How to Know What to Charge for Your Services

Charging what you’re worth is often an issue for entrepreneurs. Not wanting to charge too little, or too much, can lead to the inability to trust your pricing structure.

There are several factors to consider in pricing.

  • Labor costs
  • Hard costs including overhead
  • Profit margin

Before you set your pricing, you must know who your market is. No matter how wonderful your product or service, if you're offering it to the wrong market, you won't be able to convince people of the value.

Price your services too high and you risk losing customers who don’t see the value of what you offer.

Ask too little and you risk having potential clients think you are cheap or inexperienced.

Common Mistake

A common mistake of inexperienced entrepreneurs is way undercharging. They mistakenly think all decisions are based on cost rather than ROI.

There are plenty of people who will pay top dollar if they do get a great ROI.

A huge part of helping clients get a great ROI is a market match. Whomever you are targeting they have  to find value in what you offer.

For example, you may have a great coaching program on how to expand your revenue stream, but if you are offering it to people who work at fast food restaurants who have no interest, or desire, in building a business, you could give the program away and they would not see value.

On the flip side, when you are dealing with high end clients who have more money than time, trying to sell low priced info products to them in order that they can learn how to do a “thing” you are missing the mark. They will pay to have the “thing” done.

You absolutely must know who you are marketing to.

You risk resenting your clients if you undercharge. You risk feeling like you are taking advantage of clients if you overcharge.

Not sure what to charge? Get the FREE report –  Charging What You’re Worth http://www.powerupforprofits.com/worth

Authors: LinkedIn May Very Well Be Your Missing Link to Success

It’s one thing to sell books. It’s something completely different to know your book can open lots of back-end opportunities like speaking engagements, coaching and consulting opportunities and interviews.

With my book, Power Up for Profits, not only did I make thousands of dollars on the front end from direct sales, I made hundreds of thousands on the back end because of the doors the book opened up.

Books Alone Rarely Make Enough Money

Books, in and of themselves, rarely make enough for an author to claim financial success. The back-end opportunities are where the real money is.

Yet, most authors don’t know how to find these opportunities.

Some of the revenue streams are speaking engagements, consulting gigs and coaching clients.

Depending on who your sweet spot readership is, one avenue that might reap huge benefits, and create great financial rewards, is LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a social networking website geared towards professionals such as corporations, management, executives and nonprofits.

If any of these are in your wheelhouse of clients, you would be wise to learn how to optimize all that LinkedIn offers.

LinkedIn offers instant access to a network of people in specific fields and industries. With great search functions, you can search for new opportunities in a very targeted way.

One of the best features of LinkedIn is the ability to generate sales leads. However, there are specific ways to optimize your efforts.

Here's What LinkedIn is About

According to the information listed on their site, “LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with hundreds of millions of members, and growing rapidly. Our mission is to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. We can help you:

  1. Establish your professional profile and control one of the top search results for your name.
  2. Build and maintain your professional network.
  3. Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.
  4. Learn about other companies, and get industry insights.
  5. Find other professionals in the same industry using groups.
  6. Share your thoughts and insights through LinkedIn’s long-form publishing platform.
  7. Tap into the knowledge of your network.
  8. Discover new career opportunities by searching for jobs.

As an author, consultant, coach or speaker, there is ample opportunity when you tap into the incredible community on LinkedIn.

Each Contact Worth $58.20

In a recent conversation with my friend and colleague, Janis Pettit, it turns out every contact we have on LinkedIn is worth an average of $58.20 each. Can you imagine?

Compare that to the typical email subscriber, who is worth an average of $1 to 5 each for most people. The difference is in the quality of connections you make on LinkedIn if your clients are other businesses.

Janis started gathering case studies on the amazing results she was getting generating leads for her clients using LinkedIn, and she wants to show you how you can do the same.

According to Janis, authors are sitting on a gold mine with LinkedIn. If you, as an author, speak to corporate audiences, imagine the wealth of opportunity LinkedIn offers… when you know how to tap into it.

Not sure?

On Thursday August 17th Janis is doing a full out training with her partner Jeff Smith,
one of the top LinkedIn Experts.

How to Get 3 or More Lucrative Clients a Month using LinkedIn

Go here to discover everything they’re covering during this webinar  http://www.powerupforprofits.com/janis

For any expert, consultant, coach or business owner, this is going to blow you away. This is a TRAINING EVENT. You will leave with a LinkedIn lead generation system you can use right away.

They’ll even show you a case study of someone that generated $70,000 in a few weeks! While that may not be typical, would even a portion of that help you out?

Check out the training. There’s no charge to join in. http://www.powerupforprofits.com/janis

 

 

 

Authors…Viral Marketing Is Easier Than Ever…If you know what to do

When my first book was published, there was no such thing as online viral marketing, social media marketing or the Internet, as we know it today. It simply didn’t exist.

Getting the word out about your books was costly and, oftentimes, not very effective.

Authors often went unnoticed, simply because they didn’t have the knowledge or financial resources to do effective marketing campaigns.

Fast forward to today. The marketing playing field has been leveled. Now virtually anyone can gain massive visibility for his or her work.

Whether it be books, teleseminars, webinars or live events, opportunities for authors are limited merely by one’s desire to put the effort into spreading the word about what you have to offer.

Enter viral marketing

Viral marketing is a method of Internet marketing that attempts to make content so interesting that viewers will pass blog posts, videos, images and social media posts along to others.

More than ever, stars are born based on uniqueness of content posted online. A book can go from a virtual unknown to bestseller status in record time through the power of viral marketing.

However, it does take work. Lest you think no effort is involved with the process, think again.

The obvious work is in the writing and publishing of the book. Then there’s the actual marketing followed by consistent effort.

Community of Raving Fans

Consider what opportunities the book can create such as building a list of raving fans, opening doors for speaking gigs, consultation contracts and the obvious, the revenues to book can generate. Then there are the media opportunities.

The benefit to a viral marketing is unparalleled due to their work being viewed by potentially millions of eyeballs.

Many authors have not thought through the process of where their works can be viewed other than the obvious, Amazon.

Smart authors are well served to take the viral power of the internet into their own hands. This doesn’t mean the author must do all the work themselves.

There are countless choices of virtual assistants, support teams and other individuals who specialize in aspects of online marketing. Whether it be someone to post your information on social media, help with video marketing or secure interviews for you, the author, when done right, you can focus on your writing, while someone on your team does the push marketing.

Even one mention online has the potential to gain traction in many locations such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and a raving fan's blog.

Checklists Make The Process Easier

The best thing to do is have an actual checklist of what needs to be done every time you want to proactively market your work. Click the image of the Book Accelerator list for immediate, no opt-in access.

What you see below is a great place to start your viral marketing process. To have something this simple is better than having nothing. You can get more elaborate as you get more comfortable with the process of doing all you can to get on the viral train.

  • Blog post
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Slideshare
  • Google+
  • YouTube Video

In the past, authors had to depend on limited avenues to get their work out. Today, it’s merely a matter of focus, commitment and proudly saying to the world: “Hey, I’ve got some creative content here. Listen (look) up. You’re going to love this.”

Are you willing to put the effort into your content going viral? If so, it’s never been a better time to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

Promoting your book in a local market

If you’re an expert who works in your local market, there’s a good chance you face a fair amount of competition.

You might be a coach, consultant or trainer. Or maybe you’re a professional such as a realtor, mortgage lender or interior designer.

Perhaps you have a brick and mortar business and you want to increase foot traffic to your store, restaurant, hair salon, or nursery.

Amazingly, one solution can create incredible results regardless of what your focus, industry or expertise.

You… the “Go To” Expert

Truth be told, working in a local market can be incredibly fulfilling and profitable. Yet, as previously mentioned, you may be dealing with excessive competition.

One of the best ways to stand head and shoulders above the competition is to be viewed as the “go to” expert.

If you’re looking for a great way to increase your visibility and grow your business, a book will definitely position you as an expert.

Consider this, if you have two experts who have an equal amount of time in their industry and a similar skill level, in the consumer’s mind, you are about equal.

Add a book in the mix and suddenly the expert with the book is considered more of an expert. That is, if the book is well done.

Have you ever considered writing a book? If so, now’s a great time to get started. The process doesn’t have to be as difficult as many people make it out to be. If you write emails, blog, post on social media and write to family and friends, you can likely write a book.

Provide a Solution

Whatever you write about, provide a solution.

Your book does not have to be hundreds of pages in length. If you can solve a problem in 30 or 40 pages of information, your potential clients will likely appreciate getting their answer sooner than later.

Once your book is complete, it’s time to market it. Chances are, if you are doing business in your local market already, you know lots of people who would be very interested in your book.

A few of the most effective marketing strategies are listed below.

Media release sent to:

  • All local newspapers editors specific to your expertise
  • Trade journals
  • You can send a copy of the book with the media release, but many editors will not look at it without knowing it’s coming. On any given day they can get dozens or hundreds of pieces of correspondence. It’s best to reach out to editors to see if they want a copy mailed to them. If they say yes, include another copy of the media release, your one sheeter and the book.

Media outreach

  • Contact your local paper and ask them if they’d be interested in interviewing you.
  • Contact your local radio station and ask them if they’d be interested in having you on their show.

 Appearances

  • Find out what local organizations have upcoming events and offer to do a presentation for their members.
  • Networking events – check Meetup.com to see what events are taking place specific to your market.
  • Brown bag lunches hosted by corporations. Many larger companies put Friday lunch time aside to bring in local experts. This could be a winner for you.
  • Self-staged or co-sponsored workshop. You can host your own workshop at the local library.
  • Local clubs. There are a lot of local clubs and organizations such as the Lions, Rotary, and Kiwanis clubs that regularly invite guests to come in and speak. More times than not, these are not paid engagements, but again, it’s a great way to raise awareness about you and your business.
  • Carry copies in the trunk of your car. This way you will always have some on hand for anyone you meet who may be a great prospect.

Hitting #1 on Amazon

Even if you work within a local market and look for business in your own backyard, it doesn’t hurt to get your book up on the charts on Amazon. By doing so, you have even more fodder for the media and appearances.

When you do, you can reach out to local media to announce your book hitting #1. Successful authors are something the media loves to profile and write about.

Not sure how to do that? Get my FREE report – Hit #1 on Amazon – www.oneonamazon.com

 

17 Popular Done-for-You Coaching Forms for FREE!

Signed and Sealed

You’ve done it. You’ve just signed a new client. Now what?

Now you need to make sure everything is incredibly clear to the client. The best way to do this is with various forms you create templates for.

Maybe you’ve been a coach, consultant, speaker or trainer for quite some time, but you know things are slipping through the cracks. You keep promising yourself that “someday” you’ll get all the necessary paperwork in order.

A huge challenge for many entrepreneurs, such as coaches and consultants, is they want to roll their sleeves up and start doing the fun stuff; working with their clients.

But truth be told, if you don’t take care of the “paperwork” you set yourself up for misunderstandings, frustration, and possibly legal action.

I’m not an attorney, nor do I plan to be. But I am an entrepreneur who knows how important the right paperwork is and also, how time consuming it can be to create needed forms from scratch.

Needed Forms

Do you have all the forms you need to run your business and serve your clients at the highest level? If not, read on.

Here are five incredibly important documents you would be wise to have templates for.

  • Welcome letter
  • Intake form
  • Payment schedule
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Monthly review

Welcome letter

This one’s obvious. As soon as you enroll a client it’s highly recommended to send a welcome letter. Depending on the size of the contract, you may want to send a welcome gift. A gift would still need a welcome letter.

Intake form

A well thought out intake form helps you to more fully understand the needs of the client. What I love about intake forms is the client often gets some great clarity on their goals when they complete the form.

Payment schedule

No matter how much you love what you do, you want to make sure you get paid… on time. A clearly stated payment schedule helps to clarity exactly what the expectations are.

Confidentiality agreement

A confidentiality agreement (also called a nondisclosure agreement or NDA) clarifies how information such as trade secrets, databases, client information, etc. will be treated.

Monthly review

Having a form for a monthly client review enhances the relationship with your clients. It lets them see what they’ve accomplished, where they need to put more effort and how far they’ve come.

Very Time Consuming Unless…

Although the forms are great to have, they do take time (and often lots of it) to create.

What if you could have important document templates at your fingertip? You can and their FREE.

My good buddy and super smart colleague, Nicole Dean, along with her business associate, Melissa Ingold, have put together the most important document templates you need in order to run a successful business.

And YES! You can Get Access to 17 of their Most Popular Done-for-You Coaching Forms for FREE!

Here’s what you get (FREE) 

  • Welcome Letter
  • Payment Arrangements Form
  • Client Invoice
  • Client Call Notes
  • Business Goals Worksheet
  • Code of Ethics
  • How to Hold Me Accountable
  • My Coaching History Form
  • Referral Request
  • Intake Form
  • Ongoing Pre-Call Form
  • Coaching Agreement
  • Monthly Review Form
  • How Coaching Works
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • How to Prepare for Coaching Session
  • Coaching Success Guidelines

It will take you less than 30 seconds to access these forms. If you tried to create them yourself, it would take hours, even days. By accessing these forms you free up your time to do what you love; coach, consult, speak and train.

What could be better than that?

Click Here to Access

Are you willing to risk big to build your business?

We hire coaches and mentors for a reason; to stretch us, take us where we have yet to go and remind us of the little things that add up to big outcomes.

Personally, I hire experts to push me and encourage me to take risks (and big ones at that). What I fail to understand is when someone hires a coach and either never shows up for their calls, in-person masterminds, VIP Days or whatever is offered as part of the package. This truly boggles my mind.

Then there are the people who do take advantage of what’s being offered, but never take any of the recommendations to heart. What a complete waste of time and money. If you’ve hired someone for their expertise, be willing to put their ideas into action.

Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of having a really strong mentor is the trickle-down effect. What this simply means is: what we learn from someone else, when we apply it and get a result, we are able to teach others.

I’ve been hiring business coaches for years. Although I have a successful business, hiring a mentor gives me the opportunity to bounce ideas around with a trusted advisor.

A few years ago I hired an incredibly successful coach who is all about using the phone, live events and a multi-pronged approach to generating revenues.

On one of our coaching calls, it was recommended to host an open Q&A call on a Saturday. I got my marching orders and did exactly what my mentor recommended.

Results minimal and frustrating, but…

Not sure if I would get a result with people showing up, I sent a message out to my list to let them know all they needed to do was hop on the phone. No replay, no opt in, just show up.

Admittedly, I was a bit frustrated with less than 10 people showing up for the call. Yet, I gave those few people my all.

It was a pure Q&A call with one offer at the end; an in person mastermind event limited to 10 people.

One woman on the call jumped at the chance to join in on the mastermind. Not only did she pay for the mastermind, she went on to sign over $37,000 in coaching services with me.  All from one small group call.

Here's the deal… had I decided to ignore my coach’s suggestion, I would not have signed the client.

By being willing to be willing, and knowing this was why I hired this powerhouse coach in the first place (to get me out of my head, into action and stretch myself) I have had some incredible results in areas that I had not been focusing on.

Sometimes we don't see the immediate results on things we do, but when we do the footwork, something gives.

Yet, how often do people talk themselves out of doing something without giving it 100%? And how much money and opportunity are they leaving on the table as a result?

Diversify strategies

Bottom-line is this; we have to be willing to take risks, have a multi-pronged approach to how we market our products and services and more than one way to generate revenue.

To have one, and only one way to bring in business is a huge mistake. To not risk keeps us safe… and broke.

The best thing to do is have short-term and long-term goals. With the short-term goals, make a commitment and stick with it.

Are you willing to do things differently? Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to risk big to realize big rewards?

If you said no, maybe you are not cut out to be an entrepreneur. If you said yes, way to go. That’s what it takes to win big.

Join me for the next Power Up Think Tank. Click here for details.

 

Money is evil… and other lies that hold entrepreneurs back

I came across a blog post that began with, “There's a phenomenon happening in the online business world that is doing a huge disservice to creative entrepreneurs who want success on their own terms. I call it the rise of the ‘6 figure' business coaches, and it is the reason why so many women entrepreneurs are feeling self-doubt and frustration. Yes. I'm talking about the Fearless Girl Bosses who want you to Stop Playing Small, Be More Visible, Crush Your Competition, Overcome Your Money Blocks, Charge Your Worth and Hit 6 Figures. 

“I think I covered all the buzz words there, right? Aren't those the words we see over and over again, across multiple business Facebook groups, webinars, opt-ins, blog posts and coaching sales pages? Aren't we told that these are the keys to becoming successful? And yet… Something just doesn't feel quite right about it all. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.”

When I first read thread comments on the blog post entitled, “Why those ‘6 figure' business coaches are failing you” I was more amused than anything.

As a result of not only the article, but also the dozens upon dozens of comments, I wrote this post. I'm very clear that not everyone will agree with my train of thought. I'm equally clear there will be those who find my perspective refreshing. Regardless of your position, I welcome your feedback in the comments box at the end of this post.

Who are these coaches?

I happen to be one of those who encourage people to quit playing small and to become more visible. It’s not about “crushing the competition” but it is about doing what you’re here to do in a way that allows as many people as possible to benefit from what you have to offer.

I also position my message with, “I built a six figure business and so can you.”  That is… if your willing to do a few key things like: do the work, gain visibility, and quit playing small.

As a matter of fact, I have a Think Tank I’m currently promoting which focus on building a six figure business. Not just any six figure business, but a purpose driven business.

FACT: The more visible you are the more people see your messaging. The more people that see your message, the more impact you can have with your products and services. If you hide out, play small and are not visible, you are not going to reach the very people you claim to want to help.

I frequently see this with coaches who are also authors. They write a book because they have an important message. Their deep desire is to use the book to grow their practice. This is a logical conclusion on their part.

What isn’t logical is that many hold the belief that once the book is published they need not do much at all to promote the book. They hold the erroneous belief that they (and their book) will be discovered. They wait for sales. They wait to be asked to do media interviews. They wait for meeting planners to contact them about speaking engagements. They wait, and they wait and they wait.

You have to be visible

To not put effort into gaining lots of visibility for their book simply means they likely won’t sell any books. Not selling books means they likely go into debt from all that goes into getting a book done.

Does this have a thread of truth in it for you?

If you are an entrepreneur, who happens to also be a nonfiction author in the genres of self-help, spiritual or business, didn’t you write you book to impact others? If you said yes, why would you not do everything possible to spread the word about your book resulting in visibility for your services? Doing everything possible requires you quit playing small. It requires you become visible. It requires more than visualizing what you want by rolling up your sleeves to do the work.

After reading comment after comment about the evils of entrepreneurs who coach, who “push” the promise of building a six figure business, I went from amusement to shock.

The author of the post pointed out how unscrupulous the coaches who promise to teach you how to make money, especially on how to build a six figure (and beyond) business actually are.

Are you playing small?

“They treat you as ‘low hanging fruit' by preying on your desperation and the “lack” mentality that you have because you're not making enough money. They tell you that the reason you're not making money is because you are playing small / have an upper limit problem / aren't charging your worth / need to fix your mindset. And that they have the magic pill to help you fix all of that.”

FACT: There is no “magic pill.” Building a successful business takes time, effort, commitment and energy. It doesn’t happen by wishing for it. You absolutely have to work at it.

Contracts clarify roles and responsibilities

Here was one women’s take on contracts.

“The people I've seen being taken advantage of because they don't know how a business should work is heartbreaking. It's criminal, getting locked into 12 month non-cancelable contracts. How can you force someone to work with you who doesn't want to?”

FACT: Contracts are a part of virtually any business. Ideally, contracts should outline responsibilities on both sides including how long the working relationship is for, payment schedule, deliverables, etc. To not have a written agreement lends itself to unnecessary misunderstandings.

Contracts give people time to think about the decision they are making. When I send a client a contract, they have to initial each page. If they initial the pages without reading the entire document this makes no sense. I want them to read the document carefully in order that they know what they are agreeing to.

I want them to be fully aware of what they are agreeing to and what the terms of our working relationship will be.

Bottom line is this: if you don’t want to get locked into a contract, don’t sign it. Pure and simple. And once you do sign the contract, integrity means you will do all you can to stay current on your payments. It’s amazing how many so called “integrity based entrepreneurs” will sign agreements and then not take the agreement seriously.

In not only about money, but….Business IS about making money

Then there was this comment:  “They're failing you by convincing you that it's more important to make money fast than it is to become excellent at what you do.”

FACT: Money and excellence are not mutually exclusive. As a matter of fact, the more you focus on excellence, it’s likely the easier it is to attract clients. The easier it is to attract clients the more money you can make.

Granted, there are some coaches who do prey on the fear of floundering “wanna be” entrepreneurs, but there are countless others who are the real deal, guiding their clients to profitable businesses.

Here are a few things I know to be true:

1. Building a successful business takes work. It's not for the faint of heart nor for those who are lazy.
2. There will be times we are uncomfortable. Staying in our comfort zone does not allow for growth.
3. There are ethical and unethical individuals in virtually any industry. One of the worst for those who promise results with no work is the diet industry. “Take this magic pill and you can keep eating the way you have been, do no exercise and you will watch the pounds melt off.” Naught.
4. “Make millions with the press of a button,” is a lie and there is no such thing. Sure, there are people who launch a product or program and make a boatload of money, but when you pull back the curtain you see that there was a ton of work that went into the “button pushing that generated the money.”
5. No one is holding a gun to anyone's head to get them to sign a contract for coaching. If you do in fact sign up because a coach has pushed your buttons you need to “put on the big girl (or boy) pants” and accept responsibility for the choice you made.

Again, I completely agree there are those that will “shame” others into making a decision, but this is not how most coaches operate. Most have a due-diligence processes in place.

There are those who want you to succeed

For those of us who sincerely want to help our clients succeed, we don’t want to sign people who are not committed to doing the work. We want to work with those who are serious about the working relationship. But we can’t do the work for our clients. They absolutely must take responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof.

I had to learn the hard way that not everyone who says they are willing to do the work is being honest about how hard they will work. As a result, how I enroll clients has changed dramatically.

Before one can join my higher end programs I require they fill out an assessment to determine if they are a great fit.

In the past, this was not a part of the enrollment process. As a result, I ran into problems with people who said they were willing to do the work but in reality, their definition and mine of “doing the work” was often very different. They wanted to cut corners. They wanted to quit when they realized there was work involved.

Is a Think Tank right for you?

I also have shorter programs that allow for someone to spend a few days with me for a fraction of what they would invest for long term, one-on-one programs. These programs are done over a period of a few days. We meet in person with less than a dozen people gathering together. My most current program is called, $100,000 Profit Blueprint Think Tank.

For two days, I pull back the curtain and teach the best of the best strategies on how to grow a six figure business. I don’t teach pie in the sky strategies, but rather, what it takes to get from where they are at to where they want to be. I don’t trick them, coerce or shame them into joining me for two days.

Actually, it’s just the opposite. The information page is very detailed and allows potential participants know what to expect and what not to expect.

The premise of the two days together is to teach as much as possible on how to work smarter, more effectively and create a blueprint for their business.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”Albert Einstein.

Bottom-line is this: growing a business takes time, effort, investments and sweaty palms.

Investments or expenses?

Let’s talk about investments. Actually, there are investments and there are foolish expenditures.

Recently, I talked to one seven figure entrepreneur who, early on in his business, had gotten himself $20,000 in debt $5 and $10 at a time. He was constantly buying programs that promised to be the solution for his problems, but he failed to implement the information. He would buy something and rather using the information he had just purchased; he would press the “buy button” one more time.

Things turned around for him when he invested in a mentor who helped him to see where he needed to make changes with one being to quit pressing the “buy button” before determining if he was willing to implement the information he was about to purchase.

Are you addicted to spending?

A very real issue in all of this is the addiction many people have to buying the next “pie in the sky” promise. As much as you need to make investments you also need to have discipline and restraint when you get that “got to have this thing that is going to fix everything” feeling.

Whether the thing is another program, coaching services, a mastermind experience, or a widget, step back long enough to reason your decision through.

FACT: Many people are addicted to buying. Whether it be that next program or the services of a coach, addiction to buying the promise is real. It's called CBO.

According to some experts, “compulsive buying disorder (CBD), is characterized by an obsession with shopping and buying behavior that causes adverse consequences. According to Kellett and Bolton (2009, p. 83), compulsive buying “is experienced as an irresistible–uncontrollable urge, resulting in excessive, expensive and time-consuming buying activity typically prompted by negative affectivity” and results in “gross social, personal and/or financial difficulties”.

“Most people with CBD meet the criteria for an axis II disorder. Compulsive shopping may be considered an impulse control disorder, an obsessive-compulsive disorder, a bipolar disorder, or even a clinical addiction, depending on the clinical source.”

There is no easy road to riches

So the problem goes beyond the unethical coaches who prey on desperation. The fact is, without a level of desperation on the side of those who buy into the “easy ways to riches” promise, the “now you see them, now you don't” coaches would not be able to pull the wool over their victim’s eyes.

Building a business is work. It takes time. You can’t cut corners. You can’t be lazy.

Regarding the responses to the original blog post that started my response to her post; maybe it’s the community the author attracts. Maybe it’s that far too many budding entrepreneurs jumped into a working relationship with a business coach based on emotion rather than logic. Maybe it’s that once someone is told what needs to be done, they freak out and are not willing to do the work, but the reality is, building a business is NOT for the faint of heart.

Does everyone need to build a six figure business? No! Absolutely not. But let’s look at the facts.

FACT: A business will NOT succeed without revenues. Period. No matter how heart-centered one is, you have to generate revenues, you have to know your numbers and you have to generate a profit if you want to stay in business.

Heart-centered meets profit-focused

I consider myself to be very heart-centered in my business. I also know, my heart-centered vision isn’t enough. On top of my vision, I absolutely must generate revenues.

Regardless of what type of business you’re in you need to make money and you need to make a profit. To become profitable, you absolutely must focus on your numbers.

Granted, it’s not just about making money, but face it, if you are not profitable, you won’t be in business for long.

In order to make money you need to:

  • Generate leads
  • Close business

Contrary to what many of the people who are in this woman’s community seem to ignore, there are some tried and true ways to generate leads and close business.

One of the best ways to close business is to have sales conversations. You can do this face to face or you can get on the phone with potential clients. It’s amazing how often we can be told this and yet, this is the very thing so many struggling entrepreneurs avoid.

The 800 pound guerilla

Take the phone. Many struggling entrepreneurs treat the phone like an 800-pound guerilla.

One group I was involved with had nearly 200 budding entrepreneurs in it. Most are self-described heart-centered newbie business owners. All claimed they wanted to build six figure businesses.

One of the strategies they were given, and highly encouraged to implement, was to make 15 minutes of sales calls each day for 30 days. They were told that by doing so, they would begin generating revenues.

Almost every single person got excited about this strategy. When all was said and done, only a handful actually followed through for the full 30 days. Most gave up after a couple of days.

The few that took the strategy to heart are all meeting their projections. The others… well, let’s just say many of the others continued to struggle.

A great many of those struggling blamed everything outside of themselves for not achieving their goals. They blamed competition, the economy, the coach and some even blamed Mercury in Retrograde.

There were those who said, “It’s not about the money. I’m heart centered. I want to be inspired to make those calls.”

Give me a break. Isn’t paying your bills, creating a good life for your family and not struggling inspiration enough?

The fact is, money is a necessity to stay in business. To make money you have to treat your business like a business.

Money doesn't minimize purpose

Making money need not minimize the fact we want to make the world a better place. Look at the likes of Oprah, Ellen, Marianne Williamson and Louise Hay. They are all definitely making the world a better place, but I can assure you, they are also about making money and being profitable.

When a business is profitable, we are able to do things we otherwise couldn’t. Hiring a team is a great example of what money can allow us to do.

When we hire team members, whether they be vendors, employees or contractors, paying them is a really noble thing to do. And to pay them, we need to make money.

If you’re not talking money, you likely don’t know your numbers. Not knowing your numbers is a dangerous place to be. Truth be told, when you don’t focus on your numbers your so-called business is a hobby, not a business.

As mentioned several times, money doesn't have to be the only focus, nor should it be. Creating value for your clients is absolutely necessary, as is quality of products and services, but to not put money at the forefront could be one reason so many entrepreneurs flounder.

Are your expectations realistic?

But I digress on the issue of paying coaches really good money to guide us. The reality is, hiring the “right” kind of coach or mentor can cut years off one's learning curve.

However, before hiring someone, determine if your expectations are realistic. If you think you are going to go from making minimal revenues to building a six figure business with no work or effort, you are sadly mistaken. Part of getting from where you’re at to where you want to be requires a plan, strategies, and often, a blueprint.

To not have a clear vision (blueprint) of how we plan to get from where we are, to where we want to be, seems to put one in an uphill climb in their business.

What about strategic plans? What about marketing plans? What about client acquisition plans?

Believe me, building a business is hard enough without stacking the deck against ourselves by not having clear cut plans.

Having been in business for over 21 years, I know the times I struggled (yes, in 21 years there have been struggles) was when I didn't have plans, blueprints and strategies in place.

What are your projections?

Financial projections need to be included in your plans. Running a business is not always easy and not having the money conversation makes it even more of a challenge than it need be.

To the heart-centered entrepreneurs who are committed to building a successful business, but are struggling, isn’t it time to treat your business like a business?

Would things be easier if you didn’t have to wonder how you are going to make ends meet from month to month?

Wouldn’t you love to be able to contribute to charities, people and projects you believe in when you want?

If so, you need to have the money conversation and you need to quit judging those who are succeeding as if they are forcing you to do things their way.

It’s time to grow up and take responsibility for your choices.  Before hitting that next “buy now” button, determine why you are doing so. Are you doing so because you are looking for the “easy” way to riches or are you doing so because you’ve done your homework and you know this person can help you get to the next level and beyond in a logical, ethical, real, and authentic way?

If you're someone who is tired of playing small, is ready to go full out to create a purpose-driven business AND understands the importance of high visibility my Power Up Think Tank, may very well be a great fit for you. Seating is very, very limited.

During this deep-dive two-day experience you will…

  • Learn how to clearly articulate your expertise
  • Understand exactly how to identify your sweet-spot client base
  • Learn how to generate leads that convert into sales
  • Have sales conversations that are not “salesy”
  • Learn to enjoy the sales conversation
  • Increase revenues and profit margins
  • Be willing to bust out of old thinking and be seen for who you really are

To find out when the next Think Tank is happening go to http://powerupthinktank.com/

 

Millions of Facebook and email accounts are fake

Chances are many of the people you believe to be friends on Facebook are “ghosts.” That's right. They don't exist.

I'm not talking ghosts like in the spirit world. I'm talking out and out fake. Actually, Facebook has no way of knowing exactly how many accounts are fake but it could be as high as 11.2% according to many accounts.

If there are that many fake accounts on Facebook imagine how many fake email subscribers you likely have on your prized subscriber list.

Not only bogus email address, but dead addresses, those that were input wrong and any number of reasons why the number of subscribers you believe you have is actually way off.

If you've been wondering why your open rates are getting lower and lower, you don't need to wonder anymore. It's gotten completely out of control.

“Why is my open rate so low?” many people ask with great frustration in their voice. I've had countless conversations with clients about the need to use more than email marketing to reach people.

It's gotten to the point many people throw up their hands in frustration feeling like the only solution is to throw in the towel.

Don't be so hasty. Rather than making it an all or nothing proposition, there are other ways to reach your potential clients. Granted, if all you want to do is sit behind your computer to make money  that's a completely different conversation. If, on the other hand, you are looking for effective ways to position your expertise AND reach your market, read on.

1. Pick up the phone. As much as some people avoid the “800 pound gorilla” the phone is one of the most effective tools you have. Sure, not everyone will want to hear from you, but if you make it a regular practice to call a few people daily, you may be incredibly surprised with the results. Sometimes it's to let people know about an offer you have. Other times, it's simply to connect.

Many people have been so out of touch with using phone calling as part of their marketing they have an actual phobia of picking up the phone.

2. Direct mail. It's amazing how effective this can be. Whether it be a postcard, letter or lumpy mail, sending something the good old fashioned way, when added to other forms of marketing, can generate interest in what you have to offer. Sure, there is a cost to this, but what would you rather… minimal response from something that cost virtually nothing to do (like email marketing) or an increased response with something that requires an investment of time and money.

3. Social media. Many people believe social media marketing is a complete waste of time. Granted, it can be, but  to make it work you have to have more than a hit and miss approach to social media marketing. The more value you bring to people, the better. As with anything, a targeted approach on a handful of platforms is going to get you a better result than throwing mud at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Surprisingly, you don't need to spend a lot of time on social media to leave a solid foot print. And leaving a foot print is a great idea. Many potential clients will check you out on social media before making a decision to do business with you.

4. Networking meetings. Ahhhhh, good old face to face networking. For many people this is a lost art. And yet for others, it's like money in the bank.

When you attend networking meetings be willing to reach out to people, but avoid instantly trying to sell something. Rather than trying to see how many business cards you can collect each time you attend a networking meeting, go for quality connections with a few people.

Take a genuine interest in other people. Have conversations rather than simply trying to see how many people you can give your “elevator” speech to.

5. Presentations. By far, this is one of my favorites. Organizations, associations and companies of every size are on the lookout for experts who can offer quality information to their members and employees. This does take more effort than the previous four strategies, but the payoff can be huge.

First,  you position your expertise and message. Second, you stand apart from others in a big way by doing what many experts are deathly afraid of. Third, you are serving others in a very powerful way by presenting high value information.

In order to really stand out, reach your market and get your message heard, you absolutely must use more than one method to promote what you're doing. And you have to get really honest about how much effort you're putting into what you're doing. If you're relying solely on sending emails out or posting a few things on social media, chances are you're missing a lot of great opportunity.

You have to take a more well rounded approach to what you're doing. Ready to stand out, be seen and be heard? Then you're ready for Live Your Life on Purpose Mastermind Retreat.

This is a three day intensive with other conscious entrepreneurs who have a powerful message they are committed to getting out in a big way.

http://kathleengage.com/retreat/

Live Your Life on Purpose is limited to 12 participants. It takes place in Portland, Oregon on June 15, 16 & 17. This is your opportunity to join other conscious entrepreneurs for a deep dive experience with me as your host.  Click here to learn more and register.

 

Integrity is a highly overused word for many entrepreneurs

In a recent conversation with a colleague of mine the topic of business integrity came up. Actually, I've had this type of conversation many times during the nearly 20 years I've been in business.

It seems in some circles the word integrity means something completely different than in other circles.

Let's start with the Webster's Dictionary definition.

: the quality of being honest and fair
: the state of being complete or whole

Full Definition of INTEGRITY
1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values :  incorruptibility
2:  an unimpaired condition :  soundness
3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided :  completeness

It's amazing the number of entrepreneurs who use the word integrity to define the way they run their business, but a closer look reveals a contradiction in their use of the word and their actions.

Many of these entrepreneurs call themselves heartcentered, soul based, or integrity based business owners.

Yet their actions are so far removed from the very way they define themselves.

Here are a few examples of how people may be missing the mark when it comes to their expression of integrity.

1. Information Product Purchases.buy

There are those who buy information products, digest the information and then ask for a refund while applying (and benefiting from) the very information they are requesting a refund on.

For some this is not a one time occurrence, but rather a standard, business as usual, practice.

Really?!?! Is this someone who is walking in integrity? I think not. It's one thing to buy a program, go through the information and if you really feel it is misrepresented asking for a refund.

On the other hand, if you bought a program, used it and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt the information was as represented, what the heck are you asking for a refund for? Would you want people to do that to you? Likely not, so why do it to others.

You wouldn't believe some of the lame excuses my colleagues and I have heard. Well, maybe you would. Maybe you've heard these or something whackier.

“I went on vacation and spent more than expected so I need a refund.”

“I want to buy expert X's program and before I can do that I need my money back from your program.”

Come on folks. Grow up. Put on the big girl and boy panties. This is real business.

surf2. Coach surfing.

You hire a coach to help you and rather than listening to their advice (which they have a proven track record on) you decide to hire a couple more coaches and bounce around on who you will listen to this week.

Sure, there are occasions you need more than one coach due to areas of expertise, but to have three or four coaches for the exact same thing is counterproductive.

There's a good chance each coach has their own style of coaching and will make conflicting recommendations.

By taking advice from three or four people on the same thing you are going to be spreading your efforts way too thin and frustrating the heck out of the experts you hired.

Why not stick with one coach, give it 100% and get out of your comfort zone by sticking with one plan.

3. Not treating someone's staff with respectrespect

This one will lose you points faster than just about anything. My team works hard to give the best service possible. If someone mistreats, is rude, or acts like they can talk down to my team and I won't mind them doing so, well… this is as close to the edge as you can get.

Years ago I ran a multimillion dollar career training company. Occasionally we would be hiring for either a sales or training position. When a potential new hire would come in for an interview one of the “tests” I had was to make them wait a few minutes in the lobby.

The fact is, I wanted to see how they treated the receptionist. Little did the new hire know this was all part of the interview process. If they were polite and treated Erika, the receptionist, as a professional they gained points.

If, on the other hand, they didn't treat her respectfully or complained about the wait, they lost lots of points. So many in fact, they were not considered for the job.

So how do you treat members of a support team? Don't think for a minute they don't share great treatment as well as harsh treatment with the person who pays them because they do.

Conclusion
If you claim to have an integrity based business are you acting the part?

You're not doing anyone a favor by buying products and services and then either asking for a refund based on your bad money management or thinking having a bunch of coaches is going to solve your problems.

You're also not doing anyone a favor by taking your bad mood out on others. You'll get a heck of a lot further by showing respect and appreciation than by being a jerk.

The fact is, you're not the only one dealing with problems. Every business owner does. What determines your level of professionalism is how you handle your problems and how you interact with others in the process. 

Running a business takes discipline. Often it's the discipline of saying no, even though you think that next fun thing will make all the difference in the world. discipline

The discipline resides in being able to say no when needed AND saying yes to the agreements you have made. Yes in time, yes in money and yes in energy.

The discipline also resides in treating everyone you come in contact with respectfully. After all, isn't there enough disrespect going around? The buck and ball stops with you.

What are your thoughts on walking the talk/walk of integrity based businesses? Comments welcome.

Being nice is keeping you broke

How often do you have someone who sends you an email with, “I have a couple of quick questions.”

As you read their questions you quickly realize it will require a fair amount of time to respond to all of them.

Wanting to be polite, the temptation is for you to respond. It’s not that you shouldn’t respond, but you need to know where to draw the line.

One or two questions is fine, but beyond that, you are giving away your services.

If you’re serious about building your business and having people value your time, you have to be able to say no to many of the inquiries that come your way.

This morning a client of mine asked me what she should do with an email someone sent with over ten questions they wanted her to respond to. I suggested she let this person know what her consulting fees are and offer to set up an appointment.

The more of an expert you are viewed as the more likely you will receive these types of emails.

Years ago I received an email from a gentleman with one simple question. I was happy to respond to his question as it took less than a minute to do so.

Then came another question. I responded to that. By the third question I wrote, “We are now moving into consulting. I would be happy to set up an appointment for you.”

He wrote a scathing message that went something like this, “I can’t believe you won’t take time to respond to my questions. You said you help people, but you’re not much help to me. You’re full of crap and you say one thing and do another.”

I had to laugh at this. For him to assume that I would continue to answer his stream of questions with no compensation is not at all realistic.

He obviously had no intention of ever paying me for my services. Based on his angry response I took him off my list. I didn’t need his anger, energy or unwillingness to respect my time.

Have you ever received these type of emails or phone calls? How have you responded? Did you give free consulting so as not to appear unfriendly?

Fact is, you will upset some people when you tell them no. Fact also is, if you want to grow your business you must set boundaries. Sure, it’s okay to answer one or two questions, but then you also have to be willing to say no.

If this happens to you, here’s a very simple response you can send:

Thank you for your inquiry. You have outstanding questions. These are the types of questions I work on with my private clients. I would be happy to set up a consulting call with you.

My fee is $____ for this. Here are my available times for a session.

Here’s what will likely happen. The person will never respond to you. They will respond with a message saying they were not trying to get free consulting, but then you will not hear back. They will set an appointment.

A couple weeks ago I got a message from someone wanting to know about marketing his book. The way his message was worded indicated he wanted free consulting.

I told him that I charged for this kind of service. He responded by saying he wasn’t asking for free consulting.

We set a time to talk and one of the first things he said was, “I don’t have much money and would like you to work with me for a percentage of what I will sell.”

Folks, in most cases, this IS free consulting. For someone to have not made any money up to this point and want you to give your time, efforts and energy to their project with no financial investment on their part is not realistic.

When you get these types of requests you have to set boundaries. You have to be willing to say no. You have to state your fees.

The reason many emerging entrepreneurs fear doing this is they don’t want to appear not being nice.

Let me ask you this, “Would you rather be nice or broke?”

I’m not saying to be mean to people, but as with the man who got upset when I said we were moving into consulting, he certainly didn’t think I was nice. Personally, I don’t care.

What I care about is helping my clients get results. When they do, I go from them liking me to them loving what I was able to help them accomplish.

What has your experience with this kind of situation been? How have you responded? Comments welcome.