[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?
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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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Delta and the 7 Guiding Principles of Customer Service

By Dawn Shuler We were recently on vacation, and we got on vacation by flying from the Washington, D.C. area to Sitka, Alaska.  Even though we used our Alaska Airlines miles to book our flight, part of our flight was routed on Delta, one of their partner airlines. You know where this is going already, don’t you? Yep, there were problems. First (and isn’t that sad that there’s going to more than one point?), we didn’t get any notification that our flight had been cancelled until 10 minutes before we got to the airport, which wasn’t helpful.  We walked into the airport, and we were visually slammed by the wall of people standing in multiple lines.  After a few minutes, we ascertained the lay of the land. Our flight indeed had been cancelled, and, funny enough (or not), when I called Delta’s main number, the recorded message played, “I’m sorry.
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[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
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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] Hate marketing? Change your attitude.

By Dawn Shuler I hear from business owners and entrepreneurs all the time: “I hate marketing” or “I’m no good at marketing.” No wonder they struggle. Somehow, they’ve wrapped up marketing with some idea of smarmy, manipulative, annoying selling. (While there is a difference between marketing and selling, neither is evil.) Marketing isn’t this awful, manipulative, necessary evil in your business. It’s not just a way to let people know about you, your company, and your services. It’s bigger than that. I embrace marketing, and I invite you to do the same. Here are seven ways to change your attitude around marketing. Think of marketing as a conversation. Imagine you’re talking to your girlfriend about this awesome, cool thing you’re doing. You wouldn’t clam up, would you? How would you talk about it? What words would you use? You have to believe in what you’re selling. If you don’t believe
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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] The Trap of Work, Work, Work

By Dawn Shuler I recently coached one of my clients on scheduling. She has a lot going on, with several big areas of her business she is working at once. We talked about the never-ending to-do lists, everything seeming important, feeling like all you do is put out fires, not working on a big project because if you can’t get it all done right now, hey, why bother? Any of that sound familiar? If you’re a business owner, you’re busy. You’re either working directly with clients, marketing to get more clients, or running the back-end of your business. Throughout my own years in business, I’ve struggled to find a way to manage my time that didn’t result in ending my work day feeling stressed, frenetic, and worthless. One of those attempts was to experiment with making a concerted effort to limit my working day and create a solid ending time.
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[FUEL] Let’s get real… These are the 3 things you need to be doing

By Dawn Shuler While I can talk about the 55+ systems you could implement into your business, in reality, everything boils down to these three things: you need to do work with your clients, you need to get more clients, and you need to make sure the business runs. Boom. Done. End of story. Easy, right? Well, yes and no. You can do the work. Heck, that’s why you got into this work in the first place. You want to serve. All you want to do is have your schedule filled with ideal clients whom you can provide your service, and possibly even transformation. You could do that all day, every day. Bring it on, right?! That’s part one. Part two is getting MORE of those ideal clients. This is where your systems come in. How do you get more of these awesome, ideal clients? Build relationships. You need to
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[FUEL] How to Run Your Business Like a Big Girl (or Big Boy)

By Dawn Shuler In order to successfully run your business, you have to focus on more than just the thing you do (coaching, consulting, assisting, bookkeeping, CPAing, whatever). You have to also focus on the actual running of your business. Some people find the running-of-the-business activities not fun and fulfilling, and so they don’t run their business smartly. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to run your business like a big girl or boy and attend to ALL areas of your business. The good news (see how I play “bad cop, good cop”?) is that you can outsource some of this. The bad news is that you still need to pay attention to these areas and do at least some of the work. You have to be the CEO of your business. What I’ve found in my own business and those of my clients is that once
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