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.
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!!
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.
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.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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!
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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!
- 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!
- 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
- 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).
- 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/
When I was a kid, I dreaded bath time because I knew that the “comb routine” afterward was a painful process with my long hair…. It would get all tangled up and so I spent many, many tearful nights having Mom battle running a comb through my hair.
And then one day, she put J&J No More Tears Detangler in my hair and the agony was gone. It was sooooo simple. Keep in mind that I’m the youngest of 5 and money was tiiiiiight but Mom found it worth the investment because she probably disliked that routine more than I did.
This is how I see so many women running their service based businesses. There’s so much to sort through that it gets all messed up. And hairy. And painful. You’re tangling with all sorts of complexities that could be smoothed out with the right solution… so to speak.
Unfortunately, there’s not a single bottle of tonic you can buy at your corner drugstore for $1.99 that’ll make all of your pain go away.
But there are 5 things you MUST do if you want to avoid getting caught in hairy biz mistakes:
- Stop mimicking other people’s bis model. Create an intentional plan for how to set up your business to support your personal goals
- Stop sounding like everyone else and regurgitating what you learn from your coaches. Learn how to develop yourself as a thought leader so you’re the voice, not the echo.
- Stop believing that email marketing is the only way to build your business. Response to email marketing is on the decline. Create marketing strategies to find and meet more of your perfect peeps.
- Stop treating sales so casually. Create a sales conversation strategy that converts more of your prospects to paying clients.
- Stop wasting your time on inconsequential crap. Get ruthless when it comes to prioritizing your goals, as well as managing your time and mindset.
If you feel like you’re tangled up in your business despite the coaching you’ve gotten (or not) and you’re not making the progress you’d expected, check out my Evolve Accelerator program where I walk up to 6 women through each of these keys over 6 months that brings you clarity, clients and cash.
Visit this intro page and apply now:
This is the program I wish I’d had when I started my business but it didn’t exist. I’m a biz vet who’s played a hand in the launch of over 100 businesses and trained thousands of entrepreneurs over the past 10+ years in business and I want to help you.
So complete the short application using the link at the bottom of http://www.evolveaccelerator.com/. I’ll personally review your app and schedule an interview to determine if we’re a fit for each other.
So let’s talk. I’d love to help you.
Life is short and business can be tricky.
Not so long ago, I was in a meeting with about a dozen of my peers and everyone around me was talking about how great things are in their lives and businesses.
When it was my turn to speak I said, “I dare entrepreneurs to live their truth, but I don’t feel like I’m fully living mine.”
You see, I’d spent much of three years working to master the secrets to success in the online world so that I could make millions while I sleep. I had some wins, but never felt like I really connected with people using these tactics because they didn’t feel true to me.
For example, earlier this year I followed a big-name guru’s blueprint for doing a launch and it was a disaster. I didn’t increase enrollments over past launches, and what’s worse is that I burned my relationship with my online community. In fact, my open rates are now HALF of what they were before I followed her advice. (Please forgive me for the error of my ways!) I knew her system didn’t feel right, but promised myself to follow it to the letter because it works for her. BIG mistake.
The truth is that I’m an accelerator. An activator. An artisan.
And I haven’t found an authentic way for those things to translate online. (At least not using other people’s methods.)
The truth is what really feeds me is giving others my full, undivided attention through conversation.
Not copy or complicated email campaigns.
Yes, good old fashioned conversation.
The truth is that I’ll continue to use the internet and email as tools to teach, start conversation and spread the word. But the greatest impact I have on entrepreneurs is listening… really listening to what’s going on and helping you find solutions to your problems.
As an entrepreneur, you must find and live YOUR truth.
Don’t let anyone shoehorn you into doing something that’s “proven” to work if it doesn’t feel true to you.
Here’s the catch…
The critical distinction is knowing the difference between your truth and your fear.
Your truth is what’s deep inside of you. A knowing.
Fear is your ego playing games with you and your truth. It can force you to hide behind excuses.
When you’re resistant to doing something, go deep within yourself to distinguish what’s stopping you. Are you fearful of trying something new? Failure? Success? Looking bad? Or do you have a knowing that’s inside of you… that this action doesn’t support you and your people.
If it’s fear, go take the action. (We’ve all heard the famous quote, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”)
If it’s the knowing, then follow your truth.
The truth is that pure magic happens when I connect through conversation with entrepreneurs because as an activator, accelerator and artisan… I’m able to inspire, motivate and problem-solve in ways that can’t happen in a mass email campaign.
Dare to find and live your truth.
What’s your truth?
Hope isn’t a business strategy.
As an entrepreneur, your success isn’t guaranteed.
Unfortunately, far too many people cheat themselves out of success by taking chances with their time, money and opportunities. They do this by patching together a series of well-intentioned advice and “hope” it all works out in the end.
To vastly improve your odds for enjoying success, you must establish these 6 keys to grow your business with confidence:
1. A sound, simple business model. You’ll get stuck and struggle needlessly until you package and price your services to support your clients AND you every step of the way.
2. A point of view. You can be a thought leader or a follower. Which do you think potential clients value most?
3. A marketing strategy. Based on your business model and what (and who) you stand for, what are the BEST ways for you to elevate your profile to attract clients?
4. A sales strategy. I know you hate this part, but without it, you’ll never have a successful business. The good news is there are ways for you to get clients without the dread you probably feel now.
5. The ability to identify and manage priorities. Far too many entrepreneurs admit to chasing far too many shiny objects, only to abandon them to chase the next shiny object. Knowing your priorities allows you to pursue what matters most.
6. Money management. This is my least favorite (to my retired banker dad’s chagrin). I love to make it and I love to spend it, but I don’t like to manage it. It is, however, a key to improving your profitability.
Once you have these building blocks in place, the odds that your venture will succeed are far greater than skipping past these steps.
If you’re an entrepreneur who started a business based on your desire to serve others in a big way, but don’t necessarily know the ropes when it comes to creating business success and would like to learn from someone who’s played a hand in the launch of over 100 businesses, I encourage you to visit us here.
Dare to CHART, not chance your success.
Mistakes are inevitable.
A common refrain among many of the entrepreneurs is, “I can’t afford to make a mistake.”
I wholeheartedly disagree!
The reality is that you can’t NOT afford to make mistakes.
Sure, it sounds logical when you consider that money is tight, time is at a premium and morale is waning.
What do mistakes really tell you?
Mistakes are our turn signals. They’re indicators that we need to change course. If you take action and learn from your mistakes – you’ll get to your destination more quickly.
The alternative is to allow your fear of making mistakes to paralyze you.
What gets done when you’re not taking action?
Worse yet, you backslide because you feel so awful about not making forward progress.
What’s the worst that can happen if you make a mistake?
You have to answer this one for yourself.
I can tell you that in my 10+ years as an entrepreneur, I’ve never come up with an awful enough reason to stop me from taking a leap of faith on a decision – big or small. And believe it or not, one of my worst-that-can-happen-scenarios was that I might have to sleep on a park bench if I couldn’t make it in NYC!
Start with small things (send the email, pick up the phone, ask for an intro, submit a speaker proposal) and the bigger actions will become easier (hosting your own event, launching a bigger program, moving to Thailand).
So take a breath. Don’t belabor the decision. And take action.
Dare to do.
Only 12% of trainers, coaches, speakers and consultants will ever reach $100,000 in revenue. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the average earnings of a self-employed woman are approximately 55% less than their self-employed male counterparts.
These bleak statistics are due, in large part, to the resistance that women have to selling their services. And because 95% of women start up their ventures using their own funds, they are putting their family’s financial security at stake.
But now, there is something they can do to about it. Carolyn Herfurth, founder of TheBiztruth.com has developed a guaranteed approach for consistently closing 70-80% of potential clients no matter what service is being offered. She’s been using her 5-step sales training solution for over 10 years and it still works, even now.
As a Business Development Strategist and founder of TheBiztruth.com, Carolyn has the secret to generating 4-, 5- and even 6-figure sales through one-on-one sales conversations. She says, “your website can go down, your business cards can go up in flames, and if you know how to really connect with your potential clients with a direct and personal sales conversation, you’ll always enjoy a thriving business.”
It all revolves around the “art of the ask”, Carolyn says. Too many entrepreneurs believe that it’s their job to convince the prospect to do business with them. This is a surefire way to push prospects away, so Carolyn teaches small business owners how to engage and earn their prospects business by crafting thoughtful questions that create a collaborative conversation, instead of a one-sided pitch.
Her online sales training class for service entrepreneurs, The Art & Soul of Successful Selling: How to unlock hearts to create an endless flow of clients you adore, is free with limited availability. When participants sign up, they’ll learn the 5 hidden reasons that interfere with their willingness and ability to sell, discover a surefire fix for turning around the number one sales conversation glitch, learn Carolyn’s 5-step approach to engaging and earning a prospects’ business, and see how to elevate their confidence – particularly for the service-based entrepreneur.
“Too many service-based entrepreneurs stop selling before they start. And when they do engage in a sales conversation, they ask questions that do nothing to set them apart so their prospects aren’t compelled to hire them”, says Carolyn. “Their heart is in the right place, but their selling skills aren’t.”
Carolyn has an impressive record for success. Just ask her clients. Many of whom were closing sales less than 40% of the time. That is, until they met Carolyn.
Bryn Johnson of Bryn Johnson Consulting once closed 15% of her potential clients and now consistently signs 90%. In fact, she recently landed a $30,000 contract with an ideal client doing what she loves.
Listen to a free online sales training class about The Art & Soul of Successful Selling: How to unlock hearts to create an endless flow of clients you adore. Visit www.thebiztruth.com/freecall/art.
Carolyn Herfurth, Business Development Strategist is the founder of TheBiztruth.com and the author of “Shut Up, Sell More: 10 Things to Never Ever Say in a Sales Conversation”. An entertaining speaker, consultant and trainer, Carolyn has played a hand in the launch of 100 businesses, and the growth of hundreds more. She’s helped service entrepreneurs fill their practices and programs and gain a calm confidence about something that used to make them shake in their shoes. For information about her private coaching, business development strategy or in-person workshops and sales training, visit www.thebiztruth.com.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s at the end of your rope and you’re exhausted because you’ve invested massive amounts of money in programs – but all you have to show for it are maxed out credit cards and an empty bank account… now’s your chance to get your money back by duping others into working with you!
Get your ringside seat as I reveal the low-down, dirty secrets for “How to Manipulate & Exploit Others in 5 Easy Steps”.
On this free call, you’ll discover the most insidious tricks of the trade when you learn how to:
- Activate shame in your prospects so they hand over their power to you
- Make your potential clients believe you can lead them to the Promised Land by paying you a boatload of money
- Guilt your prospects into believing they’re a waste of skin if they say “no” to buying from you
- Master the intricacies of selling one thing, but holding out on the promise and delivering something entirely different (and making your client wrong when they point out this fact)
- Instill a sense of disempowerment in your prospects and clients so they keep coming back for more!
Warning! This is NOT for the faint of heart. It is NOT a witch hunt. You MUST have a sense of humor, and not be stuck in “victim mode” and you MUST be ready to take a stand for yourself and your success!
Be sure to register and invite your friends:
You see that one of your favorite clients is on your schedule for an appointment tomorrow morning. You’re excited because he’s the one who always…