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7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

7 Hot Predictions for Business Success in 2018

Along with creating new goals and resolutions, it’s also that time of year to dust off the crystal ball (aka an angel snow globe in my case) and make some predictions for the New Year, especially around the hot topic of business success.

And, I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was a little rough, and it could get rougher.

BUT, as always, there is opportunity as well, just as long as you’re open to what it looks like (in other words, it may not be dressed the way it was before OR the way you’d prefer it to be—but more on that in a bit).

Without further ado, let’s see what 2018 has in store for us.

1. It’s no longer “business as usual.”

One thing that became VERY clear in 2017 is how fast marketing strategies can simply cease to work, especially in the coaching/transformation industry. What used to work, isn’t (or, at least, it’s not working the way it used to).

Needless to say, this took some folks by surprise (while creating a lot of panic).

So, what happened?

I think it’s the part of the end of a cycle of two basic human drives (or two things we’re hardwired to be attracted to):

* The attraction of “new”

* And the attraction of “easy”

I’ll explain.

You may not know this, but there was a time (really!) where all you had to do was post a little opt-in box on your website with the words “Free Newsletter!” and people would sign up. (I actually once had someone email me wanting to get my free newsletter because my opt-in form wasn’t working properly.)

Now this was way back … when hearing the words “You got mail!” was exciting. (I got mail! Yay!)

Today, it’s a serious challenge to persuade people to even give you their email address much less buy something from you. And “You got mail!”? People are now excited when they manage to whittle down their inbox to below 100 emails.

Back then, email was new. Free newsletters were new. Therefore, it was a lot easier to see results.

And, in some cases, we’re talking pretty dramatic results.

In the early days of the Internet, it wasn’t uncommon for early adopters to get some insane results without doing a lot of work. And it wasn’t necessarily because what they offered was so incredible, or even that their marketing was so great.

It was because what they did was new.

And the power of new broke through the clutter.

So then, the attraction of “easy” kicked in. Early adopters made more money teaching their “easy” system to the next wave of entrepreneurs, who eagerly lapped it up. (After all, there are very few things we humans love better than something being “easy.”)

Of course, the fresh, shiny sheen of “new” eventually wears off, turning it “old” and “familiar.” “Old” and “familiar” is not nearly as sexy as “new.” They don’t attract nearly the attention, which means it doesn’t work nearly as well. Even worse, “new” becomes “old” even faster when more people use it.

Which means the early adopters need to find a different “new.” And the cycle starts all over again.

Until, eventually, we reach the predictable end.

Internet Marketing itself is no longer all that “new” or “easy.”

(And, all those tricks that came with it? Yeah, those are “old, familiar, and busted,” too.)

You see, the problem with “new” and “easy,” at least as it relates to Internet Marketing, is that it circumvents two key components of growing a successful business—work and patience.

And a lot of people get addicted to “new” and “easy” and forgot about the “time” and “work” part.

So, when “new” and “easy” stop getting results, there is panic.

Then what do we do?

Is the world as we know it over? Do we all need to get j-o-b-s?

Well, before you start trying to remember what a resume even looks like, let’s see what the next prediction is.

2. BUT it IS sort of “business as usual.”

Wait. I’m confused too. Wasn’t the first prediction that it’s no longer business as usual?

Yes, IF you’re building your business on a foundation of “new” and “easy.” While “new” and “easy” will always provide a shot in the arm, it’s not sustainable.

If you want a solid, dependable, profitable, successful business, then maybe it’s time to go back to solid, dependable, profitable, successful business practices.

What are those?

It’s simple—solve a problem that’s keeping your ideal clients up at night, and offer it to them at a fair price (fair to both of you—you need to make a living, and your ideal clients need to feel like they didn’t overpay for what was delivered).

How do you do that? Focus on three main principles:

* Attracting new prospects

* Turning those prospects into clients

* Taking great care of those clients

That’s really it.

Business really isn’t complicated. I know it can seem like it is (especially when you’re stuck in the cycle of “new” because you’re constantly having the chase the next “new” thing), but it truly doesn’t have to be. (And that includes enjoying sustained business success.)

So, how do you do all of that?

Well, let’s jump into prediction three.

3. Relationships are the new currency.

(Relationships were actually the old currency, too, but let’s not split hairs.)

People want to do business with people. People have ALWAYS wanted to do business with people. People WILL always want to do business with people.

So, how did we end up with so many empty, “personality” brand businesses that have little connection to their clients?

Simple. We forgot (blame the frenzy of “new” and “easy” coupled with how easy the internet makes it for us to hide behind our computer).

So how do you do that?

First, let your ideal prospects and clients and customers FEEL you. Hear your voice. Get to know your personality quirks. Maybe even show your vulnerability.

And, don’t ever forget about prediction four.

4. Quality never goes out of style.

There were many things we forgot when we were trapped in the “new” and “easy” cycle, including making sure we actually created a great product or service.

One of the principles of “new” was “speed.” Think about it—the people who benefit the most from “new” are the early adopters. The faster you can get something “new” out there, the better your results.

Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with speed. In fact, there are times when moving swiftly makes good business sense.

But, “speed” can quickly turn into “sloppy.” And, in the quest to make things happen faster, “sloppy” somehow became more acceptable. “Just launch it and fix it later” became the new motto (or, even worse, “launch it first and create it later”).

Again, there’s wisdom in “launching first and creating later.” For one thing, you won’t spend weeks or months creating something no one wants to buy. You’ll know you have a market.

But, the problem is when people buy, they’re expecting the product. So, you have no choice but to create it fast. And, that leads to “sloppy.”

What’s the alternative?

Ask your prospects and clients what they want (and if you have a good relationship with them, they’ll tell you). Test something small—maybe a small product or a free piece of content—and see what the results are. Keep an eye on what seems to be working (and not working) in your marketplace, so you can stay ahead of the trends.

And that leads us to prediction five.

5. Be nimble.

I can hear you now: “Wait. Didn’t you just say “speed” was the first step on a slippery road to ‘sloppy’?”

“Speed,” yes. But, just because you’re nimble doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moving fast with EVERY part of your business.

For me, being nimble means you’re in a position to see what’s out there and respond quickly to it.

For instance, remember MySpace? No? I’m not surprised. I barely remember it either.

Years ago, before Facebook became the ten-foot-tall gorilla, there was MySpace.

For awhile, MySpace was the hot social networking platform to be on. One of my friends even successfully sold a little product on how to make money on MySpace.

And then Facebook took off.

Enough said.

So, the point of this is you DO need to keep an eye open to what’s working and what’s not working. Just because Facebook is where your clients are today doesn’t mean that’s where they’ll be tomorrow.

(BUT, if you’ve created a connection with your ideal prospects, they’ll likely also follow you to the new platform.)

And, if you want to stay nimble, check out number six.

6. Keep an eye on your statistics.

I know, I know. Numbers aren’t sexy.

BUT, they’re one of the best ways to keep a finger on the pulse with not only what’s going on in your industry, but in your business. And they’re the best way to keep you on the path to sustained business success.

Here’s the thing: There’s no question that right now a lot of entrepreneurs are floundering because the strategies they used to used to both grow their business and enjoy business success aren’t working the way they used to.

BUT, let’s not forget there are also entrepreneurs out there who had their best year ever in 2017.

Just because something isn’t working in the rest of your industry doesn’t mean it will affect you. (Keep in mind, the reverse is true too—just because something is working for EVERYONE doesn’t mean you’ll have success with it.)

That’s why keeping an eye on your specific numbers and looking for trends is important.

What numbers should you watch? Anything you want to grow. Some ideas include:

* Email subscribers

* Opens/clicks on your email list

* How many of your prospects buy

* How many visitors to your website

* Specific numbers for any marketing strategy you’re doing (i.e. blog visitors, podcast downloads, YouTube watches, etc.)

And, to brig it all home, prediction seven.

7. It’s never too soon to panic (aka someone, somewhere will panic this year).

Just as people are attracted to “new” and “easy,” they’re also attracted to “panic.”

It’s important to remember, panicking is a choice. Yes, I know, when the bottom falls out, it’s easy to slip into panic.

And, it’s important to feel those feelings—so if that’s what you’re feeling, then feel it and let it move through you.

Just don’t let it control your actions or decisions.

Nothing good happens when you run your business from a state of panic. And, you especially need to make decisions from your inner wisdom and/or God (or your higher power) if the bottom HAS dropped out. (In other words, when it’s most important that you don’t panic, you’re most likely to feel panic.) (Yes, I agree, it sucks.)

So, feel it, and THEN take action.

ESPECIALLY since there’s actually a lot of opportunity and a lot hope to be found out there.

In fact, let me end on a high note:

I made the claim that Internet Marketing itself is no longer “new” and “easy,” but has moved to “old” and “familiar.”

However, that doesn’t mean Internet Marketing doesn’t work. Quite the opposite. Internet Marketing ABSOLUTELY works—BUT only if you use it correctly.

Relying on novelty of “new” to break through the clutter is a stressful, losing proposition. But, using an old and familiar tool to give people what they really want (i.e. a solid relationship, a high-quality product, etc.) is absolutely a winning strategy.

Even better, it’s also key to building your business on a solid foundation of business success.

If you want more help, you may want to dig into my Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here (especially my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.)

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

[Video] Flip It! Can Gratitude Help You Manifest Your Dreams?

If you’ve ever dabbled into Law of Attraction principles or other spiritual practices designed to help you grow your business and manifest your dreams, you’ve likely been encouraged to have a gratitude practice.

And, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, including myself. you may find yourself rolling your eyes at this advice.

It sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Just come up with a list of things you’re grateful and that somehow is going to help you manifest your desires.

Really?

Precisely how is THAT going to make you more successful? Especially if you’re struggling right now and the last thing you feel is grateful.

So, I get it. I was skeptical too.

Then, I read a study in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

A group of participants were asked to hold a beacon with DNA strands in it while focusing on unwinding the strands. If they just used their thoughts to unwind them (like what we all learned in the movie “The Secret”, which was anything you thought about, you attracted into your life) nothing happened.

BUT, the group of participants who felt grateful as they thought about unwinding the strands, they were actually able to unwind them by 25%.

The key is to combine the emotions of gratitude with the power of your thoughts. If you can do this, and do this consistently (like every day) you’ll manifest what you desire.

Gratitude is one of the highest vibrations there is. That means the longer you’re able to stay in gratitude, the longer your energy is operating at that higher level, and as like attracts like, that high vibrational energy is attracting your desires to you.

Now, I’m grossly simplifying Dr. Dispenza’s work here, but if you want a couple of pointers to get started, take a few minutes to watch below:

 

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book — you can check it out here.

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice and Grow Your Business Fast

How many times have we heard it? The secret to success is to have a gratitude practice — write down three or five or 10 things every day you’re grateful for.

Now, I’m not saying that’s not a good thing to do. Any sort of practice that helps you focus on all the wonderful things you have versus what you don’t have is a good thing.

But, the problem with that gratitude practice is that it doesn’t go nearly far enough. You see, the secret of a gratitude practice, what makes it a truly powerful, life-changing practice, is to tap into the FEELING of gratitude.

If you can truly feel grateful, that energy is what will attract more of what you want to you.

But, it goes even deeper than that. Gratitude is actually such a powerful emotion that, if you regularly practice feeling it, it can transform your life. Here are three other ways you can use gratitude to grow your business:

  1. Market and sell yourself using love-based principles.

When I talk about the love-based copy and marketing philosophy, I teach that to actually market yourself with love, your mindset (or “come from”) needs to be based in love.

While this is important, it’s also easier said than done, especially if you’re really struggling financially in your business.

That’s why I teach that a quick way to shift your energy is to focus on gratitude. And, what I mean by that, is to focus on feeling grateful.

 

  1. Turn around feelings of entitlement, grumpiness, or general dissatisfaction with your business.

It happens to all of us. We decide we’re done with our business. We’re running off to live in a hut on a beach.

Now, in some cases, there is a good reason for those feelings—maybe they’re an indication of the fact that we’ve actually built the wrong business for us. But, in many cases, we’re just experiencing a moment of entitlement.

No, entitlement-related feelings aren’t only for the Millennials. If you’ve ever had a moment where you found yourself saying things like:

• “This should be easier.”

• “I don’t understand why I’m not successful yet.”

• “I’ve done everything I’ve supposed to and I’m not successful yet.”

• “This isn’t fair!”

I hate to break it to you, but you’re having an entitlement moment.

And, it’s okay. We’re human. Feelings of entitlement are a part of being human. Millennials certainly didn’t invent them.

But, if you’re trapped in that feeling, it’s not going to help you grow your business. One of the best ways to shift that feeling and get yourself out of it is to focus on feeling gratitude, instead. Flip your perspective, and find something you can feel deeply grateful for to concentrate on.

  1. Supercharge what you want to manifest. (Ah, this is a fun one.)

I first learned about this in the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, but here’s a (very) simplified version of what he teaches.

If you want to manifest a certain outcome for yourself, like hitting a specific income goal, you can supercharge that manifestation by using gratitude.

Here’s how this works:

Focus on feeling grateful. Really feel the emotion. Let it fill your body.

Now, while you’re in this state of gratitude, start visioning what you want to manifest.

See it come true. Really see it happening in your mind.

And, as it comes true, focus on feeling even more grateful it is coming true.

And that’s it! Manifestation, supercharged.

Do this regularly, and watch how your life changes.

If you’d like to dig into this topic even more, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book, it’s available at most online retailers here.

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

What to Do When You Want to “Burn Down” (aka Quit) Your Business (Part 2)

If you’re an entrepreneur for long enough, you’ll likely feel like you want to quit every now and then. Or even consider burning down your business a time or two.

That’s normal. Pretty much every successful entrepreneur I know has fantasized about leaving his or her business, and running off to live in a grass hut on a beach somewhere.

But, that doesn’t mean you should actually do it.

In fact, I would argue that most of the time when you get that “I QUIT” feeling, there’s really something else going on.

And, if you can get to the heart of what “I quit” is REALLY telling you, you can turn around more than your business.

You can turn around your life.

So, let’s dive into a few possible reasons behind that “burn it down” feeling. (Note—this isn’t meant to be a complete list. You may have something going on I don’t list here, and that’s perfect. This is just meant to help you shift your perspective a bit.)

• Are you exhausted and/or overwhelmed? I know when I get overwhelmed, I just want to run away. But, the more effective response is to take a look at why you’re feeling exhausted and/or overwhelmed, and fix that.

Maybe you need to get more help? And, yes, that may mean hiring a team member or two in your business, but it may also mean hiring a housekeeper or a personal assistant or a nanny. Or it could mean having a heart-to-heart with your spouse, partner, and/or older children, and enlisting their help around the house.

Or maybe you just need to let some things go. Maybe you cut back on volunteer or community service hours, or maybe you let go of the idea that you absolutely must have a super-clean house. Or maybe there’s a business project or a task on your to-do list that hasn’t gotten done for a while now, and just needs to be deleted.

Basically, if this is you, I would encourage you to take a good, long look at your business and your life and see what you can do to restructure or delegate or delete the tasks that are overwhelming you.

• Are you bored? A lot of creative entrepreneurs confuse boredom with the desire to burn things down. They’re bored, so therefore “It’s not working anymore,” and they need to go do something else.

But, before you start burning things down, see if there’s a way you can restructure your business so you’re not stuck doing the things that are boring you, and that will give you the space and energy to pursue new challenges that excite you.

• Are you feeling entitled? No, this doesn’t only apply to Millennials. If you find yourself thinking things like “This really should be easier,” or “I should be further along by now,” or “Why do I have to do this?” or “Why is so-and-so more famous and successful than me?” you may be suffering from a case of entitlement.

If this is you, you may want to consider volunteering or spending time with people who have bigger challenges than you have. That’s typically a good way to reset your mind, and realize how blessed you actually are.

• Do you have the wrong business model? If you are a one-on-one business coach and you’re built for group programs, you’re likely going to eventually resent your business.

If you find yourself in this place, a smarter move may be to restructure your business model into one that better suits you. A great place to start is with my free book: How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back.

Another variation of this concept has to do with what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Excellence” versus your “Zone of Genius.” Around which have you built your business? If you’re in your Zone of Excellence, yes, you’re doing work you like and are good at. But you also may know deep down that there’s something not quite right. And, after a while, that may start to suck the life out of you.

• Did you think the money would make everything else worth it? I’ve known a number of successful entrepreneurs who have built businesses they didn’t love (or even much like), but who are making really good money.

They did it because they assumed the money would make everything else worth it.

So, imagine their dismay when they realize that isn’t the case.

If you’re building something simply for the money, there’s a chance you may wake up one morning and flat out decide you’re done, because the money isn’t worth it. If this is you, you may want to start evaluating now, to see how you can tweak what you’re doing so it’s more in line with your purpose and/or passion.

• Are you in a wormhole? My friend, Juicy Marketing Expert Lisa Cherney, used to talk about being in the wormhole, which basically represents the “breakdown” before the “breakthrough.” It’s really common for entrepreneurs to get derailed, or fall down into a pit, while on their entrepreneurial journey. But sometimes, your darkest times occur right before your biggest breakthroughs.

If you find yourself here, self-development tools such as meditation or journaling or coaching may help. You can also check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book for more tools and exercises that can help you manage your mindset, and guide your breakthrough.

• Have you been neglecting your self-care? If so, then it’s no wonder you’re feeling worn down and ready to quit. Even if you feel like you can’t take the time, you may have no choice but to take a few days (or even longer) off, and make some time for yourself.

• Do you have a pattern of walking away? If this is a common pattern of yours—to walk away or quit—this may be a golden opportunity to stay in the game … to NOT let yourself quit. In fact, it could be the beginning of the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.

Now, this is not to say you should never quit. There are absolutely times when quitting is the smartest option. But, before you do quit, it may be smart to make sure that truly is the best option for you.

If you want to dig into this topic more deeply, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

 

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Feel Like “Burning Down” Your Business? Read This. (Part 1)

Recently, a famous entrepreneur in the transformation industry apparently advised a room full of beginning and “wanna-be” entrepreneurs that one of the secrets to business success is to “burn it all down.”

I wasn’t personally in the room, but even if it didn’t happen precisely the way it was described to me, there are a few good teaching points I think are worth talking about.

1. There is a time and place to share your most vulnerable story—and that time is NOT when the walls are crashing down on you.

Look, being an entrepreneur is really, really tough. It’s going to trigger you. It’s going to push your buttons. You’re going to fail. You’re going to fall down.

Some of those falls are going to be harder and more painful than others.

And, sometimes, the pit you find yourself in is so deep and so dark, the only possible way out you can see is to burn everything down.

I get it. Every single successful entrepreneur I know has contemplated burning it all down at some point, and a good many of them actually have (or did a pretty significant pivot).

As you can imagine, being in this place can wreak havoc on your emotions, which is why if you talk about it when you’re in the middle of it, you run the risk of sounding massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving.

(And, let’s be honest—you likely sound massively-entitled, ego-driven, and self-serving because in that moment, you ARE. And it’s okay. It’s normal. You’re in a tremendously difficult time. Be gentle with yourself.)

The time to share is AFTER. After you’ve done the work, felt the feelings, and actually have some sort of positive resolution to share.

If you don’t have a positive resolution yet, that likely means it’s not time to share.

2. There’s more than one way to “burn it down.”

Some entrepreneurs are able to use their current business as fuel for a new one. Some simply burn it down and walk away. Some even take others down with them.

In the heat of the moment, you may decide you don’t care what happens to anyone else–you just want out. I get it. But, again, before you destroy what you worked so hard to build, I’d encourage you to take a moment and consider how it will affect others, such as:

• Your team. They’re depending on you financially. Are you still paying them like you promised? Are you able to bring them with you, if you begin traveling a new path? And, if not, are you giving them enough of a heads up, so they can find other arrangements?

• Your clients. They’re depending on you, too. Are you leaving them in a lurch, or are you honoring your commitment to them?

• Your past clients, customers, and buyers (and really anyone who believed in your message, teaching, and training). Are you now telling them everything you taught was a sham? Or are you still standing behind the essence of your message (as it may just be changing form)?

• Your commitments. Are you honoring your commitments and doing what you can to gracefully transition, or are you simply walking away, promises be damned? (Note—this includes promises you’ve made to yourself, as well as to others.)

It may be you’re at a point where you simply don’t care anymore. But if you do, I highly encourage you to take a moment to pause and breathe and think about what you’re doing.

Like I said earlier, there are lots of ways to burn down your business, and how you do it says a lot about your character.

3. If you find yourself trapped in a pit, there is likely a deeper reason.

You typically don’t get stuck in pits unless something else is going on.

For instance, you may have heard the saying “breakdown to breakthrough”—in many cases, the deeper and darker the pit, the bigger the breakthrough. Or maybe the pit is supposed to be showing you something else … something that’s not even related to your business.

In fact, a lot of times, even if you feel like burning down your business, that actually isn’t the right solution.

In Part 2, I dug into some other deeper issues that may be lurking underneath your desire to burn it all down.

And, if you’d like to dig into more mindset issues that may be holding you back from the business success you’re dreaming about, check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book. You can grab your copy here.

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

[Checklist] How to Grow Your Online Social Influence

One of the best ways to supercharge your business growth and your income (while getting your message out there in a bigger way) is to grow you online social influence.

After all, when you have a strong online social influence, you’ve built credibility and visibility around your expertise, which means your ideal clients are likely seeking you out, excited to work with you. You probably also enjoy the results you get from the power of word of mouth marketing to sell your products, services, book, programs and more.

But be warned—building your online influence isn’t easy (and there are some hard truths you should know about it before you even get started, which I share here). The good news is there IS a path you can follow if you’re ready to step up and start growing your social influence.

That’s why I’ve created this checklist—to show you that path, and to provide you with links to additional articles and resources, so you can begin developing your social influence.

The Checklist:

_____ Are you clear—crystal clear—on your business?

It is crucial to be clear on:

* Your message, and

* Who you serve.

If you don’t have absolute clarity on both your message and your ideal client, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to actually grow your social influence.

(Note—in my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book, you’ll find a whole host of questions to help you get clear on the precise business you want to build. You can grab your copy for free here.)

_____ Have you developed your own unique voice?

People will resonate with you (and want to follow you) when:

* They fall in love with your message, and

* How you communicate your message.

The way you communicate your message is just as important as your message itself.

For example—many self-help experts have a message around love being the most powerful force in the world. But, the ones who rise to the top have a distinct way of communicating that message so it rises to the top.

Most health experts have a similar message around healthy habits. So how do they differentiate themselves from their competition? By communicating that message in their own unique voice.

So, how do you develop your unique voice?

Two quick tips are to read more and write more. (The more you read and the more you write, the more you’ll start to develop your unique voice.) But most importantly, don’t be afraid to share your personality. Let people see the real you—your quirks, your loves, your rants, your vulnerabilities. That’s what people want to see—the real you.

_____ Are you in integrity with your message?

There’s nothing less persuasive or compelling than being a hypocrite.

Really, who wants to follow a hypocrite? (Think of Dante’s Inferno—he devoted a whole circle of hell just to hypocrites.)

So, whatever your message is, it’s critical to make sure both you and your business are aligned with that message.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be aligned 100% of the time. For instance, if you’re a health coach, you can occasionally pig out on chocolate cake. But, then be honest about it. Let people know you’re human, and you occasionally cheat and it’s okay if they occasionally cheat. (In fact, sharing your flaws and being honest about them will likely make you even more relatable to prospects.)

But, if you’re a health coach and you have some nasty health habits you’re not owning up to, people are going to sense that you’re out of integrity. They might not know why, exactly, but they’ll feel something is off. And they won’t be all that interested in following you.

_____ Are you making a difference in people’s lives?

Most people want to follow someone they can look up to, right?

One great way to be that type of person is to make a difference in people’s lives.

A lot of people have a dream or a goal to leave the world a better place than they found it, and if you’re working toward that vision, people will be naturally attracted to you, so they can learn from you.

In addition, if you help people, those people are going to be more inclined to follow you.

I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a key trait for most successful people is their generosity and commitment to being of service to others. So, if you want to be successful and grow your social influence, upping your generosity may be exactly what you need to do.

_____ Are you putting your best work out there?

For years, the prevailing wisdom we heard as entrepreneurs was to focus on your marketing, rather than the quality of your work, because “he who has the best marketing wins.”

That actually hasn’t proven to be completely true. Yes, there’s no question you still need marketing, and having a solid marketing plan you consistently follow will go a long way to help you attract a steady stream of clients, customers, and buyers.

But, marketing on its own isn’t going to cut it. You also need to make sure you’re putting your best work out there.
Marketing can help you get a first-time buyer, yes. But, if that buyer has a bad experience, almost no amount of marketing will convince him or her to come back a second time.

In addition, if everyone has good marketing, then the only thing that separates one business from another is the quality of what they’re offering.

_____Have you chosen the right communication vehicle for you?

Having a large social influence typically means having a lot of followers.

So, if you want to have a lot of followers, you need something for them to follow. (Makes sense, right?)

Whether it’s a blog or a podcast or a youtube channel or a Facebook group or something else (or even a combination of vehicles) you’re likely going to have to build something for people to be a part of.

If you’re not sure which is the best communication vehicle for you, you may want to take my “Love Your Marketing Assessment” in my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book, to help you figure that out.

_____Have you worked through your mindset and/or subconscious blocks?

When you decide to step up and become more visible so you can start making a bigger difference, you may discover you have some mindset or subconscious blocks that are keeping you from making the progress you want to.

First off, this is completely normal. Chances are you already WOULD have a big social influence if you didn’t have any blocks getting in your way.

My book “Love-Based Money and Mindset” is all about working through your mindset blocks so you can grow your business, but this article will help you get started.

Lastly, you may want to dig into one or several of these topics in more detail. My Love-Based Business series is a great place to get started. Check out all the books here.

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

3 Hard Truths About Building Your Online Influence

There’s no better way to grow your business online than by growing your influence.

When you’ve built a strong online influence, it likely looks like you have a large online community who follows you. For instance, maybe you have a big email list or lots of Facebook followers or a popular blog or podcast or Youtube channel. (Or a combination of the above.)

And, of course when you have that, it’s so much easier to build a successful, profitable business.

But, having online influence is more than just collecting followers on the various social networks. It also means people are actually reading your words and listening to your message.

And, when that happens, it’s truly magic. Because then you’re in a position to share your gifts and message in a much bigger way.

And when you want to make a big difference in the world, who wouldn’t want to have an influence?

The problem, of course, is how … how do you do it? How do you grow your online influence (especially if you’re just starting out), and do it in a way that’s authentic and doesn’t feel slimy, or like you’re twisting people’s arms? (In other words, how can you do it in a love-based way?)

Well, while it’s not particularly complicated or difficult to develop and grow your online influence, it DOES take some work. And you also need to accept a few hard truths. Let’s take a look at three of them:

1. It’s an inside job. Learning the latest, hot new way to attract followers on whatever platform you’re focusing on isn’t actually going to build your influence.

If you want to inspire people to make positive changes in their life, then you need to be very clear on who YOU are—what your expertise is, what your business is about, who you serve, etc.

This inner work can be tough—I get it. But, the clearer you are, the more people will be able to decide if you’re someone they want to listen to, and become a part of your community.

The less clear you are, the more likely people will ignore you—not because they aren’t interested in what you have to say, but because they’re too busy to try and figure out if you’re someone they want to pay attention to.

2. Be authentic. People are savvy. They can sense if you’re walking your walk, or if you’re just telling people to do one thing while you do something else.

And, there’s nothing that has less influence than a hypocrite.

The more you and your business are in alignment with your message, the more influence you’re going to have.

At the bare minimum, it’s important to reflect what you offer in your business. So, if you’re in the health industry, make sure your health habits mirror what you teach. If you teach marketing, make sure your own marketing is in order.

But, you may want to look deeper. Are you someone who pays your team and other contractors on time? Do you believe in investing in yourself (since you’re asking others to invest in themselves through you)?

It may not seem like this would move the needle much, but it really does. If you believe in Law of Attraction, you know that the more you have your own act together, the more the Universe will deliver to you. But, even if you don’t, if affects how YOU are showing up. If you’re out of integrity, it likely will show up in YOUR energy, which people will sense even if they never say anything or are even completely aware of it. And that will affect how people see you, and their willingness to be in your community.

3. It’s going to take time. Ah, this one is tough. Building online influence isn’t going to happen overnight. It might not even happen in six months. Or a year.

People need time—time to get to know you. To see if they like what you’re about. To see if they resonate with your message. To see if they resonate with YOU.

To make things worse, all of this happens on THEIR time, not yours. You need to land some clients because you need money for next month? Tough. No one is going to be compelled to follow you (much less buy your products and programs) because you need the money.

There is no question this is a long-tailed marketing strategy, which by definition means it’s going to take time … BUT once it happens, it will start to take on a life of its own.

If you want to dig deeper into marketing your business, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Online Marketing” book—you can get it here.

 

[Video] Flip It! How Do I Find a Mentor?

[Video] Flip It! How Do I Find a Mentor?

First off, I’m a big believer in having a mentor.

No matter what you’re trying to do — start a business, grow a business, lose weight, write a book, start a new career — having a mentor who can answer questions and help guide you through can be hugely helpful.

The challenge is, how do you make sure you’re finding the right mentor for you?

Well, there are a few things to consider when choosing a mentor:

1. Get clear on precisely what type of mentor you’re looking for. Are you looking for someone who is more of a coach? Or someone who is more of a consultant?

Coaches by definition will ask you a lot of questions and help you sort out what’s right for you. When someone is coaching you, they’re not giving you answers — they’re asking YOU questions so you determine the answer for yourself.

Consultants are the folks who will tell you what to do. They’re the ones who will recommend strategies and ideas.

Most people, even people who call themselves coaches, are some sort of a mix between a coach and a consultant. If someone is telling you what to do and telling you to follow a system, that isn’t coaching. It’s consulting.

So, the question is — what are you looking for? Do you want someone to give you advice and a system and a structure to follow? Or do you want someone who can help you get clear on what you want to create?

Or are you looking for a little of both? Someone who can help coach through you your mindset blocks while providing you with a system and a strategy.

It doesn’t really matter who you’re looking for — what’s important is to get clear on who you are looking for so you can make sure you’re hiring the right person.

2. Make sure you’re actually hiring the type of person you want to work with. Ask them questions. Read their testimonials. Listen to your gut. This is an important decision and you want to make sure you’re hiring the right person.

But, making sure you’re a good match with your mentor is just the tip of the iceberg. You also need to make sure you’re a match with my next step.

3. If you’re looking for a system or a strategy to follow, make sure this is a system or strategy that you actually want.

One thing that I’ve seen over and over is entrepreneurs hiring a mentor to help them build a business. The mentor helps them build the same business the mentor has. Which is all well and good if that’s the business you want.

But, what if it isn’t?

That’s where the problem comes in — you’ve built this business, and maybe it’s even pretty successful and profitable, but you hate it.

Now what?

(Note — my Love-Based Money podcast is full of interviews with entrepreneurs who, much to their chagrin, realized they had built the wrong business.)

The answer to that is another Flip It!, but for now, I would suggest doing some research and really feeling into what sort of business you want and then making sure the mentor you’re hiring actually has that business.

If you’re unclear about what sort of business you desire or what your best suited for, it may be smarter to hire a coach to help you get clear on that first before you figure out what system you want to use.

Watch below for a few more tips on how to find a mentor:

(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)

If you liked this episode, you may also like my free book “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back” — you can check it out here.

What the Food Network Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

What the Food Network Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

First, a confession. Yes, I’m into food porn.

No, I can’t cook (I’m not very good at it, nor do I enjoy it at all), but for some reason, I really enjoy watching other people cook. I especially love the cooking competition shows (probably my love of sports kicking in here).

One of the shows I watch from time to time is Chopped. If you haven’t seen it, four chefs compete to cook the best dish using four mystery ingredients. There are three rounds, and a chef is “chopped” after each round.

During the show, we get to meet and listen to the judges, and for the most part, I haven’t liked any of them. To me, their personalities have ranged from flat and uninteresting to downright grumpy.

Now, that didn’t stop me from watching the show. But I certainly wasn’t going to go out of my way to watch those judges anywhere else.

But that all changed when I saw several of those judges compete against each other on a different cooking show. Instead of being flat and grumpy, they were having fun and cracking jokes.

In other words, I saw their personality.

Now, when I see them on Chopped, I no longer see the dour judges I used to. My view of them now is more well-rounded, and I actually enjoying them.

I suspect you can all see where I’m going with all of this.

The more you share your personality in your marketing, the more people will feel they know you. And once they get to know you, they’re in position to like you—and we’d all rather do business with people we know, like, and trust.

In a nutshell:

So, what are the best ways to share your personality in your marketing?

In no particular order, here’s 5 ways to get started:

* Share stories from your life. From what’s going on with your kids and your pets to your latest vacations.

* Share your hopes and dreams. What do you really want in life? What are you currently working toward? What are you passionate about? There’s a good chance your ideal clients want to join you on your journey, but they can only join you if they know where you’re going.

* Share your rants. Is there something that really makes you angry? Or do you have a contradictory view on what’s considered standard in your industry? Share it. However, I would caution you to try and avoid sounding preachy or judgmental. It’s one thing to get all fired up about an issue, it’s quite another to turn it into a condescending sermon.

* Share your vulnerabilities. Talk about when you made a mistake or fell flat on your face. (But, important note—if you’re in the middle of a massive “black night of the soul,” it may be prudent to wait until you’re through it before you share it.)

* Develop your unique voice in your writing—the more people can feel you in your copy, the more compelling they’ll find your copy. (My second love-based business book “Love-Based Copywriting System” contains resources to help you cultivate your personality and your voice in your writing.)

If you’re uncomfortable sharing your personality in your marketing, my advice is to go slowly. Share something small, and see what happens. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Want more copy tips? You may like my Love-Based Copywriting books (Volume 1 and Volume 2).

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

The 3 Biggest Myths Standing in Your Way of Being a Spiritual Entrepreneur with a Successful, Profitable Business, DEBUNKED

As a spiritual entrepreneur, does the idea of having a successful, profitable business make you feel vaguely uncomfortable?

(It’s okay—you don’t have to raise your hand or anything.)

I suspect a part of you absolutely wants a business that pays you well and helps you get your message or gifts out into the world.

But, does a part of you struggle with the idea of having a successful business? Do you think to yourself “I’m spiritual; I shouldn’t be concerned with practical things like money and business.”

If this is you, I want to begin by saying this: you’re not alone. A lot of spiritual entrepreneurs struggle with their businesses.

And, it’s my personal belief that a lot of that struggle and angst can be avoided.

Why?

Because many issues can be traced back to 3 fundamental myths about what it means to be a spiritual entrepreneur.

Just like artists and writers and other creative professionals, I feel spiritual entrepreneurs are plagued by their own history of failure and self doubt and getting in their own way.

What if having a successful, profitable business was as easy as a simple mindset shift? Would you be willing to give it a try and see what happens?

My personal belief is it really CAN be that easy—and to help, I’m busting what I consider the 3 biggest myths standing in your way of being a spiritual entrepreneur with a successful, profitable business.

Let’s get started.

Myth #1. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not good at business.

This is obvious, right? You’re concerned with spiritual matters, not pragmatic things like running a business.

Besides, maybe you think business stuff is boring. Or difficult. Or you’re not good at. Or it’s “beneath” you in some way.

You just want to make the world a better place while enjoying time and money freedom—you don’t want to be mired down in spreadsheets and reports and that other icky stuff.

I, too, thought I wasn’t good at business. I thought it was boring, and I really didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

But, a funny thing happened: the more I pulled up my big girl panties and dug into learning business concepts, the more I realized I actually enjoyed running a business.

Business doesn’t have to be boring or difficult.

Isn’t that precisely the reason why we start a business in the first place?

What if you WERE good at business? What if it was fun and enjoyable to run a business? What would that look like for you?

Myth #2. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re not supposed to make money—you’re spiritual!

Money is such a low consideration, isn’t it? Only greedy, selfish people care about money. If you care about money, you can’t possibly be spiritual.

Or can you?

This is a huge one. In our culture, we’ve somehow separated making money and being spiritual, when there really is no reason to separate the two.

I believe money is a form of energy. It’s a way for people to give back to you and a way for you to receive payment for your offerings. It doesn’t have to be bad or evil or selfish or greedy.

Honestly, our relationship with money is just so tangled, there’s no way I can do it justice in this post (which is why I wrote an entire book on this—“Love-Based Money and Mindset,” as have devoted an entire podcast to transforming our relationship with money and our money stories) but I’d like to invite you to sit with this statement, and really feel into it:

There’s no virtue in being broke.

If you can’t help yourself, there’s no way you can help anyone else.

And, I know plenty of very spiritual entrepreneurs who are also financially successful. It doesn’t have to be either/or.

What if you could be both—financially and spiritually successful? What would that look like? How would your life and business shift?

Myth #3. As a spiritual entrepreneur, you’re supposed to suffer.

After all, our spiritual and religious leaders have suffered. Look at Jesus or Gandhi—they suffered. That means we should suffer, too. Right?

Well … first off, are we so sure they suffered? Sure they may have had a challenging life, but lots of us do. That doesn’t mean they suffered.

It’s my belief that a lot of suffering is a choice, and that choice takes place in our head. We suffer when we allow our fear-based emotions to run amok in our heads, and torture us unmercifully.

After all, there are very wealthy people who spend their days numbing out with booze and prescription pills, while women in Africa spend a big chunk of their lives carrying the water they need to survive on their heads—content and peaceful.

What gives?

Money alone isn’t a guarantee of happiness, just as a lack of money isn’t a guarantee of suffering. A lot of it boils down to your mindset, and what sort of relationship you have with your fear-based emotions.

And just like being broke isn’t virtuous and noble, neither is suffering. Suffering doesn’t make you more spiritual. It doesn’t even make you a better person. (I think we all know mean-spirited, nasty people who are definitely suffering, and making sure everyone around them suffers, too.)

Having a successful, profitable business and being proud of that business doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you less spiritual.

It may allow you to help more people.

What if you didn’t have to suffer to be spiritual? What would open up for you? How would you approach your business if you knew that suffering was simply a choice, and you weren’t going to make that choice anymore?

If you’d like to dig into this more, my free book “How to Start a Business You Love AND that Loves You Back” is a great place start. The link to download is below.