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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.)

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

It’s practically an epidemic; every year, people toss their unaccomplished business goals from the previous year in the garbage, and gear up to set new ones on January 1.

And every year, no matter how fresh and shiny the new business goals are, there’s always little to no progress made toward them.

Why?

Well, to start, if you don’t do things differently, how can you expect different results?

Today, I’m sharing three steps to goal setting, so 2018 really can be YOUR year. (And if you want to know 3 common pitfalls that likely contributed to last year’s goals ending up in the trash, this post has got you covered.)

But first, a quick explanation of what I consider a key differentiation when we’re talking about goals:

If you have goals that haunt you, yet no matter what you do, you’re not able to make progress on them, they may be what I call “love-based goals,” which are whispers from your soul (and yes, these are very different than other goals).

(Combine that with the fact that owning a business is one of the top personal development tools out there, in many cases, you may discover your business goals are also love-based goals.)

Your soul wants you to evolve into the person you’re meant to be, so to help you do that, it whispers to you, planting the seeds of goals you would love to turn into reality. (Think of it as the reward for evolving into the person you’re meant to be.)

But, as you need to actually become a different person for these goals to come true, you’ll likely discover your subconscious throwing up blocks and your ego resisting.

That’s why we so often fall short when it comes to turning our goals into reality, especially our business goals. We’re not prepared for the blocks and resistance that are triggered when we try and move forward toward those business goals.

But, if we know to expect that to happen, we can be better prepared to succeed when challenges and issues come up. And, to help you get prepared, here are three steps you can take to break through and start bringing your business goals to life.

Step 1. Identify your love-based goals.

Remember, these are the goals that are whispers from your soul and are designed to help you evolve into the person you’re meant to be. A good way to get started identifying your love-based goals is to imagine a perfect day in your life. (Not a perfect vacation day, but a perfect business day.) What precisely are you doing during this perfect day?  Write it down, and be as descriptive and detailed as possible. In that description are clues that will help you identify your love-based goals.

Step 2. Identify precisely what is blocking you.

The deeper I explore goal setting, the more I see that goal setting is really another self-development tool.

Chances are, at the same time you’re thinking about your love-based goals, you’re also thinking about all the reasons you can’t possibly take action toward them. I suggest writing all those down, too, along with any fears that come up. If you find yourself writing a lack of time and/or money, dig deeper. That’s your ego talking. What’s underneath that block?

If it’s a money block, ask yourself this: “If money wasn’t an object, would I be working toward these goals right now?” And, if the answer is “Yes,” is there a way you can get started with the budget you’re on right now?

If it’s a time block, are you able to carve out 15 minutes a day to work on your goal? And before you think “Oh, I can’t possibly do anything in only 15 minutes a day”—that actually isn’t true. I wrote three nonfiction books AND my novel in two years, using the only 15-minute a day approach. I highly encourage you to at least try it, and see how much you get done in 15 minutes.

And if it WAS possible, what could you give up to free up that time? Would you be willing to wake up 15 minutes earlier? Spend 15 minutes during your lunch?

If you’re still resisting, pay attention to your excuses. The real fear is likely buried somewhere in there.

Step 3. Be prepared for your blocks to come up and have a plan in place for dealing with them.

This is a big one.

As I mentioned, you WILL have blocks and resistance show up as you work on your love-based goals. So, know this and be prepared.

There are a lot of tools that can help you overcome the blocks and resistance—meditation, journaling, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping) are some of the top. Depending on how deep the block, you may want to look into some coaching to help you work through it.

In addition, be prepared for a lot of different uncomfortable emotions to surface as you work toward your goals. You may feel anger or resentment that you’ve wasted so much time. You may feel fear that you’ll fail and lose everything. You may even feel grief, which likely doesn’t even make sense to you.

Here’s the key: If you simply feel those feelings, rather than bury them or run away from them or decide you shouldn’t be working them, those feelings will move through you. Eventually, if they do, they won’t trigger you anymore.

I’m not going to say it’s easy, because if it was, your goals would have already come true. But, it IS doable.

And, if you want to learn more about love-based goals, check out my new book “Love-Based Goals: A Guide to Living Your Purpose and Passion” available at Amazon and other major online bookstores.

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

A famous study of Harvard graduates revealed that students who write down and review their goals are far more likely to actually attain them.

So, if it’s really that simple, why AREN’T we writing down our goals? Aren’t our goals worth doing everything in our power to make them come true?

Why is it then that we tend to celebrate the end of every year by tossing last year’s goals in the trash, and promising ourselves next year WILL be different?

Well, all due respect to the Harvard study, but I don’t think it went far enough. You see, I think there’s a deeper reason your goals haven’t come true (three of them, actually).

After all, if it was REALLY that simple—if all we had to do was write down our goals and review them every day to attain them—wouldn’t more people be doing it?

There is something deeper going on that’s keeping us from taking that simple action. And, when you understand what’s really stopping you from reaching your goals, you can then make the necessary changes that will help you do so in the future.

Let’s dig in:

1. Your identity doesn’t match your goals.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life,” Mark Manson explains how, if you want to become a writer, but you never actually sit down to write, your identity may be someone who wants to write but never actually gets anything done.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. One of the functions of the ego is to protect your core identity, because if that goes, then who are you anyway? It’s scary to lose your identity.

So, your ego is going to fight tooth and nail to keep your identity intact, even if it’s an identity you don’t particularly care for (i.e. a “wanna-be” author or entrepreneur).

And I think there’s a deeper level to this, too.

I think there are certain goals—I call them “Love-Based Goals,” that, if you want them to come true, require you to be different. They’re whispers from your soul, and they help you transform into the person your soul knows you can be.

When you become the person your soul is nudging you to be, those goals will fall into place.

But if your identity doesn’t match your goals, you’re stuck. If, for example, you’ve been saying something like, “Someday, I’m going to open my business/write that book/quit my soul-sucking job,” your identity may be stuck on some sort of future version of yourself that never comes true.

Because if it came true, you would lose your current identity, as you know it. (Paradoxical, I know. But, there are many things in our life that don’t make any sense and yet somehow, they control us, so keep an open mind.) Your ego doesn’t want to lose its current identity, so it creates a resistance to the transformation of it. Which leads me to the second pitfall that may be keeping your goals from coming true …

 2. You have a fear, a mindset block, “resistance,” or something else that’s stopping you.

(Remember, this can also be directly tied to #1—you’re blocked around your goal, and over time, your identity gradually changes to a “wanna be.”) This can show up in your life in many ways, but some common indications that this is what’s going on with you never seem to have enough time to work on your goals, or you can’t focus on them, or you experience constant procrastination when it comes to sitting down to actually work on them.

If you’re really struggling when it comes to taking action toward your dreams, you may also have some sort of fear lurking underneath the procrastination (and that fear can be totally subconscious). For instance, you may have a fear of success or a fear of failure (which clearly would impact the success of any endeavor your take on). You may have a fear of visibility or being seen, which translates to you not marketing your business enough, which results in the failure of your business. You may have a fear that your spouse or partner will leave you if you become too successful. Maybe you can’t bear the idea of making more money than your parents.

All of these are examples of what can happen when your subconscious (which is 95% of your brain) is not on board with what your conscious mind (or the other 5%) wants to do.

(Note: this one is so important, I’m going to talk more about it in future posts.)

3. The goals aren’t yours.

In some ways, this is the easiest of the three pitfalls to handle, but it may also be more deflating than the others, because you may have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve wasted a chunk of your life on goals that aren’t even yours.

If you’re facing this one, one of two things is likely going on: the goals are someone else’s, or you’re not willing to do the work.

Someone else’s goals: Maybe you grew up with a father who thought you’d make an awesome doctor, or a mother who assumed you would take over the family business. Maybe they never even asked you what you wanted to do—it was always just “understood.”

Or maybe you grew up believing part of being an adult meant you needed to get a responsible, boring job. Or maybe you felt a lot of shame around your body because it wasn’t “thin” enough, and you’re forever trying to lose weight that just refuses to come off.

All of these are examples of internalizing someone else’s goals, whether that someone else is a specific person (such as a parent), or society/media, etc.

Either way, the goals are not yours. They’re goals you likely feel you “should” be doing, but they aren’t yours.

Not willing to do the work: The other version of this pitfall comes to light when you have goals that you think are super awesome, but not quite awesome enough to actually do the work to reach them. For instance, who wouldn’t love an extra million or two in their bank account? But are you willing to do the work it requires to get that money there?

Lots of little girls dream of being a professional ballerina (including me). But, the first time I laced up actual pointe shoes and stood on my toes … let’s just say my interest waned after that.

If you’re not willing to do the work, the goals aren’t yours. (And, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have only so much time on this planet—there’s no shame in not spending hours and hours on goals that aren’t yours.)

So, now you are aware of the common pitfalls that could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

And, if you want to take it a step further and bring your love-based goals to life, check out this simple, three-step system to help you get started.

And, if you want more on this topic, check out my new “Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Your Purpose and Passion” book, available at most online retailers here.