The Big Question: Should I have a Business Plan?

I’d like to discuss a question that over the years, people have frequently asked me, most recently  at our ETTM meeting last week. The question: Do I need   Business plan? What is a business plan? Does everyone need a business plan? What is a business plan?

Well, I find the people that are asking are usually eager to get their business moving, or take it to the next level. They are interested in success and are committed to their business. This is good news, the problem is they don’t know how, right? We have all been there…don’t you agree?  But in order for me to answer those questions short of being a mind reader, I would need their help!

First of all, I do agree we all need a business plan. You need to ask yourself a few questions in order to get started. My interpretation of a business plan is not sitting down and putting together complicated spreadsheets or hard to understand financial projections! So, you need to identify, what exactly is it that I do? What makes me different and what is my niche? Then you can sit down with someone if you need help, a paper and pen and  just get started!

Here’s an example:

I’m in finance. What I do is help people create their financial GPS.

What makes me different? I pride myself on educating my clients on the basic and fundamental concepts of “how money works”.

Whats my niche, my specialty? Educating and working with women.

How do I do that? Women and financial wisdom workshops.

Get the drift?

A business plan takes some time and thought and of course some motivation but it can and it needs to get done!

Do you have a business plan? Have you started one and feel stuck?

ETTM has got your back 🙂 Our workshop for creating a business plan is coming soon.

Please join the conversation for more information HERE.

Workshop & Think Tank With Jalanda James

On April 9th, 2013 at The Goddard School of Marlboro, 15 School Rd. E, expert NYC videographer Jalanda James discussed the importance of video as a powerful marketing tool for business.

How do I choose the best networking group for me?

As everyone knows, I have been in my own business for over 16 years. So, I consider myself pretty well versed in networking having gone to many different types of networking groups over the years.

I don’t go to many outside my own, unless I think in some way it will benefit our group, ETTM.

So, the other night I went to a women’s networking dinner (which was fun) and here is what I shared with this group of ladies:

1) Big doesnt always mean better. Just because a group has many people that show up, that does not necissarily mean it is better. I’ve found smaller intimate groups can produce more referrals, which in turn produce business because of the ability to connect more closely with people.

2) Price is only an issue in the absence of value. The least or the most expensive group doesn’t make the group better or worst. I do believe, however, that you do not have to spend a lot on a group to ensure it is a successful one. I also don’t believe free groups can produce a good return because there is no funding to grow and give back to the organization either.

The best groups have intimate circles and offer education as well as networking which is why we implement that in our ETTM.

3) Get to know one another. Lock arms with someone you view as a strategic partner and always listen more than you talk. Give first and give more and it will always come back.

Joining multiple groups is also a successful networking no no. I know you’re probably asking, why? Would I do better if I was a part of multiple organizations? Well, the simple answer would actually be a question, how many referrals are you able to give?

You see, if you promise more than you deliver it will come back to haunt you.

Focus your efforts into 1 or 2 groups you feel the best about; this would be the one/s with the most people you not only can relate to, but that you can honestly send referrals to.

Give of yourself to the group, if you want to get the best return, be around the most, volunteer more, tell everyone about the group and invite people to help it thrive.

Remember in any group or relationship… together, everyone achieves more!

Do you have Squirrel syndrome?

Just like our dogs are, we an be easily distracted by squirrels. We refer to those properly as distractions.

Most successful business women have A type personalities. That is great news because we are go getters, always on the move and we can take on a lot of tasks.

The bad news is we are easily distracted by things that happen around us in our business, at home, and with our families.

Did you ever find yourself sitting with a colleague and the most pressing topic you were on when you began your conversation, was 4 topics ago?… and the discussion you started, was still not resolved? Then yes… you are afflicted with squirrel syndrome!

Now that we identified your affliction what do you do?

When you sit down and list your goals at the beginning of the month, and then the end of the month rolls around… are you often not accomplishing them? Do you miss them by a landslide or nose? I bet if you thought about it, it would be in direct proportion with the things you let distract you.

So now that we have a diagnosis, and we know what it is causing, what is the antidote?

Simple: it’s change.

Sounds easy enough right? Actually, no…change is not easy and it does not come easily to many of us. But,  if you become aware that your distractions are in direct proportion to the goals you miss, wouldn’t you want to change?

All it takes to change is to refuel the passion you have for what you do. Become aware of wanting to accomplish your goals; your commitment and practice will help this change be a natural part of your daily routine. And then your success will be in direct proportion to the amount of energy you put into your comittment to change!

Our deepest desire is to succeed isnt it? Then change will be worth it!

Do you suffer from Squirrel syndrome? What do you do to treat it? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Life…Simplified?

We have all been there…a 60 hour work week, a jam packed schedule, busy, busy, busy…

We are working, parenting, living our lives…and needing {wanting} just a few more hours in the day to get everything done. 

Reality check: It is impossible to do it all on your own (but I’m sure you already knew that).
 
So how can you simplify your life? {Ahem…no magic tricks here}
 
She created this business for people like us, because she was like us.
We have action-packed lives and mile long to do list. But we value our free time and believe that an extra set of hands, can go a long way.
 
I have several businesses, 2 kids, a husband and a home to take care of.
Her commitment to supporting me in my everyday whirlwind has given me the ability to focus on the things that really need my attention. Asking for help has dramatically improved my well being: my stress levels are down, I’ve increased my productivity and freed up time to do more of the things I enjoy therefore… I’ve simplified my life.
 
Hand over your tasks – go off and enjoy your day. It’s that easy!
 
Life, simplified? Now that’s possible!
Meet Shakima and learn more about her services at our Family Wellness & Beauty Day.
Join us HERE!

Facing Your Fears

Today, I thought it was important for me to share some thoughts with you on facing your fears and crossing over into “The Uncomfortable Zone”.

I thought timimg was appropriate because I can personally testify to the fact that if you are willing to go there, you will not only live through it, you will actually succeed because of it!

Most of us don’t venture out to the uncomfortable zone, why? Because we are afraid. Also because we are too comfortable were we are! But be careful, comfortable is also synonymous to adequate, content, complacent,easy!!!

Right there, when you are trying to grow your business and become successful comfort should be a red flag!

If it was easy and comfortable to become successful wouldnt everyone then be successful?

So, through reading books, going to hundreds of seminars and workshops on self improvement and growth I have learned you must get uncomfortable in order to become comfortable. Make sense?

Example: Did you know people are more afraid of public speaking then dying?

When I first heard that over a dozen years ago…I related to it because… I was!  I would get accelerated palpitations, would turn beet red, talk 100 miles a minute and… if I was REALLY freaked out, I’d hyperventilate! With time, those reactions still haven’t gone away, but with practice and forcing myself to speak in public, it has gotten a lot easier. If I didnt work on that fear, I wouldn’t be where I am in my business now since more than 50% of my business comes from educational workshops on finance!

There are endless benefits to facing what you are afraid of and just going for it! Not only does it help you grow as a person, but you will expand your business and broaden your vision.

Pick one thing that is keeping you from getting to the next level, practice and slowly do it over and over until you are ready to move onto the next thin. Before you know it, you’re at the next level!

If not now, when? Do not let your fears get in the way of your own success!!

Lynette Barbieri

Meet Elaine Morales

Elaine Morales, speaker, author, and life transformation coach helps women who are obsessed, distressed, and downright depressed by on-going food drama in their lives to break free and achieve their ideal weight while enjoying food and loving life.

Following decades of grappling with a serious and persistent premium ice cream habit that left her pudgy, lethargic, frequently ill and prone to fits of self-loathing…Elaine embarked on a life-changing journey to transform her physical and emotional health.  Now fit and blissed out, instead of chubby and stressed out, Elaine has been the catalyst for hundreds of life transformations by inspiring and teaching women how to eat for health, happiness and strength, make self-care a priority, and leverage their inner awesomeness to realize their life’s dreams.

A Princeton University graduate, she received her training as a holistic health counselor from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City.   

Fun Facts About Elaine:
She is the direct descendent of a Catholic saint.
She appeared on the reality television show, Wife Swap.
Recently, Elaine took up bodybuilding and won two trophies as a figure competitor at the age of 43. 

Who Cares?

Contributed by Vanessa Coppes

It sounds harsh I know, but do you know WHO REALLY CARES about your product or services? 

If you don’t know, then please know this: those are the people your focus should be on.


Learn from Seth Godin  as he explains how it’s no longer about how much you spend on selling to a consumer, but how it is everything about being REMARKABLE.

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