Getting Results from your social media

Getting results from your social media is crucial when you’re in business and if you are bootstrapping, it is even more important to harness what is available at no cost.

In addition to the 5 key steps outlined in my article on understanding the basics, it is really important to understand just how busy social media is.

When you realise that Facebook now has more active users than China’s entire population you start to get an idea of how vast it is. More precisely how much traffic is out there!

It’s hard to be heard and seen. BUT… it is still a massive tool for FREE exposure if you are using the right strategies.

Getting Results

Three simple steps to implement to help you get results from your social media

1) Be authentic

Do not imitate.

By all means like and share, but…

Do not try to copy the style and tone of someone else.

Allowing your own brand personality to shine through is what helps build relationships.

Here’s the thing…

Buying a high ticket course or paying a “guru” lots of money does not mean you are going to achieve amazing results…

At least, not overnight.

More than likely you’ll need to do a whole load of hard work behind the scenes.

Remember, the results touted in case studies and testimonials to get you to buy are not typical. If you look carefully, you’ll see there are disclaimers saying exactly that.

2) Have a Plan

Getting results from anything comes down to having a strategy.

This means spending time thinking about the direction that you are taking and whether it is aligning with where you want to take your business.

Write down what it is you are aiming to achieve and then work out the strategy to get you there.

3) Build your mailing list

This is crucial because if Facebook shuts you down you will have lost that audience.

It is not as frightening or as complex as it sounds.

You can bootstrap by using MailChimp which is free up to 2000 subscribers.

Next Step

Try out the three simple tips above and you’ll soon be seeing a difference. Make sure you track what’s happening so you can really measure your results.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you have a plan, or if you need help formulating one.

Fly like a dragon!Fly like a dragon

Michelle

 

 

 

Strategic Planning = Achieving Your Goals

Strategic Planning is most often associated with a business.

Yet, if you stop and think about it… when you need to reach personal goals, it becomes so much easier with planning.

Strategic (adjective) as identified by the Oxford dictionary is defined as – Relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.

Putting time and thought into how we go about achieving both business and personal goals is equally important. Yet this is not something very many of us tend to do. At least not consciously.

For the most part, we often don’t think of our personal lives in terms of strategic planning. Yet strategy really does play a huge part in each of our lives.

Achieving Outcomes

If you want to achieve a certain outcome then you need to have a very measured approach.

A pathway. A series of stepping stones that take you forward towards your goals.

Without that pathway. The map. The strategy. Life tends to just wander along in a leisurely (or perhaps chaotic) fashion.

There is no firm direction.

Without strategic direction, there is less chance of achievement and satisfaction.

Strategic planning is all about aiming for what is right for YOU and for your business.

You are unique and your plans will be different to mine – but there is a commonality to all plans…

Strategic Direction

As we move along with our business/life/career we each NEED to know the direction we are heading in and WHERE we want to end up.

Why? Because without clear goals it is impossible to tell if we have actually achieved our goals and arrived where we want to be.

Naturally, goals can and often do change as we move through life. That’s part and parcel of business growth and life in general.

So many times I speak to women who have achieved an enormous amount in their lives and yet still feel a sense of lacking.

A sense of lacking

The sense of lacking can often be as a result of lack of clarity. The clarity is missing because there is no clearly defined goal.

Goals are not set and so there is the constant sense of needing to strive for more because it’s never clear that the destination has been reached.

Think about it… we experience the truest sense of achievement when we know we have actually got something we were aiming for.

In my own life, I have received lots of accolades, but these did not really provide that sense of achievement. Other people may have defined these as achievements, and yes, in a way they are right.

BUT …because these were never my goals I did not gain the sense of having “arrived” anywhere. It was a bonus to be recognised for a job well done. It was never a goal to achieve personal recognition.

Personal achievement

For me – one of my most recent biggest senses of achievement came when I was able to spend a year living and working in Europe.

It had been a goal I had for many years.

Planning out how this could be possible without enough language skills to operate at a corporate or community business level and still earn enough money to live on was a challenge. A big challenge!

I made it a reality by putting together a 4-year strategic plan that would get me there. The plan involved ticking off each of the steps one at a time.

Small goals. Bit by bit.

The result was achieving my “sabbatical” year in Spain.

Fly like a Dragon Fly like a dragon

Michelle

PS – need help with your own Strategic Planning? Get in touch and I’ll guide your through creating your plan.

 

 

 

Changing things up…for business growth

Business growth means changing things up.

But change is not a natural state. It’s something that often brings resistance.

Our natural state is to want to stay within our comfort zones. It’s what we know, it’s usually predictable. We’re not taking any risks and it’s…

Boring!

Comfortable

There is comfort in waking up each day knowing exactly what you are going to do.

It’s nice knowing what’s going to unfold. How the day will play out. No hidden surprises.

You know what you’re going to be facing when you step into your office/business. You can handle whatever the day is going to be throwing your way. Sure there may be a few little waves of disruption, but that’s okay…you can handle it.

This kind of comfort comes from the familiarity of a set routine.

It’s mundane and certainly not a challenge. It is not an atmosphere for growth!

Challenge

Facing challenges makes you grow, develop new skills and expand your horizons.

I know from personal experience that it is during the times when I’ve been facing the biggest challenges that I’ve really grown.

One of the biggest challenges I ever faced and that had a huge impact on my future business pathway was…speaking in public.

I was always the one in the background. I was happy doing research, speaking to people one on one, writing speeches etc.

I had the wordsmith gift but I was missing an essential ingredient… the confidence to stand up in front of a live crowd. TV and radio were okay because the audience was not actually right there. Not sitting right where I could see them.

For many years I was able to coast along and avoid public speaking.

However, this all changed in 2004. I won the Telstra Business Woman of the Year (NT) Award. Part of the expectation was that I would be willing to speak in public.

It frightened the daylights out of me…

Embracing the Challenge

I listened to experts on how best to tackle the problem of overcoming nerves and what a good speaker needed to do. Tell a joke, warm the crowd up etc and so on went the advice.

I am not a natural at telling a joke. I’m hopeless and forget the punch lines every time, so no way was that going to work for me. I also tried (in the privacy of my home) practising a bunch of other techniques.

The very best advice I got was from a very unlikely quarter.

It came from Veronica Macauley Cross. She was the Queensland representative for BCNA at the same time as myself. Her advice was simply this…be yourself, and don’t ever let anyone try to tell you that catch in your voice needs to go. It’s the emotion that you convey that makes you such a powerful speaker.

It was also empowering to know that people genuinely wanted to hear what I had to share. Veronica passed away in 2007 (she was living with advanced breast cancer from the first day I met her) but I vividly remember Veronica and the very solid advice she gave me.

I changed things up by becoming a (reluctant) speaker because the business needed me to do so. The message needed sharing and there was an eager audience spanning the globe who were all waiting to hear what I had to share.

Business Growth

My work as a breast cancer advocate and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia was definitely business. The business was promoting awareness of breast cancer.

A business can only grow when you are willing to embrace change. You also need to have systems in place. Without systems, it’s a struggle to keep the performance level high – it’s also impossible to effectively grow.

No matter what kind of business you have – regardless of whether it is for or not for profit it is absolutely essential that you are willing and able to embrace change.

Change = Opportunity. Opportunity = growth.

It often means stepping right outside your comfort zone.

The challenge is being willing to step out, to step up and to make changes. To learn. To adapt. To release a little control through automating, delegating and outsourcing… so you can achieve your business goals.

It’s often just a few small tweaks to the way you’re doing business that can make a huge difference in your results.

It can be tough to work out what you need. But it’s definitely worth spending time on.

If you are not sure where to start and need some help figuring it out…reach out to us...you’ll soon be creating and maximising opportunities to take you to the next level. Promise! Don’t take our word for it…check out what others have to say.

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

 

 

100 day goals

I love 100-day goals.

Why? For the simple reason that they are so tangible and…

Achievable!

100 days is just a little over 3 months.

The reason I love working in 100-day blocks is that you can actually see how you are progressing.

There is a finite timeline, and at the end, you’re expecting a result.

Why it works

The reason is simply this…it’s not too far into the future. You do not have the luxury of taking your eye off the ball.

The focus has to be on pushing to move forward each day. This means you can actually see your progress – or if you slack off, you’ll have to rush to catch up.

Procrastinating is not an option.

100 days may sound like a good amount of time, but the reality is that it goes whizzing pass! It is also far more tangible than setting 6 or 12-month goals

To achieve 100 day goals means being disciplined.

Discipline is the secret

Think about it, it’s really easy to waste a few hours here and there.

For example, spending too much time on social media, allowing your routine to be interrupted without a valid reason, neglecting to switch your email to offline mode, and so the list goes on.

With 100-day goals, you are on a countdown timer. There is a finite amount of time and you have a set goal ahead of you.

To get there needs discipline.

No excuses.

No time to go down rabbit holes – and yes, there are a zillion rabbit holes waiting for you to end up down.

There is no time for saying could have, would have, should have.

You just need to get the show on the road by taking the steps to move towards your set goal.

Measurable, Achievable & Progressive – MAP

Ever action you take towards your goal needs to be mapped out.

If you don’t follow your MAP, it is highly likely that you’ll deviate or get totally lost.

The key to succeeding and achieving is by being disciplined and setting realistic goals that you work towards one step at a time.

Daily Habits

Yes, habits. Things that you do every day.

One of the worst habits is timewasting, blaming and procrastinating. To achieve your goals these habits need to be shut down.

Good daily habits need to be adopted if you want to move forward.

Actionable steps need to become a part of your daily routine.

Breaking your business days into time blocks works wonders.

Time Blocks

Choosing your time blocks will depend on what you are wanting to achieve and the nature of your business.

The minimum blocks that ones I find myself always recommending are:

1. Me Time

Time dedicated just to you. Only you.

It’s at the top of this list because it’s vital that you have time to recharge your batteries and do what feels good for you.

I use my “Me Time” to go paddling, sit down with a book, walk along the beach or chill out with Netflix.  I schedule these time blocks into my day.

“Me Time” can also mean a short break away for a few days when I switch everything off to simply refresh, reframe and relax.

2. Business development time

This is the time that you spend on developing your business.

You need to be spending time daily on business development because it is a way of ‘feeding your funnel’ and ensuring you have ongoing connections. Don’t just do this when you are searching for new business.

Remember that people like doing business with those they know,  like and trust. So maintaining and developing relationships is essential to your ongoing business success.

For Dragon Sisters, our business development time includes catching up with former clients, spending time on social media interacting with other business pages, being a guest speaker, writing a blog post, newsletter, doing some phone catch-ups or investigating a business tool.

3.Work time

Just like it says, it’s all about getting your core business done – it’s about working IN the business.

It looks different for everyone. Some may have regular office hours, others may have flexibility. But whatever the case, your working time needs to be blocked out and you need to be sticking to a schedule.

If you’re a mechanic it means working on the cars, for a writer it’s the time you spend writing, as a coach it means the time you spend coaching or working on material, a B&B means this is the time you’re dealing with guests and making sure your premises are in tip-top condition.

4. Family Time

It is absolutely essential to be slotting in family time. What your personal blocks look like will very much depend on your circumstances.

My children are adults, so family time for me means;  a girls night with my daughter once a week, time visiting my elderly parents every couple of days when I am on Bribie Island; dinner with my kids each night if we are all in the same house.

It also means running my 16-year-old niece to basketball if I happen to be on Bribie. The driving time is a valuable bonding time. I listen as she chatters away about whatever is happening in her life/on her mind.

Family time can take many forms, but the key ingredient is being present it the moment and putting work aside.

The rest of the time is flexible – according to your personal circumstances.

It’s not easy

Yes, it can be a struggle to get the time blocks happening.

I’ve been there.

As a result of my personal experience I also know that unless you get this happening, you will continue to struggle to achieve your goals.

This is where having someone on your side who can keep you accountable is invaluable.

Keeping on track

By disciplining you will have no problem keeping on track simply by using simple techniques like lists, journals and prioritising.

If you are finding it’s a struggle you are not alone. There are different types of goal setters and goal getters.

Now here’s the thing – the 100-day goal method works for everyone. That’s right. It really does work.  Why? It works because it is finite.

Click here for a tip sheet on choosing the right coach or consultant

Talking to a supportive manager, finding a business coach, or being part of an accountability circle are some of the best ways for developing the key skills to move you along the path to keeping yourself and your business on track.

Fly like a dragon!

Michelle

 

 

 

The 5 Types of Goal Setters & Goal Getters

Everyone has goals. Fitness goals, diet goals, past-time based goals, and career goals. These are just a few types of goals you might have.

At Dragon Sisters, we have our own special set of business goals and each member of our team has their own personal goals. My goal is to become a published author.

Of course, I’ve had other goals, and I’ve had to make changes to my life accordingly as certain things changed. Which got me thinking about some of my old school mates, from high school and from university. Amongst them are some truly inspirational people and looking at all of them, I’d have to say there’s at least 5 types of goal setters & goal getters.

The Unwavering

This type sets themselves a goal and pursues it till accomplished; nothing seems able to deter them.

My friend Dayna is one of these types. I’ve known her since primary school and she’s always been super artistic. When we were in high school she decided she wanted to work in graphic design, and pushed herself above and beyond. She set her heart on RMIT University in Melbourne and poured everything she had into her grades.

I remember watching her work endlessly on her final assessments for year 12, and you know what? She did it, she got into RMIT and got her degree in graphic design, now she’s working in the industry and putting her skills to use.

The Realistic Dreamer

You probably know one of these yourself. They’ve got ambitions, but they’ve also got grounding.

These are the people who plot out a course and consider what’s happening in their life before shooting off after the impossible. Instead they pursue the possible knowing that it is the first stepping stone to the impossible.

Michelle Gately is one of these types, she’s a reporter for the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin at the moment and she’s also a book blogger, but one day who knows she might be working at Dolly or Bride to Be (she’s definitely got the writing chops for it).

I met Michelle when studying at Bond University. We were both journalism students, and we each wanted to focus towards magazines. As avid book lovers and writers, we bonded. Back then I still felt pretty confident in pursuing journalism, but unlike Michelle, that didn’t really pan out for me.

Michelle had wanted to work at her hometown’s paper straight from the get go so that she could help out her Dad. Yes, she wanted to eventually work at the magazines she adores, but no she was going to do things in a realistic fashion and start at home.

The Achiever

Some people seem to effortlessly achieve their goals. They set them and then next thing you know they’re achieving them. Of course, they do put in the effort, you can’t reach your goals without a little hard work, but it’s not always something we see.

My good friend Geordi Avila is one of these achievers, she works hard, but it also just seems like her goals fall into her palm (I know it isn’t so). I think the big reason for this is her amazingly positive attitude.

She’s always got a smile ready and a can do spirit. Geordi lived in the same campus dormitory as me when I was studying at Bond University. We lived in the same hall with just a few rooms between us, she became one of my closest friends at university, and I’m so happy to see her working at SKY News. Though I’m a little jealous how smoothly she transitioned from studying to real life (I’m still getting the hang of it all).

I fit Geordi in this category because even when we were at Bond she was an achiever, and yet she always seemed to have time for friends and social activities. I know she puts in the hours and the hard work, but it just looks easy for her.

The Procrastinator

A few of my closest friends fall into this category, they’ve got goals and they’ve got talent, but they just don’t seem to be getting there.

The people in this type can set goals anywhere from realistic to ambitious, but they always seem to still be reaching when you next check up on them.

Sometimes there are hurdles that seem to put kinks in their plans.  A friend of mine wants to be an actress but after just barely missing out with her first National Institute of Dramatic Art audition and then being looked over the next two times she’s spiralled off the path. Her goal is still the same, but she hasn’t made any strong efforts to try and reach it lately.

Another friend wants to work in graphic design (yes, I have multiple friends that are the artistic creative types). This particular friend took a hit to her goal as even though she was pouring everything she had into course work, failed one of her university classes, so she put her degree on hold and spent some time (a year or two) trying to figure things out. Now she’s finally getting back to her degree. Here’s hoping she gets to the finish line this time around.

The Ever Changing

Here is the category that I fall into. I’ve had a lot of goals and not all of them reached fruition.

Don’t get me wrong my life goal has been to be a published author since I was just a little girl having her Daddy read her books, but my career goals now, they are ever changing.

I’m the type that thinks they know exactly what they want and then later realises that isn’t quite right. I originally wanted to study teaching but was told by my high school teachers to study something else first, so I switched goals to journalism.

In university during my second year of study, it suddenly came to me, I wasn’t doing something that I wanted to do… of course, I was halfway through and could still use everything I was learning, so I persevered and got my degree.

After university, I really wasn’t sure where I was going in life. I did a stint as a tutor at my former high school (one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done) and tried my hand doing some filler writing for a local magazine before deciding to go back to university and study teaching. That didn’t pan out as I quickly realised I’d finally reached my school quota, I couldn’t bear to read any more textbooks or do any more assignments.

That’s when I decided I wanted to really get into editing. I had all the necessary skills from my journalism degree, and I enjoyed going through other people’s work and correcting it. So finally, by joining the Dragon Sisters team, I was able to achieve one of my career goals. Now I just need to conquer my life goal.

What type of goal setter & goal getter are you?

Sasha

PS If you enjoy reading fiction, check out my short stories to feed the mind.

Friends, Facebook & Your Business

I have a very dear friend, let’s call her Fiona. Unlike her fictional name, Fiona is not a figment of my imagination. I gave up that friend (Betty) when I was about five years old. Largely because Mum would not give me extra cookies for my invisible friend, being in my view, discriminatingly suspicious in her attitude towards that persecuted minority: the cookie deprived invisible; despite the hard proof of Betty’s existence, evident by the avid consumption of any, and all extra cookies, as difficult as they were to procure. To this day, I take a very dim view of discrimination against minorities.

But let’s not dwell on the noble traits of my formative years …

Fiona and I have been friends since our kids were babies. We’re as different as chalk and cheese. While I was suited and booted putting my stomp on the corporate world, Fiona was studying an environmental degree, juggling family, working with the underprivileged and volunteering her time to care of the environment. She’s so passionate about taking care of our earth that now, many years on, she’s created a business around it.

Fiona, is one of those people who walks the walk, not just talks the talk. You won’t find her lolling about with a latte bemoaning that state of the world. She’s out there, doing something about it. And when we get together we guzzle a cheeky little red, not lattes. Ah, so that’s what we have in common!

Recently, we caught up on each other’s news, well into the small hours and more than one red was had.

Fiona’s business is in bush regeneration. She’s been doing well, working on everything from private residences, community centres and kindies to government environmental contracts.

But like many SMEs, her business needs more clients. Naturally, I started banging on about Dragon Sisters, Smarketing and Fiona’s business Facebook page.

Fiona doesn’t do digital, social media or any of that stuff. Well, she does, a bit. She’s too busy with her digits digging in the earth to redirect them to a keyboard. Besides, she’s no fan of technology. Fiona frequently goes AWOL from her mobile, Facebook and Linked In accounts. I’m used to her being out of touch for tracts of time, then randomly popping up again. That never matters with good friends though, does it?

Just as the last of the red disappeared and I was thinking of doing the same, Fiona picked back up on the topic of Facebook and her business. Out came her laptop and up came her business page.

We put on some coffee and nattered into the even smaller hours. One thing I realized was that Fiona is a natural branding and word wizard. Who knew?! Yet her page wasn’t doing much for her.

She looked pretty crestfallen … ‘ ****! You mean all the followers I had are pretty much lost?’

Erm, yeah, sorry. This, on the subject of FB algorithms, Newsfeed, audience retention, blah blah blah. Suddenly the dry and the boring translated into the reality of nobody is seeing this great stuff ☹!

Fiona huffed about wasted effort and hard work. But she brightened when I pointed out some easy fixes and revitalization ideas. Fiona knows all about revitalization and regeneration, being in the business of exactly that. The parallel wasn’t lost on her.

Here’s to nurturing some new growth Fiona ? Cheers!

Fly like a dragon folks!

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

 

Choosing A Coach or Mentor

Have you noticed that, on a global scale, there seems to be an increasing proliferation of coaches?

I guess it’s a sign of the times that we live in. A sign that we are attuned to the need to reach out for help. That’s really positive! It’s wonderful when you are empowered to ask for help, when you understand it is not a weakness to seek help, but a strength.

The dilemma comes, when you have to decide who to work with.

A good coach is worth their weight in gold. Our guest poster last week, Michael Duckett, is a fabulous and highly ethical coach who has worked wonders for some extremely high-profile clients, including the legendary Heston Blumenthal.

A quality coach will help you gain clarity and achieve results. They will help you move forward with whatever aspects of your life or business you want to change/improve/work on. But it all comes down to choosing the right person for the job.

How to choose the right coach

This is where you need do a little homework (or maybe a lot of homework).

Just as there are horses for courses, there are different coaches suited to different people.  There are business coaches, personal development coaches, life coaches and a myriad more.

There are also those who are just keen to separate you and your cash. That’s why checking out reputations (not just what you read on Facebook or in other social media) is vital.

So, yes, it is confusing. Especially when you are going to be investing your hard-earned money.  At the end of the day it comes down to doing your own due diligence and choosing who you feel will be able to best serve YOUR needs.

Think carefully about what you want from a coach. Being clear on your expectations of a coach will help you make the right decision.

Lay it on the table and communicate the outcomes you expect.  Get clarity on how your coaching sessions will work, find out the availability of your coach and whether they’ll be running a ‘formula’ or if the sessions are unique to you.

Beware of the coach who claims to be able to work miracles. It comes down to your own efforts, but only once you understand what is required and have the tools to get from point A to point B.

There is no one size fits all, and different coaches have different niches and styles. You also need to consider whether their coaching style aligns with how you learn.

Or do you want a mentor?

There’s often confusion between the two. In an article written back in August 2015, on my personal blog, I talk about the difference between a coach and a mentor. You can check it out here.

Am I a coach?

Although some clients choose to engage me to coach them through specific areas of business I don’t market myself as a coach. I never refer to myself as a coach. I am a business consultant.

Click here for a tip sheet on choosing the right consultant

Yvonne and I both have very solid and diverse business backgrounds which coupled with our international experience and clientele places us in a position to coach, but only in certain areas of business development.

Our teaching and training experience is what has provided the skills to deliver in a style that resonates with clients.

To your success,

Michelle

Be Careful What You Wish For

Our guest blogger this week is Mike Duckett, Performance Coach and Director of Coaching for Success.

World renowned British celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, has this to say about how Mike’s Releasing Creativity coaching helped him regain his creativity.

“I have found our work to explore my metaphoric sweet shop really helpful on a number of levels. At first it helped me regain my creativity and now that creativity has itself fed back into using metaphor to enhancing our customers’ dining experience.” Heston Blumenthal, O.B.E.

Mike is a regular contributor to The UK’s leading networking website for chefs The Staff Canteen, features on radio, as well as in a number of other print and on-line magazines. In the following post, originally written for Canteen Magazine, Mike provides insights and tips on how to create the right goals for yourself and for your business.

Have you ever been taught how to set yourself a goal?

Have you ever been on a goal setting course?

Have you ever listened to any motivational tapes about Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)?!

Probably not, unless you have a corporate background, so you might be wondering how anyone could make such a meal over this. There is a huge number of books, tapes, videos and courses on the subject but this need not concern us here – suffice it to say goal setting is a subject all of its own that we may return to in another posting.

For the moment the bigger issue is how do you know what goal to set yourself?

You can learn about setting SMART goals – Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; Time-bound and then set your own goals which might be something like “to open three new branches”. That seems to match the criteria pretty well so it must be a well formed goal. The problem for me is whether you’re sure that’s what you really want. It’s a bit like going to university after school; for some people it’s a real goal but for others it just seems to be the thing to do.

Before setting yourself some big goals you might want to consider how clear you are about what really matters to you. What values do you hold around your chosen career path? What is your core purpose? You don’t have to believe in the gods to entertain the idea that if they are playing a big game with us and we’re just pieces, what is the role your piece plays on the board?

Not to get too deep and philosophical about this, we’re talking about your true values, not the things politicians speak about such as “good old fashioned family values” – that’s just what they call meaningless motherhood and apple pie.

Thinking about this stuff properly can save you years of hard work, striving to get somewhere you never wanted to be in the first place. If – and it’s a big ‘if’ – you eventually achieve your goal of opening those new branches you might find yourself wondering if it was all worth the effort. As a business owner you are almost certainly clever enough and certainly hard working enough to make anything happen if you put your mind to it; so be careful what you put your mind to!

In fact, once you’ve done the thinking about your core purpose (mission if you prefer) and your true values, many things get easier, including the hard work needed to achieve things. Take a look at a couple of famous purpose, or mission, statements:

Walmart: to “…save people money so they can live better”

Disney: to “…develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world”

These aren’t complicated corporate jargon statements; they are pretty straightforward lines that tell us (and themselves) what they are here to do. The real point though is that once you’ve figured out your own you can use this as a decision template for most choices you will be faced with in future. It’s obvious that although selling insurance might be profitable for Disney to get into, why would they; it just doesn’t fit with what they are here for.

Knowing your own real purpose for which you have a passion, the goals you set each year may well vary, but you’ll almost certainly find the energy and commitment to make them happen because they should all continue to be in line with this single purpose. There are many ways to skin a cat, but this way you will end up with a skinned cat and not a dead horse – to mix metaphors!

The trick is how to uncover these unconscious beliefs and principles so you can make clear conscious decisions based on them. Let me give you a couple of tips: Try asking yourself, “if my business were to be closed tomorrow and no-one else follows me, what would the rest of the world be missing (even if they don’t realise it yet)”?

On the basis that you’re going to be spending many hours of your life doing work make a list of single words or very short phrases that come to mind when you ask yourself, “what matters to me about the kind of work I do?” Then take each one and ask again, “why does that matter to me?” Each time you ask “why” you’re getting closer to the real heart of the matter until you end up with maybe 10 key values. Every decision you make from now on can be made with this list in mind e.g. when recruiting a staff. If they have a very different set of values beware hiring them, no matter how competent they are. They just won’t ‘fit’.

Finally to get back to setting that goal of opening 3 new branches, when you’ve done that will it have kept you focused on your real reason for being in business?

Mike

Mike Duckett has a degree in psychology and is a member of the Occupational Psychology division, the Sports Psychology division & the Coaching Psychology Special Group of the British Psychological Society. He holds a diploma in Hypnotherapy & Cognitive therapy and is a certified NLP coach.

With over 20 years experience he was one of the pioneers of applying performance psychology to coach people in the hospitality industry to get the best from themselves, in areas such as creativity; leadership; optimism etc.

As a certified NLP Coach and ANLP Accredited Master Practitioner, Mike has clients ranging from world renowned chefs to senior managers of global corporate organisations

My business has been built on client recommendations and testimonials. If you know of anyone who would benefit from the advice that I offer please pass my details on.

You can also connect with Mike in the Dragon Sisters group The SMART Circle or at Coaching for Success.

 

 

Goal Getting- International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is an important day for us at Dragon Sisters as our core team is women. The day marks a time for reflecting on ourselves and our goals as well as for reflecting on the many great women in this world and how they reached their goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Goals are easy to create, but not always so easy to reach. Sometimes, it can seem nigh impossible to achieve a goal.

I often find myself staring into the abyss, contemplating how far away my goals are. But when I start to take action, even just baby steps towards my goals, everything becomes so much clearer.

So as we are marking a day to celebrate women’s achievements, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about sticking to your goals and reflecting on how some great women of history have reached theirs and the challenges that they overcame.

Looking Back Through History

In our modern day and age more and more women are making strides into greatness, but there is still a great deal to achieve.  It’s also important to remember the women who have long passed into the history books who paved the way for our generation.

A couple years ago, my mother, the brilliant Michelle Hanton, and I went to see the movie “Suffragette”. It was inspirational to watch.  I loved how at the end the credits rolled a list of when women had obtained the right to vote in various countries. The whole movie was not only empowering,  it was emotional and a reminder of the many struggles women faced to get to where we are today.

As an Australian I’ve always been proud of the fact that in 1902 we became the first country in the world to allow women both the right to vote in federal elections and the right to be elected to parliament on a national basis (though New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote back in 1893!).

Also, as someone with English heritage; my grandmother was born and raised in Yorkshire, I’m also extremely proud of the women in England who worked tirelessly for the right to vote.  Which brings me to looking at one of the most famous women in the suffragette movement, Emmeline Pankhurst; the founder of the Women’s Franchise League and also one of the founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Emmeline fought for her goals, through protest and strikes, no matter the cost. Unfortunately, the full extent of her goals was not achieved until after her death in June 1928.

The pages of history hold countless tales of strong willed women. Women who followed their dreams. Women who  fought for their goals.

However,  in  2017 there are still gender equality issues, especially in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), which is why for this post on the eve of International Women’s Day I’d like to reflect on one of the greatest scientist in history, Marie Curie.

Women have never had it easy when it comes to being accepted in scientific fields of study. However, that didn’t stop Marie Curie in her pursuit of knowledge. Receiving a general education and some scientific training from her father, she went on to become involved in a students’ revolutionary organisation, and in 1891 entered the  Sorbonne in Paris where she received her licentiateships (a licence to practise an art or profession) in physics and mathematical studies.

Marie went on to the School of Physics where she met and married Professor Pierre Curie. When Pierre passed away in 1906 she took his place as Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences, becoming the first woman to hold this position.

Most notably, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and the only woman to have been honoured twice with the Nobel Prize (the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry).

Including Marie Curie, 48 women have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 17 of those in STEMM fields (awarded for Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine).

As we can see from the history books, women have made leaps and bounds towards equality, and yet we still have more to accomplish.

Inspirational Women of the Present

Growing up in the 1990s and early 2000s I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by inspirational women. From school teachers who helped me pursue my passion and cultivate my writing skills to family and friends who are constantly amazing me with their accomplishments.

Back when I was just a little girl I remember really looking up to Cathy Freeman. I wasn’t an athletic kid, but I just found her to be so amazing.

Now, as a young adult I still find her an amazing source of inspiration, an Australian Aboriginal who went on to be one of our country’s greatest sporting legends. Cathy was the first Australian Aboriginal woman to win gold at an international athletics event (1990), the first Australian Aboriginal to compete at the Olympics (1992), first person to win both Young Australian of the Year (1991) and Australian of the Year (1998). And all the way back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games was the first competing athlete in history to light the Olympic flame.  Pretty remarkable!

The way she pushed past everything to win the gold medal for the 400m at the 2000 Olympic Games was breathtaking. In an interview about the win, she recounted how she told herself “just do what I know”; these simple, yet powerful words propelled Cathy towards her goal of becoming an Olympic gold medallist.

Aside from Cathy Freeman,  Australia has produced a range of inspirational women from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Among the great Australian women I’d like to shout out Darwin’s current Lord Mayor, Katrina Fong Lim. Katrina’s an outstanding lady and a great Lord Mayor.

Having grown up in Darwin it’s important to me that our City Council has such a strong, female, leader – she’s a fantastic role model for the young girls in Australia’s Northern Territory and is dedicated to her community.

I could go on and on about all the amazing women in the world who have set the path for gender equality, and who are serving as modern day role models. However, I won’t. Instead I’m commending all of the women out there who are working hard every day.

Whether you are a home maker or a business women, each of you is an inspiration in your own special way.

At Dragon Sisters we are very blessed to be working with a variety of inspirational Australian clients, as well as fantastic women (and some men too) from other parts of the world (we love our international clients).

Remember, all goals are achievable. You just need the determination to reach them and to take action.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Sasha Hanton

PS – if you need support with creating and maximising opportunities to reach your goals, Dragon Sisters can often help.

 

 

Pricing Your Services

Pricing your services.  One of the most important items you’ll ever need to consider as a service provider that’s self-employed

Getting your price point right is crucial to your business success.

It’s also the area that can give you the biggest headache…believe me, I know this from personal experience.

The million dollar question!

What price should you charge?

Depending on your industry and qualifications there are some standard rates….but, the real dilemma is this…

Making sure you are charging what is right for you. For your business. Not just going with what is considered standard or the going rate.

Working in the corporate world, there are things like awards, employment contracts, and benchmarks against which salaries are set. So as an employee you don’t really need to think about this stuff too much.

But, once you step out on your own, it’s a lot different.

It can be a minefield…lots of traps to fall into and mistakes to make.

One of the most common ways is by comparing what everyone else in the marketplace is charging. But let’s be real….in the service industry, it’s really quite hard to compare.

You’re not here to be a copycat.

Being in business for yourself means doing things your way. Doing what’s right for you…after all, isn’t that why you’re working for yourself?

This may not be what you want to hear…but if you’re just starting out unless you already have a stellar reputation and following, you’ll probably need to start off at a lower price.

This does not mean undervaluing yourself.

A far better way of figuring out how to set your fees and charges is beginning with a basic price point and building from there.

The tricky part is always working out your personal basic price point. Downloading this handy tip sheet will help you enormously..

Once you have the basic (minimum) price point from which you need to operate, you can actually use how you price your services as a way to grow your business.

That does not mean you are going to be working at the minimum price point.

It’s about giving you a realistic figure from which to build. You need this baseline so you can be ready to implement an effective pricing strategy.

An effective pricing strategy will help ensure that you are charging what you is right for your business.

A pricing strategy involves:

1) Your selling sequence (how to position services; how to position pricing)

2) Your target market (who you sell to now and who you want to sell to in the future)

3) Your competitors (making yourself competitive other than through pricing)

4) What the market will bear (this is the exciting bit that moves you into the premium price point!).

But it all starts with the basic fees.

No matter what line of business you’re in how you work out your service fees are exactly the same.

Michelle

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.