What are you tolerating that is keeping you stuck?

Often in business we keep our focus on the things that are the most important: serving our clients, making sales, or paying bills. Because we put our energy toward the most important tasks, we sometimes inadvertently put up with things that are not ideal.

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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.

Feminine Leadership

It is such an exciting time to be a woman. Paradigms are being broken daily, and we are being called to step into our leadership in whole new ways. Each year, we host an invitation-only leadership conference for women business owners who are committed to philanthropy. Most women don’t identify themselves as philanthropists. However, I’ve found that giving back is one of the main characteristics of truly successful women in business who lead from a place of balance and femininity.

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BUSINESS ACUMEN: A Woman’s Golden Key to Corporate Success

Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise 1Don’t want to get stuck in middle management? Be the kind of highly successful and effective leader that businesses fight for, and one that gets you into a company’s management talent pipeline. How do you do that, by learning to develop business acumen as early in your career as possible.

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Kimberly Vaughan is our Thriving Woman of the Week

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How long have you been in business? I have been in business for more than 10 years. I started my business as a wedding and event planner and later a trade event producer, an associate publisher of a bridal magazine and finally the publisher of LGBTWeddings.com

Why did you begin your business? I started my business for the same reason so many women start a business… as an entrepreneur I would find the freedom I needed to fulfill my personal goals and ambitions, while being a mother to my children and create balance in my life. I refused to acknowledge at the time that a 9-5 job offered more “balance” in terms of regimen and looking back my passion for what I felt was right for me far outweighed the sensibilities of a day job. I knew owning my own business would have its challenges and I was ready to face them head on.

What is your mission for your business? I am a natural born connector, a cheerleader for social justice, and have always pushed where I could for everyone to succeed. LGBTWeddings.com connects same-sex couples with screened, qualified professionals to plan weddings on a platform that has been designed to provide gay and lesbian couples with online planning tools, lots of wedding inspiration, and a joyful environment. I love education, so part of my mission is to educate couples on how to plan a wedding, while also educating wedding professionals on how to provide the best possible services for couples.

My events have always been a wonderful vehicle to celebrate and give in our local community and are a cornerstone of joy for me personally. It makes sense that the International Wedding Festival has reached the third largest wedding planning expo in Northern California, which is a very proud title for a Central Valley event.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be? Not to fear success or failure. I have always feared that I would screw up, make a mistake, say something wrong, do something wrong, make the wrong decision, or worse let someone down. Unfortunately, (and fortunately) it is part of the process of business evolution. You can ask any successful person (whatever success is defined as for you) whether they have made mistakes in business and every single one of them will answer yes. Allowing myself to make mistakes means I am allowing myself to grow and take risks, and I am not one to stand still, so a bump in the road is inevitable and an opportunity to change something for the better.

I also wish that I had understood branding better at the beginning of my business. Consistency with marketing is key and I can recall countless changes and quite a few boxes of unwanted materials as my “brand changed” Ugh. I think investing in a brand manager early on would have saved me a lot of transitional advertising dollars.

What is a guiding principle that you use in your business? Don’t be afraid to try something new and value feedback, whether it be from clients, employees, or consumers. While we are busy “running our businesses” there are people using our products/services and applying them to their real life application, or sales people selling those products/services gaining feedback from customers. That feedback can prove to be the idea that will add value to your business model beyond what any coach or mentor can give.

What makes you a thriving woman in business? My vivacious spirit! I absolutely love being a woman business owner.  It is competitive yes, but the support I gain from other women in business is incredible. I love the dynamic and creative thinkers in our Thriving community. There is no shortage of encouragement, vitality and sometimes empathy for the demands of being a woman entrepreneur.  For that support, I enjoy reciprocating to other women business owners encouragement and kindness through the California non-profit, Successful Women of Central Valley, which educates, supports and nurtures women in our local community.

What do you love about being a thriving woman in business? The freedom to create and be authentic is my favorite attribute of being a thriving woman in business. I was recently told I was altruistic. At first I took it as an insult, because the context it was stated referred to me as a woman in business who was trading higher profit margins for ideals, but the more I thought about the comment the more I realized I built a business and a reality that supports my nature. I do care about others, I do work hard for others and that is something I would not change. Being a thriving woman in business for me means having the freedom to be me in my personal life and in business.

What is the next big thing or dream for you in your business? We have received a lot of feedback about the technology offered by LGBTWeddings.com for small business owners. It meets the needs in many ways for the 85% of our industry that is comprised of micro businesses to reach millennials and be business relevant in an industry that is just now closing the gap in technology and target market advertising. Many business owners would like for us to expand our platform to meet all couples as a connective, responsive technology. I would like to deliver upon that request.

How can our readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with me at Kimberly@KimberlyVaughan.com

Website:
www.LGBTWeddings.com
www.InternationalWeddingFestival.com
www.ModestoWomensExpo.com

Twitter:
twitter.com/lgbtweddingsusa

Facebook:
LGBTWeddings.com: www.facebook.com/lgbtweddingsusa 
International Wedding Festival: www.facebook.com/modestobridalshows
Kimberly Vaughan: facebook.com/reachkimberlyvaughan

Julia Greer Moreno
is our Thriving Woman of the Week!

Julia Greer Moreno headshot

How long have you been in business?  I’ve been in business for myself for over 20 years working with various direct sales companies over the years. During that time, I’ve participated in many events & have heard the same issues from other Direct Sales Representative & small business owners, the main one being how to advertise on a very limited budget.

Why did you begin your business?  I also enjoy event planning, & started doing Swag Bags a few years back.  I wanted to find a way to combine all of my passions. 18 months ago, I was able to do so by starting my own company, Texas Swag Bags (TSB). With TSB, I have been able to combine event planning & small business advertising to small, locally owned businesses & Direct Sales Representatives at prices that fit within their budgets.

TSB got off to a rocky start, as most small businesses do. I‘ve had an almost complete turnover, with one very loyal member who has remained by my side. In the last 4 months; God has blessed me with a new leadership team that has become an amazing addition to TSB.  They’ve helped me grow my business faster than I had dreamed or ever could’ve done on my own.  In the last month, we’ve been able to open chapters in 9 new locations. In addition, we’ve formed 4 new partnerships with area businesses & ministries.

What is your mission for your business?  Our Mission is to provide exceptional marketing for small business owners, party plan representatives, direct sales, brand ambassadors, charities & more via swag bags which are sent to events across Texas & all locations that TSB operates.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?  One thing I wish I knew before starting my business was how to help people see & understand that investing a little bit in their business from time to time means they are investing in their own growth, this is something I had to learn for myself.

What is a guiding principle that you use in your business?  My guiding principle is based on the Golden Rule. I want to help others succeed & celebrate their successes with them. As Zig Ziglar stated “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”

What makes you a thriving woman in business?  Others may not view me as a Thriving Woman in Business if they only see dollar amounts.  But, my extended family & network of friends is growing daily. My heart is overflowing with the joy it brings me to see them all growing & succeeding in their businesses.  That is Thriving!

What is the next big thing or dream for you in your business?  In the last few months, my business has exceeded my dreams.  All I can hope for is continued growth & success!  I would love to have a TSB chapter in all 50 states!  Maybe by the end of 2016…

What do you love about being a thriving woman in business? The thing I love most about being a Thriving Woman in Business is the connections I have made, other Thriving Women who have become more like family than friends or business contacts.

How can our readers connect with you?  You can connect with my team and I via our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TexasSwagBags
Google+: plus.google.com/u/0/102401549786252862879/posts
Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCBLYoqra5VMmqzbtbkizO2A
Twitter: twitter.com/texasswagbags
Instagram: www.instagram.com/texasswagbags
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/julia_dsdiva
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/julia-greer-moreno-0191b1102

You Have So Much Value To Bring

Andrea WoolfSuccess from the inside out is our focus with our current issue. Focusing on being an even better version of you can greatly accelerate your success.
 
You have so much value to bring. You have clarity on what you want to do in your business. There are of course things you can do to make your business better. In addition to focusing on what you can do better, begin to look at how you can be even better in your business.
 
To be sure you are being yourself, take a look at your top values and ask yourself if they are reflected in your work. If fun or creativity or innovation or appreciation is a top value for you, take a look at how that is reflected in your business and how you can do even better at embracing and even making policies or procedures around your top values.
 
Ask yourself where you are in your business, is there room to make an upgrade to a better version of you?
 
You will get some great ideas to help you with this at www.twibc.com. Spend time there on a regular basis to gain many ideas that will support you being your best.

Cook Up Some Spaghetti Marketing

Spaghetti.

I lived in Italy for a year in college. What I realize is that pasta for lunch and dinner is always a delicious meal because there are so many different shapes and sauces and ways of preparation that it could be different almost every time.

Lately, I have been talking about spaghetti marketing. What that means is that you are always trying something new or modifying what you are already doing to see if you can come up with a new recipe for success.

Taste the New Ingredients
In cooking there are new ingredients that you did not know about years ago like quinoa or chia seeds. It is the same in marketing. Today www.facebooklive.com and recorded webinars, video emailing like BombBomb are all the rave. Take a bite.

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Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out

Meditating Woman IdeasOften we are looking for solutions outside ourselves – technology or new marketing solutions – to upgrade and innovate our businesses. The truth is many of the best ideas are within you, and all you need to do is pay attention to your thoughts and feelings a bit more. Follow these super tips to innovate your business from the inside-out.

Use Your Intuition
You have a lot of brilliant ideas, your clients talk to you and tell you what else they would like from you. Pay attention to how you feel in your gut and in your heart when you focus on these new or different ways of doing your business. You have a sixth sense: it is your intuition. Give it more consideration as you plan what is next.

Be Willing to Take A Test
Innovators are people that do not think about how things might go, over and over, and never act. Instead they plan what they think will work and then they test it. After the test, they make upgrades and then test it again. They are not attached to perfection. Perfection gets in the way of innovation. What is it time for you to test?

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6 Ways to Make Email Marketing Work for YOU

Email marketing is still considered the most effective way to reach your ideal client.www.123rf.com

If it’s done right.

Sadly, many are not doing it correctly and are not reaping the benefits it could bring for their businesses.

Here are my top six tips for making email marketing work for YOU:

Know what you’re trying to accomplish and choose the email marketing provider that can meet those needs. The “big three” of service providers in terms of being the most well known are: MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Infusionsoft, but out of curiosity, I googled “best email marketing providers” and got a completely different list:

Best email marketing for small businesses overall: Benchmark
Best email marketing for low cost: Get Response
Best email marketing for ecommerce: Send in Blue
Source: Business News Daily

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