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It's Not Just Business, It's Personal!

From personal anecdotes, to business development case scenarios, and all the thoughts in between, Monica shares her insights into what brings success and happiness "when business meets personal."

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Posted by on in Business Services

I had a nice chat today with a marketing pro, Jocelyn Murray, of Marketing and Event Resources.com.  Jocelyn is particularly good at social media marketing, as well as identifying and implementing many other aspects of a marketing plan, like goals, target audience, specific messaging for your audiences, and strategies to best meet your needs through reaching your market.  (A blog would be a good example of messaging- it's an insight into a business owner's mind.)

So why is marketing so darn important to every business? It's not enough to have a great product or service, you're a hidden jewel unless people know about you and how you can help them get what they want.  You want them to know what YOU'RE the best at delivering.

I read a recent marketing article on "marketing for hippies.com" and it summed it up like this:

Customers and clients are on Island A (not so perfect) and they want to get to Island B, where life is going the way they wish their life/business was going. You, the business owner,  are one of the many boats that can get them to Island B, but why do you stand out as the best route to get there when there are so many boats to take them?

The author Tad says, "They’re not buying the boat – they’re buying the Island."  Your marketing should highlight the results that they want.

That's true, we need to lay out for our potential clients what is on Island B- the results they want.  I'd like to add that YOUR boat not only gets them to the results they want on Island B, it offers the journey they want to experience.  People do business with those they know, like and trust.  People like to be proud that they made a purchase or hired a reputable firm to fill their needs. 

So what do you offer that is special, that defines your boat, and encourages people to jump in?

If you focus on price, the ones who will be proud they "got a deal" will find you.

If you focus on service, the ones who crave service will knock on your door.

If you focus on experience and expertise, the ones who value know-how will hire you.

There are many more possibilities.  What are the cornerstones or anchors that are at the core of what YOU offer?

I thought I had this licked.  My cornerstones are right on the front page of my website, and are represented with my logo:

  • Personal Awareness
  • Big-Picture Vision
  • Authentic and Lasting Relationships
  • Results-driven Action

I've laid out the four things that  I think brings a person to success.  And I offer coaching and training programs that help people work on all four of these cornerstones.  But I've neither clarified Island B with the results (other than called it Success), nor have I said why my boat is so great!  

I need to clarify the results that people want.

AND I need to define what makes my boat, my journey, so special to get you there.

I know what I'll be doing the rest of the summer....

 

Here's a link to the Island B article.

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Posted by on in Business Vision

 

The road to success is paved with more than just good intentions; it is paved with the specific and prioritized stepping-stones that take you from a dream to reality and mortared together with confident perspectives that keep you motivated and in action.  If you took a minute to write down 3 goals you'd like to achieve this year, what would they be?  Do you plan to pursue them or put them on the back burner?  Where is your business headed and are you at the helm or is fate the driver?

 

Spending time defining your dream work and life situation will give you the clues to what you want to focus on.  This vision will give you the best framework if it includes more than the typical business model; how about the hours you want to work, the people you want to work with and the way you do business?  What do you want to be known for?  Are you doing everything yourself or are you affiliating with other businesses or delegating and mentoring key people to help your business grow?  Are you setting up systems to make room for growth and to work efficiently?  Creating a business model based on how you want to grow will allow you the room to grow with YOU in control.

 


Take some time to write out your vision for the next year or two and you will see the necessary goals that will become your focus.  Some examples might include:

  • New client sources
  • Increased business generated from existing clients (repeats and referrals)
  • New businesses to network/affiliate with
  • Professional events to participate in or attend
  • Packages to offer your clients such as Silver, Gold, and Platinum services
  • Print marketing materials; update your logo, copy or offers
  • Multiple streams of income
  • And don't forget to make time for your personal goals- exercise, family time, new skill development

If you'd like more help defining the goals that will ROCK your business this year and keep you at the helm, please join us for a free conference call on March 7, from noon to 1pm Eastern Time.  This call is specifically for wedding industry business owners.  Please email Monica to sign in and get the call-in information.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

See full class invite on the events and classes page.

 

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Posted by on in Entrepreneurs

I am one of the millions of home-based business owners in the United States.  I have strong feelings and many war stories about the daily challenges that face our special breed of business owner.  We not only deal with our business each and every day if we don't set proper boundaries (yes, it's hard to put down the laptop or put away the papers), but we have the added challenge of avoiding the kitchen, not answering the phone when friends call, and saying no to people who ask us to do things "because you're home all day."  We're tempted by all this and we're distracted by even more; the weather channel, "busy work" projects, and the doubt and fear gremlins that knock on our door regularly.  It's enough to put a Free Spirit* out of business if she's not careful.  (Look up my Peoplemap page if you don't know what that means.)  All this is counterbalanced by the love and passion for what we do and the sheer determination and motivation to keep at it no matter what.

My first experience with entrepreneurship was as a Discovery Toys representative from 1981 to 1992.  I ran my direct sales business while my family was young and eventually had a team of over 40 women.  Monthly newsletters and meetings, trainings and education materials, regional and national conferences, all fit in around having children, being a stay-at-home mom, and keeping the family happy and fed. I eventually earned the trips and the accolades. I built and motivated the team.  I sought inspiration and leadership from the ranks above.  If I only knew then what I know now, I would have grown my business at a much faster pace and had a lot more confidence in what I was doing!  But the world of "coaching" didn't exist outside the board rooms and CEO suites back then.  Now it is part and parcel to most every direct sales business out there.

Fast forward many years and several jobs later and now I run a service-oriented, rather than sales-oriented home-based business.  There are many obvious differences between Direct Sales and Coaching, but a subtle one is that I have to not only create the vision of what I want to offer my clients, I also have to create all the marketing materials (like this website and blog) and I have to sell my "brand".  It takes a lot of work for people outside my circle to know who I am; blogs, publishing articles, offering workshops and classes, keeping an active website (this led to getting interviewed on TV a few years ago for Fox News!).  Business success is decided by brand success and a clear marketing message.  Ergo, my new website and branding! The proof will be seen down the road.

Every business owner with an original idea dreams of the day when people will know who they are.  My five year plan used to include Oprah until she cancelled her show! Now I have to shoot for something different, maybe Better Connecticut and CNN. My wish list includes being a published author (not just my chapter in "Empowering Transformations for Women" but my own book with an agent and publisher), having a column for a national website (coming this summer), and doing a radio show (also coming soon but just a one-time thing for now). It's fun to spend time with my dreams and even more fun to make them happen, but you have to do the first to realize the second!

In the end, being an entrepreneur has been a great gift in my life.  It's given me the flexibility to work while taking the central role in raising my family, it's provided an avenue for personal and professional growth, and given me the opportunity to build something I am proud of.  I am also proud to say I am ever growing as a person- not literally of course, but figuratively (I'm actually shrinking as I've lost over 35 pounds since July!).  We grow into who we are and who we are becoming.  We make plans, get into action, adjust our plan based on our progress and interests, and even change our minds every once in a while.  (I'm really prone to that- the Free Spirit coming through again). I encourage all entrepreneurs to grow their vision, stay aware, make mindful choices, build lasting relationships, and stay in action every day.

Coaching is now my way of life- finding ways to create my life and help others create the lives and businesses they love.

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Posted by on in Business Vision

As a coach for many small business owners, I thought writing about my own experience as a business owner might prove to be fun and interesting.  (Maybe taking a page from Julie and Julia). 

My first post is a peek into the process of re-branding; going from "Life Coach for anyone" to Business and Relationship Coach for those dealing with blurred lines between Business and Personal. I've been a life coach for over 5 years.  I was drawn to this work because my sister was a coaching instructor and thought I'd make a good coach!  After one class I was hooked.  I love helping people feel empowered and in charge of their own life.  Over time and with additional training, I found that more and more of my clients were small business owners, entrepreneurs working from home, managers, or those leaving corporate life for a shot at their own chance to be boss. 

The biggest issues for them was not the nuts and bolts of running a business, but the personal identity, work/life balance, overcoming their own saboteurs, and interpersonal relationship issues so many of us deal with. People are dealing with stressful situations in their work or personal life and it's bleeding over into all parts of their life.  Sometimes the stress comes from workload, outside pressures, financial worries, bad habits, or big decisions to make.  Other times it's more "drama" related- personality conflicts, relationship toxins, not feeling heard or able to speak from the heart. 

I've become a bit of a conversation coach helping clients develop their voice and how their want to communicate with potential clients, business partners, family, bosses, employees, and so on.  Along the way I've become a Peoplemap trainer and I use this wonderful and very quick assessment tool to help people understand themselves and others better.  It helps identify personal strengths, Achilles heels (yes, we all have them), how to become a more effective leader and business owner, and how to improve your communication skills.

I did some soul searching and thought about the kinds of clients I really wanted to build my business around.  I really want to affect change in the area of inter-personal relationships and small business. I want to help people feel empowered; like they can create their world on their terms and deal with all the important people in their lives in an authentic way.

So there you have it.  A niche is born.  I'll be honing it more throughout the year, but for now it is this: Home-based Entrepreneurs, Small Business owners and their teams, Family-run businesses, and couples who work together.  They are individuals, couples, families and teams who want a successful business AND better communication, who want to find their voice and express themselves personally and professionally in an authentic way, and strike a successful balance between business and personal.

So here I am, poised to present the new me, my new niche for coaching, and my new tagline:

It's not just Business, it's Personal!!

 

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