I have been thinking about CELEBRATION lately.  Do we celebrate enough?

relationship 1I dare say, that most business owners do not celebrate enough.  It is probably because they are waiting to hit that big milestone that they are striving for.  You know, launching the next new product, hitting the million dollar income mark, or filling their schedule with paying clients.

I am voting for celebrating the little things.  Don’t we like to be celebrated for those things that help us to move forward toward the larger goals?  Of course we do!  It is a great reminder that we are on our way and encourages us to continue.  It builds our self-esteem and makes us un-stoppable.

What can we celebrate?  How about if we celebrate:

  • That we tried
  • Imperfect action
  • Forward motion
  • Having a vision
  • Success and joy for our customers
  • Having a plan
  • Knowing who your clients are and who they are not
  • Feeling empowered
  • Solving problems
  • Hiring help
  • Making a commitment

Without these things, business is hard.  Let’s celebrate that we are making it easier and finding success.  And let’s have some fun along the way.

Imperfect Action

Imperfect Action is better than No Action!

What is that all about?  If you are a business owner, you know what it is like to get stuck, not moving forward, looking for everything to be in place before you take action.  You may say, “When I have that Sales Script down pat, I will start to make sales calls.”  Or “When I have my 12 month program completely written, I will try to sell it.”  Or “When I have the perfect business card, I will go networking.”

We are waiting for our action to be perfect before we show it to the public.  There are some things that this may be valid for, but in many cases, we learn so much from our imperfect action.  We learn where to make adjustments to the Sales Script.  We get practice delivering the Sales Pitch.  We learn which tweaks will help us to feel more authentic in our sales.

Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?”  If you have a Sales Conversation and it is not perfect, what is the worst that can happen?  You may feel a bit foolish or awkward.  You may not get the sale (this time).  What is the best that can happen?  You actually are successful with the sale and you are now moving forward.

Take a look and see where you are not taking action.  What are you waiting for?  If it is important, then get on it.  If ‘good enough’ is ‘good enough’ for now, then get into action, even if is not perfect.  Get started, and get your business moving!

Busy Work – The Death of the Entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur do you find yourself very busy, yet you don’t have the business that you want?  This happens quite often with new business owners.  Many of us have been told that if we don’t work hard, we will never succeed.  So, we go about doing things, no matter how useful or useless, just to fulfill that subconscious need to be working hard.

What is busy work?  Answering emails as soon as they come in.  Taking phone calls, no matter what you have scheduled yourself to work on.  Stuffing envelopes.  Surfing Facebook or Twitter.  I am not saying that these things may not have a value to your business.  It is the way that you approach them that makes the difference.  I think that we all know that we can get distracted and off on tangents while on social media or even on the phone.  Be honest with yourself and ask if what you are spending your time on is productive.  Better yet, ask yourself if what you are doing is helping to improve your business and make it into the life that you want.

The key to being busy with productive things is to schedule them.  Just putting a time in your schedule to work on your business is not enough.  Before you even get to that, you want to know what you will be working on.  What are the projects that are going to move your business toward your vision?  What are the action items that will move that project along?

Prioritize your projects.  Prioritize your action steps.  You can’t do it all!  If you try to work on all of your projects at the same time, you will get into overwhelm.  Pick one or two projects and break them down into actions steps.  If you don’t know the action steps, then just pick the first step to get you on your way.

When you have your scheduled time to work on your business, just go to your list of action items.  Start working on them.  It is that simple.  When you finish an item, write down the next step.  If you have time to work on it, that is great.  If not, it will be there for your next scheduled time.

This is how you focus your time and energy on moving your business forward.  It may be ‘hard work’ or may be enjoyable for you.  In any case, it will not be useless busy work.

That would be Ideal

ideal clientWhen we are promoting our products or services, it all goes so much smoother if we can really identify our ideal client.  BUT, there are times when defining this client can be frustrating, exasperating, and confusing.  Sometimes our clients seem to have such a broad scope of challenges, we can’t pin point what they have in common.  Hands thrown in the air, we promise to get back to this ‘exercise’, but for now, we just get some content on our marketing material and go for it.

How can we look at our ideal client definition in another way?

We can look at our ideal client as, “who do I really enjoy working with?”  After all, if you are trying to attract more clients then why not bring in the ones that you will enjoy, who will get the most value from the work, and who will be happy to refer you to others?

What are some characteristics that your clients might have?

  • They have a positive attitude
  • They are willing to be bold
  • They are motivated to make a change
  • They pay on time
  • They enjoy writing (speaking, wine tasting, etc.  just pick one)
  • They are new in business
  • They are established in business

You get the point.  Think about the person you really want to work with and  you know you can help the most.

Not all of your ideal client criteria will be put on your marketing material for all to see.  Some things are more for you to know where your boundaries are.  This helps you to determine if there is a good fit between you and your prospective client.

Still stuck?  Here is something to think about today:

If you were to define your clients as “they are hungry for what I have to offer”, what would that look like?

Have fun with it and imagine yourself with all of the ideal clients that you need.

But I’m Not a Salesman!

If you are a small business owner like me, you love what you do, but you cringe at the thought of having to sell your services.  Just give me all the clients I need without me having to actually go through the selling process.

Sales-p18okpskhcqk4ms1r3s1ml319hfLet’s admit right now that selling is part of running our business.  So, if we can’t change that, we can change the way we look at selling and what it is all about.

For most people, the word ‘sales’ brings up images of trying to get people to buy something whether they need it or not.  It is all about the sales person closing the deal and not about the buyer.

It is actually easy to turn around your concept of ‘sales’.  If you have a service that is there to help people, then the sales process is there to help both you and the prospect to see if there is a good match.  The objective is not to shove your service down their throat just so that you can bring in some cash.  The ultimate objective is to help them with the service that you provide.

Instead of looking at an upcoming sales conversation with dread, look at it as an opportunity to be of service to the prospect.  Become unattached to the outcome of closing a sale or not.  How could the conversation be of service?  Some of the ways are:

  • You uncover what has been holding the prospect back from achieving their goals
  • You realize that your service can help them to move forward toward meeting their goals
  • You help them to see what kind of help they need at this time, whether you can provide it or not
  • You help them to make a decision that is in their best interest
  • They sign up for a program that is going to benefit them far beyond this one conversation

The sales conversation takes time and practice to ‘do right’ and to be natural.  The first step though is to change the way we view the process and have it be authentic for us.  Try this on for size and see if it inspires you to start learning more about sales.

Commitment – It’s Huge!

I have been getting the message from all sides lately about commitment.  Whatever we commit to we shall achieve. If we are truly committed, then we will also take the actions necessary to achieve our goals.

vision board 1So, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we are truly committed to.  It isn’t enough to just write down our vision, our goals, and our dreams.  It isn’t enough to just talk about them or think about them.  We have to really believe that we can achieve them and that we deserve to achieve them.

Whatever we are committed to comes first in our lives.  That means putting other things aside, even if only for a short while.  We must be willing to focus and to stand up for what we want.

We need to choose the actions that will move us toward our goal.  ‘Build it and they will come’ is an interesting concept, but when we take the action to ‘sell tickets’ things start to happen.

If you are not getting where you want to be in your business life, take a moment to look at what it is you are committed to.  Based on what you have in your life, can you figure out where your true commitment is?

Commitment is huge!  Commitment comes first.  The rest follows.