Is Stinking Thinking Showing Up In Your Bank Balance?

 “Who do you think you are?”

“Who is going to work with you?”

“Why do you even bother calling, they are going to say NO”

“You just don’t have what it takes”

Would you say that to a close friend or colleague? Probably not, in fact, you probably wouldn’t even say those things to a stranger. Yet, it is not uncommon for business owners to have that conversation with themselves. You know, that little voice that reaches in from the sidelines. It’s that inner voice of doubt, pessimism and fear that plagues our wildest dreams. It’s the soft cynicism that appears in the moments of true inspiration.

Call it your Inner Critic, Gremlin, Demon, Saboteur, or Bully. The fact is, it is there, telling you that you are not good enough. This “stinking thinking” keeps you playing small. The more you listen to it, the smaller you play. The smaller you play, the less people you meet, the less calls you make, the less people you serve, the less revenue you create.

Whatever you choose to call it, that little voice in our head impacts our thoughts, which influence the actions we take, or don’t take and ultimately our bank balance.  I want to share a simple process to address it, to quite it down, so you can move forward.

STOP and observe when and where the saboteurs are showing up, maybe it’s when you are following up with potential clients, or when you talk with a “competitor”. Tune into the conversation you are having with yourself.

CHALLENGE the beliefs and thoughts that are keeping you for acting.

  • What am I telling myself about this event, person or situation?
  • What evidence do I have that this is true?
  • What are other possible interpretations?

CHOOSE a new belief that is more empowering, more connected to your goals and take action.

Below you will find a letter to my inner critic. I’d love to hear how you have (or have not) defeated your inner critic. Leave a comment and share with me your tips!

Well, old friend. Thank you for being there when I needed you. Thank you for protecting me from the hurt and disappointments that certainly would have occurred if I had taken risks and not listened to you. It felt so safe and cozy staying in my little cocoon. No challenges, risk taking or failing. Of course, since there were none of those, there was also very little success.

The thought of success is sweet and tempting, like stealing away in the night to meet a long lost lover. But since your love for me is so deep, I stayed locked up in the comfy confines of my home only reading about the excitement and fun that I so desperately craved.

When will it be my turn?” I wondered. Alas, it is time to break free.

I am bored in this tiny, cocoon of a home. I want the excitement, fun and fulfillment that others seem to experience.

“Oh, but you’ll never make it,” you say. “You are not smart enough, creative enough or talented enough to make it out there on your own. You will be disappointed and hurt.”

You have filled my head and heart with fear and worry. Too afraid to be open and vulnerable; I need and want to experience that which you have so sheltered me from. It is my time.

There is a saying that if you love something, set it free. So today, I set you free. By doing so I free myself. Please, don’t be sad and let’s not pout. You will always be there and I appreciate your constant attention, but I really must do this on my own. Feel free to check in and in time, perhaps you can change the song you whisper in my ear. How I long to hear a different song that moves me closer to success. Could you do that for me? Would you?

For now, I must say goodbye. A new day is waiting for me and I cannot let it down.

All my love,
Kim (aka Kim Possible)

Part 2: Is Your Networking Not Working? Do This ONE Thing and Put More Profits in Your Pocket

If I could only give ONE tip on what will increase a business owners bottom line and put more profits in their pocket, it is this: give your contacts a chance to say YES.Crossword - business and success

According to the National Sales Executive Association it takes five to twelve contacts before someone buys from you and 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact. The same goes for referrals. Additionally, 48% of leads that are pursued are dropped after one contact. And here is the depressing one, 67% of the people you meet will ultimately buy the product or service you are selling, from someone else.

Too often I see business owners give up before their potential clients have a chance to say YES, resulting in leaving potential profit on the table.  Remember 67% of the folks are going to buy. It is a matter of whether it is from you (because you kept on top of mind) or a competitor because they happened to show up when the buyer was ready.

Business is a lot of dating. Women (and men) want to be courted, they want to get to know you before a commitment can be made. Yet, in business we are so quick to leap to marriage on the first date and then we wonder why we are still “single”. We make excuses “no one is buying in this economy”, “my market is saturated”, “if only I had a better website” and so on.

Give people a chance to say yes (or even a “maybe” or “no”) by letting them get to know you and by adding value to their lives in some way. Reach out regularly and in a variety of ways. This can take many forms:
• Phone call and email
• Newsletters blogs or other written media (just make sure you have their permission first, and getting their business card is not getting permission)
• Invitation to a webinar, teleseminar, or workshop
• Introductions to your contacts that are good referrals or partners
• Sharing articles, links that are relevant or interesting
• Nice to Meet You, Thank You or Congratulations greeting card
• Connect on Linked In (with a personal note)

Got a stack of business cards that you never followed up on? Don’t worry, we all have had this at some point in time and probably still do. It is not too late to pick up the phone, or send an email, a LinkedIn invite if applicable, and reintroduce yourself and your business. You can send a relevant article, or even a “your business card crossed my desk today and made me think of you” note! Who wouldn’t want to get one of those?!

Remember you have a gift and what you provide could benefit that person or someone they know.

Relationships start with a simple “hello”. 50% of the world is waiting for the other 50% to say “hello”. This week, be in the 50% that reaches out first!

Have a great strategy for follow up? Please share it here!

Miss part 1: 3  Tips You Can Implement NOW to Accelerate Your Business Growth? You can get it here.

Is Your Networking Not Working? 3 Simple Tips You Can Implement NOW to Accelerate Your Business Growth

Regardless of what type of business we have, two things need to happen for us to expand and grow our business and achieve our revenue goals. We need to 1) market our products and services and 2) someone needs to buy them. So what can you do every day that will accelerate your business growth? It’s simple, and honestly, it’s one of the more fun aspects of business. Any guesses? That’s right! NETWORKING

Every day identify people who need or want what you provide, or who know others who do. Better yet, call this RELATIONSHIP BUILDING; because at the end of the day, in this fast paced world, it’s the relationships you create that really matter. What are you waiting for? Keep reading for my tips on how to better create lasting relationships in your business venture!

Business Networking

# 1 Begin with the End in Mind
Before heading out to an event (luncheon, dinner party, seminar, or wherever you are going to be meeting people) determine what it is you want to accomplish and write down your intention.
Perhaps it is to meet 10 people, make 2 genuine connections, identify a strategic alliance, or to connect with one person who you could be of service to in the near future?

It is important to be clear about why you are there, and what you want to accomplish, otherwise you are just going out for a meal. Knowing what you want to accomplish will also help you determine whether your networking is giving you the intended ROI.

# 2 Respond Powerfully when others ask, “What do you do?”
In reality, people aren’t really interested in what you “do,” they are interested in how what you do benefits them or someone they know. They want to know how you can solve their problems. There are various templates for crafting your 30 – 60 second introduction (a.k.a. an elevator speech), but the main elements are:

• What you do and why?
• For whom do you do it?
• What problem do you solve?
• Why does it matter – what results will be achieved?
• What makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing?

Spend some time answering these questions and crafting your introduction. Practice saying it numerous times so it feels natural. Use it when you meet other people; see how it flows and what type of response it evokes.

#3 Who, What, When, How – Wasn’t Just for English Class

During conversations, focus on asking questions; especially open-ended questions that facilitate conversation flow and give you information on how you may be able to help those you are speaking with in the future. Open-ended questions typically start with what, how, when, and who; they solicit more than a one word response. Be genuinely interested in what others are saying. You may discover someone who could become a partner, a potential client, or know someone who could be a connection.

A great question to include in any conversation is “How would I know I’m talking to someone who would be a good contact for you?”.
This question comes from Bob Burg, author of The Go-Giver, Go-Givers Sell More, and it is a surefire way to make a lasting connection. After all, it gives the recipient the opportunity to tell you whom he or she would love to meet; and it lets you think about people in your network who might be good referrals.

While these tips may seem really simple, and they are, just doing 1 of these will result in significant changes to your networking and ultimately your bottom line.

Take a moment and reflect on the 3 tips. What could you choose to incorporate or modify, starting today, to make your networking more effective? Comment below or email me at Kim@SmallBizBIGBreakthrough.com to let me know how it’s going.

P.S. Be on the lookout for next weeks post. In it I will be sharing the ONE networking mistake that is resulting in money being left on the table and what to do it about so you can put more profits in your pocket.

You’re Fired! 3 Steps to Stop Being the Chief Everything Officer and Live Into Your CEO Potential

I had to fire someone today. Working in human resources for many years, “firing,” “letting go,” “severing,” was part of the job. Now, don’t get me wrong, the first time I had to fire someone, it was difficult, upsetting; in all honesty, it made me cry.

Job dismissal notice

Today; however, it was so personal. I had knots in my stomach as I stood up, looked in the mirror and gazed at my reflection.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t need a Chief Everything Officer anymore. Thank you for all you’ve done and your dedication, but this company cannot continue with you in that role. You are fired.”

“What?! But this is my company.”

“Yes, but we have an obligation to our shareholders, family, clients, and colleagues.”

“Shareholders? What is this Wall Street? Did my husband put you up to this?”

“Well, you have done some great work, and people do like you; that is, when you actually talk with them. We do need a Chief Executive Officer. Are you up for the job? We cannot promise you anything, but you most likely will have better hours and better pay.

I was stunned; I was shocked. Then I was also relieved.

Being the Chief Everything Officer is draining. However, add being a perfectionist and feeling like you need to do everything yourself or it will not be right, and you’ve got yourself a 24/7 job.

It can also be very difficult to give up. As the Chief Everything Officer we are too busy list building, networking, building a website, preparing content, and managing the financials. The problem is when we try to do everything ourselves (and do it perfectly) we end up with a sufficient amount of incomplete work.

Worse yet, we end up doing everything EXCEPT what we must do – talk to prospects and bring in new clients (aka SELLING). We are busy, but not productive. The biggest tragedy is that we are not doing what we love to do, the whole reason we went into business in the first place.

The end result…we wind up frustrated, discouraged and falling far short in the client department. We wonder if it’s worth it; if we should just get a job. Maybe that little voice that tells us we are not good enough gets even louder and taunts us with “I told you so.”

It doesn’t have to be that way. The first step to being the Chief Executive Officer is to take some time to look at what you are doing, or at least what’s on that to do list.

Here is an exercise to get you started:

1) Make 4 columns on a piece of paper
Column 1: Love to Do, Great At It & Would Do It All Day Long
Column 2: Like to Do It, Takes Time & Energy
Column 3: Can Do It, Don’t Like to
Column 4: Dislike It, Don’t Ever Want to Do it

2) Brainstorm all the activities you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and put each one in one of the columns. I invite you to not judge yourself or the activity and just complete each of the columns.

As you complete each column, what are you noticing? Is there a theme of the type of activity in each of the columns? What would your business be like if your days were spent on the activities you placed in Column 1?

Now, I have to bring this up. If you placed Sales in Column 4 we need to have a conversation pronto. No Sales = No Revenue = No Money. It also means the people you are meant to serve aren’t hearing about you or able to find you.

3) Delegate or Drop the Activities in Column 4
The activities in the “Dislike It & Don’t Ever Want to Do It” Column are most likely things that are continuously getting carried over on your “to do list”. It’s not surprising because it is not your sweet spot. It’s the stuff you dread but the fact that is following you around week after week is keeping you from embodying your full CEO potential. Someone else will best do these activities, whether it is someone on your team, a virtual assistant or other external resource, so outsource them.

Outsourcing some of our work can be uncomfortable, even scary. What if they don’t do it right? What if it costs too much money? Here’s the thing, yes it might cost money and yes it may not be as perfect as you envision it. But, it will be done (and probably faster and better then you imagined) and the money invested here frees up your time and energy for the things you love to do, which brings in revenue.

The real question is: can you afford to keep trying to do everything yourself?