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

Stop Struggling and Start Soaring in Your Business

Running a business can often be full of struggle. We struggle to find time to meet deadlines, to plan, to get to bed at a decent hour – we even struggle to find time for ourselves. Get ready for a revelation: we create most of the struggle in our lives. We all have different “Struggle Strategies” that we unknowingly use in our lives and businesses that might be making things more difficult. Take a look at some of the different Struggle Strategies below. Choose which one is making things harder on you and make a change.

Timing – One of the biggest causes of struggle in our lives is that we want what we want when we want it. Things do not always come in the time frame we prefer, but stay focused on what you want and keep working at it. Remember the old adage – better late than never!

Expectations – We often expect ourselves and others to get so much done—so quickly, or to complete everything perfectly. Recognize that you and everyone else may make mistakes and that other people will not always do things the way you would do them. Know that the world will not always act according to your predetermined script – embrace this idea and you will be a lot happier every day.

No Fun – Sure, you might take a vacation or two throughout the year. But that is not enough. Life is a lot better when you are having some fun every day. Find a short period of time daily to have a great time – have lunch by the lake, spend twenty minutes with your favorite novel, enjoy a dance around your living room. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.

Envy – You will turn green thinking about what everyone else has, how easy they seem to have come by it, or how everything just seems to fall into their lap. When you see all the success and prosperity in other people’s lives, take it as an affirmation that the world is abundant and there are plenty of good things coming your way. Then put your attention back on your life and creating what you want.

Recognize which Struggle Strategy you are currently using and replace it with strategies that support you to soar.

To your soaring success!

Caterina Rando, TWIB Magazine Publisher

The Next Evolution in Marketing and Sales

No matter what business you are in, what niche you serve, if you are marketing online or through email, you’re likely experiencing crappy open rates, increased opt-outs and declining conversion. These are clear signs that your would-be clients are demanding a change in the way you court and close your ideal clients.

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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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Building Your Team

You’re an entrepreneur because you have a unique ability; something you want to share with the world. In order to serve large numbers of people with your unique talents, you must operate as a business owner-not as a self-employed person.

Working with women business owners, I hear many objections for why they can’t hire a team-affordability, lack of qualified applicants, belief that a new person will never be able to deliver the service like they can.

While these feel valid, they are not the true problem with team building. Most small business owners actually are challenged with receiving support and have a lack of experience with team building.

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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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