Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.

“Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.”

Made you stop, didn’t it?

YES. It’s powerful.

 

I heard this while I was listening to the “Originals” by Adam Grant (mentioned in my latest book club post) and I’ve been thinking of the way he phrased this ever since.

When you’re speaking to a child or trying to explain something you repeat yourself probably 12,804 times…at least.

If you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results.

If you keep saying the same thing, you keep repeating the same message.

If you keep talking then you don’t learn anything knew; you’re only repeating what you already know.

 

So how do you make sure a lesson sinks in? What’s more powerful:

“Don’t touch the stove.” OR “Don’t touch the stove because it will burn you and you’ll get hurt.”

I think Grant’s point in describing “Argue like you’re right. Listen like you’re wrong.” was to help clients understand the difference between what is ‘worth’ fighting for and when you’re talking, what to say.

 

 

Argue Like You’re Right

Maybe argue isn’t the best choice of words here. What if it was replaced with  Stand Up, Defend, Speak or Reason?

I don’t want to assume that because I was a female or a novice employee or young were any of the reasons that I was brushed aside when it came time to share my opinion but they’ve played factors. I have shared ideas or played devil’s advocate with my concerns only to be forgotten and dismissed…until it was time to use an idea or make a profit then the credit was transferred in the blink of an eye.

I was raised in a household where the loudest voice or biggest action ended the fight so guess how quickly and often things escalated?

What have I learned from all of this?

First, I had to find a better way to communicate. I had to list out and be prepared with my thoughts. I had to check my reasoning and decide between ‘tattling or telling’ you decipher as a child. I had to stand firm and stop interruptions when they attempted to cut me short. Then I had to…

 

 

Listen Like You’re Wrong

Ego meet Ego Check. Tongue tied, lips shut, eyes and ears open wide. Be accepting and take notes if you can. Before reacting as quickly as possible, say you’re unsure. Listen with the confidence that you presented your thoughts as best as possible but be humble enough to listen for points of view that you may have missed.

When you stand up firmly, not aggressively, for what you’re trying to communicate, people are much more likely to listen and agree with you. (If not agree, at least understand where you’re coming from.)

There is always room to mutually value the opinions of yourself and those you’re working with. What you have to say, what you think and what you are doing are valuable and you deserve to be heard.  Don’t be shot down or apologize every time someone disagrees or tries to silence you. Tell them to hold on a second and argue like you’re right….then listen like you’re wrong.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Do you want to communicate your business or personal brand more effectively? Reach out.

Why Smart People (Actually) Listen

I get why a lot of people struggle to connect to others especially in an age where it’s easier than ever to share their opinions or attack others from behind a screen. It’s scary to put ourselves out there where we’re vulnerable to things we don’t want to hear.

We want to relate, teach, celebrate or be prepared to respond but we’re nervous to hear what they really think unless it’s something good.

 

Like any skill or talent it takes time and practice to grow and develop. As we get older, we change and we are required to adapt; like it or not.

How many times have you had to hear something before you started doing it?

When you hear about accidents that could have been prevented by buckling your seatbelt or putting the damn phone down?

When you hear you should eat better and workout more to avoid complications or failures but you continue to follow your same routine?

When you’re presented with ways to help you work smarter, not harder, but choose to ignore those solutions….whyyyy?!

Where is the line between “You aren’t listening” and complete silence?

Sounds like a pretty lonely world where no one is talking anymore, huh?

Seems like a naive move to stop listening, huh?

 

It’s more beneficial to post content that provides value to your audience than it is to post for the sake of ‘frequency rules.’ The purpose of communicating is providing something of value. Are you handing out teaching opportunities or invitations to a pity party?

You can be extremely influential without being polarizing. Our goal should be to communicate our message in the most clear, concise and helpful way to those listening to us. It is our job to portray ourselves, our companies and the message we want to send out. It is our job to listen to (constructive) feedback from those we’re interacting with and take it to heart.

 

The way you communicate is how you let people know what and why something is important to you and why it should be important to them.

 

There is a difference between listening and waiting your turn to speak. One is the way of arrogance and one is the way of the successful. I’ll leave you with this…

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: If you’re wanting to improve the way you communicate with others, start with everything besides your voice. Nearly 90% of consumers purchase something based solely on how it looks. If they can’t tell what you’re about in the first five seconds of looking at your brand, they won’t move forward. Let’s talk about it.

 

If you’re not willing to be embarrassed by it, you don’t deserve it.

Spouses. Work. Dreams. Goals. Money. Publications.

If you’re not willing to be embarrassed in your pursuit of something then BYE you probably don’t deserve it.

We’ve all been through that super awkward middle school phase, right? Some more than others. My hand is raised a little higher on that one.

 

I ran track and one of the events I tried was hurdles which is basically asking for the ego of anyone to be taken down a notch. Yet the best athletes are televised and they might accidentally travel, pass to the opposing team or get tongue-tied on their interview. But they’re still playing and practicing for 6+ figure salaries.

Actors and actresses get turned down daily and have some pretty demanding scenes that require vulnerability, sometimes in front of a live audience, but they brush it off and continue to work on films that will leave a legacy years after you’re gone.

We see business women, life coaches, personal trainers or friends creating personal brands on Instagram and offering themselves up for the most terrifying form of criticism: their peers.

 

But, as one of my favorite mantras  featured at the top here reminds us…

“Well done is better than well said.” -Benjamin Franklin

It’s been called failing forward, fall down seven stand up eight, get knocked down but I get up again, risk it for the biscuit….you get the picture. There is a reason that every interview, graduation speech, mentor and leader repeats the same thing over and over.

Try something before you discredit the fact you can’t even attempt it.

Post the dang photo…who cares what people say!

If you need some tough love then GET OVER YOURSELF and realize there are literally billions of people every single day who are more popular, more intelligent and harder working than you are. That’s why the word ‘growth’ exists.

If you want to write a book, start writing. Start a blog to get noticed and published. I’ll read it.

If you want to be a chef, take a cooking class. Post your beautifully plated mac and cheese on Instagram. I’ll like it.

If you want to be the next Rent The Runway or Poo-Pourri founder (I listened to both of their interviews today. Their success and income is no joke even if the company can be funny) then get out and surround yourself by the networks online and in person. Take a class. Start doing something.

 

I face embarrassment daily and (surprise) most of it has been in my own head. Apparently it’s something others weren’t even noticing.

Embarrassment each time I write about being viewed as a ‘blogger’ or ‘oversharing’ but I have yet to actually hear that. I actually have friends and family who share what I write, it’s generated business leads and I’ve received messages of appreciation from readers. Absolutely worth it.

Embarrassment of wanting to have achieved much more than I have at this point but I am praised for areas I’ve stepped up and they don’t notice I’ve even ‘fallen short.’

Embarrassment of (currently) bringing in the lowest income I have in years but I’ve felt the most confident, ethical and passionate about what I am doing right now. I’ve got a big vision and have been extremely clear on what direction I want to go. I have saved enough, and spend wisely enough, that we can continue living our lifestyle without being dependent on me receiving more money from an outside source.

 

 

In entrepreneurship, business, parenting, just LIFE you HAVE to be willing to take a pay cut, receive publicity, gamble with risks and possibly have the odds stacked against you.

Do it. Get it done. Start somewhere and follow up with the next best choice. It’s never too early to start and it’s never too late to start. Chase your idea. Just freaking do something.

Break the thinking that everything will work out perfectly. Nope, you’re going to get embarrassed and scared. Times will get tough, people will surprise you, you’ll experience burnout. Keep on, goin’.

If you ever give up or avoid doing something ‘for fear of ENTER EXCUSE HERE’ then yeah, you’re right, you don’t deserve it. When I say it I mean the wealth, prosperity, success, publications, opportunities or any other abundant thing that moves you from where you’re out to where you want to be.

It will be way more embarrassing to never try or stay put than it will be to give it a shot.

Remember when you wished for the things you have now?

 

Lastly, let’s leave with a little sass because who doesn’t need a little fun now and then? If you ever find someone trying to belittle or diminish what you’re trying to do then cut them out, real quick. Your actions will be guided by your thoughts and if your thoughts are based in fear of embarrassment you’re screwing yourself over due to someone who has no impact in your life. Do your thing and let them watch. Let them read what you’re writing. Let them stay curious about where you’re headed and where you’re going. Be encouraged by how far you’ve already come.

I think it’s motivating to read other people’s success stories because there is so much room for everyone! Please share yours in the comments for me to read.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Welcome to June! Want to take the edge off your next big, scary, exciting, possibly embarrassing step? Let’s talk.

PPS: Still have some questions? Here’s a portfolio of some brands I’ve helped achieve their next big thing. Check it out.

You’re Nice But I Still Have To Charge You

Anyone else struggle with figuring out what your time is worth?
If you provide a service or business to people you’re probably familiar with calculating what you should charge. If it’s based on hours worked or projects completed your time and talents are valuable. How do you figure out what to charge for your most valuable asset that you will never get back?

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Just because something is your passion doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to profit from it. That’s how every successful person got where they are now.

Not a single person on this earth want to do something they dread day after day. We all want to be profitable, free to choose what we do and who we do it with.

 

If you provide your family or friends with a service it can be awkward to bring up the cost of their investment in you; especially if it’s something that isn’t tangible.

We tend to view people as we know them even if they’ve changed. If you grew up with someone you view them as a childhood friend and overcoming that can be difficult.

I have provided services to my family members and luckily we are able to balance expectations. There are times where I know I am doing something as a daughter, sister, niece or cousin then there are times when I am their marketing manager and we should act accordingly.

 

Seek out the benefits.

  • I love that we have the chance to work together and there is a comfort zone of working with someone close to you.
  • You’re able to call and text or communicate with more flexibility.
  • There’s an opportunity to test-run products or systems.

When I am acting as their marketing manager, I don’t abuse that relationship. I always start my business conversations with the usual small talk and check-ins because...HOW awkward if not?

When you meet, arrive early, come prepared and treat it with the same professionalism that you would a new client. I still work on deadlines, I provide the same quality and I’m going to earn what you are paying me for.

 

You set up the expectations for how people treat you.

If someone knows that you’ll always throw in something extra or that you will settle for that lower cost why in the world would they ever pay more than that? This is one reason why I am a big fan of charging for a project as a whole vs. hourly rates. Estimate what you want your hourly rate to be x how long it should take and then account for edits or additional costs. Build your ideal situation and show people why that situation is way more beneficial for them as well.

If I  say YES to working for someone for free then I am saying NO to someone who would pay me for that service. If you’re saying no to something you are saying it is not important to you.

Fill your time with things that are important to you and only those things.

 

Welcome back to that imposter syndrome we’ve talked about. There’s an equation between selfishness and money that people often combine. People want free things but there’s no value in 0. There is no accountability in 0. If you give away free, customers will get some value but will they respect your work as much? As soon as you put a price tag on something, there’s a worry they’ll think “Oh, she’s trying to make money off me.” or “She doesn’t care about being generous, she just wants to get rich.”

Hear me loud, hear me clear.

Your. Time. Is. The. Most. Valuable. Thing. You. Have.

They are paying for a product that you spent a lot of time and talent on. If they pay, they’ve got skin in the game. They’re compensating and thanking you. If you’re charging someone it does not mean that you don’t care about them or don’t have good intentions. You do.

 

What qualifies you to charge someone for the product or service you’re providing?

  • What degree or certifications have you earned to establish yourself in that space?
  • What past experience have you had that will help your working experience with this client?
  • You have 24 hours every day. What are those hours worth to you?

If you’re not confident in what you are charging, something needs a little more work. You.

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If you are newer to the game you might have to do a handful of jobs for free or at a very low cost. If you’re creating something and providing it as a gift you still used your time and products that you could have put toward a profit so it only adds to the value.

If you’re not confident in requesting payments because you are newer there is endless potential here!

  • There is no stronger form of advertising than word of mouth. Work for free or a low rate in exchange for a review that will propel your business.
  • Offer a discount for referrals. This will increase your business revenue, provide a chance for you to improve your craft and increase your audience.
  • Exchanging services is also another plus. Can you build their website if they do your bookkeeping? Find something of equal value and partner up. If it’s something more than a one-time gig, write out an agreement you both agree on and have access to.

 

There is always something valuable that can be provided and it doesn’t always have to be money.

 

If you still feel bad for charging people for your time and service then you’re not confident in what you are providing. Go learn more, try more, under promise then over deliver. Completing a S.W.O.T analysis and branding strategy to portray exactly who you are, what you are offering and who you are offering it to will set you up for success with people who want to work with you.

I was recently talking to another entrepreneur (@Rachele_Does_Hair on Instagram. Check her out!) And LOVED the perspective she shared with me.
 
It’s not your job to decide what is in other people’s budgets. You tell them your prices up front and let them decide if it’s something they think is important enough to invest their money on. It’s like if you were to walk into a store and they don’t show you something because they don’t think it’s in your budget.” Insulting, right? Like Pretty Woman!

Never undersell or underestimate what you are worth. Even if one person refuses to invest in you, I promise there are 10 more out there who will. People have a lot on their plates and what you’re providing should make their lives easier, happier or better.

If you decide to give an hour of your time to someone and they can’t reciprocate the same respect for you then it’s not the worth time. You and what you have to offer are not a waste of time. If you can’t clearly communicate or act on that why would you expect anyone to buy into that.

When working with businesses this is a recurring struggle I help entrepreneurs overcome. If you have more questions for me please reach out. I love talking to ya!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Have we worked together? I would love a short and honest review on my business page if you haven’t shared already!

Which Came First: The Content or The Branding?

It’s difficult to decide what to do first when debuting your company: A logo to put on your page or content to start generating an audience?

It’s like asking ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’

Companies question what they need before going public or they don’t think they can put out content until they have everything established in a specific order.

Remember that your content decides your design. If you do not have an identity or profile for your company then you have no way of creating an image or logo that portrays your brand. The most important part of your business is what you are doing and why you are doing it.

What does your company offer?

Why are you doing what you are doing?

Who are you doing it for?

Once you lay out these answers you can work with a marketing professional to create a branding strategy that attracts your target audience. A discovery session and S.W.O.T analysis are a first step to figuring out what your strategy should look like. If you’re looking for someone who can base your brand around research-based information, please reach out.

If you want a modern, professional audience then there are colors, fonts and images that attract them. If you’re a creative brand or offer children’s products there are certain colors, fonts and images you can use for your logo and branding. Is your product or service for males or females? Is your product industrial or organic?

 

Once you look at your own company and your audience part of your discovery is looking at what others in your industry are doing. How can you set yourself apart? What’s a common theme across the board that helps to keep you relevant? This can be a great benchmarking tool for your business if you are in a rut.

 

You can test out different logos and visual designs in online prototypes to see how each performs before printing or putting it online. Content can start going out and once you publish your work you will be able to use reporting tools and built in business tracking systems to see when and where you grow the most as well as what performs the best.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Only two weeks left for your own Branding+Positioning Strategy! Schedule a Discovery Session with me to establish your brand right now.

Bushel & A Peck: A Mother’s Day Letter to Mom from Your Daughters

Mom,

First, thanks for bringing us into this world. Second, thanks for not taking us out of it. Even when it (probably) felt like we were bringing you down you kept raising us up to be better people every day.

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You always placed us before anything work demanded of you. When we asked you to play, you jumped right in. You chose to play instead of washing dishes and we loved it. You let us put on a play, ate at our pop-up restaurant and paid me with my ‘laundry business’ with no complaints. When we asked you if we could hang up a photo, you let us cover our walls. When we yelled for you in the middle of the night after a nightmare, you came in and sat on the bed until we went back to sleep. When we asked you if we could play a sport or do an activity you signed us up. When we asked you to pick us up or help us, you came running. You didn’t discourage us from being creative or trying anything.

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It’s what you did without us asking that stands out the most.

You attended every dance performance, basketball game, track meet, soccer, football, choir or performance. You woke us up, made us breakfast and watched for our bus even though you had your own full day of work to get ready for. You broke up fights, you taught us how to bake and cook, you taught us how to work outside, you taught us how to take care of ourselves and make a living.

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Your humor and selflessness are some of our favorite traits. You have a light heartedness to every situation and always make us laugh. Your made-up radio game, your cursive handwriting from the tooth fairy, your fake snow prints from Santa and eating carrots like a reindeer made growing up so much fun.

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You made up songs for us, you cleaned up our messes, you taught us to do as you said and not as you did (well….kinda), and you made sure we were always taken care of and comfortable. You lead us daily with your friendships, relationships and work ethic. You’ve always balanced what you needed to do and wanted to do and have guided us to figure out right and wrong for ourselves without pushing your own beliefs onto us. We never felt like work was replacing us but showed that you can do it all. We knew you were working to support us and set us up for success. You’ve raised two fiercely independent (fun, right?) hardworking, confident ladies and always affirmed us with nothing but positive thoughts. How could we ever fail when you were our biggest fan?

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You’ve always been the first one we want to share news with because your reactions and excitement are the best. You’re our favorite person to play games with especially since you have such an obvious face when you’re stretching for that obvious Scattergories point.

 

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I know you were going through a lot of the life events for the first time, same as we were. It’s difficult to give the answers that you didn’t have then. Even when you didn’t think you had it all right, we always saw your resilience.

You are also someone’s daughter, sister and aunt going through your own family issues as were we. You knew what was worth fighting for and what was better left unsaid. You saw co-workers being let go and carried their boxes to spare them the embarrassment. You’ve been caught in the worst of accusations while doing the most ethical thing. Even when you thought we didn’t see or don’t understand, we did and we do.

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You guarded us from a lot of pain but you never shielded us from reality. You still make it obvious that time with us is your favorite thing to do. It means the world to be loved that much and we are so lucky to have had over 20 years with you so far.

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As we enter the stage of our lives where we will become moms one day, it is scary as hell. There’s the distance and obviously it’s something we’ve never done. But you were there to teach us how to change diapers, when I needed help babysitting or when we didn’t realize babies opened their eyes so soon (oh yeah, that’s definitely kittens.) Your patience and funny voices when reading books radiated through your love for everyone. We hope to create the same traditions, establish the same support and we realize how important everything you did was.

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Everything you did mattered to us and we realize how lucky we are for everything you’ve done for us. Even if we never said it, we notice it. Even if you didn’t think we did, we realized what you were doing for us. If our kids love us even half as much as we love you, it will be a win.

Someday when we’re (super) rich we might be able to repay you. Until then I hope we make you proud.

 

We love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

Love,

Marin and Makaela

 

Podcasts I’m Loving (From Someone Who Wasn’t a Fan of Podcasts)

It almost makes me gag still. The trendy, hipster ‘podcast’ word. Thinking that they are all about politics or high-level discussions when I just want to turn off and be entertained.

My husband actually started listening to podcasts and while he enjoys those types of channels I started listening in as research for setting up different streams of income for my goals. I will listen or have it playing in the back when I am getting ready, cleaning or doing dishes. Sometimes they are nice to have going in the background while I am working. I have found several different areas that cue up on my phone and laptop through the Podcasts app in iTunes. If it’s something really insightful or helpful for my business I will take notes. Sometimes there are quotes or interviewees that I end up following or using as prompts for my own business and writing.

If you’re also hesitant about listening in, give these a try and tell me what you think. These are the current stations in my library that I have tried and still enjoy listening to. I have them listed from the order I have subscribed.

 


millionaire mindcast Millionaire Mindcast with Matty A.

This was the first podcast that popped up when I was researching for investments, real estate and increasing my salary. While they do revolve their conversations around real estate and team leadership, they provide that mindset that high achievers have. They consistently ask how guests define wealth, what they watch, what they listen to and provide free downloads for listeners.

bucci radio Bucci Radio

Amanda is a millennial woman who has built her empire with a start in the fitness industry. She dives into deeper topics of mindset and business and has a reputation of being very transparent, honest and informative from lessons she has learned. She asks insightful questions and plays podcast interviews that she guest-starred in so you’re introduced to new networks. I always make sure to take notes when listening to her shows and find it extremely valuable for where I am at in my personal and professional life.

boss girl creative Boss Girl Creative

Taylor Bradford shares a story many post-grads find themselves in. They have a degree but have yet to find a paying job. So she turned to the digital world of blogging and realized the potential this field held. She notes consistency is key and has proven that learning, tweaking and changing are what to get you to the top. Her ideas for creative business owners come with fun stories and tips of new things to try. If it’s something I’ve heard a million times it’s another reminder to get to doing it!

girlboss sophiaGirlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso

I have read Sophia’s book, watched the show made after the book but had yet to listen to her podcast. After posting a blog, a college friend messaged me and suggested this podcast. It’s been a mix of creative work, business mindset and interviews with thoughtful questions. It has a more professional tone than her other media but her empire and success is something I admire so I continue to listen in.

marie forleoThe Marie Forleo Podcast

Is there anything Marie Forleo does that I don’t like? MMMMMM PROBABLY NOT. The lady is a total badass. She’s got the empathy and the tough love every entreprenuer needs. She hosts a great YouTube show and I’ve taken several of her classes. Her infamous B-School (and other products) is taken by thousands of women and I have networked with some professionals across the country. If you’re looking for business Q&A, high energy, top profile interviews and a little bit of goofy humor tune in.

goal diggerThe Goal Digger Podcast

Jenna Kutcher is a talented photographer who could create a story from her photos and relatable stories for her listeners. There are times the voice she uses can distract from her message (not trying to be shallow, just an opinion on a voice-only delivery platform!) but the content is usually spot on. Sometimes it’s a story to entertain with a Disney-like-life-message for fun and other times it’s about the adventure of being a business owner and balancing your personal life. I love her approach to marketing but if you’re a visual artist you will find her an extremely good resource.

 


 

I would love to hear about more podcasts for marketing, entrepreneurs and how to grow my wealth. If you have any podcast suggestions please add them to the comments below and I will check them out!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: We are in the final days of my brand launch offer. Until May 31st you will get 75% off a Branding + Positioning strategy when you book a FREE Discovery Session! Schedule now.

 

The Fearful vs. The Fearless

I was looking back through some notes and came across this excerpt from “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero.

“…Often times taking great leaps of faith is labeled as irresponsible, selfish or insane. (Until you succeed of course; then you’re brilliant). They will do everything possible to stop you from changing and growing especially since you’re attempting to obliterate the very identity that you and everyone else has come to know as ‘you’…We are unwilling to make other people more uncomfortable than they just made us.”

When I read that a few months ago it was the perfect time for me because of who I had surrounded myself with. Personally, I was surrounded by people who were constantly belittling, discouraging and making us feel bad for decisions we had made. Professionally I was being ignored, dismissed and I had to focus on what was needed for the business. While every experience that I had taught me a lot, I was feeling unfulfilled and knew there was something more I was meant to be doing.

 

I believe a big strength (and weakness) is that I jump into things fearless.

YOU. KNOW. this got me in trouble as a kid but I would still go and do it because I was headstrong and wasn’t afraid of getting in trouble. I knew what was right, I knew what was wrong so I felt like I was okay (as every teenager does) and I had a strong urge to be everywhere, experience everything and figure things out for myself. It took me being fearless to win public speaking competitions, taking me to scholarships and state fairs. It took being fearless to dance in front of crowds and that took me to performing at the Royals home opener and choreographer’s dance showcases. It took being fearless to write my number on a stranger’s arm and then I married him four years later. If I had stayed in the relationship that I was familiar with instead of taking a chance on this man, I wouldn’t be going through the best years of my life with my best friend.

As an adult being fearless meant taking multiple job opportunities to keep an income but always knowing they weren’t long-term gigs. My husband encouraged me every time I would complete a contract to move on and it just kept getting better. I had a balance of ‘not good enough’ and being extremely grateful. If you are able to challenge and balance yourself with gratefulness and urgency, you’re doing something right. You can’t fear having no income, no consistency or not finding something else because something will always come up.

You might know what you’re working toward and that’s okay. I never liked the question “What’s your passion?” because that’s 100 different things for me. It’s going to change for the 18-year-old who is deciding on their career but it might not for the person who wanted to be a vet their entire life. I want to see and surround myself with people who take chances, go after what they want and get a little selfish when it comes to their own happiness. I want to see someone who takes a fearless leap if they’re not satisfied with where they are at and leave someone holding them back.

When you evolve and change your practices or career, people are uncomfortable because you’re growing and evolving to something they aren’t familiar with.

Do not feel guilty for changing when this might leave that person behind. There is room for everyone to be friends; maybe they’re just playing a different role in your life right now. There are endless jobs out there because they are all needed. Not everyone needs to be in the same place or job as you to be equal. If someone loves what they’re doing you should always support them. If they’re not paying your bills then why should they have a say in your job or how you reward yourself? Don’t ever feel guilty for spending or saving for what you want with what you’ve worked hard to earn.

Do not feel discouraged if your family isn’t supportive of your new business venture. Especially with the new opportunities the digital world is creating, the job field is changing. Not everyone needs to go to a four-year college and get an office job they work at for 40 years only to retire. There are different ways to get somewhere and it doesn’t make anyone right or wrong.

Do not be scared when someone attempts to use bully tactics on you or compete with you. I’ve been told ‘Be careful because we know a lot of people.’ When I became a top producer for a 100% commission sales job, I was told it was because of superficial reasons and nothing to do with my work ethic. I’ve been purposefully left out of conversations about  my own career and I’ve been bribed with gifts or ‘You don’t really want to be someone who does that right?’ or ‘I can tell you want to stay here because why else would you still be standing here then?’ to which I replied ‘Because you’re still talking.’ They were all fearful and hoping for more help than they were willing to give. Gross.

You can always tell the fearful vs. the fearless. There is nothing attractive or someone too scared to get out of their comfortable rut. I don’t want to surround myself with people always telling me to be careful or watch out. I don’t want someone to grimace or try stirring the pot. They will always be there of course but so are the people who will genuinely be happy for you and applaud you. Pay attention to those people. If you start doing what feels good, continue to act in what is right and you will get all the good stuff.

It takes just a few seconds of insane bravery and it is always worth it. Be fearless when you walk into high school, when you ask for that raise, when you start a family and be confirmed that you can and will handle whatever happens. There is too much fear in the world and too many people willing to be comfortable. I want to hear about something that you (or someone you know) did fearlessly. There’s nothing more motivating to me.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Thank you all for the support and the new clients who have come my way from your referrals! Are you interested in possibly working together? Well guess what? A phone call is always free. Let’s talk!

 

Systems: Make it simple, Make it successful

Home visits, airplane rides, business meetings, hard drive crash, jury duty…just a few of the reasons over the last two weeks that I was grateful to have systems in place.

If you haven’t yet set up a team of pros and are taking the route of a solo-prenuer for now, this is a mandatory foundation of your business.

You may be able to head out for a planned vacation or you might have to drop everything for a last-second emergency. Is there a system for someone to take care of things in your personal and professional life?

 

Systems=Freedom. You have the freedom and flexibility you were looking for when branching out in your own business. The best type of system is the one that works for you and it’s the one you will use.

If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. – Lewis Carroll

 

If you’re looking to stay organized in your home, your system won’t work like someone else’s does. Their lifestyle, their environment, their schedule vs yours. This is why many people struggle in their weight loss or other goals they set.

 

So how do you establish a system to success? 

  1. What are you currently doing? Is there anything that is working or not working? Is there something that scares you, stresses you out or something that you would have to spend more time learning than implementing?
  2. Write it all out. Write on a separate page for each area of your business (marketing, social media, finances, business partners, newsletter, virtual team, in-person team, etc.) What is every step that needs to be taken to make these happen and who is responsible for doing them? If you can include a timeline this helps you stay accountable.

 For example, when I have a new client my system looks something like this: 

  1. Client reaches out via messenger–Send them to contact form to schedule a call and collect info (24 hours). 
  2. Receive client contact form and call. Research all needed meeting and contact information. Research client’s online presence. 
  3. 24 hours before call, send confirmation. 
  4. 10 minutes before call, setup work station (quiet, full water, notes, chargers, strong service). 
  5. During the call take all notes, ask lots of quality questions (post coming up on this soon) then schedule a time for Branding+Positioning Strategy 7-10 days out.

3. Use the F-Word. Every successful business owner has written, spoken, preached, typed and tattooed (nope, too far) this critical part of their business after each contact with your client. There should always be a clear call to action before, during and after the transaction. You should show them the value you provide, why they need it, what materials they’re responsible for providing and a due date.

4. Where to find it? If you need to leave, where can someone access these documents? Using GoogleDocs is a free and very simple way for your team to access and see real-time changes. Evernote is a helpful system to declutter and organize so your team is on the same page. Team App, Slack and other Task Management Software are helpful for your team to test and use. There is no point in creating a system if no one follows it. Every person should be held responsible for following along and improving what you put in place.

5. Make it simple, make it successful. What can be delegated? What can be automated? How can something be made more efficient? Time is your most valuable asset, don’t waste it; you can’t get any more of it. Your time is worth money and it’s worth saving or spending with your loved ones. If there’s a way you can work smarter, it’s making your system and business work harder for you. Humans have always innovated to improve their efficiency.

There is nothing attracting people to someone that’s too busy. You’re showing them you’re worn down, disorganized and ‘too busy’ for them.

My favorite sources for this are HootSuite, Buffer, IFTTT, among others. If you are looking for something specific, platforms will offer free trials.

Always be improving. You need to implement to see what works and there is always room to adjust your system. Help me out here, would you mind? Tell me about a problem you ran into and a system you implemented that helped your business. Especially when dealing with clients!

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: We only have a few weeks left on our Branding+Positioning Strategy discounted promotion! When you schedule a FREE Discovery Session you will receive 75% off your Branding+Positioning Marketing Plan. Let’s Talk!

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