Archive for Grow Your Business

Does anyone know who said that? I’d love to give him or her credit for this brilliance.
Why is a niche so important, why all the fuss?   In a solo business especially, your niche essentially defines your business, because a niche will answer the core questions we must define in order to have a business: what is my unique offering (what am I selling), and who is my target audience (who am I wanting to sell to?).     It’s what Mark Silver calls your who-who-what.  
Yet, according to a recent survey-over 47% of small business owners don’t have a clear niche.   And it’s a source of confusion and struggle for many of us, especially for coaches and energy workers, because there are so many people we can—and usually would like to—help.
If you are a creative, right brain type, you may really dislike or dread this niche concept because it seems to be a narrowing or cutting off process—and we don’t like to cut off any options!
On the other hand, how much more effective could you be, how many more people could you serve—how much easier could marketing AND making more money be–if you knew who your customers were, how to find them and talking to them, develop offerings that provide what they need–what they will be happy to say yes to!  
I highly recommend Cindy Schulson’s work on Attracting Your Niche, and she has a free teleclass on May 25th at 8pm Eastern where you can learn more about new ways to approach marketing and your niche.   So, if you don’t feel crystal clear on your niche yet,  join Cindy’s teleclass.  Here’s the link to register for the teleclass: http://tinyurl.com/3jg5go3   (yes, this is an affiliate link, and I can highly recommend Cindy’s work from personal experience).
  
  
  

  

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Humility—Could It be a Key to Your Prosperity?

The dominant model of success—which is fortunately beginning to shift in the age of the conscious entrepreneur – is about getting attention, standing out, and dominating in the marketplace.     It says we will succeed only by tooting our own horn and the louder the better!     What could be less humble than that?

On the other hand, the root of the word  humility is  â€humble.”   In its traditional meaning, which we associate with Christianity and other religious teachings, being humble implies modesty and being unassuming, or even the  kind of self-debasement where we make ourselves less than others.   How on earth could a quality like that be part of creating abundance and prosperity for yourself?

I propose a fresh look at humility to see how this quality actually supports our prosperity and well being, from the perspective of yoga teachings and the Sufi tradition.

On the yoga path, a key teaching is “You are not the doer”.   That means that while you may act and serve in various ways, you are a conduit through which Source energy is flowing and expressing itself.   You are not the ultimate cause of what happens, yet you are also responsible for your part in things.   Your  results come from a blend of self effort and grace.

With humility we can   take credit for our achievements and our failures too, while staying   aware that we are also actors on the cosmic stage of life, playing a part in larger trends and   in our individual and collective destinies.   So we can relax and surrender to the fact that  we aren’t completely in charge.   From there we can see that everything is  part of an interconnected web that takes into account  the greatest good for all souls–not just our personal needs and desires.

In the Sufi way, humility is actually a quality of the Divine, and it has to do with accepting a larger, unknowable destiny or grand scheme of life.   When someone has a great shift after you work with them, you may stand in awe and amazement, you may even feel humbled by the wisdom and resilience within the client, or by the power of the work itself—but you don’t take all the credit.   In the same way if you say something to a client that you realize later wasn’t so skillful, or that you haven’t been doing well with your marketing, that this is part of our journey and our learning, these seeming failures or disappointments, and we can correct our course at any time.

As a business owner, humility might mean looking closely at what is and isn’t working, and perhaps acknowledging where there are knowledge gaps about marketing or accounting, or even in your skills a as a practitioner.   Humility helps us see when it’s time to get help from a mentor, coach, friend or healer, learning program or an office assistant. It helps us to be compassionate when things take longer than we expect them to, and to accept that we are imperfect and don’t always know what to do.   We can step back from time to time and ask “is it time to change course here, or what else is needed.

In terms of money and prosperity, humility can help us to be at peace with what is.   We learn to accept what our current situation is and flow with it, even though we may prefer and work towards more prosperity.   Humility here helps us to acknowledge when there appears to be a defeat or setback, that there is a bigger picture, even if we can’t see what it is in the moment, and also to ask for help to change what we can change, and accept and live with what can’t be changed—the serenity prayer.

So for your peace of mind AND prosperity, try a little dose of humility.   You might be surprised!

I found this great post on ProBlogger…the author suggests picking one or two strategies that you think could work for you..if you do, tell us which one(s) appeal to you and why..and any results you get!

ready, set, blog!

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/02/05/10-little-known-ways-to-get-traffic-to-your-blog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+ProbloggerHelpingBloggersEarnMoney+%28ProBlogger:+Helping+Bloggers+Earn+Money%29

Focus: a vital skill in the Age of Distraction.   Simple but not easy, I know!

Here’s a great article and acronym  from a blog by  Joel D.  Canfield, a consultant  who helps virtual assistants grow their business.
He wrote:
“The most important aspect of your business is what’s happening between your ears right now.   How you think is your greatest asset—or you greatest liability. I’ve recently discovered two people who not only understand this, but who know how to help the rest of us get a grip on it. Wendy Kerr and Elisa French share their keen insights at their website Business Breakthrough Now.
This morning I read their latest, a great piece on focus which used the acronym I stole for my title. Their focus was on positive thinking; to choose some specific aspect of a positive mental attitude, then look for ways to implement it throughout the day.
I have trouble focusing. It’s not a medical issue. It’s because I find virtually everything fascinating. I have ideas all the time. Good ideas, I’ll wager. Then, I try to make them all realities. At the same time.   If you find yourself, at the end of your day, or week, or month, pondering what you got done on this, that, and the other projects, comparing which you made progress on and which languished—ask yourself whether each of these projects is directly supporting your primary business or life goal.
Goal. Singular. As in one single primary goal for your business. One single primary goal in life. It’s hard to narrow everything you love down to a single overarching goal. It’s also incredibly powerful.   FOCUS. Follow one course until successful.”
What one thing are you going to focus on today, this week, this month to grow your business?

http://www.findvirtual.com/profiles/blogs/follow-one-course-until

Feb
12

Success from the Inside Out

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In my last post, I ended with this statement:

“The most solid foundation for your success comes from—can you guess?—you.  ”  

I confess, I’m an “inside out” girl.   I believe your success starts from the inside out.   You can be so much more effective when you  know and understand yourself and how you operate..a missing ingredient for many people.     When you know who you are, you can easily filter in what works, and filter out what doesn’t, based on your personality, learning style, and time constraints.  

Knowing yourself   gives you decision making criteria so you can sort through the marketing pressure and hype.   You can tell whether a particular  business model, marketing technique or  info product is   something that you  can actually use and benefit from.

In these times of  information overload, and the vast  array of marketing options and ways to design our businesses, it’s even more important than ever to understand  who you are,   and how you operate, what your values are, and  who your target audience is.      

Why? Because the Bright Shiny Objects are getting brighter, shinier, and more plentiful by the day.   As the number of information products, trainings and channels to market ourselves mutliply, so does the need to discriminate, to know who you are and to have an internal navigating system.   That’s  ever more  critical to staying focused, on track and making some money.  

Making money?   Oh yeah..that!      

Clearly there is much to  learn,  and clearly there are plenty of people willing to teach us. But even good business advice comes in different flavors, and we have to find what works for us. The problem is that every “guru” has a different recipe for us, and it’s so easy to run from pillar to post, following the latest advice.

Ultimately then, you need to find your own internal home base.   A place from which to sort through and choose a business model and marketing strategies that make sense for YOU and YOUR business.   From home base, you are grounded in yourself, and know  your priorities, values and who you are.   

That gives you the  power  to navigate through your own “gremlins” or vulnerable areas, like perfectionism or feeling “Not Enough”.   You can  find that   sweet spot where you are not yet perfect (and don’t have to be) but know that you are indeed “ready enough” to take action.

Are you ready?   Then come back to visit here often…and in the meantime, watch out for those Bright Shiny Objects!

To your success and sanity,

Ellen