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Character Discernment: How to Find Safe People

Have you ever met someone who seemed fake? They’re charming, funny, and confident. Yet there’s something about them that’s off?

Your intuition waved a huge red flag in your mind’s eye, signaling caution! DO NOT PROCEED!

And what did you do?

You ignored the warning and form a connection with that person to only regret it later.

We’ve all been there.

I’ll be the first to admit of learning the hard way.

Character discernment is like completing an American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. It’s incredibly challenging, but with practice, patience, and self trust, it can be accomplished and very necessary for protecting yourself and your business.

What makes character discernment challenging?

From personally experience and observation, I have uncovered 4 basic truths.

1. Adults have become masters at hiding our true selves from the world. Western society has taught us we must be something more than who we are to belong. The search for belonging and acceptance motivates us to consume things we believe will “fix us”

2. Not trusting yourself.  There have been countless times I trusted others before myself.  Yes, I was naive and yet I didn’t know my own power so I freely gave it away.  How many times have you trusted someone’s word over or your intuition? What about a group of friends, or experts? We naturally look to peers and expert opinions before trusting our own judgement.

3.  We judge others based on qualities outside of character traits. Some of us discern people based on their personality, looks, financial status, ethnicity, etc.  It’s only when we look at character are we truly able to connect with safe people.

4. Allowing emotions to over-ride rational thinking. We buy out of emotion. Marketers know that, sales people know that, and manipulators know that. Being able to pull back those feelings and think things through would save a lot of money and heart-ache.

 How to find safe people

Safe people are those who are trustworthy, reliable, and genuine. They’d never intentionally bring you harm and want the best for you. Finding safe people involves being aware of patterns in behavior and conversation, self-reflection and dealing with your own short comings and sticking to personal boundaries.

 

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Intuition:Optimize YOUR Brain Power Part 2

As a child, relying on my intuition was second nature. The sun was my watch, I knew what mood my mother was in by the sound of her footsteps, and could smell the rain before it came.

Yet as I grew older, I relied on it less and less.  I educated my intuition away.

Now, as I stare my forties in the eye, it has become a priority to reclaim that powerful relationship with myself I had as a child.

How can I return to the awareness I once had?

First I must understand what I’m reclaiming.

How do you define intuition?

You might define intuition as a gut feeling, or leading with your heart, but it’s much more than that.

Ancient Polynesian navigators were able to map most of the Pacific Ocean without the use of  tools.  They used all five senses to gain knowledge of the waves, clouds and stars. The navigators were able to read the state of the ocean and traveled hundreds of miles on small canoes without getting lost.

Polynesians aren’t the only people to achieve extraordinary accomplishments without the use of tools or technology.  Yet their story reveals 2 fundamental truths:

  1. How we relate to the world builds intuition.
  2. Intuition is an experiential intelligence.

More than 95% of your brain doesn’t use language.  It relies on data collected from your 5 senses. All that information is translated into language and emotions for us to plan and take action. In other words, the majority of our brain is used to relate and understand the world while less than 5% is used to manipulate it.

Yet, we spend the majority of our bran power to manipulate our world.

No wonder we are overstressed, burned out, and in a hurry.

If you want to use more of your brain power, strengthening your intuition is the answer.

How can you become more intuitive?

Building intuition requires being fully aware of your environment and self awareness. Here are 4 daily exercises to improve your 6th sense.

  1. Reflect on your emotional state. Understanding what triggers certain emotions will help to improve self awareness, control reactions, and become more proactive.
  2. Breath deeper. It may sound too simple to be true, but most people take shallow breathes. Breathing deeper will give the body more oxygen, keeping you calm, and relaxed. This will make it much easier to slow down, be observant and notice patterns.
  3. Take in your surroundings. What does it smell, touch, taste, sound, look, feel like today? Asking yourself these questions daily will help you become in tune with yourself, and your environment. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice patterns will start to emerge and you’ll be able to tell if something’s off.
  4. Go for a walk. Fresh air does the mind good. Experience beauty of nature and slow down.

Intuition is an internal compass that help us make sense of the world.  It grounds us, keep us safe, and bonds us to each other.  Strengthen your intuition and watch a new world unfold before you!

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How Personal Touch Will Grow Your Business

How many times have you read about the importance of personal touch in business?

Sure, it sounds sophisticated, but what does it mean and how do you apply it to business?

Committed entrepreneurs struggle with answering these questions and are hesitant to verbalize their challenges, but they shouldn’t.

Let me reassure you, they are not stupid questions.

In fact, many business leaders struggle with applying personal touch tactics because the benefits aren’t identified or measured.

We all have an idea what personal touch means and if Gary Vaynerchuk does it, so should we.

But how much time and effort should we give to personal touch communications and what’s the ROI?

I mean, come on, who has the time to video blog 25 times a day?

When personal touch is applied effectively, it results in repeat business and referrals. Instead of pursuing business, you become the pursued.

In other words, people reach out to YOU to purchase YOUR products/services.

Now how powerful is that?

Personal touch builds the back-end of your business.

Or what I like to call pillow money.

Imagine business flowing to you effortlessly. Clients consistently buying your products and referring others without you asking them.

Yes, it’s very possible and personal touch tactics can get you there.
With the right combination of personal touch and automation, you can become a premier vendor in your industry.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits, let’s define what “personal touch” means.

If you were to google the phrase, you’ll find it simply means to make something less impersonal.

Pretty vague right?
But let’s dig deeper.

Personal touch is all about how you want people to feel when engaging with them. It includes the first interaction and beyond. Every touch point is an opportunity to reinforce that emotion about you.

Whatever emotion you want to evoke determines the tactics and methods of communication to apply in your business. Personal touch can be anything from addressing customers by their first name on email blasts, to appreciation gifts.

What’s important is how you want your customers to feel about you.

For instance, if you want your clients to feel special, a few tactics would include always addressing them by their first name. When sending email blasts, they only see their email not the thousands of other recipients, calling them on their birthday, acknowledging a milestone in their life, etc.

The secret to adding personal touch is the right balance of small tactics that leaves a lasting impression. It’s repeatable, consistent, and it doesn’t take a lot of resources for it to have serious impact. In fact, it can be done on a shoestring budget.

Clients want your TIME and ATTENTION. It’s a basic human need to be acknowledged and accepted. Simple yet thoughtful communication will show clients the time and effort you put into nurturing a relationship with them.

It ultimately shows you care.

In short, personal touch is about how you want your clients to feel. That emotion determines your tactics and communication methods. Whatever you decide, it shouldn’t use a lot of resources. In fact, you should be able to do it on a shoestring budget. Last, consistent thoughtful communication will show clients you care which will open up the flood gates to pillow money!

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How Client Retention Contributes To The Greater Good


If you were to ask an entrepreneur what keeps her up at night, there’s a good chance she’s worried about attracting new clients.

Client retention and referrals takes a back seat to the bright and shiny new client.

We all know repeat business is the low hanging fruit of sales.

In fact, the National Law Review reports it can cost up to 5x more to acquire new customers than to keep current ones.

But customer retention isn’t sexy to many business leaders because it requires maintaining relationships.

And relationship management takes a level of commitment some aren’t accustomed to.

Besides the financial benefits of client retention, there’s also an intrinsic value you should consider.

As social isolation is a growing public health issue, client retention efforts can reduce the effects of loneliness.

I know it seems borderline ridiculous to consider loneliness a threat to public health, but according a Harvard Business Review article titled Work and the Loneliness Epidemic, Vivek Murthy states “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity. It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety.”

What’s alarming are the millions of people who are suffering from social isolation.

In the Daily Science News, an article titled Social Isolation, Loneliness could be greater threat to public health than obesity,
“An estimated 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study. In addition, the most recent U.S. census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and, since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined.”

With the number of people suffering from loneliness in the millions, chances are your clients are being affected.

Loneliness carries a hefty price tag in business as it reduces task performance, limits creativity, and impairs reasoning and decision making which translates to thousands of dollars being loss.

Smart business leaders can help reduce loneliness in a number of ways.

Create add value that foster social connection. You can provide opportunities for clients to connect, promote social gatherings in newsletters, and reach out to your rock star clients with a phone call.

Provide opportunities for employees to build stronger connections. Provide opportunities for staff to get to know each other such as allowing a few minutes during weekly meetings for staff to share something about themselves.

Reach out to your network. Check up on people you haven’t seen or heard from in a while with a phone call. They’ll appreciate your call and you maybe the only one who cared enough to check in.

Being connected to others is a fundamental human need and it’s essential for business. Strengthening client relationships adds to your bottom line and contributes to the greater good.

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Purpose Revealed: Serving Entrepreneurs

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve gone off script with the last few posts and you may be wondering,”What the heck is going on?”

I’ve written about travel for several months and now you see posts about business and self-improvement.
Confusing right?

First, I’d like to apologize for the confusion.

The last thing I want to do is confuse my readers. I enjoy travel and believe in all the benefits it has to offer I’ve uncovered my true passion, helping entrepreneurs.

You know that feeling of complete bliss get after doing something you truly enjoy?

Well that’s the feeling I get when I serve entrepreneurs.

It’s time to accept my calling and share my wisdom with the world.

As a small business owner, I understand the challenges we face wearing multiple hats. We work countless hours marketing, serving others, and improving our business.

My entrepreneurial journey has been filled with triumphs and mistakes, Mount Everest peak highs and deep ditch valleys lows. Yet, through it all, I’m stronger, more confident.

I’ve spent countless hours prospecting, and feeding the marketing beast and almost depleted my resources. If I knew what I know now, I could have saved thousands of dollars and be further along in my business.

I want to share what I’ve learned with so entrepreneurs can avoid the same mistakes I’ve made.

I want your business journey be less tumultuous, and more fulfilling.

I’m committed to helping small business owners create relationship focused marketing strategies that are aligned with their branding and lifestyle.

We all know relationships are key to living a fulfilled life. It turns out the same is true for building a strong, sustainable business. There is a trend of hacking business relationships and it’s costing entrepreneurs money!

What if you could turn key clients into permanent referral sources? How much time and money would you save? How much money would you earn? It’s time to work smart not hard!

Future posts will focus on my passion and I ask for your patience as I transition. I’ll continue to write about travel as it relates to business and still include hot vacation deals from time to time.

If my new focus doesn’t interest you, no hard feelings. Share this posts with someone who would benefit from the information. If you’re a service provider and you’re tired of feeding the marketing beast, than stay tune for future posts.

Thanks for your understanding!

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Relationships: Lessons From A Children’s Show

As I was preparing for the day this morning, I could hear a children’s show on the T.V. “Do something nice for your neighbor” was sung every few minutes.
At first, I was a little annoyed. But as it continued I paused and walked in the living room to see what the show was about. The Neighbor Day episode of Daniel
Tiger’s Neighborhood was playing.

Every time Daniel and his friends sung the phrase, “do something nice for your neighbor,” they performed different activities to show kindness. Daniel helped a neighbor carry grocery bags, helped the mail man deliver packages, gave gifts to neighbors, etc.

I stood there and watched the rest of the show calling to memory the life lessons I was taught as a child and how those lessons prepared me for adulthood.

How often do we as business owners forget to show kindness to our network?

Doing something nice for others is the cornerstone of relationship building because is brings value to their lives.

We all know the importance of relationships in business and some of us are masters at connecting.
Yet there’s always room to show a little more kindness.

Is there someone in your network you’ve been thinking of and haven’t spoken to in a while? A name that continues to pop up during discussions or in social media.

I encourage you to pick up the phone and call that person to check up on him/her. Have a conversation with no hidden agenda, and ask how you can help them.
Maybe you’ll get a business deal out of it, maybe not. The point is to show you care with no strings attached.

When we focus on relationship building, business growth is one of many side effects. The big reward is creating a group of people who care for you and in the grand scheme of things, relationships is the true measurement of a fulfilled life.

 

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Business Networking: How To Become A Premier Vendor

Have you ever attended a networking event that was full of card pushers? You know the ones who pitch to you right away, stuff their business card in your hand, and quickly move on to their next target? They have no interest in connecting because all about them.

If you ever been to a networking event, chances are, you encountered someone like this or you might be the over zealous networker (yes, I was one).

Many professionals have written off networking groups and believe it’s a waste of time because of lack of new business. Yet, there’s great value in meeting like-minded professionals. With the right mindset and strategy, you can network your way to premier vendor status with my top 3 suggestions below.

Why do you network?

Most professionals attend networking events to attract new clients and rub elbows with influencers. We all want to grow our business and lead generation is a simple solution. Networking isn’t about pitching on the first encounter. It’s about connecting to other people’s network.  So it’s not the person you meet who you sell to, it’s their network. In addition, networking groups can provide more than leads when you find the right group. It can provide support, a safe place to experiment, and a mastermind.

Yes, a one stop shop!

I found a network group I enjoy. It’s a divers group of entrepreneurs from all walks of life, there’s plenty of seasoned experts, and everyone’s friendly. I always gain valuable information and connections when I attend.

As a result of attending this group, my business is growing, I’ve gained life long friendships, I’m collaborating with other entrepreneurs on a few projects, and I’ve strengthened a number of skillsets.

It’s well worth the investment to find the right network.

What can you do for the network?

The quickest way to become known, liked, and trusted in a networking group is to serve. If you focus on helping others solve their problems without asking for anything in return, you will become top of mind. Volunteering, donating refreshments, or taking attendance can  work to your favor.

Networking to build relationships

Networking isn’t the best way to feed your business overnight because relationships take time to build. Ask around and look for a network group you can consistently attend. 

If you’re looking for a quality network group, use the Meetup app to start your search. I highly recommend attending Wisconsin Business Owners meeting held every fourth Friday of the month.

What networking groups do you recommend? Are paid networking meetings better than free ones? We want to hear from you!

 

                                                                         THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG!
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