As I headed off to a recent trip to San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, I received many well wishes from friends with the comment, 'Enjoy a margarita on the beach for me' or 'be safe'. Every time it was said, I felt as though I had to explain that Mexico is more that white sand beaches and margaritas and safer than most major American cities that the general population visit.
San Miguel is in central Mexico. It is 6,000 feet above sea level in the beautiful mountains. The temperature drops to 40F in the evening. We wear jackets and scarves. Some even wear winter coats. San Miguel is an art and cultural hub with many international educational workshops and conferences. I would walk down the streets alone in the evening and never question my safety.
It got me to thinking how often our well meaning comments are somewhat ignorant. Born and raised in Canada and living on the border city of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. , we often hear people ask us about our skiing or cold weather. Meanwhile the city I am from is the same latitude as the northern tip of California. If I were to cross the border into Detroit, for an evening in the downtown core (as I did in San Miguel) I feel not nearly as safe. Until we actually visit the countries and cities, we then can base our opinions from what we hear in the media.
In my opinion, traveling is the best education, hands down. It changes perceptions. It is tactile. It also bring us all closer
together as one.
It is man who created borders. When an astronaut looks from space he/she does not see borders.
I encourage everyone to travel more (including myself!).
The video below is a art opening in one of my favourite Mexican cities, Merida, Yucatan. Is this what you think of when you
think of Mexico? I know I probably have preconceived ideas of many other places across this wonderful globe....and I look forward
to the world changing it!
To more wonderful travels,
Last month I followed a post on Facebook that begged the question, 'When can your persistance in follow-up become an annoyance?'
It really must be done through the permission of a good relationship. There is a balance that must be adhered to along with respect.
A gentleman by the name of Robert Redmonds commented on the post and shared these words of wisdom: Respect with Perseverance.
I loved that comment and couldn't agree more.
Know when to continue and when to stop. Follow up with unexpected ways that are non intrusive. It doesn't always have to be a phone call. A simple greeting card that simply says, 'Hi, have a great day' is more effective than another email. When you see an article in a magazine or newspaper that relates to their business or their hobby, send it. Ask yourself, 'How can you make them laugh or smile?' Always ask them if you can continue to stay in touch.
Here are a couple more comments:
David - " I find that asking clients when would they like me to get back to them works well. Then you can persevere over a long time. They'll eventually need us :-) "
Roland - 'Peristency is the key! Right attitude is next. Good business relationship sustains."
How about you? How often do you stay in touch with a prospect? What do you do to not be a nuisance.
Please feel free to leave your comments below.
I must confess, when I first started in the Facebook world, I thought it was important to get as many 'likes' as I could. C'mon, you know what I mean...it makes you look good, right?
Yes, building your list is your #1 investment, however it is important to get the right people to 'like' you. What does that mean, 'the right people'? It is the people who are interested in your message and your services. So when you post, 'Hey, go 'like' my page so I can reach 100 people, it doesn't serve you nor does it serve your friends and network. Why should your meat eating, hunter cousin 'like' your vegetarian lifestyle page?
HERE IS A SIMPLE FIX TO ASK FOR MORE 'LIKES' THAT ARE TARGETED:
Instead, simply ask your friends or business network to share your page to the people they believe would be interested. Here is an example: 'Hey friends, I have a new recipe for the tastiest Kale Salad, can you share my page to people you know that may be interested. I would love to connect with other vegetarians. Much appreciated'. Added bonus: you have reached into their network of friends not just yours. They are helping you reach out to a targeted person without feeling obligated to click the 'like' button just because you are 'family'.
Fortunately, I hired a social media specialist to be part of my team in the beginning of my journey in marketing with social media. She got me back on the right track with targeted followers and 'likes'.
Social media done with specific protocols and strategies is a beautiful thing. I see too many business owners making simple mistakes that doesn't serve them well. I highly recommend that business owners invest in a virtual social media assistant as part of their team. It is worth every penny...and then some.
To your social media success,
P.S. If you know any business owners who could benefit about marketing online with grace and effectiveness, please share this blog post with them,
Of recent, I have been meeting and consulting with small business owners. I am noticing a trend. If your business isn't giving you more time and customers aren't walking in the door spending more money, something needs to change.
Wouldn't you agree?
People in my age category and older are still doing business as they did 10 years ago or even longer!
There is a new way to do business. It is vital that the traditional storefront business embraces the online world and that the online businesses learn how to build a business with offline basics.
Doing business in today's world requires polarization. You must define and focus on a specific market. Find a way to stand out from the others in your industry. Uncover ways to give you more time with simple leveraging solutions.
When you are open to change, the change will come. You can have more time and more money.
It's time for you to refresh, reinvent and revitalize your business.
As the famous saying goes, "If you keep doing what you are doing and you expect a different result, that is the definition of insanity."
For some of the reasons above, I am excited to announce my own revitalization, refreshing and re-invention. In another month we are rolling out with a new brand and defined focus. It will help business owners really take centre stage in their community so they can live the lifestyle of their dreams.
To Doing Business The New Way,
As a young child what did you daydream about? What are your first fond memories of childhood?
As a young girl, I was always drawn to the riverfront. I would ride my bike down to the river and gaze at the Detroit skyline. I would sit by myself for an hour or so. I would feel the grass between my feet. I would look at the tall buildings across the way. I could hear the freightliner sounding it's horn and watch the birds in the sky. Imagine a 10 year old sitting by themselves just dreaming and staring off at the skyline for over an hour. No other friends. Just me and all the other people off in the short distance walking by. It makes me recognize my independence today. I am more productive when in solitude but love to be surrounded by interesting and loving people. I tend to travel and live in places close to water and with beautiful tall buildings surrounding me. It's a combination of architecture mixed in with nature. For me I choose places such as New York or Waikiki. Others may prefer Easter Island or Machu Picchu. I must have a view of a city skyline and lots of people around for the energy! I also grew up in a dance studio and that was my 'play' place. Music, costumes, learning new steps, movement and lots of people around me in the classroom. Yes, I always preferred the solo routines on stage with the bright blinding spotlight. Nobody but me, my music, a spotlight and a loving audience surrounding me with love.
I share this memory with you because of late, I have noticed my clients are completely stumped by my first two basic questions that I ask them:
1) What is the vision of your business and why do you want it to be successful?
2) What was it that you wanted to be when you were a younger person and why did you not pursue that dream?
Some are in businesses that do not hold true to their authentic self. Others are in businesses they think they 'should' do.
Even as I write this today, more of my own memories flood my mind and I recognize how much more of what I do today is reflective of my childhood.
After reading the next questions, I want you to think of what brought you joy and take 5 minutes daydreaming and 30 minutes to write down those memories. I want you to think about your favourite place to play when you were a child. Were you alone or were you with many friends? Did you sit back on a couch and read a book by yourself or were you playing stick ball on the streets with all of your friends. Were you the leader? Were you the instigator? Did you prefer to have others to take centre stage? What was it that you wanted to be when you grew up? What did you do on a daily or weekly basis that brought you joy?
Ready!...Now sit back, close your eyes and remember those fond childhood memories. Afterwards ask yourself what you can do to bring more of that into your business and life.
To your success,
What we can learn from comic genius, Tim Conway
One of my favourite comic television characters is 'The Old Man' on The Carol Burnett Show. As a comment on the post states, " I love that Conway has the comic presence to know he's completely shattered the illusion of the sketch by breaking the fake wall, so he ends it perfectly by just walking through the window. Brilliant."
So my question to you in this simple blog post is, 'What do you do to fix the problem quickly? Do you whine, panic, cry
or quit?....or do you enjoy the moment and go with it! Please feel free to share your thoughts or your own outtakes.
To your success,
Is living small the new BIG?
Over the past couple of years, I have simplified my life. For awhile I had no car, no cable and lived in less than 900 sq. feet which allowed me to really de-clutter. I have been on a new venture to simplify even more. In doing so, I will be moving from a large country home of 4 beds, 3 baths to a 1 bedroom casita in a UNESCO Heritage city. A place where you can walk everywhere and capture every wonderful moment because your life has been simplified. You have more time and more money to really enjoy all that matters. And for me, it allows me to go after bigger dreams and ventures without being attached to things.
We know that with technology things are getting smaller. We also know that with cars, the SUV may still reign but with the Smart Car and oncoming Scion IQ), we know that smaller can still give us comfort and convenience. Now what about those monster suburban homes. Is it necessary to have these spacious homes with the extra rooms in case we have a guest? Strangely the guest room, in most cases, becomes a space rarely used; mind you it is pretty with its hotel style comforter and designer pillows. To go along with that big home, we have a second or third car to get around since we aren't in a pedestrian neighbourhood with quaint local shops. We need to drive our children everywhere. We pay more out with gas, insurance, maintenance on the home and cars, taxes, utilities...and the list goes on.
This gal's savvy mind says, "Let's live a smaller BIGGER life." Let's downsize and move downtown or to a city with excellent pedestrian and transit services. No car needed. Shopping becomes more local thus you support local. You have more freedom. Less stress, less headache. When I grocery shop at a small store I am in and out in minutes. If I go to one of those big box stores, I have to walk a couple of minutes to one side of the store to get the butter and then back a couple of minutes to the other side to the 20 cashiers, of which only 3 are open.
Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with the million dollar home. (I recently was invited to a broker's open house of a 1.6 million dollar home in Mexico, and it was stunning....calling out my name and luring me in. It can serve a purpose ) nor driving the lovely luxury car. I just find that sometimes people have a bigger dream and different vision for their life and that they could easily attain it by living the smaller BIGGER life.
To your success in simplifying,
Step into your spotlight. OWN your message. Move with purpose. Speak confidently. Present yourself authentically.
Have you ever noticed the way people walk down the street when you are sitting at an outdoor cafe? Do you notice how people network at a business function? Even if this isn't something we have thought about, we know that people's body language speaks volumes. I am not a body language expert, however, I do know who I like to connect to personally and professionally. I also know who commands my respect.
I love people watching. I find that how a person walks can tell so much of who they are, how they work and how they receive energy. Working as a waitress and bartender for many years, I would immediately be able to assess the style of service my co-worker would give simply by their walk. I walk fast and move around fast. My service is fast. As a customer you would come to my section if you needed efficiency and to get back to your office meeting in 30 minutes. (I only lasted 2 weeks in fine dining...too slow for me....smile). If a co-worker was slower in their walk, it did not mean they were incompetent. It could mean they were orderly and systematic. It could be that a customer who liked to chat and be leisurely may enjoy that service more. With that being said, guess what you can expect from me when hiring me for consulting or business ideas?....yep, FAST.
As long as you OWN your actions and how you present yourself with authenticity and you are working/living in your pocket, the spotlight will shine on you. You will stand out. It's about being the best you can be and attracting the best match of people and clients to you.
Would you do business with someone who walked aimlessly? Had no conviction? How do you talk or present yourself. Are you upbeat and well groomed? When you give your 30 second intro or you simply meet someone do you have that same strong conviction? We know that a firm handshake and eye contact translates to confidence as well as interest.
In your business it is essential to present yourself authentically. If you are shy, that is okay, however learn how to be in the spotlight YOUR way. OWN it. I remember teaching a very shy person how to prospect for clients easily at the grocery store. She could do it with ease, once we discovered how to do it authentically. We were able to focus on her strengths. She could OWN it with confidence.
Be aware of your essence. Is the energy you are putting out in your walk/talk/posture truly how you want to be? Are there things you can improve? Do you know what could be improved? There are professionals that can guide you and coach you.
People are watching you even when you don't think they are. Shine bright in your spotlight...always.
To your success,
Join me in The Laptop Lifestyle Adventure
I am passionate about showing others how they can dream again and truly work their own business that gives them fulfillment