THE SIMPLE SALES SOLUTION
WEBSITE WINDFALLS WITH A SIZZLING BRAND
BEYOND THE SELFIE: GREAT MONEY MAKING PHOTOS
ACCELERATE JUNE 2015
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR TRANSFORMS YOUR CASH-EATING BUSINESS INTO A
< INTERVIEW BY DEBRA ANGILLETTA
A MAGAZINE FOR ENTREPRENEURS ON THE FAST TRACK TO SUCCESS SUMMER 2 0 1 5
MIKE MICHALOWICZ MULTI MILLION DOLLAR ENTREPRENEUR
WELCOME TO ACCELERATE MAGAZINE I’ve always had this quirky talent for finding something I know you wish you had a lot more of. It started as a kid doing laundry. Who wants to do laundry as a 9-year-old kid? (Stay with me here!) Knowing my father didn’t clean out his pants pockets before throwing them in the hamper, I was happy to volunteer for the job. Because I knew at the end of each wash, there would be money (sometimes a pile of it) at the bottom of the washer. By the time I was 13, I had quite the bounty!
DEPUTY EDITOR Starr Oldorff
By now you’ve probably guessed: The talent is
With an extensive finance career behind me, I first put it to work getting people out of the weeds with their finances. And then exploded when I began to work with business owners to find money where they thought it just didn’t exist. Some were one payroll away from bust, and others thought they’d have to have to shut down all together.
Even more shocking were the seemingly successful 6- and 7-figure businesses, teetering on the edge of disaster. As soon as the money came in, the faster it went out. This issue is dedicated to helping you find money in the most incredible places. And helping you keep a lot more of the money earn. With guests that will totally blow you out of the water! I was introduced to the first on a winter flight back from Portland, Oregon where I got cozy with a book called “Profit First”. Pure genius! I knew as soon as I cracked the first few pages, I’d have to present him to you. And I’m thrilled to have this New York Times Bestselling Author as our feature interview! He talks about how to be profitable in your business…from day one. No lines, no waiting…from day one! This is unheard of speak. Most people are telling you, businesses won’t make money until the 5th year. Well, our featured guest is going to blow that concept out of the water. And he’s going to show you how to start banking your dough, while everyone else is busy blowing their revenue month after month.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Shari Miller
We’ve also got some serious girl power in this issue. These are women who have found their strengths through their life experience and have exploded on the business scene.One is a New York Times best seller, (yes…two in one issue!) another is the go-to online marketing authority worldwide, and another has a blockbuster podcast.(Looking to be interviewed? Be sure to read Page 9). And that’s just to name a few! These are people you need to know. Be inspired. Learn from them. Get ready to get your summer reading on…. and Accelerate!
THE WISDOM OF YOUR WHY: THE SIMPLE PATH TO RE-ENGAGE YOUR
FOCUS AND RE-ENERGIZE YOUR PASSION FOR YOUR BUSINESS by Hannah McMinn
10 3 RULES FOR FAST TRACK SUCCESS: HOW TO ESCAPE “TYPE A SYNDROME” AND HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT WITHOUT THE STRESS
by Jenn Lederer
16 THE FASTEST PATH TO SUCCESS: 5 OPTIONS TO SLASH YOUR TIMETABLE FOR REACHING SIX FIGURES AND BEYOND by Barb Stuhlemmer
20 BEYOND THE SELFIE: HOW TO MAKE BIG MONEY WITH GREAT PHOTOS THAT REVEAL THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VERSION OF YOURSELF by Alyssa Peek
HOW TO TRANSFORM ANY BIZ FROM A CASH-EATING MONSTER TO A
MONEY-MAKING MACHINE: PROFIT FROM DAY ONE by Debra Angilletta
34 WEBSITE WINDFALL: THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO BOOST YOUR BUCKS
WITH A SIZZLING BRANDED WEBSITE by Holly Chantal
38 THE SIMPLE SALES SOLUTION: 5 STEPS TO BLOCKBUSTER OFFERS page 34
THAT PRACTICALLY GUARANTEE RESULTS (EVEN IF YOU HATE SALES) by Pamela Ivey
42 BECOME THE DRIVER OF YOUR DESTINY: A REVOLUTIONARY
APPROACH TO LEAP BEYOND YOUR FEARS & ACCELERATE YOUR SUCCESS by Kelly Epperson
46 CUTTING YOUR BUSINESS’ COSTS BY OUTSOURCING by Sarah Ricca
page 46 SUMMER 2015
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The Wisdom of Your Why The Simple Path To Re-engage Your Focus And Re-energize Your Passion For Your Business By Hannah McMinn
SUMMER 2015 â€‚
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I once heard, that if you want to s p e e d u p , t h e n s l o w d o w n . At the time, I didn’t quite grasp the deeper meaning behind that saying. I’ve always liked going fast. Who doesn’t? We live in a nation where we actually put the word “fast” in front of a lot of things; fast food, fast cash, fast car, fast service. The list goes on and on. Speed is attractive. However, speed can also be extremely dangerous and confuse us if we don’t know where we are going. I am here to share some big lessons that I have learned about speed to help you on your journey to success.
Hannah McMinn is a certified personal trainer and coaches women. She has cre-
I Once Heard That If You Want to Speed Up,
ated the training pro-
ceed by making small
gram, Turtle Training to help women succonsistent changes in their everyday life to
● Why did I start this business in
win big in the end.
“You see, my “why” changed because my life had dramatically changed, and I didn’t know it was ok to change the business model when life dramatically changes.” ~ Hannah McMinn 6
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ASK YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: ● Why did I start this business in the first place? trying to connect with other moms, no one talked about this loss of self. So my “why” changed. I ● Where do I want to actually take this business? was filled with a new purpose to serve moms in a whole new way that I had never served them ● Is this business even something I really want before. Obviously, since this was my first time as to continue? a mom, I hadn’t known about this need or known I would want to fill it. The first question is of huge importance, because sometimes we glamourize entrepreneurship and Be aware of changes in your life. They will affect owning our own business to the point of almost your business and that is okay because it might forgetting the true reason why we started it in just make it an even better business than it was the first place. We listen to fellow entrepreneurs before. who use phrases like “hustle muscle” and “bootstrapping.” We become so enamored with the Second, ask yourself, where do you actually want process of being an entrepreneur, that we lose to take your business? How big do you want it to sight of why we decided to go out on our own. It get? Don’t answer globally, because that is what is extremely easy to do. For instance, I lost sight the cool kids would say. (I used to say the same of why I started my business when I achieved thing, too, so no judgment!) enough business that I needed to bring on another person to help me. I then became stuck in the Rather, instead answer with how you would define “limerence stage”--being so your dream lifestyle. If it involves low stress; spending a ton of time with your family; taking in love with the idea that my business was finally time off whenever you want it; you may not want becoming successful (not super-successful by any a global business because the road to getting means, but just enough to start seeing growth), your business that big and successful looks a lot that I muted the small voices in my head telling different than the one that supports a more laidme that my “why” had slightly changed. back lifestyle. I didn’t know it was okay to change the business model when life dramatically changed. I thought I would serve the same people, in the same way, and the change wouldn’t affect my business or me at all. Wrong. Oh, so wrong! The life change I am talking about was the birth of my first child, a beautiful baby girl.
Neither is wrong. You do need to be honest with yourself about the lifestyle you want your business to support, not what business your lifestyle can live with. Define your own version of success. Don’t compare it to anybody else’s. This is always why I ask the guests on my podcast, The More Than Mom Show, “What is your definition of success?” It is always refreshing to hear You would think nine months of knowing you are the answers, because the truly-successful people about to have a life change would make you feel know themselves and know what makes them sucprepared; well it doesn’t! No one told me that I cessful at the end of each day. would have a complete identity crisis and freak out about losing my sense of individuality. What Finally, this is the BIG, painful question to ask was really weird was even after having her and yourself, “Is this business even something you
...DEFINE YOUR OWN VERSION OF SUCCESS... SUMMER 2015
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daughter laughing in the other room and remember it is okay to slow down and enjoy this quicklyThat question stinks, because it makes you really passing season in my life. be honest with yourself. I call it a “gut-check” question. You can only go along with something for I may not be as fast as I once was. But, now I know so long if it doesn’t feel right. It is also painful. The why I have my business and where I am going to answer may require an uncomfortable change and/ take it. I can honestly say that I am “in it” 100% or the complete upheaval of your current business. percent and know I want to continue this business. We all remember Aesop’s fable about the turtle and I look back and realize the year after I had my the hare and what happened in the end. so I am daughter, I was on the fast lane going nowhere and glad to be the turtle. If I feel the “need to speed wasting A LOT of time. As we all know, time is our up,” then I know I need to slow down. Over time, most precious commodity. Instead of using it where I will pass the hare. So can you! I wanted to, I was all over the place. Clinging to my past business and desperately coming up with new business ideas to fill the void my first business no longer filled. I was a mess. My family life was a mess. My house was a mess. I was “losing it.” After some heart- wrenching talks with the hubby, I decided to slowly start moving away from my old business and start working on a new business. It is scary to start all over again; but, I immediately hired a business coach, and now the fog has lifted. The road is clearer. However, while I still get tempted to cross the yellow, dotted line into the fast lane, I hear my
Hannah McMinn is a certified personal trainer and coaches women. She has created the training program, Turtle Training to help women succeed by making small consistent changes in their everyday life to win big in the end. She hosts the podcast, “The More Than Mom Show” where she interviews women who are successful in all areas of their lives. She lives in San Antonio, Texas with her daughter and husband.
Over time, I will pass the hare. SO CAN YOU!
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This list is in no particular order, but they are the things I kept hearing from interviewing the most successful mompreneurs...and when I say successful I mean at home and in their business not just successful at making a ton of $$ 10) Budget in a housekeeper. 9) Create boundaries between work and family time and try not to cross them! 8) Treat each client as a special relationship, not as a number. 7) Carve out time for yourself sometime during the week. 6) Hire a coach to help guide you where you want to go and get there faster, we are moms we don’t have time to waste! 5) Be present with your family, make it a practice to turn off the phone or leave it in the other room when you are with family. 4) Get organized! 3) Get a baby sitter or structure your work time when it can be uninterrupted. 2) Ask people closest to you who love and respect you what you are good at. 1) Become structured (this is a hard one for me but working on it!) **Bonus Tip** I know, who doesn’t love a bonus tip!? -Learn to listen to your inner voice.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR AN INTERVIEW? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE PODCAST! SUMMER 2015
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3 R ULES FOR FA S T TRACK SHOWUTOCESCAPE CESS “TYPE A SYNDROME” AND HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT WITHOUT THE STRESS by Jenn Lederer
A C C E L E R AT E As a self-proclaimed, Type A, creative entrepreneur, I am keenly aware of just how manic one can feel when they find themselves at the intersection of “clarity and determination.” It’s as if as soon as the idea is born, it MUST come to fruition quickly and PERFECTLY. Just as you planned. Or, it’s all meaningless and in turn, you are a failure. I’m also aware of the sleepless nights and endless chats with your girlfriends, life coach, and therapist, all to support you on your journey toward discovering your purpose. So, it’s no surprise that when you finally find your purpose, it can’t happen fast enough! I’m all about hitting the ground running…but, don’t forget to stop and stretch along the way. The desire to attach your self-worth to a certain accomplishment or outcome is something society teaches us from a very, young age. But, we’ve got it all wrong. Whether you’re planning a wedding, fundraising for a cause close to your heart, raising a family, or building a multi-million dollar empire, TRUE success isn’t defined by WHAT you accomplish, but rather by HOW you go about accomplishing your goal. This is much easier said than done. So, I’m giving you three rules that I recommend to every CEO and thought leader who wants to live life on their terms, while sharing their gifts with the world:
TO LIVE LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS WHILE SHARING YOUR GIFTS WITH THE WORLD
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Let it be wrong
(Release that perfectionism.)
Remember to breathe
(Now is the time to up your self-
DREAM, often. (Don’t be
afraid to go after what you re-
ally, really, REALLY want.)
Ah, self-care. That thing that
There is nothing more exciting
sounds like it should be so easy;
than putting your nose to the
I see a lot of people get stuck
yet, it’s so damn hard to do. The
grind stone and setting out to
because of this. You have what
thing about self-care is, while
accomplish your goal. But, if
seems to be great intentions
a lot of the practices are quite
you spend too much time with
for yourself, your project, and
SIMPLE to do, that doesn’t mean
your nose to the ground and
everyone involved. Yet, you are
that they are EASY to start
your energy only focused on the
the only one standing in its way.
implementing into your daily
micro steps, you forget to con-
The blog isn’t perfect. The web-
schedule. The truth is, when you
nect to the DREAM that brought
site isn’t quite right. The logo
feel like it would be nearly im-
you there in the first place.
isn’t done. The business cards
possible to fit self-care into your
As you continue to achieve
haven’t arrived. The (insert me-
life...that is when you need it
goals, your CONFIDENCE will
nial step here) isn’t complete;
continue to grow. As your confi-
“Perfectionism is just fear in designer shoes.” Elizabeth Gilbert
and for that reason, you’re not allowing the project to continue.
dence grows, and you see some You shouldn’t find yourself turn-
of your visions come to life,
ing to self-care only once you
your DREAMS for what should
Let it be WRONG. When you
are depleted of all energy. It
come next will also continue to
commit to taking a risk, then
should be looked at as PREVEN-
you commit to not always get-
TATIVE care. So, when you find
ting it right. If you take the time
yourself dealing with the chal-
With each accomplishment,
to really look at the “wrong”
lenges that will undoubtedly
small or large, you are left with
stuff that happens, it often
come your way as an entrepre-
a new view of the land. You can
teaches you what you truly need
neur, you have the TOOLS to
see more opportunity and have
to learn in order to become the
move through them with grace,
more tools and experience un-
person who LIVES in your dream
ease, clarity, and SUPPORT.
der your belt to make it happen.
Being able to stay connected
Don’t ever be afraid to (re)con-
to YOUR breath, YOUR center,
nect to your DREAMS. They will
and YOUR voice (when every-
never, EVER steer you wrong.
reality. Because, the change starts with you.
one around you is spiraling into worry and doubt) is a priceless
You don’t want to find yourself
skill to have in life and in the
at the end of your journey--sur-
rounded by accolades that mean nothing and memories left unmade because you were so busy working to build the life of your dreams--that you forgot to LIVE along the way.
Here’s to YOU.
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May you always be willing to dance with your mistakes, breathe through the challenges and DREAM into the future. BIG change begins with one step. If you’re ready to take that first step, come on over to JennLederer.com and sign up for your complimentary 90-second meditation! This is a quick & effective meditation designed for the fast-paced entrepreneur. Be inspired, ~ Jenn
Be Inspired A bout Jenn L e d e r e r Jenn is a Life + Career Coach for Creative Entrepreneurs. When she isn’t travelling the globe for cool speaking events and/or looking for a chance to get into some adventurous trouble, Jenn’s home-base is NYC where she works 1:1 with clients from all over the world helping them build the Life + Career of their Dreams. If you’re down with not taking yourself (or life) so damn seriously all the time, follow or connect with Jenn on any of the usual social media suspects @JennLederer If you’d like to learn more about Jenn’s 1:1 VIP coaching or if you’d like Jenn to speak at your next workshop or event, click here (http://www.jennlederer.com/lets-work-together/) for more info!
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A quick meditation designed for the fast-paced entrepreneur. Take care of YOU, 90-seconds at a time. Grab this 90-second meditation and learn how to instantly (re)connect to the present moment while grounding into your own POWER and clarity. Oh…and you can do this meditation anytime, anywhere, without anyone knowing it. So, the next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, on a crowded subway or in a frustrating situation…this little gift just might be the perfect solution.
FREE G I F T 1 4
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THE FASTEST PATH TO SUCCESS: 5 OPTIONS TO SLASH YOUR TIMETABLE FOR
Like parenting, running a business does not come with a
more than the expert, designer, developer, and visionary,
handbook or guide. There are plenty of experts with plenty
because unless you hire someone else to work in your busi-
of insights, stories, and advice to share; but, like kids, every
ness, your hats will include all of these (and more):
business is different and requires a unique and customized strategy.
Business owners that start thinking they can run a business
solely on their technical expertise will eventually end up
overwhelmed with business challenges.
When you start a business you are the expert at what you
plan on creating. The hats you wear in your business are
As teachers, if we are unwilling to learn then we are unfit to lead. 1 6
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REACHING SIX FIGURES BY BARB STUHLEMMER In Michael E. Gerber’s third book, “The E-Myth Mastery,” he tells his story about having a successful business, with over 100 employees and grossing millions of dollars in business, that went bankrupt. Listening to his struggle to pay his debts, to save face and to keep his integrity intact was difficult. He attributed this downfall to his lack of focus on his money and the people he hired to look after it. If you are running a business of one or one-hundred, you are responsible for the business growth and failure. You have to know what is going on, and that means you must understand how it works.
KNOWLEDGE AND TRAINING ARE YOUR FASTEST PATH TO SUCCESS AND HERE ARE MY TOP 5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE BEST WAYS TO LEARN: STEP 1
of business). Choose conferences that have speakers you are interested in hearing; topics that are current; and content that is valuable to your learning needs.
TRADITIONAL EDUCATION This route will not be right for most entrepreneurs. It requires
On my way to a conference in Colorado, I spoke with a woman
a longer time commitment--one year or more. The great
who was going to attend a conference that focused on apart-
thing is, it can often be done as a part-time program online,
ment management. One of the main speakers this year was
allowing you to start or run a small business while you learn.
Barbara Corcoran and Michael J. Fox. Last year they had Rich-
The benefit of this type of education is the recognized cre-
ard Branson. If you don’t know these incredible leaders, then
dentials that come with it, which can often open doors more
look them up; follow them online; find out where they are
quickly. The downfall of this type of education is that the
speaking; or read their books.
professors and instructors may not have any entrepreneurial
background. Look for entrepreneur programs in colleges and universities.
There is a trend to offer programs that focus on entrepreneur-
Go and learn from the best. Don’t just learn what they teach,
ship. I teach at Georgian College in Canada that offers both
observe what they do, and model the pieces that will work
entrepreneurship diplomas and post-diploma programs.
with your business. Many experts (like me) have free pro-
grams to get you started. Do the work, then be ready to invest to go deeper. Darren Hardy has an investment rule for his education. He puts 10 percent of his yearly earnings into
learning from people that are ahead of him in “the game” of
Attending conferences that focus on business development
business. If you are unwilling to invest in your #1 corporate
can be one of the best ways to get up-to-date knowledge
resource (you), then you are already on failure’s track.
from current, legitimate “doers” (the people “in the trenches”
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Do you have someone in your life that is successful and that
Yep, the number one way (in my opinion) to learn is to do
you look up to? They don’t have to be wealthy or running
the work, knowing that it is not going to be perfect and that
a multi-million-dollar business; they just have to be mas-
you are going to fail on occasion. The key to learning from
terful at something that you would like to master as well. I
failure is to be willing to accept that you did something
have been fortunate to have had many mentors throughout
that did not work, and then evaluate it. The way to the best
my life. Even as a teen, my boss at the pool store, where
answers is to ask the best questions. Questions like, “What
I worked, taught me how to be a strong leader in business
went wrong?” Don’t just accept the first answer to this
and how to treat clients and employees. She was well-liked,
question. You need to dive down, deep to get all the nuanc-
and people treated her with the respect. She had earned
es of everything that could be a factor in the event.
being friendly, supportive, and a straight-shooter. She was no pushover, which in a time when women were not as well-
Expect to be learning for the rest of your life. You can stop;
respected in leadership roles, was impressive and unusual.
but, I bet your competitors won’t. And, that’s when things will change. It’s easier to stay on top of your market than it
Who do you know that could teach you new skills, which you
is to catch up after the opportunities have passed you by.
could use to run your business? Always be looking for that person. You will continue to have mentors over the years. Note: You must also be willing to be a mentor. You will learn a great deal from this position, including how to be a great leader.
A bout Barb S t u h l e m m e r Speaker, Author, Leader of Entrepreneurs, past TV Show Host, College Instructor, and Advisory Chair for The School of Entrepreneurship, Barb Stuhlemmer is a Master Business Strategist who works to strengthen the courage of 6-figure business owners to take extraordinary action and reach the million- or multi-million-dollar mark. Barb elevates the belief system of successful entrepreneurs to ensure they reach their biggest goals that will change their life and often the world. Barb has been in the medical device and software industries for over 20 years. She started in sales over 10 years ago and now runs two businesses that both support successful small business owners. Barb says, “We all deserve to experience the creativity of envisioning a business that is ultimately successfully implemented and profitable.”
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FREE GIFT Are you struggling to have time to do the work that must get done? Do you hope to add more to your business, but with no time you feel stuck?
Put on Your CEO Hat Free Recording “Know your ideal role in your business so you can do more and grow it faster”
You will also receive my e-zine full of valuable business content and offers. We value your privacy and promise not to share your information SUMMER 2015
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B E YO N D THE SELFIE: HOW TO MAKE BIG MONEY WITH GREAT PHOTOS THAT REVEAL THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VERSION OF YOURSELF BY ALYSSA PEEK BEFORE
ACCELERATE: How did you get into photography? How
ACCELERATE: Let’s talk about your before-and-after
did you start out?
shots that you have on your website. Over the years, you
ALYSSA: I always had the love of photography. I always
have become known for transforming women and men
had my point-and-shoot camera in my hand, taking land-
into the most beautiful version of themselves. Can you
scapes images. Then after a twenty-plus-year career in
tell me about that?
the fashion industry, I was ready to move on. At that
ALYSSA: First, I would like to clarify that the “before” pho-
point, I wanted to do what I loved...what my passion was,
to is not the transformation of “no makeup” to “makeup.”
and that was photography. I wake up every morning and
In my examples, the “before” photo is a photograph that
can’t wait to get to the camera.
my client put on social media to represent him or herself
A C C E L E R AT E prior to a photo shoot with me. It is their “before pro-
want to see what they look like, and from there you make
file photo.” Yes, we provide professional, on-set hair and
your first impression. Good, bad, or indifferent. My tag line
makeup for all our photo sessions. It is the transformation
is “First impressions are made at the first click.” No longer
of what is inside that is the true transformation. I provide
is it when you walk into the room. The first click should
my clients with a safe space and creative direction that
land on any social media presence that you have and be
allows them the freedom to get in tune with their inner
amazing. It should make them want to meet you and want
beauty. It is this that I capture in my photographs. This is
to learn more about you. You should look friendly, inviting,
the core of what my business is built on.
trustworthy, and someone with whom they want to build a
ACCELERATE: How do you do this? What is your process?
ALYSSA: My sessions include multiple outfit changes. I
ACCELERATE: This is exactly what I preach all the time.
truly believe that when I a women gets physically un-
People don’t buy into the company anymore. It used to be
dressed, there is a mental shift that happens. Each ward-
that you were buying Covergirl® or Revlon®, but today
robe change is like peeling a layer off an onion. I promise,
they buy people. You are buying a brand, a relationship
I see it happen every time! With each change, she forgets
with that person. I love it. I love that getting your photo
for a while, about being the busy entrepreneur, mother,
out there is a way to communicate to the world who you
wife, the woman who is trying to be Superwoman. There is
are; who your brand is; and how you can work with peo-
both the physical and mental transformation that occurs.
By the end of the session, she is usually dancing around
ALYSSA: It brings me back to the before-and-after con-
my studio. This is what I love!!!
versation. It is amazing to me how people put pictures on
Accelerate: It can be nerve wracking to get in front of the
their professional platforms that don’t represent the spirit
camera. What are some of the concerns that people men-
of who they are, and in a way, that does them an injus-
tion when they come to you?
ALYSSA: The most common concern that they have, is
ACCELERATE: So, I met you when you were just starting
that they are not at their ideal weight. But, the most
your business, and now I run into people all the time that
important thing to realize is that you must love yourself
rave about working with you. You have become a star.
where you are today. You are perfect today. Some people
What advice do you have for people that are just starting
want to wait until they lose the weight; but, what happens
their own business?
if, A, that never happens, or B, it happens far down the
ALYSSA: GET OUT THERE. The first year, and still today,
road? Then their profile picture is really old. What does it
I am out there morning, noon, and night. But when I look
say about your business if your website and profile photo
back on my business and analyze where 90 percent of it
is not current? It is important to let your clients and po-
came from, it was networking. Whether it is a network-
tential clients know that you are current.
ing group, coffee date, showing up for others, attending
The other issue is the expense. People have this notion
events...you name it, I networked. Now I am at the point
that you can just take a selfie or a photo taken at a func-
where people are referring business to me; but, I am still
tion and use it for your professional presence. It’s just not
true. You must invest in yourself and in your business. This belongs under your marketing expenses and is worth it. The lighting, the poses, the quality of the camera equipment, it all makes a difference. ACCELERATE: What do you think is better...a bad head shot or no head shot at all? ALYSSA: I think they are both bad. In today’s world, if you are meeting with someone for either business or personal
GET OUT THERE! Now I am at the point where people are referring business to me; but, I am still out there!
reasons, most likely you are going to look them up. You
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A bout Alys s a Pe e k Alyssa Peek is a Portrait and Fine Art photographer in New York City. A graduate from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Marketing of Textiles and Apparel and Business, and studying at the London College of Fashion she moved to New York City to be a Buyer at Ann Taylor and continued in that Industry in such roles as buying, merchandising, design, product development, and production. After spending 20 + years in the Fashion Industry, she has turned her eye to making her clients shine through their photos and creating original pieces of art. She started Peek Photography, LLC in 2013. Her work has been published in Accelerate Magazine, Glow Magazine, and her art is sold in retail stores in the Hamptons and to interior designers. In both types of photography, it is “seeing the beauty in all” that is her passion. She lives in New York City with her husband.
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How to TRANSFORM Any Biz From A CASH-EATING MONSTER To A
By Debra Angilletta
y his thirty-fifth birthday, Mike Michalowicz had founded and sold two multimillion dollar companies. Confident that he had the formula to success, he became an angel investor. Then proceeded to lose his entire fortune. Then came Mike’s “most humbling moment.” After losing it all, Mike’s nine-year-old daughter offered her piggy bank savings to support the family.
A C C E L E R AT E Vowing to never let this happen again, he was driven to find better ways to grow healthy, strong companies. Among other innovative strategies, Mike created the “Profit First Formula,” a way for businesses to ensure profitability from their very next deposit forward. Mike is now running his third, million dollar venture, and is: ● A former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; ● The former MSNBC business make-over expert; ● A popular keynote speaker on innovative entrepreneurial topics; and ● The author of Profit First, New York Times best-seller The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. In this riveting interview, Mike shares his best advice on how you can transform your business to be consistently profitable month after month. Debra: Here’s the deal Mike, there are so many people out there talking about driving revenue in their business. Well, today we’re going to start shifting that conversation and take it up a notch. Instead of just talking about revenue, let’s talk profit! So many people out there that just aren’t talking about this. So, I want to dive into that today. Understanding why profit is what you need to be focusing on and what can actually be the difference between struggle and success for so many of you in your businesses. Mike, welcome! Mike: Thank you. It’s great to be here! Debra: What’s so great is that a couple of months ago I came upon Mike’s book in my own mastermind, and the book we are talking about today is Profit First. I’ve got to tell you, once I started reading this book, I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is a game changer.” I was so happy that somebody finally wrote a book on this topic and is going out there in a big way with regard to this. What I wanted to ask you is, first, when it comes to most businesses or even small businesses, (which is most of our readership), what percentage of most businesses are actually profitable? Mike: Actually profitable, maybe 17 percent. That’s not just an arbitrary number I’m picking. There was a study lead by the Small Business Administration (SBA). They reported in the U.S. there are 28 million small businesses—a business that does less than 25 million in revenue. That’s my business. I suspect that’s your business. It’s most businesses. Of those businesses, 23 to 24 million were at break even; meaning if those businesses don’t get a deposit in the next two weeks, they wouldn’t have enough money to cover payroll or to pay their rent. If they didn’t get a deposit within the next month, they were going out of business. What that means is 83 percent of small businesses are on the
brink of going under because they’re not profitable. Debra: When you really think about it, that’s absolute crazy town! I mean, these are multi-million-dollar businesses. How can they NOT be running a profit? What’s going on here? Mike: We get stuck in a trap…a trap to grow if you want to be wealthy. If you approach an entrepreneur that’s not profitable, and you ask, “What do you need to do to fix it?” He/She would say, “I need more sales in order to grow.” We think we need to sell our way out of it, but, if you cannot be profitable at $50,000, what makes you think you can be profitable at $100,000 or $200,000? If you cannot get it right at a small size, all growth will do it give you more stress, responsibility, and tasks. Those who cannot figure out how to be profitable in the beginning, usually—but not in all cases—find that sales as they grow become less profitable. Debra: So how do we stop the cycle? Mike: You have to understand a behavioral principle that applies to every person listening to this call right now, and it’s called Parkinson’s Law. Now, Parkinson’s Law has nothing to do with Parkinson’s disease by the way, but there was this guy, his name is C. Northcote Parkinson, born in the early 1900s. He discovers this human behavioral theorem. He realizes that it’s human nature for us to increase our demand for something based upon its supply, and what that means is the more available something is the more we automatically behaviorally consume it.
A C C E L E R AT E My favorite example to describe how this works is with toothpaste. Consider when you get a brand new tube of toothpaste. You are not concerned of some drops from the toothbrush into the sink and washing it down. You might consider fishing it out, but think, “No way I’m touching that with all the bacteria that’s down there.” However, when the tube is nearly finished and some drops into the sink—and nobody is watching—you may fish it back out and put it on the toothbrush. The supply is dictating our demand, therefore, dictating our behavior.
That was only seven years ago, and I was on the verge of bankruptcy. I had to come tell my family that our millionaire status was all gone because I was a fool. Everything we owned. We had to start over. That was the turning point.
When something is more available, unconsciously we use more. When there is less, we constrain and act more innovatively. As sales increase, a company’s leader has a natural tendency to deposit the money. As the money increases, we spend it; like the full tube of toothpaste. When the money becomes scarce, we go into panic mode and feel we need more sales. Due to Parkinson’s Law, the mode of business is to sell to cover expenses. But, in reality, it’s we sell so we can spend more. We use the terms “grow” and “sell” so we can take more money home. But, because of Parkinson’s Law, we sell…sell…sell so we can spend…spend…spend. We never get out of the cycle of selling to spend. Debra: That’s really, really interesting. It’s such an obscure Law to stumble upon. How did you find this? It sounds like you’ve had some personal experience with this. What can you tell us about that? Mike: I discovered it because I’m an idiot. Debra: (BIG laugh) Mike: I grew some companies and was able to sell them. I was in the IT industry and grew a company and sold it. It affirmed a misunderstanding I had. I thought that you sell really fast. If you can sell a lot of stuff to a lot of people, really fast, that you make your money because you are growing so fast that you become attractive to a buyer. So, sell super fast. When it actually happened, it affirmed my belief, “sell, sell, sell.” It didn’t matter if I made any money during that time. Since I thought that worked, and it worked for me twice in a row, I thought, “This is the formula.” Then I became an angel investor. As I tell everyone now, I love to call myself the angel of death. I was probably the worst angel investor ever. I would stick money into companies that never should have been funded. I had no idea what I was doing. My ego was so big I thought, “Well, if I’m involved, it’ll be successful.” Which was untrue. Then as that was failing, I was putting good money after bad.
It did inspire me to think there had to be another, better way. I went through two years of depression, bad thoughts, and bad behavior. I was drinking a lot, watching too much TV, and not being productive. It planted a seed that there had to be a solution. Then, one day, it clicked. Even though one of my companies was doing seven million in revenue, I sold it. Not a huge company, but a bigger, small company. I realized that even at that size, I was always looking at the bank account. I didn’t look at the finance reports. I didn’t talk with my controller and ask him what’s going on. No, I just looked at the bank balance. If there was a lot of money, I felt good. If there was no money, I felt bad. So I started researching this. What are the kinds of feelings that are associated with supply? Then, I came across this behavioral law. It’s like, “Oh my God, that’s me. I do that.” So, I developed a system. What I realized was we can’t change ourselves. We can try to change who we are, but we’re really hardwired in a certain way. I needed to develop a system that didn’t force me to start reading my accounting system. I’d been trying to do that for years, but never could get to it. So I realized I had to develop a system that allowed me to continue to look at my bank accounts like I’d always been doing. If I could develop that; I fix it. That’s what I did. I made Profit First for myself in the beginning, and it worked. I’ve become profitable five consecutive years now—for 21 quarters. Every 90 days my companies have posted a profit. I’ve taken a profit home for myself.
A C C E L E R AT E I thought, “Wow, this has been working for so long, I’ve got to write a book.” That’s how the book came about. Debra: Did you use some of these concepts from the book before all of this happened with the bankruptcy? Mike: Maybe a little bit here, a little bit there. At that time I never took a profit, which is the foundational principle. Prior to writing the book, I always waited until our fiscal year end, which was April 15. My accountant would say, “Congratulations Mike! You have a $10,000 profit.” I replied, “I did?” I saw nothing. No cash. There was nothing left over. I was waiting to see if there was a profit, and there wasn’t. So, when there was a profit, I was thinking about the principle. I tried it on a very small level. What I started to do was the pay-yourself-first principle that applied to business. Now as an author, every time a check would come in from Amazon or Penguin, I would take one percent and hide it, like literally hide it from myself. Then at the end of 90 days, I would see if there was money. Sure enough, there was money. I thought, “Wow, I never missed that money.” Now I had money for me and I took it out. I felt so good that my business was actually rewarding me after 90 days. As to profits, I repeated that process over and over. I was just kind of experimenting. It took me a few years to “perfect it” for myself. Then I started doing it with my friends, and it was like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got something here I’ve got to write about.” Debra: That’s fantastic! Because most business owners, especially when they start out, they see that dollar amount and are like, “Okay, that’s what I have to spend.” But, Profit First doesn’t take that stance. How does Profit First show people to look at that bank balance differently? Mike: It allows you to do exactly what you have been doing. You still look at your bank balance every day, but here’s the basic system you can apply today in your business. Go to your bank and set up at least one more account. Ideally, set up the account at another bank. The idea is, when a deposit comes in take a predetermined percentage. That’s the key. If you’ve never had a profit before, start off small. Start off with one percent. If you had a profit before, take that profit, plus a few percent, but start off small. Then, every time a deposit comes in, transfer that percentage over to this second bank account. If it’s with another bank, it’s out of sight, out of mind. But what happens now is an amazing behavioral change. Now less money is in your operating account. You become more
innovative. You know, what’s funny about money is the more we make available, the lazier we become about it. Lazy is a little bit harsh, but it really allows us to avoid thinking of more innovative ways to run the business. The funniest thing about Profit First is it’s a way to reverse engineer a very successful growth-oriented company. When I tell people about Profit First, they’re like, “Okay, I get it. Pay myself first. But you know what? I can’t grow then. And, I really want to grow.” My experience is actually just the opposite. If you take your profit first, you take that money off the table. You are forced to become more innovative. Innovative companies are the most successful because they figured out something the industry hasn’t spent the time to figuring out. It leverages Parkinson’s Law. It forces you to be innovative. It forces you to look at things in a different way. Debra: I love this concept. It’s a game changer for your business. It’s what many of us heard as a kid when you got the first paycheck, “Pay yourself first.” Depending what generation you’re from, that was big. But looking at it from the numbers standpoint and an accountant’s standpoint, let me ask you, what do accountants think of the profit first concept? Mike: There are two schools of thought. Some accountants embrace it. The innovative accountants, the ones that are much more consultative get this because their clients, aren’t sticking with the more traditional method of financial statements. Those accountants are embracing Profit First and using it as a tool for their clients. Conversely, there’s some that say, “Well, hey listen, it’s SUMMER 2015
A C C E L E R AT E always been this way. This new thing just adds more accounts, more reconciliations. It’s an administrative nightmare, and it’s a total waste of time and ineffective.” The reality is, it’s not an administrative nightmare. The other thing is being stuck in “the old way has always worked” is called an axiom. The axiom is an established belief that should continue on because that’s the way things have always been done. Another axiom, by the way, is the world is flat. There literally was a time that mankind thought and believed and lived by the fact that the world was flat. One day Greek philosophers challenged it, and then, the people come back and criticize them and say, “You guys are idiots.” Philosophers got hung, murdered, and killed because they’re bringing about change. At a certain point enough people realized, “Oh my God, the world is round.” They exploited the fact, and commerce changed from coastal commerce, where boats could only stay along the coast. Then there became global commerce where boats were circumnavigating the world. Well, Profit First is the same thing. There are earlyadopter accountants that are taking this on, and business after business is more profitable. It’s profoundly simple. Take your profit first. Your behavior will change. You will be more profitable. My hope is more and more accountants use this methodology because if more accountants take on this belief of profit first and support their clients, I truly believe, in a small way or maybe a big way, it can change the global health of businesses to being far, far more profitable. Debra: I know in Profit First you encourage people to make those money-saving moves twice per month, so they actually experience the Profit First concept. It’s part of their daily routine. Mike: That’s right. You ask yourself each month, “Is there profit—yea or nay?” If nay, especially near yearend, a business owner may go into a downward spiral that often turns to resentment toward the business. With Profit First, you figure out the rhythm. Rather than taking a profit from every check that’s deposited, consider doing it twice per month to help minimize the administration. Take the money that’s accumulating in the income account and allocate it toward the profit account and operating expenses. The advanced version of this takes payroll into account. Profit is a reward you use to live above and beyond when the money is distributed. On a quarterly
basis, you take the profit money and use it to celebrate. It’s not used to put back into the business. Very quickly your relationship with the business will change, and resentment will turn to love. You think, “Wow, this business is rewarding me. I love my business.” It helps to right the psychology. Debra: It’s so great to hear how passionate you are. For those reading, please play the audio because you’re going to be able to hear Mike’s passion and his genuine love for what he does. Tell me, did you come from an entrepreneurial family? What made you go
into the realm of being a business owner? Mike: My family was not entrepreneurial. My father and mother had one job their whole career. That’s what was expected of me too and that’s what I expected as well. It was how the paradigm was established. When I couldn’t find a corporate job, I began working in a computer store, selling equipment on commission. One night my co-worker and I went out for drinks and were lamenting about our jobs. How we spent all the time selling and our boss sat in the back smoking cigars and counting the money we made for him. After a few beers, I called him and was like, “I’m smarter than you, and you’re an asshole, and I’m going to start my own business, and I’m going to take you down.” The next morning I called and apologized hoping he would give me my job back. Instead he told me, “You’re on your own kid. I don’t need you. You’re about to learn how hard this is.” Then he says, “Oh, and by the way, I’m going to call everyone I know in this industry, in this area, and if you ever ask for a job, I’m going to tell them what a freaking jerk you are. You ain’t every going to get a job.” I hated hearing that, but God bless him. He was right. I was a jerk for acting that way. It was the biggest bless-
A C C E L E R AT E ing in my life. I was forced to start a business. I was forced to build this company. As a bonus, I was 23; had just gotten married; and my wife and I had our first child. Debra: Wow. Mike: So at 23, clueless, still a kid with kids, I had to build this company. What I found about entrepreneurship is that fear is a very powerful and valuable tool. I had no idea what I was doing. I was so scared that it forced me to get up at 5:00 a.m. and work until midnight, every day. I had to do whatever it took to support my little family and get the thing off the ground. That’s how and why I became an entrepreneur. I was terrified of it for years. But, at a certain point, it became a passion and, a love of mine. That’s when things started taking off. I just kind of stepped into something I knew this was meant for me. Debra: Speaking to entrepreneurs, and to a lot of our readers, this is their second act. They come from a corporate career. They’ve got some cushion money to start their business. But, it’s not about the comfort and ability to start the business. It’s about being profitable. It’s about a sense of urgency to turn the venture into a moneymaking business. That is a very, very different direction to learn about what you’re made of. It makes people get scrappy and drives them to figure it out. It sounds like that’s what happened to you. You figured it out. That’s what it did for you. Mike: You know; it totally did. Talking about that fear, last year I had my best year in business ever, and I’m still leveraging fear. You’d think as of last year I would be, “I’m back to where I want to be. Well beyond it.” I feel so comfortable. But by doing profit first, it puts that urgency in place to keep running a very disciplined business. What I see when people are doing their second act is that they don’t seem to have a golden parachute anymore--maybe a bronze parachute. That money, it deadens our sensitivity to problems. So you start a new business. It’s not working so well. You know, ‘I’ve got some money cushion there and we keep going down this path that isn’t working because that money is affording us time.’ So even if you had a little bit of a parachute behind you, I encourage you tuck a big chunk of that away as your profit. Remove it. If you’re living off the remainder it’s going to bring about that sense of urgency, which means you’re much more sensitive to problems and mistakes. Things that aren’t working will adjust much more quickly and dynamically than if you’ve had money buying you time.
Debra: Absolutely. I think that that is something that a lot of people wrestle with. Thanks so much, Mike. This was so much fun. I just want to make sure that everybody knows where to learn more about you. You’re going to be able to get access to a treasure trove of entrepreneurial tips at mikemichalowicz.com. I just want to thank you so much for being with us today, I’m sure that many readers will be picking up Profit First in the very near future. Mike: It’s been an absolute joy. Everyone listening in to the interview or reading it, I encourage you to check out the resources. The biggest challenge people have with Profit First is getting started because if you read the books, there are a lot of things you can do. My little final tip is get started small. Actually lower the bar. Instead of raising the bar and pushing yourself more, start really easy. If nothing else, even if you don’t read the book, just open one account. Label it profit. Allocate one percent to it. If you just do that one little step, you’ll start winning your own belief in favor toward how effective this is. You’ll believe in the system more and more. You’ll be able to become more and more profitable just by taking that first small step. Debra: Amen to that for sure! Thank you Mike! Mike: Thanks, Debra!
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Want to hear more? Access the complete interview to hear more stories of how Profit First can create the pivotal pathway to success in your small business. Not only will you hear his passion, you will also be able to visualize his ground breaking points through his amazing storytelling. What are you waiting for? Listen today!
A bout Debra A n g i l l e t t a Debra Angilletta is the go-to girl when you’re finally ready to reap the rewards of a big profit business. She puts her 20 years of Wall Street finance expertise to work for coaches, consultants, and sales professionals, showing them how to pull big money right out of their business, and leverage powerful profit opportunities hiding right under their nose! Working just 4 days a week, 3 weeks a month she built her company, A New View, to over six figures and has mastered the techniques to be profitable year over year. She’s also a speaker, author and the creator of popular programs such as “5 Steps to Accelerate Your Business”, “The 6 Figure Schedule” and brain chid behind “Accelerate: The Magazine”.
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WEBSITE WINDFALL Three Simple Steps To Boost Your Bucks With A Sizzling Branded Website By Holly Chantal Marketing is how you share your content and knowledge; get your brand in front of your audience; and drive traffic back to your website. By doing so, you create awareness and begin showing up on your prospects’ radar. When you’re marketing well, you’ll become known as an expert for your unique perspective on the challenges your prospects are facing.
A C C E L E R AT E In my opinion, there are two misconceptions that many
about “Buy! Buy! Buy!” unless your visitor is ready to
online entrepreneurs have that are killing their sales:
make a buying decision, they’re going to leave your site – most likely never to return again.
1. That marketing gets them clients; and 2. That their website is for selling.
Your website should be geared toward starting a conversation, so that you can begin to build trust with your
You’re probably wondering how those two things could
prospect and be top of mind when they are ready to
possibly be misconceptions? They seem to be common
make a buying decision. Do this on your website by
engaging visitors with an extremely low barrier to entry offer, such as asking for their email address in exchange
Yes, you can’t get clients without marketing. When you
for a free digital product geared toward solving the chal-
optimize your sales process like I’m going to show you
lenge they’re facing.
how to do in this article, your website can become a sales machine.
This is easy to say “Yes” to. Now that they’ve raised their hand and are interested in your topic, you can start
The key is that these are not the primary purposes of
building a relationship with them. You can also raise your
those two tools. If you ignore that fact, you’ll be one
credibility factor by continuing to wow them with what
of the thousands of people who are wasting their best
you have to offer.
business-building resources. DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOU SHOULDN’T SELL STUFF ON So, let’s take a second look. What is marketing?
MARKETING IS ABOUT CREATING BRAND AWARENESS.
Absolutely not! Of course, you want to have your services and programs on your website with the ability to buy.
Marketing is how you share your content and knowledge; get your brand in front of your audience; and drive traffic
The point is that your primary call to action and tone of
back to your website. By doing so, you create awareness
your site should be geared toward starting the conver-
and begin showing up on your prospects’ radar. When
sation, rather than using every square pixel of space to
you’re marketing well, you’ll become known as an expert
make an offer or to tell them about everything you do so
for your unique perspective on the challenges your pros-
that they can hire you this very moment.
pects are facing. So, let’s talk about when the selling part comes in. Marketing, in and of itself, is not a sales activity. When done right, you use marketing to attract your audience
YOUR WEBSITE SALES WILL COME FROM YOUR FOLLOW-
to a page where they can take action to engage you
further. In most cases, that is your website. It could also be a particular sales page, social media profile, or some-
Your follow up should build a relationship with prospects
thing else that you want eyeballs and action on.
and establish your credibility. When you want to sell a particular program, your best bet is to create an email
Here’s where the second conundrum raises its head.
campaign that captures the interest of those on your list that need your program right then. Your emails will direct
YOUR WEBSITE’S PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO START A CON-
them to a sales page where they can make a purchase.
VERSATION, NOT TO MAKE A SALE. When you use this type of strategy to sell your programs Let’s say your marketing is going well, and you’re driv-
online, your website becomes much more effective
ing a ton of traffic to your website. If your website is all
because your prospects are being directed to the right SUMMER 2015
A C C E L E R AT E sales pages when they are ready to make a purchase.
worth wasting your marketing efforts and prime website
You’re also not losing the opportunity to build a relation-
real estate. If you have a marketing and sales system that
ship with prospects that might not be ready to buy from
is built with these steps in mind, you will maximize the
you when they first land on your website.
number of clients you have signing up for your programs.
LET’S RECAP WHAT THE THREE STEPS TO SELLING YOUR
IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET A FREE EVALUA-
PROGRAMS ONLINE LOOKS LIKE: • Step 1: Create brand awareness with marketing; • Step 2: Start a conversation with your website visitors by collecting their email addresses in exchange for free information to help them with their problem; and • Step 3: Make a targeted sales offer via your follow-up system after your prospects have shown interest and you’ve built a relationship.
TION OF YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE, TO SEE WHERE YOU’RE SUPER STRONG AND WHERE YOU MAY BE MISSING OPPORTUNITIES, GO TO WWW.BRANDPOWERASSESSMENT.COM AND TAKE THE FREE ASSESSMENT.
Of course, there will always be exceptions, and some people will buy from your website the first time they come to it. Those clients are few and too far between to make it
A bout Holl y C h a n t a l Holly Chantal is the Founder of The Land of Brand® the only full service branding agency that works specifically with coaches and excels in both strategy and design. During her 10 years as an online business owner (she started as a wee lass) Holly has discovered over and over again that the key to standing out as unique isn’t about being outlandishly different. It’s about infusing your personality into everything you do. This message blended with a keen mind for strategy was the key to reaching six figures in her coaching business in under 18 months and has continued to grow ever since. Holly has taken the laborious process of branding and made it fun for her clients. She has helped over 100 coaches build brands that are an expression of who they are and position them as the obvious choice for their clients.
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SUMMER 2015 â€‚
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THE SIMPL E S A L E S S O L U T I O N : 5 Ste p s To B l o c k b u s t e r O f fers That Pract i c a l l y G u a ra n t e e R e s ults (Even If You H a t e S a l e s ) By Pam Ivey YOUR MARKET IS THE KEY TO YOUR SALES SUCCESS. Think about it. If you don’t know who
THE SALES PROCESS BEGINS LONG BEFORE THE PURCHASE
you’re talking to; what your niche demographics are;
In my opinion, the end game of all marketing is getting
their browsing and buying behaviours; and most im-
the sale. But, there are a number of avenues you can
portantly, the language they use; how can you possibly
take that are not direct sales paths; yet, are all vital to
offer them something they actually want, in a way that
educating and engaging your prospects along the way.
will motivate them to buy?
Thus, inviting them to get to know, like, and trust you is GOLD. I call this the “KLT Factor”.
This goes beyond just determining what your market’s pain points are. Yes, those pain points need to be ad-
The sales funnel typically begins with the lead magnet
dressed, but that is only a small, though crucial part, of
or free offer (e.g., a downloadable, free report or free
the bigger picture.
e-book, free short video training, etc.). This is used to build your list while educating prospects. Frequent,
Here are five points you must keep in mind when decid-
regular emails to the list can also include timely ar-
ing what to sell.
ticles (you can reference from elsewhere or from your own blog, etc.,), quick, hot tips on a topic that they can
A C C E L E R AT E implement right away. Then, and only then, should you start offering your product, program, or service. But before you do that, you MUST do your homework.
BUILD IT AND THEY WILL NOT COME; UNLESS, YOU KNOW WHO “THEY” ARE. As I said in the beginning, you can’t possibly expect to have people rushing to buy from you if you don’t know who your “buying public” is. This means, digging deep to find out exactly who they are; what they know; and what they want. You need to discover where your target niche hangs out. For example, if they are involved in a Facebook® group, be sure to look through the comment stream for clues on how they talk (language), as well as their pet peeves; what they like; and what they get excited about. Investigate where they have bought related products before. Look for clues on those sales pages, websites, and especially for any product/program reviews (not just testimonials). Even if you are part of the demographic yourself, it’s imperative that you understand that you can’t just rely on what you “think” your prospects want. Your market is “telling” you what they want by their behaviors and what they say. So you have to create user-centric products and language (marketing copy in their voice that also overcomes objections) that they can easily recognize and relate to.
EXAMINE HOW YOU MEASURE UP. As you research your audience’s preferences and knowhow, it’s important to collect every piece of data you can. It may seem daunting to do this; but, you must take
TEST AND REFINE YOUR CALL TO ACTIONS (CTAS). Once you’ve done your homework, and have created a product, program, or service that is geared to your market, you also want to add extra incentive to buy strategically placed and compelling calls-to-action. Test at least two, if not four, different CTAs to see what gets more results. When you test a CTA, be careful to only change the CTA and to not change other aspects of the offer, too. Leave everything else the same. Only change the CTA to see which one works best. You can do this with headlines, too. It’s amazing how changing just one word or the focus of one small thing can make all the difference in increasing conversion rates.
ENGAGE YOUR MARKET ON AN ONGOING BASIS. In between offers, it’s important to consistently stay in touch with your prospects and followers. You can do this by engaging them on social media; through the content on your blog; and via guest blogging on other popular websites that your audience likes to read. Any means to relate more with your audience will help you to get to know them better. Put your detective hat on and keep it on. Keep the research going. Track the data. Watch for trends, so you can adjust your offerings appropriately.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS Listen, and listen well. If your audience sees every move you make. That you believe in their causes, needs, and desires. That you really get what frustrates them, then selling a product, program, or service to them is practically guaranteed.
the time to do this or your offer could fall flat. Then you’ll have wasted valuable time. So don’t cut corners! Ensure you compare what you intend to offer to what’s already out there. Can your product, program, or service REALLY solve a pressing problem in a way that is pretty
RESULTS = GUARANTEED
much irresistible? How do you know? Ask colleagues to give you some honest feedback. Test the market by doing a soft launch. Then adjust based on the results to make your offer even stronger. SUMMER 2015
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Listen and listen well. If your audience sees with every move you make, that you believe in their causes, needs, and desires and really get what frustrates them, then selling a product, program or service to your niche is practically guaranteed.
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BECOME THE DRIVER OF YOUR DESTINY
A Revolutionary Approach To Leap Beyond Your Fears & Accelerate Your Success “Fearless” is the by Kelly Epperson
buzzword of our era. Oh, to be “a fearless woman.” Fearless in business, in love, in life. We are pummeled with advice and memes and songs on living fearlessly.
A C C E L E R AT E The sentiment has proper intention; yet, when we do feel that edge of fear (and our tummies go spinning, our hands go clammy, and our hearts go pumping wildly), we think something is wrong. We feel we aren’t living up to all the fearless wisdom being bantered about.
WE CAN DO IT and that the earth doesn’t open up and swallow us whole. Now, if the opportunity arises to sing a little ditty, I fear it less.
Taking baby steps works in business. Do one small thing in any area of your life with your new “fear less” attitude We don’t have to. and you feel the ripple effects. Going to networking events where you don’t know anyone, you fear it less. Taking the Oh, but I try to carry that torch. I sing the songs. I read the stage to give a presentation, you fear it less. Launching quotes with images of women with flowing hair and their a new program or project, you fear it less. Writing (be it a arms outstretched to the heavens. I have bought myself blog or a book), you fear it less. Investing in yourself, you greeting cards that say: Be truthful, gentle, and fearless. fear it less. Hiring a coach or joining a group, you fear it less. Talking with potential peeps, you fear it less. Telling I’m pretty good with the truthful and gentle part, but fear- someone NO, you fear it less. less? Forget it. We won’t ever live a fearless life. The key is to not let fear The fearless frenzy serves a purpose. Anything to get us be the driving force in your life and your business. to take that next step is good. And that is all we ever have to do. Fear, in all its various, cloaks us, clings to us, and When we let fear be the driver, we go through life with coaxes us to hold back. the brakes on. We hold back, and holding back is our greatest dream killer. Fear is trying to keep us “safe;” and frankly, safe is not the end goal. It’s the ultimate paradox. One of the reasons We need to comprehend that we are safe, even though we I love my husband so dearly is because I feel safe with him. may feel fear. How many times have you heard a bump I have never felt so safe, so free to be me. That, to me, is in the night and felt fear? Yet you were safe in your bed, the epitome of truly being fearless. and there was absolutely no threat to your welfare. Unless something truly is a threat of physical harm, why are you We need a new buzzword. How about we simply break holding back? Why are you letting fear take the reins? It’s “fearless” into two words: Fear less. time for you to take back those reins. You will still feel fear it means you’re alive. But, with practice, you will feel it less. Its effects will not be as intense. Fear will lose its vice grip on you. It’s an ongoing dance, feeling the fear and venturing out on to the dance floor of life anyway (with a spinning tummy, clammy hands, and pounding heart). In your first forays into the “fear less” way of living, start small. I had a long-standing fear of singing in public. The first time I sang bad karaoke at the mai tai bar was a huge milestone for me. I am no diva and have no pipes. Even though I knew all the song lyrics, I didn’t take my eyes off the monitor; and I didn’t belt it out. (Is there a Japanese word for “mumbles off-key into microphone”?) No one said, “Wow, she’s good.” No one said anything. It took over forty years for me to pick up a mic and when I finally did, it was no big deal. We hold ourselves back fearing the worst. Then, the worst doesn’t happen. Even if not much happens at all, we learn
Your assignment #1: Today do one, tiny thing that seems a bit scary. Maybe you talk. Maybe you walk. Maybe you sing. Maybe you write. Maybe you dance. Maybe you throw away the junk in the basement. Maybe you smile and reach out. Tomorrow, do it again. The next day, do it again. And again. Then again. You will fear it less. That’s the goal. Baby steps can take you all the way to the end zone. So what is the “end zone” for you? What do you desire, back in some way?
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Write (pen on paper; research shows this anchors it in your body better than fingers on keyboard): One, small step I will take right now is ____________________ . The best way to gain clarity and dissipate fear is to take action. Small action, after small action, after small action. The next thing you know, you’re singing bad Karaoke and belting it out like a diva.
Your assignment #2: Write down, pen on paper, (there is power in what we write) a dream you have but have never You don’t have to be fearless to be successful. But you yet said out loud. Write it down. will be successful, and much happier, in business and in life, if you fear less.
Think of one small action... Your assignment #3: Think of one, small action, one baby step, you can take to move you closer to that dream. Maybe you want to be a keynote speaker. One small step would be to sign up for your local Toastmasters.
About Kell y E p p e r s o n Kelly Epperson, a former IRS agent now an agent of joy, helps you live your dream life. She has written 25+ books, some for New York Times bestselling authors, one that sold 3 million copies; is a judge for the Erma Bombeck essay competition; was Book Coach for Suzanne Evans and Larry Winget’s Hell Yeah Star program; and is a blogger for TUT.com which has 650,000 followers. Kelly has created a life she loves by taking baby steps and fearing less. She has manifested many of her dreams including a year in Europe, finding her Prince Charming, and working from home surrounded by trees and beauty. For free weekly inspiration and information to create your dream life, sign up for Kelly’s Friday joy letter here. To work with Kelly to discover how to follow your heart and trust your gut, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CLICK FOR FREE GIFT! Learning how to fear less is a practice. You can discover how to follow your heart and trust your gut. I created a series of short daily emails to build your trust muscle. Two minutes a day for 28 days can change your life. Fear less. Stress less. More fun. More calm.
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CUTTING YOUR BUSINESS’ COST BY OUTSOURCING Driven by advances in technology, the global reach of the Internet and the economic downturn, outsourcing—or the practice of using outside firms or independent contractors to handle work traditionally performed within a company—is becoming easier, more cost justifiable and more efficient than ever before. BY SARAH RICCA It is a common flaw that many entrepreneurs possess: thinking that they can and should do it all. But that mindset may be slowly evolving as the ability to outsource different tasks and responsibilities becomes increasingly viable for even the smallest of small businesses. The Brave New World of Outsourcing Thanks to advances in technology and the global reach of
the Internet, outsourcing—or the practice of using outside firms or independent contractors to handle work traditionally performed within a business—is becoming easier, more cost justifiable and more efficient than ever before. Through the use of social networks such as LinkedIn® and Facebook®, small businesses can reach outside of their geographic area to find and establish virtual relation-
A C C E L E R AT E ships with outsourcing vendors and independent contractors across the country or even around the world. The “Great Recession” and subsequent sluggish economic recovery also have fed the outsourcing trend, driving businesses to be vigilant about expenses and reluctant to hire new full-time employees, while at the same time creating a vast pool of skilled workers and professionals who vacated positions in the corporate world—either voluntarily or through layoffs—and who now are offering their services to businesses as independent contractors. While the opportunity has never been more fertile, the decision of when—and what—to outsource can seem daunting to the uninitiated. To Outsource or Not to Outsource Here are some important questions to ask yourself as you weigh the decision to outsource or not. Is the job a “core competency” of your business? These days, almost any business task can be outsourced. However, just because the talent is available in the marketplace, it does not mean you should take advantage of it. As a first step, assess your business’s core strengths and capabilities as well as its primary service and or product offerings. Market experts often recommend keeping all aspects of your core business in-house and proprietary in order to maintain your competitive position in the marketplace. That means, for instance, if your company specializes in Web design, don’t hire a freelance Web designer to be the creative brain behind your next big project. Is it a specialized service that you use infrequently? While your business absolutely requires accounting, legal and tax assistance from time to time, you most likely do not need—and most certainly cannot afford—to hire a full-time CPA or attorney. Similarly, while you may require high-level marketing services once or twice a year (e.g., to manage a semiannual marketing campaign), that need can easily be filled by hiring an independent contractor on an as-needed basis.
Calculating the Cost Benefit Following are some general guidelines to help you assess the potential return outsourcing may offer your business. Factor in overhead costs. In addition to their salary or hourly wages, full-time employees also cost companies in the form of payroll taxes, insurance and other benefits. Experts suggest you should expect to pay an additional 30% above and beyond an employee’s pay for these overhead costs. Consider your worth. Think through the difference between your hourly rate and the rate that an outside contractor may charge to perform the same task. For instance, if you are a business consultant who charges $100 an hour for your services, you could save 75% by paying a contractor $25 an hour to perform administrative tasks you are currently handling yourself. And wouldn’t your valuable time be better spent focusing on your core business activities? Also consider the savings that would be realized if the contractor could complete the task faster and with fewer mistakes than you could. That is a winning combination that goes beyond the bottom line. Think high level. Increasingly, small businesses are looking to outsource executive-level positions, such as chief financial officers (CFOs) and marketing directors. In these cases, the need is for strategic-level consulting to be used sparingly, for instance, on a weekly or monthly basis. What might be the cost savings for outsourcing a CFO’s financial expertise? According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 2013 CFO Compensation Survey, the median CFO salary in private companies was $150,000 in 2012, and the corresponding median bonus was $15,000 for a total of $165,000.1 Factor in an additional 25% for taxes and benefits and the total cost to the company would be about $206,250 per year, or $17,185 per month. Compare that with the cost of outsourcing a CFO’s services for one day a week, and it is easy to realize the dramatic savings available to a small company in terms of salary, as well as health and retirement benefits.
by Debra Angilletta
Is the task a commodity that someone else can perform more efficiently and cost effectively? Think payroll, data entry, accounts payable and shipping inventory. These types of processes are some of the most popular to outsource as they offer significant leverage in terms of time and money saved. Is the cost of the service lower than what it would cost (in time and resources) to perform it in-house? See “Calculating the Cost Benefit” below for more insights on the cost versus the benefit of outsourcing key business functions.
Get specific. The potential cost savings outsourcing may offer is linked directly to the type of business you are in and what you hope to achieve. For this reason, many outsourcing contractors offer free online calculators to help entrepreneurs flesh out the specifics of their proposal and to see clearly if the numbers add up to savings for their company. Go offshore or stay stateside. Technology continues to push the envelope on what businesses can do to leverage talent irrespective of geographic boundaries. Establishing a presence on online networking or business outsourcing SUMMER 2015
A C C E L E R AT E sites makes it easier for business owners and vendors to find each other, to enter into business contracts and to build lasting relationships without ever meeting face-toface. Information technology (IT), in particular, is one area where connecting with offshore programmers and technicians may well result in considerable cost savings over using stateside counterparts. (See sidebar, “IT Outsourcing: Look to the Cloud.”) Wide disparities in the salary requirements of offshore versus U.S.-based IT professionals may make this an opportunity worth pursuing. However, as attractive as any such cost benefit may be, it should be weighed against the potential barriers presented by language, cultural and time zone differences. As an alternative, think rural stateside contractors who are still likely to represent a significant cost savings over similarly skilled contractors based in major US cities.
outsourcing partner. It may seem like a bother at first, but in the end, the time spent will provide for a more satisfactory and cost-effective outcome. • When hiring offshore contractors:2 o Decide what online collaboration tools you need. Pick the ones that best fit your needs and that do not confuse you with too many bells and whistles. o Offshore only those tasks that are well defined. For tasks that need your input several times a day, choose a provider who can work in your own time zone. • Manage for efficiency: Evaluate how much time you and your employees are spending on finding providers and on assigning and tracking their tasks. This could be another service you could outsource to an outside agency.
Shift “fixed” to “variable” costs. Perhaps the most obvious cost benefit of outsourcing is the ability to move fixed costs (i.e., full-time employees) to the variable cost side of the ledger, in the form of an outsourced business activity.
Outsourcing the right tasks allows you to focus intently on the things that make your company successful, and to dedicate your time, energy and resources to keeping your company thriving and moving forward to the next level of achievement.
Where to Find Outsourcers Here are some resources to help guide your search.
Please CONTACT ME for more information about outsourcing or other aspects of managing your business.
• Your personal network; Ask other business owners, your accountant, lawyer or banker to recommend a vendor offering the services you need.
1Source: the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 2013 CFO Compensation Survey, 2013. 2Source: SmallBusinessTrends.com, “Top 10 Outsourcing Trends by Small Businesses,” February 17, 2009. 3Source: The New York Times, “Small Business, Joining a Parade of Outsourcing,” February 15, 2014.
• The Internet; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and online outsourcers can all serve as virtual marketplaces to help match up appropriate contractors with business owners.
Cutting Your Business’s Costs by Outsourcing Article Written By: Wealth Management Systems, Inc. Courtesy of: Sarah Beane Ricca, Financial Advisor Branch Name: Morgan Stanley, Paramus, NJ Phone Number: 201.967.6792 Web Address: www.morganstanleyfa.com/ricca
• Professional trade associations; these organizations may be able to recommend the right contractor for your needs.
If you’d like to learn more, please contact Sarah Beane Ricca.
Making the Most of Outsourcing Outsourcing can be a boon to solo practitioners and small businesses, but it is not without its challenges. In order to reap the full benefits of any outsourcing arrangement, consider these commonsense tips: • Check references. • Prepare a simple contract that states clearly your expectations, pay rates, steps involved in the project, schedules, etc. • Be prepared to spend some time upfront training your
Article by Wealth Management Systems, Inc. and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor. The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”). The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained from sources outside of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by Morgan Stanley with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Accelerate: The Magazine to feature this article. Sarah Beane Ricca may only transact business in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration www.morganstanleyfa.com/ricca. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Sarah Beane Ricca is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration. © 2014 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. CRC 945283 [07/14]
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IT Outsourcing: Go Digital The growing glut of independent contractors within the technology sector is driving the investment in outsourcing for businesses of all sizes—from the enterprise level to startups. And for businesses hiring people for one-time projects in areas like software development, website design, and customer service, digital outsourcing has come on strong. Online marketplaces that match global workers with the right skills and experience to companies seeking those skills – while also handling many of the administrative tasks – and headaches – of outsourcing globally are popping up to fill a much sought after void. One such operator, which launched its online business in 2005, has seen the number of employers billing on the site rise 900% from 2009 to 2013; for the same time frame, the number of workers signed up through the site has surged 1,000%.3
A bout Sara h R i c c a Sarah Beane Ricca, CFP® has spent her career focused on client service and aligning solutions to help meet client needs. Using her background in management consulting, ethics and leadership, Sarah strives to help her clients live more meaningfully through in-depth financial planning and wealth management. Known for her endless energy, Sarah is passionate about conducting a professional and effective discovery process and helping to address her client’s financial planning and investment management needs. Sarah is firmly committed to long-term client relationships and serves a range of clients & their families including corporate executives and entrepreneurs, as well as sports, media and entertainment professionals. Sarah’s clients are passionate about what they do, and she listens carefully to client goals, core values and concerns. Based on this input, Sarah works to help her clients achieve their financial objectives in the areas of wealth protection, retirement planning and cash management. Sarah’s clients appreciate her holistic approach and ability to make working together as simple and easy as possible. She is a frequent lecturer on topics such as Asset Allocation, Investing, Women & Wealth, Financial Planning, Raising Financially Savvy Kids and other investment related subjects.
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Sarah believes in finding a balance between work and family, and is dedicated to helping the community with the same passion she has for business. Sarah is a co-Founder of the Bergen County Professional Women’s Network, and recently served as the President of the Junior League of Bergen County, where she has been a member since 2000. She is also a member of the Board of Governors for Ramapo College of New Jersey and the Valley Hospital Professional Advisory Committee. In her spare time she enjoys tennis, skiing, volunteering and spending quality time with her family in Bergen County, NJ and Southampton, NY. Sarah graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a double major in Economics and American Studies, where she also won the Joseph A. Lambie Prize in Economics.
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