In this short video I share a strategy I use with clients from individuals wanting to get in that board room or wanting to grow their small business so it doesn’t kill them off and they achieve the results they always dreamed of through to large teams of amazing people all working for one organisation with different views, skills, specialities, fears, obstacles and beliefs.
Often some look at me like I’ve suggested the fluffliest most pointless exercise ever. However even they get on board when they see the results it brings. Never underestimate the power of what goes on in your head.
This coaching strategy will help you take control over what goes on in your mind. If you want more my new book is all about Taking Control Of Your Mind – Lifehacks to resilience, happiness and success. Buy it here or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
When I started my company, I had a phone and a laptop, neither were new or particularly high spec and I had a strong loathing of learning new tech. Years later my business has led to;
And that is just some of the stuff I’ve achieved. Despite being in business for over 20 years I can remember when I trained as a coach that the one module of my training that I really feared was marketing (think buckets of tears and fears that I’d never be able to get over my absolute terror of public speaking) and yet now I can help people grow a business with just that – a phone and a laptop.So here I share my top tips for start-up success (and to dealing with those fears that seriously damage success!)
What is my recipe for small business success?
As with every great recipe that you wish to emulate from your favourite TV chef you start by being drawn in by the image of the dish and the title. If you think of this laterally when it comes to your new business venture you will start to appreciate how important it is to have a clear vision of your business. Create a mission statement, a vision as well so that your customers can understand why they work with you and no one else. It will also become part of your solid foundations to business success as you grow to know what you stand for and why. Clearly defined goals are imperative from day one. With my clients, I tend to work out 1, 3 and 5 year goals. However, what many people forget to do is create Now Goals. Now goals are the ones that need to be dealt with and get ignored at the expense of desires for more success and new opportunities. By factoring them into your weekly, monthly and yearly plans you don’t neglect them and create the space and time to actually achieve the vision for your company. With one client by doing this they were able to meet their new sales targets for the month in 3 days and the sales goals for the next 6 months in 3 weeks! So work out what you want your business to look like.
Have you ever seen a recipe for sprout and chocolate sponge cake or kale and beef ice cream? No? Why not? Because they’d be no market for it! (Unless you were looking to create some weird talking point.) You too need to check there’s a market for what you offer. It may be a lovely idea however unless you can find a market for it, it’s a costly hobby and not a business. So do your research.
You are likely to fail at the first stage of your business recipe if you have the wrong tools. For instance, would you try and slice or julienne carrots using a spoon? No? Why not? Because you know you need to use a sharp instrument to get the right shapes, right? The same applies to your business. I get rather cross when I meet new businesses at networking events and watch what I call the hyenas circling advising the new business owner (wrongly) that they need expensive websites, business literature or costly programmes. You don’t, remember how I started my business with just a phone and a laptop? Start with the essentials. Don’t be foolish enough to think that you can stick with just a laptop and a phone thus work out what is really essential and what is shiny things that look like fun. Shiny things are a big problem to the new business and I explore that in greater detail in this article. Investing in the right technology and the right tools for your business is essential so make sure these needs feature in your goals too.
If you want to grow you will need help. A chef doesn’t cook every dish in the restaurant, they will have assistants. And I too have always invested in a few things from day one that gives my business strong foundations. If you aren’t an expert in accounting or web design, don’t waste your time trying to be. That’s a sure fire way to use up your precious commodity of time. Work out what is essential and get help. There are a lots of free or low-cost resources to help you. I love Canva for my marketing, Hubspot for my CRM and Mailchimp for my email campaigns. And accounting resources like QuickBooks are great for ensuring you know your numbers. Remember getting the right foundations is like getting the right ingredients – fundamental to success.
I don’t mind admitting that this has been an issue for me in the past (and is still something I need to be aware of!) I love learning however only in the areas that interest me, and sometimes in business you have to suck it up and learn stuff you really don’t want to. Be prepared to learn new things. What skills do you lack? Public speaking? IT? Marketing? Phone skills? These and many others can greatly impact on your results. And of all of the skills you need to check you have, check your confidence levels. I’ve helped many a business owner create a marketing strategy or business goals only to redirect the session and help them appreciate that their confidence and self-belief have taken a nose dive and they have no faith in themselves or their ability. Trying to run your business like that can greatly impact your results. Get your confidence powered up before you attempt anything and remember to check your confidence levels. They can change, so learn how to keep motivated too. This course could help with that too. And when it comes to getting your business known and loved and keeping the sales coming in (even when you are busy or on a beach) use my marketing production line. If you are using 8 to 10 of these tools relevantly, consistently and with your target audience in mind you will grow your business! Click here to learn more.
It is really important to remember you are you. Sounds obvious right? However, so many clients will tell me things like “I’m not doing as well as you because I’ve not done X yet?” or “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that!” Just like different ovens will cook at different speeds and in different ways, remember you are unique and as such the quickest way to success is by being yourself. This enables you to showcase your passion and people love passion. They love to get caught up in the excitement. I often hear people in the traditional professions such as accountancy or law make comments like “I know this won’t be interesting to most of you…” The fact is you are passionate about what you do and you are allowed to show that passion. People buy from people and they want to feel like they are in expert hands. It’s not about how long you’ve been in business, it’s about the results you can get for your customers. And there is no set time for success. Some people will achieve fast because of the person they are. They want it yesterday and will work long days to get there. Others want to work smarter and in a way that nurtures their body and protects their loved ones too. Understanding and appreciating your values, beliefs and experiences will enable you to work with the person you are and get there in the way you want at the speed you want. Stop looking over your shoulder at the next person. They are not running your business or vice a versa!
The proof is in the eating, right? Therefore, if your business is not delivering what you want from it what needs to change? Let’s start with your salary. Your salary is not a luxury. I often hear people say “yes we are making a profit.” And then when I ask if that includes a wage for themselves they often add “Oh no, I’ve not been paid yet!” If your turnover doesn’t factor in wages for you, you are not getting the right results. Be prepared to do something different. If you made a cheese sauce and it was lumpy and floury you wouldn’t do the same next time, would you? Be prepared to analyse your results and troubleshoot. Go back to the start and look at your goals. Are they the right goals? Did you stretch yourself too thin or did you not push yourself enough?
Don’t expect to be an expert in everything from day one. Would you send a 5 year old into the kitchen and expect them to know how to whip up a soufflé. Why not? Because they’d need guidance, support, knowledge, ingredients, tools and practice. Same goes for your business.
Not everyone’s cooking is to the same standard. What raises some above others is the determination to be the best they can be. They constantly look to learn more and hone their skills. If you want to have the time to really grow your business and get the results you want, learn to outsource, automate and employ. By doing this you will create the space to get the results you want. As a guide if it is something you can do with little or no thought, then it’s likely you can outsource, automate or employ someone else to do it.
And lastly get a mentor. One of the reasons I can make a divine Victoria Sponge is not because I had a perfect recipe or the finest ingredients, it’s because I had the most epic mentor. My Nan was in service years ago and could cook anything from scratch and my mouth just waters thinking of her dishes. I learnt so much from her that was never written in any recipe book! It was years and years of doing it that had made her the expert and I benefited because I chose to listen to her. Get yourself a coach and or a mentor. They will enable you to learn so much more and really hone your focus and accountability. My Nan knew subtle little ideas that could make the fluffiest lightest sponge cake, and if I hadn’t taken the time to listen and want to improve I couldn’t have benefited from her infinite wisdom. Who are you going to lean on for support? For guidance? To road test ideas? As much as I adored my Nan she is not the person I would turn to first when roadtesting a business idea! Why? Because that is not her area of expertise and quite frankly anything I do she’d say “That’s nice dear.” You don’t want “that’s nice dear” answers, you want answers and conversations that challenge you and enable you to work out if it is actually going to work!)
A new client has no website yet and yet to really get their business seen they need to be blogging, so I suggested they use LinkedIn. They’ve created their first blog and had a moments wobble on whether they really could just put a blog on their LinkedIn profile? Would it get read? Was that professional enough? Could that really help them get seen online? Here is what I replied with in my email. It’s only a short reply however I thought it was apt for so many business owners just starting out who can’t afford a shiny sparkly website yet and yes folks LinkedIn is good for business….get it right and it can be seriously good for business! (It has been for me and my clients this year.)
Regarding your blog ideally you don’t take your target audiences away from your website (and your products and services and other great content) however since you don’t have a website Linkedin’s blog articles look good and can be easily shared so yes I would use their platform and share that way. You have to be careful with a call to action because anything remotely salesly will stop people from reading it again. If its something like “if you loved this then feel free to share/sign up/etc”. then I’d say go ahead. However until you have a following of people that are enjoying your blog, i.e. until you know people are liking it, sharing it and commenting on it I would tread carefully with adding calls to action within your blog. The market is awash with people trying to sell their wares so best to do a blog article that is genuinely fabulously good for others first and then add the CTA (Call to action). (That is my personal preference, I’m sure other marketers and content experts would advise differently. I would also say it depends if you have a good reputation already in any groups. If you do then a CTA in those groups would be fine, because you already have credibility with those people.)
And then this was something else that come up that I thought would be good to share, because I really am not interested in making sacks of cash out of any one person, I genuinely just want to help as many people as possible make those sacks of cash – it’s becoming a life long passion!
Regarding the business coaching it works exactly the same way as any other session with me. We work according to what you bring to the table. So looking at what goals you have set. You can work with me on a one off basis or longer and stop and start whenever you like. My clients vary. Some like to work with me every 6 weeks, others every 2 weeks, others every 3 months. It all depends on how you like to work, how big your goals are, whether you procrastinate, etc. etc. So we would start a session by looking at what you wanted to achieve, and understanding what the goals where for the session. And go from there. I don’t have a minimum spend for a client. I don’t have a silver/gold/platinum level. My clients start the session saying what they want to achieve. And throughout the session we work out how to get to that goal, short medium and long term. And if I tell you recently 1 client achieved some of their goals in 2 days (sales goals) and another achieved their business goals for the year in 3 weeks. And both of these only had 1 session with me so far. Needless to say they want to work with me again moving forward with their businesses. I’m on my clients agenda, never mine. And all clients get homework. Never more than about 5 actions, because its not realistic and clients know they can get in touch for support, advice, etc. when they wish to. I hope that helps and do feel free to get in touch to discuss this more if you wish to. I’m about this week. The goals you have set are quite clear, now you need to break them down into actions and by when. And who what where’s. Obstacles, logistics, etc.
I hope that helps, you see content can so often be transferred from one place and be utilised somewhere else. So in less than 10 minutes I’ve gained some more great content for my Marketing Production Line, not utilising yours yet? Head over to my home page and down load a copy of yours. Its my key to endless good leads and lovely sales, and good bucket full of media too.
Words you wouldn’t expect to hear from a business woman whose father taught her never lie. As Dad always says;
“Never lie, with a thief you know they will always try and steal from you, with a liar you never know where you stand.”
It’s a rule I’ve always applied to my life and every aspect of it.
But today I realised that’s a lie. Oh the irony!
You see I think sometimes we do have to lie, but the only person even now I’m lying to is me.
You see if I didn’t I’m not sure I could cope.
The last 4 years have tested me physically and mentally like never before. I have Lupus, Sjogrens, Reynard’s and Fibromyalgia. You don’t need to know what they are, just that if you wanted to know what that means, imagine going Christmas shopping for 10 hours in heels, then having a massive party night and waking up the next day with flu. That would give you a hint of the way it feels most of the time. So if I don’t lie to myself how would I get up?
I have to tell myself that I can do it, when I feel like I can’t.
I have to tell myself those steps won’t hurt, when they do.
I tell myself that I’m full of energy, when I’m struggling to put a pair of tights on.
I shout in my mind “Go for it Mandie, its mind over matter. And if you don’t mind it don’t matter.”
And when people say “How are you?” I say “Fine thanks, you?” That is not the British I’m fine when I know I’m not. That’s the I live with an illness that means I will pour medication down my throat every day of my life and I know that one activity too many can floor me for days. But I will not be dragged down by this and so I lie.
So I ask you, is that a lie?
Or is that protection?
Is that dogged determination to live life to the fullest and still respect my body?
Sometimes I wonder. Sometimes when someone who cares say’s how are you “I’d like to burst into tears and lean on their shoulder and say “I don’t want to do this anymore, oh woe is me, it’s not fair, rant, rant ,rant…..” But where would that get me?
A part from having people crossing the street to avoid me. I think that level of giving in is not good for you long term, you need to understand that we all need to know when to sob on a shoulder to someone and when to raise our heads high, suck our guts in, suck it up and say “Bring it on, I’m ready!”
I don’t have the attitude that some try to give me. “It could be worse” because that’s madness. Because let’s be honest it could be a lot better too.
I have the attitude that I can, and I will.
And sometimes I know I need to not lie to me and I have to listen to that voice that says “give it up Mandie, sit on your butt and accept life is over” As one helpful doctor once tried to tell me. Sometimes I pick up the phone to a friend and say “I need to talk.”I book myself in with my incredible friend and holistic therapist, Brenda Seaborn and let my body talk to Bren and let her fix it without my thinking. I know it helps and I let myself have those moments where I’m honest and I work out a new way to deal with things.
I bet you are thinking Mandie, you normally share work ideas, ways to grow my business or overcome my business obstacles and fears, how is this relevant?
Well ask yourself “Are you lying to yourself?” are there things that you are putting up with and allowing to be obstacles to your success?
As I like to say “If you allow that obstacle to stay, what are you agreeing to? What are you accepting you can’t achieve?”
Remember your brain is one big muscle and if you don’t train it to get the results you want, it will get flabby, out of peak performance reverting to negative automatic thought processes that keep you stuck.
So go on be honest with yourself and still have my attitude – “Raise your head high, suck your gut in, suck it up and say “Bring it on, I’m ready!”
(And if you are lucky enough to live in Essex or Suffolk, UK then you are lucky enough to have a try of Brenda Seaborn’s brilliance for yourself. Visit her website for more information http://www.banishstress.co.uk/ )
Here is my top tips to help you work in a way that is natural to you that will help ideas flow. Every time I’ve run a training programme looking at creative ideas/copy/blogging someone will say “I can’t think of anything to write” and within a couple of minutes we’ve been able to come up with not one idea but many, many ideas. And the business owner gets that look on their face that says “Yes I get this!”
Firstly lets take you out of the work environment for a moment and think of something you naturally get on with. Do you like to write a list, scribble notes, diary it on your online calendar? Do you use an app for that? Do you like good old pen and paper or do you like to tap away on your tablet?
Next ask yourself where do you think well?
Do you need peace and quiet? Do you like music playing? Do you like to be curled up on the sofa next to your loved ones with the TV on? Do you need to be in the office with a cuppa? Knowing your natural style will help with more than just creative solutions.
Now ask yourself “What is my ultimate goal here?”
Do you want people to be signing up to an event? Signing up to your mailing list? Wanting to read more of your blogs? Knowing this will ensure you write in an appropriate manner. You will be surprised how many people do not have a call to action in their work. A point to remember this is not a “Blantant selling approach” however knowing what you goal is will impact on your writing style.
Who is your audience?
Before you start writing you need to ask yourself who do I want this to impact? What do I want them to do is only going to work if you are talking in the right way to the audience that you want to engage with. So its critically important to ask this. And at this stage if we were working together, business owner to business coach I would be asking you if they are a viable market for the success of your business. Its all very well connecting with an audience, but if they have no purchasing power on interest in your products and services it could be a costly waste of your precious resources.
What does my audience want to hear?
What do my audience need to hear?
Knowing the answer to the above 2 questions will enable you to ensure you use the kind of emotive language that your clients really want to hear. That really makes them think “That’s us!”
So now you have the back bone to what you want to write about, what if you are still struggling?
My natural style includes a mind map, okay so for those that follow the expert Tony Cuzan you will know that my style is not exactly correct, but I know that this style allows me to think in a way that is fluent with my natural style. And allows my brain to think through an idea.
Here I wanted to think about Happy customers. I started with them in the middle and I thought about what they wanted, what their fears were, what they came to me for and what the end results were. By allowing each thought to become a stand alone bullet point I could come off of each bullet point to further expand on this.
This process can be used to help you turn a 60 seconds into a 10 minute talk, a general press release into a series of articles, a stand alone blog into a series that you run over a 6 month period as part of your marketing strategy.
Here I show you how I would use it for a 60 second elevator pitch on being Mandie Holgate;
And here I have started to elaborate on the sections Coaching and The BWN and Family;
As you can see when you are utilising the Roots Method you are able to take the simplest of topic within your business and expand upon it to turn into something that can be used effectively as part of your marketing strategy.
Let me know how you get on and if I can assist further please do not hesitate to contact me anytime. I have a style of working that suits most budgets, big or small!
It may sound easy to spend money right?
But when it comes to helping your business grow, thrive and succeed how can you know you are spending your hard earned profits on the right things?
People will tell you come to our event, advertise with us, exhibit here, join our organisation, it will help your business. But money doesn’t growing on trees, so how can you know you are investing in the right marketing or if you are wasting your money?
I’m often asked “Should I spend money on advertising in this magazine?” or “Should I exhibit at this event?”
So here are my top tips to help you work out if it really is a great opportunity for you and your business success;
You could spend every penny of your profit on paying to attend exhibitions, trade fairs and shows or on advertising on websites and in magazines, so think carefully about the outcome you are looking to achieve and what ever you do decide to do know what your desired outcome is. How many sales, new leads, etc you are aiming to gain from this.
And lastly know in advance how you intend to measure the level of success your marketing investment.
I hope this helps you decide where to spend your profits, although I should warn you if your marketing budget is smaller than a budgies handbag, fear not. With my marketing production line there are enough answers to get you new leads and sales without spending any money! Click here to try it for yourself
Or give me a call if you are having a tough time, I’ve a way of helping for all budgets!
This was a post I added to Twitter yesterday because I faced an obstacle to my success yesterday. Don’t think us coach’s don’t have to face business success demons too, because we really do!
And this was one of mine and how I have dealt with comfort zones for years because it works, and because of my success with dealing with comfort zones I know how important it is to remove these obstacles to your success.
Let me first describe what a comfort zone is. Imagine being all cozy in your duvet, its dark, the alarm has gone off, its cold, you can hear the rain hitting the window and you think……mmmm I could just stay here. But wait a minute what one minute feels like a great place to stay can quickly change.
Imagine you get to stay in bed a bit longer, but now you want to get up, suddenly that duvet is not warm and snuggly its firmly wrapped its way around you because you’ve been in there for so long and you are now trapped. That duvet is suddenly not so much your friend right?
That is a comfort zone. It can feel like a good place to be until you realise that it has actually trapped you and its stopping you from progressing in the success of your business. Not so fun now right?
So how do you fix it?
You can go the softly softly approach as some of my clients like. That way you can build up to the biggy by breaking it down into little bits. But that can be a longer process. For me its fast and it works to do it my way!
My saying has always been “I like to get so far out of my comfort zone that I can’t see it anymore!” Here is an example of this working and in action;
I was seriously ill and so I had not driven any further than the hospital since March 2012 to ensure I looked after my health. Back to work 2 and half months and recovering, as a Finalist in the Colchester Business Awards I had to attend an interview at one of the judges premises. For me this entailed a 45 minute journey. The longest since March 2012. But on top of that;
This year I was stationery at traffic lights and an articulated lorry decided it wanted to change lanes and didn’t notice me in my large estate car. it was really scary and then in the summer another large truck nearly drove us off the road in France. needless to say I’ve not been overly keen on being next to large vehicles that I’ve come to believe many of them don’t know I’m there! Was I keen to get on the A12 yesterday?
You see its all too easy if you stop doing things that suddenly your confidence can drop and a comfort zone is created.
So I dealt with it as I deal with any comfort zones, the biggest being my absolute fear of public speaking 6 years ago. I got so far out of my comfort zone that I could not see it any more.
I accept that it was just bad luck to have 2 lorries not pay attention to my large silver car in my life time. And I’m back on track.
So how could you utilise this idea for your success and to get rid of your comfort zones?
And what impact could it have on your success?
Do share your thoughts as I love hearing from you.