Monthly Archives: January 2013

Learning to Say “No”

I’ve had a long career in social services; services being the keyword here.  I’m used to providing services for people with little or no money and receiving a barely adequate salary for doing so.  I’ve been so conditioned to say yes; to make things happen for people, that when I decided to become an entrepreneur, I had a very difficult time saying no or asking for payment.  In fact, I am still working on asking for money and I am a long way from feeling comfortable saying no, however, I now do both whether I like it or not.

What I came to realize was that if I wanted to be successful in my business, I had to transition from a “yes” mindset to a “no” mindset.  That might seem counterintuitive to some, however, it’s the difference between success and failure for me.  People are always asking me for free advice, or to do this thing or that for them with no expectation of having to pay for my time and services.  If I didn’t take responsibility for transforming that expectation, I would not be able to support myself.

This was brought home to me recently by Adam Urbanski.  I attended his recent Overnight Authority Webinar and he talked about the importance of making this transition to saying no.  He had us figure out how much an hour of our time was worth (my rate used to be $200 an hour for training) then break it down to what that is worth per minute ($3.33).  So you call me and ask me if I can give you 20 minutes of my time to help you with something in your business.  If I do, I have now invested $66.66 in your business and you’ve invested nothing in mine.  You have what you needed, and I have 20 less minutes to invest in my own business.  How is this a formula for success?

That was a huge turning point in my approach to considering what to say yes to and when to say no.  Just this week someone asked me to help co-host an ongoing series of teleseminars about how we can bring transformation to the world to create a more positive situation.  It’s a topic close to my heart and I was tempted to say yes.  However, she intends this to be a “giving” situation with no opportunity for promotion by any of the co-hosts.  Rather than accept right away, which I wanted to do, I asked her for time to consider her request.  I weighed the time commitment required for those calls against what I need to do to in my business right now.  Using my old training rate of $200, I would be investing  between $300 and $400 worth of time into her program each month.  Additionally, this topic was not relevant with my business at this time which is empowering teens and young adults to develop economic self sufficiency by starting their own business.  I could not see any justification for accepting her request, even though it would get my name out to some new people who may or may not take the time to visit my website.  I had to tell her “no.”

I didn’t like telling her no, but I have to say, I was proud of myself for making the best decision for my business, at least at this time.  It’s all part of the transition from the mindset of a salaried social services worker to an entrepreneurial mindset.  I’m not about making money, however, money is an essential part of life and there are many things I can make happen in the world if I have money available.   With that in mind, this year is my year to get my program out into the world and bring money into my business.

What things should you say “no” to?

Do you need help figuring out what you need to say no to?  Do you have a clear picture of where you are in the different areas of your life and business?  It might be time for a reality check so you can identify where you need to make changes.  If are subscribed to my blog, then you already have Julia Neiman’s 2 Step Reality Check to Discover and Overcome the Hurdles That Stand Between You and Your Dreams.  If you don’t have a copy of the Reality Check, simply enter your name and email in the box at the top right side of the page and it will be on it’s way to your inbox in seconds.


Sheath Your Claws!

Last night at dinner I told one of my friends that if I could certify 100 coaches this year, I could gross $350,000 and that I made that one of my business goals.  His immediate response was to make a negative comment about how hard that would be and just about impossible.

My first inclination was to tell him he was wrong, that it’s not impossible and to launch into a lecture about the Law of Attraction and global training via teleseminar or webinar.  I ended up not doing that because I realized that would open the door to a back and forth disagreement and I didn’t want to give him any power in the situation.  When you give someone else power in any situation, you take away from you own power.  I give away a lot, but my own power is not a freebie.

What I did end up saying was that it might be impossible for him, however, I’ve made a decision to be fearless from now on and believe that it is entirely possible for me.   Whether I reach that goal or not isn’t as important as the fact that this is what I aspire to and am going for.

So what could he say to that?  I didn’t make him wrong, I didn’t start an argument, I didn’t insult him really.  It just ended that conversation and we moved on to something else.

This exchange made me wonder if it’s a good idea to share goals with others.  I’ve aIways believed it was a good idea to share goals, that it makes them more real and other people can spur you on toward your goal.  I still believe that.

My take away from this experience is that if you are going to share your goals, you should be prepared to counter any negative comments with something that is neutral and will not cause a back and forth disagreement.  It’s always best to be able to neutralize a negative energy rather than have to do battle with it so sheath your claws and neutralize the negativity.

Holy Twilight Zone Batman

So, the very first day of the new year I crossed over into the Twilight Zone. I thought I was being so good uploading a new freebie at my site and sending out an email announcing that the old give away was being taken down at midnight.

I sent myself a test email for each announcement, they looked good and the links worked just fine.  I doubled checked at Aweber to make sure the broadcast times were correct and it appeared to be all systems go.  Yay!

Here’s where it gets strange.  I received in my inbox a previous email that I sent months ago.  I did not schedule this email to be sent.  I received it at both of my email addresses that are registered with Aweber.  I went back into Aweber and saw no indication that the old email was sent.  Hmm, I’m scratching my head about now.  And no, I wasn’t drinking to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Okay, midnight is approaching, they are getting ready to drop the ball in Times Square and all is well with the world.  I waited until midnight to take down the old freebie and connect the new one.  The correct email went out and all seemed well, I even retested the link.  This was at my Outlook email.  Later I checked the inbox on AOL and the email was there.  For some reason, I tested the same link in the same email blast at AOL and it didn’t work.  Uh oh.  Now what?

I could not figure this out.  Before I knew it, it was 3 am.  I decided to check my email one more time and found a friend awake who was online.  I connected via chat and asked that she check the link in my email that came to her.  She was on her cell phone and said the link did not work.  The link on her phone and at my AOL showed a corrupted link.  She booted her laptop and checked her email and lo and behold, the link works just fine, thank you.

After finally getting some sleep, I start the day checking the email to see if anything else was amiss.  I have only two emails about the broadcast I sent out.

One of the emails was an unsubscribe notice from someone who left an angry sounding comment that the old give away was gone before midnight even though I said it would be available until midnight, and the other link didn’t work so they were unsubscribing.

To say I was hesitant to open the other email is an understatement.  Thankfully it was a friendly email letting me know of the problem.  After several emails back and forth, it appears that it might be an issue on Firefox rather than AOL.

Like any good business person who wants to provide exemplary customer service, I sent an apology letter to the person who unsubscribed and provided both of the give aways.  I have not had any comment back.  I also sent another email broadcast to my subscribers just to be sure.  Here’s where I experienced firsthand a key lesson in marketing – make sure your subject headings have a great title.

The email I sent announcing the new freebie had an ordinary title with the name of the PDF.  The open rate was nothing to write home about.  After I discovered that I had taken a trip through the Twilight Zone, I sent out another broadcast with the title, “Holy Twilight Zone Batman.”   The open rate tripled, how cool is that?

I have two take aways from this experience:

  • Always have a catchy title, not necessarily the name of your product.  What good is the most fantastic program if people don’t open your email?  Get them to open it, then you tell them what it’s about
  • Hire an email, campaign manager and don’t do this myself, anymore, ever again.

I know this has been a long story, sorry.  But anyone who knows me will tell you -I’m really wordy and can talk for hours.

Happy New Year.  And in case you haven’t picked up your copy of Julia Neiman’s 2 Step Reality Check to Discover and Overcome the Hurdles That Stand Between You and Your Dreams, you just have to enter your name and email in the box at the top right hand side of this page.  Unless, of course, you are already a subscriber, then you already received the download link in an email yesterday.  Otherwise, take your chances of crossing over into the Twilight Zone with me.

I told you I was wordy.


Day One of My Third Blog Challenge

Happy New Year bloggers.  I am so happy to be participating with all of you in my third Ultimate Blog Challenge.  For those of you who are new to this challenge, I’d like to congratulate you on your decision to accept the challenge.  To everyone that I blogged with in the previous challenges, I’m happy to be blogging with you again.

Here are some things I accomplished during the first two challenges:

The first challenge:

•  posted 31 new blog posts

•  doubled the amount of comments at my blog

•  established several great relationships, personal and professional

•  enrolled in Michele Scism’s 30 Days to Create a Product (and did create the product)

•  wrote my first book using the blog posts and was promoted by Michele Scism

•  got raving reviews of my book from fellow bloggers

During the second challenge:

•  posted another 31 new blogs

•  learned about/how to use google analytics

•  more than tripled the comments on my blog posts

•  learned more about blogging than I knew there was to know

•  was asked to be a guest poster and invited several guest posters

•  wrote my second book which I am currently editing

•  developed even more relationships

Now I am participating in my third challenge; I think you can understand why. This one will be easier for me because I’m not using this challenge to write a book so I’ll be freer to be more spontaneous in what I write about and my guest posters can also be freer with their topics.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you and reading as many blogs as I can.  Please be patient with me if I don’t get to your blog on a regular basis.  I am starting a new year long course, launching my new program certifying coaches to empower teens and young adults to become entrepreneurs, I’ll be promoting my two books, developing a teleseminar, planning a live conference and keeping up my own blog, among other things.

Thank you Michelle and Michele for hosting this blog challenge again.  What a great way to start the new year.

Please take advantage of the free gift I have for you – Julia Neiman’s 2 Step Reality Check to Discover and Overcome the Hurdles That Stand Between You and Your Dreams.  This two step process that will guide you through self assessment designed to help you identify areas that might be out of balance as well as the hurdles you need to overcome in order to be in integrity and alignment on your path moving forward.  Simply enter your name and email in the subscription form at the top right side of the page to obtain your free gift.