Three Reasons Not To Sweat Over Your Ability To Give Networking Referrals

     Copyright (c) 2014 Fabienne Fredrickson

If you are familiar with my methods, then you know I always recommend networking groups, and BNI in particular. This powerful international group helped me learn how to network and fill my practice quickly by meeting lots of new people and gaining referrals.

However, many students have shared their concerns about the referral process. This is particularly true if you are just starting out as a new business owner. Often new business owners worry about their ability to provide referrals and the expectations around this. I have frequently mentioned that the strength of the referral network you create is usually based on the number of referrals you provide. Truth is, I had this same concern when I started out years ago.

Let me share three reasons why you can let go of the fear and take the pressure off yourself as you learn how to network:

1. You’ll Be Making Friends.
As you take time to get to know people in your BNI chapter, they will become your friends. You are going to sit down and have coffee with the individuals and really get to know them. That alone makes the process a lot easier and less pressurized. Building your business connections expands your reach and increases your opportunities for success.

2. You’ll Learn Who Networkers Are Seeking.
As you get to know group members, you’ll ask each person who they are looking for. Ask questions like, “So, tell me about the kind of clients you’re looking for. What’s the thing you want me to say or listen for that is a buzz word that would put me in a position to give you a referral? What is the best thing I can say to people to interest them in your products or services?”

Many members will have specific words you can use which will make the referral process go much more smoothly.

3. You’ll Find Giving Referrals Becomes Natural.
Talking about referrals with other members gets your mental rolodex flipping as you think about who you may know that could benefit from their service or product. But running into these possible referrals – whether they are people you already know or new people you will meet – doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time and everyone involved knows this.

You aren’t expected to start dishing out referrals straight out of the gate. But, the more you network, the more people you meet. As you talk to them, their needs will naturally come out in conversation. So your job is really to listen for those natural opportunities and connect people looking for each other.

Also, keep in mind there maybe people in the group whose services you will want to take advantage of yourself. Having a personal experience of working with them makes it easier to refer others.

Your Assignment:
When it comes to receiving referrals, you need to have a strong elevator pitch, know who your ideal client is and how to relate to them. The easier you make it for others to recognize your ideal clients, the more referrals you will get. Spend time figuring out who your ideal client is and how to relay that to others as you learn how to network and give referrals.

Net Neutrality and Your Business

     What is Net Neutrality? Simply put, Net Neutrality is a means of making the internet an equal and level playing field for all. It’s the idea that internet providers are obliged to communicate all data consistently and at equal fees. In actuality, this concept has been in practice for some time, but, several providers are campaigning for change.

In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission instituted the “Open Internet Order”, which included the following language in order to: “…preserve the internet as an open platform enabling consumer choice, freedom of expression and end user control, competition and the freedom to innovate without permission”. If interpreted as intended, this directive:

1. Mandated Internet Service Providers (ISP) from barring certain online applications or services.

2. Barred ISP from discriminating, restricting or hindering their competition and other online innovative opportunities.

3. Stopped ISP from providing preferential treatment to specific sites or services.

4. Prohibited ISP form deliberately delaying access to certain sides by deliberately slowing speeds to reach them.

5. Prevented companies from purchasing preferential access from ISP.

In January of 2014, a successful lawsuit brought by Verizon, resulted in the DC District Court’s dismissal of the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules. The court’s decision stopped short of taking authority over the internet from the FCC, affording the agency an opportunity to review and improve their original ruling.

In April, 2014, the reports surfaced claiming the FCC had amended their Net Neutrality Rules. The major change allowed ISP to charge companies for preferential placement and/or treatment if it was considered “commercially reasonable”.

The actual disclosure of this policy was made at the FCC’s open meeting in May, 2014. The public’s opposition was echoed by media and policy makers. Responses will be considered before anything is finalized. While the first round of replies were due July 18th, the public may continue to forward their comments until September 15th, 2014.

In the interest of fairness and the “level playing field” that served as the original goal of this ruling, one important question that must be answered is: How will the new Net Neutrality Rule affect small businesses?

Most small business owners and advisors agree there are three important details to be considered:

Should the ISP initiate payment plans that would most likely include higher fees for faster access, small businesses, start-ups or temporarily struggling businesses would undoubtedly suffer. Obviously, if certain business are unable to afford higher prices, their websites and content would be forced to compete with those of the companies who have the funds to pay for faster speeds and premier placement. This could have irretrievable consequences for smaller businesses and possibly force them to close their doors.

Since free video marketing would be directly and seriously impacted by the revised ruling, small businesses that employ promotional videos as a major marketing strategy, would be severely stifled if not totally debilitated. For example, many small businesses use “YouTube” as a means of displaying and or demonstrating their products. This once free option would no longer be available to them.

Perhaps the most wonderful aspect of the original Net Neutrality Law was its ability to support the “entrepreneurial spirit”. One individual with drive and vision and an outstanding idea, could possibly maintain the same internet exposure as a large company with a huge budget capable of funding a professional advertising campaign created by a top firm. Everyone would lose, if this opportunity is lost!

That is why it is crucial for small businesses to remain knowledgeable of any changes to the Net Neutrality Rule and be prepared as to how those changes can affect your marketing endeavors, your internet presence and above all…your profitability!

7 Lessons I Learned From My Dad’s Bankruptcy

     A defining moment in my life was at the age of 16 when my dad went bankrupt. He owned his own business and was really passionate and knowledgeable about his product. But what he wasn’t so passionate and knowledgeable about was Sales and Marketing. He didn’t know how to attract prospective customers or how to convert them into high paying customers.

Marketing to him, was word of mouth and a few leaflet drops.

When he went bankrupt we lost EVERYTHING. The business, the cars, the house, EVERYTHING!

The bailiffs came in and valued every last teaspoon. They were very kind to my mother and said if she could borrow £300 (A ton of money when I was only 16) she could buy back our essentials. So she managed to borrow the money and bought back our beds, sofas, cooker etc……

The day came for us to move and we had to go into a council house, nothing wrong with council houses of course but when you are forced to go it is a different matter.

It was TRAGIC…….we were all devastated. My father couldn’t cope and his drinking got worse and worse as did his anger and violent behaviour. So we ended up leaving him to go to our new house on our own.

He really did lose everything including his family!

When I became involved in Sales and became a Sales Manager I worked tirelessly learning everything I could, reading books, going on training courses, watching and talking to the best in the business. I decided to be an expert in attracting prospective clients and converting them into high paying clients who gave repeat and referral business.

I diligently trained and coached my teams to be the best they could be so they could enjoy success and NEVER be in the position of being humiliated and feeling like a failure, the way my father had.

The results were astounding. We were always in the top 5% in the country and in 1998, when I was Regional Manager for a global company, my teams achieved TOP position in the whole country. We were top against target, we had the best staff retention rate, we had the best compliance scores. We had the highest level of repeat business. We were THE BEST WE COULD BE.

So, what were the 7 lessons I learned from my dad going bankrupt;

1. He would go from day to day working randomly, waiting and hoping tomorrow would bring better results.

What to do – Work on bringing in new customers EVERY DAY

2. Not all of his customers were good customers, some were late payers, little profit or hard to work with.

What to do – Know the profile of your ideal customer inside out and where they hang out so you can attract more of the clients you WANT to work with

3. He didn’t know how to demonstrate to customers the value and benefits of buying from him. He knew how good his product and follow up service were but didn’t let people know. (Not really surprising as his marketing efforts were virtually nil)

What to do – Create value in your marketing messages that will massively differentiate you from your competition. Demonstrate the benefits your customers will get by using your product or service

4. My Dad’s idea of marketing was a flyer which had his company name and address, a description of what he did, his business address and telephone number. The sum total of business from these flyers was “NONE”

What to do – Create marketing materials that are customer focused and included the 4 elements that will have your prospective clients say “Yes, that’s me I need your help”

5. My Dad was an expert at what he did but he was the best kept secret.

What to do – Have a marketing plan to include multiple marketing activities and position yourself as the expert in your field….”The go to guy” Expose Yourself….metaphorically speaking…..haha!

6. He knew his product inside out. He would talk and talk and talk about every detail of it and what it would do. Because of this he often found himself in a price war with his competitors.

What to do – Understand your customers. Be focused on what they want to achieve. Uncover the problems they are having that prevent them from achieving their objectives. Ask questions, don’t tell until you know what is relevant

7. He didn’t EVER contact his existing customers to explore the opportunity of helping them further. There would have been endless opportunities to sell additional products. His is attitude was “They’ll come to me if they want more” How could they if they didn’t even know what his additional services were?

What to do – Make sure you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, even if it is on an excel spreadsheet. Capture the details of your customers, segment them into A B C categories and create a contact programme for each segment. You need to create “Top of Mind” thinking so they will come to you when they are thinking about your product or service.

Oh how I wish I knew then what I know now. My dad died when he was 52 without ever reaching his full potential.

To continue my story;

In 1999 I had an experience which prompted me to leave the corporate world. Another story for another day!

I made a commitment to dedicate my professional life as a Self Employed Sales and Marketing Leader and Coach and Speaker helping Professional Business Owners and Professional Sales People get more business clients in record time through my workshops, products and coaching programmes.

My work has taken me across the UK and into Europe, America, Canada and South America. My purpose and passion is to help those selling to other businesses to achieve SUCCESS through implementing step by step proven strategies THAT WORK!

If I can help you in anyway, please let me know. I will help you take your business to levels you never thought possible.
Dylis works with B2B business owners and Professional Sales People, to help them attract more prospective clients and convert them into high paying clients who give repeat and referral business. She shows business owners how to sell in a professional, transparent and authentic way. Her clients want to know how to to attract a consistent, steady flow of ideal clients without having to work so hard. She shows them the What, Why and How with proven, undiluted, step by step strategies on exactly how to get those high paying clients. Because of this those who work with Dylis get more clients in record time and make more money than they ever would on their own. Never be short of clients ever again! Go to http://www.DylisGuyan.com and download your FREE 21 Sure-Fire Ways to Find Your Ideal Client

Dealing with Deadlines: 5 Ways to Manage Your Project Without Killing Creativity

     Creativity and flexibility are essential to innovation, but deadlines are one of the most important elements for any IT department. How do you balance time management with pushing boundaries and implementing new ideas? Whether you’re taking on your projects individually or collaborating with a team, there are strategies you can use to take down deadlines without killing creativity. Here are five tactics to help you thrive throughout your next deadline-driven project:

1) Open Communication & Managed Expectations: If you have the luxury of knowing your deadlines as soon as your manager assigns a project, congratulations! The best thing you can do in these situations is come in prepared from day one. Whether you have one week or ten months to complete your new assignment, having an open conversation about what you believe you can realistically achieve in the time frame set by clients or managers is a great way to start a project of any size. Evaluate what you can realistically accomplish in that time and state it outright. This is a time to be practical and analytical, rather than idealistic. If your boss sets a deadline that you find unreasonable, express your concerns. There may be little to no wiggle room here, but you’ll never know unless you explain your side. Tell them why you estimate this time limit will exceed your capabilities and propose a more reasonable schedule. Whether it takes adding another set of hands to the project or cutting down on functionality, deadlines need to be met. It will be easier to negotiate your target date at the start of a project rather than later when it could reflect poorly on your capabilities.

2) Establish a Clear Vision: Knowing where you’re going will help you get there faster. It’s a simple idea that’s often forgotten at the beginning of a project, when the wide-open possibilities of adding extra functionality and dreaming up imaginative aesthetics can often distract from practicality. Don’t get bogged down in the sheer number of possibilities. The lack of a clear vision for a project will delay it. Time spent at the beginning to clarify the vision with your team, client, manager, and even with yourself, is time well spent. If you’re unsure of what direction to go, planning small deadlines on the way to your final cutoff point and execution of elements with multiple potential approaches. In fact, having a clear vision will help you more realistically set your final deadline. These two aspects should go hand in hand if possible, but if your target date is already set make sure your immediate second step is clarifying the vision for the project.

3) Schedule In Reverse: Now that you have your deadline, it’s time to make a schedule. Use the calendar in your email, on your phone or in your physical planner, whichever works best for you, to start planning out a project. First, mark your final cutoff point. Then, schedule in smaller milestones you intend to hit along the way. This segmented planning will help you set realistic goals to hit so that your project never goes off track. If you’re on a team, do this collaboratively as soon as possible so everyone knows what their individual responsibilities are and how often the team will meet to discuss progress. If you’re working on your own this is a great jumping off point to help you focus and prioritize.

4) Creative Thoughts, Brainstorming and Reflecting: Ignoring creative thinking could ruin your project, but so could focusing too intently on innovation. Don’t put pressure on yourself to reinvent the wheel every time you start a project. This will hamper productivity and slow you down. Not every project has to be totally unique. Depending on the situation, tried and true methods may work perfectly for your current assignment. Just make sure you aren’t on autopilot, doing things the same way every time because you haven’t set aside the time to think of better methods. Speaking of setting aside time, creative thinking, brainstorming and reflecting deserve their own blocks of time on your schedule. Setting aside blocks of time for creative reflection throughout your project will help you constantly evaluate your progress, making sure it aligns with the overall vision for your assignment. If you’re working on this project collaboratively, scheduling meetings to discuss revolutionary ideas and reflect on potential innovations you can implement can take a lot of time. Make sure these meetings have direction and clear purpose so that creative discussion isn’t squashed, but productivity is saved.

5) Avoid Pressure and Procrastination: Sprinting through the last few elements of a project within hours of the final cutoff point may give you an adrenaline rush, but it’s not conducive to good work. Will you miss your deadline and disappoint your manager? Will you turn in a sub-par contribution to a team project that clearly pinpoints you as the weakest link? Don’t let these questions pop up! Avoid the cycle of pressure and anxiety by cutting out procrastination and sticking to your plan. No, your creative thinking time should not be eliminated, it may result in some of your best work. That being said, those time blocks you created are a time for reflection and brainstorming, not procrastination. Focus on the task at hand and avoid distracting tangents that can send you spiraling in the wrong direction. While you’re at it, make sure your priorities are straight. Maybe you’re scheduled to work on an important aspect of your project but you haven’t fully formed your plan for executing it yet, that’s fine. If you’re going to put off certain aspects of the project, make sure you’re substituting in another project related task to ensure your deadline won’t be missed. Prioritizing is an important skill to have in a deadline-driven, project-based IT environment. That being said, having a strong hold on your assignment and insisting on doing things as you have always done them will stifle your creative possibilities. Simplify and eliminate extraneous procedures when possible so that you can allow for leniency, brainstorming and innovation.

Deadlines can be intimidating, but if you’re equipped with the right tools for planning your productivity, they won’t be! Organization and prioritization are important, but that doesn’t mean you have to kill off any hopes of brainstorming innovative ideas. Instead, follow these steps throughout your next major project to ensure you deliver creative, well-executed results on schedule.

Strategic Management For Your Small Business

     As a small business owner, the things you want to achieve with your business are not always written down. Advisors will say “you need a business plan“, bank managers will insist on one before approving that vital loan you need to fund your expansion. Whether or not you codify what you want for your business, you should have an understanding of what strategic management is all about so you can drive your business forward, ensuring you can achieve/maintain sustainable competitive advantage.

Strategic management in business boils down to 3 simple questions:

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be?

3. How are we going to get there?

Where are we now?

The first question looks at the situation the business is in, this situational analysis can take many forms but as a general guide think about doing SWOT and PEST analyses of your current position. Don’t be frightened by these acronyms, they are really easy to grasp and can provide surprising insights into your business and develop your thinking. You could brainstrom these with other members of your team, or your family/friends if you are a lone wolf.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal aspects of your business: What are you good at? What makes you better than your competitors? What don’t you do so well? Where could you improve? Opportunities and threats are generally external, so what opportunities are there in the marketplace? Threats could be from new competitors entering your market.

Next, it is vital that you look to the wider external environment, there are many acronyms for this type of analysis (STEP, PEST, STEEPLE, STEEPLED to name a few) but they all amount to pretty much the same thing: Political/Legal, Economic, Social and Technological factors. I won’t go into great detail about these as they are self explanatory, for example, the advent of the internet (Technological) has and continues to impact massively on how businesses operate. Analysis of the wider environment can help you to spot opportunities for growth or highlight the need for change.

Where do we want to be?

So you’ve analysed where you are now, the process in itself will usually throw up some interesting suggestions, next you need to think about where you would like to be. The answer to this question forms the basis of your strategic business objectives, they can be wide ranging and don’t necessarily just have to be turnover focused. In a large organisation there will be corporate objectives that underpin the overall direction of the business, these then cascade down throughout the different departments who will each have there own set of objectives, ensuring a coordinated and synchronous approach to getting the business where it wants to be. In a small business you may just have a handful of goals but try to think outside the box here, as the saying goes, “turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality”. Don’t chase turnover increases just for the sake of it, your underlying profitability is what really matters, and your objectives need to be realistic and achievable (more about that next).

When setting your objectives it is not enough to simply state: ‘To increase sales’ or some other vague statement, your objectives need to be SMART, another acronym, sorry, but a useful one nonetheless. Check that your objectives meet this criteria, they should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-related. An example of the above vague objective made SMART could be: ‘To increase sales by 10% within the next 6 months’. These SMART objectives ensure you can measure the effectiveness of your strategy and tactics.

How do we get there?

You now know where you are now and where you want your business to be, but how are you going to get there? How will you achieve your objectives? This is where strategy and tactics come in, your strategy is the broad overall plan, whilst the tactics are the nuts and bolts of what you will actually do to achieve your objectives.

So there you have it, ask yourself: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? These questions are the fundamentals of strategic management. Finally, don’t forget the feedforward loop too, this is the whole point of creating SMART objectives so you can measure if they have been achieved. Once you have carried out your plan you need to check how effective your chosen strategy and tactics have been by asking: Have we arrived? Have we achieved our objectives? If not why not? These answers then feedforward into your next cycle of planning and the process starts over again, rinse and repeat…
With a first class honours degree in Business Management and IT from the University of Manchester, a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and a Masters degree in Marketing (specialising in Internet Marketing), Colin is excellently placed to appraise and advise on the very latest in business and marketing best practice and theory. With some years experience lecturing in Strategic Marketing Communications on the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Postgraduate programme under his belt and over 20 years proven commercial experience building a multi-million pound online retail business. Logical Fox Marketing

The Three Most Important Metrics to Measure

     Copyright (c) 2014 Mr. Inside Sales

What are your three most important metrics you measure to track and predict revenue?

That was the question I asked my LinkedIn “Inside Sales Management Group,” and the answers I received were quite interesting. Whether you’re a business owner, sales manager or even a sales rep, you know that metrics are a crucial way to measure your performance, predict revenue, and evaluate progress made. But which metrics are the most important? Before I give you my answer, let me share some of the answers I received:

One answer was:
1) Opportunities created,
2) # of times contacted, and
3) conversions, deals closed.

I thought that was an interesting answer, especially the “# of times contacted.” While I understand the opportunities created and conversion or deals closed, I don’t know that I’d include # of times contacted as one of the three most important metrics to measure. Obviously it’s important to know how much time a sales rep is spending chasing a sale, and also how effectively they are closing on each call, but I think there is a more important metric that I’ll share later on.

Another answer was:
1) Opportunities created,
2) Calls made on the accounts, and
3) Quality of the call.

This was obviously in relation to account management calls, and once again opportunities created was listed number one. The thing that I found interesting with this answer was quality of the call. As you’ll see later in the article, quality of the call, and, more specifically, how that quality is measured, is one of my top three metrics.

The most interesting answer came from VP of Sales, DJ Farnworth. Here was his answer:

1) # of open deals (times)
2) Historical win rate (times)
3) Historical ave. deal size = Pipeline. DJ said:

“One metric I’ve found very effective is: (# open deals) X (historical win rate) X (historical avg. deal size) = Pipeline. This takes some of the moving variables out of measuring just the numbers that are in the existing open deals and is based on past performance which should better indicate likelihood than a probability entered by the sales person.”

What I liked about this answer is that it seemed to most accurately predict the upcoming pipeline. I’ve sat in a lot of pipeline meetings, some worldwide even, and almost everyone in the room knows there is a lot of ‘wood’ that isn’t going to close. Getting an accurate account of what is truly likely to come in seems hard. This formula seems easy. You should try it.

O.K., now for my answer:

1) # of opportunities,
2) Close percentage
3) Script grading adherence evaluation per closing call.

#3 (Script grading adherence) is based on recording each call and grading adherence to your best practice script and scripted rebuttals. The reason is if a rep is winging it, they won’t get better and you can’t coach them. The manager’s job is to teach the best practice approach and then coach to it. Then you measure who is adhering to it and who isn’t. Every other metric (number of calls, number of contacts, trending to revenue for the month), etc., flows from that direct metric.

I always like to talk metrics with managers to see if they are measuring this very important component. Bottom line is if your reps aren’t using the best approach and handling objections and sales situations effectively, then the other metrics won’t improve much. If you ask them to make more calls, all you will get is more bad calls.

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite metrics, so visit our site and submit some. In the meantime, begin listening to how your reps are performing during their call, and begin improving their delivery and technique. That’s how you automatically improve all the other metrics.

Led Bay Lighting – Why Should You Install?.

     Generally LED bay lighting is used in places that have high ceilings, such as warehouses or hangars. They tend to be installed these days as the companies that have such properties don’t want to have to waste time in getting lights replaced often when they no longer work.
However there are plenty of other reasons for wanting to think about installing any kind of LED bay lighting today. Below we take a look at just some of the reasons why so many businesses and even homes are choosing to install this form of lighting.
Reason 1 – This kind of lighting has a much longer life span compared to conventional fluorescent and incandescent lights. When it comes to LED lighting you can expect these to last 10 times longer than a typical fluorescent light will. As a result of installing such lighting it means you won’t actually have to change the bulbs so often. Plus as well as reducing how often the lights need replacing it also means you are saving money because you won’t need to purchase so many.
Reason 2 – Another reason for why LED bay lighting is become so popular today is that they are much more energy efficient than conventional lighting. Most of the LED lights available today use between 2 and 10 watts of power to provide them with the energy to produce such a high level of light. As you will see this is very much less than conventional bulbs use and is generally around 33 % less. However what you also need to remember is that there are now LED bay lights available that use even less power than we have already stated and so of course will help you to to save even more money.
Reason 3 – Okay you will have to pay more for such lights initially but over the term of their use you are going to see quite a good return on your initial investment. As already mentioned these lights last much longer as they use less energy. But another thing to consider is that these types of lights don’t have any filaments inside them so they are much more durable. In fact these types of lights are less likely to break when bumped or dropped compared to conventional forms of lighting.
Reason 4 – Finally when it comes to installation of any kind of LED high bay lighting that not only do they use less power but are energy efficient in other ways. When these lights are turned on and left on for any length of time they actually remain much cooler compared to conventional types of lighting. Therefore even if you have yours on in your office all day you will find that when the weather is warm you don’t actually need to have the air conditioning on to help the temperature at a level that you find comfortable to work at.
So if you haven’t considered investing in LED bay lighting before hopefully the reasons we have provided above will help you to think about investing in them now.

How To Align Your Mindset With Attraction To Close More Sales

     Copyright (c) 2014 Fabienne Fredrickson

Have you noticed you are attracting interest in your business, but somehow you’re not getting more clients? When this happens to people, there is usually something we call a “chaotic vibration” going on.

A chaotic vibration shows up when you say you want something (and of course you think you want it), but inside there’s either a belief or fear that’s in the way. It might be, “I want a full practice of ideal high-paying clients,” coupled with a belief system or fear that says, “Oh my goodness, if I have a full practice, I will lose my freedom. I’ll be working all the time with less time for my husband and children.”

Or it could be you don’t feel good enough. You might make mistakes or get found out as a fraud. Many of you fear clients won’t get results or you won’t be able to handle all the money.

These beliefs and fears are common, and you may have one or perhaps several holding you back. Your goals and fears are like oil and water; they do not mix well, which is why you don’t get clients. So you are attracting, but you are not receiving.

How do you unearth the belief or fear that is holding your back? Be honest with yourself. Most times, my students know exactly what is holding them back. Think about if you had all the business you wanted… What would feel a little wiggly and incongruent or uncomfortable? Then you’ll have your answer.

Once you know, then it’s time to plug into faith and your “big why.” Why are you doing this work? This is the part that provides joy, motivates and inspires you.

See, you are here to change the world. This is your divine duty. It’s time to get past the idea of playing small. You’ve got to dream bigger and plug into faith.

I’m going to share something really personal. I have a sign in my office that reads, “Women entrepreneurs are here to change the world and the time is now.” We must awake to our calling and our potential for greatness and step into it with courage and faith, taking a “no-excuses” approach to playing bigger game in service to others.

Client attraction and mindset work hand in hand through your life purpose to make it happen. When you are plugged into your big why and know this is your divine calling here on earth, of course you’re going to make it because people need you.

So be patient. Move forward with a no excuses approach. Remember, the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit, and that’s okay. Your business needs time to develop and grow.

Your Assignment:
Get out your journal and write about why your business is really happening. Look at it like a bird’s eye view. As yourself why this work needs to happen and how it can impact the greater good. Look into why you are the perfect person to do this work and why this message is coming through you for others. Then believe it and feel it deeply. You only attract what you expect and believe. That’s how you get clients.

Is Your Resume Aging You?

     You may be inadvertently aging yourself on your resume by doing minor things that look innocent enough but may cost you interviews. The good news, however, is there are easy fixes you can implement to improve your chances of landing a job interview. Below is advice for you to follow.

• Younger jobseekers usually have a Gmail account as opposed to AOL or Hotmail. So if you have either an AOL or a Hotmail email, scrap them. If you don’t want to give those accounts up then signup for Gmail specifically for your job search.

• Limit the phone numbers you include on your resume to your cell and home number. If possible, only include your cell since most younger jobseekers only have a cell phone, and therefore, only include one number on their resume. Never, ever include your fax number. It’s just not done anymore and it serves as a signal that you are part of an older generation.

On a side note, never include a work number since doing so demonstrates lack of respect for your existing employer. Interviewers understand you are using company time to search for a job. It’s an open secret, but that doesn’t mean you should use company resources to find another position. You’ll turn off interviewers and lose out on opportunities.

Resume objectives are passé and usually older jobseekers include it because they haven’t kept up-to-date on resume writing trends and are relying on information from their youth. So scrap the ineffective, “Seeking a job where I can utilize my skills” and transform the beginning of your resume with a strong introduction such as, “Strong, diverse background in accounting, bookkeeping, and auditing within various environments, including corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations.”

• As proud as you may be with your career trajectory, avoid starting off a resume with “Seasoned professional with over 30 years’ experience.” Some of the HR representatives reading your resume may not be thirty years old themselves and the mention of three decades worth of experience will stand out to them, and not in a good way. Instead, write something more neutral: “Success in generating significant cost reductions, implementing processes to improve accounting functions, and introducing technology solutions to strengthen financial information management.”

Not only is this statement neutral, it says more about you and your background than touting the amount of years you’ve been a professional. Using this method you kill two birds with one stone: (1) you don’t inadvertently reveal your age and (2) you provide interviewers with information he or she can sink their teeth into.

• Focus your professional experience on the last ten to fifteen years. If you must include experience from the 1970s then should do so creatively by developing a section called “Value-added Experience” and reveal the details under that category without attributing dates.

Above all, accomplishments trump all else (most of the time). So make sure your resume is filled with compelling copy that outlines your achievements because those will be difficult for a hiring manager to overlook, regardless of your age.

How Can an Employer Avoid Whistle Blower Risks?

     Whether big or small, every company has employees who form groups and complain about the company. They generally criticize their pay, working hours and safety standards. Some of them go a little further and become whistleblowers creating issues.

A whistleblower is an employee who complains to external agencies that the company is doing something he believes is wrong. As an employer, you should be aware of how you can avoid whistleblower risks.

The purpose of this article is not to say that whistleblowing is wrong. We think many of the whistleblower cases can be avoided provided employers take care of certain things.

Why whistle blowers are a risk
Dealing with whistleblowers is risky because they often complain to government agencies without first bringing the issue to the cognizance of their employer.

Whether an employee is merely a complainer or really a whistleblower, you have to be very careful in dealing with them as the law protects them. The purpose of the Whistleblowers Protection Act is to allow employees to report employer’s actions that the employee thinks violate specific rules. There are many federal and state laws such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the False Claims Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc. that provide protection to whistleblowers.

The law also protects the employee against retaliation from the employer like disengaging the employee, denying benefits, demoting, intimidating, blacklisting, disciplining, denying overtime or promotion and reducing pay or hours.

Further, the employee who blows the whistle gets 15%-25% of the amount as an award by the court of law according to the law under False Claims Act.

What the employer needs to do
You may not be willing to believe that an unacceptable activity is going on in your company, but showing your anger to the whistleblower is likely to make it more problematic. Instead, be sensible and consider the issue as an opportunity to review existing systems and processes.

Ensure compliance
As an employer, the first thing that you need to do is assess the workplace and ensure that it is per compliance standards. You should follow the rules meticulously and ensure compliance. In some states, it is mandatory for employers to display whistleblower posters. Make sure to check the laws with a compliance services provider.

Hold goodwill meetings
It’s important to note that for optimal compliance of labor laws, employees’ cooperation is essential as well. Make sure to gain goodwill of your employees by cultivating cordial relations with them. Make rules at the workplace clear. Explain your position firmly. This is likely to dissuade employees from becoming potential whistleblowers.

Develop a compliant policy
Create a positive impression among employees that, as the employer, you are not going to retaliate when an employee complains about a certain process or activity. If you get a complaint submitted by an employee, investigate the matter thoroughly and take remedial measures without fail according to rules of your company. This will help you gain the trust of employees.

Take help of compliance services
The problem with whistleblowers is the exact definition of the term is not clear. Some statutes have definitions that are very narrow and others give a very broad definition. Therefore, it’s better to take help of compliance services to avoid risk.

Whatever is the outcome of the whistleblower case, you will have to spend a lot of time, effort and money. By taking the precautions as discussed, you can minimize whistleblower risks.