• A Tip from Jackie: Go Deeper, Not Sideways
    A Successful Small Business Owner Regroups (Not Retreats) When Sales Are Slow

    Successful Small BusinessSometimes I get this question: “What can I do if I need money now and I cannot sell my work/projects/service?” I say, it is possibly time to regroup. One of the best ways to regroup is to call upon the people who know you, love your work, and have been past clients. This group of raving fans probably includes a few who will be totally frank and honest with you, who will give you good feedback, and who really want to help you succeed. Find those two or three people and get their input and feedback about your work, your approach, your UVP, and your marketing, and learn how others see you. Often they see you in ways you do not see yourself, which means their input is invaluable. See if there is something you should adapt or shift. Is there another approach? Are you ahead of your market? Are you going after the right clients? Is your work of the best quality at a fair price? Are you able to talk about it well? Is it what potential customers want and need? Do they understand its value? Do you clearly articulate its value? I like to advise clients that if they have answered all of these questions and still are convinced they are on the right track, then renew your commitment to stay in your deep and narrow niche and dig even deeper. Make yourself known as even more of an expert. When you get scared, don’t go sideways. Go deeper.

  • Encore Entrepreneurs Are Filling Information Gaps…and Their Pockets
    Better, Smarter, Richer Featured in Next Avenue and Forbes

    The other day I learned that my piece Encore Entrepreneurs Fill Gaps and Their Pockets was published by Next Avenue. Needless to say, I was delighted; being in the company of the experts at Next Avenue is true honor.

    Next Avenue is a PBS website designed to reach America’s booming 50+ population as they plan for and literally define a new life stage–and it is an absolutely vital resource. I encourage all of you to go out right now and “like” it, “follow” it, or just plain read it.

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  • Strategies for Growing Your Business
    The Better, Smarter, Richer Path to Growth

    In the business world, we talk a lot about growth. Usually we don’t think of it as something that needs to be defined. Growth means getting bigger, and EVERYONE wants their business to get bigger, right? We want more sales, more customers, more page views…more more more of everything!

    The problem is that a standard business model often equates “growth” with “hiring employees.”

    You see the problem, right? As soon as you hire your first employee—not to mention your second, fifth, tenth, and fiftieth—you are no longer a solo business. Hiring employees changes your work and the way you spend your time. You’re not doing what you love anymore. Instead, you’re managing others.

    As a solopreneur, you can grow two ways:

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  • A Tip from Jackie: Words Matter
    Be Sure You Can Articulate Your Unique Value Proposition

    Why does it matter that you’re able to articulate your unique value proposition? Because words matter. And clear words are ones that will be remembered by those with whom you network. When you have it “right,” your words will resonate with people; they will also remember who you are and what you offer, and they will be able to network and market for you by sharing your “byte” sized information with others they may run into days, weeks or even months later. They will be able to talk about you and what you do. This is a wonderful and powerful way for you to spread the word about yourself without you having to go to every event. The second major reason you want to be able to articulate your value proposition is it is a way to self-regulate and keep yourself on track and on focus. Are you actually staying on track and doing what your UVP says you are doing? Have you strayed? Listen to what you are saying about yourself and make sure that is who you are and what you are doing. Be consistent, be clear and stay on track.

  • Is Your Brain Working Against You?
    Brain Science and the Art of Presenting

    By Guest Blogger Susan Taylor of Imagine Productions

    A note from Jackie: Many solos are terrified of presenting themselves to the world; for them, there is nothing scarier than standing up in front of a full auditorium and talking about what makes their business special. Forget about the auditorium! Some of my clients can barely stand to talk to one person at a cocktail party and explain their business venture. But you know what? Presenting yourself is a vital skill if you’re a solopreneur. Remember Principle #2 from Better, Smarter, Richer? You MUST be able to clearly and confidently articulate your unique value proposition, whether you’re talking to two people, 100 people…or even just yourself in the mirror (which is sometimes scariest of all). This guest piece from presentation expert Susan Taylor gives some fabulous tips for mastering the fear of presenting.

    Who’s in charge around here? Can you believe that in certain circumstances your brain takes charge of you and can even go so far as to work against your best interest? That little bundle of grey matter at the end of your spine has a mind of its own – or rather, is a mind of its own. There are three primary parts to your brain, each with assigned specific tasks. Each part developed separately as we evolved. The oldest part of your brain – known as the reptile brain – is, or most certainly was, a good pal. In fact we share this part of brain with all vertebrates and it served us all well. Its primary function is to interpret the world around us and keep us safe from danger so that we can live to reproduce our species.

    Brain Science and Fear

    Photo Credit: eatyou_S@ilor

    “What dangers?” you may ask. Lions? Yes. That something in the bushes? Yes. That tree that looks a little different than it did last time you passed by? Yes. Your presentation in a crowded auditorium? Your primitive brain will leap to your assistance here as well, but this time the assistance is not helpful.

    >>Read more…