Three Ways Running a Business is Like Dating

Three Ways Running a Business is Like Dating

Online dating and running a business have a lot in common – and I don’t mean because there’s a risk of being inundated by d*ck pics and catfished.

When I say online dating and running a business have a lot in common, I actually mean it as a very positive thing. Many people have become cynical about online dating – I know, it can be frustrating – but I’m actually a big proponent of meeting people online; it’s how I met my husband (thank you, OkCupid!)

Not too long ago, I discussed the similarities between attracting new customers to your business and finding a partner virtually on my Facebook business page. I think it’s a really fun topic for business owners to consider. I’d like to expound on a few thoughts I have about the similarities between the two, in addition to some new ideas I’ve had since shooting the video.

First Impressions Matter

One of the biggest similarities between online dating and business is the concept that first impressions matter. The best example of this would be Tinder, a dating phone app where users literally make a decision within seconds before “swiping” in either direction for yes or no. I’ve never used the app myself, silly me I want to learn about someone beyond what their face looks like…

Tinder might seem foreign to a lot of us, but if you look at the current online climate, its existence makes perfect sense. We live in a world where people communicate in 140-character Tweets and snapshots of their lives sent in warp-speed via Instagram or Snapchat. You can wax poetic about what it means about society at large all day, but one thing is clear: People want to receive information in short, sweet and fast little bursts.

As a business owner, this means that first impressions are more important now than they ever have been before. Most companies have always understood the importance of branding, such as creating a powerful logo, but many companies never felt the need to create a truly extraordinary first impression before. If you want your business to succeed in today’s landscape, you need to be able to really push your message in one glance. This means the right logo, the right colors, and succinct marketing text that says what you want to say in less than 2 seconds (easy, right?)

Pushiness and Desperation? Never A Good Look

Have you ever initiated conversation with a prospective match, only to have them bombard you with messages at every hour of the day? While they might have seemed like they had great potential when you first swiped right, now they just seem pushy and desperate.

This little gem of a life lesson also applies incredibly strongly to running your business, specifically when it comes to marketing online.

A friend of mine recently gave her information to an online company that specializes in paying people for their used laptops. She wasn’t sure if she was ready to ditch her four-year-old Macbook, but she was toying with the idea. Instead of just sending her one reminder email and then waiting for her to get back to them, the company in question sent her dozens upon dozens of emails with a downright melodramatic sense of urgency. “I actually have decided to sell it, and now I’m going to go through any company but them,” she remarked.

The bottom line? Desperation isn’t a good look. Not for a single person trying to find love online, nor for a business. It’s a good idea to market yourself with strong, compelling text and interesting strategies. But if you bombard clients, customers, or prospective love matches with message after message, the only date you’ll have will be with their block list and a Netflix binge.

Sales – And Dates – Don’t Always Happen Immediately

It’d be nice if, when online dating, we could skip the banter and go straight to the part where we’ve found happiness and love. But this isn’t la-la land and we need to get to know people before we’re ready to commit to the first date.

In business, it’d be great if we could make the sale almost immediately after introducing our brand to our potential clients or customers. While this will occasionally happen, especially if you have stellar marketing materials, most of the time you have to woo them a bit first. This means creating a relationship with a potential customer before they’ve committed to a sale. However, as stated in my last point, you can never be pushy. Instead, just as with online dating, you need to woo.

Wooing can sometimes entail backing off a bit. Sometimes after making your pitch, you need to back off and let the customer chew on your offer for a few days. It can be difficult to sit and wait in business purgatory, but backing off and exercising patience can have a spectacular payoff. Ultimately, the key is to present the best version of yourself possible, but never to overload your potential client… or romantic interest. Know when to step back and walk away for a bit. I promise that people won’t forget about you.

Final Thoughts

I’ll admit it, sales and business can both be tricky. When you’re hunting for what you want, be it that great sale or new love interest, it’s easy to become frustrated and appear desperate.

At the end of the day, success in both of these arenas boils down to you putting your best face forward and being careful to never come off as desperate, pushy or intrusive. Make a stellar first impression and then, if you have to, step away. If you follow these tips, you can knock it out of the park in both your professional and personal life.

Are you experienced in the world of online dating?

What are you thoughts in the similarities to business?

dating business

Why You Join a Mastermind Group Today

Why You Join a Mastermind Group Today

A mastermind group is essential to becoming a successful online entrepreneur (and yes, I’m totally including those of you who are “just” bloggers!)

Most online entrepreneurs fail within the first 6 months, not because of a lack in funding or knowledge, but because of isolation! It can be so incredibly difficult to push forward when you don’t have a group on your side cheering you on, a group who “gets it” and can support you in a way that keeps you down the pathway to success.

What is a Mastermind Group?

A mastermind group removes you from that isolation and plants you into a “collective brain” – a group in which you’ll find support, accountability, and ideas that you might not have otherwise thought of on your own. The relationships you develop within a mastermind are key to finding long-term success as an entrepreneur.

Some mastermind groups focus on one specific goal (i.e. hitting a profit target within a set amount of time) while others are a bit more broad, allowing for the benefits of being in a solid group of colleagues while still providing the room to customize your goals and forge your own path.

How Much Does a Mastermind Group Cost?

Now these mastermind groups always GREATLY vary in price – sometimes free, but often ranging towards thousands of dollars per session.

I myself have paid $350 for a 30-day program and $1,800 for a 3-month program – both greatly beneficial, though I found the longer group was what really propelled me into finding the success that I now have as a frugal-living blogger and business strategist.

That said, I do not recommend trying to go the free route with a mastermind group. Even if you have the drive to build connections, many others will not, as there is no investment to keep them motivated on the days where they’re feeling anything but.

How Do You Find a Mastermind Group?

There are a number of ways you can find a mastermind group, but typically you want to find one that is facilitated by someone who A) has the experience with organizational leadership and B) has worked within a number of mastermind groups to know what works/what doesn’t.

My best advice for finding a mastermind program is to ask in your favorite Facebook groups (like Entrepreneurs and Bloggers in the Spotlight!)

LinkedIn is also a great resource, provided you already have solid connections and can trust their recommendations.

That said, I often offer mastermind group opportunities like this one:

mastermind group for bloggers

This mastermind program is absolutely for you if:

  • You find yourself feeling as though you live online.
  • You can’t seem to find the balance between hitting your profit goals and not stressing over the amount of time put into your business.
  • The thought of an 8-week commitment makes you nervous – I can’t think of anyone better to join, because I KNOW you need help finding the confidence in your business and ensuring that failure is NEVER again an option.
  • You’ve been running your business for 6+ months and have yet to make a significant profit, despite strong efforts.
  • You read the part about isolation and felt your heart sigh. You don’t have to be alone in this!!

Unstick Your Stuck Group Outline

I will host weekly sessions in which we’ll share each other’s successes, struggles, and we’ll come together to brainstorm how best to help each of the members move forward. These sessions will be live, but recorded, so you don’t have to worry about working MY schedule into yours.

You will also be granted access to an exclusive Facebook community, provided lifetime access to recordings of all sessions held, and be provided with 24-hour support via the group and e-mail access to me.

We will cover:
– Setting + Strengthening the Foundation of Your Business
– Paving the way for passive income products
– Maintaining momentum to keep out of your lazy zone
– Creating a solid support system
– The best marketing techniques and how to adapt them for your specific business
– Time management
– Automation systems
– And SO much more!!

It’s important to note that this is not just a group for advice, but a positive place to bring your goals to life. Each and every one of us would be there to support each other and manifest each others goals. This group *WILL* be industry changing and if you’re eager to be a part of it, DO. NOT. WAIT.

Enrollment is currently closed, but be sure you’re on my e-mail list so you don’t miss the next opportunity!

Business Coach VS Strategist – What’s the Difference?

Business Coach VS Strategist – What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between a business coach and a strategist?

Well, for my new readers here, it’s important to know that I am not a business coach, I’m a strategist. And there is a HUGE difference between the two. Something you must understand prior to even thinking about spending your hard-earned money on outside help!

What is a Business Coach?

A business coach is someone who knows how to ask the right question, to prompt and prod you into figuring out your own solutions. S/he refrains from doing it all for you and instead acts as a sounding board, listening to your struggles, holding you accountable to your goals, and pointing you in the right direction towards achieving your goals.

When to hire a blog mentor or help building your business as an entrepreneur. Business coach vs strategist - what's the difference and why you need to know before you make that investment.

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A good business coach has great communication skills and works to guide you towards doing your own problem-solving. They have a tendency to talk things out and end the session with (ideally) you having figured out what next steps you should take to achieve your goals.

Being a coach, though, isn’t what I do. As I said, I’m a strategist.

What is a Business Strategist?

A strategist is someone who looks at the big picture: where you came from, where you are, and where you want to be. She evaluates your foundation, checking for cracks or weak spots, and helps to ensure you’re building a strong, durable business.

Think of it like Sudoku – you already have a number of pieces in place, but you’re missing key components to  full finish the puzzle that’ll lead to profits, and that’s where the strategist comes into play.

A strategist also tells you what directions you should take. A good strategist takes into consideration your current mindset and adjusts her approach accordingly, working with you to map out a route that will guarantee you success provided you follow it.

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What is an Efficiency Strategist?

Efficient business strategies are a must in business AND in life beyond work.  This is why The Lunar Woman‘s tagline is “Where personal development means business” – you have to work on yourself as a whole if your goal is to become a successful, profitable entrepreneur.

As a work-at-home mom with two under four, time management is quite literally my life. Without my own strategies, I’d be caught in a constant cycle of “good enough!” and I’d never see the five-figure profits I know I’m capable of (and that I know YOU’RE capable of, too!!)

An efficiency strategist (me) is someone who gets you out from under the overwhelm. We work together to develop time management techniques and a more productive mindset. We talk about where your efforts are being wasted, where you need to step up your game a bit, and how to do it all without risking that burn out.

It’s all about mapping out a route that works for you. If you can’t swim, I’m not going to suggest you cross an ocean to get to where you’re going. You’ll drown and I might be looked at a bit suspiciously – not good for either of us.

Don’t invest if you’re not ready!

I’m sure there are a few of you reading this thinking “Wait…does she want me to hire her or not?” But just as I’m careful about who I take on as clients, I feel it’s incredibly important that you take your time with hiring a mentor of any sort.

I hired my first “business coach” (and oooh how I use that term loosely!) about three years ago when I was first getting started working from home and she was really great at writing copy…and that’s about all she was good at. If I’d done my research, I would have noticed she’d never had a job outside of multi-level marketing and that’s exactly how she was treating her business – training others to be a “business coach” like her, never actually providing business advice or proven strategies. So now I’m all the more blunt about others doing their research – whether you’re thinking of hiring me or anyone else! It’s easy to be blinded by the money, but don’t let someone fool you into losing yours.

How do I know when to hire outside help?

Personally, I would never recommend hiring a mentor, coach, strategist, etc. until you’re at least six months into running your online business or blog. There is SO much free information out there that I have no doubt you can build a sturdy foundation without investing thousands of dollars and no guarantee of any sort of ROI at all. Most bloggers and the like quit within the first year because they quickly realize just how much work it truly is. Hiring outside help will certainly expedite your journey, but it won’t ensure you don’t burnout or realize this “adventure” isn’t for you.

So when you’re thinking about hiring a business strategist or the like, really take a moment to flesh out EXACTLY what kind of help you’re looking for. Do you struggle with marketing? Do you struggle with mindset? Do you struggle with content creation? Make a list of anything and everything you feel like you need guidance on and only then should you go out to try and find someone that might be worth hiring.

Once you do find someone who offers 1:1 programs, do your due diligence. Take the time to comb through their freebies (like my free Pinterest training series!) and see if their teaching style and personality fit well with yours. Don’t be wooed by the copy only to discover it’s not actually what you were looking for. Look at their LinkedIn. Actually reach out and talk to those they’re using as testimonials. Ask for additional recommendations within your favorite Facebook groups.

Above all else, trust your gut. It can be easy to confuse doubt/fear of failure with your intuition, but that’s why I always recommend you take your time. Any business strategist or otherwise that’s worth investing in will still be around a month from now!

Are you thinking about hiring a mentor?

Do you think you need a coach or a strategist?

Affirmations & Why They Should Be a Part of Your Daily Life

Affirmations & Why They Should Be a Part of Your Daily Life

What are affirmations? Is it just talking to yourself every day and making wishes while looking in a mirror? Not quite…

What is an affirmation?

An affirmation is simply a statement or declaration that something is valid and true.

When you pass by the hallway mirror on your way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, you notice out loud, “My hair is a mess!”

When you are loading up the family car with groceries, you might mutter, “I spend a small fortune every week feeding these kids!”

You may not know it, but those are affirmations (though negative ones). An example of a positive affirmation is something like “I deserve to be happy!”

How Do Affirmations Work?

It starts by becoming more mindful of your words, thoughts, and actions. When you catch yourself thinking or saying something negative, stop yourself. Find a way to put a positive spin on it, even when you don’t want to. I always say to ask yourself if what you just thought is something you’d say aloud to a child – would you tell this sweet baby girl that she’s a loser or that she’s too dumb to achieve her dreams?

little girl sitting in shopping cart

I certainly hope not! If you wouldn’t say it to her (or any child), do not say it to yourself.

As you re-train your brain to be positive through your affirmations, it will become natural, and it will influence your life in all areas, including your thoughts.

Developing your own affirmations may feel uncomfortable at first, but as soon as you get used to the idea of speaking out positive truth, it will be a normal part of your daily routine.

When you catch a glimpse of your unruly hair, you’ll naturally exclaim (perhaps with a fun smirk), “I have such beautiful, healthy hair.”

And as you put away groceries, you’ll think “I am so blessed to be able to provide so well for my family!”

Depending on what you hope to accomplish through positive affirmation, tailor the phrases to benefit you individually. Identifying where you have weakness in thought patterns is a great place to start. If you are hard on yourself in a particular area, or if you are struggling with something specific, combat the tendency to be critical of yourself by instead telling yourself what you would like to see, as though it has already happened that way.

If you still struggle to come up with affirmations on your own, look into buying affirmation decks and use those to help get you started.

mountains with inspirational quote

You are amazing!

A big part of using positive affirmations is choosing to believe you are significant and you are valuable. You will be amazed at how this alone will change your life.

If you are reminding yourself all day how valuable you are, your decisions will be made through a different lens, your reactions to negative circumstance will not be made out of fear, and you will develop a deeper sense of security in your emotional and physical well-being.

Think of it as a narrator in your life, reading the script as you live it out. If the script says that you are successful and happy, you act out the narrative believing that it is true, before it happens. You tell yourself what to believe, so that it will happen.

Tips on Finding the Positive

There are a few helpful things to keep in mind as you start on your journey towards a positive, healthy lifestyle full of new words, phrases and initially awkward declarations.

First, be grateful for who you are and what you can accomplish.

Second, don’t ever compare yourself to others.

Finally, don’t judge yourself or others.

As you implement these simple guidelines, you will be successfully affirming yourself with a consistently positive nature in no time. You can begin using your positive affirmations to influence outcomes in all kinds of situations.

You Listen to Yourself More Than You Think!

Usually what comes out of your mouth is a good indicator of what you believe. If you believe you are not good enough, you will voice that in a number of ways, and in turn, you’ll produce less than stellar results. You can use positive affirmation to turn the tables, change your mind about what you believe, and get positive results.

Remember that positive affirmations are a tool to re-train your mind into believing what you are telling it to believe. When you are speaking, pay attention to the words. KNOW that what you are saying is true. Believe that you are who you say you are through your affirmations.

Here are a few examples of positive affirmations to influence your day:

  • I trust myself to make great choices.
  • I am unique and significant.
  • I am totally capable of providing well for my family.
  • I was made to experience life abundantly.
  • I was created to be healthy and whole.
  • I am a source of great comfort, peace and joy for my family.
  • I am creative and resourceful.
  • I attract interesting people and amazing opportunities, because I am interesting and amazing.
  • I am calm and relaxed when I interact with others.
  • I study and comprehend what I read easily.
  • I am surrounded by love.
  • I have the means to experience life as I choose.
  • My body is healthy and functioning as it should.

As you continue to build on this practice, you will achieve far greater success in your life – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and financially.

You will thrive in your abundantly blessed life, and everyone around you will want to know your secret.

why worry quote

Do you have any experience with positive affirmations?

I’d love to hear about your successes!