All Posts by demi

2 The Lie That Nearly Ruined My Business

The Lie That Nearly Ruined My Business

When I started my business over 7 years ago, I was full of excitement (and some fear) and I truly thought that I’d be making money in no time. Every day I sat at my desk from morning to night (unless I left to attend a networking event or a business coffee date) and I worked…and I worked…and I worked.

The dollars were barely trickling in and that went on for a little over a year. And even after I started making more money, it was NO WHERE near consistent for the first 3 years of my business. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I spent a lot of time on my business but I wasn’t actually doing the things that would get me business.

I convinced myself I needed to learn more and I began consuming as many free “how-to’s” as I possibly could. Although I learned some things, I wasn’t seeing the results I needed (I wasn’t even at the want stage).

I don’t know if this has ever happened to you…You're hearing how more and more people are killing it in their business and your situation gets worse than what you’re willing to tolerate and you say “F&*k this! This has got to change.”

It got to the point where I felt that impulse and I decided to take out my close-to-being-maxed-out credit card and invest in a program that touted it would help me get clients.

I was so excited and I knew that this was going to be THE thing that propelled me forward. I showed up bright-eyed and full of hope. Around week three, life got in the way and things got so busy. I began saving all the homework in a folder with full intention of getting to it later. Later never came.

Can you relate?

This happened more times than I care to admit. I would start things with a heck of a lot of gusto and then mwah-mwah-mwah…ended up going back to doing the same old-same old.

It was during one of those times that I realized what a big fat liar my ego is and the lie that I had been telling myself.

The lie that I just needed to know one more thing, get more organized…there was always something.

The truth is, what I needed to do was get right with me. I needed to learn to stay in the game and finish what I started AND to do so with the full intention of hitting my goal. Instead, what I had been doing was backing off when I had to put myself out there. I was backing off if it didn't look like I was going to hit my numbers. I’d come up with a reason why I should decrease my efforts and promise myself that NEXT time, I’d go ALL IN.

When left to our own devices, our natural tendency is to take the path of least resistance and go back to our old patterns...until the impulse hits again and it hits harder because we’re that much deeper in whatever isn’t serving us anymore.

I was tired of worrying if I was going to be able to pay my bills. I was tired of feeling like a failure. I was tired of having to do without. I was tired of feeling overwhelmed. I was just tired. I made the decision to focus solely on honouring my commitments to myself. No matter what.

I set up a plan (I’ve since refined and honed this plan and it kicks ass if I do say so myself), I set up my morning ritual to get me in the zone (90%…err…probably 87% of the time) and I stayed vigilant in building my grit muscle.

It’s the reason why I went from very few clients to being booked out a year in advance. I was actually doing the actions that I needed to take in order to get clients. AND not only was I killing it, but I was having a great time (most of the time).

You don’t need to pile more marketing strategies and hacks onto your plate.

You need to set yourself up so that you execute from beginning to end, what you set out to do. I bet you know enough right now…yes, right now, to get you clients by the end of the week. Guaranteed.

Pricing & Other Fun Stuff

At any given time, my inbox has a whack of emails from people asking me questions about their business and I’ve picked some of the most frequently asked along with my answers. I hope you find it/them helpful and that they answer any of your questions 🙂 

Q:  Should I give away free consultations? 

A:  This isn’t as straightforward as I’d like it to be. If you’re just starting out, doing some free consultations may be of benefit.  BUT make sure you ask for a testimonial in return.  So they either sing your praises on social media or they send something to you and of course you would then plaster it every where.  If you’re not just starting out, than my advice to you is to respect your time.  You’re running a business not a charity.  Unless of course you don’t have enough clients and if that’s the case, we need to talk.

And while we’re on the topic of free….

Q:  What do I say to people who want "to pick my brain"?

A:  Your time is money.  Period.  A polite way to redirect them is by saying something like: "That's something that I can best explain during a scheduled consulting session.  Here's the link for your convenience."


Q:  Should I list my prices on my website?

​A:  This is a personal preference but I’m going to suggest you do. Think about the times you’ve gone on a website and they didn’t have the price listed of what you were looking for. What are the chances you’re going to send them a note to ask?  You may, but you’re more likely to move on to the next website.  Unless someone has specifically recommended a company to you than you’re more likely to make the effort or you’ll ask the person who recommended them.  Another thing is that it gives people the impression that you’re expensive and expensive to them might be a lot more than what you’re charging.  Something to think about.

Let’s say you choose not to list your prices or maybe someone comes to you from another avenue and hasn’t looked at your website…

Q:  If someone just wants to know my prices, what should I do?

A:  Get them on the phone to tell them (don’t email your prices).  Let them connect with you and get a sense of who you are and your vibe.  Remember that people just want to feel like they’re making the best choice.  Help them feel that way.  It’s your personality and your conviction that will leave an impression…not your prices.

Q:  When I’m pricing something, can I round up instead of ending it with a 7 or a 9 like I see so many other people do?

A:  There's a psychological reason why we as consumers tend to more readily buy things that are priced at $1.97 or $1.99 instead of $2.00.  When we look at the price of something, we focus on the first number.  So in the above example, you’re looking at it as one dollar and change.  If it’s priced at $2.00, that puts it at the next level and it might be one level too high, based on what they were expecting to pay.  Another reason why we tend to buy something that ends with a 7 or a 9 is because it’s a specific number and people assume that it was thought out and therefore valid.

Q: Should I ask for a deposit ahead of time?

A:  Definitely!  This is what professionals do.  They have agreements and take deposits.  Not only are you setting the tone for them to take your work together seriously and to bring their A-game but if they decide to cancel on you last minute, it will help recoup your costs.  You may be thinking “there wasn’t any cost”.  There is only one of you and you can only work with so many people at a time, in order to say yes to them, you had to say no to someone else (trust me your business will get there if it isn’t there already).

Q:  If they say they'll get back to me, and then don't, should I follow up?

A:  Let me start by saying, don’t leave them in charge of closing the deal.  They won’t.  So whenever you’re wrapping up a call with a prospective client and there’s that awkward moment, take control of the conversation and just say “Let’s do this:  You review the details, and I’ll give you a call on Wednesday to see what questions you have?  Sound good?  People are coming to you to be the expert.  They'll respect you when you step up to the plate and take control.  And if they’re hemming and hawing about you contacting them, then they’re probably tire kickers or not interested.  Either way, let it go and move on.

Q:  What if people tell me how wonderful I am and how much they love my offerings / ideas / products...but never actually BUY?

A:  There are a lot of different factors. We should talk if this is happening.  However, I’d first ask you if what you’re selling is intangible.  If so, you want to make sure that you’re not using words that has your prospect sitting there thinking, "That would be nice to have."  Instead use words that have them say "Yes, I need this."  If I were to tell you that by working with me, you’ll become more confident, you're going to intellectually know what the means but it won't evoke any feelings which means you probably won't buy from me.  On the other hand, if I tell you that one of my client's who came to me because she was having a difficult time telling people what she did and that when she did manage to do a video or make a post, she never felt really good about it and the fact that no one took action, proved she was right, and that within the first month of working together, she ended up able to speak with conviction and went on to make an extra $30,000 that month thanks to her newfound confidence.  The person can get excited and it feels like a smart, targeted investment.

Hugs & high fives,



Has This Ever Happened To You?

Can we talk about relationships here for a minute? More specifically how to develop them in the context of business.

So picture this. You get an invite to connect on a social media platform…oh let’s pick LinkedIn for this scenario. You check out the person and you like their vibe so you accept. Shortly thereafter, you get a message from them and you’re thinking “Wow! Look at them adding the personal touch."

You open it in anticipation and as your eyeballs start scanning the contents of said message, you realize it’s “one of those” messages…mwah-mwah-mwah. You know the one where they introduce themselves, tell you what they do, who they help and to check out their X. Not one question or inquiry to find out an iota about you. Really?!

You delete it and go about your business. A month later you see that you’ve received an email from the "let me tell you all about me" person.

You're thinking that since they've taken the time to do some investigating in order to get your email, surely this message will be more conversational. (or am I the only one?)

You immediately notice that they've blind carbon copied this message to goodness knows how many other people. And for three paragraphs, go on to tell you all about them. Check them out here, connect with them there and to read/watch their latest greatest X right here.

The initial reaction might be one of annoyance but after a little bit of time (and some chocolate), you’re now able to respond with minimal snarkiness and perhaps your feedback would be something similar to this…

  • If you’re going to take the time to send someone a message when you/they accept the request to connect (which I HIGHLY recommend you do), be social. Introduce yourself, share why you’ve connected (make it about them), and then ask them ask a question or two to get to know them better.
  • Once you’ve established rapport, if you prefer corresponding via email, ask for permission.
  • Personalize your email. Make sure that what you’re sharing is applicable to them.

Hugs & high fives,
Demi

The Day I Decided to Ditch The Crown & Stop The Madness

I used to be the queen of secrets, strategies, blueprints, cheatsheets, programs, courses...who jumped on every freebie from everyone who claimed that could help me be JUST LIKE THEM!

But I was a broke queen who drank too much coffee.

Slept too little.

And heard crickets when she put out an offer to her “loyal” fans.

So I decided to ditch the crown and stop the madness.

And sat down with a pen and paper (amazing how that small thing creates such big things)
This is what I realized:

There really are only 3 steps to building a profitable business and I was doing them all in the wrong order and at times, I was even trying to do them all at once.

Result?

Chaos

Madness

Heartbreak

And crickets


After I understood the 3 steps, I went to work on implementing them in the right order.

Within 90 days, I added 2739 people to my email list, and I went from barely being able to pay my bills each month, to making a little over $5,000 right off the bat (and that has continued to grow to the tune of 5 figures each month).

I have a team now and I don’t run around like a headless chicken.

I have a business based on a simple and solid system.

I am not a queen any more (neither am I broke) but I sure as hell know how to work this entrepreneur thing.

So here’s my advice to you:

Get off the never-ending cycle of secrets, strategies, blueprints, cheatsheets, programs, courses.

Get a pen & paper and take stock

Of your business

Your strengths

Your blindspots

And build a business based on that.

Oh and...

Hit me up if you need any help with doing that.

What To Prioritize For The Health of Your Business (and your sanity)

How & What To Prioritize For The Health of Your Business (and your sanity)

If you’re anything like me, one of the biggest obstacles you face in your business is the never ending list of stuff to do.

AND it doesn’t help that everybody and their dog are constantly demanding your attention. From emails to texts to Facebook messages and my oh-so-favourite..people who call, wait for it to go to voicemail and instead of leaving a message like a “normal” person, they hang up and immediately call you back.

We’ve all heard about guarding our time, setting boundaries, and Pomodoro’ing. But that can be easier said than done when your list has more words than the Bible. This is where prioritizing makes the difference. Where do I come up with these original tidbits? *said with sarcasm*

We all know we have to prioritize but what we may not know, is WHAT to prioritize.

Now you may not want to ever take relationship advice from me, but this highly analytical and organized brain of mine is pretty good at getting the important things done (90% of the time). I’d like to share what I do to prioritize and who knows?! You may find it helpful.

Do the one thing that’s most important to the lifeblood of your business.

I’ll even tell you what it is. Marketing activities.

Marketing activities get you in front of your prospective clients. It’s what keeps your business growing, stable and healthy. Most people put it last because they want to check off those other items that take less time in order to open up more time to work on marketing. It ain’t gonna happen. You’ll use up all your time doing those things.

Noooooo. Answering emails isn’t on the list nor is doing client work. And FYI, tweaking your website is not a marketing activity either.

We’re good? Okay, let’s move on to #2…

2. Business obligations is next on the list.

This is where the client work comes in. So, do what you have to do to get in the zone and work your magic my friend.

3. Once that’s done, now it’s time to do the one thing that’s most important to the operation of your business.

THIS is where you can do all those little things that you normally do first because you want to get them out of the way. They're also the things that eat up your time and energy like; emails, paperwork, filing taxes, jumping through hoops etc.

If you’re an inbox junky like me, just remember the people in your inbox may be important but are they as important as the success (or failure) of your business? That’s how you’ve got to treat it. One hour answering emails and pleasing everybody else, is one hour that you're putting your business at risk. Only stop to answer an email if the risk is worth it, in terms of what it can BRING to your business…not take away.

4. Once the above are done, do that one thing that you have to get done and is an obligation but not necessarily imperative for your business.

It could be helping someone you said you’d help. The key thing to remember is that when you’re running a business, these sorts of activities are last on the priority list because if you’re not making money, you won’t be able to help other people. Take care of you so that you can take care of them.

5. It’s a wrap!!

The sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the end of each day will make shutting down your business for the night (guilt & worry free) that much easier and it'll recharge you for the next day 😉

xx

Saying Yes When I Wanted To Say No

Several years ago I learned that one of my favourite authors was facilitating a workshop and even though it had a bit of a hefty price tag attached to it, I made the decision to go. On the ticket it clearly stated that doors would close once the seminar began. So essentially if you’re late…tough luck.

Fast forward to the day of the event. the workshop was to begin at 6pm sharp. At 5:30 I realized I had done something I’d NEVER done before…I had left the house without giving my diabetic dog her insulin injection.

S%*T!!

It would take me at least 45 minutes to get home and then another 45 minutes to get back.

I left the event and the thought of having to go back to ‘try’ and get in did not appeal to me at all. I had pretty much convinced myself that it would be okay if I missed it.

But thankfully on my way home, a friend called and reminded me why I should go back. And go back I did.

Now this might not seem like a big deal for most people but as a shy introvert, the thought of having to walk into a room where there would be hundreds of people was unnerving. I think I conjured up every worst case scenario as I raised my hand to knock on the door. The door opened and I felt hundreds of eyes turn in my direction including the speakers’. With flushed cheeks, I apologized and made a beeline to the first available chair.

And you know what? Those few moments of discomfort were SO worth it because it was an evening that changed my life. I ended up leaving an unhealthy relationship, I quit smoking, I started a side hustle, and as a bonus, I ended up become close friends (read: we dated & I may kiss and tell in another blog) with the author and that friendship continues to impact my life in beautiful ways.

We are constantly given choices and have decisions to make in our business (and our life) and it can be so easy to over think whether you should or shouldn’t go/do/be…

Is there something you want to attend? To purchase? Someone you want to work with? Reach out to?

See how you can make it happen and maybe it’s not right now but either way, say yes to you and watch magical things begin to happen.

 

2 3 Genius Methods to Stand Out So That You’re Not Just Another [fill in the blank of what you do]

Lost in the sea of sameness? No problem! Here are 3 genius methods to stand out so that you’re not just another [fill in the blank of what you do].  

We’re all trying to get noticed so that we can build our audience of adoring fans and raving clients and the word visibility is thrown around a lot (I should know because I was one of the people throwing it around) but what is happening is that everyone (or at least it seems like everyone) is doing the same thing to be visible which all of a sudden doesn’t make you so visible anymore.

So how do you stand out?

1. Put YOU into what you do. I’m not talking about your personality. Because if we’re going to be honest here, watching people acting goofy, dancing, or wearing a ridiculous outfit “trying” to be themselves, may garner a laugh or two but it doesn’t cultivate connection.

Same goes for the “vulnerable” posts that seem more contrived than vulnerable. People are becoming better bullshit detectors.

Instead, be human.

It’s the shared human experience that bonds us and makes your audience feel like they’re not alone in their mess.

Bring out the commonalities that we as humans experience when we’ve; gone after our goal, gotten the bad news, went from high to low and back to high, when we’ve had to clean up the mess…regardless of what it is, the key is to let them see their thoughts in yours.

Share the facts but more importantly, share the experience.

2. Know what your opinion/stance/point of view is around what you do, why you do it and why the people that you help are in the situation that they’re in. Turn over every rock and find out what you think and feel about each point of the journey…including what it takes to get to the other side of it. Have conviction. What is the truest thing you know as it relates to the context of what you do and what you believe.

This is where most people tend to shy away because they don’t want to be judged. I’m here to tell you, that when you’re avoiding being judged, you’re not saying or doing anything.

You want people to judge you because if they don’t know what you stand for, they can’t make the decision whether they want to stand alongside you.

3. Choose your words with the same amount of discernment that you use when you’re choosing which selfie you’re going to post.

It’s easy for people to ignore you when you fall trap to using cliches and industry jargon.

First write out what you want to email, post, record, create or whatever it is, and then go through it line by line and highlight every cliché, and every overused word.

Go through all the highlighted points and ask; what do I really want to say here? What do I mean to say? And then say it.

Tell us your truth and tell it to us by using words that are fresh, and new so that whatever you’re putting out there? Can’t be ignored.

Three Things That Up-Levelled My Business & My Mojo (and not necessarily in that order)

At the beginning of the year I had; a full client roster (I was fully booked until 2017), speaking engagements every month, and a healthy affiliate commission cheque coming in each month.

By April, I knew something was off.  I began to feel disenchanted with my business. I had been so focused on growing it, that I lost track of what I was growing.

I took some time off to reconnect with what I wanted and why I wanted it.  It was then I was able to get clear on how I wanted to do it.   

I looked at every aspect of my business and if I didn’t love it or if I couldn’t figure out a way to enjoy it, or delegate it, it got tossed.  This meant saying good-bye to over $20,000/month in revenue. 

BUT and it’s a big but (hence the caps)…I’ve almost doubled that since then. 

These were the three things that changed my business and my mojo…

#1.  I created boundaries, and I've stuck to them (90% of the time..I'm still learning). 

This has always been a struggle of mine and because of it, I'd feel drained, and resentful because people would feed off my time and energy. 

Create boundaries and be able to articulate them.  Know that you'll be tested and you'll probably trip up.  Instead of berating yourself over allowing it to happen again, acknowledge your efforts and keep at it.

#2.  I'm almost always being me (90% of the time...I'm still learning).

Don’t buy into anything that will make you look and sound like everyone else.  Find your voice and your message and then seize every opportunity to have it heard. 

Because when you’re being you, you’ll always stay in integrity. 

No fluff.  No contrived and sneaky tactics.  No regurgitated information. 

#3.  I stopped giving myself a back door.

All too often at the first feeling of resistance, we tend to stop.  Resistance shows up in many ways but some of the more common ones are; procrastination, busyness, and unexpected X’s happening that throw us off our game.    

I've FORCED myself to stick to whatever goal/decision I've made until I see it to completion.  It hasn't been easy but it's been getting easier as I strengthen this muscle.   There’s a fine line here because I’m a believer in law of attraction and doing things that feel good, but I’m also a believer in building grit. 

So I decided to marry the two and that alone created MAJOR changes in my business.  I’ll give you the details and numbers in a future blog where I’ll share the break down of it all. 

Does any of this resonate with you?

Pardon My Potty Mouth

It wasn't too long ago that I found myself in a VERY uncomfortable situation. I would have loved to place the blame on someone, or something else, but truth be told, I chose it.
That's right.  Me.  I chose to swim so far out into the unknown, that when I looked over my shoulder, I couldn't even see the shoreline of my comfort zone.  As soon as I was in motion, I immediately thought "What have I done?"

Can you relate?

You know that holy crap moment when you've stepped out of your comfort zone and you feel like the butterflies are having a party in your belly? (who seem to be equipped with an endless supply of tequila!)

You put your super hero cape on and push past the digestive revolution that's going on.

But then comes the loud and incessant chatter of your ego. The further you get from your comfort zone, the louder it gets. The gist of the message is that you're going to fuck it up and that you need to stop NOW.  Your ego..who sounds a lot like you, (it's a tricky little bugger) seemingly appears to make valid points.

"I don't know enough."
"They're going to laugh at me."
"What if I can't deliver what I promised?"
"What if I do it and my life changes as I know it and then I won't have time for any fun?"
"I'm not ready yet. I just have to (insert reason) first"

You pause for a moment or two (or more).

You decide to go for it.  And you know what?  You've changed a little piece of yourself forever!

You've just thumbed your nose at complacency. You've moved from the backseat to the drivers seat. You've stopped staring out the window where you've watched other people make shit happen and YOU have now just become one of those 'make-shit-happen' kinda people!

Whether you fall on your butt, knock it out of the park or land somewhere in between, you'll be making progress.

So before you convince yourself why you shouldn't/can't, take the first step...do whatever 'it' is that will move you forward.

Regardless of where you land, I'll have the champagne chilled for you.

Here's to getting in the arena!