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What I wish I knew about Networking when I first started my Business

By on Apr 7, 2016 in Blog, networking | 4 comments

When I was still in the coaching program to get my certification, I remember the instructor talking to us about networking. She told us that if we joined a networking group we needed to commit to the networking group. We needed to show up and be present and make sure people got to know us. It was good advice and I took it to heart, but in retrospect I must admit there are a few other things I wish I’d known about networking when I started Imagine Your Reality. Networking isn’t a substitute for sales. So often what I’ve seen in networking groups (and I’ve been guilty of it as well) is people trying their damnedest to avoid sales by networking. The problem with that approach is that you will avoid sales, and money, as a result. A business needs money in order to grow (and you need it to, if you want to pay your bills). In a networking group, you are there to network, which means you learn about each other and ideally promote and recommend each other to businesses. I say ideally, because it doesn’t always work. To make it work you need the right kind of training on how to network, and most lead organizations don’t do an effective job of teaching networking skills. But the sad truth is some people are scared of sales, of really putting themselves out there, and so networking becomes a safe haven of sorts, because you can talk about yourself without really selling anyone. The benefit is that you can get more comfortable talking about your business and your self (and even get an occasional sale), but the problem is that at some point you’ve got to leave the nest and put yourself out there. And while networking can help you with that, if you only to stick to networking as a marketing and sales tactic, you’ll never sell anything. It was only when I stopped relying on networking groups so much that I became more focused on sales. Lead Referral Groups and Chambers of Commerce work for Product based businesses, but not so much for service based businesses In the years I belonged to lead referral groups, I...

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The potent power of discomfort in your business: How to make it your ally

By on Mar 15, 2016 in Blog, boundaries, business | 0 comments

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn about running my businesses involved learning how to listen to my discomfort and use it to help me make better business decisions. What I didn’t recognize at first is that my discomfort is really a red flag that I’m about to go off course or that I’m compromising myself in some way for short term gain AND long term loss. Learning to listen to my discomfort has helped me turn it into a potent ally that is helping me grow my business in ways I’d previously been unable to do. The ruts you are stuck in, the discomfort you feel, the lack of fulfillment in your life no matter how successful you are…All of that is potent information about how you are blocking yourself from what you truly want. The only way to unleash that potential is to step into your discomfort, your fear, your rut and embrace it…revel in it, and learn from it what the underlying narrative really is that influences your business. Once you know that narrative you can change it, because you are no longer bound to it. You know it by discovering it in the uncomfortable feelings that are present around your business. When you feel your belly knot in anxiety and discomfort over something happening in your business or you feel some type of internal resistance to going to an event or doing an activity, don’t just push it down or ignore it. While in the short term that might work, in the long term, those emotions will boil over and cause your business to burn out. Your discomfort, the feelings of being stuck in a rut, and the internal resistance are all powerful clues that you need to make changes in your business. Instead of pushing those emotions down or ignoring them, you need to be present with them. And being present with such emotions isn’t always easy. You may very well feel paralyzed by the discomfort you feel or panicked. You may want to react to what you are feeling. Don’t react. Still yourself and just sit with what you feel. The emotions will gradually fall away to reveal the underlying narrative...

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6 Strange Philosophies that changed how I show up in my business

By on Feb 25, 2016 in Blog, business | 2 comments

When I first started my business, I didn’t have a clue as to how to run it successfully and like any business owner that wants to succeed, I got some coaching and consulting to help me figure out how I should run my business. The problem I encountered was that while some of the advice was helpful, a lot of it didn’t always apply to me or my business. Implementing it just had me running in circles, chasing my tail. I would get frustrated that nothing was working and wonder what I was doing wrong. What I was doing wrong was trying too hard to fit the round peg of my business into the square hole of the advice I’d been given. My second problem was that I was trying to look like the people I saw at networking meetings, and failing miserably. I’m an eccentric entrepreneur and trying to look normal made me feel really uncomfortable. I don’t think anyone was fooled. I felt like I was putting myself into a box, instead of simply being me. When you box yourself in, no one else can get in with you. I got tired of chasing my metaphorical tail and decided to make some radical changes, based on 6┬ástrange philosophies that changed my business. These 5 strange ideas helped me recognize that if I wanted to run a successful business I had to define that business, instead of letting other people define it. 1. Only you can define what you have to offer and why it has value to your clients. You are the one person qualified to define what you offer. It’s value is established by yourself and your clients. When I first tried to define my businesses, I looked too much at what other people were doing, instead of looking at what I had to offer. This is a mistake many business owners make because they feel insecure about what they could offer and whether anyone would find value in it. Discovering what you have to offer may take some time, but the best way to do it is to discover what really turns you on, when you are helping your clients. For example, what really turns...

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3 Reasons why you ask Experts for advice

By on Jan 28, 2016 in Attitude, behavior, Blog | 0 comments

I recently started swimming again, because my doctor recommended a low impact exercise. I finally found a swimming pool near me that has reasonable monthly rates. On the first day I showed up with a pair of swimming trunks that’s great for an occasional swim or a beach party, but not very useful for exercise swimming. As I looked around at other swimmers, I saw what was working for them and decided to ask some questions. They were the experts and I was the novice and instead of awkwardly waiting to discover what they were doing that was helping them be successful at swimming, I recognized that I should just set the situation up to help myself become more successful. So I asked a couple fellow swimmers where they got their swimwear from and what suggestions they had for someone just starting out with exercises swimming. By taking to the experts (or at least people more knowledgeable than me) I learned what kind of swim wear I should get and how to pace myself when swimming. That situation made me think about how important it is to ask the experts for advice when you want to be successful at what you are doing. 1. Don’t be afraid to get the advice from someone doing what you want to do. Whether its getting better at swimming or getting better at your business, always be open to asking advice from other people. If you see someone doing something better than you, chances are you can learn something from them. Ask and see if they have advice. And recognize you might need to make an investment to get that advice, but if it helps you become more successful you’ll get that investment paid off in no time. 2. Surround yourself with people who are successful and inspiring. When you get advice from an expert, you also get an opportunity to create and cultivate a relationship with someone who’s been where your at, and is also in a place of success. You also get the opportunity to make a new friend. Make sure you stay in touch with your experts, not just for your benefit, but also to be a resource for them...

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