Tag Archives: stress

Do You Want Less Stress and Higher Prices?

If you are a small business owner, independent contractor, or have any career in which you predominantly work for yourself, you’ve probably experienced a time when you’ve been without clients or otherwise out of work.

This is always incredibly stressful; even if you’ve got money in the bank, at some point you can’t help but worry that you’ll never work again. You wonder how you’re going to pay your bills, and what will happen if you’re out of work for more than a couple weeks. Then the minute you get a new job, client, or contract, you most likely throw yourself right into the work. You get excited, devote all your time to it, and get everything accomplished quickly and efficiently. After all, getting the job done with speed and thoroughness is the best way to serve yourself, isn’t it?

If you’ve answered yes, you unfortunately are at least partially responsible for those dry spells when you’re completely without work. Even though it seems like a good idea to do your job both well and quickly, focusing solely on that means you aren’t spending any time on building new business.

If you get too involved in the project at hand, your sales and marketing will lapse and there won’t be anything in the pipeline for when the project is over. Building a successful business, whether you’re a business owner or contractor, is a process.

To rely on that process, you must work on building new sales and doing the necessary marketing. Doing a great job for one client is valuable and can certainly get you more work if they hire you again or exalt your skills to friends and colleagues. However, setting a slightly later deadline to complete the task and using the extra time to ensure you have new projects lined up will serve you far better.

So what is the magical balance between sales, marketing and delivery that is the secret to having consistent work and driving up your prices?

The answer is simple: 80 percent delivery, 20 percent sales and marketing. You’re probably familiar with the Pareto principle – the idea that 80 percent of your results are derived from roughly 20 percent of your focus.

Here, my version of the rule is a bit different; it dictates that in order to ensure that 80 percent of your efforts are delivering on paid work, 20 percent of your time weekly should be spent on marketing and sales activities.

When I tell this to clients, they often ask: why weekly, rather than just 20 percent of my total work time? The answer is simple; technically if a job took 16 days then you dedicating four days to marketing that would be 20 percent. However, the unfortunate thing about sales is that it isn’t that simple. When considering sales, you must consider the time it takes:

  • to get a meeting with the prospective client
  • allow potential clients to make their decision
  • And, if they hire you, to prepare for you to start.

If you wait until the end of your current job to do this work, you’ll end up sitting at home with nothing to do. You will start to feel desperate for work and in many cases, instead of driving your price up; you will negotiate your price and possibly lower it just to pick up work. Ensuring that the phone call you make this week becomes a meeting next week and a full-fledged job on week three requires you to set aside that marketing and sales time this week, and do so every week hereafter.

So what if you are busy with a project and spend five full days on it? Well then you should be spending a sixth work day on sales and marketing. Working a full week on a project doesn’t give you a pass to stop; it is necessary to the health of your business. People always tell me,”I only want to work 40 hours a week.” If this is the case and you want a successful business, then only commit to 32 hours of paid work and spend the other 8 on sales and marketing activities.

It really is that easy. As a result of following this extremely basic idea, you will run far less risk of being out of work for periods of time. This is especially true because clients will see you have constant work and they will perceive you as busy, talented and in demand. If the standard rule for a restaurant applies to your business, we know that customers will pay more for in demand talent.

To give you a real-life example, last year I coached a contractor who, when she was booked, worked 60 hours per week. If she believed a job would take 120 hours, she worked two full weeks without stopping, investing no time into marketing or sales. Then, after the two weeks were over, she had no work. She would panic; we would have a coaching call where I helped her reduce her stress by reminding her that the only reason she didn’t have work was due to the fact that she hadn’t called anyone.

I motivated her to reach out to her contacts, suggesting she act as though she had a space coming up, but then became fully booked- that way, she introduced a sense of urgency while seeming like the most desirable candidate for a job. Finally, I reminded her that once she got work, she needed to commit to a delivery date that allowed her to spend only 80 percent of her working time on the project itself. She repeated this cycle of neglecting her sales marketing, and therefore her own well being, numerous times; however, eventually the idea stuck. Since that time she has reaped the rewards of higher pay rates, consistent work, and reduced stress from having more reliable and profitable work.

I have also worked with a client in a more corporate position; he supplies organizations with gift hampers. He hated marketing and sales, so every time he had an order to prepare for, he completely let that aspect go.

Then, when an event was over, he was without work and forced to layoff staff, only to hire all new personnel the next time he got a job. Hiring and training the new staff would eat up a great deal of time and effort when he was already busy with event prep.

I suggested to him that if he devoted time to marketing and sales on a weekly basis, he might be able to afford keeping seasoned staff on permanently. Initially, he responded with hundreds of reasons why that wouldn’t work, including the customers’ expectations of a swift delivery date; however, once he agreed to submit to the process it resulted in far less fluctuation in the amount of work at any given time, and a steadily growing business rather than one that continuously fluctuated between growth and shrinkage.

If you only concentrate on the job at hand, you do yourself a disservice; you’ll have to experience the fear and stress of looking for work without a safety net, and you’ll never be able to increase your rate. If you always have business, you’ll be able to raise the price you charge, because you won’t fear being out of work, and because people naturally desire the services of a busy person.

After all, the general consensus is that such a person must be the best at their job; it’s the reason they’re always fully booked. On the other hand, if you don’t have work, you’ll get desperate and your rate will stay the same or may even lower. So, begin blocking out a day once a week for sales and marketing. Invest that 20 percent of your time in your healthy, sane, and busy future.

Matthew Pollard is an International Award-winning Top Keynote Sales Expert Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Best-selling Author. If you’re looking for a keynote speaker with an edge, who provides absolute return on investment, who will assist your organization in achieving unprecedented results, Matthew Pollard is your Rapid Growth® Guy!  Book Matthew Pollard today https://bit.ly/345Gz1r

Want a secret weapon to reduce your stress?

Want a secret weapon for relieving stress? Get organized.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that clutter can drain your energy. A cluttered home – a cluttered mind. But clutter also drains your finances and schedule, which we refer to as the hidden cost of clutter. Not only does it affect your energy and pocketbook, it ultimately creates a chaotic life.

Putting in the effort to get organized by establishing healthy habits, (especially if the disorganization and clutter extends to multiple areas of your life) can help reduce stress tremendously. Just think how stressful it is when you’re scrambling at the last-minute looking for your things or you show up late for a meeting because you lost track of time.

Being organized on the other hand, can leave you feeling empowered. Facing the day prepared can actually minimize the strength and duration of your stress. The key is to reduce your triggers in the first place.

Getting organized doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are a few habits you can learn right away, such as:

• Everything in its place and a place for everything. (And that place should make sense.)
• Keep like with like.
• Dedicate 20 minutes to a task each day.

To reduce your stress, consider how organized you need to be. While you may not need your books alphabetized or have every minute scheduled in your calendar, adopting a few good habits could go a long way.

Patricia Diesel is an International Keynote Speaker, Professional Organizing Expert, and Best-selling Author. She shares her expertise on how to create simplicity and balance in these ever changing times. Patricia is known as the most sought after Organizing Expert in today’s world. She is the creator of THE KEEP IT SIMPLE NOW SYSTEM™ the Most Elite and Complete Step-by-Step Program That Will Help You Get Organized Without The Stress, Procrastination and Overwhelm, So You Can Finally Live A Clutter-Free, Healthy Life! Book Patricia today! https://bit.ly/2Y1p1in

Stress: Choose How You Participate!

Stress impacts the whole body.  When a stressful situation occurs, the nervous system responds and immediately increases cortisol and adrenaline to prepare the body for emergency action.  Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, muscles tighten, you may feel nauseous, and begin breathing harder.  Although this is a natural response to stress it is not natural to experience it daily. 

Daily stress brings on a lot of consequence that includes everything from difficulty concentrating to fatigue, weight gain and depression.  So how can this stress cycle be stopped to allow calm amid chaos?   The key is choosing to participate differently. 

  1. Create supportive, healthy boundaries.  Take inventory of your daily activities and decide if adjustment is needed to alleviate stress in your life.  Create buffers in the day so you can move in a fluid way without the anxiousness and stress of being overscheduled.  Carve out blocks of time to focus solely on a project and to answer emails and voicemails.  In the evening allow space for the activities you enjoy such as light exercise, connection with friends, and quiet time to read.  
  2. Breathe.  Offer your body the gift of breath; it is free, portable and accessible any time yet it is rarely used to its full capacity.  Take a slow, deep breath in through the nose, filling the abdomen like a balloon.  Pause and then slowly exhale through the nose as you contract the abdomen to push out all the air.  Repeat.  The gift of breath will calm the body and provide you a new perspective on the situation. 
  3. Say no.  This can be a challenging but necessary assignment if you want to reduce stress in your life.  Before making any decision, ask yourself “What will this provide me?”.  This one simple question will help you decide whether your participation will cause you angst, or move you in the direction of stress-free living.  By pausing and asking yourself this question, you will be able to make a conscious choice instead of one out of convenience, haste, or guilt.  Kindly express thanks and gratitude for the opportunity and say no.  It really is as easy as that.   
  4. Give permission.  You are in control of your response in every situation in life but you cannot control the response of others.  Before any stressful conversation silently say to the other person, “I give you permission to respond however you need to respond.”   This one simple act will allow you to express your thoughts and concerns and release control of the other persons response.  Stress happens when we worry about the unknown, or try to please another person and fall short.  Choose to do what is best for you, be kind to yourself in the process, and provide permission for others to do the same.   
  5. Use the power of word.  Words often feed stress in the body more than the situation itself!  What if instead of saying “I just don’t have enough time” you shifted your mindset by saying “I have all the time I need.”  Just through the power of word you provided space to accomplish the task at hand with grace, focus, and calm instead of being frazzled and stressed out.  You can also recite phrases like “all is well” “I am enough” or “I release all control” to set the stage for a positive experience.   

Stress will always be present in life; the good news is you get to choose how you want to participate in it!  Advocate for yourself, create a supportive environment and know that you have everything you need to live stress-free.

Angela Gaffney is an International Wellness Expert Keynote Speaker and Best-selling Author. Clients call her a Game-Changer! She inspires action, shifts perspective and challenges you to achieve health as you excel in business! Angela’s personal story feeds her passion for this work.  Like most of us do, she thought life would go on no matter what.  And after a two-year struggle with a failing body, Angela was told to go home and prepare for a progressive disease to take her life. It is possible to live better! Book Angela at https://bit.ly/2wEyHp8 and she can show you the way!

Is ‘Rest’ Important in Your Life?

rest-1Merry Christmas everyone, and hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  As we take time to spend with family and friends living out the true meaning of the holiday, anyone find it hard to actually take time to “REST?”

Why is that? Medical science tells us we are more creative, productive, and will live longer when we value our ‘rest’ time as much as we do the hours we spend at work.

As a CEO of a thriving company, and a person that was brought up to love to work as my identity; resting is a struggle. Anyone else in the same situation?

According to the latest figures I am not alone. We, in America, are working longer work weeks, for longer span of our lifetimes, and feel resting is a luxury we cannot afford.

During this beautiful Christmas season of 2016 and beyond I am making a choice to not be like everyone else.  Can we choose to see the value of rest, and plan how we are going to make it a priority going forward?  This is not a matter of New Years’ ‘resolutions’, it is a priority of health, business success, wellness, and security.

Some tips to consider are:
1.      Find your worth and security that is not based on your work and achievement.
2.      Prioritize better and plan time for rest.
3.      Set definite work hours and quit on time.
4.      Organize your work and work space.
5.      Exercise regularly-no longer using work as an excuse not to do so.
6.      Spend time resting with your family and friends with no guilt.
7.      Spend less time in front of the TV which suggests we need to work more.
8.      Do something every day you love doing that is not related to your work.
9.      Create an easier lifestyle that focuses on the important and not the image of
always having to be working.

Wishing for you and your family, a wonderful Christmas, where you begin making a new way of life, where rest is valued and see how your work life becomes easier and less stressful!

 “I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the Word repeats, of peace on earth goodwill to men.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 Have you heard the bells lately?

Sue Falcone-CEO
remarkablelogo-color

 

 

 

We Love Event Planners!

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Event planners have a hard job! They are either full time professionals that keep putting on those super special events that everyone loves to attend without looking tired or stressed; or they are charged by others to be an event planner, even if they have never done it before, and/or have another job as well!

Either way we love you because we want to serve you and make your job and life easier, and you want us to bring the magic that will make your event memorable, satisfy your audience, make you look like a “rock star,” and help you handle the stress and mess!

Love being partners with the many planners that we have worked with over the years, and we want to keep on top of your needs to make your job easier! We see a bright future for both of us, because even though the internet is a great learning tool, it is not for everyone!

So we know you will always be needing those heavy content speakers and presenters, that engage and interact, in the shortest amount of time, and entertain your audience into learning the outcomes you have given us to fulfill!

Hats off to you Event Planners, you have the #5 most stressful job in America, just under being an airline pilot, and still you wake up every day knowing this is what you love doing!

We love serving you with the personal touch, and providing custom solutions for booking the perfect match for your upcoming event!

Thanks for letting us know how we can better work together forever, because we love what we do too!

Off to meet with our next event planner, and seeing how I can make her day brighter and better!
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Sue Falcone- CEO and Owner
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Love Event Planners!

stress1Event planners have a hard job! They are either full time professionals that keep putting on those super special events that everyone loves to attend without looking tired or stressed; or they are charged by others to be an event planner, even if they have never done it before, and/or have another job as well!

Either way we love you because we want to serve you and make your job and life easier, and you want us to being the magic that will make your event memorable, satisfy your audience, make you look like a “rock star,” and help you handle the stress and mess!

Love being partners with the many planners that we have worked with over the years, and we want to keep on top of your needs to make your job easier! We see a bright future for both of us, because even though the internet is a great learning tool, it is not for everyone! So we know you will always be needing those heavy content bringing speakers and presenters, that engage and interact, in the shortest amount of time, and entertain your audience into learning the outcomes you have given us to fulfill!

Hats off to you Event Planners, you have the #5 most stressful job in America, just under being an airline pilot, and still you wake up every day knowing this is what you love doing!  We love serving you and helping you in any way we can, and thanks for letting us know how we can better work together forever, because we love what we do too!

Off to meet with our next event planner, and seeing how I make her day brighter and better!

Sue Falcone
Sue Falcone