CategoryEnterpreneur

The Key To Setting Realistic and Attainable Audience Growth Goals

When you set goals, it’s important to use SMART goals. That stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. In other words, setting goals that are both realistic and attainable is part of making SMART goals.

But how do you make sure that your goals for audience growth are realistic and attainable?

Know the Size of Your Audience

You may never reach every member of your audience, but it’s important to know roughly how many there are in existence. There may be millions of people who need what you’re offering them, but remember to truly narrow it down and shrink down that audience to an audience of one – the ideal customer, even while realizing how many potential customers are out there.

Understand How to Reach Your Audience

When you know your audience, you also know how to find them. If you know what social platforms they use, who they follow to learn from, what groups they’re in, and what they do in their free time, you’re going to be able to make better choices about how to reach your audience – thus improving your conversion rate exponentially.

Create a Growth Budget

One thing you really need to know about audience growth is that sometimes it takes money in the form of paid advertisements to reach the audience. For example, if you know that your audience loves to read a certain website and newsletter that also has Google Ads on it, how can you get your ad to appear there? Perhaps you can talk to the owner and make a deal too, but either way, you need to know how much you can spend on promoting growth.

Know How Much Time You Have

If you’re going to be doing all the content creating, publishing, and marketing yourself, chances are it’s going to take much longer to reach your ideal audience. Know that you can set your goal a little lower by realizing that you’re just one person.

Understand Your Skillset

If you’re not that great at audience targeting, you may want to figure out a way around it via outsourcing or by learning what you need to know. Setting a goal without knowing how to do what needs to be done can mean that you don’t reach that goal.

Be Willing to Outsource

When it comes down to it, if you have the budget, it may pay off big time to outsource audience growth. There are experts who will help you develop a freebie, help you market it properly, and more. If you can outsource, you can boost your growth goal so you can reach more people because you’re not doing it alone.

7 Skills Necessary For Lasting Business Success

Long lasting business success doesn’t happen by accident. As a business owner, there are skills that you need. Even if you don’t have the skills yet, you can develop them. Don’t allow the idea that you need a certain skill set to intimidate you. Instead, take it as a challenge to develop that ability.

1. Think and Plan Strategically

Being able to look at the big picture and develop an overall plan for success is crucial for a business owner. The reason is that a business owner needs to be able to step back and see the big picture. For example, it’s important to understand how each action you take affects another part of your business directly.

2. Set SMART Goals

You can learn all about SMART goals; entire books are written about this. The reason it’s so important is that it really works. A SMART goal means that each goal needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When you create goals like that, it’s a lot easier to develop step-by-step plans for achieving the goal.

3. Be Willing to Learn Marketing Skills

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a marketer, as a business owner you are. You can hire people to help you, but you do need to understand something about branding, types of marketing, and more.

4. Be a Sales Person

Everyone likes to say they hate sales and aren’t a salesperson. But as a business owner, you’re a salesperson whether you like it or not. It’s good to learn how sales work from a psychological perspective for your audience, so that you can deliver what your market wants and needs.

5. Be Organized Enough

It takes a lot of organizational ability to run an entire business. Even if you’re a sole proprietor, you still need to run all areas of your business in an organized manner – whether it’s marketing, or accounting, or customer service. The way to get organized is to set up processes and use software to help you keep organized.

6. Be Able to Implement and Do Things

Any business owner knows the key to everything is “doing”. But you need to know which things are most important to do and which things can wait. Usually, the things that make money take priority over the things that make no difference to your ROI.

7. Know When to Get Outside Help

Sometimes being a good business owner who is successful means knowing when you need help. Everyone can’t be a rocket scientist. Sometimes you must hire someone to get something done. Often when you hire an expert, you’re going to experience many rewards for getting it done right the first time, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel and doing it again.

Develop These 6 Skills for Impactful Leadership

Much has been written about leadership skills. But what does it take to lead an organization focused on impact, on social and environmental change, just as much as profits?

These organizations are special. They are the face of the changing business environment, as companies shift away from a profit-only focus to multi-stakeholder appreciation and social and environmental impact. They aim to hold both impact and profit as essential goals, hand-in-hand, complementing and supporting each other.

The data supports this partnership of impact and profit: companies that focus on impact have 12-50 times more revenue, a powerful argument for impact from a financial standpoint.

So what does it take to lead an organization that focuses on impact? It requires impactful leadership.

In my work with entrepreneurs and organizational leaders, and my research of high impact companies on the forefront of using business for good, even as they handsomely profit, I’ve found 6 skills that appear across the board in these successful CEOs and leaders:

  1. Self-awareness

The skill of self-awareness has two aspects: impact and behavior.

Impact: We all have impact, whether we are aware of it or not. Knowing that we have impact is the first step in self-awareness. Then we can begin to think about the kind of impact we are having.

Behavior: Impactful leaders are mindful about how their role influences interactions, and use that role to uplift and inspire. One example is to be curious about the impact that each individual in your company wants to have. That sets the stage for you to provide opportunities for that impact to happen.

  1. Vision

Impactful leaders must hold the vision for the organization, perhaps not alone, but certainly consistently. Vision answers the question of what it’s going to be like around here when we achieve it. An impact-focused organization goes beyond that. It adds another dimension: what’s it going to be like in our community, in the larger world when we achieve that impact? Impactful leaders include these conversations in the development of strategy and implementation. As an impactful leader, you become the touchpoint for others to follow and return to when clarity or resolve waver.

  1. Focus

Having impact requires a relentless commitment to that vision of impact. It’s not easy to infuse an organization with impact, which leads to the actions that are required to have impact and profits. For this infusion to occur, impact has to remain the focus throughout planning processes. It’s easy to let go of that focus when short-term issues and challenges overwhelm you and your employees. Rather than seeing it as a singular blindered focus that never shifts, it helps to see focus on impact as a process of constant course correction, as one would navigate in an airplane or ship.

  1. Lovingkindness

This word from Buddhist philosophy and Biblical roots does a good job of capturing the attitude of the impactful leader. These leaders consider love in their decision-making. Steve Farber, a well-known leadership expert, characterizes love as “just damn good business” that is integral to leadership, teams, and competitive advantage. The caring in treating people with kindness is vital to engaging people with the organization’s impact purpose.

Lovingkindness also extends to yourself as a leader. Treating yourself with kindness and compassion on those inevitable occasions when you fail to meet your own high standards is crucial to your impact. None of us is infallible, even with a lofty vision that benefits the planet and people. It’s important to be as kind to yourself, to be loving with yourself, as it is to extend love and kindness to others.

  1. Resilience and perseverance

Beyond the resilience and perseverance required to achieve financial goals in the face of obstacles and challenges, an impactful leader must be able to move through the setbacks in having an impact focus as you work to achieve revenue goals. Despite the movement of the business world into the impact economy, stakeholders may still provide pushback if financial goals are not being met, pressuring organizations to abandon long-term impact goals in the old school manner of short-term profit-only.

Having impact also involves a multi-dimensional approach and includes new stakeholders, like governments, community organizations, and non-profits. It requires resilience and perseverance to establish these new connections and cooperative relationships. Impactful leaders model the importance of these aspects in the development of strategy and establishing goals for implementation.

  1. Commitment to growth

Impactful leaders are committed to growth: their own growth and that of the people they work and collaborate with. Becoming a better and impactful leader means leaving the old iteration of you behind, and moving into expanded ways of being that better serve you and the organization.

Supporting others in their own growth includes programs and opportunities for employees, as well as suppliers and joint venture partners. When all benefit, impact is expanded.

Perhaps you already see these skills in how you choose to show up in your organization. If you do, you’re on a beneficial track, and I hope you develop them further. Great leaders are always learning and growing.

If you see some gaps, and most of us do, knowledge of these skills will bring you to more awareness as you move through your day. Your leadership is made up of all the choices you make, day to day, in how you show up, how you treat people, how you choose to carry yourself. With greater awareness, you can start to develop your leadership skills in these areas.

Leading an organization that has impact is a special challenge, one that will require your own skills and growth to succeed. By knowing what to develop, you are one step closer to greater impact.

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

Find Ursula on her podcast, Work Alchemy: The Impact Interviews where she interviews impactful entrepreneurs and leaders like Seth Godin and Marianne Williamson, and at WorkAlchemy.com for free resources for you and your business.

5 Keys To A Successful Mindset In Business

When it comes to having success in business, it might well be that your mindset has more to do with your success or failure than you realize. You also may have a negative mindset and not be aware of it. Here are some keys to achieving and keeping a successful business mindset.

1. Focus

Focus is definitely a key to a successful mindset. Continually remind yourself of what your business is about, what its purpose is, and why you’re doing it. Keep focusing on your goals by having them somewhere that you can see them.

2. Self-assessment

To achieve a successful mindset, you need to ferret out that negative mindset you may not even know you have. Here are some things to watch out for that may indicate a negative mindset:

  • Having excessive back-up plans and being over-cautious may mean you are doubtful about your success. Safety nets are understandable, but they can become a tempting escape when things are less than perfect. To be successful, you need to press through those imperfect times, not run from them.
  • Believe you deserve it. You may think that you really don’t deserve to succeed in business. You just aren’t “that type.” To be successful, though, you need to believe you are that type!
  • Uncertainty can be a manifestation of a negative mindset – you are not sure of yourself. There are resources out there; you can learn what you need to succeed. You just have to go for it.

3. Think Like an Entrepreneur

If you are starting your own business, it won’t work to think like an employee. You need to think like your own boss! This means the freedom and responsibilities that come with being the head of a business.

4. Believe In Your Product or Service

Whether you are selling something for a company or something of your own creation, you need to really love and believe in the product to succeed. If you are offering a service, you need to believe that you are offering something unique and excellent. Keep that mindset that says your product or service is absolutely worth it.

5. Not “I’ll Try”

If someone asked you if you plan to succeed in business, would you say, “I’ll try”? Then you have a negative mindset! You need to think more along the lines of “I will” or “I can.” Thinking “I’ll try” is a non-committal mindset that is not conducive to success.

Building a Solid Mental Foundation

I occasionally get asked about the importance of building a solid mental foundation. My answer is that every element of your game or work will ultimately rest on it. Thus, having a solid mental foundation is vital to you achieving the success you desire.

Just like the building of a house, where the quality of everything you build on top of the foundation will be compromised if it is not properly constructed, the same is true with your mental foundation.

Many golfers spend large sums of money working on perfecting their swing and a good number of basketball players spend similar sums trying to improve their shot. These are both good investments in their game, but if you do not develop an appropriate mental base, your beautiful swing or shot will not amount to much in terms of productivity.

A golfer or basketball player with the proper mindset and an ugly swing or shot will outperform one with an ideal swing or shot, who lacks the proper mental outlook, almost every time. The best swing or shot in the world cannot overcome an improper thought processes.

One key tenet of a strong or winning mind is a process orientation. Most people are result oriented and therefore prefer working on things of a physical nature where the results become evident to themselves and others rather quickly. For example, when you lift weights for the first time you see results almost immediately providing you with instant gratification.

Conversely, when you work on improving your mental game it is a fairly involved process where all the development happens on the inside. I like to say when you work on the inside it will eventually show on the outside, but there is rarely any instant gratification in mind work.

Building a solid mental foundation takes a lot of work and many athletes do not have the desire or dedication to change the way they think. Others simply do not recognize the importance of the mental side of performance.

By the time you reach the top levels of your sport the difference in athletic ability between all of the competitors is minimal. What separates the good from the great is almost always the way they use their minds. Many of the top players I have worked with have told me about guys on their teams who were much better than they are physically, but who are stuck on the bench because of their mindset.

The lower levels of sport are dominated by those with the most physical ability. The highest level of sport are dominated by those with the best mental games. The higher the level the more your mental game matters. I like to say that at the highest level the games become 90% mental, but although things have gotten better, most athletes still make the mistake of spending 90% of their time on the physical components of their game and this eventually causes a lot of regret.

As I often tell my clients, “There are two major self-inflicted pains in life, the short-term pain of self-discipline, and the never-ending pain of regret,” and it’s a good investment to do all you can, not live a life full of regrets.

3 Dangerous Thought Patterns That Can Destroy Your Business

Many people desire to go into business for themselves but few individuals actually do. And those who do, 6 out of 10 of them fail within the first five years. Why are these businesses failing? I’ll expose 3 dangerous thought patterns that can destroy your business and how to overcome them.

#1: Doing What You Want To Do Without A Clear Vision

A lot of people, who go into business for themselves are an expert in his or her craft. Unfortunately, most of them set themselves up for failure because, they start doing what they know to do and ignore the rest. These businesses begin operating according to the wants of the owner as opposed to the needs of the business.

It is this dangerous thought pattern that dooms their business before it even begins, and the reason is simply this:

  • The owner is so focused on doing what they’re an expert at, that they neglect working on what the business needs.
  • They have no vision for where the business is going or strategy for progress.

It is vitally important that you develop a compelling vision, values, purpose and mission for your business that gives you the clarity and fortitude to withstand the ups and downs that any business will inevitably have.

#2: Doing Business From An Employee’s Perspective

In the beginning, you can do whatever your business needs you to do. But, after some time, you find yourself doing not only the work you know how to do, but all of the difficult stuff you don’t know how to do as well. Then, ever so slowly, you realize there’s more work to do than you can possibly get done.

There’s nothing wrong with being an expert in your craft. There’s only something wrong with being an expert crafts-person who owns a business without changing this dangerous thought pattern! Because:

  • As an expert crafts-person turned business-owner, your focus is upside down. You see the world from the bottom up, from an employee’s perspective, rather than from the top down, from an entrepreneur’s perspective.
  • You were so used to working in somebody else’s business that, now, you’re working in your own.
  • But, while you’re working in your own business, there’s something more important that isn’t getting done. And it’s the strategic work, the implementation of systems that will lead your business forward, so you can live the dream you’ve envisioned.

If you want to have a viable business and not work yourself to death with this dangerous thought pattern, you must be able to make growth systematic and predictable. You need to think of a business as a series of systems that will lead to growth.

#3: Having a Tactical View Rather Than a Strategic View
When a business owner is focused on working in their business rather than on it, they become unclear of their priorities and try using every tactic they can get their hands on to bring in the income they desperately need. They impulsively try the latest trend or newest technique hoping it will work.

Well, in business, hope and guessing are not tactics. Having this dangerous thought pattern is not how you operate a successful business! You must have specific objectives or some way to measure whether that tactic is working or not.

You need to use a Vision-Based Framework to help you get the clarity, direction and focus your business needs to go forward. It helps you filter out distractions and use the right tactics that are in alignment with your business’s vision and strategic plan.

This is so important because, what your business is about is more important than what you’re selling.

As long as you have the dangerous thought pattern of viewing your business from a bottom up perspective, you are doomed.

Understanding the difference between what goes on in an expert crafts-person’s mind who owns a business, the mindset of an entrepreneur whose focus is on building and growing a successful business, and the 3 dangerous thought patterns that can destroy your business, is critical to discovering why most businesses don’t thrive and ensuring that yours does.

6 Tips For Staying Motivated When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

If your “get up and go” has got up and gone, here are a few suggestions to get your mojo back.

1. Stop Procrastinating

Chances are you might not be in the mood when you start, but you will gradually relax into a groove and get on with your to-do list. No matter how badly the work comes out, such as a new blog post, you have something you can edit and improve. Procrastinating will not gain you anything.

2. Don’t Try to Be “Perfect”

Many business owners overwhelm themselves by thinking everything they do has to be perfect. It doesn’t. It just has to get done. Do your best, of course, spellcheck your work and make sure you have said what you really mean and will not offend anyone before you hit the Send button. But otherwise, doing your best is better than doing nothing at all.

3. Avoid Overwhelm

A lot of people struggle to get their workday started because they are so overwhelmed that they literally have no idea where to start – and so they don’t do anything. If this is the case, it’s time for an honest assessment of what you are spending your time on each day. Consider outsourcing some of these jobs to affordable freelancers. But until you find the right helper/s, just pick anything from your to-do list and just do it.

4. Outsource Tasks That Drag You Down

There are always going to be tasks you love doing and look forward to each day. Chances are you are good at them, they are interesting, and you are proud of your work. Then there are the tasks that are dull, boring and you hate them. There are millions of freelancers online who can take these tasks off your plate so you can happily spend your time doing the things you love.

5. Manage Your Time Better

One reason you might feel unmotivated is that you’re spending so many hours on your business, but don’t seem to be getting the results you were hoping for. There might be a couple of reasons for this. One is that your hours are really not as productive as you think they are. Create a spreadsheet to track typical work days. Every 15 minutes, write down what you have accomplished. Then see how much of your work sessions can be spent on things that really grow your business.

6. Reward Yourself

Give yourself a little treat at the end of each task you complete. It could be a break, a nice hot cup of coffee, or five minutes of watching funny videos online – just don’t get carried away.

To Increase Revenue, Focus on Your Impact

Companies that focus on impact have between 12 and 50% more financial success than those that focus primarily on profit. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the financial results of companies like Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and Dr. Bronner’s bear this out.

There are really two key words here: impact and focus. If your impact isn’t infused into every aspect of your business, you won’t realize your company’s full potential. It’s that consistent and inclusive focus on impact that guides you to more financial success.

With my impact-focused clients, it all begins with developing your Impact Purpose, a clear statement of the impact you want to have.

Do you find your Impact Purpose inspiring? Does it fill you with energy? If it doesn’t, at least most of the time, you might be on the wrong track. Your clarity about the impact you want to have, whether it’s social or environmental or both, serves as the rock on which you build and grow your impactful business.

When you steadily focus on your Impact Purpose, you’ll find your thoughts turning from short-term pain to what you could achieve in your business and community. This thinking about others, and not just yourself, is a way to bring you out of the doldrums or away from unhelpful divergent thinking, and back into focus on your impact.

Reinforce this by having your Impact Purpose statement in front of you, every day. Have it on your desk or screen. In your wallet. On your fridge. Wherever you will be regularly reminded of what you intend, personally and with your company.

Plan your day and week with your Impact Purpose in mind. Include your company’s Impact Purpose in your decisions about how time, money, and resources are spent, and with whom.

Spend the time and effort to ensure that your team understands the company’s Impact Purpose just as well as you do, so that they can make those aligned decisions as well.

Thoughts aligned with purpose are a powerful creative force. Fill your and your team’s attention with something worthwhile.

Focusing your company around impact, infusing it throughout your company, is a significant and powerful growth strategy.

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

To Be a Strong Leader, Know Your Limits

We spend a lot of time in our culture emphasizing possibility and lack of limits. You can do it! Everything is possible!

In a sense, that is true, as the field of possibility does allow for much to unfold. However, our relentless focus on lack of limits doesn’t allow for us to know when the way is not clear, when the way closes behind you.

Knowing your strengths is tremendously helpful. You can focus on them and develop them further.

Knowing your limitations can also be a great strength, if you also embrace them.

My own limitations include a lack of ability to give as much value to clients that are unwilling to go deep. I can work with this for a time, to try to bring them to a place of comfort where they can begin to go deeper. But I eventually reach my own limit. It’s not in me to stay with it indefinitely to give the value that I know can be realized.

I can either beat myself up about this, saying that I should do whatever it takes to get this client to go deep. I can lament my own lack of patience. Or I can recognize my limitations and not do myself or my potential client a disservice by taking them on.

Acknowledging your limitations can create a safe container where you can romp around all you want, being creative and contributing a great deal.

Your leadership benefits from knowing your limits. Here is the doorway to allowing other people to contribute their own strengths where your limits leave gaps. Business is a team effort, after all. Your joint contributions make your business stronger.

Fighting your limitations and spending a lot of time ignoring them or pushing against them can be destructive and waste a lot of your and other people’s time.

As often happens in life, a closed door also means the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is to stop pounding on the door, turn around, putting the door behind us, and welcome the big opportunities that now lies open to you. More opportunities for contribution, fulfillment, and impact.

To live well and fully, to have the most impact, is to live with the creative tension between our limits and our potential.

Whatever door is closed to you, it’s useful guidance. Honor your imitations. Onward.

Ursula Jorch is a speaker, business coach and consultant who helps entrepreneurs grow a successful business that makes a difference in the world. A 21-year successful entrepreneur herself, Ursula helps you define the difference you want to make in the world and develop strategy and marketing so you have ever-expanding impact.

4 Daily Habits Of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is hard. It needs unswerving discipline, and confidence in yourself and your business. Lots of people lack the opportunity to enjoy it. But for the few who are determined and ready to put in the hard work, entrepreneurship is the most fulfilling job, identity and lifestyle in the world.

Let’s look at 4 daily habits of successful entrepreneurs.

1. They stick to a routine

A day has 24 hours only and as an entrepreneur, time is the most valuable thing in the world. To get the maximum potential out of every day, successful entrepreneurs follow a strict schedule.

For instance, Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, schedules his whole day in five-minute blocks and he breaks up his week, where on Mondays and Thursdays he focuses on SpaceX and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays he pays attention to Tesla. He splits Fridays between both companies.

2. They read a lot

Most successful entrepreneurs make learning a regular daily habit. For instance, Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, reads 50 books a year. As an entrepreneur, you need to learn as the world is continually changing, and the most impactful entrepreneurs create their profiles by improving their knowledge.

If your background is in design and strategy, as an entrepreneur you must have engineering and computer science knowledge to contribute meaningfully to your ventures. Examine your future goals and establish what skills and capabilities may hinder you, then start learning today to be ready for those roadblocks. For engineers and designers, that obstacle may be management, finance or project planning. Yours may surprise you!

3. They exercise daily

Yes, exercise keeps your body fit and the mind sharp, and it has a great impact on an entrepreneur’s long-term achievement. The reason is that it relieves stress and helps maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to exercising and keeping fit. Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, increases his productivity with daily exercise.

Don’t make excuses! Fitness and mental calmness are essential for a happy lifestyle. They’re the building blocks to your productivity for days, weeks and months. Find a sport, activity, or practice suitable for you and make it habitual by being responsible.

4. They stay positive

As an entrepreneur, you’ll face many challenges, but what makes you succeed is a positive and creative mindset. Every day. Being able to see things from a positive dimension means you can see interesting and unique opportunities others can’t see.

If you can’t remain positive, it’s time for a change. For instance, Steve Jobs started his mornings by repeating a simple mantra: “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” If he answered this question with a “No,” then he knew it was time to make a change.

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