The awful moment you have no motivation to carry on

The awful moment you have no motivation to carry on

The scary moment when you realise you have no motivation left

Deep breath time as I am out of my comfort zone and have a confession to make.

Last month I had no motivation for my business.  Phew – I said it!

I had a lot going on last month and was left both physically and emotionally drained.  This created a downward spiral that I struggled to get out of.  I am normally full of energy and motivation and the one who is keeping everyone else buoyed up.  But suddenly I was the one needing help and I simply didn’t know where to turn.

I was having a mini meltdown!

I didn’t want to get out of bed and when I did, I didn’t want to work.  Everything I did was half hearted and felt like I was wading through treacle.  I had no motivation to carry on with my business.  I was having a mini meltdown!

I was afraid of admitting how I was feeling as people expected me to be the leader.  If I wasn’t coping and asked for help, how would people view me, especially clients?  I was scared of them losing faith in me and not wanting to work with me again.  If I had no motivation, how could I motivate them?

I had been struggling alone with a major family issue that sprung up out of the blue.  I started to feel ill and all I wanted to do was lie in a darkened room and cry.  I actually felt like I was in mourning.  I was mourning my old self that felt like it had died with no chance of being resurrected.

Missed opportunities

I missed a number of valuable opportunities that were right under my nose but that I either missed until it was too late, or quite simply, didn’t have the energy or inclination to take advantage of.

I felt desperate.  I felt alone.  Two weeks went by and then something happened.  A video popped up in my inbox from the wonderful Sarah Marshall from Tapping Into Money Girl.  I felt compelled to stop everything and watch.  And it was as though she was talking to me personally.

I was self-sabotaging!

Self-sabotage

My business had been going so well that I had got scared.  I had hit a money block of taking it to the next level.  The self-doubt has started to creep in, who was I to be earning that level of money?  What if I hit a level that I couldn’t sustain?  Would people expect more of me if I took things to the next level.

Once I had taken a step back after watching Sarah’s video, I realised what I had been doing.  I had been shortcutting tasks.  I had been talking myself into a feeling of self-despair.  I had stopped taking care of myself and as the two are so intricately entwined, my business was suffering.

This was such a huge admission to make to myself, but it had to be done.

Time to recharge

I took a couple of days to recharge my batteries.  I took a cold hard look at my business and knew things had to change.  I had to stop giving so much of myself away for free.  I had to practice what I preached and start charging my worth.  I had to take this business to a whole new level.  I owed it to myself and to my clients who needed what I had to offer.

And now, a month on, I am so much happier.  I have taken on the support I needed to really move the business forward.  I have had a brand refresh, I have had a price review and I have new packages to offer.

And wow!  What a difference it has made.  My business is now rocketing once again and I am in exactly the right mindset to enjoy it and make the most of it.

 

If you are feeling stuck and you have no motivation, please don’t do as I did for so long and suffer in silence.  Speak to someone, get support, drop me a line if you like and use me as a sounding board.  That first step of reaching out for help is the hardest but you will be so glad you did.

Small business email etiquette

Small business email etiquette

Recently, a member of the Absolutely Fabulous Business Women Facebook group asked me about email etiquette for her home based business.  She asked if she could send her newsletter to contacts in general, past colleagues and friends in addition to targeting former clients and prospects.

Email etiquette is such an overlooked subject and so many female entrepreneurs fail to understand the implications of getting it wrong.

If you have a list of people that you want to contact but are unsure about email etiquette, here are a few tips for getting it right.

Email etiquette tips

Firstly, I would never recommend sending a newsletter to anyone who has not subscribed. If you are using mailing software such as Mailchimp, this is strictly forbidden and if recipients report that they did not subscribe, you may get blacklisted.

It is also bad manners to automatically assume that someone wants to receive this newsletter and inviting yourself into their inbox without seeking permission first.  They may already have an overflowing inbox and your addition to this is likely to cause offence.  It’s like walking into their home without knocking and sitting down in front of them with no introduction and starting up a conversation.

Plain rude!  And likely to get you in to hot water legally ……..

Legal email requirements

Secondly, in the EU you need to be aware of legal restrictions in spending unsolicited email under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

This states:

Use of electronic mail for direct marketing purposes

22.—(1) This regulation applies to the transmission of unsolicited communications by means of electronic mail to individual subscribers.

(2) Except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (3), a person shall neither transmit, nor instigate the transmission of, unsolicited communications for the purposes of direct marketing by means of electronic mail unless the recipient of the electronic mail has previously notified the sender that he consents for the time being to such communications being sent by, or at the instigation of, the sender.

(3) A person may send or instigate the sending of electronic mail for the purposes of direct marketing where—

(a)that person has obtained the contact details of the recipient of that electronic mail in the course of the sale or negotiations for the sale of a product or service to that recipient;

(b)the direct marketing is in respect of that person’s similar products and services only; and

(c)the recipient has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge except for the costs of the transmission of the refusal) the use of his contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details were initially collected, and, where he did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent communication.

(4) A subscriber shall not permit his line to be used in contravention of paragraph (2).

If you have a database of contacts, I would suggest contacting these people individually to let them know about your business and inviting them to subscribe to your future newsletters.   They can then opt in out of choice keeping you in line with the law.

Also, if you have various types of contacts such as colleagues, friends, clients etc, they are unlikely to all be attracted to just one message. Friends would respond better if addressed in a different way to colleagues as would clients and prospects. It will take a little more work creating separate messages but should get you far better results.

How to get more money to keep your business alive

How to get more money to keep your business alive

How to get more money to keep your business alive

One of the most common worries for female entrepreneurs that I talk to is not having enough money.  They constantly worry about not having enough clients and not making enough sales and this can then lead into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They need to find a way to get more money quickly to keep their business dream alive.

It is said that we become what we think about the most, so if we constantly focus on our lack of money, this is what we will attract.  Whilst we are desperate to get more money, our behaviour is actually blocking us from getting it.

When we don’t have enough money coming in each month, this can lead to bad decisions being made.  Corners are cut to save costs.  We don’t invest in the tools and support that would take our business to the next level.  We start to discount and offer sales to try and get in some cash but don’t realise our net profit is now non-existent.

But how to get out of this vicious cycle?

How to get more money

Many businesses do not make money in their first year.  For some, it can be even longer than this.  Getting a business off the round takes time, energy and money.  So maybe it is time for a reality check.

Work out how much you need to have to be able to sustain your business and pay your bills for the next 12 months.  And then work out ways to get this.

Take paid employment

It may be that you need to continue with paid employment to cushion your bank balance until you get your business off the ground and making a decent profit.  This could be just a few part time hours each month that will ease the financial pressure.

Use savings and investments

If you have savings or investments, use them to invest in your business.  I have met others who tell me they are not prepared to risk their savings on their business venture.  My answer to them is that obviously don’t believe their business is going to succeed with this mindset so they should go back to the drawing board and do more research for a business they truly believe in.

What can you sell?

Do you have things you can sell to bring in some much-needed revenue to tide you over?  I know of a lady who sold her top of the range car and bought an old banger because she needed to raise some funds to follow her dream of a home-based business.  I know of another lady who went through her house and consistently sold unused items on eBay to gain much needed extra monthly income.  These were both women who were determined to succeed!

Take out a loan

If you have done your research and are confident of it being a success, consider taking out a loan to allow you to invest in what you need to take your forward.  Yes, there is a risk with taking out a loan and using up all your savings, but then show me a high flying business owner who didn’t take a risk somewhere along the way.  If you hold back just in case things don’t work out, you are subconsciously admitting defeat already which is not the right frame of mind for someone who truly wants to be successful.  You have to believe in yourself and your product or service 100% or you are simply playing at this and running a hobby, not a business.

 

A lot of women I meet have some serious money blocks and if this is you and you want to get more money to keep your business alive, try out EFT or tapping.  A bit woo woo for some but I have seen some incredible results from those who have done it.

Go read ‘Get Rich, Lucky Bitch’ by Denise Duffield-Thomas.  She has her own unique style of helping you get over your money blocks and to start believing that wealth is on its’ way to you.

So stop constantly worrying about not having enough money and start to change your thinking and find a way that can bring more money into your business.  Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Have you any tips of your own?  Share them in the comments below.

 

Stop selling and make more sales

Stop selling and make more sales

Stop selling and start to make more sales

Really?  Yes, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but trust me on this one.

As I tell all my clients, the sales process has changed over the years.  People no longer want to be sold to.  They want to gather information, get recommendations from people they trust, search for comparable solutions and take their time to make a decision on their final purchase.

The old style hard sell approach has little room in today’s environment.

If you want to make more sales and to turn a prospect into a client, you need to nurture a relationship rather than going for a kiss me quick sale.  Take the time to build trust and gain respect that will get you remembered for when that person is ready to buy.  Give them something for free to show them how good you are and get them to want to come back and buy.

Here is an example that happened just a short while ago.

I do as much as I can to help people and to give them tips and advice for free.  I do this to build relationships and is a reason for setting up my Facebook group so that others can share their valuable advice to support each other.

Take time to build relationships

 

This builds trust and respect and many of my clients come from this group.

One day in the group, a lady asked for some help.  It was outside of my expertise so I tagged someone else who I knew was an expert in this particular field.  What this person did was jump straight in with a sales pitch.  No offer of support or just a quick tip.  Just sell, sell, sell.

The lady who asked the question was not looking to buy.  She had merely asked a quick question. I then found someone else who I thought may have an answer and she promptly gave some valuable advice and was more than happy to help.

What transpired from this was twofold.

The person who went straight into sales mode didn’t do herself any favours at all.  I spoke to the lady who asked the original question and she felt uncomfortable being sold to when she had merely asked for a quick bit of advice.  Additionally, I personally shall never suggest anyone goes to this person for help in the future.  I also suspect anyone else in the group who saw the conversation may be reluctant to turn to her also.

However, the second person who answered the question did so in such a manner and was so helpful that she gained a new client over the course of the next couple of weeks.  The lady asking the question was so impressed with her willingness to help and the quality of the response she got, that whilst she was not initially looking to buy, she saw the value of working with this lady.  She also decided to sign up to my membership club as she was confident that I could her source information even if I didn’t have the answers myself and again, was impressed at how I went out of my way to help her.

Create an environment in which people want to buy from you

 

So think about how you can change from trying to sell to creating an environment in which people want to buy from you.  It’s not as hard as you think.

Think about how you can

  • Help your prospects by sharing tips and advice
  • Entertain them with real life stories and quotes so they get to know and like you.
  • Educate them as to what they need to do to solve their pain point and why they need to do it
  • Inspire them to them to buy from you by providing the solution to their problem

You may be surprised that when you stop selling you start to make more sales!

 

P.S. If you are not already in my Facebook group but would like to join for advice and to share tips of your own, hop over and join now

Are you in danger of being a social recluse?

Are you in danger of being a social recluse?

Money or memories.  Which is more important to you?

Today, we rely more and more on social media.  We become a social recluse and base our success and popularity by how many followers we have and how many people we have on our mailing lists.

We while away hour after hour sat staring at a screen in a virtual world, feeling ecstatic when someone comments on one of our posts only to return to a feeling of despondency when someone then unsubscribes from our mailing list.

We spend so much time trying to be proactive in these virtual communities that we stand a very real and present danger of alienating ourselves from the real world.  Scary, but true!

While we become a social recluse, we stop seeing what is going on around us.  We stop being present with our friends and family.  Even if we do tear ourselves away from our laptop to go for coffee with a friend, we don’t really hear what they are saying as we are so busy reacting to the ping of a notification on our mobiles just in case we miss something.

Well STOP!!

Life is for living.  Yes, you may want to build a business through online marketing but for goodness sake, don’t miss out on the real life you have here and now.  By the time your business is at the level you want it to be, you may well have lost what is truly priceless in your life – your health, your friends and your family.

 

Learn to switch off and make memories, not just money

 

From today, promise yourself to disconnect for at least an hour a day.  Go meet a friend for coffee with your mobile turned off.  Go visit a family member or give them a call and chat without interruption. See how much better you feel and how much more refreshed you are.

And once you have got the habit of disconnecting for an hour, try a little longer.  Go for a whole evening once per week and if you can bear it, do a whole day at the weekend.

Your business will not suffer.  If it is so fragile that it is in danger of collapse from not being present for an hour or so, you have much bigger problems to worry about.  You are doing something seriously wrong!

Promise me you will take time out to disconnect. Stop being a social recluse and go take part in the real world once again.  Go live life.  Go build memories.  Don’t wait until it is too late.

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments box below.

Angie x