Turning On Your Money Taps

by Alicia Forest, MBA
The Business Shifter™

One of the things I worked on for several years was cleaning up my money issues. That included everything from thinking I have to work really hard to make a lot of money, to taking care of old debt, to having a plan for paying down new debt, to plugging even the slightest money leak.

The truth for me was that I tended to not pay attention to my money as much as I should have, so inevitably something happened where money MADE me pay attention. It wasn’t usually a positive experience.

As I made some big strides in this area, I discovered that once I started really paying attention to my money, it started showing up a lot more in a lot more positive ways.

Here are 4 tips that helped me immensely to turn on the flow of money into my business and my life that I know can help you too.

TIP 1. Keep a daily tracking sheet of what comes in…

I track every penny that comes in on one simple sheet each day. When I first started doing this, I had days where I didn’t have any money coming in, but within just one month, it started to become rare if there was even one day that didn’t have some sum attached to it.

My clients who use this method of tracking absolutely love it because they can see the results of this simple yet powerful attractor of more money flow into their business so quickly.

TIP 2. Have a purpose for each income stream

I’ve always done this without really thinking about it, but once I started getting crystal clear about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ for each and every one of my income streams, they turned from trickles to rivers.

TIP 3. Take care of any outstanding money issues

Periodically, I sit down with files and phone numbers in hand to cancel memberships I’m not utilizing, get refunds I’m owed, and ask my assistant to send reminders for any overdue invoices. When I do this, inevitably I’ll receive a check or payment to me totaling as much as or more than the amount I just took care of. See, money likes being paid attention to.

TIP 4. Find and plug those money leaks

In every business, there are places where money is leaking out. It could be the webmaster who charges by the hour and takes too long to complete a task. It could be a monthly subscription that you either don’t utilize at all or that you aren’t clear on its return on investment to be sure it’s actually a good one to make. It could be paying monthly for a service you use all year in your business, and that you could save 10% on if you chose the annual payment plan instead.

Where can you plug the money leaks in your business?

When you start to pay attention to your money, giving it care and coming from a place of personal responsibility, it will immediately open up the flow of more of it into your business and your life.

Which one of these tips are you going to start doing today? Share with me here
© 2014 Alicia Forest International | All rights reserved.

Alicia Forest, MBA mentors women entrepreneurs on how to build a priority-based, highly profitable business, in less than part-time hours. Get her FREE series on how you can do this too at http://aliciaforest.com

The Esendemir Sisters Founders of Flatbread Grill on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

The Esendemir Sisters are three Turkish-American millennials who grew up in near poverty. The sisters, Fusun, Gonca and Arzu Esendemir, started Flatbread Grill, a fast casual Mediterranean restaurant concept, back in 2007, at the height of America’s worst economic recession.

The Esendemir Sisters oversaw every aspect of the brand’s creation through menu development, interior design and operational duties. Flatbread Grill took off almost immediately.

With no money for marketing or advertising, the Esendemir Sisters relied solely on their customers’ word of mouth and loyalty to sustain the brand and drive it’s growth. Within two months of being open, Flatbread Grill received an excellent review in the New York Times, catered for celebrity clients, and served nearly 800,000 customers out of their first store location in Montclair, NJ.

Flatbread Grill has signed a 300-unit franchise development deal with FranSmart, to expand the brand worldwide. www.FlatbreadGrill.com 

Wednesday October 15th, 2014 8pm EDT

Closing Open Loops

by Lisa Sasevich

Are you “thinking about” advancing yourself with some additional training, personally or professionally?

Maybe you’ve got something in mind, such as going to an event you heard about or investing in a training that entices you every time you think about it.

You know you want to, you know that it would be valuable, which is why you haven’t said no to it, but you haven’t said yes, yet, either.

That’s an example of an “open loop.”

An open loop is anything where you don’t have a date, you don’t have a decision, or you don’t have a plan for how some kind of decision or choice is going to get tied down.

The problem is that nothing can happen until you make a decision yes or no. Until you close that loop, you can’t move forward, and you can’t move on either.

Open loops are huge drains on your energy. Our brains are wired to get things done and they love completion, so when something is hanging out there as a possibility, it’s going to keep recurring in your mind until you resolve it. That makes you tired, and can keep you up -- or even wake you up -- late at night.

Get the idea, talk about it, create the vision and a timeline to close the loop right away.

Sometimes the open loops only involve you and are only floating around in your head or on your desk, but sometimes they involve other people, such as your team or your family.

For instance, you may have said, “I’d like to have our new website designed and up by December 15,” and your team says, “Oh, that would be really cool.” But nothing happens.

That’s why we came up with a simple tool to close our open loops in team meetings, and it can help you close yours too.

“Who’s Doing What, By When?”

During a meeting we put an idea on the table, we talk about it, we create the vision for it, but then before the end of every meeting or call, we make sure to ask, “Okay, great, and who’s doing what by when?” Then we secure commitments to everything we are truly ready to advance.

That doesn’t mean the project is done, but, in your mind, you’ve got a person and a date, so you know who’s accountable for it and when to come back to it. That way, the issue isn’t going to keep coming up in your mind as something unfinished that you’ve got to take care of or, worse yet, remember.

Just make sure to allow enough time to get all the accountability squared away. You can’t do that in two or three minutes. You want to leave 10 to 15 minutes at the end of an hour-long meeting to close all of your loops or consciously let them go.

Speaking of closing open loops... Have you made your decision to come to Ultimate Sales Bootcamp? It’s only a few weeks away. If it’s been on your mind, it’s time to close that loop, do the fun and powerful pre-course accelerator assignments you get immediately upon registering, and start creating your on- and offline sales conversion machine today. Join us here.

If you love what you do, but hate the "sales part," sales conversion expert Lisa Sasevich will show you simple, quick and easy ways to boost sales without spending a dime...and without being salesy. Get your FREE e-course and Sales Nuggets now at www.FreeSalesTrainingFromLisa.com.

Photo Credit: le temple du chemisier via Compfight cc

The Most Important Question You’ll Ever Ask Yourself

by Christine Kloser

Growing up I was a “performer.” Whether it was on the ice as a figure skater or the stage as a dancer, or the backyard with my baton… I performed. I realize now that unconsciously I was searching for someone to pay attention to me; to care about me; to “see” me in the way I wanted to be seen.

That need to get others to help me feel special or important continued as I went through a string of unsuccessful relationships, did stupid things to “fit in”, always people pleasing, etc. For as long as I can remember I’ve bent over backward to please others and get that pat on the back – that ounce of recognition.

In one way it’s served the “achiever” in me to get things done, because if I got things done and made people happy that empty part inside would get a temporary “fix.” I’ve never been addicted to mind-altering substances but I can understand the need for that fix – that moment of “atta girl” that would hopefully make me feel better and whole.

The question that seems to be a theme in all of my searching was “what about me?”

Didn’t I matter? Wasn’t I good enough? Was I not lovable? Would someone please see me? Is what I say or do important to anyone? WHAT ABOUT ME? These and many other questions rattled my brain incessantly… nudging me to try harder, do more, perform better, say yes when I wanted to say no, put others needs ahead of my own, etc.

It’s exhausting. And thankfully I’ve found a way to the other side…

What I’ve discovered is a version of this question that has EMPOWERED me to live a different life. So I want to share it with you…

If you noticed the energy of my question “What about me?” you can feel that question being directed at the outside world…. at other people. While I never asked people that question out loud (at least that I can remember) I lived and breathed that question to other people all the time.

Not too long ago I had one of those thump-on-the-head moments when I saw the exact reverse of this question as the MOST important question I could ever ask. And that was to ask it of MYSELF – not anybody else.

This shift in asking myself, “what about me?” has been the cause for some of the most empowering decisions I’ve made in my life. (I continue to be stretched in this area.)

It’s amazing how the Universe shows up to support you with exactly what you need at the time you need it. For me, I recently had someone who I love and I know loves me deeply tell me that they couldn’t attend my Breakthrough event next week.

He knew for a while that it wasn’t the right time for him to be there, but planned on attending anyway to support me. Finally, with great difficulty, he sent me an email that said he was apologized but needed to do what’s right for him and wouldn’t be coming to Breakthrough. I got how difficult of a decision this was for him to honor what was right for him.

At first I was disappointed because I’d been excited to see him, but then I “got” the gift! He loved me enough to model for me what it looked like when he asked HIMSELF, “What about me?” He needs to do what’s right for him, I totally get it and I support him 100% in that. And when we talked last week I thanked him for being a teacher and example of making the very difficult decision to do what was right for him, rather what he wanted to do to please me. And that’s only one miracle the Universe has conspired for me to get this more than I ever have before.

Saying “no” has always been a challenge for me. I genuinely love people, want to help, serve and say “yes” to them. It’s still difficult to ask myself “what about me?”– though it’s getting easier.

But here’s the thing. As I practiced saying no about a dozen times last week I could feel tons of ENERGY returning to my body. I felt waves of enthusiasm and excitement increasing for those things I say “yes” to like my Breakthrough event and MasterHeart program. By being more generous with my “no’s” it’s making the “yes’s” so much more powerful, energizing and exciting; and THAT is the place from which I can make the biggest difference.

So, how about you? Have you ever asked someone (verbally or non-verbally) “What about me?” If so, I invite you to turn that question around on yourself and ask YOU “what about you?” This simple act will empower you to take better care of yourself, make the difficult decisions, say “no” when you want to say “no” and “yes” when you want to say “yes”, do less… and BE more!

Christine Kloser, “The Transformation Catalyst” and award-winning author powerfully combines spiritual guidance and intuition, with nuts-and-bolts transformational writing, publishing and marketing expertise.  The result is a global movement of aspiring authors who unleash their authentic voice, share their message on the pages of a book and make their difference in the world.   Trusted and celebrated by aspiring authors and publishing industry leaders for her down to earth, authentic and inspiring approach, Christine has become the well-recognized leader of the transformational author movement having trained more than 55,000 authors in less than 4 years.   Get her free training at www.ChristineKloser.com.

 Photo credit: Leonbiss via Flickr 

PR Expert Nicole Rodrigues, CEO and Founder of NRPR Group on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Nicole Rodrigues is the CEO and founder of NRPR Group. She's a seasoned publicist and social media marketing pro with more than 14 years under her belt.

She's developed and executed strategic campaigns for some of the biggest names in business such as Yahoo!, Dolby, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Playstation, Hulu, M-GO, Toon Hero, Demand Media, MobiTV, and the Oakland Raiders.

Nicole has also worked with multiple indie film creators and independent TV production companies such as Parking Meter Productions and More Sauce Entertainment. She's helped startups such as Fitmark, Crane & Canopy, SkyVizion Entertainment, and The Lingerie Stylist define their brands, and effectively network themselves both on and offline.

When she's not working, networking or spending time on social media channels, she's spending time with her insanely awesome daughter, golfing, watching sports, movies, and as much TV/Hulu/Netflix/YouTube as possible. 

Nicole also prides herself in being a former NFL cheerleader, spending many years cheering for the famed Oakland Raiders. She continues to cheer on her "new team" at NRPR and is a graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations. www.nrprgroup.com

Wednesday October 8th, 2014 8pm EDT

3 Reasons to Publish an E-book Now

by Deborah A. Bailey

1. Get Published Quickly

If you’re looking for a quick (and less expensive) way to get your book out, publish an e-book. Unlike print books, e-books don’t have to be a specific length. As you may know, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Your readers will appreciate a quick read that’s long on content and short on fluff.

If you’re writing fiction, the same thing applies. The “short novel” or novella is becoming a very popular format.

2. Get Exposure & Grow Your Brand

Create a series of e-books that you can sell as individual books and as a set. Depending on the combined length of your e-books, you can incorporate the set into a one printed book. Have a group of articles you’ve already written? Compile your articles into an e-book, with each article as a separate chapter.

For fiction, break a larger work up into smaller books. After the “50 Shades” phenomenon, lots of author are  creating trilogies that can be sold together or as individual books.

3. Get Paid

Readers can buy your e-book from your website or from an online bookseller like Amazon.com, or B&N.com. (It’s free to upload books to most bookseller websites – so don’t ever pay for this service unless you’re getting some extra benefit). Not sure how much to charge? Check out other books in your category and you’ll get an idea of what your market will pay.

If you’re first-time author, try not to price the book so that it’s more expensive than books by more well-known authors. I priced my e-book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life,” at $5.95 to make it comparable to other books in that category. However, with fiction you’ll have more latitude, so be willing to experiment.

Copyright © 2014 Deborah A. Bailey

Deborah A. Bailey is author of six books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life” and the futuristic romance, "Hathor Legacy: Outcast."

She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. For more information on her books and coaching programs, visit http://www.ThinkLikeAnEntrepreneurBook.com.

Transition Time

by Janet Gomez

The days are slowly getting shorter. Yet, if you're like me, you still want to carry on at the same pace as before.

In Ayurveda the autumn season is linked with Vata - movement. With the large intestine being the seat of Vata, I often get clients contacting me with more  issues around elimination at this time of the year.

You may feel a bit more sensitive than usual, and want to get involved in many activities but lack the energy. Your body is already starting to anticipate the change in season. There may be times when you feel anxious, unsure, stressed. This is normal at this time.

As we approach the Autumn equinox, a time of transition from the heat of the summer to cooler typically more windy weather, most of us are more sensitive physically and emotionally. During this period of change it's important to devote time to help your body deal with the changes happening within and externally.

Here are 3 sets of advice to support you during this time. In particular, they'll help you to handle the cold and dryness that dominate during this season and to help bring fluid and warmth in, maintain gentle movement and support the ability to let go. 

Advice set 1 - dietary tips
  • Include heating spices in your diet e.g. cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger
  • Eat warm, soupy, oily, sweet, sour and salty foods to bring more fluid and (see extra tip below)
  • Consume less raw food and avoid very cold or frozen foods and drinks and cold dairy products.
Advice set 2 - lifestyle tips
  • Establish a routine of waking up and going to bed early to ground and center yourself    
  • Take more exercise e.g. go for a walk to raise energy levels, do yoga regularly - at least 3-5 x weekly for 30 minutes
  • Bring rhythm into your life for more stability
Advice set 3 - yoga techniques
  • Lie down in the relaxation position - savasana - on coming home from work for a few minutes to help reduce stress and tense muscles, tiredness and boost your immune system.
  • Sit for a short period each day in a calm environment
  • Do nasya or neti to breath more deeply, boost the immune system and bring balance to body and mind  
What's next?
  • Choose at least one idea to put into practice in the coming week.
  • Go out and get the ingredients for the recipe. :)
  • Feel free to share your feedback with me, including photos!
  • I'm happy to answer your questions to support your choices so feel free to contact me. :)
Want to publish this article on your site? Feel free, but please include the following resource information with the article : Janet Gomez, ayurvedic practitioner & nutritional consultant, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News," a free monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course "5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life" on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.

Copyright © 2014 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks via Compfight cc

Saija Mahon of Mahon Digital Marketing on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Saija Mahon of Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd

Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd was founded by owner Saija Mahon in 2010 in order to give Small and Medium businesses affordable access to digital marketing and advertising by real experts in the field.
After more than 10 years working for some of the biggest media agencies in London UK, Saija decided that it was time to launch her own business focussing on what she loves most, digital and more specifically search engine marketing and social media optimisation.

Since then the business has grown significantly in the UK with dozens of clients now relying on its digital services, from small businesses to large multinational companies. And thanks to Saija’s Finnish roots, Mahon Digital has now also expanded geographically with Mahon Digital Finland launching in November 2012 and growing fast. Saija has also launched a business networking event over in Scandinavia called The Caviar Club, which has rapidly become the most popular event in the quarterly business calendar.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MahonDigital
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mahondigital

Networking events in Scandinavia:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCaviarClubFinland
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecaviarclubfi

Wednesday, October 1st 2014 7:30pm EDT

10 Steps to Creating a Lead-Generating Authority Web Site

by Donna Gunter

One of the most effective client attraction strategies you can create for your business is to develop an authority web site.

Most web sites, even in this day and age, are simple brochure sites, telling visitors who runs the business, what they do,10 Steps to Creating a Lead-Generating Authority Web Site and how to contact them.

An authority web site, however, is one based on a specific topic.  Better yet, search engines love these sites. Because search engines strive to provide the most relevant sites when someone is seeking information on a particular topic, these types of sites are usually found at the top of search engine results.

To find the authority site in your niche or on any particular topic, simply go to a search engine, type in a keyword, and view the top 3 results that appear in the natural (organic, not pay-per-click) results.  These are typically the authority sites for the keywords you entered.

Here are 10 steps that online service business owners can follow to create an authority web site for their business:

1.  Pick a niche.  Make your niche as narrow and focused as you possibly can. Perhaps it’s professional organizing for home offices or web design for cleaning companies or career coaching for baby boomer women.  You get the idea here.

2.  Select your keywords. 
Keywords are the “key” to being found online, so select yours carefully.  Select a niche specific keyword phrase, 2 secondary keyword phrases, and then search for other related keyword phrases that have a fair amount of traffic but not so much competition.  Google Adword’s Keyword Planner can help you find these keywords.  You should end up with 10-15 keyword phrases at this point.

3.  Domain.  There’s still a bit of leverage given in search engine results to domains that contain your primary keyword.  Buy a domain name containing your keyword phrase.

4.  Gather content.  Now you need to gather all the content you have created related to this niche. This could be articles, blog posts, audio, or video.  If you don’t yet have content in this niche, you need to create at least 10 pieces of content, each of which uses one of the keyword phrases you found in Step 2.

5.  Client Attraction Device.  Now you need to create your lead generation magnet, or client attraction device, that you can give away on your site in exchange for a visitor’s name and email address.

6.  Autoresponder follow up. Create 8-10 follow up autoresponders that are sent out over the next 3 weeks to the people who requested your client attraction device.  The goal here is to educate them about what you do or the product that you sell and invite them to purchase from you.

7.  Design and Navigation. Make your site easy to navigate and professional with a clear call to action.  Nothing is worse than visiting a site that looks as though it were designed 10 years ago or gives you a confusing array of things to do.  Use a simple design with attractive colors, and make sure your call to action (signing up for your Client Attraction Device) is on every single page of your site. I suggest you create a blogsite using WordPress as your content management system and then have your site customized accordingly.

8.  Relevant content.  The content you gathered or created in Step 4 can now be uploaded to your site. Be sure that the keyword for each piece of content appears in the content’s title, first paragraph, page description and title, and page headline.

9.  Content marketing campaign.  In order to begin to create inbound links to your sites from high traffic web sites, you need to begin to syndicate your content.  Use an article marketing service to send your content out to article banks and publishers.  Use a podcast or video syndication service to send out your audio and video content. Create press releases from articles and post those to press release sites. Rewrite your content and use it as blog posts or as ezine articles.

10.  New content.  Content is king online, so plan to create one new piece of content each week that is added to your site.

An authority web site will help you leverage your expertise in your marketplace.  If you create it according to these steps, it will continue to generate leads for your business while your content marketing system continues to drive traffic to your site.  Now, you have created an automated marketing machine that will continue to send clients to your business.

Want to quickly learn how to position yourself as an authority in your industry? Get Your "DIY Authority Positioning Toolkit" to discover 5 essential tools you can use to quickly expedite your authority status at http://www.DIYAuthorityToolkit.com

Strengthen Relationships and Attract More Clients With A Personal Note

by Sydni Craig-Hart

Getting anything "good" in the mail these days is a challenge.  Your mailbox is probably filled with bills, direct mail pieces (i.e. junk mail) and things you’d really rather not look at. 

Think about the last time you actually received a greeting card or personal handwritten note in the mail. 

When was that? 

…Perhaps a long time ago.

The truth is, the times you receive a handwritten personalized note are likely few and far between.  That's why when someone does receive one, it stands out.   This leaves a great impression on the receiver of that personalized note.

Sending a handwritten note to a potential client after a meeting is a great marketing strategy to implement.  One, you have the chance to quickly thank your potential client for the meeting.  Two, it keeps you on top of their mind as they are "thinking" about working with you.  Three, it makes you stand out from the crowd. 

If they are "shopping" for service providers, they will be more likely to choose you for your great service, because they are impressed by your gracious follow-up.

But sending a handwritten note doesn't stop with new potential clients.  This practice should be carried out throughout the life of your relationship with your client.  This means thank you notes when the project is completed, a card acknowledging the anniversary of their business, congratulating them on a BIG win, etc.  It doesn't take as long as you think!  Taking 5 minutes to write a note will help you to maintain a great relationship with your client, will go a long way towards creating a satisfied customer and will generate referrals.

And, who doesn't love referrals?

Happy clients will tell their friends, family and anyone who will listen about the great service you provide and the WAY you served them.  The next time your client hears about someone in need of the type of services you provide, guess who they will recommend?  YOU!  Why? Because they had a great experience in working with you and you are on the top of their minds because you stay in touch with them.

The type of card you send should be a mixture of personal style and polished professionalism.  First of all, send the nicest card you can afford.  If you are going to have monogrammed or personalized note cards designed with your business logo, take the time to hire a graphic designer to create a stylish piece. 

Be sure they are printed on good quality card stock.  (You don't want someone who is paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for your services to feel like they got a "cheap" card from a discount store.)

Depending on your profession, you will probably want to avoid using the cartoon and caricature type of cards.  These may not support your brand or your business and could detract from your professionalism.

I'm excited to see how this strategy works for you and would love to hear the feedback you get from clients.  Please share your success stories with me by posting a comment on the blog! 

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.com. Known for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create money NOW.

Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE kit, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!

America’s High Speed Success Coach Nadine Lajoie on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

International Award-Winning Entrepreneur (16 awards), Speaker and America’s High Speed Success Coach, Nadine Lajoie (pronounced lage-wah) was retired and millionaire at age 41 and also became a “Champion Motorcycle Racer who Sings like an Angel”, Radio Host and Co-Founder of “Teen CEO Reality TV Show”.

She trains and “IN-Powers” entrepreneurs worldwide to ACHIEVE high performance, ACCELERATE success, INCREASE Productivity and BUILD systems, with her “Prosperity R.A.C.I.N.G System™".  Nadine is also the founder of the ultimate experience “R.A.C.I.N.G. TO SUCCESS™”, the world premiere leadership training at the racetrack for business and entrepreneurs, where her energy, knowledge and experience will guide and TRANSFORM you at 180 mph!

Featured on Forbes, USA Today, ABC, FOX and CBS Money Watch, #1 Best-Selling Author of “Win The Race of Life”, 4 times Book Award finalist (USA/London), she also co-authored with Les Brown, another #1 Best-Seller book: ”Fight for your Dreams.” 

Nadine was featured in magazines along with Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Zig Ziglar and shared big stages like TEDx, California Women’s Conference, among Top Speakers in the Country like Jamie Lee Curtis, Les Brown, Tom Hopkins, Marcia Cross, Jeane Houston, Marianne Williamson, Stedman Graham, Michael B. Beckwith, Dr. John Gray, Adam Markel, Berny Dohrmann, just to name a few

Wednesday September 24th 2014 8pm EDT

3 Financing Resources Every Woman Entrepreneur Should Know About

by Andrea Gellert, SVP of Marketing, OnDeck

Owning your own business is the single most exhilarating and challenging job there is.

In exchange for more autonomy than you could ever imagine (the exhilarating part), you also become the head of human resources, marketing, legal, accounting, and business development, just to name a few (the challenging part).

However, as a woman business owner, you have the added challenge of operating in a particularly difficult lending environment as compared to your male counterparts.

According to studies, women own nearly a third of businesses in the U.S., but their companies only receive 4.4 percent of loans.

While there are a number of initiatives underway to overcome this obstacle -- currently, Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State is introducing legislation to make it easier for women to receive funding -- it's no secret that you will likely face some challenges when it comes to accessing capital to grow your business. The good news? There are more places for female small business owners to turn for guidance than ever before.

Whether you're a new business owner or a seasoned veteran, there are several trustworthy resources that can help you find the right lender for your business as well as help provide general business guidance so you can create your very own "board of directors." And best of all, these secret weapons are free.

Angel Investor Networks

An angel investor is an individual or group of individuals who provide startup or growth capital in exchange for a stake in your business. In recent years, a number of women-led and -focused angel funds have cropped up with the sole purpose of connecting female business owners to capital. Such organizations as Golden Seeds, Belle Capital, and Texas Woman's Funds are known for using a hands-on approach to providing guidance and mentorship to women business owners.

Women's Business Center

Backed by the Small Business Administration, Women's Business Centers represent a network of nearly 100 educational centers specifically geared toward helping women -- including those who are economically or socially disadvantaged -- start and grow their business. Through training and counseling on a variety of topics such as access to credit and capital, WBC seeks to "level the playing field" and empower women business owners. To find a division near you, click here.


Senior Core of Retired Executives, also known as SCORE, is a nonprofit association of thousands of former business owners and executives who volunteer their time to support aspiring and established small business owners. (Disclosure: OnDeck is currently a sponsor of SCORE.) There are hundreds of SCORE chapters throughout the U.S. that encompass urban, suburban, and rural communities. SCORE donates more than 1 million hours every year to help local small businesses succeed, and has served more than 10 million small business owners since its inception in 1964.

Depending on your schedule and preferences, there are a number of ways you can connect with a SCORE mentor, including emailing, in-person trainings, online workshops, and more. Although SCORE isn't specifically geared toward woman, it's an excellent resource to help you navigate the lending landscape. To connect with a SCORE mentor near you, click here.

As a business owner, your time is both limited and extremely valuable. And as a woman business owner, you're also dealing with being part of an underserved subset of the small business industry, which is why it's so important to ask for help when you need it. But even if you have experienced difficulty finding the right financing partner in the past, or are completely new to the financing world, the resources outlined above can help you put your best foot forward when it comes to searching for financing.

Will you be reaching out to any of these free mentors? Tell us in the comments below.

About the Author

Andrea Gellert is Senior Vice President of Marketing at OnDeck, where she brings more than 15 years of small business marketing and client service experience. Most recently, she was VP of Client Services/Operations at Group Commerce. Andrea also spent 15 years at American Express, holding key leadership positions in both the OPEN small business and Merchant Services divisions. Andrea graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern.

How to Use Your Signature Story to Get Ideal Clients

by Christine Kane

When I teach students how to get more clients using your signature story, I get pushback.

The idea of revealing the bare truth about ourselves is something that solo business owners struggle with.

After all, aren’t we supposed to be experts in the know?

My students ask me:

How vulnerable should I be?

How much should prospects know about my story, my “why?”

In other words:

If I share this stuff, will I still be seen as professional?

One of my signature stories happened ages ago. The setting was a freezing cold room with cinderblock walls in New York City’s East Village. I laid between the threadbare sheets, questioning my existence, pondering a degree in accounting.

You’d think I was primed and ready for a Spielberg-like spiritual breakthrough involving some angels. Or, at the very least, a spaceship.

But what happened instead?

A cockroach walked across my face. (Yes, this really happened.) Now, why on earth would I share this story?

Because it was a breakthrough moment for me. Plus, it shows that you can Uplevel your life or business regardless of the circumstances that surround you. Or crawl on you. (Plus, it’s pretty hysterical to me now.)

I constantly hear from students of the Uplevel Your Life Mastery Program that the “cockroach” story was what made them decide to sign up to work with me!

So, when it comes to your story, here’s the million-dollar truth:

You must tell your story.

It doesn’t have to include cockroaches.

But it does need to open your prospect’s heart and give meaning to WHY you do what you do.

As a solo business owner, your signature story builds trust and creates a memorable brand. It positions you.

There are three reasons for this:

1 – People remember stories.

Your prospect might not remember the first thing you said with your facts, features or data…but tell her about the time you got laid off the same day as your husband and that’s what propelled both of you to start a business?

THAT is what she will remember. That’s because stories are visceral. Stories are universal. They connect with our hearts.

2 – People need connection.

More than ever, we’re all seeking deeper connection beyond just a “thumbs up” button. (Though we still like those too!)

When it comes to your marketing materials, always think in terms of connection with your prospects and clients. And make sure you learn how to use your signature story as a part of your marketing. Your signature story builds trust. It tells your prospect that you’re real. It tells her that you “get” her.
3 – The C-V Cocktail

“C-V” stands for Credibility-Vulnerability.

Let’s start with Credibility.

Knowing how to position yourself is crucial in your marketing. I teach what I call the “CREATE Formula” for positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your field. The very first letter stands for Credibility.

Your credibility speaks to your prospect’s head. This, of course, means your results, numbers, certifications, publications, sales, speaking dates, etc. Your credibility is a part of what attracts people to work with you.

But it’s only ONE PART of our little marketing cocktail. The other part is vulnerability.

Vulnerability speaks to the heart. Both head and heart matter to your clients.

So, when it comes to your work in the world – whether you’re trying to get customers, clients, readers or patients – your story, your vulnerability has to be a piece of the puzzle.

Now, I’m not asking you to share about the time you drank too much at your cousin’s wedding and fell down the stairs and yacked all over her shoes.

Nor am I telling you to post on Facebook that you’re totally miserable today and you just forked your way through three plates of mac and cheese. (We all have bad days. But there are some things that do not serve to build your business!)

I am, however, proposing that you get very clear about the turning point in your life that started you on the path to doing what you’re doing right now.

So, here are some questions to get you started creating your story:
    What were the circumstances in your “before” scene?
    What was your struggle, your low-point?
    What was the turning point?
    What happened after that?
    What made you do the work you’re doing?

In the comments below, tell me the basics of your signature story. Were you hesitant to use it at first? Do your clients respond to it?

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 32,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://christinekane.com.

Certified Health Coach Claudia Petrilli on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Claudia Petrilli, Certified Health Coach, teaches busy bees healthy cooking tips, better diet and lifestyle habits and ways to manage stress.

As a graduate of Institute for Integrative Nutrition and certified through The American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), Claudia offers one-on-one coaching, workshops, cleanses and more.

Visit www.behealthyhappywhole.com for more information or contact Claudia at info@behealthyhappywhole.com to set up an initial consultation.


Wednesday September 17th 2014 8pm EDT