Category Archives: Communication

Five Tips For Keeping Your Business Growing On Your Vacation

7.8.15It’s that time of year again.  Many solo entrepreneurs are ready to go on vacation.  They dream of white beaches, pleasant hikes, and hanging in a hammock on a tropical island.  They plan to come back to work refreshed and renewed, but often they return to work more stressed out than before they left.  Usually that’s because they didn’t plan how to manage their business while they were away.  And the result of no planning was tropical stress—there were no pleasant times spent lying in a hammock—there was work and frustration on a tropical island.

In order to help you avoid the stress of vacating, plan ahead and try these following five tips to insure that your vacation is just as you envisioned it.

  1. Plan to take your vacation during your business slow season; you know when that is for your business.  Stress will be reduced if you know that your potential clients aren’t really thinking about services anyway.
  2. Let your clients know beforehand that you will on vacation and how you plan to handle their requests while you are away.  You can send an email to your clients letting them know when you will be gone and how to contact you if there is an emergency.  If you write a monthly or weekly newsletter devote space in it to announce your vacation plans too.  Set your email to auto response with a similar message.  And remember to leave a clear voice mail message as well so that clients will be reminded that you are on vacation and the approximate times when you will return their calls.
  3. Set certain times each business day when you do intend to reply to urgent emails and business emergencies.  Usually, twice a day for a couple of hours is plenty of time to keep in contact with your clients.
  4. Find out in advance, if where you are going provides sufficient telephone and internet service.  If you are really going off the grid and there is no service, then have a trusted colleague set up to handle your business emergencies.  And, introduce that colleague to your clients in advance.
  5. Invest in a cell phone battery charger and computer charger so that you are not stopped by a dead battery and no way to charge it up.  Bring a travel power strip to eliminate the problem of a hotel room with not enough outlets.

Do these steps make sense to you?  Yes, it will take some planning ahead to insure that your vacation is relaxing and rejuvenating.  You will enjoy your time off more if you know that your business is running smoothly, and most importantly if you have been in communication with your clients and your potential clients regarding your time off.  They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and be impressed with how seriously you think about their well-being while you are taking care of your own.

Call Me…

3.18.15Like most of us I like hearing good news, and I love hearing breakthrough news from coaching clients.  Yesterday, I heard breakthrough news that is so exciting and over the top that I am sharing it with you.  One of my clients just closed a quarter million dollar contract.  She was excited.  I was over the moon pleased for her.

This contract wasn’t just going to happen.  This was not a lucky break.  She made it happen.  And she made it happen just like you can with taking the steps that are necessary to provide world class service to your clients.

Here are the qualities that produce breakthrough results:

  • A passionate belief in yourself and your ability to provide the services.
  • A clear vision of the core services you provide.
  • The ability to communicate clearly about your core services.
  • A continuing dedication to education about the latest developments in your field.
  • Knowing your target market like you know your best friend.
  • Keeping your word.
  • Planning your work and working your plan.
  • Communicating fully and honestly if you cannot keep your word.  Renewing a new “by when” for keeping your word.
  • Being willing to create a measurement for your results which includes “by whens” and promises and “go fors”.
  • Being willing to fail and to learn from the failures.
  • A refusal to be a victim of failure.
  • An unstoppable tenacity and persistence.
  • Having someone you trust hold you accountable for results.

Again and again I see these qualities in clients.  They are the people who have extraordinary results in their lives and in their businesses.

If you feel stuck.  If you feel like you can’t reach high enough for the breakthrough results you are longing for, please call me.  Together we can make your intention come true by clearing away what is holding you back from making that same kind of excited triumphant,” I did it!” telephone call to me.

I will look forward to hearing from you.


– Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


How To Make Lemonade Out Of A Sour Lemon – A Business Lesson

2.25.15The disaster began with a telephone call.  The caller told my client that the primary insurance product my client sells, was not paying the caller’s claims.  He went on to say that the insurance company was being black balled by a major medical service provider.  When he asked the caller, “Why?” all he got was, “I really don’t know.”

My client was devastated.  Almost immediately, several users of the service started canceling their memberships.  He was presiding over a train wreck.  And with each cancellation call, he was losing money.  He did what he knew to do—he started writing emails to the insurance company to see what happened.  They did not respond.  He then began a chaotic downward spiral of useless activity.  He started looking for a new product sell.  Then, finally, he contacted me.

After listening to what happened in detail, I suggested that his first step was to step back.  There was something about this scenario that didn’t make sense to me.  It was all too sudden.  What I suggested that he do is to check out the current ratings of the product’s performance on the internet.  And, talk to someone who could make a difference at the company to see from their point of view what happened to make the end user blackball the service.  His reply was that he did email them.  I repeated what I said, talk to a decision maker at the company.  Stay on the telephone line until you reach a decision maker.  Do not leave a message; stay on the line.

My client did what I asked him to do.  He talked to a decision maker at the company.  The man was aware of the problem; however he did not know that his company was being blackballed by the user.  My client’s action caused a turnaround in the company.  The decision maker could see that he needed to take immediate action in order to resolve the end users complaints.

There is not yet a conclusion.  However, there will be a change in the relationship between the two companies.  It was caused by my client.  He was willing to take a stand for his product, and he had the courage to demand that attention be paid to the problem.

So what’s in this for you?  You have the right to stand for what you believe in.  When something is not right, you have the right to bring attention to the problem and ask that it be fixed.  This is how good business practices happen.


Four Practices Of Successful Entrepreneurs

2.4.15In order to succeed in business, and in life, we need basic practices that become valuable, dependable allies when our problems loom larger than we are.

Every person has a set of default practices that he has learned over the years.  They usually remain in the background until we are faced with a challenge; then they come forward.  These default practices are seldom what is needed to succeed in business.  You may want to adopt some new ones.

Here are the practices I use every day. They are effective and powerful.

  • Keep your word.  Communicate immediately if you cannot.
  • Claim responsibility when something goes wrong.
  • Measure for results and include a “by when” date for the results to occur.
  • Have someone you trust hold you accountable for these results.

When business people use these practices there is a certain ease about them.  They are trust worthy.  If they make a mistake, it is easy to forgive them and carry on.  In short, on the playing field of business, these practices go a long way in having people be respected and successful.

They are not always easy to adhere to.  It is easier to remain silent (rather than communicate).  It is always tempting to blame someone else (rather than take the responsibility yourself).  And the safety of not telling anyone what we intend to do (in case it doesn’t turn out).  Haven’t we all done that?  In the end, the easy way bites us, causes more problems, and makes us seem untrustworthy.

Being conscious of using the practices gives you the opportunity to stand out, be respected, and trusted.

Do Your Emails Ruin Your Relationships?

Communication8.6.14There are “about” 59,900,000 submissions regarding Email Etiquette on the internet, according to Google.

I suspect if you were quizzed about the proper etiquette for emails you would ace the test. That is, if you knew there was going to be quiz. However, every day the wonder of email is being abused. Feelings are hurt, people are misunderstood, and people are even being fired by email.

We see it all the time in politics, people publicly humiliated because some governmental committee has subpoenaed their emails. And there it is out in the open for everyone to see—how snarky and unprofessional the subpoenaed person is—all because of their emails.

And yet, we continue to use emails as a way to express ourselves without abandon. And email abuse continues on its merry way in our lives.

One of the times that our emails do not serve us is when we are angry. Say we have been sending emails to someone about something delicate. The money they owe you. And their only response has been silence. Often times we get angrier and angrier and so do our emails. Instead try this: pick up the telephone and call them—actually talk about the situation in real time. You may find out something has happened that prevented them from paying you. You may together find a solution that works for both of you if you talk it out.

There is something about being present, even on the telephone that can soothe hurt feelings and also give both parties an opportunity to work with each other instead of against each other.

If you think about it, world peace negotiations are done in person not via email. There is a reason for that. Face to face, person to person works. Granted you are not in disastrous situations but it may seem that way to you in your personal corner of the world. Imagine what you could work out with your staff, clients and colleagues, if you did the same thing—talk about the situation in person.

There is something about the personal touch that makes a huge difference with people. Please use it as much as you can. Think about this the next time you decide to write an angry email about some challenge or slight. It could make a huge difference in the quality of your business and personal relationships.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you about this topic. Your comments always enrich the conversation. Please write your comments below.

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Do These Simple Actions Before You Go On Vacation To Insure Business Is Occurring

73014The end of July is occurring this week.  The beginning of August is tantalizingly close and so is your long awaited vacation.  Congratulations!

Here are some tips to have this vacation be relaxing and support a continuance of your business while you “vacate”.  Some simple actions to take before your vacation can prevent you from having to pick up the pieces of a stalled business and start over.  I am not saying don’t be on vacation.  I am saying prepare to set up your business so that it continues seamlessly while you are gone.

The easiest way to set up your business so that your clients aren’t left wondering about what happened to you is to communicate your plans to your clients.  This simple step seems like a “no brainer” however I have known many business people who just don’t say anything to their clients.  The first clue that a client gets about your absence is a sterile email responder stating the news.  That type of communication leaves the client high and hanging on the hope that you will see their email asking for service.  Instead, let them know who they can contact when you are gone.  Also, include that information in your email responder.

If you are the sole service provider in your business, set up abbreviated business hours for yourself so that you are responding to clients.  Set the time up so its compatible with whom you are traveling, so that they know that between certain times every day, you will be working.

Be certain that you have the communication tools you use with you and that they will work in your new destination.  Often, it does sound good to you to say, I will use Skype or your cell phone only to find out where you are going does not provide internet and or Wi-Fi or that it is too expensive to use.  Find out what is available before you go.  If you can set up the type of availability you need before you go, do that.  Yes, it does take some extra time to set it up but you will be so glad that you did once you are there.  Many cell phone providers have special low cost vacation plans that you can add on for the days that you are gone.  These plans can save you from paying high roaming fees.

Think through your typical business day, and make a list of what you use every day in the course of doing business.  Make sure you have those items on your portable computer.  Try out a typical business transaction before you go, and make sure it works without any flaws.  Make a paper back up to carry with you just in case you have serious computer glitch.

This list is certainly not exhaustive; it is intended to stimulate your thinking ahead of the vacation, so that business can occur and you can enjoy yourself.

I am very interested to hear what you would add to the list or take off the list.

Have a wonderful vacation!


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