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What’s a Mastermind?

Growing solo needn’t mean growing alone when you could be growing along with others who share your ambitions.

You may have heard of the concept of a mastermind, and unfortunately, the term has become diluted to mean many things.  Here’s how to spot the helpful real deal. Continue Reading →

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Solopreneur Confidence

Photo Credit: Rob Jones

Photo Credit: Rob Jones

Lately I’ve been audio recording my free Lessons in Fun and Profit, sometimes from the road, to hand off to my team for transcribing – ever looking for ways to be more efficient. This 5-minute recording shares 4 lessons in Solopreneur Confidence. Continue Reading →

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How to Get a Waiting List of Clients with 3 Steps

With decades of experience on the customer, vendor, and third party sides of great working relationships, I’ve found three things, that when consistently executed, guarantee you’ll have a long line of clients waiting to do business with you.
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Make it Stop

When you’re a solopreneur, or own a small business with only a few people dividing all the labor, one problem inevitable recurs: trying to get new business while you’re already too busy taking care of existing business. Most settle for this cycle as inevitable, but I know how to make it stop.

I’m talking about that feast or famine cycle where you bounce exhaustingly between panicked selling and working overtime to meet too many clients’ demands all at once.

That is if you do any marketing at all.

Many owners don’t like marketing and sales, but that doesn’t change the fact that your business still needs qualified leads to thrive without your constant stress. You might not even consciously eliminate marketing from your To Do list, you just never seem to get around to it. Until you run short of income.

And this reactive cycle has been going on so long, you may even think it’s just part of being in business.

But it’s not.

And don’t tell me that’s just how business works in your industry, because that’s not true either.

I also won’t accept that you’re just not any good at sales.

All of these are myths you recite to help you feel better about a problem for which you’ve not yet found a solution.  When you don’t much like marketing and sales anyway, it becomes very easy to just accept what comes your way passively.

Make It Stop.

I want you to reconsider the myths you’ve been telling yourself to justify your current and recurring painful position.

Imagine for a moment how your world would change, if you had a steady source of new business. AND a well of repeat business you can dip into whenever you’ve got a vacancy.  All without SELLING a thing.

You can end the exhausting cycle that keeps you and your business stuck with a Semi-Automatic Marketing Machine.  Using automated response emails, the latest digital marketing tactics, and content your clients find truly helpful, you get leads constantly without your constant attention. So you can focus on the part you like most, and are best at – executing on the closed deal.

A few years ago, I made the bold commitment to stop all networking and sales efforts, investing that time instead into building a semi-automatic marketing machine. My gross increased 30% in the first year, 40% the second, and in the third, my income remained stable while I reduced earning time by 30%.  If this can work in a highly personal touch business like entrepreneur mentoring, imagine what might be possible in your work.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Eliminate what you don’t like:  selling, networking, golf outings, schmoozing. Just stop.  If you don’t like it, you won’t do it anyway, and you’ll suck at it. 

2) Automate as much as possible. Use auto response emails to lead people toward products and services most helpful for their needs, and helpful blogs posted on social media to introduce new prospects to your work. New technology makes automation easier and more affordable literally every day. Combined, these automated tools filter forward the people that want what you offer.

3) Delegate anything that remains after automation. Like content writing and posting and analyzing results for improvements. 

While this machine tees up qualified leads for your business, you get to focus on work you really enjoy.

If you don’t yet have a semi-automatic marketing machine, Spot Treatment is the next step.   You’ll walk away with an audio recording of our session and specific direction about how to implement your own semi-automatic marketing machine.  If you’re already using email communications, social media, and a blog – we’ll instead use this time to string these parts together in a way that drives prospects systematically toward a decision to purchase.

Don’t let another year go by settling for whatever comes your way, in whatever quantity Chance chooses.

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The Solopreneur’s Guide to Self Care

When you’re a solopreneur, everything that happens in your business affects everything else going on in your life.  You need to be extra careful with your most valuable employee:  you.

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Painless Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs are told from the very beginning, “It’s tough being an entrepreneur. You’re going to have to make sacrifices, work long hours, and still not be guaranteed success.” So when you experience a painful challenge, you accept that pain as inevitable, something to be endured as a Badge of Entrepreneurial Honor. Yet by expecting and enduring pain, you miss what I believe is pain’s far more important purpose.

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The Luck of Pursuit

Client Kate Lindholm, Westport Yoga, reports finding four-leaf clovers all the time.  Her secret?  She looks for them.

Client Kate Lindholm, Westport Yoga, reports finding four-leaf clovers all the time. Her secret? She looks for them.

With entrepreneurship, horsing, and dance among my current happiest pursuits, and recommendations from a couple esteemed colleagues, I was eager to hear pursuit patron, Chris Guillebeau, speak in Kansas City about his latest book, “The Happiness of Pursuit.” While I learned lots about how others find happiness without a horse, I also was reminded of luck’s role in any pursuit. Continue Reading →

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GameChanger: Be Royal

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The 2014 World Series contending KC Royals had the whole city smiling in blue for weeks.  Generating a collective pride and joy like long-time citizens have never experienced,  every encounter with friends and strangers ended with, “Go Royals.”  So now we all know what it means, I’m changing my salutation from “Go Royals,” to “Be Royal.”

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The Solopreneur’s Credo

I will settle for nothing less than doing only work I love, earning enough to support my ideal quality of life.

If you’re not feeling a little bratty, a little fed up, a little how-dare-I, a little entitled, you’re not demanding enough from your business.

If you’ve been taught that sailing on the solopreneur ship requires toil and compromise, you’re following the wrong guideposts. The Solopreneur’s Credo dares you to get all the benefits of entrepreneurship – fun AND profit.

Most clients call me for one of three reasons: 1) they’re making good money, but don’t enjoy their work or have no life outside the business; 2) they love their work but aren’t making enough money to support their ideal quality of life; 3) they have a great life, but aren’t doing what gives them energy or making enough money to support the life they want.

Of the three, money, work you love, and quality of life, how are you faring? For what reasons are you not yet making the money, fun, and life you want?

Maybe you have biased beliefs that art and commerce cannot coexist. Or you presume your success-to-date-formula will crumble if you make any changes. Or most likely you haven’t paused long enough from your long hours and typical patterns to consider alternatives.

I offer as evidence that fun AND profit are possible the hundreds of owners whose businesses I’ve helped reform according to the Solopreneur’s Credo, including my own business. I’d love for you to have what we’re having.

Start by reciting this creed until you believe it’s possible. Then do your homework below to inform a new course.

Homework:

Make a list of what you love about your business and what you don’t love. Let these lists inspire constraints to shape the next chapter for your business. My own Love/Don’t Love List changed my business model and life! I want to work no more than 30 hours a week (and within a couple years it will be 5-10 hours/week), doing work that I love, with as few decentralized colleagues as possible, from anywhere in the world, to create income streams that don’t require my presence to promote or earn.

Hint: If while doing this first step you’re not feeling a little bratty, a little fed up, a little how-dare-I, a little entitled, you’re not being demanding enough!

Now, consider how far away is your current business model from what you’ve just identified. What changes will you need to make to align what you have with what you want? Do you know how to implement these changes? Do you have the time, money, humans, and energy to make these changes?

Get support and expertise for your transformation. If you’re struggling with any part of this homework, don’t feel stupid or frustrated. This simple exercise requires you to see your world in a way you may not have before. And even if you can see a different possibility, you may not have the experience to know how to migrate from where you are to there. You’re also very likely to find that you need ideas about how to allocate resources you don’t have, but will need, in order to complete the transition. Oh yes, and all without losing momentum and moola from your current business model in the meantime!  That’s where your fellow solopreneurs and I come in. Spot Treatment, a couple hours 1 on 1 with me, is the perfect way to turn what’s still murky into clear steps you can take toward your business makeover. (Or dare I suggest, your business do over?) And the Circle of Trust, your very own peer advisory think tank, offers ongoing, year-round peer support, fresh thinking, and camaraderie to further assure your success.

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Create a Publicity Habit

I signed up for an online platform that links reporters’ requests with subject matter experts who can contribute to articles they’re writing for print and online media. I’ve already been included four times, a nice reward of free publicity for a daily quick Publicity Habit.
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