[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] 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] 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
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Once you know something, you can’t unknow it

By Dawn Shuler Last Friday, I was just going to putter and do minor things around the house: empty the dishwasher, make the bed…. little things.  As I started to do my puttering in the kitchen, I noticed how dirty and gross the microwave was.  And how something in the veggie drawers had leaked, and they were nastiness personified. Now, the microwave has been a mess for a while, and I kept warning the girls that I was going to make it a summer project for them to clean it out.  I was always too busy.  (Plus, I’m not the culprit that makes the microwave messy, and it was bad… there was stuff on the ceiling of the microwave!) I thought about continuing to ignore those things, but it was as if once I knew those things were there and they were really in my consciousness, I couldn’t unknow it.
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[FUEL] The Truth About “Being ready”

By Dawn Shuler If you’re a business owner, more than likely you want something more: more clients, more revenue, more free time, more speaking events, more expansion, more products. As a business coach, I have a lot of conversations with other business owners about where they are in their business and their goals. During those conversations and follow-up, people tend to be in two different camps: 1) those who are ready to move forward and take action, and 2) those who “aren’t ready.” “Give me a couple of weeks to figure things out.” “I need to get clearer.” “Let me get ready, and I’ll get back to you.” What does “ready” really mean? Most people who say they aren’t ready either mean they don’t have the money (but that’s almost always a reason that covers up something deeper) or that they aren’t clear enough. They think that once they get
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It doesn’t happen in a day

By Dawn Shuler The other day I was listening to my local classical music station, and after a particular piece of music, the DJ (do we still call them that?) told a story behind this particular composition. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov took twenty-five years to complete the piece, Maid of Pskov, to his satisfaction.  He worked on it for a few years and it even premiered on stage as a full-blown opera. But then he tinkered and tweaked, until twenty-five years after he had initially begun the project, he completed the final and third version. How many times do we beat ourselves up over not finishing something or even finishing something lickety-split? Maybe it’s a great idea, and you’ve done some work on it, but it’s not quite ready to grow up yet.  Maybe you need to evolve and grow a bit yourself before your idea, your project, your baby is ready
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Is your vision big enough to pull you forward?

By Dawn Shuler As entrepreneurs and business owners, it can be hard, this job of running a business.  As CEOs of our own business, WE are the ones who have to design the long-term strategy, find new clients, launch new products and programs.  We don’t have a president of board of directors setting the direction and the plan to follow. We have to do that. That means in the midst of life and everything around us, we have to keep the vision strong.  We have to make those marketing calls.  We have to go to the networking events.  We have to follow up. We have to send out that “last chance to register” email. Sometimes we don’t want to.  And, again, there’s no one else setting the direction.  So, if we fall short and don’t sail the distance that day, well, who is really going to notice? The key to
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[FUEL] Create Beacons to Keep You on Track – and in Alignment with Your Purpose

By Dawn Shuler Years ago, I was working with a client in my Get Started Now book writing program, and she was having a hard time figuring out what she wanted to write about. However, one theme that kept popping up for her was that she was passionate about people’s stories being told. “There are all these stories out there, and they just need to be told!” she’d say over and over. It was pretty obvious to me that telling other people’s stories was what she needed to write. At first, she didn’t agree; “That’s not good enough. It needs to be bigger.” Really? Isn’t that what a lot of books are about, in one form or another? Telling others’ stories, stories that need to be – must be – told? That idea, that passion, was a beacon for her. And as such, she used it to help guide her.
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[FUEL] What the No’s are really telling you

By Dawn Shuler If you’re doing your job as a business owner, then you’re constantly prospecting. You meet people at networking events; you follow up. People sign up for Discovery Sessions through your website; you hold those Discovery Sessions. You meet people for face-to-face meetings; you follow up. You make phone calls. You send personal emails. You create an online marketing campaign. And sometimes you get No’s. I won’t kid you. No’s suck. They can make you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, that you’re not good enough, that you’re not worthy. You might even start rethinking your entire business model and life as an entrepreneur. I invite you to think about any No’s you’re getting a bit differently. No’s can be a gift. Actually, I’ll state that differently: They ARE a gift, and here’s why. No’s help you get clarity around your ideal client. If you really
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Are your actions in alignment?

By Dawn Shuler A few weeks ago, I was feeling very low energy, which was unfortunate timing as I had tons to do on my plate: networking, marketing, planning the next marketing campaign. And I didn’t want to do any of it. So, I didn’t. I had just come off several weeks of working hard on my rebrand and new website launch, plus several speaking gigs, and potential client meetings (yay on all of the above). So, I knew my low energy could have just been a natural part of the creative cycle – the downtime part of the cycle. But I was worried that I was making easy excuses to NOT do work. Was I in alignment with my energy, or was I in fear? Fear over putting myself and my new brand out there and possible rejection? I don’t know that I had an answer to that question. 
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