Archive for the ‘Business Success Tips’ Category
Posted by MaryPat on March 12th, 2013
I was recently asked to kick off a telesummit about marketing. When I asked the host why she selected me to do this (btw, this is one of my standard questions to assess all incoming opportunities), she said that I have an understanding about marketing and the ability to explain it that most people need to hear.
I have realized that she is right–most people do not understand what marketing is, how it is different than sales, and how they all relate. So here is a quick overview to give you an idea.
Marketing is the activity that builds awareness, credibility, and traffic to your event and/or your website. Marketing can include networking (online and offline), attending events, advertising, press releases, speaking, direct mail, search engine optimization, joint ventures and many more tactics.
Sales is the process of converting your “people”. This conversion is sometimes a money interaction, but not always. The request for the sale is often referred to as the “call to action” - or what you want them to do next. Sales include converting people from your website onto your newsletter list or your Facebook page is a form of a sale. Sales also include picking up the phone and having a strategic conversation.
If you are trying to combine your sales and marketing, you are probably often frustrated with your results. And I can assure you, you are annoying your potential clients. More to come on this later.
Also note that a good marketing campaign is not usually an over-night success tactic. Unless you are a “wham-bam-thankyou-maam” sales person (who does not care or want to see the customer the next day), then be committed to spending time building relationships, visibility and trust.
Good marketing allows the sale to be an easy process. Often, the right marketing attract the best sales.
Posted by MaryPat on March 5th, 2013
Problem: Can’t focus
My daughter is ADD. Actually, 2 of my daughters have this “personality trait”. Oh yeah, and almost all my clients are ADD on some level.
I find it fascinating that while they feel most content when their spaces are clean and organized, they are moving so fast all the time that things are usually messy. This causes them to be in a constant state of anxiousness and overwhelm.
Sometimes the clutter shows up in their work space. Sometimes, it shows up in their time-managements skills (is your planner complete? With all the details you need? And do you review it daily?).
Can you relate?
Here are 5 simple solutions that work for my kids and my clients to ease the overwhelm and anxiety:
1. Have a conversation with someone who will call you out. Share how you are feeling with someone who cares and who can help you fix it. If you don’t have this person in your life, find him/her!
2. Make a list of your To-Do’s. Sort this list into piles and then organize by importance. This is a technique I use with my clients and it is the most valuable activity we have to get the right activities done and feel accomplished. Sometimes, simple writing everything down creates relief.
3. Share your list. Preferably, that person who can call you out can also remind you of what you ARE accomplishing. I have noticed that often, we don’t recognize what we are getting done because new “to-do’s” start to pop up. You need someone who can help you recognize your accomplishments
4. Clean your clutter in your space. I personally hate spending my time cleaning the clutter, but when I have a clean space, I feel lighter. With my kids and my clients, I have found that spending one hour creating space in your physical environment increases their happiness and their ability to focus.
5. Organize your space so you can keep it cleaned. This can be hard to do by yourself. Mostly, I see people remove everything from the space and then start over. My personal favorite solution is to hire an organizer who organizes based on MY preferences and habits instead of their own system.
You are probably wondering what being happy, ADD, being accountable and cleaning the clutter have to do with marketing and business. Here’s the connection:
Because I have such a limited time each week to get my “work” done, it is super-important that ever hour is profitable. When my space gets cluttered, I get frustrated and happiness is pushed off to “someday” instead of today. It’s even worse with my kids and clients.
So when the environment is clean, it is easier to focus, get results and be more profitable.
Posted by MaryPat on February 15th, 2013
In researching “lifestyle entrepreneurs” online, I have realized that most people define lifestyle entrepreneur as someone who is more passionate about what they do than how much money they make.
It’s quite obvious, if this is true, that most of this market is not profitable and struggles with having enough money to support their lives. Can you relate?
So what if you could be a PROFITABLE Lifestyle Entrepreneur?
Well you can. In an earlier blog post, I featured 16 amazing and highly profitable women who have built their business around their lives AND they are all passionate about what they do and why they do it (another important note not discussed in the articles I have been reading on this subject matter including this great but limiting article by Forbes Magazine).
Here is what I know to be true for all of the women I featured and many more whom I have had great, enlightening conversations with over the past month on this topic:
Lifestyle Entrepreneurs are purpose-driven AND ON PURPOSE.
What I mean is that, not only are all these women driven by their passions, their mission and their purpose, they are also STRATEGIC in what they do and how they do it. They are clear about their goals AND about how they will achieve those goals. How else can they create a business that provides a great living, savings for retirement, travel expenses, private schools for kids and cute shoes — all in less than 30 hours a week?
There are a number of other similarities that I plan to uncover and discuss in future conversations and blog posts, but for now, know this:
You cannot create a sustainable and profitable lifestyle business by accident.
So what are your top strategies? What is your plan?
Posted by MaryPat on February 7th, 2013
I am on a mission. And it’s a big mission. And I won’t stop until I’m done.
I am dedicated to shining the spotlight on profitable Lifestyle Entrepreneurs–who they are (so we can mentor them if we choose) and how they think (again, so we can understand how we can shift to accomplish what we want). I also plan to tap into their insights so we can identify and understand the strategies they have used to accomplish success.
The commonality between me, you and them?
The desire to live a great life while building a profitable, purposeful business AND maintaining health and great relationships.
The difference between me, you and them?
The ability to know what actions to take, what thoughts to think, and what support to lean on to develop this success.
Don’t get me wrong: I have lived that great life where I had a successful, profitable business and an amazing life. But it wasn’t conscious.
So, after at least a dozen people approached me saying, “You are the Queen of Connections. Connect me to someone who has built a profitable business without destroying other aspects of her life. And preferably, running her business part-time.”
And I was stumped. I was able to refer them to 1-2 people, but I really believed there had to be more.
So that’s the back story. Here’s what I have uncovered:
13 Amazing Women On-Purpose
These women have built profitable businesses while maintaining health, relationships, and happiness. (Sorry men, didn’t mean to exclude but no men were referred to me in my R&D campaign.) Notice I didn’t say that they achieved health, relationships and happiness AFTER they built a success, profitable business. They were all on a maintenance program, determined to build on the positive qualities of their life, not destroy and rebuild.
Here are the questions I asked and the qualifications I included:
1. Do you work (on average) less than 30 hours weekly on your business?
2. Do you feel “successful” in your relationships?
3. Do you have business success?
REQUIRED: You MUST invest profits into a LIFESTYLE and not just back into the business.
Below is the list of women (plus 3 great women who work more than 30 hours but have taken a stand for having a life and are just amazing) and a quote or mantra they wanted to share:
1. Shawn Driscoll, ShawnDriscoll.com - “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
- Howard Thurman
2. Jennifer Cannon, Legna Marketing Group and Cupcake Whimsey - “Stop and smell the roses…but if you can use that rose to market or advertise…use that rose to make you money”
3. Tera McHugh, Association of Women Entrepreneurs - The strength of your business (& personal) growth depend on the relationships you build AND as Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
4. Sheri Keys, Smart Women Institute - Be of service.
5. Angela Minelli, Angela Minelli Int’l - Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine and Thy Medicine Be Thy Food - Hippocrates
6. Shannon Cherry, ShannonCherry.com - The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead. - Margaret Ray Hinkley
7. Joan-Marie Whelan, Intuitive Business Consultant - You are all ready whole. What you are longing for is waiting for you. The key is to open your heart and receive the gift.
8. Danielle M Miller, Brand Strategist - Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. –Steve Jobs
9. Dr. Susan Giurleo, DrSusanGiurleo.com - The path to success is to plan your business around your lifestyle needs, not the other way around.
10. Tina Forsyth, Author of The Entrepreneur’s Trap (available on Amazon) - “Stop Working Weekends! You don’t have to work weekends to be successful. ”
11. Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC, FDN The Mojo Coach®, Lifestyle Fitness, Inc. - “Every choice you make brings you further or closer to the life you want-choose wisely”
12. Nancy Marmolejo, Nancita, Inc. - “Leap and the net will appear!”
13. Kelly O’Neil, Women’s Leadership Academy - “There is only one you. Be extraordinary.”
The 3 women listed below helped contribute and inspire the vision for this post. They are true Lifestyle Entrepreneurs but average more than 30 hours of work in their business weekly.
14. Andrea J Lee, Wealthy Thought Leaders and Thought Partners Int’l Ltd. - “Inside every smart entrepreneur wages an internal battle. It’s daily battle between putting your head in the yoke and following the beaten path… or leaping at the creative impulse to think for yourself.” “Your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
15. Kendra E Thornbury, KendraThornbury.com - I prosper by being true to me. I freely, joyously and gratefully receive the riches of the Universe and expand the world by doing so.
16. Chelsea Berler, Solamar Agency - “Focus on making a difference in business and in life - every single day. That’s the key to success.”
What do Lifestyle Entrepreneurs have in common?
When analyzing the results of my survey that allowed me to qualify everyone listed above, there were a few common themes that were identified and worthy of sharing with you.
When asked “where do you invest the profits of your business?” a majority of these women listed the following:
• Lifestyle including nice house, clothes, private schools for kids, great food, alternative health care and more
• Retirement Savings/Financial Security
• Giving Back/Charitable contributions of both time and money
The common message connecting all of these great women?
Live for the NOW and not for the future. ALL of these women are and have been living life on purpose, making sure that their business is an extension of their lifestyle and not the other way around.
Are you living on purpose? What can you shift NOW so that you can be a lifestyle entrepreneur NOW instead of some day?
Posted by MaryPat on January 30th, 2013
Premise: we all spend time doing and doing but at the end of the day we feel spent and wasteful…and we are not closer to building our business and having a life.
So how do we spend our time focusing on the strategic results AND still get everything done? (like emails, phone calls, running kids around, feeding ourselves and our families, etc.)
Solution: plan for success everyday!
I am an expert at wasting time….spending the day checking my email, following up on Facebook, having great conversations with fun people who I really like, and feeling wiped out and frustrated that I’m not really closer to any of my goals.
It’s important to me to be happy and feel accomplished. So I created a system (yes, I do that for everything in my life) that allows me to mess around with emails & Facebook and have fun coffee dates and still get strategic results everyday and feel on-purpose!
Here is what must be included in your plan for success:
Simply answer these 6 questions to start being on-purpose with your time, your business and your life!
- What is my focused project? - select your focus and stick to it
- Why is this project important to complete? - identify the purpose of the project/focus and make sure it supports your goals.
- What steps will I take to complete this project? - outline how you will get this done.
- What results will I achieve by completing this project? - This answer will help you focus on the end, helping you stay on track.
- What challenge do I foresee on this project? - be clear about your weaknesses, acknowledge them. Surprises take us down and side-track us quickly.
- What support do I need? - make sure you have support and share your goals, results you want and your weaknesses and find a friend who will call you out if need be.
Then schedule your time. Be realistic. And take things one day at a time. If you can figure out how to get one thing done ON PURPOSE each day, you will have accomplished great things in a matter of days and weeks.
For information about how you can get strategic support and start getting better results, check out the Strategic Results Take Action Day. You can subscribe to our monthly support program or just drop in for the day and check it out. Act now and access your monthly membership for only $27!
Posted by MaryPat on December 19th, 2012
As a business owner, YOU are the most important asset in your business. In fact, I believe that you are the foundation. It doesn’t matter what you build, if the foundation is rock-solid, it won’t last very long. And as an entrepreneur, you will go down with the business when it falls.
So it is wise and important to build your business with a solid foundation.
According to Dictionary.com, a foundation is:
the basis or groundwork of anything
What makes a solid foundation?
The are 4 key ingredients to a solid foundation to create sustainability for your business. Miss one ingredient and you will lose your opportunity for freedom.
The first ingredient to your foundation is YOU. There is a caveat here, though. The more sustainable your business is, the longer it can survive without you. And since most of us business owners have a business so we can have a life, becoming sustainable is pretty important.
But let’s talk foundation first. After you, what else is necessary?
There are a few other foundational items that are necessary to build a sustainable business.
You need a SHTICK - something that makes your stand out in the crowd. It’s what you do and your positioning, rolled into one.
You need to be clear about WHO you do it for. I know this sounds obvious, but almost everyone stumbles over this piece at some point. Who do you serve? Why? What is there motivation? These simple answers need to roll off your tongue. And if it’s not a simple answer, you probably don’t have enough clarity here.
You need support. In fact, you need 3 types of support.
Support #1: Operational systems support you when you get sick, when you hire a new team member and when you launch a new program.
Support #2: Your team can include employees, assistants, coaches, advisory board, mastermind partners and even your cheerleaders. You don’t need all those team members, but the more you have supporting you, the easier it will be to get results on the days you don’t feel like it.
Support #3: Self care is what prevents things like adrenal fatigue/burnout and other debilitating illnesses from taking over your life. I heard Deepak Chopra refer to this as Living Luxuriously. I call it, the simple pleasures in life. For me, a glass of wine, waking up to a steamy cup of coffee, a candle-lit bath and watching the Gilmore Girls with my girls are my pleasures.
So I ask, does your business foundation include ALL the required ingredients for success and sustainability?
Posted by MaryPat on December 17th, 2012
This past summer, I got sick.
But I ignored it until November 1, when I couldn’t think anymore.
I spent the entire month recovering…actually, laying on the couch, only able to work about 2-3 hours/day (my norm used to be 7-10). In fact, the last week of November was absolutely miserable!
So what did I learn by my own sickness?
Systems are key. I learned that if I didn’t have systems in place, I would have lost everything. Using simple systems to continue to create content, manage the little bit of time I did have so it was productive, and communicate with my team, my clients and my peeps allowed me to continue moving forward in my life and my business.
My peeps are the best. I learned that the support from different people was mandatory. Between the business partners, team, friends and my networks, I was able to learn more about what was happening to me, support myself, and get motivated to get stuff done. ( A shout-out here to Debi Silber who wrote an amazing article about adrenal fatigue in Working Mother Magazine…and posted the link on my FB wall)
Self-care is not an option, it is required. I learned that taking care of myself was the most important thing in my business and my life. Without me, not only would my business crash, but it would affect my partners, my children, my clients and my friends.
What does the foundation of your business look like? Does it support you in all aspects of your life? And how are you taking care of yourself?
Posted by MaryPat on December 13th, 2012
Recently I was diagnosed with adrenal burnout. I had been suffering from chronic fatigue for months, was feeling very ill every time I worked out, and was getting nauseous every time I ate.
Ironically, over the last few years, I have witnessed my girlfriends all suffering from adrenal fatigue and burnout that almost shut their businesses down and landed one in the hospital multiple times with heart attack -like symptoms. So I am very aware what pushing yourself too hard can do.
What I was NOT aware of, was where the line was for me. I kept telling myself “only a few more weeks of this” and “I just need to launch this next thing”. I even have “breathe” and “pray” and “meditate” and “lunch” scheduled into my calendar every day to help me take care of me.
Also, ironically, in the last year, I have slowed down my business–focusing only on the things that I love and that serve me–and I have been eating better and working out regularly.
So just when I started taking care of myself, it all came crashing down. How fair is that?
But you see, it wasn’t enough. I needed a reminder to eat because I wasn’t taking care of myself. Really, I wasn’t prioritizing myself.
As a business owner, YOU are the most important asset in your business.
In fact, I believe that you are the foundation. It doesn’t matter what you build, if the foundation is rock-solid, it won’t last very long. And as an entrepreneur, it will take you down with it.
I recognize that you may relate to much of what I have shared here. But if you’re like me, you are telling yourself “that’s because she has 4 kids…I don’t so that won’t happen to me” or “I get it and I will slow down before it gets the best of me”.
So here is my request to you:
Take 3 “simple pleasures” and do them every day. These can be a warm cup of tea with a friend, a bubble bath, lighting a special candle or taking yourself to the park to watch a ballgame by yourself. Whatever you love to do, big or small, and do them throughout the day. Three times a day, serve yourself.
Posted by MaryPat on December 12th, 2012
Can you invest 90 minutes of time to get better results with less frustration for 2013?
ATTN: Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners
How will it feel if you get to the end of 2013 and have EXACTLY the same results you did in 2012?
I am offering a FREE WORKSHOP!
Build your custom plan that encompasses your vision, your market, your goals & your strategies and even supports your celebrations — getting your Kick Butt results for 2013
This is an interactive workshop where you will leave with a plan!
Are you in?
YES, MARYPAT, I WANT A SIMPLE, EASY PLAN TO GUIDE ME IN 2013
What do you need to do differently in 2013 so you get better results? Do you know?
* You need to know where you want to go. So many people aren’t clear about their goals. Their goals aren’t specific and measurable, even though they know they have a mission to change the world!
* You need a plan to get there. You can probably still get there without a good plan, but it is more likely that you will probably kill yourself before you achieve success…and definitely before you are able to change the world.
* You need a strategic plan. Without a solid strategy, the based-laid plans can be frustrating, overwhelming and quite frankly, ineffective to get you to your long-term goals.
Sign me up for free for Kick Butt results in 2013
If you have a vision and some clear goals and milestones and/or projects that you intend to accomplish in 2013, then you are perfect for this free workshop!
Get registered now and join me on Thursday, December 13!
Posted by MaryPat on December 10th, 2012
This is the 5th post in a series of how to create a simple, strategic and successful plan. You can use this plan for launching a great 2013 (assuming the world doesn’t end in the next few weeks) or you can implement these steps at any point to get on track with what you really want to create in your life and your business.
Creating a plan is often daunting, overwhelming and once you complete the plan, you never look at it again. It doesn’t have to be that way.
A good plan is one that is simple, to the point, and useful in your everyday tasks to build your business.
So let’s review the model that I use for myself and all of my clients, big and small, that creates simplicity and ease in our business-building strategies, our team development and even our partnership and promotional conversations.
And it includes only 5 things. Simple.
For a detailed of explanation of each, click on the title link.
What do we do, why do we do it, and who do we do it for.
This is about your values and is the single thing that connects you to your clients and your team and your partners and everyone who thinks you are cool!
What are you working toward? And how will you know when you get there?
How will you achieve those goals? And what is the magic net that brings the pieces together so you don’t spin out of control? It’s the strategy.
How will you celebrate your successes daily?
This last component of the plan was added recently for me as I need to remind myself regularly of my successes and celebrate them. If I don’t build these last pieces into my plan, then I don’t practice them….making me a dull, over-worked person.
Finally, I fit all of this information onto ONE PAGE. It is super important that all of these details can be written succinctly and to the point, with clarity and preciseness. This allows you to hang this document on the wall above your desk and reference it when you are developing your next product launch, having your next JV conversation, and even hiring your next team member.
1. Decide how you will celebrate daily, weekly, monthly, per project and for the year.
2. Build a document (I use Word and use text boxes for each section), and layout all of your details that you have written onto one page. It is important that this all fits onto one side of one page for easy reference.
3. Print your plan and hang it above your desk, share it with your team, and reference it during your next (and all) JV calls!
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