[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] 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] 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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Floaty Action Defined

By Dawn Shuler When you’ve been in business for over 14 years, you do a lot of things.  🙂  You try this; you try that; you try this other thing. I’ve had some amazing ideas over the years, and some of them have actually blossomed into real world products, services, and programs. Yay me. But not all of them were successful.  No matter how brilliant of an idea or how much I KNEW people needed this thing I had to offer, that doesn’t mean that the market was ready to buy. (That’s why I have so many smart business tips… because I’ve learned a crap-ton along the way!) I’m all about action, and I have no problem pushing that damn boulder up the mountain.  I really do think I can do ANYTHING. I’m a woman and a mother; therefore, I must be Wonder Woman.  😉 But there have been times
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[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
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