business strategies

Biggest Marketing Frustration Ever...

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Hmm, I'll go with running in circles trying everything under the sun to build your business until you’re exhausted and burned out. If you've tried this and are now laying on the ground out of breath and panting, here's some help. Let's simplify by getting laser focused.

I hope you enjoyed the tips I offered in my series about overcoming business fears. This next series focuses on marketing strategies.

The first way I recommend you simplify is by creating a concise mission statement that speaks to the core of exactly what you do to help your clients. It should be specific and may be inspiring as well.

The focus of your mission statement shouldn’t be about creating pretty, fluffy verbiage that looks good on your website. You should be able to hold it up to every action you take with your business to make sure everything you do is moving your business forward in its mission. If not, either you shouldn’t do it or you should consider rethinking your mission statement. It is a vital and powerful tool that should be every business owner’s compass.

If you remove all of the fluffy language and boil down your wording to only the key phrases that tell the crux of what you do, you have the making of a potent mission statement.

As an example, here's mine: I help clients overcome fears, create successful marketing strategies, and tell stories that sell.

Everything I do in my business reflects these and if it doesn’t, then I shouldn’t do it. You may need to update your mission statement from time to time. It may change as the scope of what you do changes.

It should be action-oriented, explain your company's purpose.

Here are some examples of other mission statements.

"The mission of Trader Joe's is to give our customers the best food and beverage values that they can find anywhere and to provide them with the information required to make informed buying decisions. We provide these with a dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit."

“Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to offer designer eyewear at a revolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.”

“Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

I would love for you to leave me a comment below and let me know your company’s mission statement or where you’re stuck in writing your mission statement.

A Great Fear Killer

overcome fear and grow your business

It’s no secret that many things in life are beyond our control. While we cannot control what happens to us and the situations where we find ourselves, we can control how we respond to them. Positivity is a great fear killer. One could say that we do have some control over the situations where we find ourselves because often it’s based on our responses to past situations.

If you already know that 99% of life is mental, then there must be quite a bit that we are able to control. One of the most powerful ways you can walk through fear and be successful in all realms of life is by exercising positivity in the way you frame your thoughts and responses to situations.

According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers report the health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • increased life span
  • lower rates of depression
  • lower levels of distress
  • greater resistance to the common cold
  • better psychological and physical well-being
  • reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

There is an exercise I have seen many times. One person asks the other person to hold their arms outstretched and keep them strong and firm. Then, the person is asked to think of a happy memory. The person who asks tries to push down the person’s outstretched arms. This is difficult. Next, the same person is asked to think of a sad memory while keeping their arms outstretched. Again, the first tries to push down the others’ arms. This time it is much easier. There is little resistance. It really is amazing the way our thoughts so powerfully affect us – even physically!

Aside from physical health benefits, postivity can make an enormous difference to the level of success you experience. Here are a few pieces of Shawn Achor’s article in the Harvard Business Review titled Positive Intelligence that I want to highlight for you.

“Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves.”

“Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness. In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge.”

“Another common misconception is that our genetics, our environment, or a combination of the two determines how happy we are. To be sure, both factors have an impact. But one’s general sense of well-being is surprisingly malleable. The habits you cultivate, the way you interact with coworkers, how you think about stress—all these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success.”

“Training your brain to be positive is not so different from training your muscles at the gym. Recent research on neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change even in adulthood—reveals that as you develop new habits, you rewire the brain.”

The other day, I was thinking about some ways that I want to grow my business online. My mind became so wrapped up with the incredible pace that online marketing and social media trends constantly change and I quickly became overwhelmed and felt like I was trying to run a marathon at a sprint pace. I had to remind myself how far I’ve already grown in a short period of time and that my pace will continue to quicken the longer I continue. Changing my thoughts calmed me down, gave me strength, and hope. However, this isn’t unique to me.

Keep this in mind as you go about your day. The next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable, upsetting, or annoying situation or simply battling negative thoughts in your head, think about how you can change negative self-talk to transform a situation and grow your business by shifting your perspective. I would love for you to share in the comments section telling how your thoughts have affected your business, positively or negatively.

Also, check out today’s 1-minute video and download a free ebook about overcoming fear on my homepage to learn how you can become a more positive person and lead a more successful life.

Here are links to the above-mentioned articles.

How to Win in Business and Stay Sane

It can be easy to start out strong with your business, idea, or project when you are excited about doing something new or differently because you are inspired. The sun is shining and the birds are chirping their beautiful song. You are in your happy place and nothing can stop you.

The problem is that those initial feelings can quickly fade into monotony. Suddenly, you feel overwhelmed, you realize you have to do the same thing over and over, and faster, or you will be quickly eclipsed by the competition. The sun that was so cheery and wonderful is now blinding and way too hot, and the birds that sung a harmonious melody are now annoying the crap out of you.

Especially if you are the only person in your business or one of a small few, all of the hats you wear and the quick turnaround times for areas that you’re still learning are now tearing you apart at the seams. Ok, I get it. I’ve been there. We’ve all been there. And you know what, we’ll all be there again.

How do you talk yourself off the ledge and away from that half gallon of butter pecan ice cream in the freezer? In addition to taking control of your emotions like I discussed in my last blog, how do you tackle all of these tasks that are piling up? Ugh!

For one thing, stick with it. Like everything else in life, these feelings will pass. The way we persist through any situation or difficulty is to just keep going.

This is much easier said than done – believe me, I understand. The way we keep going is by continuing to put one foot in front of the other. In the life of your business, this means tackling projects in bite-sized pieces, one at a time. Take the time to master the first piece. Don’t think about the next one yet.

When you move forward, not only will you do a better job on each task (the way you really want to do them) but you will also start a snowball effect and accomplish subsequent tasks more quickly. This is partially because you are forcing yourself to be focused, disciplined, and growing in your confidence. The tortoise really does beat the hare.

While I understand that you can’t shut out the world and client proposals and deadlines, you can carve out 30 minutes here, an hour there, and an occasional 90 minutes to get something completely done – and done well.

Another tip is to build three minutes of inspiration into the start of your challenging task. These may be difficult tasks or they may be annoying, tedious, or boring tasks. Regardless, you’re not looking forward to it. The best thing you can do is find inspiring quotes or part of a biography of someone you admire and spend just a few minutes getting pumped up by seeing others overcome obstacles and realize that you’re no different from them. The key to this is limiting your time spent on it. Don’t let it overtake your time. You are really looking for a momentary boost to give you momentum. Give it a short time limit and set a timer.

Stop as soon as it goes off.

Know Your Reason Why

Tweet: Gain power over fear by knowing that the reason why you do your business is stronger than your fear @stellanovastrat. When you have doubts that what you are doing or the fear or pressure are getting to be too much, there is one place you can always go to get you through it. Think about the reason why you do what you do. When your reason for doing it outweighs any hurdle that comes your way, you will succeed. You may do what you do for your kids, for your future, for your health, or for something completely different. Whatever your reason, if it strikes you at your core and triggers a strong emotional response that tells you that you can never go back, then you’ve got what you need.

This can be a powerful way to get through fear.

Common Fears of Entrepreneurs

Starting your own business can be intimidating or scary for a number of reasons. You may be starting the business by yourself and if you don’t bring in the clients, you are left with very little or nothing. It can really do a number on your brain, especially when you’re in it alone. Common fears for entrepreneurs include: failure, success, inadequacy, financial provision, time, others’ opinions, and loss of reputation.

I’m not saying that the only people who battle these fears are those who start their own businesses but at least one of these certainly rings true for those starting or running their own business.

What can you do to prevent your fear from sabotaging you or your business? Click on this 75-second video to learn how to fight back when fear has the upper hand.