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Balance, Satisfaction and Profit With Freedom

IStock_000003927064XSmall When you started your small business, you probably imagined breaking free from the daily grind of a J O B. You pictured having more free time to do as you want, spend time with family and enjoy life more.

Then the realities of running a business hit you and before you know it you’re trading time for dollars, working 10 to 12 hour days – six or even seven days a week. It’s a grind that you quickly learn to dislike with a disdain so strong hate is often the first word that comes up.

Here’s why the bright future you desired turned into the toughest job you’ve ever had.

You built your business on the wrong platform. You probably thought solely about the business and its structure. You gave no thought to the outcome you wanted to create.

You can still change the tide but it will take some creative thinking.

If you’re like most people you want to:

Work for yourself so you have more control over your time; in other words you want to create greater life balance.

You want to do work that matters.  Whenever you help others gain what they want out of life you have greater work satisfaction than you can imagine. Most people get stuck in running a business instead of adding value to the lives of others, so this goal is never reached.

And you want to be paid well for the talents you posses. In other words you want to profit but have more freedom to enjoy it.

These are very common desires for people who go into business for themselves.

If you want balance in your life you need to build a career that provides time flexibility.

If you want satisfaction from the work you’re doing you must create something that enhances the lives of others.

If you want profit with freedom you will need to have a career where you are being paid for the value you actually create and not for the time you spend creating it.

Here’s the quickest way to turn the tide and begin making changes right now.

Start with your best case career scenario in mind. Write it down. I am talking about using the most powerful force you have at your disposal; your ability to envision, imagine and create a new reality with your thoughts.

Now consider what happened just before you reached that desired outcome. Then imagined what occurred before that and before that.

Repeat this backward planning exercise until you get all the way back to where you are today. Once you have that written down all you have to do is simply follow the steps or ‘plan’ you just created and move forward.

The secret is to follow the plan.

Always remember, when you create a business value that enhances the lives of others you will find the balance, satisfaction and profit with freedom you’re looking for.

If you need help making this change there is a great tool I use and recommend called Simple.ology.

When you visit this site you can take Simple.ology 101 for free. It will help you realize what you really are going after and show you how to create a framework to achieve it.

Taking action is the secret to creating lasting change. One small step can lead to amazing new discoveries. Try it. All you have to lose is the dissatisfaction you are feeling right now.

You: The Brand

BrandingImageWeb In today’s crowded business world there are millions of brands, large and small, screaming for attention.

With an abundant supply, the buyers personal choice becomes a real issue. People purchase from businesses they know, like and trust now more than ever.

The personality or ‘face’ your business shows to the world makes the difference between healthy sales and no sales at all.

In a world where people buy values that provide them with what they want to gain from people they know, like and trust it’s become vital to define and articulate you: the brand from the buyer’s point of view.

If you own a one-person operation you are the company to your prospects and clients. Your interactions with both are your brand platform.

If you’re a Solopreneur, ask yourself these questions:

Are you clearly showing the value you provide your prospective clients in your sales and marketing message? Always remember that people buy solutions to challenges not features you sell.

Are you fully appreciating and consistently staying in touch with your clients; even after the purchase is made and money spent? Your best source of new business is from happy clients who repurchase consistently.

Does your sales story talk about you and what you sell or your clients and the challenges you help them solve? If it’s all about you, your message falls in deaf ears more often than not.

If you are a larger business, with employees who interact with clients and prospects on your behalf, employees are your brand.

If you’re a larger business with employees, ask yourself these questions:

Are your employees empowered to resolve small client challenges on the spot or do they have to ask each time they need to develop a solution that makes clients happy?

Give employees guidelines for resolving challenges immediately and you’ll have happy clients who are loyal to your brand.

Do your employees stay in touch with clients after a sale is made? If not, your company is forgotten quickly and repeat sales are the exception rather than the rule.

Does the image your employees present to clients and prospects represent your business in a unique and compelling way?

Let your employees be individuals but give them the proper frame work to tell your value driven story effectively and consistently. The result will be more sales in less time for a lower cost.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo business or one with many employees; people (you and your employees) are the brand buyers relate to.

Treat your buyers with respect and personal caring and you’ll be rewarded with more business and a continuous stream of referrals consistently.

Twitter in Just 14-Minutes a Day

Twitter_logo I've really grown to like Twitter. All you have to do is tell the story of your life in just 144 characters at a time. Well, it's not really quite like that.

If you're a regular reader of the Creative Business Strategy Blog you'll know that no one cares about your life, they care most about theirs. So they really won't care very much about your story if that's all you ever talk about.

But they DO care about your knowledge, information and people/things you find interesting.

Twitter is a perfect way to share all that you know, create and observe with a very large group of people.

Start by setting up or tweaking your Twitter account. Use a real picture of yourself and make your brief bio interesting enough for people to want to learn more about you.

Then start using Twitter for just 14-minutes a day.

Be interested in others. When someone 'Tweets' and you find that post interesting give them a quick comment on it.

3-minutes to find the post and add your comment.

When you find an interesting Tweet with helpful information "Retweet" (RT) it and share it with the people who follow you.

3-minutes to find a Tweet that is RT-able and 1-minute to RT it.

When you are on the Web and find an article that you think is particularly helpful, share it on Twitter.

2-minutes; 1-minute to make the link a Tiny URL and post the article you enjoyed on Twitter.

Write a blog post that you share with your opt-in list regularly and add it to Twitter.

Assuming you're marketing a business or promoting a product or service, after writing a blog post, save the  link as a Tiny URL and post it on Twitter.

2-minutes or less. We don't count writing the blog post because you would do that anyway to promote your business.

Find an interesting person who provided great information and let others know about them. #followfriday is one way to do that.

Do this as you find interesting people. Then take 1-minute to let others know about them

When you run across interesting information that relates to your market make a Tiny URL and share it on Twitter

1-minute or less to post the information link on Twitter.

Twitter is a community of people who are passionate about the things that interest them.

But don't get lost in the tool. Follow a plan (there are many great plans out there) and spend 13-minutes to build awareness for the personal brand called YOU.

Take a minute right now and follow me @billgluth on Twitter. I'll return your follow and look forward to sharing great information with you.

One resource I've enjoyed is @GuyKawasaki. Check out his words of wisdom on Twitter at