All Posts by demi

The Connection Experiment

A lot of entrepreneurs spend the majority of their marketing efforts learning and implementing strategies.  I totally get it.  There's a great sense of accomplishment when we can check something off our to-do list.  Often times, the money coming in doesn't reflect our marketing efforts. 

Don't get me wrong, marketing has its place.  But what I'm seeing more and more, is that entrepreneurs are playing the numbers game.  Things like posting/promoting in a group and then leaving, sending impersonal messages asking if the person is interested in their service/product, handing out as many business cards as possible etc.   Thinking that they need to be louder.  Thinking that by putting out a lot of pictures/posts/videos/emails, that makes them visible. 

I’m going to encourage you to try a little experiment. Instead of spending a majority of your marketing efforts blogging, podcasting, funnel building, emailing, website updating, posting etc., I want you to connect with people.  Interact.  Ask questions.  Share your wins, and your lessons.  Offer support, encouragement, or whatever else would be appropriate for the occasion. 

There are a ton of ways to share your expertise...connect with people while you do it.

Hugs & high fives.

Coming Out of The Closet…Sort of

Man oh man, I didn’t realize that making this shift was going to be so challenging for me. It’s interesting that even though I’ve had a TON of signs and some of them have been in-your-face- type of signs, I’m still VERY nervous.

Am I doing the right thing? Maybe I’m just imagining the signs? Maybe I’m losing a grip on reality? These have been just a few of the doubts running through my mind. Regardless, in spite of my fears and doubts, I’m taking the plunge because there’s a feeling of truth I can’t deny. If you’re into Astrology at all, you may or may not know that Aquarians are known to be humanitarians and true to my sign, I've always had a bleeding heart and a strong urge to help.

In grade 3, my teacher had us choose a partner and write a short skit. I ended up writing one by myself and I wrote an entire play. It was called Three Pennies. It was about a customer in a supermarket who didn't have enough to buy food and another customer in line gave 3 cents so that they could buy whatever they needed(clearly I had no concept of how much food cost).

To my surprise, my teacher asked me if the class could perform it for the school. That must have gone over pretty well because before we knew it, we were performing it for all the parents and I remember thinking it was a big deal because we were doing it at night time.

Besides tooting my own horn, I wanted to share that story with you because there seems to be some truth to the whole "look at what lit you up when you were younger" notion to give you ideas of things you can be doing as an adult.

My life has had a common thread woven into everything I've done...the desire to help.

That's why I created Kindness In Action. There are two parts to this project…

Part 1: People are sick, depressed and turning to addictive behaviours to tune out, suppress or cope with life. I want to share resources, tools and conversations that will impact their physical, mental & spiritual well being. And once they start feeling "better", my hope is that they'll be more inspired and motivated to get behind a cause, that will improve the world we live in. Which is part 2 of the KIA project.

Part 2: Change is so desperately needed. Change in how we treat each other, animals and the planet. People will be able to give from a full cup. If we want things to get better, we have to get better.

As for my business coaching practice, for now I will continue to work with a handful of entrepreneurs because it brings me a deep sense of fulfillment, but I know it's just a matter of time before I let it go completely.

For now, I'll enjoy every moment of it.
Until next time...

xoxox

Shaking Things Up & Creating Connection

Happy day!!

It feels as if so much as happened and I don’t know where to begin so I’ll just start and see where this takes us 🙂

The last 18+ months have been a freaking whirlwind of ups and downs, twists and turns. In previous emails, I had expressed my feelings of disenchantment by all the same old marketing tactics and regurgitation of information and frankly, the bullsh*t.  

Through this, I’ve been trying to find my footing.   What did I want to contribute? Who am I?
At the time, all I knew was that all the “marketing” that was being done out there (and still is), was leaving a bad taste in my mouth.   So I put the brakes on my business to answer the aforementioned questions.   The answers didn’t come.

I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more.  Waiting isn’t one of my strengths. And it turns out letting go and trusting wasn’t either.   I had to trust that; I wasn’t losing my mind, I hadn’t somehow fooled myself into believing that I wasn’t being lazy but in fact, something was happening behind the scenes.   And then slowly, things started to pop up.

Little itty bitty things. I was kinda hoping for a big whopper of a “THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING” sort of epiphany. Before this turns into a novel, I’ll jump ahead, but if you’re interested in hearing the full story, I’m going to record an audio (maybe a video if I’m feeling cute that day) and take you on the journey.   Hopefully you’ll find it helpful if you’ve been feeling the same.

Fast forward 18-ish months. I have a VERY clear understanding of what I want to contribute and who I am. This is the skinny of it. I feel that we’re missing connection and are becoming huge consumers of information and not enough action is being taken . And it's not being taken because, well, putting ourselves out there is scary and with the bazillion things we have to do to get our name out there, it can be overwhelming and confusing.   As a result, more and more entrepreneurs are struggling to make good money.

I also believe that consumers are feeling the same disenchantment I was feeling and that entrepreneurs are missing a huge opportunity by not trying to form a connection with their target audience. That's why I've shifted the focus of my business. The foundation is helping my clients build their business on relationships and connections through the power of words.

We create a plan and then we work together on a daily basis to make sure that action is taken, good habits are formed, grit is built, and money starts flowing.
The best part? They aren't marketing like everyone else.
The results? See for yourself....

Now that was just one part of the journey. The other part is a passion project I’ve started called Kindness In Action. (Taking action seems to be a theme with me)
The website is almost done and I’ll be sharing the details soon.

5 Steps to A Build A Profitable Business

We both know that there are no secrets and there are no perfect formulas when it comes to marketing.  

So before we invest in a(nother) product/program/course, let's promise each other that we'll be more discerning with where we invest our time and money.

The best way to do that is by knowing where the hole is in your marketing strategy and then choosing someone and/or something that can help cut the learning curve. Now there might not be secrets and perfect formulas, there are steps that when done in the right order, will have you making money in quick order.

The following are the steps to build your business...in order of importance. Although steps 3 and 4 can be interchangeable.

Step #1 Have a viable product/service. (Most entrepreneurs have this in place)

Step #2. Know how to speak/write to your audience so that you can convey that you understand their situation (the more intimately, the better) and then be able to write/speak about how your X will solve it for them.

Step #3. Focus on building your community.
Step #4. Invite them to take care of their problem/frustration and/or get their desired outcome (selling) The best way to do it is by building a relationship with them. Talk to them like people instead of prospects.

Step #5. Continue to cultivate your relationship with your community. And again, always remember there's a human being on the other end of your correspondence.

What Catching Two Cats Taught Me About Business

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm passionate about helping animals…helping all life forms actually.So it should come as no surprise that I decided to do something to help the stray cats in my area.

The plan was to catch, spay/neuter and release the feral cats and re-home the ones that were strays.I bought a humane trap, loaded it up with towels and food, and placed it on my porch. It worked! Some were hungry enough to go into it quite readily but there were two that needed a bit more work.

The two in the picture were the ones that required more work.  

It took weeks of consistently feeding them to lower their guard enough to have them come into my home on their own.  I would open the basement window and place the food just outside.

Stray cats
I created a routine. They knew to go to the window to be fed each morning and each afternoon. Eventually, I propped the window open and put the food just inside the window. More time passed and I lured them into the basement (it's not as creepy as it sounds) where they'd carefully watch me while they ate.  But before long, they weren't as watchful of me.
One cold winter day, I went downstairs and saw their faces peering at me through the window. I placed the dishes on the floor, opened the basement window and "nonchalantly" went upstairs.

With slippered feet, I tip toed through the snow, peeked around the corner and saw them disappear inside. I ran, closed the window and stood there grinning from ear to ear. They were now out of the cold. I didn’t know what the next move was, but I knew that I'd figure it out.

So what does my crazy-cat-lady ways have anything to do with business?

If I had put this much effort and determination into my business from the beginning, I would be SOOOOO much further ahead.

I accomplished my goal because I had put 100% of my focus on the task at hand and I never once doubted that I wasn't going to be able to do it. I had made the decision and that was that.

I had created a plan, and then I went about it with the focus and determination of a ninja. I never once thought that I wouldn’t be able to catch the cats…it was just a matter of when.   And even when I hit a hiccup, it didn’t deter me from my objective. I focused on the step I needed to in that moment and trusted that I’d figure out the rest after.

It turns out having a "why" really does make a difference and your why has to be aligned with a core belief you have. If you'd like to find out what happened to the two cats, read on...

I managed to catch the grey cat and took him in to be neutered After the surgery, he came home with me to recover and when he was ready to be released (he's feral), I opened the door for him and he chose to stay.

It turned out the white cat was pregnant. She had her kittens and once she had finished weaning them, I took her in to get spayed. She too decided to stay.

I named them Momma & Poppa cat. Momma wanted little to do with the kittens. She'd feed them but that was the extent of her mothering skills. It was Poppa who stayed with them and cleaned them. If they meowed, he'd carefully inspect each one. The only time he'd leave would be to eat or use the litter.

Stray cats
To this day, I still can't touch Poppa but Momma likes to be pet..on her terms of course.

I Feel Like I’m Rising From The Ashes

It's been almost 3 weeks without my best friend and I'm still trying to find a way to navigate my life without him because we were together ALL the time. And when I say all the time, I mean ALL the time.

We ran errands together, he came on dates, appointments, friend and family get togethers...you get the picture. He injected so much love into my life and made me laugh hard. Every. Damn. Day.

As the grip of grief slowly begins to lessen, a newfound passion has emerged. Passion which has stemmed from deep gratitude. My business afforded me both the time and money to be able to spend as much time with him as I did.

This passion has taken my determination to a whole new level. I'm determined to help nurture the courage of entrepreneurs to do what they need to do. To give people like you and me the nerve to be daring; the nerve to be gritty; the nerve to do what you've come here to do AND to do it while becoming more yourself, every single day.

It starts by knowing what you stand for. Sharing your thoughts. Stating your opinions. Standing your ground. That's when conviction and truth begin to spill from your lips. That's when you trade nice for real..because people don't invest in nice, they invest in conviction.

If you don't know what you stand for, start by asking yourself, what do I stand against?

xo

I Did It!

I did it!!!

I got to put a check mark of completion next to every goal but one for the first quarter.
You may be rolling your eyes and saying "big whoop Karpouzos". Well, you may not be saying Karpouzos because it's a bit of a mouthful...

But I have to tell you that after the emotional rollercoaster ride known as 2016 which had me waving the white flag of surrender, I wasn't sure if my mojo had taken a permanent vacay or not.

I'm happy to report that around November things shifted in a big way and I was a little nervous because I didn't know if I was just making stuff up in my head hoping that 2017 was going to be different or if it in fact was going to be different.
The tool that helped me knock it out of the park this first quarter has been the 90 day plan I put together. BUT, this time I chose strategies that are aligned with who I am. As a business/marketing coach, I'm pretty good at choosing the right strategies to
grow my business but I had been doing things other people were doing in the way that they were doing it. As a result, every month I'd hit my target (or get pretty close) but it was a HUGE pain in the tush. I was practically horizontal pushing my goals up the hill.

This one small tweak allowed me to accomplish my first quarter goals and do it with a sense of ease (not to be mistaken for easy). Things fell into place.

I STRONGLY urge you to review the last 90 days and give yourself an honest evaluation. If you're finding that you're struggling to hit your goals month after month or you don’t even come close to hitting them, it may very well be that your plan isn't the right one for you.

Acknowledge your wins and make note of what was in place in order for you to accomplish it/them.
Acknowledge the goal(s) you missed the mark on and ask yourself were they aligned with who you are? Were they the right strategies based on where you currently are in your business? (this is SO important)

Where there is struggle, there is a truth to be discovered.

If you want some help putting together a 90 day plan that's perfect for you so that you can be the one sending out a holy-crap-look-how-much-my-business-has-grown email, leave a comment with a simple yes 🙂

Hugs & high fives

It’s Not You. It’s Them.

It's Not You.  It's Them.  

I got a lot of great feedback from my last rant blog post (if you missed it you can read it here) and since I have more in me, here we go….. 🙂

In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, someone had posted "I'm tired of people blaming their coach if they don't get results. It's not them, it's you. Do the work and you'll get the results."

I’m calling bulls&*t on this. My response was something similar to the following...

As with any profession, there are great coaches, not so great coaches, and coaches who have no business being coaches.

Plus you have to take into account the different coaching styles, so perhaps the coaching style doesn’t match the person’s learning/growing style.

Are there instances where the client doesn’t do the work? Of course. But to make a blanket statement and say that this is always the case, is not only wrong but can be damaging to the client.

Their response was that there is always a lesson to be learned and it’s up to the client to be resourceful and get the work done. Last time I checked, clients aren't hiring people to get a lesson…they want a result. Second, if they were that resourceful to do the work on their own, they probably wouldn’t need the service. Just sayin'.

Hugs & high fives

Before You Invest In A Program/Course…

Before You Invest In A Program/Course....

When you see an offer that will help you get clients, whether the strategy is how to; do webinars, do Facebook ads, launches, engage people on social media…you name it, the strategy alone will not get you clients.

Are these strategies good to learn? Of course. But they won't do you a lick of good if you don't know how to write content that gets people's attention and moves them to take action.

You can either learn to do this on your own or you can hire someone to do it for you. It’s one thing to know how to put together a webinar to get clients and it’s a whole different ball of wax getting people to sign up for it.

2 Charge What You’re Worth…I don’t think so

Last week I was in Kauai…what a magical place. Travelling from Toronto to Hawaii allowed me a lot of time to reflect on my life and my business. I also used the time to get work done and managed to sneak in two movies.

One of the questions I asked myself on that 14 hour journey was "What have I seen online that bothers me?"

This was one of the many things....
Coaches who tell entrepreneurs to charge what they’re worth.

First can we agree that your price has absolutely nothing to do with your worth?

When you pay someone for a service or a product, you're paying for the result...the value.
It has nothing to do with their personal worth as a human being.

The only question that we need to be asking ourselves when it comes to pricing is, what are the results of my service/product worth to my prospective client?

I encourage you to ask yourself...
  • What does the product/service mean to them personally?
  • How urgent their problem is?
  • What is the experience that I deliver?
  • What results does/do my product/service promise?
Another key factor is how your customers perceive your business in relation to the rest of your competition. So please don't fall for the "charge what you're worth" baloney.