Today’s article is about the 4 changes that can transform your year. A topic of discussion that is critical to your business because it can make or break it. And I’m not kidding here my friends!
Sometimes, making changes that you want to see in your life feels nearly impossible. It takes a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to make significant changes that will transform your life.
If you want to start your year out right, these subtle changes can be the beginning of a happier, healthier life. Whether in your personal life or your business life take that step, you will be better off for it.
Making Good Decisions
Listen to Your Intuition—We like to think life is linear and rational. But more often than not, we make blind decisions based on what we know at the time. But what if you started following your intuition more often than your brain? Often, the right choice is the one we don’t fully understand at the time. Your intuition can lead you down a path you least expect, but that can change your life in exciting ways. Worry less about connecting the dots and spend more time riding the wave. Remember that these 4 changes can transform your year if you allow it to.
Why you Need to Make Changes
Understand Your Why—You want to make changes but find year after year, you have yet to make it happen. One reason for this is that you don’t understand why you want to make the change. Or you understand it, but you focus on how hard it will be to make the change. Look at the big goal you have and ask yourself why you want it. Will it free up time, make you healthier, or make retirement more comfortable? If the answer is yes, you should keep your thoughts on how much better your life will be when you’ve made the change, and then take action. Always start with your “why.” Then make those changes transform your year into one that works better for you.
Convert by Taking Action
Take Action—Often we humans wait until the time is right to do something meaningful. And for this reason, many of us have regrets later in life. And I’m one of those people, you betcha! So, what do you genuinely want? If you can answer that question automatically, it’s time to take action. Any action. It doesn’t have to be the “right” action. But making that first step will lead you to discover the right next steps to take that will lead you to where you want to go.
Take it Step by Step
Stay Shortsighted—Have you ever thought you’d like to make a significant change in your life but then thought yourself out of it? Yeah, this is common and actually happened to me when I first started my business. The “what ifs” scared the hell out of me! When we look too far into the future, we can getoverwhelmed and end up doing nothing. Ask yourself what the first step would be to make that change. Then the next step. And the next one. Most successful people didn’t know where exactly they’d end up. They just knew they wanted to change their lives, and so they did, step by step.
Don’t let the fear of theunknown future steal your happiness today by keeping you paralyzed. Believe me, if I could do it over again, I certainly would take the leap much sooner than I did. All I did was keep my business small and it kept me from making the money I really wanted out of my business. Lesson learned, so learn from me so you don’t make the same mistakes I have.
Living your best year depends on the actions you take right now. So even though you might be stuck with how to move your business forward, I’m providing a few tips for you that might help.
Most of the world sees a new year as a time to make massive changes in their lives, it’s the daily choices that lead to lasting change. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions are so ineffectual. Yes, you heard that correctly! This year, you can start and finish strong by making better choices each day.
Living Your Best Year
Below are some tips for making sure this is your best year ever:
Break It Down—whether you want to save for a dream home, start a business or get healthier, you need to recognize it’s going to take time. Our desire for instant gratification can lead us to give up before we even really get started pursuing our goals. Chose the one big thing you want to have by the end of the year and then break down the steps you’ll need to take to make it happen. Then break them down even further. Come up with small tasks that you can complete daily in only 10-30 minutes. That will not only help you see the goal as a journey (so you don’t give up too soon), but it also makes the goal easier to tackle.
Choosing Yourself First
Track Your Time—we’re all busy. But many people use busyness as an excuse for keeping the status quo, even when they say they want to change. One simple way to find “wasted time” in your schedule is to track it. For at least three days, keep track of what you do all day long. You can use an app, spreadsheet, or a simple notepad to keep track. You’ll soon start to notice you spend more time watching TV, playing games, and checking social media than you would have thought. Once you are aware of this wasted time, choose yourself instead. Use that time to research career programs, enjoy a hobby, or spend more time with family. Whatever your goal is this year, choosing to spend your time working on it each day will make sure you end the year where you want to be.
Choose To Be Happy
Redesign Your Life—Most of us sleepwalk through life more often than we care to admit. If you want to live a happier, more fulfilling life, take stock of what makes you happy. What brings you joy and makes you feel alive? Now, redesign your life to make sure those things are a part of it. Look back at your time-tracking list (from above). What obligations and expectations can you modify or delete entirely, so you live a life full of joy and purpose. Make a conscious decision to choose to live life to the fullest every day.
You Choose Your Life
One of the best choices you can make is to remember why you decided to go in the direction that you have made for your life. Sometimes the choices are for a reason. You might not know the reason but in everyone’s life, there are journeys that must be taken for you to learn certain aspects of life. Whether it’s being a mom, a wife, a girlfriend, or just a single woman, you can’t expect to know everything unless you live it. That’s what I’ve found out anyway in my life. Yes, you might make some mistakes along the way but if they don’t show up in your path how are you ever going to learn? You can read all the books in the world but living and being at that stage is more important than any lesson you can learn from a book.
My Favorite Method
For me, at the beginning of the year, I only make one to two goals because I don’t want to overload myself. One is for my personal life and one is for my business life. I find that if my goals are too defined, like step 1 – step 10, I will never reach that goal. I try to just make it simple and basic. It works for me and is something you might want to start doing also. Try not to stress yourself out about what you can and can’t accomplish. You’d be surprised by the end of the year just how much you’ve accomplished. And this is why I choose this method of planning out my goals. Yes, I could have 15 different goals on my list, but if I don’t get them all completed, I just feel defeated. And that is definitely not the way I want to feel. I’m sure you don’t either!
If you are looking for someone to help you figure out your goals or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, I’m available for a FREE 15-minute chatto see if you’d like to work together. You can book an appointment with me here.
Come on, let’s be real here. Do you ever find yourself on the word vomit train when attempting to sell anything? Yes? No? Well, today’s topic of discussion is how to get clients even if you hate selling and pitching. That’s right, let’s get with it!
So, you know the place that makes zero stops and is stationed in TimBuckTwo? The one where you’re chatting with a potential client and you find yourself having an out-of-body experience where you hear yourself doing things like…
Overly explaining what it is that you do to justify your service
Adding on additional promises because you don’t think they’re convinced of the value
Filling silences with discounts or amendments to the process just so they say something
Feel like you’re a fraud because what you offer isn’t all that special when you say it out loud
Yeah, been there, done that!
If you find yourself doing any (or all) of that, there’s a huge disconnect in your selling process. You know it and your client knows it too!
So, you convince yourself that you’re just not good at selling.
Or that your market can’t afford to pay you what you need to run your business.
That you’ll never be able to convince your prospects why they need to hire you.
If you had a tried and true approach to “selling” your service, you wouldn’t have to be in this position. No more Conductor status of the Word Vomit Train.
No more feeling icky or slimy or like you’re tricking your clients into hiring you.
Without a reliable selling strategy, you’re likely leaving thousands of dollars on the table. But more importantly, it’s leaving you feeling inadequate about your service and it will 100% be the reason why you end up quitting.
So how do you fix it?
Understand your results
Use this formula to close the deal
No, not this one, it’s much too complicated!!
UNDERSTAND YOUR RESULTS
Before you can even begin to serve, you need to know the exact role your service plays in your client’s life. Most people sell their service like a product. When in reality it needs to be sold as a result.
Most service-based business owners will hype up the features of what their service provides. For example, a web designer might spend more time talking about how many pages they offer in the package, the optimization of those pages, etc. Basically, what your client gets out of it all.
Successful business owners tap into the emotional results of their service. What will life look like after your client experiences your service? What will change? What will be better? What will they have?
As soon as you can create an emotional relationship for your client with your service you’re off to the races.
So How Do You Use This Method?
Now that you understand the true purpose of your service, it’s time to start talking serious business with your connections. We’ve already taught you how to get in front of warm and qualified leads.
If you haven’t spent time doing that piece yet, go back and work on that first. I want you knocking this out of the ballpark, and it works best on leads that already know, like, and trust you.
This method, when used on warm and qualified leads, will be your secret weapon to closing clients faster and confidently. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to send another awkward follow-up email asking if someone wants to actually work with you or not.
The steps within this method are all played out in a single conversation, ideally in this order. Before sitting down in this meeting, you need to be prepared. If we’re wanting to avoid those awkward follow-up emails you need to come ready to close the deal in this meeting. Be sure to print out and have a copy of your contract and proposal handy.
Most service-based business owners make a crucial mistake by only relying on follow-up conversations to close the deal. This method shifts this way of doing business so you can close more deals on the spot (and get paid faster).
The Steps to the Process
STEP ONE: PROVE THAT WHAT YOU HAVE IS WHAT THEY NEED
This is where your skills of talking about your service as a result instead of a product truly come in. You don’t need decades of experience, a beefy portfolio, or to even be the expert at what you offer.
You simply need to believe in the power of your service.
Try framing this conversation using phrases that assume you’ll be hired. Let them know how their life is going to be different once they start working with you.
Try using a phrase like this:
“…After working together you’ll have…”
This is called “The Assumptive Close” and it’s a tactic that works time and time again. If you’ve played your part well up to this point this specific piece will play a huge part in, you are landing this client.
STEP TWO: REITERATE THEIR WORDS BACK TO THEM
What you’ll want to weave in next is the fact that you understand and hear their needs. This not only helps you understand where your role in serving them truly is, but it secures confidence from your client early on.
Try using phrases like:
“…So, what I’m hearing you say is…”
“…Based on what you told me…”
After working with many people myself, I know that great communication is one of (if not the) biggest factors in the relationship. Showing them that you understand their desire and need for hiring you on Day 1 is crucial.
This isn’t just a “sales tactic”, my friends! Letting your potential client feel heard and understood goes an incredibly long way in starting out your work together on the right foot and sets the stage for a more connected and long-term relationship.
STEP THREE: TALK THEM THROUGH YOUR PROCESS
At this point, you’ve established that you’re the woman for the job and made it clear you understand what they need and why. Now, it’s time to walk them through how this all works.
This is, personally, one of my favorite parts of this process. It enables you to get in your zone of genius, geeking out on your process. This is another crucial place to use assumption wording. Remember, they’re going to absolutely decide to work with you, so talk like it!
Try using phrases like:
“Once we get started next week this will be our first step…”
“After you get your documents back, we’ll be able to move on to this part of the process…”
You’re accomplishing two very important things at this step:
Get the client in a world where they’ve already said yes to working with you
Get the client total understanding of every step of the process
At this point your client should be grinning ear to ear, nodding along, and agreeing with your statements – clearly excited and ready to get started. If this is happening your final two steps of this process will be a breeze.
STEP FOUR: CLARIFY THE CONTRACT AND NEXT STEPS
You think you might be heading into boring or uncomfortable territory, but trust me, this part is just as crucial as the rest. Outlining clear parts of your contract not only protect your client, but it protects you. Both of you need to be on the same page from the start.
I suggest having an actual contract to show them that’s ready to sign, you can send this out to them digitally. Once you’ve outlined your terms it’s important for you to cover the very next step for your client. Even though you outlined the entire process above, it’s time to take it back to the beginning.
It’s important to use clear language here, like:
“These are the important details of the contract I wanted to point out and here’s what they mean. Once you sign, I can take your payment today, we can get started right away. So let’s look at the calendar to schedule our first meeting, alright?”
STEP FIVE: HERE’S THE PRICE
Let me say a quick word about pricing before I outline this step. I believe in pricing transparency with every client. That means, no client should get this far into the process without having some idea of a range of what it’s going to cost to work with you.
It does a disservice to your client to not share expectations early on and it can be a huge waste of your time if you don’t. This could look differently depending on your business model, but I’ve added a single item on my pricing page, and it’s done the trick.
“Pricing starts at…under each process.”
Dealing with sticker shock is a killer to closing client deals for both you and the client. It’s awkward, it’s uncomfortable and it makes both people feel inadequate.
Ok, I’ll rest my case for pricing transparency (for now).
Alright, so you’re at this part of the process. And it’s one where, in the past, you might have tripped over your tongue somewhat. It’s okay. We’re going to fix that.
However long you think this conversation should be…cut it in half. Seriously.
Your only role at this step is to state the price and then be quiet.
The desire to keep talking after stating the price is because you’re uncomfortable, which I totally get. However, your client deserves this time to process and go through her own mental checklist before you chime in.
Try practicing this until you become comfortable with it. lt will drastically increase the number of clients you land and your confidence in the process. This, like so many things in business, takes a bit of practice to perfect. But by following this method you’ll have a step-by-step system to rely on the next time you’re talking to a client.
By utilizing these steps, you’ll be able to craft an amazing experience for you and your client.
Remember, at the end of the day, you’re here to serve your clients. And of course, to make a profit!
Creating a one-page business plan is the topic of this article. Many small business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to the necessity of writing their business plans. It doesn’t have to be hard you just need to do it.
Unless you are looking for major financial funding from a bank or other loan institutions, a simple business plan that includes answers to the following questions will be perfect for your small business purposes.
The Simple Business Plan
1. Where am I now with my business?
2. Where do I want to be with my business? If you see your deadlines in front of you as you work your business, you’ll be more likely to meet them. Break this answer down into a timeline to make it easier, using 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or whatever times work for your particular business.
If you are looking for a way to get a bit more detailed with your plan or you foresee needing it to request funding later, you may want to devote more time and attention. You can still easily do this by devoting no more than one page to each section of your business plan.
Creating A Detailed Business Plan
Page 1 – Overview
Include your vision for your company (possibilities), the purpose of creating your company (why you started your business), and the mission of your company (plans for achieving).
Page 2 – Business Information
Here is where you would include information about yourself including name, business name, and entity, address, and phone number.
You’ll also want to summarize your business objectives on this page. List your goals and how you plan to reach them. Including what you’ll do to create a profit and what tools and resources you plan to use to do so.
Page 3 – Market & Customers
Answer the following questions in this section of your plan.
Your target market – Who are they? Where are they? How many?
Give specifics about growth and spending habits. Do as much research on your market as you can and put it in this section, including any barriers or hard to overcome issues.
Page 4 – Competition
Who are your competitors? What makes you different and the same as those competitors? How are you competing with them? With price, quality, etc? How will your market feel about you compared to your competitors?
Page 5 – Marketing
This is a bit like your competition section because you’ll want to discuss how you will market your business products or services. What makes your business unique?
No matter which method you use to create your business plan, be sure you are answering each of the questions to make it efficient for its purpose. Whether it’s for you or someone else, the ultimate goal of a business plan is to keep you on track and focused, and working toward growth.
As your business grows don’t forget to update your plan to grow with it as well.
How to Create a Pattern of Success is today’s topic. If you want to get ahead in your life, you must take the information below to heart. Believe me, if you want your business to be successful, you will do what it takes to get there.
Once you experience success, you will be able to look back and realize that you achieve all success pretty much the same way. You set a goal, follow through on the tasks needed to be done for achieving results. You keep an open mind, learn from others, track your successes and learn from failure. It’s the same thing, over and over again. And it works.
If you want to create a pattern of success in your life, you can start now by learning the secret that successful people know. Successful people are only successful because they are doers and they follow through. They are not smarter than others; in fact, it is entirely possible you are smarter on paper than they are.
You just don’t follow through!
Listed below are some of the very best actions you can take to make your business successful.
Become a Goal Setting Expert
Start at the top and learn how to craft the best goals for yourself. Know that the goal is something that can be accomplished. And know that the goal is measurable before you finish writing it. Most of all, make sure it’s a goal that you really want to achieve. The benefits of goal setting are #1 in my book.
People who achieve are doers. If you want to get something done, schedule it no matter how silly it might seem to you. If you put it in a schedule at a particular time, and not just on a generic “to do” list, it will be more likely that you get it done. You will eventually gain more time in your day, believe me.
For instance, if you have set a goal to write an 80,000-word novel by a certain date, then you should know how many pages you need to get done each week and which days you can work on it, which times, hours, and how long it takes you to write a page. Successful writers write; they don’t wait for inspiration to strike. They schedule it and do it. The same can be said for anything you want to achieve. You don’t wait until you want to do it; you do it on schedule.
Automate the Mundane
There are a lot of things that need to be done but that can escalate easily into “busy work” which doesn’t get you closer to a goal. Bookkeeping for instance is something that can be accomplished today, with the right software, almost automatically. You can schedule payments to happen automatically; you can also use software that enters everything for you in the ledger. Freeing up time to focus on your scheduled activities that must be done to achieve the goal is a more productive use of time. It will definitely give you a win for the day.
Get Outside Expert Help
To be a success doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. You’re not on your own. The best scientists, professors, doctors, lawyers, and CEOs have assistants who help them look great. You too can hire outside help and contractors to help you do the tasks needed to reach your goals. Other than doing exercise for you and things you must do physically for yourself, there isn’t much you can’t outsource today.
Stop Reinventing the Wheel
In most cases, someone has already done it before you. Someone has already worked out the kinks and devised a plan of action that will work for you too with hardly any tweaks. Learn from other people’s mistakes and realize that you can gain valuable information from what others are already doing.
Never Stop Learning
They say it takes ten thousand hours of reading about a topic to become an expert on any subject. Keep this in mind as you look toward your future and set your goals. If you want to be an expert, you’ll need to start today building up those ten thousand hours. Even if you know nothing about a topic today, you can be an expert in just ten thousand hours.
Know Your Core Values
So, as you set goals to create a pattern of success, it’s imperative that you know what your core values are in terms of family, personal, financial, and physical life. Everyone has different areas they need to work on more than others – you need to know what your areas are to set realistic goals that you want to meet.
Track, Assess, Repeat
Nothing is ever done without the paperwork, as they say. Well, that includes creating a pattern of success. Only by setting goals, then tracking and assessing the results of the goals, and then repeating what works will you create a pattern of success.
In conclusion, creating a pattern of success requires knowledge of goal setting, goal achieving, and in-depth knowledge of yourself.
Starting today you can gain that knowledge and create a real pattern of success in your life.