How To Make Snacking Your Home Business Breakthrough Strategy

Is your kitchen lurking down the hallway from your home office? Tempting you to fill up on unnecessary calories, break your focus and get less done?

Yes? It’s something I struggle with too.

When I’m working hard, I get the munchies. I’ll wander off to the kitchen, return to my desk with a snack. Before I know it, I’ve gone through half a loaf of banana bread. You probably know exactly what I mean.

However, you can turn this around. You can make the proximity to your kitchen an asset to your business while at the same time working on your waistline.

Your kitchen can ultimately become the source of many a biz breakthrough.

And in this article I’m going to show you how to do it.

But first let’s back up a minute and look at some simple biology. Because in order to tap into the kitchen phenomenon, you need to know your enemy. You need to acknowledge the weakness programmed right into your DNA…

See, the truth of the matter is…

Your Brain Is A Pig

There’s a reason brain-heavy work triggers your body to feel hungry. It’s actually a biological response. Our brains, despite being pretty small, use up about one quarter of our energy intake. We use enormous amounts of calories whenever we put our mind to something.

This is why some paleoanthropologists speculate that when early hominids started getting more nutrients from their food by cooking it and eating meat, we were able to support a larger brain.

So if you get that craving for cookies when you sit down to really concentrate on a task, you can thank your biology.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to succumb to your instincts. Like potty training, we can train ourselves to take actions that fit better with our goals and… er… socially accepted behavior.

So let’s master your brain’s instinctive behavior. And even make these instincts – and food itself – your ally in having a productive workday.

Here’s what I mean:

Use Your Cravings To Help You Think

Most of us freelancers spend our time facing our computer. We’re sucked into The World of Online.

Tragically, as a culture and as individuals we’re losing something precious in this preoccupation – our ability to think and reflect.

Inundated with information, we rarely mull, muse, or ponder. Real problem solving has been replaced with Googling. Real creativity has been transplanted by spinning.

As part of having a healthier home business – and life – you need to find ways that encourage you to walk away from your screen and look up. And look inside.

Now, food isn’t always the best way to do this. As I admitted earlier, I’m the first to go grab a bite to eat when I can’t get a headline right.

On the other hand, this may not be so bad.

See, eating is a very real physical experience that can bring you back to this non-virtual world. It’s something that many of us find hard to ignore for too long – no matter how good the discussion on Twitter is.

Eating can get your head out of your computer for a few minutes.

But it gets even more interesting…

Notice how many good ideas people come up with when they’re in the shower? Why?

When you’re performing a relaxing physical activity, you free up your mind to start thinking in a creative way.

When you’re showering, your mind starts to wander a bit, deep thoughts percolate up and mix with all the different bits of consciousness you’ve squashed in there while poring through blogs and ezines. This reshuffling and merging is what spawns creativity and innovative problem solving.

In the shower, with the water running over your shoulders, you can’t possibly look at a screen or scribble notes. Your mind is all yours. And it will go to work if you let it.

Eating can serve the same purpose.

However, unlike showering, while we’re eating we too often preoccupy our minds with something else. Like reading or watching TV or cruising Facebook.

Which brings me to the next step to making your kitchen your ally…

Savor Your Food And Discover

The only way you can make food a positive force in your life is by respecting it and giving it your full attention.

I’m a foodie. I have a small farm. I love to cook. And I love to eat.

Lately I’ve been taking a quick break to pick some Kiwi gold raspberries, rolling their sweetness around in my mouth.

But I’ll also confess even with all that love of good food, I usually eat like an express train. Maybe it’s from days of cramming meals in when my kids were little. Probably it goes even farther back.

And I’m not alone in this.

In the U.S. we’ve lost the fine art of eating. This has contributed to our overeating epidemic.

One widely publicized study that came out this year noted that not only did people who ate cookies while they worked at the computer eat more cookies… but they also ate more cookies several hours later in the day!

In other words, by eating mindlessly, you start to tell your body to ignore its signals of satiation. You start to turn eating into an unremarkable event that you don’t notice – so you keep doing it.

So the first advantage of conscious eating is that it will help you trim down.

But it also goes another step…

When you unlock the power or conscious eating, you create another place in your life to experience and really think. It’s something all of us busy home biz owners could use.

Perhaps I’m a little biased as a writer. It certainly helps me to brush up my observation skills with a good mindful snack. But as I explained before with the showering example, taking a real snack break can help anyone tap into more of their mind power.

You’ve got this far. And hopefully this is making some sense to you.

But now comes the big question: How do you put this into play?

Here’s how:

Practice

The best way to make eating a positive force is to practice at it. So here’s your homework:

Next time you’re stuck working on a gnarly project and you feel the urge to have a snack, do this.

1. Pause And Notice

Walk into your kitchen and look out the window. Take a deep breath and note what’s going on outside. And inside your body.

Ask yourself, what do I really want? Do I want something refreshing like a glass of water or a little seltzer mixed with some juice?

Do I want something that satisfies my sweet tooth but doesn’t leave me deflated in half an hour?

Or do I really need something to fill my belly – is it lunchtime?

Notice how you’re feeling and what kind of nourishment your body really is looking for.

2. Choose Your Potion

Let’s say you just need a little wakeup call. Perhaps something light because you’re not that hungry. You just a little need a nibble. And something that makes your senses come alive – including that nagging sweet tooth.

A nice piece of fruit might do the trick.

Take a piece of fruit – let’s say it’s a well-ripened pear. Wash it carefully and take a sniff. Do you know what pear’s smell like?

Savor how it looks.

Now – carefully avoiding your desk – go find a nice spot where you can really appreciate your pear. Maybe it’s standing near the window. Or even stepping outside and enjoying some sun on your back.

And then take a bite. Let a little juice trickle down. It’s okay to be a little messy (no office mates here to be shocked). And let your tongue savor the flavor.

Chew it slowly. Yes, really chew it before you swallow. Take a moment after that first bite and really think about how that bite was.

Now take the next bite. And savor it the same way.

Continue to eat the pear, noting the experience. As well as looking around you and noting your environment.

And here’s where you get to the next step in becoming a productive eater…

3. Experience

Take note of your body too. How are you feeling as you eat.

When you’re done, sigh with contentment. And take a moment to notice how your body feels. Do you feel good? Do you feel energized?

Just the other day, Prevention Magazine ran a short blog post titled “The #1 Way To Lose Weight.”

And you know what it was?

Become an instinctive eater. Don’t count calories. Don’t worry about color wheels. Don’t even pay attention to the new USDA chart.

None of that is as useful or important as learning to listen to your body.

When you listen to your body, you’ll start to notice that eating food that’s good for you makes you feel… well… good. Energized, alert, light, satisfied.

And food that’s bad for you makes you feel bad. Draggy, craving more and often cranky.

It takes some time to override your original fixation with salty chips and chocolate delights. But over time you’ll start to instinctively crave… prepare yourself… healthy food.

Scout’s honor. I used to eat chocolate every day without fail. Now, on some occasions I’ll feel for a little and have some. But it’s in limited amounts. And more often than not, it’s just not what I’m looking for.

When you start to pay attention to your body’s reaction, you’ll develop your own complex, personalized food prescription chart of what to eat based on how you’re feeling.

Taking conscious eating breaks will help you drop pounds and boost your health.

4. Let Your Mind Go To Work

Now give your business a boost too. Notice your thoughts and ideas. Let them sift through and don’t work to hard to force them into line. Just let your mind wander.

Eventually, when you’ve finished your snack (or meal), return to work.

Now’s the time to jot down a few revelations.

Look at that project with truly fresh perspective.

Put that renewed energy to work in tackling that troublesome problem.

Even use these delightful snack breaks as an incentive to focus and get another good half an hour of work done.

Just Desserts

This won’t be easy to do at first. Believe me, email has a powerfully seductive call when you’re snacking.

But if you work at it for a week or two, trying to insert at least one conscious food break each day – maybe two – it will start to get easier.

By paying attention to how your body – and your biz – benefits from these breaks… by really experiencing the change in stress level, energy level and productivity… you’ll start to reprogram even that stubborn brain.

And soon enough, your kitchen will no longer be that dangerous spot robbing you of your best intentions.

Instead, it will become a valuable ally in running your business and staying healthy while doing it.

The 6 Building Blocks of Business Breakthrough

Here are the six building blocks you can use to transform your business & your life. Please note that while there is always going to be stuff you can (and should) delegate, you cannot escape the fact that YOU are the trailblazer in your business. It’s YOU and ONLY YOU who must take responsibility for keeping an eye on the ‘big picture’ of your business and ensure that these key building blocks are being attended to. Are you ready to step up?

#1 Start thinking like a SuperStar!

Time to start blast through self-doubt, negative self-talk and limiting beliefs and rocket yourself towards a superstar mindset. This is all about celebrating who you are and what you bring to the party. Believe in yourself and your work in the world. And if you know you haven’t quite got there yet, resource yourself with the tools you need to start developing a ‘magic mindset’ that is going to get you where you want to be in life. Next weeks installment focuses on how you can do this, so stay tuned to our blog if you want to take steps towards becoming a leader not only of your business, but of your life too.

#2 Get clear on your VISION

If you lack a clear vision for your business and for your life, how are you supposed to get there? Lack of a clear vision is a key barrier to creating the life you dream of. It is pretty close to impossible to focus your attention and get results when you do not have a clear end in mind.

WARNING! Do not skip this step! Whatever you do, don’t skip ahead and miss this part or you may find yourself heading off in the wrong direction, ending up in a life you do not want! If it feels hard for you, don’t worry we will be giving you some great ideas for how to go about it in a creative and fun way.

#3 Identify your hungry crowd and start reaching out to them with a GREAT marketing strategy

When we started out we tried to be everything to everyone. We had no clear idea who we were trying to sell our (amazing!) services to and therefore no idea of where to reach them. How do you get clients if you don’t know who they are?

This building block is marketing 101. It’s about getting clear on your hungry crowd – that is, all the people out there who desperately need the wonderful product or service you offer – and discovering everything you can about them. You may have heard this referred to before as your ‘target market’ or your ‘niche’.

This step seems simple but can be quite challenging. You may find yourself feeling resistant, perhaps not wanting to limit your options. But please believe us when we say that until you address this, you are on the road to nowhere when it comes to getting clients. In this blog series, we are going to lay out the basics and get you on your way to online and offline marketing success.

#4 Build great relationships that last

At LYSB we believe life is all about the quality of our relationships and of course, we apply this to our business relationships as well. We believe that when you spend time building healthy and genuine relationships in your life and work, you can’t go wrong. Unfortunately this is a part of business planning that many people overlook, even though it can have serious consequences for our business (let alone our health & happiness!).

We all know the hardships and negative energy that result from unhealthy relationships or unresolved conflict. In this environment it is difficult to get the most out of yourself and the people you work with so it should be a crucial part of your business planning. We encourage you, no, we implore you to stop avoiding this issue. Start planning for the set up of a healthly workplace culture and fantastic business relationships. You won’t regret it.

Not sure how? Sign up to this blog series and receive some of our free resources on this topic!

#5 Gather up the resources you need, create an action plan and hold yourself accountable to it.

Everyone has gaps in their knowledge, skills or experience. To succeed we need to identify those gaps and seek out the resources we need to address them. From there, we can create a clear action plan and get started.

In our experience most people already have their eye on the ball when it comes to action plans. People LOVE action planning and putting big fat ticks next to their checklist! It feels great to get to the doing part right? Wrong! The problem is that many business owners skip the building blocks above and head straight action planning. But what point is an action plan if it is taking you in the wrong direction???

If your action plan is grounded in your vision and big picture strategy then yes, it will lead you to success. If not, it is a waste of time! Mull this over for a bit…..when we get to this part of the series we’ll elaborate on the ‘how to’ of action planning and show you how to set yourself up for success by putting systems in place to hold yourself accountable to your goals.

#6 Keep your eye on the big picture

As we said earlier, YOU are the trailblazer in your business. It is your responsibility to hold the vision for your organisation and to inspire others with it. You must also keep your eye on other important aspects of your business strategy, like trends and developments in your sector, advances in technology, changes going on for your customer base, what competitors (or as we prefer to call them, potential collaborators!) are doing etc. etc. This all helps you keep on top of your game.

Home-Based Business Breakthroughs – 8 Powerful Strategies

Many home-based business owners go into business with the dream of creating more financial and personal freedom for themselves.

Usually, quite the opposite result is produced.

When running your own business, you often work harder and for longer hours than you would for an employer.

Your perception of being a business owner and the reality of it are miles apart. This is why so many entrepreneurs end up feeling out of balance and out of control.

If you are experiencing these same feelings, you are not alone, especially if you are in the early years of building your business.

A gap exists between your original expectations and the reality of running a home-based business.

It is important to acknowledge your false perceptions and recognize the reality of being your own boss.

It is also important to understand that running your own business is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and as long as you are aware of the realities and remain committed to create the success you seek, you will make it happen.

In order to create breakthroughs for yourself and your business, you need to understand and embrace 8 powerful strategies.

1. Determine Your Values

This cannot be stressed enough. The success of your business will directly relate to honoring your core values.

2. Create A Vision

What is it you want to achieve in the next six months to a year? Where do you want to be in 5-10 years in your business and personal life?

Write down the vision you have for your company and your personal life (5-10 items each). With this done you will be able to set realistic goals and focus your efforts where they are needed.

Beside each item listed, write down what realizing this vision will feel and look like. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you she wrote down her vision and how this practice has contributed to her success.

3. Set Goals

Take a few hours this week to identify and write down three or four key goals necessary to move your business forward.

Include personal goals as well! (These include relationship, physical, emotional, spiritual, family, nutritional, etc.)

Picture yourself at the end of this year. It’s New Year’s Eve and you are looking back on your achievements.

What would you like to have accomplished by then? How will you feel looking back at your amazing accomplishments?

4. Maintain Quality of Life

This is critical to the success of your business. If you are burned out, stressed, exhausted, unhappy and imbalanced, your business will suffer.

Play your favorite sport every week, get out with friends, play with your children, attend school functions and dinner engagements, get adequate sleep, eat healthy meals and take your partner on a date.

If your work and personal life are not in balance, you will do yourself, your family, and your business a great disservice.

When you are in balance, you have more energy, you can think more clearly and you can maintain a sharper focus.

When you function in a balanced state, you can accomplish more quality work in 3 hours than you can in 12 hours in an imbalanced state. You will make better decisions and fewer mistakes.

Take mini-vacations. Every time you do, you will come back fresher, sharper and capable of creating amazing breakthroughs in your business.

The little things that set you off before will go unnoticed when you’re refreshed.

5. Leverage

If you lack a particular skill, have someone else take on the task for you. You don’t have to be and do everything.

Some skills are essential in running a successful business. Others can be outsourced.

The greatest entrepreneurs of our time know where they are weak and use other people’s strengths and abilities to create desired outcomes.

By leveraging your time, you can free yourself up to focus on what you do best.

I considered learning how to create and manage my own web site then realized my time could be better spent focusing on my overall vision and mission.

I could have spent days learning a software program and designing a site, but that would have taken me miles away from my vision.

I would have been working in my business and not on my business.

Keep this in mind for yourself. You are the visionary of your business. You need to remain focused on the big picture. If you have time consuming tasks that can be better handled by others, hand over the reigns.

Know that you are rewarded for the results you create, not for how many hours you had to sweat and toil to create them.

6. Mastermind Groups and Support Systems

You cannot do it alone and you do not know it all.

Growth and prosperity are accelerated when you have a strong support system in place.

By having a mastermind group and support system in place, you will have a continual source of information, a direct link to hundreds of resources, encouragement, and a means of accountability.

These partners will help you remain focused and on track with your business while being good to yourself.

7. Maintain Strong Client Relationships

It requires 16 times more effort to acquire a new client than it does to keep an existing one.

Treat your clients like gold. Nurture your relationships with them and go the extra mile to make them feel valued and appreciated. Imagine every client as a million dollar client and treat him as such.

If you had a million dollars in your hand, you wouldn’t throw it away would you? You would protect it and treat it with care.

If your client feels valued and appreciated, he will go out of his way to share his gratitude with others.

Strong relationships will grow your business. People will seek you out. Focus on the relationships you build and the profits will follow.

8. Never Stop Learning

If you decide one day that you have achieved absolute wisdom and there is no more room for improvement, your business will start to wither.

Human beings evolve. Entrepreneurs evolve. There is no absolute perfection. Make continuing education mandatory.

Fill yourself with information about selling, marketing, your industry, your competition, your client demographics and psychographics, copywriting, economic trends, new product development, etc.

By using these strategies you will create breakthroughs for yourself and your business.

Take some time in the next couple of days to find a quiet place for yourself to sit and write down your vision and goals.

Put these strategies into place.

Revisit your notes every week and see how you are doing. What results have you experienced so far? Where do you need to make adjustments? Have you implemented all of the strategies?

Some home-based business owners are so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead they jump right in to building a business without creating any structure or implementing any strategies.

Many small and home-based business owners fail due to inconsistency, lack of focus, poor structure, ineffective strategies, and eventual burnout.

Invest the time and energy necessary to ensure your success.

Six Sanity-Saving Scenarios to Turn a Massive Breakdown Into a Powerful Business Breakthrough

There I was. Depressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Despite my best efforts to have a smooth running ship and organize my event, I realized I had a significant breakdown in my process. I admit, it wasn’t the end of the world, but come on, I teach this stuff! It was one week before we went live on our new program, we were preparing the workbooks for production, and I realized, no one ordered the right tabs! Yikes!

It got me thinking how a client of mine had shared a great story about their direct mail marketing campaign. A lot of money had been invested in buying a list of qualified candidates. But every step of the way there was breakdown in the process – the guy who formatted the list didn’t set it up right, the assistant didn’t have the proper envelopes, and they had no postage when they needed it. My client laughed as he told me this, but I knew he was frustrated!

Well, I’ve learned over the years that a breakdown means that something very valuable is happening – I have new insight into how I can improve my process, my attitude, or my belief so that problem never happens again.

Let’s look at a few examples of how breakdowns can occur in our business or life.

– A business partnership goes from the honeymoon phase to the divorce phase, all from a simple miscommunication around “who is doing what” with the budget.
– After training your new team for six months, you realize a key person continues to not follow through on your requests in a timely manner. You are worried you may have to let them go, even though they seemed like a perfect fit at the interview.
– Many late nights and nose-to-the-grind-stone days later, you realize that your big speaking debut will not be flawless because your brochures and products did not get shipped by the supplier.
– A wonderful new client suddenly becomes a nightmare when they keep adding new deliverables to the project agreement – but don’t want to pay you any additional money.

These are typical scenarios that many of my clients and associates have experienced. What I have noticed is there can be a difference in how people handle these types of breakdowns. Some people might freak out, scream and yell, and blame everyone else for the breakdown. That tends to be the “victim-mentality” type who struggle in life. The “success-oriented” type is the one who says, “OK, how can I make my process better?” Here are Six Sanity-Saving Scenarios that can turn that breakdown into a breakthrough.

1. Strengthen Communication.
When you have a miscommunication with someone, it is usually a sign that someone “assumed” something along the way. Make sure that you use the “listen first, speak second, confirm your message last” method to make sure everyone is on the same page.

2. Delegate Effectively.
There are 3 key elements for effective delegation to your virtual assistant: what you want, when it is due, and how to communicate completion. If you miss one of these steps, you will most likely have problems with the tasks you delegate. In the Virtual Team Building Telebootcamp, we spend quite a bit of time on this subject as it seems to be a big area for breakdowns!

3. Improve Skills.
Often times, when something is not done properly, it is because the person doesn’t know how to do it. Find out what skills, education or training they need so they can complete the job properly.

4. Improve Your System.
If the skills are there, then most likely the system (or the process to complete it) is broken. Identify in writing using a checklist, flow chart or written request what exactly needs to be done. Make sure that every element that can impact the quality of the end result is included.

5. Slow Down.
Ever heard the saying that someone is like a “bull in a china shop?” That means they are racing forward breaking everything in their path. Often people move so fast they leave a massive path of carnage – including their teams, their clients and their families – in the wake. Even in the Fast-Track Mastermind where we focus on speed implementation, the key is remembering Rome was not built in a day.

6. Be a Leader.
If you feel like mutiny on the bounty, perhaps your virtual team doesn’t understand the vision anymore. Being a leader is inspiring others to support and follow your vision. If they aren’t following, you are not leading. Revitalize the vision – it will work wonders.

The bottom line is that life happens and breakdowns will occur. We have all heard the saying, “breakdown, breakthrough.” Well it is true. I have experienced enough adversity in my life to fill an ocean liner. It is up to us to choose to respond to these situations with a positive attitude to make them work for us – not against us. So take those challenging situations and look for the opportunity to strengthen your personal mindset and your business systems.

Now, it’s your turn. How will you take a breakdown in your life and turn it into a breakthrough? I encourage you to take note of where the problems occur and brainstorm with your team, your family, or your friends to come up with possible “breakthroughs!”

The Ultimate Small Business Breakthrough Strategy

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to breakthrough from one level of success to the next? Your business grows to a point and then stops dead in its tracks. Every move forward is met by a setback. It’s beyond frustrating.

Your first thought is to beef-up your company’s marketing efforts. You hire outside consultants. You build a new website. You invest in expensive brochures. You spend a fortune of money and still you can’t breakthrough.

Your expensive consultants shrug their shoulders and move on to their next victim. Meanwhile, you pay their bills and wonder what went wrong.

It’s as if an invisible force-field is holding your company back.

What can that force-field be?

The answer is simple, and effects every business regardless of industry, size or stage of development:

Business growth is self limiting – and, the limiting factor is your time.

You can’t breakthrough because you have run out of time.

Think about your company’s last significant growth spurt. To take advantage of that growth, you needed to coordinate all the moving parts of your business. You needed to sell your prospective customers, take orders, answer their questions and correct problems.

As you work with new customers, what happens to your older relationships? Well, you’re only human, and you only have so much time. Odds are, you banked on the loyalty of established relationships, and freed up time – at your older customer’s expense — to nurture your new relationships.

For the most part, your strategy works because your customers love you. However, you upset just enough older relationships to offset your new business growth. On top of that, you may experience normal attrition – a customer might move, go out of business or merge with a different organization. In the end, you may experience a net sales loss.

Your circumstances may be a little different but the results are the same. You’re stuck in neutral. No matter how hard you gun your marketing engine – no matter how hard you work – you are going nowhere.

Now, at least you can understand why – because business growth is self limiting. You’re working so hard “in your business” that you don’t have the time you need to work “on your business.”

What’s the solution? How can you free up your time so you can breakthrough to unlimited success?

The answer is simple: You need to build a solid business foundation that allows you to responsibly delegate your work to an empowered team.

The key phrase is “responsibly delegate.” Sure you can hire employees and fob your work off on them, but this will only provide a temporary fix. In the long run, this strategy makes you too dependent on employees who can quit with a moments notice.

Think about the key employees you rely on, right now, in your business. What kind of stress would you experience if just one key member of your company suddenly quit or had an unexpected leave of absence? Now multiply your aggravation and imagine if two key employees quit at the same time.

Can you see how dangerous it is to become too dependent on employees?

A permanent solution is to build a solid business foundation that standardizes your company’s day-to-day operations including an effective leadership routine. Your objective is to make yourself irrelevant to day-to-day operations and to make your employees “plug-and-play.”

Imagine the benefits of transforming your company into a business that runs itself:

* Your stress levels will melt away.

* Your business can grow quickly withoutlosing older customers.

* The value of your business skyrockets because prospective buyers are attracted to growing company’s that are easy to manage.

* You can take a long vacation without worry.

* You improve customer service, innovation, productivity, employee morale, etc.

Increase Income – 7 Powerful Steps to a Business Breakthrough in 2010

Isn’t it time to breakthrough barriers holding you back from achieving more income in your business? What it takes to is confidence you can do it, courage to take action, and a solid plan and system to transform your business into something special.

Achieving extraordinary results in your business requires you to open up your mind, and do things differently than the way you’ve become accustomed in the past. To help you start the New Year in a powerful way, I am sharing with you seven powerful steps you can follow to make 2010 a spectacular year for you and your business.

The seven steps to follow to achieve a business breakthrough in 2010 are:

Step 1: Discover you authentic brand identity
Step 2: Clarify your market niche
Step 3: Design a profitable business model
Step 4: Develop creative packages
Step 5: Raise your fees
Step 6: Build your credibility
Step 7: Increase your list of leads and prospects

Step 1: Discover your authentic brand identity

Many entrepreneurs struggle with discovering their brand identity, which is something that communicates who they are, and how they want to position themselves to their market, relative to all other brands. Without a brand identity, you look flat and lifeless to your market, and don’t communicate a personality or clear message to attract the right clients you will buy from you.

Your authentic brand identity captures the essence of who you are, communicates your values, personality, and what you stand for to your market niche. By successfully communicating your brand identity, you will attract your ideal client, the person most likely to buy from you. Also, what this means, is you will repel people who do not have anything in common with you, and will probably never buy from you.

Examples of strong brands and their archetypes we all know are Levi Jeans-Explorer, Lady Diana-Innocent, Nike-Hero, and Tom Petty-Outlaw. Archetypes evoke strong, deep emotions that everyone can connect to, and understand. The twelve ancient archetypes and primary attributes associated with them are:

1. The Innocent – Wholesome, pure
2. The Explorer – Seeker, adventurous
3. The Sage – Thinker, philosopher
4. The Hero – Warrior, change the world
5. The Outlaw – Rebellious, liberated
6. The Magician- spiritual, holistic
7. The Regular Guy/Gal – Not pretentious, straight shooter
8. The Lover – Seek True Love, intimacy
9. The Jester – Playful, trickster
10. The Caregiver- selfless, compassionate
11. The Creator – Innovative, artistic
12. The Ruler – Leader, confident

Which archetype are you? Think about these twelve archetypes, their related attributes, and determine which one resonates most with you.

Step 2: Clarify your market niche

One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make, without fail, is they don’t have a clearly defined target market. They think they do, that it is women business owners who have a service business, or work-at-home moms, or people who have household incomes of $150,000 or higher, or businesses involved industry “X.” This information tells you very little about the buyer, how they make buying decisions, what motivates them to buy, and what values are important to them.

Lack of clarity about your target market will keep your income level stuck at its current level, no matter how hard you market. The reason is without a clearly defined market, you are marketing to everyone, and not reaching anyone.

It is imperative to determine exactly who your market niche is, and where you can find them. You need to know your market niche so well, that if you pass this person on the street, or you drive by their company, you can identify they are your ideal clients.

Step 3: Design a profitable business model

Most entrepreneurs’ business models don’t work, simply because they consciously have never thought out a well-defined business model. A business model is simply what activities you do to make money in your business.

Here are two some quick ideas how to create a better performing business model:

1. Decide on three core ways you will be paid for your topic, such as through teleseminars, workshops/retreats, and coaching programs.

2.Decide what percent of your income will come from each of these three core activities.

By doing these two simple steps, you will gain clarity about the activities you must focus on doing in your business to generate income, and you will also prioritize your activities.

Step 4: Develop creative packages

Packaging your services makes it easier for clients to make buying decisions. The reason for this is think about your services you provide, and this includes paid-for services, as well as ones you provide for free, such as telephone and email support, a free consultation or needs analysis, etc. It becomes quite a long list, doesn’t it? Now, try to sell these services to your potential clients. It becomes confusing, and overwhelming to your clients, as well as to you. The end result is a buying decision is delayed or never happens.

Packaging your services makes it easier for your potential clients to conceptually understand what your offerings are, makes it easier for them to make a buying decision, and it makes it easier for you to sell your products and services. Offering three different levels of packages, at three different price points, also offers more opportunity for your clients to say yes to your offerings.

Step 5: Raise your fees

Many entrepreneurs give away too much of our personal services for free, and I have to say I have been guilty of this for years. We give away free coaching, free consulting, free design work, and then we wonder why people don’t buy.

The best way to raise your fees is to determine the value of the results you offer your clients. This will convince you to change your fees overnight!

For use coaches and consultants, we typically do a needs analysis and assessment, by which our client then knows exactly what needs to be done to fix the problem. This has to stop, because you are giving away your coaching and consulting for free. To have confidence to increase your fees you must first determine the value of the results you create for your clients. A simple way to do this is brainstorm a list of thirty results clients can expect by working with you. Those results for your client could be:

– Raise your fees so you can potentially double your income in 2010

– Learn a sales process that gets people to effortlessly say “Yes” to your offers, making you more sales, a higher conversion rate

– Identify your brand archetype so you authentically and easily communicate who you are, and take out the guesswork about how to brand yourself

– Identify the right words to use to attract your target market

– Increase confidence and eliminate doubt

Think about the top result your client ultimately wants to get from working with you, such as ‘increase income,’ and quantify the result, if you can.

Step 6: Build your credibility

Another way to charge higher fees is to build your credibility, by being known and sought after as an expert in your field. The more people who know about you be seeing, hearing, and reading about you in different places, the easier it will be for you to command higher fees. There are a number of ways to build your credibility, including:

– Submitting press releases
– Being interviewed by a reporter
– Speaking in public
– Conducting teleseminars
– Being a guest on other peoples’ teleseminars
– Writing and publishing articles
– Writing and publishing a book
– Posting entries on popular blogs
– Becoming active on social media networks, such as Twitter and Facebook

Not only are these activities powerful ways to build your credibility, but they are also easy to do. Pick a few activities to focus on, build your credibility and celebrity, and raise your fees.

Step 7: Increase your list of leads and prospects

Be increasing your credibility and celebrity, this will give you an opportunity to increase your list of leads and prospects, people who may buy from you. Make sure you have a way to capture leads, people who are interested in learning more about your products and services. Without a way to capture leads, you will have no way to follow-up with them, and they will be gone forever.

Once you capture a lead, have a very strong follow-up strategy in place. Following up means determining how you will stay in touch with your leads, and how often. Some ways to stay in touch and follow-up are through an ezine publication, direct mail, thank you cards, birthday cards, special offers for customers only, email promotions, or calling and emailing directly, etc.

3 Ah-Ha’s From the Online Business Breakthrough Workshop

I recently returned from my coach Alicia Forest’s Online Business Breakthrough Workshop. It was very refreshing, actually, as the event was kept purposely small to give it a true workshop feel. I had a lot of fun not only learning, but networking with the others and finding out all about their particular businesses.

Now that I’ve had time to absorb and reflect upon the event, a couple of key things stand out to me, and I thought it would be helpful to share them with others as well.

1. People will tell you what they want, if only you’d ask.

A bit of a “duh” moment here for me! This is something I preach but don’t always practice. I actually ask people who join my list initially what they would like help with via a survey—and this is done automatically. Meaning, it is part of the autoresponder messages they receive when they sign up for my free 5-part e-course.

However, I realized that there are many people who have been on my list for a long time who I haven’t reached out to in order to find out what they currently want. (You can be sure I’ll be remedying this shortly.;)) Not only that, but I’ve been dutifully filing away that priceless information I receive from the new subscribers and not always reviewing it as much as I should. Ok, WAY less than I should. Big ah-ha!

2. Never underestimate the value of bringing people clarity.

One of the best parts of this event was not just meeting online friends for the first time in person, but meeting some of my blog readers and newsletter subscribers for the first time as well. That was such a treat for me—and interestingly, once home, I realized that several people came up to me and shared something similar: that they find my information valuable because a) it’s not fluff and b) I provide clarity on the topics I teach in a world where there’s so much overwhelm and confusion.

I was honored to hear that and so grateful to know that people appreciate it. It’s nice to know you’re on the right track. If you are providing a service or product that helps un-complicate or demystify something for others, take comfort in knowing how valuable that is to them!

3. It’s not about the social media tools and tactics, it’s the space between.

It’s about the relationship. At first glance, this seems very obvious to me. And before the event, I certainly knew this already, no doubt. In fact, I even refer to myself as a relationship marketing specialist. However, it wasn’t until chatting during a break in the content with a colleague that this was really driven home for me.

The names of the tools and websites might change, and yes, a lot of what I teach is about web-based marketing, but at its core, it’s about people. A business owner with something to offer and a prospective buyer with an interest. Two people who most of the time need to form some sort of relationship first before the sale can occur.

And what I LOVE and never tire of teaching others about is that space between. It’s almost like a courtship, that space where the relationship blossoms. And it’s SO important, hokey as it may sound.

But yes. It’s so much more than Facebook, or Twitter, or newsletters or blogs—and when the names and technologies change (and they will), that courtship, that relationship building will remain and be as important as ever. And I’ll still adore it.

Thinking again about my ah-ha’s reminds me that no matter how expensive, or how hard it is to be away from family, or how much travel is involved-getting out there to events once in awhile can not only be great for business, but can help you develop personally as well.