Your Systems Make Your Business Easier

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If I could tell  business owners (no matter the size) one thing, for  their business, it would be to identify their systems as it will make their business easier. Systems involve the process(es) you use from identifying potential clients, to starting a conversation with them, to having a strategy call, to signing them on as a client.

Systems make your business easier as you won’t have to think of what you will do when you meet a potential client – the system is what you will follow each time. That makes business easier and you won’t be all over the place each time. It’s the old ‘rinse and repeat’ process.

I see many business owners who struggle with this; they have a potential client who wants to work with them but then they aren’t sure what to with them; they feel they have to recreate a new way each time. This not only leads to massive frustration (on both sides) but it is a costly mistake in that the potential client drops out and finds someone who does have a system.

Clients want solutions to their problems – and quickly. Many of your potential clients have struggled for quite some time; they have lost some sleepless nights and have developed self-defeating behaviors that prevent them from moving forward in their business. Making the decision to get help is very challenging for a lot of business owners.

So, when they finally reach, out they don’t want to wait on getting the solutions they need. With a system, you can help them faster and you will have a thought-out method that leads them to that solution. Not only that, you will have a way to gauge your return on investment (ROI) as they move from one step to the other. Results will be more visible to both them and you.

So, what is involved in a system? This will vary with each business and their offerings but, basically, they include:

  1. Identifying and finding your target market – knowing who you serve is the key to then finding and helping them with what keeps them up at night. When you know your target, then you can have a system for finding where they hang out.
  2. The method you take them through from intake to goal accomplishment – these are the specific steps from the time you have that first conversation with them to them reaching whatever goal(s) they set in the beginning. Knowing these will not only lead to client success, but it can also be the foundation for products to create, such as a book or eBook, a how to manual, checklists, etc.(and can add multiple streams of income while helping more people).
  3. Your marketing methods, including follow-up – this is where you plan all activities for attracting your ideal client, and letting the world know about you; this can include: your website, business card, log, social media, networking events, speaking events, writing (blog, articles), and the like. Having a calendar each month will keep these action steps in view so you know what to do each day Following up with clients – potentials, current, past – will keep you on their mind and lead to them hiring you, whether the first time or again and again.

Following these steps will help you to have a proven method that you can repeat over and over again. This will not only help your clients achieve the level they desire, but it will take the stress off of you so you can focus on helping more clients and having fun in your business.

 

 

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Songwriters

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One of my favorite new shows is Songland, which is a competition for songwriters to present their word for a famous star. There are three others, who have all written songs for major stars, such as Beyonce; the mentors work with them to make the songs better and then the star chooses the one they will sing and put on their next album.

Last night’s show featured Will.i.am. Watching the process was really phenomenal, as he – like other singers – give their input on the presented songs. But I saw some things that I see can relate to entrepreneurs and their business.

1. Just like any business, it starts with an idea and each songwriter’s song did the same; their stories were personal and related to the words and melody they wrote. Entrepreneurs need to start with an idea, that relates to their reasons for leaving a job and going out on their own – their ‘why.

2. Each of last night’s songwriters were young – one was 28 and the other three were 18 -21; each of their reasons was to change the world and make a difference. Entrepreneurs, from my experience, want to make a difference in the world, as well – it starts with a problem they want to solve and solutions to do so.  Being clear on their purpose, as these songwriters were, will lead to developing the programs and services that will solve a problem and change the lives of others.

3. Each of the songwriters knew that they were going to be presenting before Will.i.am – they knew their target and wrote their songs knowing the style he, and the Black Eyed Peas, sing so their songs reflected this, which definitely resonated with him. Entrepreneurs who know their target market, and their pain points, will have more success as they will be able to speak directly to them; they will be able to attract their ideal clients with little effort.

4. The creative process is so interesting to see unfold; while each of the writer’s songs were good, Will.i.am had ideas that morphed them into greater songs. Each songwriter worked with a mentor, who helped them rework their songs; each was very open to the feedback they received and doing what was needed to make their songs so good that it was chosen. Likewise, the idea that an entrepreneur has may change and grow over time. They recognize that they can’t do everything on their own, so hiring a team to help, as well as getting a coach or mentor, will help them grow their business faster.

I mentioned that there were four songwriters but only three were worked with; one will have Will.i.am record with him, as he liked that song so much. What was really spectacular was the end – Will.i.am decided to take three songs off of the album he was producing and add all of the songs to the new one. One of the songs was titled, “Be Nice,” which he released last night – check it out (the video  is great).

The next time you listen to a song, think of the person who wrote it and how their process can relate to you – it will make you appreciate the work you do and how you do it. (and check out the show – so good!).

 

Getting to Complacent and How to Stop

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As I was reading an article yesterday, I felt as if I was hit between the eyes. The author was discussing the phenomenon of complacency, which essentially means you take action, hit a mark, but then stop the momentum that got you there. Wow – I had to raise my hand and answer ‘Guilty!”

There have been times when I’ve gotten plenty of clients for my business, which felt really good, but then slacked off a bit, leadingme to feel a bit of panic; it did, however, make me get more serious about my marketing efforts. I hear this same pattern, and struggle, from other business owners I work with.

What leads one to getting to complacent? Well, motivation is one reason; when you start out going after a goal you set, your motivation will be high and you will work daily to achieve that goal. But, once reached, it can feel comfortable; you may rest on your laurels in thinking that all is good and will continue that way. So you stop the effort you had taken.

And, things will be good until things slow down, sometimes waaayyy down. Now, that stream of customers or clients are not walking in the door.  You only recognize it when you look at your bank account and see more zeros than heroes, forcing you to go back and rev up to get clients back in the door.

I think we’ve seen this from some big retailers, who thought their name and brand was enough, such as Circuit City, Blockbuster and, now, Toys R Us. There is never a time to get to complacent if you’re in a business.

This also applies if you are an employee in a business – you get known by the work and output you do, which means you have to be on your A-game at all times. It also applies if you are on a diet – those five pounds lost can quickly become 5 gained, or more, if not attentive.

How do you prevent getting complacent, or stop if you are in this state? Here are 3 tips to show you how:

  1. Become attentive to your situation – if you know your numbers (which you should), how are things going? Are the orders, number of clients, money, traffic, etc. increasing, staying the same or declining? If your answer is the last two, then you have been complacent. It means you have either slowed down in your marketing efforts or you are taking the wrong actions, or both. Keeping track of your numbers will prevent complacency and can deter disaster.
  2. Become aware of your motivation, or lack thereof – complacency occurs due to a lack of motivation, either you reached the goal or it was too big/not challenging enough/you got bored. When you know what motivates you and the meaning behind it, i.e. the ‘why,’ you will be able to take advantage or your up times and prevent low ones. These are the drivers so knowing how you work goes a long way to being more productive and seeing results.
  3. Get an accountability partner – this is one of the best and smartest ways to prevent complacency as an accountability partner will keep you focused on the important tasks you need to doing, to keep those numbers in mind, and will hold you accountable to the results. A coach, or a mentor, are great examples of accountability partners who have your best in mind; their focus is to get you to the point of where you said you want to go and won’t let you slide down the complacency path.

Don’t allow your business to suffer. Take charge now so you can keep doing the very things you had in mind when you started your business. As Rich Litvin says, “Safety is the enemy of success.”

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting  She works with small business owners & solopreneurs who want to achieve measurable and life-long improvements in their performance so they can make more money, have greater satisfaction and achieve personal and professional success. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and for leadership development. If you’re struggling, why not stop and contact us today to turn this around – be the success you are meant to be!

Dealing with Change is Haarrdd!

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All of us have been through change at some point in our lives; some changes are of our own making, but can still be hard. Some changes are not in our control, which are more difficult. Of course, there are some changes that feel effortless in adapting to them.

Why is change so difficult to accept? A lot of it has to do with our genetic make-up. Our internal alert system (the amygdala) is always looking for threats to our safety; when something new comes along, it feels different so the alarm automatically goes off as a threat, leading to how you will deal with this new situation.

Depending on how you adapt, you will be in fight-flight-or freeze mode: fight is when you don’t know how to deal with a situation, or want to; fight is resistance; freeze is ‘this is too overwhelming for me to do anything about it.’ When we feel overwhelmed in our ability to deal, one of these will occur. Now, it is important to point out that there are individuals who adapt to new situations well, which is so interesting to study how they are able to be so receiving.

Rick Maurer, in his book Beyond the Wall of Resistance, says it comes down to two issues: 1) the goal or situation we are faced with is not clear to us, and 2) we don’t understand how that new change will benefit us. If one of these two are out of alignment, resistance will occur. Maurer also says that resistance occurs and results if we don’t like the idea or if we don’t really trust that the person leading the change will follow through on their words.

This happens frequently in the corporate world. Organizational change occurs frequently, of which many of the reasons are not known to employees and are not conveyed well, if at all. I never understand when an employer says they don’t want their workers to know of an upcoming change ahead of time so as not to upset them – don’t they realize the impact when it does occur, i.e. anger, disappointment, broken trust, etc.?

Change is harrdd. Plain and simple. But, there are ways to get through a change, if the emotional work is done which is really the root cause of resistance. Big changes, such as losing a job, going through a divorce, or a death, all can overtax the system with loss of which these will take time to get through.

But other changes, such as an organizational change, seem scary due to a fear of the unknown – will my job, pay, benefits, etc. stay the same? Will I have to learn new skills or will my hours continue? Whatever fear elicits will vary by individual but the fear is real. How you deal with it will determine how you get through and adapt to the new situations.

  • Recognize that change is hard but that you will get through whatever comes up: this seems simplistic but the natural response of the ego is ‘I can handle whatever comes up, it’s no big deal.’ Until it is. Being aware that you may not like the proposed change is the start of controlling any resistant thoughts that arise and help you recognize that you have been through many changes before and survived, which helps to give calm when you hear the news.
  • Take time to uncover the source(s) of any resistance felt: getting into deep-level awareness of why you don’t want the change will go a long way to overcoming these objections. You can now challenge any negative thoughts and begin to identify ways that will help you to cope better and accept new changes.
  • Identify your strengths in dealing with past challenges so you can take them in dealing with new ones. You are stronger than you believe and will make it through. However, how you deal will either determine your success or failure in your role. I once worked for a company that went through four mergers within a relatively short period of time; resistance was rampant at first, then turned into resignation. But I looked at each of these as a challenge, and an opportunity, to shine within the new realms that led to recognition and, eventually, promotional opportunities. You can do the same.

If you’re ready to take your career to the next level and  how to get the most out of yourself, and your people, we’re here to serve. We have our Fableader program where we will:

  • Look at your goals, challenges you are facing, and opportunities you might be missing. 
  • Uncover any hidden problems that may be sabotaging your desired results
  • Create an action plan and implement it together so that you finally get the results you have been looking for but were unable to find.
  • Address challenges that come up along the way, leaving you feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to take action and get faster results

If you’re ready to get started, contact us today to schedule your Fableader Breakthrough Strategy Session. barbara@cyscoaching.com Visit our website at https://cyscoaching.com

Co-Workers: Creating Fans NOT Adversaries

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The workplace can be a jungle at times.  When you put a group of people together who have differing personalities, different values and beliefs, and different ways of working, it can be a recipe for disaster. This should not be a surprise, but many workers aren’t productive and not a team player.

There are workers who aren’t really sure of their role as they either weren’t given proper onboarding or were too afraid to ask for help; workers who don’t have the skills or knowledge of the job, as they may have fallen into the role or gave the ‘right’ answers in the interview; workers who resent others who have more recognition or (perceived) success than they do. The list can go on and on.

But fitting in and getting along with your coworkers is a critical component to job satisfaction. It also is a factor to performance and engagement. You can love the job you do but if the environment isn’t conductive, the opposite will occur – dissatisfaction, anxiety and disengagement. But hope is not lost as there are ways that you can create raving fans and not adversaries with coworkers.

Taking responsibility for your actions is the first step, meaning that you are self-aware of your actions and behaviors throughout your workday. It also is a check and balance of how you may be coming across to others, as we often wear a veil of denial about our own behaviors. What we think is not always how it is perceived by others.

Here are some success tips to being a good worker:

  • be a team player – recognize that your work influences every other coworker’s tasks and functions, so keep the big picture in mind. As the saying goes, ‘there’s no I in team” so start to think of how your actions and performance affects your coworkers and the organization itself; this will give you purpose for you work to motivate you to give more
  • be a resource – offer to help out coworkers, which can be done by giving an idea or different perspective, sharing some knowledge, or helping to get a task done. This leads back to being a team player; your coworkers will see you as one which creates harmonious relationships and a higher functioning group
  • build bonds – as relationships are everything, get to know your coworkers. People want to know they are cared about – their child making the football team, the recipe for cookies they brought in, their ideas/opinions/values, etc. This forges deeper bonds and people are more accepting of you, especially if a conflict arises
  • complement and recognize – don’t be stingy when it comes to recognizing the accomplishments of your peers, or to give them thanks or a complement. Do it for the little things, not just big ones, as this makes you more memorable to them, and builds trust and acceptance
  • communicate well – ensure that your messages are completely heard by thinking ahead of what, and how, you will convey your message and reflecting back on what you’ve heard. Tell people the benefit of what you are asking and then truly listen, without thinking of your response, to their idea/opinion, etc. Resolve any conflict in a mutually negotiating manner, forging any defensiveness that you may feel
  • whistle while you work – ensure you have a good attitude each day; stop the complaining – yours, theirs. People want to be around others who are positive and engaging so set your mind each morning that you will love your job – it will catch on and you can bring followers with you

Doing the following steps will lead to better relationships with your boss, your coworkers and customers, as well. You can survive the ‘jungle’ by standing out and being a positive force.

If you, or your organization, is struggling with workplace culture and engagement, we have a program that will work to turn this around. Let’s talk!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success, using brain-based principles. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! https://cyscoaching.com or barbara@cyscoaching.com. For more great tips, visit our other blog at https://allaboutcareersites.com