You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘success’ category.
I’ve been a fan of Heather Habelka, the owner of Red Poppy Marketing, for many years. I remember being impressed with her at the very first networking event where we met. There was a level of professionalism and enthusiasm that was inspiring.
Our paths continued to cross. I particularly remember when she got a big idea at one of my Remarkable Women’s Networking sessions and ran with it.
I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and talent that I hired Heather to help me launch several initiatives in my business.
Then, last spring, Heather hired me.
In very short order, Heather has blown it out of the water. We started with a vision of what she’d like to see happen for her company. That dream, or vision, is the fuel for everything that comes after. It’s the process I use with every new client so we can determine what you’re aiming for.
From there, we created a mind-map, which is a tool for getting on paper all of those big ideas and what it will take to make them happen. Heather’s included building her team and client list; weeding out those that don’t support her vision. Like all successful business owners, it’s essential to let go of the bottom 10% of your customers and team members in order to grow. In addition to growing her team, Heather mapped out finding a new space (which she has) and increasing her revenues significantly (which she has).
When I asked Heather how our work together was helpful, she said, “One of my greatest lessons in working with you is to no longer apologize for how I run my business. And, I saw results incredibly fast.”
As a special offer to my community, before I depart on my 3-month journey, I have a special abbreviated coaching package–Come Away With Me! that will use the same methods I’ve taken Heather through. Within a limited time frame, you will create your vision, mind-map your goals with me and travel through them over the next few months as I travel the world. There are a few spaces left for this one-time offer. Is this journey for you?
It didn’t take Lisa Corrado long to decide that being in business for 10 years was worthy of celebration. Her Mastermind Group urged her to nail down a date and get the invitation out to her happy clients and supporters.
Selfishly, we all wanted to party with Lisa. And we did. Lisa threw a festive, energetic and well-attended soiree. We ate, drank and met the other stimulating, successful, fun attendees all there to support and celebrate our colleague and friend.
Katie Settel of Katie Settel Photography captured the evening with her always-beautiful photographs and Louise Albin of Cafe Louise catered the party. There wasn’t even one crumb of food left afterwards. One of our members said she thought she may have seen ‘lick’ marks on the serving platters!
New businesses notoriously fail within the first five years. Making it beyond that mark as an entrepreneur is remarkable. And doubling that significant milestone is not only extraordinary–especially when it encompassed 2008 and beyond, it’s also deeply satisfying. The smile on Lisa’s face never left that night.
You can read more about Lisa’s offerings on her site, but they won’t tell you what makes her so successful. Words can’t capture the spirit, humor and passion that Lisa exudes when she talks about nutrition.
To give you an example, she handed us each an apple–a green one, just like her logo–the first day of our program a year ago.
She traveled to Italy for two weeks (an assigned goal) to see if she’d like to incorporate international travel into her practice.
Not only is she fearless, this woman is unstoppable, and it’s contagious if you are around her for even five minutes.
You can see her friends and supporters clear affection and happiness in this group shot the beautiful night of her party. This was on her back patio, just outside her office door. Talk about a lifestyle entrepreneur! Lisa’s hard-earned anniversary celebration was a testament to the rewards of working hard, keeping up with her community and contributing her knowledge and expertise to so many.
Have you got an occasion to celebrate? My advice is to grab the opportunity, invite your friends and party, party, party!
I am mega-proud of my amazing client, Susan Beallor Snyder. I have watched Susan transform from a Westport homemaker/mother extraordinaire with a huge talent and small business as a goldsmith, into a full-fledged artist/sculptor working in a new medium and expressing herself with confidence, discipline and elegance. Her current work has been featured in galleries and media throughout Atlanta.
Behind every piece is a narrative that inspires Susan. The titles of the works invite you to contemplate the conversation the artist is beginning: All Tied Up in Knots, Going in Circles, Inner Struggle, etc.
Rather than limiting Susan, staying focused on her work with rope has actually freed her up to greater creativity and increased her dedication to her art. Presently, she’s working on her largest piece to date and hopes to show her art in public spaces and museums.
Her new website featuring only her rope medium launches this week. Narrowing her focus simply to pieces made in this powerful medium has been a journey. It’s meant saying no to the inviting distractions of her multiple other muses. Susan excels at photography, encaustic painting, jewelry-making and mixed media. To zero in on this niche has been transformative and rewarding. When someone makes it this simple for us to see and appreciate her work so clearly, you have to be aware that there were masses of information that needed to be edited out in order to attain this clarity.
I learned this lesson in my own art career. One of the hardest things I had to do in that part of my business was to say “no” to any of my precious creations. The graphic designer I hired to create my first brochure made me.
“Pick four styles to focus on, and then select representative pieces within those styles for this marketing piece we’re creating.” Ouch!
I offered my other ‘gems’ at craft shows and studio sales, but not for wholesale accounts. And guess what? My business grew exponentially.
I wish the same for Susan Beallor Snyder and all of you who are willing to take the risk of narrowing your focus and the courage to announce it to the world.
Well done, Susan!
My friend Linda called it her “Onions and Orchids” file. Whenever she got a less than positive communication–an Onion–she’d whip out her Orchids file filled with eloquently positive messages about her worth and read one or two to get herself back on track.
What do you do with the positive things clients (colleagues and friends, too) say about you? Toss them aside with an, “Oh, that’s nice.” Or keep them in an accessible location for easy reference? Right answer!
One of my Outlook folders is labeled ‘testimonials’ for the express purpose of reminding myself of my value (like when I got a hurtful comment last week from someone who was clearly in a bad mood and needed an innocent bystander to vent at). It does rock my boat, until I choose the action of referencing my value as expressed by a cherished client, i.e. reading an Orchid.
I’d just blogged about my upcoming virtual Mastermind Group (starts this Thursday at 6) and received the most generous comments from the women in my current Mastermind Intensive. The nature of a group like this is deep intimacy, clarity, support and affection for each other. When you’re a solopreneur, working from home, taking risks daily and working through the daily highs and lows of life, it’s an amazing gift, resource and Orchid to have a team always there in your back pocket to remind you of your talent, your vision and your dedication when it can be so easy to forget all that. I read through those comments twice to counter-balance the critical email I’d just received. Better that than engaging with a crackpot.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your momentum in this still struggling economy, join me starting this Thursday evening from wherever you are. My google+ hangout is devoted to you and seven other women business owners who are equally committed to keeping you joyful and connected while achieving your business dreams.
The monthly expert for my Mastermind Intensive meeting last week was Dave Fischer, President and Founder of the Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group. In less than an hour, he converted everyone in the room to his sales strategy using humor, stories and his vast experience in the field to show us the error of our ways.
Among the gems he left us with, Dave described the Buyer’s Cycle in a way I’d never heard before, but could immediately (as a lifelong buyer) identify with. Here it is:
- Mislead about interest - I walk into the furniture store looking for a sleep sofa for my new apartment. The sales guy approaches me and uses some jargon to qualify me. I say, “I’m just looking, thank you.” Really, Jane? Just looking? You need a sofa bed, you drove to the mall and you walked into a furniture store and you tell the guy you’re just looking.
- Gather information – I still don’t want to show this guy my hand, so I casually say, “Tell me about this one, pointing to the striped, 3-cushion model,” at which point he divulges every piece of knowledge he can think of about the quality of my choice. I now have the facts I came in for. I’m done.
- Mislead commitment – After he finishes excitedly telling me everything he knows about fabric, springs, mechanical ease, etc. I thank him and say, “This is great. I really know what I want now. I can make a good decision about this purchase.”
- Hide - I’m not ready. I’m working with a designer. I have other items to shop for. I can’t commit at this point. As far as the sales guy is gone, it’s “where’d she go?”
Can you identify with this? Thought so!
I won’t provide Dave’s strategy. You’ll have to talk to him yourself. Trust me, it won’t be the typical sales conversation and you’ll both know where you stand at the end of it. Dave taught us that salespeople are addicted to h-opium, but helped us not get hooked. I’m so grateful to him for a lesson well taught.
The first person to sign up for my virtual Mastermind Group lives on Martha’s Vineyard. She’s been a client of mine before and appreciates being connected with other women entrepreneurs who are on a mission, as she is. It had been virtually impossible for her to join my earlier groups in CT or NYC because of the travel involved.
Lucky for her, to participate in this group she will not need to hop a ferry and drive 5 hours to be in the company of others who get her. Wherever she and her computer are on Thursday nights, she can log on and SEE, HEAR and interact with this hand-picked group.
I can’t wait to see all your faces using this easy technology. I hired a guy via taskrabbit to help me understand how to use google+ hangouts, and we accomplished the task in 5 minutes–it’s that easy! Quick as a bunny!
What’ll happen in our sessions is that we will come together for three hours a night six times (there’s a bonus seventh session should you have to miss one) during which time you’ll talk about what’s really important to you. A goal that may be eluding you or a vision that needs refining.
Everyone in the group will have the opportunity to give voice to her dream. It’s important to hear what others aspire to. Nothing lifts the entrepreneurial soul like hearing a colleague talk about holding a conference, writing a book, creating a web series or an equally challenging, but rewarding mission. Following each others’ progress over the course of our time together will reinforce your goals.
During each session you’ll give and receive feedback. I can’t tell you the number of times that members of my groups hear an idea, a tip or a suggestion that alters their path forward. The level of excitement and action grows with every session as you begin to deliver on your plan. There is momentum, new information, but most important the love and support any germ of an idea needs to grow. You’ll have a new goal set at each meeting which you’ll be held accountable for at the next session. The check-ins at the beginning of each call are one of the most rewarding and affirming parts of this process.
As a coach since 2002, I’m good at hearing obstacles that may not be self-evident. I love challenging clients to try things a bit differently, or to reach higher than you might on your own. Sometimes the challenge is to simply let go and get a massage while the Universe manifests for you. My clients love THAT homework assignment, but it’s one I offer rarely, so come prepared to work hard and love the process.
With the support and inspiration of 6-8 other women business owners who have your back, cherish your dreams as much as you do, and are on a mission themselves, this is going to be a dynamic, exciting, and intimate experience. Here’s where you get to let your hair down among peers, talk about what’s really going on behind the scenes, and hear how others are overcoming their roadblocks.
Having been in my own group for over 20 years, I can promise you that you’ll leave every session more energized and committed than you were when you logged on.
What would thrill you to have accomplished by January 2014? If you can dream it, I can help you get there. Join me from wherever you are and meet a team that will change your life.
Here’s the scoop.
My dear friend Marisabina Russo, aka Cookie, invited me to her home in Westchester today so that I could see the new studio she recently had built on her property.
Cookie and I were art majors at Mount Holyoke College with adjacent easels in painting class. From the moment she graduated, Cookie has pursued a career using her talents of writing and illustration. Her career as an author/illustrator of children’s books has been a testimony to creativity, hard work, persistence and success.
Seeing her in her new building was heart-warming beyond measure. I was witness to her careful selection of the perfect track lighting with bulbs that won’t alter the color of her work, magnificent skylights, arched windows and a solid barn-red door with 4 panes of glass that match the windows surrounding it.
Here she is in front of a complete book layout pinned to a homasote wall so that she can visualize the entire book at one time–unheard of when she was laying out pages on her old studio floor or on the bed in her bedroom.
Although I have no intention of picking up my old tools to create artwork, I was tremendously inspired by Cookie’s dedication, longevity in her field and renewed energy for her art.
Last night I had dinner with my Mastermind Group. I capitalize it because it’s that important in my life.
We’ve been together for over 20 years although the membership has shifted some. Doesn’t matter.
Every significant growth step in my business is a direct result of having this form of support in my life. Being a part of a Mastermind Group and leading them for others are constant sources of inspiration and motivation to me.
This is primarily because I hear others talking about business development along with its trials and tribulations. I feel NOT alone. Trials are not happening just to me, which as a home-based business owner I could deduce.
And the results in my own group and those I lead reinforce the power of the Mastermind–products designed, new clients signed on, studios built, income increased.
I get to be on the ground floor of others’ big ideas, risks and rewards, baby steps and giant leaps. I am privileged to watch others prospect, aim high, succeed, fail (occasionally, and it’s very educational) and most of all, stay in the game.
It is in this intimate, structured and safe environment that the real issues of being an entrepreneur get spoken of, witnessed and resolved. Where else in a business owner’s life would she have that opportunity? The cashier at Whole Foods isn’t interested. My kids love me, but don’t necessarily want to hear about my latest marketing gambit. This dedicated group has been there for me for decades.
My next venture is my first NYC-based Mastermind Group offering starting in September. In the late ’80′s as a new business owner, I took two courses in NYC to help me grow. I know the power of going to any lengths for my business and want to offer that opportunity to those in the metro area who are looking for the same.
Here are the deets.
During a conversation today with my good friend Doreen Birdsell, she gave me a quote I had to ask her permission to use. She has a way of saying things that strikes a chord in me. Especially today’s!
We were talking about her art/photography that is on display and for sale in Provincetown, MA. Daily, she sits in her shed on the MacMillan Wharf as tourists browse her work. She gets a lot of compliments, but sales have not met expectations…yet.
“If I could take ‘Phenomenal!’ and ”Beautiful!’to the bank, I’d be a rich woman.”
I immediately flashed back to my days selling my wares at craft shows, especially when the economy was in a slump, like now. I would get the most amazing compliments, and in quite a variety. During one show, my daughter and I categorized what we decided was the unspoken translation:
Phenomenal! – “I can’t believe you’re charging that much for this.”
Gorgeous! – “You do good work, but I would never spend that kind of money.”
Really beautiful! – “If I had the money, I might purchase something from you.”
Wow! – Your work is worth it, but I can’t afford it.
How much? – This is the customer you want at your booth.