The Evolution of your Business

By on Sep 30, 2015 in Blog, business | 0 comments

The other day I was meeting with a business connection and in the course of our meeting she suggested I explain my services in terms of strategy and advice. She felt that the title business coach was a bit vague, but that when I explained what I did in terms of strategy and advice it helped her understand what I offered better. I spent the rest of the day thinking about what she said and decided to start calling myself either a business strategist or Adviser. It’s not a huge change, but as I thought about it and reflected on my business in general, I recognized it had changed a few times since it was first started in both major and minor ways and each of those changes was an evolution. When I work with clients, they are going through a process of evolution with their businesses. they are ready for a change and have decided to create it, because they know the business needs something different than what it currently has. Any business, really, is in a process of evolution, a process of change and this change occurs either because they’ve planned for it (preferable) or they’ve reacted to something and realized they needed to change or let the business die. Your evolution can occur in just one part of your business or throughout the entirety of it. Maybe the evolution is in how you market and explain your business. Maybe the evolution is a complete change in your business. Regardless of what it is, the evolution of your business is something which should be handled carefully in order to help you make the most of it. When I transitioned from social media consulting to business strategy, it took me a year to move away from social media and understand what it was I could offer and obviously since then I’ve continued to change certain aspects of my business as I’ve recognized the need for changes in what I’m offering or how I’m presenting the business. The process of evolution in business isn’t something which can be forced. To some degree you simply have to recognize a need for a change in your business, prompted by a need...

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How to avoid spamming when you network

By on Sep 23, 2015 in Blog, networking | 0 comments

When you are at networking events, or on social media sites, you might think that just talking about your business is the purpose of networking. And it is an important part of networking, but there comes a point when it just becomes spam and if you don’t recognize that point, it can make it harder for you to network successfully. When you network you need to maintain a careful balance between self interest and interest in other people, if you want to actually get business. Consequently self-promotion needs to be done with some consideration for how it will actually effect the people you are trying to connect with. If you constantly self promote no one will want anything to do with you, because you’ll be spamming them. When you attend a networking event, I recommend that you keep self-promotion to a minimum. You are at the event to make connections and relationships occur, so while you want to tell people what you do, what you really want is to give people a reason for actually wanting to meet with you in person outside of the event. That won’t happen unless you show interest in the people you are meeting with. You want to ask questions and listen at least two times as much you talk. The reasons for doing that are several. First it actually helps you qualify a person as someone you wish to learn about and second it shows you genuinely care enough to learn more about the person. You also don’t want to show superficial interest in what a person is saying and then talk about yourself. Superficial interest is obvious because you are half-listening and can’t wait to hear the sound of your own voice. Or it shows up as sycophantic behavior where you compliment a person and then proceed to boast about yourself. This can occur both in person and on social media. For example, recently I posted an article to a group, and had a person comment, where they thanked me for writing the post and then promptly advertised their business. It was pretty clear they were just making the comment to promote themselves as opposed to substantively contributing to the conversation. Any...

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How Networking can motivate you

By on Sep 16, 2015 in Blog, networking | 0 comments

The other day I met with a fellow member of my networking group for our first one-on-one meeting. I wanted to educate myself about what does and educate him about my work. During the course of the conversation, I identified a few people who could benefit from his services. It made me feel happy and excited. I couldn’t wait to get a hold of those people and tell them about him and his work. It motivated me, not only in regards to helping his business but also in regards to helping mine. When networking, as a business activity, is considered the focus is usually on how networking can help you connect with people in order to help everyone succeed. But I think an often overlooked function of networking is how it can motivate you to be a better business owner. When you meet with other people, you are choosing to share your time and effort with those people. That can be inspiring in and of itself, especially if those people want to be successful in their business. Spending time with those people will inspire you with your business. Part of the motivation occurs through the act of giving. When I give a power partner or a lead to someone else, I feel motivated because I am helping them and people who need them. If everyone was to approach networking in that way what they would discover is a source of motivation derived from actively looking for how you can help other people. And sometimes that help will be direct help, you providing a service or product to a client, but sometimes it will involve you sharing a lead and that too will bring its own rewards. Networking also helps you get out out your office space. We need to connect with people and while making phone calls is good, actually meeting someone in person is more visceral and real. It can be a reminder of why we are in the business we are in but it also a reminder of the connections we have and a chance to apply those connections to make a difference in someone’s life. And that is one of the reasons most people are in...

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How to avoid letting Apathy define your business

By on Sep 9, 2015 in Attitude, Blog, business | 0 comments

During the lifetime of your business, there may be periods of time where you and your employees feel apathy about the business. This apathy can occur if you’ve had a lot of success and rested on your laurels or it can occur when your business is slow and you are having trouble getting new clients. Regardless of why it occurs, the experience of apathy can demoralize you and kill your business. What’s important is that you recognize that your business will sometimes be slow and yet nonetheless find a way to stay busy with work that is productive and helps you to grow your business. And if you’re in a situation where you have lots of success, don’t rest on your laurels, because inevitably your industry and business will change. You’ll recognize apathy in your business when you find yourself not going out and doing activities that will help you grow your business. For example, if you are reluctant to go out prospecting or to meet with people for networking, chances are you might be feeling introverted, but also apathetic about your business. If you find that you keep procrastinating on projects, then you might be dealing with apathy. The first step to dealing with apathy is recognizing that you feel it. You need to acknowledge that you aren’t feeling motivated and then figure out why you aren’t feeling motivated. Don’t judge yourself for feeling unmotivated either. Instead simply accept that you feel that way. Next review why you started your business. What excited you about this business? Does that still excite you? If not, what does excite you about the business? What do you look forward to doing? Also review your core values. Is the business still in alignment with your core values and if so what does that mean to you? Do the core values still resonate with you? Answering these questions can help you understand if the apathy you are feeling is situational or if it’s an indicator that you need to reconsider your business. If it’s situational, then you need to examine the situation and figure out what about it is causing you to feel apathy. Then force yourself to do activities that are centered...

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How to Build Rapport in Networking

By on Sep 2, 2015 in Blog, networking | 0 comments

In networking, one of the challenges that comes up is how to build rapport with the people you connect with. If you’re at a networking event, standing off in a corner, wondering how to talk with someone, you’re not alone. However networking doesn’t have to be a painful social activity. It can actually be an effortless activity that helps you meet people, find out what they need and develop relationships that helps everyone involved. To accomplish that you need to learn how to blend or build rapport with people. Building rapport involves creating a sense of connection using body and verbal language in such a way that both parties feel that they are in synch with each other. So how do you build rapport? Body Language. Your body language can tell someone whether or not you are really connecting to them. To build rapport its a good idea to mirror the body language of the person you are speaking with. Make sure your body full faces their body and without being too obvious try and replace what they are doing with their legs and arms. Mirroring a person in this way helps both of you start to communicate better. You’ll find that both of you start making similar gestures and mirror each other’s changes in body as you continue to talk with each other. Body language also includes eye contact. You want to look the person in the eyes while they talk, and if you feel uncomfortable with that, look in the general vicinity of the eyes, such as the nose or forehead of the person. Doing so will help you and that person see each other and be more present in the conversation. Gestures can also be useful. Don’t keep your hands at your side the entire time. If you feel inclined to move a hand to illustrate a point, do so, because it also shows investment in the conversation. Verbal language. Verbal language can provide useful cues for how a person processes information. If a person uses words such as clarity, focus or looking, then they are a visual person. If the person uses words such as sound or listen, they are are an audio person, and...

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