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...

Is Your Online Business Changing Lives? (Secret Ingredients Inside)

I hope you have a business plan. And no matter what business you are in, I hope part of your plan includes changing the lives of your audience. A business plan is essential to building a profitable online business.  It is your recipe for success. When I talk with people about their business plan, whether it be formal or informal, it’s pretty easy to get them going about things like website development, lead generation, and product creation.  But almost no one has a plan when it comes to client development. And I don’t mean the process of developing new clients.  I’m talking about how you are going to help your clients (or potential clients) with their own self-development. Many of you will have to resist the temptation to think “Well, this doesn’t apply to me. I’m not in the personal development, or self-help field.”  But you are wrong.  And that’s why the secret ingredients to your online business are missing.  And that’s at least part of the reason your online business is not as profitable as you want it to be. As an online business owner, you are necessarily a leader. As a leader, you have the responsibility to provide your clients with the best products and services your market has to offer. But, you also have another responsibility. And that is to make sure your clients are giving themselves the best they have to offer. Because the better you make your audience feel about themselves, the better they will feel about buying from you. Let me pause for a moment to say that this isn’t just about you making sales....

What if Your Online Business Cost $170,000?

The joys of an online business are abundant. You are your own boss. You set your own hours. And, you can be “in business” after spending very little money on start-up costs. These same facts that make online business ownership great, are also responsible for a lot of online business failures. Because they make your online business feel a lot like a hobby. After all, you are doing something you love. And in the beginning anyway, you are getting paid little to nothing for it. Isn’t that the definition of “hobby?” During the last week, we’ve been talking about ways that your online business should mirror a more traditional offline business. You can read about how to schedule your business, and how to connect with others to build your business if you missed those articles. Today we shift from physical steps you need to take to build a profitable online business, and look at the mindset that’s required to have a successful business. Mindset ~ love it, or hate it . . . I know people either love mindset talk, or hate it. You should love it, because your mindset determines what actions you take and how you take them. And your actions determine your success. The mindset problem stems from the fact that your online business does resemble a hobby more than a business in its early stages. And this fact makes it hard for most people to ever get out of the early stages of their business. Shifting your mindset to that of an offline business owner is, for most people, more important than any of the factors...

How to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into the Profit Zone

In my Bodyflow class (yoga/tai chi combo), we’ve been doing the “star” pose. It involves balancing on one leg and raising the other leg to the side as high as you can. As we’re holding the pose, the instructor will say “how big will you go,” to encourage us to raise our leg even higher. It’s very tempting to go just to your level of comfort. Where you feel good because you are perfectly balanced. And you look good to the rest of the class. What happens when you raise your leg too high? It’s a struggle. You eventually lose your balance. It appears to you, and everyone else, that you can’t do the pose. You’ve attempted to go “too big.” Because I’m almost always thinking about growing my business, when the instructor said “how big will you go,” it occurred to me that stepping out of your comfort zone during your workout is no different than going beyond your comfort zone in your business. When it comes to work, the “comfort zone” for most people is a steady paycheck working for someone else. Those unsettled souls who decide to start a business inevitably lose our balance, i.e. fail. And most of our friends and family are standing nearby to take note of our failure, and our ill-advised decision to try to go too big. But here’s the problem. If you never lift your leg any higher, then you’ll never be able to lift your leg any higher. On the other hand, if you keep lifting to the point of imbalance, that point will become increasingly higher. Same thing...

Can Motivation Make Your Online Business Profitable?

I love network marketing (aka direct sales) companies. The good ones that is. I have had the pleasure of being an independent representative for four different companies over the years. And, without a doubt, the thing such companies do best is to motivate their associates. Testimonials, weekly calls, and – best of all – live events, are designed to motivate you to promote the company. The payoff to you of course, is money. Lots and lots of money. And the appealing lifestyle that comes with it. Marketers who sell products and/or services that teach people how to make money online use the same kind of motivation. They use sales letters, videos, and live seminars to motivate you to buy their stuff. So that you too can work from the beach – when you work at all that is. Such motivation is fun and inspiring, at least temporarily. But the reality is that most people don’t make millions, or even thousands, in their online business. Which has always left the question in my mind of whether such motivation tactics are good marketing or misleading propaganda. In my video today, I give you the motivational message that you can “have it all.” I’m not about hype and champagne promises. I prefer talking about best practices and a consistent work ethic. But, the truth is, having an online business can allow you to “have it all.” Just because most people don’t achieve such results, doesn’t make it any less possible. Why don’t most online business owners have seven figure bank accounts? Because they watch a motivational video, feel good and inspired for a few...

Can Your Business Success be Guaranteed?

The bad news, I suppose, is that even the best product or the biggest guru can’t guarantee your business success. The good news, fortunately, is that you can guarantee your business success. That’s right, it’s all up to you. Which is cool, because it means you can’t fail unless you make the choice to. One of the biggest keys to building a profitable business is taking responsibility. Not just usually, or when it’s deserved, or when things go right. But always.  This isn’t something that people think about a lot. But taking 100% responsibility, 100% of the time, is perhaps the best way to guarantee your business success. Here’s a Bad Example of Taking Responsibility The leader of a group I’m part of had organized a business happy hour for the group. It was scheduled for a restaurant that has two locations in the city. Yesterday I got an email from him that said, “My secretary messed up. The happy hour is really scheduled for location B, not location A.” Classic failure to take responsibility. As the leader, it’s his responsibility to get us the right information. Several scenarios may be going through your head right now that are making you say, “but what if it really was her fault?” What if he did everything right and she was distracted by the phone, or forgot, or wrote it down wrong, or a thousand other things? It doesn’t matter. It’s still his responsibility. And it would have been so easy for him to take the appropriate responsibility. There was zero need to say “my secretary messed up.”  Zero. Wouldn’t “sorry for the...