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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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Giving and accepting leads are a large part of the business model for growing one's business.  There are a few ways to look at this model to see how this can be a winning strategy.  Three questions to focus on:

  • How do you meet other business owners/leads?
  • Do you actively spread the news of their business ?
  • How do you help others to help you?

There are a number of ways to find leads partners, the most common of which are to attend networking meetings and to be part of an official "leads group".  Once in a group, many entrepreneurs set a goal of meeting with a number of other members to share information about their business and see if they are a good fit to work as referral partners. I highly recommend this step, because without it, you don't really get a feel for what the other person has to offer.  If you stop there, you may have gathered information and possibly met a new kindred spirit, but you don't have an active referral partner yet.  The next two steps are crucial; talking to others about your referral partner's business, and helping others to help you.

If you decide that your networking partner is someone you want to promote, that they have a good product or service, you will probably need to explore with them what will work best to help them.  Do you take a stack of business cards and hand them out?  Do you mention them in your social media or promote an event they are holding?  Do you combine your efforts to do something together that lets you meet each others' clients and bring in new ones? 

There are many ways to actively spread the news of their business; but the key word is active. That's the only way you'll see real results.  One other key question to decide: Will you only promote them if they promote you?

The final question, how to help others to help you, is a multifaceted one that is the key to your marketing.  For someone to help you, it is crucial that they know:

  • Who do you help or serve? (target market)
  • What do you do for them? (niche)
  • What are the results after working with you? (why should they hire you?)

Give your leads partner a handbook to make it easier for them to help you.  Tell them who you are looking for.  Tell them how you help your clients.  Give them some examples of your ideal client.  With this information, they will be much more keen when the right person comes along to refer to you.

 

If you are:

NOT getting out and networking

NOT finding referral partners

NOT clear on your who, what and how

CALL ME!

 

Monica Leggett is a coach and consultant, helping business owners (individuals, couples and partners), who want to Create Their Own Success, on their terms, with joy and ease. Her clients build personal skills, personal awareness, and stronger more effective relationships, in business and life.

If you know a business owner who wants some of this, please refer them to me for a FREE complimentary consultation.

No more second-guessing, over-thinking, or interpersonal struggles.

Better personal awareness, empowerment, leadership, and relationship building. 

Monica Leggett, 203-926-9072, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Posted by on in Personal Awareness

I opened my newspaper today and was immediately attracted to the sports page.  A local Westport, CT team had squeaked through to win a semi-final game in the Little League World Series.  They’ll play today for the U.S. final.  Chad Knight, AKA Mr. Clutch, not only an impressive pitcher, was also credited with starting a rally in the fifth inning when they were down 13-6 and with the game-winning RBI in the final inning.  His post-game comments say a lot about his maturity and calmness under fire.  “Going to the plate I was a little nervous, but I realized it was just like any other at-bat.  Just go up there and try to put the ball in play.”

The next sports article was about the New Haven Open tennis tournament.  The four-time defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, missed “a crucial shot” that “99 times out of 100 I would have hit,” and went on to lose quickly to Simona Halep.  Did she lose her confidence?  Was she reliving that shot for the rest of her time on the court?

We can all learn a lot from this 13-year-old boy and this professional athlete.  Our success is often determined by being present and calm in the moment.  If we let our emotions or our inner gremlins take hold we will surely not be at our best. 

After doing a little more research on Chad, I found out that he has been doing yoga since February!  Yoga for a 13-year-old boy, now that is progressive thinking!  To quote his dad, “(Yoga) has taught him breathing, taught him how to be focused, taught him to relax.” Said Chad: “I think it helps a lot. I can control myself.” I am reminded of the stories about Tiger Woods and what his dad used to do with him as a kid to help him develop a calm focus on the golf course.

I am now even more convinced that our inner thoughts can do more to help us excel or fail than anything else.  It’s a good thing I am just finishing up a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course filled with instructions on meditation, yoga, and being mindful!  If I channel my mind like Chad did, I’ll succeed for sure!  The winning strategy?  Be present, Be in the moment, Think positively!

 

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Strengths and Weaknesses.  We all have them.  To some extent they are in-born to your personality type but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.  I use the Peoplemap System to help identify clients’ strengths and weaknesses (AKA Achilles heels), and use it as a personal development platform for future growth.

I propose that our Achilles heels are often a result of the extreme of our strengths. Case in point: developing relationships is really important to me, and some of my strengths include being personal, compassionate, and encouraging of others. I enjoy giving praise, mentoring, and seeing others grow.  I like to build a personal relationship, even in professional settings.  To an extreme, I can be overly dependent on being accepted or praised by others- I’m too sensitive and can take things personally.

Another strength is being positive, some would call me a PollyAnna (a character in an old children’s movie who professed to find the good in everyone and everything). “You’re such a Pollyanna” can also be a criticism, because if I’m always looking at or for the good, maybe I’m not being critical enough or demanding better from myself and others.  I let myself and others off the hook too easily- also known as not being accountable (which is tough when you’ve got specific goals to reach).

Another cause for a weakness is to lack a certain skill, such as assertiveness, initiative, and persistence.  I used to be terrible at being assertive, speaking up for myself or others when I sensed that it could cause conflict.  I, like many people I know, avoid conflict.  As I said, I’ve gotten better at it. I sense the fear and do it anyway (usually!).  When have you wanted to say something but didn’t?  What repercussions has it had in your life?  My experience is that it usually prolongs the inevitable and causes pain or confusion rather than clarity and authentic communication.

I was giving a Peoplemap workshop in a small company that was owned and mostly run by women who had developed a culture of conflict avoidance at work.  (Some admitted to being like that at home too).  On the surface they all got along, but behind doors they judged and criticized how some staffers did things.  The owner was  a good leader in many ways, but even she avoided conflict.  The employees were able to give many examples of how avoiding conflict was doing harm to the company- inter-personally among the staff and with the clients.

How would you score yourself on the following 8 Core Competencies of Leadership* ? I’ve listed them as two ends of the same communication focus:

Assertiveness VS Active Listening

Constructive Feedback VS Praise, Recognition and Quality Time

Initiation VS Collaboration

Accountability VS Mentoring

Most people live at one end of the scale or the other.  The best leaders can incorporate all of these competencies.

If you’d like more information about the Peoplemap Leadership training, please contact me: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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 Personal Awareness

I love this quote:

The secret of making something work in your lives is, first of all, the deep desire to make it work; then the faith and belief that it can work; then to hold that clear definite vision in your consciousness and see it working out step by step, without one doubt or disbelief.

Eileen Caddy

Do you desire success, however you might define that?  Do you even KNOW what that looks like?  Do you believe that it can happen to you?  

Our inner thoughts really do make a difference on our ultimate success, so it's worth spending your time noticing; are you a believer or a disbeliever?

Self-doubt is a toxin that creeps into your dreams, your relationships, your career, your finances, and even your health. If you are often filled with self-doubt, telling yourself things like, "that's going to be too hard, they won't take notice, they will find a reason to say no, maybe I'll do it another way next time when I'm ready",  then you'll never be ready and you'll never manifest what you want.

The Gremlin of self-doubt IS something you can manage by noticing, by talking him or her away with positive thoughts, and by doing things in baby steps, consistently building on what you are confident in until your comfort zone is bigger and bigger.


I do an exercise with my clients called Hi-Dream, Low-Dream.  Self-doubt drives the low dream or worst case scenario. Flush it out.  What are all your fears. The high dream is your best case scenario; everything you dream or wish could happen.  If you examine what REALITY supports each of these dreams, you will usually see that there is a better case for the high dream coming true than the low dream.  Just examining it in a logical way can build your belief. 

Once you believe your dream is possible, your mind can create a path to make it happen and keep you motivated to see it through.  This is exactly how I lost 40 pounds.  I found a tool, educated myself, and most of all, I finally believed that I could do it- even at my age (55).  The same concepts can be applied to personal, business, or relationship goals.

Now go out there and dream big, flush out your Gremlins so they can't hide, and talk yourself into believing.  If you need help, I'm always here.

 

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I'm directly quoting Chris Cuomo, while reporting on CNN from Boston today after a horrific bombing,

"In the face of the worst, we see the best in people."

He's referring to the first responders and bystanders who did everything they could to help those who needed help.  Not just the injured, but the runners, the visiting spectators who didn't know where to go, the children who were frightened. Have you  "risen to the occasion" or witnessed it in others? What does it take to set aside the emotions of the moment and act calmly, professionally, compassionately while chaos is going on around you? 

"My first response was to run over and help those who were injured," said a spectator, covered in blood, who had helped the wounded.


How would you respond in a situation like this? (I hope you'll never have to find out!!) Have you been called on to be "the rock" for those around you during a time of stress or trauma?  No one ever wants to be tested like this, but it helps to be trained and prepared.  It helps to be in touch with your own inner thoughts too. What would you tell yourself in a situation like that? Would you heighten your fear with thoughts of the worst-case scenario, or would you calm yourself down? "Do what you can.  Others need you.  Take care of things and you can fall apart later!  How can I help?"

Thank God we have people brave enough to train for first responder jobs.  We know the stories of 911.  We know the stories of every-day acts of heroism; the off-duty cop who stops a burglary, the fireman who pulls people from a fire.  I know I couldn't do it.  And in my lifetime I hope I don't have to hear about another tragic, purposefully violent act like today, but I know I'll hear about acts of bravery, courage and leadership in the face of chaos.

Let's give our first responders an extra show of appreciation the next chance we get, and think about who we want to be in the face of adversity.

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Posted by on in Business Relationships

As a business owner, I have developed a great circle of fellow entrepreneurs with whom I can share, ask, refer, question, and gain inspiration and motivation. They are my go-to group for referrals to web design, marketing, writing, resumes, insurance, financial planning, real estate, organizing, health products, jewelry, clothes, and so much more.



Networking is my favorite way of developing and staying connected with my circle. I've been to two networking events in the last 24 hours and I enjoyed both of them immensely; Over 40 Females of New Haven and Women in Business (Shelton). I'm also co-facilitating my own chapter meeting of Powerful You! on Friday (also Shelton).  



Why do I attend these 4-6 meetings each month (including Chamber, and the Coaching Federation)? The obvious reason might be “to grow my business”, which it has, but also because I am an Extrovert and a People type  (Peoplemap™ Assessment type, not just my description of myself).  I crave connection with other peers.  I get energized, motivated, and inspired just by being around them!  It can get rather lonely working from home all day.  Other ways to develop and stay connected with my Inner Circle, like social media and emails, just aren’t the same as personal contact. Period.  



And here’s the thing we need to remind ourselves, our clients need that personalized contact too.  If it’s been a long time since you’ve actually seen your customer, pick up the phone and then schedule a meeting.  Some of you, like me, may have long distance clients, so Skype and Facetime are a great option.

 Who else do *you* include in your Inner Circle?  A best friend who will always tell you the truth?  Family members who stay supportive no matter what?  Is there anyone else?  I'd love to hear about it and what role they play in your life. 

Stay connected to your Inner Circle and it will grow, along with lasting friendships, collaborations, and partnerships of one kind or another.

For more ideas about networking, here is the link to my February Biz Tips Newsletter on that subject:
Biz Tip Newsletter: Networking



Happy Networking to you all!

Monica

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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 Personal Awareness

I found a link to a really great Josh Groban video of his song, "Don't Give Up." (aka You Are Loved)  I was first motivated to share the song because of the line, "Everybody want's to be understood." I believe in this wholeheartedly and it is part of why I chose Relationships as one of my cornerstones for coaching and why I became a trainer in Peoplemap.  It really helps people to not only understand themselves better, but understand others better. In "Don't Give Up," the songwriter, Tawgs Salter, indicates that he understands the need to be understood and is voicing some of how he understands his loved one.

As I listened closer to the rest of the lyrics, I heard the voice of both the most disheartening gremlins (the weight of the world) and the championing voice (don't give up).  When we analyze our inner voice, everyone hears some of each, but in different ratios.  If your Gremlins have more of your attention, causing you to feel "lost inside, darkness, and silence" you will feel less likely to achieve your goals, you'll doubt yourself more, and you'll be closed to all the possibilities. 

"Dont' give up, and You can do it" is the kind of voice we all need to hear, and we can all choose to hear from inside ourselves. When you have a positive inner voice, and surround yourself with coach-like people who inspire and motivate, you will believe that anything is possible.

When you think about what you want to accomplish in this world, don't go too far inside yourself with the dark Gremlins who steal your passion!  Instead, listen to this and other songs and give yourself a little understanding and inspiration. Make a list of how special and capable you are and read the list every day.  Read inspiring stories of people who have achieved what you want.  Surround yourself with positive messages and you won't be able to help but feel positive!

Link to video

 

Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
When your heart's heavy
I...I will lift it for you

Don't give up
Because you want to be heard
If silence keeps you
I...I will break it for you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved

Don't give up
It's just the hurt that you hide
When you're lost inside
I...I will be there to find you

Don't give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I...I will shine to guide you

Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved

You are loved
Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
Don't give up
Every one needs to be heard
You are loved

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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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