I still have the note of thanks that the CFO of International Dairy Queen wrote me 13 years ago when I worked for Oracle. You can probably guess sales reps don’t get too many notes of praise from their clients!

Well, I got a doozie of an email this week to add to my “praise file”.

It’s from a client, Brynn Breuner, who’s in my Evolve Accelerator. She sent it to me with the intention of sharing it with you. So here goes… unedited.

For a gal with perpetually redlined bank account I had no reservations about ponying up [for Evolve Accelerator]. None. Still don’t, think it’s one of the smartest things I’ve EVER done in anything and without hesitation the best thing I’ve ever done for my business.

If I could pay you more I would.

I feel like I’m finally learning things about how to run a business that I simply never knew before. If I’d gone to business school? Maybe, maybe not. But I know without question that this course is giving me the best chance for a long-term successful outcome.

I wish other entrepreneurs I know could afford it—I think of it like an entrepreneurial MBA. Each time we have a call I realize that I couldn’t afford NOT to do it.

Accomplishments:

I have a clear plan (ok, still evolving but it’s right there on the tip of my mind) about what I want my business to accomplish. Totally new!

I have for the first time a strong sense of working ON my business and not just IN it. I’ve read about that for a long time but doing it is like f*cking pure business oxygen. And I’m not gasping for breathe, I’m breathing deep and calm for the first time ever.

Sure sometimes I still get scared, but now I have things I can DO about it, and that beats the fear back into place and grows the capable, savvy badass.

Instead of being super positive and super enthusiastic and pushing the same old buttons while I work harder and harder and am still broke—now I’m super enthusiastic FOR A GOOD REASON. The difference is staggering.

You somehow make it possible to realize where and how I’ve been a complete idiot for two decades but not feel like an idiot—I feel like a normal person who just didn’t know and didn’t know how to find out.

It makes it hard to stay in the closet of shame when the door’s open, sun is shining, and a very smart, very savvy pro on the other side is there to help me kick my own ass into gear and have a ball doing it. In fact the relief I feel to not be making the same mistakes as I was is so huge and so sweet I feel almost evangelical.

You said once, “Hope is not a business strategy” and you couldn’t have nailed me better. Except to add Crossing your fingers isn’t a business plan either. Got it. Oh boy do I got it.

You’re getting me out of my little safe hiding place of mediocrity and challenging me to challenge myself to get my f*cking big girl panties on and make this thing happen.

And the guru thing. I don’t feel like I have to Be Like You to make this work—the opposite in fact:

I have to be like ME or else I’m sunk.

What a relief! And I don’t have to go to groupie parties or getaways or feel like I’m not good enough b/c I didn’t get invited to them. I just have to stay real and stay on it.

Know what I love? You don’t get 3,000 Facebook comments when you buy a pair of shoes or go to a restaurant or take a yoga class. I feel like the whole point isn’t to become a Carolyn disciple or wannabe, but to be me.

The value you offer doesn’t come from cookie cutter teacher worship (which ultimately makes me feel like I’m not good enough to do it on my own)—it comes from doing the damn work with other women who put it on the line, and hold my feet to the fire as much as I hold theirs. This alone is worth gold.

And the other people in the group? They’re gold too—and surprise, surprise, no matter how “far ahead” of me I think they may be in terms of experience or skills, it continues to amaze me that we all offer and find value in each other’s experience. In fact, of course our shared journey (however different we are) drives the learning far far deeper than I would’ve been able to take it on my own.

You want accountability? Honesty? Feedback? PROGRESS?? Join an Evolve group and get to work, sister!!

Brynn B.

If Brynn’s letter speaks to you, apply to be a part of  Evolve Accelerator. I want to get to know you. Visit the intro website to complete your application for an interview today. 

http://thebiztruth.com/evolve/intro/

If you feel like you’re making the same mistakes and want to stop circling success don’t stick this in your “think about it” or “get back to this later” files.

Apply now:

http://thebiztruth.com/evolve/intro/

I look forward to hearing from you.

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Most entrepreneurs are looking for shortcuts and hoping to avoid detours. Watch this video to learn the very first thing you can do to reach your destination more quickly!

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It’s like going to Home Depot and an iParty [store] all at the same time!

This is how one of my clients described Evolve Accelerator earlier this week.

So in the spirit of fun, I’m going to celebrate today’s newsletter with 7 ways to make business more fun for you.

  1. Get in sync with your sleep. I don’t set an alarm. I get up when my body tells me it’s time to get moving. And I looooooove a short afternoon nap when my body calls for it! Ditch the sleep rules and figure out what works for you
  2. Connect with your inner guides. That groggy morning time is when I get my best inspiration because I haven’t gotten into my head yet. I make it a practice to let my “soul team” guide me. Resource: Soul Language
  3. Move. It’s incredibly important to your body and mind to get your heart pumping and stretch and build your muscles so you feel strong. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I run, bike, walk and/or do yoga 4-5 times per week and still don’t have a perfect body, but I feel damn good!
  4. Stand in your power. I see far too many entrepreneurs shy away versus acknowledge the value they deliver. Quit trying to please everyone. Be who you are. Give yourself credit for how remarkable you are. And own it!
  5. Align your business. Declare what you want your business to do for you and define what you enjoy doing that brings value to your clients. (I love creating, inspiring, activating, accelerating.) Then design your business model with the right packaging and pricing to support that. You’ll want to include #1-4 in your declaration, btw. Resource: Evolve Accelerator
  6. Prioritize. You’ll never get it all done. Decide what’s important (doing #5 helps with this) and let the non-essential stuff fall away. Don’t worry, you’re the only one who will know (or notice).
  7. Play! All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. So, Ma’am, step away from your business. Play hooky. Take vacations. Hove those toenails polished. Get massages & facials. Yummy!

This list could be 17… or 107 things to bring more fun to your business, but I’ll stop here. They’re the ones that have made the BIGGEST difference to me over the years… especially in 2013.

You may have noticed that few of these have to do directly with business. Hmmmm…

And as I plan out 2014, you can trust there’ll be even more FUN in store!

P.S. I just celebrated my 11-year business anniversary. Here’s the post I wrote for my 10 year anniversary. Thought you might enjoy it: http://www.thebiztruth.com/2012/10/

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Do you ever get on such a roll when you’re trying to make your point that you don’t even know what’s coming out of your mouth sometimes?

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One thing can make or break your business. And I’m going to surprise you by saying, it’s not “sales.”

It’s what leads to sales:  It’s relationships.

I call it: Client Chemistry… which sums up the “Know, Like and Trust” factor.

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You make your recommendation to your prospect and give him your price.

There’s a moment of silence a then a BIG GULP!

The question is… which one of you is doing the gulping?

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Before moving to New York, I made regular trips to visit my sister here.

First, I was a tourist. Then progressed to being a visitor.  And now I’m a resident.

Check out how this relates to sales in your business…

On the first couple of trips, it was all about the sight seeing… the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, MOMA, eating out every meal…

I would whirl around, check it out and move onto the next tourist site.

After awhile, I felt less obliged to spend all of my time exploring the tourist sites and became, what I would consider, a “visitor”.

Between going to shows and museums, we started to poke around neighborhood street fairs, run errands and order takeout. I slowed down just a bit.

Now that I’m a resident, I’m connecting with other New Yorkers and making friends.

I’m working in my garden, walking to the grocery store and going for long bike rides.

Even though I have always lived life at a pretty fast pace… I’m being more conscious of building a relationship with my new neighborhood and actually slowing down to get to know the city better.

What does this have to do with sales, you ask?

Think about the sales conversations you have and identify which of those three would describe your prospect…

A tourist is a quick in & out, onto the next “site”.

In your biz, they’re the people who are currently on the sidelines and not quite ready to invest more than their time… so they take in all of the free content they can get.

Like watching this blog for tips and taking free teleclasses.

A visitor is still curious like a tourist, but slows down a bit to get to know a different side of things because she’s looking for growth and new experiences.

In business, these are people who are beginning to invest in themselves with low to mid-level programs that provide some direct interaction for short periods of time…like my SELL Event or Bootcamp.

A resident makes a higher investment in herself, because she’s made a longer-term commitment to really “move in” to her business and the programs that support her fully embracing that mindset.

In my business, these are the entrepreneurs who have more access to me on a more intimate, focused basis. Like my VIP clients or the folks in my invitation-only “Sales Confidence” mentorship progam.

So think about the sales conversations you’re having and identify which of those three would describe your prospect based on your different levels of programs.

And which of those three would describe YOU based on what sort of investments you’re making in your own biz?

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Last week I talked about the saying “confidence breeds success” and asked if it’s really “success that breeds confidence…which breeds more success”.

Today I’m coming at it from another angle and that is how “preparation breeds confidence…which breeds success”.

In my first business I had the good fortune of launching nearly 100 businesses which created a very comfortable income and lifestyle.

I was extremely confident in what I could do for my clients… which brought me success.

But I didn’t start out confident. In some areas, I felt overwhelmed and unclear and quite frankly, lost.

That success…and that confidence came from getting the help from a team of amazing coaches and mentors who helped me get my ducks in a row and ultimately build my confidence, one prospect at a time.

In short, it required a LOT of preparation.

  • What are you doing to build your success and ultimately, your confidence?
  • What steps do you take to prepare yourself for success?
  • Who’s in your line-up of mentors and coaches?
  • What are you doing to prove to yourself that you are taking your business seriously?

The measuring stick of success in business is sales.  If you don’t have sales, you don’t have clients.  If you don’t have clients, you’re not doing your “thing” and changing people’s lives for the better.

So start with the necessary sales preparation:

  • Define exactly who your ideal client is.
  • Get clear on how to articulate your value in your ideal prospect’s terms.
  • And establish a line of questioning that helps you guide your sales conversations so that you feel confident enough to make sales calls… so you enjoy success.

If you’re not sure where to start your preparation as it relates to sales, apply for a private sales confidence strategy session with me by going to: http://thebiztruth.com/strategy

Let’s explore what your biggest challenge is with sales and what you can do to have a confidence breakthrough.

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There’s a saying that confidence breeds success.

I actually wonder if it’s the other way around…that success breeds confidence (which breeds more success).

Let’s break it down.

Confidence is having belief in your abilities. Being sure of yourself.

Breed is to produce, cause or be the source of.

Success is the favorable outcome of something attempted. HINT:  In business, that’s called a sale.

So ‘confidence breeds success’ means:

Being sure that you can produce a favorable outcome of something you attempt.

That’s great…but what happens when you don’t have a favorable outcome but you thought you would?  Does that mean you’re not successful or that you were wrong to be confident?

I’ve been confident about my ability in things before but wasn’t successful at it.

What if we flip this around:

Success breeds confidence (which breeds more success).

That would sound like:

A favorable outcome of something you attempt is the source of belief in your  own abilities… which produces more favorable outcomes.

I’ll tell you from my own experience of when I started my first business 9 years ago that although I had confidence-building successes to build upon from my corporate career, TRUE confidence didn’t come until I had a consistent stream of successes in my new business…and then, because I was so confident in my abilities… that attracted even more clients and success.

I want to know what you think.  Post your comments on your perspective on whether confidence breeds success or does success breed confidence (which breeds more success)?

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I went for a run last week in Central Park and got lost.  Thankfully I was up for the adventure and didn’t have anything “riding on it”.

But what if I did?

What if treating my run so casually got me into trouble?

I know a lot of entrepreneurs who treat their sales conversations as casually as I treated my run.

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