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Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting?

Years ago I worked for a training company, and one of the things management used to ask us fairly regularly was if we were “green and growing or ripe and rotting” – the idea being that we were always either one or the other.

So, how do we know which it is?

I have found that when I am green and growing, I am generally at least a little bit uncomfortable. And, I’ve been feeling pretty uncomfortable lately as I take on learning to teach a dance fusion class called Nia. This tells me that I’m definitely green and growing.

It started out as a low-key thing to support myself in having convenient access to a workout I enjoy. But, it has grown into something much larger.

As I trained, (much to my surprise) I discovered that I really enjoy the process and I want it as a bigger part of my life. I also discovered that learning […]

July 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Success Through Daily Habits

Habits 3-DIn my work with clients it is not uncommon for me to hear people talk about having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month or a bad year. When we start digging into why, I often find out that they weren’t consistently doing business building activities.

There are two reasons that are most commonly shared:

  1. I had a lot of business come in and I was busy.
  2. I don’t like selling.

I think most of us enjoy doing the technical part of our business very much. That’s generally the reason we began doing it in the first place. But, we can never be truly successful as entrepreneurs until we embrace client creation as a part of what we do. Notice I said “client creation” and not “sales”. I say that because it is important to know the kind of client relationship you want to create and then develop daily habits that connect you with that […]

June 27th, 2016|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Are You Setting Yourself Up For Success?

I heard a radio announcer ask an interesting question while listening to a football game. He asked, “Is Oregon playing to win or are they playing not to lose?” What a great question!

In various forms, this same question has come up several times lately in different conversations and different contexts. I think it is good to look at the distinction in our own lives.

How about you? Are you playing to win, or playing not to lose? This can show up in every area of our lives: business, romance, friendship, sports, building wealth, etc. Our focus strongly determines our behavior and – no big surprise – our success (or lack thereof).

Think about your business for a moment. How would your marketing and sales or customer service efforts change if your goal was to be the best? How about if you were in it not to lose? Which approach would bring you greater success?

Take another area of life: […]

May 16th, 2016|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What is Success, Anyway?

happyOne of the things my clients are often struggling with is how to define success. Frequently, the measurements they use are external factors over which they have little or no control. Things like making a sale, getting positive feedback from others, and checking off several items on their to-do list are some of the measures commonly used to decide if it has been a successful day.

In recent years, I have known several people who have transitioned from this human life, as we know it. Observing the process of death, and seeing what people have gone through has affected me on many levels. I have pondered what we define as success. As a result, I find myself drawing different conclusions than I have in the past about what it means to have a successful day.

As I’ve thought about this and listened to what others have to say, I find myself coming to the conclusion that success […]

May 7th, 2016|Tags: |0 Comments

Empowering Language

Over the weekend I was thinking about a class I took years ago where I learned about the concept that our language creates our reality – the idea that the words we choose matter… a lot.  They can empower or disempower us, whether we are speaking them silently to ourselves or out loud to others.

Since that time, I’ve been able to observe the way that people use their words.  Generally, if I listen to someone speak for a while, I get a pretty clear picture of whether they see themselves as a proactive participant in creating their life, or they see themselves as a victim of external pressures.

The really exciting part of all this is, by changing our language, we can actually make changes in how our brain functions and create a different kind of life experience.  By using proactive, empowering language we can change our reality. How cool is that?

I often hear people say they “have […]

April 27th, 2016|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Importance of Proactive Change Management

crazyThe Kruse Way Economic Forum is a venue for informed presentations and open discussion of social, economic, and political issues affecting the Portland metro area and the Pacific Northwest. at one of these meetings, three business owners shared how they were able to survive, and ultimately thrive, during tough economic times by practicing change management. The three businesses were: Deek and Bryan’s Next Adventure, Imperial Stock Ranch, and Miles Fiberglass and Composites.

Each of the businesses faced challenges, both because of economic changes and because of impacts to their industries. But, each of these businesses chose not to focus on what they couldn’t change. Rather, they chose to focus on what they could do through proactive change management.

For Deek and Bryan’s, it involved looking at what they do best: used gear. They looked at how they could most effectively market that, without letting go of new gear sales. They became creative by looking […]

April 27th, 2016|Tags: , |0 Comments

Learning and Patience

CatI adopted a cat to keep my other cat company. It has been quite the adventure. He is fearless. He is rambunctious. He is all boy, all the time. Nothing is truly safe in his presence. Hence his name, “Lokai” (an adaptation of Loki – the Greek God of Mischief).

One of the reasons I enjoy animals so much is that I learn valuable lessons from them, and Lokai has been a great teacher. A few nights ago he gave me a yet another wonderful lesson.

I’ve been working on my home lately – swapping rooms, doing some painting, doing some purging, etc. This process has created piles. Lots of piles. This is paradise for Lokai. He has had the time of his life exploring, toppling, pouncing and otherwise engaging with the various treasures around the house – breaking several in the process.

The other night I heard a loud crash in the bedroom and I went […]

April 27th, 2016|Tags: , |0 Comments

Focus on What You Want

plant growingA participant in one of my business building workshops shared a great story on a coaching call.

She was at the dentist’s office and while she was laying in the chair she was thinking about asking for referrals – one of the actions she committed to in the short-term marketing plan she created during the kick off seminar. She wasn’t really sure how that could work in this situation, but she was open to whatever came along.

When the dentist came in, he asked if she had given thought to a more expensive procedure they had discussed on a previous visit. She told him she thought it would have to wait until she got her new business off the ground, since cash flow is less than she’s used to. He then asked what she was doing. After she told him, the hygienist (who was also in the room) said she knew a couple of people […]

April 12th, 2016|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Creating Clear Marketing Messages

muddleOn a recent call for one of my business development workshops, participants were sharing success stories. These are stories they can use when talking with prospects to give examples of how they have been successful in the past. This is a great way to personalize, and not just give information about what we do. But, it is important that the stories we tell make the point we want them to.

One of the participants shared a great story that left all of us thinking about what we needed to do to weatherize the area under our homes for the winter. It was a wonderful story that had us all engaged and ready to do something. There was only one problem… the action we were motivated to take was not the one he was selling.

Sadly, this isn’t all that uncommon. It is easy to get excited about a great story, or something that has meaning to us and forget […]

March 27th, 2016|Tags: |0 Comments

Your Best Marketing Strategy

With so many choices available for marketing, how do we know what is the best investment for us? Well, there’s one marketing choice that is a great investment for everyone, no matter what type of business you’re in. What is this magic method? Superior customer service.

You may be wondering how customer service relates to marketing. Well, I believe everything we do when we interact with our customers is sending a message about how important we believe they are and how much we want to work with them. It is letting them know how well we can meet their needs – and isn’t that really what marketing is all about?

We’ve all heard it said that it is much less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. Well, it’s true in every business. So, given that we know it is less expensive (not to mention easier) to keep a customer than it […]

March 5th, 2016|Tags: , , |0 Comments