[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
Read More

[FUEL] The Difference Between Wants, Needs, and Immediate Needs

By Dawn Shuler As a business owner, your job is to meet the needs of your target market. Easy peasy. Well, the problem comes into play when you have to deal with what your target market wants – what they believe they need. That’s key… what they believe they need and want. Sometimes what your market wants and what you know they need may not be the same. To be a smart business owner, you need to find the intersection between what your target market believes they need with what you offer. That intersection is the product or service you sell that solves their problems and meets their needs. Here’s an example. I have a colleague whose business is providing financial foundation for children so that they grow up to be savvy financial adults. Her market is parents: “Hey, wouldn’t it be good if you could teach your child some
Read More

[FUEL] Ready, Fire, Aim

By Dawn Shuler I’ve had several coaching calls lately where my sweet little clients want everything to be perfect before they hit the “Go” button. They want “it” to be perfect. They want everything figured out. They want assurance that it’s all going to go to plan. Yeah….. that whole planning thing…. see, planning is great. You need plans. As Eisenhower said, “I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” At some point, you have to actually DO something. At that point, the plan is a useful guide, but the eventual outcome will always look different from the original plan. Here are some things I hear which tells me that people are spending too much time with the aiming and planning part: My elevator pitch isn’t perfect so I can’t go to any networking events. I have to wait until after Mercury in Retrograde is over
Read More

[FUEL] Business Vision Check-up

By Dawn Shuler Last week, I talked about how in this highly-charged, energetic world, we’re constantly evolving and changing, and our businesses change as a result. And sometimes we’re working visions and plans that have become outdated. Yet, here we are…. in the midst of taking action for a plan that no longer fits. Our vision has changed. In order to make sure your actions are in alignment with your Current Vision, you need to do a periodic Business Vision Check-up. This is a way to check in with what you want to do, what you want to be offering, and then how all that plays out in the next 6-12 months of your business planning, marketing, and promotional calendar. First, sit quietly. This isn’t a quick exercise to go through during the commercial break of your favorite show, or in between scrolling on Facebook. Get yourself ready to hear
Read More

[FUEL] Are you working an outdated vision?

By Dawn Shuler I’ve stated for years that I don’t do five-year business plans, not detailed ones, anyway. When I started my business back in 2002, I wrote a business plan that projected five years out, but not with specifics about exactly what I’d be doing to reach those revenue goals, other than just work x number of hours at x hourly rate. Things have changed a bit for me. 🙂 Actually, that’s the point, Back in 2002, all I could see five years ahead was that I would be doing the same thing as what I started out doing, just with more clients and regularly raising my fees. Well, that didn’t take into account my practice taking off, becoming Chief Operating Officer of a virtual training company, and launching a second company. All that happened within three years after I started my business. Since then, it seems as if
Read More

[FUEL] Are you at a threshold moment?

By Dawn Shuler We all have those times where we can just chug along in our businesses and lives…. la la la la. We’re good. We’re happy. It’s status quo at its best. And then that all changes. We want more. We’re ready. Status quo is not good enough. So, then we have a decision to make. I call this a threshold moment or a choice point because it usually involves taking a conscious step – passing over that threshold or choosing a different path from the one you’re on. It can be scary, and what I know is that in order to cross over that threshold, the potential result has to be stronger than the fear of change. And many people can’t do it. The unhappily married woman who complains day after day about her husband not taking any responsibility for the kids or the house, and yet won’t
Read More

[FUEL] Do you need to freshen things up?

By Dawn Shuler I believe wholeheartedly in decluttering, removing things that are no longer needed, and looking at what in your life and business is truly serving you. There’s a difference between clearing out old, stuck energy… and renewing energy that might be fine… and could use some rejuvenation. That’s key to creativity… don’t just create something and then be done with it… (Wordsworth hated to publish his works because then he felt they were dead)… revisit it and see if it needs to be freshened up. Here are a few examples of what this looks like in real life (and business): Your theme for the year. It might have been exactly what you needed on January 1, but now that several months have gone by, is it still appropriate? Or have you moved through what you needed to move through, and now it’s time to choose a new theme?
Read More

[FUEL] Peace, Commitment, and Empowerment

By Dawn Shuler These three words have come up over and over for me this week, and while they may seem like individual and distinct concepts, they are intertwined with each other as well as to me and my business. Let’s start with peace. When I think about my top values, peace or peaceful has never reared its head. It’s not that I didn’t want to feel peaceful; it’s just never felt crucial. Lately, though, especially in the early morning when I have some me time, I’ve noticed this wonderful feeling in my body, in my core. I breathe better, bigger, fuller, deeper. I put a name to this feeling, and I found it was “peace.” I realized I had been missing that feeling. Sure, life has been hectic, and there’s a lot going on, but I was surprised to realize how important peace was needed. Onto commitment. I’m searching
Read More

[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
Read More

[FUEL] 4 Steps for Any Successful Business System

By Dawn Shuler I recently had some issues with a business who was providing a service for me. I couldn’t get my messages through: no one responded to my emails or my voice mails. What I found out later was that a former employee had done some damage as she left the company, and the staff was dealing with repeated fires. They didn’t have time to deal with me. (And that’s another system to talk about another day.) So, lots of issues, lots of holes, lots of missing or broken systems. And all of it can be repaired. As I put my systems-and-processes hat on (well, to be honest, I never really take it off), I realize there are four steps to creating success and preventing many issues. It doesn’t mean issues will never come up if you implement these four steps, but many will be prevented, and you are
Read More