Smart Tips for Health and Fitness Facility Owners

by David Liu

A quick overview of the equipment, services, and policies a gym or professional health facility owner should consider when first starting out.

While you do not need to be a fitness guru to open a fitness center, you should probably polish up on your business knowledge before you venture into the gym industry. Opening up a gym can be a profitable venture, with many first-time owners posting profits in as early as seven months. Before you rush to sign a lease at the local neighborhood warehouse, however, you should look into what is involved to owning your own gym.

Starting and managing a fitness center means much more that simply collecting fees from your local health enthusiasts – it also means that you will be liable for anything that occurs in and around your new business (workout injuries, equipment maintenance, customer parking issues). Here are some things to keep in mind when you are planning your health club venture.

Location, Location, and Low Affordability
The easy part of picking a location for your club is that a fitness club does not need to be in a prime location to attract your members. Being in a low-rent area does not have to hurt your business, and many successful boxing gyms manage to stay in business because of the cheap facilities. Detroit, Michigan is a prime example of a city with popular and successful boxing clubs that have maintained years of business in less commercially successful neighborhoods.

This does not mean you should throw your money at the cheapest open warehouse though. You will need permits for both holding a commercially zoned business as well as for occupancy for a large business building. These permits can all be applied for through your city’s zoning commissions (depending on your city, you may need to apply for conditional use permits instead of one for business purposes if you offer classes).

Also take into account that your proximity to customers, as well as the ease of travel to your location, can play a huge part in how you are perceived by potential members. Many gyms survive in busy downtown areas because they can be reached easily by public transportation such as the subway or bus.

If you are in a relatively easy to reach neighborhood such as a shopping complex, keep in mind that you will need adequate parking to accommodate the full amount of customers at your gym. Not having enough parking can be just as big of a turn-off for customers as having run-down equipment or poorly designed facilities.

If you have enough capital to start a facility from the ground up, though, consider talking to steel buildings contractors for pricing options. While owning an entire building and the land that it is on can seem overwhelming for a start-up business, it can help you in the future with small business loans, attracting investors for franchise development, and also maintaining the overall value of your investment.

Rent or Buy: How to Equip Your Gym
Whether you plan on renting or buying your equipment, you should think about how long you plan on keeping the machines. Renting will cost more monthly, but can save you money in the long run because you can replace old and broken machines with newer rentals without worrying about the depreciation of your old purchases.

Since many gym owners report that workout equipment lasts for years, having repairs covered by rental companies for the duration of your lease can also save you a good amount monthly. If you want to save on equipment costs in the beginning, you could consider used gym machines. If you do purchase used equipments, do so from a reliable broker because any lapses in operation that occur will be considered your liability.

David Liu is a writer based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for Resource Nation, an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing decisions and a comparison service for time and attendance and telemarketing companies.

5 Money Barriers to Break NOW

by Barbara Saunders

We’re all in business to make money. That’s a given. The thing that may be holding you back is not so much the economy as the barriers that your own mind is giving you.

Our beliefs – or mindsets – are like the software that runs our actions. Like all software, we need to make sure that we keep them updated and free of ‘bugs’. If you don’t, you could be unconsciously sabotaging yourself in your income-earning capacity. Women -especially – struggle with a lot of these since we’re programmed from an early age that our work is of less value – so heads up, Ladies! Here’s a quick action plan to breakthrough the 5 most common money barriers:

   1. The Belief: “You can’t make more than your past job”

Many solo pros get programmed into thinking they have to earn a set amount.Fact: Entrepreneurs have NO earning limits. Most people concentrate on ‘replacing’ the income from their past job. That places an unconscious limit on how much you focus on earning. The energy you bring to your business is focused on trying to reach that ‘replacement income’ number – which can cause stress. Here’s a reality check: Employers pay as little as possible to their employees. Why set that as your standard for your own business? Your ‘job’ as CEO is to value your services more than your previous employer.

Try this: Ask yourself “How much money do I want to earn? Focusing on this amount will change the energy from stress to excitement. It creates a willingness to try new things and brings an element of fun to your business.  

AVOID: Comparing yourself to others in your field. Concentrate on delivering the very best you have to offer and charge what you are worth.

   2. The Belief: “My clients won’t pay more.”

Many solo pros short circuit their earning potential by deciding in advance what their clients can or will pay.

Fact: Clients take you more seriously when they’re charged according to the true value you deliver. It’s not your job to decide what your clients can afford. It’s a boundary issue. You must hold your clients responsible – no matter what – for stepping up. If they understand the value of working with you, they will find a way to fund the investment. The more clients pay, the more they commit and the more they take you seriously. When you reduce your fees, you also limit your clients. It’s part of your job t0 effectively communicate the value you provide.

Tip: Your clients think they’re investing in you, but they’re really investing in their businesses through you.

Niche Note: Some niches have a poverty mentality. You cannot change their culture, but you can change your niche.  Here are a few warning signs:
         1. They are not decisive, they waffle and can’t make up their minds
         2. The make excuses instead of take action
         3. They have lived with their ‘problem’ for some time and have no progress
         4. They ask for ‘special’ payment arrangements (serious people in business understand paying for professional services and don’t expect ‘favors’)
         5. They constantly tell you that they have no money (then why are they looking for services???)
         6. They tend to be high drama, need lots of hand holding or are never satisfied
         7. They tend to not know what they want – the ‘I’ll know it when I see it’ syndrome

   3. The Belief: “Helping people is more important than making money”

This faulty programming makes you choose between helping people with your services (which you’ve invested tons in!) and making money (Heads up, Women! this is you.) 

Fact: You need to reprogram this belief now. You must – and deserve – to earn abundantly so that you can help more people. Think of the safety rule you’re given on an airplane: Put the oxygen mask on yourself FIRST before helping someone else. You’ve got to be fed in order to help others. A starving person cannot feed anyone else. 

Try this: Think of the costs of NOT working with you and determine your fees from there. For example, if a client’s web content does not properly convey their marketing message to their ideal client, they will make no money and be out of business. Now, doesn’t working with YOU seem like a bargain at any price?

   4. The Belief: “Women are not supposed to make more than men.

Can you believe that we’re still getting this???!! It’s the old ‘let the boy win’ nonsense we learned as little girls. We’re still being told that men need to earn more because they’re providing for a family – when the latest census showed that nearly 80% of the households in the US are supported by women! Let’s reprogram this one today.

Try this: Think how we’re doing a disservice to the men. Everyone performing at their best encourages the best from everyone. Let’s give our men the credit that they can handle a well-paid woman. Our job is to empower others – including ourselves, ladies! It’s not a fight for power. Power is not limited. There’s plenty to go around.

   5. The Belief: “How can I charge for something that I enjoy doing so much?”

Your work may come easily to you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not of value. There’s a weird mentality out there that says that ‘work’ is supposed to be unpleasant.Try this: Always ask yourself what the cost would be for the client NOT to hire you. Your expertise is invaluable to someone who does not have your skills. Love what you enjoy doing enough to honor its value by charging for it.

I’d love to hear your experiences with dealing with self-defeating money barriers. Especially, you guys. Men tend to have less ‘mental’ hang ups around money, so we could really benefit from your spin. Share your comments below.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. It's our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.

Kellie Gardner on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Kellie Gardner

Kellie Gardner is an adjunct instructor at North Carolina Central University where she teaches prospective early childhood education teachers, full-time, online. She has been a certified educator since 1994 and has held such positions as first/second grade teacher, reading specialist, curriculum facilitator, and most recently college instructor.

In the past year, she has found a new way to educate others. As the owner of Kellie Gardner International Marketing Group, it is her desire to teach other educators, facilitators, trainers, coaches, and pastors how to expand their brand, by marketing their message on the internet.

As creator of, a blog about internet marketing, network marketing, and personal development, she is able to satisfy her love of research and writing, while teaching others what she has learned. She also works diligently to rovide that same content in video on her YouTube channel,

Her strongest passion at this time is video marketing and as a result she has partnered with My Video Talk, an international network marketing company that specializes in providing 5 affordable HD-quality video tools for its customers.

In this interview, she will share tips on overcoming the fear of creating videos, the importance of including video marketing in your marketing plan, as well as various video technology tools you can use to connect with your prospects, clients/customers, and business partners.

Date: Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show:

Michele Mattia on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Michele Mattia is a Best Selling Author, Inspirational and Empowering Speaker, Social Media Thought Leader, certified Life Design Coach, and Creative Strategist. For almost twelve years, Michele owned a successful technology-consulting firm in Manhattan; however, she wasn't doing what she loved and knew her life was meant for something bigger.

Her new company, Life Design, began to manifest five years ago when she asked herself the question, "What would I do now if I knew I could not fail?" Michele's mission is to inspire, co-create and support all of the possibilities her clients and audiences are courageous enough to demand, on and offline. She is blessed and grateful to do what she loves and believes we are all meant to live dynamic and delicious lives!

Recently, Michele Mattia released two co-authored books: Align, Expand & Succeed ~ Shifting the Paradigm of Entrepreneurial Success and The Big Book of Social Media Case Studies, Stories, Perspectives. She appears often as a guest speaker, facilitator and lecturer on retreats, workshops, conferences and radio around the world. Michele is the creator/writer of Michele's Daily Dash, an eZine & Blog, motivating and inspiring thousands of subscribers daily.  She posts a "Question of the Day" to her YouTube channel to ignite a spark in her viewers to take action!

Date: Monday, April 25th, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show:

Are You Guilty of Over Delivering and Overwhelming Your Clients?

by Kendall SummerHawk

In my breakthrough coaching and training on the topic of money it’s the area of “deservability” that often gets the most, “That’s me!” response. The minute women entrepreneurs hear the signs and symptoms they know they’ve been busted as someone who over delivers in order to cover up deep-seated feelings of guilt.

When I was newer in my business I knew I over delivered but I brushed it off, thinking that at least no one could fault me for the sin of not giving enough.

Problem was, not only was I speeding down the road to burn out, I was also overwhelming my clients. Not good.

At that moment I realized that I was actually sabotaging my ability to grow my business. I couldn’t take on any more clients despite working bazillion hours. Worse, I felt like the hamster on the wheel, never able to keep up, never feeling fulfilled and always feeling guilty. Not a pretty picture.

That’s when I decided to look deep within at the root cause of over delivering and figure out how to transform the shadow side of this sabotaging behavior into something positive, that supported my business growth.

If you’re like I used to be — over delivering yet feeling too guilty to let go — then I urge you read these tips immediately. I promise they’ll help you fulfill your desire to serve without overwhelming yourself or your clients.

Tip #1 Admit It, You’re A “Pleaser”

If you’re overloading your packages, giving away services without charging or faulting yourself for not giving more then it’s time to face the music: your need to feel good enough is running your life.

What can you do? Awareness is the first step and will give you the power to choose instead of unconsciously being at the mercy of this addictive behavior.

Tip #2 Start Cutting Your Deliverables In Half…And Breathe…

Cutting your deliverables in half will actually be a relief and a blessing for your clients. They’ll stop feeling overwhelmed and you’ll feel renewed energy, creativity and joy in serving them.

Tip #3 Stop Giving Away Your Time And You’ll Gain The Respect You Desire

Instead of giving away your time, your tips or help without charging, master the skill of turning interested people into invested clients. Remember, you don’t gain someone’s respect by giving away what should be appropriately valued.

Tip #4 Love Your Clients By Establishing Clear Boundaries

You’ll find you can give more when you establish and communicate clear boundaries ahead of time with your clients. For example, if a client pushes your time boundary, politely let them know that you’re not available, then tell them when you will be. They’ll quickly learn they can’t take advantage of you, which will increase your value in their eyes, plus give you much needed breathing room.

Creating Wealth And Affluence Begins By Being Generous With Yourself

While you may always be a pleaser at heart, the gift here for you is the opportunity to release an old pattern of relentlessly driving yourself. As you promise less and streamline your offers you’ll find true and lasting wealth is abundantly yours!

Would you like to learn more simple ways entrepreneurs can brand, package and price their services to quickly move away from 'dollars-for-hours work' and create more money, time, and freedom in their businesses? Check out my web site,, for free articles, free resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar "7 Simple Steps to Create Your Multiple Streams of In-come "Money and Soul" Business."


How To Charge What You're Worth

by Kim Duke

I've been receiving some Diva ESP vibes from all of my subscribers. (That means YOU!)

You've been struggling with something.

Hmmm. Let me guess.

When it comes to pricing your product or service you:

    * Feel a little sick to your stomach
    * Worry if the price is too high - customers won't buy
    * Charge the same as your competitors
    * Don't know when to increase your rates
    * Give better prices to NEW customers
    * Feel guilty

Was I right??

Most of my clients shake in their boots when I tell them they need to CHARGE MORE.

It scares them to death! (For all of the reasons I listed above)

But lady, if you're not charging enough, you're going to be on the endless rat wheel - working hard but not making enough for TRUE PROSPERITY.

I think it's time you moved into BIG GIRL PRICING - don't you?

3 Bossy Sales Diva Ways For You To Charge More (And Guilt Free!)

   1. People Pay For Results.  They aren't paying for YOU.  They're paying for the RESULTS they get to EXPERIENCE  by buying from you.  So do you know what the hottest results are that you provide for your customers?  Time to find out.

   2. Stop Copying Your Competition
.  Sure - you're under-charging and guess what? So is your competitor!   So there!  (Your name isn't Walmart)

   3. Don't Chase Small Dogs. 
Quit focusing on potential customers and customers who are CHEAP and who only WANT CHEAP.  If that's who you're attracting - you're marketing to the WRONG CROWD. 

Effective immediately - set new rates for all of your soon-to-be-new-customers. They won't know the old rates - and YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE.

So there.

Love from Your Bossy Sales Diva,


P.S. I'm devoted to helping as many women entrepreneurs and women in sales as I can.  If you know of someone who would love to learn HOW TO SELL THE RIGHT WAY, then please encourage them to sign up at and we'll get them on the track to success!

Kim Duke, The Sales Diva, provides savvy, sassy sales training for women small biz owners and entrepreneurs. Kim works with clients internationally, showing them The Sales Diva secrets to success! Sign up for her saucy and smart FREE e-zine and receive her FREE Bonus Report "The 5 Biggest Sales Mistakes Women Make" at

Boosting Your Success through Good Exercise

by Brad Campbell

Professionals everywhere are looking for the edge that they need to stay ahead of the competition. There are many different ways in which you can get the advantage that you need to stay ahead. Choosing the right one is something which will depend on you and what you feel is best for your life. Of course, one of the things which you should consider no matter what kind of lifestyle you are in is exercise. Exercise can help with increased energy, better sleep and a boost of self confidence. Of course, it does not hurt that it will help you to look great too.

There are many reasons why exercise helps professional women to be able to gain the advantage that they are looking for. The exercise that you use can help to provide more mental acuity. It can also help to make sure that you have the energy to get the job done. Exercise can also help to make sure that you are not getting sick as often which can help to make sure that you do not miss any work. The exercise routine you choose is up to you, but the kinds of benefits you can receive are unmistakable.

Developing Better Mental Acuity
Your brain needs exercise in order to be able to function at optimal levels. When you exercise, you provide more oxygen to your brain. This helps to reduce the amount of grogginess you feel on average. It can also help to make sure that you are able to think clearer about the things that you need to do. By thinking clearer, it is possible to spend less time on tasks so that you can move on to the next one. Your performance can help to get your work done more efficiently.

Providing More Energy
Getting through the day can become a focus for some people when they are feeling tired. They may feel like they are about to fall asleep even while busy with business-related tasks including talking on the phone. By getting the right amount of exercise, your energy level will go through the roof. You will have the energy that you need to do more than just what is required of you. Tasks which normally would be sloughed off to the next day can be tackled today meaning that tomorrow you can get even more done.

Cutting Down on Sick Days
Whenever you are working out regularly your body can function at a higher rate. This means that your body has the ability to fight off infections and illness easier. Your immune system can function more efficiently as a result of the fact that you are committing to the right amount of exercise. By fighting off illness, it can help you to stay productive and make it easier for you get your work completed.

Resource Nation provides free tools, tips, and purchasing advice for business owners and entrepreneurs in over 100 business categories ranging from phone systems to credit card processing. Whether it's connecting businesses with local and national pre-screened vendors, or offering easy service comparisons on a VoIP phone service, Resource Nation empowers business decision makers by providing the information they need to make smart choices.

Jodi Krizer Graber on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Jodi Krizer Graber is a nutrition expert, wellness authority and supportive coach. She specializes in stress and anxiety management techniques examined through nutrition and lifestyle lenses and works with individuals challenged by eating disorders.

She is a graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and holds a master’s degree from New York University. After 20 years as an arts executive in New York City, Jodi received her certification as a holistic health coach because she saw a need for wellness support for busy professionals. She completed post-graduate work at Columbia University’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition and founded Bravo! Wellness in 2008.

Date: Monday, April 18th, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show:

Mastering the Earning Game

by Jack Canfield

Master the Game of Earning.

When faced with a challenge, some people freeze. They stop taking action.  They drift or coast, hoping that the problem will disappear. They blame, complain, whine, or moan about their circumstances.

You have another option: Take 100 percent responsibility. In an unreliable economy, pointing your finger at the president, oil producers, mortgage lenders, Wall Street, or your boss takes your attention away from the inspired actions that will improve your financial well-being.

Starting today, move into action.

The things that you do during the next few months will dramatically affect your earning power and financial resilience for years to come.    

Focus on Your Core Genius

Socrates said it best: “Know thyself.” Those two words offer timeless wisdom about attracting wealth.

Inside you is a core genius—something that you love to do, something that’s effortless and fun. When engaged in this activity, you feel fully alive. Time disappears, and you disappear into a pure state of flow.

This activity is your core genius. It might be teaching, coaching, writing, painting, acting, selling, computing, or accounting.

Whatever it is, discover it. Connect it to a demand in the economy. Then make this activity the cornerstone of your career.

Dan Sullivan, a successful strategic coach, describes entrepreneurs as con artists. They get people to pay them for doing something that they love to do—and would otherwise do for free.

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy,” said Malcolm Forbes, former publisher of Fortune magazine.  And as a multimillionaire, Forbes knew something about attracting wealth.

Delegate the Rest

The flip side of doing what you love is letting go of the rest. Successful people focus on their core genius—and delegate everything else.

You can use the same strategy. Perhaps your core genius is sales. Then ask your manager to let someone else process paperwork, make photocopies, and schedule meetings. If your core genius is training, then find someone else to call prospective clients and process seminar registrations.
If it can be done faster, better, and more cheaply by someone else, then let it go— once and for all.

Create More Value

When customers are hard to find and revenues decline, people often rivet their attention on the bottom line. The dominant question becomes: What can we do right now to make more money? Actually, there’s a more powerful question to ask first: What can we do right now to create more value? This shines a spotlight on the only reason that anyone makes money over the long term in the first place—by selling a product or delivering a service that creates value.

Mike Milliorn used to work as an Avery Label salesman. Some of his customers were restaurant managers who needed labels for food containers. The problem was that conventional labels dropped off containers when they sat for days in a refrigerator. Mike saw the need for a new kind of label, preprinted with the days of the week and an adhesive that survived refrigeration. He knew this would create extraordinary value.

Mike suggested this idea to Avery, but the company wasn’t interested. So Mike started producing the new line of labels on his own. Working out of his garage, he started a company called Daydots—which he sold for millions of dollars. He attracted that wealth simply by taking action on a simple idea to create more value.

Deliver What You Promise—and More

Even in tough times, successful people deliver what they promise. Then they add extra value by delivering a product before it’s due, by adding new services, or by offering a competitive price.

Adding extra value could call for more action on your part. You may need to gain special skills, make new contacts, or put in some more hours at work for a while. That’s a small price to pay for attracting new levels of wealth.

Make it a habit to exceed expectations. You’ll get noticed. You’ll get repeat business. And you’ll attract new opportunities in every area of your life.

Remember the True Meaning of Attraction

A limo driver once asked me how to achieve financial success. I told him to save 10 percent of everything he earns, invest it, and keep reinvesting the dividends. By the look on his face I could tell he was disappointed. Like so many other people he was looking for a get-rich-quick scheme.

The desire for such schemes is one reason for the global mortgage meltdown. Too many individuals and organizations believed that they could live well beyond their means. They piled on debt without creating value. The consequences are affecting all of us.

Attracting wealth is not the same as pretending to be wealthy. Rather, the Law of Attraction is about raising the vibrational level of your intentions and actions. When you do, the results unfold in a way that enriches you—and the rest of us.
© 2010 Jack Canfield

Are you "stuck" in this area?
Join me this summer at the Breakthrough to Success Retreat where we'll work together to overcome any unconscious blocks holding you back from your ideal life.

* * *
 Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

Brad Szollose on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Brad Szollose, author of "Liquid Leadership: Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing The Way We Run Things," is a much sought after speaker on the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get Generation Y and Baby Boomers working together. As former cofounder and C-Suite Executive of several successful companies during the Dot Com era, Brad brings his award winning management model to your organization.

With over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience Brad is no stranger to the Boardroom—during the Dot Com Era of the early 90's, Brad co-founded K2 Design, Inc. which later raised over $7 million through private placement and an IPO on NASDAQ.
Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia--Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing the Way We Run Things (Management Leadership Motivati)
His tenure at K2 was explosive—the company experienced 425% growth for 5 straight years expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees, offices worldwide and valuated at over $26 million. As a C-Suite Executive, Brad applied his unique management style to a young, tech-savvy Generation X & Y Workforce producing great results. Brad’s management model won K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation Among Employees.

"Liquid Leadership" recently won a silver medal in the Axiom Business Book Awards competition.

Date: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show:

Ali Brown on Secret Millionaire

Have you heard the buzz around ABC's new series, "Secret Millionaire"? The prime-time show follows six of America's most successful entrepreneurs as they spend a week in the country's poorest areas, gifting underserved volunteer organizations in the community with a generous personal donation.

One of those Secret Millionaires, *Ali Brown,* was featured on the season finale last night.

Ali is an award-winning entrepreneur mentor to women around the world, helping them start and grow businesses that create extraordinary lives. She says that filming the show dramatically changed her life, and there is a lot she wants to share from her heart with all of us, including many things that you won't see in the show.

That's why Ali's hosting a complimentary call on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 8pm to share her experiences, answer your questions, and more.

It's called "From Success to Significance: Ali Brown's Behind-the-Scenes Journey on the Secret Millionaire Show" and all are welcome to attend. If you don't know Ali yet, this is a great way to get to know her!

Learn more about this special call to get in on her "behind the scenes" scoop here:

Marketing the Real You

by C.J. Hayden, MCC

I often wonder how the practice began of pretending to be someone else in order to market your business. You know what I'm talking about -- it's the marketing face, the selling voice, that you often put on in order to attend a networking event or make a sales call. Who taught you to do that?

I have a suspicion where we learn this behavior. Most of us spend a lifetime observing showroom salespeople, product spokespersons in the media, and hucksters on street corners. What we see demonstrated there is artificial enthusiasm, manipulative use of language, feigned interest, and in some cases outright deception.

Sounds awful, doesn't it? So why copy any part of this distasteful way of selling?

Psychologist Abraham Maslow said, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." Perhaps we believe this is the only way we can sell because it's the only way we know. I'm not accusing anyone of consciously deceiving prospective clients. What I'm suggesting is that what we do unconsciously and automatically is to behave inauthentically around them.

Intuitively, many of us feel as if something is wrong with this way of operating. When we have to sell ourselves, we find it unpleasant, disagreeable, even repulsive. But what if all those negative feelings were simply because we hate the artificiality and manipulation we think must be a part of selling?

Imagine what it would be like to go to a business networking event as yourself. No facade, no pretension, just plain you. When someone asks your reason for coming, you tell them the truth. You don't have to claim you wanted to hear the speaker (if you didn't). You can come right out and say, "I'm hoping to make some contacts that will lead to business for me."

You wouldn't have to invent reasons to start a conversation. You can walk up to someone who looks interesting and say, "Hi, I haven't met you yet." If you're shy around strangers, you can tell the first person you meet, "I'm sort of a wallflower and feel awkward at events like this. Could you introduce me to some folks?"

Now imagine placing a follow-up call to a prospect where you are completely honest. You could say, "I have some days open on my calendar soon and I'm wondering if this would be a good time for that project we've been discussing." Or, "We haven't talked in a while and I'd like to find out if you're still planning to start the new training program this year."

I see so many professionals and consultants struggle with trying to find an "excuse" to call a prospect. You don't need some manufactured excuse. You know the reason you're calling. Most of the time THEY know the reason you're calling. Just say what it is.

Let's extend this same principle to making a cold call. Instead of stumbling around awkwardly trying to make a polished -- but unnatural -- sales approach, imagine yourself saying, "I'm not much of a salesperson, but I'm really good at what I do. Can we have a conversation about what you need and see if I'm the right person for the job?"

If you've been working from a cold-calling script that makes you flush and get a tight throat every time you read it, throw it out. Come up with one really good opening line that feels authentic and gets directly to the point. Then decide how you will answer -- honestly -- some of the typical questions prospects ask you. My bet is that your calls will immediately get easier.

In fact, the more you become honest, direct, and authentic in all of your marketing, the more appealing selling will be to you, the more effortless it will become, and the more success you will ultimately achieve. Because most business results from building relationships, and how can you develop a relationship with someone when you never reveal who you really are?

Copyright © 2002, C.J. Hayden

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now!™ Thousands of business owners and independent professionals have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income. Get a free copy of "Five Secrets to Finding All the Clients You'll Ever Need" at

Write a Killer White Paper to Build Immediate Credibility

By Loraine Kasprzak, CMC

A well written, compelling white paper that is thoughtfully promoted can build your company’s credibility.

One of my clients wants to develop business in a new “green” market segment. They have relevant expertise but little name recognition in the new segment. One tactic I recommended was to write and promote a series of white papers to build their credibility. 

Are you faced with a similar problem? Then put white papers to work. They are an effective, low cost way to provide your target market with informational resources. Even better, they position you as the expert in the field.  

Here’s how you can write a killer white paper that builds your credibility.  

Grab the audience’s attention  

You need to create an instant affinity with the reader if you expect them to read the paper at all. Rather than just delving into the details of your solution – an all too common approach – write the paper from the reader’s viewpoint. Use the words they use to describe the problem and solution.  

The title of the paper should compel the reader to want to know more and should include the key benefit message. For example, “New process recovers value from spoiled beverages, increases profits” was one possible title for my client’s white paper.   

The lead-in sentences should also be from the reader’s point of view. Don’t start out talking about your company.  The final version of my client’s paper opened with “Many beverage distributors have unsalable or waste soda…” instead of the original “Our company knows how to handle waste soda…”  

Leading with a question often works well too. For example, “Do you have soda that is spoiled or past the sell-by date…? If so, you can…”  

Structure matters  

Your paper should present information in a clear and readable way, and make use of bullet points and subtitles. Structure your paper to include:

Executive summary. Write this last. The summary should hit the key issues and current solutions, and present your company’s solution as either a new approach or better than other solutions. 

Background and problem statement. 
This should include more in-depth discussion of the problem and pain points from the reader’s point of view. Use real-world examples to illustrate the problem.  

Current solutions.  Here’s where you discuss what is being done now to solve the problem, and the pros and cons of those solutions. What are the costs involved? What is the impact on the environment, profitability, or brand image, etc., of the current solutions?  

Your company’s approach. State your solution clearly and concisely. You can compare what you do to current solutions and include the key benefits of working with your company. This is also a good place to include photos, perhaps of your facility, process or end results.  

Benefits of your approach. Discuss the economic, environmental, societal, and other benefits of your approach. Use some visuals here: maybe a chart comparing the savings from your approach with the current approaches.  

Summary and call to action. Conclude your paper by restating the important points of your discussion. Include next steps that interested readers can take to learn more. Should they visit your company website? Call the company president or technical representative? Is there an upcoming webinar or conference they can attend?  

Promote your white paper  

After your white paper is written, be sure to review and edit it for grammar, spelling and technical accuracy. Then you’re ready to promote it through traditional, electronic and social media. For starters, upload it to your company’s website and let your sales team know it is available to use on sales calls.  

Other tactics you can use:

• Sending an email blast
• Issuing an press release through PRWeb or similar distribution services
• Sending a press release to traditional media contacts such as trade journals
• Posting a link on your LinkedIn or Facebook profile
• Offering it as a direct mail incentive
• Using it as a basis for a webinar or seminar  

A well written, compelling white paper that is thoughtfully promoted can go a long way building credibility for your company.  

Having trouble writing a white paper? Advantage Marketing consultants can help you create and promote your valuable content. Loraine Kasprzak, Founder and Managing Director of Advantage Marketing Consulting Services, is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and MBA with over 17 years of hands-on experience in marketing communications and strategy. One of Loraine’s strengths is her ability to help her clients clarify their thinking so that they can focus and fine-tune their message for the marketplace. She blogs about marketing and social media at and can be reached at


Funktional Footwear Founders on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Susie Levitt and Katie Shea are partners and co-founders of Funktional Footwear, an up and coming women's lifestyle company that specializes in portable, rollable back up shoes.  Products include CitySlips, AfterSoles, and the company's newest product, CityFlips.

Levitt and Shea founded the company while still in their senior year at New York University.  Since the company's inception in September 2009, it has surpassed the $1 million sales mark with products sold in more than 2000 retail locations, including Neiman Marcus, Dillard's, Torrid, Mandee, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Levitt's other work experience includes an internship at Smith Barney/CitiGroup in 2008.  In addition, she is actively involved with numerous organizations, including the Delta Phi Epsilon Mentoring Group and Gold Alumni Association as VP of Community Service.   She is also a member of the Entrepreneurial Exchange Group. A 2009 graduate of New York University's College of Arts and Science, Levitt holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Prior to this, Shea had been a co-owner of (an e-commerce t-shirt company), the founder/owner of GadgetSleeves (an accessories company specializing in customizable cases for portable electronics), and a project manager at Mineola Signs & Awnings (

Actively involved in numerous business and industry groups on campus, Shea was Co-President of the Entrepreneurial Exchange Group. She was a founding member of the Kairos Society and a New York State Ambassador and partner for EntrepreneurshipWeekUSA.

Shea is a 2009 graduate of New York University's Stern School of Business where she received a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Marketing, with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.

Levitt and Shea also took fifth place out of 1,000 contestants for the 2009 Newpreneur of the Year - a business plan competition sponsored by Inc magazine and Alibaba on using the recession as a catalyst to launch a business.

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Money Follows Passion!

by Natalie Bradley

Don’t you love seeing signs all around you that remind you of what you know to be true? I do … in fact, I thrive on seeing signs and reminders pointing me toward what I’m really looking for.

Well I just have to share this one with you! Yesterday I caught an episode of Ellen with a woman who called herself the “Coupon Diva” because she can get a list of items that would cost normal people $400+ for literally nothing. I was smiling from ear to ear watching this woman because her face lit up talking about her ability and strategy around coupon-based shopping. She uses this passion to help others in need, and now she’s even featured on TV shows and is teaching others these fantastic skills too.

So, I couldn’t help myself. I went online and found other fabulous people like who have done similar things. And, what struck me is that I would have never thought in a million years that anyone could make money, much less a business, around clipping coupons. But, it is successful for these women because they are passionate about what they do.

I just had to share this with you because it really struck me as how profound and yet simple this is for everyone.

Whenever you’re in a place of passion and focusing on whatever it is that brings you incredible joy and satisfaction, you’re in the right place. Now just use that focus that excites you to serve others and help them see how it will benefit them as well. And money will always follow.

If you’re not in a place of passion, get back to basics with why you started out doing what you do and focus on that. Or, if you’ve just lost that lovin’ feeling, it may be time to follow your passion elsewhere…even if it’s clipping coupons!

Love and Light,
© 2008-2011 Natalie Bradley,

Event Planning entrepreneur Natalie Bradley publishes the “Bride Attraction” weekly e-zine. Get your F*REE audio course: “5 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Wedding Business…Starting Today!l” at

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