3 Tips For Making Space and Opening the Flow for the New Year

by Alicia Forest, MBA
The Business Shifter™

I’ve been spending time lately getting ready for the new year – planning, organizing, strategizing, visioning, and more. There are many transitions and transformations on the horizon for me and my business, and much to do to prepare for them, so I’m making space and opening the flow.

Here are some of the ways I’m doing this in my business that you can do too:

1. Clean Up Your Business Time


Time is your only non-renewable resource. If you’ve ever experienced days when you don’t know where the time has gone, but you do know you haven’t accomplished much, then you need to take a serious look at just what is eating up those precious minutes.

My coach’s request of you is to track your time for the next two weeks. Like a food diary makes you intensely aware of what you’re eating, a time log will allow you to quickly and easily identify where you’re frittering time away.

Most likely culprits? Email and TV (yes, I know some of you are ‘watching’ TV while you’re online, and no, that’s not multitasking, that’s just pure distraction).

Once you are aware of where your time is going, make a conscious effort to redirect it to more productive – or even more restful – activities. Turn the TV off (or TIVO/DVR whatever it is you must watch and give it your full attention later).

And don’t leave your email open all day long! Allot specific time to read and respond to it instead.

You’ll be amazed at how just doing this simple exercise will free up the time you want for more important (and fun!) things.

(Be sure to read Part 2 of this article next week where I’ll share more specific and effective tips for handling email overload.)

2. Clean Up Your Business Space

Now is a great time to go through your files – computer and physical – and delete or organize them for moving forward to the new year. I spent several hours going through my physical files recently, shredding lots of documents (I love to purge!), and setting up new files for my new private clients as well as empty files for the ones yet to come. During this process both online and off, I also found a lot of gems I’d forgotten about – pieces of content, systems and processes, tools, resources, audios, and more.

And now that I have a recent visual in my mind of what’s in my files, it’s literally at my fingertips as I move forward in building my business. Energetically and electronically, I can feel how much more open the flow is by doing this.

3. Clean up Your Business Circle

This one can be a bit difficult, but it’s necessary to prune the people you surround yourself with from time to time. It doesn’t mean you have to completely disconnect from them (unless they’re just weighing you down energetically), but do make a conscious choice to spend more time in the company of those who lift you up.

Let me give you a simple example. If you’re on someone’s ezine list just because everyone else is or you feel like you should be, but you either a) don’t read it or b) don’t feel good when you do read it, just unsubscribe and allow the space for something that resonates with you to take its place.

Or maybe you’re part of a mastermind group that you feel you’ve outgrown. Now is the time to graciously bow out. Once you do, you open the space for a new group to form around you that better supports where you are now.

How are you making space and opening the flow for the new year? 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.
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What To Do If You're Struggling to Grow Your Business

by Sydni Craig-Hart

Reach for your goals

Whether or not you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions, one thing is for sure. You'd like your business to be more profitable and more successful than last year. As entrepreneurs, we all want to be progressive and accomplish our goals.

It takes more than good intentions to do that. Success as a small business owner requires that we be willing to make adjustments, work through challenges and improve our habits. For many, the new year provides an opportunity for a fresh start. So how do you ensure that you follow-through on your good intentions and achieve your goals?

Here's how:

    Commit to building better habits - Make the decision to identify and act on your marketing priorities EACH day. Tomorrow you will be gifted 24 hours. Let's say 8 of those are dedicated to your business. How will you spend them? Will you give in to distraction or focus on ONLY your priority tasks. Will you allow email, the Internet, unimportant tasks, phone calls or other distractions to consume your day? Or instead can you, WILL YOU, take complete responsibility for how you choose to spend your time? Of course there will be things that pop up that are out of your control. Even so, you can still take control of your time and choose to focus on taking the necessary action to grow your business.

    Stay in your POWER zone - Perhaps you are great at networking, but the thought of writing a blog post or an article makes your head hurt. Maybe it's the other way around. You love to write but you'd rather eat nails than go to a networking event. If you are looking for a quick way to jumpstart your marketing efforts and increase your profits, focus on these three things:

  •         What you enjoy doing
  •         What you're good at doing
  •         What has generated the best results

    That's IT! If you aren't too excited about a particular marketing strategy, don't force it! Trying to convince yourself to do it creates unnecessary pressure and drains your energy, which guarantees that the strategy won't work well anyway. Instead, strive to ENJOY (wow, what novel idea!) growing your business and focus on the things you do best.

    Ditch your "superhero" cape and get some help! - A lot of entrepreneurs find a sense of satisfaction in being a business martyr. If you have ever found yourself thinking:

        "If I want it done right, I have to do it myself!"
        "If it's not hard, it must not be right!"
        "If I'm struggling, I must be on the right track..."
        ...Or something similar.

     You may be guilty of trying to be a business martyr. I have one thing to say to you about that. STOP! :)

    There is no glory in making your journey more difficult than necessary. And there is no shame in reaching out for help. It's simply what smart entrepreneurs do.

    Have you been working solo for a while and find that you consistently don't have enough hours in the day to get through your task list? Hire an assistant.

    Are you not sure what step to take next to get more clients and increase your profits? Hire a coach!

    Did you have a coach before, and then decide you could "do it" on your own, but now find yourself floundering? Hire a coach ... again!

    Investing in yourself is the BEST investment you can make. It's guaranteed to pay off. How much more would you get done if you had someone truly holding your feet to the fire and guiding you by the hand? Wouldn't you be more focused and less distracted? What kind of affect do you think THAT would have on your bottom line? Choose today to leave the excuses behind, and reach out for the help you need. It's the one thing that all successful entrepreneurs have in common, so come join the club!

Achieving more success in your business doesn't necessarily require a massive overhaul. By taking charge of your time, focusing on what you enjoy doing to market your business and getting help where and when you need it, you'll get further than you've ever thought possible! Isn't it time to end the struggle and start thriving in your business? Yes, I think so too!

What first step will you take to break through your current marketing struggles? Share your thoughts with me on the blog!

YOUR "TAKE ACTION" PLAN FOR THIS WEEK:
    Take control of your time - Plan out your work days so you know exactly what you'll be doing and when. Minimize distractions by only checking your email at specific times each day and turning off your phone when it's time to focus on your work. Tackle one project at a time and resist the urge to multi-task.

    Make a list of what you enjoy doing to market your business. Plan out time each day to work "in your power zone."

    Get help in your business in the one area where you need help the most. If you are struggling to get everything done each day, hire an assistant. If you need direction and accountability, hire a coach. Invest in yourself to make sure the important, profit generating tasks in your business are being handled properly.

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 training course, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!
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Merry Christmas!


Wishing you a happy and safe holiday!
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7 Ways to Stay Sane Over the Holidays

by Chris Atley

1.  I’ve stressed the importance of exercise :)

2.  Map out your to do list and block off times in your calendar to tackle it. This goes for exercising too.

3.  Enjoy friends in a meaningful way that feels relaxing.

4.  Say no to events that are not an absolute “yes” and that will cause resentment instead of joy.

5.  Manage your own expectations. I don’t know about you, but when I start to slip into overwhelm something crazy starts to happen. All of a sudden things that were not that important all of a sudden become the most important things on earth.

6.  It’s crazy making. Take a look at what you’re adding to your plate and ask yourself if this really needs to be done.

7.  Self-care. Exercise and do something just for you. Earlier this week I indulged big time (well for me anyway). I worked out in the morning and got my nails done afterward. This was with a huge to do list! It was complete bliss. It made me happier, more relaxed and better equipped to tackle my list and to be a better person in general. The relaxation is worth it alone, the ripple effect it has even more meaningful.

8.  Taking a few minutes every day to really tune in and remember what you’re grateful for. This will kick all overwhelm to the curb. I was actually feeling a little resentful for planning a volunteer dinner over the holidays at the Ronald MacDonald House. It felt crazy to plan something like this so close to Christmas. Until I gained a little perspective and remembered who we’re serving. These parents have children in the hospital over Christmas. Enough said. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to provide a meal (at the very least) for these families going through such a hard time. To be able to chat with them and provide some relief for them.

I wish you so much love along with a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. More to come next week on the pain body and how to deal with this outbreak around family over the holidays.

Lots of Love,
~ Chris :)


Written by Chris Atley, Success Coach for entrepreneurs. Join Chris to discover your true worth to increase your personal wealth. Create your ideal business by grabbing my Live Limitless Guide for free at: www.chrisatley.com.
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Do you want a shot of business courage?

by Kendall SummerHawk

Yes, you traded in the dull, same old routine of a j-o-b for running your own business…but in the process, it may often feel as if you also traded in certainty for feeling anxious.

Every piece of running your business is demanding that you step up and take action in ways you’ve probably never had to do before. Writing, speaking, marketing, pricing your services, creating programs, asking people to promote you, giving discovery sessions, hosting workshops or teleseminars, understanding shopping carts and autoresponders, figuring our your niche…

Sure, it’s a lot to handle. But what contributes to that overwhelm the most is doubt and indecision.

Which is where you often need a shot of courage.

So how do you find your courage when you’re afraid?

How do you stand in your power when you’re being challenged with tasks and opportunities that you’ve never done before?

Having lived through too many “I need a shot of courage” moments to count, I’m happy to share 3 of my best practices tips with you. I just have one request: Use these this week! Courage is a muscle that you can make strong very quickly, with just the tiniest bit of practice.

And trust me, if you’re in business for yourself, every bit of strengthening your courage muscle that you can do will pay you back a hundred fold. I promise!

Tip #1: Start By Creating Certainty

One of the things that can make you feel afraid of taking a risk is the fear of uncertainty. The masculine method of “feel the fear and do it anyway” that we’ve all been taught sounds nice, but it leaves out a critical element that can make the difference between you taking action…or backing down.

That element is finding a way to create a feeling of certainty, even in an uncertain situation. For example, let’s say you’re booked to give a presentation. You’re thrilled at the opportunity…and more than a little nervous.

What happens next is often this: Your mind races with a million “what if…” questions. Your heart rate goes up, your mouth goes dry and your palms start to twitch and sweat. All of which only deepens your sense of uncertainty.

So how do you tap into finding your way through? How do you begin to feel like you’ll live through giving that presentation…and increase your likelihood of attracting new clients in the process?

Start by listing what you can be certain of. You can be certain that you’ll live through the experience (this sounds laughable, but seriously, it’s worth reminding yourself of!).

You can be certain that people will be polite. You can be certain that you’ll practice your presentation until it feels as natural as saying your name. You can be certain that it won’t be the only time (or the last time) you’ll deliver a presentation. You can be certain there will be at least one thing you do really well. You can be certain that you’ll learn a lot by delivering it…

How many more things can you add to your certainty list?

Tip 2: Focus On What You Are Learning

Did you know there are two types of learners? Those that expect themselves to be perfect their first time up to bat…at anything!

And those who make allowances for moving through the various stages of learning.

Here’s my trick to finding certainty in a situation: I focus on ONE thing I want to improve. One…not ten. Because ten will put you into overwhelm, while one will serve as a point of light for you.

So decide ahead of time what that one thing is you want to improve and learn how to do better. There is certainty in giving yourself the grace of being a learner!

Tip 3: Lean On Someone Else’s Positive Perspective About YOU

When we’re scared it’s easy to lose perspective as to how really awesome we truly are. Just hearing someone you trust say to you, “You’ve got this!” can give you a shot of courage. Breathe into how they see you, and you’ll find yourself stepping forward with greater certainty…and the courage that comes with it.

Would you like to learn simple ways you can brand, package and price your services, quickly move away from 'dollars-for-hours work' and create more money, time, and freedom in you business? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, resources and to sign up for my free webinar "How to Make More Money in One Day (as much as $3,000 - $10,000) Than You Currently Do All Month Even If You Don't Have a Big List.

Award-winning, million dollar marketing coach Kendall SummerHawk is the leading expert in women entrepreneurs and money.
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Let Go or Control? Which is Better for Biz?

by Chris Atley

The issue I see is that people are so tightly gripping what they want most. On a day-to-day basis this looks like trying so hard to make it happen, focusing a ton of energy toward it, and working harder and longer.

Well, instead of this taking them quickly to their goals – it leads to overwhelm, burnout, and even resentment.

It’s definitely not taking them to their goals faster and absolutely not giving them the peace and freedom they set out to have when they started their business.

I know, because I used to live in this wheelhouse too.

Sure there is freedom to do what you want when you want, but there is not freedom from thought in this place. Thoughts binding you to what you are working on.  An attachment so fierce it’s all you can think about, and what you’re breathing in daily, down to the minute.

This is not a place of freedom whatsoever.

True freedom comes from being able to control our thoughts. To rid ourselves of the  negative, lack-based thoughts that have a tight grip over us. That keep us playing small, spinning our wheels and never quite feeling good enough or accomplished enough.

True freedom is having empowered thoughts that come from love and faith. Faith in something bigger then us – in an energy guiding us that won’t without a doubt let us fail.

It doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges or obstacles, or even down right crappy days. BUT when we allow ourselves the freedom to feel, to move though our emotions – THAT is actually peaceful and empowering.

So…how do we let go of trying to control everything, reduce that overwhelm and become empowered in our thoughts?

  •     Know there is something bigger then you that has your back. Start playing and experimenting with this, and use past experiences to rely on while you’re creating more of them. You will start to reprogram your belief system.
  •     TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. If you’re overwhelmed, you’ve lost the connection to your higher self. Schedule in time for this right away. Add fun and relaxation into your life. It will make a WORLD of difference. Trust me if you can’t see it for yourself right now. Do this for a month and watch how things shift – in life AND business.
  •     Follow the divine guidance being shown to you. With a clear, relaxed mind, you will be able to recognize and follow it much easier.

One of my clients just started doing this on a deeper level. She started allowing herself to feel, to start connecting and really loving herself by taking the time just for her. Did she have “time” for this?  Not by society’s’ standards. Her time was scheduled to the max with a ton of “have to” items. You know the ones.

She was working with clients, but not able to hit that next level. She was working so hard to make it happen, so what was the deal?

Well, through doing some deeper work we realized she wasn’t loving herself and looking for it instead in all of the wrong places.

From there, it took making a different decision and making herself the priority.

She scheduled in time she didn’t have just for herself, and let go. Let go of the worry and tried trusting this instead. Well, almost instantly two new clients showed up willing to pay her higher and more appropriate rate.

It’s like magic.

Let go of the worry and control, relax and take care of yourself, and follow the divine guidance available for you.

She continued to do this during the week and more continued to show up.

How can you practice these principals this coming week?

Written by Chris Atley, Success Coach for entrepreneurs. Join Chris to discover your true worth to increase your personal wealth. Create your ideal business by grabbing my Live Limitless Guide for free at: www.chrisatley.com.

Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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“Debt-Free Funding: Leveraging Other People’s Money in Your Business” with Kim Harris on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Topic: “Debt-Free Funding: Leveraging Other People’s Money in Your Business”

Show #356

Kim Harris, Chief Visionary Officer, I AM Community Consulting & Training returns to discuss how to get funding for your business, including what are the top 3 non-debt funding solutions, education-based training solutions and how to position and prepare to receive funding support.

As the Chief Visionary Officer of IAM-Community Consulting & Training, Kim is passionate about helping service organizations and businesses connect with resources, training, and consulting.

Responsible for raising more than $2.5M in grants and sponsorships from companies such as Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Verizon Wireless, American Airlines, Office Depot and others.

Recipient of the SBA Women in Business Champion of the Year Award, featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Dallas Morning News, HERLIFE Magazine, The Chicago Woman Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, CBS Radio, Radio One, and her own talkshow, Dialogues w/Kim on UA Network.

www.iam-community.com

Listen on Libsyn:
http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/debt-free-funding-leveraging-other-peoples-money-in-your-business


Subscribe to Women Entrepreneurs Radio™  on iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-entrepreneurs-radio/id939410730?mt=2

Subscribe using Podcast Republic app for Android:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.itunestoppodcastplayer.app&hl=en


 
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Author Q&A: Award-Winning Author Kelli A Wilkins

About the Author: Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning romance and horror author who has published more than 95 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books.

Her short horror fiction has appeared in several anthologies. In autumn 2015 she released two horror ebooks, Kropsy's Curse and Dead Til Dawn. In 2014, her horror fiction appeared in Moon Shadows, Wrapped in White, and Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine.

You Can Write-Really! A Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction
was released in February 2015. This fun and informative non-fiction guide is based on her 15 years of experience as a writer, and is available exclusively on Amazon.

Kelli published three romances in 2014: Dangerous Indenture (a spicy historical/mystery), Wilderness Bride (a tender historical/Western/adventure), and A Secret Match (a gay contemporary set in the world of professional wrestling). Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

Kelli's stopping by the blog today to share writing tips and talk about what inspired her to write her book.

Deborah Bailey: Glad you could stop by, Kelli! What inspired you to come up with the idea for your book?

Kelli Wilkins: Great to be here! Every time I do an interview, I'm often asked the same batch of questions: Where do you get your ideas? How do I get published? How do you write a book? What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out? Do you have any writing tips?

I've answered these questions many times in interviews and addressed them in guest blogs, but I always wanted to say more. One day, I started thinking about everything I've learned over the years, and inspiration hit me: Why not write a book on how to write? The result? You Can Write-Really! A Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction.

This fun and practical book walks you through the story-creating process step-by-step: from getting a great idea to meeting your characters, developing a plot, and on to writing, revising, and submitting your work.

Each easy-to-read chapter is based on my 15 years of experience as a writer, advice I've received over the years, and the technical "know-how" I've gained in writing classes and workshops. I also included helpful tips all writers can use, plus easy writing exercises to get you motivated.

Deborah: Were there any challenges in writing this book?
 
Kelli: The main challenge I faced was deciding what to include in the book. I have a lot to say and I wanted to cover as much as possible, but without overloading a newbie writer with too much information. I kept everything simple and focused on the basics all writers need.

Deborah: There are so many people who would love to write a book. Who do you think will benefit most from reading You Can Write-Really?

Kelli: Beginning writers will gain the most from this book. It's practical advice on how to get started, almost like a Writing 101 workshop. Any writer can use the tips and writing exercises for an extra boost of motivation or just for fun.

Deborah: Do you think this advice would help non-fiction writers as well?

Kelli: Yes. Although the focus is on fiction writing, non-fiction writers can benefit from the chapters on getting started, finding the time to write, cultivating ideas, coping with writer's block, submitting, and marketing.

Deborah: Terrific. Can you share an excerpt?

Kelli: Sure! Here's an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 7, Setting, Details and Research, plus two bonus tips!

Where Are We?
Setting and details are two necessary elements for your short story or novel. They give readers a firm idea of when and where the characters are. (They don't exist randomly floating in space.)

Take a second and look around. Where are you reading this book? In your living room? A park? While walking on a treadmill? Wherever you are is your setting, and your story's setting needs to be as realistic as the one you see around you. How do you do that? Through realistic sensory details and a little bit of research.

Creating a Setting

Setting is when and where your short story or novel takes place. It can be a historical setting (ancient Egypt), contemporary (present day Florida), futuristic (Earth Colony Vega in space year 2513), or anywhere you can imagine. But no matter when (or where) a story takes place, readers have to be comfortable in the setting and "buy into" the fact that the story is set wherever it is. In short, you need to make the setting so real the reader forgets he or she isn't in a Medieval Scottish castle.

And if your historical romance takes place in a castle, describe the castle to the reader through your hero's and heroine's points-of-view. Each character will notice (or not notice) different things. The hero has lived in this castle for years, so he's used to it. He's not going to notice the portraits on the walls or want to investigate a closed-off wing.

However, to your heroine (who has never been there before) everything is new and a bit overwhelming. She can't wait to explore and naturally gets lost, is awestruck at the grand hall, and becomes curious about a locked tower room. As you write each scene, show readers what each character is seeing, smelling, hearing, etc. so they can imagine they're in the castle, too.

EXERCISE 1: If you already have your story idea, you probably have a setting. If not, ask yourself: Where does the story take place? When? Why is it set there? For what reason? You need to know the answers to these questions because the setting is the backdrop of the story; it's where the characters live. Write down everything you know about the setting and start dreaming up the locations you will need.

The setting you choose for your short story or novel adds to the overall mood of the piece. If you are writing a mystery, perhaps the setting is a gloomy, secluded mansion. A moonlit graveyard is a fantastic location for a horror story, and a contemporary romance is perfectly at home set in a California beach town.

Settings can be broad (Small Town, USA) or specific (room 13 of a haunted hotel). If you are writing a short story, you could limit the setting to one place or have the action occur in several locations, it's up to you. Novels are generally set in a number of different locales as the characters move through the story and take readers along for an adventure.

TIP: Look at magazines and photos online to get descriptions and ideas for your settings. If you find an unusual piece of furniture, a fancy dress, or a cool castle you could use in a story, save it for ideas and inspiration.

The clothing your characters wear helps establish setting. If the hero is wearing a ruffled shirt and breeches, readers will know he is not in contemporary times (or he has time traveled). A long-haired guru is wearing a Nehru jacket, denim bellbottoms, and six strings of beads? Welcome to 1968.

Weather can be an important setting element. A rainy, gray day can reflect a character's depressed mood. Kids will be running out the door to play on a sunny summer afternoon. See if the weather could be used as a source of conflict. An earthquake, flood, or tornado causes trouble for your characters, or maybe the witch in your paranormal story can conjure storms with her mind.
No matter how simple or exotic the setting is, make your characters at home there. Describe it so readers know exactly what's in the room and where the story is taking place. How do you do that? Through details.

Bonus tips…
TIP: Set aside an hour a day to write. Not sure you have an hour? Consider writing on your lunch break or during a commute. Get up an hour earlier or schedule time after dinner. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. You can also write in two blocks of 30 minute sessions.
TIP: Keep a pen and paper (or a voice recorder) with you at all times to note bits of dialogue you overhear, something strange, funny, or creepy you see, or anything else that captures your attention and could be used for a story.

Deborah: Thanks so much for sharing your  tips! Please let readers know where they can find your book and find out more about you.

Kelli: You're welcome! Here you go: You Can Write-Really! A Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction is available exclusively on Amazon. If you're ready to write, order your copy here:

http://www.amazon.com/Write-Really-Beginners-Guide-Writing-Fiction-ebook/dp/B00THWLFQU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423749384&sr=1-1

I enjoy hearing from readers and other authors. So drop me a line with questions or comments. You can catch up on all of my writings and follow me on social media here:
Website: www.KelliWilkins.com
Blog: http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/
Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/HVQqb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/kelliwilkins
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://www.amberquill.com/store/m/149-Kelli-A-Wilkins.aspx
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KWilkinsAuthor/

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Do You Know Your Weak Spots? Here’s How to Identify Them, and What You Should Know

by Ali Brown

As entrepreneurs, we pride ourselves on our individualistic natures and the strength it takes for us to show up every day and run our businesses.

But once we step into a big role, even we can’t escape those humbling moments where we come face to face with our inherent weaknesses.

Some of us are brilliant at motivating our team, but we get a little sloppy when tending to little details. Others shine at ironing out inefficiencies, but aren’t so good at big-picture innovating.

These inconsistencies are what make us human. And while it might be hard to fess up to our weaknesses, bringing them to light is exactly what we need to do in order to make sure our businesses succeed.

The quiz below will help you identify your weak spots as a business owner. Pick the best answer, and get ready to learn what lies beneath your personal and professional quirks:

1. You’re most motivated when you are:
a. Following your bliss
b. Feeling aligned with your short and long-term goals
c. Following a regimen that you know will get you specific results

2. You’re deciding a new color palette to represent your brand:
a. You pick out your favorite colors—the ones that make you feel happy
b. You rely on your designer’s advice. After all, she’s the best in town
c. You stick to the same color family that best represents your brand

3. You are about to make a speech and you realize you’ve misplaced your notes. You:

a. Breathe deeply and wing it
b. Ask for a short postponement and have your office fax your notes over to you
c. Apologize and switch to another well-remembered speech

4. What’s your ideal way to brainstorm with your team?
a. You come up with all the ideas, and your team executes
b. Your team brainstorms, and you pick the winning idea
c. You brainstorm with your team, and the best idea wins

5. Your loyal clients would best describe you as:

a. Creative, eccentric, and free-spirited
b. Warm, personable, and adaptable
c. Reliable, punctual, and professional

6. It’s Wednesday morning, and you get an emergency call that requires you to leave town the same night, to be gone through the weekend. You:

a. Leave everything right where it is. You’ll deal with work when you get back
b. Call your team immediately and delegate as many tasks out as you can
c. Try to crank out as much as you can, and then take the work with you on the plane

7. Out of the 10 great ideas you jotted down in 2013, how many were actually realized:

a. One to two (You had 20 ideas and couldn’t decide)
b. All 10 (but you have to check with your team to see the status)
c. Three to five (You were too busy to do all ten)

8. Your employees would describe you as:
a. Fun and unpredictable, but a little moody
b. Nurturing and trusting, but a little indecisive
c. Hard working and reliable, but a little rigid

Mostly As:


Your strength is: you trust your instincts. This confidence allows you to think on your feet, and it carries you through the inevitable uncertainty that comes with running a business.

Your weak spot is: you let your emotions drive your decision-making, which might feel good in the moment, but could alienate you from your team and your clients. Work on staying focused enough to communicate your ideas properly, and try to engage a bit more to make sure that your projects are on track and things are running as smoothly as they could be.

Keep in check: Your ego, which clouds your judgment often.

Mostly Bs:


Your strength is: you are a natural team player. You probably have a tight-knit team that feels like family, and your sincere nature forges solid client relationships. Your people skills allow you to shine at business development.

Your weak spot is: You second-guess yourself quite often and place important decisions in other people’s hands.  Work on trusting your instincts a bit more, and don’t be afraid to take the reins in situations where you must lead your team.

Keep in check: Your people-pleasing tendencies, which can undermine your leadership position.

Mostly Cs:

Your strength is: you are highly organized and your business appears flawless. You run a tight ship and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and dig in whenever and wherever necessary.

Your weak spot is: you can’t let go, and it’s likely that you’re tearing your hair out behind the scenes to make sure everything’s running perfectly. Work on delegating a few tasks to someone else, and be patient as you train them to become the right hand you need.

Keep in check: Your inability to handle uncertainty, which is very likely preventing you from moving your business to the next level.

Question: After you take the test, sound off in the comment section below. What can you do TODAY to improve upon your weak spots?

==========

© 2014 Ali International, LLC

Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.
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Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary After Party

Welcome to the Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary After Party!


For most of the month of November we've been celebrating the 7th anniversary of Women Entrepreneurs Radio™. Now that we're at the end of the month there are several more guests I'd like to give a shout out to!

Mission of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio Show

  • Foster a supportive community of women entrepreneurs
  • Help women succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors, providing valuable tips and resources from women who have been there
  • Promote women-owned businesses and support the economic empowerment of women

Here are some other wonderful guests who've joined me on the show over the past seven years!


Barbara Schechter of Barbara’s Cookie Pies – 2013

Another “Jersey girl” who happens to make the most delicious cookies and cookie pies I’ve ever tasted. I’ve been a customer of hers since I interviewed her.

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2013/03/barbara-schechter-of-barbaras-cookie.html


Tanea Smith – She’s Got Papers – 2013

Tanea continues to inspire with her line of stationary and her coaching.

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2013/01/tanea-smith-of-shes-got-papers-on-women.html


Chef Ana Garcia - 2009

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2009/02/chef-ana-garcia-on-women-entrepreneurs.html


Ayesha Mathews – Pixink - 2009

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2009/07/women-entrepreneurs-secrets-of-success_27.html


Kaira Rouda - 2009

When I interviewed Kaira we talked about her business book, but now she’s also a fiction author too.

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2009/07/women-entrepreneurs-secrets-of-success_13.html  


Marcus Smith - 2010

Speaker and trainer Marcus Smith was the first male entrepreneur guest, but he wasn’t the last!

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2010/06/women-entrepreneurs-secrets-of-success_23.html


Margot Tohn – ParkIt Guides - 2009

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2009/06/women-entrepreneurs-secrets-of-success.html


YiShaun Yang – AdoraPet – 2011

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2011/10/yishaun-yang-from-corporate-attorney-to.html


Chef Meg Hall – 2011

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2011/07/meg-hall-on-women-entrepreneurs-radio.html


Sharon Levy – Taking Tea in Style - 2013

Sharon not only blends and sells teas, but she caters tea parties and events. And she's the host of a television show on Princeton Community Television -- and I've been a guest!

http://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2013/12/sharon-levy-ceo-founder-of-taking-tea.html

 
Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ is available on Podomatic: http://dbcoach.podomatic.com

and iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-entrepreneurs-radio/id939410730?mt=2
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Support Small Business Saturday®



November 28th is Small Business Saturday®, a day to celebrate and support the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.

The Secrets of Success blog is proud to take part in Small Business Saturday, and we’re encouraging everyone to Shop Small® on Saturday, November 28th.

Love books? Visit my author page on Amazon.com to see my selection of business books and novels published through my indie publishing company, Bright Street Books.
http://www.amazon.com/author/deborahannbailey

Make today your day to Shop Small, and let’s make it the biggest day of the year for small business.



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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

Because of the longstanding traditions of the holiday, the celebration often extends to the weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated.

Several other places around the world observe similar celebrations. Historically, Thanksgiving had roots in religious and cultural tradition. Today, Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated as a secular holiday.
-from Wikipedia
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Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary with Chris-Tia Donaldson Author & Founder of tgin

 Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary party with 
Chris-Tia Donaldson Author & Founder of tgin - originally broadcast in November 2010

*Since this episode was broadcast, Chris-Tia's tgin ("Thank God It's Natural") hair care line was launched at Target stores, and is also available on Amazon.com and on the company's website.



Chris-Tia Donaldson is a Harvard graduate with a true passion for hair. By day, Chris-Tia is a successful lawyer for a software company. By night, she is a freelance writer and entrepreneur looking to launch her own natural lifestyle and wellness brand featuring an array of products from cosmetics to personal care items and household essentials.

Chris-Tia graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard College and earned her juris doctorate from Harvard Law School. At this juncture, she is balancing the full time demands of her job as a corporate lawyer at the world’s largest global software/database company with the daily rigors of running a start up in one of the toughest economies since the Great Depression.

Chris-Tia is also the author of the highly acclaimed and best selling publication, Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair, which chronicles her experiences working in corporate America with a kinky mane. Thank God I’m Natural has reached the status as #1 hair book on Amazon.com and is changing black women’s lives from Chicago, Illinois to Pretoria, South Africa.


Chris-Tia is an expert in a number of topics related to launching a start up, including but not limited to financing your business, creating and marketing your brand, leveraging social media to grow your customer base, gaining media coverage for your product/business, among many other topics. She can also address the operational aspects of being an entrepreneur (e.g. legal issues that can sink your start up, outperforming you competitors, keeping pace with technology, beta testing/1.0/2.0, goal-setting, prioritizing, dealing with limited resources, etc.)

As the founder and President of the Harvard Black Alumni Society (2002 – 2010), she is also an expert in issues related to starting and running a not for profit organization.

Ms. Donaldson has been featured in USA Today, Essence Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News, the Boston Bay State Banner, as well as many other national publications for her views on black women, beauty standards in the workplace, health and self-esteem. She has also been featured as a commentator on ABCNews Chicago, WGN-9 Chicago News and Fox Chicago News.

http://thankgodimnatural.com/


Listen to the archived show on Libsyn
http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/chris-tia-donaldson-founder-of-thank-god-im-natural
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Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary with A'Lelia Bundles

Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary Party featuring guest A'Lelia Bundles - originally broadcast September 2011.

*Since this episode was broadcast, A'Lelia published Madam Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure in 2013. For more information visit the Madame C.J. Walker page on Wikipedia.


Topic: The Legacy of Madame C.J. Walker

A'Lelia Bundles is president of the Madam Walker/A'Lelia Walker Family Archives and author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, the bestselling biography of her great-great-grandmother which was named a New York Times Notable Book.

After a 30-year career as an executive and Emmy award winning producer with NBC News and ABC News, she now devotes her time to writing books and serving on nonprofit boards.

An accomplished and engaging public speaker, she has delivered keynote addresses at dozens of events, book festivals and conferences including Harvard University, London City Hall, the National Archives and on all the major television and radio networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS and NPR. She currently is at work on the first comprehensive biography of her great-grandmother, A'Lelia Walker, whose Harlem Renaissance parties helped define that era.
Photo by Michael Cunningham

www.aleliabundles.com
www.madamcjwalker.com
www.madamwalkerfamilyarchives.wordpress.com


Click here the link to listen to the show on Libsyn:

http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/the-legacy-of-madame-cj-walker-with-alelia-bundles



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"Authenticity: Are You Keeping it Real in Your Business?" on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Topic: Authenticity: Are You Keeping it Real in Your Business?

Show #351

Is authenticity more than a hot buzzword? Can being yourself really work in business?

Co-hosts Deborah Bailey and Kerry Heaps discuss the pros and cons.

Kerry Heaps is the Founder and President of Kerry's Network, Inc., a membership-based organization that provides exposure for business owners with access to the media and association directories. She's also the publisher of Strictly Marketing Magazine and the host of Strictly Marketing Talk Radio.
Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. Her marketing development book, Marketing Ideas that Make Sen$e covers networking, cold calling, establishing yourself as an expert, creating your own media, marketing ideas and sample scripts. http://www.strictlymarketingmagazine.com


Listen on Libsyn:
http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/being-authentic-in-business-with-kerry-heaps




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Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary with Melissa Cassera

Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ 7th Anniversary Party featuring guest Melissa Cassera - originally broadcast December 2008.


*Since the show aired, Melissa has introduced an exciting PR and branding program for business owners, Obsessed and she's also writing screenplays! Check her out (and her new site) here: http://melissacassera.com/


Melissa Cassera is an award-winning PR Expert and President of Publicity Firm Cassera Communications. When it comes to turning business owners into celebrities, she’s the real McCoy. Melissa has 10+ years of experience as a PR strategist, marketing + communication virtuoso — and has led multi-million dollar campaigns for companies + start-ups in the US, Canada, the UK, Japan, and France.

Her clients regularly score national media attention, book deals (with bidding wars), paid speaking gigs — and sometimes, 6-figure spokesperson deals + reality TV show pilots.

From uncovering the latest pop culture trends for business success to prowling around E! Online for hours + hours for legitimate research, Melissa loves the challenge of blending business with passion (and guilty pleasure). Her advice has been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News as well as glossy magazines + web portals like Glamour Magazine, Redbook Magazine, AMEX Open and Forbes.  http://casseracommunications.com/

Listen to the show on Blog Talk Radio

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coachdeb/2008/12/12/guest-melissa-cassera-on-women-entrepreneurs-the-secrets-of-success
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