Thursday, March 21, 2013

Foolish Career or Business Mistakes - and How to Avoid Them

In honor of the upcoming April Fool’s Day, I am asking clients, friends and associates like you to share a foolish career or business mistake that taught you something important, and how things are different now and how you would advise others.  It’s important that you feel good about it now or can laugh at it.  This is meant to share and teach; not be critical of yourself. 

I will share some of them on my April Fool’s Complimentary First Monday teleconference at 6:30 PDT, and hopefully, some of you will be on to share your story personally.  I will introduce you and ask what you do and how to reach you!  Good promo!  (But only if you’re OK with that.) 

One of the more foolish (and expensive) errors in judgment I made early on was spending a lot of money to conduct a workshop to which nobody came.  I had elaborate promotional brochures and materials, a deposit on a meeting room in a great hotel at the airport, and food and drinks ordered. I’m telling you it was really extraordinarily well organized!!!!  But no one registered.  I was devastated.

However, I learned to the value of pre-testing my market! I just had the wrong slant on my subject and my audience didn’t relate to it – something I could have easily fixed with a few targeted conversations, a focus group or one round of 

I see a lot of this with product launches – time and money spent on a information product our clients don’t really want.  It is not what they NEED that makes them buy – it is what they WANT.   Take the time to know and monitor your client's  real concerns and what excites them. When you are clear about that sweet spot, it’s money in the bank!  That's what I learned. 

Now, it’s your turn.  Let me hear from YOU.  I can’t be the only one……….

(P.S.  Register for the free call at 




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lower Your Risk for Risk Taking

Many of my clients could have saved themselves a lot of anguish if they had come to me sooner.  In fact, one of the most common phrases I hear after the first session is “Wow, I really should have done this a long time ago."  But, I know why it takes whatever it takes.

For instance, what holds you back from exploring new ideas, approaching your boss for a raise, changing careers, or transitioning into your own business? Fear of risking. Most of us allow the fear to completely overshadow the possibility of far greater happiness and success.

But, if .you do not risk, your life (and career and relationships) become stagnant. Are you bored? Discontent?  It’s a clear signal you aren’t risking enough.

Here are simple tips to lower your risk of risk taking:

1) Don’t take stupid risks.   This is a risk where the possibility of a positive outcome is limited.  Think lottery. Gambling. People who are terrified to invest a few hundred dollars to invest in personal career development will, however, spend $10-50 a week on the lottery where there is a million in one chance of a return on investment.  That adds up to $500-$2500 a year….money you could have spent on risks that would have produced a far more positive result.

2) Risk on positive the outcomes.  Always look at what you’re going to WIN, not LOSE, and stay focused on that.  Focusing on the fear only produces more fear.  For instance, asking for a raise or a different opportunity at work has within it great possible outcomes.  The worst thing that can happen is that they say no, but you may have planted a seed for the future, nonetheless. The positive far outweighs the negative consequences. Other examples are taking a new class where the worst case is you won’t learn anything (highly unlikely) or going to a networking event to meet new people (and you don’t meet anyone) ….but remember, you may meet that great contact that can offer a job or bring you business!

3) Risk in small steps. You don’t start running with a marathon. Risking is a practice.  You want to work about 1-2 inches outside of your comfort zone.  Staying in your comfort zone will keep you – and your life – boring and stuck. If you take too big a risk at one time, you can shut yourself off emotionally. Maybe the first steps to the marathon is running 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week and then building up to a 5K which eventually leads you to a marathon.  Find others who want to run, and slowly you will be ready .to take the bigger risk.

4) Risk consistently and often.  Be accountable. Risk is a muscle. The more you take small risks and move them to bigger risks, the stronger your muscle and ability to take risks in all areas of your life.  In our mastermind teams, we take the 2 week approach – a minor upgrade and commitment every 2 weeks, and then you become accountable for that action in the next meeting to your support team. People have moved mountains, built businesses, tripled their income, and dealt with devastating life events through this process.

Find a place to be accountable regularly and you will discover you have significantly expanded your ability to risk – and it wasn’t even scary!