A Solopreneur with Downtime? Spend it Productively

Got time? Get Organized.

We all have periods of time “between”. Between gigs, clients, meetings, launches, proposal sent and waiting for the response. You know that time. We also have “dither days”: days when we are sitting in front of the computer and not getting anything done. My Mom called that dithering.

Here are a few sneakily productive ways to use that time.

The best way out of solopreneur craziness is to create systems. What to do? Get your behind-the-scenes act together!

Create a content calendar

If consistency in posting or content creation isn’t your strong suit, create a social content calendar. Choose a daily focus and get ahead by batching your writing into a weekly time block. You can knock out an entire week in less than an hour. Trust me the hard part is thinking about what to post. If you do the thinking in advance, the rest is easy!

I have put together a sample Content Calendar that I have used in my business with much success to give you some inspiration. Download below.

Organize your stuff – electronic and paper

How much time do you waste looking for stuff? Clean out your inbox, scan those receipts, organize your Dropbox folders and files, and break out the label maker. Just start with your DESK if it is messy. Clutter of any kind can add to an inability to focus. Become an organizational ninja.

Create a new lead magnet

What’s one question your ideal audience has that will lead them into the deeper work you do? Write a blog post, create a short video, or develop a checklist. Give yourself a set amount of time to knock it out and get it done. Start using it to attract people to your community and build your email list.

Use this as CEO time.

What’s coming up in the next few weeks? Make a list of what you need to have ready and get it done early.

Update your KPIs. We can get sloppy about this, as we tend to look only at revenue and expenses. But there are so many other measures of success – how is your social media following growing, your email list growing? How many networking events did you attend, or Facebook Lives did you do? Every step of engagement ultimately will lead to an increase in business.

Create templates

What questions do you get frequently? Write a canned response email that you can cut/paste or automate in your email sequence. Always creating custom proposals? Create a template. Got a process, new or old, that can be automated – create a template!

I could go on and on… What are some things you do in downtime? Tell me in the comments.

New Class on Money Mastery

Is Money Holding Your Business Hostage?Time to Escape the Money Scarcity Trap

Is money, or the lack of it, keeping you from growing your business? There may be reasons other than cold hard cash that are holding you back. Join me for a class in Money Mastery to learn how to conquer the money issue.

But I can’t afford it!

It’s too expensive!

Maybe next year…

Sound familiar? I hear it all the time. In fact, it is one of the most common issues that female entrepreneurs face after finally getting their business off the ground. The transition from start-up to success means understanding this vital principle in business:

You can’t afford NOT to invest in your business.

If you are not investing money into your business, the fact is that money is holding you hostage. If you want to break free, you need to be ready to face the obstacles in your path between where you are now, and where you want to be.

Join me for a class on MONEY MASTERY:

Think you don’t have enough?

Does money work for you or do you work for money?

Do you see present expenditures as a value-add for your future business?

Do you spend money with purpose?

We will explore:

The 7 money blocks that are keeping you from growing and how to eliminate them.

How to start charging what you are worth.

How to get comfortable with sales.

Sources of money – It’s out there!

In the long run, it is costing you more to put off investing in your Biz. And, it isn’t just costing you dollars, it’s costing you peace of mind and freedom from the hamster wheel.

In other words, by missing opportunities to invest in your business now, your Biz is holding you hostage. Time to break free.

I have found that there are three major types of obstacles that hold many small business owners back from their true potential: Mindset, Resources, and Sales.

Mindset Obstacles

In order to thrive in business, you have to identify the mindset obstacles that are between you and success. This is true when it comes to money as well.

Risk Aversion: Does it feel like too much of a risk to invest in your business? You are not alone. Becoming comfortable with taking some risk is critical to identifying and taking advantage of great opportunities to grow your Biz.

Imposter Syndrome: It is very common for female entrepreneurs to harbor the deep-seated idea that they just aren’t good enough. As a result, they undervalue their services and are less likely to invest in themselves and their Biz.

Fear of Failure: Fear-based decision making of any kind is a big mistake. The ultimate irony is that when we make decisions based on fear, we almost always create the very thing we are most afraid of in our lives and our business.

Ready to conquer your Money Mindset issues? Sign up for my Mastering Money class today.

Resource Obstacles

Resource obstacles come down to two basic questions: Where and How.

Where? The money is out there, you just need to know where to look. Once you make the decision to invest in your business so that you can achieve success and personal freedom from the daily grind, finding the money isn’t actually all that hard.

How? Of course, you also want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Knowing where to best invest your resources is the second resource obstacle that many new Biz owners struggle with.

Ready to put money to work for your Biz, but aren’t sure how or where to start? My Mastering Money class is for you.

Sales Obstacles

Sales is the heart of generating revenue for your business whether you sell a product or provide valuable services. Getting comfortable with sales is an obstacle that many entrepreneurs don’t really want to face, but it is critical to growing any Biz.

My Mastering Money class will address why it is that sales can seem like the hardest part of growing your Biz, and what to do to get past this major block to growth.

Join Money Mastery Class 

How NOT to Panic.

Fear-Based Decision Making is Bad for Biz.

At some point, every business owner will find herself in a troubling situation. Revenue is down. New clients are scarce. Profits are falling. Just one peek at the financials is enough to bring on a full-fledged anxiety attack.

Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, chances are you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of a business that’s trending downward. How you handle it can mean the difference between continued success and business-killing burnout.

Here’s where a lot of entrepreneurs get it wrong. They start to worry about money, and that worry leads to poor decisions that ultimately have a negative impact not just on finances, but—maybe more importantly—on their own morale, too. I’ve been there many times!

In my experience fear shuts my brain down and keeps me from being productive in ANY area of my life. Here are a few of the fear-based decisions you might find yourself making:

You Take On The Wrong Client

When business is down, it can be tough to keep your ideal client avatar in mind. Instead, you jump at the chance to work with anyone who comes along with a wallet. The trouble with this scenario is you can find yourself with a roster full of clients who:

  • Aren’t willing or able to do the work required
  • Spend all their time telling you why your ideas and advice won’t work
  • Make life miserable for you, as they are not a good fit
  • Drain your energy and make you dread work each day

You Withdraw

You stop going to networking events, stop connecting with your network, stop socializing with your Biz Besties. This is exactly the opposite of what will help you turn your fear into a more positive direction. Getting outside of your own head is the best thing you can do at this point.

You Stop Creating

And who can blame you? With profits down, you have to pull back. You can’t afford to spend time and money creating new programs, or new blog posts, or webinars, so you recycle the ones you’ve already produced – and these may be a bit tired.

Now, this would be ideal if you were repurposing with a positive intent. Turning your eBook into a group-coaching course? Perfect! But that’s not what your fearful brain is telling you.

Your fearful self is saying, “Just re-release this same product again, so I don’t have to have new sales copy written or record new videos.” And, while this might help bring in a bit of cash short-term, it won’t do anything for your reputation or your self-esteem.

Ditch the Fear Mindset

Fear can be a healthy motivator, but it is a terrible mindset for sound decision making in business. Acts of desperation, withdrawal or avoidance can turn a minor dip into a major disaster.

Instead, bring your focus to the opportunity right in front of you: Have a little more time on your hands? Great! What can you do with it? Sales lower than expected? Okay…What can you learn about your customers?

If running a business was just like getting on an escalator, nothing but up from here, then everyone would do it. The fact is that the downturns are a part of learning about your customers, streamlining your processes, and honing in on your ideal client and the services you are really passionate about providing.

If you are letting fear run your show, you are missing the opportunity to refine, and ultimately grow your biz.

Here is what it looks like in practice…

One of my clients is a real estate agent who is in a bit of a lull and starting to exhibit signs of panic. Instead, we are working with the concept of farming. She is planting seeds for harvest later on.

In our coaching sessions, we have mapped out a plan for the best way to productively and strategically use this time to her best advantage. AND (more mindset work here) she’s realized she is lucky to have this time to focus on her business, instead of being caught up in it.

Coming from fear is no way to operate a business, but that’s just what a fear-based mindset can do to you. Better (much better) to hold out for that perfect client, dig into your supportive relationships, and take what you’ve learned from your drop in sales to create that killer program your audience is clamoring for!

Overwhelmed and Paralyzed?

How to get UNSTUCK.

We all fall victim to overwhelm. The trick is to find a way to reset quickly, so you can recover and get back to what you need to do.

Whether it’s often or infrequent, the paralyzing results are the same. Here is what happens to me when I’m in overwhelm (Not pretty, but I’m just keeping it real here, people!):

When I’m in overwhelm, I’m like a deer in the headlights – I am stuck and can’t move. I’m truly paralyzed. I typically spend a lot of time “Spinning “– I can spend LOTS of time in front of my computer doing who knows what. I straighten my desk and organize files. And I convince myself that I’m busy, but I know better. Busy work is busy work.

Or, I become an expert at procrastination. I work from my home office so I find myself folding laundry, doing dishes, cleaning. Anything but working. The busier I stay, the less I have to think about how overwhelmed I am, because I’m….well, busy!

Here’s what to do to nip overwhelm in the bud:

Recognize the symptoms.

I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms, or better yet, anticipate when I’m going to fall prey to overwhelm. Typically it happens in times of transition. I may have signed up too many clients at once. I may have a new hire that I need to train on top of all my other duties. I feel stress creeping into my shoulders and neck, for whatever reason.

I start to look for times when I will likely be in transition and anticipate what is likely to hit the fire, or what is going to need extra attention. But you can’t always do that. Once you notice you are in overwhelm, take action right away with any of the following strategies.

Cut down on your outside influences.

There are gurus aplenty in the online world, all with a different voice and recommendations. I have learned (the hard way) that more input does not equal more clarity. Make some choices.

Whose voices, newsletters, and recommendations do you find valuable and want to continue to follow? Choose at most 2 or 3 and unsubscribe from the rest of those newsletters. Don’t sign up for any more webinars aside from theirs. Or, just give yourself a complete break from outside influences. Do not sign up for any more courses. Keep it simple, sweetie.

Detox your to-do list.

Overwhelm can come from a to-do list that is several pages long. It shouldn’t be. There should be a max of 3 main things you should accomplish in a day. Take a critical look at that list and use the 4 D’s: Do, Delegate, Delay, or Delete, to whip it into manageable shape.

Download The 4 D’s of Productivity for more tips on how to use this powerful tool

Take some action.

If even that feels like too much effort, then just take some action – ANY action and start very small. I find that the smaller the step, the easier it is to get started. Once momentum starts, it’s easier to keep going.

Take an emotional time out.

Read an engrossing book that has nothing to do with work. I’m partial to mysteries that completely take over my brain. Go to a movie if you can swing it. Can you say binge-watch?

The point is to take an hour or two away from your problems — physically somewhere else, if possible. You’ll remember that there’s a vast world out there, and maybe put yourself back in perspective.

Exercise.

Same idea here, but with a personal physical component. Hit the gym. Go for a run or a swim. Take a spin class. Whatever it is that you do for exercise, work it into the middle of the day, so you can separate the difficult morning from the rest of the afternoon.

Not only does exercise count as an accomplishment, but it also fills your system with endorphins that lead to a more positive attitude and go-getter state of mind. Talk about a reset!

Reach out to Biz Besties.

Brainstorm why you are spinning, or just vent a bit. That can also clear your head! Sometimes you just need the chance to talk with someone you’re close with who is completely unrelated to whatever drama is going on in your life.

Just say no.

Sometimes you have to say no. Sometimes you even have to say, “I know I said yes before, but I have to say no now.” Of course, you don’t want to make a practice of this and develop a reputation for unreliability. Still, maybe it’s better than getting overwhelmed and getting nothing done.

Thinking about overwhelm won’t help. You have to take action.

Putting these techniques into practice can help you move out of overwhelm quickly. My favorite is to just take a small bit of action and to let the rest unfold. The longer you stay in this state, the worse it will become. In this case, size does matter, and even tiny steps count!

Hire to Your Weakness, Lead With Your Strength.

Know When it’s Time to Outsource

I have never been a detail person – much to my dismay. My handwriting is almost illegible, I make mistakes in calculations (thank goodness for formulas in Excel so I don’t have to do the math myself!), and I leave a trail of minutia wherever I go. I just don’t SEE the details and good enough is good enough in my mind – I move too fast, I have bigger fish to fry, I am a big picture person — You know the drill!

Those might sound like excuses, but they are all true. However, the reality is that sometimes my lack of attention to detail was getting in the way of my biz goals. It was time to take action.

Aha!

One of the biggest AHA moments of my recent career was hiring a copy editor. I was tired of getting emails back from friends saying “There was a typo in that last newsletter.” Or, having a potential client question something I had written in my proposal to them. (That was embarrassing!)

So I finally got real with myself and admitted that this was a shortcoming that I had to find a solution for, not just ignore. If I was going to be my best professional self, I had to appear that way with my words.

I hired a copy editor. She is a genius who not only corrected punctuation and spelling but also polished my words, clarified my intentions, and challenged me when she doesn’t agree with my direction. GOLD I tell you! (If you want her name, email me and I’ll give you her contact info.)

The heavens opened up at that very moment. Freed from the burden of the details I began writing up a storm creating weekly blog posts, a newsletter and writing copy for landing pages and sales materials. She even edits my most important emails and proposals so I don’t embarrass myself again.

Time for a Team

The lesson here for any growing entrepreneur is to carefully think about how you want to start to grow your team. The common path is to start with an assistant or VA (virtual assistant) first. This person can take care of enumerable back-end and administrative tasks from the simplest (keeping your email inbox clean) to far more sophisticated (like vetting and setting up speaking opportunities for you).

But I chose to start by addressing a weakness that I had and filling the gap. You may find bookkeeping, maintaining your schedule, or lead follow-up the most daunting aspects of your biz. Any of these things may be your Achilles’ Heel that can hold you back from productive activities that will actually grow your revenue – which is the whole point, after all!

Outsource: Sometimes it’s the Only Right Move

Start by taking a look at what you hate to do and are probably not doing, not doing well, or not doing consistently. That’s a great place to outsource.

Another thought is to calculate how much time it takes you to do a task, multiply by your hourly rate, and see if still doing that activity yourself makes sense. The answer will probably be “No!” You can probably find very effective support for a fraction of your hourly rate.

Outsourcing work does not need to be a huge cash commitment. “I don’t have the money” is typically the first complaint I hear from clients when I suggest they get some help for a particular area.

Think of hiring on a project basis, or ask for a commitment for as little as 5 hours a week to make progress for your business. You don’t even need to commit to hiring a part-time employee since there is an abundance of freelancers ready, willing and able to take work off your plate on a task-by-task basis.

The key here is not to get caught in the “I can do this myself, why should I hire it out?” rationale. Perhaps you could…. but should you? This kind of thinking will keep your business from growing and you with your nose to the grindstone. Not a pretty picture!

What Does Gaining 12 Pounds Have to do with Biz Strategy?

Self-Love and Entrepreneurial Resilience.

This is not my usual blog post and may be too much information. But many women may find themselves in this spot. And, it’s as much for me as it is for you.

I had been feeling a tad chubby recently and started the Keto diet about a week ago. (Please don’t send me emails or comments warning me against it, I’m not going to die). I had not weighed myself in forever as the awareness of that number has always made me crazy. I didn’t need that. I just needed to move forward. Similar to the way we need to act in our businesses. (Really, I am going to connect this to biz improvement!)

So I followed KETO faithfully for a week and felt lighter. Go me! I felt ready to get back on the scale and see where I was. Woot, I was ready!

I hopped on the scale and saw that I had gained 12 pounds since I last weighed myself.

What? How could that be? After a week of Keto!

That can’t be me! I haven’t weighed this much for ages, and I didn’t feel it.

Oh right. I had gone up a size in the last year.

Oh, wait. There is a closet full of lovely clothes that did not fit…and I missed wearing them!

My usual response to this new information would have been shame. But not this time.

My response was:

  • Wow – who knew?
  • OK, now I know
  • I have work to do, and that’s fine.
  • I still feel good about myself.

That last one is all about self-love. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised.

Being an entrepreneur, no matter what stage of business you are in is a tough road. It’s full of ups and downs, failures, embarrassment, mistakes, pivots and “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” moments.

After 4 businesses, and working with many women entrepreneurs I can say that the best way through all of those down times is plenty of self-love. Being kind to yourself is the way through. Grace, not shame or embarrassment. Taking a deep breath and focusing on the next small steps will get you headed in the right direction.

One of my businesses failed and I ended up in a huge amount of debt trying to dig myself out. (That’s a story for another post.) After a terrible 3 months of shock and shame, I began to forgive myself. I took a corporate job to get the bills paid and went on to start another one.

Another of my businesses was a passion project that I adored. It was geared to the age 50+ woman and was focused on the notion that you could create a juicy life at any age. But after creating 3 courses, a few e-books, and many webinars, it just wasn’t reaching my revenue goals.

After an intense year of effort, I decided to fold it. It was going to take too much time and too much money to turn it around. It was the right business decision (no debt incurred this time!) but I was grieving, and once again, felt like a failure.

After a period of mourning, I took a big step back and reflected on the experience from a lens of self-love. I realized that I had incorporated all of those “life is a blast” thoughts and emotions into my own life and could continue to create my own definition of successful aging.

So I have had huge challenges as an entrepreneur. And I know that the sooner you can exercise that self-love muscle, the better off you and your business will be.

So my challenge to you, you fabulous women entrepreneur, you: Where are you showing yourself kindness? Where and how can you practice more self-love, forgiveness, and positive energy? It’s the strongest tool you will have in your toolbox. Trust me on this.

When Going it Alone is Going Nowhere.

Maybe it’s Time for a Mastermind.

I’ve said it before. We’re not meant to do this entrepreneur thing alone. Personally, I’d be lost without my Biz Besties, coaches and mastermind team. I thrive on the conversations, interaction, ideas and motivational accountability.

Masterminds are especially valuable for that accountability and forward momentum, but they’re not for everyone or for every stage of business.

So who is a mastermind for? And how do you know if you need one for your business? Do any of these scenarios sound like you?

  • If you’ve been in business a few years, you’re likely at a place where you’re no longer trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of business, but need an outside perspective to help you rise to the next level.
  • You are ready to implement some big new ideas and would love some guidance and ideas from others who have gone before you.
  • You’re making money in your business but sometimes (maybe too often) you get stuck in the weeds of working in your business, rather than on

What Are the Benefits of a Mastermind?

We will bring together women from different locations, industries, educational backgrounds, life stages, and experience levels. The whole point is to make space for diverse points of view, which will lead to incredibly creative ideas generated for your business.

Let’s face it. We can all get blinded by seeing things a certain way. Sometimes the approach we took in the early days is no longer working, but it can be hard to let go of the old way of doing things. I can tell you that being a part of a mastermind program has been an absolute game changer for my business. I have accomplished more, in less time, than I ever thought I could.

When you’re in the right mastermind for you, you can start to see your business and yourself through someone else’s eyes as you leverage ideas and support one another.

When you’re working inside your own business alone or with a small team, there aren’t a lot of people who know your business inside and out to help you leverage ideas. With a mastermind, you get the brainpower to do just that.

It’s really an amazing place to be in business and something that, when you show up the right way, can help grow your business by leaps and bounds.

Think about it. How many people in your personal life actually understand your business and what you do? If you run your business online, your family and friends probably give you a blank stare when you talk about Facebook ads, email marketing, client acquisition and the like

There is also something empowering about investing in yourself. It was a big leap when I started thinking of online courses, coaching, and masterminds as an investment in my business (and belief in myself!) rather than an expense. Major mindset shift there.

If you put skin in the game, you are far more likely to demand more of yourself and REALLY get results. That’s been my experience.

Even better, as a member of a mastermind, you also have the ability to share your expertise and perspective with others as you give feedback to your mastermind sisters. You learn about how others do business as you help, making you a better business owner at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.

 I’m offering just such a Mastermind starting in September. I’d love to have you join me. Click here to find out more and schedule a call to discuss it.

The Trap of Working IN Your Business, not ON it

Don’t Get Stuck in the Weeds!

Danger! Danger! Most of us start our entrepreneurial journey with a passion. A passion to serve, to share our expertise, or just for the love of what we do. With that, we jump into our business with both feet, hands and everything else and devote as much time as we can spare for the creation of our baby. But there comes a time when operating from passion and not strategy is going to hold our business growth back – in a big way.

If your desire is to grow and scale your business, then you will need to start looking for other people to do the doing so that you can be doing the visioning and strategic planning.

What are some of the ways and reasons that you are keeping yourself stuck in the weeds?

You LOVE the what of what you do.

There is certainly no shame in that! But if you love it so much that you are still doing the day to day, then there will be a cap to how many new clients and new projects you can take on, and therefore the amount of revenue you can take in.

You like to feel needed.

Looking at a packed to-do list every morning certainly will make you feel like you are needed. It may even give you a sense of security. But is that what creates value in your business and is that the best use of your talents? Perhaps you need a revised vision of how you are needed by providing the strategy and direction for the people who work for you. It’s a shift of focus, but you are needed even MORE at this level.

Chaos becomes your best friend.

When someone asks you how you are doing, how often do you answer “BUSY!” In our fast-paced world, it has become a badge of honor to be “BUSY!” Being super busy can be addictive. And stressful. Be wary of this one, as it’s a great way to reach burn-out fast. You are not doing your business or yourself any good by burning out.

No one can do it as well as you can.

Perfection paralysis or fear of delegation is so common and one of the primary ways of getting in your own way. You are afraid that if you delegate to anyone the task will not be done correctly. You need to accept that there will be many differing ways to get the hoped-for result – not just yours. Be open!

No idea what it would look like if you weren’t the worker bee.

If you have been a solopreneur for any length of time then you may not have any idea of how your business could function any other way. As I pointed out in a previous post, it’s time think like a CEO and move from doing to leading.

In all of these cases, you may be afraid of taking the big leap of bringing in people and creating a team. Bringing on your first part-time or contract person is a big leap to a solopreneur’s identity and can cause a lot of fear, understandably so. Or maybe you have done that and have a small team – maybe even a largish team, but you are still hanging on to too much of the doing.

The skill set you have mastered, and grown so comfortable with to create your business is NOT the same skill set that is required to manage people and think strategically. But you will need a new skill set if you want to grow.

I love helping solopreneurs move into the entrepreneurial realm and start to experience real growth. Let’s schedule a call to discuss your business and how I can help you.

Creating Visibility: Do Your Customers Even Know You Exist?

Tips for Boosting Visibility for Your Biz

Visibility means having your entrepreneurial business be visible to the audience you want to serve. This means being in front of them in any number of ways and creating a strategy for promoting brand awareness that is custom-made for the stage of development your business is in.

This week, I will walk you through two main aspects of visibility strategy: Scaling visibility efforts to match your stage of growth and how to make the most of your networking efforts.

Stage Appropriate Visibility Efforts.  

Your strategy for creating brand visibility needs to be tailored to the stage of development your business is currently in, with an eye towards future growth.

Startup Mode: Your focus should be on awareness and feedback from customers so that you can craft your brand and offer to what your audience wants. Visibility should be one of your top priorities during this stage. After all, no one can work with you if they don’t know you are there!

Validation Mode: (The first active 1-2 years in biz) Your focus should be on positioning and developing expertise to cement who you are and what value you bring to your customers.

Scale Mode: (2+ years in biz). Now you are in a period of growth. You want to be seen as a thought leader to create more demand on a larger scale.

Multiply Mode: When you are ready to max out your growth and reach. You should be looking for ways to elevate your personal brand.

Here are a 5 ways to create visibility that are sure wins, especially in those first few years.

1. Network strategically.

We have all been to networking events that were a waste of time. The attendees were not your target audience, the event was poorly planned, or everyone was just handing out business cards. Not a good use of your time!

Do some research in advance of signing up to attend. Go online to their website and Facebook page, check them out on LinkedIn, find a few members and connect with them directly to get a feel for past events and the overall climate of the organization. Then decide if you want to attend.

To maintain momentum with your networking, shoot for 1-3 events per month to keep yourself in circulation. But not just any event – make it count!

2. Pick an organization to join and go all in.

Sign up and show up! It’s tempting to join several organizations that look promising and then attend meetings and events only sporadically. That does you no good for your visibility; in fact it may even be harmful.

Pick ONE group that you are going to commit to. Organizations like NAWBO, E Women Network, Women’s Networking Alliance all have local chapters. There are also many industry-specific organizations that might be a better fit for your business.

Choose just one to start and make a commitment to get the most value out of your membership by attending events on a regular basis, connecting with other members, and offering to speak or sponsor events to provide value to the group as a whole. The deeper personal connections you will make by investing in quality relationships have much more value in the long run.

3. Be seen consistently.

Choose your medium wisely. You may want to create a podcast, a newsletter, or YouTube videos, but the real value will be in creating content on a consistent and predictable schedule.

You are establishing your brand and consistency sends a message that you are serious about your business, are trustworthy, and can be relied upon.

If you can’t maintain a weekly schedule than appear monthly or bi-monthly. Whatever you choose, stick to your own schedule and you will build a loyal following. It will be small to start but will grow over time.

4. Be of service – Don’t just show up, engage! Connect with the intention of assisting others, not just asking for something. Actions will speak louder than words. You will add to your visibility by being seen as a connector and someone who provides ongoing value, rather than a taker.

5. Advertising? Be careful! This is probably the first thing that we all think of for creating visibility. But no matter what platform you are considering, this will be expensive. Wait until you know what you can afford to pay per lead and make sure your business can truly afford an advertising budget.

Don’t be shy!

The most important thing in business is being visible to your perfect audience. Develop strategies that are appropriate for the stage of growth your business is in. Reach out and develop quality relationships built on adding value for those you come into contact with. Take your time to identify the right organizations to join, and commit to being an active member of that community

Do You Hate Sales? Then Don’t Sell.

Change Your Mindset: Invitation Only

I used to dread the thought of selling. It didn’t fit my personality; I hated feeling spammy or pushy. I just dreaded the whole process. But business doesn’t happen, and revenue doesn’t come in, without the selling.

The game changer for me was moving from selling to inviting. It’s an offer, not a push. Need a visual? Picture an open hand and an inviting gesture, not a grabbing motion followed by a clenching, yanking movement.  To comfortably offer an invitation you have to have confidence in the value of your offer and of yourself. You have to believe that you can help a potential customer in some way. Help them solve a problem, or grow, or get healthy. You have to really know in your heart-of-hearts that you have a product or service that you know can help your prospect.

You have to be so confident in your value that there is no NEED to push.

What would you do with a friend? Invite, don’t push.

There are so many points in the sales process where, if you shift your thinking to offering an invitation, you are far more likely to get to the next stage.

Invite someone to connect on the phone for a Discovery Call. Or an initial conversation. Whatever you want to call it.

While on the call, once you have assessed their needs and if they are a fit for what you have to offer, invite them to hear about your services.

Invite them to choose among the 2 or 3 options you have presented. (That might sound like this: “Of the 3 packages we discussed, which one feels like the right fit for you at this time)? No pushing required!

Invite them to get started with you by scheduling your first appointment, even before you have collected any money.

If they can’t decide or are on the fence, or have to check with someone (and this is a show stopper for many!) that’s OK! Ask them how long they might need for the decision-making, and invite them for a “circle back” call to decide if and when you will be working together. Schedule that call right then and there.

Both of you want to know if you should continue the conversation or not. If they ultimately don’t want to move forward, or if they don’t show up for the call, that’s fine. They were not the right client for you!

None of these steps are pushy. None of these steps have to feel uncomfortable, awkward, or invasive. Invitations are polite and respectful of you, your product/service, AND your prospect.

Sales can be a comfortable and authentic process that feels easy and natural, just like any conversation with someone new. If you walk away without closing, guess what? You now have a new network contact that you can tap in the future because you chose to invite, not push, your offerings.

Speaking of Discovery Sessions,  I’d like to invite you to join me to explore your business and how we can work together.  Click here to schedule a 30-minute call.  I’d love to connect with you to help you grow your business!