When You Love What You Do, You Love Your Life!

When You Love What You Do, You Love Your Life!

There are few things in life that bring more joy than doing work you love. When we feel fulfilled and appreciated, our entire psyche undergoes a positive shift. Finding our “sweet spot,” doing work that lights us up and that others value, blurs the distinction between work and play. And when that happens, the results are often more than we could have hoped for. I love my work because I get to help other solo business owners—solopreneurs—create a business they love and can run by themselves. Being solo gives them the freedom to shape their business into something that maximizes their enjoyment, minimizes their stress and allows them to work/play in their own way. If they’re unsure of their direction when I begin coaching them, I often ask what they loved doing as a child. And now, if they could do anything—if money weren’t a factor and they knew they wouldn’t fail—what would they do? What I find is that most people have lost touch with their childhood self, when nothing seemed out of reach. When I help them remember and reconnect with that child, they become more confident, reaching out to new possibilities. My friend Mark Hurwich, the founder of Concentrated Coaching, recommends actively inviting childlike play into your life to encourage spontaneity and release inhibitions. Read his recent post here. When people leave self-consciousness behind and free themselves from whatever is holding them back, their work and lives become more joyful and playful! When you run a solo business, it’s is a non-stop continuing education program! Every day is an adventure. Without knowing what the future will...
9 Simple Steps to Successful Sales as a Solopreneur

9 Simple Steps to Successful Sales as a Solopreneur

No matter what kind of solopreneur business you have, if you want to be successful, you must accept—no, embrace—the fact that you’re in sales. Unfortunately, pushy and obnoxious salespeople have created a sleazy, cheesy stereotype, and the thought of selling makes some people queasy. However, today’s successful solopreneur salesperson is nothing like that! A successful solopreneur knows that a good sales transaction is a win-win proposition. It’s not about talking someone into buying something they don’t want; it’s about finding out what they do want and letting them know if you can help them with that. Most of us aren’t running million dollar businesses by doing nothing more than putting up a website. We get our clients from the people we meet through networking and other person-to-person interactions. These people need to know what you have to offer. If you don’t tell them, how are they going to find out? They won’t! You need to sell yourself and what you do. And remember, selling is nothing more than matching your solution to someone’s problem! Selling is being in the right place at the right time in front of the right person and providing the right information. To do that the right way, you need to understand who you’re speaking with and what they need. Otherwise, you cannot know if you have a solution that fits. Once you know there’s a match, you can offer your solution. Launching into a sales pitch prematurely just turns people off. Even if your solution is exactly what they want and need, they probably won’t tell you. So how do you engage and connect...
Are You Scared to Death of Being Successful?

Are You Scared to Death of Being Successful?

My last post was all about the ultimate objective of every business—to sell our products or services. If we don’t, we won’t stay in business! So why do so many of us feel uncomfortable about selling? Because we’ve been on the receiving end of too many canned sales pitches delivered by pushy people who tried to force fit something down our throat! They weren’t at all interested in whether or not it was right for us! Of course, that approach turns people off. Successful selling, on the other hand, is simply the process of uncovering a prospect’s needs and determining if what you have to offer meets those needs. If you don’t, so be it. No pressure on either side. The real question is, how do you find prospects? And how do you let them know what it is you offer? The fastest and easiest way to make sales is to get yourself in front of small groups of friendly people who need and want what you have! That’s where my friend, colleague and Group Talk Expert, Jan Maresh, comes in! She has the best approach I’ve ever found to finding and talking comfortably with prospects. So I’ve invited her to tell you how she does it: Scared to Death to Talk to Groups? Get Over It! Here’s How By Jan Saunders Maresh My mom wasn’t big on housework, so to make it less tedious she’d crank up the old record player. While she worked, I would dance around the living room. So at age three, she enrolled me into The Stevens Dance Studio where I danced for the...
Want to Know How to Boost Your Bottom Line?

Want to Know How to Boost Your Bottom Line?

Yogi Berra captured it perfectly: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else!” Unless you know what your objective is, you’re not going to achieve it. If you don’t know where you want to end up, you’ll have no idea how to get there. What direction to head. What steps to take. You won’t know if you’re on the right track. Instead, you’ll be lost. If you have a business, your most important objective—the bottom line, literally—is to sell your product or service. Otherwise, you won’t make money. If you don’t make money, what you’ll have is a hobby, not a business. All the high-quality content, mobile-friendly websites, and polished elevator speeches in the world won’t get you where you want to go. Like it or not, you’ve got to sell or you won’t stay in business. If selling isn’t something you love to do; if you’re not a “natural-born” salesman (very few of us are), you might be relieved to learn that you can learn to sell! Being able to sell is not a personal quality that you either have or you don’t—and if not, you’re just out of luck. It’s a skill you can learn. You simply need to discover ways to sell that are comfortable for you. As with any skill, however, learning to sell requires effort. If you’re totally new to sales, you should get some basics under your belt to get yourself in fighting shape. But there’s no shortage of help. Amazon is jam-packed with books on sales techniques. There are sales training companies that specialize in teaching you how...

What’s the Difference Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs?

The term, “solopreneur” has become quite popular in recent years. Sometimes it’s used interchangeably with the word “entrepreneur,” but there are distinct differences between the two. The differences may not be readily apparent, however, since some entrepreneurs work alone until their businesses are large enough to need a team. In general, those who choose solopreneurship over entrepreneurship are usually not interested in building a large business. Many of them start solo businesses with no intention of ever adding employees. Here are the basic differences: 1.  Entrepreneurs dream of a buyout. Many entrepreneurs initiate their businesses with heavy outside investment, counting on being acquired by a larger company for millions of dollars in profits. At that point, they’ll pocket significant gains and move on to their next adventure. 2.  Solopreneurs dream of a business they can run by themselves. Most solopreneurs, in contrast, prefer small businesses they can capitalize and manage on their own. They don’t want to negotiate with outside parties or manage investor expectations. They tend to work in one type of business, becoming expert in that particular industry. 3.  Entrepreneurs focus on their business. Entrepreneurs frequently choose to be out socializing with colleagues, making connections with potential investors or partners and leaving their team behind to do the actual work. They thrive on the energy and excitement of the start-up and growth phases. They look to delegate administrative and technical tasks as quickly as possible so they can focus on increasing the value of their businesses to a potential buyer. The work itself is often of less interest, and they may start up multiple unrelated businesses throughout their careers. 4. ...
Don’t Make Your Business Look Amateurish!

Don’t Make Your Business Look Amateurish!

When you’re in business for yourself, doesn’t it make sense to act like a professional? How you present yourself to others who might hire you makes a huge difference when it comes to landing new clients! Yet every day I see solopreneurs and small business owners make mistakes that mark them as amateurs. Often, those without much experience don’t realize what people expect. They make mistakes without understanding they’re permanently damaging their reputation and their business. If you want to set yourself apart, act like a professional; people will notice!Here are five easy ways to avoid the kind of amateur mistakes that will absolutely kill your business: Acknowledge emails within a day of receipt. If a full response will require a few days to gather information, check with others, or prepare a quote, fine. But in the meantime, send a quick reply to let the sender know what’s happening. I can’t tell you the number of businesses I personally have eliminated from further consideration because I just never got a response to an inquiry. People need to know you’ve gotten their email and are working on it. Otherwise, they’re likely to move on to someone who’s more attentive. If you’ll be out of touch for more than just a couple of days, set up an auto-responder in your email so that incoming messages will get an automatic reply to that effect. Return phone calls in a timely manner. The most unfortunate voicemail greeting I ever heard informed me that my call would “be returned within 72 business hours.” 72 business hours! At eight hours per business day, this person...