Archives for November 2013

Who says our life’s work won’t hurt?

Not a day goes by where I don’t have at least one conversation with someone who says they are committed to doing their life’s work. Yet, when the rubber meets the road, many fall by the wayside.

Many people are under the mistaken notion that doing their life’s work means all will unfold without a hitch.

This is absolutely NOT TRUE. The reality is this; often, when someone is on their path and doing their life’s work, there is frustration, hurdles, tears, pain and multiple challenges.

I truly believe those who say: “When you are doing your life’s work, all is a bed of roses,” are doing others a great disservice.

There are times when circumstances can be downright gut-wrenching. There are times you will be brought to your knees and can’t help but cry about what has been put in front of you.

If you don’t believe this to be true maybe you haven’t looked close enough.

A great example of someone who continues on her path against all odds is Tia Torres. Not only Tia, but the entire crew at Villalobos Rescue Center.

A recent post on Facebook on the Villalobos page is what triggered this blog post and knowing part of my life’s work is pulling back the covers on BS that is being spread around about what doing one’s life’s work is truly about.

dog tiaWhat grabbed me about the Villalobos FB wall post were the pictures of a near-dead dog that had been chained to the rescue center’s gate and another picture of Tia carrying the dog in a blanket.

At this point, no one knows if the dog will live, but the crew will do all they can to make tia with dogthis possible.

There were plenty of people chiming in on the wall where the pictures were posted cheering Tia on. That’s all well and good, but the fact is, cheers and applause alone won’t solve the problem. Donations are desperately needed.

As a previous donor to Villalobos Rescue Center, I didn’t have to think twice about clicking the donate button. Yet, I have to wonder how many people didn’t.

What started with one dog rescue over 20 years ago has turned into countless dog rescues by Tia and her crew. Sadly, what was financially manageable at one point is becoming near impossible to keep up with. They need more financial support than ever before.

Even if my life’s work is not doing what people like Tia are doing, donating to causes like this is. This is why having a successful business is so flipping important to me. A portion of our business revenues continues to go to various charities we believe in. This is all part of my life’s work.

What is your life’s work, and what are you doing to assure you stay the course?

Far too many people say: “When I make more I will donate.”

It doesn’t work that way. When you donate, tithe and give to those things you believe in, the Universe creates even more opportunity for you to succeed, so you can continue to be a good steward of your blessings.

Today, someone needs help. Tomorrow, it may be you. Be blessed and be a blessing.

Click here to donate to Villalobos.

Found money – building streams of passive income

foundmoneyEager to build a successful business? If so, there are a few things that you absolutely must do to achieve your outcome.

The fact is you have to work at building your business. AND… you MUST treat it like a business.

1. Keep accurate financial books. Set up your systems so you are paying your taxes throughout the year rather than getting stuck with a huge tax bill at the end of the year. I speak for U.S. business owners, as I do not know the tax laws in other countries.

A skilled bookkeeper or accountant is a must.

2. Be willing to invest in your education. However, as you learn new information, apply it. It never ceases to amaze me how many people will either not invest anything in their knowledge base or buy so much, without applying anything.

Education application is a discipline.

3. Secure the services of a top-notch mentor. Mentors who have “been there, done that” can cut years off your learning curve.

4. Develop a solid marketing plan. Marketing plans are not stagnant. Developing your plan is a fluid process.

5. Commit to the long term. Far too many people give up way too soon because they are not making thousands a day within a month of starting a business.

6. Enjoy the process. There will be times you wonder, “what the heck was I thinking?” Yet, one day, you begin to see progress and you say, “aahhh, yes, this is what I was thinking.”

Although all of the above are necessary to build a successful business, it takes money to build your business. Yet, not everyone has as much money as they need to make the “magic” happen.

Enter various ways to find money.  It seems some people have a knack for generating money while others struggle to do.

The best way to know how to find money is to learn from those who have done so and continue to do so.

My friend and colleague, David Perdew, knows how essential “finding” money is. David has a very important mission; to teach as many entrepreneurs as possible how to successful build their online businesses.

In answer to how to find money, David has put together a really cool program called, Create Passive Income Streams.

You are going to love what you will learn. Click here to learn more and get your very own copy.

Crowdfunding for Authors and Speakers

I've had an interest in crowdfunding for quite some time. Lately my fascination has grown as I've watched some crowdfunding projects do great while others fall short of the financial goal. Some are downright disastrous.

A great success comes from a Facebook friend who hit his numbers with time to spare. He is raising money to publish a children's book. It's been fun watching Bryce Westervelt reach his goal. Lots of people supported his dream. That's one thing that makes crowd funding so successful, your community.

This got me to thinking; what does it take for some campaigns to be wildly successful and others not?

Thus began my search for the answer. While looking for information on the topic one person kept showing up in search after search as one of the top go-to experts on the topic is Debe Fennell.

Debe quickly agreed to share insights as to how authors and speakers can benefit from crowdfunding. She shares some of the most important questions you must ask before any project.

Debe writes: crowdfunding is a very viable avenue for authors and speakers to raise funds, but it can be tricky, if you don’t really understand how it all works.  When I talk about crowdfunding I primarily speak about social media marketing, but the conversation always revolves around a company’s business plan and the financial needs of the owners. There are many ways to approach creating or growing a start-up business, but the principals of business are always the same.

Crowdfunding is an extension of the business plan, an elaboration of the marketing plan and it is only one component of fundraising, not the entire plan.  So, knowing ones financial picture, is essential. And, as a part of the overall marketing plan for launch or continued growth, owners must know who their “crowd” is, how big that database is and whether those people will be inclined to donate, pre-purchase a product or seek the reward offered for the donation.

How much money should I ask for? On several sites, if you don’t make your goal, you don’t get anything. So, consider asking for less money, because you can always go over that amount. Come up with the amount of money you want to raise and divide the number of people in your database into that number and that’s how much each individual has to give to reach your goal.

Find out who among your “crowd” has a list and ask if they will mail or post for you during your crowdfunding project. It’s like an affiliate email campaign, but with some differences in the way you converse with people. Your crowd consists of your friends and family, their friends and family and anyone else you can get to help support your project. This takes organization and coordination in clear terms. It may seem casual, but it’s anything but.

Creating a crowdfunding project includes creating one or more videos, emails, blogs, social media posts and short messages. These always include the link to your project page, where people can learn about the details of your project and donate. There are 5 aspects of any project you need to consider and relate to your “crowd”:

  • What is the money for?               
  • What specifically will you do with the money?
  • What will your rewards for donations be?           
  • What is your timetable for sending the rewards after the completion of your crowdfunding project?
  • Why are you doing this project?

Most projects last for 60 to 120 days, depending on which site you choose to host your project. Some people do the project from their own website or Facebook page. Unless you’re skilled at social media, I’d caution against doing that. There are a myriad of issues with the donations/rewards payment and delivery systems that can be huge draws on your time…better to leave that to people who have already figured out how to do it.

There are bound to be questions in your mind about crowdfunding and I’m happy to provide answers.

About the author
DebeFennellDebe Fennell is adept in public relations, marketing and promotion for the music industry, real estate, education companies and for non-profits. Debe is a veteran in the music industry as a journalist for a national trade newspaper (R&R), nationally syndicated radio shows, and 10 years as a national record label (BMG, Curb) promotion executive. She has managed PR, affiliate relations and marketing for high-end speaker authors, handling national TV, radio, print and book publishing. Ms. Fennell is a frequent speaker, guest business on radio shows (Billions Debe is associated with the National Crowdfunding Association, (intermediary & advocacy with the SEC for crowdfunding), and Entrepreneurship Nevada.

Is this the reason you blend in and your market doesn’t know who you are?

Do people know what you stand for? What’s your unique perspective? Do you stand out from the competition?

For most, the answer is no. Case in point, a few days ago, I had a laser coaching session with a woman who I was convinced was boring. That is before I got on the phone with her.

Prior to the phone conversation, I checked out her website. To say her content was bland is an understatement. There was nothing that stood out to make her unique. The copy positioned her as one among many rather than a unique voice.

Within moments of our conversation, she revealed how truly passionate she is about her life’s work.

“I have news for you. The reason you are not attracting much business is because people have no clue what you stand for. Your copy doesn’t state your POV—point of view. I recommend you take what you just shared with me and create new copy for your website. What you have is boring and has no unique tone to it. You are NOT what you portray on your site. You are interesting; your copy is not,” I advised.

“But what if someone doesn’t like what I stand for?” she was quick to question.

“I’ve got news for you. The more you speak your truth the more likely it is there will be people who won’t like you and won’t want to hear from you. On the other hand, there will be those who resonate with your message and because of your unique perspective become raving fans.”

The sooner you are willing to put your unique perspective out to market the sooner you will begin building the kind of business most only dream of.

Lots of people struggle with how to do this. Often it can take the skill of someone else to help us craft our message. I know this certainly happened to me.

matthewA little over a year ago, I was introduced to an incredibly skilled copywriter, who helped me clarify my unique voice for my website copy.

I started with Matthew Goldfarb helping me with my manifesto. What an incredible process this was. Matthew skillfully brought out of me things I had been wanting to voice but didn’t quite know how.

 The result of what Matthew did is nothing short of incredible.

I belong to a mastermind group with some very successful entrepreneurs—all of us are doing our life’s work, while running highly profitable businesses. Like me, many of my mastermind buddies have hired Matthew to help them more clearly convey their perspective and point of view.

Knowing that your unique voice is directly proportionate to running a fulfilling business, I’ve invited Matthew to share exactly what you can do to stand apart from the competition.

During this content-filled webinar you are going to learn:

  • Why most websites fail to convert clients
  • The 3 goals that every profitable website must accomplish
  • How you can capture more leads 
  • Why speaking your customer’s language is essential to sales

It takes place on Thursday, November 14 at 5:00 PM EST. (That’s 2 p.m. Pacific)

Check it out. You will be glad you did. Click here 

Do you have friends, colleagues or clients who would enjoy this webnar? If so, let them know about this webinar. You can click the buttons below to share the information.

The shocking truth about why business continues to be slow

Often people blame the economy as to why business is slow. This is a convenient excuse many entrepreneurs mindlessly use rather than admit it could very well be their own fault.

Poor revenues may have nothing to do with the economy, but rather one’s attitude and how potential clients and customers are treated.

Yesterday was the first time I visited Charleston, South Carolina. What an amazing city. So much to see and do. Of course, no visit to the area would be complete without a visit to Historic Market Street.

What struck me the most in the Market was the contrast between vendors. Not so much in what they were selling, but their level of interest in potential buyers walking by their concession.

lazy marketSome were eager to answer questions while others sat on their backside reading the newspaper or talking on their cell phones without so much as a glance up at those who obviously were interested in their products.lazy two

The booths that were the busiest were those where the vendor (or their employee) took a genuine interest in tourists and locals alike.

One young man really captured our interest as we approached the booth he was working in. Although cooking is not one of my favorite pass times Antwan’s enthusiasm and willingness to spend time with us made me WANT to spend money on various items he showed us.

spicesBy the time we were done we bought several types of soup, gumbo mixes and spice items.

I had so much fun I even tipped Antwan a few dollars. His eyes opened wide with delight.

“Thank you ma’am,” he said with a big smile.

One woman gave us a demonstration of how her acupuncture massager would relieve the stress most commonly built up in one’s back and shoulders. She spent a good five minutes or so explaining why people tend to get stressed, added in free batteries with our purchase as well as a laminated chart of the various pressure points to target for stress relief.

She didn’t have to ask twice for the sale. I was definitely sold.

Contrast that with a woman talking on her phone rather than get off her butt to answer any questions about her purses. Or the woman reading the newspaper rather than show me the blankets and scarves I was picking up to feel.

From the open air market we strolled over to a shop that sold children and pet clothes and toys. The clerk took such interest in us we ended up getting shirts for two of our nephews and a shirt for Chance, our Pit Bull.shirt

In a matter of an hour we easily dropped a few hundred dollars on a little something here, a little something there.

How often do you hear others say business is slow? Upon closer examination it could be that it’s not that business is slow, but their level of customer concern is sorely lacking.

More times than not there is a very simple explanation for why one business will do great while another struggles.

With every shop we spent money with we felt like they wanted our business. The shop owners and clerks took a genuine interest in us. They answered our questions. Never once did we feel like they could care less.

While those that missed a great opportunity obviously felt reading the newspaper and checking their phone was far more important in that moment than foot traffic in their shop.

So the next time you hear someone say, “business is slow” dig deeper into the reasons why. You may be surprised at what you discover.

What do you most enjoy when you are shopping? What do you least enjoy? comments welcome.