The Value Of Coaching

When I started my company in 2009, one of the first things I did was to understand what I didn’t know how to do. I loved people, I could sell, I wanted to make a difference and always wanted to bring value.  All sounds great so far right? What I didn’t really know how to do was to create a company or a business that would support me in loving people, selling, making a difference and bringing value.

So the first step was knowing what I needed and then realizing I didn’t know what I didn’t know and that is where my business coach came in.  She sat me down and asked me a lot of questions, listened to my goals or dreams and together we worked together to put that in place.  Again, sounds great so far right?  Here’s the REAL truth.  You have to know how to listen to your coach.  They have the experience and expertise. If you had an athletic coach who told you to hit the ball or kick the ball or catch the ball or whatever with the ball and you thought you knew better, where do you think that would end up?  Ok not much different with a business coach.

Everything she told me to do made perfect sense, however, I already knew that, already tried that and was already to dismiss that.  Let me just say that if you asked me what type of person I don’t ever want to coach…it would be the ones that say I’ve done that already, I’ve tried that already and the rest of that nonsense.  During one of my sessions, it was decided that I would write a book.  It wasn’t necessarily my decision as it was never on my radar, but my coach suggested that since I had 30 years of “stuff” in my head, why not organize it and share it with others.  I finally agreed and she told me to have an outline, not the book itself, just an outline completed by a certain date.  I sheepishly agreed and didn’t really give it another thought.  Remember, I knew better…The date came and we were having a session and towards the end she asked me to show her the outline. It was not completed or really, it was not even started.  She was less than happy but very professional.  She didn’t say what she probably wanted to say but she did say this… “Let’s get in the car and drive for a few minutes.  Then let’s open the windows and throw all your money out, roll up the windows and leave.” I thought she had lost her mind and then she finished with “Why are you paying me all this money when you don’t do any of the work? How will your business ever get off the ground? How will people know who you are?  How will you ever make a difference or bring value?”  That was the day I realized how important a coach really is.

The truth is that coaching helps people focus on the things that are contributing to their being stuck, and then move beyond them.  I knew I was stuck in a place that I didn’t recognize and I needed someone who knew better than I did and who was totally objective to move me along. Harvey Mackay said, “Athletes and actors have long hired coaches to help prepare for a specific competition or role. But they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from expert advice. Coaches are available to help people in any field improve their “game.” You see will all need to improve our game…no matter what field that is in.

There are so many reasons to have a coach for your business. Ever think about what qualities you should look for? I put together a Slide Share about this topic.  Here are the highlights and you can go to slideshare.net- 15 Qualities You Should Look For In A Business Coach. You can check it out at https://www.slideshare.net/JHoberman/15-qualities-you-should-look-for-in-a-business-coach.  The highlights are below:

  • FRIENDSHIP Builds a Mutual Relationship based on mutual respect. Look for someone who uses respectful dialogue. This could turn into a life-long friendship. Even though this begins as a business relationship, in order to be truly effective, it generally goes beyond that phase because the coach learns as much from the client as the client learns from the coach.
  • TRUST Not everyone in today’s society has a trusted advisor they can count on. Many people have ulterior motives when they are asked to help someone else. A great coach is someone you can trust and has true interest in your success and reaching your self-declared goals.
  • LISTEN A great coach really understands good listening is often taken for granted. The very best conversations and relationships involve our intentional listening- listening to learn, with a clear and quiet mind, not just waiting for our turn to speak. Listening is a great coach’s gift to their client!
  • INSPIRE A great coach helps create a vision and helps describe it. They will understand your passion and continues to inspire you by reminding you of your original passion and purpose.
  • EXPERIENCE A great coach should have years of experience and speaks your language. Their experience should not only bring an understanding in business, but more importantly, experience with people.
  • GOALS Many times goals are set too low requiring minimal effort to reach them, or too high where it becomes unrealistic to reach them. A great coach helps you set realistic goals that are achievable but requires effort to reach them.
  • MOTIVATION What drives you? What are you looking to achieve? It’s easy to be derailed when your goals aren’t reached quickly enough. A great coach defines your goals and breaks them down into small steps so that you can see successes along the way.
  • ORGANIZED A great coach provides organization & simplification. They help order thoughts and gives a formula for success and help develop a process to achieve whatever you want to accomplish. A great coach customizes the process to align with your needs.
  • CHALLENGE A great coach identifies challenges. Including ones that you may not even see which can prepare you for a smoother outcome. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know!
  • PATH A great coach develops solutions. They help develop a path out of the challenges at hand. A road map that runs interference and provides a clear path to achieve your vision.
  • EXPECTATIONS A great coach is someone who helps guide expectations. They help you to understand your own expectations which tend to be influenced many times with over optimism. Reasonable expectations with early successes, victories and important milestones reached will take away the discouragement many find while navigating a difficult path.
  • GROWTH A great coach ensures your growth by challenging you. They move you out of your comfort zone with necessary steps and actions to achieve your goals and create scenarios and opportunities for you to be well rounded.
  • MEASURE A great coach evaluates your performance. They develop a process that measures your performance. Constantly evaluating your performance with real time feedback gives you the opportunity to learn and trains you to solve your own challenges with a set of effective tools.
  • ACCOUNTABLE A great coach is an accountability partner. For your self-declared goals, a coach will provide constructive feedback so that you can achieve what you set out to do. You are less likely to hold yourself fully accountable if you don’t share your goals with someone that is a trusted and objective partner.
  • SUPPORT A great coach is supportive. They are always there for support even when there may not be anyone else that can see, believes in, or supports your vision.

Remember, Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.

Business Or Expensive Hobby

 

Here’s the scenario…you decide you have something that will solve a solution for others.  You’ve researched the market through surveys, focus groups and lots of connections. This is what you’ve been put here to do and so now you do as Nike as reminded you for decades and you “Just Do It” and voila you have a business…or do you?  So-Is it a business or a hobby?

Let’s think about this…like almost anything else, the beginning of something can dictate how it will be in the future.  If you’re in a relationship and the beginning is not good, you might be given a bird’s eye view of what it will be going forward.  If you have a client that is less than desirable, you will probably see what that relationship will be for you.  The truth is that this phase of your business SHOULD be the most exciting on one hand because rest assured, on the other hand it can also be the one that will try your patience at every turn. There will be people, even those closest to you, that will tell you that you are crazy for doing this while others have no idea how you can be so courageous. You’ll have times that you look at something that you’ve created or written and smile and know that is exactly what you were aiming for and then…you have to scrap it because it really isn’t solving a problem…only one that you are creating. And then there are those times when you are ready to just throw your hands up because this is NOT what you bargained for. So using my first thought, if the beginning isn’t good, should you just move along? To this I say No!

We’ve heard that if you have passion and heart that you can start your own business and be successful; you know “Do what you love and the money will follow”…unfortunately business doesn’t really follow that.  What you want to determine is if you have a business or really only have an expensive hobby. You’re an incredible baker, but is that passion and skill enough for the million-dollar business you have in your head? Right look at Debbie Fields…the truth is she had a lot more than just a great cookie.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you jump into the world of entrepreneurship that might give you a chance to succeed instead of hitting head first into a wall…and by the way, these were the questions that I asked myself:

  • What do I do?
  • How do I do it?
  • What will bring in revenue?
  • How do I decide what I want to be when I grow up?

My self-doubt was at an all-time high. In my case, I found a business coach who helped lead me on the right and best path. I made so many mistakes that most of us make and made so many that I even wrote a book about it “Famous Isn’t Enough: Earning Your Fortune As An Entrepreneur” I believed if I could save another excited entrepreneur some time and money, that would be perfect.  Of course some of you will make the same mistakes or detours that I’ve made and that’s ok because sometimes you have to experience something yourself to truly understand.  Just make sure you learn the lesson so you can share your wisdom with other budding entrepreneurs down the road.

The sad reality is that nine out of ten startups will fail. While this sounds like the end is near, if you work hard, stay focused and listen to those that have been there done that, your chances of success are greater

For those of you that would like some steps to take to be in the 10% success group rather than the 90% that aren’t, here you go:

  1. Do Your Research-While your mom and BFF will be true supporters of your newest venture, it’s probably better to do some of your own research. You can do this in person, via surveys or on social media. Make sure you do a wide enough circle of people so that you get true readings.
  2. Build Your Audience First-Ok you’re off…but there is no one there to receive what you are offering. If you are doing a launch and only 3 people show up, you will be frustrated but you will also realize how important it is to build your audience first. Start sharing content that is directly related to what you will be offering and make sure it is valuable and exciting. Don’t believe what some say that you should hold your best information and content for paying clients. How and why would people want to work with you if the only thing you are sharing is fluff? When you share and give right from the beginning you are letting others know that is your M.O. and to stay tuned for more of where that came from.
  3. Never Stop Learning-We all want to be known as the thought leaders in our circles. However, even if you own that title, you should always continue in the learning process.  Reach out to those that are in your space or way beyond your space and ask…If you never ask the answer is always no. Also always remember not to hoard your experience and expertise.  Remember those budding entrepreneurs that are ready to learn? Share with them. You too should be one of those because if you are the smartest in the room, you are in the wrong room.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid Of Technology-there are so many tools out there that can shorten your learning curve or enhance your offerings. If you are not tech-savvy, find someone who is. Maybe there is something you can barter that they need until you can both share financially.  But, if that isn’t the case, technology challenges can cause you to be behind the 8-ball so find a way to stay as current as possible. There are so many tools that are free to use…and I bet that YouTube has a tutorial on that. When you are ready to add to your team, someone with strengths in technology would be one of the first to add.
  5. Think About Revenue From The Beginning-Some entrepreneurs are lucky enough to have investors that will help finance their businesses. Most of us are not that fortunate. Either way, have to think about “Show Me The Money” from the beginning. What is your cash flow? How will you pay your bills without dipping into your personal funds? You want your business to grow and like it or not, money is part of that.  Be part of the 10% not the 90% of businesses that succeed.

Michael Dell said, “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.”

Getting Your Message Out

When you start a new business, one of the first things you do is to create a product or service that is ideal for your target market.  You set the price, you have the features and benefits and you are ready to rock and roll.  Until you realize that you don’t know how to let your target market know that you have the solution that they need.  It’s like having to ends pulling in opposite directions…you have what they need and they need what you have…so what’s next?

When I first started my company in 2009, I did not know one person in Dallas, other than the people that worked in the company I just resigned from…not necessarily the best people to share my message with.  I had to figure out how I could let people know what I was doing, why I was doing it and with whom I wanted to share it with.  So of course we always go back to basics and that is identifying your target market.  Ok that’s done…now what?  I could call everyone I knew and let them know but… I just finished saying I didn’t know anyone in Dallas and thought I should start with a model close to home first.  My first option was to network and meet people…and I did…lots of people of course I networked anywhere and everywhere and 90% of the people I met were not my ideal target…but I did meet people and they did know people so that was working somewhat.

I also hired a business coach and of course, since I knew better, I didn’t really listen to all her brilliant suggestions…until she called me out and asked why didn’t I just roll down my windows in my car and throw money out of them since that’s what I was basically doing with my coaching sessions.  She would suggest, I would resist.  She would suggest, I would ignore.  It was a wonderful cha cha…and that did continue for a bit until I was not seeing anyone want to do anything with me or my business and couldn’t understand why.  So I asked my coach and she laughed and said ok now are you ready to listen?

She told me I needed to do two things to share my message in a wider circle but not stop doing the things I was already doing.  You have to build wide not high to spread your name. So along with all the things I was actively doing in Dallas like networking and doing 1:1 connections, writing articles etc.  I also decided to add speaking to my activities.  Of course I wasn’t going to be able to demand big speaker fees since no one knew me, I had to keep my eyes on the goal…getting my name out.  I started speaking at every Chamber, Rotary, Women’s organizations and any place that would have me.  Each time I spoke, I not only met people but I also perfected my talk so that it was more focused, relevant and valuable to the audience.

The other thing my coach told me to do, was to write a book…that was NEVER on my radar and again our dance continued until I finally cried “Uncle” and promised to give it a shot. It took me about 6 months to write the book and the first printing of 750 books was delivered to me at a conference where I was the keynote speaker on a stage of almost all men, to a group of almost 4,000.  The books sold out and I had people ordering them online and it was awesome.

Now, when you ask people about Judy Hoberman, many know me.  When you ask about Selling In A Skirt…most know my company and my message.  A lot of time and hard work was needed…of course had I listened sooner, who knows how much time might have been cut out of the equation.

So what are some ways to get your business and your name known?  Well, for starters I would try to get myself entrenched locally…again, use it as a template and see what works or doesn’t instead of jumping on a plane only to realize, you should have tried it locally first. Here are a few suggestions…

  1. It’s all about relationships. Whether it’s with business owners, CEOs, Presidents of companies or other entrepreneurs…build the relationship before you need it.  I realize you need it now, but not with everyone at the same time. While you’re at it, start developing relationships with local reporters. Do you know how valuable you can be to a reporter? You are a new business, or an existing one.  You are in the community and you might have some valuable insight into a story they are working on.  Or perhaps you can bring a story to them.  Trust me, reporters look for people that have a story that is interesting or intriguing and….most importantly show up. Once you do, and they know they can count on you…you become a favorite.  I am on a radio show in Oregon every month as a business contributor.  Why? Because we talk about things that are interesting to HIS audience.
  2. How about local newspapers or magazines? Why not be a contributor there?  Any idea what happens when you are published?  You are now the expert in your space and you can become a regular contributor.  Once you get one article published, you can use that as a resource for others.
  3. Ever thought about winning an award or being on a local list? You know the newspapers and magazines I just mentioned?  They run contests, awards and produce lists of the best of the best…if you don’t have anyone to nominate your business, do it yourself.  Remember, the goal is to get your name out there so find an award or list that reflects your area of expertise.  I was recently named Mentor of the Year from The Women of Visionary Influence here in Dallas.  I was nominated without me even knowing about it and was truly honored.
  4. Network with intention. Yes, you can go to every event and meet lots of people and yes those people know people but…it might be a better move to network with your target audience or your strategic partners.  I would rather have 5 qualified networking events a month than one a day that is truly non-productive.  Can I just say, been there, done that and bought the T-shirt…many times over?
  5. Relationships are not just with people that you are hoping will share your name and brand. They should also be with your clients. Think about what a happy client will do.  They will give you referrals and testimonials.  They will keep coming back and bringing their friends.  They will want everyone to have the same incredible experience with your company as they did. This does not happen the first time you do something great and they buy something from you.  That is the beginning.  The follow-up is the most important part of the sale. Many times clients will be excited to be at the ground-floor with a new business.  You get to let them in on what’s coming next and when they know you are trying to build your company, depending on the experience they have had with you, they will either help you or go running into the hills. Let them know that you are there for the long-haul and nurture those relationships.

Remember, the customer’s perspective is your reality.

What Would You Do-Over?

 

 

 

 

I was thinking about some of the things that have happened in my life, both the amazing and the not so much fun times.  I started daydreaming about the woulda, coulda, shoulda ways the outcome might have been different and realized that things happen just as they are supposed to and that everything we do has a lesson attached to it…but what if we got a second chance to change things? What if we were able to take some of the adversities we go through and turn them around and what if we had a Do-Over?

When we think about fairy tales, everyone lives happily ever after…but even fairy tales have adversity…the poison apple, the lost shoe, being locked in the tower…. That is something that every one of us has to go through at some point in our lives. Will it create us to feel broken or damaged? Will it make us feel stuck? Will it define who we are?  What if we decided that we are going to overcome this situation and perhaps look at it from a different perspective?  Is it possible to step outside of your situation and think about the advice you would give to that person going through it?  Of course, we are our own worst critics and as a coach, I can see clearly what’s going on in someone else’s life…but the truth is that I’m just too close to what’s going on in mine to step outside of it. And sometimes, you can’t even put into words what is happening in your life. Ever feel like that?

When I was working in my corporate position, I knew I wasn’t in the right situation.  I loved part of what I did but what I didn’t love definitely outweighed the positive.  I knew there were changes that needed to be made but wasn’t sure what, how, when it would or could happen.  When I decided to think about me for just a few hours, I listened to someone, who later became my business coach, speak to a group of women.  Her message was “Get Radical” and although I am a child of the bra burning, pants-suit wearing feminist’s era, getting radical and being radical was not on my bucket list. However, it was as though she spoke directly to me in this crowd of women and I knew that I could get out of my situation and start over…again.  I had started over for other reasons in my life, but this was going to be a doozy.  Let’s just say, I’m like a cat and land on my feet, but this time felt different.  The first thing I had to do was emotionally detach myself from my situation.  Sounds easy right?  Well here are some ways to do just that:

~Accept what is going on-the more you fight, the more you lose.  Why stay in a situation that will eventually cause you more suffering, whether it is emotionally, financially or physically.   What the key is in the situation is not getting rid of it, it’s how you react to it. Remember life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it.

~Try and look at this as a positive thing-As much as we don’t want to admit it, going through adversity can actually be a good thing.  As I said, every situation you go through should give you some lessons to take you forward.  If everything was easy breezy, don’t you think life would be just a little boring?  I know we wish for boring some times, but the challenges we face bring us to understanding just how great it is to get beyond the challenges.

~Keep your purpose alive-If you lose your purpose and passion, adversity wins. Remember why you started doing what you are doing.  Remember who and what brought you to the dance and remember that the outcome is bigger than the present situation you are going through.

And finally

~Remember your personal board of directors-make sure that the people that are around you, can guide you away from the adversity you are going through.  You cannot and should not try to do things by yourself.  When you choose staying in bed with your blankets over your head rather than facing the situation head on, you are destined to go enter that downward spiral.

Let’s admit that life has its ups and downs and as we all know and have been taught, that what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger (which is my closing song on my radio show   w4wn.com/radio-shows/selling-in-a-skirt-with-judy-hoberman/) Sometimes the challenges we go through seem to last much longer than we had hoped for but that shouldn’t mean we give up and accept defeat.  It just means that there could be a second chance heading our way that gives us an opportunity to begin again. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that you get to have a complete do-over and rectify your mistakes.  But it does mean you have the chance to look at ways to make different choices and try it again. Taking that second chance may just give you back some of the confidence you lost or see things in a different light or maybe even defy all odds.  Sometimes life gives you a second chance because maybe the first time your weren’t ready.

When I go back through my life and think about all the different challenges I faced, it’s a wonder I am still standing and smiling.  As a single mom for 19 years, I had the challenge of supporting my children emotionally and financially.  I did not have the luxury of not succeeding.  It was my job to create an environment where they were loved, nurtured and had the ability to succeed.   My motivation were my children.  In fact, people laugh when I tell them that on my desk, where I made my calls to schedule my insurance appointments, were pictures of my children and their tuition bills…nothing more motivating than that.

I also had one hand tied behind my back because I added to my own situation when I was the only woman in my company and I was a commission based salesperson.  You see, I chose my career.  I chose to do what I did and how I did it.  I chose to make things happen.  We all make choices and whether or not some of our adversities are because of choices we had made or not, again, it’s how we are prepared for battle.  I relied on believing in myself, my family, my friends and my faith that I would get over that enormous challenge and be successful…whatever my definition is.  As Zig Ziglar said, “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful”. A little background music can add to that as well J

 

 

Making Your Sales Relationship Into A Selling Relationship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Your Sales Relationship Into A Selling Relationship

Building relationships requires time, effort and patience. It requires a strategy unique to each situation and prospect. It doesn’t mean developing a shrewd approach to ingratiate yourself with your prospects. If your approach is not heartfelt, it won’t work because people can see through a phony attitude. Successful companies and salespeople are service oriented with one goal in mind…getting the best and most for their money.

I’m sure most everyone is familiar with Southwest Airlines.  Their focus is on building relationships and customer service and oh, by the way, they also fly airplanes!

 

Many salespeople go right into promoting their product or service as soon as they get the prospects attention instead of focusing on the relationship.

Most successful salespeople are relationship focused rather than sale focused.  This is important before, during and after the sale.

 

Some things to remember:

  1. Listen more than you talk. This is the key to building relationships. Jeffrey Gitomer said this so eloquently~ “You will never listen yourself out of a customer.”
  2. Stop talking and ask questions-Asking questions begins the relationship, listening cements it
  3. Be generous with your time even before you make a sale. Treat them “as if” give them valuable information, give them referrals to their business and send a handwritten thank you…even without a sale
  4. Use tools to stay in touch- detailed notes you can refer to i.e. new baby, wedding, new home. You would be surprised how you stand out of the crowd just by asking how their vacation was or how the wedding was or in one case for me, remembering that the reason the original appointment was rescheduled was because a new floor was being put down
  5. Touch people without selling them i.e. congrats on an award, google alert or even a great article that reminded you of them. It’s not always about selling to them.
  6. Be consistent, persistent and professional. You want to be remembered for the right reasons

 

Selling is about building relationships. This cannot be said enough.

Did you know that it costs 5x more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customer? Translation=there is value in long term relationships-they turn into repeat buyers and become your walking ambassadors. Businesses don’t do business; people do business. Don’t miss out on the opportunities to develop relationships with a prospect because you are too focused on your sales pitch…Research confirms that companies and individuals who work hard at building and maintaining strong business relationships consistently outperform those who do not.

Remember always to Be Interested and not Interesting

 

 

Are You Enough? Insight in the Dentist’s Chair…

 

 

dentist

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve written in my blog.  Since I write a monologue every week for my radio show, it feels like I’ve been writing on a consistent basis but I soon realized that listening is different than reading. I promise to get back to writing and sharing my thoughts with you on a regular basis.  Today something interesting happened to me and it brought out some underlying feelings that I didn’t think were still in my mind.  Let’s start at the beginning of the day.

This morning I had my quarterly visit to the dentist.  I am not a lover of the dentist and have special challenges each time I go. Even when it’s simply a cleaning, I am the recipient of nitrous oxide aka laughing gas plus many “doses” of Novocain. While I may be a strong woman in so many instances, when it comes to the dentist, I am the biggest woos of all times.  Now if you’ve never had gas, let me explain how it works…you just don’t care.  It’s like everything is delayed.  You hear something and by the time you really hear it, it has already happened. There is music in the background and you try to zero in on the song, but it’s a bit hard to focus. When you think of something, you’ve already said it. When you feel some pressure, it’s already happened so I go back to…you just don’t care.

I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair…  I’m under the effects of the gas and am shot full of Novocain when the dentist tells me I need a crown.  What??? In the 60 years of my life, the only thing the dentist has ever told me, is that I have great teeth, a great smile and see you in a few months…Not today though. Now I have to gear myself up for this new situation. Will it hurt more? Will I no longer have a great smile or great teeth?  Am I falling victim to my advanced age? I’m trying to listen to the song playing and it’s not doing anything to calm my nerves.  Ordinarily when I’m in the dentist chair, I have two pictures in my head.  The first is the one that I have on my desk of the Colonel. He is standing there smiling as we proudly shared our first Thanksgiving together.  It generally makes me smile and calm.

Don Thanksgiving

 

The other picture is of me with my kids who are all making the same silly face.

You can see he resemblance and it generally makes me smile and calm…not today though.

family resemblance

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I started to talk to myself, not out loud, but in my mind, at least I think it was.  I start with “It’s not that bad.  You’ll be ok.  It doesn’t hurt. You’ll be ok.”  When suddenly, the words switched to “You’re not strong enough to get through this”, “You’re not smart enough to understand what’s happening” “You’re not brave enough to get through this without crying” and so many other “enough” words.  Really?  While I’m breathing the “I don’t care” gas and I’m heading back to being enough? I started shaking my head and thinking about what I say to my clients and mentees when they question if they’re enough. And then the conversation switched to “You’re strong enough to do this” “You’ve got this” “It’s nothing that will get the better of you” and “So what if you cry!”

That’s when it hit me.  No matter how old you are, what situation you are in or how amazing you are, we still go back to old tapes in our heads.  Now I know you’re rolling your eyes thinking, she is comparing dental work to negotiating a salary or a position or being strong and competent? And I say yes because no matter what, we have to realize that we are enough and we need to repeat that to ourselves in order to get through any situation.  Sometimes you might need someone else to bounce this off of such as a coach or a mentor. I unfortunately did not have access to my phone to grab my lifeline of a coach but I did breathe and maybe took an extra few whiffs of the gas and knew I had this…I went back to seeing those pictures in my head and knew I was going to be just fine and you know what???? I AM ENOUGH!

When you finish this post, go back to LinkedIn or FB or wherever you found the link and not only like this, but type in CROWN so I know you also know you are enough….

 

 

Top Women CEOs on How Innovation Drives Business

According To A Recent Article In Forbes, Today 26 Fortune 500 Companies Have Women CEOs.

business-crystal-bay-incline-village-llc-corporationThis is a great improvement over the past, and it bears study as these women have some interesting things to say about business in general and how innovation works to drive business growth.

According to Denise Evans, a VP of Market development at IBM, women should have a plan to integrate work and life. Because so many women are involved in both careers and families, they must take this into account as they begin planning their career goals. Sandra Fenwick of Boston Children’s Hospital recommends that women have passion and a vision for what is possible. Lori Fouche of Prudential touts confidence and the ability to sometimes say “no,” even if you want to please.

Although these women have slightly different approaches to business management, they all agree that innovation is a key factor in business and that without it businesses will fail to grow. Innovation may mean different things to these women, of course. In fact, each woman interviewed had a slightly different outlook on what innovation was and how her company categorized and dealt with the question of innovative strategies and goals. Sandra Fenwick sees it as “curing the incurable,” while Lori Fouche focuses on “bring us your challenges.” Karen Abramson of Wolters Kluwer promotes “contextual design” to watch clients use their products for inspiration.

No matter how these women see innovation, however, they all agree that it is vital to a thriving business. While it is not always easy to live with an innovation mindset because it involves constant change, innovation is the lifeblood of growth for these industries.

Women CEOs perhaps understand this need for innovation because they must be so flexible within their own lives, juggling families and careers. Whatever the case, all the successful women CEOs interviewed agreed that an innovation mindset was the key to making a business grow!

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5 Tips to Empower the Entrepreneurial Woman

Entrepreneurial Women Are A Special Group.

 

MAFE-24We sizzle with excitement and we are always busy and full of ideas! However, sometimes we may feel that our joy is stolen and our potential drained by those who want to keep us down. Here are five tips to empower any entrepreneurial woman and get her motivated even in the face of adversity!

 

  1. Own Your Greatness. You are not perfect, but you are great! Own your greatness and do not be afraid to shine! Knowing your greatness means that you understand your strengths and have a plan to deal with your weaknesses. It does not mean being overconfident or discounting dangers, but it does mean being sure you can deal with each situation as it arises. Being confident is always great!
  2. Be Fearless. Did you know that fear is actually a good sign? Fear, far from being a negative, is our body and mind’s way of alerting us to change. Fear does not always indicate danger; sometimes it simply alerts us to things of which we are unaware or unsure. If you are moving forward, it is natural to feel fear, but do not give in! Channel that fear to create something awesome.
  3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. You will never reach your goals without hard work. Keep an eye on your productivity and, if you find that you are becoming distracted, change tactics to remove your distractions. Soon you will be moving toward your goals at a much faster rate!
  4. Define Your Fabulous. What does fabulous look like to you? This is another way of saying set concrete goals and move toward them. Keep your eye on what you really want to accomplish and visualize what that looks like. When you have a visual end goal in mind, you are much more likely to pursue it and more likely to recognize how close you are to achieving it.
  5. Go Get It. You will never achieve anything that you do not pursue. Go out and get what you want, and never apologize for chasing your dreams! This means hard work, but it also means great rewards.

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Ten Useful Tips For The First-Time Business Owner

Owning A Business Is Extremely Exciting; It Is Also Hard Work And It Is Easy To Make Mistakes!

successful-business-ideasYou will not avoid every mistake of a first-time business owner, but with the right guidance you can make good decisions and avoid the problems that may cause some business owners to give up.  Hang in there; it does get better!

Here are ten useful tips for first-time business owners to help you stay on track:

  1. Focus. It is easy to get sidetracked, so stay on task.  It may help to have weekly or even daily meetings with others to bring you back to center.
  2. Do What You Know and Know What You Do. You got into business because you enjoy doing something, most likely.  If this is the case, stick with what you know and like.  Just because someone comes up with a “great idea” for a business does not mean it is right for you.
  3. Say It Fast or Don’t Say It At All. There is an old adage that says that if you cannot say something in under one minute it will take you ten.  Be prepared to pitch your business in under a minute at any time.  You never know when opportunity may arise!
  4. Know What You Know, What You Don’t Know and Where to Find The Answers. You do not have the answer to every problem.  Be sure to surround yourself with those who have these answers and lean on them when necessary.
  5. You Are a Start-up, So Act Like It! It is easy to get carried away with spending, but it is important that you do not. Be sure to act as if you are a “starving artist” when you start a business.
  6. Learn From Your Mistakes. You are going to make mistakes, so treat them as learning opportunities.
  7. No One Will Give You Money. Grooming investors comes later.  Right now, you need to prove that your business is viable.
  8. Take Care of Yourself. Eat, sleep and exercise.  You cannot function if you are not healthy.
  9. Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Demonstrate by your actions that you are a person of integrity.
  10. Know When To Quit. Stop before you are forced to quit.  If your idea does not work, try something different!

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Is There Really a Work/Life Balance?

Some people claim that they never find
the balance between work and “real life.” 

1-border-workIn fact, one of the most common complaints from the women I speak to is that their careers seem to eat up their personal lives, leaving them no time for family and friends.

In my book Selling in a Skirt as well as my newest book PURE WEALTH:  26 Ways To Crazy Profitability, I acknowledge that it can be difficult to find the balance between work and life.  However, I believe that the reason it is so hard for some women is that they have an unrealistic idea of what that balance should be.

First of all, there is no one-size-fits-all mathematical equation for balancing work and life.  I know women who work 70 hours a week and are perfectly happy while others work a more conventional 40-hour week and are miserable.  Much depends on your business; if you are doing something you love, the line between “work time” and “fun time” tends to blur.  Many women also see their businesses as a child that they must grow and nurture, and this leads them to spend many hours working on that business without missing the personal time they are giving up. 

Furthermore, the work/life balance will shift over time as your personal circumstances change.  Women who never wanted to leave the office suddenly become homebodies when the children arrive, for example, and women who devoted their days to their families may suddenly find a new lease on life when the kids leave home and Mom has a chance to start her own business!

I think the key to finding the right balance of work and play should be based on achievement and enjoyment.  This means setting goals for both your personal life and your business life.  If you want a cleaner house, look into hiring someone to take care of these project for you, and apply those hours to your business. You will feel better about yourself, your home and your work. If making time for a weekly date night with your significant other is important to you, be sure to schedule time for that.  The goals you set and pursue are the ones you are going to accomplish, so be sure to set goals in both areas of your life.

Is there a work/life balance?  Yes, and it’s not the same for everyone, but right now I am in balance for me!

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