What Gets Your Creative Juices Flowing?

What gets your creative juices flowing?
I never really thought of myself as a “creative” person. I’ve always gravitated towards reading books and watching documentaries in my spare time. I consider myself a “serial student” because I love to learn new things and like taking classes in a variety of subjects.

I noticed lately, that I write and create more content when I am listening to music!

You’d think music would be a distraction when you’re writing and thinking, but for me I can write, then all of a sudden when a good part of a song comes on, I immediately switch to singing, then transition back into writing. It’s awesome!

There’s just a good feeling that comes over me when I hear music. To me, music is memories, music is good times, music is hope, music is love, music is life.

I cannot imagine my world without music!

What about you? What puts you in the mood to create?

If you have a service based business, you have to constantly create fresh content for your clientsengage potential clients. . If you use social media to market your business (and you should) you have to create tweets and posts and videos which anvil-1169340_640

Being unique, having new and engaging content is what makes your business stand out in a sea of sameness.
Where does your inspiration come from?

I’ll tell you this, I was having trouble sleeping a couple weeks ago, so I decided to use earplugs in an effort to sleep without any noises (husband and dog snoring) waking me up.

You know what happened?

The earplugs worked perfectly, drowning out all exterior noises. So, not only was I sleeping better, the bonus is I am having the most vivid dreams every night! I don’t know if my interrupted sleep didn’t allow me to dream before, or if I would dream but forget them. But now, my dreams are amazing!

My dreams have inspired me to be more visually creative. My dreams have inspired me to let loose and expand what I thought was possible for my life and my business.

If you find it difficult to create, or if you thought of yourself like I did as not being creative, let me give you a few tips to get those creative juices flowing, so that you can create the best, most unique content that will have people excited to hear from you:

1.   Believe in Your Creativity

This is the first step to having more creativity, is believing that you can. Once you change your language from “I’m not that creative” to “Let’s see what I can create,” then you open yourself up to being more creative. I have thwarted my own creativity many times because I told myself I wasn’t creative. Now, I just go for it, and it usually ends with an amazing outcome.

2.  Experiment

Try something new and different. Instead of sitting in the same room at the same desk, sit outside, or go to a coffee shop where other people are creating, and see if the juices start to flow. If you are a service provider and write content for programs or courses, try using video instead of the written word. Or, record an audio program for your clients. Write about a topic you’ve never written about before. The point here is to try something different, experiment, and do things you’ve never done before.

3.  Observe

Have you ever just sat back and watched people? My favorite place for people watching is Las Vegas. There, you’ll find people from all over the world and it is so very interesting just to watch how they behave in “sin city.”

Observing people can spark creativity. Listening to Ted talks, speaker series, or if you’re like me, listening to music can definitely spark your creativity. Sometimes when we have conversations, we don’t listen. Our minds are thinking about the next thing we want to say. But, if you stop and just listen to what the other person is saying, you’d be amazed at what you might hear that could get help you create something amazing.

Reading is another way to stir up your creativity. But don’t just read the same old books and magazines, read something you’ve never read before and see if that helps. And lastly, watching a movie or a documentary or even regular old TV might help you come up with some great ideas. Observe more with an eye and ear to create.

4.  Ask Questions

How about instead of writing a blog post, you ask a question to your social media followers? Then, based on their answers, create something new. And you know the best thing, you will be creating something based on your followers needs. Sounds like the perfect product!

Now take it even deeper. Don’t just ask a question, ask a better question. For example, ask questions that are open ended and do not elicit a “yes” or “no” answer.

Questions like:

“What do you think about . . . . .”
“Why do you like . . . .”
“How might we change . . . . “

Try using open ended interesting questions during your next conversation. I bet you are going to be amazed at the answers, and don’t be surprised if the answer sparks some creativity in you!

5.  Dream

Whether it’s daydreaming, or dreaming in your sleep, dream something big!

When you have a dream that you remember, write it down as soon as you wake up. Think about what it means. girl-1360854_640Think about what your subconscious is trying to tell you, then create something from it!

Take an afternoon to sit down and just daydream. You can turn on the record feature on your cell phone and speak you daydreams without censoring yourself. Just go for it, daydream about flying, about being on stage in from of thousands of people, about travels in a foreign country you’ve always wanted to visit. Whatever you want — you can have it in your dreams.

You know what’s even better?  Whatever you dream you can actually have!

Go, create.  And leave me a message below to tell me what your next creative adventure is going to be!

How to STOP Procrastinating . . . NOW!

Are you still “thinking” about starting a business?

Are you still “planning” that business?

Do you feel like things need to be “perfect” before you start?

Well my friend, you are not alone.

I too, thought, planned, and aimed for perfection before I made my first offer for someone to work with me. Iclerk-business-businesswoman-busy-41272-1 believed I was creating the best content for my clients. But what I was really doing was procrastinating!

Have you ever heard the phrase “done is better than perfect?”

It’s so true. If you are a chronic procrastinator like I was, you will tweak, and change, and modify areas of your business while telling yourself you need to get it just right. But in reality, you are putting off getting things done.

People procrastinate for a number of reasons. The main reason is fear. I talk a lot about fear because I know a lot about fear. I had fear issues most of my life, and I’ve learned fear never goes away, but you can successfully manage it.

Another reason you procrastinate may be because the task is huge and it overwhelms you. Or, the task may be unpleasant, and you don’t want to deal with it. Whatever the reason, there is a solution!
Here are three solutions to your procrastination woes.

#1 – Admit that you are procrastinating

If you don’t admit you’re procrastinating, you will come up with a lot of other excuses as to why you can’t finish a project or get simple things done.

Here are a couple signs that you are procrastinating:

  • You read an email that needs your attention, but you move on and read another email instead
  • You sit down to start a task, but immediately tell yourself you need to go get water or coffee or something else
  • You keep reorganizing your “to-do” list based on the length of each task, and a week goes by and you still haven’t started the tasks that take the longest time
  • You think you have to be in the “mood” to do a task
  • You’re still working on something because it’s just not “perfect” yet

Putting off a task for a short period of time for a legitimate reason is okay. Putting off tasks “just because I don’t feel like it right now” is procrastination.

#2 – Understand why you are procrastinating

If you’re putting off a task because it’s unpleasant, then maybe you can come up with another way to get it done. For example: If you’ve put off cleaning out the garage, or cleaning out the rain gutters or pulling up the weeds in the yard, then maybe you can hire someone to do it for you! Or, get the kids to help you and make a game out of it.

If you’re putting off a task because it’s overwhelming , then I have a great solution for you.

Take stock of the entire task, then, break it down to much smaller tasks, that don’t seem so overwhelming. That way, you can keep your focus on the small task which will make it easier to get each one done. Once you have all the small tasks done, you actually will have completed the larger task that originally was overwhelming to you.

If fear is your reason, then you have to work on the underlying fear that is holding you back. Is it fear of failure? Fear of success? Whatever the fear is, you have to learn to manage it before you can work through it.

#3 – Create strategies to help you stop procrastinating

You can stop procrastinating! You have to work at it, but you can do it. Here’s some strategies to help you make procrastination a thing of the past:

  • Reward yourself for getting the task done
  • Get organized
  • Create a “to-do” list which is doable
  • Write next to each task, the consequence of not getting it done
  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Prioritize your tasks as “urgent” and “non-urgent”
  • Plan your day with specific time set aside for you tasks
  • Be accountable to someone for each task, they will help you stay on track

Can you think of anything else that would help you move past procrastination? If so, add it to the list above, but don’t keep adding just to put off getting things done.

In other words, don’t procrastinate on ending procrastination!!

The Modern Rules of Marketing

 What is marketing?

Seriously, think about marketing, and what comes to mind? Advertising? Sales?

Here’s the definition of marketing from businessdictionary.com:

“The management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements called the 4 P’s of marketing:

(1) identification, selection and development of a product,
(2) determination of its price,
(3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and
(4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy”

Huh???

Marketing, clearly stated means:

The processes of creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for customers, and persuade them to take action.

When I first started my business, I thought all the “marketing” I needed to do was go to networking events and conferences and hand out my business card, get some speaking gigs, do a webinar, ask people to refer to me anyone they knew that might need my services, and other things like that.

I invested more time and effort into creating programs and services, than I did in marketing my business. Now I know, that was not the best thing to do.

Marketing is the way you grow your business! So, no matter how many great programs I created, if I didn’t do the necessary marketing, no one would ever know about them.

Traditional vs. Modern Marketing

When I say “traditional marketing” I mean promoting your business via television commercials, appearing in an interview segment on television, newspaper ads or articles about your business, magazine ads or interviews, radio commercials or interviews, bill boards, flyers, etc.

All of those are still very important and acceptable ways of marketing your business. However, if you only do those, you are missing out on a large population of your ideal client.

So what is “modern marketing?”

When you’re on Facebook, do you sometimes see ads in your news feed? When you buy something on-line, have you noticed the check box that asks “would you like to receive updates from us?” How many newsletters, blogs and podcasts do you subscribe to? How many videos do you watch online? Do you get some of your information via Twitter and Instagram? Do you have a page on Pinterest. Have you downloaded the Snapchat app yet?

Each of those platforms and many more like them represents a new and modern way to market your business.

digital-pixabay1320699_640We live in a 24 hour news cycle, and you can buy anything on line 24 hours a day. Your ideal customers can have access to your program, product or services on their schedules by going to your website, getting to your landing page, and most importantly ending up on your sales page where they can purchase your offerings, even if it’s in the middle of the night and you are fast asleep!

And the best thing is – the internet allows you to have a global business, anyone around the world can be your customer!

If you are not utilizing modern technology to market your business, you are leaving tens of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the table!

Now, one thing you must be absolutely clear on – you can promote and market your business in all the traditional and modern ways, but, if the content that you promote sucks, or has no value, you are completely wasting your time!

It takes about seven touches from you before your ideal client will buy or even think about buying from you. If your content is not full of valuable information that your ideal client needs, they won’t even stick around long enough to become a paying client.

On the other hand, if the content you put out gives massive value and offers solutions to your ideal client’s problems, then they will hang on your every word, and be excited to read your next email or blog post.

That is what’s called Content Marketing.

content-is-king-pixabay1132266_640

And by the way, the majority of the content should be free! You can write a masterful eBook or eGuide and charge for it, but you better make sure the content leading up to it is great, and the content in it is great.

People reading your content will begin to know you through your content, they will like you because of your content, and they will trust you because your content helps them and gives them answers to their problems.
Once a potential client knows, likes, and trusts you, that’s when they will spend money with you!

Rules of Modern Marketing

I want you to approach your marketing fully loaded with all the ammunition you need to be successful.
Here are a few takeaways for you to remember:

Rule #1
Use social media. If you are not currently using any form of social media to market your business, you must start today! What’s very important is, you have to determine which social media platform your ideal client utilizes. Are they on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.? Only you will know this after you’ve created your ideal client profile. You don’t want to waste time or money on ads or other promotions to people who are not interested in your program, product or services.

Rule #2
Use content marketing. Only deliver “great” content! I’m very serious about this. Your content must provide massive value or people will tune you out. This content will be in your emails, blog posts, videos, eBooks, Facebook posts, podcasts, webinars, live talks, etc. Give away lots of valuable content for free. This means you have to be an expert in your field. You have to know what solutions or results your ideal client is looking for. You can find this out by talking to them. Do surveys, go where they are, listen to them, join a chat group or an open Facebook group of your ideal clients, and see what they’re talking about and what they’re looking for. If you know exactly what results they want, and can create content that delivers those results, you will have many clients spending money with you. And, you will have satisfied customers marketing for you in the form of referrals and word of mouth.

Rule #3
Automate your marketing. If you’re not using email autoresponders to deliver your content, you’re way behind. By automating your marketing, you can send content via email 24 hours a day. You can create entire email marketing campaigns to be delivered daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whenever you chose. Some of the email autoresponders are AWebber, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and Infusionsoft. If you’re not familiar with them, please do your research and chose whichever best fits your needs and your budget. You can also automate your social media using platforms such as Hootsuite. Be careful if you decide to automate your social media posts, because if the posts arrive at the same time each day, people will be able to tell these are pre-planned and may feel as if you’re not being authentic. Also, I once heard of someone who was sending automated tweets, and a tweet talking about what a beautiful day it was, was delivered on a day when there was a horrible tragedy in the world. Ouch!

You can use these three rules right now to incorporate modern rules into your marketing strategy if you aren’t suing them already.

If you haven’t already signed up for my FREE eCourse “7 Solutions to the Most Common Marketing Challenges” you can do so right now on my website www.kimchenier.com. This FREE course is full of relevant, valuable content to help you create a successful marketing strategy and build a 6 figure business.

5 Tips to help you manage your FEAR of selling!

I love talking to people about my business. I LOVE giving free advice, and tips and suggestions on how you can get more clients and build your business.  But up until a couple years ago, when it came to making an offer to someone to work with me, I would FREEZE!

Why? Because I use to hate to sell!

Actually, it was less of a hatred for selling, and more of a fear of failure.

I didn’t want to hear “no” so I didn’t even ask.

Can you relate to that?

fear-198932_640I had a solution to someone’s problem and I didn’t even give them the opportunity to accept an invitation to make a change in their life because of my fear. How selfish is that!

My fears are nothing new, they go way back to childhood. As a kid I didn’t know to identify it as fear when I would watch other kids take risks while I sat quietly on the sidelines.  When I was made to feel like an outsider, I would justify my actions by saying “I’m shy.”

As an adult, my fears manifested themselves as anxiety, you know the sweating, nervous stomach, and feeling like you’re going to pass out!

When it comes to business, there really isn’t any room for fear if you plan to be successful. I needed to find a way to work through the fear, or settle for a mediocre life!

So how did I work through my fear?

I did a total mindset shift.

I realized that fear is common to everyone. Successful people have learned to manage it better than others.

I had to face the fact that if I didn’t sell any programs or services, I had no business.

I started reading books and listening to webinars, and I heard an expert say something very interesting.  She said, we all go through our day selling without even realizing we are selling.

If you persuade your significant other to go to a certain restaurant, that’s selling. If you have to get your boss, or a friend to see something your way, that’s selling.  When you’re tired and you have to convince the kids to eat whatever meal you prepared, that’s selling.

At the end of the day, it’s all sales, and I’d been selling all day, everyday without even knowing it!

When I looked at it from that perspective, it totally changed the way I felt about selling.

I learned to have fun with it and not resist the process. I learned that it is a disservice not to make an offer to someone who needs my services.

And I learned that I was not a failure if someone said “no,” I was a success because I made the offer!

Someone who really had fun with selling was Steve Jobs. Did you ever see him at one of Apple’s new product announcements?  He was cool as a cucumber, looked extremely comfortable in front of an audience, and genuinely looked excited about announcing “the next best thing” that we all just had to buy.

If you think about selling differently, and see it differently, then you can make the mindset shift necessary to manage your fear.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your fear of selling, and help you get better at sales.

Tip #1

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You are not the only person who may feel a little uncomfortable making an offer. It’s normal to be nervous and uneasy, but you just have to do it! Even if someone says “no” you are not going to melt or suddenly disappear in a cloud of smoke. You have to get comfortable with the sales process. That means, you must practice, practice, practice. And how do you do that? You start making more offers!     If you are getting a “no” every time you make an offer, then your problem is not  making the offer, your problem is occurring before you make the offer.  You haven’t demonstrated enough value in your program, product or service for someone to say  “yes.”  And that brings me to my next tip.   

Tip #2

Show your value. If you want to get to “yes” and have more confidence when selling, you must show value to your prospect before, during and especially after the sale. Every piece of your marketing, every message, every email, every communication to your potential clients must be massively valuable to them. You must offer them “freebies” long before you make an offer. Don’t take for granted that everyone wants what you are offering, because some won’t.  But, for those who do, it generally takes about seven touches before they make a decision to work with you. Give them a reason to say “yes.” This will build your confidence.

Tip #3

Don’t be tied to the outcome. If you know you have a great program, product or service, and you know it will help people, then your job is to make it available to everyone who needs it. As I mentioned earlier, it is a disservice not to make an offer, but when you do, if the prospect legitimately considers your offer and decides it’s not the right fit, then, know that you did your job and be good with that! Like Lisa Nichols says, “my job is to give you access to a solution, your job is to choose whether or not to take it.”

Tip #4

Have fun with it. Be the expert, share your knowledge, and relax! If you’re not having fun, then your potential clients aren’t having fun either, and that’s not good for anyone.

Tip #5

Take Action. This is something you will hear me say a lot. Nothing works if you don’t take action! Get busy making offers!

By making these mindset shifts, you will start to see that selling is not as difficult as we sometimes make it!

Once I decided I was NOT going to let fear rule my life anymore, I was able to do something I never thought I would do . . . . . jump out of an airplane!!!

Skydiving

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Mindset is Everything!

 

My father taught me to think.  Really, he taught me to think about whatever problem I had, then come up with a solution in my mind.  He taught me to see that solution, then go make it happen.  He said “every problem has a solution, you just have to find it.”  Blog post #1 - graphic 1

What I didn’t realize at the age of 13 was that my father was teaching me to change the way I viewed things, and look at it with a different mindset.  Today I know he was teaching me that if I changed my mindset, I could change any situation in my life.

Sounds easy?  Well it’s not.  It takes consistent practice to know how to make mindset shifts.

I’ve been a lawyer for almost 20 years, and an entrepreneur for the last 3.  But I didn’t take the traditional path to achieving my goals.

Before I ever thought I would actually become an attorney, I was a single mom struggling to make ends meet.  There were times when I’d run out of money before my next paycheck, and I would “drop by” friends or relatives houses at dinner time just so my daughter could eat.

So how did I go from struggling single mom to successful attorney and entrepreneur?

You guessed it – a shift in mindset.

When my ex-husband was killed in a car accident, I was devastated not only for me, but mostly for my daughter who would now have to grow up without her father.

After about 6 months of grieving, I decided to reframe this tragedy, and use it as a reason to stop putting off my dreams.  I realized life is not guaranteed, so why not take the steps to fulfill my dream of becoming an attorney.

Then I had to get myself in the right mindset to go to school for seven years (undergrad and law school).

There are many, many more mindset shifts I’ve had to make over the years to get me to the place I am now.

I don’t believe I survived so many life experiences (good and bad) just for my benefit!  I do believe I was meant to share my expertise with you, and be an example of how mindset shifts can catapult you to success!

What problem are you dealing with that seems impossible to solve?

Is it finances, relationships, business, health or personal development?

I want to give you three mindset shifts that you can put to use today, to reframe how you look at yourself, your life, and your business.

1. Have a Growth Mindset.  Wherever you start out in life, is not where you have to end up.  I am a living, breathing example of that!  You can always change your circumstances and grow into whatever you want to be.  You just have to have the right mindset to do it.  A growth mindset, allows you to see your potential even before you get there.  You motivate yourself to learn new things and do new things that will enhance your life or your business.  You create the story.  You determine where you will end up!

2. Have an Opportunity Mindset. Failure is not the end of the world!  If you have an opportunity mindset, you know that any failure becomes an opportunity to learn and do it better the next time.  Think about all the successful people who have failed their way to success.  Did you know, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Walt Disney are just a few of the massively successful people who had failures early in their careers?  They didn’t give up.  You know why?  Because they didn’t see their failure as the end, they saw it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, and do better the next time.

3. Have a Leadership Mindset.  It’s not enough to just call yourself a leader, you must demonstrate to others that you are a leader.  The best way to do this is to have a mindset of leadership which guides you through your life and business.  Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said it best when he said “a leader creates a vision that others can follow.”  Are you doing that in your life or business?  Have you created a vision for your life?  Have you created a vision for your business?  If not, then today is the day to step into your leadership role, and start living with a leadership mindset.

Because of what my father taught me many years ago, I’ve come to know that I already have everything I need inside me to be successful.  I know now that all I have to do is make mindset shifts which allow me to overcome fear, doubt, procrastination and any other self-imposed roadblocks.

You too have everything you need to be successful, but it all starts with a shift in your mindset.

It’s almost like the timeless story of “The Wizard of Oz” except these are my “ruby slippers.”

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