One impressions I get from many women is that deep in your heart you may have a subconscious belief that you’re cheating others and are somehow bad if you make a profit.
Do you feel guilty when you make a healthy profit on what you do?
Do you charge enough for your products and services or do you undercut yourself at times?
Yesterday I had a meeting with a lovely woman who owns a business but spends all her time promoting others. She doesn’t take any money for doing this. In fact, when she’s tried to charge for helping others in this way – sending out notices for others on her e-newsletter and other promotional strategies – people are actually angry with her and say she should be doing it free.
In the meantime, her dear husband is working his tail off trying to make ends meet and his job is based on earning commissions. Unfortunately over the holidays the commissions were very low and now they’re trying to figure out how to pay all their bills.
I asked some probing questions of this woman and discovered that her Mother was a stay at home mom who only worked part time on an infrequent basis. My client got a lot of deeply negative messages about women who promote themselves and try to be anything but humble and meek. Messages like:
“Don’t get a big head.”
“Don’t be conceited.”
“Don’t be selfish.”
The message she got was that when she is nice and gives everything away and constantly helps others she’s being “a good woman.” When she does something for herself – she’s not a good woman. So, she keeps creating circumstances that reinforce that perception.
The challenge is when it’s time to pay the bills – if you’ve shorted yourself on what you charge, you end up falling short when it comes to your lifestyle and paying your bills. You can’t exactly go to your mortgage company or the grocery store and say, “Um, I’m a really nice person. Would you give me a little extra discount?”
Of course we know that’s silly. Why? Because these real businesses don’t give extra discounts. So if you consider yourself a real business – why are you undercutting yourself?
Here’s where it comes back around: In the real business world people don’t say, “Gee, that’s so nice. She’s only charging me $$ instead of $$$.” Instead they silently think, “She’s charging so much less than market rates – she must not be as good.”
Traditionally women always gave away our work. We have a history as volunteers. And, for centuries we were at the bottom of the totem pole when it came to jobs. Women were praised for being selfless and for constantly giving with no expectation of ever receiving anything in return except the warm fuzzy feelings of knowing we’ve helped. We made our husbands look good in the community while he took care of the messy job of going out and slaying dragons. Additionally, many of us have dealt with boyfriends, husbands and partners who became threatened when the woman they love made significant money or enjoyed a level of success.
We live in a very different world than the world our mothers lived in when they raised us. We were raised to be good wives, moms, sisters, daughters, friends and maybe a good employee. But we certainly weren’t raised to be a good business owners. And, it’s extremely difficult in this day and age for husbands to carry the whole load.
What thoughts, beliefs or attitudes were you raised with regarding the money you earn? Was it different for a girl in your home or your community compared to a boy? How much is enough? Is it fair for you to get a healthy profit? Will those warm, fuzzy feelings pay the rent or the mortgage?
Women are now starting businesses at double the rate of men. This has been true for over five years now. But many women business owners struggle because they’re uncomfortable about what it says about them to be successful when they feel a societal expectation for women to keep give everything away. Is it a good thing to make a profit? Or, does it mean you somehow had to claw over others to gain success? Is your business struggling because you’re new and just getting off the ground? Or are you struggling for other reasons?
All the best,
Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
PS: Sign up for my free Marketing and Empowerment Tips by clicking here.
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
Last week I had an amazing workshop with a roomful of women dedicated to creating success in their business and in their lives. There’s been a terrific buzz all over town since. Attendees have called to say the information I shared is helping them increase their business income already. I’ve gotten offers for more speaking engagements and it just goes on and on.
Which is great but I keep thinking about the women who said “no.” It seems like some women declined out of fear. I wonder how far these women will ever grow with their home-based businesses?
Let’s be honest. A lot of women say they’re dedicated business owners but they really have an expensive hobby. So, when asked to consider a small investment to discover easy, testosterone-free ways to grow, they’re not interested because they don’t want to grow. They take mincing steps forward and question spending ten bucks on flyers. But they spend hundreds on a new outfit or purse. They drive a great car. It’s all about priorities.
I call it Cupcake Marketing Strategy.
You know how women used to always get asked to bake cupcakes for the bake sale for their kid’s school, the church, the library or whatever? They were asked to bake, so they did. Some women still do – every time. Many women always comply when asked – and never ask for anything in return. Then the organization sells their hard work and ingredients, the cupcakes, for a dollar each. Eventually, many get a little peeved that they’re always asked. But they wouldn’t dare say “no.” After all, they want to “be nice.” Nice is more important than their time or their money.
Pitching in and giving everything away is admirable when it comes to helping out in the community. However, it can spell disaster in business when we use that same penny-pinching thinking and don’t speak up for ourselves.
I’ve met women who seriously undercharge for their products and services because they lack the marketing skills and confidence to charge what they’re worth. They think they’re “being nice.” However, “niceness” results in a constant squeeze for money. To compound matters, they end up having a tough time getting new customers because people mistake “niceness” for incompetence. They think, “Gee, you don’t charging the going rate. Must be because you’re not be as good.”
Being “nice” is a totally different thing from being “pleasant” or “polite.”
Here’s the crazy part: instead of learning to politely decline, they keep doing it. Einstein said, “Insanity means doing things the way you’ve always done them and expecting a different result.”
Next these ladies try to figure out ways to get things free or discounted from other women – because they’re financially strapped. They wouldn’t DARE ask a man to discount his prices. This results in more women with financial challenges. They feel they can’t say “no” because they want to be nice. Maybe they’ll gripe to someone else – but never the person who asked them. After all, they don’t want the other person upset.
Oh, puh-leez… can we all just grow up a little?
The whole thing has spiraled out of control like an over-sized swirl of buttercream frosting on top of a Red Velvet cupcake. We are held to a totally different standard of “how to do business” from men. In so doing, we’ve created a pink collar ghetto of women entrepreneurs struggling to avoid getting a real job. Women who say, “everything is great” when they meet others. Most aren’t thinking about thriving – they’re too busy just surviving. In my experience these women believe someday:
* I’ll be able to charge full price
* I’ll gain the respect I should have
* People will see my true worth
* I’ll make enough money to end the struggle
* I’ll stop working like crazy with very little reward
It’s like believing someday your Prince will come. He’ll sweep you up in his strong, muscular arms and take you away from all the financial stress. If you’re really nice it’ll all work out and you’ll be rewarded for that. Well, yes karmically I believe that what goes around comes around – but if there isn’t a focus on financial gain – it won’t necessarily come back as financial good.
Someday is today. Nothing will sweep your stress away if you don’t figure out effective, testosterone-free ways to create more business income. There are three ways to build more business income:
* Get more customers (new and repeat business)
* Charge more for what you do
* Get customers to make larger purchases when they buy
Prince Charming in your business is about increasing your confidence, your marketing and your testosterone-free selling skills.
Stop waiting for people to notice your worth like you waited for the cute boy you passed in the hall in high school to notice you. That’s okay in dating – but will spell disaster in your business.
Shift your thinking, level of “deserving-ness” and marketing skills, chances are you’ll your business income will increase. No one taps you on the shoulder and says, “Okay, the coast is clear. You can now charge $XXX per hour instead of $XX per hour.” No one gives you a raise or permission. You must give yourself permission. Validate yourself. Take yourself seriously.
If you have the intention and you’re willing to do what it takes to make it happen – then you’re dedicated. If this describes you send me an email at mentoringwithDenise@gmail.com and I’ll put you on my list of people interested in possibly attending my next workshop. It’ll be held in Las Vegas sometime in February or March of 2010 and it’ll probably be a two day event. Worth traveling to if you don’t live here already.
The point is I’ve watched enough victims of cupcake marketing who don’t even realize they’ve fallen prey to it’s perils. If you’re ready to stop struggling and live an abundant, financially prosperous and deeply satisfying life say, “ENOUGH!!!”
Denise Michaels is author of the business bestseller, “Testosterone-Free Marketing.” You can get your copy by clicking here. And you can get Denise’s weekly empowerment and marketing tips by clicking here. Come join Denise Michaels in a movement to empower women business owners to be all that they can be and to have more joy, more fun and more success in your life.
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Markeitng”
How’s your focus these days? Lately, many people seem totally scattered and overwhelmed. They look like they’re running in circles and we all know that can be really counter-productive Try to have a conversation with them and their eyes are darting off in different directions. I met a couple people like this at a networking luncheon yesterday. Schedule a meeting and they’re apt to goof up the time at least once. Had one of those yesterday, too.
It’s easy to blame it on the economy. It takes a lot more effort to find people who want, need and are willing to pay for your products and services these days. In fact I was just talking with an old friend yesterday who was telling me about a famous seminar guru who was planning on 800 people for an event in Atlanta recently and about 65 people showed up.
Yes, there are a lot of distractions these days. I can’t even tell you how crazy-making it is for me to have four email addresses and be checking Facebook, Twitter, my cell phone messages, my land line messages – and that’s all stuff that’s not the highest and best use of my time. But I truly believe our greatest solutions to our busyness are not factors outside of us – but factors within. After all, you can’t control much of what happens outside of you – you can only control how you respond to it all.
We all choose our lives and how we spend our time. Somewhere along the way you made choices. You may not have understood the consequences of those choices – but you made ‘em and here you are. It’s possible you don’t really want to do what you’re doing with your life and your time, so your mind throws up obstacles that feel like, “Oh, I’m so busy all the time. I just can’t get to the really important stuff.” Maybe it’s because you don’t want to get to the really important stuff.
Take some time to quiet down and slow down. I’ve sort of been forced to do that this week because I have a cold right now. As much as I want to get up and do more – I’m secretly relishing this time to take it easy. Yes, I actually have a positive attitude about this cold. But back to you…
Take some time to quietly think about your goals. Ask yourself if they’re in alignment with your core values. In other words – if you have a goal to make a big, six figure income and yet part of your core values is that you don’t believe that you deserve money – or you believe money is the root of all evil – well, Houston – we have a problem.
If your goals and your core values are not in alignment – you’ll be very stressed out. It’ll be like Sisyphus (of Greek mythology) pushing that boulder uphill forever. Not much fun. So much smarter to take some time to figure out how to get your goals and core values into alignment. And, if you have a core value that’s not working out for you like the one above – it’s time to change it. This is another reason why I say that your business growth doesn’t happen any faster than your personal growth.
Many women business owners have challenges in this area. They have very real financial needs: a mortgage to pay, insurance, savings – and all the other very concrete expenses of life. Unfortunately they also have a belief system (core valuues) that says it’s not okay for women to care about making money – that it’s somehow crass and cold. This is one of the many issues I’m going to be addressing at my No-Fluff Testosterone-free Marketing Magic Workshop coming up on Monday November 2nd.
When you set goals where there is alignment with your core values – it’s a much easier path, there are less distractions and problems. Everyone is happier.
If you’ll be in Las Vegas Monday November 2nd and you’re a woman business owner, do yourself a favor and check out my upcoming workshop by clicking here now. For a very nominal price it will transform your business for the better. The early bird discount ends on Friday night so today is a great day to register.
By Denise Michaels, Author, ‘Testosterone-Free Marketing”
When you wear all the hats in a business – as most of us women, home-based business owners do – it’s easy to get caught up in a web of multi-tasking and being scattered with no clear focus from day to day. In a single day you can be handling marketing, operations, administrative and a myriad of tasks within those categories. To say nothing of putting clothes in the dryer, figuring out what to make for dinner, worrying about your third grader’s math homework and more.
I wrote an entire chapter in my book about the issues women business owners are challenged with regarding our focus and how multi-tasking can really be a mixed blessing.
Here’s what I think happens: when you become an entrepreneur it becomes easy to get caught up “spinning in the world of ideas” as I call it. So many opportunities and so little time. You can have a blast talking and thinking about all these cool ideas and how much money you can make with ‘em all. But you have to finally dig your heels in and get going with one (and keep going) to make money, right? Seems pretty simple so far – ahhhhh, but the plot thickens. *smile*
Here’s the challenge: while you’re spinning in the world of ideas – you’re not getting anything done. Nothing is being completed. Why would a person DO that when you don’t get paid in business until you complete things? The reason I believe so many women do it? Well, at the root of this “spinning,” researching and checking everything out – is that it means you get to avoid rejection because you haven’t made a commitment and jumped in to anything yet.
The minute you actually “put something out there” the rubber hits the road. You’re honestly faced with whether it will be a smashing success or a bomb. And for a lot of people that’s scary. Spinning is more fun and there’s no fear or risk attached to those activities compared to marketing activities which get you out there.
Here’s the funny thing: by “spinning” our subconscious mind believes it’s protecting us from rejection. However, over the long run it can mess with your sense of self confidence. How? Because after awhile you look back at all that time and effort and realize, geez it’s been six months (or a year or two years) and what do I have to show for that effort? All that spinning?
If you keep spinning and don’t step out – chances are you don’t have much to show for it. You’ve been busy – but you haven’t achieved anything, because you’ve been focused on spinning not on achieving.
For a lot of people it makes them feel like a failure and this can pull your self confidence down. But the truth is people who keep spinning have actually very successful – at avoiding rejection.
So, if you’re goal is to avoid rejection – keep spinning.
If you’re goal is to have a successful business and generate cash flow – start figuring out how to get beyond your comfort zone (I know a great marketing mentor who helps with that *wink* AND your strategy) and start bringing in some real paying customers and clients.
There are solutions to spinning in the world of ideas: mostly they have to do with facing up to the fact that what you put out there might succeed or it might fail. Making different conscious choices and excepting the reality that the outcome could go either way – and it doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person either way. But by taking that leap of faith – you’re making forward progress moving energy and creating momentum. And THAT feels great.
Discover more about Denise at Empower U Academy and Mentoring with Denise. And if you’re going to be in Las Vegas on Monday November 2nd come to my “No-fluff, Testosterone-Free Marketing Magic Workshop.” Click here for more information and to register today.
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
Maybe you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now. Maybe you know me from when I used to be a trainer and mentor for a mega-bestselling author and seminar guy. Maybe you’re a previous marketing mentoring client. Or, maybe you’ve never heard of me before.
It doesn’t matter. If you’re a woman, home-based business owner and you really want to discover the secrets to take your business to the next level – but do it your way – without all the testosterone – come to Las Vegas and discover how to:
* Attract ideal customers who pay on time and are a pleasure to deal with
* Get them to happily say “Yes!” and know you’re aligned with them and have their best interests at heart
* Do business with people you like – so you don’t waste time on customers who are a pain
* Create a plan to help you easily draw in more people who want to and DO say “yes” to you
* Discover why you’ve held back from success and how to get the word out in a woman friendly way
… and much more.
My “No-fluff Testosterone-Free Marketing Magic Workshop” is being held Monday November 2nd in Las Vegas from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Get to Las Vegas. Attend the workshop and get more great ideas that’ll work for you as a woman business-owner than you ever imagined. Average temperatures for Las Vegas the first week of November are sunny and in the high 60 degree to low 70 degree range, Farenheit. Share your travel expenses with a girlfriend whose also a business owner and attend together. I just checked on Expedia.com and the hotel where the workshop will be held has a special rate of just $49 Sunday and Monday nights.
I’ll be presenting. The event will be limited to just 35 attendees. It’s small and intimate – so check into it now. Plus, there’s an Early Bird Discount right now that you don’t want to miss out on. For more information and to register click on the link at the top of the page that says, “Denise’s Events.”
I’d love to meet you in Las Vegas and help you enjoy the rest of 2009 and 2010!!! *smile*
The ten trends listed below I got from a website called Brand Strategy Insider. We must understand, even as a woman, home-based business owner that branding is important to surviving, thriving and creating success in a world of ecommerce and change where you might hear about a product or service on Twitter or Facebook before you ever see the logo or connect with the products.
1) Value is the new black
Consumer spending, even on sale items, will continue to be replaced by a reason-to-buy at all. This spells trouble for brands with no authentic meaning, whether high-end or low.
2) Brands increasingly a surrogate for “value”
What makes goods and services valuable will increasingly be what’s wrapped up in the brand and what it stands for. Why J Crew instead of The Gap? J Crew stands for a new era in careful chic –being smart and stylish. The first family’s support of the brand doesn’t hurt either.
3) Brand differentiation is Brand Value
The unique meaning of a brand will increase in importance as generic features continue to plague the brand landscape. Awareness as a meaningful market force has long been obsolete, and differentiation will be critical for success –meaning sales and profitability.
4) “Because I said so” is so over
Brand values can be established as a brand identity, but they must believably exist in the mind of the consumer. A brand can’t just say it stands for something and make it so. The consumer will decide, making it more important than ever for a brand to have measures of authenticity that will aid in brand differentiation and consumer engagement.
5) Consumer expectations are growing
Brands are barely keeping up with consumer expectations now. Every day consumers adopt and devour the latest technologies and innovations, and hunger for more. Smarter marketers will identify and capitalize on unmet expectations. Those brands that understand where the strongest expectations exist will be the brands that survive – and prosper.
6) Old tricks don’t work/won’t work anymore
In case your brand didn’t get the memo here it is -consumers are on to brands trying to play their emotions for profit. In the wake of the financial debacle of this past year, people are more aware then ever of the hollowness of bank ads that claim “we’re all in this together” when those same banks have rescinded their credit and turned their retirement plan into case studies. The same is true for insincere celebrity pairings: think Seinfeld & Microsoft or Tiger Woods & Buick. Celebrity values and brand values need to be in concert, like Tiger Woods and Accenture. That’s authenticity.
7) They won’t need to know you to love you
As the buying space becomes even more online-driven and international (and uncontrolled by brands and corporations), front-end awareness will become less important. A brand with the right street cred can go viral in days, with awareness following, not leading, the conversation. After all, everybody knows GM, but nobody’s buying their cars.
8) It’s not just buzz
Conversation and community is all; ebay thrives based on consumer feedback. If consumers trust the community, they will extend trust to the brand. Not just word of mouth, but the right word of mouth within the community. This means the coming of a new era of customer care.
9) They’re talking to each other before talking to the brand
Social Networking and exchange of information outside of the brand space will increase. Look for more websites using Facebook Connect to share information with the friends from those sites. More companies will become members of Linkedin. Twitter users will spend more money on the Internet than those who don’t tweet.
10) Engagement is not a fad; It’s the way today’s consumers do business
Marketers will come to accept that there are four engagement methods including Platform (TV; online), Context (Program; webpage), Message (Ad or Communication), and Experience (Store/Event). But there is only one objective for the future: Brand Engagement. Marketers will continue to realize that attaining real brand engagement is impossible using out-dated attitudinal models.
Accommodating these trends will require a paradigm change on the parts of some companies. But whether a brand does something about it or not, the future is where it’s going to spend the rest of its life. How long that life lasts is up to the brand, determined by how it responds to today’s reality.
Contributed by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
A lot of women, home-based business owners tell me they don’t “get” marketing and how it works. After all marketing is a universe most of us are totally unfamiliar with. We want to get everything right, and, we’re less likely to shoot from the hip compared to men. Well, I can’t clear up all the differences in one brief article, but I can help you become more clear about how and when you talk about your business with others.
One of my friends was working with a male colleague who was going to help her develop a marketing plan. Suddenly the marketing plan he promised slipped through the cracks. He told her he didn’t have time to do it after all. He was starting a new business and anticipated hiring 20 new employees by the end of the year.
Naturally she was disappointed but she was even more turned off by his posturing that he was “so important” and going to create a pretty significant business in such a short time. She thought it sounded like a typical male full of bravado, big promises and hot air. She told me she’d never say such overly-confident things until she was actually hiring people.
I told her when men do this they’re project outward. It’s natural for them but it doesn’t come as naturally for women. Very often men tend to make things up based on what they want to happen – not necessarily what has happened. Sure, they may do the math first. However, they might assume they’ll get the capital to hire those people before they have it in hand. They assume big clients will come through or getting capital will be a slam dunk. They have positive expectations and talk about ‘em – because it attracts more people with positive expectations. They may have sat down and thought it out just like you. Creating a business and a marketing strategy takes a lot of educated guesses, talking and sharing with others. But no one really knows for certain. They’re flying by the seat of their pants. It’s like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute on the way down.
Women on the other hand tend to not say a word until their plan and resources are totally nailed down and in place. We hold things closer to the vest. We tend to wait and hold back taking a more reluctant stance toward risk-taking. It’s not as natural for us to project outward. We don’t move as much energy out beyond us.
There’s nothing wrong with a little well-placed bravado. Certainly not if our intentions are to create a dynamic, profitable business. The wrong people might be turned off. However, the right people are likely to attracted to others who are passionate about their vision. When business owners project outward and share what they want with others – they’re actually more likely to attract it to them by saying it over and over. Moving energy. In some ways business and marketing are a make it up as you go along proposition.
In contrast, I’ve discovered many women feel they must have all their ducks in a row and everything done and in perfect order before saying anything or getting started. They are afraid someone might shoot them down immediately. My former husband used to say, “It’s better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.” He was not a business owner.
Some women feel incorporating ideas and suggestions from others doesn’t “count” unless they dig up the information themselves. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You don’t have to discover everything yourself without help. Men use good ideas where they find them. Networking is about more than meeting potential customers. It’s about meeting people who might help you solve problems and refer you to others.
On the surface it may sound like a good idea to be 110% sure before speaking up about what you want to create in your business. In reality when you stay silent you’re not moving energy, building momentum or attracting people, ideas and resources to you. Start talking excitedly and passionately with people about your vision for your business. Share with them your intention. Tell others what you need in the way of support and resources. When you share it, you’ll be amazed and happy how many great ideas, resources, solutions and people will come back to you.
Denise Michaels is a marketing mentor, trainer and author of the business bestseller, “Testosterone-Free Marketing.” Find out more about her at her websites below:
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
You’re busy. You don’t have a lot of time for news. However, as a woman, home-based business owner out in the world, it’s probably a good strategy to keep up with what’s happening. Then there’s all that negativity in the news. Who needs all the dire predictions of increased terror alerts and another murder weighing you down?
This two part article provides a few smart guidelines for slightly overwhelmed women business owners to keep up with news without getting caught up in it. Maybe you can even benefit from it. Hopefully, I have some useful knowledge for the task. Journalism was one of my majors in college (Marketing was the other).
If you’re over 40 it may be hard to remember a day when we didn’t have so much TV news. There was a half hour in the morning. A half hour at noon. A half hour at dinner time. And a half hour at 11:00 pm. That’s it. I remember when NBC’s The Today Show was one hour – now it’s four hours. It’s crazy.
Traditional news as an industry is going through massive change. It’s not just in the last year with the economic tailspin we’ve experienced. In the last two decades with the onset of the internet, newpapers and two a lesser degree are barely hanging on with their fingernails for survival.
“So what? Why should I care?” you say. Consider this: the vast majority of investigative journalism that uncovers the big stories is provided by and paid for by traditional news sources. Newspapers and TV are online – but most haven’t yet figured out how to turn online news into a profitable business model that supports all their costs.
There are three cable news networks that report all news all the time: FOX, CNN and MSNBC. Then there’s ever-increasing news programming on network television. Then there’s what I call “niche news” like CSpan, providing gavel to gavel coverage of Congress. “E” is about entertainment news – basically celebrity fluff.
Since there’s not much more happening, but 24 hours of time to fill and tougher competition for ratings (which is translated to advertising revenues and survival) what’s a network exec to do?
There’s plenty of news out there – but by and large Americans aren’t overly concerned with international headlines. Also, we seem to only be able to handle a few snippets of good news – what gets eyeballs glued to the the tube are the three Cs: conflict, controversy and confrontation If happy, positive news of what’s right in the world got the same kind of ratings – believe me – that’s what would be aired.
• Repeat the same story over and over again. Ever notice how the same video image is looped over and over again?
• Spin off new “angles” or “tangents” on the same story – this tactic can be an opportunity for your business I’ll discuss in a future post.*
• Sensationalize and whip up stories that are much ado about nothing into a frenzy.
One truism for news: “When dog bites man – that’s not news. Ahhhh, but when man bites dog? THAT’S news!
TV news is the most sensational. Why? It’s all about entertainment value – it’s a show. Written words seem less crazy-making than visual images and out-of-breath news anchors. What to do? Get your news online in written form or from a newspaper. If you feel you must watch – watch short videos online. Most of the commercials are removed – so you save time. And, you don’t have to watch stories you’re not interested in.
No matter where you get news – mix it up. Don’t get it from just one source if you want a balanced point of view. Sure, it’s pleasant to read or watch news that always agrees with your point of view. But it’s smart to understand the other side.
Also, avail yourself of news sources from other countries. BBC for example. Since my husband is originally from India, I get a kick out of Times of India. Just click on “World” and you’ll get a whole new perspective about how that part of the world sees us. Other online newspapers in English originate from different countries, too.
Let me give you an example:
FOX News clearly leans to the conservative right, politically. The network has spearheaded and given the most airtime to the “tea party” demonstrations and other right wing interests. FOX is most likely to oppose the current administration in the White House. Sean Hannity is especially virulent in his disdain of our current President. Many of his “news stories” fall into the category of much ado about nothing whipped into a frenzy.
Last week apparently a video surfaced on YouTube of school children singing songs praising President Obama. Hannity reported it as children being indoctrinated akin to something like “Hitler Youth.”
The next morning I saw the same “story” reported on CNN. The school principal was interviewed. She shared a few details: it was a one time program during Black History Month. The school children sang songs about President Washington, President Lincoln and President Obama. You still might now agree – but it’s a very different story indeed. But you would never get that context if you only watched the Hannity version of the story.
So, when reading or watching news keep these guidelines in mind.
• Don’t get overwhelmed with it.
• Limit your time with it.
• Avoid over-exposure to TV news
• And not too much all from one source.
• It’s all about balance.
Tomorrow my blog post will be about how you can use the news in a positive way to help promote your business.
PS: Go to http://www.EmpowerUAcademy.com for my marketing and empowerment tipse. Also, find out about my one-on-one mentoring program at http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com
By Denise Michaels, Author, “Testosterone-Free Marketing”
My husband Ernie and I live in Las Vegas which is absolutely in the depths of the housing slump. Since we had the highest highs – we’ve also had the most precipitous drop. Real estate appears poised to go up now – but it’s been a pretty long, fast, slide downward the last couple years. There’s a local show on radio once a week on the state of the housing and real estate market.
Recently a guest on the show remarked perhaps the idea of owning a home with a 30-year mortgage as “the American Dream” doesn’t set well with our changing, shifting lifestyles and careers anymore. After all, that model came into vogue back in the days when many Americans worked 30-40 years for the same company.
Now, not only don’t many of us work for the same company throughout our career. More and more of us are entrepreneurial, home-based business owners and don’t work for any company – like myself. At times entrepreneurs have gaps in their income that don’t fit with a big mortgage every month. That’s become the new norm when it comes to work. And as we’re digging out of this recession I believe we’re going to have an unprecedented wave of entrepreneurism. But mortgages are still like an albatross around the neck whether a person’s income goes up or down. Doesn’t quite work.
My husband and I own our home. We’ve been here almost eight years. We bought when the market was down right after 9/11. We didn’t do anything fancy or clever – just a basic, 30 year fixed mortgage. We also chose to live in a home that was below our means. Not very sexy. Unlike many of our friends and family who bought as much home as they could possibly qualify for. It’s decorated elegantly – but in size it’s modest. Our mortgage payment is equivalent to what many pay to rent a basic two bedroom apartment.
We have friends who’ve lost their fancy homes the last two years for a myriad of reasons. One couple we know – they’re both entreprenuers. The kids are close to grown and almost launched. He still works his full-time job in addition to his business. They live in a gorgeous home in a very upscale area but the income from their respective home-based businesses doesn’t really cut the mustard when it comes to the cashflow needed to live in that house. They know and accept sagely it’ll be a couple years before it flips around. They moved in four years ago when the market was at the top of it’s lofty peak. She recently whispered to me they’re trying to short sell the house and move into something much smaller. I told her about our smaller by half home and she sighed, “I wish we’d done that.”
We also have family members who are positively cash strapped to a massive mortgage. They too bought at the top of the market. She wasn’t working because she’d just had a baby a few months before they bought the house. She’s back to work now, but because of the high mortgage payments when their adjustable mortgage went up – she doesn’t really have the choice to be home with her kids.
We chose to live carefully and set aside the difference and we’ve invested in ourselves and in our own businesses. As a result, we’ve created a different kind of wealth. Part of it is money – but even more important is the knowledge that our security is all about our ability to create more money as we travel through life.
I don’t believe in relying on a specific theory or idea about money or security. None of them seem to hold water the way they did 20 years ago. The tectonic plates are shifting and the world is changing too fast to stay “married” to one idea or notion anymore. We’re shifting right along with it – and enjoying the journey.
PS: Visit me online at http://www.EmpowerUAcademy.com for great ideas to help you in business and in life
DMM: Whose your target market? Are you marketing to one of the largest audiences in America with more disposable income than any other demographic group? It’s baby boomers. The people who are the best “fit” for my products and services are generally women business owners age 40-65. Much to the chagrin of some Gen Y and Gen X folks – we aren’t going away any time soon.
Okay, some of us wear mom jeans and still wear a wrist watch. We are still care about buying products and services. The short article below from Entrepreneur Magazine will give you a little more of an idea of the power of marketing to boomers
A baby boomer turns 50 every 7 seconds–joining a population segment that will grow by 25 percent in the next decade while other segments remain flat.
Matt Thornhill, founder of consulting firm The Boomer Project, which helps businesses reach adults born between 1946 and 1964, says it’s time for marketers to recalibrate their thinking about marketing to older adults. Boomers are a dynamic group that’s much more open to new experiences and brands than previous generations of older adults have been. Stephanie Lakhani found that to be true at her upscale Breathe Wellness Spasin Boise, Idaho. Catering primarily to boomers, the two spas bring in about $1.2 million per year. She says boomers are an excellent target, with disposable income and a tendency to refer business. “They expect perfect service,” says Lakhani, 35, who adds, “They tend to travel and buy in groups, so giving them an incentive to refer a friend in the form of an upgrade or a thank you [gesture] works very well. They are also very responsive to direct mail.”
Thornhill adds that marketers should target boomers by what they’re doing instead of how old they are. “Boomers are living such cyclical lives. In their 40s or 50s, they could be going back to college, be empty nesters or be married a second time and raising a young family,” he explains. “You wouldn’t sell the same vacation package to all these people. So pick the lifestyle segment you’re targeting, and focus on that.”