Your Financial Relationship 

Have you ever thought about your relationship to finances? Understanding why you either hang on or always need more can be circumstantial or situational from an event that created your relationship to the money. 

Mine comes from a circumstance of being financially victimized. This led me to help people understand that there is more to securing your financial future than “deferred tax income streams,” which can vanish. 

Emotion: Money is not about finances. It’s about emotions. Money is strongly connected to our emotions. An emotion can take you on a spending spree or an earning spree. It can make you decide to spend it all because you “deserve it” or to save everything and “sacrifice.” 

Situational: Look back at a time when you were forced to do something financially that you didn’t want to do. It can be anything good or bad. This can be a trigger that subconsciously leads you to financial success or destruction. 

Circumstantial: How we approach money, how we think about money and how we handle money can be directly attached to a family, adult or childhood circumstance. 

Elation: A large sum of money comes your way. You feel comfort and joy, and all is right again. Why is it that the first thing many of us do is to go purchase a new car that immediately loses value the second it leaves the lot? 

FEAR: Some believe that money is the cause of all of our problems. Don’t be afraid. Money creates CHOICE, FREEDOM, and SECURITY. 

The Truth: We all should take a look and find our trigger. Plan to have several buckets to dip into for your future. Tax-free guaranteed lifetime income is one that will provide for you in the event that you run out of money. You will never run out of INCOME! 

Powerful Relationships Support Powerful Marketing 

Marketing is enhanced with collaboration. There are simply too many parts to do them all, while still serving clients well. Your business will do best when you can create powerful relationships to support you. It can enhance your wellbeing to be part of a supported team rather than an isolated solopreneur. It also allows you to make a deeper difference in the world as you free up time and energy to grow your business or to work in your highest state, while others hold the pieces you don’t care to.  

 Relationships are powerful when you: 

Clearly share your expectations, desires and outcomes. Take the time to communicate as needed. Indirect or unspoken ideas can undermine a potentially successful collaboration. Don’t worry about being abrupt or too direct. Others generally appreciate clear boundaries and knowing where you stand.  

Expect the best. When you assume there are amazing, talented people who are a perfect fit for you in the world, there are. When you worry that there is no one who can do it as well as you, there they are. Earlier hurts or disappointments already happened—don’t let them color your present day.  

Plan to spend money and time. Collaborative efforts generally pay off over time. Like all relationships, the time and resources you invest in them are what makes them blossom. Expect to pay well for talent and contribution, just as you expect to earn that for your work.  

Know that it’s a process. Start small and be willing to build on that little by little. It takes patience and repeated input to craft a successful, long-term relationship. Don’t look for quick wins, look for incremental forward movement. 

Put in the time with others and you’ll reap the rewards. Want to know more? Visit www.lindabasso.com.

Authenticity in Relationships 

Sometimes my heart clenches when the phone rings. It happens when callers dive right into an obvious script. They typically represent a large company that developed a perfect script based on human behavior. They ask you yes or no and multiple choice questions. Then they ask for a credit card number. I often abandon the phone long before hearing the whole script. However, as a business consultant and former technology architect, I sometimes listen out of curiosity.  

It amazes me that companies believe someone would whip out a credit card without developing an authentic relationship. In my book, it falls short of trustworthy communication. I guess people provide their cards, or the calls would stop.  

What does this have to do with a small business owner? It is about relationships. I meet business people who dive right into a sale before they even know me. It is not as extreme as the programmed script described, but it is just as uncomfortable.  

Build a relationship with people. If you meet someone and feel a connection, nurture it. I’ve met people at networking events who take my card while looking around for the next one. They sometimes put me on their list without permission. I prefer to develop a relationship first. Here are my tips for developing strong relationships: 

  1. Follow up after meeting someone. 
  2. Keep in touch for no specific reason. 
  3. Give first-perhaps a sample service or product. 
  4. Pass along introductions, articles or a reference to your conversations. 
  5. Keep in touch. 
  6. Intersperse sales offers with other interactions. 

I have read it takes up to seven interactions to build rapport. How can you blend service, samples, inspiration and other reasons to keep in touch rather than exclusively asking for the sale? Build an authentic relationship. It can be powerful. 

The Power of Relationships 

When you are a member of a team, each relationship is unique. Some focus on the job at hand, and some are based on the connection you have with each member. 

When I was 9 years old, my parents had me join a military-style marching band called the Weldonians. It was here I learned the value of relationships and the power it generated to the whole team. 

I was a member of the majorette corps. The entire band was made up of 150+ kids ranging in age from 3 to 23. We won as a unit and lost as a unit. As a member of this band, it was the responsibility for the older kids to look after the younger kids. We learned to have the backs of our neighbors. Practices were a weekend affair, with practice all day Saturday and half a day Sunday and a performance every Sunday afternoon. 

Crisp straight lines, intricate formations, great music and high-stepping majorettes were all part of the entertainment package. The tight relationships we formed helped us support each other in performing the best we could. 

It is through those relationships we were able as a unit to win awards; perform as the half-time entertainment for the Oakland Raiders a couple of times a month for home games; receive invitations to perform in the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco; and perform at the Rose Bowl and in the Rose Parade.  

The power of relationships channeled into one direction was amazing to participate in during the time I was a member of the Weldonians. I will never forget the relationships and the feeling of knowing someone had my back.  

Understand that as a part of the whole, you are able to accomplish something so much bigger than you could do on your own! 

Build and Deepen Your Relationships with Social Media 

The internet is a 24/7 networking opportunity that allows you to stay in touch and deepen connections with people you meet in person. Here’s how: 

First, review your online presence monthly on all social media platforms you are using. Make sure your profile picture is current, your cover photos are relevant and your “About” section has something about your clients. It’s not just your resume. Make sure your content is a reflection of your message, your brand. 

Second, get out that stack of business cards you’ve been meaning to deal with and invite those people to be friends. If you think they’ll know who you are, just send them a friend request. If not, send them a Facebook private message asking them if it would be okay to send them a friend request, and that you would like to stay connected. Then, connect with them on LinkedIn.  

Third, after you meet people at networking events, or wherever, connect with them on LinkedIn, send them a Facebook friend request and connect with them on any other social media platforms you’re active on. Use the same procedure as described with the business cards. 

After you become Facebook friends, visit their pages and see what they’re up to, and if there’s anything you can LIKE, comment or share. Go to their business pages, see if there’s anything there that you can LIKE, comment or share. Go to their websites and check them out. Send them an email or private message through Facebook and invite them for coffee or a phone call-something to take the next step in connecting. Or, you can invite them to another networking event you are going to that you think they might be interested in. Stay connected on social media until you meet again in person! 

Your Home(Page) on the Internet 

Websites are like houses. They require upkeep, maintenance and curb appeal. You have few precious seconds to capture visitors’ attention and engagement. Like a house, a well-designed and well-staged website closes the deal for you. One that offers a great user experience leads visitors to take a desired action. These concepts relate to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Used together, your website will have greater visibility on a search engine results page, will invite searchers to visit your website and will help convert them into leads or customers.  

More than 200 elements influence how a website ranks on a Google search engine results page. It’s called a search algorithm. The following elements carry the most weight and are worthy priorities in your website update and maintenance routines: 

  1. Mobile Responsive Web Design. Over half of all Google searches are done on mobile devices. Mobile responsive design makes it easier for visitors to navigate your website from their phones. 
  2. Site SpeedSpeed also enhances the mobile experience. If a page takes too long to load, people become frustrated, back out of the search and go on to the next entry on the search engine results page. Start by optimizing and compressing website images. 
  3. Create quality content. Whether you blog, create video content or update a gallery of your work, sharing your authority and mastery regularly appeals to search engines and human searchers.  

Be sure to keep your website up-to-date and provide a secure experience. This protects you and your visitors from malware.  

Be authentic, original and generous with your knowledge so visitors get comfortable with you. Whatever you would expect from a good citizen of the world is true here – no stealing, be kind to others and take good care of your reputation. 

 

When It Comes to Business Relationships, Take the Long View 

I launched my graphic design business when I was just 29. My Midwest work ethic made me an anomaly in my field. My varied skills combined my love of design with my practicality of providing a tangible product. But there was one aspect of my business I wasn’t very good at: the relationship with myself and its impact on my clients. 

Strong boundaries are the cornerstone of relationships. I realized I didn’t have any. I would run myself ragged saying yes to every project, whether or not it was a fit for me. I heard a seasoned illustrator lay out his criteria for accepting a project. It had to satisfy two of three criteria: it was lucrative; it brought notoriety; it was fun. This strategy allowed him to do occasional pro-bono work (notoriety + fun) while also reminding him that without money, he couldn’t do what he loved. 

Another fellow designer had these criteria for clients: fast, cheap and good. They could have two out of three, but not all three. I had been trying to fulfill all three of those for my clients. They learned to expect same-day turnaround. Eventually, I was unable to keep that pace with my client load, and was neglecting tasks like invoicing. I was both frazzled and cash flow challenged. 

Reflecting on four ten-hour days at a sign company, I wondered if I could adapt that policy in my own business. I changed my hours and eventually found that with the space to recharge and handle the business side of business, I was serving my clients with more energy, enthusiasm and efficiency. 

I dropped the four-day week while raising my kids, but now that they are teens, I will reinstate it. I hope to teach them that time for oneself is a gift in the relationship with others. It’s a long race. Pace yourself. 

Create Impactful Relationships for Massive Success

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

Unless you are a hermit, everything in business and life is about relationships. So gaining mastery in building amazing, impactful relationships is the key to success.

Here are the five keys to creating impactful relationships in every area of your life:

  1. Focus on the Other. Seek to serve and support instead of putting yourself first, thinking about ‘What’s in it for me?’ Give unconditionally and the rest will follow. When others feel seen, heard, ‘gotten,’ acknowledged and loved, you will truly be a powerful contributor in their lives.
  2. Be Interested. Ask questions instead of talking talk about yourself. This is so simple, yet so powerful. All it takes is to be genuinely interested, and people will open up right away.
  3. Listen. Instead of waiting to speak, listen openly. This will immediately put people at ease and build trust, which is one of the most important elements in great relationships.
  4. Keep Your Heart Open. Relationships are living organisms. This is so easy to forget, especially with long-term relationships. Like flowers, they need nurturing and tender loving care to blossom.
  5. Be Intentional. While you can’t actually ‘make’ anyone feel anything, you can be intentional in how you want to make people feel-and then be and do what it takes to create those ideal relationships.

Think about the relationships in your life. How are they going? Are they ideal in every way or are there some gaps between where they are and the ideal? If so, think about how you could be different and what you could do differently to create great relationships. Use these keys to take a baby step and then another, and watch what happens!

Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setbacks

“Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.” Betty Talmadge, American meat broker and cookbook author, is the first one who is credited with this adage. Setbacks happen in business and in life.

By building up your resilience – your bounce-back ability – you will know how to get back up after you have been knocked down. Follow these principles to soar through setbacks and keep your resilience revved up.

Use Your Power of Choice. Begin to look at how resilient you are in everyday occurrences. Do you let traffic, a delayed plane, or a disappointing phone call ruin your whole day, or do you consciously choose to bounce right back? We always have a choice about how we react to what happens.

Build on Past Successes. At first your setback might seem too much to handle. To help yourself bounce back, think about other challenges you have faced in your life and business in the past. Remember how you dealt with them, and how you came through those challenges. Remind yourself of all you have dealt with – and yet you persevered. This will fuel your ability to overcome this setback.

Look for the Lesson. Setbacks serve. They bring with them lessons about you, about your leadership, about your business. When a setback erupts in your path, before dowsing the flames you should first examine its lesson. Learning the lessons that your setbacks deliver is one of the ways you build your resilience.

To your resilience! 

Caterina Rando, TWIB Magazine Publisher 

Become a Sought After Speaker and Make Your Business Thrive

It is better to be in the front of the room speaking than in the back of the room listening! Why? When you are the speaker, you open the door wide to new, wonderful contacts that can quickly lead to new clients and a more thriving business. There are many important reasons why you want to become a sought after speaker today. Here are just a few:

  • Become Recognized as an Expert in Your Field.  When your name is listed to promote an event and you are speaking on a topic, you are considered the expert on that topic. The more potential clients recognize that you are an expert, the more likely they are to do business with you and give you referrals.
  • Meet More People, Faster.  Speaking gives many people an opportunity to get to know you in a short period of time. An audience of forty people will meet you all at once. This is a lot better than having to take time for forty individual conversations to determine who is the best client match for you.
  • Create New Opportunities.  Speaking provides a variety of new opportunities. It allows you to expand your sphere of influence, meet other speakers, get interviewed for radio and book even more speeches.
  • More Clients, Contracts and Commissions.  When you are presenting to an audience full of your ideal clients, and you give a strong, high-content speech, you will come home with at least one new client every time you speak.Sometimes you will find you are adding several clients in just one afternoon.

Speaking is the fastest, easiest and – I believe – the best way to make your business thrive! Start today to become a sought after speaker.


To your thriving success! 

Caterina Rando, TWIB Magazine Publisher