10 Random Thoughts as I Celebrate 21 Years as an Entrepreneur

Today, I celebrate my 21st anniversary of being an entrepreneur. 

It was 21 years ago today that I was “downsized” from my last job and when I made the decision that I would never work for someone else again.

Best. Decision. Ever.

In reflection, I thought I’d share 10 random thoughts about the last 21 years of working for myself with you. Some are hard-won lessons, some are advice from my experience. All of it has been worth every moment.

1. Even when times are tough, being your own boss is still better than working for someone else.

As every entrepreneur knows, there are mountains and valleys in growing and sustaining a successful business, none of which I could have navigated without my husband’s ongoing support. And although I’ve always been able to stand on my own two feet (thanks to my parents instilling that in me), my journey has been made easier with my inner circle cheering me on from the sidelines. Even in the toughest moments of being in business for myself, the alternative – getting another job – has never been an option. And when it’s simply not an option, you figure out how to move forward (yes, sometimes after the breakdown ;-)).

2. Doing it my way is the only “right” way.

I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel, to model success, that, in fact, there are no new ideas, just new ways of presenting them. That said, while I take the lessons and suggestions of others who are further on the path than I am, I’ve never blindly followed anyone’s advice. I’ve always listened to my gut and have done things that have felt right and good to me, regardless what others think or do. It’s never mattered to me if other people didn’t understand. It only mattered that I knew what was the right next step for me.

3. It’s not about the money, it’s about what matters.

I’ve made over $2 million in sales in the last 21 years – and yes, I know that there are others who make that in a year (or even in a single launch), but I’ve never missed a moment of what matters to me. I’ve lived my life, for myself and with my family, for 21 years. I’ve been present for all of it – the little things and the major life shifts and everything in between. No amount of money replaces the time I’ve had with who and what I love the most.

4. Publishing my book was a huge accomplishment.

Writing the first draft of the book took me 3 weeks. Then it took me 7 years to actually publish it. Figuring out what took me so long to do that was an inner journey I had to take that has served me well since, even if the work itself was very hard to do. They say that being an entrepreneur is the best personal development ride you could ever take – and it’s true.

5. I know like I know like I know what my zone of joy is.

I’ve led everything from teleseminars (remember those?), webinars, group programs, online courses, virtual workshops, private retreats, private coaching programs, challenges, to 8 3-day live events, and I’ve loved them all for different reasons. And now I have the experience, the wisdom and the clarity of knowing exactly where my zone of joy is. Actually, I’ve always know – I’ve just decided to return to it fully.

6. Always have a mentor and peer support, even if you can’t ‘afford’ team support yet.

I’ve had a mentor since I was 13 years old. In the first year of my business, I learned from Thomas Leonard and Coachville. In year 2, I hired my first business coach, and I’ve worked with someone, either privately or in a group, ever since. I believe that skin in the game changes the game, and I’ve gotten every cent I’ve invested into working with the business coach back in spades.

7. Self-Care is #1.

This one really took some time to sink in. When I started my business, we didn’t have kids yet and I had loads of time to take care of myself (not that I did a great job of it then, honestly). Once Chloe and then Jack came along, everything shifted and I sucked at taking care of myself – for YEARS. When my physical health started breaking down, I finally got my act together and have become vocal with my members and clients that you need to take care of yourself so your business can take care of you.

8. Stand strong in your priorities.

Or said another way, create boundaries and honor them. Whether that’s about protecting your work time, your refund policies, the type of client you’ll work with or something else, when you honor what matters to you most, you’ll find holding your boundaries to be much easier and serve you better.

9. Gratitude and generosity go far.

Even in the darkest times, there’s always something that I’m grateful for to write about in my journal every day. I also say thank you out loud every single day – for my health, for my family’s health, and for keeping us safe and happy. I also try to be generous with my skills and knowledge, whether that’s personally or professionally. I believe there’s always more than enough for all, so there’s no reason to hold back or be threatened by others. I’m so grateful that I get to do what I do and that wouldn’t be possible without being able to be online all these years. I refuse to squander that by comparing myself to others and instead focus on helping thousands more to create and grow their own successful business.

10. Don’t try to be/do “all the things” – just be/do YOU.

In a way, this last one sums up all the others. I’ve created and grown my own business in the way that serves me best first, so I can show up as my best for my students. And frankly, if I can’t do it in a way that brings me joy (most of the time ;-)), then why do it?

I shared this post on Facebook here – I’d love to know your thoughts so come on over and join the conversation.

5 Easy and Effective Ways to Say Thank You in Your Business

5 easy and effective ways to say thank you in your business​Here are 5 easy and effective ways to say thank you in your business today!

It seems that the holiday season starts earlier and earlier, with Christmas cards taking over most of the card section of any store right after Halloween (if not before!).

However, as for planning on how to market for and during the holiday season for our business, it’s almost never too early.

One of my mantras is “Giver’s Get,” meaning that you’re giving from a place of having no expectation of receiving anything in return.

Here are 5 ways that you can give in your business, feel really good about it, and reap the rewards from the Universe.

1. Thank your clients and customers.

An obvious one to do around Thanksgiving is to show your gratitude to your current clients and customers for their business. But you might be surprised at how few business owners actually take the time to do this.

It could be something as simple as expressing your thanks in a short email. Or you could send a thank you card in the mail. Or you could take it a step further and send a postcard that expressed your gratitude with a link to a special free gift to your clients and customers.

Taking the time to say thank you goes a long way towards deepening that all-important relationship with your current clients and customers. If you do nothing else this holiday season, at least do this.

2. Give your email list a gift.

Your ‘pot of gold’ in your business in your email list of potential clients and customers. You should always be treating them well, but at least once a year, offer them a gift – no strings attached – just to say thanks!

3. Give a holiday coupon.

As a gift to your list as well as to give you a boost in your income, why not offer a coupon towards one or more of your offerings. You could offer a 2-for-1 coaching session, or a 20% off discount for one of your ebooks or ecourses, or you could offer a special price for the month of December only on one of your programs. Your options are endless so feel free to get creative!

4. Give your affiliates a gift.

Your affiliates are also one of your greatest assets in your business. Show your gratitude to the folks who have chosen to join your ‘sales force’ by increasing their commissions for the holiday season.

Ideally, your commission rate should be at least 30%. Why not reward them further for promoting your offerings by doubling their commissions to 40% or more?

5. Give yourself a gift.

And don’t forget yourself! If you haven’t already, hire a virtual assistant to help you now so you can enjoy more of your holidays. You’ll be so glad you did and you’ll never go back to being a lone ranger!

My favorite site to find great VAs is https://www.upwork.com.

Now you have 5 easy and effective ways to say thank you in your business. I’d like to invite you to choose at least two of these ways of giving in your business to implement this holiday season and watch what comes your way in return.

Top 5 Tips to Increase Your Sales BEFORE You Launch Your Offer

Would you like to increase your sales BEFORE you launch your product, program or service?

Here are my top 5 favorite ways to do just that:

1. Use Social Proof

What is “social proof”?

Simply put, we are all conditioned to watch what others are doing and follow along (think teenagers). Using social proof in your marketing helps you to influence your customers to purchase your products/services, get new prospects to sign-up for your list, and get people talking about you and your offering – and that’s just the start.

So, how do you use this psychological trigger in your marketing?

One of easiest ways is to share social media screenshots of positive comments and feedback your offer has received on your sales pages, opt-in pages, email as well as on your own social media platforms.

2. Answer your prospects #1 objection

To take “social proof” to a deeper lever, anyone who is buying anything almost always has this #1 objection: “Sure, you can do it, but can I do it?”

In addition to using yourself as an example (if appropriate) as evidence that what you’re offering does what you say it will, it’s also important to make sure you get “social proof” from people in your client/customer’s peer group.

One way is to ask your current customers or clients to give you results-based testimonials.

Ask your current customers or clients to give you testimonials that share one or more of the results they’ve received from your offer.

They simply say something like, “Before I used <name of your product, program or service> I was struggling with X. After using <name…>, I <benefit/result they received>. 

Testimonials from like this are the ones that cement the idea in your potential buyer’s mind that they can do it, too.

3. Use a time limit

Creating a sense of urgency around your offer will make it that much more enticing to potential buyers. For example, offer an early bird rate for one week only. Just knowing that you have one week to buy at a lower price creates that sense of urgency.

4. Use a limited quantity

If you are selling a physical product and you are only having 100 produced, then use that information to create the same sense of urgency you would with a time limit. Use a countdown on your website to further create the feeling that if your potential buyers don’t buy now, they may miss out.

5. Use a time or quantity limit on bonuses

Additionally, you could offer bonuses for a certain length of time (first week only) or for a certain number of products sold. For example, the first 30 buyers would get an additional bonus (valued at $XX).

These are just 5 quick tips on how to increase your sales BEFORE you launch your product, program or service. For more, come over to my free Facebook group here!

Top 5 Tips to Increase Your Sales Before Your Launch

3 Easy & Effective Alternatives or Additions to Your Coaching Packages

One of the things I enjoy about coaching is that I get to be creative with how I work with my clients, including how to create easy coaching packages that work for both of us.

In the 15+ years that I’ve been around the coaching industry, I’ve seen a rapid change from traditional 1:1 coaching of three 45 minute sessions per month for a monthly fee to session bundles, coaching programs that last as long as a year, in-person retreats, and much more.

So there are some simple ways that you can add value to your current coaching packages, or offer these alternatives to phone-only coaching as stand-alone packages, that can be very enticing to your clients.

Consider adding any of the options below to increase the value of your packages, or offer them as a stand-alone package, giving your clients a way to work with you at a more accessible investment, as well as help you as the coach to leverage your time.

Here are three of my personal favorites:

1. e-Coaching

In addition to phone sessions, one of the ways that I’ve coached my private clients is through e-coaching, or coaching via email and/or instant messaging.

I hold a firm belief that email coaching is just as powerful, if not more so, than phone coaching – and here’s why:

When you send an email asking for help, the simple act of writing and sending it creates energy that initiates the process of an answer coming to you – and not just MY answer.

When you put a problem out into the world, not only do the synapses in your brain start firing (our brains can’t help but answer questions) to come up with a solution, but the Universe starts working in order to bring you a solution as well.

It’s why experienced coaches understand that the real coaching happens between the sessions.

And e-coaching is also just a whole lot easier – you don’t have to schedule a call, you don’t have to be tied to a phone, or even a computer (you can e-coach via smartphone). And your client doesn’t have to wait until their next session to get the support they need – they just send an email!

2. Audio Coaching

For those of you who would rather coach by talking instead of typing, here’s an idea for you.

I had a private client once who was a coach and she was happy to receive questions via email from her clients. But she preferred to answer those questions via audio. What I suggested she do was to simply call into her recording service or use the app on her phone, record her answer, and then send the client the MP3 link to listen to. She loved answering client questions this way, and they loved hearing her voice. Simple and brilliant!

3. Video Coaching

Video coaching has become popular over the last few years, but there are many coaches who still prefer phone-coaching. However, video coaching is an effective alternative and might be preferred by some of your potential clients. When I was private coaching, I did video coaching most often with my clients who lived outside of the United States via Skype. It was free for both of us and it was the next best thing to being in-person.

And you could also offer video coaching in the same way that I described above in #2. For example, I had another private client who preferred recording a quick video where she could share screenshots, links and more in response to her client’s questions and requests for help. I do this for my Lively Biz students using a free service called Loom. Sometimes it’s so much easier for me to answer a question by showing how to do something via a quick Loom video vs typing it all out.

Which one of these alternatives or additions to phone coaching could you add to your current packages or that you could create a stand-alone package to offer?

I’d love to know – share with me here

3 Easy Ways to Use Webinars in Your Online Business to Make More Sales

Do you know that there are at least 3 easy ways to use webinars in your online business to make more sales?

Way before webinars or masterclasses became a popular way to convert more prospects into buyers online, I was leading them as teleseminars.

Same concept, same framework, different delivery, that’s all. 😉

Over the last several years, the teleseminar morphed with technology into webinars (or masterclasses) delivered via video, either live or recorded, instead of over the telephone via a conference line.

But it’s still a simple sales device that is highly effective. It’s why they’re used so often.

And there are ways to deliver them to make more sales for you too!

Here are three of my top tips for use webinars in your business to make more sales:

Tell more than teach

One marketing school of thought tells us that when we’re doing any kind of sales presentation, we should only share the ‘what and the why, but not the how’.

And that works, for sure. But for most of us, it’s hard not to teach, or education, or share a solution, even on a free sales talk, like a webinar.

My school of thought has always been to ‘share the what and the why and a little bit of the how’ so that your audience knows that you know what you’re talking about.

Let me break it down for you a little further.

– Share with your audience WHAT the problem is that you’re addressing as the topic of your webinar
– Explain WHY it’s critical to solve that problem
– Give them one or two things they can do to move towards handling the problem

In order to get your entire solution, they need to invest in the paid program or product. But you can at least show them on your free talk that you know what you’re doing, and you’re going that little bit further in deepening the know, like and trust factor with them too.

Build up the front and build out the back

One of the biggest mistakes I see online entrepreneurs make is not consciously focusing on connecting with their audience before their webinar.

They put up a registration page, send a few emails and social media posts and hope that people sign up and show up.

But it doesn’t work that way (and this was something I had to work on myself – because it USED to work that way quite well!).

You need to connect and give value to your audience well before you invite them to your webinar. Share free content with them, ask for engagement, connect with them, and then invite them to join you.

But don’t stop there!

Once they’ve registered, be sure to continue to connect with them to build anticipation and excitement about your webinar all the way up to the date of your presentation.

The other mistake I often see is once the webinar is over, there’s very little follow-up. There may be one or two emails that go out with the replay and the invitation, but there should be at least 4-6 follow-ups to make more sales from your webinar.

And that leads me to the third tip…

No is often not now

Once a webinar is over and the cart is closed for the offer, we often just forget about the people who said no.

But I want you to remember that often a No is just a Not Now.

So don’t forget to re-invite the people who registered but who didn’t say yes right away into the offer in the future, if it makes sense. Or consider making a downsell offer to them instead.

Which one of these three easy ways will you start using to make more sales from your webinars?

I’d love to know – share with me here

Why trying it on before you make an investment in your online business is smart…

When we’re considering making an investment in our online business, sometimes we have to “try it on” first.

I was shopping with my daughter recently and she saw a piece of clothing that could be worn as either a skirt or a dress. She really liked it so I suggested she try it on.

Once she tried it on, though, she said she liked it, “…but not enough to get it.”

The same is true as we build our business. There are so many options and opportunities to grow our business that sometimes it overwhelms and immobilizes us from making a choice or moving forward.

So sometimes we just need to make a choice and ‘try it on’ – and only then can we truly decide if it’s right for us.

I’ve been lucky in the sense that, in 20 years of investing in different programs and coaches/mentors, I’ve only once felt that the program I invested in wasn’t right for me. And I think part of making the right investment in my online business all the other times came down to knowing what I really wanted and needed at that time.

Here is the first question I ask myself:

Is this program/product/service what I need to learn/know/do next to move my business forward?

And I don’t let myself off the hook with an easy “yes!”.

I look at my plan, what I’m focused on right now, and if it’s really truly the very next thing I need to move the needle.

I actually started doing this process of decision-making when we were buying our current home in 2014. We were trying to keep as much cash in the bank as possible for our deposit (and I try to run my business as cash-only as much as possible), so this was the yardstick I used to make investing decisions – and it has served me well ever since.

So what is just the next thing you need to know, learn or do to move your business forward?

Is there a program/product/service that you could try on to see if it’s right, and if it’s right, right now?

I’d love to know… tell me here


make an investment in your online business

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