By k | March 31, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my writing names
is branded as humorous yet sensual.
Under this name,
I participate in character play.
I share terrible and often naughty puns.
It is an act (one facet of my personality)
but it is an act I believe in.

I’m THAT person.

Some readers (my readers) love it.
Some readers (not my readers) hate it.
But they all embrace it
as being authentic, consistent, real.

Daymond John,
Founder of FUBU,
shares

“You have to really understand your brand
and convince yourself first.

For example,
Richard Simmons has no problem being goofy;
he plays up who he is.
He’s not trying to act
like the P90X guy.

Once you understand who you are,
put it out there and own it,
people will accept it.”

Sell yourself on your brand first.

By k | March 30, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Everyone with a laptop or a phone
is now a critic.
Yes, we’ve talked about this before
but it bears repeating
because it is the new reality
and there’s no escaping it.

I turn as much of it off as I can,
avoiding sites where critics hang out,
avoiding the internet completely
when I’m creating,
but I still can’t avoid all of the criticism.

Entrepreneurs, artists, any doers
need, what I call,
rhino skin.

As fashion designer
Randi Rahm
advises

“Learn to get a tough skin.
Criticism will always be there
and you have to believe in yourself
to navigate through that.

If you don’t have the real passion
for the business,
then do something else.
Learn about related fields
and explore other options
around what you love.”

Learn how to deal with criticism.

By k | March 29, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

When I sold vegetables
at a roadside stand
as a kid,
I would say just about anything
to get prospects to stop
and listen to me.
I knew if they stopped long enough
to listen
to whatever foolishness
I was yammering on about,
I could get them to listen
to my sales pitch.

When writing blurbs for my romance novels,
my first goal is to grab the reader’s attention,
to get her to pause for a moment
and read more.

Cold calling is even more challenging.
But as Sara Blakely,
founder of Spanx,

shares
“Try to make them laugh or smile.
If you can do that,
you always get another 15 seconds.

Spend it saying
why you’re better than the other options.
Differentiation in those first moments
is crucial.

When I invented Spanx
I heard ‘no’ for two years.
It didn’t faze me.
I didn’t have a special ability,
it was sheer drive
and telling myself to keep going.”

An extra 15 seconds
of your prospect’s time
can make a big difference in your sales.
Do what you can to earn it.

By k | March 28, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I constantly joke about
my major mistake of the week
(some weeks,
I have a major mistake
every day).
I have a file brimming with stories
where I tried something new
and it didn’t work.
Clientk reading buddies know
I f*ck up here
quite often.

Failure is part of success.

As Sara Blakely,
founder of Spanx,
shares

“My dad encouraged us to fail.
Growing up,
he would ask us what we failed at that week.
If we didn’t have something,
he would be disappointed.
It changed my mindset at an early age
that failure is not the outcome,
failure is not trying.
Don’t be afraid to fail.”

Are you teaching your kids
it is okay to fail?
Have YOU accepted
it is okay to fail?

By k | March 27, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I receive an email a day
from bloggers
asking to write a guest post
for Clientk.
I hope this is spam
because I can think
of no other viable excuse
for NOT doing research
on a web-based venture.

Actually there’s no other viable excuse
for not doing research
on ANY venture.

As Mike Michalowicz
shares

“When you go to pitch that big prospect,
are your first words to them,
“Tell me about your business?”

If so,
you just offended them
because you didn’t make the effort
to learn about them.

They won’t tell you that.
They simply won’t hire you.

Go in with all the research
under your belt
before you start talking.
Then tell them what you know about them,
and ask them to correct you
where you may be wrong
(which you won’t be,
because you did the research).”

A salesman buddy has Google alerts
placed on all of his customers
and on key words in his industry.
It really is THAT easy.

Do your research on your prospect.

By k | March 26, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A buddy has been working on her book
for the past decade.
She wants it to be perfect.
But when she’s working on this book,
she’s not working on the next book.
She’s paying a price for perfection.

As Brian Gregg and Vivian Weng
share
“Companies that want to encourage employees
to take risks must also embrace
the concept of “good enough.”
We often see marketers spend weeks
chasing after the “perfect” solution
when a “good enough” solution already exists.

And remember,
those extra weeks have a cost.
At flash sales site Fab.com, for example,
70% of revenue is generated by email;
each extra day spent perfecting an email campaign
rather than actually sending the email
could mean up to $700K of lost revenue.”

Perfection has a price.
Take that price into account
when you’re deciding how perfect
you wish
your product to be.

By k | March 25, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies is a brilliant writer.
However,
whenever she gets close
to signing a lucrative deal
with a big publisher,
she finds some reason
to f*ck it up.
This happens again and again.

Another buddy finds a reason
to quit a job
whenever she gets a promotion.

My buddies barely pay their bills
yet they deliberately self-sabotage themselves.
Unfortunately,
this isn’t unusual behavior,
especially for women.

As Barbara Stanny in
The Secrets of Six-Figure Women
shares

“Underearners are subtle self-saboteurs.
Underearners unwittingly throw banana peels
in their own path in all sorts of ways,
like applying for work they’re not qualified for,
creating problems with coworkers,
procrastinating or leaving projects unfinished,
hopping from one job to another,
always stopping just short of reaching their goals.”

If this is you
and you truly DO want to be successful,
consider putting in safeguards
to stop this behavior.

By k | March 24, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Entrepreneurs don’t often talk about it

But as Carla Young shares

“It happens to every solopreneur
at one time or another.
Suddenly,
the freedom and flexibility
of having the ultimate control
of your destiny gives over to jealousy
for your corporate friends
with cushy 9-to-5 jobs
where all they have to do
to pay the mortgage is
show up…”

9 to 5 envy happens.

I work nights.
I work weekends.
My friends and family members
watch TV
and go to the cottage.
It would be unrealistic
NOT to be envious.

But this envy passes.

When I first made the switch,
I’d take a corporate-type contract job
and the envy would dissipate
within a couple weeks.

Now, I’ll take a weekend off.
I’ll watch TV like “normal” people do.
I’ll then get bored
and go back to business building.

9 to 5 envy happens.
Expect it.

By k | March 23, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Since you’re reading this blog,
you’re likely a doer.
Doers are rare.
Doers are also often
very, VERY busy.
We can become overwhelmed.
(this was me during the month
of February)

So what do you do
when you’re overwhelmed?

Mike Michalowicz suggests

“Create a list.
Write down (on paper)
everything you need to do.
This is critical,
because a big part of overwhelm
is the mental energy
of constantly thinking
of all the things you need to do.

Once you’ve written it all down,
it will release the need to remember,
and the fear of forgetting,
and a huge chunk of the stress
will go away.”

I do this
and it DOES work.

If you’re overwhelmed,
write what you need to do down.

By k | March 22, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Once I had my first taste
of contract work and freelancing,
I knew I would never be a full-time employee again.

Why would I?

As long as I kept my skills finely-honed
(and that is KEY),
I could work for any company I wanted
for however long I wanted.
I could work a freebie contract
with a start up or charity
one week
and the next week,
work for a Fortune 500 company.
I could manage a different type of project
every month.
It was so freeing!

I suspect more and more
highly skilled professionals
will discover what I did.

As Fabio Rosati shares

“Today there are some
14 million full-time online freelancers
in America alone.
By 2020,
it’s estimated
that one in three workers worldwide
will be freelancing online.”

“With so many workers
making the shift to self-employment,
large enterprise businesses
will now require a hybrid workforce
of full-time and freelance teams.

Small businesses, on the other hand,
may well be manned exclusively
by freelancers from around the globe
—with few workers ever having set foot
on the premises of the companies
they’re paid by.”

Can you use freelance employees
in your business start up?