Posts

Success Strategies for Sensitive People

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 I took the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) forty years ago to find that I'm an INFP. Think what you want about that, but I'll just use it as a reference to say that my personality tends to land on the side of high sensitivity, empathy, and intuition. Truth be told, I find most marketing and sales techniques difficult to carry out and sustain for any length of time without ending up feeling completely exhausted and at odds with my own core values. The challenges I've had in all of my career and business efforts are mostly around finding ways to succeed while honoring my strengths and personality traits instead of ignoring them and playing through the pain. For me, the key to succeeding has been to focus on building high-quality, strong relationships with people and delivering service worthy of referral. It has worked, but it took time to figure out and build a system around it. An interesting observation recently is that the people who have been finding their way to my coaching tend to

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

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What if you don't know what you should be doing? Or if you don't have a clear sense of your life's purpose? Or what if it's no big deal and you just need to do anything for money for a little whole? All good questions that are the topic of today's Virtual Coffee Break. If you're at a place where you don't know what's next, but you do know you need to change direction, there are a few things I'll encourage you to do. 1. Make a list of all the things you don't want to do. Sometimes this shakes the cobwebs loose and makes you aware of things you truly want. 2. Follow your curiosity. Don't judge it; go with it and see where it leads. It kills cats, but not humans. 3. Line up for more education. You don't have to get a degree, but you can find an interesting subject and start learning more. 4. Find someone who is not financially or emotionally dependent on you and tell them honestly how you're feeling and ask if they have suggestions or gu

Celebrating Success: Nicole Murphy, Grace Yoga and Wellness

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Today, I visited Grace Yoga and Wellness in Loveland, Colorado, a business owned by my friends Nicole and Ryan Murphy. I've been inspired by their story since I've known them, but today I'm even more inspired after seeing what their business has become. To learn more about them and the business they've created, I'm going to recommend visiting their website, https://lovegraceyoga.com   You can read their story there and see where faith, vision, courage, and hard work can lead. Even if you're not a local resident, I'd encourage you to just hear and see what they've created.  If you are local, you need to go for an in-person visit sometime soon. There is something there literally for everyone. I wish Nicole, Ryan, and all others associated with Grace Yoga and Wellness a happy 11th anniversary in business. You've achieved something that most small business owners and founders never reach, and your success is well deserved! #smallbusiness #yoga #lovelandc

Jobs, Kindergarten, and Cover Photos

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  Friday potpourri... Sometimes we need to find part-time or full-time work to do to cover financial bases while we build a career, a business, or finish a passion project. My encouragement is to think strategically about the jobs you apply for and see if they can be one of the stepping stones in the direction you're already going. Want to be a professional speaker? Look for jobs within organizations that will be important partners as you pursue speaking opportunities. All these organizations require people with a variety of skills and experience. See if they have an opportunity for you that will also help you build your network for future opportunities. Also, stay tuned for a recorded version of my talk, Marketing LEssons, from the First Dau of Kindergarten. I gave that presentation again today, and it's fun to see the aha moments happen as people realize they've had all the relationship skills they need for marketing since their earliest friendships. Finally, you're m

Jess Kotzer on Social Media Animation

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The most common challenges I both experience and hear about social media are that it's overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. It can be repetitive work with mundane tasks lined up for days. Today's guest offers an option that many may find helpful in getting their social media task list under control. Jess Kotzer has been involved in digital marketing for several years and she's discovered a large number of tasks that can be easily automated so that entrepreneurs can get many hours of time back. In this short introduction, Jess shares some ways you may already be using automation in your email, scheduling, and basic social media posting, but she takes it many steps further, giving us a glimpse into how a tool like Airtable can be used to automate an entire content production and distribution workflow. If you have questions about how you might use automation to take some of your most overwhelming tasks off your plate, Jess is the first person I'll send you to. #soci

Ready for a Fall Project?

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A warm and blessed Autumnal Equinox to you! Today actually felt like Fall here - a high temp of 58F, some steady afternoon and evening rain, and the desire for something warm for dinner all seemed seasonally appropriate. It reminds me that I get busy this time of year as people realize it's time to start taking their project dreams off the shelf and get working on them. The majority of my coaching clients are people who want to make things and then make money with those things. The most common examples are blogs, podcasts, books, YouTube channels, and small businesses. Some people are asking for help with planning the upcoming year, or expanding their vision for something they've already started. All I can say is that I always look forward to this time of year and the people who ask me to help them get these things done. The hard part for me is turning people away, but coming into this busy season, I only have space to take on a few new coaching agreements. If you'd like to

Attracting Your People

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Why spend time on things like values, vision, and mission for your work? Because those are the subconscious thing people are attracted to. Client avatar worksheet is impossible to finish, or it just doesn't work? Maybe you need to spend some time clarifying your values video and mission. Maybe you could work more on articulating your specialty. Then the people who need it will be easier to find. Are your values front and center in your messaging? Try that and see if people are drawn to them. Do you try to hide your personality in the interest of being more professional? Maybe that is keeping people from seeing you and becoming interested in what you're doing. Are you reluctant to share your truth because some people might be offended or excluded if you do? Maybe that is what is keeping people from finding and seeing you. Attracting clients to your work isn't rocket science. Don't make it harder than it has to be. #customer #marketing #values 

Course Checklist Lead Magnet Template for Canva

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In a morning conversation with an online course client, the topic turned to creating a lead magnet to promote her course and to bring people to the enrollment page. She's done PDF ebooks for email opt-ins before, but she doesn't have the time to do anything that elaborate for the course. I showed her a simple checklist I use for my Quiz Quick Start course and how I put it right on my course enrollment page. I also made a Canva template for a checklist that you can use to build your own. You can see my Canva checklist design here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFG-soc_Vg/view?utm_content=DAFG-soc_Vg&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink You can download a blank checklist Canva template here: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFMtCWqng0/MRhNzjG2_SeBG6CJT2MO7w/view?utm_content=DAFMtCWqng0&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink&mode=preview Canva is a product I use every day. I'm also a Canva a

Better Results in Less Time

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After finishing the three courses I released over the summer, I took Robbie Samuels' advice and took a month off from production. (He talks about this in his wonderful book, Small List, Big Results that you can get here with my Associate's link: https://amzn.to/3xyGkKg ) I've read the book a few times and this was one of the practices he suggested that stood out.  The time off isn't necessarily idle time. It's time to reflect on what I learned and to identify parts of the process that I could improve. One of the things I have become aware of is how long it takes to edit course videos. As I looked back on the three projects, I realized that shooting the videos took very little time. I could record 5 - 6 lesson videos in an hour. Each course had about 30-45 lessons, so my video shoots accounted for between 8 and 9 hours of work. Editing the same 5-6 videos added about 2-3 hours of production time, so looking back over the process, I could have gained around 25 hours

From Aha Moments to Uh-Huh! Moments - Erica Holthausen & Audrey Holst

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If you're an entrepreneur and you've tried other people's blueprints, you may have found that their steps didn't work for your business. In this topical deep-dive, Erica Holthausen of Catchline Communications and Audrey Holst of Fortitude and Flow return to talk through some of the reasons for this phenomenon. In this episode, we talk about: ** Finding Your Business Fingerprint Instead of Buying Blueprints ** The difference between Aha moments and Uh-Huh moments ** The inner nudge toward transparent pricing ** Finding the business practices that feel best ** Entrepreneurship without training wheels ** Learning to listen to your body's messages Find Audrey at https://fortitudeandflow.com/ and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/audrey-holst/ Erica is discoverable here:  https://www.catchlinecommunications.com/ and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericaholthausen/ Franklin Taggart's blog: https://franklintaggart.com and on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.

Stuck In Traffic

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If you were watching out for the new episode with Erica and Audrey, it will be coming out tomorrow. Today was a mess. Monica needed a ride to a conference in Denver and I thought it was only going to take a couple of hours to get there. It ended up taking almost five hours today. One of the challenges I have in common with most of the solopreneurs and freelancers I work with is the possibility of chaos in my schedule. The Google Calendar looks sweet with all the colored boxes, but life's boxes are not as pretty. It's easy to get thrown off schedule, and recovering from those unexpected turns takes some time. So plan B was to come home and edit and release the E & A show tonight. When I got home, I had a dog to walk and feed, and a kid to pick up, so I'm now on to plan C which is to get a good night's sleep and finish and release the episode tomorrow. You won't want to miss it! #efficiency #solopreneur #freelancer  

Opinion? Or Universal Truth?

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I'm not sure why my comment was the one you felt it necessary to reply with a very vocal and highly capitalized opinion, but goodness! I didn't mean to ruin your day by telling someone I liked what they said and how they said it. Dear friends, we've got to get some perspective here. Our preferences and opinions are not universally true and applicable to all other human beings. Relax! I share my opinions pretty liberally here and I'm guessing that mine are too innocuous to draw much enemy fire. That, and I have an extremely small audience who doesn't have time for feedback. But dang! Universal truths could probably be contained in a very thin book, and could easily be challenged until there isn't anything left but a front and back cover. So why do we feel it necessary to put a goat's head on anyone who doesn't agree? I'm starting to wonder if our disagreements are built into the design of the universe for population control. Yours truly, Willing to be

Do You Need an Email List?

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I've built several email lists over the years for various enterprises. My music email list grew to about 3500 people over 20 years. This isn't huge compared to the efforts of others, but it was grown a couple of enrollments at a time when I was playing for small audiences consisting of mostly the same people. My current email list is less than 500 people, and I write only a few emails yearly. Most of my marketing for coaching is face-to-face, and I've not had much to promote through email. I'm not someone who will tell a new business owner that they MUST do anything regarding tools and tactics. I think we need only to concern ourselves with two questions - how will we make and maintain connections with customers, and do our methods work adequately? My social media experience goes back to MySpace. I've experimented with every platform except WhatsApp and Snapchat. None of the social media platforms have been as reliable as email for reaching people I need to stay in

Strategic Volunteering

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A recurring FAQ in my world is, "Where can I meet the people I need to know? They aren't at the networking meetings I go to." I remember back when I was in corporate sales and consulting that the place to meet new contacts was the country club if you could afford it. I couldn't. There were gym memberships, social clubs, service organizations, and other places, too, but many of those placed limitations on using their meetings and venues for making business contacts. One of the places I've had the most success meeting the right people for the opportunities I seek is through volunteering. I share a few of my favorite volunteer experiences in the coffee break, but if you'd like to come up with a volunteering strategy to further your goals and dreams, schedule an IdeaBurst session with me. This is a one-time 90-minute coaching session in which we'll clarify your goals and find the relationship opportunities to help you succeed. https://bit.ly/IdeaBurst to sche

Let's Make a Scene!

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Thanks to Jess Kotzer and the Self Pub Hub group for giving me a place to share some POV tonight. If you're an author considering self publishing, you should check them out here: https://www.selfpubhub.org/ A couple of insights came to me tonight as we discussed authors' marketing ideas. One was a reminder of something Tom Espinola, the producer of my CD Falling All The Way, told me. He suggested that one of the ingredients for my musical success would be to create a scene for my kind of music in the area. I think this may be one strategy with merit as we continue to navigate the impact of the internet on all things creative. Right now, most of us creatives are working in silos, only looking up to see what other people are doing. I think those of us who learn to leverage the amazing collaboration potential for audience building and promotion will have an advantage. We need to make a scene. More about this in the Coffee Break and insight into how collaborating to make a scene co

Lost Weekend?

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This weekend didn't go according to plan, at least my plan. 

Done Worrying About the Future of the Arts

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 For as long as I can remember, I've heard conversations and opinions centered on a deep concern for the future of the arts. As an artist myself, I've participated in many of these conversations, and there have been times I've been deeply worried about where fine arts, in particular, are headed. But I've recently started to see that worry as misplaced. There are a couple of indicators that fine arts remain alive and well. One of them is the ongoing high visibility arts are finding in the online realm. Maybe it's because I've followed so many artists and arts organizations on my social media, but I'm impressed by both the quality and quantity of artistic expression I see there.  The other indicator I see that encourages me is the accessibility of some of the world's major players in every field of art. People interact with creative artists like author SE Hinton, multi-disciplinary star Isabella Rosselini, Pee Wee Herman, and many others. I remember the th

Waiting for a Change to Come

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 As I write this description, the north wind is picking up outside, and our temperatures here are about to plunge about 40 degrees in the next hour.  This is a welcome respite from a Summer that has had more 90+ degree days than any I can remember in my history. For the past two days, my son has been released from school two hours early due to the high heat and lack of functional air conditioning in the schools. It has been a long, hot summer. We'll finally have a noticeable break from the extremes for the next few days. More seasonably cool temperatures are expected, and we may start to see some leaves change color. A welcome respite. It reminds me of the seasons I have in my business and how sometimes the dry spells last longer than is comfortable. We tend to forget that our enterprises happen in an environment that sometimes generates extremes, and we must be prepared for any of them. In the Coffee Break, I reveal my own circumstance of coming out of a period of high creative ac

Trusting Your Instincts (AKA Your Gut)

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I've always felt that my intuition and hunches are reliable, but I've been told to be more reasonable and logical in my decision making. Reason and logic are great, but they haven't been as reliable as my intuitive intelligence. In fact, when I've chosen the reasonable path, it's often been a dead end. I still don't know what to make of Human Design. My woo meter is off the scale, but every time I turn around, it's affirming something about me that is eerily true. Trusting my hunches is one of those things. The implications of this realization run wide and deep, explaining why the tools and tactics of other types don't work for me, and how I need to create my own based on my own inner guidance. Sound familiar? If so, https://bit.ly/BestNextStepCall to schedule a conversation and see what your personality has been trying to tell you all along. #humandesign #intuition #hunch 

Tell a Better Story

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 Life is a story you tell yourself. Don't like it? Tell a better story. Considering I'm a Wyoming native, it's taken me long enough to find the Longmire series of novels by Craig Johnson. It's nothing crazy, but there were a few decades where I didn't read any fiction until I realized I was becoming a dull boy and signed up for Audible. God knows I don't have the patients to sit down and actually read for pleasure. I recently read the Longmire book called the Western Star. The story was set on a train that was traveling from Cheyenne to Evanston, Wyoming, across the Southern part of the state where I spent many growing up years. The last time I saw my grandfather was in July of 1969 when he dropped my mom, my sisters, and me at the train station in Evanston to take the Union Pacific passenger service to Cheyenne, where my dad was working for the Summer. Gramps had worked on that railroad until retiring just a few years before. Craig johnson's depiction of th

Closer to Perfect Than Done

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If perfectionism has been something you work with, you've probably heard in recent years that "done is better than perfect." I'm guessing the roots of this motto are from the lean or agile movements. God knows I haven't had a software upgrade in decades that worked as it should from day one. This all started today because the computer I've used as my main video workstation for the past four years has started to sound like a jet engine preparing for takeoff, and the monitor crashes from overheating are becoming more frequent. Planned obsolescence has become so normal that we tolerate less than mediocre products as if there isn't a higher possible bar. SaaS services have been offering similar experiences. Short beta tests that don't address most of the bugs are released into the wild, where people like you and I are the second and remaining phases of development and testing. And I mention several of the Saas subscriptions I use have started charging more