Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Pippin’
I just read an e-zine from Adam Urbanski of www.themarketingmentors.com and it reminded me of a wonderful story of a farmer… and how this applies to our business. Here is the condensed version: (I am summarizing.)
After a season of much higher rainfall than normal, a local reporter visited a farmer for a comment on how the increased rain had impacted his crops. Upon arriving, the reporter noticed the lush green fields surrounding him and asked the farmer to comment. The farmer noted that the crops HAD done very well with all of the rain, but also said that he hoped that it didn’t stop.
Because MOST people had been complaining about too much rain, the reporter asked for more information. The farmer said that when water is so prevalent, the roots no longer “search” for water, making the visible parts of the plant beautiful, but the roots of the plant shallow, short and completely ineffective in guarding against a lack of water or even a strong wind. Essentially, the more a plant struggles to survive and thrive, the stronger it is and the better equipped it is to sustain ”tough times”…. leaving his crop particularly vulnerable to even the smallest of “threats”.
This really hit home for me… Because as I reflect on my life, it has been the seasons of struggle that equipped me to accomplish more than I ever thought possible. It was during these times, when what I “needed” wasn’t readily available, that my roots and my core “self” grew stronger.
When I attended Virginia Tech, I worked 40+ hours a week to “make ends meet” – juggling two jobs and no less than 21 credit hours. During this time, I had to negotiate with my professors so that I was not penalized for not attending class. (This left room for my part – time day job.) I also sought out jobs that supported me financially, but also allowed me the freedom to complete my degree on time. This “season” prepared me so well for “working my own way” after I had my first child. Had money come easily to me, I would not have had these strength-building experiences….and may not have had the confidence to do what I am doing now.
When I began my life as an entreprenuer, I had NO money to invest, and had to get VERY creative with my marketing. Had money been readily available, I would have probably invested it in many of the “tired” ways recommended to me by SCORE or by many “business gurus”. (You know, chamber memberships, BNI meetings, print advertisements, pay per click advertising, fancy pens and bumper stickers, etc.) If I had not struggled in this area, I wouldn’t have learned how to market masterfully…
BTW, as a side note, I believe our worldwide financial “situation” is largely due to the fact that for FAR TOO LONG, easy credit and foolish investing kept the VISIBLE parts of our economy “lush and green” while the root system (of profit, ROI, and sound financial decisions) became impotent and shallow. Don’t allow your business to mirror this scenario!! SEARCH… and find strength in the struggle!! To YOUR success!!
I’ve never before been MORE aware of how many business owners genuinely HATE sales. I don’t just mean a playful “dislike” of sales. I’m talking about a genuine, consuming, nasty, and disdainful hatred. It’s a shame, because (obviously) without SALES, these business owners will never make any money.
Of course, what these people (mainly women??) are HOPING is that they won’t HAVE to sell… that they won’t have to ask for the business…. that people will come to them ASKING for their service or product…. seek them out…. offer them a fair price… and “close” themselves. They might not SAY these words exactly – although I’ve heard from some who will – but their thoughts (and actions) aren’t far off.
Of course we all know this ”strategy” is nothing short of ridiculous! While I hope you don’t feel as strongly as I’ve described above, if you are AT ALL interested in making any money as an entrepreneur, I URGE you to reconsider how you ARE feeling about sales… and marketing.
One of the true “secrets” of the seriously $ucce$$ful is that they begin (and nurture) a rock solid, intense, and passionate love affair with all things ”SALES”. In the beginning, these “sales lovers” may “eat what they kill”, but they also fall in love with the hunt. They learn to deliberately design an effective sales strategy…. carefully consider every word they use… and study their market, their competitors, and emerging trends with intense curiosity and an eye for detail….. AND, the best part is: they find every minute of this fun, invigorating, and, of course profitable.
More and more of my work as a coach, consultant, and entrepreneurial leader is focused on this often misunderstood, intensely feared little beast called “sales”. Before I close, I want to come clean. This blog post…. EVERY blog post, really. Every e-zine I send out… Every TWEET… ARE trying to sell you. Sometimes I am trying to sell you…
- on YOURSELF and your potential.
- the BRILLIANCE you already possess, but seem intent to ignore or, at least, not allow to shine.
- SELF-RELIANCE, so that you realize that when your business has a problem.. you are the problem.. and the solution.
- SELECTIVE HEARING… when the media is intent on keeping us paralyzed in fear.
- HOPE in a better tomorrow.
- FAITH in what is possible today.
- HUMOR, so we can laugh at ourselves and avoid taking ourselves too seriously.
- REBELLION… the crucial commitment to “do the opposite” (of what others are doing.)
- on “FAST”… determined not to put extra steps between you and the success you desire.
- on “SLOW” because I know that I accomplish so much more when I commit to slowing down.
- A NEW PERSPECTIVE… when what we are doing routinely fails to produce the results we are looking for, just MAYBE we are doing the wrong things.
- on EASY… simply doing the “obvious things”
- HIGH “FEE” ESTEEM – charging what you are truly worth
- SIMPLICITY… cutting through the clutter of life
- STRENGTH… that comes only with SUPPORT – because the road to success (if you are thinking big enough) can seem like an obstacle course at times.
- FOCUS … because it is the quickest way of reaching your goals
- COMMITMENT because the decision to succeed is as important as any marketing or strategic plan we can create
With ALL of the above in mind, my sincere hope is that my “sales” skills will prove MASTERFUL. Have questions, problems, or obstacles within your own business relating to effective sales and marketing? Leave me a message… send me an email…. and let’s see what we can create together. OH! And if you want MORE encouragement and step-by-step strategies to begin your own affair with the sales and marketing of YOUR business, join my mailing list RIGHT NOW at www.womenwhowow.com, so you can take part in my FREE “14 Days to a Bigger Bottom… (Line)” E-Course.
I can hear the gavel slam down on the defense attorney’s table as I type. OBJECTION!! On Ally McBeal, the stars would dramatically argue every point… stating objections, arguing them, proving their point. Most of the time, they would win. But in sales, we also encounter objections and the outcome is (many times) much more important to us – to our family – to our business – than any pretend case on prime time TV.
So, how do YOU handle them? Do you have a plan? Have you invested in becoming an expert sales person? (P.S. Your business depends on you mastering this skill / art / strategy!!)
This afternoon at 1 PM, I am hosting a tele-seminar on OBJECTIONS in sales. Included in this “meaty” seminar will be FIVE (simple) STRATEGIES you can use to sell more effectively and authentically. We’ll cover:
- How to USE sales objections to get closer to a YES….
- How to employ CURIOSITY to get you closer to the CASH…
- The “C” word you need to AVOID at all costs if you want to SELL…
- The strategies leading UP to a profitable sales conversation…
- Sales Savvy Solutions that are AUTHENTIC, SERVICE – ORIENTED, and PROFITABLE in every industry.
I am doing this call for FREE for my friend and partner, Tory Johnson of Women For Hire. It is taking place TODAY at 1 PM – virtually. To reserve your spot, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with OBJECTION in the subject line. That way, you’ll get your call in information, and we know you’re on the call so we can also send you the audio if you miss it live!
“See” you this afternoon!!!
“Cocaine King”, Joaquin Guzman Loera, has a lot to celebrate this month. In addition to being featured in FORBES Magazine at the end of March, he has also joined the ranks of 38 new Billionaires this year – banking over $1 Billion in personal income… and I’m not sure he’s paying taxes on that money either. =) Recession? He’s unintimidated!
I wonder how much time he spent “getting his name out there”, or networking at Chamber events, or having his image made over by some image specialist…. I have to wonder how much money he spent on branding, SEO tricks, or social media…. **wink**
**This blog post is for anyone who found my “report based on the marketing tactics of drug dealers and prostitutes” too “offensive”… Yep – this is for YOU! =) **
I’ve learned from a woman who ran a successful escort business – VERY profitably (and illegally) for years. I’ve met an ex-drug lord who now teaches business ETHICS….
So, let’s disagree with their product – Sure. Let’s disagree with some of their methods and be intolerant of any violence associated with their industry – of course. But to deny that they have some marketing tactics we could ”swipe and deploy” in our own business?? Now, that’ s just plain foolish. =) Get your own copy of that “ILLEGAL” marketing report by joining the WOW! Factor community at the top right of this page!
This morning, again, I woke up at 4:30 Am to work. My kids and husband are home for the summer, so my work hours are slightly irregular… bringing me back to my entrepreneurial roots of working while everyone else slept! :-) At 5:50, I got in my car and met my friend for a 6 AM jog. I was TIRED, and felt “crappy”. But jog I went. As I drove home just moments ago, I felt great… refreshed…. accomplished… and I was reminded of one of the top issues entrepreneurs deal with – which is the question of “HOW CAN I GET MOTIVATED TO DO X, Y, OR Z?”
When an audience or an interviewer is asking me questions, I always hope this one comes up. Because there is so much JUNK information out there about motivation. As a speaker, I realize I am committing NSA heresy right now, but here is the absolute, rooted-in-reality, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt truth:
You don’t need to be motivated to do ANYTHING!!
I am often not motivated to jog while the rest of the civilized world is sleeping. I am often not motivated to get up and write copy or write my book. I am often not motivated to lead a high-energy workshop….or apologize to my husband… or pay my bills… or visit a family member in the hospital… or cook dinner… or even interview with the press. But, I do it anyway – and so can you.
Two quick thoughts before my “rant” is over: First, what if we spent LESS time “trying to find motivation” and just DID THE THING we were trying to get motivated to do?? (WOW! Factor entrepreneurs KNOW to simply DO THE THING!) Last, jogging never feels like a good idea while sitting on the couch. Apologizing never feels good before you do it. But these things – like MANY things in our business – feel GREAT afterwards… Because the TRUTH about motivation is that it often comes AFTER you have initiated ACTION.
I coach so many people who complain about being “pulled in a thousand different directions”, people whose own goals have consistently been put on the back burner as they run around serving everyone else, saying yes to everything EXCEPT what they really wanted to say yes to. Men and women whose careers and businesses are not where they should be, even though they are “doing all they can do”. People whose children, marriages, health, and friendships suffer because they are spread so thin. I coach them well because I am not only their coach, I am also a member of their club.
You see, my own life was once without direction, focus, and true impact. I was pulled in a million directions, spread so thin I was nearly transparent. Even if I did take the time to carefully plan my day, “things” would happen that would consume my time, leaving my own plans unfulfilled. Pretty soon, I stopped planning all together. I felt that it was a “futile” activity. “Why plan at all?” I would think. I mean, I “knew” that one of the kids would need to go to the doctor, or my husband would forget his keys, or my Grandad would call with a problem with his prescriptions, or another family member or friend would need “a shoulder” for whatever was going on with them. I was a victim of my own days… my own circumstances. Things that simply would not change… Or so I thought.
When my life was in this chaos, I was living my life not as a person, but as a garden hose. Rather than living as if I had been created with a biological computer capable of creating the results I desired (which I was), I was living as a garden hose with the nozzle turned to mist. I literally “sprayed” my thoughts, my actions, and my effort everywhere, but with little or no power or direction behind any of them. Life flowed out of me, but in an aimless, pitiful “drizzle”. I gave a little of myself to everything and all of myself to nothing, doing so much that I did nothing well.
My essential problem is that I was living as a “victim” of circumstance. I took no true ownership of my days, my plans or my life. Sure, I said that I was committed to this, that and the other. But when it came down to it, I wasn’t. If I had truly been committed, I would have insured that my day was structured and protected in a way that guaranteed the success of my commitment. We say that we want to spend more time with our kids, but instead, we take on another project at work or agree to one more business trip a month or take a promotion that requires even more time away from home. We may say that we are committed to our business success, but we keep “forgetting” to follow up with our clients or can’t find the time to make sales calls. We say that we are committed to our health, but never seem to make it to the gym. We “commit” to going to church, but oversleep every Sunday.
The truth is this: true commitment to succeed in any area of your life is evidenced by a structure to guarantee your success. If you are committed to losing weight, you create a structure that supports and ensures the success of your commitment. You don’t buy junk food, sugared drinks, and other “diet killers”. If you are not doing these things, you are not truly committed to losing weight. The truth is, your not lacking “will power”… you are lacking commitment.
Let’s think about our time for a moment. How many times have you blamed your “rushed” lifestyle on your inability to say NO? Yet, don’t you, like me, find yourself saying NO all the time? No, sweetie I can’t take off of work to go on your fieldtrip. No, honey I can’t meet you for lunch. No, I can’t meet you at the gym to work out. No, no, no. Ironically, the things we say NO to most often are the things we SAY are the most important to us.
So, let’s be real for just a moment, because that is the only way we can turn our “misting” garden hose pattern into a forceful “stream”. The fact is, our ACTIONS (our schedules) will tell us what we are truly committed to, if we will take an honest look. If you are living as a victim of your circumstances, you are still commiting, you just choose to commit by default. You have committed to allow the rest of the world to dictate your schedule. Your day is open to other people’s needs, wants, and pressures. Your schedule is guided by your emotions and your circumstances. As long as you view yourself as a “victim” of your circumstances, you will not experience victory over them. Fortunately, there is another way. I call my little “system” KAD.
KNOW YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES. What are you truly committed to? What are you sacrificially committed to? What are your top five priorities in life? Write them down and look at them. If you say YES to these things, people, or goals, it will require you to say NO to other “stuff”. Are you willing to do that? If not, scratch that item off of your list of top priorities. You only want to write down the commitments that you are truly willing to pursue.
ACTION PLAN. Create an action plan to meet your goals and keep your commitments. This simple (and FUN) step takes you out of “wishing” mode (I wish I could…) which is a futile indulgence and puts you into planning mode, which is the skeleton for CHANGE. A goal without a plan is just a wish!
So, what do you need to DO? What action steps do you need to take to make that goal a reality? If you were fully committed to the goal, what would that look like for you? What will you DO? What will you say NO to? This step involves creating a framework for your success. If you need accountability, get some. If you need more time to work, create it. If you need to get to the gym, schedule it (and have someone meet you there.) If you need more time at home, do what it takes to create that “free” time. When you are “planning” your days, look at your current time and energy commitments.
Ask if each activity will get you closer to one of your core goals. If it will, schedule it in. Commit to it. If it will not, it is a “time vampire” and must be slain. So, scratch it off your list of “to dos”, apologize if necessary and move on. This is your path to success.
DO THE THING. Once you create your list of goals and an action plan to meet those goals, all that is left is to “Do the Thing.” That’s it. See, true commitment will always result in ACTION. The best laid plans are useless without action. So, keep that list of goals and priorities. Look at it often. Recommit to it daily. Walk it out in ACTION every day. DO the thing.
This may seem “oversimplified”, but the best things in life usually are. If your life is NOT being lived according to your own goals, values and priorities, don’t stay stuck in guilt, frustration and disappointment. Make a change instead.
You see, if you want to use your garden hose to move a pile of dirt off of your sidewalk, you can put it on “STREAM” and push that obstacle right out of your way. But, if you put the nozzle on “MIST”, you will just weigh down the dirt making it harder to move later. Follow my KAD system and life the life you were meant to live!!
Yesterday, I stumbled upon a website that blasted pretty much EVERY well-known business guru out there… This site basically tears apart the most well-respected marketers of our time. Almost ALL of their products – he claims – are over priced and under-effective (compared to his own “business opportunity”, of course.)
He even had the audacity to pick on one of the truly “greats” of our time… the man responsible for coaching MORE first generation entrepreneur millionaires than anyone else… the Millionaire Maker himself, Dan Kennedy. (He did throw in a half-hearted suggestion that you buy at least ONE Dan Kennedy book…) More business gurus on his hit list: Frank Kern, Robert Allen, Carlton Sheets,etc.
Anyway, it got me thinking about my OWN entrepreneurial journey and the coaches / mentors I have had along the way. Of course, I have my favorite…. my MOST effective coach and mentor. (You can have access to him at www.clubfearless.net for just $19 per month!!) BUT, who is my LEAST favorite? This is an easy question to answer.
I have a business (and life) coach who is relentless… who “shows up” at the worst possible moment and who is always trying to “teach me a lesson”. Truthfully, I have tried to fire this coach and walk away forever. Still, he persists…. faithfully, patiently, skillfully… and I hate him, sometimes. He is my LEAST favorite coach and his name is FAILURE.
Ben Stein wrote that “Failure is a patient teacher.” How true. FAILURE shows up – as a coach – to show me what won’t work… what I need to do differently… to teach me the value of persistance and creativity. And I hate him. But, I need not fear failure… or retreat to the perceived safety of my comfort zone to avoid him… or limit my action to not rub shoulders with him…
Instead, what if we all simply viewed failure as a success coach… as the toughest, most relentless and results-oriented coach we have ever known… and determined to profit from it -every time??
I remember a cross-stitch picture that used to hang in my brother’s room. It was of a deer and underneath it were the words, “My First Deer”, commemorating his first “hunting trophy”.
As children, our world is defined by our firsts…. which kept life a constant adventure… there was NO comfort zone that stood a chance of lasting the month.
What happened to us? When did we start actually “craving” the comfort zone? (Quick note: The “comfort zone” is about as safe today as the slowly warming water that eventually turns to a boil and kills the frog!!)
As adults, when was the last time YOU had a “first” of ANY kind?
Oh no! I woke up this morning and again, realized that I had NOT been “bailed out” yet. What on earth am I to do? Perhaps the message is that I am, in fact, actually responsible for my own “bail out”…. Hmmmm…..
On a more serious note, I came across a quote from Thomas Jefferson that could be used today as a direct response to the multiple trillion dollar “bail out” that has dominated our news channels lately….
“I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon – if I can. I seek opportunity – not security. I do not wish to be a KEPT CITIZEN, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build; to fail and to succeed…. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, or my dignity for a HANDOUT. It is my heritage to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, “this I have done”. All this is what it means to be an American.”
Well said, Mr. Jefferson!! Well said!!
If you are like many of my private clients….
*** you may be wondering how to do this thing “right”… I mean, you know you are fabulous at what you do… your clients LOVE you… and others seem to be prospering in your field. What gives?
*** You have probably at one time or another described your business as in a phase of “FEAST or FAMINE”. You might get JUST ENOUGH work to get you hopeful and excited – but then… you guessed it FAMINE time comes around again.
*** You have bought the “systems”… which offered a LOT of GREAT information and tips, but in the end your business remained largely unchanged…
*** YOu network all the time, but to little ($$$)avail … AND
*** You may have even purchased expensive paid advertising – anywhere from $15 to $1500 or MORE – with little or no results.
I have to say that I have ABSOLUTELY been there…. ABSOLUTELY. And when I was there, this one question kept coming up, “HOW DO PROSTITUTES AND CALL GIRLS AND DRUG DEALERS MARKET THEMSELVES?” After all…
*** they provide either a product or a service.
*** Getting their “name out there” is not an option as it is DANGEROUS (legally) – BTW, there is NO VALUE whatsoever in “getting your name OUT there”. The only value is in getting YOUR customers IN HERE to you.
*** They cant’ PAY for any advertising, AND
*** I have NEVER been approached by one of these “black market” entrepreneurs at a lame networking event or Chamber meeting.
YET… there are uber-successful (financially speaking) people in all of these black market “industries”. So, how do they do it?
Well, you all know I work with small business “victims”… advertising victims…victims of “system purchases”… victims of networking neurosis… victims of analysis paralysis….. You all know that I don’t talk like other business coaches out there. P.S. This is a good thing – because MOST of what people teach you about business is WRONG!!
Good news: Tomorrow, I am releasing a free report – but only to the members of my Wow! Factor community! It is all about my “weekend with a call girl”… You don’t have to pay to be a member, you just have to subscribe on my website – www.womenwhowow.com. (NOTE: I specifically work with SERVICE-based businesses… but if your business is product-based, you will STILL benefit from being a member. Join anyway!!)
A while back I blogged about Michael Phelps, and how his “extra stroke” won him the gold. I saw the “disgraced” olympian on TV the other night, along with the rest of the nation. While his publicist-written letter of “regret” was clearly “well-penned”, I hesitate to believe he TRULY regrets his “mistake”. In fact, I am not sure it was a mistake at all… I mean, you can look at the picture itself and tell that he was pretty comfortable with his fancy monogrammed glass bong and favorite herb. ** grin ** Clearly, the “masses” publicly condemn the use of marijuana – many I am sure while using it privately themselves. Just like our good friend, Michael Phelps. But, SHOULD he really be “regretful”? What do the experts say?
Well, the “experts” over at www.abovetheinfluence.com say that marjuana causes “poor motor coordination”, “decreased energy and ambition”, “higher incidence of depression”, and an “impaired ability to communicate and relate to others”… Yet, Michael Phelps won our hearts with his authentic communication style and loving relationship with his family… He broke olympic records (negates the decreased energy and ambition hype) and hardly seems depressed. Hmmm…
Now, I’m not asking everyone to run out and join your local NORML group, but I do have ask, “What else have the experts been wrong about?” and HOW does all of this relate to YOUR success in our new economy?
- In 1912, Professor Michael Foch concluded that “Airplanes have no military value.
- In 1977, the CEO of DEC Computers assured us that “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
- Walt Disney’s brother, along with other media experts told him that “An amusement park with pirates and Indians is the stupidest idea you have ever had.” He was also told that Mickey Mouse was a lousy idea.
- JP Morgan told Alexander Graham Bell that his invention “was without merit”.
- When Ted Turner invested $100 Million of his own money to put 24-hour news on the air (welcome: cable tv), the Washington Post wrote, “The industry doubts Ted Turner knows his ass from a hole in the ground. It can’t be done.” Of course, he was worth $10 Billion in less than 10 years.
Unfortunately, it takes almost an entire generation gap before people are willing to dispell the previous generation’s truth as MYTH and create a new “truth”. In fact, most experts (and those who are funding them) have such a psychological (and $$) investment in their “findings”, they RARELY – if ever- admit they are wrong. So, what does this have to do with success????
Everything. The “success system” I use with the most consistency can be summed up very quickly and can be used whether you are working in a large corporation, a solopreneur working from home… or whether you represent one of the growing options in between.
“Look at what everyone else is doing and saying. Take note of how they are acting and what the gurus are saying you should do. Listen to ALL of the “experts” of your time and then DO THE OPPOSITE. Because in the words of the great Millionaire-Maker himself… The majority is ALWAYS wrong.
Yep…. Gap is closing 85 stores. But 2009′s first quarter economic “bloodbath” certainly doesnt end there. Ann Taylor…. 117 stores. Sprint – Nextel… closing 125 stores. Wilson’s Leather, 158 stores. Foot Locker, 140 stores. Bombay, 384 stores. Home Depot, 15 stores. Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, 150 stores.
In his book, The Innovative Mind, Dr. Gene Landrum addresses why big corporations and large companies will fail in this economy. Essentially, today’s economy demands INNOVATION, he says, which is defined as being willing to destroy what IS, to create what is NOT. He goes on to say that this “creative destruction will be too ungovernable for modern [companies] to tolerate”.
It is HERE we find HOPE. While the “big names” are worshiping tradition and resisting change, we can embrace change and become agile. While they remain steeped in bureaucracy and commit to protecting the status-quo, we can be BOLD, CREATIVE, and PRO-ACTIVE. While they analyze and seek approval, small companies – LIKE OURS- can take action and seek a profit.
THIS is why Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and Estee Lauder outperformed their “bigger” competitors. THIS is why we have just cause to be optimistic and allow our actions to follow suit. Because in the end, optimism (or pessimism) will – ultimately – guide our actions.
“When you are short on ACTION,
You will likely be short on CASH” – B. Michelle Pippin
“Get out there and sell something. America needs the business.” – Zig Ziglar