Monday, November 03, 2008

And so it starts - My First JV Program

First, just to clarify so I am not accused of using jargon, JV stands for Joint Venture. I have heard of them and seen them in action. They are usually profitable. So I have been trying to see how this might apply to my business. Finally, I found someone whom I trust and have known for 17 years. Someone who is a good match for me and will compliment my expertise with hers. And today we started the dialog about how we can work together on a project. I can't give you all the detail, in fact, we have very few to give. But I can say that you will hear about it soon enough. When you do I think you will be excited to see what happens when two dedicated, passionate marketing mavens get together!

Come back soon to see when we announce an upcoming event. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Happy prospecting!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All Roads Lead to Follow Up

It always comes back to follow up. When I was first trained by Joan Friedlander to be a Get Clients Now! Facilitator, I remember her saying "All roads Lead to follow up." Here is some statistical proof for those who like numbers.

A classic study of sales calls made by Dartnell and McGraw Hill produced the following fascinating statistics:

80% of all sales are made only after 5 or more contacts
48% of all salespeople give up after the first contact
25% give up after the 2nd contact
17% give up after the 3rd or 4th contact

These statistics show that 90% of the salespeople give up before 80% of the sales will ever be made!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Can you hear what I hear . . .

I don't know about you but I am tired of the noise. I have had it with all this talk about the recession. I have made a stand and I choose not to participate. Yes the voices of doom and gloom seem to want us to, but I think we can make our own choice.

Today I stand in my right to choose. I have turned off the news. If there is something I need to know, I am sure someone will tell me. I am focusing on what I can do, what I can control. How did I get to this great place? I am glad you asked. Well it's been building for a while. Today I had the privilege of sharing a meal with several business owners who happened to be women. During the meeting a business coach shared on how to handle the stress of these difficult times. Dr. Anita actually recommended deep breaths, focusing on what you can control and ignoring the rest. She actually suggested turning off the news. And I have to say, I had started already backing off it, but now I am going cold turkey.

This gave me time today to start writing a mini business plan for a new niche I am working in. How awesome is that? See it's already working.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Social Networking Works

I am an avid believer in Social Networking, now. Although I must admit I went kicking and screaming. Well, maybe not screaming. I am also a believe in internet tools. Let me share an example with you.

I use a tool called Google Alerts. When I want to follow a company, topic or person, I set up a Google Alert and on a daily basis I receive emails with information on the Alert if there is something to find on the Internet and in the News. Pretty simple. I believe in saving money and making money and helping my clients to do the same. I joined a company that helps me do that so I wanted to follow that company. Here's my site with the company: Lia's BigN. I set up a Google Alert to follow any stories and updates on Team National and the National Companies. Today I found the have a huge presence on the web, specifically in Social Networking. See for yourself: Team National Social Networking Presence.

So what is my point. If you take time to use the tools out there you can have a huge presence on the web and it does not have take a long time or a lot of money.

Action Step:

  • Develop a Social Networking Plan
  • Identify good sources for Networking
  • Set up a Editorial Calendar to populate the sites usually with posts
  • Then take action and make it happen.

Now just enjoy the results.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

To Niche or Not To Niche

Ah the age old question. If I niche will I lose business? If I don't niche, will I be perceived as an expert? There are not simple answers. However, I do want to clarify, or maybe even suggest backing up a step. Before you get to that question, have you asked yourself, what is it that you do better than anybody else that someone will pay you money to do for them? I know it is not the best English, but here is another way of saying it. What are you best at? And What is it you have to offer that people will pay you big money? Once you have answers for that, then start to further define who those people are, where they hang out and what they do. That is the start of a great, lucrative niche. Good luck.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Never Give Up

I was listening to a training CD the other day and heard a quote I had never heard. It was from Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was so powerful, I felt compelled to share it with you.

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

I know I have had days when I think, "maybe I should just get a job." And then I realize, I am so close to the goal, I can almost taste it. That's when I tell myself "Don't give up! "

Jim Collins in his book Good To Great talks about the "fly wheel concept." He notes the hardest part of business is getting the momentum going just like pushing a fly wheel to get an engine started. Most people quit just before it's about to click into gear, that is when the momentum almost takes care of it self.

So keep pushing, stay focused on the goal. If you don't have a goal or a plan, contact me and we can get one together.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Focus & Discipline . . . That is the Answer

Today I found myself frustrated by the lack of quality work time I had. I felt like I did not have time to think. Then I thought about all the hours I squander when I do have it.

Each year I pick a different character trait to work on. With the above in mind, I decided to work on discipline of thought and action this year. Here is a quote to help keep me focussed.

The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business--or almost anywhere else for that matter.
Lee Iacocca

What are you working on this year?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Event Beyond Events

I am not a big promoter of events. Someone could make a job of that based on the number of events that exists. However, I have to take exception to this one. This event is going to be the biggest event of the year. Check out Coaching Super Summit. It is for entrepreneurs who have information and expertise but have not yet learned how to turn that expertise into dollars. This event is loaded with six and seven figure entrepreneurs who turned their expertise into an ongoing source of revenue. I know I will be there. Please join me by signing up and take advantage of the early bird specials.

Remember, to take your business to the next level, you need to be at his event.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Plans without Action Is Like . . .

The other day I was traveling with my boys and we were stuck in traffic. One of my son's asked me why there was so much traffic. I replied it was because it was Rush Hour. To my reply he said, "Mom, if it's Rush Hour, why isn't anyone rushing?" Oh, the wisdom of a 6 year old.

Yesterday, I was listening to Bob Proctor on Goal setting. He discussed why people don't succeed in goal setting. He commented that there are people who are waiting for everything to be perfect before they implement the plan. So they are so busy planning they never get doing. He then told a story that pulled it all together for me. Quite frankly, I never heard it or thought of it before. He noted that when Henry Ford sold his first car there were no paved roads like we have today. In fact, the roads were dirt and gravel. Yet, he had a vision and kept true to the vision. So he sold the cars, knowing that if he built them the roads would come. And in deed a few million cars later, we have plenty of paved roads. If he waited till someone else caught his vision and paved roads in case there would be cars, we might not be where we are today.

Are you waiting for everything to be perfect? I say plan and implement. Launch and adjust the sails as you go. Without action, you will not reach all the great goals you have.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recession Proof Your Business

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Yes it is true these are difficult economic times. Yet, I find during tough times businesses are born. In fact, many an entrepreneur have been born out of a layoff or downsize. When there are gray clouds, there is always a silver lining. So the key to riding out these tough times is to hold fast to your dreams and get back to your goals. Adjust if you need and do something each day, no matter how small, to move toward the goal.

Action Step - Take Time To Answer These Questions:

What can I do today to improve my business?
What can I cut to reduce my expenses and improve my bottom line?
Is there a new target audience that needs my product or service?
Am I networking enough and effectively?

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Stop Doing List - What a Concept!

In our society we get caught up on doing so much that we keep list after list of things we need to do. In business it is very much the same. Most people mistake activity with productivity. Interestingly enough, Jim Collins in Good To Great noted the companies that make it to great learn not only what to do but what not to do.

Today I received a call from one of my first clients. We met at a Chamber Business Expo in 1994 and have been working together ever since. He asked me if I knew anyone who could handle the bookkeeping end of his business. He was throwing his hands up in disgust. He was done trying to do everything himself. Of course I had a great contact for him.

For me it was a valuable reminder of two things:

  • It pays to be a human Rolodex! One of my gifts has been, when my clients need something done, they call me first to see if I know anyone who can get it done. I have always made it my business to meet contacts, get to know what they do and then refer them when appropriate.
  • When you outsource the areas of your business that don't make you money but actually cost you time, you can focus your effort and energy on making money in the areas that you can make the most money.

So while you are creating your to do list, make sure you start a stop doing list. Enjoy and be profitable.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keep on Keeping on

All of my clients know that I am a Mompreneur. What that means to me is that I am a mom first and business owner second. This becomes more clear in the Summer as I modify my work schedule. Usually my clients don't see much of a difference. Their projects are done on time. I just have to meet them in a smaller window of opportunity. To be honest, that is why I started my own business, to have flexibility in my schedule.

I can do this because I have a plan. With a plan I plan for times when I can schedule more meetings and perform more trainings. Then I know there are certain times I need to adjust my schedule, meet less often, maybe have teleconferences, and perform less trainings. The good news is this is all planned for and can be adjusted.

Of course my point is, have a plan and work the plan. Obviously, you have to be flexible, as things do change from time to time.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Just What I Needed to Hear

Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one's liberty.
-- Henri Frederic Amiel

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Birth of a Product

It's time; I have been putting it off long enough. So I sit here at the computer trying to come up with a product the encapsulates what I do for my clients so I can basically bottle me. I have spoken to several fellow business owners who love to do this stuff and they cannot understand why this is just torture for me. I have been a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of entrepreneur. Now I need to document the process and then package it. Wish me luck and check back often to see my progress.

Monday, May 12, 2008

When is it time to document?

I have had the pleasure of working with a great client recently that has been very successful. He's the ultimate entrepreneur who flies by the seat of his pants. It suddenly became apparent that he could not translate how he did what he did in a way that someone else could duplicate. Also, not everyone liked that approach. They were looking for a little bit more direction. It is really neat to be able to help his company not only reign in the vision, articulate it and then share it with the group. We are also documenting the process so it is no longer subjective or in the head of just one person. This will be something anyone can plug into.

So the question becomes "when is it time to document?" My answer is now and always. Even when it's just you, if you think you ever want to grow your business or more importantly, some day sell the business, it has to be documented. If it is not documented, you do not have a business with out the source, the owner. If you don't document, and the source is not available, the business stops. So by all means document the process.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

My Wish For You -- The Business Owner

I just read this quote and it spoke to my business soul:

"I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark would burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet."

Jack London

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nuggets To Share

I am an avid reader, in fact, my goal is to read one book a week. I just wanted to share a few nuggets I have come across in the latest readings:

"You are free to choose, but the choices you make today will determine what you will have, be and do in the tomorrow of your life." Zig Ziglar

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself." Harvey S. Firestone

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." John Wooden

"Have you ever said: 'I'll be happy when . . . I lose 20 pounds, live in a bigger house . . . get a new boyfriend/girlfriend . . . make more money, etc.?' You get the picture. Someday Isle is not a dream vacation spot. It's an imaginary destination to which you will never arrive. It is the carrot on the stick perpetually in front of you. So close you can see it, yet you will never reach it. Don't vacation on Someday Isle." Frank F. Lunn, Author of Stack the Logs!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

If It's Good Enough for Ford

As always, I am researching to get ready for my Business Marketing Gym launch. I am so excited about the whole Mastermind concept. Then I came across this quote:

Henry Ford's Mastermind Group In "Think and Grow Rich", Napoleon Hill talks about Henry Ford's Mastermind Group:

"Men take on the nature and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in a spirit of sympathy and harmony. Through his association with Edison, Burbank, Burroughs, and Firestone, Mr. Ford added to his own brain power the sum and substance of the intelligence, experience, knowledge, and spiritual forces of these four men. Moreover, he appropriated and made use of the Master Mind principle."

Who are we to doubt these business leaders.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Entrepreneural Moments

I had the pleasure of hosting a local networking group at my new office. I was very excited. I have only been in my new office for nine days. As always the meeting went well. We discussed what we were looking for and challenges we were facing.

After the meeting was over we talked about the challenges of being "micro-businesses" trying to become big businesses. One of my fellow networking buddies shared that he sees value in what we do because the people that are members of our group have become an informal advisory board. It further validated my decision to launch my Business Marketing Gym in May. There is a need for people to get together to brainstorm new ideas, discuss challenges and share each others successes. I am very excited about the concept.

Andy Andrews who wrote the book "The Travelers Gift" discusses the concept of a personal advisory board in his video about the book. In the video "The Seven Decisions" he talks about surrounding yourself with people who are where you want to be in a certain area of your life and learning from them. It seem so simple, but why is it not done more often? I will keep you posted on the launch of the Business Marketing Gym. I think sparks will be flying.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

212 Degrees - The Extra Degree

What is the difference between 211° and 212°? Yes, just one degree. It is also the difference between hot water and boiling water. Once water boils it gives off steam which then gives off power which can move a locomotive. One degree turns water into power. This is true about people and effort. How many people are out there just coasting along around the boiling point but not actually boiling? What if you put in just a little extra effort, what difference would that make in your business? It could be one extra cold call? It could be one extra follow-up call? It could be a card or letter sent to a former client. Could that little effort yield big results? You won't know until you try. I say make the effort and find out. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Thank you Sam Parker for your words of wisdom in the priceless book.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Picture of Success

I recently started working with a large sales organization that is pretty amazing. They have an amazing program and spirit. Even though they are spread out all over the United States they use technology to run their business like they are next door. I had the privilege to go to one of their regional conferences to speak. I felt like I was preaching to the choir. They were so amazing I remember feeling, what is left to be said. I recently came across a quote by John Maxwell that epitomizes what I saw at this conference and their team.

"To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible.
To be all we can be, we must dream of being more.
To reach our dream, we must reach out to others."

This team does all of the above and it shows.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lessons Learned

Today I was privileged to train a group of 20 insurance sales professionals. I must admit I was nervous going in, especially when I found out the President of the group was going to stay. As we got into the training, I felt more relaxed and felt I was able to connect with most of the team. I really love what I do because of the people I get to meet. They are so awesome.

When I got back to the office I took time to look at the evaluations. Overall they were favorable. After reflecting on the evaluations and thinking back on the training I was struck by a common theme. The Get Clients Now! systems was well received. It is easy to put together and easy to implement. The need for follow-up is critical. There needs to be accountability built in through the on-going coaching. Finally, if you get just one thing from the program, you are already ahead of the game.

I want to elaborate on the last comment. You see all of these sales professionals are very busy, working under tight deadlines with high expectations. On top of that, some of the seasoned professional are already successful doing business the way they currently do business. So the idea of adding something new to their already full plate may seem a bit daunting to say the least.

The take aways I tried to leave them with were:
  • If you do one thing different, you will improve sales.
  • It only takes a little extra effort to make a big difference in your sales.
  • When they suddenly become distracted by some new initiative, they now have a plan to go back to refocus their efforts. With out the plan, they would just feel lost as to what to do next. That was very frustrating.
  • Having a plan is better than not having a plan. It's a place to start and then restart.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Experts Agree -- Make Time for Marketing

I hear it a lot from the business owners I work with; "I don't have time to market." Yet the reason I am working with them is because they are frustrated by the "Feast or Famine Cycle" of their businesses. So how do you handle this paradox of being too busy to market but concerned about becoming not be too busy with billable work? CJ Hayden speaks to this very subject in this excellent article entitled: Making Time for Marketing. As you know I am a licensed facilitator for her program because I feel her program is the most effective program of marketing a business owner can implement in their business. Read this article and see why I love CJ Hayden, her program and her marketing philosophy.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Blogging & Social Media -- What's all the buzz

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably have heard about blogs. But what about social media? What is all that about? Is it for business?

Here are some statistics to show you just what is being said about Social Media:
  • 48% of business leaders spend 2-5 hours a week using social media tools to generate leads and find new clients (Source:
  • 42% of sales managers view blogs and podcasts as very important sales generating tools (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  • Of the Top 8 most visited sites worldwide, 5 are social networking websites – MySpace, Facebook, Orkut,, YouTube (Source: eMarketer)

I had the pleasure of meeting Leesa Barnes in September at a conference that we both attended. Her book Podcasting for Profit was literally in the presses and being published the next week. I learned a lot from her about Social Media. I wasn't surprise then when I got an email about her telesummit she is putting on about this subject. I must say I think it is very exciting and very innovative. I am also amazed the low investment to be able to learn cutting edge material from all the experts in this field. If you want to know more about Social Media and how you can use it to blow your business out of the water and take it to new heights, then I recommend you check out this site: Social Media Telesummit 2008. I think you will be amazed by what you will learn.

It's a New Year . . . So Now What

We've all been there. It seems like months of preparation and the holidays are over in just a few hours. Then you find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering, now what? What have I accomplished? What's next? Or is that just me.

I must say I had a good year. I had my ups and downs, but overall I feel like I accomplished a lot and found my grove. The most important part of 2007 is realizing that I need to build a business around the lifestyle I want and not build a lifestyle around my business. When I tried to fit in a lifestyle around my business, it never happened. When I planned my business activities around my lifestyle, I was actually doing what I had hoped I could do. Looking back on that now, it seems so simple, but it was not so when I was working too much and not having the lifestyle I wanted.

So what did you learn from last year? What are you going to do differently this year? How will that change your life? I'd love to hear from you.