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October 2009
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Work is Great But Balance is More Important

HeartLowRes I have been fortunate enough to have worked with a large number of creative small business owners and entrepreneurs over the years. In all those engagements I've learned something very important.

Beneath all the goals and desire for achievement, everyone is really seeking the same three things.

They are:

  1. Balance
  2. Satisfaction
  3. And profit with freedom
The challenge is many small business owners and entrepreneurs suffer from the terrible too's:
  1. They work too many hours
  2. Make too little money for their efforts
  3. Have too little time to enjoy the richness that life offers.

I was thinking back on a segment of my life this morning before I wrote this post.

The motivation to do that came because I just started looking into adopting a dog (thinking about a little Westie) and was emailing the breeder.

That got me thinking back on the dogs I owned who passed away over the past few years.

How much more could I have enjoyed Sierra, Archie and Sedona? How much more could I have played with them or groomed them or petted them. Over the past 9 years I've had my business how much more time could I have taken to smell the roses that were abundantly around me?

Because of these life lessons peace of mind and balance have become very important to me over the past few years. I hope it is for you as well.

In fact in 2010 my mission will be to help people like you achieve balance, satisfaction and profit with freedom. I will be assisting small business owners and entrepreneurs one-to-one.

When you use your talents, knowledge and passion to create value that enhances the lives of others you will feel more joyful about your work and life. You can even do this with your existing business right now.

When you do, you will also realize the importance of balance time.

Balance starts with awareness. Ask yourself:

Do I take time each day, week and month to enjoy my life as it is right now?

Focus on right here and right now. They call this moment the "present" because it is truly a gift to enjoy.

Don't worry about the past that has already happened. There's nothing you can do to change it.

Don't be concerned about a future that has yet to occur. Your focus, awareness and actions in this moment right now will create your future.

Build the future you dream of with small actions today. And if you cannot envision an ideal life, call on me. I'll be here to help.


The Quick and Easy Twitter Guide

Twitter Logo
Last June I posted my ideas on using Twitter successfully in just 14 minutes a day.

Now this idea is not for the social media maven who wants 100,000 followers. It's for the entrepreneur and small business owner who wants to gain a presence for their business.

Since I keep getting asked how I work with Twitter, I thought many of my subscribers would enjoy reading them again.

Be sure to read the entire post. At the end, I've given you a couple of resources that I found very helpful as I began ramping up on Twitter.

Enjoy!

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 will not 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 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 a consistent amount of time each day 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 http://tinyurl.com/6fxmj9 

Another tool I find helpful is TweetDeck. It's free so give it a try.


Everyone Wants to Tell You HOW to Grow Your Small Business

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There are countless books, web sites, courses, seminars, workshops and tele-conferences covering all aspects of growing a business.

From A to Z, every facet is covered.

There’s one problem. You’ll buy the books, read them once and never do anything with the information.

You’ll spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars going to the workshops or buying the courses that promise “the secret” or the “magic key” to the door of success.

There’s a problem with this scenario. 

These secrets require you to think differently and do things that are well outside the scope of what you are willing to do. They take you too far outside your comfort zone.

As a result, they provide more distraction than focus.

Neither books nor workshops meet you where you are. As a result, you will spend your money, feel frustration and vow never to do it again. Until the next time, of course.

The only thing that is proven to work is to acknowledge that you have gaps in your experience and expertise then hire a coach to help fill in those gaps and hold you accountable to creating results.

All business growth starts with a complete sales process that incorporates:

Marketing to attract the types of clients you most want to work with.
 
A system of selling that converts attraction gained in marketing into revenue (closed sales) at least 1 in 5 times at minimum with a closing ratio goal of 1 in 3 or better.

A Client Relationship Management program that creates additional sales and generates qualified referrals throughout the year.

Then all you have to focus on is:

Following that well-defined sales process
 
Focusing on using and building that process and adding new people to the pipeline every single day
 
Picking an industry that talks to each other and creating a niche within it
 
Getting the help you need to fill in knowledge gaps and to hold you accountable to do the work that needs to be done.

The next step and decision is up to you to make.

Do you have a winning sales process to follow? Or will you continue to be distracted by continuously looking for a “magic key” that unlocks a door that does not really exist.

You have to make a commitment to take action that is proven to succeed instead of looking for new information or waiting for the miracle that seldom if ever occurs.