5 Things I Learned About Business While Shark Diving

sharkdiving

Sitting on the ocean floor during the shark dive

Yes, I was crazy enough to go shark diving. Not in those cages either. I actually jumped into a water infested with fins. It was unnerving to say the least but there were lots of other divers already in the water so it seemed harmless. As in everything I do in my life, everything comes back to how it applies to small business.

Here are some things I learned about my own small business that day…

1. Prepare Yourself

Before the big ‘shark dive’ portion of the live-aboard dive trip I took, we had briefing after briefing about what to do and what not to do. Stay away from the food they lower to the ocean floor. (A guy actually lost a limb when a piece of food floated his way). Don’t make sudden moves etc. In business, I often find that people just throw themselves out there. Sometimes with little to no preparation for their mind or skill set. Unfortunately statistically speaking, they end up shark bait to their competitors.

2. Watch Your Surroundings Constantly

As part of the briefing, we were told that if a shark is swimming erratically and speeds up while swimming towards you, you’re in trouble. There’s not much you can do at that point. However, we did learn to be extra vigilant of our surroundings because the sharks were literally everywhere-in front, behind, and on top of us as we sat in a circle at the bottom of the ocean. It’s actually not a bad metaphor for the business world. Are you out networking with your competitors? Are you attending their seminars or webinars? Watch your surroundings in business constantly. Or you might get attacked.

3. Watch Yourself Constantly

One of the biggest things I had to watch out for was my air consumption because I was breathing heavier due to my elevated heart rate. Cut me some slack here, I was literally swimming with sharks during their feeding! Still, I had to be extra aware of my air flow and keep an eye on my tank supply. In business, your cash flow is your oxygen. During times of crisis you use more of it and need to keep a constant eye on it because as in the ocean, there’s no life without air.

4. Stick To Someone Bigger Than You

I was so paranoid about getting bitten by a shark that I picked the most heavyset, enormously overweight dive buddy on the entire boat. He was easily 4 times my size. I figured even a hungry shark might be intimidated by that size. I mean, if you were a shark, would you eat a steak your own size? I stuck to him like glue. Of course, he did get stuck while passing between two reefs but we were well-trained to calmly back out and untangle our gear from the reefs. Similarly in business, I pay extraordinary amounts of money to walk with the giants of my industry standing next to me. My coaches have been responsible for doubling and tripling my income in the three years since I started my business. Stick to someone bigger than you, always.

5. Have Fun

All the while I was calculating and analyzing and listening to my own heavy breathing in my mask during the shark dive, I was exhilarated. I was doing something most people wouldn’t even dare to dream of doing. I felt brave and alive. Every time I meet miserable people who work for someone else, I feel the same exhilaration for having had the guts to leave that life and work for myself. Just as in the shark dive, I sometimes have to remind myself that the journey of an entrepreneur is scary but it is a ton of fun.

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

3 Simple Steps To Pick Your Ideal Client (VIDEO)

Hi, this is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics.com your no-nonsense marketing coach who gives your small business a booster shot in the arm. In this video, I’m going to be addressing a big headache of small businesses -How Do I Pick My Ideal Client?

First of all, I want to congratulate YOU ON KNOWING that your business needs an ideal client. Somehow, you’ve figured out that  you will run out of time, energy and money fast if you try to go after EVERYONE and market to every type of client.

Let me put you out of your misery and tell you the quickest way to pick your ideal client group to work with. There are 3 criteria that you can use when deciding on a target market.

First Simple Step

First you write down a whole bunch of different target groups you could have.  Say Housewives, Dentists, Mining Companies, etc. Then you put them through these three criteria to pick the best one. The first criteria is whether there’s a fit with that target client and your own personality, background and skill set. I mean if you’re a vegan targeting meat companies like a client of mine once did, you may want to rethink that one.

Second Simple Step

Number 2 criteria to pick your ideal client group is whether they can afford to pay you the level of income you want to make.  I mean, what if your soul cries out to help a group of people who are broke? I say, do like I do and get more paying clients so you can give away a portion of your time as charity to those who are less fortunate.

Third Simple Step

The last criteria in choosing your ideal client group is access. Do you have or can you easily get access to large groups of these people. For example, a client who wanted to target millionaires found that she couldn’t afford to join their clubs or networks and didn’t have a single millionaire in her personal network. So, do yourself a favour when you’re planning to grow your business and use these 3 simple criteria to pick the right target client.

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 My Superhero Power Would Be

picnicmanWhen I found out that a multimillionaire, multi-talented serial entrepreneur named Tina Roth Eisenberg credits her success with her ability to answer one single question, I was intrigued. The question was:

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

What The Successful Said

She said that almost all the successful people she met were able to answer this question instantly. For example according to the Inc. magazine article, John Maeda, who led the MIT Media Lab and Rhode Island School of Design, responded with “curiosity.” Maria Popova, who curates the popular Brain Pickings blog by reading 12-15 books a week, said “doggedness.” Eisenberg’s own superpower? Enthusiasm.

What I Said

I really loved this question because it made me realize that my own answer is the focus of my business and it’s simply this:

To enable people to overcome their childhood crap around money (which translates to their ability to market and sell themselves).

Yup, this is my life mission.

Your Focus

If you think about what your greatest mission in life and in your business is, then wouldn’t you naturally want that to be your superpower?

For example, a client who is a financial advisor recently decided to become ‘the business tax deductions expert’. Imagine a superhero looking at your finances and finding missing deductions to hand you unexpected savings out of the blue! How about another client who helps women get over hot flashes through simple dietary changes? That’s a superpower any woman would love.

If you don’t have a niche, you probably haven’t met me or haven’t had the pleasure to speak to me about this topic that’s my personal frustration with businesses I meet. I try not to cringe every time someone tells me that they work with everyone and do everything.

I want to convince every one I meet from every industry and every walk of life that indeed, life is sweeter when your business has a focus (a niche) and you can’t become a superhero if you don’t have one main strength. Otherwise the Xmen franchise would star a single hero and wouldn’t that be boring to watch?

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

The Biggest Mistake Business Owners Make When Introducing Their Services

Hi, this is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics.com your no-nonsense marketing coach who gives your small business a booster shot in the arm. In this video I’m going to tell you about the biggest mistake of business owners when introducing themselves and solve the mystery of how exactly you should be talking about what you do so that people end up asking for your business card after they meet you.

Every week, I’m at crowded networking events where people are given the proverbial 2 minutes of self-introduction air time. Most people cringe when this happens because they just aren’t sure what will get people interested in what they do and what they can say to raise eyebrows in pleasant surprise.

Here’s what I recommend that you do. The biggest mistake is talking about your company or your products. Instead, YOU NEED TO walk into a meeting or an event knowing what the number one problem of the group is. For example, if it’s a small business network group, their main challenge will be getting more clients. If it’s a group of mining executives, it will be the erosion (pardon the pun) of their profits in the last 2 years.

So know the specific major pain point of the people you’ll be talking to. THEN, make sure that your introduction talks about their pain and what your solution to that pain is. For example, an introduction we crafted for a client who targets multinational IT companies and sells them language tutoring services introduces herself this way: I help multinational IT companies who suffer from a loss of productivity due to language barriers between headquarters and their regions. We help them communicate better and adapt quicker to cultural differences between them which skyrockets their productivity in record time.

So if you can also stop talking about yourself, your address or your next big project when you meet potential clients and instead start to talk about their pain and their industry challenges, you will have them fall in love with you at Hello. So now that you know what to say to people, you need to know where to hang out to find them.

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

The Absolute Fastest Way To Find WHERE Your Ideal Clients Hang Out (VIDEO)

Hi, this is Chala Dincoy from Coachtactics.com your no-nonsense marketing coach who gives your small business a booster shot in the arm. In this video, I’m going to address THE most asked question I get when I meet small businesses—WHERE do I find my ideal clients?

If this question has plagued you as a small business owner, I guarantee it’s because a. you don’t have a specific group of ideal clients, in other words a niche or b. you don’t do market research to find out more about your target clients.

So if you don’t know where to find your ideal clients, start by focusing on WHO that ideal client is. Then do the research by asking THEM–yes as crazy as it sounds– ask your ideal clients where they hang out in large groups with others who are just like them. Ask them what they read or what social media groups they are active in. Ask them what clubs or associations they belong to. Ask them what trade shows and conferences they attend. Ask them what charities they support or what major suppliers they use. Then use various marketing activities to get into their world. That’s where you find your ideal clients—WHERE THEY TOLD YOU THEY’D BE! So how exactly do you ask them, you might be wondering. I recommend giving something to potential clients BEFORE asking for their help in getting this information.

My clients offer free lunch and learns or a bonus assessment or a free makeover in exchange for a 5 minute informational interview. Most of my clients get clients during the research phase. You see how you can’t go wrong with your marketing if you just ask your clients where they go? Then you go with them! After all, marketing is simply telling your ideal client that you can help them with their pain.

To intercept them with this message consistently, you need to know WHERE they are. So get out there, first ask them where they go and then be present with your message in their world—over and over and over again.

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

 

Is Comfort The #1 Enemy Of Your Success?

uncomfortableLast night, I watched the amazing Ewomen network founder Sandra Yancey speak at our chapter event and when she said that ‘comfort is the #1 enemy of success’, it was as if a shot was fired off in my head. It resounded so much with what I’m feeling all the time as an entrepreneur that it felt wonderful to hear her validate that I’m normal and that it’s actually good to be me.

Sandra had a lot of doozies last night. She is after all a millionaire and a visionary. Having built a business network for entrepreneurial women because 14 years ago in Dallas, where she lived, she couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a social club for women or an old boys’ club for..well old boys, she’s pioneered the networking industry. Since I was also privileged to sit with her at a private session earlier, I’ll share her pearls with you:

Give Everything Away Free, Holding Nothing Back

Her philosophy is actually pretty similar to mine. If you give give give, you will get get get. No exceptions, no fears and no limits.

When Your Past Calls, Hang Up

That cracked up a lot of people. I’m not really hung up on my past but oh those pesky patterns and conditionings that follow me from when I was a baby sure are hard to shake. Constant vigilance and mentorship to help keep me from sliding back are the way I hang up. How do you?

Your Biggest Success Lies On The Other Side Of Fear

I LOVED this one. I’ve dramatically changed my business over the past year. I’ve spent my brains out on investing in my own growth and in my own marketing. Do you think I’m not scared? That’s why I’m uncomfortable dammit! Ask yourself if YOU are uncomfortable right now. Your ability to step away from your comfort zone in almost every aspect of your business will be directly proportional to your growth. I’ve lived this truth and still see its results.

Quit Your Negative Circle

You know those people who are complainers and blamers and constantly want to drag you down and drain your energy? Sandra says to dump them with love. Harder to do if they’re your family (and luckily my family’s my biggest fan and support base but I can see how hard it would be to ditch your fam).. Here’s an example Sandra gave of how you can do the said dumping “Do you notice we keep talking about the same things and that they’re not really adding anything positive to us? Well, instead how about we keep each other accountable and not do that?” Then if they still won’t get the message after 3 tries, they’re out.

I’m still on a buzz from the high that was this inspirational night. If my buzz inspired your buzz, we can vibrate together. Eww not like that!

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 a Multi Level Marketer Sold Me in 1 Minute

greatsaleswomanAdmit it, most people (who don’t sell multilevel marketing-MLM products themselves) shudder in dread when they meet an MLM peddler. Even though I have had clients who WERE multilevel marketers, I have to admit to being one of the shudderers.

Until I met Janet from Arbonne. Then everything changed. During her 2 minute networking self-introduction, Janet started talking about her bout with breast cancer a few years ago. She talked about how she linked it to a cream she was herself marketing as a pharma rep and the chemicals that were in it. Then she talked about how she found another cream under the Arbonne brand and how she credited it with saving her life.

A room full of mostly men and I, the world’s most jaded marketer were riveted to Janet and her story. Janet then went on to talk about what made her an expert in all matters chemical and skin and that’s when she SOLD me. My darling 4 year old’s hands looked like dishwasher hands because of the cold. Every cream I tried was burning him so I thought, who better to have the solution to my pain that a skin care ‘expert’ with a product line of pure and natural creams at her arsenal?

This is what I learned from Janet and I hope you will use it in your own marketing.

You Are Selling Your ‘Why’

When Janet talked about why she sold Arbonne and how she came to know the brand, it was completely compelling and believable. Why do you do what you do? Talk about it all day and everyday. Everywhere.

Stories Capture Better Than Facts

Janet’s deeply personal and agonizing story was immediately more captivating than any facts or figures she could’ve thrown at me. It was very compelling and left a big impression. What stories should you be telling?

Focus On One Area

The biggest downfall of most MLM reps is that they are literally trying to sell the entire line of products, from weight loss to anti aging to athletic performance to baby skin. Janet was focused on skin. That’s all she talked about and that’s the product that she showed us. Are you focused or are you a generalist like EVERYONE else?

Position Yourself As An Expert

Janet’s story made me believe that her background and experience in the pharma world made her something of an expert in that topic. So I ran upto her and asked for her advice. What are you an expert in that people run upto you to consult with?

When I’ve resisted buying a product for years from hundreds of people I have known who sold it and a person I don’t know from Adam is able to sell it to me in 1 minute, I know that she’s got something special going on. Get your groove on, follow this game plan and get out there. I’m going to do the same!

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