The Chronicle of a Life Coach: Permission Granted

Awesome article by Kristie Kennedy. Everyone needs to do this at one time or another!!

My world changed dramatically the moment I granted myself permission to live magnificently in the face of adversity.

In regards to women, supporting and nurturing others is inherently ingrained in our genetic makeup. As a life coach I have the honor of attending to some of the most intimate and authentic thoughts of a woman.Permission

Listening to her share private dreams, frustrations, fears and aspirations is a very humbling position to be placed in. I am inspired when they take a bold stand to confront their inhibitions. Transformation occurs the moment they embrace truth, which requires courage to become vulnerable, naked and unashamed in the presence of another.

In the chamber of confession, a common thread that reappears time and again is the need to grant oneself permission to be, to do or to have.

The definition of permission is the act of allowing someone to do something, authorizing something to happen, or granting approval to proceed forward.

Your current state of being is often a reflection of your mental condition. Typically, if a person is unhappy their internal disposition is more or less rooted in negative thought patterns.

As women we must begin to grant ourselves permission to be human in order to inoculate the poisonous lie of perfectionism. A diamond is still a diamond even if a gemologist discovers apparent flaws.

How are you showing up in the world? In what areas of your life are you shrinking back instead of plunging ahead? Are you ready to grant yourself permission to be, do and have anything your mind can conceive?

Affirmation of Approval:
On days when my energy level is running extremely low,
Permission Granted to step back and refuel.

On days when I feel like succumbing to fear,
Permission Granted to slay imaginary bears that aren’t even there.

On days when my mind is burdened and my heart heavy with blues,
Permission Granted to sing something happy and new.

On days when I’ve stretched myself paper thin,
Permission Granted for me to live, love and laugh again.

On days when I don’t have the stamina to be the poster girl for strong,
Permission Granted to find a steady shoulder to lean upon.

On days when nothing seems to be going my way,
Permission Granted to scream out loud – the walls will be ok!

On days that it appears I can’t find one set of listening ears,
Permission Granted to sit still in silence for God is always near.

On days when it would be easiest to throw in the towel,
Permission Granted to fight with all my might, strength and power.

On days where it seems life is handing me the short end of the stick,
Permission Granted to rise to the occasion for I have vowed never to quit.

On days where I become weighted down with the cares of this world,
Permission Granted to embrace peace over turmoil.

On days when I forget the rare and valuable treasure that I am,
Permission Granted to shine brighter than ever and showcase
the beauty of greatness!

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

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Join The Paperless Digital Revolution!

A report by Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business found that the most successful companies are those Going paperlessgoing digital – with a 26 percent higher profitability. Who knew that letting go of paper and trading into digital could increase your bottom line by that much!

In an interview with Capgemini’s Global Practice Manager, Didier Bonnet, it was stated that the most successful companies that went digital did the following:

• Stayed committed! Successful businesses that went digital didn’t do it as an experiment, but as a complete company transformation.
• Applied digital technology to what they did the best or the most of, whether it was sales, customer experience, or compiling customer data, in order to have a clear starting point from which to build.
• Made sure all of their business investments were “digital” first.

A Bottom Line Example…

A local construction company here in our town knew they were losing money and productivity because they had no systems in place – and worse, they were tracking everything on paper in lieu of digital technology.

In order to reel things in they purchased software and also iPads to manage their construction teams, inventory and service processes. With GPS built into the iPads, and software that had each construction worker sign in and out from the jobs they were on, a huge positive impact hit this small business’s bottom line. No longer could workers “claim” they were on a job for 6 hours when in fact they were only there for 2… and that is only one of many positive changes that going digital had.

To really take advantage of digital technology, you can’t just give iPads or some kind of gadget or technology to your work or sales force. You need to be sure that you have software, processes and training in place so that your digital investment pays off to the maximum. The more you commit, the more you’re going to get out of it.

The digital revolution, driven by cloud and mobile technology, has also lowered entry barriers to accessing enterprise-level technology for growing your small business.

These days, the availability of internet-based cloud services for everything from document storage to email and collaboration tools is a huge boost for small business owners.

Using the cloud allows for buying services on-demand with a more cost effective subscription platform – and the flexibility to scale business needs up or down at any time.

And then there is mobile connectivity that enables you and your employees to access cloud-based services from anywhere and any device, whether from a PC in the office, from a tablet out on the road, or working from home with a laptop and smartphone like we do all the time at Showcasing Women.

Mobile connectivity is allowing small businesses to process credit card and debit purchases from literally anywhere in the world by simply using a smartphone or tablet. And companies like Visa Business are providing tools and resources to easily integrate with your digital technology for greater productivity.

The digital revolution is a big leveler for small business owners, giving them the platform to compete locally, nationally and globally on an equal playing field with larger and more established companies!

Here at Showcasing Women, we have converted into a paperless business with a more profitable bottom line by using digital and cloud technologies. These are just a few things that we use:

• For incoming faxes we use Kall8.com and all faxes are delivered to our email inbox. For sending a paper document that isn’t already in document form in our computers, we scan it and email it… no more fax machine!
• For virtual communications and screen sharing we use Skype.
• For document sharing and having back-ups of important documents, we use Dropbox.
• For processing credit cards we use Square… it turns your smartphone or tablet into a credit card reader.
• We use GoogleVoice for our voice messaging and receive an email every time a message is left.

We could go on with a long list of tools that we use in order to remain virtual, mobile and fully digital with our team around the country. The point is that going paperless, going digital, and streamlining your business will add profits to your bottom line without fail!

On top of going paperless, “I Challenge” everyone reading this post, to Click Here!!

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Joy In The Journey

Great article by Angela Giles, one of the founders of Showcasing Women.

As the New Year begins to unfold, we all resolve to make changes and set goals.

So why is it that only 8% of people follow through and achieve their New Year’s resolutions? It isn’t for lack of wanting to. JoyGenerally, people really want to make changes. Yet, the biggest excuse at the end of the year is that “life just got in the way.” But what is the real reason?

There have been many articles written around the subject as to the reasons behind the vague excuse that “life just got in the way.” In fact, Forbes recently outlined some of the major reasons in their latest blog post “Just 8% of People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions – Here’s How They Did It”, on January 1, 2014. Here were some of their most popular reasons:

➢ People have so many competing priorities it is near impossible. The solution recommended is to keep resolutions simple.
➢ Many resolutions are too vague. The solution was to set specific tangible goals.
➢ Resolutions were not obvious. The suggestion was to chart your goals in a specific manner.

However, there is an inherent underlying reason that eclipses all of those mentioned above. If this “challenge” could be handled, than all of the other reasons and excuses would just melt away and not be an issue.

The REAL reason is that people just don’t find “Joy in the Journey” of achieving their goals throughout the year.

We’re all on a new journey in 2014. Let’s do this together! Here are 3 tips for how you can find joy in your journey this year:

1. Avoid Making Comparisons
Comparing ourselves with others usually leaves us feeling either prideful or defeated, and most definitely joyless. Be grateful daily for who you are and for the gifts that make you unique and special.

2. Squash All Negative Thoughts
Someone once said, “Whatever you think, you say. Whatever you believe, you do.” Negative thoughts can only poison our minds if we carry them around on our shirtsleeves daily. As soon as you’re aware of a negative thought, imagine squashing it under your foot and grinding it into the ground. Then immediately replace the negative thought with a positive one. Our thoughts have a powerful effect on our beliefs and actions once they find a home in our minds and hearts.

3. Applaud Each Day’s Successes – Including Those Of Others
You lost another pound. Give yourself a hand! You took another step towards starting your new business. Good for you! You pushed through a fear. Yeah!

Seek out ways to contribute to the success of others. Celebrate someone else’s triumph each day, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Life is filled with small blessings that add up to a joyful journey; so don’t miss a single one. Write them down in a “Joy Journal” that you start now and continue with throughout the year.

We look forward to hearing from you. Share your joys with us on our Facebook page and inspire other women in process. Joy to you!

Look the Very Best You Can this Year. Live Healthy and Wealthy!!

 “This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Directing Online Sales And Marketing Flows

These are great tips from  Melanie Dowhaniuk

With online marketing becoming a larger part of every company’s marketing strategy, it is important that marketers and business safe_imageowners understand the marketing and sales flow of customers online.

The key to developing your strategy starts with modelling out how you will attract your target customers, drive them to your company’s website and keep them engaged in the sales process until they complete their purchase.

Build Traffic

It is integral in the first step to build up traffic. Think about how your customers might find you online.

The direct way is often through search engines, with the primary source today being Google. I use the term “Google it” on a daily basis and most of your customers will, too. There are various tactics you can employ to show up in a search on Google, including listing your business in the local business directory.

The next way to generate traffic is through paid advertisements on Google or other high traffic websites. Paid advertisements can include but aren’t limited to Google word ads or graphical banners that appear on websites in featured locations. The banners that are used to draw the visitor’s attention and entice them to click on the banner ultimately result in traffic to a specific website page. Using paid advertisements can be a costly exercise. However, if positioned on the right sites, they can drive qualified leads to your website or e-commerce site.

The last core way to find traffic sources are through social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to name a few. These platforms create a social ecosystem that allows marketers and business owners to generate attention to their business pages and ultimately their products and services. There are many tactics you can use on each of these sites, from indirect to direct communications, paid advertisements and participation in discussions and themed groups.

Capture Leads

Once you have determined how you are going to source your traffic, you will need to engage those customers and start capturing the leads. Today, there are so many options to choose from, the relationship you build with a customer is imperative to your success to sell them your products or services.

In Business to Business relationships it’s important to provide content to your customers that they don’t have to pay for. This can include strategically planned blogs posted on your site or on partner sites, providing your customers with content rich emails on a regular basis, informative whitepapers that help your customers improve their day-to-day marketing efforts, or educational webinars that engage your audience to think differently. Each of these tactics can include your product or service as the underlying theme, but they also provide a basis and tools for your customers to be successful.

The important aspect of providing great content is ensuring you capture information about your leads. This can include name, email, business type, title, etc. With this data you can then learn more about who is using your content, how they found you and what content is perceived as most valuable to your target market.

Close The Sale

Now that you have established a relationship with your leads, you need to close the sale.

Depending on the product or service you are offering, you want to drive the leads back to a sales page, landing page or e-commerce site.

When developing a sales page, you need to ensure you include a clear call-to-action. This could be contact details for the lead to reach out to you directly by email or phone, or to click a button and request a quote. With a landing page, you want to ensure you have outlined a clearly defined conversion strategy. With an e-commerce site you need to make sure you visibly highlight any discounts or coupons that a potential customer may use to purchase from you.

No matter what you choose, it is important that the customer see value in what you’re providing. You don’t always have to reduce your price, but as long as the offer is clearly articulated, you will influence your leads to make their purchase.

Women Entrepreneurs: Are you making 6 Figures yet…let us show you how..NOW!

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Being Thankful For Caregivers!

This is a wonderful post by Angela Giles.

Sponsored by One2One Network)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

We all lead busy lives, and yet what happens when a loved one needs caregiving? The impact on families and their abilities to work safe_imageand continue living can be emotionally, and even financially, devastating. Recently we have had several of our members lose loved ones after going through illnesses and needing their care.

This month of November is National Family Caregivers month, and it reminds me of the extraordinary care that my family performed for my aunt who was confined to a wheelchair and unable to care for herself. It is a story that should be told because it involved extreme self-sacrifice on the part of my uncle and our family in order to care for her full time.

My uncle had to give up his career and any semblance of a personal life in order to become my aunt’s full-time caregiver. She had a rare muscle disease that only gave her a life expectancy of 20 years from the time she was born. Yet, even though the disease progressed, she lived well beyond her “life expectancy” and into her sixties.

Her days involved family members lifting her out of bed, dressing her, feeding her, bathing her, assisting her with bathroom functions, and taking her to needed appointments. Her care was around-the-clock.

The most difficult part for everyone was dealing with her swinging moods. She hated being an invalid and was constantly complaining about even the smallest thing. One year at Christmas I bought her a book at a Christian bookstore that she always wanted to read. When she opened her present the look on her face wasn’t pleasure, it was huge disappointment because she had already read the book. I felt horrible! But as I got older I realized that it wasn’t anything I had done wrong, it was just my aunt dealing with her situation.

The constant caretaking of my aunt resulted in my uncle ruining his back. It got to the point where the family had to insist that she be put into an assisted living facility because he could no longer lift her, and no one else could either on a regular basis. However, because the family finances could not afford the extra expense, the only option was for my aunt and uncle to get divorced in order for my aunt to become a ward of the state. It was so sad and it took a huge toll on both of their emotional states.

Sadly, across the country over 42 million people, primarily women between ages 40 and 60, are faced with the challenge of providing care to their older family members and friends each and every day. Clearly this  can be an emotionally devastating experience for both the caregiver and the person receiving the care.

New research from AARP suggests that caregiving can take a tremendous toll on the caregiver’s personal health and overall well-being. And yet, many caregivers do not self-identify as such and can be reluctant to ask for help.

As part of the Caregiver’s Assistant campaign, a number of online platforms have been developed to help recognize caregivers everywhere for the important work they do:

Having been personally involved in the difficult ongoing care of a family member, we encourage our readers to visit the Thanks Project and add your own story of caregiving to the map.

Are you tired of working for NO MONEY – your answer:  CLICK HERE!!

Feel free to comment or share this post.

 “This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

GMO labeling initiative 522 has failed, proving once again that corporate money can buy food secrecy

Washington state I-522 looks to have narrowly failed at the ballot box. This link shows election results county by county.

At 11:00pm last night, the “no” votes were winning by approximately 55% to 44%. Mail-in votes reportedly have not been counted Dark-Figure-Walk-Secret-Shadowsyet, but unless a radical change appears in the final votes, I-522 will go down in history as yet another example of corporate money buying out the voters through a campaign of lies and deception.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America and most of the big-name food companies proved in this campaign that they are willing to operate a criminal conspiracy to cheat, lie and intentionally misinform voters. At stake is their continued way of doing business: SECRECY coupled with consumer ignorance.

In an honest election, I-522 would have easily passed

The last thing these companies want is for consumers to realize they’re buying poison. That’s why they plowed tens of millions of dollars into their disinfo campaign, hoping they could trick enough voters into not understanding what they were voting for. In an honest election that wasn’t primarily determined by money, I-522 would pass in a landslide, but in this election, much like Prop 37, corporate money allowed these companies to essentially buy their way to a ballot box victory that keeps consumers ignorant.

The Yes on 522 campaign ran a valiant campaign, and had voters not been deceived by the corporate-funded opposition, the ballot measure would have unquestionably passed. No person in their right mind would want LESS transparency on what’s in the foods we buy and consume. Every intelligent person, if allowed due consideration on the subject, will naturally conclude that the right to know what’s in our food is a fundamental human right.

The failure of 522 also shows that democracy itself doesn’t work when a tidal wave of corporate money is allowed to influence election outcomes. And that’s the way nearly all elections work, isn’t it? So even though we can all talk about the idealistic goal of “the People” being in charge of legislation, in reality the corporations have now seized so much power in America that even when the informed masses want to codify fundamental human rights into law, it cannot be readily achieved.

GMO labeling will never be won with money

After back-to-back failures of Prop 37 and I-522, I think it’s time we all realized we will never win this issue with money. As much as we all gave money to this campaign (and Dr. Bronner’s gave the most, I believe), the junk food manufacturers of this nation were able to spend almost twenty times more.

Selling the public toxic beverages and junk foods made with cheap “junk” ingredients is highly profitable, of course, so these companies have hundreds of millions of dollars to throw around like caged gorillas flinging excrement.

If we hope to ever see GMO labeling mandated in any state in America, victory is going to have to be achieved through “guerilla activism” methods that go far outside the box of “spending money on ads.”

I’m not criticizing the 522 campaign directors, by the way. They did a fantastic job. But the playbook they are working from is based on rules of conventional campaigning, not guerilla campaigning.

It’s much like the American colonists in the War of Independence who realized they would be slaughtered if they did battle with the occupying British by adhering to rigid formations. Man for man (and dollar for dollar), you can’t beat the establishment. What you need to invoke is asymmetrical warfare tactics such as guerilla warfare where colonists would hide in the bushes and ambush high-ranking British officers, thereby cutting off the leadership and causing disarray among the enemy ranks.

Don’t misunderstand my metaphor here: I am not suggesting anyone actually ambush and kill CEOs of junk food companies. This is merely an illustration of the fact that going head to head (dollar for dollar) with Pepsico, Coca-Cola and Monsanto is never going to result in victory for GMO labeling activists.

There are far more clever ways to multiply your efforts and make the actions of one person more impactful than millions of dollars in expenditures by the opposition.

$1000 worth of FaceBook Training…Yes, get this training at no charge to you. When you join with us Now!

To read more on above article : http://www.naturalnews.com/042805_GMO_labeling_initiative_I-522_guerilla_warfare.html#ixzz2kpgUpGLh

Expanding Your Leadership Style

Great post by Dr. LeslieBeth Wish.

There’s no single technique that fits every leadership situation, but there are some guidelines to help you expand your skills in motivating Vector-Background-LightBluepeople and nurturing their best self. I discovered these approaches through my decades of experiences and the people-management wisdom from the books of David J. Lieberman.

Concentrate more on using techniques that incorporate valuing people so you can reduce nonproductive behavior. Here are some tips that can work. You’ll need to experiment with them and sharpen your people-reading intuition.

I’m guessing you might find these ideas “manipulative.” I had some of those thoughts at first when I read Lieberman’s books. But then I put those thoughts aside and said to myself:  “We all need to feel valued and treated fairly. And I like learning.” So, I tweaked his ideas and methods and then used them repeatedly over time. I was shocked at the great results.

I’m also guessing that you have a mind open to learning, too! The first and second ideas are the foundation, but they’re worth mentioning again.

1. Get proactive by clarifying your goals and outcomes for each person or team.

2. Establish a way to measure the achievement of these outcomes. You might, for example, set a time line or number of calls made or money raised.

3. When you see that the person or team is not effective or is problematic, give feedback as soon as possible. Here are some tips that incorporate techniques that meld increased productivity and nurturing of the employees’ best self. If you do have to fire someone, then you will not only have the peace of mind from using effective techniques, but you will also have a measurable record of their underperformance.

a. Begin first by saying words of thanks and appreciation for the person or team’s effort or time or brainstorming or dedication or whatever is appropriate and true. People need to feel valued.

b. If possible, state one or two things you like or agree with. This style lessens their defensiveness that you dislike or reject them. Now say that you’ve done some thinking about their work so far and that you’d like their help in fine-tuning your ideas.

This approach allows the person or team to view your feedback as you not only valuing them but also seeing them as contributors to your thinking, changes or refinements. You now come across as recruiting them to help you and the company.

People like to do favors for you when they feel that their opinions, efforts and ideas are valuable and when they feel included in something larger. Set a time limit to revisit the progress.

4. If the employee has a difficult personality, you aim to reframe it in ways that will be more effective to you and your company. Let’s say that an employee is always the first to criticize others.

a. Begin by reframing their negativity as positive and then recruit them to do you a favor by helping you to help others.

For example, let’s say that Cindy usually says in meetings that someone’s idea is wrong or crazy or stupid or won’t work. You say to her privately:  “I like your passion for excellence.” (You’ve now reframed her negativity.)

b. Now praise her for already having the future behavior that you desire.

For example, you say to Cindy:  “You know, I’m sure that you see that some of the others don’t think as quickly as you do. I know you can help me in making them feel as valued as I value your input. I’m going to be in listening mode, and I could use someone else on the team to support me in that.”

5. Give the team or person a way to “save face” and then work to disprove your negative impression. Let’s say that Maria is not following up on people’s phone calls to sign up for events.

a. Say:  “I’m hesitant to mention some thoughts I’ve been having lately because I don’t think I’m seeing things correctly. I trust that you’ll tell me if I am wrong. But I think you’ve been missing following up on signing up people for our event because (fill in the blank—you’ve been preoccupied with your child, divorce, mom’s illness, etc.)

You’ve now invited Maria to make you wrong. She might say, “Oh no, everything’s fine. I’ve got things under control.” You’ve now signaled her to be more mindful. You could add:  “Thanks. Everyone has something in their life, and I know that you’re one of the persons who can manage it.” That sentence repeats the tip above about praising for what you want the person to do.

Hope these tips get you thinking!

Women Entrepreneurs:  Are you making 6 Figures yet…let us show you how !!

 “This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Holiday Planning For Your Customers

The holiday season is a perfect time of year for savvy business owners to capture profits. The “holiday marketing HolidaySalebenefits” are staggering in the form of generating new customers, rewarding repeat customers, creating community good will, and increasing public relations! All of which ultimately will increase bottom line profits.

The Black Friday holiday sale is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Consumers will line up in the early hours of the morning just to have first dibs on fabulous deals at brick and mortar storefronts like Walmart, Best Buy, JC Penney, and more. These stores will sell items below wholesale cost, but recoup their money with customers who purchase additional items at regular price while in the store. Free media coverage also increases exposure by highlighting stories of the madhouse rush of consumers.

The online shopping experience utilizes the same philosophy. For example, on Black Friday, one of our clients (a well-known vocal singer) will offer downloads of her newly-released single for 1 cent, coupled with additional deeply discounted rates on other products to increase her popularity and sales.

This same client may also participate in a singing engagement on Thanksgiving where all proceeds go to a local charity to feed hungry children. While this doesn’t bring profits in the form of monetary value to our client, it promotes goodwill and plays a paramount role in her public relations campaign. And behind the scenes, it fulfills her personal passion to help underprivileged children.

If you are a business owner wanting to take advantage of the holiday season to increase year-end revenues, simply follow these steps:

Plan In Advance – Determine your desired revenues and then devise your plan accordingly.
Develop Specials Along With Extra Incentives – Create enticing specials at extraordinary prices that will entice new and existing consumers to purchase from you. Throw in “unannounced” specials to further engage them.
Develop Your Marketing List – Segment out your marketing list, survey those who have never purchased from you before and find out what their “needs” are. Create additional specials and incentives directly related to their purchasing desires.
Schedule A Holiday Event To Engage Your Customers – An event that brings out the holiday spirit in your customers will endear them to you. You can create a fun online event, or a local “live” event. It doesn’t necessarily need to have monetary value, but if done correctly it will further develop the trust factor between you and your customers. This goes a long way in their future buying decisions.
Give To Charity – Let your customers know that a portion of their purchase will be donated to a worthy cause. Take it a step further by giving your customers a choice between a few different charities to send their portion to… customers love having a “voice” and this is a golden opportunity to provide it.
Combine Social Media With Public Relations – Take your holiday sales campaign to both social media and the public relation arenas. Be sure to include appropriate hashtags with your status updates so that consumers can find your events and sales.
You now have the steps to facilitate a profitable holiday season for your online or offline business. It is up to you to begin while there is still time! So roll up your sleeves, put together your holiday sales campaign and begin working your plan. Then watch your revenue, customer base, and goodwill increase.

Are you tired of working for NO MONEY – your answer:  6 Figure Circle!!

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Boring Brands Don’t Sell: 3 Tips for Success!

Featured writer Ann Evanston.

I am known for saying, “There are a million people who do what you do; there is only one you that makes it truly unique.”

Too often I think people take this quote with a grain of salt. Just take a look at the CHOICES your potential customer has! Go research AnnEvanston_BoringBrandsDontSellrelated products and services. Heck, if you shop for cereal, you know how many choices there are!

Have you ever looked at how many choices and brands there are for what YOU do? (I guess if you’re on Facebook all day you might feel like EVERYONE does what you do! LOL) Do you buy soap? Have you wanted or hired a coach? There are a million brands out there.

And EVERY brand means there are MANY choices… for YOUR potential customer.

If you have fallen into the trap of just claiming what you do, and not stepping into who you are, you’ve probably hit a plateau in your small business success.

And there is a good chance it’s because you sound like everyone else that does what you do.

When I go to networking events, honestly, if I hear another person say, “Hi, my name is_______, and I’m a _______” I think I’m going to scream! It is SO generic!

Many people, as they hear that, are thinking: “So what? Why you? I’ve met five of you today, so why you?” Heck, if you’re lucky that’s what they are saying — most aren’t even listening because they are ready to bore you with the same dang speech!

As you develop your business and want to go to the next level, it’s time to consider the energetic personality of your brand. Energy is everywhere. In person it makes perfect sense, but I believe it is even online. Can people FEEL the energy of your brand? Does it move them? Call them? Make them want to be a part? Or is the energy of your brand just milk-toast? Vanilla? Just shoving the facts of what you DO at them?

See, you don’t want to be one IN a million, not if you want success. You want to be one OF a million.

Here are three great ways to making this happen:

First: Look at YOU. Look at your personality, your background, your choices and decisions, your values, your passions. Breathe YOU into your brand.

I often hear people say, “But Ann, I want to be able to SELL my company down the road. If I make it all about me, I can’t do that.” Really? So Oprah, Tyra and Martha haven’t been able to do that? Even if your brand is NOT your name (mine isn’t, it’s Warrior-Preneur), the energy of “who you are” should move through EVERYTHING. My smart, savvy, sexy, sword-yielding direct personality is in everything I do for my business. (It’s even these articles for Showcasing Women, LOL!)

TIP: Pick the three to five energetic values of you and your brand. Put them into everything you market — online AND in person.

Second: Understand the power of storytelling. When I work with my clients on marketing strategy, I often find that storytelling is completely left out of their plan. Storytelling connects you to like-minded people. And like-minded people ARE your customers, potential customers and referral sources. So tell stories.

Many people think their lives and things they do are BORING. So they don’t tell stories. I don’t believe it takes the “extraordinary” story to call your potential buyers to your business. Do you cook? Tell a story. Love wine tasting? Tell a story. Go to church? Tell a story.

Oh, can you feel the fear? Some of you are thinking, “But Ann! If I tell stories about my passion for drinking wine, some people won’t hire me!”

Okay, time to draw a line for what I call your TRIBE. So what if EVERYONE doesn’t want you. You want the RIGHT ones to want you!

Here’s a great example. My husband and I are high density, organic, year-round urban gardeners. We love what we do and EAT. I frequently tell stories about my garden, the harvest, and what we are eating. Then, via Facebook, I was contacted to ask if I wanted to speak at a convention for raw foodies in business. Ah, YES! See, they are my tribe, not the fast-food convention!

TIP: Pick three stories that you can share when networking, online, in a blog or when speaking. Make them a part of your marketing strategy.

Third: Have an opinion. Draw a line. Choose a side. Yes! This is VERY powerful as an expert. See, true experts have an opinion. Is there more than one side? Of course. But when you write a blog about BOTH sides, you are playing it SAFE. So if you make a skin care product, are you organic or not, and why? If you teach marketing, have a clear opinion about marketing strategy, and stand up for it?

Opinions allow people to FEEL you and your brand. Walking both sides doesn’t offer that. And when people disagree, dialogue happens, which attracts your potential buyers even more! They LIKE that you stand your ground!

TIP: Brainstorm up two or three areas where you have a definite opinion in your field of expertise. Write about them and share.

It’s time to be one OF a million. You ready?

The hard cold facts about why you are FAILING online – The 6 Figure Circle!

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”

Prospect For Partners To Grow Your Business

Great information By Melanie Dowhaniuk .

Prospecting for a partner is the act of doing research to find the right partner. When deciding on entering into a strategic marketing MelanieDowhaniuk_ProspectingForPartnerspartnership, it is important to do the right amount of research to evaluate whether or not it will be a successful partnership, and if it is worthwhile to invest your time and resources to grow a successful relationship.

Here are some key considerations when doing your research.

1. Your Growth Limitations

The first thing a business must do is identify what is inhibiting the growth of the organization. It is important to be aware of what your company struggles with and what exactly it is that you hope to improve on or achieve when entering a partnership. You must ask how you can turn these challenges into a positive and productive experience.

You should be looking to enter into a partnership with another individual or organization that compliments your skills and shows strength in your areas of weakness. For example, if your sales are weak, choose a partner who specializes in sales. If you are lacking in technological advancements, partner with an organization that has these assets.

Take the time up front to reflect internally to ensure you are clear on what your organization can bring into a partnership. A strong suitor will help attract quality partners.

2. Values

The next important step is to determine if your potential partners share in your sense of values. Values factor into every part of a business: from determining the customer base to deciding how to manage employees. If your partner does not share your sense of values, you are setting yourself up for conflict.

Ask yourself the question, “Are there any conflicts around the partners’ business values that would jeopardize their ability to make a successful partnership?”

3. Mission and Goals

In doing one’s research, it is critical to determine how to analyze your partner’s mission and goals to ensure you are both aligned.

For a partnership to work well, the prospective partners must determine how well their business goals fit together. If they are not compatible and you do not share a common vision, it may be difficult to work out any differences.

This should all be outlined prior to entering into a strategic marketing or business partnership. Quantifiable and measurable goals will also help evaluate the partnership in an objective way.

4. Other Factors

While evaluating prospective partners, here are some of the many additional factors you must take into account.

  • Will this partnership benefit you in terms of breaking into new markets, either locally or internationally?
  • Will it help you grow your customer database?
  • Will it help to increase your brand image and awareness?
  • Is the partner organization the right size?
  • Are they are equipped with enough complimentary skills to strengthen your organization or fill gaps?

Take as much time as you need to evaluate potential business partners and use the correct evaluation tools by asking the right questions. It is better to wait to take on the right partner than to rush into a bad relationship!

Stop wasting time & spinning your wheels – join the 6 Figure Circle…bit.ly/146EBuf 

“This article is reprinted with permission by ShowcasingWomen.com, the Premier Resource For 30+ Million Women Entrepreneurs. Visit them for free instant access to their Success Tools.”