Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

Jackie Nagel, Synnovatia

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business growth

business growth

Business growth isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days of being everything to everybody. Yet, despite that, some business leaders tout the benefits of being a generalist. 

I see advantages for both the generalist and the specialist. 

For instance, a generalist doesn’t necessarily develop the same blind spots as someone specializing in a specific industry. Being a generalist can be beneficial in the case of someone like me who consults and coaches small businesses. I can think outside the industry, which can bring a unique perspective not previously considered. On the other hand, marketing as a generalist has its drawbacks and can make it a bit more challenging to proliferate. 

Growing more quickly is where being a specialist can shine. With marketing and messaging confined to one industry, it becomes easier to gain traction. 

Even as a specialist, focusing on a niche is no longer enough to break into the world of big profits. Instead, in today’s marketplace, a business needs to specialize in a micro-niche to optimize success

Defining Micro Niche

Most people in the world of business know what a niche is. Sports cars, fitness, health—each of those is a niche. But if you ever crack open a laptop or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you can attest to how many professionals focus on those general industries.

Concentrating on a micro-niche can set you apart and make a significant impact. For example, instead of focusing your brand on general fitness, specialize in fitness for teen girls or women over 60. Those are micro-niches. 

Here are a few more examples:

  • Tiny houses: micro-niche in the real estate industry
  • European travel: micro-niche in the travel industry (Or niche down further by honing in on travel to Germany.)
  • All-natural makeup: micro-niche in the skincare industry

Benefits of a Micro Niche for Business Growth

Micro-niching, and its many benefits, is exciting. But, unfortunately, it can also be a bit unnerving. 

One of the greatest fears for most small business owners when they consider streamlining services to a more specific area, is the loss of potential clients. Is that possible? Emphatically no! I’ve witnessed this in my coaching practice. The opposite is true. When my clients began the process of niching down, their revenue experienced a substantial jump. 

Take a look at the benefits that prove micro niches lead to business growth:

  • Low competition. Because of the highly specialized nature of the micro-niche, you have minimal competition. 
  • Ability to gain traction. Every business needs momentum to get started and continue growing. A micro-niche provides the traction required to progress quickly, so you’re not spinning your wheels.
  • Increased profitability. Due to low competition, you naturally experience greater profits because you have access to more clients who share your interests, desires, and passions. (Plus, think of how much fun your business would be if you worked in a highly specialized area that you love.)
  • Easier marketability. Marketing experts know that standing out in a crowd is the key to drawing attention to your brand and increasing sales. A micro-niche makes this possible and leads to an increase in business growth.

Finding Your Micro Niche

Okay, now you know the importance and benefits of micro-niches. Are you ready to make the switch? If so, how do you find your micro-niche?

Let’s say you’re a fitness expert. How do you stand out from the millions of other fitness experts in the market? Here are the first two questions to ask yourself on your journey toward micro-niche business growth.

  1. What is my greatest passion?
  2. With whom do I most enjoy working? (Read Buyer Persona: The Ultimate Tool for Small Business Success in a Crowded Market.)

Once you’ve answered those two questions, you’re well on your way to identifying your perfect niche fit.

What is the “tiny house” of your market? Give us a call when you’re ready to find out—and micro-niche your way to business growth and success. You’ll be up and growing in no time.

business moments of truth

Before the introduction of business technology, the traditional marketing model remained unchanged. This reduced consumer choices.  Marketing opportunities to learn about competing products or services were limited.

business moments of truthBefore the digital revolution, we may have heard about a product from advertising on TV, radio, or newspaper. (Remember those?) However, to experience the product or service, we made our way to a brick-and-mortar establishment. It was only at that point that comparison shopping took place.

Today, the consumer’s purchasing journey is an entirely new game. With the onset of technology, and the inception of digital marketing, 81% of today’s consumers conduct research online before their final buying decision.

In 2011, Google conducted a study ascertaining the number of sources of information consumed before making a purchase. At that time, an average of 10.4 sources was consumed from first viewing an ad to the product purchase. By 2015, that number had doubled to an average of 22 references. 

The information available digitally for today’s consumer is so complete that most consumers make their purchasing decision well before entering a store or clicking “add to cart.”

What does this mean for your business?

By taking charge of the moments of truth in your business, you can be among the 20+ pieces of information that consumers consume on their way to their purchasing decision.

Moments of Truth: Today’s Map for Business Marketing

Moments of truth can seem insignificant to a small business owner when they’re happening. Clients, however, have an entirely different reaction. For instance, if a potential client calls you and you don’t give them your full attention because of an office distraction, their impression may be that you are unfocused, unprofessional, and perhaps unworthy of their business. Situations like this can spell disaster for any business.

So, what’s a moment of truth?

A moment of truth is a sliver of time when clients or prospects interact with your business and decide whether or not to do business with you, share you with their network, or use your products/services again

Jan Carlzon, in his book, Moments of Truth, defines them as “anytime a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, [as] an opportunity to form an impression.”

Some of the everyday moments of truth include:

  • When a person hears someone else praise you or your work.
  • When a person likes your physical presentation, including your website, appearance, handshake, voice, or smile.
  • When a person is touched intellectually and emotionally by what you say.
  • When a person recognizes you as a model of whom or what they would like to become.
  • When a person experiences you are consistently excellent technically.
  • When a person knows you care.
  • When a person feels they and their information are safe with you.
  • When a person trusts your professional credentials.
  • When a person thinks they will be challenged and get what they need from you.
  • When a person pays your fee without any conversation.
  • When a person looks forward to small gifts and thoughtful messages from you.
  • When a person knows you will make it right for them if they have a complaint.
  • When a person knows your fee is slightly above the industry standard and feels you’re worth it.
  • When a person is sure that their success and well-being are your priority.
  • When a person knows you never stop growing professionally.
  • When you ask a person to tell you their expectations and frustrations about the service you provide.
  • When a person knows you have designed your business around what’s convenient for them.
  • When a person can reach you effortlessly.
  • When a person can count on you to treat them as a unique individual with unique needs.
  • When a person knows you will remember their kids’ names and send them a card on their birthday.

Strengthening the moments of truth in your business ensures your clients remain on the continuum of the nine steps to building trust. The outcome? A measurable increase in client acquisition, retention, and sales.

The Strategic Role in Mapping Your Moments of Truth 

One of the roles of a strategic small business coach is to ensure your business makes the right impression when interacting with clients and prospects. As an advocate for small business owners, a coach provides an objective evaluation that can make the difference between a client passing on your business for one of your competitors and landing that next big sale. 

However, you may ask yourself these common strategic questions to refine how you handle the moments of truth in your business. 

  • What are the various touchpoints of our business, such as your Web site, meeting at a networking event, sending an email, or leaving a voicemail message during which a potential client develops an impression?
  • What is the current impression our clients and prospects experience?
  • What is our intended impression? Where are the gaps?
  • What changes ensure each impression is the one we want our client to experience?
  • Who will make those changes?
  • When will those changes be made?
  • How will we measure the effectiveness of your changes?

Analyzing your moments of truth bring clarity to your business.  And, with the right strategies you can create impressions to turn the most skeptical prospect into your company’s most enthusiastic advocate.

achieve business growth by ridding self of tolerations

It’s a jungle out there, especially when understanding the terminology to market your small business. A misunderstood term or misapplied could blow a big deal with a critical client. Egads!

What’s worse than not knowing a vital marketing phrase? Of course, that would be not using the correct lingo at the right time! In a nutshell, it makes you look like an amateur

small business marketing

The Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician 

Michael Gerber, the well-known author of The E-myth, spoke of the three personalities who go into business: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.

The entrepreneur sets the vision and does the heavy lifting of strategic thinking. Then, the manager implements the plan laid out by the entrepreneur. And, the technician does the “roll up your sleeves” actual work of the business.

If you’re like most small business entrepreneurs, you’re all three — and a few more! And, you likely spent most of your time working “in” your business as the technician.

What does this have to do with the “jungle jargon”? I’m so glad you asked!

Without a technical background in entrepreneurship or marketing, it’s easy to misuse or misunderstand marketing terminology and tools.

The Small Business Marketing Basics 

Three commonly misinterpreted and misapplied terms are elevator speech, unique selling proposition, and value proposition. Knowing how and when to use each of these terms can influence your business growth rate.

  1. An elevator pitch is one to two sentences about your target audience and your general area of work. Most often used in networking situations to introduce your business, offline and online. The elevator pitch is only a few words long and quickly delivered within 10 seconds.
  2. Your unique selling proposition is a statement of what makes you different. Your USP may be your specialty, methodology, or guarantee and is commonly used when a client is ready to buy.
  3. The value proposition is a marketing statement of the promise of value to be delivered to the potential client. Your value proposition is specific and generally cites numbers or percentages. It also may include a quick synopsis of your work. A value proposition is often used in emails, your website, and conversations with your prospective audience. More than anything, your value proposition indicates why the potential client should buy from you rather than your competition — without ever having to use the name of the competition!

Getting through the business jungle unscathed and in one piece is challenging enough. But, without the right equipment, it can be daunting!

With the right tools at the right time, you’ll quickly cut through the dense, unruly marketing space to grow your business.

Mastermind group

Business is becoming increasingly complex. And, just like “it takes a village” to raise a child, it takes an armada to grow a business. Increasing complexity and overwhelm is why we launched mastermind groups — to bring together a flotilla of like-minded business owners to share insights, experience, knowledge, and encouragement unavailable when growing your business in a silo.

Our first mastermind group focused on helping business owners create a strategic blueprint for growing their business. Discussions ranged from the significance of a well-articulated vision to proving one’s business models to buttoning down habits to create a system of sustainable success.

It was transformative, really — for everyone who participated, including myself. Members formed trusted bonds. With their unique experience and expertise, each business owner generously shared their resources. Opportunities between members of the mastermind spawned. And most importantly, participants created business-changing results.

Mastermind group

The Birth of the Mastermind Group

Groups like these have been around since the days of Napoleon Hill. His classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” defined a mastermind group as “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

Hill states, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible, intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” Who doesn’t appreciate an extra brain, right?

There are peer support groups we may not usually recognize as such. For instance, a business advisory board, Weight Watchers, and Vistage are everyday examples of similar organizations. These coordinated groups provide the coming together of people in support, encouragement, and knowledge-sharing that allows everyone to grow personally and professionally.

The Many Benefits of a Mastermind Group for Entrepreneurs

Many peer groups built around business growth provide collective support and encouragement for the participants. In my humble opinion, what separates our mastermind group from most is the facilitation by a trained business strategist and coach. Well-honed coaching skills strengthen the support among the participants, promote self-awareness, inspire action, and cultivate commitment while creating a priceless ROI.

Here are a few of the business-changing lessons of a mastermind group:

Even when converging virtually, collective gathering breaks the isolation and loneliness of growing a business. Nothing grows well, if at all, in a vacuum. Similarly, not everything goes as planned or intended when running a business. The support and environment of transparency help deal with the emotional fallout and exhaustion that often comes with growing a business.

Acquisition and assimilation of knowledge accelerate learning which sparks action.

It’s such a unique advantage to be able to learn from individuals who are at a similar stage in their business. Mastermind 350+ allows you to connect with and leverage individuals from a wide range of industries who are all committed to taking their businesses to the next level  — Zoey Smith, Zbra Studios

The Mastermind group is the most meaningful time I spend on my business each month. It’s been hard to find a group of business owners who are experienced and established AND willing to share their best practices, advice, and also their mistakes. It’s rare, and it’s so valuable.  Laura M. Labovich, The Career Strategy Group

Structure fills in the gap between planning and implementation. Participants move from thinking of planning to plan and implementing actions to success. They move from merely staying afloat to moving ahead.

Everyone’s an expert. Ideas, concepts, and notions from thought-leaders and well-known experts are frequently shared among entrepreneurs as the end-all, be-all keys to success. That’s accommodation, not alteration. Breakthroughs occur when best practices are customized to fit you, your lifestyle, and your strengths. Whatever “best practice” you follow, make it yours.

Participants recognize they are more intelligent than previously thought. Through sharing insights and knowledge, participation lifts the cloud of self-doubt that plagues many business owners.

 I come away from each session more motivated and armed with strategies and techniques I can use to improve my own business. — John Lanza, Chief Mammal, The Money Mammals

Members identify and share opportunities. Trust is enhanced in an environment of transparency and fellowship. Confidence in a participant’s business capability is a powerful network-sharing tool.

Thinking expands along with the courage to seek larger projects than previously believed possible. It is vital to understand the obstacles to progress and identify practical, applicable ways to remove them permanently. This makes the difference between a small struggling business to a more powerful, sustainable business.

Business models have become upgraded for today’s economy. Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, is disruptive. Sadly, many businesses use the same business model from decades ago. It’s no wonder they struggle. However, business models are challenged, modernized, and proven to create greater profits in a Mastermind group.

The Bottom Line? 

During the 20+ years I’ve been working with business owners, much has changed. Technological advancements, albeit welcome, add layers of complexity (and overwhelm) to small businesses. As a result, a strategy is more critical — and difficult — for entrepreneurs today to pave the way for your success.

One can’t have too much support.

__________________________

Do you want to unlock the potential of your business? Join our Mastermind and discover how!

business growth

business growth

Your business growth is shaped by consumer behavior. And, as you might have noticed, consumer buying behaviors have changed dramatically. Newspaper ads, circulars, or cold calling are a thing of the past. Consumers no longer have confidence in such methods. So while consumers continue to buy, how they spend their money has changed.

Today, consumers turn to the web for information about companies and products before buying. In addition, 80% of business decision-makers research custom content to learn about service. Busy entrepreneurs prefer this method rather than being bombarded with ads. Sound familiar?

As a result, we need to respond to the change in buying behaviors with fresh ideas that better match consumers’ buying habits.

Enter Inbound Marketing.

Outbound Vs. Inbound Marketing for Business Growth 

The antiquated method of marketing — “outbound marketing” — is based on the principle of pushing products and services on consumers. This strategy is “interruptive marketing.” And, for a good reason. The outbound method interrupts your day with sales calls, unwanted emails, and misplaced ads. (As though you don’t already have enough interruptions.)

On the other hand, inbound marketing improves business growth by attracting consumers to your product or service using content that serves a purpose. Whether that purpose is to inform or entertain, it doesn’t involve selling.

The Attraction of Inbound Marketing 

The basis of inbound marketing is to attract potential clients to your business. However, there’s another factor that makes inbound marketing attractive. An automated inbound marketing strategy allows you to achieve better personal and professional balance as your business grows.

business growthLike me, you likely launched your business to be the boss, including setting your schedule. And, like me, you probably didn’t realize that growing a business required such an extraordinary level of devotion, dedication, and time.

Yet, as entrepreneurs, one of the things we crave most from owning our own business is more time for the people and things we love. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

Inbound marketing certainly mitigates the time burden of business growth. Instead of being stuck in traffic or schmoozing it up at networking events and business fairs to generate leads, an inbound marketing strategy is automated to work in your absence. This automated process gives you more time for family—and other things you love—while you continue to generate new leads.

What Are You Waiting For? 

Even though inbound marketing saves time and improves lead generation, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to:

  • Define your strategy
  • Identify the elements of your strategy
  • Build the components of your system.

Even once all your ducks are in a row, it takes time to:

  • Build awareness
  • Establish credibility
  • Expand your reach

Patience — and persistence — are key! And the amount of perseverance (and time) depends on many different factors — which is why it’s crucial to start immediately.

It can take 12 to 18 months—or maybe more—to see results at the level you desire. The sooner you begin, however, the sooner you’ll benefit from the fruits of your labor and open doors to your desired client base.

Now that you know the ins and outs of business growth, what are you waiting for? 

business coach accountability

There’s been some discussion swirling around my business coach community on the subject of accountability. Admittedly, it’s a broad topic that means different things to different people. However, accountability — primarily, the act of holding oneself accountable — seems to be most prevalent.

What comes to mind when you think of accountability?

As I ponder what accountability means in my universe, I define it as doing what I said I would do long after the mood in which I said I would do so has passed. That’s key — the mood thing.

It says I am reliable to do my part — even if I no longer feel like it. People can place their trust in me. It screams when I commit to doing something, I’ll follow through no matter what.

Frankly, it’s hard for me not to keep my promises (i.e., remain accountable) to others, no matter how much anxiety it creates. Staying accountable to myself, however, can be a unicorn.

The Accountability Argument with Oneself

business coach accountability

I’m not alone in my quest to hold myself accountable. One of the primary reasons people seek out a business coach is to keep them responsible for their goals.

What is it about the promises we make to ourselves or the goals we set that make it so challenging to hold our own feet to the fire?

It’s pretty easy to talk ourselves out of following through on a promise we made to ourselves. This is because it’s such an intelligent conversation. From the witty negotiation to the strong arguments against following through, it’s a surprise we’re not all allowed to try cases in a court of law without any formal training.

It reminds me of the cartoon with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other while powerfully presenting the case for or against. Whoever wins the argument rules the universe.

Owning Accountability

One of my favorite definitions of accountable is by Business Dictionary

The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them and disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.

It’s this definition that sheds light on our struggle.

As business owners, we are only accountable to ourselves. Unless your business structure consists of a Board of Directors or shareholders, there is no one to “scold” you for your “bad behavior.” As a result, there are seldom consequences — beyond the crushing disappointment of missing deadlines or treasured goals.

Beyond engaging a business coach to hold our feet to the fire and honor the commitments we make to ourselves — and then — it’s sheer willpower that seems to be the glue that holds it all together. But, unfortunately, it will lose its power throughout the day — much like a muscle loses strength from continual use. I can already see the epic flaw and failure in this strategy!

Knowing how easy it is to let ourselves off the hook, it’s essential to consider a better structure. Although I’m naturally going to advocate for hiring a business coach, after all, that is my thing — it is best to create your system of accountability.

With your system in place, you rely upon yourself. And, as the saying goes, you’ll never leave you. It’s foolproof.

The Business Coach Approach to Accountability

To help you create your accountability structure, here are a few considerations:

1) Make sure you’re genuinely committed to what you say you want to achieve. Lots of us say we want something. But, in reality, it’s more of a want, a wish, or a should. There’s no real commitment behind it. Unless you can settle upon a goal you are committed to achieving; you’re only fooling and frustrating yourself.

2) Once you’ve identified a goal to which you are genuinely committed, carve out time — dedicated, uninterrupted time — during which you will do what it takes to achieve your goal. Outside of time for achievement, it’s a Santa Claus moment as you await some miracle on 35th street.

3) Surround yourself with the correct information and the right people. You’ve set your goal and carved out time. You can’t continue to poke around on FB (or whatever other social media platform you use to kill time). Your goal, and your commitment to its achievement, are much too significant. And, you know the definition of insanity — doing the same thing and expecting different results. Ugh! What are you willing to change?

4) Put a little skin in the game. That worked beautifully for me recently during a 28 day no alcohol February. In the past, where willpower failed me miserably, I put my money where my willpower wasn’t. To hold myself accountable for my goal, I committed to donating $100 to the re-election of a particular politician that I absolutely, positively did not want to be re-elected for every drink I took.

It worked!

Every time I wanted to pour myself a bit of merlot at the end of a particularly stressful day, I thought of the check I would have to write for this so-called treat. Heck no!

Bottom Line: It’s a DIY World

There’s freedom in knowing you have built the internal and external structure to honor your commitments. Think about it. Your accountability framework eliminates the need or desire to blame someone else — to scapegoat others — if, for whatever reason, they don’t hold you accountable to your commitment. (Even writing this is a bit crazy-making.)

Yes, you can use the structure of a coaching appointment for accountability, but, honestly, a coach is not your boss, spouse, mother, or judge. They don’t have the kind of power for enforcing consequences — even those to which you have agreed.

You and your system of accountability, on the other hand? It’s a winning combination.

small business growth

Communication. It can build up your small business or tear it apart—the right kind of communication fuels optimism, hope, excitement, confidence, and small business growth. The wrong type of communication, well, let’s say it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the future. 

Late last week, I found myself in a critical conversation. I won’t get into the details but let’s say it was one of those chats that left me feeling deflated. If it weren’t for a tiny detail, I would have hung up the phone or walked out on the conversation. But, instead, I was in a passionate exchange with myself. Egads!

small business growth

Have you ever had one of those conversations? You tell yourself everything you did wrong, point out all your faults, and whine about what’s not possible. But, of course, you have!

The words we say to ourselves are more damaging than words we exchange with others. This is because self-talk changes the way we see ourselves. It influences our performance, shapes our perception, and impacts our future.

The Science Behind Self-Talk

As many would believe, self-talk isn’t just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Instead, from a neuroscience perspective, it shapes our internal modeling.

Ethan Kross, a psychologist from the University of Michigan, recently released a study in which pronouns used by people when they spoke to themselves silently – inside their brain – were researched. His findings were astonishing.

“What we find,” Kross says, “is that a subtle linguistic shift — shifting from ‘I’ to your name — can have potent self-regulatory effects.”

During his study, Kross had “nonfamous” people (i.e., you and I) divided into two groups. One group used the pronoun “I” as they prepared for a presentation; the other group used their name as if speaking in the third person as they prepared to talk.

The results were terrific. Those who used “I” in their inner monologue were much more critical of themselves and their ability to perform well. However, those using their name were much more supportive and encouraged how well they would do with their presentation.

Words Matter in a Mental Monologue for Your Small Business Growth

We all know negative self-talk contributes to stress. But, it’s a high price to pay. It affects our sleep, impacts our eating, interferes in our relationships, and grinds our business motion to a standstill.

If we don’t feel valuable to ourselves, we won’t benefit our clients. You may never realize your full potential the personal oration begins to change.

Start by monitoring your inner monologue—tune in to what you say to yourself. Change the dial. Speak to yourself as you speak to others, and have others speak to you. Develop different – and better – phrases to replace the ones used. And, by all means, know when to “zip it” when the conversation with yourself turns negative. 

business growth strategiesNothing is worse than being in a funk! Entrepreneurs experiencing a “mood” know, only too well, the adverse effects the blues and the blahs have on business growth. Although you can tell yourself to snap out of it, nontraditional business growth strategies can turn your performance around.

There’s no denying the impact the brain has on business performance. A research study entitled Brain mechanisms for emotional influences on perception and attention: What is magic and what is not has this to say on the subject:

Converging data from neuroscience and psychology have accrued during the last decade to identify brain systems involved in emotion processing, selective attention, and their interaction, which together act to extract the emotional or motivational value of sensory events and respond appropriately. This system generates saliency signals that modulate perceptual, motor, as well as memory processes and thus, in turn, regulate behavior appropriately.

Translation? If you’re in a funk, regardless of the reason, your behavior — and your business performance — is soon to follow.

Business Growth Strategy: Gratitude

Our brains seek out negatives, thanks to our prehistoric relatives. Yikes! Uncovering the positive — especially when our brains perceive anything but — is when the real work starts.

In Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychologyhe notes, “gratitude has proven to be a significant cause of positive outcomes.”

Daily Action: Write down three things for which you are grateful. 

Business Growth Strategy: Accomplishment

Indeed, the business growth strategy of accomplishment seems like common sense — until you realize how little time and effort we invest in taking inventory of our achievements.

My grandmother taught me the value of looking back and taking note of my accomplishments — especially when overwhelmed by the road ahead. It turns out she was right! Research conducted by the University of Chicago confirmed its importance.

Daily Action: Write down your accomplishments.

Business Growth Strategy: Opportunity

One of my incredibly bright clients helped me name this strategy during a discussion on tips for overcoming the drudgery associated with a lengthy, tedious, mind-numbing “to do” list.

Rather than catalog all that needs “doing,” how about flipping the tables by recording them as questions? Jot down “Can I complete my blog by 11:30 am?” rather than “Write my blog.”

Wording your “to do” in the form of a question inspires action and more successful outcomes.

Daily Action: “Question” your opportunities.

What do you think? Can these nontraditional business growth strategies lift you out of your funk? 

business growth plugins

Webster defines power as the ability to act or do. Given that, we all have it. Everyone can act. Despite that, not every business owner uses their power or uses it in the right way. Some entrepreneurs give their power away to others, and it’s not pretty. But, when tied to your power grid, business growth occurs easily and naturally. 

business growth plugins

Plugins to Electrify Your Business Growth

  1. Become toleration-free. When you’re tolerating (i.e., putting up with stuff), you’ve given your power to the very person, place, or thing you are tolerating. So, when you shift from a person who puts up with stuff to becoming toleration-free, you take back what was yours.
  2. Get your personal needs met. You’re familiar with physical needs such as food, water, and shelter, right? But, did you know that you have personal needs? Some of our everyday personal needs include the need for appreciation, recognition, and safety. And unfortunately, we are subconsciously driven to satisfy our unmet needs. This energy results in some not-so-attractive behavior and a sense of helplessness. By consciously getting our needs met, we can choose healthy behaviors that support us in achieving our business goals.
  3. Set strong boundaries. Boundaries are imaginary lines drawn to tell others the type of behaviors or interactions that are acceptable and unacceptable. It may be okay that someone offers constructive criticism. It’s not okay that they deliver that corrective communication in a degrading or demeaning way. You have a right to protect yourself from behavior that diminishes your spirit. You don’t need to suffer “pushoveritis” to be successful.
  4. Clarify your values. Values are who you are. These are the behaviors you’re naturally drawn to that bring you great joy and satisfaction. Think back to when you were six years old. What was it that you loved doing? Were you naturally inspired to create, explore, teach, or relate? Once you tap into your values, your ability to make intelligent, strategic decisions is enhanced.
  5. Develop a reserve for fear. The standard advice for facing fear is “feel the fear and do it anyway.” (By the way, that concept never quite worked for me.) Fear indicates a pending risk. One way to alleviate fear is to develop a reserve (i.e., more than you need) around what you fear. For instance, if your fear threatens financial stability, a monetary reserve to grow your small business may help eliminate fear. 
  6. Practice self-kindness. Self-kindness is the ability to take better care of oneself, a requirement for a powerful person. Self-kindness includes the frequent use of the word “no,” healthy eating, regular exercise, and hanging out with those who treat you as a brilliant person capable of accomplishing great things.
  7. Acknowledge your strengths and gifts. Buying into the perceptions of others as truth can drain your power. For instance, assertive, ambitious, energetic, hard-driving, and determined may be perceived as an asset for one gender group and liability for another. Some praise weaknesses as strengths; some perceive strengths as weaknesses. Decide for yourself what strengths you possess.
  8. Operate at 51%. Unless you’ve had a frontal lobotomy (i.e., removal of the brain’s frontal lobe) that renders you inept, you are responsible for all that is happening and not happening in your life. Erica Jong said, “Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing; there’s no one to blame.” Take control over your response to life.

Despite all written about personal power, it is often misinterpreted and confused with manipulation. That’s control, not power. When you have true power, you don’t need control.

Personal power transferred to your business creates new ideas, opportunities, and connections. 

Are you ready to plug in?

small business

The pandemic, politics, and inflation put many small business owners on edge. The uncertainty was evident in many coaching conversations over the two years.

Regardless of the economy, the small business owner is left to deal with uncertainties of some kind. So we have to make it work for our company to survive.

When uncertainty looms, it’s natural to want to retract – to shrink back from previous, well-thought-out plans – to play it safe “just in case.” It’s part of the flight or fight paradox with which we’ve lived since the days of the caveman (and cavewoman).

The problem with choosing the “flight” path is that it causes us to miss out on opportunities within our grasp – if we would only look up from issues that have yet to occur.

small business

I explained it to a client in this way.

Scaling back and playing it safe is undoubtedly an option when faced with uncertainty. It’s like holding a small bucket close to our chest. Much like a kid with a particular toy s/he grips, we develop a protective posture over what we currently define as “certainty.”

We hold tight. We look down. We guard our territory – all in hopes of retaining this tiny bit of control.

The problem with this position is that with head down and field of vision limited, we fail to see the opportunities within our sphere of influence. As a result, the same occurrences that would fortify certainty are hidden from view.

Rather than respond to uncertainty by going small – Go Big – and remove any option of going back.

You Can’t Come Home

That’s what my mother-in-law told her son (my husband) when he signed on with the Marines. Knowing the rigors of the Marine Corp during the Vietnam War, she was not in favor of his enlistment.

Despite her objection, he signed up.

When boot camp proved to be too arduous, he made one call. He called his mom. He begged and pleaded to come home.

There was no convincing his mom to let him return home when times got tough. Raised in south Chicago, she knew that commitment and discipline were qualities that served a young black man well during the 60s.

Much to his surprise, she refused his request to come home. He had decided to join the Marines against her council, and he would have to stay and make it work. So he was not allowed to come home.

Decades later, he says it’s the best thing that ever happened (besides marrying me).

He learned about the strength within, the discipline needed to succeed, and the honor of commitment. He uncovered a man much stronger.

Don’t Go Back in Your Small Business

Don’t go home in the same spirit of uncertainty, struggle, and doubt. Don’t play small – not now! Not ever!

Discover the strength, wisdom, and fortitude within yourself – and capitalize on the opportunities around you as you hold your head high and keep your eyes on the prize.

Core Business Assessment

Testimonial

Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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