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3 Tips to Getting Your 2014 Marketing Plan Together

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business marketing success

Marketing Success in Business

It’s that time of year to make sure your marketing plan is all ready to go – just in time to kick off the sparkling New Year that’s right around the corner.

But how do you get a marketing plan together that will actually get you the results you’re looking for? Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Start with the end in mind. Make sure you figure out specific and REALISTIC goals. While I’m all for having a hit-it-out-of-the-park goal (like building your list to 10K when you have 500 on it right now), you should also have a goal that’s doable AND will make you happy if you reach it.

Knowing your goals will help guide where you need to put your focus. And I would pick no more than 3-5 top ones to get done in 2014 (plus some secondary strategies to round out your calendar). So, for instance, maybe you want to build your list, launch a high-end group mastermind program and get your book done as your main goals. And maybe as part of your high-end group program launch, you also have a smaller launch as a lead in.

So now you have 3 big rocks you can get into your calendar — a product launch, a high-end group launch and a book launch. Plus you have list-building activities that need to happen regularly. Once you’ve plugged those in, now you need to make sure you have both long-term and short-term marketing covered (which is #2).

2. Do you have a balance between long-term and short-term marketing activities? Long-term are tactics like building your list and nurturing your list (for instance sending a regular ezine). Short-term are tactics like having a sale or a launch that bring money in the door right now.

Successful businesses have a balance of both throughout the year — the long-term that will lead to a healthy business with a regular stream of leads and clients and short-term for cash flow.

So now that you have your big rocks, do you see holes in either your short-term or long-term? Do you have your cash-flow covered from month-to-month? Do you have your list-building and list-nurturing activities in there? Now is the time to adjust accordingly.

3. Are the marketing activities you’ve committed to things you enjoy? My personal feeling is the reason why entrepreneurs fail when it comes to marketing is they focus their efforts on what they feel like they SHOULD be doing, rather than what they LOVE doing. There are so many ways to market yourself — videos, podcasts, writing blogs, connecting on social networking, etc. — that I guarantee there is SOMETHING you enjoy doing. So figure out what that is and do that activity. Don’t worry about the rest. Get one thing done and get it done right, and the rest will fall into place.

(If you want some help with this, my “Internet Marketing Success Story” includes an assessment to help you figure out which marketing activity is perfect for you. You can learn more here: http://www.InternetSuccessStory.com)

Now, once you’ve figured out what you love doing, don’t forget to actually build those activities into your plan. Because it doesn’t matter how great of a plan you’ve put together, if you don’t actually implement anything in the New Year, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for.

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Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a premiere direct response copywriting and marketing company that helps entrepreneurs attract more clients, sell more products and services and boost their business. To grab your FREE “Ka-Ching! Business Kit” with a FREE CD visit http://www.MichelePW.com/freecd

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Mastering Life Balance: Achieving Greatness at Home and at Work

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5 Tips from Former Businessman of the Year

People are overwhelmed with the complexities of their own lives and are desperately seeking a way to maximize happiness in their home and work lives, says Gary Kunath, an entrepreneur, speaker and former CEO who works with some of the world’s top corporations and business schools.

“I used to be caught up in the spin cycle of thinking that net worth automatically afforded me life worth,” says Kunath, a speaker at top business schools and author of “Life … Don’t Miss It. I Almost Did: How I Learned To Live Life To The Fullest,” (www.lifedontmissitbook.com).

“I sacrificed time with my family with the justification that I was providing necessary material things, but at a certain point you realize that money doesn’t make you rich, it just allows you to buy more stuff.”

Priorities for professionals have shifted; now, U.S. workers seek family wellbeing above all else, he says. Companies need to recognize that it’s imperative to positively affect their employees’ lives, both inside and outside working quarters, he says.

“We need to bring humanity back to business,” Kunath says. “Leading corporations are aware that most professionals today – 70 percent – would trade a pay raise for an increase in personal wellness.”

But employers are struggling with that, he says, citing a new American Psychological Association survey released in March in which 48 percent of employees say their employers don’t value a good work-life balance.

More professionals are trying to find a path to life worth, rather than centering their behavior on net worth, Kunath says. He offers five ways career-minded individuals can achieve both:

 

• Look for signs you’re falling into the net-worth trap: For Kunath, those signs were clear. One day, he says, “it was like someone had smacked me on the head,” when his son, then 12, walked away in dismay after Kunath said he couldn’t play baseball with him because he was too busy working on a business proposal. “The look of disappointment on my son’s face was something I will never forget,” he says. Kunath dropped everything and spent the day with his son. “I promised that would NEVER happen again”. The next occurrence included a mental and physical breakdown after Kunath pushed himself to make an unnecessary business trip while sick.  After a 19-hour ordeal in a delayed flight to Spain, “…I knew in my bones that if I did not draw the line right there … I would ruin every part of my life that mattered to me.”

• Don’t be an employee, be employable: Unless you are self-employed, you are always vulnerable to someone else controlling your professional destiny, and therefore, your life worth. But employees can empower themselves by diversifying their skills so that they can have more choices about where and for whom to work.

• Bad things happen to good people: Adversity finds us all. No one enjoys the worst, most painful moments of their lives. Nonetheless, life events like loss of a loved one, financial ruin, divorce, addictions or illness tend to define us. We need adversity in our lives. Anyone can be a rock star when life is perfect. But when adversity strikes, then the “real” you is revealed. How you face adversity can either extinguish you or distinguish you.

• Believe in something bigger than you: There will be times when you are utterly helpless, with no control over an outcome. All the money in the bank and all the authority at work will do no good when it comes to, for instance, the death of a loved one. Believing in something bigger than you is an important part of having life worth; it helps you maintain your emotional health when you face life’s biggest challenges.

• Don’t Major in the Minors: As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” For every evening spent late in the office there are moments professionals miss out on – and can never get back. Many of us spend time on things that ultimately don’t matter. “The three greatest gifts you can give to your family are: Time, Memories and Tradition,” he says. “These are things in life that matter.”

About Gary Kunath

Gary Kunath is the founder of The Summit Group, which is ranked among the top sales-training companies in the world by Selling Power magazine. His value-creation approach received the “Innovative Practice of the Year Award” by 3M worldwide. He was named Businessman of the Year for the United States and was recognized a dinner hosted by the president of the United States. He has lectured extensively at several prominent business schools, and he is currently an adjunct professor at The Citadel’s Sports Marketing graduate program. Kunath is as an owner of several professional minor league baseball teams along with his partners, Bill Murray, Jimmy Buffet and Mike Veeck. The group is famous for managing its teams around the “Fun is Good” approach.

 

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Full-Time Prosperity With Part-Time Hours

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This is an article based on my recent virtual workshop, “Why Your Dream Business is Not Making BIG money (Yet) – 3 Steps to Build a Full-Time Business on Part Time Hours”.  And wouldn’t we all just love to have more time to ourselves?  Imagine being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without taking a cut in income.  When I made the decision to approach my business this way, I had a very strong motivation – I was determined to work only three days a week, so I could spend the other four being a mom to my little girl.  But this was a very conscious effort, and I’m going to share with you three of the steps that it took to get me there, and the steps you can take to get yourself in the zone of peace and prosperity as well.

Step 1 – Make your days count with high impact business-building activities.  And this to me was the most important step.  I had to ask myself, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, “What am I doing now that should be delegated or dropped in order for me to work part-time?”  What can go… what must go so that I can accomplish this?

First, figure out what days and hours would work best for you in order to have your ideal lifestyle.  Once you decide the part-time hours you want, block that time off.  These are your new, dedicated work hours, and your productivity becomes magnified during these hours.  Get rid of all non-service delivery tasks, for example writing copy for ads, scheduling meetings, checking your emails, networking, working on your e-zine, even sales activity.  And when you work from home, like I did, you have to resist the urge to start cleaning the house, make shopping lists, and start dinner.

You will need to develop what I call a “delegation consciousness”.  In every moment of every day, ask yourself, “should I be doing this?”  I’ll give you an example of how this worked for me, and it was life-changing.  I have an e-zine that I send out to my list, and I decided to hire a virtual assistant team to take charge of the process for me, because I was spending way too much time on it.  By delegating my e-zine maintenance, that put into place a circumstance that allowed me to have a team already in place when the floodgates opened and business started pouring in.  I was ready for it.  I needed to push against my fears that I should do it myself and that I couldn’t afford to outsource this.  And it felt great when I let go of it.

Are you making proclamations that don’t really apply to the person you are now?  Maybe you’ve caught yourself being sucked into something you know isn’t the best use of your time, and you swear you’re not going to get caught up in it again.  But the next time it comes up, there you go.  We go to business events, read books, attend networking meetings, make cold calls… and this is ok to do once you’ve gotten your part-time hours under control.  But for now, get rid of anything that is not essential to you right now.  This is going to be extreme, you will be cutting back to bare minimums.  But don’t just cut back, be very conscious of what you are bringing in to your business, as well.

Solutions only have the opportunity to present themselves when you make a decision.  You’ll find many things that can wait if you really want to work part-time.  What is the benefit of working part-time?  Only you can answer that for yourself.  For me, it re-energized me, and gave purpose to everything I did with my business, and allowed me to live the life I’d only dreamed of.

In Step 2, I’m going to show you how to focus on your time.  Where it’s going, how you’re spending it, and most importantly – how to guard it.  This part really is the backbone of realizing your dream of full-time prosperity with part-time hours!

Step 2 – Create a vision for your ideal work week and practice time guarding.  Step back and visualize what your life would look like if you had 2 or 3 extra days a week to spend any way you wanted.  Would you spend more time with family?  Or do some volunteer work?  Or maybe start exercising, or take a class at the local college?

I got started on this step by literally putting a big red X through the days that I did not want to be available.  You know yourself; make your work days the ones that are typically the most productive for you.  Maybe you want to knock out your work week at the beginning of the week, and have a long weekend.  Or you could work 2 days, take a day off, work the other 2, and have your weekend.  It doesn’t matter which days you pick, what matters is that the days you pick are sacred.  It is essential that you block off that time and make it work.  Who says it has to be Monday through Friday?  You’re in charge here!

I’m not suggesting that you cram everything you’re doing right now into a few days, keeping the same work load.  You may be used to working 5, 6… 7 days a week (I know some of you are in this category!) and there is no way you are going to fit all of it into just 3 or 4 days.  So here’s where you get out your little scissors and start making cuts.  If you want to shed a light on things that you’re doing now that really aren’t essential to your business, shortening your work week will do it.  What needs to get done will get done.  So you really have to commit to these work days, making them productive, power-house days, protecting them from any non-essential distractions like a mama bear protects her baby cubs.

Now here’s the flip side.  You need to be as protective about your days off as you are with your work days.  Right now, take out your calendar and plan how many vacations you want to take this year-  even if you don’t know where you want to go yet!  Figure in your long weekends, your week to visit family, or lay on the beach for a few days.  These dates are not set in stone – that’s the beauty of having your own business and being flexible – but you are 99% more likely to take this time for replenishment if you already have the dates set.  If you don’t, chances are you will never go anywhere; and all work and no play makes Jack – or Jackie – a dull person!  I can tell you from experience that having specific vacation dates is key.  Do it for the rest of the year, and every year after that.  In months that have 5 weeks, use that bonus week to catch up on your filler stuff, or special projects that you’ve been wanting to work on.

I love my life, and what my income allows me to do.  But my lifestyle is not by accident.  I make sure that I do not schedule work activities on my days off, and vice-versa.  Do not let your guard down, or you will see your calendar start filling up on those precious “me” days.  It takes accountability, and   having someone in your life that models this lifestyle for you.  You will start to see what you’ve been missing in a very short period.  And you will see how you can get more done with less time just by planning your ideal work week.

Step 3 will show you another import time-guarding secret!

Step 3: This Is Personal

There is nothing so heartbreaking as seeing your dream business – that you’ve put your heart and soul into – falling to the ground like a big broken kite!  If you could separate yourself from the equation, it wouldn’t be so bad, but if you’re anything like me, your business is your baby!  So here’s the third reason, and I know this one well:

You are not used to failure feeling so personal. When things are going great, all is right with the world.  But when it’s not going well, let’s face it – it’s embarrassing!  Your business is a reflection of you, and it’s hard to accept setbacks, rejection, or criticism. This is the point when people give up and get a j-o-b rather than admit their weaknesses.  So here’s the third and final principle, and it is by far the one that helped me the most to triple my income over the past two years:

Divine Juice Principle #3 – You must use failure to catapult your success. There is a lot of good that can come from failure – believe me!  It leads to a phenomenon that I call the “entrepreneurial wormhole”.  Believe it or not, many businesses actually are born because of some type of struggle or pain.  And through that experience, the business owner learned!  They either decided to use that pain to help other people, or they realized that they had a gift in a certain area, and wanted to share it with others.  Or, they found something that helped them and then wanted to pass it on.

Failure has a purpose!  Of course when you’re in it, it sucks.  But once you’re out the other side of the wormhole, that knowledge catapults your business.  And here’s the rub – when you invest in yourself, and in your business, you often experience another version of your wormhole.  It doesn’t make sense, but you’re birthing the next level of your work – and it hurts!  But if you don’t take those risks, it could be the death of your business.  Investing in that help, working with my mentor, and having faith in myself – that’s what got me out of my wormhole.  I could never have offered the high level content of the Inner Circle had I not made a high level investment in myself, and had I not experienced and received that kind of support.  Yes, failure feels personal – because you’re not used to this level of frustration!  But in order to always move forward, you have to have people around you – peers, friends, a mentor or mastermind group – to help you get through that wormhole.

So here’s your homework for today – list your “failures” and what you learned from them.  Give them the credit they deserve.  Maybe it was a struggle, or a setback, but in your heart it became pervasive enough to affect your ability to take risks.  Doing this exercise may help prevent another wormhole!  And it will make what you’ve gone through – or going through – make sense.  I have a saying that we share in the Inner Circle – “Leap and the cliff disappears.”  When you decide to love your career, to have a peaceful and prosperous business, the cliff disappears.

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Lisa Cherney, a.k.a. the Juicy Marketing Expert, founded Conscious Marketing 12 years ago to help small business owners find their authentic marketing voice, attract their ideal clients and increase their sales. Following her own Stand Out & Be Juicy program, which centers on owning your unique self and laser-focus marketing, Lisa has tripled her income while working
part-time.

Prior to Conscious Marketing, Lisa worked with many Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Lipton, Nissan, Blue Cross and Equal. She is a highly sought after speaker and often shares the stage with experts such as Jack Assaraf (The Secret), Jack Canfield and Jill Lublin. Learn more about Lisa at www.consciousmarketing.com or call 887-771-0156.

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