What Authenticity Teaches Us for Business

differentiateAuthenticity became quite a buzz word recently, also related to marketing, selling and business in general. It is a widespread principle. Its meaning is about how well we manage our inside world within the struggles we experience in the outside world while trying to stay true to what really matters to us.

Continue Reading

7 Healthy Money Habits You Must Develop Today

Elegant business woman with pile of moneyAs a conscious woman entrepreneur, you desire to make a real difference in the world. However, research shows that 46% of start-ups fail due to a poor money relationship. It’s tricky to live your purpose if you don’t know how to bring in sufficient funds consistently.

Fortunately, the good news is that you can make your purposeful business sustainable. Even if you are losing sleep due to financial stress right now, let me assure you, money mindset and skills can be learned. You just need to shift your perspective and develop the following habits.

Continue Reading

Why Your Goal to make $100K Is Crazy

Stacks of money on wooden tableWhat’s your income goal for your biz in 2014?

At what level of income will you officially proclaim to the world that your business is a success?

There’s one goal that I hear from my clients and other solopreneurs when discussing their goals that makes me cringe.  I close my eyes and put both hands over my ears when I hear:

“My goal is to make six figures this year.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE goals.  Benchmarks.  Targets.  They are incredibly powerful but this one goal, in particular, rubs me the wrong way.  It’s soooo overused.

Continue Reading

You Must Be Bold and Fiery to Succeed

Creating a profitable business that positively impacts the world takes a lot of heart, guts, and grit. If it were a piece of cake, everyone would flamy symbolown their own business and the world would be changing at a dizzying speed. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs are in for a rude awakening after going into business. Why? Because building a business is not for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, many women entrepreneurs often struggle with being bold and fiery. Many are afraid to step into the spotlight, claim their role as a leader, spread their message, and do what it takes to engage new clients and customers and make the impact they are meant to make. You can’t serve the people you are meant to serve if you are hiding out, just waiting for them to find you. Playing it safe doesn’t help you or your clients.

Continue Reading

3 Tips to Make Happiness Happen in Your Business and Life

You probably know by now that I love wacky holidays, uncommon celebrations, and thought-provoking observances.  Well today we are celebrating International Happiness Day! In celebration, I’m bringing out a post I wrote a few years 1994-08-033 002ago on the topic of happiness.

I’m sure we have all seen  “sh*t happens” t-shirts and bumper stickers around (as if we need reminders that bad things happen).  Truthfully, that is the last thing we need to focus on.  Happiness happens but it doesn’t happen unless you make a conscious decision and take action to make it happen.  This is the secret to true happiness.

Here are my top 3 tips for making happiness happen in your business and life:

1. Do what you love.

Continue Reading

Don’t Worry About Beating the Competition

If you’ve been in the business world for longer than 30 seconds, you’ve probably heard a lot about how you need to differentiate yourself from the boxing business womancompetition or even “beat” your competition.  In fact, many business owners spend a lot of time thinking about what makes them different from their “competition.”  I’ve encountered numerous sales people who have tried to sell products and services by beating the competition to a bloody pulp.  You see this a lot with political ad campaigns, but it happens in the business world, too.  Instead of focusing on their own benefits and results, they are focusing on the other party’s weaknesses to make them look better.

It’s no wonder so many people struggle with marketing and sales.  I can’t think of any mission-driven entrepreneurs that would categorize themselves as a sleazy salesperson or mud-slinging politician.  This “beat the competition” mentality is just not aligned with business owners who’s main focus is truly helping people.

Selling is serving, not a boxing match.

Continue Reading

Are You Bugging Your Prospects?

One of the things that really keeps women entrepreneurs from serving the clients they are meant to serve is the fear of bugging their prospects.  I hearI do not want to hear anything stories all of the time from women business owners about how they don’t want to “annoy” people by doing things like sending out their newsletter, following up after a conversation, or even making an offer to do business.  This leads to inconsistent marketing and an ineffective sales process.

If you really think about it, this fear stems from not being grounded in the value that you provide.  If you honestly believed that you could truly help someone solve a problem they are desperately longing to solve, you wouldn’t hesitate to offer your help.

If your neighbor’s house were on fire at 2:00 am in the morning would you worry about them being annoyed by your visit or your attempt to help? I hope not.

With that being said, there is a difference between truly providing value and simply shouting “buy my stuff” all of the time.  Most mission-centered, passion-driven entrepreneurs don’t want to be pushy, in-your-face, sales people or manipulative marketers.

Continue Reading

Are You Creating Your Own Glass Ceiling?

I originally posted this article over a year ago, but I thought I would pull it back out after an occurence with a fellow woman entrepreneur last week.  One of my colleagues was so excited to get a new client and I was excited for her.  She described how wonderful it was going to be working with this newglassceiling client and how she was truly an ideal client.  It sounded like the perfect match…but then she mentioned that they were trading services.
Trading services is great if you have a hobby, but if you’re in business you actually need to be paid money.  Unfortunately, this type of scenario is very common for a lot of women entrepreneurs.  It seems that women, in general, have a harder time asking for money in exchange for their services.  I can not tell you how many times women business owners have approached me with some time of “trade opportunity.” I just want to put it out there that it is perfectly acceptable to work with each other and pay each other in actual money.

Continue Reading

Snap Out of the Sales Slump Dumps and Get Fired Up!

PowerPosePost729Ever been in sales slump where you weren’t making the number of sales you wanted no matter how hard you tried?  Most of us have experienced a sales slump at some point in our business and it isn’t pretty.

Continue Reading

Shift from Self-Centered to Client-Focused

Have you ever been nervous about having a sales conversation or making an offer?  I would say that most business owners have.

Over the years, I have come across quite a few business owners who struggle with a lot of anxiety and fear around promoting their services and making sales calls.  When we look at the underlying cause of all the fear and anxiety related to sales, it usually stems from a self-centered approach,Target concept, people be selected. rather than a client-focused one.  Fear and anxiety simply do not affect you when you are fully focused on your potential client and how you might be able to help them.

When you approach sales from a self-centered point-of-view you are thinking about yourself rather than your potential client and, as a result, you are more likely to:

  1. Be nervous and get caught up worrying about what the other person thinks of you
  2. Focus on what you are going to say next, instead of listening to your potential client and addressing their  specific needs
  3. Rush the sales process and prematurely make an offer out of fear of losing the sale
  4. Forgo making an offer because you fear rejection or don’t want to seem pushy
  5. Desperately try to sell your services because you need the money, not because your client needs your services
  6. Discount your fees because you don’t think your potential client will pay the full investment
  7. Get thrown off by objections, view objections as personal rejection, or even get defensive when you hear objections.

None of these behaviors will help you increase your sales.  In fact, they will dramatically hurt your sales.  Ironically, these are the very behaviors that most service-based women entrepreneurs want to avoid, but they subconsciously slip into these behaviors when their self-centered thoughts allow fear and anxiety to creep in.

Business owners who adopt a client-focused approach, not only have less fear and anxiety, but they also close more sales.

Energy is contagious. when you are coming from a self-centered place, your potential client picks up on it and it triggers their own fear and anxiety and puts them in a defensive self-centered mindset, rather than fostering a trusting and collaborative relationship.

So here are 5 key principles to achieve a BrightFire mindset and shift from a self-centered approach to a client-focused approach.

  1. Selling equals serving.  The verb, “sell,” is derived from the Old English word, “sellan,” which means “to give.”  Selling isn’t just about taking something away from prospects.  It’s about giving value through your service.  The selling process itself, gets your clients one step closer to the outcome they desire. From the moment you first make contact with a potential client, you are always in a state of service.

    Continue Reading