About Being ‘Lucky’

An annual trip we make each summer is a visit to the spectacular Castle in the Clouds. The Castle’s original name was “Lucknow”, which struck me when the staff posed us for a photo of us in the tea room, complete with period hats. It seems wherever we go with our daughter Chloe, she attracts these opportunities – she’s pulled out of line to get special attention, she’s picked to go on stage, or the line we’re in puts us in the front seat. It happens so often, we couldn’t help but notice it – sure, she’s super cute and friendly (she’ll strike up a conversation with anyone) – but there seems to be something about Chloe that brings her luck now. Now, if we could just bottle that… 😉

Seriously, I’m a believer in creating your own luck (thus why I don’t buy lottery tickets). Actually I don’t usually use the word luck because I think it’s too easy for people to use it as an excuse, and not in a positive way. I’ll share something personal here – I bristle whenever someone says to me how ‘lucky’ I am to have such well-behaved kids. Don’t get me wrong – I know how blessed I am (and those of you who know me or have been reading my ezine for awhile know this too) to have two happy, healthy, whole kids. No one is more grateful for that than I am. And yet, that comment (and similar ones) always comes across to me as if James and I had nothing to do with it, that it’s the luck of the draw that we have well-behaved (most of the time) children. Are you kidding me?

It’s the same thing in your business. I’m not ‘lucky’ to have a multiple 6-figure business. I created it, I earned it. And I did that by doing 4 things consistently:

1. Learning

I’m always learning something new or re-learning something I already knew. If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, your business won’t grow. The more you grow inside, the more successful your business will be. So whether I’m learning a new marketing tactic or studying ‘divine success’, I know that learning will ultimately show up in the success of my business and my life.

2. Implementing

Of course if you don’t implement what you learn, what’s the point? 😉 I implement more often than most, which shows up in my success. I’ve also learned to delegate much more to my team which means we collectively get a lot more done. My coach’s request to you is to pick one thing you’ve been meaning to implement, either choose to do it yourself or decide who to delegate it to, pick a completion date and get it done!

3. Leveraging

You can’t create a truly lucrative business without leveraging as much of your time and your talent as possible. One way I do this is via my ‘3+’ rule. Whenever I’m trying to decide whether or not to implement something, I ask myself if I’ll be able to use whatever it is I’m considering in three or more ways.

A simple example of this is writing articles about my area of expertise. When I first started out, we would publish the articles in my ezine, make them a blog post, and submit them to article directories. Now, we do those three things as well as post a podcast, submit that to podcast directories including my Artist’s Page at iTunes, submit it to blog directories, and more.

4. Mentoring (with and to)

I’ve had at least one mentor since I was 13 years old. One of the many lessons I learned from him was that I didn’t have to go it alone, that I could ask for help and be given it without strings attached. As I grew up, I’ve had different personal and professional mentors, which is why it’s always an easy decision for me to make that investment, in both time and money, especially when it comes to my business.

And being a mentor to other women entrepreneurs is absolutely part of my path. It brings me great joy and allows me to give them the lift they need to go from where they are to where they want to be.

Which of these four resonates the most with you right now? Pick one and create your own luck by putting it into action right away.

I’d love to know your thoughts on being lucky and these four ideas – please feel free to share them below…


Is Your Website Working for You?

A question I often ask my target market is, “what’s your biggest challenge with building your business online?” And one answer I get frequently is this:

How do I make my website earn money?

If you’ve got a business online, then it’s likely you have some sort of web presence. Perhaps it’s a one-page ‘sign up for my list’ kind of site, or a full-blown brochure site with a menu of choices, or maybe your site is in the form of a blog. Regardless of what kind of site (or sites) you have, if they’re not doing what you want them to – and since we’re in business, ultimately that means making some sort of a profit – then it’s time to make some changes.

But how do you REALLY know whether your site is working or not? Here are four strategies to test and track your pages to know what needs fixing:

1. Let the numbers speak

I’m sure if the sky was the limit, you’d hire the most expensive web designer with the fanciest tools to create the most spectacular site imaginable for your business – and someday you just may do that.

For now, though, even an ugly site can make money. My own original site is a perfect example of this, and one reason why I keep it live as an example for my clients. And I can think of at least two sites right now that I personally think are not that pleasing to the eye, yet I know they are raking in the bucks each and every month, year after year.

So don’t get caught up in having the most polished and professionally looking site. Focus more on having the pieces in place that will bring you the cash, too.

2. Give your site only one job

Think of each page of your website as a separate entity with one main purpose. It may be to sell something, or to sign up for your list, or to get people to call you for an appointment. Whatever it is, make it clear that that one thing is the action your visitor should take from being on that page.

3. Track your numbers

Most web hosts offer statistics that you can use to watch your numbers, or there are other web stat programs that you could use as well (such as Google Analytics). However you are keeping an eye on your numbers, you should be looking for two things: how many people visit your site and how many people take the action you want them to take.

From those two numbers, you can figure out your conversion rate, which tells you how many of those visitors took the action you wanted them to – like sign up for your list. If you make small changes to your page AND watch these numbers at the same time, you’ll be able to tweak things to increase your conversion rate. See #4 for more on this…

4. Make one change at a time

This is a very effective way to increase the conversion rates on sales pages and sign-up pages. Change just one thing – for example, the headline – and watch your numbers. Compare those statistics to your previous ones and decide whether or not to keep the change. (You can also do this via a split-test in your shopping cart, where the software does the number crunching for you.)

I see so many sites that try to be all things to all people by offering everything under the sun in too small a space – a website – and all that does is confuse people and encourage them to click away. Remember, ‘a confused mind clicks away’, so always go back to the main questions when considering making changes to your website: What’s the purpose of this page? What is the one thing I want my visitor to do here? And then design your copy around the answer. Keep it simple and you’ll get better results every time.

I love to know your thoughts on these tips. Please share below…

4 Ways to Gracefully Set Boundaries in Your Business

Over the years, I’ve developed very strong boundaries in my business, which have contributed to its quick growth, and I coach a lot on setting and standing strong in boundaries with many of my clients. I wanted to share some of the ways I’ve created and strengthened the boundaries within the way I run my business so you can do the same.

Here are 4 ways that you can gracefully set boundaries in your business:

1. Have a policy page

For every product, program or service you offer, someone is going to ask you to do something different for them. It could be to offer it in a different format, at a different time or day, with a payment plan option, or dozens of other scenarios than I can’t possibly cover here.

As a general rule of thumb, don’t accommodate. Yes, there will be times when you make a different decision, but most of the time, stick to the parameters you created in the first place. You can’t please everyone, and every time you accommodate someone, you a) typically un-accommodate someone else who was just fine with the way your offer stood in the first place, and b) attract more people who will ask you to bend things for them in the future.

What do you do with the requests you get? Create a policy page from each and every decision you’ve made on how you will or will not run your business. Then when the next person makes a similar request, you simply send them to that page that explains clearly what your policy is, and that the policy applies to everyone. It takes the edge of it feeling like saying ‘no’ was a personal decision as much as it makes it super-simple for your team to handle these requests.

2. Be fair to ALL your clients

Being fair to all my clients is one value that I hold that makes it easy for me to be clear about the boundaries I have in place in my business. If you remember that it’s NOT that you aren’t willing or don’t want to be accommodating, but that it simply wouldn’t be fair to the rest of your clients and customers by doing so, it makes it much easier to say no graciously, and it keeps your integrity intact.

3. Have a buffer

Having someone on my team who manages these requests is imperative. First, as the business owner and leader of my company, it’s not the best use of my time or energy to be dealing with these requests personally. Second, my team is quite capable of knowing when a request may require my attention, and I trust them to let me know. And third, it makes saying ‘no’ less personal and much more graceful and respectful to the person making the request when they get an answer from my team instead of from me.

4. Be willing to let go

Ok, this one used to pop up for me a lot when I still struggled with a tendency to over-explain. I liked to craft just the right words to make sure someone understood my decision about something. I’ve realized that in doing so I wasted a lot of time, energy and emotion. So I stopped doing that for the most part. Once in a while when I found myself back in that loop again, and when I realized how much of my team’s time I was wasting, it bopped me over the head and I instantly went back to my short-but-sweet way of responding.

Here’s the thing: there’s always going to be a tiny percentage of people who want you to customize and accommodate them. But let them go play somewhere else. Because what happens when you stick to your guns is that you honor your value, your time, and your self-respect. You attract more clients and customers who are ideal and who are respectful of you and your team as well, and your business runs more smoothly and more joyfully.

Which one of these boundaries can you set in your business today? Please share below…