A Test To Predict Your Biz Success AND Your Divorce?!

positive conversation can help your business

Positive conversations can help your business and your marriage

Can you believe that there’s a common denominator between what will get you bankrupt AND divorced? At a conference last week, I found out about this incredible research that suggests that what you’re saying while running your business or your marriage has a direct effect on your success in those things.

What’s Coming Out Of Your Mouth

It turns out that the ratio of your positive conversations in your business or marriage vs. the negative conversations  you’re having is directly correlated to how much they will flourish.

Here’s the deal: 200 studies done on nearly 275 000 people found that a positivity rate of at least 3 to 6 negativity helps predict success in business, relationships, marriages and even health. This is called the Losada ratio, named after the researcher Marcial Losada.

What Conversations Are Involved?

With your clients, are you talking about their failures and how to fix them or are you focusing on their successes and how to replicate them? What the ratio of one to the other?

With your team, are you talking about what went right with the projects or what went wrong and need to be changed? What the ratio of one to the other?

With your suppliers, are you asking them to change what didn’t work or build on what did? What the ratio of one to the other?

High Performance Please

This is no joke people, the studies actually taped conversations around boardrooms, in the office and on the phone to get to this conclusion. The line between companies who are flourishing and who go bankrupt is very clear. Those businesses who track as having the 3 positive to 6 negative conversation ratio have been highly correlated with high performance.

So think carefully about what conversations you’re having and you might turn your business growth (and your marriage) around just based on the positivity ratio of what’s coming out of your mouth! In fact, why not just take the test and find out for yourself how you rate?

Want to find out if the market needs you? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

4 Questions To See If Your Biz Is In Trouble

troubleI was conference coaching at the SOHO Toronto Small Business event this past month where I had the pleasure of coaching small business owners 15 minutes at a time. Almost all of them unanimously agreed that their biggest problem was lack of new clients.  Most of them were getting some referrals but they felt like their biz was going to be in trouble if they didn’t fix their marketing.

Here are some questions I asked to determine if their biz was truly in trouble due to bad marketing:

How Many People Ask You “How Much Is It to Work with/Buy from you” per week?

In order to see the cause and the scope of the issue, my first question to small businesses are how many leads are they getting? My definition of a lead is someone who is interested enough in working with you to actually ask you how much your services or products cost.

During the conference coaching, I found that some businesses were getting around 10 inquiries per week. In other businesses, people had trouble doing the math since they didn’t even get a single person per week asking. This is a lead generation problem. This means your marketing isn’t working. Either your targeting is off, your messaging doesn’t resound or you are hanging around the wrong places to market.

How Many Of Those People Are You Converting To Clients?

If you have lots of leads but you’re still growing too slowly, this is a sales issue. It means that you demonstrated enough value for potential clients to take time out of their busy day to actually ask you how much you charge. However, if once you state your price—no matter what that price is; you are losing them at the close-this is a sales issue. Closing is an art in and of itself. People can be dying for your services but also dying from the fear of spending money on it. It is your job in the close to coach them through that fear and instill trust in them for you. If you don’t know how to do this, hire someone to teach you. This is a learned skill.

Who Is Your Real Idea Target Client?

If you don’t really know this, your biz is definitely in trouble.  The job of your marketing is very simple: it’s to get you in front of people in pain with respect to what you can help them with and telling them how you can help them. If you are getting in front of the right kind of people then you have plenty of leads. I don’t know how many times I’ve done my elevator speech (short intro of what you do speech) and people have wanted to talk to me or have coffee with me. Your marketing has to be based on a very specific kind of ideal client who has a very specific kind of pain. If you don’t know who that is, spend some time and energy figuring it out.

What Are You Doing In Your Marketing Now?

This question tells me a lot about a small business. Either they’re doing too much or nothing at all in their marketing. The companies that are doing too much are hurting because they’re marketing to the wrong niche and saying the wrong things to them while hanging out in the wrong places to meet their ideal niche. The companies that are doing nothing are so confused and overwhelmed about the available marketing tools out there that they simply don’t do anything. Either way, there is help for both type of small business. Once a business figures out their ideal client, what their pain is, what to say to them and where to find them, then leads start coming in.

So don’t let your small biz be in trouble, get your marketing moving and your profits (and you) will be healthier for it.

Want to find out if the market needs you? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

 

3 Signs I Know You’re Too Scared To Grow Your Business

scaredinshowerAfter years of working on myself, I am fortunate to be in the place where I’m actually uncomfortable being comfortable. If I have lots of money in the bank, I go and spend it on a wildly scary new way to grow my business.  So I’m scared ALL the time. I want growth constantly. I don’t ever want to change.

For me, fear is the tension that motivates me but for others, it’s the terror that stops them from growing.

Here are the signs that your fears are stopping your business growth:

1. You Would Rather Do What You Know

If a business owner is unwilling to try something new or to invest in something new to grow their business, I know they are too scared to move their business forward. Remember comfort is the enemy of growth.

2. You Would Rather Delay Decisions

What’s the cost of making your decisions later? Go try to buy a plane ticket for a flight tomorrow and see. There is a huge cost to delaying decisions for your business. If you think the world goes on anyway, you’re deluding yourself.

3. You Refuse To Talk About It

The first step to getting help is to admit to the problem, as they say in AA. If you don’t even know about or can talk about the fear that’s holding you back, how are you supposed to overcome it? If someone spots it in you and you balk, who is going to help you get over this paralyzing fear?

So if you find yourself exhibiting any of these symptoms in growing your small business, get help. Any kind of help. Or stay in your safe, known corner of the world forever. But that is not what I would want for you or anyone…

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

(VIDEO) Advertising Your Small Business: The Lazy Solution or Salvation?

Have you ever wondered if new clients are waiting to rush to the phones to call you if only you advertised?

I’m going to stop you right there. I am against service based small businesses advertising. I feel that there are way too many other ways to connect with and market to your ideal client that will result in much faster and higher returns on your investment. But I’m not here to judge. I’m here to help you decide whether an ad investment will pay out or not, regardless of my personal opinion about it.

  1. Your first step in deciding on if you should advertise is to be crystal clear on who your ideal target client group is. You know, the group of people who can afford your rates, who need what you offer and who love you as soon as they meet you.
  2. Once you’ve strategically found your target niche (as opposed to guessing it from your gut), then ask the ad rep how many of those target people will be reading/listening to or seeing your ad.
  3. Then take the cost and divide it by the number of people the ad will reach and you will get something called a CPM, a cost per thousand calculation.
  4. Now you do this same thing and find the CPM for other forms of marketing you’re doing, say a trade show cost vs how many people you talk to at your booth or a bus shelter ad and how many of the thousands will actually BE your ideal client etc.
  5. Then you choose the CPM that’s lowest which means it has the lowest cost to reach a client. In my experience, I’ve gotten the lowest CPM through networking, public speaking and trade shows. Let’s see what your CPM numbers will show you?

For the love of God, please don’t just throw your money on advertising and expect your business to triple in size. Make sure it’s a strategic decision and you won’t regret it.

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

What Makes You Say ‘F### it, I’m Going To Keep Going!’ After the 100th No?

perseverenceI lived through 2 clients having deep lows this week. They had come to the end of their limits of failure. They were feeling weak, vulnerable and defeated. These are strong, intelligent people who are very successful at most things. Yet they were both reduced to despair at having failed at something in their own mind.

Cue the Universe

While the saddening drama was going on in my practice this week, at the same time, my own coach’s training was on the topic of What makes a person reach their true potential despite hardship? Coincidence? I think not…

Both of my clients (I’m proud to say) were able to grieve but then get back up and say ‘F### it, I don’t care about what it takes, I’m not giving up! I am going to make that next call, even if a 100 people say no to me!’.

The Reason

When it looks like the whole world is against you and nothing seems to be happening and you are tired of your defeats, there is A REASON that keeps you from giving up. All of us have one. For some it’s so their children will live a better life. For some it’s about freedom. For some it’s about healing the world. For others it’s about a lifestyle they want.

When I Cried

At the start of my practice, I often talk about how I couldn’t get a single client, even though I had dirt cheap rates and 20 years of kick-butt marketing knowledge. I used to cry and lie awake at night for months–you know the drill. What kept me going even though I did hundreds of free complimentary coaching sessions and heard ‘no’ over and over again was that I don’t want to die without learning how to create my own life and destiny in exactly the shape that I want it to be. I don’t want my childhood conditioning to dictate how much  money I make. I don’t want bosses I don’t respect to tell me how to live the majority of my time and dictate how much I will make. I want to teach this to my son, my husband, my extended family and clients.

The Old Lady

I went to pick up my 5 year-old from daycare several weeks ago. The children were playing outside and one of the new helpers was an elderly East Indian woman with white hair, a red dot on her forehead and a shawl around her head. She was clearly in agony while the cold wind made her shiver and blew through her meager clothing. She nodded to me politely as I passed but I could see her pain and discomfort about being outside for such a long period of time. This was a condition over which she had NO real control because probably her childhood conditioning and belief system made her choose a job with these difficult circumstances that she had to endure at her age. It broke my heart and the image of her stayed with me for a long time.

What’s At Stake?

If you don’t change your current situation, what’s at stake for you? What will your life be like in 10 years, what will it be like when you’re 75, like that old lady probably was? How much money will you be making? How many people will you be helping? How will you have fulfilled your destiny and promise to the world if you just keep being comfortable and safe?

So ask yourself that questions again: What Makes You Say ‘F### it, I’m Going To Keep Going!’ After the 100th No?

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

When You Let Your History Decide Your Destiny: A Devastating Story

momprotectingsonA few weeks ago, I got a shocking email: a friend’s young son was diagnosed with leukemia. He now needs a bone marrow transplant. The odds of a match are 1 out of 30 000. The donor can’t be anyone (I really thought hard about doing it myself!). It has to be someone from the same geographic ethnicity (which is tricky since the family has emigrated to Toronto) and be of 17-35 years of age. Is this breaking your heart yet? There’s more…

The Odds

My marketing mind went immediately to work on the solution. I thought, if my target market is a certain geographic ethnicity, why don’t we campaign for a donor in that very country itself? After all, there are millions of potential donors there vs. here. Go to where your ideal clients hang out, I always say. That turned out to be easier said than done. The country in question has no donation infrastructure and no funds for processing potential donors through the simple cheek swab match test. In fact, it costs $1000 per person to process this test.

Solutions

Then my brilliant marketing mind came up with the idea of running a dual campaign in the said country. One for marrow donors and the other for financial donors to fund the cheek swab. I would run the financial one through something like Kickstarter where we could take multinational donations from anywhere in the world!

Where History Meets Destiny

When presented with my idea, my dear friend who truly must be beside herself with worry for her son said these words that I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks “Chala, I simply can’t and won’t ask people I know for money”. Now I know this woman is an intelligent, caring and loving mother. Yet that’s what she felt.

Sleepless Night

I lay awake all last night thinking about what caused my friend to reject my solution of fundraising money to possibly save her son’s life. And unfortunately the answer is that when someone in our childhood (our history) teaches us that it’s wrong to ask for money, we can’t even ask it to save our (our kids’) lives, let alone our businesses. Our history ends up determining our future (our destiny).

Your Insidious Mind

When your conditioned mind (your subconscious mind) detects a change is coming (i.e. you have to ask for money from your friends or even strangers which it was conditioned never to do since it said something bad about you), your mind responds in one of 3 ways: 1. avoidance 2. resistance and 3. defensiveness. The insidiousness of your subconscious is that it actually comes out as thoughts that make perfect sense to you, such as ‘it’ll never work’ or ‘nobody will give us any money’ or ‘I don’t think it’s the right way to do this’.

The next time you are feeling any of these emotions, beware. Take a pause and maybe ask yourself why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and be honest with yourself. You might be surprised by how your history is shaping your destiny too…

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

“You Don’t Have A Money Problem, You Have An Asking Problem!”

asking problemSo said my new coach in an intensely emotional stand-off with a participant at this weekend’s event. The unfortunate woman was emotionally and financially bankrupt. She had lost a lawsuit, owing over 6 figures in damages. She had to shatter her daughter’s dreams to enter an Ivy League college in the fall. All her many advisors and lawyers were telling her to sell off her beautiful home in the Hamptons. Although a successful coach, she couldn’t see where she could get that enormous amount of money in such a short time.

When I pick coaches, I pick people who will tell you the truth no matter what. So here’s what my new coach told this woman and it was SO exactly the same truth for myself, my clients or for any business owner out there who wants to earn more money that I had to share it with you.

He said “You don’t have a money problem. You have an asking problem. If you had called every single person on your list and told them that you could change their lives if they paid you $100K, consistently and through time, you wouldn’t be in this situation. In fact, you could go home right now and do what I said and pay off this debt and send your daughter to an Ivy League school. It’s because you have an ASKING problem that you’re not doing this“.

Wow, I was really stopped in my tracks. How true is this for all of us? Naturally, this led me to ask (no pun intended) the question: Why do we have an ASK problem?

Here are a few hints:

1. You’re conditioned to think it’s rude/wrong/pushy/looks bad to ask for anything. Yup, it happened when you were a kid while your parents and society and your environment (unless you grew up with Donald Trump) taught you this. In fact, you were called greedy and possibly punished for asking too much. Well, you’re an adult now and you’re reading this so isn’t it time to push yourself out of this state of being?

2. You don’t know how. How exactly are you supposed to ask people for a sale? Do you pick up the phone, do you email, do you write a love letter for God’s sake? And what do you say if you do any of these things? You can’t just walk up to someone and ask them to work with you, right? Even as forthright as I am, I would first recommend an invitation to find out more about each others’ businesses and see if anything you hear can indicate a need for your services. If they’re open to hearing about it and if they’re in enough pain, then you can ask how you can help.

3. You don’t know who to ask. Even if you could get over the beast of the first obstacle of your conditioning and you knew what to say, who do you target for this new asking thing? Well, how about people in your target group you’ve met in the past? How about people you’ve already worked with in the past? How about people in your target who are networking at some function right now? All you need is a focused target group and off you go.

So if you’re like the rest of us who have a money problem in that you want more than what you have, then now you have the awareness that it’s actually an asking problem. Now, go get over it and make your money problems disappear.

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