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. 

Closing the Loop to Build the Life You Love 

Healthy relationships are a vital component of creating a life of harmony and accomplishment-your SpaLife  

Most of us know this intuitively but science confirms it-there is compelling evidence that strong, harmonious relationships contribute to a long, healthy and happy life. Relationships bring harmony and balance to our work and personal lives. Contrast that with relational discord – which leaves us drained and vulnerable physically, spiritually and emotionally. 

To create the life you were meant for, it’s essential to closely examine your relationships. Who are the people in your space? Who do you spend the most time with? Do they bring harmony or discord? 

Sometimes a source of discord is what I call an “Open Loop.” It comes from leaving a frustration or issue unsaid. When there is an Open Loop, it’s may be time for a conversation. 

How do you know if you have an Open Loop? Here are three tip-offs: 

  1. Do you feel awkward around someone in your life? Do you find yourself avoiding her? 
  2. Have you lost affinity for her? Is there a loss of connection? 
  3. Are you angry at someone? Do you blame her for something going on in your life? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you probably have an Open Loop. Whether at work or home, it’s important to close that loop. Leaving it open doesn’t support your best life.  

You need to get back on track so you can have a life with balance that supports your dreams. Closing the Loop will mean taking the risk to get face-to-face (no texting!) with this person.  

Look her in the eye, connect, let her hear the intonation in your voice, and let her see your facial expressions and body language. 

Communicating openly and honestly lets you live your life with integrity. Recognizing when you have relationship Open Loops and closing them will help you live your SpaLife! 

The Pitfalls of Doing It All

As my dear business coach and client, Caterina Rando, brilliantly said, “You need to do what is the highest use of your time, and let other people handle the rest.” I think of this often in my own business, and I have seen my best months and best year ever as a result. I hired a bookkeeper who comes in once a week, as well as a part-time assistant who handles production of signs and banners, in addition to simple updates for my clients, so I can stay focused on what I do best: design.

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Create Your SpaLife Network in Three Easy, Breezy Steps

Once you’ve committed to living the SpaLife-a life with balance in all areas to support your dreams, and has the feeling you get when walking into a spa-you must build a network around you of like-minded people who not only support your journey, but are also part of the journey with you!

You already know the importance of removing toxic relationships and always being honest, straightforward and clear with everyone you meet.

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Creating Support to Soar

Have you ever thought about the power of using social media as a tool for support? Here are three ways to use social media to create support in your business:

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Developing Leadership for Entrepreneurial Success

I have seen numerous people turn their talent into a business. They are excited to share their gifts and are determined to make a difference in the world. The really successful ones are all that and more! The thriving entrepreneurs have also developed their leadership abilities. Here are three ways I have seen leadership help them reach more people and build incredibly successful businesses.

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Developing Your Leadership Qualities Invites Success

Business education and studies often look at reasons businesses fail. What makes them successful? One of the most important factors is the people. You, the leader, are the most important person in your company. A Gallup Poll between 2013 and 2015 reviewed the reasons people think businesses fail. The most critical element was the leader. Let’s look at five qualities of successful leaders and how to develop them.

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Leading the Way Is Good Marketing

You have the expertise and credibility, and know how to lead others when it comes to your business. But do you showcase that well for potential clients? Letting others see your leadership skills is good marketing because it positions you as an authority worth listening to.

Market yourself as a leader with these tips:

Take on leadership roles. Join committees, take a board position or volunteer to spearhead activities within networking or industry groups you are part of. These are quiet kinds of leadership pursuits that even introverts can do gracefully. These activities put you into visible leadership roles in others’ eyes. Once people see you in action, it’s easy for them to consider hiring you or referring you to others.

Take the time to share your knowledge. Be open to answering questions or giving advice to others even if they aren’t potential clients. This is a good way to give back and it’s a generous stance that invites good will to you. I once took several hours to talk with and send a detailed email response to a young college student who had questions about my industry. The next month, his coach hired me as her marketing person because she was so impressed with the information I had shared with him!

Publicize your leadership roles. Be sure to note on your website, speaker sheet and LinkedIn profile what leadership roles you take on. Do you provide advice to those younger than you? Note that you are a mentor. Have you won an award? Be sure it’s part of your profile. Be loud and proud about your leadership roles to be seen in a bigger light.

Take on leadership roles, share what you know and communicate what you do to market yourself as a leader and attract your ideal clients.

Get more tips on creating a BIG presence with your marketing HERE.

Listen, Learn and Lead Your Way to Excellent Leadership

When you think of leadership, what kind of person comes to mind? A president? A minister? A mother? Great leaders are great because they serve those who stand behind them and stand up for them.

Nelson Mandela, a great leader, popularized the term “Lead from behind.” Brilliant leaders understand this strategy of leading.

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Facebook: A Powerful Tool for Thought Leaders

Many people, including conscious thought leaders and change makers, shy away from Facebook because they experience it as superficial, a waste of time. True, it can be superficial, and it can be used for negative purposes.

 

Guess what! Facebook can also be used as a powerful force for positive change in the world!

 

Here are three things you can do to turn your Facebook activities into powerful actions that reflect the thought leader you are!

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