Tag Archives: Business and Life with an Intuitive Twist

Got a Backbone?

Sheryl Eldene, MA, MBA

Remember those cute minnows swirling around Gail’s feet yesterday? They have intact backbones and really aren’t succeeding. Neither are the jellyfish stranded on the sand in the outgoing tide. Many people understand that BACKBONE, will, drive, Hard Work and discipline are critical to success.

As we look at obstacles to business success, consider the obstacle of no WISHBONE – no time to set vision, create focus and intention. Yes, we talk about annually an quarterly stepping back to create vision and specific strategies, but have you considered bringiing that practice into the month, the week, the day, or even the next hour?  Setting vision for the day or the hour, is more like setting your intention for this day to be _______(productive, nurturing, energized, giving, fulfilling – fill in the blank) and holding that intention as you take on your action steps for that day.

What I see happening so often, is sitting down at my desk, with a carefully prepared list of action steps that may or may not match my strategy, then working very HARD with all my drive, will, discipline until my neck hurts, I’m cranky and I know, from my work on professional burn-out, that I’m on my way down that path, fighting the tide and finally ending up as food for the big players. [OK, that’s a little dramatice, but you get the point].

To bring joy, success, as well as long term contribution in my field, I engage both bones. Here’s my check list:

  • Is what I’m about to do consistent with my intention for the day?
  • Is what I’m about to do consistent with my strategy for the quarter?
  • Do I have the energy to do this with my full attention and my full heart?
  • Can I do this from a place of power and energy, or from a place of just surviving?

No to any one of these questions may suggest that I’m driving and striving, just like those little minnows and maybe I’ll still be fighting the ocean when the day is done.  As you look at what obstacles may be limiting your success, consider the marriage of both your will and your self-discipline (BACKBONE) with your visioning, your intentions, and your heart (WISHBONE). This is the essence of linking the Law of Attraction to the Law of Action – and that marriage real Olympic Gold.

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Filed under Business Planning, Dreams, Intentions, Sheryl Eldene, Strategy, Uncategorized

The Golden Rule

by Tish Times

I have lots of meetings. I meet with prospective Corporate Members, I meet with job seekers, I engage with vendors, I talk to entrepreneurs. I make it a point to learn something from each interaction that I have.

Recently I met with a company who was trying to sell me on their product. I had some additional appointments in the vicinity of their location, so I asked to meet at their office. The meeting was scheduled for 8:00 a.m., I arrived about ten minutes early. The lobby was open so I took a seat to await the arrival of the prospective vendor. Around 8:10 the gentleman that I was anticipating rushed through the door, papers spilling out of his briefcase, tie untied, obviously very discombobulated. I understand that things happen, and people run late occasionally, so I didn’t comment. He greeted me and we proceeded into his office and sat down. He began shuffling papers around on his desk, attempting to make room for us to conduct our business. As he continued his housekeeping, I examined the surroundings. I noticed that the man’s suit was wrinkled, as though he had grabbed it from a hamper on his way out of the door. There were piles and stacks of “stuff” surrounding the small office sitting on the floor or atop file cabinets that were either unused or overfull. When we began our conversation, it was evident that he hadn’t prepared for our meeting. I found myself answering questions that had been asked at our last encounter; in addition, it was as though he hadn’t acted on any of the information that I had previously provided. Quite obviously I had wasted my morning and there was a horrible impression left from that interaction.

My first inclination was to make a quick judgment based on my experience, however I decided to make this a learning opportunity instead. I pondered how I felt when I was early, but my prospective vendor did not respect my time. It caused me to consider the importance of making my clients feel valued. I then thought about the negative sensation that I had in the office. Instead of having a sense of calm, I felt very uncomfortable. Had this person known me at all, he would have been aware of the great appreciation I have for a neat office! My thoughts immediately went to the type of atmosphere I want to create for my customers. If I felt uneasy in those surroundings, I am sure others have had the same experience. I wonder how much business is lost because of the experience we provide (or fail to provide) for our potential clients. What are you doing to create an environment conducive for great experiences in your business? Even in a virtual environment, you create the ambiance that may inspire your prospective clients to buy, your potential employees to accept your offer, or your interviewer to select you. The time you take to prepare for a meeting and obtain knowledge of the person you will be connecting with will speak volumes to them concerning your desire to meet their needs.

I may not do business with the individual to met with last week, but I will never forget the experience. I gained a whole new appreciation for the Golden Rule. I will create the environment for my clients that I hope companies will create for me. Find out what your clients, want and need then give it to them; otherwise be willing to refer them to a company who will. They will respect you more and will come back when they have a need you are able to meet. Although I may not do business with my “teacher” from last week, I will provide feedback (to them – not to the world) as to why I made a decision to go elsewhere. When you receive criticism, don’t take it personally, but use it as an opportunity for growth and to repair areas of your business or life that might need attention. Use each encounter as an opportunity to get better; and don’t let the negative feedback that might come periodically make you bitter. As my mentor says, ‘When you know better, you can do better”. Make a decision today to be a lifelong learner.

Tish Times is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of HireTimes Career Group. Tish is an expert on career and business redesign. To receive her articles on Working Your Passion, confidence building for career and business strategies, and mindset change, visit www.hiretimescg.com and join the mailing list. For coaching or speaking engagements; contact 877-546-7408 or tishtimes@hiretimescg.com.

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Image & Identity

Are you ready for the spring thaw?

By Gail Z. Martin

This has been the l-o-n-g winter.  No one seems to have been safe from weird weather.  (When the Dallas airport is closed by snow right before the Super Bowl, things are definitely weird.)  We’ve been hit by so many cold days and snow that we wouldn’t blame that famous ground hog for packing his bags and moving south (although here in the south, it hasn’t been too cozy this year).

The last couple of years have been like nuclear winter for business.  There’s been one fallout after another, from the housing markets to the banks to specific regions and industries that have been hit hard.  Many business owners are feeling a lot like Punxuatawney Phil, the famous ground hog, afraid to see their shadow.  And yet….we know that sooner or later, the spring thaw will happen.

Will you be ready when it does?  Winter (and recessions) come on a cycle.  And they leave pretty much on a regular cycle, too.  When you anticipate winter’s arrival, you prepare: weather stripping, stocking up on firewood, grabbing some ice melt at the hardware store, buying a new shovel.  Smart homeowners and gardeners also know that spring follows winter, so they make preparations of their own regardless of how gloomy the sky looks or how late spring seems to be in a given year.  They plant bulbs, prepare the ground for planting, order seeds and starter plants, clean out the greenhouse, gather their tools and get ready for planting season.  Homeowners start thinking about outdoor projects, sizing up new maintenance needs, and take the lawnmower and other tools in for repair.

How about with your business?  Maybe you saw the freeze coming, and did as much as you could to hunker down and stay warm.  Two years after the crash, are you still in your burrow with the covers pulled over your head?  That’s a short-term solution, but it won’t work forever.  There are some signs, however faint, that an economic spring is coming, but too many people are still burrowed in for the winter.  Here’s a clue—smart business owners are sharpening their tools for spring, because they know the thaw will come.

Have you used this “winter” time to prepare?  Did you revise your web site, re-think your strategy, shore up your distribution channels, get reacquainted with your vendors and customers, build your skills (and those of your team), cut costs without sacrificing investment in the future?  Most importantly, have you maintained marketing visibility so that when consumers poke their heads out of their burrows and want to spend some money, they haven’t forgotten about you?

Time to get started!  Spring is coming!

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Filed under Business Planning, Gail Z. Martin

Your Calling Card

by Jacqueline Wales

If you’re an author, why build a website? Well simply put, it’s your calling card. The place you want people to come to read your excerpts, to interact with you, and to build your credibility. But not just any website. You want it to reflect you. Your voice, your spirit, your message.

You’ve just spent months, maybe even years, to write and develop your book. Bookstores unfortunately, are turning into Dodos, and Amazon rules the waves! That means it’s up to you to drive traffic to your book. But it’s not enough just to have a website, you have to do what you can to make sure people visit. You need to start connecting to other blogs and websites to raise your visibility. Write articles, discuss your book, share the content, comment on other people’s books, blogs and build your network of other writers and readers.

Selling books is a business. Your business is to make sure you reach out to as many people as possible so they know you exist. When people come to your site, get them to opt-in and subscribe to your list, and in return give them an excerpt from your book, or some other content that is perceived as value.

There are millions of online resources and websites dedicated to writers. Seek them out and emulate the author websites you admire. Successful authors carefully and strategically build their campaign for exposure. That’s why having a website is essential to success.

Jacqueline Wales is the author of The Fearless Factor and When The Crow Sings. Both available on Amazon, and from the author at https://www.thefearlessfactor.com She invites you to visit and download an excerpt from The Fearless Factor.

You can listen to the audio from when Jacqueline was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/W6Yqm3yX

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Image & Identity, Marketing

Are you in the Witness Protection Program? (Your Facebook profile said so)

By Gail Z. Martin

Have you ever gone out to someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile only to find a gray outline instead of a photo?  That image always reminds me of the people you see on the news who are only shown in profile because they’ve ratted on organized crime and fear for their lives.  They’re anonymous because they’re in the Witness Protection Program and they don’t want to be identified.

Those people have a reason to hide, but if you’re on social media for business, you don’t have any excuse.  The truth is that people like to do business with people—not with companies, web sites or products.  Customers want to meet you out there on Facebook and other sites.  They don’t want a photo of your dog or a creative snapshot.  They want to get to know a real, live person well enough to trust that person (you) with their money.

Getting to know someone before making a purchase is one way buyers decrease decision risk. That’s why it’s so important to have your photo on your social media profile, and why it’s a great idea to use web audio and video to give even more of a sense of who you are.  Your prospect may never meet you in person, but a photo, audio and video can go a long way toward creating a sense of trust and confidence.

Make a commitment to completing your profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media pages with a current professional photo and complete business information.  You’ll be glad you did!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Social Media

Use Article Writing to Be Recognized as An Expert and Attract Clients

By Caterina Rando, M.A., MCC

In today’s marketplace, any potential client can go online, type in two or three keywords, into a search engine and immediately review a lifetime supply of vendors anxious to fill their requests. So how do you standout in a crowded marketplace? By using writing, speaking, video and other ways of getting your message out there. Let’s focus her on how to get content for writing articles to grow your business.

Write Your Way to More Success

Writing about your area of expertise is a highly effectively draw new clients and opportunities to you. All you have to do is sit down and write. Writing is a valuable marketing tool because people keep information. You may be called by potential clients weeks, months or even years after an article sees print because they kept the article you wrote. Write about the topics and issues that answer the challenges your potential clients have and watch your phone begin to ring. Next are a few tips for using writing effectively to build your business.

  • Pay attention to your clients. Listen to questions your clients ask and identify the issues they want addressed. What challenges are your clients having? What challenges are plaguing the industry? What innovations are you hearing about? These are all great things to write about. Keep a list, and when you are ready to write, review it for ideas.
  • Start with quick tips. Start by writing a helpful list of something that you know about but your clients might not. I call these “quick tip sheets.” A couple examples are “Twenty Quick Tips to Organize Your Office” or “10 Ways to Feel Better in Five Days.”
  • Turn It into an article. To turn a quick tip sheet into an article, write an explanation or an example beneath each quick tip. Add an opening paragraph that states what problem your article solves, then add a paragraph at the bottom that tells the reader to apply what they have read–and you have a completed article.
  • Add a benefit-focused title. Do not try to be too clever with your titles. Just tell the reader what to expect from reading your article. “Secrets,” “strategies,” “solutions” are all good words to include in a title For example, “Seven Secrets to Look Ten Years Younger” or “Ten Often Overlooked Solutions for Saving Money.”
  • Remember the resource box. The most important part of the article is the resource box at the bottom where you say who you are, what you do and how people can contact you. Include a compelling reason for them to connect with you. For example, have them go to your website to download your free copy of an e-book or listen to your podcast with more tips.
  • Edit it. Have a professional editor review your articles once they are written. You want to be confident everything you send out is accurate.
  • Use articles over and over. Once you write an article or a quick tip sheet, use it again. Send it to other publications that might be interested in it, members of the media, email it to current clients and potential clients with a cover letter that says, “In case you missed my article in XYZ publication, here is a copy for you.” Of course post your articles on your website, post a link to those articles on your social networking sites and post all or part of your articles on your blog depending on length.

Marketing your business and establishing your expertise go hand-in-hand. People want to do business with the best, and you can use tele-classes, podcasts, speaking and writing to tell the world you are the best. Choose one of these four tools that you not currently using to start with and make it part of your marketing plan and watch your success soar.

This blog post is adapted from Incredible Business, from Thrive Publishing™ 2010, https://www.incrediblebusinessbook.com

Caterina Rando shows entrepreneurs how to build thriving businesses. She is a sought after speaker, expert building strategist and publisher and co-author of Incredible Business. To get your free e-book on Twenty Ways to Grow Your Business with Ease visit www.caterinarando.com. To find out about getting published visit www.thrivebooks.com.

You can listen to the audio from when Caterina was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WsjCHL8X

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Marketing

Intuition and Social Media

By Gail Z. Martin

Does it seem strange to talk about something as high tech as social media in the same breath as something as “woo-woo” as intuition?  It shouldn’t.  I believe that intuition  is part of everything we do—if we listen for it.  Intuition is definitely part of business, although men like to call it “having a hunch” or “going with your gut.”  Women are often afraid to speak about intuition in business settings at all for fear of looking soft on metrics.  But our fear of speaking about or acknowledging intuition doesn’t make it less real.

How does intuition play into social media?  Have you ever had  a “hunch” that you should (or shouldn’t) talk about a certain topic?  Ever felt like something was pushing you to comment right now on a topic?  Have you ever thought about a friend or colleague and opened Facebook only to find a new post or message from that very person?  Better yet, have you ever felt internally pushed to contact someone you hadn’t talked to in a long time, only to discover they had the key to a problem you were trying to solve?

All those factors play into our social media presence.  Do you have an inkling that a certain topic would be hot with your readers?  Run with it.  Something in the back of your mind tell you not to weigh in on a popular subject?  Better listen.  Feel drawn to answer a particular question on a forum board or recommend a person you haven’t seen for a while on LinkedIn?  Do it!

Social media is just a large-scale, virtual model of the water cooler or small town grocery store where everyone gathers for news.  Don’t be afraid to let your intuition guide your conversation when you interact online, in the same way it should be prompting and prodding you when you meet with people face to face.  You might be surprised at the results!

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Filed under Gail Z. Martin, Intuition, Social Media

Apply sales techniques to all endeavors to skyrocket your results

by Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC
International Speaker and Author

On the occasion you have ever been disappointed that others did not understand your viewpoint or grant your request, you should give thought to learning sales techniques that work to your favor for obtaining the right job or the preferred clientele.  Most people unfortunately view sales as unethical.

My advice to overcome this negative perception is to view sales as simply making friends whether it is the hiring manager or your next prospect.  Work to build relationships and put the interests of the other person first.  As you build trust and confidence in you, the next step is finding commonality between you and the other party. You are now getting the idea that the low key and earnest sales approach works best.

The next tip is to grow your business exponentially and by that I use the concept of the Power of 10.  For every service or product you offer or interview you go on, try to multiply each by 10 to find amazing results.  For example, 3 services multiplied by 3 x 2 x 1 equals 6 possible audiences.  When you multiply 10 x 9 x 8 etc. the calculations comes to 3.6 million plus!

Using my own advice, I began with sales training.  Next came business coaching and the Smooth Sale product line followed by my writing Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks.  The book translated into several languages, was featured in TIME Magazine and grew into an International Best Seller.

My speaking practice grew, my website was overhauled and a blog was implemented.  Interviews came my way. Look into law firm web design tips if you decide to build a website for your business or practice.

Community service was always a piece of my business designed to help job seekers understand how to sell themselves on interviews.  My good deeds were rewarded with the realization that it was time to write, HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press.

HIRED! provided a new venue for me to work with colleges.   College bookstores are carrying both books, and I am speaking to the student body, alumni, and training local communities along with the students.  Both media attention and sales attraction techniques on social media are helping to sell many more copies.

Given my books are successful, I have begun teaching others How to Write A Book and Sell More Copies Online in addition to providing the traditional sales training and how to build business exponentially.  I plan to write more business books and love providing motivational keynotes at conferences.

As you can see one venue develops into the next.  There are always setbacks.  But when you make a commitment to continual education and perseverance (the salesperson’s motto) your opportunity for success increases greatly and you soon experience the Smooth Sale!

You can listen to the audio from when Elinor was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WDfwLsZs

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Filed under Guest Blogger, Sales

How are those resolutions coming?

By Gail Z. Martin

Do you remember what your New Year resolutions were?  Have you given up on them, or are you still trying to make them happen?  Two of my resolutions included losing some weight and scheduling more speaking engagements.  Both are coming along, although the speaking part is happening a little faster.  And as I head back on the road with out-of-town presentations, I’m realizing that increasing the speaking events has a definite impact on how easy it is to shave off some pounds, due to missed time at the gym and hotel/airport food.  The good news is, at a recent convention I teamed up with another artist friend to take long morning walks despite the cold, and we kept each other honest on the dinner buffet.  I’ve gotten better at finding healthy options at airports, and I’m not as likely to just eat whatever’s easiest at a reception.

In other words, I’m making progress even though it’s not big and flashy.  I talk a lot about my Rule of 30 in my 30 Days to Social Media Success book.  The Rule of 30 days that any action you repeat 30 times begins to create impact.  The action doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be targeted and repeated.  So….making connections to land new speaking engagements count toward my Rule of 30.  Every time I make a better food choice and pass up a not-so-good choice, it’s part of that Rule of 30.

Sometimes it’s hard to see how the little things add up.  But the truth is, most of the time little things are all we can do in the short term.  There are very few opportunities to make huge sweeping changes in life, business or world politics.  On the other hand, history proves that small actions can lead to amazing changes.

How will you apply the Rule of 30 to your New Year’s resolutions?

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Filed under Coaching, Gail Z. Martin

Finding Time to Write

by Mindy Gibbins-Klein

Are you finding enough time to write?  Most people don’t.  Over many years of coaching aspiring authors, I have heard all kinds of excuses, but it all boils down to one idea: you need to make time for your writing.  Notice that I said make time, not find time.  You won’t find any time anywhere.  You need to consciously carve that time out of your busy schedule to ensure you deliver your book.

Successful authors treat their writing seriously, like the business project it is.  They make sacrifices and make it a priority so that it actually happens.  You may need to get up early or stay up later for the duration of your book project.  You may do well setting aside 3-hour chunks of time before, during or after the business day and even at weekends.  I don’t recommend spending more than 3-4 hours at a time on the writing because you will become less effective and all the other things you have to do will be mounting up the whole time.  But do put the exact times in your calendar.  Don’t leave it to chance and don’t add “write book” to an already full “to do” list.  That will just create pressure and stress which won’t help your flow.

You may find you need to skip business or social gatherings that are not absolutely critical.  You may need to explain to family and friends that your book is a top priority and other things have to go on the back-burner.

Books don’t write themselves.  In my experience, with the right level of planning and focus, you can write a full-length non-fiction book in about 100 hours.  The problem is most people do not set aside the 100 hours to make it happen.

Mindy Gibbins-Klein is best known as founder of The Book Midwife and founder/director of Ecademy Press business publishing.  She works with aspiring authors to guide them all the way through the planning and writing process, ideally starting before they even write one word.

She is an international speaker, trainer and consultant with 20 years of marketing, training and coaching experience, and over 300 clients who have written and published excellent books quickly using the Book Midwife methodology.  www.bookmidwife.com

You can listen to the audio from when Mindy was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Shared Dreams podcast here: https://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WW7XbC07

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Filed under Business Planning, Guest Blogger