What Are You Afraid Of?

What Are You Afraid Of

What Are You Afraid Of“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

Cliché?  Maybe.  But I think there is something to be said for fearing the fears that frighten us into self-limiting beliefs, indecision, or inaction.  Today I want to talk to you just a little bit about our fears of marketing ourselves—selling ourselves—especially in casual or social situations.  This is a common fear for mompreneurs and one that can be absolutely paralyzing, so we’ve got to take an honest look at ourselves and head this stuff off at the pass, in order to really overcome these obstacles and do what we want to do.

 

So let’s take a look at some of the most common issues we, as mompreneurs, face when it comes to the fear of marketing ourselves:

 

1.  We tend to downplay ourselves and our businesses in casual conversation.  Am I hitting a nerve yet, girls?  It goes like this:  You’re at the park and a fellow mommy asks, “Hi, so nice to meet you.  Oh, me?  I’m just a stay-at-home mom.  What do you do?” and you answer, “Oh, I stay at home too.  That and I have this little business thing I do on the side, but you know…” See how we just downplayed that?  Your little “business thing” doesn’t sound very significant, does it?

 

2.  We are scared of what people think.  Let’s face it; we all know somebody who is just in nonstop used car sales mode, don’t we?  You know the one.  She is constantly promoting herself and generally annoys everyone around her.  We don’t want to be that person!  And so we are afraid that if we are open and expressive about our passions and what it is we do, we will be perceived as pushy—so instead, we keep our mouths shut.

 

3.  We are afraid we won’t say the right thing because we don’t have a unique business statement, a.k.a. the “10-second elevator pitch.”  Because we don’t have a clear and concise way to communicate what it is that we do, we are left with the anxiety of not knowing what will come out of our mouths when asked, and the very real possibility of stumbling over our words.

 

4.  We don’t know what message to deliver if we don’t know for absolute certain who we are delivering it to and what they need.  This is the question of “Why would they care anyway?”  Who are we targeting and what are that niche market’s top pain points.  Once we know that, we can speak confidently about what we do and why it’s important.

 

5.  We have a mindset of insignificance.  Sometimes we moms just forget that we are very valuable humans in and of ourselves, not just as mothers, and not just compared to what we did before we had children.

 

Do you recognize yourself in some of these common fears?  Are you letting limits you’ve placed on yourself keep you from pursuing what it is that you really want and have worked so hard for?  It’s critical that we recognize these beliefs in ourselves so we know what it is that we’re overcoming!

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Which of these issues do you identify with most?

 

What can you start doing today to move away from fear and toward success? 

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Podcasting is H.O.T.

Do you listen to podcasts? Or are you scratching your head and wondering what that word actually means?

podcastPut simply, podcasting is a method of distributing multimedia files (such as audio programs or music videos) over the Internet. With the rise of DVRs, Netflix, Apple TV and such, we have the power to choose which TV shows we want to watch and when we want to watch them. (Been on a MadMen or Breaking Bad binge lately? Who can stop after watching just one episode when all of them are right there???) Podcasting works the same way, but doesn’t need you to be sitting in front of a TV. In fact, one of the reasons I love podcasts so much is that I can watch or listen to them whenever I want and wherever I happen to be: walking around the neighborhood, running on the treadmill, listening while I drive that long road trip home to Georgia, etc.)

I’ve been hosting The Mom Biz Solutions Show for over five years. Five years! Holy cow, that makes me a grandma in podcasting years! While podcasting has been around for about 10 years, it has only recently started to get a lot of attention. If you browse the iTunes store, you’ll find hundreds of podcasts on any topic you can name. A subscription to a podcast in iTunes is usually free and allows you to have new episodes of podcasts you love ready on demand in your smartphone whenever you feel like listening. (Subscribe to my show here.)

I recently listened to a webinar by John Lee Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire (another great podcaster), and he shared some interesting stats.

  • There are 575 Million active iTunes subscribers
  • There are 315 Million mobile device users listening to podcasts
  • But only 4 out of 10 people know what a podcast is in the United States
  • Podcasting is the #1 lead generator in iTunes

While I absolutely suggest you consider subscribing to some great podcasts as a way to continue your learning as a mom entrepreneur (or to take a self-care break and listen to a podcast that entertains you when you need a lift), I also encourage you to consider starting your own podcast. After all, about 90 % of my private coaching clients first find and connect with me through my podcast. And after they’ve had my voice inside their head for a while, they call me when they’re ready to hire a business coach and get the success they want.

This inquiry came from the Contact Us form on my website today:

Hi Lara,
I discovered you through B-School a while back and have started listening to your podcasts.
You had one encouraging us to do podcasting.
It’s something I’d like to do but just reading all the details about how is overwhelming.
Do you have any experience walking someone through the process to make it easy and idiot proof?
Looking forward to hearing from you, C.

And here’s my response:

Great to meet another B-Schooler! And even better, it’s always so fun to meet one of my listeners. I’m glad you’re getting inspired to do some podcasting of your own. I have been podcasting for over five years, and I’ve coached many women to start their own shows. It can be an overwhelming process to just get started, but once you get past the setup hurdles, it’s really a breeze. I also provide coaching and support on:
– Developing and leveraging your platform as an expert (your content/what to talk about)
– How often you should podcast
– How to integrate your podcast into everything else you do and market across multiple channels
– How to find guests for your show (if desired)
– How to monetize your podcast
Want to hop on the phone and discuss how I could help you get up and running?
See that, Friends? That’s an example of how my podcast is doing a great job of attracting warm leads to me. By putting out some great content that is full of my key messages about the Mindset, Management and Marketing savvy all mompreneurs need, I attract listeners who eventually want my support as a coach.
So, what do you think? Is it time for you to start your own podcast? Ready to establish and leverage a new marketing channel for your business? I’d love to help you. Or if you are already a podcaster, can you share in the comments below how you use your podcast in your business? And of course, leave a link to your show!
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Get People To Listen To You

get people to listen to youIf you’ve been around the MomBiz community at all, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of building relationships that in turn build your business.  Now a fundamental piece of relationship building is communication, which involves both clearly articulating your thoughts and the art of listening.  Being skilled in one doesn’t necessarily insure strength in the other, and of course there is always room for improvement in both.  So today I’m going to share with you five tips to becoming a better communicator and therefore, empower you to bring about the results you want.

 

1.  LISTEN.  You may have noticed that we have one mouth and two ears.  It stands to reason that ideally, we should spend twice the amount of time listening to others as we spend talking to them.  So instead of succumbing to human nature and while you’re waiting for your turn to talk, formulating your answer, rebuttal or witty comeback, try to practice active listening.  Active listening, simply put, is listening carefully enough that you can repeat back or paraphrase some of the things that the speaker says to you.  There is a psychological agreement that takes place when we listen in this way—“You’re listening to me; therefore, I will listen to you,” which is, after all, what we were hoping for in the first place.

 

2.  CALL THEM NAMES.  No, I’m joking.  But using a person’s name in the course of conversation is a useful tool for holding their attention.  This is also a great little trick for remembering names if that’s something you have trouble with.

 

3.  GIVE THEM PROPS.  We all need a little acknowledgment.  In today’s world of social media, “virtually” patting someone on the back or expressing thanks is as easy as retweeting something someone says that we see as valuable, “liking” an inspiring post on Facebook, sharing a status.  Expand this idea to real life.  If you want people to listen to you and help you get what you want, look for opportunities to honor them.  It’s good karma and it’s good business.

 

4.  ASK QUESTIONS.  Now we’re not talking interrogation here, but more of a genuine curiosity about what the other person has to offer.  By asking relevant questions and thereby proving that you care, you actually gain greater control over the direction of the conversation and earn the right to be heard in the process.

 

5.  TAKE A BREATH.  Let’s face it.  In all reality, the person you’re talking with is probably only half listening.  So when you’re at that critical place in the conversation where you really need to drive that point home, it’s time for a change of pace.  Slowing down and building in pauses causes the other person to take notice, and also gives them time to really digest the important things you have to say.

 

These are some really simple but effective tools that you can apply to make yourself a better communicator, whether it’s with your kids, with your spouse, or with your clients and your team.  In business or in life, communication is the key to being heard and ultimately, getting the results you want.

 

I love to hear from you, so send me a comment!

 

Are you a better speaker than you are a listener? 

 

Which of these strategies do you plan to implement to become a more effective communicator? 

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Are you working too hard for your results?

Don’t think for a minute that this is a post encouraging you to be a slacker. Nope. Not my style.

I’ve said may times before that there are tons of ways to make money that are much easier than being a mom entrepreneur. The amount of decisions we have to make, the many hats we have to wear as CEO, the conflicting priorities that stress us out, and the management of all our people, resources, money and our precious time is challenging for all of us. But even so, there are ways to make the work we do easier.

how lara galloway the mombizcoach helped me create a brand that attracts ideal clients

Marabeth Lum, Relationship Coach www.SingleToSmitten.com

The Right Branding Will Make Finding Ideal Clients Easier

Meet Marabeth. When we started working together over a year ago, Marabeth was spending hours and hours of her time trying to find leads for her life coaching business, and then spending even more time trying to get them to hire her as a coach. She loved coaching and she loved her clients, but finding them was a lot of hard work.

Together, we worked to:

  • Determine her strengths and top skills as a coach
  • Include her passion in her business
  • Figure out her ideal target audience
  • Learn to see things through her ideal clients’ eyes and to speak their language
  • Discover her ideal clients’ top challenges
  • Create solutions that solve her clients’ problems
  • And then to design a brand and an online presence to position her as the go-to resource for her target audience

The result? A carefully crafted brand, platform, message and website that does the heavy-lifting for her. Her website attracts her ideal clients to her, answers their questions, builds their trust, explains how they can work with her, and helps them hire her.

Here’s how Marabeth tells it:

Work was always something I did in order to save money to discover what I really wanted to do! Once I became a life coach, I experienced loving my work, but I didn’t know how what my coaching ‘niche’ was or how to find ideal clients. I started out like Lara – coaching anyone on any topic and it was great, but I was working way too hard trying to connect with ideal clients.

After working with Lara, we narrowed down my coaching ‘niche’, I started to own my voice as a coach, I re-branded my website, connected with online platforms to attract qualified leads and I’m now attracting ideal clients – almost effortlessly! My newest client was able to start connecting with me through my website before we even spoke for the first time. She was literally quoting lines from my blog posts and testimonials and was so enrolled in the work I do to serve my clients that she was ready to sign up and work together from our first conversation.

Serving my ideal clients and increasing my income has never been so easy. I now realize that with a little focused marketing I can have a full and steady practice and it doesn’t have to be hard…it can actually be fun! I’m really working smarter now – not harder and that’s exactly why I sought out Lara Galloway. She has met and exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend her!

If you’re tired of hunting for customers or clients or feel like the work you’re doing is just too hard for the money you’re making, I can help. Stop missing out on the money you could be making doing work you love to do! Book a 20-minute discovery session with me to see how I can help your work get a lot easier.

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Sanity-Savers For Mompreneurs With Day Jobs

Sanity Savers For Mompreneurs With Day Jobs

Sanity Savers For Mompreneurs With Day JobsMom, business owner… day job?  When you’re CEO (Chief Everything Officer) of your business, sometimes this is what your startup company looks like.  But you know the old adage, “It’s hard work but somebody’s got to do it!”  So if you’re a mompreneur who is dedicated to putting your family first, starting your own business, AND still working hard at your day job, here are some of my favorite sanity-savers to help you power through this challenging, yet exciting time in your life.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT:  Here comes the tough talk, sisters.  If you are a mompreneur and still working a day job, it is not a long-term option for you to keep working around the clock, doing what needs to be done whenever you can find a moment.  That approach is not going to lead to business success.  So here are three sanity-savers to help you get a quick grip on time management:

 

1.  GET A ROUTINE:  If the kids are in school, craft your routine around their school day, where possible.  If they’re not, or if you work your day job until after they’re home, it is necessary for you to get a sitter.  Having someone available to watch the kids, get them dinner, and orchestrate the bath/bedtime dance even a couple nights a week can mean the difference between a successful, rested and present mom and a frazzled, exhausted and harried one.  You only have 24 hours in a day, so designate that time in such a way that you can make each moment count, for your family and your business.

 

2.  CREATE BOUNDARIES:  You cannot say yes to everything!  Ultimately, you are the only one who can choose how you spend these precious hours that you have.  Remember that saying no to one thing is the ability to say yes to the things that matter most.  So get used to saying no!

 

3.  USE THE ADD METHOD:  Automate, Delegate, or Ditch it!  Get things off your plate that are not your strengths or that don’t matter to you.  This is a huge part of spending your time wisely.

 

PLANNING:  We all know that leaving everything until the last minute is a recipe for disaster, but constantly going full speed ahead is a sure path to burnout as well.  We’ve all heard the saying, “Fail to plan and plan to fail.”  It’s true!  Here are a couple strategies to keep you sane while you plan for success.

 

1.  BABY STEPS:  As mompreneurs, we have to be okay with baby steps toward our goals.  The best way to keep track of the ground we’re making is by having a fabulous business plan.  It’s so important to be able to measure those baby steps against our greater vision.  It may be slow going, but baby steps will get us there every time.

 

2.  GET A MARKETING PLAN:  Modern technology allows us all to be amazing marketers for our business, so take advantage of that.  But if marketing is really not your thing, don’t be afraid to apply the ADD Method to this one!  Do what you’re best at and then automate, delegate or ditch the rest!

 

SUPPORT:  If you want to preserve your sanity, you’re going to need support.  You cannot do this all by yourself.  Family, friends, a VA… a housekeeper, for crying out loud!  Life is too short to try and do it alone.  Get the help you need and focus those moneymaking talents in the ways that matter most.

 

I hope these sanity-saving strategies are helpful to you as you work toward living the dream of growing that business you know is going to give the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment you’re searching for as a mompreneur.

 

I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment!

Which of these sanity-saving strategies have you tried?

Are there any others you’ve had success with on your mompreneur journey? 

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5 MORE Ways Twitter Changed My Business

5 More Ways Twitter Changed My Business

5 More Ways Twitter Changed My BusinessTwo posts in a row on the wonders of Twitter! That tells you how highly I think of it. Last time I shared with you “5 Ways Twitter Changed My Business” and today I’m going to follow that up by letting you in on five more things I just love about it—things I hope may push you over the edge toward giving it a try. I bet you’ll never go back! I know I won’t. So let’s dive right in!

1. It’s targeted! If you’ve been around the MomBiz community for any time at all, you’ve probably noticed we talk a lot about your “target market” and whether or not you’ve been asking them what they want. Well, pre-Twitter, I didn’t do that at all. I just came up with an idea that I thought was good and I tried to sell it to people I thought needed it. Now sometimes that worked, but many times it didn’t, and it led to a lot of wasted time and energy. Twitter surrounds me with opportunities to interact with my target market. A quick keyword search gives me untold insight into the pain points I want to create solutions for. When I have an idea, I can float it out to my “tweople” and either regroup and try again, or march confidently forward with what I know they need.

2. It’s easy! As a mompreneur and Chief Everything Officer of your business, you wear a lot of hats. Opportunities to speak or collaborate or teach or write or coach are worthwhile endeavors… but who has time to search for them? Twitter and the marketing strategy I’ve built around it have made me no longer a hunter, but a receiver of such opportunities, creating a richness and diversity to my offerings that I wouldn’t accomplish otherwise.

3. It’s visible! Twitter is the most powerful tool I know of to create visibility for my brand. It’s my virtual “business card.” Enough said. Well… almost. Let’s say you have 2,000 followers on Twitter. Well, that means that not only do those 2,000 people see your tweets, but THEIR followers do too. You can go to a networking event and hand out 20 or 30 or 50 business cards, or you can use Twitter, and every time you tap out 140 characters, you’re sending it to 2,000+. You do the math.

4. It’s central! Twitter has become a single platform in which I can leverage everything else I do in my business. It is the central processing area. I can tweet about my blog posts, my videos, my articles, my products, my radio show… with just a few clicks of the mouse. Twitter is the center of my online presence, offering easy access to all I do.

5. It’s friendly! Running a home-based small business can be lonely. When I’m excited about something and just dying to share it with others, I send it out on Twitter and I get dozens of congratulatory tweets back from my followers. In the same way, when the fighting kids and challenges of motherhood have stressed me to the hilt, some encouraging or hysterical tweets make it all better. This is the stuff that keeps me going.

So there’s my Twitter campaign. They really should send me money for doing such persuasive advertising for them! But when one simple, free tool can make such a positive difference, how can I keep from spreading the word?

I love to hear from you, so let me know what you think!
What is YOUR favorite thing about Twitter?
Has anything I’ve blogged about convinced you to give Twitter a try?

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5 Ways Twitter Changed My Business

twitter business

twitter businessLittle did I know, back in October of 2008, my first 140-character tweet would be the catalyst that would one day transform Twitter into my “office” and eventually generate 95% of my qualified leads. As passionate, spirited, proactive entrepreneurs, perhaps you’re like me and will give anything a try once. And with Twitter’s low barrier to entry, once you hear how it’s changed my business, if you haven’t taken the plunge, maybe you’ll do just that.

1. It’s fast! Twitter has given me immediate access to people and information unlike anything else. It used to be I would go directly to Google with my problems and questions. Now I just pop on Twitter and tweet about it and within moments I get really personalized responses with exactly what I was looking for.

2. It’s convenient! I really have neither the desire, much less the time to arrange for childcare, get all gussied up, and then commute to a networking event that really doesn’t fit my schedule. With Twitter, I am marketing myself ALL THE TIME. Thanks to automation, I’m live, even when I’m busy with the kids and away from my computer.

3. It’s relational! Twitter has facilitated relationships that have really helped build my business. Mentors, colleagues, friends, teachers, joint venture partners, not to mention clients—all on Twitter!

4. It’s comfortable! One of my favorite things about Twitter is that it provides a really comfortable, low-pressure environment for my future clients and me to get to know each other. We can chat back and forth for days or weeks or months without feeling pressed to push a sale, which is not my bag of tricks anyway. In this way, they begin to trust me and I get a lot more insight into what they’re up to before we ever get down to business.

5. It’s efficient! When I think back on my pre-Twitter days, I am truly amazed that I ever completed a sales cycle. The effort and time it took to establish the seven to ten touches or points of contact recommended by the marketing gurus before the average person is ready to buy was insurmountable. With Twitter, I can accomplish those touches in an hour if I want to and more often than not, prospective clients come to me.

So you wondered why I’m such a Twitter evangelist? There you have it! And these are only five of the ways I love Twitter. Stay tuned for a future post on “5 MORE Ways Twitter Changed My Business.”

Until next time, you know I love to hear from you, so shoot me a line!

How has Twitter changed YOUR business?
If you’re NOT yet sold on the wonders of Twitter, what’s holding you back?

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5 Strategies For A Successful Small Business

5 Strategies For a Successful Small BusinessToday we are going to jump right into five of what I think are the most important strategies for a successful small business.  More than just five steps, these strategies will help shape your mindset with a philosophy geared toward helping mompreneurs like you really grab onto and focus on a foundation for success.

 

So here we go.

 

1.  Choose a narrow target audience.  And I know, I know—I know the resistance.  You’ve heard me talk about this before.  So here’s what I’m saying.  Again, if you are a big national brand, that’s fine.  You can work on appealing to everybody.  Go for it.  But if you’re a small business owner, one of the best ways for you to make a splash is by being a big fish in a little pond.  What I mean by that is if you really want to start out with some traction, choose a small group to begin with.  Once you dominate that market, then you can start expanding.  So you don’t have to stay small.  We’re just going to start small.

 

2.  Engage with your target audience.  You guys know I am all about engagement marketing.  Engagement marketing is really building relationships that are completely authentic—getting to know people, building that connection and that relationship with them as a person—and then the business follows after that.  It’s all about being where your customers are.  This can mean posting to the blogs they read, being an active participant in forums that interest them, tweeting about topics relevant to them.  Over time your participation will increase that “like, know and trust” factor that is so key to establishing the credibility you’re striving for.

 

3.  Create things people need.  Now I’ve talked about this before.  We’re talking about making offerings to your audience that are painkillers—not vitamins.  Create a solution for one small problem that your target audience has, and I promise you they will be grateful and buy it.  So pay attention to what their top challenges, biggest struggles, ongoing issues—their pain points—are.  This is how you will learn to create your products and services as solutions to those pains.

 

4.  Distinguish yourself from your competition.  When faced with fierce competition, the advantage is found not in discounting your prices—which can actually have the psychological effect of decreasing your value—but in providing more value to your clients than your competitors do.  The key here is to find ways to make whatever you’re offering even more valuable to your clients in a way that serves you both.  What valuable yet cost-effective thing can you add to what you are already offering?  This is a great way to stand out from the crowd and develop customer loyalty in the process.

 

5.  Be an expert.  The key is focus.  So many business owners try to be everything to everybody and we wind up piecing together a business that’s really just a hodgepodge of things we know how to do to make money.  Being a business owner requires vision, strategy, and planning.  Be the best one in your industry at solving a specific problem that your specific audience has. Build a platform that gives you that expertise.

 

I love connecting with small business owners like you, so share your experiences!

Which of these tips hangs you up most often? 

Which are you succeeding at?    

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How to Handle Negative Feedback

How to Handle Negative FeedbackToday’s topic is something we all struggle with. I’m always encouraging people to go out and get feedback. We need to know that what we’re doing is what our audience wants from us. We need to make sure that we are positioning our products and services in such a way that they are easiest and most compelling for our target audience to buy. After all, if we’re not focused on the interests of our potential customers, they’re not going to buy what we’re selling. If they’re not going to buy it, you’re not going to make money. If you don’t make money, you don’t get to stay in business. And so we need feedback to keep us on track. It can be difficult though to hear that we’re barking up the wrong tree. It is a natural human reaction to fall in love with the things that you create. It just is. In fact, we often refer to our businesses, products, services and ideas as our “babies.” We get very attached to them. They are our creation. They are an extension of who we are.

So it just goes to follow that if you are asking for honest feedback, sometimes you’re going to get feedback you don’t want to hear. And it might hurt. So let’s figure out how to handle this because this feedback, both the good and the bad, is valuable and important. Sometimes you need to take it to heart… but sometimes you need to ignore it. Here’s how to tell the difference.

First off, consider the source. In the same way that you wouldn’t ask your plumber what he thinks of your new hairstyle, you don’t necessarily need to ask all your Facebook friends what they think of your new product pitch. Here are some important criteria to help you evaluate when considering the source:

1. Is the feedback coming from your target audience? If not, ignore away! Your target audience is able to give you the most constructive and useful feedback because they know what they want. These are definitely the people to listen to.

2. Is the feedback coming from a champion or hater? There are plenty of people out there, target audience or not, who talk just because they like the sound of their own voices. Feel free to ignore those who don’t have your best in mind. You can tell when negative feedback is coming from a supporter because they will generally be uncomfortable being critical with you. As hard as it is to hear, this may be some of the best feedback you’ll ever get, so take it to heart!

So if you’ve considered the source, next you need to consider the message. We are all tempted to hear “Your price is too high” as “You suck.” Here are a couple of helpful hints when deciphering the message behind the feedback:

1. Don’t hear what someone is not saying. It is true that as mompreneurs we are often our own worst critics. Chances are we are way harder on ourselves than anybody else. Listen to the facts and act on feedback as necessary. If you’re hearing from supporters in your target audience, don’t take their feedback as a personal attack. Look at it as an opportunity to be even better than you already are!

2. Dig deeper. We talk a lot about communication around here and this is no exception to the rule. Clarify what someone means when they critique a product or service. Ask for a comparison. Ask for details. Ask for examples. This helps you get inside the heads of your potential customers and work to meet their needs.

The point here is that you’re already a rockstar and you know it! Feedback—positive or negative—is that edge you need to be even better and that guarantee that what you’re creating and spending time and effort on is worthwhile because your target audience is going to love it.

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

Can you think of a time you took to heart feedback that you should have ignored?
How has listening to the right feedback been beneficial to your business?

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Six Hats Every CEO Must Wear

6hatsNow I joke about it all the time in the MomBiz community that we are Chief Everything Officers—that’s our play on the term CEO—and you’ve heard me say time and time again that one of the critical keys to success as a mompreneur is recognizing that you are not capable of doing it all yourself.  So let’s talk a little bit today about the six roles or the six hats you need to wear as a CEO no matter what sort of business you’re in. I was inspired to talk about this while reading at TheAmericanCEO.com, written by Joel Trammell, so thanks to Joel for some of the information I’m going to share with you today.

 

The Six Hats Every CEO Must Wear:

 

1.  Architect.  In this role, guys, your job is to design the business model because this is the foundation for the entire business.  My business model is that MomBiz is a coaching and training company.  That’s what I do.  So you, as a business owner, have to really own this architecting role that is yours.  It is not up to anybody else in your business.  Everything grows out of this.

 

2.  Engineer.  Your job is to build the systems and processes that grow the business.  These systems and processes are the things that we must teach to our staff. Joel says, “The engineering process involves defining a goal, creating metrics related to the goal, analyzing those metrics, and improving the process.”  These are things we must own and get clear on that we choose how it goes and then we can put the staff in place to execute it.

 

3.  Coach.  Now the coach’s job in any business is to work with your employees to get the maximum value from your team.  Now we’ve talked a lot about how to hire the right people and how to fire people when it doesn’t work out, but here is this interim piece where you’ve got to show up and take ownership for how you tell people what it is you want, how you engage and motivate them, how you enroll them in your vision and how you get them to do the best they can for you and for the business.  That’s your job as a coach.

 

4.  Player.  The player is what I refer to as a “technician.”  This is the person actually doing the work.  Now you may be saying, “But wait, Lara.  You’ve told us we’re not supposed to be the players.  We’re not supposed to be the doers.  We’re supposed to be the CEO and manage and lead and delegate” and that’s true… except listen to this definition of player: “The role of the player is doing work where you can make a difference at a discrete point in time.”  This doesn’t mean we do the job all the time. But perhaps it is important at a certain time for a CEO to show up and be a player in a specific place.  You show up and do that powerful thing that you need to do—closing a sale on occasion, for instance.

 

5.  Learner.  As CEO, you’ve got to remain the visionary.  You’ve got to remain innovative.  You need to stay related to what’s going on in the competition, in the industry that you’re in.  In order to keep sight of all that, you must always keep learning.  Make sure, as CEO, that you own your role as learner.  Keep learning.  Keep expanding your knowledge both inside and outside the business.

 

6.  Priest. Joel Trammell says, “This is the job of keeping morale high.”  Throwing out directions and goals and deadlines and checking in to see how a project is moving along—that’s not always going to be enough.  It really isn’t. You’ve got to stay connected with those people that are supporting you and ultimately making the business what it is.  You’ve got to look for ways to give back and to mentor them and to help them where they’re stuck.

 

I’d love to hear back from you!

Which roles are you currently owning as a CEO?

Which roles do you struggle with?

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