What I learned from 100 Millionaire Women This Week

rbcI’m not a millionaire (yet) nor had I ever been exposed to so many of them in a concentrated period of time before this week. Two back to back events packed with an audience of millionaire women that I invested a significant amount of money to attend, turned out to be a real eye opener.

Everywhere-a-millionaires

At first blush, the event consisted of a well dressed, chatty group of women just like at any other networking I go to. But when I started to talk to some of the women I ran into at the coffee table or the bathroom lineup, I started to discover that lo and behold–most of the ladies were nominees of one award or another and based on what I know about the criteria for nomination–were millionaires!

Here are a few things that I learned from them:

They Have The Same Headaches

Yes, these women don’t see their children and husbands often. Yes, they spend more time in airport lounges than at hockey practice but the big difference between them and the rest of the women entrepreneurs I know, is that these millionaires have mostly gotten over the guilt of it. I found that millionaire women biz owners looked at being away from their family for work as teaching their children what it’s like to sacrifice things in order to get what you really want in life.

Lean On My Husband

When I came home from the gala last night, I told my husband that I was most definitely going to become a millionaire entrepreneur because the one thing all these ladies had in common with me was a supportive husband who took care of the home front and supported the woman’s dream of building her vision. It was so wonderful and inspiring to hear that.

They’re Terribly Humble

I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing or if it’s just the nature of millionaire business women but there was such a feeling of humbleness and lack of pretension with these women. Some of the award winners even wept in surprise or said they often felt like an imposter. They talked fearlessly about their ‘dark nights’ where they were scared and depended on loved ones to get them through.

They’re Persistent

Perhaps the single biggest differentiator that I saw between this group of millionaires and the usual entrepreneurs that I meet is that no matter what the circumstance, these millionaires didn’t throw in the towel. They kept putting a second mortgage on the house, they borrowed more money, took more risks in the face of failure but never ever gave up. This characteristic isn’t really found in most women or even most entrepreneurs that I’ve met. They just go back and get a j-o-b.

They Look Good

Was I ever glad that I rented myself a $1000 designer gown that stood out like a beacon in a black tie event that might as well have been called a black dress one. My dress MADE friends for me. Perfect strangers would say ‘I love your dress’ and I’d tell them that I’d rented it. My frankness about the situation as well as the interesting story behind the dress started conversations that turned into genuine connections. From my brush with these millionaire shoulders, I learned that whether day or night-millionaire entrepreneur women dress well. They have expensive boots, purses and dresses. They have giant chunky bling. They are elegant and prepared to look their best when out in public.

They Are Helpful

The last point about these millionaire business women came out when part of the conference was a round table coaching of each other. These women were generous with their experiences and offered a lot of help. They were caring and attuned to the needs of those around them. Excellent connectors, these ladies had hundreds of employees and had formed phenomenal cultures around their workplace.

My whirlwind 2 days with millionaire women left me wonderfully inspired to be more like them. I hope I’ve been able to impart some of the magic of my time with them so that you too can join me at the next awards gala as a millionaire yourself next year!

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

How Jann Arden Was Bleeding To Death

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Singer Jann Arden giving a talk a few hours after her bleeding episode

Jann Arden was bleeding to death in Toronto yesterday at 5:30am where she was staying at a hotel to speak at a Woman’s Conference I was attending yesterday. At least, that’s what she thought. In fact, after 4 hours of waiting at the ER she found out that it was simply a pre-menopausal hiccup.

How is that relevant to you, the small business owner whose business itself may be bleeding to death? Jann’s re-telling of an embarrassing and potentially a life threatening event gave me a glimpse of a best in class case of authenticity in the public eye that I want to share with other small business owners.

Here’s what I learned:

When You Are Honest, People Connect Deeper With You

Jann was sincere from the get go telling us funny stories of growing up and the heartbreaking recounting of her brother’s 20 year incarceration. She already had me at ‘hello Toronto’. However, she didn’t truly connect with me until she said ‘I wasn’t going to tell this story today’ and went onto recount her horror story of the bleeding, telling us how she was wearing pants that weren’t buttoned up and were being held up by the girth of her hips. This is a highly personal and potentially embarrassing story. Why would a world renowned singer, author and speaker share such private things you might ask yourself. It’s because she was the most human and vulnerable person in that whole lineup of speakers yesterday. And that made me want to believe her, trust her and listen to anything she had to tell me. What opportunities do you have to do the same in front of your customers?

Authenticity Means You Care Less About Failure Than Others

I wonder how many professional speakers who get paid tens and thousands of dollars to speak would risk looking unprofessional or offending people or grossing them out would have shied away from the topic of their very painful and personal health challenges they had a few hours before going on stage? The fact that Jann was willing to do so only made me certain that she felt secure in her right to be earning that money as a top notch, in demand pro. What are you afraid to reveal that is keeping you from being your true authentic self in front of your customers and colleagues? What would it look like if you finally let go of those fears of failure?

Like Attracts Like

When people are scared to be authentic, they feel REALLY uncomfortable with others who are willing to share and share and share. In fact, a term coined TMI has come out meaning Too Much Information has been shared. It’s been my experience that you attract the kind of people who are at exactly the same level of comfort in their own authenticity as you. So if you want more clients who are ideal for you, you need to reveal the true you more often. Make sense?

Your Lack Of Courage Can Kill Your Business

When you are inauthentic, you refuse to tell people who you really like and who you really dislike to work with. You’re afraid that it will drive business away and let you starve. This inability to define who you truly are in the eyes of your target market and amongst your competitive set is killing your business. It’s making you generic, it’s letting you blend in with all other nameless and faceless businesses.

So stand up for your true authentic self like Jann did and tell stories of who you really are and how you really live. You will not only feel better as a person but will attract the kind of attention and business that you will thrive to.

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

Get the Most Bang for Your Marketing Buck: 3 Ways

save moneyThe biggest misconception I run into about marketing amongst small business owners is that it’s expensive. If you’re interested in making sure that what you do spend is not wasted, read this article by  of Inc. Magazine where he talks about 3 golden ways to do just that:

1. Be Compelling

To be truly compelling you need these three components:

  • Empathy– Identify their pain that most needs to be resolved if you want them to notice you.
  • Objectivity– Suggest a perfect resolution to their pain so they’ll agree and yearn for more of what you have to say.
  • Differentiation– Promote true differentiation by offering something your competitors can’t do or won’t do without great effort or expense.

2. Be Intentional

  • Forethought–Analyze patterns, behaviors and objections in advance to open a successful sales path with your prospects.
  • Efficiency– Look for ways each tool can save time and money on a per sale basis and then measure, measure, measure to insure efficacy.
  • Integration–Spend time figuring out how to gain exponential benefit by making your programs consistent and relatable.

3. Be Memorable

  • Creativity–Combine creative mediums like video and art for resonant emotional outcomes.
  • Intensity–Your communication needs to be extremely powerful to break through the noise of the millions of messages bombarding your customers every day.
  • Revelation  - To truly be memorable you have to deliver an AHA! moment.

http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/get-the-most-bang-for-your-marketing-buck-3-ways.html

If you’re using the spaghetti method of marketing (throwing one noodle against the wall to see if it’ll stick as a determinant of the whole pot of noodles being cooked) then you are in deep marketing pain. The “spray and pray” method is exhausting and expensive and it certainly doesn’t maximize your marketing bucks.

I hope you can see that by being strategic and using the above advice as guidelines, you can start to get qualified leads who will love you and beg to work with you.

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

My Scary Drive Through The US Border

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Our border guard allegedly looked like Tom Cruise with his shades and uniform

Just in time for Halloween, I can tell you what I learned about fear during my first scary drive through the US Border this week. Fear is fear people, and here’s how to apply those lessons to your small biz.

Be Scared But Do It Anyway

My coach says that only 5% of people in the whole world achieve their potential because 95% of people aren’t willing to do things that the 5% is. Doing things that scare you would rate right up there with things most people aren’t willing to do. So here I was, a 44 year old world traveler, 6 figure business owner, mother and wife, afraid to drive by myself to the US because I get lost a lot. It’s strange to understand, but there it was, my fear of getting lost on the roads of Rochester. I decided to do it anyway because there was going to be tremendous value in the 3 day retreat to grow my business. I knew I had to bite the bullet and just do it. What are you afraid to do for your small biz that you know you just have to bite the bullet to do.

Get Help

Once I’d made the decision to go by myself at all costs, a strange thing happened. A good friend started getting interested in starting her own business. She was willing to come with me to the retreat. Then another strange thing happened, I met a woman one week before the retreat and she signed up for the same retreat. We ended up going together all in the same car. We had 2 GPS‘s in the car and both girls were giving me minute by minute road directions. Getting help was the easiest and fastest way to get to Fairport. What help can you get for your small biz to ease your trip to success?

Fake It Till You Make It

One of my big stressors was the US customs border crossing. I imagined being stopped, cavity searched, delayed, asked to pull over, you name it. I was so nervous about it. When the Tom Cruise (alleged) look-a-like-sunglass-guy claimed not to know what a coach was and that it was ridiculous to think that my coach worked with me over the phone, I was definitely flustered. However, I burned through the pain and kept calmly answering and joking along. He did search our trunk but let us go quickly after that. The girls in the car with me were fanning themselves from their hormonal rush and I myself was covered in sweat but for entirely different reasons. In your business, sometimes you HAVE to fake confidence about your services, your abilities, your fees, you name it. Until you make it, you have to fake it like I did at the US border.

Learn from my over stimulating drive over the US border and ask yourself some tough questions for your biz. You’ll be happy you did.

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