Category Archives: Results

This One Tool Will Fuel Sales

There is one tool that all serious entrepreneurs need in their office.  This tool has a magic effect of skyrocketing sales to a new level.  And, I would bet that not everyone reading this has it.

People who have it, or perhaps several, report to me that it is this item that keeps them on track.  People who use it daily, report to me that they have surpassed their sales goals, sometimes to higher levels than expected and sooner than they expected.

It is the most important tool to have on your wall.  It is placed right where you see it several times a day and most definitely will get your attention when you enter your office or are daydreaming instead of causing something to happen.

What is it?  Can you guess?


Yes, a simple whiteboard in a medium size.

Now, why am I attributing such magical sales “juju” to a whiteboard?  I do so because, when you begin using a whiteboard to manage sales, sales occur.

Why is that?  When used properly, daily, you will become focused on making sales.  You will know who to call, when to call them, and certainly you will know how to close the sales because you are your best sales person on staff.  After all, it is your company, your creation.

Here is the best way to use a whiteboard.  First, write in large letters in the upper right hand corner of the board, your sales promise and go for the year.  Underneath that all the prospects you currently have to close, and next to each name – the amount of the sale you intend to close.  Next to their name and the amount of sales, write the date by when you will close this sale.  Underneath that, write the actions you will take to close the sales.  Give each action a by when date.  Finally get to work contacting those prospects.

What will happen is that you find out that some prospects aren’t prospects at all.  Take them off you board.  Then you will find new prospects, put them on the board.  Follow the same instructions as before.

What happens to you is that you are actually engaged in managing for results.  You have a vibrant tool that continues to change and grow and multiply before you.

You have created a silent and powerful partner in creating what you say you want to create.  And, this creation will happen.  YOU will make it happen.

Clients who actually use this tool report to me with glee that they just sold this or that.

If it sounds to you that I am passionate about whiteboards, you are right.  Try using one or two as I describe above.  I will look forward to hearing about your new sales.

If you feel stuck in moving your business forward, please contact me.  I am here for you.


Who Are You Accountable To?

9.2.15Accountability is never to a number. Accountability is always to a person.

Simon Sinek

The question in the headline: “Who are you accountable to?” is a sticky one for entrepreneurs, especially if they are small business owners who are performing every function of the business–product creation, sales/marketing, administration, production, leadership and chief technician.  You wear all the hats and are frankly accountable to no one but yourself.  Most likely, that is why you started your own business.

In fact, the nature of the question actually insinuates you should be accountable to someone other than yourself.  But, is that true?  Isn’t it possible that you can and will be the person that you are accountable to, and that you as a solopreneur have the ability to compartmentalize your functions so that you can be accountable to yourself?  Yes!  That is possible.  What is important is that you are accountable to someone, even if that someone is YOU.

So, what is accountability?  According to the Webster’s Dictionary –Accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

The strength of the definition is in the phrase to account for one’s actions.  In order to be able to be accountable, one has to design measurable results for each of the functions of the business.  The measurable results are most powerful when they are quantifiable, specific, and also have a “by when” date attached.  When you do that then you have set up a way to be accountable to yourself.  Your planning does not have to elaborate, but it does have to have at least the minimum categories of what, by when and how much.  There are a ton of ways to plan for your business offered both on the internet and in business books.  Keeping in mind that simple plans are usually easier to implement than detailed plans with minute categories and subcategories.

Following this simple plan based on accountability will give you the structure you need to review the success of your business.  It will also make your business successful since you are being accountable for its success.  As your business grows you may want to engage someone to work with you to continue to grow your business.  If you already have a habit of accountability, you will be able to expect others who you hire to be accountable too.  Accountability allows you to set a standard of performance that will ensure that your business is outstanding.

5 Questions To Ask Before You Start A Business

6.3.15There are few things more exhilarating than having an idea for a new business, if you have the entrepreneurial spirit of adventure, “can do” and any thing is possible.  Entrepreneurs can see a pot of gold at the end of every good idea.  It is that spirit that I appreciate about entrepreneurs and it’s why I am a business coach.  It’s their energy and enthusiasm that lights me up.  Enthusiasm and the “can do” spirit have created many great innovative services that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

Recently I was approached by a colleague about a new idea.  I was excited for her; I could see that this idea would work.  I know she has the spirit, the intelligence and the drive to pull it off.  I also could see how she could make a lot of money with her idea.


Before she quit her day job and plunged into implementing this new idea, I recommended that she ask herself the following 5 questions.

  1. Who is your target market?
  2. How can you know that that target market actually wants or needs the service?  What problems will you be solving to meet the needs of the target market?
  3. How will your service be different from those of your competitors?  Keeping in mind that there are already solutions being offered, how is your solution to the target market’s problem better?
  4. What will be the “WOW” factor of your business service?  Jeanne Liedtka, a design and innovation expert at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business says this about the “WOW” factor: “That’s the intersection of something that customers want, that you can create, and that’s likely to have a profitable business model associated with it.”
  5. How much capital do you need to fund the foundation and maintenance of the business before it turns a profit?

These questions are not the only ones to answer, however, they are great starting out inquiries to allow your new entrepreneurial adventure to succeed.  Actually spending time with these questions will point you in the direction that will be most effective in getting your business started up.

If you get stuck along the way, please call me.  I am here to partner with you to make your business idea be as successful as you dream it will be.


Photo by Renjith Krishnan from

What’s Your Most Powerful Word?

5.27.15How is your business going?

We do not always think about the power of the words we use to describe our lives, feelings, behaviors and yes, our businesses.  It is through what we say about our lives and business that we define how we behave and even the outcomes that happen to us.

Phrases and adjectives can actually define what happens to us.  For instance, years ago I was a probation officer for both juveniles and adults.  It was the words, tattooed on my clients arms and hands that indicated to me what they really thought of themselves; and many times, more often than not, those words totally described their lives.  I would wince when I saw the words “Born to Lose” tattooed on a body.  Each time I saw it I knew that they were fulfilling on their own prophesy.  These people did not think they had a chance so they didn’t take the actions that would have changed their “bad luck”; they just kept on doing what they had always done, even though they knew where it would lead.

I think that you get my point here.  So, what word will you choose to inspire you and your business as you head into the the second half of 2015?

Here are some words that I found on “List ly” that people are using to describe the results that they want in themselves and their business: awake, implement, smarter, ignite, abundance, amplify, progress, living, re-imagine, humility, simplicity, know, embrace, give, action, now, uphold, do.

The word that I find inspiring is “powerful”.  The rest of this year will be powerful for both my clients and for me.  Using that word as a litmus test for actions, and then measuring for results, will give me a pathway for achieving what it is I want to achieve.

Now it’s your turn.

What is your word?  What word will inspire you to make the rest of 2015 awesome?


Making Lemonade Out Of This Lemon, An Impressive Lesson About Resiliency

5.20.15One of my clients has spent months and lots of money on creating a new product to sell to his target market.  It was decided that a guest event would be the ideal way to launch the product.  Invitations were carefully crafted and sent to a large segmented base of potential clients.  Phone calls were made, reservations for the event were noted and then carefully followed up to make sure that attendees were coming.  This event was going to be great!

Except that it wasn’t.

One person showed up.  Yes, that was it…one, lone person showed up.  To say that the event was a no go is an understatement.

Think about it.  What would your reaction be to this huge disappointment?  Tears?  Anger?  Despondency?  Regret?  Yes, me too.  However, this is what happened instead and the reaction became a lesson in resiliency.

This client led the event to the one person audience.  And then this is what he told me afterward.  I learned so much about what I was doing wrong.  I now know how to fix my presentation and will do that.  It was so empowering.  I am very excited about the value that I have created and now know how to relate it to more people.

We then spent the rest of our session planning for the new event and adjusting how to promote it so that it could have the maximum appeal to the target market.

You see he didn’t give up or waste his time on being despondent and victim of the circumstances.  He believes in himself and the new product so much that he couldn’t waste time feeling sorry for himself.  This person is very intentional, purposeful and focused on the end result.  I have no doubt that the next event will be well attended and be what he intends for it to be, something to make a difference in his clients lives.

When something goes wrong and you claim responsibility for it, something powerful and magical happens.


Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut,


No Joke!

4.1.15Happy April Fool’s Day!

This day is favorite for pranksters and jokesters to have some innocent fun with their colleagues.  The day was created in the 16th Century.  It is not an official holiday in any country, however, it is enthusiastically celebrated throughout Canada, Europe, Australia, Brazil and the United States.  I do hope you have a prank up your sleeve so you can have a good belly laugh with your friends.

What is not a joke is measuring for results in your business.  If you do not do this one simple thing, it is highly unlikely that your business will achieve the success that you want.

What is it about measuring for results that keeps us from doing it?  Is it fear of failure?  Of not measuring up?  Somewhere along the line we decided it is better not to know if we are succeeding than it is to know that we haven’t succeeded.  Also, measuring for results then has us be accountable for what we said that we would do.  In order to avoid the domination of accountability, we just simply do not report or measure for our results.  Consequently, we walk around in the fog of not knowing what we are achieving and making ourselves wrong for not achieving it.  This is a formula for insanity.  Really, when you think about it, why would we do that to ourselves?

The best way to train yourself to measure for results is to set up a daily game.  In this game you name just one thing that you will do to move your business forward that day.  Write it down and make it measurable.  An easy example of doing that is to design the number of sales calls you will make for that day.  At the end of the day, write down what happened.  Boom!  You have measured for a result in your business.

If you analyze why it happened or didn’t happen, you will be one step ahead of learning what works and doesn’t work in the daily practice of your business.  Keeping in mind that zero is a number, and there is nothing wrong with zero.  After all, it is a starting place.

This practice elevates your understanding of what works and what doesn’t.  You will develop more strength in managing your business for success.  Who doesn’t want that?


Image courtesy of Taesmileland at


This Is A Great Time To Begin

3.25.15Spring is the time of plans and projects.

Leo Tolstoy

No matter where you live, and what the climate is like right now: rain, snow, sleet, winds, sunshine, it really doesn’t matter does it?  It is Spring.  Spring!  Even the word sounds hopeful, fun, exciting, energetic and makes you hum a little.

Today’s topic is “time to start your new plans and business projects”.  Imagine my delight to see that Leo Tolstoy also thought the same thing.

April is the beginning of a new business quarter.  It is also the time to formulate and implement new business projects and/or plans that you have been thinking about.  Given that you have reviewed the success of the first quarter, you know where you want to spend your time creating something new, or if not create something new, how you want to refresh and improve what you are already doing that is working.

There is much about your business that is successful.  How do I know that?  I know that because you are in business.  So, this week, if you look at what is working well in your business, look at that component and see if it needs any trim tabbing.  The term “trim tab” is a nautical/aeronautical term relating to a small supplementary rudder that is attached to a boat or an airplane that keeps the direction steady without the pilot having to continue to apply pressure to control it.

If you look at what’s working in your business, you will know if it needs a “trim tab” so that it essentially runs itself.  An example of this is adding a virtual assistant to your staff for publishing your blogs, hiring a web designer to refresh your web site or a bookkeeper to do your books.  You get the idea.  How can you make small changes that will free you up for creating new projects that will make your business even better?

Since your list of new projects could be very long, it is important that you choose one to work on that will have measurable results and that you can realistically put a “by when” date on.  And, I suggest that you work on one project at a time.  Please do not overwhelm yourself with several projects at once.  You will make more progress when you follow a new project to completion.

Enjoy the new energy that Spring brings to you!


Photo courtesy of Cliff Thorbes, Vancouver, B.C.

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.

What Will You Do To Get The Result?

1.28.15Driving to yoga class on Tuesday I stopped at a red light.  A man stood on the side of the street.  He was holding a sign, and he had something around his waist.  Was that a catheter bag?  YES!  His sign was asking for money.  Oh my god!  Really.  How could he be so graphic with his need for money?  The light changed and I drove on to yoga.  I was repulsed and angry with him for putting his plight in my face.  An hour later, there he was again . He had moved to the divider in the middle of the wide street, standing on the grass.  Same sign, same catheter bag—now almost full.

My revulsion changed to realization, admiration.  He was a real living example of intention, determination and getting the job done.  He was going to raise money to pay for his medical care in the only way he had.  His purpose was clear and his actions were aligned with his purpose.  He was not stopped by glares from drivers, nor by a cop trying to move him along.  He was going to raise the money.

The man became my hero.  A real life illustration of what it takes to make purpose become reality.  First we have to want something so much that we are willing to risk our dignity.  We fail; we feel humiliated; we are sometimes mocked—but if we are willing to face the obstacle we can win.

I think in the end, we as entrepreneurs are creative and courageous; we demonstrate that we have what it takes to get the job done.  Just like the man with the bag, we are willing to do what it takes to cause the result.  We are the heroes of our business story.

Please use the space below to comment.  I look forward to hearing from you.

What’s Your Plan?

121014Plan“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”
Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra makes sense.  And yet, although we all know it is essential to make a plan for our business, we hesitate to do it.  Or we do it haphazardly at best.  So what is your plan for 2015?  If that question seems a little too intimidating to you and you are frankly left speechless, let’s begin with an easier question.

What do you want to contribute to your clients in 2015?  Surprised?  It’s not the typical question about how much money do you want to make in 2015.  That question is useless unless you think of your clients first.  To enlarge on the question about contribution to your clients, first you have to trust that if you make a contribution to them, you will be fairly compensated for the contribution.  This is not some airy-fairy “build a field and they will come” type of thinking.  It is solid in that people are willing to pay for what they want.  It is up to you as a business person to provide the answer to a problem that a client has.  You already know how to make a contribution to clients, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be in business.

Doing some thinking about what problems clients have is a very valuable use of your time.  It’s useful to brainstorm about what problems you solved for your clients this year.  Write them down and then project into the future about, what is the next predictable problem the client will have upon solving the present problem?  This is called “getting out ahead” of a problem.  You are presenting a solution to the problem that the client doesn’t yet know he will have.

Of course, to solve the next, yet to be presented problem, will take planning on your part.  You can’t solve all of their problems, and you can solve some of them.  Pick 3 problems that are predictable for your clients.  When you list 3 major problems that your client will have, and that you can solve, that will become the foundation of your plan for that client for next year.

In the comment section below, please tell me about 3 problems that your clients have that you plan to solve in 2015.  As always, I look forward the hearing from you.