Three Reasons NOW Is The Time To Put Yourself Out There

step-out-and-be-awesome

I want to convince you of this:  NOW  is the time to put yourself out there.

If YOU don’t do it, someone else will. 

I’m not suggesting there isn’t enough business to go around.

Whatever the niche, there’s room for you – if you rise above & do what it takes.

You believe that, or you wouldn’t be in business.

So why are you procrastinating?

Why are you holding back?

Why aren’t you putting yourself out there for more people to know?

No more delaying.  Now is the time.

The First Reason Now Is the Time: There Are Only So Many Kingpins. 

If you watch gangster movies – you’ve heard the phrase Kingpin. A kingpin is a leader, someone who influences others.

There’s plenty of business to go around, but there are only so many amazing opportunities to go around and Kingpins connect you to these opportunities.

These Kingpins are people you connect with who will connect you to new circles of people they influence.

A small Kingpin might introduce you to a few dozen other people in their niche, telling them about you; saying positive things about you and ultimately sending you business.

There are some Kingpins whose circle of influence reaches out into the hundreds, and there are some Kingpins out there whose circle of influence reaches out into the thousands.

I would hate for you to miss an opportunity to connect with a Kingpin.

I have made connections with people who in turn introduced me to their communities in ways that changed my life, and gave me instant, amplified reach.

It’s not that I’m amazing or that I can do something so much better than someone else – it isn’t.  It’s just that I put myself out there. I was the right person at the right time.

If it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else!

Imagine right now that there’s a Kingpin who needs something done, and you can do it.

You’ve put yourself out there.  You’re producing and repurposing content.  You’re promoting yourself.  You’re taking an extra step each day into new territory, and you bump up against one of these Kingpins, and you’re available because you’ve made yourself available.  You fulfill their needs.  They like what you do and next thing you know, they’re promoting you to their circle of influence.

If you don’t do it –someone else will.

Someone else will have that date with destiny.  They will run into a Kingpin, meet the need, and enjoy the widened reach that comes with that relationship.

That should rock your world.

What if that opportunity is right there, and I’m not the one who went for it?

I don’t like missed opportunities.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve experienced it from both sides – from the point of view of someone who was in the right place at the right time who gained benefit from a relationship with a Kingpin, and I’ve been that person who didn’t take action and watched it happen for someone else with fewer skills and experience then I.

It’s not about being awesome and being perfect: It’s about being there.

Some of you are immediately resisting this idea.

You’re thinking, “Oh c’mon Kelly.  I’m so new to all of this.  I’m not going to be of use to a Kingpin.”

Yes, you’re new, and maybe you have the greatest impact on other people who are also kind of new.

Let me point this out: Of those people you’re serving, you don’t know who among them is going to be the Kingpin of tomorrow.

The first person I JV’d with was Alice Seba.  I was new to online business and she was too.  We both came online in 2002, and in 2003, we had enough of a relationship that we forged a partnership. That relationship turned out to be key for me because she ended up becoming really well known in our niche.

There are others I’ve met along the way and forged relationships that turned into partnerships and JVs.  Nicole Dean comes to mind and more recently, Melissa Ingold.  Today they’re Kingpins with a big circles of influence – but they were newcomers once.

I benefit from those associations not because I met them when they were big, but because I met them when they were small.

Put yourself out there. Craft Relationships. Be ready for the next amazing opportunity.

The Second Reason Now Is the Time: The Lifetime Value of a Customer.

What are your financial goals for the year? The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach them.  That’s just common sense.

There is someone out there right now who needs what you have to offer – they’re actively seeking out the right person – maybe they need a VA, and you’re a VA.  They need a writer, and you’re a writer.  They need a coach, and you’re a coach.

The sooner you connect to a client, the better.

Well, let’s put numbers to it.

You’re a relatively new VA, and you’re charging $25 a month on a 10-hour retainer.  That’s $250 a month.  It’s $3000 over the course of a year.  Do you really want to leave that money on the table because you weren’t willing to go for it?

You’re business coach like me, and you charge $500 a month for coaching, that’s almost $6000 in a year from one new client.

Let’s not forget that our income isn’t just coming from our hourly rates.  There are all of those delicious additional streams of income from information marketing and affiliate programs.

The sooner you develop and promote products, the sooner you can profit from them.

The sooner you identify and promote good affiliate products, the sooner you can see that income stream growing.

There is NO good excuse to procrastinate on these things and every day you let slip by is a impacting your future financial success.

Do you want to be closer to your financial goals?  If you want to get there sooner, if you want to finish out the year with higher numbers, then start sooner.

Don’t procrastinate.  Don’t think: There’ll be a better time later.

Six years ago, my niece had given birth to quadruplets, and my son and I were doing the night shift with the babies.  We were sleeping during the day, which left me about four hours a day for my business.

A gentleman contacted me about building a site for him, and my first thought was to turn him away.  It’s was not convenient, my time was at such a premium. As I listen, I realize he has big plans.  He wants to launch 300 sites in the coming year, and I decide to go ahead and take some action with him right then.

It meant working a little harder than I would have liked to at that moment, but I had a feeling I’d regret turning him away.

In the course of next year, I earned more than $15,000 from that client. The number more than doubled over the next few years.

The lifetime value of that customer was very much worth making myself available sooner rather than later.  If it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else who got that client.

The Third Reason Now Is the Time: The Law of Inertia.

There is an interesting thing that happens with newcomers in the business world.

Somebody new appears and immediately rocks it.  They’re blogging, podcasting, and releasing products before you know it.  They become a rock star in a short period of time because they’re willing to go for it.

Others come along and they play a careful game of ‘when I’m more ready’.  They get caught up in an addiction to learning and don’t put enough of it into action.

It’s the Law of Inertia: An object at rest tends to stay at rest.

The person who doesn’t take action tends to stay where they are.

The person who takes action tends to go places.

I’ve got a thought for you that might be the ‘shove’ you need to get moving.

People around you are starting to think that you’re full of crap.

How many of you have said, “This is it – I’m finally going to do it!

And a few months later said, “This is it – I’m finally going to do it!”

You may believe it every time you say it, but WE (the action takers) are coming to understand you’re full of crap.  You’re all talk and no action.

Yep, as much as we’d prefer otherwise, people form opinions about us based on what we DO, not just what we SAY we’re going to do.  Once people form a negative opinion, it’s difficult to overcome – but not impossible.

Just don’t be that person anymore!

Take action and for crying out loud, follow it up with more action!

I know, it’s easier said than done – but I’m here to tell you YOU CAN finally take real action.

If you’re dead serious about it and you’re willing to make yourself accountable to others in a tangible way, I believe you can do it.

If you ARE dead serious, I’d love the chance to hold you accountable.  I love working with solopreneurs who’ve made up their mind to act and want to be held to it through a tough coaching relationship.

Interested in learning more about working with me?  Check out my coaching info here.

What’s Your Life Plan?

Entrepreneurs have many wonderful qualities; one is that we’re dreamers. Some may prefer the term visionaries. Whatever your preference, this quality is at the heart of nearly everything we do and is the heartbeat in a growing and changing company.

It’s probable that you see your company growing beyond where it is today, financially at least. I wonder if you see your life outside of work growing and changing as well? It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day work as well as the company dream, but do you dream for YOU? I know it’s difficult to separate from the company and that our work is a part of our dream, but how do they support one another and where do we separate?

During a conversation with a friend this weekend, I realized that my dream is missing some important keyYour LifeMap elements. I know that my life purpose includes helping others achieve their dreams; it’s what makes me happy and it brings joy to my heart. Goals and targets for my company are in place and there are some things I’d like to do outside of work, but what about 5-10 years from now? Where do I want to be personally? Sure, I have a vision of the future, but suddenly I see that there are some pieces missing.

So, I’ve decided to devote the month of January to identifying those missing pieces. After all, a part of what makes us tick is the dream, right?

I’ve put together this list questions as a partial guideline for getting in touch with the bigger picture of my personal life. For the purpose of this blog, I’ve added some more global questions. I hope you find them helpful. Please contribute any helpful thoughts and insights as you explore your big dreams.

  • At what age do I wish to retire?
  • What does retirement mean to me?
  • Will I engage in any revenue-generating activity after retirement?
  • Is there anything I can do now to ensure a passive revenue stream for my retirement?
  • Do I want to be in the same house in 3, 5, 10 years from now (or beyond?)
  • If I move, do I know where I’d like to be and what my surroundings will look like? What’s most important to me about my physical surroundings?
  • What kind of people would I like to meet this next year?
  • Am I surrounded by people who support me? Where else in my life would I like additional support and what could I do to meet the right person/people?
  • Am I happy with my health and weight? If not, what small and manageable steps could I take to change that?
  • Am I happy with the way I spend my “free” time? If I don’t have enough free time, am I avoiding something? How can I achieve greater balance in my life in the New Year?
  • Are there any new hobbies or activities I’d like to explore in the New Year?
  • Do I plan on changing my career focus someday? If I don’t want to do this “forever” when is the right time to begin laying the groundwork for change? Can I identify those steps and a time frame for them?
  • If money were no object and I had all the support I need, where would I like to be in ______ years from now? What steps can I take to begin visualizing and embracing that dream? What can I do to increase my belief that I will bring that dream to fruition?
  • Currently, I’m single: Do I want to change that? If so, what qualities would I look for in a mate? What could I begin to do now to increase the odds of meeting that person? Hummmmm.
  • If you’re married or in a committed relationship, is there anything you’d like to change or improve in the relationship?
  • As my revenue grows, I could possibly find more free time on my hands.  How would I like to spend that time?
  • What feeds me the most? Am I satisfying that hunger? If not, why not? What steps can I take to change that or increase my level of satisfaction?
  • At the end of a typical day, do I feel satisfied with what I’ve done/achieved? If not, what can I do differently each day?
  • What charities, causes, organizations, might I feel passionate about and how would I like to contribute?
  • Helping others is important to me. How can I continue to do that if and when I am no longer coaching?
  • I would like to travel more. When and where will I go?
  • If you have small children, do you have enough time of your own? If not, how can you change that?
  • What are my material goals? Is it time for a new mattress, computer, yacht?
  • Is my relationship with my kids where I would like it to be? If not, what can I do to change it?
  • How far have I gone on my spiritual path? How would I like to change/enhance my spirituality or religious commitment?
  • If I had to describe my frame of mind, as it is on most days, what word would I use? Is that who I want to be? If not, what steps can I take to shift my frame of mind to a more desirable state?

A Thank You From Your Business

I hear entrepreneurs refer to their business as their baby all the time. Sure, why not? It’s precious to us, it’s a lot of work, and it’s a part of who we are. Imagine if your business could thank you, like someday you hope your children do. What would it say to you? I can only imagine…

From your business:

You gave birth to me one day, long ago. I was the sparkle in your eye, an idea growing inside of you, impatient for the day when I would become a reality.

I know that I’m not an easy child. I know that I’m demanding and always hungry for your attention. Thank you for staying up with me into the wee hours of the night and carrying me with you everywhere you go. I’m your most demanding child, yet you nurture and care for me like no one else ever could. Thank you for feeding me with your creativity, passion, and endless devotion.

I wish to give you something in return. I wish to give you the gift of freedom; I wish to give you something for which you will be forever proud; I wish to give you security and financial independence. Mostly, I wish to give you the means to help others as you do so well and the satisfaction of knowing that this world is a better place because of you and because of us.

Perhaps I’m still too small to give you all of that right now, but we’ll grow together. Please know that gratitude comes in many forms and while I may not give back to you in the ways you expect, there is a gift in every moment that we spend together. Like the child you hold close to your heart I will bring you joy, even in the most trying of times. Thank you for being you.

Thank You Gifts On Thanksgiving Day

Hostess gifts aren’t the only thank you gifts we carry with us on Thanksgiving Day. In the midst of the shopping, menu planning, organizing, and housecleaning, we sometimes forget that Thanksgiving isn’t really about the food, but about giving thanks – and the benefits of gratitude are many.

For some, giving thanks is a pure and simple prayer at the dinner table; and it’s important to stop and count our blessings on this special day. This year, take notice of how you feel as you concentrate on giving thanks for your good health, your family and friends, and all of the other important aspects of your life. Do you feel lighter? Is your spirit elevated? Are you smiling a little more than usual?

Gratitude does, indeed, raise our energy level. It’s the most powerful energy that the body can produce because it has the ability to create joy. If you live in gratitude 365 days a year, your life will change drastically. I don’t mean in just the way you feel, but also in what is happening around you. You will literally find yourself manifesting your dreams.

Why? Because we are made of energy, and so is everything around us. We are like magnets that are programmed to attract like-kind energy. So if you feel bad most of the time, the things that come into your life will match the way you feel. If you feel good, then the things that happen in your life will feel good to you. This is a simple version of what we call The Law of Attraction, but beginning with the basics will get you strong results.

So, if you’ve attracted things that don’t feel so good, or you want your life to get even better, try feeling gratitude and the joy that comes with it – many times throughout your day. Begin with 20 seconds, 3 times a day. Close your eyes, focus on your heart, and think about something that brings joy to your heart. Hold that elevated emotion for a mere 20 seconds and notice how it affects you. Ahhhh, feels good doesn’t it?

Go ahead, take this challenge, and let me know how it feels after 30 days. The changes will probably be subtle at first; you may feel less stress or a bit more energy. But over time, I think you’ll be surprised at the gift that gratitude itself will bring into your life.

Singin’ The Work at Home Blues? Jazz It Up! Part II

Singing the Work at Home Blues? Jazz It Up With Feedback from These Successful WAH Stars

All of us who work from home know that it can have its pitfalls. That doesn’t mean we’re not grateful, or that we’re ready to throw in the towel, but this coach will be the first to say that life at home 24/7 doesn’t always rock. There are days that I find myself singing the work at home blues!

Last week we got great feedback from 3 of my successful entrepreneurs. Here are 3 more – I hope you’ll add your feedback and ideas as well!

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Barbara Rozgonyi
Founder, CoryWest Media, LLC
Wired PR Works

Q –      What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

Barbara’s Answer: Recruiting and organizing a virtual team to seamlessly deliver integrated marketing communications and pr projects.

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

Barbara’s Answer: Developing a systematic approach for every client and their projects helps keep the team on the same track. Using a Hollywood casting approach allows us to match the right people to the right roles as writers, designers or consultants for each project. Expanding your team beyond you is key if you want to grow and take on bigger projects.

Q -  What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

Barbara’s Answer: Getting enough clients to start my business from the ground up.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

Barbara’s Answer: After choosing a name, CoryWest Marketing Communications [after my mother and grandmother] to sound like a real company, I decided to play off of my corporate sales training experience and focus on the healthcare industry. So, I picked up the phone and started making calls to introduce my company to hospitals, home health care agencies and insurance companies. On each call, I offered to send them my quarterly newsletter with updates about the latest in health care communications. It worked! My first cold call turned out to be one of my best clients. Our relationship lasted for six years.

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Deb Villarese
President, Bella Well Lifestyles
follow Deb on Twitter @debvillarese

Q -  What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

Deb’s Answer: Needing order in my life and surroundings. Years ago, I wanted everything perfect. ( beds made, dishes done etc) Then I came to the strong realization that what I was really doing was procrastinating and avoiding what I needed to do, which was to pick up the phone or write the article, or prepare the speech…

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

Deb’sAnswer: I had to decide that I had a real job and set a time that I had to show up at the office. Whether the things around the house were done or not. IF there had to be a change in time, then it had to be made up. Just like if a boss required 8 hours a day. I had a 12 hour time span to fit the hours into MY schedule.

Q -  What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

Deb’s Answer: The purpose of working at home is to have more control over my life. Once I got the hang of working at home, I found that my business was running me, rather than me running my business. It all came down to total time management.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

Deb’s Answer: I have set hours I work. I usually take Friday afternoon’s off. I work 2-3 nights, but I don’t have those carved in stone. They are flexible. I call those evening hours the golden hours because that is the time which I have the most success finding people available to participate in web cast, conference calls and the like. IN summary – Time management, and discipline to myself and my business. BALANCE it ALL.

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VALERIE G JONES
Pre-Paid Legal

Q -  What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

Valerie’s Answer: Balancing my time between appointments and phone call/follow-up time to get appointments. I can get so busy on appointments, then I have a slump because I haven’t set aside time to make new appointments.

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

Valerie’s Answer: Set blocks of time that are only available to do follow-up phone calls and treat that phone time as appointments and make that time unavailable for appointments.

Q -  What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

Valerie’s Answer: It was easy to put off work tasks or do personal tasks during work time.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

Valerie’s Answer: Treat my business like a job and set goals for the day, the week and the month. Prioritize the items and do the items (urgent and important) before items (important but not urgent).

Singin’ the Work at Home Blues? Jazz It Up!

Singin’ the Work at Home Blues? Jazz It Up With Feedback from These Successful WAH Stars…

Many of us who work from home know that it can have its pitfalls. That doesn’t mean we’re not grateful, or that we’re ready to throw in the towel, but this coach will be the first to say that life at home 24/7 doesn’t always rock. There are days that I find myself singin’ the work at home “WAHhhh ” blues!

So – I reached out to a group of successful WAH business owners with 4 quick questions. I hope you enjoy – and benefit from – a few words from the wise!

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Patti Dobrowolski
Chief, Strategy & Creative Design
Alchemy: The Art of Transforming Business
Follow Patti on twitter @pdobrowolski

Q - What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

Patti’s Answer: Getting caught up in email and surfing on line when I need to be focusing on creating or delivering client work or developing new business

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

Patti’s Answer: I went to this 3 tiered system:
Focus Day: During this day, email gets checked 2 x a day and not first thing! You are working directly with clients.
Buffer Day: On this day you are preparing for your delivery days, you can also do business development, and return key emails
Rest Day:

Q -  What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

Patti’s Answer: What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?
Making sure that I didn’t cut the grass and clean the house instead of focus in my office.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

Patti’s Answer: Set and keep a schedule. I’m a list person, so I make a list for the day and check things off as I complete them. I understand now that I have a short attention span for deep projects to I do the HARD stuff first and the secondary stuff last. Since I am a competitive cyclist, I reward myself with the completion of my task list by going for a training ride!

________________________________

Ilene Segal
Founder | Creative Director
baby idesign
www.babyidesign.com

Q -  What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

ILene’s Answer: Isolation. It was a big adjustment going from an office filled with people, some of whom were my closest friends, to being in a small NYC apartment alone, all day long. Six years later and its still a challenge.

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

ILene’s Answer: The good news is that when you’re alone all day, your anxious to get out at night. I love to go for a run after work, go to the gym and/or socialize with friends in an effort to have human contact. Unlike most people who are tired after work and just want to go home, I’ve actually taken this opportunity to get in shape and be more social.

Q - What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

ILene’s Answer: While it may sound silly, maintaining my sense of style. I went from a glammy job where I wore great clothes and accessories every day, to being alone in the apt, where it’s easy to fall into the pitfalls of no make up and pajamas daily.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

ILene’s Answer:I remember when I first started my business, every person would say to me “oh you’re so lucky, you can work in your pajamas all day.” I hated that. I believe in the look good, feel good theory. And I do not believe in wearing sweatpants just because I work from home. I have coined my new style as “comfortable chic!” I’ve even implemented dress up day where every Wednesday my assistant and I dress up in either a skirt or dress. Even if I’m in the apartment all day, I feel good and more productive in a dress. You learn to be creative for inspiration when you’re alone a lot of the day.

___________________________

Brad Shorr
Founder of the award-winning blog, Word Sell, Inc

Q - What is the greatest recurring work-at-home challenge you have encountered?

Brad’s Answer: Working in a vacuum. Like Gregory House on the TV program “House”, I need to bounce ideas around with people to be at my creative best.

Q -  What solutions have been most effective in combating the challenge?

Brad’s Answer: I look everywhere for opportunities to collaborate, and continue cultivating relationships with people I’ve worked with in the past.

Q - What is the greatest work-at-home challenge you encountered during your first 6-months in business in your home office?

Brad’s Answer: Deciding whether to go whole hog in one direction or try a variety of business models all at the same time. I’d go back and forth between one approach and the other, which pretty much guaranteed nothing would work.

Q - What solutions were most effective in combating the challenge?

Brad’s Answer: First, I gave myself permission to stumble. Then, I sought out help and input from people I knew, trusted, and had been successful in ways that I wanted to excel. Finally, I learned to be patient. Business plans need time to ripen.

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Failure or Success? It Begins With a Definition.

When I take on a new client, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire before we begin working together. One of the questions is: Success means different things to different people; what does success mean to you?

It seems like a pretty basic question at first glance, but when you really think about it, it’s fairly loaded. Your answer might sum up why you chose the business you did, how you feel about your family, what global issues are important to you, how important your physical and mental health is, what money means to you, and more. I’ve learned that very few successful business owners will describe success simply as running a profitable business. In fact, that is often one of the last things mentioned. The business is typically a means to the end; a way to accommodate values that represent whole life balance.

Another interesting and telling point is that many of the people who answer this question are thinking about it for the first time. Now I ask you, how can you possibly achieve success if you don’t know what success means to you? If you don’t even know what success is? It’s like trying to achieve goals that you’ve never set! Achieving clarity around your definition of success is a great start to growing a successful business and living a balanced life.

As an entrepreneur, success is probably one of your top values; one of the things that is most important to you in the world. So give this question some serious consideration. Ask yourself, What is important about success to me? How do I define success? Remember, this is YOUR definition, not that of society as a whole. This is all about YOU.Yay!

Now, if you respond by saying that you must have a profitable business and be highly regarded in your field, that’s great. But I challenge you to look at the bigger picture. If you achieve those things, but don’t have any time to spend with your friends and family, will you feel successful? How about philanthropic activities? Will you feel successful if you can’t devote time and money to causes that are important to you? Or I don’t know say if your company adds to the effects of global warming? What if you feel and act like a total Scrooge to keep your company profitable and you don’t treat others in a way that’s in harmony with your ideal values in the way you like to be treated? Will you feel successful if you make a profit, but have to work 12-hours a day to do it? Some people would say yes, some would not. And that’s ok. Remember, this is YOUR definition of success.

Well, you get the idea. Knowing what success means to you today will help you to build your ideal company tomorrow. Your company is an extension of you; identify and define your most important values and apply them to the way you run your company and live your life inside and outside of work. This is a critical layer in the foundation of a sound business and a happy lifestyle. So, hello, my name is Marla and I’d like to ask you a question: What does success mean to you?

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