How to Break Through Fear and Self-Doubt

When I walked out of my beloved job of 7 years last August to start my coaching business with 0 clients, I didn’t sleep for 2 months. It got to be so bad that if I did sleep, I had nightmares. I could almost predict it every night and would tell my husband “Goodnight honey, I’ll see you after my nightmare at 2am”.. Here are some tips to get over that fear from sales pro Grant Cardone:

1. Don’t forget that it’s normal.  Fear is a normal feeling, and I would be more concerned if you didn’t experience it.

2. Fill your calendar. The busier I stay, the more confident I am. Never allow too much white space on your calendar and you will not experience fear.

3. Embrace fear. For me, fear has become the indicator of the things I actually need to and must do–and that have had the greatest payoff.

4. Go beyond your comfort zones. Very successful people don’t seek comfort; they seek success and are willing to do what is most uncomfortable.

5. Take ’10X’ Actions. Multiply whatever you think is required by 10 and become a machine of action. If you do that, I assure you that your fear will subside.

via How to Break Through Fear and Self-Doubt.

So if you’re afraid of not getting clients or starving to death or even of making just a simple cold call, I urge you to take this advice. There is no slow economy or recession that can keep  you down as long as you get over your fears and do more than others.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

3 Tricks to Doing More in Less Time

The other day, I had to put a client on hold so I could go to the bathroom (#1 come on!). That’s the kind of day I often have. I’m sure you’re no different. Here are some tips from an article I found to making more of your time:

1. Identify and focus on your biggest priorities.

As the Pareto principle states: 80% of the value comes from 20% of the work. The key here is for your business to identify the few objectives that drive the most value and focus rigorously on them.

2. Write down and complete two objectives every week.

Too often, we get caught up in the deluge of emails, meetings, and internal needs that pop up every day. The unfortunate result is that, by the end of the week, we’ve worked hard but don’t have much to show for it. By empowering your employees to identify–on their own–just their top two priorities, they will be more focused and driven each week.

3. Outsource non core work.

Whether your time suck is happening with accounting, marketing, HR, sales, or almost any other business function, do a search on companies that can take over this function.

via 3 Tricks to Doing More in Less Time.

As my wonderful new VA takes over one of the most mundane tasks of creating and sending newsletters out each week to my database, I find myself using that time to write more original articles and call more associations for speaking gigs.

What will you do with the time you freed up from reading this article today?

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Land your dream job

Brand yourself like a small business

When you find yourself swimming in a sea of candidates competing for the same job as you, now you know exactly what it feels like to be a small business that’s trying to grow.

Why brand?

Used by ancient Egyptians 3000 years ago in farms to distinguish one cow from another, branding in business is used to carve out a space in the mind of its target consumer. In the job market, it’s used to set apart one candidate from the other.

What’s a brand character?

Every successful product or business has a clear and distinct brand character. A brand character is a set of human traits associated with a brand. For example, Nike’s brand character is the true athlete who will go to any lengths. Starbucks’ character is the seasoned and sophisticated coffee aficionado. McDonalds’ is the kid friendly thrifty pal.

Often brands take on the character of its founder such as Richard Branson’sVirgin-the debunker of the establishment or OWN network, the spiritual woman’s advocate or the Trump brand that stands for affluent, over the top excess. In all cases, a brand’s character is communicated in every aspect of its interactions with the world—in its products as well as the colours, words and images they use in their ads and websites.

How to use a brand character to find a job?

You are your own brand and your job is to establish your brand character in such a way that your dream employer will remember you in the multitude of interviews that has become a haze for them.

The first step is to determine what your top 3 human characteristics are: i.e. what do people notice immediately when they meet you and what do your friends and family consistently say that you’re like?

For example, my client George, a graphic artist with 20 years of experience was looking for work. We identified his top 3 characteristics as: 1. Environmentally conscious 2. Artistic 3. Passionate. We then incorporated those specifics into the wording of his cover letter, his resume and the way he was presenting himself on social media (ie. Posting articles and links to events about his interests).

He landed a job beyond even his expectations—he became an ambassador to a giant recycled paper manufacturer. His dream employer was drawn to him and noticed him because of his clearly established brand character.

You too can attract your dream job through clarifying and communicating your brand character. After all, don’t you want to be as memorable as Nike to your dream employer?


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13 Tips to Stay Motivated in the Dog Days of Summer

Summer is Waning

Toronto’s having a great summer. It’s hot, it’s sunny and everything in my backyard is beckoning me to drop my work and take a break or a siesta in the lazy hazy days of summer. I ran into this cool article about tips to avoid temptation and I share it with my fellow wanna-be-lazy entrepreneurs here:

1. Power through it.  “Keep working and you’ll stay on top of your game.”—Troy Vincent, former professional football player and current vice president of player engagement for the NFL

2. Make a (reasonable) list. “Every night, jot down the things you need to get done the next day.”—Liz Lange, founder Liz Lange Maternity

3. Create your own “quitting time.”  ‘After 7:30, no more work’ or ‘Sunday is a day off,’ —Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (Harper Perennial, 2009) and the forthcoming, Happier at Home (Crown Archetype, 2012)

4. Indulge in small summer pleasures.  “Indulging in small pleasures is very satisfying and energizing—but you really have to work at making this happen.”—Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and author of the forthcoming I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This (Harper Business, 2012)

5. Revisit your vision. “When you write your vision down and keep it in front of you, it’s harder to get off track.”—Lain Hensley, CEO and founder of Odyssey Teams, a corporate team-building company

6. Take a breather. “On days when you work harder, longer and produce the best results, take some time to take a break.”–Doug Graham, trainer, 2012 Olympics
7. Alter your routine. “Take a meeting or two outside. Work from a coffee shop for the afternoon.”—Samuel R. Sommers, associate professor of psychology at Tufts University and author of Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World (Riverhead Books, 2011)

8. Follow the 15-minutes rule. ” You can stand anything for 15 minutes and by working on it bit by bit, you can get a lot done.”— Gretchen Rubin

9. Rethink your time zone. “I’ll book all of my meetings on New York time–between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. This helps motivate me to get up early and work hard so that I can enjoy the rest of the day to play!”–Teri Gault, CEO and founder of the Grocery Game

10. Find ways to walk—wherever you can. “Walking raises your serotonin level, which is good for sharpening attention, and amazingly, walking and typing isn’t that hard.”—A.J. Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy (Simon & Schuster, 2012)

11. Offer incentives. ” Consider offering your employees things like happy hours, massages and healthy lunches.”—Suki Shah, CEO and co-founder of

12. Expand your knowledge. “As the owner of two businesses, I use summer to learn more about my clients and their needs.” —Chris Mulvaney, president, CMDS Marketing Agency

13. Never underestimate the power of an ice cream cone. “I run my business from home and stay motivated to finish my tasks knowing I’ll get to have an ice cream with my kids if I’ve put in a hard day’s work.”—Leslie Truex, owner of Work At Home Success and author of The Work-At-Home Success Bible (Adams Media, 2009)

I personally love the learning something new and altering your routine suggestions. I’ve also never said ‘no’ to an IKEA frozen yogurt as my 3-year-old engages full face with his own treat.
Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Social Media Plan for Shy People

You’re not usually a shy person…only when it comes to social media. This huge scary animal is out there and there’s now proof that it helps get clients. You want to dip your toe in the water. Here are a few tips from this article on how to start:

Ready… Don’t overwhelm yourself; choose just one social site to start out. Select the one that best suits you and your business goals (say, Facebook if your business is a Main Street storefront with loyal customers; Twitter if you do more online sales; Pinterest if you’re in design).

Aim… Examine who your audience is and target content to them.  Put helpful tips out there, share your information, answer questions, have a few nice conversations, and share the information that others post.

Fire! Begin with 20 minutes a day, three times a week and no more. In each 20-minute time period, post one piece of information about your company: a blog link, a fun fact, or a helpful tidbit. Next, share the link to one online article or video that is relevant to your audience. This can be someone else’s content. Lastly, comment on or retweet an update that someone else has posted.

via Social Media Plan for Shy People.

If this sounds doable, you’re on your way and it’s just not as hard as you made it out to be. Baby steps, right?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

7 Email Prospecting Mistakes That Cost You Money

Email is still the strongest sales and marketing tool out there even though it’s been around far longer than social media. There are a few things you can do to become better at it though. Here are some things to avoid when using email to prospect…

1. Poor subject line

Research has shown that a question or a targeted statement followed by an ellipsis … is the most effective way to capture someone’s attention.

2. Misleading subject line

This approach usually results in your prospect quickly deleting your email once they discover than you have mislead them.

3. Using a generic email

If you want to stand out from your competition your email needs to be personalized to each prospect. You can achieve that goal by stating a potential problem they may be facing or by presenting a problem you solved for another client in the same industry.

4. Too much focus on their company

If you create a compelling message that demonstrates you have insight to a problem they are encountering and you can demonstrate that you might have a solution, you are more likely going to receive a reply.

5. Too long

Remember, your goal with an email to arouse curiosity and to get a reply or schedule a telephone or face-to-face call.

6. Weak call to action

An effective email ends with a specific call to action. “Mr. Smith, I will call you on Tuesday at 10:15 AM to see if our solution can help you…”

7. No follow-up

It is critical that you make contact afterwards, preferably by telephone.

via 7 Email Prospecting Mistakes That Cost You Money.

In coaching I generally use email to prospect speaking engagements. I also follow the Call-Mail-Call rule where I avoid leaving a voicemail and *67 to block my identity so that I can call back multiple times without looking like a stalker. I hope you can use these tools to get that next lead much easier!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

3 Dumb Moves Entrepreneurs Make

Yeah, I’m an entrepreneur and yes, I’ve definitely made some dumb moves. Apparently I’m not alone. Check out this blog below:

So says Victor Green, author of How to Succeed in Business by Really Trying, and a serial entrepreneur who’s launched several successful companies, and has spent the past 15 years consulting with other entrepreneurs.

Here are the biggest blunders:

1. Skimping on research.

“The most important mistake people make is they fail to research their ideas sufficiently. They talk to their mother, and their father, and their friends, and all these people say, Youre so smart! Unfortunately, these people wont be your customers.”

2. Focusing on revenues rather than profits.

“So many people are driven by that sales figure. They’ll say, ‘I did ten million in sales last month.’ I say, ‘How much did you earn?’ They say, ‘We’re sort of breaking even.’ Then what are you running a business for? I call that vanity vs. sanity!”

3. Never giving up.

“People drive themselves to keep up an appearance because their egos get so inflated,” Green says. “Will you say, ‘I’ve been killing myself for two years, I’ve got $2 million invested, and I’m going to carry on no matter what.’ Or will you be sensible enough to say, ‘I’m a grownup. I’m going to shut this business down, it won’t affect me, and I’ll start again.”

via 3 Dumb Moves Entrepreneurs Make.

I am happy to say that I definitely did the research and would pull the plug if I was broke but I do fess up to being thrilled to be making what I thought was a 6 figure income until my accountant gave me the news that 1/3 of that money belonged to the government. I almost cried. Now that’s dumb!

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