Let’s talk money. At the end of the day, whether you consider yourself motivated by money, or not, if you want a business, you still are in the work for money. Whether that money is for charity, for financial freedom, for a vacation, a new car….it doesn’t matter, you provide a service or a product because, ideally, you love what you DO, but to continue doing what you love, there has to be a way for you to pay for a roof over your head, some food, and some clothes, at the bare minimum. However, most of the time, we don’t look money in the face. It’s like this idea of “if I ignore money, then I won’t have to admit how bad my situation is.” Or, “if I don’t look at the bank account, I will feel better.”
Then how come, the day it comes to pay your bills, you are freaking out? You go to pay your rent, and you realize you’re not sure whether you have enough for food. Or, you put everything on a credit card, and the debt on that card has become so big it’s like carrying a 20-pound weight in your pocket. The answer is, if you avoid looking at your money, you are more likely to end up not just surprised, but also stressing out about bills, and confused as to how this struggle keeps repeating month after month. If you’re sick of the struggle, here are a few ideas for you:
- Talk about money every day. It’s not vain, it’s smart. Look at your bank account every day to understand, every day, where you are on the scale that you want to be.
- Make a goal. Whether it’s $500 or $5,000 or more, make sure you know how much money you WANT each month or week, so that you have a focus point.
- Make a strategy. Determine, month-by-month, what you can do to make that money you want show up in your bank account. Don’t waiver on your prices to be nice, you have to pay for food and a home, at a minimum, you are not a charity, even if you want to donate to one.
- Respect money. If you owe money, pay on time, and if you are owed money, demand payment on time. It is a sign of respect, and integrity, to make payments on time. This works both ways, which is why it’s important to understand this point. If you do not give the respect to others, you will not receive it back in your business.
- Pay yourself first. Our habit, in our business, is to throw every dollar we make into expenses. Starting now, contribute 1% of every dollar you earn into a savings account, preferably one you can’t get into too easily, so you begin to build a mountain of security for yourself. Hey, every dollar is a dollar, and they add up fast. If you’ve only seen that on the debt side, then start surprising yourself in the positive!
What are your money success stories? Post them below!
I was watching the movie “Lucy” for the 20th time, and I was really struck by the message of time. Too often it seems like we are “running out of” time or “don’t have enough” time….and use this as justification for not finishing the things on our to-do list. Or, we determine that we just won’t be able to accomplish anything because of a time shortage, and the excuses abound. But time is not an excuse. Time is a measure.
We are all subject to 24-hour days (unless you perhaps drink a lot of coffee and stay awake for longer). So, the problem is not finding time, the problem is focus and priorities. In the movie, of course Lucy knows she is running out of time in her human form and wants to accomplish some specific things. This leads her to align her actions with the results she wants. And, you see, THAT is the real lesson for us. We have made everything in our lives a priority which then makes every effort aligned to them a conflict with another action towards another priority. So, it feels like everything we do takes us away from something, instead of bringing us toward a goal.
If you are frustrated by time, here are some thoughts on how to accomplish what you want with the time you have:
- Make clear priorities. Stop making everything a priority, and choose 1 or 2 priorities. If you have more than 2, you create a competition loophole that doesn’t serve your desire to accomplish things. If you can’t cut down to 1 – 2 priorities, than make 1 – 2 priorities per DAY, or per WEEK. By creating short-term focus, it makes it easier to accomplish your list instead of letting the daily fire-drills of life sabotage your goals day in and day out.
- Align your actions to your priorities. Once you choose your priorities, your actions become clear. You can determine what you need to do to stay aligned with your priorities and your goals. If fire drills come up, ask whether that fire drill really needs your attention now, or not. For example, if a family member becomes ill, you may need to drop everything to take care of them. However, if someone else has a work emergency and tells you they “need you to do this now” – get to the heart of what this work fulfills, and set clear boundaries, and determine what flexibility exists in their request. You may be able to negotiate a timeline.
- Create a schedule. Having clear boundaries on your time is an excellent way to create focus and accomplishment. So, you might use an automated reply on your voicemail and email to let people know you only take calls and emails at a specific time each day, allowing you to focus on your deliverables inbetween.
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This week is another video blog. I’m taking a great class on making your own videos, so thought I’d put those lessons to good use.
This video was made with fun in mind – but watching other people’s videos is a great way to learn what to do, and what not to do. For example, notice the parts where I am in partial sunlight, versus fully in the shade, and how that impacts lighting. Notice the scene changes, and how not all the scene cuts are perfect. Notice the zoom in and zoom outs versus the section where we have the same viewpoint for a longer time. Where do you feel engaged/interested and why? (These are the things to replicate.) Where do you feel the video loses your interest and why? (These are the things to avoid doing in your videos.) Enjoy!
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Today’s Lie of the Day is brought to you by video – hit play to hear 3 tips to boost your results at your next networking event:
I recently found some notes from several years ago in a coaching program I was taking at the time. I had scribbled down a conversation between myself, and, my self. It was down and dirty and a lot of expletives were thrown around as I battled a bad people-pleasing issue I had going on. My favorite part of the exercise was:
Me: “So, basically, you’ve wasted years of your life, doing what everyone else thinks you should do and now you can’t make a fucking decision about anything without seeking someone else’s input on what you should do! That’s fucking lame!”
Me 2: “I see your point.”
Me: “Stop trying to please ME of all people! You know you’re pissed at what I just said.”
I know, it’s a nice fantasy that we can make everyone we work with, everyone we are friends with, and everyone we are family with, be happy 100% of the time.
The truth is, the harder we try to make someone happy, the more likely we will make them UNhappy. First off, it takes a lot of work to make someone happy, but try to make MORE than one person happy, oy! As we work hard to please others, it is inevitable that we have to sacrifice a part of our own happiness in the process. How do you feel when you make a sacrifice to please someone, and they don’t appreciate it? Angry? Resentful?…And if you feel bitter, imagine how you are making the object of your pleasing feel!
Now, bring this habit into running a business, or being a leader, and it’s a recipe for complete disaster. I’ve learned the hard way, that when you lead a group, it is just not possible to please every one, every time. (I did try really hard, though!) That trying got me really tired, and it used up too much of my time.
So, I’ve learned that to lead, you have to accept that some of your decisions may make people unhappy. If you have employees, you need to set a standard and hold everyone to it. You have to actually tell employees what you need and how you want things done, and then hold them accountable to doing those things. Unfortunately, when we just assume that everyone “gets it” we end up frustrated and confused at how on earth someone working for us could be so far off target. Worse yet, if you rely on people-pleasing skills, you try giving rewards to make a bad performing employee do better, and you end up teaching them that the worse they perform, the more likely they will get a reward! It starts with the leadership they are getting – we have to help them succeed.
When you run a business, people-pleasing can kill your profit. This habit is what will have you lowering your rates because you buy into sob stories, or because you want so badly to be liked that you start the relationship right off with anything you can do to make someone like you. Now, you’ve set a precedent – when someone comes back to do business with you, they will want more price cuts from you because you have trained them to devalue your service, which, in turn, will have you devaluing your service too, and, possibly, yourself – don’t do it!
Sometimes, you have to say no to what you don’t want in order to allow the space for what you do want.
Today’s blog comes from getting absolutely frustrated with some of the business cards I see. Frustrated, because, I believe that if you want to succeed at your business, you CAN, but you need to change how you’re going about using the tools that can get you business! Do you know what it’s called a business card? Because, the point is, it’s supposed to connect you with BUSINESS! Now, if you think “Heather, duh!” double check your cards. If you really understand that your card is meant to get you business, here are a few things you better double check, and if any of these are YOU, then please, get new cards immediately! This post may seem harsh, but I know you can do better, so it has to be said!
You don’t list your name on your card. Yup, I actually got one of these cards recently, no joke. If you have a business name with your name in it, make sure you put your first and last name separately! Here’s an example. I have a business called Heather’s Handbags. My last name is not Handbag. So, if I don’t put my last name on there, you are going to be pissed! (With good reason.) More importantly, you can’t look me up on social media (if I don’t have my last name on my card, it follows suit that it might not be on my website, or, that my website is under development, and now what do you do?!)
Your email address requires a microscope to see. Seriously, why on earth would you make the most important part of your card so hard to read? How can I do business with you if I cannot read your email address or phone number or website? If you think you will get business from people, you MUST make it easy for them to contact you! If I have to buy magnifying glasses to read your card, it’s going in the garbage.
Your email address is confusing. Many of you use a gmail account for business. (By the way, if you want to be taken seriously, buy a domain name, and use that as your email. A gmail address suggests you have a hobby, not a business.) The other problem with using a gmail (or aol, or outlook…) account is that no doubt, you are duplicating someone else’s email address, and so have to put a number someplace in the email address to distinguish yourself. Guess what numbers you all pick? The number 1 and the number 0. You see where I am headed, right? I am already frustrated that I cannot read your email address because it’s so small, and NOW because it is so small, I cannot figure out whether that is a number or a letter! AAARGH! With the tiny fonts you choose, it becomes impossible to tell whether it’s a “1” or the letter “l”. Is that the number 0, or the letter o? Seriously, stop with the numbers and just get a real email address!
You list all 25 of your businesses. I get it, you are multi-talented and have lots of interests, great! But, the same way I don’t go to a Burger King and expect or trust they have good sushi, your exorbitant menu of services on your card completely confuses everyone you give it to, and makes it impossible to understand which business you excel at. I have worked with countless people to help them tie together all the things they do in a way that potential customers can understand, so I know it can be done with a simple business statement! You must make it easy for us to understand what you do, or your card is going in the garbage.
Like a resume, your card will end up in a stack of other cards on somebody’s desk. (Unless they scan your card, and by the way, a lot of scanners cannot read your small fonts either, so again, what a pity if someone scans your card, then chucks it, only to realize, too late, that your email wasn’t captured, bummer for you! And we would have hired you if only we could have figured out how to reach you!) Make sure you stand out, instead of getting chucked.
Need help figuring out if YOUR card stands up to the garbage test? Book a BullBusting session and find out!