Going after your dreams with short-term strategies

Have you ever had a big wild dream of what the future could be like? I bet it felt awesome imagining how much better life would be in this new reality. But I bet something happened quickly after that dream popped in your head. You probably started to shut the dream down and brush it off as just that - a dream. You probably don’t plan to really pursue it. I think the reason we shy away from those big dreams is because we aren’t quite ready to move in that direction. And that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t think about them now. Let me teach you what to do with these dreams so the chances of them actually becoming a reality are higher.

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Strategist vs. Coach vs. Consultant: Which do you need?

If you’re an entrepreneur trying to build, improve, or grow your business, it can be a bit confusing to know where to turn to get help. We’ve all been told that the most successful business owners don’t do entrepreneurship alone, but who is the best resource to help you reach your goals?? In order to not waste your time and energy (and to actually get the help you need), be sure to choose the right one. Here are the key differences between a strategist, coach, and consultant and when to hire which one.

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Don't leave money on the table! How to deliver more value to your clients

You might not realize it, but your clients are telling you what they need and if you don’t listen, you will be leaving money on the table. Learn from my client, Christine Luken, how she took client feedback and turned it into a money-making new offering that will help her clients even more. If you’re ready to improve your current offerings or develop new ones offerings to expand your revenue potential, read on.

If you do this though, it’s a win-win - your clients get helped even more, you make more money, and the likelihood for word of mouth and referral clients increases.

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Why you should have TWO Vision Statements

A vision statement is a guiding beacon that depicts the kind of future to which your organization aspires. It gives you and any collaborators or team members a direction to focus your efforts on so you’re working towards a focused goal. I’ve noticed a trend with vision statement writing: Most non-profits have externally-focused vision statements and most businesses have internally-focused vision statements. These two types of vision statements actually serve very different purposes and so I encourage all businesses to have both. Here’s the difference, examples of each, and how to write good ones for your business.

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I fired my marketer. Why he should have fired me first.

I knew the marketer I’d hired wasn’t a good fit pretty early on, but he seemed bound and determined to make it work. I gave him several opportunities to part ways with me and bow-out gracefully, but he didn’t want to take the bait. Eventually, I had to fire him. I wasn’t his ideal client and it was a headache for both of us. Here’s what you can do to avoid getting fired by your clients.

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Why turning down my dream project was the best decision ever

The consulting projects I was taking on for extra money while I tried to start up my business ended up just being a big distractor that was actually PREVENTING me from accomplishing my long-term goals. I had to turn down what I thought at the time was a dream project to be able to focus on my business. It was a tough decision, but it quickly paid off. There is an opportunity cost to everything and I had to say no to a tempting offer to see what I had been trading in for quick cash.

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Market Research Reimagined: 7 Creative (and free!) ways to learn about your ideal clients

Market research is often thought of as nerdy, boring, unnecessary, difficult, or intimidating. However, if you want to really serve your ideal client well, there’s no better way to figure out how to do that than with some good ole’ market research. It doesn’t have to be focus groups and expensive surveys though. There are so many better ways for businesses to do market research and I’m going to share some of my favorite unconventional, creative, and free methods that’ll help you best serve your ideal clients by learning what they need and want.

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Goal Setting: 4 Things no one tells you to consider (but you should)

There are a lot of goal setting acronyms out there like BHAG and SMART, but neither of these are very helpful if you’re still trying to figure out what your goals are actually trying to accomplish. Everyone’s definition of success is very different. To figure out what yours is, consider these four core motivators: FAIM (flexibility, achievement, impact, and money). FAIM provides a framework for you to dream, define success, and set goals against.

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The Secret to Pricing Like an Expert

“What should I charge for my services?” asked every entrepreneur ever. We all want some magical formula to calculate the perfect rate that will instantly close the deal with our ideal clients and earn us what we’re worth. That would be nice, right? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magical formula for you, but I do have one big fat secret that is the key to a pricing strategy that will position you as an expert and get the price you deserve for the value you provide. Read on to find out what it is.

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Hard Truths about Myself

In the midst of trying to be a better person and a better business owner, I’ve had to admit some hard truths about myself. I have this vision in my mind of what it looks like to be a successful female and I’ve been trying so hard to uphold that facade. Unfortunately, this mindset has been keeping me from living my ideal life and reaching my business and personal goals. Specifically, the strive for perfection has been paralyzing. Here are some of the things I’ve struggled with as a result of my perfectionism and what I’m doing to work on them.

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10 Secrets to Good Qualitative Market Research

Doing market research is so important no matter what phase of building or growing your business you’re in. If you haven’t done it before, you’re probably wondering how to do market research. The question that people don’t often ask though, but is the oh-so-important secret to doing quality market research, is how to be a good interviewer (since for small businesses, one of the best ways to conduct market research is qualitatively). Wanna know the secrets to being a good interviewer? I’m share 10 of them.

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Purpose Statement: what is it & how to write one

A purpose statement captures the reason you or your business exists and the impact you aspire to have. If you want to be inspired in your business and really love what you do, writing a purpose statement is probably one of the most important things you can do to make sure that happens, yet many business owners feel paralyzed when it comes to writing one, so they skip it all together. Let me walk you step-by-step through the process of writing an inspiring business purpose statement to fuel your work.

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What a Niche Market looks like for Service Businesses

Entrepreneurs running service-based businesses often have many reservations about going niche. They think that choosing a niche market means they’ll get bored or will decrease their income earning potential. These are myths. In fact, going niche is one of the best things you can do for your business. When you’re running a service business, your niche can be based on what you, who you are serving, or both. Deciding to go niche gives you the opportunity to get really creative with how you package your offerings and can set you apart from the competition by filling a gap that no one else is - making your business unique and memorable.

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Are Lousy Mindsets or Methods Giving You Lousy Business Results?

As solopreneurs, we are pretty much what the success or failure of our business resides on. Our mindset and our methods will determine how far we go. If you’re not achieving the success you desire, ask yourself if something about your mindset and/or method of running your business may be holding you back. Without the willingness to uncover the true cause of our lousy results (mindsets or methods), it’s impossible to change those things for better results. Changing your mindset is often-times the key to being able (and willing) to change your methods. And when you change both of these, that’s when the magic happens.

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5 Reasons Market Research Should be on your Priority To-Do List

If you're a small business owner, solopreneur, or freelancer, you've probably long brushed off market research as something that isn't relevant to your business. However, I'm here to change your mind. Market research delivers some of the best returns for your business. Successful businesses solve a need for a specific type of client or customer (and do it well) and to learn the best way to do that you need to learn from (and about) that client or customer. This is essentially all market research is - a fancy term for learning about who you want to serve so that you can do a better job of it. This article outlines five reasons you should make market research a priority.

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BEFORE Creating a Marketing Plan, do Customer Journey Mapping

Thinking about your marketing plan or strategy? STOP RIGHT THERE. In order to be an effective marketer, you need to really understand what it’s like to be your ideal client trying to find a solution to their problem. The best way to do that is to lay out the experience, or journey, your customers go through from the moment their problem or need arises to what happens after they hire you and everything in between. Mapping out this customer journey is one of the best ways to identify what actions your business can take to better find, connect with, and serve your ideal client - and ultimately find the best opportunities to market your business.

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How to Identify Your Ideal Client

If you want to love all your clients, you have to clearly identify who your IDEAL CLIENT actually is, so you can find, connect, and work with more of them. Creating an Ideal Client Profile is one of the most impactful things you can do for you business. It’s not just a piece of paper to collect dust. It's a tool you can use for branding, marketing, packaging and pricing your services, and onboarding key partners, collaborators, or staff.

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Screw Work-Life Balance

I don't think it matters if entrepreneurs have figured out the elusive "work-life balance". What I do think matters is that entrepreneurs have healthy rhythms of WORK and REST. I'm on a mission to expand my impact while having a healthy rhythm of rest, proving that you don't have to self-destruct before you can rest while building your business and I believe that HOW EFFECTIVE work and rest are is what’s most important, rather than how balanced they are.

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6 Things to do with Negative Feedback

When we come out on the other side of constructive feedback, we are always better off for it (and so are our future clients). Then why is it so hard to ask for it? We might think we know what our clients think about us and our services, but guessing at this is a dangerous game to play and is a good way to ensure your business stays stagnant instead of continually improving. So, what do you do when you get negative feedback? Here are six steps to follow to ensure your business not only benefits from this information, but also leaves your clients feeling awesome about working with you.

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