What’s Your Definition of Success? Stepping Back & Re-Focusing

What’s your definition of success?

What steps do you need to take to reach the pinnacle of success?

Those answers will be different for everyone but the important thing is to revisit these answers every now and then. What we considered important or successful back in our 20’s will most likely be different now that we’re in our 30’s.

If you have a family, are you spending enough time with them and developing a close relationship or are you driving yourself into the ground, working 16-hour days?

What do you want your closest friends and family members to remember about you?

… How much you worked?

… How much money you made?

… Or how much time you spent together and the happy memories you created?

A few years ago I purchased a website called Small Business Branding.

This site was already successful in terms of having thousands of readers and I earned money from onsite advertising but I had dozens of new ideas of how to expand its reach and make even more money.

So I went about writing business articles and recruiting guest authors who helped me craft content that any small business owner could use. I had a virtual assistant on staff to handle the advertising placements and small technical issues.

But something just didn’t feel right.

After some time I lost interest in this topic and it became more and more difficult to create my articles. I found myself procrastinating about doing certain tasks but at the same time I had to force myself to work because of the monetary investment I had made when I purchased the site.

It was then that I realized that my ideas of success had changed. By many standards, I was successful because I had a website making good money.

And yet, the work wasn’t making me happy anymore.

Why should I use money as the only standard of success?

So I sold Small Business Branding and began to focus my attention on MYSELF.

When was the last time you really thought about what you wanted in life and if you were happy?

It’s one thing to answer the questions and dream about your perfect life but it’s something else entirely to TAKE ACTION and make that ideal life become a reality.

I really focused on strengthening my faith and spending more time with my children. I wasn’t the mom who was glued to the computer everyday; now I was more relaxed and the mom who loved to play games and laugh with my kids.

It’s very cliché to call your self-discovery a “pathway” or a “journey” but that’s the only way I can accurately describe it. Just because I sold Small Business Branding didn’t mean that I was giving up an online business.

My mind was still churning out ideas so I created Click Create Share.com.

Yes, it’s a website and yes, I still write business articles but it’s geared more towards those who have a calling in their lives.

They are not striving for the almighty dollar but are working to make money to help others.

Instead, they have a message to spread, a passion to help others, and I can help them by providing comprehensive marketing advice that will help them tell the world about their mission.

Now I wake up raring to work.

Knowing that my own mission is more authentic to who I am made all the difference to my own mindset and focus.

There certainly is nothing wrong with making money because we all need a place to live and food to eat; but the difference is my new audience is not driven by money.

They are driven by their God-given passions.

Does this mean I’m excluding those business owners who want to earn lots more money? Certainly not. I still plan to share my own business experiences and the marketing advice is almost the same, no matter who your audience is.

Now I’d like to leave you with an interview I did recently with a 20-year-old CEO.

I loved speaking with her because her excitement was contagious and she reminded me of myself at the same age. I was only 21 when I opened my first retail store and over the years that one store grew into 5 different retail locations.

This real-life experience and knowledge is what I hope to share with you at Click Create Share.

You’re Never Too Young to Start Your Own Business, Says 20-Year-Old CEO

With the tough times and in a competitive job market where recent college grads have difficulty finding work, Adylia-Rhenee decided to cut to the chase and create her own job while still in college.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

To be honest, I have never thought about anything else. I never knew exactly what specific field I wanted to go into but I always knew I wanted to be my own boss.
A year ago I wanted to be able to put my passion of philanthropy, inspiring and uplifting people into a business. That is what I did and how I got Yhorlife.com

Were you nervous at all because of your age?

No, because from my schooling I felt completely competent. I went to a prep-school since the age of 4 where the structure was all about taking the students from “dependent to independent learners.” I prepared myself that other people might not receive my age as positively but that is something I could not control or focus on.

Did your family & friends support your decision?

I only told my family members initially that I wanted to start a business. They were very supportive because they knew that if I focus on something I will work hard to achieve what I have set out to achieve.

Please tell us what Yhorlife.com is about.

Yhorlife.com is where people can join together and focus on a positive direction for their lives. It’s for people who imagine a world where intelligence, creativity, and hard work is recognized, celebrated, and rewarded. That reality would uplift everyone to inspire to be better, and be the best that they can be.

To have a life where you are in control and aware of your choices. Yhorlife.com is the answer. We believe it’s your life, take control of it.

We are an online community that celebrates hard work, shared values , and offer sound advice to those searching for a higher standard. As a member you have access to articles, interviews and discussion designed to solve problems, build relationships, empower, and have fun in the process. Industry experts, men and women of all ages provide a variety of perspectives in life, relationships, careers, entrepreneurship, education, parenting, and more.

Tell us about how your company gives back.

Yhorlife.com gives 10% of the membership proceeds to the Dreams of Simon Bolivar Foundation which supports the children and craftsmen of Grenada, Nicaragua. I choose Nicaragua because about 4 years ago I was on vacation with my family in Grenada, Nicaragua.

I was walking around and this boy about 8 years old whittled me a grasshopper from a banana stem. I didn’t have any money to give him but he didn’t care he just wanted me to have the grasshopper. What amazed me was how happy that little boy was with what appeared to be very little.

That’s why I choose to give back to Grenada, Nicaragua so that the young kids can go to school instead of helping their parents. Providing the craftsmen with tools to continue making incredible jewelry.

What are your biggest dreams for your business?

I would say that my business makes a difference and inspires people all over the world.

What would you tell someone about following their passion in life?

I would tell someone that before you follow your passion make sure that you can handle giving up some things you love or getting negative comments etc and if a person wouldn’t be affected by other people’s opinions then I would say go for it. To me business is like show business. You have to believe in yourself and your product/ business 120% before anyone else might jump on board. That’s the beauty of the journey so when you reach your goal you truly appreciate everything.

You can follow Adylia-Rhenee’s Journey Here

About Yhorlife.com

YhorLife.com is an online community that celebrates hard work, shared values, and offers sound advice to those searching for a higher standard. YhorLife.com members gain access to articles, interviews, and forums designed to solve problems and build relationships. Industry experts, and men and women of all ages provide a variety of perspectives on life, relationships, careers, entrepreneurship, health, parenting and more.

Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez decided to start Yhorlife.com to develop a community of shared ideals – a society comprised of people who want to reward hard-work, determination, intelligence and ethics.

“I wanted to start Yhorlife.com to remind people that there are others who are looking for smart, dynamic content that can impact their lives in a positive way,” says Gutierrez, who was born and raised in Los Angeles and now resides in Philadelphia/ tri-state area, where she studies finance at Temple University.

“When you surf the web or watch television today, you get the sense that our society is being dumbed down. Celebrities who are famous just for being famous are glorified and are now outnumbering the true heroes impacting the world in a positive way.”

Some New & Good Changes for Small Business Branding

There’s some pretty neat changes happening around here and I’m very excited about this decision. You see I’ve been wanting to pursue a road in life that is helping more people than just myself, and thankfully I’m now able to do this.

This is a bittersweet post.

Small Business Branding (SBB) has been a part of my life and my passion for a while now. I’ve ‘fallen in love’ with this community so making the decision to sell it wasn’t easy.

If you’ve known me for long you probably know that I’ve been a small business owner since back in 1996 when I owned and operated 5 retail stores. I made a huge decision to sell those retail stores so that I could create a life I wanted and so that I would have the freedom to spend more time with my husband and three kids.

I believe that there’s a time and a season for everything in our life. I ran those retail stores and SBB for a season and then it was time to move on. While I’ve made the decision to sell SBB I will still be a regular contributor around there.

This recent decision to sell SBB is going to help me move onto a new venture, one that will bring me closer to my genuine personality, my desire and passion to share my faith and do more for Mercy Ministries.

I’m excited to be able to start using my skills to help my church, my family and ministries. I currently go into a local children’s hospital on a weekly basis to deliver care packages, visit the children and just be there to be a voice of hope for them. I’m looking forward to doing even more and stepping out with boldness, doing things I’ve never done before and helping more people.

This is a new and exciting venture for me and I’m looking forward to being able to be truly genuine and share my faith on a regular basis. I’ve left Small Business Branding in the capable hands of Ken Chandler and I’m sure he won’t disappoint you. He’s got great ideas and I’m looking forward to still contributing.

Feel free to follow my journey into this huge leap of Faith! 🙂

You can see what I’m up to over at www.DestinedUnity.com and like I said before, I fully plan on being a regular contributor still here at Small Business Branding.

Please give Ken a warm welcome, he already has some wonderful ideas in taking this site to another new level and I truly look forward to see what he does in the future.

Create Loyalty & Confidence With Your Website

Customer confidence is imperative for small business owners. The more confidence your customer has in you and your business, the more loyal they become. Confident customers make repeat purchases and repeat visits.

Confident customers also tell others about your website products or services.

They spread the word.

Here’s how to generate customer confidence into your website.

Quality Content

One of the best ways to communicate your strength in your industry and give your customers confidence is to write quality content. Quality content positions you as a credible and trusted source of information.

It won’t come up until your customer is ready to make a purchase however a secure transaction with an SSL certificate is important. It shows customers you value their business and respect their privacy and security.

Testimonials

Customer testimonials are social proof. They tell your visitors that you have followed through on your claims and promises. Post testimonials on your landing page and where appropriate throughout your website.

Certifications and Associations

Any certifications or associations you belong to will also ad credibility to you and your website. They help increase customer confidence when they know you belong to other business organizations. For example, a BBB,  Better Business Bureau, certification can be the difference between a purchase and a click away.

Contact Information

Including your name, address, email and phone number helps people feel reassured that you’re not only a real business, they can get a hold of you if they need to. Place the information on your home page, in the footer is fine. And consider including a “contact” button or page to make your information easy to find.

Use your About page to tell people who you are and help your visitors get to know you. As a small business owner, who you are is often your strongest asset. Tell them your story.

How long have you been in this business?

What made you get into it?

Why do you enjoy it?

People like to buy from real people.

What is your experience?

FAQ/Customer Service

Make sure you have an easy to use customer service system including a FAQ page. When people have questions, they tend to trust those who present the answers up front or make it really easy to find the answers.

Policies and procedures. In this day and age transparency is essential. Make sure all of your policies and procedures are 100% communicated and up front. This can be communicated with autoresponders when people sign up for your list or buy your product. However, you can also make sure to communicate on your website itself.

For example, if you have a subscription form, you can have a link in that form to your privacy policy.
Establishing customer confidence on your website is an important strategy.

Take a look at your website from your visitor’s perspective.

Are you doing everything you can to ensure they have confidence and trust in you?

Tishia Lee Discusses Working From Home

Click Play to Listen To Interview

 
Tishia Lee took the plunge of working from home in 2006 and has never looked back. Tishia is the exact person I go to when I want transcription work done and boy is she fast!

If you’re looking to work from home and start your own small business you will find this interview to be very inspirational as Tishia is a single Mom and not only runs her business but she does it completely from home.

Tishia is able to live the lifestyle she wants and enjoys it.

Here’s More About Tishia:

Tishia is owner of Tishia Saves Time and takes pride in providing excellent customer service. Tishia knows that as a Virtual Assistant it’s about not just working with you as a VA but partnering with you to help you succeed in your business.

She offers several years experience in administrative support, transcription services, as well as other services. She is dedicated to meeting deadlines which she strives to meet ahead of time and pays close attention to detail.

Before starting her VA business in January 2006, Tishia worked as an Optometrist Assistant. While she enjoyed doing what she did, running a home business and working with small business owners to help make their businesses successful is what Tishia felt led to do. With dedication, determination, and perseverance, Tishia has built a successful VA business and continues to grow as time goes on.

To stay up to date and on top of technology changes and trends, Tishia is a member at Mom Masterminds, as well as several other forums and message boards.

Tishia is the proud mom to one child, a boy who is 10. They reside in Southern Michigan.

5 Tips To Magnetize Your Brand

Do you have a magnetic brand — what efforts are you doing to develop a brand that truly draws people to you and your company?

A magnetic brand is a brand that attracts people. Think about the brand’s you’re familiar with and attracted to.

What makes them magnetic?

Chances are they portray a certain image that you like to associate with. As a small business, you can take this theory and run with it to develop a magnetic brand for your business.

Here’s How to Develop a Magnetic Brand

#1 What is your personality?

Most small businesses would do well to brand their business to their personality. For example, if you’re a straight shooter then brand your business that way. If you’re fun loving, then develop a brand around that. And if you’re a serious sort, then use that. Branding your business around your personality makes it much easier to send a consistent and solid brand message. And you’ll be working with people you can easily communicate with and relate to. It’s much easier than trying to build a brand that isn’t you.

#2 Build your brand around your customer’s needs and wants too.

For example, if your business is about cancer insurance and you’re a sarcastic individual, the two many not go hand in hand. Consider the feeling and brand image your customers need to trust you and connect with you.

#3 Embrace colors and images that support your personality and the brand voice your customer’s need and be consistent when presenting them.

Use your logo, colors and graphics consistently throughout your web content, marketing materials and communications. Create a theme and an image you want to portray and stick to it so prospects and customers can begin to recognize you.


#4 Interact.

Get out online and participate in the world wide web. The more your audience sees you the more powerful your brand becomes. Experts say that people need at least three exposures to a brand before they remember it, which means you need to be out interacting online with your prospects and customers to make sure they know you. Use social media to facilitate the process.

This is what makes social media such a powerful tool. Three positive interactions with a prospect create brand recognition and social media opens you and your company up to thousands of potential prospects.

#5 Focus on what your brand does best.

If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Be unique and focus on your USP, Unique Selling Proposition. Differentiate your brand around your strengths and your personality. Determine what your brand stands for, and deliver on your promise.

Building a magnetic brand takes time, focus and consistency. Decide what your message and your brand is going to be. Make sure it fits with your personality and your target audience and cultivate your brand in everything you do. Be active online, participate in social networking and media, communicate your brand in your messages and activities and focus on giving your audience what they need and want.

Ed Roach Chats About Branding

Click Play to Listen To Interview

 

I invited  Ed Roach to be a guest here at the podcast to discuss all things branding. I had some very specific questions that I thought would really help you if with your branding efforts.

We discussed many things and to start I wanted to know what was the ONE thing we needed to remember about branding  — plus we talk about branding mistakes people make and you get to listen in when Ed answers my question about what he thinks is the “brand” here at Small Business Branding.

I think it will surprise you to know that branding is all about perception, what people think of YOU and your company.

Questions Asked On The Call:

1) What are the biggest mistakes you see people making with their branding efforts?

2) What is ONE thing we all should remember about branding?

3) What are the key aspects of branding?

4) How would you explain your brand at The Branding Experts? how would you explain my brand at Small Business Branding?

5) Truly what is the importance of a brand?

6) Why do you think people have a hard getting the fact that they need to brand?

7) any last thoughts?

Here is Ed’s Bio:

For 25 years or so I have developed positioning strategies for small businesses that helps to differentiate them. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. Opportunities come to light in every discussion. I consult predominantly with small business and and implement the solutions developed. I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed in all media regarding branding small business, most recently in “America’s Best” magazine and the “Christian Radio & Music Industry” trade magazine. I am available for speaking engagements and I have authored “The Reluctant Salesperson“, an Introvert’s Guide to Selling. Contact me if you are looking for practical advice on bringing your corporate brand to the next level. You can also reach me at my blog here.  I also have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, Czech Republic. I am currently working on a branding conference in Mumbai, India for next year.

Virtual Event Help: Case Study Review

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of hosting my very own virtual event so when I saw that Angela Wills had a product on how to do this, I defintitely wanted to check it out.

I love easy to read reports and this was one of those that I read from start to finish.  She describes in full detail what she did to host her event, how she got the speakers to participate and promote the event, how she set it up, what tools she used to set up her affiliate program plus more…. and a summary of each step (which makes it nice and easy to refer back to).  Nice!

Here’s What It’s About:

How to host your own virtual event and grow your income by building your expert status. Included is a case study of her own event and an action plan for you to print out and check off for your own event.

This report is for you if you are ready to get going with your own virtual event easily without spending loads of time setting up, Angela said she only took 3 weeks to get it done and ready to go.

Just 2 small Drawbacks:

As I was going through the report Angela was sharing basically step by step what she did to host her event.

1. Templates

Templates would have been super cool to have…

I was thinking to myself that it would be handy to have the template emails she sent out to event speakers, emails for her subscribers, and a sales page template.

2. How She Plans to Double of even Triple Her Success

She also mentioned that with this first event under her belt that her plan was to double or triple that success… I would have loved to know WHAT she was doing now to achieve this.

I love the “ordered checklist” Angela included which shows you at a glance exactly what you need to do to create your own virtual event.  It’s literally every single step she took to get the event ready.

She then went onto explain what to do for the following:

  • Prior to the event
  • The day of the event
  • Shortly after the event

These points above are all listed as checklists so you can see exactly what to do.

In the end she built great relationships with the speakers, made some cool cash and had a really great info product at the end of it that she could sell.

Personally I enjoyed this report and would love to see if Angela increases the product by adding those handy templates that I could just copy and paste for my own events.  If not, it was still worthwhile and made me feel like it was easier than I was thinking.

Ready for your own event? Click here to grab your own copy.

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