Issue 9 | January 2014
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In This Edition Page:10:
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Everyday Healthy choices
ON The Cover Page 14: Matthew Lee Power Player Under 40
Evolution Evolution Magazine - January 2014
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Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
Keys to Establishing Your Vision and Achieving Your Business Goals As we enter into 2014 with excitement and momentum, it is important to establish your vision right from the start. Having a strong outlook on your coming year is imperative to having short term success over the next twelve months. Establishing your vision and setting some bold, yet realistic goals this month can put you on the right path. It will set the tone for the year and take you to places you never dreamed. It all comes down to your attitude, and that's entirely your choice. Take time right now to decide on what it is that you want to achieve next and take these seven keys to establishing your vision and begin planning your bold goals for 2014. Key 1: Make a Decision to Pursue Your First Goal Most entrepreneurs never find themselves facing a shortage of ideas and possibilities that could move their business forward. However, this can lead to an issue in establishing your vision and setting simple goals. Sorting through the massive amount of ideas and possibilities can be challenging at times, but is necessary. Take some time to write them all down, then objectively decide on just one - the one that you will focus on first. Knowing that the others will take their turn, you can put the list aside for now. Key 2: Create Your Bold Goal Statement Creating a bold statement should only take a few minutes to write out. Understand that it should be bold, yet simple, so you should keep in mind these 4 essential elements of creating the bold goal statement: Bold - So it excites you and inspires others. Realistic - So it is a stretch, but not so far that you believe you cannot reach it. Specific - So you have a clear outcome and will know when you reach it. Have a Deadline - So you can schedule the steps to completion. Key 3: Uncover Your Why The time will come when you feel as if you are falling short of the game plan, and frustration will set in. The arrival of frustration can and will breed the thought of giving up. Finding your Why is essential to staying the course during those times.
Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
To establish your vision and achieve your goals in 2014, you must uncover your Why: the specific benefits, and the value of reaching your goal.
progress over perfection. If you constantly wait for the time to be perfect, it may never come. However, if you pursue progress, you can reach perfection one imperfect step at a time.
Key 4: Break It Down Take time to brainstorm all the steps you will need to take as you progress forward. You should concentrate on the What and stay away from the How during this stage, as that would slow you down and frustrate you.
Key 7: Celebrate Entrepreneurs tend to find themselves pursuing their vision and reaching their goals, but rarely take the opportunity to celebrate their successes. Interestingly enough, you will find them celebrating their failures by beating themselves up over the smallest negative review or bad PR moment.
As part of the process, you will identify what resources and help you will need through this process, which you can address later. Key 5: Put it on Your Calendar The proof that you are serious about establishing your vision and achieving your goals in 2014 is very simple – put a date on it! Creating a timeline and giving yourself specific dates will ensure you stay focused and move toward your bold goal. It will also highlight if you have allowed too much or not enough time for each step, so you can easily make adjustments. Key 6: Get into Action It would seem like a logical point, but visionaries often find themselves at this point without action. Fear and doubt try to creep in, and if we forget our Why, we never take action. Today, take some time and “Just Do It.” Failure is not an option on progress. If you wait to make sure that everything is perfect, you may find yourself on the losing end of the time exchange. Pursue
Take some time to celebrate your successes as you establish your vision and achieve your goals. Celebrating will serve as a healthy reminder why you set your goals in the first place and motivate you to take on the next project with more intensity. Give yourself a big pat on the back and truly recognize and reward yourself for your achievements. In fact, you should make that a preliminary step. Before you even take step one and decide on what your bold goal is, think up a juicy reward and pin that on your vision board - then take that first step. Welcome to 2014 my friends! I am looking forward to sharing our vision with you as we progress into this New Year. One of my goals is this series: Evolving Concepts. It is my desire to share challenges that many business owners are facing and solutions that may assist you with achieving your success goals.
The #1 New Year’s Resolution for Businesses One of the most powerful, yet neglected things you can do for the success of your business is strategic planning. Not only do businesses neglect strategic planning, we don’t take the time to do it personally either. If you were to ask most people why they don’t do strategic planning, you would probably hear one of three common excuses: 1. I don’t have time to do that; I’m too busy. 2. My business is very simple; why should I waste time on that? 3. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Well, my friends, here’s the thing: “Successful people make plans. Other people make excuses.” Does it really make sense to say, “I don’t have time to plan”? That’s a ridiculous statement. Next time you find yourself on the recliner watching some reality TV show, think of what you could be doing instead: “Creating your own reality.”
Saying, “my business is very simple” sounds like a good out, until you factor in your dreams and your vision of success. It’s good to have a simple business, but do you really want to shortchange yourself and your family by not planning to make it better? As for, “I wouldn’t know where to begin,” that’s a valid point, and help is below. Strategic planning is simply asking yourself some questions and writing the answers so that they become your roadmap to success. The questions need not be complicated, nor do the answers. You just need to spend the time thinking and formulating your plan. Then give yourself goals and deadlines for achieving them. Here is a list of questions for you: 1. What is your mission or purpose for being in your business? (Why do you do what you do?) 2. Currently, what defines success for you? 3. Is your business performing at a level you had hoped for when you started or acquired your business? 4. Are you currently satisfied with the level of income you receive from your business? 5. What are the three biggest concerns you have about your business today? 6. What activities should you eliminate to free up more of your personal time? 7. What is your business-specific competitive advantage? 8. What is your brand? What value does your name mean to your customers? 9. Are you currently satisfied with the level of performance from your team? 10. Are you a success-minded business owner who is open and committed to taking your business to the next level? Spend time thinking about these questions and your answers, and you will be well on your way to identifying key things you’ll need to have a better year in business. To your success.
Speaker, educator, author, performance coach, and motivator, Joseph Facchiano, principal of JoFash Enterprises, has influenced thousands of professionals with a message of alignment, mission, and purpose. He consults internationally and with diverse Fortune 500 firms, and as an entrepreneur, understands the challenges of small businesses. Joe currently serves as an advisor with numerous business councils.
10 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
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Name: Matthew Lee Age: 35 Occupation: Author, Business Coach, & Entrepreneur Location: Chicago, IL Affiliations: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.
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Describe your work ethic and why you are a power player. My work ethic has been developed since I was a kid. I realized that through hard work I could go from being an average student to a great student. My work ethic in high school took me from an average basketball player to an All-State player, Mr. Basketball candidate, and it allowed me to earn a Division 1 scholarship to play basketball. As a business person, I have matured with experience. I spend less time working hard and I instead work smarter. As a result, my work ethic is solely focused on further developing and optimizing my strengths.
Photo Credits: Amie Hana www.AmyHana.Photography.Com
What makes me a power player? That’s a good question. I’d like to think I know best what makes me a power player, but I think it is even better to share what others have had to say: - Matthew is a visionary person with the ability to create a line of sight for almost any area of business. Matthew has a mind that creates a cascade of events/activities based on a person's objective. He also helps create clarity for individuals regarding what their goals should be. – Gia C. - In one moment, Matthew instilled in me the confidence to go for it. That gave me the push to get in the door with a Fortune 100 company to pitch them on my services. – Julie C. - You’re a great teacher of marketing and business growth ideas and concepts. In addition, you are excellent at adding value. You can instantly give any business owner 3 ideas to grow their business. You are also a great connector and networker and have a lot of good relationships with others. You are also professional, organized, and good for your word. – Jose C. - I believe his unique ability is being a true visionary. He has an ability to create campaigns that will explode anyone's business. He has a marketing and creative sense like no one I've ever seen. He has helped me tremendously with my business. He is extremely passionate about real estate, and making sure the people around him are successful. Matthew’s highest and best use of his time is developing million dollars ideas. – Kadeesha K. In addition, I am a bestselling author and co-founder of The Path To Home Ownership Blueprint™. The Path To Home Ownership Blueprint™ is the only program of its kind to help renters fix their credit, supercharge their finances, qualify for up to $16,000 in down payment assistance and government grants to buy a home. We do all this while helping renters establish a foundation on which to build wealth. Tell our readers what motivates you to go above and beyond people’s expectations. I am selfish. I really am driven by my goals, and I’ve consistently raised my own bar and standard of success higher than what others may have had for me. I am motivated by the desire to inspire other people to achieve greatness in their lives. I know that my success will open doors for other people that have had similar struggles. I am motivated when I see people’s lives change as a result of my help.
We hear that you are a power networker. Tell our readers why networking is important to you. I was originally taught, “ABC = Always Be Closing.” I re-invented that by saying, “ABC = Always Be Creating (Value).” Networking is only important if you know how to do it correctly. Most people are networking solely for the expectation of something in return or simply to make a sale. I call that slinging business cards. And most business owners treat collecting business cards as if it is a game. I encourage people to imagine that the solution to any business problem or challenge could be solved through a contact in their network. Now based on the contribution you’ve made to those in your network over the last 90 days- how likely is it for you to find the solution you need in your network? The answer for most business owners will shock you. Most view networking based on “how much can I get,” but when forced to focus on giving and creating value for others, they are at a loss. Networking is important to me because it rewards the givers. With my approach of creating value for others, networking allows me to access their network with opportunities. In order to gain access to someone’s network you must have their trust. I would almost liken that to them giving you their PIN code for their ATM card, because they are staking their reputation when introducing you to their network. I am able to create credibility and trust more easily, while also getting referrals because of my network. Business is all about identifying competitive advantages and exploiting them. Networking is a competitive advantage that makes going from point A to point B so much faster. I personally subscribe to the belief that any business need or challenge I am faced with can be solved by someone that is in my network. The only thing that limits me or any business from any vital resources needed to grow our business is our ability to be creative enough in offering more value to the people in our network. What could you accomplish if you took the ABC approach of Always Be Creating (Value)? www.evomag.co
E Seven Strategies to Seven Figures I love businesses, and I love entrepreneurs, and working very closely with the two, I've realized that there are distinct characteristics that separate six-figure entrepreneurs from seven. I want to share with you seven distinct characteristics I’ve noticed that separate the best from the rest. These seven characteristics are developed over time, and are accessible to everyone, but very few choose to implement or follow the game plan of a seven-figure earner.
Melissa Krivachek, has been captivating, inspiring and motivating entrepreneurs across the globe since her early twenties. Featured on CNN, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and receiving dozens of other accolades, Melissa’s passion for personal growth resonates with audiences looking for more fulfillment in all aspects of life and business. You can have it all, all at the same time. Love, Success, & Happiness. Melissa Krivachek www.briellaarion.com
16 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
Seven-Figure Entrepreneurs: Delegate everything but their genius, freeing up their time and giving them more effort, energy, and focus to do what truly matters most to them, which makes the biggest impact. We can all agree that most of us spend a significant amount of our lives doing things that bring very little to no return. Things such as dishes, laundry, cleaning, traveling, cooking, grocery shopping, these are the very things seven-figure entrepreneurs don’t bother with because they know that time is money and paying people to do these tasks for them gives them more time to make more money. Take a minute and think about your regular routine. I would venture to guess that more than 70% of your day is spent doing tasks that could easily be delegated to someone else. It is these same tasks that drain your energy, make you cringe, and cost you both time and money. What if you realized the potential you had? What if you used that time to focus on your genius? What if you disciplined yourself to do the one thing that had the most impact? You would be happier, healthier, and wealthier. Focus on building strategic long-term relationships with specific individuals. Relationships are the backbone of business and one of the greatest assets a person has. Sitting with some of the greatest minds in the world and having a conversation, it’s evident that they didn’t get to where they are on their own. In fact, if you’ve ever been to their office or home, you will notice a huge rolodex with prominent names most of us wish we had access to. The truth of the matter is that their
entire success was built around hard work and great relationships. So why should you care? As a small business, your greatest asset isn’t your time, effort, energy, or the amount of money you’ve put into the business; it’s the relationships you’ve built with the people who support you. I want to challenge you to go through the assets you currently have available such as your Facebook friends or fans, LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, phone contacts – those individuals who are connected to you because they have a vested interest in the value you bring to the marketplace. As you go through this list of individuals, build strategic relationships with those who have the largest impact in your specific industry. Over time, you will realize the significance of your investment; the return is far greater than you anticipate. Ask for help. You could have the greatest business in the world, or the most brilliant idea, but execution is everything. While you might believe that you can do it on your own, I promise you could do even better if you asked for help. While we are taught all our life that asking for help isn’t a good thing, when you realize how much you’ve lost and realize how much it continues to cost, asking for help is the most effective solution to getting what you want quicker and easier than you could doing it on your own. Hire a coach. This is one of the best decisions, if not the best decision you will ever make. I was speaking with a high six-figure entrepreneur the other day and there were certain things in his business that he wanted, such as more media attention, doubling his income, qualifying and closing corporate clients sooner, so I asked him a simple question: “Do you have a coach?” His response was, “No, I go to a lot of events. I’m involved in some masterminds, listen to audios, read books, go to seminars/webinars. I’ve worked on marketing campaigns for Nike, Tiffany, Eastern Bank Limited, Reebok, and Chevron among various others.” “Then you know the best investment you can make is the investment in yourself,” I countered. He was still hesitant because he’s rarely on the other side of the table. He pitches 13-14 times a week, has a successful business, invests highly in personal growth, and is doing really well. He says, “Ok, no one’s ever pitched me on coaching. I get pitched daily for lots of things but not coaching. I meet coaches at events at least once a week, and last week I met one who tried to pitch me, but backed down.” So as I continued to listen to what he was saying, and continued to take notes about what he wanted, I took the opportunity to pitch him and he became a really highpaying client. This is important for several reasons: • No one is too successful to have a coach. • Value is an exchange for money and there is no reason to back down on what you know you are able to deliver. • Confidence is irreplaceable. • You can’t get to where you’re going without accountability, clarity, and a roadmap. • It costs money to stay where you are and it costs more money to go back to where you’ve been. Implement systems and disciplines to work less and get paid more.
Ask for help. You could have the greatest business in the world, or the most brilliant idea, but execution is everything. While you might believe that you can do it on your own, I promise you could do even better if you asked for help. Systems are everything when it comes to life and business. From social media to financial analysis, traveling, speaking, writing, and everything in between, seven-figure earners create systems and disciplines around absolutely everything. From the moment they wake up to the moment they lay their head on the pillow at night, they follow a systemized routine, which gets repeated daily with the same disciplines that have created their success. It’s no surprise that morning workouts, followed by an early breakfast and a couple hours’ worth of money making activities are normal disciplines for this type of entrepreneur. Before the sun even rises, they are pulled out of bed with passion in their step and enthusiasm in their voice. Extremely conscious about where their time and money is spent, many millionaires are far more frugal than the average person realizes. Millionaires know where their money is being spent, how much of it’s being spent, and in what category it’s being spent. In fact, millionaires only invest in the things they value, and most of the time, it has nothing to do with fancy cars, or million dollar properties, but their ROI on the money invested. It’s amazing to drive a Tesla; there is no other car like it in the world. It’s great to have a huge property in an exclusive community and to give off the vibration that you have money, but people don’t invest in millionaires because of their status or wealth; they invest because they bring massive value to the marketplace, which has equated to material possessions. Next time you think about making a purchase, consider the perspective of a millionaire. Unless it’s something you highly value and there’s a significant return, is it really worth investing in? Chances are probably not. And most importantly, they LET GO OF CONTROL!!! The one thing we all fear is letting go of control, of letting someone do something for us when we think we can do it better ourselves. Letting go of control is the number one characteristic of high performers. They know they can’t control everything, and the most important thing they can control is their integrity, actions, and results, and there is nothing in the world that speaks louder than those three traits. So next time you make the assumption that being a millionaire is easy, remember that being a millionaire takes far more discipline then you realize. www.evomag.co
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A digital and limited print business magazine for business owners by business owners. Delivering quality business, technology and lifestyle content from around the world and from your neighborhood.
Starting in our February 2014 issue, Michelle R. Dawson, Business Contributor for Evolution Magazine, will answer your business and entrepreneurial-related questions. To kick off this new column, we asked Michelle to give you a peek inside her entrepreneurial journey.
exactly I wanted to do. During that time, it became crystal clear that I wanted to help others launch and grow successful businesses using the same systems, processes, and tools that I used to help make this corporation millions. So in 2005, the vision of Catalyst Enterprises International was born.
For the past seven years, I've served as a business consultant, strategist, and mentor for visionaries ranging from corporate 500 companies to solo-entrepreneurs. But even folks who provide sage advice have to start somewhere, and Iâ€™ve certainly had some ups and downs along the way. So before I begin tackling your questions, itâ€™s only fair that I come clean about how I got started, where I fell along the way, and the lessons I learned to turn my business into the success it is today.
3. The most surprising part of being an entrepreneur. After leaving my corporate career in 2007, excited about the possibilities and opportunities that were awaiting me, the phone wasn't ringing as I expected. Although I knew I had services that people needed, my messaging wasn't clear. Therefore, my ideal client could not easily recognize me as the solution to their most pressing challenges. This lack of clarity caused me to experience highs and lows in my business. My revenue cycle was in feast or famine mode each month. I soon learned the key to my business success was not just great service, but an effective marketing plan and a clearly defined niche.
1. My corporate journey that served as my entrepreneurial launching pad. Prior to taking the leap into entrepreneurship, I had a very successful 16-year career with a major chemical company. I started as a scientist, designing studies and within 10 months I was promoted to supervisor. After a couple years as a technical supervisor, I realized that I enjoyed the business side of science more than the technical side. I began planning my transition by going back to school to obtain my MBA, while building relationships with people who were already working in areas that were of interest to me. I moved into an international business position that allowed me to travel around the globe, helping business units streamline processes and systems to increase their revenue. This was a dream position! I led teams of people while make tremendous impacts on the company's bottom line. 2. When I knew it was time to make the transition. After working a couple years in my dream job, I began to desire more than what my corporate job had to offer. I was helping them make millions and believed I could do the same for myself and others as well. I'll never forget in 2004, I was in Germany at a corporate dinner celebrating a multi-million dollar process launch. While sitting at the table, the thought came to me, "I don't want to do this anymore!" When I returned to the US, I spent several weeks pondering what
22 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
4. The turning point for my Business. The point when I began seeing exponential client and revenue growth in my business was when I became super clear on my niche, implemented a consistently focused marketing plan, and offered services with measurable outcomes. Now my phone rings consistently with referrals from previous clients or prospects who have heard me speak or received my marketing materials. Every month in Evolution Magazine, I'll pull from all these lessons to answer your biggest entrepreneurial questions and concerns.
Got a question for Michelle about transitioning from job to business owner, growing your business, breaking through self-sabotaging mindsets, or anything else business-related? Ask below! And follow Michelle on Twitter @catalystsuccess. Email your questions to AskMichelle@ Evomag.co
Top Reasons Why Online Banks Make Sense
Today By Engelberth Bermudez
Online banking is one of the services that retail banks, credit unions, and building societies provide their customers with. There are also banks that are purely online, so they have no branches with tellers that you interact with. The growing use of credit cards, debit cards, and other online payment services like PayPal adds to the diverse ways by which people move money around. All this makes people more comfortable with the idea of virtual monetary transactions, where they're not using cash; this opens up opportunities for online banking. What are some of the reasons e-banking is an attractive option for consumers? Cheaper and May Offer Higher Interest Rates on Savings People are getting frustrated with the various fees that banks are charging for their services. Direct banks do not have any branch network and they provide their services thru e-banking. This helps them avoid the overhead costs of maintaining a brick-and-mortar branch, so they don't need to charge as many fees. Many direct banks also offer online savings accounts that provide customers with higher interest rates compared to traditional banks. Convenience Many traditional banks are now offering online banking services as an added service to their customers. U.S. bank Wells Fargo for example, is offering the Wells Fargo Online service. It's convenient for customers because they can monitor their accounts and pay bills all from the comfort of their own homes. Check your bank if you can enroll in their online banking service to take advantage of these services.
stored online so the risk is basically the same. Taking the same precautions that you take when protecting your other online accounts is just as important, or even more important, in order for you to protect your online bank information. Extended Operating Hours How many times have you had to take time off from your lunch break to make a transaction with your bank because you couldn't drop by your bank after work hours? If you're tired of rushing to the bank and taking time off from work, then you should consider e-banking. Many online banks operate 24/7 so there's no need to rush out to your bank to complete a transaction. Ability to Access Credit Card Statements For credit card holders, banks that provide online banking allow cardholders to get their credit card statement online, so there's no need to wait for it to come in from the mail. The faster you get your statement, the faster you can review it. This paperless transaction is also great for the environment. Online banks have many attractive features such as higher interest rates, lower fees, security, and many services that make it convenient to complete transactions like deposits, withdrawals, payment of bills, and when you need to get your credit card statement. If you're already comfortable using virtual payment methods like PayPal, then you should consider online banking for its benefits.
Security Many may be turned away from online banking by the thought that it is not as safe as transacting with traditional banks. However, traditional banks also keep their customers' financial information www.evomag.co
12 Secrets of Highly Successful Writers
1. Toggle people’s brains. You do that with your questions – with your odd, unexpected juxtapositions of words; with your sentences and phrases that are so ‘out there’ that they take people with them. Hopefully, you’ve rocked your readers’ worlds, turned their brains upside down, stretched their minds like a bar of Laffy Taffy, never quite returning to their original size. It’s part of the job description. How are you toggling people? 2. Watch yourself write. Because you weren’t looking for the formula the first time, you need to go back and figure out what you did, what your thought processes, questions and assumptions were. That way, you can perfect your process and repeat it. So, regularly back away from your creative journey and revisit the progression of your ideas. Here’s how: (1) TRACK the experiences or moments that inspired your original idea, (2) THINK about the questions you asked yourself, didn’t ask yourself, or should have asked yourself during the writing process, (3) NOTE each moment of resistance, how it made you feel, and what steps you took to overcome it, (4) REVISIT tangible records of the progression of your idea. Lay them all out in front of you and then travel back in time. See what comes up the second time. Perhaps a few new patterns will emerge. This process will teach you invaluable lessons about how you think, create, and write. Are you stepping back from what you do to study what you do?
Scott Ginsberg is the World Record Holder of Wearing Nametags. He’s the author of thirteen books, a professional speaker, awardwinning blogger and the creator of NametagTV.com. His publishing and consulting company specializes in approachability, identity and execution. For more info about books, speaking engagements, customized online training programs or to Rent Scott’s Brain for a one-on-one session, email email@example.com
24 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
3. Write because you can’t not write; not because of the money, not because of the fame, not because chicks dig writers, and not because you want to ‘have written.’ Write because you have something that needs to be said. Write because there is some lie you want to expose. Write because there is something you’ve gone through that people need to hear about and learn from. What must you write about or you shall die? 4. Write things that make no sense, then improve them. Remember: There will be more. Who cares if your first draft is completely wonky? What matters is that you write that ‘one true thing’ down the moment it comes up. What matters is that you honor whatever surfaces. And what matters is that you trust your inner resources, having faith that the idea will make sense when you’re ready to learn it. Are you willing to write gibberish now for jackpots later?
5. Write what you know about, run into, have a passion for, and obsess over. Do this, and I promise you two things: (1) You will never run out of material, (2) Writing will be easy. Otherwise, your work is going to be boring to write and laborious to read. Zoinks! What percentage of your writing is infused with your passion? 6. Writer’s Block is a lie. It doesn’t exist. It’s nothing but a comfy little excuse touted by undisciplined, mediocre writers who sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Here’s the reality: Writing is an extension of thinking. So, next time you experience ‘Writer’s Block,’ recognize that what you’re really experiencing is ‘Thinker’s Block.’ Lesson learned: If you want to write more, think more. If you want to write better, think better. People who bitch about Writer’s Block are either: (1) lazy, (2) boring, (3) stupid, or (4) terrible listeners. Remember: Creativity is nothing but active listening. If you can’t find anything to write about, you’re not a writer. Period. What did you write today? 7. Writing is a little like eating. During my brother’s wedding, my parents’ friend Ed told me, ‘Scott, eventually you get to a point when it’s not about the food, but who’s at the table.’ Great point. And similarly, the more you learn to trust your inner voice, you care less about grammar, punctuation, and structure, and the more you care about being courageous enough to slice open a vein and bleed your truth all over the page. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if your writing is good – it matters if your writing is your truth. It doesn’t matter if your writing is popular – it matters if your writing disturbs people into action. Look, you’re not going to win a Pulitzer. Let go of the need to be ‘good at writing.’ Instead, invest your time and energy in making your pen a lightning rod for channeling honesty. People will notice. Does your writing have to be good?
11. Yes, it IS possible to have too many ideas. Ironically, this becomes a barrier to creativity because eventually, you won’t be able to keep anything in your head straight. Sure, resisting the urge to evaluate, appraise, and assign value to every idea is important during the initial creative process. In the beginning stages, the goal is to prevent Premature Cognitive Commitment, thus keeping your options open. Eventually, however, there comes a point in the idea process where you’ve got to stop creating and start judging. Do you have too many ideas? 12. Your everyday life is what people relate to. Finally, the more specific you are, the more relatable you are. Take Dave Berry, for example. Back in his heyday of writing a syndicated humor column, his funniest pieces were the ones about mundane events like his kids, his house and his hometown. Here’s a one-liner I just randomly Googled that proves this point: ‘My teenage son, Rob, says the only time he ever wraps a gift is, quote, ‘if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it.’’ Ha! Love it. And nobody else in the world could be so funny talking about something so boring. Think it’s a coincidence Dave won a Pulitzer? Think it’s a coincidence Dave wrote twenty bestsellers? Think it’s a coincidence Dave gets $50,000 per keynote speech? Nope. How will you leverage the ordinary in your writing to make history?
8. Writing is like camping; you never put your ideas back the same way you found them. Your goal is to train yourself to pick up a thought or idea and then play with it until it's bigger, better, sharper, and more useful. How much better will the literary campsite be when you’re done with it? 9. Writing makes everything you do BETTER and EASIER. Go back and read that sentence four more times. It changed my life, it changed my clients’ lives, and it will change your life, as long as you’re willing to accept it. Because that’s not an opinion. That is a truth. Because writing helps you make sense of the changes in your life. Writing helps people adopt a piece of you into their world. With the exception of Bikram Yoga, I can’t think of anything healthier in the world than writing. What does writing do for you? 10. Writing stuff down isn’t enough. You know my mantra: ‘If you don’t write it down, it never happened.’ And that may be true. And writing still may be the basis of all wealth. But there’s more to it than that. Writing is about three things: Content Generation, Content Management, and Content Delivery. And if you don’t have a customized system for plucking, organizing, and deploying your ideas, you lose. As George Carlin – the master of Content Management – once said, ‘Good ideas don’t mean anything if you can’t find them again.’ Remember: Your brain is a moron. Do you have a paper memory? www.evomag.co
“My business is struggling because I’m setting goals?” Sandy Simons* asked me incredulously. She’d been working to grow her web design and marketing business for about 3 years and still wasn’t getting the results she wanted – even though she thought she was setting solid goals. Like many small business owners Sandy had told me she wanted to “make at least $100,000.” When I asked her what goals she had set to achieve that target she gave me a blank stare. “What do you mean? I want to make $100,000. Isn’t that my goal?”
The secret to success has nothing to do with tools, technique, business strategy, marketing, opportunities or the economy. It has everything to do with You. - Angel True Angel True www.TrueResultsUnleashed.com
26 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
This is a common problem with small business owners, especially solopreneurs. However, the same problem exists in most businesses, regardless of size or number of employees. Sandy wanted to make more money, but she was stuck about halfway to her desired income. She’d had this target for about two years and hadn’t made any progress. “I work hard; I keep my eye on the prize; and I know what I’m doing” Sandy pleaded. “Why isn’t my business growing?” The frustration she was feeling was obvious. My answer was even more frustrating to her. “You aren’t setting goals, you’ve defined a financial outcome for your business without defining any way of achieving it.” The challenge many business owners face is that you don’t distinguish between what you want, and how you get it. Sandy wanted to make more money. Her goals needed to be about how she was going to accomplish her desired result. To achieve her $100,000 result, she needed a different approach. There were 3 changes she needed to make.
Keys to Setting Goals That Actually Deliver Results Set a Grand Vision The first thing Sandy needed to do was change how she viewed success. When I asked her for more details about what she wanted out of her business, she talked about having additional employees, and more time to relax and pursue her personal interests. In fact, the income target was something she had decided would help her get these other results. The more she talked about it the more she was able to articulate a much larger result and vision for her business. This is the first key to getting better results. Think MUCH bigger than one particular aspect of your business – such as income. When Sandy talked about what she wanted, she painted an incredible picture. By unlocking this grand vision, she began to notice why she wasn’t getting the results she wanted. She’d been thinking too small about a limited result. She’d put all her attention on the result, but not on what she was effectively doing about it. Once she saw the bigger vision, she felt more capable of getting the results she wanted with a broader perspective. She also was able to be more serious about the areas she needed to pay attention to. This allowed her to build momentum toward her desired result. Focus On Behaviors When Sandy had an income target, her focus was on “selling more.” To do that, she had been pressing her clients for more business and referrals, but nothing else. She was stuck where many other business owners get stuck. To grow her business, Sandy was doing what she knew how to do in exactly the ways she’d been doing it. Unfortunately, that wasn’t working. When actions don’t change, outcomes don’t change. Every business owner has things they like to do and don’t like to do. The ones you don’t like to do are usually where the change needs to happen. When your goals are designed around changing these behaviors, you get better results. Sandy needed to change her approach to creating new business. Rather than using the same tactics she’d been using, she needed to be more approachable, flexible, and outgoing. The truth was that she hated networking. She’d relied on her limited customer base to bring her new business, and it wasn’t working.
Design Supporting Actions Every business owner likes to take action. It is comforting to be able to do something. Actions don’t necessarily create direct change, but can be helpful in supporting behavior shifts. Sandy needed to change her confidence level around networking. To do this, she needed to build up her self-image. For that, she needed to focus on having calm, clear, personable conversations with her business colleagues. Creating these conversations was a simple matter of target, tactic, and approach. It was something she could easily figure out how to accomplish because she already knew how it worked for her. By putting her attention on comfortable conversations, Sandy was able to be more effective at networking. By being more effective in her networking, she was able to make better business connections. By making better business connections, she was able to expand her referral relationships. This simple flow of actions creating results and results creating outcomes is significantly more effective and easier to implement. Focusing her actions on the outcome was difficult for Sandy and didn’t work well. Shifting her focus to supportive actions of behaviors that drove results created a dramatic change for her. The Key to Delivering Results Business owners want results. To get these results, you need to change your approach. Rather than defining simple outcomes and simple targets, consider using these tools and approaches. By taking a broader view and focusing on the elements that drive results, you’ll have a better overall outcome. Remember that goals drive outcomes, and you’ll have an easier time figuring out where to start, what behaviors to change, and where to apply action. Remember – doing what you’ve always done has given you exactly the results you have today. If you want to change your results, change your actions; if you want to change your actions, ask yourself which behaviors drive them. Start there and you’ll see something very different. What results are you ready to change, and how will this different approach help you?
By focusing on increasing her confidence and comfort in networking, she was able to make a bigger change in her income growth. www.evomag.co
EVERYDAY HEALTHY CHOICES Every choice we make throughout our day brings us further or closer to the health, relationships, level of financial success, and lifestyle we want most. Every choice we make gives us a new opportunity to learn, grow and evolve – or stay stagnant, small and stuck. Every choice we make opens the door to a new way of thinking, acting and behaving – or pulls us further into an old belief system, pattern, or way of living that no longer serves us. Every choice we make is a decision to move forward or stay behind. 28 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
ach day, we make hundreds of choices. We choose what we wear, what we eat, how we relate to those around us, how we care for our bodies, our minds, our spirits, how we “show up,” how we nurture ourselves and those we love and so much more. For most of us, many of these choices are so habitual that we fail to recognize them as choices at all; we don’t even realize we’re making them. So, with this in mind, here are a few key areas in your life where daily decisions are continuously being made. I invite you to take a look to see how those daily decisions are moving you closer or further away from the life you truly want.
Health – Nutrition/Fitness/Wellness What food choices are you making? Are you filling your body with real, whole, nutrient-rich healthy food, or processed, nutrient-void, calorically dense “sub food?” Are you choosing to fill your body with toxins and ingredients that your body is unable to metabolize and process? Imagine a few years into the future. If you continue with these choices (including the portion sizes and eating behaviors you currently have), how will these choices affect your body? Will they lead to a lean, fit, healthy body filled with energy and vitality, or will they lead to weight gain, sluggishness, ill health conditions, and disease? As far as fitness is concerned, are the choices you’re making creating a lean, toned, flexible and strong body? Note how active you are and the way you move throughout your day. As a result of your daily activity (or inactivity) are your muscles, tendons, and ligaments becoming stronger and more pliable? If you were to continue with your current level of activity, how will your body look and feel years from now? Will those choices keep you healthy, keep you flexible, and improve your quality of life?
Relationships How do you relate to those your love? Is your current method of communicating bringing you closer or further away from having loving, positive and supportive relationships filled with love, fun and intimacy? Are you expressing yourself in a way that if you continue, over time, would your relationships improve…or become strained? How about with friends, associates, coworkers and acquaintances? Take a look at the current way you speak, handle and sustain these relationships. If you continue making the same choices as to how you’re currently communicating, over time will they thrive…or fizzle?
Every choice we make throughout our day brings us further or closer to the health, relationships, level of financial success, and lifestyle we want most
Lifestyle – Relationships/Stress Control
Are the daily actions you’re currently taking to grow your business leading to more opportunities, more prospects, more deals, better relationships with your clients, and better financial results? Are those daily actions growing your business, your platform, your reach, client base, and reputation – or are they keeping you from moving forward? Are your daily activities productive, bringing you closer to the type of business and financial success you want? Are the daily choices you’re making supporting your career growth? Taking the same choices you’re currently making and looking a few years into the future, will those choices have helped or harmed your chances for financial and career success?
When it comes to your lifestyle, are the current choices you’re making creating a lifestyle that’s filled with joy, passion, purpose and fulfillment – or stress, overwhelm, and unhappiness? Take a look at the small, daily actions you’re taking in regard to how you spend your time. Are those choices leading to greater joy and happiness, or is the time filled with tasks you find unsatisfying, unrewarding, unproductive, and unfulfilling? Take a look at the daily stressors in your life. You’re making a choice as to how you act and react to every one of them. Are those choices creating the health and wellness you want, or will they lead to stress?
Personal Development Every day, we’re filling our minds with things that enable us to learn and grow – or things that keep us stagnant. For example, what TV shows are you watching, and what messages are you allowing into your mind? Are you watching violence, vulgarity, gossip, negativity, criticism, and judgment? If so, how will these daily choices have affected you? On the other hand, if you chose to only allow positive messages into your mind, can you see how this choice will affect you later on? For example, if you’ve made the choice to take 10 minutes each day to read, meditate, journal, or learn something new, what impact would that choice have created in the future for you, as opposed to a daily decision which may currently be filling you with negativity and fear?
All of the questions above are meant to create awareness as to how seemingly small daily actions, compounded over time, bring huge results. Unfortunately, we don’t see the impact of those actions until they’ve led to a profound result, whether good or bad. I invite you to “course correct” any small daily actions that may be leading to a negative outcome. Of course, many things are out of our control, but if there’s one thing constantly within our grasp, it’s our ability to choose the thoughts, behaviors, actions, and habits that lead us to wherever it is we want to go. Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC, FDN The Mojo Coach® Founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a weight loss, fitness, lifestyle, selfimprovement expert, speaker, spokesperson, author and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic and successful people today. Sign up to receive videos, strategies, tips, and resources to get you lean, fit, energized, healthy, and happy!
Tech Talk With Ramon Ray
Looking for Buzz about Your Business? 10 Tips to Better Marketing and Publicity for Your Business. We all want more customers. How to get those customers is the challenge. You can advertise (online or offline), have people tell others about your business (word of mouth), generate content that will encourage potential customers to check out your products or services (content marketing), or you can get the media to talk about your business (buzz). Having the media talk about your business is a great way to create greater validity for your business and raise your profile. This helps raise awareness of your brand, and also reinforces your brand to existing customers.
Check out the marketing and public relations tips below, by LFPR, a public relations agency that produces ideas that achieve results for businesses looking to expand their brand Have an idea? Schedule it! Create a content calendar to tie all of your ideas together into your marketing, social, and media pushes. The content calendar will help you create accountability for updates and ideas, and will help to keep your content fresh. Create social media accounts on all major platforms that are relevant to your business. This helps with updating and leveraging your online presence, and with a content calendar in place, there will be content to post. Know what is happening in your local and business community. Read. Learn what is going on around you so your business can benefit from the conversation happening in the news, and so you can be part of it. Hijack trends. When you see a report about your industry, offer to speak about it. You don't have to generate the report to offer your opinion and become part of that story. Remember, if you are well informed and have useful information to offer, you can position yourself as an expert resource to reporters. Marketing and PR are different, but should be used to support each other. A marketing program is the experience, event, or advertisement you create to target your customer. PR, on the other hand, targets media to cover and promote your marketing programs in the press. Marketing creates the event; PR generates the buzz about the event. Marketing is associated with a call to action like "Sign up here and get 10% off your subscription." PR is associated with the message behind the product: "Company X has developed subscription-based software that makes tracking your business expenses easier, leading to greater efficiency and savings."
Ramon is Marketing and Technology Evangelist of Smallbiztechnology.com and Infusionsoft. He is passionate about helping small businesses grow their businesses by educating them about technology and marketing best practices. - See more at: http://www.smallbiztechnology.com/ramonray/#sthash.XG0QalcF. dpuf
www.smallbiztechnology.com 30 Evolution Magazine/ January 2014
Identify how you want your company to be perceived. What are your key messages? What is important to you, and why should your customers care? A great exercise is asking your staff to look at your current marketing materials and see if the message being communicated matches your desired message. Create a brand guide and list your key messages so everyone on the team is on the same page. Make sure your message and goals are aligned. Goals are important for business owners. Is what you are saying about your company getting you to your end goal? Are your goals set for 2014? Learn from others. Look to the Small Business Administration or local entrepreneurial groups to help mentor your business and your
decisions. This will help you stay active and continue to grow. All business owners need advice and support. There are a lot of outside groups where owners can now get the advice they need. Get creative. When telling your story, highlight the parts that set you apart. Do you have a different approach to customer service? Do you look to hire veterans or single mothers? Do you provide mentoring programs or offer your employees volunteer time? Use the distinguishing factors to help your brand voice be heard above the noise. Be strategic in creating your PR and marketing plan. Use the tips above to put a PR and marketing strategy into place that will jumpstart the buzz about your business moving into the New Year.
Elance and oDesk Merge: Freelance Economy Gets Stronger (9 Tips for Free Lance Success) Congrats on the merge of Elance and oDesk - long live the freelance economy. I've used Elance for years to provide the smart staffing I need for Smallbiztechnology.com. On Elance, oDesk and other freelance platforms you can FIND and MANAGE one or a team of workers. What's nice about using a freelancer is that you get the expertise you need to get a job done, with none of the overhead of an employee. Here are my quick tips on working with freelancers and making the relationship most effective for you and them: Have a Job Description - Hire a freelancer like you would a regular employee. Be clear in what you want them to do and set expectations and measurements of success. Write Good Headlines - When posting the job description, be creatively clear. One of my job postings read "Looking for Digital Ninja." Fire Fast - If someone is not performing, fire them quickly. It's less painful for both of you. Put Up Barriers - Those who really want to work for you will read your job description. If you ask someone to check out a bio page or something that shows they thought about and read your job description, that's good. Some freelancers will fill out every job and not give thought to it. You don't want these freelancers working for you. Appreciate Your Freelancers - Show appreciation to your freelancers and respect them for the professionals they are. Ensure You are Important to Your Freelancers - If you're just one of 500 clients, you might not get the service you need from your freelancers. Seek Their Advice - If you've hired the right freelancer, you've hired someone who is smart and cannot only do "their job" but also give
you advice and input on how to do it better. Pay Well and Pay on Time - You want good pay, right? So do your freelancers. Pay them well and pay them on time. Develop A System - If you and your freelancer part ways, it's great to have a system in place so that you can have someone else do their role. Maybe you don't part ways, but they are doing other things or are managing others; a system will help you add in another person to get the job done. Here's more from the Elance and oDesk merger press release: The new entity will be well-positioned to deliver the most advanced tools for hiring and collaborating online, investing more in technology and providing more opportunities for businesses and freelancers everywhere. The company will have a combined global community of more than 8 million freelancers and 2 million businesses in over 180 countries, with an estimated $750 million in billings in 2013. "We are merging two great companies that aspire to connect the world through work and create more economic and social opportunity," said Elance chief executive officer Fabio Rosati." Just as Amazon reinvented retail, and Apple iTunes transformed the music industry, we will greatly improve how businesses hire and people work online. This merger will create unprecedented access and flexibility for people to find job opportunities regardless of their location, and will allow businesses of all sizes to more easily access the best available talent." "This merger is a landmark in the evolution of work," said oDesk chief executive officer Gary Swart. "With 2.7 billion people now connected online, people are hungry for more freedom to work flexibly and for teams to come together more easily. The $422 billion global staffing market is ripe for reinvention. With online work growing at least ten times more rapidly than staffing overall, oDesk is thrilled to join with Elance in order to innovate faster." The expected key strategic benefits of the merger include: Significant investments in technology, including tools for more effective hiring, seamless online collaboration, improved mobile accessibility and skills development. Higher quality results for all customers. Combining our engineering and data science expertise will deliver quality improvements including better-matched freelancers for businesses and superior job recommendations for freelancers. Accelerated growth and scale. The global staffing market is enormous and is transitioning online. Combined, the companies will be able to help accelerate this transition, empowering businesses and individuals with the flexibility they need to flourish. Fabio Rosati will serve as chief executive officer of the combined company, and oDesk executive chairman Thomas Layton will continue in the same role of the combined company. Gary Swart will act as a strategic advisor. The name of the new company postmerger will be announced after the deal closes. www.evomag.co
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