We never know where the day will lead us, or the leads that will take us down the path of meeting new people and creating opportunities that may impact our lives, and our business.
As a member of ProfNet, a PR Newswire service, I get press leads that I respond to by reporters nationwide. I respond to these leads for my two businesses, www.PartnerPromotionsInc.com and www.LetsMakeYouShine.com. Both promote visibility in the marketplace; the first for Fortune 500 companies that want a big bold presence with Brand Ambassadors and Brand Educators, and the latter for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to get noticed, with traditional and non-traditional PR and promotions strategies.
One (of many) WWW Surprise(s) came when I found a hot lead for an Etiquette Expert and was unable to retrieve my database. I asked my best business buddy, Google for some help, and reached out on the great WWW to share an opportunity. What would Google show me?
The answer was clear. Jodi Smith, from www.Mannersmith.com showed up with high rankings, and we corresponded by email over the course of a few months. As life would have it, she also lived in the same seaside town I would eventually move to. When we met for coffee, I was not only blown away by her accomplishments and expert status, but we also shared a sense of entrepreneurial comradery.
As a fellowpreneur and great marketer, Jodi gave me a list of people who I should meet. She made a virtual introduction to the Director of PR and Communications at Salem State University, and shortly thereafter we met for breakfast. That in turn lead me to new connections of interns and social media assistants, as well as an upcoming visit to the Enterprise Center, an incubator for new businesses that are growing stronger every day.
Taking a risk, making a phone call, breaking patterns, and just having conversations – it’s all about connections that may lead to surprises – in person, on the web, at networking events, on the street, or at an upcoming holiday party you may be attending.
Oh, there are great surprises out there. I’ve always loved the power of possibility.
How ‘bout you?
I hope you are all safe and sound from the storm, with the comforts of home and office at your disposal.
Each week, I respond to a handful or two of press inquiries, and was featured recently in CEO Blog Nation, a community hub featuring niche blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Although as I write this I don’t know what portion of my response was selected, I contributed a few ideas on Essential skills for the Entrepreneur.
Granted, there are more than three skills every Entrepreneur needs, but, I did share a few which resonated to me (not including the quintessential sense of humor, which I hope is a given).
Here’s my take on three essential skills every entrepreneur should have:
- Flexibility—a willingness to be wrong and course correct. The ability to adapt, improvise and overcome problems – and be ok with change.
- To clearly communicate – with yourself and others. To put your ideas through a funnel and crystalize what your message is, and ideas on how to get there. When you are clear you save time, energy and are more efficient. A foggy mind creates confusion. A confused mind never buys an idea, a proposal, or enthusiasm in a new project.
- To be resourceful – to get different results, you have to try something new. Being resourceful is about being open to ideas, even if they haven’t worked in the past. People, situations and timing change – so looking at a problem with a fresh perspective and attitude can yield new results.
These skills may seem simple, yet a collection of them make up the back bone and character of every entrepreneur, small business owner and working professional who wants to succeed.
Notice that I didn’t write about the desires of entrepreneurs. Maybe I should send a query about that – including a healthy lunch delivered daily with extra vegetables, a new wardrobe every quarter, and acting coach to help with video presentation, and delivery on camera!
As an important side note, I’d like to thank those who wished me a Happy FrakenBirthday the night of the storm. #1 skill of the entrepreneur is flexibility, so I’ve been celebrating in bits and pieces all week. Thank you again to my family, special friends and Facebook acquaintances for wishing me well.
And, another essential skill? Keep promoting yourself and expanding your brand.
Believe me, it all adds up, even when you stink at math!
Happy November (already)?
I have a handful of clients that I search press opportunities for, and it’s always so much fun to see where their quotes and stories end up.
One of my clients is Lois Barth, a New York based lifestyle coach. She’s been featured in Elle, Glamour, Fitness and more magazines than you can imagine. She’s also a keynote speaker, taking her message to major corporations nationwide.
An entrepreneur, speaker, small business owner, heck — even experts, need to get out there in the marketplace, and be seen. It gives them credibility, content for their websites, and makes them, well, feel good. It’s validation that the work they’re doing is on target, and pressworthy.
Here’s a recent mention that I helped Lois with – from Sotheby’s International. It starts on page 3 and she talks about how buying a piece of real estate is a catalyst for change and reinvention. http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/077680e9#/077680e9/1
If you have an extra minute, make sure to look at Sotheby’s properties. Some may be just right for your vision board!
Get noticed in the press as an expert. Get recognized for who you are. Get out there in a big way.
Live your dream!
I’m finding that with the current economic marketplace, I advise small business owners to give lots of added value.
Instead of discounting programs, I suggest that they add to an established program. That often makes a difference; i.e., a half day session included with a six month program, for business coaching for example.
There are many vendors that may offer your service, but you have to personalize your products to their needs (not yours) without giving up integrity, or doing it for free.
By adding a little extra, of their perceived value, you’ll turn a prospect into a customer.
Today’s Million Dollar Tip, is something you may or may not be doing. But, it’s important enough to be a reminder. Stay current with what’s going on in your industry. Take and make the time to learn, and see what others are doing, and how they’re doing it.
Some professionals have to do it to keep their jobs or license.
Entrepreneurs, and small business owners are sometimes so busy “getting” and “doing” all the work, that they put learning and continuing education on the back burner.
I’ve come to learn that connecting with experts, and those who may know more than you in a certain subject, is an important part of growth and expansion. It may be costly, but doesn’t it cost you every time you lose a job, customer or quote?
If our role as a business owner is to help clients solve problems, my thought is to have all the tools (or as many as possible) in your tool belt to help get the job done, and done well. You may not have all the tools at hand — all the time. Some you may have to borrow (a colleague’s advice). Some you may have to rent (hiring an expert ). Some you may send away for (CD’s, books, programs). And frankly, some you may have to dust off and re-sharpen (proposals or ideas that were brilliant that you may have forgotten)!
For me, it’s spot coaching on areas I’d like to learn more about. I’m reading, listening, and working with experts to grow my solid knowledge base to new levels.
For some learning is an excuse to not do the work. For me, it’s inspiration to be able to help more.
Robin Samora, Business & Life Strategist, discussed ways to use your brilliance to boost your bottom line at a gathering for small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Citizen’s Bank in East Milton on February 15.
The group was eager to learn from Samora, a successful entrepreneur who has launched two companies and makes it her mission to help small business owners make more profits, get more attention, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Robin, who has worked with major Fortune 500 companies promoting products and services, wanted to utilize her talents and years of business experience, realizing that she loved working one on one with clients and small businesses.