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Have you ever spent time ruminating about your mistakes?  Focusing on how you messed up, or worse, lost something near and dear because a personal mistake?  The moment is past, but you are still jailer, judge and jury.  You mete out punishment daily, and fully expect the world to offer the same.

Inviting failure back to live in your mental space daily is a habit.  Good news!  Habits were made to be broken.  They are just a familiar reaction.

The question is…Do you want to live in failure forever?  I’m quite sure the answer in a resounding NO!

I know the old adage, you can’t grow unless you failed a few time.  Well I’m thinking that is totally bogus.

How about a new plan…

Avoid planning for failure:

1) Forget the past – it’s over.

Sure you’ve had your share of setbacks if you’re an adult.  Don’t get stuck in that brainworm, endless loop place of instant replay.  You know where you keep replaying the mistake and looking for ways to repeat it.  Human’s make mistakes – release your need for making it right.  Your brain is great at trying to solve complex problems.  Failure isn’t complex – it’s simple and it’s over – let it go.

2)  Know your path.

This is big – when you’ve decided on a plan.  You will find it is so much easier to walk on the correct path.  You will know where you want to end up.  Then when you sense you’re off the path you will quickly loop back and get right back on the journey.  Success feels right, fear and failure produce the opposite feelings.  Big news – people have a limited lifespan.  Do what makes sense to fulfill your destiny here and now.

3)  Is this your mistake or someone else?

This is going to seem strange.  Maybe the mistake isn’t really a mistake.  Sure there are some biggies that people warn you about.  Youth is famous for “doing it my way” thinking.  Then something clicks later on in their lives.  Maybe I should have listened to my parents, teachers, etc.   I firmly believe you should try to follow the golden rule.  Still in the end are you living your mission?  I have found that many times a mistake is really another person’s disappointment you didn’t fit into their image or plan.  You will still have to look yourself in the mirror everyday.

You shouldn’t go out of your way to lie, cheat, or steal from other people.   The bottom line – you need to live your own personal mission.  Be true to yourself, and most of all forgive your past mistakes.  Seems pretty simple right?

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Happy Sunday readers,

I’ve been thinking about Apollo 13 recently.  Rent the movie for the complete story.  Here’s the synopsis: Three astronauts traveling to the moon have a series of problems while on a space mission.  They had to use their wits, and through the power of logic, come up with some creative solutions quick.

Recently I’ve been counseling someone with a “big problem.”   Everyone usually has several problems which they encounter daily, but there is one (or several) with a lot of juice.  Something that stops them in their track, and keep them up at night.  I like to think of them as Apollo 13 problems.  Most of them are related to money, health or relationships.

This individual was frozen by one of the big three problems, and he couldn’t see any solutions.  He had tried “everything” to fix his problem.  I asked him if he’s tried “everything” which he sheepishly said not everything, but it sure felt that way.  I pointed out if Edison failed 10,000 times to create the lightbulb do you think he tried the same solution 9,999 times and succeeded the last time?  Not likely!

So my suggestion – write down three new solution to this Apollo 13 problem everyday for two weeks.  That would offer him 24 new solutions.  Do it for a month and you would have 90 options.

Now I warned him – don’t filter the suggestions your brain comes up with.  Some of your suggestions are crazy, even illegal, but several of them will turn out to be really creative.  All he needed was one or two great solutions and he was set.

Once he had his list I wanted him to check each solution on a scale of 1-10.  One for minimum effort, ten for maximum effort.  Finally I wanted him to rate his enthusiasm for each solution on the scale of 1-10.  He finally began to see several solutions naturally rise to the top.

You might ask – why would I want him to rate effort and enthusiasm?  Enthusiasm will carry people over the hump of effort, but they might give up if the effort is too difficult when enthusiasm is so low.

In the case of the client he wanted to fix a money problem.  I had him do my Apollo 13 exercise – what he realized was astonishing.  He saw in black and white that his usual solution wouldn’t get different results, but adding a list of new potential ideas he had new possibilities.  He began to feel hopeful he could get new results.

So what are your mission critical problems?   Start with a piece of paper and begin brainstorming to get some new ideas.

I don’t want to give away the story, but in the end everything worked out.

Have a great week from your Mompreneur

Christine

I would love to reach more people – Like us on Facebook or subscribe to the blog

P.S. – RIP Whitney Houston…may you sing on forever.

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I began thinking about belief last night during the Superbowl.  Anyone who is not a football fan, or doesn’t know the Giant’s motto – Believe.  That’s what they did in spades – Eli and team knew in their minds it was a fact they would come home with the Lombardi trophy.  Congratulations to Big Blue

You can work that same magic in your own life.

Today I had a wonderful lunch with a person who keeps me grounded.  She said “I just don’t get mad anymore – I just believe that the right thing is waiting for me.”  She’s one of the most positive people around.  She’s not a Pollyanna, and thinks that everything is perfect.  Rather she just has an understanding that what is the right path will appear.  She doesn’t stress – rather just plugs along – and amazing things happen for her.

I’ve seen it happen in my own life – especially when I step out of the way.

I had a mission to date this one person.  Every single day I said with conviction it would happen.  I didn’t give up for a long time.  Finally when it happened and this person stepped back into my life (moving into my neighborhood from another state) I was elated.  Then after spending some time with this person I realized I could have used my belief powers for a higher purpose.  The relationship was a disaster.

I came to realize that belief can be a double edge sword.  Especially if your focused on another person, place or thing.  Sometimes you need to shoot your arrow a little higher.

I notice when I force things into my own “plan” they usually go haywire.  Then when I step back and just let the flow happen, miracles present themselves. You need to focus your belief onto yourself first, then the right person, place or thing will present itself – not the other way around.

So today the message -”Believe” is a vital part of the success formula.  You can believe in the final outcome, but you can’t direct every piece of the plan.  Rather you just need to believe this is where you’re supposed to be.  What has been given to you is part of your creation.  Finally don’t ask for something without conviction.

Enough for Monday -

Make it a wonderful week – Christine

Your Mompreneur Coach

 

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Today I gave someone a task – for the next 30 days think of three things everyday you want to do to have more abundance.  While I wasn’t the creator of this exercise I think it is extremely valuable.  I have to give credit to other personal development coaches such as Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield.

Still, I didn’t give this task lightly…

This important task was given to someone who is planning to retire, but they don’t know what to do with their post 9-5 freedom.  How many people would be thrilled with having all the time in the world to do whatever they choose?  The only problem… this person doesn’t feel abundant.  Even though they have a nice nest egg to retire with they feel everything is “too big” of a cost.    They live in a perpetual state of lack and fear.

Here’s my big secret – you’re wealthy beyond measure if you have your health, family, and friends.  Once you get past a feeling of lack you begin to see possibilities.  You need to stop looking at the glass half-full.  Ask yourself do you want the inert paper called money or what it brings and offers your life.  I’m willing to bet it is the emotions and possibilities money represents.

How about the next time you get bills in the mail think “Wow I was able to buy X, or I have electricity to run my house, or thank the universe for the ability to have a job to pay these bills”  Whatever it takes to start to feel graced and abundant.

You will be amazed how positive you feel.  Feeling positive is sunshine in a gloomy day.

Now don’t get me wrong – if you want more abundance you need to ask for it.  You need to believe it’s possible, and take action.  Still you can start feeling abundant today.  Give a dime if you have a dollar.  The open hand receives – the grasped fist deters success.  You decide if your a conductor or a resistor.

You might not get the positive results from the immediate future, but I can assure you what you do today will come back threefold.  Patience and persistence is the leverage which moves mountains.

Now I hope that you take on the exercise – think of three things daily that make you feel powerful, graced and successful.  Do you want more money – think of three things you can offer each day that increase your abundance.

Not every idea that comes out of your head will be a winner – but after 30 days you will have 90 ideas.  All you need is a single idea to make a big difference in your life.

Live well and open your hands to success,

Blessings,

Christine
Your Mompreneur Coach

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I spent some time today pondering.

When I was a kid my friends and I went rock climbing.  The trip up the mountain was scary, and at one point I almost fell backwards onto jagged rocks.  After hours of climbing we made it to the top.  The funny part when we got there, the other side of the mountain was an gentle sloping hill.  We lived on the side of the hill that had the rocks.  It would have made more sense to look at both sides of the hill before we decided to climb up the sheer rock face.  Still we didn’t realize there was another side of the mountain until we reached the top.

How many people spend their lives climbing up the tough side of the mountain?  There is another solution. Don’t let your life experience become a climb up the rock face, scary and perilous. Find a roadmap, a mentor or create a plan before you set out for the climb.

When was the last time you took a look, stopped to look at the other side of the hill, or just stopped to be quiet in the noise?

Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that I’m a big fan of Dr. Stephen Covey.  I make it a habit to re-evaluate my plan often.  I try to live in Q2 most of the time.   I protect my planning and thinking time.

I’ve met a lot of people who live in Crisis (Q1) or Coma (Q4).  I refuse to be pushed to ledge, if I find myself there it’s because I’m out of Q2.

Q2 is planning and that’s where the hidden treasure lies.

Ask yourself where are you right now are you being pushed over the edge AND hanging on by your fingernails on the ledge (Q1)?  Are you procrastinating and avoiding doing anything (Q4)?

Or are you looking at both sides of the mountain to see if there is another way up the hill?

The only reason I can live in Q2 is because I’ve spent time deciding what I need to accomplish.  My life mission, my long-term goals, short-term goals and how the whole picture fits together.  Writing this blog satisfies one portion of my life plan goals.

Take some time this weekend to evaluate where you are emotionally, socially, spiritually and financially.  You may find you need an overhaul, but savor the trip.

How are my fans doing cleaning up their lives and organizing?  Did you find some hidden treasures lurking in the pile of filing?

Tell your friends about my blog – who knows maybe there is a hidden treasure in all my musings…

Develop your plan, find your center and get into action!

Christine

 

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Happy Friday. You’ve designed your present. Whatever you dreamed and focused on in the past has come to be. If you want a different future, think different thoughts, and dream bigger dreams. Nothing is possible without you directing the choices.

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2011 is finally here

January 4th, 2011 | Posted by Christine in Shark Tank Blog - (0 Comments)

Wow big changes for my business model in 2011…

Thanks to Kate Buck for opening my eyes to social marketing. She’s amazing!! Along with the traditional New Year Resolutions I’m going to be making some business ones too.

I’m sitting here thinking about where to go with business. Mobile and Social Marketing are the top 2 products I’m going to be working on during 2011.  I love content research and it seems like a natural fit for me to be more social.

So here are my other 2011 resolutions… (Resolution #1) No More Bed Suck. Here’s a problem working from home. You never leave the office, but it’s also so easy to blow off working for a day or two. 2010 big revelation – The only thing that suffered was my bank account.

(Resolution #2) This website are going under a major overhaul – I’m giving all my SEO work to my partner. While I love the concept of SEO I don’t have the desire to keep up with the technology side of the business.

(Resolution #3) The Shark Tank blog is going to be retired. While I can hear the crying from the 10 people who followed the blog in 2010 the writer has moved onto bigger and better projects. Keeping it going feels disingenuous – so here’s my new blog inspiration – Bailey.  She is the most spoiled dog in the history of dog’s.

Picture of my blog inspiration

It's a dog's life

Three is a good number of changes to start out with in 2011.   I added a twitter account today so please follow me on Twitter at

@ladyinredonline

Plus a Facebook fan page for Lady In Red  – Next thing you will see is a big change to the layout of this website.

Warmest Wishes for a profitable 2011
Christine

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Hello Blog Readers and all ships at sea!!

I know it’s been a few weeks since I posted. I’ve been dealing with a nasty cold, and it made me a bit congested. So I looked at the calendar and realized that Thanksgiving is upon us. Today’s post is about the sniff test.

You know what I mean – opening up your fridge and finding mystery leftovers. You wonder “should I jump in, just put it back, or maybe find something better” and how does this relate to marketing, writing and business in general? Customers and business owners make the decisions the same way. They use the sniff test everyday when deciding to hire a person to help them grow their business. Most people call it intuition, but it’s really the sniff test.

Now how does this relate to business…People who truly need your product or service are your target audience. These are the people that have their hand on their wallet. The people who want to hire you today. The one’s who will call or order your product. Real revenue – not projected future sales. You have to pass their sniff test.

A consultant can’t stand on the street corner with a megaphone and sell their services. No one would take them seriously – people would wonder what you’re trying to pull. This one of the reasons that institutional advertising rarely works. Institutional advertising doesn’t pass the sniff test. Customers rarely believe anything that they read in the paper. They know that’s you’re trying to buy creditability.

Now if you gave an interview (or had some PR piece written) to the local paper – that would pass the sniff test.

Next, consultants need a “Big Dog” that’s willing to put their reputation on the line for them. Skittish customer’s need the warmth of the herd. That is why most work comes from happy customers referrals. Networking is the key to developing a solid success network. This is the same for any business, from the one man operation to a multi-billion dollar organization.

Over the past few weeks I’ve worked on some interesting projects. Several of these projects were focused on improving on a proven technology. The only problem with the projects is the funding. The projects are not “bank ready.” Think of bank ready ideas as something a banker looks at and is willing to put money on the line. So if you’re next big idea won’t pass the banker sniff test – time to go back to the drawing board.

This is also important in writing copy and direct marketing pieces. You can fool the public once to click on a “free information link” but they aren’t going to move to the next level without the sniff test. Put out a solid offer, get them salivating for information (only you have the insider secrets) to pass the sniff test. This is a plug for my business services. Content research gives your writing the information you need to pass the “sniff test.”

You can put a fact, figure, quote or link that seals the deal with your prospects. Studies show that a writer spends 5-10 hours on research before they write their first sentence. Imagine saving 5-10 hours of research time hiring a content research specialist. The best part – you can include that into your price for services. Win-Win for you and your customer.

I know this is short and sweet. Pass the customer’s sniff test and watch your profits soar.

Until we speak again – Market well.

Christine

About the author: Christine Vilmur Cavaliero is the owner of First Degree LLC . With 20 years of consulting experience she writes about marketing consulting services – LadyInRedMarketing and BestSEOintown. Her company specializes in results oriented marketing services for small business owners.

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Hello Blog Readers – and all ships at sea:

When fall bursts into color, and the leaves are changing, you can’t beat the Northeast.  This is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the US.  I’m sure we have competition, but everyone should see it once in a lifetime.  My family took a drive around New England this weekend. After a long ride we found ourselves in Salem Massachusetts. Wow what a madhouse, but it was a great example of marketing. There were thousands of tourists there.

As Halloween approaches I’m sure you’re thinking of ideas how to scare up new business.   (Just to let you know I’m adding more Halloween puns and metaphors – I can’t help it – it’s just so much fun). My suggestion, follow the Salem example, and start some major buzz about yourself by embracing marketing for maximum return.

Rule#1 – Salem knows their target market inside and out.  Anyone who has an interest in Witches or the paranormal knows Salem.

Rule#2 – Timely promotions – October is their MAXIMUM exposure month.  I’m sure you know the buying cycles for your market.

Rule#3 – Highly visible promotions – Reaching a maximum audience they used Radio & TV advertising along with traditional Word of Mouth on social networks.

Today I’m thing about another hot technique for marketing -  writing monstrously good articles.

People trust the printed word. Yet most business owners won’t take advantage of writing blogs, articles or white-papers. One common fear is information would appear trite, irrelevant, or too self-serving.   Hypnotize yourself  and repeat after me “This as my opportunity to share what I know.”

Still wondering what to know what to write about? I’m here to give you the 5 magic formula questions of writing an article.

1) People are interested in learning what new trends are happening in your industry.
2) What questions does a prospect ask when they call you?
3) What questions are you asked in social situations about your industry?
4) What information does your family or friends ask you about your job or profession?
5) How is technology changing your line of work?

Write down everything that comes to mind in a notebook. Don’t throw anything out. This brainstorming will become your magic writing spellbook. The key to this exercise is open your mind, and let the creative thoughts flow to the paper. You’re channeling your inner spirit, so avoid censoring your thoughts.

Look over your brainstorming session – pick one big idea which jumps off the page. Write it onto the header of a piece of paper as a question. That question is your topic for your first article.

Next put together a quick outline indicating two or three points you want to cover. Your article will have an introduction, two paragraphs about the topic question, an external experts opinion and your conclusion. Remember in the conclusion make sure you indicate who you are, a link to your website, and how to contact you by phone or snail mail. That’s it!

Mirror, Mirror on the wall – hope this helps explain article writing once and for all…

If this hasn’t helped you can always call in the marketing experts. Using a company like mine will help you carve out a killer PR plan. We also help you find content for articles. You can hire a ghost writers to pen an article or two.

Now you know another big marketing secret. My favorite way to reach more customers, and improve your website ranking, is writing articles. Next blog post I’ll touch on a Thanksgiving theme. I’m not sure how well that will work out, but we will see. I’m thinking of carving up Turkey SEO ideas.

Until I blog again – have a good month, and market well.

Christine

About the author: Christine Vilmur Cavaliero is the owner of First Degree LLC .  With 20 years of consulting experience she writes and manages two websites decided to marketing consulting services – LadyInRedMarketing and BestSEOintown. Her company specializes in results oriented marketing services for small business owners.

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Hello Blog Readers and all ships at sea – Welcome to my new reader in Italy. Cool I’m going international.

Today as I drove home from the gym thoughts of developing a USP ran through my head. USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition.

This blog idea stemmed from a prospect evaluation I had last week. Following the initial conversation I contacted a colleague for a second opinion. We both agreed the prospect’s website had a ME-TOO identity crisis. He is a book author. He wants to sell books about financial planning. Yet his website sounded just like every other “financial guru” on the market. Not too hard to see why his one and only book failed to sell. People didn’t realize what made his message unique. No AIDA, no call to action, nothing to “ask for the sale” just a lot of “ME-TOO” writing.

Fear of missing out on a sales opportunity drives some small business owners to do two really strange things. First they want to be bigger than they are. They use ME-TOO talk, call themselves a corporation, publisher, CEO, etc. Just little ‘ole Joe business owner isn’t good enough. Second they are “jack of all trades, master of none.” They do a smattering of everything. Speaking with them sounds like a political ad full of big promises and half baked ideas. They can cure cancer, negotiate world peace, save your business, triple your revenue, and do everything yesterday. You get a gut reaction they are full of BS, and run for the hills.

While my colleague and I came up with the standard suggestion. Rewrite his website with a re-branded message we realized we don’t know his audience. People who want to “achieve a financially stable retirement” is too broad, and there is just too much competition. He needs to reach a specific subset of that audience. So I sent him along with a task. Who is his “true target audience?” Until we identify that buyer we can’t do the website rewrite.

Now look at your website or sales literature… How much writing sounds like industry babble? Too much blah-blah-blah we’re #1, we’re great, blah-blah is a message killer!

Remember when your marketing sounds exactly like everyone else (ME-TOO) people tune you out! They’ve already heard that message before. A business owner needs to find their unique voice – something which will stop the prospect in their tracks. Something that bonds the audience to you for life.

One of my favorite examples of bad braning was a small community bank that had a blatant ME-TOO message. While the financial crash of 2008 was unfolding they refused to give up the “big bank” persona. It wasn’t until the big competitors started to say “we care about our customers” did they follow suit. The missed millions of dollars of new business because they refused to change from the ME-TOO message. The lesson – even large business’ have ME-TOO blinders on.

Final thought today, you can’t be everything to everybody. Express your unique qualities, be who you are, and spell it out. People who plan to buy your product, or hire you, will respect your candor. Don’t write your marketing message trying to please everyone. That will only lead to “ME-TOO” statements, and ME-TOO marketing is a nail in the coffin of your business.

A “specific target audience” allows you to be the big fish in your small pond.

Have a good week and market well-
Christine

P.S. – As the holiday season approaches I’m working on a special project. These books are dedicated to personal, business and financial success. A bit off topic for my Shark Tank blog, but if you want to be a big fish in the pond of life it will be worth a look. just whetting your appetite for more.

P.S.S. – Keep those comments coming, and as I said before if you have a project you want me to evaluate please contact me. I’m evaluating a few products and services that help fellow business owners accelerate success.

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