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Archive for 2011

Procrastination, A Tool for Life!

Most ALL of us use procrastination at some time in our lives, do we not?  It seems to me if a tool is so widely used, there must be something to it. As a personal and corporate coach, procrastination is almost always the first thing my clients want to eliminate from their lives.

As you will read, I advise them to not eliminate the very tool that is there to help them navigate the rough spots in life and business. I prefer to think of procrastination in the same category as a detour in the road. The purpose of a detour is to give us a warning; to help us avoid something non-navigable or dangerous, and to provide a safer route.

Detours usually take a little longer; they circumvent the problem, but in the end we arrive at our destination unscathed. In most cases you will discover that properly employed procrastination, like a detour, will give you an alternate route to the solution of the problem at hand.

In her book, Coach Yourself to Success, Talane Meidaner poses this question:  “What if procrastination was a good thing, and we stopped beating ourselves up about it and learned why we do it?” She describes several circumstances in which people find themselves procrastinating and offers solutions to the problem.

The Put Off:

We Put off something we do not like doing.  Sometimes if we procrastinate long enough, it causes another person to do it for us; sometimes it becomes too late to do it and we end up not having to do it at all.  What if, instead, we looked at what it was we were putting off, determined it was something distasteful to us and immediately found a way to delegate it to another person?  There may even be times when it makes sense to decline to do the task. In this instance, it would be important to inform any people that may be depending upon us for the result or task, but in the end they are better served if we decide and inform them as soon as we know, so they can get the job completed by someone that will probably do a more complete job anyway. And our reward is: the uncomfortable or distasteful task is off our plate and the energy drain caused by its presence is eliminated.

The Fear Factor:

Sometimes we find ourselves procrastinating because we are frightened. We may believe we are not capable of completing the task. We may believe we do not have the knowledge or the expertise to complete the project.  We may believe we do not have anything of value to contribute. We may be frightened of rejection. The project may feel too big to us, and we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed with its scope and not able to move ahead with the process. Fear is a real emotion and one to be heeded.  But the possibility exists to examine the fears and discover the energy behind them.

If lack of knowledge or expertise is the fear, we can find ways to gather the knowledge we need or find experts in the particular field to support our work.  We may need to request more time for research, but we can move ahead and complete the project.

If the fear is that of not adding value, or of being rejected, we can review our strengths, research, brainstorm, and discover a method of adding value that may also eliminate the potential for rejection.

Once we can name the fear, we can often find a solution to its source and eliminate it.

There are many reasons why we procrastinate. The above examples are just a few. Think about the times when you get stuck or are overwhelmed and procrastinate.  What are some of your reasons?

In most cases you will discover that properly employed procrastination, like a detour, will give you an alternate route to the solution of the problem at hand. You can shorten the detour or speed up the process, if you treat your procrastination as a tool that can help you through life rather than beating yourself up and wasting time in self-chastisement.

You can learn to use the five steps to using procrastination as a tool for life.

First: Recognize when you are in procrastination mode.  Speak out loud and call it by name! 

Second: Congratulate yourself for using so valuable a life tool! 

Third: Take the time to stop, think and look at why you are procrastinating.

Fourth: take each why and discover solutions to those issues. Once you discover the why, and there may be multiple whys, it is much easier to break the problem into smaller parts and approach each issue.

Fifth: Create a strategy and timetable to carry it out.

My coach’s challenge to you this week is to begin to look at procrastination in this more positive light.  You will discover that it immediately becomes a friend, not a foe, and the energy around it relaxes. Go a step further and begin to employ the five steps to using procrastination as a tool for life.

Posted in: Professional Development

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The Newsletter Mindset: Chocolates & Flowers

by Linda Claire Puig, President, Claire Communications

What do you do when you want to impress a sweetheart or thank a dear friend?

Give them flowers! Or chocolate! Or BOTH!

And think now how it feels on the receiving end when you receive flowers or chocolate or both. You feel delighted, appreciated, enlivened.

So what does all this have to do with newsletters?

It’s about the newsletter mindset.

Sometimes when I talk to coaches, mental health professionals and others of you in the “helping” professions, I hear a kind of anxiety that goes like this: “I’m not sure I should send a newsletter. People are already so overloaded with information coming at them. I don’t want to add to their burden.”

I say: think of your newsletter as the business equivalent of flowers and chocolate!

Let’s back up for a moment. It’s important to remember that a newsletter’s primary function is to build relationship with your readers. (Key word: relationship.)

When someone new signs up to receive your newsletter, they are wondering things like:

  • Do you understand me?
  • Can you inspire me?
  • How will I grow from this relationship?

Sending your newsletter (your version of flowers & chocolate) is a great way to follow up this “first meeting.” It’s like putting your best foot forward. And every issue you send shows your readers that you care, that you understand their needs.

Sending your newsletter says, “I’ve been thinking of you.” It says you want their life to be sweet and alive. It lets your readers know that you’d like to get to know them better, to keep the conversation going and the relationship growing.

And you want that relationship to stay fresh and exciting, so you keep up the flowers & chocolate.

Do you see what a difference this mindset makes? “I send chocolates & flowers to my list!” versus “I don’t want to burden people.”

About the Author:

Linda Claire Puig is the Founder and President of Ready2GoArticles.com and Ready2GoEzines.com, which provides coaches and personal development professionals who don’t have time to write – or don’t like to – with high-quality done-for-you newsletters and articles that help them more easily connect with their audience and grow their businesses.

She also teaches service-based solo-business owners how to attract buckets of ideal prospects, nurture those relationships through high-value newsletters and strategically use these newsletters to get more clients, fill more programs and make more money.

An award-winning writer since 1983, Linda’s articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and newsletters throughout the world. She has produced newsletters for small businesses and professionals since 1990 and has trained thousands of individuals in “the way of the newsletter.” Linda is also an actor, she loves to travel, and all manner of dogs catch her eye.

Posted in: Professional Development

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Structure Breeds Freedom and Abundance!

Sounds totally counter-intuitive, right?!  How can structure lead to freedom? Doesn’t it lead to putting us into a box? Or keeping us playing small?  The opposite of structure is freedom.  Without structure shouldn’t we be able to do anything we want, however we want, how often we want?  That is what we so often hear from coaches who are in purgatory; stuck between the worlds of hobbyist vs. business owner.

The way so many coaches define structure is what we call the tug-of-war mentality of the entrepreneur:  “Either I have structure in my business and I am confined to playing small in a box OR I abandon structure and live free; live the life of my dreams doing what I love.”  These are conflicting views, and therefore the problem with this either/or tug-of-war is that neither side wins. It always ends up in a stalemate; each conflicting view pulling in equally opposing directions.

As a coach, it is time to redefine “structure” through the perspective of Both/And.  You leverage the skills, resources, and people that integrate a sense of focused structure that paves the way to your greatest freedom.

It takes quite a bit more brain power, energy and time to reinvent the wheel each time you interact with a prospect, a client or a member of your team.  And that is precisely what you are doing when you buy into the illusion that structure and freedom do not go hand in hand.  When most coaches hear the word “structure”, it’s like fingernails on a chalk board.  The right-side of their brain, the part that is what makes them creative and outstanding coaches, goes off like a red warning light.  They quickly believe that if they apply any structure to their day, their activities and how they work with their clients, they then won’t be able to “be fully present” to support their client in the best way possible or to do what they love.  And they also fear they won’t be able to live the life of their dreams.  We have been so fearful of the extreme end of the spectrum, labeled “corporate structure”, that we have abandoned the power of structure and the elements of structure that lead to our greatest freedom.

The 3 elements to leveraging structure into freedom:

  1. Knowing What to do in your business
  2. Knowing How to do “it”
  3. Doing “it” consistently every time

Element #1 “The What”

This element of structure is all about the actions and activities you experience on a daily basis within your business. The “what” includes things such as:

  • Attracting prospects and referral sources
  • Collaborating with strategic partners
  • Guiding contacts through your sales funnel
  • Integrating exquisite client support
  • Implementing the best practices when it comes to billing and payment processing

Element #2: The “How To Do It”

This element of structure is all about the specific steps you take when you are involved in the above-listed activities.  In every activity in your business there is a specific sequence of steps that, when done in sequence, will generate the greatest flow and quickest results.  When we reinvent the wheel each time we engage in these activities, we waste brain power, energy and time “figuring it out.”  When we can identify in advance the sequence of specific steps, the “how” becomes effortless and we recoup much of our time and energy to put towards other result-based activity.

Element #3: Consistency

It is not just enough to know the specific sequence of steps to take in each business activity, but rather it’s also about doing the sequence consistently each time.  It is in this consistent application where we truly leverage our time.

Once you’ve identified the steps to take, how to take them and the best sequence to take them in, you begin to realize you are saving time, money and energy to focus on things such as:

  • More clients in the same amount of time
  • Doing more of what you love (vacations, travel, etc.)
  • More time with your family
  • Using your entrepreneurial creative juices to develop your next vision

It is through structure that we recoup our time.  It is through structure that we reclaim our power and energy;  not the extreme type of structure often experienced in corporate settings where you are in a box (literally, a “cubicle”) and are limited in what you are able to do.  As the entrepreneur wearing all the hats within your business, it is these elements of structure that allow you to quickly and easily go back and forth between the various hats and leverage your strengths to yield the quickest and greatest results.

Are you ready to stop the tug-of-war stalemate in your business and to integrate the Both/And approach to structure?  If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches growing their businesses, and making a big difference (and big money, too)!  We so believe in this business growth program, we are offering the first two months FREE! But don’t take our word for it.  We are biased.  Try it for yourself!

Posted in: Business Operations

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3 Steps to Enroll New Clients Like a Pro (and how to avoid the dreaded "I changed my mind" drama)

Guest Post from Bill Barren

Helping people master the enrollment conversation and sign up new clients is one of the things I most enjoy doing. Today, I’d like to share with you 3 simple steps that can make a huge shift in the success of your one-on-one consultations.

But first, tell me if this has ever happened to you…

A potential client says “Yes” to your high-value services during your consultation, but changes their mind a few days later!

I know from experience, you go from the jubilation of getting a new client to huge disappointment.

Because that used to happen to me, I was so distraught that I set an intention to find a way to make sure this never happened anymore.

The key I discovered: Make sure to end a consultation by getting the new client started right away with your services, because this is the moment when the person is the most motivated to work with you. Once they’re engaged, they’ll keep going.

Here is my simple 3-step process for getting your client started right away, so they don’t have the temptation to bow out.

Step 1 – I schedule our appointments for the first month. Once our work together is in their calendar, it makes it more real for them.

Step 2 – I get their credit card payment information on the phone, right on the spot. Because if you wait until they send you a check or contract, it gives them lots of space to think about it and start to dither. This one can be challenging, so I’ll talk about it more in a moment.

Step 3 – I tell them I’m going to send them a welcome packet with the forms they’ll use in our coaching together, and they’ll also get a short agreement to sign and send back to me. I ask them to send everything in in the next day or two.

So, which of these 3 steps causes the biggest problem?

It’s Step 2 (getting the client’s credit card information) – this is where I see a lot of business owners go wrong.

I want to take a look at this because I don’t see a lot of people talk about it.

Many service-oriented business owners are not able to accept credit cards (or debit cards) because they’re not sure how. And I have to admit, it’s not super obvious. But if you don’t take this step, it may actually be something that’s significantly holding your business back.

For example, when I used to only take checks, it would delay my clients’ ability to make a commitment (and sometimes give them time to back out). I also kind of felt a little like my business wasn’t fully professional yet, in the eyes of my prospective clients. It also made receiving fees from clients a lot more work, for them and for me.

If you follow my 3-step process above, including making it easy for your clients to pay you, you’ll end your consultation with a professional, organized process for getting started, and clients will feel like they’re in good hands.

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Get Your Panties Out of a Wad and Make More Money

Every day, coaches waste time, money and energy trying to master “the perfect” marketing strategies for their business. They know that if they just get it right and integrate the one, perfect, magic marketing strategy into their business, it will be the answer to their prayers – they’ll coach more clients and make more money. And more importantly, they’ll finally be successful at what they set out to do.

Entrepreneurs get so consumed with the various marketing strategies in the world of business that they focus so much time, money and energy learning and perfecting the strategies, and hardly any time integrating the strategies; much less seeing the results.  There are so many choices – speaking venues, webinars, free teleclasses, networking, advertising, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, sample sessions, authoring a book, and on and on and on.  People get caught up in making sure they select the “right one” because if they don’t, they fear their business will surely fail.  Don’t get me wrong. Marketing is essential in business. And the strategies I’ve listed will bring success.  The problem is that too much focus is placed on them while little or no focus is placed on what a coach is naturally good at (and loves to do).  Why make it harder than it has to be?

This leaves coaches with, as Kate and I call it, their panties in a wad and all out of sorts. They are frustrated because they’re making no headway toward getting clients. The “perfect” marketing solution they just knew was going to be “the one” to lead them to their success has not generated the results they hoped for.  And when one strategy doesn’t work, they are off to spend more time and more money locating the next “perfect” strategy to be the answer to their prayers.  This vicious cycle leaves a coach distracted from the goldmine right in the palm of their hands.  But they are so focused on marketing, they aren’t cashing in on the results that could be achieved in their business, simply by being the best at what they do – supporting their clients.

When a coach can place their attention toward integrating Exquisite Client Support, the ripple effect can begin.  You see, you are already magnificent at supporting your clients during the coaching session. It’s true, right? You’re an amazing coach and your clients LOVE how you support them.  The misconception is that this level of support is only done during the actual coaching session.  The truth is that when you can apply this same level of support from the moment they become a potential client, all the way to the end of their coaching agreement, and beyond, you create raving fans, which leads to referrals of new clients.  Your clients actually do your marketing for you!  And when you provide this level of support to your clients, they experience a faster return on their investment and accomplish even more than they originally set out to with you.  This leads to extended client agreements, and a bigger impact on your bottom line.

The key to integrating this type of support is to leverage your time, to automate the interaction and to bring consistency to the way in which you support your clients.  The goal is to spend less time as you provide more in-depth support – and it is possible.

I had someone once tell me that they experienced success in their business not because they mastered the absolute, perfect marketing strategy, but because they simply became the best at what they did.  Their clients loved them; they got the results they originally desired (and beyond) and regularly referred new clients to them, to the point they had to create a waiting list. In fact, one client was willing to wait 6 months to work with her because she was so good.  Imagine having a waiting list of your A+ clients.

When you place your attention externally on trying to figure out the right marketing to apply in your business, the typical result is analysis-paralysis.  So get your panties out of a wad, recognize the goldmine within you and become the best at what you do.  Cash in on the amazing way you are already supporting and being of service to your clients. It’s time to take it beyond the coaching session.  And the result will be an increase in your revenue, extended client agreements, and raving fans willing to wait 6 months to work with you.

Every day, coaches waste time, money and energy trying to master “the perfect” marketing strategies for their business. They know that if they just get it right and integrate the one, perfect, magic marketing strategy into their business, it will be the answer to their prayers – they’ll coach more clients and make more money. And more importantly, they’ll finally be successful at what they set out to do.

Entrepreneurs get so consumed with the various marketing strategies in the world of business that they focus so much time, money and energy learning and perfecting the strategies, and hardly any time integrating the strategies; much less seeing the results.There are so many choices – speaking venues, webinars, free teleclasses, networking, advertising, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, sample sessions, authoring a book, and on and on and on.People get caught up in making sure they select the “right one” because if they don’t, they fear their business will surely fail.Don’t get me wrong. Marketing is essential in business. And the strategies I’ve listed will bring success.The problem is that too much focus is placed on them while little or no focus is placed on what a coach is naturally good at (and loves to do).Why make it harder than it has to be?

This leaves coaches with, as Kate and I call it, their panties in a wad and all out of sorts. They are frustrated because they’re making no headway toward getting clients. The “perfect” marketing solution they just knew was going to be “the one” to lead them to their success has not generated the results they hoped for.And when one strategy doesn’t work, they are off to spend more time and more money locating the next “perfect” strategy to be the answer to their prayers.This vicious cycle leaves a coach distracted from the goldmine right in the palm of their hands.But they are so focused on marketing, they aren’t cashing in on the results that could be achieved in their business, simply by being the best at what they do – supporting their clients.

When a coach can place their attention toward integrating Exquisite Client Support, the ripple effect can begin.You see, you are already magnificent at supporting your clients during the coaching session. It’s true, right? You’re an amazing coach and your clients LOVE how you support them.The misconception is that this level of support is only done during the actual coaching session.The truth is that when you can apply this same level of support from the moment they become a potential client, all the way to the end of their coaching agreement, and beyond, you create raving fans, which leads to referrals of new clients.Your clients actually do your marketing for you!And when you provide this level of support to your clients, they experience a faster return on their investment and accomplish even more than they originally set out to with you.This leads to extended client agreements, and a bigger impact on your bottom line.

The key to integrating this type of support is to leverage your time, to automate the interaction and to bring consistency to the way in which you support your clients.The goal is to spend less time as you provide more in-depth support – and it is possible.

I had someone once tell me that they experienced success in their business not because they mastered the absolute, perfect marketing strategy, but because they simply became the best at what they did.Their clients loved them; they got the results they originally desired (and beyond) and regularly referred new clients to them, to the point they had to create a waiting list. In fact, one client was willing to wait 6 months to work with her because she was so good.Imagine having a waiting list of your A+ clients.

When you place your attention externally on trying to figure out the right marketing to apply in your business, the typical result is analysis-paralysis.So get your panties out of a wad, recognize the goldmine within you and become the best at what you do.Cash in on the amazing way you are already supporting and being of service to your clients. It’s time to take it beyond the coaching session.And the result will be an increase in your revenue, extended client agreements, and raving fans willing to wait 6 months to work with you.

Are you ready to cash in on the goldmine in the palm of your

Every day, coaches waste time, money and energy trying to master “the perfect” marketing strategies for their business. They know that if they just get it right and integrate the one, perfect, magic marketing strategy into their business, it will be the answer to their prayers – they’ll coach more clients and make more money. And more importantly, they’ll finally be successful at what they set out to do.

Entrepreneurs get so consumed with the various marketing strategies in the world of business that they focus so much time, money and energy learning and perfecting the strategies, and hardly any time integrating the strategies; much less seeing the results.  There are so many choices – speaking venues, webinars, free teleclasses, networking, advertising, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, sample sessions, authoring a book, and on and on and on.  People get caught up in making sure they select the “right one” because if they don’t, they fear their business will surely fail.  Don’t get me wrong. Marketing is essential in business. And the strategies I’ve listed will bring success.  The problem is that too much focus is placed on them while little or no focus is placed on what a coach is naturally good at (and loves to do).  Why make it harder than it has to be?

This leaves coaches with, as Kate and I call it, their panties in a wad and all out of sorts. They are frustrated because they’re making no headway toward getting clients. The “perfect” marketing solution they just knew was going to be “the one” to lead them to their success has not generated the results they hoped for.  And when one strategy doesn’t work, they are off to spend more time and more money locating the next “perfect” strategy to be the answer to their prayers.  This vicious cycle leaves a coach distracted from the goldmine right in the palm of their hands.  But they are so focused on marketing, they aren’t cashing in on the results that could be achieved in their business, simply by being the best at what they do – supporting their clients.

When a coach can place their attention toward integrating Exquisite Client Support, the ripple effect can begin.  You see, you are already magnificent at supporting your clients during the coaching session. It’s true, right? You’re an amazing coach and your clients LOVE how you support them.  The misconception is that this level of support is only done during the actual coaching session.  The truth is that when you can apply this same level of support from the moment they become a potential client, all the way to the end of their coaching agreement, and beyond, you create raving fans, which leads to referrals of new clients.  Your clients actually do your marketing for you!  And when you provide this level of support to your clients, they experience a faster return on their investment and accomplish even more than they originally set out to with you.  This leads to extended client agreements, and a bigger impact on your bottom line.

The key to integrating this type of support is to leverage your time, to automate the interaction and to bring consistency to the way in which you support your clients.  The goal is to spend less time as you provide more in-depth support – and it is possible.

I had someone once tell me that they experienced success in their business not because they mastered the absolute, perfect marketing strategy, but because they simply became the best at what they did.  Their clients loved them; they got the results they originally desired (and beyond) and regularly referred new clients to them, to the point they had to create a waiting list. In fact, one client was willing to wait 6 months to work with her because she was so good.  Imagine having a waiting list of your A+ clients.

When you place your attention externally on trying to figure out the right marketing to apply in your business, the typical result is analysis-paralysis.  So get your panties out of a wad, recognize the goldmine within you and become the best at what you do.  Cash in on the amazing way you are already supporting and being of service to your clients. It’s time to take it beyond the coaching session.  And the result will be an increase in your revenue, extended client agreements, and raving fans willing to wait 6 months to work with you.

Are you ready to cash in on the goldmine in the palm of your hands, to be the best at what you do? If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches, growing their businesses, and making a big difference, and money, too!  We so believe in this business growth program, we are offering the first two months FREE! Try it out; you will soon be leveraging your own strategic partners to create more clients and to make the difference you are meant to make.

hands, to be the best at what you do? If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches, growing their businesses, and making a big difference, and money, too!  We so believe in this business growth program, we are offering the first two months FREE! Try it out; you will soon be leveraging your own strategic partners to create more clients and to make the difference you are meant to make.

Posted in: Business Operations, Finance Management

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Charging What You Are Worth

Have you ever had the following battle in your head (be careful, this is treacherous territory you are venturing into)?

I’m fresh out of school and just starting my coaching business so people won’t pay as much for my coaching services as they would a more experienced coach.”

OR

“If I can just get them to understand how coaching works, i can justify my prices so they’ll want to hire me.”

If you have ever had these thoughts (and by the way there are many others) then you are not alone.  Many coaches buy into these two myths when it comes to setting up their coaching model and establishing their prices and, as a result, lose hundreds and even thousands of dollars each month.

This article will bust through these myths and equip you with what is necessary to charge what you are worth and what you deserve.

First – stop selling coaching.  If you attempt to sell coaching as a service you will immediately create the resistance within the prospect of, “Is this worth spending my money on?”, and the only battle in front of you is to overcome ALL of the objections the prospect has as to why they shouldn’t spend their money on your services.  Start selling the end results.  Remember those MasterCard commercials when they portrayed two or three examples of how much something cost, and the final example (which by the way was always the end result) was always “…priceless!”?  When you help the prospect paint the picture of the end result they will accomplish in their life as a result of working with you, your services now become “…priceless!”

Second – stop discounting all that practice coaching you did with your peer coaching buddies while in school.  Did you know on average that when a coach finishes their coach training they will have acquired over 350+ hours of coaching?!  That isn’t anything to dismiss, yet when you have the thought of “I’m a new coach so I should charge less”, you are doing exactly that – discounting the time, energy and investment you made in your coach training.  Start owning all the hard work and investment you’ve put into yourself and account for those hundreds of hours you completed during your training.

Third – implement systems and processes so that you are 100% sure that you can and will deliver on what you’ve promised your prospects.  Many coaches attempt to get their clients without having a solid business foundation in place.  What they don’t realize is that when they run their business this way, the often unconscious energy within themselves is, “Oh crap, now what do I do?!” when it comes to servicing their clients.  Nothing wreaks havoc on a coach charging what they are worth than an underlying worry and doubt about making sure their clients are getting what they deserve.  If you do not have systems in place and you are not 100% confident you can deliver for your clients, you will diminish the fees you charge – because you have to; you’re only providing mediocre services to your clients so they should only pay you mediocre prices for what you do.

So how do you establish your prices?

Here are a few pieces of information that will help you formulate your model and your fees:

  1. On average, a successful coach in this industry is charging in the upper $300’s to low $400’s/month for private 2-3 coaching sessions/month.  And $150 – $200/month for group coaching.
  2. The average one-on-one coaching agreement duration is for 6 months. The average group coaching duration is 3 months.
  3. New coaches should charge no less than $350/month for their services (that is my personal opinion and not backed by any research other than the hundreds of coaches I’ve worked with over the years)
  4. Pro-bono and Barter clients should be limited to a set number (1-2 clients/month at most)
  5. “Friends & Family” discount should be limited to a set number (1-2 clients/month at most)

A few Key Points to know you’re on the right path to charging what you are worth:

  1. When you think you’ve set your fee, double that number (now we are getting somewhere); I’m serious!!!  Most coaches, without realizing it, charge only HALF what their services are worth!  Double the number and stand fiercely for the difference coaching makes in this world!
  2. When you think of the dollar amount you’ve set as your monthly fee and you have this slight sensation of vomiting – you’re close.  Then practice saying that fee into the mirror to get used to the number rolling off your tongue.
  3. When you hear a prospect say, “That’s all you charge for your services?” – You’ll know you’re on the right path because what you actually charge ($400/month) is considerably less than “…priceless!”
  4. When you can proudly (even though it scares the crap out of you) stand for the fees you are charging and think, “Damn, I’m getting paid this much to do what I love”, you’ll also know you’re on the right path!

Be fierce when it comes to setting your business model and prices.  You, better than most, know how powerful the impact of coaching is on someone’s life.  Be fierce and be greedy because the business of coaching is changing lives, one person at a time. Demand nothing less than what you deserve. Demand nothing less than what the client deserves. And you both will walk away knowing the world is a better place because of it.

Posted in: Business Operations, Finance Management

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We Have A Choice

We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same. Carlos Casteneda, author and philosopher.

As the rain continues to fall and the days to be chilly, I sometimes begin to feel the weight of it all.  The dampness, the dreariness, the mud, and the chore of rubbing down my wet smelly dogs so they are presentable enough to be in the house. As I allowed myself to get more down about it all, feeling “put upon” by the weather, I realized I was choosing to be miserable.  I began to think about last summer and the frightening thoughts, the reality for some, of actually running out of water, our lifeblood.  I took hold of my thoughts and began to dwell more on the positives of the rain: flowers popping up everywhere, our grass is more beautiful than it has been in years, my husband and I have begun to take care of some indoor projects we have been putting off, even the puppy rub down has become a sort of game that makes us laugh. I have discovered the feeling of accomplishment is the same, rain or shine, the connectedness to family and friends is still great, and, actually, my ability to concentrate on detailed projects is greater as I am not distracted by the thoughts of being outdoors in the sun and the breeze.   The words of Mr. Casteneda seem to be true; I could be miserable or I could be upbeat and strong, in this case it was a matter of how I chose to think about the weather.

Now, of course, the weather is not an earth-shattering issue, but there are scant few of us who can say they are not affected by it in some manner. I offer it as a common ground place to begin a discussion on how we can take charge of the thoughts and energy we expend and for what results.

In this time of economic uncertainty, when many people we know are out of work, downsized or otherwise, and more high school and college graduates are ready to take their places in the workforce, it becomes challenging to choose to think and to expend our energy to make ourselves strong.  The job search that once was a matter of checking the want ads and speaking with a few confidants, has now become more of a position itself, albeit a non-profit one, for many seekers.  The tendency to dwell on how difficult the search can be and how unfair it is becomes enticing.  As more rejection is required to attain the prize, it becomes easier to allow our thoughts to wander in the mode of negativity and hopelessness: “I am not good enough.” “I am too old.” “I am over or under qualified.”

As a personal and corporate coach, I work with many individuals that are changing careers; whether by choice or by circumstance.  What I have discovered is that there is a great difference between the successful career changers and the not so successful, and it has little to do with the time it takes to make the change.  These days, the game is very different.  The pool of excellent candidates is much greater, and the corresponding pool of jobs is dwindling.  The difference I have discovered is how the successful people think about themselves and the process. They employ a positive, enthusiastic and hard work approach. They are willing to accept change and to look at themselves and the world from different perspectives.  They are open to support. They create, maintain and share insights and networks. They stay productive and active at home and in the world of work, often on a volunteer basis. Many of these successful folks read voraciously of the many books that are available on career change, salary negotiation, resume writing and interview techniques.  They work hard at the job of career change or job search.  When the right position is eventually discovered, their house is in order, they have learned a great deal about themselves and the process, and they are ready to put their best foot forward for the new position.  Often, friends and colleagues have no idea of how much effort went into the process, they only see the successful result. In the words of Michelangelo: “If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.”

Coaches Challenge: Our choice is in how we choose to think.  Begin with some simple tasks that you may have allowed yourself to get down about, like the weather.  You begin to build your positive thinking muscle. Then gradually tackle the greater issues as your strength increases.

Posted in: Professional Development

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1+1=11 The Quickest Way to Build Your List and Expand Your Reach

You’ve seen this formula from us before.  Yes, we know it’s not “correct” as it pertains to mathematics.  But it is the key formula to know when it comes to coaching more clients and to extending your ripple effect.

Getting more clients begins with expanding your reach.  What tools or relationships are you using to help to expand your reach to new audiences?  Or are you simply saying the same thing over and over to your same audience?

Of course, getting new clients can successfully be done on your own.  But why work that hard?  A more effective and a more fun way to do so is through leveraging relationships as a means to get your message to more people.  Aligning with strategic partners, colleagues, and affiliates places you in front of their audience.  When you align with the right people, even if you only have a mailing list of 100, you are instantly in front of hundreds or thousands of people.  The more people you reach, the more people have the opportunity to say “yes” to what you are offering. It’s a simple law of numbers, even if the math is a bit weird.

Key #1: Knowing what relationships to leverage.  You don’t want to collaborate with just anyone. You want to make sure they are in alignment with your message, reach the same target audience as you, and are as fierce about building their business as you are about building yours.

Key #2: Identifying the right strategies for engaging the relationship. Whew, that was a mouthful.  Before you approach a colleague, business or strategic partner, you want to be clear on the strategy you’ll implement once you decide to collaborate together.

Do this with me: Wad up a piece of paper. Now, close your eyes and throw the wad of paper across the room. Did you reach your goal?  You have no idea.  And without being clear on a successful strategy to implement with your strategic partner, you’ll have no idea whether or not you hit your goal. This is a common mistake that often leads to wasting precious time, to increasing frustration and to client lists not growing.

Key #3: Make it easy and fun for your partners.  If it ain’t simple and easy, it won’t happen.  Another common mistake is to assume, or worse, hope that your colleagues will do the work for you when it comes to sharing your message with their audiences. The easier and more fun you can make it for them to pass along your information, the better the impact. You’ll see your database grow. You’ll see an increase in your revenue. You’ll have the opportunity to work with more clients.

These 3 keys begin to make sense out of the weird math of the 1+1=11 equation.  Alone, you can only do so much, reach so far and communicate with only so many people. Leveraging relationships using these 3 keys allows you to turn the power of 1 into the power of 11.  Why wouldn’t you want to have more fun building your business, spreading your message and making the impact you are meant to make?

Are you ready to learn how to leverage the power of relationships and implement the 1+1=11 model into your business? If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches, growing their businesses, and making a big difference and money, too!  We so believe in our business growth program, we are offering the first two months FREE! Try it, and you will soon be leveraging your own strategic partners to create more clients, and make the difference you are meant to make.

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Top 5 Ways Newsletters Make You $$$

There are two kinds of marketing strategies: active and passive. Active strategies are things like speaking (and selling) or picking up the phone to call a prospective client.

Newsletters and other keep-in-touch strategies fall into the “passive” category. However, they are far from passive in the powerful ways that they can help you increase your income.

Here are five ways that newsletters help make you money:

Front & Center

A newsletter keeps you in front of people. Not everyone is ready to hire you on the spot. Not everyone needs your services this minute. But when they are ready, when they have a pressing need for what you offer and your newsletter shows up in their inbox or mailbox, you’ll be the one to get the call, not someone who’s dropped off their radar.

The Trusted Expert

A newsletter promotes your expertise constantly and creates trust in myriad ways. Top-level content that speaks to your audience makes them trust that you know what they’re going through AND have the capacity and skills to help them with it. Without trust, people won’t buy from you. The more people trust you, they more they will buy from you.

Promotional Support

Your newsletter is your forum. It not only educates your readers with education-based content but also informs them of opportunities to work with you to further their own goals. While I recommend that all promotions be mentioned in both “stand-alone” emails AND in your newsletter, without a newsletter, you’re missing a primary promotional vehicle.

Power in the List

Your newsletter is the focal point of education-based marketing. The list of people you send it to are people who’ve “raised a hand” at one time or another to say that they are interested in what you have to offer. This list is one of the biggest assets you’ll have in your business. Need some extra cash this month? Have a sale on your products or services. One woman I know, responding to a challenge from the leader of a seminar she was attending, created and sold a group coaching program in one evening. Her take: $15,000. She had a list she’d nurtured through the years with her newsletter.

Opportunity Magnet

The opportunities that come to you as a result of your newsletter can be unexpected and often surprising. But if your newsletter is doing its job, promoting your expertise in a given area, people will begin to associate you with that topic or topics. You may be asked to speak for a gathering or to partner with someone on a project or something else. For example, in the last three months, at least 15 different people have asked me to speak to their audience about newsletters. The same can happen for you, and with these opportunities come dollars.

So instead of asking “How do I make money with a newsletter?” try putting out a regular, consistent, high-value newsletter and see what happens for yourself!

About the Author:

Linda Claire Puig is the Founder and President of Ready2GoArticles.com and Ready2GoEzines.com, which provides coaches and personal development professionals who don’t have time to write – or don’t like to – with high-quality done-for-you newsletters and articles that help them more easily connect with their audience and grow their businesses.

She also teaches service-based solo-business owners how to attract buckets of ideal prospects, nurture those relationships through high-value newsletters and strategically use these newsletters to get more clients, fill more programs and make more money.

An award-winning writer since 1983, Linda’s articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and newsletters throughout the world. She has produced newsletters for small businesses and professionals since 1990 and has trained thousands of individuals in “the way of the newsletter.” Linda is also an actor, she loves to travel, and all manner of dogs catch her eye.

Linda Claire Puig is the Founder and President of Ready2GoArticles.com and Ready2GoEzines.com, which provides coaches and personal development professionals who don’t have time to write – or don’t like to – with high-quality done-for-you newsletters and articles that help them more easily connect with their audience and grow their businesses.

She also teaches service-based solo-business owners how to attract buckets of ideal prospects, nurture those relationships through high-value newsletters and strategically use these newsletters to get more clients, fill more programs and make more money.

An award-winning writer since 1983, Linda’s articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines and newsletters throughout the world. She has produced newsletters for small businesses and professionals since 1990 and has trained thousands of individuals in “the way of the newsletter.” Linda is also an actor, she loves to travel, and all manner of dogs catch her eye.

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Creating Raving Fans: It All Starts With Exquisite Self Care

As a coach or service provider, there are two ways to live in this world.

The first is with you “on your list” and dare I say, at the top of your list; practicing exquisite self-care and giving of the overflow of your time, energy and spirit, to yourself and others?

The second, and most common, is when you are NOT anywhere to be found “on your list.”  Or maybe, at the very least, you’re at the bottom of a very long line of expectations, responsibilities and other people to take care of.  It is here, in this spot, that you are giving of the fumes and sputtering through life on empty.   This feels like overwhelm, hard work, and exhaustion.

I’m guessing the first option feels like “that’s too good to be true,” while the second option is closer to reality.  You’re not alone.  Most coaches love helping others so much that they forget to take care of themselves. Many actually feel guilty for taking time for themselves.

Sound familiar?

This is a result of living from what I call the “Either/Or” mindset.  Either I take care of everyone else (which means I’m not taking care of me) OR I’m taking care of me (which means I must not be taking care of everyone else like I’m supposed to).  This Either/Or mindset is based on the paradigm of sacrifice. If I win, someone else loses.  It is this Either/Or mindset that keeps you paralyzed in the rat race of your life; because as a coach, taking care of others is a core characteristic that is part of your genetic make up.

When you travel on a plane and the flight attendants are doing their safety demonstrations and they get to the part about the oxygen mask, what do they tell you to do? “Place your mask on you FIRST, before assisting the child or person next to you.” Why do they say that?  Because if you don’t place it on yourself FIRST, you won’t even be around to help the people next to you!  The same is true with your business.  Yet, you are running around helping everyone else with their oxygen masks while holding your breath, hoping you don’t die.

The “Both/And” mindset allows you to place your mask on you first AND to also take care of everyone (clients, family, etc), and everything (business activities, marketing, family obligations, community obligations, etc.) around you.  With Both/And, you create a win-win-win for everyone involved, including  you.  And that is the key, “including  yourself.”  Your top item on your to-do list becomes taking exquisite care of you so you have an overflow to give to others.  As you practice exquisite self-care, you continue to fill yourself up from the inside out, and no longer need external “fixes” to provide temporary relief.  You have an abundance to ensure your own health and well-being, as well as more than enough to contribute to your family, your business, and your passionate causes.

Are you ready to place yourself at the top of your list so you have even more to give to your clients?  If your answer is yes, we invite you to join our Business Success Inner Circle of coaches, growing their businesses, and making a big difference, and money, too!  We so believe in this business growth program, we are offering the first two months FREE! Try it out; you will soon be giving of the overflow! Click here to learn more.

Posted in: Business Operations, Marketing & Promotion

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