.  Ask questions through social media so people can share together!
  3. Sign – It is appropriate to use this as a way to share your freebies and opt-ins to grow your list.  You can also ask people to find you through other social outlets through cross promotion.  This should only be about 15% of your status updates, though, so don’t overdue it or you’ll turn off your list!
  4. Sell – Like I said, it’s okay to sell but on a limited basis (I talk more about why this is so important in the audio, so if you want to know WHY, listen here.) but make sure it’s still only 10% of your posts!

I hope as you are doing your annual planning, you’ll consider these costly mistakes.  Small changes can equal big paychecks!  And don’t forget to check out the Marketing Playbook.  The discount + bonuses only last until Cyber Monday, December 2nd!

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on November 20, 2013

Every Good Business Started As An Idea – Is Yours A Good One?

every-good-business-started-as-an-idea-is-yours-a-good-oneWritten by Francesca Escoto for Startup Princess

Is this a good business idea? Am I good enough to make it happen?  These are the two questions that people are really thinking about when they are considering a new business venture or launching a new project.

As a Startup coach, I work with entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into money, but have not figured out how to get from point A to point B.  Here are the three questions I walk my clients through when they come to me during their first year in business:

  1.     Is your idea worth something?

What is your product or service worth to your potential client?  Is it the relief of pain? Or is it the realization of dream, fulfillment of a passion?  People will buy something only for one of two reasons – they really need it, or they really want it.  You might have multiple business ideas running through your head right now.  Evaluate which of these ideas is actually addressing something painful, and which is making dreams come true.  The one that can do at least one of these two really well is your winner.

However, there are other people out there making dreams come true and relieving pain.  So another set of questions must also be answered:

  • Do you do this better than the competition?  This is a question of quality as it is perceived by the customer.  For example, you might be into helping relieve headaches.  You provide a natural alternative to painkillers.  Your clients want fast relief from headache.  Although your product has less side effects and has better long-term results, it does not relieve existing pain fast enough for your potential clients.  So, either you sell to people who want less side effects, or you improve your product to relieve pain faster.
  • Do you do this cheaper than the competition?  Continuing the analogy, perhaps you have found a way to alleviate existing headaches just as fast as your competitors, but you can do it at a fraction of the cost.  You can choose to price your product identically with your competitor and simply make more money in every sale.  Or, you can choose to pass on some of the savings to your client and compete on price.
  • Can you do this faster?  Faster is sometimes difficult to define, depending on your industry.  It can also be a tricky proposition.  For example, think of coaches that practically guarantee that you can have a thriving business in three months instead of one year.  Again, depending on your industry, waiting one year to start making profit is actually a very good expectation! Most businesses don’t even break even until Year 5!  If you truly can help your client achieve results faster, or if you can manufacture the widget faster than the competition, you can capitalize on the “early adopters”, the segment of your market that likes being the first to try new things.
  • Is your idea a disruption in the market?  Perhaps you go about solving the problem in a way that nobody else does.  Therefore, you don’t compete on quality, price or speed.  You compete on innovation.  Your solution is truly different when it changes human behavior.  For example, mobile technology has changed how humans interact with information.  The mobile phone is not just cheaper, higher quality or faster than a landline.  It is a different tool altogether, used to make phone calls among other tasks.  The evidence of this is that most people have both a landline and a mobile phone!  Mobil technology did not replace landlines, it solved problems that landlines could not solve.
  1.     How to Test Your Idea

Once you select an idea, ask yourself: why will people spend a dollar on this product or service?  Write down all the reasons you come up with.  Then, narrow it down to the top three reasons that, if you are wrong, would actually have the biggest impact on your success.  For example, if you are thinking of creating a line of tropical-fruit flavored sherbets, your top-three list of assumptions might be:

–          People enjoy tropical fruit flavors

–          People enjoy sherbets

–          People will buy sherbets year-round

If people don’t enjoy tropical flavors, you’re out of business.  If your ideal clients like tropical fruits in smoothies, not in sherbets, then you’re out of business.  If people will only buy your product during certain times of the year (and you are not prepared for a seasonal business model), then you might be out of business.

Before you invest your life savings into remodeling a 3,000 square foot sherbet-making facility, come up with the simplest, cheapest, easiest way to validate your top three assumptions.  In this scenario, that could be as simple as making a weekly batch of sherbet, each a different flavor.  Do that for one month, and each week have different people taste your product.  Ideally, you should charge for your product because it will tell you if people like it enough to pay for it.  Without any ego, listen to the feedback.

  1.     Incorporate the Feedback

Sometimes we assume people don’t know any better, and we dismiss their opinions and feedback. You don’t have that luxury.  In rare cases, you will be much wiser than your market.  For example, Ford could have built a better wagon to be pulled by horses, or he could have invented an engine.  Although his market did not know what a motorized wagon could even look like, Ford was able to lead his market with a vision of the future.  It worked.   If you are promoting a disrupting innovation, then feedback might or might not be as relevant in this phase.  However, lets assume that you are doing something really cool, though not as revolutionary as inventing the first car.

In that case, you will take the feedback you receive and iterate. Like crazy.  Every week, you will improve the sherbet experience: if people complain about the spoon, then you try a new one.  People suggest that setting a couple of tables would go great with the ambiance – so you do it.  Most of your clients tell you that the coconut sherbet does not have a pleasing texture – so you change it.

At some point soon, you will have a good-enough-to-launch model.  You are getting barely enough consistent feedback that you are onto something good.  That is all you need!  You are ready to launch your idea.  You are not completely out of the woods – now you have to prepare to serve a larger number of people.  There is a next set of assumptions that you can go prove:

–          If enough people know about this product, they will buy

–          When people try the product, they come back for more

–          Children will enjoy birthday parties here

You create new “tests” to find out if this set of assumptions is true.

Depending on your product or service, and the business model you are implementing, you can turn your idea into cash within three months.  This does not mean that you will have a thriving business overnight.  It means that, by starting with the simplest version of your product, you should be able to start selling within a short period of time.

What is your business idea?  What is keeping you from taking it to the bank?

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Francesca Escoto is speaker, author, and Founder & CEO of the Innovators Institute.  She’s also the host of her own radio show on the Woohoo Radio Network. She’s also a bestselling author. You can find her at http://francescaescoto.com/product/innovation-lab/

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on October 4, 2013

What I Wish I Had Known Before I Started My First Business

what-i-wish-i-had-known-before-i-started-my-first-businessI am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at the reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit http://visa.com/business.

If you could go back and give yourself business advice when you first started your business, what would you tell yourself?

I started my first business, Doodads Promotional Products, when I was 19.  I didn’t have any idea what I was doing.  I call myself an “accidental entrepreneur” because I never set out to own or start a business and this just landed in my lap.  I won’t bore you with the story except to say that I’m so glad I took that leap.  It hasn’t always been easy, but I Iove my lifestyle and all that Doodads has taught me.  I’ll be forever grateful for the startup bug that was planted in me.  I’ve started, sold and grown 8 other businesses since then.

That said, if I could go back and tell my 19-year-old self a few things about business this is what I would say: (Otherwise known as powerful things I learned the hard way…)

First, Business-to-business marketing (and business operations, for that matter) is very different from business-to-consumer marketing.  The sooner you figure that out the more money you’ll make.

Second, Just because your 19-year-old brain likes the font Tiki Surf doesn’t mean that it’s a good font for a legitimate business (just sayin’).  All that stuff that you read about branding and understanding your target market before you design the most important part of your brand, is true.  If you don’t know about branding, read a book or seek the advice of a professional before you pay for a logo.  You’ll end up redoing it later.

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Third, Track all of your marketing activities and expenditures and calculate your return on investment.  Don’t continue to pay for yellow page ads (remember this was the 90s!) when networking at the Chamber of Commerce lunches brings you more business.  In my business I learned that that people aren’t buying an imprinted pen, they are buying ME.  It’s about the customer service experience and the expertise you provide as a value added resource.  When I learned that I could be an extension of their marketing team and provide advice above and beyond promotional items, my business boomed.

Fourth, Build a powerful support team.  Every entrepreneur needs three levels of support.

Foundational Support – The people who work with you (employees, virtual assistants, contractors) that handle the tasks in your business that keep you from focusing on revenue-generating activities.

Friend Support – Find cheerleaders.  Some friends will be nay-sayers or will overwhelm you with not-so-helpful advice.  Build a friend network that is sitting at the front row of your events, promoting your company in an organic way and who support you in your efforts in life and business.

Mentor Support – Get coaches.  Learn from people who have gone before you.  Be moldable.  Take advice you’re given from the experts that land in your path.  Find trailblazers that will teach you how to “get there faster”.

Fifth, Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t know it all.  Like number four, remember that though you are a smart 19-year-old, there are a lot of things you don’t know and understand.

Sixth, Marketing is like the laundry – the job is never done.  Marketing isn’t a project or to-do list item.  It’s a regular activity in your business that should be part of your daily, weekly and monthly focus.  Fill your pipeline and keep it flowing.  Evolve.  Times change.  Technology changes.  Try to stay ahead of the curve and think like a client.  How can you anticipate their needs?

Seventh, You will make mistakes.  Say “I’m sorry” a lot.  Own up to when you drop the ball.  People like honesty more than they like your excuses and blame.  Be real.  They are human, too.  Get back up, brush yourself off and don’t let pride hold you back.

I would love to hear, what would you go back and tell yourself before you started your first business?

Also, take a look at the information below.  Are entrepreneurs passionate?

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on September 23, 2013

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The Three Levels of Support Every Entrepreneur Needs – Excerpt From Make It Happen Blueprint

Read a portion of Michelle's book for free!

the-three-levels-of-support-every-entrepreneur-needs-excerpt-from-make-it-happenThe following summarized blog post is the chapter “Power Team” in my latest book “Make It Happen Blueprint“.  For the whole chapter and to read the rest of the book go to your favorite bookseller.  This book is available online and in brick and mortar stores near you.

Enjoy!

Practice – POWER TEAM

THE THREE LEVELS OF SUPPORT

Choosing your power team is just as important as choosing how to spend your time. You need the right people in the right place at the right time in your life. I like to think of the power team in terms of a pyramid with three levels. Each level serves its own purpose, and each is critical in its own way. Odds are that you already have people who support you on the various levels. As we discuss each one, think of who in your life fits in that category, and who else you could include to expand your power team and operate at your desired peak performance level. You may even want to write names down as they come to you. And remember, just as you need people on your team, peak performers are part of other people’s power teams as well.

1. Foundational Support

Every pyramid needs a strong base, and your power team is no different. The foundational support level is comprised of people who assist and can have responsibilities delegated to them. Since peak performers know their strengths and delegate the rest, they rely on the people in the foundational support level to help them get things done.

Lower Level Tasks

There are two types of tasks that are typically delegated. The first, is lower level tasks. These are things that should be handled by an assistant, a contractor, or someone at a lower pay level. That doesn’t mean the tasks, or the people doing them, are of lower value. Delegation is simply a way of dispersing tasks to the appropriate level of expertise.

I love Ken Blanchard’s book The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey. In it, Blanchard talks about the concept that “All monkeys must be handled at the lowest organizational level consistent with their welfare.” This single principle has guided my professional life for the last 14 years.

Hire and train the right employees, contractors and vendors to help you do admin activities so you can focus on your core strengths.

Skill Based and Upper Level Tasks

The second type of task that can be delegated involves things that are either above your level of expertise or require skills that you don’t have. These are called skill based or upper level tasks.

For example, I have a client who is a graphic designer. After going through a delegation activity with her, I noticed she was spending one to two hours a week, sometimes more, on bookkeeping. As a creative person, she should spend most of her time creating art, graphics, and marketing materials. Instead, she was crunching numbers and tracking payments. Not only did she hate doing it, she really wasn’t good at it—no offense, of course.

Because she hated this task, she ended up dreading it every single week. Sometimes it got pushed into another week and then pushed into another week. By the time she got around to it she had to spend an entire afternoon, or even a full day bookkeeping and invoicing just so she could get paid. For her, bookkeeping was something she needed to delegate to someone else.

When I pointed this out, she said, “But Michelle, I can’t afford it.” So I asked her, “Well, how much do you make an hour?” She replied, “It depends on the project, but about $75 to $100 an hour.” To that I said, “Okay, so for the $150 to $200 a week you are spending on bookkeeping you could afford to hire a professional to do it for you.” Light bulbs went on, and I think she may have done a dance on the spot. The point is, as an entrepreneur you do not have to do everything yourself!

Take a look at your current to-do list. Better yet, look at some completed lists or back lists. If something is not in your area of expertise, and if it is not something you really want to be doing, you should be delegating it out to a professional who can do it better. Or, you might even consider finding an assistant (temporary or long-term) who can do it faster or for less money than it would cost for you to do it.

I learned this lesson early on when I started my first business, a promotional products company. I would spend a lot of time putting stickers on catalogs, writing the addresses, and mailing them out, before I realized I could have a neighborhood teenager do those things for significantly cheaper. Delegating the tasks freed up my time so I could focus on marketing and getting new customers. What was even better was the fact that I had some happy neighbor kids who were getting paid to do something other than flip burgers. They liked the money, they were learning to work, and I had time for more important activities.

If you’re an entrepreneur and could use additional help in this department, two chapters in my book The Time Blueprint For Entrepreneurs are all about the hows and whys of delegating.

If you’re not an entrepreneur, get creative about the ways you can utilize others strengths and resources to get the “monkeys” off your back and build the foundational level of your power team.

2. Core Friend Support

The middle level of the support pyramid is for our friends and family members. These people are our cheerleaders—sometimes, quite literally. They are the ones who are sitting on the front row at our events, by our sides during key moments in life, and celebrating every victory with us. They also have their arms around us when we lose. We can trust and rely on them.

Typically, this level is where people naturally have the most support. However, if you find yourself lacking in this category, I have a couple of suggestions to help you build a stronger power team of friends.

Connect with like-minded individuals. Networking events and social groups are a great way to seek out like-minded individuals. There are so many options! Professionally, consider chambers of commerce and other groups with potential to strengthen your business associates and friends. Personally, consider sports teams, clubs, and organizations surrounding interests or hobbies you enjoy.

Consider what kind of friend you are in return. With some honesty and transparency, some of my clients have discovered the reason they are weak on this power team level is because they haven’t been supportive of others, and now there’s a social void in their own life. Never fear, because it’s never too late to repair what might seem broken, or make connections with new people with similar interests.

One thing to note about this level is that the people in it often change over time. I’ve noticed in my life how friends change as my lifestyle and my circumstances change. With a handful of exceptions, the friends I had in junior high school are different than the friends I have now. I would assume that’s the case for you as well.

Also note that there are a lot of friends that I love but I don’t take their business advice.  They are  good sounding boards, but beware of advice you take from a friend.

3. Mentor Support

Mentor or coach support is the top level of support I picture mentors and coaches as being above me. In other words, they are the people who know what I want to know, and they have blazed a trail for me to follow. I want and need their support to help me get to my destination faster.

Mentors come in many forms. They can be a friends with knowledge or skill sets you want to learn. They can be business associates that teach and train you. Whatever form they come it, they are knowledge givers, coaches, and consultants.

I worked at a television station while I was in college. My boss was a nice, smart man who to this day is one of the most organized and polished people I know. He even had a specific system for ironing his shirts so the creases would be just so. He never had a hair on his head out of place, and all of his folder tabs faced in one direction.

I remember being surprised when he told me one day that he had hired a life coach. Honestly, I had to try really hard not to laugh out loud. I couldn’t believe Mr. Perfection needed help achieving more in his life. I critically thought, “If you can’t figure out how to handle your own life, you might have bigger problems.”

The irony is that I’m a coach now. I get it. Even though I am a coach and work with clients across the country and in various parts of the world, I still pay coaches to help keep me on my A-game. I find coaches with a skill or expertise that I want and then I learn from them. Coaches help me “get there faster” in my life and business, and I see my coaches as prime examples of the mentor support I’ve had to help me be a peak performer.

Though I have paid people to coach me, I have also used the help of free mentors, mastermind groups and accountability partners who I consider to be an important part of my power team.

The people you spend your time with can effect your projects and dreams in big ways. They can cheer you on, support you and help you grow, but they can also discourage you or be negative with their “let’s be realistic” comments. Be careful about who you include on your power team, and the time and energy investment you make in people who are raining on your parade.

I feel very blessed to have amazing people in my life at every level. I couldn’t accomplish what I do without employees, friends, family members and coaches who show up in powerful ways to help me be a peak performer.

Take some time to nurture your own relationships and help your power team understand what their support, at any level, means to you! Gratitude can be a great currency for strong relationships.

Who is on your Power Team?  Who has helped you on your entrepreneurial journey?

Get your own copy of the Make It Happen Blueprint PLUS see who’s on MY power team in this amazing High Performance Bundle offered until March 21st.

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com on September 17, 2013

Loving Money – Book Review Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup

loving-money-book-review-money-a-love-story-by-kate-northrupMoney.

Is your relationship with money helping you make more of it, or are you barely making it from paycheck to paycheck?

Enter Kate Northrup author of Money: a Love Story. Whether you’re relationship with money is solid or broken, Kate has great advice for having a healthy love affair with money.

Kate is an entrepreneur so her insights are unique to women like us who are in the trenches trying to create our own paychecks, and yet her advice is just as sound for those professionals working for other companies or organizations.

Kate is spot on and addresses what most other money books are missing: the mindset of money.  So many of us are carrying our mental baggage money from our childhood, our financial failures and so much more.  Kate offers simple solutions for kicking that baggage “to the curb”.

You’ll also love her quiz to test your current money paralysis (or your money strength!) Get you quiz for free here.

Her book is released today! Get it on amazon.

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Kate Northrup is a professional freedom seeker and creative entrepreneur. She created financial freedom for herself at the age of 28 through building a team of more than 3,000 wellness entrepreneurs in the network marketing industry. Her philosophy is that if you free yourself financially you can be fully present to your purpose on the planet. She’s committed to empowering as many people as possible to have the ultimate luxury in life: choice. Kate has spoken to audiences of thousands with Hay House, Wanderlust, USANA Health Sciences, and more. She’s also the author of Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want (Hay House, September 2013). She continues to mentor entrepreneurs through her network marketing team, The Freedom Family. Find out more and take her free quiz to find out what your relationship with money says about you at katenorthrup.com.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate on Make It Happen Radio.  Download and listen here.  BONUS: In the second half of the show, I also share the four tips for getting unstuck in life or business.

Originally Published on StartupPrincess.com September 10, 2013