How to Feel the Energy of Success…

If you ever set yourself a goal or dream that didn’t happen one of the contributing factors is likely to have been how you felt about achieving this. 

Today I share why stepping into the energy of success is so important and how to embrace this. 

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It Took 7 Nudges …

If you are someone who wants to attract more clients with the least amount of effort, what I share today reinforces the benefits of smart marketing so you are at the forefront of someone’s mind when they decide they are ready to buy what you’ve got to offer. 

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Focus, Fireworks and Fun…

Whether you master the skill of focusing or not, will have a huge impact on your business success, health and enjoyment in life.

Yet one of the most common challenges I’ve struggled with personally (and hear clients, friends and contacts struggle with all the time) is to focus on one thing at at time.

What is the ONE thing you’d love to achieve this year?

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The Art of Laziness – a Very Valuable Skill!!!!

Last week in my blog post The #1 Reason Most Heart-Centered Business Owners Struggle to Attract Clients, I shared how I’ve learnt so much from one of my step-daughters, about seeking ways to do things with the least amount of effort possible.

This week I’m full of gratitude to Hannah Winkle (above) for sharing more of her thoughts in this guest blog post:

The art of laziness is one I mastered from an early age.

Let me be clear, I’m not talking about lounging around on the couch all day doing nothing (although I will admit to doing that on occasion).

What I mean is learning to do things with the least amount of effort needed.

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Social Media Is Still Cheaper Than Stamps…

Last week at our Heartabiz Hub Networking Event I had the pleasure of interviewing two social media experts, Liz Melville and Fin Wycherley – on How to Get SMART using Social Media.

They both shared so many brilliant tips, I thought I’d share some of these with you in a couple of blog posts.

Today I share their key pearls of wisdom for getting better results from social media and the huge benefits of paid social media advertising. And next week’s post I’ll share the key points from our discussion on the latest trends on social media including live-streaming, Periscope and Blab.

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Are You Running An Expensive Hobby?

One thing that greatly saddens me is meeting so many wonderfully talented souls who have set up a business doing what they love but are struggling to make it work financially.

Typically these kind well intentioned business owners say things like:

  • Money isn’t important, I want to make a difference
  • I don’t expect to earn as much as I did in my corporate job
  • I want to keep my prices low so more people can afford my products/services
  • I want to work with those who really need my help, even if they don’t have money
  • I don’t like asking for money
  • I prefer to wait for clients to approach me as I don’t want to appear pushy
  • I can’t afford business training or to pay people to help me

Can you relate to any of these statements? If yes, you are potentially in danger of embarking upon an expensive hobby rather than a business. Especially if:

  • You don’t know what your ideal clients want and are willing to pay for
  • You don’t have enough good sales leads or regularly attract people who can’t afford your products/services
  • You often under-charge for your product/services or give them away
  • You spend days/months mainly doing what you love rather focusing on cash generating activities – at times when you need to earn money
  • You manage to find the money to attend courses on topics that interest or excite you, but you don’t invest in becoming business savvy to the same extent
  • Your ‘business’ consistently costs you more money than it makes
  • You’re not able to pay yourself well

By contrast those running successful heart-centered businesses:

  • Want to earn good money doing what they love, through making a difference in the world or helping others
  • Invest equally in developing their passion AND becoming business savvy
  • Spend most of their time and money doing cash generating activities that play to their strengths, until they have sufficient income and resources to free them up for their creative goals
  • Confidently charge fair market rates
  • Charge for their services and have healthy parameters in place for charitable giving
  • Offer services aligned to their heart AND what their ideal clients want to buy
  • Attract plenty clients who can afford to pay them
  • Make a healthy profit AND pay themselves a good salary (or as a new business are on track to do so soon).

Are you running an expensive hobby or successful business?

I know I’ve had times when I’ve fallen into the ‘expensive hobby’ trap and it’s not a pleasant place to be. In the early days I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, over-whelmed and wondering if I’d ever be able to make my business work. But I continued to invest in learning which has helped me enjoy a good business for over 12 years. Sometimes my creative mind still tempts me into ‘hobby’ mode which I sometimes allow as one of the reasons I set up my business, was to be able to spend more time doing what I love. But I also have a strong sense of financial integrity which helps keep me focused on cash-generating activities too.

Why did you set up in business?

When I ask those struggling with their business this question, it’s often as though they’ve forgotten one of their intentions was make to money.

Many say they set up in business to make a difference, that money’s not important – yet if this was true, they’d be gladly offering their services for free (volunteering), be enjoying their passion in their spare time (a hobby) or have set up a charity. They wouldn’t be presenting themselves as running a business or be trying to get more paying clients.

What do you want?

It is OK to be running an expensive hobby if that’s what you set out to do and you don’t need to generate a good salary through your business.

However if you’ve been in business a while and your financial needs are not being met through your business, consider whether you are really committed to turning this around.

It is possible to get paid well for doing good in the world

You don’t have to choose between doing what you love, making a difference to others and earning good money. There are plenty heart-centered business owners who are touching the lives of many people through their work – and getting paid well for doing so! If this is what you’re striving for, how would you feel if you start turning things around today?

From expensive hobby to successful business

It can be great fun and very rewarding to turn a hobby, interest or passion into a business. However attempting the transition from hobby to business isn’t always an easy one.

Many people get stuck in the expensive hobby trap and wake up to this too late – when they realise they don’t have the money or energy to keep going.

Please don’t let this be you!

Instead get all the resources, training and support you need to succeed – a good place to start is to:

  • reflect on why you set up on business
  • set yourself goals that will help you live your vision
  • align any beliefs you have about business success, money and selling to your vision/goals
  • identify any gaps in your business building knowledge/skills and commit to learning these
  • put all the support and resources in place to ensure you succeed

And don’t worry if you don’t know how yet. Often when you change what you do and start moving in a new direction, the opportunities or people to ask present themselves.

If you have any questions or comments please share them below or get in touch if you’d like any help.

With love & light as always,

Alisoun signature

PS did you know members of The Heartabiz Hub get immediate access to my Jumpstart Your Business course, other Marketing Masterclasses and ongoing support to them grow a profitable heart-centered business – for a very affordable monthly fee. You can find out more HERE – http://alisoun.com/heartabiz-membership-lp/

Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE

10 Common Mistakes People Make When Networking

Networking can be a brilliant way to meet people, get more clients and grow a business – to me it’s one of the best ways of getting what you offer out to more people.

But networking doesn’t always generate the results people want – often because people don’t know how to make the most of opportunities which are right in front of them.

In this article I share 10 common mistakes people make, so you can avoid them, or make changes to what you’re doing, so you can get better results:

  1. Having false expectations – do you ever go along to networking events in the hope that people will sign up there and then, only to leave disappointed? Like many others, when I started in business 12 years ago, I initially thought networking was about turning up, sharing my passion and that people would buy from me there and then. It didn’t take long to discover how wrong I was. Partly because I wasn’t communicating ‘my offer’ clearly. But also because I didn’t understand that people buy from those they know, like and trust – and that often doesn’t happen on the ‘first date’. Yes it is possible to make sales the first time you go to a networking event however, networking is more likely to work for you when you invest in helping others and building great relationships over time, rather than expecting instant results.
  2. Networking with the wrong people – there is no point in attending networking events you don’t enjoy, where you don’t feel you fit, and that don’t connect you to your ideal clients or partners. I used to hate networking until I realised I was going to the wrong events. Finding the ‘right’ networks for you is critical if you want networking to help you grow your business, to do otherwise is like looking for new shoes in a book shop! Thankfully there are plenty of networks for different personalities, interests and values, both on-line and locally. If you can’t find the ‘right’ one for you, you could always consider setting one up as I’ve done (see below).
  3. Random networking – many people think the only way to get more clients is to get in front of as many people as possible and so randomly visit lots of different networking groups, once or twice, to showcase their wares.  Then they wonder why they’re not getting many sales from their sporadic efforts. You’ll get best results when you attend at least a few networking groups regularly and when you nurture  great relationships with key influencers within them.
  4. Not doing enough marketing – are you getting in front of enough of your ideal clients when networking? Do you support your networking with other marketing strategies such as email marketing or social media? Even if you’re networking in the ‘right’ places and showing up there regularly, building relationships takes time. Most of people underestimate how long this takes and how many of their ideal clients or partners they need to be in front of regularly, in order to generate the sales that they’d like. If you don’t have enough sales leads yet, one of the issues is likely to be that not enough of your ideal clients know about you yet, you’re not being effective in your follow up (see below) or you’re not explaining what you offer in a way they ‘get’. Focus on putting the core marketing messages in place first then getting exposure to enough of the right audience. And support your networking efforts with other marketing strategies and processes that convert leads into sales.
  5. Not preparing well ahead of attending events – if you don’t decide what outcomes you’d like from each networking event, how can you make sure you’ve got everything you in place to achieve this? E.g. having a well thought out elevator pitch and taking along the right supporting literature or props to support this and the type of leads you’d like to attract. Successful networkers consistently articulate well how they help their ideal clients, state what type of referrals they’d like and have all the information they need with them to help people determine whether they are a good potential fit as a supplier, client or business contact.
  6. Mainly speaking to people they know – it’s always good to catch up with friends and especially those you haven’t seen for a while but if you’d like to grow your business from networking it’s also important to make time to connect and chat to people you don’t know. Just imagine how many more people could know about what you offer, if you were to introduce yourself to a certain number of new people at each event, and particularly those you’d like to connect with. A lovely gesture is to also introduce yourself to those standing by themselves or to invite them to join your group.
  7. Focusing on themselves – one of the greatest gifts you can give is to listen to, and to be interested in others. And yet have you noticed that some people either thrust their business cards/marketing materials at you thinking little or no interaction is necessary. Or speak ‘at you’ rather than show any kind of interest in you? You’re far more likely to gain business from networking when you ask questions and listen. If you focus on promoting yourself first and showing no sign of curiosity or interest in others, you’ll switch people off. You’re also likely to be missing great opportunities for finding out how you could help those you meet, as a client or in another way.
  8. Not being selective  – when you know who your ideal clients are and where they go, you an be more selective about which networks to go to, who to speak to and follow up with. I know plenty people who waste a lot of time having cups of coffee with people they are never going to do business with (believing this marketing), rather than having conversations with those there is potential to collaborate with or serve. That’s fine if you are looking for new friends, but if you are networking to grow your business, prioritise meetings with potential clients, partners, suppliers or useful contacts. There is a difference between socialising and networking – both are good as long as what you’re doing is in alignment with your desired outcomes.
  9. Don’t follow up well – it doesn’t take much time to send those you meet with a quick ‘nice to meet you’ email or message. Yet so few people I meet do any kind of follow up. I realise there will be some people I meet who don’t feel that way about our meeting which is fine. But a quick follow up message is the first step to building relationships with those who could become great contacts, partners, clients or suppliers in the future. Having a way to filter contacts into those you want to meet up with (versus simply connect on social media), and having a process to help you proactively keep in touch with them, is critical if you are to make the most of your networking. What’s the point in networking if you don’t follow with those you meet?
  10. Wasting opportunities – any one of the above ‘mistakes’ could lead to lost opportunities but ultimately it’s the results you are getting that are an indication of how effective your networking is. Smart networking can be a great way to become more visible and grow your business. Remember even if you have a great product/service for which there is huge demand, if you don’t master basic marketing and networking skills, could be wasting a lot of time and money.

Whatever results you’re getting from your networking, hopefully this article has given you a few ideas to help you make the most of every opportunity.

It would be great to hear your thoughts including what experiences you’ve had when networking, what’s worked or not, in the comments thread below.

If you’ve found this article helpful and would like to know more, I offer a short training course to help you Get Great Results From Your Networking through my on-line business network and resource hub – The Heartabiz Hub.  You can get instant access to this training today as a Platinum or Premier Member. Click HERE to find out more.

Happy networking!!!

Alisoun signature

Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world. 

She is also the author of two Amazon Best Selling books Heartatude, The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give to Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities Social Causes.

Alisoun is also the founder of The Heartabiz Hub a business network and training academy and has written the following free ebooks:

  • The 9 Secrets to Signing Up Clients Without Selling (click here)
  • 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business  (click here)

You can connect with Alisoun here:

  • Alisoun Mackenzie Facebook Fanpage (for tips on authentic living and business mastery) – click HERE
  • The Heartabiz Hub Facebook Fanpage (for details about our courses and events) – click HERE
  • Give To Profit Facebook Fanpage (tips on supporting charities and social causes) – click HERE

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