Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category
We are unconsciously harming our families. Almost a decade ago I met Deanna Latson, GoToHealth.com. Pronounce that carefully. Deanna speaks on college campuses and organizations throughout the world. Her focus is eating healthy and living in a healthy environment.
Even though I knew she was right and made minor changes to my diet: eliminating my daily diet Pepsi, cutting back on dairy (She advocates eliminating cheese; I’ve cut back considerably, but not totally eliminated cheese.), and eliminating as many processed foods as possible. Even though my diet was healthy and my exercise routine was extensive, these changes improved my quality of life.
The major impact hit when my small grandson was diagnosed with Celiac. Now the toxins in life became personal. Even though it had been around me, I had not noticed how many of my friends and their family members suffered from various allergies and diseases – all of which were intensified by using harmful household products.
New awareness awakened the information Deanna had presented years earlier and increased my desire to locate a source of healthy household products which were convenient to purchase and economical without sacrificing quality. After about six months of searching, the answer finally appeared.
Amazing how something can be in front of you for years, but it has to become personal before the total impact hits. If you have listened to the Tread Climber commercial, you heard, “You could have changed your life way earlier.” I feel the same way about the toxins.
My life has improved, my grandson’s life has improved and the lives of so many of my friends have improved. All because of a wake-up call and taking action. To my delight, the cost is actually less than the harmful products. Who knew? If I can help you by sharing my research, please contact me.
Examine the root word “Lead” carefully.
L – Learning all the information possible from great books, live seminars, cd recordings and personal interaction with other positive attitude, forward-thinking successful people.
E – Examine your own internal thoughts, beliefs, words and actions. Are you allowing old negative programming to hold you back from achieving all of your dreams and goals?
A – Achieve all of your goals by focusing your energy on the target. When you focus on a goal and direct all of your activity toward that one specific objective for as long as it takes to accomplish it, your success is guaranteed.
D – Delegate just enough responsibility to your team members or followers to develop their potential to achieve their own goals and lead others.
When you learn, do a comprehensive internal self-examination, and focus on achieving all of your own goals, you now have a path in place to guide others to duplicate you’re achievements. You can not guide someone else to accomplish things you have not achieved. There is as lack of credibility when you tell others how to do something you have never done. There is never a long line to ask the advice of the person at the bottom of the success ladder.
First achieve the goals and then provide the system for others to duplicate your results. The old saying of “fake it until you make it” just does not have credibility. So you ask, what to do until you do have proven results of your own. Edify your boss or your supervisor or your coach and mentor. Point to their success until you have success of your own. Always, always be honest. Do not claim to have positive results until you do.
Learn to celebrate every little victory. Record each small victory in a journal and celebrate each one. These small accomplishments will grow into bigger achievements. Your experience learning and growing will actually assist you in effective leadership. People relate to you and your challenges as they progress through their own challenges.
Being honest about your leadership journey also adds to your credibility. None of us started at the top. Read our stories; we faced challenges and setbacks as well as victories on our way to personal leadership.
I do not believe there is or ever has been one effective leader who has not “paid his or her dues.” Every one of us has examined ourselves and our leadership thoughts many times. We examined and re-examined our leadership styles. We evaluated our personal leadership and our leadership skills over and over. We made adjustments and adjusted the adjustments.
Only after walking the path ourselves were we able to direct someone else through the same system to reach their own personal success. First we made the journey through the success minefield, then we were qualified to guide others through that minefield to their own personal success.
Even now, after they have achieved their goals, effective leadership demands a constant process of adjusting to modern innovations. Business, success nor leadership stands still. Each one remains a moving target. In order to effectively delegate these skills and techniques, we must continue to focus and keep our own leadership skills sharp.
Learn, examine, achieve and delegate. You must follow each and every step in order and then keep repeating the cycle. Leadership is constantly evolving and the best and more effective leaders never take themselves or their followers for granted. Effective leadership skills are a precious commodity. Delegate them to others and the world will constantly improve. Effective leadership is a privilege, an honor and a responsibility.
I take my leadership, coaching and mentoring seriously. Come visit me at Elaine4Success.com. Let me help you navigate the minefield of success and leadership.
How many times have you sat down to write a marketing piece and stared at a blank sheet of paper desperately searching for a flash of inspiration? Suddenly you have an overwhelming urge to make a cup of coffee. The corner of a note on your desk catches your eye and you remember a promise to phone someone. Three or four interruptions later you are still staring at a blank sheet of paper; you are now out of time to write.
David Foster, known as the Hit Man for all of his hit records, said in his Success Magazine cover story that sometimes he does not feel like writing a song. He does it anyway. Maybe it will be good rather than great, but it will be a song. He went on to say that he forces himself to sit down and start writing; the inspiration will come.
Professional writers have spoken about writing a ten page paper and throwing away the first two pages before they hit their stride.
The Nike slogan says it best, “Just do it.”
You can reach for the ultimate comfort food – warm chocolate brownies. Or you can stop giving yourself excuses and start working.
Easier to tell yourself to concentrate than to do it?
Probably true, but also realistic. Amazing how many excuses and distractions you can create when you do not want to do something, do not know how to do it, or are simply not motivated to do it.
- 1. Set a timer for thirty minutes and tell yourself that you will focus until the buzzer rings. Once you actually start writing, it usually starts to flow.
- 2. Give yourself a reward when the project is completed.
- 3. Ask yourself a critical question. What do you want the audience to think, feel or do after reading the material? Answering that question can provide inspiration.
- Who is your target audience? Until you know the individual you are expecting to read your material, you do not know how to write in the manner in which they will want to receive the message. Think about your target client and write as if you are speaking to them.
- 5. What problem would you like to solve for them? In the case of the focus issue, the problem is writers block; the goal is to get the writer “un-stuck.”
What would you tell one of your clients, one of your employees, or one of your children if they were hitting a blank wall on an assignment? Would you subscribe to the “Take my advice, I’m not using it” theory? You probably would not admit it to them. I’ve hit the wall many times with projects. These are the ways I solve the inertia problem.
Take my own advice
What do I want you, my reader, to think? Think that you are not alone. Every business person faces the dilemma of “blank page syndrome” from time to time.
What is the goal for you to feel? Feel that a solution exists. Think of the block as tissue paper rather than stone and know that you can push through to success.
What should you do? Follow the Nike slogan and “Just do it.”
For more information on overcoming emotional blocks, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com. Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com
How important are the words you put in print? We hear about blogging, social media comments and even writing marketing copy. Your written words are actually more important than your spoken words.
Spoken words may be forgotten, but the written word is permanent. Once you hit “send” or “submit,” those words are available to be found forever.
Private? Think again.
That funny party picture you posted as a joke is available also. I hear some of you saying, “no, I posted in my private setting. That posting will never be public.” Wrong. Regardless of the privacy setting, if someone wants to find it badly enough, they will. If even one person re-tweets or copies the picture or text, it is now public.
A young woman was so proud of her body building contest results that she posted the picture on her Facebook page. If you know anything about those contests, you know that the attire makes a string bikini look prudish. What seems like harmless fun in her 20s may come back to haunt her. Would you want a “nearly nude” picture of yourself on the internet for your parents, children and your boss to see?
Words come back to bite you
Be conscious of the words you write. You are representing yourself and your company with each comment. This is the age of the spontaneous comment. It only takes a second to hit “send” but the results remain
Am I trying to scare you into not posting on the internet? Absolutely not. I’m posting this right now.
Another true story
Two individuals in an organization chose to escalate their disagreement into a public display. Feelings were hurt, words were written which in retrospect should never have been said. The repercussions are still being felt throughout the organization seven months later. A disagreement which could have been solved quietly has mushroomed into a major disruption. The entire organization is suffering.
Once written words become public, they may be retracted, but they are not removed from memories.
.Why is writing important in your organization? Your marketing copy is obviously public. It represents your company. The image you project in your marketing materials must be positive, but it must also be honest.
There is a common expression throughout network marketing and other media to “fake it until you make it.” The catchphrase was originally designed to create a feeling of success; by acting “as If” you have already achieved the desired level of success, you will trick your sub conscious into making that your reality. The problem is that when that statement goes public, others do not know whether it is an internal statement or the truth. 97% of people fail in network marketing. Perhaps some entered the business with a false sense of probability.
Be aware of the consequences of your spoken words and your written words not only on yourself but also on others.
For more keys to a successful spoken or written presentation, contact Elaine Love at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com or www.Elaine4Success.com. If you want to take your communication from Now to WOW, implement this simple key. Want more keys to success for yourself and your company? Hire Elaine Love as your coach, corporate trainer or keynote speaker.
Following the crowd may work for some things, but not for marketing. People flock to the “latest and greatest” and the price goes up as the market demand goes up. Unfortunately, the results do not necessarily follow the upward trend of the prices. Be creative and ahead of the pack.
If everyone is doing it, it must be a good idea.
Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist, is widely considered to be the most successful investor of the 20th century. He is reported to have said that if everyone is doing something, do the opposite. If it was a good idea, it is not a good idea any longer.
Even though Warren was speaking of investing, this works for marketing as well. When pay-per-click first came out, it was “the new shiny idea.” Prices were cheap and results were good. Soon it became very expensive to obtain any positive results. When email first became popular, it was unique and effective. If your inbox is like mine, it is now clogged with a few hundred emails a day. Unfortunately, far too many of those are junk.
The world is going mobile. Text is more current than email. Mobile GPS works better than pay-per-click. Stay with the curve or ahead of it.
What is the best idea for 2013 marketing?
Business logic has remained constant for decades. The methods, trends and implementation have changed but business principles are just that, solid principles.
Business magnates have subscribed to a philosophy of using the proven as their main focus while testing a new idea as their secret to success since the beginning of time.
Proven Successful Marketing Principles
Define your target audience. Exactly who is your product designed to benefit? Who will pay to receive the solution your product offers?
An anti-wrinkle face cream would probably be targeted to women age 30 – 60 living in middle to upper class neighborhoods in a metropolitan area. Narrowing down your target market may seem limiting but it actually helps you focus your advertising on exactly the message that audience would want to hear.
What message would they want to hear? They want proven results. They want testimonials of people they know and trust who have used the cream and received positive results. They want to know how long it will take to receive their desired result.
Determine when your customers want your product. Starbucks coffee ads would be highly effective in the morning. Selling a comfortable mattress would be well timed in the evening or early morning; having people view the ad when they are ready for a good night’s sleep or did not have a restful night.
In a ski resort, marketing ads would be most effective in late summer when the property management companies are placing all of their marketing for the upcoming ski season.
Catch the potential customer at the time they are ready to purchase or immediately before they are making a buying decision.
Make it easy to find you
Google is a wonderful tool for research, but unless your business pops up quickly on a smartphone, you may be lost in cyberspace. Our world is mobile. Include your address, a map to locate you and your main focus as a keyword. If they are hungry for a pizza, be certain that your name and location pops up on their phone.
If you don’t pop up when they are ready, it is as if you do not exist.
It does not cost you any more to include a few key details like your address and phone. Make wise use of your marketing dollars.
Know your target market. Know the message they want to hear and make it easy for them to find you.
What is your battle? This internal dilemma theme has been touted in the pop song, “Torn Between Two Lovers” and the movie of its origin, Doctor Zhivago. Country songs have moaned about it and our legal system is clogged with cases of two opposing viewpoints. One of the more definitive statements about internal turmoil is the Cherokee proverb, “There is a Battle of Two Wolves Inside Us All.”
One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, lies, inferiority and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.
Which wolf wins? The one you feed.
Name Your Wolves
Who are your destructive wolves? Can you call them by name? Anger, blame, guilt, resentment and lack of deservability are among the most familiar. How often do you feed them? Allowing your thoughts to drift too frequently to these negatives or remain there too long and you may be feeding them a seven course meal instead of a snack.
Don’t think for even a moment that I have not ever fed them. Unfortunately there have been times when I felt sad, alone, hurt or even mistreated; those are the times I fed them. If anyone ever tells you that they have never been upset, angry, disappointed, resentful or even jealous, they are lying, forgetful or delusional. Experiencing the full range of emotions is normal human behavior.
The gentle wolf is when my small grandson snuggles up beside me and just cuddles. He doesn’t even want to talk or play, he just wants to be loved and feel safe and wanted. How many times in your life have you experienced the supreme bliss of just being with someone? Neither of you even had to say a word; you were content just being together.
Perhaps there were times you were consoling someone or being consoled when you felt better because they were there with you. Remember the times you did something for another person without wanting or expecting anything in return. Remember the warm feeling; it is like the glow of a fragrant candle in a dark room.
Jim Rohn, famous business philosopher, tells a tale of the “day that turns your life around.”
It may be the day you declare “I’ve had enough. Things are going to change right now.”
Jim tells the story of a young mother who asked her husband for ten dollars and he said “What for?” She vowed that very day that she would never ever ask for money again. She looked for new skills. She found the classes. She looked for new opportunities to stretch and grow. She kept looking until she found them. Twelve years later she was vice president of a major jewelry company in New York City.
Her entire life changed because she turned loose of the fur of the wolf which fed her inferiority and embraced the wolf of hope. Which wolf do you need to stop feeding and chase away? Which wolf do you need to embrace? The choice is yours.
The book Emotional Ice Water helps you identify each destructive wolf and release it. You know you will always receive more of whatever you give your time, energy and focus. Focus on the gentle wolves.
For more information on identifying and releasing emotional blocks, stay tuned to www.Elaine4Success.com. Also inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation coaching. Purchase the book Emotional Ice Water. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com/Contact or www.MeetElaineLove.com.
The aweber report, “2013: What’s in Store for Small Business” declares that small business retailers are
cautiously optimistic. 47% believe the economy was better in 2012 than 2011. With the rose colored tint on their business forecast, 67% plan to increase their marketing spending in 2013. In 88% of the 3000 small businesses surveyed, the owner serves as the primary marketer.
The contradiction about the belief in the improvement in the economy and the increase in marketing spending is that the increase is anticipated to be an increase in social media and an increase in email marketing. Since the report indicates that the owner is doing the marketing, the cost increase numbers do not make logical sense. The cost in email marketing and social media marketing is either paying someone to do the postings or purchasing some efficiency automation program. Either the entire marketing budget is very small or something is wrong with the data reported.
In any case, an increase in social media and email marketing is becoming a popular choice of very small companies; they reported that 93% of the companies had 5 or fewer employees.
Social media marketing, especially Google+ is excellent. Guy Kawasaki’s book What the Plus is an excellent guide to the advantages and intricacies of Google+. Google+ has numerous advantages over other social media sites.
Comparison of Social Media sites
Facebook is mainly a people posting site. It is geared to be social. Aunt Martha’s vacation, Johnny’s first day in kindergarten and a great new restaurant, purely social updates.
Twitter serves as a breaking news update. You have 140 characters to convey your entire message.
Pinterest is about pictures. Facebook and Google+ are 25% pictures, Twitter is 5% pictures and Pinterest is 95% pictures.
With Google+ it is possible to group your contacts by interest. Different circles could be created for each group of friends: Rotary, professional speakers, exerciseaholics, business, and family. Create as many circles as you like and know that each group will only receive the posts which interest them. Overlapping circles? No problem. The same person may be included in more than one circle.
Some studies say only 12% of your Facebook followers may see a certain post but 100% of your selected Google+ circle will see every post.
Another advantage of Google+ is that you can edit after you hit submit? As small business is increasing social media and email marketing, being able to edit after you hit send is huge. Ever found an error immediately after you hit send?
Caution: Whatever you post on the internet is there for someone to find. Privacy is an illusion. You post it and someone can find it.
Caution number two is that social media is social. 95% of your posts should be adding value to someone and not more than 5% selling or promoting something.
If you are going to use social media and email marketing for your small business, select the platform which works best for you. Whether you believe the economy is improving or not, the success of your marketing and your business is your responsibility.
Looking back over 2012, what were your highlights? Being a glass half full and optimistic person, I prefer to focus on the positives. Yes, I learn from the negatives as well as the positives. Since it is a known fact that we always receive more of whatever we give our time, energy and focus, I prefer to concentrate on the positive.
What were the personal highlights of 2012? What did you learn about yourself?
2012 was an eventful year for me. My first book, Emotional Ice Water was published. The comments about how much it helped people to get out of their own way and start truly living life to the fullest warmed my heart. One man very close to me said, “It was better than I thought it would be; that could be a compliment. I’ve decided to take it as a left-handed compliment.
Even though it was an entire year ahead of schedule, I became President of the Castle Pines Rotary club in July. With the unexpected turmoil which caused my early ascension, it has been a bumpy road but we are making progress. I jumped in with both feet up to the top of the curls and relate 100% to the values and mission of Rotary.
A few unexpected financial events have made a wonderful and truly appreciated upswing in income toward the end of 2012. That is never a bad turn of events. Nice way to end the year.
Which relationships meant the most to you in 2012?
Once again, the deepening friendships with Rotarians have astounded and pleased me.
In fact, the genuine outpouring of caring from friends and my sons has truly been heartwarming. I can’t say enough loving words about my sons. Wow, am I fortunate. I’ve laughed that I’m not certain if the fine men they have become is because of me or in spite of me, but I’m grateful nonetheless.
What was one of the biggest challenges you faced this year and how did you handle it?
For me as for many Americans, the challenge was endeavoring to keep the income above the outgo. There are conflicting points of view as to whether the economy is getting better or if the Band-Aid on America’s debt will pull loose revealing a deep gash.
What did you do for fun in 2012? What was one of your fondest memories?
One of the highlights of my year is always related to my grandsons. Those adorable little guys have Gamma wrapped securely around their little hands. For instance at 5 am on Christmas morning both little guys pounce on the bed and say, “Up Gamma, you’re missing Christmas.” Sleepy-eyed but smiling, we all head upstairs to the Christmas tree.
Even though the questions and answers could continue, the importance is reflecting on 2012 in a positive way and seeking the wisdom to commit to making 2013 even better than 2012. Not just commit, but follow through.
When we build positives on positives, the world becomes a happier and more fulfilling place.
- Keep a success journal for your personal successes and another for your career successes. Make 3 to 5
entries every day in each journal. Each success is a story.
Carry a small pocket recorder to jot story idea notes. Use the notes section on your smart phone.
- I keep a note pad in my exercise area and another on my night stand to jot fast notes. Trying to recall an idea hours later is seldom productive.
- Create a story file; you can make a file on your desktop or on paper. No need to write out the entire story, bullet points will be fine.
- Every story should have:
Cure – solution
Change – change in the behavior or attitude of a character
Carry Out Message
- Jot notes throughout your day of situations which make a point about helping someone or solving a problem. These stories will help you be ready during interviews, meeting prospective clients and in social interactions.
- Hints for advanced story telling:
Tell stories in dialog rather than monologue
Incorporate 5 senses
Make someone else the hero
Head, Heart, Humor and Helpful walk away message
Then, Now and How
- Stories help you connect with your audience, not just communicate. You only have to connect with your audience if you want them to remember you and remember what you said.
The business start-up is more than an idea, a business plan, and initial finances. Does it sound exciting to be able to work from home in your robe and slippers? Ok, so you put on jeans, flip flops and a hoodie to go to the bank. Unfortunately that will not create a successful image.
As an entrepreneur you are wearing all of the hats. You are the President and CEO, the accountant, the receptionist and even the office cleaning and maintenance staff. You never know who you may encounter on your trip to the bank. What if you met the banker to whom you had just applied for a small business loan? What if you met the ideal customer who could make a major purchase of your product or the individual who would refer you to that ideal customer? Would your attire and manner convey the impression of a successful business owner?
Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, considers himself on duty for the client from the time he arrives at the airport to depart for his professional speaking booking. A future audience member, meeting planner or corporate executive may also be traveling through that same airport at that exact time; they will form an impression which can influence current or future bookings.
My speaking and business coaching clients are encouraged to dress business casual with their hair coiffed and clean shoes; females have makeup and the guys are clean shaven. Does it require extra effort? Of course. When you are properly dressed and ready to face the public, you carry yourself just a little more erect. You smile a bit more and feel better about yourself.
As a new entrepreneur, can you really afford to turn away encouragement or financial support? Probably not. Did I ever experience such a bitter lesson? Come with me to Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado in the early days of Mountain Castles Property Management.
It was an especially busy day with tourists departing and new tourists arriving within a few hours for the same five-bedroom homes. Two housekeepers called in sick. There wasn’t much choice but to leave my office, put on cleaning clothes and fill the housekeeping gap. As I stepped into the house, the omen of trouble was immediate. The sink was piled high. There is a dishwasher; hadn’t they even washed one dish for the entire week? My frustration mounted. One peek into the oven revealed a disaster resembling a burnt out college bond fire. After a couple hours of scrubbing, it was apparent that there were not enough cleaning materials with me to transform this catastrophe into the sparkling property necessary for the next guests. I made a hasty dash back to the office to replenish supplies.
I entered the office looking especially scruffy and dirty. I was suddenly face to face with one of my most affluent and impeccably attired female clients. Neither apologies, explanations, nor excuses could possibly erase my unsavory appearance from her memory.
Yes, that appearance error was unavoidable, but what about the avoidable “too much of a hurry to bother” occasions?
As the owner, you are making the sales pitch for funding or product sales. Though you won’t wear a three piece suit to sell products to an auto mechanic shop, it is always respectful to the client to dress up at least as well as they do and preferably slightly better.
The old adage of “You never have a second chance to make a good first impression” holds ever so true for the appearance of the owner of a start-up.
Take the extra time to pay attention to your attire and grooming. Your future business and future bank account will thank you.
Are you seeking more success in your life and career? Inquire about hiring Elaine Love for your next sales training, executive meeting or personal growth presentation. Go to www.Elaine4Success.com or contact Elaine at Elaine@Elaine4Success.com