Category Archives for "Business"

The 2 Things That Always Get Me Results in Business & Life

The 2 Things That Always Get Me Results in Business & Life

Going to Africa had been a desire of mine from the first moment I saw a picture of an African sunset.  I always knew I would go because almost always, when I get a pull, I take action and get results. 

However, as much of a risk taker as I am, I need to have a starting point and in this case I knew that I'd find it at the bookstore.  I picked up a copy of Volunteer Vacations and devoured it in one sitting.  What I was left with were several dog eared pages, and highlighted notes.    

Malawi Africa volunteering

I gave myself a night to digest all the information but the next day, I reached out to them to ask the questions I had and then I booked the trip!
As you might imagine, it was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life.  I’ve since gone back and will continue to do so.  

This wasn’t the first time I had gotten an idea and run with it.  The question is why do some goals come to fruition and others don’t?  

It boils down to two things…timing and trust.  
When I get an urge or desire, I take immediate action.  

This applies to my trip to Africa, to buying a home, a car, investing in real estate, to quit smoking…anything and everything I’ve ever done, I acted on immediately.  

I didn’t wait to have all the answers.  I didn’t give myself time to list all the reasons why I couldn’t or shouldn’t.  I trusted that my desire came to me for a reason.  Period.  

Each of the events that have happened in my life where I got out of my comfort zone and did something that scared the sh*t out of me, those are the times that I felt most alive.  Those have been the times that propelled my life forward.  Those have been the times that I had the most fun.  

What do you want to be/do/have?  
Good, now before you talk yourself out of it, take the first step.  

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 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 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?


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

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 😉


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.