“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” Margaret Wheatley
Here’s the whole thing in a nutshell: When you help others, they often help you. When you care about somebody, you want to help them.
Ferrazi suggests that instead of focusing on “networking”, focus on connecting and sharing your knowledge, time, energy and compassion. He reminds us that if you strip any business down to its basics, it’s about people selling things to other people. You’ve heard it before and it’s true: people do business with people they like.
1. Share your passions. When you spend time with someone who shares one of your passions, you’ll both let down your guard and really get to know each other. Have dinner with someone who shares your passion or engage in the hobby or activity. For one period of time, I was getting lots of requests to have lunch with others -at the same time I was trying to lose weight so didn’t want to eat out as often. I invited folks to take a walk with me instead and had many fruitful net-walking meetings. You may like to meet people over golf, at a sports event or by inviting them to a book club.
2. Treat business contacts like personal friends. There’s no need to draw a big line between the two types of relationships. Build trust with business contacts by showing your human side -not just the polished professional. Share what really matters to you including your interests and even your frustrations. By being authentic and human, you’ll build stronger bonds.
3. To Succeed, Make Others Successful. Be generous with others. Share your knowledge and your contacts. I’ve built a very successful grant writing profit center by doing my best to help other grant writers succeed. Your rewards may not come directly from those you are helping, but trust me, it comes back tenfold!
There’s a good chance you don’t. You may think you don’t have enough experience. You may fear that you can’t deliver high quality services. You may just not feel “good enough.”
If you are a true beginner you might want to charge a lower fee in order to gain experience; however, before you do this, I urge you to talk to a coach or a trusted advisor to do a “reality check.” You may not be able to see clearly all the life experience, knowledge and value you are bringing to the table.
If you are not a beginner, here are a few tips to effectively master the emotionally loaded topic of how to charge what your worth.
1. Pricing is an art not a science. There are no hard and fast rules. You can experiment. Establish a baseline by calculating the amount you absolutely must have each month to meet your expenses then double that amount to account for health insurance, savings, retirement and other business expenses you may not be taking into consideration.
You may want to triple your initial amount so that you’ll have money left over for travel and other enjoyments. Divide your total amount by 20 hours a week for 48 weeks (or the number of weeks you expect to work in a year). I say 20 hours because some of your time will be spent on marketing, administration, professional development, research, etc. If you will actually be delivering billable services more than 20 hours a week, adjust the formula to fit your situation. This amount is the minimum you need to be making during each hour of service.
Try a price on for size and see if you feel satisfied with delivering your service for that fee. If you feel resentment -you’re not charging enough. You can adjust your pricing till you find the range that fits.
2. When delivering services it’s always better to charge a project fee rather than an hourly fee. You are bringing value to the client -you are solving a problem -you are not trading dollars for hours of your vital life energy. Yes, I showed you in #1 how to establish an hourly rate -that’s so you would have an idea of how to price your project. Estimate the number of hours it will take to complete the project or deliver the service and you’ll have a project fee. Yes, sometimes you will find you underestimated and you will also find that sometimes you finish more quickly than you anticipated.
3. Expect the “gulp” factor. Each time I’ve stretched myself to raise my prices, I find myself swallowing, a gulp, as I quote the fee or write it into a proposal. But what a great feeling when the client says yes and you recognize your value. It gets easier with practice.
Deliver excellent service. Be reliable. Be honest. And charge what you’re worth!
I’d love to hear your thoughts – so go ahead and post them here.
Do you find yourself struggling between setting goals and just living in the present moment? There’s a tricky line to walk between the two. If you’re constantly focused on the future and your goals, you may be missing out on wonderful moments in the here and now. You may also have blinders on and not see unexpected opportunities right before you -something that might even be better than the goal you’re working on because you’ve got your eyes on that future prize that beckons.
I’ve found a balance that works pretty well for me between goal setting and enjoying the present -it might work for you too. First thing each day I spend some quiet time. Many successful people advocate this habit. William Penn said, “True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” So I sit. And watch my thoughts come and go. And after a few minutes I feel myself settling down. And many times, that still, small voice within gives me ideas that move my goal forward. This simple practice keeps me centered and able to be mindful during the day, enjoying the moments for what they are and it also keeps me focused when I am working on something related to my goal so I can get it done more quickly and efficiently.
Another thing that works is to consider what you will feel when you achieve your goal. For me the answer, regardless of the goal, is often that I feel confident, generous and free. When I’ve achieved something I experience confidence, I feel authentic and strong. I am able to be fully generous with others -with money and kind words and actions. And, I feel free…free to live my life the way I want to. A big key to all this is to pay attention to your current experiences that allow you to feel the way you believe your goal will allow you to feel. Chances are, you already have some of what you are seeking in your life right now. Do more of those things. The more you feel your desired feelings right now, the easier you’ll find it to get to your goal.
Lastly, always tell at least one person of your goal and get their support. Of course, be sure to tell someone who wants to support you in living life your way. If you don’t get this support, it’s much more difficult to stick with it -it’s so easy to live each day being pulled in the directions that other people want you to go.
So go ahead and do some goal setting. Know what you want to feel. Enjoy those feelings now, in the present. And live life YOUR way.
Astronomers recently discovered that there are three times as many stars in the universe than was previously thought.
Up till now, they have seriously underestimated the number of other suns in other galaxies – and that means there must be many more planets orbiting them where other life forms might exist. Mind blowing!
Which got me thinking…where are you seriously underestimating yourself?
I see it all too often in people -I can see their amazing potential, their strong qualities, their unique way of looking at the world, yet they stay stuck in old, tired habits that aren’t fulfilling them.
Here’s how to see the three times as many stars in your personal universe that you just might be overlooking!
1. Make a decision.
Want to have a six figure income? A lighter body? A meaningful relationship? Decide today that you will have that and that nothing will stop you.
2. Get clear.
80% of your success comes from being absolutely clear about what you want to accomplish.
3. Plan every day in advance.
This simple habit is a practice every successful person uses.
4. Use simple project planning.
What does the end look like? What steps have to be done to get there? Organize the list of steps by priority and sequence. Be accountable to someone else for getting the steps done. Delegate what you can and hold others accountable.
5. Follow the 80/20 rule.
Make your first activities of the day be the 20% vital ones that will contribute 80% of the value to you.
6. Focus and concentrate without distraction on the most important thing you need to accomplish and stay with it till i’s done. If it’s a large task, break it down into doable chunks so that you can complete one piece at each sitting.
When you apply these practices and accomplish major things -you generate amazing feelings of well being. You’ll be happy and energized and motivated to take on the next task. And you will see that there is indeed an amazing bounty of all good in your universe just waiting for you to reach out and take it.
Did you know that Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Brand Companies, works from home when he’s not flying around on his jets? I agree with his idea that in order to have a successful business you have to ENJOY it. You’ll be putting in a lot of time and energy, especially during y0ur first years, so why not spend all your precious life force on something you love?
He also says to praise people -a lot. Good advice and has worked well for me in my 10 years of business.
He shares a tip that I learned from Jim Rohn, motivational speaker…he carries around a notebook to jot down ideas, concerns and questions. Don’t let your genius thoughts disappear into the wind!
And even though his business ventures are huge, he has managing directors so he can “run a large group of companies in the same way a small business owner runs a family business – keeping it responsive and friendly.” There’s definitely an advantage to being small.
Here’s the entire article from Entrepreneur magazine -enjoy and thrive in your small business. http://bit.ly/bransonarticle
Igniting Your Entpreneurial Spirit,
A quick story.
In 2001, I found Thomas Leonard online. Thomas sparked the coaching movement with prolific writing, an online community and conferences.
I spent lots of time on his teleclasses and met him at one of his conferences in Vegas.
During one of his teleclasses, he talked about “vision” and not just your ideal day kinda vision but something so big it was impossible. His was “Everyone has a coach.” I came up with “Everyday a Vacation Day” and he liked it. I want everyone to look forward to each day because they’re doing what they love most of the time.
On Feb 12, 2003, I had a dream while sleeping. In the dream, Thomas came to me and I was gently holding him wrapped in a soft blanket. He said a few things that I can’t remember and then he was gone.
When I woke that morning, I got my tea and checked email. I was stunned to learn that Thomas had died that night of a massive heart attack at the age of 46.
Another wake up call reminder that we need to do what we love! (Those of you who have been part of our virtual community for a long time know that I’m not a “whoo whoo” kinda gal -this was definitely an unusual experience for me!)
I was walking this morning and suddenly remembered that phrase:”Everyday A Vacation Day” and got excited. I’m thinking of creating a training program around that title this fall.
What do you think about the title? I haven’t come up with a sub-title yet -if you’ve got an idea, I’d love to hear it. Is it something you’d be interested in? Would love to see your comments on this blog.
Ideas to take from this musing:
1. Life is short -live it YOUR way.
2. When you get a creative thought -listen, let it percolate a bit and then act!
I hope you’re enjoying some of these lazy, hazy days of summer…I know I am!
Many of you ask me how to choose from all your many ideas -which one should I work on NOW?
I also hear from many of you that you’re challenged by the “F” word (and I mean Focus!)
Here’s a powerful, easy 8 step system to choose your ideas, get them into action and completed.
1. Write down all your ideas. You don’t have to DO all of them but if you don’t write them down, you’ll lose a lot of your truly genius, creative gems.
2. Let is percolate for a few days. Come back to your list in a couple of days -some of those ideas you wrote down will seem downright wacky while others will take your breath away -I thought THAT? you’ll say to yourself.
3. Then ask yourself, what is the purpose for doing this? Hint -it’s not always money. It’s probably one of these – list building, lead generation, cash generation, product creation (this can be information products too), or building credibility.
4. Rank your list of ideas from 1-5 on how much this idea will get you to your current purpose (or whatever scale you like) with 1 being this won’t get me to my desired objective at all, to eureka! this is a 5 -I’m going to lock the door, turn off the phone and email and not come out till I’ve got this baby cooking!
5. Make a 2nd column with an estimate of what you think can happen if you focus on this for 40 days. Why do I pick 40 days? I like that there is a great significance to the number 40 in many spiritual traditions. And, I know how tempted I am to lose focus -in many spiritual stories, 40 days signifies temptation or a passage through something.
Next quantify your idea. How many people could you add to your list if you focused for 40 days? How many leads could you generate? How much cash will that information product bring in?
6. Right about now, the buts should be kicking in -small buts and those dreaded big buts. Write down 3 of them. Now write down 3 benefits of doing this focused project.
7. Now write down solutions to your obstacles or ways to prevent them. Then write down, very specifically, about what you’ll get from the benefits. Set dates for when you’ll experience these great things you’ll be, do or have from these benefits.
8. OK. Now it’s time to get into ACTION! Write down 5 actions you need to take to achieve this objective. For example, I’m working on a book right now -some of my next actions are to write an hour a day, interview some folks for stories for the book, decide on a hot title…see?
Some of your steps will be done by you, others like graphic design of a book cover, transcribing interviews etc. will be done by someone else.
So what idea will you focus on for the next forty days (some of you will complete your project even sooner!) Post a comment at www.authenticlifeinstitute.com/blog and let us know -then you’re making a commitment which will make it much more likely that you’ll keep moving forward -don’t you want to come back in 40 days and post about your great success? I’d love to hear them!
I resisted having a blog for years. I asked my virtual assistant to set one up for me in 2007 and promptly forgot about it. But now I’m a believer. Last month Google launched a new new web indexing system called Caffeine. According to Google,
“Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it’s the largest collection of web content we’ve offered. Whether it’s a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before.”
So what does this mean? Well one, your blog is an even more powerful marketing tool than ever. And two, you need to get posting twice a week. That’s ideal for keeping web traffic flowing to your website. Blogging lets you connect with your ideal clients or customers in a very human way.
It’s easy to get started. WordPress is free. The best way to go is to have an integrated blog and website. If you’re a non-techie like me, you can hire someone for a few hundred dollars to create this for you.
So get started. Drop a comment here about your new blog -there are people waiting for your unique message!
Ok. I’m as guilty as anyone of multitasking. Why? Because my brain works faster than most people can speak. Because it feels like I’m accomplishing more. Wrong. Research shows that multitasking reduces productivity by as much as 40%, reduces competency AND it’s stressful too. So how to quit the habit? If you are alerted with a sound from your computer every time an email comes in, turn it off. Turn off the ringer on your phone when you’re working on projects. Don’t check your blackberry or iPhone when your having lunch with someone. And here’s the best trick I’ve found – make your own self imposed deadlines shorter -cut ’em in half. Think you need an hour for that project? Decide to do it in 30 minutes -you’ll stay focused that way and it will feel great to get it accomplished. Believe it or not the focused time you spend on your project will be far less stressful than multitasking.
So give it a try. I’ll bet you’ll feel calmer, more present, and you’ll be giving others a true gift -your attention. Drop a line here and let us know how it goes for you.
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Now please notice I didn’t ask, how intelligent are you? That’s an entirely different question. Our culture puts a great deal of weight on assessments given to you when you’re in school…I.Q. tests, S.A.T.s, A.C.T.s…alphabet soup. This is unfortunate. These tests only measure a portion of the different types of intelligences including linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences.
Years ago, I was delighted to find Howard Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences in the K-12 school systems. He identified 8 different types of intelligences. They include linguistic (good with words), logical-mathematical (good with numbers and reasoning), spatial (picture smart), bodily kinesthetic (body smart), musical (music smart), interpersonal (people smart), intrapersonal (self smart) and naturalistic (nature smart).
Another author, Daniel Goleman, says we can also have emotional intelligence and that this kind of intelligence is an even stronger indicator of success than I.Q. Emotional intelligence can be learned, it’s not fixed at birth. The different emotional intelligences include self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved.
Ok. So what does all this have to do with you being happily self employed, working from home doing work you love and making plenty of money? I find that many of my clients doubt that they are “smart” enough to succeed in their own business. They often don’t recognize the gift of their own unique intelligence and how that gift can solve problems for others.
For example, I’ve met many interior designers who downplay their talent and under charge for their services. Now being someone who has had to return just about every piece of furniture I’ve ever bought on my own, I recognize clearly the gift of spatial intelligence in these designers. And that’s one intelligence I sure wasn’t blessed with! I save my self (and the sales clerks) lots of time and frustration by hiring designers.
Another example, I never knew that I had a natural ability for writing until I got to college. I assumed it was not difficult for anyone to write. Wrong! A college professor had us take an exam to determine if we needed to take a basic writing class. Of the 15 people who gave a writing sample that was judged by 3 teachers, mine was the only one that “passed” so I didn’t have to take that writing course. That’s when I had an aha moment of “oh, so this isn’t easy for everyone.” Prior to that, I just had no awareness of this gift. And now I am able to serve others with and charge well for my services.
So how are you intelligent? Don’t downplay your interpersonal and/or intrapersonal skills. Those are often even more important than some of the others. They allow you to build rapport and relationships, to empathize with others and to be a good listener. These are some of the strongest skills you need in business and sales. Would love to hear about how you are intelligent -post a line or two here on my blog: http://authenticlifeinstitute.com/blog/ and how you are starting to honor your unique intelligence. I can just about guarantee that you have far more capacity than you give yourself credit for!