The Secret To Stopping The Insanity

always got“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ~Someone Smart

 

And today… the secret you’ve all been waiting for… except it’s not a secret! Today we’re talking about change. As much as I value routine, sometimes what needs to happen is you just have to change it up a bit. So let’s look at some of the previous examples from THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY and come up with just one thing that you could do differently in each situation, because just one simple change might be all it takes to get you headed in the right direction.

 

Here are some options for shaking things up, but the possibilities are endless once you realize that just a little change is all you need!

 

  1. Are you struggling with your kids during the same time of day, day after day after day?

Feeling rushed and frazzled at breakfast? Try getting up 30 minutes earlier. Change the menu to something nutritious but fast. Put your kiddos to bed in their clean clothes for the next day (yes, I’m serious)! Is dinnertime your witching hour? Have a picnic on the living room floor. Let the kids help cook something simple. Have dessert first! If it’s bedtime you need to switch up, how about playing some soothing music or incorporating story time? Every little thing counts and can make great big changes in the results you’re getting.

 

  1. Are you having the same argument with your spouse or partner over and over and over again? Instead of going down that same old path of you say this and then he says that and then… throw him for a loop with something unexpected for a change! Try interrupting with a simple “I love you” or “I respect your feelings,” or really go for the gold and come right out with what you need—“I could just use some acknowledgement for the hard work I did today.” Try it. I bet you’ll be surprised.

 

  1. Are you marketing and networking like crazy but still not getting the sales, new customers, or more money that you desperately need? If you’ve been marketing like crazy online, do something in-person for a change. If you’ve been doing everything via text, switch it up and do a video or a podcast. There are so many really wonderful and free technologies out there for you to leverage that could change things up just slightly and give you some of those results that you want.

 

  1. Are you having a hard time finding time for your own health and well-being, even though you claim it’s one of your top priorities? Is work never finished? You have to watch just one more episode of your favorite show? Try setting the alarm for a 9:30 pm bedtime—no kidding, no excuses. Can’t find time to exercise? Sign up for an early morning yoga or Pilates class that will get you home in time to get the kids ready for school. Invest that time in yourself. You are your most valuable asset.

 

I want you to remember that baby steps can create fantastic change in your life. Any one of these small alterations to your daily routine can shift you away from those patterns and habits that are keeping you stuck (and making you crazy), and toward the life you truly want and are working so hard to have.

 

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

 

Which of these small changes have helped you get out of a rut?

 

What are some other ideas you have for making simple changes that pack a big punch?

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High Payoff Actions: Beyond The Comfort Zone

High Payoff Actions: Beyond the Comfort ZoneWe talked in a PREVIOUS POST about how in order to be successful, we as mompreneurs need to learn to recognize when comfort is driving the choices we make.  Staying comfortable, or in our comfort zones, is something we all struggle with as we juggle all the responsibilities of business and family life.  Well, today we’re going to talk about making that shift to basing our choices on our goals, which are rooted in the values, priorities and vision we’re committed to.  I like to refer to these choices as “high payoff actions,” or HPAs.  HPAs utilize your top moneymaking talents and your very best gifts, deserve your utmost attention, and result in you creating the opportunity and life that you want.

 

Let me give you some examples of what I consider high payoff actions:

 

Directly asking a client to hire you.

Creating a service or product to market to your clients.

Making a follow-up call to someone who has already expressed interest. 

Fulfilling a customer order or completing a customer project. 

Researching your niche market for awesome ideas to emulate. 

 

I would suggest that you aim to do between one to three HPAs each day, at the beginning of the day.  Do what’s most important first, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted along the way by something easier or by what we sometimes refer to as “bright, shiny objects.”  Sure, it’s interesting, but it’s not necessarily going to help grow your business.  Sure, it’s comfortable, but if you’re feeling too comfortable, take a look at your day and be sure you’re incorporating some of these high payoff actions that will ultimately drive you toward success.

 

Now I know that some of you are squirming right now, and if you are, that’s a really good indicator that you’ve probably identified an HPA worth doing.  Some momentary discomfort is so worth it, girls.  You are choosing to act on your goals, deliberately and intentionally, in order to grow, and that’s the reward!  And the really cool thing is that every time you grow outside your comfort zone, you are effectively pushing those boundaries outward to increase the total area of what will feel comfortable to you in the future.  Each time you try something new or accomplish something bigger, you make that circle wider.  So what feels uncomfortable in the beginning will feel successful later, and how sweet that success is!

 

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

What “bright, shiny objects” pull your attention away from high payoff actions? 

What HPA really makes you squirm?  How can you incorporate that into your day? 

 

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5 Ways Twitter Changed My 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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Mompreneurs: Focus on Buyer, Not Your Product

Guest post by Amyli McDaniel of www.EnlightenedMompreneur.com
See the original post by Amyli on her blog here.

The longer I am in the world of entrepreneurship, the more I am realizing that it is not the “business idea” that makes most mompreneurs successful.

In fact, it is quite easy to research a market and either find or create a product or service to meet a need in the market. The tough part is figuring out how to rise about the noise, get your customers to buy from you and then get them to refer you.

It is natural to focus so much on the product or service you are providing. But, when I started focusing more on the buyer of the product or service, my businesses started selling more and started creating a much higher buyer experience for my customers. And this meant a lot more revenue!

cash-money-in-hand-main_FullSo, how do you focus on your buyer? I took the advice of a well known marketer- David Meerman Scott and I actually create Buyer Personas for my products and services.

I think about what they look like, how old they are, how they think, what they care about and what process the go through when they are searching out what I provide? Sometimes I even give them a name and think of a visual person for each persona as this really helps in my marketing.

One thing that helped me to figure this out was thinking about my kids. When you shop for something your child needs or wants, you are always thinking about that specific child. . . his or her personality, needs, emotions and what would be the best fit for that child.

You are not making decisions in a vacuum by just looking at the line by line features and other components of a product or service. You are always thinking about what resonates with your child.

In your business, you are on the opposite side of the equation but your prospects are the child in the same thought process.

Once I started doing this, the marketing on my websites changed. Instead of talking about the features of my products and services, I started to talk in their language and address their needs and wants.

And the result was phenomenal. Now, every time I start a new business, I do this and it governs every communication I have with prospects and customers. And, I find that this one shift in perspective has allowed me to short cut an otherwise very long process of trying to differentiate myself from other competitors and businesses.

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