Why a Positive Attitude is Essential to a Positive Bank Balance

Today we’re going to talk about how and why maintaining a positive attitude is essential to building and maintaining a profitable business. Let me start by telling you a story. A few weeks back, my cell phone stopped working. So I found myself spending Saturday evening with what seemed to be half the city, at the cell phone store. And of course with my three kids in tow, who were thrilled. What I encountered at the cell phone store was a surprisingly hostile crowd. I overheard complaints about repair prices, wait times . . . saw customers arguing with each other about who should be standing where, and found myself very inconveniently placed next to a man who was demanding to see camera footage from the store, to prove that he hadn’t been in the store on a day earlier. I still don’t know what that was all about. But, there was nothing particularly bad about my visit to the store. I had to wait a little longer than was convenient, but the store appeared to be fully staffed and appeared to be running as efficiently as it could with the number of people that were in there. The sales associate that was trying to help me was friendly, knowledgeable and took care of my needs. But, as I continued to witness all of this discontent around me, and then as another customer attempted to engage me in her complaining about the wait time she was having, I found myself becoming frustrated and irritable, just like the other people around me were. And I really couldn’t identify any basis...

Goal Setting: The #1 Reason it’s NOT Working For You

Today I'm starting a series on goal setting. I don't know how long this series will be. At least 3 articles. Before you head off in search of a more "practical" article like, "How to Get 1 Million Followers on Twitter, or "Step-by-Step to $10,000 in the Next 30 Days," give me one more paragraph. The best "how to build a profitable business" advice in the world won't get you there if you don't know your exact destination, and have an accurate map to get you there. Your "destination" is your goal. And if you aren't consistently setting and meeting goals, you need to read further.  The good news is, if you're failing at this whole "goal setting" thing, it's not your fault. It's just that you're being taught to go about it the wrong way. Today, we'll start to change that. The biggest reason you're failing to grow the 7-figure business of your dreams is that you're not setting realistic and achievable goals.  You're concentrating on the Prize, and not the Process.  We'll talk about that more in just a minute. But let's start from the beginning. Step One: What's NOT in the Secret Sauce But the first step in stopping the cycle of failing at goal setting is to understand this ~ the secret sauce in your business is not more Facebook fans. It's not a lower Alexa rank for your website, a higher Klout score, or figuring out how to get Lady Gaga to retweet you.  All of those things, and more, will come. In fact, they will have a funny way of taking care of...

3 Key Reasons Customer Service Matters

There are many things I love about being an entrepreneur. Going to live events with my fellow entrepreneurs ranks right up there in the top spot. This weekend, I was blessed to attend Kim Garst's Social Boom event in Tampa, Florida. Many of my best friends online – and now offline too! – were there. We stayed at the Tampa Marriot Westshore Hotel. And the customer service there was awesome. The shuttle driver remembered our names. The management volunteered a bigger room when they overheard my comment that ours was a little small for me and 3 kids. And, they specially packaged snacks for my kids to eat during their afternoon adventures (without me ever asking, of course).  I could literally give you an entire article about services they provided to me, their customer, that went far and beyond what I've ever received at the many hotels I've stayed in. I will go back to this hotel when I am in Tampa, without doing any price checking. Not because the beds were more comfortable, the bathroom was nicer, or the hotel restaurant was tastier. None of those things happened. All of the physical aspects of the hotel were adequate, but none were extraordinary. What will keep me coming back there is the people. And what they did for me, and how they made me feel.  The same is true of your online business. You provide products and services that are similar to those offered by others in your market. But, you can provide customer service that will set your business completely apart from every other in your market. It...

The Right Way to Use Automation in Social Media

To automate or not to automate has been the subject of much debate since I began using social media. "You have to automate if you're going to have time to do anything else in your business," many have said. "But automation in social media means you aren't engaged with people," the purists argued back. And, perhaps the purists had a point, at one time. But, with the realities of social media these days, and the number of tools available to assist in your automation, you would be crazy if you were posting on all of your social media networks in real time. And, it would be impossible for you to have a profitable business without working 24/7. What those who argue against automation in social media miss is this hugely important rule: Automation does not equal absence. You can't schedule all of your content for the day at 7:00 a.m., close your social media networks and come back to check them again at 9:00 p.m. But you can schedule your content and still engage. Let's look at how. How to Schedule Everything      Your Posts Either the night before, or first thing in the morning, schedule all of your tweets, LinkedIn and Google+ business page posts for the day through Hootsuite. Schedule all of your Facebook page posts using the Facebook scheduler.  Plan your posts for your Google+ personal page and Pinterest. I know you probably don't use all of these social media networks daily, and I'm not suggesting you must, just pick the ones you use.      Your Engagement Again, either the night before or first thing...

7 Essential Tips for Successfully Working from Home

When people find out you work from home, they take that to mean you really don’t work at all. The vision of an entrepreneur who works from home that most people have goes something like this. You sleep until about 10, don’t shower or even get out of your PJs for days at a time, have plenty of time to get the laundry done and meals cooked, and then spend a few minutes a day at the computer doing something that vaguely resembles “work.” I’ve been working from home for 15 years now. And I’ve gotta say, I’ve never had a day that resembles that perception in the slightest. But, I have had days – well probably more like years – when I haven’t done it right at all. Working from home is not as easy as it seems. And, it’s not for everyone. When I first started, I of course saw only the upside to working from home. No commute, no distracting co-workers, plenty of time to get my business work done and my house work. In reality, productivity is a huge challenge when you work from home. Think about it. You’re at home, not at work. And at first, successfully working from home is about as natural as taking your laundry to fold at work would be. Over the years, here are the top seven things I have learned to do that have made it possible for me to successfully work from home. Some of my advice may vary from what you’ve heard before. But, as a single mom of three young kids, I deal in reality, not...