Posts Tagged ‘Motivation’

Best Business Book to Read This Summer

I get business books in the mail every day. I sift through hundreds of them each year in an effort to  search for the best ones for small business owners to read. Here is my list every business owner should read this summer:

Duct Tape Selling – John Jantsch
Most small business owners stink at sales and marketing. From the author of the popular book, Duct Tape Marketing, comes a new book that shows how the job of the sales person has changed. Instead of ABC meaning “always be closing”, John’s ABC’s are “always be connecting”. Information on the Internet has shifted the very foundation of the sales process. Sales people no longer have to just close, but need to teach, serve and develop trust. They have to create their own expert platform, stay connected before and after the sale by curating value content for their clients.

Profit First – Mike Michalowicz
Making a profit is a huge problem for many small business owners. They don’t know how to use financial statements and pay themselves last. Mike shares a money management system that is more intuitive and beneficial than traditional GAAP accounting. Instead of focusing on sales and revenue, he focuses on profit. A must read for every entrepreneur who wants to make money.

Do/Lead–  Les McKeown
Alpha leaders are dead. There are no longer bosses and employees. In a small business, each person has the ability (and obligation) to step up and lead. Les tackles four myths that have paralyzed modern leadership and provides the tools needed to be an impactful leader including the mindset, the techniques, and how to get started.

The Etiquette Advantage in Business – Peter Post et al.
The business world is becoming too casual. Manners still have an important place. Peter and his family provide timeless “Emily Post” type advice for any business situation from dinner with the boss to the first meeting with a new client. He shows how to write persuasive emails to choosing the appropriate dress for the office.

When The Buyer Says No – Tom Hopkins and Benn Katt
Sales legend Tom Hopkins focuses on the biggest problem for most small businesses; what to do when the customer says no. In this book of strategy, the reader learns a new approach to selling called the Circle of Persuasion. Tom and Benn simplify the tricky sales process by providing a step-by-step guide with real-world examples to ultimately show how a “no” can turn into a “heck yes”.

Haunted Empire – Yukari Iwatani Kane
Want to know what Apple is like after Steve Jobs? Former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, asks “Can a great company stay great without its visionary leader?” She examines Apple in the two years since the death of Steve Jobs and provides insight into the future of this iconic company. A very fascinating read which will change your view of Apple.

Pitch Perfect – Bill McGowan
Words still matter. The right ones can make the difference between sealing the deal or losing the customer. Media professional Bill McGowan shares how to use the perfect tone to convey the right message. In the world of media, there is only one shot and Bill shows the reader how to get it right!

Start Me Up!– Ebong Eka
I have made a lot of mistakes. I wish I read this book years ago. Start Me Up! shows how many causes of new businesses failure are 100% preventable by providing strategies to avoid the four major pitfalls that they experience.

Hacking H(app)iness – John Havens
With Pharrell Williams hit, “Happy” sweeping the globe, it seems like that is the new goal of every small business professional. Hacking H(app)iness describes how to leverage personal data that is being produced by tracking activities on smart phones and computers as a way to understand what brings people happiness. He shows how the Information Age can improve our personal lives as well as our companies

Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth – Chris Brogan
Growing up, I always felt different. In his latest book, Chris makes all of us freaks feel at home. He targets those who believe they may be too different or “not the business type” and shows them how to turn it into a revolutionary business. After you read this book, sign up for his daily newsletter.

Execution IS the Strategy: How Leaders Achieve Maximum Results in Minimum Time – Laura Stack
Laura emphasizes the importance of having an organization that is fast on its feet; one that can easily adjust its strategy to changing realities. Her L-E-A-D formula outlines the four keys to execution to give companies the agility they need to succeed.

And you may want to pick up my new book….

How to Get Unstuck


7 Lies Entrepreneurs Tell Themselves

Posted on by Barry Moltz

Stocksy_txpd72b69c8tH5000_Small_100354In order to stay positive, entrepreneurs need to lie to themselves a lot. Unfortunately, this can get them in trouble when they have improbable expectations and surprising outcomes. Here are the 7 biggest lies and the truth about what to do instead:

  1. Sales will be better next month. Many entrepreneurs believe that sales will always increase in the future. They reason that with more revenue, there will be more profit. The truth is that they don't change their sales and marketing efforts to give their company a better chance actually increasing sales. To boost revenue, companies need to be there when customers want to buy. Only a systematic sales and marketing effort will accomplish this.
  2. The next big customer (or product or employee) will change their company forever. The belief is that the next big break will take their company to the next level. The truth is that progress in companies typically build slowly and success doesn't usually have a tipping point. Think about the essentially building blocks that will grow the company step by step.
  3. Big money means taking big risks. They read the urban folklore of the few who took big risks and made billions. The truth is that most people fail. The success in business comes from taking small steps, evaluating the results, and taking the next action.
  4. Competitors are slow. Many entrepreneurs think that their competitors are not innovative and can't react quickly. Tell that to Blockbuster and Borders. The truth is that there will always be a competitor thinking up a better mousetrap. The entrepreneur needs to know what their competitive advantage will be when that day comes.
  5. Keeping the financials in their head. Many entrepreneurs believe that they do not need to review their company financial statements. The truth is that most of the time  their expectations do not match what is actually going on. This is why it's important to read and understand these statements every month.
  6. Getting paid last in their business. They reason that they are investing in their company and this is how they justify living off of savings while running a start up. The truth is that if an entrepreneur does not draw a livable wage from their company, they have a hobby, not a business. Always include the owner's salary in the monthly budget.
  7. Being busy means being productive. Many entrepreneurs believe if they are busy at work then they must be adding to the value of the company. The truth is that with all the distractions and interruptions that can enter an entrepreneur's daily life, they need to be very disciplined that they focus on projects that will make a deep impact on the company. Pick the two things that need to get done today and complete them before starting any other task.

What lies do you tell yourself?  

4 Ways To Be Happier (and More Successful) Every Day

Are you happy every day? Most days? Not very often? Happiness is a tricky topic, especially for small business owners. Many entrepreneurs feel that happiness comes only after a business has reached a benchmark, but as Elaine Suess, leadership and talent management coach for Beyondbeing Coaching & Consulting in Cincinnati, explains, success before happiness is a misconception.

“Science has proven that it is the other way around,” she says. “Happiness comes first and it helps our brains work more productively to then be successful.”

Need help boosting your feelings of happiness? Take note of the following recommendations.

Meditate at your desk

Meditation has been proven to increase feelings of happiness. Try doing it for two to 10 minutes at your desk by taking deep breaths and focusing on clearing your mind. “Anything that creates more of an open space in your mind makes room for innovation, kindness and curiosity,” says Suess, adding that it is best to sit up straight with your feet on the ground and just letting go of whatever enters your mind, “without judgment.”

Practice being a “hero”

Suess says it is important to prepare yourself for positive thoughts. One way to do this is by assuming a “hero pose” before going into a big meeting or a stressful work situation. “The hero pose is the same gesture people make when they cross a finish line and lift up their arms,” she says. “Strategically making use of that one pose helps increase testosterone and decrease cortisol, the chemical related to stress.”

In addition, try taking an exercise break in the middle of your day. If you don’t have a gym at your office, consider walking around your building or parking lot. The movement will help you produce feelings of happiness.

Be grateful

Spend time every day thinking about what you are grateful for. Consider writing down three specific things that you are grateful for and continuing that practice. Your focus on being grateful will train your brain to look at the positive aspects of your life, says Suess.

Positively review your day

On your way home from work, instead of rehashing mess-ups or aggravating situations, try to focus on the positive things that happened in your day. “Think about what went well,” she suggests. “We all have a tendency to focus on our problems and wanting to fix those problems, but if we train ourselves to amplify what is going right in our lives, it will make us more effective, more positive and increase happiness.” 


Have You Really Given it 100%?

Hard-WorkOne of the most common statements that I hear over and over again from struggling entrepreneurs and business owners (and even from friends and family in my personal life!) is that they have given it 100%. This statement is usually an attempt of sorts to make a person feel better about throwing in the towel regarding a particular business endeavor or giving up on a challenging situation when the outcome does not work out in the way that they had anticipated.

But, in virtually every situation when those words are uttered, 100% effort was not put forth. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that 50% effort wasn’t even given. Those words are just a smoke screen to help provide a false sense of comfort to excuse the person saying them from trying or continuing on.

You will hear others tout that they have given it 100% in all kinds of situations and not just in business. This phrase gets uttered whenever someone is looking for an excuse to give up when the going gets tough. It doesn’t matter what the goal is- in every kind of situation from completing a strict new workout regime to working through failing marriage, or even solving a difficult business issue, most often, the reality is that the individual had put forward some kind of effort, but nowhere near 100% effort. 

Ask yourself when you are dealing with a challenging situation: have you really given it 100%? Have you really thought through, worked through and tried to implement every possible solution imaginable? Have you really tried to connect and seek the help of every single person that you know through your personal, professional and even social media networks? If your business is failing, have you truly exploited every possible avenue in terms of marketing, teaming up with other related businesses or competitors, following up with potential and current customers, reducing waste, boosting efficiency and improving customer service? Now, I’m not a betting woman, but I’m willing to bet that the answer is “no”, which means that you didn’t really give it 100%.

So, when you are trying to reach a difficult goal or are faced with a challenging situation in business (or even in your personal life), really give it 100%. Think through and then act on every possible scenario and solution until you meet that goal or fix that issue. I always find that it helps to write out a list of all possible solutions.  And then, I break those solutions down into smaller steps and goals that are easier to reach.  It makes everything seem less overwhelming and sometimes, leads to a solution that you hadn’t even thought about before. It can be easy to get discouraged, but don’t give up because something is harder than you had anticipated. Really push yourself, because that extra effort that you put in will make all of the difference between failure and success.

Do you have any advice or anecdotes about giving it 100% effort in business or otherwise?  Please share it below.

Entrepreneurs: 4 Ways To Inspire Yourself Today

The life of a typical entrepreneur is filled with meetings and managing employees. The daily grind can feel dull at times and stretch on and on, making it difficult to find inspiration.

Here, Elizabeth McCormick, an inspirational speaker regularly featured on CBS News and 20/20, offers a few ways that business owners can find inspiration every day.

Stop comparing your business to others

“You don’t know what is going on in another business behind closed doors,” she says. “Compare your business to your own business instead. It’s too easy and self destructive to go negative.”

If you find yourself thinking along negative lines, McCormick says you should consider what is working and what can you to do make your company better or more unique.

Take a risk

Sit down and think about your top goals for your business. Are you working to achieve those goals right now? If not, take a risk. Have faith that things will work out for the best.

“Create a new tradition and break the mold,” McCormick recommends. “If not you, then who?”

Care for yourself

It can be so easy for entrepreneurs to focus on everyone around them—employees, management, investors, and family members—and completely forget to tend to themselves. McCormick recommends taking some “me” time because a break can help you best your best.

“You are the face of your business. How you are reflects on your business,” she says. “Are you physically prepared to meet the challenges in your day? Are you well rested? If we don’t care of ourselves we will not able to be there for anyone else.”

Visualize the positive

Business owners are quick to plan for the worst, says McCormick.

“But what if everything goes great? What if your business explodes and grows exponentially?” she asks. “Be positive in your thinking and you will stay inspired.” 


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