Category Archives: Business Strategy

How to Make the Most of Any Speaking Opportunity

Photo Credit: JohnDiew0107 on Flickr

Your talk begins long before you step on to that stage.

It starts weeks, if not months, before, though many speakers don’t realize that.

Public speaking is one of the most effective tools you can use to build your business.

Yet for many people, just the thought of getting in front of an audience is so stressful that all they focus on is the talk itself.

What in the world do I say?
What if my mind goes blank?
What if they hate me?

And on and on.

And yet – anyone can learn to be an effective speaker. I’ve coached many people through this over the years; I always love seeing their surprise at how well they could do with just a little help.

But to make speaking work for your business means you have to be more than a skilled performer.

You have to approach the talk with the strategic thinking of a marketer.

Here’s what I mean.
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Why You Need to Be Out There Speaking

Photo Credit: tec_estromberg on Flickr

“The buzz in the room was infectious…”

…That’s what one fellow said after a talk I gave recently to a group of entrepreneurs in Dublin, Ireland. And he was right.

I could feel their excitement, as I led them through an exercise that challenged them to get clear about their business. Though they were reluctant at first, the momentum really shifted once they got started. And afterwards, they couldn’t wait to share their aha’s, and the excitement they felt about their next steps.

Being a part of moments like that is just plain fun, and is one reason I love speaking to entrepreneurs.

But the truth is that public speaking has been one of the most effective tools I’ve used to promote almost every business I’ve ever created.

And you should be out there, speaking to your ideal clients too.

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How to Free Up Energy and Regain Momentum

Photo Credit: Michael Napoleon on Flickr

“It’s happening… I’m starting on Monday, at 6:00 a.m.”

She wrote with certainty. My sweet friend and fellow entrepreneur announced her clear intention with power – and perhaps a hint of dread :) –  in her voice.

Knowing how important mindset was to her success, she’d been searching for ways to establish a daily meditation practice that would help her start the day centered and clear.

But as a busy mom AND owner of a super successful, high intensity business, finding space for that Just. Wasn’t. Happening.

So she made a decision.

She would start small: just 10 minutes a day on weekdays. She’d post to her mastermind group online, whether she did it or not. And, she’d text me, her accountability partner, when she was done each day. In fact, we agreed we’d do this with – and for – each other.

Such a small thing. Ten minutes a day. What’s the big deal about that?

Everything.
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What Your Small Business Should Learn from Big Business Mistakes

Photo by Alim Mohammed on Flickr

They’d lost seven million dollars in one year…

But after two years of losses, the numbers finally looked better. By the fall of 2010, Starbucks had earned $152 million, compared to that awful loss the year before.

That was a giant shift for a company many thought was dying, and the success was sweet.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

In his book Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul, Howard Schultz, Starbucks ceo (they don’t use capitals), tells a story of transformation as they went from hanging-on-by-a-thread to alive-and-thriving through the Great Recession.

It’s a powerful story, and a fascinating read.

“Personally, for the first time in a long time, I felt as if we were winning.” He writes.Not that we had won, because there is never a finish line, but that despite the odds, the brand and our partners were prevailing.”

It was the fall of 2010, and that’s what Schultz thought just before calling investors with long overdue good news.

Schultz, the company’s founder, had stepped away from the CEO role eight years earlier, when everything was going well. Starbucks was opening stores around the globe at an astonishing rate. Profits were steady and always on the increase.

Yet by 2006, he’d begun sensing an intangible change when he visited stores. Something was missing; the customer experience had shifted in ways that he could feel, but not explain. Traffic was down considerably.

Something was just flat off.

And it bothered him.

A lot.
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Who Said You Had to Market Like Everyone Else?

Photo courtesy of myguysmoving.com.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Realtors hate doing Open Houses.

Most of them won’t say so, because they don’t want to appear rude. And of course, an Open House is a great way to get prospects in the door to see your place, right?

But if traffic is slow, an Open House can mean an entire afternoon hanging out by yourself in someone else’s spotless home, thinking about all the things on your to-do list that are waiting for you back at the office.  

So one of the most effective things a realtor can do is get other agents to visit that house. And if they can get them to come not just once, but several times – it’s even better.

So one particularly creative broker came up with an idea. Continue reading