Have you ever stopped to notice what habits you’ve gotten into, especially around work? Habits have been on my mind lately, in particular how to develop good habits. My fascination began when I read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and I recently learned more about habits when a colleague introduced me to the work of B.J. Fogg, a teacher at Stanford and an expert in business innovation and habit formation. Read more
If you’re answering calls, replying to emails and notes, responding to invitations, and receiving referrals and leads, it probably feels like you’re taking a lot of action to market your business. But it may be that a good deal of what you’re engaged in is actually RE-action. Read more
What’s all the fuss about work? You scheme about it, dream about it, suffer through it, suffer for it, lie about it, cry about it, hope for it, act like it’s gonna save you, hide in it, hide from it, blame it for things you don’t want to take responsibility for, wrap your identity up in it, use it for status. Why is it such a big deal? I mean, really, seriously, who cares? A full-time employee spends 2000+ hours a year working; if you’re gonna spend that amount of time and energy on your business, don’t you think you oughta darn well like it? Read more
In my early years as an entrepreneur, a wise mentor taught me about the “just enough” principle. “An entrepreneur’s to-do list is endless,” she said. “If you ever want to be able to work less than 60 hours a week, you need to figure out how much of anything is just enough.” Read more
Do you ever have days when you just don’t want to? First you don’t want to make your bed or eat the right food. Then it ratchets up to not wanting to be nice, call people back, or do what you know needs to be done to keep your business running and thriving. Maybe it escalates to the point where you just don’t want to do anything except maybe sit on the couch, eat Cheetos, and watch Law & Order reruns. Read more
The classic approach to placing follow-up calls comes with some challenges. The usual image of a follow-up call is to pick up the phone and ask your prospects, “Are you ready to hire me?” When you’re calling potential referral sources, the question may become, “Got any referrals for me? For most independent professionals, this process isn’t much fun. In fact, it’s disagreeable enough that we may avoid it entirely. Read more
The best way to get your business to grow is to plant seeds — seems obvious, right? Seeds of ideas in prospective clients’ minds, seeds of opportunity with institutions that could use your services, seeds of relationship with like-minded souls that could grow into something good for you, personally and professionally. You may be thinking, “Yes, of course, I know that,” and I know you do. And yet, I see really great business people not planting consistent seeds and suffering the consequences. Read more
Q. I am the volunteer coordinator of an informal network of trainers, training managers, and training administrators who work in corporate training departments. How do I get these members to hire me as a consultant without directly asking for their business? Read more
Whoever said, “If you build it, they will come” was not referring to your LinkedIn profile! On LinkedIn, once you’ve built a completely optimized profile it’s time to go connect with people. Why? Because your connections are your network and your network is what makes LinkedIn work for you. Read more
Q. I’m recently seeing an increase in email inquiries about my services. That’s good news, but most of these don’t seem to turn into clients. What’s the most effective way to follow up on email queries?
A. In my experience, a significant number of email inquiries are from window shoppers, tire kickers, and looky-loos. What I’ve found is that those that turn into business are the queries from people who tell me they were referred by someone I know, heard me speak, read my book/an article, subscribed to my newsletter, etc. Read more
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