Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's All About Them

How many times do we have to hear, “It’s all about them?", meaning the customer. It’s all about them! It’s all about them! It’s all about them! Will that do?

So many times I see ads, marketing material, policies, you name it, that have not taken the customer into account. They scream in their messages that they’re all about you, have great customer services, would be nothing without you – but their actions speak louder than their words.

Consider the airlines – all of them! I recently went to Cuba on vacation and imagine our surprise when the flight attendant wouldn’t accept our cash. No siree, cash is no good on the airlines, only credit cards. Is this about the customer? Hardly. It’s about how much easier it is on the airline not to have to make change. And boy, was she nasty about it! (Air Transat) Did my husband and I stay thirsty? No, but that’s not the point. We didn’t want to pay by credit card!

What about all the industries that use acronyms? Give me a break! We don’t all take a course in each industry so that we can understand what all the initials are that you are using, or your industry jargon. Follow the proverbial rule – KISS, Keep It Simple Sweetie (the nice version... you know what I really mean).

And now in the day of social media and online conversations, it’s more important than ever to be clear, concise and simple. We are not living in a bubble. The internet is global so your visitors and friends are from all over the world. When you start an online conversation, remember to put it in context for your connections that may not be in your little corner of the world.

Don’t confuse people. KISS! Remember – It’s all about them!

Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on April 26, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Magic Happens in the Hussle

There are lots of 'P's in Marketing – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Now let me share some other 'P's that I see many entrepreneurs (and people in general) adopt in their lives:

Perfectionism, Paralysis, Procrastination.
Many times I hear the statement, “Oh, I’m a perfectionist” it’s a good thing. It’s not!! The goal to be perfect is IMPOSSIBLE – just like wanting everybody to like you. There are just too many people, with too many different views and opinions, for your work to be perfect to everybody. When you satisfy one person, you irritate or fall short with another – it can’t be any other way. In most cases.

Perfectionism leads to Paralysis or Procrastination to actually DO SOMETHING! You know how I feel about Planning (another 'P') - it sets you up for success, but only if you actually DO SOMETHING with your plan. Strive for excellence, not perfection – and then set systems in place to make you take action. Here are some systems and supports that can Propel (another 'P'!) you into action.

1.     Have a Plan - Know what you want to accomplish and identify the actions it will take for you to get there.
2.     Systems – Set up systems within your business that enable you to DO things with the least amount of effort possible.
3.     Project Manage – Break every project, initiative, event, whatever, into smaller action items. Identify every task needed, who needs to do it, what money or resources you need. Then set a timeline for EACH task. (Click here for the form I use for myself and with my clients.) Which leads me to...
4.     Set Timelines FOR EVERYTHING – Know when you want to start something, when you want to finish it, and when you need something from others. Even when you ask for something from someone else, or are providing something to someone else – set a timeline!
5.     Accountability – What makes you accountable? An accountability buddy, rewarding yourself, a mastermind group, a coach or consultant - what does it take? (I have clients who pay for my services on a monthly basis, not just for the expertise, but because they know if they’re spending money and know we have a meeting coming up, they will get things done. After all, I’m known as the slapper!)
6.     Just DO SOMETHING - Sometimes you should just Ready, Aim, Fire! (I know a business owner who has been in a state of perfectionism, procrastination and paralysis for over a year – no money being made there!)


1.     Set up a system of accountability. I suggest you do this first because it will actually help you to do the following steps.
2.     Identify one thing you’ve wanted to do but haven’t because of one excuse or another. (Notice I didn’t say reason?)
3.     Before you do anything else, what is ONE thing you can do in the next 24 hours as a step forward with this goal?
4.     Take this form and break down your goal into tasks and set timelines to each task. Some of the tasks will require a form of their own.
5.     Start setting timelines to everything.
Let me know if this kick in the butt has helped get you started on something... I’d love to hear from you.

Originally published in New Life Business Newsletter April 2012