10 Steps to Creating a Lead-Generating Authority Web Site

by Donna Gunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Strengthen Relationships and Attract More Clients With A Personal Note

by Sydni Craig-Hart

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

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

When was that? 

…Perhaps a long time ago.

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

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

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

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

And, who doesn't love referrals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday September 24th 2014 8pm EDT

3 Financing Resources Every Woman Entrepreneur Should Know About

by Andrea Gellert, SVP of Marketing, OnDeck

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angel Investor Networks

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

Women's Business Center

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


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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

How to Use Your Signature Story to Get Ideal Clients

by Christine Kane

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

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

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

My students ask me:

How vulnerable should I be?

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

In other words:

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

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

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

But what happened instead?

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

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

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

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

You must tell your story.

It doesn’t have to include cockroaches.

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

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

There are three reasons for this:

1 – People remember stories.

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

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

2 – People need connection.

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

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

3 – The C-V Cocktail

“C-V” stands for Credibility-Vulnerability.

Let’s start with Credibility.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, here are some questions to get you started creating your story:

    What were the circumstances in your “before” scene?
    What was your struggle, your low-point?
    What was the turning point?
    What happened after that?
    What made you do the work you’re doing?

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

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

Certified Health Coach Claudia Petrilli on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

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

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

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

Wednesday September 17th 2014 8pm EDT

How She Does It: Performing Artist Kim Cameron

Side FX and Kim Cameron are a high-energy, 2-time Top 20 Billboard chart-topping dance band who's music has been on Billboard Dance Club, Hot AC, AC; College Music Journal; AAA, DJ Times, FMQB music charts.

Kim is played across the US, Canada, UK and Australia, and placed on Bravo, Fox Sports, MTV, Discovery, TLC, TV Networks, just to name a few.

Kim Cameron, who performed twice for the NFL (Giants and Redskins) to over 70,000, has toured across the country and internationally, garnered millions of YouTube views,  featured on Comcast's Xfinity, and won Album of the Year, Best Live Performance and an American Songwriter Nominee.

Deb: Thanks for stopping by the Secrets of Success blog today. So, how did you get started in your music career?

Kim: You're welcome, Deb! Thanks for the invitation. To answer your question, I have always been in music really.  Started at the age of 6 when I began playing the clarinet.  That graduated, eventually, into choir, and then into a band.  Of course, this is over decades..but who is counting!?@#

Deb: What are your inspirations?

Kim: Hard question because I feel like I get inspired every day.  Since I teach vocal lessons at a music school, 8, 9 and 10 year olds always inspire me.  The way they look at life, they way they think about things.  And, then, I see folks like Cher, who despite how old they are, continue to be relevant.  And, in between, I look at our men and women who serve…always brings a smile to my face.  They are brave beyond words.

Deb: So true! What are some successes and challenges you've had along the way?

Kim: Since I started out 'normal' if having a corporate career is considered normal, most of my friends and colleagues had thought I lost my mind when I went full time into the music scene.  It was difficult to explain why I needed to make the leap, and hard to see disappointment in their eyes when I first started.

But, as I released my first album, and immediately got airplay on American Airlines in Flight programming, I started to feel like I may have made the right decision.  It was not an easy path to follow, but after a few awards, hitting Billboard charts 3 times, not to mention touring across the country (and beyond boarders), the road was clear to me.  Success can be hard to define, especially when you are making all the rules.  Considering I went against all odds, I feel like every tiny step I make is a success.

Deb: What's coming coming up for you? Any new releases?

Kim: Next week, I release a very different song from my dance repertoire.  It's called 'Forever.'  It's a song about the south and brings special memories to me.  I completely love this song.  I hope everyone does too even though it's intent is not necessarily to get people on the dance floor.  My vision (and hope) is this song will drive lovers to darkly lit rooms with cool breezes and nothing but each other to think about.

Deb: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Kim: Get a support group.  Everyone is going to write bad songs…you need a group of friends who will put you back on your feet when you receive a bad review or an unkind word.  We are such perfectionists, so it's very difficult when people do not like your art.  A support group is key.

Deb: What are some things you feel artists should understand about the business side of your profession?

Kim: Gosh, most artists have no idea what to do with the business side.  I try to offer advice, but most feel like they know better.  I am not sure why, but I see it everyday.

Deb: Favorite place to be?

Kim: The beach.  I love the water, the way is sounds, the way it feels, the way it always inspires a few songs out of me.  The beach is filled with romance, and at the end of the day, I am all about a great love affair.

Deb: What do you love about what you do?

Kim: I am in love with music. Always have been.  It completely changes me in every way, shape and form.  I have one sole objective and purpose in life: to write the best song…ever.

Deb: This has been a wonderful conversation. Please share your social media/website links so that the readers can find you online.

Kim: My pleasure! Here are my social media links and some links to music and video.

Social Media & Website



She Had A Revenue Problem

by Karen Collacutt

Janelle, a client of mine, came to me about making some decisions around her money. We scheduled some time and took a look at her business and personal expenses. What she was spending seemed pretty reasonable considering her location, business set up and family size and situation.

Janelle still was spending more than she had and was going backwards every month.  I said to her, “You don’t really have a spending problem, you have a revenue problem.”

Eight out of ten of businesses just don’t make it. They struggle with fluctuating revenue and revenues that are just too low to sustain the expenses required to run the business and the family.

There are two ways to resolve the problem:

1. Spend less.

It is always a good idea to check in on your spending to see if you have money going out that isn’t necessary. Look for spending that isn’t revenue generating. Make sure you don’t cut back the marketing dollars – you need to spend those to bring in more clients.

2. Make more.

This is always the method of choice, and sometimes business owners forget that they have the power to make more money. You are in a unique position compared to those who work for a paycheque. You can choose to make more. Charge your business with the task of making the money you require to fund your life and your business and then do the work to make it happen.

Janelle and I looked at her revenue streams and at the challenges she was having. Being really open to new ideas, Janelle and I spent a good part of our call together brainstorming ways that she could make more money. We talked about how she offered her services and how she could reframe or repackage her offerings to get more clients started. We ran revenue projections so she could see how those new offerings would create the income she needs over the next year. Seeing the numbers and the possibilities got Janelle really excited – she could see how she can create the revenue she wants to fund her life and her business.

If you feel like you are going backwards, take a look at what is going out, and, take a good look at how to have more come in. Get creative, be open minded and explore the possibilities.

© 2013 www.karencollacutt.com

Photo Credit: krapow via Compfight cc

Personal finance expert, Karen Collacutt is founder and CEO of Make Friends with Your Money.  Karen works with ambitious people who are making good money but are wondering where it all went at the end of the month. She helps her clients to get clear on their money life challenges and opportunities, matching their money to their goals.  They build a plan, confidence and peace of mind around their money.

Certified Money Coach and Certified Financial Planner, Karen brings over 15 years of finance and business experience to her clients. Coach, speaker, author and change catalyst for those ready to create a positive and empowered money life, Karen delivers a fresh perspective on how to make friends with your money.  www.karencollacutt.com.

Creating Special Interest Magazines with Author Marcelle Soviero on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Topic: Creating Special Interest Magazines

Marcelle Soviero is the author of An Iridescent Life: Essays on Motherhood and Stepmotherhood. She is also the co-Editor of This is Childhood.

Her award winning essays have been published in numerous publications and radio programs including The New York Times, Salon.com, Eating Well, New York Metro, Babble.com, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, Literary Mama, Upper East Side, Wilton, StepMom, Anderbo, Tiny Lights: A Journal of Narrative Nonfiction, and featured on The Story on National Public Radio.

In August 2012, Marcelle became the Editor-in-Chief of Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers. Brain, Child, founded in 2000, is an award winning literary magazine devoted to mothering.

Its most recent awards include a 2014 Apex award for best overall publication, and a 2014 best overall design award from Bookbuilders of Boston. Each issue of Brain, Child contains news, debates, an in-depth feature article, essays, short fiction and more. Contributors have included Pulitzer Prize-winning novelists Jane Smiley and Anne Tyler, best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, and acclaimed writers Cheryl Strayed, Emily Rapp, Antonya Nelson, Alice Hoffman, and Susan Maushart.

Marcelle is also a private writing coach. Writers Marcelle has worked with have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Salon, Creative Nonfiction, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers and NPR.

She is also the Host of Carousel, a 22-year running interview style TV and Internet radio show. A poet by training, Marcelle is also the author of The Body That Wants, an award winning poetry chapbook. Her poetry has appeared in The Georgetown Review, Northeast Corridor, Calliope, Ark, Pearl River Review and The River Oak Review, among others.

She has also published hundreds of nonfiction articles, including numerous feature and cover stories for Popular Science where she was an editor for seven years. Marcelle has an MFA in English/Poetry from New York University and a BA in Creative Studies from Hofstra University. She has lectured at The New School, New York University and Emerson College, and in various libraries, bookstores and school districts nationwide. She is a hospice volunteer and enjoys teaching memoir writing to the elderly at various nursing homes. She lives in Wilton with her husband and five children.

Wednesday September 10th 2014 8pm EDT
br />


To Attract the New and Better, Purge the Old and Stagnant

by Ali Brown

Whenever I’m feeling stuck and want to attract new and better ideas or opportunities, I clean out my file cabinet.

Yes. That’s one big secret!

I clean out my file cabinet.

Can’t explain exactly how it works, but it does.

Just last week, I wanted to get back to working on my book, but was feeling totally resistant. I told myself at least I would pull out the file to work on later, so it would be in my face on my desk all day.

When I opened my file drawer in my desk and started digging, it hit me. There were papers, records, and notes in there from abandoned projects, persons I no longer worked with, old clients, an unpleasant legal matter, and even a crazy ex-fiancé!

In order for me to mine for the gems, I had to trudge through all my old sh*t.

I had to WORK to find the good stuff. Hmmm. Think about that.

Not good! Physically or energetically.

Time to shout “Clear the decks!” and line up the Hefty bags.

It was time to create space for exciting new projects, amazing new clients, and titillating new opportunities in my LIFE, so it was surely time to at least create them in my DRAWER!

To attract the new and better, you have to purge the old. From Aristotle and Einstein way back when, to physicists today, both scientists and philosophers agree that (at least here on Earth) nature abhors a vacuum.

Meaning, when you create space, the Universe will gladly fill it up for you, with what your intentions are set on.

The problem is if you don’t have space, nothing new can come in.

So, I don’t care how busy you are. If you are feeling a bit stuck, you’ve got to clear away some of that old energy and make ROOM for the new.

This principle applies to everything in your life—from files to relationships—but today let’s focus on your office and workspace.

Here are my BIG 3 areas I have clients attack right away:

1. Your Files — I bet most of the stuff in there you can honestly trash right now. If there are records you absolutely should keep, get them out of your workspace and into neatly organized boxes that are stored elsewhere. (I used to rent a small storage unit, and then I had nice cabinets installed in my garage.)

Then organize what you DO need and want on hand in beautiful colored file folders that are nicely labeled. (I’m a huge fan of the P-Touch labeler!) And here’s the BIG secret: Create files not only for the business you have now, but especially for the business you want to create!

Have sections that draw attention to exciting new projects or opportunities or business. For example, if you dream of working with high-paying clientele, create a folder that says “$10,000 Clients”. Because I want to focus on my book, my book project is right up front in a beautiful file folder.

2. Books — Some guys in the industry I know brag about how big their home libraries are. I’m not a fan of keeping hundreds of books around to clutter my office and home. Very stagnant energy.

I suggest you only keep books on hand that you:
1. are currently reading
2. that you LOVE (not just like) and want to have around forever
3. refer to regularly.

Otherwise keep a bin in your office handy to toss books into as you are done with them. Then pass them on to a friend or client, or donate them to a local library or school.

And guess what? If you ever miss a book you gave away or you need it again, you can buy it again. In all my years of purging, this has only been necessary about three times. Puts it in perspective.

3. Photos & Mementos — An old acquaintance of mine had dozens of shelves in her home that prominently featured her work with past clients. Problem was, I came to learn at least three of these clients either were suing her or had tried to sue her. (Why she was attracting this was another story.)

What terrible energy to have photos, mementos, and work related to these toxic relationships in front of her every single day!

There was one point a few years ago I looked around my office and realized there were photos of people I didn’t associate with anymore. I had some great digital snapshots of my babies, my best friends, and some recent amazing experiences on my computer, but they weren’t around me at my desk.

So I had the best ones printed, and picked up some nice frames for them. Now as I look around my office, I’m surrounded by the loving smiles of my wonderful family and friends.

Warning: Be Ready for “Energy Eruptions”!

There was one particular purging day I remember from years ago. I was getting rid of so much stuff that represented the OLD me—there must have been at least 10 trash bags going out the door—and it brought up a lot of weird feelings. I was throwing out many mementos from my first failed marriage and also early business ventures from when I was very unsure of myself, including some projects that had gone sour.

Later that day, I not only felt exhausted, but devastated, like I’d been knocked down by a truck! I cried for hours and felt a bit nauseous as well. (As if I was going to chuck up some internal files of my own!)

Whether conscious or not, know that purging your environment physically will also bring up anything that needs to come up energetically. Be gentle on yourself and make sure you have some time to rest afterwards.

Just know that when you wake up the next day, you’ll feel amazing walking into your home office set up for the NEW you! And something magical will happen from it—I promise. I’ve had clients attract new opportunities, clients, or the exact idea they needed as soon as the very next day.

So schedule a spring cleaning PURGE this week or weekend. You’ll thank me later!

Question: Have you ever cleaned out your office or workspace and felt inspired and renewed? Did it lead to new opportunities? I would love to hear about it in the comment section below.

© 2014 Ali International, LLC
Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.

How She Does It: Marita Cheng, Founder of 2Mar Robotics and Robogals Global

Marita Cheng was the 2012 Young Australian of the Year. Marita received the award for demonstrating vision and leadership well beyond her years as the Founder and Executive Director of Robogals Global.

Noticing the lack of girls in her engineering classes at the University of Melbourne, Marita rounded up her fellow engineering peers and they went to schools to teach girls robotics, as a way to encourage girls in pursuing a career in engineering. In just five years, Robogals has grown to 22 locations in six countries around the world, and taught over 20,000 girls robotics. The group runs robotics workshops, career talks and various other community activities to introduce young women to engineering.

In 2013, Marita founded 2Mar Robotics, which is focused on building beautiful robots that help us in our everyday lives. Based in Melbourne, Australia, the company aims to make robots accessible to everyone.

Marita was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia. She grew up in housing commission with her brother and single-parent mother, who worked as a hotel room cleaner. She graduated from high school in 2006 in the top 0.2% of the nation. That same year Marita was awarded Cairns Young Citizen of the Year for her volunteering and extra-curricular efforts, which included winning awards for mathematics, Japanese and piano. Marita speaks English, Cantonese and Japanese.

Marita has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) / Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Melbourne.

Deb: Hi Marita! Thanks for joining us on the Secrets of Success blog. So, how did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Marita: Glad to be here. My journey started from growing up with nothing. I grew up in a housing commission, where mum earned about $20,000 a year as a hotel room cleaner to support herself, my brother and me. By living very frugally and only spending money on things that were investments into our future, my mum was able to provide my brother and I with an education so we could go to university.

When I began my journey to becoming an entrepreneur, my upbringing really helped shape me because I already knew what the worst could look like and this made it possible for me to take risks and reach for the stars.

My first company was Nudge. It was a reminder service for patients taking prescription medication. Back then I didn't really know what I was doing, but it gave me the experience I needed to build a business. I started with a small vision and executed on that. From there I learnt the skills to be able to expand my vision into something bigger every time. Before I knew it, I had a growing small enterprise!

Deb: Are there any "lessons learned" that you'd like to share?

Marita: I think the number one lesson is to just keep going. If something's not working, adjust until it does. Recognise that "failures" are just lessons you had to learn and don't give up.

Just like everyone else, I'm terrified of failures but I will always make an effort to do things that scare me. I hold myself accountable if things don't work, I reflect on why things went wrong and find another way to succeed.

I love success, but I also appreciate the rewards found in failure.

Deb: Who are your ideal clients?

I started up 2Mar Robotics last year so I can build robotic arms to help make a difference to people in their everyday lives, such as those with a disability or limited upper mobility. Making a positive impact is something I take seriously and therefore my ideal clients are those who need support and benefit from having a robotic arm lift things up for them and manipulate the environment around them.

The robotic arm can be mounted on a wheelchair, table or bench so the user can control the arm using an iPhone or iPad to move and grip objects and can save common tasks to be easily repeated again later.

When I was a kid begrudgingly doing the household chores, I dreamed of the day when a robot could do all the chores for me. When I realised there was no robots of this description around me, I decided I needed to be the one to make it happen and every day I get a step closer to turning this dream into a reality. The project is currently in development and we're expecting to bring it to market by the end of the year.

Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?

Marita: One of my everyday successes is being able to juggle my life so that I have time to think creatively about the big picture even while I continue to execute my day-to-day vision. It's such a luxury to have the time, space and mindset to just reflect on things.

Also I'm extremely proud of my success on Robogals where I was recognised as Young Australian of the Year in 2012.  I founded Robogals to inspire female participation in engineering, science and technology through fun and educational initiatives aimed at girls in primary and secondary school. The Robogals project has attracted growing numbers of student volunteers and is continuing to expand internationally. Robogals is changing the mindsets of girls so they can believe in themselves and be inspired to do awesome work such as creating amazing buildings and bridges, plus fantastic innovations.

I like to challenge myself to do new things all the time, which is a challenge in itself! So I spend a lot of time reading and fully engrossing myself in a topic in order to fully understand things when I'm working on a new project.

An exciting challenge I'm currently involved in is the Optus Yes! Project.

As an advocator of the Optus Yes! Project I'm calling on Australians to 'live more yes' in their lives by sharing their thoughts, photos or videos on social media with the hashtag #YES and Optus will make the most interesting, useful, funny or awesome ideas happen. I like challenging and engaging young Aussies to do fun and creative things and I'm excited to see their awesome ideas brought to life.

Deb: That's terrific. So, going forward, what's your vision for your business at 2Mar Robotics?

In the short term, my vision is to create an amazing robotic arm for people with limited upper limb mobility. 

In the long term, my vision is to create robots that are a part of our everyday lives in all different roles.


The Myth of More

by Karen Collacutt

You want to grow your business. You make plans, decisions and take actions towards that goal.
When you make decisions in your business, or in your life for that matter, there is a general direction towards more. More revenue, more infrastructure, more systems, more support.

It is easy to get caught in that thinking to the point where any other option becomes unacceptable. Part of it is that we live in a culture that is permeated with the Myth of More.

    The Myth of More says that in order to be successful, happy and fulfilled we must have more.

A client of mine, Kelly, was making decisions about leasing a new office space. She and her partner had been in the same space for 5 years. The lease was up and they had always assumed that they would move to a bigger space when the time came. They started looking at spaces they could afford. As they went through space after space, Kelly started to realize that they maybe didn’t need as much space, maybe not even as much as they currently had. The idea of going smaller felt really wrong – like she was “playing small” or like they couldn’t afford what they wanted. She was living in the Myth of More.

Kelly realized that she was making decisions based on what they could afford, and what felt “successful” instead of making strategic business decisions. They stopped and reassessed their needs.

Michelle, a colleague, shared a similar decision she made in her business. She had hired an assistant to help her set up systems in her business. Recently, Michelle realized that all of the systems were set up and the business was running well. She thought about letting the assistant go, and worried that made her less of a successful business owner. She was supposed to be taking on more support not less, right?

When Michelle thought about what her business really needed, and she did the math, she realized that her assistant was costing about $15000/year. Since the projects were done and the systems set up, did she really need that assistant? If she kept her, that money would not available to do other things in her business. Michelle decided to release the assistant knowing that she can bring her back in for special projects as needed.

In both of these situations the business owners could have made emotional decisions to protect them from feeling like they were ‘playing small’. Instead, they made strategic business decisions that free up time, money and energy for other areas of their business and their lives. That is playing big in my books.

Take a look at your business and your life. Are you spending money because you feel you should? Because it makes you feel successful? Look for clues of where are you making decisions based on the Myth of More instead of what will really work best for you.

Karen is a Money Strategist helping entrepreneurs build the bridge between their business and their personal finances, creating more revenue and more choices.  Certified Financial Planner, Certified Money Coach, and Certified NLP Practitioner, Karen blends pragmatic money management strategies with tools to change what you tell yourself about the green stuff. 
For more about Karen Collacutt, visit www.karencollacutt.com.

Photo Credit: www.stockmonkeys.com

History of Labor Day

In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.

-from Wikipedia

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

-from "The History of Labor Day" on the U.S. Department of Labor website
Back to Top