Big Blog New Reader Giveaway ... and the Winner is ...

Thank you all for participating in the giveaways. The winner will be notified of their winning by email.

And The Winner Is: Peggy Cross - Feng Shui Guru

Congratulations, Peggy and thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hello and comment for a giveaway!

Make your life a masterpiece!

Big Blog New Reader Giveaway

Welcome, new readers to my Blog! To celebrate its creation and continuation, I've decided to give stuff away. If you know me well (or hardly at all), you know I love gifts (a.k.a. swag). So gifts I give, to you. I'll be doing a giveaway about once a month - products, books, event tickets and complimentary services ... so check back often.

Today's featured swag:

The Referral-Only Business Self-Study Course (value $197), an Honorée original.

A little more about it:

Its for salespeople, service providers, and entrepreneurs (you, if you're selling something!) who want to sit in the enviable position of having a business exclusively comprising of referral business.

Some examples of what it will do:
Teach you how to intentionally create a business by referral through strategic business marketing and strategic partnerships.

How you can win:
Leave a comment saying why you need to create a business by referral and your biggest goal for 2008.

Who is eligible:
You must have a U.S. mailing address. You don't have to be a blogger to win, just supply a valid e-mail address.

When the giveaway ends:
April 28th, 5 p.m. Pacific Time. I'll e-mail the winner, and results are always posted here as well. If the winner doesn't respond within four business days, a new winner will be drawn.

Attitude – The #1 Key for Success

If I had to choose one key component for achieving the highest possible levels of success for an individual, its attitude all the way. Having a rock-solid fantastic attitude is not just necessary, its crucial. Long before anyone knows whether you’ve got the steak (skills), they feel your sizzle – or lack of it!

As you’re navigating the daily challenges of maximizing your time, handling personnel issues, finalizing and delivering proposals, counting inventory, and closing the deal, its easy to lose hold of your outlook, feel overwhelmed and become frustrated. Here are some of the most effective ways to approach getting – and keeping – an attitude that’s going to help make your road to the top just this side of painless.

Learn from everything. The questions we ask ourselves can make or break us. When challenges hit – and they do – one power question to pose right away is: “What is the lesson for me in this situation?” Have you noticed when you don’t learn your lesson the first time, you end up the same or similar (and many times more painful) situation again? By asking that question, you can drill down what you’re supposed to learn from the situation to avoid repeating it in the future.

The second part of this learning process is putting systems in place so the lesson will automatically not repeat itself. The next question is, “What are ten ways I can make sure this never happens again?” This list is a brain-storming session that enables you to learn from the fresh wound and avoid future ones.

Example – You get in your car on the way to a client. You’re scheduled to be just on time if you leave now. As you turn the ignition, you notice the “low fuel” light is on. Rats! Now you have to take at least five minutes to gas up, leaving the possibility wide-open you will be late. I used to experience this quite a bit. Now I have my car gassed up at least once a week, and more often if I notice the gauge falls below the half-tank marker. That way, I never have to stop when I should be on my way.

Spend time identifying and addressing your “gaps” will allow you to safeguard yourself and prevent future hardship.

This too shall pass. Remember it feels the worst when you’re in the midst of the crisis. It is easy to lose perspective and give up hope. This is the best time to stay steadfast in your conviction. Keep your vision, goals and dreams vividly in your mind. Life consists of seasons, as do situations. There will come a day when the awful problem you’re having now will be a distant memory. Prepare to triumph over this situation now by remembering “this too shall pass.”

No retreat, no surrender! This is a critical mindset to adopt – preferably now when you’re not facing a crisis. Do not back down from adversity! You have it in you to face and overcome anything that comes your way. If you’re not entirely convinced this is true, think back to other times when you thought the world was coming to an end. If you’re reading this, you’re still here!

Evaluate how you will choose to move forward, keeping in mind that one super-effective choice available to you includes “bend but don’t break.” Think of trees in a storm – they gracefully accommodate natural forces while still staying strongly anchored by their foundation. Think of yourself as a tree in the face of your storms and sway in the face of difficulty while not giving in.

Half-full or half-empty? Most people possess a dual thought process: “I’m awesome” … “Maybe not so much.” There’s a tennis match that goes on in their head, an argument of will that in one moment serves them in their quest to move forward … and the next takes the wind out of their sails. Seeing the glass as half-full really isn’t the Pollyanna approach, it’s the approach that allows you to retain hope. Hope is the single most named factor when people are polled about how they survived and even thrived in the face of adversity. Keep hope alive and you’re keeping your dreams alive – and increasing your chances of goal achievement!

If its to be, its up to me. The only person who can make “it” (your vision and goals) happen is you. The only thing or person standing in the way of your success is you. By adopting this attitude, you set in motion invisible forces that will come to your aid. You also raise your vibration – and you will attract to you what you need to achieve your every desire. Staying in “possibility thinking” will keep you focused on how you can accomplish your goals. If you’re going to argue for something, argue for how you can make it happen, instead of arguing about how it just not going to happen.

Remember, you are the CEO of your life. With a jaw set with determination, a few upward shifts in your attitude and a desire to remain steadfast to the end almost guarantees your success. Go for it!

Quit Striving, Start Attracting

Are the things you want the things that seem to be the hardest to achieve? Does it seem to be challenging enough to make it through the day, let alone reach your goals in an effortless manner?

In order to attract what you want, you simply must become irresistibly attractive to yourself – which in turn, makes you irresistibly attractive to the world! Have you noticed on those days when you’re on your “A Game” everything goes your way? Maybe in those instances it happened by accident, you can let this be your beginner’s guide for how to do it on purpose.

1. Become your best client. It is impossible to enroll people into purchasing your products or services if you’re not a raving fan yourself. This lack of congruence will show up in your energy level and your bottom line numbers. Make it a point to use and love what you’re representing.

2. Show up like you mean it. (Show up on time: if you’re less than ten minutes early, you are late). Dress for success: it doesn’t always mean expensive, but it always means stylish, clean and neat. Do what you say you’ll do: every single time.

3. Set yourself on fire and people will come for miles around to watch you burn. Passionate, enthusiastic people are impossible to resist. They are irresistible and magnetic. They are authentic – and authentic is really attractive!

4. Commit. To yourself. To your client. To take action. To do what you say you’re going to do – and getting it done, ahead of schedule. Become a person known for being “on it.” Remember: 99% commitment sucks. 100% commitment rocks!

5. Be generous. Use every opportunity you can to give – give connections, information, time or money. Dr. Shaklee, founder of the Shaklee Corporation had a great saying, “What you give away you keep.” I have found this to be absolutely true.

6. Think win-win. You don’t have to lose for me to win. In fact, I don’t win if you don’t win (and vice versa). In every situation. Every single time. Use the three C’s to create win-win situations: communication, cooperation and compromise.

It is so much easier to attract what you want than to try to “make things happen.” Starting now, allow what you want to come to you. You’ll be delighted with the results!

Questions to Ask to Attract Clients Faster

When coaching my clients to attract more clients or build their businesses, I am always listening for where they are struggling or doing something the hard way. It is amazing how simply asking yourself a few simple questions can result in huge profits -- and huge savings of time -- in your business.

*What is not working?

There may be some marketing methods that do not work as well as they used to. Evaluate each marketing method you are using and ask yourself if it is still working for you. What worked three years ago, and even what worked last year, may not be the right answer for you today. Your business has probably changed, as has the marketplace.

*List 3 things that are not working.
*What is working that I can do more of?

Evaluate where the bulk of your favorite clients have come from in the last six months. The clients who you love to work with, who pay on time, who are excited to work with your firm and who are glad to refer you to others they think you can serve.

*What did you do to get those clients?
*Was it by referral (my favorite), direct mail, publicity, a presentation?
*List 3 things that are working you know you need to be doing more.

Whatever has worked well, do more of it!

Maybe you have talked to experts who tell you to make 10 calls a day, or that it is important to be aware that seven contacts is usually necessary before someone will become a client or customer -- and you are finding that this proven strategy is not currently working for you. If you are not getting your expected results, evaluate every step in the process. Maybe you are not qualifying your prospects; maybe you need to evaluate what you are saying on the phone, and see how you can improve it. Maybe you are not being as consistent as you think in your actions, and some deliberate tracking of exactly how many contacts you are indeed making is necessary.

*What should be working, but is not, that needs to be redesigned?
*List 3-5 things you would like to redesign and the next most-important action steps.

Most small business owners and service professionals are doing way too many things that they should be delegating to someone else. Often the excuse used is that there are not enough financial resources to justify the expense. Usually you will find that when you invest in having an expert -- like a bookkeeper, graphic artist, or virtual assistant -- do what they are good at, they do it quicker and better and usually at an affordable rate. This allows you to focus on those aspects of your business that only you can do.

*What am I doing that it would be better for someone else to do?
*List 3 things you can delegate to others, or pay for others to do.
*What would be best for me to stop doing?

Sometimes we try different things to see if they are the right match for us and our business. Sometimes a client asks us to do something we do not usually do, and we give it a try because there is money to be made, and we think it is worth exploring. I encourage you to explore all alluring possibilities in your business. The point to remember that is often overlooked is that it is crucial to your success to evaluate these experiments after they are tried to objectively evaluate whether or not this is, in fact, a good move for you and your business.

Powerful solutions can only come from asking powerful questions. Ponder these questions, and you will create powerful results.

It is always nice to read a short book that cuts to the chase (has zero fluff) with great ideas for reaching your goals.” ~Andrea Waltz, author, Go for No! Read the entire review here. Buy this book here

Honorée Enterprises, LLC. turns service providers into rainmakers, average producers into rock-stars, and dreams into reality. For more information on how we can specifically help you or your organization, click hereYou can read all about Honorée here.

You ARE in control of your day!

I work with executives - lots of executives. One main complaint sounds something like this, "I don't have enough time during the day. I have to come in early and work late to get anything done and get enough time billed." Time and time again, after diving into the mechanics of their days, we inevitably uncover lots of time-wasting activities (including, but not limited to: small talk, answering emails in real time, answering the phone right in the middle of being productive, surfing the web and good old procrastination). Further dissection leads to the conclusion that much more could be done, in much less time, leaving additional time for business generation, marketing activities and even (*gasp*) free time.

Of course, these same time-wasting activities run rampant through all professional disciplines, and all of them require new business to keep the doors open. Here are some tips for getting those 8 hours billed, or making the most of the time you are in the office.
  • Use the structure of the 50-minute hour. I call this "going into the tunnel." In those 50 minutes, you can get a lot of work done when you turn off the cell phone, turn down the ringer on your office phone, turn off the email "dinger" and shut (lock!) your office door. This minimizes interruptions and allows you to focus and remain focused until YOU decide to pop your head out and see what's been happening. Ask your assistant to take messages and let unscheduled visitors know you'll be getting in touch with them at your next opportunity.*
  • Be the one to decide the urgency (or lack thereof) of the work coming across your desk. I've noticed a lot of false urgency brought on by ego and the need for instant gratification. Use your experience and education to discern which items need to be addressed immediately (is it really a fire?) and which ones can be done in a reasonable amount of time. Prioritize those items, then stick to the schedule you've put in place.
  • Based on your goals, create a list of marketing, practice and business-building tasks to complete during the in-between times. Once you've fnished a project or closed a deal, give yourself a finite, short period of time to relax and recharge. It could be an hour, an afternoon or the weekend. Then break out the list, put your task items on the calendar and get them completed. This will ensure you continue to have projects to complete and deals to close ...
If your argument is: "I have to be available every minute of every day, all the time" think back to a time when you were on a plane, or on vacation (with no cell service) or in any number of situations where you simply weren't available. The fires and seemingly crucially important things that came up were handled by someone else or they were right there waiting for you when you were available. Its not that you can't, it's that you haven't up until this point. You absolutely have a huge say in how your day goes. Or you can from now on!

Its Not Too Late to (Still) Achieve Your 2008 Goals

What happened to your New Year’s Resolutions? Are you making serious progress – or are they long-since forgotten? Now is the time for a quick review of what happened in the first quarter, and a serious check-in to what you wanted to achieve for the entire year. Use my coaching focus form to stay (or get back on) track --

Second Quarter Coaching Focus Form

What I have accomplished in the first quarter of this year:
What I need to let go of or quit striving for:

Yearly Income Goal, if Applicable: $_______________
Where I am so far: $______________
I am right on track ____ or
I am behind by $_______ or ____% or
I am ahead by $_____ or ____%.

What is working:
What is not working:
What action(s) would take me closer to my goals in the next 30, 60 & 100 days:
What opportunities exist right now?
What new skill(s) and/or ability(ies) could I develop so I am more efficient/effective:
My 3 Top Business Priorities/ Goals for the second quarter of 2008:
My 3 Top Personal Priorities/ Goals for the second quarter of 2008:
What must you be held accountable for between now and the end of the second quarter:
Your most important goal that must be met before the end of this year is:
Why must this goal be met?
How I am doing toward this goal so far is:
What is the reward for achieving this goal:

Who gets the job?

One of my clients is in the process of hiring a new general manager for one of his businesses. He's narrowed it down to three competent candidates, all of whom can do the job. The question is, who does he hire? I suggested he take some additional time, interview them again and ask them the following Interview Questions that I found here, using the Answer Guide for the clues he needs to make his final decision:

Interview Question: How do you handle a situation where the workload is beginning to be too much and your emotions start to be involved in the situation?
Answer Guide: Candidate should be able to step outside of an emotive situation, evaluate the problems, come up with solutions, and be character driven?
Interview Question: How do you handle yourself when you feel the world is against you?
Answer Guide: Response should show applicant is in control of their attitude, that they think rationally, and they do not see, or allow, themselves to be a victim.
Interview Question: How would your mother describe your attitude towards work?
Answer Guide: Applicant should respond with humor and yet still attempt to give an honest appraisal of his/her character traits. This includes both positive and negative traits as viewed from another person’s perspective.
Interview Question: Have you ever had an occasion when you discovered a strong point in your character, that you didn’t know you had? Then think of the same occasion, but with a personal limitation.
Answer Guide: Answer should demonstrate whether or not there is an ability to recognize and exploit strength of character and/or recognize weakness.
Interview Question: Is it useful to be able to quickly and accurately appraise another person’s temperament?
Answer Guide: Candidate should show that their personal perceptions are not biased and that they have the ability to make accurate judgments quickly.
Interview Question: When was the last time you had a project that really energized you.
Answer Guide: Applicant should demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm, energy, and dedication.
Interview Question: What is your general attitude towards life?
Answer Guide: Candidate should have a positive confident attitude. Words and body language will be evaluated to determine whether or not a truthful answer was given.
Interview Question: Do you attempt to predict how others will react to a given situation or a suggestion?
Answer Guide: Job seeker should anticipate reactions and objections which shows the skill to plan ahead. Job seeker should value people and understand the necessity of finding common goals and grounds.
Interview Question: How do you react when asked to do something beyond your capabilities?
Answer Guide: Job seeker should be able to admit that they do not know some things. They should have the ability push themselves forward in a challenging situation.
Interview Question: Would you describe yourself as an optimist or a pessimist?
Answer Guide: Most people are a mixture of the two, but the applicant’s words, presence and body language (especially the energy in the eyes) will indicate the predominant personality trait(s) and/or beliefs.
The next time you are looking to hire the next member of your team, be sure to "get into their heads" to make sure they will be the right fit.