[FUEL] The importance of working ON your business – 7 steps to making your business soar

By Dawn Shuler Michael Gerber in The E-Myth Revisited, talks about the importance of working ON your business, as opposed to working IN your business. The working in is the delivering of your business’s services or products: providing the service, fulfilling the product, writing the proposal, giving the class, hiring the vendors, firing the contractors, sending the reports to the CPA, ordering supplies. Working on your business is far different; it’s looking at the big picture, designing the marketing strategy for the next year, creating new products, deciding to expand, defining new roles and descriptions, professional development. Honestly, most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time working ON the business. They’re much too caught up on the working IN side. Take a look at your to-do list; what’s on it? I bet it’s a lot of those Working IN tasks. The problem is that Working ON the biz isn’t an item on
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[FUEL] 5 Pillars of Enhanced Employee Engagement

For many of us small business owners and entrepreneurs, we started our business from a deep core and purpose. Heck, even companies that are huge today started out small, and probably from some spark of passion. That spark, that purpose, is what I call the Deeper Why. We all have it personally, even if some of us search to clarify exactly what that it is. And companies have it (or they should, in my opinion). While I could maintain that most business owners and CEOs know their Deeper Why, what about all the employees and team members. Do they know the company’s Deeper Why? I contend that when everyone on board understand the Deeper Why of a company and their particular part in it, they’ll be more engaged, more inspired, and more likely to root for the company they’re working for, and not be some mopey employee who just shows
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[FUEL] How to Create an Amazing New Customer Experience

By Dawn Shuler You know what the most important thing about a new sale is? What happens AFTER the sale. Whether you sell flowers, watches, subscription boxes, coaching, healing services, or anything else in between, you need a strong onboarding process and new customer nurture campaign. Why? Well, because it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Here’s another statistic: the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. (Source: http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/) What that means is that loyal customers are more likely to buy again and again, and it’s cheaper to sell to them than to try to sell to a brand-new person. The best way to make a customer a loyal one is to start out strong from the get-go with a clear onboarding process and a delightful customer
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[FUEL] Top 10 Duties of a CEO (Are you doing these?)

By Dawn Shuler Nowadays, it’s easy to start your business, find resources to help you, attend networking events in all shapes and sizes, and use online tools to market and run your business. The drawback is that there are a lot of small business owners out there who are really glorified service providers or hobbyists. And they’re missing out on running and growing a true business. They need to be CEOs, not worker bees. How does that land for you? Do you consider yourself a CEO, or does that word seem too big to describe you? Do you run your business consciously and intentionally, or do you let it run you? A CEO of a business runs the business, whether it’s for a company of 1 or 1000. Here are the top 10 duties of a CEO. 1. The CEO knows the Deeper Why. More than likely, she started her
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[FUEL] 8 Tips to Make the Time to Work ON Your Business

By Dawn Shuler No matter how much you love your business and what you offer, unless you’re terribly disciplined or have deadlines, your default activity is rarely to do what you “should” do: work ON the business, make those follow-up calls, rewrite the copy for the website, apply for the keynote speech, etc. Heck, you “should” be scheduling that time and blocking it to get those big tasks done. By “big,” I mean the stuff that’s going to move your business ahead, establish you as an expert at a bigger level, bring in more money. What I’ve seen many a client and business owner do (and I’m guilty of it myself at times) is to actually schedule that time (yay!), but then quickly and almost gleefully give away that time to something else: a client who calls with an emergency, the email that just landed in the inbox two seconds
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[FUEL] Vantage Point – Your Ideal Client’s Point of View

By Dawn Shuler Some time ago, a former client explained to me what happens when some relationships end. She said it’s like walking with someone along a path. You both can see the same thing because you’re looking at the landscape from the same vantage point. You have a commonality. Then, the two of you come to a river and stop. The paths diverge. You can either cross the river or continue along the river on this side. Your path takes you across the river. The other person, though…. her path is different. She can’t or won’t or doesn’t need to cross the river to the other side. So, there you are… on one side of the river, while your former companion on the journey is on the other side. And she can’t see what you see, because her vantage point is different. The problem is when the person who
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[FUEL] Create a Business that Works for You and that You Love

By Dawn Shuler You hear how you should do this and you should do that. Heck, as a business coach, even I tell you what to do! (One note about that… I always follow any suggestion or recommendation with “You have to do what works for you.”) Models, formulas, strategies, tools, worksheets, and the like are fabulous for helping you navigate the waters of business, but they’re not meant to be so sacred that you can’t deviate from them and follow your heart’s wisdom. If you’re making decisions in your business that are based from your heart and passion for what you want in your business, then you are on your way to creating a business you love. But if you’re making decisions – or not taking action – out of fear or lack, then your business will probably not end up being one you love. How do you know
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[FUEL] Are you running your business, or is it running you?

By Dawn Shuler If you’re running ragged and feeling like you’re at the mercy of your business, then your business is running you. Before you go off in a huff, here are some signs that your business might be the one in charge: You don’t think you can take any time off, whether it’s an afternoon or a whole two weeks. You frequently start sentences with, “I have to ________.” You also frequently say, “I’ll just do it myself. It will be faster and easier.” You have no help, no VA, no team. And you say the main reason you can’t get help is because it will take too long to train someone else to do it. You don’t have a clear sense of your numbers: how much is coming in, and how much is going out. You think in terms of “I can’t afford it” or “My business isn’t
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[FUEL] How wide is your view?

By Dawn Shuler When you’re working in your business (as opposed to working “on”), you’re mired deeply, head down, focused on the minute details and plans. It’s as if you’re looking through a microscope. And that level of attention and focus is good and definitely needed at times. The problem can be when you stay in that mode and feel you have to do everything to the nth degree, or do everything to the nth degree yourself. Imagine what that actually looks like… you’re sitting at your desk in front of your computer or on your couch with your laptop. Your eyes are metaphorically inches from the screen. You’re working a pretty intricate plan with dates and details and to-do’s. You never look up. How much can you see what’s going on around you? Not much, and that can cause problems. If something needs to change, can you even step
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[FUEL] 7 Ways to Market from the Light (and Leave the Dark Side Behind)

By Dawn Shuler I’ve noticed over the years that there is a strong marketing propensity to inspire fear in others. It goes something like this: You are struggling. You are challenged by your situation. And if you don’t fix it, you will continue to struggle and wither. You are in darkness. Let me show you this pinpoint of light in your dark cave. I am the light, and only I can lead you successfully out of the dark. As a coach and as a business owner who consistently markets her business (just like you do), I have a hard time with this avenue. I actually don’t want to work with someone who is so mired in struggle and challenge that she’s desperate for any relief and will grab onto anything that might give that relief. I understand it’s an easy way to market. Marketers even call statements meant to draw
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