When Success is Slow, What Can You Do?

by Jack Canfield

Pop Quiz: Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What's the secret for seeing huge results right now?!

I get versions of these questions frequently from people who feel frustrated at sluggish progress in their success journey - despite all the know-how and principles they rigorously employ.

Let's get one thing straight...

When we admire someone's success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice.

The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core - your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going.

If you focus on what's not working, guess what: You're likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong.

You may even have negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "It will never work," or "Something must be wrong with me."

What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. And given what we know about the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are feeling. So negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results. There's not much success in that.

The key is to focus on what IS working.

To do so, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation.

Maintaining a journal (I call it an Evidence Log, Results Journal, or Gratitude Journal) is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.

Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem.

Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation.

Meditation can be a powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later. The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want. (Don't know how to meditate? Lots of books and materials are available to guide you through this practice. It's easier than you think. )

Let's say you're doing ALL these things, but you still aren't happy with your results...

I'll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION?

You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But if you keep doing what you've already done, then you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. It's a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones.

Remember the Rule of 5.

Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you're off course.

Lastly, I want to remind you about patience.

It's natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire, the year was 1983. How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making. That's a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.

So, yes, patience is a virtue. But keep at it, and in no time, you'll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success.

Remember... be GRATEFUL, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!

* * *

Are you "stuck" in this area? For more on speeding up your success, I highly recommend picking up a copy of: The Success Principles 30-Day Journey Audio Course.

© 2010 The Canfield Training Group
All Rights Reserved.

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: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com

6 Market Shifts

by Barbara Saunders

Have You Made the Shift?

In this week’s Solo Pro CEO call, I talked about shifting your mindset. I mentioned the Global Shifts in how business is done over this last decade.

I’ve talked publicly on this subject, but I don’t think I’ve  done an article on it – Now seems like a good time.

Understanding these SIX Market Shifts will make a DRASTIC change in how you do business as a solo pro!

The old corporate business model

Envision the typical corporation – tons of little cubicles where people come every day and do the same tasks over and over. They are NOT paid the think. Their customers are just numbers to add up. Their only thought is chasing the ever-shrinking ‘benefit’ package and hoping their 401K is still there when they leave the treadmill.

Not a pretty thought is it?

People can’t work like that for long. Add to that the fact that the CEOs at the top of the pile increasingly want a bigger share of the pie. This led corporations to move to the ‘Contingent Work Force’ model in the 1990s – hiring professionals for project-based work rather than hiring permanent workers. This is why simply ‘polishing up the old resume and looking for a new job’ doesn’t work when you’re laid off. Those jobs are gone.

That’s a pretty grim picture – and it may seem a little extreme – but it’s pretty accurate. The pendulum swings back

Understanding the big corporate collapse makes it clear why this is the BEST time to be a solo pro! It also gives you a great frame work to build your solo pro business.

Shift #1 | Power in the Passion
The people who rise to the top in their fields not only tend to be the experts, but they also tend to LOVE what they do. There’s authenticity and credibility when someone is passionate about what they do. As opposed to the poor corporate person that’s just dragging to work to get a pay check. Passionate people have a special energy and enthusiasm about what they do.

People with passion congregate with others that share their passion. Trekkies go to Star Trek Conventions. Dog lovers go to dog shows. Football fans flock to sports bars. There’s almost no end to how people congregate today. With 93% of the globe able to access the internet, it’s not unusual to have people from many nations joining in on Twitter streams or visiting on FaceBook pages. The access today is mind boggling.

In the old corporate setting, this ‘congregation’ privilege rested only with the few elite group of influential or wealthy businessmen who held the information for themselves. They offered limited access and clients had to pay large sums for their time or contacts. Today, the web makes those conversations available to everyone. The powerful people are the ones engaging in the conversations. The more dynamic and collaborative the conversation – the more power. Those holding onto the old model of withholding information and excluding others, risks falling farther and farther behind. The shift is towards contributing and being an active engaging member of your community  – your Tribe.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:
   * Get very clear on your unique strengths and talents – what you offer
    * Build your business firmly around your passion; bring your skills to bear in a way that melds them with your passion
    * Reach out to others with the same passion or who are in the same community and share your knowledge and expertise
    * Forget working on your weaknesses! Go with your strengths – structuring your business around your own unique traits will help you build a profitable income-generating machine

Shift #2 | Zero in on Your Niche
Mass marketing is pretty much over. Trying to make one size fit all doesn’t work. Today the smart solo pro stands apart by being different and meeting individual unmet needs. The buying public is increasingly well educated and particular. They’re more interested in relevance and customization.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:
    * Tap into unmet needs of your ideal client
    * Make your products or services relevant, convenient, fun, or custom or personalized in some way
    * Strengthen an already good concept by giving it a cultural twist or customizing it to industry

Shift #3 | Small & Nimble
Powerful new technology has made it possible for solo pros to compete on a level playing field with the big boys – and win – because of their our overhead. You can run a one-person publishing empire now.  With tools like the internet, teleconferencing, webcams and more, a solo pro can have global reach at a very affordable price. This makes it extremely easy to create many revenue streams. Also extremely expensive advertising is now nearly free. Today consumers are abandoning large well-established brands to work with smaller organizations that offer something special.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:

    * Leverage the income streams that work best for you
    * Develop your business model to support those income streams
    * Integrate your income streams to flesh out your revenue capacity

Shift #4 | It’s a Small World After All
The internet – especially Google – gives us access to the world. Old-school marketing tactics were aggressive, interruption-based push tactics. People are saturated and not listening anymore. They’ve put up barriers to stop the interruptions and annoying sales calls. Solo pros that deliver well-thought-out solutions that are easy to use rise to the top by standing apart. One of the most effective methods – outside of search engine optimization – is through reviews and recommendations from their community or tribe.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:

    * Fine offerings and package them for convenience
    * Solicit reviews from members of your community and ideal clients
    * Aim for ease of use, lack of clutter, and stress reduction

Shift #5 | Don’t Push. Pull
Trust is a more important factor in today’s market than big sales campaigns. Aggressive, loud and hype-drive ad campaigns are being tuned out. Consumers today are more influenced by relevant content and are seeking trust and credibility. Content-driven business structures today are able to do far stable than other types. The challenge for the solo pro is to learn how to harness today’s technology to make use of their own knowledge and expertise.

Bringing a personal touch to content and delivering it to an engaged community is one of the most powerful ways to grow a profitable business because it pulls people in and helps them gain confidence in the offering. Being a helpful expert and resource is the first place to start. The more content you produce – articles, websites, podcasts, videos – the more credible you become.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:

    * Leverage your knowledge and expertise in ways that show case your unique personality
    * Always aim for the highest level of professional output that you can afford
    * Concentrate on developing high-quality content

Shift #6 | Stay Open to Change
In the old-school business model, things were always done a certain way. Customers have become savvy to the tricks that large companies pay and don’t like to play along anymore. Solo pros that remain nimble and are willing to try new ideas quickly outpace their larger competitors. Goals are more important than ever because things happen very quickly. If you’re off course, you will get into trouble much quicker. Understanding the previous market shifts will help steer your business more accurately, but it is vital to be plugged in to be aware of current trends.

Shift strategy for the solo pro business:
    * Make friends with technology
    * Don’t be afraid to try new things
    * Be sure to know where you’re trying to go and what you’re trying to accomplish
    * Track your progress
    * Monitor current trends

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.

Cynthia Good on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Cynthia Good
Editor, Co-Founder and CEO, Pink

During her last quarter-century in journalism, Good has worked ardently to make a difference in the lives of women and their families. Her latest contribution is PINK, which under Cynthia’s supervision has grown into a national phenomenon, inspiring businesswomen to achieve both a beautiful career and a beautiful life. The Little PINK Book offers daily editorial digitally to women nationwide.

Cynthia’s recent success as a magazine visionary comes from equal parts passion and practice. In recent years Cynthia has launched two magazines, PINK and Atlanta Woman - both winners of the Magazine Association of the Southeast’s highest award, the Grand GAMMA. PINK has won numerous top industry awards for its magazine and website, including gold Folio Ozzie Awards for best site design and best editorial.

Before becoming a publishing entrepreneur, Cynthia anchored and reported the evening news at TV stations across the country. She also created her own television show, Good for Parents, and syndicating TV news stories on issues confronting women and families. She has written six books in all, including Words Every Child Must Hear and was named Author of the Year by the Georgia Writers Association for her book Vaccinating Your Child.

A valuable member of her local community – and the community of women at large – Cynthia mentors young women in her company’s ongoing internship program. Over the past four years, PINK has raised $70,000 for Dress for Success and Girls Inc., and other nonprofits that support women and young girls, through annual PINK events.

Cynthia served on the board of directors of Childkind, which places homeless, medically fragile children into foster care and facilitates adoptions and on the board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the largest pediatric children’s hospital in the Southeast. As an active part of Atlanta’s business community, she founded Chapter 11 Bookstores and started Atlanta’s Horseradish Grill restaurant.

A self-described “famillionaire,” Cynthia lives in Atlanta with her husband, Joey Reiman, and their children, Alden and Julien.

How to Write to Change Lives

by Sophfronia Scott
Just got off the phone with one of my Business Book Bootcamp students and wanted to share with you a bit of what we talked about. I think you might be struggling with the same issues.

“You’re pulling your punches,” I told her. “I get the sense that you’re writing this book because you’ve learned something about living life. You think it’ll help others and you’re passionate to share it.” However that wasn’t how the text read. I could tell she was trying to hold back, hiding behind research and a more formal voice that might validate her. The glimpses of her real voice were powerful and I told her so and encouraged her to pursue it. Why? Because that’s what inspires the reader. That’s what makes writing meaningful. That’s how you change lives.

Writing a book is a huge endeavor. It means someone has decided to dedicate a certain amount of time to putting words on paper. But so many people don’t finish what they start. Maybe they’ve run out of ideas. Maybe they lost interest. Maybe they got hopelessly stuck. However I believe the core of all these issues lies in one thing: the writer doesn’t know why he or she is writing in the first place.

All you have to do before you venture into the ever-tangled writing forest is leave a few breadcrumbs behind so you’ll know how you got there and why you’re writing! Lay them out by asking yourself the following questions about your work. Use them to challenge yourself, to get inspired, to put your writing front and center in your life. It’s hard to get lost when you know exactly where you are.

What Do You Have to Say?
Here’s another way to put it: what story are you telling? What is your point in writing this story or work of non-fiction? If you can’t answer in a concise way, take some time to think about your message. It can be a huge one, such as a belief about how we all should live. It can be simple such as, “family is important”. The big message in my novel was about the power of love in a family. I think I will always write about families because I believe the story of our families is the story of who we are in our hearts. I find the subject touching, challenging, inspiring.

As you think about your message, realize that ideally you shouldn’t have to write it down. It should come from the core of your being and you understand it because it is a part of your natural thought process: it is who you are. Take another look at what you have written in the past because your message may be showing up already in your work and you haven’t noticed it yet.

This is the way the playwright August Wilson once described the story that was at the core of his whole body of work: “I once wrote a short story called ‘The Best Blues Singer in the World’ and it went like this: ‘The streets that Balboa walked were his own private ocean, and Balboa was drowning.’ End of story. That says it all. Nothing else to say. I’ve been rewriting that same story over and over again. All my plays are rewriting that same story. I’m not sure what it means, other than life is hard.”

Who Will Benefit from Your Words?
You will find the motivation to return to your desk each day when you think about what may happen when someone reads your work. Will there be women who can be healthier mothers because you are writing about battling post-partum depression? Will there be men who might feel closer to their fathers because you’re writing the next Field of Dreams? When you think of your reader, it takes some of the pressure off of you because you realize the importance of getting the message to him or her. You think less of how you’re coming across.

Are You Writing in a Medium That Best Suits Your Message?
I used to write poetry. I loved it too, but somewhere along the line I felt the things I had to say became harder and harder to fit into the confines of verse. I moved over to prose and never went back. I wrote for magazines and experimented with essays before settling into novel writing. August Wilson had written poetry and was working on a novel, but his talents glowed when he wrote for the stage. If you’re having trouble completing a project, consider whether you are writing in a medium that is right for you and your message. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with other forms. You can always go back to what you were doing before if it doesn’t work out.

Step Down from the Soap Box
Writing is already powerful. The fact that people are reading what you write means they are already interested, maybe even absorbed, by what you have to say. You don’t have to get up on a soap box and belabor your points to get them across. A simple story can speak volumes about the big picture if you let it. Mr. Wilson once told The Paris Review, “I think my plays offer (white Americans) a different way to look at black Americans. For instance, in ‘Fences’ they see a garbageman, a person they don’t really look at, although they see a garbageman every day. By looking at Troy’s life, white people find out that the content of this black garbageman’s life is affected by the same things – love, honor, beauty, betrayal, duty. Recognizing that these things are as much part of his life as theirs can affect how they think about and deal with black people in their lives.” Get it? Small story, big picture.

One Last Note
I know I’m waving the “big theme” flag here, but what I really want for you is for you to feel the passion of what you’re writing. You may be passionate about a big message or you may be passionate about the simple question of “what happens next?” in your story (and you really want to know the answer!) Just connect with that passion and go with it because to me, this is how books get finished-when someone really cares enough to want to get to the end.

© 2011 Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott is Executive Editor of the Done For You Writing & Publishing Company. Learn what a difference being a published author can make for your business. Get your FREE audio CD, “How to Succeed in Business By Becoming a Bestselling Author” and your FREE online writing and book publishing tips at www.DoneForYouWriting.com.

7 Ways to Change Your Life and Luck

by Kathryn Weber
Feng shui is all about creating flow, energy, finding balance and unstopping blockages. This is true for your personal space, your office, your home, and, well, you.

You have energy (or maybe you don't) and that energy impacts the way the world responds to you in the form of career, prosperity, health, wisdom, love, and happiness.

Applying feng shui to yourself is just as important as applying it to a home or office because you are the vessel that transports you through life.

Let's talk about some ideas that will help you feng shui yourself - and help you get your personal feng shui in sync, in harmony, and in a productive and prosperous mode!

1. Subtle change is powerful change.

Rather than a huge, sweeping change, such as losing 50 pounds, resolve to stop drinking sodas or fruit juice every day, for example. I had a habit of eating hard candies while writing and it packed on the pounds over time. I stopped eating them and dropped five pounds rather quickly. Do small things and do them consistently. They take less effort but the reward is great.

2. Focus on the action - not the goal.

So, maybe your goal is to lose 50 pounds or run a marathon. But that puts the focus on the end result not the action -- and this is what counts. A personal hero of mine is a young woman who needed to lose 100 pounds and she did it by running 30 seconds. Take that in: 30 seconds.

Each day she ran 30 seconds more than the day before. At the end of the year that amounts to about 3 hours of running - enough to run a marathon! Amazing, isn't it? This woman lost more than 100 pounds in a year which landed her on national TV. What small action can you take every day to get you to your goal?

3. Remove labels.

We've all got them whether they were given to us, imposed on us by teachers or coworkers or siblings, or ones that we have given ourselves. Calling ourselves anything other than a positive statement is a putdown. Get your mental "goo remover" on and strip away any and all labels that are negative. Don't repeat them, don't call other people by labels, and correct yourself when you do it to yourself.

4. Move the chi.

You need to be challenged and a great way to stretch yourself is by rearranging your furnishings. Position the sofa in a new direction, put your bed on another wall, or simply change the accessories in your house and switch out pictures and other decorating objects. It will cause you to sit in a new way, see in a new way, and be affected by the placement because you will now notice the changes and notice the objects because you changed them -- and this changes you.

Another way to move the chi? Vitamin X. Get out and get moving. Walk, ride, do an exercise tape...just get your internal chi revved by getting going. I always joked that I never ran unless there was a sale; (that's right, a label). Now, I don't say that anymore, and I'm running every day with my son and my husband as a family. We love it and we're all movin' and groovin' together and it's a lot more fun than running by my lonesome.

5. Learn something.

What do you want to learn? A new software program, a language, a new hobby? Learning is a great way to keep your internal energy growing. Can't think of anything? How about using your computer keyboard differently? Learn some new keyboard shortcuts for browsing the Internet. Or, put a CD in your car stereo and learn a new language. I love Success Magazine because it comes with a CD each month and covers various topics that impact success. I listen to them in the car and come away inspired and enthusiastic -- and often make modifications to my life based on what I hear.

6. Change your energy, change your luck.

Analyze where all your energy, or lack of energy, is going. Is it supporting you and helpful? Chances are it isn't if you're dragging and plodding in one area and frenetic and crazy in another. Try reversing these and you'll be amazed at what happens. If you're going crazy in the morning getting ready for work, try waking up a little earlier and getting going slowly. Or, if you're dragging your feet on a project, why not get in there and knock it out and put lots of energy into it and get it done? I bet you'd see a huge difference in your life if you had a slower start and a faster finish instead of the other way around!

7. Don't tolerate annoyances.

How many little things do you tolerate?  Really, day in and day out, what is it that constantly grates on your nerves?  And, the next question is, why don't you fix it?  Right now...that's right. Get up and fix that thing that's annoying the heck out of you. In fact, make it your habit to fix any and everything that bugs you as soon as you notice it.

When we ignore little annoyances, we block the little surprises and niceties that can happen to us but don't because the petty annoying stuff is blocking us. So, instead of walking past that pile of papers or putting up with the tag in your sweater that's scratching you, fix it. Fix it NOW! :)  Then, watch as other nice things begin to happen once you can turn your focus away from annoyances.

© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2010
Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE Ebook "Easy Money - 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui" visit www.redlotusletter.com and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!

"Who Are You?" with Iyanla Vanzant


The REAL Formula to Work 4 Hours/Day and Make Millions

by Paula Pollock

About three months ago following a client session, I was completely depressed. It was disheartening. I was always so energized with helping and the excitement my clients had, but this guy was different. So that I wouldn't carry this feeling around all day I put on my gym shoes and took my dog for a walk while I worked with the feelings.

This client wanted to reach his goals but continually found ways not to do the work he needed to get there. He had a mental block to success. That's not something a marketing consultant can fix. He kept rescheduling sessions, then another to "get the work done" but it never did. I knew that if he was ever to reach his goals he had two choices: get through his success block that was stopping him from doing the work or outsource those tasks so someone else would get it done. Beyond that, I couldn't help him much more.

It was the beginning of my realization that one of my favorite quotes (seen on my status updates fairly often) "You cannot push someone up the ladder when he himself doesn't want to climb." Author Unknown, was invading my firm! As I stopped to admire a neighbor's flowers while Karma (my dog) "watered" them in his own unique way, yet another client came to mind.

He wanted revenue growth. He calculated how many new appointments his website needed to provide his salesman in order to grow. To have a solid lead generating website you need to generate exponential traffic with the help of SEO professionals and a working cross media strategy. Unfortunately, he loved doing the web work himself. I tried to convince him that he was more valuable to his business elsewhere, but he insisted. His website looks nice, but I doubt the conversion ratios are very high. I parted ways with this client.

As I walked up my driveway the correlations between these two clients and others who were similarly success averse came to mind: they all had visions of how their business should be that were not embraced by their market or business model. Many small businesses today are falling prey to seminars, CD programs and wild promises made by "coaches". I've realized that many of my clients that I would describe as Success Procrastinators have been wooed by gurus and really do think they can work 4 hours/week doing only the "fun stuff" and make millions.

I'm sure there are plenty of great seminars and educators out there, but if you truly wish to work 4 hours/week and make millions the formula is quite simple actually:

  • Work your butt off for 3-5 years carving out your niche;
  • Make enough money to fund growth;
  • Start delegating anything you hate or are not excellent at doing (this includes graphics or website because it's fun!) and treat these people well so they stay with you for a long time - don't micro-manage;
  • Ruthlessly track conversions and strive to increase them with your marketing; and
  • Don't rest on your laurels - always be looking for the next big thing.

Paula Pollock is CEO of the Pollock Marketing Group, further assisting good companies in becoming great through outsourced marketing services with her team of professionals. PMG supports business marketing at all levels from DIY, short-term projects and Virtual CMO/Marketing Department. You can sign up to receive her Marketing Tips newsletter at www.paulapollock.com.

Why You'll Sell Less If You Really Care

©Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation, 2011

Suppose that you are about to give a sales presentation and you desperately need the sale. You are totally focused on getting this sale closed.

Now put yourself in the shoes of the person hearing your presentation. As you listen to the words and the conversation progresses, you intuitively pick up that he or she desperately wants this sale and is completely focused on getting the sale.

What are you thinking? They really don't care about me. They just want my money. It's all about them. Can I really trust what they are saying as they are probably just saying things to get my money? In fact, I can probably get a big discount if I ask for it. But do I really want to deal with someone who doesn't care about me? How can I escape this conversation - fast?

Now suppose you are about to give a sales presentation, and you would certainly like to get the sale just as you'd like to really help this person if you can. But if this sale doesn't happen, there are plenty of other prospects to talk to and help.

Now put yourself back in the shoes of the person hearing your presentation. As you listen this time, you feel that they really care about helping you and that is what they are focused on. I feel I can trust them. I should keep listening so I can find out more.

The difference in these two scenarios is what you actually care about. If it is making the sale, you'll make less sales. If it is about helping the other person, you'll make more sales. The first repels your prospect; the second attracts your prospect.

So in every sales conversation, try never spending a single moment worrying about whether they will say 'yes' or 'no'. That is up to them. What you must do is give them all the information they need to make the best decision. This is what you must be fully committed to and care about the most. Don't be concerned about whether they want your help or not. As counter intuitive as it seems, you'll sell more faster.

How about starting off a prospect conversation with: "I am committed to making sure you have enough information so you can make the best decision for you. During this process, I might even tell you that my offer is not the best fit for you and I'll recommend something else. If I do feel that I have the best fit for you, I'll tell you that and I'll explain why. The final decision on whether you choose to buy from me or not is obviously up to you, and I'll respect whatever decision you make knowing that I've done my best to help you."

How do you think saying this would make your prospect feel? How would it make you feel as well? With this approach, you forget about 'yes' or 'no', and you focus on having great conversations to see if you can really help people. This simplifies the whole sales process, as you don't need a lot of techniques to persuade them to say 'yes' as you are not focused on that. A 'yes' or 'no' decision will just come naturally.

So from now, try caring more about helping your prospect and caring less about making a sale, and you'll make more sales!

Tessa Stowe teaches small business owners and recovering salespeople simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.salesconversation.com.

Ten Digital Diet Rules to Live By

1. Avoid tech turds. Don’t just dump your smart phone on the table at a restaurant or at home. Keep it in your pocket or purse unless it’s critical to have it out. If you must have it out, acknowledge its presence and inform your companions that you’ll check it only in an emergency. It’s a courtesy that you’d appreciate, too.

2. Live your life in the real world. If you must post a status update or tweet or blog about something in your life, then make sure it’s something you’d be willing to announce to anyone you know face to face.

3. Ask yourself whether you really need that gadget. There are tons of cool stuff in the tech world, and some of it might even improve your or your family’s life, but don’t feel compelled to buy every new toy that comes out. Before you make a digital purchase, question its necessity.

4. Seek tech support. Navigating the wilds of the wired world can sometimes be too much to handle alone. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s also okay to use technology to help “outsource self control” when needed. Check out the many programs that can assist with budgeting your time online.

5. Detox Regularly. Once you’ve completed the Digital Diet, return to the detox phase one day a month. You can do this as a family, too. Use that day as a touchstone to remember what life can be like without technology.

6. Sleep device-free: Move your chargers out of the bedroom to another room in the house, and let your devices live there overnight. They need a break from you, too.

7. It’s either the human or the device. Work toward choosing people over the device. Yes, there’ll be times when it’s tricky or nearly impossible to choose between your smart phone or laptop and paying attention to your child or your loved one or your friend, but try to use your devices more on your own time rather than during the time you share with others.

8. Remember the “if /then” principle. Choices that you make in the virtual world can have an impact in the real one. For example, if you don’t find the time to put down the gadgets and log out once in a while, then you might lose the ability to appreciate the finer moments in life.

9. Structure your e-day. Work toward a finite beginning and end to your connectedness. In other words, dive into the gadgets and the e-mail and the texts only when you’ve composed yourself in the morning. When you’re ready to unplug in the evening, do it without reservation and focus on what—and who—is immediately around you.

10. Trust your instincts. If you think you might be spending too much time being a voyeur on social networks or playing online games or endlessly texting, then you probably are. That little voice knows when it’s all become too much. Listen to it. Pursue the ultimate goal of balance and awareness.

From The Digital Diet: The 4-step plan to break your tech addiction and regain balance in your life By Daniel Sieberg

About the author

Daniel Sieberg is an Emmy-nominated reporter who hosts Tech This Out! for ABC News NOW. He has also covered science, environment, space and technology stories for CBS News, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC News, Planet Green, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Oprah.com, Details, Time, The Vancouver Sun, CTV News, CleanSkies.TV, Fuse.TV, The Nate Berkus Show and The Dr. Oz Show.

The Digital Diet is a 28-day plan that’s meant to reawaken our awareness of technology in our lives, provide tools and gadgets to improve life, and instill the right motivational/practical formula for managing it in the future. It can be tailored based on age, profession, hobbies, and a person’s particular electronic poison and includes a self-assessment, a detox phase, and a week-by-week guide to building time for technology back into your routine.

For much more information about Daniel Sieberg and The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life visit  http://www.danielsieberg.com/

For your own copy, visit http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-4-step-addiction-balance/dp/0307887383 (print) and http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-addiction-balance-ebook/dp/B004J4WM3G (Kindle)


Spring Cleaning & Abundance

by Stacey Hylen

The Law of Attraction states that you get what you focus on. In order to manifest what you want in your life or your business you need to create a space for it.  For example, if you want to attract more of your perfect clients, you need to be willing to release the clients that are not a good fit for you and drain your energy.

I can feel a new level of my business evolving and being created right now that will allow me to help more business owners get more leverage so they have more sales, more profit and more time for those they love, so for the last week I have been doing Spring Cleaning for my business, cleaning out old files, books and reorganizing my office to let go of the old and make room for the new.  It has been an interesting week as I looked at things from when I started my business 10 years ago and realized that I no longer needed them and looked at the evolution of my thinking and my business.

Here are a few tips to do your own Spring Cleaning for your business and open up your flow of Abundance:

1. Open up physical space: this could be files you no longer need, books, or releasing things that you have been holding on to out of a sense of obligation that no longer serve you and where you are going.  If this is hard for you put it in boxes to start and put them somewhere you don’t see them.

2. Create mental space:
Spring is a good time to revisit your goals and action plans and put them into a simple format to track and keep you inspired.  My clients love the one page marketing plan and calendar that keeps it very simple and makes it a lot less stressful.  When reviewing your action plan look at what you can delegate or outsource, to get to the next level you need to get some help and let go of doing everything yourself , this will give you the mental space you need to be creative and serve your clients with pleasure instead of pressure.

3. Nurture your spirit: Take time to get outside in nature, read spiritual or motivational books to give yourself an energetic boost.

4. Let go of what no longer serves you, pressure that  you have put on yourself and expectations of other people that you have been trying to fit into or live up to. Give yourself permission to be who you are and look for ways to express your individuality and your businesses’ unique strengths.  Read Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh of Zappos to see how he let go of expectations of his family ,culture and even business pressure to focus on short term profits to focus on happiness and ended up selling his company to Amazon for close to a Billion dollars.

5. Spring Clean your Thinking even if you get rid of all the physical clutter you still have years of negative thinking cluttering your mind that needs to be cleared out.  Work on your positive self talk, whenever you have a negative thought, immediately cancel it and replace it with a positive thought. ( Make sure you Like my page on Facebook where I will be giving away my book with a whole chapter focused on changing your self talk)

I think that the big difference for me in doing this Spring Cleaning for Abundance this year is that I shifted my attitude to one of making space and releasing which made it fun instead of a chore.  So crank up your tunes and get going!

I would love to hear how you are taking action on this. Please leave your comments below.

Stacey Hylen, the Business Optimizer Coach, teaches 6-7 figure entrepreneurs how to have more sales, profits, and more time to enjoy who and what you love. For FREE tips and strategies on marketing your business, go to: www.BusinessOptimizerCoach.com

Author Q&A: Jennifer Prosek, Author of "Army of Entrepreneurs"


Jennifer Prosek is the CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth.

In this book Jennifer shares the system she developed to make entrepreneurial behavior business as usual throughout the ranks of her public relations and financial communications firm. As a result, she grew her company from one office and about $2 million in 1995 to three offices, $10 million, and an award-winning international competitor today. In the Q&A below, Jennifer shares her insights on applying the entrepreneurial model in the workplace.

The following is an interview with author, Jennifer Prosek. 

Deborah Bailey: What prompted you to write this book? 

 Jennifer Prosek: Ten years ago, I was working six or seven days a week and facing serious burnout. I was CJP’s chief rainmaker, problem-solver, idea generator and account leader. I knew I needed a new way to configure my business, one that tapped the tremendous talent of my employees. That was the genesis of the "Army of Entrepreneurs" model.

Now, having come through the most challenging period in our history, I can honestly say that the Army of Entrepreneurs model literally saved the business. I wrote the book to share my story because anyone can do what I did. What I discovered was not just a way to run my own business, but perhaps a way to run any business.

Army of Entrepreneurs is about how a business can survive difficult economic times and come out the other end as an engaged, motivated, growing company.

DB: In your book you say that "corporate culture is like the foundation of a house." What do you mean by that?

JP: This analogy is perfectly suited to the business world. Good companies—businesses that are thriving and filled with happy, productive workers—often cite their corporate cultures as their “foundation” since this is one of the key components from which the organization’s success is built upon. In boom times it is a key differentiator from your competitors and a reminder of who you are and how you want to be perceived; and in bad times it can be the glue that helps hold your organization together.

In my experience, there are four elements of a strong corporate culture: authenticity, commitment to people, commitment to the business, and continuous effort.

DB: Can big companies really use entrepreneurial thinking?

JP: Entrepreneurship can and does flourish in big companies. For many, it’s the very element that helps them compete and succeed against other giants. Entrepreneurial thinking helps big companies be innovative, stay in touch with their customers, be faster and more nimble. Any company, large or small, can create a culture where entrepreneurship flourishes. There are five requirements: hire the right people, create internal support systems, incorporate entrepreneurial skills into training programs, communicate clearly and often, and create a reward system that encourages innovation.

DB: Why is formal training for employees so important?

JP: When you ask your people to step up and deliver, you are responsible for ensuring that they have the tools they need. That’s where a formal training program comes in. It not only teaches specific job skills, it also educates people about the business and how it operates.

Without a formal training process in place, every person has a different learning experience and the results are uneven. Companies that emphasize a learning culture have the most engaged workforces.

DB: How can companies use technology effectively?

JP: Communications technology plays a critical role in the execution of a company’s day-to-day efforts. It enables companies to stay in touch internally and to communicate with their external customers and audiences. At CJP, I write a weekly internal blog, the J Low Down, and we have an external blog, Unboxed Thoughts.

Social media for an ongoing dialogue

Virtually every company needs to have a social media strategy and to update it frequently. This creates an ongoing dialogue. It engages customers and provides the business with important information. Social media is also key for attracting new customers and recruiting.

Make connections with a CRM

Many companies can benefit from a customer relationship management (CRM) system. With CRM they can create a database of information that can be leveraged, such as: Who are your customers? How are they connected to one another? What can you learn from those relationships? What other opportunities do the connections offer?

Online image-building

In our business, we counsel our clients on how to best use technology and social media as part of a PR campaign. It’s all about branding and image-building. We work with them to make sure their online identity, and particularly their website, Facebook pages and other prominent sites, are visually appealing, useful and interactive. Every company needs to have a professional online persona that reflects its strengths, capabilities and personality.

DB: What suggestions do you have for companies that want to retain their talent?

JP: There are three important parts of the retention puzzle; compensation, morale and communication. Companies have to pay competitively and they should have incentive programs that allow people to earn additional compensation. People also need psychic rewards. They want to believe in their employer’s mission and be personally invested in their work. By encouraging entrepreneurial behavior, employees have the ability to create their dream jobs. Finally, great communication builds engagement and openness by allowing everyone to understand the forces at work inside and outside the firm.

DB: Who do you think will benefit from reading your book?

JP: Army of Entrepreneurs is for company owners and managers at firms of all sizes who want to make their division or team more innovative, engaged and productive. It’s also for employees who want to learn to be more entrepreneurial and valuable at their companies.

There is a major shift afoot and the era of entrepreneurialism is upon us. Employers must gain a greater understanding of the benefits of harnessing this spirit. When employees are treated more like owners, taught how the business runs and how their contributions fit in, they are happier and more productive and the company’s overall growth can be exponential.

DB: What are your thoughts about why so many women are going into business for themselves?

JP: I think many of them feel like I do. They have a dream and they’re driven to pursue it. Women also have more role models and better resources than in the past. I think entrepreneurship overall has become a much more popular and women are a part of that wave. There’s a statistic I love from pollster and author Frank Luntz, which is that 80 percent of people would rather own their own businesses than be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I think women (and men, too) like the feeling of being in control of their own destiny, and the sense of accomplishment that comes from running your own successful business. Of course, the economy has also played a role.

DB: Where can people find your book?

JP: Stop by your local bookstore or find it at online retailers. http://www.armyofentrepreneurs.com.
People can also connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

Ethical Bribes: 10 Most Effective Client Attraction Device Giveaways

by Donna Gunter

One of the quickest ways to build your email marketing list is by creating an ethical bribe, or what I refer to as a client attraction device.  This free giveaway serves to entice visitors to your site to sign up for your email list because they want to access your solution to their problem proffered in your email list opt-in box.

What are the two most important characteristics of an effective client attraction device?  It must provide the solution to at least one of the problems of your target market and utilize the keywords that your target market might use when seeking this type of solution. Secondly, your offering must have a high enough perceived value that your visitors would be willing to pay for it.

I routinely opt into many lists just to get the client attraction device.  More times than not, the giveaway is simply a long reiteration of a problem, with the solution being available for purchase on the web site.  This is the WRONG way to introduce yourself to prospects. Don’t be afraid to share some solutions with your prospects — it’s part of developing the Like, Know and Trust factor with them.  If you are truly an expert in your field, the info you share for free is only the tip of the iceberg of the variety of solutions you can provide to your prospects.

What is the easiest way to create your own client attraction device? Here are 10 ideas that you can use to package your information into a valuable ethical bribe for your web site:

1.  Audio of a presentation.  Hold a teleclass on a particular topic and record it, or simply record a presentation with audio recording software on your computer.  An audience isn’t necessary for a good recording — it is quality content that is the key.

2.  Interview of an expert.  Request to interview a noted expert in your target market.  Ask the expert questions, or pull questions from a pre-assigned list you’ve been given. Record the interview and have it transcribed to create a two-part giveaway.

3.  Special report or ebook.  A special report is simply a short PDF report that runs between 2-5 pages.  You can create this pretty easily by writing an article that’s 1500-2000 words.   Typically an ebook is longer than a special report, combining several articles, or topics, to make a more complete overview of a topic.  Format it to be easily read and add a bio page and and upsell page and your report is complete.

4.  Checklist.  A checklist is a 1-2 page PDF file that walks someone through a to-do checklist to complete a task.  To create a checklist, simple outline the steps required to complete a particular task and insert a checkmark box in front of each so that the user can print out the list and mark off the steps as they are completed.

5.  Video.  Using video to promote your business is one of the hottest Internet marketing strategies today.  You can create an info video that is a training or tutorial video made by using video screen capture software, or record yourself answering questions or presenting a topic with an inexpensive video camera.  Upload it to your site or to one of the video hosting sites, and you’ve got a new client attraction device to give away.

6.  Software.  For as little as $50, you can hire a programmer to create a simple piece of software to help your prospects automate a task or solve a problem. Another option is to buy a license for some inexpensive software that you can then distribute as you wish.

7.  Rolodex (Resources) list.
  Once you have developed a relationship with your prospects, invariably you will get asked to make recommendations for vendors to perform certain tasks. Because this list is valuable in that you have already gone through a number of services to find just the right provider and are thus saving your prospects hundreds of dollars and hours of time, create a list of these providers in a PDF document.

8.  Templates.  Templates are another time-saving device that prevents your prospects from having to reinvent the wheel.  Package together templates you regular use, like templates for telephone followup calls, emails, email newsletters, to-do list, budgets, etc.  Anything that will let your prospect use as a model for developing her own version will be greatly appreciated.

9.  Worksheet/workbook.  Sometimes information is better delivered in a format where the prospect can jot down ideas, answer questions, or brainstorm.  A PDF worksheet or workbook is the ideal format for that to happen.  Create a document with a series of questions and space to answer the questions, along with a bit of introductory text to set up the question, and you’ve created a useful workbook.

10.  Ecourse.  An ecourse is a series of emails that deliver information over a specific course of time via email.  Your ecourse can last as short as 3 days or as long as 52 weeks.  Once you pick a topic, simply determine the number of points that you want to make as you discuss the topic, and then create an email that thoroughly explains each point.  Put the emails together in a sequence in your email marketing program and you have an ecourse.

If you simply request visitors to opt into your ezine list or your blog list, you’re not maximizing the work that your web site can do for you.  Add a client attraction device to your opt-n box and watch your list grow!

Online Business Coach Donna Gunter helps baby boomers create profitable online retirement businesses by demystifying the steps needed to successfully market a baby boomer business online. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at == > http://www.TurbochargeYourOnlineMarketing.com

This is Why Brides Aren’t Buying from You

by Natalie Bradley

I just wrote the article recently on how important it is to sell the result brides get working with you. This article is taking it one step further. Especially if you’re selling services, you must master the skill of selling the dream, not the stuff, to brides.

One of the best skills I developed over the years was to understand the power of selling the dream and not the “stuff” of my service. When you can paint the picture with words, video, audio and in conversation describing the dream that your brides want to have as their wedding experience in a way that they want, you’re in. You must be able to walk them through the experience so that brides can identify with the results (i.e. dreams they want to have come true) you can provide for them.

The next part that is essential is for you to show them where they are now (not knowing how to get the dream). This actually helps brides see the “gap” from their pain because they don’t know how to get what they want to the place where their dreams become reality. And when they feel the “gap” clearly, they’ll also sell themselves a lot easier on your services without you using any pushy sales techniques.

When brides feel the gap from where they are (without you) to where they want to be (where their dreams come true with your help), you’re in and brides will buy. This is truly what selling is all about at it’s finest. Even commercials like Proactiv, for example, do this well. They show people how they look with acne, emphasize how they feel because of the acne, and highlight that pain. And they show people who “understand”, who “empathize” and who’ve “been there too”, but now have flawless, perfect skin and all their problems seem to have vanished. And their products fly off the shelves continuously.

If you’re not selling the dream, identifying the pain, and showing the gap in between, THIS is why your brides aren’t buying from you. So now that you know, sell it differently!

© 2008-2011 Natalie Bradley, BrideAttraction.com

Event Planning entrepreneur Natalie Bradley publishes the “Bride Attraction” weekly e-zine. Get your FREE audio course: “How to Close the Sale Without Fail!” at www.BrideAttraction.com

Dr. Kristin Cardinale on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Dr. Kristin Cardinale is the author of The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life. She is a serial entrepreneur, columnist, adjunct college professor, technology instructor, career coach, consultant, seminar speaker, and owner of a small technical support business.

Previously, Dr. Cardinale worked as an international educator and went on to own and operate a national seminar business, which served her colleagues from hundreds of colleges, universities, government agencies and public corporations. Dr. Cardinale has lived, worked, studied and traveled in more than twenty countries in every corner of the globe and hopes to someday visit the last continent on her list, Antarctica.

Dr. Cardinale holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Development from Cleveland State University. www.kristincardinale.com

Date: Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Time: 1:00 pm EST

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coachdeb/2011/05/04/the-9-to-5-cure-with-dr-kristin-cardinale

Weaving a Tapestry of Success, Strand by Strand

By Courtney Kunzelmann

Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman jurist on the U.S. Supreme Court, once explained that her success was in large part due to others: “We don't accomplish anything in this world alone,” O’Connor said, “and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.

The tapestry woven by America’s women leaders continues to grow and become ever more vibrant.  Nationally, women are ascending to the highest levels of management in both business and government.  On a local level, women own two of every five businesses, the Harvard Business Review reports, and their businesses are growing at twice the rate of U.S. firms as a whole.

But as Justice O’Connor pointed out, no one succeeds on her own. Each success story is stitched together strand by strand, both personally and professionally. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur or at any other endeavor, it helps to call on every resource at your disposal.

  • Some of those resources are personal. There is no substitute for having a mentor or mentors who can help you find the footholds and avoid slipping on the rocks as you climb steadily upward on your career or business path. Take full advantage of your network of peers, colleagues and others who have gone before you.  Continually take care to feed your network, nurture it and maintain it.  And don’t forget to reach back to others who may be following you.

  • Other resources are educational and instructional.  Whether you are striving for an advanced degree or simply expanding your skills at a local adult education program, it’s important to continue learning.  Opportunities for individual growth can be found all around you, including your Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and community groups.

You’ll find that women are increasingly joining and leading professional associations and industry organizations.  A big reason why is that women are rising in the professional ranks, accounting for a third of engineers (35.9 percent), lawyers and judges (36.5 percent), nearly a third of physicians and surgeons (31.8 percent), and two in five managers (38.2 percent), according to the Shriver Report.

  • Some resources are available from business and government entities. Many corporations who serve small-business owners have created tools and educational materials on a wide range of business topics.  For instance, The Hartford, which serves more than one million small business owners, developed a financial guide for entrepreneurs called the Business Owner’s Playbook (www.thehartford.com/businessowner).

Meanwhile, the Small Business Administration offers rich information on starting
and running a business and recently announced a new program that sets aside
certain federal contracts for women-owned small businesses

  • There is no substitute for professional advice, an invaluable resource.  As your business grows, so will your need for advice about how to protect yourself against financial pitfalls and how to take advantage of financial opportunities.  Establish working relationships with a trusted financial advisor, insurance agent, lawyer, accountant and others that can provide you with expertise you may not have.

They will help you secure the investments that you’ve made in your business,
guard against liability from things you can anticipate and things you can’t, and
provide benefits that will help you attract and retain top talent.

All of these experiences and more will help you continue to advance along your entrepreneurial journey, strand by strand.  It’s especially true of the friends, colleagues and business contacts you make along the way because they all will help you in ways that may be immediately obvious and not-so-obvious.

Justice O’Connor’s path to the height of American jurisprudence was atypical.  She grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona.  After graduating Stanford Law, the only corporate job offer she received was as a legal secretary.  Undaunted, she blazed a path of her own until she retired from the Supreme Court in 2006.

All of Justice O’Connor’s experiences – both positive and negative – contributed in some way to her success. She built her career strand by strand and so can you.  Reach out to others and take advantage of as many resources as you can while you build your business and create a rich tapestry of your own.

Courtney Kunzelmann is assistant vice president of wealth management strategy of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and is co-leader of The Hartford’s Professional Women’s Network.  The PWN promotes the advancement of women to professional and leadership positions in The Hartford, and provides opportunities for mentoring, education, career and personal development.

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