[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 organize your ideas, even if you’re right-brained

By Dawn Shuler One of the biggest problems I see with entrepreneurs is what to do with all the ideas they have swirling around in their brains. We entrepreneurs love ideas and possibilities! But if we spin mentally with those ideas and never engage with them, we can get frustrated and overwhelmed. The trick is to get those ideas, thoughts, concepts, and plans out of your head. But if you’re not a left-brained type, you might get stuck with the HOW to get them out of your head. (And if you are left-brained, or a combo like me, these steps might help you as well.) See, you MUST get the ideas out of your head. Because you can’t move forward until you do. I think of all those ideas like strings, and they’re all tangled up with one another. So in that jumbled mess, you can’t see where one string
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[FUEL] The Year of Floaty Downstream Action

By Dawn Shuler A few months ago, I had a business breakdown. I felt like I had been pushing, pushing, pushing. My inner well was depleted. A couple of weeks before that, I uncharacteristically cancelled a coaching client and essentially took the day off. The next two weekends, I was going to do some administrative work and bookkeeping to get caught up, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then, during a a supposed “work” day, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I stared and stared at my computer, and nothing was happening. So, I took myself to my favorite red chair in the living room, lit candles, opened the windows, no music on, and I just listened to the wind chimes gently blow on the front porch. I wasn’t unhappy, just unmotivated. 🙂 Well, that’s not entirely true. It was more than just being unmotivated.
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[FUEL] Let go, let go, let go

By Dawn Shuler Whether it’s physical stuff, relationships, or old beliefs, sometimes it seems as if our lives are a repetitive process of let go of this, let go of that, let go of this other thing. It’s actually not a repeat of the same thing. It’s a peeling back of the layers of the onion. Each time you peel back one layer, reach one level of the game, there’s another level, another layer to conquer. Remember those racing video games in arcades? You do the dirt bike race, and you win! Yay! Then, the next course is in the Alps, and you come in second. Yay for you! Now onto the next course… And so it goes. You see the course in front of you, but that particular finish line is all you see. You don’t see the next course with its finish line flag, and the one after
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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] Top 10 Things Entrepreneurs Are Grateful For

By Dawn Shuler Owning your own business is a gift and sometimes a challenge. Well, maybe more often a challenge than not. There are plenty of things that you have to work around, take into account, plan for, and adapt to. And… there are many things for which entrepreneurs have to be grateful. Here are a handful. 1. Ideas. Yes, so many ideas, possibilities, lovely potential can be the bane of an entreprenur’s existence, but it’s also the beautiful conundrum. Bright shiny object can actually turn into THE idea. 2. Teams. As an entrepreneur, we tend to be off and running with all those ideas (see #1), and since we have to do a little due diligence, it’s awfully easy to fall into I-can-do-it-myself mode. Hence, teams are our saving grace. They keep us sane, profitable (no more doing our non-genius and non-excellence work), and from being the bottleneck. 3.
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[FUEL] How to Get People to Open Your Emails

By Dawn Shuler The Internet is a wonderful thing. It allows us to connect with people all over the world, get great information and resources, and do business. And in so many venues: social media, email, online communities… But our inboxes fill up with email after email after email. Typically, we open non-family emails (okay, maybe we automatically delete some family emails, too. I mean, how often can we really hear about Aunt Martha’s trials and tribulations with the neighborhood dog?) for two reasons: 1. We love the person and are avid followers or 2. The subject line is so compelling that we have to open. Here’s a little test: which ones do you automatically delete? Why? Which ones do you automatically open? Why? We’re talking about big picture/long term strategy vs. short-term tactics to employ right here right now. First, big picture. To get people to love you and
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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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