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Self-Employed Creatives: Are You Thriving or Just Surviving?

FreshBooks— the #1 accounting software solution in the cloud for self-employed professionals and their teams— released the below resource today to help creative freelancers in six major cities determine their optimal hourly rates.

FreshBooks analyzed its customer base and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, freelance creative professionals are actually out-earning their full-time counterparts, living well above the cost-of-living in expensive cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and Austin, Texas.

“We hear from freelancers all the time who don’t have access to real market data to help them determine what they should be charging, and as a result, end up underpaid for their expertise,” said Mike McDerment, the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks. “When we took a closer look at the data what we found surprised us: self-employed creative professionals are not only earning more than their salaried peers—they’re thriving in some of the most expensive cities in the United States.”

Key findings include:

-Self-employed creative professionals across fields charge a median rate of $60/hr. -Compared to their salaried peers, self-employed creatives bring in more money annually across fields. Freelance marketers and interior designers bring in the most per hour—at a median rate of $75/hr—and writers bring in the least, at a median rate of $48/hr. -Despite the high cost of living, high concentrations of self-employed creatives choose to live in major US hubs. The amount of money they make per year varies widely, from $37,200 a year in Chicago to $75,600 a year in New York.

Click here to read more findings on the Freshbooks site.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links

7 Powerful Blogging Tips for Novice Bloggers

by Iffat Tafseer

Excellent writing begins with griming first efforts; you need to start somewhere. Take it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Oh, so you are a newbie blogger and wandering your way through the abundance of “Blogging tips for newbie bloggers” articles. It’s not a new thing; every new blogger does this. That’s why I am writing this blog post to help people in their beginnings.

Blogging is all about sharing your knowledge with the people, connecting them with your words, creating engaging reads and inspiring a million lives. Always remember that you are choosing the blog writing to change lives. Let your words flow with authenticity and positivity. Write like it matters and it definitely will.

Here are some genius blogging tips that will bring readers to your blog post. Learn these techniques and create something staggering.

• Understand your audience

The first thing to remember while writing your blog post is to know your target audience. It requires a lot of research. Your design and content should reflect their expectations. Don’t confuse them but rather provide something that resonates with them. For instance, if you intend to write a blog post for parents, write like your words reflect their thoughts; don’t write too professionally, use easy words and short sentences.

• Write as you talk

Be more conversational in your writing; write as you are writing a letter to someone delivering your thoughts. The more reachable your blog is, the more people will love it and find it enjoyable. Write as to how real people talk about how they feel. Avoid using buzzwords.

• Write magnetic headlines

Write in a way that your content pops up when people see it. A catchy headline will grab your readers’ attention and crave them to read more. Write an amazing headline that constrains the readers to read your full post and share it. Your headline should be simple, useful, compelling and bold.

• Keep it precise and engaging

The best blog post should have a 1-2 minute's read-time length. Readers much better receive shorter posts, and they share it more, unlike longer posts. "A blog post should like a miniskirt; short enough to be interesting, and long enough to cover the subject," says author, Joe Pulizzi.

• Never Stop Learning

A blogger should be on a continuous journey to learning and be inquiring. It will enhance your writing skills. Always keep in mind that you are using your words as an influential tool to bring a positive change in people’s lives. Provide them the authentic material and best piece of knowledge. Be studious and provide informative material to your audience. If your blog post requires informative content, then use books, scholarly articles, and magazines as a research medium. If you need to buy these materials, then use discount coupons so that it doesn’t cost you extra money.

• Include link of different blogs in your blog posts

A good technique to bring readers to your blog is to add trackback in your blog posts. It is like a blog conversation. When you write a new article and link it to another blogger’s article, you can do a trackback to their entry. A trackback adds as a medium from another blog to yours for readers to follow, and it helps in getting the attention of another blogger. He/she will likely come and read your post to see what you wrote about him/her.

• Submit your blogs to other sites

Once a week, take your pillar article and submit it to a different website so that it becomes available to other people who can republish it on their site and newsletter. It is like developing your own resource box where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website. Anyone who publishes your article has to add your resource box, so you get incoming links. If someone with an excellent newsletter publishes your article, you can get a lot of new readers at once.

These are some tips that will help you in your journey to a successful blogger of tomorrow. If only one reader liked your post, don’t get disheartened, embrace it that at least your writing will going to change a single person’s life. Your consistent effort will lead you to colossal achievements.

Keep writing and inspiring others.
Good luck!

About the Author:
I am a computer system engineer. i love reading and writing therefore pursues my career as a writer. I work as a content writer at Perks logic. I have many blogs published on divergent topics including Tech, lifestyle and traveling. I can make you laugh, wonder and sad with my content, no doubt the words has power. Personally, I believe in enjoying life, listen music, eat and travel.

"Unstoppable Success - How to Achieve and Thrive Given Any Economy" with CEO Payal Nanjiani of Insightful Learning on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Show #470

Topic: "Unstoppable Success - How to Achieve and Thrive Given Any Economy" 

Payal Nanjiani is the CEO at Insightful Learning and founder of the globally known Leadership Through Mind program. She is a leadership trainer, business coach and motivational speaker. Her clients range from small medium business to Fortune 500 companies. She is also the author of a upcoming book to be published in USA this year - 2018.

For more than a decade Payal has coached, advised, motivated, developed customized training programs and mentored to help nurture the business of many whom you see thriving today. She has helped numerous women leaders, corporate teams, business owners, and individuals increase revenue, establish new brands, build a dynamic and productive team, improve ROI, grow in their career, reposition themselves as leaders in their industries, and more. Her workshops, coaching programs, corporate training, keynote presentations, and retreats have proven to create breakthroughs and inspired people to maximize their results.

Payal has often been featured over Radio, Television and Women Association Cover Page. She has been instrumental in setting up leadership roundtable for Women Associations. She resides in USA with her family. She is proud to be the only women of Indian origin who is a business author , speaker, coach and leadership trainer in USA. Her sessions and talks have inspired many. 

If you are totally ready and committed to take your leadership and business to the next level, connect with Payal for free business resources on her YouTube channel, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Youtube channel: Payal Nanjiani
Linkedin: Payal Nanjiani

Why Physical Stores Are Not Going Anywhere

Over the past few years, the transition from high street to online shopping has been pretty evident. It is not uncommon to walk down the street and see boarded up shops with many ‘closing down sale’ signs. As sad as it is, many people feel as though they just don’t need to use the high streets anymore, and shop owners are battling against the drastically reduced prices that online retailers are able to provide their customers.

The omnipresence of online shopping has triggered a debate as to whether we will soon be seeing the death of the high streets completely, and if we do, when will this event occur? The beloved BHS store has completely closed, along with Woolworth's, Toys R Us, and many others, and in partnership with these closures comes rise in online shopping. After all, shopping on a website offers a number of advantages. It’s much more convenient, and it’s easier to find a good price on a product you’re interested in with all the price comparison websites around.

Yet, there are still many people who would be very upset to see high street shops disappear from their lives. Physical stores can offer customers things that online stores can’t. No one can argue that online retailers cannot mimic the experience of physically touching merchandise, and when it comes to products like clothing, this can be pretty important. Retail stores give the customer the chance to really inspect or try the product she’s considering to buy.

Sometimes, by talking directly with the store owner or a knowledgeable staff member, customers are able to get questions answered quickly and efficiently, and feel more confident about their purchase. Additionally, there is a chance that the customer will be able to negotiate a lower price.

One of the most important benefits of brick and mortar stores, however, is the fact that the customer is able to take the product home the same day she bought it. For those that need a last minute purchase, this is the key. Additionally, for many, shopping is considered a social experience, and this is something that just can’t be achieved with online shopping.

Although there are equally many benefits of shopping online, the fact that many customers are not giving up brick and mortar stores yet just shows that physical stores will not disappear anytime soon.


Infographic from http://love.shopping.fm/

6 Principles of Persuasion Explained with Propaganda Posters

This post, originally from Invaluable, uses classic propaganda posters to help visualize Dr. Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion.

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion completely reshaped the psychology world when they were introduced in the 1980’s. Since then, they’ve become the framework for understanding how we are influenced and how we can influence others. For business leaders, persuasion and influence is key to developing strong relationships with customers, employees, and audiences. Persuasion can help to convince others that we are credible, trustworthy leaders who are worth following.

Social media has become one of the most powerful tools for facilitating this influence over our followers, but before the era of Twitter and Instagram, the masses relied on advertising in other forms. Enter the classic propaganda poster. For centuries, posters have been used to educate, inform, and inspire the public to some goal. In many cases, these goals included war, advances in feminism, or the acceptance of controversial ideas.

The first principle, Reciprocity, suggests that people feel obliged to repay favors when they are received from others. The poster associated with this principle, used in the early 1900’s, was used to persuade immigrants to the United States that they owed a debt to the country and should help to fund the war effort. When using this principle in a business setting, look for opportunities to be the first to give – but be genuine! Genuine kindness and helpfulness goes a long way in creating strong relationships with others.

The Scarcity principle states that demand for something grows exponentially when it is limited or difficult to get. Communicating a need for urgency to consumers, clients, and employees gives leaders an advantage when trying to increase demand or support. During World War II, many American doctors were sent overseas to aid in the war. This poster instilled a sense of fear and urgency in the American public, who no longer had easy access to medical care. The messaging of the poster implies that learning at-home-care skills would be imperative to managing health concerns and that learning the basics of medicine could save lives.

The third principle, Authority, says that credibility and expertise are key to getting others to listen. Consumers trust brands they know and will go out of their way to purchase their products. Whether you are promoting an idea, selling an idea, or communicating with employees, showing that you are credible can make you more believable to your followers. The poster for this principle, “Christ Guerilla,” was used during the Cuban fight against imperialism in the 1960’s and 70’s to inspire Cubans to fight for the cause. The poster depicts the image of Jesus as a guerrilla fighter and calls on the country’s religious roots and the authority of the Christian faith to push the public to fight.

The fourth poster, which displays the principle of Consistency, is the familiar image of Rosie the Riveter, a World War II icon for women working in factories at the time. Rosie was a major influence in getting factory workers to increase their efforts to support the war and resonated strongly at the time of its creation. It continues to be a symbol of feminism and equality today. This principle suggests that people like to remain resolute with things they are already familiar with. From a business perspective, getting your customers or employees to buy into a new offering, idea, or point of view is much easier if they are already supporters.

Liking is the idea that people tend to agree with people or ideas that they already like and support. People identify most strongly with similarities, so they will agree and cooperate with others who are like them. Before making a case to your followers, spend time building rapport and likeability to build relationships. The poster “Women of Britain Say Go!” uses the liking tactic to encourage British men to join the war effort. By appealing to their emotion and sense of duty to one’s family, the poster was successful in bringing many to enlist.

Finally, the Consensus principle implies that individuals are more likely to subscribe to an idea if they know it is supported by the group at large. By highlighting what larger groups think, individuals can be pushed to action through advertising that uses this principle. The poster representing this principle, common in the era of the Soviet Union, was meant to show that the Russian people were working together to achieve common objectives. It was used during Stalin’s reign and was effective in creating support for his causes.


How to Grow Your Business with Collaboration (Not Competition) with Founder Karen Bate on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Show #473

Topic: "How to Grow Your Business with Collaboration (Not Competition)"

A former journalist and Congressional press secretary, Karen Bate founded KB Concepts P.R. 10 years ago. She and her team brand companies and nonprofits; position organizations to achieve their mission and goals; garner key media placements; and harness the variety of social media tools to tell clients' stories and inspire others to support them. Great Ideas for Good Causes is not just her company tagline; it is the guiding philosophy of her work.

Karen is also the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer for Awesome Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) (along with co-founder and co-conspirator Evelyn Powers), with more than 200 local women business owners as members of six chapters throughout the DC region, and more chapters launching throughout the US in 2018. Karen passionately believes that women supporting women is the key to success in business and in life.








Awesome Women Entrepreneurs podcast

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Are You Willing to Do it Anyway?

by Chris Atley

The subconscious mind can be sneaky. It will do anything to keep us from stepping out of our comfort zone, including using old patterns and perspectives to cause choices that will follow suit. To keep you where you feel comfortable.

It’s designed to keep you safe and knows how to get your agreement to do just that. Which is great for some things in life, bit not being a business owner!

Being a business owner requires putting yourself out there and doing different things. It’s called innovation and requires stepping out of your comfort zone.

If you’re not aware of it, you will continue to spin your wheels and stay where you’re at in business (meaning the level you’re at). It’s what’s behind procrastination.

Your subconscious mind will literally talk you into doing the “busy” work first, while never really getting to what you need to do to grow your business. Thus remaining in maintenance mode.

Now, you still take action so you convince yourself it’s what you need to be doing, but you know deep down it’s not.

Your subconscious mind will throw all kinds of things at you to get you to stop. You might start judging what other people are doing or comparing yourself to others, and talk yourself out of taking those next steps.

Here’s the thing, you’ve got to keep taking action and you will feel better. You will see it’s not as scary as you thought – you are safe, and didn’t die from doing it!!!

That might sound obvious, but it’s why most people stop. Deep down they have a belief that they are unsafe, unloved, or some version of those beliefs.

Thus making them need the external love and approval from others, and avoiding like the plague anything that would jeopardize this.

This is why a new belief system needs to be created. An empowered and loving belief system like; I am safe, I am loved, I am loveable, etc. Repeating this often, while STILL taking the action.

It’s imperative. You must shine a light on this stuff and see it for what it is. It’s not the truth. And we don’t want it to stop you. This is why reaffirming the new belief while taking the action will help you strengthen the new belief, AND taking action feels good! You will feel more accomplished and confident.

You’ve gotta trust the process and just keep moving even if it feels uncomfortable. It will get better and taking action when you feel uncomfortable will be the new norm.

I’m not sure who said it but it’s a good one:

“Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.”

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoCaleb George

How She Does It: Anna Stout of Astute Communications

Anna Stout is the owner of Astute.Co, a digital marketing agency. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, and began her career as a web designer and developer.

As President and CEO of Astute, she now oversees creative and technical production work completed while focusing on company growth and culture.

She is also the co-founder of "Speak: A Public Speaking Workshop for Women in Tech," where she leads discussion and provides practical takeaways to encourage more women to take the stage at tech events.

Anna is an active participant in the business and technology communities. You can find her participating in local tech conferences, serving as a volunteer mentor for the Pathway Women’s Business Center, or taking the stage as a nationally recognized speaker. Anna is the Vice President of the Nashville chapter of Women in Digital. Her 5-step process for planning a website was published and featured on the cover of the renowned international web design publication, Net Magazine.

Residing Nashville, TN with her husband and two sons, Anna is a successful business owner and proud “Woman in Tech.” She is dedicated to empowering other women in digital careers through ongoing educational opportunities and one-on-one mentoring.

About Astute Communications
Astute Communications is a digital marketing agency in Nashville, TN. We provide custom solutions to enhance and showcase your company’s brand and online visibility.

We offer a broad portfolio of services including Branding, Web Design and Development, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Online Advertising and Content Development. Our focus is on bridging the gap between beautiful design and the strategic use of data to drive awareness and increase revenues.

To see our recent work, or learn more about us, visit us at http://astute.co.

Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Anna. So, how did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Anna Stout: Great to be here, Deb. I started my company, Astute Communications, right after the birth of my first child. I resigned from my position with a well-established agency to grow my business and my family simultaneously. But I started my entrepreneurial journey long before that...

I started as an entrepreneur with "The Soup Apple Kitchen," a mud-pie restaurant operated from my mom's greenhouse when I was about 6 years old. Then there was "Clover Creations," a hand drawn greeting card business I went door-to-door selling to my neighbors. My family was incredibly supportive, going so far as to buy rocks from me that I had handpicked from our gravel driveway (except my dad, who exclaimed, "I paid to have those rocks put there! I'm not buying them again!" ...He was supportive in other ways.)

I guess you could say I got started then... As a young, enterprising country girl. And now... as a not-as-young (but still young-ish) woman living in one of the country's hottest cities. 

Deb: That's a wonderful entrepreneur origin story. Who are your ideal clients?

Anna: Our ideal clients don't come from one specific industry. We love working with mid-sized companies who have begun to understand their place in the market, but don't know how to best leverage their opportunities. We maintain a broad and deep expertise in digital marketing and, for me, the clients that I get really excited about are the ones who have a deep passion for what they are doing, and understand the value that our marketing team can bring to their business.

Our ideal client believes in open communication, trust, and discovery. They understand that they will play an integral role in our marketing efforts–because no one knows their business better than they do. They understand that they've hired us because they believe we can help him, and they get out of their own way.

I love being the team that helps other companies level-up. The team that looks at their big goals and says, "Yes, let's do it!"

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Anna: My inspiration related to entrepreneurship is two-fold: First, it is rooted in a lifelong gratitude for the opportunity to have a real, positive impact on people's lives. I love being the person who says, "Yes, let's do it!," and then being able to take actionable steps to effect change.

My second motivation, which I only discovered in the last 5 years, is raising my 2 sons in a world where they can take for granted the idea of a woman as leader. I believe that if we can raise our children in a world where this is normal–where they can be comfortable seeing people of all genders, ethnicities, and religion in leadership positions, we will be able to truly put the best people, regardless of how they identify, in place for the betterment of our country.

Deb: That's very inspirational! What is your vision for your business?

Anna: In the next 5 years Astute will grow to support a staff of between 20-30 people, serving clients across industries with annual marketing budgets in the $250,000-$600,000 range. Within 10 years, we will have between 50-100 people on staff, and will be serving clients with marketing budgets in the $360,000-$1,100,000 range.

We will remain self-funded for the duration of this growth, with the exception of securing an available line of credit to support growth periods if necessary. Our growth will rely on a firm operational foundation along with expertise and service area expansion. We will continue to maintain a liberal financial runway to avoid losing momentum during slower periods. Our philosophy towards growth has always been slow and steady–allowing us to be nimble and make the necessary moves and investment when opportunities arise. The most important contribution to growth will be continuing to expand our expertise around retainer base services. This will make our revenue more predictable and allow us to anticipate and act on growth opportunities while maintaining stability.

From a marketing perspective, we will continue to invest in the growth of our individual employees–providing learning opportunities that will bolster our skillset and credibility–and will remain diligent about documenting and sharing our learnings with the community at large. We will maintain high return advertising campaigns to share our expertise, provide value, and establish credibility with people being exposed to our company for the first time. We will also engage is account-based marketing, targeting specific people at larger companies, developing and building relationships, and providing holistic marketing campaigns to those larger organizations.

Deb: There are a lot of people who desire to be business owners. What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Anna: The longer I’ve been in business, the more I’ve learned about mistakes. How frequently they occur, which ones can be avoided and which ones are just part of the natural progression of things. Which to take to heart and which to let slide off my back.

Mistakes are never easy. Whether the mistake is my own or an oversight by a member of my team, each time I experience the full, crushing weight of its implication: We’re not good enough. We should have been better. If we were smarter, tighter, more dedicated. If we just had better processes, this could have been avoided.

But what I’ve realized over time is that while, yes, there have been stupid, embarrassing, avoidable mistakes, most of them, once unpacked, are mistakes that anyone could have made. And most of them, cliche as it may sound, have provided us with exactly the insight and opportunity we needed to continue to grow. To become smarter and more adept. To develop better processes.

This realization (and working to remember it!) has helped enormously. It helps to remember that the sky isn't falling. That it will be ok. It's important as an entrepreneur to keep moving forward–Learn from your mistakes, yes, but don't let them derail you.

Deb: Great advice. What is your favorite activity to relax and unwind?

Anna: I do adult gymnastics classes 3 times and week. It's physical, it's intense, and between two kids and owning a business it's virtually the only time in my life when there isn't someone saying "Stop doing what you're doing, and come do what I need you to do."

I love being that person for so many people, but I realized pretty quickly that if it was going to work, I was going to have to be that person for myself too. So, I started doing what I needed me to do, too.

Gymnastics is my me-time. It's the thing I always look forward to. It's my non-negotiable. And I encourage every woman, every person really, to have their own non-negotiable.

I also read at night, to disconnect my brain from the rest of the day.

Deb: What do you wish you could tell your younger self?

Anna: Don't focus so much on boys. Respect yourself. Go to class.

Deb: Thanks so much for stopping by, Anna! Please share website and social media URLs

Anna: I enjoyed it! Here are my links.





"Three Ways to Use Your Existing Content to Publish Your Book" with Deborah A. Bailey on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #475

Deborah A Bailey shares three ways to get your book published. If you're a coach, speaker or consultant find out how to stand out in a crowded market, create income streams and be featured as local and national media.

Deborah is a writer, coach, author of several fiction and non-fiction books, and creator and host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ podcast.


How to Market Your Business with an Ebook

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"How to Use the Power of Sales Funnels to Book 5-10 Discovery Calls Every Week" with Reelika Schulte on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #467

During this conversation, Reelika shares:

  • what is a sales funnel 
  • how to get started and what do you need to analyze in order to make sure you can book the calls 

Reelika Schulte is an international business coach with honors degree in business, and the founder of Design Dream Lifestyle, where she teaches women from around the world how to use their life experiences to launch their own thriving online coaching business.

Growing up in Estonia, Reelika developed an entrepreneurial mindset after watching her parents start their own business after the fall of the Soviet Union. After working in her parents’ business and also in corporate finance for 10+ years, and running a personal finance blog, Reelika became an expert in balancing the personal and professional. She uses this business background and online savvy to encourage other women in the online coaching field and to expand their reach through sales funnels, conversions, lead generation, and passive revenue methods.

Her work has appeared in publications like Forbes, Shining Mentor Magazine, and The Huffington Post. She loves to speak about finding clients through automated marketing, creating signature coaching programs that sell, and building evergreen global coaching businesses.

She lives in Minnesota with her husband and her son.


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4 Tips to Effective Networking

by Chris Atley

I have the privilege of speaking at a lot of events. I’m excited to share some tips on how to build meaningful relationships that lead to referrals.

4 Tips to Effective Networking

Tip #1: The know, like & trust factor. Most of you have probably heard about this before. Essentially people usually only refer others that they know, like and trust. The popular networking group, BNI, is structured in this way. A weekly meeting is held and at each meeting members are expected to pass a referral or to have met with someone from the group in-between meetings.

They understand that even when a person is involved in a networking group they will only refer to others within the group if they have a relationship with them and trust them. It takes a little time and effort to get to know someone before referring business to them and for it to be reciprocated. Find a group you resonate with and even better start speaking it at it instead!

Tip #2. Set the intention to have a great conversation when you’re meeting new people. I don’t know about you, but I find small talk exhausting. I don’t want to talk about the weather and surface level topics. I like having a deep conversation with people. It’s about connecting on a deeper level and building relationships with people you resonate with. I want to refer to people that I really like and believe in. If someone doesn’t sit right with me, then they probably won’t with the people I know either. I also know that they are a right fit for someone else. There is lots of abundance for everyone. I always set the intention before attending an event, that I will have at least one great conversation. Low and behold, I always do!

So definitely don’t go to a meeting and just hand out a bunch of cards and expect your phone to be ringing off the hook. Take the time to have at least one meaningful conversation with someone. You might be thinking that one connection versus reaching out to many doesn’t make sense. The reality though, is that people won’t just call you if you’ve passed your card to them and haven’t even at least met them. It’s a waste of cards. That one connection can make all of the difference.

Tip #3. Think about how you can honestly help people at these events. When I meet new people, I’m truly interested in how I can move them forward and I always have my ears open to whom I can connect them with in order to do just that. This serves a few purposes. First, it just feels good to help people without trying to “get” something for yourself. People don’t want to be “sold” to and these networking situations are especially awkward when people are trying to do just that.

I find it helpful to ask the person I’m talking to a bunch of questions about themselves and be thinking the whole time about I can help them. You will have your turn to let them know what you do too at the right time.

Second, by approaching the conversation his way, it helps to build the trust factor with them. They see that you are a genuine person and nice to be around. This is the first step in building a meaningful relationship.

Tip #4. What to do post-event? It’s important to have a follow-up system in place for the next morning after an event and to allot time for this in your calendar. For anyone I felt a connection with, I will invite them to continue the conversation. Meaning, I would like to start building a relationship with them whether the purpose is to work together personally or to add them as a center of influence (people who refer business to you).

For anyone I exchange cards with, I will make sure to send them a note by email the next morning, and then look for them on Facebook so that we can stay connected on a regular basis. For you this might be a different social media venue depending on which one you’ve had the most success with.

It’s also important to stay in touch with the people you meet on a regular basis. If they are a center of influence, then following-up with them in-person once a quarter is reasonable or more, depending on the amount of referrals they provide. Like any relationship that’s important, you want to be sure take the time to nourish it. Of course this shouldn’t feel like any type of chore, because the people you have developed these relationships with you likely really enjoy being around.

Happy Networking & Business Building!

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

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4 Ways to Maximize Your Energy and Results

two working women at a meeting
by Chris Atley

Here are 4 ways for you to maximize your energy and your results :)

So how does one go about getting into this energy my mortgage broker was talking about?Well, there are a couple of things to be aware of.

1. Adapting the belief that there is an unlimited universe, God, Source, Light, Higher Power, Divine energy (whatever your belief system is on this), is there to support you, nourish you and GUIDE you. If you’re having trouble believing this, then adapt someone else’s belief in it. Who do you know that believes this unconditionally and is living their life by it? Believe in their belief in it until you do too.

2. Know that the ego will try to throw you off and pull you into a negative energy. The ego is thought system that tells us we are not good enough, smart enough and basically unlovable at the core. It’s where guilt, shame, blame and fear live. It is not real, but it sure does feel that way. We are all connected and from that same, diving loving energy. We are love and we are powerful, creative beings. Becoming aware of the ego and it’s sneakiness will help you tremendously so that you can catch-it, shine a light on it and move around it – notice I didn’t say through it – and that’s because you can just choose to focus on loving thoughts instead. It can be that easy.

3. There are only two kinds of energy; love and fear. Source is love and the ego is fear. We can choose how we want to operate in every second of every day and with every decision. The ego will give you a run for your money and that’s why having the awareness is key.

It’s okay if you slip into fear. It will We are still humans having human experiences. Operating out of love and in love is the ultimate form of enlightenment. If we judge ourselves or beat ourselves up, we’re right back in our ego again. The more we can accept how we’re feeling, allow ourselves to process it, the more we are actually operating out of love. Love for ourselves, for those around us and this is the ultimate healing.

4. Something I love to do every day, is to ask how I can GIVE and RECEIVE love that day. It might be something that pops up in my company or it might be something to do with my kids. I had the honour to take Ella (our 6 year old) to the orthodontist the other day for her first visit ever. Yes it cut into my work time, and in the past this would have driven me crazy and created a lot of anxiety around not having enough time. That was because I was living in fear – fear around finances, and caught in an ego trap. This time was different, and I was able to be fully present with her. We had a great time in the waiting room and I was able to hold her hand later when she had a little procedure done. She was so brave and so was I when I saw her in pain. I felt such a strong connection to her and was so happy I could be there for her in that moment. There was no anxiety around time, no worrying, and just giving and receiving love.

Being in the moment and being grateful sets the stage for all of the good waiting to come into our lives. It just can’t get through to us if we live in fear.

I love you lots and hope this article in some way provides a sense of peace and the ability to finally cut yourself a break xo

Written by Success Speaker & Coach Chris Atley, CEO of Chris Atley LLC ~ Decisions by Design. For complimentary success tips for business and life, please visit www.chrisatley.com.

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