I just read the article “The 11 Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur.” Some points in the downright depressing blog I agree with. Some I don’t. And, at other times, the “harsh realities” of being a small business owner has more to do with perspective.
Here are my Facts About Being an Entrepreneur…
1 It never turns out like you think it will.
2 Everything takes a least twice as long to complete.
3 You can’t do it all yourself. You need a team, even if you are a home-based business owner.
I can’t stress enough how important it is, especially if you are a home based business like me, to have a team of helpers. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be as successful and have as many coaching clients as I do. This is a shout out for my team!!!
1 Jo Anne Musolf – My business and life coach TheMusolfGroup.com
2 Kathy Church – She is beyond a virtual assistant/consultant. Linkedin.com/in/KathyChurchSensibleSpending
3 Kelly Loeffler – Video editor and virtual assistant
4 Lucinda Lintz – My bookkeeping expert Aibz.com
5 Heather Brown – My Website & SEO advisor CulturalSponge.com
Decades ago, a wise teacher in Inglewood, CA told me that most small businesses fail because they don’t take one day at a time. They either get so afraid about what’s going to happen in the future or depressed about opportunities not taken in the past.
One of the ways to get rid of the FEAR of being an entrepreneur is to keep your mind focused only on today.
If you need help staying in the moment, contact Vickie Champion for a complimentary coaching and consulting session.
By Vickie Champion
Now that you know how to get rid of the fear of networking events, here is the surefire evidence it’s working.
When we find ourselves...
Smiling or laughing.
Asking questions and actually listening to the answers.
Arriving early and leaving last.
Feeling a connection with a person before swapping business cards.
Either during the event or looking back at it, having moments of appreciation.
Don’t get yourself out of sorts and in a wreck about networking. Below are suggestions and advice I share with my business coaching and consulting clients to release the fear and get them results. Whether you use one, two or all of them, won't matter because you'll start seeing the results immediately.
Because you need more customers, you sign up to attend a networking event. You're running just a little late. You check the mirror one last time to make sure there's nothing between your teeth. You have your stash of business cards. Once inside you grab your drink. You take a sip and then you proceed to stare at the bottom of the glass like it's the most fascinating work of art you've ever seen. When someone finally tears you away to mingle, it's with the people you know already. And then, thankfully, it's OK to slip out without it being too awkward. Whew!
Later you wonder: Why don't those events ever bring me the results everyone else brags about? What's making the networking event so painful and is causing the lack of good connections is fear.
Is it like pulling teeth to get yourself to a networking event? Do you justify your decision by claiming you're too busy, you're not a self-promoter, or it's a waste of your time? Are you terrified of speaking to strangers?
Maybe you can get yourself to go, but only stay 15 minutes and leave? Or maybe you're afraid to initiate the conversation, so you find a corner and wait for someone to approach you.
After 41 months of blogging, here are my most read blogs on business and entrepreneurship.
Top 5 Small Business Blogs…
#5. Advantages of Hiring People Pleasers
#4. Disadvantages of Hiring People Pleasers
#3. The Many Advantages of Being an Entrepreneur
#2. Disadvantages of Being a Women Entrepreneur
#1. The Many Disadvantages of Being an Entrepreneur
You can contact Vickie Champion at any time for a complimentary coaching and consulting session.
I decided to share some of my tips, suggestions, and advice about running a small business or a home based business.
Here’s a summary of what is talked about in this video…
There are five areas of Small Business.
- Holding the Vision
- Finding Customers
- Implementation, which is doing the actual service or the making the product.
- Looking at the Numbers
- Building & Maintaining a Team
Even if one of the 5 areas of business is neglected than they ALL will come crashing down. They are all equally important.
I have had the honor of filming a few of my coaching clients to get their advice, suggestions, tips, and insights on what they wish they knew when they started their business.
Participants in Part II are Connie Kadansky, Diane Bolden, Darrell Merrick, Debbie Frank, Connie Phillips-Eary, and
To see more inspiring video’s visit Vickie Champion’s YouTube Channel
Contact Vickie Champion for a complimentary life coaching and consulting session.
I have had the honor of filming a few of my coaching clients to get their advice, suggestions, tips, and insights on what they wish they knew when they started their business.
Participants in Part I are Diane Bolden, Connie Kadansky, Ericka Young, Michelle Evard, Cindy Dillard, Sally Marks, JoAnne Musolf, Lucinda Lintz, Margaret Burnison and Alita Kalgaard.
To see more inspiring video’s visit Vickie Champion’s YouTube Channel.
Contact Vickie Champion for a complimentary life coaching and consulting session.
I have the honor of having Ericka Young in one of my advanced Nothing is Impossible for Business group coaching series, which is on their 26th session. I really admired how Ericka pushed through her fear to start her business. Below is her story of how she became an entrepreneur.
One of the most determined, successful life and business coaching clients I’ve had was , Connie Kadansky. She has an uncanny ability to listen, focus anddo the work -- which gets her results quickly.
I recently asked her what she thought has helped her the most to be successful in business. This is Connie’s answer.
The bigger the company, the bigger the range of personalities within it. It usually doesn’t take long to spot the ‘people pleaser.’ They can keep a company running or they can be an instrumental part of its demise.
The Worst Time to Hire a People Pleaser…
When your company…
1 Has a hard time complimenting and showing appreciation to your employees.
2 Needs to fill a leadership position.
5 Is growing so quickly and everyone needs to make some decisions.
4 Hasn’t set up policies and procedures to follow.
You read in the Advantages of Hiring People Pleasers, that people pleasers as employees are going to work hard, be considerate and generally go along with whatever new direction the company plans to take. Great, right? You better think about it before you jump on that recruitment wagon.
Here are the Disadvantages of Hiring People who Need to Please…
1 Tend to exaggerate situations and can get frightened easily.
2 Require lots of compliments and plenty of appreciation, because they base their self-esteem on what they do for others.
People who need to please as employees appear to have many positive traits. They’re not going make trouble, they keep their head down, nose to the grindstone, go along and get along and embody many more cliches about working hard. See if you recognize any employees you’ve hired or even aspects of yourself in this listing of advantages to hiring people pleasers.
Here are the Great Advantages of Hiring People Pleasers…
They are usually…
1 Easily liked by co-workers, clients, and anyone else that walks in your door.
2 Courteous and considerate of others at all times.
I coach many solopreneurs. You know, those entrepreneurs or solo business owners that prefer to go it alone. The path can be both difficult and rewarding and I’ve noticed that successful solopreneurs often share the same tendencies.
Here are some of the Traits of a Successful Solopreneur…
1 Have no problem working an 8-hour day 5 days a week.
2 Are not afraid to make mistakes.
3 Don’t let personal matters distract them during work hours.
4 Set work priorities and follow them.
Now that you know my story from the previous blog, The Story of Why I Started Offering Pay What you Can Afford, I will now give you the reasons why it fits me perfectly right now.
Here are 5 Good Reasons I Offer Pay What you Can Afford…
- It helps me keep “making a difference” and“doing the right thing” at a much higher priority than “making money.”
- It builds my faith that God is my source, not my clients.
It all began in the first month of 2009. You know, when everything seemed to be falling apart. More people were calling desperate for my business and life coaching services. The minute I told them my rates, it was like I was snatching their last bit of hope away.
At the same time, my current clients were sending in their payments later and later. And then every few days an individual coaching client had to either stretch out the sessions or discontinue for financial reasons. I was still a lot busier than most of my competitors, but I strongly believe when obstacles start popping up that it’s time to look at my business model and do some tweaking.
In one of A Course of Miracles booklets it says “No one should be turned away because he cannot pay.” Well, I’ve been skirting that sentence for years. So much for faith. I believed it was time to address it.
For a month, I agonized over different business strategies I could adopt to avoid what was inevitable. I solicited advice from several marketing consultants and, of course, my business coach. Against most of the advice, I decided to take a risk and began offering “pay what you can afford” small business coaching and life coaching sessions and workshops.
I started by notifying the clients who remained with me about the “pay what you can afford” and offered them the chance to switch. All the time hoping to God they wouldn’t. None of them did.
This was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. See the upcoming blog, 5 Reasons I Offer Pay What you Can Afford, to find out why.
If you’ve let the lack of funds stop you from hiring that much needed business coach or life coach, contact me for affordable coaching, Vickie Champion.
She pushed me. She cajoled me. She reassured me. Blogging would help build my credibility. It would help me reach clients. It would make me a better coach.
The commitment seemed overwhelming.
Finally I relented and wrote my first blog. Today I am celebrating two and a half years in the blogosphere. Sometimes I still don’t know where I’m going when I start, but my fingers find the way. Thank you my former assistant Robin Parker – wherever you are now – for setting me on the path.
You won’t find this in “How to Start a Business” books or any classes. And yet, I have found this one thing can cause more harm to a home-based entrepreneur’s success than anything else. The majority of my solopreneur coaching clients suffer from it and some battle it on a daily bases. I have run a home-based business for 16 years now and still encounter episodes. What is it? Isolation Disease.
Here are the Symptoms of Isolation Disease…
- Can’t get motivated.
- Start adopting the “What’s the use” attitude.
- Believe you are the only one suffering from this disease.
Here’s what Vickie Champion talks about in this video…
Hi! I’m Vickie Champion. I am a business and life coach who helps people listen to their “intuition.”
This is one of the videos in a series called “Is this your Intuition?” One of my assistants will describe a common scenario and then ask you if the person used their intuition or not? Then I’ll tell you my answer and explain “why” I came to that conclusion.
A COMMON SCENARIO- MAKING A CONNECTION AT A NETWORKING EVENT
To me, this is the most evolved of the three methods of motivating. Not only does it inspire and propel us into action, but it also helps others. This method is the desire to get better and better at something that really matters.
Benefits of Using Making a Difference to Motivate…
1 Are motivated by how we feel when working on projects. The fun is in mastering the challenge of a given problem.
2 Are motivated by experimenting with possibilities and devising solutions.
3 Like to be recognized for our accomplishments instead of requiring costly rewards.
Up until 2008, most individuals and companies have used the desire to prosper as their main method of motivation. We were in an era where most people had their basic needs of food and shelter met and were focusing on becoming wealthy or very profitable.
When to Use the Desire to Prosper to Motivate…
1 When people are not afraid and focused on survival but are ready to thrive.
2 When someone is easily motivated by dangling carrots—getting rewards for certain outcomes.
Believe it or not, many of us wait and take action only when we are afraid. Consider how many businesses are just now getting into social media to attract disappearing customers. Or think about or how many individuals have begun saving money now only because they fear the unstable economy. Fear can be a great motivator, but there are times it’s not effective.
Use Fear to Motivate When Someone…
1 Needs a wake up call. A good example of this is driving after drinking and having a car wreck.
2 Wants to get immediate results. A good example of this is making your sales goals this month.
Not many small business owners realize there are different methods of motivation. Some get responses quickly but are short lived and others are the foundations of a healthy, strong business.
There are Three Ways to Motivate Yourself and Your Employees. You can be…
1 Motivated by Fear
This is the ability to prompt yourself or your staff to action because you fear what will happen if you don’t.
2 Motivated by Profit
Profits and wealth fuel this desire by you and your staff.
3 Motivated by Purpose
As a business and life coach, a topic that comes up in coaching sessions is “when is it the right time to purchase an item.” Do we buy before we need it?
Buying Before we Need it
If we buy before we need it, there is a good chance we have a lack or fear mentality. An example of this would be a business buying a piece of equipment before offering the service to any of their clients. Or running to the grocery store and buying extra groceries for your visitors before finding out what they like to eat.
Are you person A? The Avoider? You have a difficult relationship with a client, boss, co-worker, friend, spouse or any other relationship so you spend much of your day on autopilot. You are desperately trying to eliminate all thoughts and dealings with him or her. Out of sight, out of ear-shot, out of mind, you think.
Or are you person B? The Bad Mouther? You spend a lot of your time thinking about what that person said or did, and, in fact, bad mouthing them to anyone who will listen?
Here are Some More Signs we Really Need to Improve a Relationship...
The other day I caught myself being defensive about adding color on my website. What would make me go off like that? Any time I'm that adamant, I know there is some hidden treasure I can learn from it.
Here's Some of the Advantages of Being Defensive at Work...
- Avoid changing our mindset or behaviors.
- Pretend it makes us a strong leader.
- Hide our doubts and the fear of losing control.
- Take full advantage of using excuses.
- Camouflage our oversensitivity.
- Keep ourselves busy constantly defending our position.
Over the last few years I have had the opportunity to coach many solopreneurs. Now, more than ever, the most common topic we discuss is how to attract more clients.
I advise them that now the best way is to increase their website traffic and convert them into clients. They tell me over and over, “I just don’t know where to start, nor do I have the time or desire to learn how to do it!”
So for some of my current coaching clients, I act as their Internet Marketing Manager, helping them attract clients by improving their online marketing campaigns. Now seems like the right time to introduce this new aspect of my business.
Remember, for the last few decades businesses have gotten away with keeping little secrets and telling half truths. Not anymore. To build trust, businesses now have to show they have nothing to hide and are unafraid to be open.
We Will Continue with Other Ways to Market Your Business to Build Trust...
- Get active on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It builds credibility that you are a legitimate business, especially to people using them and to anyone under the age of 40.
In the previous two blogs I explained why building trust is so important for our businesses and ways to use photos to build trust. If the purpose of your website is partially to attract potential clients, then gaining their trust invites them to contact you.
We will continue with another important method to gain trust, text.
Here Are Ways to Use TEXT on Your Website to Build Trust...
- Attach a blog and get serious about adding posts on a consistent basis. Most of my website visitors are now originating from my blog posts.
In the previous blog I explained why building trust is so important for our businesses, especially now. Since our website has become the hub of our marketing efforts, it's crucial we use it to gain and build upon that trust.
We will start with the most important method to gain trust, photography.
Here's Ways to Use PHOTO's on Your Website to Build Trust...
- Put headshots of the owners, managers, sales, and the customer service staff on the "About Us" page.
- Replace stock photos with pictures of: Your building, a company photo, staff assisting clients, products being made, speaking engagements, or anything else that pertains to your business. See my Meet Vickie page for an example.
As a business coach, I'm always looking for the latest trends and how to stay ahead of the crowd. Last year my intuition told me to read What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. That got me on a roll. Since then I have read several books, searched the net, attended seminars, and even developed three workshops based on How Marketing is Changing & Why we Need to Pay Attention. A primary message of those workshops is that authenticity and honesty is replacing the old paradigm of hyped-up, hard-sell marketing.
As a business coach, I often get asked whether it will pay off to blog or not?
I started blogging in October 2008. Now, almost all of my clients come from online searches and a good portion of them are originating from my blogs.
Here's Why I Think Blogs Help Businesses...
- Can improve search engine rankings if it is connected or links to your website. This means the name of your business is closer to the top of the listings when someone “Googles” your type of business on the internet.
- Are cost effective.
- Help you stand out.
In one of my Nothing Is Impossible™ for Business classes, we were discussing leadership skills. One of the concepts brought up was that "there are no lousy employees, only poor leaders."
We concluded that as leaders our job is to take time and find the brilliance in every employee and bring it out. Everyone wins when all of our team is using their talents to the fullest.
Can you think of something else that makes a good leader?
To find out about Nothing Is Impossible™ for Business Program.
Other related articles and blogs by Vickie Champion you might be interested in are:
Obviously, working from home is not for everybody. With my business and career coaching clients, I listen to my intuition and often suggest they either find a new job or change their thoughts and behaviors to create a better environment at the old job.
Here are some Disadvantages of Working from Home...
- No longer use our commuting time as our think time or time to wind down and relax.
- Have difficulty getting motivated without someone to impress.
- Overeat because no one's noticing.
- Work too little because of our flexible schedule.
We can set our own hours, get a massage in the middle of the afternoon and avoid the hovering boss. This much we know about working from home. But working from home has some subtle, not-so-obvious perks as well. Though small and even overlooked these advantages can influence our mental, physical and emotional health.
Here are Some Not-so-Obvious Benefits of Working from Home...
- Multi-task during boring conference calls.
- Provide companionship to our pets.
- Go shopping when we don't have to wait in lines.
- Forget what terms like office pod means.
When I started my own business years ago, I noticed quite a difference from working in an office environment and working from home. I was use to the hustle and bustle of a busy office with the phoning ringing off the hook, unproductive meetings and my team constantly wanting something or another.
Here is What I Think are Benefits of Working from Home...
- Save hours a day in commuting time.
- Relax. No one's looking over our shoulder, monitoring our every move.
- Eat healthier.
- Schedule dentist and doctor appointments easier.
As a business coach and consultant I often come across struggling entrepreneurs who believe that being self-employed means doing it ALL BY YOURSELF.
Signs You are an Entrepreneur who is Reluctant to Build a Team...
- Believe it’s easier to do it yourself.
- Are focused on having everything perfect.
- Mistake activity for achievement.
- Catch yourself wanting to control every aspect.
- Confuse self-esteem with being self-reliant.
- Think things are urgent and can't wait for someone else to do it.
- Often feel overwhelmed.
- Believe to accomplish more, you just need to buckle down and work harder.
I often get asked by home-based business coaching clients if they are charging their clients enough. Several years ago my uncle from Denver, Colo. taught me how to calculate my pricing to make sure I covered my expenses. This breakeven estimate made by business profitable back then and I still use it today.
Here's How to Figure a Minimum Hourly Price for your Home-Based Service Business -
1 Add ALL your business expenses and your portion of your personal expenses for a year. This is your Total Yearly Expenses.
A frequent topic in my business coaching and consulting sessions is "how do I get sales from my website." There are three components to consider if you want your website to be an effective tool.
1 Create Good Content-
The most effective websites have content that educates, entertains, tells stories, and motivates. I have four quizzes (two about work, one about intuition, and one about money) on my site that visitors have said they take over and over.
A well-done website can convince potential customers that you are the one they want to do business with. A confusing website will send customers looking elsewhere. Is your website outdated? Does it need some tweaking? Or does it need a complete overhaul?
Here's How to Use Your Website to Attract Clients...
- Realize people just scan copy to see if it's relevant. So make it easy with bullet points, numbers, and short paragraphs.
- Write and arrange copy so that the more important points are bigger, in color, bolder or in italics so that they stand out.
For me, it’s the website with lots of these!!!!!! After every!!! Sentence!!! Everyone has a website that they can’t click off fast enough. If they could have stomached staying, they may have connected with the perfect business partner or client. Are you losing clients because your website is driving people away with annoying features?
How to Use Your Website to Drive Away Potential Clients...
- Don't put any photos of you or your staff on your website.
- Make sure you have slow loading pages, more than 3 seconds.
Part of my job as a business coach and consultant is detective work. A client presents me with a problem. It’s a lack of making sales problem. It’s a manufacturing problem. It’s a cash flow problem. We begin to talk about said problem. But after some probing and investigation I realize it’s not any of those things at all. Rather, it’s a relationship problem. I think we give our relationship problems many disguises either because we believe we must tolerate difficult business relationships or can avoid them altogether.
Here are Some of the Reasons Why we WOULDN'T Want to Improve a Business Relationship...
There are so many coaching programs out there now. Some are franchises like ActionCoach.com, or certification programs like DreamCoach.com, or a variation like LiveOutloud.com, which hires verifiable millionaire coaches after they complete all of Loral Langemeirer’s seminars.
I thought it would be good information to do a comparison between a coaching program and an individual coach.
I asked some of the successful coaches I know that have been in the business for years what they thought:
KATHERINE HALPIN, Executive Coach & Leadership Strategist,
There are some people who would not profit from hiring a business coach. It would waste time and money. A business coach would only serve to rob them of hours away from doing the work they love and helping others.
Here are Some Signs you DON'T Need to Hire a Business Coach...
- You wake up every morning and can't wait to get started on your work day and at night have to literally pry yourself away.
- You have more passion for your work than you did on your first day.
- You have more than enough clients or job opportunities.
For more than a decade now, I have suggested affirmations or mantras as a tool to solve just about any problem. I have seen them work at increasing sales, making peace in relationships and kicking bad habits. Out of the hundreds of workshop attendees and business coaching and life coaching clients I've had, I have yet to see anyone who did affirmations on a consistent basis who did not benefit from them.
Here are Some of the Many Advantages of Doing Affirmations...
- We see quick RESULTS with little effort.
- They help us achieve our DREAMS.
- Affirmations build CONFIDENCE and SELF-ESTEEM.