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The 3 Keys to Client Retention (which means less marketing)

The better you are at retaining clients the less marketing you need to do. One of the reasons that you see so much marketing from other business owners is because they may be great at getting clients but not great at keeping clients.

What is your current rate of retention? I’ve found that the new business owner is lucky if they retain a client for 90 days. This means that for every client you loose in 90 days, you have to replace that client 4 times in a year. No wonder you feel like you have to do so much marketing.

Getting off the roller coaster of client turn-over is all about managing your clients and their progress. It is about adding value in everything you do with your clients and getting them to see the ongoing benefits of continuing to pay for your services.

So how can you add value while managing your current clients so they stay with you longer?

It is easy…if you have the right SYSTEMS in place.

These systems ensure that every client is handled with care and true concern. That each client feels that you are not just there for the call or the meeting but that you are truly their ongoing partner in success. It is also about having ways to monitor their weekly and monthly progress so that they can see and feel the momentum building and the breakthroughs happening.

The systems must be simple and easy to use for both you and your clients. They must be consistent and automated.

  • Consistency comforts the client.
  • Automattion makes it easy for you.

The Three Key Systems to client retention

SYSTEM #1: Smart Goal setting. Have an automatic system in place for your clients to indicate where they are when they start working with you and what they want to achieve.

  • As they close the gap, your clients begin to see the momentum build as well as their return on investment.
  • The more progress your clients feel, the more likely they are to stay the course and continue to pay for your services.

SYSTEM #2: Follow up and follow through. You will want to have an automated way to regularly interact with your clients beyond your regular sessions.

  • Perhaps a system of instant messaging, an automatic appointment reminder, an evaluation process that allows them to give you feedback on their progress and even a follow up email after your weekly call or meeting.
  • These thoughtful and purposeful touches are a great way to let your clients know you are on their team and pulling for them.

SYSTEM #3: Professional and painless billing. Setting up your clients with your merchant account so that they can be billed automatically each month at the same time allows both you and the client to plan for the investment and it eliminates surprises.

  • Have your client give written permission for you to charge their credit card on the first day of each month.
  • Have professional bills sent at regular intervals.
  • When everyone is on the same page with the investment there are no defaults and or uncomfortable questions left hanging.

If you are ready to get off the roller coaster of client retention these 3 systems can make all of the difference.

You can create your own systems or consider The Coaches Console which automates all of the systems mentioned here (and many more) to create a professional and smooth running and profitable service business. Visit the site and take a virtual tour or sign up for a free trial.

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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Six Impossible Things

Alice Kingsley claimed that she sometimes believed six impossible things before breakfast. By doing so, she had great adventures, far beyond the limitations and possibilities set out for her by other people’s beliefs.

In Tim Burton’s fantastic re-make of the classic Alice in Wonderland story, Alice is portrayed as a ingénue who is caught between two worlds: the staid expectations and beliefs of her Victorian era social structure (as lived and endorsed by her family), and the world of the possible, as taught and demonstrated by her late father, a man with visions of grandeur and adventure in far-off lands.

We each have this same tug-of-war inside of us. Our biology drives us in two directions at once: toward the secure, same, and known on the one hand, and toward the new, novel, and unknown on the other. We live inside this tension, and we make our lives work – or not – by how we deal with these opposite forces within us.

Why is it important to believe in six impossible things before breakfast? Because belief in the impossible creates the possible. Every great invention was once an impossible dream. Every great adventurer was once a crazy dreamer. Martin Luther King believed that there could be peace between the races. Impossible. John F. Kennedy believed that we could land a man on the moon within ten years. Impossible. A few German citizens believed that the Berlin Wall could be brought down. Impossible.

In Burton’s new film, Alice is a teenager who has lost her “muchness” by the time she encounters the White Rabbit. In the midst of her family’s and society’s expectations, she has lost her self-possession, independence, and belief in controlling her own life. When she falls down the hole and enters Wonderland, she regains her ability to believe and imagine the impossible. She remembers her True Self, and re-gains her ability to create from nothing (which is where all true creation comes from). Doing so, she become a heart-based hero, choosing her own path, making her own dreams come true.

Have you lost your ability to believe the impossible? To dream impossible dreams?

Don’t give up hope. You can restore your own ability to live your own Truth. Begin by removing the overlay of other people’s expectations and dreams for you. Eliminate the beliefs you have been indoctrinated with. They keep you small and limited. Decide what you want to create, without limitations. You may encounter people who do not want you to become your full and glorious self. They are afraid you will abandon them. They are afraid of being reminded of their own limitations. Leave them behind as you blaze your trail forward. Set torches along the way, so they can follow later, if they dare.

Those in power do not want you to remember your infinite capacity. You might become difficult to control with their weapons of mass distraction, fear and lack. You will not find much support for believing or doing the impossible. Walk away from those who would kill your dream. People who do so dedicate their lives to proving the dream-killers wrong: Olympic snowboarder Sean White with his Double McTwist; Candidate Barak Obama in the last Presidential election; James Cameron with his breakthrough movie Avatar, who pushed technological limits to create impossible beauty.

You can achieve your own brand of glory — if you will but believe. I speak as one who has done so, having believed myself into many impossible successes, including numerous money “miracles” that produced hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There is work involved in creating the impossible. Magic isn’t created by saying affirmations or believing in the Law of Attraction. It does starts with a belief — but then the real work begins. You must remove all of the limiting beliefs stored in your subconscious. You must muscle the energies down through the chakras from crown (thought) to ground (actions). The art of manifestation begins with an idea, a vision, a belief in the impossible, but it doesn’t end there. Alice has to do battle with the nasty Jabberwocky. Martin Luther King did battle with both police and the public. Presidents do battle with politicians on the other side of the aisle. There is no “free ride” to manifesting the impossible. But it doesn’t cost anything to begin.

What six impossible things can you believe before breakfast?

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Lion Goodman is the creator of The BeliefCloset Process, a methodology for permanently eliminating negative and limiting beliefs from your life, and utilizing new empowering beliefs for creating your dream life. He teaches this methodology to therapists, coaches, and facilitators of transformation through monthly teleclasses. He also teaches his manifestation workshop, “Creation is Ecstasy!,” with his partner, author Anodea Judith, on both coasts. For a limited time, you can download a free copy of the BeliefCloset Process by signing up for his BeliefCloset Jump-Start Kit on his website: www.BeliefCloset.com.

Posted in: Business Operations

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Coaches Console Announces Release of Version 2010 of Their Practice Management Software for Coaches

Press Release


Roanoke, Virginia, USA-March 1st 2010

The Coaches Console® announced today the release of version 2010 of their Practice Management software, for coaches and other helping professionals.

The new version is a result of over two years of gathering feedback from their member coaches, while also researching the needs of today’s small business owners.  The release follows a year in which The Coaches Console emphasized helping coaches and other professionals achieve greater “Business Success”. This includes launching a blog called “Business Success Hub”, that provides free business advice to coaches and other business professionals, in addition to offering other business success services such as, a VA program, & free teleclasses. The system upgrade contains many upgrades, the addition of new features and an overall face-lift that will compliment this “Business Success” focus.

While The Coaches Console has focused primarily in the past on the internal, practice management aspect of running a business, the major focus on the new version is to support its members in the areas of marketing, getting new clients and overall “Business Success”.  Being able to choose from multiple website templates enables members of The Coaches Console to implement better online marketing strategies, which build their brands and generate more interest.

Another focus of the release is the upgrade and enhancements to the on-line scheduling module. Members of The Coaches Console are now able to synchronize their calendar to third-party calendars (Outlook, iCal) in a streamlined, automated manner. And the auto-sync feature has been added, enabling members to integrate their Coaches Console calendar to their smart phones and mobile devices (such as the iPhone and Android).

There are other enhancements such as more extensive international capabilities, more capabilities for clients to upload documents, materials and information relevant to the client-coach relationship and greater overall flexibility and customization capabilities.

Co-Founder and President, Melinda Cohan emphasizes that the new version and Business Success Services focus on helping members “Get More Clients, Earn More Money and Make a Bigger Difference”.

You can learn more about The Coaches Console by visiting http://coachesconsole.com and their blog site: at www.businesssuccesshub.com,

Contact:

Dan Roberts

330-620-3044

dan@coachesconsole.com

Posted in: News & Events

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The Art Of Blurting

BlurtingWhat is a “blurt”, you may ask and how can it possibly be valuable? For our purposes  “blurting” is the act of speaking out your thoughts before you have completely thought them through.

Your first reaction may be fear or even, Kate, you are a bit crazy. Fears of being misunderstood are most common or perhaps concern that people will think less of your abilities as a thought leader. Blurting, at the right time for the right purpose brings exponential value to you and your team…

Blurting Artfully can be a fabulous brainstorming method. Think of times when you are working with a team and you are trying to create a new process or concept.  It is almost impossible at first to speak or even think in full sentences, especially when the concept is in its germination stages. Many team members’ fear sounding foolish and or saying the “wrong” thing. Blurting in this instance can get ideas and thoughts on the table for yourself and others to mull over, and perhaps the team will then be able to refine these blurts from germination to genius. Blurting in this instance becomes a starting point for brilliant brainstorming, a fun way to get unstuck and create momentum.

So what is the “art” around blurting? Very simple, BEFORE you blurt, let your audience know that that is what you are doing. This warning will eliminate possible misunderstandings and get their expectations in line with what you are sharing. This also gives the team permission to refine and work with your blurtings.

“Artful Blurting” is a learned habit that can be cultivated by leaders and managers of teams including your own team of one if you are a solopreneur.

Posted in: Professional Development

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15 Business Building Strategies for Coaches


During The Coaches’ Edge Extravaganza I had the pleasure of spending the day with 100 successful coaches and 18 industry leaders. Part of the day was devoted to small group networking in which we were grouped into 8-10 coaches per group.   Viki Winterton, co-founder of the Extravaganza and founder of The Coach Exchange, assigned each group to share the best business building strategies that had brought them the most success in their coaching business.

I share a few strategies for business building in this video.

Here is the collection of the Top 15 Best Business Building Strategies that were reported by each of the small groups during the Extravaganza.

  1. Treat coaching like a business, not just a hobby.
  2. Go with what life brings you rather than what you think it is “suppose” to look like.
  3. Leverage your time and energy through creating strategic relationships.
  4. Know your target market as well as your niche, they are two different things.
  5. Integrate social media strategies, especially a Fan Page on Facebook.
  6. Create value add products and tools that create additional revenue streams to compliment your primary services.
  7. Always remember that you are not alone; you don’t have to do it all. Leverage the tools, people and resources around you to leverage your way to success.
  8. Be true to yourself.
  9. Create your “A-team” and use the technologies to help you do so; technologies such as e-lance.com; o-desk.com.
  10. Networking. networking. networking. – get out of the house and get face-to-face with people every week.
  11. Follow your passion, do what you love.
  12. Create powerful conversations with prospect groups – workshops, seminars, retreats in which you can speak to many people in your target market at once.
  13. Always do values driven work: values-based marketing, values-based promotions, etc.
  14. Go for it!
  15. Have fun!

Being one of the panel experts that was presenting later in the day on the topic of “Leveraging the Business Success Formula for Massive Success,” I was thrilled with this topic and actually a bit surprised by the results.  I had anticipated that the groups would share specific marketing strategies, specific types of networking groups, various promotions that were successful for them, or even listing the types of marketing that worked for them (print vs. word of mouth vs. public speaking, etc).  I was so thrilled to see that not only did some of the groups report on these types of tangible strategies, but the list included what I would consider to be part of the attitude or mindset of a business owner.  Creating a thriving business is not always about the strategy, the promotion or the event.  While those are vital and crucial, the mindset and attitude of the business owner is what is the fuel behind the success.

The common theme that permeated throughout the coaches and industry experts participating in The Coaches’ Edge Extravaganza was that in order to be successful doing coaching, you must treat it like a business.  This top 15 list gives a coach a hint at what that statement means.

So what have been your best business building ideas?  We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let us know what has created success in your coaching business.

Posted in: Business Operations

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How to Respect Money

Guest Post by Barbara Stanny, The leading authority on women and money. Barbara is a Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker, Workshop facilitator, Money and Wealth coach and Coach Trainer.  Original post on BarbaraStanny.com.

Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny

There’s a big difference between making a good living and enjoying a good life. You demonstrate respect and appreciation for money the same way you would anything else of value in your life, be it an heirloom rug, an expensive hand tool, a close friend, or cash in hand. If you want it to last, you’ve got to take care of it. Throw it around carelessly or ignore it completely and guess what’s going to happen?

Remember, my goal is not just to put a fatter paycheck in your pocket. I want to help you achieve financial independence, which means making a good living and enjoying a good life, where money enhances your well-being, not exacerbates your stress. Financial independence does not come from what you earn. It comes from what you do with what you have. No matter how sizable your salary, the money will slip through your fingers if you bypass this step.

Yet this step is frequently neglected, even by the best and the brightest. It was the biggest surprise I had when interviewing six-figure women. With earnings that ranged anywhere from $100,000 to $7 million, the whopping majority, as confident as they were professionally, were surprisingly insecure financially. They were so busy making money they didn’t bother to take care of it.

Of all the people I’ve interviewed for my books, or met during my travels, I can safely say, the ones with the highest net worth were not necessarily the ones who made the most money. They were the ones who took the best care of their money.

Rampant, unintentioned spending is often the culprit. Like Pavlov’s dog salivating when it hears the dinner bell, as soon as people boost their earnings, ‘Ka-ching,’ they bump up their spending, then wonder where those extra bucks went.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Making conscious, deliberate choices about what you do with your money is precisely what this step is all about. And as I see it, there are only four choices you need to make to fully respect and appreciate money. I call these four choices the Four Rules of Money.
1. Spend Less (Only buy what you can easily afford)
2. Save More (Pay yourself first)
3. Invest Wisely (Put money in assets that grow in value over time.)
4. Give Generously (Use your money to make a difference )

Most of us have the giving generously part down pat. But unless you handle the first three, giving can become an act of self-sabotage. Not only do you jeopardize your future security, but you diminish the impact you can have with your money. (more…)

Posted in: Finance Management

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What Do You Think?

“One of the reasons people don’t achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results without changing their thinking.”  John C. Maxwell Thinking For A Change

Happy smiling businesswoman with laptop at officeWhen an individual begins the coaching partnership it is often because they are frustrated with their current progress, it is not moving along fast enough, they are experiencing many roadblocks and they can’t seem to keep focus or stay on track towards their goal.  Our first step is usually to discover: “What are their thoughts in connection with the goal?”

Most often they are able to rattle off their strategy to reach the goal they wish to attain; they have broken it down into manageable steps and have begun the process to reach the goal.  The missing piece that causes the roadblock to success is not their ability or knowledge or even their organization, but the thoughts they harbor around the goal.

As a new college graduate I was given the opportunity to become a supervisor of a department I had been a member of for the last 3 years.  I was promoted due to my knowledge, experience and potential.  It was a great honor and one I felt ready to accept.  After about a month on the job, the productivity of my department had plummeted. I was frustrated, and went to my manager to try to discover what I was doing wrong. My manager gave me these words to ponder: “Think like a supervisor.”  After mulling this over, I discovered I was still thinking like an hourly employee.  I had made the leap to supervisor, but my thought processes had not changed along with me.  This time I went to my supervisor with a list of new thoughts: how I think about myself in relation to the supervisory position.  I was on my way to changing the way I thought about my job and my person in that job.  With each discovery, I became a more valuable supervisor and my department began to excel.  Success in this situation was about changing the way I was thinking to mirror the new position.

Coaches Challenge:  Examine your thinking around your business goals and who you are with this goal. Ask yourself some questions to trigger understanding of your current thought processes and what changes you may have to make. If your goal is to build a thriving Coaching Practice… do you believe it is possible?  Do you think you deserve to have a thriving business? How does a successful businessperson think, act, look? Are you thinking like a business person or a hobbyist? How do you have to think differently to make the change from a surviving business to a thriving business? What thoughts do you have that will inhibit and or forward this goal? Begin to change the way you think to enhance your goals.

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Why Marketing is Essential to Grow Your Business

There are a lot of things in our day that demand our time and attention. Some help move our business forward and some have us ending our day wondering what we have accomplished.

We have a tendency to let ourselves get distracted by the things that are screaming the loudest for our attention, and we also have a tendency to spend time on things we enjoy the most, regardless of whether it is a money making activity or not. And unfortunately, many times it is not.

For most of us, marketing is an essential activity for our business. We must market ourselves and our services to our target audience so they become aware of us and are interested to learn more. With today’s competitive economy, the idea of hanging out our shingle and hoping people will find us will lead to a definite doom.

Therefore, if you are truly committed to having a successful business, and your business is not yet where you want it to be, then you will need to be spending the majority of your time on marketing activities. And the majority of that time should be spent on income generating marketing activities.

There are two types of marketing activities – active and passive.

Active marketing activities give you the greatest exposure, establish connection and creditability, and get you greater results quicker.

– Speaking
– Training events like workshops and teleseminars
– Networking – at meetings, organizations and such
– Social networking with purpose
– Creating joint venture and alliance partnerships

Passive activities are activities you need to be performing in your business but aren’t as direct in generating income but very effective just the same for generating awareness, growing your list and creating interest.

– Article marketing
– Blogging
– Maintaining Your website
– Working on your brochure
– Keep in touch activities – like sending cards, notes and newsletters

If you are committed to growing a successful business, then until you have reached the level of success you desire, you will want to be working full time in your business. Therefore, if you only have 3 clients, then the rest of your work week would be spent mostly on marketing activities.

For those of you who have a job that you want to leave and are really committed to building your own business, then I encourage you to put your head down, make the short term sacrifice and squeeze as many hours out of your day as you can marketing your business.

It is only temporary and the faster you get your business grown the sooner you can leave your job.

If your business is where you want it to be and you have a steady stream of referrals and people contacting you, then you may be able to reduce your marketing activities, but you do not want to ever completely let up on the marketing pedal because clients will come and go.

In sales, it’s called the pipeline. You want to always be putting names in your pipeline, and nurturing those relationships so that you always have a steady stream of clients coming in while others leave.

If marketing is a necessity for companies like Weight Watchers and McDonalds, then marketing will most likely be a necessity for us too. Therefore, it is advantageous for us to spend our time on activities that will move our business forward – and marketing is indeed one of them.

This post was graciously submitted by:

Kim_Clausen

Kim Clausen
Ready2Go Marketing Solutions, Inc.

www.Ready2GoMarketingSolutions.com

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Pay-It Forward – Coach's Challenge

Tom and I were watching football the other night and, as men and their remotes will do, at commercial time Tom changed channels to see what else might be on of interest. We stumbled upon the movie “Pay It Forward”.  A wonderful heartening story about a teacher and his class of, I believe, fifth graders and the challenge he gave each of them: Think of a way to change our world and put it into action.

iStock_000003834478SmallWe were at first charmed, and by the end, football went by the wayside and became the commercial filler for the movie.  The story unfolded as the young man, Trevor, decided to do nice things for people, whether he knew them or not and whether they asked for it or not.  He felt in this way he might at least make a difference in the lives of others to the small extent he could and that when they asked what they could do in return for him… he asked each of them to do something unexpectedly nice for 3 others and so on…his system: Pay it Forward

Trevor’s system did not always work as he had expected or hoped and at times he was down right depressed that it seemed he was not even able to start the ball rolling.  Several of his initial attempts were thwarted either by the person who received the good deed not responding and paying it forward or other times he ran into people’s inability to deal with their own fears in order to take the necessary steps to enjoy the gift he gave.  Trevor’s determination stayed true and he created enough awareness that eventually a reporter interviewed him on TV about his goal for “Pay It Forward”.  He explained that it takes a person that is willing to be strong and sometimes overcome their fears to really make a difference.  Each person has to choose to go out on a bit of a limb, take a risk, but that the rewards were worth the effort.  He also commented that if you never try anything different, then you may be missing the best life has to offer, you will stay in your comfortable and gray world and miss the warmth, connection and Technicolor that could be.

Trevor learned there were no guarantees with his experiment, but he made the conscious decision to continue to try it anyway. His experiment did not fail with me, as I write this article to share with each of you.

Today, I parked in town and bought a $5.00 parking permit.   When I was ready to leave there was an older gentleman struggling to figure out the parking computer.  I handed him my ticket, which was good for another two hours.  He was delighted and asked if he could pay me for it…. I told him to pay it forward… Thanks Trevor!

To me this story is all about abundance and learning to give unconditionally…Giving of the overflow… it has been called… is all about learning the spirit of money and good deeds (which are often substituted for cash) It is in the spirit of money that we begin to attract abundance. In the spirit of money we discover it’s true value and power. The spirit of money is where philanthropy lives. Have you ever wanted to create a foundation to support a great cause?  Learn the spirit of money and you will soon attract an overflow to share as you wish.

Coach’s Challenge:
“Pay It Forward”. Then, if you accept, I challenge each of you to do something nice and unexpected for 3 people, if they ask how to repay you, tell them: “Pay it forward!” I figure if 100 people read this article and just 30 of you take my challenge …then Trevor, and our world, will have won exponentially!

Posted in: Finance Management

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Key Number One to Successful Self-Marketing

istock_000009218077smallMarketing always seems to be one of the more difficult tasks, and marketing ones self, for many, often becomes insurmountable.  This does not have to be true for you! Learning to market yourself comfortably will go a long way in your life whether you are marketing yourself for a new career, a promotion in your current place of business or to sell your business services.

Key Number ONE is: Learning to Overcome Rejection

I. Overcoming rejection, the ages old concept of rejection and how to overcome that down in the belly negative feeling that comes when you put your talents on the line and they are rejected.

What is actually being rejected?

Try this vision: What is real…At this moment I am OK. I have certain talents and abilities, hopes and dreams, needs and values. I have family and friends that care about me. I have accomplished many things in my life; be it my schooling at what ever level, my employment history and my ability to be a team player and many other learned talents along the way.  The concrete evidence of my existence thus far proves I am capable of tackling the world and what it has handed me. I am O.K.!

You take one small action of opening your email and you discover your business proposal was rejected. What happens?  The air is knocked out of you, you get that lead feeling in your gut, suddenly, the act of reading one email has changed “I am OK” into “I am not good enough”!

Look back a moment…has anything actually changed from the information above? NO, you are still all of those very capable things.  What has changed is your attitude. You have allowed yourself to take the rejection personally. All of a sudden it is about you not being good enough, when moments before you were just fine.  You have given your power away because of someone else’s action. In reality what happened is another person had a stronger set of tools for this particular situation, or perhaps there was a personal contact that was selected or the person making the decision had a bad day the day of your proposal, we will never know.

Getting Over it! We meet rejection every day, whether it is of our dreams, of a new job or a promotion or a sale we have endeavored to close. There are 3 important rules to dealing with rejection successfully: a. Don’t take it personally. b. Use it as a learning tool. c. Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.

The first rule of dealing with rejection is: Don’t take it personally! It is rarely about us, even though our egos seem to try to tell us it is.  Our minds are very creative and energetic and if left alone, are masters at the negative.  I call it my “Itty Bitty Pity Committee”. Replace your old committee with a sensible group of voices: which include your intuition, your heart, your intelligence, your curiosity, your passion, your spirit and your experience.

Your new “Success Committee”, will help you deal with rejection as a learning tool. Which is the second rule of dealing with rejection: Use rejection as a Learning tool. Ask questions when you receive a no.  What did not meet your needs?  What was missing so I might improve? Rarely is a person reluctant to help another improve. Then set up an appropriate action plan to carry out what you have discovered. Choose to learn from the rejection and move on to the next with a greater arsenal of tools for your future success.

The third rule of dealing with rejection: Quickly take appropriate actions to move on to the next challenge.  Take the learning and grow your knowledge base and tool kit.  Create a plan of action to move past the rejection and on to the next challenge. Think of rejection as a tool for learning and improvement and you will soon move beyond it to the realm of success.

Want to see Overcoming rejection in action? Look up the story of author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter novels. She was rejected by the best of the best printers over 100 times! Aren’t we all glad she kept believing in herself?

Posted in: Marketing & Promotion

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